Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chocolate Cheesecake

Besides the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova, I was busy on Sunday baking my first cheesecake (sorry for the not too perfect picture as it was taken in haste at my friend's party). I wanted it to be chocolately since I had recently bought a batch of Valrhona 70% Guanaja from Gourmandines. I was initially torn between trying out Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cheesecake from Feasts (which will be featured in the future episodes on television) and Alice Medrich's Chocolate Cheesecake from her book,

Eventually, I settled for Alice Medrich purely because her recipe called for less ingredients and less time in the oven. Although everything well with the cheesecake (which smelt wonderful) and I'm happy to say it didn't crack one bit, it didn't go down too well with the people at the party. Feedback from others said it was too bitter and slightly too tangy. For my tastebuds, I felt it was slightly tangier than what I would have liked in my cheesecake but the chocolate taste was just nice. It took me a while to realise my tastebuds with regards to chocolate has really changed as nowadays all I use in cooking or consume is bittersweet 70% chocolate. Looks like it's time to switch to say 64% Manjari or 40% Jivara which is what Bakerzin uses as the general public's tastebuds aren't like mine.

If you wish to try this recipe which gives a smooth cheesecake with no cracks, cut the sour cream to half as it was slightly too tangy for my taste. If you wish to use 64% to 66% chocolate, use 7 ounces of chocolate and for anything lower than 64% chocolate, use 8 ounces but increase the sugar to 2/3 cup and add one tablespoon cocoa powder with the sour cream.

Chocolate Cheesecake

For the crust
1 1/ cups chocolate wafer crumbs (I used Oreo cookies)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

For the cheesecake
1/3 cup boiling water
6 1/2 ounces bittersweet 70% chocolate, finely chopped
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
One 16 ounce container of sour cream

You will need a 9 inch springform pan

To make the crust: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease the cake pan.

Use a fork to blend together all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press evenly over the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the crust with the fork. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack before filling (leave the oven on)

To make the cheesecake: In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer just until smooth about 30 seconds on high speed on a heavy duty electric mixer with a flat beater. Scrape the bowl and beaters well. Turn mixer back to medium to low speed and gradually add the sugar a time. Continue to beat until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping the bowl and beaters before adding the next one. Add the sour cream and beat until incorporated. Pour in the warm chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until just well blended. Pour batter into the crust and place pan on cookie sheet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is puffed and looks set about 1 1/2 inches from the sides of the pan but jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped. Remove cake from the oven. Slide the tip of paring knife carefully around the top edge of the pan to detach it from the pan, but do not remove the pan sides. Place pan on a rack and cover the pan and rack with a large inverted bowl or pot so the cake can slowly cool to room temperature.

Cover the cooled cake and chill for at least 5 hours, preferably 24, before serving. Note the flavours of the chocolate will intensify after 48 hours.

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Christmas Feasts

Yesterday was half a day of feasting which started off with the traditional Christmas lunch at Splashie Boy's house. Star performer was the turkey of course which came all the way from Australia (G'day mate!) and courtesy of Sheraton Subang. Accompanied by a cheese rosti, mash potatoes, a crisp vegetable salad and corn on the cob, it was a very satisfying meal.

For desserts, we had chocolate banana cake and by special request from Splashie Boy, Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova which my friend made that day. My first attempt making it and it cracked so much after it cooled that it looked so ugly. However, taste wise it was still good that Splashie Boy's family didn't believe it was made from egg whites and no flour.

Then later at night, it was my friend, Ms. C's yearly get together with family and friends. More turkey and this time it came with delicious roast potatoes. I liked the stuffing which accompanied the turkey and kept scooping it up for seconds as it was so yummy.

It was a huge spread of food that had us all eating throughout the night. That's only half of the table since I couldn't capture all the dishes for last night.

There was yummy fried beehoon which came topped with colourful shredded omelette and red chillies. Accompany this with yummy chicken curry, roti jala, chicken drummettes and beef rendang.

My favourite were the pie tees - crunchy shells filled with yummy filling topped with chilli, fried shallots, chopped coriander and shredded egg omelette. They were also easy to finish up since all you needed was to pop them in your mouth.

Desserts was yummy chocolate walnut caramel torte brought back from Chicago by my friend's sister who was visiting. Delicious and extremely rich tasting.

We also had the traditional log cake from La Manila - light sponge filled with chocolate ganache. Very satisfying meal which ended with our traditional gift giving plus pulling of Christmas crackers. I always love those crackers as they come with tiny gifts, great jokes and party hats.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and let's look forward to partying towards end of the year.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas to all of you. Sorry for the late greetings, have been busy baking away and preparing for the celebrations. No turkey pictures yet but we should been tucking in to turkey for lunch and dinner later on. Will upload them later. Take care and have a good time with your family and friends.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Nasi Padang @ Maju Garuda, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

I'm a keen fan of Nasi Padang if you notice from my numerous posts on the food. Somehow, it always hits the right spot in my tummy as I love the variety of food they serve. Although it's mainly the same items from each place, it's always fun to try them and compare which ones taste great.

Maju Garuda's set up in Kampung Baru can't be missed since it's located on the busy Jalan Raja Alang. It also happens to be one of those back routes Splashie Boy loves to use to avoid traffic gridlocks within the city centre so we always drive past this place.

Make your selection from the counter which is filled with lots of varieties. The restaurant serves an excellent Ayam Goreng Pop here. Although it's deep fried, it's served without it's fat filled skin. The key to this dish is the delicious dark soy sauce dip mixed with chilli and other spices that keeps you asking for more. The curries are also full of flavour and their beef dendeng is nice and crispy.

Something unusual they serve here is the Satay Padang. Available only in the evenings, the satay is totally different from our Malaysian satay. The meat on the skewers is slightly chewy and marinated in spices. After grilling it on the hot charcoals, it's doused with a sauce which is not too spicy. It took me a while to get used to this as I kept looking out for a peanut sauce to dip my satay in. Besides this Kampung Baru outlet, they also have another one around the Masjid India area right beside the covered bazaar.

Incidentally, it's Dong Zhi today so remember to break out the frozen tong yuen packets from the freezer. Alternatively, you can rush to the market now to get the fresh rice flour dough in various colours to roll them into teeny weeny balls.

Restoran Maju Garuda
36B, Jalan Raja Alang
Kampung Baru
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2691 4077

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

Last night, to celebrate my friend,
Ee-Tan's birthday, we had a little get together at Ms. P's house. I got roped in to make the pasta sauce but the hostess, Ms. P made the sinfully delicious Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer. It's super appropriate too since it's the start of Nigella craze with the launch of her programme, Feasts on Discovery Travel and Living. (For those who caught it last night, I think that Chocolate Cherry Trifle sounds like an excellent idea for Christmas lunch) This is my favourite picture - the one with my friend's cute kid, Nicholas posing with the pavlova.

Honestly, the pavlova was super yummy and it sounds really easy to make which is also another plus point. Now, I'm itching to try it out. Instead of the usual crackly meringue filling, it's soft and gooey inside and divine once you pair it with the tart raspberries and softly whipped cream.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Kuey Teow Th'ng @ O&S, Paramount Gardens, Petaling Jaya

Something simple for today, my favourite Kuey Teow Th'ng from
O & S Coffeeshop in Paramount Gardens. Once in a blue moon, I always hanker for a bowl of this as I call it perfect comfort food for my tummy. Although it's just a simple noodle dish with slices of fish cake, chicken shreds and fishball for RM4, it's one of my favourites. After days and nights of excessing on rich food, this is my perfect breakfast.

If you wish, you can add on lots of other items such as intestines, blood cubes which remind me of the English black pudding and etc. For me, a simple bowl is sufficient to whet my appetite. My Penang friend claims this is pretty much like the real stuff in Penang and having tasted Kuey Teow Th'ng in Penang, I tend to agree this is a pretty good substitute.

O & S Restaurant
At the corner shop house facing Caltex petrol station
Along Jalan 20/14
Paramount Gardens
Petaling Jaya

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nostalgic Dining @ Yut Kee, Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysians have a fine appreciation when it comes to old fashioned items especially dining in Hainanese kopitiams which hark back to the olden days. Mention Yut Kee or that shop along the old Campbell Road and everyone knows what you're talking about. Literally packed with people at all times, this corner kopitiam has been drawing in the crowds ever since they opened in the 1920s. Most of the time, old restaurants get passed down from generation to generation and it's nice to see the owner Jack Lee continuing his father's legacy. His son is also following in his footsteps and takes an active role in managing the restaurant. The family also owns Bodhi Tree restaurant right at the back which is currently run by his wife.

It's here where you get your bread toasted the old style - over hot charcoals. Most of the time, kopitiams have relinquished this practice for the toaster oven which is faster and less hassle. Believe me, old style is always better and the toasted bread definitely tastes better here especially with their home made kaya and a cup of their coffee.

Another specialty in Yut Kee which people flock to for is their Roti Babi. This sandwich made from white bread and stuffed with shredded pork, onions, chinese sausages and crabmeat is dipped in egg and deep fried. The super fluffy bread complements the yummy filling.

They also serve Lam Meen here topped with crab meat and a kick ass sambal belachan dip. Most of the times, kopitiams don't take the time to toast their belachan but at Yut Kee, they toast it which makes it so fragrant.

A lot of people rave for their pork chop as it's rare to find Hainanese pork chop but we stuck to their Hainanese Chicken Chop. Served with lots of onions, a side portion of fried potatoes and mixed vegetables, their chicken chop is served with brown gravy which has Lea Perrins Worcestershire sauce in it. The chicken chop is not dried out or over fried like other places and maintains it's juiciness. If you notice, Lea Perrins Worcestershire sauce features quite heavily in Hainanese western cooking as this is what they used during the colonial times.

For dessert, you must try Jack Lee's marble butter cake and kaya swiss roll which he makes himself. You can't miss the unique display cupboard the cakes are kept in which is located near the cashier. Whether you're a visitor to Kuala Lumpur or a local, Yut Kee is definitely a worthwhile stop over for a dash of nostalgia and good food.

Yut Kee
35 Jalan Dang Wangi
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2698 8108

(Opened from 8 am to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays)

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Teochew Porridge @ Restoran Teochew, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Last weekend was lots of Christmas shopping and the malls were of course, packed with people. Luckily we managed to avoid most of the crowds. I did manage to get home early last night and caught Ho Chiak's episode where they featured
Hon Kee's porridge and Teochew porridge in Taman Desa Aman, Cheras.

This got me thinking of Teochew porridge we had sometime back in Pudu hence I dug out the pictures from my archive. This place is quite famous among KL-lites as it's open till the early hours in the morning and perfect for a quick meal especially after a night of partying.

They serve lots and lots of varieties that you'll have a hard time choosing from the counter what you want to eat. I spied two unusual items which you don't usually get in a Teochew porridge place, this kerabu chicken feet. Made from the gelatinous chicken feet skin only, it's crunchy and spicy from the chilli sauce they use.

Another favourite of mine are the clams cooked in a bit of sauce, this sweet tasting dish always goes well with the plain Teochew porridge.

We ordered the basic items you usually eat in a typical Teochew place which are usually braised in the distinct soy sauce gravy. You get braised duck (a must have in Teochew porridge), braised intestines, braised tofu and even the hard boiled eggs are braised in the soy sauce for additional flavour. Other must haves are the salted vegetables (ham choy in cantonese) and the salted eggs. These all combine to add flavour to the plain tasting Teochew porridge and makes quite a substantial meal.

This may not be the best in town but it's definitely a satisfying meal especially late at night after drinking and dancing away at the clubs. Sadly I recently read in the papers, this area has been besieged with youths who hang out here terrorising people. There has been calls for better police prescence at this area to prevent any fights and etc. Not sure if it has worked but if you plan to visit this area at night, be cautious. Alternatively, visit this place in the daytime for lunch instead.

Restoran Teochew
274 & 276, Changkat Thambi Dollah
Off Jalan Pudu
Kuala Lumpur

(Opened from 10.30 am to 4.30 am)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Churrasco Brasileno (BBQ Skewer Buffet) @ Halia, Sime Darby Convention Centre, KL

Everyone in town has been talking about Halia's Brazilian Barbeque Skewer Buffet which is only at RM20++ per person. We decided to check it out last night since we were free. Our original booking was for tonight but I'm glad we changed over to last night as it wasn't packed with people. Was told by the cashier that they have had full house capacity (approximately 100 pax) almost every night which can be quite chaotic.

The set up is actually quite simple but like what Splashie Boy kept saying throughout the night - "What do you expect for RM20++?" You can choose from the buffet counter for salad greens, sliced capsicums, peas, corn and those yummy jelly tomatoes (they're small but longish versus the round cherry tomatoes). They have a whole array of different dressings for you. There's also corn on the cob and baked potatoes with sour cream, bacon bits and spring onion toppings. What I liked was their little dips and sauces they place on the table for you. You get an array of black pepper sauce, barbeque sauce, brown sauce and etc if you want more flavours in your meat. I liked the tortilla chips they gave with the tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream dips.

For the flame grilled meat, they serve it at your table in long skewers. Each server will advise you what it is and remove a piece from the skewer to your plate with a metal fork. They served us eight items: chicken breast wrapped in beef bacon, spicy chicken wings, chicken liver, garlic and black pepper striploin, oriental lamb leg, honey glazed meat loaf, Thuringer sausage and fish fillet. My favourite was the fish fillet (seen in the first photo) which was cooked just right and lightly marinated. The chicken wings had a nice kick to them as you could taste the spicy chilli. We also liked the Thuringer sausage which was bigger than the normal skinny ones we get. I also liked the soft honey glazed meat loaf which had paprika sprinkled on it. Not everything was perfect as the chicken breast was tough and quite tasteless while the lamb and beef was slightly overcooked. We kinda suspect that the flame which cooks the barbeque skewers can be quite inconsistent. Some skewers yielded food cooked just right while some was overcooked.

Desserts was a simple bread and butter pudding with watery evaporated milk as cream. I suggest you add vanilla ice cream for added oomph. You can help yourself to the different varieties of ice cream and add the different sauces and toppings i.e. chocolate rice and croquants. There's also creme caramel which was a bit overcooked and fresh fruits. Coffee and tea is not included in the buffet.

Overall, we thought the buffet offered a really good deal for it's price as it served a lot of meats. Although it wasn't the best cuts of lamb and beef, the other items were pretty good. The buffet items weren't lavish like the hotel buffets but you could see they tried to make it up by giving lots of sauces, dips and dressings to people. Another plus point was their salads and vegetables were all very fresh - crunchy capsicums, juicy jelly tomatoes and crisp salad greens.

This is definitely the buffet for you if you can eat large helpings of meat in one sitting as the price of the buffet is definitely attractive. For us, one round of the items was just enough for both of us before we decided to go home. The only thing is with a full house, you will have to wait for your turn with the food skewers. I can imagine the ugly Malaysian who will get kiasu and ask the waiter to give him/her everything on the skewer so they don't need to wait for the other skewers making everyone else irate. Remember to book ahead as even weekdays get filled up with end of the year office or Christmas parties.

Sime Darby Convention Centre
1A, Jalan Bukit Kiara 1,
60000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2089 3688 (this is Sime Darby Convention Centre's general line)

(The buffet is only available from 6 to 10 pm only and until 30 December, 2006. To get there, when you turn into the Kiara Highway from Sprint (Eastin Hotel), keep left and make the first left turning where you will see the KL Golf and Country Club sign, go straight and you will pass by the convention centre, take a right turn at the end to get into the car park. You can either park inside or outside. Ample parking spaces available. You are given free parking if you spend up to RM30)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gourmet Burger @ Relish, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL

Blogger has been acting strange again. Yesterday, my navigation bar dissapeared on me and later at night, I found out I can't comment on Blogger Beta blogs. Hence I reckon, it's wise to quickly post this up as soon as possible or else it'll be wonky later in the morning.

Burger aficionados will love this place which serves seven varieties of gourmet burgers in two different sizes, 6 oz and 10 oz. However, they may howl in protest once they discover that it doesn't come with the classic tomato ketchup but served with the healthier and home made tomato relish. I decided to go for the Classic Cheese Burger (RM20++ for 6 oz) rather than the more exotic types like the Aussie Burger with pineapple, beetroot, egg and beef bacon. The burger was pretty good stuff. Juicy and succulent minced beef, chargrilled to perfection. I know ketchup would have been more authentic but the relish was quite nice and tasty. The burgers don't come with fries which is a seperate order for RM5 or RM8 if you prefer wedges. The good thing about having the fries served on the side is the portion was huge enough for two people to finish up.

Rather than order another burger, we tried another item on their menu - the Minty Lamb (RM20++) which has been chargrilled and sliced. This is stuffed in pita bread. The lamb was tender but the mint yoghurt relish served with it wasn't too good and lacked flavour.

We were keen to try their Chocolate Ganache Tart but sadly they had run out of most of their desserts leaving us the Apple Pie (RM15++) to try. Although it looked super impressive when it arrived with it's scoop of ice cream and orange rind topping, the apple pie was cold inside when we started eating it. We sent it back to be reheated and luckily, it came back defrosted and heated up the second round. Tastewise, it was only okay.

Conclusion at the end of the meal was they knew how to make and cook burgers but desserts was something they needed to improve on. Maybe we got the least popular item of the dessert menu since it was the last one standing. If you wish to see more of the menu, click on the link below to Relish's website.

22 Changkat Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2145 3321

(Directly opposite Frangipani)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dining @ La Casa Cafe, Bandar Manjalara, Kepong, KL

One weekend, we thoroughly explored the Bandar Manjalara area to search for De Foodland. Initially we thought it was at the shophouses near the petrol stations hence we went round the area a few times to look for it. After finding it completely away from the area, we eventually returned here for a very late lunch.

At first we thought we were dining at Chef Ken's Cafe since the signboard said that was the restaurant but when we went in, they informed us they're actually La Casa Cafe who had taken over the place. It was a pretty good sized crowd here hence we decided to try their food. They serve mainly cafe style items and we asked their waiter to recommend their specialties which I vaguely remember to be the Carbonara, Baked Chicken and Cajun Salmon. We ordered their Fettucini Carbonara (RM16.90+) which was pretty good. Not too rich a sauce which came with lots of sliced mushrooms and turkey ham pieces.

I ordered the Baked Chicken (RM21.90+) which came with two pieces of rolls to soak up the juices. This was very delicious as the sauce was flavoursome. In fact, I kinda suspect they added a dash of alcohol in it. The rolls were a great idea as you could really soak up the sauce till the last drop.

Splashie Boy chose a slice of Carrot Cake (RM6.90+) for us to share. The cake's texture is quite nice and fluffy, not too rich. I didn't like the topping though as they had heated it up hence the topping tasted kinda artifical.

Note that La Casa Cafe used to be at Medan Putra and Chef Ken has migrated hence he has closed his cafe. You can get more information about the cafe from the
Fooxion Forum as one of their members is related to the owners.

La Casa Cafe
102, Jalan 8/62A
Bandar Manjalara
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 6275 8931

(This place is really tucked in at the back of the shophouses behind the Esso and Shell petrol stations at Bandar Manjalara. It's right next to Mischell Cafe)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Woon Chai Koh (Rice Cakes) @ Section 17 Medan Selera, Petaling Jaya

The great thing about having a food blog is my friends always give me food tips. This is a treasured tip as I've been looking for yummy Woon Chai Koh for the longest time ever since I ate the supposedly famous one in Kedai Kopi Khoong which turned out to be a huge dissapointment. My fascination with Woon Chai Koh started ever since I tasted the famous rice flour cakes in Tiong Bahru, Singapore.

Found at the same food court I discovered yummy fishball noodles, these ground rice flour cakes(RM1.50) come in four tiny pieces. They're just the right texture balancing between soft but yet firm. Another great plus point is they add a lot of preserved radish (Choy Poh in Chinese) which has been fried in garlic and soy sauce. Do give them a try as they're great for a light lunch or a snack.

Stall No. 11
Section 17 Medan Selera
Next to Section 17 Wet Market
Jalan 17/21,
Petaling Jaya

(Opens from 7.30 am to 2.30 pm)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Sam Kang Cheong Pork Noodles @ Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

These past few days, my Streamyx has been driving me round the bend with it's intermittent service. Luckily it's back to normal hence I can leisurely write my blog entries. I've been reading quite a lot of BackStreetGlutton's blog recently and I thought I'll "borrow" his interesting concept of comparing these two places. It's also purely because a friend of mine told me of this place and since these two outlets are just near each other, it makes sense to do a comparison of the two.

These pork noodles are popularly known among the older folk as Sam Kang Cheong since they can be traced back to the original restaurant along Jalan Silang which is no longer in existence. Nowadays, you can get this version of pork noodles in various places since the original restaurant's family and workers had passed down the recipe to the next generation.

I was told that this small stall run by an old lady can be traced back to the original shop in Jalan Silang. Not many know of this stall hence her shop is pretty quiet and business seems to be better for the bak kut teh stall she shares the premises with. Instead, people tend to favour the noodles at Weng Hing, which is just round the corner.

I gave her noodles a try and felt her cooking was similar to home cooked food. Her minced meat topping felt like what my mother makes at home and didn't have as much black soy sauce compared to Weng Hing's.

In Weng Hing, the sausage is served in the soup versus this shop which serves it on top of the noodles. I suspect Weng Hing serves it in the soup because it helps soften their slightly drier sausage. When you bite into the sausage, it breaks in small pieces as the filling is dry. Totally unlike this shop whereby, the sausages are moist and tender.

Pricewise, this shop's noodles are priced at RM4 versus Weng Hing's at RM5 which throws in an extra pork ball. When you bite into Weng Hing's pork ball, you find it extra springy that one wonders if there has been too much artificial flavourings added. Their soup is also saltier versus this shop's one which is lightly flavoured with soy beans.

Personally, I prefer this shop's pork noodles which I find it to have less artifical flavourings and tastes more home made. The flavours are not as strong as Weng Hing's noodles but this taste is more to my liking. Note the first two pictures are from the Medan Imbi's stall while the other two are from Weng Hing's noodles stall.

Pork Noodles
Medan Imbi

(Just underneath a Karaoke Lounge and is next to the Bak Kut Teh stalls. Opened in the mornings till lunch time. Closed on Mondays, every fortnight)

Pork Noodles
Weng Hing Restaurant
Corner of Jalan Imbi

(Open from 7am to 3pm. Closed on Wednesdays, every fortnight)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Indian Vegetarian @ Hare Krsna, Brickfields, KL

Some days when my feet get itchy, I wander around unfamiliar places to search for good food. During one of my jaunts to Brickfields, I found this great Indian vegetarian place situated in a lane off the famous restaurant New Lay Sin along Jalan Tun Sambanthan. This small lane houses quite a few Indian places but Hare Krsna was the one which everyone made a beeline for.

After tasting the food, I could understand why people were packing this place. It was just simple Indian vegetables cooked in curries but everything tasted so good. Set up like and economy rice place, you pick and choose three vegetables for your metal platter to eat with rice plus pappadums and it only costs RM3.50. They had a selection of curries - bittergourd, deep fried lotus root and my favourite, their home made vegetarian kofta. If you want extra kick to your food, add their mango pickles which you can find at the table.

On Fridays, you get free Payasam for dessert. I first ate this when I visited Annalaksmi and loved this luscious dessert ever since. It's filled with sago pearls, slivered cashew nuts, raisins and lentils. They also add turmeric powder to the dessert to give it a sunshine yellow appearance.

Hare Krsna Vegetarian
No. 16, Lorong Chan Ah Tong,
Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

Opens from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.

(This lane is just right next to New Lay Sin Restaurant along Jalan Tun Sambanthan)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pizza and Pasta @ California Pizza Kitchen, Suria KLCC, KL

Every shopping mall seems to be vying for best christmas decorations with their fantastic displays. I have visited Suria KLCC which boasts their yearly ginormous tree. This year round, it's decorated with white reindeers all the way till the top. The Curve has gone all blue and silver sparkly balls. I must admit the most impressive one I have seen so far are the Christmas decorations in Mid Valley Megamall. They had fashioned a quaint little gingerbread village in the concourse area, decorated the trees with peppermint swirls while iced cookies hang from the ceiling. No pictures of the village since I was rushing through the mall that day but if you do get a chance, do visit it. Yet to wander into 1 Utama but I did hear they're going for a Mickey Mouse theme this year.

Back to food, last weekend we made a trip through the crowds of people in Suria KLCC to visit the PIKOM fair. Luckily we had season parking or else it would have been a nightmare to find a space since everyone was there for the sales and the fair. It's been ages since we ate at California Pizza Kitchen hence we decided to drop by. As usual the place was packed with people. My favourite place to sit there is either near the windows where you see the fountains and the park or when there's limited space, on the bar counter. You get great service since you're just next to the bar and see the action in their open kitchen.

First up, we had their Avocado Club Egg Rolls which came stuffed with avocado, cheese, bacon bits and chopped tomatoes in a deep fried spring roll. I thought this wasn't really fantastic as the spring roll wasn't crispy enough.

As usual, we will start disagreeing on what we should order for pizza. I was keen to try the seasonal Turkey Calzone but Splashie Boy was veering towards the Sweet and Spicy Italian Sausage one. We eventually settled for the sausage pizza but it was really dissapointing. So little sausages and tons of onions instead. Even the crust was not as crispy as I remember it to be.

By then I was annoyed since I had better memories about this place. I also suspected we must have ordered a dud in their menu as I vaguely remember eating that pizza before and it definitely came out short the last time too. To test if the food had totally changed, we ordered a regular dish - Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with tomato sauce. Luckily this turned out as good as we remember. Chunks of portobello mushroom were stuffed with herbs and cheese in the ravioli and the tomato sauce was divine.

Not too sure if any of you are regulars at this place but I felt the food standard had dropped since they first started. This could be because the original kitchen crew had already moved on and it's a newish lot manning the kitchen. Do let me know your experiences at this place, if any. Would love to hear from you.

California Pizza Kitchen
First Level
Park Mall
Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2382 0802

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chilling out @ Vintry, Medan Damansara, KL

When it comes to places to relax and rewind after a hard day, Vintry is the ideal choice. Although I don't drink much nowadays, I love the teeny weeny snacks here which when ordered in abundance can qualify for a full dinner. It's nice and cozy here: downstairs you get to dine amongst shelves and shelves of wine bottles while upstairs, you get a comfy red sofa or high beer kegs to sit at with tall stools.

Another great concept they came up with is, you can order anything from the other restaurants along Jalan Kasah such as The Rib Shop, Red the Japanese place, Ka Soh, La Risata and Gill's. They'll deliver the food to you and you pay the bill. It makes great sense as sometimes you feel like having the famous Ka Soh's Fish Head Meehoon with say the ribs from the Rib Shop.

Vintry's menu selections is pretty good to keep us quite satisfied and the favourites are these teeny snacks such as the evil caramelised roast pork (RM14++ for 100g). Slices of roast pork is fried in a black sauce till caramelised and yummy. The good thing about this is it's not as fat laden versus the one you get at Mama's Kitchen in Taman Tun Dr Ismail or Seng Kee in down town Kuala Lumpur. However, it can be quite tough but the crunchy and sweet combo makes up for it. Another must have which I love, is their Deeo Fried Pork Strips (RM8++). These are marinated in fermented bean curd and dipped in batter, then fried till super crispy. Decadent stuff since it's pork belly slices but it's so yummy.

If you don't like pork, then try their Seafood Potpourri (RM18++). We reckon it's home made as everything tastes really fresh. Don't forget to dip the fried seafood in the sauce which complements it perfectly.

I'm a great fan of cheese hence when I saw this, I had to order it - Deep Fried Cheese with Honey (RM12++). I thought it would have been melting cheese inside the deep fried cheese but it was hard Spanish cheese hence I was dissapointed. It's a nice combination with the honey though but would have tasted better with a melting cheese center.

Last but not least was dessert to be shared from the Rib Shop - sinful flourless chocolate cake. Deliciously moist and rich, this was a great way to end dinner. Although we had a lot of snacks that night, you can also order main meals from the menu or from the other restaurant's menus to satisfy your hunger pangs.

No. 130, Jalan Kasah
Medan Damansara
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2094 8262

(Closed on Sundays. Opened from 11am till 12am)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Old style Chinese dining @ Sek Yuen, Jalan Pudu, KL

Walk down memory lane when you dine at this establishment just off the busy main road in Pudu. Currently run by the third generation, this fifty year plus restaurant still draws in the crowds with their old style Chinese cooking. Peek into the kitchens at the back and you'll see that they still cook with charcoal like the olden days.

In their hey days, Sek Yuen was THE place for wedding dinners which made you the envy of the town. Now, old timers and people who want a taste of the good old days drop by to indulge in their dishes. They have two outlets side by side - a more modern air conditioned one versus the original one filled with rotating fans. It's very much a family business and you see everyone helping out at the restaurant in the front line or at the back.

A must have when you dine here is their Pei Pa Duck. The duck is dried in the hot sun before it's fried till crispy. I love their sauce that goes so well with the duck - it's not home made but a concoction they mix up themselves which tastes tangy and slightly sweet.

Another dish we had which I'm not putting a picture up is their Stuffed Pork Trotter. A friend of mine reckons the picture I took of it is too gross hence it's been banned at the moment. It may not have made it's pictorial debut here but I can still remember how delectable it was - soft meat stuffed with goodies like chinese mushrooms, chesnuts, lotus seeds and yam and topped with fatt choy moss. They serve it with vegetables and a divine sauce which makes you want to eat ten bowls of rice with it.

We also had their Chap Choy which is a mixture of vegetables, sweet bean curd slices, dry lily bulbs and mung bean noodles. This is fried with fermented bean curd to give it flavour.

Remember the ten bowls of rice you can consume here with the stuffed pork trotter? Well, another reason why it tastes great is because they serve steamed rice in metal bowls cooked over a slow charcoal fire. Steamed rice always taste nicer since it retains moisture and remains fluffy when you eat it.

For more food dishes and their other specialties, do click through the Other Reviews. I spied that they also make the Pat Poh Duck which I like a lot hence I think I should definitely revisit this place for that dish.

Sek Yuen
313 and 315, Jalan Pudu
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 9222 9457

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