Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Giveaways Cookbook Winners

picture of sparkler Xmas tree from

Thanks for all the entries for the cookbook contest! I must admit, it was very hard to judge the winners and I roped in the help of lyrical lemongrass, Splashie Boy and the mysterious Mr. A@A to help me out.

Ta Da! drum roll please, the 5 lucky winners are:

1. Sue Ann Cheong
2. Gwen Hew
3. Valerie Yow
4. Puvanes Ramadas

5. a lil' fat monkey

Will be emailing all of you, to get your details so they can send you the cookbooks. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!! Enjoy your cookbooks.

Pssst, am sorry about the lack of posts. Been very busy but I hope to rectify all this soon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Giveaways Part 1 - Winner Announcement for Amedei Chocolate

Thanks for the overwhelming responses for the Amedei Chocolates. We have picked a winner and it is:

Eliana Lee (no relation to me!)

Will be contacting Eliana by email to arrange for delivery of her chocolates. In the mean time, don't forget there's still the cookbooks to be won, so do send your entries in before the closing date which is the 28 December, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Delicious Group is now on Facebook - with gifts to giveaway

There seems to be an influx of goodwill everywhere - presents to give out and gifts to be won (Have you submitted your entries for the chocolates and cookbooks??? Quick! An entry always represent a chance to get your hands on the gifts!).

The Delicious Group is running a competition on their facebook site as per
this link - just be the first person to tag the items in the picture and you stand a chance to win. Very simple but it does mean you have to haunt their site on facebook like a hawk. You stand to win festive goodies perfect to fill your tummy or just give to family and friends. The competition runs until Christmas and the pictures are from their catalogue - the delicious Christmas Wonder Emporium. One good tip for all of you readers, pick a copy of the catalogue up from delicious ingredients and hopefully get a headstart on the tagging to win!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Giveaways Part 2 - Cookbooks by Kylie Kwong, David Rocco and Willie Harcourt Cooze

More gifts galore for all of you readers, this time cookbooks courtesy of Discovery Travel & Living. These wonderful cookbooks will make ideal Christmas gifts for yourself or any close friend or relative. The giveaways are in conjunction with the premiere of two wonderful festive television shows on the channel 707 on Astro - Nigella's Christmas Kitchen 2 that starts today (14 December) on 7pm (repeats on Mondays at 2pm, Tuesdays at 2am and 5am, Saturdays at 2am and 2pm) and Willie's Perfect Chocolate Christmas that starts on Wednesday (23 December) on 9pm (repeats on 24 Dec 11pm, 25 Dec 9am, 26 Dec 5pm, 27 Dec 8pm, 28 Dec 12 midnight, 31 Dec 3pm). Willie who runs a chocolate factory in Devon also has another show known as Raising the Bar: Willie's Chocolate Revolution that is shown on Wednesdays at 9pm, repeats on Mondays at midnight and Tuesdays at 6pm.

I must admit I'm looking forward to both the shows - Nigella has always been an inspiration for me in the kitchen with her stress-free recipes. In fact, my friend swears by Nigella's recipes and every year for Xmas, we often sample goodies made from Nigella's cookbooks at her festive spread. Moreover, Nigella often brings much needed Christmas cheer with her wonderful spirit. With this new television series, she gives you loads of tips and much needed short cuts to make the festive season bearable. There's also trips to Paris and Salzburg. The series has 5 episodes that sees Nigella whipping up Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup, mincemeat pies (made them before and they're utterly divine!) and Lamb and Date Tagine that freezes well. Then she gives little tips on stocking fillers - wouldn't it be nice to receive homemade Beetroot and Ginger Chutney, Chilli Jelly or decadent Spiced fruits steeped in Sherry. Christmas won't be the same without chocolate and Nigella takes us to Paris to explore the shops. She also shares a Christmas Pavlova - a must for any Nigella fan. Parties are incomplete without canapes and Nigella helps us get it right with crab cakes, creamy goats cheese and figgy wraps. Last but not least, it's turkey time with all the sides like gingerbread stuffing, maple syrup parsnips and etc. For the full episode list, see this
Discovery Travel & Living link.

Christmas won't be the same with some indulging and chocolate is definitely something great for the festive season. In Willie's Perfect Chocolate Christmas, Willie Harcourt-Cooze has a festive food feast with his wife Tania and three children in Devon. There'll be a holiday menu full of mouth watering chocolate themed recipes, boozy chocolate mince pies (sounds like a great combo!), a classic chocolate tart and party treats like a quince chocolate cheese and chocolate and celementine cheesecake. Sounds like a decadent and the most ideal way to enjoy the festivities. Fans of Willie can also catch him in Raising the Bar: Willie's Chocolate Revolution that is also showing on Discovery Travel & Living. Willie also starred in his earlier television show
Willies' Wonky Chocolate Factory.

Festivities will not be complete without presents and Discovery Travel & Living has kindly given me 5 cookbooks to giveway:

1. Two copies of David Rocco's Dolce Vita that takes you to Italy and is an extension of Canadian celebrity chef David Rocco's television series.

2. Two copies of Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook by Willie Harcourt-Cooze that describes his chocolate factory story and delectable recipes that include sweet and even savoury dishes.
3. One copy of Kylie Kwong's My China Cookbook where Kylie Kwong journeys around China to trace her family roots. The book is beautifully photographed with recipes inspired by dishes she tries on her journey around her ancestors' homeland.

To win a copy of the cookbook, you just need to answer a simple question, "What is Christmas to you?" Email the answer to The best answer will win one copy of the cookbook. Unfortunately, this competition is limited to residents in Malaysia. You are also entitled to one entry only. This competition will run until 28 December, 2009 midnight, so make sure you send your entries in early. Late entries will not be entertained. Winners will be announced on 31 December, 2009. (Note the deadline changes from 31 to 28 December, 2009)

Remember to tune in tonight to Nigella and on Wednesday for Willie on Discovery Travel & Living (Chanel 707 on Astro). I know I'll be glued to the television tonight waiting for Nigella to teach her little secrets on managing the stressful Christmas entertaining period.

Christmas Giveaways Part 1 - Amedei Chocolates

Tis the season for presents with two weeks to Christmas. As a big thanks to all of my loyal readers, here's a chance for you take away a little something to enjoy for the festive season - Amedei chocolates. Highly sought after, these Italian chocolates are produced by the brother and sister team of Cecilia and Alessio Tessieri who searches all over the world for the best cocoa for their chocolate creations.

Chocolate connoisseurs will love the highly prized Porcelana chocolate made from Criollo cocoa that come from Venezuela, where only 3,000 kilos are made available every year. Amedei only produces 20,000 Porcelana chocolates and each bar is numbered. The complex 70% bittersweet dark chocolate has a toasted almond aroma and subtly spicy flavors like cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg. The chocolate has also won a number of awards.

Also in the giveaway for those who don't prefer the bitter taste of chocolate, I have also included a Toscano Brown milk chocolate bar with hints of vanilla, cream and honey. Price value for this gift of chocolate bars is RM100. Amedei chocolates can be purchased at delicious ingredients located at Dua Annexe on Jalan Tun Razak and Bangsar Village II.

To win these chocolate bars, all you need to do is answer this very simple question, "Which part of Italy is Amedei chocolates from?" Email your answer to and I'll pick a winner from the correct entries. As these chocolates are quite fragile, I will have to limit the prize to residents in Malaysia. You will have 7 days from the date of this post to revert with your entries. Good luck everyone!! Keep tuned this whole week, as there'll be more giveaways.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Kampar Noodles @ Restaurant Park Way, Subang Jaya

Apologies on the lack of posts as I have been quite busy plus a little tired every night to edit pictures. Only managed to pull out this short one on a place I decided to try when I was driving from Subang Jaya to Shah Alam. Nothing fancy but this is the more unusual Kampar fishball noodles stall. Run by an old uncle and his Indian helper, the food here is very "cheng" or delicate taste, as the soup is a clear soup sprinkled with a generous helping of bean sprouts.

Even his hor fun or the rice noodles is a little unusual - almost transculent but silky smooth (it comes from Perak, he advises). I especially love the unusual fishballs, a specialty from Kampar that he doles out for each order of noodles - the fish skin covered one, the minced meatball, fu chok, the bouncy saito fishball and the tofu stuffed with minced meat. These kind of noodles that originate from Kampar always serve a variety of these fish and meatballs in their bowls of goodness.

For the price of RM4, I thought it was a good for a very light meal. My favourite was the char yuen or fish skin version - slightly chewy and deep fried that you had a nice contrast of textures with the minced meat within. Even the minced meatball was yummy with a slightly gummy taste when bitten into. If you're a fan of fish and something a little more delicate, give this a try when you're in Subang Jaya. He also serves a kick ass chili sauce on the side, that will delight those who love to spice up their noodles.

Kampar Noodle Stall
Restaurant Park Way
Subang Jaya

(Non Halal. Open from morning till lunchtime. Closed alternate Mondays. Place is round the corner from the mee hoon kuey stall)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Japanese Food @ Chuka Cafe, Saujana Villa Condominium, Petaling Jaya

comforting eggplant with minced pork

I never really realised it but I often find myself eating solo most of the time purely for convenience sake - it kinda seems easy to just go grab something rather than plan with a friend where to eat. Dining alone often brings upon some weird situations - the disbelief on the waiter's face when they ask how many people are they sitting, the "trying to look like busy when you're waiting" look (A tip for novices: bring something to read or twiddle with your handphone to LLB aka look like busy) and most recently the most hilarious one ever -someone trying to pick me up for a free meal when they saw I was dining alone. Seemed apt that I should blog about this place where I recently noticed that it is very singles friendly.

gyozas are filled with minced pork!, the tonkatsu served with the sweetish brown sauce

This cafe hidden within Saujana Villa condominiums seems to be a great singles hangout especially during quieter weekday nights. On weekends, it is peppered with families and boisterous kids playing at the nearby swimming pool. As the condominium caters for the Japanese expatriate crowd (the Japanese school is just up the road), expect to see loads of single or even groups of Japanese guys sitting at the tables chain smoking away throughout dinnertime.

divine tummy happiness - a large bowl of ramen in miso broth with corn and char siu

On to the food, this small cafe is part of the Shokudo, Oh Sushi!, Ozeki group. They're a little different than other cafes within condominiums that are usually pork free - this small place serves sinful buta or pork in many ways - cooked in vegetables, served in noodles and rice. The cafe has a simple set up but food is hearty and tasty. I loved the ramen there - so crunchy and bouncy that I was slurping down those strands without trying to sound too rude. Paired with a robust miso laced broth and topped with corn niblets and two slices of char siu, it was great for a rainy night. Gyoza is also good here - filled with minced pork and spring onions. My other favourite was their comforting eggplant with minced pork - more veering towards Chinese food but nevertheless still very good. Tonkatsu is pretty average tasting though with the sweetish and tangy brown sauce served on the side. Prices are pretty reasonable and won't break your bank but sadly no receipts issued means I can't remember the prices.

If you're ever in this neighbourhood, drop by for a satisfying Japanese meal served in a simply decorated cafe. No promises though on whether it will yield you a Japanese other half though since my matchmaking record is full of zeros. Have a good weekend everyone!

Chuka Cafe
Saujana Villa Condominium
13 Lingkungan Golf Saujana

Tel: 03-7846 7664

(Non halal. Cafe is located at the club area next to the swimming pool. Beware though it gets smoky within so if you don't like to inhale second hand smoke, opt for the chairs placed near the pool. You will need to sign in at the guardhouse and they'll give you a slip of paper that the restaurant needs to chop. To get here, drive down the subang airport old road, take the turn off to ara damansara/saujana on the left hand side, take a left turn, you will come to a small roundabout, take a left turn. Drive straight, you will pass by the Japanese school on your left and Saujana resort on your right. Condominium is after The Club by Saujana Hotel.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Balinese Food @ The Waterlily Bistro, Mutiara Tropicana, Petaling Jaya

Balinese painting upstairs, refreshing mint lemongrass mojito

Checking out this place was more like a mission for my friend who has been searching for a suitable venue to throw a full moon party for her new baby. Loads of new places within the Aman Suria, Mutiara Tropicana area (as this row of shophouses is called) and even at Sunway Mas. I often get updates from my ex-colleague and a colleague of mine who live around here. So far, you have Betty's Kitchen (a place that serves Midwest non halal food that this lady learnt when she stayed with her daughter in places like Iowa and Minnesota), Rosemary Bites (seems to be more towards Italian), Char Siew Zhai (that flipping wantan noodles with char siu) and this place, Waterlily.

minced lamb with rice, chicken soto

Balinese food in the Klang Valley seems to be solely dominated by the people who first started out Bumbu Bali in Puchong. After the success of that place, they opened up a Waterlife Cafe also in Puchong. Subsequently other outlets in Sunway Pyramid and Solaris Mont Kiara was known as Ole Ole Bali while this is their latest addition. I suspect they decided not to use the same name for all their outlets since the perception of "being a chain of restaurants" will mean a drop in quality and etc. However, if you see their menus they're literally the same items - grilled seafood and meats served in various ways: over pasta, with mashed potato, with rice and sambals or in sandwiches. They're also the only place I know that serves sate lilit, minced seafood wrapped around lemongrass sticks.

grilled seafood with linguine pasta

Like their other outlets, the eateries are all decked out in Balinese items to give a kinda resort feel when you're dining out here. This particular restaurant tries to emulate that peaceful retreat feel but gets hampered as it faces the main road (they counteract it by pulling wooden chicks blinds to block out the sound). They also have the unfortunate luck to be next to a fella who fixes tyres, so occasionally you hear the whirl and wind of the machines used to remove the tyres from the car, breaking through the soothing rhythms of the Balinese music. Nevertheless it is still quite pleasant dining here. They usually open downstairs for daytime dining while upstairs seems more private (there's an air-conditioned are and a non air-conditioned area). You get to peek into upstairs when you walk up the staircase (no railings just the top part wrapped in rope, so beware those with small kids) lit up with floating candles as the toilets are upstairs.

Bits of Bali with the lemongrass ice tea

On to food, we have sampled their chicken soto (RM11) - chicken soup with bits of chicken and vegetables served with compressed rice cakes and weirdly enough, sliced garlic bread. Squeeze the lime given on the side to add a refreshing taste to the soup which tastes quite comforting. Their most popular order is the Nasi Campur - a mix of their specialties with sate lilit on the side. Having sampled that on numerous occasions in the other outlets, we went for the more unusual minced lamb. It is also served in a platter with yellow rice, the sambals and a keropok. The minced lamb was really good - tender with loads of chopped coriander all over it to give it flavour. Since I have not tried any of their western items, I decided to try their grilled seafood pasta (RM28). They're very generous with the amount of seafood - grilled squid, dory fish and prawns (that weren't very fresh!) that the plate seems to be overloaded with food. Underneath the bed of seafood, you find linguine tossed in a brownish sauce with chopped tomatoes and fried shallots. There's not much taste to the pasta sauce in terms of tomatoes but it's still a pleasant dish to chow down to with all the grilled seafood.

A large variety of drinks are also available here, including Monin syrup mixers. Tried their Mojito mixed with mint and lemongrass (RM11) that was refreshing but seemed to lack much taste of mojito syrup. The lemongrass tea we had the first time we ate here, seemed to be also missing much flavour as the chopped lemongrass in the sweetened tea wasn't adding any flavour to the drink. I guess the verdict is would I come back here again - personally I wouldn't mind since the food is pretty decent with a nice atmosphere. What I do notice is throughout the years from eating Bumbu Bali and Ole Ole Bali, the taste of the food seems to drop more and more. Initially Bumbu Bali was so tasty (but then I discovered it had MSG) hence I guess now they have omitted the MSG taste thus the food can be kinda bland tasting unless you add the sambals to give it more flavour. On throwing parties here, they do entertain this but sadly there's no special snacks or a catering menu. Instead, you have to order the a-la-carte dishes from the menu. The most they can entertain you with is a buffet spread based on their nasi campur dish (i.e. the yellow rice, grilled seafood, rendang, keropok and sambals). For a full set of pictures, see the Flickr set.

The Waterlily Bistro
No. 11-G, 11-1 & 11-2
Jalan Mutiara Tropicana 3
Mutiara Tropicana
Petaling Jaya

(Halal. Place is at the same row of shophouses where Jaya Grocer is located. To get here from PJ, if you are driving from Damansara towards the NKVE highway, just before the toll gate, take a left turn to Tropicana. Follow the road and you will see these row of shophouses on your left hand side.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Vegetarian Food @ Buddhist Temple, Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur

my colourful plate of vegetarian selections

I thought this post should be appropriate after the excesses of the long weekend - some vegetarian food found at one of the most unusual places, a stall located within a Buddhist temple grounds. During my days of working in the culinary-desert land of Damansara Heights, we used to escape to Jalan Ipoh to enjoy yong tau foo at the shack near the river (now moved into the bungalow across), wait for kingdom come at the seafood noodles in Segambut (I used to eat the sambal just to tide my hunger pangs) and this simple stall.

1. incense burning, 2. the stall that is on the side of the main entrance, 3. dragons guard the temple, 4. postal address for those lost

I was recently at Jalan Ipoh and decided to revisit old memories by dropping by here. Food is just as good - a mix of simple cooked vegetables or deep fried rolls filled with yambean that you select from a variety of dishes like an economy rice stall. Parking is relatively easy at the temple's big compound and you get tables and chairs under the shade of a big tree. Aside from the dishes you pick, the other alternative is vegetarian fried beehoon - delectable thin strands that often make me crave for more. One wonders what goes into those noodles, as they taste so incredibly yummy. Drop by here, if you're ever in the neighbourhood and discover a simple yet tranquil meal.

Vegetarian stall
Buddhist Temple
Jalan Ipoh

(Pork free. Place is open for lunch only and gets very busy on the 1st and 15th day of the month when devotees come to the temple to pray. To get here, it is on the left hand side, when you come down from Jalan Ipoh from HSBC, just before the turn off to Segambut.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Malaysian-Style - When Jerry Met Tom the Turkey

1. crunchy siu yoke, 2. homemade chicken liver pate, 3. Meet Jerry or Jellyfish hidden in the bowl.

As the US will be waking up to the start of the Thanksgiving celebrations, I thought it'll be nice to share my recent Thanksgiving experience in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We kinda do the celebrations differently in Malaysia but one thing is sure, the gist of the dinner is still the same like a traditional Thanksgiving - to give thanks and express gratitude. This time round, the Chans were doing the honours for friends who have supported their restaurant, Chef Choi at Jalan Ampang. It was indeed a privilege to be invited for the dinner, where I managed to meet new friends who are also fellow foodies and catch up with old ones too.

creamy decadent roe from hairy crab

Unlike the typical sit down Thanksgiving meals with a roast turkey, the sides and a pie, this was by far the most unusual variation I have eaten. Literally an east-meets-west version, we started off with some crunchy siu yoke as a starter and the restaurant's own-made chicken liver pate with some crackers.

1. help yourselves on the turntable, 2. roast turkey, 3. divine stuffing

Once everyone gathered, it was time to meet Jerry! Since the menu had mentioned a "jerry fish" we were all curious on what new specimen it will be. Turns out he's just a crunchy bouncy jelly fish thus named because they messed up the spelling. Anyway, dear Jerry was out for a surprise, since Tom the turkey (his old nemesis from the ever famous cartoon) was just two courses away.

east meets west - chopsticks used to select the stuffing

We even managed to get a taste of the hairy crabs - incredibly decadent creamy technicolour orange roe that you scoop up and relish. Once you have devoured the richness, it was time to slowly enjoy the sweet crab flesh within. Usually people only eat the roe but due to the crazy prices for these fluff covered crustaceans, we also eat the sweet tasting crabmeat rather than throw it away. After enjoying the crabs, a must is the hot ginger tea to get rid of any "wind" from consuming the crabs. I loved the strong hot ginger tea served to us and could have just drank that the whole night if I had an option.

the beautifully decorated plate of goodies

Next it was a prawn bisque followed by the main star of the dinner - Tom the Turkey and his co-stars: divine stuffing, sausages, roast potatoes, salad and sweet peas cooked in a garlicky sauce I couldn't stop eating! Served on platters and placed on the glass turntable, there was an air of communal sharing (kinda reminds me of Chinese New Year!) with everyone helping themselves. While forks and knives were available, some were even using chopsticks to pick the food. In fact, I ate my turkey dinner with chopsticks!!

1. lightest ever tiramisu, 2. cameras were welcomed of course to take the gorgeous alfajores from Argentina

Last but not least, we wrapped up with dessert - Chef Choi's signature tiramisu that is light and fluffy. The secret we discovered to its incredible lightness - only beaten egg whites are folded in and there's no mascarpone cream. Simply gorgeous! As another treat, Alfajores (chocolate sandwich cookies with a dulce de leche centre) all the way from Argentina was shared by my friend S, who had just visited the place a few weeks back. She gave me a stash too and I have been slowly savouring them as they're incredibly good.

Thanks so much to the Chans for the invitation! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hakka Food @ Restoran Yap Chong, Pudu Ulu, Kuala Lumpur

melt in the mouth kaw yoke - pork belly slices with yam

Time for some old fashioned goodies and a little sprinkling of Hakka heartiness. My late father was an ultimate foodie in my eyes. Whether it was his love for down-to-earth Hakka dishes that he grew up with in his large family of 13 siblings or high flaunting French food in Lafite, he wouldn't mind spending on the family to make sure we all ate well. Every new country he visited, the first thing he'll do would be visit their wet market as that's where he'll discover the soul of their food, touching the ingredients and just absorbing the smells.

char yoke done old style but damn delish

Yap Chong would have been a place my dad would have approved since they serve traditional Hakka dishes like char yoke and kaw yoke that he loved. While my mother always frowned on these dishes (too much fat and so unhealthy!), no matter how much she controlled my dad's diet he always managed to get his fair share of these dishes some how some where.

steamed fish

Started in 1966 by Yap Chong (hence the name of the restaurant), the establishment is now run by his grandsons who continue their grandfather's legacy. Old school items like the char yoke or braised pork is actually based on a recipe passed down through time. Here pork belly slices are lightly battered with a good balance of nam yue (fermented bean curd) used in the gravy. Simply very comforting food that I could have just eaten for a few days, especially with a bowl of white rice. One can also imagine my aunties and uncles tucking in these kind of simple meals during their childhood.

claypot mutton dish

The kaw yoke - belly pork slices with yam had that decadent feel in the mouth (a combination of melt-in-the-mouth fats and meats) but was missing a much needed addition of five spice powder in the sauce. Instead, they seemed to have added that much needed sprinkling of five spice powder in the claypot mutton dish, since the spices were just way too overpowering. Steamed fish is also a specialty here and the restaurant keeps their fishes in containers for a few days to get rid of the muddy taste. While no mud smell was evident in the perfectly steamed fish, I did feel the cheong cheng sauce was also a little imbalanced - more soy bean paste and not enough kick from the chillies added. Definitely can't beat the ultimate steamed fish cheong cheng that we discovered in Fock Kee, which is nearby this place. There the sauce is just perfect with the right blend and a sinful twist of fried lard pieces.

Restoran Yap Chong
No 1618, Old Pudu Ulu
3 1/2 miles, Jalan Cheras
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-9284 9649

(Non Halal. To get here, drive from Jalan Peel and go straight towards Jusco and Cheras. You will come to a traffic light that turns into Shamelin Perkasa and Menara PGRM. At the traffic light go straight and you will see a row of single storey zinc roof buildings. Yap Chong is on the left hand side. Parking can be a little tricky here but do be aware, they also give out parking fines.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Homemade Truffle Potato Wedges

inspired by Delicious' truffle fries

Last week, we got embroiled in something pleasant (even though it was a threat to the waistline) - giving feedback to Delicious on their proposed menu items. They're in the midst of revamping the menu and prior to unrolling out their newbies, it goes through a few road tests - among their own chefs, their family members and also tasters from the general public. We were privileged to get an invite (thanks to PL!), as among our group there were friends of the management and regular diners to all their outlets. We also sat among a group of fun loving individuals that kept us entertained the whole night, making it a great pleasure even though we were technically "working"!

Taste testing 25 items ranging from breakfast, salads, Asian items, desserts and drinks was pretty serious business. After every tasting session, we had to give feedback on the taste and the visual appearance. Needless to say, we were as honest as we can regarding every dish that passed through our mouths. Am not sure what will be the final outcome but we will wait with bated breath. One of the items we tasted, inspired me to whip this dish last weekend. It's more of a variation since this is more homemade but it was just as delish with the truffle oil that adds a luxe taste to it.

Homemade Truffle Potato Wedges (Makes 1 portion)

1 russet potato, washed and cut into wedges
parmesan cheese, grated finely
a dash of truffle oil

Preheat an oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Cut the potato into wedges. Toss in some oil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-45 minutes or until browned around the edges. You may need to turn the wedges halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven. Finely grate parmesan cheese and drizzle with a dash of truffle oil. The wedges get their heady aroma from the truffle oil. Serve and eat immediately.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dining Out @ High Tide, Menara Taipan, Off Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur

smoked monkfish with fennel shavings and a citrus dressing

When I first read Sean's review of High Tide, I was appalled with the prices (RM48 for a salad with no seafood!). Ouch! That will definitely burn a huge hole in the pocket especially if I wanted to sample more items here for a good review, that I shoved the idea of dining here for about 2 months. Then a week back, a chef I knew raved about the place so much that I knew I should make an effort to sample the food prepared by Belgian chef Evert Onderbeke, who had trained under a 2-star Michelin chef, Roger Souvereyns.

oysters galore: 1. Fin de Claire, 2. Belon, 3. Irish or Pacific varieties

Luck was on my side as I called up and discovered they're doing lunch specials (2 courses for RM75++ and 3 courses for RM95++) from Tuesdays to Saturdays (they're closed on Mondays). It sounded good and definitely more affordable for us especially since we both wanted to sample the food first before forking out more monies.

the pretty pea shoot decorates shooter glasses of potato and spinach soup with foam

We felt a little lost since we have not been to Menara Taipan (it's so well tucked on Jalan P Ramlee opposite Menara Hup Seng that we never noticed it!). At the moment, parking is non existence within the building itself but the restaurant is trying to arrange for some so cross your fingers. However, you have open-air parking across the road under the shadow of KL Tower or you can even park at the Weld and walk across to the restaurant

1. Tuna tartar too pretty to eat, 2. the cosy interior of High Tide with fish staring at you while you eat their cousins

The place is very comfortable with plush brown seats and crisp dot linen on the tables. Keeping with the aquatic theme, aquariums filled with colourful fish dotting around their watery home surround the diners. Its dining area is not too large, probably about 10-15 tables giving it a pretty cosy feel. Light pours in from the tall unadorned glass windows on the side. The kitchen is kept hidden behind glass walls sandblasted to offer some privacy for the chef except for a tiny window at the bottom for service.

pan seared ocean trout with spinach, turned potatoes and pumpkin puree

Service was impeccable, helmed by their French restaurant manager, Carole Pinel who kept us well informed about our dishes. We were the only diners there hence we also enjoyed their undivided attention. Not many people know of this place even though it opened 2 months ago but they have been getting diners through word of mouth recommendations. Plans to advertise are in the works soon, hence hopefully people will start recognising this little gem of a restaurant.

kingfish served with mushrooms, roasted eggplant and tomato puree with roasted potatoes

Feeling decadent, we went for a platter of oysters to accompany our set lunch. There are three varieties available - Belon, Fin De Claire and Irish or Pacific oysters. We decided to give all types a taste run and ordered an assorted platter (RM135 for 12 oysters). Oysters were very good (but weirdly enough, still not as fantastic compared to the Canadian ones we had at Sage!) - fresh, creamy with a briny taste of the sea especially eaten plain with a squeeze of lemon juice. Gorgeous! Our favourite was the Belon with its briny mineral taste while the Fin de Claire and Irish ones were more creamier.

1. strawberry bavarois with milk sorbet, 2. chocolate bar with mango ice cream

Our food just kept coming in, we actually started off with the chef's amuse bouche, salmon tartare, parmesan crusted seafood and a potato and spinach soup with mushroom foam. The soup served in a shooter glass was excellent and so pretty with the pea shoots. Then it was our starters for the set lunch: a gorgeous tuna tartar arranged like a flower for him that looked almost too pretty to eat and a smoked monkfish for me. Plating here is reminscent of the landscapes, Michel Bras is famous for making us go Aaah! at every plate we were presented with.

an assortment of petit fours to end the meal

Mains was a choice of ocean trout or king fish, we don't usually see on our Malaysian tables. Both fishes were cooked to perfection and incredibly good when paired with their side sauces, pumpkin for the ocean trout and a mix of roasted eggplant and tomato for the kingfish. We end with dessert - a decadent chocolate bar served with mango ice cream and a pretty ordinary tasting strawberry bavarois for me served with a milk sorbet. At the end of the meal, we were also presented a selection of petit fours (more desserts!) - a chocolate and nut square, fruit tart (I love the sweet raspberries and blueberries) and my favourite, this almond and apple cake.

Ingredients are top-notch with the seafood flown in from Europe, Japan and etc almost on a daily basis hence the hefty prices that reflect the top quality of the ingredients. Depending on what they get, they will recommend you the daily fish specials. Menu items may also change due to availability of items, hence it is best to check ahead what they have. Prices are RM48 for the salads, starters are around RM98, mains are around RM98 onwards. They do a seafood platter with oysters, lobster, mussels, langoustine, prawns, clams to share between two diners or more, that costs RM248 per person. For both of us, we definitely will return for the menu items and dinner again (just have to wait for the moo-lah first!), as we both loved the food. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.
Ground Floor
Menara Taipan
Jalan Punchak (on the way to KL Tower)
Off Jalan P Ramlee
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2072 4452

(Pork free. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Mondays. Place is under the Nero group who also owns Italian restaurants and a deli at Changkat Bukit Bintang and Damansara Heights, like Nerodeli, Neroteca, Nerovivo and Nerofico.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Bak Kut Teh @ Subang Teow Chew Claypot Bak Kut Teh, Subang Permai, Shah Alam

my claypot bowl of porcine goodness

Let's end the week with a little community service announcement aka
Subang Teow Chew Claypot has now shifted from their ramshackle shed into a proper shophouse. They now join a legion of bak kut teh shops (at last count 3 bak kut teh shops). It's just a hop and a skip away from their old place, since it's just at the shophouses just off the right hand turn (coming from Shah Alam) at the traffic light.

Unlike the other bak kut teh places nearer to the main road, Subang Teow Chew is tucked well within the shophouses and nearer to
Big Plate. Located at a corner shop, parking is relatively easy and the place feels a little less packed compared to the previous location. Tastewise, it was still the same, a nice light brown herbal tinged broth that will keep your tummy warm during these rainy days. Unlike the other bak kut teh shops, they offer quite a lot of variety serving up tofu, fish and vegetable dishes also.

Subang Teow Chew Claypot Bak Kut Teh
45, Jalan Alfa U6/F
Subang Permai
40150 Shah Alam

Tel: 019-2615303/012-3559219

(Non Halal. To get here from Shah Alam, take a right turn at the first traffic light after the old place. Go straight and take the second left turn, make an immediate left turn at the shophouses then a first right. Go straight and you will see the shop on your left hand side.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cakes @ Patisserie Rui Bakery, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

1. pretty hydrangeas, 2. light tasting strawberry shortcake, 3. Dammann Freres tea

I first heard about Patisserie Rui from my friend S after her colleague bought cupcakes for her office meeting. Then it caught my interest again, when I saw Panora magazine (those free Japanese papers you pick from the supermarkets) had listed their white chocolate cheesecake. While my curiosity was perked about this place, getting down to trying their cakes became quite a trial. First, spotting them along the white long stretch of shops along Mont Kiara Meridin was difficult - they seemed to be overwhelmed by signs of Hiestand, Dominos, Satay Station and etc. No signboard except a small sign on their glass window didn't help for people who'll drive past this place from Mont Kiara to Solaris on the busy Jalan Kiara road.

lemon cupcake from on top

The few times I was at Solaris, when I wanted to drop by, the place was closed (it closes on Sunday). Once I sussed that out, I was too late for cakes (I dropped by on a Saturday in the evening). Finally, we got our act together and managed to drop by after maybe our fourth attempt to visit this place.

1. cutesy stuff, 2. white flowers that dot Mt Kiara, 3. love the coffee layers of tiramisu

Bear in mind this place is tiny with just two tables and chairs to sit outside under a canopy. There's also very very limited seats within the place, as it seems to be more of a workplace for the cakes. Nevertheless it's quite pleasant sitting outside with the flowers in the boxes since it was a rainy day. However, if it is a sunny day, I doubt the dust from the passing by vehicles may make it so pleasant. Thus, my advice is buy back the cakes to enjoy in the comfort of your home. They serve Illy coffee and Dammann Freres tea (owned by Illy) hence you can enjoy good coffee and tea with your cakes.

red velvet cupcake unveiled

Back to the cakes, there was a selection of strawberry shortcake, tiramisu, a princess cake and the cupcakes. As the princess cake was sold whole, we decided to give that a miss. The lady also advised they have cookies. Didn't see the cheesecake at all, except two pieces within the chiller that looked like they were left over from Saturday, hence I avoided that.

green tea in front, chocolate and red velvet cupcake at the back

The cakes strike me as very Japanese ( we saw a bevy of Japanese housewives buying cake here too!) as the texture of the sponge layers in the tiramisu and the strawberry shortcake was very light. The crumb is not as fine compared to those made from a sponge cake mix and it feels a little more sweeter and crumbly. The strawberry shortcake (RM9 per slice) was a nice and light confection and to be honest you didn't even taste the strawberries nestled within. We fared better with the tiramisu (RM4.50 a slice, RM18 for a small whole cake) since the coffee layer was stronger.

These kind of cakes will definitely appeal to those who prefer light cakes (less guilty I guess for them!) for a dessert interlude that is not heavily flavoured. For those who prefer more stronger flavours, do avoid this place (my friend who had the cakes here a few times, didn't quite like them calling the cakes tasteless and bland!). For the cupcakes (RM3.50 each), they mound sweet whipped cream on top of the cake and sprinkle crumbled cake to cover the cream giving it an appearance like a fluffy snowball. We tried all four flavours and concluded: red velvet was just more the red colouring since tastewise it was bland and uninteresting, the green tea (had oxidized hence the unattractive brownish green colour) tasted a little weird like it didn't have enough green tea powder to give it a distinct flavour, the lemon was our favourite with a moist lemony but not sharp taste to it and chocolate that was rich and dark looking but didn't have a very distinct chocolate taste. The crumb of the cake is also quite fine and almost like a muffin. The sweetened whipped cream topping appealed to some (my mother hated it saying too sweet) while Splashie Boy loved it.

It will be interesting to try their other creations especially the much raved about cheesecake but the organisation of the place can be quite chaotic. The lady who served us the other day was very nice about it and even gave us a free cupcake since she knew we came a second time to get the cakes. Best you call ahead and enquire the availablity of the cakes, since they seem to bake them in batches. Some of their cakes like the tiramisu and princess cake are tiny (probably about 2 inch diameter round) that makes it good for a small celebration for two to four people. For more pictures, see my
Flickr set.

Patisserie Rui
G1B, Mt Kiara Meridin
19, Jln Duta Kiara
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-3177290/03-62079282 (call the mobile number if you can't get through to the land line, as they're having problems with the telephone)

(Pork free. Open from 10am-8pm. Best to call ahead to check availability of cakes. To get here, if coming from Solaris, drive towards Plaza Mont Kiara, it is on your right hand side just before the 90 degree turn into the main road of Mont Kiara. They also have an outlet in Gasing where you can collect cakes you order and they also place cakes to sell. However they're short of people, hence no one monitors the place except the florist who shares the place with them.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Hutong Food Court @ Lower Ground Floor, Lot 10, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Mo Sang Kor's bak kut teh

Pavilion may have first started the luxe version of food courts but snapping on their heels is the newly opened Hutong @ Lot 10. Part of their revamp exercise, the new food court has an arty look to it and will appeal to pork lovers, as it serves non halal food rarely seen in the halls of a food court - bak kut teh, lard laden Singapore Hokkien mee and our very own black lard-rich Hokkien mee.

digging deep into the bowl for my bak kut teh, see how worn that pot is

Touted as a food court that brings in well known hawkers with at least three generations, you'll find these older well known names mixed within more modern names to make up the 27 stalls here.

the crowd, seremban siu bao with curry!, chicken from Ipoh chicken rice

KL-lites will be familiar with names like Hon Kee porridge from Cecil Street, Hokkien mee from Kim Lian Kee, popiah from Campbell (stall is located @ the back of Yut Kee and fronts the small lane that sells KL-style char kuey teow, mee rebus and etc), lam mee from Lameeya (said to originate from PJ but honestly I've not heard abt them), char siu wantan noodles from Ho Weng Kee in PJ, beef noodles from Soong Kee, bak kut teh from Mo Sang Kor in Pandamaran, Ipoh chicken rice from Gasing, PJ and Mr. Siew Bao that is said to be from Seremban Siew Bao. Singaporeans will be happy to also discover Kong Tai, that reminds one of Thye Hong in Pavilion except here they don't serve their wetter Singapore Hokkien noodles with an opei leaf.

o chien from Kong Tai

They're mixed with others like Luk Yu Teahouse, Kluang Station, Thai Corner, P'tit Bouchon (that serves wine by the glass), Cheeky Doe, Berrylicious, Star Duck, Western Foodtrend, Georgetown that serves Penang styled food, yau char kuai and tau fu far from the I Love Yoo! people, italian food from Pomodoro, western food, Taiwanese food from Taiwan Recipe and etc. While the non-heritage Chinese stalls may not appeal to locals, they offer a variety to others especially children who often clamour for the Western styled foods.

lard-land @ Kong Tai, loads of oil goes into the o chien, wat shall I eat???

Just opened since November 10, the food court still has its hiccups (best you come early in the day as food tends to run out very quickly). I guess they're still trying to cope with the overwhelming response. Most of the stalls actually cook their food off site in central kitchens and bring it over hence this matching of supply with the huge demand issue.

fluffy mah kiok

Getting here late in the evening meant we had very slim pickings - the remnants of the pot from Mo Sang Kor bak kut teh (see how they're tilting the pot to get the remaining soup) and o chien cooked on the spot @ Kong Tai. Incidentally, Kong Tai was quite packed with people since they were still frying up noodles. Their version of Hokkien noodles is different from Thye Hong over at Pavilion - they use a softer thin noodle mixed with thin yellow noodles mixed in with fried lard pieces. It takes some time to get used to the texture of the noodles, as it is wetter and of course, pale as a Brit vs the blackened versions we are more used to. It is interesting to see that the Singapore version uses dried sole powder and lard, just like the Malaysian version.

smooth tau fu far

Tau fu fah and mah kiok (my favourite sprinkled with sesame seeds for a sweet and salty taste) was good. Loved the smooth taste of the beancurd but felt the mah kiok was average tasting (would have of course preferred the super fresh fried on the spot one from Jalan Bukit Bintang/Jalan Alor). Bak kut teh from Mo Sang Kor was very different - not much herb taste but a deep brown almost black colour that tasted good from the gelatinous parts of the pig being boiled together. Not cheap though - my bowl of pork knuckle was RM12 with rice and tea. While it was quite a big portion, most of it was bones and skin but then it was hard to gauge since I was just getting the scraps from the pot.

clear chairs, everything is labeled with hutong, love the sign of each stall (the Kong Tai one looks exactly like the owner who sports a hat and a bright flowered shirt everytime), Ho Weng Kee is definitely here

The poached chicken from Ipoh Chicken rice was average - nice and firm texture (not the soggy type that resembles antibiotic laden chooks). My last visit here, I had the Hon Kee porridge that was good - smooth and laden with sinful goodies like fried intestines and chee chap. Yums!

If you're planning to visit here, try and come early to get everything. If you're the kind who can wait, then give this place time to get it running on full steam ahead as it is still very much in the early days. Saw a number of tourists walking around the place looking a little lost (one even came with their full set of luggage!), hence I guess some pointers on the heritage significance for each stall should be explained, since they're clueless on what kind of food they serve. Alternatively, I guess tourists can be given a wider berth and be taken around by concierges that will explain to them the different food. If not, brochures will also help if bodies are too expensive to hire. Some warning signage on the place is also needed as some foreigners may be seeking for halal food. For more, see Eat Drink KL's blog post.

Lot 10 Hutong
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10
Jalan Bukit Bintang

(Non Halal)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

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