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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