Friday, August 31, 2007

Selamat Hari Merdeka! - Golden Jubilee

Mike, who lives in the same complex as us organised a little get-together at his place to celebrate Malaysia's 50th Merdeka Day (Independence Day). Like last year at Elsa's, we also watched Sunway Lagoon fireworks from his place.

I made cold tomato dip for veggie sticks and also fish keropok, homemade burger patties with fried onions. Not exactly Malaysian dishes but then again, we have people from different walks of life getting together for the occasion in the true spirit of muhibbah. That's what counts most.

I pray for continued peace, harmony and steady growth for the nation in the years to come.

Happy 50th birthday, Malaysia!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

King Crab Restaurant - Dim Sum

I dragged Barry up by 7.45am today for dim sum breakfast - we actually declined an invite to see midnight show Rogue Assassin (Chris Rollo, one of Barry's buds in Vancouver is in it - I have been joking with Barry to have Chris get Jason Statham to sign my autograph) last night to wake up early for this after reading the King Crab Restaurant dim sum review of Masak-masak . Her pictures of avocado puffs looked very inviting.

We reached there at 8.30am and after 9am onwards, more and more tables were taken up and the place was pretty full by 9.30am when we left. Parking was easy with all other shops at the area closed. Cheung Fun with char siew - Rice Rolls with BBQ Pork - very smooth and silky - Barry loved it. Wu Kok - Taro Dumplings
Avocado Puff Rolls - RM8 for a serving of 3 pieces
Look at the beautiful green shade of the avocado cream.. subtly sweet with such crispy, puffy skin made of delicate strands of pastry - surprisingly not oily despite being fried.

Xiao Long Bao - though skin a bit on the thicker side, the soup within the dumpling was tasty - I would think that it was made of real stock as drops of it gelatinised on my plate.
Beef tripe - I love "spare parts", so I like this a lot esp. dipped in their chilli sauce - I detected some cartillage amongst the tripe pieces.
Siew Mai
Scallop dumplings
Stuffed eggplant similar to those you get from yong tow foo - what we like about this is the generous amount of fish paste.

I have a preference of fried dim sum over steamed ones - so, generally I liked the wu kok and avocado puffs best (though can't take too much at a sitting because of the rich creamy taste) while Barry prefers steamed stuffs.

A little disappointing since dessert was not available - maybe we were too early or maybe they do not have it during weekends - my Cantonese is not that good so had a bit of communication difficulty.

Since the wu kok, avocado puffs, egg tarts and fried sesame balls (with pandan lotus paste filling) were lovely to look at and are ok to be eaten at room temperature, I ta pau-ed for mom and she loved them.

The bill came up to about RM90 for 12 items + jasmine tea for 2, towels and steamed peanuts (ironically, I prefer steamed peanuts over the fried ones).

King Crab
No. 103-105, Jalan SS25/2
Petaling Jaya

Tel No: 03 - 7808 2388

Sin Kee Restaurant, Batu Caves

OK, I have to admit that my sense of direction is not that sharp - it always takes me 2 to 3 (sometimes more) times longer to get to a place because I get lost ever so often.

Hence, it is always a welcome when friends offer to give a ride to food places which are new to me.

We just came back from quite a reasonably-priced seafood restaurant - Sin Kee in Batu Caves. I have been to Batu Caves area like less than 3 times in my whole life.

Thanks to Sashe who picked Barry and me up to meet Priya and hubby at TTDI for pre-dinner drinks - they then brought us to the restaurant - a new bottle of whisky and the bottle of unfinished wine tagged along.

White prawns in a wickedly delicious herbal broth of dried wolfberries, green onions and ginseng - I was lierally lapping up the soup. Prawns were fresh and went well with the special cili padi, green onion, ginger dip. Very shiok! Barry even peeled for me a prawn so that I can try it out asap. Bless my man.
Sweet potato leaves stirfried with belacan - one of my favourite vegs. It was nicely done with the stems still slightly crunchy.
Mah Yau Yee (Threadfin) with tofu - fish was so fresh and sweet! Picture is ugly because I was enjoying the prawns and half the fish was gone when I thought of taking photos. Fish was about 10-11 in/25-27cm long
We also ordered 3 crabs, Kam Heong style - they were not as huge nor as meaty as De Foodland nor Crocodile Farm's crabs but they definitely has a natural sweetness. The sauce was redolent of dried shrimps and there was one female crab - the roe was utterly delicious! We didn't even need a hammer since the crabs were well-smashed and the sweet flesh soaked up the Kam Heong sauce.
Photo of the shop-front so that I can remember how it looks like should I wish to return....

All food above with white rice and 3 Coke to mix whisky with came up to RM168.

Got below address from internet :
Restoran SIN KEE
Telephone : 03-6189 7972

Porridge (muay)

I always marvel at how selective my brain can be in making my wishes come true.... for instance, food that I crave always seem to appear but not other stuffs....Ha. Am not complaining either.

I was rushing for work last Friday morning, so no brekkie. As I was driving, my imagination did get wild - of a different sort though. I was thinking of a bowl of steaming hot porridge with my favourites like salted egg, century egg, ginger, fried dace with salted black beans etc...

Of course, the closest that I could get is chicken porridge from May who runs an eatery at my office building. Or so I thought....

The moment I arrived office and as my bum touched the chair, I received an sms from May herself asking if I was in the office so that her staff can sent up some "special porridge" to me.

How on earth is that possible? I certainly do not have telepathic abilities, ESP etc. etc.

Anyway, the certain thing was that I had a very happy tummy at the end.... I am after all a true blue porridge lover....
Porridge with finely shredded young ginger and garlic oil accompanied by : century egg, dried radish omelette, salted egg, sliced chinese dough cruellers (yau char kwai), fried peanuts and anchovies, green onions, pickled lettuce and fried dace with salted black beans.

Have just dug out my tiffin carrier and will use that to ta pau (pack food) next time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cooking Class at Prego, Westin Kuala Lumpur

After the fun and enjoyment of last cooking class at EEST, Westin KL, May and I went for an Italian kitchen experience at Prego.

We really had a great time with Chef Rajesh Kanna - again, it was very hands on and he gave lots of tips. Best of all, class is small so it was very personal and we get to know people who also love food!
They were generous enough to offer us a cuppa of our choice and loads of bread (above platter + 3 pieces already eaten were for 5 of us in the class) before class. We learnt to make :Chilled Zucchini and Parmesan Soup - oh, sooooo GOOD!!! Tomato Dip (their signature complimentary warm country bread was delicious - its given to every table)
Warm Zucchini and Parmesan Soup (the same as cold except for temperature) - drizzled with olive oil and garnished with Parmesan-Reggiano and sauteed cubed zucchini/garlic
Pappardelle with Lamb Ragout (we made the egg pasta and the ragout from scratch!!!) - drizzled also with olive oil and garnished with a sprig of marjoram and freshly grated parmesan
Roasted Lamb Rack with Onion Jam, Saute Potato, Thyme Jus (we were also given recipe for lamb jus AND free tasting of both lamb and duck jus) - the jus were to die for! Lamb was grilled (or pan- fried) slightly to seal in the juices before being oven roasted for 20mins for medium done. It was excellent!May receiving her certificate from Chef Rajesh.

I came home feeling like I can tackle a dinner party for 20 people. LOOOL!!! Seriously, I learnt so much. Worth crawling out of my warm bed by 7.30am on a Saturday!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Yesterday, the great party guru, Elsa and her roomie Beth (who is also my swimming instructress) along with Tim and Sai hosted chilli night.

Tim made a huge cauldron of meaty beef chilli while Elsa made a refined vegetarian version with bulgur wheat.

Both version were great - the long hours of simmering brought out the natural sweetness of beans and vegs. Barry had four servings while I had two! We had the chilli with lots of bread and also cornbread which I had freshly made.

Initially, Barry wanted to make 7-layer dip but the tortilla chips were out of stock. So, we made artichoke and spinach cheesey dip served in a rye bread instead. Since it isn't exactly a chilli-themed dish, I added a little "fire" with dashes of Tabasco and sprinkling of hot chilli powder.

Original cornbread recipe from : Bakingbites. I modified as follows :

Buttermilk Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
1½ cups milk + 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and let stand for 15-20 minutes till curdled
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C and lightly grease muffin pan (makes 12 exactly). I used veg. oil to make the cornbread come out easier from the pan.

2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, beat milk+lemon juice mixture, egg, honey and vegetable oil until well blended.

4. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing until no streaks remain.

5. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

6. Bake at 200 deg C for 23-28 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

7. Serves 12.

I actually like the cornbread warm with lashings of good salted butter. Sinful!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stuffs I Made...

Lotsa BBQ-ed stuffs since the gas BBQ came... wings, ribs, potatoes, burgers, sausages... so much for telling Barry that I won't really use it... Ha! Ratatouille...just because of the movie... There is a step to it.. I followed this recipe : onions go into the pot first followed by garlic, bell pepper strips, tomatoes, Provencal herbs, pepper, aubergine and lastly zucchini. Et voila! Ratatouille!
Lobster Roll (no picture) - May brought back 2 spiny lobsters from her holiday in Kota Kinabalu. I boiled the whole lobster in boiling water with some salt, bay leaves and garlic added. 8 minutes (lobster was about 500gms each) after water started to boil, it was done. I used very low heat so that it was more like poaching to keep the flesh tender.

I ripped the lobster apart and tore the flesh into pieces, mixed with chopped celery, mayonnaise, chilli powder and freshly ground black pepper, it was good to go as a filling for a nice bun with slices of tomato and cucumber... Classy lunch!

Herbed Cheese Straws

I made these for the guys' poker night last week - I always put myself in the guests' shoes in the sense that I would love to have a wide selection of drinks and also little nibbles. Yeah, eat, drink and merry!

I have already made chocolate chip cookies and wanted something savoury and cheese-y that would go well with beer. I came across this recipe from BellaOnline.

My modified version below :

Ingredients :

200 to 225gms sharp cheddar cheese, grated
100 to 125gms Mozzarella cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 cups plain flour
60gms unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground hot chilli
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp dried mixed herbs (I used Italian herbs mixture)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1. Cream butter and the 2 cheeses.
2. Combine flour, salt, chilli, paprika, herbs and worcestershire. Mix into the butter-cheese mixture.
3. Using a 1/2cm pastry tip, draw out into individual 2-inch little strips. Make sure some space for dough to spread.
4. Bake at 190 deg C until slightly browned, approximately 15 minutes. Once completely cooled, store.

Basically, I have used Mozzarella instead of Parmesan-Reggiano and added some Italian herbs to add a hint of fragrance. They were so delicious! I had to slap myself on the hand to stop gobbling them up! Personally, I thought it was almost impossible to get the worchestershire sauce to spread evenly throughout the dough.

I am pretty sure I wasn't the only fan - I came back after seafood dinner and drinks with the girls to find both cookie and cheese straw jars empty.

Some ideas from BellaOnline for these :

Serve on a dish beside a bowl of tomato soup and half a cheddar grilled cheese sandwich.

Serve as an edible dipping tool for guacamole dip; french onion dip or warm artichoke/spinach dips!

Tie several cheese straws together with a green onion leaf and present inside a beautiful tin along with a packet of your own BBQ rub as a welcome gift for new neighbors or work colleagues. (I love this idea!)

The cheese straws are a great background flavor for testing hot, sweet and savory spices!

Serve a dish of your cheese straws with slices of tomato, apple and cheeses with chilled wine for a spicy twist on a simple appetizer.

Cheese straws add wonderful crunch when crumbled over a salad or crumbled inside a wrap or sandwich! Enjoy this spicy, versatile little cheese powerhouses!!