Sunday, October 28, 2007

Prego, Westin Kuala Lumpur

Sunny and Irene suggested Prego at Westin Kuala Lumpur for dinner last night followed by a round or 2 of drinks at Club 21.

My choice of appetiser - fresh scallops in their shells with rock salt - succulent and juicy! (RM39)
One of their recommended hot appetiser for Barry - fried calamari rings with special tartare sauce - soft calamari covered with a light batter - not greasy at all. And the tartare sauce... divine! (RM25)
My main course - Braised oxtail with Barlotti (Borlotti) beans - warm, soft and deboned oxtail shaped into a log and topped with fresh rosemary and thyme makes for easy eating. (RM56)
Barry's choice of Wow Supremo Pizza for mains - with lovely pepperoni and juicy ham, tangy artichoke bottoms, briney kalamata olives, awesome fresh chanterelles topped with gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese on a very light thin crust, wood-oven baked to a crisp. (RM32)

Because we have Starwood card, we get 50% off food and 20% off drinks . Total bill was Rm109.48 for all above + 1L bottle of Panna. We were stuffed because portions are huge -leaving us no room for dessert.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween 2007

We just came back from a spooktacular fun Halloween party organised by Marc-Andre, Chris and Michelle. Barry and I went as Plug and Socket - Barry's trying to connect...
Hey, it fits both ways!
The hosts : Michelle (Gypsy) and Chris (Pharaoh - King Tutankuarrie) - Thanks for the great partayyy - I loved the hot wings served!
Tim and Marc-Andre (also the host) as 70s's ping-pong players. Check out Tim's short shorts!

Ouch! Smacked by Emily Strange (Yvonne) and Dorothy (Janice)
Captain Jack Sparrow and Dracula - now we know why Captain Jack Sparrow doesn't die...
Banana Telephone (Aaron) with Dorothy and her Ruby Red Shoes!
This is so kool! There is actually music piped-in! Honest!
Dorothy and Casey Jones of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mike) - check out Dorothy's expression!
Dorothy got spooked!
YIKES!!!! The Crow!
Army Guy, The Devil herself, Madonna (Like a Virgin era)
Supergirl! (Jenn)
Supergirl strutting her stuff!
Supergirl and Casey Jones
Laura & Leon as themselves
Laura decided to change her costume............
Too much speaking over the phone - sore ears!
Plague of the Big Ears upon Egypt! Can't explain the Pharaoh's funny eyes though....

We had a blast of a time! Thanks to Marc-Andre, Chris and Michelle!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gnocchi with Sliced Mushroom and Beef Ragout

We had a lovely dinner of potato gnocchi with hearty beef ragout with sliced button mushrooms and fresh spinach.

When the beef ragout has reached a simmering point, stir in sliced button musnrooms. Turn off heat.

Place spinach on top of the warm gnocchi and spoon the ragout over. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hearty Beef Ragout

I made a beefy ragout in advance last night knowing that I had to rush out earlier today to view an apartment.

My nephew (previously a non-beef-eater-now-a-convert) rated it a 9 while Barry gave it 9 1/2...10; 0 being inedible and 10 being PERFECT!

Here is my recipe (I eyeballed the quantity actually) :


300gms beef chuck cubes
1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
1 tsp sugar
100gms streaky bacon
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
About 300 to 350ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
5 peeled canned pomodoro tomatoes (must be Italian origin - I like La Valle)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 green chillies (de-seeded and cut into broad strips)
1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

1. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper (not too much).
1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add in diced onion. Stir till fragrant but not browned. Add in streaky bacon.
2. Stir in beef cubes. Fry lightly to just seal in the juices. Drizzle in the flour to coat the beef evenly. Add in sugar. Stir.
3. Add in stock, chillies, garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and bay leaf.
4. Allow mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, stirring constantly and breaking up the canned tomatoes at the same time.
5. Add in red wine and continue to simmer till mixture has reduced by about half, or depending on how thick you like your stew.
6. Discard bay leaf if not consuming ragout on same day.

So, I came home from work today and heated up the ragout and boiled a pot of water with some salt at the same time.

Sliced carrots, cut broccoli into florets and sliced some capsicum while (some button mushrooms would have been great but I didn't have any) while waiting for water to come to a boil.

Tossed the cut vegs into boiling water with some olive oil, carrots in first.

Removed vegs after a minute or two and let drain. Let water boil again and tossed in angel hair pasta (paperdelle would be better though but I was in a hurry - angel hair pasta cooks fast!). Removed pasta from water and let it drain.

Placed pasta onto plates. Topped with the vegs and ladled ragout over.... Dinner ready within 15 minutes!

Also good with potatoes, polenta, crusty bread or even on its own! A rich, thick brown stew with fork-tender gravy-soaked beef cubes with a very slight tang and a hint of spiciness from the near-mush green chillies. The red wine adds depth and dimension to the ragout while the Italian herbs, bay leaf and garlic provided the flavour balance.

A great comfort food. Perfect on a cold wintry night. DELICIOUS!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Miyako Japanese Restaurant at Sheraton Subang Hotel and Towers

May told me about the October lobster set meal promo at Miyako Japanese Restaurant at RM88++ per person (2nd person eats for free with Starwood card). May is so good with info of all that is happening in the F & B arena. I called up Sunny and Irene to arrange for dinner because they too have the Starwood card.

We went on Thursday because the lobster set dinner promo is only available from Monday to Thursday (am not sure if they have it for lunch).

Good thing we were given table next to Sunny and Irene.
Starter - smoked salmon roll, lidako, edamame, fish cake and cold cucumber and jellyfish salad
Sashimi - very generous in size!
Scallop and mixed mushroom soup - my favourite course!
Fresh scallops! Again, pretty generous of the resto!
Grilled shrimps - taste-wise, kinda weird as it has something sweet topping it (possibly mirin).
Fried tofu with batter of mixed vegetable julienne (2pcs). Very filling....
Teriyaki spiny lobster with sauteed bean sprouts and yellow zucchini - I was so stuffed that I had to pass some of the lobster to Barry. I think they were a bit over-cooked.
Picture to show white rice and miso soup that accompanied the teriyaki lobster.
Another of my all-time favourite, green tea ice-cream with azuki beans. I don't usually take dessert but this is great because it's usually not too sweet.

With Starwood card, the bill for 2 of us came up to about RM107 (incl. tea). It is not bad at all!

Today, we went Japanese again courtesy of Barry's friends who took us for a great dinner at Agefuku of appetiser, sanma shioyaki, amazingly soft chawan mushi, Kobe beef sukiyaki, unagi kabayaki, edamame, tempura moriawase and salads.

We ate out a lot over the week. Apart from Japanese, we had seafood with Mike Z for his birthday, dim sum with mom, sis and her family. Hve to give our tummies a rest from all the pigging out.

Din Tai Fung@The Gardens, at last!

As mentioned in last post on Din Tai Fung that I would get there asap, I did! Went alone to check out the "quality" before inviting others. So far, I have only been to the one in Taipei.

Though I was early (about 12.15pm, I had to wait still, for about 20 mins). Thankfully, they have chairs and tables outside for people to sit and peruse their menu while waiting.

The main problem about trying stuffs alone is the limiting stomach capacity. So, I did my best and ordered 3 items : a soup, dumplings (that's what DTF is well-known for) and a dessert.

Beef soup (RM15.00) : HUGE bowl of soup, literally. About 2 pieces of beef and quite bit of tendons (can't complain cos they were soft and delicious!). I couldn't finish the soup.
XLB - xiao loong bao (RM11.00) - Didn't taste as good as the Taipei resto - My tastebud must have been a bit wonky after filling up my tummy with the beef soup.

And Irene was having her DTF trial too at the same time, with some friends! She came over and we chatted and the dumplings went slightly cold. If I had known she was going to be at DTF, I would have the chance to try more items.

Red Bean Soup with Black Sesame filled glutinous rice balls (RM7.00 for 2 balls) - It was delicious but I was seriously full from liquid.

Was an expensive lunch affair (RM40.25 incl. tax and service charge + tea) but at least my craving for Din Tai Fung's XLB and soup was satisfied.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bangkok - Pattaya - Rayong : October 2007

Arrived Suvarnabhumi Airport on 9th Oct just in time for dinner. Since I was to leave by 8.30am the next day to Rayong, I stayed at Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. It is definitely one of the better Novotel hotels I've stayed in - it's also very new. Free 24-hour shuttle bus every 10minutes from the terminal's Gate 4 Arrival Level (Level 2).

I had dinner with my colleague at one of their restos, Golden Village Restaurant.

Crispy fried fish - fish is fresh with the right amount fried shallots, garlic and chopped chillies.
Bamboo fungus/bamboo pith soup for me. I love soup. No complaints here though picture doesn't show a very appetising soup.
Chicken and lotus root soup for my colleague
Broccoli stitfried with fresh scallops - it's a pretty ordinary dish saved by the succulently fresh scallops and "just-rightly-cooked" broccoli.
Noodles with crabmeat

It was an expensive (THB2683.56/approx. RM270 incl. 3 juices) but just OK dinner. I must say though that the restaurant is beautiful.

Next day at Rayong, we had Japanese lunch courtesy of the client (so, no pics) followed by dinner at Jazz Pit Pub in Pattaya. We stayed at Dusit Resort which was at the nicer (read : less seedy) part of Pattaya. Hotel is under renovation - thus, smell of paint is strong and some sections closed off.

Food at Jazz Pit Pub was mediocre for me but the others liked it.
Gee, I look pregnant in the picture. I assure you that is not the case. The person with saxophone is HM The King of Thailand. **Thanks a ton to mamabok for taking the time to fix my photo!**

I didn't manage to take pics of our lunch at Banbung (Chonburi) - will do so next time cos I eat there all the time whenever I visit the client there.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians!

Tummy is so full from the excellent Thanksgiving dinner at Janice and Aaron's place - BBQ chicken, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (with cream cheese! yum!), pumpkin soup, corn kernels, beans, salads, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies.... we over-ate..... pigs r us!

I give thanks to God for great families, Barry, my dog Claudia, friends, good health, amazing job and a whole lot of other stuffs, both tangible and intangible.... so many things to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Kay El

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Din Tai Fung@The Gardens, Midvalley City

Din Tai Fung from Taiwan is here, finally! If you love xiau loong baos and soups, this is the place to be. No need to go down to Singapore and queue for a morsel of dumpling.

Will surely get there asap!

Engagement Lunch II - East Ocean Teochew Restaurant@Shaw Centre

Hairy crab season is here!!! Scored huge while I was in Singapore earlier this week for meetings - the boss took us out for hairy crab lunch (would have a fne meal at the newly-renovated Les Amis@Shaw Centre if client hadn't cancelled dinner appointment!).

Bird's nest and sharksfin soup
Hairy crab spring rolls
See the crab roe?
Hairy crab dumpling (xiao loong bao)
Chicken thigh meat with black pepper sauce
The star of the meal : Hairy crab hersef!! Roe so thick - almost like a perfect runny egg yolk but waaaaay tastier. The restaurant even make it eat-friendly by cutting the legs and claws into pieces and squeezing out the meat a little (I forgot to take the pic of the finely laid out appendages of the crab)
Ahhh.. orgasmic!
La mian with hairy crab meat sauce
Black sesame glutinous rice ball in ginger soup
Mixed fruits

A must have for hairy crab lovers - I certainly enjoyed it - my faves were the soup, spring roll, dumpling and the crab, of course!

Approx. SGD90/person overall.

East Ocean Teochew Restaurant Pte. Ltd.
1 Scotts Road, #02-18 Shaw Centre
Singapore 228208
Tel : +65 6235 9088

Mon - Fri : 11.30am to 3pm/6pm to 11pm
Sat, Sun & Public Hol : 10am to 3pm/6pm to 11pm
Dim sum available for lunch