Friday, 30 November 2007

Fresh Japanese Food in Sushi Zanmai

Work meeting at Midvalley, took me to this japanese chain of restaurant during lunch.

Work had been hectic due to year end. Plus the fact that today's my second day in one of Malaysia's busiest mall, its taken a toll off my body and right now, what I really want to do is go hug my bolster and dream away. Tonigth will surely be a better night than yesterday - no thanks to the heavy dosage of caffeine I'd consumed in the afternoon. Part of the reason why I'm exhausted *sleepy grin*

Before that, let me share with you my lunch take at Sushi Zanmai, a highly recommended conveyor belt chain restaurant from Japan. I've tried their first outlet in Sunway Pyramid and liked it very much. Since my lunch buddy's a huge japanese food fan, SHARE I MUST.

This was what we had.

Unadon (RM8.80), one of their inferior dish. The unagi tasted scally and had pieces of tiny bone that turned me off. Otherwise, it would have been perfect as the taste was actually good.
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Kani Miso Shiru (RM6.80), soup based were a bit saltier than usual but overall, was quite a unique soup to accompany your meal.
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I had an order of Chuka Wakame (RM3.80). The cold seaweed and agar agar were refreshing and delicious.
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We love this so much that we had an order each. Salmon Ikura (RM4.80) which came with fresh cut of raw salmon and juicy salmon roe, nestled in Sushi Zanmai's signature sushi rice. I love the bursting flavour of these two combo in my mouth. Delectable.
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Japanese onions are really sweet and fragrant as compared to our local counterpart, hence I simply had to order these Sake (RM4.80) again. Cute shape. Taste was just as good.
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I had to order another portion. Love it. Sake (RM3.80) with Japanese Onion and Mayonaise. Very, very fresh and melt in your mouth. Simply can't get enough of it!
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The black plate from the conveyor belt denotes that the item are specially created and are not listed in their menu, hence, no idea what its name were. Priced at only RM4.80 a plate, it is both visually attractive and tasted great too. Seen below are fried shrimp roll, wrapped with layer of japanese rice, mayonaise and bonito flakes.
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Sashimi Salad (RM12.80) with Zanmai's dressing. This was J's salad, but I stole a bite. As expected, all the ingredients were fresh and Zanmai dressing with delicious and light too. It was a bit tangy and sweet. Love it.
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Almost perfect ending to our lovely lunch, Matcha & Matcha (RM12.00) with creamy scoop of green tea ice cream and cream, served with a substituted fresh strawberry as they ran out of Matcha Jelly. Still good neitherless as the green tea ice cream made up to it.
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It was great lunch. I would definately return again.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

ZEN style Heart Pumping Dessert

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A short post on this new discovery in Midvalley Megamall. To think of it, there isn't many places in Midvalley Megamall that offers a good selection of dessert, as compared to the extensive list of eatery outlet there.

Secret Recipe had closed down. Boo. Dlish had taken over ... Yay!

But here's another place to try out if you're not up to Dlish's style of cupcake dessert. Do drop by Zen, which is located at the 3rd floor Middle Court. It offers a pretty interesting mix of dessert ranging from cakes, trifles and some other interesting combination which you can't get elsewhere.

I had a slice of their Mocha Marble Cake (RM6.80) just before leaving the Mall yesterday. It was simply delish! Made of creamy blend of bittersweet coffee layer, alternating with another layer of walnut biscuit ... if you love a strong coffee taste, THIS IS THE ONE.

Simply smacking!

Chinoz at The Gardens

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Mum worked really hard during her physio session today. I was soooo proud of her as she walked quite a bit - infact she walked a good 15 minutes around the physio room with another half hour each on knee weight lifting and other exercises combination.

After physio, I took mum to Midvalley and The Garden's for some shopping. Mum lovesss the mall particularly hugeee ones but dad refuses to bring her here, as he fears for not abling to locate where his car is parked. So here I am ... my off day and its nice to spent quality time with love ones.

Midvalley is Midvalley. Forever crowded. Hence after a while, the noise got to me. Since mum had gotten what she hinted (what else, food la), we headed towards The Gardens to check out Robinsons (their sale starts today) and peace, alas. Right next to the entrance of Robinson's were Chinoz. A place I remembered well when it started in Telawi Street. That was like donkey years ago and they were the ones that started the revolutionary "fresh and yummy salad" movement in Klang Valley.

I had vowed to try Chinoz at The Gardens, since the last time I spotted some lovely looking cupcake. The varieties were impressive but (ahem) I got derailed, as usual.

This was my late lunch from their extensive menu. Roast Chicken Sandwich (RM20), which got my two thumbs up! Tender chicken breast marinated to perfection and sandwiched alongside grilled capsicum with a yummylicious pesto base sauce ... it was great stuff. The serving came with a portion of cold potato salad too. Not quite my style of potato salad as theirs came with pieces of celery and chopped olive, BUT it was another surprise twist that got me wanting for me.

Mum can't help but salivate as I ate them. But again, she had always maintain that I always look the part when I'm with my food *big grin*

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I care to explain why I derailed *big grin*. That's becauseeeee I spotted Churros!!!

I LOVEEEE churros. I've never came across anyone whom does not craveee for it if once they have tried them in Spain. I tried my first cup just outside La Boquería, Barcelona. The stall right at the entrance, on the left hand side. It was really good, BUT, it cost a bomb. I think I got cheated as, it was only 1/4 of the price elsewhere and it taste just as good so be warned.

Churros is essentially fried dough, Spanish style. Served piping hot, crunchy and sweet from the outside, salty and soft inside, the sin factor is the dip. The chocolate dip soooo thick, though they call it a chocolate drink in Spain, it is essentially a thick sauce of PURE, DARK goodness.

I was sooo excited when I spotted Churros with Valrhona Sauce (RM20) here. Not cheap, but I know it is not easy to make as I've tried making them before hence, gotta give it to their skill. I will never be able to get the churros straight like this.
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Look at those Valrhona sauce that came with it! Goodness!
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Pureee heaven!

Malaysia's Fresh Pasta Morning

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As usual, mum's first word in the morning is "I'm hungry. What's there to eat?".

"Well, today's your physio day" I reminded her. "Better have something proper so that you don't faint half way" I joked.

I could see her face beaming from cheek to cheek upon hearing those magical word. Her being such a glutton, and me, always controlling her food portion due to her health condition, like a child she is, she enjoyed her ride all the way to dad's regular breakfast place. She joined him, where else I went to the next stall.

The pan mee was callingggg out to me *big grin*

For those not familiar with Malaysian food, Pan Mee is essentially Malaysia's version to italian fresh pasta. Made simply with flour and water, you can have them pulled from a well rolled flat dough, into a pot of already boiling soup base. The shape is kinda unexpected, depending on the skill of cook. Some are evenly pulled where you get the flatness still but with funny edges but sometimes, the flatness can be thicker than usual or inconsistent, as the finger accidentally or intentionally squashes them during the pulling process.

You can also order them in traditional noodle shape in your desired thickness, where the dough goes thru a pasta machine to develop the strands. I like them the unexpected way, accidentally or intentionally.

Must be months since I last ate Pan Mee. This Pan Mee taste so good. The soup was sweet, but not from the usual anchovies stock. It has hint of herb, but not quite sure. Oh dear ... it sure confuses me to describe what's in it but surely, I do loveeee the soup somehow.

As for the pulled noodle, its evenly flat. Not quite to my liking unfortunately. Also, the portion's pretty small hence, I had to order something extra to fill myself up.

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Closer look. The ingredients are fresh, and soup's clear and sweet. Lovely.

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To suppliment my hunger, still ... the only type of dimsum available. The Siu Mai which came in a plate of 3 huge pieces, it was surprisingly good!

I loveee it.

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For my breakfast, I spent a total of RM4.50 only for these two item. What a find!

If you would like to try them, head towards Jalan Tiga in Chan Sow Lin area. Just before reaching Nichi Fashion (on your right hand side), this stall's on your left.

Thai Express New Menu

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Yesterday evening, I made my way to The Curve for my bi-monthly meeting with my nutritionist. Draggggggggged my feet there.

Why ? Well, I've been skipping my replacement meal lately and I know, I would either be at maintenance stage or "failure story" stage and it is simply unacceptable! Am DESPERATE to loose it after all my glutton trips, and more so, year ends here and I've got two more major trips planned within this quarter. I know food's definately in the agenda, so might as well do something about it now and glutton without guilt then.

Besides, must look good during trips la *cheesy smile*

Me and sis usually opt for Sakae Sushi for the meet up, as they have quite a good selection of guilt free dinner. But Sakae's always packed to the brim and it makes me wonder why. I mean, the food is not super fantastic, nor its super reasonable priced for its quality but yet, you will get people queueing for a table during dinner time *shake head*

Hence, we'd decided to give Thai Express a try. But before that, we weight ourself first ANDDDDD ... (drum rollllll) ... I LOST some weight!

I was soooooooo happy. Soooo proud of myself. But ahem, try not to get it to my head too much as I have longgg way to go so this was my dinner.

Before my meal, I had with me a glass of NO IDEA WHAT sweet sour drink called Pattaya Something, Something (RM7.90). Taste like calamansi with a heavy dosage of sugar syrup. What's with the colour? I didn't enjoy it at all as it reminded me of all the coloured beverages Thailand is so famous for. As I sip it slowly (I only manage to drink quarter of it), I had images of the colour staining my tongue just like how I use to get them from sucking coloured ice lollies when I was a kid.

All I know is, it sure is an expensive drink for something not quite good for your body.

NOT recommended.

Moving on, I did a take on a new addition to their new menu after being informed that they don't have my initial salad order of Pomelo Salad. Seen here, Fish Salad (RM16.90) which was another dissapointment to me. I had expected some proper slices of fish fillet to be served at such price, but instead, was served a batter filled savoury salad, which totally defeats my purpose of keeping my weight off.

Taste was really not too bad, especially when the fritter were eaten with the sweet sour peanut dip that it came with. The pretty swirled up noodle were a surprised too. Also to be eaten with a dash of the dip, it reminded me of the famous vietnamese cold vermicelli dish, minus all the grilled meat frills.

Overall, the food is average but if I were to equal it to what I'm paying, its definately something not worth it.
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Soft, Fresh Bake Bagels

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Vienna Bagels tagline ... baked, NOT fried, as how I've always thought them to be.

Only a week ago that, I've tried these cute little bagels that's not quite what I've experienced many years ago. Bagel that had jumped on donut bandwagon, with its vast selection of toppings ranging from cheese base, nut flakes, chocolate coating, to well known flavours.

I got my hands on three (3) pieces for the price of RM7.50. Seen here from top; Cheez&Chivez, Roselle and Le Chocolat Fromage.

a) Cheez&Chivez - Highly recommended, it packs a cheesy punch flavour that's known to go well with Bagels. If you're a fan of chives, you'll appreciate it even further.

b) Roselle - Something sweet and sour, an unconventional combination on a bakery item. I was surprised with the delicate floral flavour that comes with it and kinda enjoyed the taste against the soft dough.

c) Le Chocolat Fromage - Coated with dark chocolate and sprinkled with another layer of parmesan cheese, it taste as sinful as it sounds that I don't want to know how much calorie this little devil packs.

Overall, I enjoyed all of them.

Tis the season ...

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I love it when Christmas is around the corner. Not just for the variety of imported chocolates, cookies, bakeries, beverages and special goodies brought in from abroad for us locals to celebrate end of the year with a bang - the sighs, sound and celebration that follows with yuletile season usually make me reminiscence back how the year had been so far, and how I'd like my following year to be.

I have been blessed well this year. Blessed that I met my special someone and I've never been happier. Blessed that everyone around me is safe and healthy. And blessed that I have all the I need taken care off.

Christmas is less than a month away. Have you prepare for the big day ?

Me. I'm kinda prepared.

I'm planning to throw a little gathering for my parent's friends at home. The challenge is, my parents are vegetarian and they are used to eating chinese food. So as their friends. But its Christmas. So here I am, still contemplating if I should proceed with what's plan (western vegetarian menu) or to go local, which I feel would be so odd. My dad whole heartedly supports whatever I'm about to prepare, but I would love to have everyone enjoy the food as much as possible and not have leftover. Therefor, the stress is already on!

But I loveee that kinda stress *big grin*

Alright .. back to snacks. Do check out Ikea for some Christmas goodies if you fancy them with a Scandinavian twist.

As for below, am opening them on Christmas day. Hang on for the review!

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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Break Time at Bakin Boys

Sometimes, I can get very demanding.

To illustrate my point - I headed towards my favourite place called Chocz in KLCC after completing my task at the travel agent. I was craving for a good cup of ancient Mayan style chocolate drink called Aztec but upon arriving, I suddenly recalled Masak Masak's review on The Lawn - a newly opened cafe serving light meals, refreshing drinks and sinful dessert - all trademark from its parent company Marmalade. So off I went to check out this newbie.

After having a quick glance at the cake counter, I took a seat to peruse the menu further. Don't know why, nothing caught my fancy. I wanted to try their cupcakes initially, but they didn't have the one I wanted. Instead, there's three other selection of Tiramisu, Oreo and standard Vanilla Strawberry - the latter which I'd tried during Joyce's birthday. I have no doubt about their cupcake quality but both the Tiramisu and Oreo cupcake simply weren't sinful enough.

I need something dark, really dark.

Hence, I returned the menu to the wait staff and started walking back towards Chocz. Somehow along the way, I ended up in Bakin Boys for their signature American style cookie *big grin* Must be Thanksgiving bugs in the air ...

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What pulled me towards them were their display of dark chocolate cookies ranging from Triple Heavyweight, The Martian Fellow, The Milkman Meltdown and many others. Everything looked and sound so wicked and good that I had hard time choosing. Alas, I chose Orange Ovation (RM3.80) from the Dark Variety counter as I liked the idea of having a citrus twist to my usual dark crave.

It was a good choice, albeit a tad sweeter than what I'd anticipated. I liked my cookie chewy with a nice melt in the centre, and this came with a good dosage! The orange flavour enveloped within were delicious and fragrant too. Wicked.

At the far end were other notable white variety cookie such as White Socialite, The Praliner, Coconut Cabaret, The Babanut and many others but I chose a semi white (ahem) called Marbled (RM3.90). Simply cannot leave my dark crave there yeah ... another spot on for me.

Alas, I'm satisfied. It pays to be demanding sometimes.

Food Foundry Revisit

This morning, I woke up with a simple objective.

To take a drive down to KLCC, where my travel agent is located. Get information on flights for a CNY trip with my BF and check on agent rate tickets to somewhere (another secret la) for Spring.

Other than that, I was eager to go pick up an Origami Book from Kinokuniya bookstore for my niece's upcoming birthday too. Since Origami originated from Japan, I can't think of anywhere else with better selection.

Only upon reaching the junction, turning into Jalan Parlimen that I remembered. Today's the day Hindraf, which stands for Malaysia's Hindu Rights Action Force's taking to the street to rally, calling for a fair upcoming election.

My dad had warned me few nights ago to NOT enter city centre today. The flogger community had also mentioned about the rally but I was a minute too late to recall it.

The traffic built up were just metres away from me and I had no choice but to go along, and finally after getting caught in half hour crawl that I finally made an exit. My tummy was hungry while driving back from city centre. I also need to get my ticket details firmed up by today so that J, my boyfriend could decide if he would pick up the great offer to our holiday destination from his home country.

Then, I came up with this plan. Since I'm back in PJ, why not go eat first. I will then take the LRT down. Brilliant idea!

This was where I'd stopped for lunch. Food Foundry in Section 17, Petaling Jaya - a hidden place, not knowned by many, but popular among bloggers. I started with a plate of Sautee Mushroom (RM6.90). It surprised me with its miserable portion but I was happy with the mushroom quality. It was fresh and juicy. Though bland (I suspect the chef forgot the salt), it was rectified after a quick prompt to deliver me the salt.

As for main, I had a Fettucine Vongole with Mussels (RM14.90). Now, everyone knows I'm a hugeee fan of mussels. I simply can't resist a fat and juicy piece of mussel and Food Foundry's supply simply did not disappoint. It would have been wonderful if more varieties of pasta is being offered as I felt that fettucine simply does not go well here Vongole style.
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Verdict; quality of the supply is still good but cooking is so-so. Perhaps, my expectation were too high?

Friday, 23 November 2007

Comfort Food, Hakka Food

Comfort food to me usually involve some form of braising, food I ate constantly while growing up and/or pork.

It need not be complicated, or comes laden with what not ingredient from top notch producer or gourmet ingredient from corners of the world but just pure wholesome flavour, that when cooked right, it is something that I can eat day in, day out for a long time.

Today was such a day when comfort crave hits me. I was in Ikano area for work today, and fortunately too that not all the cafes/restaurant are halal. Ying Ker was my choice for lunch. They serve homecooked Hakka cuisine, in a zen-like ambience. When I walked in at 12noon, the place was already buzzling with customer. Believe it or not, the patron after me had to wait for a table. I was fortunate to be a few seconds quicker.

I knew what I wanted, as I have had lunch here before. They serve many kinds of pork dishes, as well as other notable Hakka dish such as Chicken in Rice Wine, Abacus Seed, Ginger Duck and many more.

Before my main, I had a portion of Fried Lotus Biscuit (RM8.00). It is essentially thin slices of lotus root sandwiching a marinated pork paste, then later sending it to a deep fry till golden brown. I must admit that I really liked it. The lotus root were slightly crunchy and juicy when I bite into it. One word of caution, be careful when eating them. It is very hot.

My main was Steamed Minced Pork with Vegetables (RM11.90). Although I constantly pick this wholesome dish whenever I have mixed rice, this is one dish that I will never get bored off. Sadly, I have never learned to make this well. I know, I should.

Their version made me reminiscence my mum's cooking when I was little. It had such a homely taste to it. Not only was it seasoned delicately, the porky flavour weren't heavy. I suspect they added corn starch to the dish, as it tasted creamy and smooth. Only thing that's missing here are the gravy/juices - the extra juices that oozes out from the meat during the steaming process. It would be great if they improve on that, so that I can drizzle them on my white rice - just like how I eat them when I was little.
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The odd thing about dining in chinese restaurant I must say is, they never learn to serve the right courses, at the right time. Take for example my dessert. It was the first to arrive, while my appetiser was the last. I know it is something that westerners frawn upon, but its norm here. Though puzzling, I had my lunch like a typical chinese - savour whatever's on the table.

And I did. It was a good ending. A comforting end to my lunch with a portion of Boiled Snow Pear with Rock Sugar (RM6.00). Though too sweet for my liking, the pear were soft to the bite, with lovely crunch coming from the Snow Fungus.
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# Must learn to make some of the dishes here one day.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Mezze Afternoon

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If you hunt hard enough, you will be rewarded.

I think this will be my food philosophy from now on. If you don't know me, well .. let me share with you. I am one of THOSE whom sometimes set her heart out to do something or go somewhere, but will end up doing something else all together or end up elsewhere.

Don't ask me why I'm like that. I'm just BORN like that.

But today, you must give me credit. I made it to Mezze, a chic Mediterranean style cafe, hidden inside Tangs Departmental Store after hearing about it from a friend. Hidden, I tell you ... no joke. You have to make several turns, ask for direction from floor staff and finally, after finding its entrance, you remain doubtful ... as you still can't tell if it is THE cafe or not as, there's Tangs merchandise being displayed right at their staircase leading up to their cafe.

Keyword. Persevere.

You will get there, like me *pat my back*

Just walk up a little and you will be transported to a place that's so unPavillion and unTangs.

Okay, I think I'm just being dramatic up there, but you get the geez of it. My message to you is, it is a hidden gem and I love it. Love it to the point that, I was stuffed after Food Republic but still manage to try out the below for the sheer knack of it *big grin*

For a start, I was presented with a plate of Bread (FOC). Love it, love it, love it! Totally spot on and rugged, this bread is so full of character. The bread itself were rather coarse and dry, like those I've tried in Dubai but, it comes with a hint of olive oil.
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After several minutes, they serve me a small portion of unpitted Green Olive (FOC). Not too sourish, very juicy and slightly salted, it was really not too bad! Unfortunately, yours truly here can't tell her Greek, Spanish to Italian Olive type. All she could share is ... she enjoyed it very, very much.
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This is my order of Potato Cakes with Halloumi (RM10) from the Hot Mezze selection. Though the menu were not extensive, it gives you enough choices to munch on while catching up with friends in a cosy, hidden surrounding. The potato cake were delicious. With a hint of spice and seasoning, and topped with a small piece of Halloumi Cheese, the potato cake came in three pieces which I finished, in no time.

Loved the cheese. Sort of like Mozzarella but deeper flavour.
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Came highly recommended from their wait-staff were their Morrocan Milk Pudding (RM8.00)

Goshhhh! Everything about this dessert is perfect.

I love the taste of Cardamon and Rose water scented Milk Pudding, that lingers in your mouth. I love the texture of the Milk Pudding which were not too soft like Tau Foo Fah, but had a coarse texture which felt kinda sexy and rugged at the same time that you will think that you are transported to Marrakesh in that instant. I also love the fact that it was not too sweet.

I loveeeeee the glass too ...

What's with me! Did they drug me or something ?

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What an afternoon. Happy, happy, happy.

I'm fairly impressed with the food, service and ambience here so, I will be back to try out a few other notable dishes they recommended. If you happen to be in Pavillion, drop by and give this place a try.

Singapore Food in Town

Pst, psssssst ... haven't you heard? Okay, I know it is old news *big grin* but I'd like to make this announcement again to, GO TRY!!!

Food Republic, one of Singapore's famous food court operator had opened its first food court operation in KL, Pavillion. Not sure of the exact date but should not be more than 2 weeks ago. Located at the basement floor, where the famous J-Co donut is, we KLites are sure lucky to have another 20 over choices of food court stalls to choose from. There's everything here, from Thai, Japanese, Korean, Local, Taiwanese, Western to this popular stall, serving Singapore food.

Simply called Thye Hong, I liked the way how the operate their stall. Instead of serving an assortment like the many other stalls around the food court, Thye Hong serves four signature eat only; Fried Prawn Noodle, Oyster Omelette, Char Kuey Teow and Carrot Cake.

I was rather hungry, so I did not hesitate to placed an order each for Oyster Omelette and Fried Prawn Noodle! Talk about greediness!

Showned here, Or Chien or Oyster Omelette (RM7.00), the oyster itself were not fried together with the rice/flour mixture but rather, was added into only when the omelette's ready. Irregardless, it was great to spoon up those huge oyster meat alongside the omelette mixture, dab a bit of chilli sauce on it and IN it goes. Though the omelette were rather normal, the oysters were plump, juicy and fresh.

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While a junior looking chap cooked my earlier Oyster Omelette, a rather senior, authoratative guy walked out from the inner kitchen to the open concept stove outside to prepare my plate of Fried Prawn Noodle. There were clips of newspaper article pasted on the glass front, as well as certificate of the awards they have won.

Wow, I was having good vibes already.

True enough, the Fried Prawn Noodle (RM7.00) were delicious. I though it was rather special as there's two types of noodle used here; yellow and white noodle which to me, was a great combination. The sauce were delicious, with light hint of soya sauce and mild cut chilli heat. If you like a hint of sourness, there's always a cut calamansi served together. But for me, I like them as it is, even without chilli. The wok skill from this senior chap, is evident here.

Not to be missed.
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Though I was close to exploding after whacking up two plates of Singapore goodness, I simply can't resist this piece of Traditional Cherry Butter Cake (RM2.50) from Toast Box. This is such a nostalgic cake to me, as my godmum use to bake them during every Chinese New Year and I usually eat lots of them. But not as off lately, so I kinda miss it.

Toast Box version is really not too bad. Buttery and fragrant, but a tad sweeter than usual, Toast Box is another stall operator, whom specialises in Very Old School Straits Chinese food such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Toast Bread, Kaya, Cakes, and Coffees. Apart from Pavillion, they can also be found in Midvalley Megamall.
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After food, I went for an eye check in Tun Hussein Onn Hospital. Thankfully, all is well and I'm not going blind (seriously, I though I was going too).

It's such a great day today.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Traditional Recipe, Kota Damansara

Eversince turning into a food blogger, my supposedly planned activity can suddenly take a dramatic turn whenever I come across a new outlet to blog about. It was a leisurely Sunday morning, right after breakfast that I'd decided to take a drive to nearby shop to check out some kitchenware.

Then, I spotted a newbie.

Simply called Traditional Recipe Restaurant. Now, if you are me, having grown up in a city, with more and more Fast Food and Franchise Chain sprouting about, what would you do? It says Traditional, you know TRADITIONAL. Alright, I think you got the point *laugh*

Seriously, what constitute traditional food in Malaysia? I was also part curious apart from being simply greedy.

The menu were extensive. They have all sorts of imaginable e.g Hand Pull Noodle (Pan Mee) -which I did not order. It's quite popular apparently, as a few patron actually stopover to doggie bag them. The one that caught my eye were their huge banner promoting Chang (Glutinous Rice) from a supplier called YY. Famous Dumpling. Not only they have all the usual Chang from Cantonese, Nyonya, Golden, Hakka etc .. they even serve Gourmet Chang, which looked like a huge gigantic football from the pic, supposedly stuffed with abalone, scallops, sharksfin, and what not. Priced at RM198.00 per kg ... priceyyyy.

I settled for their Golden Chang (RM7.80).

It was DELICIOUS, MOIST, FRAGRANT mouth watering Chang, packed with ingredients and fragrant. It came laden with siew yoke, char siew, special lap cheong, chestnut, mushroom and so much more, that I regretted ordering two more other item. This itself satisfied my craving already. Nice.

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Apart from main, their selection of small eat were extensive. If only I had more stomach space, I would have ordered their recommended Traditional Tofu, Chicken Floss Roll, Yam Abacus, Lui Cha etc ... but, I no cow, so I settled for
a portion of Century Egg (RM3.00) which I did not expect its portion to be so huge. The taste were stinky and creamy. Lovely.
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Alright, I'm a pig. They had this thumbs up sign next to the picture, so I can't help but top up my order. In the pic, the Shanghai Dumpling (RM6.00) spotted green skin in a Kei Chi Soup base, but when it arrived, it was like this. Plain looking.

.. . Why mislead the customer?
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THANKFULLY, the taste were really good. Stuffed with generous portion of minced pork meat and chinese parsley, the ingredient were rather simple but was well made as it was fresh and generously stuffed. For the priced paid, it came with six (6) pieces which I felt, can be a meal on its own. I like this, a lot.
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Did I finish all of it?

Yes, I've just finished it a while ago. They offered to doggiebag my food, without asking.

That's my kind of service. A plus point.

The Straits Cafe Lunch

Year end to me, is the busiest period ever.

Not only in work front where retail consumer industry roll out more A&P program to coincide with all the back to back festive celebration, it is also a period where I plan what to do on Christmas, Chinese New Year, spring clean room and home, celebrate birthday of my nieces, catching up with relative, ex-colleagues, friends and many more. No doubt it is more stressful than usual, as I'd like all to be done to perfection, otherwise, why start at all.

It was a happy occassion of catching up with an ex-subordinate J, someone I use to work with many, many years ago. I am one of the few privilege lot to have much luck in getting, not only a capable subordinate, but a subordinate that I get along so well, it felt like we are long lost sisters. Perhaps it made a difference that she's from the northen state of Malaysia, and my parents are from there too. Hence, the connection. Whatever the reason, sitting down for a meal, and catching up like old time sure does bring back lots of good memory.

Our chosen spot for lunch were The Straits Cafe, Centrepoint. They serve Penang or Chinese Straits food, which both of us love.

For appetiser, I had a portion of Chicken Feet Salad (RM6.90), of sweetish, sourish and spicy sauce in thai style mixture, this salad gets my vote for its sheer flavour and freshness of the chicken feet - served without bone (plus point). It was springy, and I simply love it.
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This must be one of the better Mee Siam (RM7.90) I've tried. I loved it as it was not the dry kind, though not as distinct as the Penang style Mee Siam where its very fragrant, their version is mellow and yet, satisfying with a hint of tangy, and spicy sauce. Nice.
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To end my meal; Lychee Drink (RM2.50) to the rescue. After all, when eating spicy stuff, it is best accompanied with some ice cold drink.
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We chatted for another good hour, before bidding goodbye.

I'm full, satisfied and happy. What a day!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Oysterette Event ; Aloha Night in Hilton

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It was a last minute arrangement.

Of wonderful food, companion, location, gorgeous place, with lovely detailing to the event theme. A theme which we - the nine girl member Oysterette have each drawed out from a box, many months ago to celebrate our birthday's together. Running along this year, were a much simplier theme centering around a country name; much to our delight after a tough one the year before where we celebrated them with "Things You Will Never Do" theme.

I still remember the look on S face (another S), when she picked the note I scribbled on last year.

Note : Vegetable Farming.
S face reads : SHIT! *&#)@&@(*$%

The farming activity turned out well. As always, the girls each has creative streak in them and all is taken care off.

J picked a Hawaii theme for her birthday this year, where else no one can pull off an event in such a short period of time other than our dear S, whom is an old-hen in event organising.

S had chosen Uncle Chillies Pub in PJ Hilton, which surprised us as it is an old joint for many uncles (hence the name) living around Petaling Jaya, or PJ as how the locals call it. As I remembered it, the pub was a typical dark pub filled with elderly men leering at some ladies in short skirt, while gorging down pines of beer and shouting back forth from the top of their lungs to share their night joy or eye/beer feasting. In the back of our mind, the place is simply not happening. Images of Cheers TV program ran through my mind.

As we enter, our jaws literarily dropped.

Not only have they revamped the place to such chic contrast; they have even segmented the vast space into private dining and lounge area for group gatherings. We were urshered to a private room, not enclosed by wall but mere curtain where we were given enough privacy to keep us in and at the same time, able to enjoy the sighs and sound of whatever's going on at the main floor. Wednesday's a ladies night, hence our free cocktail flowed endlessly.

We started off with a portion of Smoked Salmon Bruschetta, whom me and E nicked from someone. Don't ask. Just someone and not from uncle, okay. Though the smoked salmon were commendable for its smokiness and smoothness, not much can be said on its bread toast.

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Spread across our odd shape table were portions of Grilled Chicken Tender, served with creamy, delicious Peanut Sauce that kept us wanting more.
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While some had Roast Duck Soup and Pumpkin Soup, I opted for a classic SF dish, called Cioppino (RM22) for simple reason that you hardly find them in Malaysia. The taste were much lighter and different in comparison to the authentic recipe I'd cooked. While I detected very mild saffron herb in its soup base, the tomato taste were non-existence. To make up the flavour, lemongrass were added in to lend its aromatic flavour which fortunately worked wonderfully. The only set back were its seafood ingredients, whereby it was not as fresh as what I'd expected them to be.
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In seafood mood still, I had their Salt Baked Canadian Cod Fish, served with Baby Potatoes (RM35). It seems out of place. Not quite the typical Salted Cod Fish I've eaten in Spain or Macau, the latter usually being prepared with complimenting ingredient to off-set its saltiness, Uncle Chillies version were pretty delectable on its own. Juicy and tender, with chunks of firm flesh in every bite, one does wonder if it is salted at all.
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A birthday without a cake is like popiah without skin. In this cake, not one cake but many, many cakes of moist, delicious, generous Cupcakes spread across and adorned with trinkets of Hawaiian theme. It was a good choice of ordering J's cake from Marmalade. This is how it should be done. Pure indulgence.
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After the eating, drinking, chatting, cake blowing, gift giving and more, we boogied the night away and cam-whored like crazy, will all our trademark silly-ness which I can't reveal.

This is one of the decent pics of Oysterettes that I can share *grin* (please don't ask me why the name, thank you)
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At approximately 1am, some of us staggered home to slumberbed while some adjourned to elsewhere. So here goes, my lovely evening with the girls. As always, looking forward to another one with them.

Oh ... one set back, the uncles are still leering around.