Friday, May 30, 2008
In this episode, the issue of future is being explored again. In most cases and i can dare say 8 out of 10 cases with the odd ones out, do not like their job or are slaving away because of another ultimate motive. It was interesting, over dinner yesterday, a man asked me, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The answer was simple, I dont know. It isnt because i am not focused but it is way too far to think about. 5 years, yes, but 10 years depends on alot of things; whether you pick up business opportunities along the way, the economy, career advancement and so forth.
Then he asked me, well in which area would you like to pursue that future since we all know that life in the Big 4 accounting firm is nothing but a stepping stone to the future.
I immediately say definitely something to do with my love for food.
Then it all rewinded to the day before, my friend and I sat down for dinner and had a chat. What areas we could venture to; 2 of us, bearly any capital but determination to not live in a 9-6 job.
We came up with an idea and would like to engage all of you for replies. This is nothing but a dream but sometimes dream come true.
Breakfast. Majority of us busy people, either take in a heavy and nasty unhealthy breakfast or dont take breakfast. Infact if you decide to look properly in your office block and the surroundings of it, i be surprised to find something healthy and balanced.
Good protein, good carbs and something light to start the day with, not to forget AFFORDABLE. I am constantly amazed that people are willing to pay up to RM20 for a coffee and a sandwich when their salary is in the range of RM2,000 to RM10,000. People should not pay so much for a simple breakfast.
So back to the imagining, what if, and i say what if, a small little booth opens on the lobby of the building you work with that offers you all this:
A range of sandwiches; ranging from healthy basic choices to a premium range (imagine wholegrain bread, avocados, sun dried tomatoes and healthy chicken breast) . Made before the sun is up, you just pick it up, pay and go.
The western culture of 11am and 3.30pm snacks; a handful of nuts, a portion of yoghurt and fruit. All packed up nicely and ready to go.
Fresh coffee that wont cost you RM10 a cup because you wont be paying for the branding.
Knowing that you will start the day off with enough calories to last the morning but a whole load of calories more to spend during lunch or dinner if the ocassion arises.
Would you fall for the idea? or would you rather go for the roti canai or nasi lemak across the mamak?
Let me know.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Lots of Cravings is not all just about food. Despite the image that i paint that i think about food from the second that i wake up till the minute my head drops on the pillow at night, there are many more things that i crave.
The desire to ramble on about life has suddenly hit me like an occasional lightning bolt that strikes in KL on a rainy windy night.
Many things have happened over the last month and coincidentally all relating one way or another to food, the original intention of the blog.
The natural disasters that hit
Some say it is "karma" and that the Earth has retaliated for all the wrong doings of human kind. In my own eyes, it is tens of thousands of lives changed forever. That faithful day twisted their path of life to an image unrecognizable, from a vivid painting of a rosy future to a dark and distorted piece of abstract art.
Many of these victims are still currently running away to safety and struggling to find enough food to warm their stomachs. Thousands have lost their "rice bucket", "bread winner" and "future".
Yet, We as Malaysians and human beings dont even take this into consideration before and during a meal.
Without a care in the world and without a second thought when one would order food enough for a famished army and letting it go into waste while another young infant starve and cry for milk.
Have we no shame of ourselves when you see that plate of noodles or rice left half touched when you pay the bill? Had you no idea that you could have shared instead of letting greed get over you?
With that first part coming to an ending and work about to start any second, please do your part for the Sichuan Disaster. Dont just let food go to waste innocently, start from ordering less, finishing up your food before you order some more and thank the lucky stars that you have food at disposal, a bed to sleep at night and a roof over your head.
Another thing..King Crab Restaurant is doing their bit by organising a string of Charity Dinners in their KL and JB branch.
Prices are RM1,000 for a table of 10.
(100% of the donations will be contributed to the China Sichuan Earthquake Relief Fund)
Details as follows:
Restoran King Crab PJ (opposite Kelana Jaya
Restoran King Crab JB
Restoran King Crab
No. 103 - 107, Jalan SS25/2
Tel No: 603 - 7808 2388
Jalan Harmonium 23/12 ,
Taman Desa Tebrau,81000
Tel No: 07-3513333
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Exactly what my latest culinary idol decided to do; whip up a BIG feast that struck us with awe.
So like Mr and Mrs Smith, Mr and Mrs Pea decided to not blow up their house and kitchen but blew us all away with their lip smacking dishes. With the score of plates all over the serving table, she has risen to a level of food blogging that minors like me can only have a wet dream of.
With that the tag team, presented to us their signature dishes that only Setia Alam can offer.
The reason why we were all invited for; the piece de resistance (did i spell this out correctly?). HOME MADE ROAST PORK - Marinated and air dried in the fridge before roasting taking a total of 48 hours to get it to this state. It is a pity it took less then an hour to demolish the whole plate without a trace of what it was.
Just when we thought, oh my thats a heavy as a lunch can ever get, another strong aroma was sensed. The familiar smell of vinegar and ginger lead us to the vinegar pork trotters. Tradition has it that this dish is especially potent and medicinal for ladies after giving birth. If you looked at who were picking this plate clean, i think we just reinvented tradition with males hogging the plate and saying IT WAS HARD LABOUR you know.
So what could someone like me do? Roast a duck? Nah, bought it in Klang for RM32, looked good enough to be walloped clean, although very oily.
When the main dishes were eaten and gobbled down by famished bloggers; we had to leave desserts to the Bakers.
Apparently i was suggesting that they should compete for the top spot to become famous but stupidly not realising that the duo has 1,000 friends between them on Facebook. How more famous can one get when they already have a thousand friends on Facebook? Err, apparently my little brain couldnt handle such rapid calculations.
Err, heard before of SPC?
Soon, it was time to say goodbye but we vowed that despite her elevated status that we would convince her to shower us with her delicious cooking in the near future.
I hope, hope you are reading this, oh Mrs Pea.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Naturally, the worse fear came true when the office moved into the area. In the mornings and afternoons, the place is packed with people with different motives.
At night and during the weekend? It looks like a dead cowboy town. Simply put, KL Sentral is your XXL ordinary office block where people work and then head back home.
That sheer fact has deterred many decent f&b eateries from opening in this area, obviously leading to the detriment of my sanity.
Living on either fast food in the day and when late nights command, ordering more fast food, has either got people packing up lunch or running crazy around the office lobby screaming for food.
That was when these people decide to build Sooka Sentral (a stone throw away from KL Sentral and Plaza Sentral), a food heaven for the office people and roped in the Bangsar Seafood people who came up with the concept of Oriental Spoon.
I can safely say Oriental Spoon have saved our day with its corny but true tag line "Wholesomely oriental" .
Having tried the place several times during lunch, i received the al-mighty empress's baker invitation to take a look there during Dinner. I mean why not? I had not experience a decent nourishing dinner in this area before. I mean was it even open for dinner?
Apparently not a soul in sight when i arrived at 7pm, do people in Sentral have no need for dinner? After a brief introduction, the Boss of Oriental Spoon asked the same question too!
As a last resort, attempting to be like a fairy tale movie, one can take your date out here for dining by calling before 7pm to make a booking (so they wont close by 8pm) and have a 50-60% chance to have the whole restaurant by yourselves! Now isn't that sweet?
Now two things wondered up my little accessible head, was the empty crowd caused by crap food or bad access?
Familiar to their dim sum, we were laid out "freshly made dim sum made at a ungodly hour between 5pm - 7pm". I guess the saying "fresh dim sum is only available in the mornings" is nothing but a myth.
The prawn cheong fun was swiftly demolished in a matter of minutes after i savoured my first or was it second bite? As opposed to the quantity vs quality theory, thin cheong fun is what you want instead of chomping through clumps of flour and that was what i got.
What can i say about yam dumplings except that the Guangzhou chef was on a roll tonight and dished out near-perfect dim sum all the way. Not feeling overly oily when you bite through and once the bite is through, the fragant filling welcomes you like a warm kiss.
The carrot cakes greeted us with a whiff of something dreadfully familiar but one could not pinpoint till it reaches the mouth. With the addition of bonito flakes, this suddenly turned into a staple chinese dim sum dish to a fusion i-dunno-what-i-am dish in a good way. The bonito flakes gave it the dish a new dimension indeed.
The Lotus Root Puff. Raved around the crowd, the rich buttery pastry felt a bit on the "jelak" and "oily" side for me. Shaped like a lotus root, with pieces of lotus root and chicken meat inside, i am almost certain that my life would be endangered for calling this too "rich".
If the Dim Sum si fu felt that he didnt do his best, he had to step a gear up and show off his culinary skills to make these.
We ended the dim sum session with some custard buns and glutinous rice balls which were again very delicious.
After a satisfactory round 1, came round 2.
Oriental Spoon has been toying with the idea of fine dining Chinese cuisine where it is no longer the traditional big plate in the middle of the table, but serving individual portions like a western meal. The trio of meat and the duo of prawns were served to showcase the modern techniques in plating and flavours.
Their take on the Combination Platter that one would get in a set dinner: The Venison basket, the Sotong Ball and the Bamboo fungus roll. This tasted as good as it looked although the Sotong seemed abit out of place with its forgettable texture.
Their duo of Prawns started off with the Lychee Prawn was sweet and sour, crunchy and full of bite.
Ending with a salad prawn, de-shelled in the middle, with a salad of fruits. Ohh, if there was one thing i would complain is the FIXED AMOUNT that one can have. Well, i take it as a good way to control my food intake.
By now, we were stuffed and puffed and because some of our dear guests unexpectedly falling sick and dropping like bowling pins, we continue to savour some more culinary delights.
The scary Deep Fried Garoupa with flavoured meat sauce. Fried till the bones turned crunchy with no evidence of dripping oil, the sauce turned the dish suddenly got me craving for white rice. Very appetising indeed despite the button on the pants waiting to pop any second.
Just when the blood pressure was rocketing sky high and on the journey to a popped artery, this dish showed up. At Rm55/kg, this salted egg yolk Crab was as sinful as meeting the Devil, himself. After rounds of estimations, we thought this dish would easily take at least a dozen of salted egg yolks to churn out this result. Rich and evenly coated all around, the meat was firm and pity i had to stop at one claw.
When we finally saw greens, we all smiled in glee, something to balance the qi. The crunchy lotus roots, black fungus and sweet peas were great to enjoy eventhough by now i could barely stand up without toppling over.
By now, issue 1 was definitely out of the question. The food was definitely above average and something that you really cant get in the area except if you are willing to pay an arm and a leg in Hilton.
Issue 2, bad access? There is plentiful of parking within the complex at RM4 an entry, cheaper then the hotels.
So what is the underlying problem causing empty crowds every day after the sun is down?
Well after consuming alll that amount of food, i am clueless as ever, but if you are keen to find out, why dont you give them a call and drop by there for dinner one night and let me know why? You can also call me too, for i am only a 3 minute walk away.
Prices for dim sum range from RM 5- 12 and people working around Sentral gets free delivery with orders above RM 20. Ala carte dishes ranges from RM10- RM48 and they are currently doing set meals from 2 pax right up to 10 pax.
Address and contact details:
1st floor, Sooka Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, 50470, KL
Opening hours: (Mon – Sunday) 11.30 am – 8.00 pm
(Dim sum is served until 5 pm)
Tel: 03-2261 3222
Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. If theres one idea that has popped up, it is dinner here on a Friday night to escape the horrific traffic jam in the area or dim sum during the weekends when the lunch crowd is small. The food is generally above average and the ambience is spot on for corporate lunch and dinners
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Apparently when the person dwelled on the topic abit further, i realise saying sugar was a bit of an understatement, for i was told that the sugar had to be molded with a whole load of ingredients, baked, chilled and a whole load more. Apparently not everyone does it properly so i suppose it isnt just sugar we are dealing with anymore?
To get back to topic, i always had a sweet tooth, i mean well where else can you blame the extra inches and kilos you carry? So constantly putting anything sweet in my mouth, although nowadays i rely on sugar free mints with the ocassional fling with real sugar, out pops something new (well to me at least)
Uh uh..(i am not chuckling, mind you)
Uh uh cheesecake? Sounding abit familiar? Like the answer hitting you seconds before you are suppose to put your pen downs after the 3 hour and 15 minute mark, i walked past The Loaf and remembering cheese cake, the size of cups. The mere fact that my brain was still processing what was going on whereas my feet was heading back, just shows how tempting it was.
Simon and Cheeserland
Well, if i am not mistaken, it averages out be around RM5 per cup cheese cake or a cheese cup cake? Buying by the bulk will get you that awfully girly pink box and a discount to entice you to eat more, (RM25 for 6, i believe was what i was suckered to pay)
The 6 flavours in all their naked glory, the moist inside and the pretty outside. Flavourful with each cake showcasing their flavours very well. From the strong aromatic green tea, to lychee and nestum, followed by mango and almonds to another odd one out, The Family was pleased to indulge in such a sweet supper/dessert while watching some TV.
I think there are calling out to me, again, where are you? I miss you..
Harloo, pick us up you doink!
Err, the only reply i got up my sleeve is "i aint got too many calories to spare, and so darling, this look likes it has got to wait."
Go find someone else, maybe the readers i got with some room to spare?
Available at The Loaf, Pavilion with a solid rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Well, one of the rare moments when i am not bombarded with questions like "So, what to eat? Where to eat ar? Eh, you are the expert, tell us where to go larr" So why not, go with the flow and enjoy.
After twisting and turning around Cheras, surprised and shocked that in the middle of nowhere; a row of shop lots, we stumbled upon Kam's Kitchen.
Immediately i pictured Kam Poh Poh ushering us with "Kam in, Kam in" (*Shaking off that image of her advertising her tetek to all the single and available men on stage*)
So where was i? Yes, Kam's Kitchen comes with air-con or without. With the weather that can turn fat into streaky bacon, it is no surprise that we ran into the air-conditioned half before we melt in the sun.
As opposed to the last outing where i demanded what people had got to offer, following the article like the textbook, we quickly rehearsed what we memorised, probably in order, the recommended dishes for the night.
Salted Egg Tau Foo. In no attempt were we contemplating on skimping on a cholestrol laden dish and we werent exactly being health conscious for the dish to be cooked with tau foo, for the salted egg pieces were shining like gems in the sky. Although cooked with slightly more gravy then i would have liked, meaning drier please, although wet at times is more ohh so delicious to spoon over your rice. Was this RM10 or RM12 again?
In Chinese this was "Lai Sha Fei Zhou Yu" translated to a grand Tilapia in a bed of butter sand. Looking at the blocks of yellow sand, which represented Port Dickson sand rather then smooth and silky Gold Coast sand, The Mom with a sense of Eureka confirmed it was Egg Yolk. Well so much for shoving it all into the pit of Forever Doom aka Stomach. I dont think the fish exceeded RM20.
The Sweet Potato Leaves cooked in Belacan was a delight to eat. Easy to chew and definitely not "old" and "tough", this was a joy to enjoy, and i mean its rare to enjoy something that is healthy, no? Definitely again in the range of RM10-12.
The Nai Yau Pai Kuat seemed somewhat disappointing for a different reason. It appeared it was doused with coconut milk which made it hard to stomach more then a few more pieces. *Looks like the pit is getting full, Bandar Raya, where are you?*
Address and contact details:
Restoran Kam's Kitchen
No 6 Jalan 18, Kampung Cheras Baru,
off Jalan Kuari
Tel: 012 290 5623, 017 677 3997
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. What a convenience to find a new place to eat that is barely a 5 minute drive and a place that cooks up a meal of 5 dishes for 4 people for RM70. Where else can you get such a bargain for delicious home cooked dishes except for the coconut doused spare ribs?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Fong Lye is definitely not new to me. Their first outlet in Imbi back in the days when i was holidaying back in Malaysia from the atrocious huge servings of Roast Meat on Sundays and Pasta Night on Thursdays of Australia was a great experience. Serving standard albeit tiny servings of ala carte Taiwanese dish to go along with sweet potato porridge, we somehow never got back to visiting the place. Not even when they branched out to Hartamas; a place that i am notoriously guarding zealously from True Fitness or Coffee Bean, Mont Kiara.
So it was not too big of a surprise when we stepped into Gardens, wondering what to eat, when a voice in the crowd say lets try Fong Lye after all these years, well for old time sake. I guess we do alot of things for old time sake, whether regretting or not but this is probably not of one of those "i dont believe what i have done" moments.
The Menu revealed many differences from the menu in my mind from the yester-years. Featuring sets that comes with rice and soup ala a Taiwanese bento box or noodles with a few appetizers to boot.
The place here acts like a high class fast food restaurants. Crazily long queues like the ones at J&Co donuts are evident at peak hours of lunch and dinner, so everyone is pumped up to order, serve and EAT.
Something special from other places but very common in Taiwan is the use of minced meat in their rice. Very very appetising, as i could see people happily digging into your rice while leaving the mains untouched.
If it wasnt distracting enough from the mains, a soup is given as well. Today's soup was bitter gourd soup, although not bitter, it was surprisingly very refreshing and some say de-toxicating.
Just when i want to talk about the mains, a nice bowl of orange balls is placed infront of us. Yes, we ordered sweet potato balls. All i got to say is nice to look, nice to smell but eat? Well if you are all too familiar with this street snack in Malaysia, the ones when it is filled to the brim with sweet potato, you will be terribly disappointed. You are virtually biting into air, but reminiscence of sweet potato is evident as you chew into the skin, i suppose.
Located on the 3rd floor of The Gardens, Mid Valley
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. If there was one genuine complaint, it is the height of the sofa chairs, which are made too low for tall people like me. Unable to have a decent meal without straining the back, i rather pay more money for a decent seat before we talk about food. Choose the square tables with the "normal" chairs if you can. Then again, the long crowd, fragant food will probably warrant taking any seat that is granted to you.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Though, i am constantly confused whether i am ready for the paper or just over-confident that passing this paper would be rather achievable. Record is not on my side because i tend to be that kind of person, cocky and confident, but also the first one to step on that piece of shit on the road.
Looks like i better study hard instead of day dreaming over the materials day after day.
It looks like i really can give up on this new phone of mine. 3.2mp camera? I think not, the quality that comes up makes me puke. So lets hope this would be the last review using a phone that should be used for calling and smsing, nothing more and nothing less.
Silk Road is another one of the long list of restaurants that feature on the exclusive 6th floor of the Pavilion Shopping Center. Having experienced nothing but good so far, it was a new venture to step in, despite having only one other seated table, with people that is.
Now to judge first impression in a restaurant, the captain or the waiter that recommends plays the biggest role for me. I had plenty of good food in some restaurants but because of the captain, the whole eating experience was ruined simply because they kept asking me WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO EAT? To me, if it is your restaurant, you tell me what is good to eat and what i should eat, isnt?
Well, Silk Road did not disappoint because the witty and chatty Captain came in and took charge of my orders. No time wasted in thinking of what to eat, all i had to do was ask what there was to eat. Now isnt that what a captain should do?
Well with the first part of the test, passed with flying colours, we look on to substance. Well? The food didnt disappoint.
Looking for proper smoked duck? Well look no further. Smoked to a pinkish centre, the meat was tender and perfectly cooked. No trouble of tearing tough pieces of meat off the bone, it was definitely done, medium.
Situated at 6th floor, Pavilion.
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Close to the 4 star mark if i did not choose the xiu long bao. Definitely more things on the menu that i wouldnt mind trying, the list of noodles and the other ala carte dishes. The tea specialist is joy to watch as he pour tea on your cup with a kettle spout that is 3-4 feet long, not spilling a drop of water.
Prices for noodles range in the 10s and if not mistaken Ala carte dishes starts from the mid 10s to 40s (for the fish). The tea is rm5 per pax.
Non halal yeah.
Ok, back to study. Few days more, Tuesday dooms day.