Friday, May 27, 2016

Knorr - Now I K-Now How's It's Pronounced

Who would have thought the humble chicken stock cube that I grew up with has actually such a pedigree history behind it? And who would have imagined so many Chefs, from all genres, use it as well.  And who would have thought that it is such a versatile item, so much more than just "chicken stock".  AND I honestly never knew that the K in Knorr is NOT silent, unlike knock or know or knickers.

The media launch for the Knorrs event was a lavish affair, held at the Ritz Carlton, complete with three Chinese Celebrity Chefs in tow.  The event catered mainly for the chinese media, as most of the press conference was in smatterings of Mandarin and Cantonese, and translated only to the MD of Unilever Food Solutions, Mdm Nusrat Perveen.




With the theme 40 Years of Golden Choice, Knorr Chicken Stock ambassador Master Chefs Sun (陈志新师傅) and Wong Wing Chee (黄永帜师傅) led the way with an insightful chefs’ forum and conducted cooking demonstrations to the delight of the other participating chefs, topped with sampling of selected dishes.

According to Hong Kong Chef Wong says whilst the Chinese cuisine internationally is very wide and draws influences from even the middle eastern cuisine, the Malaysian Chinese cuisine is largely skewed to Cantonese cooking.  But it is an evolving cuisine, which Malaysian Chef Sun agrees

“With more than 5,000 years of Chinese food culture, it is no wonder that the true essence of this Oriental cuisine has evolved so well through history", says Sun.

It is in this context that both chefs say Knorr Chicken Stock brings out the best flavours of natural ingredients because of its natural chicken umami. It is made from real chicken with a perfect blend of quality spices which are slow cooked with high-tech drying process that fully retains the flavours and aroma.

Chef Wong says: “For budding chefs, think out of the box as you continuously innovate dishes and constantly benchmark yourselves with international cuisine for greater development.”

Chef Sun’s specialities include creating new fusion Chinese dishes through bold innovation and to break away from tradition, combining Chinese style food materials with Western-style decoration,

His credo for up and coming chefs - don't be afraid to ask more, never forego learning and work hard! Anyone who wants to be a successful chef and boss should have plenty of enthusiasm, great curiosity and thirst for knowledge!

And by the looks of it, both their credo seems to be, "do not hesitate to use Knorr's chicken stock", certainly dispelling any preconceived myths that top Chefs do not resort to these kind of everyday shortcuts that us mere mortals take.






Unilever Food Solutions (UFS)  is the food service division of Unilever.

Their ingredients are some of the staples of professional kitchens in 74 countries.  As one of the world’s top foodservice companies, UFS provides professional ingredients and services to meet the many different needs of their customers — from hawker centres to 5-star hotels; and from school canteens to large food chains. They help chefs all over the world serve tasty, wholesome meals,

One particular product on display that caught my eye, and according to food guru, Alice Yong of Jom Makan, is a great product, is the powdered salted egg yolk.  With salted egg being quite the flavour enhancer is so many dishes, this product certainly would be a boon to those hesitant to use copious amounts of salted eggs from scratch.


Q&A session with the panel of Chefs, before they proceeded with the cooking demonstrations...


And for the cooking demos, the following dishes were displayed.

DISHES FEATURED:

1) 孜然盐煎海鲜盘 (Seafood Platter) by Chef Sun

2) 金汤胜瓜虾球 (Sauteed Chinese Okra with Prawns) by Chef Sun

3) 青葱翠绿拼鸡卷 (Asian Vinaigrette Chicken Roll) by Chef Alan

4) 红鲷鱼泡飯 (Red Snapper with Rice in Soup) by Chef Wong

5) 糯米蟹 (Crab Glutinous Rice) by Chef Wong








Seafood platter by Chef Sun.





Asian Vinaigrette Chicken Roll by Chef Alan.  This was actually my personal favourite, the vinaigrette had a nice balance of tang and other flavours, whilst the chicken was reminiscent of that gelatined chicken roll which you hardly see these days.



Petola With Prawn.  The broth surrounding the dish, presumably made from the chicken stock, was actually very nice.


Red Snapper in Rice With Soup, which I thought was a bit strange to be serving at that hour in the day... (4pm).


And the final dish, prepared by the Hong Kong Celebrity Chef Wong, was delicious but far too filling, and a bit difficult to eat truth be told.  But nevertheless it served its purpose to highlight what great food enhancers Knorrs Chicken Stock can be.  The cooking looked effortless.



For further media information, please contact Angeline Mah or Thong Kok Wah of Integrated Public Relations (iPR) Tel 016 6239 180 / 012 388 6023 or email integratedpr@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cloudy Bay Sail Away Promotion

Always brightens the day to have one of these in my hands with much thanks to them kind folk at Moet Hennessy Diaego Malaysia.




For the months of May and June, buy a bottle from participating outlets, to be eligible for entry into the Sail Away promotion which features a total of twenty grand prizes, whereby each lucky winner will receive all four Cloudy Bay variants - Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Te Koko- in a Samsonite cabin bag.

Participating Outlets ARE:

Pigs & Wolf (Tropicana, Bangsar, Pavilion)
Caffeinees, E.G.G., Hotel Journal, Pietro, DoubleTree KL, Exquisite World, Marianis @ 7, Rewine, Eastern Wine, 9Wine, Vinum Cellar, Automall, Vantage Wine, Grandious LGK, Room 69, Cohiba, Brazzo, Signature, Enfin by James Won, Jake’s Steakhouse

For more information on Cloudy Bay please visit the following links
www.cloudybay.co.nz/
www.twitter.com/cloudybay
www.youtube.com/user/CloudyBay
www.instagram.com/cloudybay/

Friday, May 06, 2016

Huckleberry After Dark

Huckleberry, such an interesting word...It's actually a berry, lots of it in Montana, I've even had the jam before....So to some it's a berry... Then there's Moon River, my Huckleberry friend....unless he was implying his friend was a fruit,...but apparently it refers to someone who's been your longtime friend, also reminiscent of the carefree days... then there's Huckleberry Finn, that famous character spawned by Mark Twain.

Circa last year, at the corner shop in Plaza Damansara where the Moon don't shine no more, lies Huckleberry Food & Fare, which for the longest time, baffling me, closed its doors at 6pm sharp.  Such a travesty, I thought, to let such premises go to waste at night...

And next thing I know, lo and behold, I get an invitation to Huckleberry After Dark.... Kinda like Princess Fiona in Shrek, who at sunset morphs into something else.  

So, basically, the place is now open at night, with cocktails and burgers, and lots of pub like food, and .....COCKTAILS, my least favourite drink in the world.  But they do have other stiff drinks too, phew.  Okay I actually lie, I don't mind cocktails, but I generally find them a waste of calories since the sugar content is usually very high.

However, that did not stop me from having some fun at the various counters set up at Huckleberry After Dark (HAD from now on), and mixing my own cocktails, and dramatically cutting down the sugar.  The stations all had the ingredients ready on hand, with a bartender to assist and guide.  As it was predominantly a media event, the theme was "hands on, make it your own partay".


Some fancy smancy apparatus set up, I can only hazard a guess that this copper implement is used to make cappucino in the old days..... for rugby players.

One of the guest trying her hand at the Minion station, which had Captain Morgan rum as the main ingredient.

Whisky sour, more my thang, but there was a long queue for this, so I decided to try my hand at the Mint Julep



That's me..I used to be a fan of Maker's Mark Bourbon years ago, but in my old age, I find bourbon on it's own a bit too harsh for my flailing liver, so using it in the Mint Julep Cocktail was an ideal solution.

The Mixologist was on hand to guide me through every step of the way....


This being the first dish that was served, was a welcome respite from the constant flow of cocktails on an empty stomach.  Beef Tacos, which I thought were rather delicious.  Tender pieces of beef which was almost like pulled beef.


This handsome sized wiener slathered in macaroni and cheese.  The sausage was plump and juicy, though I personally don't care much for mac and cheese, but they also have the coney dawg option.

I loved the Guacamole, and I would be quite happy sitting at the bar chugging their Pitchers of a less sweet cocktail and munching on this.

This was a Korean styled fried chicken, but the kimchi sauce was just too overpowering.

I always prefer savoury waffles, so this is right up my alley, Fried Chicken With Waffles.  Great sharing platter over drinks.

Their signature chocolate fondant.  Fudgy chocolate cake with flowy molten chocolate ganache somewhere beneath....great if you're a chocolate lover.

According to Natasha, the Project Consultant

According to Natasha, the Project Consultant (Back row left), "we have worked hard in wanting to deliver this streetfood truck experience to you, alongside boozy goodness to bring you a well rounded, relaxing experience, where comfort satisfies your belly"


So if you're looking for a late night spot with lots of pub grub cum street food kinda thing, with spirit spiked milkshakes, check out Huckleberry After Dark

Address
2G&4G, Jalan Medan Setia 2
Plaza Damansara
Damansara Height
Tel: 03-20987983
Email: afterdark@huckleberry.my

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sri Karak, PJ Newtown, Pork Free Chinese Dining

I've always cracking my head for pork free places to go to whenever I have to dine with Muslim friends.  Whilst the "halal" vs "pork free" issue is an issue with the religious authorities, and I am in no position to comment, I do find that a lot of my Muslim friends are okay with Pork Free.  Afterall, most hotels and clubs are at best pork free, because apparently the slightest sign of alcohol will render the place not halal.

Recently, quite by chance, I stumbled across one such place, when we met up for dinner with a group of friends, who chose the venue for facility rather than cuisine, as none of the diners were Jewish or Muslim, or vegetarian or vegan.  Sri Karak, apparently originating from a restaurant of same name in Karak, (who would have thought), located opposite my favourite chinese medicine shop in the whole wide world, Tong Woh, in PJ Newtown.  I must have subconsciously seen the place as many times as I've been to Tong Woh, but somehow never registered.

The siong tong yuen choi, (Spinach in Superior soup) was as good as any other chinese restaurant.


Stir Fried French Beans, cooked just right, plain with garlic, just the way I like it.  Unpretentious and good.

The delicious sotong dish that cried out for rice and more rice. ...

Their signature tofu with soya sauce.  It's amazing how these simple dishes are so good, maybe because it's just so homey.

Their fish head curry is their claim to fame, and is very palatable, and is the perfect accompaniment for more rice.  It's different from the raved about fish head curries you find under the tree etc...but tastes are so subjective right, one need not use another as a benchmark if the taste is different but good.

The claypot chicken was a bit on the salty side, perhaps a bit heavy handed with the soy sauce...  but acceptable.

And finally, their signature Thai style fish, which is a cacophony of sweet, sour, salty flavours, not to mention the different textures, crispy skin, soft meat.  Nice.

The total bill came up to around RM400 for 10 people.

The place has no pretensions, and is a great place for pork free Chinese food.  Their sang har mee on the menu looks rather good too, which is what I intend to have when I next buy booze at Tong Woh.

Address: Jalan 52/8, Pj New Town, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone:+60 3-7958 3240

Monday, April 25, 2016

Just Heavenly Celebrates 15 Years of Serving Pleasure

I didn't really know what to expect when I "signed up" to attend the launch of Just Heavenly's new cafe menu, and certainly wasn't expecting a ladidah tea party, as the menu was launched in conjuction with JING Tea selection.  These every exclusive teas are not offered off the rack in retail shops, only in selected places, mainly Michelin starred Restaurants, 5 star hotels, and now, Just Heavenly.

The ebullient and ever gregarious Nigel Skelchy, who all but broke out into song with 16 part harmonies, while introducing the event, the menu, and Jing teas, regaled us with stories of the ideas behind the new menu, such as using curry leaves in the pies, called the Curryeggy (which the press release described as "the curry puff's grown up cousin" and coincidentally, one of my facebook friends described as a glamorous version of old Chang Kee currypuffs).

Tea

The lady from Jing Tea brought us through the different types of tea, explaining the difference in types is mainly from altitude, and not really the leaf itself.  We sampled the Jing English Breakfast, the Jing Organic Jade Sword and the Jing Blackcurrant and Hibiscus, which was like an intense Rosella drink.  Pairing with these fine teas were some of the items from the new menu such as

Veggie the Vegan Terrine...these are bite sized of course, and the real portion is reflected below.

It was a bit hard to extrapolate from the bite sized version the full extent of the myriad flavours that I presume are present in the actual sized dish.

I love their poster, food for saints and sinners, in line with their mantra of "we do not believe in guilty pleasures - you should never feel guilty for treating yourself".

Mini pies called the Beef Growl.  Of course juxtaposed against a VEGAN terrine, this was exceedingly tasty, with that satisfying taste of beef to soothe the non vegan palate.  One of the reasons I liked this miniscule portion was because it meant a higher pastry to meat ratio, and since I love pastry, it suited me fine.

The Growl magnified, with mashed potatoes, onion rings, mushy peas and beef....

The Catcher In the Pie, presumably a play of words from the book, A Catcher in the Rye... A Vegetarain quiche I believe.

The Curryeggy, which is the aforementioned Curry Puff on Steroids, has a lovely warm spicy chickpea chicken curry with the quintessential curry leaves.

To quote from the press release, "THE EXTENSIVE MENU JUST KEEPS ON GIVING, WITH SOMETHING FOR EVERY TASTE"


Popcorn Chicken....

Some of the new items that look interesting from the description are the Char Siew Chicken Salad, Tuna Schooner salad, and their homemade Greek Yoghurt.  Allan Yap, the other chappie behind Just Heavenly, explained to us how they like to homemake stuff, like Greek Yoghurt, and Nutella, which featured in one of their new desserts.  They also use interesting herbs and spices in some of their sweets, resulting in an interesting sweet salty combo that is somewhat an acquired taste.

"If you needed another reason to make Just Heavenly your next pit stop, they are giving away 
15% off vouchers to every diner from Thursdays to Sundays.  There has never been a better 
time to earn your angels’ wings!

Follow #justheavenly on social media pages and check out their Facebook 
@justheavenly.my, Instagram @_ justheavenly_ and Twitter @heavenlycake for new and 
exciting updates as they continue their pledge of Designing Dreams, Serving Pleasure."