Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waldorf Salad Recipe Anyone?

Thamby and I were inspired this morning, by Ciki's fabulous limerick on Sek Yuen, and that got us
dreaming of the days gone by,
when hope was high, and fun was blogging,
we dreamed of oily food that's fried,
we thought our waists would be forgiving....

But we were young and unafraid,
And creams were whipped,
and never wasted,
No free reviews, and bills were paid,
No food untouched, no wine untasted,

Argh, I am getting carried away. So anyway, inspired by the limericking, Thamby and I decided to race to see who could post a 5 verse limerick first. Harumph. She's a natural that one, how will I ever compete.

Anyway, a few weeks back, I had a small luncheon order, to cater for a group of people, and one of the items on the menu was a Waldorf Salad. I used to make this a lot, but then mayo went out of fashion, much like shoulder pads of the 80s....and people just had those new fandangled dressing that was pretty much anorexic, like olive oils and balsamic vinegars....

So here's the recipe for a good old Waldorf Salad.


For Thamby and Tim, who like their salad
I give this recipe, though its no ballad
It has lots of nuts
Which helps you to fart
And fibre for good flow for innards

First you chop up some celery
Do a bollywood dance around a tree
Half some plump grapes
Then draw the drapes
And make love like teenagers in Glee.

The apples you must cut and then cube
Meanwhile, don't forget the lube
Some walnuts you'd toast
And Tim's nuts you'd roast
Standby the mayo, jar or tube

Now if you're done with the chopping
You can now proceed with the tossing
Add to the aforementioned mayo
Some yoghurt and also some alio
Undraw the drapes, and put on the dressing

You can line the bowl with some foliage
The way the bra cups your cleavage
When tossing the stuff
Dont be so rough
Ta Dah, A Salad Hard to Upstage


For those who don't read poetry, ahem,


2 celery stalks
10 seedless grapes
2 red apples
Cup Walnut Toasted
Half Cup Almond Slivers Toasted
1 head Romaine Lettuce
3/4 cup mayo + 1/2 cup yoghurt, dash of lemon juice and tablespoon sugar

Slice the celery, dice the apple and grapes, toss together nuts and dressing
Line a bowl with lettuce leaves, and pour in rest of salad.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ultimo Fine Dining, Solaris Mont Kiara

Actually, logically, I thought Ultimo meant in, oh yeah oh yeah, this is the ULTIMATE dining pleasure, climactic and all...but of course, being the perfectionist that I am, am loathe to put up wrong information, so I googled it, (although it's Earth Day, and the google logo looks funny, like a jungle....oh, Happy Earth day to you x 2, Happy Earthhh day to Mother (Mother who? Mother Earth la), HAPPPEEEEE EARTH DAY TOOO YOU)....
ooops, I digress big time. Where was I?

Main Entry: ul·ti·mo
Pronunciation: \ˈəl-tə-ˌmō\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin ultimo mense in the last month
Date: 1616

: of or occurring in the month preceding the present

Now isnt that fascinating!! I should've waited till next month to post, so I can use it in a sentence. I went to Ultimo Ultimo.

Anyway, the invitation was courtesy of theQguides, who in turn, met the owner, Chef CQ Loh, (who hailed from Senses, KL Hilton, amongst other places), through Toycouple.

Gracing the fine dining dinner table were BauBauSerai (A Whiff of Lemongrass), Toycouple, Eiling, (pronounced Eeeeee Leng, and self proclaimed Wine and Chocolate Snob), the inimitable Alison Victor of Red FM, Chef Justin, friend of the owner, Fratmustard and Lisa of Qguides. How could we go wrong. Fine food, and a "wine snob" in our midst to tell us if the wines were bad. Oh my lucky day indeed.


The Menu looked incredibly amazing, and amazingly long.... I was mentally calculating the payback in terms of gym time, but decided my mental math was deficient, since I didn't go to Chinese schools.

Can't whine about the wine.

Toygirl with her classic expressions!

Incidentally, they make their own bread! The whole process sounded too complicated, but the starter dough is made a good two weeks before it ends up on the table. That is a long journey by any standard!!! Even those stranded cos of the Icelandic Volcanic Ash didnt take that long to reach their destination. But it paid off. The buns were glorious, and oh, you had a choice of butter or the balsamic olive oil combo. Aly took the latter, while I took the former. We all afterall have to maintain our respective figures.

Torterllini in Earl Grey Broth to start off. Pleasing, and the broth wholesome, though I cant say I could taste any earl grey.

The very able Shawn, floor manager cum sommelier, breaking the sad news to us that the Verdi only contained 5% alcohol, followed by mutterings and curses from us, "aiya, that's less than beer", etc etc. That' what you get when Hoi Polloi go fine dining. Chis!

Shawn showed an impressive knowledge of the wines, and would use phrases like, the low alcohol content cuts the fattiness of the salmon and reflects the playfulness of the dish (since the salmon were having a menage a trois).. his animated descriptions of the wine shall we say, brought out the playfulness of the guest. Since it helps cut away fattiness from the salmon, hopefully it would cut off the fattiness from the guests eating it. [measures waist....nah, it didnt work]

Salmon Tataki Confit and Roast... a glorious assembly of salmon done in various ways. The Roast one boasted a crispy skin with cayenne and pepper, which was my favourite. The Tataki was delightfully fresh, and the confit moist and not overcooked, as salmon tends to be at most plebian places. This is afterall a fine dining place.

Scallop and Prawn Raviolo bisque. I guess a Raviolo must mean ravioli on steroids. That was one huge dumpling. Lovely seafood stuffed within, like a christmas stocking waiting to be opened. The raviolo skin was just the right thickness and texture as well, and didnt taste like a wantan with thick skin. Those two clams are actually kepah (Grandmother of Lalas), pickled in an orange and lemon zest vinaigrette.


Steamed Eastern Star Coral Trout. That sauce that you see on the plate, ABSOLUTELY fantastic. I licked up every last bit, with the dignity of a alley cat on heat.

It was around this time that Eiling declared she was a wine snob. All hail the wine snob. Bow bow bow, we are not worthy. Fortunately for Chef CQ, all the wines he served were approved by Wine Snob.

I have decided I really need to take course on food photography, in particular, meat. All my meat pictures look fowl. For example, this quail.... does not do the dish justice. I loved the quail. The crispy skin on one side of the crusted breast and the moist tender meat of the little bird. [making mental note to check out what a live quail looks like when we go to the KL Bird Park next]. Ah, crusted breast on a petite chick. Does life get any better?

It does if you're Frat who gets to be ON the hot chick's you know where. Chest. Its like Star Trek...To boldly go where no man has ever gone before.... or in this case, where no mannequin has ever gone before...

Saddle of lamb, fondant potatoes, garlic puree, mint jelly and pepper coulis. The mint jelly, very unique, was literally jelly, served in little cubes. I personally am not really into lamb, having once dated a girl called Mary....

There's something about a flaming pan, that draws food bloggers to it like a moth to a flame. It's like catching footage of an erupting volcano for national geographic. The poor chef had to do several takes, before all of us got our flaming shots.


Phwahhh, did I actually inadvertently catch a pic of a flame in mid air? Oooh, how pentecostal!!

That dish of flamed chargrilled colorful vegetables is plopped onto a plate to be replated onto individual plates. Ah, so that's how they do it!!!!

Now, for the finale (as far as mains went), there was Wagyu, (rump), with galette potato, mushrooms,, and sauteed vegetables (oh, that's what those flaming veggies are called), and red wine jus. The word wagyu makes my dull eyes light up the way a bimbo's eyes do when you shine a torch in her ear!

And I have been quoted as saying that I will force down the wagyu even if I have to throw up first. We were REALLY full by this time. Its the biggest portions of degustation I have ever seen. Usually, the tongue doesn't even realise what happened with the atomic portions in other degustations as I am prone to gobbling down my food.

Everyone loves Fratmustard. Our fantastic host and chef, CQ, is not even 30 yet, and already so enterprising, owning a fine dining restaurant and all. Sometimes, juxtaposed against such people, one feels like an abject failure in life....but oh well.... we continue eating.

Melon sorbet to wash your palate, though honestly, if this were dessert, we'd all have just gone to bed happy.

Another threesome here. Strawberry White Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Bavaian, Classic Creme Brulee. And earl grey ice cream. What can I say? Despite being one step away from needing a stomach pump, I merrily tucked into the desserts. That Aly woman, whom I was supposed to share with, didn't help by having only minisssscule portions.... like half a teaspoon of each, just for taste. Chis!!! All were great, but my favourite was the earl grey ice cream, which wasn't sweet.

OOOH, at this juncture, we also found out our esteemed Wine Snob is also a CHOCOLATE Snob. I can only fall on my knees and thank the Lord that He sent us such quality control for dinner.

Now, apparently a degustation menu like this will cost slightly over RM200. Darn good value for money if you ask me. To be honest, I think it could even feed two....!

So head over to Ultimo for a fantastic dining experience. Its at 13, Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont Kiara.

Again, thanks to CQ for being a fantastic host, and for the wonddderful spread, and to theQguides for putting this together.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Prime At Le Meridien

You know its going to be a great week, when your schedule is lined up with events with all your favourite people. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped Cheryl Lum, Paprika's cousin, an sms enquiring how she was, and long time no see, and just to let her know she was in my thoughts. (without sounding perverse, I hope). Honestly, it was not to solicit, but lo and behold, the dear lass suggested meeting up at Prime for lunch, with Fratmustard's alter ego, Jek.

I love lunchtime conversations between friends. As Cheryl orders the food, she says, "Shall we have a bottle too?" Jek echoes, "Did I hear a bottle or two?", and we guffaw, like two drunken sailors at port, drunk before we even begun.

Prime has a very attractive set lunch, priced at RM70 ++, or an express set lunch at RM60++. The bummer is, however, even for Starwood card members, there is no discount on the set lunch.

Cheryl's main aim was to let us try the Wagyu Skirt Steak. No, it is not cut from the tutu of an aspiring ballerina cow.

Lovely breads, with a trio of delicious butters. Rocket butter, fruit butter and other type of butter.

The pan seared maguro on a bed of buckwheat noodles, with an accompanying soft shell crab.


For starters, we also had these delightful crab cakes. As Cheryl pointed out, not many places serve crabcakes. Peeling crabs for their flesh must be one of the most painstaking culinary jobs on earth. No greater love has a person than one who peels crab for their loved ones to eat.



Their signature wagyu rendang. Interesting concoction of flavours, but the sauces overpower the meat, and I personally prefer my beef, especially if its good quality, like wagyu, to be minimally drowned in sauce.

Drinking mineral water such as this is a rare luxury.


Cosy Corners in Prime, for the all important business lunch.

Contemplating when to go off for their next puff.

Our hostess and the dashing Chef Justin, who Cheryl says works out in the gym daily.

The sound of wine trickling into the glass is as inviting as the sound of rain pattering on the window after a dizzyingly hot spell.

It seems to be monumentally difficult for me to take a decent picture of steaks and meat, and more often than not, the picture does not do the meat justice. I guess that rules out a career in meat photography for me. However, crappy turdish looking pic aside, the wagyu skirt is delightfully tender. Devoid of excessive fat, as the other premier wagyu cuts are famous for, the skirt is pure beef, but succulent, tender and juicy.


The meats are accompanied with a portion of rocket salad.

Check out the perfect doneness of the meat. I know it looks a bit messy and all, but seriously, wagyu skirt steak, costing a fraction of the usual wagyu cuts, seems to be a darn good alternative.

Crepe Suzettes for Jek. I am not a crepe fan, and sometimes I find the orange sauce tastes like cough syrup. However this sauce didn't, but it also didnt have any grand marnier that usually gives the sauce an extra kick.

My wild berry sorbet was superb and refreshing.

Freshly brewed long black with lovely homemade cookies to accompany.

The highlight of the meal was definitely the Wagyu Skirt Steak. However, if you intend to go there for this dish, you better call in advance, coz apparently the last shipment of 20kg sold like hot cows and they are awaiting delivery of the next shipment.

What can I say? Thanks Cheryl for a LOVELY meal, as always.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Nutriplus Demo at Jusco, Midvalley

You may or may not know that little fat old me was 1 of 10 contributors in a recent cookbook launched by Nutriplus. The rest of the 9 are REAL chefs though. It's like being a croaky karaoke singer singing in the chorus line of Les Miserables in London's West End.

One of our obligations to Nutriplus was to demonstrate 2 of our recipes featured in the book, in front of a live audience. Now, it's quite different "performing" in front of a crowd, say, a class, where people actually have paid to attend, and performing in front of a public crowd, and passers by. The thought can be daunting.

So, I have decided to do a syiok sendiri interview, (let's call it a Masterview; which is a composite of two words) to explain to all and sundry the traumas of a live public demo:

Me: Tell me, Mr FBB, how does it feel to be misrepresented?
FBB: Ha? What you mean misrepresented.

Me: [opens book, to profile page]. Here la. Your pic here hor, look thinner than you do in real life. Even your double chin seems reduced to 1½ only.
FBB: Oh, you donno ah? I had to wear a corset la. And the photographer, Bonnie Yap, very tall one. She take picture from high high, so cannot see chin.

Me: Ah, okay, so, what is your greatest concern about doing this demo?
FBB: Oh, that my friends come.
Me: Pardon? Why?
FBB: Oh, because at the last public demo, at FHM, they heckled me to death, when I was doing a magimix demo.
Me: Like that hor. Okay, next question, do you sweat ah?
FBB: Like a hippo on heat man.
Me: No no, I mean, you nervous or not?
FBB: No la, not really. I just hope got fan. I dread getting sweaty armpits.

Me: What are your concerns?
FBB: Don't give up your day job to become a TV Host ya, your questions suck. Concerns about what?
Me: About the demo la, then, if not, what? World Peace?
FBB: Oh, demo, yeah, I just hope that no black out, and hopefully, got SOME people watching. Will be awkward to demonstrate to empty chairs and empty tables.
Me: Any other last words?
FBB: Yala, parking damn expensive on weekends in mid valley.

It's hard work doing a demo; when you're not rich and famous. You have to park, lug all the stuff from the carpark to the demo place, set up everything yourself, etc. Shucks, I am sure Nigella doesn't have to do that. Even though she appears to take the bus in some of her shows. Bus, not bust.

Well, there isn't much to tell. Despite initially dreading the thought of having friends show up, it did get a bit lonely, without any familiar faces. Sigh. I reckon the demos went okay, no real hitches. One day two, I dragged the family along after Easter service, so the blurry photos were taken by daughter, who thought she wasn't allowed to use the flash.

The demos were a Chocolate Mud Cake with Fudge Frosting, and Tim's Nuts, aka Peanut Butter Banana Cake. Its hilarious, and a bit disconcerting to see Malaysians swoop down like locusts whenever there is free food.



That there is Mei Kei, of the Cooking House, in her slot after me, demonstrating her lemon tart.

Anyway, the cookbook is available in bookstores, at RM70, I believe. Drop me a line if you wish to get it, at a better price. (Sssssh).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Incredible Ishin....Old Klang Road

Delectable Su is such a sweetie.

She took such great pains in organising her inaugural food review session, and went out of her way to accommodate everyone, changing the date more frequently than some people change girlfriends.... I shall not mention who, but yeah, Su is such a sweetie.

Ishin is located on Old Klang Road, before the Taman Desa Junction, right after the funny blue building that is an Indian International School, and opposite the Honda showroom. Jek, the alter ego of Fratmustard, gave me a ride. I knew it was going to be a good night. We also had a Phase II in the pipeline, with the opening of MILK, a new club next to MIST. But we shall Milk that story another time.

Seriously, no disrespect meant to anyone, but I honestly did not know what to expect, and what we got was beyond our wildest expectations. I have to say this ranks as one of my best Japanese meals I've had this year, if not the best.

Steamed Sea Snail, Amera Fruit Tomato with Wasabi Dressing, Grilled Fava Bean, Kodai Sasazuke Sushi Garnished with REAL Sakura flower. Such a variety of flavours. The tomatoes were exceptionally good. The fava was like EDAMAME on steroids. Huge beans. Wonder if they cause wind. That sea snail.... it was amazing how much snail can be hidden in that tiny shell.

Double Boiled Tuna Belly (Toro) Soup. A fantastically rich clear broth. Who says you need cream to be rich. The small slice of tuna belly looked like beef, and tasted delightful.

Just when we were oohing and ahhing the soup, the next jaw dropping dish sailed in. A mini junk filled with all sorts of sashimi, fit for an emperor. Hamachi, salmon, flying fish, prawns, butterfish, scallops. I think I must have done something good earlier in my life (I cannot say past life since I am not a believer in reincarnation) to have deserved such an unsolicited feast. Not to mention, the wonderful company of Su, Jek, Monkey, Unkaleong, Nipple Joe, and Mrs Nipple Joe, whom we havent seen in YONKS. If you're reading this, Mrs Nipple, CONGRATULATIONS on your new marital status.

Nothing is wasted. The bones from the sashimi platter and the prawn head are deep fried into this lovely snack.

This has to be the most surprising dish of the night. Nipples had a competition on his blog to see who can identify this dish. Seriously, it looks like a piece of beef, but I would NEVER have guessed that it is TUNA JAW. Jaw dropping indeed. But better still, was the lush, moist flesh within the jaw.

The new Steven Spielberg horror movie.... JAW.

Hokkaido Scallop Tempura With Japanese Sweet Potato. Someone, I can't remember who, was eyeing the scallop shell as a soap dish. Question: Do restaurants actually recycle these shells? Can anyone confirm?
The scallop was delicious and plump, and that deep fried noodle coated with egg roe, as a fan decoration, (I presume its meant to represent a marine landscape), was also yummy despite being decorative.

Aren't these the cutest little chawan mushies that you've ever seen? Egg in their natural habitat. Anyway, the trio of of Chawan mushi is an additional to the kaiseki, and costs RM12 for the 3.


Eggshilarating chawan mushi.


How will we ever eat normal beef again? After already having been spoilt by Chef Michael Elfwing in Senses, and now, this Stone Grilled A5 Wagyu Beef. What can I say? Just looking at the colors, you can imagine the amount of marbling on those slices of beef. Succulent, tender, melt in the mouth. My dear cow, your death has not been in vain.

Chilled Sakura Soba Noodle. Talk about versatile. Sakura! A distinct fragrance about it. Reminds of the song, Chotto Matte Kudasai...

And this AMAZING sushi platter. (Additional to the kaiseki). Hawaiian Roll (Prawn & Mango), Spider Roll (soft shell crab), Phoenix Roll, (Prawn & Avocado), Sushi Pizza (Smoked salmon and baked cheese). Each roll costs about RM25-RM28.

Chef Q, a very affable and modest, soft spoken fellow. Of course, Jek's ears perked up at the mention of Chef Q, which by extension, has to be part of the Qguides.

Absolutely gorgeous selection of Japanese ice creams, Lavender, Wasabi, Melon, Peach, Sakura, Black Sesame.


Now, the price for this entire feast ...drum roll, RM150++ per head. Excluding the chawan mushi and sushi. I personally thought it was darn good value for money. I cant wait to try again.

Seriously, what better combination, great food, great friends... ah, I must remember to bring some sake the next time. Wonder what's their corkage.

Thanks a heap, Su for organising such a Delectable outing, and thanks Chef Q for such a fabulous meal.