Monday, October 29, 2007

Tell Me On A Sunday

Who can resist the plaintive cries of pre adolescent children, asking, "papa, can we have waffles for breakfast"....
Out goes the sleeping in on a Sunday morning. Oh well, there's always the sermon at church when one can catch up with sleep. I'm KIDDING, I'm KIDDING!!! [running away from the lightning bolt].

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I have tried numerous waffle recipes, but none have come close to that wonderful texture that A&W waffles have. Airy, crispy on the outside, moist and soft on the inside.... can anyone share the A&W recipe if they have it?

Anyway, for a lazy Sunday morning, just blitz all these into the food processor.

200gm flour
6 eggs (Yup, SIX).
Pinches of baking powder (depending on how fat your fingers are.... I reckon with mine, it works out to one tsp. (I actually heard Nigella pronouncing this as one tsp. tuhssppp))
Pinch of salt
140gm butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I reduced it to 3/4 cup)
200ml milk

Blitz all together. Let sit for about half an hour (this is when I went to do my three morning Ss).

Cook in waffle maker. For some reason, these seem to really kembang a lot.

I ate mine with some sauteed mushroom and a poached egg. Kids had their with honey and butter. (can't afford maple syrup).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy 9th Birthday, Darling Girl

Seemed like yesterday I was at the Labour Room, waiting for the transition to fatherhood. 9 years ago. How time has flown. Happy Birthday my darlingest daughter. Here's the cake you requested from papa, taken for posterity.

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Now, how many little girls can request their papas to make their birthday cake hor! Ahem.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blissful Saturdays

Nothing quite like drinking before noon. It gives one a sense of complete liberation, like nary a care in the world. Even better when it's an INVITATION (for Champagne Brunch), and one doesn't have to worry about playing host. I had forewarned the hostess, knowing her friend's penchant for bubbly, that 1 case (12 bottles) of bubbly would not suffice, for the 10 or so people who would be there. She wisely heeded my advise, and hubby ensured that we had at least 18 bottles (of bubbly) for consumption.

Usually fairly punctual for appointments, I arrived at 11.15am, (supposed to start at 11am), but of course, no one was there yet. Already host insisted that I start the day with a libation hailing from Italy. I have to confess, I love Prosecco, maybe even more than Champagne. It's very drinkable, almost like having Sprite, but not as sweet, and yet having that lovely ethereal effect on the brain.

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Realising that the bubbles might cause inebriation quicker than usual on an empty stomach, host brought out these lovely homemade currypuffs, made by his mother('s maid). Flaky pastry, with generous filling, it made for a perfect snack with the perfect drink.

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Hostess made this delicious guacamole dip, with very generous helpings of avocado, and sour cream.

As the guest started trickling in, more food was served, and more drink. There was that signature Chee Cheong Fun from Petaling Street, Fried Meehoon, presumably Roast Duck from 4 Eyed Guy, (sei ngan chai, Petaling Street), Roast Pork from Batu Caves, Quiche and Molten Chocolate Cake from FBB. (that's me, halloooo)...

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I was rather pleased with the outcome of the Molten Chocolate Cakes. This time, I spared no expense and used Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate. Alas, the batter only yielded 10 cakes, and as there were more guest than cakes, I had to forego tasting it. But from the feedback, which presumably was honest, it was a hit. (This is before the full effects of the 18 bottles kicked in)

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Nothing like a cup of freshly brewed espresso (another perk of drinking in the day time, I can afford to drink coffee, as opposed to night time parties, where a coffee would keep me awake all night) to compliment numerous glasses of bubbly.

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This was the situation at 3.25pm. Party subsquently ended at 6 something, so you can extrapolate the total consumption.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Healthy For Wealthy

International Sperm Donor buzzed me on Friday for lunch, but I had already eaten, but I had no problems accompanying him to eat. Being one of those health freaks, he opted to try the macrobiotics shop nearby. Not a place I'd usually go. A cornucopia of natural odors greet you as you enter the shop,'s a combination of organic vegetables, maybe compost, etc etc... a very unique smell that you don't find in Cold Storage or even the wet markets.

Anyway, I watched with passing interest as he ordered his "power drink", at RM16 a pop. That went down faster than you can say "GULP". Verdict, "Baa Baaa" (translation from lambspeak,
"I'm being slaughtered").

Yeah, I can't say the other dishes were of particular interest. The soup tasted healthy alright, and was in the same league aesthetically as raw oat bran...if you get my drift. The organic gyozas (???) tasted like stodgy peanut butter in a difficult wrap. At this point, I couldn't really be bothered to even take out the camera from my pocket, as the effort was hardly commensurate with the target objects.

Then THIS beauty came along:

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Doesn't that look divine!!!! Of course credit is due to ISD, who took the pictures. He claims copyright, but it's on my camera, so tough titties, or every waiter in town will be claiming copyright for pictures that they take for all the groupies that go, "excuse me ah, can take for us ah?".

Ah, but what is that wonderful old adage? Do not judge a book by it's cover? Yeah, well, words of ancient wisdom aren't to be taken lightly. Indeed. The noodle display may have LOOKED good, but put it this way, it's like looking at a beautiful painting of food and eating the canvas. That's how it tasted anyway.

Oh, yar, here's International Sperm Donor. You can contact him for contributions at 012-###****.

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Oh yar, that little healthy lunch cost RM50.55. And that was for one person. So, basically living healthy is going to be the purview of the wealthy in time to come, looks like it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oriental Pavilion, Jaya 33

The thing I love about Monday public holidays is the fact that it's just like Sunday, but Sunday is usually taken up by Church, afterwhich half the day is gone, and by the time lunch is over, it's nap time. Or exercise, depending on the weather.

So, Monday holidays allows us to go Yum Cha, which is nice. Sister invited us to try the new Oriental Pavilion, at Jaya 33, opposite the old Jaya Supermarket. You can't miss it unless you were blindfolded. True Fitness is displayed in all its glory, and seems more tasteful than the Hartamas one, which resembles a gigantic lighted hamster cage, where you can see the little creatures running on the treadmills, on various levels.

Parking was easy enough. It's a rather spacious building, with generous ingress and egress. The restaurant, part of the Oriental Chain (Ming Room, Noble House, Oriental, etc), is adequately ID-ed, not over the top, but still, it is basically a Chinese restaurant.

At 11.15am, the crowds were trickling in already. In another half an hour, the restaurant would be packed, and we would overhear the table next to us threatening to complain to the malay mail because of the slow service. Gosh, some people are impatient, and I thought I was bad.

For a place like this though, I'd have expected it to be teeming with trolleys of steaming stuff, with a swarm of waitresses plonking masses of dim sum on the table. Instead, we had to virtually grab whatever crumbs that were left in the trolleys.

The food however, is fairly consistent with their other outlets, which is usually of an acceptable standard.

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Bean Curd Rolls, nice and crispy, and despite visible oil stains, didn't taste overly oily.

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Egg Tarts, definitely a must. The pastry is gorgeously flaky, and the filling nice and smooth, if not a bit on a sweet side. I would have preferred them piping hot, but as I said, one had to grab whatever came by.

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Har Gao...well, nothing spectacular, though I can't really say I HAVE tasted spectacular Har Gaos anywhere. Some items are just destined for mediocrity in the food chain. I mean, like how orgasmic can har gao or siew mai actually be?

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The Fried Sang Mee Noodles with sea food. Rather generous with their prawns, I have to say. I love sang meen, and it would take quite an effort to really botch up a plate of fried noodles. Again, nothing that you'd see me swooning over. Life gets harder as you get older and more jaded.

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Platter of Roasts. The duck was excellent, skin done just right, and meat tender and moist. The char siu, well, nothing to shout about. The pig must have been going to True Fitness next door, for it seemed rather lean. Worth a mention is the roast pork, which was crisp almost all around. How did they manage that? Again, maybe from the same pig, aka Mr Lean.

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The cheong fun....smooth, melt in the mouth texture. Alas, by this time I was a bit distracted with the sms I received informing me of the sudden death of one of my classmates. "Jatuh di kebun", was the COD. (cause of death). Sometimes the lack of detail can cause imagination to run wild, but I later on found out that it was a heart attack. All this in the same breath as talking about the lack of fat in siu yoke.

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Fish Balls, which are the kid's favourite food when it comes to dim sum. Nice and springy, but I think now with my magimix, I have been producing better fish balls any time.

The bill sounded reasonable, about RM30 per head. Nice to know that there's yet another dim sum joint in town. Actually, where ELSE can one get good dim sum, (apart from Hong Kee)?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've Been Tagged

When it rains it pours. Like this Saturday, my social calendar is like ahem, ....11am champagne brunch, 4 pm Raya open house, 8pm, 40th birthday party with a superstar theme. Any suggestions what I should go as? I thought Fred Flinstone, but I've dunnit before and wife refuses to be Wilma again.

Anyway, in response to the two TAGS I kena-ed:

From Dim Sum in the City:

4 Jobs I have had in my life :

English Lecturer at Robert Lam's English Language Centre
Copywriter at Primo Agency
Troop Officer at 1st Engineer Squadron, Regiment of Army Engineers, Taiping
Construction Worker at KL Golf and Country Club

4 Places I have lived :


4 Countries I have been to on vacation :


4 of my Favourite Foods :

Pan Seared Foie Gras
Wagyu Beef
Lobsters or King Crabs
Half Boiled Eggs

4 Places I would rather be right now :

Underwater looking at some hammerheads
In a French chateaux in Bordeaux sipping alcohol
In my new imaginary house which has a large large kitchen that opens out to the swimming pool and jacuzzi
Shopping for cool kitchen gadgets and utensils

4 Friends I’m going to tag :

Ravenous Rabbit
Leymond Cha
Tan Kiasu

Aiyo, and also, I've been tagged by LIFH.

5 things found in my room

1. Used Protection
2. Used Cotton Buds
3. Cobwebs
4. Bible
5. Back Scratcher

5 things I’ve always wanted to do

1. Write a cookbook / food book
2. Swim with Whale Sharks
3. Visit Machu Piccu
4. Have dinner with Nigella Lawson
5. Go into space

5 things found in my bag

Since I only carry a gym bag and a bag to work:
1. Camera
2. Underwear
3. Deodorant
4. Toothpicks
5. Diary

5 things found in my wallet

1. Toothpick
2. Bandaid
3. Kid's baby pic
4. Country Organics Discount Card
5. 4 year old Starbucks loyalty card. Dunno if still valid.

5 things I’m currently into

1. Hot Candle wax
2. Scrabulous on Facebook
3. The Cooking house
4. House, the TV program
5. Massage

5 floggers to tag:

1. Melting Wok
2. Cooking Ninja
3. Kat
4. Foodielianne
5. Eat First Think Later

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Raya Rack Of Lamb

Selamat, Hari Raya, kepada saudara serta saudari, setahun, hanya sekali, kita menyambut hari yang mulia ini...jang jang jang...

So the strains of Saloma's classic raya carol permeates the air in shopping malls, radio, the way the smell of lemang and rendang adds a literal air of festivity.

Normal people rest, go visiting, spend time with family, but do I? Nooooo, I sign up for Perfect Rack of Lamb cooking course at the Cooking House. Mainly because I thought the kids would be busy with their Mandarin lessons, who knew the tutor would cancel at the last minute because his sister in law just gave birth.

A very guilty quick exit, muttering, "papa will be back soon" as I made my way to a now familiar haunt in Desa Hartamas.

Chef Francis Lim, with his very exotic Indo-Anglo accent, was delegating chopping tasks to those that were already there. I was delegated the task of cubing half of this monstrous egg plant, for our RATAOUILLE dish.

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Look at the sheer scale of that mutant egg plant. The knife and jar of pasta sauce is placed there to give you a sense of scale.

When all had arrived, the chef proceeded to make the dessert first, which required refrigeration after baking. Vanilla Creme Brulee and Caramel Creme Brulee. Coincidentally, we had creme brulee at Rick's last Thursday. I so need to get a blowtorch.

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The chef is demonstrating above how to add milk to caramelised sugar. That blob rising out from the sea of milk is actually the sugar that has been caramelizing. Surprisingly, the whole mixture eventually melds into one nice brown mixture.

I just LOVE the sight of fresh raw ingredients. There's something so liberating and the colors so dazzling, that just makes one happy to see God's creation like a kaledeiscope canvass. And the smell of chopped herbs, parsley, etc, ah, a hint of heaven on earth.

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Prior to the movie, I had only vaguely heard of Ratatouille, and quite honestly, judging the the ingredients, I didnt think all that much of it. Sounded like a chinese stir fry to me. The blend of vegetables though is highly attractive visually. Yellow and Green Zuchinni, Purple Egg Plant, Red and Green Bell Peppers!

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Cream of Mushroom Soup. What a lot of ingredients go into this baby!!!! Three types of mushroom, oyster, white button and shitakes, leeks, celery, a ton of various herbs, plus a very complicated mirepoix...(mee ruh pua).. chicken stock that is probably good enough to drink on its own.

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Look at the wonderful medley of mushrooms, happily sauteeing away in the large stock pot.

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I can't for my life remember what this combination was for. Red and yellow onions, shallots, spring onions, ....possibly this preceded the mushroom medley.

After pan searing the very herb marinated lamb rack, he chucked it in the oven to bake for awhile.

Meanwhile, the class had run into overtime, and my kids were calling me like every 5 minutes. Stress stress.

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The finished lamb rack, quickly sauteed pasta and ratatouille.
Verdict : Very good. The olive sauce for the lamb was a BIT salty, but still good. Ratatouille was surprisingly flavourful, and was actually polished up by the class. Pasta simple and effective. Move aside, aglio olio!!!

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Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Verdict : Seriously, one of the better mushroom soups I've had. I love the coarse texture of the soup that lets you taste the distinct mushroom.

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The creme brulee in various stages, to after cremation. I SO HAVE TO GET A BLOW TORCH. The caramel creme brulee, surprisingly not sickly sweet, was lovely actually. The perfect end to the meal. I can't wait to attend Francis's pasta class.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rick's Cafe

Modelled after cafe of same name in famous classic, Casablanca, which 95% of the young people at the table had never heard of, probably, this cozy place is located in One Bangsar, that enclave of upmarket restaurants that I rarely ever visit.

So, when Nigel of Just Heavenly sent out the mailer asking us if we wanted to try out this place, my curiosity was kinda piqued. Of all nights, I was swamped with baking orders, so was very late in arriving, probably the last, but fortunately it was arranged such that starters were common, and had been preordered, and we only picked our mains.

Which then actually meant my timing was impeccable, coz shortly after arriving, it was time to eat.

I always love pate, and this chicken liver pate is no exception. Velvety and smooth, also with a high marginal utility as hunger pangs were at its peak, this was complemented with candied orange peel.

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Deep fried calamari, or squid, which was nice and crispy. Oh, I should mention that YET again, I ended up sitting with Teckiee and Nipples, making it the 3rd time already out of like 4 flogger outings for me. Sandias, 888 and here. Creating quite a bond there.

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These baked garlic heads..... very nice, coz you cant really tell that its in your face garlic.

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The salmon bruschetta kinda thing, that I didnt really care much for.
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Oh dear, my memory is getting so bad, anything past 3 days becomes a distant haze. What is that thing above? I think it was some lamb ball, (as in, lamb meat molded into balls, not lamb balls balls per se, unlike at the beef noodle place) thingie.

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I opted for the venison pie, mainly because everyone else on the table had already ordered all the recommended stuff, and I had to do by flogger duty by ordering something different so that our menagerie of dead animals was complete. Virtually all the edible species, but for Porky, were represented. Deer, Cow, Fish, Chicken, Cheese, (oh, hangon, that's not an animal), Lamb, Squid. So, all the national geographic photojournalist were having a field day with the various wild life that was on the plates. Moving plates to where the lighting was better, perching them precariously on the edge of the chair so that it posed under the down lights. Rather amusing lot to watch.

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Now, this dish above, the sirloin, which nipples ordered, was really good. He kindly gave me a sliver in exchange for some venison, upon which he declared, the way kids compare their toys, "mine is better". I have to agree though. His WAS better.

Teckiee's Saba Mackerel was also quite good.

Because Lemongrass's fish was fishy, she and boo sent theirs back (as in their fish) in exchange for this grouyere souffle, an exceedingly artery clogging dish comprising cheese and mushroom. Truth be told, the taste was superb, but there is NO way I personally can finish one of these as a main course. Ideal to be shared as a starter.

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Here we have our famous blogger, who's photo appeared in the Star a couple of weeks in its full glory, yet here, she is taking the stance of a demure, shy lass who is shockingly afraid of the camera. She is using her new toy, given by her dear husband, as a shield. Quite the mystery woman aint she. If you want to see what she looks like just check out this article. Lehhh cek mek molek, malu malu la kononya.

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Someone ordered chicken pie.

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And Living in Food Heaven, (are Food Heaven and Just Heavenly in the Heavenlies? I get so confused) had the chicken with something something sauce.

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And our favourite time of all, dessert.

Chef Tim, who hails from New Zealand (and has that very distinct Kiwi accent to show for it), introduced us to his repertoire of desserts.

The banana souffle. I am always intrigued by souffles, and how one can trap so much hot air within to make it rise. The souffle was nice and light, and went well with the chocolate ice cream, or was it sorbet.

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The coffee creme brulee was nice as well. I simply MUST get myself a blowtorch, for Nigella says there is something curiously satisfying about wielding a blow torch. Ah, the power to caramelise!!!! It's like using a light saber against Kylie Kwong.

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Master bakers, (who introduced me to a new term, "Toss Your Salad". Nigel says he "tosses his salad with his hands") brought this lovely dessert for us. A red chocolate velvet cake with cream cream cheese. Not a typo. Cream cream cheese. Almost mascar- PORN-ish, but the cake, so gloriously red and light. Red light. Hmm, okay, okay, mind out of the gutter.

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Blue cheese ice cream. Not for the faint hearted, but if you love blue cheese, this will make you ..... eerrr......

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Overall a most pleasant dining experience, marred only by the sms-es I was getting from a friend in Shanghai, who was having a wonderful dinner there, and giving me a live commentary:
"Food here is tantalizingly good. Foie gras brulee with pistachio, sour cherries and consomme jelly....Sublime, lobster tartine with exquisite fenugreek broth, frogs legs with a surprisingly refreshing garlic soup, but crusted cod with citrus confit and roy. Just had the most humbling experience with lamb main course. Sweet, delicate and absolutely delicious.....".

SHEEEEEEEEESHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Ya sweetie, my venison pie was humbling too.