Sunday, 30 November 2008

British Chinatown Food in KL.....Or Not

A few nights ago hubby came home and said, "There's a restaurant, Four Seasons, that says it's the British Chinatown food. Do you want to go there for dinner this Saturday (yesterday)?"

British Chinatown food?? Wow!! That is music to my ears.

For the uninitiated, the food in Chinatown London is authentic Hong Kong food, cooked by Hong Kong chefs. Images of Beef Tomato Rice, Beef Egg Rice, Beef Dry Hor Fun (nearly all Hong Kong food contains beef), Hot & Sour soup (it's different from our local version), Roast Duck with pancakes, all flooded into my mind. I could not stop drooling and dreaming. There is not a single Chinese restaurant in KL that could produce those Hong Kong dishes, not even places like Char Chan Teng or Kim Gary that claimed to be Hong Kong food.

Hubby called his old buddy, TC, who had also stayed in London for a couple of years before. He was equally as enthusiastic. Saturday finally arrived and we drove there full of enthusiasm and anticipation. 

This is it! Four Seasons is located at CapSquare, Persiaran Capital Square, near Jalan Munshyi Abdullah. The place is not crowded, for a Saturday night.


Upon being seated and handed our menu, all of us immediately noticed one glaring thing. The items in the menu are all LOCAL food!!!!! "Where is my Beef Tomato Rice?" TC & I both asked simultaneously. "Where is my Beef Egg Rice?" hubby asked. 

The waiter, who was very patient and helpful, explained that Malaysians want local food. Huh? He recommended that I try their Fried Hor Fun Beef in Black Bean Sauce. I acquiesced since the only thing I really wanted was Beef Tomato Rice which is not on the menu. Hubby asked if they could modify their Braised Beef Egg Gravy Rice into Fried Beef Egg Rice them to fry the egg with the beef and serve it with rice instead of their Braised Beef Egg Gravy Rice. TC settled for Steamed Beef Brisket Soup Noodles. We ordered a quarter roast duck to share. 

After we placed our orders, I reached for their feedback form on the table. I couldn't wait to make known my disappointment to the management!


One side of the feedback form


The other side of the feedback form


Braised Beef Egg Gravy Rice. RM12.80 Waiter, where's the gravy? 
Oops, sorry.....this is hubby's modified Beef Egg Rice. 



Fried Hor Fun Beef in Black Bean Sauce - RM12.80



Steamed Beef Brisket Soup Noodles - RM12.00


A quarter roast duck - RM15
Unlike their sister outlets in Bayswater  and Gerrard Street in London, this outlet in KL does not serve pancakes with roast duck.


Hubby enjoyed his meal. He said it's the closest thing available locally to what he got in Chinatown Toronto. TC did not enjoy his beef brisket noodles as much. He said the beef brisket noodles in Crystal Jade, MidValley is much better. As for me, the sauce is good, but it would have been better on rice instead of hor fun (koay teow). The Hong Kong chefs in Chinatown London would have known that.

Overall, the service is excellent. The waiters are attentive and helpful, and our orders were served before we had even warmed our seats. However, the price is exorbitant. What we had ordered were cheap Chinese food, ordered by students on limited budget, but here, they are priced as cuisine food. Definitley not value for money.


Blackie: That is your punishment for freaking me out with a Doraemon cake!!! 


Sunday, 16 November 2008

Wong Kok Char Chan Teng @ Brem Mall, Kepong

This franchise eatery chain from Hong Kong is gaining prominence in KL, with more and more outlets sprouting up. We have tried their food at SS2 and MidValley before, but were not too impressed with the quality. Maybe it's because we ordered the fusion food from their menu.

Anyway, last night, at Brem Mall (a relatively new shopping mall in Kepong), we decided to try their more 'traditional' food. Hubby ordered Tian Jin Pan Fried Egg with Ramen. It is a dish of ramen covered by a thin omelette, cooked in abalone sauce. Well, I think it is abalone sauce, so don't sue me if I got it wrong, ok?  

Tian Jin Pan Fried Egg with Ramen - RM9.80

Hubby enjoyed every single strand and drop of it. I like soupy stuff, so hubby suggested that I try the Rice in Superior Soup with Minced Meat and Dried Oysters. 

I wasn't in the mood for porridge, so we sent the waitress into the kitchen to check whether the broth texture is more porridge-like or rice-like. The waitress returned to confirm that it is rice that is cooked separately and then added into the soup. Hmm....sounds interesting, so I ordered that.

Rice in Superior Soup wtih Minced Meat & Dried Oysters - RM9.60

There were lots of mushrooms, minced pork, tong chai, salted fish and 4 large pieces of dried oysters. Yummy. *slurp* The portion was huge, despite the deceiving look of a half-full bowl that arrived at our table. I had to get hubby to help finish it.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Spaghetti Chilli Con Carne

The last time I cooked spaghetti chilli con carne was when I lived in England. Yes, that long ago. So, for some reason, last night I suddenly decided to cook chilli con carne for dinner. 

My hubby's comment was, "Are you sure you know how to cook Chilli Con Carne?" You see, despite our having been married for five years, I've never cooked the dish for him before.

Now, let me jot down the ingredients before I forget....yeah, hubby and mummy loved it, so I have to cook this again in the future.

Ingredients:
1 canned tomato, (cube the tomatoes) 
1 canned Tesco chilli beans (red kidney beans)
MInced beef
1 yellow onion, minced
3 or 4 cloves or garlic, minced
4 fresh tomatoes, cubed
1 red capsicum, or red pepper

Seasonings:
2 teaspoons Cajun Spice 
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli flakes 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry (or chinese rice wine if you don't have sherry)
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
salt to taste

Chilli con carne goes well with spaghetti or rice. We ate it with spaghetti last night, and today, I ate the leftovers with plain, white rice. Yum-yum... :)~~~


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Eating From Toilet Bowls

On Monday, it rained all day and night. Unable to hang out at the beach or Gurney Drive, we decided to check out Queensbay Mall, the biggest shopping mall in Penang. 

It is located at Bayan Lepas and is as big as MidValley MegaMall. The design is a bit similar, too, with the North Court, Centre Court and South Court. The anchor tenant is none other than the ubiquitious Jusco, while the usual big names that you find in KL make up the rest of the tenants.

But tucked away in a corner on the third floor, is a novel restaurant that you don't find in KL. Its T-Bowl, the "T" representing "Toilet". No, I'm not joking. This is the restaurant where you can poo right where you sit without having to go to the bathroom. 

The seats are real toilet bowls, and the tables are wash basins and bath tubs, albeit covered with a piece of glass. The proprietors even installed shower heads and shower curtains, to give you the ambience of eating inside a bathroom! And....the food is served in toilet bowls!!!

Patrons sitting on the toilet bowls eating from toilet bowls

The toilet bowl with the pink cover has a picture of a pile of poop

I opened two of the seats to check the cleanliness of the toilet. 
Note the shower heads on the wall.

And the food served in toilet bowls......
Hubby ordered baked cheese rice with fish fillet (RM13.90) while I ordered baked cheese rice with curry seafood (RM14.90). And the verdict? Yummy......(slurpppp)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Indinine Restaurant at Jaya 33

Last night, our friend TC was up in the clouds again. But unfortunately, due to my insomniac vampiric activities the past few nights, I was too tired to stay up till 4am for another night.

Instead, hubby and I decided to go to Wendy's for a charbroiled burger. He thought there's an outlet at Jaya 33, Section 14 PJ, which is nearer to our home than the outlet we know at Sunway.

However, when we arrived at Jaya 33, we could not find Wendy's. Hubby asked the guards, who told us that Wendy's is at Jaya 1, Section 17. To a sleep-deprived person, the idea of having to be on the road again wasn't too appealing. 

I opted, instead, to try one of the restaurants there. Hubby wanted to eat at Subway (yeah, he has a penchant for junk food), but a tiny, empty Italian restaurant, called Indinine had caught my eye. I liked the deco, and the long sofas looked really comfy. Hubby was a bit reluctant as not only were there no customers, there wasn't a single staff around.

Undeterred, I walked towards the kitchen and hollered, "Is this place open for business?" A voice hollered back, "Yes". Hmmm.....we are such a polite society.

Choosing the two most comfortable sofas, we settled down. A waiter came out, passed the menu to us, and said, "This is a vegetarian restaurant". My carnivorous hubby immediately stood up to leave. Voicing my wish to eat there, I asked him to take a look at the interesting selections on the menu.

Five minutes later, we ordered:-
- two bowls of wild mushroom soup
- a potato salad
- a bruschetta (french bread toasted with a layer of tomato sauce, topped with fresh tomatoes, olives, parsley and goat cheese)
- a linguinie pesto con funghi

The food arrived in quick order. And surprisingly, everything tasted very good. They had that fresh from the farm taste. And the linguinie in pesto sauce had lots of pine nuts in it. Yummy.....even my hubby was pleasantly surprised and full of praises. 

And the damage? At RM42.90, it's a bit more than what we would normally spend for just the two of us, but there are not that many good quality Italian restaurants in this price range. So, my overall opinion is, it is value for money.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ikea Serves Horrid Meatballs Now

After looking at Cazz's cat balls and reading of Lupie's balls in tupperwares, I had a sudden craving for Ikea's Swedish meatballs. So off I went to Ikea with my hubby in tow. Yes, my hubby works in Selangor and so it's a public holiday for him today.

I think everybody in town must have the same idea, or all the eateries in town are closed today and they have nowhere else to go. The line at Ikea's cafetaria was a mile long, despite it being already 2pm. And for once, surprisingly, my hubby was rather patient and did not grumble at the long wait. Maybe he was in need of some balls, too?  ;)

At long last, just before my legs gave way, we got to sit down and chomp on the balls. Eeek!!! Why does it taste different? I cut up 1 ball into half to take a closer look. Oh man, instead of the regular meatballs that I'm used to, Ikea has now chosen to make Malaysian local meatballs.....balls made primarily of flour (those fish balls like bouncy texture). It's no longer minced beef shaped and formed into balls.

We felt so ripped off. Ikea has not only lowered the standard and quality of their food, they have also raised their price from RM8.90 to RM10. Shame on you, Ikea.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Mashed Potato

Hmm.......all this talk of potatoes, mashed potatoes, fries, curry with potatoes are making me hungry. I think I'll make some mashed potato today. I just bought some nice potatoes from the market in Kepong this morning, by the way.

Lupie, this is specially for you.... :D

Ok, let's gather all the ingredients. As the recipe is my own, and I kept adding and stirring without pre-measuring the ingredients, you'll have to adjust the measurements by adding a bit at a time until you get the flavour you like. I like it really soft and smooth with a buttery flavour so I do use quite a bit of milk and butter.

5 potatoes
Fresh milk (warmed it slightly first)
Butter
A pinch of salt

Method:
1. Bring water to a boil,  with a bit of salt in it to bring it to a higer temperature.
2. Add potatoes and boil for about 20 minutes till soft.
3. Drain the potatoes.
4. Mash the potatoes with butter and fresh milk.
5. Add a pinch of salt to give it a fuller flavour.

If you don't have ready fresh milk, you can substitute with powdered milk. I've done that before.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Salted Egg Prawns at Fu Lai

Last night, my hubby and I went out for dinner with a friend who wanted to take us to Fu Lai, a restaurant in Puchong Jaya (the old phase) for what he described as the best salted egg prawns he has ever had in KL.

So off we trudged to Puchong, a place I am not too familiar with. The shop is located off Jalan Puchong (on the right hand side if you're coming from KL), and is next to the Petronas station.

There, we ordered the much acclaimed salted egg prawns, a spinach soup, one kau yok (pork with yam) and one of their specially home made tofu dish. They were all yummy, especially the salted egg prawns. It wasn't too expensive either, as the total bill came up to RM68. Definitely worth the trip there.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

What's For Dinner Tonight?

This is the question my hubby asks each time he calls. Not, "how are you" or "I love you", but......"What's for dinner tonight?".

Well, considering we've blown our budget on that teriyaki salmon, I guess it's going to be another poor man's meal tonight.

Taking a leaf from a reader here who calls himself "Tom" (is there a "Jerry" here, too?), I'm going to cook something with tomatoes and chillies. It's my version of the ubiquitous Penang Mee Goreng, well, Spaghetti Goreng, anyway.

My recipe yields 3 portions - my mummy likes it too, so I have to cook her share as well.

Ingredients:
320g of spaghetti (pre-boiled in boiling water with some salt & oil in it, then drain when cooked)
1 tomato, cut into wedges

1 potato, cut into small cubes
A few stalks of long beans, cut length-wise
5 shallots, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced

Sauce (combined):
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1-1/2 tablespoon chilli paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ikan bilis stock granules (the one without MSG added)
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1/2 cup water

Method:

1. Heat oil in wok. Then fry potatoes until golden. Remove and set aside.
2. Fry garlic and shallots until golden.
3. Add the long beans and stir for a while.
4. Pour in the sauce and mix well. If you like your long beans soft, like I do, cover the wok at this stage and simmer for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you may pre-steam the beans first.
5. Add in the tomatoes and fry till they are slightly soft.
6. Pour in the drained spaghetti and potatoes.
7. Mix well, and when sauce has been absorbed by the spaghetti, it's ready to be served.

Yum-yum. Another delicious poor man's meal. Meowwwww.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

A Poor Man's Meal

Well, after that Teriyaki Salmon meal in my earlier post, I need to cook a poor man's meal to balance the budget so that our groceries bill remain the same despite the price hikes.

So, what constitutes a poor man's meal, or in this case, a poor woman's? Something that uses as little ingredients as possible, and uses only the very cheap ones. It is none other than the ubiquitous Economy Fried Beehoon.

Here's my version of it (I'll try to be as accurate in the measurements as possible). Recipe yields 2 portions.

Ingredients:
200g beehoon, pre-soaked in water until soft
A few leaves of cabbage, cut into squares
1/4 carrot, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 shallots, minced

Sauce (combined):
1 cup water (or thereabouts)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ikan bilis stock granules (anchovies stock granules)
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dark soya sauce

Method:
1. Heat wok until hot. Then add oil and fry the garlic and shallots until golden and fragrant.
2. Add the cabbage and carrots. Fry until cabbage is cooked.
3. Pour in the combined sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Add beehoon, gently turning over repeatedly, making sure all the beehoon is covered by the sauce.
5. When all the sauce has seeped into the beehoon, give it a few quick tosses, and beehoon is ready to serve.

Enjoy...........

Thursday, 31 July 2008

My Version of Salmon Teriyaki

Went to Jusco yesterday to get some fish. I was shocked to see that the price of red snapper fillet has been raised yet again. It's now RM33.90 a kg. I selected 2 small fillets and had them weighed. Imagine my horror when the Jusco staff handed it back to me with a price tag showing RM16.99. I might as well buy 2 salmon fillets for that price!!

Looks like it's going to be salmon teriyaki for dinner. It's the only way I know how to cook salmon fillets, by the way.

Marinade it for at least 2 hours in the fridge with:-
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
A sprinkle of paprika powder
2 tablespoons of Kikoman Teriyaki Sauce (original flavour)
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice, whichever I have in the fridge
1.5 teaspoon sesame oil
(combine the marinade well, and rub it on the salmon fillets)

To cook, heat a frying pan or wok, and pour the salmon and marinade into it. No oil used for frying a fish?! Well, I'm one of those who are quite health conscious, so I avoid using oil where possible.

I like a bit of gravy on my rice, and so do my hubby and mummy. This means I need quite a bit of gravy to go round, which the recipe above does not yield.

To make extra gravy, just make an additional portion of the marinade above, and add some water to reduce the saltiness. Remove the fillets from the frying pan, then heat up the gravy. When it's heated through, pour it on the fillets.

Yum-yum!!! Pat-pat myself on my shoulder.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Phew! At last!!!


At long last, I am posting in my blog!! Yeah, yeah, big deal, there are zillions of blogs out there, you say. But are you aware that to get started is the hardest? I created this blog eons ago, and had no idea what to write!!

I am just an ordinary, dispensable speck of life on this planet. I need inspiration from an ordinary being like me. And now, at last, I got that much-awaited inspiration.

And the credit goes to Bina, a member from http://www.kitten.com.my/forum who keeps a very interesting blog at http://sillylupie.blogspot.com. Thanks, Bina, for the inspiration. I owe you one.