Monday, August 30, 2010

Bento #155 100623

A lunch bento of fried rice with corn niblets, and the dishes that went with it were Kerabu Ikan Bilis and Sauteed Foo Chok.

As for fruits, I had a mixture of grapes, both green and deep purple.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Austin Chase @ Queensbay Mall

We tried Austin Chase once when were in KL end of last year at Pavillion. We were captivated by their huge slice of Apple Pie with chunky fillings thus that was what we had with a hot cuppa while resting our tired feet from the shopping. That was the standard of Apple Pie we held from then on, so when we saw that Austin Chase was opening an outlet here in our sunny island, we were so happy that we can have our fill of the Apple Pie again.

Numerous trips to check out their cake counter brought us disappointment because apparently, they don't sell it here. We wanted the Apple Pie so bad that the barista even recognised us the moment we walked in, and he just said "No Apple Pie" even before we reached their cake display. With our hopes dashed, we finally decided to try their Tiramisu. Taste wise, let's just say we have tasted better ones, but what we liked most was the chunky caramelised chopped almond that covered the outer layer of the cake. In my opinion, they could do better with thinner layers of sponge cake, just take a look at the second photo to understand what I mean.

We are still praying hard for our Apple Pie, please hear our words, dear Austin Chase owner.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bento #154 100622

Three onigiris in the shape of flowers, and by adding three different colours of cherry tomato halves, I managed to turned them into pretty little blossoms on the bottom tier of this bento box. At the top smaller tier was tau-eu-bak with lots of sesame sprinkled on. I put this on a bed of shredded lettuce to account for the vegetable portion.

On a separate container were cubed mangoes on the left, and on the right, wedges of pear.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ocean Green Seafood Restaurant

Ocean Green Seafood Restaurant has been around for a long time now, but I've only dropped by for a visit this month. Every time I passed by the signboard, I told myself I would love to check it out, but over and over again, it slipped my mind because the restaurant can't be seen on the main road, we need to drive in through a small lane to access it.

I was surprised that it was very packed and the place was quite clean indeed. Dh, being the crab lover, ordered a crab dish though I'm partial. Can't remember exactly the style this was done, it was along the line of Creamy Cheese Mayo. Crab was fresh and this style of cooking really complemented the crab. 2 crabs weighing a total of 1.3kg, that'a an average 650g each crab, considerably big in size, that's the standard that Ocean Green has. So at RM5 per 100g, we forked out RM65 for this.

Next we had the Otak-otak Chicken Wings. When glancing at the menu, it was all words, so I had in mind probably it was chicken wings coated with otak-otak spices, but I was darn wrong. It was otak-otak stuffed into the cavity of a deboned chicken wings, something so creative and a signature dish of Ocean Green Seafood Restaurant at RM5 per piece. As I bite into the crunchy chicken wings, the otak-otak flavour bursts through, making this dish not so greasy despite it being deep-fried. One word of caution, need to be consumed while still hot else there won't be oomph!

With these two dishes, we were still full to the brim because the crabs were huge. Eating seafood at the heart of town with the breeze blowing, this is the place to be.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bento #153 100618

This no-brainer bento for tea time was one chocolate-stripped mantou which I just need to steam before consumption. And while the mantou was in the steamer 'sauna', I washed the strawberries and arranged them in the bento box, select 2 giraffe picks to beautify this bento a tad, and lastly, added in a wedge of Happy Cow cheese.

Was trying to use natural lighting for this photo, but ended up the white part of the mantou was overexposed. Still learning...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soda Cream Crackers

I baked some Soda Cream Crackers out of curiosity because the one that Wendy featured looked just like store-bought. Alas, mine's so pale in comparison, both in terms of colour and standard. Taste wise, mine's chewy eventhough I managed to get the flaky layers. I tried to snap a photo of that but it didn't turn out well, so can't post it up.

225g all purpose flour
½ tsp instant yeast (*Wendy recommended Saf Yeast for this recipe, cos Saf is sourish, you can read the instruction behind the yeast's pack to add some alkaline to the dough, and this yeast is just perfect here due to the addition of baking soda but I didn't have that particular brand at home)
½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
130gm whipping cream
1/ Mix all the dry ingredients together and making a well in the center, pour in cream and mix. Knead to form a smooth dough.(Kneading is important to form the flake layers but too much will harden the crackers instead).
2/ Leave the dough aside for half an hour (The original recipe didn’t have this step, but Wendy left hers for 30 mins but per her reccomendation to proof it for an hour or until double in bulk for better flake layers, I left mine for one hour) .
3/ Roll out dough into 2-3mm thickeness.
4/ Cut with cookie cutter, (coat with caster sugar) and poke with fork.
5/ Bake in preheated oven at 180C or 190C (if your oven has no fan) for 10 minutes or until golden.
Yield: 40 pieces.
Verdict: I prefer those which I sprinkled castor sugar over, taste sweet and salty at the same time.
Thanks Wendy for kind sharing of recipe!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bento #152 100616

I decided to replicate the Mille Crepe that I did, but this time round, I cooked them a bit longer to get some colour per suggestion by the recipe owner. Rolled them up into a long baton, they tasted equally good to be eaten on their own without any filling. In order not for both the rolls to stick to each other, I placed some elephant baran as separator.

Two canned lychees, two whole strawberries and half a silicon cup of blueberries, that's all that made up today's bento.

Monday, August 23, 2010

KhunThai Village Again

Decided to have Thai food, thus we headed to KhunThai Village which I had posted at the beginning of the year. We tried different dishes for this visit, and for starter was this Cashew Nut mix that was on the top left photo of this collage. The waiter was surprised when we said we wanted to order this because it is something that one orders to go with beer. He finally jotted that down in the order chit when we still insist that we were game to try. On the plate were cubes of shallot, lime, ginger, cili padi and spring onion and roasted cashew nuts. To eat, just mix altogether, and it was quite good. Reminds me of mian kham, the thai started with daun kaduk, only that this is "naked", with the leaves to wrap up the ingredients.

Next came the Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk, per photo on the top right. Crispy with lots of curry leaves, the salted egg yolk was evident here unlike some places that stinge on the salted egg yolk.

The Green Curry Chicken was quite authentic, thick and creamy (photo on bottom right). The Salted Fish Beehoon was so-so only, quite bland if I may say so. We had to eat it with lots of the sambal, else it's seriously tasteless.
The star of the dish would definitely be the Seafood Otak-otak, which was why I put it in the middle of this collage. There were large prawns, squid and fish cubes in the creamy spicy custard that made us scraped the aluminium foil clean, hahaha...
Overall, we enjoyed our second experience there.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bento #151 100615

Indomie's Mee Goreng with home-made shallot crips on the left, with the divider separating the blanched spinach.

Stawberry halves with a handful of blueberries thrown in for some colour contrast, that's all in this fast lazy bento. ^-^

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Desserts by Domino's

Do you know that Domino's is not only good for their pizza? Their desserts are equally good as well, the latest being the Creamy Custard Puff. It is sold at RM10.80 for a box of 2 pieces, but currently the promotion of 50% discount when one orders online makes it an affordable deal. It was quite big a triangular piece of puff pastry with smooth runny custard encased and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top baked till crispy. The combination was excellent, and with each bite, the not-too-sweet custard oozes out bringing me to dessert heaven. Even better with a hot cuppa, but I was too full for that, burp!
The other star dessert worth a mention is their Banana Kaya Dessert. Initially I was quite hesitant if this would taste alright because besides banana and kaya, it has cheese, just like a pizza. But once I tried it, I was convinced this three goes very well, superb job by Domino's, in fact. However, this Banana Kaya Dessert was baked using Classic Hand Tossed Crust, thus it does get chewy when eaten cold because of the thick base. Other than that, I got no complaints.
Hmm...I might just try to replicate this at home, wonder how it will turn out?!? Shall see it then...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Doraemon's Favourite - Dorayaki

I made a batch of dorayaki couple of days back using the simple recipe at Kel's place. And like her, I sandwiched 2 pieces of the dorayaki with peanut butter and nutella because basically, that's the only two spread that I have at home that makes a good match. Turned out to be a great combi, nuts and chocolate.

Ingredients (Yield 14 sets):
2 eggs
40g sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 tbsp mirin
100g plain flour, sifted
40ml UHT milk

1/ Whisk eggs and sugar till fluffy and pale, then add in honey, soda and mirin one by one and mix well before adding the next one.
2/ Add in half of the flour, mix well, and then the remaining half.
3/ Lastly, add in the milk and batter is ready for the pan.
4/ Heat the pan, add in a little oil to swirl around, then wipe off the oil using a piece of kitchen paper towel.
5/ Drop a tablespoon of batter into the pan, when when bubbles appear across the surface of the pancake, flip it over to cook the other side.
6/ Spread your choice of filling and stick two pieces of pancakes of the same size together to get one piece of dorayaki.

A closer photo to zoom in on the texture.

Terima kasih, Kel! These dorayaki were fluffy with a strong hint of honey, lovely simply.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Timun Betik, A Type of Fruit

We went for a walk at the Pasar Ramadhan yesterday and we sure had a hard time deciding what to haul back for our dinner since everything looks so good. The atmosphere was carnival like and this year, in my opinion, is more organised with proper tents for all the entrepreneurs. With that, we can walk with peace of mind without the fear of tripping over umbrella stands, and of course, enjoy the selection of food better. I will blog about the food in another post, but what caught my attention was this elongated pale fruit being sold at the fruit stall.

It drew my curiosity to go check it out, and so I did. Upon approaching the stall and picking up this fruit, I gave it a whiff and the aroma it emits is similar to that of honeydew. So I 'cleverly' told my dh that it's honeydew, only to be corrected by the stall owner that this is called Timun Betik, or Papaya Cucumber (Timun = Cucumber, Betik = Papaya) when loosely translated to English. The guy went on to say that the Muslims consume it when fasting for its cooling properties, and also that it's only available during Ramadhan month. He explained that this is bland, as in not sweet at all, thus the way to consume it is with some sprinkling of sugar, that being the easiest. Else, prepare it with santan as dessert. At RM3 per kilo, I decided to give it a try, and this one that I chose was exactly 1kg. I had the idea at the back of my mind is that if worse comes to worse the taste does go down well with me, I will just blend it into a drink and gulp it down.

And that's how I consumed it, by making it into a shake with the usual suspects of milk, water, syrup and ice cubes. I used half of the Timun Betik to go with the syrup used for Three Layer Tea and the other half, I planned to blend with black treacle. Just to see which of these two is a better match. I won't know till I prepare the latter later today as it's still sitting in the fridge at this point of time.
We enjoyed the cooling drink and the milk lent this drink a creamy taste. This is how the inside of the fruit looks like, don't you agree it resembles honey dew? At least it does, to me. The skin is very thin and can be pealed easily, while the texture of the fruit is like over-ripen red apple, kind of cottony soft. I didn't quite like the taste of it per se, but making it into a drink, I love it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Telur Belandah 荷兰蛋

While browsing the local Chinese dailies publication, this simple recipe attracted me because it's a quick dish that uses egg, something that I always have at home. The gravy, made using tamarind, makes it very appetising to go with white rice, thus I set off to try it almost immediately. I didn't follow the recipe to the T, though, but the gravy portion, I did. It turned out to be way too sourish to my tastebud eventhough I added 4 times the sugar required, guess I would have to modify it with a few more attempts. Most likely need to reduce the tamarind.

For the record:
2 eggs, fried bull's eye style till 50% set, then fold half over so that you get a semi-cirle. Continue frying on both sides till cooked.
4 shallots, sliced
50g tamarind paste, soaked in 125ml room-temperature water for a while, then squeeze out the tamarind pulp and discard the solid (seeds and pulp)
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp sour plum sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/ With the same pan that was used to fry the eggs, leave some oil behind and sweat the shallots.
2/ Pour in the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil before adding in the eggs to cook for a minute or two.
3/ Dish out and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Friday's

You know, when shopping at Queensbay Mall, we are always short of ideas on where to dine despite the numerous eateries it houses. So dh got this cravings for burgers, and that's how we landed at TGI Friday's. Eventhough the initial plan was to go for their JD Burger, we sidetracked and checked out their latest promo menu. There were 4 selections in this new menu, we both unanimously agreed to give the Chicago Braised Short Ribs a shot.

For RM47.90, we get 4 short ribs that were so tender, they fell off the bones easily. The description that won us over was "Moist, tender beef short ribs slowly braised in their own savoury juice" and indeed they were. Served on a bed of roasted garlic mashed potatoes, this was delicious with the gravy taht came with the short ribs. Even the seasonal vegetables (french beans, carrot, red capsicum and broccoli) went on well with the gravy that we licked the plate clean in no time.

What's underneath - Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato

We both shared this plate as we we weren't too hungry, so portion wise, it was just ideal.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Good Deal At Canton-I

After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, we went back to Canton-I for dinner. It was a good thing we decided to drop by at our favourite Chinese restaurant because they currently have 3 set meals for differing number of pax dining there, and we went for the smallest which was meant for 2-3 pax at RM58++ (Net bill after inclusion of the plus plus was RM66.70). It was not a fixed set meal in the sense that under each category, we get to choose our items out of the few they listed.

For dim sum item, we had the siew mai which came in a plate of 4 pieces.
For dishes, there was a mind-boggling selection, easily about 15 choices that we had a hard time deciding which 2 to go for. Ended up with their 2-combi Roast of BBQ Port and Roast Duck. The other item was Shrimp Paste Braised Tofu with Roast Pork Belly served in a claypot. This pot was awesome, served piping hot with fresh shitake mushrooms and oysters, the gravy was good to go with the plain congee.
For staples, we had Plain Congee with Scallop and Plain Dry Noodles.
For drinks, I was adventurous enough to try their Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juice which was a mix of pineapple, broccoli, celery and some other green vegetables. It was a refreshing drink served in a tall glass with a long stick of pineapple core as stirrer. How innovative!

What's even more cool was that the free Roast Pigeon promotion was extended, thus we had one extra item on our table. With that, we were not able to order the dessert at RM3.80, a deal that came with the set menu as we were stuffed to the brim. Next time then.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Egg Tart

Made this last Friday as it was raining and I couldn't venture out for my evening walk. What an irony, here I was, not able to burn off the calories and instead, pile them up some more. Well, the consolation was that I gave 5 pieces away once these beautiful smooth egg tarts cooled off enough for me to handle, and saved 5 pieces for our breakfast the next day. I confess I gobbled down 2 almost immediately because they were simply too irresistable other than the usual curiosity factor, I simply can't wait anymore to see if I was successful in this first attempt of mine. Glad to announce that I conquered it, credit goes to Table for Two who shared the recipe with a lot of tips for guidance to "bring" me a tray of egg tarts compatible to those served at dim sum restaurant. Thanks Wendy!!

Pastry (yield 450g of dough)
250g plain flour
2 tbsp castor sugar
1 egg yolk
150g cold butter, cubed

Filling (yield 700ml of filling)
150g castor sugar
150ml hot water
250ml milk(1 small pack of milk)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs
1 egg white (From the same egg where the yolk was used in the crust)
=> Had 300ml filling leftover, so need to either half the filling or double the crust the next time if using the same tart mould.

1/ Cream the butter with the egg yolk and sugar, then add in flour and mix well.
2/ Take out one lump of dough and pressed into the tart mould using your thumb till even thickness.
3/ Refrigerate the unbaked moulded tart shells for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4/ Melt the sugar in hot water, add milk, salt, vanilla essence. Beat all the eggs lightly and mix in all together.
5/ Sieve egg mixture and pour into the cold tart crust.
6/ Bake at 180C for 25 minutes at the lowest rack. [I ended up baking for 50 minutes in order to get the filling to set.]

+ Be mindful to check on the custard from time to time for doneness. Jiggle the tray, egg tart is ready when the custard is no longer wobbly.
+ IF custard starts to puff up, remove the egg tart immediately from the oven because this might result in a wrinkled-top egg tart and not a smooth shiny surface once egg tart cools down.
Yield: 13 pieces (top 8cm diameter, base 5cm diameter, height 1.5cm)
Verdict: Very good, crumbly crust and soft custard.