My Awards !!

Seems that I forgot to display my awards *grin*..
So here there are!
A newbie to blogging, I’m really happy to be given such “recognition” & I would like to thank…*dab dab eyes* ahemm… (ok, enuf of that s%$^^&amp ;) ;p

Anyways, I really adore this one..Yum yUm! What better way to describe food hor?

Hhmm.. it this refering to the circumference of your waist??

Hardworking?? Of dear.. got to do something about those posts still in ‘draft’..LOL

Aiayhh… not kreative loh.. using blogspot template! And I haven’t even uploaded a nicely designed header like the other pro-floggers yet!

Yes, totally agree, binded by good food and equally good amount of drooling over all the pics in each post..

To all of you, who have kindly left comments, shared recipes and reviews for my pleasure reading and visited my new blog, Thank you!

Ahhh.. now to tag some people!! Yippee!

Selba

Happy Home Baking

Tummy Thoz

CK Lam

Lingzie

MakanTrip.com

Sweets For My Sweet

Hope you guys could share something about yourself to us ya!

Me got "meme" kwa.. by PureGlutton!

Oh.. just read her latest posting .. on getting the Awards and those 7 things about herself. Interesting isn’t? I would not have known much about her if she haven’t posted them and I guess if I appreciate others sharing about themselves, then I would share something about myself too (though it maybe of a bore ;p) but.. too bad, I’m still posting this up. *stuck out tongue* pheettt!

And I do agree with her on the “rewarding sense of satisfaction in blogging – getting to know some great bloggers and totally enjoy reading their nice nice posts” It’s a hobby of mine now, to spend an hour daily reading posts, and going through their archives. Appreciating the pics and learning new recipes.

Now about those 7 things…ahem..

Knowing myself, I do tend procrastinate (if only you know how many postings I still got in draft!!) so might as well get on with it now since I’m in front of my laptop ;p

Okies..here goes..

1. I love FOOD (be it eating, cooking or reading about it), sports/dancing, fashion & travel. In that order.

2. I used to learn chinese kungfu (my dad owned a martial arts academy in Penang then) and yeahh..did a lot of those fighting, breaking stuffs plus memorising and practising of wushu chapters (these are cheorography of steps that you practise and execute, think of it like a dance routine, but NO dancing of course!)

3. Every year, I will be involved in Lion dance as well, and we had a contract with E & O hotel for 7 years already, at 10am on the 1st day of CNY without fail. After that, the troupe will perform at houses (these are booked in advance and we do “layan” on-the-spot requests from neighbours etc..) Unfortunately in 2009, I won’t be a part of it anymore. (for reasons I can’t share).

Preparation at the lobby..

The performance will start at the entrance. There are a lot of “rules” involved and must be adhered to diligently or bad luck instead of good (of which was the main reason to have a lion dance in the 1st place) will fall on the owner/business/family.

4. I used to run a hawker stall selling American Breakfast in Pulau Tikus (this pic was taken on my recent trip back to Pg – for memories & nolstagic’s sake.. ) and another stall outside the coffeeshop selling tong shui and kueh (the same supplier that taught me the Tee Nya Kueh)
No pics of those days, for I wasn’t such a cam-whore back then!
The current owner still uses the same signboard (Mun was my BF..now ex already laa..)

5. Now, on more normal stuffs – yeah.. I hit the gym as much as I can too.. same goals..tone up, beat the fat (eating non-stop like I do) and to keep fit for a Gunung Kinabalu hike scheduled next year with some friends. (speaking of which, can anyone recommend a hill to hike in KL??? )

6. Only started blogging recently since I left my full-time job. It is one that took up every spare minute of my time. Had enough.

7. Not much of a cook, and currently learning as much as I could ;) Learning to bake now too..any partners?

So there, quota of 7 achieved. And I will be waiting to read the rest of the posts by those that are tagged by Ms PureGlutton too! Thanks again PureGlutton!

100C Steamboat, Teppanyaki & BBQ at "Niu Zhe Xui" – PJ, Ara Damansara

Cow Cart Water aka Niu Zhe Xui is located at Ara Damansara (a most obscure place really…). Apparently it opened in September ’07. I was only introduced to it recently by my friend Kev and it seems to me that this place is still relatively unknown as most friends I spoke to gave me a blank stare and go “Where?”
However, places with food does not escape the vigilant floggers of KL, *grin* so a quick search yielded some reviews of the place, in particularly FullHouse.

We went late at night last Sat, and the place was packed. Atmosphere was most festive, as there was some kind of Disney carnival going on and now being the school holidays, both parents and child throng the place. Loads of teenagers too, think Sg Wang kinda crowd.

Browsing around,I find the concept is pretty much like a street market, but with proper permanent shoplots. These are in the middle of the “square” and each square lot is divided into 4, with each corner going for RM2K in rent per/mth.

3 stories shops surrounds the sides, suitable for retail, food or beauty business (some sort like Telawi Street) and outside, rows and rows of office lots are available for rent. Parking was a breeze, with a big underground parking space (RM2 per entry) as well as at the sides of the street.

There were of course FOOD outlets, of which 2 notable ones (to me at least) are Fullhouse and 100C Steamboat Cafe.
That night we were too stuffed from pasta & Pick and Brew so we just checked out the menu at Fullhouse. I adored the deco, though it doesn’t really reflect on the food, for food was more towards simple western grub and mix of local dishes.
However, their tiramisu was highly recommended by my friend.

Deco – really English-like.. makes me think of English afternoon teas with scones, dainty cakes and delicate teaware. That night it was err.. full house (pun intended ;p) and we couldn’t even get a seat.

So I made it a point to come again on Sun afternoon, and this pic was taken then.

not so packed...

After securing a seat, I immediately rattled off my order (having decided the night before!) and was informed that mains are served from 6pm onwards only.
Aiyahh.. I was already hungry, and needed something substantial to fill me up quick. They ran out of Tiramisu too, (on a Sunday??!) so I hopped over to my next choice. Guess FullHouse will have to wait.
No worries: Good reviews and pics to share here:
she,the epicurious gal
kampungboycitygal

Moving along, this is what I ordered from 100c. The value set. Comes with fish balls, beancurd sheets, crabstick..etc.. and a ball of what they call, “steamboat noodle”.

Real value for $$, Rm8.80 only, not incl of 5% service charge.
Soups comes in 11 varieties:

Original, tom yam, curry, fish head, porridge soup, golden porridge (this was what I had), herb, thai sour & spicy, BKT, vegetarian and ma-la soup.

The soup on its own is sweet and has the robust flavour of pumpkin..

Of course, it was even better after I dumped the whole plate of liow in!

Temperature is self – controlled, this panel is facing you and attached to the table.

Heat is by induction, so no smoky smell here. below: The hole where the staff will slot in the pot of soup.

One of their specialties; Fish noodle.

The interesting part: 22 types of sauce!

Very nice layout yea? So chic! ;p (for a chinese restaurant)

This is the Chilli vinegar sauce..I think..forgot..

Anyways, this is what I took:
From left to right: Dried shrimp sauce, peanut sauce + a bit of chilli flakes at the side, honey mustard sauce.

The super-kick-ass 100C special chilli sauce. Really fiery and made every piece of food dipped into it utterly delicious!

Cincalok (fermented shrimp) sauce. Can’t find this often nowadays..

The list goes on. Those which are uncommonly served during steamboats are such as apricot sauce, teriyaki, green chilli oyster sauce, mint sauce, chef’s special mayo, tartar, sweet garlic and spicy fish Thai sauce.

Besides steamboat, the BBQ here comes with some good options of marination.

Sitting area for BBQ is outside..

The main sitting area downstairs..

Upstairs is where they have the tatami rooms. Below each table there is space for diners to put their legs through. Much comfortable than sitting crossed legged while enjoying your meal.

Funny thing is, chocolate and cheese fondue are offered here as well..hhmmm.. fish balls with chocolate??! Anyone?
Below: The choco fondue – still wrapped up as I was there at around 5pm..which is not the normal dining hour. ahem.

In all honesty, I really liked the food and my verdict is that it does warrants a return visit. Of course, groups are always better as there are so many items to choose from! It was proudly proclaimed in the menu as homemade too. Others are the seafood, meats, vegetables, sausages and mushrooms. One thing worthy of mention, I did not feel unnecesarily thirsty after my meal so I take that as a good sign!

For drinks, it is almost like Kim Gary or all the Chan char teng places, with blended ice, milk teas and the works. Portions are big so it is again, value for $.

Not sure if NZX is trying to mimick the infamous NZX in Singapore, as I have not been to the Sg one, I won’t be able to offer any comments.

Oh, another thing, I would like to recommend this. Papaya puff!

It is from Kai Fei Tiam, and I tried one since it is something unique. (I’m game for anything really..LOL)

Delicious! As you can see, it was very flaky (cheh) , minus the oily taste and the filling not overly sweet. Love it! ;p

A lazy Sat with homecooked pasta and Pick & Brew – One Utama Part 2

Dinner was tomato based, and again simply a breeze to make.
We got some pork (yess.. pork!!) bacon bits from EuroDeli while in Jusco.

Prepare onions and garlic as previous post for Lemon Tuna Fusilli. Sames goes for the Swiss mushroom. This time we had the carrots cubed instead of julienned since we are adding more of it to the dish. We soak the carrots in boiling water to pre-cook it slightly.

Pasta – cooked as per instruction and drain. Drop in a cube of butter and mix well.

Saute the onions and garlic. Once fragrant, add mushrooms. Stir well for about 30 secs and you may add the pre -cooked carrots.

Then the pork bacon bits..hhmmm!

Next, tomato puree or paste, whichever of your preference..

Salt and pepper according to taste..we were careful with the salt since we had smoked bacon bits.
For herbs, it was basil again and a sprinkle of oregano.

Cook it for a bit, then pour it over the pasta just now.

Mix it up, and our dinner is ready. All within 20mins. For less than RM4/person. Hmmm.. should do this more often…

He has been raving about FullHouse (in upcoming post) and desserts at Pick and Brew since morning. He opines that the Creme Brulee of one of the best around and the coffee here beats Starbucks anytime. To colloborate his claim, we braved the jam and set out to One-Utama after dinner.
It was not exactly the easiest place to find, as it was not situated right smack in the bustling and popular parts of 1-U. But I guess that works for the outlet, for once settling down, I appreciate that it was nice and quiet; quite a good choice for a cuppa with friends.

I really liked this..cute eh?

Some cute merchandise on sale. Mocha Pots. For serious coffee connoisseur who knows their beans.


Browsing through the menu, I noted a few mains that he recommended based on his previous dining experience and for tonight’s dessert, we ordered Apple Souffle and Double Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream.


Served frozen.. it was as hard as ice-cream. Not sure if it’s meant to be like this? Based on my readings, souffle supposed to be light and soft; no? This is my virginal experience with souffle, or maybe I had it before in buffets and didn’t know what it was then..
Anyways, my friend says this is not the “original” version..


Whatever version it is, I liked it. You can see that there are bits of green apple in it which lents a sourish tinge to the otherwise plain souffle. Refreshing and cooling.
The caramelised lemon slice that was the garnishing. I took a bite; it was slightly bitter and texture wise; chewy.

The double thick lemon mousse that came with the souffle. We thought it was mango cheesecake at first but a quick check with the chef clarified what it was. Double thick mousse does explain it, for it was too light and had no taste of cheese, and both of us were scratching our heads trying to identify it!

The brownie came with the vanilla ice-cream on top of a piece of choco-nut base kinda of bar.

The base was the first thing my fork went for, and unfortunately a major turn-off. Not the chocolate part but the nuts that went with it. It was ‘stale’ – had a rancid taste that I absolutely abhor in nuts of any kind.
Abandoning that, I went for the brownie. It was sinfully rich yet wasn’t cloying. No complains, other than the nuts again, for I found one and popped it into my mouth to test it. Yup, rancid. :(
As for the ice cream, it tasted ordinary to me so I concluded that this may be just Nestle?

He ordered ‘Brazil’ for his coffee fix. And was explaining to me how the mocha pot works. Either I was too tired or for whatever reason, I just couldn’t grasp the mechanism of it. Water underneath, goes up, err… mix with the powder? Rise up, then down or something.. Jeez…


Well, it was a good Saturday out, and I felt much relaxed after a very worrying week. Thanks Kev!
Others who had blogged about it:
Motormouth from Ipoh : Pick & Brew – One Utama

Technology Glitch

Sighh.. the set-back of technology really..

Apologies for the short hiatus from the blog-sphere.. one of life technology worst hiccup that could have happened, well..happened.
My laptop was hit by a virus and I lost all my documents. All my Word files has only one line “Hack by debugger!!!”.
At first I thought it was some bad joke..having opened one of my old files that listed out the recipe that I was looking for.

But after looking through all my other files, excel included, I realized everything has gone KAPUT.
I immediately switched off my modem, since the word “hack” brings vision of a mad fat boy hacker munching on stale pizza gleefully deleting all of my files’ contents and implanting some terrible bug into my laptop.

A panic call to an IT expert verified that it’s not quite the scenario as I have over-actively imagined. He was familiar with this message and ruefully told me it is akin to mission impossible to attempt recovery of these files. “You did back-up didnt you?” he queried, with obvious hope in his voice.
Ahh..why do people always ask that question when things like this happen??

Yours truly here has been busy jetting around and involved in many freelance contracts the last 1 month and No, has not done any back-up.
Grrrrr… irked like hell I had no choice but to recover as many files as I could, going by the titles of the document. Long tedious task. Of which I have yet to finish till today. Pwhhheett..

So I had to re-write all my post entries, in total 7, for my normal modus operani is to type it out in Word, upload pics and copy and paste the sentences/pics into its sequence.

Thank god I didn’t lose any pics. For it seems that this virus only hits Microsoft Office documents. Jeezz.. next time I’m using Notepad.

So yeahh.. posts from my H- Factor Pg – Johor – KK trip here..

H-Factor PENANG – 12th Oct 08

Johor and KK coming soon..

Now if you don’t mind.. moi has to continue to recover more files..

Penang – Tee Nya Kueh lesson

The main reason I went down to Penang after Langkawi was to meet my old friend and supplier Chye. His family run business is well-known in Penang. Each day, their kitchen churned out dozens of trays of sweet, gooey, rich local kueh. Their kueh has the right amount of sweetness, well-blended colours and perfectly balanced mix of rich coconut milky taste. And being able to achieve that balance is no joke ok.

It’s no wonder that they are hailed as one of the best kueh makers in town.
Their kueh is packed in their signature diamond shape cuts and sold in 4pieces packs. So their hardcore customers (such as myself) can immediately recognise their kueh upon sight.

Though my hawkering days are long over, I was interested to learn the trade, and made an appointment with him for a lesson on Tee Nya Kueh making.

He was generous enough to part with his knowledge, of which I will be forever grateful.
Most Penang-ites food business traders guard their recipes jealously and are most likely never to part with them, even when they have already retired. I just don’t understand why..
Obviously family members has a higher chance of securing/obtaining to learn the works but for an outsider? NIL.

Starting the lesson..

Their kitchen.. very well-organized and clean.

I’m going to show you some of the other types made, it would be an eye-opener to those who have not made kueh before no? ;p

This is how it looked like before it thickens while cooking..

Most kueh involves a lot of stirring over the hot stove to ensure a smooth consistency. Be prepared to sweat.

Kueh Bengka – whether it is the white or purple version, same cooking method applies.
The trays are greased and lined with banana leaf for that aroma..

Once done, it’s siesta time (LOL) till it’s ready to be cut..

I could stay there forever, it was so interesting and the kueh so beautiful.
Chew Choo Kueh (yellow long potato kueh) – the grilled (panggang) version.

This is another version that is steamed.

That will not have the “burnt” top.

I prefer this as I liked the charred taste which is only on the top anyways.
Who cares about cancer really..*grin*

Choo bee kueh – white glutinous rice sticky and sweet kueh

Cutting it before packing..

Huat Kueh – sponge like soft kueh

Coconut jam for the Kaya Kueh (blue specked with white glutinous rice kueh)

Packing the kaya..

Precise measurements..

Cut..

Top on the packet of kaya for each “bar”

And it’s ready for packing..

Okies.. enough of the eye-candies.. now let the lesson begin..

Measuring..


Mixing..


Heat water and add colouring..

Pour in the batter..

Stir..stir and stir!

Nice thick and gooey.. ladle into pan for steaming..


Done, lay it out and cut..


This has to be eaten with liquid black/palm sugar but we omitted the lesson for that as I already know how to make that.

As you can probably guess by now, I went back with loads of kueh! Who’s complaining? Not me! ;p

More pics to share..

Huat kueh using black sugar (gula merah)

This is how it looked like after it was cut..

Sighh..the intricacies of kueh-making.. Interesting isn’t it?? For me, it is.