Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kedai Kopi Hing Leong

Last Saturday was the third time we dined in this 'kedai kopi' and we seem to like it more each time. Located in Tanjung Aru, a small town very near KK, along the way to the LCCT (terminal for budget airlines like Airasia), the Tanjung Aru beach and the Beach Hotel. The kedai is in front of the Pantai Cafe. First time here we had a fried pomfrey with sambal sauce but found the fish too dry and sauce too salty. The rest of the dishes were ok (can't remember the whole menu). Second time round we order a steamed kampong chicken with chinese herbs and it was delicious. Sorry no pictures... but this time we were adequately armed...These are what we had...

The shop's menu. Too bad only in chinese.

Cannot resist shooting these twins. So cute!!

Leanne getting her supply of garlic for the night

Clay pot tau fu Rm10

They used local tau fu which we loved and lots and lots of seafood, meat, mushroom and fresh vegetables. Wholesome meal. Tastewise okay.

Roasted duck with special bean sauce Rm25

This dish was recommended by the shop's captain and when the dish arrived we looked at each other and thought 'what did we get ourselves into?' Why?? Take another look at the pic - it looked burnt and unappetising. But wait...remember never to judge a book by its cover? Well, this is a case of not judging a duck by its skin...this is easily the favourite of the night. The skin is crispy and the meat tasty without the dreaded overpowering five spice...oh and the sauce... Daniel (who is a very good cook btw) with his acute sensory antenna detected a hint of sour plum and nam nui (red fermented beancurd) in the sweet bean sauce.

Steamed fish Rm 24

Fresh water Talapia done to perfection. Kesh had another helping of rice to go with the sweet and spicy bean sauce - her favourite.

Fried bitter gourd with fish slices and black beans Rm 8
A bit too oily, taste wise okay.

Vegetable with sambal belacan Rm 8

Ti wang mio is not exactly our favourite veggie because of the sap and the earthy taste but this dish actually tasted good.

Two very satisfied customers

Daniel and Doria, another two happy diners

The total cost of the meal...Rm79 for the six of us. We will be back to try out more of its other dishes. Will keep your posted...

The shop only open for dinner - 6pm to midnight

Love, Jo

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shanghai Pasar Malam

I was in Shanghai earlier in the year and while trawling the streets, stumbled on a 'pasar malam' like makaning place of Nanking road which became the inspiration for our tuaran rock oyster episode. These fellas were literally picking money from these rock oysters that they were grilling. Note the wad of notes the guy is clutching in his left hand. money money money

Sydney Eats

Was in Sydney earlier in the week and was tasked by ahyong to check out the makan scene. I arrived at about 8am and was trawling the city by about 10am, most makan shops were still closed. However there was this little vietamese noodle diner on George Street called City Noodles (I think it was) and since it was a cold and wet day thought I'd start this hard work with a hot beefy soup....beef pho.... compared with the pho..s I have had before elsewhere, this pho was so so....

Was also tasked to look for some serving plates, so while roaming the shops stumbled on Myers which was having some kind of gila gila sale...something like 30-50% sale...settled for some fine looking and cheap maxwell and williams whatchamicallit....

special beef pho

Sea food laksa

Passing the sussex center in china town dropped by a noodle stall famous for visits by local and foreign chef dignitaries who recommend their signature laksa......This is one stall that is a must go for me whenever I visit attempt to describe the laksa is to do injustice.....
While enjoying the seafood laksa, I struck up a conversation with a very dintinguished looking gentleman who was originally from Malaysia..seremban to be exact...He was having an interesting looking bowl of noodles from the same noodle stall...which comprised of pork slices and innards in a broth which is called campin soup

Campin Soup

Sea food buffet

After all that hard work, I had to do some more food sampling at the hotel with the sea food buffet......yabbies, crawfish, rock oysters, prawns, crabs.......its a hard life...

Airline Chow - hors d'oeuvres

Airline Chow - Braised lamb shanks

On the flight back had to settle for the regular airline chow.......its a tough life........

From ppc

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlets)

We have tankiasu to thank (or to blame!) for this dish! When I was reading the comments in the blog few days ago I thought I saw tonkatsu but it was tankiasu... (eyes so blur lah). Since then tonkatsu haunted my sleep and dreams-- the crispiness enveloping the juiciness of the pork coupled with the tangy sweet sauce... What else to do but have to feed the hungry demon....Anyway this is one of Kesh matter what other dishes we're to order in a Japanese restaurant, she will still go for a tonkatsu set...Good enough excuse to deep fry...

Tonkatsu served with shredded cabbage and carrot

8 pieces pork chops (pounded thin with meat mallet or back of cleaver)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
2-3 cups coarse dried breadcrumbs (I sometimes use crashed cream crackers- give the chops more bite but if like it light stick to dried breadcrumbs)
1) Lightly season pork with salt and pepper
2) Put eggs in one plate, flour in another and crumbs in yet another plate.
3) Dredge a piece of meat in the flour, dunk it in the beaten egg and finally, coat it thoroughly with the breadcrumbs.
4) Deep-fry in hot oil (do 2-3 pieces at one time, do not overcrowd or the temperature of oil will drop and the chops will end up soaking with oil) and cook for 3-4 minutes each side until golden.
5) Drain. Serve hot with finely shredded cabbage and carrot, and tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine (or sake)
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon sugar (to taste)
2 tablespoon mirin

Heat all ingredients together until thicken slightly.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

I was in Los Angeles alone, without my gang, during Father's Day. So with my sis-in-law, Mee and her husband, David we checked out a local favourite diner located at the Del Amo shopping mall ..Lucille's Smoke House and BBQ . We ordered the famous Baby back ribs as well as the beef ribs. Both the ribs had a similar and distinct smoky cajun taste ...kind of sweet, sour.....delicious lah.... washed down with their trade mark strawberry lemonade. Typical American portions.....BESAR....even with the three of us we had to 'ta-pau'...

The steak house

The baby back ribs

The beef ribs

Strawberry lemonade

From PPC

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lamb Stew

Many years ago, my sister Mee who resides in the US gave us a recipe for a lamb stew--it has become one of the family's favourite lamb dish and my favourite too because it's so easy to do.

Lamb Stew

Lamb stew

500g stewing lamb, trimmed and cubed
500g carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks - pumpkin can be used also
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon HP sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste - optional (makes the stew look more colourful)
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

1) Heat a deep pan and add oil. Brown the lamb in batches.
2) Mix all the sauces into the lamb, bring to boil and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Check and stir regularly, if too dry add some water.
3) Add carrots to the stew and cook until both the lamb and carrots are very soft but still hold their shapes (another 30-45 minutes). If pumpkin is use, add only when lamb is quite soft as pumpkin cooks quickly.
4) Season with sugar and salt to taste.
5) Serve with bread, pasta or rice. The stew taste even better the next day (if it can last that long!).


Shepherd Pie

The original shepherd pie evolved from leftovers, which was exactly how this family dish came about. One Christmas, as usual, prepared too much food and the humble stew was left sitting in the fridge for a few days. Wanting to serve it in a more presentable manner and under disguise (as some are quite partial about leftovers) - so whipped up a mash and since then the shepherd pie has become a very popular item in the family's menu.

Shepherd pie

Leftover stew

Mashed potatoes
1 -1.5 kg potatoes
50 g butter
150 ml milk
30 g cheddar cheese - optional
salt and pepper

1) Peel and cut potatoes into chunks.
2) Boil them in water until soft, drain.
3) Mash with the milk, butter and cheese (if use) while hot.
4) Season well with salt and pepper.
5) Preheat oven at 200c.
6) Place the leftover stew in an oven-proof dish up to about 2/3 full. Leave more room at the top if like pie with more mash (like my carb-loving gang).
7) Spread the mash over the stew. Can dot some knobs of butter on top of mash but I usually forgo this luxury, to cut down on fats(?!).
8) Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden in colour.

Pie served with french beans salad specially for Don and Star. Bon appetit!!

French beans salad

300g french beans, ends removed

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp garlic (soaked in olive oil)

1 tsp honey

salt and pepper

1) Put beans into fast boiling water. Cook until beans are soft - about 5 minutes.

2) Drain, mix all ingredients into beans while hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sun screen

With the earth's ozone layers depleting, the sun's ray has become merciless. Having heard so many friends and family afflicted with different forms of skin ailments, we really need to take some form of precaution. For all those ladies who have to brave the mid-day sun (between 11am - 3pm) running errands for whatever reasons and especially to all the mums who ferry their children to and from school, tuition, piano/ballet/dancing class.....

Sun Sense Daily Face Rm39.90 (75g)

Heather tried this first and told me about it. I found it in Guardian but you can find it in Watson too. I am so pleased with it I just want to share it with anyone who cares to listen or read!
No, I am not paid to advertise (that would be nice though) but this product is really good and I would feel so selfish keeping it to myself.

It is SPF 60, blocks UV-A and UV-B rays, oil-free base which is ideal for me (my face literally melts and oozes oil under the hot sun!!) and fragrant-free. It is light and smooth with a slight tint that gives the face a matt finishing. Now I don't even bother applying loose powder over the sun screen lotion. The face feels very comfortable the whole day. And....look at the price!!! I once used a branded sunscreen that cost Rm200+ for a small tube and it lasted like...2 weeks. It was good but...who in their right mind would splash Rm400+/month on sun screen lotion??
I use sun screen everyday (yes, even on overcast days) and I have tried so many...expensive, inexpensive, free samples....oil-base, water-base...This is the best I have come across so far.

A while ago I even resorted to don on one of those HUGH plastic visor that covers my entire face much like a helmet without the head protection. My passengers were so aghast -- they either covered their faces with newspaper/magazines or sank real low into their seats. Not surprisingly, the contraption disappeared mysteriously one day. Well, I did looked like a cross between Evel Knievel and the Ninja Turtles!!

To dress like the ladies from the Middle East with only my eyes showing did cross my mind too....on second thought, with my super almost-opaque dark glasses, not much of my eyes will be showing either!!
If only my passengers could read my mind they will gladly buy me all the sun screen I need...

The product is made in Australia. To check out their various products click here.

Love, Jo

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Green mango salad

mangoes at the backyard

Was wondering what to cook one evening when these mangoes hanging on the tree caught my eyes!! Recalled a Thai dish of mango salad and I have all the ingredients needed. Not going to wait for the mangoes to ripen I guess....

Mango salad with fish

Recipe: Green mango salad

4-5 green mango, peeled and shredded
1-2 shallots, sliced finely
2-5 chilli padi (birdseye chillies), crushed
Sprigs of coriander, chopped roughly

1 tbsp. lime juice - optional (I added because our mangoes were not very sour)

2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. roasted unsalted peanuts (coarsely chopped) - to garnish

Mix all ingredient together and leave in the fridge to chill. Garnish with peanuts to serve (I forgot to garnish - that's why you can't find any peanuts in the pic!)

Served it with fish fillet-- deep-fried with simple coating of salt, pepper and cornflour.

Love, Jo

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Glutinous galore (II)

Tzungtzu wrapped in bamboo leaves

Yesterday, our next door neighbour, Cecilia gave us some glutinous rice dumplings (tzungtzu--rice wrapped in bamboo leaves). It reminds us that the Dragon Boat Festival is here again. This festival is called Duan Wu Jie in China and is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in honour of an ancient poet and statesman, Qu Yuan.

Cecilia's tzungtzu

The traditional fare with beans, mushroom, pork and sausage. Very well done, the rice soft and smooth infused with all the aromas and taste. Got to get Cecilia to share her recipe.

Deluxe tzungtzu

My sister, Pit gave me this tzung which she bought from a tzungtzu specialist from Tuaran (she makes tzung the whole year round). This is so sumptuous. Beside the usual salted egg york, mushroom, chestnut and pork --I found a big dried oyster in the delicious. Can you spot it sitting on the fork? The sweetness and the aroma from the oyster permeating the whole humble tzung turning it into a gourmet treat. Never know, I just might find a whole abalone in my next tzung.....
Happy Duan Wu Jie tomorrow!!

Love, Jo

Monday, June 18, 2007

Glutinous Galore (I)

Lemper Rm0.70

Whenever I pass by 'Mee and Cake House' ( a shop near Servey Hypermarket, Penampang) I cannot resist having one of these. I was told it is called lemper (Indonesian?). It is glutinous rice with a spicy chicken sambal floss filling wrapped with banana leaf into a tiny bundle and oh what a bundle-- good thing do comes in small package. One bite and the soft, smooth texture of the rice with the lovely aroma of the banana leaf and a whiff of lemongrass from the spicy floss fills every senses in my palate bundle only gives about three bites...

The lemper also comes with a dried prawn sambal filling. The shop sells a wide variety of snacks and cakes, and does catering too.

Love, Jo

Restoran King Crab @ Tmn Mewah Jaya

Happy Father's Day to ppc.. and all the papas, ayahs, dads and fathers in the whole wide world..(www) :) --Saved this post just for today!

As Father's day is just round the corner and we would be back in KK by then, we decided to celebrate with Heather here in KL (so sad Don is not here in KL too). That gave us a good excuse to go check out the famous King Crab restaurant.

Restoran King Crab

creamy butter crabs Rm57
The butter sauce was incredible eaten with the soft fried buns...but alas..the crabs were sadly overcooked. Lots of crab meat but dry and tough - so?....had to soak them in lots of sauce ...what better excuse to lick the creamy sauce's plate clean???
soft fried buns Rm9

Baked Crabs with salted egg yolk Rm57
First time ever to taste crabs cooked this way and imaging, we are from Sabah, the land of abundant sea food!! This dish (just the sauce) got to be my favourite -I just love the salted egg yolk !! These crabs faced the same fate as the others--grossly overcooked. I think they were all boiled first, then prepared with the different sauces to serve. And was so so disappointed when couldn't find any crab roe in any of the crabs-- zero..nothing...almost cried!!

deep fried mantis prawn Rm15
Didn't get to taste this, the gang were too fast and I am a very slow eater!!
deep fried pork leg Rm45
Not exactly what we thought we ordered - but tasted pretty good. Crispy outside, soft and still juicy inside. Eaten with two dipping sauce - one was peppery and the other one not sure what but sweet.

'pak chok har' - boiled prawn Rm45

The prawns dipped in this special sauce of chinese 'yen swei'- a herb that looks like cilantro but with smaller and more delicate foliage and a much stronger fragrant.

rossette pak choi with enoki mushroom cooked in a delicious stock Rm18

sambal wing beans Rm18

A cholesterol-loaded meal but once a year (.. really?) for father's day only ( hahaha only kidding ourselves!!). Promise to eat healthier after this meal....

Love, Jo

Friday, June 15, 2007

Simple salad and grilled fish

Simple salad

Shave some parmesan cheese on top, shred some left-over steamed chicken meat or sprinkle some lightly toasted pine nuts (or whatever nuts is available). All the above thrown in together with the salad will make a delicious complete meal.

parmigiano reggiano

the secret weapon - garlic soaked in olive oil

halved the olives
Literally, half of these ended up in Leanne's mouth before they could get 'dressed'.

With romaine lettuce, rocket, olives, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes and whatever we find in the fridge.

Recipe: Salad dressing


2 tbs. chopped garlic (best if soaked in olive oil for a day or two - K swear that is the secret to a good dressing)

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (get the best you can- for salad, it makes a lot of difference)

3-4 tbs. red wine vinegar (can be substituted with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or vinegar)
1 tbs. honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in a bottle, shake well and chill. Mix onto salad only when ready to serve.

Simple grilled fish

Season fish with coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper and olive oil. Place on a backing tray and grill in the preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes. For this simple dish, the fish has got to be really fresh or you will get the 'fishy' taste. (Add some chopped garlic if fish not too fresh or frozen).

Squeeze some lemon juice on top and serve with salad. A healthy, no-carb meal!!

Love, Jo