Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

Cheers,
Babe_KL
16 Oct 2012

Friday, 26 April 2013

Part 2 - Sweets: A Taste Of Guinness In The Kitchen This St. Patrick’s

This is the second installment of A Taste Of Guinness In The Kitchen This St. Patrick’s. The first was all about savouries and today it will be on sweets. I quite like using Guinness in cakes as it gives a tinge of bitterness of a stout. On top of that it make the cake really moist.

I've made Chocolate Guinness Cake which later was made known as Black Velvet and in cupcake size. From this base recipe, I further jazzed up the cake into Arthur's Dream by layering the cake with peanut butter, banana slices, more chocolate and finished off with some crunchy almond pralines. I've also turn Guinness into ice cream!

So can you imagine what other sweets you can do with Guinness and here are some of them...


Guinness Chocolate Brownies
Serves 12


100ml Guinness
185g dark Chocolate
50g Milk Chocolate
185g Butter
3 Eggs
275g Caster Sugar
Vanilla Essence
85g Plain Flour
20g coco powder
50g White Chocolate buttons

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle white chocolate buttons in tray.

Melt the Guinness, butter, dark and milk Chocolate together, remove from heat when melted.

Whip eggs sugar and vanilla essence (until figure of 8) and fold into the chocolate mix. Sieve in flour and coco powder, folding in 3 stages. Pour into tray and spread out bake for 20 – 22 minutes at 160C.

Serve warm with Vanilla ice cream.


Guinness Chocolate Cupcake


10 oz flour
2 oz coco powder
6 oz castor sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
3 oz butter
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
4 fl oz Guinness

Butter icing:
6oz butter
12oz icing sugar

Preheat oven at 170C.

Cream butter and sugar. Combine all the dry ingredients; add egg, Guinness and vanilla slowly until the mix comes together. Place into 12 cupcake papers and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

For the butter icing beat the butter and icing sugar till soft and creamy. When cupcakes are cold pipe the butter icing on and serve.


Guinness Chocolate Mousse
Serves 6


10 egg yolks
10 egg whites, whisked
350g dark chocolate
1/4 lb butter
100g caster sugar
100ml GUINNESS® draught

Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bain-marie and add in the GUINNESS® draught.

Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture in with egg yolks and slowly fold in the whisked egg whites until everything is smooth. Transfer the mousse to serving glasses and chill.

Serve with fresh raspberries or other seasonal berries.


Guinness Chocolate Truffles
Makes 25 Truffles



1 kg dark chocolate in small chunks
400ml cream
100ml GUINNESS®
Zest of 1 Orange
Cocoa or coconut powder

Add the cream and GUINNESS® to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chocolate and grated orange zest. Mix together until the chocolate is fully melted.

Leave the chocolate mix until it is cool to the touch, but not set.

Take generous tea spoons of the mixture and roll in your hands to form small round truffles, dust in cocoa powder or coconut powder.

Set in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours.


Buckwheat Pancakes with Guinness Original
Makes 2 pancakes

1 cup of milk
60g butter
½ tsp salt
½ sugar
6 tbsp buckwheat flour
170g plain flour
½ tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
8 tbsp GUINNESS® Original

Heat milk gently with butter until it melts. Cool.

Sieve dry ingredients together and gradually add the milk and butter mix, and the GUINNESS® Original.

Whisk eggs and oil together and gradually add the milk and butter mix and the GUINNESS® Original. Pour the liquid into the centre of the bowl and beat together gently until amalgamated. Leave covered for up to two hours.

Very lightly butter a non-stick pan and heat the mixture. Cook pancakes in the normal way, piling one top of the other as they cooked. Fold when ready to serve.

To Serve:

Fold each pancake in half and half again. Drizzle with butter and sour cream and caviar, smoked salmon or marinated salmon, heat in warm oven until just beginning to crisp at the edges.


Guinness Cake

8 oz butter
8 oz soft brown sugar
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
10 oz plain flour and 2 leve tsps of mixed spice sieved together
8 oz seedless raisins
8 oz sultanas
4 oz mixed peel
8-12 tbsps of GUINNESS®
4 oz walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy and gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and mixed spice. Add the raisins, sultanas, mixed peel and walnuts and mix well together. Stir 4tbsps of GUINNESS® into the mixture and mix to a soft dropping consistency.

Turn into a prepared 7 inch cake tin and bake in a very moderate over at Gas Mark 3\325f for 1 hour. Reduce heat to Gas Mark 2\300f and cook for a further 1 ½ hours and allow to cool.

Remove from cake tin and prick the base of the cake with a skewer and spoon over the remaining 4-8 tbsps of GUINNESS®.

Keep the cake for 1 week before eating.


Thank you Guiness Anchor Berhad and G2 Public Relations for the recipes.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Coconut Grove Dessert Corner @ Bandar Utama

The current hot spell in Kuala Lumpur has been making us craving for cendols and ABC (Air Batu Campur aka Ice Kacang). We visited Gyuniku Signature at TTDI but somehow they do not have stock of cendol. Being the crazy craver, Capt'n Hook asked me where can we head next for cendol nearby. I replied him that there's a place that sells coconut jelly though and "ting" it went on his head... jelly (his fave) is a great alternative. And so off we went to Coconut Grove Dessert Corner which is located at the other quieter part of Bandar Utama in Oasis Business Centre. It's just a small cluster of shops here with ample free parking. A bonus indeed.

And how I got to know about this place? Of course from my fave kar jie ;-)

Capt'n Hook ordered this Coconut Jelly With Cendol (RM5.80).

Coconut Jelly With Cendol (RM5.80) - 1

Such a wonderful idea of melding cendol, gula melaka (palm sugar syrup) and coconut milk with the cold wobbly coconut jelly!!!

Coconut Jelly With Cendol (RM5.80) -2

And so, one is not enough, Capt'n Hook proceeded with his second coconut jelly, a plain one (RM5.20). That's done to cool him down.

Coconut Jelly Original (RM5.20)

I was thirsty so went for Coconut Grove Signature Shake (RM7.50), an ice blended vanilla ice cream topped with coconut jelly and young coconut flesh. At the bottom, suck out the bouncy rainbow jelly. When it arrived, I thought this is going to be quite heavy tasting but surprisingly it's not. It's refreshing and I slurp down in a jiffy.

Coconut Grove Signature Shake (RM7.50)

As for Boi Boi, he will zoom into anything chocolate. Coconut Grove here serves a rather moist and chocolaty steamed cake. Quite innovative to serve the vanilla ice cream inside the emptied core to prevent the ice cream from melting all over the plate.

Steamed Choc Cake (RM5.00)

The menu is not extensive but there are some light bites such as nasi lemak/mee siam packets; Nyonya kuih and tong sui (sweet soup) that changes daily. On Monday & Wednesday, you'll find Red Bean; Snow Fungus Longan on Wednesday; Mak Chuk (wheat/gandum) on Thursday & Saturday; Black Glutinous Rice on Friday & Sunday and Winter Melon Longan on everyday except Wednesday.

Just when we thought the place is very quiet and remote, in came a few families who almost occupied the entire shop which we happily vacate our table for them.


Coconut Grove Dessert Corner
C-B-02, BU 11,
Oasis Business Centre, PJU 6
Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Opens from 11am till 9pm daily
(till 10pm on Friday and Sat)

Tel : 016-205 1121

Friday, 19 April 2013

Part 1 - Savouries: A Taste Of Guinness In The Kitchen This St. Patrick’s

**Non-Halal**


As part of St Patrick’s Day celebration this year, Guinness Stout have kicked off A Taste Of Guinness In The Kitchen This St. Patrick’s campaign so that we can cook up a feast using Guinness by sharing with us some recipes. Some of these recipes were developed by Guinness' in-house chef, Justin O’Connor, while some were unearthed from Guinness archive.

Using Guinness as an ingredient is nothing new as I've used it myself in some of my cooking. For a savoury dish, I've my version of Beef & Guinness Stew. You'll be very surprised that other than the usual usage in stews, it can also be used in sweets. For a start, I'm going to share the savoury dishes courtesy of Guinness Anchor Berhad. The following Friday, I'll share the sweets.

If you're in for cheap cheap Guinness by the pint, we discovered that The Beer Factory have extended their happy hour promo till June! It's just RM12 per pint, I guess the cheapest in town so far we have paid ;-) yum seng! (Disclaimer: We do not own The Beer Factory nor know the owners or their PR agency. We were just customers hehe...)

To find out all the exciting happenings and participating outlets, visit www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia for more information!


Beef & Guinness with Puff Pastry
Serves 4

 
200ml of GUINNESS® Foreign Extra Stout
400g stewing diced beef
100g pearl onion
1 large carrot - diced
100g sliced button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic crushed
½ Litre of thick beef stock
Sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary chopped
Small sheet of puff pastry

In a pot seal the diced beef and brown all over. The vegetables are then added and cooked out for 4 -5 minutes. Add the herbs and beef stock. Now add the Guinness. Slow cook the beef over a stove for 1- 1 ¼ hour. Add a little water if needed at the end.

Cut the puff pastry into 8 even pieces. Egg wash each piece of pastry.

Using one piece of pastry place it on top of another piece of pastry to form a double case. Do this with the rest of the pastry to form 4 double pastry cases. Using a knife score the top of the pastry to give the effect of a vol au vent. Now bake at 200C for 14 minutes.

When cool cut the top of to form a lid. Core some of the pastry out for the centre of each case. Spoon the hot beef into each case and serve.


Lamb Kebabs with Guinness Marinade
Serves 4

 
1 x Loins of lamb trimmed
Olive oil
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
1 small red onion peeled and quartered

Marinade:
50ml Guinness extra stout
1 tbsp natural yogurt
2 cloves garlic crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander
Salt and pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ red chilli chopped

Slice the loin into 8 pieces and place in the Guinness overnight in a fridge.

Dice up the peppers and wedge the onions, season and coat in olive oil.

Add the rest of the marinade in on top of the lamb and continue to marinade for 2 – 3 hours. Now skewer the lamb and vegetables evenly onto 4 skewers. To cook place in the oven for 8 minutes at 180C or char grill until evenly cooked.

Serve with a minted yogurt.


Stuffed Guinness Barley Risotto & Green Cabbage Leaves
Serves 4



8 oz pearl barley
2 lt vegetable stock
200ml cream
8 oz fresh mushroom
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
4 large leaves of Savoy cabbage

Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for 3 – 4 minutes and cool in ice water.

In a pot sweat of onion, mushroom and garlic with a little olive oil for 4 -5 minutes without colouring. Pour in the stock, barley and thyme in on top. Cover with a lid and slow cook till barley is tender, add more stock if needed. When barley is cooked add the cream and parmesan cheese and cook out for 2 -3 minutes. Season to taste.

Using 4 small teacups line them with cling film and place the drained cabbage leaf in side to cover leaving some cabbage leaf over the edge. Now fill the cup with the cooked barley risotto and cover with the overhanging cabbage. Using the cling film take out of the cup and twist the cling film around the risotto to form a ball.

Serve while hot or let it cool and reheat in the microwave.


Guinness Marinade Corned Beef, Champ Potato & Cabbage
Serves 6

 
1.4 kg of corned beef soaked in pint Guinness overnight.
1 onion chopped
5 cloves
3 bay leaves
9 – 10 black peppercorns
1 head of Savoy cabbage
Kg peeled potatoes (this was the recipe given without the amount, perhaps it could be 1 kg)
150g butter
400ml cream
3 sliced spring onion

Place the beef and Guinness into a pot and cover with cold water. Add onion, cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook for 2 – 2 ½ hrs or until tender.
Cook the potatoes in salted water, drain and mash. Add 100g butter, ½ the cream and spring onion. Season potato to taste.

Boil the sliced cabbage in salted water for 5 minutes and drain, add a knob of butter and season.

Take 100ml of the cooking stock and place in a pot, add the other 200ml cream and simmer for 2 minutes whisking in 50g butter.

To serve:
Carve the corned beef onto a plate with a scoop of champ potato, boiled cabbage and finish with the cream sauce.


Rack of Lamb with Guinness and Mustard
Serves 2 
 
1 French trimmed rack of lamb (ask your butcher to do it for you)
Herb breadcrumbs (you can buy them ready made)
½ can of GUINNESS® Draught
Dijon Mustard

Put the lamb and the GUINNESS® into a bowl, cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for 6 - 8 hours. Take the lamb out and coat it with the mustard. Then press the lamb into the herb breadcrumbs. The crumbs will stick to the mustard and make a nice crust. Then simply roast in the oven at 200° C for 20 - 25 minutes.

Serve with roast vegetables and champ potato. Delicious.

Tip:
GUINNESS® is the only beer that really makes this work. The glaze on the lamb is as rich as you'd expect from red wine.


Irish Lamb Stew
Serves 4-6

 
1kg Diced neck or shoulder of lamb
Bouquet of parsley, thyme and bayleaf
3 large onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
3-4 carrots diced
2 sticks of celery chopped
1 small turnip diced
Small leek diced
Kg of peeled potatoes diced (no amount stated in original recipe but I'm guessing 1kg)
Finely chopped parsley
1 ½ lt of chicken stock
2 tbsp pearl barley

In a pot put the meat, bouquet of herbs, barley, onions, carrots, celery and turnip and cover with chicken stock. Simmer gently for one hour. Skim off the scum on top. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for ½ hour. For the last 5 minutes add in the leek. Remove the bouquet for herbs.

Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve in deep bowls with soda bread
Goulash with Guinness 

1 ½ pounds of stewing beef
Margarine
3 onions
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of tomato puree
6 tomatoes
1 dessertspoon of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper and salt
½ bottle of GUINNESS®
8 small potatoes
Cheese to taste

Cut the beef into 2 inch cubes and brown in margarine together with the diced onions and finely chopped garlic. Add the puree, the peeled and sliced tomatoes, paprika and a little cayenne pepper and salt. Pour over the GUINNESS® and cook in the oven until the meat is tender.  45 minutes before serving add the potatoes. Skim off the surplus fat and serve with a little grated cheese.
Pork Fillets in Apple and Guinness
Serves 4

1 large pork fillet slit in half, flattened with a meat mallet and cut into four portions (or four pork escalopes)
2 oz butter
1 tbsp flour
1 pint of GUINNESS®
2 large cooking apples
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper

Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan, brown the pork quickly on both sides, remove and keep warm. Add the onions to the pan and cook until starting to go golden (do not allow them to burn). Add the flour, stirring and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add the GUINNESS®. Add diced apple and replace pork with mustard and seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Check seasoning before serving pork with brown rice and vegetables.

Thank you Guinness Anchor Berhad and G2 Public Relations.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Review: Hit & Mrs @ Lorong Kurau, Bangsar

**Pork Free**


Just so when the residents of the Klang Valley is complaining there is a lack of excitement in our local dining scenes, in come Hit & Mrs located in a lesser known part of Bangsar. Being under the umbrella of The Big Group, you would be surprised that Hit & Mrs is a total departure from the usual restaurants and cafes under the group. Hit & Mrs has a dynamic menu that changes weekly depending on the season and freshness of ingredients available or whatever that strikes Head Chef Mashad Pino's fancy.

You would experience what they call it "experimental dining" where the menu changes and evolved as it goes. You're more than welcome to channel your feedback to Chef Mashad be it negative or positive or even your opinions. Trust me that we have been assured that they would love every bit of feedback so that they can improve constantly based on these feedbacks. And so that come about to the namesake of Hit & Mrs. The original concept would have been downstairs being the dining area and open kitchen where the heat would come from, hence Hit where else the upstairs bar is where it's cooler to hang out more suited for the Missus. As it went along, in came the interpretation of the dishes as it's experimental, there are always the arguments that came from the different palates so there are tend to have some hits and some misses.

As I've mentioned there's the cool bar upstairs which is totally retro looking with antiques and collectibles from the 60s and 70s. Reminded me of walking into a relative's house complete with the rattan high back chairs and sofas with interchangeable covers with loud wallpapers when I was really really young.

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Take your time to browse through the walls and dig out memories of P. Ramlee, Saloma and Rose Chan while having your drinks here.

Hit & Mrs collage1
Berries Mojito

Whilst upstairs is retro cool, the dining area downstairs is completely different, it's more contemporary and you can really note SekSan's touches out loud here. There's even a court yard at the back where one can dine underneath the stars but there's sadly only one table allocated there.

We started off with an Amuse Bouche of Purple Carrot Mousse with Freeze Yoghurt and Malt Soil. It's an interesting play of texture here with soft airy mousse with the crunch from the soil.

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Purple Carrot Mousse With Freeze Yoghurt and Malt Soil

We moved on to our Appetiser of Quail with Butternut Squash Puree and Pecan Nuts stir fried with Garlic. The quail meat is perfectly done, moist and tender, went well with the naturally sweet butternut squash. The pecans have a light subtle garlicky flavour.


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Quail, Butternut Squash, Pecan

I had Lamb of Rack with Salsify Puree and Kipfler Potatoes Sauteed in Goose Fat which was served with a red Luis Felipe Edwards 2011 Chile Wine. Goshhh the lamb is done so nicely with just a nice touch of pink on the inside where it was firstly sou vide before pan fried.

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Lamb, Salsify, Kipfler

Capt'n Hook had Atlantic Cod Poached in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with Salsa and Mash served with a white Alamos Torrontes 2010 Argentina Wine. I had a small bite from the edge and it was good but not when he dug into the centre. He said it's tough and over cooked. As we exchanged notes, it seems like everyone who were having the cod said theirs were over cooked too! The chef decided to cook one portion to let us have a go again. It was done perfectly but yet the texture of the cod was just not right. Even though we were told their cod is not the frozen kind but I felt it was left standing in the freezer for quite a while, I guess a check must be made with the supplier. The staff were genuinely apologetic.

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Poached Cod, Salsa, Mash

Next we have Frangipane Chocolate with Marzipan Ice Cream, Chocolate & Hazelnut Toffee with Strawberry Champagne for dessert paired with Voga Moscato Italy. The tart is basically filled with almond flavoured frangipane topped with a decadent bitter sweet chocolate. Nice and smooth there. Loved the marzipan ice cream, then there's the mousse where the champagne soaked strawberry sat on. Great combination but my only problem is the portion size. As there were quite a number of elements on the plate, I would prefer to have just one slice of the frangipane. The second piece totally stuffed me as I would usually wipe clean my plate to avoid wastage. Hahaha you must be thinking I'm quite silly eh complaining that they gave me too much? But seriously the portion size have to go with the entire flow from start till the end.

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Frangipane, Chocolate, Marzipan Ice

We ended out dinner with a petit four of Peanut Butter Crumble with Madeline topped with White Chocolate Mousse. I was so stuffed by now that I only have very small bites of the madeline and white chocolate but I wiped out every single morsels of the sandy peanut butter hahahaha.

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Madeline, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate

We made our way back on a weekend for brunch this time. With daylight, Hit & Mrs is looking completely different on a new take.

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The bar upstairs...

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Dining area and kitchen, downstairs...

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As there were four of us, Chef Mashad served us large platters of the dishes fit for four. Therefore the photos shown does not represent single portion dishes.

We started off with a savoury of Scrambled Egg, Home Cured Salmon, Squid Ink Focaccia. It's a very clever combination but only when you eat it while they're hot. It's not very smart of us to take forever to shoot pictures of this dish as the egg and bread got a little fishy when they got cold. So please please eat this immediately and be quick.

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Scrambled Egg, Home Cured Salmon, Squid Ink Focaccia

Haha when everyone saw this picture, they went like OMG that's a huge one with 3 eggs!!! Actually there were 4 eggs, one was hidden underneath the plump tomato. Remember, this platter was fit for four people and not a single portion. The proper name for this is Fry Up Two Eggs on Sourdough Toast, Roasted Tomatoes, Buttered Mushroom and Beef Bacon! Yummy and not greasy at all. My kinda big breakfast.

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Fry Up Two Eggs, Sour Dough Toasts, Roasted Tomatoes, Buttered Mushrooms and Beef Bacon

Next was a sweet dish, some sort like a dessert heh? So what was in the platter of Pana French Toast, Pisang Emas, Chantilly? I can totally understand why this was everyone's favourite and there were murmurs of mmmmms... oooooo... all round. The fluffy French toast is really really good as it was made with bread full of dried fruits with dollops of thick chantilly cream in between with pieces of sweet banana drizzled with butterscotch. I would love it further with some toasted nuts for the crunch.

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Pana French Toast, Pisang Emas, Chantilly

Don't you love it when fanciful coffee is served in kopitiam cup and saucer? These are cappucino, taste absolutely lovely, perhaps it's because of the size of the cup... coffee taste was stronger which is great.


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Please note that the menu consists of short descriptions of the dishes, do ask the wait staff for further explanation if you wish. Then there's the pricing on the dinner menu which I thought I would like to point out as I have friends who complaint that they did not see the asterisks (fine prints they say hahaha). You see, the price stated below the main title ie Small Plate, Big Plate etc are for all the items listed below but there are a few dishes that came with an asterisk or double asterisks. For those with single asterisk, there's a surcharge of RM10 and RM20 for double asterisks. Also there are the usual Service Charge and Government tax.

Reservation is highly recommended as seats are limited. Also follow The Big Group on Facebook for the announcement of Hit & Mrs weekly menu.


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We would like to thank Benoit and Chef Mashad (The Big Group); and Carole and Selina (Salina & Associates PR) for the wonderful experience.


Hit & Mrs
15 Lorong Kurau,
Taman Weng Lock,
Bangsar, 
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2282 3571

Business hours:
Dinner 7.00pm - 11.00pm (Tues - Sun)
Brunch 11.00am - 2.00pm (Sat - Sun)
Bar 5.00pm - 1.00am (Tues - Sun)

Check out my flickr album for more pictures


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Chef Rob Rossi's Opening: Bestellen Is Now On Asian Food Channel

I am sure by now, you would have catch up with some episodes of Opening: Bestellen on Asian Food Channel (AFC). Opening: Bestellen showcased how Chef Rob Rossi putting in all his effort to open his dream restaurant situated in Toronto, Canada; from designing the menu, managing the construction right down to the opening. If you check his profile, one of it "doughnut sprinkler" caught me in a tickle. I would love that job too but I'm so afraid of having to keep licking my fingers hahaha...

Ryan Sarfeld & Rob Rossi (photo grabbed from http://bestellen.ca/)

If by any chance you do not know who is Rob Rossi, he came second on Canada’s Top Chef! He became the co-owner and Head Chef of Bestellen with his business partner Ryan Sarfeld back in February 2012. Chef Rob prides himself on making sure that everything served is made in-house.

To capture his commitment to opening a quality restaurant, the process of opening his restaurant was captured on camera and made into the series, Opening: Bestellen.

I was given the opportunity to pose some questions to Chef Rossi and this was his humble reply ;-)

1. What do you do to stay informed about new trends?

To keep up with the latest trends, I eat, read and travel as much as possible. Watching food programmes on channels such as AFC helps to get the mind working and creative juices flowing! The world of food evolves everyday and to be successful in this industry, it’s a must to keep up with the times!

2. What are 3 tips for running a successful restaurant?
  1. Challenge your restaurant’s food and service. By doing so, you pinpoint areas which have room for improvement and then make an effort to better it!
  2. Make sure that you know and love the numbers. The restaurant game is all about numbers. A lot of dreams and passion gets lost in the restaurant business by not being profitable. Even I struggled with this issue with my own restaurant, which you can see in Opening: Bestellen on the Asian Food Channel.
  3. Be passionate with your food, your staff and the service! Every aspect is just as important. And treat your guests like gold! It’s all about the love.

3. What do you cook for yourself and your family at home?


I love cooking pasta at home! It’s something that is cheap, simple and still very comforting. My favourite would be Spaghetti with Anchovy, Chilli and Parsley.


Rob Rossi Trivia 
  • As a child, Chef Rob already aspired to be a chef. His mother’s Italian-inspired cooking and visiting his uncle’s restaurant were his driving forces. 
  • Did you know Chef Rob came out of the first season of Top Chef Canada as a finalist? He was a fan favourite, winning 4 challenges in total. 
  • A milestone in every chef’s career is opening a restaurant that they can call their own. For Chef Rob, he named it Bestellen, which means ‘to order’ in German! You can catch all the nitty and gritty action in Opening: Bestellen on the Asian Food Channel! 
  • Chef Rob has listed Chef Daniel Boulud, another fellow celebrity chef who has appears on the Asian Food Channel’s original production, One Night in Singapore – Daniel Boulud, as one of his culinary idols. What a small world! 
  • His cooking philosophy is to use the best ingredients and apply complementary techniques that will make inspiring dishes. 
  • Everything he serves up at his restaurant is made there. ‘If I can’t make it, then I’m not putting it on the menu.’ 
  • Chef Rob started working in the culinary industry at the age of 15 with a less-than-glamorous job; washing dishes at Pizza Hut. Everybody has to start somewhere! 
  • Chef Rob became a chef the old fashion way: by learning the ropes through hard work and determination in restaurants and slowly climbing up the ranks. 
  • Chef Rob lives by the motto: “Always happy; never satisfied!’ 
  • What does Chef Rob love to do as much as cooking? Fly-fishing! He also wonders why so many chefs love to fish and hunt, perhaps, it is so they can get in touch with and better understand their ingredients!


Do catch Opening: Bestellen (8 episodes of 30 minutes each) every Tuesday at 9.30 pm (Malaysian time). Repeats are on Sunday 4:00 pm; Tuesday 1:30 am; and Wednesday 3:30 pm.




Wednesday, 3 April 2013

My Kinda Snack - Muesli Cookies

I'm the kind who hardly ever eat snacks especially those junk food that comes in packet. It's not that I'm snobbish or trying to be healthy, just that my parents forbade us to eat those stuff or munching on things in between meals as they said it will spoil our appetite. So it never became a habit even until now. Occasionally I do however itch for some bites, so I will rummage through the fridge for chocolates or left over cakes.

Recently, I came across this recipe that said crunchy muesli cookies which seems very simple and easy. As usual I don't really follow the recipe but just guesstimate my way since it's not a cake and I tend to reduce the sugar amount anyway.

I've reduced the amount of sugar so it wasn't really crunchy but rather crumbly as very little butter is used to bind the total amount of ingredients used. If you have sweet tooth, steer clear of this recipe or maybe add a little more sugar :p

Muesli Cookies

What I love about this cookie is, there is the crunch from the oats and nuts; then there's the chewiness from the dried fruits. Tasted very much like my homemade granola. So if you like granola for breakfast, you'll love this cookie recipe.


Muesli Cookies 
(A)
90 g (1 cup) rolled oats
150 g (1 cup) plain flour
200 g castor sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
100 g (3/4 cup) finely chopped mixture of dried cranberries, raisins and dates (you can use any combination ie. apricot, sultanas, citrus peel etc)
70 g (1/2 cup) chopped almonds and walnuts (any combination of nuts will work too) 
(B)
125 g butter
2 Tbsp maple/corn syrup or even honey (I've used maple syrup)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 Tbsp boiling hot water 
Preheat oven to 160C, grease bottom of oven try and line with baking paper. Mix all ingredients (A) in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and maple syrup over low heat. Once butter is completely melted, add in bicarbonate of soda and the boiling hot water. Remove pan from heat and cool a little. 
Pour warm butter mixture into the dry ingredients (A). Combine them thoroughly. Roll them into balls* and place on lined tray. Flatten a little with hand. Leave some space in between to allow the cookies to expand. Bake about 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on cooling rack before storing in air tight container. 
I've roll them using about 1 slightly heaped tablespoon dough mixture and managed to get about 35 cookies.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Review: Burger Junkyard @The Strand

**Pork Free**


Of late, Klang Valley has been bombarded with all sorts of burger joints, from burger bakar (grilled) to black buns (that's made with charcoal powder), the list is really endless. We're not the type who are prepared to queue for our food, I mean like really queue for more than 30 minutes especially so when it's just burger. So we don't go all the way out for them, really.

Burger Junkyard

We dropped by this one, Burger Junkyard located at The Strand, Kota Damansara, just because we were in that area to pick up some pet food. As it was still quite early, we managed to get a table easily but not for those who came in after 7.30pm. It's clean and straightforward with some furniture items recycled from cable drums and wooden crates.

Loved the fact that someone actually bothered to came outside to greet us when BoiBoi and I were browsing the menu while waiting for Capt'n Hook to park the car. The attention given in explaining how to order right down to recommend their signature burgers is well commendable. These young chaps really nailed it here! How about the burgers then?

Squeek

Ordering process is quite simple, just go up to the counter and place your order but at times, table service is available too. After paying, they'll pass you a furry rat that has a number tag on it. Once your burger is ready, they'll bring it to your table. Hmmm not so sure about the furry rat as I can get a bit paranoid touching a public furry item, not so hygienic I feel when you have different dirty hands handling them. When BoiBoi was young, we always wipe his toys with disinfectant. I hope Burger Junkyard would do the same, maybe few times a day.

Anyway, BoiBoi went for a single beef patty Steamin' Cheese Burger (RM15.90), just cause of the cheese. Apparently all the cheese served on the burgers are steamed aged and pressed Cheddar to retain it's moisture and giving life back to frozen Cheddar. So on top of the beef patty has cheese, onion slices and tomato slice sandwiched in between black sesame topped buns. All burgers came with fries and a house aioli (aioli is usually made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks). We knew BoiBoi enjoyed his burger tremendously minus tomato ketchup this time, in between licking his fingers off the juices of the beef patty.

Steamin' Cheese Burger RM12.90

I always like to order the most popular item on the menu, well just to see if it really deserves all the attention. Brooklyn Burger (RM15.90) is the most ordered burger and I had mine single beef patty. It was indeed a towering and handsome burger with cheese, turkey ham, beef bacon, a slice of grilled pineapple ring, a fried egg, some lettuce, sliced onions, and a slice of tomato with buns slathered with their house aioli. Phew, quite a mouthful eh?

Brooklyn Burger RM15.90

A sloppy burger indeed with juices running out with each bite. To solve the problem of dripping juices, we emptied the fries onto a lined basket and used the waxed paper to wrap up the burger :p

I like the usage of fresh pineapple slice instead of canned one was the sweetness would have killed the taste. The patty is thick and retained it's moistness. This burger is something I would order again and again.

Brooklyn Burger

Capt'n Hook decided on the Mystery Burger. When it was described to us, all I heard was garlic... garlic... garlic...! No wonder they call it Vampire Slayer (RM18.90 for double).  I had a bite and even though there are quite a number of garlic items on it, it's not overly garlicky. Imagine other than the standard ingredients, they have on garlic aioli, garlic confit sauce, garlici butter and garlic crouton bits. Capt'n Hook ought to count his luck that his partner equally like garlic :p and was not put off with his garlic breath.

Mystery Burger - Garlic (RM18.90 double)

Hmmm I just noticed the pic, there's only one patty but if not mistaken double means the weight is more and not 2 pieces of patties.

Mystery Burger - Vampire Slayer

We have a side of Fried Country Mushrooms (RM6.90) which is deep fried battered fresh button mushrooms served with a tomato salsa dip. Nothing special or exciting over this side.

Fried Country Mushrooms (RM6.90)

BoiBoi had a dessert of Brownie with vanilla ice cream (RM7.90) which seriously isn't anywhere like brownie. Tasted like steamed chocolate cake with a heavy tasting of rising agent. Perhaps renaming brownie to moist chocolate cake would be better but if I were them, I would source for another good tasting brownie recipe.

Brownie with vanilla ice cream (RM7.90)

Oh yeah, for drinks, there isn't any drinks fountain yet, hence soft drinks and tea come in cans in a fridge near the counter. Just help yourself. I like the choice of having green tea after such a heavy assault :D Our total bill of all the items above plus 2 cans of drink came to RM67.50.

Overall, we quite like the burgers which has moist beef patties and the usage of fresh ingredients. No complains there. Attention and service given are so far one of the best. Even some big cafes/restaurants can't beat them! If they can keep up and maintain their quality and consistency, they should be able to survive the onslaught of burger joints.

There is one teeny complain though, the serviettes! Sounded lame huh but the serviettes they used are those thin ply ones dispensed on a dispenser at your table. The size is kinda smallish too, not so convenient to be used when you have juices running all over your hands. I really felt bad when I had to kill so many trees by pulling out so many pieces of them. Something thicker and biggish would be appreciated. Oh don't worry, they do have wash basin to wash up unlike a certain burger place we went. Just that lots of paper napkins are needed to wipe the smudges on your fingers and face heh.
 

Burger Junkyard
No. 16-G, Jalan PJU 5/20D
The Strand Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Malaysia
Tel: +603-6143 4305

Business hour:
Lunch (12pm-3pm)
Dinner (6pm-10pm)
Closed on Sundays