Friday 29 June 2007

Max It To My Heart

Updated 20 September 2009: Max! Kitchen has shifted to IHaus in Imbi which is bigger and has a better parking facility.


Ahhhh... I'm still on cloud nine albeit coming down with a cold. Thanks, Love, for fulling your promise :x

Hubby came to picked me on Tuesday and he told me that he's taking me to Max! Kitchen. I was like huh??? What's today's date??? Hehehe... I thot I've missed some important date that I ought to remember. He just said he need to full fill his promise to me. Hmm how nice, so ok we headed to Tengkat Tongshin and managed to get a parking in front of Bollywood after circling 2 rounds using the backlane. We were filled with enthusiasm but only to be clouded with a "We're sorry we can't accommodate you cos we're full." Hubby looked around and asked but there are still so many empty tables. The poor wait staff had to explained that Max is cooking alone that night and he has many diners to attend to, so won't be able to cope. Sighhh... what a let done.

So hubby made a reservation there and then to make a come back on Thursday as they were running a private function on Wednesday. So here we are again last night. We got lucky again in getting a parking bay in front of the Korean rest house cum restaurant next to Bollywood! Hahaha... Good sign indeed.

Since I've already made up my mind on what to order, I let hubby take his own course. I've asked for Sea Scallops with Mojama and Wagyu Beef Cheeks with Mushroom Ragout served with Polenta. Hubby opted for Yabbies Lobster Tail with sauteed avocado, garden chive and white balsamic and Lamb Cutlet.

Since I was amongst the last of the floggers to try Max! Kitchen, I took a good look at their pictures this morning. Seems like serving and presentation varies from time to time. I was actually armed with my mini tripod last night but too embrassed to set it up since there is a group of 8 diners on my right and another couple on my left. Most of my pics turned up very dark hence they're heavily doctored to make an appearance here.

After 2 servings of bread, my scallops arrived, hubby exclaimed out loud "Wow the scallops are huge!" They definitely are! Each piece have a ham liked sliver perched in the middle, tasted like ham but they're not. Found out from Precious Pea's post that these are sun-dried tuna loin! These scallops are utmost succulent and tasted so fresh that I can almost smell the sea. He thinks the same too after downing one. My scallops came in a light bed of butterhead and red chicory (I think) with a drizzling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with black pepper and sea salt.

Max - Pan-Seared Scallops02 Max - Pan-Seared Scallops01

I was eyeing on hubby's yabbies since the presentation looked so lovely with 2 large slivers of anchovies. I knew he enjoyed it and shared a piece with me. They were evenly cooked and again, very fresh indeed.

Max - Yabbies Lobster Tails

After some waiting, my beef cheeks came piping hot! The beef cheeks are so so so tender as the meat is interpersed with some layers of gelatinous fat, the result of long braising. Loved the selection of mushrooms especially the morel which absorbed the most flavour.

Max - Braised Shiraz Wagyu Beef Cheeks with mushroom ragout

I exchanged a piece of my beef cheeks with hubby's lamb cutlet. Since he asked for well done, I find them slightly tough on the outter bits but I still enjoyed the tender bit in the middle. Hubby still detected some gamey smell on his cutlets but definitely not on mine hehehe. He's extremely sensitive with this gamey smell, but he claimed they were still good in his books. Max came to say a quick hi, and he knew very well at least one of us is a blogger since he spied me whipping my camera out :p

Max - lamb cutlet

By now, my stomach was bursting from all the food I had. Can't even finish my polenta, pea sprouts and mushrooms which hubby happily volunteered mopping up the remainder gravy with a piece of bread. I refused dessert but the glutton decided he want to have the Crisp Kataifi Pastry.

Whilst waiting, hubby mentioned that we should come here again to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I nodded my head in agreement but huh I was nearly jolted out of my chair... cos it's just next week LOL! He went to the cooking counter and spoke to Max. Not sure what was transpired, all I know was Max promised to have something out of the menu for us and he will place us at table no. 1 at the corner. I didn't expected this to happen at all! Can't wait!

The dessert came pretty fast as the orders thinned out. The kataifi pastry are wrapped around strawberry with passion fruit and placed on a bed of fruit salad of kiwi, dragonfruit and strawberry. We detected that these fruits were infused with rum or maybe some other liquor. Very lovely indeed. In between these pastries, there are 2 scoops of coconut ice-cream served on spoons. Loved this ice-cream flavoured with coconut and tasted a bit tangy with dots of crunchy chocolate chips.

Max - Crisp Kataifi Pastry 01 Max - Crisp Kataifi Pastry 02

The wait staff served us a couple of Cowboy shots which Max mentioned that only his place have these shots originated from Australia. The shot glass is made of plastic and from the outside, you can see 2 different liquid spiralling down. After peeling off the cover, inside revealed half a portion Bacchus Velvet Cream and half portion of Bacchus Butterscotch Schnapps. We quickly downed the smooth concoction.

Cowboy Shots Cowboy Shots wid tab lifted

'Twas a lovely dinner and I'm looking forward to my next visit.

Do check out the gastronomic pictures and write out from the following:
Precious Pea
You Get What You Give
A Whiff of Lemongrass
Lots if Cravings

Max! Kitchen & Wines
27, Tengkat Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-21418115
Closed on Sundays
Recommended to call for reservations

Thursday 28 June 2007

Braised Yee Meen (Pre-fried Noodles)

Similar to the Braised Deep Fried Mee Sua, I've made another version using Yee Meen (伊麺, pre-fried noodles - Chinese characters copied from this wikipedia entry haha). This round, it's simpler, just minced meat and cabbage as part of the ingredients.

Best served with some sambal belacan. *grinning at Lanatir*

Braised Yee Meen

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Wednesday 27 June 2007

Review: Kawan Mini Rice Dumplings

I bought these bags of mini rice dumplings at BCAF07 at a stall owned by Kawan Food, the frozen food producer. I'm not sure of the actual price as I've paid RM10 for any 3 bags of vegetarian goodies offered for charity.

These are Alkaline Glutinous Rice Dumpling (kee chang/karn shui). One bag is of plain variety and another bag is with red beans filling. Inside each bag contained 20 mini rice dumplings, mini as in maybe 3 mouthful.

Kawan frozen dumplings Kawan frozen red bean dumplings

These are how the rice dumplings looked like in their frozen state. They're wrapped with the usual bamboo leaves with thin cotton strings wounded around them.

Kawan frozen dumplings before steaming

And these are the steamed rice dumplings. The plain one is usually eaten with kaya, sugar or gula melaka syrup. I have to say these mini rice dumplings are rather cute, a perfect size to control the amount of glutinuous rice one can ingest. Texture wise, they're rather bouncy. Taste wise, it's just like those we buy from markets or even homemade ones. Of course can't fight with those homemade ones where the rice is painstakingly separated from the glutinuous rice (which I had done before... for the sake of getting a bouncy and translucent like texture).

Kawan steamed frozen dumplings

Looks like Kawan Food have lived up to expectation. So far they have yet to disappoint. Check the rest of my reviews on Kawan's Veaty Bites, Chapati, Dhall and Vegetable Curry.

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Tuesday 26 June 2007

Review: Keong Kei Poh Ban (Double-boiled Soup)

**Non-Halal Posting**

My parents have been raving about a poh ban (double-boiled soup) place opposite Shaw Parade in Changkat Thambi Dollah for a while ever since their neighbour brought them there for a few occassions. For the amount of time we have our dinner around this area, we have no clue about this place. So I got the detailed location from Daddy and decided that we must set foot here, well at least for once.

Hubby and I, went on a recent Monday and circled the area 3 times but can't find any parking. We gave up and went to YHK instead since our tummies were rumbling. The following Monday, got sms from hubby asking me to think where to have dinner *roll eyes*. When I hopped into the car, he looked at me seeking for my reply. I looked back and we BOTH instantly understood each other. Errr does any of you out there have this phenomenon where you can read each other mind without even opening your mouths??? We do and it always creep me off!

So we set off using Jalan Sultan Ismail but hubby did a booboo by turning right at the 3rd right lane which is supposedly going straight to SMART tunnel. The next thing we saw were policemen flagging him in... hohoho... there's a double line there but since it's pretty new, not many were aware. Hence, these scums men were there to booby trap motorists. All I have to say is, it was an expensive dinner :p So be careful if you're not familiar with Kuala Lumpur's roads!

Once done with the men, we took a left turn at the road between Club De Vegas and Times Square. Went down the road and saw this stall under a big tree. This stall named Keong Kee is situated at the junction of Changkat Thambi Dollah and Jalan 1/77B. The best landmark would be Shaw Parade, opposite the main entrance. I doubt you can missed the amount of steamers this stall have! You can park your car at Shaw Parade or there is a parking just next to this stall but the entrances are pretty hidden. So slow down and look out.

Keong Kei Poh Ban

KK - steamers

Once sat down, someone will come and rattle off their menu. Take your choices of double-boiled soups ranging from herbal chicken soups to errr squirrel or even sui yue (turtle???) *wrinkle nose*. Dished like wild boar curry, pork belly with preserved mustard cabbage (mui choy khau yoke), ginger chicken etc...

I've asked for Double-boiled Hair of Ginseng Roots with Chicken (Sum Soe Dan Gai). Ohh my... this place really gives its best, not stingy at all! The soup is full of ginseng flavour and came with a huge chicken thigh. The meat was tender and flavoured with ginseng. Yummy on its own without even need to dip them in soy sauce, well not that I have that habit. Finished till the last drop and check out the amount of "hairs" in there haha...

KK - sum soe dan kai (double boiled hair of ginseng roots with chicken) KK - sum soe

Hubby ordered one Double-boiled Chicken in Coconut (Yeh Tzi Dan Gai) and I took a few sips as usual. Very qing (clear) and can tasted the natural sweetness of the herbs and coconut.

KK - yeh tzi dan kai (double boiled chicken in coconut)

We also have a blanched iceberg lettuce served with a few dollops of oyster sauce and topped with shallots oil.

KK - blanched iceberg lettuce

Since my mom was singing praises of the Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Cabbage (Mui Choy Khau Yoke), we asked for one too. Pretty good I would say but the I got a couple of pieces of lean pork belly, hence they weren't as tender as I would loved them to be. Pssstt can ask for separate extra gravy if you fancy to drizzle them on your plain rice.

KK - mui choy khau yoke

Look at the layers of fats and meats of the pork belly.

KK - khau yoke up close

While we were chowing down, hubby spied other tables with plates of curry looking meat. Upon enquiring, they were Wild Boar Curry. Funny the guy thought we had wanted just the curry gravy... cos he asked a few times whether we want just the gravy or meat together with gravy hahaha... we didn't know they were so generous. Anyway, my waisik (glutton) hubby ordered one portion. I have to say I liked this a lot! The curry flavour masked out the gamey meat and its a bit on the lemak side. Tried so hard to finish this up but alas we have to pack the remainder back haha... GLUTTONS. *roll eyes* If you wish to cook your own, do check out Precious Pea and her hubby's versions of wild boar curry.

KK - wild boar curry

Overall, we are very happy with this find and we will definitely return to try the rest of the dishes and soups. All the above dishes, soups and 2 bowls of rice costed us RM27.00, reasonable huh? The proprietor informed that the soups are available from 4ish in the afternoon till about 10ish at night. Opps forgot to check when is their off day but nevermind since there are so many eateries in that area to opt for if they're closed.

Keong Kei Poh Ban
Changkat Thambi Dollah
Coordinates: 3°8'25"N 101°42'44"E

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Monday 25 June 2007

Savoury Oats With Chicken Floss

I usually have my oats sweet, with milk and sugar or in cookies, but never in my life I had them savoury. I was lamenting how boring it is eating oats the same way albeit with different toppings ie fruits, raisins, dried fruits, nuts etc. Hence, my friend suggested to cook them in stocks, add various toppings like deep fried ikan bilis (anchovies), onion oil, chicken bits, meat floss yada yada yada... but I never got round to make them as he recommended.

One night, I was home alone and was too lazy to go out to get some dinner, I rummaged thru my larder and found a handful of quick cooking oats (not the instant type), so I decided to use them for my dinner.

Dumped the oats in a saucepan with enough water and let it come to a gentle boil. Since I don't use stock cubes at home, I poured in some oyster sauce to taste. Tossed in lots of black pepper and some onion oil. Dished up and served with chicken floss. Here was the result...

Savoury Oats With Chicken Floss

I'm surprised this bowl of oats did tasted good. The onion oil brought the oats to another level as it impart a very nice fragrant to it and went well with the oyster sauce flavour. Since then I've used Marmite/Bovril as flavouring as well. So if you think oats is boring, try them this way ;-)

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Congratulations on the Opening of Just Heavenly Pleasures

Our fellow food bloggers, Allan and Nigel, cum owner of Just Heavenly had just officially opened their retail outlet, Just Heavenly Pleasures at Epicure, Damansara Heights last Saturday. WMW had blogged about the event and many of them have the delicious cakes and desserts posted on their blogs for the past one month or so.

It's so sad that I have yet to give them a visit as (1) It was a bit out of our way and (2) We have an erratic month! Well I do hope we can drop by soon to get our hands on those little pleassures. I've even had Nigel's number saved in my phonebook just in case if I need to "chup" those signature Chocolate Durian Cakes :p

To Allan & Nigel,

May your business be as smooth as
the cream you use,
May your future be as exciting as
your creative offerings, and
May your creations bring us all
Heavenly Pleasure here!


p.s.: I did not coin those words but hubby did! Thanks Love for doing that favour under duress kekeke...

Friday 22 June 2007

A Merdeka Day Project: Dear Food Bloggers and Malaysians

Dear Food Bloggers and Malaysians,

How are all of you? Sorry to trouble you this weekend. I would love some feedback from you on a National Day project. Last year, I've organised the first virtual open house on our 49th National Day. I've invited Malaysians all over the world to participate in that event with the theme Malaysian Recipes Long Forgotten. If you're interested, check out the round up of the Merdeka Open House 2006: Recipe Long Forgotten Round-Up.

A blogger asked me a few days back if I'm organising any event this year. It's not that I've not thought of it, I did but just that I was dragging my lazy feet :p along.

To get things going, this blogger had suggested to get 50 dishes from 50 Malaysian bloggers hohoho... to commemorate the 50th National Day. 50 dishes is ok but how to gather 50 Malaysian bloggers to participate???

So, apart from this, I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Kindly send in your comments/suggestions via Comment section or you may email me at babe_kl(at)yahoo(dot)com before the end of June 2007.

Thank you in advance for your valuable feedback.

Happy weekend.

Warmest regard,

Thursday 21 June 2007

Review: Indulgence Restaurant and Jazz Room, Ipoh

Oh dear, I shouldn't be posting this now cos it will make Jason, Ipoh Mali, homesick. Poor boy :p hehehe...

One Saturday, hubby's karzheng (read in Hokkien :p) got itchy and decided to take a slow drive to Ipoh. Gave his brother a call and off we went. We reached there around 1.00 p.m. and we were told to wait for him at Jusco whilst he ran his errands. I had to take my boiboi inside since he need to answer nature's call. My oh my... soo soo crowded! Seriously, it's like the whole of Ipoh's folks were there and it's so HOT and stuffy inside.

Anyway, my BIL called and we followed him around a bit to finish up his errands. Once done, he took us pusing pusing (going) around and we reached this huge white washed bungalow... oh my... I told hubby that his brother is taking us to Indulgence! As usual lah my blur hubby gave me a blank look. So I told him a bit about this place and tiramisu is a must order according to a friend of mine. As I was standing at the driveway, geee... this place reminded me of Bon Ton/TopHat in Kuala Lumpur.


Took a seat and his brother told us his wife and kids won't join us cos the younger one was preparing for his exam. So we glanced at the menu and placed our order. Hubby ordered a pasta and since I wasn't hungry I opted for a salad. Didn't order anything for my boiboi since he had some food earlier. A bread basket was served. The bread was good but too bad it was served with butter. Could have been better if they've served them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Indulgence - bread basket

I took a bit of time to observe the surroundings... the main dining hall is bright and cheery but I find the tables lining the 2 walls are very close to each other. I could practically hear every single bit of conversation the next table was having.

It took quite a while for our dishes to arrive. How slow... and they're not even full house. All in all they have like errrmm less than 10 patrons in there and a few of them were already in the midst of eating. Can't imagine what would it be like if they're running on a full house.

Anyway, hubby's pasta dish came. I'm not very sure what it is but its a hand made saffron spaghetti with seafood. Apart from cherry tomatoes, we were arguing what were the rest of the purplish berries until we took a bite of them. Hehehe they were grapes! I had a few strands of the spaghetti which is a wee too thick to me and the texture is totally different from spaghetti. This is more like hand made noodles used for pan meen. Well at least it came in saffron tinge.

Indulgence - pasta

Next, my salad came. The smoked duck salad actually had a catchy name but alas I can't recall. Sorry horr me old already... have major memory issue! Anyway, I really liked my salad. It came with loads of greens (has rocket leaves too!); mangoes and oranges; and smoked duck with a tangy dressing. The whole shebang of saltish duck slices, fruit slices and greens blended very well with the dressing. Topping the salad is a huge nest of deep fried katafi liked strands which I don't really fancy. The smoked duck could be one of their specialty cos I saw vacuumed packs of them in their fridge display together with their cakes! Yeah, with the cakes hehehe...

Indulgence - smoked duck salad Indulgence - smoked duck salad with topping moved aside

I was so full and did not order any cakes nor desserts. Hubby got a tiramisu, BIL got a piece of chocolate cake and I asked for one scoop of ice-cream for boiboi. Sorry no pics of these cakes cos we were busy chatting and my BIL was giving us a low down about Indulgence and the sitaopor (lady boss) hehe... apparently upstairs, they've converted the place as a boutique hotel.

Back to the cake, I had a few bites of the tiramisu but it didn't rock me! Seriously, the fabulous Baker did a better job! In fact sooo much better! Even my hubby commented the same. The Baker does take order, check his repertoire here.

Funnily they sent 3 scoops of ice-cream for boiboi but thank goodness he's not the greedy type and will stop when he had enough. So in the end the mummy have to ingest the remainder up blehhh...! Mummies usually have the same job as Alam Flora *roll eyes*

There are hits and misses here but I don't mind coming here again to check out the rest of the items in the menu. Sorry no prices since BIL footed the bill and for the lousy pics as we sat in a dim corner.

Indulgence Restaurant and Jazz Room
14 Jalan Raja Di Hilir
30350 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-2557051
Fax: 05-2426297

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Tuesday 19 June 2007

Happy Duan Wu Jie

**Non-Halal Posting**

Today is Duan Wu Jie or rather most foodie will make it known as Rice Dumpling Festival. Duan Wu Jie falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. I'm not elaborating how this festival come about since there are many articles and blogs mentioned about this. More info here and here.

To those who are celebrating this festival, Happy Duan Wu Jie to you and your family.

I managed to dig out these pics to show what's inside this unique Hakka Rice Dumpling. My brother's future MIL made these super delicious rice dumplings. These are sooo sooo unique that I doubt many of you have eaten these :p

Hakka Rice Dumpling

These glutinous rice contained coconut milk, yes coconut milk, and red beans are part of the fillings instead of the normal mung beans or black eyed beans. Apart from red beans that were scattered all over the rice rather than concentrated in one little corner, it has the usual pork meat, salted eggs, dried shrimps, mushroom and my fave chestnut. I really liked this a lot cos the coconut milk impart a fragrant note to the whole concoction. A whole new taste to me and I'm hooked!

Hakka Rice Dumpling fillings

I still remember banging my head on the wall literally when I found out the rice dumplings given to me the first time a couple of years ago turned rancid the very next day. It was then I found out that they were made with coconut milk and we did not placed them in the fridge. I had to listen to my family members singing praises about them. So upset! My brother's girlfriend told her mom about this and she actually made an effort to make another batch, just for me but it was few months down the road though since she stays in Johor. Wahh I was so touched! The rice dumpling depicted here is from last year's batch, wayyy after the festival, excuse me for the poor photo quality, I was in a hurry to attack it.

*Ahem* I was told to collect my share today from my mom muahahaha... I'm a very happy child today indeed!

Happy eating but try not to over eat!

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Monday 18 June 2007

Shanghai Nian Gao - Hokkien Style

Before I start my posting, just wanna wish my daddy, hubby and the rest of the fathers/grandfathers/great-grandfathers/Godfathers, a very belated Happy Father's Day!!! No heart wrenching post from me yesterday haha... very tired and no mood cos my boiboi is having the flu/cough/fever package with lots of thick phelgm but he's better today.

In fact he got better yesterday evening after we took him to take his pick of donut at Big Apple Donut! Earlier he said he don't want to eat anything, not even when we entice him with donuts and we just left him as it is. Not until when his daddy decided to grab some donuts, that fler went and picked his own choice and little did I knew he picked peanut butter, his fave. It's great that he knew how to read and understand some words now. I don't need to tell him which is which! As he was munching his donut, I asked him if it's nice, he shook his head. In between his chokeful of donut he mumbled "Dunkin' Donut is nicer". That says a lot huh?

**Non-Halal Posting from here onwards hehe**

Anyways, back to regular posting, lemme do a quickie one today.

I bought a pack of Shanghai Nian Gao (white rice cake). In Cantonese sometimes it's known as pak kor meen (gingko nut noodle) which I think its because of the shape of the rice cake.

white rice cake in packet

You can't cook these rice cakes straight from the packet (pic on the left). To prepare, soak the rice cakes in water overnight or like what I did, soak in hot water for about 4-5 hours, changing the cooled down water with hot water twice. Next, blanched them in boiling water with a few drops of oil till soften or al dente or to the texture you favour. Drain off the water and cook them accordingly as seen on the pic on the right.

white rice cake blanched white rice cake

I've cooked my Shanghai Nian Gao in Hokkien noodle style. Easy peasy...

Fry some sliced pork (can use chicken) in hot oil till 3/4 cook. Didn't managed to go market to grab some prawns, hence omitted. Next, stir in loads of chopped garlic. Once the meat is cooked, pour in some water. Add in oyster sauce and thick soy sauce to taste. Once the water come to a boil, place in the cooked rice cakes. Stir to prevent them from sticking to each other. Ensure the water is enough to cover the rice cakes. Cover with lid and let them simmer in low heat. Test the rice cakes to decide if they have cooked to the texture you prefer. I liked mine slightly on the chewy side.

Adjust the seasoning, adding more thick soy sauce if they're not dark enough. More oyster sauce if not saltly and a little bit of sugar to bring out the taste. Stir in some choy sum and carrots. Cover again and let it cook till the gravy is drier. Dish up and serve hot when the vegetables are cooked through.

Shanghai Nian Gao (White Rice Cake) Hokkien Style

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Friday 15 June 2007

Chocolate Brownie

I'm gonna end the week here with another sugar high Friday. Made this version using Donna Hay's recipe from Modern Classics Book 2 which turned out beautifully. It's moist and the chocolate smelt and tasted great. Can't believed I've made a second one right after I chucked my first into the oven! The chocolatey smell that wafted from the oven propelled me to made my second immediately haha... best part, I don't even need to wash up the utensils first since this is not a delicate cake anyway.


Pardon for the lack of real posting especially on makan places cos I don't have much time to compose them in great length. Maybe next week... till then, have a nice weekend.

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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.

16 Oct 2012