Wednesday 31 August 2011

Merdeka Open House 2011: Makan Through Malaysia Round Up

UPDATED 1st Sept: To include Pei-Lin's entry of Proud to be Rojak'ed.

As Malaysia celebrates her 54th Independence Day or more commonly known as Hari Kebangsaan or Merdeka in Malay, we're glad to be the host for the 6th Merdeka Open House with the theme Makan Through Malaysia.

As with the other years, let's pay respect to the country by starting off with our national anthem, NegaraKu.


Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Raykat hidup
Bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta
Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta

Coming out with this theme is rather quite easy as I just thought that ROKH had given a great suggestion in last year's poll, just that I posted up the announcement a wee too late that I supposed quite a number of people got stumped there. I apologise for that. Let's take a look at previous themes...

2006 - Malaysian Recipe Long Forgotten
2007 - Muhibbah
2008 - Mee and My Malaysia
2009 - My Sweet Malaysia
2010 - Food From Our Hearts

For Makan Through Malaysia, participants were told to cook up a dish in particular famous to a location in Malaysia, be it a state, town, or area. Not only that, they would need to come out with the story of the origin of the dish or how they relate the dish. I've read through all entries and I must say some of the stories are rather heart warming. I guess blogging to me is not just as simple writing down the recipes but if I could relate tales behind them, it would have been more meaningful.

OK, let's get on with the round up...

MaaMeeMooMoo's Ramly Burger MaaMeeMooMoo who is residing in Singapore made her version of Ramly Burger! Do read her story on how her first puppy lover, L, got her hooked on Ramly Burger. Who in Malaysia doesn't crave for one sloppy Ramly Burger Special? I do and I know many of you secretly do too ;-)... Ramly Burger Special Dua, terima kasih!

Nate & Annie (House of Annie) currently living in Kuching, had submitted an interesting ingredient from Sibu which is an indigenous Sibu Olive called Dabai! What's so interesting is this olive tasted creamy like avocado. The thing with dabai is, it's highly perishable, which is no wonder I have not seen it at all in this part of Malaysia. Their submission of Nasi Goreng Dabai (Dabai Fried Rice) is made from a paste that came in a jar. Hopefully we can see some light of jarred Dabai products in east Malaysia soon. Nate & Annie's Nasi Goreng Dabai - Dabai Fried Rice

Tham Jiak's malaysia-hokkien-prawn-mee ROKH (Tham Jiak) is based in Kuala Lumpur but her hometown is in Taiping. Just look at her photo of Hokkien Mee or also known as prawn mee, it's just bursting with the accompaniments that you can't see a single strand of noodles nor much of the delicious broth! She's really a lucky girl, just read her tale of two mothers and you'll understand why.

Quay Po (Quay Po Cooks) from Kuala Lumpur cooked up her version of Ipoh Claypot Chicken Rice in tribute to her mother. It was indeed an inspirational tale of how her "iron lady" mother single handedly brought Quay Po up during their hard times. Bad times will pass and turn to good, if we persevere ;-) Quay Po's Ipoh Claypot Chicken Rice

LCOM's BKT Ching (Little Corner of Mine) resides in Colorado Springs, USA. She had told me that she might have a bit of problem with this theme since she has been away for a while. Anyway, she managed to made it with her Klang Bak Kut Teh albeit using pre-package Bak Kut Teh herbs which is all right due to her locality. What I loved is her complete set up that includes yu tiao (yau char kway or fried cruellers), dark soy sauce, fresh red chillies and chopped garlic.

Suemomster (Cooking Momster) from Selangor submitted a recipe from her hometown, Kajang. Did you know that other than Satay that Kajang is famous for, the other dish that is equally as famous is Hot and Peppery Soup (also known as Lat Thong). I can attest this dish is very comfy to have especially on a cold rainy night. Traditionally pig's stomach is commonly used together with loads of whole white peppercorns but nowadays it comes with other parts like pork belly and chicken meat as well. Sue's Kajang's-Lat-Thong

Gert's Tau Sar Pneah Gertrude (My Kitchen Snippets) from Pennsylvania, USA was also worried that she won't be able to make it for this theme due to the same reason as Ching. I'm so glad she did make time to go through the tedious process of making the pastry for Penang Tau Sar Pneah (Mung Bean Biscuits). Just looking at the step-by-step photos of the process made me to be more appreciative of this biscuits when I bite into one. Also check out her humourous encounter with the Customs officer hehe...

Suresh (3 Hungry Tummies) from Melbourne, Australia submitted this Kuching Tomato Noodles which I have to admit that I've never tasted one before. Judging from the photo and also because it contains tomato ketchup, I'm liking it already. Thanks to Suresh for the wonderful memories of Kuching. Suresh's Tomato Mee

PureGlutton's BKT pot offalPureGlutton (PureGlutton) from Selangor made a huge pot of home-cooked Bak Kut Teh, Klang style! You can see that she has been rather generous with the ingredients ranging from pork meat to offals and beancurd sheets. It is also very enlightening to know how her in-laws introduced her to Bak Kut Teh 20 years ago. Besides that, also scroll all the way down her post to see who is her biggest fan :D

Daphne (More Than Words) resides in Perth, Western Australia. Each year, she will diligently check with her Malaysian hubby on what to dish up. This time Chicken Kapitan was mentioned as he's from Jasin, Melaka, in celebration of how his grandfather had established himself in order for his off-springs to prosper. Daphne's Curry Kapitan

Chopin & MySaucepan's Ipoh Kai Si Hor Fun ChopinandMysaucepan (ChopinandMySaucepan) who are currently residing in Sydney, Australia submitted two delicious entries. The first is Chopin's mother special Ipoh Kai Si Hor Fun (Ipoh Chicken Rice Noodles). Loved the slippery smooth hor fun in a tasty broth. I guess when one is home sick, a warm and soulful bowl of hor fun would certainly cure it all!

The other dish submitted by ChopinandMysaucepan (ChopinandMySaucepan) is Ampang Yong Tau Foo. It's an amazement to me how the Malaysians could come up with such creative idea of holding a Yong Tau Foo party! Why have I never thought of it? Could it be because it's so easily available here that all we need to do is ask our friends to meet us at the restaurant in Ampang? Chopin & MySaucepan's YTF

Shannon's MeeGoreng Shannon (Just as Delish) from Kuala Lumpur is originally from gastronomical Penang. I would totally understand how she would crave for all the delicious Penang food as those found in Kuala Lumpur just couldn't come close. The other option is of course seek help from who else but her mother for a recipe of Penang Mee Goreng. Clever girl there!

Babe_KL (Babe in the City - KL) from Kuala Lumpur submitted Paper-Wrapped Chicken after igniting her memories of Hakka food and starfruits in Serdang. The journey would entailed a bus trip down to Kuala Lumpur before hopping on the next bus to Serdang, it's almost akin to an outstation trip more than 30 years ago! Babe_KL's Chi Pau Kai 02 (resized)

Pei-Lin's Penang Rojak Pei-Lin (Dodol & Mochi) from Kuala Lumpur made it for this year's open house, yay!!! I totally could relate to her Proud to be Rojak'ed. How not to when Malaysians grew up in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. Loved the hint of bunga kantan (torch ginger) in her rojak sauce, oh yum!

That's the round up for this year's Merdeka Open House. Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I do in hosting another round of virtual open house. Well, if only this is the real deal... not sure about you but I would definitely be drooling from all the yummilious dishes.

Oh ya, @babe_kl will be twitting all your posts together with this round up, so if you're doing the same, just use hashtag #merdekaopenhouse. Also let me know if I've made any mistakes or missed out your post altogether.

Thank you all for participating and I'm already looking forward to host the next open house!

Selamat Hari Merdeka!

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

Raya Greetings

Wishing all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. 
Maaf Zahir & Batin.

Monday 29 August 2011

Merdeka Open House 2011: Submission Is Closed

Submission for this year's Merdeka Open House 2011: Makan Through Malaysia is closed. I'm quite surprised that quite a number of entries were received since I've posted the theme like one week late. Thank you to those who have joined in the fun. There are all delicious entries with lovely, and some heartfelt stories that came with them. Remember to read through their entries ya ;-)

As with before, I would still receive late entries, just that I won't guarantee that your submission will be posted on time in the round up on Merdeka Day. It will be added on later when I could do so.

Come back on Merdeka Day to drool over the yummilicious entries!

Thank you!

Sunday 28 August 2011

Makan Through Malaysia: Paper-Wrapped Chicken (Chi Pau Kai)

I would have thought this year's theme Makan Through Malaysia would have been pretty easy but when I sat down to think what I could make that must have a story attached to the dish, now that's pretty difficult. There is no doubt Malaysia has many provinces, states and small towns; each with their own unique dishes show casing the fresh ingredients from the area but it is indeed very hard to single them out. Am sure, many of you would be in such dilemma.

As I was leafing through my cookbooks, stopping at almost every familiar recipe... I know, I could do it but to cough up something within my memories.... mmmm very challenging, no? I managed to stop at this simple recipe found in Lee Sook Ching's Cook Malaysian - Paper-Wrapped Chicken (chi pau kai in Cantonese). They are marinaded chicken pieces, wrapped in greased-proof paper before being deep fried. When one mention Chi Pau Kai, Serdang or Sar Dung in Cantonese would come into mind.

Chi Pau Kai 01

If you have read me enough, deep-frying is not my strong hold as I really despise the cleaning up and the lingering smell in the kitchen, clothings, body and hair! It really have me there, thinking not twice but thrice before deciding, this would be my story for this Merdeka Day. And here we go...

My maternal grandmother who is a Hakka have a couple of relatives staying in Serdang. Back in the 70s, Serdang is really located very far, and considered as outstation and it predominantly housed Hakka clans. A trip to Serdang means setting aside one day for travelling and visiting. Ironically that 20+ years later I'm staying pretty near to Serdang (about 15 minutes) and are commuting to where I used to stay (Kepong) like at least 3 times a week within the reach of 45 minutes!

When I was really young (aged within single-digit), my grandmother, a couple of grand aunts, aunts and my mother would take me along when they go on a day trip visiting their relatives in Serdang. The whole gang would take a bus from where ever they are and to meet in town, which I can't remember which part, for the next leg of the journey via another bus. I know from Kepong to town, we have to take the red stage bus called Selangor Bus but I've no idea which bus company was it from town to Serdang. The adults would pass me the tickets to play or just hold on to them. All I could remember it's really a long ride!

The relatives would wait for the entourage at the bus station before taking us out for lunch or at times back to their house for a sumptuous Hakka lunch of almost consist of Hakka Char Nyuk (braised deep fried pork belly with black fungus), abacus seeds (yam dumplings) and at times Paper-Wrapped Chicken.

After lunch, it would meant going to their house for a visit and in those days, many of such village house are located within a farm of yet another famous item in Serdang - starfruit! I have to attest that the starfruits here were one of the sweetest I've ever tasted that my dad managed to nurture one in front of our house from the seeds. That sweet old tree had produced many sweet and delicious starfruits until the recent years that the old tree no longer yield that much fruits that my dad decided to chop it down.

I've no idea how paper-wrapped chicken came about and if it's truly a Hakka dish but I sure know that whenever it is mentioned, Serdang (old town) or Seri Kembangan (new town) would come to mind. So that's my take this Merdeka.

Chi Pau Kai 02

This recipe yields the dry type instead of gravy laden ones and I've adapted the recipe based on the amount of chicken meat I have used but I'll post up the original recipe. The recipe called for boneless meat but I've used chicken legs that are chopped into 4 pieces.

The first batch that I've fried up for lunch, the chicken pieces actually stuck to the paper. It was horrible to have to remove the bits and pieces of paper. How can that be??? Capt'n Hook asked me if I have used the correct paper. Hmmm I knew it's definitely grease-proof paper... so I reread the recipe and guess what... ahahahahaha as with the norm with human, we tend to don't read the recipes closely and ended up with such boo-boo. So I found out that I need to grease the paper first placing the chicken onto it :p

Verdict: The chicken is great to be fried wrapped in paper as it retained its moisture making the chicken nice and tender. As for the taste, next time I would like to increase a little more of the ginger juice.

Paper-Wrapped Chicken
Cook Malaysian, Lee Sook Ching

2 cups chicken meat, cut into small pieces
Ginger juice, extracted from 1 cm knob of ginger
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Cooking oil for deep frying
12 (15 cm square pieces) grease-proof paper

1. Season chicken with ginger juice, soy sauce, rice wine, salt and sugar and 1/2 Tbsp of cooking oil for 30 minutes.

2. Divide chicken into 12 portions and place on well greased grease-proof paper. Wrap firmly to form little parcels. Tuck loose end of paper into the folds or staple to secure.

3. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok and fry the packets for 2 - 3 minutes until paper browns. Drain well and serve.

I'm submitting this Paper-Wrapped Chicken for Merdeka Open House 2011: Makan Through Malaysia.

Friday 26 August 2011

Merdeka Open House 2011: 2 More Days To Submission

Just a reminder, you have 2 more days to submit your entry for Merdeka Open House 2011: Makan Through Malaysia!

Looking forward to your submissions :D

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Happy Birthday to August's Boys and Gurls

aug bd
Cake by courtesy of Cameron Highlands Resort

It has been NINE years since I gave birth to BoiBoi and gee time really flies. He's really a blessing for us, giving us loads of happiness, excitement, anxieties, tears and you know, it's hard to sum them all up in words here. I guess he's really our "everything". Life has definitely become colourful and full of activities with one smile of our child. We're happy that he turns out to be quite obedient and rather sweet in nature. Watch out all the gurls out there!

Darling, may Lord Buddha bless you with real success and pure love, adorable smile and happy days. We are very happy and blessed by you that made us very very happy parents.

Happy 9th Birthday Darling!

Lots of love, Daddy & Mummy

August is also the month where I have quite a number of friends and family members who are sharing birthdays with BoiBoi and myself. Here's wishing J (7th), LL (18th), DL (20th), Lisa (21st), Babe_KL (25th), Dafthamsta (26th), Lyrical Lemongrass (27th) and my mom (29th):

Wishing all of you a very warm Birthday
May this day brings infinite joy in your life
May it brings unlimited success and hope in your life
Have fun most importantly and enjoy your day
To the best, today and always!

Many happy returns of the day!

Monday 22 August 2011

Merdeka Open House 2011: 6 More Days To Submission

Just a quick reminder, 6 more days to go before submission is closed for this year's Merdeka Open House 2011: Makan Through Malaysia!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Hazelnut & Chocolate Chips Cupcakes

Hazelnut & Chocolate Chips Cupcakes

The last recipes featured in BSC's reTALE magazine is this super fragrant, nutty and chocolaty cupcake!  During recipe testing, I wasted ermm some rather expensive Vom Fass hazelnut oil as after baking, the hazelnut aroma simply just evaporated and disappeared. So in order not to waste such precious oil, I've used an extra virgin olive oil instead which you can actually replaced with some neutral vegetable oil like corn or canola oil.

To preserve and enhance a nuttier flavour to this cupcake is to simply brush on some Vom Fass hazelnut oil on top of the cupcakes while they are hot. If you're feeling generous, you can drizzle some of these oil all over which will makes the cakes pretty moist and absolutely taste and smell Heavenly. I was  heavy handed on the amount of chocolate chips and I loved Hershey's as they're bigger and sort of like melted into gooey mess instead of those smaller generic ones you get from baking supply shops.

So, that's all the recipes featured in reTALE and I hope you'll enjoy these recipes as much as we did!plus

Hazelnut & Chocolate Chips Cupcakes
Makes 6 large cupcakes

140g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
45g sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg
50ml Vom Fass Don Carlos - Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
130ml milk
2 tsp Vom Fass Naturally Cloudy Apple Cider Vinegar
100g roasted hazelnut, roughly chopped
140g chocolate chips
Some Vom Fass Hazelnut Oil for brushing

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line paper cups in a 6-holes muffin tray.

2. Stir Vom Fass Naturally Cloudy Apple Cider Vinegar into the milk and leave to thickened. Mix plain flour, baking soda, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, set aside.

3. In another mixing bowl, mix egg, thickened milk and EVOO together with a whisk until they are combined. Pour this into the flour mixture. Mix well with the whisk.

4. Fold in ¾ of the hazelnuts and all of the chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula. Spoon batter into prepared paper cups to about ¾ full. Sprinkle remainder of the hazelnuts on top.

5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush some Vom Fass Hazelnut Oil on top while they are hot.

6. Let cupcakes sit in the muffin tray for 5 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack to cool.

Black Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables

Black Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables

This is the second recipe featured in BSC's reTALE magazine. I was told this Ceres Organics Black Quinoa (pronounced as "keen-wah") which was new in O Gourmet then would be a good option to try on for a recipe. They would love to have these healthy grains to be introduced as many Malaysians may not know what to do with them.

Black Quinoa

I've taken the white ones in salads and was quite excited to try the black ones out. These highly nutritious grains are light and nutty in flavour, works well in salads and soups. I've read in one of Martha Stewarts magazines that it could be used in replace of breakfast cereals by just cooking the black quinoa, drain and then let it cool. Pour milk over them together with fresh fruits and nuts!

For this recipe, I've actually tested with vegetables roasted in the oven but theyvegetables turned a bit mushy and doesn't look quite appealing. In the end, I grilled the vegetables on a grill pan and they vegetables looked and tasted far better :D

Grilled Veggies

Since I've used some nuts and seeds, I decided to drizzle some extra Vom Fass pumpkin seed oil to enhance the already nutty flavour and some sweetish sour balsamic vinegar to balance things up.

Black Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables
Serves 4 as side dish

1 cup Ceres Organics Black Quinoa
100g asparagus, remove the woody ends
100g eggplant, sliced lengthwise about 0.5cm thick
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g red capsicum, remove the core and sliced into quarters lengthwise
50g yellow capsicum, remove the core and sliced into quarters lengthwise
1 tbsp Vom Fass Madonia - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and grounded black pepper to taste
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp hazelnuts, roasted and crushed

2-3 tbsp Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil
2 tsp Vom Fass Aceto Balsamico di Modena Riserva Quality
Salt and grounded black pepper to taste

Vom Fass Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and Aceto Balsamico di Modena Maletti Riserva Speciale for drizzling

1. Cook Ceres Organics black quinoa according to package instructions.

2. Heat up grill pan. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle in Vom Fass Madonia - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and grounded black pepper. Toss evenly. Arrange the vegetables in the hot grill pan and grill them until cooked before turning over. Do not keep turning the vegetables around as it may not leave nice grill marks on them.

3. Remove cooked vegetables onto a plate and let them cool a little before slicing them into bite-sized pieces.

4. In a small bowl, mix in all the ingredients for the dressing with a small whisk or fork. Taste to adjust the seasonings.

5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked black quinoa, grilled vegetables and dressing together before placing them in a serving bowl.

6. Garnish with crushed hazelnut and pumpkin seeds before drizzle lightly with Vom Fass Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and a few drops of Vom fass Aceto Balsamico di Modena Maletti Riserva Speciale.

Chilli Angel Hair Pasta With Prawns, Scallop, Tomatoes & Basil

As I've mentioned earlier, we were featured in BSC's reTALE magazine shopping for organic products in O Gourmet.

This recipe was featured in the magazine together with another 2 recipes which I will post separately to ease searching. It's a very simple pasta recipe using Passion Pasta's Chilli Angel Hair. I find this angel hair exudes quite some heat in this dish, so if you're feeding children, I would recommend to use their saffron version. As these are handmade, they cooked very quickly so do look out for doneness within the recommended cooking time.

You'll noticed that Vom Fass oils and vinegars were heavily used in these recipes as Mr Teoh of Vom Fass has generously gave us some samples to work around with. I'm not going to be bias just cos of this but to tell the truth. We were sampling the oils and vinegars even before this and find that they're absolutely delicious! If you have sampled Vom Fass, you would agree that the quality and clarity of the oils and vinegars are simply amazing. A little goes a long way I would say.

Vom Fass Oils & Vinegars

Mr Teoh recommended to drizzle this pasta with some basil infused olive oil and a rather limited edition of balsamic vinegar. The basil olive oil gave it an extra fresh scent of basil where else the thick balsamic vinegar is used really sparingly, just droplets of them for a sweetish dense flavour.

Chilli Angel Hair Pasta With Prawns, Scallop, Tomatoes & Basil

Chilli Angel Hair Pasta With Prawns, Scallop, Tomatoes & Basil
Serves 4

250g Passion Pasta – Chilli Angel Hair
3 tbsp Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
20 medium sized prawns, shelled and leave the tail on
300g scallops
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red chillies, chopped
1 cup basil, roughly shredded and reserve 4 shoots for garnishing
Salt & freshly grounded black pepper to taste

Extra Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil and Aceto Balsamico di Modena Maletti Riserva Speciale for drizzling

1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the cooked Chilli Angel Hair pasta. Reserve some pasta cooking water.

2. In a large pan, heat up the Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil in medium heat and stir in chopped onion and garlic. Saute until onion and garlic are softened, do not brown them.

3. Add in the prawns and scallops. Once the prawns turned pink and curled up, turn the prawns and scallops around.

4. Put in the cherry tomatoes and red chillies and stir well. Season with salt and grounded black pepper to taste.

5. Next, add in the cooked Chilli Angel Hair pasta and mix well. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the pasta looked dry. Lastly, turn off the heat and stir in the basil.

6. To serve, dish pasta into 4 individual pasta bowls, ensure that prawns and scallops are divided almost equally. Topped with reserved basil shoots and drizzle some Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil all over. Drip on droplets of Vom Fass Aceto Balsamico di Modena Maletti Riserva Speciale and serve.

Saturday 13 August 2011

Just Heavenly's Raya Centrepieces & New Offerings

Raya Centrepieces

We are into half month mark of Ramadhan and in no time we'll be celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. For this year's Raya, the fabulous baker boys, Allan & Nigel, of Just Heavenly have came out with some beautifully decorated cakes as centrepieces. These lovely cakes of either your choice of Chocolate Fudge or Sugee Fruit looked absolutely great amongst your Raya laden goodies and would make fantastic gifts.

Raya Centrepieces 01

Stars light the night sky of Ramadhan with your blessings as your loved ones receive this beautiful cake. Available as our famous CHOCOLATE and traditional SUGEE FRUIT in 9” round (approx 1.8kg), 11”x11”(approx 4.2kg), and 11”x 22”(approx 8.5kg) and from RM188 onwards.

Raya Centrepieces 02

A flickering flame lights your path with God's blessings which are passed on to the recipient when you give them this gorgeous centerpiece. Available as our famous CHOCOLATE and traditional SUGEE FRUIT in 9” round (approx 1.8kg), 11”x11”(approx 4.2kg), and 11”x 22”(approx 8.5kg) and from RM198 onwards.

Raya Centrepieces 03

This centrepiece was created with the iconic Wau. Flying high in the wind and from your heart to your loved ones for their Raya table. Available as our famous CHOCOLATE and traditional SUGEE FRUIT in 9” round (approx 1.8kg), 11”x11”(approx 4.2kg), and 11”x 22”(approx 8.5kg) and from RM208 onwards. 

Wau close up

Just look at the intricate design of the wau!

There are more designs and special gift boxes in offer for Raya, just check out their brochures here.

To order, email or call

Slice of Heaven @ Jaya One 03-7955 5212
A Slice of Heaven @ Pavilion KL 03-2141 5150

Corporate orders 03-2287 9866

Other than Raya goodies, there are some newly launched Peanut Butter Cupcakes and cupcake designs that includes the ever popular Angry Bird series and also Plant Vs Zombies!

Plants Vs Zombies

Plants Vs Zombies at RM18 each.

Angry Bird full set

Angry Birds RM120 for all of them including the slingshot and presentation tray.

Angry birds close up

Look at the details!

Hei cupcakes

If your wedding is round the corner, do think of these "Hei" (Double Happiness) cupcakes (RM8.50 each) for your wedding favours or even as your wedding cake!

And my favourite.. Peanut Butter Cupcakes with a rich chocolate fudge cake topped with creamy peanut butter frosting! The best part is the cake is not sweet at all which compliments the sweet peanut butter frostings, yums!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Actually Nigel did a master class with a small bunch of us last weekend and I had the pleasure to learn how to make a deliciously moist Spiced Date cake and Torrone, an Italian version of soft nougat. I've caught them all on video and will post it up together with the recipes that he had shared with us ;-)

Yeah I know I do owe you guys lots of recipes!! Ok ok will try to make them happen next week :D

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Life is Colourful

As I've mentioned earlier, there's a little something installed for us and we're quite happy how it turned out. Both Capt'n Hook and I were asked to be talents, pretending to shop at O'GourmetBangsar Shopping Complex (BSC) whist they snap our photos away. Gosh it was hard work of 2 hours just for this shot to appear in BSC's reTale magazine - the Rainbow issue. Capt'n Hook is seen tapping oil at Vom Fass but in real, you're not allowed to do that :p as the oils and vinegars will be filled up by the retail assistants.

BSC - reTale

Well, it's not only that, I was asked to contribute 3 recipes using O'Gourmet's organic range of goods. I will post up the recipes here with some of my notes on the recipes and products used together with the photos I had captured. Hope the readers of reTale will like the recipes and attempt to cook up at least one of these recipes :D

Thank you to Malathi, Ling, Tian Xing and the team from La Scheers Co for the opportunity.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Merdeka Open House 2011: Announcing The Theme

It’s August already and time really flies. August is the Merdeka (Independence) month in Malaysia. This year, Malaysia will be celebrating 54th year of independence on 31st August. As most would know, Babe in the City – KL pays tribute to Merdeka Day by hosting a virtual open house on every 31st August. We have been hosting since 2006. Gosh it has been 5 years since the first one? 

The first Merdeka Open House, we have the theme Malaysians Recipe Long Forgotten. The subsequent year, we have Muhibbah as the theme where everyone came out with fab dishes of an ethnic different from our own. Next, we have Mee and My Malaysia where it was also the first time we went non-halal and allowing beef to be used.

In 2009, we sweetened up with My Sweet Malaysia showcasing our delicious desserts. Last year, we cooked our hearts out with the theme Food From Our Hearts.

We are mighty happy to host another round of Merdeka Open House this year and we know quite a number of bloggers are already on their toes waiting for us to announce the theme for this year’s event. Sorry, I'm a little late on this as my internet has been down ever so often!

We won’t be holding any polls this year to pick a theme as over the years, we have accumulate quite a number of ideas that you have suggested. This time ThamJiak trumps again with this suggestion of hers on provincial dishes. It was also timely that the latest issue of Her World Cookbook features the same theme as well, so you could get a copy and start cooking your hearts out. Officially, the theme would be known as

Makan Through Malaysia

Makan (eating in Malay) Through Malaysia means cooking a dish famously linked to a place in Malaysia, be it a state, an area or even a small remote village. We would love you to introduce the unique dish to the world by telling us about the dish, how it synonymously linked to the place and how the dish relates to you, on top of cooking and photographing the dish. We are going to be pretty strict on this as Merdeka Open House is not just about showcasing your cooking but also to be able to tell us a story of the dish and you.

Well, just so to get in some ideas of Makan Through Malaysia… here are some examples of the more popular dishes Klang Bak Kut Teh, Penang Assam Laksa, Mee Bandung Muar, Terengganu Satar, Ayam Golek Kelantan, Kedah Laksam, Ipoh Sar Hor Fun, Teluk Intan Chee Cheung Fun, Melaka Chendol Nyonya, Satay Kajang, Bidor Duck Noodle, Johor Briyani Gam, Klang Pulut Chendol, Kek Lapis Sarawak, Kacang Putih from Kampung Kacang Putih (yes there’s indeed such a place in Buntong, Perak!!!) etc...

All Malaysians, local and abroad, are eligible to participate. Spouses married to Malaysians are encouraged too submit their entries too ;-)

What you need to do:
  1. For this theme, you will need to cook a local dish linked to a place in Malaysia.We would love you to introduce the unique dish to the world by telling us about the dish, how it synonymously linked to the place and how the dish relates to you. We do not just want recipes and photos BUT would love to hear a beautiful story.

  2. Take a picture of your dish, type in your write-up and the recipe (if you have one, otherwise your ingredients and method would suffice if you're the guesstimate/agak-agak type). Do stick to traditional recipe without any shortcuts or replacement of ingredients to make it modern or fusion but it is all right for overseas participants due to limited ingredients. This open house is something for us to cherish our wonderful roots and we hope we could preserve the recipes that our ancestors have hand down.

  3. Post it up in your blog by 28th August 2011 but of course if you can do it earlier, it’s all the better to ease me in rounding up on 31st August.

  4. All entries must reach me by 28th August 2011, midnight Malaysian time at babe_kl(@)yahoo(dot)com. Our virtual party will be on 31st August 2011. In your email, attach a picture of your dish (minimum 500x375 pixels) and please state the following details:

    Name or nick
    Permalink/URL of your post
    Name of the dish

If you do not own a blog but wish to participate, kindly do your write up and send it together with the picture to me. I’ll post it up for you.

I can't wait for your submissions and participation. Anyway, do help to spread the word around so that we have more Malaysians taking part in this event. Thank you :D

Thursday 4 August 2011

Review: Ramen Santouka @ Tokyo Street, Pavilion KL


When we were invited for this review of ramen chain Ramen Santouka, little did I know it was actually a preview prior to the opening day of Tokyo Street on Level 6 of Pavilion KL. When Capt'n Hook and I arrived at 6.15pm, there was an entourage of people leaving the stage area on Level 6. Not knowing what's happening, both of us just followed the crowd in while I call FatBoyBakes who forwarded us the invite. The next thing I know, the security guards closed up the temporary gates to Toyko Street. Hmmm... but we wandered in further :p letting the crowd in front of us leading the way.

Huge billboard of Tokyo Street

Further in Tokyo Street

I looked around and saw the Pavilion's management staffs whom I recognised from the print medias. The next thing I know, apparently the Japan's Ambassador to Malaysia was there to officiate Tokyo Street! Whoa but not all the shops were ready and opened though. Anyway, we took a look round the area and was impressed with the number of Japanese restaurants and a few stalls selling snacks. Some of the smaller lots are selling Japanese crockery. Then there's a Daiso towards the back but it wasn't open yet, so was the Japanese mart.

Giant lantern above escalator

It was only after the look-see, we both went to scout out David at Ramen Santouka. We were then introduced to Julian and Inggrid. Next we were led into the restaurant. Inggrid informed us that we will be served based on a selected menu of ramen and side dishes. The other dishes will only be available after the official opening. Sounds promising already when I scan through the menu card. While we were waiting for the rest to turn up, we browsed the actual menu that have some pictorial guide on top of some mock dishes shown up front of the restaurant.

Ramen Santouka Exterior

Ramen Santouka Interior

Our server suggested that we order our choice of ramen and all the rest of the side dishes showcased will be served to us. Sounds great already. As our noodles arrived, the rest of the food bloggers arrived and started ordering their ramen.

Ramen Santouka 01

For pork based ramen, the soups are made by simmering pork bones for 20 hours before adding vegetables, dried fish, kelp and etc. The colour of the soups are milky which indicates long hours of simmering of bones. If you're not into pork, don't fret as they have chicken versions and they do not contain pork at all. The soup served here are not boiling hot and is maintained at a certain temperature so that one can enjoy the noodles without scalding themselves.

For pork based ramen, there are 4 flavours of soup available ie. Shio (salt flavour), Shoyu (soy sauce flavour), Miso (soy bean paste flavour) and Kara Miso (hot soy bean paste flavour). The ramen comes in 3 different sizes - small, regular and large.

Marion Eu, Capt'n Hook and I tried each other's soup base. All of us decided the Shio and Shoyu came out tops. The soups were a tad too salty but we gave our feedback on this and hopefully it has been rectified. The ramen have a bouncy texture but do eat up quickly before they turn soft in the hot soup.

Everyone loved the signature Shio Ramen (S RM22.50, R RM25, L RM29). The small bowl came with a thick slice of char-shu, sliced bamboo shoots, seaweed, a slice of naruto (fish cake) and shredded spring onions plus a pickled plum. I can clearly taste the robust flavour of the soup base.

Shio Ramen

The Shoyu Ramen (S RM22.50, R RM25, L RM29) is another clear winner. This was Capt'n Hook's fave. The soup is made from a mixture of pork and soy sauce. The accompanying condiments were similar to Shio Ramen with the exception of the dried seaweed is used instead and there is no pickled plum.

Shoyu Ramen

Miso Ramen (S RM22.50, R RM25, L RM29) soup is made with the addition of miso paste. This was the saltiest of the lot but as we dig in, the saltiness just went melded in. The condiments are exactly the same as Shio Ramen except that there's no pickled plum.

Miso Ramen

Kara Miso Ramen is the only hot flavoured soup amongst all. The price is RM2 more. I did not get to taste this so no comments at the moment. Perhaps can check out Cumi Dan Ciki since they shared one.

Kara Miso

The sliced cha-shu in all pork based ramen is simmered in soy sauce which is so tender and delicious. It was really a pity that we only get one slice in the small portion. It was that good that FatBoyBakes kept lamenting why there is only ONE slice served when it was sooo good. Inggrid mentioned that for small portion, one sliced is served, 2 slices for regular and 3 slices for large!

As for the sides, it's slightly unusual to have Caesar Salad in a Japanese restaurant. Santouka's version has a coddled egg on a bed of lettuces, crispy croutons, parmesan cheese with creamy dressing drizzled over.

Caesar Salad

We loved the Komi Tamago (soy boiled egg)!!! It came whole like hard boiled egg but the yolk is still a bit runny. Can taste the soy sauce coating the egg beautifully.

Komi Tamago

Tori Karaage (deep fried chicken) came looking a bit dark to me. Looks kinda over fried but the 3 pieces of chicken are still juicy and the skin... oh so crispy.

Tori Karaage

Then we have Tori Gyoza (chicken dumplings or pot stickers). The sizes are rather largish as compared to other Japanese places and they served the pan-fried side up instead. The minced chicken is loosely packed and as compared to Chinese dumplings, can taste the garlic flavour in the fillings here.

Tori Gyoza

Okie, I'm saving the best for last... the Tokusen Toroniku which is pork cheek simmered in soy sauce. As each pig has only 2 cheeks, hence this meat is rather rare. So each day, there's only a certain amount available! David explained that the raw cheeks are perfectly marbled hence these cheek slices are really very tender, almost melt in the mouth texture. To me, this is a must order definitely! 

Tokusen Toroniku

Other than as a side dish, one could actually have them in ramen but the cheeks will be served separately and not inside the noodles. Tokusen Toroniku Ramen is priced at S RM33.50, R RM36 and L RM40. I can just tell, it's really worth it.

These were the items served to us and from the menu, they do have chicken soup based ramen, rice dishes and some sets which some have great combination of rice and ramen ;-) I can see the menu is very friendly for our BoiBoi. Will definitely bring him here soon.

Hopefully by now, a week after our tasting session, things would be running smoothy and most importantly the soup has been fine tuned.

Thanks so much to David, Julian and Inggrid, and of course FatBoysBake for the invite.

I know, I still haven't posted up the theme for this year's Merdeka Open House as I was still deciding which to go for. So give me a day or two to finalise the theme and we'll be good to go. I will try to publise on The Star to get in more participants :D

Ramen Santouka
Tokyo Street, Level 6 Pavilion KL 
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur, 
Tel: 03-21438878
Opening hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm

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