Friday, March 30, 2007

STEAMED HERBAL CHICKEN WINGS

I really ran out of ideas on how to cook Chicken. Due to time constraint on weekdays, I usually opt for the fastest way to cook my chicken with the simpliest ingredients. However, it came to this point that the thought of having steamed/soya sauce/oyster sauce/black bean sauce puts me off. Forget about roast or grill since I hate the oven-cleaning process. And so, I did a bit of research and found this is Kuali, Steamed Herbal Chicken Wings recipe by Amy Beh.

Went home, searched high and low for wolfberries (kei chi) and red dates. Aiyah....I have used up my supply during Chinese New Year and didn't replenish my stock!! I guess substitute with dried longan should not be too vast different. How wrong I was cos dried longan is sweet! Luckily I just put in few pieces, if not, my steamed herbal chicken wings got to renamed as Sweetened Herbal Chicken Wings!

Ingredients used were Tong Kwai, Tong Sum and Dried Longan
A mixture of sesame oil, water, fish sauce, pepper and sugar. Pour the mixture into the bowl of chinese herbs.
Steamed the ingredients for about 20 minutes. I think if you have time, steam it a little longer so that the herbs can release its taste.
Once boiled, add in oyster sauce, soya sauce and more sesame oil into the herbs.
Place the chicken nicely on the aluminium foil
Pour the mixture evenly on the chicken wings
Seal it real tight and steam for about 30 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and served with piping hot white rice

The chicken wings tasted not too bad, however the herbal taste was too mild. I took some leftover for lunch the next day and surprisingly, it tasted so much better. Perhaps I need to leave it overnite for the herbs to release its flavour. Very determine to try my 2nd attempt soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR......

It was an All Girls Night Out with my ex-secondary classmates, a time to catch-up & gossip over dinner. Given 4 options to choose from, we finally decided to try out this new Italian Restaurant in SS2 called Buonasera. This shop is located right behind of SS2 Savemart supermarket, the same row as Ho Weng Kee and Hai-O. Months ago, I received an unexpected call from my ex-collegue who had just finished her meal here and she was raving about the quality of the food. Huh? Call me out of the blue just to promote this place? Anyway, she did warn me that this place is pricey.

The shop was empty when we walked in. It was cosy and smells fresh...probably they just sprayed some apple-scented freshener. My only comment would be the Chinese New Year lantern hanging in an Italian Restaurant, don't they realise the festive season already over? To our relief, we found that the chef is a bubbly Italian man while the lady serving us is his sister. Once seated, we saw a small newspaper write-up about this place and apparently their Rosemary Chicken is really good and Pam requested that it is a must order dish. The chef told us that they run out of Rosemary Chicken...hmm...bad. Pam was excited over the Pumpkin soup and again he told us, not available....hmmm...bad bad. He explained that they are expecting a big gathering tonight and so all already pre-booked by this group. DUH?!?! If you know you are expecting many people, should they prepare more to cater for walk-in customers?

I can feel Pam getting a bit irritated already and quickly I suggested we order a mushroom soup instead. The bowl of Mushroom Soup (RM8.90) was huge and definately have to be shared! Taste was ok, no big deal but I would prefer the mushroom bits to be chunky instead of blended till fine.

Next came the Pan Fried Button Mushrooms (RM19.90) which was tossed with crush peppercorns and basil. A bit too salty for me though and I find for the price they charged for such small serving, if not mistaken, a total of 4 button mushrooms cut into half, what a rip-off!

The chef recommended this Seafood Spaghetti (RM33.90) which is cooked to perfection. The tomato sauce was really flavourful with just the right amount of herbs while the texture of spaghetti was perfect too (I still remember I suffer from indigestion after having spaghetti at Modesto's). Yumzz...this got my vote! And Pam! And May!

My favourite dish of the night was their Enzo Buonoseria Pizza (RM26.90 for small) which I find very authentic and gourmet feel. Thinly crusted with tomato based, they ingredients that went in includes olives, bacons, marinated capsicums, marinated eggplants, button mushrooms and BACON!!! Yummz...if I ever revisit this place, this will be my sure order. In fact, most of pizzas have pork bacon in it.....slurpz!

And of course, dessert time. From their menu, it seems like they only have 3 choices; tiramisu, chocolate pot and gelato. The Italian lady recommended the Tiramisu (RM11.90) which personally tasted like dried sponge cake topped with cream and sprinkled with coffee powder. Luckily the serving was small, which I dunno whether it's a compliment or complain. Hehe!

Their Chocolate Pot (RM14.90) was really really rich and chocolatey, a must try for chocoholics! The chocolate pot was smooth and rich..almost like eating semi melting chocolate. Together with the Vanilla ice-cream...ooo..so sinfully good.

This is the total damage, RM 133 for the 3 of us. Pricey hor??

Since all the dishes we had were quite small, we left the restaurant with 2/3 filled tummy. Pam not satisfied and suggested we go to Melaka Street, which is a few doors away for dessert. Grrr...was told that they were not serving dessert that day. How leh?? Still 1/3 to be filled and so, we went to another Italian Restaurant in SS2, my favourite Pizzeria Bella Italia, next to Public Bank and behind KFC.

Been here couple of times and I just love their Deep-fried Button Mushrooms!! Another dish worth mentioning is their Baked Seafood Spaghetti for 2 served in an aluminium foil. Lots of seafood goes into it....highly recommended.

And so, 3 of us walked in, sat down, and ordered only this.....My Favourite Deep Fried Button Mushrooms. Can you see the amount of mushrooms here????? It's whole button mushrooms for only RM13.80!!!!!!! Served with tartar sauce and salad....ooo....yummy!!!

We conquered two Italian restaurants in one night and 3 of us went home with a satisfying grin.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant @ SS2

Located at SS2/24 and the same row as New Formosa Taiwanese Restaurant, this is my 2nd visit to Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant. My first visit was in 2005, I remembered I was sick and coughing my lungs out, but I still manage to persuade Hubby to bring me there for Sweet and Sour Crab. It was not a pleasant meal as the spiciness of the crab irritated my throat, hence I was coughing throughout the dinner. To avoid embarassment (other diners were staring at me), I requested to pack my crabs to be savoured comfortably at home. And so, this place was totally forgotten...until recently I craved for Sweet & Sour crab.


There is also a small stall right in front of the shop, selling snacks such as chicken wings, sotong kangkung, century eggs, fish balls and tauhu bakar. The owner actually owns the stall, so either the kitchen is too small or to attract more customers, they put the snack stall in front instead.

Before we even start ordering, we were served with a plate of fish crackers (RM2) accompanied with a saucer of hot, spicy chilli sauce. Yumzzz....this is so much better than a plate of salted peanuts normally served at other Chinese Restaurant.

I ordered Iced Cincau while Hubby ordered Lime with Assamboi. Erm..tasted normal so nothing much to comment here.

We ordered 2 pieces of Tauhu Bakar (RM2.40) which I find absolutely delicious. The beansprouts and shredded cucumbers were tossed with generous amount of Heko/black prawn paste normally used for fruit rojak. Sprinkled with crush peanuts and sesame, the stuffed Tauhu Bakar tasted really good!! I pour a bit of the chilli sauce served earlier over my tauhu....wow....even more tasty!

Each bite was full of flavour; the sweetness and spiciness from the rojak sauce, the aromatic taste from the sesame and peanut, the crispiness of the perfectly toasted tauhu skin, and the crunchiness of the cucumbers and beansprouts covered with soft and smooth untoasted part of the beancurd. Mmmm....yum yum yum!

Another very very yummy dish I discovered here is the Stir-fry Lala (Clams) with Ginger and Wine (RM12). They also added in lots of cilipadi for extra kicks. The Clams were sweet and succulent and the taste of the gravy was perfect (I ended up finishing all the gravy).

Stir-fry Choy Dam (issit brussel sprouts?) at RM10 was nicely done! Green & Crunchy! Perfect!


AH-HA!!! CRABS!!! The Indonesian crabs, priced at RM39 per kg, were huge!!! Our serving was about 1.8kg (RM70.20) and I was really excited when I saw the amount of roes. Yumzz...since Hubby can't take roe due to cholesterol, so it was my task to finish the roes. However, I was disappointed that the crab was a bit overcooked. A waste for such a big, juicy and meaty crab. However, the gravy deserves a big big compliment. Not too thick nor watery, with the right amount of sweetness, saltiness and spiciness, the gravy is one of the best I ever tasted. Just too pity that the crab was overcooked....sigh.

Cute lil' buns (RM2.40 for 6 pieces), tasted ok but King Crab's bun still the best! Anyway, no complain from us since the sweet and sour gravy tasted so good.

Can you see the amount of roes on my pieces of crab? Mine...all MINE!!

More roes on the shell......but errm....too much for me to handle..jelak oledi. And so, this remaining plate of roes were wasted.

Total damage came up to RM107.10. If only the crabs were not overcooked, then I find the meal really worth it. By the way, something worth mentioning here is that this shop serves Ginger Wine with Vermicelli, so next visit, forget about the crabs, I will try the vermicelli instead.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A HALF DAY TRIP TO SEREMBAN

Hubby was required to chair a meeting this morning in Seremban, and so I decided to tag along and wait for him since I don't get much chance to drop by at this town. Actually, there is a reason for me to follow along.....FOOD, what else???

Luckily Hubby's meeting only took about an hour and off we went to search for this beef noodle stall at Pasar Besar Seremban, which apparently quite famous. Hubby been to this place once, so finding the market which is located right in the heart of the busy town was not a problem at all.

The 2-storey market is quite big and divided into sections. The ground floor basically is a wet market where you can find veggies, groceries, seafood and all kind of meats. Quite errmm....strong smell even from far. Gulp!! How to eat and breath at the same time?
Thankfully, the smell only travels outward and not upward. Phew! The first floor reminds us of Warorot Market in Chiang Mai where you can find small shops selling clothes, bags, flowers, toy and FOOD!! Almost 1/3 of the floor is occupied by food stalls!

Tada...this is the place we were looking for...Sin Yee Kee Beef Noodle. You can check out here for detailed information about this place (Thanks Boo). There is an old man sitting right in front of the stall which I believe is the owner and each time a bowl is served, he would jot in down in a note book. I think he is the financial controller and he also in charged of keeping the money. And with business as good as this, am so happy for him.
To quench our thirst, I ordered the sugar cane while Hubby had coconut water. REFRESHING!

Here comes our noodles. We ordered the same thing; Dried Beef Noodles (RM4). The dark sauce was quite thick and I wasn't too happy when I found it's not Lou Shue Fun (Rat Tail Noodle) but Lai Fun (assam laksa type). However, once I put on spoonful into my mouth, am totally amazed!! Just couldn't describe the gravy....but it goes so well with the Lai Fun. Served with beef brisket and tendon, they also sprinkled sesame, peanuts and salted veggie. And the chilli sauce....oooo...super spicy and goes so well with the noodle. ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! 2 thumbs up!


I spotted a picture of their Mixed Beef Soup with Tripes, Tendon and Briskets with Radish (RM&) in their menu and I knew this is a MUST HAVE!! Not exaggerating here, but the radish....oooo.....so beefy as it absorbed all the beef flavour...and the soup......sniff sniff...it's sooo good errr. And the serving was quite generous too. Again, 2 thumbs up but this time, another 2 toes too!
How can we leave Seremban without having the famous Seremban Siew Pow? And so we went to the most famous Seremban Siew Pow (behind Bank Simpanan Nasional) which we can also easily find their franchise in Klang Valley. But I still want to get some home from the source, just to see if it tasted better...hehe..excuse of a glutton.

While the front of the shop offers pastries and buns, the inside of the shop is actually a cafe. I took a peep and seems cozy to me.
Ah-ha...spotted the Siew Pow I wanted. I want pork!! 6 pieces pls!
Wahh.......I saw this printed on the box, The Malaysia Book of Records! Anyone can translate what it says in Chinese? For those interested to take up their franchise, the contact is at the bottom of the box.


Yumz....luscious looking Siew Pows...let me make a cup of Aik Cheong Kopi-O to go with it!

OOooooo......this is SO good!!! I dunno whether am bias or what, it does taste better than those bought here. Practically melts in your mouth and Hubby was amazed too.


I also bought this, Biskut Telur (Egg Biscuit) as printed on the box for RM4. I have no idea what it is called in English as I call it 'Sat Keh Mah'. My Hong Kong friend told me that they call it 'Mah Jai'. So would appreciate if anyone out there know what it is actually called in English.

Quite different from the Bidor version, this is more fine with lots of sesame and crushed peanuts. Dunno how it tasted yet since am still waiting for the beef noodle and siew pao to digest.
I will be making a trip down to Seremban next month (another meeting for Hubby)...and if you happen to know of any great place to eat there, would appreciate if you could drop me a line. MANY MANY THANKS!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

SNORE SNORE! ZZzzzz....

Pets Wonderland, a must-visit-place whenever am at either Mid Valley or 1Utama. Really cheers me up looking at the furry cuddly animals which I know there is no way for me to bring one home. And so, last weekend I was at 1Utama and this fluffy baby rabbit was sleeping so soundly with all her legs up. Ok ok..I was being nasty for tapping on the window despite the NO TAPPING sign...all she did was opened one eye and continue sleeping while gritting her teeth non-stop. Ok ok...there is also a NO PHOTO sign but hubby covered me up so i quickly snap this photo without flash. Aiyoooo......how I wish I can bring her home.

Baby Rabbit in Carrotland!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Abalone and Snakehead Fish Porridge

We went to Giant last weekend to get a can of black dace fish for Teocheow porridge and I had no idea how we ended up at the fresh fish section. Saw three aquariums and what caught my attention was the yellow eels with the tip of their nose all popping out at the water surface. Quite cute actually. Yummy..unagi...you lucky eels, if I know how to cook unagi, you will all be dead eels in no time. Heh heh heh. Meanwhile, the Snakehead fish or Ikan Haruan or Sang Yu in Cantonese are not so lucky though cos Hubby spotted them and decided to have one for porridge. Snakehead fish is well known to heal wounds especially after operation.

I shall not elaborate on the killing part cos it almost made me vowed to be a vegetarian for life. I repeat....ALMOST! We asked for the head to be removed as well as the unwanted parts inside. Known to be tough survivor, when Hubby sliced it at home, the fish actually moved!! Scary!!

Hubby sliced it real thin and I marinated it with sliced ginger, shaoxing wine and sesame oil.

A bit bland to have fish porridge without anything to chew and so we added in one can of abalone. The abalone was sliced thinly while the water was poured into the porridge.

Mmmmm......my pot of porridge was full of abalone taste. Also added in 2 whole dried scallops for extra sweetness and it was boiled under high heat for 1 hour.

Place the slices of raw fish at the bottom of your bowl. Make sure the porridge is boiling hot when you pour it over the fish to ensure that is it properly cooked.

Topped with slices of abalone, coriander and pepper.....ooohh..yum yum yum....simply delicious, healthy (err...quite high cholesterol actually) and heart warming.

 

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