Saturday, December 29, 2007

FLOGGERS LAST GATHERING FOR 2007

In view that 2007 is ending very soon, Lyrical Lemongrass, WMW and I thought it would be a good idea to have a floggers gathering before the year ends. Since the Christmas spirit was still in the air, Lyrical Lemongrass came up with the theme and poster for the party: "A Very Retro Christmas". WMW was appointed as the treasurer. She "FLASHES" whenever she collected money from floggers!!! HAHAHAHA! She wore a really cool battery-operated tee-shirt that could flash! Just can't get our eyes off her...err...errr...flower!

We had good attendance too, close to 40 floggers, bloggers and friends/spouse combined! We even managed to invite Nic (Malaysian working in Singapore) and Jun (future surgeon studying in Australia). I was really happy meeting some of the floggers whom I have not met but have been commenting in each other's blog almost on daily basis. Food really UNITES!


The party was held at My Elephant and we managed to book the entire place for our party! Upon request, the restaurant was decorated with white chrysanthemums and lots of candles. Simple and sweet!


Just amazing how banana leaves and a single stalk of white chrysanthemum could transform a normal looking glass into such a pretty sight. Hmm....I shall do this when I entertain guests at home next time.


As for the food, I just realised that there were a number of dishes that I didn't manage to snap any picture so I dug up my photo database of the same dishes I had during my previous visits. So please note that it will be a bit different from the one we had at this party.

Tom Klong - Northern Thai Tom Yum with Fish Cutlets
Som Tam Malakor (Green Papaya with Dried Prawns with Peanuts)
Red Duck Curry with Konnyaku, Avocadoes and Rambutan
Steamed Fish ala Thai Style
Choo Chee Goong (Thai Yellow Curry with River Prawns)
Kom's Chicken Wings with Mango-Kiwi Dressing
Green Curry Sea Crabs with Gingko & TofuPak Choop Pang Tod (Thai style vegetable tempura)


After the hearty meal, LL, WMW and I had a little surprise for our guests. Upon consultation with a panel of brilliant and creative judges (ahem), we decided to have an "Award Presentation Ceremony" and here are the results and the prizes awarded:

Most Recognised Blogger - Jackson (Funny specs)
Most Kissable Lips - Jason (Lip Balm)
Best Earned Nick - "Nipple" Joe (Pacifier)
Activist Food? Blogger - Tankiasu (Rocket Logo)
Sweetest Blogger Award - Christine, Aiwei, Jun, Riz, Ekeng (Sweets)
Sweetest Blogging Couple - KampungBoyCityGal (Sugar)
Most Poetic Blogger - Nic (Writing set)
Almost a Vietnamese Blogger - SC (coffee)
Best Male Cook Blogger - KusahiKeat (Spatula)
Most Idolized Blogger - Boolicious (Kiddy cooking set)
Human Tripod - WMW (Empty Box as arm rest)
Most Enlightened Blogger - Lianne (lightbulb)
Most Flirtatious Blogger - Kenny Mah (condom)
Blogger with a Gender Crisis - Teckiee (boxer)
Hungriest Blogger - Paprika (Carrots)
Spiciest Foodsite - Adly (Cilipadi)
One of the Best Bakers in Town - BBO (Gardenia)
Former (to-be) M'sian Blogger - XLB (M'sia flag)
Celebrity Blogger in 2007 - Lyrical Lemongrass (Cert)

And for me, I grabbed the "Queen of King Crab Award" and brought home a packet of KOKA Pepper Crab flavoured instant noodle. Hahaha..and here I would like to take the opportunity to thank my dad, my Hubby, my Pea, my Pumpkin and yak yak yak yak.....


Before the party ended, we had a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate SC and Chris's birthday. A special Durian Cheesecake was ordered from FBB. Yumzz....everyone gave a thumbs up for the cake!

The party was a total blast! I enjoyed it so much and I hope the rest felt the same too! Hope that we will see more of each other in 2008 and thank you so much for coming!!!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

ROASTED CHICKEN MARYLAND

Finally, my dream of owning a good electric oven came true. I always love roast and grill dishes and so before I even moved into my new house, I was very excited and eager to whip up something with my brand new oven. Since my kitchen is not fully equipped yet, I did something really simple; Roasted Chicken Maryland. My concoction of marinade sauce is rather fusion with a mixture of oyster sauce, Thai fish sauce, black pepper, sugar to taste and lastly, about a teaspoon of McCormick mixed herbs. Stir well and rub it all over the chicken maryland and let it marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.


To accompany the chicken, I also threw in some potatoes (cut into 4 pieces each), whole tomatoes, carrots and organic pumpkin. For extra flavouring, I added in one whole garlic too. Assemble everything nicely in the baking tray and it's ready to be shoved into the oven.


I realised that the chicken turned a bit dry after 10 minutes so I quickly cover it with aluminium foil. Roast for about 30 - 40 minutes at about 210 degree celcius. About 5 minutes before it's ready, take away the aluminium foil to brown the chicken.


The Chicken Maryland turned out great. It was juicy and flavourful and the roasted veggies were excellent especially the soft sweet pumpkin. There was quite a bit of gravy, I wonder if it was from the chicken or the veggies which nevertheless tasted wonderfully sweet. My dad was drinking it spoonful after spoonful.


Hubby was impressed too and he decorated his plate for me to take a picture. I was happy that my first dish with my new oven turned out good. But of course, still plenty of room for improvement, so do expect to see more roast/grill dishes in my blog.


My second attempt with my new oven was even better than this, so stay tune!


Monday, December 24, 2007

PAGING FOR ALL FOOD BLOGGERS!!!

My Dear Fellow Food Bloggers,



There will be a Christmas party being held this Friday, 28 December 2007, 7 p.m. at My Elephant located in Section 17 (please refer to the map below). At only RM40 per pax, you will be served with yummy Thai cuisine (check on my review here).


Oh..and one more thing, as part of Charity, please bring along a present which is suitable for kids. It will be donated to orphans via Jackson's Charity event.

All food bloggers are invited to come, ohh, do bring a partner too! Please confirm your attendance a.s.a.p via Lyrical Lemongrass or myself yah? Hope to see you there!!!


Friday, December 21, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I came across a very cool Christmas video in Furkids in Hong Kong so I went to this site to have a bit of fun and decided to post it up as my Christmas wish to all of you.

Enjoy the video, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

My Two Precious Princes

It has been a while since I last posted something on my two precious, Pea and Pumpkin. I last mentioned that Pumpkin is now undergoing a once a week obedience class for 10 weeks (Check out his first day in school here). Embarrass to say, Pumpkin still pretty much behaved the same as compared to his pre-trained days. Partly my fault cos I didn't really practice what we learnt at school. Anyway, the trainer did tell me that Pekingese is a lap-dog, that means, it prefers to sit on your lap to be stroked, hence not much stamina. To my horror, a pet-shop owner told me the same too and even queried why I waste my money sending my Pekingese to school. Since the training fee already paid we just treat it as a weekly socialising event for Pumpkin which he loved so much. But proud to say, he still managed to learn something new. He now knows how to listen to the SIT and HAND command.


Two weeks ago, Pumpkin fell sick with bad diarrhoea and loss of appetite. We suspected it was the cockroach Hubby found him savouring one fine night while he was let out for wee wee. It was too late when Hubby spotted him, as half the cockroach already in his tummy. We thought he would be alright until two days later we found him having bad diarrhoea. Well, I hope he learnt his lesson. He has recovered now and back to his usual self.


As for Pea, he is always an angel to us. Very obedient and well-behaved. But of course, a target victim by Pumpkin da big bully.

Pea: Now, where is that brat?
Pea: Ouch! Get off my back you brat!!

Pea and Pumpkin: WE ARE BROTHERS!! TOGETHER WE RULES THE HOUSEHOLD!!!


Till my next doggie updates!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DU VIET @ Damansara Uptown, PJ

How time flies! The last time I visited Du Viet was few days after my wedding and that was more than 3 years ago! The reason I remembered it so clearly was because Du Viet, a restaurant specialized in Vietnamese cuisine is owned by my Hubby's pal, who also happened to be the emcee for our wedding.

When it comes to Vietnamese food, I tend to associate it with their renowned 'Pho' - flat rice noodle with clear broth. My expectation for Pho has gone very high, thanks to my uni years spent in Melbourne, a place where you can get really good and authentic Pho. I guess my palate has already accustomed to the Pho I had in Melbourne and being disappointed way too many times by the Pho available here, I somehow, never crave much for it. Well, that was until my Hubby received a call from his pal, informing him that Du Viet has now relocated from the Bangsar Village Outlet to Pavillion (renamed as La Lot) while the Damansara Jaya branch has relocated to Damansara Uptown. They also have another outlet called O Viet in Sunway Pyramid.

Since I will not be going to Melbourne this year to have my dose of Pho, I suggested to Hubby that we go pay his pal a visit. The new outlet in Damansara Uptown was opened just less than 2 weeks ago. Quite easy to find as it is located on the first floor and the entrance is right between 99 Speedmart and Izzi-Uptown.

On the way up the stairs, a big frame consisting of wooden bowls and plates of all shapes filled the wall in flowery pattern. Now I wonder if Hubby ever approve it if I do the same thing at my new house.

The deco is simple and nice. There is also a balcony dining area catered for those who opt for smoking area.

A painting of a lady in Ao Dai (Vietnamese costume) which is almost identical to Chinese Qipao except its a longer gown with a high slit in both sides which is worn over a long pant. So elegant!

I dragged WMW along too so that we can order more food. Just look at how attentive she was while studying the menu.

We each chose a special quencher. WMW opted for the house speciality; Plum in Soda (RM5.90). I had that before and it was quite refreshing. After failing to persuade Hubby to order the Fresh Egg, Soda & Cream (RM7.50), I decided to give it a try. It wasn't as bad as I thought at all. The 'fresh egg' was well blended with Soda and it doesn't have the 'raw egg taste' at all. Ahem, as for Hubby, he had the Iced Lemongrass Ginger Tea (RM5.90) which sounded like a perfect drink for someone having a cold.

We got a bit greedy and ordered three appetizers to share. The Spring & Summer Roll Combo (RM10.90) came in 3 rolls in a mixture of fried spring rolls and rice paper rolls. Personally, I find the fried version tastier; crispy and aromatic, best eaten with the accompanied Nuoc Cham (sweet-spicy fish sauce) dipping sauce. Actually, the rice paper rolls weren't too bad either but since it's filled with more bland tasting rice vermicelli, it wasn't as tasty as compared to the meat fillings in the fried version. But I tot the rice paper rolls would be perfect for those who are health conscious.

The Fried Fish Cakes or simply known as Cha Ca (RM13.90) came in 6 huge pieces of fish cakes served on a bed of fresh vegetables such as beansprouts, lettuces, basils, mints, pickled shredded carrots and rice vermicelli. The texture of the fish cakes was quite good; springy and juicy. The fish cake is slightly saltish to be eaten on its own. Therefore, it is to be eaten together with the fresh veggies to balance the saltiness of the fish cakes.

Their Pavillion outlet is named after this dish, La Lot (RM14.90) which comes with a choice of either beef or chicken wrapped with wild betel leaves (daun kadok) and grilled till perfection. Serves together with the same condiments as the fish cakes, the La Lot was sprinkled with crushed groundnuts and it was really aromatic and flavourful. It's so well marinated that I don't even need to dip it with any sauce. I like this the best among the three appetizers we had.

Hubby decided to be a little bit more adventurous that night and so he gave the Bun Bo Hue or the Hue-style Beef Noodle a try. The rice vermicelli came with tender beef fillet and brisket in spicy beef soup. Hubby didn't quite enjoy it as he said that the broth is spicy, thus, he can't really taste the sweetness of the beef broth.

WMW and I both chose to have our favourite Pho Bo Dac Biet (RM13.90) which is simply flat rice noodle (hor fun) with beef balls, briskets, tripes and fillets served with clear beef broth. It also came with condiments such as mint and basil leaves, raw beansprouts and lime. I love mine with lots and lots of basil as it really enhance the flavour of the soup.

I was quite surprised, this bowl of Pho was almost like the one I had in Melbourne. The broth was very tasty and rich in flavour. The rare beef fillet was good too and it was cooked to right perfection after being soaked in the hot soup. The flat rice noodle (hor fun) were soft and smooth. I do hope the quality will remain the same at my next visit.

This would be my very first post on Du Viet but I think I will go back to try some of their ala carte dishes. So do look out for more reviews on this place.

Operating Hours - 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (Yes, they don't close!)

Du Viet - Damansara Uptown Outlet
41A & 43A Uptown 37

Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7726.8101

O'Viet - Sunway Pyramid Outlet
Lot G1.45 Sunway Pyramid
No. 3 Jalan PJS11/15 Bandar Sunway
46150 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7492.0018

La Lot - Pavillion Outlet
6th Floor, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2148-4231


Sunday, December 16, 2007

OPERA FASHION CAFE @ Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas

A sweet discovery! Thanks to my Makan Gang member, I was brought to a nice cafe one fine Sunday afternoon for coffee and cakes. Owned by Mr Takashi Kato and his wife, Opera Fashion Cafe is located at the ground floor of Mayfair Service Apartment in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas. As the name implies, Opera Fashion Cafe offers not only food but also latest fashion such as jeans and children clothings from Japan. Japanese series or movies DVDs are also available here.


But of course, I was more interested in their cakes. I spotted a large open kitchen at the corner back of the shop and all cakes are baked in-house! One will be spoilt with choices as various desserts are available here ranging from colourful sponge cakes to cheese cake, tartlets to scones.


I spotted some good-looking loaves of Pumpkin Cakes! It looks like one of their best sellers and regret not buying during my first visit as I was told it was sold-out during my subsequent visit.

My Makan Gang member told me that their afternoon tea set is really value for money. At only RM10, you get to choose a slice of cake on their display and you also get a cup of Illy coffee as well. It's really worth it as the Strawberry Shortcake I chose was already priced at RM8 per slice. Now, isn't this milk container cute? Milk is poured out via the NOSE!

As mentioned earlier, I opted for the Strawberry Shortcake which is priced at RM8 if you order it separately from the set. Fresh strawberries in fresh cream are sandwiched between layers of vanilla sponge. Not too sweet, the shortcake was light and yummy.


For something chocolatey, I chose this delectable triangular shape chocolate cake which was formed by chocolate cream and blocks of sponge cake of different colours. I couldn't recall the name of this cake and it was not available on my second visit. Sigh! Recommended if you are a chocolate lover.


This is another masterpiece of chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate and strawberry cream. Not bad but I prefer the earlier triangular shape chocolate cake as it has got less cream.


I revisited the place after having lunch at a nearby restaurant last week and decided to pop in to grab some cakes for my colleagues since they treated me a birthday lunch. I have no idea at all how they taste like but I took a picture of them anyway.

Looks yummy!!

Strawberry Yogurt - My colleague commented that the cake is full of bits and pieces of fresh strawberries. However, she said too much yogurt, hence it was a bit too sourish for her.

Opera House Cafe is located at:
Lot J01A, Plaza Damas
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6203.1671


Thursday, December 13, 2007

PICK n BREW @ Glenmarie, Shah Alam

A few of us floggers got together last night to celebrate Teckiee's birthday. Since Jackson is very busy with the newly opened cafe owned by his uncle's company, the best arrangement was of course to have the birthday bash at his cafe, Pick n Brew. It was my first time venturing into Glenmarie Industrial area at night but thanks to Boo's direction, WMW and I found the place without making any wrong turnings. Pick n Brew is located at the ground floor of CNI building which is also owned by his Uncle; address and location map is appended below.

The place is brightly lighted (important element for photo taking) and deco is simple yet cozy. I didn't manage to take any photos from outside since it was already pitch dark when we arrived.

There are over 30 types of coffee beans from around the world available here. So all one needs to do is to 'PICK' a few of choice and the barista will 'BREW' it for you. Hence the name Pick n Brew! Definitely a perfect place for coffee-lovers. Of course, there are also other non-caffeine beverages being served here. I glanced through their beverage menu and was quite impress with the selection.


Beside being brewed into nice cuppa coffee, the beans are also being used as decoration. You can find them in big jars, in glasses, in tequila shot glasses at almost everywhere.
Simple and nice!


It is so nice of Jackson to book the private room for us as well as to extend the operation hour since its closing time is at 8.00 p.m. Service was excellent as he himself served us attentively. Opps..I should have given him some tips!

Jason asking Jackson for recommendation

Organic Rosebud Tea was served upon seated. Sorry, this is not in the menu. We were told that this is his personal collection and he only served it to his invited guests!


While the appetizer, soup and dessert have been pre-ordered and prepared by the Chef
(sorry, again, they are not in the menu), we were told to choose our own Mains. Excellent idea as being an indecisive person, I would have a hard time deciding what I want. For the appetizer, we were served with Salmon Gravlax with Scallion Cream and Parmesan Tuille. According to Wikipedia, Gravlax is a Scandanavian dish consisting of raw salmon cured with salt, sugar and dill. It tastes almost similar to smoked salmon to me but nevertheless tasty with the accompanied scallion (spring onion) cream. All of us gave our thumbs up for the Parmesan Tuille. Grated Parmesan cheese was used to make into little basket which was filled with refreshing salsa.

The
Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Gnocchi in Chicken Consomme was served next. The Chicken Consomme was good; clear and oil-free, just the way it should be. No MSG or artificial flavouring was added. However, I didn't quite enjoy the Gnocchi which tasted quite bland to me.

For the Mains, Splashie Boy had the Chicken Chamicangas (RM19); deep-fried tortilla stuffed with diced chicken and tomatoes. Very nice and flavourful and Splashie Boy was satisfy with his order. He said that he had tried the same dish at many eateries and so far, this is one of the best!


Jason opted for Lamb Tikka served with Pilaf Rice. I tried a piece of the lamb tikka, it was juicy and tasty! Slightly salty for me but it would be perfect to go with rice.


This Grilled Medaloin of Beef (RM35) with infused oil and coffee bean mustard was ordered by WMW. I tried a tender piece, but sadly I forgot to dip it with the coffee bean mustard.


Initially, I was tempted to order the Grenobloise Salmon Fillet (RM30) as it was so highly recommended by Jackson. Given a choice, fish is something that I would not order so Teckiee had it instead. Served with boiled potato, roasted vegatable and capers lemon butter, it was not too bad. And again, I forgot to try my piece with the lemon butter.


Jackson's dinner, the Angel Hair Marinara was very 'tomato-ey' and served with generous amount of squids, prawn and mussels. However, I find the texture of the Angel Hair a bit too soft, but I guess that was also our fault. The poor dish was being paparazzied, thus, it was soaked in the tomato gravy for quite some time before being eaten.


Boo and Lyrical Lemongrass both ordered their Mains from the Christmas menu; Seafood Galore on Feta Spinach which came with spinach baked mussels, prawn thermidor, grilled fish with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. I tried a little bit of each from Boo's plate, it was so LOVELY!!! The gravy and seafood blended so well. I will definitely come back for this.


As for me, I had the
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb (RM33) served with grilled brinjals, potatoes, brussel sprouts and apple mint yoghurt. The lamb was lovely, with a layer of fats on top covering the juicy succulent meat. My picture of the lamb didn't manage to capture the marinated brussel sprouts but I do need to compliment that it tastes really good. It was cooked to perfection; soft yet still retain its crunchiness and it was sourish! Very appetising! Jackson told us it's a secret recipe, hence, not to be shared. Pssttt, Jackson, I buy you 1 hairy?

Once we finished our dinner, dessert was served! As some of you are aware, Teckiee, WMW, Jackson and I produced this
video on Apple Crumble for submission for the Drive For Food contest which won us RM100 and got us into the finals. Jackson told us that inspired by our video, he came up with this Apple Crumble Cheesecake! I find it so sweet and touching.

The birthday girl with her birthday cake


I was told that the Apple Crumble Cheesecake is a hot item and sold out real fast. I can understand why. The cake is really good and I like the flaky bits; sweet and a hint of salt and goes so well with the cheese and the apple gravy and apple cubes at the bottom. A whole piece of GOODNESS that got WMW really high!!


How can we leave the place without having a cup of coffee right? All the staffs already left and so Jackson took charge in making us coffee. So off we went to the counter top armed with our cameras.


Jackson aka the barrista. He was in deep concentration while decorating our coffee with his newly acquired skill.


Tada....so beautiful isn't it?


We were then given a cup of coffee each to show off the artistic side of us, but of course, with guidance from the barista. It was fun decorating our own coffee! This is WMW's replicate of Jackson's masterpiece. Not too bad for a first timer right?
Colourful pattern by Lyrical Lemongrass
Frosty da Snowman...by the Birthday girl!

This is my creation...a heartful cup of coffee! As I need to stir it after putting a cube of sugar in, I was a bit upset to destroy my own creation. *Hearts shattered*

It was a really fun night. Great place, great food, great company and great experience (the coffee art). Big thank you to Jackson for the arrangement. Also once again, Happy Birthday to you Teckiee and I wish that for your next birthday, you will bring a man of your dream to celebrate your birthday with us ok? Errr, or will you still be free to meet us ar?

Anyway, do give Pick N Brew a try. Here's the address and location map:

Operating hours :
Monday - Friday : 8am - 8pm
Sunday : 8am - 3pm
Close on Saturday and public holidays



 

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