Friday, February 29, 2008

WOOF WOOF HERE & ARFF ARFF THERE!

When I was in Chatuchak Market, I told myself to be focused and get whatever I have in mind for the house. I told myself that I should not waste too much time hanging around at the Pets area. No more photos as I have taken heaps during past visits and blogged about them far too many times; here and here. I failed! I failed big time as the moment I heard barking from faraway (sounded very much like calling out for me), my feet automatically walked towards to the Pets Corner. And very automatically, my hand digged into my bag, searching for my camera.

I find it extremely difficult to get good and clear shots of moving dogs, so I was in luck when I spotted a few napping puppies which is equally as cute with their eyes closed. I particularly fascinated with this Husky. If it wasn't that I can still feel his heart beating, I would have thought it's dead. He doesn't move an inch even when I kept moving his head, poking his tummy, tap his head and kept calling him "oooi oooi oooi". <span class=

He must be so tired. I lifted his head to take a front shot and I was surprised that he still didn't move a single inch! Cute fella isn't he? <span class=

Chihuahua with a bulging tummy! His paws and hind legs all sticking out from the cage. Couldn't help myself from lightly pulling his leg. He couldn't be bothered with the disturbance though, as he continued sleeping like a pig...errr...I mean, pup!
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Baby Pea lookalike! But of course, I think my Pea was much cuter during his younger days. Am bias? Hehehe...yes I do admit I am bias!
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Awwww....Hubby's favourite dog, ChowChow! Sadly, I don't think we can ever keep a ChowChow due to its high maintenance costs.
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My dad's choice if he ever owns a dog, Golden Retriever.
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There were a few St Bernard pups resting in an air-conditioned room. So chubby and cute. <span class=

Enough of sleepy dogs..I also managed to take a few shots on those that were wide awake like this fella here. I guess this is a Labrador pup. <span class=

Monkeys or puppies???!!???!! I just cannot imagine how much poo poo (and not forgetting the texture) will come out after they feasted on those bananas! Gosh!
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"Please bring me home?"
I can see 'nottiness' from his cheeky face. That very much reminded me of my notti Pumpkin.
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Look at those eyes, aren't they sexy?
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Posting on food in Bangkok will resumed after this.....Burp! *excuse me*


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

UNFORGETTABLE BEEF NOODLE

During our stay at Samran Place two visits ago, we happened to discover a very good beef noodle shop nearby. Sadly they don't have a business card, and due to communication problem, I wasn't able to get the address. So I hope my direction below would helps.
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Served in clear beef broth, just choose your preferred choice of noodle (by pointing at it); vermicelli or kuey teow or even rice, and your preferred type of cuts ranging from brisket, rare beef slices, beef balls, intestines, lungs, etc. As for me, I opted for vermicelli to go with brisket, beef balls and slices of rare beef. For only RM4, my bowl was covered with my chosen ingredients. You can't even see the noodle! Trust me, for the amount of beef I get from 1 bowl here is equivalent to 3 bowls combined in KL. I have to brush the beef aside to expose the vermicelli.
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The broth was clear yet full of flavour. This is the first time that I didn't mind having coriander in my soup as it really enhance the taste. Not forgetting the bits and pieces of crispy lard. Yes, LARD! Sugar, chili flakes and fish sauce are provided but the soup was already tasty enough. But still, I just couldn't resist from adding a few dash of fish sauce. EXTRA OMMPPHH!! So good till Hubby was eyeing my soup, no way, this is something which I will not share! Bouncy beef balls, super tender briskets and perfectly cooked rare beef slices...so good that we ended up having this 3 times within our 2 nights stay! I was telling Hubby that while editing the photo, I felt like crying cos I miss this beef noodle terribly.
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What is your definition of 'tender' brisket? Once you put this into your mouth, you will know.
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For all beef lovers out there who is planning a trip to Bangkok, do give this place a try!

Location Location Location!!
It's at one of those sidelane off Petchburi Road. From Samran Place, turn left and walk straight till you come to a lane on your left. The beef noodle shop is the second shop on your right. Open from morning till late afternoon, this place is popular among the locals and I even noticed some write-ups in their local press being pasted on the wall.

Monday, February 25, 2008

LATE NIGHT (EARLY MORNING?) SUPPER IN BANGKOK

Last weekend was spent in Bangkok, a continuation from our trip last month which we couldn't manage to bring back more stuffs for our new house, due to the huge and heavy Buddha wood carvings we bought. We departed on Friday night after work and came back on Sunday evening. A very short and tiring trip which focused mainly on Chatuchak Weekend market. Our flight which was scheduled to depart at 8.30 p.m. was delayed for 2 hours. Hubby turned grouchy as our plan for dinner and massage after checking into our hotel turned impossible. We arrived in Bangkok at 12 a.m. and it took another 40 minutes to reach our hotel called Samran Place. My tummy was yelling out for FOOD and I was glad to know Hubby's too! So off we went in search for food and right in front of our hotel, we saw a number of brightly-lit hawker stalls, one of which I have tried in my previous visit. It was also the reason I requested Hubby to book into Samran Place as this hotel is surrounded by food heaven.
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This is my favourite stall manned (or should it be womaned?) by a young and pretty lady. Trust me, her braised pork trotters really rocks! It was late, hence, nothing much left to choose from but if you are early, you will see chunks after chunks of pork trotters displayed on the metal sieve together with braised pork intestines, eggs and kailan.
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The condiments that goes really well with the pork trotter rice; hot & sour chili sauce, bird's eye chilies and mini garlics. The bird's eye chilies numbs your tongue with just one tiny bite! But it was super addictive and by the end of the meal, I realized I had 5 pieces. The last visit I had only 4! Needless to say, I ended up with a numb tongue, senseless lips and continuous hissing sound.
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At only 40 baht (approximately RM4), this plate of rice was full of goodness and comforting to our empty stomach. Tender pork, crunchy kailan, fluffy white rice, tasty gravy and runny yolk egg. One word: HEAVEN!
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It was so good, we had it two nights in a row. We went early on the second night, hence I get to request for something really sinful: the SKIN! Ooohh..don't you just love the picture of the runny egg yolk?
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Being greedy and feeling for something soupy, I ordered a bowl of noodle soup from the next stall. Big big mistake. I wanted clear noodle soup with pork balls but was served chicken drumstick noodle with murky broth instead. And it was heavily laden with sugar. I noticed that the Thais enjoy adding sugar into their soup but totally a big no-no for me. Thanks to Hubby, he finished off the noodle and claimed it wasn't that bad after adding in a spoonful of chilli flakes.
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To quench our thirst, we walked into 7-eleven and I got myself a bottle of Melon Sherbet Mirinda! Verdict? SUPER YUMMY!!!
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More food to feast your eyes in my next post so stay tuned!!


Friday, February 22, 2008

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, MY DEAR PUMPKIN

My precious baby Pumpkin turned 1 yesterday. I can still remember when I brought him home when he was just 5 weeks old. So sweet, innocent, tiny and fragile. Ahhh...do not judge a book by its cover. Pumpkin is actually a little monster! I don't have to say much, just look at his face and "NOTTI" is imprinted on his forehead!

I celebrated Pumpkin's birthday the usual way I celebrated Pea's. Dinner was a whole piece of drumstick! Pumpkin was delighted when he saw the fat and juicy drumstick in his bowl and started attacking before I could shred it into smaller bites.
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A birthday would not be complete without a birthday cake! Instead of cake, I got Pumpkin a Carrot Walnut Muffin. And of course, a birthday gift is a must too, and nothing pleases him more than a new soft toy.
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It turned out that Pumpkin was more excited over his new toy than the muffin. Of course, Pea gladly volunteered to finish it off on Pumpkin's behalf!
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Once again, Happy Birthday Pumpkin! Jiejie loves you, er...not the most but you are my forever No. 2!!'

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

CHIEM CHOO SEAFOOD RESTAURANT @ KLANG

Before moving into our new house, Hubby and I rarely venture into Klang or Shah Alam for food. But since we are so near to this two areas now, it's about time for us to do some food hunting. I spotted a few seafood restaurants on our way to Klang Carrefour and I was really eager to give them a try. Our first discovery was Chiem Choo Seafood Restaurant which draws a rather impressive crowd, both weekdays and weekends.

Hubby was given the responsibility of ordering our food, reason being, people here seems to be more fluent in either Hokkien or Mandarin. Perhaps it's time to brush up my Mandarin now.

Hubby did a good job as the first dish served was simply delicious. An easy dish to prepare as the squid was blanched and then drizzled with fried garlic oil (RM15). It was cooked to perfection, bouncy and sweet!
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It goes really well with the accompanied plate of grounded hot and sour green chilli paste. I like the way the tentacles curl upwards to the body which creates an extra crunch to it. Simple yet so delicious!
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The aromatic Oyster Omelette (RM10) was pretty good too. I like it cos it wasn't too starchy and the edges were fried till golden brown. Although the oysters were plump and juicy, I wasn't too happy with its fishy taste. Hubby said it was good, so he happily finished off the oysters while I attacked the egg.
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First lesson learnt: Never order prawns during the Chinese New Year period cos what you get are frozen prawns kept way before the festive season. The Salted Egg Prawns (RM20) was a big disappointment as the head was soft and the meat was not sweet and not bouncy at all. Anyway, the salted egg coating was not too impressive either, so this is a dish that I will skip!
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Second lesson learnt: Never ever order fish during the Chinese New Year except if you see them still swimming in the tank. Otherwise, you will get tasteless frozen fish (I saw a lot of frozen seafood in their big freezer). The Deep Fried Red Snapper (RM60) was over-fried. We had a hard time 'tearing' the skin apart and once we get to the flesh, it was soft and mushy. We suspected that they knew this fish is not fresh, hence, they over-fried it to keep everything intact. Bad bad bad. Luckily we didn't have it steamed.
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2 memorable dishes versus 2 total disappointment dishes. Will I ever come back? Answer is a big YES! Cos their signature noodle, Hokkien-style Tapioca Noodle (RM9) is a to-die-for!! When it was served, I gave a frowning look cos the presentation was not impressive at all. Once I put one spoonful into my mouth, I was like WOW! Seriously good! The noodle has a nice chewy (QQ) and bouncy texture. As I mentioned, the Tapioca Noodle was cooked Hokkien-style, so yes, that means lots of crispy lard too! What I like most is that they put in leek instead of cabbage, which further enhanced the taste of the noodle. I would need to revisit after the Chinese New Year to see if they still put leek into the dish. Am salivating while reminicsing the taste of the noodle now. Droolz...
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Please do not ask me the location of this place but refer to the location map attached below as I still have no idea which part of Klang this place is located. Otherwise, I may lead you there (from my house) and all you have to do is to buy me a plate of the yummy Tapioca Noodle all for myself. *Grin*
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Chiem Choo Seafood Restaurant is located at:
Lot 236, Jalan Sg Putus, Batu Belah
42100 Klang, Selangor
Tel: 03-3342 0058
Daily 11.30 p.m. - 2.45 p.m.; 5.30 p.m. to 11.00 p.m.

Monday, February 18, 2008

THE NEXT TOP MODELS.....

It has been 3 weeks since we moved into our new house. We anticipated notti Pumpkin to have a difficult time adjusting to the new place but surprisingly, it was our quiet and gentle Pea that gave us a couple of sleepless nights, thanks to his non-stop barking! Pumpkin enjoys the new house, especially the garden. Plenty of spaces for him to run now and he absolutely enjoys sniffing and snorting around. Meanwhile, Pea prefers to stay away from the grass to avoid dirtying his paws. Yes, he is THAT clean!

I have been quite busy lately with the house-moving and the festive season, so much so, it totally slipped my mind to take some pictures of them in the new house. But thanks to my sista aka Lyrical Lemongrass, one of my guests last weekend. With her newly acquired lens, I volunteered two most eligible models for her to take some shots. It's not easy to take pictures of moving animals, but with her camera and skills....it seems like eating peanuts!

Here are some of the beautiful shots:

Pumpkin: OK, quick! After this shot, am going to run to the back garden!
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Pumpkin: Are we done yet??
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Pumpkin: Yawnn.....are you done yet, Aunty Lemongrass?
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Pea: Take my face sideway, am more handsome at that angle.
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Pea: Sideway shot again yah?
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Pea: Ok, take a 90 degree shot of me resting on my JieJie's arm....
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Friday, February 15, 2008

GRILLED GARLIC BUTTER PRAWNS

This is a recipe that one can't go wrong. All you need are some really fresh prawns, preferably large to extra large size prawns. However, I particularly enjoys eating smaller prawns as they tend to have a sweeter taste. Using a scissors, make a slit behind the back of the prawns and remove the veins. For faster cooking time, you can opt to remove the shell only at the body part while leaving the head and tail intact.
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For the seasoning, using a small bowl, add a dollop of butter and mix it with finely minced garlics. Add in a tad of salt, pepper, 3 drops of sesame oil and a teaspoon of chinese cooking wine (optional). Give it a good stir to form a paste. Smoother all over the prawns and leave it aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat your oven and grill your prawns for 10 minutes at about 175 degree Celsius.
Best eaten immediately!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DIM SUM ~ My 1st Cooking Class

When it comes to baking, so far, none of my cakes or cookies came out with good result. My first cake baking session was memorable for the wrong reason. I ended up with fever after spending 40 minutes in front of my oven watching the entire baking process. I can't even differentiate baking powder with double action baking powder (now I could) so imagine to my horror when my brownies rises in the oven like nobody's business! All along I thought 'folding' means putting your hand into the batter and fold(literally) it until I learned what it means on the Asian Food Channel. The most recent case, I made some pineapple tarts for the Chinese New Year. The recipe stated that I should bake the tarts for 20 mins but I found that it wasn't brown at all, so I gave it another 10 minutes with a slight increase in temperature. So proud when I saw my tarts golden brown, well, not until when you put it into your mouth. It turned into biscuit texture instead of fluffy melt-in-your mouth tart! My colleague then told me that it should be white and not golden brown.

I always wanted to make flaky egg tarts since ages ago but after reading my recipe book, I was way too confused with the method of combining both the oil dough and the water dough. Right until one fine day, I got an email from The Cooking House in Desa Sri Hartamas and imagine how happy I was when I got to know that Egg Tart was included as part of their Dim Sum Class. The 4-hour class only costs RM100 featuring Char Siu (BBQ meat), Char Siu Bao (HK-style and normal style), Char Siu Sou (flaky puff) and Flaky Egg Tarts. Quite a good deal right? Together with Boolicious, Lyrical Lemongrass and FBB, we signed up for the class.

I learnt quite a lot from Gina, our instructor as now I know there are so many kinds of flour, *ahem* double action baking powder, shortening and etc. She showed us how to make the flaky pastry dough and the bao dough from scratch. Although I would prefer to be shown from Step A to Z, due to time constraint, some of the dough was made well ahead, hence she showed us Step 3 then Step 1 and then Step 2. In the end, I was super confused. Anyway, to be fair, others seem to follow her well.

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I paid full attention when she made the flaky pastry by snapping a series of photos of the whole process. The method of combining the water dough with the oil dough is crucial in ensuring the dough overlaps one another in layers.
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It was quite fun when we were given an opportunity to make our own Char Siu Bao. Gina taught us both the sifu method and the housewife method. Needless to say, I can't even perfect the housewife method, how would I dare to even try the sifu method? 3a

The Hong Kong version is supposed to rise and break open like a flower when steamed.
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Sadly, mine didn't rise and break-open like how it is supposed to be. But who care as long as it ended up inside my tummy right?
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Soft and tasty!
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Baos on parade!! The first two belongs to Lyrical Lemongrass and Boolicious. *Ahem* Why so much gravy stain ar?
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Fresh from the oven: Char Siu Sou!
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It was really good. Light, flaky and melts in your mouth! Best to eat if fresh. Brings many dim sum restaurants to shame.
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For dessert, the Egg Tarts! The pastry used is the same with the Char Siu Sou, hence, equally DELICIOUS!
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Like I mentioned earlier, Gina doesn't follow the 'supposed' procedure from A-Z so we only get to learn making the Char Siu at the end of the class. No complain as it was absolutely marvelous although she used chicken instead of pork. The aroma, the colour, the taste...ooohh...everything was PERFECT!!! I couldn't help myself with two, oppss, or was it three(?) helpings.
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Now, to answer your question, NO! I have not tried doing this at home yet and I don't know if I ever will. Since there are only 3 of us in the house, seems not feasible for me to do it especially when the egg tarts and char siu sou must be eaten fresh. But I guess, I should try doing it once, at least, to justify the RM100 spent on the class. So, are there any guinea pigs out there?


 

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