Monday, 31 March 2008

Abeno Too pics from London.. finally

Long ago... my sister and her friend Mel went to Abeno Too in London for a meal and they'd sent me a review of it. She also promised to send over the pictures from that faithful day.

For the review, pls *click here*.

Don't the okonomiyaki look de-lish!? I suddenly have a craving for them. Perhaps I shall make a batch this weekend. I cant make them today unless I go grocery shopping at Isetan or any other supermarket that's decently stocked with Japanese food.

It's been a while since I last made this so perhaps I shd have an okonomiyaki party one day.. Invite ppl over, prepare all the ingredients and the batter, get some hotplates ready, and let everyone make their own! Sounds like a good plan.. Shen, shall we have an okonomiyaki party when you and Fatty get back?

Friday, 28 March 2008

Baking tragedies this week

Apologies for the week-long absence.

We hosted Invest Malaysia 2008, together with Bursa Malaysia and AmInvestment Group. All in all, I think it went pretty well. Of course there were some issues here and there but nothing really major happened and hopefully, everyone managed to get what they wanted out of it!

So, it's the end of the week, I am super exhausted and I can't wait for the weekend! Sigh... But I have class tomorrow. At least I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight.

I've been baking a little to reduce stress. Baked Banana and Honey cupcakes last Saturday. They came out too sweet I think.. But Aunty Rubyann said they were nice! I made them again last night, but with less sugar and more bananas... and included the walnuts which were originally in the recipe. Funnily enough, the cupcakes the second time round tasted less banana-y despite the fact that I used way more bananas. Anyhow, I have 6 of them in a container next to me now and am not inclined to offer anyone.

I just dont get it.. Everytime I bake something to bring to the office, it's not so nice. But when I make it for other ppl, like on Saturday when I made it for church, it was alright!

Oh yes, on Saturday, I also made my first attempt at macaroons. Now Im not sure why, but they came out too bloody sweet that I just left them in the container. I had caster sugar and almond powder. Evelyn thinks its cos the almond powder I used was already sweet so I shd have used less sugar. Perhaps... Sigh..

Last night, I also attempted to make bread. Sadly, the dough did not rise at all as expected. Maybe I did something wrong. But anyhow, it was great to be kneading the dough cos it really helped to reduce stress. Hehe..

With all my baking "mishaps" this past week, I was too depressed to take any pictures.

On the food front, I've had an overdose of fancy Japanese meals the past 2 days.

First was a Wednesday lunch in Wasabi at the Mandarin Oriental. Our conference was held there so I had a nice lunch with my colleagues there. Aunty ordered as usual and it was a lot of food! I told Rommel later that day that there was a plateful of sashimi leftover at the end. We couldn't eat anymore! We had Kumi's No. 1, dobin mushi, sashimi platter, garlic chahan, teppanyaki beef and chicken and tempura moriawase.

Second was Wednesday's dinner - this wasn't fancy la but I was walking around KLCC while waiting for Rommel to pick me up so I bought some sashimi and sushi for dinner from the Isetan supermarket. Also bought a saba fish so Evelyn lightly salted and grilled it in the oven (saba shioyaki) when I got home.

Third was Thursday's lunch with a client - Kampachi at Hotel Equatorial. I had a Saba Shioyaki lunch. This was the same as my dinner actually but I was happy. Had a craving for Saba.

So for today's lunch, I just didn't feel like having Japanese anymore. We ate at Etoile in Equatorial with another client.. I had a Nicoise salad, took a slice of Sunaina's garlic bread and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Now, to decide what to have for dinner.... Hmmm...

And another thing. I have finally submitted my leave for June... am going back to London! Wheee.... Covent Garden, Selfridges, TopShop, Oxford St, Harrods.... Here I come!! That's just the shopping. Also cant wait to eat Belgo's mussels in Covent Garden, FarmerBrown's beef steak sandwiches in Covent Garden, Richoux's scones in Knightsbridge, Imperial China dimsum in Chinatown, Misato in Chinatown.... Gosh the list is practically never ending! I can go on and on about places I really miss in London.

We are also planning to go back to Lourdes. It's in the south of France, nearer towards Spain. Absolutely gorgeous little town where we shall go and be holy and pray. I fell in love with the place when we first visited in the summer of 2005.

In fact, we flew there just 2 days after the London bombings. Yes my family had actually arrived into London the day before the bombings and since my flat was in Covent Garden, let's just say we were smack in the middle of it all. Phones were not working, we were glued to the TV watching for updates, we dashed out to Tesco to get food and bottled water... saw the military walking in the middle of Covent Garden Square... and for most of the time, Covent Garden/Trafalgar Square/Picadilly Circus transformed into one of the scenes from "28 days later". There wasn't a soul around! I remember how surreal those few days were.

So anyway, getting back to my point, we flew to Lourdes 2 days after the bombings. It was a rather poignant time for reflection and prayer. (I remember also having to pray very hard my exam results were ok.) Shen, perhaps this time it's your turn to pray hard that you pass your exams too!!

Rommel was thinking of visiting another place as well, perhaps Majorca (his suggestion) or Barcelona (my suggestion). I've never been to either so am pretty cool with both.

Shen and Patty, can you guys come up with suggestions? I actually feel like going back to Paris as well. I dunno... So many choices!

Okay, that's all for now! Ta...

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Review: Bobby Chinn at Shook!

Restaurant: Shook! @ Feast Village, Starhill Gallery
Event: Wild Wild East Dinner with Bobby Chinn
Overall verdict: Simple and surprisingly good.

My dad's first words there were," Oh we're having Vietnamese? Good good." You see, he's been craving for Vietnamese food since Sunday.

First course: Amuse Bouche
Petrina comments: A small cup of something that tasted very much like very rich tom yum broth, served with some strands of enoki mushroom on the side. Something unusual but it wasn't fantastic.

Second course: Trio of Appetizer (L-R) - (1) Crab salad Nom Cua, (2) Seafood ceviche with mangosteen vinaigrette Qoi Hai San, (3) Prawns on sugar cane Tom Bao Mai.
Paired with: Goldridge Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand 2006.

Petrina comments: Surprisingly quite refreshing. Rommel slurped up all of the mangosteen vinaigrette in both his and my martini glasses. Mom and Dad liked the salad. On the wine, my dad said, "Not bad." - which usually means it's ok.

Main course: Black cod fish on braised banana blossoms, Ca Vuoc Ap Chao Voi Hoa Chuoi Om.

Paired with: Goldridge Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand 2005

Petrina comments: Exceptionally fresh and good quality black cod. The light spices complimented the fish very well. The banana blossoms were really nice too. Mom and Dad both definitely enjoyed this a lot. My dad especially... He kept saying how the spices brought out the taste of the fish.

Rommel discovered something weird though... If you eat a piece of the fish, then took a sip of the pinot noir, you'll get an extremely fishy aftertaste. To use his words, it tasted like ikan kembung. I had the same aftertaste too when I tried it. Weird.

Dessert course: Coconut creme brulee, served with Vietnamese coffee

Petrina comments: Nice, soft, creamy, a twist to the usual creme brulee (which btw, is one of my favourite desserts.) The coffee was not as strong as the ones we had in Ho Chi Minh City but it was still nice.

And so, all in all, it was a pleasant, simple meal. Not too overbearing at all like most of the fancy dinners we attend sometimes. Just exactly what my dad liked it to be. Simple, clean and fresh menu. By 9.30pm, we were on our way home. Great!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Review: The Yogi Tree @ Gardens

Restaurant: The Yogi Tree
Place: F237-B, 1st Floor, Gardens at Midvalley
Tel: +603 2282 6163
Previous review: *click here*

Okay yesterday's lunch at Yogi Tree was not my first. I had lunch there last Sunday too! And definitely liking it because I think they serve good quality, organic food. And the food taste pretty great too.

I have been meaning to try their scones and since we were there pretty late, ard 2.40pm, we could order the scones (the menu says that they are served from 3pm onwards.)

Verdict: Not too bad scones, a little hard though. A pity that they were served with whipped cream and not clotted cream. As damaging as clotted cream may be to our hearts, they sure as hell make a difference when it comes to scones.

Delicious by Ms Read once served their scones with normal cream instead of the usual clotted cream and I wrote them a note in their suggestion sheet that it was such a pity they decided to cut costs this way. the next I visited, I was glad to find out they reverted to serving the scones with the proper clotted cream.

Mom's mee siam was not too bad too. A little salty but I wasn't feeling very well yesterday so maybe my tastebuds were a little screwed up. Mom said it was the authentic mee siam as it came with a sauce on the side which is how mee siam used to be served in the "good ol days".

Rommel's cheeseburger was superb. I LOVED the "crushed potatoes". Note the word crushed, not mashed. Shen, you'll love it. And the burger was great, the mustard was "hot" enough.

I had the breakfast bap yesterday. And had the traditional English breakfast last week. You can tell I'm having my cravings for English breakfasts. Wish I was in Sandford House Hotel in Shrewsbury again. Best toast and marmalade ever!

One key ingredient was the ketchup. I personally abhore ketchup and never ever eat it with anything. But this ketchup was something else. Even Rommel said so, cos he had it with his burger. Not sweet at all, tastes fresh and doesn't seem to have much preservatives.

My dad didn't want to come out so he was at home watching golf. We bought back the steak sandwich for him.. which he also had last week and though it was great. Also, they have a pretty good selection of vegetarian options.

Total bill came up to RM147++ which was not too bad I suppose. Included 3 juices (mine was a ginger and yoghurt smoothie thing while mom had a very berry smoothie and Rommel a home-made lemonade).

Thumbs up and I'll most likely be there next weekend. Hehe..

Friday, 14 March 2008

It's Friday evening and I'm still in the office. Why? Cos its raining and there's a bad traffic jam outside. I dont understand it, why must there be a traffic jam when it rains?

In any case, I'm supposed to have a class today. But work comes first so I'm in the office. And by the time I want to leave, it's too late. Class is only for 2 hours today... extra class because they couldnt finish the syllabus during Monday's class I think.. I dunno. I wasn't there. Couldn't go. Work.

I feel like baking muffins today. Nice fluffy muffins that ooze out of the muffin tins as they bake.
I also feel like roasting lamb. I have no idea why. Craving for a nice piece of lamb. Or beef.

Oh yes, that reminds me, there's a kobe beef promo going on at Prime at Le Meridien apparently. Read it on Lyrical Lemongrass' blog. *click here*

I can't wait to try that. I told my dad about it last night. He didn't seem too keen though. Perhaps a lil bit more persuasion on my part is needed to get him to try Prime.

Speaking of trying things, we are going for the Bobby Chinn event at Shook! next week. You know, the half-Egyptian, half-Chinese dude on Travel & Living's World Cafe Asia. Anyway, he's coming to town and will be cooking at Shook! this coming Wednesday (19th). Since my mom and I are both YTL Platinum Plus members, we pay RM150++ while my dad and Rommel will have to pay RM200++. I think that's how it works. And we members also get his autographed cook book for free too.
I'm really curious to try his food cos a colleague and fellow foodie has actually eaten in his restaurant in Hanoi and she didn't think it was all that great!
Another thing, I had lunch with my ex-colleagues today since Pei Wan has come back from Melbourne for a visit. We went to Crystal Jade in Pavilion.. Over-ordered as usual and we stuffed our faces while yakking away. We still had leftovers so Chee Sing packed them back for his colleague. Haha.. Pigs we are. It was great though, meeting everyone in a group again. I do miss the times I had working with them. I felt it was great company and we all got along pretty well.
Aunty Lena has just called the office and said that she's forgotten to take home some durian puffs she bought from the Grand Millenium Hotel. So now I have 3 boxes full of durian puffs cos we have to eat them today as they go bad easily. Now, to find people who will be willing to eat them. Rommel and Evelyn both dont like durian. Ma and Pa most probably will only have 1 piece shared. Shd I drive to church now since there is a charismatic group meeting tonight and that's where the parents are right now? I know for sure that there is always ppl who will want to eat it there. Hehe..
Anyway, I think the traffic is improving now. Whatever. I need to get out of the office. It's the weekend!!
P/s: Shen... I've put in money into your a/c and Fatty's a/c. Both of you go and check.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Still waiting so I decide to write another post.

I had lunch with May Pearl, Nik Hanim and Jalil at Tony Roma's in Pavilion today. Calista couldn't make it cos she had a lunch meeting (that busy woman! This is the second time she's ffk-ed us in what, 3 weeks?!) Hehe..

I've been promising to make them all tiramisu and so I did. Made 3 containers full of it. One for each of them. I would have made 4 but there wasn't enough of the mascarpone and cream mixture. So I ended up making 2 cups of tiramisu which are now sitting nice and chilled in the house fridge waiting for me and Rommel to eat them.

Anyway, Im not waiting any longer. I'll send the files via Blackberry later. That's that they're for. Ta..

Taking a breather from work

I'm in the office waiting for someone to send a bunch of things and until she sends them to me, I have some time to spare.

So what do I do? Post pictures!

I've gotten smarter now. What I do is I bring my camera wire along with me in my handbag so in case I want to upload photos, I can do it in the office. Trice already have people in the office ask for my camera to take pictures, then realise that we couldn't upload the pictures immediately.

Anyway.. let's talk about the pictures!

First up is a pic of the mentaiko omu in Yoshi no ma in Cosway. When you enter Cosway via the main entrance, turn left at the first aisle. It's right at the end. Great Japanese fast food such as katsu curry, buta kakuni don, kinoko spa (mushroom spaghetti), and of course my mentaiko omu (rice mixed with cod roe and wrapped in an omelette).

Next up are pics from our Saturday night dinner at Yuzu in Gardens at Midvalley.

And finally, pics from our Sunday night dinner at CWZJ tea house.

I'm getting hungry. But I have a peanut butter sandwich I made for my breakfast. Meiji peanut butter (I just found it in the Japanese supermarket next to my fruits shop in Gardens... absolutely delish!! Best peanut butter ever!!) spread onto a wholemeal bread with nuts bought from RT Pastry House in Taman Desa. Shen, you must be missing the sausage buns.

Ok... hungry.. Ta..

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Finally things are settling

What a week this has been! And its only Wednesday!!

Let's see, Monday I got home at 9pm, yesterday 11pm. Today is a good day cos everything's almost done.

Enough about work...

So how was last weekend? Firstly, we had our 12th general elections on Saturday. My first time voting! I was still in London during the last elections in 2004.

Result: BN won again albeit a lesser majority. General consensus thinks this is positive as it gives the government a wake up call.

Mom organised a craft session at home that Saturday ard lunch time. They are preparing the candles for sale during Easter. This time, we're raising funds for the World Youth Day taking place in Sydney this July. Some youths who cannot afford the trip but want to go have been invited for a sponsored trip so that's where the money is going to.

Of course, my dad took the opportunity to show off his cooking. He make char youk which I cant really explain except that its deep fried pork with black fungus and fermented tofu (I think). This went really well with the wantan mee which he also cooked (he bought the wantan mee obviously but made the sauce and all).

Mom also showed off her cooking skills and cooked pork stomach soup... my fav!

I took pics but they're at home..

We had dinner in Yuzu on Saturday night. I also took pics.

Okay, I'm getting really tired. Time to go home! Ta

Thursday, 6 March 2008

The Office

The colleagues and I have always said that someone should just bring a video camera to office and film everything that goes on here! There's always drama, lots of emotions, tantrums and ppl who need to be placated. God it sounds like a kindergarden!!

But what with all the stress everyone goes through (stock broking has never been known as the most relaxing of jobs), I suppose tensions do flare and arguments do occur.

And yet, I suppose that is the way of life really. I was just thinking about it after lunch. We spend more time with the people in the office than we do with our families. From 7am every morning until whatever time it is at night that we get to go home, we see these faces, we have breakfast together, we have lunch together, we chat over tea in the pantry, we argue while staring at the Bloomberg screen, we shout at each other from across the room, we make jokes about one another. It's inevitable, we become some sort of surrogate family to each other.

Dont misunderstand. I am not about to declare undying love for all of them. But it's just that we spend so much time with each other that we have no choice but to become so familiar with one another. From everyone's habits and oddities, to what they like to eat or drink, to how many siblings they have..

I admit, on reflection, I must be a pain to work with at times. I'm emotional about things and I never deny it. I get upset easily, I like to complain and so I guess I can really be annoying. Sometimes I cant help it. But I learnt that I need to be in control of my feelings and my attitude. Otherwise, it's just not professional. At the end of the day, as chummy as we are with everyone else, this is still not home, this is an office. Let's just hope everyone can keep their emotions in check.

Okay enough muttering. Enough said. Ta.

Oh btw, on a less serious note, I've started on a new project. A black ruffle scarf for Suen... :)

Monday, 3 March 2008

3 nights of sheer gluttony

For the past 3 dinner, I have been having really rich food. I wanted to do reviews on each of the places individually but I dont have the time. And I didn't take as many nice pictures as I wanted. I blame the camera. Haha..

First up: Saturday night dinner at Ichiban Boshi, Pavilion KL.
Decent food at decent prices. For Rommel and myself, it cost us RM85.90. And we had a lot to eat!

The handmade soba in Ichiban Boshi is one of the better ones I have had in KL. In fact, the first time I ate here, I thought the soba was better than the Kampachi one just upstairs. But the soba with deep fried tempura batter that I had this time around wasn't that nice. We think it could be due to the fact that it was late (we ate at ard 9+pm) so it was not as fresh.

Spicy cereal tori karaage... something different.

Next: Sunday night's dinner at Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square, KL

Another great meal. This time with His Grace Archbishop John Ha of Kuching, Father Simon Yong SJ, Dr Jeffrey Goh and wife, Uncle Max, Aunty Rubyann, Uncle Dominic, Aunty Gay, Ma, Pa and Rommel.

Always my favourite - pork stomach soup with sharks fin - this is a slight twist to the traditional pork stomach soup. Yum..

Deep fried cod with some chilli sauce that tasted very much like the chilli crab sauce we like. Good stuff..

Thinly sliced beef with mushrooms, olive oil and some minty-herby sauce.

A new twist to Loh Mai Kai.. The glutinous rice mix is stuffed into a chicken wing which is then deep fried. Excellent.

Then comes tonight's dinner:

Farewell dinner for Cheryl and Bernard who are flying back to Cairnes tomorrow morning. We ate at Unique Seafood, Section 13.

Lobster sashimi which I daren't eat after what happened at Rick's Cafe Casablanca. But the lobster was later cooked with porridge and I took the porridge bit. I tried a bite of the lobster but started to wheeze almost immediately.

Cheryl's special order: cheese-baked Japanese snails.

Braised loong tan fish with tofu and veg. Loved the tofu. Am a bit sick of eating loong tan cos at one point in time, my dad was OBSESSED with eating it. Thankfully, he's over that now.

Shen, I've been trying to MMS you stuff but you dont seem to be getting them. Wonder what's wrong. Anyway, I sent you a pic of this really nice wood engraved fan with a gold chain from Loewe. Cost RM890 but it's really nice! Totally useless but really nice! Would go VERY VERY well with all your kimono and yukata sets. Esp since its just wood and gold chain.

And I need to take a picture of my new Louis Vuitton shoes to show you!! But it's been raining heavily lately so I dont want to take the risk and ruin this pair of shoes. Esp when it cost almost 2/3 of my monthly salary! Whoops...

And I will take a picture of the new Loewe bag too... It's very light yellow with a tan border on the top and peach handles. Doesnt sound as nice but it all goes really well. And it's made of lambskin so its super super soft...


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Kopitiam review: Hon Kee Porridge, KL Chinatown

Kopitiam: Hon Kee Famous Porridge

Cuisine: Chinese, non-halal

Address: Petaling Street, next to Koon Kei - the famous wantan mee shop

Verdict: Still good after all these years

Now, this is a blast from the past for me. I used to frequent this stall for supper as a kid. At that time, to me, this was the BEST porridge in the world. Over the years, we've tried to eat less supper as it's not healthy.. and we're fat. Also, I rarely headed out to this part of town , what with new shopping malls mushrooming all over the place. So... somehow this place was, not forgotten, but kept somewhere in the back of my mind all these years.

Since my classes are in the area, I have taken the liberty of scouring the streets of KL's Chinatown during my lunch breaks between classes. I have so far found an arts and crafts shop that sold mostly painting materials (now I know where to go when I get the urge to do oil painting again), I've been going to Macy's (the wholesale handicraft store), found loads of very interesting shops... Today, I found a shop selling buttons. Alright they had a very very small selection of yarn and threads etc but they had A LOT of buttons. So cool... I'm definitely going back there soon.

Anyway, I had lunch at Hon Kee today again (I had it last week too!). Last week I had the pork innards porridge and this week I had my all-time favourite - pork balls porridge. It's not as nice as it used to be because the old lady who used to run the place has passed on. I think the person running it now is perhaps her daughter but Im not sure. But, yea, it's just not the same. BUT.. It's still one of the best..

Review on Chukai and Kampung Cherating food

Finally after weeks of procrastinating, I've uploaded the pics from our roadtrip to Chukai and Kampung Cherating, en route to Club Med.

First up, we had breakfast in Chukai. Geraldine and Ashraf had previously eaten at Tin Kam Leng kopitiam. I can't remember for the life of me right now where this place was again.. But yea, i's really discreet, it's somewhere in Chukai. Sorry.. I have a bad memory!

Anyway Tin Kam Leng sells Kari Mee served without santan. And a lightly poached ikan kembung with a dash of sambal. YUM.

We also ordered some other fish cos every other table had it. I have no idea what this fish was but it wasnt as tasty as the kembung.

This is how the kopitiam looks like:

I wanted to try nasi dagang so we headed to the Chukai market and bought a packet from this lady. Unfortunately, by the time I was hungry enough to eat it, it had gone bad in the car.

While waiting for 2pm to arrive (we could only enter Club Med after 2pm), we hung out at Kampung Cherating. This place below was so cool... Totally chilled out.

My mee soto (above) and Rommel's parpadelle pasta (below). Not bad la.. Cheap too.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Babbling.. and last week's pics

Ah... It's Saturday night and I'm at home. But that's okay. I'm super duper tired after this whole week.. and last night, Rommel and I went to his friend Fai's house... Fai was having his usual birthday party. Nadia was there too which was great since I didnt really know the other girls except Kanch and her.

Nadia and I then headed off to Aliyaa's - a new bar next to Jarrod and Rawlins along Jalan Dungun in Bukit Damansara. We met up with Dalilah there which was super cos I have not seen Dalla in almost 3 years!?!?

Oh Fatty, if you're ever reading this, Nadia's boyfriend just got himself a Golf GTI and I sat in it. Rommel liked it a lot. I know you've been bugging me to get it so why dont you go bug Pa to buy it for me. Thanks!!

Anyway, we got home at 3am I think. And I had a 6 hour marathon of class starting 10am.. :(

Okay... Enough.... Here are the pics from last Sunday's cooking session:

I forgot to take pictures before we dug into the steak, lamb and pasta. So here is a pic of the left over. Oops..

Our tiramisu. First attempt and verdict so far: not bad, pretty authentic but way too much Kahlua. Oops again..

Tiramisu in the fridge.

Our light supper: Scallops stir fried with bacon and enoki mushrooms, served on a bed of rocket leaves and lettuce.