Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yet another Kopitiam chain - Hainan Tea Kopitiam, Bandar Puteri Puchong

I've wondered for a while now whether the kopitiam movement is just a fad, or whether it's here to stay. I mean, I've been drinking teh 'c' and eating roti bakar with kaya and butter for ages, but it's only been (relatively) recently that the whole 'upscaling' thing came on the scene with shops like Old Town, Pappa Rich, Hailam Kopitiam, and others.

One of the newer franchises that I've come across is called Hainan Tea Kopitiam. Apparently there are already a few branches in the KL area - the darling and I are sampling the one in Bandar Puteri Puchong.

First impressions are actually quite favorable, thanks to the menu that offers quite a few variety of dishes that other kopitiams don't. Normally you just have to have either coffee, tea, or cham, but that day no mood lah. The darling has a Flower Tea (MYR5.90) - it's nice and refreshing, tastes sort of like a tasty, flowery Chinese Tea. I order Carrot Milk (MYR4.90) which was *THE* worst Carrot Juice I've ever tasted. Tastes like just the juice of a single local (i.e. not sweet) carrot, topped up with tons of milk and water. I want to give it more than two thumbs down but I only have two hands :(

I mentioned earlier that this kopitiam franchise has some interesting variety on the menu - here's one of them: Hainan Cheong Fun Special (MYR5.50). It looks a bit disgusting, but it was decently good. Had a mixture of sweet sauce and some other brownish/yellow'ish sauce - couldn't quite make out what it was, but it had a hint of peanut butter.

I try another interesting-looking dish: the Hainan Twister with Tuna ($3.50), can also order with brown bread instead of white. Unfortunately its' taste isn't as unique as its' looks. Tastes exactly what it looks like - tuna on toasted bread.

The Hainan Brown Toast 3 Layer (MYR3.80) is another dish that is decidedly mediocre. The layers in this case are butter and peanut butter - nice combination but just the same as any other kopitiam.

Overall, I didn't find anything special that would justify purposely choosing Hainan Tea over any of the other kopitiams for a spot of yumcha and toast. If anything I'd be inclined to avoid it, on the strength (or rather, weakness) of that terrible, terrible carrot juice. I mean come on guys - 5 bucks buys an entire kilo of carrots at the market, can't you put more than one miserable carrot into your juice?

Hainan Tea is in Bandar Puteri Puchong - the 'side' of town that has the Giant supermarket.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Indian Rojak / Pasembor & Cendol @ SS15, Subang Jaya

After bring my little bro Joshua to enroll in Monash Sunway, while bring him on a small tour around Subang. Remembering about the Indian Rojak & Cendol, that I enjoyed during my study time in Metropolitan College.

Last time it was just two separated trucks, stopped randomly beside road nearby Shell Station. Now it is now located opposite the road nearby KFC, the government have give them a nice place to setup their store. At peak hours like weekend or evening, the line can be so long that you have to wait around 30mins for your turn. This round i went at 2.30pm and the queue had about 6 people. The reasons of the wait is not because of the slow service but the amount of their customers are ordering. No complain as the two Indian owner men's of the stall actions are extremely fast.
The prices varies from the choice you make!
Cuttlefish/Sotong & Egg/Telur RM4.00
Cuttlefish/Sotong RM3.70
Egg/Telur RM3.50
Plain / Kosong RM3.20

As usual, I prefer having Sotong Telur. This indian rojak is also called Pasembor which is not used at this store. The sauce is ultimately blending well with the Sotong Telur fried dough fritters, beancurds, along with generous serving of shaved cucumbers & turnips.
As usualBasically it made sense to drench your throat in a sweet concoction laced with gula melaka, santan and green worms pulut
As usual, i believe Rojak + Cendol is a great match! The shop next door Cendol make it such a convenient treat. Basically it drench the throat with a sweet concoction laced with gula melaka, santan and "green worms". Do inform them when you order that you would not like to have pulut in your Cendol.
If you're around SS15 & wondering what to eat. Do drop by to try this out.

Located @ SS 15/3B, Subang Jaya.
on the opposite side of the road from the Shell Station,
nearby the in front of KFC and fruit stall.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eat Seafood, Shop Seafood, at the same place - Nikudo Seafood, SS2.

Nikudo seafood! I kind of happened across this place by chance - on my way home from KL from Penang after CNY balik kampung, hunting SS2 for food. We were going to go to the SS2 medan selera, but then on noticing this "new" place, decided to give it a try! Strangely, I've got no recollection of what the previous shop was :)

Anyways Nikudo, despite having a rather Japanese sounding name, has nothing to do with the land of the rising sun. It's kind of a 'combo' shop - they also sell frozen seafood (one of the waitresses said from Sabah, among other places), things like 七星斑, scallops, fish, etc. No clue as to which is the 'main' business though.

Anyway skip the freezers, because we're here tonight for the food! The place is bright and cheery. It also kind of has a Japanese feel to the deco.

Cuisine is simple and unpretentious. They've generally got two 'branches' (for lack of a better word) on the menu. Firstly, the grill - there's stuff like grilled squid, prawns, fish, all things seafood. We only go for the otak otak. It tasted pretty good, no comparison to the Johor ones of course.

The second branch on the menu is basically assorted seafood noodles and porridge. I have the teochew-style seafood porridge with sweet potatoes. It comes with a few fishballs and pieces of soft sweet potato. I think the fishballs were pretty nice and fresh - they're not the 'springy' variety though, they're more of the 'meaty' type.

I don't exactly know what this is, ha ha :( ... I know it was some kind of noodle, probably seafood (or fish) noodles. The broth wasn't particularly special, although the fish and the fishballs were fresh.

Mum had the seafood tom yam. I found the prawn rather ... OK. It was decently fresh, but in a shop that also makes a business of selling seafood, shouldn't it be super ultra fresh? Tom yam was tasty and nice and sour, if a bit lacking in the "oooomph" and spiciness department.

Nikudo Seafood is opposite the entrance to the SS2 food court - it's the same row as KTZ, and that DVD shop that everyone goes to buy their 'evaluation' discs from. Prices range from rm10-rm20 per dish, so it's not cheap - but you do get your seafood direct from an importer/distributor so in theory it should be fresher than most other makan places.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ole Ole Bali @ Sunway Pyramid, Selangor

A while back, I went to Ole Ole Bali with a few of my friends. Ole Ole Bali has the same management as Bumbu Bali which makes it a sister restaurant, their menu & taste is similar which is pretty impressive!
The environment is decorated beautifully inside out, makes you feel at home while eating in a restaurant, even when the signboards are hidden you also can actually know which restaurant is Ole Ole Bali. Inside the store there are actually Bali merchandizes that you can purchase.
While deciding on what to eat, we ordered 2 jugs of their House Favorite Cooling Drink, Barley Lime to share. (MYR18) It is actually thick where one can taste the barley taste with a slight twist of lime juice, that we shared among 4 persons.
One of their famous dish on the menu is Nasi Campur (RM33), it’s a combination of Balinese Grilled Lemongrass Prawns, Squid, Fish, choice of Beef or Chicken Rendang and Sate Lilit. Mei Kee & Rebecca both went for Chicken. The most special is Sate Lilit which is basically a barbecued mix seafood paste wrapped around a lemongrass, it was soft & with nice texture. rge Prawns and Fish was lightly seasoned to let the natural flavor stand out.
In my mind, since I’m a small eater, I decided & place opinion that ordering Siap Bumbu would be a smaller portion then the Nasi Campur above. To my disbelieve it comes with half a Balinese Roast Chicken with Lemongrass Marinate! Indeed, I did not finish my portion & bad to take away half of the chicken home for my lunch the next day. Sin Yee ate this too, which John & Calvin had to help her out! The chicken was nicely seasoned adding alone the lemongrass gravy! Leaving it just marvelous. (MYR27)
Lam had the Kambing Bumbu, stir- fried Lamb Cutlet with Chili and Spices. The lamb was tender and juicy without being over spicy! Love it. (RM28)
Campur Siap Bumbu, Kambing Bumbu & Siap Bumbu Nasi are served with Nasi Kuning, Sambel Matah, Sambel Terasi, Rompeyek (Anchovy Crackers), Lawar Kacang, Kangkong & other condiments with the exception of the Balinese Starters. Without any disappointment above are the Bumbu Bali specialties! It's a must try for everyone if you're there.

John on the other hand had Fried Chicken Sandwich, the Deep Fried marinated Boneless Chicken with Spices and Topped with Apple Sesame Coleslaw. (RM26) Unable to describe how this taste like actually i was told that it was also nice.
No worries if you are a vegetarian following your friends here there are a few dishes that have no meat served in it. Since my friend, Tey is a vegetarian he had Grilled Vegetable Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauces. Unable to describe how this taste like actually i was actually stunted that he said is "Okay. Not bad."

Looking for Balinese style which is tasty and nice, do find your way to Bumbu Bali or Ole Ole Bali.
Small note, portions are kind of Huge so if you're not a BIG eater you may just order a bowl of rice for two to share.
This is at::
OB-1C, Ground Floor Main entrance,
Old Wing of Sunway Pyramid,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baking Exploration ::: Pineapple Flower Tarts

Happy Rabbit Chinese New Year to everyone...

Since, I'm pretty free this new year period...I made tons of these deliciously Pineapple Flower Tarts for my family & friends!!! Here to share with you all the recipe, as "sharing is caring". Would love
you all to make these to satisfy your craving and have fun in the kitchen.

Ingredients Needed
3 cups of Plain All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Castor Sugar
Salt Option:
1/4 teaspoon Salt ~*~*if you using salted butter*~*~
1/2 teaspoon Salt ~*~*if you using unsalted butter*~*~
285g Butter (unsalted or salted depends on your liking)
3 Egg Yolks
2 teaspoon Vanilla Essences
3 tablespoons Cold Water
Pineapple Jam (from any Baking Supply Shop)
Flower Mold
Baking Paper

Before starting my baking session I love to setup my process line.. along with my laptop to keep me entertain since i'm baking alone... ^.^

1. As preparation to quicken your process later, Roll out the Pineapple Jams into small balls.
2. Next, sift 2 cups of Flour into mixing bowl, then add in Sugar and Salt, mix it gentlely with a whisk.
3. Put in Butter and use a fork to press till you have an even mixture.
4. Add Yolks, Vanilla Essences, Cold Water and continue pressing with a fork.
5. Depending on the taxture of the dough needed which should not stick to your mixing bowl and fingers, add in more flour and lightly mix it with your finger tips.
6. Take small parts of dough and roll to a thickness of 4mm.
7. Using the Flower Mold, press out and place it on the baking tray with Baking Paper, line them up with about 1cm apart from each other.
8. Upon finishing, it’s time to place the Mini Pineapple Balls on to the beautiful flower dough. Remember to flatten the bottom part and press a little to make sure it won’t fall off.
9. Pre-heat oven to around 180°C for 5mins.
10. Place the tray in to bake, the duration depends on the oven you use at home. For mine, is 8mins sharp to have the prefect slightly golden look that i want...
11. Once remove from oven, let it rest in the tray for 10mins, then transfer them to a wire rack to further cool for another 30mins.
12. Arrange them into Jars for yourself or containers as gifts for your friends and family.
13. Repeat 6 to 12.

Some Secrets to share, Butter makes the difference so use your family favorite butter. Packaging makes your pineapple tarts looks like you buy from a special bakery which actually my aunties didn’t actually think i baked them.... Here is the picture of gift packs for my family & friends out there who are lucky this year... ^.^

I'll be trying different forms of Pineapple Tarts for my next attempt and also try out to explore on making Home-made Pineapple Jam.

If your lover, family, or friends are seriously addicted to Pineapple Tarts you all should try this out....

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Penang Best Chicken Rice - Sky Restaurant, Lebuh Chulia

So anyway my dad read an article the other day in The Edge, about the best street food in Penang. The writer suggested that the best chicken rice is in Sky Hotel & Restaurant - so him, me, and the whole family take a drive to Lebuh Chulia to see just how good this chicken rice is.

First impressions are good. The 'restaurant' is in fact a typical coffee shop that serves only chicken (and other roast meats) rice. The place seems to sell out pretty quick - we were there at 1pm and they were almost sold out already. Definitely need to come here early.

Final thoughts:

- The chicken was very, very smooth. However it was also very, very oily. I honestly can't tell whether the chicken was smooth cos it was smooth, or smooth cos of all the oil swirling around my mouth.

- Roast Pork (siew yuk) was just OK. Skin wasn't that crispy and the meat wasn't fatty enough for me (haha I know I know, I'm a glutton for fatty siew yuk).

- Fork Roast (char siew) was nice tasting and nicely roasted but perhaps was a tad bit too 'burnt' for my liking. Wasn't as good as KL's ones though, haha.

- They were out of chicken (oiled) rice so we only had plain :(

Sky Restaurant (actually a coffee shop) and Hotel (actually a cheap motel) is in Lebuh Chulia, Penang. Come early! Seems to sell out not too far past 1pm.

Friday, February 11, 2011

CNY Set Dinner - Eden @ Hutton Lane, Penang

Happy (Chinese) New Year everybody! Haven't blogged in ages, but that changes today! Family went to one of our old-time favorite joints in Penang - Eden @ Hutton Lane for dinner. Eden opened its' doors way back in 1964. It's been renovated and refurbished fairly recently, I think, because the interior only really feels a couple of years old.

I decide to go for some variety this time, rather than stick to the standard ox-tail soup and rib-eye steak that I normally always go for, and go for the Chinese New Year set dinner. This starts off with a mini caesar salad ...

... followed by shark fin soup with crab meat. The chefs added seared garlic bits to the soup for a garlic'y touch. The fin, like most other non-premium-priced soups, was fake/jelly though.

For mains, there are a few choices. My middle sister goes for the roast chicken and fish combination, which comes with spaghetti and some veges. Nothing special, to be honest. The chicken is well cooked with decent tasting gravy, but fish in breadcrumbs went out of style years ago, beer batter is where it's at now.

I chose the assorted seafood platter which was a bit of a mistake. The spaghetti sauce is very weirdly seasoned. Kind of tasted like if you mixed a bottle of brown gravy and tomato ketchup. Prawns and Mussels were just average, and the fish fillet was also just acceptable.

The set meal also comes with coffee/tea and ice cream with lychees.

The rest of the family were lucky and decided to go alacarte. Although I don't eat escargots, I'm told they were delicious, if a tad bit strong on the garlic. May be a good or bad thing for you depending on your aversion towards vampires.

Mum has the sizzling steak medium rare. Steak came drenched in gravy which, although being pretty good-tasting, isn't the way I particularly like my meat :)

So, the meal for me was decidedly mediocre. Which is a shame, though, because the last time I visited Eden (which was a while ago), I remember the ox-tail soup and the rib-eye steak were still pretty delicious for the price. If you come here to eat, definitely skip the set meals and order off the menu instead!