Sunday, April 19, 2015

T C Keong Restaurant, Seremban

Last week, we made a trip back to Seremban to run some errands and also met up with our close relatives. We invited them to join us for lunch at our favorite 大炒 (dai chow) - TC Keong Restaurant. A meal here is ALWAYS satisfying.

When dining here, do sit at the bottom half of the restaurant (away from the kitchen) as it is less warm in the afternoons.

Before we can even order, the lady who takes the order lists down everything that we want to eat - deep fried tilapia fish, stir fried beef, sweet and sour pork, stir fried beansprouts and kangkung belacan. She knows us too well! :)

Even with GST, the price of a meal here is still very affordable - portions are generous and can comfortably feed 6 people.

My aunt asks why we always order deep fried fish when we dine out - the reason is simple, because I don't do deep frying at home! :) The fish looked small but it turned out to be really meaty - so good! (RM28).

The sweet and sour pork (RM12) is another dish we never make at home so eat all we can here!

I'm going to have recreate this at home soon, another favorite of ours - stir fried beef with oyster sauce and ginger (RM12). So tender, so delicious!

Beansprouts with salted fish (RM7) - the only time I don't mind eating salted fish :P

My favorite - Japanese tofu with minced pork (RM8) - I ate almost the whole plate!

Kangkung belacan (RM7) - my mum's favorite!

Earlier that morning, a beautiful sunrise in KL before we headed to Seremban. We stopped at Asia Laksa for breakfast - slightly spicier than usual, but I actually liked it better like this! So yummy.

Homegrown organic jackfruit (nangka) from my aunt's garden

Bittergourd.. homegrown too

Water lily

Organic homegrown sugarcane ;)

See here for a list of Things to Eat in Seremban.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 12.00 to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm. Closed on Sundays.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM88.51 inclusive 6% GST.

Location: TC Keong Restaurant, No. 7 Ground Floor, Jalan Seri Rahang 1, Taman Seri Rahang, 70100 Seremban (near Cosway)

Tel: 012-6118286 / 012-6189960

GPS Coordinates: 2.717239, 101.948973

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

How To: Watercolour Art For Kids

Yay! The weekend is here again, which means lots of fun things lined up to do with the kids. But first, let me share what we did last week - watercolour art! :)

Although it was their first time, they were both very patient, listened and followed instructions well and did a very good job. See their masterpieces and you will know what I mean.

For younger children, you can help them sketch the drawing and they'll be more than capable to do the watercolour painting on their own.

Have fun and enjoy the weekend!

BabySumoKids First WaterColour Art :) 

What you need: Drawing block, palette, brushes of various sizes, watercolour paint, a cup filled with water (to clean the brushes), Kitchen paper (to dry your brushes), Pencil, eraser.

Suitable for kids 4 years and above. 

1. First, discuss and decide with your kids what they would like to draw. We chose to draw our favorite zoo animals - I gave Baby D a hand with his, but Chloe drew everything on her own.

2. Start with the background (like clouds and grass).. help them mix the watercolour paint with some water in the palette. Help them choose the right brush for the job - in this instance, since there is quite a lot of sky to colour, we use the big brush to speed things up.

3. Once the background is done, we continue with the next largest object in the picture - the tree. For the smaller objects like the animals, you can just use the watercolour paint direct from the tubs - more intense colour means they will stand out more in the picture too.

4. After the sky has dried in, you can add some clouds with white paint.

5. Personalise the art by writing your child's name at the bottom of the artwork. Allow to dry and frame it up! :)

Use the right-sized brushes for the job

Kids earlier that morning at the park :)

Breakfast - soft boiled eggs :)

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Recipe: Tofu with minced chicken and Chinese mushrooms

How do you decide what to eat/cook for dinner? For us, it's simple - I'll just cook what my kids/family likes eating. My kids love tofu, so we have it for dinner often. One of our favorite tofu dishes (currently) is this tofu with minced chicken and mushrooms. 

This is a quick and easy dish which you can prepare and cook in under 15 minutes. We love to top it on our white rice and mix it up before eating. The sauce is very tasty. Made it when we had dinner guests over the other day and they loved it too!

Tofu with minced chicken and mushrooms (Chinese)
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 3-4

1 piece silken tofu, cubed
150g chicken breast, minced
4 Chinese or shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 tbsp cooking oil
1-2 tbsp mushroom sauce (or oyster sauce)
1 tsp ginger wine
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, sliced
1 spring onion, finely chopped

1. In a wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, until lightly browned.

2. Add the chicken and mushrooms, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Season with the mushroom sauce and ginger wine, and taste.

3. Finally, stir in the tofu and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the spring onions and give it a quick stir. Serve immediately.

Note: You can also replace the minced chicken with minced pork.

* I am submitting this to LTU: Chicken (April 2015) event hosted by The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hanaya Japanese Dining, Grand Millennium KL

Today, I had the pleasure of attending a food review at Hanaya Japanese Dining located in Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Turns out we were the first guests of the restaurant as this was a preview of their menu, and they were only opening their restaurant to paying customers from tomorrow onwards (16th April).

Hanaya is operated by the same folks as Ten Japanese Fine Dining so we knew lunch was going to be good. Their chefs come from Japan and we watched as they skillfully sliced the sashimi behind the sushi counter.

Hanaya serves traditional Japanese cuisine and during our review, we were treated to an extravagant 8-course omakase dinner. The omakase is priced at RM300 per person. Do note that omakase, means "I'll leave it to you" so the menu will differ daily depending on ingredient availability and chef's creativity.

To start, we were served an appetizer of parboiled red snapper soft roe with ponzu sauce, seaweed and spicy grated radish. Soft roe, also known as milt or shirako (male genitalia of the fish that contains sperm) is a rare treat. I would describe it as creamy however it is an acquired taste. But I can finally say that I've tried this delicacy. :)

Next is the soup course - common Oriental clams and minced fish cake with grated green beans sauce and nanohana. Nanohana, better known as rapeseed is apparently one of the oldest vegetables cultivated in Asia. This spring vegetable adds a dash of colour and texture to the dish. Service is most impressive and commendable, as the waitresses are very attentive (quickly refilling our drinks and also providing us with a box/hook for our handbags) as well as being very knowledgable about the ingredients in every dish.

Every dish here is a visual delight, and the entree is a prime example. Featuring 5 different components, we all went "wow" as the plates were placed before us. I had a great time trying out all these new flavours such as the botargo (salted dried fish roe), bamboo shoots in balsamic vinegar and sticky tofu.  We also had fried prawns served in 3 different ways - with nori, ohba leaves and arare (crispy Japanese cracker) - each with a different flavour and textures. My favorite is the red snapper with Mozuku seaweed.

And then came the showstopper.... the gorgeous assorted seasonal sashimi platter. Presentation is top notch, and ingredients are super fresh. We were advised to start with the milder flavours such as saba with vinaigrette, Chinese mactra (aoyagi), botan ebi with avocado and cucumber sauce, seared salmon with bonito cream cheesse and end with the chutoro with sweet spicy gochujang sauce. Loved this a lot!

Spot the dainty butterfly... so pretty!

I had to rush off to pick the kids up from school, but I was glad I got to try the next dish before I left. Charcoal grilled Akita Wagyu Steak is the name of the dish, and oh-my-God-it's-so-amazing! Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the steak was buttery, melt-in-the-mouth tender.... the marbling on the beef was just fantastic. Seriously good, and all it needed was sea salt to bring out its flavours.

The 8-course omakase will usually continue with a steamed dish, rice dish and dessert.

It was certainly a great lunch, thoroughly enjoyed the meal and company. Would love to return here with Hubby lunch next time ;)

Complimentary 3-hours parking at Grand Millennium Hotel for dining customers.

Opening times: Lunch 11.30am - 2.30pm; Dinner 6.00pm til late.

Service: Excellent.

Price: RM300 for omakase.

Location: Hanaya Japanese Dining, Lobby Floor, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2110 5499

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eight Ounce Coffee, The Gardens Mall, KL

We regularly take part in The Gardens Mall Instagram contests - in one of them, we won RM30 voucher from Eight Ounce Coffee. So we took the kids here for some desserts after lunch one weekend. 

Eight Ounce Coffee is a specialty coffee company, located on the 1st Floor near the walkway connecting The Gardens Mall and Midvalley Megamall. They have limited tables, however turnaround seems to be pretty quick so we had no problems getting a table. They serve a range of coffee, tea and desserts here. Simply place your order at the counter and pay, and you will be given a number. Food and drinks will be served to you. 

We ordered the espresso (RM8) for Hubby, and two mille crepes for the kids to share. Baby C (and Hubby) favored the oreo mint mille crepe (RM11.90) while Baby D (and mummy) preferred the cookies and cream mille crepe (RM11.90). In parenting, we call this a "WIN" situation :P Hubby enjoyed his espresso.

Both cakes were good, nice thin layers with lot of cream. 

Other outlets can be found at Suria KLCC and Pavilion KL.

Opening times: 10am to 10pm.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM31.80

Location: Eight Ounce Coffee, F-K06, 1st Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2201 3190

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Thai Recipes

Songkran, also known as Thai New Year is celebrated from 13-15 April every year. In conjunction with this celebration, I have put together a list of my Top 10 favorite Thai recipes. Enjoy!

Click on the dish names for the full recipe.

1. Seafood tom yum
My favorite Thai food of all is tom yum. I frequently have cravings for this spicy and sour Thai soup. I love it with lots of seafood, as well as mushrooms.

2. Pad Horapa Moo (Stir fried minced pork with Thai basil)
This is perfect for busy weeknights - it's my ideal healthy fast food! Don't forget to top it with a fried egg, all the yummier!

3. Galloping Horses (Ma Haw)
This is delicious and popular Thai appetizer - sweet and sticky caramelised minced pork is topped on segments of fresh pineapple or tangerine and garnished with a coriander leaf and thinly sliced red chilli. Great for parties too as canapes!

4. Thai sliced steak salad with hot and sour sauce
A gorgeous salad topped with slices of tender steak - what's not to love? Plus the dressing is tangy and very appetizing.

5. Pineapple fried rice (Khao pad sapparot)
A really tasty fried rice and I love how it is served in hollowed out pineapple halves. The fragrant rice is cooked with sweet, tangy chunks of pineapples, fresh juicy prawns and cashew nuts.

6. Tom yum pasta with king prawns
This one's a fusion dish created by yours truly - cos I love tom yum a lot and was thinking of ways of incorporating it with some of my favorite ingredients. Try it!

7. Tom Yum Fried Rice
Another tom yum dish, this time tom yum paste is added to fried rice resulting in a dish with a multitude of flavours - sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

8. Chicken with million year eggs
A Northern Thai specialty, this dish features creamy century eggs and fragrant Thai basil leaves stir fried with chicken.

9. Thai-style sweet and sour pork
Deep frying is a no-no in my kitchen, so the Thai-style sweet and sour pork is the way to go for me. It tastes much healthier too.

10. Mango sticky rice
My favorite Thai dessert which we often make whenever mangoes are in season.

So, tell me what is your favorite Thai dish :)

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Recipe: Japanese Potato Salad with Quail Egg

A couple of months ago, I made roasted pork ribs for dinner, and as a side dish, I also made a Japanese potato salad. Japanese potato salad is made with (yes, you guessed it) Japanese mayonnaise which is slightly sweeter and tangier than regular mayonnaise. Other ingredients in this potato salad include red onion, cucumber and quail egg.

The original recipe calls for regular chicken eggs, but we had a surplus of quail eggs that week since my mum bought them for making the gingko barley 糖水 tong sui dessert.

Everyone loved this potato salad - light, delicious and easy to make! It goes really well with roasted meat.

A big hit with the whole family. 

Happy snapper :)

Japanese Potato Salad
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Japanese Bible
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 5-6

500g large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Japanese cucumber
1 medium red onion, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup Japanese mayonnaise
6 quail egg, boiled, peeled and halved
Ground white pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in a saucepan filled with salted water over medium high heat. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain and place the potatoes in a large bowl. Lightly crush with a fork to break up a little.

2. Halve the onion and then slice very thinly. Place onion slices in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside for 10 minutes, this is to remove any bitterness. Drain onions and set aside.

3. Peel the cucumber alternately lengthwise, then cut in half. Cut into 5mm slices. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 2 minutes, then squeeze out any excess moisture.

4. Add the mayonnaise, onion and cucumber to the potatoes while they're still warm and gently mix to combine. Season with white pepper then top with the quail egg.

Note: I use Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise. You can also replace quail egg with 2 chicken eggs.

You can check out my other cold potato salad recipe with bacon and egg here.

* I am also submitting this post to "Cook-Your-Books #22" hosted by Joyce .

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