Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I cooked: Prawn Sambal

I love my mummy's prawn sambal - juicy prawns, flavoursome, with the right amount of spiciness! So good that I could eat extra rice with the lovely onion sambal. And I was very happy when she shared her recipe with me. And now, I'm going to share it with all of you! Good things are meant to be shared, right?

Prawn Sambal
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
600g raw medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined
3 onions, sliced into rings
5-6 garlic cloves, diced
40g chilli paste (cili giling)
4 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar

To garnish
2 sprigs of curry leaves (optional)
Cucumber, sliced (optional)

1. In a large frying pan over high heat, add oil and fry the garlic and onion until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the chilli paste and fry for a further 2 minutes (this will make it more fragrant).

3. Add the prawns, soy sauce and brown sugar and stir well.

4. Cook with cover on for 1 1/2 minutes.

5. Serve immediately. Garnish with cucumber or curry leaves. Perfect accompaniment to your nasi lemak (rice, boiled egg, sliced cucumbers, peanuts, anchovies and prawn sambal) or good with plain white rice.

Note: You can cook the prawns with the shells on too (the prawns will be juicier and more flavourful when cooked this way). However, I prefer to peel them before cooking for easier consumption.

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 2 October 2012.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Old Town White Coffee, Jusco Seremban 2

One of the few decent places to have a meal whenever we go to Jusco Seremban 2 is Old Town White Coffee. It may be quite difficult getting a table here, especially at lunch time or when they are having promotional offers. Business is very good here.

One of our favorite dishes here is the Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken (RM9.50). One of the pricier dishes here, however the chicken is very tender, and the rendang sauce is very flavoursome indeed. We like the sambal too (and often ask for seconds!), as it is not too spicy.

As Baby C is too young to enjoy spicy food, we order a Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun (RM6.80) which she loves. The soup is actually quite tasty and I do not think they add too much MSG in it as I do not get the thirsty after-feeling.

Hubby likes the Curry Potato with Toast (RM4.80) here. The potato curry is very thick and rich, soaked with the bread it is an absolute treat. Sometimes, we order some fries as there is so much leftover curry. (However, having dine in another Old Town outlet in Cheras, I found that not every outlet is as generous as Jusco S2)

And some crispy Curry Samosas (RM5.20) to supplement Hubby's meal.

We also love the ice blended Hazelnut Coffee - it is very good, I prefer it to Starbucks Frappucino.

Service: Good.

Price: RM50+ for 4 persons. (Cash only)

Location: Old Town White Coffee, Lot G37, Seremban 2 Shopping Centre, Jalan Jusco, 112 Persiaran S2 B1, 70300 Seremban.

Note: Currently, Old Town White Coffee are having a promotion from now until 31 July 2010. Look out for promotional cut-out coupons in major newspapers:
Breakfast (8am-11am): RM2 off Rendang Chicken Rice, RM1 off Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun, RM2 off Western Platter
Lunch (12pm-3pm): RM2 off cocktail sausages, float items or RM1 off Coffee Lava with any purchase of rice/noodle products
Dinner (6pm-9pm): RM2 off iced cold items with any purchase of rice/noodles products, RM3 off any rice products, or RM2 off any noodle products.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Italian Night: Bruschetta & Pasta

Hubby and I are both big fans of Italian food, more so since our trip to Venice, Italy a few years ago. My favorite pasta dish was actually something I ate in a trattoria in Venice, Spaghetti with Zucchini and King Prawns. It was such a simple dish, but yet I was hooked. Since then, I have been recreating this dish in my own kitchen in UK. Unfortunately, zucchini or courgettes are quite difficult to source in KL, so I have adapted the recipe slightly.

Spaghetti with Peppers and King Prawn
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

300g spaghetti pasta
4-5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (good quality olive oil is essential)
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
400g king prawns, shelled
Freshly ground salt and pepper

1. Firstly, boil the spaghetti in plenty of water with a little salt and oil according to the instructions on the pack. When the spaghetti is cooked 'al dente', drain.

2. Heat oil in a separate large frying pan and fry the garlic until golden. Add peppers and stir fry for 2 minutes.

3. Add the king prawns and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Finally, add the cooked spaghetti and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve immediately.


Bruschetta is a popular appetizer in Italy, made of grilled bread topped with fresh tomatoes. Hubby made a batch of this for our Italian dinner. The bread is very crispy, and the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar makes it a very appetizing start to our dinner.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 5 minutes
Makes 8 slices

4 large tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 baguette French bread, cut into 2cm thickness
Grated Mozzarella cheese

1. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting it into half and removing the seeds from the centre using a spoon. Then, chop the tomatoes finely.
2. Turn oven to Grill setting, grill power level 3.

3. Put tomatoes, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Line a baking tray with some foil and place the sliced baguette on the tray. Using a brush, coat one side of each slice with the remaining olive oil.

5. Put under hot grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the bread just turns golden brown. (The cooking time depends on your grill, so keep a watchful eye)

6. Sprinkle some cheese on top of each slice and place some tomato topping on each slice. Serve immediately to avoid bread from getting soggy.

Our Italian dinner :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tea time special @ Secret Recipe

Where we do we go when we want a cake fix?

Secret Recipe, of course. In my humble opinion, they have the best cheesecake selection and some pretty decent chocolate ones too.

A huge variety to choose from, you'd be spoilt for choice.

And to top it off, they are having a Tea Time Special where one would get a free cup of coffee (black/flat white) or organic tea with each slice of cake when you dine in between 3-6pm!

A great deal if you ask me, seeing that a cup of flat white would usually cost you RM5.50!

We ordered one of their new creations, the Strawberry Marshmellow Cheesecake (RM6.80). A combination of cold cheese and baked cheese with a biscuit base, marshmellows and strawberry glaze, this cake was a winner! Plus it looks so pretty...

One of my favorite chocolate varieties here is the Chocolate Mud Cake (RM6.50), ever so rich and indulgent!

Tea Time Special promotion is valid at selected Secret Recipe outlets.

Click here for a full list of branches.

Location: Secret Recipe, 7-9 Ground Floor, Jalan Menara Gading 1, Taman Connaught, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ko Hyang Korean Country Delights, The Gardens

A large crowd at a restaurant usually indicates good food. One day after shopping at Cold Storage, we noticed a crowd forming around Ko Hyang, patiently waiting to be seated and served. Since I am a huge fan of Korean food, I made it a point to try the food at this outlet on my next visit to The Gardens Mall.

Ko Hyang Korean Country Delights is more of a food outlet than a restaurant, there are no walls dividing this outlet from passing shoppers. It was first established in Malaysia in 2006. Ko Hyang simply means "hometown" in Korean. The menu consists of traditional country style home-cooked food with no MSG seasoning used in the preparation; it is easy to choose as there are brief descriptions and each dish is illustrated in the menu.

The outlet can only seat about 30 people, so during lunch hour, it may sometimes be difficult to find a seat. Bearing that in mind, we always come early. Service here is very quick, you get served almost as soon as you sit down.

Our usual table

We usually order Sik Hye (RM3.80), a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, almost like the Chinese barley drink but nicer. I prefer mine cold (the ice dilutes it a little), as I feel that the hot version is much too sweet for my liking.

We did not have to wait long for our food to arrive (usually 10 minutes max wait), but while waiting we were served some complimentary ban chan (side dishes). Three types of side dishes are served, kimchi (pickled cabbage) is always served while the other two side dishes might vary. The kimchi here is just as I like it, not too sour. The kimchi can be refilled for unlimited rounds, so don't be shy to ask if you fancy some more.

Kimchi, anchovies & miyeok muchim (seaweed)

On our first visit, we decided to try the Bi Bim Kuk Su, a sweet and spicy cold noodle dish. This noodle dish is very popular in Korea during the summer months, so it is well suited to the Malaysian weather. The thin wheat flour noodles are served with julienned carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and pear, topped with a fried egg. Mix it with the sauce which has a slightly spicy, sweet and sour taste (made with gochujang, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper powder) and you have got yourself an appetizing bowl of noodles!

Bi Bim Kuk Su (RM12.50)


One of my favorite Korean dishes is Jap Chae, glass noodles stir fried with a choice of beef/chicken, carrots, chives, onions, and topped with shredded egg. An immensely satisfying and delicious dish!

Japchae served with a bowl of sprout soup (RM14.90)

The teok buk ki here is also very good. This is a popular Korean street snack, rice cakes served with a spicy sauce, fish cakes and hard boiled egg. The rice cakes are slightly chewy with a nice bite to it but be warned that the sauce is quite spicy and may leave your tongue with a tingling sensation!

Teok Buk Ki (RM13.90)

On a separate visit, we ordered the Kimchi Chigae (RM14.90), a spicy and sour Korean stew made with mature kimchi, scallions, onions and tofu. The mature kimchi gives the stew a much stronger and sourish taste, making this a very appetizing and flavoursome dish. To keep up with the outlet's healthy eating theme, brown rice is served with the kimchi chigae.

Ban chan - Kimchi, anchovies and sausages

I had the Jap Chae again - I just can't get enough of it! Served with a bowl of seaweed soup this time.

Verdict: I wouldn't hesitate coming back here. Service is very quick, the food is delicious and the price reasonable -it's easy to see why it's always packed! Great value for money.

Price: Reasonable. We usually pay RM40 for 2 persons. Cash only.

Location: Ko Hyang Korean Country Delights, LG-K05, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (directly opposite Cold Storage)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dim Sum @ Loon Sing Restaurant, Nilai (Visit #2)

Since our first visit to Loon Sing Restaurant, we have been meaning to return to try their dim sum fare. However, with Nilai being a little out of the way, we kept delaying our return visit until The Unc and Hubby were both home. Plus, having more people dine together meant we could order much more dim sum varieties to sample.

The restaurant was busy when we arrived, however we were quickly shown to a table. A quick glance at the order sheet reveals that they have 49 different types of dim sum here! Spoilt for choice, that's for sure. They were all very good, except for the xiao long bao and salad prawn dumpling.

To start off, a bowl of the Chef's Special Seafood Sharkfin Soup (RM20) which the little one loves!

A must-have for The Unc, steamed Loon Sing Prawn Dumpling (Ha Kaw) which came with juicy whole fresh prawns the size of golf balls.

Steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce (RM3.80), Mummy's favourite.

Cheong fun (rice noodle rolls) filled with prawn meat and served with sweetened soy sauce and dried shrimp (RM7.50)

Steamed Fuzhou Fish Ball (RM3.80) for the little one - they are different from your regular fishballs as they contain a meaty filling in the middle.

Apparently, they ran out of char siew pau (at 11am!!), so we had the Loon Sing Special Minced Pork Pao (RM8.00) instead. A real treat indeed, the filling is extremely flavoursome compared to the regular paus.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Pepper Sauce (RM5.50) - the meat was lean and tasty

Steamed minced pork dumpling topped with shrimp (siew mai) (RM5.50) - our standard order

Deep fried crispy yam cake (RM4.80) - incredibly light batter with tasty filling

The deep fried salad prawn dumpling (RM5.80) was a total failure, look at the dish and you can instantly tell that the batter is too thick and slightly soggy. This is usually one of my favorite dim sum dishes (the prawn triangle at our usual place is awesome), but the one here is deeply disappointing.

Another bad dish, the steamed dumpling with minced pork a.k.a xiao long bao (RM5.80) was just not up to scratch. It's another case of bad skin, far too thick and not translucent and thin as it should be. The best xiao long bao I've had are still the ones from Din Tai Fung.

And finally, we ordered 3 plates of these beauties, Baked Egg Tart (RM4.80) which totally melts in your mouth!!

We felt like we were in pork heaven the first time we tried the DongPo Pork here (RM38- small), Ever since then, no other DongPo Pork at any other eateries could compare to the taste and quality of the one here. The ratio of belly vs lean meat is just right. Hubby who was not part of first visit, was very impressed with this dish. Needless to say, the plate was wiped clean within minutes!

Award-winning DongPo Pork (black sauce) - lipsmacking good!

Ooooh, is this what pork heaven looks like? ♥

We wanted a sea cucumber dish, and the Captain recommended the Fuzhou Style Sea Cucumber & Fish Maw (RM40-small). However, upon tasting the dish, I felt that the taste is overcomplicated and I would have much rather preferred it braised with oyster/abalone sauce.

Verdict: Dim sum here is excellent and fresh (only a couple of misses). But the star dish is definitely the DongPo Pork which I could eat over and over again!

Service: Excellent.

Price: Approx. RM180 for 5 persons. Pricey, but you do get very good quality food here!

Location: Loon Sing Restaurant, Pt 2484, Kawasan Perindustrian Nilai 2, Block D, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan (same place as Nilai Convention Hall)

GPS Coordinates: 2.826427,101.806623



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