Monday, May 30, 2011

I cooked: French toast

Too busy to write an elaborate food post, hence sharing a very simple recipe for French Toast.

French toast, also known as eggy bread in United Kingdom is one of my favorite breakfast food. Slices of bread are dipped in a milk-egg mixture and then fried in butter until golden brown.

Hubby likes his savoury, so he tops his with some freshly ground salt and pepper. On the other hand, I like mine sweet, so I drizzle honey or maple syrup over it and finish it off with a dusting of icing sugar plus some butter.


French toast
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 2


Ingredients
6 slices of bread
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Some butter for frying



1. Beat eggs in a wide, shallow bowl and stir in salt, milk, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.

2. Over medium heat, heat a small frying pan and melt some butter in the frying pan.

3. Dip the bread into the egg mixture one at a time. Let the bread soak up the egg mixture, ensuring it is totally coated.

4. Place the coated bread into the frying pan and fry both sides until golden brown.

5. Serve hot with honey or maple syrup and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thai-rrific food @ Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion Restaurant, Kota Damansara

Last year the blogosphere was flooded with posts on Erawan, a Thai restaurant located in Kota Damansara, Selangor. In addition, it was voted as one of Top 5 Best Restaurants in Malaysia by The Miele Guide 2010/2011, alongside the likes of Sage and Cilantro (two of my favorite fine dining restaurants in KL so that says a lot about the food here), hence making it a must-go place for us. We had not had much experience with Thai food except for tom yum and Thai green/red curry, hence we were excited to try what this restaurant had to offer.

If you're planning to visit this restaurant, one thing you have to do is plan ahead. You will have to visit their website and make a selection of the dishes you would like and pre-order via email or telephone at least one day beforehand. The reason for this is because most traditional Thai dishes require a great deal of preparation and only one chef (Chef Korn) oversees and cooks all the dishes. Of course, you can walk-in but it is not recommended as the menu choice is limited and you may be politely turned away if they're busy (unless you're willing to wait as all the food are freshly prepared to order).

A real gem..

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were really wowed and impressed with the beautifully decorated restaurant. The place also has a very warm and cosy feel to it. With such a lovely and striking environment, dining here was very enjoyable. Service was also impeccable; Anan, who manages the restaurant is very friendly and would answer any query we had regarding the food.



Gorgeous flower arrangement

The restaurant is named after The Elephant God, Erawan so you will see many elephant decorations around the restaurant.



The interior design of the restaurant was done by the owners themselves. Impressive!



Beautiful handpainted mural on the wall


Beautiful lamp



When I emailed them to pre-order our food, I informed them that I would be bringing a child. I was impressed that they set out a children's plate and cutlery and laid out some coloring pencils and books specially for Baby C. Really attentive and good service!



Simply delightful food..

The good thing about their website is that you get to see all the food photos when pre-ordering. The crab in shell appetizer (RM38) appealed to me as soon as I saw it since it looked so darn cute and I also wanted to order something non-spicy which Baby C could eat. Baby C squealed in delight as soon as it was served on our table, well, because the crab was SO darn cute.



Hey crabby crabby!

A combination of crab meat, prawns and chicken, it is seasoned before being stuffed into the crab shell and deep fried to a beautiful golden brown. Served piping hot, the meat was flavoursome and I just love the crispy outer coating. Really delicious eaten with the homemade plum sauce.


And of course, with it being so darn cute, Baby C quickly declared the crab shell as hers and plonked it on her plate. Pronto. And, she surprised us by finishing almost 1 whole shell on her own.



Food prepared with passion..

The unanimous favorite was the Erawan's Panaeng Beef Curry (RM38). It was served in a beautiful bowl, in fact all their Benjarong Porcelain dishware were really beautiful. We couldn't help but stop and admire them for a bit before digging into our food. The Australian beef has been simmered for 3-6 hours in coconut milk until tender. And boy, was it tender! The first mouthful was delicious and so was every bite after. And we all loved the curry. The curry was so good, that you'd want to order an extra bowl or two of rice to soak it all up. It was not too spicy either, so Baby C had a piece or two too. Absolutely toothsome!



One of the dishes I have reading and seeing a lot on the internet was the Cockles Curry with Betel Leaf (RM38). Seeing we were all fans of cockles, this was a must order for us. I really love the fact that the serving bowl was laden with plump, juicy cockles. It was heavenly and a joy to savour! This red curry was very good hence we had to order yet another bowl of rice to share!




Even the jasmine rice here is served in delicate rice bowls.


A visual delight..

Our dessert of Erawan's Pumpkin Custard (RM18) came beautifully presented, almost too pretty to eat. It has been steamed for 1 1/2 hours to obtain the right texture. The pumpkin custard with dark chocolate was rich and sinful. Paired with the vanilla sauce provided, it was heavenly!


We also tried the Thap Thim Krawp (RM8), also known as red ruby or mock pomegranate seeds in coconut ice syrup. Apparently, this dessert was created by the Thai's because pomegranate was quite expensive, hence they substituted it with water chestnuts which has been colored red and boiled before adding to the coconut milk and topped with jackfruit. It was a refreshing dessert but has to be eaten quickly before the ice melts and dilutes the syrup.



Cute elephant sweet holder


It comes as no surprise that Erawan was voted one of Asia's finest restaurants. This restaurant is truly amazing!



Even the exterior of the restaurant is beautiful. It really stands out when compared to the neighbouring shoplots!


Beautiful mosaic table


Happy statue

Silly monkey


The restaurant exterior


I look forward to returning here to sample more of their Thai-rrific dishes with Hubby. Is it a date? :)


Verdict: We were captivated by the beautiful decorations and beautifully presented food. A splendid meal indeed!


Pork free.

Opening times: Fri - Sun 12-3pm; Tue - Sun 6pm -10.30pm. Closed on Mondays.

Service: Excellent.

Price: Prices are slightly expensive, but the quality and taste of the food here totally justifies it.

Location: Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion Restaurant, No. 22-1, Jalan PJU 5/16, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03-6141 2393

E-mail: siamdb@msn.com


GPS Coordinates: 3.152857, 101.591971

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lunch and Flavoured Ice Floss @ Babylon Restaurant, Jalan Jati, Kuala Lumpur

We returned to Babylon Restaurant merely a week later, since our guests enjoyed their first meal here. Personally, one of the things I like best here is the service - ever so friendly and efficient. Since our usual table was occupied that day, we sat in the main area on a large marble table and when we were waiting for our food, I looked down and saw the price tag... RM198,000!! Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. Posh dining eh!


Chandeliers



Origami and a glimpse of the RM198,000 marble table from Germany


The set lunch menu here changes daily, so you can expect to see something different on the menu here everytime you come. Since we love the salads here, my mum and I ordered the Balsamic Glazed Squid with Mesclun Greens. Just look at the portion, really generous amounts of beautifully cooked squid. I was most surprised that Baby C loved it so much too. Our other guests are not accustomed to eating squid so they had the Brocolli Cream Soup, which they commented was really creamy, rich and delicious.


During our last trip, we weren't served any complimentary bread but this time, we were served some warm pita bread.


For our mains, we had the Braised Lamb Shank served with basmati rice and a side salad. I love lamb shank and man, the lamb shank here was really delicious! Tender meat and again, a very generous portion. Even the basmati rice was really good, as it has been cooked with some butter making it extra fragrant. If I ever see this on the menu again, I would order it in a heartbeat. One of our guests decided to have the penne pasta with chicken ham, which turned out to be nicely prepared too.



Baby C demonstrating how good the lamb shank is. A picture never lies!



For desserts, my mum had the Chilled Cream Cheese Cake (RM7.90) which we were informed was complimentary when we were paying the bill. Thanks Babylon! Rich and decadent cheesecake served with strawberries and peaches, and strawberry ice-cream.


During this visit, we were offered an ice-cream menu - it is a confection called ice floss. I believe it is from Taiwan. The manager, Ed explained that it was similar to our local ais kacang, except that they use flavoured ice. It comes in several flavours such as milk, chocolate, lemon, strawberry, green tea and durian. Sounded really interesting, so we decided to give it a go. And boy, was I impressed!



I had the Lemon Flavoured Ice Floss (RM6) and the flavours were tangy and really appetizing! It was topped with orange segments and some little balls, which I was told was similar to nata de coco. It's really fun as it pops as you place it in your mouth. I would liken this to eating a sorbet. Baby C really enjoyed this very much, we ended up ordering an extra bowl which she shared with my mum. This would abslutely be perfect for a hot day, which we've been experiencing a lot lately!


Two of our guests had the Strawberry Flavoured Ice Floss (RM6).


Being greedy, I ordered another ice floss, the Milk Flavoured (RM6) one. It was pretty good, but not as outstanding as the lemon flavoured one. Prices range from RM6 to RM8.60 depending on what flavour you go for.


To read about my previous visit, click here.

Opening times: Daily from 11.30am - 1.00am.

Service: Good.

Price: RM25+ for 2-course set lunch. Set lunch only available Monday to Friday.

Location: Babylon Restaurant, No.32 Jalan Jati, off Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2142 9720

GPS coordinates: 3.14642, 101.71961

Website: http://www.babylonkl.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ben's, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Ben's at KLCC was our destination for lunch after spending the morning at Petrosains. We took a peek inside and liked what we saw (nice decor and fairly quiet when we arrived at 11.30am). The menu selection was vast, so we knew there would something somewhere in that menu which would suit our tastebuds.


To Eat is to Love

Sleek

Contemporary decor, modelled after a Manhattan townhouse

With a view of the KLCC Park and Fountain

Service was very pleasant, and the waiting staff were pretty attentive (well until the point where the place filled up to the brim then it was more difficult to get their attention). We were sat in a nice corner with a view of the KLCC Park. It did take us quite a while going through the menu, there was afterall 14 types of salads, 12 types of sandwiches, 16 types of pasta, 23 types of desserts and more. You get the drift.

Ice Lemon Tea (RM8.90)



T2 English Breakfast Tea (RM7.90 per pot)

Root Beer Float (RM7.90)

I would rate the Chunky Mushroom Soup (RM11.90) as one of the better ones I've eaten lately. The soup had a nice creamy texture and was fragrant from the truffle oil. The mushroom bits were in abundance, so extra brownie points for that. A slice of garlic toast was served with the soup.


One of my fellow diners had the simple but delicious Beef Bolognese Spaghettini (RM18.90) served with Parmagiano and basil leaf. A well prepared dish.

I had the Duck Confit Ciabatta (RM22.90) served with caramelised onions, four colour chips and a side salad. Everything, and I mean everything was delicious. The duck confit ciabatta was excellent, from the flavoursome shredded duck confit to the caramelised onions. And the chips were crispy and so addictive, I could munch on them all day. Even the side salad (edamame, nuts, radicchio, lettuce) was tasty.

Gorgeous duck confit ciabatta

Crispy four colour chips

Appetizing salad

Another fellow diner had the Quiche Lorraine (RM15.90). I have to say it looks really mouthwatering though I never tried it. She commented that it was really good. The quiche is also served with a side salad.


Hubby had the Ben's Cheeseburger on a sesame seed bun (RM23.90) with cheddar slices, french fries and a side salad. Top marks for the satisfying, thick juicy patty.


We had hits and misses with the desserts here. The strawberry shortcake (RM9.90) made with fresh cream and vanilla sponge was lovely and the best dessert we had that afternoon. Coming in at second place was the Banoffee Sundae (RM9.90), a mix of fresh bananas, shortbread, ice-cream and chocolate sauce. The tiramisu (RM11.90) was mediocre as I personally felt it lacked the strong coffee and alcoholic taste that I like with this dessert. The least favorite dessert was my order of Red Velvet Cake (RM10.90) which tasted weird, the cake had been reheated in the microwave and the chocolate ganache just didn't taste right.

Strawberry shortcake

Banoffee Sundae

Tiramisu

Red velvet cake
The place was really packed by the time we left and there was a queue forming for people wanting to get in. Talk about good business.


Verdict: The food is good, so I would not hesitate recommending this place. However, be warned that the noise levels can be pretty bad at peak hours (so loud that you have to shout to speak to the person sitting directly opposite you).

Opening times: 10am to 11pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: RM200 for 4 pax.

Location: Ben's at KLCC, Lot 140, 1st Floor, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur. (opposite Harrods)

Tel: 03-2163 1655

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