Sunday, September 30, 2012

Empire Hotel Subang's Facebook Contest

Empire Hotel Subang is running a Facebook Contest called "Create a Name for our Newsletter" from now until 31 October 2012.

The contest is open to all their Facebook fans regardless of nationality. So, everyone can join!

WHAT TO DO:
1. Go to Empire Hotel Subang's Facebook page here and click "LIKE" to become a FAN.
2. Come up with a creative name for their newsletter and post under the contest photo. That's it!
3. NOTE: Only one entry allowed per person.

PRIZE:
Winner of the contest will enjoy a 3D/2N stay in Empire Sanctuary Optima (penthouse valued at RM1,750 per night) and RM500 dining voucher.

Good luck to all!


You can click here to view photos of the luxurious Empire Sanctuary Optima room. 

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2012

Hi everyone, wishing you all a wonderful Mid-Autumn Festival today. Celebration in our home started as early as last night, as kids were too excited to play with their lanterns.

Tonight, we will be continuing the tradition of moon gazing, eating mooncakes, drinking green tea, playing lanterns and lighting the candles. Hope you enjoy doing the same with your family and friends too! :D

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all! :D

A time for family togetherness, great smiles, and happy times.

If you're still looking for mooncakes to get for tonight, you can check out my mooncake reviews here. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Easy (failproof) Cling Film Poached Eggs (MasterChef)

My first post of the month was on how to cook the perfect poached egg, using the whirlpool method. I got many emails from readers and also blogger friends, who successfully made poached eggs for the first time after reading the post. I feel absolutely delighted for them! (Thank you so much for trying!)

For those who are unsuccessful, worry not! Here is a much easier cheat  method of preparing poached eggs. I have always wanted to try this method, so this is the perfect time to give it a go!


Cling film/wrap (perfect) poached eggs


No more worrying about getting super fresh eggs, no need for vinegar in the water and no need to swirl the water. All you need is some cling film, oil and some water... and eggs, of course! I made it twice this week and it worked both times! Visually, it is not as nice as the whirlpool egg since the egg white does not fully enclose (but I think a lot of it depends on luck as well i.e. when you break the eggs onto the cling film and how the egg falls) and some of the yolk would be peeking out. However tastewise, this is really good esp for those sensitive to the vinegary taste of the whirlpool method. And you can cook 4 eggs at a go (or more as long as you don't overcrowd the saucepan) so everyone can have their breakfast at the same time ;)

1st Try - Perfect


2nd Try - Another perfect one!



This is indeed the easiest way of making poached eggs... do give it a go and let me know how it turns out. I would also like to say "'thank you" to all who have joined us in Cook Like a MasterChef this month. I certainly had loads of fun co-hosting this with Zoe and Anuja, as well as cooking/baking for my family.


Foolproof eggs- Satisfaction guaranteed ;)



The cling film (perfect) poached egg
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella (taken off MasterChef Australia Cookbook V1)

You need:
An egg
Water
Slotted spoon
Saucepan
Cling film
Olive oil for greasing (you can use any cooking oil, even truffle oil)
Ramekin (or small bowl)


1. Fill a small saucepan half-full with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower to medium heat.

2. Meanwhile, tear some cling film (it should be at least double the width of the ramekin). 

3. Pour 2 drops of olive oil onto the cling film and spread evenly, using your fingers or a brush. It is important to oil your cling wrap, or the egg will stick to it and makes it hard to remove once the egg is cooked.



4. Place the sheet of clingfilm in a ramekin oil side up and break the egg into the cling wrap. Gather up the edges of the cling wrap and twisting it, making sure that you have the egg enclosed well (or use a rubberband to secure it) and carefully place it in the simmering water.






5. For eggs at room temperature, cook for 2-3 minutes until the egg whites have set. Lift the egg out of the water using a slotted spoon and cut away the wrap. Using the slotted spoon, lift the egg off the cling film and place on a serving plate. Using this method, you can cook several eggs at one time as long it does not crowd the saucepan. Serve immediately (I like mine simply with salt, pepper and a drop of truffle oil)



Pierce it, and watch the egg yolk run... gorgeous!



*******************************

I am submitting this to the "Cook Like a MasterChef" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Anuja of Simple Baking. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe (from the contestants, judges or even sponsors) from any MasterChef websites or cookbooks (any countries) and blog hop with us for the whole month of September 2012.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in September 2012 - please do not link older posts.

Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Anuja of Simple Baking and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:



Have a good weekend!

Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

My favorite lunch spot @ DISH KL

We have been quite busy, with the kids and also work, so we have not been to DISH for a bit. This week, we finally found some time to visit my favorite lunch spot in KL. 

It's such a nice and peaceful place to spend a quiet lunch with Hubby. Plus they have some new items on their a la carte menu as well as set lunch, which Chef Steve made for us to try.

We started off with the seared and marinated tuna, pickled radish, and crispy quail eggs (RM42), served to us canapé-style. It's nice that we could pop the whole thing in our mouth and let the flavours works its magic. The tuna was fresh and just lightly seared. Along with the tuna, we also tried the cheese and mushroom croquette. Cheesy, gooey goodness! A nice way to start our meal. 



Great combination of flavours!

The pea soup with truffle brioche (RM22) is a new addition to the a la carte menu. It is no secret that I love the brioche at DISH. Topped with lots of black truffle, it was heavenly! The pea soup was simple, light but very delicious.


On my first ever visit here, I tried the ballotine of foie gras with smoked duck and it was my favorite dish then. Chef Steve has took that off the menu and replaced it with the foie gras and duck terrine with baby spinach and spiced jackfruit (RM46), which is just as fantastic! This was again my favorite dish of the day.  The terrine was smooth and rich, I plonked it onto the soft brioche and savoured it slowly. The duck has been cooked two ways, smoked and braised. The spiced jackfruit was a nice touch, using our local fruit - it has a pungent smell just like durian, but I love it. You can expect a little kick from the mix of cili padi and red chillies used.


Spiced jackfruit - sweet, with a nice crunchy texture.


Luscious foie gras and duck terrine



We then tried a starter off the current set lunch menu - the avocado tempura with crab mayonnaise and apple dressing. I've eaten a similar dish during their weekend tapas brunch. The avocado tempura was crispy on the outside (very light batter) and creamy on the inside. Hot tempura and cold crabmeat - it was a nice contrast. Loved it!



Thin slices of apple to complement the dish


Our mains was something Chef Steve put together for us - a combination of grilled rib eye steak plus braised Wagyu beef cheek. Since the last two visits, we have noticed that their steaks are getting better (nice charred exterior) since getting in a new grill. The braised Wagyu cheek was also lovely, very tender. This was served with horseradish mashed potatoes and fricassee of mushrooms. Hubby really loved this and declared it his favorite dish of the day.



Perfectly cooked steak!

Drizzle



For desserts, we tried two new items - the passion fruit creme brulee on hazelnut shortbread, served with a bitter chocolate ice cream off the set lunch menu and the pandan and coconut panna cotta with poached rambutan and lemon confit off their dessert menu. I enjoyed the latter more and Hubby liked the creme brulee more, so it was a win-win situation for us! The panna cotta definitely had the Asian touch, with the use of pandan, coconut and rambutans. It was a light dessert, just perfect after the 4-courses we have just had.


Passion fruit creme brulee on hazelnut shortbread, with a bitter chocolate ice cream


Decadent!


Pandan and coconut panna cotta with poached rambutan and lemon confit 


Petit fours - marshmallows and chocolate truffles


Double espresso


Sunset

*Prices indicated next to the dishes are for full portions.

Verdict: Chef Steve amazes us once again with his revamped menu at DISH, once again cementing its position as our favourite lunch spot in KL!

Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here.

To read my previous review on DISH, please click here, here, here, here, herehere and here. 

Opening times: Lunch 12.00 - 2.30pm, Dinner 6.00 - 11.00pm. Weekend brunch is from 12-3.00pm (last orders 2.30pm).

Pork-free.

Service: Good.

Parking: RM6 flat rate.

Location: Dish, Dua Residency, Lot 1.1, Ground Floor, Dua Annexe, No. 211 Jalan Tun Razak, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2164 1286

GPS Coordinates: 3.156971, 101.720803

Website: http://dishfinedining.com

*This post was featured on DailyBuzz Luxury Top 9 - Foie Gras on 9 October 2012.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012 Mooncakes @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL

Hi everyone! Just a friendly reminder that Mid-Autumn Festival is this Sunday 30th September. Have you had mooncakes yet? And have you bought mooncakes to eat while moon gazing this weekend as well as playing with your candles and lanterns? I can't wait!

I am glad that I got to try Tai Zi Heen's mooncakes before the end of the mooncake season. I am usually a fan of the snow skin mooncakes, but the baked ones from Tai Zi Heen totally impressed me! Thin skin, and uber smooth filling - just look at the photo below! 

Hong Kong white lotus paste with single egg yolk (RM24++)

Kids playing pretend with their mooncake bags... 

We're off to buy mooncakes
For our dearest mummy and grandma




Tai Zi Heen offers 5 types of baked mooncakes as well as 4 snowskin ones. I tried all the baked ones - HK white lotus paste with single egg yolk (RM24), pandan lotus paste with melon seeds (RM24), five variety nuts with rum and raisin (RM25), oatmeal, macadamia nut and sun dried apricot (RM22) and cappuccino with cocoa nibs (RM22). I liked them all, but my favorite is the classic white lotus paste one. The filling (paste) was really smooth and the salted egg yolk was pretty good too. These are also the least sweet baked mooncakes I've tried this year, so it is suited for those who are more health conscious but still want to enjoy mooncakes.

The kids enjoyed the oatmeal, macadamia nut and sun dried apricot as well the pandan lotus paste one. We finished 8 of these in less than 2 days. ;D




HK white lotus paste with single egg yolk


Pandan lotus paste with melon seeds


Which one should I pick next?


Oatmeal, macadamia nut and sun dried apricot 


Thumbs up!

Five variety nuts with rum and raisin - my mum's favorite, though I couldn't taste the rum. 


Thank you for reading, now let me get back to enjoying my mooncake. :)


Pork-free.

Opening times: Lunch; 12.00 pm - 2.30pm, Dinner; 6.30pm-10.30pm. There is also a mooncake booth at the lobby, which is open from 12 noon to 9.30pm.

Location: Tai Zi Heen, Level 2, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur, 4 Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2170 8888

Website: http://www.princehotelkl.com

GPS Coordinates: 3.150179, 101.714516

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I baked: Grasmere Gingerbread (MasterChef)

So far, I have been cooking and baking stuff from MasterChef Australia for this "Cook Like a Star" event. Long before the MasterChef Australia series started, I was already watching MasterChef UK, which is the original series. I was hooked to the show and would watch it every night without fail.

So I browsed the website to find something I could make - most of the recipes on MasterChef UK seem to be a lot harder (quite technical too). However, I found this recipe for Grasmere Gingerbread on BBC UK website, by Jackie Kearney - one of the semi-finalist in the 2011 show which seems to be very easy to make. I love gingerbread and Grasmere Gingerbread is reputed to be one of the best in the world. Jamie Oliver describes it as "the best gingerbread I've ever eaten in my life".



Grasmere Gingerbread are supposed to be "flaky, crumbly as well as soft and slightly chewy". However, using this recipe (actually I cut down baking time from 40 minutes to 30 minutes), it turned out to be more like flapjacks than gingerbread. They were still a nice treat - we still enjoyed them nonetheless but not what I envisaged them to be. The texture was crunchy and I liked how strong the ginger taste was. I did like how enticing the kitchen smelt during and after the bake -the aroma of spices is heavenly. Everytime I walked into the kitchen, I would take a deep breath and suck it all in!

Kids still loved it



What I think went wrong: Baking time is definitely too long, which is way the texture was quite crunchy like a flapjack. Based on other recipes, I think you may only need to bake it for 10-15 minutes. I may attempt this again, using either this BBC Good Food recipe or Jamie Oliver's. 



Grasmere gingerbread
Recipe adapted from MasterChef UK - Jackie Kearney
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

"A gingerbread in a class of its own, flavoured with heaps of ground ginger and given texture by oatmeal."

Ingredients
125g oatmeal
125g plain flour
4 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
175g butter
130g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4. Grease and line a baking tin or tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Mix together the oatmeal, plain flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar in a bowl.


3. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small saucepan, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Mix in the sugar and golden syrup until well combined.

4. Pour the mixture into the tin in a thin layer and press down lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. (I took them out at 30 minutes cos they were already golden brown and looking crunchy!)



5. Allow to cool slightly, then mark into 3cm/1½in squares. Leave to cool before slicing into squares.





*******************************

I am submitting this to the "Cook Like a MasterChef" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Anuja of Simple Baking. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe (from the contestants, judges or even sponsors) from any MasterChef websites or cookbooks (any countries) and blog hop with us for the whole month of September 2012.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in September 2012 - please do not link older posts.

Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Anuja of Simple Baking and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:



*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 26 Sept 2012.

Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here.

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