Monday, March 31, 2014

Manmaru Homemade Udon, Midvalley Megamall, KL

If given the choice, my kids would always opt for Japanese food for lunch. We decided to try Manmaru Homemade Udon, a fairly new udon place in Midvalley. 

The restaurant operates a self-service system, hence you place your order at the counter, pay and collect your food before going to your table. The interior is basic and bright, with an open concept kitchen.  The udon is freshly made on site at their outlet, using machinery imported from Japan and the culinary skills of their Japanese chefs.

There are a variety of udon available here, from curry udon (RM10.90), kimchi udon (RM11.90), niku udon (RM12.90) to zaru udon (RM8.90). You can view the full menu here. On weekdays, there are also set lunches available, which come with a side salad, hanjuku egg, rolled chicken with teriyaki sauce and green tea. Pretty good value for money.

We ordered two sets, the bukake udon set (RM13.90) and kake udon set (RM12.90). Since the restaurant was not too busy as we were dining early, our food was brought to us when ready. Green tea is refillable at the drinks counter.

Bukake udon set

I had the bukake udon, which is cold udon served in a fish broth and generous amounts of grated radish and ginger. I enjoyed it, very refreshing and the texture of the udon is nice, smooth and chewy. The udon portion is quite big, so it was pretty filling. The fresh garden salad is dressed in an appetizing apple sauce. The hanjuku egg was very nicely done - was pleasantly surprised by the lovely runny yolk, though it could be marinated slightly longer in soy sauce for a more intense taste. We both felt that the rolled chicken was really nice - smooth and tender, and nicely flavored by the teriyaki sauce.

Baby D has already "attacked" the egg before I could take photos :P

We also had the the classic Kake Udon, served in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru, made of dashi, soy sauce (shoyu) and mirin, and topped with some finely sliced scallions, and a couple of thin slices of kamaboko (fish cake). Simple and nice.

One thing that impressed me here is the service (despite it being a self-service restaurant). I was refilling two cups of green tea and I was having trouble carrying it back to our table cos the cup was too hot. I was pleasantly surprised when one of the staff noticed and came over to help me carry the cup back to my table. A simple gesture, but it left a lasting impression. We need more people like this.

Full menu can be viewed here.

Price: Total bill RM26.80.

Location: Manmaru Homemade Udon, S-045A, Midvalley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2282 0287

Yay! I have a new toy - the Electrolux Ergorapido vacuum cleaner in Love Red. Can't wait to check out all the functions, especially the brush roll cleaning function.  Look out for my full review, coming in April. 

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Recipe: Stir fried brinjal with dried shrimp and minced pork

Eggplant, more popularly known as brinjal in Asia is one of my favorite vegetables. Brinjal can come in different shapes, sizes or colour but the more common ones in Malaysia are the long and slender purple ones (roughly the size of a cucumber). Brinjal can be used for making "yong tau foo" (ie brinjal stuffed with fish paste) or stir fried Chinese-style with some dried shrimps and minced pork, just to name a few.

In Chinese cuisine, dried shrimps 虾米 are regularly used for flavouring as it is said to impart an "umami" taste to the food.  Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun dried and shrunk to the size of a rice grain. 

Stir fried brinjal with dried shrimp and minced pork

When stir frying, we usually peel the skin of the brinjal first. If you want to reduce the amount of oil used for cooking, then it is recommended to salt the raw brinjal before cooking. After salting, simply rinse and drain, and it is ready to use.

Remember not to overcook your brinjal - you want it to retain its lovely, meaty texture. A wonderful, flavorful vegetable dish :)

Stir fried brinjal with dried shrimp and minced pork
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

4 medium-sized brinjal, peeled and cut into baton-size
4-5 tbsp cooking oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp dried shrimp, rinsed
50g pork mince
1 tbsp ginger wine
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules

1. In a wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and fry for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the dried shrimp and pork mince and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the brinjal and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft (texture to your liking, if u prefer it softer, cook for another 1-2 minutes).

2. Season with ginger wine, light soy sauce and chicken stock granules. Stir and taste seasoning, serve immediately.

Note:  Known as eggplant, aubergine, brinjal. The recipe above does not include salting. If salting, you can reduce the amount of  oil used.

I am linking this to the Little Thumbs up "Prawn" event organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids andDoreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Food Playground. You can link your posts here.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Recipe: Marble Butter Cake

Other than butter cake, my mum's next favorite cake is marble butter cake. Baby D was off school this week, so we decided to make a marble cake for Grandma :)

A marble cake is a cake with a streaked or mottled appearance (like marble) achieved by very lightly blending light and dark batter. I chose to use my trusted butter cake recipe for the lighter-colored element, and for the darker batter, I have added in 2 tablespoons of Valrhona cocoa powder. Using 2 spoons, the cake batter are alternately placed into the baking tin, and to achieve the marble effect, a skewer is gently run through to create "swirls".

A lot of marble cakes that we get from bakeries are not rich enough for my mum's taste. This marble butter cake on the other hand definitely delivered -  it was rich and moist, and we simply love having two different flavours in one cake. Baby D was very happy to present this cake to his Grandma, which she loved a lot.

Marble butter cake
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from here
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 65-70 minutes
Serves 8-10

250g good quality unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
180g caster sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g self raising flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp milk, at room temperature
2tbsp good quality cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 170°C (no fan).

2. Grease and line the base of a 20cm cake tin.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Then, add the eggs one at a time, and beat well, repeat until all eggs are used. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence, and mix.

4. Fold in sifted flour in 3 batches, until well combined. Add the milk and mix well. Your batter will be of a dropping consistency at this point.

5. Spoon out 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl. Stir the cocoa powder into this, mixing well. Using 2 spoons, dollop the chocolate and butter cake mixes into the tin alternately until all the mixture has been used up. Tap the tin to remove any air bubbles.

6. Using a skewer, gently swirl it around the mixture in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.

7. Bake for 65-70 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

8. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Note: Your child can help turn the machine on/off, pour in the eggs, fold in the flour, spoon the batter into the baking tin and swirling the batter with a skewer.

I am submitting this post to Bake along event #59 with theme "Marbled Butter Cake" organized by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen Wings.

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Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Bloomin' Brilliant Chocolate Brownies

Baby C had a few days off school last week, so we decided to bake something nice to share with our family. After some discussion, we agreed upon chocolate brownies. We are using our tried and tested Jamie Oliver's Bloomin' Brilliant chocolate brownies recipe which yields great results :)

Chocolate Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a really easy recipe, hence I measured out the ingredients and let Baby C do ALL the work. She did a really great job - a very competent little helper :)

This is a really sumptuous, fudgy, and rich chocolate brownie. I love eating it warm with some vanilla ice cream. Thanks Baby C for making this! Absolutely brilliant.

Jamie Oliver's Bloomin' Brilliant Chocolate Brownies
Recipe adapted from here
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves 6-8

250g unsalted butter
200g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
80g walnuts, roughly chopped
80g cocoa powder, sifted
65g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
360 g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs

To serve
Good quality vanilla ice cream
Korean strawberries

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a 25cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the chopped nuts, and stir together.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.

3. Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes. You don't want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don't want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.

4. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares. Serve with vanilla ice cream and strawberries.

Note: You can place the brownies in the microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it up before serving.

I am submitting this to the "Cook Like a Star 2nd anniversay" event which is hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Mich of Piece of Cake.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

MILO Malaysia Breakfast Day 2014

I'm a believer that breakfast is the important meal for the day. Kids especially, should never skip breakfast as it provides fuel for their body and helps them perform more efficiently throughout the day. Breakfast will also help you maintain a healthy body weight and prevent obesity.

You can start your day right by eating right. For us, breakfast can be as simple as having two pieces of toast, a bowl of cereal, fresh fruits, or a full English breakfast when we have more time.

Start your day right with a balanced breakfast!

Malaysia Breakfast Day is an annual initiative by MILO® to reinforce the message that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Through this initiative, MILO® wants to drive change and demonstrate the relevance of a balanced breakfast and active lifestyle in every Malaysian home. This is also in line with MILO®’s aim in ensuring our children develop good healthy habits for both nutrition and physical involvement.

The Nestle MILO® team serves a healthy breakfast accompanied with
a nutritious mug of MILO

This year, MILO® is introducing the benefits of Positive Energy from having a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast. Positive Energy is derived from the perfect ratio of nutrients consisting of protein, carbohydrates and fats to provide our body with the much needed fuel to take on both physical and mental challenges each day.

According to Ho Hau Chieh, Executive Director of Dairy Business Unit, Nestlé Products, “Fuelled by MILO®’s determination and motivation to advocate Malaysians on the importance of a well-balanced breakfast, the day is part of its nation-wide nutrition campaign - ‘Positive Energy For Champions’ that aims to keep the momentum going as the healthy breakfast habit should be adopted actively and not just in the heat of the moment,” he says.

"As an advocator of healthy living, we strive to reevaluate how the nation can adopt an improved view on healthy living and start practicing with little steps,” adds Ho.

The MILO® Positive Energy Squad makes an appearance at the MILO® Malaysia Breakfast Day launch

This year, the annual event will be held in Dataran Putrajaya on 20th April 2014 starting from 7:00am. The event calls upon all Malaysians to come together as a family to enjoy the most important meal of the day and participate in physical activities together.

Apart from the 8 km and 3 km runs, there will be breakfast meals available to all runners and attendees as well as various interactive sport activities that will keep the whole family energized.

For more information on Malaysia Breakfast Day and its activities, please visit:

*This is a sponsored post.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Genting Skyway Cable Car Ride, Genting Highlands, Malaysia

As parents, we are constantly looking for things to do with our kids, especially during the school holidays. Our kids love the great outdoors, though sometimes Malaysia's extremely hot weather can be prohibitive for such activities. That is why places like Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands is ideal due to its cooler temperatures. :)

Up at Gohtong Jaya,we first took our kids for strawberry picking, followed by a visit to the lavender farm and vegetable farm. After lunch, we decided to take our kids on the Genting Skyway for a cable car ride up to Genting Highlands. Baby C has been on the cable car a couple of years back, but this is Baby D's first time, so he was really excited!

Genting Skyway cable car ride

From Gohtong Jaya to the Genting Highlands station, it cost us RM12 per person for a return ride. Not cheap, but it's a great experience for the kids. The ride takes about 11 minutes each way (3.38km) and each gondola can fit up to 8 pax. The weather was clear on our way up but on the way down, it was really foggy and it started to drizzle too. The kids enjoyed the scenery as well as waving to the passengers on other gondolas ;) The inquisitive Baby D, as usual had lots of questions for us about how everything worked.

Foggy on the way down

A worthwhile experience for the kids :)

Operating Hours: 7.30am – 12.00 midnight daily

Price: RM12 return, RM6 one way. Children below 90cm ride for free.

Location: Gohtong Jaya Skyway Station, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang Darul Makmur. Malaysia.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Recipe: Homemade Roselle Jam

Making roselle jam gives me great satisfaction. Firstly, the roselle we use to make the jam is grown in our own garden (hence no chemicals). Homemade jam is also pure, made from fruit and sugar only without any extra ingredients such as preservatives or coloring. Last but not least, my whole family loves homemade roselle jam, and they would spread it on their toast or crackers every morning whenever there is a jar in the fridge. 

Homemade roselle jam, great with scones too

I've made roselle jam a few times now. The first time I made it  was with whole roselle calyx, hence we ended up with some texture in our jam. The next few times, I blended the roselle calyx first before boiling it with sugar. My family prefers the blended version.  

A few tips about jam making that I picked up while reading some cookbooks:
1. Use a stainless steel pot when making jam.
2. When making jam using tough-skinned fruit, the fruit should be simmered and softened first before adding sugar as sugar has a hardening effect.
3. To test if the jam has set, you can either use a sugar thermometer (the setting temp is 220F/105C), or place a teaspoonful of jam onto a frozen plate and if a crinkly skin is formed, then it has set. Another way of determining if it has set is something I learnt from Vivian's post - use your spatula and draw a line in the centre, and if it has set, the line can stay for a few seconds before disappearing. 

This homemade roselle jam is slightly tart, which make this a really appetizing spread. You can control the amount of sugar you put in too, I usually use about 3/4 cup of sugar to 250g of roselle. Now, I am waiting for my next roselle harvest so that I can make this for my family again :)

Homemade Roselle Jam
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Makes 325-g jar

250g roselle calyx, washed
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup caster sugar

1. Peel the roselle calyx from its seed pod. Place in a blender/food processor with 1/2 cup water and blend until you get a puree.

Roselle harvest from the garden

2. Pour the roselle puree into a stainless steel pot and bring to the boil over medium high heat. Once boiling,
low to medium low heat and add the sugar. Stir occasionally, making sure that the sugar has completely dissolved. Cook for about 30-35 minutes until jam has thickened. It will look jelly-like. To test if jam has set, please use one of the above methods (see above 2nd pic).

Draw a line once the mixture looks "jelly-like" and if the line stays for more than a few seconds, your jam is ready.

3. Remove from heat, and pour into dry clean jars. Seal immediately. Once cooled, store in the fridge. The jam will thicken further once cooled completely. This jam will keep for at least 3 weeks.

Note: If using unblended roselle calyx, simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes before adding sugar.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Beato Seakhouse, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, KL

I'm so glad Hubby and I share the love for STEAKS. During our last date night, we visited The Beato Steakhouse for some dry-aged steak action.

The Beato Steakhouse has 2 outlets, one in Publika and another at Bangsar. The Bangsar outlet is located next to Pappa Rich , on top of a vegetarian restaurant. The interior is simple and tasteful, with tables in the centre and a few booths at the side. The booths provide pretty good privacy for a romantic dinner. :)

Service here is polite and friendly. As soon as we were seated, we were handed a 1-page menu and a blackboard was placed before our table to show us what cuts (with respective weights) were available for the day. Beato specialises in dry-aged steaks, whereby the steaks are aged for a few weeks in a custom-made chiller and the resulting crust is trimmed off. During this aging process, the juices are absorbed into the meat making it more flavorful and tender.

Diners can choose from dry-aged porterhouse (RM37/100g), T-bone (RM26/100g), rib eye (RM38/100g), sirloin (RM32/100g), or wet aged tenderloin (RM60/100g). There are also fish courses or lamb available but we both went for the steaks, ordering the 385g ribeye (medium rare) and 415g sirloin (medium). Since the steaks we ordered were pretty sizeable, we decided to skip starters.

Iced peach tea (served with an ice ball) and some complimentary bread with olive tapenade/butter

When our steaks arrived, we both agreed that it looked very "sexy" - for us a good steak does not need many sides or sauces and we like how it is served naked with some roasted garlic and coarse sea salt.The steaks also had a very nice crust. We were served 3 types of mustard to go with our steak. We ordered 2 side dishes - sweet potato fries (RM14) and grilled asparagus (RM13). 

The manager came over to check if we were happy with the steak doneness, and yes, we were. Mine was cooked to a perfect medium. We found out from the manager that all their beef are from Australia and are grain-fed. The steaks were really flavorful and juicy. I also love love love the sweet potato fries, so crispy with a lovely natural sweetness.

Lovely crust!

I'm sexy and I know it ;)

My sirloin, all 415g of it!

Perfect medium doneness

Sweet potato fries- not to be missed!

Although I was pretty stuffed by the time I finished my steak, Hubby ordered a five-kind cheese platter (RM39) to share. We thought this was pretty good value, with a nice selection of cheese - Camembert, Brie, Blue Cheese, Gruyere and Cream Cheese.

Verdict: Overall, a fantastic steak dinner. Would definitely return :)

Opening times: Weekdays 5pm-12am.Weekends only 12pm-12am.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM400 approx.

Location: The Beato Steakhouse, 24-1 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2202 2405


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