Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recipe: Carrot Muffins with Walnuts and Cranberries

Our kids get lunch in school, but sometimes we would pack some biscuits or muffins for them to snack on. I would always make the muffins in cute cases as this gets them excited - simple things that make them happy! Sometimes, I would pack extra for them as their friends would also ask to share the muffins with them. :)

So, these carrot muffins are moist and packed with their favorite nuts and dried fruits. They're also pretty easy to make (except for the grating carrot part which takes a little time).  If you would like to frost your muffins, do check out these posts: lime mascarpone frosting or cream cheese frosting.

Carrot muffins
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from here
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-22 minutes
Makes 15

250g self raising flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
150g soft brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
240ml corn oil
250g carrot, peeled and finely grated (approx. 2 medium carrot)
60g walnuts, chopped into small pieces
60g sultanas or dried cranberries, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (no fan). Line 2 muffin-trays with 15 cupcake liners.

2. Place the flour, salt, ground cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Add the eggs and corn oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the grated carrot, orange zest, sultanas, chopped walnuts and vanilla extract.

3. Fill the cupcake-liners to 2/3 full and then bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for at least 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container, they will keep for 4-5 days.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Killer Gourmet Burgers (KGB), The Gardens Mall, KL

Burgers have been on Hubby's mind for a while now, hence dinner was at Killer Gourmet Burgers (KGB) at their MidValley outlet. KGB is located at LG Floor of The Gardens Mall. There is also another KGB outlet in Bangsar.

There are around 20 burgers to choose from -- crust seared, grilled, fried or vegetarian. Simply place your order at the counter, and you will be given a number and the servers will serve your food to you when it's ready.

We went for 2 burgers - The Animal Style (RM14.90) and Truffle'd Swiss (RM20.90), as well as onion rings (RM6.90) to share.

The Animal Style comes with crust seared beef, mustard, sharp Cheddar, caramelised onions and shack sauce. The beef used here is 100% steak grade Australian grass fed beef. This was one juicy, tasty burger.

The Truffle'd Swiss is intoxicating.... as soon as the burger hit the table, we could definitely smell the truffle oil. Sandwiched between two soft buns are grilled beef, sauteed Portobello mushrooms, Swiss cheese, truffle infusion and herbed ranch. The patty is slightly less juicy than the Animal Style burger but just as delicious!

The buttermilk fried onion rings were nice and crispy too, making this a very satisfying burger experience for us.

Opening times: 10am to 10pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM45.60.

Location: Killer Gourmet Burgers (KGB), Lot LG-233 B&C, The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2201 5557

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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Kitchen Table Restaurant & Bakery, Damansara Kim, PJ

*Update 2016: Please note that the restaurant is now called Table & Apron.

The Kitchen Table Restaurant & Bakery has been on our radar for a while, after seeing lots of droolworthy photos of the food served there on Instagram. Last week, we were in the vicinity, so dropped by for lunch after running our errands.

A few weeks ago, they started serving a Business Set Lunch. This set lunch is available from Tuesday to Fridays (12pm-3pm) and is reasonably priced at RM15.90 for 1-course, RM19.90 for 2-courses, and RM21.90 for 3-courses. You can check out their menu on their website.

Love the bright, casual ambiance. 

To start, Hubby chose the chilled watermelon gazpacho soup. Perfect for the hot weather and the flavours work. I had the highland mushrooms on sourdough toast.. nice, simple flavours. All in all, a good start!

Service here is fast, almost too fast as they served us the mains before we finished our starters.

The Kitchen Table is well-known for their fried chicken, so we definitely had to try it while we're here. The buckwheat fried chicken was really really really good... the skin was light and crisp and the meat was moist. They used a butterflied chicken drumstick for this. Served with garlic rice and slaw.

We also ordered the orrechiette pasta with fennel and chilli pork ragu, which is like a "Western Hakka mee". I like the fact that they use fresh herbs in their dishes - like ulam raja in the pasta and mint with the slaw.

For desserts, we had freshly baked calamansi lime madeleines. They were so small and cute, and it was delicious as it was served warm. The lemongrass jelly with apple and ginger syrup was also a refreshing end to our meal.

Since we wanted to prolong lunch, we decided to order more cakes from their dessert counter. We had the soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie (RM3.90), New York cheesecake (RM12.90) and Hubby had a cappucino (RM9). Overall, a very delicious lunch and I'm already thinking of going back for their fried chicken!

Verdict: Great value for money lunch!

Opening times: Tue-Fri 12pm-5.30pm; 6.30-10.30pm, Sat 10am-5.30pm; 6.30pm-10.30pm; Sun 10am-5.30pm. Closed on Sunday nights and Mondays.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM76.55

Location: The Kitchen Table Restaurant & Bakery, 23 Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, 47400 Petaling Jaya.

Tel: 03-7733 4000

Website: www.thekitchentable.com.my

GPS Coordinates: 3.134735, 101.627143

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recipe: Hot Cross Buns (Delia Smith)

Every year when Good Friday / Easter approaches, I would think of hot cross buns. And every year I would tell myself... "I'm going to make hot cross buns this year", but never got around to it. After much procrastination, I finally did it this year and it turned out way way easier than I expected... so I guess baking hot cross buns is going to be a new annual ritual for me!

Hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross over the top. It is traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

For my first attempt, I tried none other than my no.1 cooking idol, Delia Smith's recipe. I loved how this recipe turned out - the buns were really good, soft and fragrant. The only thing I need to work on are the crosses - I followed her methods of mixing the flour and water then laying them in crosses, but they turn out really hard after baking (maybe hers are supposed be just decor and not for eating). However, I do like how distinctive and beautiful they make the buns look ;)

The whole family, especially the kids really enjoyed it. Everyone should try making their own hot cross buns (since good (affordable) ones are not easy to come by in Malaysia) - easy to make and absolutely scrumptious! 

Sweet and sticky tops

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
One a penny, Two a penny
Hot Cross Buns.

Great with some butter

Hot Cross Buns
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 12-15

50g plus 1 tsp caster sugar
150ml hand-hot water
1 tbsp dried yeast
450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
125g raisins or sultanas
40-55ml warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted

For the crosses
110g plain flour
4-5 tbsp cold water

For the glaze
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water

1. Place water in a measuring jug, then stir in 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. Then, sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it for 10-15 minutes, until a nice frothy "beer" head forms.

2. Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining 50g sugar and raisins to the bowl and mix well.

3. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the yeast mixture plus 40ml warm milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, mix it to a dough, adding more milk if required to bring it all together.

4. Transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead for about 6 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can also knead using KitchenAid (or other mixers using the dough hook) on Speed 2 for 5-6 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

5. Pop back into bowl (if kneading by hand) and cover the bowl with a lightly oiled film and leave it at a warm place to rise to double its original size, about 1 hour.

6. Turn it out and knead it again, for about a minute back to its original size. Divide the mixture to 12-15 round portions, then arrange them onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper (allowing plenty room for expansion) and leave them at a warm place once again to rise, for about 25-30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 220°C /200°C fan.

8. For the crosses, you can either make a deep cross on each bun with a sharp knife or for more distinctive crosses, make a flour and water paste from 110g flour and 4 tbsp water. Mix and roll out thinly, place on buns to make a cross and dampen to seal.

9. Once the buns have risen, place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. While they're cooking, melt the sugar and water for glaze over a gentle heat, then brush the buns with it as soon as they come out of the oven, to make them nice and sticky.

10. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Norwegian Seafood Promotion at InterContinental KL

From 24 to 27 March 2015, Serena Brasserie, the signature all-day dining restaurant in InterContinental Kuala Lumpur will be presenting an exciting Norwegian seafood promotion. 

In collaboration with GST Group and Norwegian guest chef Markus Dybwad, this promotion aims to showcase the freshness and quality of the first-class Norwegian seafood specially flown in for this buffet. Chef Markus has a wealth of experience from Scandinavia as well as Europe, including 3-Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck alongside celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal. 

Chef Markus with InterContinental KL executive chef Sam Kung

Guests can feast in a dazzling array of seafood from the coastal waters of Norway that are renowned for its quality, natural taste and delicate flavours. Chef Markus can be seen at the live station preparing a delectable assortment of codfish, salmon, halibut and blue mussels. Other mouthwatering creations to be found are traditional Scandinavian specialities such as skagen salad (creamed seafood salad), smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, selection of herrings, smoked mackarel, smoked salmon, cured salmon trout Gravalax style and hot signatures such as baked salmon fillet, halibut in cream sauce, Atlantic cod with soy butter and red fish with ratatouille.

Other than the Norwegian specialities, guests can also indulge on the amazing array of cold seafood on display such as tuna sashimi, slipper lobster, yabbies, and fresh oysters.

No shortage of fresh seafood here

Chef Markus also prepared some canapes for us - I am usually not a fan of pickled herring, but found myself going for seconds. Also love the blinis with bleak roe, and blue mussel in tomato vinaigrette.

But my fav of all is this trout tataki... the trout is coated in burnt leek ash and then lightly seared and served with ikura. So yummy!

According to Chef Sam Kung, they will also be showcasing fresh Norwegian seafood with local spices such as salmon satay, salmon tandoori and green curry with Atlantic cod.

Pickled herring

Finish off the meal with some homemade marshmallows, chocolate fountain, cakes, pastries or ice cream. I highly recommend the Kapiti figs and vanilla ice cream.

This Norwegian seafood promotion is priced at RM120++ per adult, or add RM60++ for a bottle of red or white. RM60++ per child. Available for a limited time only, 24- 27 March 2015.

Opening times: Lunch 12.00 noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), Dinner 7.00pm to 10.30pm (Daily)


Location: Serena Brasserie, Lobby Level, InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2782 6228

Website: http://www.intercontinental-kl.com.my/dining/serena_brasserie.asp

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Nuffnang Malaysia's 8th Birthday Bash!

My OOTD at Nuffnang Malaysia's 8th Birthday Bash, held at Zouk KL yesterday morning.  You can read more on my Dayre account - Day 81

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Inside Scoop, Bangsar, KL

Super hot weather in KL recently is making me crave for ice cream all the time. A really good one that we had recently was at Inside Scoop in Bangsar. According to their site, their ice cream is freshly made on site using premium ingredients, without artificial flavorings, colorings or preservatives.

They have quite many flavours here to choose from - we went for the waffle with double scoop ice cream (RM17.80) and had to top up RM1.50 for premium flavour too. We went for salted caramel and XO cranberry flavour (their version of rum and raisins). Certainly not cheap, but I would say it was really worth it cos the ice cream was creamy and the flavour was good, and the buttermilk waffle which we had to wait about 20 mins for, was really good. Crisp yet fluffy.

Would I return? Definitely!

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 1:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Fri - Sat: 12:30 pm - 12:00 am; Sun: 12:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Price: Total bill RM19.30.

Location: Inside Scoop, 9 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100  Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2202 0235

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