Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kuali- a Delightful Blend of Malaysian Cuisine

This type of Malaysian dining isn't what I'm accustomed to. When I think about Malaysian food, it's all about rendang, curry, oil, grease, fat- it's what street food is about primarily. I know it sounds fairly repulsive at the moment, but you've got to trust me, Malaysian street food is mind-blowing. Even though this was a fairly different take on it, I enjoyed quite a bit!:)

Apparently, my uncle had a big bonus on his job or something and he decided to treat us out for dinner. Being the foodies that we are, we headed to one of the best places for Malaysian food. The location kind of threw me off a bit cause it's  not one of those places that's easy to find, but surprisingly, there was a fair crowd inside. 

Chicken Kajang Satay

Grilled Otak Otak- Spicy Spanish Mackerel Mousse
For starters, we had Kajang Satay and Grilled Otak Otak. These dishes nailed it. They express a whole lot about Malaysian food which promised a good meal. The Chicken Kajang Satay was paired with a peanut and chilli dipping sauce, the flavors melded together very well and neither overpowered the other. On the other hand, I absolutely enjoyed the Otak Otak, grilling it in banana leaf over charcoal, I presume, imparted it with such a fantastic strong taste.

Lamb in Hot Pot
The lamb hot pot wasn't my favorite dish. Well, let's just say I didn't like it the slightest bit. It was a tad tough and the sauce was just really bland. And to think that I was quite excited about this at the beginning- so disappointing.

Salt and Pepper Squid
The salt and pepper squid I associated more with a Chinese background. Anyway, the squid was really tender and cut perfectly. It curled up beautifully. The downside was the batter was really heavy and the alcohol marinade it sat in before was just overpowering that you would lack the sense of the salt and pepper. 

KL Hokkien Fried Noodle
Brown, brown, brown was all I could see when the KL Hokkien Noodles arrived at the table. Let me put it this way, it was fine, nothing really special in particular. My family claimed that it was pretty good though. But let's face it, I've had it in Malaysia and this just doesn't come close. Probably the only similarity they have would be the oiliness and the noodles- that's it.

Chicken Rice
The thing that bound everything together was the Chicken Rice. It was wonderfully fragrant and fluffy, cooked to perfection. Thing is, I'm biased, my mom cooks a mean chicken rice and I can't wait to head home and have some!:)

Kuali Special Fish Curry
Favorirte dish of the night would be the Kuali Special Fish Curry, hands down the best thing I've had that night. The curry was flawlessly balanced such that it didn't give that sense of heaviness. It delivered a sense of elegance.

Dessert Platter- fresh fruits, baked cassava, kueh ketayap
sago gula meleka and coconut ice cream at the back
As for dessert, there was the dessert platter. Best thing on the platter would be the baked cassava. I'm usually not such a big fan of cassava cause it tends to just be heavy and nothing else. But this was different, there were shreds of coconut and some other components, so delightful! The Kueh Ketayap was just overpowered by the amount of palm sugar that was present. It was rather cold as well which suggested that it wasn't made to order.

Kuali Malaysian Restaurant
1st Floor (Lane Cove Arcade),
115 Longueville Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ikea Cafeteria

Cafeteria Menu for the day

Cafeteria was clear and straight for the point
When the word Ikea is uttered, the words that instantly pop into my head would be Sweden then contemporary yet affordable furniture. Fortunately, there's a lot more to Ikea than the furniture. There's the cafeteria that I love dearly. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about fresh, seasonal produce, not that I'm saying that's not what they serve, but at that cheap price and setup, it gets you thinking. It's frozen food, mate. But I've never had any better frozen food, it's pardonable.  

Swedish meatballs, I'll have you in my belly any time of the day

My personal favorite would be the Swedish Meatballs served with chips, cream sauce, and a lingonberry jam. There's nothing quite like it, ordinary meatballs just don't come close. The meatball is made out of both beef and pork. I'll admit, I'm clueless when it comes to what seasoning they use. The cream sauce is really smooth and oozy. The lingonberry jam gives that sweet and tangy twist that perfectly cuts the cream sauce. 

Pasta with grilled chicken, not a stunner, babe.

There are a couple of other things on the menu like fish & chips, pasta with grilled chicken, gravalax, prawn& egg sandwiches, and the list goes on. For a change, on my last visit,  I tried something different, the pasta with grilled chicken. The sauce was really green, seemed like pureed celery, parsley, chives, and who knows what else. The pasta was overcooked and the chicken was dry- it looked like it had a sunburn. Poor chuck.

It seems to me that we are school tuck shop

My cousin took a stab at the fish and chips, it's not like the typical beer-battered ones that I'm used to. It had  an orange crumb batter. It didn't taste of anything in particular, but it was definitely one of those things that you wouldn't want to have again. Despite these harsh comments, I really have to give them props for supplying good chips and the affordable price.

Next time I'm not trying new things, I'm sticking to what I know and love, Swedish Meatballs. And guess what, you could actually purchase frozen Swedish Meatballs with the matching cream sauce and Lingonberry jam. If you must know, I have some downstairs in the freezer for my lazy days.

See how fresh and vibrant the gravlax looks?

I want to head to Sweden in time for crayfish season and
have crayfish parties with endless shots of vodka

I think Swedish food is beyond interesting, the freshness of it all- the gravalax and crayfish. I love the use of dill as well. It's one of those herbs that is really under appreciated. Jamie Does is a series that is worth checking out, it really ignited my love for Sweden. And maybe, just maybe, I'll take a stab at making my very own Swedish meatballs.

1 Oulton Avenue
New South Wales

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Good and the Bad (but both TASTY)

I am in love with Fage Total (or is it Total Fage? I don't know) yogurt. It's thickthickTHICK and creamy! So much better than the Nestle I used to shove down (and a gazillion times better than Elle&Vire, which, after having eaten 100 packs of, I discovered was NOT yogurt at all. Read the fine print! UGH) and very much reminiscent of the yogurt parfaits available at Pret-A-Manger Hong Kong!

Beautiful orange blossom honey
It's real Greek yogurt. Remember those recipes where they suggest using yogurt in lieu of sour cream? They were pertaining to THIS kind of heavenly yogurt-- the Greek kind! One day I will go to Greece and eat roka salata and yogurt all the time, and happily lose 200 pounds!

Anyway, I put lots of different stuff in my yogurt; fresh berries, honey, bananas, muesli, flax seeds, raisins, et cetera! The other day I had it with fresh blueberries and bananas and orange blossom honey!

Just look at that. So rich and thick and PERFECT
I'm such a fried food person, and among all my favorite fried things (pork, chicken, fish, donuts....) I especially love EMPANADAS from Merced! The skin is soooooooo sinfully tasty and buttery and oily (in the best way you can imagine, I promise). Layers and layers of (filo pastry?) empanada skin (what a term!) wrapped around the tasty, tasty, tasty filling!

This particular empanada had chicken, carrots, potatoes, and raisins in it. So tasty! It's like a savory churros! :D I could only imagine just how fattening it was (sugar+fat+salt multiplied by a million) but it was just so good! I gobbled two up in one sitting! YUM! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hurricane's Grill, Darling Harbour

possibly the best place in town for ribs?
the epic view
If you're planning to head to Hurricane's you might as well make a reservation say 2 weeks in advance? That's if you don't intend to line up around 4pm! Cause the queue is not a joking matter! This place is jam packed! I've NEVER seen it EMPTY. I guess it's that FANTASTIC.

I always order the same thing cause they say that's what Hurricane's is all about- the gorgeous RIBS. Mouthwatering succulent porky ribs that are just dripping with the special sauce. Oh baby.

see how yellow and buttery it is?
For starters, we had garlic bread which isn't really anything out of the ordinary. But what striking about it is  the amount of butter that is present. I could gain 2kilos just looking at it. Crunchy thin exterior followed by a velvety interior smothered with butter and chives.

i wish i could cook ribs like this
Onto the ribs, my friend and I ordered a whole slab then halved it. You could get 2 half slabs but obviously sharing a whole slab would be cheaper! I couldn't exactly put my finger on the way it tastes. It's like an explosion in your gob. It's not precisely Jamaican spiced, or Texan either, but sure is a tasty barbecue. It's hands down finger-licking good. And yes, you MUST use your hands while devouring the ribs! Such a shame if you don't! The messy eating process is definitely one of the reasons why it's fun! Make sure you snag each and every single bit of meat of the bone! 

Au revoir and till next time dearest ribs!
I've been to Hurricane's endless times, but I never fail to enjoy and get down and messy with my ribs.

Hurricane's Grill & Bar
Shops 433-436 
Level 2 
Harbourside Shopping Centre
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Friday, October 15, 2010


Things that are currently making me BARF right now:
1. Ruffles. My close is CHOCK-FULL of them and I am SO SICK of them. White (and other colors too, but predominantly, they're barf-inducingly white) ruffles everywhere I turn. Shoot me now. I hate ruffles. In all colors. Toss! Burn! Or better yet, SELL.
2. Closed pumps. They just make me feel ill. I don't care if they're Louboutins-- please get them out of my face. Like, now.
3. Frumpy, loose dresses that end mid-calf. Here's one thing I've always hated and will always hate! They are the bastard children of girly, proper-looking knee-length dresses and summery maxi dresses. What's up? Do you like looking stumpy? Is that your Danny de V. look?
3.5 I am really kinda starting to hate florals. But I still take mine out for the occasional frolicking... BUT..It's your last hurrah, all ye floral tanktops/dresses/shorts/skirts!

And here are the things I am so MADLY, MADLY, MADLY, MADLYYYYYYYYY in love with!

Thing I am in love with #1: SHORTSSSSS!!!

I've always been a shorts person (even when I was morbidly obese and had sad tree-stump legs, I insisted on elephant-ing around in Daisy Dukes) and now that I've finally lost some of the beloved, faithful and loyal lard (heartbreak has its upsides) I am back to short-collecting with a VENGEANCE

And here I shall lovingly guide you through the wonderful process that is short-shopping...

1.A Khaki shorts are adorable! The shorter the cuter but long shorts work too! :)

1.B White cotton/linen/fine denim shorts of any length are delectable, AD INFINITUM!
1.C Here is what I feel to be the CURRENT must-have; leather shorts! Insane, I know, and potentially HOOKERISH (biggest insult I could ever throw at anyone) but when carried well and paired off correctly they could look awesome!!

Thing I am in love with #2: KNITS

What white ruffles were to me before (A.K.A., my constant standby, my lover, my best friend), chunky knits are to me now. Gosh. I am so in love with knits. They make me crazy. I love my knits. I love my knits. I LOVE MY KNITSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Please, preppy people throw away your polo shirts and your pearl earrings and your two-tone rolexes (okay, I'm being dramatic and I don't really mean this) and invest in KNITS!!!

2.A Preppy knits. So gawjuuuuussss! So clean-cut! They say," I come from an airconditioned world and need not worry about all my makeup melting off my face!" They say, "I am not a hooker and need not expose my cleavage!" They say, "I will never wear a denim mini skirt with a cleavage top and heels!" They say, "I AM EDUCATED! I COME FROM AN OLD-RICH FAMILY!  (Or at least, I pretend to be)"
Banana Republic

Fred Perry


Drool now
2. B Bryanboy knits! I first saw such deconstructed, awesome pieces on his blog. The guy below, I think he DIY-ed his sweater, inspired by Rodarte (please correct me if I'm wrong!). I love!!! So fabulous. When you are a rich little boy and get sick of playing lacrosse and run out of pot and suddenly feel a yearning to head over to the glittery-and-gay side, you take out your Lacoste striped cable knit sweater and start (very strategically) yanking out threads to come up with your own couture-esque sweater! HOORAY.

Thing I love # 3: Easy cotton or linen pieces with peter pan collars. 

Self-explanatory. I am definitely hoarding all that I will see of these!

Thing I love #4: Soft, beat-up denim anything

So everyone's doing the faded denim vest and floral dress thing. And everyone's doing the long denim polo and leggings thing. But it's not yet over, lover, for your faded-denim whatever (in my opinion, at least!). When worn with tiny, tiny beat-up denim shorts (yes, denim on denim! as prophesied by my ultimate style icon, Garance Dore) they are SAVED from their fashion death! It's time for a revival, baby!!!

To be continued! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beef Tripe, Japanese Seaweed, and Xiao Long Bao

So, these were the things my cousin and I had for midnight snacks. There weren't any chips, chocolate, or meat pie in check so we rushed to the freezer to hopefully come up with something dazzling. Well, not exactly come up cause we just reheated everything! Must I tell you, I think this is the most indulgent midnight snacking session I've had for quite some time!

fail xiao long bao
We steamed the tripe and xiao long bao in the double deck steamer and microwaved the Japanese seaweed for like a minute in the microwave cause it's meant to be cold. It felt like forever waiting for everything to heat up properly. 

tender squishy tripe
The tripe had the most amazing sauce which I must learn how to cook someday! It was really tender and succulent. Three cheers to that! The xiao long bao on the other hand wasn't equally scrumptious. It could possibly be because the skins were slightly torn and a lot of the juices escaped. Sigh, that's one of the things that I really hate. There were up to scratch but uncomparable to the xiao long bao at Taste of Shanghai

the color is so captivating
The Japanese Seaweed was beyond stunning. Once you bite into it, there's that bite and crunch that makes it so fantastic. Seasoning wise, it had that sour and ever so slight spiciness going on. I've never had anything much like it before. At a price of 22/kg, it was quite the splurge but definitely worth it!

This midnight snacking session was more than satisfying. You could possibly win people's hearts with food like this. They may not look like the most appealing things, but trust me, the good flavor makes it sooooo SEXY.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Taste of L.A.

I'm anything but a pizza person, but when it comes to pizza from A Taste of L.A., my mouth's wide open! Had dinner there the other day with my mum and darling little sister! Such a treat after a stressful week.

First off, we had oysters Rockefeller. If you're anything in my life (friend, BFF, etc), you must know that I LOVE oysters. Oysters, softshell crab, sashimi, chocolate, and wagyu= enough to keep me happy forever. I thoroughly enjoyed their oysters! Very clean-tasting, fresh, and perfectly complemented by the bechamel sauce and cheese! Speaking of oysters-- if you're an oyster fan, you MUST try Sunday lunch buffet at Mario's (but more on that next time).
What is insanity? Aside from doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, it's... going to Taste of LA without ordering their pizza. This I can promise: you will not be disappointed. They serve the best pizza, rivaled only by Bellini's!

Their pizza has a wonderfully, WONDERFULLY thin crust. So thin that I tell myself it doesn't have any carbs!!! They have a lot of cool gourmet flavors; one even has lamb on it. My siblings love that lamb one! Sadly I don't eat lamb.. :(
Spinach, ham and cheese. DELISH!
The cheese is not to heavy and everything is just in harmony. Cue clouds in your imagination and Pachelbel's Canon in D. This is pizza heaven!

My sister and mom split a steak! :) They said it was good!

I ordered osso buco. I love osso buco from Cyma and also my own... This one rather disappointed me :| The meat was tender and juicy but the sauce was too heavy and bland and lacking in... tomatoes?

Then we had dessert! The chocolate was SOOO overrated-- the menu made it sound like something epic but it was definitely NOT! Quite pricey too, 200 something for a nothing-special, rather dry cake..

We also ordered bibingka! Now this was good! It had lots of duck eggs in it (which I also don't eat) but I'm guessing that's a good thing for diehard bibingka fans!

I would just like to say that I downright HATE this new blogger setup; it's making it really inconvenient to upload pictures! :(

Also (completely off-topic) I hope that WHAT'S MEANT TO BE WILL TRULY FIND IT'S WAY. Like, I hope that no matter what stupid things people do, even if they diverge really far from the path they're supposed to take, there's this bigger, better, indefatigable plan that will WIN in the end! That you'll be with the person you're meant to be with, even if you held on to the wrong person too long or if you hurt the right one too much. That's all! Hahaha! I just hope we all end up with the one we're SUPPOSED to end up with!

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