Bourdain

Its getting closer to Christmas, and that time of year when I rack my brains to get a present for hubby. Its hard enough to select something for a man let alone my hubby who knows very well how to buy his own presents throughout the year. It equates into a man who has more things than I can think of and it makes it exceedingly difficult for me to find something of worth which he would like to have but doesn’t. And of course if i were to try to buy something he truly wanted but does not have, I would have to break the bank (mine anyway) or rob one.

DO YOU have this problem buying for your man?

I think a really nice present for him would be to invite Anthony Bourdain for dinner – which of course is impossible. He is a celebrity (although I’m sure the man would hate to be labeled as one) and he lives halfway around the globe. So we invite him into our home by watching his latest series “The Layover”. He still trawls the world over for delicious, mouth watering food of all cuisines, but in this series he stops over at certain cities (so far Singapore, Rome, Miami and New York) for only 24 hours and takes us to the best picks of the city if you ONLY had 24 hours. In our malaysian english, this would be “transit!”

Cool new series

We were quite impressed by the food selection shown in Singapore – from Briyani, to Chicken Rice (claimed to be Singapore’s national dish??!!) to curry fish head, hawker food, kuehs etc. Everything you would get in Malaysia! So I was slightly miffed and jealous about it – why didnt Tony Bourdain come layover in KL – we have all those things and more!??? Hey in KL, he could add Bak Kut Teh to the mix. LOL.

By the way, he said that Changi Airport has got to be the best airport IN THE WORLD!! As anything Bourdain says is gold, my hubby totally and absolutely agrees to that comment. So no one minds a transit in Changi airport. Anyway, the food he shown us was mouth watering. Even the burgers in New York looked soooOOO good.

If you have the chance, pick up the book “Medium Raw” by Bourdain – I have to say he is a SICKKKK writer.

Our Singapore vacay

Happy Anniversary! With baby now in our lives….planning a wedding anniversary gets abit tricky. It was our very first anniversary – a whole year married, wow! Hubby took me on a nice anniversary trip to Singapore on Deepavali weekend (see, we also celebrate what!) and we had fantastic night at this place:

Tippling Club

Tippling Club is a uber cool dining (and drinking) experience which we highly, highly recommend to all our mates out there. Its very chill, relaxed and nicely hidden somewhere on Dempsey Road (nestled among the greens). Service is excellent (we sat at the bar, where else!) and the food was a tasting menu (read: degustation) of very kinky looking and DELICIOUS food (you cant call this food, its art!). Unfortunately, I mis-calculated the amount of alcohol I could stomach and had alittle too many (one cocktail per course and one bottle of champagne between us PLUS one appetiser cocktail is one too many!) and I had to be carted home halfway through my tasting menu (hhmph!)

On the terrace - way before drunken master reared its ugly head

Champers in hand - me, not yet 'up' there but the shade of pink of my face was deepening

We chose to stay at MBS Hotel – just to be in the thick of the much hyped new casino and hotel in Singapore.  And unfortunately, we felt that the stay was definitely all that – HYPE! The service was bad (for a 5 star hotel charging 6 star rates). At SGD500+ per room per night….it left much to be desired (it didnt exactly created value in OUR minds)

MBS Hotel - Lobby

At Akashi Robatayaki - prolly the 2nd highlight of our trip. Food and more food, what else?

Yum Yum and triple yum

 

 

 

 

Melbourne’s Top Chef – Baba nyonya chef extraordinaire Alicia Ewe

Baba nyonya chef extraordinaire Alicia Ewe Cunningham serves 5!

We had the luxury and good fortune to be treated to yummy baba nyonya chef extraordinaire Alicia Ewe Cunningham during our last weekend in good old Melbourne. It was a cosy little party with the 6 of us, Alicia and husband Andrew, May Ye, Ronnie and my cousins Terrence and Ellen at Ally and Andrew’s home in Kensington.

The bustle of activity as the delicious meals are being served.

Chef AllyEwe trading her recipe secrets with May?

Delicious Brinjal "Tempra" - tamarind and chilli flavoured brinjal.

Master Chef AllyEwe's signature dish - Kum Heong Lala - yummy

Another traditional nyonya dish - Ayam Pong Teh. Ally's mum would have been proud - she's passed on the secret recipes!

Ally balked abit that I took pics of her dishes without warning – she may have preferred to add more pretty garnishing but the taste was delish. Other dishes not pictures was a yummy assam fish dish and kangkung belacan. I would have enjoyed everything with a few glasses of wine but couldnt of course, due to my condition so I had to make do with Coke.

After dinner pics - Chef Ally, May and mua (looking bloated of course)

Lolling about the balcony on a hot, balmy night. Andrew and Ron.

Fr L-R: Terrence, Me, Ellen, May, Ally - all full and satisfied.

Its nice to have a cook out (even though only 1 person was doing all the cooking) of delicious, authentic dinner, casually between friends. We should do this more often (as opposed to once in 3 years!). I miss Melbourne!

Not so nice….

This is my first foodie post that’s gonna spill about the disappointing food we had at Shook! today. I thought i told myself that I would ONLY write about the good bits of foodie experience i’ve had not the bad (hence no foodie pictures today!)

We ordered the Japanese themed stuff (looks like our usual diet strikes again!) which included:

1. Dobin Mushi (soup) – no actual japanese dobin mushi flavour…just er…tastes like regular chicken stock which was also sort of sweetish….(huh?)

2. Wagyu beef (grilled) – abit too rare in the middle, chewy, and the flavour…kinda bland…

3. Black canadian cod fish (grilled) wth teriyaki sauce – the fish was juicy but the flavour, really nil! if you want a greeeeat black cod in miso paste, head to Nobu if you are in Melbourne, (sighhhh its sorely missed)

4. Mixed tempura – batter was too thick

5. Miso soup – GOSH tasted like water!

6. Pan seared foie gras with berry compote – this was probably the only acceptable dish. Foie gras was nice but the berry compote not so much to my liking.

7. 1/2 doz Oysters – with some mayo/cheese topping. Average…

We weren’t liking the food, but when we saw the bill, we just crossed Shook! off our list. RM700+ (including 3 cokes and 500ml bottle water) for this meal. The quality of the produce was not too bad, but kinda wasted on the preparation. However, the place had a decent crowd (half of which was foreign) and I reckon people are more willing to pay for the ambience than anything else. Service was good as well. And….thats about it…

Third Floor

I got a surprise dinner on the 27th night for my birthday with Ron. Food was delicious and service was great (considering we were the only other table there). We had dinner in the Third Floor (JW Marriott KL) and a little bday cake at the end! The restaurant had a romantic ambience and was really really quiet….not sure if its because many people ‘balik kampung’ for Raya. Check it out.

The Third Floor

The Third Floor

A one serve birthday cake! So cute

A one serve birthday cake! So cute

Entree` - how cute is the deco

Entree` - how cute is the deco

Complete with bubbly!

Complete with bubbly!

Part of the degustation menu

Part of the degustation menu - cold somen noodles. it was SOooooo good. Definitely the highlight

Definitely a recommendation from us for a ‘lo-man-teek’ occasion. Comparable to Cilantro’s. Eat up!

Dim Sum Sunday

Ron’s good mate from Adelaide came for a visit and we thought to take him to what we thought super yums dim sum dining would be. We headed to Shanghai @ The JW Marriott KL for what is usually guaranteed delicious. And again, we were not disappointed.

Shanghai at the Marriott - great ambience, great food

Shanghai at the Marriott - great ambience, great food

Fried Carrot Cake - Tastes so much better than it looks. The pieces might have been cut alittle finer, though.

Fried Carrot Cake - Tastes so much better than it looks. The pieces might have been cut alittle finer, though.

The best ever 'Siao Loong Bao' - Call it the Limited Edition - Hairy Crab Roe dumpling. Its apparently only served one season a year (maybe we should go in 2 months to see it that's true!)

The best ever 'Siao Loong Bao' - Call it the Limited Edition Hairy Crab Roe bao which is apparently only served one season in a year.

This 'Cheong Fun' with fried 'Yau Char Kwai' is a must have. So so tasty and I can say possibly one of the best I've had. Its also finely made and not huge and chunky as served in some places.

This 'Yau Char Kwai Cheong Fun' is definitely a must try. Its so tasty and also finely made, unlike the huge ones sometimes served in other places. A must try!

Service is superb and something I’ve noticed is that the food was served about 5-10 minutes after we ordered. Almost all dishes came at the same time, and in good order. Then last came the dessert. I managed to convince Ron’s mate to try some of the delicious ‘Black Sesame Dumplings in Ginger Syrup’. After eating one, he said “I’m so glad you conned me into eating one of these!”

Black Sesame Dumplings in Ginger Syrup - I wanted a second helping!

Black Sesame Dumplings in Ginger Syrup - I wanted a second helping!

Yum Yum!

As usual, if its not Japanese, its korean…I think in our past lives, we were prolly either japanese or korean. For anyone out there hankering for good ol’, authentic Korean food…head down (or up) to Dae Sa Kwan in Sri Hartamas (on the same row as Uncle Don’s).

p/s the marinated beef ribs are so very yums. As Ron says it would be ‘politically incorrect’ to publish pics of red, uncooked meat on the grill (what IS politically correct anyway, these days?!), I wont put them on. As a plus point, the friendly staff actually do all the cooking (they appear from nowhere when its time to turn the meat around, believe me). Some people may think its ‘no fun’, but hey, whats the fun in waiting when you can be eating right away?! Price-wise, I’d give it “$$$” (a 3 rating out of 5) but I think its good value for the quality – just dont order too much ox tongue!

Mouth watering kim chi (they even had the yummy potato one!)

Mouth watering kim chi (they even had the yummy potato one!)

A dreadful case of 'now you see it - now you don't!'

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