Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
One morning, while reading the papers, my nephew says "Pineapple". I tell him there isn't any and he can have an orange instead. He starts tugging at my sleeve and chanting "pineapple". Finally I relented and followed him to the garden. There it was, a beautifully formed miniature pineapple. I've seen them plenty of times in flower arrangements but never before in my garden. This one has definitely reached its maximum growth judging by the leaves. I wonder if they are actually edible? I suppose by the time you cut off the skin there wouldn't be anything left anyway! Funny how I never noticed it before he pointed it out. Can you tell I'm not a plant person? In the same week, while walking back from The Weld, I spotted crab apples sprouting from the side of a tree. Okay, I'm not sure if these were crab apples but it was closest thing that came to mind. Told you I wasn't a plant person. Let me illustrate how lousy I am when it comes to plants. I once mistook lily leaves for pandan. Do you know how embarassing it was when I complained to my mum that our "pandan" leaves didn't have any perfume. Hey, the were both long, flat and green! Er...so, anybody know what fruit this is? Ordinarily, I would've been quite gelee looking at this cluster of fruits but they were just too pretty to walk away from without taking a photograph.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Last Saturday, Hunky wanted to have Slow Uncle's (not his real name) wanton mee for dinner. We haven't been in ages and I justified it as being late dinner rather than supper. Yes I know, same difference! Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it was closed. We called E and decided to head over his neighbourhood mamak stall on Jalan Semarak that he has been raving about for years. It was unusually quiet for a Saturday night in KL which made crossing the crazy cross junction of Jalan Semarak a breeze.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Above: chocolate peanut butter creams. Don't start if you aren't prepared to stop. Divine!
Vanilla Box is located at Asian Heritage Row, below Wine Room. They are closed on Sundays.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Every birthday and anniversary of my grandparents meant two things: 1) a three hour journey back to Ipoh with non-stop Tom Jones. Why, why, why Delilah indeed! 2) butter cake with pink and yellow piped icing. Twenty years ago, on my grandparent's 50th anniversary, there was a magnificent 5-tiered butter cake. It stood on the stage at the Chinese Assembly Hall where the grand dinner was held. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. It was sight to behold back then. After the party ended, Cuz and I quickly volunteered to carry parts of the cake to the car so that we could dig our grubby little fingers into the icing. We were scared shitless we were going to be caned by Grandma but we just couldn't stop until half the cake was pockmarked with excavated icing. We were never found out, the adults were too drunk and hungover the next day to care. I think rats were blamed. Until this day we still eat the same cake made from the same lady whenever we are in Ipoh.
Remember when La Manilla was the bakery to buy your cakes from? If you don't remember, that means you were born in the 90s and you better not call me Aunty when you see me! It was a cute corner shop in Ampang Jaya and they were most famous for their chocolate and banana cake. It was the talk of the town (okay maybe just among my parent's friends). No one had heard of such a thing! Until La Manilla came along, we were still eating black forest cakes from Angel Cake House. Not that theres anything wrong with Angel Cake House. Their star has faded into light as more and more bakeries popped up over the years offering cakes that were not just decorated with butter cream and wafer roses. They still makes the best sponge cakes. I loved the crazy assortment of waxy buttercream coated cakes. I especially liked those with colourful jam-filled tops. We would go quite regularly when I was a child. Mum would always let me pick a few, we always bought nine because it fit into the box perfectly. I always ate the chocolate one with a solid chocolate top and chocolate sprinkles all along the side. Hmmm, looking back, my mum really, really loved me!
Then there came Alexis in the 90's. Who knew that it would be the start of cafe society in KL? A little trivia about Alexis. It was almost named Culture Vulture but was thankfully changed to Alexis after the salacious character Alexis Carrington/Colby from Dynasty. Anyway, I think my friends and I spent almost every other night of our summer holidays eating cake and drinking lattes at Alexis. The pivotal cake of course being the most unauthentic tiramisu ever. Okay, so it originated from Suchan but Alexis elevated this fake into what it is today and that is, still the best faux tiramisu cake ever! The only thing that is remotely close to tiramisu is the mascarpone cream they use to sandwich the sponge layers together.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Another trendy hot spot is Superfamous at OCBC Centre in the CBD. Perched by the stairs overlooking a zen water feature, it certainly looks chic with its contemporary open structure and deliberately simple decor but lunch was a complete waste of time. I was so excited when I saw pulled pork on the menu. I've been dreaming about it after reading it was referred to as the kwai loh roti babi. This version was nowhere close. Forgettable, pricey food in chic surroundings. On our last night we ate Reif + James in Robertson Quay. Another good looking place with promising descriptions on their menu. We were offered vanilla risotto which we could either eat as a main or dessert. I thought that was a little strange and a bit off putting because I immediately thought of Ambrosia rice pudding from a tin. A few people ordered seafood pastas and all of them were on the sweet side. We were assured that this was a result of a superior lobster stock. Hmmm. The best part of the meal for me was their homemade ice creams.
On the other hand, there were some nice meals too. We were at PS Cafe on Dempsey Road twice! Once for dessert and drinks, and the following day for breakfast. It was described to me as Singapore's version of Alexis but I think the former is better. Or maybe I'm just bored with Alexis. Dempsey Road has long been known for its collection of antique shops. The buildings are converted army barracks. They are not as charming as Rochester Park but has its own appeal. PS Cafe's structure was built from scratch on a plot of empty land but I would never have thought the structure was new because it has a really nice 70's rustic and retro vibe about it. The desserts are fantastic! I especially liked the steamed lemon pudding with lemon curd. Brunch was pretty good too. We got there at 9:30 in the morning as we were told that the breakfast crowd on Sundays could get crazy. I liked my portobello stack with bacon and poached eggs. I also liked the sun streaming through the huge windows and the expanse of greenery in front of me.
The best meal of the trip happened that same day during lunch at La Braceria in the Green Leaf Area. It is a quiet and unassuming restaurant tucked away in a row of somewhat dilapidated shophouse. I loved the crazy mozarella ball that looked like a cross between a deflated balloon and giant poached egg. Pierce the sinister opaque exterior to release a river of creamy mozzarella. Eat simply with basil, black pepper and salt. Delicious! I loved the simplicity of the ricotta ravioli served with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of parsley. We also ordered baked fish with salt and lemon, clams in white wine, risotto, baked pork sausages, pizzas and more. It was worth it!
On the whole, the few good dining experiences more than made up for the bad ones. The good were really good. I enjoyed this trip to Singapore, especially as we had EJ to take us around. I want to go back to check out all the other restaurants that I missed. Okay maybe not all, since they are so many. I mean, I didn’t even make it to Vivo City and Sentosa. Hey, who knew Singapore stretched beyond Orchard Road?