Monday, May 26, 2008

Junkily Yours

Its 6pm on Thursday and I am my latest playground Pavilion. As I walk from the car park into the building, I am greeted by a familiar smell that can only be deep-fried dough. Its been a while since I had a J.Co donut, feeling lucky I make my way over to the deep-frying also known as Lot 1.05.00, First Floor of Pavilion. What luck! Merely four people in the queue. Could it be that the donut craze is finally dying down like leg warmers and bubble tea?

The four ahead of me order a dozen each. The man behind the counter looks at me expectantly.  I tell him I only want three; pieces not dozen. He looks at me like I am deranged but hands me my donuts in a box fit for three anyway. Two things struck me as I paid for my donuts - 1) I have not blogged about these before 2) Am I in Frangipani on a Friday night? Any more friends of Dorothy and they will have to call it GayCo Donuts. So instead of cruising down Bintang Walk (as one does according to He Who Will Not Be Named), perhaps its worth checking out J.Co. If the eye candy doesn’t grab your fancy at least you can drown your sorrows in a sugary deep-fried ring of dough.

One can’t have donuts without coffee so I walk across to Gloria Jeans. I haven’t had much GJ coffee since the closest outlet I can think of is at Gleneagles Hospital and somehow it would seem morbid to go hang out at a hospital. Ever since Pavilion opened, Hunky and I have been coming to the outlet here because of their 2 for 1 opening promotion. The promotion has long ended but we like the coffee here and that it is away from the madness unlike Starbucks a floor above. I order a low-fat mocha because it balances out the calories in the donut. Denial is my middle name. Anyway, speaking of HWWNBN, who should happen to saunter by as I sit down with my cup of low-fat mocha? He is a great fan of Starbucks and Coffee Bean, although I suspect that has more to do with the view rather than the quality of the coffee. He absolutely hates J.Co donuts. “That’s not a donut, those are just fluffy pockets of nothing!” he moans and points at the box disdainfully and backs away quickly just incase he catches some sugar-borne disease. I have to agree with him, it really isn’t so much a donut as it is a semi-sponge that has been fried. The texture is incredibly light, if you close your eyes, you could be fooled into thinking that its just sponge that you’re eating. Out of all the flavours I have tasted, the best has to be the plain sugar glazed one. The rest are just so sickeningly rich. Having said that, if I was feeling super junky and hit with a major bout of PMS, I would have the pink-glazed, yoghurt-filled one. The white chocolate coating is irresistibly glossy when warm and the slightly tangy filling balances out the overall sweetness. If you like your cheese processed, you could also try their savoury cheese one. Fried dough with a Kraft singles sauce. Right. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Small Small

Rafs has been living in the Seputeh area for the past few years. Soon, she will be moving to a new place and finally be rid of any bad vibes left over from idiot ex. So while I am happy for new beginnings, I'm also upset that she only brought me to Siu Siu for the first time recently. How could it be that this thriving neighbourhood restaurant escaped our attention for so long? I mean, its literally down the road! Incidentally, there is also a superb nasi lemak stall nearby.

The night was cool and the place was buzzing with large Chinese families. After we ordered, my pupils dilated to the size of saucers watching mouth-watering dishes fly past our table. The food looked fantastic and I have to pat myself on the back for taking photos and not diving in immediately. We had sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken, homemade tofu with braised minced pork, oil-drowned aubergine in claypot and token vegetable. The pork resembled crisp pieces of batter and the lemon chicken even crispier. The pale and wobbly tofu was a delicious contrast to the garlicky pork. I could've had a massage with the amount of oil in the aubergine but it was utterly sublime and worth the potential heart attack. I've been back twice since and apart from that one time we had to wait 1.5 hours for our food, it was been fantastic! Great simple Chinese cooking in a relaxed and open environment. After dinner you can take a drive through the cemetery and entertain your fellow passengers with horror stories. 

Siu Siu is located in Robson Heights. 15-11 Lorong Syed Putra Kiri, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 016 370 8555, 016 309 8038. Closed on Monday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last But Not Least

Finally! I don't know about you but I'm pretty bored of blogging about Perth. Especially since I've taken such a long time to do it, all the enthusiasm has evaporated in this heat. Anyway, I have not been able to bring myself to eat anything vaguely Australian since I've been back. I did have one Italian meal the week that I got back which was bitterly disappointing. Hunky and I also paid RM36++ for 15 black Tasmanian mussels of four which did not open. Why, oh why? So I have steered clear since. My last post is about places I have revisited.

1. Little Creatures
It was a scorching day that we chose to catch the train from the city into Fremantle. We made a pit stop at Cicerello's because we couldn't decide between the two restaurants. CW insisted we have a "light snack" by which she meant a dozen natural oysters, a dozen kilpatrick and a huge portion of fish and chips! CW's eyes are definitely larger than her stomach. Miraculously we still managed to head over to Little Creatures to eat some deliciously spicy, piping hot mussels and two orders of grilled corn. Drizzled in olive oil, parsley and sea salt, it was the most delicious grilled corn I've had in a long time. The spicy mussels really do have a kick it and is actually tastier than the ones at Il Ciao. But then again, it could've also been the view of the sea and glorious sunshine. Don't you just hate me? Yeah I know. To wash it all down, Hunky had a pint of pale ale while I had half pint of Pipsqueak cider. Visit their website and be tempted for a visit.

2. Blue Water Grill

I had a wonderful brunch here with the girls during my last trip. I was looking forward to another dose of artery clogging eggs benedict but we got there too late for brunch. We shared half dozen oysters with chardonnay and shallot dressing, and another half dozen with citrus vodka, salmon roe and sour cream. The vodka actually came in a shot glass. Think it was a little early to be doing shots so we poured a little vodka over each oyster instead. For my main, I had beautiful almond crumbed seared scallops with dried beef salad. So fresh, succulent and sweet at the same time. The contrast of the crsip salty beef against the tender scallops was just gorgeous! Mmmm, I could've eaten a few more plates. Desserts were worth a mention especially the warm fig pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Absolutely to-die-for! It was like coming home to a toasty living room when its snowing outside. I just wish I didn't have to share it with 5 other people!

3. Red Teapot
Lem's little restaurant is still thriving after 4 years. The menu at Red Teapot has not changed, my favourite prosperous fragrant chicken and salted egg soft shell crab were still as good as ever. I'm too lazy to write about it all over again so if you are interested in reading about it, click here.

There were a couple of places which I didn't get round to blogging about. Maybe on my next trip to Perth. Until then...Yes, I can barely wait to move on. Next!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Almost There, All Things Italian

This is going to be the second last post on the Perth series. The final one being a recap on places I revisited and blogged about previously. This must be a relief to those of you who have been just short of calling me a tease. I know, reading about good food that can only be found 5 hours a way warrants some name calling. However, should you ever find yourself in Perth, voila! You would be so prepared for a feast!

One thing that I could not get enough of during this trip was mussels, well, and oysters. Fresh, plump and delicious mussels! Oysters and mussels are probably the only time when size does matter. For me, the smaller the better! I once watched an episode of Surfing The Menu wh
ere they ate an oyster(raw!) that was the same length as the span of one of the chef's hand. That man is over 6ft tall, imagine how big that horrible giant oyster was, lying across his big, able and manly hands. Swoon. Er, where was I? Oh yes, giant oyster. Yes, can't imagine eating an oyster that big. Shudder. I can see how oysters may have a high "eew" factor to some especially when eaten raw. I mean the more I start to analyse the soft, gelatinous, mucous-like consistency the more I am starting to feel allergic to them. However, when they are small and fresh like those in Perth, there is nothing that tastes quite as beautiful as natural oysters. I even converted Hunky. Initially, he watched with mild disgust as CW and I downed oyster after oyster like thirsty chinamen yumseng-ing whisky. By the fourth day, we convinced him to try oyster kilpatrick. You know Hunky, torn between indulging in those crispy and salty slivers of bacon and the grey-tinged mollusc lurking underneath. Once bitten, he was smitten! There was no stopping Hunky after that. He even lamented how much he regretted not joining us earlier. Awww.

One night, I insisted Laura take us to a restaurant for chilli mussels. Without any hesitation, she suggested Il Ciao in Applecross. Its a cosy neighbourhood Italian restaurant that only opens for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. Well, when you are as busy as they are, one can afford the luxury of such relaxed opening hours. The menu boasts wood-fried pizzas and hearty Italian fare. We shared two huge bowls of hot steaming mussels between the five of us. Unfortunately I was sitting next to Peter and felt like I needed to eat really quickly before he finished the entire bowl! Poor Pete got an earful from Laura about that. Sorry Peter! It was worth the risk of ingestion as I raced Peter to the bottom of the bowl. They were so juicy and yummy! They were cooked in a white wine, garlic and tomato sauce which we dipped freshly baked bread into until the bowl was completely dry.

In between, our pizzas arrived. One was boscaiola with tomato, mushroom, mozzarella, prosciutto and olives; the other mediterraneo was smothered with tomato, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, olives, eggplant and Italian sausage. They were both very good. Nicer than the one at Ecco Cafe but then these people do specialise in wood-fried pizzas. You can see from the picture how generous they are with the toppings and the crust was just right - like crispy flat bread. I wanted to try one of their pastas and which better than homemade canneloni filled with ricotta cheese and spinach smothered in a fresh tomato sauce. This was just gorgeous! I managed to eat a whole roll despite proclaiming over and over again how full I was. You know, kind of like those annoying skinny saying "I'm so fat, I'm so fat". Yeah, whatever. I wasn't all that full really because we still had room for dessert! Hunky's favourite pit stop throughout the trip - Gelare! He even snuck off without me once. I lost count of how many waffles he had but he was pretty sad he managed to miss "Half Price Tuesdays"! Geláre is an institution (not the mental kind) for quality homemade ice cream. It was right here in Western Australian that they open their first ice cream cafe in Fremantle in January 1987. I had my first cone in 1993 (that was when the franchise started) and have been in love ever since. It still tastes fanbloodytastic! The picture below is Hunky's waffle with rum and raisin ice cream. Mmmm...

For more information on Il Ciao, click here