Sunday, December 26, 2010

Albion by Mr Tickles

Early, much, much earlier in the year, I promised a guest blogger but he never quite got around to blogging about Prego. Not that its almost the end of the year, Mr Tickles has finally (better late than never I suppose) graced my blog with his post on Albion...

There are meals that are forgettable and there are meals that one remembers. Working in the Golden Triangle I frequent the food-court of a large mall where the bulk of my lunches invariably fall into the former category. The latter can then be sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly.

In a fit of unquestionable foolhardiness I told my colleagues that we should go to the Albion for lunch on Christmas Eve. This meant listening to my colleague P moaning about how far it was from the office. I assured him that it was MYR25.00 for a 3 course set lunch so it would be worth it. The three of us arrived at 1215 and were the 4th table to be seated. The couple seated next to us had ordered ala carte with champagne and were understandably being paid a great deal of attention by the 2 waiters present. So much so that we had to wait until 1230 until one of the waiters turned up and enquired as to our order. Salad or soup for starters, mac n cheese or chicken for mains and affogato for dessert. Orders taken, we then began the usual round of bellyaching and gossip that people in my trade are famous for. 1245 rolls around and no starters, no complimentary bread or drinks have arrived. I call the waiter over and ask him when our meal is expected to arrive. After a quick check he returns and smilingly informs us that “the chicken is not ready, sir”. When will it be ready? “20 mnuites, sir”. This is all said with a straight face, mind you. Mind you, perhaps the waiter hadn’t noticed the sign outside announcing that Albion has an Express Lunch for MY20.00 for 2 courses or MYR25.00 for 3 courses.


Pictures were taken at an earlier visit. Clockwise from top left: the cosy and sexy lounge upstairs; can't remember what salad this was; duck with braised red cabbage - yummy comfort food; quinoa risotto - an acquired taste, perhaps better in theory when wanting to eat healthy; roast pork loin - disappointing as the meat was dry and but the crackling was the saving grace

I know that as a diner in Malaysia one can only expect a certain service level and that is the sad truth of the matter. This is more or less the case no matter where you go. Cutting to the chase, my pumpkin soup was well presented but salty and I didn’t finish it. When the chicken finally arrived it was dry and tasteless. The mash was alright but then again how is it possible to stuff up mash? The affogato was fine. It did what it said on the box and it was a surprising highpoint of the meal. Since I had recommended the place I paid the bill (it contained an error but I had realized by that point that asking for it to be changed would result in a further delay) and we all agreed that we would never return here again. In all fairness it does represent a very good deal and most KLites would probably enjoy it. Just don’t expect there to be anything express about the service despite the owner being present. We left at 1345.

PS this meal was memorable because it was bad.


Albion recently won Best Independent Restaurant at the Timeout KL Food Awards 2010. I have never tried the express lunch but the three times I have been there (ordering from the ala carte menu), it has always been quite pleasant.

31 Jalan Berangan, Off Changkat Bukit Bintang. Tel: 03 21419282. Closed on Mondays. For more information, visit their website here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sweet Secrets with Anna Olson

If you are a fan of AFC like me, then you must be no stranger to Canadian celebrity chef Anna Olson. Best known for her delectable desserts on the tv series Sugar, AFC is now showing her current series Fresh. I love her easy going personality and handy hints in Sugar. I must say I have not watched much of Fresh. Top Chef has taken over my life. Anyway, never would I have thought that I would be meeting Anna Olson in person! AFC has brought her to our shores! The 2-day sugar extravaganza is this weekend 28 & 29 November and only costs RM330++ per person. And it includes a sit down lunch and free flow Mumm's champagne. Sugar and champagne, what a perfectly hedonistic weekend!

I was lucky to be invited to the media preview of Sweet Secrets with Anna Olson at Le Meridien Hotel yesterday where we were treated to a sneak peek of whats to come over the weekend. In 2 hours, she demonstrated 3 recipes, gave very useful tips, fed us sugary treats and made us feel like we were old friends. All in 2 hours. I absolutely loved the butter tart. Aren't you just quivering with delight just at the sound of "butter" and "tart". No, its not actually a tart with butter filling but its just as wonderful and rich as it sounds. It is an intense kind of sweetness that almost makes your scalp itch. Its a good itch! She also demonstrated how to make Maple Walnut Ice Cream which looked surprisingly easy. Alas, the ice cream machine was not working but magically like on tv, "heres a batch I made earlier!" It was surprisingly not very sweet at all and there was a lot of crunch from the walnuts. In between she shared very helpful hints from how to crack an egg perfectly to why one needs to relax glutens. I'm sure she will sharing many more tips this weekend. Our last treat was an Apple Date and Cheddar muffin. I think most Malaysians would love this combination of sweet and salty. The muffin has a lovely moist texture but it was just a tad too sweet for me. I think I will omit the dates when I make it next time.

Anyway, there are still some seats left so hurry up and log on to the website right now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meat Cravings at Prime

1kg prime rib - meltingly tender
So I went to the gyne on Tuesday and guess what? I've put on 3.5kgs since my last visit which was only 2 weeks ago. And the best part is, the baby has only gained 300 grams. Wonderful! The other 3.2kg would be me then! My gyne looks at the screen and says "Hmm, your baby could do with some weight gain. Eat more meat and less chocolate and ice cream". Gasp! How did she know?! I just haven't felt like eating much meat. I've been craving mainly carbs. Anyway, I went and bought more Anmum, Enfamama and Mamamil after that guilt trip my gyne gave me. And its started already hasn't it? The pressure to be a good mum. Blaaaah! Anyway good thing Mikael and I were heading to Prime at Le Meridien for dinner that evening. Its been awhile since I last visited and the great thing about Prime is that they always have new beef on their menu. To start we ordered the lobster bisque (RM45++) and prawn and lobster cocktail (RM65++. I've been having cravings all week!). For mains, we ordered the 1kg prime rib (RM480++) that comes with your choice of vegetables, steak-cut fries and sauces to share between the four of us. It says for 2 people but really, its a mountain of beef! Hunky's lobster bisque came with a puff pastry hat. I wasn't keen on the pastry but the bisque itself was quite lovely! It was full of flavour without being cloyingly rich. My prawn cocktail salad was kind of dismal. Serving it flat on a plate probably didn't help. A thin fan of prawns and avocado slices with two very tiny slices of lobster hidden beneath some leaves. Sad. The prime rib was superb! The meat was nicely charred and oh so tender! Meat cravings fulfilled! I was very disappointed to see that they had removed pecan mud pie from their dessert menu. It was the best dessert there! Instead we had to settle for crepe suzette and hot chocolate cake with stracciatella ice cream and warm chocolate sauce. They were okay to end the evening with but mud pie would've really hit the spot! Yum...

prawn and lobster cocktail - spot the lobster
deliciously creamy and smooth lobster bisque
For more information, visit Le Meridien

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Hunky

Tim's Nuts by FBB - deliciously moreish!
Not to blow my own horn or anything but if there ever was a "Best Wife" contest, I think I would definitely have a good chance of winning the title. At least thats what I keep telling Hunky. Think of it as brainwashing. Say it often enough and he will start believing it! With only 4 weeks left to baby arriving, I figured I'd do something special for him before our social lives become officially OVER. And my god, when did I lose my glow and sport some bloat instead? I suddenly put on another 2kgs and noticed my ankles have started to swell. Oh dear... I really hope what they say about breastfeeding is true. I need to lose the kgs quick! Anyway, back to Hunky. I organised a indoor golf party for him at City Golf in BSC last night. He had no clue but getting him to go to City Golf was challenging. He kept asking me why I wanted to go have a look. Anyway, he was surprised and very happy. We played 9 holes on St. Andrews course. Even the simulator was difficult so I can only imagine what it must be like playing for real. I blame my bump being in the way. We had delicious cake by FBB. Thank you FBB for making it on such short notice, love you! It disappeared very quickly but thankfully asians being asians, everyone stopped and left us just under a quarter of cake. Phew! What would we eat for breakfast otherwise?

Today is his actual birthday and I decided I would make beef wellington. I only decided this morning and who bloody knew it takes quite a bit of fiddling! I only started at 5pm. Bloody mushrooms took forever to reduce. And then at 6:30pm I read the instructions on the store bought puff pastry that it only takes 20 minutes to cook. WTF. The beef would be too bloody rare! So frantically wrapped the beef in foil and bunged it in the oven for 30 minutes. Let it "cool" for 10 minutes before slapping on the mustard and chicken liver pate. Wrapped it up faster than an origami master and after a quick brush of egg wash, off it went into the oven for 20 minutes. Phew. Just nice! I was pretty happy with the results. The bottom did get soggy as expected but everything else turned out pretty nicely. I don't think I will bother with the chicken liver next time. It was overpowering the duxelle which was a shame because it was really lovely and aromatic. Served it with some blanched beans tossed in bit of butter, roasted potatoes and carrots baked in foil with wine. So much for for 2.5 people. Guess we will be having roast beef sandwiches for the next few days!

Happy birthday my dearest Hunky! Am I the best wife or what?!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Crabby Evening at Old Klang Road


Don't you just love old wives tales? You have to wonder what the logic is behind some of them. My all time favourite, "Eat more tofufah because your baby will have smooth and fair skin" and of course the counter saying "Don't eat soya sauce because your baby will come out dark". Yes, Chinese people are obsessed with skin colour. Hey, its 2010. Not back in the day where fair means rich. If we are still going by that then fat girls should still be in no? Its a sign of prosperity mah. Anyway, I've also been told not to have prawns and crabs because my baby will have (literally translated) "many hands" or dor sau. Seafood or not, I'm pretty sure every child will be curious and will move around and want to touch everything. So with that in mind, off I went with the girls to have crabs at Sin Chua Kee last Saturday evening.

All six of us piled into Lian's Mazda 6. Its a very roomy car! Well the tallest one drove and the pregnant one got to sit in front. Yay! On the way there, we already decided that we would have salted egg crab, marmite crab and chilli crab. It was a toss up between chilli and cream. I haven't had chilli crab since I was a child so I voted for that. Some things are better left as a fun childhood memory. We also ordered a token vegetable, their signature golden beancurd with minced pork and guiness pork ribs. We noticed that almost every table had ordered fish. I'm guessing its probably their specialty but we already ordered so much protein. Next time will definitely try the fish.

The restaurant was heaving with families from around the neighbourhood. Good thing Lian had booked a table. The food came out fairly quickly and we quickly devoured the veg, tofu and pork. The tofu was lovely. Just what I wanted to eat with steaming hot rice. Crisp on the outside and gloriously smooth and wobbly on the inside. The ribs were tender and flavourful. We had to wait a further 10 minutes before the crabs started coming out. First up the marmite. I found the sauce a little runny for my taste. I'm used to having it sticky and treacle-like. However, the flavour was still there and we ploughed through it in no time. Then came the salted egg crab. Mmmm, how can salted egg go wrong right? Very aromatic and moreish. Lastly the chilli crab which was okay. The taste was pretty good but I prefer the other two. We were such gluttons! After the last crab was devoured we ordered two more salted egg crab! I wish we didn't. It was just a little too much. Between all that food and the baby, it was very uncomfortable!

The bill came up to just under RM300 with 3 cans of coke and chinese tea. Very reasonable considering how many crabs we ate!

47 Jalan Kuchai Satu, Taman Lian Hoe, 58100 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03 7981 6023

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shuraku

Clockwise from top left: pork and chicken skewers with raw egg; yummy tamago roll topped with seared salmon and chilli oil; aromatic pork belly skewers; pork and kimchi salad with lettuce; bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes

I am counting down the days to childbirth. It seems like only yesterday that I discovered I was pregnant and yet here I am, with only 7 weeks to go. Am I having anxiety attacks? Hell yea! Its not so much that I'm not ready (too late now isn't it?!) to be a mum, right now the main focus is getting through the labour. Paaaaiiinnnnnn! I'm just very chicken when it comes to pain. I need a jab when I visit the dentist, needless to say, I will need a big jab when the time comes. Gulp. To get my mind off things, I think about all the things I will be able to eat! Blue cheese, coffee and sashimi! Oh sashimi, how I have missed thee. Eating Japanese food just isn't the same. Having said that, I didn't feel like I was missing out when we dined at Shuraku last night. It was my first time at Shuraku and let me just start off by saying that the food was intensely satisfying! The restaurant is located on the second floor above Maybank. Despite the vague frontage and it being a Sunday night, the restaurant was pretty happening with families around the neighbourhood. We were told the restaurant recently expanded into two lots and with that, a whole new menu. We had many different yakitoris all of which had an amazing charcoal aroma. More often than not, I find yakitori in Malaysia reeks of oil or they are just over seasoned. Which is why I've never been a big fan, until now that is. Love the pork belly! Love the bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes! Love the pork and chicken skewer with raw egg sauce! (Unfortunately I couldn't eat the egg but the skewer was lurvelee!)

Bari really spoilt us and the dishes just kept on coming. I liked the tamago roll with lightly seared salmon and chilli oil on top. Sweet, salty and spicy! All of us really liked the tofu with unagi on top. We all agreed that it didn't quite taste like tofu and there really was something about it that reminded us of foie gras! Minus the guilt, what a good substitute. What I was especially happy about was when we were presented with hiyashi chuuka. I love this dish. I used to eat it all the time at Dontaku. Its done a little differently here but it tastes just as good. Very light, clean flavours. Just the thing after all that grilled meats. To end the meal, homemade goma ice cream. I don't know much about Izakaya food but I do know that I haven't quite had a meal like that in Malaysia before. I can't wait to go back to try more dishes! Thank you Bari for being such a lovely host.

Clockwise from top left: token vegetable - asparagus skewers; crispy unagi and cream cheese maki; the simple and cosy interior; pretty butterfly plates; my favourite - hiyashi chuuka!; and the wonderful faux gras dish.

Shuraku is located at 13-2 Jalan Solaris 1, Solaris Mont Kiara off Jalan Duta Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. For reservations, call +603-6203 0561. Only open for dinner from 6:30pm. Closed on Mondays.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chef Choi - forgotten favourite

Chef Choi has been around for years. Yet, its one of those funny restaurants that have never quite taken off and you wonder how it manages to stay around. Maybe its bad feng shui or maybe its the unwelcoming feel to the bungalow in that empty car park. Maybe the frontage is not noticeable enough along that busy stretch of Jalan Ampang. I have no idea. I just know that the food is pretty darn good and its kinda depressing dining in a Chinese restaurant that always empty. I mean, its a Chinese restaurant for goodness sake! Where are the ambient noises? Clanging of plates, dozens of families talking over each other, children running amok, etc... This was just...unnatural. I haven't been to Chef Choi in over a year, or has it been two? Anyway, its been a long time and I was glad to see that it was still open for business. I just love the crispy aromatic duck here. Its so wonderfully tender and moist, and the bones! My god, they are so incredible deep fried that you can actually eat them! Even my 5 yr-old niece was tucking into the flavourful and crispy bones. The other dish I really like here is sweet and sour pork. Yes, yes, the mat sallehs have killed this dish. But waaaay before they paired it with egg fried rice at a local corner takeaway shop, this was the perennial favourite of every child. And com'on, you know that kid in you wants to order it. Just like you order char siu pow "for the children" but you secretly like it yourself. Anyway, the sweet and sour pork here is just divine! Its only very lightly battered and despite it being quite lean, it still tender and juicy with just the merest hint of a crisp batter coating. Gorgeous! And since we are on the topic of mat salleh Chinese dishes, the lemon chicken here is also amazeballs! More often than not, this dish can taste like detergent but the one here is a lovely balance of zesty lemon and sugary sweetness. The chicken is also deceptively un-oily, making one believe that this might be a healthy dish!
I celebrated my birthday here with my family recently. It was a weeknight and we were the only ones there. I would like to think Hunky booked out the entire restaurant for me but sadly it wasn't so. My mum used to come here quite a bit with her mah jong kakis but they have long since moved on. They are not a very faithful bunch, preferring to go to the newest spots in town. Anyway, we all agreed that overall the food was very good although seafood is probably not their forte. I only say this because I am comparing it to other restaurants that have live seafood. We ordered the crystal prawn cooked in superior broth and we were all quite disappointed as it turned out to be har gow without the skin. Not my cup of cha. The signature tofu was kind of weird too as there was more fish than tofu. The kids loved it, it was like eating a springy fish ball. The stuffed and fried squid was interesting. Tasty but overpowered by the copious amounts of garlic. We ended the evening with noodles being my birthday and all. I like their signature egg noodle with seafood. I'm not crazy about it but its pretty tasty and satisfying.
I've been twice this year and I am probably heading over with Hunky for a dose of sweet and sour pork soon. If you haven't been, please do but you must remember to order the crispy aromatic duck!

Chef Choi - 159 Jalan Ampang. Tel: 03-2163 5866
Its on the same side as Citibank, right next to the Chinese temple and before Pelita. Opposite Corus Hotel, look out for the pedestrian bridge because its right infront of the restaurant.
Visit their website here

Read more reviews on Chef Choi :

Monday, August 23, 2010

Down Memory Lane

I don't know what possessed me to buy a packet of Green's Carmelle from Hock Choon today. For those of you who born in the mid 80's and beyond, you probably have no idea what I am talking about. Carmelle (creme caramel) is an instant pudding that has been around for ages. Obviously people still buy it since they have it to this day. It was something my mum used to let me make myself, unsupervised. That was a big deal. So easy - heat up some milk, pour in the powder mix, stir and pour into moulds. And the best part was, two hours later dessert would be ready! Cuz and I use to complain how stingy they were with the caramel provided to create that lovely brown sugary topping. When I made opened up the box, I see nothing has changed. Why so stingy with the caramel? Anyway, I could've sworn it tasted different. I remember it to me much smoother, like flan. This had the texture of firm tofu. Not altogether unpleasant but I can see why I used to like it so much. Its like milk pudding with caramel sauce. Kinda tacky but brings back good memories!

Just recently I was craving ice lollies and was surprised to see Tropicana was still around. Although I don't quite remember it being so krytonitely green! Its still as good as I remember it to be. But what I really miss is Lion stick. Does anyone remember that from the 80's? It was just orange flavoured ice but somehow I can still recall that tangy sweetness with such clarity. The other thing I miss all the time is artic roll. Vanilla ice cream wrapped in a blanket of strawberry jam and swiss roll sponge. It almost makes me want to cry. You know why? Because I just found out after doing a search on google that they have recently reintroduced it back on the UK market in 2008! Crap! I could've had it the last time I was there! Read more about it here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Fat Duck - finally!

Red cabbage gazpacho with pommery grain mustard ice cream. This unassuming dish was probably one of my favourites because it is so simple yet so sophisticated on the palate. It was so refreshing and lovely. Jelly of quail, crayfish cream with chicken liver parfait, oak moss and truffle toast. The waiter brings out a bed of moss and places it on our table. My first thought was, we aren't eating this are we? Then the waiter places our dishes infront of us before pouring what looks like dry ice over the bed of moss. Its like being on a the set of sci-fi movie! Dry ice overflows the table leaving a trace of earth aroma around us.

There is something sinister afoot in the sleepy town of Bray. Mutterings of a mad scientist dabbling in molecules and mayhem! Strangers from all over flock to see this phenomenon that is The Fat Duck. I've been wanting to go for the longest time and finally we had good sense to book two months in advance. Or rather Lem did. The first time she called she got through immediately but they told her she can only book 60 days in advance. So exactly 60 days before the intended date, she called only to be told it was completely full! In the end, we got a table for the following day which was the day before we left London. Talk about cutting it close!

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding writing about my experience at The Fat Duck because I really am at loss for words. There are some experiences that simply can’t be articulated. Describing it at length seems to takeaway the magic. Its like describing a magic show to someone, from the trick to the lighting and music. You know its just not the same as being there. All I can say is that it was worth £150 that was a 4-hour dinner and show really. Any one who has a kid in them would enjoy dining here. I think even the most jaded diner would warm to the experience and remember that there once was a santa claus and all things magical.

I'm wasn't sure what I was expecting to see at the restaurant but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was quite ordinary looking. Crisp white table cloths and waiters in smart uniforms, it could be a brasserie anywhere. All the better to focus your attention on the main star I suppose. The maitre d seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and was very informative about the menu and asked very thoroughly if there were any dietary restrictions. I told him I was pregnant and he very efficiently explained the things which I might not be able to have and came up with replacement suggestions. Impressive. When the bread basket arrived, I got pale pasteurised butter while Lem and Hunky got a very luscious looking unpasteurised version. First up, a mysterious palate cleanser in the form of nitro poached lime and green tea mousse. While we popped these curious green gems in our mouths, the waiter spritzes lime essence around us to "further bring out the lime in the mousse". I knew then the show had begun.

Snail porridge with jabugo ham and shaved fennel. Salmon poached in liquorice with artichokes, vanilla mayonnaise, golden trout roe and manni olive oil. Just looking at this dish was so wonderful. The salmon arrived with a shiny black lacquer only to reveal that lovely coral pink within. So pretty! Roast foie gras with rhubarb, crab biscuit and braised konbu - divine! Powdered anjou pigeon with blood pudding and confit of umbles - I couldn't eat this as I found the pigeon alarmingly gamey but then again, think it was just the baby. The blood pudding was gorgeous! It tasted like velvety chocolate cream! How does one make something so unattractive appear so luscious?!

For me, there were some more amazing than others both for the showmanship and taste. I think we all agreed that the mock turtle soup was by far the most fun because it was so elaborate and well thought out. We were given a brief introduction to how mock turtle came about and a quick reference to an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. The wait staff first laid a soup dish of various strange things before us. Then teacups were brought out and filled with hot water. This was certainly getting “curiouser and curiouser “. We were then presented with a glass box which contained one gold pocket watch for each of us and were given instructions to dunk the watch into the teacup in manner of Mad Hatter and March Hare. Except that this was no ordinary pocket watch; it was infact the most gorgeous consommé, condensed and shaped into a disc and gold leaf was added to create a watch! Isn’t that just so fucking amazing?! We were like small children watching as our watch dissolved into a rich brown consommé. We then poured it into our soup dish and voila! Mock turtle soup. Honestly, I can’t even remember what was in the dish except that there were both contrasting and complimentary textures within a really nice consommé.

The amazing mock turtle soup experience

The other one I really enjoyed was “sounds of the sea”. By far the most surreal experience of the day. If Magritte was to cook you a meal, this would probably be it. Conch shells were placed before us with ipod shuffles cleverly placed in them. We were told to put on the earphones while we ate what looked like part of a beach on a glass platter. Here I had the non sashimi version but I don’t think I lost out in the experience as whatever they substituted the fish with worked wonderfully. The sand was A-mazing! It was salty and sweet at the same time and definitely a lot more pleasant than real sand! And together with the audio experience, it was altogether quite a melancholic experience. I let my mind drift off and guess what? I actually got sea sick and that quickly snapped me back to the restaurant. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. It was really quite something. My other favourite was the hot cold tea which was self-explanatory. It really was half hot and half cold. How did the do it? Who the fuck knows?! It was just seriously disconcerting having half your mouth feel hot and the other cold! Crazy! It sounds so simple but it packed a big “wow” punch!

BFG - Heston's take on black forrest gateaux with kirsch ice cream. It was delicious but considering the amount of effort, it was little lackluster for me. "Sound of the sea" - a thoroughly disorienting but enjoyable experience. Whisk(e) wine gums which came stuck onto a frame with a map of origin. So cool but so gross, it was like eating a shot of whiskey. Listening to the conch pod. Taffety tart caramelised apple, fennel, rose and candied lemon. For the first time ever, the desserts failed to thrill. Wish I had had the space for bacon and egg ice cream!

Time flies when you are having fun! It definitely did not feel like we had spent three hours in a restaurant by the time we got to dessert. I was looking forward to the bacon and egg ice cream but it had been replaced with Heston's BFG. Black forrest gateaux like you've never had before. We noticed the table next to us had requested for it. Dang! We were sorely tempted but we were so full by then that we figured we would not have been able to appreciate it. The bag of sweets came last. It was aptly titled "Like a kid in a sweet shop". We couldn’t fit anymore in so we took our bag of sweets home with us. The level of detail is beyond what I ever expected. Among the assortment of sweets, there was one called Queen of Hearts that was sealed in a small white envelope. And when I say seal, I mean the posh wax kind of seal! Inside was a super slim white chocolate shaped and detailed like a playing card and it was filled with lovely tart strawberry jam! Taking the first bite was difficult but shame to waste food eh?

Trains run regularly from Paddington to Maidenhead and the journey takes between 30 mins to 50 mins depending on which train you catch. From there its a 5 minute cab ride to Bray. Oh don't try walking. Judging from the cab ride duration, you would think its walking distance when its actually about an hour's walk along a treacherous motorway. We were a little early so we decided to have a drink at the pub next door which is also owned by The Fat Duck. Even the pub menu sounded divine, very comforting pub grub. I know its not the same but if you want to just wing it without a reservation, at least you can be assured that there will be one good meal one way or another. Or you can always visit the other Michelin star restaurant in Bray. Yes, 2 in one small town! How lucky to be living in Bray!

The Fat Duck - click here to go to their website.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tom's Kitchen


Yes, I'm still on my London posts. I have a really good excuse for not blogging. As all my blogger friends already know, I am pregnant. And the first three months were really food-unfriendly to put it nicely. To the point where just thinking about food or looking at pictures would make my stomach churn. So there was no way I was going to blog descriptively without throwing up all over the keyboard. But hey, I'm into my second trimester now and the appetite is back! So I've been saving my posts on Tom's Kitchen and The Fat Duck to really give it a post it deserves.

So after all flurry of activity leading up to the wedding, it was nice to chill out back in London. My appetite was not great and the only thing I could really stomach were cold sandwiches and yoghurt. I don't think I've ever eaten so little in London before. Anyway, one night in Hunky and I were watching Iron Chef UK and Tom Aikens was on. I have to admit, I had never heard of him up until then. I thought he was pretty amazing and oddly sexy in a very intense sort of way. So when Hunky suggested we have lunch at his restaurant, I had my fingers crossed that we might catch a glimpse of the sexy chef. Be still my lustful heart. Ahem, anyway... Tom's Kitchen is tucked away on one of the back streets of Chelsea, not too far a walk from King's Road. It has an open kitchen and relaxed atmosphere. No sign of Tom Aiken but that didn't stop me from straining my neck looking out for him. Sigh.

I really wished I had more of an appetite because everything sounded so good on the menu. I only managed main course (lame!) while Hunky had an appetiser, main and a side on my behalf. How does he stay so slim? Sickening! Hunky started with pan-fried foie gras with duck egg served sunny side up and crisp slices of Ventreche bacon. Who would've thought of putting such a rich combination together? It was sinfully good! That runny yolk, crispy salty bacon and sweet buttery foie gras, genius! Next up was Rhug estate cumberland sausages for Hunky and for me, slow roasted pork belly. We also had a side order of truffle and parmesan chips. I don't how we ended up with more carbs when I wanted some greens. I blame Hunky. Anyway the sausages were really lovely. I don't know how to describe it because how descriptive can you be when it comes to sausages right? I will say that you have to taste it to feel the difference. The classic combination of onion gravy and mash with the sausages just make it a dish that you want to eat over and over again. My slow roasted pork belly was unexpected? It arrived looking like a brown millefeuille with a side of creamy mash quenelle. The skin was still surprisingly crisp eventhough it looked like it was going to be chewy. It was tasty but it didn't blow me away. I loved the melt in the mouth texture but I was not crazy about the mustard grain mash. The side of truffle chips was definitely worth ordering. Can't go wrong with hand-cut deep fried spuds covered with shavings of truffle and parmesan right? I would've loved to have gone again but we just didn't have time. We agreed that we would definitely go back again the next time we are in London. Lunch cost around £65 for the both of us including a bottle of sparkling water and VAT.

Tom's Kitchen - 27 Cale Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3QP. Tel: 0207 349 0202
Click here to visit their website

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Gem of a burger in Farnham


Back in Malaysia for a couple of weeks now and was hit by a nasty bug that resulted in 2 days of fever, back ache and complete misery. Talk about bursting the holiday bubble. Sigh, anyway, back to blogging. So I left off at the wedding in Farnham so will continue with a post on gourmet burgers at a pub called Mulberry. We had arrived by train from London and were told that the hotel was walking distance so we went on our merry way. Not far from the station is The Mulberry pub. I was intrigued by the burger menu and managed to convince the bridal party to have dinner there that night. Ironically, I didn't quite feel like eating a burger because I had been eating so many sweets with the bridesmaids when we were packing the sugared almonds for the wedding. It was a Thursday night but the pub was heaving with diners. I had a salad and picked on several burgers around me. Martin's in particular was superb! He had The Highwayman which consisted of gouda cheese, sauteed mushrooms, fried egg, bbq sauce and mayo. Nothing like really good melted cheese. I really enjoyed my two bites worth. Someone ordered the vegetarian burger called Bun Laden. The patty was made of chickpeas and topped with houmous, chilli mayo, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, red onion and mixed salad. It wasn't great because the whole thing was just so carb heavy and everything just tasted like chick pea.
Hunky had the one with bacon, of course. It was called The Farmer John and had emmental cheese, onion rings, hash browns, mustard and mayo as well. It was pretty darn good. My favourite was The Smoke Signal which had oak-smoked cheese, smoked bacon, apple crisps, rocket and smoked paprika mayo. Never tasted anything quite like it. Gorgeous! Overall, the burgers here are way better than any I've tasted in London. Forget those commercial chains like GBK and Hamburger Union who seem to have really cut corners since they first opened. The patties here are made in house and are juicy with a nice chargrilled flavour but what really makes it are the superb fresh locally sourced ingredients. That really makes a difference. The burgers are priced between £7-£10.

The Mulberry Inn, Farnham - click here to go to their website

Hunky and I came across this plaque when we went exploring the town. LOL!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An English Wedding

Checklist for An English Wedding
1. Venue 
Preferably in the outskirts of London, in a traditional manor-type with idyllic sprawling grounds.
Check. Northbrook Park in the gorgeous country side of Farnham, only an hour by train from London.
1a) Check grounds
Check. Ah yes, the English garden in full bloom. Very nice!
2. Cute as a button Flower Girl
Check. The groom's adorable niece
3. Hand bouquets
Pretty in pink peonies
4. Guest List & Dress Code
Invite good looking people but always make sure they are not quite as good looking as you are. Any guests who attempts to steal the limelight with inappropriate attire will be kicked out. 

Check. Yeah, stay out, you poser!
5) The Cake
designed to keep the guests in their seats while the speeches are going on.
Check. Three tiers of chocolate cake with three separate layers of passionfruit, raspberry and chocolate filling. Top tier was reserved for the bride and groom. Gorgeous! The best chocolate cake I've had in a long time. Made with real Belgian chocolate! So lovely! Cake from www.cakeindulgence.com
6) Decorations
Check. Assorted sweets not just for display. Good for keeping energy levels up!

7) And lastly, the Bride & Groom

Check. Looking beautiful and so radiant! 

We woke up to a sunny day on the 14th May. Hunky's sister was going to be married to her boyfriend of five years. Its my first English wedding and I still can't wrap my head around having a "wedding breakfast" which was actually "dinner" at four in the afternoon. Despite it being sunny, it was still rather chilly at 14C. The venue at Northbrook Park was lovely. Just what I imagined it would be. It was so nice to just wander around the garden as all the plants and flowers are in full bloom. And the peacock and peahens were the perfect addition to the plush backdrop. After the exchange of vows, we had cocktails and canapes in the garden. Once they finished arranging the tables, we were ushered back in for wedding breakfast. Hunky and I had chosen one of each from the menu so that we could share. Hunky had asparagus with quail egg and smoked salmon while I had the stuffed portobello mushroom with spinach and creamed leek. The colour of the asparagus dish was eye-popping. The bright coral colour of the smoked salmon, grapefruit and cocktail sauce was incredibe against the leafy greens. Taste wise, not as much wow as it looked but still good. The mushroom was not bad but I never like my mushroom cold because the texture gets all spongey and wet. 

The mains were roast rack of lamb with red cabbage and dauphinoise potatoes and globe artichoke risotto. The risotto was slightly under done but tasty nonetheless. The clear winner of the day was definitely the lamb. It was cooked just right for me, pink but not bloody. The slight acidity of red cabbage went very well with the rich lamb. And the potatoes! Damn, I could've eaten the whole tray! Dessert was a lemon meringue pie with a compote of summer berries. My god, the berries were even more tart than the tart! Good pie with a nice crisp meringue crust which I prefer to an italian meringue one. After the very satisfying meal, came the speeches. The bride's mother gave a very short and sweet speech while the best man, who is the groom's brother, went to elaborate lengths for maximum embarassment. Hilarious! Cake was served, booze was overflowing and the DJ was belting out the best dance tunes. It was strange to be dancing the "night" away when it was still light outside at 9pm. By this time, my belly was full and feet aching. And when the conga lined formed, it was sign of things to come. Once everyone started to do the macarena, I knew it was time to go. It was a really lovely wedding and so civilised! We left around 10:30pm, just an hour before the whole thing ended. And everyone helped pack up too. So civilised! 

Thank you M & M for including us in your special day. We wish you both the very best for the many, many wonderful times ahead!
 

Friday, May 07, 2010

Evergreen Strawberry Tart

Oh strawberry tart, how much do I love thee? Let me count thee ways!
(strawberry tart before adding the jam glaze)

Is there ever an occasion that would not benefit from the presence of a good tart? Whether the edible or titillating kind, I think we can all agree that a tart is always fun. Hunky and I entertained some friends this week and no surprise, he made risotto. I reminded him to make sure he cooked extra this time. When we had Bald Eagle and Lemongrass over last, there was barely enough the first round. Then Bald Eagle beat everyone to seconds and that was it. Not a single grain left in the pan. Sigh. Oh well, food always tastes better when there isn't enough to go around right? I took care of dessert and after looking through my usual repertoire of recipes, I decided to make a fresh, creamy and luscious strawberry tart. I haven't made one of these since university and let me tell you, that was quite a while ago. I made a sweet pastry dough, added a layer of chocolate ganache, filled it with creme patisserie, topped it with fresh strawberries brushed with diluted jam. Scrumptious! Even if I do say so myself. Below is the recipe. It may seem like quite a lot of work but everything is pretty quick and easy. Its definitely worth the effort!

Sweet tart dough (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
You will need a loose base 9" fluted pan
  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 110g very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in food processor and pulse a couple of time to combine. I don't have a food processor, my mixer worked just fine.
  2. Scatter pieces of butter and pulse to combine
  3. Stir the yolk to break it up a little and pour into mixture
  4. The dough will barely hold together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped.
  5. Butter the tart pan and press the dough into the pan. Do this fairly quickly as the dough will start feeling oily in this heat of ours. Pop it into the freezer for at least half hour.
  6. Heat up the oven to 190C. Prick dough all over with a fork. Butter a piece of foil (shiny side) that is large enough to cover the pan. Place it firmly over the dough shiny side down and bake for 20-30 mins depending on your oven. Mine was a little too brown on one side.
Creme patisserie (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g unsalted butter, cut into smallish cubes
  1. Bring the milk to boil in a small saucepan
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of milk to temper the yolk mixture.
  3. Whisk in the rest of the milk and place pan over medium heat, whisking all the while. It will thicken quite suddenly. Don't worry if it looks very thick and "dry".
  4. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for a few minutes before adding in chopped up cubes of butter. The mixture will become smooth and silky.
  5. Pour into container and place piece of cling wrap over to prevent a film forming. Refrigerate once cooled.
Chocolate ganache
  1. Melt 125g of plain, dark or cooking chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Pour in 1/2 cup of cream and whisk together. Don't worry if it seizes up, just keep whisking and it will become smooth and glossy again.
Assembling the tart
  1. Pour in ganache and spread evenly around the bottom and sides. Place in fridge to firm up quickly.
  2. The creme patisserie will be quite stiff from the fridge but a good whisk will restore it to its creamy glory. Pour into tart and level the top before placing strawberries on top.
  3. Dilute 1/3 cup of jam with 1 tsp water and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon or brush over the top of the strawberries. Voila!
Happy eating!

Luscious, tarty, sweet and delicious, not unlike me!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Not Another Italian Restaurant"

Right to Left: Lovely fresh bread from the Favola kitchen; shell pasta baked in parchment paper; moreish and rich wagyu lasagne


Yes, that was my first thought when I heard that Al Nafourah was being demolished and replaced with a hot, spanking, new.... aiyo Italian again? Favola is the latest edition to Le Meridien's list of fine restaurants. I was fortunate enough to be invited to dinner last September along with several other food bloggers. Yes, nine months on, I'm finally blogging about it. And despite my initial scepticism, the meal is still fresh in my mind. For one thing, I found it really refreshing that the flavours were fresh and simple. And despite it being in a hotel, there is something quite warm and down to earth about the place. I'm just a little fed up with all these lun si Italian restaurants which is so wrong in my humble opinion.

What I remember most about the dinner was the seared scallops on a bed of chopped sauteed cauliflower. It was such a surprise because I think all of us thought it was risotto. It was nice to have the crisp texture of the cauliflower against the plump scallops. I also like the risotto with lobster. What amazing flavour! However, the rice was over cooked for me. Otherwise it would've been really good. An interesting dish was the mussels stuffed with chicken in tomato sauce. It sounds a little strange I know but it works. The chicken was very tasty but I think it was the novelty of it that really sold us. Definitely unusual and a talking point for me anyway as I've never had anything like that before. The shell pasta baked in parchment was light and had a lovely tomato sauce.

Left - mussels stuffed with chicken in tangy tomato broth. Right - plump and juicy seared scallops on a bed of cauliflower, gorgeous!
A couple of days ago, Sabby and I went to Favola for lunch. We didn't go for the crudo bar buffet as we were both craving for pasta. The set menu looked good too but we decided not to be greedy. Cuz joined us for lunch so we had a pasta each. I ordered the capellini with shrimp, chilli, mushroom and parsley. Sabby, ever the carnivore, went straight for the wagyu cheek lasagne and Cuz ordered gnocchi with crab dumplings. We were starving and fortunately our waitress was very swift with the piping hot bread and assorted dips. I lurve the bread at Le Meridien. It is oh so gorgeous! There was a really nice potato and pumpkin dip that we devoured within seconds. Lately I haven't had much of an appetite but when my pasta arrived, f%$# me sideways! It just hit the spot! I mean it was such a simple dish but the flavours just came together. It was tasty, subtle, appetising. In fact, I didn't want to share and Sabby liked it so much, we decided to order one more! Its hard to explain because its not as if it was anything special. It just goes to show when something simple is done right, it can be truly beautiful.

Left - simple but so lovely, capellini with shrimp, parsley, mushroom and chilli. Right - gnocchi with crab dumplings with pepper sauce.
The lasagne was as good as I remembered it to be but to be honest I would not have noticed it was wagyu if you didn't tell me. The gnocchi with crab dumpling was actually very nice but I didn't realise it came with a roasted pepper sauce. Its a personal thing because I really don't like peppers in any form except raw or grilled. So despite hearing mixed reviews about the dip in quality, I have to disagree. Every dish was still very clean on the palate and the prices haven't really gone up all that much. Its slightly cheaper than the various Neros but not as much as bang for your buck as Opus or Larisata in terms of pricing. Who would've thought hotel Italian restaurants could be unpretentious eh? Thank you for not having clanging plates and singing waiters.

Favola is located on the 8th Floor of Le Meridien Hotel. For more information, proceed to their website

Saturday, May 01, 2010

French, Italian and Chinese in Bangsar

Pressroom's sexy interior in Bangsar Shopping Complex

There has been much hype about Bangsar Shopping Complex’s revamp. The blogosphere is alight with posts on new eats and of course the much talked about gourmet village. I’ve visited Kuriya and House & Co but I was most keen to try The Pressroom. I've heard mixed reviews and was keen to finally dine there. Initially I thought it was press as in news. After studying the logo, I realised it was the other press. Ah. See what preconceptions do to you? The décor is tastefully done and definitely draws in the more cash-rich crowd of suburbs nearby. The menu is a mixture of French and Italian dishes ranging from escargots to pizzas. It was lunch time and I wanted something simple. There is a separate lunch menu which didn't grab me so I lunged for the nicoise salad instead. A simple salad that can be super delicious if done well. ZY and Sis ordered the red snapper, seabass with ratatouille and squid ink risotto with scallops to share.

My side dish of seared butterfish pretending to be nicoise salad

I was pretty surprised when my salad arrived because it looked more like a side dish and where the hell was the nicoise in my salad? I did not order seared butterfish on a bed of boiled potatoes, quails egg and tomatoes with three stems of fine beans. WTF! If you’re going to jazz it up, at least point it out in the menu to avoid confusion. I don’t know about you but I get very put off when something does not satisfy my craving. Anyway, the snapper came wrapped in an envelope of foil. Very promising as the maitre d came by to slice it open releasing the perfume aroma of curry leaves. Very appetizing! However, the taste was a tad on the bland side. Sis thought it didn’t taste very fresh but ZY thought it was okay. The seabass on a bed of ratatouille was met with much disdain. I don’t know why they ordered it in the first place. I hate food like that because it reminds me of airplane food. It was okay. The fish was nicely cooked and the ratatouille was as exciting as ratatouille gets. The best dish of the day was definitely the risotto. Surprisingly, despite the inky black colour, there wasn’t much seafood taste. Oh it was definitely tasty but more like a cheesy, salty taste rather than a seafood one. The scallops were nicely seared but a tad stingy with only one each between the three of us. Nice ambience but food is lackluster in my humble opinion. I’m still stinging from my RM22++ side dish “nicoise” salad experience. RM220 is a lot of money to spend on lunch that ain’t great (price included two soft drinks and one tea).

The Pressroom is located on the ground floor of BSC, next to LaBodega. Tel: 03 2095 8098


I also ventured to One Bangsar last week to meet my bff from school, Jellybean. I’ve known her since Standard One! We always laugh about how she is a principal now when she was such a lazy bum in school! Ironic. Anyway, we met up for lunch at House Of Tang. One thing good about One Bangsar is that there is always parking. It’s a smallish dim sum menu which was fine by us as we didn’t stray from the classics anyway. Woo kok, cheong fun, har gow, siew mai and char siew soh. There was a bit of communication with the waitress as she spoke only mandarin and a smattering of English. I asked her for lime soda with no sugar. At first she said it was indeed fresh juice but when I asked for no sugar, she said there was already sugar added. Fresh huh? Anyway, what eventually came was honey calamansi with water. Oh well. It was close enough, ish. The dim sum was a bit hit and miss. The woo kok was lovely and crisp with gorgeous wispy deep fried threads of batter but the filling was a tad on the sweet side. The har gow passed the test but the siew mai was kind of tough and meaty. The red rice cheong fun which was a complimentary dish was surprisingly good. Nice crisp texture on the inside surrounded by a delicate red rice skin. We both agreed the char siew soh wasn’t nice. The pastry had a very strong lardy taste to it which was pretty off putting. We both managed a bite and that was it. We shared a tofu fah and that was quite lovely. Very smooth and delicate. Lunch came up to RM50 which was okay I guess. I don’t think I would rush back to have dim sum here but it is a nice and serene place for lunch. It was full but it wasn’t hectic and noisy like more Chinese restaurants

House Of Tang - 63B Jalan Ara, Bangsar Baru 59100. Tel: 03 2282 1111

Friday, April 02, 2010

White Radish Cake


Above left: just about to be steamed. Why waste? Might as well steam some corn too.
Right : fresh from the wok

I'm down with the flu how about you? Whenever I'm sick I always feel like cooking. So while I was in the supermarket yesterday I noticed they were having a special price on white radish. Not that they are expensive to begin with but I took that as a sign to attempt making white radish cake. Something I've been meaning to try for quite some time already. Its just one of things that should be on the repertoire of every Chinese woman no? Like a moment from Joy Luck Club when mother hands guarded family recipe down to daughter. Only my mum doesn't have anything "traditional" to pass on really. I can make you upside down sheperds pie and square potato pork with croutons? I always thought I was eating Chinese food at home. Who knew? So I turn to Madam Choy. Madam Choy is not a friendly neighbour nor my best friend's mum. She has a beautiful but simply presented cook book called Madam Choy's Cantonese Recipes. Reading through the book you can tell that the recipes are lovely and wholesome with very simple and subtle flavours. I decided to use her recipe and just added some chinese mushrooms. If you are looking for a recipe that will produce something most Chinese restaurants would then this is not the recipe for you. I've looked online and I think the ones who use chicken granules would probably come pretty close. This one has a subtle taste that is definitely moreish. I've put in measurements where it says "season to taste" to save all you tasting raw rice flour mixture. Eugh. Average salt eaters will find this subtle. If you drown your stuff with chilli, soy, salt, pepper, then please double the seasoning!

1kg white radish, grated
600g flour
8 cups water *
100g dried shrimp, soaked and chopped *
2 chinese sausages, skin peeled and diced finely
5 dried mushroom, soaked and diced finely
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 heaped tbls sea salt
3 tsp brown sugar
3 tbls soya sauce
white pepper

* Water - original recipe calls for 9.5 cups but after checking out other recipes, I noticed most of them asked for the moisture to be drawn out from the grated radish. Mrs Choy doesn't mention anything about this so I just reduced the water and saved myself squeezing duties.
* Dried shrimp - I had tossed them in the oven after soaking to dry them. They were so crispy and aromatic after so I didn't bother frying them.

1. Heat some oil in a wok and fry mushroom, shrimp and chinese sausage together. Add grated radish and five spice powder, continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Add in the salt,pepper,soya sauce and sugar.
2. In a large bowl, mix rice flour with 8 cups of water. Use your hands to mix it thoroughly and smooth out any lumps.
3. Pour into wok and continue cooking. This is the last chance to adjust the seasoning! Pour into a oiled tin and steam for an hour.

This recipes makes 2 x 9" round tins.

The texture produced from this recipe is fairly soft. I think adding tapioca flour would probably make it sturdier. Still, its a pretty simple recipe base that you can build from.

Stir-fried with spring onions and egg for brunch. Moreish!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ipoh revisited


Above left; token vegetables - my favourite lotus root, gingko and macadamia nuts. Right - beautiful and gorgeous suckling pig.

I just read back on my last post on Ipoh and it was only a year ago. So why did I feel so much had changed since? I guess people build things real quick over there. There are buildings that seem to have sprouted overnight. Anyway, its been a whole year since I treated my taste buds to some seriously mouthwatering food that only Ipoh can provide. I missed Chinese New Year so I went back for Grandma's 91st birthday instead. I lured Hunky along with the promise of big, fat, juicy prawns and suckling pig. And boy he was one big happy Hunky. We did our usual lunch pit stop at Tien Chun. Thinking back on the noodles is making my mouth water. Lovely, happy sar hor fun. Beautiful, nourishing broth and silky smooth chicken that would make Lians green with envy. I had forgotten how smooth the noodles were and I had quite a bit of trouble gripping them with my chopsticks. So gorgeous!

I don't know what it is about Ipoh but I always feel sleepy in the afternoon. Hunky and I actually passed out and only woke up in time for dinner at Pusing Public Restaurant. It was a full house as usual with two weddings going on. We were treated to free entertainment via karaoke warbling. My aunties who organised dinner over ordered as usual. Blood circulation was cutting off at the waist and the chairs creaked under our weight after all that was consumed. I had copious amount of suckling pig which is always so good here! Not too much fat, super crispy skin and tender meat. Sublime! The other dish that was very good were the noodles. Lots of plump bean sprouts and pork! Of course the night would not be complete without Mrs. Chong's marbled butter cake. Its still pretty good but the icing seems a lot oilier than I remember. The following day we had breakfast at grandma's that my mum had bought for us. Hunky had curry mee and I had mee hoon with sar kok foo pei. Not a big fan of deep-fried goodies but even I have trouble resisting these deep fried babies. For lunch, a few cousins along with a token uncle went to have lunch at Lee Ho Fook. We went there to have one particular fish which they had run out off. Fortunately they had some other really nice dishes like the sweet and sour pork and prawns done two ways; the heads were steamed with egg and the bodies were stir-fried. So freaking good! Especially the heads. They were chock a block full off creamy flavour! I still look at the picture and sigh longingly. Til next year!

Above left - my favourite food picture for now. So freaking delicious!!! Right- the stir fried decapitated bodies. Plump and bouncy!