Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

What a bad dream today is. I heard the announcers on the radio paying tribute to Michael Jackson this morning and wondered why. Then came news that he has passed away. The rest of the day I spent reading about the hows and whens and why's ... and then it hit me. It's hard to imagine a world without Michael Jackson. I still remembered the first time I "discovered" pop music. The radio played Beat It and I was immediately hooked. Michael Jackson had just released Thriller and I remembered how enamoured I was with his music. I collected every single album he had, sang to his songs, followed his every move from the tabloids and magazines. Then came the weird years. Sure, after the music, everyone wanted to see the "freak" that he's become and I guess for a while people forgot about the great music and performer and instead just saw the freak. CNN is giving him lots of airtime today and it brought back memories of the consummate performer who had us all enthralled with his music and his life. The thing is, I've grown older and discovered more singers and different music along the way. But one thing that has not changed is how much Michael Jackson has been a part of my growing up years at one time and how I now realized that he is irreplaceable. I just can't imagine the world without Michael Jackson. I think a lot of people, especially those who grew up with his music, feels the same way. May you finally find peace, Michael.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday's, 1-Utama Old Wing

Last Friday my hubby and I took a day off work to spend time with our elder daughter who has been sorely neglected ever since the baby arrived. It was a day that she got to dictate and decide what she wanted to do. And since it's a Friday, she wanted to have lunch at Friday's.
For drinks, I liked the Granny Smith Green Apple soda. It was very good!
Friday's always have such big servings which are just too much for Asian stomachs. So we took their offer of a 2-course meal for RM29.90. For the appetizer, we ordered boneless wings which are not actually wings, but are succulent chicken breasts coated with buffalo wing sauce. The chicken were quite delicious.
We ordered Fish & Chips for the main. We got 2 big pieces of fish atop french fries. The fish was very fresh and succulent! Yumm!

The Jack Daniels chicken strips was very nice. We love the sweet Jack Daniels-infused sauce and just kept dipping everything, including the fries, into it. Absolutely lovely!

Since Fridays' have the Kids Eat Free Everyday promotion, our daughter ordered Cheese Nachos served with tomato salsa. She really liked it, but then again, she likes everything with cheese.

And for the finale, we had the Mocha Mud Pie. I used to love this dessert with the chocolate ice-cream and gooey caramel sauce. It used to come topped with lots of cookie crumbs but this time it looks kind of different. So little cookie crumbs on top. Friday's is always a good place to go to when we hanker for good ol' fashioned Tex Mex cuisine. It's a fun place for the kids plus young and enthusiastic waiters/waitresses.

TGI Friday's : G203a/205/206, GF One Utama Bandar Utama Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Petaling Tel: (603) 77294822

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sushi Candy @ Shojikiya

We came across this newly arrived candy from Japan whilst out shopping last weekend. I've got to give credit to the Japanese, they sure are innovative! My daughter, who loves sushi, was so eager to make her own sushi so we got her a box.
The powdered candy is packed into 6 parts, each with a different color. Unfortunately, the instructions were all in Japanese so we had to play a guessing game on how to use it. Hot water is added into the powder to make it into a paste, then pressed onto the mould. We waited for a few minutes and got ourselves a piece of tuna. We would have been able to make more sushi if not for my daughter's over-eagerness. There were spilt candy powder everywhere.The candy sushi is fairly easy to make and my daughter had great fun. The best part for her is to eat her own made sushi .... that just happens to be sweet! The sushi candy can be found at Shojikiya outlets.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Restoran Kong Sai, Sunway Mentari

A colleague recently told us about how Kong Sai has been serving good food at reasonable prices. Since I'm always on the lookout for good food, the plus point of having it at reasonable prices is too irresistable!
Kong Sai has 3 outlets, the main branch is located in Paramount Garden whilst the 2nd branch is at Puchong. They have recently opened a third outlet at Sunway Mentari (opposite Tasty Pot Steamboat). We decided to try the new outlet since it is air-conditioned.
The steamed chicken is a house specialty at Kong Sai. The chicken was very tender and silky smooth. Drenched simply in soya sauce, this dish is a winner.

Another house specialty is the curry pork ribs. Kong Sai's version is very tasty with the somewhat thick curry enveloping the tender pork ribs. The curry goes very well with steamed white rice.

Another recommended dish is the Chicken Feet salad. At Kong Sai this appetising plate of sweet and sour flavours costs only RM5! This just about tops the cheapest Chicken Feet salad I've ever had anywhere!

The steamed lotus root soup is very sweet from the addition of sugar canes and cuttlefish. A bowl costs RM4.00 and comes packed with lotus roots and lots of peanuts!

Another type of steamed soup is the Pig Stomach with peppercorns. The soup is delicious and packs quite a punch with lots of peppercorns. This is the perfect soup for cold rainy days! This bowl of goodness costs RM9.00.
I also like Kong Sai's version of the perennial Malaysian favourite, the Kangkung Belacan. Their version has just a hint of spiciness which goes so well with the liberal addition of belacan. I actually found pieces of belacan in the vegetables. I like that everything is not completely blended. The pieces of belacan actually gives the simple vegetable dish quite a boost.

We also ordered the steamed egg which was very smooth. Our daughter likes this very much.A little miscommunication brought us this dish of fried egg omelette. Kong Sai is located at 25, Jalan PJS 8/17, Sunway Mentari, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Mobile: 012-3749913 (Alex Low), 019-3842922 (JB Lee), 019-9211686 (CCK)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kinnaree Thai Restaurant, Jaya One

My obsession with Thai food continues with our dinner at Kinnaree Thai Restaurant at Jaya One recently. Kinnaree at Jaya One is apparently a branch of the original restaurant in Bangkok so I was expecting good food.
The restaurant looks very posh and classy. I love the exquisite statues of the Kinnaree and the very beautiful frames of lotus leaves.
Now, about the food. We ordered the Yam Som O (Spicy pomelo salad with shrimps & chicken) and Som Tum Gung Sod (Spicy green papaya salad with fresh shrimps). The pomelo salad served here is an acquired taste due to the addition of thick coconut milk and toasted coconut flakes. The coconut milk made the salad very rich. It's very unlike the pomelo salads we've tried in other Thai or even Vietnamese restaurants. Needless to say, I don't like this salad at all.
The Spicy green papaya salad is served the way I like it. The lime juice gave it the tartness and sweetness from the palm sugar balanced it well. This is one dish any decent Thai restaurant can't go wrong with.
The waiter recommended we try the clear soup for our Tom Yum Kung as apparently it's better. It was a recommendation that we eventually came to regret because it sure didn't taste like how Tom Yum should taste to me. I have to note here that my mom makes a meaner Tom Yum.
For a less spicy dish, we ordered Kai Ho Bai Toey (marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves served with ginger and sesame sauce). The chicken was "over-fried" (is there even such a word?) which made it hard. It would have tasted better if it was not over done.
The Poo Nim Sam Rod (stir-fred soft shell crab in sweet and spicy tamarind sauce) fared much better. I requested for the sauce to be served separately to accommodate our daughter who didn't like spicy food. The spicy tamarind sauce was a good accompaniment to the simply fried crab.
We were recommended the two version fish (I don't know the name of the dish) by the waiter coz we cannot make up our minds whether we wanted our fish fried or steamed. I liked the steamed fish in lime juice and fried fish with a sweetish sauce is not bad either. This is actually the best dish so far!
The Stir-fried Kailan with salted fish was not too bad either, but then this is an easy dish for ANY restaurant.
For dessert we had the Thab Thim Krob which is served with slivers of sweet jackfruit.
I am a little disappointed with the food here but perhaps I expected too much. The dinner cost us close to RM300.00 which is very expensive for a meal that did nothing to quell my cravings.
Kinnaree Thai Restaurant12-1 Palm Square, Jaya One, 72A Jalan University, 46200 Petaling Jaya Tel: 03-7957 3910

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hazy days are here again

We are all breathing in air pollutants once again as the season for hazy days are upon us once more. It's especially worse where we live. My vision is blurry. There's nothing wrong with my eyes, it's just that the smog is so thick in our residential area I can hardly see what's at the end of the road. My daughter has had a persistent cough for days and my throat hurts.
Most people sit in front of the fireplace to keep warm but we sit in front of the air-cleaner in the hope of breathing in clean air. So you can imagine my frustruation when I read the papers this morning.
Close watch on farmers to check open burning
PETALING JAYA: Farmers in Kampung Johan Setia, Klang, are being kept under 24-hour surveillance to prevent them from conducting open burning of jungle waste.
The state government has also ordered the Klang Municipal Council to pay close attention to the farmers in view of the worsening haze situation, especially in Klang and Shah Alam, in recent days.
State environment committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the government has declared Johan Setia a zero burning zone to check the haze.
“The situation is under control with the council, Department of Environment and the Fire and Rescue Department monitoring the farmers,” she said.
Wong said the authorities were also prepared to face peat fires in the area as Johan Setia was prone to such fires during a drought.
The situation is very obviously NOT UNDER CONTROL as of this morning. This happens just about every few months. Is it not time to slap the farmers with a very heavy fine so that they don't conduct open burning again?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Restoran Thai Khuntai

This review has been sitting in my blog post for months awaiting editing. We stumbled on Khuntai on a whim. I read about Khuntai in the morning papers and decided we should try it out for lunch.
We had a hard time looking for Khuntai. It's located in a very quiet part of town, hidden from view near Jalan Gasing. Coincidentally, it's located just across the road from my elder daughter's former kindergarten although hidden from view.
Khuntai isn't fancy. In fact, the restaurant is bare save for the tables and chairs and is not air-conditioned either.
A pre-requisite for all our meals in Thai restaurants are the salads. I love my Thai salads so we ordered the Chicken feet salad and Som tam. The chicken feet salad is simple with deboned chicken feet tossed in lime juice. It's quite standard fare in Thai restaurants here, but unfortunately Khuntai's version don't quite live up to the mark.
The somtam (young papaya salad) fared better although it was too spicy even for me. The spiciness practically burned my tongue and you know how it is when that happens, the tongue gets numbed and I can't taste anything. If you must order the salads at Khuntai, be sure to tell them to go easy on the chillies!
We ordered the Fried Squid to counter the spiciness from the salads. The squid was coated in a crispy batter and was quite good on its own.
We also ordered soft-shelled crabs that came coated in a sweet sauce. I would have preferred the crabs plain because that would bring out its naturally sweet taste better.
The last dish is a vegetable that's simply called Thai Vegetable which came highly recommended by the waiter. Apparently this vegetable is imported from Thailand. We've never had this vegetable before but it has quickly become my daughter's favourite. This from a girl who doesn't eat her greens! The vegetable is stir-fried with scrambled egg. Again, the combination didn't quite work for me. I liked the vegetable for its sweetness and would have liked it even more if it's stir-fried plain. The egg just sort of added a richness to the vegetable.
We didn't manage to try their Tom Yam soup that day. However the other diners did and it does smell heavenly whenever the waiters pass our table with pots of tomyam. We would have to try that on our next visit. I like my Thai food intense and Khuntai don't exactly deliver. That doesn't mean I won't visit again though. I would for the tomyam.
Khuntai Restaurant is at 6 Jalan 5/44, Petaling Garden, Off Jalan Gasing, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel : 012-470 8872 & 012-470 7136.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is this turning into a food blog?

I just realized that my recent posts have been all about food. Hmm .... I didn't exactly set out to blog about food but look where I've veered towards. I started this blog mainly to write about my travels but unfortunately I am effectively grounded for the time being due to the baby. Hopefully I'll be able to travel again soon. I do miss travelling so much!

Little Taiwan 1-Utama

Months after we last ventured into 1-Utama, we found many new restaurants have opened on the Lower Ground floor of the new wing. One of those new restaurants is Little Taiwan. We were attracted to this restaurant mainly due to the bubble tea which my elder daughter loves.
Like many of the Taiwanese restaurants here, Little Taiwan serves mainly one plate rice & noodle dishes, and bubble tea, of course!

We ordered our favourite passion fruit & red plum tea to quench our thirst. We requested that they add the sago pearls & crystal jellies into our iced tea. The teas arrived in quick succession and in no time, we're sipping our refreshing iced fruit teas.

I've always loved the Salted Chicken served at Taiwanese restaurants so for my main course, I ordered the Salted Chicken rice which came with a side of Taiwanese kimchi. The cubed chicken were crispy and adequately spiced with salt and pepper. It came with crisp basil leaves (I think) that I totally enjoyed. I liked the Salted Chicken so much we ordered an extra serving.

Our next order was the Braised beef noodle which had tender slices of beef, huge cuts of carrot and radish in a flavourful sweet broth.I liked the Little Taiwan Claypot Loh-Shi Fun which came topped with slices of Chinese sausage, minced chicken, fresh beansprouts and chives topped with a raw egg. I liked the thick gravy that enveloped the smooth noodles although I don't care for raw beansprouts. In all, this dish is quite tasty.We also ordered the Taiwanese version of a sandwich. Unfortunately I can't quite remember what it is called although I think it's called coffin bread elsewhere. The thick slice of bread came with the "insides" dug out and filled with creamy chicken and mushrooms. Don't be fooled by appearances though, as the bread was only partly dug out, thus what you get is more bread than chicken & mushrooms.

The fried mushrooms were very addictive. The Enoki mushrooms were deep-fried till crispy and sprinkled with salt & pepper (same as the Salted Chicken). However, the 2nd time we were there the mushrooms were soggy. I guess this is a hit or miss kind of dish although I wouldn't mind ordering it again coz when they got it right, it's quite addictive.

The food at Little Taiwan does not come cheap though. The rice and noodles starts at RM11.00.

Little Taiwan is at LG325/326, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.Tel: +603-7729 5582

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sigh .... !!

I read this very scary piece of news in The Star today.

The sky’s the limit for Malacca’s Mat Rempit
MALACCA: The state has issued a challenge to youth nationwide especially Mat Rempit to take to the skies in a micro-light aircraft.
To make good the challenge, the state via Tabung Yayasan Melaka, is offering RM6,000 loans to those interested in obtaining their micro-light aircraft pilot licence here with the 4B Youth Movement flying club based in Sungai Rambai, Jasin.
“I hope the Mat Rempit will take up the offer and learn how to fly an aircraft instead of racing illegally on the roads and getting themselves killed,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said when opening the Malacca Air Carnival yesterday.

If it's not bad enough that they terrorize the roads, now we are encouraging them to terrorize the skies. Soon there'll be a new catchphrase - It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a Mat Rempit!!! Run for your lives!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mother's Day dinner at Mei Chi Xuan Restaurant, Dataran Sunway

Our Mother’s day celebration this year took us to Mei Chixuan Restaurant at Dataran Sunway.

The interior of the restaurant is simple but then again, we didn’t come for the ambience. We were there for the food and I’m happy to say that they didn’t disappoint.

We ordered 5 dishes which included Roasted Pork Trotter, Butter Prawns, Soft-shelled crab with salted egg yolk, Stir-fried Kailan, Shark lips and their house specialty, Braised tofu with needle mushrooms.

The braised tofu with needle mushrooms was the first dish to arrive. The mushrooms complemented the smooth tofu very well. We really liked this dish.

The stir-fried kailan was fresh and crunchy albeit a little bland. A more liberal sprinkling of salt would lift this dish. The pork trotter was really good. The meat separates easily from the bone with fat that literally melts in your mouth. The cucumber and mango chilli dip that came with the dish complements it very well. Very tasty!The butter prawns was a disappointment though. The prawns were big and fresh but I didn’t like the accompanying egg floss that seemed to be lacking something.I like the soft-shelled crab with salted egg yolk though. It was seriously addictive although a little oily. The best part was I didn’t have to get my hands dirty!The star of the show was the braised shark lips. We've never tried shark lips before and was recommended this dish by the restaurant. The shark lips is soft and gelatin-like and went really well with the gravy which was very much like sharks fin soup, except that it's without the fins. It was delicious and we mopped the whole dish clean. On my second visit recently with my colleagues, the restaurant recommended Eight Treasures Duck. I’m not a fan of gamey duck meat although this dish was pretty good. The duck was tender and stuffed with various ingredients such as mushrooms, roasted pork, chestnuts and a few other ingredients that I couldn’t make out. We also had the Lala in Superior soup. It’s not my favourite dish because I thought the ginger in the soup was too overpowering.
The steamed assam fish was a disappointment. The fish was a little tough, maybe due to its size and the assam gravy it came in lacked that special kick. I liked F4's version much much better.The house specialty of Prawn curry in coconut was good though. The curry was sweet and thick and went very well with steamed white rice. We also ordered the fish paste with asparagus and mushroom. The fish paste was springy, contrasting nicely with the crunchy sticks of asparagus and carrots.

My family really likes the food served at this restaurant and would definitely visit again.

Mei Chixuan is at No. 32A Jalan PJU5/10, PJU5, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel : 03-61416122, 016-2783089.