Thursday, June 28, 2007

Max! Enjoyment - Vol. Two

Continuing from Vol. One, our mains were served. Max being the only chef around was truly a gentleman, taking orders from the ladies first and also serving the mains to the ladies first.
My Shiraz Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks with Mushroom Ragout served with Polenta(RM60). Just like Lyrical Lemongrass, I really enjoyed this dish. When I had the first bite, it was truly an extraodinary feeling as the beef just seem to melt in my mouth. I love mushrooms and the mushrooms with the wagyu beef cheeks just made this dish even more unforgettable. The polenta was delicious with the gravy and I even took a slice of the soft bread given earlier to mop up the gravy! I was nearly in tears of happiness when I took the first bite and nearly in tears of sadness as I took the last bite as there was no more! LOL! Jason and Allan took a bite and they were speechless and wide eyed!
I couldn't remember whose order this was. The lamb cutlets chargrilled, accompanied by garlic confit and fine port laced mint sauce (RM50). I had a bite of it, courtesy of Mavis and it was tender and flavourful. Must try this the next time I visit Max!.
Jason's order of Two Duck Breast (RM40) - pan roasted and hickory smoked duck breast with berries marmalade. The serving for this though might seem to be a tad little for a guy's appetite. Took a bite and again this was another winner. Cooked just right, the duck meat was tender and moist. Seems mostly all the mains were good, I'll have to come back a few times more to try them out!
Allan's U.S. choice of tenderloin beef chargrilled with duck terrine and red wine sauce (RM70) was also heavenly, just like Nigel's and Allan's Just Heavenly cakes. Ha ha....
We then ordered desserts and Nigel had the warm Valrhona Chocolate Souffle with vanilla bean ice-cream (RM20).
Jason and I shared a dessert again and we ordered the Crisp Kataifi Pastry wrapped strawberry with passion fruit - coconut ice cream and seasonal fruit salad (RM18). The coconut ice-cream was sherbet like, sweet and sourish and the pastry went very well with it. I also enjoyed the slices of fruits.
This was Lyrical Lemongrass's White Chocolate Fondant Tart and she enjoyed it.
We ended the night with a Cowboy shot. On googling it, found out that this drink has a rather rude name! here if you want to find out what it's called. It's a mix of 2 parts Butterscotch Schnapps and 1 part Bailey's Irish Cream. Good stuff!

I found the food at Max! truly wonderful and the desserts nice. The mains were definitely great and outshone the desserts. I'll definitely pass the word around to my friends and will be paying Max a visit again. It was yet another night of good food, good fun and in good company! That seems to be the standard whenever the group of us meet ;o) Oh, and the's contagious!

Max! Kitchen & Wines
27, Tengkat Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-21418115
(Do call for reservations and check operating hours - closed on Sundays)

Other reviews on the gathering:

You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants. ~ Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Max! Enjoyment - Vol. One

After going to JHP's launch, Jackson dropped Jason and I off as he couldn't join us for dinner at Max! Kitchen & Wines. Looking forward to my first dinner at Max!, I was already thinking of what to order a day before. Having heard and read so much about Max!, most of us were quite excited. Arriving at Max! for dinner, I still couldn't make up my mind. With the 14 of us, Max, the owner and chef was definitely kept busy! I took quite a number of photos from this place and decided to use Picasa (thanks Lee Ping for the tip! I decided to finally give Picasa a try and I simply love it now!) for this round of photos.
Seated on my right were Joe & Nicole, followed by Boo_licious & Splashie Boy, Bald Eagle & Lyrical Lemongrass, Nigel, Mikael aka Hunky & Paprika, Mavis, Soo Yin, Allan and finally Jason. We sat at the long table (the upper left corner of the photo above) and had the entire area upstairs to ourselves.
As we all waited for our food, conversations were criss crossing across the long table on various topics by different people to different people. Laughter bursting at irregular intervals in different section of the long table must have got the patrons downstairs wondering which group of people were responsible for such mayhem! LOL! By the way, the bread that was served (to further keep us busy while we wait!) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasted great!
As we wanted to try more variety of food, Jason and I shared a starter so that would leave us room for more! We ordered the Yabbies Lobster with sauteed avocado, garden chive and white balsamic (RM35). The meat was well infused with all the flavours and we really enjoyed this dish.
Of course, with a group of floggers around, the usual food paparazzi struck again! As we had different orders across the table, we went around snapping pics of each other's food! Soo Yin had the Charred Porto Bello Mushroom with crispy okra & fresh greens (RM22)
This was Allan's U.S. Sea Scallops with mojama and red & yellow capsicum salsa (RM35). Nigel asked Allan how come he didn't get to have a bite of it and Allan replied it was just too good to be shared! Ha ha ha....
This was Boo_licious's (I think...?) summac flavoured yellow fin tuna loin steak from the char broiler with marinated caper berries and orange balsamic (RM45). It was somewhere at this point that we had extra lighting with the helpful hands of others and their handphones! Hence the white light, shining down like a light from heaven! Ha ha ha...

To be continued...Vol. Two

Max! Kitchen & Wines
27, Tengkat Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-21418115 (Do call and check operating hours - closed on Sundays)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just Heavenly Pleasures Launch

As 23 June arrived, us floggers were glad to be invited to Just Heavenly Pleasures' launch. Arriving near to 3 pm, there was already a crowd and Jackson, Jason and I tried to look out for familiar faces. We spotted Kampung Boy and City Gal and soon there it was again, another floggers' gathering of some sort right there itself at JHP! Boolicious of Masak-Masak & Splashie Boy, Fat Boy Bakes, Lyrical Lemongrass & Bald Eagle, Joe The Craver & Nicole were all there too. We also managed to meet some new floggers; Pam of Foodyumz, Swee San of A Self-proclaimed Foodaholic, Soo Yin of sooyindotcom, her friend who doesn't blog but loves to take photographs, Mavis and Sugar & Spice of Masala Heaven.

Of course, Nigel and Allan were busy tending to guests and to the event itself. At one point, Nigel was getting a bit nervous as he was going to give a speech. When the time came, he did just fine with Allan at his side.
My fellow "desserters", lend me your ears!

After his heartwarming speech, Allan also spoke briefly. The guests then were treated to a short but wonderful performance by The Wicked Pitches of which Nigel and Allan were members of before they had to take a hiatus.
The two cutest couples around, enjoying the show...Joe The Craver & Nicole and Kampung Boy & City Gal, (I seem to have distracted Kampung Boy though...hee hee!)

But of course, apart for some light finger food like fried wanton and chicken wings, JHP wouldn't be JHP if they didn't serve some of their usual goodies. This was the highlight of the event! Ha ha ha...
The lovely Key Lime Tarts...Not too sourish and a delight.
Here's the tinier version of the Choc Cheese Cake; one of my faves since my first visit to the store.
Profiteroles! They were yummy, furthermore they are now different to me since that night. LOL!
They were serving something different from the norm for their cold drinks, I was telling myself that it tasted like ginger. As I walked around, I notice these were on the shelf; Citrus Ginger bottles for sale. Nice and refreshing stuff!
I forgot to ask Nigel/Allan was this was. Coffee beans? These were on sale on the shelves too.
I tried to take photos of this lovely SugarWorks creation by one of the staff of JHP but as you can see, Jackson and Jason decided to be funny at that time! :oP

Well, we stayed around for about 2 hours and took photos of mostly everything in sight! ROFL...That's the way it is with us bloggers/floggers! After taking photos of food, plants, flowers and people (with our new found flogger friends), we bid farewell to Nigel & Allan and thanked them for the invite.

I've said it before and I'll say it again this time round;

"Wishing you Great Success and Endless Heavenly Pleasures"!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Marvelous Malacca - Part 3

I had managed to catch an episode of Taste With Jason on the AEC Channel on Astro (thank goodness there were subtitles!) a few months ago. In that episode Jason (the show host, not our Ipoh Mali!) was in Malacca and the highlight was on this man and his wife who runs a stall in the lane at the side of Jalan Bunga Raya (next to Madam King's departmental stall).

I was mesmerised by the story of how he started the business over 30 years ago. Initially business was not that good and he kept trying to improve the taste of the sauces which he prepares himself. Different sauces were made for different dishes; cockles, sotong kangkung, beancurd skin, century egg, tofu, fish balls and other shellfish. Fast forward to present day, his stall is still in the lane but with endless patrons from one generation to another!

Since I was in Malacca, I told myself that I would definitely have to try the food here. Roping in enthusiastic YSF and reluctant TML, we made our way there after packing the popiah. Knowing well beforehand that the stall is in a dark narrow back lane and that we would have to be sitting on little wooden stools close to the ground, we bravely stepped into the lane. There was another stall offering the same fare further into the lane and ample lighting along the lane. I had expected it to be a lot worse and on seeing this, told myself "Hey, this is doable!". Looking at the area around me, I felt that I had taken a step back into time.
Open from 7pm till 11pm, closed on Sundays

We were surprised to see people sitting on plastic stools and eating on plastic tables at first. Then we realised that business was just too good and that they had to add these on top of their usual seating arrangement. As we wanted to get into the thick of the action, we wanted to sit on the wooden stools and were lucky that there were seats available right in front of the man himself, Mr Khoo.
Each plate gets Mr Khoo's personal attention, putting the right amount of sauces to ensure that each plate served would be relished by his customers (checkout that kerosene lamp and the Taste With Jason poster on the top left corner! There are also framed articles about his stall adorning the wall).
See that empty red wooden stool? That is where I sat. There will be the occasional motorbikes traveling through this lane and it would almost grazed our backs!

As I sat and ate in front of Mr Khoo, I chatted with him. He let me try each sauce separately on its own and even the top grade sesame seed oil. He uses the freshest ingredients for the preparation of the sauces and all food stuff are top grade too.
His family and relatives help out at the stall too. Note the little plate of sauces with crushed nuts, those are for the cockles and other fare like siput sawah (snails), kepah and kijing (mussels).
There are plastic buckets along the table where customers can throw the shell (and other stuff?) into after eating. YSF had the cockles and she said it was very fresh and when eaten with the sauce, it was THE BEST!
A mixture of some plum sauce with calamansi juice, chili and a range of other stuff made this the best plate of sotong kangkung (cuttlefish & morning glory vegetable) I've ever eaten!
The beancurd skin (foo pei) order came with a mixture of prawn paste and other sauces that made me a fan of Mr Khoo! Ha ha ha....Truly wonderful stuff!
Let's just say, to eat here, one would have to discard all hygiene rules and just simply enjoy the food. For the faint hearted who find it hard to walk into this lane, you will miss out on the great food. For the brave ones like us, we were rewarded with one of the best tasting food (thanks to the exquisite sauces and fresh ingredients) ever! As we left, Mr Khoo said goodbye and I told him that I will be surely visiting him again the next time I'm in Malacca!

To be continued .... Last day in Malacca

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

It's been another year since I first used this blog to put up a post for Father's Day. Though my Dad has not been around for about 9 years, I still miss him very much. I have lots of memories of the things we did together, just you and me, Dad! It's like it was only yesterday that I went with you to Yut Kee for brunch...enjoying our chicken chop together. And how you use to wait for me downstairs if I was coming back late. I could see you from afar standing with your arms akimbo. Short of holding a shotgun, hahaha.....

How you used to pack goodies for your three kids each time you came back from work. I was so happy when you loved the big belt buckle with a Red Indian and the words Geronimo on it (which you wore proudly). I got it for your birthday from Central Market back in 1987, you made me so happy by simply showing me that you loved it. There are so many things I recall but I guess I will write them out in my own time. Dad, you might not have known it then but you really did make my days brighter.....each and every single day! Even thinking about you nowadays makes me smile...but sometimes I tear, recalling the happiness you gave me and then feeling sad for the fact that you are not here with me. I love you Dad! Happy Father's Day!

"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Dad" - Anne Geddes

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Marvelous Malacca - Part 2

Trying to meet the request of my flogger sista, Precious Pea, I'm continuing with Part 2 in my Malacca series. She wants me to finish posting before she makes a trip to Malacca this month end so that she can take notes and be prepared.

For teatime, we decided to look for Nadeje as they are the originator of the Mille Crepe. Us Klang Valley folks have been enjoying Food Foundry's version in Section 17, Petaling Jaya all this while. Nadeje's version is more fluffy and less creamy, which I prefer. However, some still prefer Food Foundry's.
G23-25, Jalan PM4, Plaza Mahkota. Tel : 06-283-8750 (Somewhere in the middle of the four blocks of shoplots, next to Mahkota Parade on one side and Hotel Sri Costa on the other side). Closed on Mondays.
We tried two slices between the three of us; the original and the raspberry version which I really liked. I placed an order for a whole Raspberry mille crepe cake (which I collected the next day).

Being Saturday evening, we looked forward to walking Jonker Street since there's a pasar malam, "night market" in the area every weekend. I love pasar malams and this was my first time at Jonker Street's (I had to miss out on this place the last time I was here!)
Came across this stall and just had to get a small order of the fried abascus seeds (shin poon chi)
At RM2.00, it was pretty good. Made from yam and flour, it's on the peppery side and had enough garnishing.

After that we decided to walk to Jalan Bunga Raya and look for the famous popiah (fresh spring roll) stall that I enjoyed so much during my previous trip here. The popiah seller had changed its operation time and is now opened from 10am till 1 pm and 5pm till 9pm and has further increased the price (RM2.20 small and RM2.70 for a big roll). It's located in front of Madam King's departmental store.
It's huge and best eaten kebab style.....a big roll can be a meal to some with smaller appetite! And why do I love this popiah? It has chunky crispy pork lard in it! You can request for more from the popiah seller. Its turnip is on the sweet side and I could do with less tofu, quite a lot of it in the roll. Since our order were packed together, I had to put one into a plastic bag and eat it from there, hence the yellow plastic bag in the photo. It might not look that appetising that way but the popiah still tasted just as good!

To be continued - Jalan Bunga Raya's Lane Adventure!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Marvelous Malacca - Part 1

Setting off early morning and having made a stopover in Seremban for the beef noodles, we arrived in Malacca almost noon time. We decided to check into The Baba House and found the place easily with YSF's navigation as she's a regular Malacca visitor. It's my first time staying here and I like this heritage house, transporting me back to the old days . That's how it is with Malacca when one is there, one feels like they have taken a step back in time. Thanks TML for doing the reservation! At RM95 a night, the room was simple, however, the RM25 for the extra bed YSF slept on has long passed its "shelf" life. The mattress was thin but on the other hand, one can't expect much. Would I come back and stay at The Baba House? I would as it's smack in the middle of town and it was so convenient getting around on foot. But don't get the extra bed! :o)
The garden area of The Baba House
Oh, I got to see this colorful trishaw AGAIN! There were more during my earlier trip before.

After checking in and dropping off our bags, we decided to look for Hoe Kee to have chicken rice balls. Located nearby, we walked about 10 minutes and waited in line for our table.
4, Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker St). 7.30am-4pm, closes last Wednesday of the month.
I definitely enjoy the rice balls here at Hoe Kee as compared to Famosa Chicken Rice Ball. The rice balls here were more fragrant. You can taste the chicken stock with a slight hint of ginger and garlic. The chicken was tender and tasted good with the chilli sauce and thick soya sauce albeit the chilli sauce was a bit on the watery side.

For desserts, YSF said that she wanted to go to Donald & Lily's Corner for a bowl of Cendol. She told us that it was nice and simple and not too rich. Located about two blocks away, it didn't take us long before we treated ourselves to this cold icy treat.
Behind No. 31, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Tel No : 06-2848907)

There's actually a sitting area upstairs for those who order their food. For customers who are just having cendol, they can only sit at this one and only small table at the back of the stall (or stand around). I felt a bit uncomfortable and claustrophobic but the sun was out in full force and I didn't feel like getting burn that day.
My view of the stall from where I sat.....
I found the cendol pretty normal though the Gula Melaka (Palm sugar) was nice. I suppose all Gula Melaka, especially eaten in Melaka would be nice! :o) There were quite a number of people ordering the cendol; I suppose Donald & Lily have their own fans.

To be continued : The original Mille Crepe

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Food Porn OR Food & Porn?

When I received a dinner invitation for Thursday night, I was sad that I had my weekly meeting and would have to probably miss it. However, as fate would have it, I was told that it would be okay if I showed up later. And that I did, picking up Jason and Teckiee from Mont Kiara, we arrived at the residence of the elusive baker, Fat Boy Bakes (FBB) for a taste of his home cooked food.

As FBB greeted us at the gate, we were led down a flight of stairs; with some stringed colour lights that lit the stairs dimly and to where the others had already gathered. Opening the door, the three of us were greeted warmly by Audrey, Allan & Nigel, Tummythoz & Phitoy, Joe The Stripper Craver, Boo_licious, Lyrical Lemongrass, Precious Pea and Jackson. FBB's wife was also present and both FBB and her were going in and out of the room; preparing food for us throughout the night. Jackson was kind to change his seat to the piano seat which we then both sat on together. That set the stage for the rest of them to pick on us for being lovey dovey "husband & wife"! Ha ha ha...As I looked around, I was in awe of the food laid out before me; complete with a printed menu :-
7th June 2007
In Honour of My Fellow Food Bloggers

To Start With

Homemade Pizza with
Pork Bacon, Basil, Mushroom and Crabmeat

Assorted Cheese Platter

To Fill The Stomach

Crispy Deli Roast Pork
Vermicelli Pasta with Roast Duck
Medley of Garden Vegetables with Quail Eggs
Chicken and Mushroom Pie

To Prepare Us For Board Games

Rum and Raisin Tart Served With Pure Cream
Flourless Chocolate Cakes with Molten Centres

The rest of the bloggers were nice enough to wait for us before they started with the rest of the food after they had their pizzas. It was also more so for the fact that they waited for us so that we could all take photos of the food before it was "attacked". Love you guys & gals! FBB had saved a pizza for the latecomers, but there weren't any crabmeat on it unlike Precious Pea's post. I'm not complaining, I was so grateful that I was there!
The pesto based pizza crust was nice and being home made, it came with a generous topping. Let's just say, FBB can open a pizza restaurant with this recipe of his!
The salad, was absolutely wonderful and me, being a quail egg fan found each bite so delectable. The dressing was a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and jam. Who would have known that this would be such a great combination!
The vermicelli pasta with roast duck was absolutely delicious. Done with lovely garnishing with my fave olive oil and roast duck...Jackson and I had seconds (uhh...I think Jackson had a third actually. He he....)
Here you have Jackson and his Big Pieces. We were served with smaller pieces earlier and when those were finished, FBB brought out a plate of these huge pieces of roast pork which got Jackson very excited at the sight of them!) The skin on these pieces were so crispy, it was almost an out of this world experience!
The Chicken and Mushroom Pie was really yummylicious too. With a crust layer that was just right in thickness, the filling was nice and plentiful. What was good about it was that it wasn't starchy or too rich. We totally clean up this dish...leaving no stone unturned and definitely leaving no stray chicken pieces uneaten!

It was then at this time that things turn a turn for more pornish matters. LOL...Ganging up on dear Joe, the lot of us made him unbutton his shirt and bare his chest and nipple to us. Joe, wanting to displace UnkaLeong and his famous abs from cyberspace, did exactly what he was told willingly and found the whole night's experience PRICELESS.

Joe was immediately surrounded and mostly everyone had a field day with their camera. FBB shoved his camera right into Joe's shirt but could not locate anything perky! ROFL! Precious Pea helped me take this was standing at a better angle :o) Joe's got such a smooth chest! It's almost like baby smooth! Well, I believe he was the youngest one there that night (apart from FBB's children!). Sorry, I decided to "touch up" the pic. For those who would like to have a look at the pic before touch up, kindly email me! ;O)
We then turn our attention to Jason aka Luscious Lip Jason (coined by Precious Pea) and made him keep still for us to take a photo of his lips. Ha ha...Us ladies are just having so much fun with the guys!

Eventually, we got back to the food that was still in store for us. Next on the menu were desserts and I had bought Big Apple Donuts to the house as some floggers have not tasted them yet.

Then, FBB brought out his killer food for the night....
The Flourless Chocolate Cake with a molten centre hypnotised me. Eaten warm and with a dollop of fresh cream (based on FBB's recommendation)...I was at the command of this cupcake that was calling out my name. Seriously, it's molten centre of soft flowing chocolate was just so enticing!
The Rum and Raisins Tart was really good too. Each raisin was potent as it has been thoroughly soaked into rum. A must eat dessert for an alcoholic! Ha ha....
Running a bit late and having not enough time for games, we were provided with some after dinner entertainment by Allan & Nigel with a beautiful rendition of "I Know Him So Well", accompanied by talented FBB's wife on the piano.

After that, I was called to perform. Being one with stage fright, I struggled to start and luckily by the time I was just about to, about half of them said their goodbyes and left. Left with a smaller audience, I sang "Through The Eyes Of Love (theme song from Ice Castles). Jackson said I have a heavenly voice...haha....

Well , all good things must come to an end...I left FBB's residence a very happy and full person. All the food was absolutely tasty and I've never eaten so much in a while now. As a matter of fact, I was so full that I was not hungry on Friday; skipping breakfast and lunch! Thanks again, FBB and to your wife for being such great host and hostess. To my fellow bloggers that were there that night, I had a wonderful time and told myself how blessed I am to be in the company of such great company. Looking forward to our next gathering.....

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake. ~ Author Unknown