Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hot Hanoi - Part 2

Before I start with Hanoi, I would like to pimp my nephew's blog. He has decided to follow his aunt's footsteps and has started blogging on food. Do go take a look/drop some comments....His blog is called Spare Change.

In Part 2, I'll post some street scene photos which I managed to candidly take as I made my way around Hanoi. I found the street scene fascinating!
Five Foot Food Way 3
Beef noodle stall by the five foot way...all the chairs of the five foot way stalls are of this height. Look at how the lady has to sit to enjoy her bowl of noodles???
Five foot food way
Grilled skewered meats - catering to those on the move :o)
Five foot food way 2
Deep fried spring close to the ground, I wondered if anyone ever walked straight into the wok! Ouch!
Open air pedicure - minimum fuss shop
Vegetables anyone?
Selling vegetables isn't restricted to markets - seems one can set up stall anywhere they like.
The trishaw and motorbike parting to make way for the the lady. We really have to walk/cross the streets in Hanoi with caution.
Three modes
You have those traveling on foot, bicycle and motorbikes (lesser cars) on the streets. As you can see, crossing the road means a lot of zig-zag moments! Hahaha...
Going Home
The main mode of transport will be motorbikes. Here the cop has to direct the traffic flow as parents/relative came to pick up the children after school ended. I was stuck here and had to wait for the motorbikes to clear before I could proceed with my journey on foot!
Crossing the road is definitely not a good idea for the young ones considering the heavy traffic. The kids here are waiting to be picked up.
Lady Biker
Mostly everyone rides a bike, even this lady with stilettos and side splitting skirt (or is that a skirt pants???).

To be continued...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Din Tai Fung, The Gardens - Midvalley City


Precious Pea and I headed off to The Gardens as we had some serious shopping to do but our hunger pangs needed to be taken care off. Stopping by the cool touch screen floor directory where we still couldn't really decide what to eat, we headed towards the Lower Ground Floor where most of the restaurants were located. After scouring the entire food area, we decided to have our lunch at Din Tai Fung.
Din Tai Fung, The Gardens
Din Tai Fung has its own wikipedia page; being an award winning restaurant serving Taiwanese specialties - the xiaolongbao (small steamed soup dumplings) being the most famous dish of all. It has restaurants worldwide and this location is their first setup in Malaysia. Read more about Din Tai Fung and its history HERE.
Din Tai Fung, The Gardens

Din Tai Fung, The Gardens
Din Tai Fung's simple, bright and clean interior
Din Tai Fung, The Gardens
Of course, it has the open kitchen concept where customers can see the going ons in the kitchen which is separated by a glass panel. I think one of the chefs is probably giving a cooking lesson here.

We were told that only certain dishes were available (being their first day of operation, I guess that's understandable). and we settled for the dishes recommended by the supervisor. The supervisors and waiter/waitresses were efficient and courteous, especially the staff who serves our hot Jasmine tea. They would be bowing down each time they come to the table and also when they move away, I thought I was in Japan for a moment! Though we arrived at peak lunch hour and the restaurant was packed, waiting time was quite reasonable. It wasn't long before our orders were served.
Vinegar & ginger (for the dumplings)
The essential vinegar & ginger for the dumplings (I gave most of my ginger to Precious Pea's plate pictured above).
Xiao Long Bao - steamed dumplings
The xiaolongbao (RM11/USD3.20 for 5 pieces) tasted good and the skin texture was just right but we found that it did not contain enough soup in them. The minced meat was done nicely and was tender to bite.
Deep Fried Chilli Chicken
Deep Fried Chilli Chicken (RM15/USD4.40) - this was very tasty, all spiced up with chilli and lots of itsy bitsy garlic. However when you bite into it, you can feel the oil but this could come from the chicken skin itself.
Cha Jiang Lai Mian (Noodles with minced pork mixed in broad bean sauce)
The Cha Jiang La Mien (RM12/USD3.50) - Noodles with minced pork and tofu bits with broad bean sauce. The texture of the noodles was good but tastewise, it was pretty normal.
Shrimp Pork Siew Mai
Shrimp Pork Siew Mai (another variety of steamed dumplings - RM11/USD3.20 for 4 pieces). This tasted similar to the XiaoLongBao with the exception of the extra shrimp on top of it. The skin area surrounding the shrimp was thicker though as you can see.

We were told to come back in about a month's time when the full menu should be available. I guess I'll go back again then and have a second verdict on this place.

See Precious Pea's take on this outing HERE....

Din Tai Fung
Lot LG 207 Lower Ground
The Gardens, Midvalley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur

"I am emperor, and I want dumplings" - Emperor Ferdinand I

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rite Bites, Boutique Bangkung Food Crawl Pt. 2

Next on the agenda was Opus Bistro for an Italian rendezvous after the Spanish indulgence earlier. I like the ambiance of Opus and prepared myself for some Italian romance ;o).
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We were served a mini swirl of carbonara pasta with beef bacon. I liked the small serving, a very welcomed sight at that moment. The pasta tasted good but I found the beef bacon a tad chewy.
Next is what Opus says is their customer all time favourite - Roasted Cod Fish with Lemon Capers sauce. I just took a small bite and found the taste slightly similar to the pasta I had earlier as both were cream sauce. The rest of the fish loving floggers seemed to enjoy this dish.
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Of course, we had white wine to go with our food. We were given an intro to our drinks by the Sommelier; I believe the lovely white wine that went so well with our food was Podium. As for the smaller three glasses with the yellow colour liquor, that's the traditional aperitif, Lemoncella. I took a sip and my eyes nearly popped out as it was too strong for me. LOL!

Opus Bistro
67 Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03-2092 4288

(Map and Opening Hours HERE). Check out Max Privileges at Opus HERE.

We then adjourned to the Wine Cellar a few doors down for a short tour. This is truly a place for wine lovers where there (FYI, the restaurants around this area stock wines from here) is even a new upper floor for wine lovers to congregate and chill out. They have more than 500 varieties of wines to choose from!

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65 Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03-2093 1919/2093-2919

Click HERE for map

Our last stop for the evening was at The Attic, a non smoking bar/gallery/lounge which exudes style, class and sophistication.

(The above two photos are from The Attic Press Kit)

We were served some cocktails and I managed to try this particular one which tasted like Tiramisu (in liquid form!) I can probably drink a few of these babies!
Nigel also unveiled three new creations of Just Heavenly (well, at least they were new to me!). From Top to Bottom (clockwise): Mango Upside Down with caramelized mango chunks, Chilled Lemon Cheesecake and Raspberry Madeira. My favourite is the Mango Upside Down cake. Really yummy!

Here at The Attic, one can also get a taste of heaven apart from going to Just Heavenly retail shop in Damansara Heights or ordering from their Bangsar office. You can also get Max Privileges at Just Heavenly, check them out HERE.

To chill out at The Attic, go over to :

61-2 Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03-2093 8842

Max Privilesges for The Attic HERE.

Don't forget, one can sign up for the Max card for just RM10/month to enjoy discounts/freebies for dining and privilege invitations. Check out the website for more details, please let them know that you heard about it from me ;o). When they ask for referrer's email, it's To join, click HERE.

Recap :
Rite Bites, Boutique Bangkung Food Crawl Pt. 1

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Weekend Comicstrip - 2

I was online chatting with Kok and Judy when Kok alerted me to his new post. I had a good laugh at Kok's last photo in his post about him learning CPR and at that moment, I made the following comicstrip. Judy had a good laugh I have included both her and Kok in the comicstrip.

Kok, this is for you....

K's CPR Lessons 3

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

1A Crispy Puffs, Damansara Utama

I have tried 1A Crispy Puffs quite a while back and told myself to go back again. Glorious Jade and I decided to eat in one day and tried three varieties of theirs. There are sweet and savoury types for one to choose and are priced differently, I recall the savoury ones priced at RM2.60 (USD0.75) a piece as I prefer the savoury ones!. The shell pastry crumbles easily; eating it as gracious as possible helps in the mess control. Hahaha....As 1A's Singaporean website says, it's inspired by the intricate layering of seashells. Established in 1991 in Singapore, it has recently made its way here in Malaysia.
You can't miss the big signage!
Rows of pretty shell pastry puffs
The fish puff - with Otak-otak filling. They call this the Crispy Otah Puff. I didn't quite like the taste of it as I am not really a fan of fish in the first place. But the filling is generous I must say. At that price, it better be :o)
The A1 1A Puff - This is my favourite among the three, Crispy Crab Chilli Chicken Puff. It's spicy sweet and goes well with the taste of the shell pastry. When I was there, this was one variety that sold out first! Again, filling is generous with a mixture of potatoes and meat. It was delicious and I finished this up in quicktime!
The Sweet Puff - The Crispy Sweet Corn Puff was average but this could be due to the fact that I only ate this after devouring the Crispy Crab Chilli Chicken Puff. It's like asking me to take a bite of wagyu beef cheeks and then a bite of some chicken chop right after that.
The shy puff!

Well, I'm definitely going back again for my Crispy Crab Chilli Chicken Puff. However, please don't rush out and get them now, I don't want to go there and be told that they are sold out! LOL! But sure, go ahead and give 1A Crispy Puffs a try.

1A Crispy Puffs
No. 15 Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03-77292115

They also have a stall at Bukit Bintang Monorail Station in Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

A crispy puff a day would mean that I'll have to keep my weighing scale away! - wmw

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rite Bites, Boutique Bangkung Food Crawl Pt. 1

With an invitation from Nigel, we went on a food crawl at Jalan Bangkung, one of Bangsar's quaint corner. This was also tied in as an intro to some of the merchants who are partners with Max, a leading lifestyle privilege card. One can sign up for the Max card for just RM10/month to enjoy discounts/freebies for dining and privilege invitations. Check out the website for more details, please let them know that you heard about it from me ;o). When they ask for referrer's email, it's To join, click HERE.

Our first stop that day was Fit For 2, it was a first visit for many of us to this place. Fit for 2, conducts fitness class for both mother and babies and also serves tasty food. Check out Max's privileges at Fit For 2 HERE.

As Fit For 2 is opened by the same owner of Bisou, they of course serve their signature cake and cupcakes here and we got to try a few variety. Aren't they lovely??? A shame to eat; could be a tad sweet for some though.
These chocolate brownies were nice.
Lovely sandwiches (from top to bottom) : Smoked Salmon Bagel, Roasted Chicken Sandwich and Tuna Sandwich. All lovely; bagels and bread are made on the premises!
Pumpkin Soup which is a favourite of mine. For those who like their soup savoury, this will be sweet for them. The soup is smooth and creamy, good to the last drop.

1st Floor, 75 Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 2093 9088

Location HERE

We then made our way to our 2nd stop, Cava Restaurant & Bar a few doors down. Specializing in Spanish cuisine, we were given a taste of Spain! Max's Privileges at Cava HERE.

Rows of lovely Sangria being mixed by the drink specialist. Probably one of the nicest Sangria I've tasted (yes, even when compared with the ones I had in Spain!).
Prawn Pil-Pil - the ones here differ slightly from those in Spain but nevertheless still yummy though it was a bit overcooked to me. Prawn Pil-Pil (also known as Gambas Pil Pil in Spanish) is suppose to be a sizzling dish but this was served in a buffet style to us.
Sauteed Baby Octopus - obviously prepared differently from the usual lidako Japanese version that I eat. It was okay to me.
Seafood Paella - Fragrant Saffron Rice with fresh mix seafood. A single portion of this is RM35 (USD10). I am not a fan of seafood so I can't really comment on this dish and as in all paella that I have previously tasted, the rice is simply too wet and mushy for my liking. It's an acquired taste, I'm sure.
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Other dishes (from top to bottom, clockwise) : Spanish Lamb Boulette (my fave as I love lamb and this lamb meatball with spices was just delicious), Sauteed Black Pepper Beef and Spanish Omelette.

Cava Restaurant & Bar
71 Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03-2093 6697/016-305 3294 (Mr Param)


To be continued ...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Weekend Comicstrip

Life With Dad 2

*FYI, WMW's born in the year of Monkey

E told me about the website and I ended up creating this. If you folks don't see the humour in this, I apologise. I did it to humour myself :o).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hot Hanoi - Part 1

Well, I've become rather lethargic since coming back from Hanoi. It was extremely warm there, though the sun occasionally gets hidden by the clouds, the whole load of us definitely experienced heatwave! Well, time for me to post some scenic shots of my first day in Hanoi. Our first stop was around the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, visiting his office and quarters (we later went back on the fourth day to enter the Mausoleum itself, no cameras were allowed then). Do click on the highlighted words for more info.
The Vietnamese treats Ho Chi Minh with utmost respect but they decided to go against his wish to be cremated upon his death (he passed away on Sept 2, 1969). Ho Chi Minh was embalmed instead, and displayed so that all can pay him a visit at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
A guard seeking refuge from the scorching sun!

The Presidential Palace is next to the Mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh stayed here for awhile before moving to his house on stilts.

Ho Chi Minh's office exterior

The serene surroundings - I like the creepers
There were loads of pomelos growing in abundance up in the trees all around. Some of them were pretty large.

Ho Chi Minh's residence -House On Stilts

Yes, the Vietnamese is very proud of Ho Chi Minh and they have every reason to be, he was afterall their greatest leader.

To be continued ...