Tuesday, 22 October 2013

What we've been eating

When we heard rave reviews about Crab in Da Bag, we knew we had to get there fast. We expected the restaurant to be packed during mealtimes, so we went at 3pm on a Saturday to find only two tables occupied.
We were told it would get messy and were advised to put on the bib. None of us were too enthsiastic about wearing a plastic bib but when the food arrived, we could see why. The prawns cooked in the spicy and garlicky Caboodle sauce was the yummiest but also the messiest to eat. We also ordered clams and king crab legs in garlic butter sauce.

The concept at Crab in Da Bag is fantastic. Just pick the type of seafood, seasoning and sides and wait for the food to arrive in a transparent bag. The wait staff cuts open the bag and invites you to dig in using your hands. The entire experience is fun, casual and delicious. We loved it so much, we wish we could afford to eat there every week.

One Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves at Vivocity just after lunch hour. There was no line outside the newly opened Jamie Oliver restaurant and I thought it was our lucky day. Unfortunately the waiting time was more than 30 minutes.

We wanted a quick meal and Poulet Restaurant next door fit the bill. The specialty here, as the name implies, is the French roast chicken.

Even though the restaurant was quite packed, the food was served quickly. Again, the concept here is good. The menu is not extensive like in many restaurants. The mains are mostly precooked, and can be quickly assembled in the kitchen when the order is placed.

YK ordered the roast chicken which was delicious. Apparently they brine the chcken for a full day in a traditional recipe then place in the rotisserie for a slow roast untilt he skin is golden. It is served with a yummy Mushroom Chardonnay Sauce.

I had the duck confit which was braised until very tender. I would have preferred it with a bit more bite. If I were to return again, I would go for the chicken.
Duck confit.
We love Thai food and are lucky to have a really good Thai Restaurant near our home. On days when we want to have really authentic Thai food and the right ambience, we head to Golden Mile Complex, also known as Little Thailand.

There are many restaurant to choose from but our favourite is Diandin Leluk where the food is good and prices reasonable.


Spicy pork.
Tongue hanging out cos food too spicy.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Thai style baked fish

Growing up in a Teochew household, I've had my fair share of steamed fish. Even now, we eat steamed fish for dinner several times a week. I guess old habits die hard.It's probably the easiest way to cook fresh whole fish but even if the boys are not getting jaded, I am.

While I was roasting chicken that day, I decided to make the oven multi-task by tossing a parcel of fish inside as well. The sea-bass, which I marinated in a Thai-style seasoning, tasted fantastic, even better than the steamed version.

The best thing is, there was no pot or plate to wash after dinner. Just scrunch up the foil and throw away!
Take a whole fresh sea bass and season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix the juice of one lemon with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 minced garlic, 1 chopped-up chilli, sliced shallots and 1 teaspoon sugar (I used gula melaka). 
Take a large piece of foil, line it with banana leaf (only if you have), and lay the fish on it.
You can scatter tomato, coriander and slices of onion around the fish if you like. I even put what's left of the lemon in there.
Pour the seasoning all over the fish. Pull the foil up and form a large tent with the fish inside.
Bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes at 200 degree C.

Monday, 7 October 2013

To Bangkok without me

Now that YK is in the army, it's getting difficult to travel together as a family. When the opportunity arose for him to travel to Bangkok with SK, I was more than happy to sponsor the air tickets.

I was excited that the brothers were going on vacation without me. Compared to their peers in the West, they are already late bloomers. Still I think it's better late than never. They had to manage their time and money, find their way around and look out for each other in a foreign city.

They stayed in a tiny room in a hostel (Baan Dinso) near the Royal Palace and kept me posted on their whereabouts so I knew they were safe.

YK brought SK to his favourite stall ( Thip Samai) which sells the best pad-thai in Bangkok. And for two days, they combed Chatuchak Market for the best finds. They went shopping in the city and bought me presents. It's a good start.

Tees and a bag for me.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Reunion in Penang

My last trip to Penang two yeas ago was a really short one. Yet in the few hours I was there, my client took me sightseeing and treated me to all the delicious local food. We zipped around in her car and she avoided all the busy roads which made all the difference. We covered quite a lot in less than a day.

When I was visiting an old friend in Penang during the weekend, we traveled everywhere by bus and were stuck in traffic a lot. The streets are narrow, and with the increasing car population, the traffic situation can only get worse. And thanks to the wet weather, we didn't do much in 3 days.

This long-awaited reunion was a bitter-sweet one. The years have not been too kind on her. She used to be very wealthy but had lost all her money to bad investments. Seeing her lead such a humble life takes some getting used to especially when we're meeting for the first time in 10 years. In the midst of all the turmoil, she met a nice guy and have gotten married. 

She no longer owns a fleet of cars like before and is now learning to ride a scooter. That is if she can overcome the fear of riding after a recent fall. For now, she takes the public bus.

It was good to see that she remains generous and cheerful despite these setbacks. We had a great time catching up and I know that life can only get better for her. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
View of Ferringhi Beach from her apartment.

Fried oyster omelette -a dish only the Asians can appreciate. My friend from USA voted this the worst thing he had ever tasted.

Fried kuay teow.

Grilled stingray.

Chicken satay.
Pancake with banana and ice cream.