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SurF tHis SitE RaNdoMly

Home-Made 3-Course Meal

>> Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yesterday was really a party-day. It was A LOT of work though, but I reckon it was worth it :) I randomly called out to my usual lunch gang & told them that I'll be cooking, so we'll just eat in the office's pantry.

Simple stuff, really, but somehow there's still quite some work :S

An hour & a half before I left for office:
  • Heated/Baked the chicken, 
  • Boiled water & cooked the spaghetti on one stove, then tossed it with seasoning 
  • Prepared the dhal to the desired consistency/thickness (it was quite thick after storing in the fridge), 
  • Pan-fried the instant canai on the other stove 
  • Treasure-hunt for containers to store everything & packed all the dishes for office
EVERYTHING happening at the same time...the entire kitchen was in a mess! I was running around the kitchen like a mad woman....once done, I ran up to get ready for work & off I headed to the office....(and some people think I'm very free, eh? =.=" This is called effort & heart, not that I've nothing else better to do lah...wergh)

Breakfast (no photo taken):
Canai with home-made dhal

Appetizer - bruschetta topped with tomato salsa (recipe below)
Main - spaghetti aglio olio + baked chicken with marmalade, mint, & lemon juice + garden salad
Dessert (which we ended up eating for tea) - home-made Portuguese egg tarts

Our meal :)

The bruschetta - a simplified version & the spaghetti
(bread courtesy of BY)
The pasta is just tossed with olive oil, some chicken stock, mixed Italian herbs, salt & pepper. I could have done a more elaborated one with garlic & sundried tomatoes, but I really didn't have time in the morning. 

Recipe for the tomato salsa:
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp of mixed Italian herbs
1-2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Mix tomatoes, herbs, & lemon juice together.
2. Add a pinch of salt & some pepper.
3. Add in sugar & adjust the taste according to your preference - it should be not too sweet, not too sour.
4. Serve chilled!

Easy, right? Even kids can make it themselve...top the tomatoes over the slices of bread/baguette, sprinkle with some cheese (I used grated cheddar as that's the only thing that I have. Nicer if you use parmesan). You could also have some olive oil & garlic over the bread before you add the tomato salsa :)

Garden Salad (courtesy of BY - it's bought, not home-tossed)

Baked chicken with marmalade, mint, & lemon juice
Recipe? Hmm...I just blended marmalade (this one was home-made by someone, so it was really good - with chunky orange peel!), mint leaves, lemon juice, sugar, salt, crushed black pepper, sesame oil (for a smokey aroma) & olive oil - then I marinated the chicken overnight before baking it at 220 Celsius for around 30 minutes? Agak-agak lah...Make sure you coat the chicken with more olive oil/vegetable oil before you bake so that you can get a nice browning on the chicken skin. If you use chicken breast meat, marinate the chicken breast meat with corn flour, salt, & pepper first. It will make your chicken breast meat tender & smooth :)

Home-Made Portuguese Egg Tarts
Recipe taken from Rasa Malaysia. Turned out okay-lah. But there's still something wrong with it...it looks fine, but doesn't taste like those from outside :( I also thought it's too sweet & I have already reduced the amount of sugar from the one given in the recipe :S

Grand Opening of my Cake-Mixer!
It's a birthday gift from my uncle & aunts :)

Ingredients for the egg tart (custard)

Mixing the egg custard & I used instant puff pastry

It's a good puff pastry - but not for Portuguese egg tarts! :(
The pastry is slightly too oily & sinks upon baking before puffing. I reckon it's best used for meat puffs.

So very tired, but it's a rewarding effort,


Home-Made "Green Goodness" Drink

>> Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm in the mood for something refreshing :) After work, I managed to get some pandan & basil from my uncle's house to plant in the front-yard of my friend's house where I'm currently staying/renting.

Since I have quite some ingredients in stock, I've decided to juice up something fresh & nutritious for my tired body :) I've temporarily named it the "Green Goodness" drink :P I didn't refer to any recipes, so this is my own recipe. As I'm an "agak-agak" & "experimental" chef, you'll need to adjust the measurements according to your own preference.

Refreshing "Green Goodness"
Told ya it's green! Very green indeed...haha...all the chlorophyll in the drink. A variety of flavour bursts in your mouth, "fascinating" every single tastebud you have. You'll first get the spiciness from the ginger, the freshness from the mint, the fragrance from the pandan leaves, the zesty-ness/tangy-ness from the lemon juice, & the natural sweetness from the honey. Ah....lovely for a tired day :)

Here's to share the simple recipe ;) Enjoy!

Serving: Makes 2 coffee mugs of juice (3/4 full)
Note: You'll need a tall blender, or else you could just blend the ingredients A with 1 cup of water & add the other cup of water after everything is blended.

Ingredients A:
2 pandan leaves, cut into small bits
2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, chopped

Ingredients B:
2 tsbp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
1-2 drops of mint essence
2-3 drops of pandan essence
2 cups of room-temperature water

Ice cubes (to chill)

1. Put ingredients A into the blender & blend until semi-fine.
2. Add all ingredients B into the blender & blend 'til all the "leaves" are fine.
3. If your blender is hardy enough to blend ice, add some ice cubes into the blender as well.
4. Taste & adjust your drink's taste accordingly (if you need to add more honey/essence/lemon juice/water), then pour it through a sieve into mugs.
5. Serve with more ice/chilled. Yums!

Medicinal/Nutritional value: Helps with bloated stomachs, helps with digestion, good source of vitamins? (and I can't think of what else :P).

"Agak-agak & experimental" chef,


Home-Made Dhal

I'm over-ambitious & I'll admit it. In ONE work-day, mind you, I want to cook & bake for today & tomorrow as well. Crazy, right?

Since I bought some instant canai, I've decided to ambitiously cook my own dhal (when I could buy it from the mamak with less than RM3?). I've no clue on how to cook dhal & have no clue on the ingredients as well. But with great hopes & faith, I bought a packet of dhal beans & some spices that resemble those I've seen in the dhal served with my canai outside. Hahaha.

Anyway, here's to share on my version of dhal, inspired by the many years of indulging in one of Malaysia's "staples". I stir-fry my vegetables like potatoes & carrots first to ensure they soften faster when I cook.

* Makes at least 4 rice bowls of dhal
** I'm basing all measurements on estimation since I seriously don't follow recipes for most of my cooking/dishes. So please estimate it yourself as well ;) 

1 rice bowl of dhal beans, soaked overnight so that it softens (I didn't do that, so I blended the dhal beans instead. Pulp-ish dhal beans make very creamy/thick dhal though, which I like)
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1/2 large carrot, diced
1 tbsp of mixed Indian spices/"Halba Campuran" in Malay
2 tsp of garlic, chopped
2 tsp of ginger, chopped
1 tsp of cumin
1 tbsp of curry powder
2 stalks of curry leaves
1/2 tsp of chilli powder/flakes (optional: for added spiciness)
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Note: You can add eggplants, cauliflower, long/french beans & all sorts of vegetables, but I didn't have those in my fridge, thus I just used the above.

1. Heat pan with 3-4 tbsp of cooking oil with medium high flame.

2. Once the pan it hot, add potatoes & fry for 3-5 minutes 'til it's just a little brownish.

3. Add the carrots & stir-fry 'til slightly cooked.

4. Add the onions & fry 'til fragrant.

5. Add the ginger & garlic, frying it 'til fragrant.

6. Add the Indian spices, curry leaves, curry powder & cumin. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or so. You can add your chilli powder/flakes here too.

7. Add water into the pan, covering the ingredients. Allow to simmer 'til the ingredients are softer, especially the carrots & potatoes. Stir occasionally. Adjust flame to medium.

8. Bring dish to boil, then add in the dhal beans. Keep stirring to ensure the thick dhal dish does not stick at the base of your pan. You can add more water & bring to boil if you find your dhal too thick for your liking.

9. Add salt (and chicken granules for additional fragrance) & allow to boil. For all ingredients to be softer, you can add more water & allow to simmer & boil 'til the amount reduces to half. Remember to keep stirring to avoid the dhal to stick at the base of the pan/get burnt.

10. Once all your ingredients are soft enough for your liking, turn off flame & the dhal is ready to be served!

Bon apetit!

For the instant canai, you can just get those from the supermarket's frozen section. Follow the directions on the packet to prepare your instant canai/pratha. Enjoy!

Note: I'm tired cos I've also prepared a baked chicken dish, portuguese egg tarts & will be preparing pasta & canai (to go with the dhal) for tomorrow's breakfast & lunch at office! It's gonna be a feast! :D Tiring, but satisfying :)

The tired agak-agak chef,


The Humble Chef, Plaza Damansara - *cheap cheap*

>> Sunday, May 27, 2012

Venue: Damansara Heights
Overall comment: Really cheap pasta, omelette, pitas - taste is acceptable although it really feels like eating at a school canteen....no frills, babeh! Hahaha...it's "cheap" food, but not entirely "value-for-money"...
Halal: Yes

It was Friday & as usual deciding on the place for lunch is like a "soalan cepu emas"/golden question (what's the correct term?? *eek*). Thus, DY suggested to have cheap lunch at Humble Chef at Plaza Damansara. He SO knew that it would be very interesting to see the look on our faces upon the arrival of the dishes ordered :P

Humble Chef has been operating as a "van-stall" at the Damanlela area in Pusat Bandar Damansara. The stall operates only at night next to McDonald's on the flyover bridge from roughly 9:30pm - midnight, serving a small variety of pastas, pitas, sandwiches, & omelettes. You can expect quite a crowd, especially students from the HELP University nearby.

From that humble stall birth this humble cafe at Plaza Damansara. Ran by Malay owner(s), this simple-looking cafe offers a very simple menu (just like its "van-stall") with dishes at pretty low prices. With such prices, one would not expect that much, and SHOULD NOT expect that much as well! The one thing you can expect, no doubts, is the cafe filled with office workers & students during meal times. We were there earlier, so the place was still empty. By the time we left, it was full, especially with our fellow Muslims who could enjoy halal western food that this place offers.

Interior deco was very simple with painting for sale hung on the wall, mostly by the same artist, Hafiz Hajeedar. I really wonder how can this cafe sustain to pay for the shop rental at such a area like Damansara Heights *hmmmm*

The Menu
Cheap, right? Who would have imagined satisfying the mere craving for pasta with just RM5, eh? The only drinks they sell were 3 types of packet drinks i.e. Soya Bean, Ice Lemon Tea, & Lychee for RM1.50/packet. Totally simple.

Our Bill
If you're only having a plate of pasta without drinks, it's only RM5.00. No tax too! *joy* 

My Lamb Pesto Spaghetti (RM5.00/serving)
It's not too bad for the price I've to pay. I wished for more "umph" but seriously, I just paid RM5 le...so this is good enough for a plate of pasta. To the very least, it's quite fragrant with the smell & taste of the pesto & the minced lamb wasn't too bad. Portion wasn't sufficient for a hungry person like me...hahaha...I could do with more...perhaps I should have had 2 plates instead? *don't be greedy, PerutBesi!* 

Beef Bolognese (RM5.00/serving)
I found this slightly too sour for my liking. You can taste the tomatoes (I think it's those cheap canned ones...hahaha...perhaps the puree), but certainly lacking in herbs & spices. I shan't complain since it's RM5.00. 

The size
It's not that big a plate la...given a choice, I would pay twice the price for twice the goodness/great taste at Pinos or even pay slightly more at Vary Pasta! I won't order 2 plates of pasta here & pay RM10...Pinos or Vary Pasta gives greater value for the flavour, taste, & ambiance. Plus Vary Pasta serves pork for pork-lovers!

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Seafood (RM5.00/serving)
Okay, with the price one's paying, seafood will equate to just prawns. Hahaha. I thought this variant wasn't tasty at all. One word - FLAT. *sigh* Could do with more salt, pepper, herbs, & olive oil?

Lamb Carbonara (RM5.00/serving)
It's creamy alright. Not carbonara but cream sauce. Haha. It's definitely better than the seafood aglio olio! And yes, lamb is good...surely more flavourful than chicken...

Guess what's this.... 

JS's Friday lunch!
She was quite satisfied since she only needed to spend RM9.00 for a so-called western/Italian lunch....but she certainly wasn't full! Wait 'til she gets to places like Vary Pasta...twice the price she paid here for a meal with pasta & drinks, but way better in taste!

Tadaa! Omelette with beef (RM2.50/serving)
That's what you get in that packet...haha. It's ok-lah. Acceptable. Just like eating murtabak minus the pastry & fragrance from the onions? It's fried egg with minced meat + melted cheese inside...

From this lunch experience, here's my rating for the pasta:
#1 - pesto lamb (because it's more unique & fragrant)
#2 - cream sauce lamb/aglio olio lamb
#3 - beef bolognese
#4 - seafood aglio olio

Will I come here again? Perhaps not. Parking is crazee...and although it's just RM5.00/serving of pasta, it's not all that tasty. I rather pay RM5.50 for my bowl of yummilicious fish head noodles with extra Chinese cooking wine at Jalan Batai (near office)....oolala...big bowl & very satisfying too. Or pay twice the price at Pinos/Vary Pasta if I really want to have cheap & good pasta.

If you wanna talk about value for money, I reckon I could give some sound judgement. Heh.

For more on Humble Chef at Damanlela (the night van-stall) click here. I came across this informative post from another blogger :)

At times, you never try, you never know, eh?

Humble Chef Cafe
Unit 54-G, Jalan Medan Setia 2
Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (+6014) 2296 854
Business hours: (I know it's opened for lunch & dinner, but not certain of the time)
GPS: 3.1493797,101.6539997

Presentation: * * 1/2
Price: * * * *
Environment: * * *
Taste: * *
Service: * *


Cheap but not entirely "value-for-money",


I'm Spicy - Thai Street Food

>> Thursday, May 24, 2012

Venue: Section 17

Overall comment: Frankly, I was quite disappointed. Perhaps we didn't order their usual dishes, which many have raved about & testified that it's good (we had their lunch sets). I thought Surisit's was more flavourful & appetizing :( I'm Spicy's dishes are also more expensive than Surisit's.
Halal: No

I was told by my cousin that this place offers good Thai food. Since I have not been here before, I thought it would be good to try it out for myself with a couple of my colleagues. I had high expectations since my cousin gave good comments of this place. My only mistake was that I forgot to ask her what's really good here & what's not so good.

The restaurant's name, I'm Spicy, sounds quite unique & interesting. It's a corner lot, located on quite a remote area. Parking isn't the easiest to find as well during lunch hour since it's only 1 row of shops with limited parking spaces. The restaurant's deco was quite simple, neat, & cosy for a meal. To the very least, the ambiance was pleasant.

*photos taken with my colleague's Samsung Galaxy S2 as my camera battery ran out

They have a substantial range of dishes at I'm Spicy, but we wanted something simple & quick to decide. Thus the set lunches. Ala carte dishes are priced from RM12.00 - RM30.00/serving. I wonder if it's a mistake made that I had to pay the price for not-so-satisfying food since I ordered from the set lunch menu :S

Under their menu, there's a "spicy-meter", which was quite interesting:
0 chillies - None for me, thanks 
1 chilli - Just enough kick 
2 chillies - Don't be silly, gimme the chilli 
3 chillies - I brush my teeth with chilli 
4 chillies - Mama put chilli in my milk!

Set Lunches
All set lunches comes with a House Drink...I thought we'll get a glass each, but.....

House Drink: Ice-Blended Mix of Pandan, Lemongrass, Lime, & Mint Leaves
It turned out that they served in a tall bottle & we're to share...each person gets a small tea cup of House Drink with the set lunch :S aiseh...KECIKNYA....although comel, but er....okaaay... *gulp* It was actually quite a refreshing & delicious drink. Just that the portion was shockingly small. As this came with the set lunches, there's no refill! :S

Set Lunch: Thai-Style Belacan Fried Rice (RM12.00++/serving)
It's actually rice stir-fried with belacan & served with an assortment of ingredients as sides. My colleague regretted ordering this. It didn't taste much like a belacan fried rice & she claims that it tastes/smells weird (not the fragrant belacan kinda smell & taste). She ate half & could not force herself to finish up the dish :(

Set Lunch: Stir-Fried Basil Pork with Rice (RM12.00++/serving)
The minced pork was too salty (perhaps the chef is having a bad day?) & lack "punch"/"umph". It was a little too wet as well. Although it was "spicy-meter-2", the level of spiciness was almost non-existent....oh, such a far difference from Surisit's! And this costs RM5 more than Surisit's too!! Portion is pretty much the same though...

Set Lunch: Tom Yam Moo (RM12.00++/serving)
Pork tom yam soup with egg noodles
Erm...my colleague ordered his dish with "spicy-meter-4", supposedly VERY spicy, but it wasn't that spicy at all! Either the waiter got it wrong or the chef got it wrong, or there's something wrong with the "spicy-meter"? Even the "dai chow's" sambal belacan is more spicy *eek* Here's what came to my mind when I first tasted the noodles & soup - pork noodles with red chillies & lime juice! Ok, not a very good 1st impression...isn't this supposed to be "pork tom yam with noodles"? Was our expectation off the galaxy, did we have the wrong expectation or this dish just came out wrong?

Set Lunch: Stewed Pork Leg with Rice (RM12.00++/serving)
Juicy & tender stewed pork leg served with preserved vegetables & kailan
Huh? I'm lost...I really expected something more. I thought the stewed pork leg would come in a small bowl with the rice & vegetables on the plate...but everything's on the plate like "mixed rice"/"chap fann". When I asked my colleague how's his rice dish, he looked at me with an uninterested face & say "Ok-lor...". Hmm...was this day just a bad day?

Set Lunch: Green Curry with Rice (RM12.00++/serving)
This is the "stir-fried" version or more like "green curry fried rice". If you want the green curry chicken + jasmine white rice, you'll have to add RM3.00. I found it really weird! I had this & wasn't too excited upon its arrival. I expected something different. Like how it was at Surisit - the green curry + rice on the same plate. Oh well, taste-wise, it was a little flat. It lacks "umph" somehow, so I asked for some sambal, which helped elevate the "fried rice" to the next level (even the spiciness level). But to my great horror, they charged me RM1.00 for that small plate of sambal!! What the crap.....ergh....like that also can. Never tell me that it's chargeable :( Thankfully it's RM1.00, but aiyo...ask for sambal also get charged for it. Such a rare thing. Everything that's "separate" is charged...even their green curry chicken + white rice incurred an additional cost of RM3.00 :S

Cash returned
I thought this was quite cute...heh...

Map & Address to I'm Spicy
It's basically same row as Kanna Curry House, opposite the old Nanking Restaurant in SS2 (around the previously known "Rothman's Roundabout" area).

I'm frankly disappointed with this 1st visit. I've read quite a number of good & above average review of this place. Some have said the prices are a bit high, but the food is something you won't regret.

Seriously, was this just a bad day to pop-by or we should never have ordered the set lunches? *sigh* Yes, I  don't own nor get paid by Surisit, but I personally prefer the food/set lunches there as they were better; taste, portion, & price.

Perhaps I should give I'm Spicy another chance & try out their ala carte?
*once bitten twice shy le....sobs*

I’m Spicy Thai Restaurant
1, Ground Floor, Jalan 17/45
46400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 7954 2281
GPS: 3.11875, 101.62982
URL: https://www.facebook.com/imspicythai
Business hours: Mon - Sun 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m., 6:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. (closed on Tuesdays)

Presentation: * * *
Price: * * 1/2
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * 1/2
Service: * * *


Kinda disappointed,

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