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My Baking Diary: "Melt in your mouth" Butter Cookies

>> Sunday, January 27, 2013

I baked some butter cookies recently! 1 batch can fill up approximately 3 small jars (30 pieces each container). It's my 1st time baking such cookies & I count it as successful :) It really melts in your mouth! *yums...the end of all the cookies* Gave 1 jar to my SS2 family, 1 jar to Aaron's family, & kept 1 jar for my own family to enjoy :)

Recipe from: http://foodiebaker.com/2012/06/01/melting-moments/

225 grams plain flour
3 tablespoons corn flour
225 grams good quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 grams icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

It's best to use good quality butter as the quality of the butter used affects the taste of the cookies. I managed to buy 3 blocks of SCS unsalted butter for RM8.38/block (buy 2 get 1 free) from Carrefour 2 weeks ago, so using this butter for butter cookies is just YUMMILICIOUS! It's considered cheap for SCS brand since the normal price can go up to RM11.00/block!

I've also reduced the amount of sugar to around 35-40 grams as the original recipe was apparently too sweet. The result that I had was a "just nice" butter cookie that melts in your mouth! I didn't have to put up with some butter cookie that feels like popping an oily, fattening piece of sugar-loaded flour ball! :D

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Line several baking sheets with baking paper and fit a piping bag with a star nozzle. Set them aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the plain flour and corn flour. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar using a hand-held electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes on high speed.

5. Beat in the vanilla extract until mixed in, 30 seconds on medium speed.

6. Sift in 1/2 of the flour mixture into the batter and fold it in with a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon. Sift in the remaining flour mixture and fold it in.

7. Transfer the cookie batter into the piping bag and pipe rosettes onto the baking sheets.

8. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes until the bottom of the cookies have turned golden brown.

The result: REALLY fragrant, delicate/fragile AND crumbly butter cookies! Ensure that you allow the cookies to cool completely before moving them. You can store them in an air-tight container for one week in the refrigerator & bring it up to room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

If you're a newbie to baking such butter cookies, give this a try. It's quite "fool proof" since newbies like me can get it to turn out successfully! :D

Love 'em cookies,


Restoran Sweet Inn Seafood & Noodle

>> Thursday, January 24, 2013

Overall comment: We have only tried their noodles, fried rice, & a veggie - 1st impression: good! The restaurant was clean, service was quite prompt, waiters/waitresses were helpful, & the overall taste of food was above average (in my humble opinion). The only thing was that it's slightly more pricey than the non-airconditioned Chinese restaurants...
Halal: No

We were supposed to be on our way to our usual coffeeshop at Damansara Kim for lunch one workday, when we stumbled upon this restaurant. It looks like those "upper-class" Chinese restaurants, something like Overseas Restaurant, but it is MUCH smaller in size/space. The name of the restaurant makes it sound more like a dessert cafe, but it's actually a Chinese restaurant that serves pretty good food.

The restaurant

The Menu
Their menu is quite simple & straight forward. Prices are stated clearly, except for dishes that follow the seasonal prices.

Starters: Prawn Crackers
While waiting for our food to arrive, we were served a small plate of crispy prawn crackers, seasoned with some chilli/bbq powder. 

Home-Style Noodles with Seafood (RM25.00/medium serving)
This was interestingly delicious. The noodles resemble "Yee Mee", but it was more "Q"/springy/chewy. As you can see from the photo, they were also quite generous with the seafood :) *yums* Thumbs-up.

Stir-Fried Lotus Root with Mixed Veggie (RM24.00/serving)
When the dish first arrived, we were quite "wow-ed" by the thickness of the lotus root. Yummy! So thinly sliced! The vegetables were nicely stir-fried - still crunchy & sweet, although some of the black fungus aren't cut into smaller pieces. The only surprising thing was when the bill arrived & we saw that it costs more than our rice/noodles! *faints*

Fried Rice "Yong Chow" Style (RM20.00/medium serving)
This wasn't very impressive as it lacks "wok hei". But to the very least, the rice wasn't too soft/hard...haha.

The bill
It's quite a sum for just 3 dishes...but we kinda felt that the food here is worth eating if you're ready to pay "upper-class" Chinese restaurant prices ;)

We will be back here again to try out their other dishes...but we'll have to get our pockets slightly loaded first! Hahahaha...

Restoran Sweet Inn Seafood & Noodle
18, Jalan SS 20/10 Damansara Kim
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 7726 6623/ (+6012) 666 0326
Manager: Sweelyn Tan
GPS: N03 8.148' E101 37.742'

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


Will be back soon!


Magnum Exclusive Preview Party

>> Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I was really delighted to be invited to the Magnum Ice Cream's Exclusive Preview Party last Wednesday night. It's my 1st time at such an event & it was one of the most "girly-pampering" events that I have ever been to as well! In actual fact, it was a good treat after getting stuck in the horrible mid-week KL traffic for almost 2 hours! I could have arrived at Ipoh already....*sweat* The party was held at the Renoma Cafe Gallery, a relatively new cafe on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Specially prepared at the party...
Chocolate & Strawberry Magnum ice-cream with fresh strawberries & Chocolate Brownies Magnum ice-cream with creme brule :)

There were several booths/stations where every girl (and guy) could just have loads of fun! Not to forget, there's also free-flow of Magnum ice-cream at the party itself! Only upon arrival that we found out it was a sneak preview to Magnum's 2 new ice-cream flavours i.e. the Chocolate & Strawberry + Chocolate Brownie!! These 2 flavors will only be available in the market at the end of this month - aaahhhh, truly privileged! :D

Booth #1 - Personalizing your own door gift with white chocolate!
It's my 1st time piping white chocolate onto a block of dark chocolate...haha...FUN!

My end product...not bad for a 1st-timer ;)

Booth #2 - Photobooth
Pick any props & snap away! Unlimited shots...hahahaha...

Booth #3 - Cupcake Decorating
Just Heavenly prepared some really lovely cupcakes for us to decorate! Ah, how fun - thanks, Nigel, thanks, Magnum! :D

Booth #4 - Dessert Bar
You can create your own dessert at this booth :) We didn't come by this booth as we were too busy with other booths...hahaha...

Booth #5 - Manicure!!
Woohoo! How lovely :D We could get a free, pampering session of manicure by professional manicurists from a mani-pedi shop at Solaris Mont Kiara. Oh, the ice-creams taste yummy too! I love both flavors although I prefer the oh-so-chocolatey Chocolate Brownie to the Chocolate & Strawberry (cos I don't really fancy strawberry ice-cream!). But the Chocolate Brownie ice-cream has nuts on the Belgian Chocolate shell...bah...I don't really fancy nuts! Hahahaha...

Finger food platter
Food wasn't too bad...we were so hungry that everything tastes nice...

 Xandra Ooi was the emcee for the party...

And I walked out of the party still VERY happy...
What a LOVELY goody bag!! A personalized goody bag with a "hugable" Magnum ice-cream (beanie pillow!! I SUPER LIKE!) & a "leather-looking" Magnum notebook! Woohoo!! Thank you, Magnum! Thanks, Li-Yein for the personal invitation!! *hugs* 

A very happy Magnum-lover,


Mei Wei Little Kitchen Restaurant, Section 17

>> Monday, January 21, 2013

Overall comment: Decent food, but the fish is kinda too pricey for my pocket!
Halal: No

Tucked in the humble housing area of Section 17 PJ is this little restaurant. It looks kinda new, but it has been around for almost a year! I find it really interesting how they actually keep the restaurant so clean & "new" looking. Oh, this place is not that easy to notice since it's surrounded by houses, but once you discover this area, it's a treasure chest to slowly explore.

Mei Wei has quite a substantial array of dishes available on its menu. Prices range from RM15.00 (small portion) for seafood dishes to RM60.00 (large portion of fish head curry). I guess the prices are quite standard for such a place that is so clean, bright, spacious, & nicely air-conditioned. The uncle who served us was quite an enthusiastic & friendly guy. First impression - GOOD! Clean place, friendly service. But we had to wait quite a while for our order to arrive :(

Different types of chillies

Barley with lemon (RM1.50/glass)
It's really my kinda thing...it's not overly sweet as they didn't really add syrup/sugar to the drink, but relied on the "sugar winter melon" pieces to give the clear barley drink some added sweetness. Those who prefer their drinks sweeter will find this very bland. Haha.

"Thousand Layer Beancurd" (RM12.00/small serving)
It's literally translated as thousand layer beancurd from its Chinese name! Either they don't know how to count or they're SO exaggerating! *lol* This dish is quite interesting although I find it too costly for just white beancurd that you can get from the supermarket. Between the pieces of beancurd are pork/chicken floss. It's quite a simple dish, but it's something different from the usual beancurd dishes that you get elsewhere.

Guinness Pork Ribs (RM15.00/small serving)
Pretty yummy. The pork ribs were tender & the flavour of the sauce is quite delicious. There's no bitter-taste of the Guinness Stout as the sauce has been added with honey/sugar. The only thing that I didn't really like was the taste of "kan sui" (alkaline) in the pork.

Steamed Garoupa Assam-Style (RM51.00 - seasonal price)
This was a huge fish for 4 people! The overall taste of the dish was quite nice, but the texture of the fish wasn't to my expectation. It wasn't over-cooked, don't get me wrong :) They deep-fried the fish first before steaming it with the gravy. If only the fish was more crispy or covered in such thick batter, we could dig into the flesh easier. It's quite expensive as well...RM6.00/100g for that day!

Stir-Fried Kangkung with Belacan (RM8.00/small portion)
No complaints. The belacan wasn't very spicy. It could be better if it's slightly more spicy & if there's more dried shrimp in the belacan! :D

Total damage...
Quite scary thanks to the fish!

Will I go there again? Hmm...maybe not for the fish since it's quite a cost to the pocket. I've yet to try their individual dishes/fried noodles. Perhaps someday soon :) Overall, the food is alright. It's nothing "wow", but it is acceptable. I'm not very impressed with the taste of the food, but I am surely impressed by their cleanliness!

Mei Wei Little Kitchen
No 619, Jalan 17/10
46400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+6012) 383 2521
FB: Click here
Email: chooikuin@gmail.com
GPS: N3 7.330' E101 38.137'

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


Poket berlubang sikit,


Review: Oriental Feasty @ Armada Hotel

>> Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Halal: Yes
Promotion: Standard Charted and Citibank Credit Card Holders get a 10% Discount off total bill! (T & C apply)

We're less than a month away from the Chinese New Year! Hurray! During this special time of the year, families & friends will gather for a time of celebration to usher the new year together. Reunion lunches & dinners are pretty much a must for each family & food is more often than not the highlight of each reunion. Believe it or not, almost every dish served during this festive season will have its meaning, symbol or history! You'll find the appearance of fish (surplus), sea cucumber (happiness), lotus root (togetherness), black moss/"fatt choy" (wealth) & a whole chicken (completeness) all on ONE table to complete the feast.

CNY Cookies will also make its grand appearance!

Not to forget the well-known mandarin oranges - a prominent feature during CNY

Armada Hotel is ushering the Year of the Snake 2013 with an array of traditional dishes, carefully planned & prepared by their chefs to remind all diners on the prosperity & togetherness of this season. From 7th January till 25th February 2013, their buffet line will feature a wide variety of "good luck" dishes for the Chinese New Year reunion buffet dinner such as 8 Treasure Shark Fin Soup, Braised Sea Cucumber with Green Vegetable and Mushroom, Lotus Leaf Rice, Braised Duck with Black Mushroom, Steamed Seabass with Ginger Sauce, Herbal Roasted Duck, Chinese Baked Salted Chicken with Herbs, Braised Chestnut Duck, Wok Fried Lamb Steak with Honey Glaze, Sautéed Leek with Squid.

You'll also find some Western & Japanese dishes at the same buffet spread, plus ingredients for you to have your own yee sang, all for the price of RM70.00++ per person! You'll find a good selection of yee sang at Armada Hotel for your "lou hei" such as the Fruitti Veggie Yee Sang (vegetarian), Salmon Yee Sang, Butterfish Yee Sang, & even Japanese Yee Sang for those who would like to try out something different in their toss for prosperity!

Japanese-Style Yee Sang
Salmon/Butterfish + Idako (baby octopus), Hotate (scallops) and Kurage (jelly fish), with deep-fried Salmon Skin and crispy tempura instead of the usual crackers, dressed with a special Japanese dressing prepared by their chef.

Here's a sneak preview to the buffet spread:

Lotus Leaf Rice

Noodles with Chinese Herbs

Braised Seafood in Pumpkin

Special Fish Cake


Meat rolls

Dessert: "Nian Gao" with Coconut Shavings

Assortment of sushi

Assortment of sashimi

Stuffed meat rolls

Steamed Sea Bass in Ginger Sauce

Highlights of the buffet spread

Busy preparing the table for the photographers...

Photographers in action...

The actual buffet spread!

One section of the buffet spread

Apart from the sumptuous dishes offered in the buffet spread, diners can also opt to celebrate their Chinese New Year Eve reunion dinner & all reunion dinners throughout Chinese New Year with 3 different types of Prosperity Set Menus (serves a table of 10 persons): Blissful Abundance (RM988.00++) Hallmark of Achievement (RM1088.00++) or Abundance of Jade (RM1188.00++).

I was blessed to be able to try out the "Abundance of Jade" set menu! *yum yum* 

Prosperity Yee Sang with Abalone & Salmon in Tangy Mango Sauce
This is very special! The tangy mango sauce blended very well with the "yee sang", giving it a fresh, fruity fragrance that brings the common "yee sang" to another level!

All ingredients ready to be tossed!

For good health, wealth, & prosperity!!

Japanese Yee Sang
We had the opportunity to also try this version of the "yee sang". It's very different from the one above as it's more savoury than sweet. Very alike the miso soup + tempura + sesame seed kinda taste...heehee...interesting!

2nd toss - more of everything good!

1st course: Braised 8 Treasure & Scallop Soup
It's alike the shark's fin soup, but it's not as thick/gooey. Among the many ingredients, you'll find shark's fin, crab meat, abalone, bamboo shoots, & Chinese black mushrooms. I personally found it slightly lacking in "umph" - perhaps it's the stock that wasn't fragrant enough...

2nd course: Double-Boiled Duck Cantonese Style
This is like a Christmas Stuffed Turkey ala Chinese ;) SO GOOD! It's braised to perfection - tender, juicy, & bursting in flavours!

3rd course: Steamed Pomfret in Abalone Sauce
The presentation was REALLY INTERESTING! The Armada PR team calls this the "flying fish". I call it the "flying fish that landed on a rock face first!" Hahahahaha...

The steamed fish was perfect! It wasn't under/over-cooked! LOVE. The dried shrimps, crabsticks, dried scallops, & shredded chicken that topped the steamed fish made the simple steamed fish dish a class above the rest.

4th course: Two Variety of Prawns
The salad prawns deserves a brownie point. The combination of fruits used to accompany the prawn i.e. strawberries, kiwi, & honeydew, was a brilliant idea! It's not the usual watermelon/apple/turnip kinda salad prawns. I am pleased! You can opt for a different style for the cooked prawns as well. We had the "lai yao"/"butter" style.

5th course: Stir-Fried Mussels with Taukan & Mushrooms in Yam Ring
That particular night's yam ring was slightly too salty for our liking. I think they over-added salt into the yam ring itself! Eek. But this dish is really a traditional dish filled with wholesome goodness. Which restaurant offers such an abundance of dried oysters/mussels in ONE dish?? It's crazeeeeee.....but yummmmy....

6th course: Steamed Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf
I'm surprised that the glutinous rice is so soft & fluffy - I've never really fancies glutinous rice, but this one is good. I only find it lacking in taste - like there's a lack of dried shrimps to give it the additional fragrance. I felt as such probably because the dishes before this were all very strong in flavours, smell, & texture, thus making this dish feel slightly weaker than its "competitors". Haha.

7th course: Traditional Sweet Longan Dessert
For the VERY first time in the history of my dining experiences, I actually finished my bowl of dessert!! *gasps* This is the only place where I find my dessert not overly sweet (to the dismay of many, I would reckon)! I don't really fancy sweet stuff, so if this is "just right" for me, it probably is slightly tasteless for others. Oops...

8th course: Admiral Fancy Duet
Hmm...I didn't really fancy this dessert. It's nothing very spectacular to me, but there's nothing much to complain about except that the skin of the "fish" was quite dry. I was expecting it to be similar to the "ping pei" mooncake skin's texture. Hmmm....

Executive Chef Chew & Chinese Kitchen's Chef Ang

Tempted to dig into the lovely food prepared by the Armada Hotel's chefs? If you've no plans for a reunion dinner at home on the eve of Chinese New Year, then don't miss out the opportunity to celebrate your Chinese New Year Eve at the Utara Coffee House 'cause the team will be featuring the famous "poon choy" just on that night at the buffet spread (for the same buffet price)!!

For reservation and enquiries, please contact:
Utara Coffee House
Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya
Lot 6, Lorong Utara C, Section 52
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: (+603) 7954 6888, ext 4557

Looking forward to CNY2013,

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