Friday, September 30, 2005

A "cooking" post

What was dinner last night? Stewed duck noodles!

  • One carrot
  • One packet of noodles
  • And one box of frozen stewed duck!

Okay, so it's not quite a cooking-from-scratch post but it does involve turning on the hob and taking out the pots and pans! :P

This is the reason why I love having leftovers in the freezer. Because any leftovers can be turned into a delicious and quick meal with some imagination! Poking around in the freezer last night yielded a box of leftover duck stew. It was only too easy to pop the lot into a pot, slice up a carrot and leave it to heat up.

And while it's heating, boil up the noodles, drain it and voila, a delicious meal in mere minutes!

Competition for the duck noodles hawker!

A close-up of the duck and carrots on a bed of noodles

Lesson: Don't throw away the food you can't finish! It makes cooking life so much easier! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sisters Crispy Popiah

Lunch was popiah from Sisters Crispy Popiah. This eye-catching stall has been around for about 2 to 3 years if I'm not mistaken. They're at the Lower Ground floor of Mid Valley. I'm pretty sure they have other carts elsewhere. One roll of popiah costs RM2.50. More costly than the other popiah out there but this is pretty good and I don't mind paying the price.

As the name suggests, the popiah is crispy, thanks to some secret ingredient that is added in the popiah roll. I noticed that the popiah skin has a light green colour to it, and is thicker than other popiah skins I've eaten. They are quite generous with the fillings too and it tastes very satisfying. Here's a glimpse of it (those little brown crunchies are the crispies).

They also do catering for parties, and insist on preparing them just an hour or so before your party begins because they're not so keen on having the popiah go soggy and not live up to their "Crispy" image.

For a small cart like this they have plenty of staff. There were 4 to man the booth, and it was definitely good business. Here are the ladies, hard at work. Don't see the actual Sisters there anymore. Sign of good business eh?

Fruit Art

I love every kind of fruit, except probably avocado and durians! One of my absolute favourite is stone fruit but it's such a luxury here in Malaysia! I was hoping our trip to Sydney would coincide with the stone fruit season but unfortunately that's only towards the end of the year.

Strawberries were in season though and we sure ate our fill while we were there!

We stopped in Goulburn enroute to Canberra and we were in luck! Right opposite the tourist information centre was a quaint little country market which was just starting to come to live. I bought these luscious-looking strawberry from a stall selling freshly picked farm strawberries. And what a treat they were! Each one was huge, brilliant red, deliciously sweet and juicy with juices that stained our fingers pink as we ate them. Strawberries don't rank too high on my list of favourites but this lot of lovelies pushed it up a notch on the list!

This was dessert on one of our nights there. Feeling bored, I decided to create a nice-looking dessert with oranges and strawberries. The cold navel oranges were so sweet and juicy. Luckily we have similar ones here in the pasar malam!

And finally, one more shot cos I so loved how they looked! :) Thanks to my photographer!

Manhattan Fish Market

Oh no! Not another fishy review post! My apologies again but I promise a cooking write-up tomorrow! :P

I met up with a friend last two weeks ago at Manhattan Fish Market in Midvalley. The place has a nice and open nautical feel to it with wooden "decks" and bits of fishing paraphernalia strung up all over the place.

The menu, too, was bright and breezy with lots of colourful pictures and descriptions of the food.

Upon seating us, they brought over a trio of seasonings and sauces - chopped garlic, tartar sauce and chilli sauce. The chilli sauce they have is superb! It's has bits of chilli flakes and seeds floating inside and is oh so fiery!

We started with some fried squid to share. It was only so-so and a little too greasy for my liking.
My friend, RL, was on a healthy diet so she ordered a this coleslaw. It was a big portion for about RM3 but fussy me has a really strong aversion to mayonnaise so I passed this.

RL and I shared a Baked Dory Fillet with Plum Sauce. The fish came in a quaint saucepan with a side of garlic rice (or fries, your choice) and a wedge of tomato and lemon. The plum sauce gave it a sweetish flavour which was interesting while the garlic rice was absolutely delicious with a subtle hint of garlic and butter that was deliciously aromatic.

J had the Fish & Chips. That smear of white was supposed to be some sort of tartar sauce I think! The fish was lightly battered and was crispy but the chips would have been perfect with a dash of vinegar! In its absence, the super chilli was a close substitute!

Manhattan Fish Market is nice and reasonable place for seafood. They have seafood platters to share and a pretty good range of seafood to choose from. It was a great time catching up with RL and we're already making plans to meet up again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sunset Seafood Dinner

What's the best way to end a day at the Sydney Fish Market? Why, with a seafood dinner on a secluded rock by the cove, watching the sun set over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, of course!

J's sis and her boyfriend bought us a lovely feast from the Fish Market comprising of 2 dozen oysters, boiled prawns and the interesting spanner crabs from my last post. A's boyfriend found a lovely little stone ledge a short walk into the bush which overlooked Sydney City, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. And the enterprising A brought tarp sheets and blankets to sit on and even remembered the lemons and tabasco sauce!

What a treat! Needless to say, we truly enjoyed ourselves, nibbling on oysters, prawns and crabs while watching the sun set over the city. Sometimes, it's the simple pleasures in life that brings most joy.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sydney Fish Market (Lots of photos!)

One of my favourite places in Sydney is the Sydney Fish Market. For a fish-lover like me, it is pure delight to walk in and out of the shops ogling at the mind-boggling array of seafood and fishes, many of which are totally alien to me! Perhaps it's the cooler weather but their market doesn't smell as bad as some of the markets here do and is incredibly clean. They can be, however, just as slippery so watch your step!

They do have a cooking school too although I didn't get a chance to enquire about prices and courses but I believe they have some information on their website.

Anyway, enough talking for now. I'll leave you with the photos and I hope you enjoy your virtual visit here as much as I did! :)

Fresh oysters at a steal at $12.90/dozen!

Boiled balmain bugs - looks weird huh?!

Green-blue swimmer crabs. Such long pincers!


Mud Crabs - I think we have them here too.

Spanner crabs - very unusual! And Moreton Bay Bugs!

Yabbies! Love 'em! Looks like our "udang galah"!

Bailer shell - such a pretty shell but wonder how they eat it!

Sea urchins! Popular with the Japanese

Ocean trout, looks like salmon minus the spots!

Fresh salmon from Tasmanian waters

Jewfish - we saw HUGE versions of these at the Aquarium!

Ocean perch, such a pretty red!

Whole redfish - another pretty red fish

Yellow fin silver bream

John Dory fish - wonder who's John Dory!

Tiger flatheads - interesting fish!

Octopus, doesn't it look cute?!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of weird and interesting fish and seafood! :)

More Chicken Wings

My earlier post on the chicken wings frenzy reminded me of a yummy chicken wings recipe I learnt from A in Sydney. A dash of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, pepper, minced garlic and ginger to marinate them then pop them into the oven to grill. Oh, an a dash of tabasco sauce just before grilling to give it that zing!

Here they are, in their just-baked glory! It turned out nice and sticky from the dark caramel soy sauce. And the spicy kick from the Tabasco sauce was just nice for our Malaysian taste-buds!

I know it's a ridiculously easy recipe but I wasn't kidding when I said I couldn't cook! :p We had it with some stir-fried vege and rice.

What a healthy looking plate of vegetables!
This nice meal was for dinner. I hope to try my own hand at those wings here soon!

Chicken Wings Mania!

Last weekend, we had a family dinner in Yuen's Steamboat in Sunway. It's a buffet steamboat for approximately RM18++ per head. It's not too bad value if you have a big appetite. There are lots of fresh seafood, including crabs and prawns and a mind-boggling array of various balls and vegetables. But the highlight for most are the marinated grilled/fried chicken wings which barely last 2 minutes on the table!

The server would bring it out, barely have time to put it down when hungry hordes would be running (yes, running!) from all directions of the restaurant with their empty plates towards the chicken wings. And when they get there, they don't even bother using the tongs provided anymore, they just dip their plates right in and try to scoop up as many as they can! And shortly after the mania is over, some would walk away triumphantly holding their plates of wings up high while others would slink away with disappointed faces. Watching the chicken wing drama strongly reminded me of lions and hyenas at a feeding frenzy!

It's sad but I guess human primal instincts just kick in and it brings to mind that under all our polished surfaces and thoughts, we aren't too far up the ladder from animals fighting over food! Needless to say, it did provide great entertainment to us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nippon Yataimura

I was looking through some of my old photos and found a forgotten batch! This was lunch at Nippon Yataimura in 1 Utama. This Japanese-style restaurant has booth-style seats in cubicles with cloth banners hanging down above them which is probably a replica of stalls in Tokyo. It's located near the Rotiboy outlet so throughout lunch we were sorely tempted by its tantalising smells! Needless to say, we had one for "dessert" after that!

The restaurant was very crowded as it was a Saturday and to my surprise, most of the patrons were actually young people and students. Wow...these people definitely have a lot more pocket money than I did at their age! We didn't have long to wait for a table though. Their menu is bright and colourful with photographs of the food so it does make ordering much easier.

We started off with refreshing cups of hot green tea which are refillable upon request.
We had a salmon temaki (handroll) for starters. It wasn't too bad. We could actually taste the salmon and the seaweed was still nice and crispy. I like their serving plate though!

For mains, we had a spicy wantan ramen. These were noodles in a very spicy broth and there seemed to be a certain kimchi taste to it! To our disappointment, the only other condiments besides the wantans were 2 FATTY pieces of pork, which we don't eat! The fatty layer was amazing! I haven't seen such fat on a slice of meat in a while!

Bro had a Katsudon which was pretty good. There was a generous slice of breaded fried pork on rice, topped with a delicious egg and onion omelette.

And we shared this pot of nabemono. It's a delicious one-pot stew served in a cute little cauldron and was full of chinese cabbage, slices of meat, tofu, spring onions and topped with a poached egg. The soup was a little similar to the ramen but wasn't as fiery. My favourite was the tofu. It melted like silk in the mouth...lovely!

The bill for 4 of us came up to approximately RM50+. I just have one question...anyone wondered why they serve their soup dishes with ladles? We actually saw people eating with those ladles and it did look a little funny and unwieldy! Maybe it's the authentic Japanese style of eating!

Before leaving, I took a picture of their board outside the restaurant. It's filled with pictures of their food. What an excellent way of advertising!

Aussie Crisps!

I came home from Sydney with a huge boxful of nothing but....junk food! Yes, it was a very expensive grocery shopping trip! But unfortunately, the only thing my foodie siblings requested for was crisps! And crisps there were!

Red Rock Deli has a fantastic range of crisps with very interesting flavours. I tried the Red Wine & Tuscan Herbs flavour there but there wasn't any stock to bring home. So my sibs had to settle for Crispy Bacon & Sour Cream. The bag burst in transit and bro set upon it with great glee. By the time I remembered to take a picture, it was almost finished! He said they tasted rather cheesy although there was no cheese element anywhere. Perhaps it was the sour cream. The crisps are nice, rough-cut and well-flavoured crisps. Just nice to munch on when feeling peckish or when the munchies set in!

I also brought back a huge 18-bag of assorted crisps by Arnotts. I had grabbed it, thinking it was Lays which is more famous for crisps. But for a first, Arnotts wasn't too bad. There wer 4 flavours in the bag - Light & Tangy, Original, Chicken and Salt & Vinegar. Sis liked the Salt & Vinegar one best. These crisps were thinner-cut and packed into small bags, handy for the snack on the go!

I wish I could have brought home more. The choices in their supermarkets are mind-boggling! Unfortunately, since they're highly delicate, huge and bulky; and I only have 2 arms to carry hand luggage with, I guess the siblings would have to make this lot last till our next overseas trip!