Author Archives: Nicholas Pillai

Lakshmi Bhavan – Jalan Maarof, Bangsar

I have not blogged in ages, I seem to procrastinate and so I have numerous half stories and hundreds of photos in my computer.

Well Lakshmi Bhavan  was one of my Friday sojourns with my friend Selvi.  She wanted Chinoz at Bangsar Shopping Centre but I said I wanted something Indian, big difference, but the body knows what it wants sometimes.

So at 10 am, there I was in the restaurant.  Now last visit in December, they were  vegetarian, but this time I noticed they also sold meat. I guess it is fine, since Saravana Bhawan is just a few shops down.  This is another calamity in Malaysia, same shops selling almost same foods all in a row.  Why I never understand.

Anyhow Lakshmi delivered the goods and it is more relaxing then other Indian places which are usually noisy and boisterous and Saravana is never known for a place to relax and chat. Lakshmi on the other hand is sheer relaxation and slow paced and we actually sat and chatted for three hours the last time.

20140321_101340So we ordered.  The first was Onion Bhaji.  I half didn’t know what to expect because in my mind I thought it would be minced onions all bhajied up much like our Malaysian Cucur Bawang.  So knowledgeable I am about Indian food, I was quite taken aback to see a kind of thickish chion slice in the middle of each Bhaji that was served with I feel a little too little Coconut Chutney.  Expecting to eat a really raw onion, I was wrong.  It was cooked at the right temperature and the amount of time that the onion still looked fresh and yet was cooked right through.  It was a burst of flavor amidst the rather powdery tasting bhaji batter, but it complemented each other well. 20140321_101358Somehow, I feel the onions could have been smaller so the flavor would explode in your mouth when you take the first bite.  I doubt children would like this because of the size of the onion.

 

Then our Rawa Masala Dosa came.  I have always had Rawa Dosa but never Rawa Masala Dosa.  Now Selvi had a story where she ate Masala Dosa at a restaurant a few shops down, no names mentioned and the filling was stone cold.  20140321_101951So she was half expecting that till we took a mouthful and frankly speaking I never saw Selvi eat like that before.  It was either she was really hungry or it was damn nice.  I believe it was the latter.   The crispiness of the Dosa was still maintained even though we ate the Onion Bhaji first.  And the filling was extremely nice.  It was just what the doctor ordered, for two people who have had to put up with the haze, and water situation and all the other problems our country is facing at the moment.  We just polished the plate.

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Next was out Bhaturas.  Now I do make quite a good Bhatura, but I am ashamed to say this one was very nice as well.  It was not oily, yet if was fluffy and had a nice rich taste to it.  No substitutions of a cheaper flour and the potato curry or Potato Sambar was truly delightful.  It complemented the Bhaturas very well.  I wish I could have had more potato curry actually.  The Dhall Curry was very tasty as well, not the thick kind I make, but it went well and as for me, I like my Dhall Curry as a soup so I would eat it just like that…which I did.

The atmosphere of Lakshmi Bhavan is not intrusive.  What I do not like is waiters coming to sell their curries and all and if you were to ask them something, they’d look at you blankly.  This does not happen here.  The waiter is presentable and well spoken and he will even tell you not to order this and that if he feels the food might taste the same.  That is what I like when I go out to eat.

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Selvi decided to order the Chilly Bhajis.  Once again I thought it would be slices of chilly cooked in a vegetable puff kind of way.  Well as you can see I was once again wrong.  I think my lack of knowledge on Indian Food is quite shocking and embarrassing.  I should do something about it.  Now first bite, this was simply wonderful. Yes there was a bit of spiciness, but the bhaji mix complemented the chilly very well.  Even better then the onion one I feel.

Selvi and I also learnt that, chilly is spicier at the stem rather than the tip.  So there you go, you learn something new all the time.

20140321_102732 The we had Mini Idly (Yours truly pronounced it Italy and got looks of death). These were mini sized Idly in a bowl with the same Dhall that came with the Bhatura.  It was nice. Frankly I do not like sauce all over my food so I would have preferred it separate. The tanginess of the gravy with its vegetables as well as the tanginess from the Idly was not over powering for some reason.  If I ordered it again, I would tell them to separate the gravy.

Finally we ordered dessert. It was a Gulab of some sort which I cannot 20140321_105615remember.  Now expecting something Gheelike and milky in sugar. We were fine with the sudden burst of sugar. Alas, it was sort of a disappointment.  I cannot describe it but it was like eating paneer balls in sugar syrup.  Probably that what it was. Maybe by now too we were getting full so hence these little things become a problem

I am sure their other desserts are fine though.

While lazily sipping our Masala Tea, I am sure we could have stayed a lot longer and ordered more stuff if I had not had to rush home for an order.

I think finding an Indian Restaurant that is quiet and clean, and also enables one to sit and talk is quite rare.  Service wise, It is pretty good, except the waiter could be a tad bit more on the ball.  His gentility was very much obliged, but sometimes, to get his attention, one had to do a song and a dance so to speak.

If I lived in the Bangsar area, I would certainly visit Lakshmi Bhavan a lot more, just to sit there and absorb the atmosphere and of course the nice food.  I will certainly go there again.

 

 

April Baking and Cooking Classes 2014

Tea Time Favorites
Saturday April 5th 10 to 1pm

Today is tea time favorite day. You will learn to make;
1. Chicken Curry
2. Pulut Kuning
3. Roti Jala

Price Per Person: $85 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Teatime Favorite 2

Saturday April 5th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make these easy treats that we like so much and often never get enough when we eat it at restaurants. You will learn to make

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1. Spring Rolls
2. Spring Roll Filling
3. Pie Tee
4. Pie Tee Filling
5. Chilly Sauce
This class is suitable for Vegetarians.

Price Per Person: $85 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

A Day of Fish Favorites
Sunday April 6th 2.30 to 5 pm

I do not normally cook anything fishy and today might be history as I am doing three fish dishes.
1. Fish Head Curry
2. Nonya Assam Fish Curry
3. Fish Cutlets

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)
I need confirmation at least 3 days in advance to ensure each student gets a fish head.

French Baguette (French Bread Class)
Saturday 12th 10 to 1.30 pm

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Learn to make two types of French Bread. I have been practicing this for awhile now and finally I am happy with the results. You will learn to bake from scratch the French Method with the crusty finish and the American Method which is slightly crusty.
This is a fully hands on class.
1. French Baguette (Bahn Min – Vietnamese)
2. American Baguette

Price Per Person: $85 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Hum Ching Peng and Yau Char Kway Class
Sunday April 13th 10 to 2 pm

I have been practicing these recipes for a while now and putting on a lot of weight in the process because of all the tasting. I used to pay AUD2 for a Yau Char Kway in Australia more than 10 years ago and it was FROZEN!
I am doing this because they do not sell this where I live anymore and the nearest would be Paramount which I find always leaves an after taste and a bad throat. And they seem to only sell it in the morning when I am least interested to eat it.
Believe it or not Yau Char Kway tastes wonderful with Indian Coconut Chutney and Heavenly with Melted Chocolate… just saying!

1. Yau Char Kway (Youtiau)
2. Hum Ching Peng
3. Pulut Hum Ching Peng

Price Per Person: $85 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)
Please note the time.

 

Puff Pastry
April 13th Sunday 3 pm to 5.30 pm

Learn to make Puff Pastry from scratch. It is quite easy once you get the hang of it. You will learn;

1. Puff Pastry
2. Sausage Rolls – the real ones
3. Tuna Foldovers
4. Old Fashioned Sardine Rolls

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)
Please note the Time Change.

 

Indian Cooking Class
Saturday April 19th 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make a Northern Indian Meal. You will learn to make
1. Vegetable Beriani
2. Smoked Mutton Curry
3. Palak Paneer
4. Vegetable Jalfrezi
5. Learn to make Paneer from scratch

Price Per Person: $110 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Breakfast Meals that can be packed for School
Saturday April 19th 2.30 to 5 pm

Learn to make Breakfast foods that can be packed for school. Quick and easy as well!

You will learn to make;

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1. Pancakes
2. Fritatas
3. Bread Pinwheels with Cheese and Pumpkin
4. Homemade Muesli

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

French Macaron Class
Sunday April 20th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make French Macarons with two fillings.

You will learn to;

1. Prepare Macarons
2. Salty Chocolate with Black Sesame Filling
3. Cheese and Wasabi Filling

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Chocolate Indulgence
Saturday April 26th 10 to 1 pm

Let’s make some Decadent Chocolate Favorites you will learn to make;
1. Rich Chocolate Brownies
2. Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies
3. Chocolate Lava Cake

Price Per Person: $95
Class will commence once there are 6 students. This is a hands on class.

 

Fried Noodle Class
Sunday April 27th 2.30 to 5.30

Let’s learn to make some hawker favorites. You will learn
1. Mamak Mee – Original Penang Style
2. Hokkien Mee
3. Char Koay Teow

Price Per Person: $95 Class will commence once there are 6 students
Please bring three containers to take your foods home and please dress comfortably.

 

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya. Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any INQUIRIES.
Please check my blog http://www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded. If fees ar not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list.

March Cooking and Baking Classes 2014

 Ode to Petai

March 2nd Sunday 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make several dishes using the wonderful Petai Bean.  You will learn to make

  1. Petai Fried Rice
  2. Petai with Tofu and Tempe
  3. Petai with Minced Chicken

Price Per Person: $90 (class will commence once there are 6 students)

 Spaghetti Sunday (Class is Full)

March 2nd Sunday 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make different types of Fast Food Spaghetti Sauces. You will learn;

  1. Spaghetti Vongole
  2. Spaghetti Napolitan
  3. Spaghetti Pormodoro Crudo

Price Per Person: $90 (class will commence once there are six students)

Kuih Class

March 8th Saturday 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make kuih.  You will learn;

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  1. Kuih Lapis
  2. Kuih Serimuka
  3. Woo Tau Koh (Yam Cake)

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 Foods for School

March 8th  Saturday 2.30 to 5.30

Price of foods are just shocking these days.  Even I feel it when I go out.  So why not prepare stuff for the kids to take to school. It’s easy, it can be stored, and it can be used in different ways.

  1. Chicken Casserole
  2. Meatloaf
  3. Mac and Cheese

Price Per Person: $100 (Class is confirmed once there are 6 students)

Laksa Class (1 Place Left)

March 9th Sunday 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make different laksa dishes

1. Penang  Laksa

2. Johor Laksa

3. Assam Laksa

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Hawker Curry Puffs

March 15th Saturday 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make two types of our favorite curry puff.

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  1. Malay or Indian Crispy Curry puff Pastry
  2. Rolled Curry Puffs – Curry Puff Putar
  3. Vegetable Curry Filling

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Chocolate Saturday ( 1 Place Left)

March 15th Saturday 2.30 to 5.30

The Chocolate Class everyone missed out because of Chinese New Year is back again.  Lets learn to make Chocolate goodies laced with alcohol. You will learn;

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  1. Whisky Fudge
  2. Chocolate Truffles
  3. Tiramisu

All these have alcohol in them.

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Puff Pastry (Class is Full)

March 16th Sunday 10 am to 1 pm

Learn to make Puff Pastry from scratch.  It is quite easy once you get the hang of it.  You will learn;

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  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Sausage Rolls – the real ones
  3. Tuna Foldovers
  4. Old Fashioned Sardine Rolls

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 Old Fashioned Butter Cake and Butter Icing

March 16th Sunday 2.30 to 4.30 pm

Learn to make Butter Cake and Old Fashioned Butter Icing the Artisanal way. You will be using your hands and a spoon.  Each person will take home a butter cake with butter icing.  You will learn to spread icing and do basic piping as well.

 Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 Sweet Bread Class

March 22nd Saturday 10 to 1 pm

These are breads just nice for tea or as a pickerupper.  I am still going to do my coconut rolls simply because I love it. So here goes;

MOnkey Bread

  1. Coconut Rolls
  2. Monkey Bread
  3. Beer Rolls

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 Devil’s Food Cake

March 22nd Saturday 2.30 to 5.30

A Devils Food Cake always starts with a good Chocolate Cake and then covered with luscious Chocolate Topping and you can even sandwich with Mocha Butter Cream.  You will learn;

  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. Mocha Butter Cream
  3. Chocolate Ganache Topping

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 Red Velvet

March 29th Saturday 2.30 to 5.30

The much requested Red Velvet Class is here one more time.  You will learn;

  1. Red Velvet Cake
  2. Chocolate Filling
  3. Cheese Topping

This is a hands on session:  Class will commence once there are 6 students. Please bring along a big enough container to take your piece of cake home.

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are six students)

 Curry without Coconut Milk 2

March 30th Sunday 10 am to 1 pm

  1. Chicken Devil Curry
  2. Dry Mutton Curry
  3. A Hearty Vegetable Dhall Curry

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Please bring three containers to take your curries home

 

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya. 

Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries. 

Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

 Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded.  If fees are not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list.

 

February Baking and Cooking Classes

Saturday February 8th 2.30 to 5.30

Non Yeast Breads

As always, this class was created simply because I’m such a big baby because yeasty breads make me sick.  So here are some of my favorites;

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  1. A Very Healthy Seed Loaf
  2. Soda Bread
  3. Banana Bread

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Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Sunday February 9th 2.30 to 5.30

The Month of Love – Class of Chocolate Wickedness

Let’s learn to make;

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  1. Whisky Fudge
  2. Chocolate Truffles
  3. Tiramisu

All these have alcohol in them.

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Saturday February 15th 10 to 1 pm

Indian Roti Morning

Learn to make 3 Indian Rotis at home.

You will learn to make

  1. Naan
  2. Bhatura (Similar to Puri)
  3. Roti
  4. Potato and Pea Curry (My favorite curry)

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Saturday February 15th 2.30 to 5.30

Devil’s Food Cake

A Devils Food Cake always starts with a good Chocolate Cake and then covered with luscious Chocolate Topping and you can even sandwich with Mocha Butter Cream.  You will learn;

  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. Mocha Butter Cream
  3. Chocolate Ganache Topping

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Sunday February 16th 10 to 1 pm

Mille Crepe

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Learn the Art of making Mille Crepe

Learn to make Mille Crepe from scratch. You will learn to make the crepes, the mille feuille (Cream) and assemble the crepe and take your share home.

Price Per Person: $95

Class will commence once there are 6 students.  This is a hands on session so please dress comfortably and bring a container.

Sunday February 16th 2.30 to 5.30

Cake and Pudding Class

Learn to make;

  1. Pineapple and Mango Upside Down Cake
  2. Pear and Ginger Pudding

Price Per Person: $90

Class will commence once there are 6 students.  Please bring containers.

Saturday February 22nd 10 am to1 pm

Coconut Delights

I’ve always like my coconut desserts.  These are my all time easy to do favorites.  You will learn;

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  1. Coconut Rolls
  2. Old Fashioned Coconut Cake with a Coconut Ice Topping

Price Per Person: $85

Class will commence once there are 6 students.

Sunday February 23rd 10 am to 1 pm

Hainanese Chicken Rice

A favorite everywhere, even overseas. Please do not CRINGE when we fry the chicken fat as this is the real thing.

  1. Chicken Rice (Heong Fun)
  2. Chicken
  3. Ginger Gravy
  4. Chilly Sauce
  5. Chicken Stock

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Sunday February 23rd 2.30 to 5.30

Nutty Carrot Cake with Italian Butter Cream

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  1. Nutty Carrot Cake
  2. Italian Butter Cream

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.  Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries.  Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded.  If fees are not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list. 

January Cooking Classes

Happy New Year! A new year with new beginnings and already we are inundated with prices going up.  Well life goes on. No point delving into something we cannot control.

This month I’m doing a few more cooking classes rather then baking all because it is Chinese New Year.  So I hope to see everyone this month. And for those who dropped by and gave me wonderful Christmas goodies.. they were so nice no one had a chance to taste it THANK YOU.  It is always nice to receive gifts like that out of the blue.  And also when my cake tasted so much better when they baked it made it even more special.  So here goes..

Saturday 4th January 10 – 1 pm

Cookies for Chinese New Year

  1. Almond Biscotti
  2. Dried Prawn Cookies
  3. Cashewnut Cookies

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

MONDAY 14th January 10 to 1 pm (NEW CLASS)

Pineapple Tarts

Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts and of course the quintessential PINEAPPLE JAM!

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  1. Old fashioned Open Pineapple Tarts
  2. Rolled Pineapple Tart
  3. Pineapple Jam

This is a hands on class, please bring containers to take home your cookies

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Sunday 5th January 10 to 1 pm

Friday 17th January 10 am to 1.30 – Holiday Class

Homemade Bak Kwa and Bak Hu ( Chicken Floss)

Homemade Bak Kwa and Bak Hu ( Chicken Floss)

 Bak Kwa

Learn to make Chicken Bak Kwa

You will learn to make this favorite from scratch.  This is a fully hands on session.

Price Per Person: $75 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Saturday 11th January 10 to 1 pm

Indonesian Layered Cake

You will learn to make three types of layer cake.

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  1. Indonesian Layer Cake
  2. Almond Layer Cake
  3. Chocolate Layer Cake

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

 Saturday 11th January 2.30 to 5.30

A Simple Reunion Dinner

  1. Nonya Yee Sang
  2. Buttered Prawns
  3. Lemon Chicken
  4. Tofu with Fatt Choy and Mushrooms

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Saturday 18th  January 10 am to 1 pm

Tofu Dishes for Chinese New Year

A class where all dishes will be made with different kinds of Tofu

  1. Crispy Tofu Balls
  2. Three Tofu Curry
  3. Tempe Tofu Medley (Something Eda created)

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Saturday 18th January 2.30 to 5.30

Roast Chicken Class

Roasted Chickens make a party easy and fuss free. On a usually hot Chinese New Year’s day surprise everyone by serving them roasted chicken and two Asian type accompaniments.
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You will learn;

  1. Two Types of Roasted Chicken
  2. Pomelo Salad
  3. An Arrowroot Dish – Ngaku

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Sunday 19th January 10 to 1 pm

Carrot Cake and Italian Butter Cream Class

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Learn to make one of my favorite cakes

Carrot and Cranberry Cake with Italian Butter Cream and  Coconut

You will learn:

  1. Nutty Carrot and Cranberry cake
  2. Italian Butter Cream

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.  Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries.  Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

December Cooking and Baking Classes

It’s Christmas Time and it is always a fun time when I get to teach all my favorite foods and foods that have always been a part of my life.  Hope to see you all…

Christmas Cake Class 1

Saturday December 7th 10 am to 1 pm

 

It’s my favorite time of year when we make our Christmas Cake. You will learn to make two types of fruit cakes.

  1. Rich Rich Fruit Cake
  2. Semolina Fruit Cake

This is a semi hands on class where students will participate in making and baking the cake together.

Price Per Person: $95  Class will commence once there are six students.

 

Christmas Cake Class 2

Saturday December 7th  2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make English Classics that are oldies but goodies and seldom heard off around here.

  1. Dundee Cake
  2. Classic English Christmas Cake

Price Per Person: $95  (Class will commence once there are six students.

 

Pineapple Tarts for Christmas

Sunday December 8th  10am to 1 pm

What is life without pineapple tarts especially during Christmas.   Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts and of course the quintessential PINEAPPLE JAM!

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  1. Old fashion pineapple tart
  2. Rolled Pineapple Tart
  3. Pineapple Jam

This is a hands on class, please bring containers to take home your cookies

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are six students)

 

A Nutty Cookie Class

Sunday December 8th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make 3 types of Nutty Cookies

You will learn to make;

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  1. Almond Biscotti
  2. Walnut Cookies
  3. Hazelnut Swirls

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

 

Sri Lankan Love Cake

Wednesday December 11th 10 to 1 pm

After years and years, I am finally holding this Love Cake Class.  This is a traditional cake made when gentlemen came a courting.  Learn to make this cake from scratch.  This cake takes a bit of precision and care when being prepared.

This is a hands on session where you will be making this cake in groups.

Price Per Person: $65. Class will commence once there are 6 students.

 

Vegetarian Christmas Wonders

Wednesday December 11th  2.30 to 5.30

As I have not been eating meat now for 9 months and still counting, I thought I should include this class just for those celebrating Christmas or any other celebration and can never have anything interesting.  So here goes, you will learn:

  1. Cheese and Spinach Roulade
  2. Choux Pastry filled with Mushrooms and Port
  3. Apple and Fruit Mince Strudel
  4. Caramelised Cheese and Onion Tartlets
  5. Home Made Fruit Mince for the Strudel

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Christmas Turkey Class

Saturday December 14th 10 to 1 pm

It’s the yearly Turkey Class; learn to make my moist turkey and all the trimmings and accompaniments that go with it.

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  1. Roast turkey with
  2. Chestnut stuffing
  3. Turkey gravy
  4. Refreshing Tomato and Grape Salad
  5. German Potato Salad
  6. Christmas pudding
  7. Butter custard sauce

christmas pudding

Price Per Person: $135. Class will commence once there are eight students.

 

 Christmas Roasting Lamb and Chicken Class

Saturday December 14th 2.30 to 5.30

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASS December 13th 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm – 3 Places Left.

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  1. Lemon Rosemary Leg of Lamb
  2. Roast Chicken
  3. Stuffing
  4. Two Cheese Potato Pancakes– A Dish with many uses.
  5. Whole Baked Carrots
  6. Christmas Pudding
  7. Brandy Butter Sauce

Price Per Person: $145 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

This is a hands on class, We prepare and cook the meal together and then have a nice meal.

Christmas Delights

Sunday December 15th 10 am to 1 pm

You will learn to make some Christmas favorites that seem to be rather expensive at all major hotels.  This is a fully Hands on session where you will be working in groups.  You will learn to make:

Stollen1

  1. Christmas Stollen
  2. Marzipan for Stollen Filling
  3. Fruit Mince Tart Filling from scratch
  4. Christmas Fruit Mince Tart
  5. Shortbread

Christmas Fruit Mince

Shortbread

These are ideal homemade Christmas gifts.

Price Per Person: $95  Class will commence once there are eight students.

Yule Log

Sunday December 15th 2.30 to 5 pm

Decorate your OWN Christmas Yule Log and take it home.  You will learn to prepare

  1. Traditional Sponge for Swiss Roll
  2. Cherry Filling
  3. Chocolate Icing to decorate the cake

This is a Fully Hands on session, so please dress comfortably.

Price Per Person: $95.  Class will commence once there are eight students.

Boxes will be provided to take your cakes home.

 

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.  Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries.  Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

November Cooking Classes

 

A Nutty Cookie Class

Saturday November 9th 10 to 1 pm     

Learn to make 3 types of Nutty Cookies

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You will learn to make;

  1. Almond Biscotti
  2. Walnut Cookies
  3. Hazelnut Swirls

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Mille Crepe

Saturday November 9th 2.30 to 5.30

MyMille1

The art of Mille Crepe – Learn to make Mille Crepe from scratch. You will learn to make the crepes, the mille feuille (Cream) and assemble the crepe and take your share home.

Price Per Person: $95

Class will commence once there are 6 students.  This is a hands on session so please dress comfortably and bring a container.

Muffins Galore

Sunday November 10th 10 am to 1

Easy Peasy Muffins

Learn to make my favorite Banana Crumb Muffins, you will also learn;

  1. Banana Crumb Muffin
  2. Cranberry and Orange Muffins
  3. Carrot Nut Muffin
  4. Zucchini and Onion Muffins

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Beef Steak and its Accompaniments

Sunday November 10th 2.30 to 5.30

steak

Learn to prepare a western meal. You will learn,

  1. Chicken Liver Pate
  2. Bruschetta with Vegetable and Cheese Topping
  3. Beef Fillet with gravy
  4. Roasted Vegetable Salad
  5. Spicy Potatoes

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Cakes – My Favorite Carrot Cake

Saturday November 16th 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make one of  my favorite cakes

Image

Carrot and Cranberry Cake with Italian Butter Cream and  Coconut Topping

You will learn:

  1. Nutty Carrot and Cranberry cake
  2. Italian Butter Cream
  3. Coconut Topping

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Lamb Chop Class

Sunday November 17th 10 to 1 pm

lamb chop

Learn to prepare a western meal. You will learn

  1. Chicken Liver Pate
  2. Minestrone Soup
  3. Lamb Chops
  4. Pan Fried Egg Plants
  5. Pan Seared Cherry Tomatoes
  6. Mashed Potatoes

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Baking with Green Tea

Sunday November 17th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make Tea Time Favorites. You will learn;

  1. Green Tea Sponge roll with Green Tea Filling
  2. Green Tea Chiffon Cake with a Green Tea Butter Cream
  3. Green Tea Sable Cookies

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Children’s Pizza and  Mac and Cheese Class

Wednesday November 20th 10 to 1 

Kids will learn to make Pizza and Mac and Cheese.

  1. Learn to make Pizza Dough
  2. Topping
  3. Macaroni and Cheese..

These are ideal snacks for school next year.

Price Per Child: $85 (Class will commence once there are 6 children)

Christmas Cake Class 1

Saturday November 23rd 10 to 1pm

Wednesday November 27th 2.30 to 5.30

 

It’s my favorite time of year when we make our Christmas Cake. You will learn to make two types of fruit cakes.

  1. Rich Rich Fruit Cake
  2. Semolina Fruit Cake

This is a semi hands on class where students will participate in making and baking the cake together.

Price Per Person: $95  Class will commence once there are six students.

A Rustic Christmas Roasting Class – Cooking with Lamb

Sunday November 24th 10 to 1 pm

This year’s recipes are all new, so why not come and try it all.

  1. Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Savory Rice
  2. Two Cheese Potato Pancakes– A Dish with many uses.
  3. Whole Baked Carrots
  4. Christmas Pudding
  5. Brandy Butter Custard

Price Per Person: $125 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Christmas Cake Class 2

Sunday November 24th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make English Classics that are oldies but goodies and seldom heard off around here.

Dundee Cake - Courtesy of World Receipes.blogspot.com

Dundee Cake – Courtesy of World Receipes.blogspot.com

  1. Dundee Cake
  2. Classic English Christmas Cake

Price Per Person: $95  (Class will commence once there are six students.

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.  Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries.  Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

 

Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded.  If fees are not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list.

 

October Cooking Classes

Beef Steak and Accompaniments for a western meal.
Saturday October 5th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to prepare a western meal. You will learn,

Bruschetta
1. Chicken Liver Pate
2. Bruschetta with Vegetable and Cheese Topping
3. Beef Fillet with gravy
4. Roasted Vegetable Salad
5. Spicy Potatoes

steak

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Vegetarian Class
Sunday October 6th 10 to 1 pm

It’s been more than EIGHT months since I have stopped eating meat and so I’ve decided to hold a class on some of my vegetarian favorites. You will learn to prepare;

1. Spaghetti Kerabu
2. Vegetable Cutlets
3. Barley, Mushroom and Corn Salad
4. Carrot and Chickpea Salad
5. Home Made Cheese Crackers

Price Per Person: $100 Class will commence once there are six students.

Lamb Chops and Accompaniments for a western meal
Sunday October 6th 2.30 to 5.30
Sunday October 27th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to prepare a western meal. You will learn

minestrone

1. Chicken Liver Pate
2. Minestrone Soup
3. Lamb Chops
4. Pan Fried Egg Plants
5. Pan Seared Cherry Tomatoes
6. Mashed Potatoes

lamb chop

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

A Nutty Cookie Class
Tuesday October 15th 10 am to 1 pm

Learn to make 3 types of Nutty Cookies
You will learn to make;
1. Almond Biscotti
2. Walnut Cookies
3. Hazelnut Swirls

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Pineapple Tart Class  - CLASS IS FULL 
Saturday 19th 10 am to 1 pm

What is life without pineapple tarts. Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts.
You will learn two types of pastries and the jam of course.

1. Old fashion pineapple tart
2. Rolled Pineapple Tart
3. Pineapple Jam

This is a hands on class, please bring containers to take home your cookies

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Cheesecake – 2 places Left
Saturday 19th 2.30 to 5.30

The long awaited cheesecake class is here, learn to make;
1. Coffee Cheese Cake
2. Baked Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake
3. Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Price Per Person: $110 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Indonesian Layer Cake
Sunday October 20th 10 am to 1 pm

I miss doing this class, not done it in a while. So here goes,
You will learn to make three types of layer cake.

1. Indonesian Layer Cake
2. Almond Layer Cake
3. Chocolate Layer Cake

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Indian Cuisine – Smoked Mutton Curry and a complete Indian meal. Saturday October 26th 10am to 1pm

Learn to make Smoked Mutton and other Northern Indian favorites.
1. Smoked Mutton Curry- Cooked and smoked in a Pot
2. Vegetable Beriani
3. Vegetable Jalfrezi
4. Palak Paneer
5. Learn to make Paneer

Price Per Person: $120 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Laksa Class
Learn to make different laksa dishes

Sunday October 27th 10 to 1 pm

1. Penang Laksa
2. Johor Laksa
3. Assam Laksa

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya. Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries. Please check my blog http://www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded. If fees are not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list.

Pasta Zanmai – Tropicana City Mall

IMG-20130909-WA0023One of those days, when I suddenly felt like having Japanese, seems like it is a weekly thing with me now, so today I went somewhere else for a change. So there we were tossing up Rakuzen or Pasta Zanmai, and Pasta Zanmai won because it looked rather nouveau to Melissa.

So we sat down and pondered for a few minutes before three rather too huge menus were placed in front of us. Now I have one gripe here. Looking at our sizes, the waitress should realize we would order more food than the rest, and yet she put us on a small table. There was a couple who ordered one dish each and they had a big round table. This is rather bizarre.. I mean did we look like One Dish Wonders?

Anyhow we ordered. Now unlike other places, Pasta Zanmai does not use Nori to wrap their sushi. They use Tortilla skin. A bit strange, coming from a place called Pasta Zanmai because Tortillas are not exactly Italian, but nevertheless, it did look interesting.

As usual, silly me forgot to take the receipt so I better remember what I ate so you will get a description without the Japanese name.

Slivers of Salmon

Slivers of Salmon

The first thing I chose was the salmon roll that was on promotion for this month. Now I am sure everyone knows I like Salmon. In the photo, it looked like a thick piece so I was quite happy. Then it came. Holy Baloney!!! I swear the chef must have kitchen skills that went back to biblical times when the thousands were fed with five fish and two loaves of bread. He would have been able to feed a few more thousand back then with his knife skills.

It was so thin, you tasted only tortilla and the tamago that was inside. But ok, I was in Pasta Zanmai, so I should not complain. It was fresh tasting with the lettuce.

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I ordered the Unagi roll, and it was exactly the same but with once again a sliver of Unagi with a different sauce. Now Miss Waitress here should have stopped me and told me, both rolls were the same with exception of the topping and the dressing. She didn’t, so when both came I looked at it and realized what a fool I was. Anyhow slivers of Unagi or not, it was fine. The concept of the tortilla was cool bananas with Melissa and our friend. The filling was refreshing as both had avocado, tamago and lettuce.

Globs of Agedashi Tofu

Globs of Agedashi Tofu

I ordered Agedashi Tofu. I like Agedashi Tofu, Pasta Zanmai’s version was four huge pieces of tofu, which was deep fried in this rather gluey batter that gave it a very gummy skin. The tofu was far too big. Not that the three of us had small mouths, but having to break your tofu three times before you finished each piece was a little ugly. Now Japanese food is known for being all morsely and one or two bite fulls. This was a messy escapade. I have to say it was pretty and all but eating hot tofu and having it fall apart on your plate is rather ugly. Next time I order it, if I go there again, I will tell them to cut it smaller.

IMG-20130909-WA0025

My Sashimi, somehow didn’t look at all like what was in the menu. And I love my Sashimi, and I eat it all the time, practically a few times a month.  But this time, I found the sashimi to be rather insipid.  It was fresh, it looked radiant, but it lacked flavor. Now I don’t mean fishy flavor but it lacked the fishiness I like about Sashimi.  Even Melissa commented that it needed soy sauce.  I wonder why this happened today.  Because this is the first time it has ever happened to me.  Perhaps it was cut too thinly, I really cannot tell.  But it was just plain and insipid although very fresh looking.

IMG-20130909-WA0020
Melissa’s Pizza came, she seemed elated, and she was nice enough not to order a meat one so I could eat. I do not want to sound disdain or anything like that, but I thought it had too much sauce. I mean just look at it. It is a Tortilla for heaven’s sakes, it is not even a thin pizza base, its three times thinner than a thin pizza, so why do you need to plonk so much of filling and then douse it with mayo sauce like that. I took a small nibble, it was ok, it could be better, I guess I am not a saucy person. I like my pizzas with the least amount of toppings, a Pizza Margherita being my utmost favorite.

20130909_144251

Melissa’s other pick was the enoki mushrooms wrapped in beef slices. Now I must say this has always been a favorite of mine even before, so I knew this was nice even though I didn’t eat it. She raved about it and ate almost the whole thing. Our other friend took one piece From what I remember, the mushrooms are just slightly cooked and the beef still maintains some rarity so to speak, as if it is fully cooked, it would be too dry. I have had this a few times before and it’s always been nice.

IMG-20130909-WA0021

Then our friend’s dish came, it was an Omelet Fried Rice with a Seafood Tomato Sauce. I don’t know why he ordered it but it looked like a big mess on a plate. It resembled a soupy Nasi Pattaya or something like that. Taste wise it was nice, but I think a place like Pasta Zanmai, should learn to do their foods up a little bit more artfully. It was just messy.  The squid was well cooked, the rice was well fried inside the egg.  I had a spoonful just to taste, but I found it too wet for my liking.  Maybe the rule that foods should not touch each other on my plate has something to do with this.

If I had ordered it and it came looking like that, I certainly would not know where to start. Melissa liked it though.

Seems like Melissa likes everything.

Then dessert, the quintessential to every meal or as Melissa says, “ you can always have space for dessert”. We had rich chocolate cake it was called with a dollop of ice cream and an ice cream sampler which Melissa got really excited about because it was served in shot glasses in a little stand.

20130909_151941

Dessert was nice. Tantalizing on the palate. I did find the chocolate cake unnecessarily frozen. It would have been nice if it was just chilled because it was really rich and nice.

Melissa thought it was very haute

Melissa thought it was very haute

The Ice Cream Sampler came with Goma, Green Tea, Strawberry, Chocolate, Rock Melon and Vanilla which I could have sworn had some banana but I was outnumbered in my view. I would give it all thumbs up.

All in all, it was a nice meal with nice people today. I didn’t enter Pasta Zanmai with much expectations. We left nice and contented. I did think though, with Rakuzen next door and Sushi Tei further down, they need to be a little competitive.

September Culinary Classes

Nasi Lemak Kukus Class

Sunday September 1st CLASS IS FULL

10 am to 1 pm

Monday September 16th – NEW CLASS 10 to 1 pm

CLASS IS FULL

Learn to make real Nasi Lemak Kukus along with all its accompaniments. You will learn:
1. Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) – steamed not boiled
2. Chicken Rendang
3. Sambal
4. Sotong Sambal
5. Crispy Fried Fish

Price Per Person: $100 per person (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Moon Cake Class – Last Class for the year
Saturday September 7th 10 am to 1pm

2 places left

A most asked for class all because the prices of mooncakes have gone up tremendously.

20130723_122700

1. Traditional Mooncake Skin
2. A few flavors of Snowskin – Pandan, Charcoal and Strawberry
3. Salted Egg Mooncake
4. Fruit and Nut Moon Cake
5. Lin Yoong Recipe will be provided and explained as it is too time consuming to do during class.

Price Per Person: $100

Wokking with Salted Eggs
Saturday September 7th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

I love salted eggs, I love it as it is, I love it in mooncakes, I love it any way possible. So here are my favorite salted egg dishes.
1. Salted Egg Prawns
2. Brinjal with Salted Eggs
3. Salted Egg Pumpkin Nuggets

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Hawker Curry Puffs
Saturday September 14th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make two types of our favorite curry puff.

1. Malay or Indian Crispy Curry puff Pastry
2. Rolled Curry Puffs
3. Chicken Curry Filling

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Malay Curries
Sunday September 15th 10 am to 1 pm

My favorite Malay curries, something I have not tackled as a class but often serve it to my customers.
1. Ayam Masak Merah
2. Ayam Kerutuk
3. Rendang Dendeng (Beef)

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

No Coconut Curry Class

Sunday September 15th 2.30 to 5.30

2 places left

1. Chicken Devil Curry
2. Dry Mutton Curry
3. A Hearty Vegetable Dhall Curry

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are six students)

Please bring three containers to take your curries home.

Cronut
Monday September 16th 2.30 to 5.30

Cronut - Layers and layers of melting pastry...

Cronut – Layers and layers of melting pastry…

Learn to make Cronut and two toppings:
1. Learn to make Cronut Pastry
2. Marshmallow Topping
3. Apple Tea Cinnamon Topping

Price Per Person: $100 (class will commence once there are 6 students)

Old Fashioned Butter Cake and Butter Icing
SAturday September 21st 2.30

Let’s make Old Fashioned Butter Cake and Butter Icing
You will also learn to do some basic decoration like spreading icing, piping the sides and covering borders on your own cake.
This is a hands on session, the old fashion way to make this is by using a spoon. So we will be doing it the old fashion traditional way.

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Red Velvet
SUnday September 22nd 10 to 1 pm

CLASS IS FULL

The much requested Red Velvet Class is here one LAST TIME for sure. You will learn;

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Chocolate Filling
3. Cheese Topping
This is a hands on session: Class will commence once there are 6 students. Please bring along a big enough container to take your piece of cake home.

Price Per Person: $90

A class of this and that
Sunday September 22nd 2.30 to 5.30

A class of totally unrelated favorites.

1. Bagels
2. Chocolate Slice
3. Muesli Slices

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Classes will be held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya. Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book and to make any enquiries. Please check my blog http://www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

Fees are to be paid once you make a booking, if a class is canceled you will be refunded. If fees are not paid, your name will be not be placed on the list.