Monthly Archives: February 2015

March Cooking and Baking Classes

Sunday March 1st 10 to 1 pm

My Favorite Cakes

You will learn to make;


  1. Lamingtons
  2. Swiss Roll
  3. Coconut Butter Cream Filling
  4. Coconut Frosting
  5. Chocolate Coating

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Saturday March 7th 2.30 to 5.30pm

Panna Cotta Class

Learn to make the ever famous Panna Cotta. You will learn to make;

  1. Plain Panna Cotta
  2. Panna Cotta with Balsamic Berries
  3. Masala Tea Panna Cotta

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

Sunday March 8th 10 to 1 pm

Chicken Chicken Chicken and a Chutney

Let’s learn to prepare stuff I ate in Bangalore.  These are usually found in Indian Restaurants here and there.  We will learn to prepare;


  1. Chicken Lollipop – Looks like Boxing Chicken with a difference.
  2. Chicken Tandoori – Grilled in the oven
  3. Chicken Malai Tikka
  4. Date Chutney

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

Saturday March 14th 10 to 1 pm

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Learn to make Hainanese Chicken Rice. You will learn to prepare;

  1. Silken Chicken
  2. Heong Fun
  3. Chilly Sauce
  4. Ginger Garlic Sauce

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Sunday March 15th 2 to 5.30

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken  and a Dip 2


Another class of Chicken Snacks.  You will learn my favorite;

  1. Korean Fried Chicken
  2. Chicken Croquettes
  3. Nam Yee Chicken
  4. A hot and sour dip

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

Tuesday March 17th 2 to 4.30

Meatloaf and its many uses.

Let us learn to make a good wholesome yummy meatloaf and then turn it into other favorite foods that can be eaten at home or even at school.

You will learn to prepare;

  1. Meatloaf
  2. Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables
  3. Meatloaf Shepherds Pie
  4. Meatloaf French Bread Pizzas

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 6 students) This class is open to teenagers who are on school holidays.

Saturday 21st 2.30 to 5.30

Retro Desserts..

I remember well my mum learnt these desserts once or twice in the 80s but never made it.  So today we will learn to make;

  1. Bombe Alaska
  2. Baba au Rum or Rhum babas

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

Sunday 22nd 2 to 5.30

French Baguette Class

Learn to make two types of French Bread.

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 (Banh Mi – Vietnamese)
  2. American Baguette

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

Saturday 28th 10 to 1 pm

Doughnuts Sweet and Savory


I love eating Doughnuts but more so the one the Chinese Hawkers sell in the market just with sugar and nothing fancy.  We will learn to make different snacks using Doughnut Dough. You will learn to make;

  1. Doughnut Dough
  2. Doughnut Malaysia
  3. Chocolate Fondant Glaced
  4. Sausage Doughnuts

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

Sunday 29th 2.30 to 5.30

An Easter Lunch Menu

  1. Boneless Lamb Roast
  2. Potato Basil Fritata
  3. Green Bean Salad
  4. Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Price Per Person: $110 (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 to book and to make any enquiries. 

Please check my blog

 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.

Varthur Sunday Market – Whitefield, Bangalore

The last time I was here, Richard decided we should go to Central Market and in my mind I had visions of Expat ladies selling their wares and their different foods and handicrafts, simply because Richard himself was a little vague about things.  I remember the drive there. We went through busses and cars and scooters and automated rickshaws and too many people along with a Procession and a company holding some opening and when we got there, the place smelt like cow dung!

So once again I didn’t have much hope.  So we drove to Varthur Sunday Market which is not far from where we live, about 30 minutes or so we are dropped of amidst throngs of people and moterbikes and we walked towards the market.

Varthur Market got it’s name from the Vathur Lake.  While it is very village like with its small shops and roadside peddlers, lots of Varthur has been earmarked for development, so there might not be a Varthur Sunday Market one day. So do visit Varthur Market if you are in Bangalore.  So from here, you know I kind of enjoyed myself.

Here are photos of the market.



Upon entering, well there is no particular entrance actually, it just depends where you are coming from, this is the sight that greets you.

Never in my life have  I seen such big amounts of French Beans, Chillies, Onions, Potatoes and a lot of other vegetables all over the place.  The vegetables were very fresh and a healthy color and the prices were just so shockingly low, you might wonder how these people make a living?





I was trying to take a photo of the weighing scale, but the lady kept giving me, “what you trying to do look?” I would love to own one of these weighing scales because they must be old.



Look at the colors, the Carrots are almost standard size and then I thought I noticed Turnips. ?  These “turnips” look better then any of the turnips I have seen before.  It looks so light green and fresh.  Then looking closely it was actually Kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi is kind of a turnip and cabbage combined.  This too was a surprise as it is added into soups and even sliced and fried with a tempura batter. In Malaysia the Chinese might stirfry it and there are even recipes of it eaten with local cincalok.

The beetroots was another wonder.  I only knew on this day at Varthur Market that Indians use beetroot in their cooking.  All my life I thought Beetroot was a typical western vegetable used in salads and some Australian Burgers may give you a slice of it as well. Yukkk!

The color of the aubergines are not what we are used to.  It looks appetising and not so deep purple.  If you notice where the man is standing, there was even remnants of Rhubarb or so I thought, but it was actually local Chards.  Strangely after checking, it is also part of the Indian Diet.

The bittergourd actually looks more frightening and potent then what we are used to.   There were a lot of Bottle Gourd, at least that is what I think it is.  Again I never could imagine this to be apart of the Indian diet.


This is betel nut leaf, all arranged and sold with different Areca Nuts. Again I got that funny look, so I didn’t dare take anymore photos.  It is strange how everyone stopped and looked at me when I entered the market.   There are heaps of Betel Nut leaves  here all arranged so well.  I actually have it in my garden so next time if I serve it, I might just do the same thing.

In Malaysia and Thailand this is used as part of our cooking ingredients.

Here however, it is chewed with Areca nuts and can often make the person high.  The irritating thing about this is the spitting after all the flavor is gone.


Indian provision needs are available as well.  They will sell different lentils, and rice and oils and jaggery which is palm sugar with varying colors.  Those little square things on the right is a form of jaggery.  I saw a lot of spices and chilly powders but the thing is, LANGUAGE!

People in Bangalore speak Hindi and Kannada, so don’t be fooled that all Indians speak Tamil as most people think.. even me once upon a time. This is the difficult part of buying stuff over here especially from small retailers.

I was so silly, I had this intention of buying spices thinking it was different chilly powders and turmeric. Then I wondered why the colors looked odd, then Kenneth told me it was colored Sandalwood Powder. So there you go.


More local fresh produce… just look at how crisp and gorgeous it all looks.  More vegetable varieties here, sweet potatoes, bitter gourd, capsicums, and look at those gorgeous washed potatoes..  they are perfect size for a good baked potato and they even had baby potatoes.  The Pumpkins looked so photogenic as well.

The photo didn’t quite happen though.  These two boys perked up when I started taking photos.



At 11.30 am, and they were still so fresh.  Look at the Coreander leaves, and they even had Dill.  It was such a learning experience for me.



The myriad colors of Vegetables.



Watermelons galore.  They were everywhere.


Local Bangalore Grapes…40 rupees for 500 gm, and it was a nice sweet and sour and seedless too.



More local fruits. The Honeydew was a perfect size for one person.  THe pomegranate was wonderful, ruby red and sweetish as well. I do not like sweet fruit.  I also bought some mandarins.  All 40 rupees per 500 gm.

Now for the not so pretty part… but seriously I am sure many moons ago Malaysia was the same.



I only took this because of the unformed eggs in the chicken.  How do you eat that?



More chooks a hanging.

And last but not least!





Salt Mango Tree – Prestige Ozone, Whitefield, Bangalore

Prestige Ozone as the name suggests homes luxurious villas with with up to date facilities and amenities to rival many hotels around.  The houses are posh and safety within the well maintained compound makes this place a little dream for me.  It houses many of the expat community and the wealthier Indian population.

Now within Prestige Ozone a newly opened restaurant called Salt Mango Tree.  Richard and Kenneth have been boasting about this restaurant from the moment I stepped into the car at the airport.  Richard’s curry flavors are quite questionable at times and Kenneth, well he likes it, he eats it, no comments from him.

So Sunday night before they left for the Netherlands they decided to have dinner over there, and since I opened my big mouth and said  I had not had any Beriani Rice yet, even during my last trip, so they said I had to try it.

Upon entering Salt Mango Tree, well it says nothing that it is an Indian Restaurant featuring Kerala food, because I did see Italian food on the board along with Indonesian food as well.  So I thought, ok…. here goes one of those places that cannot have signature food but needs to cater for the different ethnic groups in the Prestige Ozone enclave.  Can’t be that good I thought.. since you cannot present your Signature food to the masses.

Ambience wise, sparse, and nothing that shouts anything Kerala. Truth be told, yours truly is also not well versed with Kerala ambience so this is all big talk, but frankly there was nothing Indian for that matter besides the very friendly, polite and professional waiters.

So the menu was handed to me.  Me who has no idea of Kerala food gazed at the menu and frankly speaking knew nothing.  There were a few Kerala words I noticed as I have heard the Tamil word before, so I guessed my way through the menu with Richard recommending everything in the end.    I must say, the variety of Kerala foods was baffling for me because coming from a country where we have a lot of Indian food, I think only five or six foods on that menu made its way to Malaysia.

It made me realise how shocking my knowledge of Indian food was, and this is something I have to look into this year.  I need to learn about Indian food – South Indian in particular.

So we ordered Appetisers.  I chose Fish Chukka and Vazhappoo Cutlet.  Both I have never heard off in my life. As usual, we set them off to prepare the Appetisers first and then proceeded to order our drinks.  This according to Richard would synchronize the whole meal.  So for beverage I ordered The Green Machine, Kenneth ordered the Vanilla Milkshake and Richard ordered a very pretty drink, which for the life of me I cannot remember the name.  Yes, I have my moments.

For main course, we ordered Choru Mutton Curry which was the special of the day but actually a starter, so there was a bit of confused looks when we tried to explain that it was fine to serve us a starter as a main.  We ordered the Thalssery Chicken Beriani which was also a special and Kariveppila Kozhi Curry with Parotta.  Of all the above, I knew the Kozhi curry had curry leaves!

Parotta is similar to Roti Canai but truly lacks the oiliness that we are used to in Malaysia.

So the appetisers appeared.  Fish Chukka.  Having no idea what it was as the description was quite vague.  So from apperance, it looked wonderful to me.  Boneless fish cubes which I believe to be Mackeral cooked perfectly that it was not dry and flaky or undercooked and falling apart. It was perfectly flavored with the spices and I saw some cariander seeds and thickly grated coconut which added that extra bite to the fish.  I must look up this recipe and try it out, or at least learn about Kerala cuisine.   I am sure the coconut is manually scraped with the myriad coconut scrappers they seem to have in the shops and supermarkets over here.

Fish Chukka can be eaten with rice or on its own.  I think, this will be nice as a wrap, get a tortilla skin,, add some vegetables and stuff it with Fish Chukka. I am sure it would be good.



Then the Vazhappoo Cutlet came.  Again I had no idea what it was although |I knew it was a cutlet of some sort which I also make but this one had banana flower.  This was something I was looking forward to.  I have only eaten banana flower cooked Malay or Indonesian style floating in coconut milk, and it was not my favorite at all.

This was served with Beetroot chutney.. It was a frightening looking sauce that looked more chilly hot then anything.  I swear I never knew beetroot was part of the Indian diet till I came to Bangalore the second time.  I asked the waiter how this came to be but got a muffled up answer so as I am  typing this I am looking for information.

20150208_193402Just found out that India is the second largest beetroot provider in the world, but mostly it is all consumed by the country itself.  Nothing more can be found at the moment.  So it is no wonder it is used in many dishes all over the country.

So here is my view of the Vazhappoo Cutlet.  It had a nice texture and its main ingredient was potato.  However, I feel, the banana flower should have been more visible and at least give me something to bite that I can distinctly know it is banana flower.  There is nothing wrong with it because it is probably how it is made, but I would prefer to taste some banana flower or at least bite some.  The cutlets did go well with the beetroot sauce or chutney.  The spiciness of the beetroot along with the sweetness of it did give the Vazhappoo Cutlet some layers of different flavors.  It did go well with the onion and carrot pickle.

Having said all that, if we use the banana flowers then we might not have bananas,

Then as Richard had mentioned about synchronizing the meal order, the drinks came.

I only seem to be able to find Richards and my drink for some reason.  Richard’s drink which for the life of me I cannot seem to remember was truly a nice calming 20150208_193922drink.  It had Basil seeds (biji selasih in Malay or Tulsi Seeds in Tamil) that dotted the drink. It might be the Nellika Magic which had Coreander leaves and lime with a pinch of salt with soda water.  Refreshing and had a nice tang and the little basil seeds gave it that bite. It even had bits of green chilly.

I love basil seeds.  When I was a kid  I would freak out everyone telling them it was frog eggs.

20150208_194203My Green Machine was somehow less photogenic as it consisted of Coriander, Mint, Coreander, Lemon and salt all juiced together so then end result was GREEN.  Maybe some little garnish might have given it some uplifting or perhaps.

It would have been a wonderful drink for breakfast, a nice pickerupper but somehow it didn’t complement my meal.

This is my fault for choosing the drink.


Then our main courses appeared. Our Karivepilla Kozhi Curry which was a chicken cooked in spices with curry leaves was utterly mouth watering.  I love curry leaves so I don’t mind eating them.





This curry went perfectly with the Parotta’s and Rice.  The blend of spices was just perfect to me. I think it could have been spicier but perhaps because Richard was around, so Salt Mango Tree held back the chillies.  The boneless chicken had taken in all the flavors and was still succulent.

I do not eat Indian food very often unless it is the simple dosa and idly’s so these were actually all a first time for me except for the Beriani.   Let’s just say that it was truly a virginal affair.

20150208_195758The Thalassery Chicken Beriani was quite an eye piece to me any how.  All dhummed up with Chappati dough in a eartherned vessel was just special to me. The chappati dough is used to cover the pot so that the steam will cook the rice and the frangrance will not escape.  And it sure didn;t escape this one.

Then he opened it and out came the steam from the cooked rice with chicken.

Unlike the Beriani Rice we usually eat in Malaysia 20150208_195921which is very highly spiced and very deep in color either from turmeric of spice powder, Kerala style is usually not so flavorsome and deep in color but still good. One would say it is tenderly spiced and lightly colored to make it look like it is very light in flavor.

The waiter served us carefully and the fragrance of the rice when it hit the plate was truly wonderful.  It didn’t reek of spiciness but was just tenderly flavored enough.

Next was the Choru Mutton.  This at first glance resembled Mutton Varuvel which is also South Indian and usually served in Indian shops in Malaysia.  The curry is cooked dry and often it goes well with beer.

This Choru Mutton however, was different.  It was a lighter version of the Varuvel.  It didn’t have the chilly hotness yet it was heavily spiced, but unlike what I usually cook comes with heaps of curry leaves, potatoes and dried chillies and lots of spices.  This one had a lot of class.  Although this is South Indian, and so is Mutton Varuvel, I wonder how South is my version, because at this moment I feel it is at the bottom of the list.  Quite shocking isn’t it!



The Choru Mutton was tender yet dry but the dryness went well and the secret weapon here was the coconut shreds.  I have never ever seen that used before.  Either due to lack of knowledge or just plain ignorance I have never ever seen this kind of coconut used before.  The dry fried coconut gave the dish so much more texture and flavor and a nice crunch.  It was not as dry as well, it had just the right amount of juiciness.

20150208_195752Meanwhile, the Parottas were just perfect.   It was fluffy and not oily but also not dry.  Even when it was cold it was still nice and remained fluffy.  Our Malaysian Roti Canai tends to get doughy and hard.

I had a good time at Secret Mango Tree.  It was an eye opener for me because now I know I lack so much knowledge of South Indian food.  So lacking that it is embarassing for me to say I can cook Indian food.!

I am thinking of packing some Choru Mutton to take it back home.

So since the year is still young, I am committing myself to my first Resolution for the year.  Learn and promote new South Indian Style food!


Hanoi Vietnamese Cuisine – 1st floor, Phoenix Market City, Mahadevapura, Whitefield Main Road, Bangalore

My first trip to Phoenix Mall was some what quite surprising because it was actually like shopping in many of our malls in Kuala Lumpur.  I didn’t have much expectations actually, I just followed along and when I jumped out of the car I was pleasantly surprised with the whole façade.  It was modern and everything was big and it actually looked like a mall you’d see in the US.

Big Kahuna, Chillis, and various Asian restaurants and cafes were all over the place in a rather modern, inviting and bright setting.  Even the wait staff was different then the many I have encountered.  So it was no surprise we ended up at Hanoi, this quaint Vietnamese Restaurant.  Anyhow it was a toss up of Japanese and Vietnamese, so Vietnamese won.

I looked at the restaurant and in my mind, I went, Oh No… “Vietnamese food in Bangalore”. Now this would be similar to expecting Hong Kong Dim Sum.  And if I heaved and complained, it would be my own fault for not saying anything earlier. But I had no choice in the matter so I went along.

We were seated by pleansant wait staff who spoke perfect English minus the accent that always makes me look extra dumb because I never understand what they are saying most times.  This was a pleasant change.


Our complimentary crackers came with three sauces.  There was a smooth peanut sauce, soy sauce and a nice tasting chilly sauce, obviously made in house.  The Crackers…… hmmm just didn’t do justice to the place. It was bland and insipid and I got worried about what was to come.  Maybe it was me, but Richard and Kenneth seem to enjoy it, so it must be me being Asian and eating various types of crackers.

We couldn’t make up our minds so we ordered two starters first so it would give us some time to think what main courses to choose.  So I chose the obvious Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Raw Papaya Salad.  I have to add, the menu was quite extensive, so that is why we could not make up our minds.  And there was no canceled items as well.

Raw Papaya Salad  or Nom Du DU arrived.  Now I am used to rather sour tangy to tart Raw Papaya Salad and having eaten it in some of the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur it has always been a tad bit disappointing.  So at this moment I had no expectations… more over this being India and all (I do sound rude I know).

Well I was rather surprised.


First it was professionally presented to us and our very Chinese looking waiter served us one by one in a very polite manner.  I was rather charmed by this because I have eaten in some five star places in Kuala Lumpur and never ever got that.  I felt special.

Taste wise,  it was less tangy, actually it was a nice pleasant taste with a very good quality soy sauce used, with a tiny bit of sourness, and not sweet nor salty. To me it was the marrying of three flavors unexpected for a Raw Papaya Salad.  all the ingredients were nice and crunchy and made fresh and cut just the way I like it.  Julliened but not too fine.  Perhaps one little added ingredient that would have uplifted the dish would be a tiny bit of chilly.  This coming from someone who does not like spicy food.  But still it would have given it that little kick. Still though, at least you tasted the raw papaya.


And the gentility of our waiter was also something else.  Expertly placing the salad on our plates, it was like a little five star experience we did not expect.  It was a bit of Gueridon Service and good table service.  He did it for every subsequent course.

Our beverages followed.  Richard and I had a Virgin Mohito and Kenneth had Kiwi Mango Mint.


The  Virgin Mohito was wonderfully refreshing on this little virginal escapade of mine –  having Vietnamese Food in Bangalore.  I could have had a jug full.  Strangely though, the mint tasted nice and not cutting like the mint we have in Malaysia.  It didn’t have the strong pungent flavor of the mint I was used to and so this suited the beverage well.  Kenneth didn’t give much feed back about the drink except MMMMM… so I am sure it was really good as well.  I loved the vibrancy of the two colors and the manager gently told Kenneth to stir the drink to get the full flavor.  Now once again, this seldom happens when I go out in KL or PJ.  No one says anything except take the order and serve.  Sometimes you have to be observant to notice your customers doing something wrong and tell them so that the value of the meal experience will be that bit more.

This little niceties made the meal experience that much better.  I felt special.

Next out Nem Cuon or Rice Paper Rolls came. We chose the vegetairian ones.


They were once again beautifully presented.  My camera skills need some work as you see I chopped off part of my waiters head.  I love Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and frankly I could have eaten the whole plate by myself.  Once again he placed them gently on each persons plate.  I felt so spoilt.

You cannot go wrong with Vietnamese Spring Rolls, but if you do not cut it well and arrange the vegetables inside the rolls properly, it can be a big mess.  Ours was done neatly.


One little thing.. not being picky but no one gave us a sauce to have with the Rolls. I was expecting that tangy sauce to go with it. Alas, it didn’t appear.  Still it was nice, not that I am a sauce person.

Then we chose our maincourses.

First was Khoai tay chien duoi nuoc sot cay or crispy potatoes.  I didn’t order the main courses, as I didn’t want to be bossy boots, so Richard did the choosing. Dish came and once again perfect waiter served us and gently placed it on our plates.


Now this dish was what I would classify as comfort food.  The potatoes were actually french fries coated in a batter with a nice piquant sauce.  No complaints as it brought the child out of us eating something so simple yet extremely tasty.  And just watch how our wonderful waiter served us.


If I was served like this every where I went, my eating and service experience would be oh so wonderful… words could not express how I would feel.. Alas, dreams are free.

And this next photo shows how neatly he placed it on my plate. With the garnish mind you.


Next dish came from the apptiser menu.  Ga Kho Gung or chicken cooked in ginger and caramel.  Once again I would say this would be comfort food, something my mum would cook on a good day.  Very Very good day I might add or when the moon has polka dots.


Now I love ginger with chicken and the sheer colorfullness (if there is such a word) of the mirepoixed capsicum made this dish that much more tasty.  It left a very burny sensation on my tongue, although Richard and Kenneth didn’t think so.  I liked it though, burning tongue and all.  This dish had to be eaten with rice so the nuetral flavor of the rice will bring out the flavors and cut out the burniness.

Oh yes, the rice did come a tad bit late for some reason, but when it came, it was the best fragranced Jasmine Rice served in this quaint Bamboo container.  I took a shocking photo of it, so it be put up here, but once again we were served.  You can see what the bamboo container looks like with our expert waiter.  This is for one serving though.  Too big for one person and more then enough for three.


And see how Waiter from heaven served me my chicken.


See my food didn’t even touch.  I hate my food touching and this was served perfectly.  The boneless chicken was succulent and flavorsome with the spicy taste and not sweet although it was cooked in caramel.  It was a good flavor.

Next dish… hmmmmm…. I have to say was a real downer.  Suon Xao Ngu Vi Huong or Vietnamese Lamb Gravy.  First of all there was too much gravy.  Although the gravy had a nice flavor, bit was a bit too runny on my plate.


The gravy had a nice rich flavor but to me, it should have been served with less gravy and what made it worst was the lamb or the lack of it.  It was precooked without much seasoning and broken into pieces into the soup.   The size of the meat is exactly shown above.  I feel this dish needed some uplifting with some vegetables.  If the vegetables were cut into dice, then the small pieces of meat would not be an issue.  Still it was tasty and went well with the rice.

Frankly if I cooked this dish, I would have served it with rice and vegetables like carrots and chokoes. I would have mixed everything together so it will look and taste like Jook.  But again that’s just me, I like soupy rice.

All in all it was a pleasant lunch and the service was picture perfect.  Yes I would go there again.  It was nice watching the locals eating with chopsticks with their kids practicing as well.

If I go again before I leave, I might just have all picky picky foods.

Well done Hanoi in Bangalore and kudos to Mr Waiter for making my meal experience truly memorable.