Author Archives: Nicholas Pillai

July 2016 Cooking and Baking Classes

Churros

July 16th Saturday 2 pm to 5 pm

Let’s learn to make Churros.  This is a fully hands on session.  Please be prepared to work.  You will learn to prepare;

  1. Churros
  2. Chocolate Chilly Sauce
  3. Cinnamon Sugar

Price Per Person: $80 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Curry Puff

July 17th Sunday 2 pm to 5 pm

Learn to make Swirly Curry Puff and Crispy Curry Puffs.  This is a fully hands on class.

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You will learn;

  1. Crispy Curry Puff Pastry
  2. Curry Puff Pusing
  3. Curry Puff Filling

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

 

Moon Cake Class

July 23rd Saturday 2 pm to 5 pm

Learn to make Baked Mooncake and fillings.  You will learn to prepare;

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??????????????

  1. Mooncake Pastry
  2. Durian Lotus Paste from scratch
  3. Two other variations with Lotus Paste

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This is a hands on session.

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

All bookings must be made in advance as I need to order the durian.

 

Nasi Lemak Kukus

24th July 2 to 5 pm 

nasi lemak 2

Learn to make Nasi Lemak Kukus from scratch.  You will learn;

  1. Nasi Lemak Kukus
  2. Spicy Fried Chicken
  3. Sambal
  4. Sambal Sotong

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 www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

Hello by Kitchen Mafia – B-G 1 Jalan 17/13, Happy Mansion, PJ

Hello by Kitchen Mafia is helmed by Shearson Lian a Celebrity Chef.  So let’s just start out by saying that the bar is now placed rather high.

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It was a lazy cool Sunday. Have you noticed how this weather just makes you hungry all the time? Well two friends and me decided to go out for a late lunch and I decided on Hello by Kitchen Mafia because someone told me about it.  So once again having no expectations except that it belonged to Shearson Lian and also Johnny Fua, we went a couple of rounds and found a park.  And who should be outside his restaurant as we waited to go in, The MAN himself.

The restaurant was crowded because of Father’s Day so he told us we had to wait for a few minutes. So Shearson handed us three menus and we perused through it looking at the rather comical names like Apek Fried Rice and Kampung Boy Fried Rice and the likes, so we had to make sure we didn’t order something ordinary with a funny name.

So finally we were seated.  I’d like to mention that tables were quite small and I got worried because of what we ordered.  After paying and just getting ready to chat half expecting the food to take a while since the place was full… out pops the Crispy Banana Blossom with Spicy Mango Kerabu.

So of course we did the obvious and took a few photos, I mean it was less then five minutes of ordering I should say.  And before we could figure out what we were about to eat, the three main courses came.  Now we had four dished on the table coupled with three drinks and glasses of water and it was beginning to get suffocating.

We quickly took photos and and started to eat and as we were starting with the Crispy Banana Blossom, half guessing it might be the soft shell crab, the Duck Egg Calamari came.  So I told the waitress to please slow down and before we could breathe, Shearson himself comes with  the Salted Egg Butter Milk Squid and the Soft Shell Crab. He looks at the table and does nothing to ease the situation.  I got a little peeved with this because as the owner of the place and having been overseas countless times as seen on TV, he should have done something.   Don’t ask me what, I’m sure he could have figured out something!

Then we start eating as fast as we can, the Tortilla Pizza comes.

We were so overwhelmed that we had to rush to have space. In fact I had to pick my little tin plate in my hand and eat from it ala old Chinese style.  That was how rushed and how fast the food came.

My followers would know by now, I never ever have the whole list of food ordered, but this was how it was yesterday.  Everything came so fast that we were left breathless rushing through our meal.  This might have affected the whole meal experience, however in all due respect, the food was good.

So let us begin.

We rushed to finish the Banana Blossom and kerabu.  This was nice and flavor some, and frankly speaking we had trouble wondering if the kind of tempura’d Banana Blossoms was actually the soft shell crab we ordered.  It was that mysterious.  The Kerabu was excellent and the addition of thinly sliced long beans gave it that much needed crunch.  The sweet and sour taste along with that tiny  hint of spiciness gave this dish that extra kick.  This is how anything sweet and sour should be.  I was not too fond of the peanuts, I am not a peanut fan so this was just me.  I would have preferred whole peanuts so I could pick at it.

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By this time they took away our cutlery container and we were left with just chopsticks to eat the kerabu and pick at the long beans which I thoroughly enjoyed.  We couldn’t eat up the whole dish because there was no spoons and we had to move forward to the next dish as quickly as possible.

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We had to strategize this meal to make sure we still enjoyed ourselves. So friend and I suggested we eat all the small plates first.  So we started with the Soft Shell Crab with the Siracha Mayo.   The crab was well done, and crispy and juicy and when you bit the middle there was still that water sac inside.  That is always the case with soft shell crab unless it is chopped in the middle.  I think the Siracha Mayo did not do justice to the Crab.  I think the sambal belacan that came with the main course gave a better flavor. I think perhaps if they mixed the sambal belacan with the Mayo, it would have been something rather special. Ok plate cleared!

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Next!

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The Duck Egg Calamari. This was an interesting dish so to speak.  I must say by now we had forgotten what we had ordered. We knew it was calamari something but we forgot it was even duck egg.  We just ate and commented that some of the pieces were tough and hard to chew but the bigger pieces were perfect.  Perhaps if the pieces were a bit bigger, then it would have been perfect.  I didn’t taste anything Ducky with the duck egg topping and all.  I remember eating Char Koay Teow with Duck Egg once and there was a pronounced after taste.  The hint of curry leaf probably took away any duckiness.  I like curry leaves. I just enjoy eating them like this. I wish there was a bit more curry leaves.

All in all still very good.

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Next was the Tortilla Pizza with 3 cheeses as topping.  Now I must say this was what the doctor ordered so to speak. It was a good blend of cheese with just the right ratio of Parmesan, Aged Cheddar and Blue Cheese.  Nothing was overwhelming and those blue cheese haters would have never detected blue cheese at all.  As we were beginning to have breathing space now with plates and all being removed, we started to enjoy our meal much more.  I could have had two plates of this and would still long for more.

I am not a fan of heavy pizza, and while a  Tortilla base might sound fast food, it was perfect.  Had they decided to use thin crust pizza base, it would have totally spoilt  this dish.  I loved it! And so did the other two.

Now we had the main courses to reckon with.

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Ok by now, main courses were a tad bit cold. The Salted Egg Butter Milk Pesto sauce kind of started to get the pasta all stuck together. This needs to be eaten hot or fresh from the stove.  Flavor wise, it was excellent as sticky and bunched up as the pasta was, it was nice.  I loved it and so did the rest.  I think I could have had it even without the Soft Shell Crab which was cooked to perfection I might add.  Ok.. As I am typing this, I can still remember the flavors so avidly. Well Done!

Spicy Thai Beef was next.  The fusing of flavors together with the fresh basil gave this heavy looking dish a sense of lightness.  The spiciness took it to another level.  It was a wonderful flavor and by now there were three father full boys and yet we all enjoyed it.  One little setback for me anyhow was the use of minced meat.  I figured for some reason it would be thinly sliced beef a la Pho Bo style.  The noodles were eaten rather quickly and in the end all the meat was below.  Note too, we still used chopsticks as everyone was too busy to take any notice of our need for spoons.  In the end when the middle of the restaurant long table cleared, we saw the cutlery thingy and got three spoons.  We needed it now to taste the meat and also to scoop the last dish which was the Ginger Beef Fried Rice.

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Now before I end with the Thai Beef, I have to say eating the meat on it’s own was not too enjoyable.  The mince was dry, obviously Shearson uses good quality and low fat, but it became hard to swallow and don’t forget it was cold.   Perhaps if we had eaten it together with everything in the bowl, then it would be different.  Still very enjoyable.

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Finally, Ginger Beef Fried Rice.  I like Ginger Beef.  Now as a fried rice, this was truly something else.  The gingeriness gave it a nice flavor. Now I love anything ginger, so I have no complaints.  The meat was perfectly flavored and it was not tough.  I liked it. It was a nice comfort food kinda flavor. Nice on a cool to cold morning.  The sambal belacan had a nice flavor too, but we kind of forgot to eat more of it because we were quite full.  All that rushing had taken it’s toll on the once three hungry boys.   I did find the fried egg to be a tad over fried though. Perhaps if the yolk was a tiny bit runny and so we could mix it with the rice and it would break easily into pieces.  This didn’t happen.

All in all, the food was very good.  We will go there again and REQUEST A BIGGER TABLE.

I think if you sell Tapas, you need to provide bigger tables.  I have a tendency of going over board with Tapas when I am really in the mood and could have ordered a few more, but we didn’t because I knew the table would be a problem.

I love those cute enamel plates.  I mean it made me feel very retro and gave an old feeling to rather modern food.

The staff were excellent.  Everyone had big smiles and one of the girls had the most prettiest smile I’d ever seen.  This just made up for the food piling.

Now the Coconut Latte I feel could have had more coconut.  I had it in my head that it would be served with coconut cream. I wonder how that will taste?  This might be something to try out I think.

So there you go.  Hello by Kitchen Mafia.. a sure to go again restaurant.  Well Done Shearson Lian and Johnny Fua.

 

 

 

 

Dolly Dim Sum – LG43, NU Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

I’ve passed Dolly Dim Sum many a time when I am in that area but it is always after I have eaten or am carrying many things or as usual I might be all by myself, so I never ever ventured in.  Now I always notice a crowd especially during lunch time and so I guess it must be good.

I love Dim Sum.  I love any kind or morsely food and so Dim Sum tops the list followed by sushi, then followed by other foods that come in small portions.

So today I had a chance to go because I had a friend in town.  When we reached there it was still closed, well they were just arranging the place and preparing the tables and all, so we waited.  Now I didn’t realise Dolly Dim Sum was halal for some reason till I saw an employee with a Tudung rush in.

So finally they allowed us in.  I always like entering a restaurant that is not too full so I can be seated where I like, ie a point where I can see everything.  Menu came, and the lighting was a little bit dim to read the blue lettering, either that or I might be needing glasses soon, so I had to switch on the phone torch to see better.  Choices were made and so we waited.

20160618_111837We ordered a pot of Pu Er tea as always.  Now for some reason, the Pu Er was not the best I’ve tasted.  It was calming for  a cool day but didn’t leave that lingering taste on the palate.  Still it was nice to talk over a cup of tea before the foods started appearing.

20160618_112034First to arrive was the Crystal Prawn Dumpling.  The skin was ‘Crytally’ enough, the prawn and scallion filling ratio somehow wasn’t right because you tasted more scallion than prawn.  And the prawn used somehow wasn’t as big as I am used to.  Still the flavor was good.  Of course I had two pieces of it, because friend being from Kota Kinabalu is quite anti vegetables, so he only ate one piece.

20160618_111942Then the Salad Prawn Dumpling.  This was nicely fried, but badly presented on the plate.  No garnish and it looked like it was just chucked on the plate.  I actually had to arrange them so I would take a photo.  As I was half expecting them to come back and cut it into two, alas that didn’t happen.  Taste wise it was good.  You actually tasted prawn. I didn’t care much for the sauce.  For me a good Dim Sum should taste nice without any sauce.

20160618_111949Now the Prawn Cheong Fen………. long pause needed to describe it.  I feel this was not prepared by someone who is a Dim Sum Chef so to speak because this was the standard you would eat in an ordinary unair conditioned Dim Sum place around.  The Cheong Fen skin was thick and and you could hardly taste any prawns and the soy sauce that went with it hardly permeated through the Cheong Fen so even if you ate it together there were two distinct flavors.  The Dried Prawn and Chilly Concoction too couldn’t cover the Cheong Fen taste.  This is always my favorite and luckily I didn’t order two varieties.

20160618_112005The Pan Fried Radish cake was nice.  It was not overly powering and oily albeit a little bit smaller then usual.  It was nice enough I must say.  And it didn’t have that starchy after taste like some that I have tasted previously.  I was half expecting Loh Pak Koh but they didn’t have it.  Some times I don’t understand why they just cannot make it when they already have the main ingredients and all they need is Bean Sprouts, Eggs and Chives and a bit of Garlic and Prawns.

20160618_112052The Har Gao was nice although I did feel the skin was a tad thicker then usual.  Prawn was evident so that’s a plus.  One tiny problem I had was I felt the prawn was not really tasty, like it lacked a bit of marinade or something.  Still it was fresh so that’s important.

20160618_112105The hit for the morning was the Szechuan Dumpling.  Now this one was the BOMB!  It literally exploded in flavor once it entered your mouth and once you bit into it, the flavors would give you a nice burst to the senses.  It might have been a little spicy but it was a tasty nice spicy. We could have ordered another plate if we didn’t order all the rest.   This one we both liked.

20160618_112419The Sweet and Sour Bean Curd Roll was tasty and not over powering in sauce, but I also tended to feel that the sauce lacked a bit of boom.  You know when you put something sweet and sour into your mouth, you need to get that sweet and sour flavor before you bite into the meat that it is coating. The flavor of the bean curd roll was nice but just lacked that bit of oomph.

20160618_112424Siu Mai is the basic staple of any Dim Sum.  I found Dolly’s to be nice in flavor but very clumsily served with the fish roe all over as seen in the photo.  It also lacked a bit of shine or glisten, perhaps this was because of the lack of oil, as there is less oil in chicken meat then there would be in pork.  Flavorwise it was good.

20160618_112602Now the Golden Fish Cracker was something I totally unexpected.  Dolly’s doesn’t have photos in their menu so this was a total surprise. It wasn’t bad in flavor of anything, it was just not what I expected.  It was well received by the two of us I must say, but I have this thing about salted egg yolks and of late I find salted egg yolks are not as salty as before.  And this was the case. Now had it been more salty then this would have enhanced the flavor even more.   Still it was nice.  But do note, this has to be eaten while it is still hot.  Once it is cold, it will taste ordinary.  I don’t know but this is me, perhaps if the added a teaspoon of salted egg white, it might have given this dish some flavor.

20160618_114946After proclaiming how full we were, we ordered dessert.  We ordered the Mango Pudding with Sago and Pomelo and  A Coconut Pudding.

Now I have always had my Mango Pudding a little harder and you ate spoonfuls of it with a bit of the topping.  Dolly’s however, was very soft.  Like unset custard.  flavorwise it was good, just too soft.  The Coconut Pudding stole the show. It was light and flavorful and not overwhelmingly coconutty.  And the shredded coconut flesh took it to another level.  It was a refreshing feel to the palate.

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I was told the Dolly Dim Sum in Aevnue K is better.  Maybe I will venture there one of these days and check it out.  I don’t think that should be the case though, because you’re under one name, everything should be the same.

Do try Dolly’s when you are at Nu Sentral.  It’s pleasant and the ambiance is nice.

 

 

 

Tai Tong BBQ Restaurant – Lot J 56 G, KK Time Square, Kota Kinabalu

I chanced upon this restaurant while I was doing my morning walk. It was 6.45 am and I saw these ladies arranging the tables and chairs outside the restaurant.  I took a peek and saw it opened at 7 am and what caught my eye was the Kolo Mee something which I have heard off many times but never eaten before.

So much for walking and all, I rushed back showered, and came back to Tai Tong for my first Chinese Brekkie.  As I walked in, about 30 minutes later, the restaurant was only half full and this was 7.20 am.  I walked to the counter to choose my meal and for some reason people looked up and the lady who was arranging the table came running up to me to say they serve pork. So me being me, said it’s fine, I don’t mind.

So I picked my Kolo Mee.  The taste was much like Kon Lo Mee, but perhaps this was a bit drier.  Now for the life of me, I cannot seem to find the photo.  Which is odd because I knew I took a few photos of my meal.  Anyhow, it was good, rather comforting and I knew I’d be back.  in fact I was back in the evening and they were closed.  Then I went back Sunday morning and finally saw the opening times which was 7 am to 4 pm Mondays to Saturdays.

20160409_093546So Monday, I went back. This time I had jook, and it was fish jook, because it looked nice in the photo and they used fresh fish because I didn’t want a smelly fishy jook, which the lady assured me.  And so the fish Jook came.  The aroma was was a nice scent of sesame oil and scallions and a hint of fish.  First mouthful, was wonderful. In fact while I am typing this, I am salivating.  The rice was barely visible so it was cooked properly and they did not use broken rice.  It was good.  I love Jook… I can have bowls and bowls.

20160414_130206Portions and just nice as well, and for me I found it rather filling and the price was always around RM8.50 with a drink of Milk Tea of Coffee.  And today being Monday, the restaurant was full at 8 am.

20160411_133752I went back for Lunch that day with a friend.  She had Won Ton Noodles with Char Siu and Siew Yok  plus a plate of Siew Yoke Fan while  I had fried Won Tons.  and I picked at her food.  Lunch time was crowded.  Meats were very nice and not skinny sliced pieces.and the rice was cooked with good quality rice unlike what we get here in PJ sometimes.  I also found the portions much bigger for lunch. A bit too big for me. 20160411_13380620160411_134139

Won Tons were freshly made.  It had a nice bite and enough good filling and not fillers like many others.  I do wish they’d give more veggies though. Seems like I am the only one wishing for more.

Then my next visit for breakfast, by now the ladies were quite friendly and they recommended me to try their fish noodle soup.  I did ask a lot of questions about it before saying yes and she assured me I’d like it. and so when it came, ohhhh my God… it was just fantastic.  The Hum Choy was cooked till it was soft and the flavors were infused very well in the slightly milky sauce.  And the fish just gave that added flavor.  I was hooked.  In fact I had it almost every single time I went there and I went there quite a bit.  I ordered it for lunch and found the portion a little too big for me. I even asked if I could have the breakfast size and pay lunch time rate but she said no.  Still I finished the whole bowl at lunch as well.  This had to be the best thing to happen.

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I did try to be smart and changed the Mee Hoon to Koay Teow but somehow the flavor wasn’t absorbed as well. Mee Hoon rules.

Friend had Char Siew Fan.  Meat was a plenty, and they gave a nice tasty soup as well – with a bit more vegetables.

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All in all I was never ever disappointed in this place.  For some odd reason, quite a few photos are missing. Hmmmm…..

I will look for them and load it later.

 

 

 

 

Welcome Seafood – GF, G-15 – G-18 , Asia City , Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu

I seldom enjoy seafood unless it is sashimi. I am sure everyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that. So when the boys decided to take me for  seafood one night while in Kta Kinabalu. I cringed but smiled and said ok.  There were three of them anyhow so I guess I was outnumbered.

When we got there, I noticed there were many shops all lined up selling seafood.  This was not anywhere near the sea I can tell you that. I mean the sea was just walking distance, but still, I’d expect it to be near the sea.  So we walked pass many shops, some full to the brim, some quite full, some quite empty and Welcome Seafood was right at the end of the row. Why we parked right at the first shop still baffles me.

Looking around the restaurant while waiting for a server, it was nice to see all the different races sitting together and having a meal without any consequence.  The ambiance was pretty ordinary.  We were sitting outside and I don’t think there was an air conditioned section because that’s what I was told by three people who wanted to smoke.

Anyhow, they ordered since they knew best.  Looking around again, everyone seemed happy. There were some Koreans around as well and they seemed happy as well.  All in all everyone looked happy. I was just hoping everything would not be so fishy and prawny that I would be sick.

20160406_213958Soup arrived. I wanted Hum Choy Soup with seafood of course.  The soup looked refreshing so to speak and didn’t look like a bowl of boiled seafood.  I just didn’t want to taste anything fishy even though it was seafood.

The soup was really good.  They used Sea Bass and it was nice biteable pieces and not fishy at all.  The vegetables remained crunchy and still a tiny bit salty.  It was truly tasty and I could have had it on its own without anything else.  The slight tinge of sourness gave the soup that bit of kick.  I was hooked. I finished the soup when everyone stopped picking at it.

20160406_214143Next was the Clams.  Clams I don’t mind  but they need to be big because I have no patience fossicking through small clams and finding them empty.  It still baffles me how people eat those small clams you get around this side of Malaysia because it is a capital waste of time to me.

The clams had that bit of spiciness that was enough to want you to pick up the empty shells and lick it or suck it, whatever you might do in these situations.  I didn’t do any of those things of course, but I might have.  The sauce was good enough on its known and the freshness of the clams added to the just right flavor.  I think we could have ordered a bigger portion.

The Butter Prawns tasted nice. I didn’t pick at the prawns because I didn’t really like to mess up my fingers.  The sauce tasted nice with the rice.  Everyone sat and tucked in properly while I picked at the curry leaves.  It was tasty trust me.  I wouldn’t have minded if the prawns were peeled and perhaps a bigger size. These were just too small to mess around with.

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Ok I am fussy!

The fish was very good.  Although I am not one for fish with bones and all the rest, this was nicely fried and the fish was fresh. The Thai sauce that was poured all over it simply lifted it to another level.  This was enjoyable.  I cannot seem to remember what fish it was for some reason, but it would be something I would reorder.  Again I think the fish was a bit small, but it was crispy and tasty.  Size matters ok.

20160406_214534The slices of onions and bits of slivered mango and chilly, tossed into the sweet chilly garlicky sauce gave the flavor an uplift. The whole dish was polished clean.

20160406_214550I needed my Veggie fix.  Everyone I knew I Kota Kinabalu didn’t eat vegetables.  When I go out with any of them, I would be the one picking the vegetables from their plates and eating it.  This seafood and Siew Pak Choy medley was perfect for me.  At  least the prawns were peeled and the fish complemented the vegetables very well.  I ate all the vegetables because no one really wanted it.  I love my vegetables.

Then dessert came.  I was told this is only in Kota Kinabalu, but I am sure it is available here in West Malaysia as well.  This was a nice end to a rather heavy meal so late at night. This jellied coconut was just the right temperature and it was just nice sweetness. This I enjoyed as well.

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They remove the coconut water and jelly it with agar agar as well as adding some coconut milk before pouring it back, so the hot jelly mixture hardens and also gets infused with the coconut flesh inside.  The result is rather incredulous.

It was truly satisfying I must say of the whole meal.  I would still prefer to eat before 7 pm at the very latest but I don’t think I ever did when I was there.  Still it was a good experience.

I would go back for sure for seafood. These are many places there as well.  And strangely it was so close to where I stayed.  Everything can be so close in Kota Kinabalu and you only realize it when you drive around and suddenly you’re back home.

 

Paradise Dynasty – Level 1 Paradigm Mall

I have been wanting to go to Paradise Dynasty for the longest time simply because the Xiao Long Bao are very pretty and come in different colors and flavors and their big banner advert used to hang outside Bangsar Shopping Village and I always used to see it while I was dining across the road.  Yet years later I hadn’t been there yet.

So now armed with two Groupon Vouchers, off we went to Paradigm Mall through the traffic and all.

Upon entering into Paradise Dynasty, one will be quite enchanted with their see through glass kitchen and everyone working away.  The decor and ambiance is inviting and rather classic and there is a warmth about the place although it might be quite vast inside.  Staff uniforms were also authentic and so was our Nepalese server.  He was cheerful and knowledgeable and was ale to answer all my silly questions which I just asked for the sake of asking.

So orders were placed. Kitchen staff couldn’t take their eyes of us from the moment we got in and worst still we sat next to the glass panel that enable them to over look us.

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We ordered quite a few things besides the Xiao Long Bao, because I was in my element. I like small little foods and that was all we ordered.  The Pu Err Tea comes first.  These is nothing like steaming Pu Err Tea to start a meal.  This was served in nice cups that for once 20160420_192447was not tiny.  It was perfect fit for my big hands.   I like Pu Err Tea because it has this flavor that relaxes me, more then other teas.  There is something quite earthy about it and it lingers on your palate to leave a nice after taste.  This is me, I might be waffling on, but that’s how I feel when I have a nice Pu Err.

20160420_191849Our little bowl of Mu Err which was sort of an appetizer had a nice tang to it and the mushrooms were still crunchy.  it was just something to whet the appetite which I must say was growing in anticipation.

20160420_192927Xiao Long Bao arrived,  delicately prepared and placed in color code because you had to eat them in the right sequence.  You had to start with the white as shown on the little given chart above. One things about Xiao Long Bao, you have to gently lift it off the basket which is lined with a muslin sort of cloth.

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So we started with the original.  It was adequate in taste and flavor.  Skin was perfect.  The amount of soup inside the dumpling was flavorful and not overpowering.

Now it is important to note that when you are eating Paradise Dynasty Xiao Long Bao, you should complete the whole course before you start eating the other stuff you might have ordered because you can change the whole experience and flavor of it.

Everything had arrived by the way.

Next was light green which was Ginseng.  The hint of Ginseng was just right and it did not over power the dumpling that it became medicinal in flavor.  It was relaxing so to speak, that is how I would interpret the flavor.

The peach colored one was Foie Gras.  Now of course do not expect a slab of goose liver in your dumpling because I can tell you now, you will be disappointed.  I was a tad bit as well. The minute amount was a bare bare hint of Foie Gras that if you happened to breathe while eating, the flavor would be lost.  There was a flavor of course, but you needed a very small mouth to get the whole flavor because if you have a big mouth like me, it’s gone.

Black Xiao Long Bao denotes black truffle. It was mushroomy and I liked the combination.  You only need a tiny amount of truffle to give a flavor and it did that perfectly.   I liked it.

Cheesy was questionable.  I didn’t feel it very cheesy as expected. Perhaps it is the fact that I like eating cheese and am used to stronger flavors so this one somehow did not capture my taste buds with a bang.  Friend felt the same way too.  While I was more than half way through mine she was chewing her second.

Crab Roe had a distinct flavor that you knew something crabby was present in the confines of that tiny dumpling.  It let out a nice flavor that went well with the filling.

Now this was the confusing one.  The Garlic Xiao Long Bao.   I felt this one tasted more cheesy then the cheese one and Friend felt the same too, after like 15 minutes later, since you all know she was taking her time and chewing her Baos in ‘princesslike’ fashion.  It was nice, I won’t grumble.

Now save the best for last.  Szechuan Xiao Long Bao was certainly the firecracker in the bunch.  This gave me a shock when I bit into it because of the spiciness.  This I had to stop for a while because of my burning mouth.

All in all, I enjoyed the dumplings. I might have rattled on a bit about the flavors but it is just me I guess.  I think if you’re the kind of person who eats less spicy food, the flavors would be more pronounced.  Still it was good.

20160420_192843Now my Marinated Jelly Fish came.  I always like this, and I must have it. It is refreshing and this one certainly was for sure and it had a nice crunch to it.  A lot of people say it is tasteless and it is like eating some vegetable but I like the flavor that is absorbed by the jelly fish.  The rawness of the scallions gave the jelly fish that much needed flavor.

20160420_192759I had to try out the chilled assorted eggs simply because it looked interesting. This consisted of the three eggs us Asians love.  Egg Egg, Salted Egg and Century Eggs.  The lover layer consisted of egg yolk which acted as the glue that combined the salted egg yolk and century egg and it was topped with the egg white.  You have to be careful making this I  feel as century egg yolks tend to fall apart very easily and could make this lower level a hideous greenish black.   The topping was bits of meat floss which gave it a nice flavor.

20160420_193124The Teowchew Prawn Ball could have been the belle of the ball so to speak had it been a little more tastier.  It had no salt and so the flavors didn’t come out and it was served with a sweet chilly sauce.  I don’t know where that came from but that was how it was served.  The flavors did not infuse at all because of the lack of salt.  I am sure the whole batch that day was going to be like this because this would have been made in advance and fried upon order.

20160420_193720The Scallion pastry .. hmmm was nice… but a tad bit oily for my liking. The pastry was all flaky and nice but again it lacked flavor or punch.  I like my scallion flavored anything to taste strong. Sadly this did not.Again it might have been the salt issue.  Maybe if a tiny bit of rock salt was offered then perhaps we could have sprinkled it ourselves.

20160420_194020Some of you might say, “Look! That is not how it is served”. But hey, they did serve the Teowchew Prawn Ball with Thai Sweet Chilly Sauce.

20160420_200434Ahhh , dessert….. Chilled Aloe Vera with Osmanthus. Something tender and light and cooling after all that hot heaty stuff.  It was a good end to the meal.  It was not too sweet and left a lingering flavor on your palate. The Mango Pudding was good too. It was mango milky enough to end this satisfying dinner.

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All in all, I would still come back to Paradise Dynasty.  I might have grumbled about some things but I’d still eat it again. The menu seems varied enough for a few more visits.  I think if I go again, I need to take at least three or four friends so we can have a bigger variety of food.

Service was very good.  I didn’t like the fact that when upon paying they asked if we used the Tissue?  We didn’t, but I think it was highly unnecessary to ask and charge for it.

 

My Burger Lab Revisited

I haven’t been to Burger Lab for a little more than two years ago.  First of all it’s often crowded and back then they didn’t even have the upstairs yet and another reason was the last time I waited there with a friend at 4 pm to be the FIRST! And by 4.40pm the line was two shops long and I got thirsty and the Free Water was outside and I asked one of the girls if I could have a cup of water seeing that no one on the whole row sold any drinks and she promptly said NO!

 

So that was major PUT OFF 2!  So hence the long break before revisiting.

 

Today’s visit was more so because of the Salted Egg Fries.  As most of you know, I just love anything salted egg, so when this opportunity came up I went along.

 

Now Friend was dying to taste the Portobello Mushroom Burger as she never had the chance to try it when she was at Tavern Kitchen and Bar in Kota Kinabalu.  So she was most excited of the prospect of finally tasting it.

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I was more worried of having to line up because we went at 6.45pm. I hate lining up!

 

I was pleasantly surprised that although the place was busy, I was fourth in line.  And within five minute order done and sat down and low and behold…I turned around and the line was already outside the door.

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Food came rather quickly too. The kitchen seems bigger and much busier now with many more staff.

 

We had Vivien’s Husband and A+ Burger… I wanted my sauce separated as I do not like wet burgers.

 

And of course the Fries with Salted Eggs.

 

Vivien’s Husband hasn’t changed since the last time I ate it. Kudos to the consistency of Burger Lab.  In fact the Buns have improved too.  In my last blog which I wrote in 2012 about Burger Lab I did say the Burger buns looked cheap and nothing special…  well this has changed.  The trademark Charcoal Bun is now darker and firmer and does not look dead.  The Bun has a slight bite so to speak.

 

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Friend examined the burger like a mother in law examining her daughter in laws cooking…  she looked up and said it was nice and ate it like a happy child.  The mushroom is coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried and it has a slice of cheese and a pineapple ring.  It has a mango mayo of sorts, but Friend didn’t mention anything about it.

Mine was a simple burger.  A wafer thin crispy grilled cheese with mushrooms and caramelized onions and of course the patty.  I did find the patty a trite thin.  I have been to Burger lab when it first opened and many times in between till the last water incident so I can truly say so.  But burger was a burst of flavor but unfortunately my caramelized onions slipped out of the burger and I only found it after I finished the whole thing.  While I grumble the patty was thin, It was still good and was just enough to fill me up.  Anything more and I would have been too full and moody.

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Now the much awaited chips.  For some reason I had this thing in my head that it was chips coated with salted egg, much like hum tan tofu, or hum tan prawns. I really do not know why.  Of course I was negligent for not reading the menu, but I’d like to say that I couldn’t find fault with it.  Aside that it might have needed a bit more salted egginess.  It was just fine.

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I’m proud to say the Burger Lab deserves accolades for its growth.  It now has four outlets, Seapark, Taman OUG, Cyberjaya and Bandar Sunway.  I remember the time when they first opened nervously in an area not known for its food and beverage prowess.  It has come a long way.  Their menu is more extensive now with salads and desserts both I have to try out when I get my whole gang involved.

 

Kudos to you My Burger Lab…  you were a bunch of young people and now you have matured into respectable business men in the Malaysian food scene.