Author Archives: Nicholas Pillai

November and December 2017 Baking and Cooking Classes

I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by.   Soon it will be another new year.  This year I started the year doing a new recipe every month and well I have managed to do that.  I wonder what I will do next year?

I was told today to make sure my phone number was visible, so starting this month, I will put my phone number before I start the schedule so as my readers and students can whatsapp me.  My number is 0166827465.

 

Saturday 4th November 10 to 1 pm

Bread Saturday

Learn to make some easy breads

 

  1. Four Ingredient Cheese Flat Bread20171010_151155
  2. Challah or Egg Bread
  3. Raisin Bread

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Price Per Person: RM135

 

Saturday 4th November 2.30  to 5.30 pm

Mutton Curry Pies  and More

Pies have always been my favorite thing.  You will learn,

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  1. Creamy Mutton Curry Pie
  2. Apple Pie
  3. Short Crust Pastry for pies
  4. Potato Topping

Price Per Person: $145

 

Sunday 5th November 10 to1 pm

Kek Lapis

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This cake cost RM200 for a tray.  It is a lot of work, but truly well worth it.  You will learn;

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  1. Original Kek Lapis (Specook)
  2. Lapis Prune

 

Price Per Person: RM150 (4 persons required for this class to go on)

 

Saturday 11th November 10 to 1 pm

Nasi Dagang with Kerutuk Kambing

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My good friend sent me a kilo of Beras Dagang from Kota Bahru, so we will be learning to prepare;

  1. Nasi Dagang
  2. Kurutuk Kambing
  3. Gulai Ikan Tongkol
  4. Sayur Loteh

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Price Per Person: RM145

 

Saturday 11th November 2.30 to 5.30

Nasi Lemak

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Learn to prepare this Nations favorite dish. You will learn;

 

  1. Nasi Lemak
  2. Chicken Rendang
  3. Sambal
  4. Sambal Sotong

nasi lemak sotong sambal

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Sunday 12th November 10 to 1 pm

Pineapple Tarts

Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts.

You will learn two types of pastries and the jam of course.

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  1. Old Fashion Pineapple Tart – Opened Tarts
  2. Rolled Pineapple Tart
  3. Pineapple Jam
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Rolled Pineapple Tarts

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

Please look at the photos to see the kind of tarts you will me preparing.

Price Per Person: $125

 

PANDAN BUTTER CAKE WITH GULA MELAKA BUTTER CREAM TOPPED WITH A COCONUT BUTTER SCOTCH

Sunday 12th November 2.30 to 5.30 

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This took me some time to perfect.  Results were well worth it.  You will learn;

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  1. Pandan Butter Cake
  2. Gula Melaka Butter Cream
  3. Coconut Butterscotch
  4. Assembling the cake

Price Per Person: RM145

 

Saturday 18th November 10 to 1

Puff Pastry

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. Cheese and Spinach Foldoers
  4. Old Fashioned Sardine Rolls

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Price Per Person: $140

 

Saturday 18th November 2.30 to 5.30

High Tea Class

I’ve always like a good English High Tea with the little bitsy pieces of sandwiches and warm scones, and something fried and then that piece of cake or pie.

You will learn;

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  1. Boxing Chicken
  2. Watercress Sandwiches
  3. Cucumber Sandwiches
  4. Devonshire Scones
  5. Baked Mutton Curry Puffs

Price Per Person: $140

 

 

Fruit Cakes

Sunday 19th November 10 to 1 pm

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Christmas is near, get those fruits and start soaking it.  You will learn;

  1. English Traditional Fruit Cake
  2. Chunky Fruit Cake

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Price Per Person: RM150

Sujee Cake and Love Cake

Sunday 19th November 2.30 to 5

December 11th 2.30 to 5.30 _ Selangor Public Holiday Class.

 

This Sujee Cake Recipe is more than 100 years old.  This was my parents wedding cake and the person who made the cake passed on a few years ago well into her 90s and this recipe belonged to her mother.

This Love Cake is slightly less heavy then the ones you find in Sri Lanka which is full of sugar that no one eats it at weddings.  I learnt mine from the famous Mrs Foenander.

You will learn;

  1. Old Fashioned Sujee Cake – Semolina Cake
  2. Love Cake

 

Price Per Person: RM145

 

Yule Log

December 3rd 2.30 to 5 pm

Learn to Decorate your own Yule log and take it home.

You will learn;

  1. Chocolate Sponge Cake
  2. Butter Cream Filling
  3. Chocolate Butter Icing

Each student will have their own cake to decorate and take home

Price Per Person: RM150

 

Christmas Treats

December 9th 10 to 1 pm

Christmas Goodies are usually pricy. Why not learn to make some of them. You will learn;

  1. Stollen with Marzipan
  2. Fruit Minced Pies – Pastry and Fruit Mince Filling from scratch

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Vegetarian Christmas

December 9th 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 on Bruschetta
  2. Choux Pastry filled with Mushrooms and Port
  3. Apple and Fruit Mince Strudel

Price Per Person: $140 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

 

Christmas Dinner Favorites

December 10th 10 to 1.30

Christmas delights are always different than other festivities here in Malaysia.  These were foods we had for Christmas. You will learn,

  1. Eurasian Chicken Pie
  2. Eurasian Oxtail Soup
  3. Eurasian Saffron Rice

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Roasted Lamb Class

December 10th 2.30 to 5.30

This Christmas, show off to everyone your new found skills.  Learn to prepare;

roasted lamb

  1. Roasted Leg of Lamb
  2. Fresh Mint Sauce
  3. Roasted Vegetables
  4. Christmas Pudding
  5. Brandy Butter Sauce

 

Price Per Person: $165

 

Roast Turkey Class

December 16th 2.30 to 5.30

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 Whole Turkey
  2. Chestnut stuffing
  3. Turkey gravy
  4. Dauphinoise Potatoes
  5. Christmas Pudding
  6. Butter custard sauce

Price Per Person: $175.

 

Please whatsapp me at 0166827465.  All classes need to be booked in advanced.

Classes are held at 70 Road 14/24 PJ.

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The Four Foodies – Taking on the Pearl of the Orient – Day 2

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Day 2 began rather early because we were suppose to go for breakfast at the famous Nasi Lemak Stall at Paya Terubong.  It was a misty rainy morning a wonderful day to stay indoors and do nothing but the four of us fought fatigue and went in search of this Best Nasi Lemak.  Traffic was almost nil… it being Hari Raya Haji as well as no one in their right mind would be out so early so we reached our destination in record time.

 

So I got it wrong.  It is Paya Terubong Nasi Lemak at Ayer Itam.  It is a stall outside the Sin Teong Nam Café.  We got parking just next to the shop so it was not a problem.  It was not easy to get photos of the stall because of the rain.  There are many variations and dishes to choose from and it is sold in different sets.

 

From a distance I saw fish, quite large prawns, various chicken dishes and a few others dishes which I couldn’t make out because it was covered to protect it from the rain.

 

The stall operates from 4.30 am to 10 am and often finishes by 7 am.   Hence the reason we were rather early.

 

So we ordered basic which came with fish.  I half though it was the fried ikan selar but of course it was not.

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We ordered four plates.  I believe Foodie Boy 3 had chicken but I cannot seem to find the photos.

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Coffee was ordered, my second cup of Kopi Kaw Kaw.

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Ok taste testing time.  Don’t get your hopes up if you go there.  The rice was wet and had no coconut flavor at all.  Maybe that’s the way they make Nasi Lemak over there we didn’t check.  Now the sambal which is the second most important dish in any nasi lemak… well let’s just say it was nothing much at all.  This was the verdict by all four of us.  It is not often that we agree, but that was it.

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We ordered our first plate of Char Koay Teow.  It came.  Now I’ve not had this in decades and it was a time I probably didn’t like it because I don’t remember how it tasted.  The usual good size prawns and sliced lup cheong was evident.  First taste, wok hei was a tad bit strong.  I’ve never tasted it this strong before.  It was nice, but to me a tiny bit burnt but bearable.  It still had a nice flavor.

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Then we ordered Loh Pak Koh.  Now this was nice. It was  perfectly cooked with the bean sprouts still crunchy.  The ‘carrot cake’ tasted nice. It was nice and soft and not hard like what I usually eat when I’m at home.  Now this was unexpected, we didn’t plan to order this and just because Foodie Boy 1 walked around and saw it and so we ordered it.  Now this I could have had two plates.

 

Next stop.. Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera.  Now this place I haven’t been since I was a small boy.  I remember the solid open window trains that took a while to get up and moved so slowly that you could pluck the leaves as you passed by. Well not any more.

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The sight up there was captivating.  So different from before, maybe the skyline of Penang has changed so much that.  Just look at the photos.  The lush greenery amidst the mist was most enchanting.

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Also what was free last time now cost money so if you are there to try out stuff be prepared to pay.  Still it was a nice walk especially after it rained.  I didn’t join the rest because I had a bad ankle so I sat down in one of the cafes drinking hot chocolate and looking at people.

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They even have someone to fry Char Koay Teow there and I noticed three girls ordered one plate and in the end had three plates.  I was quite tempted but I knew the rest would be carrying on on their foodie tour so I practiced some self control.

While I was sitting there, and almost running out of battery, I took this most captivating photo… to me anyhow.

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By the time we came down, it was hot!  Real Hot!

Next destination.. Ayer Itam Market Assam Laksa.

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This was where I had a taste of waiting for food.  Pissed off faces around you, people rushing to finish their meal, you jumping onto tables full of remnants from the last customer. These were all no no’s for me, but in Penang it was normal.  I couldn’t take it, so I moseyed around while the others waited and chanced upon this luscious Hum Ching Peng.  Oh my gosh. So I bought some for the rest.

I’m not a fan of Red Bean, in fact I never ever buy it, so I took a chance here, and the red bean was just right, it was not a big gluggy lump like you get in most places, this was wet and almost molten.  A true joy.

Never have I eaten such silky soft Hum Ching Peng.  I make the damn thing for heavens sakes and it is not that soft.    The other thoroughly loved it accept for Foodie Girl who went off at us for eating piping hot foods and all… well we didn’t keep any for her.

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By the time I got the Hum Ching Peng, we had a table.  Funny though because the table was not cleaned, a few groups came around us to book the table thinking the remains were ours.  We ordered and waited. In the meantime Foodie Boy 1 went around somewhere and came back with Lorbak and Fried Spring Rolls.

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The Fried Spring Rolls were for dipping into the Assam Laksa soup.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Lorbak.  The smell and the taste reminded me of the Penang I once knew.  It was reminiscent of an era where my parents ordered everything and we ate it and if we enjoyed it more was ordered.

 

Now we were still waiting for our Laksa.  We signaled and ordered again.  We carried on sampling the rest of the food and still no food.  Those hanging around us probably thought we got a place and bought other stuff, so this time Foodie Girl walked up and ordered again.  Finally it came.

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Four bowls of over flowing soup with bits of food hanging off the bowl,  soup spilling on the table was like a normal occurrence.  You just sit and eat and get lost.

 

Now after stirring the soup to mix up all the condiments which I must say consisted of a lot of cucumber, there was hardly any fragrance of Hei Koh or of fish and most importantly the aroma of sourness before you even taste the soup.  There was nothing!  It was flat and tasted more of cucumber than anything else.  There was no tang of the tamarind.  Even the torch ginger did not give it that kick.

 

The spring roll was just as flat, and dipping it into the Assam Laksa soup didn’t yield much excitement to us all.

 

We were all quite disappointed.  I am sure this is because of the vast crowd that day that this happened.  I couldn’t believe the hype and the waiting and then flat Assam Laksa.  I believe this stall easily prepares about 800 bowls a day.

 

Funnily enough, my family had it a week later and said it was fine.  It was sour enough with all the niceties.  So we were just unlucky.  But to me, the cooks should taste what they are dishing out!  No excuse.

Because it was the long weekend, there were thousands of tourists in Penang, we were one of them.

Next Stop was the Temple of the Goddess Kwan Yin.  No photos, I was just tired of the heat and walking around so I sulked in a corner.   Foodies Boys bought another lot of Hum Ching Peng… what bliss!

After almost an hour we came down, might I say thank God we drove up because someone suggested we walk up, and I would have been an annoyed sod to deal with.

By now the heat was getting to me, fatigue as well from the previous days lack of sleep.  We were now heading to Balik Pulau to visit various places like someone’s school, and just going through little back lanes of these places, we realized there were a lot of villages that still exists on that always busy island.

Then we happened to be walking around Jalan Sungai Air Putih and suddenly we noticed an Assam Laksa Stall which was on one of the blogs called Kim Laksa.  Just like that it was in front of us.

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So we ordered Assam Laksa’s all round.  We didn’t have to linger around tables, as a group was already leaving.  Assam Laksa came in  a flash and this had that fragrance that I was used to.

First mouthful, and it was better than Ayer Itam, but it still lacked that tang.  The difference here is that you could taste all the ingredients.  Ok, PJ still tastes better we all agreed.

Then off we drove around to look for Durians.

We turned into a lot of nooks and crannies and suddenly we were going up a steep hill and right in front of us was Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory.  Without batting an eyelid oncoming traffic, Foodie Boy 1 shot across the road and went down a steep hill.  Trust me it was nothing much of a place, but when you taste their nutmeg, you will realize that what you’ve been missing all this time.

 

The owner is a very passionate man and will entertain any questions pertaining to his factory.  I didn’t have my phone now because the battery was dying like no tomorrow, damn thing always does that.  But the place has liniments and ointments, balms and nut meg pods, and even plants and sliced nutmeg I have never tasted before.

The nutmeg was succulent and wet unlike the drying ones we eat that gives a funny coating to ones tongue. This was really good.  I have photos of some of the products because my parents were there a week later.  I couldn’t get photos of the preserved nutmeg because everyone ate it rather quickly.

Then we went on searching for Durian which proved futile because it was almost off season and what was available was just too expensive and silly to purchase.

Then we chanced upon a fruit place which I believe was the Tropical Fruit Farm.  It was a steep hill to drive up to, but I can tell you it was truly worth it.  It was filled with flora and fauna I’ve never seen before as well as fruits like the Giant Passion Fruit.  The photos speak for it self.  I am told it is a homestay of sorts for those who want to get away from the city and it is well known for its fruit buffets which was not on when we got there.  It was getting late as well, so there was no activities going on.

 

We came down and drove till we reached one of the beaches.  While the rest walked around, I took photos of a rather nice sunset.  I watched all the people and their antics, I even rescued a Lily Bulb of some sort and brought it back home and it seems to be growing quite well.

Then we proceeded to Dinner.  Dinner was at Long Beach, a Glutton Square with lots of food and beer ladies pushing the sale of beer.

So we ordered, starting with Fried Spring Rolls.  Now I must say that these Spring Rolls came piping hot and was very nice.  I would go as far as to say one of the best Spring Rolls I have ever had.  It had different vegetables like carrots, spring onions and cabbage with meat of some sort.  We actually enjoyed it the most. It was crunchy and it was thoroughly enjoyable.  This would be one of the highlights of this food tour I should say.  I cannot remember the stall name, but you won’t miss it for sure.

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The Prawn Mee arrived.  The soup wasn’t so tasty and it lacked ingredients.  Even the boiled egg didn’t look very pretty.  The soup lacked sweetness and prawn flavor.  The Chilly Sauce only covered the flavors with spiciness. Prawns must have been expensive that day as well, there was hardly any!

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The must order dish when in Penang, Or Chien.  I have to say the Oysters were fresh and plump.  It was also quite plentiful judging from the size of the plate.  One gripe.. it was not crispy and tended to be oily because of that.  It was such a waste to have nice oysters served with flat, soggy eggs and rice flour mix.  If it was fried a tad bit longer, it would have been a stand out as well.  I also think the crowd that night made things a bit busy for good cooking to take place.  I still prefer the one in PJ cooked by this girl I call Bloody Mary at Paramount.

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The Char Koay Teow, started with one in the morning and ended with one at night.  Verdict.. the Wok Hei was once again wokked too much that it almost tasted burnt.  And Fish Cake for heaven’s sake!  How can you do this???

 

Everyone is so taken about the prawns and all but what if I do not want prawns or any meat in my Char Koay Teow? How would it taste then?  Because that is how I usually like mine, just with egg and undercooked bean sprouts and chives and maybe with extra cockles.  can this be done in Penang?

The Lorbak and the Squid came from the same stall.  Foodie Boy one was forced to buy it, or as he said he was really hard selling the squid.  I believe this would have tasted better if they had a different sauce, something with a bit of lime in it instead of the same chilly sauce that came with the lorbak which was a bit dry and one bit was a tiny bit off.  I deem the squid a Dish of Nothingness.

Once again, it was quite disappointing save the Spring Rolls and perhaps the Or Chien.  So much for bloggers saying all the places we went would be good.  Let’s hope Day Three will be more of an adventure.

We were all sweaty and bothered, I was anyhow, so we went back to the apartment.

TO BE CONTINUED

October 2017 Cooking and Baking Classes

 

 

Saturday October 7th 10 to 1 pm

Nasi Tomato

Tomato Rice has always been difficult because for as long as I’ve done it , it always doesn’t cook so well. Now it does!

  1. Nasi Tomato
  2. Mutton Kurma
  3. Achar Jelatah

Price Per Person: RM135

Saturday October 7th 2.30 to 5.30

Sujee Cake and Love Cake

This Sujee Cake Recipe is more than 100 years old.  This was my parents wedding cake and the person who made the cake passed on a few years ago well into her 90s and this recipe belonged to her mother.

This Love Cake is slightly less heavy then the ones you find in Sri Lanka which is full of sugar that no one eats it at wedding.  I learnt mine from the famous Mrs Foenander.

You will learn;

  1. Old Fashioned Sujee Cake – Semolina Cake
  2. Love Cake

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Sunday October 8th 10 to 1 pm

Indian Style Chicken Class

I haven’t had this class in a while, because the last time I was quite flustered.  I learnt this in India and when it is not my recipe and I am teaching it, it can get difficult.  So now I’ve refined it and let’s do it again.  You will learn;

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Malai Tikka

  1. Chicken Tandoori
  2. Chicken Malai Tikka
  3. Chicken Lollipop

Price Per Person: RM145

 

Sunday October 8th 2.30 to 5.30

Smoked Mutton Class

The wafting aroma of Smoked Mutton when you open it at the table for your family and friends will leave everyone in awe.  Always does at class anyhow.  You will learn;

  1. Smoked Mutton
  2. Oven Baked Naan Bread
  3. Smoked Brinjal

Price Per Person: $130 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Saturday 14th 10 to 1 pm

Mutton Beriani Dum and Fish Beriani

I learnt this in India and Malaysianised the cooking method simply because I found it difficult for myself and also for my students.  So now you will learn no hassle Beriani Dum and Fish Beriani.

 

  1. Mutton Beriani Dum
  2. Fish Beriani – Boneless
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Fish Beriani

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Saturday 14th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

Mutton Mania.  

It’s the month of Diwali, and Mutton is the “in meat” at most Indian households.  In fact Mutton these days is eaten by everyone.  There is no such thing as mutton smell if you buy good mutton and you use enough ingredients. And you do not need coconut milk at all!

You will learn;

  1. Mutton Vindaloo
  2. Mutton Kheema
  3. Making stuff with Mutton Keema

Price Per Person: $140 (class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Sunday 15th 10 to 1 pm

Butterless Cakes – Kasutera Cake and Japanese Ogura Cake

As much as I love buttery cakes, these are butter free.

  1. Nagasaki Castella Cake – a cake from the Portuguese that entered into Japan hundreds of years ago
  2. Japanese Ogura Cake

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Price Per Person: RM140

 

Sunday 15th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

Prawn Mee 

Learn the art of preparing Penang Prawn Mee

You will learn to prepare;

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  1. Two Prawn Broths require for the preparation of the soup
  2. Chilly Paste
  3. Prawn Soup
  4. Other Accompaniments

Price Per Person: RM130 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

 

French Macarons

Holiday Class

Wednesday 18th 2 to 5

Learn to make these little morsels that everyone seems to either hate or love.  You will learn the fundamentals of making;

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  1. French Macarons
  2. Cheesy Sambal Filling
  3. Cranberry Ganache

Price Per Person: $150 (Class will commence once there are 3 students)

 

Mutton Curry Bread

OCTOBER 21st 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make Mutton Curry Bread.

You will learn to prepare;

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  1. Bread
  2. Mutton Curry
  3. Assembling and baking the Mutton Curry Bread

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Price Per Person: RM140

Fruit Cakes Again

October 22nd 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make;

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  1. Sri Lankan Fruit Cake (Semolina Fruit Cake)
  2. Dundee Cake

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Price Per Person: RM150

 

Chocolate Indulgence

Saturday 28th 2.30 to 5.30

Let’s make some Decadent Chocolate Flavors, you will learn to make;

 

  1. Rich Chocolate Brownies
  2. Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. Chocolate Lava Cake

Price Per Person: $135

This is a hands on class.

Vegetarian Class

Sunday October 29th 10 to 1

I was once a vegetarian.  These were some of my favorite foods

  1. Angel Hair Kerabu
  2. Home Made Cheese Crackers
  3. Carrot and Chickpea Salad
  4. Vegetable Cutlets

Price Per Person: $140

 

Salted Egg Cream Puffs

Sunday October 29th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make Salted Egg Cream Puffs with Almond Topping

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Learn to make;

  1. Choux Paste
  2. Salted Egg Filling
  3. Almond Topping

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Price Per Person: RM135

 

Please whatsapp 0166827465 to book your classes.

Classes are held at 70 Jalan 14/24 Petaling Jaya.

The Four Foodies – Taking on the Pearl of the Orient – Day 1

This much anticipated trip took place on Merdeka Day.  The four of us set off at around 5.30 am, anticipating we might reach there in the early afternoon, seeing that it was quite early and all.  Well that all changed the moment we reached the Sungai Buloh and realized maybe a thousand more people had the same thought and left the same time as us.

The traffic was still moving and as time went on it just got slower and slower and so the girl on waze suggested we take a detour which we did at Slim River.   Now truth be told I have not been to Penang in decades.  All these places I passed through with my parents when I was a wee kid and while I remember some things, Wow!!! Slim River had buildings everywhere.  All I remember of Slim River was a little bridge.  I didn’t even remember if we stopped by at Slim River but I’m told by mum that it has nice Pao.  Well… everything was closed as it was still not even 7 am yet.  So we drove by with food on our minds till we passed through Tanjung Malim and still shops were not opened.

I was rather enchanted to see some of the old Malay houses amidst modernity, and there was even morning mist.  We Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya people see this in our area and it’s Haze.

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We were looking forward to reach Ipoh for a good dim sum breakfast but voice on Waze told us other wise.  So we decided on Bidor.  I remember Bidor as a place when my parents would stop and we’d buy biscuits like Chicken Biscuit, Shat Kek Mah, this Peang and that Peang, Pomeloes and all the knick knacks my parents grew up on.

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Then we went to the famous Pun Chun which sells Herbal Duck with Wonton Noodles.  It was around 9am or so and the place was chockers.  People were standing around waiting for tables with dirty looks on their face, something I really hate but since the others didn’t mind I had to play along and then I chanced on a table outside.  So we ordered.  Foodie Girl said I could not have the duck because I had a swollen ankle, with rolling eyes I agreed on some normal wonton noodles.

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No more old style porcelin cups.

The wait for the food was just as long.  Also I’d like to note that I had my first ever Kopi Kaw Kaw or really strong coffee.  I didn’t think it was all that.  It was not so flavorsome as I thought it would be.  The others said the same. 

While waiting we ordered Woo Kok which is Yam Puffs with Char Siew Filling.  Now these were really nice, it was piping hot and made up for the waiting. It was very crispy on the outside because it was just fried.  We also ordered fish balls and these were nice springy fish balls. I could have had a few more plates of these.  I don’t usually like fish balls but these were pure and nice.

Food arrived.  Everyone had a bowl of soup with a piece of duck hanging out of the bowl and won ton noodles and I was got mine a few minutes later.

I thought it would be a trite messy with the duck still on the bone but the meat just fell off.  The soup alone was slightly similar to a very light bak kut teh with dried longans and kei chee for sweetness. It was truly satisfying, I drank all the soup that was left behind.

My wonton noodles arrived and the noodles were a perfect al dente.  Still chewy and springy and not flat and soft like what I usually get.  The won tons were flavorsome and not fatty and the meat was nicely flavor and not so thick in taste.

Interestingly my grandfather used to go to Pun Chun in the 50s with my dad, and my parents took us as kids and next week my niece will be eating at Pun Chun as well.  Grandpa used to be friends with the old man I’m told.  Talk about history.

Walking around Bidor gives a sense of olden times.  No doubts it is packed with buses and cars, we almost didn’t even get a park, but even if it was decades long that I stepped into Bidor I still remembered it.

Mum says you should try eating at the market across from Pun Chun,  you will not miss it with all the umbrellas.

As we walked to the car, we saw a Mak Cik selling Nasi Lemak, and Indian man selling Appam and other Indian stuff then another Indian lady making Putu, and an Indian Muslim lady frying curry puffs which were very nice I might add, and cucur.  I didn’t take photos sadly.  I wished we spent a day or two here now.

So we’re off to Ipoh now hoping for some Dim Sum for lunch.

We took the trunk roads and the traffic was crawling so everyone decided to pay a visit to Kellie’s Castle.  Everything has changed in Batu Gajah. Mum is from Batu Gajah so I knew bits of this and that.  We reached Kellie’s Castle and there were so many people around and it started getting hot so the rest plodded on while I hung around.  While I was looking at stuff I spotted this wonderful looking antique pot but the person wanted RM450 which was a bit too steep even though he claimed it belonged to his grandmother.  It would have been an excellent decorative and a real show piece.  Alas.. one can’t have everything now can we?

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It was getting hotter and hotter and a trite uncomfortable when we finally reached Ipoh.  Traffic was crawling even at the trunk roads.  So when we reached Ipoh all in anticipation for Dim Sum, alas once again, we can’t have everything now can we? … because every dim sum shop we passed was closed, and the ones that were opened were crowded so we proceeded to Kong Heng Restaurant.

I had been here a few years ago with Seok Hean and Eddie and so I knew what to order.  As usual walking along the street, the lady selling Bak Chang was still there selling her Dumplings, and as much as I wanted to buy it, as usual I didn’t buy it.. so sad when you think too much sometimes.

Once again we had to wait for our table. I guess this was the training ground of what was in store for me in Penang.  I never have to wait for tables at a restaurant.  So this was all new and bothersome to me.  Two pet hates…waiting for a table and lining up for food!

So we went in and Foodie Boy 1 was sent to do the ordering.  We ordered Chee Cheong Fun with Curry Gravy  and Stuffed Chee Cheong Fun.  Pork Satay was on the list of course along with Sar Hor Fun and the quintessential Crème Caramel and Tau Fu Fa.

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I’ve never had stuffed chee cheong fun before although mum made it once last year, and this was stuffed with Jicama Bean (Sengkuang) cooked much like you would for popiah with bits of spring onions and with just the right amount of tim cheong and chilly sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  I hate my chee cheong fun drowned in tim cheong and chilly sauce but they got it just right.  I could have easily had two plates of it.

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The Chee Cheong Fun with the Curried sauce was as always just fantastic.  The lightness of the sauce was  perfect for the chee cheong fun unlike the thick ones we get here in PJ.  As Chee Cheong Fun is a soft rice noodle, the light curry gravy complements it perfectly.  They always get it right here.  The flavor although light was evident.  It wasn’t watered down curry.

The pork satay was nice and chunky but today it seemed to lack a bit more flavor unlike when I had it the last time.  It did go well with the sauce so it wasn’t so bad in the end, but for me before I dip something in sauce, I like to taste it as it is.

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Then the crème caramel as always was just a perfect ending.  Now don’t go and bag the Crème Caramel, it may not be the best of the best but eating in these conditions, this was really good.  A sweet ending. Always!

Sar Hor Fun never came! I doubt they even missed us when we walked passed them and left.

Now we headed to Concubine Lane.  This is a lane full on food and drinks and knick knacks galore.

I was standing away from the sun while the others walked around and this sweet little Chinese Girl asked me to try the something. I was a little hesitant but I did just because she was sweet and polite.  I bought a packet after that along with mini mooncakes. It was cheap and really pretty.

The Kaya Kok was what I tasted and it was baking in the oven, so while waiting we walked across to have some soy bean and tau fu fa.  Tau Fu fa was silken but a tad bit sweet.  I would have liked to sit around but the others wanted to walk around so we left.  I went across to collect my Kaya Kok but I had to wait as it was still not ready so I sat there and waited and took some photos of the unbaked product.

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The Kaya Kok was just wonderful.  A bit sweet but then hey Kaya should be sweet.  And they didn’t give you a thick piece of pastry to drown the kaya flavor but instead it was encased in a nice thin pastry.  It was perfection even though we ate it a few hours later in the massive traffic jam we had to go through on the highway.

There was so much to do in Concubine Lane but the heat and time was a factor. So we continued our journey.

Penang was still a long way to go and the traffic and the heat didn’t make it any easier and the accident that occurred started a jam kilometers before the tunnel and kilometers after that.  I’ve never been through a traffic jam like that in my life not even in India.  But when you’re with friends, it’s not too bad because everyone will laugh and make comments and it will pass.

All through the trip there were decade’s worth of changes.  Buildings, factories, houses, roads, everything and off course Tolls.

Soon Penang was in sight.  Now we were wide awake.  We decided to take the ferry into Penang, and guess what?  We had to wait!

Gone were the days when the ferries moved up and down every few minutes.  It was a 30 minute or so wait before we moved into a ferry.  I was most excited.

Surprisingly, there were more pedestrians on the ferry this time, a few cars and many many people either going to work or returning home from the mainland.  What a vast difference it was from the time I was last on the ferry.  First thing I did when I got out from the car was to count jelly fish just like when I was a kid with my sister. There wasn’t any.  I finally saw one when we were nearing the end of the ferry ride.  Everything changes I guess.

You can breathe the air of oldness in Penang.

So we drove through Penang town towards Batu Ferringhi. The last time I was in Penang, Batu Ferringhi was more forests than anything else.  Now it was as happening as Phuket and Seminyak Town or Kuta Town in Bali and the traffic was even worst.  I never realized how winding the roads were and a trite scary as well.  So now were going towards Teluk Bahang for a seafood dinner.  It was a long and winding road I tell you.  The traffic was on the other side so it was not so bad, but the sharp turns and the speed some of these cars were going was rather terrifying.  We were lucky Foodie Boy 1 was a cool and calm driver, because I would have been cursing every man, woman and child.

Finally after turning in a side road and through a muddy and sandy road we arrived at Fishing Village Seafood Restaurant.  It was a little shanty place from perhaps the early 80s or even the 70s, nothing looked new, in fact some parts did look down right rotten, but the sight of the expensive cars parked nearby said something else.

We were really hungry, so we ordered.

Food took a while and we were forewarned so we had to just wait because there were three tables before us who were waiting as well.

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The first was the Fried Calamari.  It was nice and crispy and certainly not a let down.  It was nice to pick as we waited for the next few dishes and it stayed crispy to the very end.

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Then the Oysters topped with Roux and cheese came.  We only ordered four oysters and after eating it, I think we should have ordered more.  While it was suppose to be western it still had a nice kick to it so the flavors came out better.  The Oysters remained just right despite the cheese being a nice golden.  It was good. The crispy friend garlic gave it a nice flavor.

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The fish arrived.  We had a Snapper cooked Thai style.  The stock was a nice light Tom Yam Flavor and it enhanced the flavor of the fish that was alive a few minutes earlier.  No fishy smell, the meat was easy to get to without much bones.  The Tom Yam Stock was a nice soup as well.  I always love the garnishing.

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Tofu with Seafood was next.  I liked the flavor of this and there was enough Seafood in it to deem it Tofu with seafood.  They were not stingy with their seafood and it was nice comfort food.

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Since Foodie Girl always like healthy stuff we ordered Bitter Gourd with Salted Egg.  Now I have had this in other places and there was never ever enough salted egg to mask the evilness or bitter gourd.  Not here.  There was enough salted egg and it gave  this usually punishment vegetable a nice flavor.  The Bitter Gourd remained crunchy but well cooked and didn’t look oily.

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The salted fish fried rice came last.  Hmmm… it was nice with a lot of prawns and for some reason seafood stick, but there was hardly any salted fish.  Salted Fish fried rice should give you that sudden shock of salted fish but this was seriously lacking.  And when you did bite into a piece of salted fish, it was soft and not crispy.  A bit of a let down, but four hungry people still devoured it.  Perhaps if it was the first dish, we would not have been so picky because by now we were quite full.

There was Lobster and Crabs, and other seafood as well.  Almost every table took lobster.  Maybe if we ever go back, we’d get a lobster

Price wise it was ok.  Food was nice and comforting.  Ambience was a bit out but seeing the old rich flock there, so there must have been some allurement to the place, because the next table were Penangites who were back from Australia for holidays.  Big ears was listening.

So we drove back through the traffic passing by the myriad restaurants and night markets as careening through those tight turns and reached our abode for the next four days.  It was quite high up as well.

Before we went to bed, Foodie Boy 2 gave us a rundown of tomorrow’s happenings.

 

To be continued.

 

 

September 2017 Cooking and Baking Classes

Love Cake and Sujee Cake

Saturday September 9th 10 to 1

This Sujee Cake Recipe is more than 100 years old.  This was my parents wedding cake and the person who made the cake passed on a few years ago well into her 90s and this recipe belonged to her mother.

This Love Cake is slightly less heavy then the ones you find in Sri Lanka which is full of sugar that no one eats it at wedding.  I learnt mine from the famous Mrs Foenander.

You will learn;

  1. Old Fashioned Sujee Cake – Semolina Cake
  2. Love Cake

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Vegetarian Cakes

Saturday September 9th 2.30 to 5.30

 

 

 

Learn to make Vegetarian Cakes, you will learn to prepare;

  1. Vegetarian Red Velvet Cake
  2. Date and Walnut Cake
  3. Dulce de Leche Topping

Price Per Person: RM135

Cotton Soft Doughnuts

Sunday September 10th 10 to 1 pm

I love Doughnuts. I like it at its simplest form.  You will learn to prepare;

 

 

 

  1. Cotton Soft Doughnuts
  2. Sausage Doughnuts
  3. Doughnut Malaysia – with Ikan Bilis sambal
  4. Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Price Per Person: RM135

 

Curry Day

Sunday September 10th 2.30 to 5.30

These curries do not contain coconut so they can stand our open house concept.  So this Diwali let’s prepare;

  1. Devil Mutton Curry
  2. Chicken Varuvel

Price Per Person: RM140

 

Old Fashioned Butter Cake and Butter Icing Class

Saturday September 16th 2.30 to 5 pm

 

 

 

You will learn to make the Old Fashioned Butter Cake by hand and then do basic decoration with Old Fashioned Butter Icing.  Each person will get a butter cake fully iced to take home.

Please make your bookings by the 12th of September so there will be enough cakes for everyone.

This is a hands on class.

Price Per Person: $125

 

Shanghai and Kluang Mooncake

Sunday September 17th 2 to 5.30

I find Shanghai Mooncake much easier to make.  So here goes.  You will learn;

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  1. Shanghai Pastry
  2. Kluang Moon Cake
  3. Shanghai Mooncake
  4. Walnut Mooncake
  5. Lotus Paste recipe will be provided and explained.

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Step by Step Photos are available in my blog.

Price Per Person: RM150

 

Traditional Moon Cake

Friday September 22nd 2 pm to 5.30

Learn to make Traditional Baked Moon Cake.  You will learn;

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  1. Pastry
  2. Mixed Nuts
  3. Various uses of Lotus Pate with Salted Egg, and other ingredients.

Price Per Person: RM150

Fish Head and Assam Fish Curry

Saturday September 23rd 2.30 to 5 pm

One Indian Style One Nonya Style..

Please Book Early.  Only Paid Bookings will be entertained.

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You will learn;

  1. Assam Fish Curry
  2. Fish Head Curry

Price Per Person: RM140

Booking to be made by the 18th September as I need to order Fish Heads.

 More photos will be uploaded later.

Masala Raan

Sunday September 24th 2.30 to 5.30

This is an Indian style roasted Leg of Lamb rather ideal for Diwali or even for a small get together.  You will learn;

  1. Masala Raan
  2. Spicy Roasted Vegetables
  3. Palak Paneer
  4. Each person will make their own Paneer

Price Per Person: RM 150

 

Jelly Mooncake

SATURDAY  September 30th 10 to 1 pm

Jelly Moon Cakes might be blasphemous but it is still enjoyed by many.  You will learn to prepare;

 

 

 

  1. Chocolate Oreo Jelly Mooncake
  2. Jelly Mooncake with Egg and Yam filling

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Price Per Person: $130

 

Please email me at cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com or whatsapp me at 0166827465 to book your place.

Classes are held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.

 

 

August 2017 Baking and Cooking Classes

Chocolate Dessert Class

Saturday August 12th 10 to 1 pm

Learn to make;

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  1. Chocolate Tart
  2. Chocolate Lava Cake
  3. Chocolate Mousse

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Price Per Person: $135 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Lemon Desserts

Saturday August 12th 2.30 to 5.30

I like sweetish sourish desserts, so you will learn;

Lemon Slice

Lemon Slice

  1. Lemon Meringue Cupcake – Totally Butter Free Cupcake
  2. Lemon Slice
  3. Lemon Short Bread

This is a fully hands on class.  Class will commence once there are 6 students.

Price Per Person: $135

 

Pineapple Tarts

Sunday August 13th 2.30 to 5.30

A favorite of every festive or any time in Malaysia.

Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts.

You will learn two types of pastries and the jam of course.

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  1. Old Fashion Pineapple Tart – Opened Tarts
  2. Rolled Pineapple Tart
  3. Pineapple Jam

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

Price Per Person: $120 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Saturday August 19th 2.30 to 5.30

A favorite everywhere, any time…

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

Price Per Person: $125 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

 

Indian Style Chicken Class

Sunday August 20th 10 to 1pm

 

I haven’t had this class in a while, because the last time I was quite flustered.  I learnt this in India and when it is not my recipe and I am teaching it, it can get difficult.  So now I’ve refined it and let’s do it again.  You will learn;

  1. Chicken Tandoori
  2. Chicken Malai Tikka
  3. Chicken Lollipop

Price Per Person: RM145 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

 

 

Fruit Cake

Sunday August 20th 2.30 to 5pm

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Fruitcakes can be made months in advance and nurtured with brandy every week till the big day arrives.  Learn to make;

  1. English Fruit Cake
  2. Rich Chunky Fruit Cake

Price Per Person: RM150 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 
Laksa Class

SUNDAY August 27th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to prepare quick and easy Laksa favorites.  You will learn to prepare;

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  1. Curry Laksa
  2. Assam Laksa

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Price Per Person: RM135 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Children’s Bread Class – School Holiday Class

Tuesday August 29th 11 to 2 pm

  1. Bread
  2. Sausage Bread
  3. Chocolate Bread Rolls
  4. Mini Bread Loaves

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Price Per Person: RM120 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Retro Cakes – Cakes from the 80s

Wednesday August 30th 2 to 4.30 pm

Learn to bake two types of cakes from the 80s.  You will learn;

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  1. Coconut Cake
  2. Tangy Coconut Topping
  3. Butter Cheesecake
  4. Glazed Topping

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Price Per Person: RM140 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

Please call or Whatsapp 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com

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

June 2017 Cooking and Baking Classes

 

Chicken Curry Bread

SUNDAY JUNE 4TH 10 to 1 pm

You will learn to prepare;

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  1. Bread
  2. Chicken Curry
  3. And Assembling the whole Chicken Curry Bread

Price Per Person: RM120

 

Chequered Cake

SUNDAY JUNE 4TH 2.30 to 5.30

Old fashioned Chequered Cake

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  1. Orange Cake
  2. Rich Chocolate Butter Cake
  3. Chocolate Butter Cream
  4. Chocolate Orange Butter Cream

Price Per Person: $130  (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Please state your attendance by Thursday as I need to have enough cakes.

Please bring a high container so you can take your portion home.

 

Biskut Raya – Let’s Bake for Hari Raya

June 10th 2.30 to 5.30

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Almond London
  3. Butter Cookies

Price Per Person: $125 (Minimum 4 in a class) This is a fully hands on class.

 

Puff Pastry Class

Sunday June 11th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

Learn to make puff pastry from scratch.  You will learn;

Tuna Pinwheels

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  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Spinach and Cheese Puffs
  3. Spicy Tuna Puffs

Price Per Person: $125  Class will commence once there are 5 students. Maximum 6 students per class.

WE NEED THE NUMBERS BECAUSE WE NEED ENOUGH PASTRY TO MAKE THE PRODUCTS.

Monday June 12th Public Holiday Class  

10 to 1 pm

Pasta Class

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Learn to make Pasta from scratch.  You will also learn to make a good Rich Vegetable Lasagna and Fettuccini Carbonara Cake

This is a Vegetarian Class but there will be use of Eggs

Price Per Person: $120 Class will commence once there are six students. This is a hands on class

 

Roasted Leg of Lamb Class

Monday June 12th Public Holiday Class  2.30 to 5.30

Learn to roast a Leg of Lamb along with its accompaniments for a complete meal.

roasted lamb

You will learn;

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  1. Roasting a Leg of Lamb
  2. Yorkshire Pudding – goes well with lamb
  3. Stuffed Roasted Capsicum
  4. Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Price Per Person: RM145 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Japanese Bread

Saturday June 17th 2.30 to 5.30

One of my favorite classes.  Learn to make soft bread from scratch.  You will learn;

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  1. Bread Loaves
  2. Cheese and Onions Scrolls
  3. Polo Bun
  4. ??

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Price Per Person: $130 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Thosai and Idly Class

Sunday June 18th 10 am to 1 pm

Learn to make Indian Breakfast delights. You will learn to make;

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  1. Idly
  2. Thosai
  3. Masala Thosai
  4. Potato Masala
  5. Coconut Chutney

Price Per Person: $120 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

This is a hands on class.  Be prepared to work.

 

Smoked Mutton Class

Sunday June 18th 2.30 to 5.30

The wafting aroma of Smoked Mutton when you open it at the table for your family and friends will leave everyone in awe.  Always does at class anyhow.  You will learn;

I never seem to be able to find my photos for this class.

  1. Smoked Mutton
  2. Oven Baked Naan Bread
  3. Smoked Brinjal

Price Per Person: $130 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

New Recipe for the Month of June

Saturday 24th 10 to 1 pm

Pandan Butter Cake with Gula Melaka Butter Cream topped with a Coconut Butter Scotch.
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Took me a while to create this and you will be quite surprised with the filling.

You will learn to make;

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  1. Pandan Butter Cake
  2. Gula Melaka Butter Cream
  3. Coconut Butterscotch

Price Per Person: RM135 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Salted Egg and Century Egg Cheesecake

Sunday June 25th 11 to 2 pm

This was a chance tasting and I was hooked.  And it is not even difficult.  The Topping was one of a kind as well, so you will be learning;

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  1. Salted Egg Cheesecake
  2. Century Egg Cheesecake (Pei Tan)
  3. Spicy Savory Topping
  4. New Easy Base

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Price Per Person: $150 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Hainanese Chicken Rice 

Monday 26th 11 to 2 pm

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A favorite everywhere, any time…

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

Price Per Person: $130 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Please call 016 6827465 or email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com

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

 

All classes are to be paid for in advance before a seat is confirmed.

For more information, do refer to my blog, http://www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com