Category Archives: Foodie News

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.

 

 

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April 2017 Cooking and Baking Classes

Saturday April 8th  10 to 1

Rainbow Cake

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We will learn to make a big rainbow cake and cut it into slices instead of what we always see in photos.  You will learn to make;

  1. White Cake
  2. Swiss Buttercream
  3. Assembling your cake

Price Per Person: $130 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

This class involves a bit of work.

 

Saturday April 8th 2.30 to 5.30

Chicken Curry Class

 Learn to prepare 3 types of Chicken Curries and it’s coconut milk free.

  1. Chicken Paretal
  2. Devil Chicken Curry
  3. Chicken Kurma

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

Sunday April 9th 10 to 1 pm

Cake Lapis – Indonesian Layer Cake or Speckoek

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Learn the art of preparing the Indonesian Layer Cake.  You will learn;

  1. Indonesian Layer Cake
  2. Almond Layer Cake

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

 

Sunday April 9th  2 pm to 5.30 pm

Monday May 1st 2pm to 5.30 pm

New Class for the Month!

New  Eggless Macarons

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I’ve finally done it. Eggless Macarons.  We cannot call it French anymore.  Be one of the first people to learn this.  You will learn;

  1. Eggless Macarons
  2. Strawberry Chocolate Filling
  3. Passion Fruit Cheese Filling

Price Per Person: RM150 (Class will commence once there are 3 students)

Please note the time. This class may take a little longer as the process is slightly longer than normal macarons.

 

Saturday April 15th  2.30 to 5.30

Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding Complete Meal

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  1. Roast Beef
  2. Yorkshire Pudding
  3. Stir Fried Lemon Potatoes
  4. Broccoli with Caramelized Onions and Nuts
  5. Rich Bread and Butter Pudding

Price Per Person: $165 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Sunday April 16th 2.30 to 5.30

Drip Cake

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Each person will get their own cake to decorate and to take home.

You will learn to coat the cake and learn to drip chocolate dripping over your cake.

Please bring your favorite kinds of toppings that you might like to place on your cake, that way you can take home a cake everyone will enjoy.

Cake is around 7 inches wide and about 8 inches high

You will learn;

  1. Black Chocolate Cake
  2. Butter Cream
  3. Pouring Chocolate

Price Per Person: $180 (Class will commence once there are 4 students)

Students attending the class will have to book and pay in full by the 13th of March as I need to prepare your cakes.

 

Saturday April 22nd         2.30 to 5 pm

Salted Egg and Century Egg Cheesecake

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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;

 

  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)

 

Sunday April 23rd  11 to 2 pm

Pineapple Tarts

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 6 students)

 

Monday April 24th 11 to 2 pm – Public Holiday Class

Tea Time Delights

Learn to make Hum Ching Peng and Siew Pao.

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You will learn;

  1. Siew Pao Pastry
    2. Siew Pao Filling
    3. Hum Ching Peng
    4. Glutinous Rice Hum Ching Peng

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Price Per Person: $125 (Class will commence once there are 3 or 4 students)

 

Saturday April 29th 2.30 to 5.30

Chocolate Indulgence

A class for all Chocoholics. Learn to make easy favorite Chocolate Delights.  You will learn to make

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  1. Chocolate Marbled Brownie
  2. Chocolate Truffle Tart
  3. Chocolate Muffins

Price Per Person: $130  (Class will commence once there are 4 students). Please bring three containers to take home your goodies.

 

Sunday 30th  2.30 to 5 pm

Bready Sunday

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Pang Susi – Savory Meat Buns

Learn this age old recipe which has always been a tea time favorite with the Eurasians and Cristang people.

You will learn;

  1. Pang Susi
  2. Chicken Filling
  3. Spicy Tuna and Sweet Potato Filling

Price Per Person: RM95 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

Monday May 1st  10 to 1 pm

Hainanese Chicken Rice 10 to 1 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: $125 (Class will commence once there are 4 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

 

 

 

November and December 2016 Cooking and Baking Classes

Puff Pastry Class

November 5th Saturday 10 to 1 pm

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

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  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Sausage Rolls – The real stuff not stuffing the sausage in pastry
  3. Spinach and Cheese Puffs
  4. Spicy Tuna Puffs

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Price Per Person: $120 (class will commence once there are six students)  Class will commence once there are 5 students. Maximum 6 students per class.

 

Beef Pies, Chicken Pies  and More

November 5th  Saturday 2.30 pm to 5.30  pm

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

  1. Beef and Mushroom Pie
  2. Creamy Chicken and Corn Pie
  3. Apple Pie
  4. Short Crust Pastry
  5. Potato Topping

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

 

Drip Cake

Sunday November 6th 1 pm to 5 pm

Finally… the long awaited Drip Cake Class.  Each person will get their own cake to decorate and to take home.

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You will learn to coat the cake and learn to drip chocolate dripping over your cake.

Please bring your favorite kinds of toppings that you might like to place on your cake, that way you can take home a cake everyone will enjoy. Cake is around 7 in wide and about 8 inches high

You will learn;

  1. Black Chocolate Cake
  2. Butter Cream
  3. Pouring Chocolate

Price Per Person: $180 (Class will commence once there are 4 to 5 students)

 

Christmas Cake 1

Sunday November 13th 10 to 1 pm

It is exactly 42 days to Christmas.  Let’s soak our fruits and bake our cake.

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

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  1. Dundee Cake
  2. Classic English Christmas Cake

Price Per Person: $120 (Class will commence once there are six students.

 

Christmas Cake 2

Sunday November 13th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

It is exactly 42 days to Christmas.  Let’s soak our fruits and bake our cake.

Learn to bake these other old fashion fruit cakes.  You will learn to bake;

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  1. Semolina Fruit Cake (Sri Lankan Fruit Cake)
  2. Rich Chunky Fruit Cake

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

 

Children’s Pizza and  Mac and Cheese Class

Tuesday November 29th 10 to 1 pm

Kids will learn to make Pizza and Mac and Cheese.

  1. Learn to make Pizza Dough
  2. Chicken and Vegetable Topping
  3. Calzone – A Foldover Pizza which is easy to handle
  4. Macaroni and Cheese.

These are ideal snacks for school next year.

 

Price Per Child: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 children)

 

Bak Kwa Class

Saturday November 19th 10 to 12.30

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Learn to make Chicken Bak Kwa.  You will learn this from scratch and BBQ them to take home.

Please dress comfortably as you will be BBQing the meat outside.

Price Per Person: RM85 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Turkey Class

Sunday November 20th 2.30 to 5.30

Saturday December 3rd  2.30 to 5.30

It’s Turkey Dinner Time.  Learn to do a complete Christmas Dinner.

You will learn to prepare

turkey roast

  1. Roast Turkey
  2. Stuffing
  3. Turkey Gravy
  4. Roasted Vegetables
  5. Cranberry and Apple Salad
  6. Traditional Christmas Pudding
  7. Brandy Custard Sauce

christmas pudding

Price Per Person: RM150 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Roasted of Lamb Leg and Roasted Chicken Class

Saturday November 26th 10 to 1 pm

Monday December 12th 2.30 to 5.30

Another Christmas Delight learn to do both Chicken and Lamb as a complete Christmas Dinner or Lunch.

You will learn;

  1. Roasted Leg of Lamb
  2. Roasted Chicken
  3. Chicken Stuffing
  4. Spicy Roasted Potatoes
  5. Salade Nicoise
  6. Traditional Christmas Pudding
  7. Brandy Custard Sauce

Price Per Person: RM160 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

 

Christmas Delights

Sunday November 27th 2.30 to 5.30

Sunday December 11th 2.30 to 5.30

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

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

Christmas Fruit Mince

These are ideal homemade Christmas gifts.

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

 

Yule Log

Wednesday December 14th 10.30 to 1 pm

Learn to Decorate your own Yule log.

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: RM115

 

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

 

 

October 2016 Cooking and Baking Classes

 

Japanese Bread

Sunday October 2nd 2 to 5 pm

This will always be my most favorite bread class.  Hard work but it always pays off in the end.  You will learn;

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  1. Japanese Soft Bread
  2. Cheese and Onion Scrolls
  3. Bread Loaf
  4. Sausage Bread

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

Fruit Cakes for Diwali

Monday October 3rd 2.30 to 5 pm

 

Learn to bake these other old fashion fruit cakes.  You will learn to bake;

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Chunky Fruit Cake

  1. Sri Lankan Fruit Cake
  2. Rich Chunky Fruit Cake

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

Chequered Cake

Sunday October 9th   10.30 to 1.30

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I made this Chequered cake for a private class a few months ago.  It is fun and easy and somehow it makes everyone excited when you cut it.  So we will bake and decorate;

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

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

Pineapple Tart Class

Saturday October 15th 10 to 1 pm

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A favorite of every festive in Malaysia. Learn to make two types of pineapple tarts.

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

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

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

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

 

Murukus and Sweet Spicy Cornflake Class

Saturday October 15th 2.30 to 4.30 pm

A lot of people have been grumbling about the prices of Murukku. So I think we should learn it.

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  1. Butter Murukku
  2. Potato Murukku
  3. Cornflake Mix

This is a fully hands on session.  Please bring 3 containers.

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

 

Puff Pastry Class

October 16th 2.30 to 5.30 pm

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

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  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Sausage Rolls – The real thing
  3. Spinach and Cheese Puffs
  4. Spicy Tuna Puffs

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Price Per Person: $120 (class will commence once there are six students)  Class will commence once there are 5 students. Maximum 6 students per class.

 

Curry Curry for Diwali!

Saturday 22nd 2.30 to 5 pm

  1. Kerala Fish Curry
  2. South Indian Prawn Curry
  3. Mutton Devil Curry

Price Per Person: $150 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)

Class has to be booked and fully paid up by the 17th as I need to order the fish and prawns.

Please like my Facebook page – Cooking with Nicholas

 

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 follow my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

 

August 2016 Cooking and Baking Classes

Curry in a Hurry

Saturday 13th 10.30 to 12.30

Learn three Curries in 2 hours. You will learn to prepare;

  1. Butter Chicken
  2. 3 Ingredient Chicken – 4 if you add in the potatoes
  3. Chicken Vindaloo

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

 

Fluffy Spelt Bread

Saturday 13th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make Easy Fluffy  Spelt Bread.  This is a fully hands on session.

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You will learn to make;

  1. Fluffy Spelt Bread
  2. Bread Pull Aparts
  3. Dried Prawn Sambal Rolls – You will learn to prepare the Dried Prawn Sambal
  4. Sausage Bread – I love sausage bread

Price Per Person: RM100  (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Noodles Noodles and Noodles

Sunday 14th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make various noodles. You will learn to prepare;

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  1.  Laksa
  2. Char Koay Teow
  3. Mee Siam – with the sauce

Price Per Person: RM100  (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Thosai and Idly – An Indian Breakfast

Saturday August 20th 10 to 1 pm

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

  1. Idly
  2. Thosai
  3. Coconut Chutney

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

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

 

Lemon Afternoon

Saturday August 20th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make all things lemon.  You will learn to prepare,

Lemon Slice

Lemon Slice

  1. Lemon Shortbread
  2. Lemon Tart Slice
  3. Lemon Curd – A very versatile Curd

Price Per Person: RM100 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

 

I love Salted Eggs

Sunday August 21st 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make some new fangled Salted Egg stuff.  You will learn to prepare;

  1. Molten Salted Egg Lava Cake
  2. Salted Egg Cookies
  3. Salted Egg Donuts

Price Per Person: RM100 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)

Smoked Mutton Class

Saturday August 27th 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;

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

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

Please call me on 0166827465 or email me at cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.