Category Archives: Private Cooking Classes in PJ and KL

July 2016 Cooking and Baking Classes

Churros

July 16th Saturday 2 pm to 5 pm

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

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

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

Curry Puff

July 17th Sunday 2 pm to 5 pm

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

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You will learn;

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

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

 

Moon Cake Class

July 23rd Saturday 2 pm to 5 pm

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

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

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This is a hands on session.

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

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

 

Nasi Lemak Kukus

24th July 2 to 5 pm 

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

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

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

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

Please check my blog www.nicholaspillai.wordpress.com

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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.

 

 

 

The Gurkha Restaurant – 27 First Floor, Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin, Kuala Lumpur

A sudden spontaneous trip to Kuala Lumpur especially to an area I consider rather seedy and I wouldn’t even think of going happened on Sunday.  Despite the rain and all the foreigners around I braved it with my Nepalese friend Diwash and walked through the throngs of people that at one split moment I felt I was in Bangalore.

So here I was right in front of the restaurant that looked like some 70s flashback and I trodded up the stairs… and behold.. I was in Nepal.  The restaurant wall were covered with Nepalese art and photos of Heroes of yesteryear, Kings from a hundred years ago as well as Heroes from History.   I was told who was who and what they contributed to the country.  It was a nice setting.

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The restaurant is rather well spaced and since it was early by Nepalese eating times, we were the only ones there.  So we ordered.

The first time I had Nepalese food was in Melbourne about 10 years ago.  The second time was early this year when a little shop opened near my house and I excitedly went quite often and then the CLOSED!  Just like that.

So I was quite excited because this restaurant had a bigger variety then the one that was near my house.  So of course we ordered Momos.

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Now Momos are like little Xiu Long Baos minus the finer skin and of course this has a slight spicy flavor.  It is pure meat and is always eaten in tens. That is ten pieces per person.  This I learnt from Santosh Ghimire my neighbor.    Momos are usually made with Pork, Chicken or Vegetables.  I have so far only eaten Chicken  Momos.

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Now the difference between a Momo and a Xiu Long Bao is there is practically no soup within the dumpling.  The meat is heavier because there is nothing added to it except pure meat.  I could never eat ten momos at one seating, but I could manage five if I had nothing else to go with it. I think they look so luscious in the photo above.

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The next was Chicken Chaumin.  This is a Nepalese version of fried noodles.  So far I have had three different versions and they all tasted equally nice.  There is that slight spiciness from the chillies as well as a bit of sourness and the slightly charred taste (Wok Hei) gives it that last bit of kick and flavor.  I wish they would add a bit more vegetables because mine just had too much chicken I feel.  But then that’s just me.

I am keen to know what noodles they use in Nepal because they use the normal noodles we have available in the markets.  I am sure it is different.  I once had Buffalo Chaumin but it was like eating chewy rocks!  I did think the chicken was a tad bit too fried that it became a trite dry.  But if complemented everything.

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Chicken Choyla was the next dish.  Bloody spicy is the first word that comes to mind.  I like picking and since it came with toothpicks on the side, I was quite excited.  I had a pair of chopsticks though.  It needed to go with rice that’s for sure.  It was salty as well because it was meant to go with liquor on a cold night.

Nepalese food tends to be a bit salty.  Chicken Choyla had onions and chilies and had a nice refreshing tang to it.    Actually while I grumble that it was spicy,  as I am describing this, my mouth is actually salivating.  I did find the meat a little over fried.  I wonder if it is necessary to do that.  But it was something different.

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Pork Sekuwa was next.  At first sight… PUT OFF!  The sight of fried pork pieces with fat and skin didn’t do anything for me.  First mouthful, well it was piping hot.. so we didn’t get much flavor.  Second mouthful, simple ingredients, but everything blended well.  Again this dish would go well if one was drinking that night.  I say simple ingredients because there was not a trace of spice or anything foreign, just salt and pepper and fried on a high flame.

Mind you portions might be smaller then we are usually used to.  So order a few things.

I hope to go there again. There are a few dishes or more that I would like to try.  You can check them out at this website http://lojeenaglobal.com/gurkha_restaurant_drink_details_menu.php

Enter the place with an open mind.  A lot of us tend to look down on the foreigners foods, but trust me, I have been surprised and today I was surprised.

Braving the honking taxis and buses to get there and walking through the rain (because I never run in the rain for fear of falling and looking like a big heap) was worth it.

Simplicity is of the essence here, but the food was really good.

I hope to go again this Thursday! If I do, I will add the photos and explanations to this story.