Monday, September 29, 2008

Monkey in my Office

Who would've imagined?

Monkey posing with my book

She made good her word, and came crashing in, fresh-faced and chic. Careless me did not only fail to prepare bananas, but in fact, was so bogged down by some stupid partial fraction expansion problems, that she had to spend the first half an hour reading the previous day's paper. Nevertheless, she remained cheerful, and was even thoughtful enough to share a funny article about hopeless Asian dads with a grumbling i-hate-maths me.

I could not even begin to fathom how I was to keep her entertained. My office was so bare - void of good food, of high-tech toys, definitely of bars for climbing and swinging around. So how could I keep the active, energetic Monkey adequately occupied and happy? But of course, I needn't had worried - she kept herself busy enough checking out what's outside the window, what's on my bookshelves, and photographing everything from my miserly collection of instant coffees and biscuits to the academic calendar on the wall.

Those were all very well, but the highlight of the day which kept her elated all throughout was our long-awaited KFC lunch. Add a couple of hours of uuu-aaarrkkkking monkey chatter to it, and we had the most perfect visiting-monkey day ever!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Delightful Disaster

Monkey "chop-ed" this post to be published here since 2 weeks ago.

I do not know how people get disillusioned into thinking that neil can cook (but surely you can too, if you had access to a wok and stove - but what comes out of that is entirely another matter, don't you agree?) And the same people somehow conjured the impression that neil particularly made good butter prawns. She insisted that I showed her how it was done so she could make it for her fiance. Ah, she didn't know what she asked for.

I was asked to make myself available and go to her place for the culinary exploration session, and I brought her along to help clean up whatever mess that may ensue (by eating it). We arrived at about seven, and most of the ingredients needed were cleaned and ready to be maimed.

The supposed highlight of the evening:

Those were an awful lot for 3 people, I casually noted. Eh, she said, someone else would be coming for dinner - wasn't I already informed? No, I guess I missed that SMS. The pressure to make an at least presentable dinner just increased. Gah!

She had cut the carrots and french beans the day before. There was also a pot of soup nicely simmering on the stove, started before we got there. The frying of fish cakes and the veges were done first and were a breeze. And with everything else completed, we began on the prawns, and the catastrophy started...

OK, this wasn't quite a catastrophy:

There were more screams than was wise or necessary when we deep friend the prawns, but it wasn't a catastrophy either:

To make the long why-disaster-happened story short, the crispy, crunchy, fine, meshy, golden-brown strands stir-fried with the prawns in any standard butter prawns dish are actually egg yolk stirred into very hot oil + butter. And what happend that evening that turned that dish into disaster was the good ol' Chinese thrifty-ness.

neil: I think we can re-use the oil used for frying the prawns, but it looks quite black
She: Is it very black?
neil: I don't know, your pan is black also... can't see
She: Throw it away la
She: Hmmmm...
neil: A bit wasteful ler...
She: How? Throw half and keep half?
neil: Hmmmm...
She: How much oil you need la?

(this conversation would make this the longest post you'd ever read if I continued...)

Anyway, in the end, we carried on using the entire lot of sooty-black recycled oil. You must be shaking your head - don't shake too much, careful that neck.

The eggs looked quite fine at first:


"I smell something burnt"
"Take them out!"
"It isn't the egg, it's the OIL!"

Disaster. The eggs looked black and overcooked even before they were tossed back into the work to be stir-fried with the prawns and curry leaves. Sigh. This dish actually looked better here in this pic that it really looked that evening.

By then, the mystery guest had arrived, and brought with him half a duck! We ended up having a table spread to the maximum with food, and we'd no idea how we could finish them all.

But of course, everyone enjoyed dinner very much. Dinner itself was good, if not great, and the company was grand.

At the end of the adventure, she agreed that she needed a lot more practice (and cooking instructions from someone better suited to give them!) before attempting to cook butter prawns for her fiance. Still, there is no denying that that evening was truly delightful, and very amusing.

Thanks, A, for inviting us over, and thanks, ST, for taking photos ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Guest Blogger

Miss Monkey will be away for dayzzzzzz
to the Land Beneath the Wind.

In the mean time,
Guest Blogger Nee Lee will be blogging and keep u folks
entertained and also something to go with your morning coffee,

yes I'll miss u ppl heaps.

Third Floor, Marriott

I had an event @ Third Floor 2 months ago,
I also had a bad experience at the same place a few years ago...
so much so that I dare not even touch the food during my food tasting.

then I read bout it at Mad Rants' blog
and thought...let's not be so narrow minded
give it another try.

after all Chef Ken Hoh was fr Cilantro
and worked under the wings of Tetsuya before.
his signature truffle butter...
but it's not as creamy and as smooth as Cilantro's
*sorry folks, there will be tonnes of comparison with Cilantro here*
coz Cilantro used truffle oil as well in its butter.
we started the dinner off with Dom Perignon 99
JS didn't wanna take the risk by bringing a super good champagne like KRUG.
but 99 ain't cheap either...
Complimentary fr Chef...
cheese tart.
JS had cured hiramasa with citrus and beetroot salad which was good
RM 42
but nothing can beat MY confit of salmon topped with konbu
it's a chef's signature
anyway this is not on the menu....

the portion was just right
RM 78
seared foie gras with caramelised peach and mint
RM 88

well fr the pic u now know why I do not trust on others
with my camera...
ppl who dun cam-whore can't take good pics..
that's my findings.
hiak hiak hiak.

verdict on the above foie gras???
nobody can beat Chef Takashi in town....
JS had lobster tossed with linguini, chilly pepper and extra virgin olive oil
RM 168

the men said it's very good...
just that too much of lobster and too lil pasta, u know that the chef was so generous that nite OK???
this is wat happens when u have customers who are CARBO/Gluttons.
I had a big mistake...
or Third Floor made a huge mistake
pan seared beef fillet topped with foie gras and red wine sauce.
RM 138

I specifically instructed that I WANT MEDIUM
came out............
super well done DONE

I had jaw pain chewing on my beef that nite
which I only took 2 bites anyway and left it standing on my plate again.

Ariff the sweet restaurant manager apologised profusely...
well JS said my GARANG LOOKS can kill
which indeed I did on that nite...
all the waiters stayed 10 feet away fr me.

but dear Ariff,
but u still got my Raya card didn't u???
Prince C brought a premier grand cru class...
Chateau Margaux has really sweet after taste wines,

however I don't fancy bordeaux...
I only had a glass.
the men were still at their puberty years,
need more food to grow up hence they ordered a wagyu
which according to them was fantastic.
Waguy sirloin with cognac & truffle sauce.
RM 188
highlight of the evenin was DESSERTSSSSSS
see!!! I really don't trust other ppl with my camera esp on FOOD.
anyway the above was fresh mango with champagne sabayon
RM 38
which was so good I'm gonna get JS to do this at home.
another favourite was baked banana & cheese wrapped in filo pastry
RM 26
crispy on the outside..
creamy and sweet on the inside.
this one was a weird combo
lime & ginger creme brulee
RM 26
biscotti and caneles and chocolates..
overall I will give it 3.5 stars outta 5.
or just maybe...maybe we didn't order the right dishes..
should I give Third Floor another try again?

and sweet Ariff waived my corkage..
well just maybe when u have something special
I'll come back.

Third Floor,
JW Marriott Hotel,
Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603 2141 3363

read about my previous post on Third Floor *here*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

1st Shopping spree of the month

I got this 3 hours ago,
for Her Royal Highness
it also comes with a small purse
only at RM 2,020

I've never like Burberry
though I have a trench coat as white as rabbit.
*don't ask me why*

well u must be wondering,
how could I give out a gift which I don't adore....
but seriously this Fall/Winter coll....
they are quite eye catchy though!!
and erm....yes I know some BABY by the name of WEI
is soooo gonna kill me coz I got the above too...

only 2 pieces in Malaysia...
and erm...yes I took the last piece.

YSL Y-Mail clutch
retails at Rm 1395
I got the one in satin not as the pic above

anyway it's not for me
but for someone whose b-day is coming up.
JS chose this over the Prada wallet....
Good choice though coz both of us are sharing on this lil gift.
well there are other bags still available at the boutique
go check it out!!!!
and now.....
something to pamper myself!!!!
Bottega Veneta Satin Clutch!!!!!!
Aren't they pretty?

erm calm down,
I have yet to purchase it
coz I lurve all the colors and...
yes u got it....I want ALL!!!!!
after much ding-dong,
it's either one of the above....

the satin pink one is soooo pretty too!!!!

*pulls hair*

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sage revisited

2x a week...
shows how much we lurve this place.

It was a very hectic day
which started with a horrible press conference at 10am
and the moment I land myself on the couch.
"I need a martini"

JS: "O_O do u know I brought good wines????"

anyway they didn't have lychee-tini so I ended up with Mojito.
Complimentary fr chef,
cold starter of prawns + abalone
my starter of abalone :))))))) + foie gras
I Ching's foie gras with sweet wine sauce - off the menu
yep it was a foie gras galore that nite,
and nobody does foie gras as good as Chef Takashi.
not even Les Amis.
JS had this tuna (???) with fedellini in truffle oil
This was very good
main lobster with generous helping of sea urchin on top.
I'm gonna have this the next round I am in Sage.
I had this lovely lamb for my main..
so so so so so yummy!!!
and then everyone begun stealing fr my plate
>_< Prince C had his 600g of meat!!!!!
didn't anyone read on the menu that it's 600g?????

JS had his usual pasta again - main course portion
this MSD never fail us....
excellent year
and the 1st time we had this was at Mr. Tom Aikens @ Kensington, London.
Read about it *here*open kitchen concept for all to see,
will definitely try "Chef's table" next round.
lemon souffle wif vanilla ice cream
panna cotta
roast apple with ice cream *of coz*
I Ching & Me
chocolate macarons

on his way home....
Prince C: "When are we goin to Sage again?"
JS: "O_O HAH??? So soon???"

We'll definitely come back..
very soon.

Serai Saujana updates...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant

You are warned first, kay.
This is gonna be a disappointment.
The Smokehouse was built in 1939
hence the english english feel.
Even the dining area is so colonial
with rose motifs on the napkins.
normal mass butter
yes we can tell the difference
moreover Prince C is a french butter follower.
yeah tell me wat is this?
that I have to pay RM 24 for!!!!
baked mushroom in herbs with cheese
their salad is really basic...
I think I can do better,
grab whatever that's available in my fridge and chop and slice
and TA-DA !!!!
my french onion soup which turned out to be...........
haizzzzzzzzzzz T_T
beef stock that taste like bovril + sauteed onions.
I Ching played it safe and have chicken chop
I was like chicken chop?????
and Mr. JS ordered fish and chip.

Are we really in The Smokehouse???????
I had beef with yorkshire pudding
which throw at ppl can die!!!!!
I took one bite of the beef and left it standing the whole nite.

Yes mommy said don't waste food,
but if u call the above FOOD.
wasted lar our wines...
see wat we brought!!!!!!
*cry cry cry*
KRUG 1990!!!!!!!
aiyo super wasted with a lousy dinner.
and Morey St Dennis....
sob sob sob sob
we ordered some other side which were not in the menu - sauteed onions
baked potatoes
My dessert was an apple pie
look how miserable it was!!!!

I was so miserable I wanted to eat satay babi after that!!!!
*Cry cry cry*