February 13, 2009

CNY Makan Pt. 5: Tian Tian - Everyday Supreme Restaurant (Red Rock Hotel)

CNY Day 4 saw another get-together dinner - this time with KW's group of friends at Tian Tian - Everyday Supreme Restaurant @ Red Rock Hotel - thanks to the organizer Ivan :D

Ivan told us that most restaurants the likes of StarView were already fully booked and he could only get Everyday Supreme Restaurant at Red Rock Hotel. He continued to share with us that the chef actually came from Corner Club @ Gurney Drive - also pretty renowned with its good Chinese cuisines.

There was a little drama with the turn-outs of the folks which got Ivan pretty upset - but let's not get to that sticky part :P

Our menu for the night.... (we waited pretty long before our first course actually arrived, after Ivan informed them we were ready)

'Yee Sang'

I didn't like this one - the colored 'sticks' thingy were too artificial and too hard. The portion was a bit too big as well

Shark's Fin Soup

Judging by the abundance of ingredients - the Shark's fin here wins Maple Gold's hands down - as evident from the visible shark's fin and crab meat in the soup itself - KW's response : 'hoh liao hoh liao' :D Unfortunately the vineyard green chillies were sweet and tasted one kind so I had to forego it for my soup

Steamed Fish

The fish, too, won over the Grouper of Maple Gold's hands down - the meat was fresh, succulent and very soft. Best of all, they have halved it prior to serving, hence we didn't have to flip it at all.

Blanched Prawns 白灼虾

The blanched prawns (which I forgotten to take pics of) have got to be the best dish of all - the prawns super fresh and blanched just right! They were not smelly at all - everyone dug in on this one

Sea Cucumber and Broccoli

As for this standard vegetables dish in most Chinese course dinners, this one couldn't compare to the one at Maple Gold - some of the broccolis were not cooked and I dislike it when Fatt Choys are stuck together in balls. One thing that this dish had and Maple Gold's doesn't is dried oyster - which I'm not really a big fan anyway ;)

Fried Rice with Preserved Meat

Similar to the one at Maple Gold, except this was a much better version - the preserved meat's portion were more appropriate in comparison to the rice's portion. There were more varieties of preserved meats and the taste were more flavorful too. Oh, not forgetting the very fragrant rice *sniff~~*

Deep Fried Chinese Pancake (dessert)

I've always been fortunate enough to have home-cooked fried chinese pan cakes so this dish didn't really catch my attention at first. By the looks of it, the outer crust seemed a bit too thick too. Not until I tried one that I realized how crunchy the crust was and the pancake inside was chewy at the same time - very well done :D

Honey Dew Sago (dessert)

This was served alongside the chinese pancake, which left some of the folks wondering if it was meant to be dipped with the pancake *muahahahahha* - well, it obviously was not, and should be consumed separately, ok?

Due to the starving level of everyone (including myself) by the time our course meals started, I actually forgot to take pictures of some of the dishes served - though remembered the blanched prawns (coz it was very fresh and finger-lickin-good), I couldn't recall if there was a Four Seasons or a Chicken dish... :S Sorry!

Group Pic of KW's kawan-kawan......(after the dinner)


We paid about RM 65 per pax for the entire meal (as the guys ordered beers). But what we know for sure is, the food was rated as Pretty Good (2.5 thumbs up) in overall and I wouldn't mind coming back for more :P

CNY Makan Pt. 4B : Continuation Round 2 @ Coffee Island

After our meal @ Maple Gold, we proceeded to the latest coffee place in town - Coffee Island along Gurney Drive. DC told me that the owner of this place was the one who established the famous (translate : bloody expensive) seafood restaurant Bali Hai just a block away from Coffee Island.

Being CNY Day 3 and all, Gurney Drive was extremely, extremely, jammed up yet we still finally made our way there.

After sitting down and skimmed through the self-service order sheet to pick and tick our orders, we handed it to the waitress, then yacked away...........................

After many rounds of yacking with different people, somehow our tables were still empty!

Where are our drinks? We asked one of the waitress, only to be told that "The drinks are on the way"


After 30 minutes since our orders were collected?
You gotta be kidding me!

And we still waited.....

Another 15 minutes had past... where are the drinks?!??!!!!!!!!!!

Then another 10 minutes or so had past again.......

Finally - our drinks arrived! (about time!)

50% of what our table ordered looked like this..... (And I thought they would've come with fairies or
Choy San Yeh or better still, fireworks to have taken THAT long)

Some friends who came late and ordered their drinks later than us didn't even get their drinks up to an hour after they ordered, when we've finally decided to make a move - simply UNBELIEVABLE

Coffee Island should seriously take a look at whatever that's holding back the order deliveries - be it system limitation or what not, coz no customer is gonna put up with a 45 mins - 1 hour's wait time to get the most basic product out of this place - DRINKS.

No excuse for the CNY crowd anyway - that's the reason they opened the place prior to X'mas '08 anyway - to catch the biz peaks over the holiday seasons.

One thing's for sure - No more Coffee Island for me for a long, long, time..............

CNY Makan Pt. 4A : Gathering @ Maple Gold Restaurant

This year's CNY was an especially pleasant one for me : not only I don't have to put up with the torturous night shift anymore, I have plenty of off days at my disposal as well :P

Which simply means that I get to participate in as many gatherings / reunions / functions as I bloody wish! Unlike past years where I'd have to forego some gatherings to make way for my taxing work schedules

Every year we'd have a friends gathering with Terrence / Terry and the bunch, and since Terry decided to move on from T-Jay cafe, we are open to the venue of our gathering dinner.

After much commendable effort of Terry coordinating the attendance of everyone, we've finally settled down with Maple Gold Restaurant along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (diagonally opposite Wawasan Open University) for our gathering dinner on CNY Day 3.

We decided on the CNY package meal for 10 pax @ RM 428++ per table for 2 tables - each package comes with a complimentary red wine or a jug of beer or 2 jugs of fresh fruit juice. We opted for the red wine of course ^.^

Kawan-kawans sekalian..

Good Luck '
Yee Sang'

I'm never particularly a
Yee Sang fan but I love this one - the ingredients were fresh and evident that it's made by the kitchen and not one of those bought off-the-shelf type. The portion was just right for a table of 10 as well

Seafood Shark's Fin Soup with Dried Scallops

The Shark's fin was chock full of goodies - fresh crab meat, dried scallops, shark's fin - cooked to perfection with a smooth texture and not too thick. The best part was, their vineyard green chillies were really spicy and complemented the soup perfectly

Four Seasons

Now this dish was supposed to be served before the soup but somehow the waitress got mixed up - but we enjoyed it no less :)

Note that the
Wan Tans on both left and right sides of the plate were exact same stuff, which made us wonder why separate them then? My logic : coz '4' (sei) is not auspicious of course! :P

Crispy Boneless Chicken in Homemade Sauce

The chicken was very crispy, and the homemade sauce is really tantalizing to the tastebud - it's sweet, sourish with hints of spiciness all-in-one. Very appetizing and a nice sauce to dip the
Man Tous with too

Steamed Grouper 'Hong Kong' Style

The fish was a slight disappointment though - slightly overcooked and bland - and it wasn't readily sliced open as most restaurants would have done prior to cooking or serving. (as Chinese disliked flipping fishes over) But, I'm always a sucker for Superior Soy Sauce, the sauce easily earned my thumbs-up :)

Braised Sliced Mexican Topshell with Stuffed Beancurd

This dish was definitely a mouthful to pronounce! From the pic it looks like any ordinary Broccoli and mushroom dish right? Wrong~~ This dish is definitely one of the best Broccoli dish I had for a long, long time, coz it not only had broccoli, mushroom, Fatt Choy, fish maw, beancurd and Mexican Topshell slices - all in one dish! The beancurd is really nice and smooth, and the topshell slices are just as chewy and tasty. PERFECT!

Fried Rice with Preserved Meat

The fried rice was not bad, but I reckon the portion of preserved meat was a bit too little in comparison with the rice, so not everyone got to sample the various preserved meat.

Deep-Fried Lotus Paste Buns

Just like any magnificient performance, the last act always seems to be the weakest ;) the lotus paste buns were too oily and it's not really a healthy option too - dry and all; as Chinese meals would normally end with a
Thong Sui or some fruits or light pastries which are either refreshing, nourishing or one that aids in digestion.

Don't these look like Ang Pows? But they're actually wet towels.. how creative and fulla CNY feel huh? ;)

In all, Maple Gold earns a double thumbs-up from me - despite some slight flaws in some of the dishes (coz we gotta factor in the fact that CNY Day 3 was definitely a hectic night for any Chinese restaurant - jam packed with people hungry for good food)

We paid RM 55 per pax (including service charge, chinese tea, peanuts and wet towels) - pretty decent price to pay for such sumptous meal over CNY :)

Hats off again to Terry for all the painstaking effort of organizing the entire gathering since more than a month ago - KUDOS! It's nice to be able to catch up with everyone again

CNY outing : Ji Mui hang out @ Shenanigans

What a busy CNY Day 2 it was! We had a ji mui gathering on the night of Day 2 @ Shenanigans (yep - I suggested it :P )

Shenanigans is a new establishment along Jalan Tanjung Tokong - with the concept of Irish pub and restaurant. There are 2 sections within the establishment - the right side being the restaurant, and the left being the so-called 'pub'.

Some shots we took over at the restaurant side...

I reached there about 9pm and some of the girls have already finished their dinners at the restaurant side, so we decided to move to the pub side.

Here's when we realized 2 pretty weird things:-

1. We had to settle the bill for restaurant side before we can proceed to the pub side, and we can't pool the bill and settle later

2. the Waiter was so obsessed with the menu that he had to collect it back on the spot once we were done referencing it (to settle individual bills with the one who paid the sum)

Oh well, once we were done with the lengthy ordeal of having the bill settled, we moved on.

As some of the girls were still full from the dinner, only the rest ordered drinks.

The waiter recommended me a drink similar to TGIF's mudslide (RM 32.80) - it's got Kahlua? chocolate, cream and sprinkled with coffee beans on top.

Well, a sip revealed that it is nothing near TGIF's mudslide - which looks like this

Teng ordered a frozen margarita which was pretty ok to her standards

and Mun, always the heroine, got herself a Flaming (Lamborghini) (RM 32.80) - and she didn't even know what it was the time she ordered it! :O

Mun's virgin experience with flaming wasn't a memorable one - it took the bartender or waiter quite a while just to get the alcohol lit up and the pouring wasn't a sight to behold as well - and within like 4 seconds or so, Mun's experience was over!

I captured a video of the whole thing but the place was too dark hence the outcome wasn't a good one. But Lesley's comment never fails to crack me up everytime I played the video...

"Lesley : Mun, it'll take 5-10 minutes before you start to feel the effect actually...

Mun : Oh yea?"

In all, Shenanigans proved to be a disappointment. The food so-so (according to the gals) yet expensive, service below par in contrary with the price, the pub's crowd consists of mostly middle-aged men (well, we were looking forward to hot, good-looking guys to drool over with!)

But we enjoyed our gathering no less... Thanks ji muis for showing up! :D

CNY Makan Pt. 3 : Lunch @ Candice's house

Candice was so kind to invite all of us to her house on CNY Day 2 (Jan 27th) where her dad basically cooked a storm enough to feed the whole kampung (literally!)

We were really flattered to arrive there, greeted by and warmly taken care of not only by her and her family members, but we also got a chance to see all her relatives from near and far gathered at her house.

What a glorious feat her family did! Prepared all the dishes that fed THAT many people, and constantly making sure that everyone had enough to drink and eat.. and according to Candice, this is what her family does every CNY - dad will cook all the nice dishes and they will invite all the relatives over to eat! How lucky~~

As an ex colleague, I felt much more privileged to have been part of it as well, knowing that I'm always welcomed as part of the GT family, eventhough I've left the company for about 3 years now - the friendship with the folks have always been something I treasure...

We were expecting Patrick (from GT KL) all the way from Ipoh but I guess he under-estimated the traffic condition on PLUS and also in Penang :P and it actually took him a little bit more than the 15 minutes he proclaimed he could arrive within to get to Candice's place (and we left after 230pm)

Candice brought us their home-made 'cocktail' and offered us some ultra-soft butter cake she bought the morning itself...

The drink was so refreshing! It had lychees, finely cut honeydew strips and red jellies in it

The butter cake was for us to eat while waiting for Patrick to arrive (yea, from Ipoh) - it's so good that I never would've though butter cake could taste so light yet full of flavor!

After waiting for some time, it was pretty much evident that Patrick couldn't make it on time to eat together with us, so Candice and her sister brought over all the goodies for us to have with rice

We had..

Left : Marmite Chicken (kid's favourite); Right : Braised Pork Belly and Pork Ribs

Left : soft egg beancurd with vegetables and mushroom; Right : Prawns with Mixed vegetables (celery, carrot, pumpkin, capsicum, button mushroom)

The marmite chicken was the most popular dish of all (amongst adults and kids that is) - very flavorful and each piece was portioned very well too

the braised pork belly and ribs was definitely the most popular dish amongst all the adults - we didn't know pork belly could be cooked this way - braised and yet retaining its softness, and the ribs were so soft and the meat just fell off the bones easily.. the gravy of this dish was tangy and went well with the rice

On contrary, the soft egg beancurd dish's taste was just right and not too overpowering, and it surprisingly complemented the flavorful first 2 dishes very well

The prawns and mixed vegetables dish was another good complement to the overall meal, and I must say that being an anti-celery person, I helped myself with quite a few servings of the celery sticks from this dish :P coz the taste were pretty neutral and it's pretty crunchy actually

Tested out my new camera's macro function on a drop of water :P

We actually cam-whored *a lot* before and after the meal but here are some memorable shots..

The very sweet host - Candice (with our ang pows)

The happy families of the existing GT folks (Alvin's family, Dorene's family and Candice) .....

and last but not least, the GT folks - ex and current :D (no, the kids don't work with GT)

CNY Makan Pt. 2 : Home Dinners on Day 1 & 2

During CNY Days 1 and 2, we had 'home' meals for dinner coz most eateries and restaurants were closed (except Mamak and Malays of course), but we can have pretty decent meals in-house too~

CNY Day 1 Dinner :

Dad bought home yummy makan from Hameediyah!! Hameediyah is definitely our all-time favourite Murtabak place ever and since my second uncle's family were joining us for dinner, my dad bought quite a lot - and everyone enjoyed themselves :D YummmmMMmmm~

The curry chicken is to die for! So are their signature '
bawang'! - my cousin sister and I didn't really care if we were going out later coz it's just too freakin' good to miss out on :P

CNY Day 2 Dinner :

All of the families crashed at my third uncle's place as usual and we had these for dinner :

(Clockwise from top left)

Prawns (cooked by my third aunt)

Soy Chicken (cooked by my third aunt)

Jai choy' - vegetarian dish (cooked by my third aunt)

Smoked Duck (brought from Ipoh by second aunt but cooked by my mom)

OooohhhHhh... not forgetting we had too tor th'ng (pork belly soup with abalone) and dessert of foo chok thong sui' - but I didn't take pics coz the 'buffet line' was pretty crammed up

They were both hearty meals indeed - with the company of all the Wee families :D

CNY Makan Pt. 0 : KW family reunion dinner @ Golden Gate Restaurant

I know you're probably gonna ask me why CNY Makan Pt. 0 and not Pt. 2... well, that's coz I forgot to post up the reunion dinner that dear KW's family invited me to on 29 'meh' (Jan 24th), and I absolutely have reasons for it!

It's coz I was using my faithful Olympus FE 230 to take the pics for the final night before switching to my new Sony Skinny T hence I totally forgot about the pics... until... like now :|

Let's move on to the makan! KW's elder brother made a reservation for 2 tables at Golden Gate - a pretty famous steamboat establishment near Silverton @ Gurney Drive

We were seated at the tables pretty near to the kitchen but it was pretty alright coz we know we're definitely near where the food are :)

KW's brother chose the steamboat package upon recommendation by the waitress, but the package was a pretty basic one without 'extravagant' stuff like beef, pork belly, etc so his brother ordered some of the stuff that the family liked on top of the package.

We were served Spring Rolls with Worcestershire sauce for dipping as appetizer..

The spring rolls were pretty good - crunchy and goes very well with the Worcestershire sauce

And here's different views of the 'Lor' (steamboat) - before and during makan time :P

I didn't really take lotsa pics during this dinner coz... it's KW's family dinner and it's a bit embarrasing to be snapping pics away on every food that's on the table :S so I did it pretty discreetly with limited shots only

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of steamboat coz I've always felt strongly that we should pay for a culinary experience that you can't really find at home or one that is hard to DIY... and paying for steamboat is just like paying money to have our own meals cooked ourselves!

Hmmm.... but I must say that this particular experience at Golden Gate definitely changed my perception on steamboat.. as I truly enjoyed the whole experience of it...! The whole steamboat meal was not dragged overly long, everyone tucked in once the food were cooked, the ingredients were fresh and clean, and above all, the soup base was really good!

I guess I felt really warm knowing that KW's family always counted me in on all their family meals, especially their early reunion dinner - and I do count my blessings to have both KW and my own family with such sense of belongings, apart from all my friends whom I dearly love :)

February 5, 2009

CNY Makan Pt 1: Reunion Dinner

I know it's a bit 'late' to post up CNY food but hey, I'm not gonna let that dampen my spirit! Me still gonna put up all the good stuff I've been consuming for the past .. erm.. week? (felt like eating non-stop for few weeks already!)

First up! Mom's home cooked reunion dinner!
This year, I've decided to sneak a peek of the lengthy and labor-intensive preparation work for the ultimate Hokkien dish - Joo Hoo Char!

Mom very busy preparing the ingredients... (it took her 2 days to slowly peel, dice, slice the ingredients)

This year, my brother and my sister-in-law couldn't make it back home as their son has just been born about a month ago, so they had to stick around with the baby, and so KW was invited by mom to sit in with us! ^ v ^

After all the hard work...... A sumptuous reunion dinner is served!

hoh liao (good stuff) :
Joo Hoo Char
(best taken with Sang Choi)

Hoh liao #2 :
Prawns cooked in mom's secret sauce :)

Hoh liao #3 :
Seo Bak
(roasted pork) - this one is bought from Pulau Tikus market (need to pre-order ok!)

Hoh liao #4 :
Steamed Fish (mom said fish is a must have coz it contains the meaning of '
nin nin yau yu' [always abundance year in and year out])

Hoh liao #5 : (which I don't dare to take pics coz my grandma or my dad will think I'm crazy)

Too Tor Th'ng
(pork belly soup) with Abalone

Hoh liao #6 : (
which I don't dare to take pics... again)
Pak Cham Kai (steamed chicken) .......

.......which goes very very well with this authentic Cantonese-style condiment, made of garlic, ginger, sesame oil and oyster sauce - YummmMMmmmyyyYYyy~!

We all ate til we were so full that there were not even a tiny bit of room left for longan dessert - that's how good the food were! :D

* in case anyone's wondering why I can take pics of the food above but not the chicken and the soup, that's because I secretly zoomed in the food one by one from afar when I took them! And that time, the chicken and the soup were not served yet *