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Creamy Beetroot Pasta with Bacon

It’s already 11 days into 2015 and I have yet to post up anything remotely reflective, nor have I done my New Year’s resolutions (I actually don’t remember doing it last year either). But here is my first post of the year, and if this is anything to go by; my first New Year’s Resolution would be to share more recipes on this blog.

I have finally acquired a Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Cutter. Many of you have asked where and here is the link. I believe this is the best way to purchase if you live in Malaysia. But of course, have a look through eBay and you might be able to find it too. Here’s what it looks like:

Image from Amazon.

For the uninitiated, this is basically a very fancy vegetable slicer than cut vegetables into spirals, so it turns things like zucchini, carrot, potato etc into long noodle like strands. You then can use them anyway you like, and I love to substitute noodles and pastas with these vegetables. For example, this gorgeous looking plate of Pasta made with Beetroot:

Creamy Beet Pasta.

I love using the Spiral Cutter because it’s fun and somewhat therapeutic to watch the transformation (I know I am weird). Potato noodles are the most fun because it’s the most versatile, zucchini noodles are rather delicious in stir fry, but Beetroot noodles are simply beautiful no matter what you do with it.

This dish is super simple and it’s a relatively guilt free version of Carbonara. And since Beetroot is already full of vitamins and antioxidants, there is no need for extra vegetables (of course, don’t let me stop you). Best still, it cooks faster than actual Pasta so you have a delicious meal in about 15 minutes or less.

Creamy Beetroot Pasta with Bacon
1 Medium Beetroot, spiralised
6 Strips of Streaky Bacon cut into lardons
3 Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
Handful of thyme leaves
70ml Heavy Cream
Handful of cheese of your choice, I used cream cheese for that extra luscious texture for the sauce.
Squeeze of lemon
Chili (optional)

Heat oil in pan and add bacon. Cook until starting to brown, then add garlic, thyme and beetroot and stir for 3-4 minutes. If you prefer beetroot to be softer feel free to go for extra 2-3 minutes.

Add cream and cream cheese, stir until combined, and then squeeze over lemon juice before serving. I like to add some chili too because I can’t live without spicy food!

Yeah… that’s it!! Anyone can cook this, as long as you have a spiral cutter. By the way, there are other types of spiral cutters, but a lot of them are limited to only long cylindrical shaped (wanted to use another word but stopped myself in time) vegetables and won’t be able to spiralise potatoes and beetroot, for example. So if you want to get serious in the Spiralising businness Paderno is the way to go.

Yum!

Back to New Year’s Resolutions: I don’t have anything specific but I am just going to continue working hard for my dreams and continue to bring quality content on this blog for you. The past couple of weeks have been really stressful and I nearly had a nervous breakdown, so I hope the next few weeks I can readjust my mindset and focus on what really matters. 2014 had been productive, fruitful and certainly very, very interesting. Looking forward to a great year ahead!

By the way, check out the Real Pasta version here too.

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Pigs & Wolf, Pavilion KL

This is my final post of the year, so it’s only apt that I finish it with a porky one. The reason the updates are scarce this month is because, well you guessed it: I’ve been super busy with shows and gigs, which is not surprising at all for the festive season. I have only just recovered from a long bout of viral (turned bacteria at some point) Upper Respiratory Tract Infection so imagine how it was like to pull through multiple gigs with that. In any case, I’m glad to get my normal voice back and definitely pumped for the coming week of shows.

Rambling aside, let me introduce yet another new restaurant which has just set foot on the 7th floor of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. I never knew that there was a 7th floor in Pavilion, and later I was told it was for beauty stores, well I supposed perhaps I’m not vain enough after all. Anyway, this new outlet is not entirely brand new because it’s the third branch following the success in Bangsar Village and Tropicana City Mall; that’s right I’m talking about Three Little Pigs & Big Bad Wolf, which is now shortened to be Pigs & Wolf.

The concept is interesting, Pigs for the day (casual-ish all day breakfast) and Wolf for the evening (more formal-ish, wine bar-esque), hence the menus are slightly different but rest assured that it is fit for the biggest pork lover out there. So if you like bacon as much as I do, read on.

A group of us were there for the very first night of operation, and boy did we stuff ourselves! Let’s walk through the dishes we tried.

Wolf’s Favourite @ RM29++

First up is their signature Pasta, Wolf’s Favourite, which is essential Spaghetti Carbonara on Steroids. I think you can top a poach egg on anything and I will be happy, add some more crispy bacon bits and I will love you forever. Ok, perhaps not. But this is good indeed.

Gorgeous runny yolk!

Gotta love proper orange egg yolk, signifying happy hens (although not so happy now that we are eating their eggs, hmm). The pasta itself was cooked to the right doneness with just enough amount of cream sauce to coat the strands. There are plenty of mushrooms and bacon to go around too.

Big Bad Burger RM32++

More bacon, this time in a burger. The patty is thick while remaining relatively juicy.

Mighty Piggy Burger RM28++

The mighty piggy burger is topped with a fried egg and herbed mayo. While the patty is just like the other one, I would have preferred the egg yolk to be less cooked.

Pork Steak Sandwich RM35++

The Pork steak sandwich is worth a try, for it’s thickly sliced marinated pork remains toothsome and made better with some wasabi mayo. I enjoyed the fluffy buttered Ciabatta more so than the burger buns too.

Ready for some main dishes? Don’t say I didn’t warn you yeah… here’s another crowd favourite.

The one that didn’t get away (Pork Ribs) RM79++

I want to feel sorry for the piggy, but how to when I am faced with such deliciousness? It looked impressive enough on its own, but when I attempted to cut it, the knife just glided through the flesh like butter.

I mean… this is ridiculous!

So tender, so full of smoky flavour and the sweet and savoury note of the marinate. Only complaint I have, that is my stomach is too small to have more of this.

We tried not 1, not 2, but 4 different Pork steaks. I think I will list them according to my preference.

Like Buttercup RM38++

Not sure if my photo does this dish justice (it’s not easy to make a white sauce look good), but I love that rich creamy, garlicky sauce, pairing with succulent pork cooked to perfection. If I wasn’t so full at the time, I would so drench the rice with sauce and forget about my diet. Oh, sorry I think I threw that word out the window long before.

Just another Pork Steak RM38++

No doubt I like heavy flavours and here the BBQ sauce has the nice balance.

Snug Piggy RM39++

This one comes with a mushroom sauce, and truly you can’t really go wrong with that.

Green with Envy RM39++

Theoretically this should have been my favourite as the sauce contains some of my favourite ingredients: lemon and capers. However, I was surprised by the amount of sugar in that sauce, it almost tastes like lemon curd. I would much prefer it to be piccata like with the distinct sharpness from the lemon. But I guess that would be an idea for me to try at home next time.

Oh, we are not done yet. When this monstrosity came out from the kitchen, I think most of us made far too much noise.

German style Pork Knuckle RM98++

Let’s take a moment to admire the gorgeousness of the pink flesh, crispy crackling and glorious fat! I was so stuffed by then and could only manage one slice. I need to go back to have more. Needless to say, this made some of us very happy. Just take a look:

Cue Fatboybakes gnawing on the bone.

Oh and we also had desserts. Fatboybakes’ desserts no less. How to say no?

Nutty Macadamia Tiramisu (I simply name it according to what I taste yeah feel free to correct me, Cheng Yi)

This. Is. AMAZEBALLS. For a non dessert eater I wanted to wallop the whole thing. Why you bake so good?!!

Rum & Raisins Cheesecake.

I want to cry tears of joy. Oh and you can definitely taste the rum, a lot of it.

Pandan & Gula Melaka

Two perfect match, one delicious cake. Ok, I am officially out of dessert quota.

Thank you Pigs & Wolf for a scrumptious feast, I shall be back soon!

Pigs & Wolf
Level 7, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang

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A Family Christmas Affair at Chatz Brasserie, ParkRoyal Kuala Lumpur

Have you decided where you will spend with your family this Christmas? Me? I will be performing pretty much all the way through the festive seasion, but at least I get to spend time with my musical family, which is always fun too. Anyway, if you don’t feel like going near the kitchen on the big day, there are plenty of options for you to choose. One of these would be the Christmas Buffet at Chatz Brasserie, ParkRoyal Kuala Lumpur.

The theme this year is family, and Chatz Brasserie is prepared to pamper you with a wide arrays of dishes including local and Western delights. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

Some starters:

Ham, essential for Xmas

Extra Festive Pasta Salad. Loved the addition of grapefruit.

Spicy Szechuan-esque Chicken Salad. Very appetising.

Cheese Baked Oysters. Oysters were slightly overcooked though.

Teriyaki Chicken. Juice and tender.

Prawns in Dill Cream Sauce. Enjoy the natural sweetness of prawn enhance by the not-too-rich sauce.

The all-important Cheese Counter.

More cold selections in the form of seafood, also my favourite part of the buffet (I know I sound like a broken record but still).

Prawns, Scallops, Mussels.

Smoked Salmon and Seafood Terrine.

Japanese food is almost always present at any buffet, although I must say it’s hard to resist the temptation of sashimi. Soba noodles are also available.

Sashimi and Sushi Moriawase

Salad Counter where you and mix and match your own ingredients, finished with dressing of your choice.

Surprised to see Chinese Dim Sum here.

Green Siew Mei, visually appealing, though it gets a little dry sitting out there.

More Siew Mais.

Chicken Char Siew Pau.

Moving along to the main event: Turkey is of course a must.

Roast Turkey with stuffing.

We move back to more Chinese dishes.

Kung Pao Squid.

Butter Mantis Prawns.

Beggar’s Chicken. Love the aromatic gravy and super tender meat.

They even have Sang Har Mee this year! Though it would be extra special if the prawns were much bigger.

Chicken Rice counter (although Duck is also available).

Let’s spice it up a little with some curries.

Noodles section featuring Prawn Noodle Soup and Fish Head Noodle Soup. Choose your own toppings and noodle type and you are good to go. Behind this, a display of roti canai with gravy.

Fish Head Curry and Siput cooked Lemak style.

Prawn Sambal and sitting behind, Beef Curry.

For some reason I was craving carbs during the night of preview, but at least it was before my gig so I could work it off after.

Mmm obligatory seafood plate.

Soba, grilled mackerel, baked crab pudding, mix vegetables and some chicken sitting at the back.

Forgot to snap a picture of the grill section but this would probably be the most popular part of the buffet, freshly grilled fish, chicken, beef steak and sausages will be available.

Sang Har Noodles with a bunch of other things. Oh and turkey.

And I wasn’t done yet!

Duck Rice. Although I couldn’t finish this because I accidentally added too much soy sauce.

Alright let’s take a look at the dessert selections:

Minced Pies.

Christmas Stollen.

Assorted Cookies

Christmas Pudding.

Yule Log Cake.

For reservations or enquiries on any of our festive promotions, please call 03 2147 0088.

Here are the list of the food & beverage packages throughout the festive season:

24 December
Chatz Brasserie

Christmas Eve Seafood and Carvery Buffet Dinner
6:30pm to 10:30pm
*RM138 per adult    |    ***RM69 per child    |    **RM188 per adult
25 December
Chatz Brasserie

Christmas Day Premium Buffet Lunch
12:00 noon to 3:00pm
*RM98 per adult     |     ***RM49 per child

Christmas Day Seafood and Carvery Buffet Dinner
6:30pm to 10:30pm
*RM138 per adult    |    ***RM69 per child    |    **RM188 per adult
2 to 31 December
Hot Gossip

Festive Gift Boxes and Goodies
8:00am to 10:00pm
Christmas Roasts, Christmas Mince Pie, Christmas Fruitcake, Chocolate Log Cake and more!
31 December
Chatz Brasserie

New Year’s Eve International Buffet Dinner
6:30pm to 10:30pm
*RM150 per adult    |    ***RM75 per child    |    **RM198 per adult

Poolside

Poolside BBQ Under the Stars
7:00pm to 10:30pm
*RM150 per adult    |    ***RM75 per child

RM328 for two persons
(BBQ and one bottle of pouring white or red wine)

RM788 for two persons
(BBQ and one bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne)
Klix Lounge

New Year’s Eve Countdown
9:00pm onwards
1 January 2015
Chatz Brasserie

New Year’s Day Premium Buffet Lunch
12:00 noon to 3:00pm
*RM88 per adult      |    ***RM45 per child

*        Includes one glass of PARKROYAL Beauty Booster
**      Includes one glass of sparkling wine, three glasses of pouring wine or three glasses of Tiger draft
***    Four to 11 years old
Children below four years old dine with compliments

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Bubbalicious @ Prego, The Westin Kuala Lumpur

I have fond memories of The Westin as we’ve performed there a few times, but this was the first time I ever dined properly at one of their award winning restaurants, Prego. Prego serves authentic Italian food, and recently acquired a new Chef. Chef Vincenzo Sirna literally just arrived on our soil couple of weeks ago and so far, we like what he has to offer.

It’s not often I get to indulge in a Sunday Bubbly Brunch as I usually prefer to lie in bed until late after few nights of gigs. But with this spread I would have been kicking myself if I had missed this. Bubbalicious has always been widely popular and this year it’s back better and bubblier! First and foremost, let’s start with some free-flow Moet & Chandon:

Sunday is instantly better!

The buffet is divided into few sections: antipastos & salads, Seafood counter, Cheese counter, main courses located outside, and of course dessert counter. The Chefs will also deliver freshly baked wood fired pizzas, handmade Italian Pastas and Risottos to the table through out the brunch. You are going to be bombarded with lots of food pictures, so I shall keep my words short and sweet. First the antipastos and salads (at least the memorable ones because there are way too many of them):

Caprese Buffalo Mozzarella, Vine Ripened Tomato and Basil Essence

You see even as a buffet spread, good quality ingredients are used. I love the extra creamy buffalo mozzarella with the sweet tangy tomato.

Black Angus Beef Carpaccio

As I love my raw beef, this gets a big thumbs up.

Fritatta with Leek and Zucchini

Great for the non-meat eaters.

Octopus, Baby Calameri with Elba Potatoes and Italian Parsley

Like a upgraded version of potato salad with an ocean’s touch. I had some extra servings.

Garbanzo Bean, Chicken Salad with Pepper Mint

The Chicken pieces were surprisingly tender and I love the simplicity of this.

Baked Aubergine Ripieni

My favourite vegetable gets the royal treatment with some herbs, breadcrumbs and cheese. So good!

Roasted Beets with Hazel Nuts

And Frank went nuts with these beets (get it?).

Seared Albacore Tuna with Macedonian Vegetable Relish

Almost too pretty to eat, but I ate one anyway.

Duck Liver Parfait

I almost squealed in delight seeing this. Give me liver!

And if you like cured meat, there are plenty choices.

Beef Bresaola and Beef Salami

Pepperoni and Turkey Salami

Served with somem shaved galia and cantaloupe melon if you like the sweet and savoury pairing.

Eat the rainbow!

My happiness on a plate.

The highlight for me would be the Smoked Whole Salmon.

Hey Fishy Fishy!

Intimidating looking it might be, but be rewarded with ultra tender flesh and its irresistible natural sweetness. I had A LOT of extras, couldn’t help it.

My second favourite would of course be the fresh seafood on offer.

Can never get enough of Oysters.

Moar Seafood.

And Frank dived straight into the Cheese counter.

Oh my!!!

I mean, look at that Fontina!

It oozes sexiness!

Of course even as a mild lactose intolerant person I had to try a bit and this has such robust flavours, hits you straight in the face. Great stuff.

Caesar Salad station.

Lots of people were queueing up for this and the chef busied himself wrapping the eggs in cling form and poaching them.

My second plate.

Let me tell you I didn’t only have 4 oysters. No wonder I had a food coma after.

If you spot some Risotto coming your way, do not miss out.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Hands down one of the best risottos I’ve had in KL (Favola is similar in standards), so creamy, rich and unapologetically cloying (this time in a good way), made better with truffle oil. I had seconds. Sorry not sorry. Umei very kindly pointed out that this HAS carbs, but such good carbs are forgiven in my diet.

Lamb Pizza

There are a few types of Pizzas available including a couple of meatless varieties, but we requested for a meaty one, so this gorgeous thing arrived on our table tantalizing all our taste buds. It is delicious indeed with perfect crispy crust. Hmm gluten you say? Cheat day lah! My eczema can come back for one day for all I care.

Outside, there is a grill section with a whole lamb, sausages, rib eye steaks, tiger prawns; and main courses like Duck Confit (which is unusual for a buffet), Grilled vegetables, Salmon etc. I was so full I didn’t even manage any of them except for a small bite of duck confit. And that was pretty decent too.

Last but not least, if you still have any space in your stomach, either reserve it for the alcohol or enjoy some desserts prepared by Pastry Chef Michelle Low. She might as well be Italian because her tiramisu and cannoli is out of this world.

Umei’s: Tarts, Cannoli, Tiramisu (lovingly served in a chocolate cup)

Mine: Pistachio Creme Brulee, Tiramisu and Cannoli.

If you love Italian food, I’ll say you’ll be very happy with the selections. Otherwise, there’s always free flow Moët and Chandon, that in itself is worth the price tag. Oh speaking of price tag, the Food & Champagne package goes for RM338.00++/person, and includes free flow of Moët and Chandon champagne, red wine, white wine, draught beer, soft drinks, chilled juices. If you prefer to just go for some wine or beer, it’s priced at RM276++/person. Food alone, it’s RM148++/Person.

Prego @ The Westin
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
+60327738338
http://www.thewestinkualalumpur.com/dining

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Paint Your Love This Christmas with Poesy Liang

December is finally upon us this year. And while we look through our planners to consider which party to attend, it’s also the time where we start thinking of what Christmas present to buy for our loved ones. Well instead of buying things from the department stores, why not try creating one of your own?

My dear friend, Poesy Liang who is an incredible woman in many ways (you can read about her life story here, and here) has finally opened up her Pop-up Gallery, featuring all the artwork she has created over the years. I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of her. Her gallery will be featuring different private events with interesting themes (last being Cat lovers exhibition) until December 2015. Here are some pics:

Congrats again, babe!

The artist herself.

Rooftop cats series.

Cupcake cats!

For someone who has gone through so many traumatic life events (wow the psychiatrist in me just made a come back), she sure has a lot of strength and this is something that always inspires me, and no doubt many others too. Of many aspects of her life, I most want to focus on the giving part. You see, she is the founder of Helping Angels, a global volunteer group (now with over 2000 member worldwide) and she also spearheaded a community program Chowkids Angels, nurturing young artists amongst refugee kids in KL. This Christmas she has introduced yet another fantastic program: a one off mentorship program to paint with her.

Poesy has always said that we can find healing through all art forms, which resonates with me as I do too find healing through music. When she invited me to try a session with her, I wonder how I never asked for it before (maybe afraid she would be too expensive, haha). I have actually watched her work numerous times while I sat and just chatted with her, but never gotten involved myself.

I thought about what I was going to paint. I wanted something that represents my life at the moment. And Poesy suggested a musical instrument. Piano is too obvious a choice (and a little boring to draw) so I went for a guitar. So after a short discussion, we came up with a sketch. Some of the lines were drawn with a made-shift ruler, and the short ones were drawn free-handed. My OCD clearly came through here.

#MacamYes

Red and purple are my two favourite colours, at first I wanted to go with red background and purple guitar but for some reason we switched the colours and now my guitar reminds me of few people… (looking at you Kelvyn).

Background done….

Once the background acrylic ink dried, I moved on to the rest of the colours.

Was in my stage outfit because we had a recording to do after… accidentally fit the painting of mine. And a wild Harry posing behind me.

The finer details were actually done with silver and black sharpie. And there we have it! I finished this piece in about 2 hours (I’m a fast worker) but the session can go for 3 hours.

My first real art piece!

At first I did want to draw the strings, but then thought why not leave it as it is so I can have the perfect name for this: No Strings Attached!

Harry is a real distraction here.

I thoroughly enjoyed my session despite not picking up a paint brush for at least more than 15 years. The creative energy from Poesy really does help me channel mine too. Like she predicted, it wasn’t just an art lesson, it was therapy and more. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!

Starter Kit

For each mentorship session, you also get a starter kit consisting of 1 Canvas board (the one you’ll use to draw on), 24 good quality acrylic colours complete with a colour wheel for reference, 15 brushes and a palette. You get to take home your work of course. This only costs RM500 by the way, which I think is really good deal. To book an appointment, just whatsapp her on +60168886310. Her art gallery is located at Micasa Shoppes 368A Jalan Tun Razak.

Feel free to take a look and like her pages:

https://www.facebook.com/poesyliang
https://www.facebook.com/poesyart
http://www.instagram.com/poesyliang

You can also read about Jasmine’s experience here.

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Monte’s by LYN, Bangsar Shopping Center

Even though Bangsar Shopping Center is relatively close to me, I don’t often choose to dine there. But this is probably going to change soon after my visit to Monte’s, a restaurant that’s been serving quality Western cuisine for over a decade now. It’s been under my radar until I was invited to a special birthday dinner; needless to say, I was quite impressed with what they had to offer.

The restaurant itself is spacious with a relaxed homely vibe, with touches of greenery and rustic brick walls, almost reminds me of a winery too. There are separate dining areas to suit different needs, and also a more private area which we were allocated.

Oh by the way, that birthday person is Tim Chew, founder of Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers community, also someone who’s been consistently supportive especially when it comes to my blogging journey. Thank you for being an awesome boss! (There I said something nice about you, I don’t ask for much, RM100 ok?) We were hosted by Lyn, who has recently taken over the management of the restaurant and is such a bubbly personality too.

Hi Tim!

I arrived at the restaurant nice and early because being the rockstar I am, I had to rush to play a gig after. But it didn’t stop me from indulging in some sparkling and of course their delectable food. Though I did miss out on some of the courses, I shall let the pictures speak for themselves then.

Escargots 1/2 dozen RM19

After surveying the menu, the starter I most wanted to try was of course these amazing looking Escargots. Baked & basted in Chablis ‘n’ Garlic sauce, they are as decadent as they sound. I love the rich, creamy sauce; punchy with the garlic, perfect to mop up with some toasted bread. Priced at only RM19, this is probably the best value for money too.

Juicy Seared Sea Scallops 1/2 dozen RM39

The Seared Scallops is another great choice too. Here the scallops are cooked to perfection, and served with a delightful sweet potato mash, drizzled with tarragon butter and balsamic reduction. Fabulous dish and I could easily polish the whole plate if I want to.

Nachos RM19

Can’t go wrong with nachos, especially when they are generous with cheese. Here we had a mixture of chicken and vegetarian toppings and both were great in terms of flavour combination.

Taking a moment to pose for a picture.

Yeah… it was Lyn’s idea to get bunny ears for the girls. I like her already.

Cod RM56

I ordered a Grilled Cod Fillet for my main and it comes with sauteed potatoes, salad and lemon soy sauce. I like how they have good dishes to cater for people on different diet needs. Despite the simplicity of the dish it’s rather satisfying, as the cod is nice and tender, seasoned well, made even more delicious with a squeeze of lemon. They also have another Cod with which is paired with Ratatouille and I think I will try that one next.

Here are the dishes that I didn’t get to try:

Seafood Salad (A mix of mini octopus, prawns, smoked salmon & caviar on a bed of fresh garden greens) RM29

Smoked Duck Salad (Tossed salad with sundried tomato and basil) RM28

Fresh Oxtail Soup (Thick, savory, hot & spicy to whet your appetite) RM18

Ribeye (Prepared in Monte’s way to retain its taste, simply grilled and served with seasonal vegetables) RM63

Braised Lamb Shank (Served with mashed potato & stewed mushrooms) RM35

Monte’s is also great for Private dining, with option to customize your menu to suit your budget. I know I will be returning to try the dishes I missed out last time (especially that Oxtail soup). Thank you for your hospitality, Lyn!

Of course, an obligatory group pic! Dress from Zalora, by the way.

Photo credit to Andy Kho and Tim Chew.

Monte’s Restaurants and Wine Bar
Lot F 112, Level 1, Bangsar Shopping Center
Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2094 1112/3
Fax: (603) 2094 1113
Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday, 11.30 am till 11 pm
https://www.facebook.com/montesbylyn/
http://www.montesrestaurant.com.my/

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F&N Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk & Banoffee Pie

Did you know that nowadays most of the “condensed milk” you see on the market aren’t actually made with real milk? And the “real” ones generally can be quite expensive as they were all imported. Well here’s a piece of good news for you: F&N recently reintroduced the Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk and is currently the only local company that offers Malaysians the creamy goodness of full-cream sweetened condensed milk at an affordable price.

I remember when I was growing up, condensed milk played a big part of my life. There was always an opened can (poured into small container) in our fridge and it was used for many things. One of my favourite snacks was a Cream cracker drizzled with a hearty amount of condensed milk. Back then it was a fun challenge to finish the cream cracker without the condensed milk dripping from the holes. As soon as I moved to Australia, condensed milk disappeared from my life. I guess it’s very much a Malaysian thing as you’ll see condensed milk used everywhere in local kopitiams and mamaks, and most household too.

So what’s so special about F&N Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk? First of all, it contains the wholesome goodness of milk, which makes it richer, fuller and creamier. Secondly, it’s also nutritious, with high amount of calcium, and the added benefits of vitamin A, B1 and D3; and as you know, milk is a good source of protein too. Tasty and beneficial, what’s not to love? Of course, enjoy it in moderation as it does contain quite a bit of sugar. But occasional indulgence is essential, let me tell you that.

I was sent a batch of F&N Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk to review and while I normally wouldn’t be consuming so much sweet stuff, I was curious about the taste (I guess you can say that condensed milk is my weakness). Upon receiving the package, I immediately open one and tried a spoonful (don’t judge k?).

Mmmm!!

It is indeed rich and creamy and tastes really sinful. The next few days I proceed to add this into my coffee. Such bliss. I also used it in a couple of recipes which I will show you in a minute. By the way, I really dig the new packaging which has a pull ring for easy opening (I remember the day when I used to dig 2 holes on the can and let the condensed milk slowly drip out into another container), and a plastic lid so I can store the can itself easily.

So I finally attempted to make my own Dulce De Leche! Dulce De Leche is basically caramelised milk and is prepared by slowly heating condensed milk to change its flavour and colour. Traditionally, it takes hours to achieve this, often requiring boiling for up to 4 hours. But I had the perfect tool to save me some time, in a form of Philips Pressure Cooker!

That’s right, with a pressure cooker, making Dulce De Leche takes only about an hour (that is if you don’t count the essential cooling down time, of course), and it’s definitely foolproof too! Let’s take a second to admire this heavenly creation of mine, shall we?

Oh My!!!

To make perfect Dulce De Leche, first place the can of Condensed Milk side way in the Pressure Cooker Pot, and fill with water to cover at least an inch above the can. Then, set your timer to 40 minutes and start the cooker. Once the time is up, release pressure, remove the can cautiously. This is super important: let it cool COMPLETELY before you attempt to open the can. If you don’t, the content will explode, and you’ll end up with severe burns. But when it’s cool it’s absolutely safe to open. Then control yourself not to finish this by the spoonfuls (will probably get into diabetic coma if you do).

So what did I make for with the Dulce De Leche? Banoffee Pie of course! This has been on my to-make list for years and I didn’t go through because I didn’t want to waste 4 hours of gas just cooking a can of condensed milk. The Pressure cooker is really a life-saver sometimes. Oh, I digress, this post is about F&N Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk. Haha. Here’s the Banoffee Pie.

Oh you, get in my mouth!

Move over, Lemon Tarts. This is officially the best dessert I’ve ever made! I’ve opted for shortcrust pastry case because well, that’s my expertise right there. Fill it with the Duche De Leche, Sliced Bananas marinated with lemon juice, and then a dollop of whipped cream. So simple, so delicious no I mean RIDICULOUSLY delicious, it makes my skirt fly up. Here’s the recipe:

Shortcrust Pastry (makes 3 mini pies)
1 cup Plain Flour (I used double 00 flour because that was what I have)
1/3 cup Almond Meal
100g Grass-fed Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
2-3 teaspoon Iced Water

To make pastry, mix flour and salt together then rub in the cubed butter until mixture resemble breadcrumbs. Add ice water (add 1/2 first, and pour in more as needed) to draw the moisture and mix until the dough just comes together. Form pastry into a disc, enclose in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick and use to line 6 x 12cm tart pans. Trim edge carefuly, then line with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove beans and paper, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.

Other ingredients:
A Can of Dulce De Leche
2-3 Bananas
Lemon Juice
250ml Whipping Cream

I guess it goes without saying you need to whip the cream until stiff peak, then set aside.

Once the tarts are nice and cool, spoon over the dulce de leche and spread it flat. Slice bananas and coat them with a bit of lemon juice (this provides a little acidity to balance the taste and also keeps the banana fresh for longer), then lay them however you like on top of the dulce de leche. To serve, spoon generous amount of whipped cream on top.

Make this today to impress your friends! I brought this to my gig for my musicians and made them very, very happy.

F&N Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk is now available at selected outlets (Ben’s Independent Grocer, Jaya Grocer, Hero Market, AEON, Jason’s Foodhall, Mercato, Village Grocer, Isetan, Cold Storage and Presto Grocer) throughout Peninsular and East Malaysia for RM5.00 per 392g can.

For more details, tasty recipe ideas and list of participating outlets, please visit www.fndairies.com

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