Salted Egg Yolk Cookies (CNY)

It’s exactly one week to go until Chinese New Year! Have you bought all the necessary things (by necessary I mean mostly food) yet? Some of you have been baking up a frenzy, no doubt. Since we finally got a decent oven for this household, I’ve been hardworking enough to churn out some Chinese New Year cookies as well, and this year I’ve decided to try something new: Salted Egg Yolk Cookies!

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Salted Egg Yolk (SEY) anything have always been hugely popular in Malaysia/Singapore and people are putting them in everything: ice cream, croissant, waffles, pasta…. you name it and it has been tried. It’s hard to resist the allure of it, of course. It’s the very definition of umami, and adds that extra decadence to your dishes, be it sweet or savoury. Because of the SEY craze, I’ve tried putting it on pizza, pasta and our favourite concoction has to be these melt-in-the-mouth cookies. Easy to make, absolutely delightful to eat. You just can’t stop at one bite!

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Here’s the recipe I use with a little bit of adaptation of my own. It’s pretty straight forward and it goes without saying that the better ingredients you use, the better it will taste. So try to get Salted Egg from the market, and best butter you can buy (I’d suggest Kerrygold because I only use Grassfed butter, the cheaper alternative is Anchor). I added milk powder because I like the taste, you can totally omit it if you wish. Let’s get to it!

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies (adapted from Bake for Happy Kids)
125g Plan Flour
10g Corn Starch
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Salted Egg Yolks
85g Butter
40g Sugar
1 Tablespoon Milk Powder
Pinch of Salt
Egg wash
Sesame Seeds

First, cook the salted egg yolks, you may choose to cook the salted egg whole and just scoop out the egg yolks, or steam the yolks alone. What I do is I usually boil the whole egg for about 9 minutes (I’ve tried cooking for shorter time but the egg yolks tend to be undercooked). By the way if you have some fantastic ideas for leftover salted egg whites, send it my way! Mash the egg yolk with a fork and set aside until needed.

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Weigh out the ingredients accordingly. I usually do the flour, corn starch baking powder, salt and milk powder together.

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In a big bowl, weigh out butter and sugar and mix it together well (you can use a handmixer for this too). Pour the rest of the dry ingredients together along with the salted egg yolks, and mix well.

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The dough now should come together easily when you gather by hands.
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Flatten the dough to a disc (around 6mm thickness would be ideal) and wrap in cling film to cool in fridge for around half an hour. When you are ready, pick your favourite cookie cutter and cut out the dough. When it’s sufficiently cold, it should be quite easy to handle. If it gets too soft, put it back into the fridge for a while and then continue working.

By now you should have your oven preheated to 170 degree Celsius. This number should yield around 80 small cookies so you can do it in 2 batches. Brush the top with some egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. The egg wash is important here because not only it will give the cookies a nice sheen, it also acts as a glue for the sesame seeds.

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Send the baking tray into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until lovely golden. Let cool completely and try not to steal too many of it before storing it in airtight container.

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I’ve already made 3 batches of these and there’s barely anything left now (it’s only a 3 person household, mind you). Kevin actually finished the first batch in one seating. So much for watching his diet. Hehe. I guess I need to make some more before next week then.

Happy Baking (and Eating)!

Chinese New Year menu at China Treasures, KLGCC

I go to Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on a weekly basis because I perform every Thursday (and sometimes other nights too) at one of their dining outlets, Connoisseurs Lounge & Restaurant. From time to time my band also gets invited to perform at special occasions such at CIMB Classics several moons ago. Needless to say, this is almost like a second home to me. There are several restaurants covering different cuisines at KLGCC, and you might be surprised to find out that these are all open to the public (just remember to keep up with the dresscode).

I received an invitation to dine at China Treasures and sample their Chinese New Year menu. Initially I had invited my keyboardist Vicky to come along to just eat, but as luck would have it, I received a call to replace the band that night. So as workaholics we are, we decided to do both anyway. It was my first time stepping into China Treasures and it is everything I expected: sophisticated, elegant but not over the top. The ambience is welcoming and non-pretentious. We left ourselves on the capable hands of Chef Eddie Chua and let’s take a look at the food.

Yee Sang

The Yee Sang at China Treasures is kept relatively traditional with Salmon. There are also other options such at Abalone too. After the usual chanting of auspicious phrases, we tossed our Yee Sang with gusto!

More money, more gigs, let’s make a new album!

Various forms of seafood soup is always present during Chinese New Year feast and here we were treated to a Crab Meat Soup with Braised Seafood.

Brimming with goodies!

Letting the natural sweetness of the seafood comes through, this is made perfect with just a tiny splash of vinegar. Of course everyone has their own preference but this is good enough for me to finish.

Crispy Roast Chicken prepared Two Ways

Well this is probably the most interesting dish of the night. The rectangle you see is actually fish cake wrapped with crispy chicken skin. There are almond flakes too, on the other side. Taste wise, you can tell the freshest fish is used and I just love the fun textural contrast with the smooth paste and crispy skin. Brilliant! In the middle was some black bean chicken presented in a fried vermicelli basket. It was tasty, but nothing to shout about.

Home style Steam White Cod

The cod is merely steamed to perfected and seasoned with premium soy sauce, placed on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, dressed with the usual spring onion, chili and coriander. Might be simple, but the taste is textbook perfect. Needless to say, it was the most popular dish of the night.

Braised Sea Moss Oyster Rolls with Sliced Abalone and Wheat Gluten.

Almost every restaurant serves this dish for their Chinese New Year menu. Why Broccoli? It isn’t really a Chinese vegetable to begin with. But anyway, I wouldn’t say no to some healthy greens. The Oyster rolls themselves are tasty though, with substantial pieces of whole dried oysters encased with fish paste.

Sauted Crystal Prawns with Hot & Sour Sauce.

The Chinese direct translation for this dish is actually Prawns with “Strange taste”, haha. I guess that probably would scare a few people. But strange taste it was not, the hot and sour (and slightly sweet) notes would appeal to many. Bonus for perfectly cooked prawns with its bouncy texture.

X.O Fried Rice with Seafood

X.O. sauce is always good with carbs and here the fried rice is made decadent with the addition of scallops. Very hearty.

Hot Soy Bean with White Fungus, Lotus Seed and Ginkgo Nuts.

Finishing our feast on a sweet note, the soy bean we were told is homemade. I can’t say I have had this preparation before, although white fungus is commonly seen in Chinese sweet tong sui. This is as comforting as it sounds and nourishing too, especially for us women.

The CNY set menu is available now until the 8th of March. Options of 6 pax and 10 pax, pricing ranges from RM1102.88 to the most premium Wealth Prosperity menu at RM4740.88. Place your reservation now for a wonderful gathering with your loved ones.

China Treasures:
Monday – Sunday
11:30am – 2:30pm
6:30pm – 10:30pm
+603-2093 4688
Email: chinatreasures.klgcc@simedarby.com

Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC)
No. 10, Jalan 1/70D,
Off Jalan Bukit Kiara,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2011 9188
Fax: 603-2011 9288

Chinese New Year Menu at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL

I have always been quite fond of Celestial Court, having visited a couple of times in the past couple of years. If you haven’t been, make sure you check out their weekend dim sum buffet (now priced at RM98++ per pax). And having sampled their CNY menu last year, I know that Chef Vincent Loo will not disappoint this year. So I invited my daughter/band mate Vicky with me to toss our first Yee Sang of the year.

The signature Yee Sang With New Zealand Swordfish and Netherland Arctic Char Fish

It’s now customary to have Yee Sang for CNY and I always love to see creativity with Yee Sang ingredients because you know, after a while every Yee Sang starts to taste the same. Here, we see a couple of unusual ingredients: Swordfish (pronounced without the W by the way), and Arctic Char Fish.

Hello! My name is Arctic Char and I come from the Netherlands.

Netherland Arctic Char Fish? Sounds fancy! Mr Google tells me it is closely related to Salmon and Ocean Trout, hence the similarity in facial features and the colour of its flesh. Tastes rather similar too.

After pouring everything into the plate along with auspicious wishes, we were ready to toss. The higher you go, the better! Needless to say, our table was the noisiest, thanks to yours truly, Mr Fatboybakes and Miss Rebecca Saw.

Despite having been to quite a few CNY review, I have managed to miss out on Poon Choi and that was finally rectified this year. Celestial Court offers a Premium Treasure Pot featuring a total of 18 ingredients.

Celestial Court’s Premium Treasure Pot (RM888++)

Each ingredient here is cooked separately and then meticulously arranged in layers, and this signifies abundance in the coming year. It’s fun fishing out different ingredients and make sure you taste the superior stock which has been infused with all that surf and turf components.

My treasure plate.

There are abalones, scallops, dried scallops, sea cucumbers, prawns, sea asparagus, roast duck, roast chicken and various vegetables. Each component is cooked perfectly too, I think my favourite would have to be the juicy prawns and the super tender sea cucumber.

Wok-heated Prawns with Nutmeg, Asparagus and Smoked Chicken

This is such a pretty dish with all that vibrant colours. I am a lover of Asparagus so this instantly grabbed my attention. Interestingly the prawn is cooked with nutmeg, which imparts some sweetness and its distinct pungent aroma to the prawns. The prawns were crispy and I didn’t mind the slight dousing of mayo (my inner kid approves). The smoked chicken induced a round of discussion as KJ insisted it tastes like duck, but I have to agree it’s very well smoked with a nice bite. I’ll say this is my favourite dish of the night, and Vicky agrees too.

Stir fried scallops with pumpkin, asparagus and celery served with Macadamia Nuts

More Asparagus and I certainly won’t complain. I like how clean this dish look, and each component tastes of their natural sweetness. My favourite would probably be the pumpkin, and I thought that adding Macadamia nuts is a decadent touch.

Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates

Never one to pass up an opportunity for controversy, I very quickly pointed out that Hasma has something to do with Frog’s reproductive organ, and google further confirmed that it is indeed Frog’s fallopian tube. Who discovered this?! Anyway, hasma is considered a delicacy and claims to replenish vital essence in the lungs, kidneys, and improving skin complexion. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try. By the way, I had half the refreshing syrup before reading the menu and when Cheng Yi heard “Earl Grey” he literally jumped. Heard that he had a sleeplessness because of this. Hah!

Thank you Shirley and Youhe for another fabulous meal!

Plan your Chinese New Year gathering with your loved ones today at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel.

For reservations, call 03 2717 9900 or email to restaurants.imperial@sheraton.com or log on to www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com for more information.

Check out their different set menus and ala carte menu below:

Yee Sang Selections 2015

Celestial Court’s All-time Favourites

Yee Sang with Jelly Fish – RM188++

Yee Sang with Norwegian salmon– RM 228++

Yee Sang with Norwegian salmon and sunflower sauce – RM 238++

Yee Sang with Abalone and Salmon – RM 318++

Wild Catch (signature yee sang)

Yee Sang with New Zealand Tarakihi Fish – RM 258++

Yee Sang with New Zealand Swordfish– RM 428++

Yee sang with Netherland Arctic Char Fish– RM 388++

Vegetarian

Vegetarian yee sang with vegetarian abalone and vegetarian goose – RM 98++

Premium Chinese New Year Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with New Zealand Tarakihi Fish served with Traditional Plum Sauce

2. Double-boiled Mini Abalone Soup with Bamboo Pith and Dried Scallops

3. Oven-baked Crispy Truffle Essence Chicken paired with Peking Duck Rolls with Foie Gras Pâté

4. Steamed Cod Fish with concentrated Chicken Soya Sauce

5. Braised Sea Cucumber with Chinese Mushrooms, Fish Maw served with Stir-fried Scallops with fresh Lily Bulbs in Spicy Sauce

6. Sesame Prawns with Nutmeg and Smoked Chicken and Asparagus

7. Signature Crispy Noodles with fresh Water Prawns

8. Double-boiled Bird Nest’s with Sugar Cane Syrup in Whole Chinese Pear and paired with Tiramisu in Mini Chocolate Cup

***
Chinese Tea

***
A complimentary bottle of Hennessy Cognac

RM 3388 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Wealth Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon, Fish Roe and Snow Pear

2. Boiled Tom Yam Soup with Assorted Seafood, Mushrooms and Chinese Parsley

3. Oven-baked Crispy Chicken with Truffle Essence and Spicy Garlic Topping

4. Smoked Pomfret with Spicy Thai Mango Salad

5. Deep-fried Squid with Lemon Sauce, Salt and Pepper

6. Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Oysters and Chinese Mushrooms

7. Fried Rice with Shredded Dried Scallops, Diced Chicken, Roast Duck and Mushroom

8. Double-boiled Hasma with Snow Fungus, Red Date, Chinese Pear and Ginseng

9. Chilled Coconut Layer Cake

***
Chinese Tea

***
A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2288 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Fortune Set Menu

1. Yee Sang with a combination of Smoked Sliced Lamb and Salmon

2. Premium Eight Treasure Soup

3. Steamed Cod Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce

4. Poached Sliced Lamb with Spinash, Century Eggs and Salted Egg Yolk Broth

5. Traditional Roasted Duck with Pickled Papaya

6. Pan-fried Prawns with Red Curry Paste

7. Thai Fried Rice with Pineapples and Crispy Rice Grains

8. Chilled Earl Grey Syrup with Hasma, Snow Fungus and Black Dates

9. Deep-fried Golden Banana Fritters with Chocolate Dripping

***
Chinese Tea

***
A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2488 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Happiness Set Menu

1. Signature Yee Sang with Norwegian Salmon and Sliced Abalone served with Chrysanthemum Sauce

2. Double-boiled Mini Monk Jump over the Wall

3. Crispy Roasted Truffle Chicken served with Thai Hoi Sin Sauce

4. Steamed Cod Fish with Golden Garlic paired with Fish Belly

5. Deep-fried Prawns with Fresh Fruits and Wasabi Mayo Dressing

6. Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Scallops, Mushrooms, Sea Moss and Vegetables

7. Braised Rice with Diced Roasted Duck topped with Dried Scallops and Abalone Sauce

8. Double-boiled Bird’s Nest with Young Coconut and Ginseng

9. Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls with Coated Minced Peanut Crush

***
Chinese Tea

***
A complimentary bottle of selected wine

RM2688 nett for a table of 10 persons
* Price quoted is inclusive of 10% service charge and 6% Government Tax

Chinese New Year Ala Carte Menu 2015

Soup

1. Braised Sze Chuan Soup with Baby Lobster Meat
RM 50++ per person

2. Monk Jump over the Wall
RM128++ per person

3. Braised Assorted Seafood Broth with Trio Mushroom
RM 38++ per person

4. Double-boiled Maitake Mushroom with Fleece Flower Root and Garden Chicken
RM 50++ per person

Dried Seafood

1. Braised Supreme Dried Seafood with Sliced Abalone in Broth
Small – RM 320++ Medium – RM 480++ Large – RM 640++

2. Braised Baby Abalone with Imported Asparagus, Sea Cucumber and Sea Moss
Small – RM 118++ Medium – RM 172++ Large – RM 228++

3. Braised Giant Fish Belly with Sea Cucumber, Chinese Mushrooms, Dried Oysters and Sea Moss
Small – RM 108++ Medium – RM162++ Large – RM 216++

4. Stewed Oysters with Sun-dried Scallops and Sea Moss and Lettuce
Small – RM 108++ Medium – RM162++ Large – RM 216++

Seafood

1. Simmered Cod with Chili and Lime
Small – RM128++ Medium – RM192++ Large – RM 256++

2. Pan-fried Prawns with Red Curry Paste
Small – RM 100++ Medium – RM 150++ Large – RM 200++

3. Combination of Crispy Fresh Scallops topped with Caviar and Stir-fried Prawns in Spicy Sauce
Small – RM 138++ Medium – RM207++ Large RM 276++

4. Steamed Cod Fish Fillet with Egg White and Julienne Ginger
Small – RM128++ Medium – RM192++ Large RM 256++

5. Braised Australian Red Grouper with Flower Fungi and Vegetable Curry
Small – RM 60++ Medium – RM90++ Large – RM 120 ++

6. Steamed Fresh Water Prawns with Two variety of Garlic and Glass Noodle
RM 50++ per portion (minimum order of 2 portions)

Poultry

1. Oven-baked Crispy Black Truffle Chicken with Spicy Garlic Topping
Half – RM 88++ Whole – RM 176 ++

2. Signature Hong Kong-styled Crispy Roasted Duck
Half – RM 90++ Whole – RM 180 ++

3. Braised Garden Chicken with Lettuce in Dried Scallop Sauce
Half – RM 60++ Whole – RM120++

4. Combination of Barbeque Premium
Small – RM 68++ Medium – RM 102++ Large – RM136++

5. Signature Braised Duck with Ginger, Water Chestnut and Bean Curd Stick
Small – RM 68++ Medium – RM 102++ Large – RM136++

Vegetables & Bean Curd

1. Stir-fried Scallops with Pumpkin, Asparagus, Celery and Macadamia Nut
Small – RM 88++ Medium – RM 132++ Large – RM 176++

2. Home-styled Special Assorted Vegetarian Curry in Claypot
Small – RM 38++ Medium – RM 57++ Large – RM 76++

3. Braised Vegetarian with Glass Noodle in Claypot
Small – RM 38++ Medium – RM 57++ Large – RM 76++

4. Braised Bean Curd with Marrow Gourd and Assorted Seafood
Small – RM 68++ Medium – RM 108++ Large – RM 138++

5. Stir-fried Seasonal Vegetables with Dried Prawn Topping
Small – RM 58++ Medium – RM 88++ Large – RM 116++

Noodle & Rice

1. Braised Rice with Roasted Duck and Dried Scallops in Abalone Sauce
Small – RM 80++ Medium – RM 120++ Large – RM 160++

2. Thai Fried Rice with Tomato, Seafood and Walnut
Small – RM 60 ++ Medium – RM 90 ++ Large – RM 120++

3. Fried Rice with Pickled Cabbage, Minced Chicken and Mushroom
Small – RM 38++ Medium – RM 58++ Large – RM 76++

4. Fried Rice with Minced Duck and French Bean in Peanut Sauce
Small – RM 38++ Medium – RM 58++ Large – RM 76++

5. Wok Fried Glass Noodle pairs with Rice Noodle with Crispy Cod Fish
Small – RM 80++ Medium – RM 120++ Large RM160++

6. Signature Prawn Consommé with Egg Noodles, Seafood and Enoki Mushroom
Small – RM 60 ++ Medium – RM 90 ++ Large – RM 120++

7. Wok-fried Flat Noodle with Beef, Spring Onions, Ginger in Black Bean Sauce
Small – RM 38++ Medium – RM 58++ Large RM 76++

Celestial Court,
Level 3, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur,
Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2717 9900 ext 6988
or email: restaurants.imperial@sheraton.com
Business hours: Lunch, Mon to Sat, noon to 2.30pm;
Sun and public holidays, 10.00am to 2.30pm.
Dinner, daily, 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Pork-free.

Bintulu/Sibu Trip and Giveaway!

Last week we did a whirlwind trip to Bintulu and Sibu, because we were to celebrate my paternal grandma’s 80th birthday in Sibu. For clarification purposes, I come from a mixed Foochow (paternal) and Teochew (Maternal) heritage. Most of my Foochow relatives reside in Sibu, and Teochew relatives pretty much everywhere (Bintulu, Miri, Kuala Lumpur, South Australia). Anyway, because the trip was so short (2 days) we packed so much in our schedule. Mainly food.

The afternoon we arrived in Bintulu we went straight to my maternal grandma’s place for lunch. And this was what she cooked up. Pretty much all our favourite dishes!

Belated Reunion Lunch
Belated Reunion Lunch

Ang Jiu (Red rice wine) Chicken Soup,  Spring Roll, Steamed Fish (Teochew of course), Kacangma Chicken, Chicken Wings and ‘Mua Chee’. The plate of vegetables not pictured though. This grandma is a great cook and she makes pretty much everything from scratch and in bulk. I’m always amazed by her tremendous amount of energy. Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves. To the point I couldn’t even have a proper dinner.

We went on the roadtrip to Sibu the next day, but that’s after we had somemore food at Maternal Grandma’s place.

Ang Jiu Mee Sua
Ang Jiu Mee Sua

I can never get sick of her Ang Jiu Chicken Soup. She makes her own Ang jiu (Foochow Red Wine) by the way eventhough she’s not Foochow (starting to get confusing yet?). I always like mixing a bit of Kacangma Chicken’s gravy in this soup to add the extra herbaceous note.  Delicious.

Ang Gu Kueh!
Ang Gu Kueh!

Grandma also makes the best Ang Gu Kueh. The texture is out of this world. Shame I couldn’t eat more after the bowl of noodles. I was also saving my tummy for our second breakfast.

Kampua Mee
Kampua Mee, Freedom Cafe

Unfortunately, this plate of Kampua mee with wantons left much to be desired. It was too salty and doesn’t hit the right spot. The wantons were all congealed with very little filling. Being the third day of CNY, most of our favourite Kampua shops are not open for business yet.

The condition of the road to Sibu is pretty bumpy, no thanks to the recent rainy season. There were plenty of pot holes on the road so the driver (dad) had to remain hypervigilant. Anyway, we arrived safely (just) in Sibu, in just over 2 hours. And what greeted us at my aunt’s place was: You guessed it, more food!

Mee Sua Again
Mee Sua Again

Another bowl of mee sua just a couple of hours before the dinner banquet. I think I have successfully prolonged my life (noodles signifies longetivity) by about 10 years. I believe I fell into a food coma after this, but we only had an hour or so to rest before heading off to the dinner.

Droppy Eyed Zombie
Droppy Eyed Zombie, messing with the camera while waiting for the others to be ready to leave.

The dinner was very much standard Foochow fare at Hock Chu Leu (福聚楼) with Chicken Soup, Deep fried Eggs, Fried Mee Sua etc, but what really got us excited was this.

Sio Bee (Siew Mai) and Ou Nee (Mashed Taro/Yam)
Sio Bee (Siew Mai) and Ou Nee (Mashed Taro/Yam)

I haven’t had this style of Sio Bee for the longest time and these are flavourful with nice thin skin. The Ou Nee was out of my expectations and I couldn’t stop reaching for more. Simplicity at its best. We managed to get some leftovers too because there were a couple of tables empty. Food coma ensued, once again, and I was already fast asleep by 11pm, most unusual.

We had to drive back to Bintulu the next morning as the three of us were leaving to KL that very evening. Of course, one does not go to Sibu without having Kampua mee. We wanted to go to Rasa Sayang as according to Arthur and Huai Bin they serves really good Kampua, but alas there were just way too many people. So we made a detour to One o One Cafe instead, which was quite busy too but we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.

Much better Kampua compared to the one in Bintulu.
Much better Kampua compared to the one in Bintulu.

This definitely hit the spot with the right amount of seasoning (I did add a little bit of soy sauce as I like it dark) and the aroma of pork lard. Even the lean char siew slices tasted pretty good. This was only RM2.80 and that’s CNY price too. Usually you’ll only pay about RM2.30 to RM2.50 for a plate of Kampua in Sibu (the price is slightly higher in Bintulu I believe).

Beautiful Temple on the way from Sibu - Bintulu
Beautiful Temple on the way from Sibu – Bintulu

So that was our short but sweet trip to Sarawak. In between the eating we did find time to visit our local market and supermarket to stock up on some food items.

Noodles, more noodles and Packets of Laksa Paste!
Noodles, more noodles and Packets of Laksa Paste!

GIVEAWAY:

Well, good news for you! I’d like to giveaway 2 of these lovely packets of Laksa Paste. All you need to do is to leave a comment and tell me which Sarawak dish is your favourite, or that you are most curious about. Do indicate that you would like a packet of Laksa Paste too so I know who to include.

It also won’t do you any harm to like my music page here: http://www.facebook.com/kellysiewmusic as you will be able to help me reach my goals.

You have until 24th February, so comment away! Open to Kuala Lumpur/Selangor readers, or those who thinks they will be able to pick up from me personally sometimes soon.

Meanwhile, you can also take a look at my Sarawak Laksa recipe.

For a good summary on Sarawak food, visit Feat of Feasts for the Malaysian Food Fest Sarawak Month Round up!

MHB Lousang Dinner at The Royal Flush, Oasis Square

Following the success of not one, not two, but three Tom, Dick and Harry’s Pubs, Hoofed, Ali Muthu & Ah Hock; the 3 baldies (as we call them so affectionately) have done it again! Royal Flush is a brand new Chinese restaurant added to their impressive CVs and boy, did they go all out this time! To call Royal Flush a mere restaurant is probably not justifiable.

Royal Flush’s oriental exterior (scarlet red, adorned with auspicious gold and woody hues) reminded me very much of the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong, which shares a similar opulent swagger. Just to give you a feel, here’s a group pic of the Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers, with the proud owners, taken right in front of the restaurant. We were there for our annual “Lousang Dinner”.

Malaysia's Hottest Bloggers with The Royal Baldies!
Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers with The Royal Baldies!

Perfect for Chinese New Year, or basically any occasion. There are different types of room to suit your needs, including several VIP rooms and Karaoke rooms. The interior is beautifully furnished with furniture all the way from China. Apparently this only took 2 months to complete, talk about efficiency!

Dressed for the occasion, Louise and I arrived at the restaurant early enough to get a head start on the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. I was sufficiently distracted that I didn’t even remember to take any photos of my own that night. So, thanks Mr Andy Kho our official photographer for the beautiful photos, more to come.

The Party Chicks + Tim Chew. Ashley (left) looked on somewhat disapprovingly? She was unwell that night though, poor thing.
The Party Chicks + Tim Chew. Ashley (left) looked on somewhat disapprovingly? She was unwell that night though, poor thing.

We were served the “Spot On” menu, specially prepared by the Chef to include some of their best dishes. Starting with a little sampling of tidbits like these Crispy Fried Wantan Skin with Salmon Flakes.

Elegantly presented in wine glasses, they have my approval.

Great to nibble on with our wine, this was an indication of a good feast to follow. Although my gripe is that they are on the oily side, especially at the bottom.

Grilled Cod
Grilled Cod 蜜汁烤鳕鱼

I like how they are so succinct with their menu description. But if you are able to read Chinese, you’ll know that the Cod was marinated with Honey, which definitely comes through when you devour that soft and flaky flesh. Just divine. The light wasabi sauce helped with cutting through the richness. This was definitely my favourite dish of the night.

Dimsum Combination
Dimsum Combination 三色点心

3 delicate morsels placed in the steamer basket came next, consisting of a Siu Mai (Prawn Dumpling, adorned with fish roe), Fish Ball and Xiao Long Bao (Soup filled Pork Dumpling). The fish ball didn’t do anything for me as I’m not a fan usually, but I enjoyed both dumplings. The Xiao Long Bao contained good amount of flavourful soup, although the skin is slightly thicker than I would have preferred.

Twin Cold Combination
Twin Cold Combination 鲍鱼片拼蚝干

In the original menu, this was supposed to be a sort of Sea Whelk/Clam paired with Raw Oyster, but instead what we got was 2 slices of Abalone (at least I think it was) and Dried Oyster. The abalone had a lovely chewy texture and not at all ‘fishy’ tasting, which was good. I didn’t like the taste nor the aroma of the Dried Oyster though, only because I prefer Raw or Baked fresh oysters. Still, this was a popular dish among the girls.

Scalloped Wrapped In Bacon
Grilled Scallop Wrapped In Bacon 烧银菜拼带子皇

You simply cannot escape The Bacon when it comes to these guys, and they do bacon dishes exceptionally well. These scallops were as juicy as they come, a result of a happy marriage with the delicious savoury bacon which was slightly caramelised, definitely moreish. I just wished there was more than one on my plate!

We deviated from the menu at this point and gathered around the biggest table for our Lou Sang “Ceremony”. There were more than 20 of us so we had to take turns for photo opportunities, lol.

Probably the noisiest Lou Sang in History.
Probably the noisiest Lou Sang in History.

Most of us were just shouting and muttering random things, and when you have so many girls in one room, the noise level was off the chart! May MHB have another successful year and all the girls get what they wish for, most of all, continuous growth (not physically, of course).

The Yee Sang was quite loaded with a lot of Salmon slices, mixture of fresh vegetables, the dressing was the usual plum sauce with enough amount of tartness to keep it delightfully piquant. After much fussing about, we finally returned to our seats and continued with our feast.

Grilled Pork Ribs
Grilled Pork Ribs 烧烤骨枝

Once again, another straight forward name but definitely not plain in flavours. The sweet and savoury theme continued and these were so tender with just the right amount of fat. Just look at the delicious charred edges. Something that I would happily chomped on for the rest of the night. But of course, portion control is a very, very good thing.

Asparagus
Asparagus 烧烤芦笋条

Asparagus might not be everyone’s favourite but I happen to love it. Simply seasoned and grilled, they retained just the right amount of crunch, and the Bonito flakes gave them the much needed umaminess.

Fried rice with Bacon bits, topped with Abalone.
Fried rice with Bacon bits, topped with Abalone. 鲍鱼仔炒饭

I don’t often enjoy fried rice because many outlets just do it halfheartedly so call it a day. And I was stuffed nicely anyway. But I remember the excellent bacon fried rice at Hoofed, and this was just as good, if not better. The abalone was a decadent addition. Of course, by this time I was getting suitably tipsy so a bit of carb was good as sobering agent.

Incriminating evidence? Maybe.
Incriminating evidence? Maybe. Cheers anyway!

The night was still young and the wine was still flowing. But it was time for dessert and as they say, there’s always space for the sweets right?

Double Boiled Bird’s Nest
Double Boiled Bird’s Nest 红枣炖燕窝

Not pictured was the Peanut ‘Mua Chee’ (Glutinous Rice Dumplings), which I didn’t indulge in as peanuts do funny things to my throat, but the Double Boiled Bird’s Nest was the big hit. I think all of us happily slurped it clean, not only it was a good palate cleanser; it came with benefits for our skins too. A sweet ending for the evening.

With this delectable meal, The TDH boys have successfully proved that they are in fact far from one trick ponies and I can foresee a great year ahead for them. Once again, thank you so much for hosting us! We all had a fabulous time.

The Spot On menu is priced at RM1,200.00 nett for 10 pax.

Royal Flush
Central Piazza, Oasis Square Ara Damansara,
No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A ,
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor,
Malaysia.
Phone: 012-2997598
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theroyalflushmalaysia

More photos at https://www.facebook.com/myhotbloggers

Photo credit: Andy Kho

Pineapple Tarts

Of all the Chinese New Year cookies, Pineapple tarts would probably be the most popular. Who can resist these delicious morsels, with the flaky and buttery pastry and the sweet but tangy pineapple jam? Besides, the pronunciation of pineapple in Hokkien, “Ong Lai”,  means “Prosperity Comes”, and the golden hue represents, well, gold or money. All very positive. Maybe except for your weight. Errr. That’s prosperous too anyway.

I had wanted to make my own for the past few years but was not motivated enough (read: lazy). Fortunately, my mum has been in town and we’ve decided to spend a couple of days baking. And hence this is her recipe.

For the purpose of this blog I’ve included the recipe for the jam but mum has actually bought a huge bag of pineapple jam made by a bakery in KL. Only RM7 for like a 3-4kg bag (enough for easily over 400 tarts). What a bargain right? Apparently they sell it cheap for Chinese New Year. So do check your nearest bakery for these. Could save a lot of time. The most important ingredient is the butter. Use the best brand you can find as it really makes a huge difference to the taste.

Golden Pineapple Tarts

Makes about 80 small tarts

Pineapple Jam
4 cans of sliced pineapples (about 2kg), or 2 large pineapples
150g sugar, or to taste.
2 teaspoon cornstarch or corn flour (mixed with 2 teaspoon water)

Process the pineapple til fine, then strain until dry
Simmer in a wok toll the juice has dry up. Add sugar and cook until darkened and sticky, stirring constantly.
Add in the cornstarch (corn flour) to thicken the filling. Let it cool in the fridge.

Pineapple Jam

Pastry

250g butter (We used Lurpak, Danish Butter)
100g sugar
360g flour sifted
one whole egg, beated
40g milk powder

1 egg yolk for egg wash

Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl until creamy, then add the egg to mix well.

Sift the flour and milk powder into the bowl and start working the mixture lightly until it all comes together, adding more flour as needed. The dough needs to be pliable enough to roll with your hand but not oily. Make sure you don’t overwork it too so it will be crumbly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, start rolling the pineapple jam into an olive shape (about half a teaspoon amount each).

Divide the dough as accordingly, enough to coat the filling. Works out to be about 1.5inch diameter rounds. Gently flatten the dough and place the filling in the middle then work the dough to cover. Roll it to desirable shape. You can make patterns with butter knife.

Arrange on parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and bake in 175 degree Celsius oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Store in airtight container.

Perfect Gift!

So what is your favourite Chinese New Year Cookies? Another one I love is Kueh Momo, a Sarawak version of Kueh Makmur or Kuih Arab. Mum brought me some of these and I finished them in no time so I don’t dare to bake any. Too dangerous. Heh.

Chinese New Year Yee Sang

Since Chinese New Year is just one week away, I’ll take the opportunity to feature some festive recipes. I don’t follow most of the traditions of Chinese New Year as for the past few years I’ve been living in a country that does not list Chinese New Year as public holiday. Go Figure. In fact I’d usually be working, and grumbling away while Chinese all over the world eat drink and celebrate. However, one special meal with friends are usually indicated. It gives me a reason to make festive dishes such as Yee Sang, as featured today.

Yee Sang (Yu Sheng in Mandarin – 鱼生), or Lou Sang (捞生) is a Teochew style fish salad made popular in Singapore. The original versions were much simpler. Today, each ingredients used has its own special meaning, hence there’s no surprise that this dish is widely featured in every Chinese restaurants. There are even the Japanese variations too! Yee Sang is usually comsumed on the 7th day of Chinese New Year (人日)but most people now do it anytime during the 15 days or even before. Doesn’t hurt though since it’s highly auspicious anyway.

Although slightly time consuming, it’s so easy to make at home and does not cost much, depending on the amount and the type of fish you use. In the past raw mackerel was used but the Salmon version dominates now. Of course, there are also Abalone, Prawn and even Lobster versions, whichever tickles your fancy.

The last time I’ve made this I painstakingly julienned all the vegetables with a knife. That took me hours, my hands were screaming for a massage after. I have however invested in a Zigzag peeler (also called Thai Peeler) which made my job so much easier this year, reducing the prep time to just under 1 hour. Worth the effort, definitely. The colourful presentation never fails to impress the guests. Piece of art, I have to say.

And have I mentioned how good this tastes? Considering most of us will be feasting on CNY cookies, Ba Gwa (Dried Meat), various meat dishes, curries etc, this is almost guilt free.

Yee Sang

Ingredients:

200g Sashimi Grade Salmon, Sliced
1 radish, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 cucumber, shredded
Half a pomelo
About 10 sheets of Wanton skins, cut into smaller pieces and deep fried.
1 packet of Japanese pickle ginger
handful of Coriander to match amount of other veges.
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, toasted
50g peanuts, toasted and crushed

Sauce: 

200g plum sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder Pineapple and mango jam (because that’s the only jam I have, usually apricot jam is used)
Juice of half lemon
one teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Arrange everything on the plate carefully, I like to arrange the Salmon like a Rose. Reserving the sauce, fried wanton skin and crushed peanuts until ready to toss. When the guests are ready, stand up and toss the ingredients together with chopsticks. Don’t forget to yell out various auspicious wishes in any language you like, the higher you toss the ingredients the higher your wealth grows!

I was also told that it’s better to leave a little bit on the plate as it symbolizes leftover fortune.

This particular Yee Sang was served as part of a Pre-Chinese New Year pot luck dinner at my place. On the same night I also made Chap Chae, and Roast Pork. The long noodles symbolise longevity and the pork for strength and wealth.

Chap Chae

I’ve posted a recipe for Chap Chae previously, but this version is slightly more authentic, with added Spring onions, baby spinach, finished with sesame seeds. I’ve also used just light soy sauce instead of dark (made that mistake last time).

Roast Pork Loin with amazing crackling!

The rolled pork loin was simply marinated with hoisin sauce, 5 spice powder, salt and pepper. The crackling made perfect by drying the skin thoroughly and salting it. We fought for the crackling and Frank nearly finished all the meat. It was a good party indeed.

So what dishes will you be cooking or eating this reunion dinner?