Monday, March 31, 2008

A New Trend?

I know I've been rather slack lately and I do apologize...I know work should never be an excuse for ignoring my poor blog but I have been rather caught up with writing at the magazine along with taking up some additional freelance projects.

I did come across something last Friday at a wine tasting event though and I just HAD to share it with you...have you ever heard of sparkling red wine?

Well I hadn't right until last Friday night...I walked into this wine tasting I was invited to with no prior knowledge of what I would be sampling...I straight away noticed two very weird things going on...

Firstly the red wine was sitting in buckets of ice...yes ICE...sacrilegious!

Then the server picked up the bottle from the bucket and poured the red wine into a champagne flute...but where were the large rounded glasses to allow the wine to breathe? None in sight...

So I decided to take a sip...and just as the wine hit my lips the server said "it's sparkling"...and immediately I felt the bubbles tingle on my tongue and the look of surprise must have registered on my face...because she then she proceeded to tell me that this event was to launch a new wine in Malaysia...a Sparkling Shiraz that has been a common thing in Australia but is now only being introduced to other markets...

The innovative signature Henry Martin Sparkling Shiraz originally from Australia is created using the Charmat process in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bulk tanks and is then bottled under pressure. It is served chilled in a champagne flute which makes for a sophisticated and trendy drink.
It has an extended middle palate with hints of mulberries, black pepper and subtle vanilla oak complexities with a lingering dry finish.

I was told that it’s fruity smooth balance pairs perfectly with light tapas, spicy Asian dishes, and goes especially well with chocolate rich desserts...yum I gotta try it with that!!

I found it to be very light and a little easier to drink than the traditional red wine...especially in a warm climate where a cold refreshing drink is always a treat!

Has anyone else heard of this before?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Las Carretas

The other day I had a huge craving for Mexican food....tasty ground beef...tons of cheddar cheese...tangy sour know...the works!

So R and I headed over to Las Carretas for a spicy hearty meal and we weren't disappointed.

I decided to get a chili chicken soup and potato skins as I wasn't too hungry....while these weren't the typical Mexican choices (tacos, enchiladas etc.) the flavors hit the spot!

On the menu this soup is described as the cure for all ailments and I can believe that! It's a spicy chicken broth filled with all sorts of veggies that come together in a very bold flavor...bursts of chili, pepper, cilantro, and tomato escape upon my first slurp...the whole bowl is finished in no time...Next up come the potato skins which satisfy my initial craving for the ground beef, cheddar cheese, and sour cream...I always love a good baked potato and these were delicious! The spiced ground beef added a rich dimension to the mild potato skins...
Finally I finished off my meal with a typical all American brownie...I hadn't had one of these in a while...pretty much since I left the states...which would mean it's been about 2yrs now. After the first bite I couldn't believe I went so long without it...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's not's me...

My Dearest Garlic,

I know I haven't been very fair to you lately and that things have been kind of rough. You've spent many nights at home alone waiting for me to return and yet I've been neglecting you with excuses of work and such. I really have tried to put some effort into our relationship...but without a kitchen to call my own I really can't give you the attention you desire.

I still love you but I can't be there for you like I once was and it hurts me...but I'm sure it hurts you even more...

We've had some good times though... I can still remember the first time I met you as you sat upon that bed of potatoes...It was love at first sight...and no one can deny that! There was also that time I roasted a 40 clove garlic chicken...or the time when I added you to parmesan mashed potatoes...or even the time I minced you up raw...added a dash of soy sauce and enjoyed you with rice and sambal...good times...good times...

Which is why you should have more than I can currently give you...they do say if you love someone set them free...if they return you know they were yours to begin Garlic, I'm setting you free...I hope one day we can meet again and rekindle our love...once I have my own beautiful kitchen and I can give you what you deserve...I'll make an honest man out of day I promise...

But for now I think it's best we go our separate ways...I'll miss you...



**Read here about how Garlic and I first fell in love

Also, if you'd like to join my group on facebook click here

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

.99 Steak & Chops

I have officially found a great value for money western style restaurant...not only is the food good...the portions are HUGE...and the prices are extremely reasonable...

I happened to stumble upon this place one night after my belly dancing class...I was tired and hungry and I just needed some comfort food...I walked along the row of restaurants and .99 Steak & Chops seemed to be filled to the brim with patrons. I took a look at the crowd and I figured the food must be good so I took a seat...
I looked through the menu and saw that the prices were much lower than one would expect in a western restaurant so I was a bit skeptical...the food either tastes bad...or...the portions are incredibly small...

Either way we had already sat down and so we proceeded to order. R was not feeling particularly hungry and so when he saw that the king burger was only RM7.5o he figured it would be a nice small bite...possibly something along the lines of a Ramly Burger. I opted for something to refuel my energy after my workout and so I chose the spaghetti with mushrooms and chicken tossed in olive oil(RM10).

When the food arrived we were shocked! This was the small burger R was expecting:

It was HUGE! The burger comprised of a thick juicy beef patty, an egg, cheese, coleslaw and all the usual trimmings(lettuce, tomato, onion etc)...served with fries and brown sauce on the side...all this for only RM7.50! tasted really good too...not quite Fogals...but at this price you'll enjoy it even more.

My pasta was another pleasant surprise...Out came a huge bowl filled with spaghetti topped with mushrooms, grilled chicken, chicken ham, garlic, basil, parsley, and chili flakes...all tossed in olive oil. This was very flavorful and the portion was so large that I could not finish it. I would recommend that two people share this.

Their motto is "Now everyone can eat" and I certainly agree!

This was a very satisfying meal and you don't have to dig too deep in your pockets to really enjoy yourself. If you find yourself in the Taman Tun area I suggest you drop by for a bite!

.99 Steak & Chops
Persiaran Zaaba, TTDI
Along the same row as Perodua / Porto Romano / Canadian Pizza

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Swamped with work!

I have been so incredibly swamped with work that not only have I not been able to blog...but I've barely eaten out and I haven't even had the chance to cook...which in turn gives me absolutely no material to entertain you what does a blogger do when faced with such a situation?

Cut and paste a food review she's already written for her magazine of course...I got the chance to review the St. Patrick's Day menu at Delaney's Irish Pub for our March I figured I would share it with goes:

Where is one able to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in Kuala Lumpur with traditional Irish food and entertainment? There is no better place than at Delaney’s where there are no strangers, only friends we've yet to meet.

St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day that takes place on 17 March. It is a day to celebrate Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. The most well known custom on this occasion is the practice of wearing green, the color of shamrocks and the national color of the Emerald Isle.

While you won’t find green beer here, Delaney’s will be offering all sorts of Irish specialties on the menu along with cheerful entertainment.

As I sat down to take in the friendly atmosphere I was presented with a pint of Guinness and Kilkenny to start off with. I found both to be very pleasant and smooth.

After the drinks, a slew of traditional favourites followed...

a Beef and Guinness pie - Juicy pieces of beef in a rich Guinness sauce
an Irish Lamb stew- Tender stewed lamb with mashed potatoes

Colcannon- Mashed potatoes topped with cabbage and scallions...

Pork medallion - Pork fillets wrapped with bacon

and even black pudding.

The pie is very rich with a tender piece of meat with each bite. The fries served on the side are wonderful when dipped into the thick sauce. On the lighter side, the Irish stew is cooked in a clear broth with chunks of lamb and is served with mashed potatoes at the bottom of the dish to thicken it. The colcannon is a typical side dish of mashed potatoes topped with cabbage and scallions; it’s a perfect accompaniment to any of the main dishes. The pork medallion is tender and comes seared and wrapped with a piece of smoky bacon for added flavour. As for the black pudding, it was my first time trying such a I was a little apprehensive at first... but I found the flavours to be pleasant and not too overwhelming.

Once the plates were taken away I was offered an Irish coffee. This is a strong mix of Jameson Whiskey, coffee, hand whipped cream, and chocolate powder. It had just the right kick to send me on my way home.