Saturday, 27 December 2014

Self Experiments: Hainanese Chicken Chop @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Today, we decided to cook the old school Hainanese Chicken Chop at home. This recipe was learnt from the Aunty at our favourite E&L restaurant. There were some slight amendments which we did. For example, instead of grilling the chicken over charcoal amber, we deep fried it just like the original style.

De-Boning The Chicken Keel
Ingredients Required:

Main ingredients:
6 pieces of boneless chicken keel
1 large can of green peas
6 medium size russet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips or wedges
3 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced

Brother Slicing The Large Yellow Onions
For the chicken batter:
2 medium eggs, beaten
Dash of light soy sauce
Dash of white pepper
1 Glass Jar of honey

For the gravy:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
10 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 Tbsp Vinegar
Dash of white pepper
4 tsp corn flour for thickening (mixed with some water)
1 cup of water

Chicken Left To Marinate a While
Cooking Methods:

Firstly, de bone the chicken keel using a fillet knife. Using the back of a knife, gently flatten the chicken keel to a uniform flatness. Then use a fork and prick the meat till it becomes tender. Coat with all the batter ingredients and let it marinate for a few minutes. 

Deep Fry The Meat

Golden Colour...The Dark Spots Are The Honey

Deep-fry until golden and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Do use a fork while it is frying as that would allow the honey to seep in. Drain and set aside. I always prefer to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil when frying.

Potato Deep Fried
Deep-fry the potato until golden. Drain and plate with the chicken.  I would always prefer to use the same oil used to fry the chicken as the honey would make the potato tasting much better.

Hainanese Chicken Chop is Ready

Hainanese Chicken Chop is Ready
Heat some oil in a pan, and fry the garlic until golden. Add the onion and fry until softened. Add in the tomatoes, all the sauces, seasonings, water, and bring to a gentle boil. Add in the peas and simmer until the peas are cooked through. Thicken with corn flour and pour over the chicken. Best when served immediately.  

Hope the above recipe would work for you as well. It is a simple preparation and does not take a culinary genius to prepare this dish. Enjoy your homemade Hainanese Chicken Chop friends!

Friday, 26 December 2014

IKEA Restaurants and Cafe @ Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya

After a day's long shopping in IKEA for furniture, we decided to have an early dinner at the restaurant here. It has been years since I stepped into their restaurant. Being a holiday, the place was extremely crowded. 

Entrance to the IKEA Restaurant

New Food Items Being Highlighted

Us Standing In Line

Such A Long Line
The place was so crowded that we had at least 30 people ahead of us standing in line with trolleys. Before getting into the line, we had to take the trolley which fits the food trays and then get into the line.

A Variety Of Food Items Available

Sandwiches and Cakes

Free Flow Of Coffee and Soft Drinks


Main Dishes

Main Dishes

Pay For The Food Items As You Check Out
Once we reached the food area, we were able to pick up the food items ourselves. There were a number of items available right from pastries, sandwiches, cakes and to main dishes. Only at the main dishes section, there were waiters that were helping with the dishes. For soft drinks and coffee, we had to pick up the cups but the collection of drinks is located at the dining area after checking out. This is made such as these two items are free flowing and one is allowed to top up any number of times. Once we were done with picking out the food, we headed over to the cashier to pay for our food items. It was so crowded that from the time that we got in line to the point when we paid, it took us approximately half an hour. Definitely not suited for a hungry tummy.

The Dining Hall

The Dining Hall
Finding a table was the next challenge. We had to stand near people that were about to finish their meals and right when they got up, we took up that table. In fact, we even shared our small table with another family as they too could not get a place to sit and have their meal.

Coffee @ RM 2.12

Sugar and Creamer

Coffee Machine
As mentioned earlier, Coffee is free flowing and we had to go over to the Coffee machine to fetch our coffee. The coffee here is excellent and I preferred to have it black. I too had a few cups as it was really good, after all you don't have to pay extra for the additional cups. I would rate their coffee at 9/10 .

Soft Drinks @ RM 2.12
Just like the coffee, the soft drinks too were free flowing and was priced at RM 2.12 . There were around four different drinks that were available and once again, one would have to get the drinks themselves at the dispensing machine. 

Blueberry Muffin @ RM 1.59 each

Blueberry Muffin @ RM 1.59 each
The Blueberry Muffin's were not that great but it was still nice. Comparing this with the muffin we get at Kenny Rogers Roasters, I would say that that is anytime better than this. I would rate this at 7.5/10 .

Chicken Spring Rolls @ RM 1.05 each

Chicken Spring Rolls @ RM 1.05 each
The Chicken Spring Rolls were very good. They were hot and the filling was delicious. Besides chicken, it was filled with hot and spicy potato curry. Loved it! I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Mazarin @ RM 2.12
This I believe is a Swedish pastry and it is called Mazarin. Soft and fluffy with a sweet and sugary coating at the top. Definitely something that I am trying for the first time and I liked it. I would rate this at 8.5/10 .

Swedish Almond Cake @ RM 6.25 each

Swedish Almond Cake @ RM 6.25 each
This Swedish Almond Cake was absolutely heavenly. It was so delicious and the cake literally melts in your mouth. Loved this! I would rate this at 9.8/10 .

Ham & Cheese Sandwich @ RM 7.31 each

Ham & Cheese Sandwich @ RM 7.31 each

Ham & Cheese Sandwich @ RM 7.31 each
This is a cold sandwich. The sandwich itself was nothing great. The bun was huge but the slice of chicken ham was very small which hardly covered the entire bun. The cheese too was very limited. This would have been much better if the ham and cheese portions had been more lavish. I would rate this at 6.5/10 .

Salmon with Lemon Sauce @ RM 14.73

Salmon with Lemon Sauce @ RM 14.73

Salmon with Lemon Sauce @ RM 14.73
The Salmon with Lemon Sauce was absolutely delicious. The Salmon cuts was just about the right thickness and size and this was topped with a lavish amount of Lemon Sauce. On the sides, there were roasted potato's. A wonderful dish served at a very reasonable price. I would rate this at 9.5/10 .

Us Enjoying Our Meal

Our Bill For The Day

At The Exit
Overall, we had a fantastic meal except for the Muffin and Sandwich which was just above average. This is definitely a good place to stop by after a busy day shopping. I would not mind returning here just for the food. The only setback was the massive crowd but I doubt that this would be the case should we come on a working day. Definitely a highly recommended restaurant!

Address: 1st Floor, IKEA Malaysia, Jalan PJU 7/2, Mutiara Damansara,
                 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 0900 - 2130
                             Friday to Sunday, Eve of Public Holidays and On Public Holidays 0900 - 2230

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Self Experiments: Four Cheese Fettuccine with Mushrooms @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

This is a fresh series that I am starting to include in my Food Blogs. It is all about our attempt to cook some of our favourite dishes at home. This time, we tried to make Four Cheese Fettuccine with Mushrooms. I shall be posting our recipes and cooking methods here just in case anyone would love to try them at home.

My Brother Slicing The Button Mushrooms
Ingredients are as follows:

1 Package (16 ounces) uncooked Fettuccine

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons of Lightly Salted Butter

2 Medium Green Onions, Chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, Diced

1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

1 Large Can of Button Mushrooms

1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

3/4 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese

3/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Cups of Mushroom Soup

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

Draining The Water From The Fettuccine
Cooking Directions:

Cook and drain the Fettuccine as per the instructions on the package. Add a dash of Salt and some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Stirring In Low Heat
Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet or a pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon parsley in oil mixture about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender.

Then add the Mushroom Soup and stir gently. Reduce heat to low. While stirring, add the sliced Button Mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Then stir in Ricotta and Feta Cheeses; ensure that the heat is on low. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until cheeses are melted.

All Ready To Be Served

Finally add the cooked Fettuccine, Asiago and Parmesan Cheeses and Pepper to mixture in a skillet. Cook about 4 minutes, tossing gently, until cheeses are melted and fettuccine is evenly coated. Sprinkle with parsley.

It is important not to overcook the cheeses in the pan to prevent sticking and burning. 

This generally takes approximately 25 minutes to cook and is good to serve 6 pax. 

Generally a simple preparation which tastes great. This was our first attempt and thankfully, it came out well. Hoping to try out more recipes soon and shall post them here. 

Restoran Ah Lek Seafood Restaurant @ Hulu Bernam, Selangor

Restoran Ah Lek Seafood Restaurant is the latest entry among the Chinese Seafood scene in Tanjung Malim. This restaurant is located on the Ulu Bernam side of Tanjung Malim which comes under Selangor, just along Jalan Changkat Asa. They have been open for about 3 months now and they seem to have quite a number of flyers going around town on their Seafood promotions. Since we were all off for Christmas today, we decided to head here for lunch. 

Restoran Ah Lek Seafood Restaurant along Jalan Changkat Asa

Ongoing Promotions

Ongoing Promotions

Interior Of The Restaurant

Interior Of The Restaurant
This restaurant is air conditioned and they have spent quite a bit on the renovations. Previously this shop lot used to be a Curry Mee stall. Somehow, every time I pass by this restaurant, they seem to be crowded for both lunch and dinner. I have heard a lot about their cheap prices.

Outdoor Seating Area

Aquarium and Fish Prices
Besides the indoor seating area, they also have an outdoor seating area. Here too, there are aquariums with a number of variety of fish and other seafood. The ongoing prices for these items too are displayed here. This is also one of those restaurants in Tanjung Malim where you get lobsters. You hardly find this variety of seafood in other restaurants here.

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.40

Coca Cola @ RM 2.00
All the staffs here were very busy and it took them a while before they could come up and take our orders. Nevertheless once the orders were placed, they were quite speedy in delivering the orders. 

White Rice
We ordered two plates of small portion and two plates with large portions. The Small rice was priced at RM 1.00 each and Big was priced at RM 1.20 each. This is quite standard across Tanjung Malim.

Sizzling Tofu @ RM 12.00

Sizzling Tofu @ RM 12.00
Their Sizzling Tofu's portion was just right and it was priced at RM 12.00 . Taste wise, it was nice but not as good as those available in other restaurants here. I would say that the preparation at Restoran Ga Onn or Fu Man is anytime better than this.  This dish mainly consisted of the Japanese Tofu, Egg and some sliced mushrooms. The minced meat was scanty and perhaps it would have tasted better if there were more of it. The broth too was not up to the mark. I would rate this at 7/10 .

Pucuk Paku Belacan @ RM 8.00

Pucuk Paku Belacan @ RM 8.00
Their Pucuk Paku Belacan was again good but once again, scored less than the other players out there. The Pucuk Paku was fresh but it lacked Belacan and with that, the entire lost it's key flavour. I would rate this at 7.3/10 . Pricing was again very decent for the volume.

Steamed Ginger Fish @ RM 10.70

Steamed Ginger Fish @ RM 10.70
Oh yes, you read it right. The entire Steamed Ginger Fish which was almost 1 Kg was priced at a mere RM 10.70 . Despite it being the Black Talapia, it is still considered to be very cheap, about half of the usual market price. Taste wise, it was not as good as it looks. In fact, the ginger was still very course and pretty much insufficient to give it the flavour needed. To me, this dish was just so so despite the price being ridiculously cheap. I would only rate this at 5/10 .

The Bill
From our dining experience here today, I would say that the prices here are ridiculously cheap but the taste was mediocre and sub-standard for the fish. From the crowd, I was definitely expecting much more from this place or did I end up ordering the wrong dishes. Only another trip down here can confirm that. I would definitely come here again and perhaps order another set of seafood dishes and hope that that would be much better compared to today. Let's see and I shall be surely be blogging about that experience too. Till then, this would be my judgement based on what I had today.

Address: No. 9, Jalan Changkat Asa, Taman Weng Cheong, 35900 Ulu Bernam,
                Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 2300 Daily

Telephone: +6012 2949 338 & +6010 867 5934