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Updated: 2018-02-08T21:58:46.763+11:00

 



Birthday Boy and A 'Fishful' Day

2011-11-23T16:49:10.924+11:00

Today is my dad's 76th birthday: "Bah, Happy Birthday and wishing you the very best of health!!". My dad (and my Hubby) came over to Melbourne for a visit last month and we took the opportunity to throw an early birthday celebration for him.I arranged for a family outing on our day off and since I have been wanting to do some fishing, we headed to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm in Macclesfield which is situated in the Dandenong Ranges. The entry fee ($6 for adults and $4.50 for children 4 - 14 y.o) covers park facilities, fishing rods and baits. Fish caught must be purchased and is charged according to weight. There is a fishing lake for those who wish to spend a day trying their luck but the worker told us that the lake is 'lightly stock'. We plan to have a fishy picnic lunch here hence we gave this challenging lake a miss.We were hungry and we wanted fish for lunch. And so, we headed to the 'heavily-stocked' pond instead. There are a number of ponds stocked with different sizes of rainbow trouts, and of course, the prices varies as well.Honeslty, I wasn't too keen on catching Rainbow Trout because this is what I had in mind...ATLANTIC SALMON!!Within seconds, I caught this 2kgs+ beauty!While I was still jumping around with joy, my bro-in-law and nephew also managed to catch a salmon each! My bro-in-law's catch weighed 4kgs!!! Although we wish to continue to fish, we decided to stop since we already have an accumulated 10kgs salmon for lunch! And ahem, price at $24 per kilos, we ended up spending over $200 for the fish plus extra for filleting and sashimi fee. The lady worker told us that the best time to catch Atlantic Salmon is around May/June before the salmon release its orange eggs. That is why our catch is paler in colour as compared to what we usually had. We took note of that and decided to drop by again in May next year for sure!While waiting for our lunch to be cleaned, Hubby and Nathan went to the Rainbow Trout pond to fish.There are ample of BBQ pits at the park for those who wish to grill their catch on the spot. Without wasting anymore time, we digged into our Atlantic Salmon Sashimi. The freshest sashimi I ever had in my life!Though it wasn't as sweet and flavourful as expected (due to the salmon just released its egg), we were quite surprised with the firmness and 'bounciness' of the texture. Not bad at all.Nathan requested for the sashimi slices to be grilled and surprise surprise, it was so tasty that the adults immediately stood around the BBQ pit with chopsticks in hand all ready to dig in! My nephew ended up sitting at the picnic table enjoying his lunch alone. Hehe!Our family's MASTERCHEF !!Nathan's Rainbow Trout was super awesome!! Aiyooo...we really regretted being overly excited with the salmon pond because the Rainbow Trout tasted even better and way way way sweeter! Next trip, we shall just catch ONE salmon for sashimi and focus on Rainbow Trout. Yummy...I could easily finish off one whole fish myself, ok make it 2!Grilled salmon fish head lightly sprinkled with salt....yummy!!!! Omega-3 overdosed!!!Nathan with his satisfying smile. He really look forward to fish again.Hubby didn't manage to fish but it's ok, wait till May next year.The handsome Birthday Boy with a big smile on his face. Needless to say, he enjoyed the outing too!Australia Rainbow Trout Farm is located at:26 Mulhalls RoadMacclesfieldVictoria, Australia Melway Ref 125 J3Phone/Fax: (03) 5968 4711Opens daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Christmas day[...]



SYDNEY FISH MARKET

2011-09-21T16:09:02.227+10:00

Where was my 2nd destination in Sydney?Sydney Fish Market, of course! A seafood paradise for seafood lovers! According to their website, it claims to be the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan! Apart from supplying seafood to the wholesale and retail market, the market also conducts weekday wholesale auction as well as cooking classes! Not only that, "Behind-the-scene-tour" is available on weekday (booking is required). Sadly due to my short stay in Sydney, we decided to give it a miss. Otherwise, it would be really interesting to witness the auction process, sashimi pavillion (slurps!), as well as a visit to the crab and lobster pen!Seafood seafood EVERYWHERE!! There are a number of retailers and restaurants at the market, making you feel a little bit lost because you just don't know where to start! Spotted these very tempting blanched King Crab legs waving at me (I was still in a daze from all the excitement). I am not a fan of cold seafood, otherwise, they would be mine, mine, mine!Oysters shuck on the spot, nothing gets fresher than this! Hubby and I started off with one dozen each! I was a little more excited than usual because this was my first dozen of Sydney Rock Oysters!Two words....EXTREMELY GOOD! Though we didn't go for the highest grade, I was very satisfied with these. It was so rich and milky in flavour, I had 'oyster breath' for the next couple of hours. I am serious about the 'oyster breath'!!Surprise surprise, I spotted Coffin Bay (South Australia) oysters too! Coincidently, I have just finished watching a HK food program raving how good they were. Since I don't foresee myself having the luxury for a short holiday to South Australia in any near future, I decided to have a go for it. Time for cooked seafood to fill up our tummies. There are so many restaurants inside the market to choose from and everything looked so good! Spotted every tables having seafood platter, I decided to go for it as well, can't go wrong since everyone is having it right? WRONG!! My mind wasn't working right with all the excitement. I should have known pre-fried seafood cooked in batched and then placed in a bain-marie is a big NO-NO!! What was I thinking???I couldn't remember how much I paid for this Lobster platter for 2 but definitely not cheap. Lots of chips hidden underneath and the seafood were nothing memorable at all. Ahem, some were even cold! I was so upset with myself for wasting our tummy space quota. Luckily I bought a pack of fresh Sea Urchin earlier from one the fish stall for only $12.99!Though it wasn't as sweet and flavourful as those hand-carried back from Japan, I was still very happy with it.Hubby knew I was very disappointed and upset with myself over the disastrous meal. He suggested to have another meal before we go. We headed over to Peter's Fish Market and bought a raw barramundi as well as half dozen of green-lipped mussels. We pay a little bit extra for cooking charges (they charge according to the weight of your raw seafood) to have them grilled. When Hubby came back with the food, I was so surprised. The fish was wonderfully crispy on the outside while the flesh still juicy and sweet. I don't really fancy mussels but I was hooked. It was so fresh and sweet, so different from those I had before. If only I had tummy space, I will definitely go for more! Thanks Hubby, next time you do the ordering ok?For more information such as trading hours and how to get to the Sydney Fish Market, check out their website HERE. [...]



Harry's Cafe de Wheels @ Sydney

2011-09-06T15:40:03.762+10:00

I first heard of Harry's Cafe de Wheels many year ago while watching Anthony Bourdain on TV savouring away a very "mouth-watering-looking" pie topped with mashed pea and potato. I told myself back then if I ever happen to visit Sydney, this would be in the top of my must-try list. Fast forward to June 2011, Hubby came for a short visit and I grabbed the opportunity to make a short trip to Sydney. Keeping firmly to my promise, Harry's was our first stop after dropping off our luggages at the hotel. Founded in the late 1930s, the first Harry's Cafe de Wheels operated in a caravan at Woolloomooloo dockyard. It became so successful, today it has expanded to 7 outlets throughout Sydney. For more of Harry's history, click HERE. We visited the Haymarket outlet since it is the nearest to our hotel.What's in Harry's menu? PIE PIE PIE AND MORE PIES! But I knew what I wanted....I want the exact pie that Anthony Bourdain had!!! So here it is....Harry's Tiger!!!As the name suggests, Harry's Tiger is their signature pie consisting of lean beef pie served with mushy pea and buttered mashed potato drizzled with tasty brown gravy. The mushy pea and mash potato was simply marvelous! Fluffly yet smooth and creamy. Delicious! However the beef pie was quite a let down, simply nothing special to brag about. I wonder if it was because I had high expectation or did the mushy pea and mash potato stole all the limelight? Overall, I still enjoyed it very much.Being a fan of Hot Dog, Hubby had the Hot Dog de Wheels which is also the house special. The smoked Viennese frankfurt was served with mushy peas as wel as chilli con carne, cheese sauce and chilli sauce. It was HUGE! Not recommended to messy eater, ahem...like me!Hubby was not impressed with the Hot Dog as he had better ones in Melbourne. I don't mind returning to Harry's just for the mushy pea and mash potatoes. YUMMY! After our first meal, we hurried off to our second MUST-GO destination in Sydney. Wanna take a guess where we went? Well, next post I promise.For the location and operating hours of Harry's Cafe de Wheels outlets, you can visit this LINK.[...]



FIRST DAY OF SPRING 2011

2011-09-01T12:23:42.841+10:00

Yay! My favourite season is here again! Flowers flowers blooming everywhere. Even Hubby's dwarf nectarine and peach tree is flowering. They are just ooo-sooo-pretty!!!! Honestly, I thought the trees were dead since it has been dried up for months and left with only twigs. Surprise surprise, they survived the cold winter and I am proud to show off to Hubby that I didn't kill his beloved trees afterall. *phew* Hubby blueberry tree has grown quite a lot for the past one year. I am expecting lots of harvest this year. One thing for sure, it's gonna be the best best blueberries that money can't buy! Bunches and bunches of blueberry blossoms. So pretty!! That reminds me to get some netting to cover them as I heard birds love them too! Another surprising discovery!! Remember the pink tulips I planted last year? I thought I got rid of them after it wilted but somehow, the bulbs were still left inside the ground. So I will be expecting another batch of pretty bloom this year. This time, I will not pull them out and hopefully they will regrow every year. My veggie patch is all ready for some serious planting. However bro-in-law said for this year, the veggie patch will be his because he already have a big project in mind. He said he gonna plant lots and lots of chili trees to supply to our restaurant business. Well, how could I object to that? Since I have to give up my veggie patch, this year I will only embark on two small projects. First, I am going to try planting artichoke since the instruction says that I could plant it in a pot. It will be interesting to see how it will turn out to be. Definitely will snap some photos and update on the progress here. My second project is to grow one of my all-time favourite flower....lavender! Spotted this Lavender growing mix at a Reject Shop for only $6! I wonder how long it gonna takes to harvest my first bunch of lavenders? This September is very special to me because it also marks my 2nd year stay in Australia. Yes, it means I have fulfilled my residency requirement. Time flies, isnt it? Another good news is, Hubby already bought his one way ticket to join me here in March 2012. As for my two precious boys, of course they will be coming over too, hopefully the same time or even earlier than Hubby. I really look forward to being with my boys again.... *so miss them* [...]



Authentic Malay Food @ Selera Singapore Asli, Forest Hill

2011-08-24T17:40:10.906+10:00

It's about time to put up a blogpost after a 3-month hiatus from the blogosphere. I have to stop making excuses that my business is taking too much of my time when the real reason is because I have been too hooked up with games (both in Facebook and iPhone). I predict my addiction will only get worse when I get my ipad2 in October (yay!). Anyway, today is my off day and I decided to bring my camera with me to my lunch destination, a place that I have been visiting 3 WEEKS IN A ROW! I have heard numerous ravings from my Malaysian customers about this Malay restaurant selling very authentic Nasi Lemak Bungkus which is located in Forest Hill, just 10 minutes away from my place. And so, on a raining Wednesday morning three weeks ago...."I WENT, I TRIED AND I AM HOOKED"!!! The restaurant is run by a Mak Cik (it means "auntie" in Malay) originated from Batu Pahat, Malaysia and true enough, the nasi lemak bungkus wrapped with banana leaf is really authentic. Honestly, I find it way better than most nasi lemak bungkus I have tried in Malaysia. Priced at A$5.50, it came with a big portion of coconut-pandan fragrant rice, heaps of crispy peanuts and ikan bilis, cucumber, a slice of omelet and generous amount of the spicy sambal. I find the sambal a little bit lack of sweetness and I thought adding just a little bit of sugar would be perfect. Nevertheless, am very contented with this rare find. Today, my bro-in-law decided to tag along since I have been raving about this place on and on and on. Of course, the nasi lemak is a MUST! Apart from Nasi Lemak, this restaurant also offers other Malay dishes such as Nasi Campur, Nasi Sambal Goreng, Lontong, Mee Rebus, Mee Goreng, Mee Siam, Nasi Briyani, Rojak , Sate and even Kuih and a number of sweet Bubur. Mak Cik told me some are only available during weekends as the crowd is not as good during weekdays. Having no idea how Malay Laksa is like, Bro-in-law decided to give it a go. It was rich and flavourful, tangy too. I am a very loyal person, so I shall stick to the nasi lemak till am sick of it. We also managed to try a few dishes from the bain-marie and my favourite has got to be the fried chicken marinated with turmeric and spices. Bro-in-law was really impressed with the fried chicken that he even had an extra piece before we went off. Curry Chicken was a big disappointment as it lack in taste and the gravy is too watery. The beef rendang is pretty decent too! Sambal Sotong.....one word....SPICY!!!!! No, make it two words....VERY SPICY!!!! Another favourite of mine, Sambal Ikan Bilis with Kacang (Anchovies and Peanuts) at A$5.00 a tub. Seriously addictive and perfect with rice or eaten as snack. Sadly, they don't have any today. Seems like I will be hanging around at this restaurant every Wednesday till I am sick of it, but how could one say "NO" to a good plate of Nasi Lemak, agree? Selera Singapore Asli is located at: 334 Springvale Rd Forest Hill, 3131 Victoria, Australia Tel: (03) 9878 0310 Opening Hours: Wed - Sun (9 a.m. - 7 p.m.) Mon - Tues (closed) [...]



MY FOUR HOURS IN GUANGZHOU

2011-05-11T16:35:23.697+10:00

An opportunity to go away for a holiday is extremely rare and precious to me now. Gone were the days when I could just spontaneously book an airticket and fly off the very next week...sigh. Depriving of a holiday, Hubby decided to squeeze in a 4-day food trip into my "already-very short-12-day" homecoming visit. The 4-day food trip includes Guangzhou, Humen, Macau and Hong Kong..very ambitious, weren't we?It was my first trip to Guangzhou and I was told again and again, Guangzhou offers the very best of Cantonese cuisine. Mr B, our friend/host in Guangzhou told us before our trip that he will be bring us for a very yummy steamboat lunch as soon as we arrived, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to it. Well, thanks to the system breakdown at the KLIA control tower, our flight was delayed for more than 2 hours! We were hungry (who said MAS serves good nasi lemak? ) and cold (it was a rainy winter evening) when we reached Guangzhou.Traffic was bad that evening, so Mr B took us to his favourite neighbourhood restaurant for dinner. He told us that there is a very special dish here that we MUST try. First dish to arrive..."Steamed Salted Chicken with Wine" served with a small bowl of chicken gravy, no no, "chicken essence" more like it! It was delicious! Forget about the calories and cholesterol (not that I care), the crunchy chicken skin was just to hard to resist! The meat was so flavourful and I just love the slightly chewy texture. I could easily finish off the whole plate of chicken myself.We ordered a bowl of steamed rice to share and I ended up having the most of it because the "chicken essence" I mentioned earlier tasted OHHH SOOOO GOODDD with rice!!!Feeling greedy, I requested another serve of chicken, this time, just plain Steamed Chicken. A big let down as it was bland and cold. I was too shy to request for another serving of the Salted Chicken I had earlier cos the boys already ordered a long long list of other dishes.The long long list of dishes of course includes Mr B's 'Must-Try" dish. Can you guess what it was?TOADS!! Though it looks exactly the same as paddy frog, texture wise, this has more bites to it. Slightly chewier and the meat is so much sweeter. The toads were deep fried in light batter and then toss with Maggi seasoning sauce. Very very tasty!Deep Fried Eel with Coriander Salad, honestly I couldn't remember how it tasted as I was too busy indulged in savouring every tiny morsel off the toad's bones.This dish was recommended by the lady boss, who kept asking me to take a bite while refusing to tell me what it was. She was smiling cheekily when I put the first piece into my mouth. Turn out, it was Poached Pig's Tongue! Wasn't as bad as I thought but hey, with so many good stuff on the table, I rather save my quota for other better tasting dish. And here are some veggies to balance our meal! Watercress with Dace Balls in superior stock. Simple yet tasty.This dish tasted as yucky as it looked. If not mistaken, this stew dish was Pomelo Pith (the white parts) with Goose Intestines. It tasted soft and mushy, more like a gooey paste than a stew. We ended up sending it back to the kitchen.A big surprise after a big disappointment.....Stir-Fry Kailan with Garlic and Deep Fried Lard won our hearts. Why oh why tasty food has got to be so UNHEALTHY???Stir-Fry Goose Intestine was my bro-in-law's request. Pretty tasty too!We went to pick up Mrs B and Princess B after the dinner before heading to our next destination, Humen. Just before we turn off into the highway, bro-in-law spotted a big restaurant at the roadside. Mr B told us that it is famous for eel. Needless to say, we made a pit-stop. True enough, there were LOTS, 3 HUGE tanks to be exact, of live eels slithering around....brrr...didn't feel like taking a photo of it cos it kind of scary to me to see so many eels at one time. Anyway, this is their famous dish...........huh? A bowl of shaved ice with 3 pieces [...]



MY PEA IS 8

2011-04-20T00:39:32.271+10:00

"Love at first sight"...yes, that's the best word to describe my feelings when I first set my eyes on Pea at the petshop 8 years ago. I never thought I will end up with a male Shih Tzu because I always prefer to have a female Schauzer or even a Cocker Spaniel. But I just couldn't let my eyes off Pea and so, on that fateful afternoon, an impulse purchase was made. I am so glad I did, cos I am blessed with such a wonderful gentle boy. (image)

Pea turns 8 today but sadly, this is the second time I will not be around to celebrate his birthday with him. However, Hubby promised to give him a big dinner treat tonight.

Pea, I miss you so much and I think of you every single day and I do wish that next year, we will get to celebrate your birthday here in Aussieland. Love you lots lots lots (more than Pumpkin, ok?) *my eyes tearing up already..sniff sniff*
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This is my favourite shot of the two boys, taken during my trip back home in February. Can you see that they were holding each others' paws? This is what I call...BROTHERLY LOVE!
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MY RIB EYE LUNCH

2011-04-06T16:48:04.455+10:00

Hello everyone! It has more than 2 months since I last put up a post...my bad my bad. I have been so hooked up with the games in Facebook, I just don't have the mood to sit down and squeeze words out from my brain. Speaking of brain, for those who know that I am not feeling too well lately, don't worry as I feel much better now. I was down with needle-pricking type of headache for the past 2 weeks and it was due to inflammation on my neck and lower back. My physiotherapist said that the inflammation is caused by too long hours of standing and stress. Although I can still feel the headache once in a while, I feel way better now and successfully reduce my dosage of painkiller.It's my day off today and since my neck is still a little bit stiff, I thought it would be better to chill at home. Feeling 'beefy', I decided pamper myself with a good piece of steak. Lucky lucky cos I found something new at Coles (well, at least it's new to me)..King Island Rib Eye Bone with Garlic Butter!! It claims to have won the Gold medal in the 2010 Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show.A bowl of premix Caesar Salad to go with the steak, surprisingly really fresh and tasty. I just couldn't resist the palm-sized Portobello Mushroom. I had it sliced and sauteed with the remaining oil and the garlic butter after I finished searing the steak.The pan must be really hot before putting the meat in to sear and it should be flipped only once. I wanted to enjoy the natural sweetness of the beef so I decided to omit the garlic butter and sprinkled the meat with some salt instead. I used the garlic butter to saute the sliced portobello, trust me, it was a very wise decision!Now here...presenting my lunch today......King Island Rib Eye Steak with Caesar Salad and Sauteed Portobello Mushroom with Garlic Butter! Not bad at all, tender and juicy, no wonder it claims to be Australia's Premium Natural Beef! *Hubby, are you drooling?* I love my beef bloody......complete satisfaction! Till my next post and I hope it wouldn't be too long from now.... [...]



手抓饼 Yummy Crepe in Humen

2011-01-21T16:41:35.845+11:00

My blogging bug has been bugging me for the past few days, desperately urging me to put up a post as soon as possible. I don't know where to start because honestly, since I have started the restaurant business I haven't been eating out much and even when I do, my 'used-to-be-inseparable' camera is left at home. I think my camera is lying somewhere in my drawer, I must search for it tonite because I will be needing it very soon for my trip back home. Yes yes....I will be going back to KL next month for a 12-day holiday. Hooray!!! I really miss my two precious brats a lot and of course my Hubby and my dad too!I will be going for a short holiday as well, covering Guangzhou, Humen, Macau and Hong Kong in 4 days!!! Definitely going to stuff myself crazy with yummy food. And today, am gonna post on my discovery in Humen during my trip there last year. I love trying out hawker food wherever I go. They are cheap and often comes with memorable surprises. And of course, if they are not good after the first bite, down the rubbish bin it goes. Spotting many people surrounding this lady, I went to join the queue as well. What is it? Taiwanese-style Crepe!I didn't manage to capture the whole process of making the crepe because she was working at ultra speed. I remembered once the thin layer of crepe skin is cooked on the hot plate, she cracked an egg and spread it all over the crepe skin. Then she added some bean paste, preserved radish, chives, spring onions and seasoning before wrapping it up. You can opt to have it whole or half. I couldn't remember how much it was but if I see her again next month, I will surely put it up here.I love the crunchy spicy savoury radish that goes really well with the pungent flavour from the chives and spring onions. Very filling too and could easily pass off as a main meal. Since the wrapper claimed that this is a Taiwanese-style Crepe, probably those that are visiting Taiwan can look out for this too!I hope to discover more great food on my trip home. And for now, I will be busy counting down and not forgetting creating a list of 'MUST-EAT' food! I hope the blogging bug will continue to stay in my system for quite a while. Signing off now.....................[...]



The BEST BEST Blueberries...

2010-12-01T16:12:01.014+11:00

I have just tasted the best blueberries in the world. Although it was a bit too sour, it was definitely the yummiest I ever had. Why?
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Because the blueberries are homegrown and picked straight from MY garden! Hubby bought me the blueberry tree early March this year and since then, I have been waiting eagerly for this moment. Lots of blueberries will be ready for picking for the next couple of weeks...YAY!
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Since I am putting up a blog post, I might as well update Hubby on his two babies. Bought these when he was here 3 months ago, a dwarf nectarine tree and a dwarf peach tree.
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Hubby, I am proud to let you know, your babies are growing very very well. *Grin*
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The trees are pretty small at the moment but they are already producing a number of fruits. This white flesh peach should be ready in a month or two.
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Eagerly awaiting for the white flesh nectarines too. I am thinking of freezing some of it and bring it back home for Hubby in February, am sure he will be very very happy.
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Hmmm...since I have successfully produced veggies, mushrooms, flowers and now fruits,maybe I should embark on a new project next year.....NUTS!!!! What say you?



CHAMPAGNE CRAB

2010-10-06T15:58:00.479+11:00

Have you heard of Champagne crab before? Well, it is totally something new to me. Bro-in-law (BIL) bought two huge Champagne crab as part of our welcoming dinner for Hubby who came for a 2-week visit last month. The crab looks a little like a mini King Crab, but with the sharp spines along the their legs, it does resemble Spider Crab too. For those in Melbourne who are interested to give it a try, we got it from PP Seafood Plus (No, PP doesn't stand for Precious Pea and I am in no way associated with them..hehe) in Box Hill at $35.00 per kg.Feeling adventurous, I suggested to have the Champagne Crab cooked with a new twist. Immediately I went to Safeway and grabbed two cans of Podravka Chicken Pate, priced at $1.99 per can. I am not a fan of chicken liver but I find this Croatian brand quite flavourful and most importantly, it doesn't have the strong liver aftertaste.Ahem...please excuse my finger prints. Simply too irresistible!!And so....the Champagne Crab pieces were deep fried in the hot oil.....And finally toss with BUTTER, BLACK PEPPERCORNS AND CHICKEN PATE together with bits and pieces of chopped onions and spring onions.The end result? A plate of TO-DIE-FOR BUTTER, BLACK PEPPERCORN & PATE Champagne Crab! Tasted SO SO SO SO good. Everyone couldn't resist from having 2nd, 3rd, 4th...ok, make it at least 5th helpings each. Surprisingly, the texture of the crab meat was pretty good. Firm and sweet, almost similar to mud crab. Definitely much better than the King Crab I had before.As for the crab roes, BIL saved it for another dish...something that I really love....Tada.....a bowl of Szechuan Hot & Sour Soup loaded with extreme sweetness from the crab roes. Aiyooo..am a very lucky woman!Apart from the Champagne crab, we also had a few more yummy dishes that worth mentioning here. Actually, hehehe, I want to take the opportunity to introduce on our restaurant's current promotion. Thinly sliced fresh lotus root stir-fried with slices of pre-marinated "NamYue" Pork Belly, a hit among our regular customers. This dish is currently in the special menu until the lotus root season ends. Also available, fresh Chinese Yam or commonly known as "Wai San". BIL tossed it with black fungus and snowpeas in garlic sauce and not forgetting the crunchy pork lard sprinkled on top. Ooo....so YUM!!Lastly, my dad's favourite Steamed Deep-Sea Barramundi. Just couldn't help myself from having more rice to go with the sauce.It was a perfect family reunion dinner and I can't believe that Hubby has already gone back to Malaysia for a week now. My dad is leaving this Friday too, I am feeling so sad now. But hey, at least I have something to look forward to. I am heading home for a short break on 14 February 2011, tickets already booked! I should start compiling a "Must Eat" list from now, so hey, you Makan Buddies out there (you know who you are), please make yourself free ok?[...]



HAPPY MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL!

2010-09-22T21:31:22.926+10:00

Happy Mid-Spring...oppsss...I mean Mid-Autumn Festival!! I really missed those good old times when my family used to gather under the moon to savour yummy snacks such as boiled little yams, pomelo, boiled fresh peanuts and of course, mooncakes! It is still pretty chilly during Spring night here, so all I did tonight was to lit a lantern, snap a picture and ran back inside to my well-heated room.
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With my dad around, we had quite a lot of mooncake this year...7 boxes to be exact! All the mooncakes we had were imported from Hong Kong. Pricey but definitely worth it, especially those from Wing Wah, my all-time favourite brand. I love their smooth and silky lotus paste which I suspected has got lots of lard in it. Their Mixed Nut mooncake is pretty good as well.
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A gift from our supplier: Mei Xin (or Maxim) Mooncake from Hong Kong. Spotted this at the Chinese grocery priced at A$50 (approximately RM145) a box of 4 white lotus paste with two egg yolks. Don't quite like it as the lotus paste is too soft and oily for my liking.
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I think I shall grab more mooncakes tomorrow as they will be really cheap after the Mid-Autumn Festival. For now, I shall cherish the last two remaining mooncakes! Once again, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and happy mooncake feasting!



IT'S PINK!!!

2010-09-08T18:56:30.186+10:00

UPDATES UPDATES!!! My tulips are finally blooming and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Now that I realized how easy they grow, I am going to plant more next year.
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Baby pink, so sweet and delicate. So tempted to cut it to decorate my restaurant. But since Hubby is arriving next week, I shall let it be so that I could show off to him.
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This is my most favourite of all, don't you find it pretty too?
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My beloved Nathan posing with my beloved tulips. Aaahhh....I LOVE SPRING!!!
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I Have A Date in Spring...

2010-09-01T09:37:31.646+10:00

Spring is finally here. I have been looking forward to Spring since April because I have a very special date in September. In another 2 weeks, I will get to see my Hubby who will be coming over for a short holiday. I am really excited, so much so I suddenly have the urge to blog! By the way, I feel so guilty of abandoning my blog for so long. My last post was dated back in early June and I almost couldn't remember the password to my blogger account! And I also realized Flickr has introduced new features that I was almost at lost on where to get my HTML code. ...gosh...am so outdated!!
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Another reason to be excited this Spring is because this is the first time I succeeded in planting flowers. I bought some Hyacinth bulbs in April and left it at the verandah without much care during the winter months. Surprise surprise, all four bulbs are blooming! It has got wonderful scent too. I am so tempted to place them at my restaurant's counter...hmm...should I??
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It has been my daily routine for the past one week to check on my tulips. They should be blooming any day soon. I couldn't even remember what colour I have bought. I shall take a picture and update in my blog once they bloom.
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Another flower patch in my garden. So lovely isn't it? I can't remember what they are called but they are just so beautiful.

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Hubby's blueberry plant entrusted to my care and I am proud to say, IT'S STILL ALIVE!! In fact, it is flowering now and from the look of it, there should be lots of blueberries this summer. "Hubby, are you proud of me???"
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First day of Spring falls on Wednesday (my off day) this year, an added bonus for me. Oppss..time to get ready for my Dim Sum brunch with my dad who is here holidaying for 2 months, followed by some retail therapy and especially looking forward to my Peking Duck dinner. I will update soon....it's gonna be a food-related post I promise!



HOMEGROWN MUSHROOMS

2010-05-15T20:39:51.756+10:00

I am taking my gardening skill to a new height. I just grew my first batch of mushrooms!! I bought my mushroom kit from Bunnings Warehouse. Not cheap though, at $20 per kit (approximately RM60+), I was initially doubting how much mushrooms I could grow from this small Styrofoam box. But hey, I was way too curious to give this a pass, so I happily carried my new baby home. There is a packet of mushroom compost and a packet of peat moss inside the box. A simply instruction is included. All I have to do was to spread the mushroom compost evenly over the box, followed by the peat moss. Have to keep the compost moist at all times. As mushrooms grow optimally in warm and damp conditions, I kept my baby inside the garage. In less than two weeks, mould appeared all over the compost. YAY!!!!In another week or so, white round balls were popping out here and there....they are so ADORABLE!In another 2 weeks, the mushrooms were ready to be harvested. To harvest, gently twist the mushrooms to break away from compost. I was too busy with my new restaurant and neglected my babies till I visited them yesterday morning. All along, I tot they were button mushrooms but they have turned into Portobello!!! I did a search in Google and found out that white button mushrooms are the youngest form of Agricus bisporus. If left to grow, it turns into Crimini mushrooms. When Crimini mushrooms are left to grow another 2-3 days, they turn into Portobello mushrooms. Now, isn't that amazing?? Definitely $20 well spent for the experience...now am looking forward to my 2nd harvest, 3rd, 4th and so on![...]



PAO XIANG BAK KUT TEH @ Tmn Berkeley, Klang

2010-04-28T17:18:31.374+10:00

While my huge pot of Bak Kut Teh (Pork in Herbal Broth) is bubbling away nicely on my stove, I knew it's about time to update my blog with a new post. The weather has been pretty chilly for the past few days and all I could think of is Bak Kut Teh to warm my tummy. And so, today's post...Bak Kut Teh! During my visit back to Malaysia couple of months ago, I am proud to say, I finally ventured into Klang for food. Driving into Taman Berkeley, we stumbled upon many shops offering Bak Kut Teh, not surprising as Klang is synonymous with this dish.We decided to give Pao Xiang a try since it was crowded although it was already late afternoon. While studying their menu, I was happy that they serve the meat in individual portion instead of dumping everything in a claypot. I never like the claypot version especially when lettuce, mushroom and fried beansheet are added to "adultrate" the soup. Once, I even came across Choy Sum in my bak kut teh, what a big turn off! Anyway, generally each portion is priced between RM8 - RM8.50 depending on the cut you want, RM10 for tendon and RM35 for sea cucumber.I like my Bak Kut Teh piping hot, do you? Each bowl is placed on top of a candle burner to ensure every single drop of soup is hot. Personally, I always go for milder TeoChew Bak Kut Teh over the thick Klang Hokkien version. But I am bowled over by Pao Xiang's version. It was full of flavour, not overly thick or bitter and rich with sweetness from the pork. Even my dad and bro-in-law agreed Pao Xiang is way much better than Teluk Pulai. Ok, reason being, they too are not a fan of adulterated claypot bak kut teh. Soup is refillable upon request but i noticed that they are very stingy with the soup. This is their famous string-tied piece of trotter and it is said that the tying-up process seals the natural pork flavour and prevent the meat from breaking up. It was fork tender and flavourful indeed. In fact, it was cooked to perfection especially the soft yet still chewy gelatinous skin....oooo....needless to say, it was the part where we attacked first, leaving all the lean meat to savour the last. This, if I am not wrong, is 'Sui Kuat' or small bones. Equally PERFECT skin, equally fork tender meat. This is my favourite part...known as "Ka Chak" in Hokkien. If cholesterol is not in your dictionary, go for this. Lots of skin and my favourite chewy tendon. Seriously good stuff!Another sinful serve of trotter, which part? No idea. But one thing for sure, if you like fats you will surely enjoy this. Multi-layered pork belly........our all time favourite. Moving on to some 'spare parts'.......tada.....multi-layered intestines. No unpleasant taste but I don't quite like it. I find it a little bit too thick and hard. Ahh...I could have a whole bowl of pork stomach. So tenderly delicious!Of course with all the amount of pork fats we had, hot Chinese tea is a must to wash away the oil. We ended up visiting Pao Xiang 3 times in one week. Why? Cos my dad super impressed with the Bak Kut Teh here. Can you see how satisfying he was after a hearty meal?They currently have 5 outlets, not sure if the pricing and quality the same for all, but here are the addresses:Taman Berkeley:No. 51, Lebuh BangauTaman Bekerley, 41150 KlangTel: 03 - 3342.9869Centro Mall:Lot G127 & G128, Ground Floor Centro MallNo.8 Jalan Batu Tiga Lama, 41300 KlangTel: 03-3348.8869Puchong Jaya:No. G-12 & G-14 Jalan Kenari 12BBandar Puchong JayaTel: 03-8075.3288One Utama:P282 Lower Ground Floor Promenade1 Utama Shopping CentreTel: 03-7725.2599Pavillion KLLot 6.38, Level 6No. 168 Jln Bukit BintangTel: 03-2148.6388[...]



HaPpY 7th BiRtHdAy mY dEaReSt SnOwPeA !!

2010-04-20T10:31:50.198+10:00

SnowPea turns 7 today. Sadly, I am not be around to celebrate his birthday with him this year. But I am sure Hubby will give Pea a special birthday dinner and lots of hugs and kisses (ok, maybe not the kisses) on my behalf.
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Happy Birthday, my dear precious and JiehJieh love you LOTS!! *Muacks muacks*
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"Pregnant Lady" Fried Rice

2010-04-09T16:02:04.769+10:00

No-lah!! Am not pregnant! But one doesn't need to find an excuse to savour confinement food, do we? Yumyum...am thinking of vinegared trotters and ginger chicken wine soup at this very moment! Before I dash to the kitchen to ransack my fridge, I better stay focus on my blogpost. I once came upon "Pregnant Lady Fried Rice" in a menu at one of the Chinese restaurant in KL. It is actually Ginger & Egg fried rice. Very catchy name and a perfect one too. Ginger is widely used in confinement dishes to expel wind from the body and is a safe remedy for nausea relief during pregnancy.

Very simple ingredients are used for this dish. All you need is a bowl of overnight white rice, an egg, a big spoonful of julienned ginger and spring onions (for the colour - optional).
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Heat up your wok with 1 tablespoon of oil. Crack an egg, put in the ginger and give it a good stir.
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Mix the rice into the wok, add seasoning. All I used was a few dash of fish sauce. Alternatively, you could use salt, soya sauce and even chicken granules for extra flavouring. But trust me, just a dash of fish sauce will do. Add the spring onion last and give it a good stir.
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Seriously, it only took me 5 minutes to prepare this dish. So easy, so simple and so tasty! If you love ginger, do give this recipe a try! Hmm...maybe I should put this into my menu too..hmm.
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THE KING & I

2010-04-01T18:04:37.006+11:00

Few nights ago, my brother-in-law managed to set us a dinner date with someone from the royal family. He is the King of all crabs...KING CRAB!! This is my first taste of a king crab, boy oh boy, can you imagine how excited I was?
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Before the King was presented to us, we were served Hot & Sour soup with special added ingredients....chunks and chunks of sweet crab roes from the King! Finely shredded bamboo shoots, wood-ear fungus and Cha Siu (BBQ pork) were also added into the soup for crunchy texture. I find the soup wasn't hot and sour enough but with a dash of pepper and red vinegar, it was very terrific!
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King's body was stir-fried with ginger and scallions served over noodles at the bottom of the dish. The noodles were delicious as it fully coated the gravy from the crabs. This is a common style of cooking crabs here. It is one of my favourite style as the gravy is not too overpowering, hence you can still taste the sweetness of the crab.
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The crabs legs were cooked with Salted Egg Yolk but I prefer the way we do it back in KL. I find this too oily and I could barely taste the salted egg yolk.
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I find the texture of King Crab is almost similar to spider crab and flower crab. The meat is softer and more delicate but not as sweet as compared to mud crab. The King weighed about 4.5 kilograms and costs around AUD330 (~RM1,000).
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We met King at The Treasure Restaurant at Forest Hill and prior appointment to meet King is required.

The Treasure Restaurant is located at:
482 Springvale Road
Forest Hill, 3131 Victoria
Tel: 03- 9803.2388
Fax: 03- 9887.8403



FEELING BITTERSWEET....

2010-03-22T18:49:56.848+11:00

In less than 24 hours, I will be heading back to Melbourne. I couldn't believe 2 months just gone like that. I am feeling very bittersweet at the moment. Sweet because I will be seeing my nephew soon. I am also excited because very very soon I will be running my own restaurant with my bro-in-law.

BUT nothing beats the bitter feeling that is tearing my heart into pieces now. I am so gonna miss my two boys.
Sigh...
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I am just not in the mood to talk about food right now cos I am feeling really bittersweet.
Food posts (lots and lots of it) will resume once I settle back in Melbourne. Ciao!!



YAM PUFFS @ SS3 Pasar Malam

2010-03-04T18:03:42.016+11:00

Getting lost in an unfamiliar housing area during a heavy thunderstorm and congested traffic is not funny at all, especially when everyone in the car (WMW and Jason) were looking forward to a pre-dinner snack! We were supposed to be meeting Andrine at the SS3 pasar malam (night market) to try the yam puffs that WMW was raving about. I stopped the car at the roadside with my hazard light on while waiting for Andrine to rescue us. Since it was still pouring heavily, we decided to head straight to our dinner place. Miraculously, the rain stopped and we immediately made a detour back to our destination! Yes, we are very determined people. This is my first visit to SS3 pasar malam which is operating every Tuesday evening. I am not sure the exact location of this Yam Puffs stall, so here is a photo of the owner of the stall for you to hunt him down. Oh, there is a Lok-Lok van right next to this stall. From what I gathered from WMW's post, the yam puffs normally sold out by 6 p.m. We were there at 6.30 p.m. and we managed to grab some to try. I guess we should be thankful for the thunderstorm. The tasty pork fillings were still lukewarm when I bit into it. I enjoyed every bite of the crispy bits on the puff, the mushy soft yam and the moist delicious pork fillings. It was lovely!! Only RM1.40 per piece!Also available or shall I say, what's left for us to try...a few pieces of Radish Cake and Pumpkin Cake. I gave each a try. At only 80 sen per piece, it was way better than I expected. With my tight schedule (there are not many days left before I return to Melbourne), I do wish I could make a return trip to try out other interesting snacks such as Putu Buluh and Apam Manis, so WMW, shall we?? [...]



PUMPKIN TURNS 3

2010-02-22T14:48:53.500+11:00

I am so happy to be around to celebrate Pumpkin's birthday this year. Happy 3rd Birthday my dear bratty Pumpkin!! It was a hot hot day yesterday so I gave him a good cold bath.
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The many faces of Pumpkin! I managed to snap several photos of him shaking off water from his body, isn't he super adorable?
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All clean and fluffy!!!
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The serious side of Pumpkin, which is very rare. Actually, he was bored posing for me.
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After a tasty chicken drumstick for dinner, Pumpkin had a banana muffin for dessert!
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Happy Birthday KinKin!! I will try my best to be home for your 4th birthday next year!!



ROAST PORK @ GOLDEN KIMWAH, Damansara Kim

2010-02-10T17:34:47.897+11:00

I met up with my food buddies for dinner at Sg Way yesterday. I picked up WMW from her place in SS2 and it took us almost an hour (usually only 5 minutes) to reach Damansara Uptown to pick up Jason. We used the shortcut via Damansara Kim, surprise surprise...everyone is using the shortcut as well! We were literally crawling on the road when we passed Golden Kimwah coffee shop, a place where Hubby and I drop by once in a blue moon for breakfast. WMW got excited as that's her favourite stall for roast pork aka siu yoke. Since we barely moved an inch, I made a quick pit stop. WMW jumped off the car to grab some roast pork while I took out my camera and snap a photo of the coffee shop from inside my car. According to WMW, there are two operators operating from the same stall, one during lunch hour and the other for dinner. The roast pork is from the night operator. At RM13 per strip, WMW bought 2 strips for us to try. The roast pork is perfectly cut into small bite sizes and each piece is proportionately layered with meat and fats topped with golden skin. It was still warm when I popped the first piece into my mouth, verdict? DELICIOUS!!! The skin is crispy, the meat is juicy and the fats...ooo...melts in your mouth. If I get a box of these roast pork each time I am stuck in a traffic jam, honestly, I wouldn't mind at all. After picking up Jason, we headed to SS3 to grab Yam Puff (that would be another post) from the night market. It started to rain and we got lost in SS5 and couldn't locate the pasar malam. I stopped my car at the roadside with my hazard light on while waiting for Andrine to rescue us. Psstt...WMW was busy praying for the rain to stop, so determined hor? The Roast Pork became my de-stress tool, a very effective one indeed. We were late by the time we reached our destination in Sg. Way for dinner. With delicious Roast Pork and yummy yam puffs we brought along to the restaurant, Jackson and Justin didn't mind at all. We decided to toss the remaining pieces of roast pork together with our Yee Sang. Sinful eh? Someone should really start off by offering oink oink yee sang...i can almost imagine using suckling pig's skin!This would probably be my last post before Chinese New Year, so taking the opportunity to wish everyone a Gong Hei Fatt Choy and may the Tiger Year brings you good health, lots of joy and happiness!!Golden KimWah is located at:Corner Shop Jalan SS20/10, Damansara Kim, Petaling JayaThe recommended roast pork is available only in the evening.[...]



YAKITORI @ SUMI-KA, Subang Jaya

2010-02-04T13:15:01.641+11:00

I love venturing for food with my Makan Gang as they eat absolutely anything and everything, with boundless appetite being the greatest bonus. Last week, we went around scouting for good food from Cheras to Ulu Klang and finally back to Subang Jaya for our last stop for the day at Sumi-Ka. Sumi-Ka is a Japanese grill house specializing in Yakitori (Japanese style grilled chicken skewer) owned by a Japanese. With open kitchen, oppss...it should be 'open-griller' concept, you can opt to sit along the counter-top to watch the Japanese chef in action. Well, provided you don't mind ended up smelling like a Yakitori from top to toe after your meal.Judging from the name tag on the bottles of unfinished sake and wine on their cabinet, it is evident that their major clientele are Japanese. True enough, the place was soon filled up with Japanese expatriates coming for 'happy hour' after work.Being a Yakitori restaurant, there are more chicken dishes in the menu, with a few choices of beef and seafood. We aimed to try as much as we could, and what could be easier than ordering everything in the menu? And so, we ordered 2 skewers of everything under the chicken category ranging from RM3 - RM5 per skewers.I was never a fan of chicken innards, well, I have changed my mind now. The bite-sized pieces of chicken gizzard and heart were grilled to perfection. Seasoned with just salt, it was delicious! I didn't try the chicken liver but I heard it was good too. Heard of chicken blood vessel?? Yep, I had that too! Delicious!For the first time in my life, I finally had my first taste of chicken tail. Which part? Chicken backside lah! Initially I was skeptical to try but how could I walk away not trying when my Makan Gang kept raving about it? Once I bit on it, I couldn't stop helping myself to more. Seasoned with salt, it was really crispy and aromatic. Not oily as I expected and definitely no unwelcomed smell. I reckon it was even better than having crispy pork fats. Do try their chicken neck meat too, very soft and juicy.Take your pick! Chicken Breast Meat with Wasabi, Ume (sour plum) or Mentai Mayonnaise? If you are not a fan of breast meat, skip these and go for tender juicy thigh meat. I was told the skewer on the left was muscle meat while the one on the right is chicken thigh. Both equally good.Want something to munch on? How about Chicken Soft Bones? Chicken meatballs and pieces of chicken thigh with spring onions were drenched in tare sauce. Richer in taste and very yummy too. My favourite chicken wing was grilled to perfection. Crispy skin with juicy meat. No marinade, only seasoned with salt. Another recommendation goes to the grilled chicken skin. Why all the good stuff so unhealthy hor?Quail Eggs, who doesn't like them?Before I go on with more meat, here are some photos of the veggies we had. Complimentary fresh cabbage is given with any purchase while the grilled mushroom and green chilies is in the menu. Sadly, they don't have grilled leek in the menu and I was really longing for that. Next, we move on to beef. We had the beef ribs with spicy miso sauce and beef ribs with miso sauce. Tender but nothing memorable.I had the first piece of beef tongue in my life.....verdict?? Not too bad but I would rather save my stomach quota for chicken tail, chicken skin, chicken wings, chicken neck meat, chicken gizzard, etc..............There are also a number of special dishes written in Japanese characters on a small[...]



REGAL HOUSE @ One Bangsar, KL

2010-02-02T00:13:35.826+11:00

My first bowl of "Lap Mei Farn" (waxed meat) for the year!! To me, Lap Mei Farn is a once-a-year delicacy during the Chinese New Year. This year, I am very lucky to sample a range of waxed meat brought in all the way from Yung Kee Restaurant, the famous Michelin-awarded roasted goose restaurant in Hong Kong. True enough, 'branded' stuff really makes a huge difference. I am totally in love with the preserved goose liver sausages which is so rich in taste and the presence of Chinese wine in every bite! The waxed duck was good too. It wasn't overly salty and it didn't have the usual 'oily' smell that you find in waxed duck. The waiter was scooping the waxed-meat-infused-rice into individual bowls before I rushed over for a photo. It smells so so so good. I would have no problem having it on its own without the waxed meat as it was bursting with flavour. One bite and I could taste bits and pieces of salted fish added into the rice for extra ommphh! Big thumbs up! At the end of the meal, everyone was eyeing for the burnt bits and scrapped the claypot clean! The Yung Kee Waxed Meat Claypot Rice is available at Regal House at One Bangsar during the Chinese New Year season, while stocks last. Regal House is the latest addition to the One Bangsar family. The chef is from Hong Kong and Regal serves innovative cuisines inspired by traditional Cantonese culinary styles. Simple and pleasantly decorated, I was told most of the furniture and fittings were brought in from China. There are five VIP dining rooms on the first floor catered for business or private dining functions. A must to call and book in advance. I met up with my floggers sisters, Boolicious, AWOL and Paprika on my first visit to Regal House. We were quite impressed with the Deep Fried Lion Fish ( 九肚魚) in Salt & Pepper (RM13). It was lightly battered and the fish was fine and sweet. Herb-Crusted Smoke Duck with Fruit Salad, very Western style don't you think? But surprise surprise, it was the star dish of the night. The duck tasted superb! Moist and tender. The garlicky crispy bits on top goes so well with the duck! This is an appetizer dish so you can either request for it to be sliced and shared, otherwise order one serving each at RM18 per serve. Initially I wanted to try their Beef Brisket Soup but was told that I need to book it 3 days in advance as there are lots of preparation for that soup. So we settled for the Preserved Mustard Green with Pork Stomach Soup (RM68 serves 5). The soup was sweet with slight peppery taste and I spotted few slices of JinHua Ham (expensive dried cure ham from China). The Deep Fried Spare Ribs with Garlic Black Pepper Sauce (RM25) was not too bad but I find it a bit too salty for my tastebud. Goes well with rice though. The Hot Pot Kailan in Seafood Sauce (RM23) was served sizzling hot! Tried this dish once in Hong Kong and I got to say, Regal's version is milder but tastier. I love the crunchy sweet kailan stems. Vietnam Fresh Prawn Pan Fried Yee Mee was done the Hong Kong style whereas I expected it to be the local "Sang Har Meen" version with lots of egg gravy. Not too bad for a change. Our serving with two big prawns was priced at RM76 (price varies depending on the weight of the prawns). Lastly, Chilled Minty Lemongrass Flavoured Fruit Jelly to end the meal (RM9 per glass). The restaurant's manager insist we should drink th[...]