Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2010!

A quick one to wish all my friends Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Be safe and drive safe, have a good celebrations and holiday!

I’ll leave you with this Raya greeting from Belacan dan Paku, a duo of Mat Salleh who were volunteers in Sarawak for a year or so. Impressive how quick they grasped the Malay language, heh! Do check out their YouTube page to watch the rest of their video uploads.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab @ Desa Sri Hartamas, KL

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Desa Sri Hartamas Apparently spicy crabs are a major Hong Kong thing. It’s not a crab species, but a special cooking style from the Tanka people; something about living in boats as shelters during typhoons.

I do not know much about the history or popularity of spicy crabs as I am not into Hong Kong TVB dramas. Also I was not paying much attention to Eric, the manager of Causeway Bay Spicy Crab who told us the story of the restaurant’s origins. There was food on our table and I had to eat it. Priorities!

Three months ago, Causeway Bay Spicy Crab from Hong Kong opened its first international branch at Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. That’s Malaysia and not any other ASEAN countries! We should be gratified that we’re internationally well-known foodies!

Since I can’t possibly repeat myself throughout this blog post, I’m going to summarise everything that we had to eat at the restaurant with: it was good and you should go try it. Eric wasted no time in bringing out their signature crab dish, the…

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Signature garlic and chilli crabs

Authentic Garlic & Chilli Crab (RM80)! Crabs covered in a mountain of crunchy fried garlic, very aromatic and tasty! You can choose the level of spiciness that you’d like your crabs to be. We had it medium spicy which I thought was not very spicy (according to our Malaysian tastebuds) but a safe level to order. You can’t have it TOO spicy, else the taste and flavours of other spices would be drowned out.

According to Eric, they use 400g of garlic for every such crab dish. They easily use up 100kg of garlic every few days, for reasons you can see in the photo above! In Hong Kong they use Sri Lanka crabs, but here in Malaysia they get Sabah crabs, which are also big and juicy, yum!

When you’re done with the crabs, you may find yourself munching off the rest of garlic as we did. Either by itself or creatively combined with other dishes. Pure addiction, I tell you…

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Chicken Gristle, Squid with Salted Egg Yolk

Chicken Gristle with Chilli and Salt (RM16 for a Small portion as per photo shown). The gristle is yun kuat in Cantonese, otherwise known as soft bones or cartilage. When it comes to bak kut teh, I love the meats to be yun kuat because they are just so much nicer. I wasn’t so sure about the chicken’s as I never had it before. Not bad, the meat is soft and tender but I easily got annoyed with the cartilage itself. Didn’t stop me from eating.

Fried Squid Rings with Salted Egg Yolk (RM22 for a Medium portion as per photo shown). Absolutely fantastic, as how squid in salted egg yolks should be. Not too wet and not too dry; if you love this dish then you’d understand what I’m saying. Causeway Bay Spicy Crab’s squid in salted egg yolk is a close favourite after my ultimate favourite at Wong Ah Wah, Jalan Alor.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Duck's Tongue, Sauteed Frogs

Here are the things that I do not eat, the Duck’s Tongue with Chinese Chives (RM24 for a Medium portion as per photo shown) and Sauteed Frogs in XO Sauce (RM35 for a Medium portion as per photo shown). My dining companions loved them, so I suppose they were good. I saw in the menu that they have ‘Steamed Frogs in Lotus Leaf’, something that I’ve not seen before so it’s rather unique.

Among other ‘exotic’ dishes that I spotted in the menu: Sauteed Chicken Feet with Ginger Paste, Deep Fried Silverfish with Chilli and Salt and Crispy Pig’s Intestines (yum! I’m going to have to order this the next time I’m there).

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Crab Congee, Beancurd with Seafood

Crab Congee (RM80 for a Large portion as per photo shown). Rice congee is awesome. Rice congee cooked together with crabs defies awesomeness! Note that they are cooked TOGETHER, not separately then served together like a lot of other places do. Hence the rice bits soak up the crab’s sweetness = win.

Steamed Fried Beancurd with Egg White and Seafood (RM20 for a Small portion). Steamed then fried (? or the other way round?) tofu stuffed with mushrooms, prawns and scallops etc. Lovely, good by itself but it’s one of those dishes that taste better with white rice.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Kim, ShaolinTiger, Horng, Suanie, Haze, KY
With Kim, ST, Horng, Haze and KY

Notes:

  • Air conditioning is freezing cold, which has been remarked to Eric. Makes the food go cold otherwise.
  • Order the honey green tea, it’s very refreshing!
  • They do not have dessert at the moment but sometimes the chef would come out with different things, which may be presented FOC to the customers. We had gui ling gao which was very nice!
  • Prices are slightly on the higher side, though the food quality is well-matched.
  • The restaurant is behind Souled Out, at a row of shops between 7-11 and a pub.
  • I’m waiting for my bro-in-law to take me there. Looking at you, Mister Hew!

It was a very good dinner, thanks for having us!

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
26 Jalan 30/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +60-3-6205 2280
GPS: 3.16347, 101.64898
Website: www.spicycrab.com.hk

Things your aunt do when you have a milk moustache

If you ask me what’s the most awesome thing about having a nephew, I’d tell you that he makes an excellent blog post filler. Oh sure, family yadda yadda sister’s son yadda yadda.. but hey, I have no excuses.

In this case, it’s not even particularly clever. But that’s what fillers are for, eh? You know, those brain-drain times…

Ryan Got Milk

Trattoria Cucina Italiana – an Italian food affair

Trattoria Cucina Italiana @ Rohas Perkasa, Kuala Lumpur @missyblurkit invited us to sample some food at Trattoria Cucina Italiana, an Italian food establishment in the middle of KL city centre. I learned two things that day:

1) Italian food goes beyond pizzas and pastas; and
2) When @missyblurkit says, “let’s have some Italian food”, she really meant, “let’s have a feast with food enough to feed 10,000 starving soldiers.”

Trattoria Cucina Italiana is located at the ground floor of Rohas Perkasa, which is opposite the infamous Beach Club and Thai Club, at the junction of Jalan Perak and Jalan P. Ramlee. Its bright blue with yellow lettering signboard is quite visible from the main street. It has been remarked that their signboard didn’t seem in tune with their delightful offerings, but I suppose it’s their corporate identity. Free parking along the same road is available for patrons.

For (the many, many) starters, we were served bread with vinegar and olive oil which is one of my absolute favourite things to eat. Then the antipasti came..

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Italian cheese platter Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Baked eggplant pie with mozzarella and tomato
Cheese platter and baked eggplant

Italian cheese platter with marmalade (RM37). I tried all of them except the blue cheese because I’m not a blue cheese kind of person. They all taste really fresh and wonderful, especially when combined with the fruit preserves. Baked eggplant pie stuffed with mozzarella and tomato (RM23), this was a winner with me as I love eggplants! Wish I didn’t have to share, heh.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Assorted salads and buffalo mozzarella cheese
Salads and cheese

Tuna salad (RM26), Caesar salad with chicken, beef bacon (RM26) and Mixed seafood salad (RM27). The salads were rather good and the portions quite large, very generous servings. I’d imagine having an order of salad for lunch and I’d be stuffed. All the greens were fresh and crunchy, no indication of yellow, frail, dying leaves in sight.

But enough of all that. I want to draw your attention to the photo on the 2nd row, on the right. It looks like a scoop of vanilla ice-cream served with tomato slices and salad, doesn’t it? Well that’s the Fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese (RM33) like how Italians eat it and it was yummy! The soft and moist, velvety cheese almost melts in your mouth, it’s slightly bland yet has a milky taste. Went well with the fresh tomatoes. I would only share this with someone I like very, very much.

Then came the home made pastas!

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Assorted pasta
Pasta, pasta, pasta

Black ravioli stuffed with seafood with creamy salmon sauce (RM32), Spinach pappardelle pasta in creamy mushroom sauce (RM29), Spaghetti with mixed seafood in cherry tomato sauce (RM35) and Oven baked gnocchi with creamy Bolognese sauce and mozzarella cheese (RM34).

My favourites were the green pappardelle (very tasty) and the baked gnocchi. The latter is just so addictive, something about potatoes being an ingredient? Add in meaty Bolognese and cheese, it being a comfort food is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Pasta, Risotto, deep fried seafood, pizza

Cappalleti stuffed with cheese in cream and turkey ham sauce (RM31), Risotto with truffle scented porcini mushroom (RM38), Deep fried squid and prawns with fried vege (RM45) and Carnivora Pizza – tomato, mozzarella, beef salami, chicken sausage and turkey ham (RM68). The cappaletti was okay, I suppose at that point I just had too much creamy stuff. Me not a fan of creamy sauce. Not a fan of risotto either, but my fine dining companions loved it so I suppose it was good.

The seafood fritters was good, the seafood fresh and the batter light. Now for the pizza… it was GINORMOUS! They recommend it for 3 to 4 people, but that’s only if you do not plan on having much of anything else! Even though it was big, it was still crispy and nice. Don’t worry, Trattoria serve normal sized pizzas also, the big tray ones are just a lot more impressive.

Remember the part about feeding a legion of solders and not just 8 people? Then came the meats!

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Red and White meats
Red and White meats!

1-kg T-bone steak served with chips and side salad (RM128). That was my first time seeing an entire kilogramme of steak being served in a whole. I’d heard of places where you would get free steak if you could finish off a kilo of their steak within an hour or so. Not that Trattoria offers such a thing, but now I’ve seen with my own eyes how much steak is a kilo of steak. IT’S A LOT!

Grilled marinated lamb chops served with sauteed potato and grilled vege (RM71) and Sliced grilled beef sirloin with herbs served with rocket salad and chips (RM59). I enjoyed these two dishes, more so than the ginormous steak: perhaps because the latter was just too much for me. The meats were juicy, flavourful and succulent, I also enjoyed the sides of sauteed potato. For some reason they tasted really, really good.

Grilled seafood – prawns, squid, cod fish, seabass served with mixed vege (RM126), an introduction of Trattoria’s seafood offerings. Not bad I suppose but not something I’d order for myself next time. I feel that their strength is in pasta and red meat where main course is concerned.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Food bloggers
Why dining with food bloggers is a pain in the…

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Foodies
Kim with KY, ShaolinTiger didn’t know where to start eating.
missyblurkit with Marcus, KY and Haze and ST and me and Horng.

And finally, the desserts! By this time we were all almost bursting. But you can never really say no to desserts, can you? Actually I did because I really couldn’t take it anymore, hahah. No longer the bottomless pit that I was :(

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Assorted dessert
Dolci!

Tiramisu (RM26), Creme brulee (RM22), Affogato (RM17) – vanilla ice cream with espressso and Warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream (RM26). All pretty good, you could tell by the way they were attacked. How were they attacked? Below is a series of actions of how a Warm apple cake with custard, chocolate cream and vanilla ice cream (RM24) didn’t make it.

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - The way to polish off a dessert
The right way to polish off a dessert

There you go.

To top a most hearty and excessive meal, the brilliant chef threw in a lime sherbet and chocolate liquor. Quality chocolate melted down, added with vodka (I think) becomes a palatable after-meal drink. Or as the chef said, breakfast drink for the Italians! You know, like how you’d mix Milo with alcohol. Hey, sounds like someone I know…!

Trattoria Cucina Italiana - Dessert and Chocolate liquor

Yum factor: 400%!

That was a pretty long post, wasn’t it? Well it took me 3 months to come out with this blog post as I finally got over the feeling of being overwhelmed, heh. Trattoria Cucina Italiana‘s menu is rather extensive: 18 pasta dishes, 15 red and white meat dishes, 20 pizza selection… you get the idea. If you don’t have an idea of what you’d like to have, you could spend ages just studying their menu. They have a good list of cocktails and shooters, beer and all sorts of wine (red, white, sparkling, dessert).

At first glance, their prices seems to be on the higher side. But having dined there, I understand why. Every ingredient is fresh, made to order (hence a longer serving time), and the portions quite large. You really get every sen of what you pay for.

Go give it a try, and say hi to @missblurkit when you see her there!

Trattoria Cucina Italiana, KL
Wisma Rohas Perkasa, No. 8 Jalan Perak,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2163 2368
GPS: 3.15485, 101.708711
Website: www.trattoriaasia.com

BFM Sept ’10 tweetup @ Kitchen Creatures, Centrepoint

I am a huge fan of BFM 89.9, the business radio station. Even though it’s mainly about finance and economy and grown up stuff that I don’t really care about, they appropriate a large chunk of airtime for stuff that I find interesting, enlightening and educational. Just the other day, they interviewed Julian Hyde who is the GM of Reef Check Malaysia. I learned bits about coral bleaching and the state of Malaysian corals, which I would never have known if I didn’t catch the interview.

I also felt 10x smarter after that. So everyone wins!

BFM Tweet Up Sept 2010 - Kitchen Creatures
Justin of Priority Comms, DaddyLian, Malek Ali, Freda and Vernon, Harinder, Ben and Niki!

Enough rambling. As I was saying, I’m a huge @BFMradio fan. A couple of weeks ago, they announced via Twitter that they’d be having a tweet up where BFM radio personalities would be present. I did the necessary and scored myself an invite, yay!

It was held yesterday at Kitchen Creatures @ Centrepoint, Bandar Utama. There were familiar faces and I met @vernieman for the 1st time after following him on Twitter for so long.

David Chew and Freda Liu were present, as well as Malek Ali, the dude who got the whole BFM radio thing rolling. I was rather pumped up to meet him, as I thought he did a brilliant job since listening to his interview last year during BFM’s 1st birthday do. In fact the entire BFM crew was pleasant and most attentive to ideas, suggestions and feedback.

BFM Tweet Up Sept 2010 - David Chew
David Chew taking us through the presentation

Some highlights:

  • New BFM website to be launched soon! Most likely after the Raya celebrations.
  • Cleaner, sleeker look and feel with better navigational functions to the new site.
  • “What song are you playing now ar?” will not have to be asked again.
  • David Chew is very funny.
  • Watch the show live via UStream, and selected VOD will be available.
  • Apparently Freda was caught singing on very same said Ustream channel without her awareness.
  • Podcasts available on iTunes
  • Better mobile pack thingy, I wasn’t paying attention then but it will be further improved. Something about mobi and Iphone optimised.
  • Everyone @ BFM pays attention to @BFMradio, has Tweetdeck.
  • Streaming via website is now cross-platform, not confined to just Windows Media Player, YAY!
  • From Friday onwards, listeners can call in to the studio! Just like the good ol’ days! +603-7710 9000

That’s about all that I can remember for now. The most important bit I remember was that, BFM will celebrate their 2nd birthday this coming Friday. A very special day is planned, with famous radio personalities of yesteryears invited to take over the BFM mics! You’re looking at the likes of Patrick Teoh, Faridah Merican and Yasmin Yusoff presenting BFM shows, how awesome is that?? It’s going to be a riot, I tell you.

Friday, 03 September 2010, BFM radio, FM 89.9, 7am onwards. Miss it and kick yourself where it really hurts because it’s going to be awesome! Happy birthday, BFM! :)