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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / June 2011

Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen is one of the latest entries on the 6th floor of Pavilion KL that has lately been on a bit of a revamp. This restaurant is situated right next to Ben’s, another very good lunch option.

Like the name suggest, Tonkatsu serves.. tonkatsu – breaded, deep fried pork cutlets with shredded cabbage and miso soup + rice. To know more there is the wiki entry.

Tonkatsu at Pavilion KL
Tonkatsu at Pavilion KL

Yesterday Suanie happened to drop by KL over lunch time, so I took the opportunity to head there with her since she was in a mood for Japanese food, and I know she isn’t too keen on raw dishes.

The menu is brief enough, there were less than 10 different sets/dishes to choose from. To me this is good, takes away all the extra time spent just to figure out what to eat. (see the paradox of choice)

make  your own condiment, very rich miso soup
make your own condiment, very rich miso soup

I chose the first set, Hire Katsu Zen (RM 29), and suanie opted for set number 3, Hire Katsu + Rosu Katsu zen (RM 28).

First, a server made the fresh condiments for us (later we made more ourselves). Put some sesame in the super mini mortar & pestle, grind it till you can smell the aroma. Then add tonkatsu sauce (or Japanese Worcestershire sauce). Slightly gimmicky, but it actually works. :D

suanie says hello, imitating baja hitam, only appropriate at a jap restaurant
suanie says hello, baja hitam style, appropriate at a jap restaurant

My set came with 4 pieces of breaded pork tenderloin cutlet (hire katsu), while suanie’s was a mixed of tenderloin and pork loin (hire katsu + rose katsu).

The pork were pretty good, not as good as beef tenderloin of course, but plenty good for a piece of pork that does not involve any big chunk of fat. It was almost healthy too, since they also give free refill of those shredded cabbage.

map to pavilion

Besides several types of deep fried pork cutlets, they also serve pork belly soup, deep fried shrimps and oysters. Shall try more next time!

Address:
Tonkatsu
Lot 6.12.00
Level 6,
Pavilion KL,
Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.

GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-2144 2992

I can’t believe it took me so long for my first visit to Betty’s Midwest Kitchen.

I spent 3.5 years of my life living in Midwest in my early 20s. 2.5 years in Minnesota, and another full year in Ohio, so the meal at Betty’s definitely brought back some memory, allowing me to rekindle with the tastes I was once so accustomed to.

Betty's Midwest Kitchen
Betty’s Midwest Kitchen

We went to Betty’s on a Saturday for dinner without reservation, that was a mistake. The little restaurant was packed and we were the 7th group to be waiting for a table.

The host though, were true to Midwestern “niceness”, explained the situation to us, and asked us to wait patiently while taking our orders. So under the dim lights of the sidewalk, we inspected the menu and made our orders.

pork burger, pork chop with apple sauce, pork belly, pork chop with gravy
pork burger, pork chop with apple sauce, pork belly, pork chop with gravy

Some half an hour or so later, we were seated, and in 5 minutes, our food was served. The service was super efficient, that’s always a plus point.

Our orders were a pork burger (RM 12), 2 pork chops (RM 23), pork belly (RM 27.50), and 2 portions of pork ribs (RM 32.50 each). That was for 6 person, and yes, every dishes were of my favorite for-food animal. Lovely.

baby back ribs, Haze, KY, sister & BIL
baby back ribs, Haze, KY, sister & Jerry

And the food were good! Real hearty American food. Properly grilled and deep fried, they are as original as you can get. The pork came in big chunk and were juicy too, it’s everything you want in a proper non-halal Western style dining without being pretentious.

If you want real American food that will clog your artery and make you one step closer to joining the Biggest Loser, this is definitely the place to go, they are so good. I will be there again, this time I’ll call for reservation go on weekdays! :D

p/s: I think they don’t take reservations

map to Betty's Midwest Kitchen at Aman Suria

Address:
Betty’s Midwest Kitchen
A-G-40, Jalan PJU 1/43
Aman Suria Damansara,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.123161, 101.595329
Tel: 03-7880-0196

Not long ago my mom gave me a brand new pressure cooker that she’s kept with her for the last 10 years or so after knowing that I’ve started cooking a bit. It was a godsend, suddenly cooking soup become way faster and easier, and I think everyone who loves any sort of Chinese style soup should invest in one.

Today I’m going to share with you a very simple peanut soup with pork ribs recipe. A dish that I always love as a kid but never did get to have them very often due to the time it takes to cook using a conventional pot.

chinese peanut soup with pork ribs
chinese peanut soup with pork ribs

With a conventional pot, you’ll have to boil the soup for at least 3-4 hours to make the peanut soft, but with the pressure cooker, 30-45 minutes is all you need for the same results. This is possible because with the increase in pressure (usually at around15 psi), the water will boil in much higher temperature at 122 Celsius compared to the usual 100 Celsius, and this make a world of difference.

Ingredients:

  • raw peanuts (a small bowl is enough)
  • some pork ribs or pork bones (chicken carcass if you prefer it to be pork free)
  • 5-6 dried red dates
  • 5-6 small dried scallops for added sweetness

ingredients for peanut soup - raw peanuts, red dates, dried scallops, pork ribs
ingredients for peanut soup – raw peanuts, red dates, dried scallops, pork ribs

Instructions:

  • boil the pork separately for a few minutes to remove impurities
  • put all ingredients in the pressure cooker (including the pork after removing from pervious pot)
  • add just enough water for amount of soup you want (eg: 3 bowls for 3 bowls, this is because with pressure cooker very little water is evaporated, they are kept as steam within the system instead)
  • boil in pressure cooker for 30-45 minutes

pressure cooker working!
pressure cooker working, check out the little bronze stem

Pressure cooker consume quite a lot less cooking gas compared to a conventional pot too. After bringing the water to boil and the cooker to working pressure (indicated by the bronze valve being “erected”), usually achieve within a few minutes, the fire can be turned down low to keep the same pressure. I believe with this you’ll save at least 3-4 times the amount of cooking gas needed.

The result is old fashion peanut soup that is good for the soul. The peanut is soft, and the pork ribs even more tender, you should really try this for yourself.

p/s: it is also said that boiling the soup with a clay soup spoon will speed up the “softening” process of meat/peanuts too as clay will serve as a catalyst of sort. I haven’t try that yet, but if you do, let me know how it works out.

Happy cooking!

I’ve been having Astro B.yond PVR service for a few months now, so I suppose it’s a good time to recap a little bit and run a short review.

astro PVR

First, a list of the important features

  • being able to pause, rewind, and play live TV (and fast forward back to live)
  • record current TV show
  • watch a show while recording another at the same time
  • schedule recording in planner
  • simultaneously schedule 2 shows to be recorded at the same time
  • automatically record series
  • play in slow motion

Heats 2011 NBA finals

The two types of programs I record most would be American sports and cooking shows.

Like the NBA finals that always happen on 8 or 9am on working days. It’s awesome to be able to recap when I come home in the evenings. Watching basketball on PVR is also particularly awesome cos you can skip all the way to the last 5 minutes when a close game really counts. No need to waste any time loh if really busy.

I have all the games recorded, and Miami Heats lost to Dallas Mavericks in 6 games after being up 2-1. I guess James, Wade, and Bosh will have their shots again. James is the only current NBA player that I saw live when I was in the states.. oh well, next year!

license to grill

As for cooking shows, I  mean, how  many times have you look at the instructions and then realized you’ve just forgotten something? With PVR you can always repeat till they are pretty much imprinted in your brain. It’s really really useful.

That or you can always pause and play back the show as you cook. I don’t have a TV in the kitchen so it’s actually a walking back and forth affair when I do this (I should joins some contest that wins me a TV!).

To be frank, I’m so spoilt now I don’t know how to watch TV without the freedom of having the PVR services.

astro winner holiday

And remember the contest I wrote about on this post? The winners are out:

A bit congratulation goes to Nor Iman from http://eyriqazz.com who won the grand prize of a 3D/2N getaway to Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu! The full list of winners can be found here.Congratulations to you guys too. I’m sure you will enjoy the services and probably like me, can’t live without it now. Enjoy!

A little while ago Haze and I took a little weekend getaway to Fraser’s hill, the less glamorous of the highlands in Pahang after Genting, Cameron, and Bukit Tinggi.

For the lack of flashiness and modern entertainment, Fraser’s Hill has that rustic charm that if not for the cars parked on the side of the road, the place would look almost exactly alike as it was 20-30 years back.

the famous clock tower at Fraser's hill
the famous clock tower at Fraser’s hill

The hill is situated at some 1,500 meter up, with a perfect temperature of 17-25C, and the void of noise except for some bird chipping sound. It is a perfect place to recharge the soul.

It’s only a couple hours drive from KL, and a scenic one at that. Our hotel room at Puncak Inn costs around RM 120 with clean sheets, warm shower, and great location.

So now, here’s 5 things you can do at Fraser’s hill, and the great thing is, they won’t stress your wallet.

jungle trekking is a great exercise!
jungle trekking is a great exercise!

1. Jungle Trekking

There are a number of trails on Fraser’s hill, they are reasonably well traveled with little rest stations within the jungle too. Most trails are not more than 1-2 kilometers in length and they usually have rest stops in the trail too.

Fraser Hill map
Click on map above for higher resolution

We trekked some 6.7 km in the jungle over 1.5 hours or so. It was refreshing, and of course, very tiring too. One advise though, wear anti-leech socks or bring salt, I ended up having to use a knife to peel off a couple leech on my foot at the end.

Cost - RM 0.

dining at Scott's, Fraser's Hill
dining at Scott’s, Fraser’s Hill

2. Dinner at Scott

After a good shower, we walked over to Scott’s just right next door to the hotel. A Western + local food restaurant that was probably previously a house owned by some English dude who missed home too much he built a house that is completely out of place in this country.

Scott at Fraser's hill

There are a couple tables at the garden, more indoor, a bar, and sofa in front of the fireplace too. It was charming.

The food wasn’t too shabby either, but don’t expect something spectacular though. My lamb chop tasted just fine if not a little fatty, the fish and chips was decent, and we do like the orange cake they had for the night.

Cost - RM 50 or so, including drinks.

archery for only RM 8 for 10 arrows
archery for only RM 8 for 10 arrows

3. Archery

After dinner we went straight to bed even though it was only 8 or 9pm, the jungle trekking, dinner, and the perfect temperature was too conducive to sleeping I guess.

The next morning we took a short drive up to the paddock. Our first activity of the day was archery. RM 8 for 10 arrows, and the idea is to not miss the target completely. I got 10 out of 10 on target, yey!

Cost - RM 16 for two.

horse back riding for only RM 5
horse back riding for only RM 5

4. Horse back riding

And since I had not ridden a horse since I was 5 (with my parents in Medan, I think), it was a perfect chance to do so again. It was slightly anti climatic to be honest, you sit on the saddle, and the dude guide the horse making a round, and that’s it.

The good part is, my balls didn’t have to suffer, and you can’t be the price of only RM 5!

Cost - RM 10 for 2 pax.

boating at Allan's water for.. RM 6
boating at Allan’s water for.. RM 6

1. Boating at Allan’s Water

Believe it or not, there is actually a lake of sort (I think a dam) at Fraser’s hill by the name of Allan’s water. You can rent one of those paddle boats for a good 10-20 minutes of pleasure boating on the water. It’s kinda like taipeng lake but minus the mosquitoes and hot sun, a semi-romantic thing to do too.

Cost - RM 6 for a boat

So there you go, a wonderful weekend getaway that costs less than RM 200 including hotel, food, and activities. Add in perhaps another RM 50-80 for transportation, it is still a bargain.

I think I want to go back to that place for a longer stay next. :D