Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / July 2011

I’ve always love beef stew, a hearty dish with super tender beef in thick and flavorful broth, and with the various vegetable in it, a full and balanced meal all by itself.

ingredients for beef stew
ingredients for beef stew

I always thought making a pot of mean beef stew is an exercise in patience, but after doing a bit of research, I found out you can actually make a perfect bowl of beef stew in less than 30 minutes, including time for preparation – with the help of a pressure cooker.

    pan fry the beef till brown, then add water and rosemary
    pan fry the beef till brown, then add water and rosemary

    The ingredients (this is good for 4 bowls)

    • 4-500 gram beef (lower quality is fine, I love those with some tendon and fat attached)
    • 1 bulb of garlic
    • 4-5 sticks of celery
    • 2 onions
    • 3 carrots
    • 2 potato
    • 1 table spoon rosemary (dried is fine)
    • 1.5 table spoon salt
    • 1 tea spoon black pepper
    • 2 table spoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 table spoon cooking oil
    • 1 table spoon flour

    chopped up vegetables and put in pressure cooker for another 8 minutes
    chopped up vegetables and put in pressure cooker for another 8 minutes

    Here’s the instructions, pressure cooker is used twice to ensure the beef gets to it’s super tender consistency while keeping the vegetable not overly cooked

    • heat up some oil in the pressure cooker, then add garlic, and fry beef till all sides are brown
    • add Worcestershire sauce, 3 cups of water, pepper, and rosemary
    • bring to boil, cover the pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes in high pressure
    • in the mean time, chop up all vegetable and potato to bite size chunks
    • release pressure (by running cold water over the pressure cooker in the sink), then add vegetable to the pot
    • bring to boil and cook for another 8 minutes in high pressure
    • add salt
    • slowly add up to a table spoon of flour while stirring to make the broth thicker
    • serve while hot

     

    a hearty bowl of stew with very tender beef
    a bowl of hearty stew with super tender beef

    The result is a pot of beef stew that is prepared in less than 30 minutes but with beef so tender it almost melt in your mouth. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll have to boil the stew for at least 3-4 hours to get the same result. Alternatively, use a slow cooker.

    After Haze’s appointment to the hospital to get her ankle checked, we found ourselves at Puchong at around 10 am looking for breakfast.

    My first suggestion was Yap Chuan bak kut teh, but Haze somehow believes that bak kut teh isn’t appropriate for breakfast… I then thought we could perhaps try the fresh made yong tau foo nearby, but we found out that they weren’t open for another hour.

    found this pan mee place by the side of a house in Puchong
    found this pan mee place by the side of a house in Puchong

    As I try to make our way out of the area, we chanced upon this little eatery with a few plastic tables set up by the side of a house that seems to enjoy brisk business.

    I had no idea what they were serving initially, but we thought we should gave it a try anyway, and that proved to be an excellent choice.

    soup version, with hand torn pan mee noodle
    soup version, with hand torn pan mee noodle

    This little place with no name has a pan mee stall. They offer pan mee in soup and dry version, and you can have the noodle in hand peeled, thick, and thin version.

    The hand peeled soup pan mee Haze ordered certainly looked simple, but look can be deceiving. The peeled noodle itself were of just the right consistency, minced pork was very flavorful too, and of course, it came with anchovies, fungus, and those signature pan mee leave.

    dry version with thin pan mee noodle
    dry version with thin pan mee noodle

    The dry pan mee with thin noodle that I ordered came with essentially the same ingredients, but with soup on the side. I love it, and I think the noodle is the star here, as with the peeled version. They just seems to get it right.

    And of course, no good pan mee is complete without chili paste, and over here their chili paste is one of the best I’ve had. It definitely has a strong kick to it, but also rather fragrant at the same time, I had a second helping.

    these are our OMG this is so good expressions
    these are our OMG this is so good expressions

    By the way, they only cost RM 4 a bowl. I think I’ll have this again next time I head there. :D

    map to puchong pan mee

    Address:
    Between Jalan Puchong Batu 14 & Jalan Kecawi
    Kampung Baru Puchong, Selangor
    GPS: 2.995665,101.622873

    When it comes to chocolates, just like many other forms of indulgence – wine, whisky, cars, women, and so forth – the premium stuff are almost always better. One of the more exclusive brands available anywhere has got to be Godiva, the chocolatier named after the legend of Lady Godiva, a naked lady on horseback (check their logo!)

    Godiva cafe at Pavilion KL
    Godiva cafe at Pavilion KL, this hot chick is Winnie

    The company was founded  in Belgium in 1926 by Joseph Draps, over the past 80 some years it has grown to become one of the larger premium chocolate brand in the world with annual sales over $500 million. We are fortunate enough to have our very own Godiva Cafe at Pavilion where you can purchase a lot of their products as well as have coffee, cakes, and other good stuff.

    Perfect getaway for a lovely tea time.

    Godiva at Pavilion KL
    ciki pours some coffee while Yazeed explains on

    A couple weeks ago a bunch of us were invited to Godiva Cafe for a private function that aptly named The Chocolate Story where we were taught a bit of history about chocolates (you can learn them from wikipedia too, but wikipedia doesn’t give you chocolates to eat), and get our hands messy in a Master Chocolatier workshop.

    to melt the chocolate
    to melt the chocolate, you only need a single candle

    According to the brand manager Yazeed, Godiva sources only the best ingredients to make their chocolates. For example, the best cocoa is from Ivory Coast, and hence that is the only place Godiva get their cocoa.

    After the chocolate history lesson, we were shown the ways of chocolatiers. First, we melt a bar of Godiva, and all you ever need is a single candle. Try doing that with your pasar malam stuff, I think you’d need a penunu bunsen. (this is due to the much higher sugar content, among other things, in mass produced chocolates)

    and make our own chocolate derived goodies
    and make our own chocolate derived goodies

    With the melted chocolates, we then made our own chocolate products – chocolate lollipops, chocolate biscuits, chocolate cornflakes, and all these with bits of other stuff to make them real pretty too.

    We were then served some food while the chocolates were being chilled.

    and you can buy some godiva hampers as Hari Raya gifts too
    and you can buy some godiva hampers as Hari Raya gifts too

    In conjunction with bulan Ramadan and upcoming Hari Raya, you can now get your hands on “GODIVA Chocolatier Hamper Collection” – there are three types altogether and cutely named Jubilee, Impression and Jewel De Nile

    oh yes, ahh, i see, it's like that haaa
    oh yes, ahh, i see, it’s like that haaa

    It was overall a fun, informative, and definitely very satisfying session at Godiva, I got to learn quite a bit about chocolates that I previously hadn’t a clue about, and of course, get my chocolate cravings fixed too. You can read Kim, Ciki, taufulou, and KampungBoyCityGal’s accounts.

    and a grou picture for all the lucky buggers
    and a grou picture for all the lucky buggers

    Writing this is making me crave for some proper chocolates again, gahhhhh!

    map to Pavilion KL

    Address:
    Godiva Chocolatier Cafe
    Level 2, Pavilion
    Jln Bukit Bintang
    Kuala Lumpur

    GPS3.148872, 101.713368
    Tel03-2142 5252

     

    A while back I participated in Hotlink’s Bloggers Without Border challenge and pleaded for vote (with an awesome video of course) to get me to Philippines.

    Many of you voted, so a big thank you to you who took the time and effort to cast the ballot for me. However, due to something that came up in this pesky little thing called “DAY JOB”, I was not able to travel to Philippines. BUMMER!

    So I guess balut will have to wait, haih, hopefully next time!

    Now here’s another video with my co-star Cendawan for your amusement. :D

    For most, the mere images of sharks conjure up nightmares and scenes of horror (partly thanks to Steven Speilberg’s factually incorrect movie – Jaws), and definitely something to avoid.

    However, to a diver, sharks are some of the most beautiful creatures and one that’s to be protected and to be adored, preferably up close and personal. Lucky me, I got to do that just a while back right here in KL.

    Aquaria KLCC Shark in the City Cage Rage launch
    Aquaria KLCC Shark in the City Cage Rage launch

    It all got started a few months ago when I was invited to the Shark in the City – Cage Rage launch at Aquaria KLCC from Dato’ Simon Foong, the owner of the aquarium who is also a Twitter user with the handle @Aquaria_KLCC. We “converse” via Twitter on numerous occasions, and that’s how I got to know the good dato.

    Aquaria KLCC is truly a world class aquarium, right in the middle of the city
    Aquaria KLCC is truly a world class aquarium, right in the middle of the city

    While Aquaria has been allowing certified divers to dive in the main tank for quite a while now, Cage Rage allows even non-divers to experience the thrill of being in the water with the sharks (behind a cage with protective panel, using a breathing pipe and mask instead of scuba gears)

    Knowing that I’m an avid diver, Dato’ Simon then extended a coupon for me to dive at the aquarium, and I finally did it a few weeks ago, and here’s how it went.

    above the main tank
    above the main tank, just prior to diving

    An appointment is strongly recommended, and I made mine a few days prior to the dive. On the day itself, there was another diver, Omar, who came to do the same thing.

    We were first shown two short videos showcasing the creatures we are going to meet, then the dive masters gave us a briefing about the dos and don’ts as well as the dive plan.

    Then we were off to the main tank! Check out the video above for the highlights of my dive, complete with soothing music for your pleasure. Yes, you are welcome.

    the magnificent sand tiger shark at Aquaria KLCC
    the magnificent sand tiger shark at Aquaria KLCC

    The dive itself was chilling and thrilling. Chilling cos the water is at around 24-25 Celsius instead of the more common 28-29 Celsius in local water (the sharks actually prefer even colder water, but it’s a compromise with other tropical fish in the tank), and thrilling because there’s all those huge predators you are swimming with.

    and we are in the tank! with people watching
    we are in the tank! and became part of the exhibit

    The big boys were definitely the sand tiger sharks, they look real bad ass but mostly just kept to themselves, showing only minimal interest to the divers. There’s also the inquisitive giant grouper than probably weigh more than me, beautiful leopard shark (one that we had hoped to see at Similan Islands trip), the graceful giant blotch fantail stingray, the speedy cow nose ray, moray eel, and much more. It was a feast for the eyes, never would you see such a collection in a single dive.

    giant grouper, sand tiger shark, moray eel, leopard shark
    giant grouper, sand tiger shark, moray eel, leopard shark

    The dive costs RM 400 per person per dive and lasts about 45 minutes to an hour underwater (or as long as you can stand the cold), bottom depth is only a few meters and so it is very safe. You must be able to navigate fairly well in the water as the tank isn’t open ocean and can be fairly restrictive.

    Overall though, it was a great experience, and one that i’d recommend to anyone who wants to get up close to them big sharks, or to wet your bones during off seasons.

    Now maybe it’s time to plan the next dive trip!

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