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Tag / eggplant

When it comes to foriegn cuisine, it is safe to say that the most popular of all out of South East Asia is that of our Northern neighbor – Thai. You can find a good bowl of tomyam most anywhere in the world.

For us in Malaysia, we had the good fortune of being able to indulge in some of the most authentic dishes Thailand has to offer thanks to our proximity and our shared history across the border.

Tigerlily at DC Mall
Tigerlily at DC Mall

This tradition continues at Tigerlily, one of the latest Thai restaurants located at DC Mall, the new spanking shopping complex located at Damansara Height, and we were lucky enough to get invited to sample some of their dishes.

To properly prep for the restaurant, the local chefs were sent to Thailand to sample and learn about the different dishes from its origin so they can be recreated at this outfit. Don’t let the interior decoration and plating style fools you, what you get here is not far from what you’ll find in some of the old school Thai restaurants.

3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?
3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?

To start the night, we ordered their Thai iced tea & iced coffee with gula melaka (RM 6.90) which looked stunning, but for those who liked it old school, their traditional Thai iced tea (RM 4.60) would be the one to go for. For those who like it plain & soothing, perhaps a glass of lemongrass drink (RM 3.50) would do the trick.

fried calamari, lemongrass satey
fried calamari, lemongrass satey

There’s no alcohol served here (they’re in process of obtaining halal certification), but the fried calamari & lemongrass satey (RM 9.90 for 5) really begs for a cold one. We particularly like the zesty homemade sauce that is served together with the squid.

four angle beans, steamed otak otak
four angled beans, steamed otak otak

Another snack we ordered was the steamed otak-otak (RM 5.90), it came in an aluminium cup similar to those you’d find holding larmaikai, but instead of chicken you’d have seafood in classic Thai otak fillings. I thought it was decent, though if I have to choose between this and regular Penang style otak-otak, the latter would be my pick.

We then proceed to main dishes to go with rice and started out with the veges.

First was four angled beans with peanuts (RM 9.90), a juicy and crunchy affair that’s fitting to open up one’s appetite.

stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp
stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp

The stir fry kailan (RM 12.90) here is a simple dish that’s not out of place from any ‘tai-chao’ restaurants around town. My favorite though, would be the spicy eggplant with dry shrimp (RM 14.90), really rich, savory, and comes with a kick, steamed rice is really compulsory with this.

tomyum seafood, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn
tomyum kung, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn

No Thai meal is complete without a good serving of tomyam, their tomyum kung (shrimp, RM 26.90) really packs a punch. You’d have to be a bit careful not to treat everything green here as scallions, for there are a lot of whole green chili padi in the mix, just the way a good bowl of tomyam should be.

The Thai red curry chicken (RM 15.90) is slightly less hardcore on the spicy scale, but it makes up for being creamy and flavorful. A decent interpretation of the dish in my opinion.

Then there’s the Thai green curry prawn (RM 26.90), served with generous amount of eggplant, this dish delivers a mix of seafood sweetness and the unique taste of green curry, I really enjoyed it (mostly cos eggplant is one of my favorite veges too.)

Thai grilled fish
Thai grilled fish

The Thai grilled fish (RM 46.90) was our final main dish of the night, and would be for you anyone who orders it as Tigerlily makes this from scratch when you order and it takes the longest amount of time to prepare.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t particularly find the dish impressive, and not to the fault of the chef or how they prepare this. Tilapia is quite a bland tasting fish and I find this classic Thai preparation method did not sufficiently add enough flavor to the fish. It was okay, if you love this street style fish, you’d like it here, otherwise I’d probably give it a miss. My favorite Thai fish dish is still the steamed siakap (which they also serve)

mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol
mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol

Then of course, we proceed to desserts.

We sampled their mango sticky rice (RM 9.90), ice kacang (RM 11.90), tub tim crob (red ruby, RM 7.00), cendol (RM 4.90), and banana fritters with ice cream (RM 12.90).

With the exception of the banana fritters, every dessert looked like a piece of art, the presentation is really stunning! Thankfully, they do taste the part as well.

I like how the cendol, ABC, and red ruby all uses the really fine shaven ice (sort of like those Korean style desserts) which makes the sweetness melt in your mouth that much quicker. Careful not to get brain freeze though.

banana fritters & friends we were with at the session
banana fritters & friends we were with at the session

If you haven’t find a reason to head to DC Mall, perhaps Tigerlily would be a good excuse.

map to DC Mall

Address:
Tigerlily
Damansara City Mall,
Lot LG 18 Lower Ground,
6, Jalan Damanlela,
50490 
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.146140, 101.661675
Tel03-2011 2912
Web: www.tigerlily.com.my

Brinjal is one of my favorite fruit/vegetable (whatever you want to call it), and today I want to share with you a quick and simple way of preparing this all time favorite – fried brinjal Chinese style, with ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen pantry.

brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper
brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper

Ingredients:

  • one purple brinjal (chopped in bite size)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon salt cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • small bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and cut

this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes
this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes

Cooking instructions:

  • heat up frying pan and oil
  • put in garlic & miniature bell pepper, fry till fragrant
  • add brinjal, fry for a minute
  • add water, sugar, dark soya sauce
  • cover frying pan and let it steam for a couple minutes
  • add salt & pepper to taste
  • serve while hot

vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal
vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal

My main purpose penning this entry is so that I can refer to this when I want to re-create this dish in the future. Eat well and start cooking!

A few weeks ago one of my colleagues asked “hey KY jom makan”, and since there’s nothing outside of endangered species and kiwi I don’t eat, I got on the car without knowing where I would end up.

The destination turned out to be Ayam Bakar Wong Solo, one of my favorite ayam bakar/ayam penyet places that I’ve only had from take-outs.

Ayam Bakar Wong Solo at Ampang
Ayam Bakar Wong Solo at Ampang

Wong Solo at Ampang is situated by Jalan Dagang Besar, less than five mintues away from Ampang Point. Parking is a painless affair, and the restaurant, while having less than inspiring interior decoration, is equipped with air conditioning, a great feature considering you’re going to end up eating something spicy.

ayam bakar, terung, and petai sambal
ayam bakar, terung, and petai sambal

Both the ayam bakar and ayam penyet is served with a side of tempe, tauhu, a small portion of terung (eggplant), and those really addictive sambal. The tempe here is the first that I really enjoyed.

The difference between ayam bakar and ayam penyet is the way the chicken is cooked. One is over fire, and the other is deep fried and smashed. Both are equally good but I do prefer ayam bakar as it is a rarer dish among the two.

Terung is a pretty decent dish but we were glad we ordered sambal petai. Those stinky beans and prawns made for good side dish for sure.

map to Wong Solo Ampang

Address:
Ayam Bakar Wong Solo
G18/G19, Jalan Dagang B/3A (Taman Dagang),
68000 Ampang, Selangor
GPS: 3.148964, 101.754808
Tel03-4270 1947

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From this blog, I sometimes get invitation to events hosts by or for certain celebrity chefs and TV personalities, these are usually official or semi official events that are very structured and .. distant, something that I don’t usually enjoy that much.

Well, there’s those, and there’s the session with the Fabulous Baker Brothers who has a show starting October 16, 7:30p m on TLC (Astro Channel 707). Encores every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 10:30 p.m.

Restaurant Limablas at Jalan Mesui Off Jalan Nagasari
Restaurant Limablas at Jalan Mesui Off Jalan Nagasari

Our initial destination of choice was Jalan Alor, but due to the uncooperative weather condition we moved the session to Limablas, and what a great adjustment that was.

Limablas, located right next to “No Black Tie” at Jalan Mesui, is a quaint little Peranakan Restaurant (Baba & Nyonya) run by Uncle John. The ambiance is that of an old Peranakan settlement, from the row of glass bottles filled with ingredients, to furniture, to the antique cash register.

Tom and Henry Herbert of the Fabulous Baking Brothers
Tom and Henry Herbert of the Fabulous Baker Brothers

While parking at Jalan Mesui usually isn’t most ideal, you can always leave your car at the paid parking at One Residence just a stone’s throw away.

Together with Tom & Henry Herbert, the baker and the butcher & chef who make up the Fabulous Baker Brothers, the group was about 20 strong, including PR, important people from Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, and writers/bloggers.

Our session was scheduled at 7 pm, and by 7:05 pm, everyone arrived. I cannot over stressed how happy I was in everyone’s commitment in respecting each other’s time. Being timeliness is often a lost art in many Malaysian.

nyonya tauhu telur, paitee, rojak
nyonya tauhu telur, paitee, rojak

Our dishes on the day were recommended by Uncle John, and it was (I guess) basically almost everything on the menu.

We started out with a few appetizers in Nyonya tauhu telur, rojak, and paitee. These dishes were a little bit sweet, slightly spicy, and positively full flavored. I particularly like the paitee with its crunchy pastry and juicy stuffings, that piece of small prawns on top is a nice touch as well.

ayam ponteh, nyonya curry chicken, kangkung goreng sambal belacan, ayam sioh
ayam pongteh, nyonya curry chicken, kangkung goreng sambal belacan, ayam sioh

Since this is a pork free establishment, there were plenty of chicken dishes.

Ayam pongteh, Nyonya curry chicken, and ayam sioh were the three we tried. They were all distinctively different in taste.

Ayam pongteh is the Peranakan’s version of stewed chicken, a comfort food. Nyonya curry chicken has the same familiar taste I’m familiar with, and I so desperately want some nasi kunyit to go with this. Ayam sioh, or chicken in coriander  and bean paste, is a stronger flavored counterpart that goes really well with steamed rice.

The kangkung goreng sambal belacan at Limablas is another well executed dish, carries a kick that this classic dish should.

cincaluk omelette, sambal udang petai, sambal terung, sambal ikan
cincaluk omelette, sambal udang petai, sambal terung, sambal ikan

Cincaluk omelette is a classic Nyonya dish that anyone should try, the cincaluk (fermented krill) gives it a slightly salty seafood taste that is a little similar to fuyu (fermented tofu). I find it very exquisite.

Sambal udang petai was awesome, but my favorite dish of the night had to go to the sambal terung – it was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Our last main dish of the night was the sambal ikan (with tilapia). Another spicy dish that turned out to be rather decent, but in my opinion, doesn’t live up to the other dishes at Limablas. After all, it is just tilapia.

ais kacang & sago gula melaka, we had a feast
ais kacang & sago gula melaka, we had a feast

Desserts came in the forms of ais kacang, cendul, and sago gula melaka. They proved to be as good as those I’ve tried by the side of Melaccan roads, and it was a shame we had to share them.

Before the end of the meal, Cheng Yi of fatboybakes fed the two brothers some home made durian cheesecake while the rest of us (Nigel, Umei, Josen, Meena etc) watched on, they didn’t manage to finish the slices, but I give them credit for trying tho.

we had loads of fun, the two guys are really friendly and down to earth
we had loads of fun, the two guys are really friendly and down to earth

The two brothers were ultra friendly and very down to earth, we had an awesome session sharing lots of stories over some really impressive food at Limablas. A few glasses of wine certainly helped too, I wish we’ll have more of these kinda meet ups.

map to Lima Blas Peranakan cuisine at Jalan Mesui

Address:
Limablas
15 Jalan Mesui,
Off Jalan Nagasari,
50200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148872, 101.708399
Tel: 03-2110 1289
Hours: break from 3pm to 530 pm Mon – Sat

One of the things I learned from going to college in the States was that Indian food is not limited to spicy curry, tandoori, nasi kandar, and roti canai. There were a host of other dishes that are mostly vegetarian, and mostly absent from the local Indian/mamak restaurants back in KL.

Later I would find out that India is a big country, with varying culinary cultures in different regions. The version of Indian food here in Malaysia is mostly influenced from the Southern region of India, while those available in States usually originates from the Northern region.

ingredients of baingan bharta, vegetarian
ingredients of baingan bharta, vegetarian

My favorite dish from this Punjabi/Northern Indian cuisine is Baingan Bhrata – a name that took me a while to remember and be able to spell it. It is basically an eggplant dish with mixture of onion, tomato, garlic, chili (or capsicum) and curry spices all cooked into almost like a pulp.

While presentation is never easy for something that looks like a pile of mud, this dish is quite strong tasting and flavorful. This is not a difficult dish to prepare, but one that is quite tedious in preparation, but here goes!

the key is to roast the eggplant first
the key is to roast the eggplant first

Ingredients:

  • one large eggplant (brinjal, aubergine, or whatever you want to call it)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1 yello onion
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

stir-fry everything till soft, add garam masala too
stir-fry everything till soft, add garam masala too

Instructions:

  • roast the eggplant in oven at 175 Celsius for 40 minutes, you might want to turn it over half way. The eggplant is ready when the skin is charred and start to cave in. Alternatively, you can put it in a microwave for 8-10 minutes, or grill it on your gas stove too
  • in the mean time, chopped all other ingredients finely
  • heat up cooking oil, and start frying onion, garlic, and capsicum for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent
  • next add tomato, stir for a minute
  • finally add eggplant and all the spices, and stir fry everything for a few more minutes until you get everything a pulp
  • add coriander as garnish (should have chopped them but I forgot)

Serve while hot, goes well with chapati or basmati rice but normal steamed rice will do too.

Happy cooking!

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