Several weeks ago I was invited to a wine tasting event by Cape Mentelle at Neo Tamarind in KL. This was my second time to Neo Tamarind and my very first time trying Cape Mentelle wines. The invitation promises a great night of food and drinks, and delivered them magnificently.
Cape Mentelle wine and food pairing at Neo Tamarind, KL
Cape Mentelle is one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, and pioneered many of the region’s wine styles. The brand is a benchmark for the quality of wines from Margaret River, or in short, if you aren’t exactly well versed in wines but want to make sure you get something that’s appropriate for gifts for a party, this would be a good choice.
For the night, we were presented five wines from Cape Mentelle’s collections – Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012, Chardonnay 2011, Cabernet Merlot 2010, Shiraz 2011, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 in that order.
prior to dinner, finger foods & Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
We started off with Sauvignon Blanc Semillon as apéritif and there were several canapes to go around. Black ink risotto with salmon roe, deep fried crisp calamari cajun, spicy sauce Angus beef, tataki with chili roasted rice, and tomato bruschetta. I think I had 2-3 servings of those Angus beef.
The Semillon was sweet and proved to be fitting as the first wine for the night.
steamed white cod with coconut herbs reduction, Chardonnay 2012
Unknowingly, I seated myself right next to the viticulturist of Cape Mentelle himself – Ashley Wood. His job is to ensure that Cape Mentelle grows quality grapes which directly affects the production of the wines. This requires extensive knowledge of soil type, diseases, pests, when to harvest grapes and more. Not exactly your backyard grape grower.
Our first of the four-course dish was the steamed white code with coconut herbs reduction, paired with Chardonnay. This was an easy pairing, citrusy and well balanced wine contrasts well with the coconut based sauce of the craft-fully prepared fish. I enjoyed this, and oh, the skin of the cod is faced down and was my favorite part of the dish.
roasted chicken with garlic bulb, Cabernet Merlot 2010
Next up was roasted chicken served with garlic bulb, whipped potato, apple sauce & chicken jus. Cabernet Merlot was the wine of choice to go with the poultry.
The wine was plenty fruity and carries a hint of red fruits, aniseed and tobacco bouquet. The chicken was perfectly prepared, smooth and smoky, and that garlic bulb was easy one of my favorite part of the entire dinner. It was just excellent execution that brought out the flavor of garlic without any of its harsh characteristics. I managed to convinced Eiling to eat almost half her portion even though she normally wouldn’t touch it.
The one other place I know which serves garlic bulb this way is the old school ramen shop at Wisma Central by the name of Tenka Daiichi.
roast duck breast with red cabbage puree & mustard sauce, Shiraz 2011
Duct breast is one of my favorite ingredients ever, and while the roast duck breast with red cabbage pureer & mustard sauce here looks excellent, the meat itself was a slight disappointment. I think a combination of having a very thick cut and slight under cooking contributed to the chewiness of the red meat. Good potential, and quite easily fixed though.
Shiraz is one of my favorite red wines, and the version at Cape Mentelle did not disappoint at all. The peppery and spicy palate has good depth and carries a rich nose of pepper and aniseed with berries. With this, I somehow finished the duck breast anyway.
grilled beef tenderloin with Eryngii mushroom, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
The fourth course was the grilled beef tenderloin with Ergyngii mushroom, scallion oil & beef jus. Medium rare and plenty juicy, the beef was a welcoming redemption after the disappointing duck breast, even though if I were to be critical, it was just a tad slightly overcooked.
Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied us for this last dish, a full bodied wine with good complexity, with black fruits, subtle flavours of chocolate, plum and aniseed and hint of oak on the palate. A very fine ending.
with Eiling and Wei Zhi, the dessert
No course dinner shall end without dessert, and so we had green tea crème brulee as the final dish.
This was also probably the last food review session that Eiling and I are sharing before she makes a permanent move to Belgium. Interestingly, she is also the one of my first “blog friends” when we met for the first time and went to Peony Garden 5 years ago (unfortunately that place has since closed down).
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
GPS: 3.15292, 101.70829
Tel: 03-2148 3200
Hours: lunch and dinner daily except Monday
It’s been a while since I posted any home cooked dishes. So here’s one, a simple garlic fried rice with seafood recipe.
This is something that you can prepare in less than half an hour, garlic fried rice is a pretty classic Japanese dish, I just add some seafood to kick it up a notch a bit. While traditionally they also use spring onion, I replaced it with red onion due to availability and that worked out well to add that crunchiness and freshness element to the dish.
garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops
- 1.5 cup of rice for 2 person
- 2 large eggs
- prawns (you can also add squid or other seafood)
- 2-3 bulb of garlic, chopped or cut in slices
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, some salt & pepper
- 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil
ingredients – garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops
- heat up cooking oil
- fry garlic till a shade before golden brown, remove and set aside
- using the same oil, fry prawns (with a dash of salt), then remove and set aside
- sear scallops with shells on, then remove and set aside
the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately
Cooking instructions part 2:
- with the same oil, fry eggs till 80% cooked
- add rice, and stir for a minute
- add soya sauce, salt, and some pepper
- add garlic and continue to stir for another minute
- add garlic and prawns, stir for another minute
- serve while hot (arrange your scallops with best of your artistic ability)
start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything
The key to this dish is to have the garlic and seafood fried separately. This allows better control and ensures that each ingredients are cooked properly since they have different cooking time. Try it!
More recipes from yours truly can be found here.
It’s time for another recipe sharing session. This time it’s seafood – fried prawns with soya sauce, a simple to prepare and yet pretty luxurious dish (just because prawns are so expensive these days).
I had some prawns in hand thanks for mom who actually works in a market, and since I ran out of asam to make my favorite nyonya style sam prawn, I went online to look for something simple to prepare, and landed on this fried prawns with soya sauce recipe from Babe KL. I know Babe KL & Capt’n Hook personally and was sure that her recipe wouldn’t go wrong.
trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch
Anyway, here are the ingredients you need:
- big prawns, I had XL prawns, bigger the better
- 1 bulb garlic – chopped
- 2 inches ginger – cut into stripes
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
- a couple stalks of spring onion
- cooking oil
cook the prawns and place it aside
Prawn preparation steps:
- trim off the all appendages of the prawns with a scissor
- clean and pad dry the prawns with paper towels
- marinate prawn with salt, pepper, and cover with corn starch
- heat up some cooking oil and fry prawns till reddish (2-3 minutes)
- set prawns aside
ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion
- heat up oil (or just use the remaining from frying prawns)
- fry ginger for a minute, then add garlic (because it takes longer to cook ginger)
- when garlic & ginger starts to turn golden, add in the prawns
- add worchestershire sauce, soya sauce, and dark soya sauce
- stir fry till fragrant
- add green onion and stir a little more just prior to serving
there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce
So there, the dish really turned out pretty well, I actually wished that we had put in even more garlic & ginger cos they really brought out the taste of the prawns and went well with rice. For those who likes it a little sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar too.
For more recipe from yours truly, click on my cooking category.
It’s been too long since the last recipe was posted on this blog, so here goes.
This soya sauce chicken dish was first made by Haze off a recipe she obtained online, it turned out pretty good but I thought there were something lacking, so after giving it a bit of thought I came up with this version that took a cue from the tau eu bak recipe.
cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic
The ingredients are pretty similar to the tau eu bak – your usual suspects of Chinese/Nyonya cooking. I use chicken wings as the meat, but you can substitute this with any part of chicken, and I have reasonable confidence that it’ll work well with duck too.
- 1-2 star anise
- 3-4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- half a bulb of garlic
- 2 slices of ginger (more if you’re cooking duck)
- half a cup of soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
- sugar to taste (1-2 teaspoon)
- 1.5 cups of water
- 4 chicken wings
1 part soya sauce, 3 part water
The cooking instruction is about as simple as you can get:
- bring water and soya sauce to boil (1 part soya sauce, 3 part water)
- add chicken, star anise, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves
- let simmer for 30 minutes
- add sugar and dark soya sauce
- simmer for another 5 minutes or till sauce thickens
- serve while hot
simmer for 30 mins, add sugar and a dash of dark soya sauce
The difference between this and the “original” recipe was the addition of dark soya sauce, this thickens the sauce quite a bit and adds a bit of complexity that sugar can’t bring out.
This is a very easy dish to cook and best enjoy with steamed rice. Happy cooking!
soya sauce chicken wings, le slurps
For more recipes from yours truly, check out ”KY Cooks” section.
We need garlic in stir fry vegetable, in steamed fish, with soya sauce as garnish, in marinated lamb, etc etc.
Peeling and dicing garlic though, is a chore that I personally don’t enjoy, and doubt many of you do. It is one pre-cooking preparation that I want to get over with as fast as possible, and I think after months of intense cooking, I have found the fastest steps, so here goes!
Peel & dice garlic in just 4 steps!
- take the whole bulb of garlic, and chop off the root portion with a cleaver
- using the same cleaver, press individual bulbs till it deformed slightly
- the previous step loosen the skin, now you can peel them off easily
- chop away!
Here you go, now you have enough garlic for probably anything you want to cook for the day!
Cheers and happy cooking!
For those of you who can’t be bothered to cook and yet want to have a good & cheap meal, here’s a deal from MilkADeal you might be interested in.
For RM 15 (instead of the usual RM 31), you get the Charcoal King Set Meal that is good enough to feed two to three pax. The meal comes with
- 1 Clay Pot Chicken Rice
- 1 Peanut Lotus Root Soup OR ABC Soup OR Old Cucumber Soup
- 1 Stir Fried Romain Lettuce OR Stir Fried Lettuce OR Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy
- 2 Drink
For more information and to get the deal, check out the Charcoal King on MilkaDeal, the restaurant is located Kuchai Lama.