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Tag / salad

Here’s another place to go if you long for some good old fashion proper cafe or as we would call it … “Western” food while at Taipa, the artificial, mostly casino filled island of Macao – the restaurant by the name of Common Table.

Common Table, Macao
Common Table, Macao

Common Table is one of the more spacious cafes you can find in Macao, partly because it is located in the newer part of the country on Taipa. The interior decor is a mix of industrial cement walls with tasteful wooden furniture.

The menu here is pretty extensive (find the full menu below)

Starting off with breakfast that’s served from 8 am to 5 pm, you’ll find French toast, egg benedict, various type of walnut toasts, scramble eggs, muesli, or waffles. Prices are from 48 to 78 MOP.

Taipa Salad, Forest Mushroom Risotto, Latte
Taipa Salad, Forest Mushroom Risotto, Latte

For those who likes it green, they have four different salads on the menu at 78 or 88 MOP. We tried the Taipa Salad with Avocado and Balsamic Vinaigrette (88 MOP), it came with generous amount of greens and half an avocado with really thick vinaigrette which I thought was quite nice.

Common Table
Common Table

If you are hungry for a proper meal instead, they do serve some proper Italian dishes, with several choices of pasta, risotto, and even ox tongue. I tried the Forest Mushroom Risotto (88 MOP) from the recommendation of the waitress and thought it was quite a competent dish. The rice was cooked al dante and properly coated with butter/cheese. Rich and satisfying.

Forest Mushroom Risotto
Forest Mushroom Risotto

As for drinks, Common Table serves the usual espresso based caffeinated drinks, as well as a good selection of organic blend full-leaf tea. If those aren’t your cup of.. tea, there’s always lemon soda, juices, or even fresh milk.

map to Common Table, Taipa, Macao

Address:
Common Table
No. 349-365, Avenida de Guimaraes,
Nova City R/C Shop A,
Taipa, Ilhas Macau
GPS: 22.159130, 113.556506
Tel+853 2885 6601

Common Table Menu (1) Common Table Menu (2) Common Table Menu (3)

Common Table Menu (4) Common Table Menu (5) Common Table Menu (6)

Yesterday at Subang Courtyard, SS15 is certainly a restaurant/cafe perfectly named for an Abbott and Costello skit, but more importantly, it is also a pretty nice place to hang out and grab a cup of coffee or a decent meal if you’re around Subang Jaya.

Update 2019: this place is closed. 

Yesterday at Subang Courtyard, SS 15
Yesterday at Subang Courtyard, SS 15

Americano, Cream Orange Tea, Flat White
Americano, Cream Orange Tea, Flat White

The Full English Breakfast (RM 25.90), Kid’s Meal- Luscious Macaroni Carbonara (RM 15.90)
The Full English Breakfast (RM 25.90),
Kid’s Meal- Luscious Macaroni Carbonara (RM 15.90)

Breakfast Box (RM 22.90), Breakfast Eton Mess (RM 10.90)
Breakfast Box (RM 22.90), Breakfast Eton Mess (RM 10.90)

Kinwa Sarada (RM 15.90), The Japanese Forage (RM 16.90)
Kinwa Sarada (RM 15.90), The Japanese Forage (RM 16.90)

A Heavenly Match (RM 15.90), Yesterday’s Toast (RM 15.90),Royal Banana Crumble (RM 16.90)
A Heavenly Match (RM 15.90), Yesterday’s Toast (RM 15.90),
Royal Banana Crumble (RM 16.90) 

Passionately Mango Panna Cotta (RM 8.90), Matcha Affogato (RM 9.90), Affogato Bezzera (RM 9.90)
Passionately Mango Panna Cotta (RM 8.90),
Matcha Affogato (RM 9.90), Affogato Bezzera (RM 9.90)

the gang and I certainly had a great brunch at Yesterday
the gang and I certainly had a great brunch at Yesterday

Located at the pretty new Subang Courtyard “mall”, Yesterday is pretty easily accessible and has three different seating areas – there’s alfresco outdoor, alfresco indoor, and proper indoor, so there’s probably a suitable table for the particular mood you find yourself in on the day.

The restaurant claimed to be a British Colonial & Japanese inspired brand, and I do think that the menu does reflect the theme pretty well. There’s the full English breakfast, and the likes of Kinwa Sarada (lemon aioli & wasabi sour cream- dressed salad of quinoa, kidney bean, chick pea, zucchini, salad sprout & konnyaku), but if you’re looking for onigiri or sushi, you should head elsewhere.

Coffee served here is more than decent, with the latte and flat whites (RM 11.90) beautifully prepared and tastes as full bodied as any. I also thoroughly enjoyed the fact that regular espresso affogato and macha affogato are somehow priced at RM 9.90, providing excellent value for money for something sweet with a jolt to the nervous system.

If you’re into savory meals, Yesterday provided quite a few solid choices. The English breakfast is decent tho could be bigger, and Breakfast Box with Hokkaido with garlic butter, scrambled egg, smoked salmon, shitake mushroom, bonito flakes, vegetable & herbs was one of our favorites.

For the pasta lovers, Smoked Duck Kamoglio and Yesterday’s Carbonara Bake should satisfy you.

However, I would probably go for the aforementioned Kinwa Sarada or The Japanese Forage (Salad of smoked duck confit, roasted pumpkin, edamame, zucchini flower, red radish, cherry tomato, salad sprout & mache dressed in homemade balsamic dressing and topped with crushed walnut) for something that’s more representative of the East-meets-West theme. I think these are the dishes that represents Yesterday’s unique position rather well.

For those who loves sweet endings, do try their Passionately Mango Panna Cotta, A Heavenly Match, Yesterday’s Toast, or Royal Banana Crumble. I’m sure one of these should suffice to answer your cravings.

Over all, I think Yesterday positions itself well in the ever competitive cafe/hipster restaurant scene, and I look forward to try some of their other dishes in the future.

map to Subang Courtyard, SS15

Address:
Yesterday
G.03, Ground Floor,
Jalan SS 15/4G, SS 15,
Subang Jaya,
Selangor 47500
GPS: 3.077683, 101.586468

When it comes to steaks, quality of cut is often directly correlated with satisfaction in eating them, and unfortunately, so is the asking price. To “solve” this problem, sous vide is often the most recommended solution – cook the beef in a slow and controlled temperature, and you’ll get almost any cut to be tender.

Sounds good, right? But here’s the catch – sous vide machines can be very pricey, and I’m not about to spend upwards of RM 1,000 – 2,000 without really knowing what I get myself into.

Enter McGyver inspired cooler-box sous vide solution. (well, I actually read this from another website)

all you need is a thermometer and a cooler box
all you need is a thermometer and a cooler box

For this method, you only need the following 3 crucial items

  • cooler box
  • ziplock bag (freezer type recommended as they’re usually stronger)
  • cooking thermometer

Now let’s look at how to make your own sous vide beef & chicken.

sous vide steak, medium rare, done in an hour or so
sous vide steak, medium rare, done in an hour or so

Instructions:

  • season your meat with salt and pepper, or any other desired seasoning
  • place them in zip lock bags
  • prepare hot water 2-3 Celsius above your desired internal temperature for the meat (example: slightly less than 60 C for medium rare beef, 75-80 Celsius for chicken)
  • lower the meat-bags and shake off excess air pockets before zip locking it
  • monitor every half an hour, if temperature drop below desired level, add hot water to bring it up
  • let the meat cook for an hour or two, depending on the thickness

sous vide chicken breast is surprisingly good on salad
sous vide chicken breast is surprisingly good on salad

  • use the thermometer to ensure that internal meat temperature is appropriate
  • for beef, heat up skillet (I use an IKEA one) to high temperature, then sear for a minute on each side before serving, a blow torch will do similar wonder for chicken breasts
  • add your side dishes, and eat away!

The results we got were amazing. Relatively cheap cuts of grass fed beef had the texture not entirely unlike tenderloin, and for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed chicken breasts as it came out succulent and moist.

Will do it again!

If you were to tell me 10 years ago that salad can make a healthy, hearty, and really delicious meal, I’d only believe you 1/3. After all, salad are for girls who wants to look demure and polite having meal in public, right?

Well, Chai Bar proved me wrong.

Edit 2017: Unfortunately this place has since closed down

Chai Bar at Oasis Square, Ara Damansara
Chai Bar at Oasis Square, Ara Damansara

One of the Chai Bar’s co-owner, Dennis, is a close friend of Haze. So to be honest, we’ve heard of the concept and already been to the pre-tasting events before the restaurant was even opened.

Salad doesn’t have to be herbivorean food, dinner at Chai Bar at Oasis Square tonight. We are having California Girl & Steakhouse . #kyeats #salad #halal #oasissquare #chaibar

A post shared by KY (@kyspeaks) on

It was a concept that isn’t completely new, salad bars such as these are already quite popular in Singapore and other countries.

salad isn't just lettuce with thousand island sauce
salad isn’t just lettuce with thousand island sauce

The concept is simple, choose from some 70 different ingredients such as freshly washed and cut vegetables to beans, cheeses, nuts, pickles, and roasted vegetables. Plus, you also get to add smoked salmon, shrimp, poached chicken or grilled beef (just in case you think salad is only all about greens). To complete the meal, pick from some 15 different dressings.

Voila, you have yourself an awesome healthy meal.

chicken rice, superfood, steakhouse, sombrero
chicken rice, superfood, steakhouse, sombrero

For the review session we tried 7 different salads with some from their “fab 10” selections, basically ten different mixes of salad for those who doesn’t want to scratch their heads choosing your own combination from 70 different ingredients. These salads are priced from RM 16-20, a very good value for what you get in my opinion.

Chicken rice came with spinach, red rice, onions, cucumber, bean sprouts & poached chicken and dressed with Sesame Soy. Here the chicken is cooked sous vide so even though it’s breast meat (my least favorite but healthiest option), it was still very juicy and rather delicious.

Superfood had mixed leaves with sweet potatoes, beets, avocado, dried cranberries, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds & quinoa dressed in peanut sauce. A mixture of all the healthy ingredients you can think of. Very nice texture to munch on.

Steakhouse is a salad for the men, I mean, steak, kan? Baby spinach with baby potatoes, tomato, caramelised onions & grilled beef. I like the dressing in this one – blue cheese! If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, you can always opt for another dressing.

If you like a little bit of Mexican, try Sombrero. Mixed lettuce with 3-bean mix, corn, tomatoes, onions, mixed peppers, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips & grilled beef. This salad is dressed with avocado and topped with salsa.

bibimbap, caesar, california girls
bibimbap, caesar, california girls

Fancy Korean style salad? Baby spinach with red rice, cucumber, carrot, mushrooms, bean sprouts, hard boiled egg and grilled beef. Sweet Gochujang. Sprinkles of kimchi makes for a bowl of Bibimbap.

Caesar, the most common of all salad, turned out to be our favorite. The sous vide chicken that’s lightly grilled was superb, and the Green Goddess dressing compliments romaine lettuce, croutons, onions, hard boiled egg, beef bacon, Parmesan cheese and grilled chicken really well.

According to Dennis, California Girls is one of the most popular salads with the ladies. A bowl that’s inspired by Japanese cuisine, with mixed lettuce, red rice, avocado, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, pickled seaweed & kaori-hako. Wasabi Mayo. Dusted with roasted seaweed and ebiko. I thought the ebiko was a really nice touch.

refreshing drinks at Chai Bar
refreshing drinks at Chai Bar

Juices goes for RM 7.50 and smoothies RM 8.50. We had kaffir lemonade, watermelon & mint, and of course I went for avocado. They complements the food well, and I think make for good afternoon “snacks” on their own too.

KY, Haze, Dennis (co-owner), Cheesie & Junya
KY, Haze, Dennis (co-owner), Cheesie & Junya

Chai Bar is really a trailblazer for salad in this side of Klang Valley, I really hope they thrive and open up more restaurants, and hopefully one near my workplace. Good job Dennis!

map to Oasis, Ara Damansara

Address:
Chai Bar
G31, Oasis Village
Oasis Square Ara Damansara, 

2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.114834, 101.574750
Webchaibar.my
Tel03-7832 3138

A few weeks ago I was invited to have a little food tasting session at Holiday Inn‘s bar and restaurant by the name of The Mix.

Prior to this occasion, I’ve only been to Holiday Inn to pick up my brother in law, who stayed there a few times. The hotel’s official name is Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, though it is actually situated at Glenmarie, Shah Alam, over a dozen kilometers away from the KL/Selangor border. Then again, KLIA isn’t in KL, so why not?

The Mix, at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, Glenmarie
The Mix, at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, Glenmarie

One of the good things about hotels in areas like this is that there’s always plenty of parking, and more often than not, they’re outdoor and free. A short walk to the far side of the hotel you’ll find The Mix, a pub with a well stocked bar and a full kitchen.

Our mission was to sample some of their dishes, though we did have a few drinks just for good measures.

The Mix is pork free, but like most hotel premises that also serve alcohol, it is not strictly halal.

Osso Buco style lamb shank, stuffed mushroom, waikiki salad
Osso Buco style lamb shank, stuffed mushroom, waikiki salad

We started out with a waikiki salad (RM 22) and stuffed mushroom (RM 25). The salad came with chunks of ahi tuna, tobikko roe and mizkan ponzu which makes for good refreshing start.

Stuffed mushroom has cream cheese, cannellini beans, walnut, and olive. A dish that’s probably best consumed while warm. I didn’t find it particularly great after waiting for too many pictures to be taken by too many people after. Oh well.

Osso Buco style lamb shank (RM 50) marks the first of many main dishes we tried. There’s shallot risotto, spinach, and rocket salad as well. The lamb shank was tender and tastes pretty good as well. If you’re a small eater, sharing is advisable.

lemon grass lamb, one of my favorites of the night
lemon grass lamb, one of my favorites of the night

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the lemon grass lamb (RM 45) that could probably use a more exotic name. The dish came with brown rice and pumpkin curry accompanying three pieces of lamb cutlet that were perfectly seared. Seasoning for the dish was perfect, and I just couldn’t get enough of the pumpkin curry, was so good!

At RM 45, this dish provides pretty good value as well.

balsamic glazed short ribs, ryu (black cod), beef negimaki
balsamic glazed short ribs, ryu (black cod), beef negimaki

Balsamic glazed short ribs (RM 50) came with butter-braised garlic, onions, zucchini and beans. It was pretty decent but I secretly wished that it was pork ribs instead.

Ryu (RM 55) is what’s in the menu entry for fried black cod with shitake and eryngii mushroom, as well as boiled potato and vegetable. Cod can never go wrong, and this version did not disappoint either, though serving size isn’t nearly as generous as the lamb dishes.

Beef negimaki (RM 25) is the chef’s interpretation of east meets west. The beef drenched in dashi soya sauce, then all rolled up with some asparagus. A side of curious looking tempura accompany the red meat. A pretty interesting attempt, but one that may need a bit of refinement, I find the beef a tad too tough, and the tempura not matching real well.

coconut chicken strip, Gerard Bertrand merlot, rendang pizza
coconut chicken strip, Gerard Bertrand merlot, 2 De Quase pizza

Coconut chicken strip (RM 15) though, makes for excellent beer food. The poultry coated with coconut before being deep fried and served with honey soya dipping. It was  quite a treat!

The Mix served quite a selection of pizza, and we tried “2 De Quase” (RM 30) – a combination of half masala chicken with spicy red sauce, mozzarella cheese topped with cilantro and garlic prawns with herbs. I’d say the combination works pretty well, we enjoyed the pizza.

masala pasta, Jivara indulgence, raspberry Rhubard almond crumble
masala pasta, Jivara indulgence, raspberry Rhubard almond crumble

For pasta lovers, there are also a few selections to choose from. Our masala pasta (RM 35) would please those who likes pasta with a kick, again, a dish best consumed warm.

For desserts, there’s raspberry rhubard almond crumble (RM 30) and Jivara indulgence (RM 30), a rich chocolate fudge sponge layered with salty crusty bites and topped with milk chocolate peanut cream mousse. I have to say that I didn’t try them due to limited stomach space, but those who reacted positively.

The Mix’s kitchen proved to be quite capable in serving up more than decent dishes for the most part, and at good value as well. The two cocktails we tried did not disappoint either. For those who’re around the area, this place is quite a decent watering hole.

direction to Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, Glenmarie

Address:
The Mix
Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur
1 Jalan Usahawan U1/8,
Seksyen U1, 
40250 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.094189, 101.577201
Tel: 03-7802 5200