Saturday, 30 July 2011

Nikko Japanese Restaurant Miri

Nikko is probably one of the more famous Japanese restaurant in Miri, even though most would probably go to Escapade in Kuala Belait, mainly because of the price and selection I think. For those who are unwilling to endure the extra drive there, Nikko is probably the next best choice for decent Japanese food. Price-wise, it is probably triple or quatriple the price of Sakae, SushiKing, Zanmai and other Japanese restaurants easily available in West Malaysia (which is why my sis and I owes gorge ourselves with Japanese food before we come back here). Oh well, since it will probably be a while before I'll go back to KL/JB, so this will do to satisfy my cravings. The food here is quite nice I think, compared to the SushiKing in Parkson, Miri and the service is also better (since the one in SushiKing Miri is soooo dismally bad in terms of getting my order taken etc-unless you count waiting around for 15 minutes before getting your order when you're so totally famished =good?). Anyway, the atmosphere of the place here is quite old-school Japanese cafe with woody panelling and lots of lil knick-knacks from Japanese from the Japanese dolls to the framed geisha-like potraits. There's even a small water fountain thingie going on in a corner with light trickling sound of the running water as company when you're eating...pretty good ambience I guess...We ordered some of the sashimi and all and it was quite good :) Here goes:

The handrolls are quite good as they have stuff right into the last bite compared to most shops which only put the stuff on the top part only :)
The Sashimi platter
Snapper sushi or sumthink..not so good..very chewy imo :)
The chicken teppanyaki and garlic fried rice..very big servings :S
Mango Salmon...quite nice albeit the rather small portion
Hana Sashimi :D

More Salmon Sashimi

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sakae Sushi

Sakae is one of my sis' favourite place for sushi and everytime we're in KL, there's bound to be a few visits there and as most of the stuff we ordered each time are about the same, I shall just post out all of them in a short post...We like the variety and the cheaper price compared to some sushi place in Miri (except for Sushi King which is considered cheap) so here goes:

Western Palace, Grand Palace Miri

This is my first trip to Western Palace after a very long time. I must say I'm pleasantly surprised by the food there now. Apparently, the menu has been revised and the food showed significant improvement. Don't ask me how but till now I actually remembered the food wasn't as good and some of the food was not in the menu before. They have also cancelled out some more conventional western dishes to newer ones which I must say is not only better but is more interesting..:) I decided to order one of their new drinks called Rabbit something which is a nice surprise despite the rather lame name. A mixture of milk shake with sprinkles of vanilla essence and choc chip and lemon or sumthink is quite nice and I actually felt like I'm having some sort of drinkable cake :)
 The Seafood Cocktail is pretty Ok as well but comes in a rather small portion.

The Lemon Squeezer for the cuteeee!
 The only thing I don't really like that night was the Lamb Shank which was quite watery in terms of the sauce and the taste wasn't quite there least to what I expected my lamb shank to be..However, they are acceptable though not something I would order during my next visit.
 The Sirloin if I'm not mistaken with the Coffee Sauce was superb. I love it and them getting my steak medium rare the way I like it is highly appreciated as well... This said cos a lot of restaurants are always getting my request wrong, and I had to eat them a lil more done than I would like.

While eating, there's a pianist playing all the classical oldies which is quite nice and the ambience itself is worth it. Bill came up to lesser than RM150 for two, so I would say a pretty worthwhile dinner :) especially when some pampering is needed...

Pineapple Jam Tart Recipe

Heh, made pineapple jam tart the other day...but apparently it couldnt last for more than a few days..5 days before they start turning bad so, i guess next time i would have to keep them in the fridge :S

Pineapple Jam recipe
2 medium pineapples (either u can shave them manually or blend them up in the food processor) - shaving is nyummier but maybe that's me and a lot more work than using the blender ;)
Sugar (optional if your pineapples are very sweet)
3-5 piece of dried cloves

1) After shaving/ blending the pineapples, just strain the juice before putting them to cook under medium to high fire till they are quite dry with the cloves.
2) Add sugar if needed and according to how sweet you wan the jam to be

Note: Make sure the jam is dry enough so not to make the pastry skin wet during baking and they can last longer too!

Tart Pastry Recipe
250g plain flour (shifted)
50g icing sugar (shifted)
2 small eggs or 1 large egg
125g butter
Splashes of COLD milk? Or you can replace them with ice water as well
A few tiny drops of vanilla essence

1) Put all the flour and icing sugar in a bowl and cut the butter in cubes before adding them. ###Make sure the butter is cold and NOT soft/melted.
2) Rub the butter with the flour and icing sugar till you get a crumbly mixture.
3) Add in egg (s), vanilla essence and water/milk and gently work them till you get a mound of dough. ###Don't play too much with them or the pastry will be pretty chewy.
4) Wrap with cleanwrap and keep in the chiller/fridge for at least an hour before rolling them out into cups/tarts' mould. I made them about 0.5cm thick i think
5) After adding the jam and doing some deco (which is fun to do) put the tarts to bake at about 180 deg Celsius until slightly brown ##Make sure you heat the oven earlier

Note: Keeping the dough cold is important = flaky crumbly pastry... so make sure your fingers are cold before doing the dough by dipping them in cold/ice water. :D


PS: This is a very fast baking option cos we get most done in an hour, but I prepared the jam a day before...reason being cold jam works better compared to hot ones :) and I got a very capable personal kitchen assistant ;P

Monday, 4 July 2011

Cupcakes and us!

Tried baking some cupcakes with sis the other day too! Made 9 of them but took us nearly a week to finish's so much fun making them but so hard to finish them off with just the two of us...
Wanted to bake the cupcakes using different cake bases but due to the lack of mouths, just ended up baking 3 or 4 different ones with a lil variation only to the butter cake batter namely: plain butter muffins, choc chips muffins, raisin muffins and a mix of choc chips and raisin (sis' idea) LOL

Since it was a last minute kinda thing, the decorations are done only using fork n spoon, hence the pretty plain looking cupcakes :) Used butter cream with flavours as follow: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and some pink ones too!

Recipe for basic cake:
150g self raising flour
150g butter
150g castor sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 180-190 deg Celsius.
2. Beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Slowly add in beaten eggs lil by lil till it is all incorporated and fold in the flour bit by bit as well
3. Add in vanilla essence. Stir in raisin and/or choc chips and/or other flavourings as deemed necessary. Or, u can just drop them off the top of the basic vanilla butter cake like me...hahaha
PS: using paper cups for the cupcakes would be easier if you're planning to decorate them :)

Recipe for the butter cream used:

180g softened butter
350g icing sugar
3 drops of vanilla essence (more like a dash actually)
Note: Flavouring like coffee, cocoa or colourings are added later

1. Just beat everything together till nice and smooth.
2. In a different bowl, either use coffee essence OR chocolate essence OR simply melt some coffee powder with very lil boiling water OR cocoa powder with very lil boiling water and then plop some of the cream mixture in and stir/fold in till smooth and even. Same thing for liquid flavouring or colouring: Just a few drop of flavouring/colouring and a plop of the plain cream.

So, I'm sharing some of our work using just spoon and fork. heh..not very nicely done but still...we make do...blerk!


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