Monday, 30 November 2015

Hank's Meat & Wine Bistro, Miri

Another new cafe slash bistro just opened in Miri! Found a lot of reasonably priced stuff here with a nice selection of drinks.

Our current favourite cider drinks! Somersby!

However I was deeply disappointed by the overdone rib eye steak. I ordered medium rare but it came overdone and quite "light" instead of the darker crust I usually associate with good steak well cooked.

Seasoning on the steak was alright but the overdone condition made my experience a bit of a downer.

I also did not enjoy their pork chop as it was a little too doughy for my liking. The meat was flatten to a thin disc but covered in liberal baking soda or some sort of flour for softening effects, if I am not mistaken. They also gave the wrong sauce instead of the mushroom sauce we requested.

I would not really recommend this shop especially for the two dishes I mentioned. It was not a great experience for me but I guess you could always give one of their items on their extensive menu a try!

Hank's Meat & Wine
Lot 10165, Chong Shin Commercial,
Block 10, KBLD Pujut 7,
Tel: +6010-5660050

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Peanut Chicken Recipe

Peanut butter is not just for your toast, people! Why not cook with it too? This is a really quick and simple recipe using the peanut butter you have sitting for months in the fridge. I used the chunky version (Skippy) but you can use any other brands as well!

1 tbsp peanut butter
2-3 tbsp chilli sauce or tomato sauce (a mixture of both will do too!)
Chicken breast fillets (I sort of butterflied them) - I marinated them with 2 tbsp of corn flour, salt and pepper for 15 minutes
Salt and pepper to taste

Note: I used corn flour to create a crispy outer layer for my chicken fillets. I also intend to make my dish a dry one, so no water is added. Half of a full chicken breast is used in this recipe.

1) Using a little oil, pan fry the chicken fillets to a golden brown. Remove from heat. 
2) With the same pan, add the chilli or tomato sauce and mix in the peanut butter. If they are too thick, add about a few tablespoons of water and reduce. 
3) Put the chicken into the mixture and make sure they are all fully covered.
4) Remove from heat and there you have it! A simple peanut butter sauce chicken!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Quick Stir Fried Maggi

Sometimes the simplest food from home will be enough to crave your homesickness and satisfy your pangs of hunger. What easier way than to indulge in a plate of homemade-stir-fried instant noodles? This is popular in most "Mamak" (Muslim-Indian shops) back home and it only took a mere 15 minutes to prepare. It's probably going to take me longer than that for a trip out and back.

This simple dish was made from ingredients I scourged from my recent grocery trip, but feel free to add or decrease any items from my list.

1 pack of Maggi curry instant noodles (soaked in hot water to soften and put aside) - keep the seasoning packet
1-2 eggs
2 chicken franks (sliced) - optional
4 sticks of French beans (thinly sliced) -optional
1 tomato (cubed) - optional
2 tbsp of tomato sauce - replace with chilli sauce if you prefer it spicy
1 tbsp of chilli sauce 
1 large onion (thinly sliced or cubed)

1) Heat up oil and add the large onion to fry until translucent with light brown edges
2) Add any meat or chicken frank if you use any and fry them until slightly brown.
3) Stir in the French beans or any other veggies if you use any (veggie stalk first, let them wither before adding the leaves).
4) Add the soften noodles now together with the seasoning powder, chilli sauce and tomato sauce. Mix well.
5) Crack the eggs and cover them the rest of the ingredients. Let down cook a little before stirring them.
6) When all the eggs are not runny and ran towards a light golden color, remove all from heat and serve hot. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ma Po Tofu Recipe

I love soft, silky tofu. Do you? I especially love it that all the supermarkets in Singapore sell them in a nicely packed container; sealed to make sure they last longer. Surprisingly, they tasted just as good if not better than the ones you can get fresh from the wet market. Best of all, I don't have to worry about them going bad if I don't finish cooking them all in a day or two!

A slab of tofu (diced)
5 small shallots (sliced thinly)
1 tomato (cubed)
3-4 button mushrooms (sliced thinly)
50-70g of minced pork (mix well with a tsp of salt and a few dash of pepper)
3 tbsp tomato sauce
4 tbsp chilli sauce
100ml water
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat up oil. Brown the minced pork.
2) Add the shallots and fry until they are pale and slightly brown.
3) Mix the mushrooms into the pot. 
4) When they are well mixed, add both the chilli and tomato sauce as well as some pepper.
5) Pour the water in and let the mixture boil. 
6) Put the tofu into the boiling liquid and lightly stir.
7) Let the mixture simmer and add the tomatoes plus some salt to taste before removing from heat.

Easy Turmeric Fried Chicken

Turmeric has always been hailed as one of the beneficial spices, used traditionally in Chinese and Indian medicine. However, despite its supposed benefits to a lot of ailments, in this case, I simply love the smell and taste of turmeric but without the chilli because they are almost always paired with curries.

This recipe is an easy one and takes less than 5 minutes to whip up the marinade or rather, the dry rub for the chicken.

Dry Rub
5 heaping tablespoons of turmeric powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp pepper powder

~300g of chicken (I used 2 small thighs and 2 half wings - meaning wings without their drummets)

1) Mix the dry ingredients well in a bowl. Put them all over the washed chicken and make sure every surface is covered. By the time you rub it all over the chicken meat, the rub would have turned slightly like a paste. :)

2) Marinate for as long as you like (up to a day before you want to cook them) and deep fried in hot oil. If you are not planning to cook the chicken immediately after marinating them, keep them in the chiller.

PS: Keep the oil you use for frying the chicken and use it to fry other items for a light turmeric flavoring to your other deep-fried items. I used the turmeric-infused oil from this recipe in my Crispy Oatmeal Fried Chicken too!

Crispy Oatmeal Fried Chicken Recipe

I like my fried chicken. When I saw a huge bottle of oats left in the house, I was immediately inspired to make some crispy oatmeal fried chicken! The recipe is simple and could be prepared in less than 5 minutes (excluding the time taken for cutting up the chicken breast and pulling off their skin).

2 small chicken breast (Or isit one set of chicken breast?)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used 2 tsp and 1 tsp each)
2 tbsp corn flour
5 heaping tbsp of whole oats + 1 tsp of fine sugar (mix well)

Turmeric infused oil (basically leftover oil from my Simple Turmeric Fried Chicken); plain oil will do too! Or if you want, you can mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder into the marinade.

1) Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper and corn flour. Leave for 15 minutes or as long as you wish. Longer marinating means you have to keep your chicken in the chiller.

2) Spread out the whole oats on a big plate and cover the chicken liberally with them. Press lightly on both sides to make them stick.

Note: Usually other recipes might require an egg to wet the chicken so the oats will stick. In this case, I feel the wetness from the chicken will make the corn flour on them sticky enough that the oats will stay on them. 

3) Heat up oil and fry the chicken to golden brown color like mine!

Note: I use hot oil but upon putting in my chicken, I lowered them to medium-low fire. Also, avoid turning your chicken too often so the oats do not fall off. I fry them on medium fire for a good 5 minutes before turning over to the other side. Again, the fire depends on your stove settings. I would say leave them for 5 minutes on medium fire before turning them over.

Try to minimize turning them as much as possible. 

Good luck!

Streats HongKong Cafe, Downtown East Mall

I have been harping to go here for the longest time! It's a Halal place so it would be a change from our usual food court choices and finally today my colleagues gave in to my incessant whining. LOL

The Portuguese Chicken Chop Baked Rice was really rich with strong hints of turmeric and spices. I love it! The chicken chop had crispy skin despite being smothered in lots of mozzarella and I munched down all of the fatty skin despite knowing better. Hahaha!

Nyum! Definitely worth going even though the seats and table were a little dirty and we all had to use tissue to wipe them down.

Streats HongKong Cafe
1 Pasir Ris Close,
#02-104/105 e!Hub Downtown East,
Singapore 519599

PS: They are owned by the same company which also owned So Pho (that I posted about a while ago).

Friday, 20 November 2015

Satria Agrowisata, Bali - Tea and Coffee Tasting

We came here on our third day in Bali after visiting Kintamani. We came here because I read a lot of reviews online and most people gave positive comments. Apparently our guide wanted to bring us to another plantation but since I insisted, he brought us here anyway. According to him, it looked nicer than the other one he usually brought tourists. Blerk! Yay to Google!

They have coffee growing on the tree~
And pipeapples too! 
See? Ripe coffee bean~

Even cocoas~
Before we went inside, there was a nice pebble walkway all the way to the main area where they have a shop selling their products and have the free tea tasting. There was even a lady who explained about the coffee roasting and I even got a chance to take a photo frying the coffee beans! 

The coffee smells good when they were still being roasted
After a few more photo snapping sessions, we were ready to try some tea! They ushered us to a small reception area where tables were laid out and each group was assigned a "hostess" of sorts.

 The coffee Luwak, beans taken from the poo of the Wild Luwak were cleaned and roasted on the plantation itself. However, only coffee for the guide is free. For tourists and visitors, each small cup would set you back around IDR50,000 (RM15). Only the tea tasting is free. I did not like the Luwak Coffee very much and preferred the normal coffee. You have to actually leave the coffee powder to settle before drinking as the Balinese style of making coffee does not involve the use of strainer.

If you are not a fan of coffee, the teas are pretty amazing on their own. I like their saffron tea as well as the lemon grass tea. Prices for the teas sold are pricier than what you would get outside but I guess the experience itself made it quite worthwhile.

It is worth a visit if you are in the Kintamani area. The farm's own Luwaks look adorable too!

Satria Agrowisata
Address: JL. Raya Tampaksiring, Kintamani Basangambu, Kec. Gianyar, Indonesia
Phone:+62 817-9793-020

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Bali Itinerary Day 2 Part 1 (Taman Ayun-Jatiluwih-Candi Kuning-Ulu Bratan)

We started Day 2 bright and early at 9.30am. Since I had so much photos, I decided to split the post into two. We changed our Day 3 plans to Day 2 because Pak Made informed us that it was quite windy at the volcano today according to weather forecast, so we see no harm in changing the day around. This is because I posted differently in the Itinery Summary before our trip so in case you saw that, this is just a clarification.

We passed Kerobokan which has lots of nursery. The plants looked amazing from our vehicle. After that, we entered an area called Krapal which has lots of paddy field. It got pretty boring after a while even though at the start of the journey we were snapping pictures of all the scenery.

Selfies in the car because the journey to everywhere was sooooooooooooo long!

Pak Made was busy driving while we were busy taking selfies!

Pretty statue!

And the name is Taman Rama Shinta~
After hours and hours of driving, we finally reached our first destination: Taman Ayun Temple. The temple is a legacy from the Mengwi empire and the grounds covered a big pond. It might not look like the usual temple setup in Bali but definitely worth a visit. Sarongs are not necessary here. It was really sunny when we were there but like our guide said, it's better to be sunny than rainy! :) The area was quite picturesque in its own way and we had a lot of fun taking pictures all over the huge area.

From there we set off for Jatiluwih's famed paddy fields. It was just a quick stop for us. We quickly spent about 10 minutes wandering a little off to snap photos and take in the scenery before going back to the car.

I managed to dip my feet into the icy cold spring water from the mountains before a bunch of locals gargled their Colgate and washed their shower foam into the stream and the water flowed towards where I was standing. My fiance was about to dip his feet when he saw it and I can't stop laughing even when I recalled the look of horror on his face! :P

Next on the itinerary is the Candi Kuning Market. The vanilla pods are really cheaper here but bargaining more than half from their price is the way to go. Strawberries are available too. Bargaining is still the rule of thumb here. It is basically like a "tamu" or wet market. I wouldn't come back here unless buying spices and vanilla pods is on your agenda.

After a very quick round, we went on to the nearby Ulun Danu Temple. It is a pictureque place with a lake and beautiful Balinese temple with the Mount Beratan in the background. This place is associated with fertility and prosperity.

The area has a small enclosure with very tame mousedeers or baby deers which are gentle and friendly enough to like pats. Once you walk near, they will come near and wait for pats. Haha...adorable!!!

We brought out the strawberries we bought in Candi Kuning Market to eat in the beautiful gardens. The place was breezy and it was enjoyable to sit around even though it was early afternoon.
Check out my strawberries from the Candi Market!

Check out my HUGE strawberry!

The beautiful lake is just a few steps away from the gardens. I actually like the gardens better but there was a lot of people there snapping photos of themselves jumping and all. :)

Next up, our Part 2 of Day 2!


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