Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Ganga Cafe, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

Nestled in Lorong Kurau is The Ganga Cafe, a restaurant serving South Indian vegetarian fare with a twist of Gujarati flavours. We first noticed this restaurant when we were in the vicinity (same row as Hit & Mrs as well as Baba Low) and then were enticed with wonderful food photos on Instagram, thanks to our friend Meena.

When The Unc was back, we finally made our way there as he was craving for some Indian food. The Ganga Cafe prides themselves in serving vegetarian food that is free from MSG and artificial coloring. Full menu can be viewed here.


They offer several a la carte dishes such as roti channai, thosai, idiyappam, putu set and Ganga burger, as well as lunch and dinner sets in various size. The sets come with either brown rice, tomato rice, biryani rice, chapatti, Ayurvedic chapatti,  thosai or roti canai.

We went for the biryani rice, tomato rice and Ayurvedic chapatti. Each set comes with four types of vegetables plus dhal, tangy rasam, vegetable curry and poppadums. Everything was very tasty and wholesome,  it's one of the meals which instantly perks you up.

Brown Rice Thali


I had the Ayurvedic chapatti which is made from a blend of wheat, oats, maize, ragi, chana dal, and barley. Baby C loved this! The servers also recommended the vegetarian "mock meat" which tasted good too.



For drinks, we had the mango lassi, Ganga Tea Crush and Pranic juice. The Pranic juice (RM7) was highly recommended by the server, which is said to be good for detoxifying and cooling your body. Made from herbs and spices, the dominating taste came from the mint leaves making this a wonderfully refreshing drink. The Ganga Tea Crush looks similar to the Pranic, as it is also made with mint, as well as lemon and lime, so it was super refreshing as well! The mango lassi (RM7) was rich, smooth and pretty filling. 





Since we still had some tummy space, we decided to order the chana bhatura (RM8). Excellent decision - we thoroughly enjoyed this - made fresh so it was super crispy and hot, served with a chunky chickpea chole and yogurt masala. Loved this! (Gone in minutes)

Overall we had a great meal, I heard that they do a value for money Sunday Brunch buffet (not sure if it's still RM16 now), will definitely return to check that out!



Pakoras (also known as pakodas), vegetable fritters


After our vegetarian lunch, headed over to Baba Low's for some cendol and pai tee. ;)






Open: Tue - Sat 8.30am to 9.30pm, Sun 10.00am to 3.00pm. Closed on Mondays.

Price: Total bill approx RM70.

Location: The Ganga Cafe, 19 Lorong Kurau, Off Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-22842119

Website: http://www.theganga.com.my/


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Recipe: Quick & Easy No-Knead Wholemeal Bread (British Grant Loaf)

So, I've transformed from a person who fears baking bread to an enthusiastic baker, all thanks to my successful attempt in making hot cross buns and other breads.


Quick & Easy No-Knead Wholemeal Bread


Another bread recipe which I recently tried from Delia's cookbook is this quick and easy no-knead wholemeal bread. Her recipe is inspired by Doris Grant, who is the inventor of this British Grant Loaf.  Doris, a champion of fresh and natural ingredients was making bread one day and forgot to knead it - however, it turned out to be more superior tasting than its kneaded counterpart.

This is perfect for those who have no time for kneading, knocking down and proving but still desire homemade, wholesome bread.



Delia loves it, and so do I! I am all for no-knead breads, especially when it tastes as wonderful as this! Because it's fully made from wholemeal flour, the bread has a lovely nutty texture and is healthy and substantial.



Here's a loaf you can make everyday with ease!




Quick and easy no-knead wholemeal bread
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course
Preparation time: 10 minutes (+approx. 1 hour rising time)
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes 1 large loaf


Ingredients
450g wholemeal flour
2 tsp salt
330-350ml hand-hot (warm) water
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp dried active yeast
A little extra plain flour


1. Grease a 900-g bread tin (with base measurement approx. 16x9cm) with butter.

2. Mix flour and salt and place in a big ovenproof bowl (or two smaller ones) and place in a low oven for about 10 minutes to warm.

3. While the flour is warming, mix 75ml water with sugar, then sprinkle over the dried yeast. Stir once, and leave for 10-15 minutes until a frothy head has formed.

4. Tip the warm flour into a large mixing bowl, and then make a well in the centre. Stir the yeast liquid once, to make sure it is dissolved, then pour it into the well. Using a wooden spoon, mix the yeast liquid into the flour to form a dough, gradually adding the rest of the water. Finish off the mixing with your hands until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean. Note: The exact amount of water you need depends on the flour.

5. Shape the dough into an oblong shape and transfer into the greased tin. Sprinkle the top with a generous dusting of flour and then cover the tin with a damp towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for at least 30-40 mins to 1 hour until the dough has almost doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 200°C (no fan). Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Turn out the bread, and tap the bottom - it should sound hollow if cooked. Cool the bread on a wire rack. Serve bread with butter and jam.




Pictured here: Wholemeal loaf with Bordier Butter and Homemade Roselle Jam






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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Bieldside Inn, Aberdeen, Scotland

When we visited Scotland last year, it was around the time of my MIL's birthday so we took her out for several meals to celebrate. One of the places we went to was The Bieldside Inn, which was not too far away from their home.

The Bieldside Inn, affectionately known as "The Bielder" by the locals is a restaurant with a lounge bar as well as outdoor balcony (suitable for dining in warmer months). The restaurant is modern and bright, and offers a range of traditional Scottish and pub food on the menu. Since our visit, it looks like they have revamped their menu, so you can refer to their current menu here.


Posh Pakora

We had the “POSH” Pakora (£17.95) which is a great fusion dish of monkfish tails and king prawns fried in authentic pakora batter and served with yogurt dip, coriander salad and paprika dusted fries. The batter was light and crispy, this was indeed very delicious!

Since it was Sunday, they had Sunday Roast (£14.50) on offer, so we had one each of the roast beef and roast leg of Scottish lamb. For the beef, they use local Aberdeenshire supplier Donald Russell rump of Scottish beef. The Sunday roasts are served with duck fat roasted new potatoes, classic Yorkshire pudding, roasted seasonal vegetable, skirlie, broccoli and cauliflower cheese bake and homemade jus. The lamb also comes with apricot and black pudding stuffing. The portion was generous and very delicious! I enjoyed it. 

Roasted leg of Scottish lamb

Roast beef with all the trimmings


For dessert, we shared a cheeseboard (£8.00) which came with a selection of Scottish and French
cheeses, pickled walnuts, baby pear, chutney and cheese biscuits. The kids shared their new-found favorite dessert - sticky toffee banana pudding (£6.50) served with caramel sauce and banana ice cream. Yummeh!




STB pudding



And their favorite drink over there, Appletiser. 




Opening times 12pm to 12am daily. On-site parking available.

Service: Good.

Location: The Bieldside Inn, 37 North Deeside Road, Bieldside, Aberdeen, AB15 9DB, Scotland.

T: +44 (0)1224 867891

Website: http://www.pbdevco.com/thebieldsideinn.html


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Recipe: Lemon & Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

One ingredient we always have in our fridge are lemons. We especially love adding them to our drinks, and one week we had a surplus of them, so I decided to make muffins with the kids. We chose to make lemon and orange poppy seed muffins.



When life hands you lemons, make lemon muffins ;)

This recipe appealed to me, since we could mix everything by hand, which meant I could just supervise while the kids did all the work. (I only helped with zesting the oranges and lemons, and melting the butter). Recipes with cup measurements are best for young kids as well.

They're easy to make and smelled wonderful even before they went into the oven.



The resulting muffin is moist, tangy and delicious! I think they taste extra nice with some butter on top and the poppy seeds add a lovely texture to the muffin.





Lemon and orange poppy seed muffins
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from here
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
2 1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
115g salted butter
Juice and zest of 2 medium lemons
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 210°C (no fan). Line the muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.

2. Melt the butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once melted, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, and orange zest and whisk until combined. Whisk in the the eggs. Add in the yogurt and vanilla and whisk well. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, add the flour, caster sugar, brown sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt  and mix well with a spatula. Pour in the wet ingredients (from Step 2) and gently fold until the flour is just mixed in. Remember not to overmix - lumpy batter makes light muffins ;)

4. Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them about 3/4 full.  Bake for 5 minutes at 210°C, then reduce the temperature to 190°C and continue to bake for a further 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. Store in airtight container up to 5 days.


Note: If you do not like muffins which are too lemony, you can use 1 lemon and 2 oranges instead.










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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cooking Class with Celebrity Chef Edward Kwon @ InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a Master Cooking Class with celebrity chef Edward Kwon at InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur.  Chef Edward Kwon, one of South Korean's top celebrity chefs, is in KL as part of the luxury hotel's World Celebrity Chef Series in 2015.  

Chef Edward has held numerous senior culinary positions in South Korea, United States, China and United Arab Emirates, as the Head Chef at Dubai's iconic Burj Al-Arab. He currently owns two restaurants in Seoul, Lab XXIV in Cheongdam-dong and The Mixed One, a buffet dining outlet in Hannam-dong. 

Chef Edward is renowned for accentuating traditional Korean dishes with a variety of Western and European techniques and ingredients. On a mission to globalise Korean cuisine, he will thrill gourmet lovers with his country’s fare over a four-day promotion at InterContinental KL from 21 to 24 April 2015. 


There will be nightly dinners (tonight 23rd will be the last one,priced at RM298 nett) as well as a Celebrity Gala Dinner tomorrow evening (24th, priced at RM490 nett including a selection of Penfold wines). Was super fortunate to be able to attend his cooking class yesterday, as I picked up some tips on Korean cooking and also meet the charismatic chef. 



So, during the cooking class, we learnt how to make 3 dishes - the first one being the soft bean curd with soy and black sesame dressing. This is a simple cold dish, which did not involve any cooking - a black sesame dressing was made by blitzing some smooth tofu with black sesame, sesame oil, soy milk, white vinegar. The soy dressing is even easier - just mix grapeseed oil, soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, salt, sesame oil and several pinches of gochugaru, then top on a cube of tofu. Garnish with some seaweed and greens and it's ready. Light and refreshing!




The one that we made


After the demonstration of each dish, we were served the same dish from the kitchen. A better looking version, garnished with a lotus root chip. 

There was never a dull moment in the class, as Chef Edward was entertaining, for example regaling us with tales of barley and its effects.  The next dish we made was rice veloute, better known as tarakjuk, considered as royal cuisine. Apparently, one of the kings from the Joseon dynasty had poor digestion, hence this was created for him. And that particular king had a long(est), healthy life amongst all the rulers then. 

This Korean porridge is slightly sweet, a bit like rice pudding with a fine and smooth texture. It is made using sticky rice, water, milk, sugar and salt, cooked about 15 minutes, then blended until smooth and served warm. 


The last dish that we learnt was how to make bulgogi beef. Look at the marbling on our piece of Wagyu steak.  To make the marinade, for every 1 piece of 150g steak,  finely chop 1 clove of garlic, 1 slice of onion and 1 spring onion. Add 1 tablespoon of grated pear or apple, approximately 1/4 cup of light soy sauce and 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of sesame seed. Mix well and marinate the beef for up to 6 hours.  Heat the pan on high heat, then cook the beef for about 15-20 seconds.




The marinade for our beef bulgogi


Chef Edward helping us slice our beef... cos we were too slow haha!


The bulgogi steak served to us, a much refined version.Very delicious!

And of course, must not miss the chance to snap a photo with the chef :)


This tasted superb, loved how tender and flavorful the beef was.


Group photo with chef Edward Kwon ;)


At the end of the cooking class, we were each presented with a certificate as well as a photo with the chef as memento ;)

As mentioned earlier, you can still catch chef Edward Kwon in action today and tomorrow at the Gala Dinner. For more information and reservations, please call +603-2782 6000 or email foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my. 

Pork-free.

Price: RM220 nett per person, inclusive of lunch.

Location: InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2782 6000

Website: http://www.intercontinental-kl.com.my/


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sunday Brunch @ Mosaic, Mandarin Oriental KL

We love leisurely Sundays, especially one which involves family time, great food and bubbly! Make your Sundays extra special at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur's all-new Sunday Brunch featuring a delectable spread of classic breakfast treats, traditional Australian roasted prime rib, an array of imported ocean delights and mouthwatering desserts.



Made even better with Moet & Chandon champagne ;)




Last weekend, the kids and I were invited to Mosaic for a deliciously indulgent afternoon. "The idea of the Sunday Brunch is to deliver comfort food to our diners," explains Chef de Cuisine Andreas Block.




There is a wide choice of appetizers to choose from, including salads, cold cuts, Arabic mezzeh dips antipasti. Or if you're the kind of person who enjoys having a cooked breakfast on Sunday, visit the "Breakfast station" for classic breakfast egg dishes, complete with baked beans, sauteed mushrooms and cured beef - my idea of a comforting breakfast, for sure! There are also a variety of bagels (classic, whole wheat and Laugen), which come in cute mini sizes. I tried some mini bagels and they're absolutely lovely. The kids enjoyed the croissant, pain au chocolat and Danish pastries.





There is also a wonderful selection of seafood to choose from - seafood on ice such as imported lobster, flower crab, and freshly shucked Fin de Claire oysters, just to name a few. My favorite station yet again is the Japanese sushi and sashimi, thanks to their fresh salmon, tuna, red snapper and octopus.






Not to be missed is the glorious roasted Australian beef prime rib. The prime rib is first marinated in a spice mix, then cooked sous vide for 12 hours and then finished off on a lava stone grill for a lovely smokiness. The prime rib is served medium rare to medium, just the way I like it! There are also honey glazed root vegetables, duck-fat potatoes and Yorkshire puddings to go with your Sunday roast. While you're there, also try the salmon coulibiac, or selections from the BBQ - lamb chops (must-try!), mini beef steaks, Atlantic cod and king prawns.



Chef de Cuisine, Andreas Block with the sliced prime rib



Do leave tummy space to try out their Asian cuisine. Fans of Indian cuisine can enjoy the tandoori chicken, chicken biryani, lamb kofta and naan. From the Chinese station, the whole steamed sea bass is highly recommended and from the Malay stations, try the satay and traditional Malay prawn curry.




Noodle lover :)



End your meal on a sweet note with an assortment of decadent desserts at Lounge on the Park. Choose from 24K Guanaja chocolate macaron, velvet white chocolate and mango cheesecake,  mille feuille and poached chocolate pudding with vanilla chantilly.







Love the cheese selection!



From 12 April to 30 June 2015, diners can participate in their "Eat Create Win" Instagram contest - create a MO fan emblem using food from the Sunday brunch buffet, and snap a photo of it alongside an identifiable prop bearing logo of either Mandarin Oriental KL or Mosaic restaurant. Submit on Instagram, tagging @MO_KualaLumpur and include hashtags #MOfoodies and #sundaybrunchatmosaic. A weekly winner will be chosen on Friday based on the most creative post and will receive a 1-night stay in a Park Suite.




The Sunday Brunch is available from 12pm to 3pm and is priced at RM178 nett per person. It is also available with a selection of beverage packages at RM218 nett per person (buffet with free flow non-alcoholic beverages), RM268 nett per person (buffet with free flow house wine and beer), and RM538 nett per person (buffet with Moet & Chandon champagne, wine and beer). Kids aged 4 -11 years old eat at half price.


Reservations recommended, please call +60 (3) 2179 8881 or email mokul-mosaic@mohg.com.



Opening times: 12pm - 2.30pm (lunch) and 6.30pm - 10.30pm (dinner).

Location: Mosaic, Lobby Level, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2179 8881

GPS Coordinates: 3.15568, 101.7120

Website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur/dining/restaurants/mosaic/



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