Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Brunch + Asian Fruit Cakes @ Nutmeg, KL

Last weekend, we were invited by Chef William Chong of Nutmeg to visit their restaurant in Bangsar Village and sample their seasonal Asian fruit cakes. Not only was the food great, we had a wonderful time chatting and sharing food knowledge with Chef William that afternoon.

But first, lunch. At Nutmeg, they pride themselves in making their own bread, salt beef, sausages, curing their own salmon and more at their premises daily.

Hubby ordered the "Nutmeg Big Breakfast" (RM32) which features many of Nutmeg's specialities. You can customise your plate with two eggs any style, lamb or chicken sausage, house-cured salmon or salt beef or beef bacon, hashed potatoes or fried mac & cheese, and toasted brioche or sourdough.

We went for the poached eggs, which was beautifully done, lamb sausage, fried mac and cheese, salt beef, sourdough and it also comes with baked beans, roasted garlic tomatoes and confit mushrooms. A big hearty breakfast!

I had the Nutmeg Gravlax "Croissant-wich" (RM26) which features their signature cold-smoked house-cured salmon on a toasted croissant, and topped with creamy scrambled eggs. The house-cured salmon, seasoned with salt, sugar and mustard and then smoked, tasted great.

For drinks, I had the Nutmeg Soda (RM12.90) which is made using fresh nutmeg sourced from Penang.

Nutmeg proudly displays their cakes at the entrance - they all look so enticing and it took us a while to choose which ones we wanted.  Overall, they have over 100 different cakes types which are on constant rotation, with at least 20 cake types available every weekend.

Chef William tells me that the first Asian fruit cake that he made for Nutmeg was the papaya cake when they newly opened in 2013 in conjunction with Merdeka, as papaya is the "unofficial national fruit of Malaysia".  It has been an aim of Nutmeg to create a cake for every Asian fruit and at present, they have succeeded to create a number of interesting and iconic cakes based on this theme.

Out of the 9 themed Asian fruit cakes, we tried the Velvet Pomegranate (RM16), Watermelon Delight, and Caramelised Banana (RM16). I loved the Velvet Pomegranate which is made up of red velvet cake, pomegranate jam , fresh pomegranate, as well as a light cream cheese-custard frosting. What I liked was that the cake tasted both sweet and tangy, with a great light texture, and the pomegranate gives it an added crunchy texture. Plus the cake looks super pretty!

Handsome boy was happy cos according to him "everything is so yummy"

Hubby's pick goes to the Caramelised Banana - something simple done beautifully. With banana fudge cake, caramel and banana macadamia cream cheese custard, it was a sure winner as the cake was moist and lovely. All cakes are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I was most intrigued by the Watermelon Delight, a cake inspired by Sydney's Black Star Pastry strawberry watermelon cake. Chef William presents a refined version here at Nutmeg, featuring compression and dehyration techniques to make the watermelon mousse, leather and watermelon jewels. Every mouthful was filled with pure watermelon bliss. And you get a surprise if you suck through the chocolate layer as Chef William has added in pop rocks.

Here are the other Asian fruit cakes available at Nutmeg:

Coconut Moonlight - coconut sponge cake, coconut mousse, toasted macadamia, flaked coconut

Pulut Hitam - Coconut sponge cake, black glutinous rice, gula melaka jelly, wajik pulut hitam, nata de coco

Durian chendol - pulut, durian, house-made chendol, coconut cream, agar, gula melaka

Flourless Ciku - Ciku, Brown Rice, Sorghum, Hazelnuts, Marshmallow frosting

Pink Guava - pink guava sponge, pink guava jam, pink guava and grapefruit mousse

Papaya Paradise - Papaya, coconut, peanuts

Mummy and son day out :)

You can read my previous review of Nutmeg here.

Opening times: 9.30am to 10.00pm daily.

Location:Nutmeg, UGF-28A Bangsar Village II, 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03 2201 3663

Website: https://www.facebook.com/nutmegkl/

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Recipe: Warm Steak Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Rocket

How do you keep your husband happy?

One of the most effective method is by cooking him his favorite food. In my case, Hubby's favorite food is steak. We bought a 3.3kg slab of rib eye last weekend, and had the shop cut it into 10 pieces and had them vacuum packed individually.

For one of our weekday lunch, we made a simple and delicious warm steak salad. Steak salad is something we would order if we saw it on a restaurant's menu - but homecooked is best as you can be really generous with the amount and quality of beef that you use.

To complete the salad, we had rocket leaves dressed with a honey balsamic dressing as well as pan roasted cherry tomatoes.

Look at the glorious steak! I find that for salads, it is best to cook the steak to medium doneness, and then thinly slice it across the grain. Remember to season generously with good quality salt. 

Simply toss everything together and tuck in! Simplicity at its best. And I've got one very happy Hubby... yay ;)

Warm Steak Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5-6 minutes
Serves 2

350g rib eye steak
1 1/2 tsp oil
50g wild rocket
8-10 cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3/4 tbsp honey
Salt, to taste

To serve
Maldon salt or fleur de sel

1. Clean the steak under running water and pat very dry with kitchen towel. Season both sides with pepper and rub with 1 tsp of oil.

2. In a large grill pan over high heat, add 1/2 teaspoon oil and wait until the pan/oil is smoking hot. Place the steak in the pan, and start your timer. Every 20 seconds, flip the steak. Cook to desired doneness - I cooked this 350g 1 inch steak for about  4 1/2 minutes for medium doneness.

3. Remove steak from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Season the steaks generously with salt.

4. Place cherry tomatoes in the hot grill pan and pan roast them for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until the skin is slightly blistered. Remove from heat.

5. In a small bowl, place the dressing the ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and then pour over the rocket leaves, and toss.

6. To serve, place rocket leaves, steak and tomatoes on a board. Slice steaks very thinly across the grain and then toss with the rocket and tomatoes. Serve with more Maldon salt or fleur de sel, as desired.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kim Lian Kee @ The Gardens Mall, KL

We first tried Kim Lian Kee back in 2010 when we visited Lot 10 Hutong, and ever since then, we have been going back there whenever we have a craving for Hokkien Mee. They have been operating since 1927 in Petaling Street, using charcoal fire to cook their noodles. The Hokkien mee here even inspired us to cook our own at home.

Anyway, Kim Lian Kee recently opened a new outlet at The Gardens Mall, so we decided to check it out. The location is beside Canton-i (same level as Cold Storage). There are several types of noodles on their menu, including char koay teow, Cantonese style noodles, meehoon as well as side dishes such as fried wantans and meat balls. However, most people come here for their famous Hokkien Mee (RM12.90).

The noodles are coated in a delicious dark sauce, with other ingredients such as prawns, cuttlefish and vegetables. Not very attractive looking, but definitely tasty with plenty of wok hei! 

I tried the loh mee (RM12.90) previously at their other outlet and enjoyed it - so having it again here at the new outlet! Since its table service here, they give u a whole bottle of vinegar to drizzle (as much as u like) over the loh mee. Over here, they also top the noodles with lots of crispy pork lard (chee yau char). Super yummy, even Hubby enjoyed a few small bowls of this with me :)

Price: Total bill RM28.40, inclusive 10% service charge.

Location: Kim Lian Kee, Lower Ground Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (next to Canton-i)

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Recipe: Steamed Mussels with Sake and Cherry Tomatoes

Another favorite seafood of mine other than scallops are mussels. Whenever we go on holiday in Scotland, I would eat to my heart's content since mussels there are so good and fresh.

Fresh mussels are not readily available in the supermarkets here in KL, hence I bought a pack of frozen New Zealand greenshell mussels to try cooking recently. Glad to report that it was a success, and I even managed to convert my Hubby to a mussel-loving person too ;)

Steamed mussels with sake and tomatoes

Greenshell mussels naturally grow to a larger size than other mussel varieties, hence they're extra juicy and tender. These are farm raised and sustainable. These have already been lightly steamed to open, then snap frozen to maintain their flavour and tenderness.

To be honest, I had reservations about using frozen mussels but not anymore after this experiment. All we need to do before cooking is take out from freezer 30 minutes beforehand and defrost. You can also cook it from frozen if you like, but add on extra few minutes.

For our first mussel cookout in KL, we steamed it in a sake and cherry tomato broth, then finished off with some fresh herbs. Had it with some crusty bread; perfect for dunking in the lovely juices/broth. Can't wait to cook this again!

Steamed mussels with sake and tomatoes
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6-8 minutes
Serves 2

900g frozen NZ mussels, thawed
1 cup cooking sake
2 tbsp salted butter
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
15 cherry tomatoes
A small handful fresh parsley

1. In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter and place the chopped garlic. Saute for about 1 minute until lightly golden, then add the cherry tomatoes and sake. Bring to the boil and once boiling, add the mussels.

2. Place lid on and allow to steam for 5-6 minutes. You may open half way through and give it a quick stir.

3. Sprinkle parsley over the mussels before serving. Serve with crusty bread, or any toast bread to soak up the lovely sauce/juices.

Note: To thaw the mussels, simply open the pack and place mussels in a covered pot for 25-30 minutes.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Ramadan Buffet @ Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside

Earlier this week, we were at Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside to sample their Jom Balik Kampung Festive Dinner. The festive buffet is held at Laguna, the hotel's outdoor dining venue offering a breezy lakeside atmosphere. Available from 25 June to 14 July 2015, the buffet is priced at RM128+ per person (50% for child between 6 - 12 years old).

The buffet dinner features authentic kampung-style Malaysian cuisine in a Bazaar-style concept. This is one of Hubby's favorite hotel Ramadan Buffet as he enjoys the al fresco dining ambiance.

Beef Leg (Peha Lembu Nobitta)

There are 12 different stalls to choose from, such as Ikan Bakar, Warung Satay, Kedai Mamak, Nasi Tempayan, Petaling Street, Carvery, Warung Kopi, Western Corner, Sup & Bubur Station, Salad & Appetizer Corner, Goreng-Goreng and Dusun Buah.

Some of the highlights here include whole roasted lamb or venison, ikan bakar, bubur lambuk Kampong Baru, tomyam khazanah laut, chicken murtabak, roti John as well as the Dusun, an open stall area with durian kampung, mangosteen, jackfruit, mata kucing, ciku and various other local fruits to complement the festive dinner.


Ulam-ulam kampung with sambal belacan, cencaluk, budu and tempoyak. 

Big Fish

Whole roasted lamb

Prawns (Udang kertas)

Ketam bunga

Kepala sotong goreng



Fresh seafood ready for the grill

Murtabak and roti bom

Rojak and pasembur Singapore

Paru sambal tumis sejati (Lung with chilli paste)

Ikan pari asam pedas Nurani (stingray with sour spicy sauce) 

Sotong masak lemak Issabella (squid with coconut milk)

Nasi briyani

Kam heong cockles

Desserts - lots of traditional kuih-muih to choose from

Blueberry delight cake

Dusun Buah 

Live traditional music - Ghazal band performs daily

Sunset by the lake

For reservations, call 03-8890 0000 ext 6802/6804 / 6850 or email news@pullmanputrajaya.com

Location: Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel, 2 Jalan P5/5, Presint 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia. (25 minutes drive from KL)

Tel: 03-8890 0000

Website: http://www.pullmanputrajaya.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pullman-Putrajaya-Lakeside/180964341935129

GPS Coordinates: 2.899946, 101.670159

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