Friday, April 27, 2012

Going Oink at Cafe

Tuesday, 24th April 2012 - We arranged for a quick dinner and drinks with 2 friends from the oil & gas industry (friends with big salaries ;D). YB and YL were quick to suggest S.Wine cafe at Publika, and well, since I didn't have any better ideas, I went along with it.

You see, our breakfast experience the other time (our first time at the cafe) was not over the top fantastic, especially for the price they were charging.

 I ordered the Mexicana beans with pulled pork and bread with mashed avocado and was quite disappointed with the size of it.

I anticipated loads of mashed avocado on my bread, I guess.

Ok, never mind that.

The beans were a rip off. They tasted like plain baked beans from a can, with pulled pork added to it. What's so Mexican about baked beans, I kept asking YB.


YB ordered the Big Breakfast because he had high hopes. At RM37.90, who wouldn't, right?

All I can say is that the sausage was good. And that was it.

Fast forward to Tuesday.

We heard rave reviews of their lunch and dinner items so we thought we had better go back there and give it a second chance.

Busy on a Tuesday night.

You get a rough idea of their menu. ;)

YL ordered the Pan Fried Pork Chops with Sauerkraut (RM26.90). The sauce was yummy, but I didn't taste the pork chops. It must be good because it was the second time she ordered it.

I had the Spaghetti Carbonara with prosciutto, I think (RM23.90). The raw egg took us by surprise as it was our first time seeing it in a carbonara dish. Don't mind us, we were quite the sakais. ;D

It was creamy with a hint of smoky porky bits (oh gawd, I am not a food review writer, ok, so do forgive me!) which was far different from a standard carbonara dish. The prosciutto, however, was more like roasted pork i.e. siew yuk. Hmm.

Nevertheless, I'd say it's a MUST TRY.

YB ordered the BBQ Chorizo Cheeseburger with Bacon (RM23.90). I crossed my fingers that it would be as good as the carbonara but I didn't get to taste it until he gave me my half share.

I can't describe it.

The patty was juicy and tender and a delight to the palate. I ate slowly, savouring each bite.

It could have been the barbeque sauce or the melted cheese which added flavour but I swear, you MUST TRY.

(I have never been this adamant before!)

But the fries were no biggie.

VK had the Hainanese Pork Chops (RM23.90) which I didn't get a picture off as he dived right in once the plate hit the table. He said it was not too shabby.

As the place is small and tight, it's not conducive for old friends to chill out and chat. Instead, we moved to Overtime for beer after dinner before calling it a night.

Address: Tucked in the non-halal section of Ben's Independent Grocer, lower ground of Publika.

Other reviews:
Eat Drink KL
Health Freak Mommy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

That Banana Choc Chip Muffin

You know, that muffin from Starbucks?
It gets to me all the time.

Have I told you before that I reeeeeeallllly want to make giant banana choc chip muffins like the ones sold at Starbucks?

I think I have, but it look so much better here.

A weeks ago, I was thinking to myself that I haven't baked banana cake since ... well, my father-in-law's birthday in November last year.

I missed the fragrant smell of banana cake baking in the oven so I set out to bake one. (Honestly, I was torn between muffins and a cake loaf!)

But I couldn't recall which recipe I had followed during my earlier attempts. I settled on the one I found in my folder and crossed my fingers that it would turn out OK.

I ended up with something like this.

Mehh. It sure didn't look that appetising but thankfully it tasted better than it looked. ;)

I just added half a cup of chocolate chips to this walnut banana cake recipe and swapped walnuts with pecans.

Up North

Two weeks ago on Tuesday, I had to make an overnight trip to Penang with the bosses. We stayed in Gurney Hotel & Residences, which was facing the sea.

We were given a free upgrade to a VIP room - how cool is that??

My immediate boss kept teasing me about having an unwanted 'roommate' and I did my best to wave away his teasing as if I wasn't scared.

The view from the window was not too bad. 

It was drizzling by the time we checked in at the hotel and couldn't walk to Gurney Drive for an early dinner.

Instead, we went around the block to the mamak for tea.

Along with tea, we ordered some naan and tandoori chicken. We shouldn't have but then, we were kinda hungry.


Never have I tasted soft and tender tandoori chicken before. Seriously. It doesn't look like it, but it was soft and juicy. We were in seventh heaven.

I've only tasted dry tandoori chicken in KL, so honestly, this chicken was a pleasant surprise.

We took a walk on the 7th floor of the hotel, admiring the facilities provided. There was a sandy volleyball court and a football court, gym area, pool and table tennis area, and kiddy water slides in the pool.

It was really nice.
Maybe I'd go back again ... who knows.

Anyway, we ended up having supper at Gurney Drive's hawker centre because the chicken and naan kept us full for a few hours.

I don't think we ordered anything memorable. 
*thinks hard* 

That night, I slept with ALL the lights switched on in my room because I'm a scared-y cat. It didn't help matters when my immediate boss played a prank call on me!

Ok, I suspected it was him but I only asked him in the car on the way back to KL the next day. He started giggling and our boss ratted out on him. Oh geez. 

Before we left Penang/Kedah, we visited a factory in Lunas, Kedah and once again, we met with resistance from the security guards. We tried negotiating our way in but they refused us entry, despite our authorisation letter.

I busied myself with this little pup who came to greet us at the gate. Awwww.

Instead, we were directed elsewhere to another lot situated a few minutes away and was told that it was the one we were looking for.

I don't know about you, but I get really fidgety during long car rides with bosses. It's like, I'm expected to be on my best behaviour, gossip about work and stay awake throughout the entire journey.

I have a horrible tendency of nodding off whenever I'm in the car, and I feel bad for the hubby sometimes but I really can't help it when my eyes can barely remain open. 

Work is such a mood-busting shit for me these days. I wish I had help to sort out my backlog! It's killing me bit by bit and I really can't wait til I move on

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dutamas Runners : Yloon Wong

He's one of the guys I know with a 'nama glamour' on Facebook - and he goes by the name of Yloon Wong.

I don't think his parents named him Yloon, right? Hehe.

His occupation? Senior Technical Operation Engineer.

1. How did you start participating in running events? Were you a runner during your school days?

I started running during my school time (1992 to 1994). I used running to improve my stamina. Especially during Taekwondo competitions, it helped me to drain my opponent's energy and to surprise those elite opponents in free sparring event.

I still remember when I was 17, I managed to complete the Larian Merdeka-10km in 50minutes. I don't know why I cannot get this timing anymore. :( Maybe old already and need more training or maybe I didnt have any bad habits.

I stopped after my school time and start running back again on my first 7km run during Mcdonald run 2009.

2. How often do you run in a week?
Normally 3 times a week, and may be none too. But most of the time, I would say 2-3 times per week and clock around 7-8km per run.

3. Besides running, do you do other sports? What happened to basketball?
Yeah, I play basketball with a group of friends weekly (provided no rain ler), and we normally do full court instead of half.

All my basketball friends asked me, whether I went for secret training? How come my scoring accuracy improved tremendously???

I think the answer will be after I have seasoned myself to run 20-25km run per week, this improvement in stamina gives me a better control during the game.

(Photo courtesy of Elaine / Victor)

4. Do you believe in power gels? ;D
So far no, maybe I don't do or never do 42km. But I will just whack if the sponsor or the organizer is giving out free during the run. :-)

5. When your children grow up, will you encourage them to take up running as a hobby?
Of course I will encourage them to run, and I hope to run with them.

6. What was your most memorable running event and why?
I think our (Dutamas Runners') handicap is the most memorable run, why ah, maybe it gives me the chance to pia as there is a chance to win out by not letting fast legs like Melvin overtake me. Haha..

7. How did you know Captain KYK of Dutamas Runners?
From Facebook group of Dutamas Runners. :-)
I joined Bukit Aman runners, but they are too fast ler... normally I can't see their shadow during the run and they hardly organize breakfast event leh... (YT: Breakfast is a very important meal after running! ;D)

So I decide to scout for another group of runners and so happen I bumped into Captain KYK who was recruiting via facebook.

8. Did you quit any vices once you started running?
The answer is NO, due to I still do bad habits like sleep late, and friends will triggered me to go drinking till 2-3am maybe once a while.

I think this the reason I cannot improve my pace to a faster pace. :-(

 4th place at the Dutamas Runners' Handicap Run

9. Your dream run would be ....
My dream run would be to run faster and faster, at least to tag along with our Captain KYK or our Mr. Tomato. :-)

(YT: We are still trying to get him to sign up for his first full marathon but he's adamantly against it. So, perhaps YOU can help us convince him to make that crazy step? ;D)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Carrot and Pumpkin Seed Bread

What's with all this bread making, you ask?

I thought to myself that if I should indulge in baking, it would better to be something healthy.

If possible.

I'm still on a quest to find a bread recipe I can depend on as my default recipe. You know, have just one recipe I can use and alter as and when I'd like to.

Any ideas on a fail proof bread recipe? ;)

I baked this bread about a month ago. To be exact, the time I put this post up.
While it was baking in the oven, I gasped as I recalled my steps.

I forgot to add the salt.

Yep, I'm completely an airhead even when it comes to baking, so you can imagine me in person. Sigh.

The ingredients include grated carrots, wholemeal flour, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, wheat bran, wheat germ .... and the usual stuff.

I loved the colours in this bread and would love to try it out once more. It needs to be a bit more moist and light.

Ooh, I've got another confession here.

I can't find the recipe I followed.

I'll have to create my own now.

Wish me luck! ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kluang For A Short Trip

Hola and Good Day!

I have been drowning in work of late, and it's KILLING me!
Not literally, but it just kills most of my evenings. I can no longer enjoy a good run, cook a lovely dinner for both the hubby and I, bake some muffins or just laze in front of the sofa ... without keeping an eye on the clock and make sure I'm in bed before midnight!

Then I'll have to be up and ready to leave the house by 745am. =(

Work is hectic and lately, it involves some traveling as well. Last month, my bosses and I drove down to Kluang, Johor with the intention of inspecting a factory and its premises.

I say "intention" because we were denied entry.

 Lovely sunny day for a road trip.

We brought with us a valuer so he could value the plant and machinery in the factory and my, can he talk!

He kept talking and talking throughout the trip and we had to listen and nod our heads to acknowledge his stories. Every so often he would end his sentences with, "You get what I mean? You understand what I mean?" and it drove me up the wall!

Of course I kept quiet. We were tired from listening to his chatter but at least the driver (my boss) didn't have the opportunity to doze off while driving!

 Denied entry.

We had known all along that we wouldn't be able to enter the premises but it's a shame to have wasted the valuer's trip with us.

The factory was not in operation and had ceased operations for a few months. The security guards informed us that no one is permitted entry except for the tenant occupying the place.

To be honest, it looked too quiet to be in tenancy.

After about half an hour of trying to persuade the guards to let us in, we gave up and went for lunch.

Even during lunch, the valuer chatted our ears off.

He mistook my team leader/supervisor to be younger than me and boy, that statement has made me worried about investing in anti-aging stuff. Ack!

So the other day, I stared hard at him and realised that no way can he be mistaken as the younger one.

BUT it happened again another time. Oh noesssssssssssssssss!


Perhaps it's his happy-go-lucky personality that makes him look younger. I mean, I for one, look sullen when my face doesn't break into a smile. =((


Gotta smile, gotta smile, gotta smile!
Even if I'm on my own and people may think I'm crazy. 

p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOANNE!!!!! xoxoxox

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wholemeal Bread With Milk

Oh noes!

I closed the tab without bookmarking the blog with the recipe so I thought I'd better quickly jot it down right here before I forget!

270g bread flour
30g wholemeal flour
3g yeast
5g salt
6g sugar
240ml cold milk

1. Mix all dry ingredients together and pour in the milk. Mix until dough is sticky.
2. Roll into a ball and leave in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with clingwrap or cloth for 80 minutes.
3. Cut ball into half. Roll each part into a long-ish rectangle and roll it like a swiss roll. Put it into lightly greased loaf pan.
4. Cover with clingwrap or cloth for 60 minutes.
5. Bake at 190' C for 25 minutes.

Well, the top of my bread burnt badly at the 15th minute so I had to remove them and slice off the burnt bits. I turned them over and put them back into the oven. Reduced temperature to 160'C and baked for 10 minutes.

1. Must reduce temperature!!
2. I used 200g wholemeal flour and 100g bread flour. Added a handful of flaxseed into the dough.
3. Dough wasn't enough for 2 loaf pans. Will stick to just one the next time.
4. It was nice and soft! Will definitely make it again!

p.s. It became hard the next day. I guess it's best to eat fresh from the oven.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pumpkin Carrot Soup with Easy Bread

February 19, 2012.
(a very late post!)

I had baked a quick easy bread the night before, a recipe from Zesty Cook's site.

 The bread turned out a bit too yeast-y to our liking (booo =( ) and I thought argh, I'd better make some soup or I'll have to throw the bread away!

I (kinda) fell in love with this recipe, just because it used some Dijon mustard ... ooh la la!

Check out the array of yellow and orange ... *swoon*

But I didn't know that it required so much time and work!

I cooled the stew before pouring them into the blender.

At that moment, I realised that I need a food processor oh so badly.

Dinner was probably served a million hours later ... heh.

We both enjoyed the soup very much and with the accompaniment of the bread, we were pretty full.

I can't wait to make this soup again!!
When I have a lot of time, I mean. =)