Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baby Sumo Birthday Week #1: Cilantro Restaurant, KL

Every year for my birthday, Hubby would spoil me to a few nice meals in the run up to the actual day. The first venue that we picked was Cilantro KL, having had many nice meals here in the past.


Every Fridays, they do a 4-course lunch for RM150 nett, which includes a glass of Prosecco as well as coffee/tea. And of course, not to be missed here is their amazing truffle butter... don't be shy and slather on your bread. You could always ask for another and they would happily oblige ;)



The amazing truffle butter

To start, we had the Cold Capellini with Hirame and Aosanori. This was my favorite dish of the afternoon - loved its simplicity yet bursting with umami flavours. The delicate fish was topped with some kickass wasabi and crunchy seaweed. Fantastic!



The second course is a warm starter, Nipah Crab with Piment d'Espelette Soufflé. I wasn't too impressed with this dish, especially since the souffle was tiny and looked deflated, and I found not one, but three pieces of crab shell in my plate. Certainly not acceptable for a fine dining restaurant.



For mains, I had the Grilled Angus Beef with Mushrooms while Hubby went for the French Pigeon with Foie Gras. I enjoyed the grilled beef, very nicely cooked, but next to the grilled beef there was also a piece of braised beef (not sure which part) but it was tough and felt a bit out of place. I would have been happier if it wasn't there. Hubby's main course was good and a nice change since it's not everyday that he gets to eat French pigeon.


Dessert was also a non-event for us, Roasted Apple with Caramel Ice Cream and Tuile. All I got from eating the ice cream was a burnt aftertaste (we've had their caramel ice cream before and it definitely doesn't taste like this). Hardly exciting.



So, we ended up going to The Deli (also in Micasa Hotel and operated by Cilantro kitchen) and ordered a strawberry meringue with vanilla ice cream. A sure-winner, this definitely perked our moods up again.

Thanks Hubby for the birthday treat!


Opening times: Lunch - available on Fridays only. (12.00pm -2.00pm). Dinner - Monday to Saturday (6.00pm - 10.30pm). Closed on Sundays.

Service: Good.

Price: RM150 nett per person inclusive of glass of Prosecco

Location: Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar, MiCasa All Suite Hotel, 368-B Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2179 8082

Website: http://www.cilantrokl.com/ (Lunch menus updated weekly)

GPS Coordinates: 3.162273,101.719548



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Kids Gardening/Crafts Project: Cress Egg Heads

School's out!

As a parent, I understand that parents will be busy finding interesting activities to fill up their children's days. A really fun and cool activity to do with your kids is making these adorable, cute cress egg heads.

Fun gardening and craft activity to do with your kids


Children will get to learn about gardening (how seeds germinate and sprout), responsibility (they must remember to water their cress every day) as well as being creative (decorating their egg heads' body). My kids were definitely very excited doing this project and watching their seeds grow. Every day after they arrive home from school, the first they do is check on their sprouts and water them. I also joined in the fun and planted my cress in a shallow plastic tray (round ice cream cover would work well).





What you will need:
♥ Egg carton
♥ Empty eggshells half
♥ Cotton wool
♥ Spray bottle
♥ Cress seeds or other small seeds such as chia, mizuna, arugula, flax.
♥ Several toilet paper roll
♥ Marker or magic colour pens

You can get mizuna, arugula or cress seeds from gardening shops (like Ace Hardware) or gardening websites and chia and flax seeds can be found in organic food shops.


What you need to do:
1. First, you will need to draw a face on the eggshell halves with the markers (broken edge should face up).



2. Stuff the egg shells with cotton wool and spray with water until the cotton wool is very wet.



3. Arrange the egg shells in the egg carton and then sprinkle on the seeds onto the cotton wool. Spray once more with water and leave in a sunny spot. Since Malaysia climate is quite hot, it is recommended to spray twice a day - it is important to keep it moist or else the sprouts will dry out and die.

4. Wait for about 4-7 days, your sprouts should have grown quite high by now.

Day 2


Day 3


5. Decorate the toilet rolls with marker pen (buttons/ties/ribbons) then balance the cress egg heads on top of the tube. You can give your egg head a haircut  whenever you are ready to harvest some for your sandwiches or salads. ;)

Have fun!


Do also check out my posts under these labels for more ideas:
Cooking with Kids
Things to do with kids




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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Michelin-Star Chef Mario Gamba of Acquarello Munich @ Mandarin Oriental KL

I was excited to hear that Chef Mario Gamba of Michelin-starred Acquarello in Munich was coming to KL and was even more excited when I received an invitation from the Mandarin Oriental KL hotel to attend a cooking demo and 7-course dinner at Mandarin Grill.

Chef Mario Gamba will be at the award-winning Mandarin Grill from 19 to 22 November 2014 and diners can choose from a 5-course dinner for RM498++ per person or 7-course dinner for RM698++ per person. There will also be a 6-course wine dinner featuring Chateau Cantemerle on 22nd November for RM598++ per person.




Chef Mario Gamba's restaurant in Munich, Acquarello was awarded one Michelin-star in 2000 and has been listed among the world's 100 best restaurants by Forbes. He has trained under Michelin-starred Chef Alain Chapel in France, Chef Heinz Winkler of Tantris and Chef Gualitero Marchesi. He is specially flown in by Qatar Airways with his assistant Chef Bastian Gebhardt to give diners an exclusive Italian dining experience.



Earlier at the cooking demo, Chef Mario Gamba shows us how to make a pea risotto topped with scallop saltimbocca and Amalfi lemon foam. He tells us that to make a good risotto, it is important to buy good risotto rice (either Carnaroli or Vialone Nano). During his cooking demo, he uses the 9-years aged Acquerello rice, which is often hailed as the "Roll-Royce of rice" due to its superior quality. The aging process guarantees a perfect stability of the starch within the grains, that is indispensable to exalt their qualitative and nutritional values.



Saltimbocca is given a twist by Chef Mario Gamba, as he tops the lightly seared scallops with raw tuna drizzled with sesame oil. Another tip that he shares is to add some acidity to the risotto, either by adding a splash of wine or white balsamic vinegar and butter to finish off the dish. The risotto was perfectly executed and by the time I finished eating it, I was certainly looking forward to the 7-course dinner that was to come.




For dinner, we were ushered into the private dining room in Mandarin Grill restaurant. To start, we were served a selection of bread with salted and smoked butter, followed by an amuse bouche of veal with tuna foam, his take on the Vitello Tonnato.

Our dinner venue, the elegant Mandarin Grill




During the cooking demo, Chef Mario Gamba revealed that in his Acquarello kitchen in Munich, he prefers to serve a light menu to his diners by using less butter and sugar. He also tells us that his favorite method of cooking is sous vide, as it is healthier and the flavours of food are sealed in. The veal in the warm veal filet salad was prepared with the sous vide method, and then served with artichoke, basil oil and truffle shavings. Yup, be prepared for a truffle extravaganza ;)



"You must try the gold egg later" Chef Mario Gamba enthusiastically tells us. And I can see why - the truffled egg is topped with edible gold leaf, celery mousseline, and Madeira foam. This was definitely my favorite dish of the evening - absolutely exquisite and bursting with flavour.



Chef Mario Gamba grew up in Northern Italy, and his grandmother used to make ravioli for the family on weekends. For the next course, we were served with a potato ravioli with sherry foam and white truffle shavings. I liked the texture that potato filling gives these delicate parcels and the sherry foam packs quite a punch flavour wise.



The filet of cod was served with a sauce made from duet of bell pepper coulis, topped with scallop cream, black truffle shavings and cannellini beans foam.  Super love the sauce, paired with flaky fish.


Cappuccino of Potato with Parmesan Foam and Truffle

The main course is a lamb loin in a crisp bread crust. Beautifully pink in the centre, this was served with a rosemary jus with ratatouille and baked eggplant praline on the side.



By the way, Mandarin Grill is also having a truffles promotion- RM180/g for white truffle, and RM90/g for black truffle.


And to end our wonderful meal, a gorgeous ricotta souffle served with Alba white truffle ice cream, pear coulis and Tahitian vanilla. The truffle ice cream was amazing, wish I could have more of that!


Thank you to Mandarin Oriental KL for extending the invitation to this exquisite dinner.


Opening times: 12pm to 2.30pm; 7pm to 10.30pm.

Pork-free.

Price: RM698++ per person

Location: Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2380 8888

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555




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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Unsubscribe from Digi Prepaid Daily Internet

Most of the time I would use the wifi connection at home, but the other day I was going to be out for most of the day so I subscribed to the Digi Daily Internet for RM3 (150MB). I didn't pay much attention, though when I subscribed the words "auto renewal" appeared next to it.

Until the next day, I noticed that RM3 was deducted once again for Daily Internet although I no longer required it. It's really easy to subscribe onto the internet, but even on the T&C on Digi's website, they do not tell you where to go to unsubscribe. Anyway here's what you need to do if you are ever faced with this problem.

How to unsubscribe from Digi Internet Packages:

On your keypad, key in *116#.

Press Reply, key in "1" for Internet Packages.

Select the Internet Package that you are subscribed to..
For example, I was subscribed onto the Daily RM3 - so press Reply and key in "5".



Press Reply and  key in "1" to unsubscribe.

Finally, key in "1" one more time to confirm unsubscribe.

You will no longer be charged RM3 for daily internet. You will receive a SMS confirming that you have unsubscribed.






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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WORLDFOODS International Fusion Recipe Swap Challenge: The Beesley Buzz's Cottage Pie Recipe

Hi everyone, I am most delighted to have Rebecca Beesley of The Beesley Buzz guest posting on my blog today as part of the WORLDFOODS International Fusion Recipe Swap Challenge. Do hop over to her fantastic blog and show her some love xoxo.

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Rebecca is a mum of three and blogs about family life over at The Beesley Buzz.  The whole family enjoys getting involved in blogging. The blog was started whilst the children were being home-schooled as a way of capturing their memories and adventures. Even though J and D are back at school now, blogging has been a way to keep a record of favourite recipes, holiday memories, book reviews and other aspects of family life.

Recipe:
WORLDFOODS-inspired Cottage Pie



I’m delighted to be here guest posting today. I was asked by WORLDFOODS to pick a classic British dish and give it a bit of a twist using some products from the WORLDFOODS range. And what can be more classic than a Cottage Pie. The term cottage pie is thought to have been used since the 1700s ‘when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor’ (Wikipedia). The term cottage being a modest dwelling for rural workers.

Nowadays it is used fairly interchangeably with the term ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ (although Shepherd’s pie technically should be made with lamb and Cottage pie with beef). You can use leftover meat, for example from a Roast Dinner (another classic British meal), or use can use minced (ground) beef for this dish.



In this recipe we’ve given the classic Cottage Pie a WORLDFOODS inspired twist by using Thai Masaman Curry Paste in the meat part of the dish and the potato topping has the beautifully warming flavour of the Thai Yellow Curry Paste running through it.


Ingredients:
1kg potatoes
400g pack of minced beef (ground beef)
1 onion
1 courgette / zucchini
2-3 carrots
100ml beef stock (you can use 1 stock cube dissolved in boiled water for this)
1 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in a little boiled water
A little groundnut or rapeseed oil for frying
25g butter
A splash of milk
3 tablespoons WORLDFOODS Thai Masaman Curry Paste
2 tablespoons WORLDFOODS Thai Yellow Curry Paste
250g green beans to serve alongside



Method:

1. Peel, chop and fry the onion in a little oil until softened and browned a little.

2. Add the ground beef / minced beef and fry until browned.

3. Peel and finely chop the carrots and courgettes/zucchini. Add this to the pan and continue to fry for a couple of minutes.

4. Add in 3 tablespoons of WORLDFOODS Thai Masaman Curry paste and stir to coat all the beef and vegetables.

5. Dissolve a beef stock cube in 100ml boiling water, along with a teaspoon of cornflour and pour this in. Stir. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer. If the mixture starts to stick to the pan, then add a splash more boiled water.

6. At this stage, preheat the oven to 200C. Then prepare the potatoes.

7. I find it easier to wash and boil the potatoes with the skin on and then peel them with my fingers once they are boiled. If you find it easier to peel with a peeler and then boil them, then do it that way. It is just a matter of preference.

8. Once the potatoes are boiled (and peeled), using a potato masher, mash them with the butter and milk. Add in 2 tablespoons of WORLDFOODS Thai Yellow Curry Paste and continue to mash. The mash will start to look a beautiful yellow colour.

9. Pour your meat mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Then top with the mashed potato. You can run a fork over the top of the mash to help it spread out evenly and give a patterned effect.



10. Place in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C until golden brown on top.

11. Boil or steam your green beans and serve alongside your WORLDFOODS Cottage Pie.



Variations:

You can double up the quantities to make two cottage pies and freeze one for another day.

If the Thai Yellow Curry paste proves too hot (it is medium heat depicted by two chillies on the jar packaging) then just use a little less. Like things hotter, add a little more.

If you prefer to use Lamb mince (ground lamb), then make a Shepherd Pie instead. It is exactly the same but uses lamb meat instead of beef.

Have some leftover meat to use up? Throw it into a Cottage Pie. The perfect way to use up leftovers.

For the potato topping, you could also try Carrot and Potato mash or Sweet Potato mash instead of regular potatoes. You can also add some grated cheese on top if you like.

About WORLDFOODS:
WORLDFOODS is a range of ready-made sauces that are 100% fresh, natural and authentic, with no unnecessary additives and no GM (genetic modified) ingredients. WORLDFOODS sauces combine quality ingredients to help you create your favourite Asian dishes at home, quickly and easily. Each bottle of sauce is designed with convenience in mind so you can enjoy the wonderful flavours of authentic Asian food without having to make everything from scratch. You can rest in the knowledge that we have done the groundwork, gathering oriental herbs and spices and authentic ingredients and preparing them for you. With WORLDFOODS sauces, you can be sure that you are getting only the very best for your health. Every bottle is made with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. All our sauces are 100% natural, which makes us the ideal choice if you are health-conscious and a gourmet at heart. Vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs will be pleased to know that our products are specially made to meet your needs too.

WORLDFOODS sauces are available worldwide, with a different selection available in each country. To find out the selection of sauces available in your country along with stockist details please visit: http://www.worldfoods.com.my/wf/where_to_buy/index.php


Thank you for this fantastic recipe, Rebecca! xoxo

I am also guest posting over at her blog today, so check out what Malaysian dish I have decided to showcase to her readers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Recipe: Avocado salad with Tomatoes, Shallots and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette (Bobby Flay)

I love avocadoes and would eat them every single day if I could. I always have a few sitting on my kitchen counter, so they definitely came in handy when I saw this avocado salad recipe from Bobby Flay.

Avocado salad with Tomatoes, Shallots and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette


If you like guacamole, you should certainly try this. It tastes very similar to guacamole since the ingredients used share a similarity (think toasted cumin seeds, tomatoes, shallots). Also got to harvest the rocket and mizuna from my herb garden to add to this salad. :)

This is quick and easy to put together, and love the tangy cumin vinaigrette that is poured over the salad. A refreshing salad that I would love to eat any day.

Brilliant colours - so want to eat this again!


Avocado salad with Tomatoes, Shallots and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Bobby Flay
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ripe medium Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 quantity toasted cumin vinaigrette, recipe follows
1 cup arugula / rocket leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro leaves


For the vinaigrette:
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, honey and cumin together, then slowly add the oil and whisk until emulsified. Add the cilantro leaves and season with salt and pepper. Note: Do not use a blender to make this vinaigrette.

2. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then add the vinaigrette. Toss, check the seasoning and serve immediately.






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I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Bobby Flay" event which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Grace of Life Can Be Simple. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Bobby Flay websites or cookbooks for the whole month of November 2014.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in November 2014 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Grace of Life Can Be Simple and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:



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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Red Lobster Malaysia, Intermark Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Red Lobster, the world's largest seafood restaurant chain has opened its doors at the Intermark Mall, marking its debut in South East Asia. This iconic American casual dining seafood restaurant chain from the USA first restaurant in the US was opened in 1968 in Lakeland, Florida by founder Bill Darden and has since grown to over 700 restaurants across the United States, Canada, Middle East, South America, Japan and now Malaysia.


Red Lobster in Malaysia is operated by the Secret Recipe F&B Group in partnership with Darden Restaurants. According to Mr Ray Bauer, Managing Director of Franchise Operations, Asia for Darden Restaurants, Darden has invested into partnerships in cultivation of lobsters and aqua farm facilities for sustainable supplies in the country.

I was invited here for a food review here over the weekend, and I am happy to have gotten a taste of the Red Lobster seafood dining experience. 



To start, we had their famous Cheddar Bay biscuits - loved the warm savoury cheese biscuit (texture very similar to a scone). All orders will receive unlimited, complimentary servings of this. Other starters that we had were the lobster pizza (RM36.90) and the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp (RM22.90). The pizza had a crisp thin base and was topped with Maine lobster chunks, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. But my favorite starter has to be the shrimp, coated in their signature batter, then tossed in coconut and deep fried to crispy perfection and served with a pina colada sauce. Really yummy!





Both soups that we tried were really delicious too - I had the lobster bisque (RM11.90 per cup, RM19.90 per bowl) and it was creamy, rich and came with generous chunks of lobster. I also tried some of the New England Clam Chowder (RM10.90 per cup, RM17.90 per bowl) and it was also very good. Creamy and loaded with clams and potatoes.



As for the mains, we tried some of their signature combinations - Bar Harbor Lobster Bake (RM109.90), Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Scallops (RM99.90), Crab & Roasted Garlic Seafood Bake (RM74.90) and Lobster &Steak Burger (RM69.90). These are great for sharing as they are served in pretty large portions.



Bar Harbor Lobster Bake - a roasted split lobster tail, tender shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and linguine in a savory broth

Crab & Roasted Garlic Seafood Bake - Alaskan king crab with shrimp, sea scallops and potato wedges. We got a special tutorial from Mr Ray Bauer on how to shell the crab legs - and thanks to him, I'm now a pro at it! :) Found the crabs to be a tad salty, but still pretty good and it's really fun to eat (so easy when you know how, the meat just slips out effortlessly each time).


Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Scallops - a split Maine lobster tail, skewered shrimp and wild caught sea scallops with wild rice pilaf. My favorite dish of the day, I really loved the meaty, tender lobster. For this dish, the scallops were the larger variety, and plump and skewered prawns were very tender and juicy too.

Other than seafood, Red Lobster Malaysia also serves steaks, pastas and chicken dishes. All meats served here are certified halal and no alcohol is used in preparation of the food.

Lobster and Steak Burger - beef burger patty topped with cheese, and onion rings. Served with grilled Maine lobster and French fries on the side. I did not try this, so not sure how the burger patty is.



And to end our meal, we had two rich desserts, the Double Chocolate Torte (RM15.90) and cheese cake (RM15.90). Really sinful and good!


By the way, they also have live Maine and Rock lobsters for diners to choose from. The Rock lobsters come from Sabah. They can either be steamed or roasted with a crab-and-seafood stuffing at an additional charge. The live lobsters can range from 600g to 1.5kg. Seasonal price, but for a rough idea, the price will be RM27 per 100 grams for Maine Lobster and RM56 per 100 grams for Rock Lobster.




Verdict: Overall, I was impressed with the quality and freshness of the seafood. The dishes that we had were certainly good and well-prepared. My Top 3 recommendations would be the Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Lobster Bisque and Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Scallops. 

Opening times: 11am to 10pm daily.

Location: Red Lobster Malaysia, The Intermark, Ground Level, Lot G-17, Intermark Mall, 348 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2181 4855

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




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