Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recipe: My Mum's Chicken Curry with Potatoes + Happy Diwali

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo of my mum's chicken curry on Facebook and Instagram, and got some email requests for the recipe. So, here it is!

This is an Asian-style curry which is fragrant from the fresh herbs used - ie lemongrass, curry leaves and daun kesum (Vietnamese mint). My mum has been cooking this for us since we're kids, and it is one of my favorite versions of chicken curry. The gravy is so delicious, that you can't help but have extra helpings of rice. We do recommend making a huge pot of this, so that you'll have leftovers for the next day (we like dunking toast in the curry sauce - I think this is quite a Malaysian way of eating leftover curry). Even Hubby enjoys eating it this way for breakfast!

Now everyone, say thank you Aunty for the recipe :)

And to all my readers and friends celebrating Diwali, Happy Deepavali to you all! :)

My Mum's Chicken Curry
Recipe by Baby Sumo 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves 4-5

1 chicken maryland
1 chicken breast
1 bulb garlic, minced
3 large onions, sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised with your cleaver
8 stalks curry leaves
6 stalks daun kesum (Vietnamese mint)
6 tbsp curry powder
4 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks
1/2 grated coconut
4-5 tbsp cooking oil
700ml warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp light soy sauce

1. First, squeeze out as much coconut cream as you can from the grated coconut, you will get about 60-70ml. Set aside. Then, soak the grated coconut in 600ml warm water and squeeze again to get coconut milk.

2. Mix the chicken pieces with 2 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp light soy sauce. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the potatoes and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Add chicken (from Step 2) into the same pot and cook for 5-7 minutes,until the chicken pieces are evenly browned. Remove and set aside.

5. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are slightly softened and garlic is golden brown. Then, add the curry leaves, lemongrass and daun kesum and cook for a further 30seconds. Add the remaining 4 tbsp curry powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk only and bring to the boil.

6. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and add the potatoes. Simmer for 1 hour, then add the chicken and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt as necessary.

Note: If you have any leftovers, simply reheat before eating and serve with toast bread (soldiers). Dip and enjoy!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Hotel Review: Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

Staycations rank high on my kids' list of favorite things to do. We recently had a great staycation at Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, KL. It is centrally located near the KL Sentral area and less than a 30-minute drive away from home for us.

There are a total of 357 rooms and suites in the hotel. For the duration of our stay, we were booked into a 2-bedroom club suite on the 20th floor, the highest category room at the hotel. To access the hotel rooms, only guests with key cards can access their respective floors.

Also known as the family suite, this spacious 150 square metres suite can accommodate up to 4 adults and 2 kids. There are 2 queen-sized beds in the first bedroom and another king-sized bed in the other room.  There is a 32" LCD flat-screen TV in every room and also one in the separate living area. There are also 2 bathrooms (2 showers, 2 toilets, 4 vanity counters and 1 bath tub in total). The suite also comes with a kitchenette, with coffee/tea making facilities, mini bar and complimentary drinking water. Complimentary wifi is available in all rooms and public areas of the hotel for hotel guests.

Some of the attractions located nearby are National Museum, Central Market, Little India Brickfields, KL Bird Park, KL Butterfly Park and Nu Sentral shopping mall. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to KLCC, KL Sentral and Midvalley Megamall.

Separate living area with a spacious work desk

King-sized bed in second bedroom

Comfortable beds - our Penguin & Hello Kitty making themselves at home.

Bathroom no.1 with separate shower, bathtub and Best Western branded amenities

A bathtub is a must during our staycations!

 Plush bathrobes


Welcome amenity - thanks for the 3-tier of goodies!

We like the modern interior of the suites - very nice and sleek!

The swimming pools are located on the 6th floor. There is an infinity (adult) pool and also a kids pool. You get a really great view from up here on a clear day - you can see both KL Tower and the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers from here. Copious amounts of fun were had here! :)

View from the pool area

Infinity pool

We certainly had a great time here :)

Cool bird cage showers at the pool side

The gym/fitness centre and Bhuvana Spa Luxe is also located on the same level as the pool. Bhuvana Spa Luxe offers a wide range of massage therapies, body treatments (scrubs and wraps), facial treatments and Bhuvana blends (spa treatment combinations) as well as manicure and pedicures. I had an ultra-relaxing massage here.

There are 3 restaurants and a lounge at the hotel. Kembali Kitchen is the hotel's all-day dining restaurant which serves both International and Asian cuisine (a la carte or buffet). We had our breakfast here as well as lunch on one occasion. Hugo's on 6 is located on the same level as the swimming pool, and offers Mediterranean cuisine as well as steamboat and BBQ on select days. Grill 582 is the hotel's fine dining restaurant, serving the finest meat cuts and seafood, and is only open for dinner. Punch Bar & Lounge offers pre- and post-dinner cocktails (happy hour between 6-8pm) as well as afternoon tea.

Nasi goreng from Kembali Kitchen

BBQ at Hugo's on 6

Sunset from Hugo's on 6

Delicious steaks at Grill 582

English afternoon tea at Punch Bar & Lounge

Verdict: Hotel in a great location. Rooms are spacious, modern, well-maintained and the rates are very reasonable. Good selection of F&B outlets, nice spa and swimming pool with a great view. 

Thank you to Best Western Premier Dua Sentral for the kind invitation to stay at the hotel.

See other posts related to Best Western Premier Dua Sentral:
Bhuvana Spa Luxe Spa Review
BBQ Sensation at Hugo's on 6
Lunch at Kembali Kitchen
Grill 582
English afternoon tea at Punch Bar & Lounge

Check-in time 3pm, check-out time 11am. Flat parking fee for in-house guests at RM8/car/day.

Room rates start from RM239 for deluxe room.

Location: Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, 8, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 2272 8888

Join their Facebook page here.

GPS Coordinates: 3.136185,101.693356

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Taste Enclave Classic + Chapter Two @ Pavilion KL

Taste Enclave Classic has been open in Pavilion KL since August 2014, and this week we stumbled upon it when we were looking for a lunch place. Located on Level 2, you can find authentic hawker fare here, and the difference with Taste Enclave in Avenue K is that you get table service here i.e. you will be seated by the staff, and will receive table service (look through the menu, the staff will take your order and serve you). I guess you could call this a "classy food court".

There was a slight queue when we arrived since it was lunch hour but still, we were seated within 5 minutes. Over here you can chooose from the famous Sentul Ah Yap Charcoal Hokkien Mee, Ah Hu Bak Kut Teh, Nasi Ayam Singapura, Tong's Roast, Jalan Kayu Prata, Heun Kee claypot chicken rice and more. There is also a cafe here, Coen cafe, which serves Scandinavian cuisine.

Hubby decided to try the Penang char koay teow with duck egg (RM12.90) from Sentul Ah Yap stall. It was decent enough, but slightly lacking in wok hei. Should have went for the Hokkien mee since the last time we had it in Avenue K, it was really good.

Kopi ping (RM3.30) and tea (RM2.30). All their cups and even chopsticks are branded with Taste Enclave.

I thoroughly enjoyed my order of dry wantan mee from Tong's Roast; I opted for roasted duck (RM14.90) and requested for duck breast. The duck meat was juicy and flavorful. It also came with a small bowl of soup and two wantans. We also ordered a plate of char siew (honey-glazed BBQ pork) and siew yuk (roast pork) to share - I was pleasantly surprised that the portion was quite generous and I would happily pay the RM20 charged for it. The siew yuk was excellent, one of the best I've had - super crispy crackling (don't you just love hearing the "cruk cruk" sound as you bite into the crackling) and the char siew wasn't too shabby either.

Dry wantan mee with roasted duck

Roasted duck breast

A glorious plate of porky goodness!

Overall, we had a nice meal here at Taste Enclave Classic. Prices are a bit higher than normal food court/hawker stalls, but it's worth paying for the nice ambiance and dining comfort. Yup, I don't need to sweat buckets to enjoy these local delights.

Checked out the Moschino store in Pavilion KL and spotted these McD-inspired bags and shoes

After some shopping, we stopped by at Chapter Two cafe (near Mercato supermarket) for some coffee and cakes. We shared a slice of tiramisu mille crepe (RM12.90), and it was really really good. The texture and flavours were spot on. I'm impressed.

Really lovely kolam display at Pavilion KL for Deepavali/Diwali

Opening times: 8am - 10pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 8am - 11 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.


Price: Total bill RM58.75.

Location: Taste Enclave Classic, Lot 2.65.00-2.67.00&2.74.00, Level 2, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chapter Two, P1.02.00, Level 1, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2110 6968

Website: www.tasteenclave.com

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Marutama Ramen @ Avenue K, KL

Marutama Ramen is one of my fav places to get my ramen fix. Usually we go to the Fahrenheit 88 outlet, but happy that we can now get it at Avenue K too.

The outlet is located on upper concourse level (same level as H&M Kids). The outlet is quite small, but service is fast and friendly.

Marutama is good if you like your ramen soup to be less rich. Not too cloying, hence you can easily finish the whole bowl. You get the choice of spicy or non spicy soup here, but I personally prefer the non-spicy one. Plus it's better for sharing with the kids.

The char siu is also pretty good and best of all, the EGGS! Simply perfect everytime. Most of the time, we need to order 2 eggs each.

I usually go for the ajitsuke tamago ramen (RM21) with 1 slice of char siu and 1 egg, and Hubby goes for the char siu tamago ramen (RM27) which comes with 4 slices of char siu. And a few extra eggs please. (ajitsuke tamago RM2 each)

We like to grab some ice creams from Simply d before we head home. So far, we've tried a few flavours and our favorites are passion fruit, mango as well as strawberry cheesecake. Perfect for a hot afternoon!

Opening times: 10am to 10pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill rm66

Location: Marutama Ramen, UC-7, Upper Concourse Level, Avenue K, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur. (same level as H&M Kids Department)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

La Cucina @ Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar

La Cucina is the urban dining specialty restaurant in Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar serving Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

During our staycation here, we dined in this restaurant twice - once for their steak promotion and another time trying out their a la carte menu for dinner. They have a wide range of salads, pasta, pizza and main courses available here.

King prawn salad

Freshly baked bread

The kitchen is located smack in the centre of the restaurant - yup, an open kitchen for the viewing pleasure of the diners. There is also a Mediterranean salad bar whereby you can make your salad selections and watch the salads being prepared before your eyes. Select your desired toppings; one salad for RM24 or selection of two for RM34. We went for the king prawn salad - it was fresh and the king prawns were huge and meaty. 

Over at La Cucina, the pizzas are baked in a clay oven and you can customise your own pizzas - ie you can choose the base and toppings. For the base, we chose mixed herbs and garlic confit as well as Maldon salt and olive oil, and for the toppings, it was misto verde, a vegetarian selection of grilled courgette, portobello mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and baby spinach and on the other side, it was wild mushrooms with spanish anchovies and dried figs. Great thin pizzas and delicious toppings. 

Our customized pizza

It's no secret that we all love scallops, so my kids squealed in delight when the risotto with sea scallops arrived at our table.  Delicious creamy risotto served with plump scallops.... it was indeed a delight to savour. Please note that this dish is usually served with 3 scallops only.

The Linguine All’Anatra Affumicata was rather good; the linguine was tossed golden-roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil and chilli flakes, giving it a lovely spicy kick and then topped with yummy smoked duck breast. We like this a lot.

We also shared two mains - the red mullet fillet as well as braised Australian grain-fed beef cheek. The fish is lightly seared and served in a saffron infused seafood bisque. The beef on the other hand is slow cooked for 7 hours til tender, and is served with Parmesan polenta and olive tapenade.

For desserts, we had a selection of cakes and macarons as well as a chocolate ball. The creme brulee was pretty yummy.

Open kitchen concept

Verdict: Overall, we enjoyed both our meals here at La Cucina - nice restaurant serving good food. 


Opening times: 12:00- 2:30pm ; 6:00 - 11:00pm daily.

Service: Good.

Location: La Cucina, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, No 1 Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2298 1888

GPS Coordinates: 3.115850, 101.6632

Website: http://www.pullmanhotels.com/gb/hotel-7962-pullman-kuala-lumpur-bangsar-/index.shtml

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