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Sunday Night Roast

Opps, it’s almost another Sunday and we haven’t posted what we had LAST Sunday! I think we got totally distracted by the daily screenings of Masterchef…YES! I am using Masterchef as an excuse! If you watched it…how good was yesterday’s episode? It was their time to showcase what they could cook and most of the dishes were so different – all of them looked amazing and a far cry from that one episode of Masterchef USA that I watched (terrible plating). I thought Billy’s (Asian, from Sydney, food blogger, designer) twice cooked pork belly looked great – and was so happy that they posted his recipe up online! I think we will definitely try it one day…

Coincidentally, we Esthey cooked pork last Sunday too…once again, Esthey was the Iron Chef who cooked most of the dishes that made up our Sunday night feast. We had less people this week – many were away, some were sick etc, but the amount of food remained the same – funny that huh.

Sunday Night feast BBQ Pork Roast Pork Tofu CAbbage soup

Esthey made Roast Pork – and this is what I gleamed from Sammy was the process; it was marinated with five spice powder and the skin part was covered in salt (for the crackle); people sometimes boil the pork first before putting it in the oven. When it came out, the skin wasn’t that crispy so what Esthey did was pan fry the skin a little to crisp it up a bit. The result? Crunchy pork crackle with tender meat…yummm…definitely a contender to Chinese Restaurants that’s for sure!

Roast Pork Siu Yok

She also made BBQ Pork, or also known as Char siu (can anyone guess the theme by now?) – which she marinated with Char Siu sauce and put into the oven – we realized that it’s better to use the Pork Belly for Char Siu because it makes it more tender. And would be better to have 2 ovens, because of the different temperatures that the meat has to be cooked. No matter – still tasted good anyway! Just dry in some bits, but someone (DEB!) happily picked on the dry bits :)

Esthey also made (along with the two pork dishes), a HUGE pot of soup, a tofu dish and a token vegetable dish in the form of cabbage. Phew, I feel tired just talking about it, let alone cooking it – so well done Esthey, you are indeed a Kitchen Superwoman! :)

Tofu with Coriander

Meanwhile, Sammy used leftover green apples to make a quick apple crumble…was delish! :) You can find a recipe of apple crumble here.

 Apples with cinnamon before the crumble

It is a great dessert to make, especially when you are short of time and have leftover apples, pears or rhubarb lying around :) We added some leftover oats that were meant for a souffle, which was great because it added that crunch to the crumble layer. And of course, we topped it off with vanilla ice-cream – match made in heaven!

Apple Crumble with Ice-Cream

And then we sat down to our meal whilst we watched the premiere of Masterchef Australia (Season 3)..which is shaping up to be quite an interesting season – what with a middle-aged flirty mum, a gorgeously cute 62 year old man, not one but 2 food bloggers, and the rise of another Jono…! An interesting mix of people, and very entertaining to watch at this stage…and all in Week 1! Can’t wait for Masterclass tonight..this is where we pick up a lot of handy tips in the kitchen…who’s watching with me?

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Malaysian, Sunday Night Theme

 

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Butter Prawns and a Feast as Sides (奶油虾)

Masterchef started tonight last night! Woohoo!! Was there anyone who watched the Logies instead? No prizes for guessing what we did today yesterday at 7.30pm! (It will be a great relief to be away from the Royal Wedding news that PLAGUE all forms of media at the moment…the dress looked SO good by the way, but was funny that the bridesmaid’s dress outshone the bride just a tad bit :P), but enough about television. In the spirit of Masterchef, we thought we would share a dish that we tried from Adam Liaw’s “Two Asian Kitchens” – Butter prawns!

I think it’s supposed to be “Lai Yao Har” (奶油虾) in Cantonese and this is one of my FAVOURITE dishes back in Malaysia – it’s basically fried prawns stirred in with egg, curry leaves and chillies that have been fried till crisp. So you have some idea of how excited I got when I saw this recipe in his book! We just had to try it!

This made up 1 of the dishes that was part of our feast that night – besides the butter prawns, we also made steamed egg (a quintessentially Cantonese dish I think), vegetables and leftover fried wontons. The recipe has not been changed except for personal preferences (chillies etc) – and I think you pretty much have to cook and taste as you go.

Butter Prawns Adam Liaw Two Asian Kitchens

Butter Prawns

Ingredients

500g raw prawns
3 egg yolks, beaten
45g dessicated coconut
100g unsalted butter
1 handful curry leaves
5 chilles, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp Shaoxing wine
Ground white pepper
salt
2 tsp castor sugar

Method

First things first , you have to clean the prawns! We cut off the legs and feelers of the prawns…

Prawns

Then, using a wok – fill it halfway up with oil and let the oil heat up. You know when it’s ready if you place a wooden chopstick into the oil and it starts bubbling against the chopstick. Then fry the prawns in batches until it’s crispy – about 2-3 minutes. When they’re ready, place them onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the additional oil.

Fried prawns in hot oil in wok

You can then take the oil out but leave some in there for the butter sauce. Then taking a sieve, pour the beaten egg yolks through the sieve into the wok…

Egg through whisk

Then, whisk it as it cooks on the wok until it becomes strands or little clumps (this was a 2 man job it seems – I was pouring the egg onto the sieve and Sammy was busy whisking away). Take it out onto a separate plate when it’s ready.

Egg strand for Lai Yao Har butter prawns lai yau prawn

Then, clean the wok and dry fry the dessicated coconut until coloured, then take it out.

Dessicated coconut fried

Melt the butter in the wok and fry the curry leaves until crispy, then add in the chillies and garlic and fry until fragrant. I think we used less chillies than the one in the cookbook, so this would be preferential and depending on how spicy the chillies are! Then add everything else inside (prawns, coconut, egg, soya sauce, Shaoxing wine, salt and sugar) and toss it a few times until it is well combined.

stir fry chilli garlic butter for butter prawns

The best way to eat prawns? Peel them with your hands – peel of its head (suck it a little to get the flavour – but please don’t do this if you have gout! :P), then peel off the shells on its body, suck the flavour out of it as you go and then eat the flesh…if its crispy enough, you can even eat everything together!

Butter Prawns Adam Liaw Two Asian Kitchens

Anyway, while we were doing this, Sammy also made:

Steamed Egg with Pork Mince (蒸水蛋)

Ingredients

Eggs
Pork mince
Dried Chinese Mushrooms
Water
Shaoxing wine
Salt

Method

Soak the dried chinese mushrooms in hot water. When it’s soft, drain the hot water and dice the mushrooms into small pieces.

Chopped chinese mushrooms

Then, fry the pork mince in the wok with a dash of Shaoxing wine and salt, and stir fry until the mince is cooked.

stir fry pork mince

Then, put it into a steamer with equal parts of egg and water (1 cup egg to 1 cup water etc) and then steam until it’s firm. An easy dish to make especially when you need it to make up 3 dishes in a chinese meal.

steamed egg with pork mince and mushroom

On top of that, we also made wontons out of the leftovers from the Dumpling Night, and also a token vegetable dish – so suffice to say, we were stuffed that night!! The king of the dishes was the butter prawns, they were DEElicious! Too bad we don’t have enough ‘wok hei’ (people back home, especially in the restaurants will cook from a charcoal stove, that had sufficient heat and added the smoky, charcoal-y flavour to the food that can’t be replicated with gas stoves unfortunately!). But for a dish that was cooked at home, it was a great dish – took a bit more effort though and our house ended up smelling like fried prawns for ages!! All worth it!

butter prawns steamed egg vegetables

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Cookbooks, Malaysian

 

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Rendezvous Hotel Perth

Disclaimer: All pictures were taken by my iPhone so I apologize for any graininess, or if the food doesn’t look too appetizing! :P Once again, the resident photographer is still out of town!

 

Hubby and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary last month (woohoo! two years of bliss!) with a bunch of friends down south. It’s probably not a typical way of spending your anniversary, but what better way than to share it with friends that you consider family right?

Well, we didn’t actually plan it that way to be honest! We wanted to use a voucher that we bought from Scoopon that gave us a night’s stay at the Rendezvous Hotel with champagne, dinner and breakfast included but because they were booked out for our anniversary weekend, we had to postpone it. We finally used the voucher last Saturday,  which worked out well because it was a weekend away with just the two of us before hubby got sent off to Mission Week for 5 days where we have to do the whole long distance relationship thing again! (sobs!)…brings back not-so-good memories.

But anyway, the day started off in Claremont Quarter area , so we had lunch there and of course we HAD to drop by for more Koko Black :) where we shared a delicious chocolate mousse martini. But more of that in another post to come :)

We checked into Rendezvous Hotel and Observation City at about 2pm in the afternoon. The concierge there were excellent and were so willing to help with my 1 tiny overnight bag :P and check-in was a breeze (also the state of the lobby area!).

Perth Beach Scarborough Sky Sea and Sand view

Our room was on the 17th floor and had a fantastic view of the ocean and the beach and their Cascade Pool and Bar, and we had champagne chilling in the fridge as well (which was part of the deal).

Rendezvous Hotel Perth Bar Cascade Pool

The hotel was a stone throw away from Scarborough Beach, so we decided to take a stroll down the beach. Even though it was a fine day, it was really windy so the “No swimming” signs were up that day, which was a bit of a shame but there were still surfers there enjoying the waves.

I reckon Perth has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – blue skies, soft sand, clean and the inviting waters of the sea! There’s just something about the sea and the waves crashing that just calms everything down…

Sand Sun beach Scarborough Beach Perth

We managed to get back to our hotel room and watch the sunset, which was literally breathtaking :) Hubby had a field day clicking away on his camera taking pictures of the sea and the sky as it changes colours. It was so pretty and a perfect way to end the day. I will try and post some pictures from his camera when I actually get my hands on it!

sunset beach scarborough beach perth

Then, it was dinnertime! We were starving by now and since we had a voucher to dine at the Pines Grand Carvery and Buffet (Dinner – $36 per person), we decided to give it a go (even though I’ve been there a few times for lunch and I remembered that the food wasn’t too impressive). We were ushered into our seats straightaway and a very nice waitress came and explained where everything was, told us of the wine special to go together with the buffet, and gave us a bottle of water to start off with, which I thought was a nice touch.

There were basically 3 sections to their buffet – the colds or starters, the hot foods and dessert. My first impression was that the selection wasn’t huge but there were a lot of people that night, so there was a constant flow of food. There were a combination of hits and misses with regards to their food – I started off with soup; it was chicken and noodle soup, doesn’t look that great, but tastes good! It reminds me of the soups that I drink at home, I wanted to go back for more, but knowing me and my small tummy capacity, I didn’t want to waste space. :P

Chicken Noodle Soup Rendezvous Hotel Perth

The salads were alright, nothing to shout about…prawns were fresh and cooked just right.

Pines Restaurant Buffet Roasts Mashed Potato Hot Foods

I liked the roast beef and mashed potato (especially the mash! It was smooth and creamy, very buttery)…

Rendezvous Hotel Pines Carvery Roasts and Mashed Potato Buffet

I was a little let down by the other hot foods, the crumbed fish was a little soggy, the cream sauce ravioli was ok and the lamb shanks, whilst it was tender, still had that game-y taste which really didn’t do much for me. I think it was a preference thing though because a couple who sat beside us polished it up clean!

Lamb Shank ravioli Rendezvous Hotel Perth Pines Restaurant Buffet

With desserts, they had a range of cakes which tasted pretty good. I just wished I had the tummy space to fit them all in! There was chocolate cake, passionfruit cheesecake, brownies and a selection of fruits. The brownie and the passionfruit cheesecake was a standout I thought and I wouldn’t have minded going for more if I could!

Passionfruit Cheesecake and Brownie Rendezvous Hotel Perth Buffet Desserts

As a whole, the buffet was not too bad, but the food didn’t have a great selection, neither did it have the quality (with misses more than hits!), if only they improved the taste of their foods – I think that the dining experience will be quite pleasant, especially with the view and the delightful waitstaff!

We were also given breakfasts for 2 the next day and I was delighted to find that there was a hot breakfast included as well due to past experiences of being served only continental (cold) breakfast. My plate of hot foods had scrambled eggs (good!), bacon (a bit cold), tomatoes (a bit soggy), mushrooms (I preferred fresh ones), hash browns (excellent! fried to perfection) and sausages (yummy! I think they were chipolatas). Hubby took the fried eggs but complained that they were cold and a bit rubbery. They also had a coffee machine which you could select which type of coffee you wanted and even provided guests with little takeaway cups if you wanted to do that. There was a range of fruit juices and different types of cereal (which I thought wasted space in my tummy and therefore didn’t take any), so I went for the danishes instead. It was yummmy! I wished they were a little bit heated up, then it would have been perfect.

Perth Rendezvous Hotel Breakfast Buffet

Once again, there were some hits and misses for their breakfast buffet, but overall a positive dining experience because of the atmosphere and the smiling waitresses even at 8 in the morning! I liked Rendezvous Hotel quite a bit – even though it’s a bit older than the flashier hotels in Perth, it’s in a great location with great staff making their guests feel comfortable and well looked after. I would go there again if I had the chance, but I probably wouldn’t dine there, we just might try out the local restaurants in the area…or splurge out at Hippo Creek! :)

Pines Grand Buffet and Carvery on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Breakfast, Perth Eateries, Scarborough

 

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