Thursday, November 27, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Roti kahwin at Jing Chew

I believe the whole of Brunei know where Jing Chew is.

It's so famous people flocked there for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea though it's not really in a fantastic location.

We walked over to Jing Chew after finishing at Tasanee.

Roti kacang kahwin@Jing Chew
Roti kacang kahwin (sweet crushed peanuts bread with butter and kaya)

Roti kuning kahwin@Jing Chew
Buttery bread with butter and kaya

Princess@Jing Chew
Princess loves my oversized sunnies.

To be honest I cannot understand why people flock here. The bread is so so and the drinks were mediocre. But you know, its a Bruneian thing to limteh here. Old school coffee shop, there is not a lot of these around nowadays.

[Brunei 2008] Fried Kway Teow @ Tasanee Fast Food

Me and pretty sis were on this 'good-food-trail' around Brunei. She would be going off to Manchester to enjoy life, hehe, nah, to attend uni.


Fried kway teow@Tasanee
Fried kway teow

Fried noodle@Tasanee
Fried noodles

I like the noodles with lots of taugeh (beansprouts)!

[Brunei 2008] Food Galore at Counsins' Gathering

This is perhaps Princess' happiest day on her trip home.

There was a bouncy castle with a slide and a blown-up garden pool and lots of cousins to play with.

Feast table
Feast table


Chicken pie,hotdog & nuggets
Chicken nuggets, hotdogs and chicken pies

Curry chicken
Curry chicken

Vietnamese vermicelli salad
Vietnamese vermicelli salad


Fried chicken wings
Fried chicken wings

Thai omelette
Thai omelette

Char siu bun
Baked char siu bun from Phong Mun (most popular!)

Peanut pancakes
Pandan flavoured pancakes filled with crushed peanuts

Onde-onde (glutinous rice balls filled with melted gula melaka)

There were also nasi lemak, donuts and mango cake from Bakerlyn (Princess loved them!) and a very nice fruit punch.

Thank you so much SY for organising and hosting the gathering.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

[Brunei 2008] The Patisserie Cake Shop

The Patisserie Cake Shop
Unit 10, Ground Floor, Block D,Lot 11620 (Traders Inn)Kg Mata-Mata, GadongBSB BE1718, Negara Brunei Darussalam
Telephone: (+673) 242 5618

The Patisserie Cake Shop

Sandwich @The Patisserie
Sandwich with salad

I didn't eat this. We were there for afternoon tea and this friend C is having this as her BREKKIE.

Mango Cheesecake @The Patisserie
Mango cheesecake

The cross section looks promising, bursting with flavours of mango. Taste-wise, it was quite disappointing with just a 'hint' of mango taste. The cake itself was quite light, no jelak after feel. But I like my cheesecake, well, taste of CHEESE.

Fruit cake from Patisserie Cake shop
Fresh cream fruit cake

The candied peel in the cream really put me off. Well ok, so it didn't say fresh cream fresh fruit cake on the label. The sponge tasted a little off, could have been in the fridge for the past 3 days *horror*shudder*.

Chocolate cake from Patisserie Cake Shop
Chocolate fudge cake

Ummm, I am sure I have ordered the wrong kind. Perhaps, umm, other types of chocolate cakes in the cabinet were nicer. But hey, Princess and bro liked it.

Well, I am never a fan of chocolate cakes, unless, they are the ones made from Valrhona or Callebaut.

[Brunei 2008] Nasi Lemak from Le Apple

Nasi lemak (rich rice??) is a common breakfast item in south-east Asia.

Nasi Lemak @Le Apple

There were chicken or beef to choose from. I tasted the chicken version and I can say I would much prefer the beef version though I never got to try XD.

Point is, don't bother with the chicken. My dad had the beef version for both lunch and dinner, I guess its not bad.

Get in to Le Apple as soon as it opens at 8am, they sell out fast. While it may not be the most fantastic nasi lemak on earth, it only sells for BND1 a pop.

My favourite nasi lemak is my parent's version. They used to sell pre-packaged ones at the tamu (market). Sometimes I bring a packet to school and another for my friend C. But they have stopped cooking/selling nasi lemak like 20 years ago. My friend C still reminisce those 'nasi-lemak days' with me now after all these years.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

[Cooking] Honey mustard sauce

Open egg sandwich
Sunny side up egg and bacon with honey mustard sauce on toasted Turkish bread.

Honey mustard dip:
2 tbsp honey
2tbsp mustard
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise

The dip is also great with chicken fingers/nuggets.

If you like TGI Friday's honey mustard dip, you will love this recipe. They taste very similar.

[Baking] Dark chocolate cookies

Dark chocolate cookies

Unsalted butter 100g
Sugar 45g
Brown sugar 45g
Egg 20g
Flour 135g
Cocoa powder 18g
Chocolate chips 60g
Baking soda 1/4tsp

1. Sift cocoa powder together with flour and baking soda.
2. Cream butter and sugar.
3. Add egg to 2. a little at a time and cream till fluffy.
4. Fold in flour followed by chocolate chips.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 170 degree celcius for 12 minutes.

I used Valrhona cocoa powder.
I substituted chocolate chips with caramel buttons.

I baked some bigger cookies. They are soft and chewy and what better way to devour them than sandwich them with ice-cream.

Ice-cream sandwich

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Kolomee @Hing Nam Foong

Kolomee is also up there on my top favourite food list.

I went with high anticipation but one taste, it was all over.

I miss the yau kai (soy sauce chicken) and the siu pai kuat (barbequed spareribs) that was sold here previously. I remember how I purposely came and ate here eventhough it was out of the way and quite a hassle getting to and away from the place.

But the talented chef from HK left when the owner sold up due to slow business. The chef had wanted to add more varieties to the non-existent menu but the owner refused. They were only selling barbeque meats and instant noodles then.

What a waste of talent.

Hing Nam Foong

The place is surrounded by car workshops (garage) so there were only ma-lat-lou-s and one lady inside the shop. I went with my pretty and sassy sis.

They kept eyeing us when we entered, sat down, ate and still looking when leaving! Apa lihat lihat, cucuk mata mu karang. We felt like alien there.

So angry, make our mood lousy only.

Kolomee @HNF

The mood worsen when we ate the noodle. Hit rock bottom when drank from the greasy cloudy glass.

I quickly paid and fled the place.

Au revoir. May we never cross path again.

[Brunei 2008] House of Curry

Roti is top on my favourite food list. The hunt for the best continues.......

Stopped at House of Curry on the way back from garment factory where I grabbed some t-shirts at BND2/3 each. Super bargain! Thanks to Yvonne leng lui.

Roti @House of curry
Roti telur (savoury pancake with egg) with achar (pickles) and condiments (Y's order)

The roti came super crispy and rather big in size compared to other roti joints.

The sauce was not watered down and quite hot for my taste. Ooooh, I think of how Big King (who had return to work back in Oz) would have liked it very much.

I had a plain roti (no egg, no condiments) since my pretty sis highly recommend it. Quite nice but I still prefer the full set. I am one greedy glutton.

This place is highly recommended.

Berakas, same block as Wywy and KFC

[Brunei 2008] Cheezbox @ The Mall, Gadong

Last Sunday, we had a really bad storm. They say its like the worst in decades. A lot of suburbs were affected and roofs got blown away, walls got torn, no water and electricity. Lots of families lost their homes. Its a really trying time and happened close to Christmas made it a lot more worse.

The government had stepped in to help. Deploying resources like the army to help clean up the mess and offering financial assistance. I hope all goes well with them and may them have a wonderful Christmas.

Baked seafood rice@Cheezbox
Baked seafood rice in African sauce

Well I have no idea why the sauce is called African but it tasted rather nice with a hint of spiciness.

Yam claypot noodle with seafood@Cheezbox
Claypot noodles with yam and seafood

I am always partial to claypot noodles, especially one with yam in it. The yam was cooked till very soft and kind of disintegrated and 'melted' into the claypot. Imagine noodles and seafood in a pool of soupy mashed yam. Does not sound very nice, but you will be surprised how good it tastes. Well, if you like yam, that is.

Cheezbox calamari
Cheezbox calamari

Deepfried calamari tossed in tasty salt and pepper mix.

Belgian waffle@Cheezbox
Belgian waffles with butterscotch sauce

Princess was happy and ate a little. No mood. She sick.

I wonder if I'll ever finish my 2008 Brunei posts before I am back home in Brunei Jan 2009!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

[Home Cooking] Popiah

Sis BB had asked how to do popiah. So this post is dedicated to her.

Popiah is a traditional Hokkien dish and appear on auspicious days (which one I can't remember). I am sure other dialect groups have something similar.

But of course you can cook it whenever you want to and alter/add/subtract any ingredients you want/like/fancy/hate/can't find/can't be bothered.

Popiah ingredients
I always have the above ingredients in my popiah.

Clockwise starting from top middle:-
Cabbage (cut into fine shreds)
Carrots, julienned (cut into match stick size)
Taukwa (firm beancurd, cut into strips)
Fried shallots (you can cut and fry your own if you feel you don't have enough work already)
Long beans (a.k.a snake beans, substitute with french beans if can't find, finely sliced)
Pork, cut into strips and marinate with salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch

The ingredients above were missing omelette strips (forgot to snap), leeks (finely sliced) and prawns (optional) as I don't have them at hand.

Now preparing all these ingredients and cooking them is a time-consuming task and so required a good knife to speed things up (and prevent unnecessary injuries or a trip to psychiatric ward haha) and a good stir fry pan (the one which distribute heat evenly and cook your stuff faster).

My chosen 'weapon' is a Global chef knife and a non-stick Calphalon pan. I cooked everything in just that one pan, sai lei leh hehehe. Get ready a big container/bowl to store the ingredients as they cooked.

Now all the vege/meat need to be cooked separately as they cooked at different rate. But if you are feeling, don't go there, lazy, stay away from popiah!!

First I cook the cabbage in a little oil like 1 tsp (if you're in UK, I suggest you use pointy cabbage as they tend to cook faster than the round cousin or else you will spend an eternity in the kitchen 'watching' your cabbage and other people finishing brekkie, lunch and dinner and you could still be cooking popiah. OK exaggerating XD). Cook at medium heat and avoid adding water if you can otherwise you will end up with a soggy mess later. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and dish into prepared bowl.

In the same pan, add another 1 tsp of oil and stir fry the carrots. Cook till soft but still retaining a little bite. Judge lah, I can't tell you how long. Remove from pan and into the same bowl above.

In the same pan still, add 1 tsp of oil and stir fry the beans. You need a little water to get the beans going. Season with salt and pepper and let the water evaporate entirely before removing from pan and into bowl above.

In the same pan, add 1tsp of oil and stir fry the leeks. When softened, add in pork and prawn (if using) and stir till cooked. Add in the taukwa and omelette strips, stir for a bit to warm the taukwa then add in 1 tbsp of the fried shallots (you can add more if you like). Remove and add to bowl above.

Mix all ingredients in the big bowl until well combined. You can return them to the pan if it's big enough. I normally cook popiah way in advance and warm a portion come eating time.

We eat them wrapped in springroll skin. I like TYJ brand, less prone to tearing.

I know my ingredients is missing the key vege, bangkuang/sengkuang. Do not attempt to substitute it with celeriac or turnip, they are not the same thing. You could argue its similar and die die must substitute with them but to me they just add an off putting taste (yeah I have tried to substitute with them). Its almost impossible to find bangkuang in UK or Oz, you might be lucky and know someone who plant them.

I know the singaporean eat theirs with crabmeat, beansprouts and crushed peanuts with a smear of sweet sauce on the springroll skin.

I can identify with the sweet sauce and crushed peanuts but crabmeat (perhaps its a rich people thing which I'll never understand/know of course) and raw beansprouts??


And the King's family/relatives wonder why he doesn't get all excited with the mention of 'I/We cooked popiah, do drop by and get your fix' in a swelling-with-pride tone whenever we go home and met these hot-blood and kind family members and relatives.

Oi, kam un lah. We really appreciate it and grateful to them. It was a kind and generous gesture *sob*cry*howl* (er maybe not the last).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Country Patch

Bleh, still on Brunei posts?? I heard you scream.

Ok, just this one and I will post something no less interesting from home here in Brissie next.

Ahhh, the bouts of bad food spell had seem to died after the dire taste-bud-murder circumstances at Mall and that nearby building.

My dear friend/relative SY recommended this place. It was newish then when I was back home. The promise of nasi lemak and chicken pie sold me.

Country Patch
Homey country feeling interior (well, its not called Country Patch for no reason *snigger*)

The Orient@Country Patch
It's called ??? Orient??

Normally I would not shoot drinks but this one looked pretty and tasted rather nice. It was a concoction of tea and fresh orange juice. Very refreshing at hot sunny midday.

Chicken pie@Country Patch
Chicken pie with salad

The pie crust is the short pastry type which I prefer to the oil laden puff pastry. The filling ain't too bad but SY commented the sauce was too starchy. You can see the filling had this coagulated gloopy starchy thing when the pie has gone cold. But its not so eveident when its freshly out of the oven. Yeah, too heavy handed on the starch.

But still, it is a tasty pie.

Nasi Lemak@Country Patch
Nasi lemak and fried chicken basket (back)

Nice fragrant fluffy rice (tainted green from pandan juice I suppose). Nice fried chicken and nice sambal.

An above average nasi lemak in my book. Taste a lot nicer when eating it in a nice air-conditioned environment. A winner (at least in my book).

Both SY and I were gluttons when it comes to fried chicken. Its sorta my comfort food. So we ordered more fried chicken to share.

Not good to be greedy. Do not follow this aunty (me) footsteps. Ah, it was just too much meat at midday. I struggled to finish the chicken.

Creme Brulee@Country Patch
Creme brulee

No, I can't stomach more food no more. SY craved some sweets and settled for the ever comforting creme brulee. I quite like this (I had a small taste, I can't help myself *silly glutton*) as the sweetness was just right for me.

Go on, stuff your face, you know you want to.

Where to find?
Behind Express Fastfood in Kiulap, same block as Twelv Cafe.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

[Brunei 2008] The Mall foodcourt


Had wanted to go Cheezbox, but mum and bro insisted on coming here. As if bro ever made any decision in his life -_- hah, bleh.

The Mall foodcourt

Yong chap
Yong chap??

Tasted as bad as it looked. I actually brought this back and made a complaint. Then there emitted a loud commotion from the kitchen, so much so that it drove away several potential customers.

The daft cook insisted this is yong chap. And you know what, it looked nothing like the pic in their photo menu. I pointed at the photo with an inquiry look on my face to the Filipina server. She just shrugged her shoulder. I did not press further, it's not like it's her fault.

Oh well, I brought back and one bite I pushed the plate away. It was so horrible like you wouldn't imagine. Perhaps there were 'extra' ingredients when I sent back to the kitchen.

What was I thinking?? I was not in a proper f&b establishment (in my opinion) let alone a five star fitout.


So moving on to laksa (from the same stall), urgh, perhaps the worst I have ever tasted in my entire life till that moment. The broth was so sweet, accompanying garnish was some cold and hard chicken pieces, cucumber and some taupok. I managed maybe 3 slurps of the noodle.

Well, the nightmare had not ended. We still have a chicken kolomee (still from the same stall *sigh*) to come and we waited like another 15 minutes after the yong chap and laksa appeared.

IT WAS THE WORST EVER. And I believe it shall remain the worst for the remaining time of me/the whole universe being on this earth/galaxy.

Princess shuddered when I first fed her. And refused to open her mouth thereafter. Then I tasted and I felt the world spinning. Words alone cannot begin to describe how bad/gross/distasteful that bowl of 'thing' was.

I was so angry to be swarmed with so much grossiest to the max food. Arghhhhhh, I wanted to scream in the packed foodcourt. Normally, I am cool and calm. But this is just too much.

The worst thing was Princess contracted German measles after visiting this atrocious place. I want to say bad words now and then, lots and lots of it..........

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Thiam Hock Restaurant

Thiam Hock is a long standing popular non-halal restaurant in Brunei. Situated at Yong Siong Hai building in Gadong.

One of my bestie once had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance and almost died from food-poisoning after eating assam fish head from here.

So it was a bit scary for me to visit this time round.

But Big King loves his pai kut ong and we were in the mall and Thiam Hock is just a short stroll away. So I decided to brave it.

Sparerib rice
Argh, this is so bad, I wished I hadn't insisted on coming here in the first place.

The fatty meat is tough and super chewy (yeah, its possible for fatty meat to be tough, can you imagine?? Walao *die*) drowned in the saltiest gravy ever.

Fried noodles
This is worse, can you imagine?

The noodles were chau-tar (burnt) and imparted a bitter taste. I felt like eating charred ropes. The fish was worse :( rubbery and tough like chewing rubber. I suspect it was shark meat.

Would you like to savour a plate of rubber and ropes doused in bitter sauce?

Normally I would make a complain or a remark or two to the waiters/waitress. But this time, I have totally given up on this place and left quietly.

[Singapore 2008] Crystal Jade at Changi Airport Terminal 2

Made a dash to Crystal Jade for dinner after checking in, more duty-free shopping later!

We had Mos Burger for lunch so dinner must be a 'grander' affair.

We each ordered our favourite dish. Though all were my fav :p *sheepish grin*.

Salt n pepper tofu@Crystal Jade T2
Bro wanted salt and pepper tofu SGD6.

Beautifully deep-fried with crunchy skin and soft-melt-in-the-mouth in the inside. Not a trace of oil residue. Careful, scorching hot.

Sweet n sour pork@Crystal Jade T2
Big King's favourite sweet and sour pork SGD21.

Sweet and sour dish is always a crowd pleaser. Sauce is good with just the right balance of sweet and sour. The meat a bit tough, perhaps over fried.

Lemon chicken@Crystal Jade T2
Both sis' favourite chicken chop in lemon sauce SGD14.

Chicken is succulent and juicy with crispy skin. Ooooh, heaven.

steamed cod@Crystal Jade T2
I gotta have fish. So we settled for steamed cod Hong Kong style (in soya sauce with ginger and spring onion) SGD44 (for 2).

TO DIE FOR! The fish is steamed to perfection and I especially like the thich gelatinous skin.

Spinach in stock@Crystal Jade T2
Still my favourite vege dish spinach in broth with assorted eggs (century, salted and regular eggs) SGD16.

This is quite subtly seasoned (could well be under seasoned for some)which is how I like my vege dish to be. A great round off to the fried stuff we have greedily consumed for the meal.

Total bill came up to SGD137.45 after accounting for chinese tea, rice, towels, pickles, 10% service charge and 7% GST.

Very reasonable. Will be my default stop before custom clearance next time.