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Friday, 26 August 2016

Our Little Cafe

Hello all,

It's been ages since I last wrote anything on my blog. I wonder if I still have any followers following me. My last entry was in May!

I didn't mean to stop writing altogether but I've been extremely busy for the past couple of months. I let you into my secret. I am officially a head cook at a little cafe at one of the busiest mall in Kuala Lumpur run by us (my husband and I). Our old friend purchased the little shop and handed it to us to run the place according to our preference.
I must say this business by far was the most time consuming ever over any other trade that we have had our hands on.
Initially for the first few weeks, I was doing everything on my own. No staff or helpers to help me out. I did the grocery shopping and marketing on my own. Returning home, (by the way, all the cooking was done at home) I will do the fish scaling, meat cutting and cleaning and mise en place ( preparing everything prior to cooking) all on my own. My body ached all over. I had no rest at all and I mean none AT ALL. I am cooking daily from six am until late night, somewhere around 10pm. And to ease your curiosity, I am cooking about nine dishes per day. The food had to be ready by 9 am. So, you can imagine the state I am in for the past couple of months and why I was missing from the virtual world.

Now, a little about our cafe. The cafe's name is aptly called Penang Express. I am from Penang and I cook mostly Penang food. So yes, you guessed it right! Penang's all time favourite hawker's food are available on our daily menu. I cook and operated from home whilst my husband manned the cafe from 10am to 10pm.
I still have to be at the cafe every now and then to teach and show our cooks on how to do the frying and cooking the a la carte menu the way it  supposed to be done. And I tell you, it's not easy to find staff to stay working longer than a week, taking into account that they had to be on their feet for twelve straight hours. As a final solution, we resorted to hiring a non local workers, such as Myanmar and Pakistani citizen.

Now that we're in food business, I truly understand the hardship and difficulty on maintaining the food quality, the taste and flavour of the food served. Every now and then we'll receive a not very welcoming remarks from customers. The gravy was slightly salty, the soup was too watery or the noodle was not fried the way it should be. We took it all in in a stride. It's hard to please everybody. Why! I received the same complaint everyday at home from the kids too, only they are worse than our customers. In this case, I should ask them to do the cooking for me instead of me them!

I think I will list down some of the menu we have at the cafe. You may not understand what they are but it's okay. Daily I will prepare:

1) Laksa : One of the all time favourites in our cafe. A white rice noodle soaked in fish soup. The soup had to be simmered for at least 1  1/2 hour to acquire the blended and sourish taste. All type of Malaysian herbs such as ginger, onion, lemon grass and many more to make the soup fragrant and lose the strong smell of fish.

2) Rendang Chicken or Beef) : This dish too needed all the herbs to make it aromatic and flavourful. The taste is beautiful and I dare say that this is one of the best dishes (in taste department) anyone ever created.

3) Curry Mee : Yellow noodle soaked in curry soup. Of all the dishes I had to prepare, this one menu is still the one that I haven't got my grip on or rather I am still not satisfied with the result. I mean customers have nothing much to complaint, in fact we received many compliments on this menu but for my personal satisfaction, I am still searching for a better result.

4) Sambal Sotong (Squid Sambal) : Sambal is a Malay word in which we used lots of dried chillies to make a paste and add other items such as sugar, tamarind juice and salt. Once the paste was nicely cooked, you could add in any thing you like, we mostly love to throw in shrimp or squid or chicken or anything your heart may desire. It is a Malay traditional best recipe that goes well with rice.

5) Nasi Lemak : If you are a Malaysian, you'd definitely know this dish. If you don't, then you're not  Malaysian, you'll be forvigen for not being one. It is so well loved that it is being sold anytime of the day. When I was little, it used to be a breakfast menu. This rice was cooked in coconut milk with strips of ginger, onion and pandan leaf for the aromatic result.
This rice goes very well with any sambal (as I stated above), a hard boiled egg and  crisp-fried anchovies.

6) Mee Rebus (Sweet Potatoes Thick Soup With Yellow Noodles) : This dish requires boiled sweet potatoes to make it's gravy. The taste should be slightly sweet and and a little spicy. Garnished with boiled egg, crackers, lime, fried shallots and doughie fritters, it could be anyone's favourite or it could be not. It all depends on your taste bud. But for Penangites (those who hailed from Penang), this dish is something to look forward too.

7) Chicken Curry : Most sought after by our Chinese customers. They love having this dish together with my Nasi Lemak. I don't have to elaborate about how to make the curry, right? I am sure everybody have at one time or the other came across any type of curry in their lives. Of all the dishes I cooked, I can safely proclaim that this is my signature dish. I could never go wrong when preparing this one meal.

8) Bolognese Sauce : No elaboration needed.

9) Black Pepper Sauce : I prepared this sauce to go with chicken chop. In Malaysia Chicken Chop is loved by everyone. It's a piece of chicken flattened and de-boned. Worked with flour, egg and bread crumb, then deep fry it. Topped with black pepper sauce, fries and salad. Yummylicious!

On weekend, I will prepare a "Menu of the Day" dish. It could be Chicken Rice or Tomato Rice. It sells like hot cakes. I sometimes skip doing it since it took too much energy and time.

Overall, I loved cooking for the cafe but at the same time, it is too exhausting for my old body. At every chance I got, we (Sophie and I) will find a spa to relax ourselves. It has now become a routine for us to find one new spa house once a month to pamper our bodies.

For those who lives around Setapak, do drop in and try our food here. There's no harm in trying. If you find it not up to your liking, you don't have to visit us anymore. But if you love our food, we are more than happy to welcome you again.

Whatever it is, I want you people to know that I appreciate your loyalties for being my followers.
I will try to write on regular basis once I got the rhythm back right on track.

Stay healthy and stay safe people.
Love you wherever are.

26th.Aug '16

Monday, 9 May 2016

Pasta Sos Merah Oren


Sapa suka makan pasta? Sekarang ni ramai yang gemar makan pasta. Dirumah saya pun sama kecuali Sara sorang yang kurang minat.

Apapun, minggu lepas saya buat pasta since semua ada dirumah, cuti hari pekerja lah katakan.
Satu yang saya suka dengan makanan barat atau Mediterranean ni ialah ianya amat mudah untuk disediakan. Tak perlu banyak bahan pun.

Jom kita sediakan bahan-bahan yang diperlukan:

1 paket pasta ( saya pakai jenis fettucine)

2 biji bawang besar dirincik halus
3 ulas bawang putih
 2 helai daun bay
1 cawan air rebusan
3 sudu makan minyak zaitun
1 sudu makan butter
sedikit serbuk kasar lada hitam
sedikit garam
sedikit gula
1 cawan heavy cream (saya pakai 1/2 cawan heavy cream di campur dgn 1/2 cawan air)
1 cawan parmesan cheese yang di parut
1 botol tomato pasta sos ( saya pakai Prego)

Cara nya :

1) Panaskan periuk diatas api sederhana dan masukkan minyak zaitun diikuti dengan butter.

2) Tumiskan bwg putih dan bawang merah sampai layu.

3) Tuang masuk sos Prego  dan kacau rata. Sekarang masukkan pula air rebusan pasta bersama daun bay.
    Biarkan lebih kurang setengah jam dengan api perlahan. Renjis juga serbuk lada hitam.

4) Didapur berasingan, rebus air untuk memasak pasta pula.
    Masukkan sedikit garam dan minyak masak kedalam air.
    Bila air mendidih, masukkan pasta dan masak selama lebih kurang 8 ~ 10 minit.
    Angkat dan toskan. Air rebusan ini lah yang kita gunakan didalam sos.

5) Sekarang, sos kita mula bertukar warna menjadi merah yang menarik. Perlahankan api.
    Sekarang masanya untuk masukkan heavy cream tadi.

6) Terakhir masukkan pula separuh daripada parmesan cheese kedalam sos kita dan tutup api.
    Sekiranya kurang masin bolehlah ditambah sedikit garam dan sekiranya terlalu pekat bolehlah
    ditambah sedikit lagi air rebusan pasta tadi. Rasa dulu kalau agak masam boleh ditambah gula sikit.

7) Ambil pasta yang di-tos tadi dan tuang masuk kedalam sos oren kita. Gaul biar sekata.
    Masukkan kedalam pinggan dan taburkan dengan lebihan parmesan cheese atau apa-apa hiasan
    yang puan-puan suka.

Selamat menjamu selera.

9th.May '16

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Kari Hijau Thai

Salam semua,

Suka makan kari hijau orang Thai dak? Saya sangat suka tapi jarang buat sebab Soffian ngan Sara tak suka makan. Rasa tak berbaloi nak buat untuk tiga yang lain.

Apapun hari ni saya buat juga sikit untuk dimasukkan kedalam blog saya. Kalau cik puan cik puan kat luar sana tanya  macam mana rasanya, kalau ikut saya, rasanya lebih kurang asam pedas tapi berlemak.
Saya betul betul sukakan rasanya yang segar dan pedas tapi tidak terlalu berempah.

Jom sama-sama kita tengok apa bahan yang diperlukan :

*1 sudu makan biji ketumbar
*1/2 sudu makan jintan putih
*1/2 sudu makan lada putih (biji)
 (Ketiga-tiga bahan ini disangai )

*Segenggam daun ketumbar
*5~ 6 cili hijau (kalau suka pedas boleh tambah atau pakai cili api)
*Sedikit daun selasih
*1 batang serai
* 1 inci lengkuas
* 1/2 inci kunyit hidup
Ayam ikut keperluan dirumah anda

Blend kesemua bahan yang bertanda asterisk* diatas.

1 cawan santan pekat
1 cawan santan biasa
1 cawan stok ayam (kalau jenis concentrated, pakai 2 sudu dan campurkan dgn air)
2 sudu makan sos ikan
Sedikit gula perang (yang paling pucat)
Sedikit garam
1 keping asam keping

Nota : Kalau malas nak buat pes kari hijau ni, anda boleh beli dipasaraya sahaja.

Cara memasak :

Ambil kuali dalam atau periuk dan tuang santan pekat tadi kedalam periuk itu.
Panaskan api sederhana kuat.

Biar sampai santan  pecah minyak, kemudian baru dimasukkan pes kari hijau yang dikisar tadi dan juga ketulan ayam.

Gaul pes dengan ayam sehingga sekata. Kacau terus sampai pes agak kering.
Sekarang masukkan santan selebihnya bersama dengan stok ayam.

Masak sehingga kuah agak pekat. Sekarang bolehlah dimasukkan sos ikan atau garam, gula perang dan juga asam keping.

Bila dah mendidih dan kuah menjadi pekat, bolehlah ditutup api dan diangkat.
Mesti cuba, sangat menyelerakan.

Anggaran Kos :

Ayam              : RM 5.00
Santan             : RM 3.00
Lain2 Bahan    : RM 4.00

Jumlah              RM 12.00 utk 5 orang

Salam dari saya,
4th.May '16

Friday, 29 April 2016

Makan Makan Di Kota Damansara

Assalamualaikum semua,

Minggu lepas saya ke Kota Damansara bersama dengan Sophie dan Sara. Cadangnya nak cari lap top untuk Sophie, tapi end up kami ke The Strand pulak. Tak ada apa sangat, kurang crowd dan banyak shoplot yang masih kosong. Kami semua bukan peminat window shopping, jadi kami hanya berlegar-legar tak sampai 20 minit, lepas tu keluar.

Ambil kereta pusing-pusing kat kawasan situ, ternampak signboard tertulis Mee Tarik Warisan. Saya ajak Sophie dan Sara singgah makan. Time tu pun dah hampir 6.30petang, elok untuk makan malam kami.

Yang membuat saya excited dengan tempat ni ialah pada pembuatan mee itu sendiri. Mee di sini dibuat sendiri di hadapan kita. Nanti scroll kebawah dan boleh lihat video yang kami ambil disana.

Kami order yang simple-simple ja, maklum sajalah, tengah-tengah bulan.

Ini papan tanda restoran tu. Kalau tanya saya macam mana nak cari restoran ni, jawab saya cari mall The Strand kat Kota Damansara. Pusing dalam kawasan tu jugak, nanti insya Allah jumpa.

Ini yang saya order. Mee Soup With Braised Beef. Mulanya saya makan tanpa cili. Kurang menyengat. Bila dah masukkan cili, baru mengancam. Saya sangat sukakan texture mee itu sendiri, kenyal tapi halus rasanya. Kalau tak silap harganya RM 8.50 satu pinggan.

 Sara seperti biasa bukannya seorang yang adventurous bab makan ni, jadi dia hanya memilih nasi goreng manakala Sophie order mee jugak macam saya, apa ke nama mee tu, kalau tak silap mee soup with beef and fungus.

Toothpick Lamb

Yang terakhir, kami order Toothpick Lamb, satu pinggan. sangat simple taste lamb tu. tak complicated kata orang. Hidangan ini dalam lingkungan RM24.00,

Tau apa yang menariknya tentang Mee Tarik ni? Cara dia orang buat mee tu sendiri. Mee di buat dihadapan pelanggan. Maksud saya bukan lah dia orang jalan dari meja ke meja dan buat demo depan kita macam mariachi band menyanyi depan kita tu. Dia orang buat didalam ruang mereka sendiri tetapi kita dapat lihat dari tempat duduk kita.

Ini saya minta Sophie ambil video cara dia orang buat mee tu.


Hebat kan?

Jadi kepada anda yang teringin nak merasa mee tarik ni, bolehlah ke sana atau lain-lain cawangan mereka di sekitar Lembah Klang ini.

Salam dari saya,
29th.April '16

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Nasi Herba


Dah selalu sangat buat nasi tomato, nasi minyak dan berbagai jenis nasi lagi di rumah ni. Ada hari yang kita dah tak tahu nak masak apa lagi untuk menu pada hari tersebut.
Macam tu jugak lah dengan saya. Saya buka peti sejuk lama-lama, selongkar apa yang ada di dalam. Okay, ada daging lebihan hari tu, ada serai, . Tiingg.. dapat idea dah. Masak nasi yang healthy sikit. Nasi Herba.

Bahan bahan yang diperlukan untuk nasi herba adalah :

* 2 cawan beras Basmathi (direndam dahulu untuk melembutkannya sedikit, kemudian toskan)
* 1/2  cawan air rebusan daging (ambil bahagian jernih sahaja)
* 1 cawan air
* 1/2 sudu makan halba
* 1/2 biji karot dihiris nipis
* Daun pandan, serai dititik
* Bawang merah di mayang nipis/ Halia di hiris nipis ataupun di parut halus
* 1 sudu makan garam masala
* Sedikit daun pudina
* Garam

(Butiran beras basmathi agak keras berbanding beras biasa bila dimasak, jadi anda boleh menambah air mengikut keperluan kedalam beras mengikut sukatan yang betul)

Cara menyediakannya :

1) Panaskan rice cooker dengan sedikit minyak

2) Tumiskan bawang merah, halia, serai, halba dan daun pandan. Biar sampai naik bau.

3) Sekarang masukkan garam masala dan air rebusan daging.

4) Biarkan sekejap sehingga rempah dan bahan tumisan sebati. Kemudian masukkan beras dan hirisan karot.

5) Taburkan garam secukup rasa. Tutup periuk dan biarkan sehingga masak.

6) Terakhir, masukkan daun pudina dan gaul gemburkan nasi supaya lembut dan tidak berketul.

7) Anda juga boleh menabur bawang goreng atau tambah kismis atau kacang gajus sekiranya itu menepati selera anda.

Untuk menjadi sampingan kepada nasi herba ini, saya sediakan daging dan air asam. Anda boleh memilih samada nak buat daging bakar atau guna daging rebus. Kedua-duanya pun sangat sedap dimakan bersama dengan nasi ini.

Selamat mencuba!

Anggaran kos :

Beras Basmathi 2 cawan : RM   2.00
Herba                            : RM   3.00
1/2 kilo daging               : RM 14.00

Jumlah                            RM  19.00  (hidangan utk 4~ 5 orang)

Salam dari saya,

8th.April '16

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

What Is It With Women?

Hey everyone!

I haven't been writing on regular basis lately. Writer's block. Every once in a while my head became blank and I am totally lost, lost in thought, lost in ideas and lost in writing.

Suddenly today, as I was sitting down taking a breather from my busy day, something caught my eye on Diva Channel that triggered me to write. It's about women. Yeah I know, I know, Diva channel is all about women. But does everybody need to be reminded how strong the women are, how great the women are? Didn't anybody notice that in every move we (the women) made, we wanted an acknowledgement of some sort from others especially the men?

When we excelled in our high ranking job, we made it clear that women can be better than men.
When women drove an 18 wheeler truck, we applauded that women were awesome species.
When our children excelled academically, we applauded ourselves and said we are the better parent than our spouse. (of which I agreed whole-heartedly)
I mean, don't get me wrong, I am not men's defender. Mind you, I've met some of the worse type of men throughout my fifty three years of life and they are more than I could chew but I wish that women shouldn't be too extravagant in show-casing themselves as someone superior. It's cloying to be fed with updates about how admirable a woman can be.

What are we trying to prove? That we are the better species than men? Okay, let's say we are great in everything we do and much much better than men, so...what is it that we want? A standing ovation for being awesome? An accolade for being superb?
Shouldn't we be walking hand in hand with them, the men? After all, there are only two species of mankind in this world, men and women.
Maybe I am an old fashion and conservative type of woman, I still need men to be around me and felt protected. By nature, it's  men's world. Period.

It's not like I am against the honouring for women. It's just that, I feel we are overstating it. Too much hype about it makes me empathize for men. They deserve as much recognition if not more than us. I agree men can be hopeless, mean, brutal, insensitive species and loads more unflattering words about them, but that is beside the point.
Men with qualities do and still exist, only thing is they're becoming a rare commodities to acquire.

Deny all we want, men still are the leader whereas we, the women still depend on them in a lot of things. Not happy with my observation? Take a look at a few things below:
* We feel protected having men around
* Men are better in decision making. They're quick, precise and straight-to-the-point
* The presence of men make us feel safe
* Kids listen and obey their daddies better than they did to their mom simply because men are authoritative.
*  Many preferred men as their bosses because they are authoritative, they have that commanding quality, they don't talk much, gossip less and less emotional.

Women were so adamant to portray themselves as being superbly able and better (than men) that they came up with, what men can do, we can too, but what women can do, men can't. And they cited child birth as the thing that men can't do. Like seriously people!! How shallow can that be.

Nobody had to hold me at gunpoint to make me choose between men and women. Without hesitation I am all for women. Most of the men in modern days are hopeless. They are either too pretty or too full of themselves. Gone were the days when men didn't have to frequent gymnasium to achieve the six pack torso or the bulging arms. These days men are equally conscious about their looks and bodies that they became lame to my eyes. They were not as I hoped and wished for anymore. Why, they even squirm at the sight of a spider. They were even not as handy as they used to be. My grandpa could dig a well with his bare hands, build a little shack for grandma to cook. Can you say the same with modern men?

And then there is women. We placed ourselves up on a pedestal thinking that we are holier than thee. We make certain our voices were heard in any issues relating to abusing of women's right. We want men to take notice that we're a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, many a time, it's women themselves that disgraced their own species.
The true nature of a woman is that we were always craving for attention. We dolled up to attract attention, we walked suggestively to attract attention, we worked our ass off in the hope that someone superior would notice us.

Suddenly the realization of the above statement hit home. Is this why the extensive publicity were made? Because women were so wrapped up in the glory of being the center of attention? I hope not, I honestly hope that's not the major reason. Because if that was the reason, then it's as good as saying women were unsure and have a low self confidence in themselves that they need to display their accomplishment for all to admire.

Me? I have nothing to display. I have nothing to admire. I have nothing to show off. I am a nobody yet I am a somebody to the eyes of my loved ones.

There bound to be some women out there who disagreed with me but it's just my thought. Nothing more, nothing less. Smile!

Have a pleasant day wherever you are.

7th.April '16

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Makan-Makan Di Sungai Buloh

Salam kepada semua pembaca,

Dalam dua tiga bulan lepas, saya tak update pun entri makan-makan di blog saya ni sebab kebanyakan tempat yang saya makan rasanya biasa-biasa saja, tak ada yang menarik untuk dikongsikan.

Selepas tu baru saya teringat, ada satu tempat di Sungai Buloh yang jual nasi beriyani yang bagi saya rasanya memang menepati cita rasa dan selera saya. Kedai biasa ja, bukannya restaurant besar pun, cuma dia ambil 3 atau empat pintu sekali.

Jika dikira dengan yang terbaru saya pergi ni, dah empat kali saya makan disitu. Nasi beriyani dia tak pernah berubah rasa. Maintain ja rasa nasi tu. Saya makan kosong tak perlu berkuah pun sebab saya nak nikmati rasa nasinya yang memang secukup rasa.

Maaf, kalau dilihat pada gambar nampak macam tak berselera ja kan? Saya terpaksa kecah-kecahkan nasi sebab nak tunjuk lauk yang dibenam dibawah nasi tu.

Sampingan dengan nasi beriyani ini ialah papadom dan acar buah. Acar buah ni pun saya suka. Tak sempat ambik gambar sebab dia orang terlewat hantar.
Nasi beriyani ayam, depa kira RM 9.50 satu pinggan. Kalau daging atau kambing RM13.50 sepinggan.

Ini adalah suasana didalam kedai. Nampak simple dan kosong kan? Tapi percayalah, kalau anda sampai time makan tengahari, memang sesak dengan manusia. Yang makan kat situ, yang minta bungkus berpaket-paket.

Tu dia, nama kedai beriyani yang saya katakan tu..terpampang terang-terang kat depan kedai dia. Kat mana kedai ni? Agak tersembunyi dibelakang bangunan rumah kedai di sini. Senang cerita cari The Store Sungai Buloh. Dalam gambar ni pun boleh nampak bangunan kat belakang yang berwarna coklat muda.

Disini juga ada dijual, mee rebus, mee goreng, rojak pasembur, ayam goreng, semua jenis air dan roti canai pun ada. Ada banyak pilihan yang boleh dibuat.

Selamat menjamu selera dan kalau rajin, hantar komen kepada saya, saya nak tahu apa pendapat anda mengenai tempat ini supaya orang lain juga boleh mencuba.

Salam dari saya,

31st.Mac '16