Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Part Cina, Part Melayu Cuisine.


Finally... Got to catch some moments to breathe. I feel so stressed up these days that i just don't feel like doing anything when there's extra time at hand. Seriously. I can't read properly, eat accordingly, or even sleep early. Don't even mention about thinking man... I can't remember where i misplaced my brains. Oh... Stress.

I'm not even sure where did all these come from. As for now, i just wanted to make some time for myself here in blogspot and i want feed on my own pictures.

So hello Mabel! Welcome back to blogspot. Excrete all your stress here....

I'm currently in the mood to blog about something edible. I visited Julian's aunt's restaurant for some reason i can't quite remember. I think we were on one of our missions again for his assignment - creating a website based on a real business. Obviously the use of photography is needed to complete it and, you know me, i feed my camera well. I strongly believe the camera beats any animal on earth as a man's best friend.

I came to know that a part of his family actually came from Baba-Nyonya, a subgroup of the Chinese community. What i found out more was that this peranakan has got some pretty awesome recipes! When you have awesome recipes, you dine the food in awe! Imagine how happy my camera was!!

Perhaps there was only one dish i wasn't really fond of - the otak-otak, directly translated as brain-brain. In the Malay tatabahasa (grammar), some words that are repeated twice is a form of plural e.g. botol-botol (bottles), lagu-lagu (songs), etc. So which means otak-otak was actually otaks brains! It was the eleven-year-old-Mabel's theory. And the hypothesis was not accepted, fortunately. Even so, i still didn't like this dish.

I can't remember what this dish was called but i remember taking a lot of this.. since i didn't touch the brains. Talking about carbohydrates, i was so very surprised to know that taugeh is a carbo. The chinese word for taugeh "ngar choi", directly translated as teeth (ngar) vegetable (choi), really got me fooled. Pfft. They shouldn't simply name stuffs. Why put the vege (choi) in if it's not even classified in that group??

And because of Miss Taugeh, she got me doubting Mr. Long Beans. What do you think... long beans are vege or protein??

Currified chicken... is definitely fats. Curry makes me think of santan, oil, and red fats - yes, red fats. Because there are too many yellow pigments from the oil that it becomes red, signifying the death of the proteins in the chic-can. Mabel's theory. So don't believe me. Anyhow, it's definitely fats. But it still doesn't stop it from tasting awesomely good, though.

As for the asamised currified fried fish, it is totally hazardous. Number one, it is fried, thus a plentiful of oil is used to bath it. Number two, the curry - refer to definition of currified chicken. Number three, it tastes so good that you don't wanna let go. Every bite makes you forget about point one and point two. And the last bite felt like the end of the world because there is no more. Yes. It is awesomely hazardous. I dare say, i can finish that fish all by myself!!

You would have guessed already that the best dish among the five would definitely be awarded to the most hazardous fish!!!

Just look at it! Isn't it so tempting already?? With it's crispy skin and smooth, soft meat, how could anyone say no to this!

I choose to believe that the asam is there to so-called neutralised the fats. Squeeze a little in and you won't get fat. Yes, i'm living in denial.

It so hazardous tastes so good that you just feel like wollap-ing the bones as well. Nothing wrong with consuming some calcium. If not at least licking the remains of the sos would satisfy a little. But just to stay on the sane side, we only fed it to our cameras and then left it alone to its fate with the bin.

Even the boss herself can't resist ze temptation. I was actually on a diet that time, and promised myself that i would eat only a little. And no, i DIDN'T break my promise. I DID eat very little... Very very little. And i will not define 'little' here.

There wasn't many customers coming in yet since lunch has long passed while dinner was just around the corner. We decided to take a quick tour upstairs, considering it as the 'dessert' course for my camera.

I didn't quite like the setting of the tables though. Or rather, the space of the restaurant. It's a pity they have such a small space that it's kinda hard to give customers maximum comfort. I remembered the first time i went into this place, it was SO crowded that i just felt like walking out again. Squeezing your butt in between chairs while trying to get to your table wasn't exactly welcoming. Plus, with the cina aunties that are capable of speaking out loud even with food in their mouth, i don't wanna imagine what irritating their chair would make them do.....

Squeezing through chairs also reminds some ladies how fleshy their bottom is. Makes me loose my appetite even more... if someone who squeezes through my chair.... got stuck... and farts. =.="

But nah. It didn't happen to me. HAHA.

I was still missing the fish when i stepped outside. The softness and crunch. It's very addictive.

The decoration outside looks really chinese. I like. I also spotted the 'vacancy' sign there, so if you're interested and don't mind squeezing your butt around, you can go inquire about it. Who knows... squeeze squeeze squeeze and you'll get your dream pert butt!

Maybe not entirely chinese. Hahaha... But i still like. Despite the butt squeezing fact, i would definitely want to dine here again next time. And get myself addicted once more to ze fish!

If you are interested to come to this place, make sure you schedule your date accordingly. Would be a waste if you came here when it is not in business. And here is the address:

Bee Gaik Dining Place
10, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 11,
Taman Ipoh Selatan
Ipoh, 31400 Perak.
Closed Tuesdays.

Definitely bring your camera (if you have one) and an extra person to come along with you. It's nice to look at these pictures once in awhile when you're hungry. And with the extra person by your side, you don't have to worry about getting overly addicted. For this position i can gladly volunteer myself!

Seriously, it makes you feel awesome. As awesome as Stephen Chow's hair. Hahahhaa...

I rate this 4 out of 5 because it hundred percent tastes like home-cooked food. Remember to tag me along with ya!!! ;D ;D

P.s. : Woot. Stress gone. But something fishy is going on... I'm hungry :S

Friday, April 16, 2010

Midnight Chocolate Cake

Note :
There are quite many pictures in this post, so do allow them to load since sometimes photobucket is a pain in the arse.
Tissues ready please, droolers alert!

Time to make a change to my initial thought of : ladies should only start learning from the kichin after marriage.

It wasn't the fact that i don't like cooking that i had that thought in mind, but it's just that i have very little patience. I seriously thought cooking would take up very little time and i was educated to think like that when playing Cake Mania - the java game. Yalah.. after fifteen seconds, the cake pops up, completed. Can be sold some more.

As for the real thing in the kichin, things don't turn out as good and as easy as it looks like when done hands on. After fifteen seconds, the water hasn't even boiled yet. No sign of steam.

I was ready to band cooking / baking completely... until i met someone who cooks better instant noodles than i do.

The someone was a guy.

A guy cooks better maggi mee with egg than a girl who is me. Hypothesis not accepted lah!!!

I have to save myself. And i chose mum to be my savior. She gave me a task that changed my life forever proved that there's a laydeh in me. Ehehehehe....

So this is what we i did... First off, gather the things needed for the 'mission'.

Then sift 'em powders together.

Force the stubborn ones through.

When all is through, smile. Cause you know you pass the sifting test.

Now the eggs. For me, trying to break them with one hand was an epic fail. As for double hand, double failure=.=

Seriously... I forgot that you're supposed to hit the egg on the edge of the bowl first. So much of a common sense i had... pfft!

Pour in the sugar... with patience, into the beating butter. As for the remaining butter on it's wrapper, you do this:

...wipe it on the tray. Then move on to the eggs again.

Okay, i'm getting lazy in typing already. :S

Preheat the oven, and go back to the mixer cause it's time to get messy!

One tip mum taught me for this process; don't pour all the flour and the milk into the mixer together. Put in little by little, alternately in turns.

Sweep 'em sides with 'em flat spoooon. Dunno what's that called.

Yes, the picture above proves that i really did these tests. I think i did pretty well, except that i forgot to put in the choco essence. So had to put it in now lah... but double the amount.

Next, time to bake it.

Can say this is the hardest part of the process - the waiting. I remember when i was younger, i used to bother my mum with one and only one question, "Still not done yet??"

There's this thing for you to poke poke with to check whether it's fully baked or not. You'll know when it's not, and it's disappointing. ):

But when it's finally done, you feel like hugging the cake yourself!

The next test is getting it out. Leave it to cool first of course. If you hadn't enough common sense, probably your sensory neurons would help.

I baked this cake not because i'm not fat enough. I was thinking of sharing it with my teddy bear and some other bears as well lah.

As for my teddy bear, of course have to share the part that is best - the middle, ugly-most part.

Seriously! The wrinkly part is the best! Cause it's the damp most, soft most, and definitely safe from burn. Lol.

I did my wrappings like this. And since i like it freezing cold, i decided to ice it!

Yeeeeaaaahhhh! Task done. Conclusion: A guy cooks better maggi mee with egg than a girl who is me. Hypothesis not accepted.

Ohhh yeeeaaaahhhh!

By the way, if you're interested with the recipe here it is (my test paper. lol.):

180g butter, cold and cut into pieces
380g castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essense (i used chocolate instead)
3 large eggs (each about 80g)
340ml (1 1/3 cup) cold milk
Sifted together :
240g superfine flour
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g cocoa

Line a 22.5cm (9") square cake tin with greased greaseproof paper.

Cream butter and sugar together with vanilla essence until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Fold in sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda mixture alternately with milk.

Turn into prepared pan. Bake in preheated moderately slow over (165 C) for 60-65 minutes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Merge Ze Header!

This was Kelly's blog header:

I always thought crackin' the head a lil for the sake of a glass of creative juice is something fun to do. I just forgot that every 'crack' leaves a wound behind. And now, the task was this; my friend Kelly wanted me to help her design a new blog header. I requested that she send me some pictures that she likes/most likely would describe herself. These are the ones:

#1 : She loves Penang. Very much.

#2 : She loves the human biological body. It's complications interests her much.

#3 : This one is simply the colours that she likes.

So what do you think? How would you fuse 'em together??

Cutting and paste was never a problem, even with my limited designing skills. But how can you just cut the skeleton and leaf into the Penang picture??? Ridiculous. So tell me.. what would you have done???

For me, i banged my head against the wall. Screwed my fingers into my desk. Plucked my eyeballs and cling 'em onto my monitor screen. Yes, i did them all. I did all these imaginary acts. So imagine how wild my brain was going already... yet none of these 'juices' were drinkable. I even tried giving up, but it wasn't drinkable also lah... (don't even dare to drink it cause it may haunt me in my dream).

Let's look at her old header again:

I stared.

It was then that i really felt like smacking my own head. It feels like inspiration has just shot me in the head from one side and a flag sticks out from the other side reading, "You Should Have Stared Here In The First Place." My fingers unscrewed, eyeballs placed back into me sockets, and me head... er... starts crackin' even more - but this time the juice is DRINKABLE.

Skip the process (& don't bother about it) and say ta-daa! to the results:

#1 : Her background was that she was from Penang, thus it shall be her header's background as well.

#2 : Skeleton. It has to rest somewhere in the picture and so happened the clouds looked so much like a throne. Lol. So just cut and paste it there + some shadows + a crown.

#3 : I asked her to send me a picture of herself in a sitting posture. I intended to have her sit just like the skeleton and place her on another throne duplicated from those clouds. But well, she sent me something else. And yes, it was better this way!

#4 : See anything familiar at the back of Kelly? I sort of made a collage from her old header and filled up some of the space here. Gives it the old, familiar feel but yet it is something new. Added those mini doodled houses/cottages/towers/bungalows for... hmmm... *Shrugs. My head asked me to do so. Lol.

#5 : You must be wondering where is the leaf huh? Or the droplets? No more space for them lah.. So had to delete - with the owner's permission, that is. But well, at least there is some similarity in color on Kelly's crown?

It's finally done! You have no idea how long i took to do this. I don't even want to count. But as always, it's all very worth it. This is the kind of head-crackin' activity that i really fancy doing! :D

Thanks Kelly!

Taken in 2006 : Adeline, Kelly & mewholookslikeatb.

Visit her here: http://blindingdays.blogspot.com/


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