After watching The Polar Express on the giant IMAX screen in 3D at Berjaya Times Square, we got hungry and were mooching around for something to eat. By the time the show ended around 10:30pm all the shops were already closed so we had to settle for something outside.

I suggested the chicken place which is near what used to be the Bulatan Edinburgh. It's in the same row as Cafe Cafe but nearer to the Esso and Shell stations. Kai Kee has been around for a while and is really busy in the evenings and if we can't think of where to go, we sometimes end up there because we can have chicken (pak cham kai version), noodles, rice, etc.

Anyway, what we had the other night was:
Chicken - it was very smooth or what the Chinese refer to as 'wat'
Chicken gizzard - I love the stuff, not sure why as I'm not a huge fan of 'insides', but perhaps because gizzard is crunchy!!
Bean Sprout - also another favourite because it was crunchy and not overcooked
Chicken Ball soup - the balls were quite huge and tasty
I had 'lou shi fun' (literally translated to read rat's tail noodle), dry with black sauce and G had kuey teow in soup.

Total cost was RM20.20 including drinks

Again, a satisfactory meal, but heavy for so late at night but once in a while, it's ok. The only thing I don't like about the place is the noise from the cars and occasionally the fumes as well .. but oh well, this is Malaysia .... so we will eat and keep hunting for the best road side stalls!

Restoran Kai Kee
Jalan Maharajalela
Kuala Lumpur

PS. If you're looking for KL Hokkien Mee (the dry black one) or any other kind of fried noodles, a few doors to the left of Kai Kee is a famous shop for that!
...till you have turkey ... at your table .... (to be sung to the tune of "Christmas isn't Christmas, till it happens, in your heart ...)

..and we had a really moist and tender turkey sitting at our table, complete with potatoes and cranberry sauce (the main reason I like turkey!!) gravy and chestnut stuffing with real chestnuts and quails eggs, etc. In addition, I prepared some pasta (my own concoction) - no cans, with real roma tomatoes (Mom was complaining that they were RM20/kg and I needed 1.5kg for the sauce alone!!) and pesto. There was a mixed peppers salad with yellow, orange, green and red peppers (all imported from the Netherlands) and last minute I had to whip up a quick tuna-mushroom-cream pasta and some mashed potatoes.

Also made my version of gluhwein (mulled wine) and as I ran out of the cheaper reds, I had to use my 1998 Blue Pryeness Estate Red wine that was lovingly carted back by G on his last trip to Australia.

I must stress that the turkey was the best thing. I ordered it from a home caterer, rather than going to the commercial/hotels joints to order it. Later, I learnt that Izhan also does more than turkey, he can come to your home and cook up a meal in your kitchen for your cosy dinner for two or for dinner parties. It's like having your own personal chef!! Minimum charge is RM600. I think it's a brilliant idea and my friends and I are already thinking up of occasions just to use his services!!!

So, if you need the services of chef, call:

h/p: 012 6551733

I read this in the Sun today. It sounds like something that would happen in the US of A rather than in Malaysia?? Perhaps we ARE watching too much American legal dramas. There was also that guy who took a matchmaking agency to the Tribunal because he wasn't satisfied with the girls they introduced to him, one being younger than his requirement, the other being heavier than him by 3kgs and another had too many ex-boyfriends!! Luckily he didn't win the case!!

Anyway, thanks to this precedent, perhaps now more houswives are going to go out and buy locally published recipe books and make feeble attempts at preparing the dishes and hoping they will fail so that they can get compensated!!

Homemaker awarded RM600 for bad recipes
Husna Yusop

PETALING JAYA: Cheesed off that her cheese cakes did not turn out as depicted in a recipe book (Nekochan: no pun intended, I'm sure!) , a homemaker filed a case in the Consumer Claims Tribunal against the publisher and was awarded RM616.90 as compensation.

"I bought the cookbook more than a year ago and baked 23 cakes out of the 70 recipes so far.

"However, all of them turned out completely different from the pictures," the homemaker, who wished to be identified only as C.K. Lee, 47, said after winning the case on Friday.
She claimed a third of the recipes contained in the book Catherine Lau's Cheesecake Seduction did not match the accompanying pictures.

For example, Lee said, there was a picture of a three-layer cake accompanying a recipe for a single-layer cake.
"And there was even one biscuit recipe accompanied by a picture of a cake," said Lee, who filed her claim against Times Publishing Group last month.
"It was frustrating. I had bought the book in the first place because I was attracted to the pictures in it."

Lee had sought a total of RM1,416.90 in compensation -- RM36.90 for the price of the book, RM230 for the electricity consumption (at RM10 a cake) and RM1,150 for the ingredients (RM50 a cake).

Tribunal president Ranjit Singh ordered Times Publishing to compensate Lee RM36.90 for the book, RM30 for electricity and RM550 for the ingredients. Lee was also told to return the book.
Times Publishing was represented by managing director Jamilah Mohd Hasan. Author of the book, Lau, was also present.

Lee, of Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, said she was satisfied with the decision as she had only wanted "justice to be done".

"Customers expect a book to be perfect, that is why they buy a book. I hope more people are aware they can fight for their consumer rights and be compensated in cases like this," she said.
Came across this article ... I wonder if the same applies if a man lives with his mommy??

Marriage makes men eat better
James Meikle
Tuesday December 14, 2004
The Guardian

Men eat more healthily when they are married, according to a study of American health professionals which adds to the growing body of evidence that wives help keep their husbands in mental and physical shape.

Men whose wives die increase their alcohol intake and eat fewer vegetables.
The findings come from a study of nearly 40,000 men, more than half of them dentists, the rest including vets, pharmacists, optometrists and osteopaths.

It shows that the divorced and widowed tend to lose weight, but remarrying tends to reverse the trend, and lead to a drop in physical activity.

"[The] time demands of a new spousal role may preclude routine exercise," the team at the Harvard school of public health writes in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, giving married men the perfect excuse not to get on their bike.

Married life may also bring more regular meals and increased food intake, it says. It certainly means men eat more lean poultry and have fewer sugary drinks.

Men left on their own by divorce or death go back to convenience and fried foods, neglecting meals that require more preparation skills. There is "a dietary advantage to wedlock" therefore, especially for those whose first wives have died.

The survey is thought to be first to study of the impact of marital changes on diet, though numerous studies have indicated that married people have a lower risk of an early death.
The changes in the study group were relatively very modest, the authors say, and less educated or lower paid men "may experience more pronounced effects".
Spent the weekend in PD. Will save comments on the 'lovely' Tanco Palm Springs Resort for another blog. Needless to say, there was no Palms nor Springs there.

Brunch - stopped by the Main Market (Pasar Besar) in Seremban for Seremban Beef Noodles. Problem was that there are few stalls there so we didn't quite know which one the really famous one was. Anyway, ended up choosing this stall run by a lady. It was ok ... she told us that the beef balls were made without using something (ok this conversation was in Cantonese, which isn't something I understand really well) and therefore it would be 'crunchy'.

Late Lunch - drove around Lukut (town near PD) and trekked up to Kota Lukut (Lukut Fort) and Lukut Museum <-- both a must-do if you find yourselves in Lukut! Tried looking for places to eat but nothing looked interesting. Anyway, ended up driving into PD town. Drove around PD town and finally stumbled upon this little Cafe which is located near the Ferry Terminal (the one that goes to Indonesia).

The place, Eli's Cafe, was quite inviting and had lots of arts and crafts around, including a big orang utan out the front.

Food ordered:
Thai Chilli Chicken Chop - like a Hainanese chicken chop, except with the sweet Thai chilli sauce, served with onion rings and salad. Was yummy and chicken was fried well. The onion rings reminded me of the ones from Burger King! RM15.90
Chicken Maryland - deep fried chicken chop, without any sauce, but served with a sausage, deep fried banana fritter (yummy!), chips, salad and corn on cob. Similar to the above except with no sauce. Simple, no fuss food! RM12.90
Fish Fillet - baked fish fillet with chips and salad. Looked good and CC didn't make a face, so guess it was alright. It did look like a small serving compared to the chicken though. RM12.90

Honey Lime (RM2.50) which wasn't sweet but that's ok, Chocolate Shake (RM4.80)which CC said was ok too ... and freshly squeezed watermelon (ok, so you can't technically squeeze a watermelon ...RM4.80), which you can't really go wrong with ..

Yup, when ladies are on a junket ...dessert is critical! The banana fritter that came with the chicken maryland was quite yummy (they used the correct banana), I (yes, I will take responsibility for that!) ordered more banana fritters with ice cream (RM5.90) and lemon pancakes (RM5.90). Pancakes were a little tough, probably having been beaten too much ...

Not a bad place to eat and relax if you ever find yourself in PD.

Eli's Cafe
65 Jalan Baru, 71000 Port Dickson
Tel: 06 6476628

The rest of the group joined us later and we made our way out of the way-out Tanco Resort (which is NOT situated near any beach and anywhere civilised for that matter!)

Decided that we would stop to eat at the first decent place rather than drive back the 21kms back to PD. The BBQ Park looked empty so we drove on .... and saw the Weng Yin Seafood Village.
We ordered:
Deep fried Sotong (calamari) which was one of the crunchiest and probably the most fattening and cholesterol laden calamari rings I've had. RM12
Steamed Fish in Asam sauce - the sauce a little to thick for my liking but it was ok. Steamed with brinjals and lady's fingers. RM35
Kangkung with Belachan .. normal lah RM7
Mixed Vegetables ..also normal lah RM7
House Special Tofu - served with old cucumber, the tofu was really smooth and soft. RM8

Plus drinks and all, total bill came to RM82 for 6 pax ... not too bad I guess...

Weng Yin Seafood Village
Batu 9 1/2, Jalan Pantai,
71050 Sirusa, Port Dickson
Tel: 06 6625278, 012 6281660
As I rule, I wouldn't normally have the same cuisine twice in a day .. but it took me over one hour to get from my place to Sunway to take my uncle out for dinner ... and I must have looked pretty frazzled because he said, "perhaps we should just eat at the hotel ....". Anyway, a choice of two restaurants at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel - either Westlake (Chinese) or Avanti (Italian). Uncle looks at me and says, " I have Chinese everyday". OK ... no choice but to go to Avanti.

Got to the restaurant at around 8pm ... managed to get a table for four near the band area (they're having a Henessey XO Jazz thing there till middle of December).

Food ordered:
Insalata Estiva - a light salad which came with a parmesan encrusted base which was very delicious. RM26
Caesar Salad - when it's halal and comes with beef bacon, I shan't bother rating it! RM24
Salmone Gamberi - Dad said it was good. Shall have to take his word for it. RM65
Spaghetti Arrabiatta - the one with the spicy tomato based sauce. Uncle who ordered it looked suitably uninspired. RM26
Penne with slipped lobster - was as tasteless as the ArrabiattO at Italianni's. Lobster was pretty tasteless... tasted as if they had boiled the lobster, taken the meat out and placed it on the sauce, as opposed to cooked it with the sauce. I, too, was very uninspired. RM38
Calamereti with Risotto - baby calamari cooked in a tomato-based sauce with risotto. Mom though it was ok. RM38

Drink: They ran out of Zinfandel, the house wines didn't look terribly exciting so we just opted for Sourced-in-Malaysia Eau Claire water. The 1.5 litre bottle (which would have cost me no more than RM2.50 at the 7-Eleven) cost us RM14 at Avanti!

Service: NOW we talk! We arrived around 8pm, placed order very quickly as we were quite hungry, having been stuck in a jam for the past hour or more. The two appetizers arrived quickly, within 15 minutes of our order. Uncle and I enjoyed it which parent enjoyed the basket of various breads that were placed on the table. By 8:30pm appetizers were polished off and we awaited our main course. To cut a really l-o-n-g story short, we asked various waitresses about the status of our main course no less than 5 times and each time was told either "in 10 minutes maam", or "I don't know anything, I'm new", or "it's not my fault maam, I'm just conveying what the Chef told me" ... ...
Anyway .... main courses finally arrived at 9:45pm which probably accounted for the bleh review above. However, restaurants should note that service plays an important part of a customers' overall dining experience. No point having good food if the service is bad!

Oh ya ... when we arrived, the table was not set yet and as a result they forgot to give us napkins. So, I told one of the waitresses, "I think you all forgot to give us napkins earlier." I didn't realise she was China Chinese and didn't understand me so she innocently told me, "it wasn't me who didn't give you napkins just now because I didn't set your table!"

Anyway, by the time we left was nearly 10:20pm. They did give us complimentary corn ice cream ... but it tasted like some el-cheapo local brand ... gelato would have been better.....

Would I go back again?
Probably not unless dragged by a hundred stallions.....

Total cost that night for dinner for 4 (no alcoholic drinks, and with just Malaysian water!) was RM265.65 including al taxes

I've been eating non-stop since Friday afternoon and while I still have the memories in my brain (and notepad), thought I'd better blog them all down now before I forget.

Friday afternoon, two colleagues and I decided to try the new Italian restaurant, Italianni's at 1-Utama.

Since I have a number of reviews I want to do tonight, I'll keep them all straight to the point....

Atmosphere - very kitsch Italian, screaming "we-are-a-franchised-Italian-restaurant-attempting-to-look-Italian". Oh, give it a break! We know we are NOT in Italy no matter how much any restaurant tries to recreate the vineyard scenes, even with the must-have checkered red-and-white table cloth and Italian "opera" playing the background. All you would have to do is look out the window to see the traffic along the LDP and you would know!

Food - Quite a long menu with alcoholic drinks served as well (okay, I'll give them a plus point for that!). We ordered (in my terms):

ArrabiattO pasta - we all thought we had ordered ArrabiattA but turns out it was with an 'O'. It was pasta with a light brown sauce which supposedly contained vodka. It was all rather bland, if you ask me ...

Chicken Salad - this was quite good. It was like a Caesar like salad but with chicken and bits of grapes and mango.

Seafood Pizza - we had to agree that this was the best even though the taste of fake-been-in-the-freezer-in-a-plastic-container crabstick came through quite clearly.

Drinks - one of my colleagues ordered a glass of house wine which, horrors of horrors, came served in glass tumbler. We were like ..err...that's wine ..err...ok. Kidded with colleague that perhaps if had ordered a more expensive non-house wine, it would have been served in a proper wine glass. Other colleague ordered a Blue Dream smoothie which was ok.

Service - we had a very earnest young waiter. It was ok, nothing fantastic but nothing bad. Looking around, all the waiting staff look like they are in their late teens, I wouldn't have been surprised if they were all recent school leavers waiting for their SPM (do they still call it that these days?) results.

We were quite stuffed at end of the meal ... which, incidentally, cost us around RM125 ...quite a bit for a quick Friday afternoon lunch!

Would I go back again ... probably only if I were quite desparate for something else to eat at 1-Utama...

Italianni's Pasta Pizza and Vino
Location: somewhere near the bridge connecting the old and new wing
Tel: 77271399

From the Deccan Herald, Living, 26 November 2004

The subtle magic of spice
If you want the aroma of home ground spices pervading your house, check out these easy to try methods by PRAVEEN MULL.

As you enter an Indian home, you take inhale the aromas of freshly ground spices, and easily guess what’s cooking. Such is the magic of spices, and their importance in Indian cuisine. No wonder it is said “spices are the spice of Indian cuisine”.

In all, there are about 35 spices and condiments which are not only useful for providing flavour and aroma, but also possess nutritional and medicinal value. Retailer shelves are stacked with numerous ready made masalas in attractive packaging, making life easier for the busy working housewife of today. But, as any diehard Indian will vouch, the aromas and taste of freshly ground masalas, traditionally prepared as per our grandmother’s recipes and handed down from one generation to the next, are incomparable, be it the hot and spicy garam masala or the refreshing tea masala.

Here are recipes for some popular masalas:
Tea masala
Ingredients: 100 gms dry ginger (sonth), 25 gms cinnamon, 25 gms black pepper, 25 gms black cardamom, 25 gms green cardamom, 1 piece nutmeg (jaiphal), 1/2 tsp cloves.
Method: Grind the ingredients in a mixer. The resulting fine powder is your tea masala ready for making spiced tea. Store in an airtight jar.

Idli podi
Ingredients: 1 cup urad dal, 1 tablespoon chana dal, 15 whole red chillies, 1 teaspoon asafoetida, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon til oil for frying.
Method: Take the til oil in a kadai, and fry the urad dal, chana dal, whole red chillies and sesame seeds, each separately. Mix all the ingredients, including salt and asafoetida. Grind coarsely and store in an airtight jar.

Garam masala
Ingredients: 100 gms cummin seeds, 2 tablespoons black cardamom seeds, 1 tablespoon green cardamom seeds, 25 gms cinnamon, 25 gms cloves, 25 gms black pepper, 4 pcs bay leaves.
Method: Mix all the ingredients. Roast the mixture in a kadai for 2-3 minutes, and grind in a mixie. The masala is ready. Store in an airtight jar.

Milk masala
Ingredients: 150 gms almonds, 50 gms pistachio, 25 gms green cardamom, half piece nutmeg (jaiphal), 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon saffron.
Method: Soak almonds in warm water, remove skin and dry thoroughly. Remove seeds from cardamom. Grind all ingredients in a clean mixer. The milk masala is ready.Store in an airtight jar.

Chaat masala
Ingredients: 4 tablespoons cummin seeds, 15 pcs whole red chillies, 2 tablespoons mango powder (amchur), 1 teaspoon black salt, 1 teaspoon common salt.
Method: Roast cummin seeds and red chillies on a hot tawa for three minutes. Grind the mixture. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Use this masala for fruit chaat or papdi chaat.

Dhanshak masala
Ingredients: 100 gms coriander seeds, 50 gms cummin seeds, half cup whole red chillies, 10 gms mustard seeds, 10 gms fenugreek seeds, 10 gms phool pathar, 10 gms black pepper, 10 gms cinnamon, 10 gms cloves, 10 gms bay leaves, half teaspoon mace (javitri), 1 nutmeg (jaiphal), 10 gms poppy seeds (khaskhas).
Method: Dry roast all the ingredients, and grind the mixture. Store in an air tight container.
Thanks, NAT, for this ...

In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, combined with an abundance of green, yellow and red vegetables. He did this so that Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. Then, using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Chocolates and Ice cream.
And Satan said: "You want hot fudge with that ?"
And Man said: "Yes!"
And Woman said: "I'll have one, too...with sprinkles."
And low and behold they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane , and combined them.
And Woman went from size 2 to size 14.

So God said: "Try my fresh green garden salad."
And Satan presented crumbled Cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side.
And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said: "I have sent you heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep-fried banana chips, butter-dipped lobster chunks, and fried chicken so big it needed its own platter.
And Man's cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition.
Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin, sliced the starchy centre into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats, adding copious quantities of salt.
And Man packed on more pounds.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his children might lose those extra pounds.
And Satan introduced cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.
And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretchy lycra jogging suits.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and the 99-cent double cheeseburger.
Then Satan said: "You want fries with that?" And Man replied: "Yes! And super size them !" And Satan said: "It is good."
And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed...and created quadruple by-pass surgery.
Satan chuckled and created Medical Insurance !!
The list below has been making its rounds as a forwarded email lately ....Anyway, here it is. Try at your own risk. I have put Nekochan's remarks in red. So, do you agree with this list? Let me know what you think .....

1. CHOW KOAY TIEW - Jalan Imbi : the corner restaurant which is on the same row with Sakura, and opposite of Honda Kah Motor.
2. WANTAN MEE/KARI MEE - End of old Subang airport road, in the Subang New Village Town Centre.
3. TAPIOCA NOODLES& VEGETABLES - Old Klang Road : a shack which is nestled behind a chinese primary school, after the market and the post office (which would be on your left).
4. KARI MEE (LEMAK) - SS1, PJ : Alisan Restaurant (2nd shop from corner), facing the Lorenzo Furniture Shop.
5. ROAST DUCK RICE - Seapark : Sunrise Coffee Shop Totally agree!!
6. PRAWN MEE/KARIMEE/CHEE CHEONG FUN - Seapark : Coffee Shop near old Paramount Theatre.
7. CHICKEN RICE - Seapark: Coffee Shop opposite Seapark Market, run by 2 ladies whose husbands have since died.
8. FISH HEAD BEE HOON - Jln Gasing, PJ. Seng Kee Restaurant, in row of shops behind Lotus Restaurant. Some people have recommended the one at Ka Soh in Jalan Imbi too ...
9. MISCELLANEOUS - SS24 Tmn Megah: take the LDP and exit left after the Kelana Jaya LRT Station (towards"SS24"). a hawker centre with over 70 hawker stalls (!!) allserving different dishes, no duplicates (!!), which boast the best of eachkind in town (!!) not too difficult to locate. I think this place is called Ming Tien
10. YONG TAU FU - Ampang New Town/Ampang Village (there are 3 shops, so have your pick)
11. PAN MEE - Along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman behind KahMotors.
12. HOKKIEN MEE - Petaling Street opposite Hong Leong Bank
13. CHAR SIEW RICE - Jalan Tung Shin
14. NASI KANDAR - Kayu Nasi Kandar Restaurant in Taipan, Subang with a branch in SS2 a coffee shop formerly known as Cheow Yang
15. Teh Tarik & roti - Taman Desa next to the water tank
16. If money is not an issue - Madam Kwan (Nasi Lemak & curry fish head) True, quite pricy but if you have overseas visitors and would like to take them to sample our local food in a 'cleaner' environment .....
17. Little Penang (chow Koay Tiew & Prawnmee) I'm assuming this is the one at Mid Valley. Penang food here is generally good, one of the better "Penang food" places in KL
18. Bak Kut Teh - Jalan Imbi behind hong leong bank
19. Satay - Naan Corner in Ampang, in between International School and RSPCA, called Nur Satay.
20. Banana Leaf - Kannas in SS2, behind Lisa De Inn hotel
21. Nasi Lemak - Suzi corner, next to Ampang city (used to be called Kerris)
22. Won Ton Mien/Char Siew - Jln Sungai Besi; on the way to PLUS. Only open at 7pm-2am, a car repair shop by day.
23. Beef Brisket noodles - Tengkat Tong Shin; runs parallel to Jalan Alor. Stall near the beginning of the road. Open at night till late.
24. Char Siew/Chicken rice - Tengkat Tong Shin; further up the road. Old prewar shop house. This has to be the drop dead unhealthiest piece of anything you can insert in your mouth in KL? but to die for. Chicken is strictly as filler to make sure you don't get a heart attack overdosing on char siew.
25. Fish balls - Tengkat Tong Shin; a little further up the road from char siew. Stall inside a coffee shop. This guy is good, look at the amount of people he employs to helpout!
26. Hokkien mee (KL style -thick, black, yummy Petaling Street; at the intersection opposite Hong Leong Bank. Full of porcine goodness. Still the gold standard of Hokkien mee.
27. Seafood noodles - Segambut; near Auto Bavaria. A big bowl full of noodles and assorted mussels, prawns, cuttlefish, fish etc. for reasonable price. Pick of soup, clear, tom yam, curry. Forget the rest, go for the curry. Soya bean with cincau not bad. Avoid on Sunday mornings. You will wait for an hour. Fried Chicken Rice (only on Weds and Sat)!!
28. Ploughman's Lunch - Finnegan's Seri Hartamas. A big plate filled with a pot of pate, slices of ham, pickle, onion, chunks of cheese, a slab of butter, 4 hunks of bread. If you are EXTREMELY hungry, this one's for you. It's a nice "lighter lunch" if you share it with someone else.
29. Chef's salad - Flagz; behind Souled Out. This salad is as all salads should be - crunchy FRESH veggies, and the dressing is to die for.Easily the best salad in town. And I don't even like salad. Beer is the freshest in town too, great bite.
30. Hokkien Mee (Penang style otherwise known as Prawn noodles) Champ's; Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru. Standard gone down somewhat recently, but still head and shoulders above all others in KL. You'll have to go to Penang to beat this. This is a LARGE serving .. be warned!
31. Char Kway Teow Bukit Damansara; behind Hock Lee supermarket, next to Shell. Corner stall inside coffee shop. Best in KL. The fellow has been frying for longer than I can recall, and he is so good that you may have to wait up to 45 minutes during lunchtime. Doesn't use too much oil almost perfect. As above, you'll have to go to Penang to beat this. Other stalls in the same shop not bad. I think this is the "famous" Steven's Char Koay Teow
32. Chicken Rice - Jalan Gasing; very close to the Federal Highway, same row as Southern Bank 2 shops one in the middle, one in the corner. Can't decide which is superior, but both are very good. Middle one has Ipoh taugeh. Corner one is known as Satellite, middle one is Ipoh Chicken Rice. Mixed reviews about both, just a matter of preference.
33. Bak Kut Teh - Klang, just about anywhere. Hokkien Association off the main highway leading to the heart of Klang is a good place to start for beginners.
34. Dim Sum - JW Marriott Hotel. Chinese restaurant here serves northern China style dim sum. Easily best dim sum in town. A little pricey.
35. Fish Head - off Jalan Sungai Besi; just past Won Ton Mien, turn left right after BP. Three shops clumped together. All look dilapidated but don't worry. Don't know what type of fish they get their heads from, but I suspect fresh water fish. Hot sauce fish head to die for. Extremely reasonable prices.
36. Bak Kut Teh - Segambut; go past Auto Bavaria, follow road all the way until you see a Chinese temple on your left. Enter the temple courtyard and you will see a tin shack where they serve bak kut teh. Not quite up there with Klang, but nothing to sneeze at. Go for yam rice rather than white rice. Fried Chicken Rice (only on Weds and Sat)!!
37. Nasi Kandar/Kerabu/Laut - Taman Tun; the other end of Secret Recipe in a store on the same block, usually with a van outside. Truly Kelantanese style. Only in the morning though. Unfortunately, this has since closed down. But I think that Cik Hasanah will still continue to sell from her little van outside the shop ... we can only hope...
38. Seafood - Pulau Carey; get to Jalan Banting and follow signs to Pulau Carey. Place called Kang Guan, just before the actual bridge onto the island. Cheap!
39. Nasi Lemak TangLin at Lake Gardens, near the Clinic/Hospital. Only open when government depts open. One of Nekochan's contenders for "Best Nasi Lemak" in town. However, you really have to get there very early in the morning, like by 7:30AM or earlier and on working Saturdays, I heard the queue starts before they even start at 7:00AM!!
40. Chicken Rice - Bing Restaurant in Sri Rampai. Wait till you drop to eat the chicken rice. Worth it.
WASHINGTON: An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, thanks to strong antioxidants that fight cell damage, US researchers reported on Tuesday.

Rat brain cells exposed to the antioxidant -- in this case quercetin -- resisted damage much better than those not treated, the team at Cornell University in New York found.
Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the damage done by chemicals known as free radicals -- generated by sunlight, chemical reactions and the stress of day-to-day living.
The researchers say their study adds strength to the theory that the risk of developing Alzheimer's and similar brain diseases might be reduced by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Writing in the Dec 1 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the Cornell team said they soaked rat brain cells in either quercetin or vitamin C -- another potent antioxidant.
The cells were then exposed to hydrogen peroxide to mimic the type of oxidative cell damage that is believed to occur with Alzheimer's disease.

Brain cells that were treated with quercetin had significantly less damage than the cells treated with vitamin C and cells that were not treated with antioxidants.

"On the basis of serving size, fresh apples have some of the highest levels of quercetin when compared to other fruits and vegetables and may be among the best food choices for fighting Alzheimer's," C.Y. Lee, a professor and chairman of the Department of Food Science & Technology at Cornell University, who led the study, said in a statement.
"People should eat more apples, especially fresh ones," he added.

Lee said the skins of apples contain the highest levels of quercetin so juice is not necessarily the best source. In general, red apples tend to have more of the antioxidant than green or yellow ones, he said.

Other foods high in quercetin include onions, blueberries and cranberries. -- Reuters
While my first choice for a lovely afternoon Devonshire tea would normally be the very crowded Teapot Cafe in SS2, unfortunately, they are not open on Sundays.

So, last Sunday, in the midst of the whole country serving rendang and lemang, I had a sudden urge to have scones. Going through the trusted PDA under my notes on "Where to go on Sunday afternoons for tea" I found the entry for Flo @ Equatorial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Flo is what many of us *ahem* older ones will remember as Blue Moon where Saturday evenings would find couples ballroom dancing. It was one of its kind in KL and I enjoyed going as a spectator. Unfortunately, they have since replaced it with the ultra modern chic Flo, the Lobby Lounge. Their blurb on their website reads "The hotel's new lobby lounge has a contemporary interior which is a blend of tropical warmth with a touch of casual elegance. Zen inspired elements of flowing water, circles of glowing light, tall French windows and plush sofa seating come together to create a tranquil, informal atmosphere for those seeking a brief respite from the daily hustle and bustle. "

It was a VERY quiet Sunday afternoon when we arrived and we were the only ones there for the Afternoon Tea and even then the food took ages to arrive!

You get a choice of tea including Earl Grey, Peppermint, Chamomile. Foodwise it's Smoked Salmon roll, cucumber sandwiches, some cookies and cakes, scones with cream, butter and jam. It's not great, but it's not bad either. My Greedy one was still hungry after all that so he ordered some Liver Parfait but was informed some 15 minutes later that it wasn't available. He promptly ordered the beef sandwich which was accompanied with some overfried french fries which were hard.

It was also slightly weird to have Afternoon Tea at such a contrasting atmosphere.

Anyway, the Tea cost RM28 per pax and is served every Sunday from 2pm-6pm.

* Am dying to try the Sunday Moet & Chandon Champagne Brunch at Étoile Bistro
Every Sunday, a Moet & Chandon Champagne Brunch will be presented with over 150 items on the buffet line as well as individual food stations. Highlights are our Chocolate Fountain with US Strawberries and Frozen Fruits, Raclette Cheese Counter, Wagyu Beef, Fresh Oysters and free-flow of Champagne. Also, complimentary Weekend Edition of the Asian Wall Street Journal, 10% off any magazine title and 2 hours free Internet access with own WiFi device.
RM199++ Full Brunch;
RM159++ Appetizer, Dessert, Champagne;
RM99++ Appetizer, Main Course & Dessert;
RM70++ Appetizer and Dessert;
RM39.95++ Children (5-12 years)
Available: Every Sunday, 11.30 am - 2.30 pm

Equatorial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur
tel: 21617777
List of dining options at Bangsar Village. Nekochan has visited the ones in bold

1) Basil Thai Nudle Bar (Thai)
2) Caffe 1920 (Italian)
3) Chatterbox (HK Cuisine) - yup, here's where you get peanut butter toast, cheese baked rice and boiled Coke with ginger. Their cheese baked rice lacked the cheese and the serving portion was quite small. The rice they give is fried rice though. The peanut butter toast was basically thick toast with some peanut butter on the top, nothing in comparison to the one at 'de Kowloon Cafe (another HK cuisine place in Desa Sri Hartamas), where they serve excellent peanut butter french toast (take 2 slices of bread, slap some peanut butter in between, dip the while sandwich in egg batter, pan fry it, add some condensed milk to the top before serving!!)
4) Hiestand (Bakery Cafe)
5) Du Viet (Vietnamese)
6) Fish & Co (Seafood)
7) Laksa Shack (Malaysian) - serving a variety of laksa, including Penang laksa, Johor laksa, Thai laksa, etc. Not bad for something quick. They also have a variety of salads.
8) Mizu (Japanese)
9) Nando's (Afro-Portugese) - part of the Nando's chicken franchise, nothing special from the others ...
10) Outback Steakhouse (Western)

Worth a mention is also the Baclava shop selling numerous types of baclava*. They all look absolutely delicious!! (* A rich cake of Middle-Eastern origin made of layers of filo pastry, with a filling of honey, nuts and spices.)

Can't wait for Baker's Inn to open as well. Looks like it will be located opposite Starbuck's. If the one in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta is anything to go by, looks like Baker's Inn will be the next place-t0-be-seen and dine. Have eaten at the original ones in Singapore ... their desserts are to die for!! While waiting, we can salivate over their website.

More information about Baker's Inn ...(or rather, Bakerzin, it's new name)
Influenced very much by the French culinary culture, Singapore's self-styled Salon de The (teahouse in French) has outlets at convenient town locations and has also spread its wings to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Primarily a dessert café, however, a savoury menu is also available to give customers added variety and make the café a more complete all-day dining concept; specially created by award-winning chef-cum-founder, Mr Daniel Tay - World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence 2001, Inniskillin Pastry Chef of the Year. (Info from Getforme)

Bangsar Village
1, Jalan Telawi 1
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 22821808
Can't decide where to 'buka puasa' (break fast) this year? Below is a listing of the more popular places in KL. Thanks to SA for the listing ...

Note: Any rating of the places have not been done by me. Eat at your own risk.
Also, I have been informed that some of the prices stated my be incorrect. You are advised to call up and check first.

Suria KLCC City Centre
Reservations: 603 - 382 0395
Price: RM29.75++ per person
A Selection of choice that may include Kerabu Paru Paru, Gado GadoRojak Buah, Ulam Ulam, Daging Masak Hitam, Ayam Sambal, Talang Masin Gulai Lemak Nenas, Kacang Panjang Goreng & Hati to name a few. This buffet Menu changes daily.

1st Floor, Suria KLCC City Centre
Reservations: 603 - 2380 5700
Price: RM29.00++ per person
A mixed of traditional Malay & Western cuisines.

Jalan Bukit BintangReservations: 603 - 2142 4009
Price: RM28.00nett per adult and RM16.00nett per child
Experience a different style of Berbuka puasa at Bintang Shack.

CENTURY KUALA LUMPUR HOTEL [ Sunflowers Brasserie ] 4*
Reservations: 603 - 2143 9898
Price: RM40.00++ per adult and RM25.00++ per child
Tempting dishes from the action stall include Chicken and Beef Satay, Lamb Sharwarna, Roti Canai, Murtabak, Penang Prawn Mee, Ikan Bakar and succulent seafood.

Reservations: 603 - 9074 9662
Price: RM35.00nett per adult and RM20.00nett per child
Seafood & Thai food buffet.

Ground Floor, Suria KLCC
Reservations: 603 - 2166 8277
Price: RM38.00nett per person
Lavish buka puasa buffet.

Reservations: 603 - 2296 1188
Price: RM38.00nett per adult and 50% off per child.
Favourites such as "Kambing Tandoori", "Kari Kepala Ikan", "Sambal Terung", "Ketam Goreng Rempah", "Ekor Lembu Asam Pedas", "Udang Sambal" and "Rendang Daging Lembu" to go with "Lemang", "Ulam-Ulam", "Rojak" and a dazzling array of refreshing appetisers and desserts.

Reservations: 603 - 2144 2200
Price: RM48.00++ per person.
Feast yourself to the main course such as ketam masala, ikan patin tempoyak, ikan tenggiri asam pedas, nangka lemak cili padi or opt for the action dishes such as the mee bandung, Johor laksa or ikan bakar. A meal is never complete without the dessert; spoil yourself with the honey dew pudding, warm chocolate pudding, bubur gandum and bubur kacang merah.

CORUS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR [ Dondang Sayang ] 4*
Jalan Ampang
Reservations: 603 - 2161 8888
Price: RM39.00++ per person.
Feast on an unbelievable spread of over 80 dishes during the month of ramadhan. Break yours fast with a splendid array opf authentic Malay dishes and a magnitude of sumptuous cuisine from the Middle East to an International fair lined in the hawker style buffet. Not forgetting the delicious selection of traditional dessert, Cakes & Ice Kacang guranteed to fulfill any cravings after a long day of fasting.

Reservations: 603 - 2162 5522
Price: RM55.20nett per adult and 50%off per child and senior citizen.
Buffet spread of traditional Malaysia dishes which include appetizers, salads, ulam-ulam, condiments and sauces, soups, carvings, shawarma, main courses and desserts, The harmonious sounds of Malay traditional music and Ghazal will accompany diners from 7.00pm onwards except Sundays.

DE PALMA INN [ Rumia ] 3*
Reservations: 603 - 4270 7070
Price: RM40.00nett per adult and RM22.50nett per child .
Buffet spread of traditional Malaysian dishes

Jalan Maktab, off Jalan Semarak
Reservations: 603 - 2698 8302 Price: RM35.00nett per adult and RM20.00nett per child .
Break your fast everyday with different menu at price so right.

DORSETT REGENCY [ Checker's ] 4*
Reservations: 603 - 2715 1000
Price: RM38.00++ per adult and RM19.00++ per child
Malay cuisine including Tandoori Kambing, Lemang, Serunding, Daging Kalio, Ikan Bakar Asam Jawa, Rendang Tok, Paru-Paru Goreng, Sambal Tumis Udang Petai and Ayam Golek.

Reservations: 603 - 4043 7777 ext. 3301
Price: RM42.00nett per adult and RM21.00nett per child
Special Price for Bankers: RM38.00nett per person
Special Price for Government Servants: RM35.00nett per person
Feast yourself with splendid seven rotating buffet menus, each comprising of favourite local specialties.

Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Reservations: 603 - 2161 7777
Price: RM58.00++ per adult and RM30.00++ per child (4-10 years old)
Dishes include local salads, soups, hot main courses, hawker-style favourites and desserts. Popular specialities include Roast Lamb, Fish Head Curry, Bubur Lumbuk, Laksa, Udang Goreng Bermadu, Ayam Masak Serai, Danging Paprik, Ketam Goreng Kunyit, Rebung Masak Lemak Perut, Cili Lala, Soto Ayam and Nasi Bukhari. Desserts include Dodol, Wajik, Layer Cake, Tapai, Kuih Ketayap, Red Bean Dumplings and fresh fruit.

Suria KLCC; Emporium Beach Club; Plaza Mont Kiara; Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre; Odeon Club; Sunway Pyramid; Caesars Club; Plaza Alam Sentral; Waterfront City; Kompleks Zon Bebas Cukai JB; The Garage Penang Road; Gurney Plaza;
Price: RM14.90++ per set meal
Set A : Tomato Rice with Chicken Rendang & Bandung Chiller.
Set B: Tomato Rice with Chicken Char Siew & Bandung Chiller.

Jalan Tun Ismail
Reservations: 603 - 4042 2177
Price: RM29.00nett per adult and RM14.50nett per child
Malay Ramadhan buffet.

GRAND SEASONS HOTEL [ Seasons Cafe ]4*
No 72 Jalan Pahang
Reservations: 603 - 2695 5225
Price: RM45.00nett per person
Offerings include Rendang Pedas Udang, Sambal Sotong Petai, Ayam Perchik, Nasi Briyani, Lemang and Serunding amongst others.

IMPIANA HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR [ Saffron Brasserie ]3*
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Reservations: 603 - 2026 6060 Ext. 7801
Price: RM38.00nett per person
Local dishes in style.

HOTEL CAPITOL KUALA LUMPUR [ Be Be's Kitchen & Bar ]4*
Reservations: 603 - 2143 7000
Price: RM30.00++ per adult and RM15.00++ per child & senior citizen
Traditional Malay cuisine.

HOTEL FAIRLANE [ Makan Makan ]4*
Jalan Walter Grenier
Reservations: 603 - 2148 6888
Price: RM32.00++ per person
Wide selection of Malay authentic favourites Break fast with a symphony traditional Malay music presented by "Kumpulan Seri Mewah".

HOTEL FLAMINGO [ Cascades ]4*
Tasik Ampang, Jalan Hulu Kelang
Reservations: 603 - 4256 3288
Price: RM46.00nett per person
Serving local, Chinese, Continental, and hard-to-find dishes, you'll have a feast that you'll not want to forget.

HOTEL ISTANA [ Taman Sri Brasserie ]5*
Reservations: 603 - 2141 9988 ext 3667
Price: From RM70.00nett per adult
Dishes include Panggang Rusa (grilled deer), Udang Harimau Masak Lengkuas (spicy prawns with galangal), Daging Masak Hijau Berduan Selasih (green beef curry with sweet basil) and Ayam Panggang Madu (marinated baked chicken with chilli and honey). Ghazal music will be playing buffet.

HOTEL MIDAH [ Attapia ] 3*
Jalan Kampung Attap
Reservations: 603 - 2273 9999
Price: RM25.00nett per adult and RM20.00nett per child
Traditional Malay favourites include Ulam Raja, Kerabu Mangga, Sup Ekor, Sup Tulang, Ayam Goreng Pedas, Daging Masak Lada Hitam, Udang Masak Lada Hitam and Udang Masak Tomato.

Reservations: 603 - 2715 9000
Price: RM38.00++ per adult and RM16.00++ per child [ Sang Bayu Poolside ]
Traditional buffet style with sixty over types of dishes ranging from local, Chinese and International. Complete with tents and food stalls ? it is designed to be carnival-like, putting camaraderie and fellowship back into our hectic daily lives.

Price: RM28.00++ per adult and RM16.00++ per child [ Marriott Café ]
A special 6 traditional dishes ranging from appitisers, main course, soup and dessert on your mini table..

Jalan Tasik Permaisuri1, Bandar Sri Permaisuri
Reservations: 603 - 7803 8118
Price: RM29.00++ per adult and RM12.00++ per child
Sri Permaisuri Buffet

Level 1, Suria KLCC
Reservations: 603 - 2163 4166
Price: RM29.90++ per adult and 50% off for children & senior citizen
Buka Puasa with Kelantan Delights cooking secrets.

Ground Floor, City Square, Jalan Tun Razak
Reservations: 603 - 2161 5094
Price: RM15.90nett per person (3 course meal)

Jalan Permaisuri Taman Maluri
Reservations: 603 - 9287 8833
Price: RM28.00nett per person

Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala LumpurReservations: 603 - 2380 8888 Price: RM63.00++ per person Malay & International cuisine.

MUSEUM RESTAURANT, The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Reservations: 603 - 2274 2020
Price: RM39.00nett per adult and RM19.00nett per child
Over 50 variaties of Middle Eastern & Local cuisine.

Jalan Imbi
Reservations: 603 - 2143 8333
Price: RM40.00++ per adult and 50% per child
More than 60 Raya dishes served in Kampung style.

Reservations: 603 - 2161 8833
Price: RM46.00nett per adult and RM23.00nett per child
Tempting treats include Grilled Meats and Seafood, Assam Laksa, Talapia Lemak Cili Padi, Daging Minangkabau, Bubur Pingat Pisang and Kuih Muih. Three different menus will be rotated during the promotion.

Reservations: 603 - 4022 8400
Price: RM27.00nett per adult and RM21.00nett per child
Buffet + Steamboat + BBQ

NIKKO HOTEL [ Café Serena ] 5*
Jalan Ampang
Reservations: 603 - 2161 1111
Price: RM55.00++ per adult and 50% per child
Feast on an elaborate daily-changing buffet prepared by Hotel Nikko's Master Chefs during the month of Ramadhan.

Jalan Ampang
Reservations: 603 - 2711 8866 ext. 3511 [ Pelita Brasserie and Straits Restaurant ] 4*
Price: RM49.00nett per person
A delightful potpourri of evergreen Malaysian favourites such as Ikan Bakar Percik, Ketam Bunga Masak Rempah, Ayam Panggang, Kambing Marsala, Rendang Daging and Udang Kandar.What's more, the sumptuous spread will be expanded into Straits Restaurant. Look out for the specialty stalls serving Satay, Lemang with Serunding, Otak-otak and many more.

51-A Changkat Bukit Bintang
Reservations: 603 - 2715 3888
Price: RM30.00nett per person
Local International food (including Pastas).

Batu 5, Jalan Klang Lama,
Reservations: 603 - 7983 1111 ext 8356
Price: RM30.00nett per adult and RM15.00nett per child
Local & Western Food

Reservations: 603 - 2144 6602
Price: RM28.00++ per person
Be with the stars and break your fast and Planet Hollywood with its Ramadhan Buffet.

PRINCE HOTEL & RESIDENCE [Eccucino Brasserie]4*
Jalan ConlayReservations: 603 - 2170 8888 ext. 8119Price: RM52.00++ per person
Chef Wan joins us this Ramadhan and will prepare special Buka Puasa dishes at Eccucino Brasserie. A tempting spread awaits with traditional Malay specialities offered.

Reservations: 603 - 2693 9233 [ Benteng ]
Price: RM39.50++ per adult and RM15.00++ per child
Malaysian traditional fare and North Indian cuisine.

Reservations: 603 - 2693 9233 [ Meisan Szechuan ]
Price: From RM38.50++ per person
Halal chinese cuisine this Ramadhan.

Reservations: 603 - 2693 9233 [ Vogue Café ]
Price: RM62.00++ per adult and RM32.00++ per child
Includes Udang Galah Sambal Petai, Jelawat Masak Lemak Tempoyak, Ulam-Ulam Melayu, Gulai Nangka Ikan Kering and Kari Sembilang. You can also indulge in Pacific Rim favourites such as Sushi & Sashimi, Oyster Rockefeller, Salmon in Puff Pastry, Steamed Garoupa with Lemon Grass & Coriander and Turkey Roulade with Roasted Cumin Seed & Papaya Salsa and more

Jalan Ampang
Reservations: 603 - 2161 0122
Price: RM59.00++ per person (cultural Show performance);RM39.50++ per person (Ghazal performance)
Live performance at Saloma's with good buffet.

Jalan Conlay
Reservations: 603 - 2145 1833
Price: RM55.00++ per adult and RM 30.00++ per child
Menu such as Nasi Ayam, Lemang, Rendang Ayam & Randang Tok, Kuah Lodeh and house specialities pengat Durian. We serves five types of sambal dishes - Sambal Tempoyak, Sambal Cencaluk, Sambal Budu, Sambal Belacan & Sambal Nenas. Our Noodle section features daily specials such as Laksa Utara, Mee Soup & Hilited Italian Spaghetti. The harmonies sounds of Nasyid & cultural show performance will accompany diners. Prayers room are also available for MUSLIM patrons plus we provide an ample free parking to our customer.

SHANGRI LA HOTEL 5* [ Lemon Garden Cafe ]
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Reservations: 603 - 2032 2388
Price: RM80.00++ per adult and RM40.00++ per child (6 -12 yrs old)
Not only should you look forward to breaking your fast with the enormous spread of authentic local cuisine, but you should also save some room for the wide selection of kuih-muih to end your meal on a sweet note.

Jalan Sultan IsmailReservations: 603 - 2717 9900
Price: RM66.00nett per adult and 50% off per child ( below 12 yrs old)
For those who appreciate a little culture with their meal, you can opt for Botanica Brasserie's buka puasa delights under the cover of designer palm trees. You will also be entertained by a live ghazal performance.

117, Jalan PuduReservations: 603 - 2141 3333
Price: RM39.00++ per person and 30% off per child Available:11th Now onwards
International and local delights.

Jalan Bukit Bintang Reservations: 603 - 2148 9166Price: RM38.00++ per adult and RM19.00++ per child
Week One - Every 3 full paying adults, the 4th eats free
Week Two - Every 5 full paying adults, the 6th eats free.

THE LEGEND HOTEL [ Di-Atas Brasserie ] 5*
Putra Place, 100 Jalan Putra
Reservations: 603 - 4042 9888
Price: RM69.00nett per person
Di-Atas presents lip-smacking Ramadhan Delights, authentic local offerings such as Itik Solok, Ikan Keli Masak Tempoyak, Sambal Udang Galah Dengan Petai and many more.

Jalan Putra
Reservations: 603 - 4042 5555
Price: RM50.00++ per person
Selera offer a myriad of both Asian and international delicacies

Jalan Bukit Bintang Reservations: 603 - 2141 8000
Price: RM50.00++ per person

168, Jalan Imbi Reservations: 603 - 2142 8000
Price: RM38.00++ per set
Savour typical Malay delights. Changed daily.

No. 123, Jalan Thamboosamy (Off Jalan Putra),
Reservations: 603 - 4042 3333
Price: RM15.50nett per person [ Set Meal ]
This Set Ramadhan savours delectable Asian and continental cuisine, grills and snacks in the friendly and informal atmosphere of The Coffee Shop.

Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah C9/C, Shah Alam
Reservations: 603 -5512 2200 ext. 2304
Price:RM47.00++ per person and 50% off per children Ramadhan buffet.

Reservations: 603 -8312 7000
Price:RM45.00nett per person and RM22.50nett per child
Nestled in Cyberjaya is the Cyberview Lodge, a resort that is usually more overrun by execs looking to indulge for lunch. Relax and tuck into the Malay buffet before moving onto the Western favorites and keep an eye out for the soothing Koi ponds around you.

EASTIN HOTEL [ Swezbrasserie Brasserie ] 4*
Reservations: 603 - 7665 1111
Price: RM78.20++ per adult and RM31.00++ per child. (Price checked on 25 Oct 04)

Persiaran Perbandaran, Seksyen 14, Shah Alam
Reservations: 603 - 5031 3388 ext.2612 [ Semarak Cafe ]
Price: RM48.00++ per adult and RM24.00++ per child ( 7 - 12 years)
Berbuka Puasa with traditional delights from the northen states of the Peninsula such as Laksa Kedah, Kedah's Nasi Ulam, Penang's Char Koay Teow, Nasi Kandar, Curry Capitan or Kedah's dishes with Thai influences.

Reservations: 603 - 5031 3388 ext. 2616 [ Tung Yuen ]
Price: RM48.00++ per adult and RM24.00++ per child ( 7 - 12 years)
Whet your appetite with hot & fiery Southern Thai dishes with a refreshing choice of beverage & sweet desserts for your breaking of fast this Ramadhan.

Reservations: 603 - 7955 9122 ext.4060
Price: RM52.00++ per adult and RM35.00++ per child
Vast choices of freshly prepared acar, kerabu, sambal and hand-picked ulam served together with 6 types of local keropok. From the buffet line are main dishes of poultry, meat and seafood like ayam panggang bercili, gulai daging, kari ikan tonkol, ikan bakar, pais kerang, ketam masak chili, just to name a few. Otherwise opt for freshly grilled items such as ayam goreng, burung puyuh goreng, ketam goreng, otak-otak bakar and satay.

HOLIDAY VILLA SUBANG [ Palm Terrace ] 5*
Reservations: 603 - 5633 8788 ext.160 / 220
Price: RM49.90++ per adult and RM39.90++ per child
International and local delights.

Reservations: 603 -7954 6888
Price:RM49.45nett per person
Ramadhan buffet.

Reservations: 603 - 7846 1234
Price: RM58.00nett per person
This scrumptious resort hotel provides amazing and relaxing views as you eat. Indulge in your kampung favorites such as those laksas and buburs.

Jalan Perbandaran, Kelana Jaya
Reservations: 603 - 7803 8118
Price: RM38.00++ per adult and RM15.00++ per child
Ramadhan BBQ Buffet

Petaling Jaya
Reservations: 603 - 7956 2100
Price: RM39.90nett per adult and RM25.00nett per child
Ramadhan Buffet

Jalan Merah Kesumba U9/18, Seksyen U9, Shah Alam
Reservations: 603 - 7846 5989Price: RM25.00nett per adult and RM15.00nett per child
Buffet spread at Bukit Cahaya Shah Alam.

Taipan USJ
Reservations: 603 - 5638 4900Price: RM25.00++ per adult and RM18.00++ per child

Jalan Perbandaran, Kelana Jaya
Reservations: 603 - 7803 8118
Price: RM33.00++ per adult and RM13.00++ per child
Selangor Steamboat Buffet

Reservations: 603 - 8944 3781
Price: RM60.00 nett per adult and RM35.00 nett per child (below 12 years old)
Buka Puasa is definitely an uplifting affair at Carousel Restaurant. With a melting pot of over 60 favourites, savour the famous Anika Panggang (Marinated Grilled Meats & Seafood), Dendeng Daging (Deepfried Marinated Beef with Chilli & Spices) and Ketam Goreng Mamak (Fried Crab in Mamak style), are just the few on our buffet tables.

Reservations: 603 - 5510 3696
Price: From RM38.00++ per adult and RM15.00++ per child
'Aneka Rasa Ramadhan' is the theme at Quality Hotel Ramadhan.

SHAH VILLAGE [Gazebo] 3*
Lorong Sultan, Petaling Jaya
Reservations: 603 - 7956 9322
Price: RM29.00nett per person
Variety dishes with many local specialties.

Jalan SS15/15A, Subang Jaya
Reservations: 603 - 5621 3671
Price: RM25.00nett per adult and RM13.00nett per child
Pakistani& Nothern Indian fine cuisine.

Reservations: 603 - 7492 8000
Price: RM58.00++ per adult RM38.00++ per child (below 12 years) [ Sun & Surf Cafe ]
'LAUK PAUK KAMPUNG' and savour the unique delicacies of 'The 3 Mak Cik', specially flown in to prepare over 100 dishes of rich Ramadan delights including such favourites as Ulam-ulam Melayu, Kerabu Udang dengan Mangga, Rojak Buah and many more renowned culinary dishes from Terengganu , Penang and Johor.

Price: RM78.00++ per person [ Avanti ]
After a hard day or even a long week, come discover a sumptuous spread of Western Buffet at Avanti. Let great food and laughter alleviate the stress and humdrum of city living.

Jalan Usahawan U1/8, Seksyen U, Shah Alam
Reservations: 603 - 7803 1000
Price: RM55.00++ per adult and 50% off for children (price checked on 25 Oct 04)
Offering local and western flavours,, and includes mouth-watering items from its buffet counter and an enticing dessert menu offering a range of tempting sweets and local desserts

Jalan CTA 4B KLIA Sepang
Reservations: 603 - 8787 3333
Price: RM55.00+ per adult and 50% off for children (government service charge only)
Special price for MAS or MAB staffs :RM40.00+ per person government service charge only) Specialities of the house are classic Italian pastas and local noodles

THE SUMMIT HOTEL [ Oceania ]4*
Subang USJ
Reservations: 603 - 8023 3000
Price: RM45.00nett per adult and RM27.00nett per child (4- 12 years)
Kampung Style buffet with tongkat ali beverage.
Cure Breast Cancer By avoiding All Milk Products
By Prof. Jane Plant, PhD, CBE

Why I believe that giving up milk is the key to beating breast cancer...Professor Jane Plant is a wife, a mother, and widely respected scientist,who was made a CBE for her work in geochemistry. When she was struck bybreast cancer in 1987 at the age of 42, her happy and productive existenceseemed destined to fall apart. But despite the disease recurring a furtherfour times, Jane refused to give in. As she describes in an inspiring new book, Your Life In Your Hands serialised by the Mail this week, she devised a revolutionary diet and lifestyle programme that she believes saved her life and can cut the chancesof other women falling prey to the disease. Her theory remains a controversial one - but every woman should read it andmake up her own mind. Today, she explains her personal breakthrough...

I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself. I am ascientist - surely there was a rational explanation for this cruel illnessthat affects 1 in 12 women in the UK? I had suffered the loss of one breast, and undergone radiotherapy. I was now receiving painful chemotherapy, and had been seen by some of the country's most eminent specialists. But, deep down, I felt certain I was facing death. I had a loving husband, a beautiful home and 2 young children to care for. I desperately wanted to live. Fortunately, this desire drove me to unearth the facts, some of which were known only to a handful of scientists at the time.

Anyone who has come into contact with breast cancer will know that certain risk factors - such as increasing age, early onset of womanhood, late onset of menopause & a family history of breast cancer - are completely out of our control. But there are many risk factors, which we can control easily. These 'controllable' risk factors readily translate into simple changes that we can all make in our day-to-day lives to help prevent or treat breast cancer. My message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome because I have done it.

The first clue to understanding what was promoting my breast cancer came when my husband Peter, who was also a scientist, arrived back from working in China while I was being plugged in for a chemotherapy session. He had brought with him cards and letters, as well as some amazing herbal suppositories, sent by my friends and science colleagues in China. The suppositories were sent to me as a cure for breast cancer. Despite the awfulness of the situation, we both had a good belly laugh & I remember saying that this was the treatment for breast cancer in China, then it was little wonder that Chinese women avoided getting the disease. Those words echoed in my mind.

Why didn't Chinese women get breast cancer? I had collaborated once with Chinese colleagues on a study of links between soilchemistry and disease, and I remembered some of the statistics. The disease was virtually non-existent throughout the whole country. Only 1in 10,000 women in China will die from it, compared to that terrible figureof 1 in 12 in Britain and the even grimmer average of one in 10 across most Western countries. It is not just a matter of China being a more rural country, with less urban pollution. In highly urbanised Hong Kong, the rate rises to 34 women in every 10,000 but still puts the West to shame.The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have similar rates. And remember, both cities were attacked with nuclear weapons, so in addition tothe usual pollution related cancers, one would also expect to find some radiation-related cases, too.

The conclusion we can draw from these statistics strikes you with some force. If a Western woman were to move to industrialized, irradiatedHiroshima, she would stash her risk of contracting breast cancer by half. Obviously this is absurd. It seemed obvious to me that some lifestyle factor not related to pollution, urbanization or the environment is seriously increasing the Western woman's chance of contracting breast cancer. I then discovered that whatever causes the huge differences in breast cancerrates between oriental and Western countries, it isn't genetic. Scientific research showed that when Chinese or Japanese people move to the West, within 1 or 2 generations, their rates of breast cancer approach those oftheir host community.The same thing happens when oriental people adopt a completely Western lifestyle in Hong Kong. In fact, the slang name for breast cancer in China translates as 'Rich Woman's Disease'. This is because, in China, only the better off can afford to eat what is termed 'Hong Kong food'. The Chinese describe all Western food, including everything from ice cream & chocolatebars to spaghetti and feta cheese, as 'Hong Kong food', because of its availability in the former British colony and its scarcity, in the past, in mainland China.

So it made perfect sense to me that whatever was causing my breast cancer & the shockingly high incidence in this country generally, it was almost certainly something to do with our better-off, middle-class, Western lifestyle. There is an important point for men here, too. I have observed in my research that much of the the data about prostate cancer leads to similar conclusions. According to figures from the World Health Organization, the number of men contracting prostate cancer in rural China is negligible, only 0.5 men inevery 100,000. In England, Scotland and Wales, however, this figure is 70 times higher. Like breast cancer, it is a middle-class disease that primarily attacks the wealthier & higher socio-economic groups - those that can afford to eat rich foods.

I remember saying to my husband-- 'Come on Peter, you have just come backfrom China. What is it about the Chinese way of life that is so different. Why don't they get breast cancer? 'We decided to utilize our joint scientific backgrounds and approach itlogically. We examined scientific data that pointed us in the general direction of fats in diets. Researchers had discovered in the 1980s that only l4 % of calories in the average Chinese diet were from fat, compared to almost 36% in the West. But the diet I had been living on for years before I contracted breast cancer was very low in fat and high in fibre. Besides, I knew as a scientist that fat intake in adults has not been shown to increase risk for breast cancer in most investigations that have followed large groups of women for up to a dozen years.

Then one day something rather special happened. Peter and I have worked together so closely over the years that I am not sure which one of us first said: 'The Chinese don't eat dairy produce! 'It is hard to explain to a non-scientist the sudden mental and emotional 'buzz' you get when you know you have had an important insight. It's as if you have had a lot of pieces of a jigsaw in your mind, and suddenly, in a few seconds, they all fall into place and the whole picture is clear. suddenly I recalled how many Chinese people were physically unable to tolerate milk, how the Chinese people I had worked with had always said that, milk was only for babies, and how one of my close friends, who is ofChinese origin, always politely turned down the cheese course at dinner parties. I knew of no Chinese people who lived a traditional Chinese life who ever used cow or other dairy food to feed their babies. The tradition was to use a wet nurse but never, ever, dairy products. Culturally, the Chinese find our Western preoccupation with milk and milk products very strange. I remember entertaining a large delegation of Chinese scientists shortly after the ending of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s. On advice from the Foreign Office, we had asked the caterer to provide apudding that contained a lot of ice cream. After inquiring what the pudding consisted of, all of the Chinese, including their interpreter, politely but firmly refused to eat it, and they could not be persuaded to change their minds. At the time we were all delighted and ate extra portions!

Milk, I discovered, is one of the most common causes of food allergies. Over 70% of the world's population are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose,for adults, not some sort of deficiency. Perhaps nature is trying to tell usthat we are eating the wrong food. Before I had breast cancer for the first time, I had eaten a lot of dairy produce such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and yoghurt. I had used it as my main source of protein. I also ate cheap but lean minced beef, which I now realized was probably often ground-up dairy cow. In order to cope withthe chemotherapy I received for my 5th case of cancer, I had been eating organic yoghurts as a way of helping my digestive tract to recover and repopulate my gut with 'good' bacteria. Recently, I discovered that way back in 1989 yoghurt had been implicated inovarian cancer. Dr Daniel Cramer of Harvard University studied hundreds ofwomen with ovarian cancer, and had them record in detail what they normally ate. Wish I'd been made aware of his findings when he had first discovered them.

Following Peter's and my insight into the Chinese diet, I decided to give up not just yoghurt but all dairy produce immediately. Cheese, butter, milk and yoghurt and anything else that contained dairy produce - it went down the sink or in the rubbish. It is surprising how many products, including commercial soups, biscuits and cakes, contain some form of dairy produce. Even many proprietary brands of margarine marketed as soya, sunflower or olive oil spreads can contain dairy produce. I therefore became an avid reader of the small print on food labels. Up to this point, I had been steadfastly measuring the progress of my fifth cancerous lump with callipers and plotting the results. Despite all the encouraging comments & positive feedback from my doctors and nurses, my own precise observations told me the bitter truth. My first chemotherapy session had produced no effect - the lump was still the same size. Then I eliminated dairy products. Within days, the lump started to shrink. About 2 weeks after my second chemotherapy session and one week after giving up dairy produce, the lump in my neck started to itch. Then it beganto soften and to reduce in size. The line on the graph, which had shown no change, was now pointing downwards as the tumour got smaller and smaller. And, very significantly, I noted that instead of declining exponentially (a graceful curve) as cancer is meant todo, the tumour's decrease in size was plotted on a straight line heading off the bottom of the graph, indicating a cure, not suppression (or remission) of the tumour.

One Saturday afternoon after about six weeks of excluding all dairy producefrom my diet, I practised an hour of meditation then felt for what was leftof the lump. I couldn't find it. Yet I was very experienced at detecting cancerous lumps - I had discovered all 5 cancers on my own. I went asked myhusband to feel my neck. He could not find any trace of the lump either. On the following Thursday I was due to be seen by my cancer specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He examined me thoroughly, especially my neck where the tumour had been. He was initially bemused and then delighted, as he said, "I cannot find it.' None of my doctors, it appeared, had expected someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to survive, let alone be so hale & hearty. My specialist was as overjoyed as I was. When I first discussed my ideaswith him, he was understandably skeptical. But I understand that he now uses maps showing cancer mortality in China in his lectures, and recommends anon-dairy diet to his cancer patients.

I now believe that the link between dairy produce and breast cancer is similar to the link between smoking and lung cancer. I believe that identifying the link between breast cancer and dairy produce, and then developing a diet specifically targeted at maintaining the health of my breast and hormone system, cured me.It was difficult for me, as it may be for you, to accept that a substance as'natural' as milk might have such ominous health implications. But I am aliving proof that it works and, starting from tomorrow, I shall reveal the secrets of my revolutionary action plan.

Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant.
Malaysian Tourists in China (MTC): So, what food is special in Xian that we should try?
Chinese Tour Guide about to migrate to New Zealand (CTG): Well, perhaps you would like to try a Dumpling Banquet
MTC: Dumpling Banquet?? (visions of numerous types of pau came floating to head)
CTG: We have many types of dumpling here, steamed, fried .. maybe over 80 varieties.
MTC: And what happens in a Dumpling Banquet
CTG: Maybe you will get served a variety of dumpling, perhaps over 20 or 30 types. They will serve normally one dumpling of each type for you to try.

After concurring with the family, we thought "What the heck! We have nothing to lose, food in Beijing was bad anyway!"

So, after spending the day viewing the Terracotta Warriors, we took the very bumpy ride back towards Xian City. We made a stop at the Orient Hotel and proceeded to their Chinese restaurant.

After the cold dishes of various type of pickles we started on our Dumpling Banquet. I can' t remember exact details of how many (though I will upload some of the photos soon!) but I do remember that the first one we had was fried plain flower dumpling served with condensed milk. After that there were ones that looked like walnut and tasted like baked walnuts but was actually a dumpling. We also had steamed ones, of course, that came in various shapes - chinese cabbage shaped for the vegetarian one, animal shapes like ducks and chickens, monkey faces, flowers, etc - the list is just endless and everytime the waitress would bring another basket or plate out we would ooh and aah and between CL and I, we would keep telling everyone, " don't take it yet, let us get some photos!"

Apart from the special dumplings, we were also given plates of normal dumplings - the gyoza looking ones which was all quite yummy. We were very stuffed when the waitress came out with a big pot of soup and lighted the fire underneath. She attempted to explain what it was all about but her English was really difficult to understand but here goes:

The last dish was called the "chrysanthemum chafing dish", where the waitress boiled pearl-sized dumplings in the pot of "soup". It seems it was prepared for the Dowager Cixi when she visited Xian and she wanted something very simple. Her request and visit were also very last minute so the best they could do was prepare this dish.

There's a story behind this dish (courtesy of Xian Travel website)
When guest taste the pearl dumpling (more or less), they will get blessing related with number of dumpling they get:

When you eat one dumpling, the blessing is to plain sailing
two dumplings -- a double blessing has descended upon the house
three dumplings -- to go up three grades in a row
four dumplings -- to get rich in four seasons
five dumplings -- an abundant harvest of all food crops
six dumplings -- everything goes well
seven dumplings -- seven stars shine upon you(good luck)
eight dumplings -- the Eight Immortals crossing the sea (each one showing his or her special prowess)
nine dumplings--the highest above all
ten dumplings--be perfect in every way.

If you are the one do not have one to eat, don't be disappointed, you will get the blessing that "worry nothing and have good health and a long life".

All in all, it was one of the better culinary moments in my trip to China. It was also something very different to experience.

The Banquet cost us around RM80 per person (including some local chinese wine) and advance booking is required.

Dumpling Banquets can be experienced in some of the hotels around Xian and Shaanxi province.

Orient Hotel
Address: 393 Zhuque Road, Xi'an
Phone: 86-29-5262211, 5262242

...or ...seeing this is still in China .. for an Emperor .. or MY case ... EMPRESS!

Anyway ... after my visit to the Forbidden City, which ended at the concubines area near the entrance of Beihei Park around lunch time we headed for Imperial Court Food.

What is Imperial Court Food?
Imperial Court Food is a style of Chinese food that has its origins in the Imperial Palace. It is based on the foods that were served to the Emperor and his court.

There are a few restaurants in Beijing that serve Imperial Court Food and one of them is the Fangshan Restaurant, located in a lovely building inside Beihei Park, overlooking the water.

We were led to one of the private courtyard rooms, nice and ornate enough with lots of intricate carvings on the wall and ceiling and lovely crockery.

The food
Well, we weren't served 36 dishes to look at but we had 1 (one) 'looking' dish - some cranes made out of radish and cold dishes. We then were served various types of meat and vege dishes. The only outstanding one was the chrysanthemum fish. Basically, it was a whole fish but the flesh was cut in a special way and battered lightly with flour so that when it was deep fried, the middle bits would look like the chrysanthemum flower (or like a whole bunch of McD's french fries sticking out of it!). The fish was served with a sweet and sour sauce which was rather bland. We also got dish tongue soup which was very peppery and starchy.

The desserts looked really nice in little bite sizes but was all pretty tasteless as well. I really pity the emperor, all this bland food .. no wonder he needed 36 to look at and 36 to smell first!!

Would I go back again?
Definitely not for the food, but more for the ambience. Then again, perhaps what we were served was just a particular selection from their set menu and not the best one.

The banquet, only available to groups cost us RM75 each.
(Note: RM75 may not seem like very much for Imperial Cuisine but in a country where our average cost was less than RM10 for 10-12 dishes at every mealtime ...)
We were told that the emperor was normally served a total of 108 dishes for each meal: 36 to look at, 36 to smell and 36 to actually eat.

Fangshan Restaurant
(inside Beihai Park)
1 Wenjin Street
Hours: 11:00-13:30 17:00-19:30
Tel: 86-10-6401 1879
Recently I visited the home of the Peking duck, Beijing. I mean, where else should one eat the oh-so-famous-duck?

When you don't have much time to try out every Peking Duck restaurant in town, you make an attempt to try it at one that is recommended as "the best in town".

In Beijing, the Quan Ju De Restaurant comes highly recommended. Established 130 years ago and, if you count from the time the founder, Yang Renquan actually began his duck business, then it is 160 years old.

What's so special about the duck? Well, after being immersed in unique condiments, the ducks are roasted over flames stoked by fruit-tree wood which is supposed to impart a special flavour to the meat.

Quan Ju De Restaurant has a few branches all over Beijing but the one we tried was at Wanfujing (it's also where the shopping is!). Famous people have graced the restaurants (we can tell by their photos on the wall, including Henry Kissenger and numerous heads of state, etc)

We (5 of us) ordered the Peking Duck (of course!) and also a few other dishes like black pepper beef, tofu and vegetables. Looking through the menu, they also offer "Hump" meat (which after I got someone to translate from the Chinese characters) was actually camel hump meat. There were camel paws as well (the Chinese have a thing about eating feet and paws, I must say ....) ...

The duck didn't make me go WOW! The chef came and carved it in front of us, firstly just the thin slices of the skin only. The duck was very fat and it was really greasy. The skin was also not very crisp.

Second part was the skin with meat, which we would have wrapepd up in the pancakes. The pancakes were really thick and doughy, unlike the translucent thin ones I have normally had when having Peking Duck. The sauce also wasn't like the normal hoisin type sauce we're used to. After our first bites, we all looked at each other and it was like "is this it?" "Is this the BEST Peking Duck Beijing has to offer??? "

Part Three was supposed to be duck soup, using the bones of "our" duck. The soup wasn't like anything we had seen before. It looked like almond soup, as it was white and watery and empty i.e. nothing inside, no veges, no duck bones, etc. After eyeing the waitress suspiciously, we each diligently took sips of our soup. It was tasteless!! No duck taste, not salty nor peppery nor anything except maybe a little oily, if anything.

The other dishes we ordered isn't really worth a mention, similar to other Beijing food. All rather bland and starchy and that would be about right.

One duck costs 187 yuan, which was about RM90.

Would I go again?
Well .. maybe this will be start of Peking Duck quest to hunt for the "best" not the most "famous" Peking Duck in Beijing!!

Beijing Wangfujing Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
13, Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Dongcheng District
Hours: 10:30-13:30 16:30-21:00
Tel: 86-10-6525 3310

Reviews by others:
UK's Wine and Dine
In my blog posting #6, I recommended Opus Bistro as one of my favourite Italian restaurants. It is pretty much ranks on the top of my list though I haven't been there for a while (reason being I've eaten almost everything they have on the menu!). I have been informed that they now serve all-day breakfast on Sundays so that's one reason to revisit, I suppose ...

But ... on to bigger and better news ... due to the success of Opus Bistro, the owners have decided to open Opus Annexe (well, technically not an Annexe with another restaurant in between but close enough I guess). Saturday evening, after watching all that wine swirling and drinking on screen while watching Aspres Vous (part of the French Film Festival), YL turned to me after the show and asked, "What did you feel while watching the movie?" The correct answer, I learnt later, was "I feel like drinking wine!" So off we trotted to Opus Annexe ..

The ambiance at this newly opened outlet is pretty much the same as Opus Bistro, with the wooden floors and similar style dining tables and chairs (except that the chairs are in warm blood red instead of cream) but that's where the resemblance pretty much ends. The front portion is taken up by a large bar area which would allow patrons to sit and have a drink while waiting for a table, and there's an interesting rock wall thing at the back next to what could possibly be a "private" dining area when the curtains are pulled.

Foodwise - it's suppose to be French-Italian, as opposed to Italian at the Bistro. What this means for us mortals is that we get to see nicely arranged small bits of food on large plates(that must be the French part!) that take up half the table AND there's foie gras on the menu.

Anyway ..I digress ...

What did we have?
We decided on four appetizers as we weren't that hungry. We had the foie gras (this was quite good though the side mushroom was really salty), confit of duck with mashed potato (duck was dry and not enough gravy with the mash), pan-seared brie (sauce was a bit sour. Would also have been better if the brie slices were slightly chunkier) and a combination of scallops, prawns and mushroom salad (not quite sure if this was meant to be a hor or cold appetizer as the pan-seared scallops were not hot and the prawns and mushrooms were slightly cool). Perhap I'm being slight too judgemental seeing that the place had just opened and all ..perhaps once they settle down ...

Drinks - the main reason we were there for. Initially the idea was to order a bottle of red wine but after looking through the drinks menu ... I was drawn to the 'umbrella drinks' section. There's a list of champagne-based (ok, more like sparkling wine-based) cocktails and also a small list of dessert wines. Sorry, mate, but I went for the Bellini while YL had a glass of the house red. We also later had some dessert wine to go with the very sinful chocolate malt cake (which was also slightly dry).

Cost-wise, not the cheapest of places for a night out. The cost of our four appetizers, one dessert plus two glasses of red, one Bellini and two glasses of dessert wine set us back about RM260 including tax. (I forgot to check if Govt tax was included... technically a spanking new restaurant shouldn't be charging Govt tax, it's only when they have a turnover of RM300K ...)

I think the main contributing factors were the drinks (Red wine was about RM14, Bellini and other champagne-based drinks around RM18 and dessert wine ranged from RM14-18. They do sell their wines in full, half or carafe sizes too. The appetizers range in price to about the mid-thirties for the foie gras and mains average around the forties mark.

Anyway, the deal is .. if you want a more laid-back pasta moment .. go to Opus Bistro and if you want a slightly swankier let's have a civilised drink and cigar moment ..then Opus Annexe is the place.

Opus Bistro (Tel: 20924288)
Opus Annexe (Tel: 20936637)
Jalan Bangkung
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Reservations are HIGHLY recommended

On my last morning in Bangkok, I reserved my tummy for a very sinful breakfast at KuppA, one of my favourite restaurants in Bangkok. Met up with Col there and I ordered the Big breakfast - we're talking bacon, eggs, mushrooms, potaotes, toast and jam. This, accompanied with a glass of pure nam som (beats Sunkist anytime!) and a creamy latte was definitely breakfast for this Champion!

Col was good and had the vegetable sandwich which was huge and had grilled veges and melted cheese.

We then gave in to temptation and ordered their yummy tiramisu, another favourite dessert but if I had to choose between this and Anna's Cafes' Bannoffee Pie competition of course!

39 Sukhumvit Soi 16 *
Bangkok, 10110
Tel: +66 2 663 0495
BTS: Asoke (20 minute walk)

* Be careful, Sukhumvit Soi 16 runs off Ratchadaphisek not directly off Sukhumvit.
Saturday, May 15th
I woke up in the plush surroundings of KL's apartment, almost drowning in the sea of big fat cushions. Had a quick breakfast of nam som (Thai orange juice) and a really yummy butter twisted donut and some other bread-y thing with some minced meat in it.

It was then time to run errands. First stop, to the tailor to collect my shirts.

JR Tailor is located at Silom Road, between Soi Saladaeng and Silom Complex. Mr Jaray is Thai-Chinese and has excellent workmanship and good quality materials. He does take about 3-4 days to make the shirts though.

Next stop was to see Malaysian-born, married-to-a-Thai Lin, who also owns Indra Beauty, located at Soi Saladaeng. I like having my hair treatments here and they have now also expanded the business to include foot massages, Thai and Oil massages. It's great here because the place is very cosy and homey and Lin speake English!!!

After getting my hair done, I caught the BTS to Siam Square. Had a quick lunch at Black Canyon (Fried Rice and Rum Coffee!) and headed off to the Nail Cafe to have my nails done!

It rained heavily when I finished so I had to dispense all thoughts of going to MBK. Instead, I went to Suan Lum to get my Thai-silk triangle pillow. It had to be very quickly packed because I had to be back at the apartment to meet PC who was picking me up for dinner.

As usual, running late. The girl who was wrapping the pillow had a hard time because it was so large but anyway, we got it done in the end. Rushed back to the apartment and was embarassed to find PC already there waiting. When he saw me with the big pillow, he could only smile, shake his head and sigh, "Khun C ... Shopping huh?"

Anyway, 15 minutes later I was all showered and ready for a night out on the town. We went for dinner at a Seafood restaurant which was very near the Rama VIII bridge, right on the Chao Phrya river. We had salt-grilled sea bass, Tom Kha Gai and Yum Pla Meuk which was just nice for the two of us. It was a really busy restaurant too and there was a small acoustic guitar group playing in the background. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the restaurant except that it started with "Kilom ...." and I forgot to get the name card.

We headed to the Piano Bar on Silom Road after that. I was told that it's like going for karaoke except that the guy on the piano will accompany you and not a machine. Way Cool! Anyhow, when we arrive, we were informed that the pianist had quit earlier so too bad .. :(

I suggested we head for dessert to iberry, a homemade ice cream place which now had a branch near Chidlom BTS (next to Erawan). I was looking forward to the Cha-yaan (Thai milk tea) flavour but unfortunately, this was a small branch which only had limited flavours. Anyhow, I settled for lychee sorbet and tiramisu while PC had coconut sorbet (good choice!!) and tiramisu.

Perfect ending to perfect evening before I had to go back to face packing my suitcases!!!

Indra Beauty
4-6 Soi Saladaeng, off Silom Road
Tel: 02 2335262
House: 10:30am - 21:30pm

Nail Cafe(sorry, no food here!)
315/1 3rd Floor, Siam Centre
976 Rama 1 Road
Patumwan, Bangkok
Tel: 02 6581198

Interhome (for Thai silk triangle pillow)
Suan Lum Night Bazaar
D68 Lopburi Soi 3
Tel: 06 5438422

iberry ice cream
99/356 President Park
Sukhumvit Soi 24
Klongtoey, Bangkok
Tel: 02 2629473

Branch: Near Chidlom BTS, opposite Gaysorn
Friday, May 14th
The gals last morning in Bangkok!! As they had to leave for the airport by noon, we decided to have a quick lunch at my favourite Anna's Cafe, which was round the corner from our Guesthouse. There are 5 branches all over Bangkok but my favourite one is still the one on Saladaeng.

Anna's serves my favourite dessert, the Toffee Banoffee pie. A review of the pie from
The Nation "Weekend"; "What's really praise worthy are Anna's Cafés desserts. Just the right combination of banana, soft sticky brown chocolate syrup, and a melt in your mouth crust make the Toffee Banofee unforgettable"'s not just me!

After the gals left, I went to the Jim Thompson Factory outlet to look around and ended up buying some curtain material and other JT knick-knacks. There are a few Factory Outlets and realy good value for furnishings and out of season JT stuff. The guys at the store were really helpful but it would be better if you already had the measurements of of your windows, etc on hand

Met up with Col and friends for dinner. We ate a a place called Grill and Garden on Ekkamai Soi 2. The food was so-so and not very inspiring but it was in a nice garden setting with a band.

Dessert was at Buono Gelato, a place with very nice gelato, including durian falvour. I tried the almond chocolate and tiramisu and was not disappointed.

Anna's Cafe
118 Soi Saladaeng
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: 02 6320620
(Reservations recommended)

Jim Thompson Factory Sales Outlet
1) 149/4-6 Surawong Road, Bangrak, Bangkok
Tel: 02 2358930
- only furnishings

2) 153 Sukhumvit Soi 93, Prakanong, Bangkok
Tel: 02 332653
- furnishings and other stuff


Buono Gelato Italiano

Various Branches
* Petkasem 55
* All Seasons Place, 3rd Flr
* Sathorn City, G Floor
* Central City Bangna, G Floor
* Sukhumvit 23
* Thong Lor Soi 10
* Wanghin, Plaza Lagoon
* Rama 9, Plam Street Place
Call Service Tel: 02 8014331