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