Kim Gary

The Kim Gary franchise has been around for quite some years. And these days they seemed to have pretty much mushroomed everywhere although a few closed e.g. Avenue K. I have not stepped into one since my Japanese lessons days some 9 or 10 years back. But one blue day, I missed my late classmate Grace whom I used to eat with before classes that I decided that I wanted to eat at the Sungai Wang branch.

The place was still as packed as those days. Its still as loud as those days. The waiters and waitress were still young and still on some sugar rush mode:P I wondered if everything stays the same or pretty much the same? 

For starters, the Hong Kong milk tea was still good. Tasty tea with creamy milk. And this fits me well since I don't have a sweet tooth and I merely add the sugar according to my preference. Brilliant!
The Borsch soup was also still good. Still filled with chunky but soft vegetables in a tangy tomato broth. Comfort food!
This comes with some set meals
The Hong Kong Cheese Baked Rice with Pork tasted the same. Nothing to shout about but it was decently good compared to many of the new eateries that are offering this dish. It was cheesy and had enough gravy:D
One other gripe...the menu has expanded and its quite confusing. Pop in one day and you'll be faced with the regular menus, promotion menus, members only menu and when it comes to ordering...have fun figuring out which form you should use. LOL. Caution...the website is much simpler than their physical menu:P

My nostalgic visit was a culture shock for husbter who is pretty much stepping into Kim Gary for teh second time of his entire life. The one in Avenue K being his first and 3 years later in Sungai Wang. The poor man could not figure out the menu nor did the menu help him decide what to eat and drink. So the usual works..."Inky pinky ponky, father bought a donkey. Donkey died. Father cried. Inky pinky ponky"

...and the hubster ends up with some Mango thingy with some aloe vera like cubes inside. Certainly mango like and very sweet:P

For food, he ended up with Roasted Honey Spare Ribs with Shanghai Style Vegetable Rice. The corn was certainly yummy! I wouldn't complain much of the ribs. It was tasty but a tad dry. fast food style...I suppose.
This place is a place of weird hits and misses but certainly it has lasted quite well in Malaysia which speaks well of its formula. But if at all a must have when one visits Kim Gary by choice or curiosity or no choice, then its has to be the milk tea, the borsch soup and of course the luncheon meat sandwich (and I actually returned for this combination 2 days back in Taman Maluri when client was late for our appointment)
Simple easy to make but yummy luncheon meat sandwich
The luncheon meat is tasty rather than than the cheap flour like ones that many places serve.

I'm Running in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon

The title says it all. I am running in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon on 24th June 2012. Not exactly doing the half marathon though I am quite keen. 

Some will find it strange that I am opting for the 10 km cruise category wearing my latest wig - a green one which I received from the St Patrick's media launch yesterday. I normally run with a cap but this time I will run with a wig and see how long I can last. Wigs are darn hot and stuffy and I can't imagine how I am going to run 10km in it. 
like my new green wig?
However, I am determined to do run my 10km from the beginning to the end with my wig. And I ask in return that you donate RM5 for every km that I running. The monies goes to 2 charities that is close to my heart:
Bentong Farm Sanctuary by Shahrul 
Rescue DBKL Dogs by Puspa Rani
A detailed post will be made over the week on payment arrangements.

Meanwhile, those of you who want to run (or walk), then head over to to register. Of course you can also register at any of the 15 branches of Standard Chartered banks nationwide although I would still prefer online registration to minimise paper work and typo errors:P

In a gist there are quite a few categories (interesting ones too):
• 42.2 km
• 21.1 km
• 10 km (Speed, Cruise, Leisure)
• 5 km
• MSIG Ekiden which is now opened to public
• Kids dash 2.5km and 700m (all taken up...)
• Run for a cause (brilliant idea)
• Ministries Challenge
• Universities Challenge
For the uninitiated this is the 4th installment of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon series. This year we're gonna be seeing 27,000 runners! Its actually a very fun run since you'll be checking out KL on your 2 legs:D

Meanwhile...I shall be training. See you at the starting line!

Oh...this is me and my fellow running broccoli who ran in last year's SCKLM 2011.
Mel, Me and Jo

Chuck Hughes ~ Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Honey

Yesterday I wrote on my afternoon with AFC's Chuck Hughes. Here's the promised recipe. It so simple and so yummy...its a must try!

(A) Spicy Honey:
• 1 cup honey
• 1 clove garlic, mashed
• 1 tablespoon peppercorn
• 1 tablespoon chili flakes
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• Sea salt

(B) Popcorn Shrimp:
• Oil for deep-frying
• 2 cups of cornstarch (Recommended: Maizena)
• 1/2 cup flour
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 2 pounds of rock shrimp

(C) Garnish:
•  Lemon wedges

• For the spicy honey: In a saucepan, on medium heat, bring the honey, garlic, peppercorn, chili flakes, smoked paprika, and salt to a boil and let simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool, strain and transfer to a squeezable bottle. Keep aside.
• For the popcorn shrimp: Preheat the deep-fat fryer to 360 degrees F.
• In a bowl, mix together the cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a bowl add the shrimp and coat. Remove the shrimp, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl, then add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture. Gently add to the fryer, turning until golden. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
• Serve immediately after frying and drizzle with the spicy honey and garnish with lemon wedges.

A Day Off with Chuck Hughes

Chefs with tattoos look cute. Yes..I admit that Chuck Hughes of Asian Food Channel's Chuck's Day Off is certainly cute with or without the tattoos. And those tattoos just make him even better. Chuck is passionate about food. So passionate that he has food tattooed on his arms and his body. He's almost a walking tattooed menu. And since the man actually ate durians during his trip, and loved it, we should be seeing a durian tattoo on him real soon!
a rather yummy tattoo
Over the week I was invited to an exclusive demo to catch Chuck Hughes in action. Its amazing that chefs make cooking look so easy and its one of the reasons that I have actually picked up cooking. The cooking demo (and of course tasting) was held at The Ritz Carlton. 3 dishes were featured and I'll be sharing the recipes over time...which starts tomorrow with The Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Honey.
Throughout the session, Chuck thrills us with his tattoo stories. Chuck also shares some cooking tips that I think makes lots of sense (and cents):
• We should add salt to make food taste better. I think this is true even in making certain sweet desserts.
• One can always improvise while cooking. This is clearly seen during the demonstration of the dessert that we had.
• When coating something in batter, we should always add flour first followed by the egg. This enables the egg to stick better to our choice meat etc.
• The perfect temperature to fry chips is 275 degrees.

Food time...

The Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Honey is a rather simple dish. In fact this is one of the first dishes he created for when he was working for other restaurants. This is a delightful dish that I reckon makes a god appetizer. Crunchy outside and soft inside its good to be eaten on its own. The tangy sauce is what makes the difference as we then get a slightly salty, spicy, sweet and tangy taste coating every bite of the crispy "popcorns". 
crispy on the outside like a popcorn 
My fave is the Pan Seared Beef Carpaccio with Potato Chips, Fried Capers and Lemon Aioli. In fact it looks rather simple, we should be making this at home real soon. Every bite was juicy meat with a lovely finish from the lightly spiced outside. The potato crisp does remind me a little of our CNY ngaku or arrowhead chips.
pink and juicy beef carpaccio
One can always improvise while cooking. And this is evident when we were served our Chocolate Tapioca Arancini. Originally this dish calls for tapioca. However, I think something probably happened and Chuck brought us on an adventure with rice.

Thus we had Chocolate Rice Arancini. The inspiration for this dish came about from leftover risotto rice (I love the idea of minimal wastage). A chocolate ganache is and cocooned in a rice ball coated with Panko bread crumbs. This ball is then deep fried. Absolutely decadent when eaten warm and its giving me a new insight to rice other than our regular way of eating rice and my Alaskan experience of cold rice with milk, raisins and cinnamon.
Chuck’s Day Off, which shows Chuck cooking for friends, family or suppliers on the day his restaurant Garde Manger is closed. Catch Chuck’s Day Off every Wednesday at 9:00p.m. on Astro Channel 703.

Do visit and for more information. For more info on Chuck, catch up with him on his Facebook page
Chuck in his kitchen
Some other pics from the day:
A very happy Baby Sumo

Obviously Chuck had to bend a little to compensate for 5' me
A tattoo of a pineapple fish based on Chuck's sketch
Chuck's first tattoo. He had the words Mom inscribed. Perhaps I should do the same to convince hubster that I can have my own tattoo.
Simplicity and yumminess
275 degrees is the perfect temperature for deep frying
My other experience with Asian Food Channel's chefs:
The Perfect Cut with Adrian Richardson
• Hello Dino Ferrari!

Random Shoot with the Whities

Random Sunday morning shoot of the my fave whities. I wished that running, eating and doggie buddy Jo was around but for now its a Toyota MRS and a Civic Type R. I was in a lazy mood...thus very minimal shots.

The Toyota MRS

 The Honda Civic Type R

Jo and Lil..I think I have found a location for your cutie pie Whitey and Lil's DAME...I meant DAMD ride:D Let's shoot them both soon.
G...I'm still scouting a spot for your Hybrid

Because I Am A Girl

Today's post is a walk down memory lane. A friend shared this with me 9 years ago when I was working late like today. He said "you'll love this song...and the video" But hang on... grab a tissue first! Yes...grab a tissue before you watch this Because I Am A Girl.
KISS a trio girl band rose to fame with this song in 2001. The band has since disbanded. This is also the first Korean song that got me hooked on Korean songs, movies and TV series. Well...its back to work with more Korean songs.

Roti Ice Cream

I revisited a childhood favourite in Penang Botanical Gardens during the Berjaya 3,2,1-Stop media trip to Penang. Roti Ice Cream. Yes the good old ice cream that you eat as a sandwich or in a cone. Nothing beats a cold creamy ice cream on a hot day or even during a walk in the park. 
This stall has been here for as long as I could remember. And this time around, we arrived at the park at almost 12 noon. Hot and a lil hungry, the ice cream was such a welcoming sight. I would have loved to have my ice cream sandwich but realised I was half hour from lunch. No way would I want to ruin my appetite for Penang yummies. So I opted for a cone like buddy Abel.
Ice cream are in blocks
Single flavour
Abel's happy ice cream moments
The next time you visit Penang and if you visit the Botanical Gardens, then this ice cream sandwich is a must try. Nothing like Haagen Dazs or Baskin Robbins or Gelare but its just a simple ice cream...happy food from our childhood.
that's me...missyblurkit and my double scoop ice cream
Previous post of my Berjaya 3,2,1-Stop trip to Penang:

Opika Organic

As much as I stuffed myself with all sorts of food (and some days junk food), I try to keep a balance with healthy food. Healthy food that doesn't mean plain old fruits and vegetables. Organic food is a regular feature in my meals especially breakfast and snacks. And of course when we dine out and wanna be consciously healthy. Contrary to the general perception that organic is vegetarian, these days organic has amazing offerings just as interesting as any other makan place. Over the weekend it was brunch at Opika the latest organic restaurant to hit town in One Utama ex old wing which has undergone a brilliant transformation.
Bright, airy and clean, this place looks inviting from the outside. The signage says pasaraya which means supermarket. Nothing wrong as Opika will also include a section dedicated to organic groceries including fresh produce.
While waiting for food, we were served water. Water is refillable and free unlike many other place. I regard this as a good gesture.

The soups arrive first. Brilliant idea as I love something warm in my stomach on rainy days. Both the Pumpkin Soup and Mushroom Soup actually taste better than they look. Both are cream free except for garnishing purposes. 
The pumpkin soup is hearty and sweet. Opika uses only the pumpkins which are in season and this time of the year its Japanese pumpkins Kabocha which are naturally sweet and even sweeter than butternut squash. Its cream free except for the garnish part and this soup is simply satisfying and hearty. There are some bites of roasted capsicum giving this soup an additional bite and flavour.
If you love earthy Mushroom Soups, then Opika's version will be your fave haunting spot. The mixed mushrooms are blended together. Not too smooth so you can still get little bits of mushroom and of course some sliced mushrooms as well.
I love quinoa. On its own, quinoa is an adorable fluffy seed with a slight nutty flavour to it and is very  rich in protein. Opika's Quinoa Salad. Its refreshingly tangy and sweetened with Nipah syrup (similar to maple syrup). In the middle of this delightful bed of quinoa is some lovely sweet mangoes and creamy avocado. The prawns have a good bite and complements this salad well. I must add that the cherry tomatoes is something new to me. Sweet and fragrant as it is infused with vanilla. Opika goes back to basics and uses vanilla pods.
Another ingredient that I love most is scallops. Nothing beats a juicy and tender scallop. The Scallops with Mango Wasabi Sauce is absolutely seductive. Coated with a blend of sesame seeds, house spices bread crumbs and I believe some secret concoction. Check it out and let me know if you can figure out what it is:P
The Linguine with Pinenut Pesto and House Spiced Pan Seared Salmon has the same coating as the Scallop with Mango Wasabi. Pesto lovers will relish this dish which has such a generous serving of pesto. Do remember to inform your waitress if you prefer you pasta al dente. 
Such generous serving of pesto. Awesome!
Craving meatballs? Then the Swedish Style Meatball with Mash Potato is the solution. Each meatball is  packed with flavours. Made with lamb, chicken and beef, this Swedish meatball served with some lingonberry is about the best I have had for quite some time. Mashed potatoes are yummy and if you realise its green, that's simply because its a magic mix of mashed potato and green peas. Amazing idea that will have kids and picky eaters eat their peas. Brilliant idea!
 Wholesome satisfying meat balls.
Carbonara Fettucine with Grilled Fungi and Grilled Chicken is one creamy pasta. Comforting pasta  in a creamy base. My fave part of this dish is the grilled chicken that has been marinated in Opika's  blend of herbs.
I am not much of a rice eater but I have a weak spot for nasi ulam. The Nasi Ulam with Percik Chicken is recommended. Lots of yummy ulam with a very flavourful chicken percik. And best of range salted egg! 
The food here is not fried and is cooked using healthy red palm oil (which I also use at home ~ and if you like it, the oil is available in Opika). 
I love fruit juices and never miss my fruit juice sessions everyday. If I miss it at home, then I must grab one at work. Today is no exception. A blend of different fruits juiced using a slow juicer to ensure the vitamins are retained.
Green apple with wheatgrass
Apple, beetroot and carrot ---> I call this ABC when I make it at home
Apple, carrot with lemon. Very refreshing and zesty as lemon rind is also used.
What's a good meal without desserts? I am not much of a black forest cake person. However, Opika's Revised Black Forest Cake with Dark Organic Chocolate and Brandy changed my mind. Not overly sweet with a decadent chocolate that has you craving for more without worrying too much of the expanding waistline. 
My fave of the cakes would be the Apple Cake with Walnut Crumble served with a dollop of their Artisan Ice Cream. An alluring play of textures and flavours. food isn't all about plain old vegetables with fruits and mee suah or brown rice. Hop over to Opika for yummy organic food.
Opika Organic 
Lower Ground
1U Shopping Mall 

Opika Organic will also be opening in Suria Sabah Shopping Mall real soon!