Thai food has three distinctive flavours - sweet, sour, and spicy. In between that, fragrant thai herbs burst through and keeps you coming back for more!
 
The Panasonic GX85 with a macro lens

My new toy, the Panasonic GX85 has built in image stabilization and flutters oh so gently in my palms when the shutter is pressed. A delightful gadget it is - and below, a showcase of its powers:
 
Green chicken curry
Another staple, classic pandan chicken
Fried chicken with ginger. You can't have too much chicken when ushering in the year of the chicken!
Thai Fish with lots of herbs and spices

Who could resist a free ride on the MRT that launched but isn't connected? Well, one does not have any choice when car keys fall into pieces, literally.

So off we go to take a free ride on the MRT. Uber becomes too expensive when you need to travel from one end of Selangor to the other. While not fully completed, we decided to check it out anyway since we were stuck in Sunway Damansara. The access to the MRT station from Sunway Giza mall was just a short walk away.

Keeping out the jumpers from the tracks
Three shades of blue

The MRT was pretty empty, which is expected given that you can't really get onto it from a different line but hopefully that will change once everything is completed. In the mean time, it is possible to catch a shuttle bus from Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station to KL Sentral.

Those in Kajang can go shopping in Damansara real soon
UPM will be connected too!
No warnings to "hold the handrail..."
This might come in handy one day.
New buses

Overall it was a pleasant journey that cost RM 0.


The best meals are home made and have no more than 10 ingredients in them. It might not be as convenient as buying food from the shop, but the portions, quality of ingredients are handpicked, cleaned, sliced and diced with love care. Plus it just tastes better unless you're going up against a restaurant serving up a 10 course meal.

Today we're using Kanokwan from Thailand! It is not so spicy to me, but consider yourself warned on the spiciness level.
Ingredients :
(1) Coconut Milk
(2) Tomatoes
(3) Onions
(4) Coriander
(5) Thai Basil
(6) Brinjal
(7) Chicken
(8) Kaffir Lime Leaves
(9) Potatoes
(10) Green Curry Paste
Thai Basil - what an amazing herb.

Heat up the pan and saute the onions in a little bit of olive oil. Pour in coconut milk, mix in the green curry paste and bring to boil. Add potatoes (which have been pre microwaved for 5 minutes), chicken, and why not everything else too! (thai basil, brinjal, kaffir lime leaves, tomatoes). Add little bit of water and bring to boil. Cook until vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked.

Tada! Green Curry with lots of chicken, brinjals and potatoes in less than 30 minutes

I always make the mistake of adding too many brinjal and chicken, resulting in a pan that is almost overflowing... but no regrets there! And the only thing better than green chicken curry, is green chicken curry with black rice.

 

On the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year, while picking up an order of blueberry cheesecake from Su's Cakes for Kicks, we found ourselves in Lorong Kurau, a nice little enclave in Bangsar. While exploring this corner, we came across "Barat" (translates to "West"), which we were told was the sister cafe of Ganga Cafe (right next to it).

The chef was very welcoming, inviting us to try their new restaurant, and the accompanying degustation menu, themed "A Mediterranean Vegetarian Culinary Experience" for the price of RM 88! - Who could say no to such an auspicious number especially when the lunar new year is just around the corner?

First up, complimentary wholemeal bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Remember to save some bread for dipping into your sauces, ala true mediterranean style in the later dishes!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup - it's not your regular plain ole' pumpkin soup, but one that is spiced, with herbs and candied ginger of somesort, giving a nice spicy kick to the creamy pumpkin soup. We loved it.

Arugula, Rockets and Mandarin Orange in sesame dressing - Fried in batter, the mandarin orange is a curiosity. Perhaps it is my prejudice against fried fruits, because others seemed to enjoy it, but I thought the deep fried mandarin orange did not go so well with the salad.

Grilled sweet pepper with cheese stuffing, and Roasted Romano with Prunes in Herb Oil - hands down the best of the evening! I have a feeling that even a full portion would still leave us wanting for more of this.

Diving into the mains, the Mushroom Zuchini Aglio Olio with Grilled Lemons is delectable. Refreshing, and crunchy from the thin strips of zuchini and wonderfully spiced. Another favourite I would love to have in full serving.

Fettuccine with Pistachio nuts in Carbonara sauce.

Curried Cous Cous, with grilled Asparagus, Baby carrots, Sunflower seeds and Pomegranate dressing.

Pesto, Pesto, Pesto.

Endive with berries - an amusing crunch pleasing to both the eyes and the palette.

Watermelon Gespacho - I would order a gallon of this! I believe it tasted like watermelon with a hint of bitterness from the cucumbers, and a very delightful sweetness from a secret ingredient which left us guessing.

Some people would shudder at the thought of nomming meatless meals, let alone a vegetarian-degustation meal, but we were happy that we ended our night in moderation - nomming a uniquely varied, beautifully crafted vegan menu. This was a very creative and original sampler menu and certainly worth experiencing while it is still available. Just a side note to big eaters ... you might want to order 2 sets instead of just one.

No regrets coming to Barat, and we are anxiously looking forward to their a'la carte menu.

I love croissants, so much so I paid to join a baking class to learn how to make them at The Dough And Batter. Unfortunately that was when I realized that it is no small feat to make them from scratch ... but it gives you a new sense of appreciate for these flaky, crispy, buttery delights.
Recently, there has been a hype for Molten Salted Egg York Croissants at a cafe in SS2, so popular that people were getting angry if they couldn't get a croissant! Wow! I decided to join the queue one morning to see what the hype was all about, only succeeding the third time. It's doable if you live near the place, which I do on weekends. To my surprise, on my third try, a trio from Singapore had waken up at 3am in the morning to drive down to KL just for this. Now that's some serious dedication!
I realized that I have actually been to this cafe before a year back to check out their bread offerings, and it was relatively empty a year back. These days, it is packed to the brim ...
Finally, my croissants! Were they good? Well, lets put it this way - What doesn't go well with salted egg york? It's like dipping chocolate into a bowl of molten chocolate, or eating candy with caramel sauce ...
They weren't piping hot, but the salted egg york was creamy and molten. Egg york started oozing out from the other end of the croissant after my first bite. What a mess! I had spent 40 minutes in total just queueing, paying and waiting for my turn. Is it worth the money? Yes (RM 6.90). The calories? Yes. The time? Probably not ... :) But it's definitely worth trying once.
To be honest, the underdogs - strawberry cheese croissants were my favourite.
Kids are so spoiled for choices these days when it comes to ice-cream and special treats, so much so it's no longer special when they're given a treat. Enter Magnum cafe in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya. An upmarket ice-cream cafe with so many frills that thrills one's tummy.

The Trifle was the day's undertaking. I had two free vouchers to savour this delight and was going to pass it up because it looked so sinful. Thankfully I had my mom and sister with me to share the burden of consuming this monstrosity. Behold! Not one, but two Magnum Trifles!

"Cashew Meringue, Mascarpone Cream, Honey Balsamic Cream, White Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Magnum, Freeze Dried Raspberries and Strawberries."

Whoever conceptualized the menu must have had a lots of fun doing it. Heaping spoonfuls of sweet nothings onto an already caloric dessert by itself. Flipping through the menu (and ignoring the price), you can begin to understand why Hansel & Gratel from the Brothers Grimm fell for the witch's evil trickery to lure them into her lair.

If you compare this with the picture in the menu, it is pretty much WYSIWYG, except for the smaller strawberries which no one really gives a damn about :P We loved everything about it and were scrapping hopelessly at the corners of the jar to get the last lickylicky noms out (the the point of contemplating dipping our fingers in to help the kitchen crew clean the jars).

It was indeed a remarkable pleasure, and definitely for sharing.

Hershey chocolate kisses shaped lamps in the Magnum cafe.

Magnum, GE-3, IOI City Mall.


We stumbled across Restoran Periuk Belanga in Kelana Jaya while looking for another restaurant, and to our surprise it was a real find! The first sign of a good restaurant is that it is always packed during lunch and dinner time. The food was expectedly spicy, but in a good way. Besides, drinks are cheap enough to be ordered twice or even thrice.
Kasturi Assam Boi for RM 1.80 - green, sweet and sour to taste.

The menu was organized into standard categories : Set meals, ala carte chicken, fish, beef, squid and vegetables in various styles. On the first try we decided to go ala carte. Portions were small, in accordance with the price, but was surprisingly tasty and delicious.
Ayam goreng kunyit - Fried Chicken bits with ginger - pop corn sized chicken with the aromatic fragrance of fried ginger - RM 7
Stir fried kailan with salted fish - RM 6
Our top 2 favourites at Periuk Belanga - Sambal Squid. The sambal was exquisite, even more so were the squids.
So good that we order it whenever we eat here. (RM 8)

Last but not least, presenting Periuk Belanga's Ayam Penyet, RM 8 per set with rice, RM 7 without :
The chicken was fantastic. Penyet to the core - tender and infused with crushed spices.
This ayam penyet is our favourite at Periuk Belanga we could have a dozen of it!
Assam ayam - not for the faint hearted.
Restoran Periuk Belanga is located in Jalan SS6/20a, Petaling Jaya, near Nasi Lemak Cikgu. A good and cheap spicy eat that is delicious and does not put a hole in the wallet.

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