Tokyo Secret. The grammatically erroneous shop name that has wonderful freshly baked cheese tarts, with a delightfully fragile crust, filled with cheesy goodness.

I was very much looking forward to having their signature Cheese Tart when I had learned that a branch had opened up in Mid Valley! Too bad it wasn't like the other branches where you could wait, like vultures, while watching tarts making their rounds in the oven. The visual actually helps to buildup the appetite for the noms.

To make up for the lack of that, their flagship 'fusion cafe' has taken over the place where there is usually a new F&B outlet that opens then closes after 6 months of failed success - the spot in front of T&CO coffee. Perhaps it is just a cursed spot.

Anyway, on to my "lunch" -  I decided to go with the first item on the spaghetti menu - Spaghetti with Hokkaido Scallops and Roe sauce! First impressions? My, how creamy and orange it looks. Then I was mesmerized by the bonito, dancing above the pile of scallops and spaghetti. 

I counted six scallops, and that made me a very happy camper.

My Cheese Tart, sadly, did not give me the same satisfaction. Or perhaps it was because I already had a creamy 500kcal nom. The crust cracked and crumbled to my touch as usual, but it wasn't fresh out of the oven, and there was no molten cheese that usually drips all over my fingers.

 As can be seen from the close-up, this is not the usual "Tokyo Secret" cheese tart. It is somewhat overbaked, or baked twice. What a bummer.

The first time I embarked on the journey of making a quiche, I didn't know that 6 months later, there would have been 15-20 quiches baked and under the belt. With just 1 hour of prep and cook time, this versatile pie lasts 3-4 days and fits right into busy schedules.

Heated up and served with a salad, quiches have become a staple in my household, so much so that I even know they actually originated from Germany! Easily switch up the flavours by swapping cheeses, vegetable base or meat toppings. Think Pizzahut or Dominos with their pizzas...
Quiche with goats cheese (before the egging)

Today's quiche will not be made with goats cheese, but rather Raclette cheese from Milky Whey Cheese (what an awesome name)! I only just discovered through BFM radio that Malaysia has its own Cheese Queen, and prompty bought some wonderful cheese from her booth at Riuh APW Bangsar.
Cheese for the perfect quiche.

Ingredients :
1) Pampas Puff pastry (short crust works as well)
2) Butter and flour (for the pie tray)
3) Raclette! (goats cheese, feta, or parmesan works too)
4) One whole yellow onion, sliced
5) Portobello mushrooms (better than button mushrooms)
6) Marjoram herbs (or other similar herbs)
7) 6 Brussel sprouts, diced (or Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli)
8) 6 eggs
9) Sour cream (or whipped cream)
10) Crispy streaky bacon (optional)
Steps :
Prepare the pie base : Mould the store bought pastry onto the buttered/floured pie tray. Bake for 5-7 minutes at 180C. Sautee the onions, mushrooms, and vegetables until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix eggs with cream in a separate bowl.
Assemble the pie : Put sauteed vegetables onto pastry, drizzle cheeses all over, pour in egg mixture, and top with meat. Bake for 30 minutes at 180C. That's it!

Before the egging.

Golden yellow, portobello and raclette cheese quiche

The best bite is the first bite.
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.