Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dragon-I @ QueensBay Mall

Have been a sucker for Shanghai Small Dumplings ever since I had one at Genting - how succulent and finely made cuisine... Also the fact that I missed out the opportunity to sample the famous Shanghai small dumpling offerings at Dragon-I the last time we went One Utama at KL :(

Fret not as it finally landed in Penang - Queesnbay Mall! I dragged my bf there yesterday as I claimed my day off and he had replacement holiday for Agung's birthday which falls on 2nd of June (Sat). So off we went in the afternoon and shocked to see the restaurant almost 90% full with people! HelllooooO!!! Don't they have to work? The restaurant just opened I think a week or two ago but I heard that on a normal weekend day, you will definitely get caught up with the long queues in front of the restaurant waiting to be seated. We're lucky to be able to just walk-in and ushered to a vacant table :)

A bit of background on the outlet... It actually occupied 2 lots combined right on the curve of one of the floors in the mall itself (view from outside):-

The entrance:-
The open kitchen very much visible to anyone standing right in front of the restaurant, with the chefs busy making fresh Shanghai small dumplings with their skillful hands and fingers:-
I was so excited.. Checking the place out... taking pictures... so here's how the environment looked like inside:-

Notice the ancient soldier-like statues placed along its main corridor - they looked kinda freaky framed up like this though:-
This is the typical set up on each table (notice the chopsticks with dragon-I wordings at the base as well):-
These are the condiments placed on a turnable plate - soya sauce, vinegar, chilli and toothpicks:-
There's a flipper thingy on each table adorning highlights of the restaurant or promotions etc:-
The mango dessert thingy looks so tempting eh?

We just went there to sample both of their signature dishes - Shanghai small dumpling and Ramen so we ordered the dumplings and a pork rib ramen, with a herb drink for my bf and a chinese sea coconut with water chestnut dessert. After they key in your orders, you will have your order slip placed on the table and they will cross out whatever that has been served one by one:-
This is my sea coconut/water chestnut dessert, full of goodies:-
And this is the long awaited Shanghai Small Dumplings!
Notice how the bamboo steam basket is layered with veggies at the bottom before placing the dumplings... when we used our chopsticks to grab hold of the delicate and fragile dumpling up, we can see the soup within - awesome! I was thinking on a way to eat this without wasting any of the soup so i placed it on the spoon then bit on it.... ooooooh the soup just come rushing onto my tongue... check out the inside of the dumpling with soup:-
The specialty of Shanghai small dumpling lies in the fact that the dumplings are much like 'paos' - but it's small (obviously) and the difficult part is in how to make the dumpling in a way that the skin is very thin and translucent but at the same time able to hold the soup generated upon steaming of the dumplings - as the soup itself is the main essence of Shanghai small dumplings.

You can actually find the background history from the back of the wet towel packet itself:-
"Xiao Long Bao or commonly referred to as "Soup Dumplings" is one of the finest Chinese delicacy.The exact origins of Xiao Long Bao is unknown, but they first appeared in Northwest of Shanghai, at least 100 years ago. This ubiquitous little bundle of joy is indigenous to almost every culture.

As you arefully pick up one up with your chopsticks, you could literally see the weight of the soup stretching the translucent skin down. The best Xiao Long Bao has skin so thin yet it has enough elasticity to hold the delicate balance of dough, soup and meat in it."

Need I say more? :-P

Ok enough of the dumplings, let's move on to the 2nd highlight - Ramen!
There is a reason that they give you a huge soup ladle for you to enjoy your ramen - coz you can really taste the essence of the soup base when you gulp them by big ladles - eventhough the look of the ramen is not that appetising at all, but both my bf and I can assure you that this is reaaaaaaaaaaalllyyyyyyyyyyyy good stuff - the waitress will ask if you would like her to cut the ramen and we said yes (good choice) coz the ramen spans very long if not cut - the texture is just right - not too thick, not too thin - not too tangy and not too soft. The soup base is.... to die for I tell ya - my bf is normally not a soup type of guy but he was like draining the whole bowl of soup off! :-O

The bill came to about RM 40 - a bit pricey but it the food was indeed good - living up to Dragon-I's reputation.

It's going to be a new bright day.. ahead

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I'm so depressed and sad now

I just wanna give up pleasing people and live my life the way I wanted to

...................I just want to run away.......................... where no one can find me

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Red Chopsticks @ I-Avenue

Had lunch with JY one fine afternoon upon the pretext of trying it out since her co-worker did give some good comments on the food..
Red Chopsticks literally had the whole shop adorning red chopsticks practically on each table - and I was commenting to JY that if I were to open a shop, I would name it Green chopsticks instead coz red is such a common colour for chopsticks and it doesn't really give a lot of Branding and Product Differentiation touch to it, people won't really remember Red Chopsticks after a while but they'll surely remember Green Chopsticks :)

Ironically, our table had NO chopsticks -_-
We were both extremely hungry by then so both of us ordered rice...

JY ordered rice with Pork Leg Vinegar

while I had the rice with Tau Yiu Bak (cooked with soy sauce)

And we also ordered their signature dessert - Chendol! They offer so many types, and they boast their chendols made of pure 100% Pandan with no artificial colouring.
Check out my chendol with extra attap chee!
All in all, the food were all good, especially the Chendol.... man! It's so fragrant and smooth..... eventhough a bit expensive but it was indeed a ncie and big one... But I have to say the rice was not cooked and hard :(

Oh, and they serve wet towels too

Pulau Perhentian.... Our holiday escapade!

Get ready Pulau Perhentian... Coz here we come!:D

Friday, April 27, 2007

Collection of Home Meals

I'd like to share some of the nice meals I had at home so far... some cooked by my mom, some take-aways from coffee shops and some I cooked myself :)

During December there will be a day where Chinese celebrates a festivity called "Dong Zhi" (Mandarin for the end of Winter season). It indicates that we are at the end of the lunar year in terms of end of Winter season (referencing China of course). It's a time to celebrate that we have safely endured another year and looking forward to a better season and new year ahead of us.

For this, we must eat sweet dumplings and I still love it even to this date, eventhough it has become more of a yearly routine than something normally only kids get excited about.

Due to the amount of work involved preparing the dumplings, in which I normally help out in shaping the dumplings out, we decide to buy these from the markets instead, as my grandma is getting older and my mom can only make it back the night before the actual festive date and unable to help out..

So here's a feast we get to enjoy! All prepared by my dear mom...
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Sometimes, I cook myself noodles and I just loooooove this Korean noodle Shim Ramyun, I picked this up while studying in Brisbane last time where my Korean friend introduced me to this super spicy noodle and I couldn't have enough of it since then!

A guide to cooking Shin Ramyun (From left to right and top to bottom):-
1. Recognise the packet so you can get one of these yourself next time you go shopping (read : Korean shops if you're overseas)
2. Heat up your wok or whatever you decide to cook this in
3. Open up the packet - you should be seeing one chunk of noodle; 1 packet of chilli powders and 1 packet of dried vegetables (made up of spring onions, carrots, mushrooms, etc)
4. The left one's the chilli powder while the right one's the dried veggies
5. Cook your noodle and while it's getting soft...
6. Pour in the chilli powders,
7. then the dried vegetables..
8. Cook till your noodle gets soft enough for your tastebuds and serve onto a big, nice-looking bowl
9. Enjoy! coz this is damn good stuff I tell ya

Good till the last drop for me :)
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Next allow me to introduce one of my favourite Fried Hor Funs (Broad flat rice noodles)... my dad used to take away this when he has his breakfast at the coffee shop as I normally sleep in during my off days...

Good Cha Hor Fun (in Hokken) coz it's got huge and fresh prawns, veggies, fish, chicken, and fish cakes. And most importantly............! The sambal that comes with it is just.. simply...... irresistable! Hot, nice and spicy! Yummm.....

Food Loft @ Gurney Plaza

Went and had dinner with Datuk K and Hui for Hui's farewell... she's leaving the company (my company) to embark on a better opportunity and Datuk K and myself would like to have a nice dinner with her... and so they've decided on Food Loft... I must admit that the ambience itself is undeniably cosy, upmarket with clean lines.. it's a nice place to have a cosy dinner and chit chat with some friends.

This is only the second time I set foot at Food Loft... the first time KC and her gf treated me to a nice meal after helping them out on a few translation documents... I had a pretty tough time after consuming the thick slab of cod fish... and let's not get into that now...

After much time spent in deciding on what to order, finally we settled down with each of our main course, and ordered 2 side stuff to be shared amongst all of us...

Hui had her favourite Spaghetti Carbonara.. with added cheese on the order itself, and she helped herself with more added cheese after that.....

Datuk K had a nice Chinese style Chicken Noodles...
While I had my favourite Spaghetti Marinara myself....
The 2 side dishes were the steamded dumplings, and my recommendation of Peking Duck...
The dumplings were a tad too salty, but everyone complimented the Peking Duck as a good choice... of course lah! You must see who recommended it! ;-)

The drinks were nothing to write home about, they're practically ready-made and stored in the fridge (so un-fresh) and Datuk K's Aloe Vera drink didn't taste good at all (he's my guinea pig before I went ahead and ordered one myself, after tasting a marvellous one back in Jakarta last time)
Overall, the food were not bad as all of us did enjoy our meals but not the drinks though.

laiming to achieve the "Trendy and upscale international dining concept", the Food Loft strives to do just that by utilising an order card thingy for each customer and they will bring along this card to the open kitchens which serve a variety of food from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Western, Nyonya, etc; and hand over the card to the attendant for order locking into the system.

End of the day, customers just bring the order card to the cashier for payment. If you lose the card, you must pay them RM 50! (This is actually written between the fine lines at the back of the card) Honestly I think this is a total waste of time, but Datuk K thinks that this is pretty innovative (well that's four thousand and one differences identified so far)
Hui and I went to the washroom and I was pretty impressed! Chandellier lights (don't care it's real or fake) hanging from the ceiling of a washroom?
And one of the contemporary water taps have become 'crooked'.... but still functioning!
The views I took from the window seat where our table was.............. Ahhh.... good ol' Gurney Drive....
More pics of Gurney Drive at night (Yep I was basically there during the evening inside Gurney Plaza and sitting outside along Gurney Drive the very same night)