Tuesday, 30 October 2007

No low fat low sodium and low calories for fast foods

Today I have a lot of fun. My cousin sister from Sekinchan come to visit me. She is driving her new car - a gold colour Toyota Camry. She drive us to go for lunch.

Because she is from small town, she always love to go to fast foods restaurant whenever she come to KL. So even though I don't really enjoy fast foods, I always accompany her to eat. But this time I choose the restaurant, which is Kenny Roger Roasters. Actually I choose Kenny Roger not because the food is very delicious or anything, but it is because they say that the food is low fat, low sodium and low calories.

You may be wonder why I think about calories when I write a flog! But actually I am worry because many floggers I meet are all fat. So I also afraid that I will put on weight from keeping this flog. So I try and eat healthy when I can.

So we order the 1/4 chicken, and 3 sides with the famous corn muffin. Me and my cousin sister have the same taste so we order the same side dishes. We order coleslaw, pasta salad and cucumber and tomato salad. And we also share a pilaf rice. All are very delicious. So we polish off everything from our plate including the delicious chicken gravy. I also love the corn muffin, which go very well with everything.

So we go home feeling very full and nice. But when I check on the internet on the number of calories that we just eat, I am shock! The meal which I just have is 1100 calories! And it have too many gram of fat and sodium. Thats mean that if I count my whole day limit of 2000 calories, I eat 55% of it in one meal (the website I see is using a total Daily Value of 2000 calories, and some fat and sodium formula which the US government use, and the number you see below for DV is mean % of Daily Value).

The calorie are coming from:
1/4 chicken (I like drumstick and skin) - 270 cals (14% DV), 26% fat DV and 22% sodium DV
coleslaw - 225 cal(11% DV) 25% fat DV, 12% sodium DV
tomato cucumber salad - 125 cal (6% DV), 3% fat DV and 33% sodium DV
pasta salad - 230 cal (11.5% DV), 18% fat DV and 13% sodium DV
corn muffin- 163 cals (8% DV), 9% fat DV and 10% sodium DV
rice pilaf (1/2 portion) - 88 cals (4.5% DV), 4% fat DV and 6% sodium DV.

So all in all is 1101 cals (55% DV), 85% fat DV and 96% sodium DV! I am really shock! How healthy is that? So I realise that the actual tagline is "lower fat, lower sodium and lower calories" and is not the same as "low fat, low sodium and low calories". Now I understand why people who eat a lot of fast food usually not healthy. People say that Kenny Rogers go for plastic surgery -thats why his looks change so much, but maybe it is change because he eat too much of his roasters roast chicken and side dishes!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Very steam steamboat!

I just come back from dinner. As you may know, we in Malaysia celebrate the Hari Raya Aidilfitri 13 and 14 of this month. It is the Muslim festival to celebrate end of fasting month. So because we are a multiracial country who love food, this few weeks we have been invited to many open house.

To people not from Malaysia, maybe you are not familiar wiht open house concept. Basically it mean party with food, and it is usually during festive period. So in Malaysia, it is usual to have open house during Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year and Deepavali. Thats mean that during that time, your friends who celebrating the festival will invite you visit their homes. And there, they will prepared all the lovely foods which is according to the festival.

So for Aidilfitri, you can taste many local favourites like rendang, laksa, lemang, ketupat, satay, and a lot more. Most of the foods is very fattening and use a lot of oils and coconut milk. Many flogs have write about about this kind of thing, so I don't do the same. Instead I can tell you that for a break, I have a very plain dinner tonight - steamboat.

Steamboat is actually like a hotpot. The restaurant give you a hot pot of soup and some raw foods- meats, fish, vege etc and you just cook the food in the soup. It is very light and tasty. Tonight I eat steamboat with different. Instead of soup, inside the hotpot is porridge. In Malaysia when we say porridge it is not oats, but rice porridge (congee). This is a very delicious way of cooking the food and I enjoy very much.

There is 3 of us eating, so we order only a little bit. We have the standard order for 2 people:

and we add some meat tendon balls:

fish ball with oyster and "fatt choi" (like a thin seaweed which look a bit like pubic hair):


slice mutton - it has many fats in it, but it taste more nicer this way:

slice pork neck which the restaurant say is imported, but not say import from where:

pumpkin (which you can see is the yellow thing in the porridge):

pig kidney and some vege. The sauce they give is 2 types - chilli sauce (red colour)and very hot chilli sauce (green colour):

When you are cooking the foods, the porridge is becoming tastier. Also because the restaurant put some MSG into the foods or it is already there in the so-called balls and other process foods. But all in all, it is a very delicious meal, and it is a different thing from the normal steamboat.

Like we like to say in Malaysia - very steam lah!! (meaning "it's great" or "it's hot" or "it's cool").

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Italy come to Malaysia

I want to continue more about the story of I visit Pavilion shopping centre. As you can read below I specially go there to see Dr Mahathir bakery. But near to the bakery is a very lovely cafe. I think this is my new favourite cafe.

Some reader of this flog may not know that I love drinking coffee. My favourite coffee is latte. Last time, before Kuala Lumpur is become a sophisticated city, all the coffee I can find here is only the nescafe or the local coffee serve in the coffee shop or the filter coffee. But one day, it is all change by the sneaky tactic of the cigarette company ...

You see in Malaysia they start to ban cigarette advertising. Of course for a long time they already ban advertisement with people smoking, but the cigarette company is very smart. They advertise other thing with their brand name so that it is not a cigarette advertisement but is still their brand. Example is the "Salem High Country" (which got all sorts of mountain scenery as if smoking make the air pure). Or "Mild Seven Adventure" (which is a travel scene on the sea which as if smoking is a very fun thing). Or "Benson and Hedges Gold Centre" (which is a creepy advertisement with a figure look like the devil blowing a pipe). So when they stop all that on tv, the Benson and Hedges is still very smart - they open up a cafe.

So the Benson and Hedges cafe is open in town, and one of the thing they introduce to us is the Italian style coffee. I think it is to show that smoking is like La Dolce Vita. So that is the first time I am drinking the so called "latte", "cappucino", "espresso" and etc. Of course it is a very big adventure to me - when they give me the menu I don't know what all the coffees is, so I have to learn by trial and error. I find out that the one which is very worth it is the latte (very big glass), and the one which is not worth it is the espresso (very small cup).

This new cafe at the Pavilion which I think is first in Malaysia is call "Espressamente illy". You may have see before the illy coffee in the supermarket, but illy not only make coffee powder. It also open cafe selling their own coffee. So I read on the illy website that it have more than 120 cafe, which 70 is oversea and 50 is in Italy. This is probably a franchise because the bill at the back say "La Bodega" so I think it is open by the people who open La Bodega.

The place is very beautiful decor and classy looking. But it is a bit disorganise, maybe because it just open and it is very crowded. But it is quite OK to stand at the counter to self-service because the gwailoh making the coffee is very good looking. So I don't mind waiting for my coffee.

I order a cafe latte which is serve in a glass - look a bit like martini glass (you can see the first picture above). The coffee is a bit expensive, but it is very good quality coffee. I recommend everyone to go there and try it.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Look East Again

I say before on this flog that I love Japanese food because of Dr Mahathir, our former prime minister. Now I think I love Japanese bread also because of Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir when he first become Prime Minister introduce to Malaysia a new policy call "Look East". Thats mean that we Malaysia (truly Asia) should look at other Asian country as example of success, and not only to the Western country. Example, Japan - which at that time in the 1980-something is a successful economy, not like today. So all of us look east, and now is already a habit to look east.

But one thing about Dr Mahathir, when he say something he really mean it. Until today he still look east. Why I say this is because recently Dr Mahathir do a bakery business. The bakery is selling item baked in Japanese style. His business partner is Japanese name Jiro Suzuki. I think this is the same Jiro as the one last time is running a debt venture fund in Malaysia. He move from one dough to another.

Anyway, Dr Mahathir first open his bakery call "The Loaf" in Langkawi. You may not realise that Langkawi today is successful because Dr Mahathir give a lot of encouragement. Like the LIMA air show and the tax free of Langkawi must say thank you to Dr Mahathir.

Now The Loaf is open in KL at the new shopping centre call "Pavilion". It is a very big and luxury shopping centre and I go there during our recent hari raya holiday. I straight go to Dr Mahathir bakery because I read many thing on his daughter's blog about it.

It is a lovely location facing the main road. And you can sit on the sidewalk to enjoy the food and drinks. The decoration inside is also very nice.

As you can see the bakery is pack with people of all kinds - old, young, local, foreign. And all are mentioning Dr Mahathir name. So maybe he is like a magnet. And people are buying the breads like nobody's business. Even though the price is quite expensive, everyone is taking the bread like it is free. I think so sure this bakery is making many profits. You can see here that the bread looks very lovely but it is cost RM20 a loaf! (To compare one normal wholemeal bread loaf is RM2.50). I am not sure why if this is Japanese bakery why the name of the bread in French - it mean "country cheese", but the ingredient are not country-style or cheese. If I open a bakery next time also I will give all foreign name to the bread so that it sound more high class and I can charge more money for it.

And to make sure it is high class, the Loaf also give a very nice tray and bag for you to take away your bakery goods.

Since so many people rushing for the bread, I just grab whatever I can - so I buy 2 croissants and 1 gorgonzola + rosemary bun. The croissant is RM4.60 each, and it is only normal size. I think it is expensive. But when I taste it, I am fall in love with it - you can really taste the butter in the croissant. Very lovely and flaky. But the gorgonzola cheese bun (RM3) is disappoint - it is dry like it bake for too long in the oven.

Here is a photo of the baker. He is making the bread at the Loaf bakery itself.

I feel like telling the baker that the bread is bake too long, but since this is only the first few weeks it is open, I think we can give chance to the baker.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Giles Coren - You don't know much about char koay teow lah!

Sometime I read the foreign newspaper to try and imrpove my English. I usually read online. I like reading the UK newspaper with the same name as our Malaysian one - so I read the Times, the Sun and hte Mail. Since I start writing this flog, I read the food page of all those newspaper.

I read the column by the Times writer, Giles Coren. He is writing something like my style of writing hwich is copying the Jeremy Clarkson style. He usually also start his article talking cock about something else not related to food, then after 5-6 paragraphs only start to talk about food.

Usually I like to read about what he write. He is quite funny but he always sound like he think he know a lot about everything. I usually believe that he know a lot of thing because he write for the famous newspaper. But I realise that many gwailoh don't really know what they are talking about, but they can sound like they know a lot. Very pandai to talk! It is the same thing as if you watch on tv the cooking and travel show by Keith Floyd. He talk like he know very much and he can cook very well in so many country! So I believe until I see the episode he film in Malaysia. And he cooking so-called Malaysian food on tv. Then I know that he is also talking rubbish. I cannot imagine the taste of the food that he make! In the first place, not like Malaysian food, and in the 2nd place, even if he make his own recipe, the food is sure to taste very weird because of the way he cook and the ingredient that he combine in the food.

So I was talking about Giles Coren. You must read his article on a Malaysian restaurant in London, the so-called "Kiasu". Already when I read this, I know something is wrong. Everyone know that Kiasu is a word which is more Singaporean than Malaysian. If I am not mistake, there is a cartoon book on "Kiasu" which is definitely Singaporean.

Anyway, the article is talking partly about his visit to KL where he is taken to see some prostitute and after that, he go and eat char koay teow. At first I think - "Wah! This gwailoh also like the same food as me." But then after reading his article, actually I don't know what kind of char koay teow he is eating. I show you the main part here :

"Mostly, though, the marathon eating sessions came at char kuay teow stalls dotted across the city, many of which we rushed to in a fleet of cabs straight from the previous joint, if we heard word that it had something special to offer.

They’re not clean and they’re not pretty. They’re all about
side-alley canyons pocked with air-con units pumping legionnaires’ disease into the foetid night
, rats, plastic crockery in dirty washbowls, young men looking old, standing at giant, sparking, charcoal-fired woks cooking as long as they can before their eyeballs melt, chunky slimy noodles, crunchy pork crackling, egg, shrimp, little bowls of fiery chopped chilli in soy sauce on the side, the taste of fire and earth, your own sweat in your eyes and nose, and cool Tiger beer in your throat. So much scarier than a cheap hooker with bad tatts, you’d think, and yet we lapped it up."

Of course I know that talking about eating char koay teow is not really interesting, so he must make like it is an adventure. He never tell his reader that char koay teow is so easily found in many coffee shop or cafe or even hotel restaurant that he doesn't need to go to the side alley to find the stall. And then, for everyone who eat char koay teow before, when have you see it serve with "little bowls of firey chopped chilli in soy sauce on the side"? Actually the only place I see it serve like that is in hotel restaurant. That is so Malaysian style, NOT! Which make me think that actually the Giles Coren only eat char koay teow in hotel restaurant, so he must make a side alley story to make it more intersting.

Either that or actually he don't really know how to eat char koay teow, so he always eat it with the chop chillies with soy sauce. Because you can read in his restaurant review later that that is what he is doing in the Kiasu restaurant too.

If anyone know Mr Giles Coren, you can please tell him that that is not the way to eat char koay teow. If he want it spicy, the chilli paste is add into the char koay teow from the beginning. If he eat it the way he write about it, most Malaysian will know that he is eating it in a hotel restaurant or a Malaysian restaurant with a Singapore name which also serve ngoh hiang (which we hardly get in Malaysian restaurant, but easily find in Singapore). It is so Keith Floyd.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Wave your fork and spoon

One thing about me, I am always interest in Politic. Why? Because I think politician are very interesting people - the thing they say and the thing they do sometimes very funny.

Not so long ago, the main Malay politics party in Malaysia (UMNO) have the yearly meeting. The newspaper showing the UMNO Youth chief is waving a traditional sword (keris) and making a speech. Many paper say this is not a good thing because other non Malay people in Malaysia can feel threaten.

Actually whatever people say, I am not concern about this waving of keris. Why? Because I think that is only for show. And why Malaysians feel threaten? I am thinking that Malaysian people are very daring and brave because many times I see Malaysian doing things which are more danger themself than looking at someone wave a keris in the air.

One good example is when Malaysian eating with fork and knife. I have see so many time people use the knife to put food into the mouth. Some times they even do that with steak knife. Even if the parents never teach them the proper way to eat with fork and knife and never tell them not to do that, I think so common sense will tell them that it is dangerous to put a knife in the mouth, in case cut the lips or cut the tongue or make like a kavadi through the cheek. With this kind of daring behaviour, you can see what I mean about not be scared about the keris.

So I think so that it is lucky that no need to use a knife to eat most of our lovely Malaysian food. Most dishes need only chopstick or fork and spoon. Like eating chicken rice.

Chicken rice is a famous dish in Malaysia. The rice is cooked specially wiht chicken stock and some ginger and small onion. Chicken fat is also used to make it more fagrant. Then the chicken is either steam (actually it is simmer) or roast (sometimes fry).

Sometimes the chicken rice stall also serve chicken liver and gizzard, roast pork, bbq pork, liver sausage, bean sprout. It is also tradition to serve some chicken soup with the rice - usually some vegetable is added like watercress. The traditional sauces to eat with the rice is fresh chilli sauce, ginger sauce and soya sauce.

Here you can see the chicken rice with roast chicken and bbq pork. The soup is watercress and the sauce is ginger.
It is very delicious and I enjoy eating very much. I never care about waving knife or sword, I just wave my fork and spoon.

Monday, 1 October 2007

CSI Changi

Sorry I never post for so long. I very busy at work and then I go holiday in Singapore. It was a lovely time there, and I love Singapore very much.

This post, I'm not writing about food because I didn't take many food photo in singapore. But since I can see that there are reader from many different country visit my flog, I have a funny photo to show you.
You see, I take plane to go to Singapore, so I land in the world's loveliest airpot - Changi. It is a very nice place - so many shops and restaurant that sometimes I feel like staying in the airport so I can take my time to look at all the nice thing that they are selling. I think there are other people think like me. But the only different is that they actually overnight whole night in the airport.

Either that, or they already die in the airport and I am taking a CSI photo of the crime scene. In case you are thinking maybe it is early in the morning and they are sleepy, I can tell you the time of the photo is 9.23 a.m. Maybe what they need is this:

Actually I can see the Changi airport is very good in giving places for overnight people to sleep. But maybe these people not comfortable sleeping in the nice chair, or they use to sleeping on the floor. Lucky I can see that they are quite fat, so it is not uncomfortable for them to sleep on the floor.

It is funny that all people from all over the world pass through Changi airport, but some of them also pass out. If any reader know who they are, and they still alive, can you please tell them their photo is on my flog.