Melt-in-your-mouth Flour-less Hung Kee Black Sesame Cookies
My heart pounds excitedly at the sounds of a familiar tune while browsing the well-stocked shelves of a local supermarket, a song that has brought a lot of joy and smiles to myself and children of many generations. It is the melody of a Chinese New Year song. The arrival of spring marks the start of a new Lunar New Year and is grandly celebrated by many Chinese around the globe. The Chinese are well known for their fondness for the color red, naturally, this is the theme color for Chinese New Year decorations and gifts. According to scientists, red creates a wave of excitement by increasing one's heart and respiratory rate, it is also said to increase one's appetite, I wonder if the ancient Chinese chose red due to these scientific reasons.
As much as I would like to share the wonderful range of Chinese New Year snacks, it would take ages to just list my favorites, but here's a very condensed post. =)
#1 This snack is a very new addition to my very long list of favorite CNY cookies, flour-less Black Sesame Cookies by Hung Kee. I was introduced to it during a Tangs closed-door-sale recently. Priced at Rm12.90 for a box, these melt-in-your-mouth-mini-delights are definitely worth every penny! I was told these are hand-made and are very limited in stock as it is very hard to make as they do not use flour in this recipe, making it very easy to fall apart-which is good news for consumers as it would mean that they are guaranteed to melt-in-your-mouth!
#2 Nga Gu aka Arrowroot which is only available during Chinese New Year and can be cooked in various ways. We either stew it WARNING: These are highly addictive and one can finish the whole tin in just one sitting!
#3 Pineapple Tarts - eggless recipehere! Although the tarts looks a little dull (due to no egg-wash) but I assure you that they are as tasty as the store bought ones as the pastry melts in your mouth, creating a satisfying sensation, making you crave for another one straight after.
#4 Kuih Bangkit During my younger days, I hoped time would fast forward to the next Chinese New Year, not that I was greedy for more ang pows, but because I wanted to indulge in another round of kuih Bangkit. I am cutting down on these after I found out that coconut milk is one of the main ingredients.
#5 Almond Cookies These are another irresistible Chinese New Year snack, though the strong almond flavor wards off quite a few of my friends. I am not complaining as it leaves more for me! XD
WOW! The 3pm to 6pm Hi-tea promotions are still on
The unbelievable deals are still available at Star Hill! Amazing how they're still carrying on with this promotion after such a long time. Post dining for only RM3.60 per dish! Better than buffet if you ask me. =)
Fried Hor Fun - RM 3.60
Baked Yam Puff - RM 3.60
The generous yam fillings
Almond Bean Curd - RM 3.60
Fresh Mango Sago - RM 3.60
Name: Luk Yu Tea House Address: Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Haha.. Did I hear you asking for, "星山''? Where's that?" Well, it's actually a place that is right in the middle of the ''Golden Triangle'' in downtown KL - Bukit Bintang. So when you translate it directly into Chinese, it becomes "星山''. As Chinese New Year is just 3 weeks away and to welcome the year of the rabbit, a lot of activity is abuzz in shops and shopping malls in Bukit Bintang,"星山' .
Here's Mr and Mrs Bunny at the Bukit Bintang Entry of Pavilion to welcome in the Rabbit Lunar New Year.
Visitors to the mall are invited to beat the drums for health, wealth, prosperity.
Plum Blossoms. How pretty!
A lion climbing high to welcome a prosperous new year
Of course, after such a fun day, we had to rest our feet at a Taiwanese themed snack eatery. This is not the typical ice shavings (chunky and hard ice), but it's made up of a cotton-soft snow-ice. After having this dessert, I think I'll be very tempted to pour syrup and cut fruits over freshly fallen snow and dig in!
To cap off a fun post, here's a fun-ny T-shirt that is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone! *From a T-shirt shop in Sungai Wang. If you're there, you should definitely stop by as there are a lot of other funny T-shirts.
Delicate and Delectable Dim Sum at Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐
Chinese New Year is just round the corner, and we were originally supposed to spend it in Hong Kong but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to regretfully cancel our plans. Since I was craving for some dim sum, I decided to give Din Tai Fung a try and I was surprised that they do have some vegetarian items on the menu!
Hung Dao Sar Xiao Long Bao 紅豆沙小籠包 RM 7 These were a delectable treat. Since Xiao Long Baos are famous for its thin skin, these red bean paste filled mini buns were a delight to enjoy. The sweetness of the red bean paste was just right and I am glad to inform that it is not one of those diabetes-inducing ones.
A closer look at the cutie!
Another dim sum that is worth ordering is the mushroom vegetable dumplings 香菇素菜餃子. Priced at RM10.80, it is on the pricey end, but it is worth every single penny.The stuffings were not oily and also wasn't overly juicy either. One thing I like about Din Tai Fung is that vinegar is readily available at the table, and one can never fully enjoy the dumplings without free flow of vinegar! They should have also provided freshly cut ginger, then this dish would be perfect.
Egg-fried rice. RM9.00 Ah, this was very oily. I was trying to "break down" the oil by drizzling lots of vinegar on it.
The spinach was practically swimming in oil! If I were to order this dish the next time, I will definitely request for lesser oil to be used. Priced at RM 13, it is a bit ridiculous for such a small plate of vegetables. I'd rather order another serving of mushroom and vegetable dumplings!
Hot Soy Bean Milk RM3.80 This was a huge cup of soy bean milk and was not too sweet. It went very well with my meal. Who says only chinese tea will go well with dim sum?
This is my first time seeing barley served with a slice of lemon. Surprisingly, the lemon actually complimented the barley very well. It added a sour twist to the smoothness of the barley. RM3.80
Din Tai Fung (Pavilion) Address: Lot 06.01.05 Level 6 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang 55100 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia TEL:603-2148-8292
Other branches: Lot LG-207, Lower Ground Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia TEL:603-2283-2362
It is the simple but thoughtful gifts that truly touches my heart. The gift need not cost a bomb, even if it costs nothing, as long as it is useful, it would be a thing to treasure.
As I pull back the wrappings of one of my christmas presents, it unveiled a packet of brown rice puffs. It seemed unappealing at first, and I thought it would taste like Weet-Bix, which was extremely dry and unpleasant to the palette.
Free from artificial pesticides and fertilizers, this brown rice puff was delicious! A distinct and unique taste emanated from the puff. It was caramel-like, minus the sticky-teeth feeling. Bliss, a perfect teatime snack that is healthy and tasty! After some googling, I found the ingredients of this snack: Organic Brown Rice, Corn, Salad Oil, Miso, Soy Sauce Powder, Grain Sorghum, Salt. Weird how Miso and Soy Sauce can make it taste like caramel!
Another meal at my favourite restaurant, Kuan Yin Chai
Kuan Yin is and still is my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Malaysia. I feel very much at home when dining at this eatery as I always felt relaxed and contented after each meal as I had never experienced the sinking feeling that I would have a MSG-overdose.
"Suckling Pig" with Mantou I was reluctant to order this as I never liked "mock-meat" that was made from glutton but ordered it anyway since my guest at the table was very interested to try it. I must say, though, the "Suckling Pig" at Kuan Yin is one of the best I've tried so far. It was "barbecued" to perfection and its crisp honey outer complimented the Mantous very well.
Enoki Mushroom Tempura Salad This is a very refreshing dish, and the fresh and raw salad platter went really well with the tempura enoki mushrooms.
Steamed Yam with Ham The chef at Kuan Yin is so super duper talented! I absolutely love this dish as the chewy ham slices adds the extra oomph to the steamed yam.
Kangkung Belacan Another favorite of mine. Somehow, everything at Kuan Yin fits my taste and needs. Never too oily, never too salty, never too spicy, never too bland, just like this simple yet hard to make dish. I tried making my own with the vegetarian "belacan" I bought from Yolek, a vegetarian mart in OUG, but failed miserably as I never managed to control the 'wetness' of the belacan.
Name : Kuan Yin Vegetarian Restaurant Address: 1084, Jln 17/29, Happy Garden, Petaling Jaya, Selangor Telephone: 6-03-7957 4528
It was one of those reflective moments that cranked up my cravings for a tomato based pasta. Memories of Melbourne poured into my mind, intense and sudden, just like Melbourne's unpredictable weather. Immediately, I rushed out of my house to the nearest supermarket for ingredients. Amazing how the stomach is able take full control of the mind, making one think of nothing but food, not just any food, but a specific food for hours or even days!
Ingredients: Leggo's Tomato Puree, San Remo Vermicelli, 2 cloves of garlic
1) Boil a pot of water and add the pasta when tiny bubbles start forming on the side of the pot. Allow the pasta to cook for 10 minutes. 2) Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan to stir fry the finely chopped garlic. Subsequently add the tomato puree, cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan. 3) When the sauce is cooked, toss the pasta in the pan and serve immediately.
It has been awhile since I last visited Kechara Oasis. Although it is conveniently located with ample parking available, we were never attracted to make a forth visit as we did not enjoy the food and service during our last visit. However, since I was meeting a fellow vegetarian friend at Jaya One, I decided to give it another try as I was very tempted to try their round Tibetan dumplings that I read on the internet. I am pleased to inform that the food and service has improved tremendously! Kudos to the management for stepping up to make the dining experience a very pleasurable and memorable one. I will definitely be back for more.
Complimentary Lemongrass and Ginger tea.
Complimentary Appetizer Cucumber and Carrot Sticks dipped in a very fragrant wasabi/mustard based sauce
Amdo Yak Beef The sauce goes extremely well with the delicious bun. It's very appetizing as it is a little spicy and chewy.
The paus that look like little dome temples. :) oh, did I mention that these taste very heavenly? They were so soft and fresh, just like cotton candy!
Great combination! We did not even ask for rice as the pau filled our tummy to the max.
Momo (round dumplings) and a variety of vegetables and mushrooms soaked in a very tasty broth
I love the momo. There is a distinctive and pleasant taste with every bite. It would be a perfect Momo if the stuffings were a little more juicy.
Cozy and elegant deco sets the mood for perfect fine dining.
Name: Kechara Oasis Address: Unit 19-LG1, Level B1 Block D Jaya One, No. 72A Jalan University, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Operating Hours: Kechara Oasis is open for business daily, Monday to Sunday, Lunch: 11:30am – 3.00pm, Dinner: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Had to meet someone at Coffee Bean, and I found this vegetarian pie on the shelf and enquired from the staff if it is suitable for vegetarians. He informed that if I do not mind the garlic then it is perfectly alright. I ordered one to try out first and found it to be really delicious and as for the filling, you can find broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, mixed vegetables of green peas, carrots and sweet corn. I found it very satisfying and bought another two more to take away for next morning's breakfast. The pie was as good and delicious after being heated up in the oven the next morning.
Two avid vegetarians are here to share some insights to the world of vegetarianism.
Hopefully, through this site, the lives of some animals can be spared. Always remember, animals have feelings too, they are our friends not our meal.