A couple of days ago, we were invited by our good friend Barri, to RAW - The Acoustic Sing-Along Series No.1, at Daikanyama, Changkat Bukit Bintang. Most of you who know, or have been to Daikanyama are probably wondering, where on earth, this rather cozy restaurant, could possibly have space to hold parties etc.Well, the answer is that the upstairs of Daikanyama has been fully renovated and now functions as a really rather laid-back funky chill out area ideal for nights like RAW. Lounge chairs, a bar area, an out-door balcony area and DJ turntables complete the upper deck party area. Also, Flattops helped enhance the acoustics of the room.
As the young musicians took to the stage, they really wow-ed the crowd with their tight guitar sound and good vocals to boot. Towards the end of the night, there were a few impromptu guest appearances and some open-mike jamming. Even Barri did a rocking, solo performance on the guitar which really thrilled his guests - click on my u-tube link to hear just how good he was! (Photo a bit dark, sorry, because musicians love being shrouded in mystery). Gawd.. I had no idea he was so talented! Barri feels that this is how music-connecting-souls should be. Enough of the hum and drum of normal..! Of course c&c also love the gorgeous, extensive yet affordable selection of sake served at Daikanyama.. and the food... the oh, so tasty finger food.. Anyways, say no more.. we are looking forward to next week's series 2 .. for sure!
PHOTOS and VIDEO enclosed!
People chilling and waiting for the performance to start..
Some excellent acoustic guitar skills were showcased, followed by more open-mike jamming. The place is packed to the rafters. Paranoid Android who practically lives next to Daikanyama swings by for a quick shot of sake.. "But PA, we have a whole bottle! You were supposed to help us finish it.. not run home and work! Chis!"
Three shot glasses.. and then there were two.. boo-hoo :( . . This shot turned out so cool! Barri looks like my favourite character from the arcade game, Mortal Kombat, Raiden.. the god of thunder. Sans white outfit and white hat, he still looks like he's about to unleash a bolt of lightning on his victims!
C&C getting pissed on sake.. ahem!
My favourite jerky snack at Daikanyama.. fish jerky dipped in mayo!
Barri on the right... looking shy because he got such an ovation after his song!Anyway, I figured I'd show you his face first before I played you the video because he is enveloped in darkness and you will never see his face on the video. Have no fear, its his voice and guitar playing that is the Phwar! factor:P
Cumi.. at the turn-tables.. don't ask me how he spins.. the answer is the opposite of "like a pro".
Music makes the world go round..
This Friday the 30th October 2009... is Harajuku Harroween Night at Daikanyama! (yes, it really is a typo - Halloween? geddit?)Girls, come dressed as the manic, colorful, punk Harajuku Girls and get two cocktails free! Just incase you do not know what a Harajuku girl looks like.. erm, looks like me :P (Kidding!) To give you a feel for it, kindly refer to the collage below...so get creative!
Moghul Mahal is pronounced Moghul Meh-hel .. not so much 'mahal' as in expensive, but rather mahal as in Moghul Palace.. how grand! Good After Noon is a greeting offered, when one walks in for lunch at this restaurant:P
Fennel - on the house
People normally eat this last in any good Northern Indian restaurant.. but I love to eat it first as I enter the shop. What is it? Well, fennel seeds of course. The distinctive liquorice taste is so delicious and reminds me of candy. Not only that, fennel is one of the best digestive aids in town.. the seeds can be used in cooking, or made into a tasty licorice tea, and is useful to relieve abdominal cramps, gas and bloating. So the way I see it, if you eat this first (as opposed to at the end of the meal) .. then you can eat that much more.. without feeling sick.. you get my logic?
At Moghul Mahal, the first thing that catches your eye is, apart from spanking new, white and pristine tiles, this shop has the most amazing selection of Indian sweets. It goes on for as far as the eye can see. We spent ages photographing the candy but the waiters here were extremely helpful and took out tray after tray for us to shoot. How obliging;)
Pani Puri - RM5.00 per plate
Right, so fennel in my stomach and photos of sweets in my camera, it was time to order. The first thing that caught our eye on the menu was the Pani Puri. This Pani Puri is just so cute! It looks like a mini puri that is round and hollow in the centre, fried to a crisp and filled with a watery mixture of tamarind, cumin, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. Its size is small enough to fit into even my mouth.
I love it. Make it so easy to gobble up in one swift movement. My good friend, Dr Suj, she told me that the Water green liquid is incredibly good for the stomach because of the tamarind pulp and the cumin water (cumin relieves flatulence, bloating, gas and a whole host of other related stomach ailments).
AWOL, being the obliging hand model for this shot! (she did not want to be photograhed because she was having a bad hair day).
Fresh Lassi.. smooth, thick and creamy.
Fish Tikka at RM12.00.. sizzling hot and soft and flaky in texture. Oh sweet, sweet fish of mine!
Palak Paneer is my all time favourite vege dish.. for want of a better word. Anyway, this is as close as you will get to a vegetable dish in a Northern Indian restaurant. Palak Paneer goes great with anything.. From chapatis, puris, parathas to bhaturas.. it's all good. The texture of the cheese really gets under my skin. That almost rubbery, tasteless square chunks of curd, with that generous slathering of spinach is almost too astronomically good for words. Love.
My same friend Dr Suj also got all excited thinking that I wanted to try and make Palak Paneer when I asked her how it was made. Actually, all I wanted was to write it down for my blog!
Anyway Dr Suj told me that this is a rather easy dish to make.
Boil fresh milk.
Add lime juice and the milk starts to curdle.
Once curdled, strain through cloth.
Once all excess water is removed, tie it up,
and put a heavy pot over it for 2 hours,
until it flattens out.
Then open cloth and cut and fry to taste. (so easy.. but I am sure I can't do it..! but, thank you Dr Suj:P)
Gulab Jamun - RM1.50 per ball.
Read about C&C's other favourite place, to buy Gulab Jamun .. here
Some people like it light and airy on the inside. Some people like it really heavy and soaked through with all the syrup and sugar.. I like my gulab both ways! The ones at Moghul Mahal are heavy and dense.
Finally, my companions (a lil fat monkey and AWOL) ended their lunch with a cup of Bru each .. and me, the black coffee. Bru is an instant coffee that has a unique aroma and taste due to a blend of 70% coffee and 30% Chicory, a perennial plant. A coffee favorite in India for those special times... and also here, in Kuala Lumpur, apparently :)
Bru + fresh cows milk = instant heaven in a cuppa!
Moghul Mahal Restaurant ,
153A, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.
Tel: 603 2272 5870
Today, my friend J, who has perfected the art of talking a mile a minute, not even pausing for breath for a second, told me a rather interesting story about the origins of the Fajita. I googled it, and apparently, he was telling the truth.
You see, there was once a man, Mr. Homero who, as part of his graduate work in animal science at Texas A&M, was intrigued by a spike in the retail price of skirt steak (cheapo cut of meat from the cow). This sparked his research into the dish that took the reject cut of the cow, from poor man fodder, to the table of the rich.
During cattle roundups, beef were butchered regularly to feed the hands. Throw away items such as the hide, the head, the entrails, and meat trimmings such as 'skirt' were given to the Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) as part of their pay. Considering the limited number of skirts per carcass and the fact the meat wasn't available commercially, the fajita tradition remained a poor man practice, and relatively obscure for many years, probably only familiar to vaqueros, butchers, and their families.
Then all of a sudden, Fajitas appear to have made the transition from obscurity to mainstream dining, starting with commercialization e.g. the opening of the first commercial fajita taco concession stand in the united states. Soon after, entrepreneurs started to recognized the commercial potential of this popular local Tex-Mex dish and chefs started putting "sizzling fajitas" on the menu of local diners and finally, the big time.. on the menu of the Hyatt's La Vista restaurant.. and the rest as they say was history.
That brings us to the great irony of fajita success: The more popular the dish became, the less likely it was to be made from the cheapest cut of steak! J thumped the table as he hit the climax in his story. Everybody yawn... erm, I mean jumped up and applauded his story! Bravo J ! Now, can we please eat? :P
Frontera is located at Jaya One, Best ever Chimicangas and Chili Burgers in Petaling Jaya! You must eat these two items.. you must.
Add: Frontera Bar & Grill 18-G-2, Block L Jaya One No. 72A, Jalan University Petaling Jaya Tel: 603 7958 8515
He Pin Coffee shop is tucked way in Old Town PJ and this old coffee shop bungalow is famous for the Pan Mee and Economy Rice. This place is normally packed to the rafters during lunch hour as well as the weekends.. and you get the Malay rice, Chinese Economy rice , Indian mee rebus stalls, all under one roof. Extremely Malaysian International.
The lady boss makes the Pan Mee noodles at a 100 miles an hour..
Squeeze, peel, pull and chuck into hot water.
The bowl of Pan Mee for RM4 is ridiculously delicious. The pork soups stock is thick and sweet, the anchovies fried to perfection, the floating mince pork and mushrooms.. fresh as hell. The chili is astronomically spicy. It had me in tears because I chucked 2 saucers of it into my soup, and then ate up Cumi's share by dipping my anchovies in it as well! Talk about masochistic.
Pain! So good.
The texture of the Pan Mee.. slightly slimy, chewy and al dente. So good! Must eat!
The way to this place.. He Pin coffee shop is located near Jalan 51/200.
To find it, take Jalan Penchala in Petaling Jaya and travel right to the end of the road.
I cannot understand mandarin! Im a banana.. however, even this ignoramus banana, found the following Stan Lai film amazing.
Anyway, Monday nights are movie nights at the Annexe Gallery (Central Market KL). 'Secret Love In Peach Blossom Land' is a Taiwanese film written and directed by Stan Lai, featuring Christopher Doyle as director of photography. When two opposing acting groups fight for the same rehearsal space, a comical situation emerges. One group is practicing a somewhat slapstick satire, the other a contemporary political romantic tragedy. They could not be more different or worlds apart from each other. However,as the story unfolds, and the desperate acting troupes divide up the stage, the way Stan Lai merges the two dialogs makes the show magical. The style and the angles employed for shooting this movie are nothing shot of genius.
footnote: *copied from biography of stan lai Stan Lai is a highly influential award winning US-born Taiwan-based playwright and theatre director, also known for his award-winning feature films. He has been described by the BBC as “probably the best Chinese language playwright and director in the world” and his plays have been performed throughout the Chinese-speaking world. He is the writer and director of “Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land”, often touted as the most successful contemporary Chinese play. The film version of the play won the Caligari Prize at the Forum, Berlin (1992); the Best Picture and Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival (1993); and Singapore Film Festival (1993).
To all who participated - thank you! Your contest answers via email as well as the comment box were really spot on !
Unfortunately.. there can be only one winner.. and that is Keropokman!(your unpublished answers also very funny la.. maybe one day you can tell the Ahpa!)
So, keropokman (who lives in Sing) take ur pick.. i buy u dinner in Sing.. anywhere with degustation menu budget of SGD50 per head (hahaha.. that rules out Iggy's, but all mamak and coffee shop included) and you can invite ANYONE u like, to tag along.. (on themselves:P)
Spot the most number of differences between the two photos correctly and name them, and win an attractive mystery prize.. and I don't mean Ciki (!)
Deadline 22nd Oct 2009 midnight. You may email your answers to us at cumidanciki at gmail dot com if you are kiasu and don't want people copying your answer, Or you may click this link to leave your comments on the same photo above: Tweetphoto: Agentcikay
Results on the weekend. (By the way, the photos are totally unadulterated. We were surprised how they turned out ourselves. Kind of made our hair stand on end! See this same shot, from the other perspective here!)
When I heard that one of my clients was taking ME to dinner at Iggy's (Ranked No.45 on the S Pellegrino World's 50 best restaurants List 2009) I made sure my camera had batteries in it.. and that my hair looked great.
Hmmm.. which Louboutin shall I wear :P (photo from here)
Don't get me wrong, I don't really care as much, if a restaurant has great ambiance, subtle subliminal music, or if the place looks chic and smells like the air that surrounds Harrods florist or that the food is wine paired to perfection. I do care however, if the food tastes good, is made with the freshest and most exquisite ingredients and is worth the mega bucks (yes, us poor Malaysians .. convert the currency and weep) I am paying for it.
At Iggy's whilst the deco and ambiance of the place is not something you would call super modern (the main dining room looks cozy rather than clinical), the food itself is really rather cutting edge, beautifully presented and encompasses all the subtleties and style of modern cuisine. Iggy plays with textures, colors, and flavours like how a child plays without inhibitions at Kindergarten art class.
There is only one thing on the Dinner Menu. The Gastronomic menu of $195++ (without booze) whether you walk in at 9pm or 11pm, that's what you get. So is it any wonder that the waiters are really good and well informed on the menu? Not really.
We were served two amuse bouche, on the house , which was a rather nice touch, I thought. How generous.
The first one you see is the sashimi-grade sea urchin served on a bed of shiso jelly topped with cauliflower mousse. Wow, this sea-urchin was smooth on the palate and really pleasing to the eye. It looked like someone served up spring on a white plate.
Dishes here are served in incredibly small portions .. very elegant.. but it kind of makes you gulp at the amount you are paying for that tiny morsel of food. Do the math and you will see that you are paying approximately SGD50 for each dish served. Holy Smokes.
Anyway, speaking of smoke, this second amuse bouche (also on the house) was smoke trout, and cherry wood was employed to produce the white fumes inside that futuristic looking semi-metallic semi-perspex orb.
The waiter said - please take it up in one swift motion and stick it in your mouth, for maximum satisfaction. I like this place. You get to be uncouth with your food. Iggy's is really cool.
Smoky, woody, and fishy.. I really dig caviar (not lump fish either.. but beluga). So high class, so much finesse.. so gone in 2 seconds. One of our dining companions dropped her portion when she lifted up the fine cracker. The waiter was upon it like a hawk and replaced the whole orb, with a new one, in 5 seconds flat. What a champion. I wanted to swoop in on the fallen morsel and chuck it in my mouth but he was too fast for me. Yes, service is good - discreet yet attentive, with lightning reflexes.
Looking at the Hamachi, you could say that the Japanese Kaiseki dining style has also been an influence at Iggy's. Classy, delicate and 'no rush' are words that come to mind, eating this young, sweet yellowtail. Be prepared to dine for at least two and a half to three hours here.
At Iggy’s you get to eat rare Japanese mushrooms gathered at their apex of maturity and served at the exact correct point of mature-ness. (Is there such a word?) Not only that.. you get to play with foam while you eat your food. Yes, that's right... the waiter says.. TOSS your food in the foam for maximum satisfaction. These people at Iggy's .. they are pretty narcissistic.. everything is sung to the tune of maximum pleasure.. maximum satisfaction.. maximum wallet deflation.
Sanma on wild rice , olive and thyme. I hate eating rice. Ask anybody who has tried to serve me rice.They'd tell you. This wild rice however... is so good it does not taste like rice. It taste like sweet, aromatic pearls of fibre, masked in the form of rice. I could eat this everyday.
I was told by the waiter that the Chef himself, Chef Dorin Schuster likes to employ a light touch in cooking his food, and that is how he so successfully brings out the subtle flavours in a dish. Of course, make no mistake, the fact that the produce is crazy-fresh contributes to how fantastic things taste.
I drank bubbly all night. I did not get a headache. The Champagne at Iggy's is touched with magic. . . Yes, apparently each and every course of the degustation, is paired with the wine (white or red) which brings out the best of the flavours, but I did not care. I had magic in a flute.
Ok, at the risk of sounding like a clueless bum who describes her food in monosyllabic words, the pasta was great. Al dente pasta, but just a mouthful of it, and the zucchini imparted an almost crunchy texture ( I swear it was deep fried). The mullet roe completed the taste to perfection.
Why would someone serve you oats (healthy) and gizzards(unhealthy bordering on grisly) with something as posh as lobster. Because, it's the perfect ensemble, that's why. Exquisite. I would not have thought to cook this myself, but now, I might actually contemplate cooking this for my husband tomorrow. Really.
Self explanatory photo.
Another one of our dining companions muttered that it was pretty useless washing your palette, when the food tasted so damn good so far. . . .
But when they brought out the next dish we soon understood why.
Grade 9 wagyu - very brave and original to serve the almost 'slimy' wagyu (because it was so rare) with the even slimier vegetable, the lady's fingers. Sigh. You should know by now, that at Iggy's, they can near pull anything off.
Of course. That's why they are Iggy's. Hands down, my favourite course of the night.
I gave up my magic flute and changed to the Burgundy for this course.
For this dessert, the juicy sweet seed pulp, and slightly gritty flesh of the feijoa was purposely converted into a smooth jelly - complete contradiction in texture. So molecular. Lovely and refreshing. I felt like I could start the entire course over:P
Who thinks I overate.. raise your hand. The little cake was rich, and thick with cream nuts and fruit. A gorgeous mini tiramisu.
If you are a big kid at heart, like I am, then you will love the "pop-rocks" tart.. on the house. By the way, one can almost be sure that one's bill will be directly proportional to the number of items you are given, 'on the house' - I may be wrong.. but no, I think I'm right. Hugely entertaining, these cute bite size morsels explode and crackle in your mouth. Our waiter's advice, kindly consume in one swift mouth full and do not chew, rather SUCK for maximum satisfaction. Sounds like a comment I've heard one too many times but not at the dining table.
Well a fantastic experience. What can I say, except... for maximum satisfaction, just visit Iggy's!
Add: Iggy, 1 Cuscaden Road, The Regent Singapore, Singapore 249715
Strongly advised to call 65 6732 2234 for reservations.
We seek little adventures in life. We travel with eyes wide open, run with our hearts and eat like theres no tomorrow. Monkey life is sometimes the best
Link us/Play with us/Feed us: cumidanciki at gmail dotcom .
Twitter us: Agentcikay .
Disclaimer : everything written in this blog is based on the writers' moods, personal opinions and impressions... thank you !