Showing posts with label flour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flour. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2013


Tucked away in a discreet corner of Publika, few people realise this rather snazzy Cocobar & Kitchen Club Lounge adorned with billowy, satiny drapes and shiny patterned steel finish feature walls serve some of the tastiest West African fare in this part of the city.
Lolling comfortably on one of the sectional lounges, plush sofas and ottomans, we warmed up to the place with some of the house cocktails rustled up by the bartender (or mixologist as they are known nowadays).
Pink Pussy to add a blush to your face...a mixture of milk, grenadine, triple sec & vodka

Sexy Lesley to tickle your cocktail fancy
We were tickled pink by some of the concoctions' racy names such as Sexy Lesley and Pink Pussy but if you feel prudish asking for them, try more sedate-sounding Chocotini or Sea Breeze. Most of the cocktails  are priced from RM20 onwards. Cocobar also has an extensive range of shooters, wine, beer, liquor and champagne to boost your spirits up all night long.
Sea Breeze to ensure your evening at Cocobar remains smooth sailing
Should you feel peckish, keep hunger pangs at bay with light & easy finger food such as Hot & Spicy Mexican Chicken (RM15 - 6 pcs) - chicken wings coated in a piquantly tangy-fiery sauce. Think Tex-Mex buffalo wings with enticing hints of full-bodied sweetness. They are so scrumptious you'd pick the bones clean.
Fiery Mexican Chicken to set your tastebuds ablaze
The Coco's Spicy Gizzard (RM15) is another conversation stopper. It is amazing how a coarse, tongue-searing blend of chilli, garlic and African spices can transform such humble 'spare parts' into such sublime, mind-blowing morsels. A definite 'must try' if you're big on gizzard.
Guzzle on these delectable gizzards
Being the ignoramuses that we are, Cocobar owner Andy Daniel told us that chilli peppers, spices and herbs are prevalently used in West African cooking especially in Nigeria. Surprisingly, rice is a staple too besides maize (corn).
Rice and shine out of Western Africa
Proof of the pudding can be found in Cocobar's African Fried Rice Special (RM45) which is as different as chalk and cheese from our local version. You'd have to wait a good 45 minutes to an hour for it but trust me, the dish is well worth the wait. A platter of golden saffron yellow, every grain of the rice is suffused with deep-seated flavour. Apparently, its painstaking preparation requires the rice to be par-boiled and washed several times before the rest of the other ingredients are added. Studded with bits of sausage and mixed vegetable, the rice is complemented by fried plantain and a big chunk of fried fish on the side. Being the rice fiends that we are, we left no grain unfinished.
A real hooker of a fish to tantalise you
Like the proverbial saying not to judge a book by its cover, we learned not to judge a Grilled Whole Seabass with Plantain (RM85 with two glasses of red or white wine) by its plain appearance. Topped with some raw, fresh onion rings alongside green peli chilli sauce and mayonnaise, the fish reeled us in with its inherent sweetness. Marinated with chilli, onion and some stock before grilling, it made for very good eating when complemented by the creamy, sweat-inducing hot dips and nectar-sweet caramelised plantain.
Culture in a bowl...a collision of textures & flavours in the Egusi & Poundo combo
More adventurous eaters may like to sample Egusi with Poundo (RM35 & RM45), a typical West African soup. A far cry from the usual watery or creamy broths that we're familiar with, egusi is thick and grainy due to its base of ground melon seeds. Scented with spices and blended with smoked fish, boiled cow skin, spinach and chilli, it is eaten with poundo.
Traditionally made of pounded white yam (Dioscorea rotunda), the modern version simply calls for the mixing of processed yam powder with water to form rotund, dense loaves that looks like oversized Indian idli. On its own, poundo is completely tasteless with a heavy, starchy texture. You'd have to take bite-size portions of it and eat with the curd-like egusi, to let the egusi's melange of explosive accents to shine through.

Game for a real West African culinary adventure? Then Cocobar is a dark horse that's worth hedging your bets on.

COCO BAR &KITCHEN CLUB LOUNGE, Block D4-G4-9, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6211 0708

Friday, May 24, 2013


Colourful serapes, sombreros, paper marche balls and Mexican flags decked the rustic interior of Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar to mark the restaurant's 1st Anniversary celebrations on 11 May 2013.
Local media members were treated to typical Mexican fare at the pre-celebratory bash after Mexican Deputy Head of Mission, Mrs. Lourdes Sosa Marquez (Charge d’Affaires, a.i.) spoke about the wondrous attractions, vibrant Mexican heritage and culture that await visitors. 
Fun facts about Mexico:
  • It's 5 times the size of Malaysia with tropical to desert climate
  • The country in Americas with most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - 31 sites and 8 elements in the Intangible Cultural Heritage list
Executive Chef BB also demonstrated how to whip up a classic Guacamole while enterprising owner Jan Lim passed around ingredients fresh and dried chillies such as ancho, pasilla, poblanos and jalapenos, and tomatillo for us to take a closer look.

Tortilla chips with the chef's chunky Guacamole soon got us chomping at the bit for more. Interestingly, the chips were thinner and smoother than commercially produced ones and tasted way better. Especially when it's laden with the creamy avocado dip.
The sienna hued Sopa de Tortilla looked deceptively thick and unctuous but in reality was surprisingly light on the palate; its tanginess rounded off by a dollop of crumbly cheese that was added to it prior to serving.
Then delectable servings of Tacos Alambre (warm, fluffy soft corn tortillas filled with grilled beef and poblano chilli) and Sopes de Frijol (Mexican street snack of corn flour pastry discs topped with tomato salsa) warmed our hearts and tummies. 
Camarones al Ajillo (tiger prawns with guajillo chilli and garlic) bestowed an unexpected albeit welcomed sweetness to these moreish bites.
Representatives from the Mexican Embassy, members of the Latin American community and Fresca’s regular guests were invited to Fresca's fiesta-style party on the following night.
It was a befitting bash for Fresca; proof that Tex-Mex fajitas, quesadillas and burritos as well as more traditional Mexican delicacies such as ceviche, sopes and carne asada have a following in KL. 

The Fresca also rustles up some of the best margaritas in town, either frozen or on the rocks. Classy cocktails - Fresca Colada and Cinco de Mayo, a drink named after the famous Mexican holiday, and non-alcoholic Mexican coolers known as “agua frescas” are equally popular among their patrons.

Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar Lot G242A (Ground floor) The Gardens Mall, Midvalley 03-2201 2893 Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm Friday – Saturday: 11am – Late

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I love yam cake! So do my family and countless friends who share an ardent love for this simple, traditional delight.

When Babe KL invited me to be part of her virtual 55th Merdeka Open House themed Uniquely Malaysia, I thought yam cake fits the bill. After all, I haven't seen yam cake sold in any other country except perhaps in Singapore?

I first learned to make it in 2009 after my Mom revealed her yearning for this humble but tasty treat. You can buy yam cake from certain stalls in the local pasar (market) and a handful of restaurants but we found that most of them barely have any yam in it. Don't know about you but I prefer my yam cake with just the right consistency studded with visible yam dices. I also hate it when the topping is bare frills at best with a stingy sprinkling of chopped spring onion, chilli and fried shallot.

So I resorted to make yam cake at home and it turned out to be easier than I thought! For those of you who want to try your hand at making it - here's the recipe which I have adapted slightly from Rohani Jelani's recipe book called Hawker's Favourites.

Last year I made pans of yam cake for sale, to raise funds for a friend's Climb of Hope where all proceeds went to National Cancer Society. Hmmm...perhaps it's time I make some in celebration of our 55 years of Merdeka.

For what's being served for Babe KL's Merdeka Open House, check out:


800g yam
6 shallots
2 tbsp dried prawns
2 tsp salt
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
200g rice flour
5 tbsp tapioca flour
800 ml water
1/2 tsp alkali water

5 tbsp fried shallot
1 tbsp fried dried prawn
3 stalks spring onion (chopped)
2 red chilli (sliced)
1 tbsp choy poh (sweet preserved vegetable)

Sweet & Savoury Bean Sauce
2 tbsp taucheo (salted soya bean paste)
2 tbsp sugar
100 ml water
1/2 tbsp oil

Peel skin from yam and cut into dices. Steam yam dices over boiling heat for 20-30 minutes until soft. Once ready, remove and set aside.

Slice shallot and saute with dried prawns until shallot turns slightly brown. Add in yam dices and stir-fry quickly. Add salt, five-spice and pepper powder. Stir evenly and remove from heat.

Mix rice flour, tapioca flour and water in a pot until mixture is lump-free. Add in alkali water and stir evenly. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring frequently until batter thickens into custard-like consistency.

Add in yam dices into the batter and mix everything thoroughly. Pour into a metal cake pan and even out the surface. Steam yam cake over high heat for 30 minutes until cooked.

Once ready, turn off heat and remove yam cake from steamer to cool. Sprinkle garnishing ingredients on top of yam cake once it has cooled down completely. Cut into diamond-shaped squares to serve.

To make sauce, mix taucheo with sugar and water. Heat a little oil in pan and pour in mixture. Bring to boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. Serve with yam cake.

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