Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Octoberfestavali (Coined by Cheng Yi) 2009

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Octoberfestavali, a most appropriate Malaysian celebration, combines Octoberfest (where Germans' drink) and Deepavali, which of course, the Hindus in our community have just celebrated; a triumph of good over evil. And with apologies to our Hindu brethren, we felt that alcohol is always a good cleanser especially when you consume copious amounts of the good spirits...of single malt. To that end, FBB organises a party to end all parties. A party that will go down in the annals (please don't twist that word FBB) of flogger history, at least in our own little corner of Flogdom, as one of the most hip and happening dos that we've ever had.

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It turned out that it was Frat Mustard's birthday as well. An occasion he had celebrated over the weekend (with tequila) even before he got to the official Octoberfestavali do. Nothing a little hair of the dog didn't cure. Although, his ever enduring wife, Mrs Frat Mustard seemed to be quite understanding of the hijinx hubby got up to. It was also an honour to met Mrs Frat for the first time. I was beginning to think he deliberately hid her from us. ;-) Frat, please bring Mrs Frat for all future dos.

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FBB, Jun of Cordon Bleu-Rousillon-St Pierre fame, and Joe, who very generously brought along some great "chi pau kei", provided the food and some of the best Chicken Pie I've ever had. Flaky puff pastry, creamy filling filled with chunks of chicken.

FBB also made a great cake he named specially for Frat. Filled with cream and little seeds of passion fruit, not surprisingly called Jack Off Pavlova. Nangka, passion fruit and cream is truly a combination from the mind of a passionate genius. There were LOTS of little seeds. Considering Frat has twins, I thought it was rather appropo.

My Allan also brought a lovely test cake. I hope I will soon be able to put that up on my Just Heavenly Menu. We're thinking of calling it Chocolate Threesome or Chocolate Trilogy. Although for obvious reasons, the former would be certain to tickle peoples' fancy more. A layer of Chocolate Souffle Cake eaten cold (so it's slightly fudgy), a layer of chocolate mousse, and topped with a layer of white chocolate mousse. Ummm...nothing like Chocolate smeared all over your tongue and over your tastebuds and down your throat. It certainly starts making you ooze all sorts of endorphins.

The food and/or occasions that we find to have parties are really more excuses to gather with a group of crazy, loving, generous souls who revel in each others' company and just generally have a whale of a time when they breathe the same air. We laugh, mostly. Drink, a lot. And then promptly do it again the very next time an opportunity presents itself. Food blogging has never been more fun.


Especially, when it's really about the people.

Bangkok - from the mundane to the sublime

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Roll 1043We indulged in the whole spectrum.

From Pizza in a chain restaurant all the way to Royal Thai.Roll 1044

From Grasshopper street food to Ruen Mallika.

And Pad Thai in a "Thai Gourmet" place (very ordinary) in Emporium Mall to Jim Thompson's Restaurant on the river.

And of course, the obligatory Sticky Rice with Mango, which, when all was said and done, was disappointing. The best I'd ever had was from a street vendor in Phuket many years ago in a different life. The sticky rice was soft, but chewy, and creamy with that coconutty flavour and the mango was perfectly ripe. Sweet. Succulent. Sigh.

MK Restaurants provides a great, healthy hotpot but this hotpot can be found anywhere in Asia. The only differentiating thing was the unctuous sauce. But even then you know it wasn't authentic Thai Roll 1045but had Thai accents. Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet.Roll 1046

The cakes in the higher end malls were surprisingly good if surprisingly expensive. Take away counters abounded, even our own Secret Recipe was there. But prices ranged from RM7.50 to RM12. And this for take away joints. Sit in and you could comfortably add another 20% to 30% to that.Roll 1047

If there is one thing I absolutely must do when I'm in Bangkok (besides scoping out for fresh sites to see) it's the pandan coconut that you can pick up from a street vendor for 20Baht or RM2. Divine. Slightly smoked. Ice cold. On a hot Bangkok day, it's the closest thing to standing under a cool, cascading, waterfall.

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Ruen Mallika
189 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok 10110

MK Restaurants
They're all over. We went to the one in MBK

The Pizza Company
Also all over Bangkok

The Emporium Bangkok
A High end shopping mall which has a decent food court and desserts

Voting for Nuffnang Awards now over

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Thanks for all who participated in the recently concluded Nuffnang Awards. Results will be announced on Friday 23 October 2009. I'm sort of assuming the results will be listed on Nuffnang's award website.

Fingers crossed for Lyrical Lemongrass and her blog A Whiff Of Lemongrass!

All the best Ms L!

Vote for www.awhiffoflemongrass.com for BEST FOOD BLOG

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

We're in the home stretch.

Alilfatmonkey, who's neither little, nor fat, created the badge you see on the left.

Nuffnang is closing the voting on 11 October. So as of today, we have less than 2 days left to vote for the BEST FOOD BLOG for the Region.

I thoroughly believe that Lyrical Lemongrass deserves the nod.

Yes, she's a friend. But if you read her blog you will know that she's passionate about her subject, is honest yet diplomatic, and has a hunky hubby! ;-)

What more could you ask for? So go to http://awards.nuffnang.com/votes.php and vote for an original!

Ensure you vote for ALL the categories. Or your vote won't be counted.

Elegant Inn, Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P Ramlee

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Roll 70It was fantastic to meet someone so passionate about food. Jeanette Han, one of the owners of The Elegant Inn asked Kris of weddingsmalaysia.com to invite some wedding planners to review their new private rooms. Ann Lee, ever efficient AND insisting that we do a better job than her charming people, dragged us along. I think that's her ruse for company really. ;-) We get to Elegant Inn and it's obvious the waiters' have been briefed. We are ushered into a pleasant room, furnished quietly but well, Roll 701and we meet Jeanette, who immediately takes charge of the afternoon, informing us, very breezily, of the changes that have taken place and the food that we are about to eat as well as the nuances of their philosophy on food. In short, she definitely leans toward slow food but as realistically as it can be applied in Malaysia. Provenance of food is obviously important and contrasts and balance of flavour, as well as texture, and presentation are all meticulously taken into account. We started out with some awesome starters and if I go into detail about every course, we'll be writing a thesis. So instead, I will let Roll 702the photos do the talking and I will elaborate on dishes I particularly enjoyed. I should say that I enjoyed all the dishes but in the interests of brevity, I will go ahead and highlight the exceptional ones.I was thoroughly impressed as to the delicacy of the presentation. Very contemporary and flavours were very well balanced and textures made it very interesting on the palate. I absolutely adored the soup. Sweet corn on the cob, pork ribs, figs, and all sorts of good stuff crammed this bowl to the extent that the soup was sweet, savoury, meaty, and everything a good cantonese broth Roll 703should be. There are a few types of soups in the Chinese pantheon of cuisine. Your clear soups (which are simmered for hours and hours) and the thickened "kang" which uses this broth and thickens it with arrowroot starch. I'm a good Eurasian/Cantonese boy. And I LOVEADORE a good soup. And this was one heckuva doozy! Next came the Kobe Beef which was like...repeat after me...BUDDAH!. Omigod. "Melt on your tongue" has this picture of it next to the definition in the dictionary. Just amazing. Desserts, a particular favourite of mine, also featured largely in this spread. Some interesting, others Roll 704yummy, but always with that particular emphasis on taste, texture, provenance, and presentation. All in all HIGHLY RECOMMENDED but expect to pay a premium. Having said that, all their prosaic dishes are very affordable and you should be able to get away with a generous weekday meal here at around RM50 to RM60 per person.

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In an email from Kezia of Elegant Inn, she had this to say :-)

"The lunch menu was RM1076+, for your info Kobe was almost half the bill and by normal standard we have also overordered the desserts. This menu is also suitable for dinner, with Kobe RM120+, without Kobe RM65+ per pax.
Lunching at Elegant Inn, with dim sum averaging RM30-40+ per pax and dinner is from RM60+ per pax or less for simple dinner."

Not bad really. Again the food was yummy!

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P. Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2070 9399