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Friday AUGUST 10, 2012 S AT I S F Y I N G












E&O Group Creative Chef Steve Allen, a Gordon Ramsay protege is known for his simple yet impressive cooking. Here he shares two of his creations inspired by our local fruits.



coconut pannacotta 200ml coconut milk 60ml milk 40g caster sugar 1 pinch salt 1 heaped teaspoon (6g) gelatine powder pandan pannacotta 45ml milk 185ml UHT whipping cream 35g caster sugar 1 heaped teaspoon (6g) gelatine powder 15g pandan leaf 35ml water poached rambutans 100ml water 50g caster sugar zest and juice of ½ lemon zest and juice of ½ calamansi lime (limau kasturi) 12 rambutans, peeled, seeded and cut into slices (see recipe tester Karen Tan’s tip on how to slice) 6 raspberries, cut into quarters



Crave Editor

In this issue, local fruits are highlighted by English chef Steve Allen. The talented young man who came to Asia to discover new tastes, has definitely wowed everyone with his food that he cooks up at Dish in Dua Annexe, Jalan Tun Razak. With his two recipes using rambutans and jackfruits, our recipe tester Karen Tan is hooked on them. She reckons the spiced jackfruit will be perfect in a green salad with some cooling cucumber shreds. Our columnist Eu Hooi Khaw also shares the many uses of the tangy lemon and a delicious dense and moist Lemon tea bread. For the dining scene, the two year old Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental Hotel freshens up their menu with seasonal ingredients. Eu Hooi Khaw is also enamoured with Namaste’s Indian food that she can’t help returning back again and again. It is the same as how we feel with Swich Cafe, a weekly visit is a must. Let me know what you think, email me at khangyi@ Bon Appetit!

ADVERTISING SALES Rajan Gopal Senior Manager, Direct & Classifieds Direct line: 03 74951282

Taster Comments:

Making this dual flavoured pannacotta takes a bit of care and attention, but what a reward you get with the end result that looks and tastes good! The beautiful layers of the rich coconut cream and fragrant pandan pannacotta are set at the perfect “wobble”, and the flavour of the creamy pannacotta is offset by the sweet and tangy pair of poached rambutans and raspberries. A winning dessert to make for a special occasion.” KAREN TAN, HR Manager

to set the pandan layer. To prepare poached rambutans: In a small pot, bring to boil water, sugar, zest and juice from lemon and lime. Pour hot liquid over rambutans. Leave to cool. To serve: Dip the ramekins in hot water. Tip pannacotta onto a small plate. Mix the raspberries with the poached rambutans. Garnish pannacotta with rambutans and raspberries, spooning the poaching liquid over it. – Recipe by Steve Allen, Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.

Note: Ramekins measuring 120ml was used for this recipe.

Tip from our recipe tester, Karen Tan:

“Unless you have advanced knife skills, rambutans are not very easy to peel from their seeds. You will end up with a bowl of mushy bits of flesh with a layer of the papery skin and a lot of juice. Instead, slice the rambutan flesh from either side of the seed just like a mango to get nice flat slices without the papery skin. Just divide the rambutan flesh into two slices and use them in the recipe.”

FOOD bites

To prepare soup: Bring to boil vegetable stock and cardamom seeds. Remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Pass through with a fine sieve and discard cardamom pods. Sweat the carrots in olive oil and butter until carrots are cooked and soft. Add stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat. Puree in a food processor and pass through a fine sieve, discarding any solids. Season with salt to taste. To serve: Pour soup into four bowls. Strain the jackfruit from its liquid. Scatter on top of the soup and serve immediately. – Recipe by Steve Allen. Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.

DECADENT Dark chocolate sphere

NEW FLAVOURS AT THE MANDARIN GRILL Open since February 2010, the contemporary Mandarin Grill at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur has recently gone through a menu revamp. In its latest tweaking, the focus is on fresh seasonal ingredients and less complicated flavours. “We only want to cook with 4-5 flavours using seasonal produce from Europe,” says Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur Executive Sous Chef Reiner Lupfer. The menu also features an unusual fish, the dorade from Mediterranean waters. The fish is favoured for its rich succulent flesh. Expect to dine on Black Angus

spiced jackfruit 50g grated palm sugar (gula Melaka) 120ml water 100g jackfruit, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices ½ chopped red chilli ½ chopped bird-eye chilli (cili padi) 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced 1 tablespoon roughly chopped coriander leaves soup 6 cardamom pods, crushed 600ml vegetable stock 50g butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 600g carrots, peeled and grated 1 heaped tablespoon UHT whipping cream salt to taste

ouble d a Make dan TIP: ch of pan ender bat n the bl e i h juice extract tn juice to t gree an . fragr properly

To prepare pannacotta: Start with the coconut layer. Bring all the ingredients to a boil over medium heat, apart from the gelatin powder. Once it is boiling, quickly take it off the heat, and whisk in the gelatin powder until it dissolves. Divide the mixture into the four ramekins. Leave to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until set. Next make the pandan layer. Bring all the ingredients to the boil except pandan leaves, water and gelatin powder. Take off from the heat, add the gelatin powder and whisk. In a food processor, blend pandan leaves and water and pass through a fine sieve to extract the pandan juice. Combine the pandan juice with the pannacotta mixture. Leave to cool, then pour on top of the coconut pannacotta layer. Chill


beef carpaccio topped with sautéed wood mushrooms, Parmesan cheese shavings and pesto. Or opt for the Pan seared river prawns accompanied with a spring vegetable salad lightly sprinkled with a paprika dressing. From the mains, a good choice is the tender Organic lamb served with tortellini, celeriac puree with an aromatic Balinese pepper sauce. For heavier palates, go for the fork-tender Angus beef short ribs with morel mushrooms, kohlrabi and potato puree. End with a show-stopping dessert of the Dark chocolate sphere

that opens up with hot chocolate sauce to reveal a yoghurt sorbet center, passionfruit and almond crumble. According to Chef Lupfer, the dessert is said to originate from Dubai. For those who prefer less flash, go for the flaky perfection of the Granny smith apple tart paired with crème fraiche sorbet. Mandarin Grill is open from 12pm-2.30pm for lunch, 7pm to 10.30pm for dinner. A four-course set menu is also available for RM285++ per person. For reservations, contact 03-23808888 or email mokul-mogrillbar@mohg. com





In the Kitchen KEEPING IT LOCAL Former head honcho of Gordon Ramsay at Claridges in London, Steve Allen is fitting in nicely in Malaysia. The Ramsay protégé who moved to Asia to discover new flavours and ingredients, is now attached with the E&O Group, as their new creative chef. In England, his food philosophy was local seasonal ingredients. Here, he practices the same, often coming up with some unusual and rewarding matches of our local produce in his food. Since arriving here six months ago, Allen has explored many local ingredients including our refreshing fruits. In charge of creating the menu at Dish at Dua Residency, Allen loves to dabble with these fruits, reincarnating them in his menu. One of his favourites is the mangosteen. “It tastes like a sweet white peach,” he says. He pairs the delicate white fruit, in a puree and granite form, with a light mousse made with sweet basil, white chocolate and mascarpone. Unfortunately, durian is not on his favourite list having tasted a strong cheesy one in his first introduction to the pungent fruit.

with Eu Hooi Khaw

In Allen’s recipes, his Pandan and coconut pannacotta was inspired by kuih talam, the steamed version made with rice flour, coconut milk and pandan extract. His interpretation is to capture, the same flavours of pandan and coconut, in a wobbly pannacotta. He tops it with a mix of fruits: rambutan and raspberries, both lightly poached in the tart syrup. Allen’s Carrot and cardamom soup gets an unusual topping of a lightly pickled jackfruit. The sweet pungent fruit is infused with a mix of palm sugar, chillies, coriander and kaffir lime leaves to give it an mild spicy taste with hints of citrus. In both recipes, he poaches the fruits in hot liquid that cooks it slightly to soften the texture. Since the sweet taste of the jackfruit reminds him of sweet golden Indian mangoes, he also uses au naturel with chocolate mousse, raspberry sorbet and shortbread crumbs. Catch Steve Allen and his menu creations at Dish, Dua Annexe, 213, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, 03-21641286. For more details, see

A LOT of food tastes better when you add tangy lemon juice or rind to it. Think raw oysters and lemon, grilled fish with a squeeze of the citron and salads. A drink of lemon juice and honey is good for you if you are suffering from a sore throat. Have a glass of water every morning with lemon in it and it will cleanse your liver. Squeeze a little lemon juice over a cut apple, banana or avocado and it will keep it from discolouring. After squeezing the juice out, the lemons can be rubbed over glass surfaces. Go over the glass with newsprint, and it will be sparkling clean. This small round yellow fruit has a myriad uses, most of them healthy. Lemons and oranges kept the sailors of Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama from getting scurvy, a debilitating disease arising from a Vitamin C deficiency. Lemons actually originated from Asia, probably from India. Arab traders carried lemons, limes and oranges to eastern Africa and the Middle East between AD 100 and 700. When the Arabs occupied Spain, lemons began to appear in southern Europe. From Europe they were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus. By the 18th century lemons were everywhere. Now the leading producers of

lemons are the USA, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Greece, and Turkey. A lemon tree (its scientific name is citrus limon) may bear as many as 3,000 lemons annually. Lemons are high in ascorbic acid and a rich source of vitamin C, some vitamin A and B1. It is one of the top sources of potassium that aids in normalising blood pressure and keeping the heart healthy. The white part of the lemon yields bioflavonoids that keep the blood vessels and capillaries in tip top condition. Just adding lemon juice and zest to your potatoes, salads and cooked vegetables reduces the need for salt and oil. If you have extra lemons on hand and want to save them before they spoil, squeeze the juice into an icecube tray and freeze it. To get the most juice from a lemon, warm it in hot water, or microwave it for 15 to 30 seconds. Then roll the fruit under your palm on the table until it feels soft.


Taster Comments:

I love that a simple hearty carrot soup was brought to life by the Asian zing of the spicy jackfruit. The unusual combination of ingredients produced a surprisingly good play on flavour and mix of textures from the thick creamy vegetable soup and the slight crunch from the spicy fruit strips.” KAREN TAN, HR Manager



2 large lemons 255g plain flour, sifted 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted 3/4 teaspoon salt 270g caster sugar 195g unsalted butter, chilled and diced 3 large eggs 250ml milk 30g almond flakes

TANTALISING: Organic lamb

LIGHT AND FLAKY: Grannysmith apple tart

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease the sides and line the base of a 21.5cmx 10cm loaf pan with greased greaseproof paper. Grate lemons to obtain 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and squeeze them to obtain 140ml lemon juice. In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted ingredients with salt and sugar. Cut in butter using two butter knives or a pastry cutter, till the mixture

resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and stir in milk, then the lemon juice. The mixture will thicken a little. Stir and combine with flour mixture to form a batter with some lumps. There is no need to smooth the batter, as the lumps will melt in the heat. Pour the mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle the surface with almonds. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into it comes out clean. If the top of the cake gets brown too fast, cover with a double piece of baking paper to prevent it from getting burnt. Cool in pan or on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn on to a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices to serve. This makes a moist and dense cake that is perfect with a cup of tea.




IT’S my seventh visit to Namaste ever since I discovered the Indian food there to be good, with some unusual dishes I have not seen in other restaurants of its kind. And ever since it moved to new premises just further down the road where they used to be, service has certainly improved. The plain briyani rice (RM7.90) here is hard to resist – perfectly steamed, fluffy and tinged with saffron. To go with it, my favourite

TANGY and tasty: Lemon rice

SLOPPY but yummy: The Beef & the Barbie


dishes have to be the Pudina chicken curry (RM17.90) and lately, the Chicken masala Namaste special (RM17.90). On my most recent trip there, eating on my own, I ordered Lemon rice (RM9.90), Chicken varuval (RM13.90) and Deepfried bittergourd (RM9.90). The Deepfried bittergourd was covered in a red coloured batter, making the vegetable unrecognizable. I would have much preferred it without batter. The last time I had eaten Deepfried cauliflower here, done in the same style, and it tasted so good, mainly because the vegetable was chunky and didn’t taste like there was more batter than vegetable as was the case with the thinly sliced bittergourd. For me the next best thing to the Chicken masala was the Chicken varuval. All the recognisable spices were there in the Chicken varuval–cardamom, star anise and cloves – in all their pungency, with curry leaves to boot. The tender knobs of chicken smothered in a dark, spicy sauce tasted wonderful with the Lemon rice. As for the Chicken Masala, the aroma

comfortable place: The restaurant comes with free wifi

of the spices just whooshed up as you ate the curry. I loved it. Each time I visit, the Mushroom pepper fry Kerala style (RM17.90) is a popular choice. These button mushrooms dipped in a light spiced batter and deep-fried, then tossed with some chopped onions, fried dried chillies, ground black pepper and curry leaves were awesome. The plump round chillies glistening with oil invited a bite, and the zing zipped to my face and I found myself perspiring. They were certainly fragrant, and reminded me of a certain Mexican chilli. The light batter and the mushrooms melded together, and the mushroom’s sweet juices spurted out. I’m a rice person when it comes to Namaste. I have eaten the naan and puri here, but for a good carbohydrate fix, there is nothing like the briyani rice, or in this case, Lemon rice. It’s steamed briyani rice stirred with a lemon sauce. Again those round fried dried chillies appeared, and digging into the rice,

colourful: More Mojo salad


I found cashew nuts. You get a welcoming citrusy sourness in the rice, which can be eaten on its own. I asked for some curry sauce to go with it, and they obligingly gave me a fish curry that matched it marvelously. The portions here are rather big. A bowl of briyani or Lemon rice can feed three people. The puri is as big as a large round plate (23cm diameter). In another visit with friends, the Mutton Rogan Josh (RM18.90) was delicious, with the tender meat soaking in the garam masala spice. We ended with the Rava kesari (RM4.90). It’s semolina simmered in ghee and cardamom pods, together with almonds and cashew nut. Served warm, it’s a pudding that’s easy to like.


PUNGENT AND SPICY: Chicken varuval

MUST ORDER: Mushroom Pepper fry Kerala style

LIGHT SWEET: Rava kesari

Namaste, 34, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, 03-7724 1195, Open daily: 7am to 11pm. Breakfast of thosai, naan and paratha is served from 7am to 12pm.

HONEST GOOD FOOD Occasionally, you come across cafes opened by passionate individuals like former lawyer Lim Cheng Cheng. Swich Café is one such place, born out of a love of good food. Walk up the stairs from the office lobby, and discover this cosy spot where white tables and chairs are highlighted with warm yellow lights. The menu is made up of pastas, salads, pizzas and sandwiches, mostly Western fare with some incorporating local flavours like chicken rendang, tomyum chicken, pomelo salad. A lunch special rotates weekly that is updated on their Facebook page. Good ingredients underpin the quality of the dishes here, such as premium French Valrhona chocolate and Lescure. The Beef & the Barbie (RM17.90) came highly recommended. Eat it slowly, as the slow cooked pulled beef with BBQ sauce, topped with apple Dijon slaw and the sesame bun, can be a sloppy mess. Nevertheless, the little mess is worth it as the meat is tender with a moreish kick. Lim made the BBQ sauce herself from scratch, a sweeter and more natural version from the bottled one. The Smokin’ Salmon (RM16.90), uses cumin smoked salmon and whole grain mustard The sandwich is rounded up with a side salad. The muesli bread it is served with gives it a nice texture. Squeeze a little of the grilled limes on the side for a tangy kick, to alleviate the rich taste of the salmon. The riot of red jewel-like pomegranates in our More Mojo (RM15.90) salad beckoned us to dive in. The salad lived up up

cOSY: The cafe is bathed in a pleasant yellow light

to its “mojo” name, as it definitely spiced up our lunch. The mix of goodies such as dried figs, toasted spiced walnuts, pomegranates and sliced pears, perked up the leafy greens and shredded carrots, tossed in a dressing made with pomegranate molasses. The Walnut pine nut pesto pasta (RM16.90) was generously tossed with the delicious pesto, halved walnuts and pine nuts on the side. Even without any meat, the dish was rather substantial and came with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese. Desserts, all house-made, include tributes to our local heroes, durian and cempedak. Expect to find the King of fruits on different levels of “durianness”, as Lim describes them. From the light Hokkaido cakes with durian Chantilly cream, to the serious durian lover version, encased in a baked cheesecake. One bite of her Valrhona chocolate truffle with its creamy durian cream cheese center had us asking for more. Sadly we understand

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the truffles were an experiment but Lim plans to recreate them in a tart form. With the Swich Tutti Frutti cake (RM9.90), the pungent cempedak aroma is tempered with a layer of lime frosting. Freshness is the key to this lovely cake. Only upon your order, is it topped with freshly diced mangoes, toasted coconut flakes and drizzled with some lime syrup. She also makes wickedly good homemade butter salt caramel, a recipe she is still tweaking and experimenting with. We are definitely returning to this place to try more goodies. Fingers crossed they relocate to a nearby Bangsar mall for easier access but in the meanwhile, we don’t mind taking some time off work for a leisurely lunch to enjoy the good food. Swich Café, M-01, Floor, Block B, HP Jalan Gelanggang, Heights, 018-5995152, 5.30pm. Closed on and Sundays.

Mezzanine Tower, 12, Damansara Open:8amSaturdays

10 August 2012  

The Malay Mail, The Crave, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya , local fruits are highlighted by English chef Steve Allen. The talented yo...

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