Monday, 30 January 2017

Experimenting With Reunion Dishes

     Hubby was away in Kelantan for several days. Needless to say, I missed him a lot and was also worried about him, as the flood situation there was worsening. Praise God for journeying with him and bringing him home safely. 
     As Chinese New Year was only two days away and I was already on holiday, I decided to prepare a simple reunion dinner for the two of us. They were both new recipes in my kitchen so I decided to spice things up a little by giving the two dishes glamorous names.
Golden Balls of Prosperity
     Golden Balls of Prosperity are actually marinated minced pork and shallots rolled into little balls, before being dipped into beaten egg, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried. These balls were a great hit with hubby.
Abundant Treasures in the foreground
     Abundant Treasures is, in reality, a common vegetarian dish served during Chinese New Year and other occasions. The treasures include vermicelli, mushrooms, long cabbage, black moss (fatt choy) and dried beancurd skin, all of which are braised with oyster sauce and fermented bean curd (nam yue).

     It was not an elaborate reunion dinner but it meant a lot to me to have hubby back home again, and enjoying my cooking. Gong Xi Fa Cai, darling!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Enjoying Delicious Food And Reasonable Prices In A Cosy Ambience

This post should have been written one and a half years ago, to share this wondrous gem with more people. I have been spreading the word by mouth and even taking dear friends to dine there. I have also given it a 5-star rating in my TripAdvisor review. Now it's time to rave about it in my blog.
Maiale is located at 5, Jalan Datuk Yeoh Cheng Lee
Delicate greens on the frontage of Maiale

Business hours for all to see

The cosy interior

     Owned and run by a young couple, Maiale brings pasta with a difference to Ipoh. If you are expecting the ordinary bolognese, you'll be sorely disappointed. Chef Sato has many unique concoctions up his sleeve and brings even the ordinary bolognese or aglio olio to a higher tastier level.  I find myself returning and returning and try out all his different pasta concoctions with Japanese touches.
     My mum and I had a sumptuous Sunday lunch here today. We chose to have their Pranzo Set A, starting off with their creamy mushroom soup. It was served with scrumptious bread and bun, lovingly made by Chef Sato and his sweet wife, ZeAnn. As you slurp the soup, you can smell the aroma of the mushrooms, and you are assured that only the finest ingredients have been used. We also love the vinegar and olive oil dip for the breads.
The starter
We both chose to have the Scallop Aglio OIio today. Twirling the strands of freshly made spaghetti and savouring every mouthful, we marvelled at how sweet the scallops are. Unlike aglio olios served at some restaurants, Maiale's version is not oily but had the right balance of everything.
The main course and my cup of Earl Grey (also included in the set lunch)
Whenever we dine at Maiale, dessert is another much-anticipated course as their desserts are to-die-for. Mum opted for their panna cotta today. Panna cotta is the Italian version of custard. Having had their tiramisu on the previous occasion, my choice of dessert today was their semifreddo, an Italian ice cream. Mum's spoon kept making its way over to my mango, passionfruit and raspberry semifreddo!
Panna cotta with fruit sauce (pic taken on another visit)

The heavenly dessert of semifreddo with tomato jam
     To think that Maiale's main dishes start and end with pasta would be doing the restaurant a grave injustice. I once tried their wagyu beef (can't remember the name of the dish) and was impressed. A friend, who has been there, highly recommends their grilled sakura pork with pineapple sauce. The name "Maiale", by the way, is the Italian word for "pig". Hence, you will find plenty of porky pasta dishes here and loads of cute piggy decor around. We, Ipoh folks, are so blessed to have such delicious food at reasonable prices.

Adorable piggies climbing the stairs, all lovingly knitted by ZeAnn's mum

Happy piggies bought from Chiangmai 

My favourite tomato gratin soup on another occasion

For vegetarians, this Portobello Mushroom pasta is excellent!

Seafood Aglio Olio is in Maiale's dinner menu
Maiale's pasta with sakura pork in sesame cream will delight any oink oink fan

                                          Mentaiko Cream pasta...simply yummylicious

A slice of Maiale's tiramisu for dessert
Houjicha creme brûlée in a cute glass egg cup

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Enthusing Over "Real British Food" In Ipoh

Maria's is open daily from 5 to 11.30 p.m., except Mondays.
     Upon Lee Lean’s recommendation, we chose to dine at Maria’s SteakCafe at Greentown Business Centre for our regular meet-up. Unlike many eateries that have mushroomed up and soon dwindled away, Maria’s has been loyally serving Ipoh folk for about 16 years. It was the result of a couple’s dream to share good food with the people. Maria Tan and her late husband, Philip, picked up kitchen secrets from their travels around the world, and set up this eatery in the early 2000s. Maria’s now has two branches in KL.
     Browsing through the dog-eared menu (proof of how long this establishment has been in the business, and how popular it is), I was torn between two British favourites --- Fish And Chips and Bangers And Mash. I was attracted to the Fish And Chips because they use grouper, instead of dory. Fabian helped me to make up my mind when he ordered Bangers And Mash. When in doubt where British fare is concerned, ape the English gentleman! Derrick too decided to follow suit. Although Lee Lean usually favours Maria’s famous steaks, she opted for the Fish And Chips for a change. She generously let me have a taste, and it was really good. I’m definitely ordering this the next time round. Having said that, the Bangers And Mash was also extremely tasty.
Derrick's Mushroom Soup...simply heavenly!

Lamb and veal sausages for my Bangers And Mash (love the little pot of mustard)

Lee Lean's Fish And Chips was incredibly yummy

     I can now understand why Fabian was so excited when he first ate at Maria’s. He calls the food served there “real British food”, giving him a genuine taste of home. I too now know exactly where to go when I am missing the United Kingdom. Ah, if only they serve my favourite Toad In The Hole as well!
The beauties of the evening

Our charming Princes

A toast to a Fabulous New Year and to our friendship!