Me and crazieapple has something in common, and i think it applies to a lot of people out there, its call binge eating. It's when you cannot resist food at all times, especially during supper time. It's when you FEEL you need to eat something, and this feeling happens every so often that you end up going to the kitchen to scout for food. So here, Augustdiners is starting a new section call the FAT BEHAVIOUR. Indulge in our simplest recipe that is perfectly available in your daily kitchen cabinet. Total fuss free. I assure you when you are feeling lonely during the night, or in need for something to munch on during movie session at home, or mugging for an exam, these recipes will be your perfect remedy.

Today, i'm sharing with you my all time favourite: SPAM FRIES with "SPECIAL DIP"- this recipe is easy beyond means and require very little ingredients.
P/S: apologies for the bad quality photos as its taken by my blackberry
PPS: not saying that blackberry camera sucks though =D


1 can SPAM luncheon meat (can be original or hot&spicy)
2:3 ratio of full cream to sour cream
1/2 small onion (brown or red is fine)
Cooking oil (i use olive oil)

a) Slice the Spam luncheon meat in a fries-like shape
b) Heat up the cooking oil (make sure it's not too hot) and slowly Brown it over low heat
c) while waiting for the fries to be crispy brown, prepare the sauce

Dipping Sauce
d) finely chopped the onions
e) Mix full cream, sour cream, and wasabi together with the onion. (the amount of wasabi to add in depends on yourself, if you want a milder taste, one squeeze of the wasabi tube is sufficient) but i went with 3 large squeeze, yums!

f) time to get out those nicely fried fries, and drain the excess oil. Served warm with Dip

Now, can you spell SINFUL?

It's been a while since I was able to take time off to really sit down, and enjoy a good fine dining experience. Fortunately, during one of my recent business trip to Hong Kong, I got to do just that with my colleagues. The venue for this long overdue experience was the Yan Toh Heen Chinese Restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui.

It is not easy for a restaurant to be under the same roof as other prestigious names such as Nobu and Spoon by Alain Ducasse. Instead of falling into oblivion, Yan Toh Heen has grown from strength to strength, from being known as Tsim Sha Tsui's best restaurant to being awarded the prestigious Michelin 1 Star. Expectations were sky high from the moment we congregate at the entrance - waiting for their 6pm opening hour.

Entrance mildly grandeur but inviting nevertheless.

Apparently the name of the restaurant loosely translates as 'elegant dining with picturesque view'. The name was spot on.

View was nothing short of breathtaking.

The restaurant ambiance provided good 'Ying and Yang' balance as well. Here's the Ying:-

And here's the Yang:-

The setting of each table within the restaurant is nothing short of refined luxury. All handcrafted out of green jade.

First dish - Crispy pork belly, roasted to perfection and cut in cubes.

Second dish, one of my all time favorite, perfectly roasted Peking Duck Skin. The waiter skilfully demonstrated his slicing skills next to the table as we watch the succulent meat and skin being carved with grace.

The result was paper fine crispy skin with on your plate waiting to be folded and devoured.

The duck meat was later brought back to the side of our table to be cooked with vegetables. Simple brilliance.

Third dish was a little overshadowed by the duck dish that we just had - Crispy fried wanton prawns.

As expected, close to perfection - fresh prawns with healthy ingredients complementing the flavours.

The other dishes were stars in their own way too.

The remaining trio were - wok-fried wagyu beef with shishito pepper and mushrooms served on a sizzling hot plate, braised garoupa fillet with ginger and spring onion in bean paste, and my all time favorite - Sweet and sour pork - A dish to remind you that the simple pleasures in life need not be expensive.

Oh, I almost forget the soup that clears lingering taste so that we can move from dish to dish - Seafood abalone soup.

It was getting dark when we were about to end our dining experience and the skyline that painted the backdrop of the restaurant quickly changed to an illuminated light display. Just nice to create an appetite for dessert.

Overall, it was a brilliant experience to say the least. Feels as if for the first time, each dish is carefully thought off, masterly planned and brilliantly executed. My colleagues and I were denied the opportunity to pay, hence our only regret is not being able to tell you the cost of this experience. We highly recommend dining at Yan Toh Heen to complete your Hong Kong experience.


Food: 9/10
(Refreshing brilliance)

Ambience: 9/10
(One of the few most appreciated view in Asia - the Hong Kong harbour)

Service: 9/10
(Friendly waiters and captain having small talk with you about the Hong Kong property market)

Presentation of food: 9/10

Overall: 9/10

I hardly reward good ratings, and when I do, you know its something. Cheers

Yan Toh Heen
Lower level, Hotel InterContinental Hong Kong,
18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Hanare in The Intermark was one of the newest Japanese eatery which was much hyped and gushed over by many re-known foodies, they are known for bringing in freshest ingredients directly from the fresh markets in Japan. Despite the worries of radiation infected possibilities, they still insist that their raw food is still directly imported from Japan but gave assurance that any imported food has been certified with clearance letter from both immigration- Japan and Malaysia. And are we assured? Hell no.

Despite it all (u know women being co-related to hypocrite and all) =P, we still ordered sashimi, tataki, and oyster (raw, raw, and raw) and ignored the nagging voice at the back of our mind.

Prices are exorcist. Do not come here without at least RM200 in your pocket (per person). The Zen-like ambiance with soothing brown tone and spacious tables signal quiet and slow dinners.

We started off with ½ dozen of fresh oysters (RM70), Amayzing commented that it is one of the better ones she had in a long time. And I suggest you stick by her words. I’ve ate with her dozens of times and never once she left a restaurant without complaining about the oysters =)

Moriawase (RM160) which Hanare proudly proclaim that it’s imported from Tsukuji fresh market. This is suitable for 2-3 pax and it consist of assorted sashimi such as salmon, tuna belly, scallop, yellowtail, and snapper. I can’t quite say I enjoyed it as much as I wish to, because of that nagging tone behind my head screaming- radiation! Nevertheless to be fair, the raw cut was in thick slices and it tasted rather fresh. I had a good time with my chutoro

Wagyu Tataki (RM95) was lightly seared and mildly marinated. A dish that was simply carried out yet able to create the delightful melting sensation.

Negi Toro (RM95), I cannot justify the price of this dish given that it came with such measly portion, it is after all just tuna sashimi chopped up in small pieces, marinated with their special ingredients, and accompanied by spring onions and wrapped in seaweed. But to give credits, the few components goes really well together, it’s just the price (sigh!)

Shiokara (RM18), squid with was heavily salted; the traditional making of this dish is to fermented it for up to a month, hence creating a rare taste of fishiness that resembles anchovies. This is something different to my food context, and i must say that I quite like it.

On the hot plate, we’ve ordered the Kinoko (RM25) mixed mushroom, and chicken teppanyaki. Both are fairly forgettable.

Nothing spectacular with their Unagi Tamago, Japanese eel wrapped in cooked omelet. But anything to do with eggs, I’m good to go.

Perhaps one of the most enjoyed dish of the night (probably because it’s not raw- i'm not too good with raw food in general) Inaniwa tsuke udon (RM35) was served cold with warm chicken and vegetable broth on the side. The noodles came with wonderful chewy consistency and are slightly soften when being dipped into the warm broth. A perfect marriage of flavor as the broth was light without overpowering the natural taste of the noodles.

For desserts, we had the rice flour dumpling, red bean with green tea ice-cream (RM24)

While I felt that the food in Hanare is somewhat overpriced, with nothing that wowed me thus far, I heard that their champagne brunch is quite a steal – which is only available on Sunday. For RM298++, you enjoyed vast list of buffet items and hear this (its free flow of G.H.Mumm’s Champagne and Hakutsuru Sake all the way). I mean, who’s complaining about the price now, I know I won’t since I can eat all I want, and my friends all know how scary I could get with buffets (Kiasu is my first, middle, and last name). But for non-alcoholic options, RM150++ is all you’ve got to pay.

Considering their ala-carte with limited choices cost around that much, and most items in the menu is offered in the buffet spread, I’d suggest you to consider the buffet instead when dining in Hanare.


Food: 6.5/10
(fresh, uncommon ingredients used. I heard they served fugu here on seasonal basis)

Ambience: 7/10
(suitable for those who looks for a quiet night out)

Service: 7/10

Presentation of food: 6/10

Overall: 6.5/10


Hanare Japanese Restaurant
Grnd Floor, The Intermark
Jalan Tun Razak, KL

Tel: 03-2164 2133

I remember, more than 10 years ago, I had fond memory of a particular vegetarian restaurant in my neighbourhood. Perhaps I was rather amaze by how the dishes can be imitated to taste so much like the real thing, and to this I’m referring to mock meat, such as fish, abalone, chicken wings, ham.

Fast forward 10 years later, It strikes me that all these mock meat I’ve had in childhood is actually filled with glutton, since then I’ve kept out of vegetarians restaurant unless I feel guilty about putting on weight and decide to go on diet, which is rather silly if you ask me, since most vegetarian places uses a lot of gluttony substances and MSG in order to resemble the real thing. And why would you want to eat the mock versions (filled with glutton) when the whole purpose is to stay away from meat for a period?

By the way, eating vegetarian doesn’t necessary make you skinnier! It’s all in the mind!

I’ve got some good friends whom are vegetarian by choice; I often can’t see how they can come eat with us, while we chunk down slabs of meat, and them watching with their plate of meat-less misery.

When being asked, they always told me a similar story, that they don’t see the need to harm animals to satisfy their stomachs when there is so many varieties of vegetarian dishes around. There is also the health element, apparently eating vegetarian is more healthy than eating meat (I beg to differ, hmmm! Nobody takes my meat away from me)
Fan Cai Xiang in Taman Desa is a well-known vegetarian restaurant in the neighborhood. Occupying an intermediate lot of the buzzing area of Plaza Danau 2 next to KFC, it was easy enough to locate the place. Since its welcoming presence 4 years ago, they’ve been able to retain long stem of customers and from what I’ve heard, it can be pretty pack during the weekends.

The interior of the restaurant is simple, Chinese oriented, and spacious.

An array of books are available for your leisure readings

Unlike most vegetarian restaurants I’ve been, Fan Cai Xiang focus predominantly on natural ingredients, their handsomely bound menu has a vast list of green leaves, tofu, mushrooms, soup etc. As the restaurant promotes healthy living, their dishes are majority less salty and oily, with no use of MSG. It helps that the food is reasonably priced too, most come in three sizes of regular (RM13~) medium (RM19~) and large (RM23~).

Fried butter with Abalone mushroom is one of my favourite of the night. With thick buttery sauce, it melds well with the delightful crispy battered mushrooms.

Stir-fried eggplant with basil (RM13), the fragrant of basil capture my nose senses instantly. The eggplant was slightly on the raw side, but it is done so intentionally without wasting all the nutrients by overcooking it. Personally I prefer the softer versions

Assam fish (RM15) is worth ordering. The “fish” is made with soft beancurd, while it was wrapped around with seaweed as its skin, battered and deep fried, what wonderful creation and brilliant colours, it almost tasted like the real thing. I like how the sauce is not overwhelming, with the right level of tanginess.

Tom yam soup (RM13), a dish so simple, yet achieving a satisfactory flutter in my stomach.

Spicy Salted Crispy Beancurd (RM13) is a MUST order. Picture this, as I picked up a perfectly golden brown cube that’s nicely sprinkled with salt seasoning and take a soft bite into it; ahh.. Just as I thought, the skin made the tiniest crunching sound- like music to my ears and the internal content so soft and velvety. Then I closed my eyes and devour each bite with newfound urgency and my hands were already moving to the next piece on the table. Ahh~ more please?

Fan Cai Xiang noodes (RM9) is their house specialty. A simple stir fry with nice springy texture with a mix of mushrooms, greens and bean curd skin.

We’ve lapped up everything without a waste, well except for my half eaten rice, which my friend Y. can’t stop looking at me, sending me signal to finish it (I know she doesn’t like seeing things wasted) But don’t blame me! Blame my super tight skirt and that viciously small belt =P

The owners behind the restaurant has a really big heart, aside from their normal charity works, Fan Cai Xiang often give away well-packed food to different organizations, one of them being Malaysia Buddhist organization. For this upcoming Mother’s Day, they plan to distribute 10,000 food packets to promote healthy living.

Seriously, eating vegetarian? Charity? Can one get more holy that that? I’m truly inspired.

Fan Cai Xiang Vegetarian Restaurant
No. 23-G, Plaza Danau 2,
Jalan 2/109F
Taman Danau Desa
Off Jalan Klang Lama
Tel: 03-79819812

There is always this very question floating around. Where can we find good Italian food in KL? Often people will automatically search for the hotel-based Italian restaurants, Favola, Prego just to name a few for the assurance of good quality, professionalism, and up market ambience.

But to me, I always find myself preferring Italian under a cozier dining environment, where talks should not be whispered, where you can laugh gaily and clink your wine glasses while enjoying those earthy and intimate servings. Think Grandma’s cooking- simple yet enjoyable and memorable.

This probably explains why I personally do not prefer il lido and garibaldi (I couldn’t even bother writing about my visit there). They may be the celebrity of Italian cuisines in KL, with those huge names behind their backs; naturally we would expect delivery no less than high-standard.

But truly it is the less known that could easily please. And to that, I’m referring to La Risata, whom has shine its presence long ago on the suburban areas such as Ampang and Medan damansara. Perfect neighbourhood trattorias that has all the elements I looked for in an Italian restaurant. The interior is casual and warm with the main interior finishes emphasis on bricks and woods. I enjoyed the pleasant scent of woodfire pizzas drifted into the dining room. There was quite a good turnout of patronage despite being on a random weekday.

I’ve heard and read about ravish comments on their pasta and pizzas while their mains remain at the subtle background.

The wood pizzas on the menu vary between the bountiful toppings down to those screaming simplicity, all ranges from RM25+ odds. Between the Pizza Magherita (RM22) topped with tomato sauce, cheese and oregano (add basil +rm3) and Pizza Chorizo (RM28) that comes bestow with chorizo, olives, peppers and feta, our favorite goes out to the Pizza Magherita, probably due to the lesser toppings that created a nice crispy base.

Antipasti Misti (RM42) an assorted platter consisting of grilled mushroom, deep fried calamari rings, beef carpaccio, garlic crostini with chicken liver pate. Unfortunately the starter was a letdown, most of the items were forgettable, but I was told the beef carpaccio was decent, and I personally like the chicken liver pate that goes well with the garlic crostini.

Fettucine all albese (RM30) freshly made targlitelli with heavy parmesan cheese sauce infused with truffle oil. No complaints on the pasta itself, the sauce was too unrelenting rich but if you like thick rich sauce, perhaps this is for you.

Parpadelle al Ragu D’gne (RM28) freshly made pasta ribbons with lamb ragu. It was commented that overall a nicely executed dish, the texture of the pasta were nicely done but R wished there were more lamb chunks in this dish

Salmone Alla Griglia Con Pesto(RM36) pan grilled salmon with pesto sauce served with a vegetable caponata

Bracioline di Agnello (RM34) grilled lamb chops with spinach and sauteed potatoes

My Gnocchi Chorizo (RM27) was absolutely mind blowing. The homemade potato dumplings was not the least stodgy. Perfectly fluffy texture and with lamb chorizo sausages & ricotta cheese and red pepper sauce with a hint of spiciness and the rich robust smoky flavours were just heavenly. Definitely a sublime experience and arguably the best gnocchi I’ve had in a long time.

Sicilian Bombe (RM38) is as sinful as it gets, we enjoyed every bit of this, and be it the presentation or the taste, it was well executed. The Lemon Meringue was filled with luscious lemon cream that was flambéed upon serving. Highly recommended to try.

Their wine list, although not extensive provides many choices of affordable new world wine. Our choice of the night Fontana Candida Frascati (RM110) from italy was an easy and light drink, we gurgle 2 bottles of them. 

My diners:

All in all, La Risata satisfy its long term clientele with no-fuss service and delivery of consistent quality of food. We will be back- again and again. Our bill came up to approx RM110 per person with wine
Food: 7.5/10
(can't go wrong with their pizza and pasta)
Ambience: 7.5/10
(good for friends/ family gatherings)
Service: 6/10
Presentation of food: 6.5/10
Overall: 7/10
La Risata
Damansara Branch 
128 Jalan Kasah
Medan Damansara
Tel: 03-20959572
Ampang Branch
16, Persiaran ampang
55000 KL
Tel: 03-42526269

Related Posts with Thumbnails