Sunday, July 17, 2011

A taste for Tapas

My curiosity about the Tapas Bar begun with Anthony Bourdain in one of his Spanish episodes of 'No Reservations'. Its not a hard sell really, whats not to love about a local bar that sells ice cold beer and while your drinking your surrounded by amazing nibblies...??
Jake and I had been walking for a couple of hours and it was well past beer o'oclock when this little beauty fell from the clouds above. "Ahhhhhhhhh - cue the angels"

hmmmm what to order...?

'The Local'
What's not to love about this place, packed with locals, awesome interior, full to the brim with old memorabilia.

Tapas and Beer!
 Left- was Sardines and peppers. Right - Tuna and Olives.
So simple yet so bloody delicious! I could've kept ordering more more more, but one must draw the line dinner time was fast approaching.

Tapas Heaven!
I could definitely get used to this way of life..Eat...snack...Eat...snack...Eat...snack!!!

See I look like a local already.... :)
Maybe I could open up a little place like this back home......

Jamon Heaven - First day in Barcelona

I seriously thought I would have to search all day for the famous Xarcuteria (Charcutrie) shops that sold the wonderful, the sinful, the moorish Jamon. Spanish for 'Ham' There are usually 2 types of Jamon, Jamon Serrano meaning it comes from the mountains or Jamon Iberico which comes from the black Iberian pig. Yes very similar to Italian Proscuitto, but is aged longer and I think tastes soooo much nicer.
A master craftswoman at work
A free taste test...??? Dont mind If I dooooooo!

Jamon Heaven..........
Now for an Icy cold beer!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You eat what for Brekky...?

Two whirlwind days in Kuala Lumpur, and now in good ol' London town, my wonderful friends Danny & Ross were kind enough to put Jake and I up for a week or more, not only that they were more than happy to cook for us too. So it seems my Aussie friend Danny has been converted to a right ol' London lad and informed us we would be having Eggy crumpets with maple syrup, bacon and chilli for brekky.
Jake was thrilled at the thought of this, you see if Jake and I do a proper big breakfast on the weekend, you know your usual eggs, bacon, toast, hash brown,  and grilled tomato. Jake loves nothing more than to smother it all in Maple syrup. Yep you heard right!!!!
So that night it took a while to fall asleep, when I finally did the most amazing thing happened! I dreamt I loved the eggy crumpets with bacon...maple syrup and all!

In the morning, Danny had a skip in his step and was eager for us to rise and sit around the breakfast table.
Please let my dream come true........

The Chefs hard at work!

Eggy Crumpets coming along nicely

How's that for presentation Darls!!!

Ready to tuck in....

The final product...Eggy Crumpets with bacon, maple syrup and chilli

And you know what.....?  They were bloody delicious, thanks Danny and Ross ( and maybe a special mention to Nigella Lawson) I think I've been converted.

He liked it so he put a ring on it!!!

So after Batu Caves, Jake tour guide for the day decided he wanted to go paddle boating on a nice lake. I usually wiggle my way out of Paddle boating by saying we will do it on the way back etc etc....But I couldn't deny Jake of Paddle boating fun, so I succumbed.

We got to a beautiful lake in Titiwangsa, we got a paddle boat. After 5 minutes I was complaining I was too hot and too tired! So jake took over

Me chilling out
Jake having the time of his life
Jake getting his "Camera" out of his bag...(or so he told me)

Then the most wonderful, unexpected thing happened.......

Jake proposed to me on the lake.....right there!!!

"Thats were I proposed"

The Happy Couple!!!!

Soooo to celebrate the special occasion, we treated ourselves to what I would call..."The best meal of my life"
Read on....

 Tamarind Hill

  • Cuisines: Modern Burmese, Thai
  • 19 Jalan Sultan Ismail , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
  • 93-21483200
Starter Plate (Left-Right) Lightly fried squid, Candied Orange segments with BBQ style Pork, Lightly seared Salmon rolled in herbs, and Fish Cakes with cucumber salad.
The whole dining experience starter with an Absolute bang with this starter. Everything on it was exceptional, what I enjoyed most was the Candied Orange segment stuffed with BBQ pork, I thought I would probably like the least, but it was an absolute flavour explosion! The whole idea of candied orange scared me, but when I bit into it, the orange flavour balanced out the bbq flavour perfectly. I could happily eat a whole plate of them alone

Fried soft shelled crab with cucumber and apple salad
This is always a favorite of Jakes, and it was delicious, still a great crispy batter, right amounts of seasoning, and the cooling sweet salad, was perfect!

Mains (Front-Back) Tender Lamb Shank with Penang Sauce,  potato batons and pickled Vegetables. River Lobster with Tamarind sauce. Garlic rice with scallions.
Yum + Yum! Whats not to love about a fall off the bone, melt in your  mouth Lamb shank, drizzled with the best Penang sauce...? Yumburgers!!! THe River Lobster was such a treat, the sauce has the right amount of Tang and sweetness, and the meat was just gorgeous and so so fresh. Add to that perfect garlicky rice to sop up all that sauce....HEAVEN

Welcoming Cocktail (left) Mousse my Berry (right)
Add to that a couple of perfectly made cocktails, oh yes and the fact I just got engaged...!!!  This was such an amazing night. I couldn't fault the service either, they were so tentative without being annoying and had great english skills, our waiter was fabulous.

The Amazing chefs, and fantastic Kitchen
I will remember this meal forever, and when we got the bill we were pleasantly surprised. 2 course dinner for two, plus champagnes and cocktails it came to roughly $110 AUS. This place is a gem. If your in Kuala Lumpur do yourself a favour and eat here. It is an experience and I promise you wont regret it.

Thank you Tamarind hill, for everything!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

K.L Continues......

Another day, another exciting day!!! Its so nice to be so excited for what the day might bring. You jump out of bed (yay no work) You sing loudly (and badly) in the shower (yay no work).........

Jake had been researching well into the night and had decided to play tour guide today. So first stop

The Batu Caves

==> Big Green Statue = Cool!!

Delicious Samosa
Now before starting any strenuous adventure one should always refuel. We stopped at a Vegetarian resturant at the bottom of the Batu Caves ( Restaurant name to follow as I dont have my notes handy)
We started at with a Samosa each, these packed a punch with flavour and zing! Luckily the level of Zing I could handle (just!)

Vegetable Masala Dosa
Next was the Vegetable Masala Dosa, but thats not all. Then the condiment man comes over and tops you up.

Jake clearly excited here!!!!

Condiments from left to right-

Coconut ( Absolute firewater, and a no gone zone for me. Jake loved it!!!)
Dahl ( my personal favorite)
Tomato ( Another spicy one )

A clearly happy and sweaty browed man!

This food is Fantastic!!! and only came to like $6.00 AUS for all of it. And I had a nice lip burn for the rest of the afternoon :)

Also one must rehydrate before a big adventure so Jake insisted on a fresh coconut juice. Not for me though, theres just something about warm juice on a near 40 degree day before a big hike that doesn't tickle my fancy! i wishI hadn't eaten soooo much for lunch!!!

Monkeys are everywhere, and in the Lonely PLanet book it states...beware of the Monkey's, they can bite!! So I was a big woos and got Jake to walk up in front. And whatever you do, dont conceal food in your handbag, cause they'll sniff you down and take what they like...and these monkeys will eat anything.....

And I mean anything!!!!

I bet ya this one's wondering if he can eat the pigeon......

Inside the Caves

Friday, July 1, 2011

A quick stop in K.L

We arrived at K.L airport just after 4pm local time, only to endure huge lines at the passport counter in what seemed to be a huge sauna. I wasn't prepared for this heat. I still had my trackies and long sleeve jumper on from Melbourne. As we slowly slowly neared the front of the line I had stripped off as many layers as I possibly could (without losing my modesty), finally after the obligatory finger print scan we were through the gates.
Stepping out the through the Airport doors the heat and humidity slap you in the face, what a change from our bitterly cold melbourne weather. Quick must find air-conditioned taxi.
We hailed a cab "Ahhhhh cool" and start making our way to Kuala Lumpur City Centre in what seems at lightning speed. I dont think it's customary to stick to speed limits in this country. As I stare out the taxi window, all I notice as far as I can see is Palm tree plantations, for what i'm guessing is the harvesting of 'Palm oil', I guess its sad to see as once this would've been a beautiful jungle.

We finally arrive at our hotel at roughly 6pm, Jake and I quickly change out of out plane clothes and into much more weather appropriate attire and head on out for a wander.....and for a snack!!
The Coffee and Spice company - Suria Shopping Centre. KLCC

Jake and I had be wondering around for a while, keeping cool inside this massive shopping complex, when Jake spotted this place. Immediately drawn to it from the golden curry puffs on display. Ahhh our first snack in K.L

The most delicious curry puff Jake and I have ever had.
This curry Puff was so full of amazing flavour, I cant even imagine the different amount of spices involved in making this beauty, and the pastry so crisp and flakey. Yummmmmmm

I tried the Soy milk and Black Jelly drink. Not bad, Jelly didn't have much flavour, and their Soy milk is really strong, at least it was nice and cold.

Jake also ordered the chicken satays, they came with chopped chunks of cucumber, red onion and taro to dip into the satay sauce, this was really yummy, the satay sauce was no way near as creamy as the satay we usually get back home. But really flavoursome. We must stop past for curry puffs again on our way home

We couldn't help but stop past the Petronas Towers again. They would have to be one of the most beautiful structures I have ever seen.

How cute are these bouquets....?!?!?!?!?

I love this Country! What exciting things will I find tomorrow???