Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SC's Epic Birthday Dinner at Hong Kong Mandarin Grill

SC's birthday is just my annual excuse to splurge on dinner ^_^
I've asked for recommendations from my crazy foodie friends, one of them (that's you, Gary) even suggested that I made a poll to see where we end up dining in. I loved that idea, but in the end was too lazy to execute the poll. Heheheh.

Finally, I picked Mandarin Grill. I've heard so much about this place (thanks, Jason!), and because I heard the dishes are a lot of fun (SC loves creativity) and very photogenic too (this is for my benefit).

Did we have a yummy night?
When considering which tasting "tour" to order, I asked our server, "Are you sure we'd have enough to eat if we ordered tour 1 from the tasting menu?" - he was a bit taken aback. I bet he couldn't believe I was even considering quantity and worried that I wouldn't be full ^_^'

Anyway... here we go.
Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
This was not the first dish, but the picture comes out first, because... doesn't it look gorgeous? Heheheh... I am superficial like that. This is the salad, it's a flower pot.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
We "watered" aka "dressed" our salad. Too cute!

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The edible soil. Adore the idea, but this soil is very filling. Just have a couple of bites and leave it. Don't feel "ng dai" (not worth) or you'll have no room for the rest of the meal like SC ^_^' heheheh.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Can you see the heart shaped shadow on it? Cute huh? (This is my code for - I can't remember what they were but I just remember they were tasty)

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The bread basket.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The selection of olive oil. I chose fruity (second bottle from left), SC chose peppery (second bottle from right). I never thought that I'd love peppery more than fruity. But seriously, the one SC picked's awesome.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Again. Too cute! This is not a pear (duh!)

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The softest shade of pink inside!

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
You can spread the "pear" on these bread.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Savoury cookies. Yum.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Liquid olives. I love. And no, it doesn't taste like you're swallowing olive oil.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Succulent scallops. I munched on an oyster leaf that tasted like the sea at the beginning of this dish. I am not a big fan of the greens that tasted (a tad too much) like the sea, but the scallops were lovely.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Sirloin steak with baked potatoes in edible "foil" and edible "charcoal". The charcoal turned out to be cassava (server said tapioca) covered in squid ink. The cassava part cracked me up, because I am from Indonesia and we eat singkong (cassava) a lot back home - never thought it'd ever make its appearance in a fancy schmancy restaurant.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The steak came with this pot of very lovely sweet corn. Buttery, fragrant, and oh-so-sweet!

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
The dessert, Oreo. It's cookie crumbs, vanilla ice cream, & hot chocolate - I don't know how to call it - thick foam? It's very very rich. I love that feeling of a-kick-in-the-gut richness from chocolatey desserts, and this particular one kicked ass. Love it. It is a bit too rich for summer though...

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
For the gentleman, a chocolate cigar.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
And a make up powder for me, with a cotton candy puff too. The cotton candy's so sweet, I couldn't taste the powder anymore. The idea's cute tho.

Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
Of course SC had to "light" his "cigar".

And for the birthday boy...
Mandarin Grill Hong Kong
.. a chocolate birthday "candle".
Actually we've pretty much maxed out on chocolate after 1/2 of the Oreo dessert. So we just had fun with the petit four and the candle.

Overall, it is a fun dining experience!

Tour 1 - HK$1,188 per person + 10%

Mandarin Grill

Monday, August 20, 2012

Coca Cola Lime Prawns - Eat Your Drink

Coca Cola Lime Prawns
It's been a longgg time since I made prawns, and I was suddenly craving it when I saw my colleague brought tomato sauce prawn as her lunch at work. Finally, I managed to make prawns tonight!.
I used Coke & lime this time, I love cooking with my favorite drinks flavors. Sweet, savory, & sour at the same time! It's light too, perfect for summer.

- 12 pieces large prawns
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of Coke
- 1 lime
- pinches of salt
- a dash of Worchestershire sauce
- olive oil, butter
Melt butter & olive oil in a frying pan, add garlic and onion, saute until fragrant. Add prawns, and quickly add coke and pinches of salt, tasting as you go. You gotta be quick so that the prawns wouldn't get overcooked. If you want, you can mix the "sauce" in a bowl first until you get the desired balance of sweet and salty. Finish with lime juice.

Don't forget to suck all the tasty goodness out of those prawn heads. Lip smacking!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownie

Peanut Butter Brownie
Sigh... if only every failure looked this good!

You may not believe it... but I failed this brownie recipe. This was my second attempt and I still failed.
Peanut Butter Brownie
Sobs. But at least I ended up with......this beautiful failure.
In my first attempt, I mistakenly melted dark chocolate chips into the batter, and ended up with burnt top + jiggly bottom.

In this second attempt, I carefully followed the recipe, covered the baking tray with aluminium foil to prevent from burning. The top's done beautifully, but the bottom was never set no matter how long I baked it for. 
Peanut Butter Brownie
I really don't know what I did wrong...

But rich melted chocolate + savory peanut butter?
Peanut Butter Brownie
Failure or not, still tasted pretty bloody amazing.

Here's the recipe if you wanted to give it a try, many have succeeded, I am sure I failed because of my own stupidity. Thanks Mrs Ergul for sharing the recipe with me. I still licked the tray clean :)