Sunday, January 15, 2012

Munakata Round 2 this New Year!

Well,we're back at Munakata for another round of 耽溺以上 !!! (Over Indulgence) Only this time, I am the honored guest of my food crime pal,Viv, along with her bf,Justus. Purportedly to have Viv's all time favorite chawan mushi, we made our way early to hit the quaint little restaurant at 6.30pm. Hey,don't be quick to put us down or sqaush our enthusiasm for good yet affordable Japanese cuisine. First in,first to receive expeditious service I say. Viv got wind of a food promotion Munakata was having starting this month up till Feb and that is 2 to dine will afford the 3rd diner a free meal. That's a gorgeous temptation especially to us folks who love some good Jap comfort food at the ready within our budget means. Although the menu looks limited in certain aspects,trust me...after going through the first row of orders, you'll start to slow down.

The avid diner will be wise enough to pace themselves and know exactly what they want to get the best deal for their buck. We've been here before so we know the score and what to aim for.

We did a quick scan through the available menu and quickly noted down on the prepared order form our top choices of the night. Let's start with the goods and no fuss about it.

A round of Unagi with seafood salad to start with. Look at the unagi...just gorgeous!

Edamame. Never without a dish or 2 of them for our group.
To me, their servings of sumptuous and delectable slices of unagi is the best I've had by far by any restaurant offering up a promo. Plump,juicy and definitely savory down to the last bite. I couldn't get enough of them so greedy gut here had to have more helpings of it as the meal progresses.

Hotate no Butter Shoyu Yaki/Grilled Scallops with butter and soy sauce

Gindara Teriyaki/ Grilled Cod with sesame soy sauce

Salmon sashimi round after round for me!

Enoki no Butter Yaki

My helping of Age Dufu. MMmmmm,delish! Lovely and piping hot too!

Shishamo/grilled Smelt

More grilled cod.

Enoki no Gyuniku Maki/grilled slice Beef wrapped Enoki mushrooms

Umaki Tamago. I like it!

Dinner won't be complete without a serving of tempura shrimps and soft shell crab.

Deep fried seafood tofu. I like it a lot!

Hourensou butter/grilled spinach was far too buttery for our liking thus undoing the desire for something more health conscious.

The grilled eggplant fared no better either. Was just as oily,though I didn't mind it at the time as much as my fellow diners.

What you would expect to follow is my re-order of everything I love with extra chawan mushi and the evening rounded up full circle with an order of vanilla and green tea ice cream. Heavenly!

A Russian dinner party

Was invited to my colleagues open house/apmt when they've finally moved and settled into their new place. And boy,what a treat it was to have some home made Russian fare and I've never been so happy to have such a wide variety of cold salad spread ranging from creamed beet salad to cold chicken and kyuri in a sesame dressed salad, creamed tomato salad, good ol' slaw and lots more to go with their home made chicken pies,cooked eggplant dish, crepe wrapped meat filled rolls and a lovely nutty home made cake for dessert.

I shall definitely consider remaking any one of these dishes in the near future and added into the recipe book.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

NY 2011 Russian style

This NY had an unexpected twist. We celebrated it Russian style,both me and mum,when we were invited by my Siberian friends to their place on New Year's eve. And boy,what a fine spread! Ksusha had really outdone herself. This isn't the first time I got to taste her cooking and hopefully not going to be the last. I am really grateful to have Mikhail and Ksoosh as my close friends and always every time we hang out together,it deals with good comfort food. I shall have to dig up my other files and find the many other goodies I've had the pleasure of sharing with them and slowly update them in here.
Anyhoo, here are a few of the pics I've managed to snap during the meal without feeling too rude at the table about it. I'll be sure to upload any vids I have in my blogs when I can.
On the dining table,there were many colorful and delicious appetizers to be had. Among them, in front of me,my favorite eggplant roll dish which I have been craving ever since I got a taste of it during the last Christmas party. WOOHOO! I get to sample more of it that night.
In the midst of the table,there was creamed beetroot slaw to be had,both me and mum fell in love with a bowl of traditional Russian potato dish ( I can't recall the name to save me) but it consisted of chicken,green peas,carrots,potato cubes,onions in a creamed mayo dressing. What I do know is that the dressing is a mixture of mayo and sour cream,generously coating the entire dish. I was inform by my hosts,that this dish was derived during the Soviet era whereby Mayonaise being a highly prized and decadent product, was incredibly hard to come by and when a family was lucky enough to have it,they'd save it up to be used for such an occasion for the New Year celebrations. The dish can be created in whatever ingredients that is available in your kitchen larder,mostly consisting of the ever important potato,peas and can substitute the meat with pork,sausage or chicken. Whatever you fancy. And boy,was it ever so good! That dish became my mum's favorite that night.
Another dish which was hearty and just as good was the cubed chicken with sliced Japanese Kyuri dressed with sesame seeds and hints of sesame oil. Very refreshing with each bite.
My favorite roasted eggplant olive oil with black olives,creamed cheese,pine nuts and parsley rolls. Mmmmmmm,I can still taste it.
A wonderful delicious treat all the way from Moscow. Smoked baby mackerel on buttered baguettes with thinly slice lemon wedges. The lemon was not overpowering,in fact,very rustic and pleasing with each bite. I love it. Throughout the meal, there were toasts to be made by each member at the table no what they've been grateful for from throughout that year that's happened to them. And we all certainly had many many things to be thankful for. Those who can handle it,toasted with champagne. The rest of us took fruit juices. Sorry no vodka for the hosts for this NY. Champagne was the order of the night.
The main course for that night were traditional NY prok and beef dumplings drizzled with a tomato based creamed sauce ad lib. So heartwarming and tender with each morsel, this greedy gut can't help but have 2 helpings of it.
After the main meal, we all relaxed with another must-do NY activity which is rounding up the family in front of the tele and watch good ol' classic Russian films while killing time before the statr of the fireworks display to be held across the street at a nearby mall. I've certainly enjoyed myself thoroughly watching classic Soviet Russian comedies in that warm and cozy environment when the lights were dimmed or off to give that cinematic quality to the feel. I gotta get me a copy of those classic. Boy! were they ever so good and hilarious to boot. Of course,subtitles certainly helped a lot.
Unfortunately that night,we were a few minutes too late to catch the fireworks in all its splendour but it didn't daunt our enthusiastic spirits as we quickly headed back for more fun and activities. Lighting up little NY sparklers by the balcony,scaring away the cat, and rounding up the evening with slices of good Orea Cheese cake from La Manila bakery. Thank you so much everyone for making the start of this year a very happy and satisfying one. Hope the party will rock on.

Cheers folks!

Christmas 2011

"So Sandra,when are you going to cook for us again?" Loud hint. Wink wink. Ok, I hear ya. :D
I met up with my pals from MNU off and on we do do occasionally meet up,but its usually having to do with our group's current activities and projects for the up and coming annual comic fiesta. This year was no different only it had coupled with both outrageous chaos dealing with over packing capacity of the crowd but fun and loud banter from group after group of totally awesome and talents folks all in the creative industry that is comic,publishing,animation,gaming,product design & cos-play. Anyhoo, realizing that it has indeed been a long while since we've had our traditional MNU food feast, since when,...I think when our good pal,Hoos,left to head back home to Indonesia. So I've decided to grab at the opportunity to feed my pals for the upcomingChristmas hols. What better way to rewards ourselves with a lot of good comfort food and friendly banter after a painstaking weekend during the Comic Fiesta.

So without further ado, here's a look at the spread both me and thanks a great big heap to mum's contribution, we've managed to conjure up a delicious memorable spread with grateful help from my guest pitching in to bring some extra plates/dishes for the occasion.
The reason that I'd like to make an extra effort to celebrate Christmas this year is to open up our home to welcome my orphaned friends over for a warm Christmas treat. Friends who are living and working outstation so have no home to go to for this season's hol. And man,it felt really good that everyone enjoyed themselves and were very happy and thankful at the same time,as how all Christmas celebrations should end.

My friends from Siberia,Mikhail & Ksusha wowed us all with her appetizers of eggplant rolls with black olives stuffed with cream cheese,pine nuts and finely chopped parsley (My all time favorite dish that night. I love eggplant).
And seafood burrito wraps. Man they were both so very tasty that everyone just lapped them up in an instance.
Kudos to my twin for the unexpected whole roast contribution that night. She had made it quite clear the week before that she didn't wasn't contributing anything but to my amazement,she whipped up these bird at the very last minute and gave me one bird for the party. Awesome! Too bad she had another party to go to with her own group of friends that night. It was at first meant to be a combined party but things got out of hand and she was in a huff to change plans and almost didn't have a Christmas Eve herself.
More wonderful treats came in the form of Bacon & Cheese quiches ...
...and indulgent succulent pork belly slices from Pig Out Deliveries. A new business set up I've found out from my friend,Alina in FB. And man! They don't short change on the quality and goodness in each of the dishes. I love them all and we're deifinitely going to try out the rest of their extensive menu next time 'round. Keep on oinking,Pig Out!
Sadly,there were no pics available of the dessert selection that night which consisted of fresh mango slices coupled with bowls of tiramisu ice cream. Another belly filling indulgence. But then again,it's Christmas!
Like my fellow blog in Khoolsville,I'd like the end this segment with a clip from a series of food spot created in Youtube by the ever talented chef de cuisine, RunnyRunny999. Like many others, I love Japanese cuisine and am always on the look out for cooking demos that I can easily work with and RunnyRunny has it spot on for homey down to earth techniques which I can definitely relate to andwork with. Thanks for sharing Runny2 and keep up the grand job!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Its no big secret that I'm a couch potato when it comes to serving au gratins on the screen. So perhaps its time to share some or a ton of the food porn flicks I've been satiating my appetite with. One of which I am particularly curious and interested to catch be zis. Oh and many many food pics and journals to upload. I had better hustle up on the artworks on my end first.
Cheers folks!