elb's hovel of thoughts

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where do I find chilli flakes?

Just the other day I volunteered to cook for some of my friends. Considering my options, I decided to whip out an old recipe which I have cooked before on several occasions.

The main differences were that I had planned to leave out the escargots and sea urchin roe (too pricey to buy for with many heads, and both are also acquired tastes) and that I would use spaghetti instead of taglietti, an acceptable but not exactly the best alternative, since my friend had lots to spare. Also, I decided to add in some red bell pepper/ capsicum and use sea salt instead of table salt to make up for the blandness.

Wondering where in the Klang Valley would I be able to obtain the ingredients, I decided that either Cold Storage or the Village Grocer @ Bangsar Village would be my best bet. I dropped by the latter first, and managed to pick up almost everything, and an added bonus of edible flowers (!), some of which I recognized but cannot for the life of me remember their names.

All except for my dried chilli flakes. After scrutinizing the herb rack, I asked for assistance. The worker directed me to where the chilli guling was kept, and I was just barely able to stop myself from shaking my head.

I could not find the chilli flakes at Cold Storage either, but fortunately a friend saved me with something similar that she had gotten from Thailand.

I decided to cook the spaghetti in two batches. Friends who had never tasted this version of pasta were initially horrified at my liberal usage of extra virgin olive oil, etc:

"Oh my God! How much oil are you putting!" Its extra virgin olive oil for goodness sake.
"Where's the tomato sauce?" Do all pastas really need tomato-based sauces? Someone please shoot Italiannes!
"Are those flowers you are cooking!!!!?!?" Yeah flowers! Something new for me too!

Nevertheless I stood my ground with what I was cooking, and the reactions differed. Some did not like my dish ("This is Aglia Olio?!?!"), some received culinary revelation ("This is the fist time I'm having a non-tomato spaghetti"), some were comfortable eating it ("Reminds me of what I had in Australia").

Okay back to my main question. Anybody know where in the Klang Valley can I get dried chilli flakes??. Or maybe I need to bring back some the next trip from the UK?!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Steak @ Morton's Steakhouse

I checked out Morton's the other day:


First off, the complimentary bread which comes with each table. This is definately one of the best breads I've had, soft and warm and perfect with butter!

But don't eat all of the bread, because soon enough the waiter will come with a trolley and show you the offerings and basically rattle off most of the menu to you!
The waiter holding up the meat tray, flanked with lobster and vegetables. Ooooh lala, check out the sizes!

First up, a 'Mortini' martini.

And the lobster bisque for starter.

And a second starter, crab cake:

Now this, people, is how crab cake should be:

Our sole main meal arrived in due time. A MASSIVE chunk of prime rib indeed! We shared this.

Cut open to reveal the medium cooked meat that was at least an inch thick. Yum!

One of the vegetable accompaniments that we ordered, roasted asparagus with reduced balsamic sauce. I found the sauce a bit too sharp for my liking.

And we also had wild mushrooms.

Needless to say, we were very, very full

Morton Steakhouse
Various Locations.