Monday, March 31, 2008

XE Flavour restaurant @ ShenZhen

A few of my chinese friends invited me for dinner last week when I'm on a business trip. This time, they took me to one of the most crowded restaurant in ShenZhen - XE Flavour. The restaurant serves mainly Hunan dishes, which they call "xiang cai" 湘菜. Xiang cai is one of the eight major types of dish in china, with hot and sourly dominating the attraction for people who likes hot stuff! Another type of hot food in China is 川菜 "Chuan cai", which originates from SzeChuan. But I found that sometimes the chuan cai is toooooo hot for normal human consumption, imagine red hot chilli with tongue numbing pepper.

The grande entrance....

Tools for your typical chinese dinner :)

One of the cold dishes - chicken feet

Duck neck

Another cold dish - ground nuts with beancurd skin

Pork leg - fatty isn't it >:)

土鸡汤 - what we call kampung chicken soup, mixed with butter

Fatty pork with buns

Glutinous rice cakes

Stir fried squid with chilli

Last but not least, the hideous steam fish - if only the fish doesn't come with excessive bone counts :P
Overall the food was ok, but maybe not suited to my Penang taste bud. Will try out other things next time.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Vegetarian Dish

I still remember during my childhood, my mom used to cook this vegetarian dish on the 1st and 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar. Buddhist practice to take vegetarian food either half day or full day on these 2 days each month. This dish is easy to prepare but it is flavourful without much additives, just light soy sauce will do. What you need is just some shallots, cabbage, carrot and shiitake mushrooms to cook the one big pot for the whole family.


Carrot - sliced thickly
Cabbage - cut into 2cm x 2cm
Dried mushroom - soak in hot water till soft, and cut into half
One tbsp of chopped shallots
Sunflower oil
Light soy sauce to taste


1. Heat 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in a pot, stir-fry chopped shallots until fragrant.

2. Add mushroom, carrot, and cabbage to the pot; stir-fry and add water to cover the vegetable. Bring to a boil, and add light soy sauce to taste.

3. Simmer for 20 minutes till the vegetable is soft.
See, this is a healthy dish, isn’t it?

ShinjuTei Japanese Restaurant

ShinjuTei 真珠亭is located at:
39B, Jalan Cantonment Road, Georgetown, 10250 Penang.
Tel: 04-228 8853

Let's take a glance view on the set meal that we ordered:

Ten Zaru Soba set cost for RM13.

Seafood Teppanyaki set cost for RM40.

Oyaku Don set cost for RM10.

Mix fry set cost for RM12.

Katsu Don Set cost for RM12.

Gyu Sutamina set cost for RM16.

All the above + 2 California Temaki + a gohan + 10% service charge brought up the total of ~RM120.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet Corn Soup

Sweet corn is usually eaten as a fruit or vegetable. It can be eaten raw, boiled or steamed. Taking cooked sweet corn significantly boosts the grain's health-giving antioxidant activity, which can substantially reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer.

I just learned how to use sweet corn as main ingredient in making soup. I'm satisfied with the outcome. The soup is clear and it contains aroma and natural sweetness from the sweetcorn. It's quite refreshing. The cooking mehod is very simple.

Sweet Corn Soup

1. One and a half sweet corn. Cut into 2" length.
2. One carrot. Cut into cubes.
3. 200gms pig bones.
4. One liter of water.
5. Salt to taste.

Main ingredients for sweet corn soup.

1. Bring 1 liter of water to boil in a pot. Add in the pork bones and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove scum from the surface of soup. Add in sweet corn and simmer for another 5 minutes.
2. Pour the above into slow cooker under high mode. Add in the carrot. Let the soup simmer for one hour under high mode, and turn to auto mode for another 5 hours.
3. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

Sweet corn soup.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dong Quai Tonic Soup

Dong quai

Dong Quai 当归 is the female ginseng. According to studies over thousand of years, it is believed that dong quai is reputed to relieve constipation, increase red blood cell count, and provide relief from menstrual disorders such as cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, infrequent periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used for various purposes, including reproductive, circulatory, and respiratory conditions. Dong quai provides moderate amounts of folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12.


Dong Quai Tonic Soup

1. dong quai 当归,red dates 红枣, danshen 丹参,and wolfberry 枸杞 measured and packed by Chinese medicine shop according to volume of soup that you wish to make.
2. Two chicken drumsticks, skinned.
3. 800ml of water.
4. Salt to taste.

1. Rinse the herbs, and make a cut on each red date.
2. Bring water to boil in a pot. Pour in the herbs and let it boil for 5 minutes.
3. Tranfer the soup to slower cooker. Add in chicken thigh and let it simmer under automatic mode for at least 5 to 6 hours.
4. Add salt to taste. Serve hot with rice, or eat on its own.

Dong quai tonic soup.

Nando's Peri-Peri

Nando's is famous for its flame-grilled peri-peri chicken. It's also my favorite fast food when I'm in the airport and shopping malls. I'm hooked to its flaming hot peri-peri sauce and garlic sauce.

Usually I order this hot flavored quarter chicken with two side lines, peri corn and peri chips. I have to make special request that my quarter chicken have to be the chicken breast part. I like chicken wing and chicken breast compared to chicken thigh. :P

My dear can't take too spicy food. He used to order mild flavored half chicken with 2 side lines, old style chips and coleslaw.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stir Fried Yam Bean (Bangkuang Char)

The old style stir fry “bangkuang” (yam bean) is using ingredients like yam bean, carrot, dried cuttle fish, mushroom and meat (all in strip form). It is also known as jiu hu char (jiu hu stands for cuttle fish, “char” is stir fry).

I have modified the recipe of cooking this dish in my own style. Ingredients used are bangkuang strips, carrot strips, French bean strips, egg strips, prawns and minced pork. You can also add hard soy bean cakes (cut into small cube, and deep fried).

Carrot - cut into fine, thin strips.Carrot - cut into fine, thin strips.

Yam bean - cut into fine, thin strips.

Fried omelettes - thinly slice.

French beans - chopped coarsely

Prawns - cut into small pieces & minced pork.
Light soy sauce to taste
some water
sunflower oil
1 tbsp of chopped garlic


1. Heat 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in a wok.

2. Stir fry 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic until fragrant. Add in prawns and minced pork. Stir fry and add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce.
3. Add French bean to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.

4. Add yam bean & carrot strips. Stir fry and mix well. Add some water, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add omelette strips and a pitch of salt to taste, and serve.

Stir fried Yam Bean - after modification.


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