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So i’ve gone MIA for a while. Heehehee.. my bad, totally.

Truth be told, blogging doesn’t quite appeal to me anymore. But because there are some pretty awesome recipes that i need to ‘file’ it here, i blog. Sorry, not much styling these days too… It’s not that i have lost interest or whatsoever, it’s more like the balcony at the moment isn’t quite conducive to photograph food at the moment due to the current ongoing construction work nearby.

Anyway, i had some friends over twice last month for some makan-makan and this was part of the food i served during one of the sessions. The friends, particularly, Miss Tamchiak, loved my beef stew so much so that she declared it was the BEST beef stew she ever had, and mind you, this girl has been eating/sampling alot of food. Of course i was flattered. It did do something to the ego, y’know.. and i totally needed it then because cooking for the 3 little humans and the old man wasn’t exactly fun anymore. :P

Beef and Guinness Stew

(serves 8)

 

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1.5kg stewing beef, cut into chunks
1.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onion, chopped
2 carrot, cut into chunks
5-6 potato, cut into chunks
2 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 can Guinness Stout
a dash of mix herbs or a sprig of thyme
beef or chicken stock
a pinch of cayenne
few dashed of Worcestershire
salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Marinate the beef with salt and coat it with flour before browning it in skillet. Set aside.

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2. Brown onion in your cast iron pan. Stir in garlic, follow by tomato puree.
3. Pour some Guinness beer into the pan to caramelize a little. Add in the beef chunk with the remaining beer.
4. Let the beef simmer for a few minutes before palming in the rest of the carrots and potatoes. Sit, taste, add in the rest of the ingredients, taste again.
5. Cover and let it simmer very gently for 2-3 hours.
6. Taste again before scattering chopped parsley all over.

Enjoy!

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Oh, by the way, Happy New Year!! Kinda late but better than never eh? ;)

I’ve got only 1 wish this year, that is to find a suitable unit ASAP. Hope that will happen in this term. Really keeping my fingers crossed!

** un-edited. Post first. :P

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If you know me well, i’m usually too busy to even blog my stuff, let alone, a review for a restaurant in a foreign country?!?

But yes, that’s exactly what i’m doing right now, a review for Maha Bar and Grill, on my own free will. (This is not a media invite)

WHY? You may ask.

Well, *shrugs*.. because the food is really good and it’s worth blogging about it even with no-standard(iPhone)-photos. :P

The gf and i wanted Vue De Monde initially, but alas.. reservation at VDM advance is needed, like a good couple of months, especially if you’re looking at dining on Friday or Saturday night. After combing through a short list of other restaurant reviews and menus, we decided on Maha, because it sounded pretty awesome for the price that we’d be paying. Uh huh, pretty affordable for a 9-10 course meal.

First up – drinks!

Gf’s : Turkish Delight
Mine : Pomegranate something something with Egg White. *giggles* Yeah, i forgot! It has been a few months already! But damn, this drink was gooood. It was so delicious, so so delicious that i almost ordered another, and another and another if not for my tight budget! If you do go, PLEASE, PLEASE, order this lip-smacking-good-drink please. If you don’t like it, come claim from Mama (read : me). I’ll reimburse you!

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So.

WHY THE HELL DOES THE COMPLIMENTARY BREAD DESERVE A SPACE IN THE WRITE UP TOO?

Because they were also SO DAMN GOOD that’s why.

We totally committed the very same boo-boo like (almost) all diners did (occasionally) which is, stuffing ourselves silly with complimentary bread. BUT. We’d very good reason. These breads were simply irresistible — i want their recipes!! You can’t stop at one each. In fact, i think we had 3 refills, with some gorgeously whipped butter no less! o.O

If you go, don’t say i didn’t warn you. Try sticking to 1 each okaaayyy? Oh alright, 2. 2 each and that’s that. Trust me and you won’t regret it, unless you can eat really a lot, like that guy in Man VS Food.

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Smoked Pork Hock Broth, Quail Eggs, Beans, Silverbeet : the broth was a tad salty otherwise, very flavourful! I finished every single drop and morsels.

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Corn fed chicken tagine, broken egg, corn bread, saffron, Iranian figs, sucuk oil : Again, impressive. Very well put together. Everything marries well with one another. If not for the limited stomach space, i would have loved to wipe clean the gravy with the corn bread. Yummeehh!

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John Dory fillet, raw greens, preserved lemons, mushroom cream, almond mayo : Fish was well executed. Juicy and all, but with the limited stomach space (yeah, the breads’ fault!), i could only ate 3 bites. Almond mayo didn’t leave much impression though.

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My customized swordfish course because erm, i refused to eat rabbit (just a personal preference though i’m no longer a pescetarian).

Verdict : not outstanding. I rather swordfish sashimi anytime.

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Gf’s rabbit loin, morels, angel hair, braised legs, peas, foie gras foam, hazelnut coco nibs bastilla, in case you wanna know how the rabbit dish looks like. :P

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Our table was all filled up, with the sides, the mains, the drinks, the breads, whoaa, so much food… At this point of time, we just stared at the table and sighed. How to go on? We both agreed that we were too greedy, way too greedy, to order the Sultans Menu instead of the Soufras but we soldiered on. Deep breaths in.. and we were ready again!

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Next up : 12 hour roasted mt leura lamb shoulder, pistachio and green olive tabouleh – to be honest, i’ve got zero impression on this one. All i know is that it wasn’t stinky, it wasn’t dry and we barely touched it. Too full!

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David Blackmore rib eye cap marble score 9+, honey, coriander seed, roast garlic parfait, shaved roots : Woohooooo, finally, the course that we’d been waiting for! David Blackmore’s rib eye!! Dear DB’s fans, don’t kill me please but i think it might be overrated? Slapping the steak with honey didn’t work for me. As for the steak, to quote my mother, Nothing special leh!

Sumac, tomato, cucumber, mint, leaves, roast garlic : complimentary salad but, mmmmmmMMmm.. it was good. After ingesting that much of meat, we welcomed this with open arms. If i remember correctly, i think we finished this. Teeheeeheeee!

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Peanut butter parfait, baklava crumb, salted caramel, chocolate sorbet, orange blossom foam : Let’s just put it this way, i whacked everything and wanted another.

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SO friggin’ good! Not exactly pleasing to the eyes, but trust me, detailed thoughts were put in into making this dessert. From the way the peanuts were stuck around the glass, all the way to the positioning of the foam, sorbet.. surprises abound at every turn as you hold the glass, eat, turn, eat, turn, repeat. So good.

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White chocolate and honey soufflè : i had many many bad relationships with soufflè, but gawddd, this one here, the very plain, boring looking one here, yup that’s right, this one, completely changed my mind about soufflè. I’m now a convert and i cannot wait to make my own soon. Needless to say, i too, finished this course. Dearest friends would know that no matter how stuffed i am, i’ll always have an extra stomach for desserts, just for desserts and nothing else. *wink*

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Thankfully it wasn’t that chilly that night like other nights where i’d shiver non-stop because all i had on was a LBD, stockings and a jacket — what’s with women and vanity right, sigh :P I know, can’t quite tell what i wore but oh well, i was merely showing off my new 4″ nude color heels, scored during one of the crazy sales i walked past when i was there. :D

Need i say some more?

Go to Maha and dine already!

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Maha Bar & Grill

21 Bond Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Australia
t +61 3 9629 5900
f +61 3 9629 5911

http://www.mahabg.com.au/

Continued from Traipsing Huangshan — Part 1

Day 7

Hotel : Baiyun

Route of the day : Purple Cloud Peak for sunrise – hotel – Refreshing Terrace – Stone Monkey Watching The Sea – Lion Peak – hotel – Flying Over Rock (Feilai Stone) – Bright Top – Baiyun Hotel

Today, we woke up super early to catch the famous Huangshan sunrise. Okayyy, not as early as we’d planned to but still OK-larr. The reason we slept in for another 15 minutes was, “Too early! Too cold! Let’s sleep in for another 15 minutes. It might not be that cold then”, and in unison, we all agreed to it. HAHAHA! Lame.

The best part of sleeping in?

We still managed to trek to the viewing site before the sunrise! YAY! In fact, i think we waited for a good 10 minutes before the first ray of the gorgeous golden sunlight broke out. All that while during the wait, no chattering, no noise, no nothing, occasionally  some foot steps and whispering but that’s about it. Nice.

After witnessing one of the most gorgeous sunrises on Earth, we lingered on while the rest of the humans slowly disappeared. I, as usual, must have my Snickers. Grin. Yeahhh, i’ve no idea why as well but every time i’m on a mountain top especially after sunrise, i’d wanna have Snickers. *wrinkles nose & shrugs* Rewarding oneself, perhaps? Comfort food? I really don’t know.

While the rest of the gfs, well… i’m pretty sure you can already guess what we would be up to. Hahahahaaa! After all, we are all born in the year of monkeys.. so expect nothing less! :P

from the friend’s camera, who didn’t allow me to swallow my mouthful of Snickers before snapping. Babi.

After we had enough fun, we then carefully made our way down back to the hotel. Long day ahead!

But not without accidents though. I have no idea how i can slip and fall so easily!!! Not once, not twice but thrice, despite having my snow spikes on! AIYOH. Luckily, all three times, i landed on my poor (but otherwise, well padded) buttocks and hurt the wrists a teeny weeny bit but that was all. No biggie. The gfs were mean! They couldn’t stop laughing lor.. hmphh. However, after my third fall, they decided that it wasn’t funny anymore and made me walked in front and they held my jacket from behind, just in case. :)

See that layer of ice on the stairs?

Perhaps now you can fathom why i fell after all! Riiiiight?

Aaaaiihssss.. i am so gonna make sure that i give the girls ‘How to use a DSLR’ crash course on our next trip. Like seriously!

Stone Monkey Watching The Sea

After our breakfast at the hotel and final packing, we headed out to play again!

This time, we headed to Refreshing Terrace, Stone Monkey Watching The Sea and Lion Peak before calling it a day. It was almost noon by then. Before checking out, we had our fill of food once more.

Nope, it’s not a myth. There *is* a basketball court on top of the mountain! Check out the photo (left) below.

The journey to our next hotel was not an easy one (think stairs, endless ones). It took us a couple of hours and i’d to make sure we were on track and not stray off for a long time. No one (well, i know i don’t, especially after my Mt Rinjani’s experience) likes trekking in the dark, especially in this sorta weather. So, staying focus was a must. Having said that, we still managed to monkey around quite a bit tho. Heh!

i like how the rubbish bin is not your usual plastic rubbish bin. ;)

and

can you spot anything unusual in one of the photos? eg, say, squirrel?

Isn’t Huangshan clean?

Too clean in fact!

Cleaners were everywhere sweeping the paths diligently and the toilets… well, let’s just put it this way, Singapore, shame on ya! :P

After a couple of hours, we finally reached Bright Top, the highest point on Huangshan. YAY! — Because that simply meant, we were near our next hotel!

At this point of time, no snow was visible anymore. *pouts* No more breathtaking and stunning views. Not much greens too (but better than Tibet though, like 1000x! :P)

One of the first few things that we’d do when we reached the hotel room was chope (reserve) our beds. HAHAHAA! And that doc, she’d go one step further, she’ll jump on them to make sure we cannot exchange with her sneakily when she was in shower or something. Lol! This gf of mine is a truly a gem (a nicer word for stone!) –>  won’t lift a finger to boil water, or do anything. All she does is, park herself on the bed permanently and demand us (mostly the engineer) to serve her. HAHA! But whaddaya know, we still love her all the same and sometimes, we really wonder why. *giggles*

Perhaps, like the macho gf said, In exchange, we get free entertainment 24/7!

Not too shabby eh? ;P

We wanted to check out the area around this hotel initially but unfortunately, it was that time of the day again when Papa Sun goes to sleep once more. Aiyah!

Yeah, that’s right, this weird bestie of mine, she brushes her teeth EVERYWHERE!! (more pics on this later!)

ps : but the girls are always sweet to me. knowing my tolerance for cold, i always get the bed nearest to the heater while the macho gf, who’s forever in the least layers, will get the bed nearest to the window. *smile* aren’t they the sweetest? :)

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