Friday, March 25, 2016

Full Swine Affair at Skippys Pizza, Damansara Uptown


The Real Pork Pizza Co



When they first started out on home delivery, they made headlines in the foodie world. Known for their enticing fully loaded porky pizzas, Skippys Pizza has been delivering their signature porky pizzas to many happy porky fans since a few years ago. Back then, it was nearly impossible to find pizzas with pork so when Skippys Pizza open, hardcore porky fans couldn’t wait to dive straight into these swine-laden pizzas.




Skippys Pizza now has a new branch open recently in Damansara Uptown a few months ago. Diners can now enjoy a dine-in in their new extended menu of porky goodies. The eatery is located just a few doors from the Damansara Uptown branch of The Ship. The eatery is casual in décor. Long benches, high tables and high chairs, black and wood theme plus a long bar sums up the place. It can be quite dark in the eatery but it has a sense of cozy atmosphere.



The menu is quite extensive, offering diners lots of choice. Pizza takes center stage with over 25 choices of toppings and sauces. If you have been to Skippys Pizza, you would know that their pizzas are over-the-top filled with lots of ingredients. Since pork is their focus, diners are going to have to make some decisions here with their long list of porky fillings. Besides pizza, there are plenty of pasta, ribs, meaty dishes, soup and salad and more.


We started off with comfort food of Goulash (RM12). Definitely comfort food with its rich thick and tasty flavours of tomatoey beef stew filled with soft chunks of meat and root vegetables. I really enjoyed the smoky paprika notes in the stew. A good choice to order when one is seeking comfort food.


Salads are definitely made better here with lots of bacon in the Skippys’ Salad with Sundried Tomatoes, Olives, Anchovies & Bacon (RM19.50). I enjoyed the creamy and zesty dressing and all the robust flavours of the ingredients.


Pork Ribs in 7 Sauces (RM25 for 10pcs) are another must order here at Skippys Pizza. Who would have thought that this pizza joint also has such lip-smacking delicious ribs in their menu? 10 pieces of tender and tasty ribs smothered with house made sauce that is pretty similar to a barbecue one had all of us happily tucking into the ribs with great gusto. The balance of savory sweet with light tang works for me so I am pretty satiated with this dish.


German Sausages with Salad & Fries (RM23.00) may not be anything special but it is still yummy since I cannot really resist a good thick sausage cooked with crispy skin and smothered in a barbecue sauce.


The next dish of Meatloaf with Fried Potatoes and Salad (RM25) looked greasy at sight. Nevertheless, the meatloaf tasted delish and resembled our spam in a way but not as salty. The blackened hash of potato and bacon looked unappetizing at sight but surprisingly tasted good with lots of moreish flavours from bacon. Not a healthy dish but flavours are good and I do enjoy the meatloaf.


It’s all about the pizza at Skippys Pizza! We had their Marc’s Special Pizza (RM26 for 9” | RM32 for 12”), a concoction of ham, baby spinach, mushrooms, onion, garlic and egg. No wonder many have been raving about their pizzas. The fully loaded pizza is very delicious. To me, it has just the right thickness of pizza base and they are very generous with the toppings. The flavours are a hodgepodge of yumminess. The pizza base has a good crisp outside and fluffy inside. It’s got all the check marks of a great pizza so I am sure any filling would be great, especially when they are so generous with the toppings.


What I thought that really made my day was that Skippys has this Homemade Chili Sauce and Garlic Oil that you can add to your pizza to amp it up. I added the chili oil and was very pleased as it was spicy in heat and very aromatic.


They also serve Pork Knuckle (RM70). Carnivores would be pleased with this mega knuckle served with potatoes and gravy. Tasty and the meat is quite tender. There are also cracklings on this dish though it’s not as crispy as I would like it to be.


We didn’t expect this but one of the best dish we had that night was this awesome Skippy’s Glutton Pork Burger (RM24.50). The burger is again a solid portion for big eaters. The pork patty is lusciously thick, juicy and very well-seasoned. Toasted sesame buns, crispy bacon and fried egg completed the burger. They are serious with their burger here so it’s a pure glutton burger sans the usual vegetables. I highly recommend this burger because its very satisfying for a porky fan like me!


For pasta lovers, there is also a few selections of pasta available. We tried their Spaghetti Bolognese (RM16.90). It was hearty and delish with lots of thick meaty texture, making the pasta very enjoyable.


Overall, Skippys Pizza warrants a visit or maybe even a few. Must-order signatures are their Pizzas, Goulash, Ribs in 7 sauces and Skippy’s Glutton Pork Burger. They definitely hit a lot of high notes with their swine dishes with decent prices and yet, there are also some for vegetarian and seafood pizzas available if you are not fond of their porky fare. I, on the other hand, would just go for their porky fare….


SKIPPYS PIZZA
Jalan 16/11,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +603 7931 2555


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Garrett Popcorn Goes Green with New Limited Flavor – Matcha CaramelCrisp



For The Love of Green Tea, Garrett Popcorn Takes on Matcha Flavor!


Garrett Popcorn originates from Chicago, USA, but that doesn’t mean they only have classic American flavors. Garrett fans will be thrilled to know that the gourmet popcorn is taking on an Asian flavor in their New Limited Recipe – Matcha CaramelCrisp. Available at all shops from 16 March to 10 April, 2016, Matcha CaramelCrisp is set to tempt popcorn fans with a luscious matcha note.


Matcha, or green tea powder, is rich with antioxidants. Matcha can also boosts metabolism and calms the mind, relaxes the body and enhances one’s mood.

Quality has always been Garrett’s top priority. Using the finest quality of ingredients without preservatives, Garrett continues its legacy through its new flavor. Using harada matcha sourced from one of the finest tea growing areas in Japan – Shizuoko prefecture, Garrett takes pride in developing the new Matcha CaramelCrisp with the goal of having a strong matcha flavor without compromising on the signature flavor of CaramelCrisp. So ‘Aki Matcha’ green tea powder is chosen to be the best match for the luscious CaramelCrisp.


Garrett Popcorn has always been my little secret addiction. Juggling a family, full-time work and blogging is not impossible but can be quite a feat. So, to treat myself and my family every now and then, I enjoy indulging in the premium popcorn handmade daily in copper kettles. The three of us have our very own favorite Garrett Popcorn flavor but we are always game to try new ones.

It’s always a good time when it comes to savoring Garrett! We have taken Garrett Popcorn on our road trips, as gifts for family and friends, to parties and potlucks and more. It has always been a crowd pleaser. My family and I enjoy Garrett Popcorn in the comfort of our home, sometimes as snack, sometimes as dessert. We will definitely have a tin of Garrett Popcorn by our side for movie nights.


We also have game nights with our little one and there’s no better time to enjoy some treat of Garrett Matcha CaramelCrisp during this time. A game of Domino Tornado certainly works up one’s appetite for the crunchy balls of delectable sweet popcorn. Though I was a bit hesitant that my little one would not like matcha flavor, all is put to an ease when he took a few and continue to pop them in his mouth happily.


The new Matcha CaramelCrisp is wonderfully aromatic with an intense and lush green tea aroma. The matcha flavor really stands up to the caramelized note of the CaramelCrisp. I can taste a delicious bold matcha note and also a deep richness from the caramel on the popcorn. The very distinctive bittersweet matcha taste also heightens and balances up the richness of the signature CaramelCrisp very well, so much so, the Matcha CaramelCrisp is less sweet but more moreish in flavor.


It’s a great flavor that many should try. Uniquely intense with matcha, there really is no others like this in the market. There is a certain freshness and familiar sensation when enjoying the Matcha CaramelCrisp, possibly also due to the fact that I enjoy matcha a lot. Surprisingly, my little one was enjoying his usual favorite beverage of soy bean milk that evening when we had our first taste of Matcha CaramelCrisp and we found that this flavor really matches so well with the soy bean milk. The creamy and milky nutty soy note seemed to match really well with the intense and bittersweet crunchy popcorn. I think another great pairing of beverage would be milk too since matcha and milk has always been a great match.


Since Matcha CaramelCrisp is only available for a limited time, one should definitely head on over to the many Garrett Popcorn Shops to try this new flavor. Garrett Popcorn only makes limited batches of Matcha CaramelCrisp each day due to freshness and quality control. So make sure you don’t miss the new flavor of Matcha CaramelCrisp this month before its finishes!



Matcha CaramelCrisp
Bags
Small Signature         RM17.00
Medium Signature      RM23.00
Large Signature         RM29.00

Tins
Quart                        RM40.00
1 Gallon                      RM110.00



To keep updated with Garrett Popcorn’s promotions and new flavor, LIKE Malaysia’s “Kedai Garrett Popcorn” Facebook to follow them so you don’t miss out on any new treats of Garrett!

To locate a Garrett Popcorn store, visit the store locator here.

For more details about Garrett Popcorn, visit their Website: www.garrettpopcorn.my or Facebook: www.facebook.com/GarrettPopcornMY/


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Recipe: Korean Kimchi Seafood Pancake with LINGHAM’s Sriracha


Korean cuisine are one of my favorite cuisine. I enjoy the bold and intricate flavours of Korean food with all its distinctive ingredients. Besides Korean barbeque and kimchi, a favorite dish of mine is the Korean Pajeon or Spring Onion Pancake. The Koreans make a really yummy savory pancake. So much so, I always try to order it. Then there’s a Kimchi version of Pajeon too. But I am never satisfied because the Kimchi version doesn’t have seafood.

Well, that I decided to make my own and combined both of them. And since I am making my own recipe, I decided to put a twist. Using one of my favorite chili sauce, Lingham’s that is, I saw that LINGHAM’s range includes a LINGHAM’s Sos Cili Sriracha. Sriracha is not the usual chili sauce. It was made famous by a Vietnamese owner in the States. The chili is thick, pungent, super spicy and really can kick up a dish by a few knots.


So I cheated a little. I used a premix Korean Pancake Mix. Hey, if it makes our lives a little easier, why not. Now don’t fret if you cannot find the premix at Korean stores or any other grocery stores. Simply use the same amount of flour in the recipe below, add a tablespoon of baking powder and season it with salt, pepper and some chicken or anchovy seasoning powder.

I used prawn and squid but feel free to add mussels, octopus, clams or any seafood that you like. Some Korean pancake recipes don’t call for an egg but I like mine with it because it makes the pancake somehow soft and fluffy. My version is pretty kick up in heat so if you prefer a less spicy version, reduce the amount of LINGHAM’s Sriracha in the pancake mix. You can also omit it in the pancake mix and just serve the pancake with the spicy sauce if you are making this for kids.

The recipe turned out great. The pancake was fluffy and soft with a good hit of heat from the LINGHAM’s Sriracha and kimchi. The light tangy kimchi flavours really enhanced the seafood bits while the spring onions that has been lightly caramelized gave the pancake a delicious oniony note.

Hope you like cos I do… leave me note if you tried this recipe and enjoy it!


Korean Kimchi Seafood Pancake with LINGHAM’s Sriracha

Ingredients
200gm       Korean Pancake Mix
300ml        Cold Water
1               Egg
2 tbsp        LINGHAM’s Sriracha Sauce
100gm       Kimchi
2 pcs         Squid or Octopus
7-8 pcs      Prawn
150gm       Spring Onion
Some         Coriander leaves (optional)
1               Red Chili
2               Garlic cloves
                 Salt & Pepper
                 Cooking oil

Sauce Ingredients
1 tbsp        LINGHAM’s Sriracha Sauce
1 tbsp        Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp        Soy Sauce
                 Toasted Sesame Seeds

Method
Clean squid and shelled prawns. Cut squid into strips and prawns into cubes.
Remove kimchi from its juices and chopped then into small pieces.
Clean spring onions and cut into long section.
Cut red chili into slices and remove seeds.
Grate or pound garlic cloves to a paste.
Mix Korean Pancake Mix, cold water, egg, garlic paste and LINGHAM’s Sriracha Sauce till smooth but don’t over mix.
Add in chopped Kimchi and mix well.
Heat up pan with a little drizzle of oil on low fire.
Add in few red chili and arranged a handful of spring onion and a few coriander leaves over the chili.
Add in some squid and prawn around and top of the spring onions.
Slowly add in a ladle full of on the seafood and spring onions to form a pancake.
Cook on low heat for a few minutes before flipping the pancake over gently.
Once the pancake and seafood is fully cooked and golden, remove and set aside.
Repeat the steps to make the pancake still batter and ingredients are used up.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together.
Serve Kimchi Seafood Pancake warm with the sauce.


Extra Notes and Tips
  • Use any other seafood you like besides prawns and squids
  • Substitute Korean Pancake premix with same amount of regular flour but add 1 tbsp baking powder and season well with salt and pepper. A tbsp of anchovy or chicken seasoning powder is optional
  • Reduce the amount of LINGHAM’s Sriracha sauce accordingly to your heat tolerance

















Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tai Thong Restaurant Presents Free Range Chicken Promotion


When it comes to food, there’s nothing more important that the ingredient itself. When ingredients are fresh and produced well, it hardly takes much to turn it into a delicious dish. Harvesting on that fact, Tai Thong Group is showcasing a Free Range Chicken Promotion at most of its outlets all over the city. Focusing on the quality of the free range chicken that is farmed in Semenyih, the restaurants are featuring these scrumptious free range chicken cooked with minimal elements and lots of efforts.


We made a visit to Imperial Garden restaurant recently to check out the promotion as well as signature dishes available at most of their restaurants. Imperial Garden is located at the strategic location of Petaling Jaya and is always a favorite hot spot when it comes to events and wedding affairs. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with the classic Oriental theme. There are several sections of the main dining area and private rooms available which is perfect for regular dining as well as private functions.



Executive Chef Lee Wee Hong goes back to classic and cooked the free range chicken with minimal ingredients and seasoning to showcase the beautiful flavours of the chook.


First up, Poached Chicken with Fried Shallot Oil 葱油白灼走地 looked sublime with its pale creamy yellow skin, lightly glistening from the coating of supreme soy sauce and shallot oil. A bite into the firm and tender chicken was deliciously satisfying. One can taste the natural sweetness of chicken essence and the sauce and oil enhanced the chook just right. The chicken was smooth and very succulent.

Hand me a bowl of steamed rice and I would be such a happy camper!



The next dish of Salt Baked Chicken with ‘Tang Kwei’ 归煙焗走地鸡 was even better than the first one. The aroma that lingered in the air as soon as this dish was served had everyone excited way before we even savor it. A richer and deeper hue of golden yellow on the chicken skin showed us that there was certainly going to be flavours, lots of it to be precise. True enough, the dish was elegantly moreish. The salt baked method deepened and intensified the chicken essence with a good dose of savory notes. Hints of herbal Tang Kwei added a tinge of bitter but delicious Chinese herb note. Free range chicken really have a delicious firm, smooth and tender texture. A must- order for this dish!


The Free Range Chicken Promotion is available from 15 March onwards for a limited time only. Both dishes of Poached Chicken with Fried Shallot Oil and Salt Baked Chicken with “Tang Kwei” are priced at RM48++ for half bird, RM88++ for whole bird.

Besides the Free Range Chicken dishes, we also savored other signatures at Imperial Garden from Chef Lee in the regular menu as well as some specials that require reservations in advance.


Kicking off the appetizer list is Crispy Bean Curd with Fish Paste 酥化豆腐粒 (RM13++ per portion). Delightful mini cubes of crispy house made bean curd with fish paste was so appetizing, it was gone within few minutes. Great snacking bites!


Next up are two dishes that requires reservation in advance as they are not in the regular menu. Chef Lee whipped up Home-Style Yong Tau Fu of Stuffed Chili, Stuffed Bitter Gourd and Tau Fu Pok stuffed with Fish Paste 乡酿豆腐 (RM20++ per portion)


We simply enjoyed the Home-Style Yong Tau Fu of Stuffed Chili so much. The pleasure of biting into light blistered and crisp green chili stuffed with a juicy and bouncy filling of fish paste was absolutely divine. The heat of the chili wasn’t overwhelming but gave the dish a good kick. The robust dark brown sauce boosted more flavours.


The Stuffed Bitter Gourd and Tau Fu Pok stuffed with Fish Paste was a little different from the Stuffed Chili. The fish paste filling was similar but the different vegetable and bean curd puff gave the dish a different flavour profile. Coupled with the stock that it was cooked, the dish was hearty and comforting in every sense. The chef uses smaller bittergourd so there was a good dose of bitterness which I really didn’t mind at all. The bean curd puff was soft and beautifully juicy as it soaked up the flavorful broth. Quick, hand me another bowl of rice….


Our next dish of Claypot Lamb Stew with Fermented Bean Curd and Water Spinach 腐乳空心菜羊腩 (RM30++ per portion) also requires advance booking. Chef Lee is quite the skillful maestro at giving his dishes a creative twist.


Lamb chunks with bone-in are stewed in pungent fermented bean curd based sauce till it’s gelatinously tender and tasty. Pieces of Tau Kan or Bean Curd Sheet is also added to soak up the luscious intense sauce. Lots of spring onions and coriander finished the dish. The claypot was served on a portable hot stove to keep the heat going.


A large platter of water spinach was served on the side. As we had our first serving of the lamb stew, Chef Lee added the water spinach to the bubbling claypot and began to cook it down. Our second helping of the stew with the water spinach was really perfect because the crisp vegetable was so delicious in that sauce and helped to balanced out the rich and heavy notes of the lamb. I actually enjoyed the water spinach more than the lamb itself…



While we thought the show was over, Chef Lee presented us with another fire showstopper in Flaming Drunken Tiger Prawn 火焰醉 (RM48++ per portion). Flaming up the prawns by the tableside, our shutters went berserk. The aroma was wonderful, almost intoxicating in a good way of course.



When the flames died out, the steamy prawns were looking pretty glam in their bright red shells. The prawns were cooked well with a firm yet tender and utterly juicy and sweet. The light Chinese wine after note was sublime. No advance booking needed as it is available on the menu at the restaurant so order away.



Our carb filler of the meal was Home-Style Hokkien Mee 乡福建面 (RM20++ per portion). I would never have thought to order this classic street dish here but maybe one should. Chef Lee’s version was full of wok breathe with well braised thick yellow noodles soaked in dark soy sauce. Lots of prawns, pork slices, cabbage and crispy unctuous pork lardons completed the dish. Chef Lee knows that there are always ‘Chu Yau Char’ fans in every table and so he even serves some extra goodies on the side. Savor the noodles with the sambal belachan for extra happiness. This dish is actually available on the regular menu.


The last time we had the special CNY Dim Sum of Baked Dried Oyster Tart (RM8.80++ per portion), we knew we had to savor this once again. Buttery and flaky sweet pastry encasing dried oyster filling is unusual and deliciously addictive. If you happen to be dim sum-ing at any of the Tai Thong Group restaurants, do ask if they still have this dish because it is worth trying at least once.


Dinner ended with a simple Chilled Lemongrass Jelly that sufficiently cleanse our palate after all the heavy dishes.


Chef Lee is based at Imperial Garden Restaurant so make sure to visit this particular restaurant for all his signatures above. Free Range Chicken promotion is available at all outlets except Spring Garden Putrajaya & Spring Garden KLCC. Visit Tai Thong Group website for more information on all its outlets and promotions.



IMPERIAL GARDEN
7th Floor, Intan Square,
No. 3, Lorong Utara C,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7956 6868


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