It was a busy work week for both Stan and I, so we thought what better way to reward ourselves than to indulge in a upmarket Thai restaurant. After reading up some rave reviews and visiting its Facebook page, we decided to give Itsara a go. An intricate sculpture modeled after a prow of a Royal Barge greeted us as we walked into the lavishly decorated restaurant. We were seated next to the big glass windows and had a nice view of the restaurant garden, where according to its Facebook page, some of the fresh ingredients for its dishes derived from. The creatively named dishes was what piqued our interests and given the fact that the head chef is a renowned molecular biologists, Stan and I expected some creative and artful twists to the traditional Thai dishes.
I’ve been wanting to try making char kway teow, otherwise known as stir fried flat rice noodles, for quite sometime now. Back then, I’d seen one of my aunts attempted this hawker dish several times but it always ended up in a big sloppy pile. I’ve always thought that the secret technique to it was to be lightning fast in terms of your stir frying skill and that would take a lot of practice. However, that’s not entirely the case. After doing a bit of research on other food blogs and recipe books, I’ve learnt that the trick to making a decent bowl of char kway teow is to have all the ingredients ready and to cook them in smaller servings. I’ve adapted the recipe from Adam Liaw’s ‘Two Asian Kitchens’ cookbook and did a little bit of tweaking for the seasonings and changed the techniques to suit my own. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can always add pork or chicken for the proteins.
It was pouring as Stan and I made our way to Gusto Food last weekend. Thankfully, the weather cleared up when we arrived despite it continued to be chilly. Unsurprisingly, the cafe was packed and there was already a line outside. Perhaps it was due to the rainy weather as the line was not as long, so we were seated within a 5 minute wait. The staff were friendly and service was prompt. We realised that cafes and brunch places normally fall short when it comes to keeping their services at a reasonable pace, especially when they are busy.
Stan and I have been trying out several recipes from the cookbooks that we have bought a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, we often fail to take any pictures of them as we were usually famished by the time we finished cooking. If it were not for us hungry hungry hippos, then it would be our dissatisfaction with our plating skills or lack thereof. As a relatively new food blog, we still have a lot things to learn and improve on but that is part of the journey. Anyway, not all the recipes we tried ended up in our bellies first, we did manage to snap some photos of them. Last weekend, I decided to make dry wonton noodles for dinner from Adam Liaw’s (Season 2 Australia Masterchef’s winner) cookbook, ‘Asian After Work’. I have made this dish several times and the end result somewhat resembled the KL style’s wonton noodles, which the noodles are tossed with a dark soy sauce mixture but only a little drier. So, if you like it with a bit more sauce, feel free to increase the portion needed for the noodle sauce. I have also tweaked the quantity of the seasoning and ingredients a little bit according to our personal preferences.
When I was a child, my mum told me that she would bring the entire family to Disneyland if we won the lottery. Well, that day never come- the lottery part that is. However, Stan and I did go to Disneyland, though winning the lottery at the same time would be swell. We could have used the money to stay in the resort hotel and get room service. Perhaps, even buy the patrons a round of hot chocolate on this gloomy, winter’s day. We thought we were being smart by choosing a non-public holiday in order to avoid the crowds but we did not expect it to rain the entire day. Regardless, I was still ecstatic to finally visit the theme park.