Category Archives: events

Team Cooking Challenge Part 2

A few weeks ago we held the Team Cooking Challenge at my house which was between Teams BRFT (Ben, Rebecca, Frances, Tracy) and DDJM (Dave, Dzung, Jonno, Maria). After waiting a while to get the proper titles and descriptions from team DDJM, I can no longer wait for them to supply me with this information. And thus, I will be providing some alternative names.

But first of all, my comments on the food:

ENTREES

Team BRFT beautifully presented their entree, which was Prawns in 3 Ways. The three different ways that they were presented were Marinated Spring Roll Prawns which is prawns marinated in chilli, garlic, ginger, fish sauce wrapped in a spring roll skin and deep fried served with spicy chilli sauce. I thought this was quite nice, except it wasn’t so crispy after a lot of talking.

The second way was ‘Prawns Classic’, which was prawns marinated with good Australian extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, with snow pea sprout salad tossed in orange and chilli vinaigrette. I felt the prawn here was slightly overcooked.

The third way was ‘Panko Crusted Prawns’ which was prawns encrusted with Japanese panko bread crumbs and deep fried, served drizzled with freshly squeezed lemon juice and Japanese mayonnaise. I thought this one was the best overall out of the three prawn styles.

Prawns 3 Ways - Wandering Gourmet Team Cooking Challenge

Overall, this dish was quite good and I would imagine it would be more flavoursome if served warmer (which was out of our control). I would probably rate it 4 out of 5 because of the quality of the food, presentation, and that it was quite a different idea.

Team DDJM presented two dishes for their entrees – Salt and Pepper Chicken, and Bruschetta. Unfortunately, I am unable to tell you much about them apart from the Salt and Pepper Chicken was coated in flour, salt and pepper and they fried it in my wok. There were also a lot of vegetables, so extra points for the thought of balancing out the dish with vegies! However, I found the Salt and Pepper Chicken a little under cooked – but the next day after I heated it was perfect. I would give particular dish 3.5 out of 5 (lost points for the undercooked chicken and that it was cooked in my house).

Salt and Pepper Chicken - The Wandering Gourmet Team Cooking Challenge

The Bruschetta was quite flavoursome, except it was a little soggy – but this could not have been helped because of the talking. However, they did have an advantage that they cooked the dish in the house as opposed to the Team BRFT’s Prawns 3 Ways. I would give this lovely food for the soul dish 4 out of 5.

Jon and Maria Making Bruschetta

Mains

Team BRFT created Strozzapreti with Sautéed Squid and Mushrooms. This consisted of Strozzapreti pasta with sautéed North Western WA Squid and mushrooms, coated in a smoked cheddar and parmigiano reggiano butter sauce tossed in fresh chives and Italian parsley. I thought that this dish was well made; and once again very well thought out. I would vote this dish 4 out of 5.

Team DDJM created four different types of pasta – Multicultural Pasta, Chicken Cabonara, Olive and Basil Pesto Pasta, and some kind of Tomato Based Pasta.

The Multicultural Pasta was so named “because it had an Asian-influenced style of preparation, the veggies were stir fried in capsicum and stuff.” Unfortunately I didn’t have this dish on the night, but I did have it the next day for work. I would have to say this was good.

Multicultural Pasta

The Chicken Cabonara was definitely one of the crowning jewels in Team DDJM’s dishes, I felt. I think this dish was good over all.

Olive and Basil Pesto Pasta was also a strong contender from this team. The basil pesto was quite good compared to the last time I had basil pesto in a meal! That was at Rockeby’s in Subiaco by the way – and it was utterly appalling. I am certainly glad this one tasted much better than Rockeby’s!

Olive with Basil Pesto Pasta

Tomato Based Pasta – unfortunately I was unable to get any details about this dish although I did eat it. I remember it vaguely. I’m sure it was good – I haven’t died from it! 🙂

Over all, I would give the pastas from Team DDJM an average of 4 out of 5.

Seafood in Klang

Ok, seafood mania has hit my brains. This happened in the wake of the release of Harry Potter’s 7th and final book. But back to seafood. A couple of peeps and I had decided on having food cum party at a nice place. But what was supposed to be an interesting night, took a turn for the worse as rain started pouring out its emo-self on us.

It took us nearly an hour (+traffic jams & +distance) between my house to this place, Bagan Hailam Restaurant. Getting there, in the heart of Port Klang itself isn’t a problem but finding the right place to eat is a HUGE problem. Upon arriving at this quaint little place, I’m aghast to find loads of restaurants of disparaging differences! However, fret not :p While this is my first time at that place, it wasn’t for those peeps.

“Oh this place is a rip off!”

“Food here isn’t that great”

“Lousy ambience in here”….etc

Ok, fair enough. You guys lead the way lol.

Finally after what seemed like eternity, we arrived at this place, with loads of jack russell terriers scurrying about their business and hush, I don’t mean their waste disposals but rather, eating scraps of anything. You have a pervo mind! 😀

Restaurant Signboard

Entrance into that erm…eatery? Looks dodgy! Argh!

Interior of the restaurant, rather cozy and warm with breeze from the estuary blowingi n on us.

Yacht Club and a dinghy in the foreground

Mussel-like shellfish, looks weird but tastes heavenly! This was cooked in erm, I have no idea what but from the pics, I can make out a few simple ingredients.

. black looking sauce/gravy
. onions (no idea which type that is :p)
. mussel-like shellfish
. some celery-leaves
. salt + pepper + sugar (roflmao)

Vegemite Crab! Seriously! They use vegemites! :p It was vegemite with honey + something else altogether…OMFG heavenly!

Evidently, eating crabs left me with no other option to take pics of other food. Ah well, I’ll show you the aftermath of Hurricane Gluttony that unleashed its fury on food!

House on stilts, these were adjoining the restaurant that I was in. Interesting structure.

Primary school, rather dodgy looking though I must surmise.

 

Pros
Overall, food was good, pricing itself was stupendously good! It’s cheap even by local standards and will definitely be back for more. It was staffed by friendly people and the breeze, ah..oh-so-welcoming!

Cons
Distance though is another problem altogether but if you could carpool, it shouldn’t be a problem as there aren’t any public transportation that heads in that direction. If you must ask me, public transportation in the Klang valley or in Malaysia generally pales in comparison with their neighbouring countries. Another thing to take note of, it takes ages for your food to arrive. I wonder if I’m actually allowed to assume that they were fishing while trying to cook our meals? :p

>>> Goes back to reading Harry Potter’s 7th book <<<

Lion Dance in KL’s Chinatown

Ok, I know that Chinese New Year has somewhat passed us like ages ago. But I remember taking some videos from my mobile of an event that left me
with ears that rang non-stop.

Walking around Chinatown in KL’s no easy task. You find people speaking a smattering of Chinese, Canto, Hokkien etc and so much so, there were times when I was at a lost as to which dialect to converse in.

Ok, lion dancing.

The first thing that is conjured up would be images of lions dancing in the
Serengeti  to hip-hop music or to whatever jazzy tune.
Think, Michael Buble or 50 cent :p But no, blame it on my brains that isn’t starved from the lack of sugar atm :p
*as of 6pm, I’ve had enough sugar to last me the entire night without having the need to erm, starve myself* :p

However, that’s not the point in this entry of mine. What I’m about to show you, is the importance of lion dancing in the Chinese culture. Lion Dancing was in the past and at present, used to usher in good fortune and to ward off evil spirits. Well, this was probably China, before Christianity said hello to them.

I cannot however, verify if evil spirits are indeed afraid of these lions,
seeing that they’re manned by human beings, but what I do know is that lions according to the chinese folklore are known to be guardian creatures. But that’s the basic thing you’d have to know about Lion Dances among the chinese. The variation of styles between Northern and Southern Lion Dancing is a different story altogether. This is atypical of chinese art, culture, food etc.

Till then, here’s a short video.  (pardon me but the video and audio quality is bad…and it’s loud!)

Team Cooking Challenge – Part 1

Last night, we had the Team Cooking Challenge. It was a great success in my opinion – I didn’t get food poisoning! Now that’s always a plus, not poisoning the President and the Vice President. 😉

The two teams were DDJM (Dave, Dzung, Jonno, Maria) and BFRT (Ben, Frances, Rebecca, Tracy). Each team was supposed to make an entree and a main that was enough for 10 people. For the record, Penny and I were not a team nor we were participating. We were facilitating. That means, we judge, and we get to eat too. However, we also had two back up pasta bakes; as well as dessert of cake, ice cream, and chocolate topping (out of which, the chocolate topping was the only thing we made. ie, i melted butter and Cadbury chocolate to make the topping).

Penny and I will both be putting our separate reviews of each dish shortly after this blog part/section thing.

African Mesob Cafe Restaurant Review

The African Mesob Cafe Restaurant, run by Simon and Julie Tesholme, is an Ethiopian and African cuisine restaurant which aims to promote African and Ethiopian culture in Perth, and to create a sense of belonging to African people in Perth.

After a lot of jokes by the resident African member about the Wots, we ordered the Ethiopian Banquet (minimum of 8 people, $18 per person).

Before eating these Wots, one of the waitresses came around with a large silver teapot looking thing as well as soap/sanitiser to wash our hands. This is apparently a traditional thing to do before eating Wots.

Washing hands

The Wots were presented in a beautiful and colourful, traditional Ethiopian basket.

Ethiopian Wot

The Wots that we shared consisted of Siga Wot (beef), Doro Wot (chicken), and Yeshimbra Assa Wot (vegetables). It reminded one of my friends of Indian food – except just less spicy!

The little white rolls that you can see in the picture above is called injera. Injera is made from fermented rice flour, and is used as a scoop to pick up food – kind of like a food-version of a fork or spoon.

As our hands got messy from eating with them, it was rather unfortunate to find that it is not traditional to come around to wash our hands again after eating. At least at the African Mesob Restaurant any way!

These Wots are also available as individual dishes, as well as various other African dishes such as Chawama Chicken (African-style Fried Rice), and Peanut Soup.

The African Mesob Restaurant also serves coffee made from African beans. My friends who ordered the coffee were not told what kind of beans they used, except for “African coffee beans”. The verdict on the African Coffee that was served was that it good – it was not strong, but it had a nice flavour to it.

For a different kind of experience, I definitely recommend this restaurant. Plus, it’s nice to know that these African restaurants are run by real Africans!

African Mesob Cafe Restaurant
100 Lake Street
Northbridge WA
(08) 9228 1544
http://www.africanmesob.com.au

Cooking Team Challenge

The Cooking Team Challenge is on the Sunday, 15th of July.

Just a kind reminder to all participants to check their emails as I have emailed you a list of instructions of what to do, as well as the names of your team members and their phone numbers.

I would strongly suggest that if you have not heard from your team members by this Tuesday the 10th of July, to contact all of your other team mates to ensure that everyone has read the email and will do what will need to be done.

Um, please remember that you should spend more than $2 per person so no one dies from food poisoning just because you decided to be cheap and get items that are on clearance for like 10 cents. 🙂

June and July Events

Hi all,
Just to let you know that the next meet up is scheduled on the 23rd of June which is a dinner at the African Mesob in Northbridge. I am still awaiting  for the menus, so at this present stage I am unsure what the price will be like. But I’ve heard it’s good – and it definitely will be a different experience with African food and all.

Next month, we are thinking about having a Cooking Team Challenge.  Basically this is an event to get to know each other better in terms of team work and cooking styles. Or perhaps for those who don’t cook, this would be a great opportunity to learn how to cook. A maximum spend amount per person will be set, so it is highly important to budget your team’s total expenditure. For those who are thinking about just rocking up for the food, we will charge a ‘penalty’ which will be used for club purposes. Please register your interest via either the Contact Us page or via email.

Also a new update – in addition to having a Wandering Gourmet MySpace and Friendster page, we are now on Facebook. Just look up “Wandering Gourmet” and you will ind us on Facebook.

Cheers,

Angie