Monday, July 28, 2008

Lunch @ Another Hound and dessert @ Red Mango, Bangkok

My family and I decided to take a trip to Siam Paragon for a Sunday lunch/family hang out day. I originally wanted to try out Vanilla Brasserie, however it was packed and the waiter had no idea when the next available table would be, so we decided to try out Another Hound instead. Another Hound is one of the sister branch of Greyhound cafe, targeted at higher consumer group, hence a slightly higher price and more classy decorations. The menu also has more varieties than the ordinary Greyhound cafes by incorporating more expensive dishes.

Their unique chandelier

After we were seated, it took quite a while before we were presented with the menu, it would be great if they could improve on that. Here are the dishes we ordered:

Grilled Lamb
I can't comment on this dish because I'm not a fan of lamb, however according to my parents, they were good, but not fantastic.

"Complicated Noodle" or Guay Teow Hor Moo Sup
Basically, it's rice noodle pieces served with minced pork, spicy seafood sauce and lettuce DIY style. It reminds me a bit of the Chinese San Choy Bau, but the seafood sauce gave it that extra kick.

Baked Spinach with Cheese
My parents and sister loved this dish.

Spaghetti with chilli and anchovies or "Spaghetti Pad Pla Insee Kem"
As you'll probably know that I have a soft spot for fusion spaghetti. This is one of my favorite dish whenever I eat at Greyhound, so I did not fail to order it at Another Hound. The spaghetti was cooked "Al Dente", just the way I like it.

Squid Ink Seafood Pasta or 'Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha'
This was done very well too, with generous portions of seafood.

Their 'supposedly' famous fried chicken wings marinated in fish sauce or "Peek Kai Tod Num Pla"
This dish is quite popular at other greyhound stores, I always see it being ordered at most tables. For some reason though, I used to think it taste better. Now the flavor is slightly more bland, I wasn't really able to detect flavor of the fish sauce, and it would definitely be better if it was served with sweet chili sauce.

After lunch, I was craving for something sweet to satisfy my sweet tooth. We decided to head down to Red Mango in Siam Center. I think Red Mango was originally from Korea, and it's now available at three locations in Bangkok including Siam Square, Siam Center, and Central World. It's a yogurt ice cream that's 'supposedly' fat free. I'm pretty sure it's loaded with sugar though, nevertheless I'm still a big fan of it. It's a plain yogurt ice cream and you can pick different toppings for it, my favorite ones are strawberry sauce, mango, and red bean. Try it yourself and find out which is your favorite topping!

Red Mango

Quick, Simple, Chocolate Molten Cake

I've tried different Chocolate Molten Cake recipes several times in the past and this new recipe I stumbled upon is my favorite one so far. I decided to try out this recipe as it seemed quick and simple, and I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry. This recipe is very easy, it doesn't even require a hand mixer as my previous recipe did. The batter is quite similar to that of brownie, almost a failed-proof recipe! The only thing you need to be careful of is not to overbake the cake, or else you won't get to the nice gooey center. My mom said tasted better than the Four Seasons Hotel's one, I wasn't sure if she was just being nice.

Chocolate Molten Cake Adapted from Pat's blog
60g Dark chocolate (I used Lindt 85% cocoa for intense choc flavor)
60g butter
65g icing sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
3 tbs plain flour
3 mini custard mould, well buttered

Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius. Melt the chocolate and butter together, then add the icing sugar and stir well. Slowly add in the eggs, and flour, and mix until the batter is smooth. Pour evenly into the well buttered moulds, and bake for 8 minutes, or until the batter seems cooked on the side, but still soft in the center. Serve with ice cream, or cream. Enjoy!

Cherry Muffins

I had a can of cherries that was close to its expiring date, and after searching for several recipes, I decided to make Cherry muffins instead as it was quick and easy. I was tempted to make cherry tart, but making the pastry would take a longer time so I decided to stick to making muffins instead. This recipe originally called for Blueberries, but I decided to substitute it with Cherries instead.

Cherry Muffins
Adapted from May made Vol II :: Sweet book

3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
150 g butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cup of canned cherries
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder. Add in the sugar, milk, and eggs, and stir until well mixed. Add in the butter and the vanilla extract, then fold in the canned cherries. Bake them in lined muffin tin for 20-25 min or until golden brown.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Peperoni, Bangkok, Vol II

This is my current favorite Italian restaurant in Bangkok at the moment, not because it tasted fantastic, but because the price is very reasonable when compared to its quality. This restaurant always came up in my family's mind whenever we think of reasonable Italian restaurant.

Bruschetta Peperoni
Italian toasted bread with home made spicy and chilled peperonata topping
This could be better if it's more evenly buttered.

Prosciutto e Melone,
Thin slices of Italian Parma ham with refreshing seasonal melon.

Sauteed rock lobster with rocket salad and balsamic dressing.
This did not disappoint me!

I didn't enjoy their pizzas as much as the ones I've had in Melbourne. The pizza dough was too thin that it was just crunchy. It tasted more like cracker than pizza to me.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio.
Spaghetti sauteed in olive oil, garlic and chilli.
I enjoyed the spaghetti here as the texture was 'al dente'. I don't know if it's because I emphasized this to the waiter.

Black Ink pasta with sauteed river prawns, chilli, and garlic.
This is probably my favorite dish here. It's quite hard to find Italian restaurants in Bangkok that serves Black ink pasta. This was done quite well as the pasta had really good texture.

Canelloni con Spinaci
Tube shaped pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, served in rich creamy cheese sauce. This was quite nice, except the 'creamy cheese sauce' was a bit lacking.

Cassata Napolitana with Chocolate truffle cake and vanilla ice cream.
This was a special set that combined two desserts together. The ice cream was nice, but the truffle cake was slightly overbaked.

It might not be the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok that I've tried, but the food there definitely satisfies my family's appetite. If you are looking for a restaurant for a nice Sunday lunch with your family with a nice atmosphere and reasonable price, do check out Peperoni. There are still a list of Italian restaurants in Bangkok that I want to try though.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Easy Banoffee Pie

I've never actually heard of Banoffee Pies until a few years ago, when my friend mentioned how much he is in love with this dessert. That was when I decided to google it and found out that it's a traditional British dessert, and the name came from the combo of "Banana" + "Toffee", hence "Banoffee".

From what I've read, the traditional way of making the caramel for Banoffee pies require long hours of boiling a can of condensed milk, but with the help of google, I've found recipes that make caramel the fast way! Since I'm not a big fan of overly sweet desserts, there were a few trial and errors in order to adapt it to my taste buds. Those of you who are a fan of super sweet desserts, do go crazy with the caramel :)

Banoffee Pie Adapted from Australian Good Taste - August 2005 , Page 80

(Makes 2 x 19 cm foil tart tin)

250g Chocolate Ripple biscuits
120 butter, melted
2 bananas
300 ml cream, whipped

Caramel Filling
260 g sweetened condensed milk
47 g brown sugar
33 g butter

Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Divide the biscuit mixture between 2 foil tart tin (I used homebrand's). Use the back of a metal spoon to firmly press the biscuit mixture over the base of each tin. Place in the fridge until required.

To make caramel filling, place condensed milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes or until caramel thickens (do not boil).

Pour the hot caramel evenly among biscuit bases. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill. Peel and thinly slice bananas, and arrange over the caramel filling. Top pies with whipped cream and decorate with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder, serve immediately.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

I, personally, am not a big fan of white chocolates as I find them too sweet for my liking. Macadamias, on the other hand, are one of my favorite nuts! When combined together, it became one of my favorite cookies, rich and creamy with that extra crunch from the nuts!

I wanted to try the recipe in Donna Hay's chocolate book, however, the recipe looked like it's a crunchy cookies instead of the soft ones I was looking for, hence I decided to try out this other recipe I found on this Thai Blog. I must say it did not disappoint me as it turned out soft and chewy, with a slight crispy edge.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies Adapted from Pat (Nga Kao)

3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
170 g white chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius, Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat egg, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla extract at the same time at medium speed until well mixed. Add in flour and fold until combined. Fold in white chocolate and Macadamia nuts. Scoop on to cookie tray lined with baking parchment. Bake at 170 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spring and Summer, Bangkok

I'm back to the blogging world after being MIA for the last few weeks. Even though I blogged less over the past few months, that doesn't mean my eating/baking adventure decrease. I am still interested in taking photos as much as before, just didn't have time to blog about them as much.

I'm back in Bangkok again, and had the chance to try this restaurant called Spring and Summer. The place started back in 2004 by a Thai movie star called Phol Thantasatien. The restaurant itself is located in Sukhumvit Soi 39, areas with many modern and chic restaurants.

Spring and summer is split into two buildings, Spring which serves the main courses and the savories, while Summer serves the desserts. You can, however, order your desserts over from Summer and have it at Spring after you finish your dinner, which was what we did.

One of the things that stood out to me about this restaurant was the fact that it has 'interesting' (cheesy) names for some of the drinks and desserts.

My "True Kiss"
This was a mixture of lychee, lime, and grenadine.

Mighty Mint

Thai Style Milk Tea

Ice Mocha


Spicy Peanut Calamari
The calamari wasn't as crispy as I'd like, the accompanying sauce, however, went well with the dish.

Soft shell crab and prawn salad
This was pretty good, light and refreshing!

Crispy Coconut Prawn Salad Bites
This is fusion dish, it tasted just like the traditional Thai vegetable wrap called "Miang Kum". The only exception was that there were crispy prawn.

Filipino Lumpia Rolls

This was very interesting, although slightly messy to eat.
The little crepes reminded me of my African food experience I had previously

Crispy Morning Glory Salad with River Prawns
I was slightly disappointed in this dish because the deep fried morning glory was already soggy

Thai Style Fusion Spaghetti (Spaghetti Pad Khee Mao)
Nice Thai style fusion dish, might be too spicy for some people though

Spaghetti with Miso and Sun-dried Tomatoes
I enjoyed the taste of this dish, however I found the spaghetti slightly overcooked. I love my Spaghetti "Al Dente" like the type served in Greyhound.

Ma Cheri
Also Known as Cherry Cheesecake. I didn't find it too special.

BTS/Better Than Sex
Yes, you read correctly! That was the name of the dessert!
Basically it's just chocolate Molten cake served with Chocolate mousse and cream.
I'm quite satisfied with this dessert, but would love it even more if they served it with vanilla ice cream! Whether this was really "BTS", I shall not comment :p

The center was perfect, not overcooked!

We also ordered another dessert called Cup C, which was basically chocolate brownie baked in a big mug, topped with vanilla ice cream and strawberry. I still preferred BTS though as I found Cup C too sweet for my liking.

The restaurant really has beautiful atmosphere, and is perfect for a first date, birthday parties, or a happy family dinner! I personally think that the food(snacks and main courses) were just mediocre, but this was compensated by the desserts and the atmosphere.