Tabula Rasa

A little slot in the vast cyberspace to start from a clean slate. Learn to crawl, walk, run and fly... to laugh, cry, whine and shout about anything and everything under the sky :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pics from Cameron

Here're the pics... can't seem to upload onto the existing post... and 3 pics are the max I can upload for now... sigh

Guinea Oinks...

For some unknown reason over the raya break, I decided to try my hands at cooking. Decided to venture into some Japanese themed light dinner, had my cousin over to be the guinea oinks... :p Found it very therapeutic to cook :)

It's a simple 3 course dinner starting with a Dashi based soup with Shimeji Mushroom and tofu. The base is maded from konbu, bonito, mirin and shoyu. Daikon is then braised in it together with some chopped ham. Shimeji mushroom and Tofu is added in before serving. I also tied a ribbon of leek on the shimeji mushroom (forgot to take picture).

Next came braised diakon with sauteed duck liver and leek confit. Main course is a mixture of flavour and texture comprising of miso marinated halibut with grilled Negi asparagus and tear drop tomatoes, buttered mangetout + asparagus and mashed orange and purple sweet potato :p

Was too lazy to work on the presentation, so I just plonked everything in the bowl and plate. Will need to work a bit more on the flavour of each dish. Will try cooking again one of these days... any volunteers for food taster? (eat at your own risk!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Where's my pics?

Is there a virtual graveyard for all my missing pics? Been trying to upload pics onto the blog. Been getting a confirmation note but pics still missing! Is it me or a problem with blogspot? Is this the punishment for not updating the blog regularly? Have mercy on me!!! :p

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Crawl Up The Highlands

Six and a half butt numbing hours of drive is how long it took to get to Cameron Highlands over the Weekend. Foolishly thinking that most people would have left on Fri, a friend and I decided to check out YTL Cameron resort over the Deepavali weekend. The jam started around Sungai Buloh, the North-South Expressway looks like Federal Highway during peak hours. Never again will I make the same mistake!!

Was surprisingly mellow and calm throughout the journey, not a single expletive or curse came out from my mouth! A rare feat! Of which I was rewarded with the spectacular view enroute to the resort. The road leading to Brinchang from Simpai Pulai is fairly new and pretty easy to navigate through. It offers some magnificent view of the valley set against the setting sun with refreshing breeze gently caressing your face as you ascend. The drive reminds me of the drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope; the sheer drop of the valley and the cool fresh air.

The Resort was formerly the Merlin and was refurbished by the YTL group. There are only 56 rooms, a Spa village, Function rooms, several F&B outlets (including Gonbei) and a Jim Thompson Shop.

Dinner on Sat was good but the drive up took its toll on me. Was suffering from massive headache throughout the dinner. The starter of steamed Asparagus with smoke salmon was pleasant. The Asparagus were excellent, steamed to perfection, it was fresh and crisp. The smoke salmon wrapped on the base of the asparagus wasn’t spectacular, I didn’t think it brought any new dimension to the vegetable. Next came the French Onion Soup, I’m a sucker for this dish, then again when I’m ill… soup is my comfort food. The broth was rich and wholesome with generous servings of caramelized onions. Main course is a decent serving of tenderloin served with 3 different sauces/condiments (béarnaise, Peppercorn and mustard) and vegetables. Dessert was apple pie, which I found too sweet for my liking. With a full belly and a headache… bed beckoned! (mental note to self:- must do more cardio to burn it all off!!)

After breakfast, headed off to BOH plantation, the drive there is a nightmare! Part of the roads are only as wide as a lorry. Traffic were bad both ways, there were times when there were deadlocked. Twenty cars and trucks on each side stuck on a single lane road with hills on one side and tea slopes on the next. BOH should have put in more thoughts when they put in the visitor centre, a shuttle service from designated venue would have avoided that and reduce all the emissions from the vehicles.

The weather was pleasant! No haze, fresh air and clear blue sky!! Was hoping to visit other flower and vegetable farms but again… the holiday traffic were horrendous!! Ended back in the resort early for a scrumptious Sunday Roast instead :p After stuffing myself with Roast Beef &Yorkshire pudding & loads of the totally yummy corn, I parked myself in the reading room with my book until…

TEA TIME!! :p walked to the Smokehouse for afternoon tea. The scones were crumbly, cream was decent and strawberry preserve was a tad too sweet. The set of 2 scones + condiments and a pot of tea cost almost RM 30. As I was finishing the treat, it started to pour…… whilst waiting, I ordered an apple pie ala mode (RM 25). Prefer this to the one I had the night before, it’s not too sweet and has a little tartness in the pie which I like. The rain seemed endless, instead of waiting and running the risks of spoiling my dinner appetite by me ordering more cakes, I braved the rain and walked back to the resort. Pretty pleasant and brings back memories of student days back in the UK.

Dinner at Gonbei is as part of the package. The set comes with Potato salad, Sashimi, Sukiyaki and Macha/Goma Ice Cream. Had an extra order of Gindara, tori syoyaki and Sake. Sashimi’s fresh and sweet! Loved the amaebi and maguro ( would be fab it was ohtoro!) Am supposed to take photos for all the dishes… but I kinda forgot… to engrossed in eating! Hungry mah!!! :p Would have loved to take a walk after the meal but the rain prevented that. Early night it was!

The drive down was a LOT faster, took me under 3.5 hours to get back to KL!