Moo Cow Frozen Yogurt

Oh yes I do! (Love Moo Cow, I mean). They say that going to university is one of those turning-point-milestone things in life and I daresay that it's true - perhaps one of the most important "aha!" moments was my sudden love for yogurt. To think that there was a time when I didn't like that wonderfully addictive, tangy, distinct flavour is beyond me.

Anyway, when I moved back home, I knew that one of the things I would miss most about London would be Snog - those bright lights, the huge display of toppings and that green tea frozen yogurt that I'd grown extremely fond of. I was disappointed to find that while there was frozen yogurt in Malaysia, it was either sold by weight (the shock when you pay at the counter!) or didn't quite have the flavour I was looking for - until Moo Cow came along, that is.

Not only is frozen yogurt at Moo Cow not sold by weight, the frozen yogurt is oh-so-good - I don't think I miss Snog very much anymore. The frozen yogurt is yummy just as it is but all "original" flavour yogurt cups come with a free choice of topping (the almond bits are my favourite). On top of their staple "original" flavour, they've always got two more adventurous flavours (8-treasure herbal tea, anyone?).

It's times like these that you wonder how anything that tastes so good could actually be good for you.

The fun Moo Cow stands are now at these locations:
Hartamas Shopping Centre, The Gardens Mall, Wangsar Walk, Sunway Pyramid, The Curve, 1 Utama, Bangsar Telawi, Ikano Power Centre, Publika, Suria KLCC, Paradigm Mall and Great Eastern Mall

Look out for their signature, periodically-mooing cow!

The Hummingbird Trail: Vanilla Cupcakes

I received the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for my birthday from some incredibly thoughtful friends, and it wasn't until I started flipping through the gorgeous, glossy pages of the book that I realised that I'd never actually owned a cookbook until now. In honour of this little "first" of mine, I've decided to start the Hummingbird Trail - to capture those moments inspired by the book.

This is what always happens on a Sunday evening - I get that familiar need to fire up the oven and fill the house with that wonderful smell of something baking. A quick survey of my pantry and I decide that this particular Sunday evening should be spent making the all-time-favourite - vanilla cupcakes.

I wanted the cupcakes to be more bite-sized this time (Read: I really, really wanted to use my new mini muffin pans) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to test baking times for mini cupcakes.

As always, I was cautious with the icing sugar for the frosting and found that I ended up using only about half of the amount stated in the recipe. I gave the cupcakes 10 minutes in the oven and they came out soft, light and with a lovely spring to it.

Sometimes, I think that the vanilla sponge doesn't get enough credit, especially with all the exotic, more creative sponge flavours out there these days. It's recipes like this that really lets the vanilla shine - definitely my favourite vanilla sponge recipe so far.

Drop me a message for the recipe!

Previous stop on the trail: Coconut Jam Sandwich Bars

Fatboy's Burger Bar, Publika

When it first opened, I thought Fatboy's was a milkshake bar, with its black and white patchy cow interior. I'd walk past it en route to The Bee and as the weeks went by, I noticed that there would always be a line or a small crowd waiting to be seated - a sign that Fat Boy's was slowly catching on. I was intrigued - it was about time I gave the place a go.

Lot 30, Level G2, Publika
No 1, Jalan Dutamas 1,
Solaris Dutamas, 50480 KL

The day after the 16 year old's celebratory dinner at The Bee, we decided to go further down that burger-laden path and head to Fatboy's for dinner (because really, nothing appeals to a teenage boy more than a burger joint and one called Fatboy's, no less).

Jamaican Me Hungry - jerk seasoned bacon stuffed pork patty (don't you just love the sound of that already?) topped with sundried tomatoes, bacon, coleslaw and mayonaise on a sesame seed bun. This was the brother's choice and he loved the sundried tomato-coleslaw combo.

The first thing on the menu, the Fat Basterd - two beef patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and some Fatboy's sauce on a sesame bun. This monster of a burger is one for those monster appetites, definitely not for the fainthearted.

Fatboy's also gives customers the option of building their own burgers (the most fun bit, if you ask me) and this is what I'd like to call the Tastebud-talk Special - pork, grilled bananas and curry remoulade on a honey oat bun. They make burger building a straightforward process and with a good variety of toppings to choose from, it's pretty easy to build that burger you've always been dreaming of. It was perhaps the pork patty on this burger that sold it for me - pork patties are not easy to come by, for one, and this was thick, juicy and had just the right amount of flavour.

Fatboy's also has a selection of sides to complete the meal - we found the chilli cheese fries to be quite addictive. I've been told that the milkshakes are quite yummy as well. Service is friendly and efficient, the outlet has the nice background hum of people having a good time over their burgers and with prices far more reasonable than some other places I know, Fatboy's is a keeper.

Yut Kee, Dang Wangi

Old-fashioned Hainanese coffeeshops (that are not part of a chain) are hard to come by in the city these days so I remember being pleasantly surprised on my first visit to Yut Kee. Sure, I'd heard the name uttered before, but I never knew what it really was about until I was greeted by the plates of Hainanese-style chicken chop when I stepped into the coffeeshop one Sunday morning.

"Oh my, it's a Hainanese coffeeshop! With Hainanese chicken chop!"

I suppose, to say that I was pleasantly surprised is a bit of an understatement.

Yut Kee
35, Jalan Dang Wangi,
Kuala Lumpur

One doesn't doubt how long the coffeeshop has been around for, with its rustic interior and menu boards. Deciding on what to order is a pretty simple task, especially for first timers, as all one has to do is to look around to spot the trend.  

To start off, some roti bakar with homemade kaya. There's a choice between steamed bread and toast, though I'm personally more of a toast person.

The Hainanese-style chicken and pork chops are clearly the popular dishes at Yut Kee, with one (or more!) at every table. Unlike some other Hainanese-style chops, the ones here are served not with a tomato based gravy but with an onion-y brown sauce-like gravy. While the tender chicken was delicious, the pork won my vote for being the juicier and more flavourful of the two.


The roti babi is another favourite - a slab of french toast (for lack of better term) with a pork and onion stuffing. The Worcestershire sauce present on every table truly complements this dish, giving it the kick that it needs. 

Meehoon soup - because my dad is partial to meehoon soup. This was surprisingly good, with clear, flavourful soup that's sweet from the chinese cabbage. It had that taste of home in it.

Some ice cold glasses of coffee to wash it all down. Perfect brunch material.

We noticed freshly baked batches of marble cake being brought out from the kitchen and couldn't resist buying one. We had to wait a couple of minutes for ours but once the warm package is placed in your hands and you get a whiff of that delicious, buttery aroma coming through the slightly ajar box lid, you know that it was worth the wait.

Yut Kee is one of those places that has probably seen generations come through the door and you get that sense of history everytime you walk in. The restaurant is particularly crowded at brunch and lunch times so expect a queue (or go a a little earlier in the day). The place runs like a well-oiled machine, though, so it's never a long wait, whether it's for a table or for food. Getting there early is also a good idea if you want a taste of the popular pork roll and apple sauce as that runs out pretty quickly.

My parents declared, after their first visit, that they'll gladly come back again. The dishes served here are perhaps not the best versions you'll ever taste but you'll go back - for the simple, hearty food of your childhood.

I'm always, always on the look out for Hainanese kopitiams like this (perhaps, its the Hainanese in me) so if you have a recommendation, you'd be my hero.

The Bee, Publika

It feels like I've been on a bit of a burger binge lately and it all started two weeks ago at The Bee, where we decided to go for a a little celebratory dinner in honour of my now 16 year old brother (oh my, how time flies!). Publika has now become home to a whole host of good eateries so we were a bit spoilt for choice but the birthday boy wanted somewhere with a quirky, relaxed atmosphere and The Bee was a perfect fit.


The Bee
36B, Level G2, Publika, Solaris Dutamas
Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480, Kuala Lumpur
 The place has an "unfinished" feel to it that's suprisingly comforting, with its mismatched furniture and open layout. I've been to The Bee quite a few times now and I've noticed an impressive flexibility in its atmosphere - friendly neighbourhood coffeeshop in the afternoons, upbeat concert space on some evenings and relaxed, casual dinner place on this particular evening.


The hungry teenage boy knew at once that he wanted a burger- zoning in on one of The Bee's many beef burgers. He managed a thumbs up in between (frantic) bites, a good sign if I do say so myself.

The boy also wanted a serving of nachos (we picked the vegetarian option), to share. The nachos came under an addictive mess of cheese, sour cream avocadao salsa and Tex-Mex inspired beans - truly something to get those appetites into high gear.

The chicken avocado burger - soft bun, juicy grilled chicken and a delicious avocado salsa. I would have preferred a slightly heartier portion of the grilled chicken, though.

The club sandwich, served on a generous bed of potato crisps.

The Dukka prawn salad - a tasty mix of greens and prawns cooked in Dukka spices. I've always enjoyed the salads at The Bee (the chicken avocado salad is a good one to go with) and this one didn't disappoint. 

The Bee spoils you when it comes to desserts - cakes supplied by Fatboybakes, milkshakes galore and of course, these little pink tubs of ice cream by The Last Polka.

The flavours are fun and playful, with things like salted gula melaka, Horlicks and teh tarik on the ice cream menu. Having tried the salted gula melaka the last time I was there, I was looking forward to more of that this time but unfortunately, they had run out of that. We went with Horlicks and the deep dark chocolate instead, and I'm glad we did. The deep dark chocolate is as it is named - deep, dark and with a gorgeous bittersweet flavour. Along with the Horlicks ice cream came an interesting (and shocking, for me) discovery that my brother had never had Horlicks before and ice cream that stuck true to it's flavour made it easy to say: "Yup, that's exactly what Horlicks tastes like".

The Bee has it's high notes - food that satisfies, attentive service, and a cosy atmosphere. Brunch items on the menu, coffee that's pretty good (and peppermint tea, too, if you're more of a tea person), a lunch buffet on weekdays and occasional gig venue - yes, The Bee wears many, many hats, and there'll definitely be one that suits you.

 Photos courtesy of the birthday boy (and his new toy) 

Read the blogpost on Babe in the City - KL that inspired my first visit to The Bee. 

The Hummingbird Trail: Coconut Jam Sandwich Bars

I received the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for my birthday from some incredibly thoughtful friends, and it wasn't until I started flipping through the gorgeous, glossy pages of the book that I realised that I'd never actually owned a cookbook until now. In honour of this little "first" of mine, I've decided to start the Hummingbird Trail - to capture those moments inspired by the book.

I know, I know, the focus should be on the cupcakes but Cake Days has such scrumptious looking non-cupcakey dessert recipes as well and when I spotted the recipe for these bars, I let it jump ahead of a couple of other recipes I'd been thinking of trying out. I loved the little description given in the book:

"A coconuty, crunchy take on a jam sandwich"

Coconut, jam and a crumbly base - enough said. 

The bars are made up of a simple shortcrust base, topped of with a layer of jam (I stayed true to the recipe and used strawberry jam) and a final layer made up of coconut, sugar and eggwhites.

The recipe involved warming the coconut-sugar concoction until it became a paste but that didn't quite happen for me for some reason. I decided, after some bits of desiccated coconut started to turn a toasty brown, that I would take my chances and start topping off the bars anyway.

Desiccated coconut smells absolutely devine as it browns slowly in the oven. I watched with glee as the top of the huge bar started to turn that lovely golden brown. I ended up leaving the bars in for about 10 minutes longer than specified in the recipe as they weren't quite the right colour yet after 30 minutes. I reckon the non-pastey texture of the coconut topping had something to do with the slight deviation in cooking time.

Cut into small squares, the bars make for a good teatime treat. The next time I make these, there are a couple of things that I'd probably do a bit differently though: more jam, less coconut and a bit more patience with getting the consistency of the coconut topping right.

If you love all things coconuty too, drop me a message for the recipe!

Previous stop on the trail: Mocha Cupcakes

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo

It's one of the first things you see as you enter the Jalan Ipoh area from the Segambut roundabout - the bungalow that serves up yong tau foo in the day, turns into a steamboat joint at night and which never seems to be without a crowd.

Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo
67 Jalan Segambut, 
Segambut, 51200, Kuala Lumpur

The yong tau foo menu is simple and focused, and ordering is as simple as ticking a sheet and handing it to one of waitresses. Served in a simple Hakka-style gravy, the goodies are fresh and don't even need the accompanying chilli and sweet sauces.

Fried to a delicious, addictive crispyness, the fried sui kow and fried bean curd rolls are probably my favourite items on the menu, especially after a quick dip into the gravy. One can also order sui kow in soup - I would recommend getting both versions.

The bungalow is also home to a few stalls so it's not just about yong tau foo. In fact, one of the first things you smell as you step out of the car is the incredible aroma of freshly baked Chinese pastries. 

There's really no better marketing tool then the smell of baking goods and this stall is testament to that. Batch after batch of buns and puffs of all sorts are periodically pulled out of the oven - oh so hard to resist.

My favourite add-on to the yong tau foo, however, is the stuffed tofu (yes, even more tofu!). With remarkably crisp, toasted pieces of tofu, generous stuffing, delicious crushed peanuts and an incredible sauce - I daresay that I've never had stuffed tofu quite like this anywhere else.

 The stuffed tofu stall also sells steamed groundnuts - stuff that's straight out of childhoods.

Ipoh Road Yong Tau Fu has become one of my favourite places for lunch - service is quick, prices and decent and with stuffed tofu like that, I couldn't not be a fan.

The Hummingbird Trail: Mocha Cupcakes

I received the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for my birthday from some incredibly thoughtful friends, and it wasn't until I started flipping through the gorgeous, glossy pages of the book that I realised that I'd never actually owned a cookbook until now. In honour of this little "first" of mine, I've decided to start the Hummingbird Trail - to capture those moments inspired by the book. 

I'd been dying to try a recipe, any recipe, and my brother's birthday seemed like the perfect excuse to bake some cupcakes. He's a coffee lover, this little (well, alright, not so little anymore) brother of mine so it was a matter of choosing between the handful of coffee-based recipes featured in the book. I thought middle ground would be a safe bet, so mocha it was. 


The first thing that struck me was how light the cupcakes were, just the way I like them.

As always, I employed some caution when whipping up the batch of frosting, always wary about how much sugar the recipe calls for and how much sugar the frosting actually needs but the proportions for this recipe seemed pretty much spot on. I love how the instructions extend to the actual act of frosting the cake, with simple steps to follow and some illustrations to help with the visualisation (though I do admit that I'm going to need quite a bit of practice to get the signature swirl right).

Mocha cupcakes - check. Now to look for some whoopie pie tins.

Cendol Air Putih

The best thing to have on a hot afternoon (or any afternoon, for that matter) in Kuantan is an ice cold bowl of cendol campur. There's a cheery looking bright yellow corner shop that serves up my favourite cendol and ABC. Ibrahim cendol has been there for as long as I can remember, starting out as a simple stall in that same corner, slowing expanding into a shop with a few tables and chairs. Their delicious treats used to keep us going during those after school extra classes, a pick me up to help us through BM lessons in the afternoon heat. 

Cendol Air Putih (Ibrahim Cendol)
B-260E, Jalan Air Putih, 25300, Kuantan, Pahang 

This particular Saturday afternoon, we wanted our cendol fix but decided it was far too hot to brave the outdoors so we made a quick stop at our favourite little shop to pick up our afternoon goodies, to be enjoyed within the comforts of home. The cendol campur is the perfect blend of sweet and salty, with those delicious red beans complementing the generous amount of cendol. The ABC employs the same concept of simplicity, striking just the right balance of flavours. Takeaways come in two forms: packed in the more traditional plastic bags or in the more practical plastic cups ala bubble tea. If you decide to have your cendol or ABC at the outlet, the jumbo serving is worth getting whether its to share or simply because you feel like it.

The also sell a small array of savoury snacks - I love their crispy, flaky curry puffs. 

Simple and fresh, the pulut ikan and udang are also crowd pleasers. The pulut udang in particular, sell out pretty early in the day so its best to go by about 1pm if you want any.

Ibrahim cendol doesn't boast the treasure trove of ingredients that cendol in Penang has but if you've grown up in Kuantan, chances are, it'll have a special place in your heart. They've managed to keep their treats tasting just as they did when I was a school-going child and prices have not changed much either so if you happen to be in Kuantan and are on the lookout for a little something (yummy) to remind you of the simpler days, this is just the place to visit.