KK Malaysian

KK Mslaysian has been serving up authentic Malyasian food from their Epsom restaurant for over eight years.   I’ve been there a couple of times e recently and have found the food to be amazing.  I’ve only been there a few times for dinner as its always completely packed and waiting times for food tend be long.  Lunch time is much more enjoyable with tables readily available and food arriving quickly.

On a visit just before Christmas last year, we tried the seafood laksa and the Singapore noodles. The laksa was delicious, creamy and coconutty, packed full of prawns, squid , tofu and even some hard boiled egg (which is missing from a lot of laksas in Auckland).  However, the Singapore noodles was the standout. Although I enjoy Singapore noodles, they are usually quite greasy and heavy. This version of the dish was fresh and light.  Instead of the usual pieces of BBQ pork, there was pieces of chicken, the noodles also had pieces of cooked tomato and a pile of fresh shredded lettuce on top.  They were also delicately flavoured and had a good hit of chilli (I asked for spicy).

As you might be able to tell, the KK version of the Singapore noodles has become one of my current food obsessions click here to see the list of them.  I returned this week to have the Singapore noodles and they were just as good as the first time.

http://www.kkmalaysia.co.nz

463A Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland

Phone: 09 630 3555

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Current Food Obsessions – January 2014

Singapore noodles from KK Malaysian click here to see why

Funfetti Cupcakesclick here to see my post on them

A homemade version of the Pandoro brownie – over Christmas we had a 4.5kg block of Toblerone, as there is only so much Toblerone that we could eat, we set about finding recipes too incorporate it into. The best idea seemed to be the best option. Our first try was a bit of a dud, turning out more a bit too cakey and not as fudgy or decadent as a brownie should be. My brother and his wife suggested making the famous Pandoro brownie (the recipe is available online, click here to see) and it was amazing. Rich chocolately, decadent, fudgy with a crunchy crust and of course made even richer by the huge chunks of Toblerone that we dotted through it. Divine.

Chickpeas – so good for you, tasty and so versatile. Hummus, falafels, salads, added to casseroles.

Vietnamese rice flour crepes – so fresh and tasty and although the classic filling is pork and prawn, there are many other flavour combinations.  I had a delicious mushroom and tofu version over the Christmas holidays.

Funfetti Cupcakes

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of funfetti baking around the Internet and have been wanting to try some out.  I wanted to do a test run as one of my daughter’s birthdays is coming up in April and I’m thinking of using a funfetti cake as the base and transforming it into whatever shape or character she sets her heart on.  We had some friends over for a BBQ on Sunday, a mix of six adults and six kids, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a test run.

I used the recipe from the website how sweet it is, click here to see.

I didn’t have quite enough sprinkles at home (I used1/4 of a cup instead of the 1/3 of a cup in the recipe) so my version don’t look quite as colourful (next time I will definitely use more sprinkles).

The cupcakes were a hit.  The kids loved them and the adults all enjoyed them too. They had a lovely vanilla flavour and the sprinkles through cake cupcakes were a really fun addition that added a little bit of a crunch to the normally soft cake texture.

Overall a really good cake flavour, I’ll definitely be using this again, especially for kids birthday parties – my kids love anything with sprinkles!

Cafe Viet

Cafe Viet is a new Vietnamese style eatery in Grey Lynn.

We went recently for an early lunch with the kids and tried a range of dishes.  They have a kids menu but as our children regularly eat and enjoy Asian food, we ordered from the regular menu and they shared our food.

We tried fresh rice paper rolls with smoked salmon and watercress; fish and prawn net spring rolls; salt and pepper squid with lemon dipping sauce and crisp rice flour crepe stuffed with pork, prawns and beansprouts.

All of the food was delicious, light, fresh and tasty and full of characteristic Vietnamese flavours.  The rice paper rolls were a nice change with the light option of smoked salmon instead of the traditional pork and prawns and served with a tasty peanut satay style dipping sauce.  The fish and prawn net rolls were amazing, a light crispy vermicelli pastry net encasing the prawn and fish filling, not at all oily and served with nuoc mam.  The salt and pepper squid was perfectly cooked and served with a slightly unusual, very fresh and tangy lemon dipping sauce.  

Finally the rice flour crepe, which for me was definitely the highlight of the meal.  The crepe itself was light, fluffy, crisp, slightly coconutty and stuffed with fat prawns, tender pieces of pork and crisp beansprouts.  It was served with nuoc mam dipping sauce, fresh lettuce pieces, coriander and Vietnamese mint.  The herbs in particular were a very nice touch, adding another dimension to the dish and something not usually found in other New Zealand Vietnamese restaurants.

I will definitely return to Cafe Viet.  I thoroughly enjoyed our meal there and am keen to try some of the other dishes such as the beef pho and the caramelized salmon hotpot.

http://www.cafeviet.co.nz

Mister D

Mister D is a casual eatery located in the centre of Napier.  They won runner up in the Best New Restaurant category in the 2013 Cuisine Food Awards.  They open from 7.30AM for breakfast and lunch and also have a dinner sitting Thursday to Saturday. The staff at Mister D work to deliver fresh local produce and great service with no fuss.

I’ve been to Mister D previously for coffee and afternoon tea and had really enjoyed the food we sampled.  During our recent trip to Napier we returned for dinner so we could try a wider selection of dishes from the menu.

The dining area is very cool and relaxed and our table was opposite the open plan kitchen so we could watch the chefs in action during our meal.

The restaurant was packed and when we first arrived our waiter was rushing around his section visibly stressed.  After a little while things settled down a bit and the service we received was very good.

The menu is varied and creative.  We tried a large range of dishes including fried bread with rosemary and garlic aioli; potato gnocchi with cheese sauce and coffee grounds; caramelised onion tart with Hohepa feta, kalamata olives and thyme; asparagus with strawberries, pistachios and labnah; sashimi salad with avocado, orange and modern dressing; pulled pork with white polenta, apple and fennel salad and pollen salt and the risotto with braised duck, wilted spinach, currants and pine nuts.

All of the food was delicious, the fried bread was crisp, tasty and totally indulgent, the gnocchi creatively presented and cooked perfectly, the onion tart buttery and light, the asparagus was fresh and light and worked well with the unusual accompaniments, the pork tender with a crisp crackle and creamy polenta and the duck tender and tasty.

For dessert we tried the quark cheesecake, a macadamia and caramel slice and one of Mister D’s specialties, a doughnut with injectable filling.  The doughnuts come with a choice of three fillings, chocolate, caramel or custard, you can choose one, two or all three of the fillings.  Again all the dishes were delicious, the cheesecake tart and light but still creamy, the macadamia and caramel slice packed to bursting with crunchy nuts smothered in caramel on a crisp shortbread base and the doughnuts light, warm, freshly tossed in sugar and cinnamon and accompanied by a syringe of custard.

Mister D is a very enjoyable place to eat.  The vibe is friendly and relaxed and the food top level.  It rivals many of the popular Auckland restaurants in both quality of food and service at very reasonable prices.

http://www.misterd.co.nz

Ten Twenty Four

Ten Twenty Four (1024) is a relaxed country dining restaurant located at 1024 Pakowai Road, Hastings.  Kent Badley, formerly of the famous Wellington restaurant Petit Lyon, has joined up with Ian Thomas and Peter Suragawa to present outstanding food in a relaxed location.

We went to 1024 for lunch on a recent trip to Napier.  Their menu is printed everyday as their dishes vary depending on what fresh regional produce is available to the chef.

I visited in a party of six and two of us had the 1024 R & D degustation.  It is billed as a surprise three course menu that allows you to sit back, relax and wait for your food to arrive.  Lunch time diners also have the option of choosing from the a la carte menu (the dinner menu is exclusively the surprise degustation).

The degustation started with a amuse bouche of smoked eel with pear and an elderflower shot that contained dry ice.  The entree was a whole baby flounder deboned, stuffed with prawn meat, covered in a macadamia crumble and served with wasabi mayonnaise.  The main was a lamb shank slow cooked for 12 hours, a stuffed potato and poussin gravy.  The dessert was not on the a la carte menu and was an amazing creme brulee stuffed doughnut served with a berry compote.

Those of us who ordered from the menu started with the daily bread selection, sesame lavosh and brioche with olive oil, sea salt and shaved parmesan.  For mains we tried the flounder(the same dish as the degustation menu entree); the prawn mousse stuffed blue cod with an ancient grain crust, black mustard mayo and broccoli salad; the chicken with wild herbs and garlic, pea shoot puree and kaffir lime and the aged angus striploin with teriyaki, kumara and udon noodles.  We also ordered sides of crumbed potato balls and the 1024 daily garden picked salad.

All of the food was delicious and beautifully presented but the standouts of the day were by far the flounder and the stuffed blue cod.  The flounder was soft, delicate and creamy.  The blue code was covered in a crisp crumb, perfectly cooked and stuffed to bursting with tender prawn meat.  Both dishes were perfectly complemented by the accompaniments and were exciting to eat.

We had to try dessert as we weren’t sure when we would get a chance to come back and also we’re not the type of people who say no to desserts.   We ordered strawberry mille feuille which was delicate chocolate shortbread layered with fresh cream and new season strawberries and the chocolate tort.  Both desserts were lovely but the degustation dessert was definitely the best with smooth, creamy brulee with a crisp shell stuffed into a chewy doughnut and a tangy berry compote.

Service was a bit slow to start but our main waiter was friendly and very knowledgeable about the food he was presenting.

Overall, I though 1024 is a must for anyone either living in or visiting the Napier/Hastings area.  It is top level food in a relaxed atmosphere and very reasonable prices – the price of the surprise lunch degustation was only $50, extremely good value for the levels of preparation and care that were evident in every dish we ate.

http://www.tentwentyfour.co.nz

Currently Coveting: Miu Miu Sunglasses

Summer is almost here and every summer I find myself looking at the sunglasses selection.  It doesn’t matter whether I actually need any new sunglasses or not, just trying on new sunglasses makes me feel like the cold, wet weather is behind me for the year.

Miuccia Prada is one of the most iconic figures of the fashion world and she produces beautiful clothes and accessories season after season for her Miu Miu line.  Although I generally love what she does for Prada each season, I find the Miu Miu line to be more fun and accessible.

Miu Miu have produced several pairs of beautiful sunglasses this season, all of which I would love to own.

The first pair is the turquoise hexagonal pair below:

The style and shape of these glasses fit in with the current trend for retro inspired shades and the colour is the perfect bright pop for summer.  The front of the frames have a suede like fabric on them giving them a matte finish.

Next up are:

The cats eye shape is again a very retro style and the navy and gold colour way a bit more of a classicwhile still being more interesting than the black and silver sunglasses usually seen.

And finally:

Its a bit hard to see the detail in the image above but in real life these glasses are amazing.  The frames are silver glitter and the shape are the classic big style sunglasses that I tend to wear most as they really suit my face shape.