My Ever-Changing Tastebuds

When I was at school, I used to adore Fridays. Fridays were McDonald’s days. That meant a lunch not just of a Double Cheeseburger, but of my favourite strange food combination, McDonalds Fries and Hot Fudge Sundae.

My friends used to look at me like I was the most disgusting person on earth, but I didn’t care. The pure pleasure that I derived from this simple combination of food would set the precedence for a great weekends. Oh, and if you take the pickle out of the burger and have it together, it’s heaven.

A couple of days ago, I got and SMS from a listener saying, basically, that after following me on twitter and facebook, and my blog, she realized that I like eating a lot of ‘weird’ food. Prawn heads being a slight obsession, it got me thinking that my tastebuds have changed since I was younger.

I can’t remember the last time I had fries with a sundae, and now would rather indulge in more ‘grown up’ food like Foie Gras (liver of the duck or goose kind), Tobikko (Flying fish roe), Siew Yoke (belly), strong smelling cheeses like Blue or a very ripe Brie, Truffles, and of course, the number one cholesterol trigger, Prawn heads.

It got me thinking of the things I used to love to eat when I was younger, and you know what, I think it might be time to revisit some, it not all of these! Here are 5 very different ‘weird’ food combinations as I progressed through life…

Curry flavoured Maggi Mee with a slice of melted Kraft Cheddar Cheese (after high-school snack)

Mashed potatoes mixed with green peas and ketchup, lots of black pepper (boarding school!)

Blueberry pancakes with bacon, fried egg and ketchup + Maple Syrup (very British Sunday Brunch, and similar to a sausage egg McMuffin!)

Homemade crepes stuffed with garlic spinach, feta cheese, drizzled with maple syrup (Aly Original Recipe at university)

Salty Popcorn with mint chocolate, or Sweet Popcorn with with Salted Pretzels (all time favourite cinema snacks)

Apart from the Maggi Mee, the one common thread in all these dishes is a sweet-savoury mix. Ahhh.. the best of both worlds.

What about you? What do you like to eat? Xx aly


My perfect holiday…

Sometimes we all need a break right? For me the perfect holiday is one where you do absolutely nothing. It has to have:

A view of the pool…

A view of the Sea…

A pampering in the Spa…

And the most important thing…. An unlimited supply of PRAWNS!

Now that, is a perfect holiday….

The World’s Most Expensive Cupcake

You know how, when you go to designer cupcake stores, and you pay like, RM 6 for a little chocolate cupcake, and you’re like, damn, that’s expensive!

Well, you’ll never think that again when you see this. The world’s most expensive cupcake, named ‘Decadence D’Or’, costing a whopping USD $750, available at the Palazzo Las Vegas.

Wanna know how its made, and what’s in it that’s so special? Check out this behind the scenes video.

Thank God i don’t like cupcakes, or I would feel the need to try this one.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur had organized a French Fair, titled “Douce France” that ran from the 21st -27th May 2010. The highlight for me? Meeting 3 Michelin Star Chef Chef Mathieu Pacaud, of the famed L’ambroisie in Paris.

And that’s not the best part! I even got to sample his blissful creations at the The Roland Collection Wine Dinner at Senses, Hilton KL. An evening of pure bliss.

You can read all about it here.

I think it’s time to start saving up for a trip to Paris…

Guess who I met last week?

Laura Calder! Of AFC’s French Food at Home! It’s her first time in Malaysia and the tour is aptly named ‘A French Affair’, and at a media afternoon at Samplings on the Fourteen, Berjaya University College of Hospitality, she showed us what she really can do.

If you wanna find out more about what she cooked (and what I ate) click here.

Wow, I’m definitely gonna catch the new season of French Food at home that airs every Monday on the Asian Food Channel, Starhub Channel 435.

French cookin’ here I come!

Jimmy Choo – The shoes that make a woman

Jimmy Choo… the name is synonymous with shoes. Think high end fashion, think Jimmy Choo.

I spent many years in London, not ever daring to step into one of the stylish stores, with glistening shoes, pristinely displayed in the windows. They taunted me, they tempted me, but I never succumbed. Well, to be quite honest with you at £ 400 a pair, I just plain couldn’t afford it.

Then last week, I met the man himself. By sheer chance, (now knighted by the Sultan of Pahang ) Dato’ Jimmy Choo graced the StarRFM offices with his presence for an interview with our sister Chinese station, 988. I jumped at the chance to meet him, and was slightly embarrassed at my choice of footwear for the day.

“What size do you wear?” he asked politely, trying not to stare at my underdressed and pathetically clothed feet. “I will make you something suitable.”

I couldn’t believe it. After all those years of longing, there they were, a pair of Jimmy Choo’s within my reach.

What you have to understand is that the brand Jimmy Choo, and the man himself, are no longer the same person. In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since been concentrating his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd. Most recently, the fashion community paid tribute to him by bestowing the Mercedes-Benz Stylo “Most Iconic Fashion Mentor” award from the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah at the Stylo Fashion Grand Prix opening.

I’m having visions of Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, in Sex and the City.  Running to catch the Staten Island Ferry, Carrie loses a shoe and cries “Wait! I lost my Jimmy Choos!” as the boat pulls away from the pier.

When I get my shoes, I will find a ferry, perhaps the one that crosses from Butterworth to Penang. I will put on my Jimmy Choo’s and reenact that scene from Sex and the City.

After all, it is the shoes that make a woman. And it is the man, Jimmy Choo that makes the shoes. I, like Carrie Bradshaw, must pay him tribute.

Aly’s guide to maximizing your Buffet experience…

Have a walk through the ENTIRE buffet

Don’t waste plate space on beef and broccoli, when the likes of oysters or sushi are for the taking.

Plan your route

Cold dishes first like salads, antipasti, sushi, sashimi. Maybe a soup to warm you up. Move on to main courses and DO NOT GO BACK. Eat your food in the proper order, and your stomach will thank you for it.

Avoid pasta, rice or any kind of carbs

These are usually first in the line of main courses. If you take it, you are a SUCKER.

Try new things

Experiment. You never know, with all that variety you might find something new that you like.

Minimize fried food intake

It may smell good, and taste great at first. But once you’ve eaten your 5th piece of deep-fried chicken or calamari rings, you’ll feel the oil seeping out of your pores and realize that everything is cooked in the same fat.

Dessert is a must

Avoid the chocolate mousse that is cheap to produce and has a long shelf life. Eat fruits instead, value for money, healthy and often freshly cut.

And why am I telling you this?

To prepare you. For what? You’ll find out soon enough. Keep your eyes peeled for the next restaurant in The Big Red Food Review. I’m going for a tasting tonight. I am prepared. BRING IT ON!

xx aly