Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Visiting UK from Malaysia? Do it now!

According to this article, from next year, Malaysians will probably require to apply for a visa before visitng the UK, at the price of RM1200.

RM1,200 !!!!

That's almost as much as the return fare for KL to London, althought it wuld have to be an AirAsia promo fare! Still, it is a lot of money and is sure to put many people off. So, if you have any plans to visit the UK, do it now!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Museo del Jamon, Madrid, Spain

Back in June this year, we paid a fleeting visit to Madrid, the capital of Spain. We saw lots of memorable sights and ate some truly amazing food. One of the highlights was at this location, just around the corner from our hotel, near Puerto del Sol, the heart of the city - similar to Piccadilly Circus in London.

The Museo del Jamon (translated - museum of ham) is a chain of restaurants in Madrid and specialised in the obvious, but they were served mainly as starters, which we skipped. Yes, I know, it was like going to A&W and not having the root beer, but we noticed that their portions of main courses were really big and thought we did not have room for starters as well.

They sell ham by the joints and during the day, act as a market where people come in the droves to buy the ham which they are famous for. However, there is a bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs where punters would enjoy their wide variety of popular Spanish dishes. Standing while eating did not appear to be a problem for the Spanish, but we chose to go upstairs to the seating area.

All over the restaurant, there were joints of ham hung up on the wall for sale. Surprisingly, they did not smell at all.

We only had two dishes ... this roast half chicken with chips was the smallest portion they had. Dont let the bland looking chicken fool you - it had the best tasting and crispiest chicken skin I ever tasted! I do not know what they used to marinate this, but I have never tasted chicken like this anywhere else outside Spain. Seems like this is the normal way they do a roast chicken in Spain, as I have tasted similar chickens elsewhere in the city.

And the highlight of the meal was this crispy battered mixed seafood platter. It was huge and only cost about 12 euros. It consisted of prawns, whitebait, squid, some whitefsh chunks (cod?) and pink fish chunks (cant be salmon as they were too small - the chunks were half the fish). Dont let the blandness of the picture fool you - everything was so crispy that I ate the prawns whole, including the shell! And you could literally taste the freshness in the fishes - I have never tasted squid as tender as what was serverd here! I still dream of this dish today and if I am in Madrid again, this is the first place I would dine at!

Museo del Jamon
Carrera de San Jerónimo, 6
nearest metro: Puerta del Sol

Monday, 7 December 2009

Siu Yook ( Crispy Roast Pork ) - disastrous results!

Ok, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to make siu yook last night.
Bought a rolled joint of belly pork and started my attempt, with great anticipation.

Mistake number one:
When I unrolled the joint and undid the strings, I noticed that the skin had been scored.

Oh well, never mind.. maybe it wont matter.
So I pierce lots holes on the skin with a sharp knife and blanched the skin.
Then I marinated it with rice wine, salt, pepper and 5 spice powder and leave it to dry for a couple of hours.

So, I popped it into the oven for 1 hr ... hmm... skin still has not risen. As the rest of the pork was cooked, I put the skin towards the grill. After a few mins, it started to char and burn, but the skin still has not risen!

Ok, decided to give up.
When I tried to cut it, it was so tough my knife would not go through the skin! So, unfortunately, it had to go into the bin!

Better luck next time, I hope! Any tips would be greatly welcomed!