Easy dinner:Seared scallops

Saturday, July 19, 2014 Liyana Hanim 0 Comments

I wanted to do a post about MH17 and the devastating situation in Gaza because I have strong opinions on both..I drafted quite a long one but I decided not to publish it because I don't want to make people sad when they read my blog.

There's so much sadness and horrible things going on right now...I want to say condolences to the family and friends of the passengers on board MH17.May the parties who are responsible for the shoot out be brought to justice!

And for what's happening in Gaza,know that a lot of people are praying for the Palestinians and collecting funds for them.What Israel did is horrible.It's been going on for years.May those responsible for the deaths of so many civilians in Palestin,to rot in hell.

In the early week of fasting month,the boyfriend and I,along with his sister Qeema went to buy groceries because we wanted to cook instead of buying food for iftar.
Lots of scallops!
Since Razin and I have had scallops before,we wanted to try and cook them ourselves.Fresh scallops are hard to find in supermarkets so we had to make do with frozen ones but they were still very good!

It was very easy to sear them.Razin's bestie Aie who came over joined us to eat it as well.:)
Seared scallops
Frozen/fresh scallops
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

  • Heat up some butter and olive oil in a pan.
  • Drain your defrost scallops,if you're using frozen ones.
  • Use a kitchen towel to pat the scallops dry.If it's a bit wet,it won't sear well!
  • Season with a little salt & pepper.
  • Sear scallops in the pan until it's golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve!

With a side salad
It's really simple and seared scallops taste realllly good!If you want the occasional splurge,buy some scallops and cook them with your loved ones.So yummy!


Penang food trail:Part 2.

Monday, July 14, 2014 Liyana Hanim 1 Comments

This is the second part of my Penang Food trail.There's two places that I forgot to take pictures of--Nasi Kandar Beratur and Padang Kota.Went to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre but it was disappointing..we've been there before last year and this time the variety was even less!

I've been to Penang and lived there before so I've been to Line Clear Nasi Kandar,Gurney Hawker,Balik Pulau etc so we didn't go to those places this time.This are some of the new(-ish) food places that I went to recently.Read Part 1 in the previous post :)

1.Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul (Lebuh Keng Kwee,Georgetown)
This bowl of laksa is really tasty.Super delicious!My friend recommended it but when I came there and saw the sign I was like..hey,they've an outlet in Sunway Pyramid!haha But of course this was the original one and it's muchhh cheaper.

A bowl of laksa was only rm3.50--there's the usual stuffs like the laksa from Air Itam but they added fresh pineapple slices to the laksa & the petis was on the side.It was a really great bowl of laksa.I can't wait to try the Sunway Pyramid/Paradigm outlet to taste whether it's pretty similar or not.

2.Indies Restaurant(Tanjung Tokong)

My friend Sipi told me that Indies has great banana leaf rice and that I should order their mango chutney with my rice.I'm not a fan of curry but I decided to go to Indies because funnily I love banana rice and the mango chutney intrigues me.
Super delicious plate of food
I was glad we went to Indies as the food was super delicious!You have to go there people.The place is clean and they serve authentic Indian food.It's near the drive-thru Starbucks!I ordered the fish banana leaf rice and it came with the mango chutney,dhall curry,and 2 more vegetable dish--one had this superrrr delicious carrot puree which I think was cooked in ghee??It was soooo good!I wish they'd open an outlet in Klang Valley.T_T


Our meals in Penang goes like this--brunch(cos we always wake up late...it's a holiday after all!),tea and supper.So one night we went to find this famous nasi tomato Batu Lanchang..but when we came there..they weren't open!It opens 11pm-2am daily.So we asked this lady there and she said that they closed because to prepare for the fasting month.T_T
So we googled places to eat in Penang that operates 24 hours and we choose Kapitan.Ordered the chicken briyani and was surprised when it was just rice with grilled chicken.There was no papadom(they were out),no vegetables acar.There were dhall curry and I asked for kuah madu.That's it.But once you dig in..the rice was so delicious and so was the chicken.Very surprising!

Although it was "kosong(empty)" as it was just rice + chicken + gravy..it was one of the memorable dishes that I ate in Penang.

4.Mak Ee(Air Itam)

I stumbled upon this shop while walking back to our car after having laksa at pasar air itam.I saw the sign with karipap pusing on it and immediately had to go into the shop.It was a tiny shop selling chicken curry karipap pusing,portuguese egg tarts and..durian puffs.
I love karipap pusing and are always trying to find the best karipap pusing..it's pretty hard because a lot of people always get it wrong! :( But Mak Ee didn't!The karipap was hugeee and it was rm2 each.It had chunks of chicken in it with delicious sweet spicy curry.Thinking about it makes me salivate!
If I go back to Penang, I would definitely grab a couple of these.They're soooo good!


Penang food trail:Part 1.

Sunday, July 13, 2014 Liyana Hanim 0 Comments

A day after my birthday(25th June),I went to Penang for a 3 days 2 nights trip and there was a lot of food involved.I used to live in Penang for 2 years when I was 13 but of course nowadays Penang is wayyy different.There's more new eateries and a lot more malls.

When I went to Penang in February last year,Paragon Mall and Straits Quay wasn't opened yet.So this time we went to both malls along with many places to eat that were recommended by my friend who's staying in Penang and Time Out Penang.This is part 1 of the places we went!

1.Blue Reef Fish and Chips(Straits Quay)

Blue Reef was in my list of places to eat in Penang as it was recommended by Time Out Penang.But we stumbled upon it while walking in Straits Quay.I was surprised that the price was super reasonable when the portion is big and the seafood is quite fresh.

A plate of their fried tilapia(flaky&yummy),scallops,prawns & calamari was only rm38!It can feed 2-3 people.I love on each table there's a bottle of malt vinegar.It's the way they eat fish and chips back in Britain.Their tartare sauce is so yummy and they actually sell it for you to bring home in a jar.
I would definitely come back to Blue Reef if I'm ever in Penang one day.

 2.Four Seasons Bakery(Straits Quay)

I stumbled upon this bakery as we were leaving Straits Quay.It was around 6-ish and when I went in,a lot of the baked goods were gone!So I vowed to come back the next day.
The beautiful bakery

Beautiful loaves of bread
The bakery stated that they don't use margerine..only real butter and no preservatives!When you enter the bakery it feels like you're in a proper French bakery.It's actually a French/Japanese bakery.I love how neat the bakery was and the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries.
Heart shaped pies 

Pain au chocolat

When I came by the next day,I bought only two types of pastries.Didn't buy much because I wanted to buy more on the last day before we leave Penang.

I bought their chocolate custard bun and milk tarts.Both were yummy and lightly sweet.I love the quality of the baked goods from the bakery.On the last day I bought a few loaves of breads and croissants.The baked goods there sold out FAST so if you're in Penang and want to buy any of their stuffs,you must go there before noon or else there's nothing much to buy.

 3.China House (Georgetown)

A lot of people I know who lives in Penang who went to Penang would show the array of cakes from Chinatown.Being a lover of desserts,I of course had to go!
So many cakes!
Luckily we managed to find a parking within walking distance of China House and went there for tea.The array of cakes was amazing!There was so many delicious looking desserts.It was pretty hard to choose but I managed to narrow it down to two choices.
I had a slice of almond lemon syrup cake and chocolate hazelnut torte.Both were delicious but the almond cake was my favorite.It was delicious and I would love to replicate the recipe one day.The cakes were rm10 per slice though some of the others had different pricing.I didn't try any of the dishes on their menu because we were there for tea.But the prices were pretty high!

4.Pasar Air Itam Laksa(Air Itam)

I've heard from many sources that this is the most original/authentic laksa Penang in Penang.So I know I had to go there.There were a lot of people eating their laksa but luckily the owner of the stall told us that we can sit at this soya bean shop across the street & they can send the laksa to us there.Score!
Busy preparing laksa!
The laksa was one of the best I've had in my life.It was spicy and delicious!I don't remember the price..maybe it was rm3.50?Superrrrrr cheap!It was filled with vegetables--cucumber,onions,mint leaves and a tasty broth thick with fish.There was also "petis' on top of the laksa--a sauce I would say..made out of prawns brains/heads?My late aunt on my mum's side loveee petis and had a jar of it in her fridge.
So good!
Part 2 will continue soon!


My first Longchamp Planètes bag

Monday, July 07, 2014 Liyana Hanim 0 Comments

When I first laid my eyes on Longchamp Le Pliage..I thought it was a bit..ugly.I guess I didn't like the brown leather handles mixed with the color of the bag.But one day,while I was at my aunt's house,she had a purple Planètes bag and when I touch it,the material felt so nice.

It was different than the flimsy material that I've seen on Le Pliage.I felt in love with the color.If you remembered,I had a purple Cambridge Satchel(which I've sold last year).I just love a purple bag but it's hard to find one that is of high quality and well-designed while not being too expensive.

My friend Aimi also has a Planètes bag and she recommended me to buy it as it is much sturdier than the Pliage.She recommended me this seller whom she bought the bag from as she buys them from Europe and it's 100% original.I decided to purchase it from the lady and I got my bag within 3 working days and was able to bring it to my trip to Penang.

My cousin who bought this bag for my aunt also told me to not buy the Pliage bag as it doesn't last long.She used to work as a manager for a high end brand before starting her own business..so she knows her stuffs :P

Now I wear the bag almost everyday because it is so convenient!I love the color,the shape and the fact that it's very roomy.Oh,I bought the Planetes 1899 in Plum.The bag is very affordable and trust me when I say that it's a great buy :)


Book review:Paper Towns by John Green

Saturday, July 05, 2014 Liyana Hanim 0 Comments

I enjoyed reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and after that,I wanted to read more of his works.It's what I do with a lot of my favorite authors...I have to have all of the books that they've written.It's like an addiction.I have all of Khaled Hosseini's books,Frances Mayes(hers was pretty expensive as they're not fiction.),Fannie Flagg(her stories always gives me a warm feeling.The moment when I was able to track the first book she wrote in 1983&hold it in my hand was an awesome feeling!) and many more.When you find a good author,you want to keep reading their works.That was what John Green is to me.

So I found out that another one of his book,Paper Towns,will be turned into a movie soon.I finished reading the book in..3-4 days I think.It's 100 percent different than The Fault In Our Stars.But the characters are still young adults.Young adults hold the buying power in America so it's understandable that he writes with them in mind.But then again,a book is a book and if reviews are great, it'll appeal to people all over the world.Adults reads Harry Potter too! 

Paper Towns was an enjoyable read.There were moments that spooked me in the book(it's not a ghost story,trust me!) and moments that were exciting.

The book is about Quentin Jacobsen or Q as he is called who lives in Orlando,Florida,who has had a crush on his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman(I like her name&Q always says her full name) since they were little kids.They were close when they were little but when they grew up,they drift apart and hangs with different circles in their high school. 

One random night,Margo climbs to Q's bedroom window,dressed like a ninja and asked him to help her with her plan.Later he founds out that her plan was to revenge on three people--her ex-boyfriend Jase,the girl he cheated on her with,Becca and also her friend,Lacey.To me this part of the book was exciting(there's a few more exciting parts as well) because it was like Q and Margo against the world.It was funny as well because of Margo's plan to execute her revenge--some involved catfish(the fish,not the mtv show).

After that night,Margo never showed up to school.After the third day she went missing,her parents filed a police report.Her parents told Q and his family that this was the fourth time that she has run away from home & that she left clues before on where to find her.Q thought that he was supposed to find her and that she left clues for him.He did found some clues but it wasn't easy to decode them.

This was when things started to get a little confusing,headache inducing,a few crazy road trips and many more.Q has two best friends named Ben Starling and Marcus "Radar" who helped him to find Margo while navigating high school and the most important thing --prom.hahaha.

The part the spooked me was the abandoned mini mall.It just seems really dilapidated and scary.And also when Q thought that he was supposed to find Margo's dead body.

This book isn't about a love story.It's more about friendship.Margo's character is very complex and she wasn't what Q thought she was.Most of the people in her social circle didn't really know who she was either.I really like the book and can't wait to watch the movie version.Q will be played by Natt Wollf--who played Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars.

I wonder who they'll cast as Margo.But her scenes won't be much anyway since 80% of the story involves Q,Ben,Radar & also Lacey.So far only Nat Wollf has been confirmed to star in the movie.Watch for that space!


My 27th birthday on the 25th of June

Friday, July 04, 2014 Liyana Hanim 0 Comments

Happy fasting to all of my Muslim friends!Hope you're doing great so far :) July is here and today I'm finally blogging about what happened on my birthday.

June is my favourite month out of the whole year..Because it's my birthday month!!As usual,every year the boyfriend will always try his best to make it a great day for me.This year was a memorable birthday like all of the years that he has been celebrating it with me..(almost 4 years!).I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because he would always do something special on my birthday :)

When the clock strikes 12 am,he called me and sang me happy birthday,twice!It was not unusual as he has done this before.But this time around..after he sang the song,he told me that he was outside my house!I was like..what???He usually comes to see me in the morning on my birthday so that was a surprise!
So yummy!!
He brought this awesome "special cake" with him.It consisted some of the desserts that I love.The layer below is a Trianon cake,on top was an assortment of Wondermilk cupcakes and in the middle was a big jar of creme brulee.It was all delicious!The sweet thing was that,he actually arrived at my house at 11.30 pm and waited for 30 minutes in the car so that the clock will strike at 12 am..awwwwww.*sigh*

The next day,which was my birthday,he picked me up for lunch and drove us to Nilai because he said that he wanted to show me the boxes that's available for the packaging of my desserts.We managed to look at a few options but I didn't buy anything as the purpose was to survey but there was a great deal and I couldn't resist to buy two pretty cake stands as they were 50% off!

Blurred photo because it was at night!:P
Then he drove to Klang because he said that he needed to pick up some printing stuffs and it closes soon.So I just waited in the car for him.When he entered the car,he gave me two big boxes..I was like what is this?I opened it and there it was,my new logo for my cooking/baking side business (which he designed!),printed on a beautiful white plate.And there's two of them!awwwwww..He thinks about these little things :)

It's amazing to have someone who's super supportive about something in your life.He wants my food business to be successful and I do dream of opening a tiny bakeshop/cafe one day.Insyallah.

Then we went for dinner.But he wouldn't tell me where he's taking me.Like every other year,he'll bring me to some place that I haven't been to.:) It was quite far from Shah Alam..when suddenly he entered KLPAC I was like..there's a place to eat inside??By the way,the old empty buildings inside KLPAC looks so creepy at night.

Tadaaaa.This is the place and it's called Bistro Richard.The boyfriend made reservations and when we was about to enter the Bistro,the front of the house asked whether he was Mr Razin or Mr Chris.haha.That's great service as she wasn't holding any piece of paper but she remembers the name of those who made their reservations!

Romantic ambiance
The ambiance of the place is very romantic and cozy.They actually put mosquito coils underneath our table to ward off any pesky mosquitoes(as there's a huge pond next to the bistro).We choose to sit outside and they actually had a stand fan for us..which was cute..hahaha.
Excuse my messy hair!ahaha

For appetizers we ordered escargot,french onion soup and their special of the day---scallops with feta salad(if I'm not mistaken).
Super tasty!
It was my first time and the boyfriend as well..eating escargot.The boyfriend's sister Qeema have been telling me that I should try it.I'm glad that the boyfriend insisted we order it as it was yummy!It was cooked in garlic butter..so good.
The waitress was so nice when we asked her to demo how to eat one.haha You basically clamped the escargot using the snail fork/thong(I looked it up!) and then use this small fork to take out the snail meat inside.

The french onion soup was delicious as well.For drinks I ordered the Shirley Temple and the boyfriend asked for lemonade.

This was my first time eating scallops as well.I always feel squeamish eating anything that has a hard shell(I don't eat lala/kerang etc).But I braved myself and gave it a go!It was delicious but I guess raw scallops just wasn't my thing as I preferred the escargots more.The scallops had a briney taste to it akin to fresh oysters(which I've eaten before).
Seafood ravioli
I've tasted black truffles before.When the boyfriend asked me to describe what it tastes like..it was hard because it's unlike anything I've eaten.It just tastes really good.So I was surprised when my seafood ravioli had lots of black truffles on it.It was really really good.

Pan seared black cod
The boyfriend ordered the dish above and I managed to taste some of it.It was really yummy.On top of the fish was fried onions.

After dinner we chatted and then the boyfriend asked for the menu again and he asked me to order desserts.I wanted panna cotta and he ordered crepes suzette.
Crepes suzette
Both desserts were delicious!There were bits and bobs of those crackly things that pops in your mouth(Fiq's Gastronomy have those on their desserts as well).
Panna cotta
Overall,I had a lovely dinner at Bistro Richard.Everything about the place is great.After the meal,I wanted to look at the bill but the boyfriend declined.5 days after that,he allowed me to look at the receipt..haha He didn't want me to feel guilty on my birthday I guess haha (how I feel when he spends too much on me).The bill for our meal was..RM310 I think(I didn't remember the exact figure).But we ordered a lot of food so it was worth the money(boyfriend's money haha)spent.

Bistro Richard's website:

I got another birthday gift from the boyfriend which is this stand mixer below.Now as you know,I have a baking/cooking side business (HERE) and all these years I've only been using a hand mixer to create all of my desserts.Having this thing is so awesome because it makes things easier for me.I'm just sooo thankful for the boyfriend for giving me this great gift which I will use every week!
My baking/cooking blog: http://mylilkitchenshop.blogspot.com/
My baking/cooking instagram: @mylilkitchen
My instagram: @liyanahanim