Char Kuay Teow

Well I am officially back from holidays and absolutely exhausted by it was a good trip and we saw many places and took many photos. It will take a while for me to sort through those photos but don't worry, will let you know when it's posted on my Flickr account!

Having my parents here means I get home cooked meals without lifting a finger! I have been very spoilt by my parents, and almost don't want them to go back to Malaysia! But they will be going home in two days so I suppose I'll just make the most of it while they're still here. With that said, they're actually out at Victoria Market right now with my cousins - I just don't have the energy to go out and do tourist things anymore, especially since we have a bub on the way... yes, you heard that right. If you're reading this line, and if you are reading this blog entry instead of just skimming through, yes I am 8 weeks pregnant and due on the 13th of December :)

Anyway, I figured since I haven't posted a real recipe blog post in a while - and since I've cooked this Char Kuay Teow for lunch today while parents were out sightseeing, why not post this. It is a very simple version of Char Kuay Teow, perfect for those days when you need a quick and easy meal.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 packet fresh flat rice noodles
100g fresh bean shoots
150g seafood mix - mussels, prawns, squid and fish
2 eggs
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp kicap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tsp light soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in wok on high heat. Add seafood mix and cook thoroughly until fish is no longer translucent and prawns turn pink, approx. 3-4 minutes. Push seafood to one side of the wok and crack both eggs open and cook in wok. Season lightly with salt. Use spatula to break the yolk lightly and fry egg into an omelette before mixing in with the seafood.

Add flat rice noodles, oyster sauce, kicap manis and light soy sauce. Stirfry for a few minutes until the noodles are tender and mixed in well with the sauce. Add some pepper to taste. At the very last minute before serving, toss in fresh bean shoots.

Serve hot and garnish with fresh coriander.

I'm on Holidays!

Ok well, not yet but I will be in exactly 40 minutes from now! I am off for a 12-day extended Easter holidays in which during this time my parents (and my cousin and her fiancee) will be arriving in Melbourne tomorrow morning and we'll be doing a lot of sight-seeing together and a lot of photography!

Also on Easter Monday we are off for a 4-day roadtrip via the country to Sydney! We will be stopping at various towns along the way including spending the night at Hay and Blue Mountains before actually spending a day in Sydney.

Quite excited for my parents as this will be their first real trip to Australia since our wedding 3 years and 4 months ago! Back then it was all about the wedding so they didn't get to see much of Australia - this time they will be seeing lots!

I will be constantly updating my Twitter during this time of sight-seeing and road trip - so if you can't wait for my blog posts, follow me on Twitter!

Catch you guys soon, and enjoy your Easter break :)

Crispy Pork Belly, New Rangehood & Amazing Eats

I finally get my kitchen back!! I finally get my kitchen back!! Hubby took almost a week to finish up his rangehood installation project. Our kitchen was in a complete mess for most of this week, and whilst I was lovin' eating out, after a while you just want to be able to cook whatever you feel like eating, you know what I mean?

Funny enough, I know I have my kitchen back but first thing on my To Eat list was nothing fancy or time consuming despite my slight feeling of being deprived of cooking. On the contrary, I felt like a "pub-ish" meal and Christened our new rangehood cooking Crispy Pork Belly with Tarragon, and some fries and veggies. Perhaps I also kept it really simple so there wasn't yet ANOTHER mess to clean up!

As for the rangehood, check it out.. it's nice and new and shiny stainless steel. I almost don't want to cook anything oily so it remains clean and shiny!

I've had amazing eats this week though, please excuse the quality of the photos below as I take you through a chronicle of my yummy eats taken with my trusty BlackBerry:

Korean BBQ feast at Korean Hyeung Jae BBQ House in Footscray. I was having too much fun I only remembered to take a photo just as we were about to finish eating!! We had the Kimchi Fried Rice, Beef Bulgogi, Vegetarian Pancake, Wagyu & Pork Belly BBQ. Yumm!!

Pork Festival (Twitter hashtag #porkfest) at The Provincial Hotel, Fitzroy. An amazing and fun night with my fellow food bloggers and Twitter friends. Great laughs and incredible food. Unfortunately my DSLR camera battery died but I wasn't stressed. After all, I was surrounded by food bloggers! I am STILL waiting for them to blog about the night, and when they do I will be sure to share their posts with you all!

Dinner at Ambrosia Cafe and Restaurant, Berwick. As you all may or may not know, I live in Berwick which is a South Eastern Suburb approx. 40 minutes away from Melbourne. So it's not exactly CBD and a lot of my friends don't even know where Berwick is. So I am just proud to say that despite its almost "outback" location, Berwick has some pretty decent restaurants that can put some CBD restaurants to shame. Ambrosia is one of them, and these photos above prove my point.

By the way, I tweet all these pictures in detail - so if you're not already following me on Twitter, make sure you do!

Lazy Friday Night at Secret Recipe, Fountain Gate (Narre Warren). Also not too far away from home, is miraculously, pretty close to authentic Malaysian food served at Secret Recipe. This restaurant (located in a shopping centre) may not seem like much - after all, it presents a confusing menu of a mixture of Western breakfast, and Malaysian / Western / Italian mains to choose from. Strange variety, but works for me! I come here just for my chicken curry and sambal fix. Between hubby and I, we shared the Nasi Lemak and the Roti Canai with Chicken Curry. Had a wonderful lazy Friday night out with friends and a movie afterwards.

So I guess this blog post is more of a summary that doesn't go too much in detail, but pretty much just wrapped up my Twitter feed? Looks like "micro blogging" via Twitter has been really convenient, but it's time to get serious again and not let the "hard work" involved in actual blogging turn me off.

Do you have the same problem I do? Do you find yourself blogging less and less thanks to 140 characters and convenience of Twitter?

Meeting Matt Moran @ Chadstone

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of meeting Matt Moran whilst he was doing a cooking demonstration at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne. Matt Moran is no stranger in the Australian culinary world, he owns the award winning ARIA, a prestigious restaurant with locations in Sydney and Brisbane, and is a regular face in the hit reality cooking show, MasterChef Australia. Read more about Matt Moran here.

Matt demonstrated his Mushroom Risotto recipe on Saturday, right in the middle of Chadstone Shopping Centre. Unfortunately they were not allowed to feed us due to some food regulations, etc. Oh well! It SMELT good!

Once again I must apologise for the lack of blogging recipes. Hubby has been home and doing some serious work around the house, particularly the kitchen! He is replacing our old rangehood (the fan hasn't been working for a while) and putting in new cupboards, etc directly above the stove so I haven't really been able to cook anything unless it is prepared 100% in the oven! That's actually a bigger challenge than I thought, since a lot of my cooking involves stir-frying fragrant spices beforehand anyway.

I can't wait to get my kitchen back, it has power tools and wood and equipment all over the place at the moment, but once it's all done it will be AWESOME!

Chocolate Banana Puff Pastry

I haven't been able to experiment with new and impressive recipes lately. Hubby and I were away during the weekend, we stayed the night at a hotel in the city and got pampered with room service and restaurant meals. Weeknights are generally busy and I tend to cook really simple food just to keep us going. One weeknight, as I was wondering whether or not I should make dessert... I've noticed a couple of browning bananas and initially thought I'd make my banana fritters.

However, the thought of messy gooey batter and cleaning up the wok and stove after deep frying turned that idea off completely...

So instead, I thawed a couple of puff pastry sheets and experimented with this recipe. Turned out quite delicious! And SO simple to make, only four ingredients. Now that's my kind of weeknight treat :)

2 puff pastry sheets
2 browning bananas
4 tbsp Nutella spread
Some melted butter

Lightly brush melted butter onto the surface of the puff pastry sheets. Top each sheet with 2 tbsp Nutella, and place one browning banana on each pastry sheet. Gently roll puff pastry sheet over the banana, tuck it in under the banana, and continue rolling. Squeeze ends of pastry sheet before cooking in preheated oven at 180C for approx. 15-20 minutes.

Slice into 3-4 pieces and serve warm with ice-cream (optional).

I promise I will pick up my slack very soon! With Easter holidays approaching, I should have plenty of time to come up with something amazing, hopefully. My parents will be visiting from Malaysia too, so it is time to impress them, hehe.

Also, I'm organising a Food Bloggers / Twitter dinner event next Monday on the 11th April at The Provincial Hotel in Fitzroy. Last time I was there, I had a whole suckling pig. This time, we will be treated to a wonder 3 course pig menu with dessert as part of the month of April's Pork Festival at The Provincial. Can't wait! 15 people have confirmed so far... if you're based in Melbourne, and would like to join us, please let me know!

Happy 1st Birthday to Kimba's Kitchen!

Hey everyone, guess what! My blog aka Kimba's Kitchen turns 1 today!!

And no.. this is no April Fool's joke. My blog was actually set up exactly one year ago! I can hardly believe that my blog is only one year old, I feel like I've been doing this a long time, yet I also feel like a baby compared to so many amazing food bloggers out there - but thanks to your support and continuous encouragement, what started as a personal blog to document a collection of favorite recipes turned into this huge thing for me with unexpected overwhelming response.

So THANK YOU! If you're reading this right now, even if it's your first time here, THANK YOU!!