affogato

I’m eating the best breakfast I’ve ever had in my entire life with the Sakuma’s and drinking the most delicious affogato on a chilly autumn morning and I’m happier than a pig rolling in the proverbial stuff! smirk

devon cafe surry hills

Devon Cafe is a trendy breakfast spot located at Surry Hills. The shape of the cafe is slightly unusual due to the extensions, and they have parts in the middle where it’s almost al-fresco, except for the camouflage nets thrown over the ceiling in an effort to keep the heat in.

devon sydney

We were seated at the back, where lots of interesting graffiti graces the walls but unfortunately, a member of our party (her first time in Australia) couldn’t really tolerate the cold so we all shifted to a table beside an industrial heater.

chai latte

You can actually see into the courtyard beside the cafe since it’s practically al-fresco, with just netting and fences, which reminds me a lot of the inner-courtyard of Adolf Wagner in Frankfurt. Devon Cafe is listed under Modern Australian in The Good Food guide and they deliver a short and concise but immensely delectable selection of breakfast dishes.

BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S (AUD 27)
miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63′ egg, radish petit salid & kewpi mayonaise

breakfast with the sakumas

I asked our very bubbly waitress for a recommendation and she suggested this. I was torn between ordering this or the Eggs Blini and I’m glad I followed her recommendation coz this is one divine dish, as expected from ex-Guillaume chefs.

The delicious 63′ egg shimmered on my plate and it was the perfect combination of runny and soft textures. A proper 63′ egg has the *same* consistency for both the yolk and white and takes at least an hour to prepare. I’ve seen a lot of local breakfast places attempt to do this with an off-the-shelf vacuum sealer and sous vide combo (about RM 2,000 from your friendly neighborhood appliances store) but they’ve all failed miserably compared to experience and skill with a bain-marie.

sous vide salmon

However, the most wonderful component of the dish was the miso grilled salmon. I have never thought it possible for salmon to taste this good. I don’t even like salmon (and won’t eat it unless it came from Devon’s). The salmon here is sweet and grilled to perfection, before being given the sous vide treatment and it practically falls apart when I gently applied pressure with my fork.

It’s salmon perfection on a plate! The miso gives the entire piece of king salmon a strong dose of umami as well, making you want to eat more. I have yet to find a better tasting salmon and our guide (who has a Norwegian boyfriend who cooks fish well) even said this tastes better than his and she’s not one to give compliments to fish lightly. It’s so tender, moist and flavorful it’s amazing!

The crispy smoked eel croquette was so good I could happily eat 3 plates in a single sitting.

LITTLE LOST BREAD (AUD 18.50)
PB&J brioche French toast, warm banana, nutella, jam, peanut butter ice cream with bacon

little lost bread

This is just awesome. There are no other adjectives to describe it – the PB&J is “de-constructed” e.g. the peanut butter is actually an ice cream, and there’s a dollop of jam as well as a very generous smear of Nutella on the plate and piles of bacon on top.

LAMB SANDWICH (AUD 20.50)
slow roasted lamb garlic confit, roasted capsicum, cheddar cheese, spinach with chips

lamb sandwich

This didn’t go down very well, but the chips are good and the aioli dipping sauce is wonderful.

KAYA TOAST (AUD 13.70)
coconut jam, butter, light soy 63′ eggs, brioche toast

kaya toast

It’s not 100% authentic since the coconut jam is actually mixed with butter but they made it even better and I love the sous vide egg.

devons affogato

I also had Devon’s Affogato (AUD 7) – a wonderful concoction where 3 perfect coffee beans are put on top of two scoops of artisan ice cream, a cup of melted chocolate with a shot of Five Senses single-origin espresso on the side. Devon’s Cafe has a barista on staff and they only use Alchemy beans and Five Senses single-origin coffee. It’s sinfully good.

devon cafe owner

We had a change to speak with the owner and it turns out that the husband-and-wife duo is Malaysian and Indonesian, respectively. However, their chefs are all poached from Guillaume Bistro and their barista used to train others at Toby’s Estate (still have an unopened tin of single origin Ghana drinking chocolate in my pantry by them).

devons magic muffin

Devon’s Cafe is also very famous for their muffins and we had one to share. It’s best eaten while hot – this is Devon’s Magic Muffin (AUD 4). Seriously, that’s what it’s called! There’s neither THC/CBD nor psilocybin inside (you should head to Amsterdam for those, I had a really good magic muffin while I was there) but it’s still magically delicious.

devon cafe

I would seriously recommend a trip to Surry Hills to check out trendy Devon’s Cafe if you’re in Sydney and into a modern twist on classic Australian dishes. It’s near the station and located right on Devonshire Street so it’s hard to miss. The breakfast here is to die for.

Devon’s Cafe
76, Devonshire Street,
Surry Hills, New South Wales

cornflakes milo

Growing up as a kid in Malaysia in the 80′s was a very interesting experience which I’m sure a lot of us share. I drank a lot of Milo growing up but one of the quirks that us 80′s babies did was pour Milo over our cornflakes. It was the original power breakfast! smirk

I haven’t had cornflakes in a while since I switched to granola / muesli and raw milk but back then such things were scarce, especially in a relatively remote rural area. I tried it again this morning and I have to say, the way the hot Milo makes the cornflakes soggy really brings me back to my childhood.

milo

There’s also another “secret” recipe me and my sister did when we were kids – she likes to mix pure Milo powder and sugar and eat it *JUST LIKE THAT*. I prefered to pour sweetened condensed milk over Milo powder and slowly lick the spoon while watching cartoons – it was the chocolate of our day.

I’m sure everyone in Malaysia grew up with Milo, and now that we’re all adults we’re also incorporating it into our diets. After all, the 3 most common office-sponsored drinks are coffee, tea and Milo.

All nostalgia aside though, the importance of breakfast is something a lot of us don’t really think about in our busy lifestyles nowadays. How many people do you know skip breakfast altogether?

malaysia breakfast day

It’s quite common in every single company I’ve worked in. Start your day by eating right, get positive energy with Milo. Milo is here to set you right with Malaysia Breakfast Day 2014!

milo breakfast day

There’s a lot of healthy recipes on their website (remember to click on the Like button – half a million people can’t be wrong)…

positive energy

…as well as interesting facts about positive energy and breakfast. It’s really important to get that good kickstart to your day and a cup of Milo can provide your with a lot of the major requirements for you to start your day with a smile instead of slogging through until lunch (upon which you go into a food coma).

milo instagram

Milo is also out to spread the #MILOPositiveEnergy with a Twitter and Instagram initiative (OMG, that bowl of soggy cornflakes with MILO is sooo goood :D) which you can participate in. I just said that coz I’m taking bites/slurps in between writing – I’ve forgotten how much I loved this as a kid!

milo tarik

There will also be a celebration of breakfast at the 2014 Malaysia Breakfast Day Run. There will be performances, games, a fun run which you can start registering for right now, and the deliciously good MILO van!

Venue: Perbadanan Putrajaya
Date: 20th April 2014

There will be an 7 km competitive run and a 3 km family fun run – get details on how to register, and the prizes, race bibs, finishing medals and goodie bags at the Malaysia Breakfast Day page. There’s also a lot of information on what Positive Energy is all about!

Imagine the good feeling of having a deliciously cold cup of Milo from the truck on a hot day! I can never get my Milo as good as the ones from the van so I always look forward to it! :)

fennel

We got a nice bulb of fennel while grocery shopping during the weekend. It was primarily due to the placecard they had – it sounded good so I bought it. It’s not the cheapest thing at RM 31.90/kg and my love is so good that she knew the fennel I was holding would be around RM 6 before I went to the weighing machine.

fennel price

It turned out to be RM 6.76 but close enough for government work! smirk

I like this vegetable – I had to watch a YouTube video to know how to properly cut it (there’s a bit of root inside that requires a wedge cut with a sharp knife) and I gave it to Ling raw to see if she liked it for my next cooking experiment.

cleaning fennel

It tastes like liqorice, you know, the black candy that’s sold in a long string. It’s due to the strong aniseed flavor, which can be quite intense when eaten raw but goes away when you cook it.

kale

The bunch of curly kale is a US import and quite expensive at RM 52.49/kg. The two stalks we got cost RM 20 and it felt pretty light to me. Kale and fennel are things we haven’t tried before so I wanted to cook it.

curly kale

It was done two ways – I already knew I wanted to steam mine but my dear stir fried hers with some shallots and oyster sauce and I must say, it tasted really good! This kale in this dish alone costs RM 10 though but well worth it.

stir fried kale

Back to the fennel, I wanted to add it into this new all-fruit wrap that I did for breakfast but I totally forgot about it. It was still an interesting experiment though.

fruit wrap

You will need:

  • Natural dates with branches
  • Avocado
  • Nutella
  • Apricots
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Cape gooseberry (known here as Physalis)

apricot avocado dates wrap

The interesting bit about this all-fruit wrap is that everything except for the Cape gooseberry can be split in half and has a seed inside – the avocado, the apricot, and the dates.

avocado

I like eating good dates – these are Tunisian ones still on the branches, semi-dry and premium ones sold under the “Black Amber” label.

dates on branches

I basically put the avocado (with bites taken out of it coz we were hungry) on first and then added the apricots and dates.

fresh apricots

All of these are split in half by hand and the pit thrown away. I just arranged the halves of the respective fruits on the tortilla wrap.

physalis

The Cape gooseberry is sprinkled down the middle for an acidic, citrus-y bite. I’ve seen a lot of high end Japanese bakeries use this as a decoration and the shroud (the leaf like things on the side) is *not edible*. I wonder what the people eating those pastries whole would feel like. Heh.

Physalis (which is what Cape gooseberry is marketed as here) is a nice berry though – it’s yellow and the larger it is, the sweeter it becomes.

cape gooseberry

I finished off the wrap by putting a bit of Nutella on top of the avocado (it tastes great together) before chilling it in the fridge for 5 minutes and wrapping it up.

The dates provides the saccharine sweetness, with the apricots bringing it’s own mild nectarine fructose into the mix, and the avocado gives off a smooth mouth-feel with the Cape gooseberries there for a sour bite.

avocado nutella wrap

I can’t say it’s a successful wrap coz there’s not enough “moisture” inside – I think adding yoghurt would do wonders for it. It’s still a nice experiment even though I totally forgot about the fennel.

I used all of it for a nice cottage pie, as well as my version of the kale – coming up in the next post! :)

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. :)

cappucinno

POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. ;)

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. ;) The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

making egg mcmuffin

I was at McDonald’s Bandar Sri Damansara over the weekend. I took a typhoid jab before that in preparation to work inside the kitchen.

bloggers breakfast session

There were platters of hash browns, McMuffins and coffee/tea for everyone when I arrived and the second floor was full of people who came for the Bloggers’ Breakfast Session.

bloggers breakfast

Five of my readers turned up with their +1 – Eiling, Adel, Simon, Brenda and Cindy. Rachel was there too, which makes up my montage of 6 photos! :)

bloggers

There was a kitchen tour involved where we go to see the inside of a typical McDonald’s kitchen.

mcdonalds freezer

Here’s the freezer which contains everything from orange juice to specific items like “slivered onion”.

french fries

Here’s the deep frying vat used for French fries.

drive thru

I also managed to go into the drive-thru kiosk to take an order. smirk

mcdonalds drive thru

It was a lot of fun!

counter

However, what was even more fun was that I got the opportunity to prepare breakfast. Look ma! I’m at the other end of the counter! :D This is actually meant for customers (thus the typhoid shot).

orders

The orders come through on a screen behind the preparation counter. The preparation counter is basically a nifty, clean, labelled area where you can prepare everything on the breakfast menu.

done

I did an Egg McMuffin!

gloves

I had to wash my hands and don gloves before that – the gloves in particular intrigued me. You don’t need to touch anything, just slip your hands through the plastic gloves and you’re set for handling the food.

wrapper

The Egg McMuffin is done by taking two English muffins and putting them on the correct paper. There’s a crown and a base for the muffins, all items should be stacked on the latter.

getting cheese

You start with a slice of cheese on the muffin…

getting eggs

…pick a perfect egg from the freshly cooked batch and stacking it on with a spatula.

chicken roll

Before choosing a slice of chicken roll and placing that on top.

mcdonalds eggs

The preparation area is heated (!!!) and so are all the food items, which are discarded after a period of time.

wrapping

There is also a standard way to place and wrap the Egg McMuffin up – everything is done exactly so an Egg McMuffin you order here would be the same as anywhere else in the world.

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin

I was supposed to serve my Egg McMuffin out but I wanted to eat that so I asked if I could.

my egg mcmuffin

Permission granted! :)

egg mcmuffin

I had a lot of fun doing that.

eating caydence

Here’s a shot with Caydence, who’s with McDonald’s!

caydence

She has four (4) different name cards – well, it’s the same but the front bit is different. I thought that was really cool!

mcdonalds

Oh yeah, you remember the importance of breakfast that I was writing about? Well, there was a McDonald’s Breakfast Day last year where 200,000 Malaysians joined the McDonald’s Breakfasts Movement. I was puzzled at the queue at the local McDonald’s so early in the morning – it was due to them serving out free breakfasts.

mcdonalds national breakfast day

This year, there will be a National Breakfast Day on the 18th March 2013 where an estimated 5 million (!) Egg McMuffins will be given out to stress the importance of a wholesome and freshly prepared breakfast.

national breakfast day

It’s the World’s Biggest Breakfast Giveaway! In Malaysia, each of the 222 McDonald’s Breakfast Restaurants will offer a FREE Egg McMuffin to the first 1,000 customers from 7 am to 10 am on National Breakfast Day on 18th March 2013! There’s a hilarious site called Not a Morning Person where you can get more information.

Mark that date folks, and catch up with a co-worker or a loved one over an Egg McMuffin!

pilfered breakfast

Bread: Near expiry locally made potato buns picked up from 7-Eleven several days ago
Spread: Pina Colada jam from Club Med, Phuket which is still edible, much to my surprise
Utensils: Disposable cup noodle fork (I eat two at once and keep the spare)
Tea: Gryphon’s English Breakfast Tea (from hotel’s complimentary array) brewed in a cheap ceramic cup with a knockoff design that was a free gift from a twin giant pack toothpaste purchase and a mini thermo lid which I have lost the receptacle from where it came

I was surprised at what I could dig up at home from basically nothing, creating food out of thin air. I’m still lazing around, reading an ebook and I reckon I’ll continue doing that. I haven’t even finished my breakfast, I just came over to write this. Heh.

breakfast in bed

It’s the breakfast of kings! :D

preserved breakfast

This is a quick and easy breakfast that’s really fast to bang up in the morning. It’s nice to eat rice for breakfast sometimes and I’ve grown to love this dish – I’ve been making variations of this for the past month. It only takes 15 minutes to cook – the exact time it takes for a rice cooker to do its job. :)

ed weng chow do

You will need:
Kwe Hua preserved meat
Lap cheong (waxed Chinese sausages)
Century eggs
Pickled diced daikon (chai bo)
Rice

lap cheong

The best thing about this recipe is that you cook the meat inside the rice cooker so there’s no additional pots or pans to wash up. Heh!

kwe hua meat

Kwe Hua waxed meat is a preserved meat sold in slabs. It’s usually found in the waxed meat section of your friendly neighborhood hypermarket. It costs about RM 2.50 or so per piece. It’s even more expensive than some imported fresh meat. I can’t figure out why yet, but I can’t argue with the taste – it’s absolutely delicious. Waxed meat is the yums. It’s sweet and has a smoky flavor.

lap cheong string

Preserved meats has an intense flavor and taste – it’s not the off-putting kind of intense, it’s the concentrated kind of intense, the essence of meat and spices distilled into one helluva package. :D

poh choy

I have also added some vegetables into this breakfast – it’s the only one I really like – chai bo. Chai bo is called coi pou in Cantonese and it’s picked diced daikon (Oriental radish).

sausage peel

I started off by preparing the lap cheong (Chinese sausages) – it takes a bit of time to peel the things. Lap cheong is wrapped with waxed paper – the easiest way to take it off is to snip off the twist at the top and peel downwards. Once that is done, you can start measuring out the rice and cooking it.

rice cooker cook

Generally, one measure of rice equals to one bowl of rice. Each measure of rice should be accompanied by an equal amount of water e.g. one scoop of rice requires one scoop of water in the rice cooker. Put the rice and water in the rice cooker and add the Kwe Hua meat and lap cheong. Do not add additional water!

fry chai bo

Once you’ve pressed the cook button on the rice cooker, it’s time to fry the chai bo. It’s a very quick affair – just heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and dump in the chai bo. I like my chai bo to be sweet so I added a lot of brown sugar to it. My recipe calls for half the amount of sugar to chai bo ratio.

chai bo sugar

I know that sounds a bit excessive but chai bo is extremely salty. I forgot to soak the chai bo in water beforehand – it’ll be easier to work with if you do that. The sugar caramelizes with the oil and adds that umami taste to the chai bo. I didn’t put any extras into it – I like my chai bo unadulterated. :)

new century egg

I found these new century eggs while grocery shopping one day – they don’t have a coating of mud and rice husk – it’s just covered with wax.

century egg

No, it’s not a fake egg – it’s just not made in the traditional way but with modern methods which produces the same results by alkali and sodium infusion (which is really what the traditional recipe does anyway).

century egg peeled

It’s MUCH easier to peel – it’s just like cracking a hard boiled egg, you don’t have to worry about accidentally squashing the egg when you open it (the egg doesn’t stick to the shell) and as a bonus it won’t produce a mess.

chai bo

Crack open a century egg and slice it in half. Serve the chai bo with the century eggs as a side dish.

rice cooker

The rice with the Kwe Hua preserved meat and lap cheong should be done by now. Open up the rice cooker and marvel at the wonder that you’ve just created. Heh! It tastes great when paired with the chai bo and century egg.

rice

Anyway, if you haven’t already noticed, this breakfast is full of unhealthy items – everything from the meat, vegetables and egg are preserved. It is REALLY high in sodium so if you have a condition e.g. high blood pressure, it might not be a good idea to partake. You’ll need to drink tons of water for the thirst afterwards. It is very delicious though!

eating preserved breakfast

I think this non-alcoholic cantaloupe beer with hops and malt might be the healthiest component of our breakfast. smirk

kl nasi lemak

You know, back where I come from, very few people could claim they had nasi lemak for breakfast. Sibu is a cultural abnormality – it looks predominantly Chinese (although the population census will tell you it’s predominantly Iban) so the usual breakfast is noodles or something to that effect.

kl nasi lemak van

Well, over here in KL, I’ve been eating a lot of nasi lemak. I’ve actually grown quite fond of this stuff, craving it even. I look anxiously out my condo window at 7 am sharp every morning to spot the nasi lemak vendor pulling up in his trusty old van and rush down to buy some while it’s still warm.

I still remember a snippet of conversation that occurred the first time I went:
Nasi lemak man: Ada apa lagi?
HB: Ketam. (Crabs)
Nasi lemak man’s wife: Ketam tak ada, tapi kerang ada. Si ham. (We don’t have crabs but we have clams)
HB: Oh ya, kerang. Brain not functioning today.

I love the couple, they’re very friendly people with a great sense of humor. I’ve seen a lot of people from the neighborhood offices purchasing his warez too. Nasi lemak for breakfast is pretty common over here in KL. I’ve grown to love the stuff – I like it with clams (kerang, not ketam), lots of sambal, a fried egg and a piece of chicken drumstick.

kl nasi lemak macro

It’s pure artery clogging goodness! ;)

(which I’m sure I’ll regret when I’m 50 and my cholesterol level starts to soar)

weet bix cereal

Weet-Bix is an Australian cereal that comes in the
form of unsweetened 97% whole grain biscuits. I used to hate the stuff
when I was a kid, but strangely enough, love it to bits now. I can eat
it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I suggest you do the same to
combat opiate induced constipation.

weet bix cereal prep

The Weet-Bix guide to constipation can resolve any constipation problems after a couple of days on this diet. You will require:

1. Weet-Bix cereal
2. Fresh milk
3. Swiss muesli (optional)

Preparation:

weet bix cereal biscuits

1. Use a large cereal bowl and fill it up with four (4) Weet-Bix biscuits

weet bix cereal muesli

2. Pour Swiss muesli over it until cereal bowl is nearly full

weet bix cereal layer

3. Take two (2) more Weet-Bix biscuits and layer it on top

weet bix cereal milk

4. Fill bowl with fresh milk

weet bix cereal done

The Swiss muesli I use has dried fruits, nuts, oats and bran and is
“an excellent source of fiber”. I layer it with the Weet-Bix for taste
and texture (the fruits adds natural sweetness and the oats and nuts
gives it the texture) as well as giving the mixture additional fiber.

weet bix cereal end

The amount of fresh milk to add is to taste – add more if you like
wet mushy cereal, add less if you like oatmeal consistency cereal. Soy
milk can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio with milk for a more watery
consistency.

It really is an excellent source of fiber (and it’s delicious too).
You should be able to resolve any opiate induced constipation problems
after several days on the Weet-Bix muesli diet. :)

tok_janggut_cafe.jpg

Tok Janggut Cafe (literally – Uncle Beard) is at Chong Lin Park.

tok janggut curry mee

This is curry mee and teh tarik.

It’s a good meal to start off the day and speed up bowel movements.

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