Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why Food ?

Last Sunday, the 17th of January 2010, a clique of ladies who are responsible for the Environment and Arts Decor for the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (COLA) gathered together for their customary annual dinner at Clare Ouilet's house. They of course invited their BETTER halves to attend to help finish the food......and before that to carry the food......and before that to taste the food for saltiness, sweetness, texture, that when it is laid out on the dining table, it is perfect. The men were also there to act as sounding boards for their discussions, and comic relief.

Please allow me to digress a little. Why is it that when humans get together to celebrate or discuss something, there always has to be food? This brings to mind the meetings of people in charge of institutions, Government included. There always is food at the end of each assembly. I am convinced that the getting together is an excuse to eat. Anyway, I have no complaints. I just wondered.

The spread of food that night was fit to grace the banquet table of an Emperor or Monarch.

I could write about each dish using exotic adjectives to describe them but I shall refrain from doing so and let pictures do the talking.

Agnes' Honey Roasted Ham.

Judy's Mango Pudding with Passion Fruit Jelly.

Judy's Scallops sprinkled with Bacon

Clare's Baked Shitake Mushrooms and Salsa on Garlic Bread

James and Susie's Turkey.....The Gravy was exquisite.

Clare's Salmon Pate....The men began the assault with Rice
Bisquites but they had no chance once the ladies discovered how good this was.

Agnes' Brownies.

Clare's Spiced Chickpeas, Parsnips and Kumara

Margaret's Roast Beef.

Clare's Black Bean Vegetable Pilaf

There were a few more dishes not featured but they were just as tantalising. Special mention must be made for Margaret's dessert... The Tiramisu ! By the time people realised that a photo had not been taken it was all gone ! My attempt at getting a second helping was met with great laughter and shouts of "Mana u lagi ! Ho lang chiak liao lo ! Loo aneh ban eh !"
The evening, as usual was very enjoyable. The conversation covered a variety of topics including eccentric behaviours of people we know which stimulated much laughter. Of course we had help from 2 bottles of French Wine by courtesy of Gaston Ouilet.
I think once a year is too long to wait for these sort of sharing. They say that 2012 will see the end of the world as it is so maybe we should try for 4 times i.e. every quarter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There's a New Kid in Town

Yes, I am back ! This Blog is revived, resurrected, born again. Why have I been silent for so long ? Where have I been ? Nobody's asking. These are just "fillers" to overcome writer's block which I am acutely afflicted with. Apart from the block, I was away because I was having so much fun with facebook....yes, facebook. Yup, that and I was getting lazy. Anyway, let's get back to that later. I am here right now because I am excited about a "New Kid in Town".

By now most will have heard of a new restaurant opened at Gadong. See picture of the Signboard :-

The Rooster's Crow / Restoran Kokokan Ayam is owned by an enterprising young chef, Mr. Young Ted Wee and his partner Mr. Ong Jin Huat. Kokokan is situated at No: 12, Block B, Abdul Razak Complex, Gadong which is across the road from The Centerpoint Hotel and opposite La Mee at the adjacent block C.

When I went there this morning I was greeted by Ted Wee's father, Mr. Andrew Young who obviously lent his business know-how and experience in the setting up of the place. I had already tasted Ted Wee's signature dish, Fried Kway Tiao before so I was not there as a new customer testing the waters. I was actually there because I knew I was in for a treat to one of the best Fried Kway Tiao in Brunei. This is my first blog since April 2009 so I shall not bore you with details. Go there and try the Kway Tiao for yourself. You will not regret it.

I was pleasantly awed by the decor of the place and even more so when Andrew told me that they did not engage any Professional Interior Designer to help them. The colors are exquisitely blended. Maybe it is intended to psychologically produce this feeling but I felt warmly welcome in the ambience of it all. The booth seats, which are notoriously uncomfortable ELSEWHERE, are surprisingly very ergonomically designed. My bad back did not present any problems here. I put away the Fried Kway Tiao ala Ted Wee in 10 minutes flat. Then I had to wait for a friend who was accustomed to being late ALWAYS but I was unusually calm and collected. It must have been the seat.

Whilst waiting, the gluton in me emerged. The second specialty of Ted Wee is the Chicken Rice so I ordered one to the amazement of the waitress who gave me a quizical astonished look. In body language she was saying "Wah , this Uncle must be really hungry !" As she wrote the order down she asked "Only one more Uncle ?" I said "Yes, unless it's on the house !" Another shocked look ! I shall not describe the Chicken Rice except that Thien Thien can now be said to be very "last decade". Again, go and try it for yourself.

Kokokan will definitely capture a particular niche in the eateries market. That niche is the level in between the traditional Coffeeshop and Food Court clientelle and that of the up-market 5 star establishments. A pleasant, clean, well decorated and, most importantly, Value -For- Money place to enjoy a meal. Mark my words.