All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sasa Review (post renovation)

Last night we finally got a chance to check out Sasa at Jln. Kayu Aya No.78 (Ex Laksmana) Seminyak for the first time after their renovation. The dining area still looks the same except a bit of a paint job and some new tiles adorning the walls. The important question is how is the food. We always worry that food quality would suffer after their temporary closing, but thank goodness that was not the case. I think even though their dining area was closed for a while, their kitchen remained open, offered delivery service.

We ordered our usual dishes to see if there is any difference between pre-renovation and post-renovation. For appetizers, we ordered three dishes Guazzetto di Vongole, Funghi Marinati, and Fritto Misto Italiano. We always considered Guazzetto di Vongole, which is sautéed clams with white wine, cherry tomato and garlic croutons, their signature dish, and the flavor was exactly the same. The Funghi Marinati, which is chilled grilled oyster mushrooms, marinated with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and parsley, wasn't as sour as before, but the flavor was more or less the same. We tried Fritto Misto Italiano, mixed of deep fried rice balls, eggplant, croquettes, mozzarella in Carrozza, and deep fried zucchini julienne, for the first time. That particular appetizer was all right, but the zucchini julienne was especially delicious. The coating was salty, but the vegetable was sweet which made a really good contrast.

For dinner, I wanted the meat ball pasta, but they were out of that. Instead I got my usual Penne alla Siciliana (penne, eggplants, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil in red sauce) which was as good as before. Wid got one of their special, which was shrimp and spaghetti in a white wine sauce. He liked the flavor of the dish (the sauce was infused with the shrimp flavor) and the pasta was generous, but he was sad the amount and size of the shrimp was a bit lacking. Our out of town friend tried fettine alla Pizaiola, which beef escalops cooked with tomato sauce, flavoured with oregano with small roasted potatoes on the side. I didn't try that dish, but our friend thought it was delicious and scarfed it down.

For dessert we had tiramisu and creme brulee, both still the best on the island.

Overall, dinner was excellent. Food was great. Service was all right. We had a wonderful time, and we're definitely happy that one of our favorite Italian place has reopened.

We also ordered to go pasta with ham and mushroom in cream sauce for the bebbeh. She had some of the reheated pasta tonight and she loved it. That dish also taste the same as before.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sasa Reopened

Our favourite Italian restaurant Sasa was closed for renovation earlier this year, but it seems like they have reopened again. We still haven't had the chance to check out the place, but we hope to go there soon because we are craving for some delicious Italian food. Hopefully their dishes are still awesome and I will post a review soon.

We also were in Singapore late April, and we have dined at some really good places. I will also have to write up a review or two soon.

Labels: ,

Bali Yum is Back!

I finally figured out how to do CNAME and all that junk after Blogger stopped supporting ftp, and now the blog is functioning properly once again. Hopefully I will start posting about food stuff again!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Effects of High Humidity on Baking

I've asked this question before at a food forum a while back when I first moved to Bali, but unfortunately I didn't get definite answers though one person did offer recipes from PR. Most of the suggestions geared towards other facts affecting baking. At least the people at my favorite food forum had some good general tips and weren't insulting like some of the comments I ran into when I googled. I'm coming back to this issue again because I noticed that the results I'm getting still aren't that great compared to back in US. Of course the quality of the ingredient, oven temperature, quality of the recipe, etc. can have huge effects on the result of the cake so I have focused on and more or less fixed those issues (oven thermometer, best ingredients possible, use proven recipes, etc.), but I'm not 100% satisified with the results of the cakes.

My concern was further validated when I bake the family's favorite Japanese cheesecake for my parents in US. The recipe was exactly the same as the one I used in Bali, but the result was 100% better. Flavor was still more or less the same, but the texture was so much better. It was fluffy, light, yet moist without being wet. It was perfect.

I noticed some common features seen with my own baking here, especially recipes that used chemical leaveners:

-Baking time is a lot longer than it supposed to be.
-Crust is almost always a lot lighter in color instead of golden brown.
-Crust tends to be sticky even though the cake is done.
-The cake doesn't rise properly which makes the cake heavy and coarse.

Interestingly enough other people living in high humidity environment also have similar issues so I know my observations are valid. To get around some of the problems, I've pretty much go with mostly sponge cake recipes, but the problems still present to a certain degree.

Well, I suppose the temporary solution is to avoid certain recipes and hope eventually I'll get my own climate controlled kitchen instead of baking out in the open. I do want to know the science behind this issue and how to adjust my recipes/techniques to compensate the high humidity.

Haha, I'm treating this like the science experiements I used to do.

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 28, 2008


A few weeks ago on our way to (and then back) Cape Cod for my brother's wedding, we stopped by our favorite Japanese shopping center across the Hudson River from NY (you can see Columbia University from the shopping center). I was admiring all the Japanese sweets (well, food in general) the place had to offer. Besides the usual obanyaki that my dad always buys whenever we go to this store (childhood favorite of his), there were some ultra fancy sweets as well.

Now I want to make the Japanese style sponge cake called Kasutera, or Castella, or 長崎蛋糕. It's interesting that this cake is a 16th Century Portuguese import to Nagasaki. I think the honey cake recipe my mom gave me is actually related to kasutera, but I want to try a few recipes out as well as find some actual kasutera while in Japan.

Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020

Labels: ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Extra Donut!

Ba and I went to the local donut shop today. We wanted to get half a dozen because Ma isn't much of a donut person so that would leave us two eating all the donuts. Ba wanted one chocolate donut and I wanted two chocolate cream. I then asked for three French cruller. I was tempted to say four because there were four left on the rack. The lady serving us put four French cruller into the box, but we didn't think about it until we got home. It turned out we got seven donuts instead of six. I wonder if she did that intentional or not.

Yay, French Cruller!

I did a weekend trip to NYC about a week ago. I should post something about it here soon because we ate a lot of good food there.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wow, 3+ months already?!

I can't believe I haven't updated this blog for months now. I was rather busy for the past few months though so I actually have a real excuse. Hehe. Now that I'm in US, I should be able to post more entries in this blog. So far I've been eating a lot of home cooking. Good stuff! I really miss having veggies and salads, something that I definitely don't get enough in Bali.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quick Reviews - By the Docks (crab cakes) and Margaret Kuo (Chinese food)

I've been wanting to write up reviews for some the restaurants we went to while I was in US, but I'm lazy to write up full articles. Instead I'll just write a few short blurbs.

Ma, Ba, and I went to an outlet mall in Lancaster, PA to do some shopping, and for dinner they decided to drive all the way down to Baltimore, MD for crab cakes. Ba took us to one in Aberdeen a few years back which was pretty good, but fairly recently his colleagues recommend this place By the Dock Restaurant and Lounge (3321 Eastern Blvd, Middle River, Maryland 21220). This place was packed with people even around five in the afternoon. This place is famous for their crab cakes so we ordered two single crab cake dinner (one fried and one baked) and crab stuffed with shrimp platter. The waitress even suggested that I order the baked one for extra crab flavor (more crab meat and less filling) The dish came with baked potato, a gigantic crab cake, and salad. The portion was huuuuuuuuge! Even though we skipped lunch, we still couldn't finish all the crab cakes. The crab cakes were very flavorful and choke full of real, fresh crab meat. At around $16 per plate, it was a very good deal. I also ordered the French onion soup which was very hardy and very, very tasty, full of beefy, oniony, cheesy flavor. Definitely the best crab cakes in MD, and I loved it even though I'm generally not a fan of crabs.

My sister took us to Margaret Kuo's (175 E. Lancaster Ave. Wayne, PA), a very fancy Chinese restaurant, to celebrate her promotion at work. We ordered a bunch of dimsum and other Chinese snacks and well as sukiyaki from their upstairs Japanese section (The Akari Room). All the dishes were very well made and tasted very fresh. The dishes are like the refined version of snacks found in other Chinese restaurants. The sukiyaki consisted of lots of veggies, noodles, tofu, and thinly sliced Kobe beef. I noticed the cooking sauce was different compared to the ones I had before, and the waiter said the broth they used for the sauce is vegetable broth instead of bonito broth. All this tastiness came at a very high price, but it was well worth it considering the ambiance, the service, and the food were all top notch. I think we were treated extra well because we spoke Chinese. Haha. I was amused by a couple things in the restaurant. The gong was sounded to announce the arrival of Peking duck and the waiter carved the duck in front of the table who order the dish. We also had a very friendly chat with the manager (who is also a Taiwanese?) of the restaurant. She recommended the turnip cake, and when she found out my mom can make Chinese snacks (particularly the turnip cake), she asked for the recipe.

Too bad Wid missed both the awesome crab cakes and the Kobe beef sukiyaki because he had to go back to Bali early.

Labels: , , ,