Friday, July 13, 2012

Smitten By Ideas: Breakfast Is Still The Most Important Meal Of The Day

According to Massive Health's Eatery, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if your breakfast consists of sinful food like nasi lemak, roti canai or curry mee, you are definitely not starting your day on the right foot. 

Studies suggest that eating fiber rich breakfast such as cereal, bread, fruit and vegetables may help to prevent low blood sugar levels between meals and increase the level of satiety for the rest of the day. This will help control hunger and you will probably eat smaller portion during lunch and dinner. On average, people who don’t eat breakfast eat 6.8% more food throughout the day. 

It is worth nothing that, the healthiness of the food we eat decreases by 1.7% for every hour that passes in the day. Lunch is 7.4% less healthy than breakfast, while dinner is 15.9% less healthy! The healthiness level of the food also decreases for every day that passes in a week. We eat less healthier food on the weekend, as we like to indulge after a week of hard week. We probably had more cupcakes, more pastries, more burgers and of course more alcoholic drinks!

Despite all these statistics and advices, I started off my day with nasi lemak, tonkatsu for lunch and I'm already thinking about what I should eat for dinner. Question: How did you start your day?

Happy Friday! =D

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Romanza Le Restaurante @ Terrace at Hock Choon, Kuala Lumpur

When Romanza first opened its doors on Feb 14th, its location was a head scratcher - a high end restaurant on a sleepy stretch of Lorong Nibang, off Jalan Ampang. But inside the well decorated restaurant was a menu that reference a piquant kaleidoscope of flavors and cuisines.
Purple potato bread. 
Beef Carpaccio (RM39) - The beef carpaccio was seared and served on a bed of wild rocket, with sweet slow roasted cherry tomatoes, laced with some balsamic reduction and lemon caviar. We absolutely loved the well sliced beef carpaccio, which was thicker than usual.
Spicy Peri Peri Chicken Liver (RM21) - The creamy chicken liver was well balanced with sofrito, crisp salad leaves and homemade bread. Romanza may have opted for an austere, black and white furniture design, but the menu was definitely in full color. 
Slow braised lamb shank (RM70) -  The braised lamb was tender, served with a carrot emulsion, pomme puree and topped with minted peas finished with a thyme jus. It may not be the cheapest lamb shank in town but the portion was surely huge. 
Line fish of the day (RM52) - The pan seared fish was paired with delicate pesto potatoes and bathed with mildly spiced tomato salsa. The fish may pale against its peers, but it's definitely a healthier option.
Chocolate Landscape (RM42) - For dessert, its hard to go wrong with chocolates that offers light white chocolate mousse, peppermint crisp semi freddo mille fueille, dark and white chocolate set ganache with crisp hazelnut meringues and dark chocolate cylinder filled with hazelnut anglaise - It was indeed a beautiful landscape.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smitten By Ideas: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

I have recently dwelled a little deeper into genetically modified organism (GMO) after watching The World According to Monsanto and Seeds of Freedom. The recent GMO Myths and Truth report, published by two genetic engineers painted a even bleaker picture on GM foods and crops. Perhaps it's time that we pay a little more attention to genetically engineered food, as it may do more harm than good to the environment and our health. 

Another great visual presentation from Column Five for Ecomo

A summary of the report done by Ariel Schwartz, Senior Editor of Co.Exist
  • Genetic engineering is not, as proponents claim, an extension of natural plant breeding. While natural breeding takes place only between related kinds of life, genetic engineering happens in a lab, where tissue cultured plant cells undergo a GM gene insertion process that couldn’t happen in nature. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. 
  • One of the problems, say the researchers, is that genetic engineering is imprecise and the results are unpredictable, with mutations changing the nutritional content of food, crop performance, and toxic effects, among other things. Every generation of GMO crops interacts with more organisms, creating more opportunities for unwanted side effects. 
  • GMO technology is becoming more precise, but the authors contend that accidents will always happen and, in any case, plant biotechnologists don’t really know much at all about crop genomes--so inserting genes at a supposedly safe area could still lead to all sorts of side effects. 
  • GMO crops can be toxic in three ways: The genetically modified gene itself (i.e. Bt toxin in insecticidal crops); mutagenic or gene regulatory effects created by the GMO transformation process; and toxic residues created by farming practices (i.e. from the Roundup herbicide used on GMO Roundup Ready crops). 
  • GMO food regulation varies widely by country. In the U.S., the FDA doesn’t have a required GMO food safety assessment process--just a voluntary program for review of GMO foods before they go on the market (not all commercialized GMO food crops have done this). 
  •  Independent GMO crop risk research is hard to come by because, as the report explains, "independent research on GM crop risks is not supported financially--and because industry uses its patent-based control of GM crops to restrict independent research. Research that has been suppressed includes assessments of health and environmental safety and agronomic performance of GM crops." A 2010 licensing agreement between Monsanto and USDA scientists should make it easier to conduct research--but the report explains that it’s still restrictive

What's your stand on GMO?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Yamagoya Ramen @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas

Located on level G2 (same level as Rakuzen and Ben's) at Publika, Yamagoya Ramen which opened its doors in April 2012 has garnered quite a good following over the last few months. 
Seasoned Soft Boiled Egg - Never leave the eggs in the kitchen, as there are meant to be served. Even though the eggs were a tad over cooked, nothing can come between our love for eggs, especially well seasoned eggs.
Yamagoya Ramen (RM19) - Yamagoya Ramen was probably the plainest option on the menu, which was nothing more than a twirl of silky soft noodles, bean sprouts, 2 slices of char siu, wood ear fungus and thinly chopped green onions. The char siu was tender and well flavored with a nice salty and intense pork flavor. 
Mukashi Special Ramen (RM24) - This was probably the most popular ramen on the menu, where noodles luxuriated in hot broth, together with seasoned egg, bamboo shoots, char siu, wood ear fungus, seaweed and green onions. The broth was rich and creamy, while the noodles were thin, round and buttery soft. 
Black Garlic Ramen (RM22) - The blackened soup was garlicky and more pungent compared to the milky pork bone soup. The noodles were perfectly toothsome with a touch of nutty garlicky flavor. This was definitely a healthy blend with a different depth of flavors.
Gyoza (RM11) - While we appreciate the wholesome ramen broth, we can't help but to love the gyoza, which completed the meal with another tang. 
Many Asians believe that noodles represent longevity and it is not meant to be cut or bitten half way. So if you are planning to have noodles tonight, make sure you slurp them in one go and try not to choke yourself in the process =)