Blog Migration

Posted by gill gill | 12:44 PM | 2 comments »

Dear Readers and Fellow Bloggers,

We would like to inform you that we have migrated this blog on blogspot.com to a self-hosted blog with the following blog address,

We have migrated
to

Other than expecting new post on the new blog, you could also catch up on our previous postings that were posted on blogspot.com. We hope that we would be able enjoy your continuous support and get more constructive comments and feed backs to motivate and help us to improve in our actual and factual postings at our new blog site.

Again I would like thank to all those that have provided support
and encouragement at this blog.

Thank you.

We have heard a lot of the Xuan Xin Restaurant which newly established its self in the prime location at Gurney Plaza’s New Wing, some said their food & service is good and some said lousy. So who is the winner?

I ‘m now going to tell my true experience that we’ve encounter. The answer is Not Too Bad. Would it be due to the lesser dinner crowd as compared to the lunch’s crowd?

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The Menu

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We’ve choosen the Sliced “French Style” Smoked Duck @ RM12 to start our palate.

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4 pcs of smoke duck breasts with it 4 steamed mantou (chinese steam bun), cucumber and fried beancured skin. I just wonder why they put the red sauce on top of the smoke duck? And the sauce is tasteless, its serve no purpose may be just color for presentation. By the way, the duck meat is pinkish in color.

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Here is how I stacked the mantou first with smoke duck slice, followed by the cucumber, crispy beanchurd skin and of course top with the other half of the mantou. We did not get any instruction on how to eat this appertizer, is this the correct way? Shouldn’t they guide us to how best savour their dishes?

The mantou was moist and fluffy and dense, also good on its own. (oppss..sounds like gardenia slogan huh?) Thesmoke duck had a light smoked flavour and hint of saltiness. It is best eaten with only with the steam buns, not ideal to pack everything together. The fried beancurd skin was crisp and crunchy, but i find it was a little too thick for the combination.

The first bite you should experience the warm and soft buns covered with the crunch and salty beancured skin, refreshing cucumber and the smokey duck flavour, it should be wonderful. But our experince at Xuan Xin, the beancured skin is way thicker and saltier then the smoke duck, some how or rather the smokey duck flavour was loss (main subject). Dragon-i smoked duck is still my first choice.

Suggestion: It would be prefect if reduce the bean cured skin layer, and the enhance the duck meat flavor and moister.

Sliced “French Style” Smoked Duck: 3.8/5


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Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef @ RM12

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My all time favourite “Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef”. When I saw it in the menu, I had to order it.

The Hor Fun is slightly different from the local ones, its thinner and its cut similarly like koay teow shape, Bean sprout head and tails were picked (its a standard in Hong Kong Restaurant), slice onion, julienne slice scallion and thinly slice beef meat.

Wok hei comes from the first sense, second would be the sweetness from the dark soy sauce and caramelized onion. Hor Fun good in texture and smooth. Beef was bit of a let down as it was not Beefy in taste and the amount was countable, just aroun 8 slices. The Scallion was fiberish and doesn’t help much as it was pretty irritating and stuck in between the teeth.

Suggestion: Beef hor fun should have the beefy flavour. Priced @ RM12 should have more slices.haha… Should take note on the scallion.

Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef: 3.8/5(for the wok hei and soya sauce taste)

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New launch Food Items which separate from the menu.

We ordered Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly @ RM12

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Errrg…look at the presentation. It doesn’t look appertising ya?

Thick curry gravy poured on a bed of perfectly deep fried crisp thin noodles, served with long bean and roast pork belly chunks. Ok, did you see the different from the Menu and the presentation here? hah.

The only items that i like from this dish is the crispy noodle. I think they wish to do the similar of Japanese curry, but it doesn’t taste right to me. Its starchy and less spice from the curry. And the Roast pork belly was rough and dry. I personally doesn’t like the dish.

Something to praise, is the noodle has been cut like pizza slices which easgave ease in consuming it.

Suggestion:

The name of “Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly” doens’t sound rights to me, as the noodle was not braised in curry but poured on. It would be right to name it ”Braised Curry Roasted Pork Belly with Crispy Noodle”, sounds better right?

I don’t know how to put a suggestion on this curry, may less starchy and more local flavour infuse in the curry.

Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly: 3/5

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Poached Chinese Spinach with 2 Kinds of Egg in Superior Stock @ RM12.80

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This soup was delicious and the most enjoyable for us that night! We both enjoyed it till the last drop. The Spinach poached to just the right consistency where one could still feel the crunchiness. There were more then 2 kinds of eggs in this dish, it has chicken egg whites, century eggs and salted eggs and 3 of them has its unique taste, all flavor combine with the good soup stock….it was very delicious. This is far more better then many restaurants.

Poached Chinese Spinach with 2 Kinds of Egg in Superior Stock: 4.2/5

On average, I would rate :

Taste & Texture: 3.95/5
Money Value : 3.8/5 (its Reasonable, with the consideration of the price, location, serving)
Service: 3.7/5 (at least they asked your feedback for the newly launch menu. Fast and efficient when press the service button. btw, they served the appetizer at last, why?)
Cleanliness: 4/5
Atmosphere: 4/5

Days back while driving through the Jelutong Express-way, we noticed a typical looking Malay eating outlet beside the ramp just after the old land fill area along the express-way. As we just finish the eLawyer seminar at USM and had no plans of where to have lunch, we decided to try out the Malay eating outlet that we saw previously. When coming from the Georgetown area, just keep to the left after the Jelutong xpress-way Shell petrol station. The “makan” area is just after the old land fill. But if you are driving from the Bayan Lepas direction, after Tesco stay to the left and turn right at the first traffic lights and you will see the “makan” area.

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The name of the stall is “Ani Nasi Campur Gulai Sembilang”, and it is housed in the “Balai Nelayan Jelutong”. The stall open’s for business daily except Sunday and their business hours are from 11:30am onwards until everything is gone from their trays. It literally closes after all their dishes are all sold out, and would just take about 2 to 3 hours. We were there some where near to 2:00pm and everything was all sold out except for some beef, squid, and some fish curries.

And thus, that is what we had for lunch that faithfull Saturday. 2 plates of white rice, 1 nasi tambah, 1 curry sembilang head, 1 piece of curry ikan pari , 3 pieces of beef and some chilli squid. And the total demage is RM 17.00.

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The “Ikan Pari” or stingray curry had some hint of “balacan” or fermented shrimp paste in it. The taste is of this dish is quite light but the gravy was creamy. It is a dish that I would not miss if the run out of stock on my next visit there.

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Next on the table was the “Gulai Sembilang”, which is actually our local catfish cooked in their special “gulai” or curry. The gulai was light, sweet and full of fragrant of spices. As the gulai is light, it did not go well with white rice alone; one would need to mixed it with other heavier tasting gravies. But to enjoy it like one would do with soups would be a better way to enjoy the flavour the sembilang gulai has to offer. As for the sembilang fish head, it was creamy or “lemak” especially with those entire soft cartridge like flesh encasing the skull of the fish head. The mixture of spices used in the gulai was well balanced to rid the sembilang of any unappetising taste but yet left that sweet taste of fish still intact in the dish. No wonder Ani is famous for their “gulai sembilang”!

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Wish to read more about the cat's fish curry? click here


aaaaahhhh………Still remember Ivy’s Kitchen Combo Meal posted a month ago?

I feel a bit bad towards to Mr.Tan & Ivy for owing the a-lar cart dinner post for such a long time. :(

Ok now, Ivy’s Kitchen also have available dishes on a-lar-cart order for dinner time besides the lunch combos that cater to the OLs and OMs in the near by office blocks.

At Night they serve Chinese and Nyonya dishes, and the followings are my verdict for some of the dishes served for the invited review dinner do:

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The Big Banner hanging in front of the restaurant is eye catching. Jason has given Mr. Tan some ideas to make the restataurant’s brand name more visible to attract those who drive on Jalan Chow Thye. One of them was to place a extended vertical banner similar to that used by Japanese restaurants to show-off its name because the current banner is slightly out of sight by car drivers.


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Sweet and Sour Flower Crab (market price)

The sauce combination is thick and very flavorful, and i can taste the distinctive sweet crab meat flavor from the first mouthful.

The flower crab flesh was indeed very meaty & fresh, it is a testament to the quality ingredients that they used here. To be frank, is my first encounter with such a meaty flower crab. Usually flower crab ain’t that meaty. The dish is a good mate for a bowl of fragrant white rice.

It was good, but there was a slightly sweet after taste. Light handed on the sugar is necessary.

Rating for the dish: 3.9/5

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Gulai Tumis Chinese Silver Pomfret (market price)

Gulai Tumis usually would be Malaysian’s favourite, when talk and think about the dish one would start begin to experience a saliva tsunami in the mouth. Hahaha…

What is so special about the Gulai? It is all about the spiciness of the chili paste, sourly taste of tamarind, pungent smell of lemongrass, light perfumery bungah kantan (tourh ginger) to make it became a mouth watering dish.

Above all ingredients, Ivy’s Kitchen version has additional Green Chilies and tomatoes. The Silver Promfret was fresh, but the fish was slightly over cooked because there some late arrivals due to the traffic situation. I personally would prefer the silver pomfret put into the steaming tray rather into the gulai tumis if the fish still extremely fresh. :)

Rating for the dish: 3.7/5

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Assam Prawns (RM20 for 10 prawns)

Look at that divine caramelised colour!

There are 2 types of assam prawn, either with thick gravy or dried. And here they served dried and crispy assam prawn with wonderful flavors .

I would say this nyonya assam prawn was very authentic to me. Although here in Malaysia there are tones of restaurant serving the same dish, but rarely you would get the same “good” nyonya assam prawn.

But don’t be sad, you can now taste the very nicely marinated and pan fried to perfection assam prawn in Ivy’s kitchen. The tamarind flavour is not overpowering; sweet and sour on the right balance. Thumbs Up!

Rating for the dish: 4/5


check the rest of the food list and rating here


It was a hot late afternoon and what the hack my appointment was canned, so we detoured to the old “Bubur” push-cart-stall on the sidelines of the busy Penang Road in the heart of Georgetown. The stall is no other than the famous “Kamblis Bubur” at the junction of Penang Road and Jalan Dato Koyah. It is just directly opposite of Ho Ping coffee shop and just at the door steps of the once famous Kayu Nasi Kandar.

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It has been quite sometime since I last ate at this bubur stall. So you when there is an opportunity, I can’t resist. At the stall you can see people from all walks of live, from different ethnic group, of different skin colour etc enjoying a bowl of thick, sweet and rich “bubur” and mingling about the daily happenings. There is no tension or disharmony to be seen.

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My favourite is their “bubur gandum” or wheat porridge in direct translation. The bubur gandum is actually whole wheat grains cooked in coconut milk and sweeten and seasoned to produce that seemingly sinful tea time snack for people of all ages, except the diabetic. A bowl of bubur with a scoop of glutinous rice only cost RM 0.70, but take-away would cost 30 cents more. The bubur gandum is only available on weekend(s), which I am not very sure. On week days they would cooked up other types of bubur which they daily changed so as not to bore their patrons with the same old thing everyday. It is a bit cliché; you can say it is like a pot of chocolate, you won’t know what is installed for the pot cover is lifted.

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Want to know more where is this old school dessert located? click here


Last Saturday on (13th June 2009) we revisited Blue Reef, the fish n’ chip joint at 32 Permai off Vale of Tempe that we visited early this year. The revisit to Blue Reef was partially to meet a friend and also to find out whether their quality food is still consistent to that we had early this year. We had to find out for our selves because we have read some ‘not so good’ comments of the place.

It has been almost 6 months since we set foot in Blue Reef, and we didn’t know what to expect from them. Not much has changed since then, the only thing that we notice is the little drawings that were pasted on one side of their wall. It is good to see that our ideas were accepted and used, but the actual idea was to have the photos of patrons and their fun moments captured and enshrine on their wall. At least the idea was used in some way!

Currently there is an offer for a full meal option, excluding dessert, for an additional RM1. It is a good promotional strategy at this current economy phase. Many are looking for bargain and money saving deals for their daily needs and wants. With an additional RM 1 added to the cost of the chosen main course, I was served with a glass of ice-lemon tea and a bowl of the soup of the day.

The soup of the day that we had was their green pea soup. It tasted kind of earthy, nutty and sweet. There was some sandy texture to the soup which I find to my liking. Served with the soup, was piece toasted garlic bread. On seeing it, we thought that the bread would hard to consume due to the thicker shaped. But surprisingly the bread was quite manageable because it was crisp on the surface and moist and soft inside. Thus, it was not crumbly and hard to bite into.

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For the main course, I had their Salmon Burger. The flaky salmon patty was well caramelised on the surfaces and yet retaining the juicy moisture. The seasoning of the salmon meat was well choreographed as it did not totally overwhelm the distinct taste of salmon. The crisp and soft sesame seed bun and the sauté onion toppings was a good combination to the salmon patty. There was only one thing that I felt bad about the burger was the amount of tartar sauce. I would personally leave the tartar sauce out and may be sauté the onions with some balsamic vinegar to give the burger some added flavour.

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Gill had their Aglio e Olio as usual. But it was a bit of a disappointment for her because they have substitute the pork bacon for the anchovies as they are now a pork free restaurant. With the anchovies, it tasted a bit weird to us. We asked Chris why not use beef bacon, and he told us that it did not have enough flavour. Anyway, I guess we would be going back for try their Aglio e Olio again because the Chris mentioned that they might change it to Seafood Aglio e Olio. The previous trip to Blue Reef, the Aglio e Olio was excellent and the pasta strands were firm and springy.

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No signs of beer batter fish? check it out here


The Food Loft at Gurney Plaza has come and go. The lots are now being occupied by a new tenant by the name of Ko Fu Loft. When we were driving past Gurney Plaza and while looking to the vacated lots, I told Gill that if it were up to me, I would have occupied the vacated lots with a Dim Sum restaurant. Not long later, we got news that a dim sum restaurant would be opened to replace The Food Loft. There are numerous reasons behind the idea; the location, the type of crowd and potential customers, and the competition, but I won’t go into that here may be in my other blog.

I have yet to interview or have much information about Ko Fu Loft and their operations to provide a clear write-up of this place. Thus, it would be more of a pictorial post with focuses on the people, the atmosphere, the food and experience during the invited review that was held on last Sunday’s late afternoon (7th July 2009). Basically Ko Fu Loft took over the setup left by The Food Loft and made some minor renovation to suit their concept.

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Let’s start with the people! This review saw some new faces that we have not personally met other than reading their blogs. We were overjoyed to have the opportunity to persanally meet up Christy from yumyumbites.blogspot.com, Cheryl from nuttyeve9.blogspot.com, L K Low from food-4tots.com, Eunice, Siew Ying & Iris from foodpromotions.com.my, CW Chan from noweating.com, and Chef Khoon(blog is still in the works) for the first time after reading their blogs for so long. In some way, the review was an occasion and opportunity to meet other persons that also shares the same passion for food.

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Some how or rather, the majority of the food bloggers that attended the functions are women. Many would think that food bloggers would be like a 2 ton truck like me but you would be amazed to see many of them are like a SMART cars, petite and attractive to the eye. Other than having a smaller circumference, each and every one of these beautiful human beings are very approachable and easy to be with. They would be great companions to have at the dining table. We shared many laughs and ideas at the table, and time seems to fly by when there is great company amongst. Three hours seems like 3 minutes.



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As we shared our laughs we also shared some pointer is photo shooting when the dishes were served. The moment the food was placed on the table we were all like bees to honey. Each one was trying to get the best angle and shot for our blog readers to feast on. The management and kitchen of Ko Fu Loft had generously prepared 14 types of dishes and a dessert for us to sample that range from appetizers and dim sum to ‘Poon Choy’ and fried noodles.

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Crystal Spring Roll Skin Stuff with Vege & Chicken Meat(RM6.90), the presentation was average similar to many other restaurants that offered this kind of Vietnamese summer rolls. Taste wise it wasn’t appetising or refreshing as we have better experienced in Miss Saigon & Young Heart . This may be contributed by the powdery texture chicken meat and the vegetables that lack sweetness.

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Steam Fresh Prawn Dumpling or ‘Har Kau’(RM5.50), taste and presentation was standard and comparable to some traditional dim sum restaurants.

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Signature Steamed Custard Creamy Bun ((RM5.50), with one of the buns cracked opened it looked pretty nice golden yellow custard cream flowing out. But then was it supposed to be presented in this way? The buns were average in texture and taste except for the custard cream. The custard cream wasn’t smooth in texture; it felt sandy like an inclusion of duck egg yolk in the cream.

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Szechuan Aromatic Duck (RM18.90), presentation average taste texture was below average. The duck slices were coated in some sort of batter and deep fried. But it may have been over cooked, thus the duck meat slices were dry and the lacks any aromatics and tastes. The accompanying egg wrapper was similarly dry and lacks that eggy taste.

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Jingdo Pork Rib (RM14.90), presentation was average and for taste it was more like black pepper ribs than’ jingdo’ ribs due to the overwhelming pepper taste. In addition to that, there was a slight taste of soda on the surface of the ribs. But of all the dishes that were served it seems that the ribs and the following deep fried Calamari were my favourite as they have got some taste in them.

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Read more verdicts here


It was a sunny morning somewhere in March this year that we were invited to interview the owners of an unique bakery located on the busy Chulia Street in the Georgetown area, Rainforest Bakery. The bakery has been in operations since year 2000/2001 which at those days were only supplying their breads wholesale to eateries, etc. But as time goes by and from the request of their ‘door-knocking’ customers, Rainforest began to plan for a retail outlet which was finally materialised at its current location on Chulia Street in year 2008. At Rainforest, one could see that customers from all walks of life and nationality wondering and choosing their pick of the day from the selection of continental breads that are baked daily.

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At current the bakery is being managed by a pair of identical twins, Jerry and Jesse Tan(short spiky hair do). Jesse whom entertained our question and answer session was actually MIA from Rainforest Bakery for approximately 3 years not for fun, but to work in London and travel around Europe to acquire the skills and knowledge that they require to differentiate their breads from the localised bakeries and to provide better and healthier loafs of wholesome organic breads to its patrons. The daily fresh baked loafs uses the traditional or organic methods of preparing the dough for each individual type of bread that they offer today. Organic does not only mean that the ingredients are organic, even the preparation and baking process must be organic in every way that is what sets them apart from the rest. What they are selling at the bakery is not only bread, but also the concept of healthy organic traditionally baked and non-localised bread.

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The daily fresh baked loafs uses the traditional or organic methods of preparing the dough for each individual type of bread that they offer today. Organic does not only mean that the ingredients are organic, even the preparation and baking process must be organic in every way and that is what sets them apart from the rest. Enjoy with assurance that no preservative, no MSG or enhancers and no essence are use in their bread. Even the yeast they used is self-cultured!

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Alot more bread to browse here


What do left-over ingredients like sea cucumbers, bacon chips and ABC soup mean to me? EXPERIMENT! The raw sea cucumbers were left idle in the freezer since Chinese New Year and the bacon chips were acquire like two to three months back, couple with no other fresh vegetables and meat produce on hand I decided to make a quick dish out of these idle ingredient sitting in the freezer.

First thing is to do is to thaw the sea cucumbers, then boil it in just hot water and a few pieces of ginger to remove that fishy smell and taste. After boiling for a few minute, transfer it in to a colander to drip dry. Then it is time to put the thawed bacon in to a dry warm pan. Why dry warm pan? This way I would reduce the oil splatter. When the bacon is dry add in the cooking oil (was using peanut oil) and cook them till brown after which throw in a few cloves of garlic (here was using only 3).

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After the bacon chips are brown or firmed up and the garlic starting emit that garlicky aroma, pour in the sea cucumber and stir fry until the liquid dries up. When the liquid is evaporated, I proceed to scoop some spoonfuls of last nights ABC soup to braise and further tenderise the sea cucumber and also to infuse more flavour into the sea cucumbers. The ABC soup is actually soup made of carrot, potato, onions, meat and flavoured with crushed white pepper corns. This time the soup had an added ingredient of sweet potato. In a way, this soup could also be used as soup stock to cook other dishes if the pepper corn is left out.

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arrhhh....want to learn more about the new creation? click here!


We have heard and read much about the new fad in town, Coconut Jelly. Thus, during the Labour Day weekend after much request from our church members, we organised a ‘makan’ trip in the Georgetown and Tanjung Tokong area. And for the finally of the trip we brought them to the current food fad, Coconut Jelly, located in one of the old districts on the Penang Island.

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Legend has it that the trend started from here at Joez Coconut. This Joez Coconut, under another business name, traditionally sells coconut base products like the refreshing coconut juice, coconut milk, etc. But after the son of the proprietor and yours truly, Joel Jeyachandran took over the business from his dad they begun to venture into producing and selling the now famous coconut jelly.

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The coconut jelly is produced by heating and cooling the coconut fruit whole, no sugar or other chemicals and preventives are added. But sometimes a small amount of sugar would be added if the coconut fruit is too young or the meat is not ripe enough which would produce a sour end to this otherwise refreshing dessert. As the product is without any preservative, therefore it must be refrigerated to ensure that it can last at least 5 days.

The end product of the secretly kept recipe is a very smooth and silky pure coconut nectar jelly with fragrant coconut aroma and sweet flavor of ‘Pandan’. If luck is on your side, you might also get to scavenge mouthful of rich coconut flesh with every spoonful of jelly.

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Get to know more about this new dessert? click here to read more