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Food to the Fore

Food can be wholesome, food can be sexy but we all agree that food is fantastic when shared with family and friends. From cooking schools to eating with local hosts, Travel 3Sixty° explores how food makes the world go round.

DINING DOWN MEMORY LANE

Central Market, the grand doyenne of arts and crafts in Kuala Lumpur is also a fantastic destination to sample the glorious food that Malaysia is so famous for. As you shop for souvenirs and artefacts, explore the gastronomy of Malaysia and its neighbouring countries at the art mart’s various sections. Lorong Kelapa sells all sorts of traditional Malay cakes, titbits and snacks, while the open air Kasturi Walk houses kiosks selling local foods and drinks. A large number of eateries such as Precious Old China Restaurant, GinGer Restaurant and Secret Recipe, amongst others, offer delicious local and fusion dishes. Additionally, hop over to the Food Court for an extensive variety of local and regional cuisines. www.centralmarket.com.my

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BETTER THAN SEX

The book might have been steamy but comes nowhere close to the decadently delightful offerings found in 50 Shades of Chocolate, a collection of 60 recipes developed by award-winning chocolatier, Claire Preen. From simple recipes to tips on melting chocolate perfectly – all described in titillating detail – the book makes a sexy addition to your cookbook collection or even your bedside table. Here’s a simple recipe to get the juices flowing.

SAUCY CHOCOLATE PUDDING

90g butter

120g dark chocolate callets (or chips)

¼ cup caster sugar

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla essence

¾ cup self-raising flour

60g milk chocolate callets (or chips)

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

  1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Allow to cool before stirring in sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla essence. Gently fold in flour and stir until smooth.
  2. Divide mixture equally into ramekins and sprinkle with chopped milk chocolate callets.
  3. Make sauce by dissolving sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla essence with the cup of boiling water. Gently pour sauce over the back of a spoon on top of the mixture into the ramekins.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180° C. Serve hot pudding with deliciously cold ice-cream for the ultimate oral pleasure.

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PLATE CULTURE

You could eat out in a foreign city to experience the local food scene but why not make it truly memorable by visiting locals who’ll invite you to partake in the food that they eat daily. Plate Culture has introduced an innovative way to drink in the local food scene and savour authentic meals cooked by locals who also act as hosts. In Kuala Lumpur, travellers are welcomed into the host’s house to dine with the family. Prices vary according to what the host is serving. Apart from local food, hosts in KL even offer Mauritian, French and Lithuanian cuisines. Go to www.plateculture.com to learn more about this foodie experience.

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FINGERING THE FLESH

Cuts of meat can be cooked to various doneness according to personal preferences but most chefs use the finger test to see if a steak is rare, medium rare or well done. Here’s how to finger the meat to reveal the level of doneness.

WELL DONE – Open your palm and bring your thumb and pinkie together. Now using your other hand, feel the fleshy mound under the thumb. A well done steak will feel firm like this.

MEDIUM – Press the tip of your ring finger against your thumb gently. Feel the fleshy mound beneath thumb. Medium will feel like this but with a little more softness than a well done cut.

MEDIUM RARE – Press middle finger against the thumb and feel the fleshy mound again. The softness indicates a medium rare doneness.

RARE – Press index finger against thumb and feel the softness of the fleshy mound. Rare would feel like this. If you relaxed all fingers and pressed the same spot beneath the thumb, raw meat would feel like this.

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THE MOZAIC EXPERIENCE

Chris Salans and his team at Mozaic – the first restaurant in Southeast Asia to be recognised as a Grand Table du Monde (Best Table of the World) by Traditions et Qualité for excellence in cuisine and service – offer technical training for professional chefs and recreational classes for tourists who wish to polish their cooking skills. Located in Ubud, Bali, classes for guests concentrate on the art of discovering fresh Balinese ingredients and the preparation of the said ingredients using Mozaic’s philosophy and techniques for cooking Modern French cuisine. Offering a variety of classes, Salans and his team of trained chefs will guide you through the intricacies of preparing Modern French dishes and help you to better understand the ingredients that go into them. www.mozaic-bali.com

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JUST BEET IT!

A concentrated health drink that lists lowering blood pressure and improving stamina amongst its benefits, Beet It Organic Shot is completely organic, contains no preservatives and is made purely from beetroot juice with a dash of lemon juice. Harnessing the power of nitric oxide found in beetroot, the drink helps boost oxygen usage efficiently in the body, thus increasing stamina and even helping fight infections. Available at independent grocers and health stores in Australia at RRP AUD3.49 for a 70ml bottle. www.beet-it.com/australia

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LET'S DINE DOWN THE MEMORY LANE IN KUALA LUMPUR.

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