Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Cats of Straits Club Restaurant and Bar

Let us introduce....

Tofu, acts like a beauty queen and shows that she's proud of her appearance.

Alex, trouble maker, never fails to annoy JJ (our resident dog).

Lucky, always the first one to hang around the kitchen when our chef is cooking.

Langkawi, 2nd in line, after 'Lucky' but only when our chef cooks chicken.

They're all part of the Straits Club family and are around. It gives the Eurasian house a very homely feel. Do not worry, they won't steal your fish and are, in fact, very discreet, as cats can very well be.

How do all these cats end up here, you may wonder. Temple Tree Resort and its restaurant Straits Club are closely related to LASSIE, the charity organization that ensures that Langkawi's stray cats and dogs are well taken care of. They just launched their new website:

Part of the profits will go to Langkawi Lassie to ensure continuation of this good cause. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Italian Menu by a Visiting Chef.

Oh has been quite a while since our last post. But we just had some exciting days, so we're back!

It happens so now and then that we get a visit from another chef, who is then invited to prepare a menu for our guests. This time it was Darren, who just arrived a couple of months ago from London where he worked in Chinese fine dinning restaurants. He has also a lot of experience in Italian cooking and so he prepared this menu on one of the evenings.

It was raining, it felt cold and not unlike autumn, 25 degrees and windy, Langkawi autumn mind you. The entree suited the weather well. We started with a hearty pumpkin veloute.

There are countless ways of making pumpkin soup......or veloute, if you like. With this one, the pumpkin is cooked down with onions and garlic until soft and the flavours has concentrated somewhat. Then milk is added and simmered for an hour or so before it's blended and becomes a velvety and flavourfull soup. Pumpkin loves nuttiness, so Darren drizzled it with housemade pumpkin oil and served it with a dollop of cream flavoured with sunflower seeds. And in true Italian style it was kept as that, no more, no less.

Richness continued into the main course of Pan fried Sea Bass.

Sea Bass can handle flavourfull garnishes quite well and Darren certainly didn't hold back. Sweetness from the onions and mussels, saltiness from the anchovy in the parsley cream. The black olives and tomato counterbalances the preparation with a noticeable tang.

To finnish, the traditional, well almost, Pannacotta with many citrus flavours.

The creaminess of the pannacotta was cut back by all the flavours citrus fruits has to offer. The dessert came with 'frozen honey' which gave it some more texture and just a hint of sweetness.

And so that evening came to an end. Who will be visiting us next?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Special on our Black Board Today.

Today on our black board:

Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib with Almond and Ras-el-Hanout Crust,
Cous Cous, Lemon and Rocket Salad, Basil and Chilli

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Recipe: Sweet Corn and Basil soup.

This is a contribution by our chef, Mathijs

I've been asked to share a recipe from our kitchen and so here I am writing myself into this blog. There are many recipes I can share and I've decided to take a relatively easy one but, having said that, the quality of the  end result really boils down to your care you've put in the dish. We are talking about 'Sweet Corn and Basil Soup'. I took this recipe with me from my time in Sydney, Australia., where the dish  is as common as fish and chips, the burger with canned beetroot and seagulls. The recipe is very uncomplicated with no frills but it should be remembered that it's an absolute must to seek out the best quality ingredients (this, of course, goes for all your cooking but especially with recipes like these):

1 ea       Onion, sliced
2 cl        Garlic, sliced
4 ea       Corn cob, kernels sliced off, the cob cut in half
1 bunch  Basil
2 ltr        Vegetable or light chicken stock (you may have left over, keep this for another use)

The Method:

We start with sweating the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Add the corn kernels and cobs. Cook over fairly high heat. You want to slowly caramelize the mixture, which means browning it, just a little bit. Take your time, you're developing flavour which for sure you'll taste in the end result.

When this is done we add the basil and continue cooking for a minute, or so. Pour in the stock, enough to cover plus a bit extra to allow to reduce. Bring this to a slow simmer.

And now, all you do is let it bubble for, say, about 30 minutes. After that, you take it of the heat and just let it stand there to cool down. Let time do its work, the flavours are infusing and developing even  more. When it has cooled down enough you take out the corn cobs and discard. Then place the mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Press as much liquid through with a laddle, you're actually pressing through as much flavour as you can. I did say that the quality of this soup depends on the effort you put in, but don't press too hard, you might damage the sieve!

The only thing left to do is to season it with salt and, if you prefer, some white pepper, (the black variety will give your soup black specks all over).

And now you got yourself a very hearty and flavourfull soup. You can garnish this with a variety of ingredients. I personally like to use some sour items like pickled shallots and preserved lemon to 'lighten up' the liquid. Of course, add beautifully roasted prawns, scallops or even chicken and it will elevate this soup into the another level.

I will contribute some more recipes in the near future. Until then, enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Generation of Specials.

 The days has been quite exciting here, Langkawi was packed and we're also busy. We just managed to be in time to finish on some new specials. Currently on the black board...

Beef Fillet stuffed with Fragrant Coconut, Slow Cooked Short Rib, Potato and Roasted Garlic Puree, Young Mango and Pea Eggplants

Spiced Chocolate, Walnut and Pecan Brownie, Caramel and Coconut Sauce, Raspberry Sorbet, Chilli and Vietnamese Mint

These specials are on the black board now....but you can be assured that they won't stay long. There are many more new specials to come....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Name of Temple Tree

Straits Club Restaurant and Bar is synonymous with Temple Tree. Known for its heritage chic and colonial charm, the resort took its name from the Datuk Kong Temple which is located right beside the 110 pool, within the Temple Tree property.

Before, in the pre-islamic days, this temple was used by the Malays, Indians and Chinese to worship the Datos and Keremats, which were seen as an alternative power to help in spiritual healing and protection. You could say they're spirits.

An old picture of the temple, notice the bananas inside on the left.

There are many of such temples throughout Malaysia but this one is not typical. Due to the Islamic nature of the Datos, one would not ever use pork, beer, wine and other alcoholic products as an offering. There is a discreet back entrance to the temple, as well. This is for the locals who continue to do offerings and some prayers.

The tree here is no ordinary one. Inside its base 
grows a palm tree, which kind of makes it two in one.

Inside the temple.

 The year of the rabbit is coming and we wish everybody a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Table by the Poolside.

It's dry, the rain has dissepeared and so we've put up some extra tables outside now, beside the pool. They've proven to be more popular than the tables at the verandah.

The mozzies have decided to take it easy, as well, for the time being. So we would almost say, enjoy while you still can. But no, when they return we'll take care of that. 

Specially for the evening we've put plenty of candles around, which makes it kind of romantic, if you like but for sure you can look forward for beautifull evening at Straits Club.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Wine Dinner.

We are inviting you once again for our Wine Dinner, which, as you may know, we normally do on Friday's but more often than not do we decide to do one on Saturday, as well.

So, for tonight, this is what we'll do:

For bookings:

T 04 9553937
M 012 4302442

 Beef Brisket braised in Tomatoes and Masalla Spices

We hope to welcome you......

Sunday, January 16, 2011

As It Happens.

Talking of a dinner at Chinese House, we just did one.

We set up the table, upstairs, on the verandah. The dry season seems to have started in Langkawi but there was still a nice and very welcome breeze. We were really trying hard to capture this nice setting in a good picture.....we said, we tried. But take our word for it, as well.

 We've set up the table upstairs on the verandah, the view from
here is very nice

This was the menu for the evening:

Once the guest were seated, the kitchen made a start with the entrees.

Blue Swimmer Crab Tortellini, Pomelo and Cashews, Red 
Curry Dressing

The chef decided to give the menu a slightly Thai twist. Red curry goes well with most seafoods and the pomelo gives the dish a hint of bitter and sour flavours.

Entrees cleared, now the guest were ready for main course.

Beef Fillet stuffed with Spiced Coconut, Potato and Thyme 
Galette, Spinach and Cumin Puree

The beef was cooked medium rare, juicy and full of flavour from the stuffing. Pine nuts may not fit the Thai theme, but the chef just like them a lot and can not always resist to keep them of the dish.

Chinese House has 2 entry doors, one main at the front but we always use this one at the back. This entry also happens to be very near the kitchen.

Our Restaurant Manager, Nizam, serving the 
main courses

And then....dessert.

Roasted Pineapple, Papaya and Lychees, Kaffir Lime and
Vietnamese Mint, Champagne Granita

This dish gives the much needed refreshments after the flavourfull main course.

And so did this evening came to an end, for here.

At Temple Tree we got quite a few nice locations for a very special evening for you. If you are interested, probably the best thing to do is to drop by and inquire with one of our service staff. We're more than happy to show you around. Otherwise:

T 04 9553937

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Something Special at Chinese House?

Straits Club Restaurant and Bar is surrounded by heritage houses which are all part of Temple Tree. Not everyone of us will have the privilege to be able to stay there but, what's certainly possible, is to have a very special dinner there.

Two houses in particular are very suitable. One is called  Black & White and the other is named Chinese House. This last one has wide verandas overlooking the lagoon and you are able to experience, what's arguably, the best sunset here.

 Chinese House, on the right, overlooks the 110 pool and the lagoon.

This house is about 100 years old and build by a Chinese family in Batu Pahat, Johor. It used to be an farm house there.

Chinese House, before, at its former location.

As with all other houses, this property got deconstructed piece by piece, shipped to Langkawi and then build up again to its former glory.

Under construction

A dinning space with a story......

If you are interested to enjoy a dinning experience in Chinese House, contact us and we are more than willing to do something very special.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 and its Beginnings.

So here we are then, 2011.

This year we do have plenty of plans to push Straits Club forward. Our new menu has been on now for almost a month and is doing fine. We are already working on new specials for our black board, with a dessert special being a permanent feature. So, even if you had a nice dinner somewhere else but are on the search for a place for a nice dessert, you know where to find us.

Later in this blog we will do some writing on a dinner you could have at one of the houses at Temple Tree. Provided they are not occupied, we will be able to do a special dinner.

Our wine dinner remains and, in fact, tomorrow we've decided to do one, as well. Here the menu you can expect:

For bookings:

T 04 9553937

... and there is more to come this year. Watch this blog.