Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I am not a Foodie, I am a Food Blogger

Have you seen penne casserole with sambal belacan tomato sauce and served with chilli padi?  That is the beauty of fusion food. My Quay Lo made this penne casserole with my sambal belacan tomato sauce and served it with chilli padi for me!  Even when we dine out at restaurants that serve Western cuisine, I am not shy to ask for chilli padi or even sambal belacan. I have received a blank look on some of the waiters or waitresses’ face but I don’t care what they think about me, I still want my chilli padi or sambal belacan! When I am lucky, some waiters or waitresses were kind enough to get the chilli padi or sambal belachan from the cafe or Chinese Restaurant in the hotel for me.  In that sense, Quay Po can never said to be a real foodie. To me, real foodies have brains in their taste buds. Normally, when they eat, they don’t add something like sauces that changes the taste of a dish. They are also very objective and won't let their judgement of food served to be influenced by how many Michelin stars a restaurant has, or how famous the celebrity chef is in the kitchen. From an article I have read, the author (forgot his name) said:

"Real foodies:
 don't indulge in pretentious smiles and nod bullshit based on how much something costs versus how it tastes.

Even when they are eating at a high end restaurant, they are objective about what is good versus what is mediocre rather than letting social halo effects override their biological response.

Don't eat at a restaurant primarily for the purpose of posting gastro vanity pictures just to show that they have been there.

Experiment with a lot of different places and foods from different cultures and geographies to develop a well calibrated sense of taste.

Pay very little attention to the service, decor or food presentation at a restaurant and emphasize food quality above everything else. They can appreciate good food at even a hole in the wall restaurant.

Don't eat at a restaurant out of obsessive compulsive completionism to be able to write an online review.

While I am not a foodie per se,  I do know if fusion food is done well.  Fusion cuisine truly can be excellent and innovative. Good fusion cuisine combines ingredients and cooking techniques from several cultures and creates a new fresh dish, even if the dish is simple like the one below that Quay Lo and I made together. All cultures have their own culinary traditions, and combining these cooking traditions can result in breath taking dishes. Fusion in the new modern cities of Asia is almost in a class of its own. Some of these creations, by bold and adventurous chefs, can be quite complex.  Still, somehow, I feel like Quay Lo and I are "down in the trenches" of this movement and doing so with simple dishes.

Fusion Penne Casserole

This recipe was featured on The Asian Food Channel (Official) 
Facebook page on 6 December 2012

1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
½ cup Quay Po fusion tomato sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; toss with Quay Po fusion tomato sauce. Spoon the mixture into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. 

Quay Po fusion tomato sauce 
(click on the pic to get the recipe)


  1. Bravo ! Missus Davis :D I love sambal ( belacan ) and would always ask for it when I dine at some Chinese resto . Come to think of it SOME waiters/waitresses in most high-end resto tends to be a snob tsk tsk :P :D Re that fusion penne , love it , I just can imagine that and *sigh* ;D, yummmmm !

  2. Whoa! This sounds super delicious! I can imagine the fusion of taste coming from this pasta dish! Sounds good, give me fusion any time:D

  3. Love it! You last picture is killing!!! :)

  4. It looks like there is a lot of taste in this pasta plate. We also like to discover flavours of different cultures.


  5. "Normally, when they eat, they don’t add something like sauces that changes the taste of a dish."

    I guess I'm a foodie then... LOL!!!

  6. I don't mind your kind of fusion and I do eat braised pork leg with sambal belacan...but I wouldn't want, for example, grilled lamb with pucuk paku by the side - they call it fusion but somehow it is such a horrendous mismatch. I always call that (CON)fusion...

  7. So.. you are a "spicy" lover.. :) I used to be but lately whenever I take chillies, my throat will start to "itch" and I will cough till tears come out.. guess I have to refrain till come-what-may. No more hot spicy at the moment.

  8. That looks so good right now, I will keep Quay po's sauce recipe to use with this. My dad was a chef, but also must have been a foodie too, I recall going to all kinds of restaurants with him and he was not afraid to compliment the chef or send a dish back!

  9. Look at that lovely crust! Yum! My mum has to have chilly padi with everything and also sambal belacan.
    Someone called me a foodie and I said I was not, but now that you've pointed out all that a foodie is, it looks as tho that I am, maybe part-foodie .... not fussy, just honest in my opinions.

  10. I like thick cheese that you cook this paste , yummy , it sure taste good !

  11. Oh my, you really are hot stuff! If I take chillies at this rate I'll usually suffer a terrible volcanic explosion at the rear end the next day, if not within an hour of consumption. It sure sounds yummy and appetising! :)

  12. Can I add that " real foodies are sceptics" simply because they are only influenced by the taste of the end product? ;)
    I suppose spicy penne is acceptable since the Italians do likewise to their penne arabiata ^^

  13. I like my food spicy! So I add chill in pretty much everything-totally understand what you mean by fusion and mixing it up. Hey food is food!!

  14. I think you have a marriage made in heaven and your style of cooking that comes from this marriage is like you said new cuisine, a beautiful one at that.
    The is really a spicey paste that you make to add to food, sounds delicous and I think the blouses, (sorry can't remember what they are called) are just beautiful.I love the embroidery and I love the style of the blouse.

  15. Wow Wow! This look wonderful, delicious looking pasta dish.

  16. Veron, you sound exactly like my sis! She needs her chili padi with everything... hehehe...

    I personally think that there are no rules to be a foodie, you just have to enjoy what you eat to be a true foodie... ;0)

  17. So long as I get my fair share of sambal, I'll enjoy this fusion recipes :)

    Kiran @

  18. 'gastro vanity pictures...', 'obsessive compulsive completionism...', it. Always keep it real. Your penne looks absolutely delish!!!

  19. Looks so good.....I love sambal belacan too! It goes with everything, morning day and night! I also ask for fresh chilli sauce or sambal when I eat out at restaurants although usually they don't know what I'm talking about and they end up serving me bottled chilli sauce instead!

  20. ooo..i like my food spicy too. I definitely am not a foodie. I know this even before reading your article. LOL. So your Quay Lo has been trained well huh? Coz he can take spicy food too.

  21. ahh.. I am definitely not a foodie. Smiled at how you said waitresses giving blank look when you asked for chilli padi.. :)
    Which is exactly what I do for KFC's takeaway, will relish them with a dose of them sambal

    Your Fusion Penne Casserole looks absolutely yummy..

  22. Your penne dish is very special, with the 'touch' of sambal belacan.

    From the article above, I'm 101% not a foodie. As long as the food taste nice (despite its appearance), I'm into it :)

  23. i guess i'm a foodie then? ;p I've been to many 'nice places' and haven't had a single photo taken, but I must say I do love to enjoy my food, but am critical of it ;p

  24. Yoh Quay Po, I'm so impressed with the sauce that you've made here. I really can't imagine how it tastes like. Quay Lo is really "ho yeah" can take chilli padi. I seldom eat chilli & chilli padi is totally out for me because since I was young, my mum didn't cook food with chilli much. Now that I've moved to Sydney, the chance for me to use chilli in cooking is almost zero% except the chicken curry pie that I made recently.

  25. Food look so so good and yummy! ...i love pasta.

  26. It sounds delicious!Thank you for visiting my blog!In this way I have discovered your yummy blog!I will follow you with pleasure!Greetings from Greece,dear!

  27. Hi, thanks for your visit and nice comment.
    Came to know your visit and already I'm following you.
    I am fond of fusion cuisine, your pasta dish is wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing. Hugs from Portugal.

  28. Hi, my KL churchmate's mum is having a bookstore closing down clearance sales in Petaling Jaya, I saw there are some cheap cookbooks you might be interested.
    It's too far away for me to grab this.

    here is the details of the sales that i received.

    106-2B Jalan PJU 1/3B, Sunwaymas Commercial Centre, 47301 Petaling Jaya

    Closing down clearance sale! All must go by Dec!

    Books (wide range of titles):-

    - children story & activity books,
    - pets - dogs, fishes, rabbits etc,
    - sports,
    - hobbies -craft, doll making, cookbooks etc,
    - various paper back titles
    - etc!

    all going rock bottom prices (from RM1!)

    Golf accessories, wooden tees (in bulk), driving range steel baskets, rubbers tees & others.

    Cash only.

    16th - 18th December 2011. 10.00 am - 6.00 pm

    Any enquiries, call 012-2831375 (Jenny - Books) or 012-2293750 (Virginia - Golf items)

  29. Veron, another great post about food us. Just imagine all the fusion food we recreated....unbelieveablely strange but truly yummy. haha.... 'ji zhan fa heong'! :o)
    Btw, I think your sambal version of casserole is terrific.
    Thanks for sharing & have a great day.

  30. I'm going to answer this quote of yours, Veronica!...sounds a bit "off"

    "Pay very little attention to the service, decor or food presentation at a restaurant and emphasize food quality above everything else. They can appreciate good food at even a hole in the wall restaurant."

    My answer: Real "foodies" DO pay a lot of attention to the decor, and especially the FOOD PRESENTATION!
    I learned this a long time ago, in my professional career!!!
    You can serve DOG FOOD (well, not really)...just an example, if it is presented properly and not necessarily fancily, but in good taste, the little flaws are going to be overlooked, because in most cases, not only does it look good, but will taste good, because the person preparing it made the effort to send the dish out in a presentation "approved" manner!

    I would not eat "good food" even in a "hole in the wall" place, if they just SLOP it on my plate. Even a "hole in the wall place"...especially, THEY should know to present it right. It could be a small place, but they should make it presentable for customers to eat there. A "hole in the wall" little restaurant in our area which happens to be a "mom and pop" authentic Mexican restaurant, serves the best Mexican food in town, simple, clean, and all the dishes come out impecable, and made with LOVE! That's my kind of place!
    Love your infusion sauce on the penne...and don't tell me that presentation DOES NOT COUNT!
    your presentation is ALWAYS gorgeous, and divine, it's as if being served in the most "simplest" or "finest" the finest restaurant you would have to charge TOP price, and in the SIMPLEST, just average price...that's the DIFFERENCE!
    I always enjoy your posts, and your beautiful dishes!

  31. wat a fantastic recipe..absolutely delicious..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  32. I guess we Msians are dedicated to our chillies and sambals even when we're eating other cuisine. I remembered a trip to Hunter Valley a few years with my cousin sis and her hubby. We had dinner one night at an Italian restaurant. When the meals were served, my cousin's hubby asked the waiter for cut chilli, emphasizing that he wanted fresh cut chillies. The look on the waiter's face was priceless.

  33. @Anne
    I know, especially the fine dining Western Restaurant, the waiters and waitresses must think that I am "jakun" to ask for chill padi and sambal bellman. LOL!

    Yes fusion for me anytime too. Even after so many years with my Quay Lo, I still cannot eat Western alone. I want my rice, my Hokkien mee, steam salted fish with pork belly etc.

    I can see you are very adventurous with food.

    @Soul Recipe

    For sure, you are a FOODIE!! I agree with you, there are some fusion dish that I cannot accept too. Fusion is fusion but the taste must be fused right.

    Yes, you must stop eating chilli till you find out what is the cause of your itchy throat when you eat it. We eat to enjoy not to suffer ya?

    OMG, your dad was a chef and a foodie too? I am sure you must have learn a look about food from him. He sounds like my Quay Lo, he is quick to compliment the chef when the food is good and if no good, he is not shy sending it back too.

  34. @ping
    I am sure you are a foodie. I knew that when I read your posts. haha, you mum and I can be good makan kaki together since we both like have chilli padi or sambal belacan in everything.

    Oh yes, there was lots of cheese used. Although I am not a big fan of cheese, the amount of cheese in this dish did not bother me.

    Different people will react to chilli differently. Me too, I get the volcanic explosion at my South pole the next day. hahaha

    I don't think an Italian chef will be very happy with me adding sambal belacan to an Italian dish. Adding chilli flakes is okay but sambal bellman? hehe

    Ya lah, we have to enjoy our food right? If not, might as well don't eat.

    The Peranakan attire is called "Kebaya":D

    Thanks Ambreen.

  35. @Food Dreams
    Would you believe me, I travel to Europe and America with my sambal bellman. Then when I go to the Western Restaurant there, I will bring with me a small jar of it. When I brought that out to eat with the Western food there, people there were curious what i was adding to the food. hehe

    @That Girl
    Thanks my dear. If only you are staying nearby, I will definitely make a jar of the sambal belacan for you to try.

    I am sure you do:D

    Thanks Sharon.

    @To Food with Love
    Yes, certain Western restaurant can only give you tabasco or chilli flakes, they just don't have our Asian kind of chilli sauce:D

    Yes, my Quay Lo is well trained:D He is now only half "Kwai" LOL!

    Nevermind we are foodie or not. What is important is we have to enjoy the food we eat.

  36. @Yvonne
    I am with you:D

    Yes, don't take photos before you eat, foodie for sure:D

    Chill is an acquired taste. If you start eating them, you will grow to like it and your tolerance o the heat will improve too.

    Thanks and pasta is very easy to like:D

    You are welcome. Thanks for dropping by and I appreciate your following. Hope you enjoy your time and look forward to more of your visits. Hugs.

    You are welcome. Many thanks for your following and I am sure we have a lot to share. Hugs.

    @Soul Recipe
    Hi, so kind of you to inform me of the book sale. Unfortunately I returned from outstation yesterday and today I am very busy to catch up on work. I have passed your info to one of my blogger friends who love books.

  37. @Kristy
    I don't believe that self praise is no praise, I think we should praise ourselves when we deserve it:D

    @Wok with Ray
    Thanks Ray.

    @prince n princess mum
    Many thanks.

    Thank you for always take time to share your knowledge with me. I really appreciate your generosity is complimenting my dish and the presentation. It is very encouraging to me to want to cook better and present my dish better. Hugs.

    Thanks Jay

    Yes, I get those looks from waiters and waitresses so often:D It is now like water on a duck's back. hehe

  38. This dish rocks! Love the fusion and a great family inspired sauce!!I think there are foodies and then there are foodies. Whos to say which one is the true foodie! We do enjoy good food and we know what we like. I like to try different and new things and yet stick by my tried and true stand by recipes (which are usually never written down). I never considered myself a foodie, and I never play by the rules. I love fusion creations and often add things that make people go...really? Hmmm... :)

  39. your pasta looks absolutely tasty. I love the way you think abt food that we just eat the way we love it!

  40. @Lyndsey
    Yes, me too, I just don't think that it is fun to eat when we have to play by the rules. I just know I eat what I like and I really don't care if people want to think I am "jakun" when I ask for the chili padi or sambal belacan. I only know that when I put either of those, I enjoy my food better and I don't want to be a foodie if I have to adhere to so many rules. LOL!

    Yes, for sure I will always be like that:D Cannot teach old dog new tricks. Oops I am not a dog so I must be a... you know what.. hehehe. I told my Quay Lo if he is embarrassed to take me to Western Restaurant especially those fine dining one because I ask for chilli padi or sambal belacan, then, don't take me. go with his friends and it will not offend me at all. I will never eat food an pretend I love it, just can't. But he said, he has no problem and in fact, most of the time he is the one who will ask the waiter or waitresses whether they can get some chilli padi for me.

  41. hmm.. i call myself foodie, but after reading the definition, then I am half foodie la.. hehe
    my late papa must bring a packet of chili padi when he go travelling, even to europe.. he cannot eat without his chili padi lol!


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