Tap Water for my soup? Oh my God!

Have you ever had that problem? Probably the soup feels weird, the poached fish tasted funny, or probably your iced water drink tastes as if it is been left there for years? Yes, it could be. And for a bartender to ‘portray’ to his consumers that he takes water from the tap is simply ridiculous. It could be so tormenting to the customer that he/she could reject the drink right away. Malaysian water may not be as famous for dirt as to India’s water, but it’s still bad enough to get you a stomach ache for unfiltered water.

Restaurants should always have this rule: The water from your tap should be as clean as you can drink it right away. And it needs to be filtered. And the filter catridge needs to change every now and then. Commercial kitchens fail to see little things like this, and this could have adverse effect on the quality of your food, and the health of your customers.

Should I still use tap water?

Continue reading ‘The Kitchen: Tap Water vs Mineral Water’

Oh dang, burnt.

Yes – Burnt foods can hurt and smell bad. Especially when it’s rotting in your pot, waiting for it to be transferred elsewhere. Today, one of our apprentices burnt her pièce de résistance – Soupe de Legumes. With the heavy-bottomed pan producing small holes of the burnt soup on its surface, it produces some kind of stench where it could kill – And you don’t want that to happen in your restaurant if it’s an open restaurant. There are too many mistakes in Teppanyaki restaurants in Malaysia lately – And we do not feel like becoming one.

Heating up food is one way of cooking – But not to the extent of burning it. Foods like garlic burn quickly, and we don’t want that. Angelia Giam blogged about Fried Shallots in Shallots Oil and I (V. Cook) helped her with some strategies to combat burning of foods, and also how to keep it crispy all year round.

Here are some ways to combat heat if you’re in need of a quick fix:

Continue reading ‘Cooking Fragile Foods’

Cook at home and kill to eat (fresh)

Ever wondered how would it be to make your own ‘meat produce’ at home, killing it to cook for your family to consume? It’s not so easy, really. What about proper prawn farming (home scale), fish raring, water-frog farming or chicken breeding? Invading the chicken coop for your lunch could be double the fun – If you have the time. But for most housewives, students or singles, they often just live on instants, one way or the another: Either it’s an ingredient, a food alternative or a pre-prepared dish.

What you can do to keep things fresh at home, is actually some determination. We’re not saying it does not require special love or some hardwork, but we’d say it requires some determination.

Living fresh food / Leaving the Food Fresh

Piling up tons and tons of food in the refridgerator is not a good idea, especially if you’re single and lazy. At the end of the day, you’ll only end up with rotten foods, ALMOST spoiled foods or cross-contaminated foods. Here are a few tricks of the trade:

Continue reading ‘Home Cooking: Living the food-fresh’

Mom, why are these scrambled eggs dry?

The more people we serve, the better our knowledge is, the fresher our stocks are, the higher the turnover rate, the longer the accounts go, the more invoices and receipts our restaurant have. But if we come to the understanding of a particular something which we’re so good of, there could be no problem in handling almost anything. Creativity strikes, the garnishing looks different, and bah, there you go.

But what if, you have no idea?
In the first place, the menu item would not be there.

Wait, what about the replacement Chef who knows nothing about the new menu implemented?
There is always the Standardized Recipe.

So what the hell would be the problem?

Continue reading ‘Don’t burn food and call it a star’

Chef in Training

Food Central encourages its students to cook for the family – More of like preparing a whole set of home menu that they’ve planned, maintain control over, brainstormed, understand its viability, performed costing, set up taste-control & create an ambient out of it. Basically, it’s more of painting a thousand words for their guests without beautiful set-ups; but rather just from the preparation to the serving, all the way up to cleaning the dishes. It should be in a flow where each and every process would be their duty to maintain control over.

As Food Central digs out friends and families who are always willing to be their lab rats, there have been good and bad experiences ranging from thrusting tongue to plate-licking. Rowdy it may sound, but these experiences create not only necessary confidence to the Apprentice Chef, but also a stress to achieve better in the production of food.

A report is not required, but rather a video, which will be documented in their profile later.

Minimum of 4 guests and maximum of 8, who are all strangers to the Chef.

Continue reading ‘Chef Training: The Lone Wolf’

Le Cochon ou Le Porc?

A recap on our previous post where we mentioned Kitchen Terms or English, Food Central’s Von Cook has explained various kitchen terms that are misused, particularly Cooking Methods vs Food Preparation Techniques, and we promised you another three terms, which are wet, moist and dry. I’ve jotted down Chef Sun’s explanation on these terms. He hasn’t much to say, but at least he made his point when he pointed out Dry Cooking, Moist Cooking and Wet Cooking.

Chef Sun speaks to you now about his definition of Wet, Moist and Dry.

Continue reading ‘More kitchen terms’

Great seating or Good seating?

There are many things even great Restaurateurs could forget – A simple touch of service and the balance of good service to a great one. What probably differs good from great is the ‘term’ itself, as feedback would probably be the most important  thing in determining whether or not the service staff is really doing their work. On the other side of the viewpoint, it could also mean ‘The Designers‘ and also ‘Manager’ of the restaurant. Let’s take a look at what Food Central is discussing today.


In restaurants where there are only 1 particular set of seating, this would not be much of a problem – As they speak for themselves. But main restaurant players have been ignorant of this for a very long time. Not only comfort for the eyes from the polished environment, beauty to the feel from the excellent garnish, tangy to the tongue from the robusty-flavored Fillet Mignon, or tasteful to the class of the butlers with smooth gestures and fantastic outfit.

Seating is one of the major problems many customers today face – When they’re not comfortable with that particular chair and table, they probably won’t be there for long. Definitely no second time if there is another more comfortable seating.

Continue reading ‘Deep search into the GOOD seating’

Kitchen Terms of Wet, Moist and Dry

Before we start telling you the difference between using the term wet, moist and dry, you have to understand these: Food Central has been bombarded with questions that would require only a one-timer answer, unless there is another question which differs itself much to the topic that we’re going to talk about later.

Question 1

What cooking methods are available today?

Here’s your answer.

Braising, Broiling, Boiling, Charring, Frying, Barbecueing, Searing, Smoking, Steaming, Torching, Flambéing, Sautéing, Grilling, Pot Roasting, Par Boiling, Roasting, Slow cooking, Baking, Steam-baking, Deep Frying, Shallow Frying, etc.

Question Refuted:

What about creaming, stuffing and basting?

Here’s your answer.

Continue reading ‘Kitchen Terms, or English’

Kitchen Hygiene, please

itchens can be very dirty places if the management wants it to be, or leaves it piling up trash. Kitchen hygiene should be emphasized a lot – Not only kitchens that provide food for airplane trips (with HACCP checkpoints) but also the standard kitchen in restaurants we visit all the time. It’s daunting to see many restaurants here in Malaysia do not keep up to the standard of hygiene in the kitchen.

Today, Food Central is going to talk about kitchen hygiene, focusing on drains. Somewhat during our dear Chef – Mr. Sun’s time in a Chinese kitchen before, he pointed out that there are different types of drains constructed in restaurants. Some don’t even have a proper drainage system, or open drains topped with 1 1/2 inch thick holes.

Drains are very important in a kitchen, especially when it’s a commercial, busy kitchen. For home kitchens, there may not be so much hassle as cooking activities and preparations aren’t done at large every single day.

Filters on the other hand could cover filters for the sink, filters for the ventilation equipment, filters for the drains and filters for the water system. Filters play a huge role in ensuring comfortable, safe kitchen handling and food quality – And also depending on how well it’s maintained and kept.

Continue reading ‘Cleaning your Kitchen – Drains’

Thickening Agents – Roux

Roux has been used in the Culinary industry for a long period of time up to date. Not only it’s practical to its usage, roux is also very useful in terms adding flavor to soups or sauces. There are many stipulations to Roux as there is with politics today, as this long-time French thing is found so useful that many practice this product, use it differently and sometimes, perceive it differently.

What roux can bring to you today is its basic understanding and use. Nothing could be further from roux-truth than to practice this concept of using roux:

Warm Liquid —-> Hot Roux
Warm Roux —-> Hot Liquid

Typically, what Chefs need to understand in the kitchen is that, Roux isn’t just one type of thickening agent or emulsifier, if you want to put it that way. There are many other alternatives to roux also, such as potato starch, tapioca starch, corn flour, etc. These starches have their own strengths and weaknesses, therefore increasing the likelihood of a particular menu to ‘vary’ of a thickening agent or an emulsifier’s usage.

Other thickening agents such as corn, potato, arrowroot, tapioca, and wheat are particularly special themselves, and the below explains their properties.

Thickening Agents’ Properties

Continue reading ‘Food Guide: Thickening Agents’

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