Tag Archives: dim sum

Ma Lai Goh (Steamed “Malay” Cake)

6 Feb

For some reason, this old school Chinese bakery goodie is called “Malay cake”, even though it has nothing to do with Malaysia. The light cake was always my favorite dessert after dim sum (Chinese small plates eaten at lunch time). Unfortunately, traditional style Malay cake is disappearing from menus, and I can’t find them at bakeries either. So I decided to make my own. It turns out that this cake requires only a few basic ingredients.


Malay cake is a steamed cake, not a baked cake. I used a 9″ steamer basket, lined with parchment paper. 


  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 120 ml corn oil
  • 130 ml milk
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla



  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until the sugar is well dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
    Ingredients for Mah Lai Goh
  2. Whisk in oil and milk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well.DSC05230
  5. Add vanilla. Mix until bubbly.
  6. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.
  7. Pour mixer into parchment lined steaming tray.
  8. Bring water in steamer to a boil. DSC05235
  9. Place steaming tray in the steamer and steam until cake is done and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.


I added some chopped walnuts on top, just to make it look a little prettier.


Slice and enjoy! This cake is best devoured while fresh and warm!

Toronto’s Best Dim Sum Part 1: Crown Princess

15 Mar

Search for Toronto’s best dim sum and you’ll likely find Crown Princess on the list. I have been there twice now, both times on weekdays, for lunch. Unlike many other Chinese restaurants, this one is calm and quiet. The decor by contrast, is over-the-top – it’s a space with high ceilings, Roman columns, large oil paintings, and faux marble everywhere – the floors, the bar, and the walls – and yet it’s not all that big. The more intimate size makes you feel like you’re in an exclusive club. The place is bright, with large windows opening onto Bay Street. This grandeur is matched by high-quality dim sum and attentive service.

IMAG1883Above: Beef tripe and steamed bbq pork buns. Everything was yummy!

Crown Prince, TorontoTea is served in fancy English-style teapots and the dim sum pieces themselves are small and dainty. Above: pan fried turnip patties; stir fried greens; shrimp rice noodle roll.

IMAG1880Fried taro dumplings are one of my favorite things to order at dim sum. Unfortunately, most restaurants serve them only lukewarm, and not hot. Crown Prince’s taro dumplings weren’t an exception – this was the only disappointment during my meal. They were also smaller than typical taro dumplings, although each order came with four pieces, instead of three.

Crown Prince - Chiu Chow dumplingsChiu Chow style pork dumplings. (The order came with four pieces. I devoured one before I remembered to take this photo!)

Crown Prince - tapioca puddingA highlight of our last lunch at Crown Princess was dessert. The restaurant makes what is likely one of the best tapioca puddings in the city. There’s no doubt that it’s impressively presented, elevated in a glass bowl. Each pudding is made to order.

Crown Prince - mango puddingMango pudding is cutely shaped like a fish.

The Final Word: Dim sum at Crown Princess is a deliciously refined experience. Though prices are higher than average, the quality of the food is terrific.

Info: Crown Princess, 1033 Bay Street, Toronto, Canada

Crown Princess on Urbanspoon

24 Hours in New York

9 Nov

Eat your way around Manhattan

pizza dough flavorKick off the day with dim sum at Red Egg in Chinatown. It’s comfortable and clean, though the decor hints at the restaurant’s alter ego as a lounge/nightclub when the sun goes down. We enjoyed a variety of yummy dumplings, Peking duck sliders, rice noodle rolls, and pan-fried turnip cakes.

Spend the afternoon shopping and wandering through the neighborhoods.  Stop by swanky kitchenware stores like Sur La Table – surely only a place like New York has a market for things like “pizza flavor”.

Surround yourself with delectable treats at Dean and DeLuca, like pastries and chocolate truffles, or gawk at impeccable cuts of meat and sashimi-grade fish.

breads at Dean & DeLuca

Stop by the Farmer’s Market at Union Square, take a studio tour (we checked out the NBC studios), visit a museum (I love the MoMA), or stroll along the Highline Park (free!)

Then, satisfy your dinnertime hunger at Bareburger (several locations). The burgers hover around $10 each, and there are tons of choices. You can also build your own, selecting from proteins ranging from the classic beef, to the more adventurous bison, elk, ostrich, or buttermilk fried chicken. Those with dietary restrictions will appreciate the vegetarian options as well as a gluten-free bun choice.

"Roadhouse" elk burger

“Roadhouse” elk burger

I ordered the Roadhouse burger with elk, cooked medium, on a brioche bun. I would definitely recommend it to anyone! The Roadhouse comes with pepper jack cheese, Haas avocado, roasted red peppers, grilled onions, bacon (which I omitted) and smoked paprika mayo. My boyfriend ordered the California burger with a classic beef patty.

Top off your burger with mustard and ketchup in cute bear squeeze bottles at each table. Fries are on the softer side but still yummy. As for the breaded onion rings, they aren’t kidding when they say “breaded” ! If you crossbreed an onion ring and a chicken strip, you might get something similar. The homemade lemonade is quite sweet but pairs well with the burgers.

"California" beef burger

“California” beef burger

Catch some stand-up comedy at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. Afterwards, grab a drink at one of the many nearby bars. My guy and I went to Vol de Nuit (148 W 4th St  Manhattan, NY 10012), a hole in the wall spot specializing in Belgian beers. We walked by its gated entrance twice before realizing it was there. The gate leads to a walled, open-air patio with a few tables scattered about. A single unmarked door at the back of the patio leads into the dark bar. A few wooden high-tops line the wall opposite the bar. Though decor is scarce, the beer list makes up for it, and they did have my favourite beers on tap, including Chimay, Kriek, and (Pawtel Kwak), and served it in the proper, bulb-shaped glass.

For a late-night snack, grab a mini pie at Pie Face (several locations). The cherry pie is stuffed with cherries. All of them are decorated with cute smiley faces. Definitely take the pies home and warm them up before eating, as they don’t heat them up very much at the shop. Pie Face also offers large brownies, but mine are better. Finally, for those who prefer to drink their calories, consider getting a pie shake!


After a full day of eating, rub your belly and congratulate yourself on successful day!

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