~dusts cobwebs from this lil cyber space~
Hi! I’m back! So where have I disappeared to for the past year or so, you may ask? Well, basically, juggling my day job and my other ‘night’ job (where I’ve sold my soul to cupcakes) left me with practically no time to sleep, let alone food hunting and blogging. But I’ve always wanted to come back to food blogging one day, and didn’t have the heart to delete my blog just like that.
So anyways, in the spirit of striking a balance in my life and inching my way back to food blogging, I said yes when I received an invitation from Agua at Straits Quay to attend their Paella Cookout! (and also because I adore paella!)
Us food bloggers and media were seated at this beautiful sturdy wooden long table which is meant to be a ‘community table’ of sorts, where people can dine and get to know the person sitting next to you. So if you’re in the mood to make some new friends (don’t be shy now!), just ask to be seated there! After all, to quote the lovely editor at Expressions Magazine – ‘strangers are just friends you’ve not yet met’ 🙂
Ingredients for the paella – butter beans, corguettes, french beans, tomatoes etc…
The Paella Cookout starts off with a cooking demonstration of the Paella by Agua’s chef. We would be served two different types of paella that night – a seafood one, and a chicken paella.
According to the chef, Paella is about the family & community. It is usually cooked on weekends and each Spanish cook will have their own version of the recipe, each claiming theirs to be the best. 🙂 Chef says you can basically put anything you want in your paella, but key ingredients are the olive oil and saffron spice (more on that later).
More Paella ingredients – arborio rice, olive oil, smoked paprika (which gives the Paella a wonderful smoky flavour!) and saffron (the world’s most expensive spice!)
And the cooking demo starts! Ingredients are cooked in a large shallow pan over low fire.
Cooked until the ingredients are coated with a nice shiny sheen from the olive oil
The rice is added…
Add the stock and let it simmer….
Seafood paella… almost done!
Ta-dah! Seafood paella!
After the cooking demo, we started our dinner with a Paysanne salad – a traditional Spanish salad with aubergines, avocados, some white asparagus and other greens. It came with a light oil based dressing. And I must say that the salad was indeed very refreshing! Also a healthy dish too since Mediterranean cooking is widely known for its health benefits 🙂
Along with the salad, we were served some Garlic Bread (no complaints here)
And finally, both the Chicken and the Seafood Paella. The paella rice had a comforting starchy quality to it without being mushy, and both had distinct flavours. But I must say that while I thoroughly enjoyed both, the Seafood Paella stands out between the two as the flavour was richer and smokier.
The Paella cookout dinner also comes with a glass of Sangria (which I really really liked, I was drinking it like a fish really…) Do excuse the blurry shot of the Sangria (taken with my phone). The lovely drink and the wonderful company caused me to temporarily toss my ‘food blog duties’ aside and I promptly forgot to take a shot of the Sangria with my camera.
The traditional red Sangria is made of red wine with slices of fruit. A non alcoholic White version is also available (made from Grape juice)
I had no more room for dessert (though I’m told that Agua serves a really mean Triffle) Must come back again another day for that!
Paella Cookout happens every 3rd Wednesday of the month (a welcome midweek pick-me-up-er, I must say!). Purchase tickets for the cookout online (in advance) at a very reasonable RM38++. Walk ins on that night will have to pay RM50++. Purchase your tickets online HERE. 🙂
Do keep an eye out for updates on the Paella Cookout and other promos on Agua’s Facebook page, as well as on their website. I’m told they’re starting a semi-buffet on Fridays and they also do a Sunday BBQ Brunch. 🙂
3AG18-19 Straits Quays, E&O Marina,
TEL: 04-890 8668
Other Paella Cookout write ups from fellow food bloggers: