Tuesday, November 16, 2010


England, Part II: Jamie Oliver's flagship restaurant offers apprenticeship schemes to young people between the age of 18 and 24 to help them acquire career skills in the food business.

Fifteen features a breezy, inviting interior that would be a probable hit if transplanted into Malaysia. The outlet's name is a reference to the first 15 kids who took part in the apprenticeship project when it was launched in 2002.

We were here for breakfast, so the must-order was Jamie's signature recipe of pukkola muesli, with rolled oats, nuts, fruits & honey. Seemed healthy and well-prepared, though it wasn't terribly memorable in either taste or texture.

Kenny's Pancake, with baked cannellini beans, wild rocket & parmesan (Kenny is Fifteen's head baker). Perhaps we prefer our pancakes fluffier; this was somewhat dense, like a cross between cake and bread, with savory but unspectacular toppings.

The "ultimate breakfast sarnie," a porky pleasure featuring a large muffin stuffed with sweet cured bacon, Cumberland sausages & scrambled eggs. But it might be better to visit this place for lunch or dinner, when more ambitious dishes are available.

Isle of Wight tomato juice & grapefruit juice. No booze? Maybe we were hung over.

Westland Place, London.
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  1. looks poorly made by hung over teenagers to hung over customers? haha.. the pancakes looks burnt..

  2. Kenny's Pancake? Sounds like the perfect breakfast food for me! Hahaha...

    And no Jamie sighting? Aww... It could have been magic: Eat Drink KL & the Naked Chef! :)

  3. Oh dear. Looks like a rather disappointing brekkie... :(

  4. perhaps if Jamie Oliver himself prepares the food for you... it would taste better???

  5. joe: heheh, i guess we should give them a break, since they're apprentices. though one of those teenagers might eventually become the next jamie oliver! :D
    lfb: i have a hunch that if u put your noggin to it, u might be able to whip up a better brekkie pancake recipe. siew yoke-&-char siew pancake? :D and no, there were lots of books and magazines on display here with jamie grinning on the cover, but the real deal was having his own breakfast at his lakeside mansion :D
    j: yeah, but maybe i'm just not into breakfast food! their dinner menu sounds more promising though, with prosciutto, risotto, pork shoulder, etc :D
    leo: yikes, it might, but i suspect i wouldn't be able to afford that breakfast, heheh :D

  6. Oh. Oh. Oh. A siew yoke-&-char siew pancake! That is actually rather brilliant. Min and I must consult you for our menu choices if we ever get MinKen off the ground. :D

    P.S. If Jamie Oliver prepared the breakfast for us, I'm not sure we would be able to eat it, on account of our jaws being still on the floor. *swoons*

    P.P.S. Actually scratch Jamie. I want Nigella! :D

  7. lfb: as a condition for my consultancy services, i demand that cockles must be an integral ingredient in at least one starter, one main course, and yes, one dessert (perhaps a sweet-savory cockle creme brulee) on minken's menu :D
    p.s. since this is our far-fetched daydream, why not imagine both jamie AND nigella preparing brekkie for us? with jamie as the naked chef, literally, and nigella, ermmm, clad in a catsuit? :D

  8. Perhaps you'd have done better at Jamie's Italian, eh?

    And I'm guessing you took the last pic not for the array of cookbooks displayed?

  9. lemongrass: ya, jamie's italian would have had cockle linguine, pumpkin panzerotti and truffle tagliatelle. perhaps next time (and yes, i do hope there'll be a next time!). heheh, intentions aside, i think that last photo is a nice shot :D

  10. Starter: Pan-seared cockle in a light tangerine drizzle.

    Main: Bloody cockle risotto. With faux truffles from Sandakan.

    Dessert: Lukewarm chocolate cockle brownie, ice-cream on the side (optional).

    P.S. Oh oh. That's one version of the British Avengers I wouldn't mind taking part in. Nigella as Mrs. Emma Peel. Ooh...

  11. lfb: wow, that actually sounds very yummy (i suppose using faux truffles will help keep costs low in the beginning, but i expect u to switch to french ones after business begins to boom)! u might not need my services after all :D
    p.s. uma will always be emma for me (though i had my eye more on ralph during that sadly underrated movie that launched the 'how now, brown cow' catchphrase fever) :P

  12. Oh we would. Cos that menu? Is probably specially designed Only For You. We dare not launch it on the unsuspecting masses that make up our dedicated (or they will be, at any rate) clientele. They have not your, uhm, delicate palate. :P

    P.S. I enjoyed the movie too and I'll always be a big fan of Uma. Alas, however, Diana Riggs will always be The Emma Peel for me. :)

  13. lfb: hey, as minken's food consultant, i think 'themed set menus' (like your cockle one) could be a big hit! for example, a three-course meal where eggs are served in every dish (with eggnog as the aperitif of choice, of course).
    imagine the possibilities! u could have a different "star ingredient" every day of the year for these set menus, from spinach to anchovies, from mangosteens to rabbits. customers would keep coming back because they'd wanna know what's next!
    p.s. i've actually NEVER watched the original avengers tv show. i can't even remember what diana looked like! :D

  14. Hey, I thought we had egg-sterminated the egg-scruciating thread oredi? :P

    And methinks eggnog is very seasonal... Wouldn't quite work in the middle of June, for example.

    Plus, I hate mangosteens with a vengeance. Would love a durian-themed menu though.

    P.S. The original Emma Peel wasn't even Diana Riggs, I think she was the second. But it's gorgeous, this TV show. :)

  15. lfb: like i replied earlier, reports of its demise were sorely eggs-aggerated.
    but ya lah, so u can do the egg set menu on christmas eve. waxed meat set menu during chinese new year. ad infinitum :D
    ergkh. guess what. mangosteens are my favorite fruit (followed by ciku as a not-too-close second). how anyone can not love the juicy, inimitable sweetness of mangosteens is a mystery to me. durians, on the other hand, i don't ever eat them as fruits, though i like them in creamy cakes and chinese pancakes :D
    p.s. hmmm, then why am i imagining it as a black-&-white, terminally dull show? :D

  16. i should give this place a try next month when I'm in London. My mom went there and she said it was ok only.

  17. eiling: it's a bit far from the city center, so u could actually skip it, frankly, unless u have lots of time to spare :D

  18. Waxed meat and eggnog. How about that? Hmm. Has potential.

    Akcherly, how come u dun cook? Aside from the fact you have no kitchen? Didn't you even try during your uni days?

    Oh, and I dislike ciku too, but not as much as I hate mangosteens.

    Durians are divine. Eat it raw. Eat it fresh. Divine...

    P.S. It was in colour lah! You must have seen the first season/version.

  19. Char siew-siew yoke pancake... star ingredients... rabbits? *takes notes furiously* The menu to the hottest thing to hit Taman Desa is being devised as we leisurely comment over these sorely underwhelming breakfast offerings. Eat your heart out, Jamie's apprentices!! Ooh, we need a breakfast menu!

  20. @Minchow: Instead of "Breakfast at Tiffany's", folks will be writing about "Breakfast at Taman Desa" for ages to come, meaning our delightful MinKen Cafe, of course. :D

  21. min: yea, folks will flock from the furthest regions of the klang valley, from taman miharja and taman kepong indah, for a taste of minken's soon-to-be-famous pork pancakes (maple syrup optional!) :D
    lfb: ooh, does that mean that min will be strumming a guitar and serenading customers with 'moon river' :D and oh, i do wish i had the talent and patience for cooking, but all my microwave experiments circa 1998-2000 turned out to be quite inedible (the best, though, was boiled broccoli covered with kraft cheese). and forget about cooking at university; all i had in my hostel room throughout those three years was a kettle :D

  22. Oh. Oh. Maple syrup on the pork pancakes actually sound really good. Darnit. Now we have to go and make some somehow... how ar?

    Min and "Moon River"? Somehow I was thinking more of Min and "My Moon, My Man" (by Canadian singer-songwriter Feist). :)

    And you lost me at boiled broccoli. Pity.

  23. lfb: u could start by buying a live baby piglet and raising it until it's large enough to be chopped up for succulent char siew & siew yoke parts :D
    hmmm, depends on what kinda clientele MinKen wants to attract, i guess. the hipster, artsy crowd or the suave, old-school set :D
    broccoli is one of my favorite veggies, it is. :D

  24. You mean "Babe for Breakfast"? OH how could you! (Oh wait you mean me, I gotta raise the damn piglet ar? Ehh...)

    Min can attract them all, I say! She's hot ma. Hot attracts lots. That's my mantra.

    But boiled??

  25. Lfb; raising an animal helps teach responsibility, and pigs are relatively low-maintenance, so they're great for beginners :D gasp, u're gonna use min's sex appeal to draw customers to the restaurant?! What kind of establishment are u both planning?!? :P

  26. And you know this... how? Ever raised a piglet before yourself? :P

    And who said anything about using Min's sex appeal (though she has oodles of it)? I meant her natural musical TALENT. That's hot and attracts everybody ma. Eesh.

  27. lfb: ahhh, i know everything about raising livestock, thanks to tales from my great-granddaddy about life on the farm in the old days :D hmmmm, if u think that natural musical talent will attract the crowds, then u should ask ME to perform a few tunes every night *warms up vocal cords* :D

  28. *shudders at thought of sean performing glee and whitney numbers*

    Uhm, I don't think MinKen's clientele is quite ready for your copious talent yet... :P

  29. lfb: karaoke night! that's what we need to guarantee MinKen's success! :D

  30. Actually, maybe not. A lot of the Taman Desa pubs already seem to have karaoke/open mic every bloody night. Hardly any of them have even an iota of a smidgen of a clue of Min's natural talent, unfortunately. :(

  31. lfb: ooh, i've been wondering which kl outlets have those open karaoke sessions. i despise the usual redbox ones where u're trapped in a room, with only your friends for your audience (and no proper stage or spotlight either!) :D

  32. Trapped? I'm thinking more of kindly, as in not torture other people who aren't one's friends... :P

  33. Lfb: I suppose there are some deluded people out there who believe they can sing, but really can't. Dunno any of those ppl though :D