Sunday, 26 February 2012

Tabasco and HP Sauce Refutes Non-Halal Claims

HJ Heinz and McIhenny Company, the brand owners for HP Sauce and Tabasco Sauce respectively, have summarily refuted claims that both of these brands are non halal.
A statement issued by the brands said the companies would like to assure Malaysian consumers, particularly its valued Muslim consumers, that HP Sauce & Tabasco Sauce are in full compliance of regulatory guidelines by their respective halal certified bodies.
HP Sauce is certified halal by Halal Audit Company (HAC), which is an Islamic certification authority in the Netherlands, where the factory is located.
On a similar note, HP sauce manufacturer, Heinz, has done tests for traces of pig DNA and no traces of pig DNA was found. The test results have been submitted to JAKIM for confirmation.
“Heinz reassures that the usage of their raw materials and manufacturing processes in the supply chain adheres to guidelines set by HAC,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, Tabasco is certified Halal by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), a recognised Islamic authority in the United States. IFANCA is duly accredited by JAKIM to certify products that are produced in the United States.
“The brands view this matter very seriously, and the Agricultural Division of the Embassy of the United States of America has been duly notified,” the statement added.
“The brand owners would also like to reiterate that both HP Sauce & Tabasco are sold in numerous markets including the Middle East and in Indonesia.”
It went on to state that Tabasco Sauce has been selling for more than 180 years and the key success for them is the fact that only natural ingredients are used hence Tabasco does not contain any animal by-product at all.
“In fact, its ingredients consist of just pepper, salt and vinegar. As a leading international food and nutrition company, Heinz has a responsibility to ensure that it operates in respect of cultural, ethnic, religious, political and philosophical differences in each market that it does its business.
“Therefore, Heinz’s interest in halal issues is borne out of social responsibility to its Muslim customers and consumers. The halal certification for HP Sauce is a non-negotiable priority for the company.
Posted on Friday, June 17th 2011 


16 NOV 2012: Tabasco sauces are now halal

Tabasco dapat pengesahan Jakim

RANGKAIAN produk sos Tabasco banyak digunakan dalam penyediaan makanan harian keluarga di Malaysia.

PRODUK makanan daripada jenama Tabasco sudah disahkan halal oleh Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) melalui kenyataan media yang dikeluarkan oleh pengeluar, Mcllhenny Company.
Mereka menegaskan bahawa pembuatan dan kandungan sos lada tersebut mematuhi hukum Islam dan Piawaian Halal Malaysia.
Jakim telah mengesahkan status halal khususnya sos lada jenis Pepper Sauce, Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, Chipotle Sauce, Garlic Pepper Sauce, Green Pepper Sauce, Habanero Pepper Sauce dan juga Sweet and Spicy Pepper Sauce.
Pengarah Serantau Mcllhenny Company, Kan Cheung berkata, pihak syarikat sentiasa prihatin dengan tanggungjawab sosial kepada pengguna Islam di Malaysia dan juga seluruh dunia.
"Pensijilan halal untuk sos lada keluaran syarikat amat penting untuk mengukuhkan lagi jenama Tabasco di Malaysia." jelasnya.
Ramuan asli Tabasco seperti cuka, lada dan garam masih dikekalkan sejak 140 tahun dahulu. Ketiga-tiga ramuan tersebut adalah dijamin 100 peratus semula jadi dan tidak mengandungi asid deoksiribonukleik (DNA) haiwan. Ia kini boleh didapati di bahagian halal semua pusat jualan runcit makanan seluruh Malaysia.
Dengan pengesahan daripada pihak Jakim itu, persoalan pengguna Muslim yang sebelum ini gusar tentang status produk tersebut sudah terjawab. Tabasco diedarkan secara eksklusif di Malaysia oleh GBA Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
Source: KOSMO, 16 Nov 2012 :

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Malaysian get-together in Bangkok - 3 March 2012

Calling all Malaysians in Bangkok to join a gathering organised by the Kelab Malaysia of Thailand, which will be held at the following:

Venue: Bunga Raya (halal) Restaurant, the Regent Ramkhamhaeng Hotel, Ramkhamhaeng Soi 22.
Date: 3 March 2012
Time: 1200hrs
Price: THB300/pax

For reservation, kindly contact Mr. Lincoln at 0886363366

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

That Looks Delicious! Wait. What’s in it? Is it Halal?

That Looks Delicious! Wait. What’s In it?

It’s hard to figure out what food labels really mean anymore.  With all of the complex ‘food ingredients’ on packaging, it can be difficult to know whether or not an item is made of pork or pork by-products or contains any alcohol just by reading what the label says.
Things get even more complicated when a dish is on  a menu- with or without ingredients listed-  if you aren’t even sure what some of the ethnic dishes are in the first place.
Based on my own experience with a variety of world cultures and foreign languages, trying everything from food in the the US, Mexico, Southern Europe and the UK, I’ve developed these tips to help you figure out what certain foods or dishes could be made of, especially those in foreign langauges.  The list includes international cuisine menu items and grocery store items so you’ll know what to watch out for whether you’re dining out or shopping to eat in.

Dining at American restaurants or buying American products:
  • Common terms used in America for alcoholbeer, brandy, champagne, gin, scotch, rum, sherry, tequila, whiskey, vodka, wine (burgundy, red, rose, white/blanc)
  • Common terms used in America for porkbacon, bologna, Canadian bacon, ham, pepperoni
Dining at Asian restaurants or buying Asian products:
  • Shin mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that is often added to teriyaki sauce. Sake is another type of Japanese alcohol that may be added to sauces such as teriyaki. There are teriyaki sauces made without alcohol, so you’ll have to check labels and/or ask your waiter to find out for you.
  • Alcohol in soy sauces are commonly found in naturally brewed soy sauce. Soy sauces that contain acidified hydrolyzed soy protein generally do not contain alcohol. Check labels and call companies, if necessary, just to be sure.
  • Many fish sauces are also fermented and contain alcohol, but not all of them.
  • Chinese soy sauce is typically called jiangyou or chiyou.
  • Kecap is an Indonesian term for basically all fermented sauces, including fish sauces. The same term is also widely used in Malaysia to indicate a type of soy or fish sauce.
  • Korean soy sauces is called josean ganjang
  • Phillipine soy sauce is called toyo and fish sauces is often referred to as patis.
  • Vietnames soy sauce is called xi-dau.
  • Common terms for Japanese alcoholic beverages are: Sake, Shin Mirin, Shochu
  • The word for pig in Japanese is buta.
Dining at Fish & Seafood restaurants or buying Fish & Seafood products
  • At many fine restaurants, seafood dishes are prepared in white wine or another type of wine.
  • In the southern U.S., fish and seafood is often breaded and deep fried in oil, although lard (pork fat) was a traditional frying fat in the South, it is most likely not used anymore. Always ask to be sure.
  • When fish is breaded and fried, not only should you ask about the type of oil, but you should also ask what else is fried in the same pan or basket (perhaps it was also used to fry a pork product). You may also want to ask if the batter is a beer batter, something else quite common in the American south and small, local restaurants in general.
  • Some people are really averse to catfish, although I know of no indication that it isn’t halal. Just for those who prefer to avoid it, note that it is a common fish cooked in the south and can be served up fried whole or in tacos or breaded in a sandwich. If you don’t eat catfish, be sure to ask the waitress to find out exactly what type of fish you’re being served in that ‘catch of the day’ special advertised.
  • Most fish side or dipping sauces tend to be mayonnaise-based (tartar sauce) or ketchup (tomato)-based, such as cocktail sauce. Be aware that some mustards contains wine (i.e. Dijon style). Be sure to check all labels on the packets or ask your server for a list of ingredients.
  • When a restaurant serves a fish filet or filete (Spanish), it is almost always going to be a fish with scales, like tilapia. However, if you don’t eat shellfish or fish without scales*, you may want to avoid the following types of seafood:abalone, clams, crab, cuttle fish, jellyfish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oyster, scallops, sea cucumber, sea urchin, squid, shrimp
  • For fish sauces, refer to the above paragraph on “Dining at Asian restaurants or buying Asian products”.
Dining at French restaurants or buying French products:
  • French restaurants, very similarly to Italian ones, often cook their meats and fish in wine.
  • French pastries often use wine or other types of alcohol such as vermouth or calvados (apple liquor), to flavor anything from ice creams and sorbets to mousse, creams and tarts. One note worthy of mention here is that “chocolate liquor” is not alcohol, it’s simply a combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
  • French words for meat are: Bifteck- beefsteak; Boeuf- beef ; Charcuterie- literally means “cooked meat” and could refer to any type of beef, lamb, pork, in general; Porc- pork
  • French words for alcohol are: Bière- beer; Calvados- apple brandy; Vin- wine
Dining out for Ice Cream or buying Ice Cream products:
In general, ice cream parlors in the U.S. don’t serve too many flavors with alcohol, but you should still be aware of the following:
  • Marshmallow (usually made with pork by-products) may be an uncommon ice cream ingredient or topping, but it may find its way into some flavors without you realizing it. Whenever you see white swirls in a flavor, be sure to ask what it is.
  • Bubble-gum flavored ice cream, often labeled as “Rainbow” may contain gum that has a pork-based product to make it chewable.
  • Rum may be the most common alcoholic addition to American ice creams and it’s often paired with cherries or cherry-flavored or vanilla ice cream. Be sure to ask about the ingredients of these types of flavors.
Dining at Italian restaurants or buying Italian products:
  • Marinara sauce generally means that the red sauce is cooked without meat, although  always ask just to be sure.
  • Be mindful of fish dishes. Although Italians are not known to mix fish with pork, many dishes are cooked in wine and because many sauces are made ahead of time, they may not be able to serve you without it.
  • Italian sausages are generally made with a pork-beef  or pork-veal mixture.
  • Be mindful of Italian vinegars. Some have wine added after the vinegar is made, which supplements alcohol to this condiment. For salad dressings, I prefer to ask for extra virgin olive oil, salt and lemon. A good restaurant will not only have them on hand, but will bring it to your table without much thought. Note that this does not mean that “wine vinegar” actually has wine in it; in fact, most do not contain wine.
  • Pastries are sometimes prepared using liquor such as brandy, rum and amaretto. Most common among them isamaretti, or amaretto-flavored cookies.
  • Be sure to ask about all of the components of your desserts before ordering. Sometimes even cherries served atop the traditional Spumoni ice cream may be soaked in rum or amaretto.
  • After-dinner drinks described as ‘palate cleansers’ or aperitifs may be flavored with nice ingredients like aniseed, lemon or almond, but they are often alcoholic drinks. Such drinks as limoncello (lemon-flavored Italian drink), are ones to avoid.
  • Sauces in pasta and rice are more often than not prepared using wine or vodka as part of the base, especially in seafood entrees. Don’t assume the alcohol to be part of the dish description in the menu; ask your waiter instead and if he/she seems unsure, ask to confirm with the chef who prepared the dish.
  • Italian words for alcoholic beverages are: Rum, Amaretto, Vodka, Limoncello, Vino (wine)
  • Italian words for different types of pork are: Mortadella, Prosciutto, Salami, Pancetta, lardo
  • “Pepperoni” in Italian does not mean the same kind of pepperoni on pizza so popular in the U.S. In Italian, it simply means “pepper”, as in the vegetable.
Dining at Mediterranean (Greek, Spanish, etc.) or buying Mediterranean products:
The Mediterranean is geographically a large area that includes the cuisines of southern Europe (France, Italy, Spain), as well as Greece, Turkey and the islands of Cyprus, Malta and Sicily. In these regions, just about every type of meat and fish are consumed—and so is alcohol, especially in cooking.
When a restaurant describes itself as one serving “Mediterranean cuisine”, chances are that you’ll find the food to be a combination of the countries and regions listed above. As a halal consumer, you may want to keep an eye out for the following things:
  • Baked goods are sometimes prepared using liquor such as brandy, rum and amaretto. Note that amaretti, or amaretto-flavored cookies, generally do not contain the alcohol amaretto.
  • Be sure to ask about all of the components of your desserts before ordering. Sometimes even cherries served atop the traditional Italian Spumoni ice cream may be soaked in rum or amaretto.
  • After-dinner drinks described as ‘palate cleansers’ or aperitifs may be flavored with nice ingredients like aniseed, lemon or almond, but they are often alcohol drinks. Such drinks as limoncello (lemon-flavored Italian drink), ouzo(anise-flavored Greek drink) are fairly common in these types of restaurants.
  • Many Spanish appetizers, known as tapas, are often topped or wrapped in pork products such as jamón or chorizo
  • Sauces in pasta and rice are more often than not prepared using wine or vodka as part of the base, especially in seafood entrees. Don’t assume the alcohol to be part of the dish description in the menu; ask your waiter instead and if he/she seems unsure, ask to confirm with the chef who prepared the dish.
  • To summarize, be aware of the following alcoholic beverages:  Rum, Amaretto, not to be confused with Amarenacherries, Brandy, Vodka, Limoncello, Vino (wine), Ouzo
  • Types of pork to be aware of:   Jamón, Chorizo, Prosciutto, Salami, Pancetta, Cochinillo (baby suckling pig)
Dining at Mexican restaurants or buying Mexican products:
  • Manteca is the Spanish word for lard, or pork fat. Traditionally, many Mexican items such as frijoles (beans) are fried in manteca. Many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. are now using vegetable oil to cook their beans, eggs and other dishes. Just be sure to ask first by using the word “manteca” to see if it’s in any of  the dishes you plan to order.
  • Carnitas (derived from the word “carne”, or “meat”) is a Mexican dish of roasted, grilled or braised pork.
  • Spanish words for pork are: Puerco, Cerdo, and Chicharron. Manteca (lard), Jamón, Chorizo 
  • Spanish words for alcohol are: Cerveza, Margarita, Vino, Tequila
Dining out at Sushi restaurants or buying Sushi products:
If you don’t eat shellfish or fish without scales, you may want to avoid sushi with the following types of fish (Japanese words in italics): abalone (awabi), clams (hamaguri); baby neck clams (asari), crab (kani), cuttle fish (kou-ika),  jellyfish (kurage),(spiny) lobster  (ise-ebi), mussel (i-gai), octopus (tako), oyster (kaki), scallops (hotate gai), sea cucumber (namako), sea urchin (uni), squid (aori-ika), shrimp (odori)
If you are particular about eating eel, note that anything that starts with “una”, such as “unagi” or “unakiu” indicates this is an eel type of dish.
*(although I eat all types of fish, some people are of the understanding and belief that it is makrooh, or disliked)

Fuel price hike in Thailand-21 February 2012

PTT and Bangchak to increase fuel prices tomorrow

BANGKOK, 20 February 2012 Domestic oil retailers and refineries PTT and Bangchak are set to raise their benzene and diesel prices tomorrow by another 60 satang and 40 satang, respectively.

PTT Plc and Bangchak Petroleum Plc have announced that their retail prices of benzene will be increased by 60 satang per liter and diesel by 40 satang, starting from tomorrow at 5.00 hrs onwards. The price of Gasohol E85 will be adjusted by 30 satang a liter.

As a result, Benzene 91 will cost 40.91 baht per liter.

Gasohol 95 will be at 39.63 baht and Gasohol 91 at 37.88 baht per liter.

Gasohol E20 will be at 36.88 baht while Gasohol E85 will be at 23.68 baht per liter.

Diesel will be at 31.73 baht per liter.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Bang Dee Restaurant, Phyathai Road, Bangkok

Click on map to enlarge.
The owner of the one month old eatery, Bang Dee and his beautiful wife, Khun Faridah welcome you to their restaurant. Khun Faridah and her sister, Khun Husna speak English well while Bang Dee speaks Malay fluently.
The restaurant is exactly at the corner of Soi Aram Sii.

Click on menu to enlarge.

Upper level dining area
Steps going down
Lower level dining area
Free car park in the gated compound in Soi Aram Sii
Marinated beef fried rice
Nasi goreng kampung
Seafood tomyam
Stir fried crispy chicken with basil leaves

Khanom jiib = dim sum

Bottled fresh fruit juice at THB20 each

Prayer room on the 4th floor

Bathroom is available in the prayer room.

Bang Dee Restaurant
130/21, Soi Aram Sii-Phyathai Road,
Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
Tel: 089 7872683 / 081 6360021 / 0897913785

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Bang Lah Fish Noodle and Steak, Phyathai, Bangkok

Click on map to enlarge.

Located opposite of Bangkok City Hotel, between Petchaburi Soi 5 & 7, near Masjid Darul Aman. It's in the same compound of the following car service centre and car wash. Opens from 10am till 10pm. The nearest BTS station is the Ratchathewi BTS Station, which is about 300m away.

The dining area is without walls which means no air conditioner. It's attached to an air-conditioned coffee shop but eating the noodles is not allowed in the coffee shop.
It can be very warm in the afternoon but would be great during 'winter' season.

The Menu

The must try tomyam fish or seafood noodles...and don't forget to get the crispy fried salmon skin to be eaten together with the soup.

The plain fish noodle.

The owner, Bang Lah@ Abdullah can be contacted at: 0869934272