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Saturday, June 04, 2016

Kedai Makan Mak Engku

Ooh.. I love ikan bakar (grilled fish). And this is my favourite in Kuala Lumpur. I know.. I know... I have been to Ikan Bakar Tanglin, I have been to Ikan Bakar Bellamy. But Mak Engku offerred so much more. If you have tried their fresh fish, the beef soup, the vast variety of dishes to go along with the steamy white rice. And their drinks come in generous portion to douse the heat of all the sambals.

As the Board on top rightly said, this is "explosive grilled fish". It is not plainly grilled, but marinated in spices. I particularly appreciate their stingray or ikan pari in Malay. The ones they offerred here are white meat stingray, the texture is softer compared to the grey meat type (which I think is not so suitable for grilling). Not many ikan bakar stall offer the white meat type.

Anyway, there are so many choices of fish, you will definitely find something that you like.

We took a big piece of stingray. It comes with air asam (spicy tamarind sauce) separately.

I usually combine my grilled fish with ulam (fresh greens). My favourite is ulam raja (cosmos caudatus) - as seen at the top right of the picture. It has that distinct mango-like aroma that goes really well with the fish.

Special mention is this sup daging/tulang (beef bone soup). The soup is very warming because of the spices and beef. The meat is really tender.

Like I said, there are plenty of choices other than grilled fish. Chicken,veges, fried, stews, you name it, they got it. 
This is the time I have to practice self-restrain. But when in hunger, 'everything also I want'.

Of course, this can't be left out. the variety of sambals (chili pastes). Sambal belacan, sambal budu, sambal kicap, sambal cencaru, etc. It is telling you, there are many ways to spice up your life.

And of course, with all these spicy stuff, you need extensive water supply. Their drinks will not disappoint you.

How about the price? Let's take the bottom meal for 2 as an example. Stingray, veges, quail eggs, rice and ice lemon tea for 2. Total RM27. Economical or costly, you decide on your own.

Oh yea... location, location, location..


Sunday, May 08, 2016

Restoran Sinki @ Dengkil and Steamed Bun (Pau) to Bring Home

It is in very very very rare occasion that Ben would have the mood to take us far for food. I took the opportunity to venture to Dengkil when we stayed in Putrajaya for a staycation.
We went to Restoran Sinki (though in chinese, I am sure the name Sinki is meaningful). 

We ordered the famous sweet spicy fish. The fish used is threadfin. It is fried till crunchy and generously doused with sweet, spicy and slightly sour sauce. I LOVE THIS!

We also had Sang Har Chow Mein (fried yellow noodles with river prawns). The prawns were fresh and cooked just right so that it is springy to bite.

The restaurant is located facing the main road, so you won't miss it. Only problem is parking. The Kedai Kopi IUI that is right beside Sinki offerred nice steamed bun and homemade kaya (coconut jam). We bought a few variety of steamed buns and brought home for tea.

This Pau below is Peanut Pau. The Pau skin is soft and chewy. The peanut is fragrant with sesame mixed with the grounded peanut.

PL had the Lotus Paste Pau. They were infused with screwpine leaf (pandan) fragrance.

Verdict: I would love to go back again for both restaurants.
Price? Oops.. It so happens Ben met a friend there and they paid for our meals without us knowing, so I don't know. But given that many people come for lunch and dinner here, the price must be reasonable.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Finding Johor Treats @ Medan Selera Presint 9

Searching for nice local eats in Putrajaya is not that easy for outsiders. Googling it in English mostly direct us to grand restaurants, malls or mamak stalls.

Let me teach you another trick. Try googling your searches in Malay or Chinese. You will have better luck finding good recommendation of local food this way.

That's how I found this place. Were we glad.

PM and I had a good time digging into otak-otak Muar. Otak-otak is a piece of spiced fish paste folded in between 2 pieces of coconut/palm leaves. They are barbecued to slightly charred. The fragrance.. mm.....
Then there is this mee rebus Johor. The gravy was thick and tastes great. It is not too spicy so the kids liked it too.
Then they have that Johorean infamous kacang pool. It taste a bit like chilli corn carne with a half cooked egg, calamansi, chilli and shallots. It comes with thick buttered bread to soak up the gravy.
The nasi lemak is not really a Johor thing but I sure love the sambal ikan bilis, as simple as it is. Anyway, it was cleared off by the kids. I only get the remnants of what's left. 
I felt really satisfied not having to resort to McD or KFC.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Stesen Keretapi Taiping Lama (Old Taiping Train Station) for Assam Laksa

If you do visit the old Taiping Railway Station, do visit the simple gallery and walk around the old station. The old station has been converted to a Gallery and some shops/cafe.

In the Gallery, you get to see pictures of old Taiping. Quite educational.

We stopped by a simple shop that sells Assam Laksa and Cendol.

Truthfully, the cendol was mediocre.

The laksa was just so-so too.

But combining the whole atmosphere, it is quite comfortable. 
Good for a nice and quiet visit of the old Taiping.

Friday, April 03, 2015

A day in Taiping

My dad hailed from Taiping. We used to come back Taiping at least annually for Chinese New Year (CNY). Then the annual visit changed from CNY to Qing Ming (visit ancestor's grave). And now we just keep coming back annually to keep the tradition going and go down the memory lane until the day we can't do it anymore..
But what I want to share with you, are the standard makan place that has been there for at least 3 generations. That speaks for itself.

Breakfast @ Chai Chee

Chai Chee used to be so busy from morning till late in the night. But now, it is only the morning that you see the hustle and bustle. But at least we still get our must-eat "Chai Thow Guey". 

 There are only 2 or 3 stalls selling this now. As far as I know, this deep fried white radish cake to be eaten with the sweet sauce can only be found here in Taiping. Eat it when it is hot. You won't be able to stop.

Can you guess what's in the tiffin?
How about now? These should pretty much give you an idea..
Yup, it's nasi lemak. I'd say this is the local nasi lemak where you can also mix with soy sauce pork. It's basically nasi lemak with a difference (catered taste). But for a nasi lemak lover like me, the difference is a good one :)

And then there is the Taiping Char Koay Teow with Fishball. But this one seemed a mixture between Taiping and Cantonese style. Nevertheless, you can still taste the fragrance from intense heat of frying the koay teow (btw, this is flat rice vermicelli).

Oh and how can we forget the wan ton mee + sambal belacan. My dad used to drive down to Taiping just to fulfill his craving for this noodles.
Lunch @ Kedai Ais Kacang Merah Raex (fka Rex Cinema Red Bean Ice)
My dad loved it. I loved it. My kids loved it. 
 Need I say more?

The red bean ice stall used to be accompanied by a few other eatery stalls. They all moved in together after Rex Cinema has been taken down. One of our best lok-lok haunt is here.

Do you know the curry mee in Taiping is slightly different from Penang. The base is white with a stronger curry fragrant compared to Penang.
Oh I miss the northern Pohpiah which is simple without all the krup krup, which I find a pain to the mouth and not very helpful to the clean taste I expected from a pohpiah (this is personal).

Dinner @ Pasat
If we could, we would have tasted every single stalls that sells nasi lemak bungkus here. The 220ftx60ft square is laden with stalls selling rice, dim sum, chee cheong fun, char koay teow, noodles and drinks. Nasi lemak bungkus are the standard staple offered by the drinks stalls. Every single stalls get their supplies from different sources, so you get different variety of nasi lemak bungkus. There are sambal prawn, curry prawn, fried fish, sambal anchovies, sotong, mantis prawn, many many more according to season and suppliers.

Nasi Lemak Bungkus - Udang + Kacang Panjang
My favourite of all the nasi lemak bungkus is prawn curry with long beans. I have yet to try the seasonal mantis prawn. Looking forward to my next trip.

My sis came across this deep fried dried fish coated with sweet sauce. Savoury.

My dad said there used to be weather masters sitting here. What do they do? They bet on the exact time that the first rain drop from the corner of this market roof. These masters will look at the sky, feel the moist on their skin or even taste and smell the air. And they can tell you the exact time rain will drop.

Restaurant 1919 @ Ipoh Garden East

The last time I visited 1919 was at least 10 years ago, when my dad brought me along with his friends for dinner. All I could remember was this dish below. 
Deep fried crispy aubergine with sweet sour sauce

How time flies.. Now dad is no longer here and all I have are places that I have visited with him, food I have tasted with him, and experiences he had shared with me. How I miss him. Oops.. let's skip the emo. Like dad always say: Life must go on.
This time, I bring my kids to the same place. They may be too small to take on the spicy stuff, so we ordered deep fried salted egg yolk mantis prawn. The salted egg yolk sauce was good, and the kids enjoy the usual crispy stuff.
Deep Fried Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk
We had also wanted to order the house-specialty tofu basket, but they ran out of stock (wonder if it was that good). We replaced it with their in-house spinach tofu. Hub says a bit tasteless, but I think it was just nice to balance off the other strong taste dishes we ordered.
Spinach Tofu

We also ordered green curry chicken. It was mild enough that the kids could enjoy it too. But if you do not like aubergine that is cooked to a spungy tecture instead of being thouroughly cooked to soft mush, this might not suit you. Otherwise, it is good to go with white rice (typical Asian speaking)
Green Curry Chicken

My FIL ordered Cencaluk Sotong (Squid Fried with Fermented Krill Sauce). For nyonya food lover, I truly enjoy this. The squid was not chewy and easy to bite. The sauce is fragant with spices.
Squid Fried with Fermented Krill Sauce
Using the kids as excuse, we ordered chinese pancake with pandan lotus paste coupled with ice-cream. I thought it was a good conclusion to the meal.

Price: +-RM150

Address: 1, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Taman Ipoh Timur, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.