Friday, June 29, 2007

Seoul Garden

Whenever we talk about Korean food, bbq will definitely come to mind. Well this is not a traditional korean bbq but a buffet bbq-steamboat concept. But they do offer a variety of korean flavours like bulgogi, kim chi & ginseng soup. What I love about this place is the cleanliness. Usually shops that offer bbq are very smoky and stuffy. But this shop is not only airy, the staff's constant changing of the frying plate makes the experience even better.

Rating : Good
Location : Gurney Plaza, Penang

As you can see there are variety of meat (chicken, beef, fish, squid, prawn, etc) available for frying and steamboat. There are also various type of condiments like fishball, sotong (malay for squid) ball and others, but I am not a fan of processed meats.
Price range between RM20 to RM30 per person, depending on choice of weekdays/weekends, soup and drinks.
For vege and dessert lovers, no worries. There are also sufficient choices to spoil your taste bud.

Last but not least, I love these...

Monday, June 18, 2007

East Imperial Chinese & Thai Restaurant

For once I do not have to translate a single word for a restaurant name. But then again this is not something to be amused of, given that this restaurant is situated in Langkawi. A travel destination for many. Ah yes... Let's go somewhere further than the usual. The restaurant operates in the afternoon and night. You won't see much people during the day, but a lot of westerners during the night. To be truthful, this place is caterred more for foreign tourists. But the food was actually very good. And spicy!

Location: Beside Underwater World, Langkawi
Rating: Good for those who love hot and spicy

I love Thai food. I love the fragrant of spices and herbs. And I love the taste of sweet, sour and spicy. Hence I am sorry to say that, although the restaurant offerred Chinese Food as well, I did not spare a single thought on that. Reason? Well Langkawi is very near Thailand. Need I say more?
What I ordered? Khao Phad (Thai language for fried rice), Tom Yum (Thai for Hot Soup) and fried water spinach with belacan (belacan is a local delicacy made of shrimp). A signature Thai fried rice is white in colour. Fragrant of fish sauce and the texture is puffily soft. The fried rice I had here is a bit different. The colour is brown due to some use of soy sauce and chillies (must have been localised). But the rice itself is still soft yet not lumpy. So I was not that disappointed afterall.
The tom yum? Oh... heavenly. I have tried tomyum cooked by Malaysian. Nomatter what, I still find some taste is missing. Just like going to a non mamak stall and ordered roti canai. Somehow, the taste is different. I believe, some herb ingredients is missing. Most probably roots of coriander or some sort. But the tom yum is is rather spicy, so those who can't take spicy may need to take note on this.
Fried water spinach or kang kung in Malay has nothing to boast of. BAsically, overall food was good if you like spicy food.
Ahh... but one thing you have to take note. Since this shop is catered mostly to foreignors, the price is a bit on the high. The total for our food cost RM40, but of course that include our drinks. We ordered Heineken beer. Hey this is afterall Langkawi - a duty free zone, what do ou espect we might drink. Orange juice?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Restoran Bei King

Of all different clans of Malaysian Chinese, Foo Jiu Nen are one of a kind. Fu Zhou in Mandarin, Fook Chow in Cantonese or Hock Chew in Hokkien. The early settlers of Hock Chew clan were clustered mainly in Sitiawan (Peninsular Malaysia) and Borneo (East Malaysia). So that's where we went for some pure Hock Chew dishes - Sitiawan. Well, of course we do not know much about what to order. Luckily we had a colleague who is a Sitiawan Hock Chew and all we have to do is pass the cellphone to the restaurant owner. Hence, I can assure you that the food intorduced below are 100% Hock Chew dishes.
Malay-English translation
Restoran - Restaurant
Chinese-English translation
Bei King - Beijing (Bei - North, Jing - no idea)
Location - Sitiawan, Perak
Rating - Good
What have we ordered (or should I say our friend ordered)? Well we have (clockwise from top left) Hock Chew fried mix vege, salted egg fried chicken, tofu thick soup (tau fu kang), and red wine thread noodles (hong jau min sin).
I can't really make much of a comparison because I have not eaten a lot of Hock Chew dishes. But what I can say is the salted egg fried chicken provides a fragrant and rich aroma. The crispy rich flavours of salted egg coating is nicely blended with the soft succulent chicken meat inside.
I have tasted red wine thread noodles in another restaurant in Sitiawan, but I think this restaurant offers a more aromatic variety compared to the one I had. Usually thread noodles are easily soften, hence not many people like to eat. But I believe they must have some secret process, as the thread noodles here do not get soften easily. In fact they are quite tangy. The red wine is actually made of red rice grains. I have seen a lady made this at home. It seemed that the preparer must maintain serene and peaceful composure while processing the red wine. Otherwise, the wine will come out sour instead of sweet.
My favourite of all is the tau fu kang. I remembered when I was 8, my dad brought us to Teluk Batik for picnic. On our way back, my dad brought us to a Hock Chew restaurant. I am extremely bad at recalling my childhood memories, but the one thing I remeber most about the trip was tau fu kang. The soup is thick without a hint of smoke on top, but be careful there. It is because the soup is sooo hot that there isn't any smoke. But that aside, the clear soup taste of seafood and smell of tofu. I just love it!
What I like about Hock Chew dish are the fact they they are all aromatic and fragrant but not overwhelmingly strong. The taste may not linger in your mouth, but it certainly lingers in your heart.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kedai Makanan May King

In my previous post, I have mentioned that it is difficult to find good curry noodles, let alone with accompaniments like fish balls, tofu and soy bean rolls. Well, thousand apologies... I just manage to find one in Pudu, K.L. Not to say the greatest curry and not a lot of variety of accompaniments, but the taste is good. At least, I dare say the best that I have tasted in K.L. so far.

Malay-English Translation
Kedai - Shop
Makanan - Food

Cantonese-English Translation
May - Beauty
King - Scenery

Venue - Around Pasar Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
Rating - Good

As you all know, I am a big fan of curry/spicy. In KL, the standard of curry noodles you find are just not to the par. Then I found this shop. It was introduced to me by a colleague. The Lum Mee he introduced to me is similar to Loh Mee in Penang. But it is the dry curry noodles that caught my attention. It reminded me of the santan version of Ipoh dry curry noodles. The only different is that it still comes with cut chicken pieces (very KL style), but you can request to change them to chicken floss and prawn (ah... more Ipoh style here). I think what makes the dry curry noodles here good is the generous usage of curry spices, herbs and santan. Sometimes you just can't be stingy in this.

I especially like the accompaniments namely tofu, fishballs and soy bean rolls. If you like the taste of what Ipohan calls "fei yuen" (literally "flying balls" ahahahahaha), you will definitely like the accompaniments here. They all have similar ingredients of fish paste and dried squid bits. The dried squid bits provide you a pungent aroma. It is an acquired taste, but those who have tasted them before will find these aromatic indulgent.

The food here may be a bit pricy. Each plate of noodles are priced around RM5 and each piece of accompaniements costs around 80 cents. Of course you can't compare this with KLCC and neither can you compare with the normal noodle stalls. But I would say the price is worth the taste.