Sunday, August 12, 2007

3U Restoran

I heard and read a lot about this restaurant. It was said that the owners pride themselves for the quality of soup they offer. When I reached the place, it was packed with people. The 3 main types of noodles they offer are prawn noodle, beef noodle and chicken slices with hor fun (cantonese for flat rice noodle). You'll find they play around this 3 variety in the menu.We decided to order a braised beef brisket noodle, a beansprout chicken hor fun and a bowl of wanton (cantonese for prawn dumpling). While waiting, I managed to take some picture of the food they put up on the wall. Not very clear but just to give you a flavour of the other types of noodles available.

Location : Taynton View, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Rating : Big ups and downs

The first thing that came was prawn wanton. The soup was really great.
The wanton was alright. Prawn meat isn't very chunky or crunchy, but at least they are quite fresh.
The next to arrive was the beansprout chicken hor fun. Again the soup was really good, but the hor fun was not hot enough. The beansprout was normal (maybe slightly fatter than the usual lot, but Ipoh's beansprout are fatter). The chicken was smooth and soft, but we found the skin not properly cleaned.
Finally is the braised beef brisket noodle. Soup was again superb, but we found the meat too big a piece and no evidence of sufficiently braised, as the meat is quite hard to chew.I believe they cut the meat at the wrong direction. This resulted in big chunk of meat and tendon, when it should be inter-layered thinly.
I feel bad that I gave such verdict when many people applauded the place, but I was really disappointed too. Food industry isn't easy. To focus at 1 specific area is good, but other aspects shouldn't be neglected. Sigh... I do not mean to be philosophical, but when comes to quality I wouldn't have it otherwise. Or else, no point blogging.

De Foodland Seafood Restaurant

It was my dad's birthday. So I have decided to bring him on a feast on crabs. Some might find this cheap, but for us, feasting on crabs has a meaning of its own. We used to be so poor that my dad has to skip his lunch so that I could have mine. Our diet very much consist of instant noodles and its kin. During those hard times, having crabs was a luxury to us. And it has remained so ever since.

Anyway, back to the topic of food. I have receive a brochure from this restaurant depicting very many types of crab dish, from fried to steam and bake. So that's where we went hunting for crabs.

Among other food we ordered were saute celery with squid, fried fish slices with spring onion and ginger, fried udon noodles with black pepper and the restaurant's specialty - fried beehoon (rice vermicelli) and tanghoon (glass noodle) mix. The food are ok. I won't say very good, but standard wise, it was above average.

Ah... the main topic - crabs. We ordered 2 types. We had fried salted eggs with crab (as shown right after this paragraph), and sweet and spicy crab with fried mantou (steamed bun). The salted egg crab is very fragrant. The strong odour of salted eggs were complimented by the curry leaves and little bit of dried chilli. The mix is just right. The chef is able to bring out the fragrant but at the same time do not over cook the crabs. Some inexperienced chef tend to over cook the crabs. The meat would end up dry and sticking to the shell. But not here. Moreover, the crabs were quite huge in size. This.. This is our all time favourite. Sweet and spicy crabs. It is usually cooked with ginger, tomato sauce, vinegar and shallots. The chicken eggs were added last to thicken the sauce and sweeten the taste. We love to dip baked bread or fried mantou into the sauce. I know some European find the way we eat bread "differently" (I recall telling a European couple that we love to take bread with ice-cream, and their reactions were to cringe in disgust). But there are some things that yu just have to try them. Then you would really understand what joy you have missed out in life. hahaha...For benefit of those who might not know how to get there:

Restoran Chen Chen Hong Kong BBQ Goose & Duck

Ah... When come to Chinese roasted meat, what could be more famous than the Hong Kong roasted goose. And the "tauke" here assured us that his is the real thing. At least that is what his shop name profess.
Cantonese-English Translation
Chen - Real/True
Chen Chen - Really/Truly

Hokkien-English Translation
Tauke - Boss

Location : Pudu, Kuala Lumpur (behind the row of shop opposite the pudu market and chinese temple)
Rating : Above average

We ordered roasted goose, chicken and char siew (sweet bbq pork). We also had some sour vege and pork ball soup. We were also given condiments to be taken with the roasted goose.
When the rice came I was quite impressed. They are fragrant and not too soft/lumpy.
The char siew has nothing much to offer. The meat is dry and hard. And there were limited fragrant as expected from a proper char siew meat.

But the roasted goose is better. Maybe just slightly better. The skin wasn't crispy, but at least the meat is not hard or chewy.

Unexpectedly, the best was the roasted chicken. Crispy skin with soft and tender meat. Pleasant to eat. Best of all, when mixing the chicken with the condiments (a little bit of spring onion and a little bit of the cured plump sauce), the taste was amazing. Strong plump and wine fragrance surrounded my tastebuds. This is really good.
The vege is just normal, but at least it is sourish enough. And the pork ball was also good, because they have substance. When chewing them, you can feel that they have less flour than what we mostly get in the market. In case you do not understand what I mean, try cutting a piece of pork ball into half with a blunt object (ie spoon). If it parts clearly means there are more flour. If it parts with zig-zagging texture broken in between, then there are more meat.
Basically the meal was quite good and not costly. It is just that, I have not found the right shop.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Low Yau Kee's fresh fish fillet porridge

Many thought porridge is easy to cook. Just throw in rice and water to boil. But to cook a smooth and thick porridge isn't easy. If you have tried it, you will know what I mean. It could either be too watery or too thick that it became lumpy (yuck.. that's for babies). Some over cooked and the hint of rice texture is gone. Some are "under cooked" and you can still count every grain of rice in there. That is ok if you are eating Teo Chew porridge, but if it is Cantonese porridge, blek :P

Cantonese-English Translation
Low - Old
Yau - Friend
Kee - Record/Remember

Location : Jalan Tun Perak, near Masjid Jamek, Kuala Lumpur
Rating : Very x3 good!

I am a porridge lover, but I am very critical about a good porridge, be it Teo Chew or Cantonese. This place's porridge is "Da Best" man! You see most places throw the fish in to cook togather with the porridge. Supposedly to add flavour to the porridge, but it actually spoils the texture of the fish. Fishes are easily cooked, and anything beyond that is rough to the tongue. What Low Yau Kee did was to slice the fish thinly, marinate it with sesame oil and serve them raw to you. Just throw in all the meat togather with the generous garnishings into the porridge and witness it turn ripe. Now this can only be done with an extremely hot porridge served. I don't know how the boss is able to maintain the porridge at boilling point, and yet not burning them???
Now don't worry. By the time the meat is cooked, the heat from the porridge has been transferred to the meat and balanced the whole bowl. And by the time you scoop them into your mouth, the temperature is just right.
What I like about the porridge is that the flavour kind of explode in your mouth. I love the smooth porridge, but with substance. I love the even smoother and silkier fish meat.
And if you like to to order some extras, I guess the chicken is quite good too.
Aa... Don't be mistaken. I am not the big eater this time (haha..). A kind and friendly lady happen to share table with me. She is kind enough to let me photograph her chicken drumstick before enjoying her meal. Thanks KSH, and it's a pleasure to have made your acquaintance.

And for those of you who might still get lost around Masjid Jamek area, hope this photo help.
p/s: Come at evening.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Restoran Three Up at Menglembu, Perak

Chee Cheong Fun (literally translated as pig intestine noodles, in actual it is just flat rice noodles) in Ipoh and Taiping is different with Chee Cheong Fun in Penang and Chee Cheong Fun in Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur style is more like yong tau fu to me, whilst Penang ones are mixed with otak udang (prawn paste). You also have Hongkies' "fun cheong", which is another version of chee cheong fun. Now, why is it called pig intestine noodles? You see, cheong in cantonese could mean any food with long round shape like sausages. It happens that this noodle is flat and rolled into such a shape. Taht is why it is called "fun cheong". But in Malaysia, we usually add lard (which used to be a delicacy) to smoothen the noodles. Hence "Chee Cheomg Fun".
Anyway, this is just a normal coffee shop at a housing area in Menglembu. Funny name right? Well if spoken in Cantonese, it sounded slightly like auspicious goodness.

Location: Menglembu new town, Perak
Rating: Average

The Chee Cheong Fun I ordered is with curry fried pork skin. KL people do not know how to cook pork skin. I have yet to taste a good one in KL. If you have never tasted the good ones, it should be crisp+tender+slightly soft. In KL, it is either a soggy lump or hard rubber. The down side is that the noodles are cold. Some food are meant to be eaten cold, but not this.
We also ordered some fish paste accompaniments from another stall. Alamak... I have not tasted this for so long... Well I can't vouch if this taste good or not because the taste is exactly the same as those I had near my hometown during my childhood days. These are simply my sweet memories.
Then we have IPOH WHITE COFFEE. The ready made 3 in 1 can never fight this.

Note: CSG, I know you don't eat beef, so this post is an addition for your reading pleasure.

Ngau Lam Fun at Chong Seng Rice & Noodle House

If you do recall in my previous blog about a ngau lam fun (beef brisket noodle) in Penang, which has thick broth as the soup base. I am introducing you to a clear soup base here in Kuala Lumpur. Don't be mistaken. The standard isn't any lower, just a different way of cooking. Besides the ngau lam fun, they also serve various type of roasted meat rice/noodle. The best is roasted rib. Nyum nyum!

Cantonese-English Translation
Chong - Middle
Seng - City

Location: Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur (not the Kepong Maluri, again)
Rating: Good

I am sure you have tried beef noodles at Jalan Alor or near Masjid Jamek, among the famous few. But noodle wise, both the shops lack elasticity. Now I don't mean eating rubber band. I hate that too. What I mean was the brusque feeling when you bite into noodles, rather than soft lame noodles. Hope you get what I mean.
Now, about the beef brisket noodles. I like the soup, the beef balls and the white turnip. The koay teow (flat rice noodle) was quite smooth too. The meat itself is slightly hard and very big piece. If you want to taste the "wilderness" in beef, maybe this could be it. Not for me. I like gentle beef :P
The dried beef noodles here offered thick noodles, which is kinda hard to find in KL. Now even the minced beef sauce here have big piece of meat. I don't know if the cook did this on purpose or he is just a rough/tough guy, but it actually worked well. It is like little moment of surprises when you chewed a small piece of meat with the noodles.
Besides beef balls, I strongly suggest you try ordering fresh beef slices. They normally call it "sang yuk". Beef is best eaten when it is just cooked, not a second longer. Otherwise, it feels like chewing a bigger piece of rubber. These meat are usually crisp and tender. Hmm nyum nyum...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Suhairi Majid Satay at Restoran Queen's

One of the proud product of Malaysian food is the satay. Rather than describing one particular dish, the term satay (also known as sate, satae) actually refers to a method of cooking, in which thin strips of marinated meat are threaded onto skewers and grilled. The skewers (bamboo or metal) spread the meat effectively for cooking and make it easy-to-handle, for both grilling and eating.
Some brilliant English again believe that the word "satay" comes from a corruption of the English word 'steak', because Asians tend to have trouble pronouncing consonants together, particularly the letters 's' and 't'. Amazing. Anything doesn't come from the West?
Some believe that satay was invented by Chinese immigrants who sold the skewered bbq meat on the street. Their argument is that the word satay means "triple stacked" (三疊) in Hokkien dialect, and indeed, satay is often made with three flat lozenges of meat. It is also possible that it was invented by Malay or Javaneses street vendors influenced by the Arabian kebab. The explanation draws on the fact that satay only became popular after the early 19th Century, also the time of the arrival of a major influx Arab immigrants in the region. The satay meats popularly used by Indonesians and Malaysians, mutton and beef, are also traditionally favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken. So now you know, it doesn't come from China either.
But good satay isn't easy to find. I found one in KL. Best so far...

Location : Jalan Peel, Kuala Lumpur
Rating : Good!

What I love about this stall's satay is:
1. Traditional nasi himpit (pressed rice cake)
2. Thick succulent meat
3. Generous serving of hot peanut sauce
There are many satay stalls, but very few offered traditional nasi himpit that uses coconut leaves as the rice wrapper. With technology comes lazy invention of nasi himpit with plastic bag - no taste, no health.
In addition, many satays that I have tried are thin dry meat. As the meat is thin and easily cooked, they tend to burn them. There are some that tried plucking in more meat, but the meat either hardly cooked or overcooked hard. Hence I respect this cook's control over the fire.Then there are those stingy with the kuah (sauce).
That's why I said this is the best stall so far. The only low is the peanut sauce. Not thick and creamy enough. Also not fragrant or spicy enough. Just normal. At least it is hot :)

In case you do not know where is the shop, here's a picture:
Note: There are other stalls that offered interesting food at and around this shop. Will tell you more next time.

Quickie: A whiff of cheese from Indonesia

Apa kabar dong? Gua baik-baik saja. (Indonesian for : How are you? I am fine.)
Every time my dad's friends from Indonesia come to visit, they will bring along salak fruits and cakes. We used to get layered cakes, which is well known among us in Malaysia. This round, they bring along this cheese cake. Oh my goodness! My first impression was that it's just a normal swiss roll, probably replacement of the usual cake roll with cheese cake. Until I cut them into smaller pieces for my family. Then I thought: "Oh, it is the inner layer that is made of cheese cake!".
Well not really. I find out the truth on my first bite.
The inner layers are all pure cheese. There are shredded ones and one big chunk wrapped within a butter cake. No one in my family can take more than one piece. It is just so cheeeezz.I would say it is something interesting, but I can't say it is something very delicious. An interesting gift, nevertheless. Thank you for the very thoughtful friend!