Saturday, September 20, 2008

Adai's Fish Head Bee Hoon @ Pudu

Sometimes, it is rather boring to visit food courts that tend to repeat the same type of menus. Pork noodles, wanton noodles, mixed rice, chicken rice, curry mee (not so nice ones), fried koay teow (no standard ones), fried stuff (noodles or rice), etc. It is so contradictory. Kuala Lumpur is such a huge pot of cultural meltdown that anyone can easily lost count on the variety of food available, so how could I say it is boring? So I went surfing on the net and decided to go for fish head noodles in Pudu.

Location: Jalan Landak, opposite Pudu Plaza, same row as 7-11
Rating: Ok-lah..

The store owner came, we asked for 2 fish meat noodles instead of the usual head. He never said anything about fried or non-fried, he only asked if we want fine rice noodles or thick rice noodles. So we requested for 1 fine and the other thick.
The noodles came but I was a bit disappointed as I had expected fried fish meat. Anyway, the good thing would be they do not have strong fishy smell. The meat is fresh and no bones..The fine rice noodles is rather common. But it kind of able to absorb more of the soup's flavour as compared to the thicker version.The thick rice noodles offered a more springy version and provide better chewing experience. Frankly though, what we find interesting is the type of ginger they use. The ginger is spicy and provided very strong aroma to the soup. Hence, we find this place in general ok-lah.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nostalgic Sin Kheang Aun Restaurant

This is an evergreen focal point for families to enjoy each others company and tasty food. I said evergreen because the place has remained packed from my kiddy days until today. Dad love this place. He used to take our whole family to this place when we travelled to Penang. Our standard order would be Gulai Assam Hu (Fish in Tamarind Curry), Lor Bak (Marinated Pork Roll), Har Look (Prawn Fritters) and Kerabu Hae (Prawn in sweet sour salad). Mom and dad would try to imitate their Assam Fish, but something is always missing. These are the treasures handed down by the late Mr Ong.

Location : No2, Chulia Lane 10200, Penang (Tel: 04-2614786)
Rating: Superb!

Sitting in the restaurant is like sitting in an era where big families remained close knit, the staff force are all long serving friends and relatives. The system used proved efficient through the years. For instance, I have seen them using this food lift to deliver food directly from the kitchen to the hall upstairs since my kiddie days and they are still using it.
The simple deco and traditional furnitures are unpretentious and original. The environment simply put me at ease.I only went down a short while to snap a few photos around the shop, and the dining hall on the 1st floor was almost filled up.
Sin Kheang Aun as an old timer, the patrons have been loyal throughout the years. The beauty is in the close ties it fosters among the different generations. What I see in most tables are at least 2 generations and most of them enjoy the company ranging from grand kids to great grand parents. What harmony..
Enough about the place. Let's go into the main topic. Nyum nyum... This is the assam fish. According to the cook, it has to be "O Chiu" or the black pomfret. The assam sauce will bring out the sweetness of the meat and tone down the strong fish smell.We simply love to flood our rice with the aromatic sauce. The sour, sweet and salty sauce promotes appetite and don't worry too much about its spiciness. If you ask me, I say it is not spicy at all.
Ah... This is another favourite of mine. The kerabu prawn. They are crunchy, refreshing, appetising and sweet. I have to say, part of the beauty lies in the freshness of the ingredients. Like the assam fish, there is no strong fishy smell because the fish is fresh. The prawns here are sweet and crunchy because they are fresh.I say the food choices here are rather healthy. We had fish, prawns and salads, and now we have stir fry jicama with squid and eggs - Jiu Hu Char. It is such simple and healthy dish. The vege is naturally sweet and the cook made sure he did not overcook it, so they remain crunchy and moist.And we ordered another typical Hainanese dish called - Kiam Hu Bak (Salted Fish Meat). To tell you the truth, I had initially expected a steamed minced meat with salted fish. But this dish came out as quite a surprise. Given the name, you would have expected saltiness, but it is mostly sweet and sour. The meat is not too soft and they maintain the distinction between meat and salted fish. You can taste that the salted fish are of quality. According to the chef, it has to be a specific type.
There you have it! Our complete meal, which I find fulfilling not only gastronomically but psychologically.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sniffing after banana leaf rice in brickfields

For those of you who have been looking for the whereabouts of the stalls that was previously in Restoran New Lay Sin (aka Peking Hotel in the olden days when Jalan Tun Sambanthan is still called Jalan Brickfields) that I had posted in New Lay Sin's Wonder , worry no more.

Muahaha.... I have finally traced it back. They have now all moved to a slightly hidden shop, but much much more cleaner and easier to park than the previous haunt.

If you are going along Jalan Tun Sambanthan heading from Kuala Lumpur towards Petaling Jaya, you will see a Wisma MAB at your left. This building come after you pass through the KL Sentral Monorail station and row of shops at your left.
The white building shown on the left of the photo below is Wisma MAB.
Right after Wisma MAB, there is a left turning into a car park open for public. Turn into the car park and park you car.
You will see an opening in the car park that leads you to a food court/coffee shop. The shop sells seafood by night (Mayflower Seafood Restaurant) and the stalls previously from New Lay Sin operates by day (Money's Corner Food & Beverage Station).
Don't think you will miss it with all these directions and photos. Good luck!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yong Tau Foo @ Jalan Imbi

Talk about yong tau foo (stuffed beancurd), everyone would relate it to Ampang. So does this little stall standing at the open air car park at Jalan Imbi. But if you ask me, I say this stall is the best. Better than the real Ampang version.

Location: Open car park by day, right at the first junction of Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur
Rating: Good

The varieties are pretty standard. Every time I come, I would pick everything. At least 10s of pieces. There are stuffed beancurd, stuffed chili, stuffed bittergourd, stuffed okra, stuffed aubergines, stuffed tau pok (fried beancurd skin), fried fu pei (beancurd roll), fried sui kow (meat dumpling) and soup sui kow. Love them all.What we find good is the soft and silky texture of the beancurd. At the same time it did not lose its fragrance. Many a time, we went to one of those yong tau foo shop and find the beancurd either too hard or failed to retain its soy bean fragrance. Even the soup base is good enough that you can actually eat the beancurd on its own, without the usual chili and sweet sauce.The fried stuff comes in another plate. I usually love to dip them in soup before consumption. Ben likes to take it as it is. The stuffed meat itself is strongly infused with marinates, and when combined with other veges like aubergines or chili, the combination is just beautiful.The soup sui kow is also one of our favourites. The stuffed meat is soft and tasty. Included inside the meat paste are a mixture of scallion, jicama (sengkuang in Malay or sarkok in cantonese) and bits of carrots. There.. my vege supplement fulfilled (heheheh..).Sorry about the photos. It's a bit dark there, so they came out slightly yellowish.
By the way, the financial damage depends on number of pieces you pick. Each cost RM0.80. You do the budget.
So if you are in town and craving for some good yong tau foo, give this place a visit. Because you're worth it (muahaahaaha...).
P/S: Sorry for the slow blogging speed lately, as a new addition to "thamjiak" team is on the way. So many things to prepare and so little time to rest.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fresh soft bread by Fook Yuen @ Damai Plaza

Coconut jam and butter bread. What's so special about it? I guess nothing beats the taste of fresh food, and in this case, freshly baked white-fluffy bread.

Location : Damai Plaza, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Rating : Great

I am not really a bread person, but Ben's aunts have been raving about this place. And before our order came, Aunt Har purposely brought me to the back of the shop to see for myself, what makes the bread here so special.
I see that they bake their own bread and ensured their products stayed fresh. There is a dedicated staff that focussed purely on spreading and making the breads. Butter were pre-cut thinly and in a cooler to maintain its freshness and texture. Generous spread of coconut jam and butter to match the thick bread. The simple look to fool any unaware sceptic like myself. Ben, the ever bread lover, was the first to make the move. The coconut jam and butter looked plain. I assume the craze over these bread is exclusive to bread lovers. Not me. That is until I place my fingers on the bread. They were so soft and fluffy that they were simply moulded to touch and yet not losing its springiness. It wasn't the taste but the texture. Soft warm bread that melts in your mouth. Damn! I am hooked too. But that is not all that Damai Plaza offers. I was initially attracted by the stall's location, which is situated right in the middle of the walkway between the rows of shop. And more unusual is that, they actually assign a name for this walkway, as if it is a road or lane. I wonder if I was hungry. The noodle came and I thought it tasted great. Chinese like to say that it is cooked with strong flame, making the noodles fragrant with the "qi" of the wok. Difficult to understand? You need to taste a good fried noodles to understand this. The flame really has got to be very very strong. That's why some stalls (like this one) sell fried noodles using charcoal. Not because they cannot afford gas or outdated, but gas flame is limited to a certain degree. I can't help noticing this lady busy pan frying dumplings. She didn't stop replacing the dumplings in the pan. And then there were so many of them busy wrapping up raw dumplings. I can't help it. Must try this!And I have no regrets. They are good. The aroma of marinated meat is just appropriately portioned that you just want more of it, after each bite.Then there is also pan meen (handmade noodles). The difference from our normal pan meen lies with the noodles itself. They were pre-fried before being cooked in soup. So this is like a combination of yee meen and pan meen. Confusing? Doesn't matter. More important is that if offers aromatic yee meen in pan meen's substance/texture. Still confused? So am I. The tea here is also famous. Why? Beats me. I find it smooth but wouldn't say that it is special. But I have to respect them for their professionalism. The take-away packaging is so well done, that fast food chains are not as considerate as they are. See... No more worries about spilling your drinks.
This is definitely a great place to come back again. Gotta make sure I come with empty stomach to cover all these and more. Nyum.. nyum..

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quickie : Fairy Hotel at Kundasang

Staying in Kundasang is great. The fresh cool air and quiet evenings. But looking for some decent food might be a bit troublesome if you are not familiar with the place. The first time I went with Ben, we made do with our own cooking and simple lunch/dinner. But this round, we brought his parents, sister, cousin and aunt. All women except for his dad. So you can imagine how standards of food has to be heightened to suit these ladies. Luckily, the restaurant beneath Fairy Hotel offered us some comfort.

Location: Less than 2km outside Kinabalu Park, Kundasang
Rating: Fair

The food we ordered or actually they offered are simple home dishes. But it was fair to say that they all looked good and taste alright.
We had lime chicken. They looked good, but I couldn't really feel the texture of the chicken meat. A bit too much flour and lil' substance of meat, maybe.
The mixed vege is good. Good in the sense that they are fresh and colourful. You know how dietitian kept promoting eat veges with variety of colours is good for our vitamins/minerals needs.
The stir fry wild mushroom was ordinary to me. I can't say they taste great as I feel that they lack mushroom-y aroma.
Lastly, we had deep fried tofu in minced meat sauce. I had imagined something more colourful, but taste wise it was fair.

Well.. Like I said, at least something decent. You haven't heard the amount of complaints I get on the first night's dinner. All I can say is that, I am glad we found this restaurant.