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.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Port View in Kota Kinabalu (Part II)

Been to my previous post on Port View (Kota Kinabalu) at Port View Seafood Village? Well this is Part 2, as I went to Port View again. And yes, this is again courtesy of Ben's relative. It's really generous and kind of them to bring us to such high end makan (Malay for eating) place.

So for this round, it is not so much of rating or review but more of introducing some other seafood that they offer.

Steamed Kampung Chicken The taste of the meat is tender with substance, and comes with a tinge of saltiness. A very Cantonese like dish. Ok, ok... I know, this is not seafood. Next then..

Buttered Egg Prawn
There were no big-fresh sea/salt water prawns that day, so Ben's relative ordered buttered egg tiger prawns. These are cultured prawns, so the taste may not be as sweet and the texture not as "teeth-bouncing" (according to Ben). That's why it is ok to cook them in some stronger gravy/taste. Nevertheless, to me, they taste just as great.

Sashimi Giant Sea Asparagus (a.k.a. Elephant Trunk Molusk)
Everyone said the taste is sweet and the texture really nice to chew, but I have no idea as I am not allowed to take raw food due to my pregnancy (oops... I've spilt it out).

Steamed Flower Face Garoupa in Soy Sauce
According to Ben's relative, this is a rare type of Garoupa. The meat is sweet and very packed in texture. A great dish, and the price, just as great :P
Jung Jai Qi (Little Pot of Shark Fins)
Wou... This is no ordinary shark fins soup. The little pot is loaded with dried scallop. Sweet...

Steamed Oyster with Garlic
Thank goodness they decided to have the oyster steamed, or I would not be able to try this dish too, if they were to have it raw. I love the texture and natural salty/sweet taste of the oyster. Garlic and a squeeze of lime brought out the seafood's natural aroma. Exquisite!

Just a snapshot of the many many type of seafood you can choose from the stairs of tanks. Care for some culinary adventure? You might find something you have not seen before.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quickie : The Steamboat

Following blog on The Steamboat, so the last time I was in Ikano Power Centre, I thought it might be a good idea since I was alone and I love steamboat. I thought the simple concept is marketable. What's better is that they do cater for individuals, so you could always have steamboat even if you are alone, or you can choose stuff you like.Of course I did not miss the chance to try its chili sauce. They have a variety of green chili paste and sambal chili paste. Can't really call them sauce, as they are really rather pasty. The chilis are ok. Not to say very good, but acceptable.I ordered a basic set. Quite a standard fare of fish pastes/balls, fu chuk (soybean sheets), a lil' bit of fresh fish and prawns. You could also order fresh meat set (which look more appetising in the menu). The clear soup is normal.
Overall, I would say if you are alone and craving for steamboat, this place is ok-lah!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

One way to Sang Kee @ Pandan Jaya

I am one of those sleepy pig. I could sleep whole day and night, probably waking only for food and toilet breaks. That's why it is important for me to find a place I could go for breakfast at 1-2pm in the afternoon. And I found one that fits my taste just fine.

Location: Facing Jalan Pandan, Pandan Jaya, Kuala Lumpur
Rating: Good

If it is not bad enough to find a place for breakfast in the afternoon, it is even more difficult to find a good Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun (steamed flat rice noodles HK style). I found it here. Even some of those good dim sum shop I frequented can't compare.
It looks simple enough. Laying a thin layer of liquid flour over steaming hot cloth. Add in the filling and voila!
But mind you, I say "thin". That isn't easy. Many shops I frequented couldn't offer me this simple pleasure. It is important because it gives you substance when you bite into the noodles, while not making you feel stuffed. My favourite is a mix of fresh prawns and char siew (bbq pork). I like the pork being chopped finely, spreading its aroma more evenly in the noodles. I like the prawns whole, providing crunchiness to the noodles.
All I could say is that every mouthful is simply fulfilling...Then there is this pork noodle, which is rather popular among the patrons of Sang Kee. Not me though. The food is ok, but I do not like the attitude of the sellers. They always forget and they argue among themselves a lot. For me, I decided that I want to be happy and I do not like people affecting my "aura", especially my meal time. Sitting down for food is a theraphy for me. So this stall is a no-no for me. But Ben is more forgiving.
The koay teow (flat rice noodles) are smooth and not too oily. The combination of soy sauce, meat sauce and lard is just right.
A complete set comes in pork balls, pork sausage, fried pork intestines and minced pork sauce. It is a real porky experience.Another favourite of mine is the pan meen (home made noodles). I am no big fan of pan meen until I ordered her hand torn pan meen. It was from her that I got hooked on pan meen. What's better, you see hubby-wife and son helping during busy times. No noise (arguments)... haha I like!
Dry pan meen comes in generous helping of minced meat, mushroom, wood fungus, anchovies, vege and fu chok (soy bean strips). For chili lovers like us, we'll pour in the sourish sambal (prawn paste chili sauce).
Ah... Saving the best for last. I love the hand torn pan meen. Some may call it mi hun kueh (Pahang state people lah). They are the same.
Similarly, they are generously laced with accompaniments.
Most important for me is the thinness of the noodles. Like I said earlier, noodles too thick makes you feel like biting into floury paste :P. But the noodles aunty made is thin enough, so that it absorbs the taste of the soup and blends well with other accompaniments. After typing this, I think I wanna visit Sang Kee again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tong Ki Coffee Shop - Ipoh's standard "Yu Dan Fun"

Anyone that has tried Ipoh's Yu Dan Fun (fish ball noodles) would definitely come back for more. These are actually simple dishes that we had for breakfast or lunch or dinner or supper, if we decided not to have heavy stuff like rice. One of Ben's family's favourite haunt would be this shop - Tong Ki.

Location: Ipoh old town, Perak (Opens in morning, but don't be too late though)
Rating: Very good for sentiment's sake, but generally people find it good!

What's different from KL and Penang? The accompaniments (fish balls, tofu/bean curds, meatballs and fried soybean sheets) are separately served. You can pick and choose what type of accompaniments you like.
Noodles come in many forms. You can mix and match or choose mee (yellow noodles), beehoon (rice vermicelli), koay teow (flat rice noodles), low shi fun (short tubed rice noodles) and lye fun (long tubed rice noodles).In addition, you can choose to have either soup or dry (mixture of soy sauce and cooked vege oil). Some places also offer soup curry and dry curry, but not this place-lah.
Don't expect great soup of mixture of many many condiments. Noodles usually comes with beansprouts and some spring onions. That's all.This combination looks simple, but somehow, once you have tried it, you will crave for it. It could be due to the simplicity and yet fresh and tasty accompaniments. But for me, the noodles mixed with these ginger+chili sauce (as shown below) would be sufficient.
So far, I have yet to find these type of chili sauce outside Ipoh and I am missing it now.