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..