Sunday, September 20, 2009

Restoran Selera Kampung

I have been having this draft for the past 1 year. I took some photos on my first visit, but I find them insufficient for me to share with you. Then there was a construction going on in that area, making the visit a bit troublesome. When the construction finally ended, I came back to get my final shots and here's what I have got to share with you.

Location: Behind Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, facing Jalan Raja Laut.
Rating: Good

It's self service here. You come in and line up to indicate what you want. You could choose rice, chapati, or other knick-knacks like samosa or vadai. If you do not indicate what type of accompaniments you want, the server will naturally scoop 2 types onto your plate. For meat, you can choose chicken or mutton (I can't remember if there's beef). But I liked the chicken.This is what I picked on the second time. A piece of chapati, chicken curry and dhal. I learnt my lesson. Why?
The first time I came, I was hungry and greedy (that's always the case, when you're hungry). I thought 1 piece of chapati wouldn't be enough to satisfy my emptiness. Moreover, those other knick knacks look so inviting. I ended up taking an additional piece of vadai and fried vege (in the pic after x2 this).Moral of the story : Control your greediness when you're hungry. Anyway, the food was good. The chapati is freshly made, so it is warm and soft. That coupled with the tenderly cooked chicken curry was good.
I enjoyed this fried vege in batter, but eating them alone with chapati is too much. The sauce is sourish in taste, hence it goes very well with the other heavy stuff. I like to mix this together with the chapati and curry, so that I don't feel too stuffed too soon.
My friend ordered rice instead of chapati. So for those that do not like chapati, you have other options. But even for a non bread fan like me enjoy those chapati, I seriously recommend you try that.
I love this dhal (in actual fact I am not sure if it is dhal). I love the creamy texture that is fragrant with vege and spices.Even the fried cauliflower with long beans tastes really good. Maybe it was my hunger, but I still felt the same on my second visit.And to top it all off, I like to order Nescafe special - fresh cow milk with nescafe. Just look at the tri-coloured creamy+fragrant coffee. What a fulfilling lunch. Ahhh...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's with Singaporean & thick rice noodles?

It's been 13 years since I last stepped foot on Singapore. A China friend asked me why wouldn't I visit Singapore more often, since I am so near to the country. Erm... Let me see;
Do I like shopping? No.
Do I like Singapore food? What to love? I am all confused.

I am staying at the southern side of Singapore for business convenience. Food wise, there is nothing much to offer except chain stores and stuff. I walked to Tanjong Pagar Exchange and saw this "Ampang Yong Tau Fu". I know it's stupid. What do I expect by ordering food originated from my place at a foreign country? But I didn't expect this bad...I had to swallow all the pieces of beancurd and rolls that're fried to charcoals.Then the flat rice noodles I expected, came out to be thick rice noodles. The usual sauce of chili and sweet sauce became pork sauce. I was so confused! One thing for sure was that I had no idea what I was eating.

On day 2, I learnt my lesson. Let's go to more common food court to explore some local stuff. I went to Tanjong Pagar food court. The signboard has a TV host recommendation plastered on it. How bad can it go, right? Neh....
There is this Hokkien Prawn Noodle. Now, if a Westerner travelled from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, then to Singapore, he would be one confused man just like me.
Hokkien Mee in Penang is in essence noodles in prawn flavoured soup. As you go down south, they call it Prawn Mee in Kuala Lumpur. But they are still prawn soup noodles. But at the extreme south in Singapore, The Prawn Noodle Specialist @ Tanjong Pagar said it is fried noodles.
And if that is not bad enough, it is AGAIN using thick rice noodles. What's with thick rice noodles? Anyway, I am fine with that. But just take a look at this plate of.... thing. Colourless and meatless. The look of it already made feel hopeless.
Luckily they provide some chili and kalamansi to be added to the noodles. Otherwise, I would have added tasteless to the list.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo aka Jalan Segambut Yong Tau Foo

Confusing? Not my fault. The bungalow turned shop is situated at Jalan Segambut, but the name of the shop is called Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo. Aw... Let's not be so critical shall we, it is just like buying Seremban Siew Pow at Midvalley.

Location: Jalan Segambut, Kuala Lumpur
Rating: Fair for food. Terrible for parking.

It is really a matter of luck if we can get proper parking and seating space during lunch hour, as the whole place will be packed. I love to sit inside the building, as I get to enjoy the architecture of yester-years. At times, I feel it is a waste for such beautiful building to turn into commercial lot, but at least this is better than turning into some sleazy noght clubs like many in Penang. That is really a shame.
Ah that aside, let's talk food. What's nice here is not only the yong tau foo itself. There are tauhu bakar (bbq beancurd), paper-wrapped chicken, rojak (fruit salad in prawn paste sauce) and desserts of various tarts and puffs.
The ji pau gai (literally paper-wrapped chicken) comes in quite generous portion.
The beauty lies in its ability to maintain the moisture, aroma and flavours in the meat. But one tiny little shortcoming is the skin tends to stick to the paper. It is kind of a letdown since skin is one of the most fragrant part of the meat.
The tauhu bakar is crispy and stuffed with ample veges. Taking them with the prawn paste sauce and peanuts are great.
We also ordered fried sui kow (dumplings) and beancurd rolls. They are freshly fried and not oily. I could wolf down a couple of this effortlessly. Crunchy and fragrant.
Ben preferred soupy stuff. I am a bit cautious over this as I do not like the strong fishy smell in many of the fish pastes. After one bite, I am satisfied that there is no fishy taste in the fish paste (ironic eh). We ended up ordering more.
Something different here is that the sui kow's stuffing is not pork (the usual practice) but fish paste as well. And for those who dislike fishy smell, no worries, I have verified and approved. haha..
We ended up bringing our family here for makan, when they do come down to KL for visits. If all else fails, the variety should compensate for any other possible shortcomings.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

For the love of Mee

It was a touching story I read in EatingAsia's Mee, With Love. It gives me the warm fuzzy optimism that love really conquers all. Well at least, the love of wanton mee really conquers all obstacles of long distance and obscurity of PJ to Ben. It is always difficult to drag Ben to any place further than 10km radius from home. But the mention of good wanton mee, he agreed without even a whim.

Location : 616 Jalan 17/10, Petaling Jaya.
Tel. 012-754-1287/012-756-1214.
Rating : Good
I don't really how to describe the texture of the noodles. They are crisp yet adequately chewy so that you get a fuller experience and taste of the noodles. The roast pork sweet and salty variety are both engaging. The meal is good enough that Ben recommended for future visits.Oh yeah, what adds to the aroma is the tiny-crispy lard that is added last after the noodles are mixed with sauces and all.In addition, we also ordered wanton (dumplings) and sui kow (bigger dumplings) to complement our meal.
The wanton is mild in taste so that sweetness of pork is preserved.
To satisfy our appetite (greed), sui kow offers a more mouthful pleasure of sweetly flavoured meat.In addition to pork meat, there are also prawns in the sui kow to increase crunchiness and sweetness to the dumplings.
A simple meal it is, but sufficiently satisfying and attractive that makes us long to visit the shop again soon.I know you have seen enough, but seriously, for the love of mee..I can't help it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh, KK

We were broght to this place on our last day in KK. Our KK relative told us that this is one of the most popular bat kut teh shop in town. We came around 5.30pm, by the time we finish our meal, all tables were fully occupied.Location : Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu town center
Rating : Fairly good

I think the best part about the bak kut teh here is the variety of cuts and delicate portion, so that it offers patrons choices. The soup is alright, but it made me thirsty after the meal (suspected msg). The rib is well cooked, as in the meat is tender.For those who loves pork trotter, this bowl should not be missed. But then again, it is not like it melts in your mouth. Probably more suitable for those that prefer more substance.
The waiters brought all sorts of meats for us to choose. Because we kept quiet, he kept delivering bowl after bowl of different meats and cuts. Pork intestines are one of the many types they offer.If you like chinese yellow wine in cooking, this may be something interesting for you. Pork liver and stomach in chinese yellow wine. The soup is supposed to be nourishing.
Shame to say that the meat I enjoyed most was actually processed meat - pork balls.
The food in general is fairly good, except for:
  • the soup makes you thirsty
  • the owner is stingy with the soup too
Otherwise, it would be interesting to have a bak kut teh meal with variety in texture and taste.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bai Ling @ Restoran Prima Taiping

As the Chinese saying goes : Sui Ye Bu Liu Ren (Time never leaves anybody behind). Change is truly the only constance. As much as I would love to maintain some form of tradition, time never allows permanence. We visited Taiping at least once a year during Chinese Cheng Beng Festival (Visit the Departed) and our itinerary has always been dinner at Chai Chi (Vegetable Market), supper at pasar (wet market), breakfast at Chai Chi again, and ends it with lunch at Rex before we leave. This year, when we went back to Chai Chi for dinner, there was nothing much to offer. Most stalls have closed or moved. We were recommended to go to Bai Ling, a relatively new hawker centre in Taiping town centre.
It was actually a combination of 3 shops and Bai Ling is just one of them. 1 shop offer mostly rice dishes, while Bai Ling and its opposite store offered most of the Taiping hawker stuff that we wanted (except popiah or spring rolls).

Location : Along Jalan Kota after Panorama Hotel at your right, Taiping
Rating : Good

My dad spotted this stall straight away, as it advertised "O Bak Pui" (literally Black Meat Rice in Hokkien). No surprise when the rice came with really dark coloured meat. It was actually soy sauce marinated pork with spices. The meat is fragrant and sweet, but nothing special about the rice and egg.
The otak-otak (savoury spiced fish pudding) here is a bit unusual. I have seen most otak-otak use banana leaf (for steamed ones) and pine leaf (for smoked/bbq ones). This one uses a type of big leaf. I am not exactly sure what to call it. Lemme check and post it in the comments later.But in actual fact, taste wise is "ok" only. Maybe because they uses this type of leaf, so the moist is not well retained like a banana leaf would. Moreover, I did not detect any fragrance from the leaf. But then again, my sense of smell has deteriorated since baby delivery. Sigh...
Lobak (braised meat in Hokkien) is of course a must. This spice marinated meat rolls are fresh, compared to most I found in KL (blerk). Usually we love to include lo ning (braised egg in Hokkien) and pei tan (century egg). Oh, by the way, I really really hope to inform those Western readers to educate some their peers that might perceive century egg as hundred years old egg (as shown in Fear Factor few years back). I could still remember how funny it was to see those participants making those faces when they ate those eggs, thinking it was really 100 years old. Century egg is just eggs marinated in ammonia type of chemical. Not heard of anyone died of eating century eggs so far, so don't worry.But what's important to note is that, lobak is only complete when they come with lo jiu (braised sauce) and chili sauce. Otherwise, what is lobak? It is as if eating hamburger without the bread. The sauce has to be sticky, so that when you dip the meat into the sauce, the meat is not soaked but covered with savoury sauce. Experience the richness of the sauce and crunchiness of the meat followed by a waft of the aroma of spices. Ow... (Feel like shouting - MJ style).
There is a small stall setting up right in the middle of all 3 shops. They sell all source of pies and quiches. Love the abundance of filling and fresh-crispy pie crust. A real worth for the $.I think best thing about these 3 shops are their understanding of convenience for customers. How? They do not mind where the food is ordered from. You can sit anywhere you wish and order from any shop. They can deliver to you. Not like many of the shops I encountered, where you are not allowed to order from other shops or stalls, thereby limiting their own business opportunities. Hail the Taiping co-operative spirit!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eurika! Fishball noodles in KL

Yup... Yup.... Update your blog please. I know... I know..... Unfortunately, nowadays I have no hand to take photos. PM not only took up my time. She basically took up my everything. Having a baby is no joke man!
Anyway, forget about my ramblings over PM. If you let me, I could go on.. and on.. and on... I got this recommended by Sam Cheong from his weekly article in The Star Newspaper. I love his choices of street food. I love this more because I finally found some resemblance to Ipoh "Yu Dan Fun". YEAY!

Location : Jalan Maharajalela (outside Ho Wah Genting), off Jalan Loke Yew
Rating : Good

What's so good?
Do you stay late and so wake up late in weekends? If yes, they are still open at 2pm.
Do you like yong tau fu (stuffed beancurd) with soup noodles but can't find these in KL? They have mee, meehoon and koay teow. They have soup and kon low (dry).
Do you find it difficult in KL to get the type of chilli sauce illustrated below? They have it.
For those Ipoh mali, this is almost as good as it gets. Ah....... The satisfaction after a bowl of hot noodles with accompaniments of beancurd rolls and fishballs. Yummy!
The fare is simple but when you have tasted the soup, you know that this is no "cincai*" affair. It has fair amount of "tong choi" and lard to enhance the taste and aroma of the soup. At least, better than many soup noodles I have tasted in KL.
Just look at those lovely accompaniments. We find the stuffed aubergines fragrant and soft. The beancurd rolls are also aromatic and strongly flavoured. And for those from Ipoh that find many a times disappointed with the limp fishballs in KL. Try this! The fishballs are springy and crisp.
This stall is not difficult to find. Only thing is its limited parking space. But if you are willing to walk, then parking will not be a problem. Selamat mencuba ya...
*cincai - simply or in jest