Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Curry Laksa with Pork Rind and Cockles - Hulu Langat

Hunting food must be done in a pack. Almost. At least work together like a pack of ravenous hungry souls. We have a Grab driver classmate who ferrets out some of these unsung hidden gems.

One of them is in Hulu Langat. He drives and eats when hungry. He stops where it fancies him. So he stopped at this Curry Laksa place and sang praises.

We have to go after hearing his songs and arriving at almost 2 pm, after some search, as we have the GPS location with a string of numerals. The coffee shop has no name. It's a double storey stand-alone shop lot with an adjoining carpark on its right, i.e., when we are facing the shop.

One of the nice things about this place would be the pork rind. Its skin has already bubbled up many times over, which I presumed was when these rinds were fried over high heat for this particular effect.
With it, the rind gets soften easily and absorbs whatever liquid that is proximate. So the rind from this Curry Laksa was sodden with curry.

Second, was their cockles. It's barely cooked. Likely just with boiling water poured over it and then de-shelled. It's tasted raw, bloody and it was good. That's how cockles should be eaten.
Finally, the taste was skewed towards the spices heavy style curry from Ipoh. In KL we get that heavy lemak santan type. Those who hailed from Ipoh will appreciate this type more.

Go look for a gem today.

35,Jalan Sungai Tekali

Jalan Sungai Tekali, Kampung Rantau Panjang, Hulu Langat, Selangor

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Kedai Kopi Makanan Nam Wah - Hulu Lamgat

Making the way up to Hulu Langat can be tedious, even without the rush hour traffic. We were 3 hours before the evening rush hour and the idea of ending our day with some Hainanese coffee with toasted and steamed bread was very feasible.

Highly rated in mainstream media is a sign of acceptance in foodie folklore. The owner greeted us and was friendly and motioned to us to sit and took our orders. If there is a "Hulu" prefix before the town's pronoun, it's highly likely to have this kind of warm reception.

The coffee might not be modern, but it was satisfying and smooth drinking. It went down well without any knots and jerks like some wannabes Kopitiam. Full-bodied with all the margarine and sugar, certainly a taste of the yore. Anytime, I will choose this with my toast or steam bread.

The butter was buttery and smelt and tasted like one. It's not vegetable oil or came from brands like Butterlollyland or Greenfieldsbuttermeadow.

And the kaya, it came in both pandan and classic, is popular with people from everywhere. Hulu Langat kaya is synonymous to Nam Wah. No flour-y feel or lumpy globs. Just plain smooth and thick coconut milk jam.

The toasted bread from the Hainanese Roti was the best I have had for a long time. Even better than the best in Ipoh. The bread was crisp all the way through. No soft spot left untoasted. The steamed bread was no pushover. It came with a fight and a pull. The springiness that was waiting to be dunked in the cuppa coffee and yet not left severed and dropped to the bottom of the cup.

Come for some unhurried time and enjoy this idyllic and friendly small town.

Kedai Kopi Makanan Nam Wah
49, Exit B52, Pekan Batu Lapan Belas, Hulu Langat, Selangor

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Chong Kok Kopitiam (Muhibbah Food & Crowd) - Klang

We went for brunch at this famous multi-racial muhibbah. Vendors and workers of different race composition are there, and so are the customers. We thought that customers would thin out on a late Saturday morning at 1145am. We were wrong. It was crowded though, bearable. Food came after a 15minutes wait.

We enjoyed the food. The drinks were at 65%, so it was not up to my satisfaction level. Anyway, I was distracted by the long shophouse. And also the mixed crowd, which was a sight to behold.

The Banana Fritters and Cucur Udang came first. It was Pisang Raja. The Udang was somewhat invisible. Maybe embedded inside or a missed quality control. But I can smell and taste the prawny fragrance and the unmistakable taste from the sea. The crust and the circular rim around the cake were crunchy and the inside and middle were moist and subtly flavoured — certainly a good one.

The Banana Fritters had the crunchy batter, mildly sweetened. The banana was firm as I like it, cooked by the eat somewhat but still maintained its structure.

Our highlight was steamed and toasted bread. I saw their operations in the kitchen. All seems well. Our toast came slightly off the mark. I detected a wee bit of softness on the toast, absorption of the moisture. Also, the steam bread was no longer hot but lost some of its steam. It looked like they were not delivered promptly. Looked like the same issue of operations. Even the short distance between the kitchen and the dining was a challenge.

Their kaya was excellent. Did I catch a waft of ginger aroma? It's was a welcome touch. The butter was generous and real butter. Enough said.

Chong Kok Kopitiam
5, Jalan Stesen, Kawasan 1, Klang, Selangor
03-3371 0996

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Lau Zi Ho (Tau Sa Peah) Sungai Petani and Ong Cheng Huat Seafood, Butterworth

We went on a quick foray from Penang Island into Sungai Petani to get hold of their sought after flat, round and big Mung Bean Biscuits (Tau Sa Peah) at Lau Zi Ho. In Penang, you get those spherical and dainty ones. Lau Zi Ho has earned its place here by dishing a vast array of traditional biscuits and has almost reached an iconic status here esp with their Tau Sa Peah

Their Tau Sa Peah has all the characteristics of good pastry: layers of thin pastry skin being built by hard work, moist enough fillings, the fragrance from the beans and various oils and seasonings. We bought our boxes of these treasures to take home to treat our family and friends.

Then shuttled back to Butterworth for lunch at the Ong Cheng Huat Seafood made famous by their steamed Red Snapper, Fried Bee Hoon, deep-fried Spring Chicken and toddy (palm wine, usually coconut in Malaysia). Did they do alright? The last I visited them was 10 years plus ago.

This time round they have moved into modern brick and mortar premises. Disappointing to find the trees and Kampung atmosphere were gone. The juggernaut of development has caught up and none will be spared unless there is a purposeful effort to preserve and also enjoy the feelings of contentment.

The fish standard is there, but I think most of these are from the kelong (fish cages). The meat is somehow less firm and sweet. But then there is always the chef and the sauces. The spring chicken sprang its way into my taste buds. Highly recommended. Flavourful and aromatic with a right combination of spices and seasonings with patient marinating.

Toddy was kindly of, well not that strong or concentrated. It came in 1.5L bottles and maybe the pressure of filling it up. The beehoon was up to mark. Order it for variety, fancy and also to economise ie, to fill the spaces so that we can feel the satisfaction of being full.

Lau Zi Ho Enterprise
746, Jalan Kuala Ketil, Sungai Petani, Kedah
04-423 3266

Ong Cheng Huat Seafood New
6093, Kampung Pokok Keras, Butterworth, Pulau Pinang
04-331 4782

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Sepetang Perak & Aik Kee Fried Porridge, Serdang Kedah

Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood &
Aik Kee Fried Porridge

We were on a roll. That was from Ipoh to Kuala Sepetang and onwards to Serdang's Famous Fried Porridge. We had seafood at Sepetang at 3pm and then shopped for some dried seafood before heading over to Aik Kee for our fried dark and thick porridge.

The fresh fishes laid out at the seafront restaurant was for choosing. Yes, we have to exercise caution that is we have a dinner in 3 hrs and we carefully choose the freshest items that were available. Cockles and crabs that were well and kicking plus a vege dish.

The cockles were done just right. Soaked just momentarily in boiling water and then poured out so that not to overcooked. We smelt bloody blood and meaty and engorged cockles. Bliss and enjoyable.

Then the flower sea crabs came with all its glory, fresh and again steam just to cook and allowed it to boil in its own juices. The meat peeled off easily and the morsels were fleshy, firm and sweet from the sea.

We left for Serdang, Kedah at about 5pm and arrived at Aik Kee at 6pm. We were early as just 2 or 3 tables were occupied. The fried porridge came and looked as I envisioned in my mind. The porridge were came congealed and seems plastered together. But the combination of sweet broth, dried squid, fresh small prawns did aalot of good to the humble watery staple of many. The taste and texture were superb. It can hold its owna despite its lowly status in the Chinese food pantheon.

Due to its proximity to Thailand, we ordered their Thai style Red Snapper and Mango Salad. The Mango Salad was appetising and open our appetite. Its was refreshing. The Thai style fish was a notch higher than those from the roadside Tomyam joint.

Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Restaurant
173, Jalan Sungai Manggis, Kampung Kuala Sepetang, Negeri Perak

Aik Kee Fried Porridge Restuarant
27, Jalan Tengah, Serdang, Kedah
012-523 0275

Friday, October 25, 2019

Putien @ SS15 Courtyard

With the advent of Grabfood, Putien's door is open to those who eat solo. They can sample the menu pioneered from the Singapore kitchen accorded with 1-Michelin Star from 2016 - 2018. Personally, I eat solo on many occasions. But it's kind of like a sore thumb sticking out eating in a fine dining restaurant.

Over two rounds of Grabfood, I got 6 different dishes over to the privacy of my home, thanks to the faithful rider. They have not got an order wrong, despite me, ordering time and time again, sometimes over 10 occasions a week.

The theme that runs through Putien dishes so far as I can tell after 6 dishes, is the usage of common Chinese spices like star anise, cloves and 5 spice powder. I seemed to encounter one or more of them in their dishes. Secondly, the broth was very thick.

Some were there to mask certain unwanted smells or tastes while heightening a particular fragrance and flavour. Take, for example, their Braised Pork Intestine. It calls for a good amount of spices. This is my favourite. I esp like the chewy texture and the layers that have absorbed the spices and sauces. The more I chewed, the more joy I derived from it.

Next was another porky dish of Cold Pork Trotters Jelly. It came with an ice-bath to keep the jelly from melting. Flavoured with spicy pepper chili's and formed into a block by the pig's gelatin, it was then then diced. One of the best dishes around. It aggressively attacked the tongue and the nostrils. Don't miss it.

The Ah Yuan Fragrant Herbal Chicken was kind of flat after the first two strong dishes. So I suggest to finish it before eating the robust tasting dishes. Probably we have been spoilt by the many good poached chicken around town and not easily impress unless the dish turns out spectacularly well.

The Braised Homemade Bean Curd was also light in taste perhaps purposely so, for us to enjoy the mild aroma and broth that came with it.  Understandingly, Putien is not in Szechuan, Yunnan or Hunan. It is in the south of China and food with lighter taste still reigns over there.

On another day I ordered their famous Lor Mee with its carbo rich noodles. It complemented iceky with the soup that was heavily laced with lardy goodness. The smell was so strong and it went well with the thick broth that was derived from long hours of boiling pig's bones. Some pieces of dry scallops completed the concoction. A delightful dish. If you are going solo, this is a must-order.

The last was the Putien style Bian Rou Soup. It was somewhat like Wanton but these are daintier and the skin wrap was more stretchy and sticky through the use of starch. It was different and a new sensation and experience for me. But the soup was overwhelmed by the Lor Mee's dense broth.

All in all, a pleasant experience and they deserve every bit of accolade due to them. I think making a trip there is a must, but before going, I need to drag a few others so that we can order more dishes to sample.

Putien @ SS15 Courtyard
1-05, First Floor, SS15 Courtyard, Subang Jaya
03-5612 3377

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Kim Kee Nasi Ayam Hailam - Ampang Jaya

These are the type of little but big in heart stalls that serve lunches and dinners day in and day out. I am fascinated by the perpetual love affair of humankind with this fowl.

My personal preference will be poached chicken or 'white chicken'. I eat this often and wherever and whenever I see them. It is fresh tasting, sweet and the texture is firm.

The stall here is halal and serves in a predominantly Malay area. We arrived at 1140pm, earlier than the lunch crowd for sure enough by 12 noon the hungry hordes were in.

My meal at RM7.00 was pretty complete with protein, vegetables and carbo. The customary soup was the appetiser. Drop by if you are around Ampang area.

KIM KEE Nasi Ayam Hailam 錦記海南雞飯
1, Jalan Kolam Air Lama, Taman Dato Ahmad Razali, Ampang, Selangor
012-698 1709