Friday, September 13, 2019

Twin Brother Bak Kut Teh Seafood - Ara Damansara

Twin Brother Bak Kut Teh Seafood Restaraunt

Ara Damansara has undoubtedly seen more light shining into their dull and sparse culinary scene. We came to this Bak Kut Teh place for a carnivorous meal, but it was sold out at 8 pm Sunday. We settled for some a la carte Chinese food. Pretty impressive though, a Bak Kut Teh and Seafood restaurant under one roof. Thus, the BKT has to wait for another day.

We took our time to place our order, scouring the menu, and engaging the captain on what's good. After an exchange, the decision was primal. Order our favorites from the list.

Top of the list would be the Fried Intestines with Dried Shrimps. This dish does not come easy as most eateries don't carry it. We were in luck that day. The first I noticed on biting and chewing was the wok hei (breath of the wok). Secondly, the crunchy texture I expected was there with the excellent umami taste.

The vinegar trotters came second; my wife dug in as I was enjoying the intestines. Came my turn, after eating the first two pieces, I was asking her where were the meaty parts. I seemed to be getting those with skin and small bits of meat. She was sheepish. The competition was on. The taste was on a sweet side with some tart. Some have so much vinegar that the fumes will sear the nose and get you to the point of almost choking.

Lastly, the pork stomach soup came in a clay pot. So far, so good. It was a clear soup type. Good broth. The stomach usually has three different textures. One is smooth and slightly chewy and the other rough and firm. The middle is more of a thin elastic membrane. That is the reason why many like this piece of pig's spare part. It was done just right. Some kitchen seemed to have overdone it, and the rough part gets crinkled and rubbery. The stomach loses the correct texture and somehow ruins a good eat.

Worthy of visits again. But first I have to try their Bak Kut Teh maybe for lunch.

Twin Brother Bak Kut Teh Seafood Restaraunt 孖仔肉骨茶海鲜饭店
F-G-5, Jalan PJU 1a/20d, Dataran Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
016-633 3709

Monday, September 9, 2019

Yong Tau Foo (Grabfood) - Kepong

Yong Tau Foo is one of the healthiest food around. It has lots of non-meat protein from the tofu and soy sheets. Then there is the multi-coloured vegetables that is not only a sight to behold but also a treasure trove of all kinds of nutrients and vitamins.

With the advent of personalised food deliveries, there is no need to beat the jam, look for parking and wait for a table and wait for the food. So, nowadays I look to Grabfood to bring my meals to my home. I find the delivery partners pretty efficient and fast. In fact to thank them for their service, I do tip them.

Each YTF eatery has their own unique and secret recipes for the fish paste, condiments and even soup. This shop has something more, a half soup half condiment concoction. The main flavouring agent is in the form of the ubiquitous Tau Cheong (fermented bean paste) as an ingredient. Something like the Miso soup. The soup was desirable and tasty and can be addictive as it is a comfort taste for those used to having Tau Cheong in their food.

I have the following deep-fried YTF that were made from soy sheets or tofu:
Stuffed crispy Tau Pok (Dried bean curd puff),
Fried tofu,
Fried soy sheets (Fu Chok Spring Roll),
Fried soy sheets (Fu Chok Flat Sheets)
Fried Tofu and
White Tofu

Stuffed Vegetables and others
Green Chili
Red Chili
Ladies Fingers
Bitter Gourd
Fish Ball
Fried Sui Kao (dumplings).
Fish Cake
Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll)

My requirements for YTF is simple, clean and fresh oil for frying. Make sure they keep clear of stale or over-used oil. Secondly, the condiments must be decent. If they go the extra mile to get it right and good in-situ, I will certainly patronise them. Lastly, the soup for the fish or pork balls: what ingredients were used to get the broth matters. I don't mind simple clear soup but certainly not those laden with salt and MSG. Overall, I found a decent YTF restaurant that mostly get all the above right plus decent portions that make their food value for money.

Restoran Yong Tau Foo
Jalan Metro Perdana Timur 3

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih House - Taman Berkeley

The promise of a good eat will be when I am with old friends. Good exchanges from one another's socialising and eating playbook. We got there just after 12 noon and quickly found a table and food was also promptly delivered. 

Most of the grumblings frm customers in social media and reviews were on the wait for a table, heat inside and then the time taken for the food to come. Easily 30 to 45 mins. While waiting, go for their cincau soya drink. Crowd favorite. Go for a second one if needed. Let them make some money as we are holding up their table!

This row of shops where FMHK is situated has some hallowed companions. Facing the shop, on the left far end of the road will be the redoubtable Hock Chew restaurant, Jit Ben. Then on Jit Ben row at the right-hand corner, we have one of the best handmade Tong Yuen (glutinous rice balls). Sells only in the evening.

Back to Mee Hoon Kuih, the Fatty MHK noodles made were velvety smooth to feel in the mouth and had a beautiful textural sensation when chewed. The right amount of components and the right timing of the cooking will get it there. Until and unless we have time and skill, we will have to eat out like this when the call of the stomach rises and can't be ignored.

The soup was excellent. Pigs bones and anchovies were used definitely. Adding to the appetite would be the clear soup that packed a big wallop. Surely the main attraction, it was sweet and never too harsh with too much salt or MSG to overrun your taste buds. I was not thirsty after the noodles and downing the soup in it's entirety from the bowl. 

Finally, you get the unique Klang treatment, liver was added. Some thought that with some blood it enhances the taste. A good outing for me and go for two bowls if you can stand the heat from the soup and eating without air-con.

Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih House
Leboh Bangau, Taman Berkeley, Klang, Selangor
017-336 6183

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sze Ngan Chye Roast Duck in Kepong

The salted first duck here tastes so savourily good. The last I had the original Petaling Street was from a time I couldn't recall. Of course, there were other distractions here and there and these roast ducks were succulent and stood out as among the better ones. However, niggling at the back of my mind was this one, but the travel and parking were not very beckoning. That is until I was told that there is an air-con branch in Kepong.

So one fine lunch afternoon, we eagerly traipsed there with our hearts and mouth trembling with culinary excitement.

Now, for the first experience, it was a good one. The duck was succulent and the meat's taste was indescribable. It has the effect of creating a desire to have more of that duck. The salt as in 'salted' tasted so good. In an Asian world of food, most were ladened with sugar.

There is a way that salt can bring the best out of the meat. There is something we can learn from the West. Frankly, take a look at how steak is done. Just salt and cracked black pepper. Of course, there is the gravy, but then the most important work on the steak was done using salt and black pepper.

Then roast pork was expected. Crunchy rind and delightful meat cooked and honed to a desirable taste from a controlled fire in the oven.

A relaxing lunch with a good ambiance and air-condition added to our day. Lunch can be so satisfying without breaking into the usual bout of perspiration.

四眼仔 Sze Ngan Chye
48, Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 3, Taman Usahawan Kepong, Kuala Lumpur
03-6241 1115

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

San Peng Kai See Har Fun and White Chicken - San Peng Flats area

Alas! We arrived at the tail-end of the business day and have to do the mop-up operations. The 'Kai See Hor Fun's' broth has lost a bit of their bite. Usually the later it is in the day, the more diluted it gets. But then this is not the entire truth and may have other extenuating factors. Moral of the story is not to get to good eating places too late.

Still, the shrimp and chicken soup was savoury and hit the right notes. It was sweet and was squeezed out from the chicken bones and prawn shells'. The fragrances wafted to our noses and everyone let out a cry of anticipation.
The noodles got to be smooth, but not as smooth as those from Ipoh after all this is one of Ipoh's most famous hawker food's export. The shredded chicken was good and as fresh as could be. Otherwise, it would smell gamey.

The soya sauce chicken feet were still available. The gelatinous sticky skin was made so delicious with the soya sauce bringing the best out of it. There is something special about being sticky and saucy.

Finally, the free-range chicken was as good as it can be for the price we paid. It has to fulfill three good food points. Smooth and slippery exterior, firm and chewy texture and finally the taste must be more than a hint of good chicken. All these were there thankfully.

Guang Ji Ho Fun & Chicken Rice
Jalan San Peng, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Yin Ker Lou (Hakka Cuisine) - Citta Mall Ara Damansara

Of Central Kitchen and Old Chefs

A talk with the captain can be englightening. YKL Citta Mall has become a central kitchen and they have 2 very experienced chefs of 30 years that can do culinary wonders.

I ate quite some Hakka dishes in Taiwan Kaohsiung's outskirts. They were good, and unplugged. Lots of lard, big fire, big bowls and local ingredients harvested from the farms.

How does YKL measured up? I was disappointed a few months ago when I was there for a quick dim sum. Frankly, it was not up to mark. But off course dim sum is not their signature offering.

With the new narratives of central kitchen and old chefs, I am sold and will definitely try the dim sum again. In the meantime, I ordered some typical Hakka dishes this round.

The yam abacus was springy, stretchy and bouncy. But really, I wanted to smell the yam. Was it there? Yes. Then the full complement of the savoury bits and items like dried shrimps, mushrooms, minced meat and wood fungus. All very much part of this savoury dish. If it is there I am happy. It was good enough for me. I especially like it fried dry. I kind of associate food fired dried (exclude meat) with better taste as the sauces will be sticking on to the surfaces of the food and not the plate. It also heightens the taste.

The Hakka pork belly with red fermented beans need to be wet and a bit sloppy as the sauces go well with the rice. But anyhow, the opposite here, braised food should have sauces at the bottom of the plate or bowl. I was looking for the hint of red feemented beans and was not disappointed. Together with the wood ears again, it was a good eat.

Finally, the Hakka Stir Fried Vegetables. Well I thought I saw preserved vegetables. And this is a good alternative to the spicy 4 Heavenly king. Savoury again, I like savoury, not some sticky caramelised dish, the wok hei (breath of the wok) was pervasive and was a welcome to the nostrils. Sometimes, we need to rediscover our local heritage and add variety to our meals. This is one of them.

Ying Ker Lou (Citta Mall)
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
03-7859 0138

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo - Foong Foong Yong Tau Foo

Klang Valley is blessed with this gift since over 35 years ago. At least that was my count from my first visit in the mid-80s. You can still hear the Hakka dialect is spoken by some of the senior staff there.

Their fish paste has added in it, salted fish, a Hakka not so secret ingredient. It is distinct and adds character to the dish. The taste and aroma were muscled and reined into their culinary narratives. The pungent smell and the arresting taste, alter and lift this ubiquitous, healthy and simple dish to another notch.

Due to the large volume of orders, the food was almost cooked to order. The vegetables were fresh. The tofu has the right texture, soft yet would not break easily. Finally, the soya sheets and pastry skin were excellent. It efficiently wraps the fillings and let itself be sacrificed as a crispy and tasty wrap. I don't usually eat a lot of this deep-fried stuff but these to me were the best of the best.

I found their fillings or toppings, generous much more compared to many other vendors. The price at RM1.50 is cheap compared to many others who are selling at RM1.80 per piece.

This place packs in the crowd at lunch and weekends. The lunch crowd looked like they were from the offices nearby. The reason was the 12 to 1 pm hour seemed to be loosely packed. Come at 1 pm onwards we saw the office crowd in their appropriate office wear arriving.

The ambiance is village-style with lots of space you can't find elsewhere. The wind was circulating and the table arrangements were not claustrophobic. But the most important contributions of space to a restaurant was having a good size kitchen. This is where the food can be properly and unhurriedly prepared. For that reason the workers were relaxed and this would mean good food.

Go by and have a chillax lunch. I think I will be making more regular visits too.

Foong Foong Yong Tau Foo
621, Jalan Merdeka, Kampung Baru Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor
012-209 5529