Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Food Named Average - Grand City, PJ and Kopitiam Hainam Village, Menjalara, Kepong

Food can make and break a day. It can inspire and lift up the spirit. Maybe even motivates great endeavours for that few hours. A bad food day like expectations unfulfilled, can bring foul manners.

But in many of the South East Asian tiger economies and Malaysia in particular we can get a decent meal anytime anywhere. I suspected food may be one of main reason why Penang was named by New York Times as number 2 (readers' recommendations) must visit places in 2009 out of 44. The other was Georgetown acquiring the newly minted status as a World Heritage Site.

But sometimes we still get average food and worse of all bad ones. Some are trying to get out of their mediocrity and strive for excellence. While others have fallen off their once lofty perch. It's sad to be served by disinterested staff and eating passionless food. Have they forgotten that the customers contribute to their bottom line?

I had breakfast at Grand City after a lapse of a few years. Listless and inattentive servers. Tosai Rawa was tasteless and the dry chicken curry is 'dry' and taste like the cook forgot to put in half of the spices. Where's the aroma? I really missed the Grand City of yesterday years. Come on get out of your stupor and slumber. You can be great again. I will still come back and hope I will get a better experience than the last.
Then have dinner with my son at Kopitiam Hainam Village (PS - Shop closed for business Updated May 2011). Coffee, French Toast and the Chicken Rice Set (RM6.80) was good according to my good son. So I give it a 7/10. He liked the French Toast (RM2.00) he ordered as 'starters', simple and served with honey.
My Mee Hailam was so so. 6/10. But the yellow noodles were of good quality. No 'kan suai' smell. No prawns just a few measly squid pieces. Interestingly they added julienned pickled cucumber to lend a more varied taste - RM5.50. Moderate MSG present.Grand City Restaurant
No. 51, 11/4, Petaling Jaya
Directions: From Jalan Gasing EPF drive towards University Hospital. Take the first turning on your left. Grand City will be on your left after a short drive of 250m.

Kopitiam Hainam Village
45, Jalan 1/62, Medan Putra Business Centre, Bandar Menjalara, Kepong
Directions: From LDP turn left to Desa Parkcity. Straight on for 200m. At the roundabout take 12 o'clock and then go for the second left turn. Another 100m turn left and turn left immediately. Shop is just ahead.

8 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

What does this "kuan suai" smell like? always hear this..!

worldwindows said...

Kan Sui is potassium carbonate an alkali. It should taste bitter as it is an alkali if my inorganic chemistry did not fail me. On the other end acid should taste sourish.

I can't describe the smell but I do remember it. The plain kan sui bachang dumplings obviously use it and I love eating it with white sugar when I was a child.

As far as I know it is used to enhance/provide food with colour, taste and texture.

I am not sure if it is detrimental to health if taken in large amounts or small amounts over time and whether the body discharges it as it comes or there is an accumulation (bad news) and bring health problems later.

Strong Kan Sui smell is very often detectable in yellow noodles used for curry laksa, hokkien mee and lor mien. I can't stand the pungent chemical smell.

I presumed it is used for various reasons like shortening some process to save time, enhances taste and provides the yellow colour.

My 2 sen worth and I stand corrected.

Selba said...

Ah.. too bad that the curry and tosai didn't taste good. I miss to eat those stuff though...

the mee hailam looks kinda like instant noodle add with other ingredients ;)

550ml jar of faith said...

If my memory serves me correctly, there was a big kan sui backlash in the early 90s in Malaysia because it led to some horrific health effects? Noodles were kept out of the house for a while then!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Yeah, I remember the Grand City of yore. There are others who have fallen into a similar state of disinterest in what ought to be a passion. Sad.

worldwindows said...

Selba... I agree on the instant noodle look. Food presentation is lacking here.

550mljof... I remember that episode. How about the lor see fun issue.

LL... An American friend loved to drop in for paper tosai and I wonder whether to take him there anymore.

Alex said...

Ah, I know where this kopitiam is.. there's also a Niji Sushi nearby right?

worldwindows said...

You must be well-versed in food. Medan Putra is an unknown place. Yes there is a good-looking Japanese restaurant in the same row. Have not gone there yet.