Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kelantanese Leha Kelfood - Melati Utama, Setapak, KL

The name doesn't look Kelantanese at all. Yet this restaurant (2 lots) has struck the right chord with the local populace. Open almost all day it serves over 100+ dishes. I spotted different types of nasi, sweet bubur desserts, laksa, lemak, gulai, soup etc. And don't forget the Malay 'tai chow'. These warrant more visits. Watch out for more posts.

I was there for a quick late dinner with my family and was piqued with curiosity at the the array of exotic food that is so hard to find. Many will find their comfort food here. No price given as food was paid for a friend I once mentored for a season. He came in after an exercise session.

P/S - My 365 days of blogging has come and go, 3 days ago. I took some time to reflect and think. It was a good ride 264 posts, about 11,000 Sitemeter page visits and 7,000 hits later. The last 3 months was phenomenal (in my standards) as I can see a good spike in daily traffic. Thanks to all my friends in the blogosphere. We share one passion, eating and writing about it!

Directions: Coming from Zoo Negara MRR2 take the Wangsa Maju and also the Taman Melawati flyovers. Another 2-3 hundred meters turn into the shophouses. From Kepong MRR2 , U-turn under the Taman Melawati flyover.

Nasi Kerabu. Dry beef, lemongrass, tempe, and many more spices and herbs to go with the bluish rice!
Added Gulai Daging. It was in brilliant reddish orangy colour, meat was very tender and the spices aromatic. A feast for the senses actually.
The Sup Perut has wonderful tripes that are crunchy and firm without being chewy. The bountiful serving was good exercise for the jaws. However, the sup lacked the Malay zing. Too light in spices for my liking.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Peter's Pork Noodles - Brickfields, KL

Where are all the good pork noodles stalls? Is there a famine in these simple pleasures of life? I used to eat this in my college days almost every night. There was this rolly polly of a man (a good advertisement for his food) who dished out pot after pot of this goodness for us hungry young souls.

There was this stall that I fell in love at first sight. Taken there by a friend after attending a noon funeral service, we have a solemn but hearty lunch. We need to eat to live right? Of course some confess that they live to eat! It was a corner shop at the T-junction, a confluence for those coming in from trendy Bangsar into Jalan Travers and then traditional/ethnic Brickfields.

I took my family there once with the promise that they will be eating the best pork noodles around. But alas it was closed and then later I found out that they have moved out of the premise which is vacant now and for rental. Makes no sense to me.

This stall has graced Brickfields for umpteen years. So I called this friend of mine and he told me the same story. He at least has the directions to this place. We set out to look for this stall. Instead of one now they have two. The father has moved into a food court (P/S called May Flower) next to a open car park (RM2.00/hr) a few hundred meters down the road (Jalan Tun Sambanthan) in the direction of KL. The son is running another stall in Restoran Yit Seang which is directly facing the main entrance of YMCA. Park inside YMCA (RM2.00/hr) and cross the road. We ate and 'ta pau' at the son's stall as it was the father's rest day. Nothing's lost.

Lots of minced and sliced pork plus liver. Tasty soup base (though some MSG was present) and the star attraction a half cooked egg. My friends MO is to order 2 eggs and slurped it down. I re-positioned mine on top of the noodles without breaking its yolk. It was good all the way without the unpleasant uncooked yolkish smell.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New York New York Deli - 1Utama

I stumble upon this deli on my way to Parkson to buy a pair of dark grey pants to go with my coat. These days, just can't afford to invest in a the full suit. So I tailored a good top and buy off the rack for the bottom. No amount of persuasion can get me to pay 4-5 hundred for a pair.

We were hungry so the pants got to wait. I knew my son would be going off to the guitar shop and my wife most likely will be doing what she could not do the whole week. But at least before that I called the shots and got to choose the place to huddle before the scatter. He liked Subway, my wife something Penang spicy and I possibly some meat having had some noodles for brunch and nothing else since. There are more choices like Teppanyaki, Honeymoon and Little Cravings and more.

I decided on New York New York Deli as it has the biggest acreage, nice ambiance, very comfy chairs, trendy look and very close to Parkson!
Appetizer 1: Dutch Baked Mussels. One of the better starters. Thick and sticky cheese covering the entire thick succulent mussels. All natural. RM13.90.Appetizer 2: Deep-fried Smoky Cheese Balls/Bombs. Two came with exploded shells and cheese leaked out. I take it as a compliment rather than a defect. But I still feel more cheese can still be added. The potato cover was soft but with enough texture for me to have a good feeling and bonding. Except not salty enough. This will be the recurring theme. OK I can add salt but that is one step too many at least for me. RM10.50.
In lieu of not having Subway my son has his revenge. Philly Cheese Steak. He told me this originated from Philadelphia. Must be the Tom Hanks movie he saw. He liked this better than the TGIF one taken as a whole cheese, bread, mushrooms and onions but felt that the grilled beef pieces lost out a notch to the TGIF counterpart. RM17.50.Chicken and Prawn Fritters Combo. Half a rotisserie chicken with 6 medium sized prawns and some greens. I have my fill. The gravy was good. The chicken was not overdone therefore tender and moist and the prawns - exquisite. Fresh and tasted firm and smelt good. RM29.90.
My wife's choice. The Tagliatelle Mushroom Alfredo with Crispy Fish. The pasta was good and al dente. The creamy sauce was a winner-well balanced to sauced the pasta and good spooned up and drank direct. Wait-the fish piece was not up to mark. In fact pathetic. She/I was eating thin batter. Change it to a real piece of dory fillet. It will still be a winner even the taste may not be there. At least I am eating fish. RM18.90 for that.
Drinks which they tried to make it inspiring but the ingredients were so so. But at least they tried. White chocolate blueberry soda.
Rootbeer float. A winner anytime.
Other reviews: Babe in the City-KL

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Omoni Restaurant - Bandar Sri Damansara, KL

What's new in Sri Damansara? To be honest nothing much. Just a nice place to stay but I must enter a caveat here. Nowadays predators are lying in wait for the unsuspecting. Offices being broken into. Diner had his notebook snatched while surfing at the mamak shop. Mother with children being robbed outside her home. Home burgled when family out for B/F for 2 hours on a Sunday morning! Something to learn from the the security companies transporting ATM cash. They are much better armed compared to just a year or two ago. For ordinary folks, exercise common sense to enhance personal security. Perhaps investing in an alarm system for home security.

Back to food, Omoni Restaurant was recommended to me by a friend who have been staying in BSD for a long time. We have gone there twice and the food is reasonable "tai chow" stuff. Nice for an unrushed eat when in a rush. I am sure KLites will catch my drift here. Going to 1 U, Ikano, Curve or Kepong is still an option but traveling time is a big deterrent.

Three plus points for Omoni: Air-con, spacious 25+ feet frontage and reasonable prices.

We had this Fish Head Curry on both occasions we were there. Above average with fresh grouper (kerapu) heads. Yes "heads" for we have 2 smaller ones. We also tried to ordered otak-otak another of their signature dish but was discouraged as we were already having a curry dish.
Their signature round tofu cake. Cake was lightly deep-fried. The outer layer is crusted skin. Good feel when eaten. Came with good amount of toppings (dried prawns mix) that flavoured the smooth and rich but bland soy taste. Very good.
"Yeu Mak" with garlic. Flat. Preferred those with a ladle full of stock added in to provide the taste to the vege.
Omoni is in Jalan Tanjung SD13/1.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teow Chow Seafood Restaurant, Bukit Sri Bintang, Kepong

My intention was to go to Defoodland (recommended by Food for Tots) for > 30 ways to cook their crabs. It was already 9:00 pm late. To cut the story short, I made my right turn too early and ended up at Teow Chow Seafood. I rechecked my bearings later with Babe in the City - KL posting with a map (thankful) and found it was two right turns short. Suffice to say I shall return.

Teow Chow Seafood is adjacent to Desa Parkcity rear entrance. Certainly it has enjoyed a mini-boom due to new and expensive townships sprouting nearby. A link house at Desa Parkcity is changing hands at RM700+ compared to the first-mover price of RM500+. Those who have taken the risk as a first-mover has an incredible appreciation of almost 50%.

By the time we sat down it was 9:30pm and surprisingly there were still 6-7 tables occupied and weekday for that matter.

Cooked just nice with juicy fresh meat crabs. It seems that the crabs were cut up and deep-fried with lots of dried chili and garlic. The best part was the inner top shell. It has internal soft membranes, sacs and whatever innards cooked in the oil to a fragrant garlicky goodness. I have a good time pulling these out with my fingers. The only complaint was that this dish has no sauces. So one has to intermingle the meat with the garlic manually to get the taste.
Crabs at RM43/kg - Big size. Garlic and dried chili crab. RM47.Steamed Jenahak (Hong Jau). I have had better many times over in my regular eats in Puchong. The fish is off-key due to lack of that extra bit of freshness. RM22.Sweet potatoes leaves done just right. RM7.Due to my misadventure more than once, will try to get maps like this out. Easy with Paintbrush and Photoshop.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pork Ribs Prawn Mee - Restoran TTDI Utama, Taman Tun, KL

Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2 (Behind Celcom and its side facing Secret Recipe)

Tucked in a very visible junction, Restoran TTDI Utama commands everyone's attention. I am wondering how much the tenant is paying for the rental. It is always packed esp. on Saturdays. In the early 2000's I used to go there for my breakfast after sending my son to the nearby Lorna Whiston.

It has lots of stalls therefore spoilt for choice and funnily limited tables capacity. So the turnover per table has to be quick. I will go for prawn mee with pork ribs toppings and their "kaw yoke/nam yue" dumplings.

Prawn Mee with Pork Ribs. Small - RM4.20. The soup base has little MSG and comes replete with prawny goodness both in smell and taste. Obviously lots of bones were used to get up to stock soup richness. The ribs were well marinated, tender and came off the bones easily. I suspected it was also marinated in some prawns' sauce (if there is one).
The "kaw yoke" (KL speak) and "nam yue" (Ipoh speak) dumpling is rectangular in shape and open ended on both ends. It has a premium piece of juicy pork belly leaking lardy sauces when bitten. The only complain is the machine-made pastry. It is not up to mark. RM1.90.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Geylang Tai Chow - Singapore

I was visiting with an NGO working among migrant workers in Geylang. These migrants helm the 3D (not 3-dimensional) jobs. The Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult. And may I add, demeaning ones too. Suffice to say this is also happening in Malaysia. One can hear the different tongues being spoken in every nook and corner.

This area is also known as a red-light district. Ladies of the night lined the streets even before twilight waiting for a pick-up. I asked 2 males at different times, from different ends of the spectrum in professional and religious background, on why this area is still a red-light district considering Singapore's chlorox-clean image. I would like to quote them without being prejudicial and also casting the first stone. Both concurred and gave the following reason, "Otherwise there will be more sex offenders." Pragmatism is the word. I may over-simplified a complex decision-making process but feel that pragmatism is the over-riding factor in the decision to build 2 huge entertainment complexes both with a casino within.

When dinner was suggested in Geylang we have a dissenting voice esp. with the mass food poisoning still fresh news. On the 3rd of April a rojak stall in Geylang Serai market caused 2 deaths and 154 notified cases of food poisoning with 48 of them hospitalised.

We dropped by J.B. Tai Chow an end-lot coffee shop with the smell of sewage permeating from the drain near to our table placed on the alley ala Malaysian-style.
Overall the food is 6/10.
Steam fish head. This fish was kept and preserved in salt for a while. Came with salty slightly crumbling meat.
Mustard vegetables fried with garlic. Good crunchy greens with a layer of flavour sauce and wok hei. Taste was a winner but a bit dry.
Egg Soup with straight-cut cucumber, fungus and the usual accompaniment. Taste wise it is good.
Bittergourd with pork ribs fried with fermented black beans. The most flavourful dish and taste is the closest to being like my mother's cooking.
Mixed vegetables. Taste is bland.
Kangkong with garlic. Too dry. Stingy with garlic.

Bak Kut Teh in Singapore? - Han's BKT

East Coast Lagoon Food Village. About 10 minutes drive after leaving Changi Airport.Established since 1963.
Klang has been a haven for Singaporean BKT lovers. Testament to that: They fly/drive in just for it. Otherwise they are plentiful of BKT stalls at home. An example is Han's. I was told lunch-time will attract the crowd.

For someone who have sampled quite a fair bit of BKT around Klang Valley notwithstanding the 6 in Klang that I patronise, Han's has a certain attraction to me. Let me look at analytically.1. The trotters that I ordered is the signature dish. It draws the customers. It was shaped into a fist. 100% lean meat. Strange looking but it looks clean, neat, tidy and well-packaged. Reminiscence of all things Singapore. Counterbalanced my preference for some skin and fat. I was there at about 2+pm and about time for them to close. I supposed those trotters with skin and fat may have gone to someone else's lunch. 2. The look and taste for the trotter's sauce was not thick, salty and gelatinous. People are getting healthier here. Less salt and sugar. I could not get the lip-sticking gelatinous after effects but then its healthier.

3. The BKT ribs was all lean meat again. Healthy choice again. The soup was almost bland clear soup. A hint of black peppercorn was present. For those who love thick and heavy herbal stuff will be thoroughly disappointed.4. Now for the saving grace. The rice. The best Thai fragrant rice that Singaporean takes for granted where to Malaysians is a luxury due to some protectionist policy with the explanation that it was a food security policy. This is the hawker's standard. Truth be told that the best and most expensive Thai rice from the supermart cannot be compared in terms of quality, texture, whole grainous, springy bite and stronger fragrance.

5. Now for the saving saving grace. The food village has big beautiful park was incorporated into this seaside food village. It is good for the stomach and the soul. Watersports like skiing is available. Skiers were pulled around the pond mechanically with a system high-speed pulleys and cables mounted on towers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Market in Baguio Philippines - Finale

This is my finale on the Philippines and will not be posting until the weekend unless I have online access and time.

Adanao Square is next to the market square. It is also where Chow King is, occupying the ground floor corner space. This was where we have our breakfast in a nice cool and balmy morning. We were forewarned not to have food in Chow King as it is mediocre. The refrain was, go for authentic Filipino street food. Anyway it was not etitrely bad as fast franchised food has its merits. Good standard service, quality control, strategic and comfortable environment and consistent processes that delivers safe and clean food albeit compromising on taste.
Wanton Mee in all its mediocre, clinical and sterile form!
Wanton Beef Noodles. Taste 5/10.Then we took a stroll around the wet and dry morning market as well as checking out kiosks selling all types of food, crafts, souvenirs in various shapes, sizes and forms that touristy shoppers would look for and feel it is worth buying.Hawkers playing a cat and mouse game with enforcement authorities.Sausages galore!These were not soft tofu but LARD slabs for cooking. They have taken cooking to a dizzying lardy cholesterol heights.Pails and pails of large shrimps everywhere.Mussels, clams and snails.Mussels (tahong) stir-fried with garlic to perfection. Yum.
The Lechon Baboy (Roast Pork) - Obligatory dish for any Filipino celebrations at RM21 per kilo.And grill bangus, tilapia and tuna.