Sunday, June 28, 2009

Restoran Lit Heong - Bukit Sri Bintang, Kepong

Seeing double. Two lots but separated by an alley. This anomaly resulted most certainly by the need for expansion even though there was no adjoining lot available! Business must be good. The shop on the right is air-con and serves all kind of porridge from the super expensive Sang Har to the usual accompaniment for this very likable and delicious Chinese meal that can be had anytime and anywhere. But tonight we went for 'tai chow'.

Their specialty - Lala in Superior Soup, Tom Yam Prawns in Young Coconut, Grouper Fish Head Curry and Crabs Galore in done in many different ways. My son was bored with crabs and curry dishes after the many curry fish head meals and the the 65 minutes wait for crabs at De Foodland.

I must say that I passed Lit Heong (adjacent to Desa Parkcity) many times and was not impressed by their outward appearances. We arrived at about 7:3opm and the place was 2/3 full. We were seated al fresco. That explained that I have to use the flash feature from my Nokia E90 which I am reluctant to use for close-up for obvious reasons.

My verdict on the food: Fresh, Reasonable Price, Big Portion and Super Fast Service (5 minutes with the fish served at 10 minutes). Total Bill: RM78 (plus drinks).

Chinese Carp Tail with Ginger Sauce. Fresh and with no muddy smell, a less than 1 kg fish was used. Filleted and one sided was served to us. The meat was from just below the stomach right to the tail. This was what I wanted. I am tired of 'tai chow' arbitrarily serving the stomach portion without my permission. The ginger paste was light and the salt level was pleasant to the tongue. Really refreshing as the white meat interacted with the sauces producing a steamed fish that I believed any Cantonese connoisseur will be proud of.
The Lala in Superior Soup was a tad salty and the wine was not discernible. But the soup was tasty with little MSG. We enjoyed this thoroughly despite the less than 100% effort put in as the lala was super fresh! Butter-Fried Prawns were cooked to perfection. The meat just nice and firm. I was very happy as superior sea prawns with thin shell were served. The condiments and curry leaves that was came together was wiped off the plate. The only complain - the prawns size varies from below average to big.

Bayam Stir-Fried with Garlic to round up our dinner. Big portion. Having cooked bayam before I knew how much was needed to get that much on our plate. It was quality bayam (small plants) and the leaves came out soft and tender but was not mushy though a bit lumpy. I could have mopped up the half soup half gravy at the bottom but could not due to my over-indulgence of the superior soup from the lala dish.

For more info like map, address and phone nos click here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Restoran Mei Sei Ka - Kg. Bukit Tinggi, Bentong

We started out with this Solo papayas. Very sweet, firm and fragrant, compliments of the chef.

Getting to Bukit Tinggi is not exactly a walk in the park for many. But then there was good food and Bentong durians esp. the Musang variety. Good things require some exertions. But then it depends also on where is the starting point. Getting there from Melati Utama which is alongside the MRR2 was a breeze. Just a slow 20 minutes drive. We wanted to catch a leisurely lunch there and have lots of time to talk and catch up.

We started at 11:45am. Arriving we were caught out as the shop was closed. Moral of the story - call first. The shutters were down. We were deciding what to do when the owner returned. This was one of the rare days they closed for business. Then Ah Loong recognized my Singaporean friend who has some dealings in the vast Bentong agricultural business. The sky was bright but it was surely shinning and smiling at us. He opened his shop just for us. We apologised for intruding into his private time but by then he has ushered us into his shop.

We ordered what he has and what he recommended. Not exactly the best for food but then we got to be his only guest and received his undivided attention. It was great service. He was chatty and we got along.

This pair of gargantuan and handsome Sang Har were opened up length-wise. It was cooked with egg white and topped up with lots ginger (hopefully Bentong variety) and generous amount of fried garlic bits. There was a lot of bright red liquid in the head area. It was sweet and rich. I dumped the egg white in and mopped it up. Yum. What was missing was some wine but then why complain when we shouldn't be eating there in the first place! 7/10.
Instead of rice we have Toman Fish Mee Hoon. It was of the clear soup type with lots of toman fish pieces together with the head. Unfortunately the fish has quite some bones and slightly fishy. Still it filled our stomachs and the pickled vegetables increased our appetites. We were ready for more. 6/10.
Standard crunchy Baby French Beans with lots of crunchy. It thought these baby beans originated here as I recalled having this dish probably in 1993 when it was 'the' vegetable dish to order. 7/10.

We also have boiled (not double boiled as we need to pre-book) herbal turtle soup. Soft and gelatinous shell and meat with lots of herbs. Very sweet and fragrant. I did not put out the picture as it may offend people. 7.5/10.For desserts we have D24 Durians. One of the best D24 I have eaten as the quality varies from place to place. The skin was brown indicating that this was from higher elevation. Sticky and fleshy with smooth and flawless complexion! 7.5/10.Then the star - Musang Durians. But alas these were lowlands Bentong variety and have green skins. I am sure the highland ones will taste better. What can I say? It has colour, complexion, concentration, carat.... 8/10.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dettol or Hovid? - Hand Sanitizer and Hand Wash

These 2 Dettol handwash were bought from 2 different shops in Sri Damansara. RM10.85 @ 99 Speedmart (manufactured 6 months ago) and the other from a chain store (not 7-Eleven) at RM13.40. Another shop nearby was selling it at RM12.80.
This Hovid Hand Sanitizer (720ml) was priced @ RM29.90 in Puchong. Sri Damansara has no stock. Only handwash. I have to call my regular pharmacist. I bought 2 for business use.

Parents especially are getting edgy with the local transmission of the H1N1. It is hitting home and I am not sure how it will pan out. I have a friend who can't return to Malaysia as he came in contact with an infected person in Singapore and is under quarantine. In times of crisis I hope the altruistic best in us will surface like cream always rises to the top.

For those who lived through the SARS period in 2003 its deja vu time right now. I was living in Bangkok when the SARS hit Hong Kong and then quickly spread to Vietnam, Singapore and Bangkok. Ironically, in that year, HKG was wooing tourists with the tag line, "Hong Kong will take your breath away." SARS did exactly that.

But who can forget the sacrifices of lung and chest specialist, Dr. Joanna Tse, heroically volunteered to work with the SARS patients. She lived up to her Hippocratic oath despite losing her husband just a year ago to leukemia. She was infected and succumbed to the illness she fought so valiantly against on May 13. When news of her death was reported in the media, it touched a tender nerve in a community already reeling from SARS phobia. That Dr Tse was only 35 and a widow, touched the heartstrings of many a man and woman in the street.

Virologists say that every spring influenza virus has a way of surfacing and this year is no difference except that it is of a more dangerous strain. In 2003 I have to cancel engagements. My son International School came out with a directive that any parent that had gone to countries listed by WHO as SARS-infected cannot return home but will have to stay in a hotel or whatever for a period of I think 7 days. Otherwise the child cannot go to school. But then we co-operated as it was a frightening period. Our co-operation secure each other's safety. Even domestic travel in Thailand was anxiety-filled and many donned face masks making them looked like a penguin. I remembered travelling back to KL and then back to Bangkok in a 300 plus seater Airbus with less than 10 passengers. Yes, I was wearing a 3M mask.

Since 2003 I began to take notice that I was susceptible to new flu strain in each new countries that I travel to. I had to get hit before getting the so-called 'immunity'. Especially bad were the flu I caught in Vietnam and Indonesia. Since then in the last 5 years I took my Northern Hemisphere yearly flu shots around October to take care of this.

Is the world a more dangerous place to live in? No!

With advancements in the pharmaceutical fields and highly ethical and brave companies like Merck which willingly allowed USD200 million to be invested in R & D just to discover a drug (later named Mectizan) to cure river blindness in the sub-Saharan nations knowing pretty well there will be no financial returns. In 1987, Merck donated Mectizan to the people in sub-Saharan Africa which by then cost the firm over USD1 billion. It helped treat over 20 million people. Their motto is, "Medicine is for the people. It is not for profits. The profits will follow."

And on a personal level, there are heroes/heroines like Dr. Joanna Tse whose indomitable spirit not only lifted the entire nation out of their gloom and fear but also in her death inspired them on how to live.

Malaysia is looking for such corporations and individuals. Who will answer the call?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

De Foodland Crabs, Bandar Menjalara, Kepong

25 & 27, Jalan 3/62B, Bandar Sri Menjalara. H.P. - 0162331141
How many ways are there to walk (oops wok) the crabs? If it is walking, just one but when it come to wokking, De Foodland Seafood Restaurant has possibly more than 40 ways. I must thank Food 4Tots for the recommending this restaurant.

I would really like to know how many kilograms of crabs are consume every week. This double lot restaurant (plus upstairs and alfresco) could easily fit 50-70 tables. Just 2 rows of shophouse and tucked inside a sleepy a sprawling housing estate. It is very near to Desa Parkcity and not too far from Tmn Sri Sinar, Segambut, Mont Kiara and Sri Damansara. This time I made sure I got the route right following the last misadventure.

The Saturday night was muggy but we managed to get into the air-con section. It was packed to the brim by 8:20 pm when we got our table. Our expectations were heightened seeing the various styles of cooking crabs adorning part of the wall. Salivating somewhat and relishing a good meal we don't mind waiting which comes with a full house restaurant. I predicted the food will arrive in 30 minutes and my son 45 minutes. I am more optimistic due to conditioning from the nature of my work while my son has my darker side. Still both of us were wrong. It took 65 minutes for the crabs to arrive. Crap!

We were warned a minimum of 2 crabs will be served per style of cooking with a combined weight of at least 1.2-1.3 kg. They were calling the shots and we have to take it or leave it. We got their top-seller, Creamy Butter Crab. It looked really creamy so I decided that we get something thin on sauce to complement. Black Stout Crabs it was. That set us back RM117.00 excluding 5% government tax. Other dishes and drinks were not in yet.
Black Stout Crabs. Sticky, thin and sweet caramelized layer of sauce. The crustacean were sectioned and dipped fried lightly before the wok cooking to coat it with the sauce. I found the taste unique and earthy. It's sticky sweetness but not exactly in my list when I am there next. I will go for steamed savoury ones.
The Creamy Butter Crabs were ordered for their creamy sauce as we wanted to have mantou instead of rice. It was really good wiping the creamy sauce off the plate and crabs with the mantou. The creamy and gummy sauce has quick diminishing returns in taste as we got 'jelat' pretty quick. The 1.3 kg worth of crabs were too much for us to eat. The next round I will try meehoon or vermicelli with Fried Crabs. And without the sweet mantou. Kind of not of the right match. Carbs and Crabs!

From eating both plates of crabs I realised that two small sections of the crabs were bruised from one of the legs to the side of the body rendering the meat there soft and soggy. Any bigger damage will spoil my meal.

Read more from kampungboycitygal (Oct 2007) and masak- masak (Nov 2006).
The mantou was not oily with a crispy crust and fluffy dough. Round up the meal with Young French Beans.
Part of De Foodland leaflet.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sari Ratu (Nasi Padang), Kelana Jaya in Star Metro 14th June 2009

My recent post on Sari Ratu's Nasi Padang was featured in Star Metro on the 14th June 2009. Though it played a subsidiary role to Renita's feature on Padang food under the title "Great bites" it is still as satisfying as having a good meal.

Here is my humble piece in Star Metro given a new title as Pleasant Padang Platter as I don't give titles to my food posts.

My post is found here.

Thank you one and all for this wonderful and meaningful symbiotic relationship.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Klang Dry Bak Kut Teh and Hoppy Duck - Aman Puri, Kepong

Its the down and out week for me and I needed some comfort food and self-encouragement. Assignments dateline have passed and I am no closer to clinching it. I am losing 5% every 5 days. And exams set for next week are looming larger and larger by the days.

So I went for a food trawl, alone. I am not going for a binge, just some plain good ole fun time with two meals one after another. Just needed some good food for my soul. It's not chicken soup, but something better - Bak Kut Teh and Hoppy Herbal Duck!

Now I am fine and ready to work despite at Hoppy Duck there were playing some sad and bluesy Cantonese R & B that can rival Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou.

I was at Bak Kut Teh Klang Yip Yong and Hoppy Duck Kepong. Yip Yong is door away from Hoppy. Any closer would be too embarrassing for me to do my food trawl.

Hoppy is at 3-51, Jalan Desa 2/1, Desa Aman Puri. Tel: 0362802378.

Let's drink the pressure away!
Thick earthy herbal soup. Obviously its for the fried cruellers to soak. I declined it as I did not want to fill up so fast.
The Dry Mixed BKT. The pot was still smoking giving out an acrid smell. I thought they have overdone it. No it was not burnt. The caramelized thick sauce has coated the meat thoroughly. The dry squid gave of the smell from the sea. Perfect! Good till the last morsel with white rice.I picked off all the dry squid pieces. Seared till slightly crunchy its salty and chewy. Good exercise for the jaw and indirectly working away my stress.
N.B. Hoppy Duck had since closed and premise taken over by Hong Kee Dim Sum (updated Dec '09).Hopped over to Hoppy. Didn't know that my sequence rhymed. Unintentional. The quarter duck roasted was just right. The herbal sauce that came with it has a strong dong quai smell which I like very much but have occasionally only as it is a like Kacip Fatimah. Comfort food alright!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Udang Merah Durian - King of Fruits Season is Back

Udang Merah from Jusco, 1 Utama.
Premium Old Tree and 50% off probably after 9:00 or 9:30pm.
Two trays from 2 different trees at RM48.90.
Each tray about 12 medium size pieces with flat small seeds.
Yes the durian season is back. I had my second round of Udang Merah already. Yum, yum, yum:-) I am blessed with a constituent where I can eat durians regularly without much problems. Those days when I was living in Thailand, I could not resist eating a small tray of Monthong or Chanee almost everyday for a short stretch when the season comes a calling.

A very interesting feature of Thai eating habit was they like their durians firm (half ripen). Over here we called it 'sang fang sze' literally as hard as a potato. So those that have gone soft are considered spoilt goods and it can be picked up cheap from the market! This is good news for Malaysians and Singaporeans.

Off course now I do not have to survive on the Thai varieties as I am very much home. But it is interesting to note that Thai durians have invaded Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. It can be spotted in most of the markets and stalls.

Back to the Udang Merah. Deep dark orange though not really reddish. This tray is what good durian should be - gummy and velvety with thick flesh - no fibres. Strong smell with strong taste and so sweet and creamy with a tinge of bitter. The good thing about these durians is I could not detect a drop of moisture just buttery sticky goodness from nature.
The second tray's durians has crinkled skin. But the taste and smell was even better than the already so good 1st tray. Two thumbs up. So satisfying. Really a feast for the eyes, nose and tongue. It looked so fragile that I have to gingerly pick it up so as not to break its skin as though that would allow the flavours and goodness to escape. For me there is no such thing as diminsihing returns for eating durians. When will I stop? Till the season stops! But then ... I can go without durians for the entire year.

Read more about Musang and the famous Durian SS2 stall from Masak-masak.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Steamed Tilapia and Curry Wild Boar - Jalan DA 1, Kg Desa Aman, Kepong (Next to Sierramas)

Compared with the upmarket, neat and proper Sierramas the adjacent Kg. Desa Aman is of the rough and tumble kind. Restoran Ah Soon comes highly recommended by 2 of my friends living nearby.

At the roundabout after the flyover from Jalan Sg Buloh into Sierramas: 9 o'clock will lead to the ELC International School, 3 o'clock will be into Sierramas through the guardhouse while from the 4 o'clock turn-in will lead into Kg. Desa Aman. The road is good enough to travel in with factories and vacant plots of land with overgrown grass on the left and right. I believe this road can lead to KIP and Aman Puri.

A few more hundred meters we entered Kg. Desa Aman. It seems that this village has climbed up the economic strata with nice looking houses with big compound rebuilt with bricks and mortar. Most likely the factories nearby are owned by owners of these houses. Arriving at 12:30pm was strategic. By 1:00pm the crowd was there and the double lot shophouse was almost full. With high ceiling and spacious floor space it is an enjoyable lunch despite the hot weather. It is also bright, well-maintained and clean.

Three of us ordered their signature dishes - Steamed Tilapia in a Tray, Dry Curry Wild Boar Meat and a Veg. Total bill RM47.00 plus drinks.Tilapia was butterflied and steamed in a flat stainless steel tray. The light sauce almost had the fish totally immersed. With Lily Bulbs, mushrooms, White Tofu, Foo Chok, Tau Pok and Black Fungus there were alot of stuff to pick on besides the excellent fish.

The light sauce was a winner as it opened up my appetite. Steamed fish should be done this way. The slightly sweet and savoury sauce with the infusion of ginger and garlic makes it a perfect lunch - light and tasty. Steamed to perfection the meat was firm and succulent. So much for a much maligned fish that made it into the gourmet table through bio-technology. Just like this new village. 8/10.The Dry Curry Wild Boar meat was done Indian style as the smell (esp the mustard seed) is peculiar to Indian dishes only. It was mixed with lightly cooked Wing Beans and Onions to complement the strong curry and balanced the taste besides adding a good crunch. 7.5/10.Nice to end the meal with Potato Leaves stir-fried with garlic. Light and easy for a refreshing lunch. 7/10.

Restoran Ah Soon
Jalan DA 1
Kg. Desa Aman

You can also check more about Restoran Ah Soon from another blogger at - Happy Happy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taman Tun Mamak Rojak and Cendol - Malaysia's Famous Hawker Food Combo

Strategic partnership or product bundling do happen on Malaysian roadside. Yes shady business. Under the tree and along uncurbed road shoulders wide enough to park their mobile stall and place their stools doubling up as miniature tables. And the Malaysians love it, borrowing the line from McDonald. Each of us has our favourite near to our school, homes or offices.

I recently chow down at this one in Taman Tun right in front of Petronas and the Post Office which are being torn down right now. Hoardings were put up. Just look for the adjacent BHP and Shell.

This Mamak Rojak is one the better ones around. My plate was flooded with sweetish and slightly sourish peanut gravy. Not too sweet of just nice viscosity to bind and coat the julienned sengkuang turnip, cucumber and beansprouts. The coconut cake pieces smelt very nuttish and I like it. One hard-boiled egg and prawn pastry (cucur udang) completed my meal. I eschewed tofu for rojak. 7.5/10.
The Cendol is too light (little brown sugar, santan and beans) for my liking. 5/10.