Friday, October 30, 2009

Room Eighteen, Tropicana City Mall - PJ

Room Eighteen has extensive Cantonese/Hong Kong menu. Though I have not been to Canton-i, they may target the same crowd. I like the minimalist decor (like their logo which was lifted from their site) and spacious restaurant floor. Not a place for romantic meeting though! Diners will not feel crowded which is a boon as they can carry a decent conversation. Which I did over lunch!

Tropicana City Mall has big shopping and dining area and looks fully tenanted. The crowd is not there yet. Getting in is awkward. The LDP entrance/exit was still not up despite their indicating so. The Sprint Highway side did not have good signages and I had to U-turn at the Eastin side!

The food is from decent to good. Cantonese seems to be the lingua franca here so make do with the menu. Eighteen is part of Tai Thong group.

We had Fried Rice. I had better ones. Rice is a bit oily and the grains starchy. For Cantonese if the rice is not done right it is not done right at all! The prawns and fish fillet were premium.
Sweet Sour Pork was run of the mill. The menu picture the dish in a hollowed out pineapple which attracted us. I asked why it was not served as shown in menu. The waiting staff stammered and excused and said that the kitchen's fault.This was the best dish. Pork Belly Roast Pork. Crisp skin - tick. Multi-layered fat and meat - tick. Seasoned lightly for the premium meat to shine - tick. Wonton was of required standard and big. Good juicy prawns and fresh meat in smooth wrappers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Martabak Keju (Cheese Pancake) - Padang, Indonesia

In Asia, anything sweet, rich, diary loaded and from the pan is good. I am talking about the Martabak Keju found in many places in Java Island but has spread all over Indonesia. Its simple - just a flour base platform for toppings to be added. The toppings can be a study on hedonistic food tendencies.

This is my favourite dessert after my meal in Indonesia! Mercifully its only once in a while indulgence. The Chinese calls it Ban Ching Kue / Ta Kau Meen. One can have it simple or loaded to the extreme with diabetic and cardiac arresting toppings. And of course, the price will vary according to the number of toppings ordered.

We decided to go extreme. This Martabak Keju's white flour base were loaded with margarine, sugar, condensed milk , small chunky peanuts, chocolate chips, cheese and durian paste.
The Pan
The toppings.Durian toppings!The flour.
Its cooking. Margarine spread and melted on top of pancake.
Condensed milk.
Chunky toasted peanuts.Cheese.
Chocolate chips.Durians.Ready to be boxed and taken away.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boon Keong Restaurant (Tai Chow) - Bandar Sri Damansara

Postscript: It is sad to announce the closure of Boon Keong as of early Dec 2009. Some of their food are favourites for my son and I.
Claypot "Lo See Fun'

With the dearth of quality eateries in Bandar Sri Damansara, every new addition is welcomed with "subdued" hope. We did not want to get the expectations too high due to past disappointments. When Boon Keong opened a few months ago (taking over from western oriented Miner's), I heard mix reviews from friends.

Since then I have ventured there a number times and found the food good. The kitchen personnel has the necessary experience and creativity. The food was tasty and without the heavy dosage of MSG. My first few dishes were mostly noodles.

I had their Hokkien Mee and found it fried to my required standards. No puddles of soupy gravy that gave away the inexperienced cook. The noodles came out in its sticky goodness form. A tinge of bitter from the dark soy sauce with lots of "wok hei" and some lard pieces.

Another notable noodle is their "Claypot Lo See Fun." At RM8/pax it better be good. The ingredients included crab meat. I enjoyed it and had since introduced it to my son and he liked it. Lots of soupy goodness of the consistency of "shark fins soup".

Another of their "Honest-to-Goodness" noodles was their"Kam Heong Mee Hoon". A bit salty but then it was expected with dry shrimps in attendance.

So for those living in Sri Damansara we have one more choice in our repertoire. Welcome "Boon Keong."

"Kam Heong" Mee Hoon.
Sate as appetiser while we waited for the food.
Marmite Pork Ribs. Glazed with translucent caramelised sweet sheen. Taste was 7/10. The problem was in the meat. It was not top of the line and some were chewy..Honey Pork Ribs. Taste was again 7/10. But then the meat was not fork tender.Butter-fried Sotong. Lots of eggs fritters and curry leaves. The attraction believed it or not the sotong but was in the buttered eggy strands. Smelt and tasted good. 6.5/10. Vege was pathetic as it was over-cooked.
Boon Keong Restaurant
Jalan Damar SD 15/1

Friday, October 23, 2009

Commercialised Bak Kut Teh - Bukit Tinggi, Klang

Fancy some Goat Kut Teh, Fish Head Kut Teh, Seafood Kut Teh etc. No, this time I did not bet on these dark horses but stick to safe bets. The Pork Kut Teh!!! One NORMAL bowl of BKT and one Dry BKT with dry squids.

Anyone that is willing to invest in nice premises (2 air-con shoplots and 1 non-AC for smokers) with good-looking interiors must be confident of their cooking and food - that's my 2-cent worth. However, the local Klangites (my lunch partner) called this type of food as "Commercialised BKT" and definitely would have preferred the traditional setting if they can get their hands on one - conveniently located that is!

The food did not disappoint us though. Just that the crowd was average when we arrived before noon and was there for 45mins. I wish them well and hope for more AC outlets. Arrr.. for the creature of comfort such as I. Who wants to sweat it out in the noonday heat and compounds the problem with cups after cups of hot Jasmine tea!

Check their website for the extensive BKT menu. Those who is staying near the Kesas Highway will have a straight and wide berth. I will most certainly go for their Goat Kut Teh the next time around! Price is reasonable.

Good porcelain wares and stainless steel water trough for the wash to go down.
Your choice on how much fried onions on the plate of fragrant rice. See the topping on my plate!The interior, appointed for comfort.Soft and tender morsels of pork ribs and belly meat! We have a few bowls of the herbal soup. I bet we can have more but for the sake of decency and civility we stopped at the 4th.
This was a winner as the cook decided to take matters in his hand and got the pungent dry squid blended and added into the claypot. Tasted and smelt good.Map extracted from their website.
They have a branch at 28, Jln USJ Sentral 3, USJ Central, Persiaran Subang 1. (Opp. Giant USJ)
Tel: 0380234360

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Soon Kheng Restauarant (Tai Chow ) - Sunway

Bring in the Yam. I can eat it all as long as it is soft and powdery in texture. Good comfort food!

In the days old before Sunway Pyramid and the surrounding developments, there were Subang Indah (Pyramid side). Built for light industries it has thrived to this day. This 'tai chow' is good for the working lunch crowd. I am not sure about dinner but it certainly not attractive for the families in the neighbourhood nor the hip people that drops into Pyramid.

If you want a quick bite and a venue that has easy parking this it is. Parking over the Pyramid side will take time. The price of RM125 or about RM20/pax is a bit pricey though. Well its the Pyramid.

Sotong Hotplate. Sweet, sour and spicy. Meat was tender, a winner.
Curry Fish Head. Below average.
Our traditional bull's eye! No intro needed.
An involuntary reflex order all the time. A bowl of complmentary Pak Choy soup.
9, Jln PJS 11/2
Subang Indah

0123193983, 0356323798

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snacking on Seafood in Padang - Land of the Minangkabau (Part 3 of 5)

Seafood Slathered with Batter on the Platter
Some time off saw us taking a stroll along the Pariaman beach. I was stationed here as this area was worst hit by the earthquake. The relief team comprised 2 doctors and a support team of 5. Outlying areas were cut-off from the outside as arterial roads were rendered impassable by landslides. Heavy machineries had to be moved in to clear the soil of the road.

Tourists were non-existent and whatever locals I encountered looked like local residents. But still life and business got to be as usual for the many hawkers I saw along the beach front. The most famous local snack has to be these. Seafood dipped in batter and deep-fried in oil. Small crabs, prawns, tuna and snake fish were there to tempt whatever limited customs that were there.

The main attraction for these snacks was definitely not the batter but the seafood found within. Those without batter like the tuna (small) deep-fried to perfection looks even more tempting.
Prawns in batter on a skewerPadang version of Cucur Udang
Sea crabs and some with roes.
Deep-fried tuna/ikan kayu/tongkolSalah Bulek. 'Bulek' refers to the Caucasian. 'Salah' means wrong! Fish paste with flour. Local snack delicacy.Kiddo helping mom preparing crabs for the oil cauldron. Remove the outer shell and its ready.Outer shell removedMom busy getting prawns onto stick skewers.Here is their cooking space