Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chuan 100% Klang Bak Kut Teh - SS 14/2 Subang Jaya

Can someone count the number of BKT shops in Jalan SS14/2, Subang Jaya ? This is the third shop that I had patronised. The others are Yu Kee and Chuan Chiew. The unique dishes from this particular shop are their Curry Shark and Teochew Shark.

Klang Bak Kut Teh was the food for fishermen in yesteryear. Solid lean meat for the muscles, fat for the chilly mornings/nights and herbs that promote the general well-being of the person. How's that! With the shark on the menu it may just remind the consumers to credit the fisherman's community that roll out the BKT so that they can eat it to live and fish. Now BKT is a favourite of the carnivorous urban dwellers pigging out at BKT declaring their intention that they live to eat, adulterating the altruistic intentions  of these early pioneers.

Curry Shark. The meat was soft and may have been overcooked. Part of it kind of disintegrated to thicken the curry gravy. The taste was great but could have been better if the shark meat were firmer.
 BKT Innards. The soup is dark and murky but not too herbal as many detest it.
 Crullers. Favourite addition to the rice for those addicted to carbohydrate .
 Classic BKT.
 Braised Trotters. Great with plain rice. The gravy was fantastic.
 And for those who like Chicken cooked in wine.

Restoran Chuan 100% Klang Bak Kut Teh
66, Jalan SS 14/2
Subang Jaya

Monday, December 13, 2010

La Casa - Desa Parkcity

Christmas is around the corner. Desa Parkcity's Waterfront has the outdoor space to put in some decor to liven up the occasion. It is wise to leave open spaces for harried and hassled urban folks to luxuriate in. Beyond the Waterfront there is another huge park for people to indulge in whatever recreation they fancy in. Its a nice place to bring guest for a meal and a walk especially in the later part of the night.

We had dinner in La Casa a western-style outfit. Generally the quality of the food surprised me.
Fancy root beer to titillate the palate and empty the wallet. But then this bottle was really solid in the taste department.
Pumpkin soup. Wholesome but then I will go for mushroom or oxtail soup anytime. Pumpkin is a neutral, lose its character vegetable and is used as a food conditioner or combined with some really strong ingredients. Again why did I order this?
Greek Salad was kind of disappointing compare to  the price paid which is near to RM20. Portion was small and the fetta cheese is not up to mark as it was a bit hard for my taste. I am not expecting a mozzarella but then cheese shouldn't be that hard either.
This clam dish was good. The cook's handling of it was perfect. Juicy clams were the outcome. The sauces were not overwhelming thus we were left to enjoy the natural taste from the product of the shell!

This salmon ravioli swung to the other extreme in terms of taste. It was very creamy. I wondered whether Gruyere cheese was used. Those cheese shavings were grainy and a bit unusual but a brand new taste for me!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuck Kee - Pasir Pinji, Ipoh

Renovated in excess of RM1mil, with a "stainless steel" kitchen to boot, Tuck Kee is ready to take on the bigger boys like Overseas and Mun Cheong. They are not exactly fine Chinese dining yet, but getting nearer. With the renovation I would expect a better ambiance and that would include "spaciousness', but alas it was not so due to the crowd on a Sunday evening. In fact, tables also were set on the five foot way, coffee shop style. Back to old days, where business any which way takes precedence.

But then I would not take anything away from their food. A little bird with inside knowledge told me that the boss' sons are supervising in the kitchen with hawk-eye keenness, making sure that good food will continue to roll thus ensuring good times for the days ahead.

It was packed to the rafters despite the heavy rain throughout the day. So having a reservation is definitely a big plus point. Service was brisk and the cacophony of happy voices resounded through its halls. That's Ipoh for you, a big village, may I say, and the people still taking time, pausing, talking, connecting, and what I like most, eating. Bon appetite!!!

Huge platter of free range Chicken with ham slices. Drizzle with lots of oyster based sauce it came a tad too salty. I expected the skin to be yellower. But still it was the meat was great. The crunchy "kai lan" vege was a good choice instead of the usual cucumber.

The surprise was a plate of ginger in oil with an innovative twist. Pandan leaves were added giving rise to a slightly sweetish perception. The fragrance was just great.

The roast duck was run of the mill average probably it was getting late. I thought the best time for their "roasts" was earlier.

This plate of "ying and yang" steamed and pan-fried cod fish cost an arm and a leg. The natural sweetness and tender yet firm and smooth meat were pleasant enjoyment for all, young and old.

Do not dismiss this claypot pork trotter by the look. Yes, its all chopped up and its messy. But the taste was out of the world. Every tiny bits of meat were torn off the bones. Marinated and infused with a subtle yet discernible mixed of cloves, star anise, cinnamon, pepper and fennel seeds.

Yam and Belly Pork. Slightly salty but then it should be eaten with lots of rice. But given the new generation it is best to reduce its saltiness. The yam were so good and "powdery" to my taste. Kudos to the purchasing team in getting good ingredients.

Salted vege Belly Pork. Another classic. Meat was probably pan-fired skin-side till its crackled and then braised to perfection.
Great claypot of deep-fried tofu. Ipoh has the best soy-bean products by the way.

Vegetarian platter.

Chinese spinach to round off the meal.
1, Jalan King, Off Jalan Pasir Pinji, Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-255 3870

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merapi Aftermath - Yogyakarta

The hot ash cloud from Merapi eruption came at 200km per hour. It was a good thing they had an 1 1/2 hour warning to evacuate. The chief's son went back for his documents and was not heard since presumably killed by the heat radiated from the hot cloud. It was very certainly hell on earth. Destruction was wreaked on the land, trees, farms, animals and humans. Even the revered spiritual keeper of Merapi was not spared. It was a day where hell was let loose. The land was scorched land.

I tried to go in earlier but the flights were cancelled, but its never too late to be of help. I was taken in by the local headman through the roadblocks using small paths. We got as near as we can. If the locals dare not go, let's not push it, thus stopping at the 7km mark. Beyond and nearer to the volcano, more destruction beckoned. By then I have seen sufficient desolation for a day.

The relief work was well undertaken by the government and NGO. After a month all will be back to normal and those who have lost their houses, land and farm may be left to fend for themselves especially those that are in remote areas and well away from the glare of publicity. Temporary housing whose lifespan is between 2-4 years is need for those who have lost homes as they cannot stay too long with their relatives. And hopefully funds were made available for them to rebuild.

Windows and glass broke and exploded at the great heat. Furniture inside the house was 'cooked'. Trees were swept down.

 These yam plants sprung back into life a few days after it hot ash 'rain'. So will the Yogyakartans. They have returned from the dead after the 2006 earthquake.
 A solitary bamboo shoot springing into life. Speaks of the resilience of humans.
The streets were empty and businesses were shuttered. This village was just 1km away from destruction.
Evacuees living along the corridors of the stadium. More were housed in community halls.
Lining up for a bowl of instant noodles. The government, private sector and NGOs were quick to help out in the recovery and relief. The evacuees needs were taken care off.
The ash dumped by the Merapi went upward and then fell from the sky and settled on the fronds the palm trees like these coconut trees in the picture. As more fell the fronds bent downward at the weakest point. The trees will take some time to recover.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bebek Goreng - Yogyakarta, Jalan Gejayan

Local Indonesian ducks deep-fried to an incredible crispy and aromatic finger-licking goodness.

It was the worst of times again for Yogyakarta. Coming in on the back of the 2006 earthquake, I wonder what will the Merapi eruption do to the psyche of this city and its vicinity. Already hotels are badly hit. Mine was run by a skeletal staff. The rest were told to take a month off.

Despite the severe difficulties, the people still have the time to laugh and talk. I was almost at home when I found myself amidst rolling "rrrrs" and a genteel people. Yes, the locals here are really soft-spoken. My first trip to Malioboro in 2006 was quite something. Buying stuff was a pleasant experience. No hassling and hustling.

After the work rounds and appetite whetted we headed for Jlalan Gejayan for lunch at H. Slamet Bebek Goreng (deep-fried duck). These ducks comes in small sizes almost like the ubiquitous spring chicken.

Some feathers remained. Pull it out and enjoyed the crispy skin.
Sambel Korek. Chilies cooked in oil. "Korek" means to dig it up. This is not a dipping sauce but one that we are supposed to dig up the chilies with the meat. Caution - extremely hot.
Customary cucumber and singkong (tapioca leaves).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kunming Food Part 2 - Fiery, Oily and Exotic

Another dinner but the same type of food. Just that these were ordered by locals. The food were fiery hot, very oily (reflecting the host as generous and hospitable) and exotic. Diverse kinds of hot peppers and chilies were present in the food. The oil were omnipresent. It sunk to the bottom when it is heavier and float to the top when it is lighter. No wonder a friend who have stayed there for 15 years had a triple by-pass recently.

Business was brisk and by the time the food came it was twilight or the sun sets quickly over here.Eating utensils were sterilised and cling wrapped for hygiene. In this way there is no incidences of water slopping around at the bottom of the bowl. An improvement of sorts.
Feast your sight on these.

Bamboo Worms and Crickets!
Deep-fried small fishes.
Pepperised steam fish. My goodness, I have to get through the gauntlet of all manner of peppers and chilies.
Lovely chewy mozzarella type texture local tofu.
Three layer Pork caramelised with local sauces.
Look at the large round peppers! Intimidating and fearsome. I forgot about the food at hand.
Toothpick chicken. Marinated with loads of spices! Really good.
Tender beef with local vegetables.