Friday, September 23, 2011

Ama Bakery - 745 Silom Street, Bangkok

I got hold of this box of gems from my wife on her return from Bangkok. Soft and fluffy buns, almost pillowy in texture. There was lots of milk beaten into the dough and with Thai penchant for everything sweet, these buns were really good. The best I have had for long-time. I am  not sure whether it is a chain store. But looks like it is a local bakery with its secrets kept within its community. The packaging was not that great. I thought Thai really pays a lot of attention on the packaging and good at it. The other was the exclusive use of the Thai language except for the word, "AMA". But who cares, when the products were so good!

The tagline say, "Aroy, sod jak tau tuk wan." It means "Delicious, fresh from the oven daily." And it is, as I agree to it whole-heartedly.

Being a carbo addict and in need of cutting back, it is not really a good thing with these fluffy buns lying on my kitchen table. The piece de resistance was the fragrant pandan fillings. It was more custardy than jam-like and again with milk added in gives it a rather rich feel.

I am sure I will get more of these when my wife get back to Bangkok next week.

For details check them out at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lardy Hokkien Mee @ AhWa - Off Jalan 222

A favourite among the old faithfuls, the Hokkien Mee has a few distinctiveness that separates it from the other noodles.

Firstly, it is fried till almost dry, allowing the sauces to be concentrated and then cling on to their dear lives on the long and sticky surfaces of the 'fat noodles'.

Secondly, the absorption of the "wok hei" is lifted to a new high without the presence of too much gravy.

Thirdly, the thick sweet black sauces can be addictive though it is slightly bitter. Like molasses added to selective pastry or bread the synergy produced is better than the taste that come from the sum of the parts.

Fourthly, the robust body of the fat round noodles can satisfy any growling stomach.

Last but not least, the explosive combination from the lard oil and its deep-fried pieces makes eating Hokkien Mee a culinary experience. I wonder why it didn't make it into the CNN top 50 Asian eats.
This what we came for and got. Great lardy stuff and it couldn't have gone better than these. Admittedly, they have competition from the other end of the block in the form of the formidable looking Mei Keng that has an extra lot. An old friend and a resident nearby brought me there for dinner years ago and it is known for their 'tai chow'.
 Another of their best-seller. Stir-fried Lala. Great sauce and fresh morsels.
Wat Tan Hor - I am still very much for the Ipoh variety where the egg mixture comes in with the right consistency/amount and right timing.
The Lo Meen looks the same as the Wat Tan Hor. The only difference was the noodles and the addition of Black Vinegar.

Verdict: Go for their Hokkien Mee and Lala!.

Address: Off Jalan 222, Jalan 14/48 (Next to Shell Station)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Restoran Hua Mui (1948) - Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru

The new framed from the old cast iron window frame of Hua Mui. It was started in 1948 and was known as "the Cafe with a Colonial touch". A muhibbah cafe, it is one of the early Chinese restaurants to offer Hainanese style western food to multi-cultural Malaysia.. 
Its signature dish was their Hainanese Chicken Chop. 
 Tender chicken thigh coated with golden bread crust. Crisp with a slight crunch, the meat was tender all round with no hard or tough edges. Really good and better than some of the best-known Hainanese coffee shops in KL. Must try.
Hainanese breakfast staple. If you are a die-hard fan, go for it. It will not go wrong here.
The best noodles here was the Mamak Noodles. Fragrant, slightly sticky from all the sauces binding and then enveloping the noodles. This had me singing.
 Customary noodles to keep the patrons happy.
 Muhibbah diners!

No 131, Jln Trus,
Johor Bahru, 80000 (Below Johor Old Temple)
Time: 8am - 6pm

No 50, Jln Sutera Tanjung 8/4,
Tmn Sutera Utama,
81300, Skudai Johor

Time: 7.30am - 9.30pm

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Salad Bar - Damansara Utama

I am no fan of vegetarian diet. It is at times an expensive diet too. But I do eat a good portion of it given half the chance at every meal. In my travels to different Asian countries and visiting their market in the course of my work, I used to wonder where is the best place for a vegetarian to live if price consideration tops the list. A few years ago a vegetarian approached me bearing this question after hearing a story I related.

How would you like to buy a huge cauliflower for RM0.30 or a big bag of jicama for RM10.00. Unheard of. Forget about Melbourne being number one as the most livable city in the world. The vegetarian want to park themselves at a town where the price of vegetables are in abundance, cheap and diverse.

Simply Salad may be establishing themselves as a great place to have salad for meal and inexpensive at that. RM11.90 for a big or RM6.90 for a small portion. I find the portions as big with generous add-ons. The Spicy Chicken can be a main meal if plenty of spicy white chicken fillet strips. The sunflower seeds were sprinkled liberally on top. Lettuce was plentiful and I wish for more variety and colour. But then the more colourful and variety the price would have gone up.
The sauce was strong with tons of balsamic vinegar. A good set-up with the spicy chicken. The salad equivalent to the assam laksa noodles. My favourite salad. One thing I notice is that their salads are devoid of cheese. So far.... I will check if there is one with cheese esp. the Greek Salad with its compulsory feta cheese.
Ramadhan Salad. I could not identified the seeds of cereals toppings for this particular salad. Anyone can help. It was sold by theme.
The sauce was more like a satay peanut sauce with no tart. It was bland as I thought they are afraid to sweeten it. With a weak sauce this salad fell flat.
This sausage sandwiches brought some taste to our palate. With thick slabs of bread the fillings must be strong in taste. Not just the obligatory onion bits, mustard and tomato sauce. The meat has to be savoury enough to tilt the bland and neutral vegetables and bread. It passed the test. I have problem with cold cuts that is almost bland.

The chicken sandwich did not fare as well as it was lacking in taste. But then who say everybody has to agree to my views. I like the ingredients and its freshness.

41, Jalan SS 21/60, Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03 77221742

Monday, August 29, 2011

Canton Village - Taman Prima Sri Gombak

When variety is premium, then Canton Village got the offerings! I will call it a Chinese Cafe with a long menu. Though not really over-priced, be prepared to pay more for the air-con, neat and tidy interior and of course the extensive menu.

Home cooked dishes, hawker's noodles, soups, all manners of desserts and beverages that come from the multi-dialect Chinese' staples. If you want a quick bite, this is the place. I recommend the noodles as it come hot and I feel that it is preparation is more consistent and most important it comes to me hot. For those who have the time to browse, they have a few shelves that stock local products from Bukit Tinggi, Bentong. It seems that Canton Village(s) are branches from the famous Foon Lock Restaurant in Bukit Tinggi.

 All manners of noodles. Good stuff and satisfying!

Pan-fried Kembong - would have like it if they at least micro-waved it before serving. But still good.
Try their soups. The signature is the papaya soup which I presumed came from the farms of Bukit Tinggi.
Desserts - everyone favourite.

113 Jalan Prima SG3/2
Taman Prima Sri Gombak
Batu Caves, Selangor
6:30am - 1:30am

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ricetaurant - Bangsar Village 2

Old favourites floated around its dining space. I mean really old. My octogenarian father would be singing these during his younger days. The high-pitched songs favoured by singers of yesteryear is a bit painful to my years. I drifted in and out of irritability. Mercifully I was saved by great companionship and later, great food.

With its grey walls, dark coloured partitions and mostly exposed ceiling, its intention was to bring the customer back to time 'immemorial'. Then furnished with wooden tables and chrome metal chairs that were obviously from the same era (why metal?), it is obvious their regime was that spartanism and utilitarianism.

I felt cold, exposed, stripped of my security and in desperate need for some comfort food. Before being sued I have to say that I am exaggerating somewhat on my physical deprivation - on second thoughts I kind of like some of these 'beautiful' tortures before being fed great food. Ricetaurant food menu was simple and was adorned with dishes of the side alleys' stalls and that of our mother's or for some, grandmother's kitchen fueled using rubber wood.
The 'torture chamber'.
Warming preserved vegetables (ham choy) soup with tofu cubes and tomatoes bits. I want my mama! Delicious beyond description. Salty, sourish and sweet. Highly recommended.
  Lemongrass chicken. A bit sophisticated for the New Village kitchen. Probably cooked by the amahs in mansions and villas. The infusion of the lemon grass was pleasant and calming. Chicken pieces were tender and well marinated.
 The white rice was of good quality. "White rice" sounds oxymoronic here as 'white' brings death while rice gives life. The curry chicken was superb. Compliments to the food designer. Spices were well balanced and not a hint of any of the spice overpowering others.
 And finally the piece de resistance. Cabbage with dace and black beans. I wanted to eat and eat and eat. Something about this dish being gloriously simple, the bland cabbage made beautiful, my palate and my emotions was titillated to the hilt.
 Then we closed the meal with a simple and unremarkable green pea desserts. Did I use 'simple'? Perhaps the simplicity brings the best out of the overstimulated urbanites, tongues heavy-laden with newly acquired flavours, that a dose of yesteryear simplicity refreshes their soul and the tongue.
2F-29, Bangsar Village 2, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 22871566

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tangkak Beef Soup Noodles - Jln Imbi

What has 9/11 to do with Tangkak Beef Soup Noodles? They have chosen this date to relocated to Jalan Mahkota in Taman Maluri. No more in Jalan Imbi. It will be a gain to the folks there. Beef noodles are not easy to come by and I like the beef here as they use only local cows! It is as fresh as it can gets.

I am not sure why I am obsess with beef noodles. Maybe too many trips to Vietnam and eating the very best of beef noodles everyday, and mind you most of them are very good! Or maybe, there are not too many shops here in KL.

Tangkak has expansive menu, generous portions (ok, just pay for it), eat till satiated kind of feeling are hard to experience for foodie who like beef noodles but just find it too spaced out for comfort. But then they still take the opportunity when nearby doing and running essential chores and errands.

Each visit to CK Music will be accompanied by food along the same row of shops. Tangkak Beef is 2 doors away and opposite Overseas Restaurant while Sakura Nasi Lemak just about a 100m walk up! Well after 9/11 it will be just Sakura and another familiar face missing from my menu as I don't get there often. But then Sakura is still a great eat!

Murky, thick soup will lots of ingredients. Simple ground red chili with some vinegar for tart. Great dipping sauce for all things beef. Tenderloin is one of the best cut and the meat lived up to my expectations. Cooked to medium (probably they just placed the meat in on the hot bowl) it should be a great meat to have but alas there was some remnant of silvery skin/membrane that reduced that enjoyment.
Another satisfying meal. Beef pieces was well cooked but breaks easily in the mouth. Beef noodles as it should be.
Another great dish. Should have ordered more. Beefy. solid and fresh!