Monday, May 23, 2011

Bullfrog with Porridge - DST Restoran, Meru, Klang

Kung Pow Bullfrog

Food hunting took me to Klang this time around. I do get to Klang once a while on business and frequent my regular BKT haunts, I know very little of it cuisine except for Boston Baru, which  is one of my favourite. The regular eating places are more often the run of the mill types found  in the Malls.

This particular shop is in the Jalan Meru area and located adjacent to the Parkson Klang. I had two friends from overseas to grace the occasion and it turned out that one of them has never eaten frog meat even though they are Asians.

The star was the bullfrog and I came away impressed. It was meaty and the meat was firm. The sauce was superior. The sweet and savoury sauce was never too harsh and overpowering. Each of the flavour stands out but never clamouring for attention. The dried chilis were of good quality imparting its spiciness thus building the flavours of an already delightful dish. This is what I like about well-balanced sauces that will ultimately bring the best out of the food. Eat it with rice or porridge and it will bring to you a hearty meal.

My porridge was done the way I like it. Thick. The rice grains were nicely broken up to an indistinguishable puree.
My sentimental favourite. Kembong was fried to a crisp and sprinkled with a generous dose of soy sauce.
Choy Poh preserved vegetables with omelette another dish from the past. Not oily (nowadays the cook understand our needs) and the Choy Poh used was not overly salty. Fantastic stand-alone eat even for those who don't eat carbo.

L7-1-27, Jalan Pekan Baru 37
Tel: 03 3342 3933
Mob: 017 264 3319

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jessica Johnson - Another Bandar Sri Damansara Restaurant

This is an underground favourite to many Anglophiles living in Bandar Sri Damansara. The name sounds right. The feel is there. The shop also 'tripled' up as a furniture and gift shop. The tables, chairs and cabinets are for sale. The artificial flowers and gifts are also for sale. There is a British air around this place. There is only a few tables available and the food was proclaimed as "Home-made, High Fibre, Choice Ingrediuents, No Preservatives, No Colouring, No Artificial Flavouring, Low Sugar, and Moist."

I find the food here has flair, the ingredients are of good quality and the owner has taken the extra mile in formulating some exquisite taste whether it is in the dressing for the salad and also the main courses.

Tip: Try out their pies and cakes.

I like their tea. It comes with a teapot. And surprise. Brown sugar is made available as the sweetener.
My chicken sandwich was bursting with flavour. The roasted chicken though was a bit over-roasted but still very solid generous pieces. And premium slices of bread was used. I can imagine it is also home-made.
The chicken chop was one of its kind and it comes with my favpurite SCS butter. One of the 'old brand' and a premium one. It was 'the' butter brand in time past time. Meat was tender and the gravy was out of this world. There was some tart in it together with the savoury touches with a sprinkling of herbs. Now what do you do with the bread except to be used to pick up the gravy! Polish the plate clean.
The Beef Lasagna shined. It was ceamy because of the cheese and compact from the generous amount of beef used. A hefty piece for a nearty meal. Bring an empty stomach.

Note: they also operate as an imsurance agent.

16G, Jalan Cempaka SD 12/2
Bandar Sri Damansara (Next to Post Office)
Tel: 03 62756755
Mobile: 0122385393 (Mark Chin)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Korean Chinese - Seoul, Korea

Eventhough there is no Korean Chinese out of the Chen Kenichi (of Iron Chef fame) mould as yet, Chinese Korean food is everywhere brought in by migrants looking for the good life. Having enjoyed quite a lot of the Korean cuisine during my autumn trip, my host suggested a trip to the Chinese restaurant. Out of courtesy and also wanting to see how Chinese cuisine was morphed to suit the local palate, it was fair game to the foodie.
Ko Lou Yoke - Sweet Sour Pork - (Korean - Tangsuyuk). The batter was thicker than usual but the sauce less in abundance. It also lacked the colour that comes from adding a variety of vegetables to it. Nowadays cooks are particular about presentation and the variety of vegetables used and its myriad of colours can make alot of difference to the dish. Verdict on the taste: Suitable for local palate!!

The above condiments needs no introduction. It is almost sinful not to have them in any eatery in Korea. I enjoy the pickled radish. It has the 'out of this world' feel esp. with the crunchy texture, the tart, the sweet and the bite.
Next on the list will be its Jajangmyeon Noodles (Chinese almost the same name). It is sticky and syrupy. I thought they used the thick soy sauce favoured by the Hokkiens as its base. This bowl of thick syrupy sauce with plenty of onions is then dumped into a plate of noodles and thoroughly mixed and then consumed. I found its sauce too thick (thicker than the CCF sauce here) and too sweet. Again this is a Chinese Korean food so take my comments with a pinch of salt!!
This bowl of noodles was sweet and very similar to our local soup noodles. I appreciated the warm it gave to me esp when the temperature was dipping southwards to a single digit. The secret in a good bowl of soup noodles would be its broth.
And finally, Mand (Korean), Jiaozi (Chinese), Gyoza (Japanese) and Momo (Tibetan). I found the wrapping style unique. It definitely looked more secured and also allowed for more stuffings. The wrappings were a bit too thick and over-fried for me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Restoran Yuan Kee - Kepong Baru

Kepong is a maze. It amazes me how this constituency remains vibrant. Living mostly in the northeast and southern corridor of KL, I have missed this vibrant rhythmic beat most Kepongites would have taken for granted, esp. in the area of food. The fares here is not surprisingly very Chinese and good food are crammed into its landscape with a density that speaks of a people that are living to eat.

I was crabbing. And searching for Bee's Crabs near the Caritas Catholic Church. For one who like crabs and not having it for a long time can torturous. And I was looking for it for a long time. In the days of old it was easy to make a U-turn here and there but Kepong has grown with the times and it is served by wide roads with dividers. There was a lot more cars on the roads too.

So we settled down on a random choice. Not so random in a way because we looked for one that was crowded and next to a landmark for easy reference. This roadside eatery was packed at 7:30pm. The captain came and we asked for crabs. "Sorry we don't serve crabs." I countered, "Aiyah." An expression for disappointment. He offered an excuse, "We don't do crabs for a good reason. Crabs are to be enjoyed slowly and we cannot do it here as we have to serve many hungry souls." So it is about turnover of each table. I guess every half and hour. With up to 50 tables and from 6:30 - 9:30pm they would have served 300 tables.That is a lot of money.

So, defeated by the almighty $ and feeling famished, we asked for some of his signature dishes and settled down for the evening.
Grouper Fish meat and head in salty bean paste. They serve Grouper Fish only. I asked, "Why only the Grouper?" Tired of my questions, he shot back, "Its the best and there is no need for variety and toying around." Variety sacrificed on the altar of efficiency and ease in operations. The dish was salty and must be eaten with plain rice. But the captain was right. The fish was excellent.
"Kon Chien Har Loke" Pan-Fried Prawns in sweet sour sauce. A tad on the sweet side. But the prawns was great and the bonus was it had roes thus lending a fragrant aroma and savoury taste to the whole dish.
This was a disappointment. The Kai Lan was past its prime. But on the bright side its packed with cellulose.

Behind AMbank,
Jalan Ambong Kiri 2
Kepong Baru

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Carnivorific Pursuit - Bak Kut Teh, Bdr Sri Damansara

I "mourned" the demise of my favourite Bak Kut Teh stall in Bdr Sri Damansara. At RM7.50 per clay pot it had quietly satisfied my carnivorific carnal desire for all things meat with a Chinese twist. I slipped into this decrepit shop when the urgings were uncontrollable and slipped out when satiated. There are times I felt guilty giving in to the temptations for such unhealthy food regime. Though I am also a vociferous consumer of vegetables the desire is tepid and I eat out of the need to balance my diet. Or maybe it is the act of a guilty conscience trying to compensate.

No, I don't get to go to Klang for my fix very often. In fact call it rare. But I do eat BKT in S14 occasionally with my buddies. But those days are rare now since I moved office. So back to my neighbourhood BKT. Neighbourhood is defined as within 5mins. No toll and no crossing of any highways.

I was happy beyond words when a new stall opened for business. It is manned by a jolly rolly polly young man. And with that he effectively took over the mantle as the BKT man for Bdr Sri Damansara. It is still the one and only. So its better be good or else it will be a case of so near yet so far.
So I have been eating out from his hands over numerous occasions and I am glad to report that all is well. I am safe with my comfort food for the time being. I wish him well and hope that he will stay the distance, dishing out this solid meal for the meat-eaters in this community.
My favourite BKT. The soup is in not the darkish and murky Klang concoction. It gave out a lighter herbal infused soup. Though I like the darker version this one will do.
Braised Pork in dark sauce. Unique, as the pork is soaked in a gravy. The consistency is nice for the rice and even to steal a sip or two.
This Yellow Wine Chicken is the favourite for many, man and woman alike. It is lovingly prepared with care as I usually positioned myself when seated, to face the stall.It is as though he is preparing it for his wife. Only the chicken thigh is used and the meat comes out smooth and tender. The julienne ginger is rather generous and matched well with the wine. A fantastic meal for the cool evening.

Address: Corner, Jalan Tanjung SD 13/1, Bandar Sri Damansara (same row as Maybank)
Business Hours: Open everyday in the evening till about 10:30pm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Second Kitchen - Restoran Madam Hew, Bdr Sri Damansara

It's ok to have a second kitchen but not a second home (different from a 2nd house). My 2nd kitchen should be there for my convenience and nutritional well-being. For the dual income urban family living on borrowed time, mostly sleep-deprived, prioritising on the children's education is of the utmost importance. So the nutritional needs are most often out-sourced.

So family meals are taken out of the home. I am sure some have being caught in this guilt trap time and again as their children grew up, wondering whether we are fit to be parenting and worse still not worthy of wearing the title of "father" or "mother." 

One in a while a gem of a restaurant crops up in your neighbourhood. Home-style, like mom's cooking. Menu from mom's kitchen. No MSG in the food. Minus all the unhealthy oil. Clean. And the list goes on. Many a family found safe haven here and you can see fathers and mothers with children in tow eating here esp. during meal times. The price of the food here is reasonable though sometime the portion is not big. A good bowl of soupy non-MSGed Kai See Hor Fun is at RM5.00. The price is much below that of a Cafe but slightly above that of our ubiquitous coffee shop stalls.

Tip: Try asking for food of the day that is outside their menu. Talk to Jessica Hew or any of their waiting staff.
Yummy, Pan-fried Black Pomfret. Brought back memories of my mother's signature "Chin Huk Cheong". You can almost finished eating the fish, fins, tail and all sans the spine.
Chinese Meatloaf with Salted Eggs. Heavenly though the portion is slightly small.
Dried (Kon Lo) Lo See Fun.
Pork Balls with that home-made feel. Infused with dried squid, very much like those from my favourite stall in Ipoh.
Wonderful bowl of Kai See Hor Fun. At RM5.00 eating Cafe styled, this is indeed under-priced.
Another take of the Chinese Meatloaf with Salted Eggs.

Jessica Hew
26, Jalan Damar 15/1
Bandar Sri Damansara
Mobile: 012 210 9288
Non Air-conditioned. Can be warm.
Business Days and Hours:
Tues-Sat: 10am - 3pm and 5:30-10pm
Sun and Public Holidays: 9am - 4pm
Closed: Monday

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fresh Seafood - Tanjung Sepat, Selangor

A haunt for seafood lovers. Rustic with lots of sun and sand on a clear day. A sleepy hollow, coming alive only during the school holidays. The local biscuits, big dumplings and vegetarian dumplings will have to be pre-booked in order to stand a chance to taste or take-away.

My first trip was in 1993! Who can forget the 'Hor Chien (oyster omelette)' where the oysters take centre stage over the cornstarch and eggs! This trip was as exciting. Just thinking of the good food get me salivating! With good buddies the trip and food will be doubly good no doubt. Mostly good roads also make the trip a pleasure taking away the pain of negotiating tight trunk roads with slow traffic.

There are many restaurants. Take your pick. Just go for the one with the most customers. That's my advice when our favourite was closed for lunch. A tip here for those who can't resist food any food. Its the buy, buy and buy mantra one has when on holidays. There will be peddlers going around selling fish balls. Already cooked and still steaming as you can see the condensation inside the plastic bags. Tasted really good and fresh! Don't but too many as it can spoil your appetite!

The ordering part can be tricky especially the fish. Make sure that you are armed with some names of fishes to bandy around and also some knowledge on how it should be done. But anyhow fresh fish can be done just one way, "steamed"! From there the imagination takes over. "Teochew", Cheong Cheng (with soy paste), Dry Chili variant, Ginger Puree, Julienne Ginger with Soy Sauce and etc.

I was testing the waters and bantering (don't try it in the city as they can be impatient) with the "captain" and trying to dig out some information to make the crucial call. This can be a miss and hit thing. The keys are freshness, it matches with the rest of the orders (i.e. building your other orders around the fish), the size and for the pocket's sake, the price.


The proof is in the eating. Proofing whether my decision was good or off-target. Sweet to the point of being milky, just want to chew and chew to savour the goodness from the sea. The flesh was fantastically fresh. No wonder the Chinese love to feed pomfret fish meat to their young!
 Unbroken chain of beauties!
 When it is fresh and of premium quality the calibre of the chef can make another big difference to the dish. A tad overdone!
 Fresh crabs. Would have preferred larger ones but then it is seasonal esp the ones with roes.
 Mantis Prawn. Average but then this is one dish that not many can get it perfect. The batter for the prawn and the sauce is crucial.
 Enough baby oysters to satisfy our cravings. Another winner.
 The cook looked somewhat inexperience or tardy and it showed.
 Lettuce on the side.
 Our appetizers before the food arrive. Mind you do not be taken in and succumb to the desire to over-order.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Middle Eastern Restoran Al Diafah - Seri Petaling

Unthinkable! A 5-lot Middle Eastern restaurant tucked in the predominantly Chinese Seri Petaling. To emphasize this, it is situated directly opposite to Kam Lun Tai. Some Saudi with deep pockets has bought into KL real estate much like the Sheikh that bought Manchester City, but on a much larger scale.

The restaurant is well appointed and the furnishing looks opulent with lots of wood, glass and mirror. The dining area is on the 1st floor (Grd Flr is used to sell Middle Eastern products esp foodstuff) and the windows were all but removed to allow the air to circulate and a meal with view esp in the evening when the sun is going down. Highly recommended to call ahead and make a booking for a table with a view.

We have a small cross-section of Al Diafah menu and came away impressed. Expect quality cuts for meat, usage of healthy olive oil, good spices and fresh ingredients. The diners includes Middle Eastern families and the local Malay and Chinese.

 The 3-lot Al Diafah and ...
 The other 2-lot a few doors away and where the restaurant is situated.
 Table setting with quality utensils and a very solid table to boot.
 Great view and airy with the shutters up. No brick wall and glass windows to impede, giving us sense of spaciousness.
 Still very much empty at 6:30pm.
 Their common bread, eat it with their meat or dip it in the creamy dressing/sauce. Slightly sweet.
This Mendy rice is cooked to perfection. Each grain stands on its own. No starchy feel. Fluffy and buttery. Wow factor is strong.
  This Al Diafah rice is long grain. Evoked the 'oohs' and the 'aahs' as the Malaysians have been suffering silently being foisted with low grade rice. With fried shallots and raisins. Kind of like the Berianyi rice.
 Attention given to the cutlery.
 Salad. The range were limited but then it's fresh looking and tasting. Average.
 Falafel is as Middle Eastern as it gets. A mix of chickpeas and fava beans and deep fried. Very similar in taste and texture with the Indian Vadai.
Rice wrapped in Grape Leaf. A Mediterranean food, rice is cooked wrapped with this imported leaf with lots of tart coming from tomatoes and lemon. The leaf is part of it and please do not remove it. Excellent as starters to get the appetite going.
Condiments with onions and cucumber.
Mix of tomato condiments. My main complaint. Where was the mint  leaves and also sauces!
Mouth-watering BBQ chicken, with lots of onions and herbs. You will ask for more.
The star was probably these lamb pieces. Succulent and its quality shined through. Well marinated with their spices and very good.
Date Juice. Longan-ish in taste and naturally sweet. A great Middle Eastern drink.
Wrapping up a slow leisurely evening with a cup of coffee done Arabian style.

Address: 43-45, Jalan Radin Anum, Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-90596237
Business Days and Hours: Open 7 days a week from 12 noon to 12 midnight.