Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Delectable Home Kitchen - Bandar Sri Damansara

          Pork ribs with thick sauce - My favourite but need to have lots of plain rice to go with it.

Home Kitchen is a replacement for Kopicana and a timely as their menu was not really a favourite with the folks in BSD. However, they have a things going but was not enough. All good things must come to an end. Now we have another 'tai chow' in our locality and one that has air-con. There is finally stiffer competition as the food here is rated good and the price is reasonable. There is an option for better food and folks here do not need to make a food run to Manjalara, 1Utama or Curve.

All said I am happy with the food here though it is a tad salty and have lots of thick sauces and marinates. So be prepared so strong taste. Another interesting feature is that there are lots of woks and claypots that are used for food presentation. It is also practical in that it comes with a candle to heat it and keep the food piping hot.
             Kampung Chicken - well presented and taste was average. Good for a big group.
Steamed Tilapia with Black Bean. another of their specialty salty and spicy dish that go so well  with a plain tilapia.
Finally, Kangkung with garlic so well presented and also kept piping hot with the candle. A favourite for me if i need a good 'tai chow' in my backyard Bandar Sri Damansara.

Address: 11G, Jalan Tanjung SD 13/1 (a few doors from Maybank)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fat Boy Burgers - Publika, Solaris Dutamas

So we went discovering Publika and looked for some western pork dishes. For pork, I wanted something well cooked yet retained its moistness. The 'tai chow' pork dishes are well known but we were looking for westerns and decided on burgers. Lately, there is certainly a proliferation of western eateries offering pork. Its a niche area but there is enough purchasing power when it is located in the right area. I do hope that this happy state of affairs will continue in commercial areas.


The burgers in Fat Boy had patties made from fairly well grounded meat. It was not as juicy as I expected. However, the patties did not breakdown easily.  I had juicy ones before but they were also a lot more sauces slathered on it while it was being prepared. So my burger has no messy sauces.

I couldn't have the double patties Fat Basterd. Mine is the single Wimpy and built up from my own choice of ingredients. I chose guacamole, capsicum and jalapeno. What I like most for these Fat Boys were the hearty infusion of charcoal smoke. It's smoky alright. Like the Chinese 'wok hei' these patties had the 'thaan hei' (charcoal breath).


 PUBLKA Spacious and bright with natural light.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pisang Molen (Banana Fritters) - Bandung, Indonesia

All nationalities/localities have their signature dessert. For our part of the world banana fritter is a definite winner. We have the usual form here in Malaysia. It can get pretty boring after some time. I personally cannot recall a stall that offers an 'addictive' version i.e. I have to go back to it again and again.
For all the detractors who have mentioned the health aspects of it bear in mind that people eat all the time. Plus good food attacts the pull factors draw them in like a dragnet. As for banana fritters I measure it by the crispy, not lumpy melt in your mouth fragrant dough. Sometimes the filling may not matter if the dough is bad. So in Malaysia we have many different types of dough being used from the wheat flour to others made from different cereals and the combination of such.

Once the dough's hurdle is cleared lets talk about the fillings. The type of banana being used is obvious. It must be very sweet and after frying is reduced to a nice soft consistency.

Well the Gandasari Pisang Molen in Bandung is reputed to be the best. Always crowded and never short of folks buying boxes of these heavenly desserts. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nostalgic Madras Lane Petaling Street Curry Noodles and Yong Tau Foo

The Madras Lane foodstalls have been around for ages but have not lost its lustre albeit some of it some may venture. It still enjoys a steady stream of customers some intentional while others spur of the moment decisions. You can enter from the Pak Peng Building located right in the middle of the venerable Petaling Street.
But nowadays not many visit Petaling Street unless they have guests that wanted to get knock-offs, or you go there out of sentimentalism or nostalgia. It is a place I rather not go due to the heat and crowd. It is the changing in the face of time. Referring to the street itself, alot of the stalls are manned by foreigners which is unthinkable since this is Chinatown. But really there is nothing Chinese about it except for its Chinesey arches on both ends and the many local Chinese that visits it out of habit or live around the area.
The curry noodles has all the right ingredients as evident by the pictures. It looks good in colour and arrabgement but falls short on taste. It's above average but its has fallen short as I heard that it was very good i.e. in times past.
But the YTF is something else. The winner here. The fish paste was solid, taste as it should and obviously has a lot of good fish in it. The vegetables used as a carrier for the fish paste was fresh and I did enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Classic Bottle-Rolled Pan Mee - Lrg Haji Taib 5

The old lady was working hard on her dough. She rolled hard for her money. Like the good old days in the New Villages. Soup base was from anchovies without the MSG. The soup was thick and cloudy with lots of suspended particles; mostly from flour and bits and pieces of dough.

By rolling and swinging and then folding it and then flattening it again requires labour of love honed by years of discipline and practice. I was in awe as I watched her swinging the dough in the air like the roti chanai man. She was nice to me and I thought for a moment, performing for the camera! Why not when you have a good thing going! Then the piece of flattened dough was torn into bite size. And viola, we have a classic noodles like those made by mom for those days where you wanted a change from the staple diet of rice and have something from wheat instead.

The Pan Mee in my bowl was of irregular size, shape and thickness. What a departure from those untouched by hands. There were even some knotty pieces that really enhanced my enjoyment. Remember those moments when hunger strikes hard and all you want is to have a carbo fix? It tasted so good and I was filled with contentment.

 Fold it and roll it again and again.

Old school Pan Mee with cloudy soup! I actually detested those machine made dough and finished with the portable noodle maker that looks so clean, clinical and sterile.

Thick soup with lots of suspended goodness. Unplugged and straight from the village kitchen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


A quick day trip to Singapore gave me another chance to go to McCafe for a quick early breakfast. Quick without the lines but quality enough to arouse me from my stupor that comes with getting up early to catch the first flight of the day. It's not only refreshing but also value for money. Where else can breakfast be had with a cup of quality coffee for under SGD6? McCafe has quite an incredible beverage menu from the hot, cold, frappe and juices/smoothies.

I got for myself a promo morning set: coffee and a sandwich. The aroma from my coffee and the pleasant sight of my sandwich really set the tone for the day. I was made ready. It was a moment of unbridled joy before the long day of meetings!

I am always impressed by the quality that comes with the McDonald franchise. A great business format that ensures great beverage and food in every country it operates from. Every McDonald taste the same and of the same high quaility in the countries that I have travelled to and eaten from.

So why McCafe is not in KL makes no sense. Why that long in introducing a winner? It generates 15% more revenue compare to the regular McDonald outlet. It draws customers from other more expensive coffee outlets. I believe it will compete well against more expensive brands like PappaRich and beyond.

Great wake-up beverage. The Cappuccino was really rich and aromatic.
 Pesto chicken, fajita chicken strips, cheese and pesto sauce with a zing. Warm and filling.
 Triple Decker, come alive with the great smell and taste of wholemeal bread with cheddar cheese and turkey ham.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kam Wan Ipoh Garden Food Court

I finally get to eat at a food court in Ipoh. Food court is a 20+ years phenomenon when hawkers were hounded of the streets like stray dogs. So unlike Kuala Lumpur, hawkers are systematized and organized. It is an off the grid thing especially for those so use to hawkers' colony sprouting almost overnight along road shoulders. Ipohan will remember Tong Sui Kai put together in site near Sam Tet School. In Penang and Kuala Lumpur food court is a government (less so) and a private sector initiative. Huge hangar like structure being put up and stalls rented out to hawkers,

Kam Wan is next to Woolley Food City. It is like a longhouse with frontage for each stalls to ply their trade. There was plenty of choices. Take your pick. Traditional Ipoh food plus more modern ones that the traditionalist will eschew like me. I try to pick ass many Ipoh-style food as possible. The only food out of the whack were some deep-fried mantis shrimp.It was 8:30pm on Wednesday but surprisingly the place is just a third occupied unlike in times past. Signs of time and also the competition from choices elsewhere. Part of the issue may the the food as I found some of it were very ordinary.

Brown Squid with Kangkung with Peanut sauce. This is by far the best dish of the night. The sauce was excellent and brought life to the bland squid and kangkung. The attraction is usually the sauce and the chewy,, firm and dense texture of the squid mixed with the sauce.

Sengkuang/Jicama Roll whu\ich was my childhood favourite. Lack the oomph and fragrance from being served immediately after deep-frying. It is like the sweet potato tong sui without the pandan infused fragrance in the soup. Average dish but good to renew acquaintance with a favourite.

 I was told these were Parang Fish Balls. Average in texture and taste also.

Duck Leg Wrap was the best literal translation from Cantonese into English at least for me. These can be found mostly in mobile steamboat trucks in Kuala Lumpur. I don't usually eat them there eventhough available as they are already cooked and ready to eat but the cruncher is that these have been exposed to the elements and what nots and one is not supposed to dipped it into the boiling pot of water to sort of to sterilise plus cook it. Inside was mostly char siew. Nice texture, felt solid to taste and chew. Kind of enjoyed it after years of going without it.

Fresh Lala in Savoury Sauce. The sauce was average. I know the Ipohans would disagree as my taste bud is more KL and prefer stronger mix of tastes, smells and flavours. I do like bigger ones and also more succulent meat. Not so easy to get those so got to make do with another palatable dish for the not so choosy.

Mantis shrimp deep-fried in Batter. This stalls have lots of these mantis meat ready and was already dipping them into batter and deep-frying it a cauldron of hot oil in a big wok. The batter was has nice fragrance. Great stuff and this dish can be addictive. Like an expensive plate of chips/crisps of a meaty kind rather than from potatoes or cereals. Recommended.

Footnote: There are to try, give it go as it won't burn a hole in the pocket.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prawn Noodles - San Peng Flats Kuala Lumpur

Simple delights dished by the second generation. The food has stood the test of time and keeping the food flag flying is the younger set. Needless to say I am impressed that these young fellows have decided to take-over their family's business.

There must be something special when a 50-something friend pointed out to me that she used to once upon a time treat this place as her regular haunt. I was told the Lam Mee here is also excellent. The food here is sans MSG which is a big yes yes for 2 reasons. Healthy and no thirst. I came away slurping clean the bowl of its reddish liquid goodness, with that good umami feeling and without immediatley craving for a coke to take away the dry and thirst feeling.

2 generations worth of simple ritualistic day in day out commitment to a good bowl of Har Mein.
A plate of another simple dish of Poached White Chicken. Delightful esp. with dashes of soy sauce.

The Prawn Mein shed.

Directions:  From Jln Maharajalela head  towards Jln Loke Yew, watch out for Tsun Jin school on your left, turn left adter passing the school, short distance TM building find parking somewhere. Next to a Hindu temple.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jessica Johnson - Bandar Sri Damansara

I have the eaten duck here a few times and in 2 different styles. Still one of my favourites. 
Jessica Johnson is the brainchild of a retired media practitioner who is also a trained psychologist. The food there is a mixed Asian, Balinese and western dishes. But true to the name it is unpreteniously western in its setup. I have blog on this last year. This is an update.

The food there is as good as it should be. With an inspirational figure and a small kitchen crew what else can come close to a home kitchen that can whip up a good meal. Many families just drop in for a good meal and conversation. The surrroundings promote conversation as the environment has got the time to stand still.
The scones were lovely. Solid, dense and moist ala Malaysian style. It was a wonderful dessert esp. with a piece of butter to accompany it. The cherry tomato gave it some tang and the cheese made it rich. Can't get enough of it. Babeinthecitykl will find these lovely (another variety - walnut and apple). Thelast she went there, she ate scones that were dry. I did asked the owner. He has since stuck to the moist version.
Another nice piece for desserts (?) was the lasagna. The lasagna noodle was soft yet firm, holding this piece together. The mediterranean approach shined through. Meaty, tangy, filling ....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yong Tau Foo - Jalan Peel, Cheras

Another day, just another meal? Not so in Malaysia. even the humble Hakka YTF can be elevated to great heights in the hawker culinary scene. I have eaten from the adjacent Wah Kiow. The main difference may not be the food but in their delivery system. Wah Kiow take your orders, while this one (no name) is self-service. You take what's availablke on the tray. The food pipe-line is a well-oiled part of the food-chain, dumping loads of the different types YTF on the trays where hungry vulktures aka customers are waiting.

 Nothing like the Hakka YTF. Loads of good fresh fish. a bit off salted fish.... Except for the oil used, it is essentially healthy food. I can eat itr almost everyday, like staple food.
 Fresh white tofu is not easy to source, except in Ipoh. It should be super soft, yet firm. Taste and smell with loads of bean for the tongue and nostrils. The attarction will be the fish paste with some 'mui heong' salted fish.
 Fresh bean curd sheets wrapping the fish paste and then deep-fried for the crunchy feel. Customers' favourite and best-seller most of the time at any YTF stalls.
 Rounding it up with Assam kembong Fish and some vinegared trotters are quite common nowadays in YTF stalls. Both will be good for the stalls as it acts as an appetiser as well as removing the stuffed-to-full feeling. Enjoyed both of it!

Address: Next to the Cheras Distict Police Station (Re-building in Progress)