Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CH Restaurant

Tuck at a quite corner of Setapak is a good restaurant serving clientele, no doubt from the many townships nearby - Danau Kota, Wangsa Maju, Air Panas and the Industrial Park nearby that includes the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory. They have rooms where you can have a quite 2 tables or 5 tables. Fully equipped with LED screen and karaoke it's a good place for a family celebration or even a company function. We like it for the privacy the rooms afford us.

Been there twice and I would say the  food was good and affordable esp when there's a budget given. The food was delectable, portions were fair and ingredients were fresh. No complaints.

The kitchen made sure that the food lack nothing from the taste to the presentation. Observations are that restaurants are not doing well and some of the larger ones have closed down while others drew scanty crowd. So they is incentive to make sure they don't lose existing customers.

A typical selection of Chinese food arrayed below.

14, 16, 18, Jalan 9/23A, Medan Makmur Off Jalan Usahawan, Setapak

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thai Nyonya Restaurant, Ara Damansara

We heard about this place packing in the crowd for lunch. It is in a locality not exactly known for its food. We went there twice and it had been good. We also knew what to avoid.

Found my Tom Yam Nam Sai (Clear Soup Tom Yam). This hard to find dish was sour, spicy, packed with a big aromatic punch. My senses were tingling and heightened. It was really tasty. Exactly like what I used to get from my friend's kitchen in Chiangmai.

The Omelette with Prawns tasted as it should with fresh prawns leading to a simple yet elegant dish. The fragrance trapped inside this simple platter of the humble eggs stoked my appetite even more.

The blood cockles were fresh and lovely. So was the dip. If you have a stomach for 'blood' and bold go for it. Just ignore the fear factor associated with this food. A small complain - where are all the bigger cockles? Sold overseas for a better price?

What about the otak otak omelette? And the glass noddles? I had better ones in Thailand. The seabass was OK. The pandan chicken was overcooked. The sides were burned and hard.

A big plus factor here is the reasonable price. Oh, by the way, this place is staffed with Thai speakers.

L27, Block L, Taipan 2 Damansara, Jalan PJU 1A/1, Ara Damansara

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jarrod and Rawlins, Bukit Damansara

We have been visiting Damansara Heights or Bukit Damansara for quite a while esp Jarrod and Rawlins. My son loved this place. This location is oozing with money power. The houses around attest to this. It's a lovely and quaint place. There is a feel of tranquility to it with its many mature trees and also old and new joints giving it a sense of stability but not old. Go there with a spring g on your feet and enjoy some good vibes and food.

With the write up on the "10 world's Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit" in Lonely Planet and The Star picking it up this place will be buzzing and will it give Bangsar a run for its money? 

My 4 trips there were basically in the afternoon for lunch. Check out what happened after 5pm with its many watering holes there. Will the professionals go there for a pint and talk work or just while their time and stress of the day away?

The pork there was good, lardy and smoky. This is what we go for most of the time. It's well marinated, done with love and extremely tasty. The palate was very happy. The sandwich was rather food and completely fulfilled the above criteria for pork!

Address: 36, Medan Setia 2,Bukit Damansara

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tai Soon Curry House - Sungai Buloh

The "Curry House" in Tai Soon Curry House may be a misnomer. Why? The shop is anything but curry. Yes, they do have a famous curry dish - curry fish head. I have not asked for the curry despite my 2nd visit. They are more famous for their roast goose, free-range chicken and an array of Chinese dishes. The minimum order for the fowl is at least half a bird. And mind you they open only for 4 hours a day. Sunday is closed. 

The free range chicken has great texture and it tasted really good. Those having dentures be forewarned. The Paku Pakis cold dish vinaigrette style was a first. Tart and sweet with crunchy and fresh ferns. The spring rolls were unique as it is more meaty and they do not use the usual bean curd skin. 

434, Jalan Taiping, Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh, 40160 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Friday, October 6, 2017

Chakri Palace, KLCC

Entertainment can be tough. The choice of restaurant and getting there. The meeting place was conveniently set for KLCC as our guests decided to settle in and shop and see this iconic Twin Towers before going home.

Despite the rush, we managed to get together and were able to settle down in this quite and nice patch of real estate. Anyway, anything in KLCC should be premium.

These guys went for Thai. A good choice I would say and they have a set menu and we went for it after checking out each item. A lot of familiar items as we looked through. But good ones.

Our favourite Miang Kham came with most the ingredients. Missing was the nutmeg pieces but then it might not be Thai. It was pleasing with a mix of explosive and subtle flavours. Get the lime cubes, ginger and onions, put them into your mouth and chew it together with dried coconut flakes, peanuts, dried shrimps and betel leaves. A great start!
One can't miss the glass noodles in a Thai restaurant, right? Anyhow it's cooked or in salad form and whether savoury or sour it's a great dish of noodles, seafood and vege mix here.
Pandanus chicken was good meat and good comfort food that I have not had for a while.
My white Tom Yam. Without the oil and santan it became very appealing and appetising. The aroma of the herbs and spices shone.
The seabass looked very familiar to what we used to have but really couldn't compared to the Tai Chow steamed fishes.
A familiar and obligatory dish.
The soft shell crabs were average
Lot 417B, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chicken Varuval from Indobase - Homecooking

1 kg chicken breast
4 red onions
4 dry chilies deserved. Add more for a spicier Varuval
2 sprigs curry leaves. I prefer more leaves 
4 tsp chili powder 
4 tsp coriander powder 
4 tsp black pepper powder. Used quality peppers or Varuval will taste limp
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
2 tsp ginger garlic paste. I used 2 inches of finely chopped fresh ginger 
Peanut oil
Salt to taste

Heat oil in wok
Fry dry chili, cumin seeds and curry leaves till fragrant 
Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste and fried till onions is brown
Reduce to medium heat
Add chicken and the rest of the spices and fry till chicken is cooked

Adapted from Indobase Recipes 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Martha Stewart's Braised French Beans - Homecooking

Recipe modified from Martha Stewart

1/2kg French Beans, removed both ends
1/2 garlic, chopped up the cloves
1/2 cup chicken broth or 1 cube chicken
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh/dried thyme leaves
Black pepper, crushed
Salt to taste
Peanut oil
Lemon slices

Sautéed garlic in a work with peanut oil till brown
Add broth and mix well
Add French beans over medium heat and cover until well-cooked
Add thyme leaves, pepper and salt

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Botani Dim Sum, Bandar Cyber, Ipoh

We took 5 hours to get from KL to Ipoh on the 31st Aug. It was a very long weekend. Some have left on Wednesday afternoon taking half a day off the day before. It was the longest homeward journey I have braved from KL to Ipoh since 1982, the year I moved to KL for studies and have stayed ever since.

Upon arrival at 1pm and out of expediency and also to assuage the hunger gnawing away my good spirits, we stopped at this Dim Sum restaurant not far from my Ipoh home. I have left KL at 8am without breakfast thinking I will have brunch in 3 1/2 hours max.

Again as compared to my favourite Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon Dim Sum, this one will lose. But then to many what's the point in harping in some taste superiority compared to easy parking and close proximity to home. These facts will be accentuated further when we have older people eating with us.

The food is above average and I especially like the Yee Mai and Lau Sar Pau.
Never disappointed before with this Lau Sar Pau.
This was a pork paste wrapped in fish fillet and flooded with ginger sauce. An elaborate labour of love is needed to put this tray together. This should only be ordered at the beginning and should be eaten before any other Dim Sum as it can became a laborious chore when the stomach was half-full. It was precisely this that I have to give up not finishing this tray as I do not want to feel heavy-laden for the next 2-3 hours.
5A, Jalan Lapangan Siber 10, Bandar Cyber, Ipoh

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Red Tea Dim Sum, Sunshine Lip Sin

Penang folks have taken to Dim Sum in a big way. My in-laws have been bringing me to different ones in Sungai Nibong and Bukit Jambul areas for years. Usually they were crowded but not packed. Not until, I had my Dim Sum breakfast here. This place is massive. They have turned the wide walk way into a massive eating place with lots of tables occupying every nook and corner of this building.

If crowd is an indication of taste this location has to win hands down. We ordered an array of food more akin to the Cantonese from Ipoh. The Siew Mais, Har Kous and Siew Loong Paus with pork, prawns and fish paste. Well the ingredients were fresh and I can say that we have no issue with the food.

Personally, I found the food here above average esp with given the fresh prawns. My only observation which is quite common to many eateries everywhere is the increasing sweetness of our food. It's a recurring refrain from me. What has happened to the salt?

I was told that the Lau Sar Pau here is good. Have a go. Bring the family there if you crave for Dim Sum in Penang. I will stick to Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon in Ipoh. But then the are from Ipoh.

Sunshine Lip Sin, Gelugor, Penang

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Huat Chicken Restaurant, Ipoh

Cold food is usually for appetisers. Otherwise it is a culinary faux pas. But then at Huat cold is cool. The only cold food I have taken was cold tofu. We just take it out from a cool larder or refrigerator then sprinkled and drizzled some fried crunchy onion, garlic, soy sauce and cooked oil on the top of the plated tofu and voila it was ready to be eaten.

I could not overcome fully my hang-up for cold food, so decided to just go for a cold chicken. It felt cool to the mouth but not to the level as though just being brought out of the refrigerator. The full complement includes, cold chicken, cold noodles, cold bean sprouts, cold feet (chicken), cold tofu and others.

The cold chicken (pic below) was smooth and the taste was superb albeit the very salty soy based sauce being used. This may be the source of complain of someone writing in the social media who felt quite thisrty after eating. Go easy on the sauce even if you are eating plain rice.
The normal chicken tastex as good. Slippery cuts meant expert poaching. Again the sauce imparted the good taste with superior soy based sauce.
A good combination of a very good typical Ipoh tofu
Spare parts were treated well again with similar sauce and I am getting a bit bored on the reliance on this particular sauce
Good short, stubby, almost rootless bean sprouts. What more can I say. Again it is the sauce that enhanced the crunchy and earthy taste
Fuzhou fish balls. Go to say that they tried to increase their menu variety
If the chicken is the queen of the restaurant, this will be the queen. I find the flat rice noodles was not kept properly and it gave off a slight smell of rice products not properly treated. Some points deduction here.
Overall a good meal. No wonder they are on the ascendant and have generally good vibes form customers
4, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1C, Medan Ipoh Bistari, Ipoh

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Roast Pork - Swisang Restaurant, Ipoh

Come 4pm people will be standing in line waiting patiently to ordered their roast pork. This will be esp so during holidays. So persevere on as some may make big orders and want it to be chopped into bite-size pieces.

Or arrive a bit earlier. There is also a reason to be there early as the best morsels may be sold out for late arrivals, leaving only some less desirable cuts. So with the promise of good roasts, we arrived at 4 pm to a line but suffer not as we waited only for 15mins to appear at the front of the queue.

I have 3 preferences but not in any particular order. The loin rack with chop is one. I called it "one rib". It is the entire rib from skin down to rib bone. It includes the the pork rib chop. Generally it has more lean meat. The other is the pork belly where it is usually booked by roast pork and chicken shop.

And finally the pseudo pork belly. I am not sure what's it is called but it has 2 layers, a fat and a lean one. The lean meat is tender, aromatic and very tasty. The fat is thicker and some may find it not so palatable. But to me this is really a good cut. I got hold of a kilo at RM50.

13, Persiaran Wira Jaya Barat 38, Desa Perwira, Ipoh

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Relau 88 Mom Homemade Authentic Asam Laksa, Penang

Relau 88 is nestled inside a little oasis where plants are everywhere, literally from top to bottom. It takes away the urbanised edge that Penang is infamous for. Our nephew was our local guide. We went around in his comfy MPV and food has never been so reachable and easy to find without WAZE.

He offered to take us here saying that it's a local favourite as far as Asam Laksa is concerned. We expected a small bowl ala Penang-style. However, a reasonable big bowl of goodness came. Everything I wanted for a bowl of Asam Laksa were inside. Prominent were the Bunga Kantan. It was very aromatic. The prawn sauce was available at the table but was not that strong. I resisted adding more as it may change the make-up of my laksa. And the tart was bit overwhelming. Also the mackerel was boiled into bits which is normal here. I prefer chunky mackerel.

The Ice Kacang was somewhat a disappointment at least to my taste save for the nutmeg bits liberally sprinkled as toppings. Just too good. The lack of evaporated milk and the associated flavoured syrup made this dessert a little bland for my palate. Perhaps a stronger rose syrup will help. All in all its value or money and given the ambience, a good place to while away some time and relax to food and fellowship.

Relau 88 Mom Homemade Authentic Asam Laksa 
Persiaran Paya Terubong 2, Pulau Pinang