Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Easy and Fast Pork Loin Roast - Homecooking Adventures

The meat eaters will find this dish delectable and easy to make. For a newbie trying it for the first time, I have some awesome and also stressful moments. Verdict: simple and quick roast for the lazy meat-loving folks.

You can buy these pork loin for roasting from any of those Anglo-phile supermarket. One will set us back RM50 minimum. Make sure the rind was scored. Pierce it a sharp awl if you want.

My son back from London for his holidays advise me that I will need sage, black pepper and salt. Rub generous amount of sage and black pepper on the meat side, Salt will be nice and I think the more the merrier but not to overdo it. I also did another thing which I learn from another recipe: pierced holes into the meat and pushed quite a few garlic cloves in. You can see it in the sliced pork below. Set aside for a few hours to dry in the fridge.

So I was ready for a great adventure. My son was there to supervise. He told me that 180 Celsius will be good enough and leave it there for half and hour. Thereafter bumped up the temperature by ten or twenty for 20 minutes. The last 10 minutes I got the temperature up to 220 Celsius. It was more for getting the rind crackling and crisp. If not leave it there for another 10 minutes but watch carefully not to let the rind become carbon. So I got it done and scrapped the carbon off for a nice western meal.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Unique and Tasty Thai Hotpot - Beef and everything

Northerners eat a lot of beef compare to the southern and central denizens. If you have a cravings for beef head north. For some the Thai hotpot is a version of the Vietnamese Pho and vice-versa depending which side they are in. Although putting an orange and an apple side by side there are still 2 common thread that holds these dishes together: beef and broth.

IMHO having traveled 80 times to Vietnam and having lived in Thailand for 2 years and making many trips up north the last 20+ years, both have their merits. Thai broth is darker, strong on beef, basil and coriander smell while Vietnamese love their soup lemongrass fragrance infused.

So here I was in Chiangmai visiting an old partner and our friendship has gone back 19 years. So over a hotpot meal will be the best for catching up. It's unhurried and good for talking.

So we had, raw beef, beef balls, beef brisket, tripe, tongue, lungs, tendons, liver, intestines and the male organ. All into the very traditional aluminum hotpot with a charcoal burning base channeling the heat up through a wide funnel with a large surface area heating up the soup quickly.
Thai Basil and Coriander herbs in a strong beefy broth
Can you identify the cow's innards? 
              Chili flakes and garlic mixed
Thai garlic deep-fried till brown and crunchy. Pint-sized but sealed within the bulb are its sharp and earthy aroma all too ready to explode in the mouth
Thai usual condiments - here the quartet plus one

Pangkor Super Fresh Squid Sotong

Nothing beats fresh seafood from Pangkor. Ask any seafood connoisseur and you will have hearty agreement, not dispute. OK OK I am exaggerating.

What do you do when you have fresh squid in your hands. And these few were chosen by an old friend who have lived in Pangkor for over 20 years and are regular buyers from the fishing boats that come in.

So I was asked how to make them edible. Beyond edible it had to be able to be bitten in and chewed on and then swallowed. So it must not be leathery and rubbery after cooking. Well a squid is a squid and not any manufactured items.

Racking up my memories, I did remembered on 2 occasions walking along the shores of Pattaya and Hua Hin in the evening, my family and I encountered hawkers with their makeshift charcoal grill and their prized possession, fresh squids in the flesh. You could almost see the sheen and the glow on their bodies, not the limpish and lacking in luster and sparkle types that tells me these are not so fresh squids.

So these ladies, would just laid the squids for just about a minute on the fire and its ready to eat. Hahaha... I am trying to recall and make time stand still! And viola we had some of the best yet simple seafood in Thailand.

My instruction was to blanched the squid for 2 minutes in boiling water as the squids were rather large. I thought that was the most important advice. It turned out edible not like rubber or leather. The smell and taste were preserved. With some great crunchy oily garlic and a simple peanut sauce we have a great New Year dish. Try it one day. The only caveat is - fresh squid.

Legendary Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles - Danau Desa, Old Klang Road

Happiness unrestrained after chance encounter with this old brand. Heard so much about it in my earlier food blogging days. I am a fan of this particular fare since the day my father introduced me to fish head noodles in Ipoh some 35+ years ago while I was working for him in one of his renovation projects. He is Cantonese with a healthy regards for food despite being working class.

I have tasted quite a few in the places I live and work and appreciate a good bowl of noodles. The best is at Lorong Yap Him under the big tree. Reputed to be on call to go Genting Highlands regularly to dish out his specialties for the high rollers earning 5 figures for a few days of work. The other is in Taman Teratai area in Setapak. Hope to share later.

Back to this old brand which I almost could not recognize as I thought of it having an old facade. It was quite modern and clean and occupied a spacious corner lot. However,  the name uttered too many times in the hallowed pages of the flogger stuck on my mind. A big bowl is RM10.50.

A happy man it made for the day. One minor complaint. It is so difficult to get the fish heads that shops nowadays resort to fillet as well. The soup was almost as full-bodied as I would like it. Everything was fine except the lack of the extra oomph. But then again I will have no qualms eating this a few times a month.
Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles
Jalan 1/109F, Taman Danau Desa
Kuala Lumpur 
Tel: 012-201 3148

Friday, February 24, 2017

Before Boarding Flight Nasi Kandar - Line Clear Penang International Airport

Line Clear Nasi Kandar is in Penang Airport. For you who can't make it to their Penang Road eatery, this one will do. At the arrivals, you can enjoy your meal quietly and without hassle.
The curries for my roti were like those I had 40 years ago. Also strong mustard oil smell which I like and always reminds me of good Indian food. Suggestion: try freshly made items like thosai.
The Sotong is done right tender and it gave when I bit in. None of those leathery and rubbery stuff.

The Black Pomfret was so fresh and cooked to perfection. The meat will make any Cantonese happy.

Enjoy the curries and the menu. Though a bit limited I do hope they will enjoy better business and expand on it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Garden View Restaurant's Fresh River Bounties - Bukit Tinggi, Pahang

It was one of those evening among friends. We talked about eating at Genting's Burger and Lobster. Then at a whim and on a fancy we decided for Bukit Tinggi. The lure of the river fishes and prawns were too great for my Singaporean friend. It has been a while for him. After 2 days of mediocre food the promised of a great gastronomical experience was too hard to resist. We left for the cooler climes of the hills. An hour and 15 minutes' drive added to our appetite.

Wow the steamed river prawns were like an lobster. A sufficient replacement for the lobster at Genting's Burger and Lobster. The garlic enhances the natural sweetness of the fresh flesh.

They have a extensive menu for river fish. Our 800gm Soon Hock was another 'wow'. Steaming it is a must. Any other way will not do justice and a waste of money. I dug the bulging cheek and savour the best portion from this river bounty and could not stop singing and thanking God for his goodness in his creation.

The other 2 dishes was the sotong appearing for a cameo part ans the customary vegetables in the humble river 'weed' in the form of the watercress to round up the meal.

Bon appetite!

Lot 19326 & 19327, Pesona Heights,, Kampung Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia

Monday, February 20, 2017

Restaurant New Wong Poh - Taman Bukit Mayang Emas

This is my third trip after moving over to Ara Damansara 5 months ago. The location is near Tropicana and Ara Damansara. Location-wise, they have a good site. Each man will have to do what he needs to do: find his own grub. Well the blogs and TripAdvisor are helpful but still you got to find your comfort zone. My interest is not just food itself but also find someplace where the cooking will not go wrong and I can bring guests at a moment's notice.

Their crabs qualify in the food category. As for the rest of the food it is good enough for me. But for the connoisseur may find it wanting. Anyhow, I have not got enough trips to say too much. As I have said each man got to find their own food and comfort zone. The service was average and the ambiance is a notch or two better than the coffee shop tai chow. I arrived at 6:25 an a Sunday evening and found myself sitting in the nob-AC sector. The much coveted AC area is packed. If crowd is a tell-tale sign of good food then they sure have the crowd.

The crabs have two categories. The normal ones and the super pricy. A crab will go upwards to RM100+. Check out the nippers. Its the size of a small child's hand!

36 & 38 Jalan Bukit Mayang 1/2, Taman Bukit Mayang Emas, Petaling Jaya
Tel: +60 3-7803 3527

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pin Xiang Restaurant - Aman Suria

The Tropicana Chinese restaurants' enclave certainly has its fill. These are run of mill eateries (in a good way) for the die-hards oldies. To set the record right, I have been in this restaurant twice. We are still experimenting and trying out and asking for recommendations. More to come when I have time to post. The first time was pretty pleasant. The second was with my son who is back from UK for his holidays. So I ordered something different. This Restaurant seems to be very well run. It has to be, as the weekend crowd is forbidding. Every nook and corner plus extensions is fully occupied.

I asked again for Char Siew/BBQ Pork but it was not my son's BBQ day. Go order it when you there. Call first. Its top. It is interesting that they have "sang cheong" with the usual partners in crime. Go far dried shrimps to accompany. Again that was from the previous visit and was not ordered as young people don't go for fallopian tubes!

So we had the sotong/squid, a crowd-pleaser. I may say, for a crowd of one! I need not worry about their standards otherwise they would have bungkus/pack up by now. The Lemon chicken is fine and a crowd-pleaser to the very western taste of the crowd of one. And finally Roast pork with Chives. What else can go close to a tradition dish?

Those who want more avantgarde stuff should go to the Oasis where I have eaten a few times. More on that later. Ohh... I have posted one, Kumar's Indian Restaurant.


Restaurant Pin Xiang

H 18G Jalan PJU 1/45, Aman Suria
Tel: +603 8945 8733 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tuck Kee Ipoh - Never Disappoints and a Loyal Friend

Landing a faithful friend is such a difficult task. So it will be also a restaurant where you have specials. You know they won't fail you from one generation to the other. Welcome to Tuck Kee! 

Free Range Chicken with accompanying ginger sauce to pork spare ribs of all flavours, Grouper fish to Cod fish whether whole or fillet, seafood pot and all kinds of vegetables. No play safe, just go ahead and order!

Go there for a special occasion. Please the older folks and make them smile, go to Tuck Kee. I know, I have been there many times with my family and friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Aceh Chinatown - Hakka Chinese Traditonal Brewed Coffee

The Hakka are a big contingent compared to other dialects. Head to the Chinese side of the wet market in Aceh town and experience the atmosphere. Interesting noodles and the coffee is very Aceh.

Aceh Style Apam Balik

Watch out for the segment where the lady uses raw salt to clean up the wok to that the next Apam will not stick to the surface.

Not a very healthy way of feeding the fire as the palm frond is quite smoky and too much of the fumes is bad for the lungs.

Also take a look at the more modern way using the gas stove.

Apam Balik and a pot of banana, coconut milk and other to make a gruel to mix with the Apam.

Aceh Food - Ayam Tangkap or Free Range

All my trips to Aceh is marked by a common denominator. Eating Ayam Tangkap or Free Range Chicken. The chicken is deep-fried with the leaves of Melinjo plant, curry plant, pandan and green chillis. The food is potent as the leaves and chillis bites back. Besides being potent it is also addictive. I was also served with an array of Padangnese food which i normally don't eat as it is really spicy. My tongue can handle but the aftermath is ugly the next morning!

Therafter I went over to Pidie Jaya to check out the destruction brought about by the 6th December 2016 earthquake. We started at 5:00am and arrived there at 9:30am after a cuppa or two of Acehnese coffee. It kicked hard to wake you up.