Friday, March 31, 2017

Chong Kok Kopitiam, Stasion Street Klang

This area is Klang's Old Gold Town. Right in front of the railway station and very close to the "Under the Bridge Bak Kut Teh". Old is Gold especially to those looking for food of yesteryears.

And I encourage the younger generations to ferret out these Old Gold from Old Towns in their own city's backyard. Besides learning history of the old city,  they will also discover the staple of their parents and grandparents.

Chong Kok did not disappoint. It's old and retained the past year's charm. As for history, look out for the walking historians eating and drinking in the midst of modern automation and equipment. If only you can coaxed a story out of them!

We had our coffee Hainanese style with toasted bread buns and slices. These were slathered with margarine and kaya. Well, a part of history was recovered as we ate and enjoyed the ambiance of the old gold.

Check out the craved lattices and old windows and doors. Hope this shop will carry on so that the stories of old that is retained in their walls will continue to reverberate to the subsequent generations.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Banana Leaf Indian Curry Rice - Sri Asoka Corner, Medan Selera Stadium, Ipoh Garden

I was searching for Banana Leaf Rice and was pointed to this sleepy hollow of a place near the Ipoh Stadium. Unpretentious, unassuming and single storey shops. That's how many of these eateries started. Some went on to become spectacular stars. Some remained like Asoka. 

My usual fare would be Mutton Curry or Chicken Varuwal and a piece of tenggiri. First, it was to assess the curry and second, on the deep frying as well as the freshness of their seafood. 

Well, I got my banana leaf, my curry and rice plus the sides. I was a happy man. But how's the taste and the freshness of the food. It's good enough for me. I enjoyed it thoroughly. But still my gold standard for fresh tenggiri would be Raju Restaurant in Section 5, PJ. As for curry, there is no standout due to inconsistencies. 
Lot 19, Medan Selera Stadium, Jalan Ghazali Jawi, Ipoh Garden, Malaysia

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

KFC - London Bridge

Getting enough protein is a challenge in the five European countries that I had been to. It's really costly to eat out. Unless one buy from the hypermarket and do the cooking which is impossible. Only doable if the stay is in hostel with kitchen or apartments.

So eat plenty during the free breakfast and go for lots of lots of greens and fruits before you venture out. This is important as you may be able to skip a costly lunch especially if you can packed some fruits and bananas into the bag.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nasi Ganja (Nasi Kandar), Kedai Kopi Yong Suan - Ipoh, Jalan Yang Kalsom

Nasi Kandar in a Chinese Coffee Shop! Merdeka-era and definitely hard to find this type of relationship of mutual dependency in the Malaysian new order.

Food here was great. I was here 4 times over a period of 2 years. No regrets. Perhaps one of the best Nasi Kandar I have eaten and also most reasonably priced.

If you can bear with the crowd and the sometimes inconsistencies in the food preparation and quality then you sit well in the Malaysian scheme of things. Otherwise, welcome to Malaysia.

Go for the chicken (thigh or drumstick) and the fish. The salted egg was always good. The yolk was moist and the white, smooth. It came with the package. 2 meats will set you back RM12 which is a steal.

There will always be a crowd. The best way is not to join the crowd unless you are packing home or hotel. Otherwise plunk yourself down at any table just as the diners leave or you have to share a table. The waiter will come and take your orders. Food arrives quickly as they understand the relationships between table turnover and profits.

Kedai Kopi Yong Suan
2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, Ipoh

Monday, March 27, 2017

Subways and above ground - London

We were touring the street art scene at Shoreditch and Brick Lane. While waiting for our guide we struck a conversation with a local British couple touring with us. They were much older and wiser. As fellow travelers in this life that we have, it was sobering when they told us their reason. 

They are taking time to discover their country after retiring as they missed so much of the above ground scenery as they spent a lot of time commuting and working in their offices. 

They told us that they had mastered the Underground by scurrying around them while having a career and family in London. Now retired and children away from the nest, they are re-discovering the aboveground beauty of London! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Doi Chang Coffee - Holiday Villa, Johor Baru

A blast from the past for me to be sitting enjoying a cuppa in Johor Baru. Can't help reminiscing the good of days where Thailand was my constant companion.

"Doi" means mountains and "chang", elephant in Thai. Out of this mountain, Arabica beans have made a name for itself in the coffee world. Used to be a place I will go 2-3 times a year in the early-90's. Beautiful tribal folks, a lot of times I'm their customs living in their mountainous land.

This glass of their signature Doi Chaang Coffee is highly recommended. Smooth, fragrant and very agreeable to my palate. No clashes and loud 'dings' in my head. Took a liking immediately.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nutritious, Healthy Japanese Sweet Potatoes - A Comparison of Eight Varieties

Sweet potatoes were the 'in' food for awhile. The Japanese Purple Skin and Yellow Flesh Satsuma was very popular and its "children" are planted throughout Southeast Asia as a cash crop. It's low-carb and has lots of health benefits. Do a Google search and be surprised.

This tuber is my favourite and I enjoyed eating them whenever I can get my hands on them. Read about this famous sweet potato from Cilembu from my previous post. If you need inspiration on its efficacy, eating, baking or cooking it just do another Google. It has a large following even among the rich and famous.

I was inspired to put these sweet potatoes grown locally and overseas to the test recently after a trip to Pati, Central Java where the soil is particularly suitable for tubers. I will be comparing its prices, taste, smell and texture. During my childhood days each potato is a treat. The choices available to us are testimony of KL urbanites rising affluence. In Village Grocer alone I could find 8 different varieties for sale from RM5 to RM43.

New Zealand Organic Yellow Flesh at RM43/kg. Superior taste sweet, fragrance vanilla-like and smooth texture. The best but extremely expensive.
Red Skin Japanese Satsuma imported and at RM27/kg. Flesh was yellow, sweet and fragrant though quality lower than the NZ one. Need to steamed for up to 50 minutes to soften. Indonesian Cilembu Yellow Skin and Yellow flesh was sweet and texture was smooth. Good quality.  Sold at RM12/kg
Another Satsuma Japanese imported Red Skin and Yellow Flesh at RM20/kg. Good quality. Steaming it till soft took at least 45 minutes.
 Japanese imported. Steamed for food!
Australian Orange Skin and Orange Flesh. Imported at RM19/kg.  Very quick to soften when steamed. Taste and texture inferior to that of Japanese imported.
 Steamed organic NZ and Australian.
Local Organic at RM16/kg. Open baking. Not recommended as it was powdery. In future will wrap in aluminum foil to retain moisture.

 Imported Indonesian Cilembu at RM12/kg. Sweet. Syrup oozed out.
Local purple at RM7/kg. A bit dry in the flesh even with steaming.
Japanese variety grown in Vietnam. Imported to Malaysia. Sold at RM6/kg
Local Yellow Skin with White Flesh. Not to my liking.
Indonesian grown Japanese variety. Purple Skin and Yellow Flesh. Obviously a notch or two below NZ. Almost matched Japanese imported ones in taste, fragrance and texture. It's only RM1/kg in Pati, Java Tengah where the best tubers are.

Travel Bites @ Duomo Di Milano (Duomo Cathedral) and environs

The iconic cathedral has no 'rival'. The spacious square and the subway connectivity brought train loads of locals and foreigners. To say that this is the focus of tourists in Milan will be an understatement.

The only place that is equally attractive may be the church that has the Last Supper wall painting. However, they don't have strong supportive tourists' services and shopping.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sura Korean Restaurant - Taman Sunway Batu Caves

The proprietor is very brave to open their Korean restaurant in Batu Caves. It is in the midst of a less sophisticated area. Who will give them a chance to thrive? I hope more will look at the cheaper rental and lesser competition to come over and set up store. Like it a not, they have been here for more than 2 years.

The space is welcoming and has a large hall. It's warm ambiance got us settled down quickly. The workers were fast and the grill beef was prepared quickly. We enjoyed the food. The Banchans were free and we topped up as we like. We ordered three rounds of beef. The tender beef with full-bodied beefy taste filled up our hungry stomach with some solid protein!

The soup was a staple for my friend and it's tasty and may have been double boiled for a long time as the chicken meat was falling off the bones. The meat was almost tasteless as the essence would have gone into the broth. The vermicelli and the pancake answered the call for Carbo and there we were after an hour + of good food we were ready to roll again.

Lot no.3- 69100, 1, Jalan SM 1/4, Taman Sunway Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bakso Komplit Nyamleng - Semarang Domestic Airport Departure

If you are at Semarang domestic airport departure lounge do try out this Indonesian cafe. Appetizing presentation and good food. The bakso came in the forms of balls, with tofu and wanton skin. The taste was much better than a lot of shops that I have eaten in. 

In beef balls and paste, I would watch out for texture. It should be rough and somewhat lumpy. This gave body to the paste and somehow I would feel satisfied. 

The noodles came twirled in balls like a embroidery thread balls. So it came bite size and easy to handle for those not so accomplished in the use of chopsticks. The soup was good and completed the meal. 

To complete the meal have a book in hand and a cup of local Tubruk coffee. It will take foreigners to get use to it as the cuppa includes coffee debris.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grilled Mackerel Fillet - Homecooking Adventures

Simple meal with mackerel fillet. Pinches of french sea salt, generous crushed black pepper, sage, a lemon and 12mins at 210°C. Realized that some good quality salt could enhanced the taste of fish fillet dramatically. Fillet reached flaky state. That's how I like it for tuna and mackerel fishes. Quite happy with it as the taste is good.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rossopomodoro - Malpensa Aeroporto, Milan

Well, we have eaten twice in this wonderful Italian Pizza place. Any pizza in Italy should taste good? Wrong, it's really good. Otherwise, it cannot compete with the many pizzas being offered in the home of pizza. Likewise in Malaysia, the Nasi lemak has to have some distinctiveness I'm order to survive.

According to our friend it originated from Naples. You can read the story here. They should compete with Pizza Hut and Domino's here. With 70 restaurants in Italy and more in Europe and US and Japan, I do hope it will make its way into KL soon.   It certainly has the edge in taste and quality of ingredients. I can say they tasted fresh all the way from the dough, toppings and herbs that garnished it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Unique Seafood Subang - Citta Mall Ara Damansara

This is the second outing for me in this seafood restaurant known for their live seafood. So I got to open my eyes when ordering. The price tag is attached to the aquarium not the menu. 

The food dished out is certainly a cut above in taste. So is the level of service, attentive till almost intrusive. It can be refined though as the Indonesian waitress spilt tea and sauce on the table. I had my plates were changed 5 times. Food presentation was careful and neat. 

So what was the cost. Surprisingly OK. The only thing live was the fresh water prawns. And it costs us RM30+. We thought we were getting the larger ones but did not. Likely no stock. The prawns were laid on a bed of glass noodles with minced garlic as toppings. The noodles were a bit overcooked otherwise it's a fine meal. The garlic was surprisingly without the bitter aftertaste especially when it is so generously set on top. 

The Kai Lan was interest, the leaves were cut into straps and deep-fried. There were a bit of bitter taste. Nothing unusual with this vegetable. Perhaps the chef can think of a way to cut that off it would be excellent. 

Last but not least was the calamari in salted egg yolk. Well this is good. The coatinv was crisp outside and moist and grainy inside. Thumbs up. 

G-39 – G42A, Ground Floor, CITTA Mall, Jalan PJU 1a/48, Pju 1a, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Vietnamese Desserts Benh Thanh Market, Saigon

The multi-colored hues intermingling in a tall transparent glass stands so pretty as well as handsome. Who can resist such attractive desserts.

Our ABC and Cendol should do the same. The bowl's deep and wide cavity do the good desserts in. It can be much more attractive. The only way to get the tall glass effect is to pile the shaved ice higher. It softened quickly and the heap come down in a mess losing its color quickly as the ingredients and liquids coalesce together.

There were nuts, fruits, grains and cereals. Some sweetened, others there for richness in texture while others for the crunch and also bite. Every trip to Saigon is celebrated with one of these sinful cool tall glass.
Ben Thanh Market. Go for the corner shop with the most customers ☺

Saturday, March 18, 2017

SwiSang Roast Pork - Desa Perwira, Ipoh

If ever I am in Ipoh before 4pm, I will make a beeline to this coffee shop in Taman Ipoh Jaya. Succulent cuts of roast pork await the patient. There will be a queue formed by then and also those regulars already seated patiently hoping to see their plate of roast will be next to be cut and chopped.

I guess membership has its privileges. They made eye contact and with a nod and get seated and ordered their favorite coffee.

To get to the 3 layer belly one got to order big. A rib will get you there. Otherwise you the cuttings will be the a cut (pun here) below.

The roast pork here is off the oven so you get crispy rind and meat so tender and juicy.

There is another store that sells Chicken Noodles. If you are so inclined and hungry go for it. The broth is very good and the pulled chicken and noodles tasted so delicious in it.

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pindang Patin (Patin In Sweet Sour Soup) - Palembang Sumatra

The bounties of the land when met with ingenious minds and hungry stomachs, will define the cuisine of the locale. This is the same with Palembang. Blessed with rivers big and wide the much beloved river patin was cooked in more ways than one. One of them is the "Pindang". That's the first meal I got on arrival.

Pindang is prepared from a full spectrum of local herbs and spices. Galanggal, turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, onions, asam and the list goes on. As with its name the predominant taste is the tartness with some sweetness that takes the edge off.

The fresh fish responded well in the soup absorbing the flavor. Firm fresh water fish flesh without the saltiness combined well with the tart from the asam, pineapple and tomato slightly mitigated with some sugar. How do I describe it? Perhaps by feel not by taste: steaming white rice with soy sauce and fried garlic in hot oil? Got that feeling? Out of the world.