Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tlogowungu, Central Java (Common Folk's Dishes)

A tightly knitted local Javanese community received us with warmth. A place with lots of sugar canes, tapioca and tubers. There is a saying in Java that you can throw a seed anywhere and you will get a healthy plant. So plants that yields grains, tubers, fruits, vegetables and juices will easily feed a family or a community.

Local pan-fried small fish from the sea. It was rather meaty and I suppose nutritious. Tasty and sweet what more can you ask for in a common folk staple protein.
These mud-crabs were something. They were boiled in pepper soup! 'Wow' was my exclamation. These legless crabs have their limbs detached. I thought it because they couldn't be eaten so lopped it off rather than have them entangling one another.
Local produce galore. The local Japanese sweet potoes are really good. Moist, soft and super sweet.
Tapioca steeped in sweet syrup. A great dessert for the kids and adults alike.
Buah (Fruit) Salak reputably grows best in Central Jawa

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kings Green Hotel Malacca - Jia Restaurant

We went for food tasting and perhaps to put a conference in this hotel later part of the year. A neat and spacious venue. The hotel is rather uncomplicated and organised in straight lines. This will be good for those who are young and elderly.

Anyhow, we were treated to a free lunch and came off impressed with the Chinese Thai restaurant and the kitchen crew. I will not said too much but will only venture to say the food is good for hotel standard and we enjoyed the meal.

Fresh Steamed Sea Bass. Noticed the Thai influenced lime slices
The Har Lok Shrimps dished out was not a everyday or everytime serving. It was good though the picture might not be that good a shot!
The ubiquitous Lemon Chicken. The more common, the more difficult it is to satisfy the customer.

Jalan Tun Perak, Kampung Enam, Melaka

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aberdeen Angus Steak House, Leicester Square, London

The service is immaculate. The food is satisfying, nicely presented and passed the taste test. In the midst of tourist don' expect the prices to be cheap. Steaks from 18 quids.

Check this out. We were there in another branch in 2013.

And a well-done Rib-Eye
Well, a rather bloody 'rare' T-bone
Pork BBQ Ribs

Goat Cheese Salad
50 Leicester Square, London

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mekong Homecooking - Fish sauce accent

Some Mekong lunch I had last month and over 2 afternoons. It was good with lots of porky, vegetables and fruits in season. Meat are usually marinated deep in fish sauce. This sauce is very strong in smells and taste. For a first-timer, the reaction to the smell and taste will be something akin to the well-worn adage, "Smell like sewage and taste like ice-cream".

Fish sauced pork chop in tomato slices and paste topped with crushed black pepper. It was heavenly. Rich tapestry of taste and good combination for texture. The tough meat with the soft tomatoes and crunchy cucumber!
Another twist for the local cuisine. Rich in animal husbandry. Sausage with vegetables, An unfamiliar combination but taste good!
Sour soup tilapia. Cantonese swooned with their soup staple. Yes, every meal does have a soup! And they are good at it too!! In Mekong you get the best fishes even if it is farmed.
Meal not complete without chicken! Another well marinated and sauced. My palate is over-stimulated.
Common vegetables with pork. Very Cantonese or Chinese. Well anywhere they are from almost the same area.
Hahaha.. one of my favourite soup. Bitter gourd. Didn't I say, every meal will have a soup!
Watermelon - Good and consistent quality and with thin rind

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wrap and Roll Vietnamese

Vietnamese food when it comes to rolling or wrapping up the food always entails some form of developing comradeship. Be kind to your stomach and also friends by pausing and conversing. Always lots of raw leaves and herbs to accompany. There is nothing boring about this style of Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, Wrap and Roll has 40 types pre-rolls and self-rolls in the menu together with 20 dipping! How to get weary with such varieties! Not to mention that variety is a spice of life.

Surprise, surprise it is already in 4 locations in Singapore. I am sure with a steady and strong business format it will do well. Hope it will arrive in KL soon as they menu is unique ans special compared to other Vietnamese restaurants represented.

Bap Bo Cuon Rau Rung (Beef Shank and vegetables roll, yes you got to start rolling)
Hue Noodles (Spicy Central Noodles in Beef Broth). Wish it is stronger in taste and spicier. Usually the broth has strong lemongrass accents
Cha Gio  (Ubiquitous Vietnamese rolls)
L5 - 05, Tầng 5, Saigon Centre, 65 Lê Lợi, P. Bến Nghé, Quận 1, TP. HCM
Nhà hàng -Việt Nam
40.000đ - 165.000đ

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Peninsula Chinese Cuisine, Evolve Mall

There is something about this Cantonese cuisine... and at 40% off. It's fine dining all right. The restaurant is posh and expansive. I enjoyed the ambience and the service was attentive. In a short period I have been there 3 times.

This joint is here to stay I hope. The site is within Evolve Mall and up and coming lifestyle shopping centre smack in the Ara Damansara LRT station. Business has yet to pick up as residents who is supposed to patronise, is still not very thick as yet. Perhaps they are taking their time to move in.

The food is not the best I have eaten but good enough with solid ingredients. Good Har Kau means good prawns. They so have good Siew Mai and Yee Mai. The pork and the fish paste is good too. I am a happy camper.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nasi Kandar Pekan Lama, Ipoh (Near Kinta Heights Flats)

In the days of yore only the brave Chinese will eat cross-culturally due to non-compatibility of taste and reaction to it internally. There is the kind of provincialism that took time and globalisation to break down. Of course with learning and travel the walls have tumbled. And we can enjoy the food that we like as stomach becomes international.

This is an iconic favourite of Ipohans despite the walls. I had squid, fish roe and chicken. This shop has been around since I was a very young man and perhaps even longer. The taste is rather different from our KL's Mamak. The aroma is stronger and taste perhaps lighter. Maybe more savoury. That's how I like it.

So try it with your favourite Kopitiam food round the corner at Nam Heong and Sin Yoon Loong. With today's newer generations they can stomach all kinds of food and I am sure they will enjoy a good lunch follow by Kopitiam or vice-versa.

Looks for this tall Kinta Heights Flats, the Nasi Kandar is just next to it. It was one of the very few developed by the government solely for rental for the poorer segment to of Ipohans

125, Jalan Bijih Timah, Ipoh

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Musang King - Chen Brothers, Kepong Baru

We had a good session at Chen Brothers Durian Stall in Kepong. The fruits were fantastic and shall I say expensive. The best Musang King was at RM82 a kilo and the high elevation and old tree ex-King D24 was at RM35 per kilo. They have RM50 range for Musang King as well as RM25.00 for D24 but we decided to go for broke. After all it is a seasonal thing.

If you like bitter ask for it and you will get it. So this Musang King even for its superlative taste and smell and at almost top quality was scant consolation for the premium price as I have eaten better in Singapore. The D24 was not that worth it as the seeds were large. They were great and taste good but as I have said for the Musang King, I have eaten better D24 at Bukit Tinggi.

My take on this would be go for Musang despite the cost as the seeds is small and thin so you have lots of meat to mull and suck over compared to D24.

Pictorial guide to Musang King and D24 for May 17 season.
Bitter Musang King
D24, ex-King

Jalan Mergastua (Kepong Baru)
Tel: 019-393 6877 (Chong)
Tine: 1pm till late night

Or just check with WAZE, took right to the spot without any hassle! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuu Dok Ko 1488, Taman Samudera Gombak

Kelate folks have been quietly enjoying the food here until Malay Mail broke the story.

Laksam was at its best. Soft as silk rice and flour rolls with gravy soup replete with fish bits and bold flavours. It's savoury, spicy and sour. 100m away from Giant
Vegetables were good esp those who love their varieties of sambal and chili sauces. The beef was dud however as it's too tough to be eaten. Eventually I left it on the plate, hardly eaten
The breakfast was over by 10

Nasi Campur. It nice of them to come out with at least 4-5 types of fish to cater to  each palate

1488 Jalan Samudera Utara 2, Taman SamuderaGombak

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Caramelised Pork Belly - Homecook

Freestyling in the kitchen is one of my favourite pastime. Just something simple. Sauces, herbs and spices by feel. Lazy evening with no time pressures. Surprisingly it can strangely therapeutic.
In order to do it successfully for the learner, there is a need to be ready to try and fail and then learn from it. Keep asking these questions, "How to do it better and tastier?"

So our mouth and mind work together. One to taste the experiment and then the other to keep the experiences in the recesses of our head. These experiences will be used to compare and contrast the various colours, tastes and smellṣ as more cooking experiments are conducted.  We can only get better!

1) Belly Pork cut into 1 x 3 cm
2) Garlic (try some ginger)
3) Salt (you can try soy sauce)
4) Honey
5) Garlic up to 2 to 3 pinches
5) No oil
6) No marinating meeded
7) Cooking time about 20 mins. I like my pork to be chewy.

1) Put the pork into hot pan and allow the lard to melt.
2) As usual cut the few cloves of garlic into slices and drop it in once the oil appears.
3) Add 2 pinches of crushed black pepper.
4) Add 2 to 3 pinches of salt.
5) Then mid way add 2 to 3 teaspoon of good quality Capilano honey.
6) Stir occasionally till cooked or about 20minutes.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hủl Tiếu Nam Vang Liến Húa

Hu Tiu Nam Vang (Cambodian thin rice noodles) with large fresh shrimps, pork slices and pig's spare parts. It's the Malaysian pork noodles Cambodian-style. What's extra were fresh shrimps and quail egg.

It's been more than 10 years since I enjoyed this. There soup was really tasty with lots of minced pork in the soup. Generally Vietnamese love their broth and pig's bones are boiled for hours to extract their sweetness so that soup will always packed a few punches.

The shop do have some Dim Sum. There are at least 1 million Chinese in Vietnam despite the many who became the boat people escaping persecution as well as poverty after the 1975 fall of Saigon.
My second round a few months later 

381 Võ Văn Tần, 5, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Tel: +84 8 3832 6078
Open 4am–12am