Saturday, July 29, 2017

Northam Food Cafe by the sea - Penang

The sea is the draw for this quaint and spacious eatery. The wind and the ships add to the scenery. These bring in the crowd. Then the food array is fantastic. It's quite very international. Also the tourists have got wing of it. Go early if possible. The parking is good and the coast is clear literally of crowds. But then as we at they were coming in.

Thanks kedondong juice was fantastic and refreshing. No, I did not take shot. Go for a small one. Medium is for sharing. We food base was Vietnamese and we supplemented it with satay and deep-fried tofu.

We can see that there are quite a sprinkling of authentic Vietnamese food here in Penang as more of the ladies are married to Penangites. Some are importing Vietnamese fresh food ingredients and processed food and drinks direct from Vietnam.
 Deep-fried Vietnamese Rolls. As good as those in Vietnam
 Fresh Vietnamese Rolls with Rice Paper and Shrimps. Fantastic taste and as refreshing as any salad.  
We round up our meal with some local finger food. Everyone love deep-fried stuff and it's difference with tofu. 
 And the ever popular satay. Always a hit with foreigners on my midst 
Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pulau Tikus

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Restoran Poh Heng, Ipoh

We get to enjoy some incredible curry noodles. The curry here has less oil, absolutely without the creamy taste from santan or milk. The spices he a distinctive Indian spice. The mustard seed/oil. This is the oil 

28, Jalan Tokong, Pasir Puteh, Ipoh

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Yee Fatt Curry Noodles - Ipoh

The focus of this trip to Ipoh was two folds. Visiting home and also fellowship with primary and secondary schools friends. One of them was back from New York and missing the curry noodles action. We hit Yee Fatt in the early morning. It rained before dawn and was raining even as we arrived. It was a slight inconvenience but we were spared of the crowd on a Saturday prime time. Yee Fatt has only one stall and it's curry noodles. So sit and relax and the noodles will come eventually.

Hmm... I must admit it was a first for me over here as I have other preferences. This is the Ipohan or local haunt as the other famous one was pretty expensive esp with side orders that can run into RM20+ per pax.

The taste here is as usual without the rich creamy taste from santan or milk? It's Ipoh style. The curry is just a pot of ground spices put together. It packed a strong wallop and the smell and taste were a feast. However, it was a bit too oily. I would prefer they held the oil back. Despite this, I was a happy man until the local culinary expert suggested another better place to go. Unplug and of the beaten track. This shop is 50 years old. This shop is called Poh Heng and it will be featured in the next post.

I went for my 2nd round, the dry curry noodles were amazing. Thick gravy, ladened with very aromatic spices, mint leaves lent an enhanced taste to the palate. And the roast pork was succulent and delectable!

Pictures 2nd round below:

First round:

39, Jalan Kampar, Ipoh

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Different Taste Restaurant, Bercham, Ipoh

The much talk restaurant with glass noodles with big crab, parang fish balls, steamed lala with top shell off, braised trotters and many more. And also names that confused: Same Taste and Different Taste. Both are restaurants in Bercham offering the same fare and owners are brothers. Let's dwell on the culinary rather than siblings side of things.

The crabs are large and there at least 5 or 6 large claws. The broth were tasty and peppery. Worth trying. The taste was subtle and Chinese. There is the Thai version with very sharp taste. They use prawns and baked them together in a large aluminium pot. The flavours and sauces were concentrated and the glass noodles was baked till almost dry. Lots of garlic and the roots of coriander, crushed black pepper and big prawns.
The squid was fresh and blanched to perfection. Chewy but broke down on biting. The deep fried garlic was oomph. There was also a slight tartness with I think some vinegar. A dish to oder.
Fresh garoupa blocks for my mother. Steaming should be the force of Chinese restaurants and this is done right with good sauce. Can't go wrong if the fish is fresh.
I have seen top shell of the blood cockles but not the lala. Perhaps labour in Ipoh is cheaper or we have a rather particular chef who insisted his ways be followed. Alot of work out in for a dish steamed right. Tender meat and good sauce.
The fallopian tubes was unique. They have dried shrimps and bird's-eye chili with lots of small pungent onions and ginger pieces. Our dish was rather tame looking at the matching of the ingredients, just some ginger slices and spring onion. You have to be confident of your ingredients to be able to hack it, in stir frying with no strong smelling and tasting ingredients to mask the animal's internal organs.
Some fibre to end the meal well. Again check out the deep-fried garlic in oil.
72, Persiaran Bercham Selatan 2, Taman Desa Kencana, 31400 Ipoh, Perak

Friday, July 21, 2017

Nam Fatt Restaurant - Jalan Kampar, Ipoh

The famous dry curry of Ipoh that is still a hit with newbies and also the old-timer like me. Took my mother and brother out for 1:30pm lunch. It's open the while day.

Of course they have different types of noodles that have graced the Kopitiam's menu official and unofficial since I can remember. OK, a bit of exaggeration here. Can't help, though I have lived n KL for 35 years, still can take the Ipoh bit out of me.

Ipoh curry is not lemakky therefore its packed with spices and its savoury rather than having a sweet bias broth. This is what I yearned for in Ipoh curry noodles.
Mixed beef slices and pieces in a double-boil bowl. Subtle without being overpowering. The radish is a must. The soup was delectable.
The famous jicama 'lieu' paste in soy skin and deep-fried. Another Ipoh an favourite. This is really good and taste of the sweet fresh jicama with a paste made of tapioca flour base. The rest are just for decoration. Just joking.
The other 'Lieu' that comes with soup. The concoction from fish paste varies where each shop has their own recipe. The pork tendon paste balls is totally out of the world. From the best memory taste that I can remember inside my cerebellum.
86C, Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainton (Jalan Kampar), Ipoh

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ler Seafood Restaurant - Ara Damansara

Since I moved to Ara Damansara, we have noted this non-descript restaurant hidden in one corner of the commercial area. Some nights esp weekend it was packed with customers. Ler Seafood has started with this township more than 10 years ago and it's was difficult times at the beginning till about 2010. Then business began to looked up looked and may just fulfilled the potentiality envisaged by the developer.

The shops's signature dish. Vinegar trotters. There is enough tender and form morsels to add to the variety of textures when eating. The tart was mitigated somewhat by the sweetness from the rock sugar. Perfect for a cold night.
Claypot-pork pig's tail with peanut. Braised to perfection. Meat and skin fell of the bones. The savoury taste was perfect in a world of sweet cuisine.
Absolute delightful. A thin crispy crust enveloping an extremely soft and luscious tofu. The minced pork added to the good experience. Unforgettable texture and taste. A must order. Do order their soy milk too. From the same stock and made for the day only. Can be kept for a day in the fridge's chiller.
A customary vege dish. Unstinting in their ingredients. Take a look at the floating anchovies and century egg.
B-G-22A, Jalan PJU 1A/20G, Dataran Ara Damansara

Monday, July 17, 2017

Little Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine - Penang

We went for a quick Vietnamese meal. I was hosted by a Vietnamese friend who wanted to point out to me the fledging Viet Khieu community in Penang. These are not illegals but the owners are legally married to locals.

The food ingredients used are mostly authentic. Unless the costs are prohibitively high, they were brought in from Vietnam.

Adapted version using the local tilapia. Meat is picked off from the fish and put on a rice paper to be rolled with other components like cucumber, 'bun' (Vietnamese thin rice noosdles), lettuce and sprinkled with 'nouc mam' (fish sauce and some with julienned carrot and radish).
This is an interesting contraption, a cheap one, but nevertheless help to organise the rice paper vertically to reduce the footprint on limited table space. The left and right slots were filled with water. The rice papers were dipped into it and rotated around to full circle to wet the dry rice completely. The reason is to rehydrate the rice paper and get it to become soft and pliable so that it can be rolled up.
Our refreshing Vietnamese Pomelo salad with pork slices 
Rounded up the meal with Camel pudding in coffee. Check out the coffee almost drawing the pudding 
37, Lebuh Melaka, George Town

Oven Baked Tangy and Savoury Salmon - Homecooking

Another day, another cooking project for the oven. Well I am not the cooking kind as I prefer the hassle-free eating out. But then the house is equipped and you got some time in your hands, why not? The plus point is, a Grocer is nearby offering really quality fish albeit expensive ones.

The interest is still there and the heart is willing. So here are the ingredients: Lemon juice, herbs and spices - basil and thyme both chopped, crushed black pepper and salt. Marinate the salmon for a few hours. Be careful with handling as the fillet may tear or breaks apart

Baked at 190°C for 45 mins or until flaky. Probably try to increase the heat to max for the last 10 mins to get the top browned. Too soft or moist is not a good texture to have as it breaks easily. Oil the baking paper or aluminium foil or else the skin will stick to it.

The final result is there to see. Evenly baked. The meat slightly flaky and the taste is a blend of tangy, savoury and sweetness (from the fish). The spices and herbs gave fragrance and taste to a superb fish that Malaysian is beginning to love and find ways to cook.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hing Loong Taiwanese Spicy Noodles - Melaka

This restaurant is packed with locals, a testimony of its entrenched position in the locale in the city. A local choice for 30 years. A few plus points here.

The noodles are home-made. This ensures consistency and quality. Though I did not find it especially outstanding, nothing beats eating 'fresh' noodles. The Taiwanese spicy beef broth is good. Savoury with beefy goodness, it rivals the Vietnamese Bo Kho a kind of beef stew in thick broth noodles.

One drawback is, big-eaters will need 2 bowls at the least to satisfy their cravings. I was told the portions have shrunk.

Finally, don't forget their deep-fried pork chop and also pig's trotter noodles. Despite, my fixation with beef noodles, the locals recommend their pork chop which is marinated well, fragrant and tasty.

11-J, Jalan Bachang, Kampung Enam, Melaka

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Vegetables - Baked and Pan-fried - Homecooking

I had used the leftover olive oil and butter from pan frying ribeye Steak. Hmm... the steak's juices and butter were good for bland vegetables. Componemets: Three eggs, a few fresh and sliced button mushrooms sliced, cherry tomatoes, lots of crushed pepper and salt. No soy sauce was added as I wanted the tomatoes' taste and tart to dominate. Stir fried any wVariation if this tomatoes and eggs dish is widely available in China. It's a rather simple dish for common folks. I believed it has become a comfort food to those who grew up with it.

Baked Traffic lights capsicum, fresh mushrooms of any kind sliced but not too kind as to lose its body and feel in the mouth, cherry tomatoes, with liberal drizzles balsamic vinegar, lemon juice (not too much), crushed black pepper, salt, plenty of chopped up garlic. Use some sugar if needed to remove some of the tart. Grilled at 220°C for 5-7 minutes. Make sure there are still some crunch in the capsicum. Overcooking will make is soft.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mekong Food Bounties 3

The 3rd of the series of great homecooking from the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Bless with abundance and never have to go hungry as the river brings good fertile soil through overflowing its banks. Fishes and crustaceans came with it and not to mention the abundance of its shells, clams and snails.

The cook has in mind grilled prawns today. Big ones: succulent and sweet. One of the sweetest ever eaten. I am not surprised with those that tasted bland from the commercial side or frozen till it losed the taste? It was lightly marinated as she allowed the prawn to speak for itself. Talked she did!
I thought it was the pork neck. But then it was a bit too chewy as though the meat was very muscular. The secret came out later. It was the pig's male organ. What a way to go. Well marinated again with their fish sauce, the grill fore let it come away a winner in: taste, smell and texture.
This free range chicken was hard to eat as the meat was chewy. Very chewy. But then the taste of it's gravy sauce was to hanker for. All said, I wished it has some rice wine to give it more flavour. But then this is a non-Vietnamese speaking.
Another small uprising here. The humble Chinese cabbage took in a whole new life. It is generally used as fillers and cheap vegetable. With some vinegar and sugar it was very edible and decent. The crunch was unforgettable due to its crunchy bottom half.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

New Paris Restaurant - SS2

This restaurant came highly recommended by regulars but we came away as though we did not get to the lofty heights of their capability. The restaurant is big and has another level on the first floor. Parking may be challenging.

Different strokes for different folks. The tofu here was lovely. Skin was chewy and crisp yet won't break unless it's chewed hard and by then the taste will be released. The inside was soft and milky and the toppings of the minced pork was always a welcome sight. Gave it a generous touch.
The lalas were kind of small and the meat well you can see for yourself. It was average. This ginger and spring onion fried dish was done dry. It's a first time for me. I thought it lacked one ingredient: some rice wine for the exquisite taste and smell.
Bellypork with Salted Fish - The presentation was messy but the way the belly pork was sliced and not overcooked gave more pleasure than many of the same dish I have eaten elsewhere.
The fish was superb esp the head but was slightly undone by the oil which smell a bit overused.
Address: No. 62, 64, 66, Jalan SS 2/72, Petaling Jaya

Friday, July 7, 2017

Mekong Food Bounties 2

The second dose of the Mekong Bounties was again mostly pork. They got the BBQ grill out. Rudimentary but effective in getting the job done. The smell of the fish sauce's marinated meat was making us hungry while under the fire. 

The bellypork has the fat and lean meat. They made great companion for each other, not only canceling out the other's weaknesses but also brought the best out of each other. Fat was needed to smoothen out the rough lean meat and the lean meat made the fat edible. Alone the fat may be too oily and some find it revolting. 
The braised pork with quail and chicken eggs was so tasty. The sauce was incredible. We just keep on having a go at the gravy. 
Then we had stir fried beef with vegetables. A good break from pork. Again the Vietnamese cook loved to topped off stir fried with a tonne of crushed black pepper. Amazing.
The last dish was a big surprise. Vietnamese were used to taking the common and make something good out of it. We have Water Mimosa and it looked like weeds. Further the leaves were folded and you got to see mostly the stems. 

These grew around water and the stems looked like that of the kangkung/water spinach. The beauty part of this was the stem became crunchy and it was especially suited for salad. The cook cut it down to size and added some vinegar and sugar to it and tossed it around so that you can see the stems and the leaves were well coated. It tasted great with a slight bitter aftertaste from the leaves.