Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cam Ranh Strategic Port and Nhà Trang Beautiful Seaside Resort

Airasia is now flying to Cam Ranh and within striking distance will be Nhà Trang with its beautiful beaches and its well-appointed resorts. 

First of all Cam Ranh in itself is an attraction for those militarily inclined. In my younger days during the Vietnam War, I have read of the many operations stemming out from Cam Ranh Bay where the Americans have their depot, air and naval base. After the war the Soviet Union used it for the naval activities. The Cam Ranh port is considered the best deep sea port in South East Asia and situated within an inlet (check it out in Google Maps). 

Couple of weeks ago, I took a domestic Vietnam Airlines flight to Cam Ranh early one morning. I arrived the night before and stayed at Ibis at Saigon Airport. It was a short hop either way so that I can do an easy getaway. The I got back using Jetstar Pacific. However, comes mid-Sept it will be a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur. From Cam Ranh airport to Nhà Trang is an hour drive away or about 51km. Be prepared to sit in the coach  for at least am hour + to get to Nhà Trang. 

Nhà Trang has a rustic slow 'Tai Chi' movement feel. Like Pattaya, Cha Am and Phuket in Thailand. However, it has some of the best resorts around and mind you these do not some cheap. Any real estate that is part right in front of the beautiful beaches are not affordable to the budget traveller. And Nhà Trang has been a famous resort for years. You can see that the standard of living there is higher. 

My Bun Cha Cà, Tuna, Jellyfish and Fish Cake Noodles from Nhà Trang. A very famous noodles dish here. A must have. 

Had a simple people's lunch in Cam Ranh where our plane landed. Nhà Trang is an hour away. Pan fried tuna and tuna soup. Why people's lunch? Tuna is Cà Ngu is ofter pronounced as Cà Nguoi. "Nguoi " means people. And looking at this humble small fish I can imagine why it's the people's fish. Everyone can afford it. 
And what's stopping you from getting a few cuppas of really explosive gunpowder. These cofcee is really powerful. And the favourite Vietnamese breakfast of fillings (eggs, cheeses and all kinds of meat and vege and herbs) inside the baguette, a French influence. Don't leave your hotel without drinking one

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kerala Tuna Curry Sandwich Fillings - Homecooking

Bland sandwiches can be unappealing esp those western types. I discovered this recipe to spice up our breakfast or tea time with dull canned tuna. I have use it twice and both times were moderately successful. What is missing will be the cooking time and steps taken to allow the spices to be fried till fragrant.

Pictures below were a combination of the two cook outs I had done.

  1. Canned Tuna Fish in distilled water – 3 cans (500g)
  2. Tomato (chopped) – 3 ripe medium
  3. Yellow Onion (sliced) – 2 medium 
  4. Ginger (finely sliced) – 4 inches
  5. Chopped Garlic – 1 large
  6. Chilly powder – 6 tsp
  7. Coriander Powder – 3 tsp
  8. 2 or 3 sprigs of curry leaves
  9. Water -1 cup
  10. French or Himalayas Salt – As required
  11. Oil – 4 tbsp
  12. White pepper Powder – 2 tsp
  1. Discard water from canned tuna. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry g ginger, fried garlic and onions till brown.
  3. Add tomatoes along with salt to taste 
  4. Add chilli powder and coriander powder and stir.
  5. Add tuna fish and water and fry for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  6. Finish off with pepper. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hwa Ga Korean BBQ Restaurant Ara Damansara

We have a hungry young man hankering for a big bite despite having an ABC so people and a big bun an hour earlier.

The Banchan came and the vegetables were really nice. Well cooked and came across as though they were cooked with some good pork bones stock. I literally whacked all of them.

Our first order were for these pork and beef and it was our last. The portions were big and the meat well marinated with sweet or savoury bean paste or chili sauce. And with a  crystal stone as a hot plate we felt like cavemen for a moment in time.

The beef slices were good and we had them with bean paste, raw garlic and chili slices all wrapped with lettuce leaves. Flavourful solid meat and leafy vege combination.

The pork chop-looking slices were well marinated and texture-wise it gave a bit of a fight. Chewed well and it yielded an excellent piece of tasty meat.

Lastly, we had the pork ribs that tasted and looked like lamb. But it was pork. We had it cooked together with chili marinated squid. However, we had the short end of the stick with the pork ribs. It was flavourful but the meat was tough.

The saving grace was the squid. Chili that tasted like chili but not too hot. Worked into a paste with sauce conditioners it clung to the squid pieces and the bland squid came alive with multiple flavours. Subtle yet stood out to be seen and tested.

Overall it was a good food and service.

R-08, 1st Floor, Oasis Square, No.2, Jalan PJU A/7A Ara Damansara

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Aliyaa Sri Lankan Restaurant Bukit Damansara

The treat at this Sri Lankan joint was received with relish. It was my first Sri Lankan eat in Malaysia. I have enjoyed food in Sri Lanka but it had been alot of western ones as I lodged in their Little England in the highlands of Nuwara Eliya. The highlight of the entire trip was having anteater meat which tasted like beef and chicken all at one go. The texture was tough but tasted really good when deep-fried by my host.

Aliyaa has received high marks from my benefactor and his introducer a Ceylonese. As a typical restaurant in a posh area and the interior was well appointed and thought out. The ambience was comfy. And they have space.

The 4 Amigos/Sambels with Pappadams came first. The were of fish, onion, coconut and curry leaves base. From mild to burning hot. The tastes went from pungent to spicy, fishy, salty and then to curry leafish.  Enjoy the smorgasbord of titillating flavours. A good start and preparatory phase to enter onto the real food! And don't over indulge and spoil the mains!

Then the Rotti, string hoppers and lumprais (rice baked in spices and curry in a banana leaf) arrived, a nice Asian way to getting into the meat phase. Well the meat and carbo are to go together. To take advantage of the curry or gravy and also to mitigate the salt in the meat and curry where most cooks like to use alot of it to really flavour the dish.

We had mutton bone peratal (with bone marrow) and prawn curry as the mains. Is it the same as some of those banana leaf restaurants? I could barely discerned but then the taste and smell should I say were more subtle and settled here. A more mature rather than a uncertain roller-coaster ride? Did I enjoy it? Yes, but then was it so good that I have to return for more asap? I have yet to return but suffice to say the food was good.

The lady's fingers or Bendi Oli was cooked with mustard seeds and very South Asian to put it in a politically correct way. They were onions and tomatoes. By the way, it was stir fried. Rare in South Asian restaurants where vegetables were given the lots of 'heat' treatment. It was good.

I have always enjoyed this dish and ordered it all the time. The mustard seeds made it really regional. And shall I say I like mustard seeds to bits. Just wondering when some 'experts' will come up and pronounce the mustard seeds are good for health and you need a teaspoon a day to keep the doctor away like they have done for turmeric and cinnamon. Just saying tongue in cheek!

Ask for straw to draw the marrow. Shock a few people with this unorthodox way. After all you paid for it.

Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fu Lai Dim Sum, Bandar Sri Menjalara

Dim Sum restaurants may not have long shelf lives. Usually after a few years and when business dip, they are gone. Likely to move to greener pastures and start all over. There is much money to be made judging by the crowd and esp during the weekend. One has to fight for a table and food.

I have been eating here for a number of years. Sometimes I made a special effort while others it was so happen I was there for other reasons. The food is usually good but other times it was tepid.

This time round the food was above average in taste, texture and portion. Food is all about good taste balancing with the texture. There must be the good feeling of food being chewed. Texture can be lost by adding too much of the certain ingredients and with it losing on the texture delivered.

The food has improved. I was impressed with the taste and chewability. It also came hot. All of it. Even the deep-fried ones. Paying attention to these will pay off with more customers. And also paying attention to customers and making eye contact with them is good service and will only add value to the food experience.

The prawns in the "har kaw" was fresh and firm. The pork was well seasoned without the overcooked smell. And the fish paste was of good quality and has a springy texture. If these 3 ingredients which form the base for most the the dim sum are good then everything will fall in place.

This time I experienced good food and service. Frankly, there were 1 or 2 occasions where I was thinking if it is worth coming back here. I hope they will continue to keep up the good work.

Jalan 3/62a, Bandar Sri Menjalara

Thursday, August 17, 2017

KLIA Downtown Char Siew Wanton Noodles

This has turn out to be my regular haunt when I am near KLIA, have some unrush time and early in the morning. Seems to be dating a lover. You make time and space.

The Char Siew (BBQ pork) here is the best as far as I am concerned. Tender, thickly caramelised and has enough fat. Besides, the have the complement of roast pork, roast and poach chicken. All good.

But the Char Siew deserved elaboration. A firm favourite to many esp the taxi drivers. You will see many cars park there and in the earlier mornings enjoy brisk business.

Here was my previous post in 2008. Almost 10 years has gone by.

WAZE or Google Maps - KLIA Fei Lou Wantan Mee

Friday, August 11, 2017

Warung Kita Malay Rice - Kampung Melayu Sungai Buloh

There is quite alot to do here before or after eating. One can visit the Leprosarium. This place is a living museum. Relics of the past juxtapose with living souls and many still making a living despite the dire straits that they are in.

Or do a spot of shopping. The nurseries are packed with flora of a thousand kinds. It is so peaceful with so much green and shade, one is drawn into it. It is good to be addicted to the beauty of the greens and blooming flowers here and giving rest to the overused eyes adapted for survival in the rat race.

This joint is smack right at the corner of a big junction. The parking is good, otherwise cars can be parked up and down the road. Just be courteous. There is a few 'halls' with open concept top with an attap roof. I spotted a few pavilions too where you leave your shoes outside and sit in an up raised floor with a shirt table. Eating with hands is encouraged! Go with the flow. So you can imagine the crowd.

The line was going non-stop. The wok was frying non-stop. This is the place you can order, "semua mahu". It was so cheap that they ran out of ikan tongkol, a kind of tuna. It  it's me RM5. My generous serving of fried chicken was succulent and well marinated. The curry was too good to describe. But I will try by comparison. The best nasi kandar curry that I have eaten. I had a pack and a half rice.

95, Jalan Kusta, Kampung Melayu Batu 13, Sungai Buloh
WAZE - Warung Kita

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hot Plate Pancakes and Kueh - Sungai Buloh New Village

We had a leisurely drive from the other side of Kampung Melayu Sungai Buloh after our Malay rice lunch. With 2 agenda we will be shooting across Jalan Sungai Buloh to the Chinese side. Nothing will distract us from our food search. 45+ years of knowing each other has amalgamed this newly formed band of brothers to set aside their afternoon for lunch and tea.  

Twisting and tuning we finally got there and viola there was not much of a crowd despite not far from Kg. Selamat MRT station and reachable by feeded buses. I have heard hordes of senior citizens and those with time to kill riding MRT to look for famous food around d the stations. 

They kuih here is famous. Some say they are Foochow and some Hakka. To be sure the boss spoke Hakka and also a humorous fellow. I have eaten most of their offering and find it good and of quality. 
Their famous Hot Plate Pancakes with 3 different fillings. 

Ham Chim Pang. Fragrant and tasty. Not to be missed. 

This is really good. Vegetables gyoza. Must buy. Delectable skin and equally delicious fillings. Let it crunch in your mouth. 

345A, Jalan Besar, Kampung Baru, 
Sungai Buloh,
Tel: 0361562931