Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bakso Hunt - Indonesia

The gold standard in Mee Bakso (beef noodles) will be Bakso A Fung. It is situated at the Arrival Level of Terminal 2 Jakarta Airport. There is a business format like McDonald's and I can be assured of consistency of food and service delivery. There are 3 kinds of beef balls.

The regular type where the texture is rough and the colour is dark grey. The second is the smoother one shaped in the form of a disc. Looked and felt like the fish paste. The third are fillings in a fried Tofu. The amount is huge and I get the kick everyone I have one. This is slightly different from the regular beef balls as it tasted more savoury and perhaps I thought some salted fish powder had been mixed in. The soup was of a much lighter version. The beef was in the balls and Tofu fillings not the soup.

My next fix was at Bakso Lapangan Tembak Senayan Terminal 1 Jakarta Airport. The broth was thicker and more beefy. If you like something mysterious and murky this is it. Those taking domestic Lion will be able to enjoy it.

The last encounter was in Tlogowungu, Central Java. I was taken to the best Bakso in town. Right at a junction, it commands traffic. It's very busy throughout the day.

And they are famous for chicken feet too and it literally flew of the box. It's pre-cooked and left in a plastic container. I thought long and hard and decided not to have it as I felt that my stomach might not be able to handle it.

Back to their Bakso. It was good and they have the light soup variety. The beefy balls were good and so were their Tofu beef fillings. Each bowl has a humongous ball of beef and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So satisfying. Their beef was smoother in texture perhaps some starch was mixed in.

Bakso Lapangan Tembak Senayan Terminal 1 Jakarta Airport.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Amos Curry House Taman Sri Gombak

A favourite to the Indians around the neighbourhood and offices. There is a dearth of Indian food (not Mamak) around Batu Caves despite the rather large Indian population. 

This is also my favourite as I rediscover it anew. I have eaten here a couple of times the past 5 years but lately I am quite drawn to it. I will add more pics to this post as I eat.... 

The curry tasted fresh with the usage of good ingredients. It didn't taste and smell over-cooked. The piquant taste titillated the buds. They have been generous with the tomatoes or some amount of yogurt. My curry chicken was excellent. Not overdone. Tender and 'alive' to the palate. And my black pomfret was also great and has no fishy smell in which "over the shelf life" or "too long in the freezer" pomfret fish was famous for. Even deep-frying won't take care of the past its prime smell. 

Overall, a great eat - tasty with fresh ingredients and not overcooked

Fresh and a bit oily inside which is what I like. Just the taste of the dhal and onions is so refreshing. Food diversity of  carbohydrates 

Address : 17, Jalan SG 3/16, Taman Sri Gombak, Batu Caves

Friday, April 13, 2018

Tong Kee Tong Yuen Desserts - Taman Berkeley, Klang

The fame of this winter solstice dessert has not spread that far yet. But they have a lot of local fans. The distance will deter those who live far even if they have heard about it. After all it is just some desserts and not a full meal. It is available only at night and the rest days are Monday and Thursday. 

When we arrived after a meal at the Foo Chow restaurant nearby, customers were milling around waiting for their orders. 

Strong Bentong ginger steeped in boiling water will soon release its pungency and spiciness into the soup. What a sacrifice! And then add plenty of Gula Melaka to balance out the strong taste and smell you get great tasting pot of brew. Now for. For the final step, waiting for the glutinous rice balls with great fillings to be dropped into the sweet soup base. 

Very good stuff and addictive. 
Black sesame and peanut fillings ready to be used as fillings with glutinous rice dough
Ginger and pandan leaves
Sweet soup base from ginger, rock sugar, brown sugar and pandan leaves steeped in boiling hot water
15A, Leboh Bangau, Taman Berkeley, 41150 Klang, Selangor

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Authentic Dayak Food at Ruman Makan Samba - Palangkaraya Kalimantan Tengah

I have waited 12 years to come back. The food here was unforgettable and I can still remember the fragrance of the fire grill treatment and the lusage of local Dayak sauces and spices. This is the place where the top folks of this city will go. You have the governor as well as chiefs of the various governmental institutions catching a breather with great food in privacy.

Proposals to shift the capital from Jakarta to Palangkaraya has been rumored for a long time but never materialised. It is almost in the middle of Indonesia: between Aceh in the west and Jayapura in the east. The rumours have not died....

The food here is Dayak and you get the freshest. Food here get the full Dayak spices v treatment.

My favourite has to be the Helicopter Catfish. Its wild and the morsels were firm and sweet. Coupled with great sauces and grilled over fire we got the smoked smell and great taste. Then there is the patin with a good coating of spices.

The other vegan favourite of mine would be the sour Paku Pakis. It looked innocuous and simple but the taste was exquisite and the vegetable was so tender and young. And the bamboo shoot in simple thin soup was refreshing. Both allowed the vegetables taste and freshness to surface unhindered.

Wild Ikan Tapah or Helicopter Catfish
 Ikan Patin

 Common food of Indonesia - Tempe, Tofu, Bergedil
 Paku, tender and crunchy, in vinegar

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Guacamole - Homecook

I have prepared guacamole half a dozen times. Generally the ingredients portions can be varied by understanding what taste or texture you want.

Guacamole needs these basic ingredients:
1) Creamy and rich avocados crushed with some salt. These two are the bedrock of guacamole. You can enjoy with these two key ingredients.
2) Together with herby cilantro
3) Hot chilis, spicy black pepper, gives the kick
4) Pungent onions gets the dish the spine and backbone. Something hard and crunchy are needed for a variety of texture.
5) Very tart lime to get the stomach juice going gand also take away the butteryness of the avocados
6) Sweet cherry tomatoes to balance the sour lime

You can almost get away with the proportions that you want. No hard and fast rule. More tart - get the lime (limau nipis) or even for a touch of class with the kafir lime (limau purut). The fragrance is stronger. Too tart add a but more tomatoes (sweet). For a spongy filler, tomatoes play the role too. Onions are crunchy, cilantro stems have a hint of bitter and it will be a good fit with the tart and pungent. With creamy avocados with a good sprinkle of salt as creamy richness goes well with salt, the concoction is heavenly. A touch of spice from the black pepper and a few chopped up chilis will complete the job.

Thoroughly mix the following
1) 3 ripe Australian avocados
2) Salt to taste and sprinkle on crushed avocados
3) 1 medium size onions - chopped
4) 1 large tomato - chopped
5) 2 stalks of cilantro - chopped
6) 2 limes - juice sprinkle on mixture. Use kaffir lime for stronger smell
7) 3 big chilis and a few bird's eye chilis - chopes
8) A good sprinkle of crushed black pepper

I have since prepared a few more bowls of guacamole. Here is another bowl. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bread King, Summerton, Penang

Once in a little while, I get a food good surprise. Bread King has the potential to go far. I enjoyed my breakfast with my family of 5. Nice environment and ambiance, near to the Queensbay Mall. The sets were wolfed down. It was fresh and the ingredients were of quality. Its firm where you want and soft and fluffy when required.

You can see its done from scratch except for the bacon and sausages. Even these were good.

The taste were above average and came hot and appetising. What more can a breakfast be? I got perky before the long drive back to Kuala Lumpur.

110-01-08, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas,  Penang

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Restoran Batu Caves Yong Tau Foo

If you are in Batu Caves and fancy a dose of Yong Tau Foo, this is a place to go. It has stood the test of time and they are still holding the fort. We have a franchise YTF that was opened a road away but last probably a year or so. A largely industrial and SME with middle and lower middle class clientele, you can imagine the area make-up and the clientele.

I will rate this place average on food as the YTF and some accompanying dishes palatable and stomach filling. Other than that you are better off going to the Tai Chows or international fast food restaurants around the area.

The beauty of the YTF is the health part. Ya, some said the deep fried stuff is no good and I agree, but beyond that the vege and the fish paste are good to for the body.

No. 96, Jalan 1 Batu Caves Centre Point Batu Caves, 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Musang King and Durians - SS2 Durians

The durians are back. And I am going to eat it a few times a week. One of the distinctive feature of Musang King (MSK) is its thin flat seed. Last November I had a chance to compare durians with big seed and MSK.

After some arils of D24 and MSK, I decided to weigh the  seeds. The D24 seed weighed 3 ⅓ times more than that of MSK. It's pretty obvious when the seeds were placed in a bowl of water, D24 sank like a stone while MSK floated like a civet cat in its environs.

The other obvious observation will be the volume lost due to the big oval seed. Imagine the durian flesh lost in the D24 when compared to the flat seed from MSK.  We pay for the pulp not the seed! And usually a real good D24 from an old tree is half the price of MSK. Go figure if it's worth eating MSK all day long if you have a bent for a binge!

My box has a strong bitter after taste, sticky and creamy texture and feel so good when rolling the durian's flesh around the mouth with the tongue to maximise the taste. Very sweet and I am sure the sweeter the better for fruits or desserts lovers. Mostly of all, value for money as each seed was super thin.

Hor Lor (Red Prawns) at RM24/kg and honestly half the pleasure derived from eating MSK, texture, taste and smell. This is lighter in taste and smell, less sticky and no bitter after taste

SS2 Durians
Jalan SS 2/24
Petaling Jaya

Monday, March 26, 2018

Taman Connaught Big Bun Ong Kee Yap Chee May

This Big Bun is a legend in Taman Connaught. The buns are sold from the cargo bay of a truck. Its humongous and it took me 2 days to finish eating it up. It was called Yap Chee May (aka Amy Yip the Hongkong actress) Big Bun. It was a tongue in cheek description.

I measured and weighed and heaved and pushed (last 2 verbs were exaggerated). It weighed 1.1kg and measured from its widest edges 8 inches in diameter. It probably has 2,500 calories, a day's worth.

Does the taste measure up? Well, it was tasty enough and the fillings are alot while the skin if the bun was not very thick. So lots of meat and vege esp. the jicama.

My little grouse with Malaysian food - it a bit sweet. Otherwise worth a trip and many bites!

P/S I also bought 3 of their famous vegetarian bun. Its very good too. Enjoyed the well seasoned jicama which predomiates the filings.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Saigon Street Cafe, Takashimaya Mall, Saigon

It is always a bane to good business sense to sell hawker food in a Mall. Takashimaya is a beautiful upmarket shopping complex. From my experience observing Mall's food business, local food do not fare well in it. The entrepreneurs must have a lot of faith in their food and business system to at least for a start think that the business will do well and flourish.

Saigon Street Cafe offers more than decent upmarket hawker food in a nice Mall. I found their ingredients are of quality and their concern for their food in small little ways like food presentation, quite comforting. People with passion will do well with their food and service.

My bowl of Bun Bo Hue (from Central Vietnam) had rich soup deeply infused with spices and a strong scent of lemon grass. The fragrance is agreeable and like by almost every Asian. The beef slices were tasty and preserved pork slices well spiced and you will find peppercorns inside. Last but not least it was laced with a layer of chilli oil a distinctive characteristic of this Central's noodles.

My dessert was sweet. I don't mind the sugar as dessert is meant to be sweet. Another very important part of South East Asian dessert is the use of coconut milk, a rich cream that makes all dessert so delicious and addictive. The bowl of sweetness was further enhanced by the bananas present. That's not the end. It was completed with sago pearls and topped up with roasted sesame seeds.

The meal was not complete without a dose of health. I will try to have this whenever it is available. 'Rau Ma' or pennywort leaves were used to make this detoxifying drink.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Peninsula Chinese Cuisine, Evolve Concept Mall, Ara Damansara

A special 30% discount drawn us despite some not too good comments on service. This area is evolving and they have a few blocks of condominiums and a nearby Ara Damansara MRT Station. I thought occupancy is not there yet to sustain the Mall business inside is nit all that great. I have gone there a few times esp to Jaya Grocer and also patronising some of the restaurants. Modern, slick but lacking the critical mass demographics.

I have visited this restaurant at least 4-5 times mostly going for their dim sum which has a discount of 40%. And bearing in mind service standards I only went during off peak non-rush hours and also definitely not during holidays and festivals.

This time around I tried their ala carte menu which has some good deals. The Sang Har Meen tasted as though if it went through over-used oil. The prawns were fine. It came with spinach in double boiled soup and century eggs. It was not very inspiring to look at. The Seafood Pot has all the right moves. Great succulent prawns and fresh crunchy green peas. My recommendation - stick to dim sum.

Lot 10, 3rd Floor, Evolve Concept Mall Pacific Place, Jalan PJU 1A/4, Ara Damansara