Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Physalis Peruviana (Cape Gooseberry)

I came back from Chiangmai with 3kg of these Cape Gooseberry. My friend bought from the market at RM15 per kg. The origin is from the hill tribes who grew them on the mountains of North Thailand and they plenty of it. Originally it was from the Highlands of Peru and Chile but has spread everywhere and is even grown in the tropics albeit in the Highlands.

The taste is sweet and tart. It has lots of small seeds. The esters emitted is out of my range as it's the first for me. I have no point of reference. It's firm on the bite but soft inside. Someone said it's an acquired taste. That was also my first thought. Personally, the taste is quite good and agreeable to my palate.

I bought a small tray from Tesco a few weeks ago when it was a marked down from RM160 per kg to RM40 per kg. These were from USA. Try it if get chance esp when in Thailand as the price is 10% of the imported from USA variety.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chicken Rice and Bean Sprouts - Nasi Ayam Sungai Buloh

After many plates chicken rice in Kuala Lumpur, I have finally found the best. I have eaten in this eatery 3 times and each time I came out singing like a bird. Chicken rice is my staple lunch. Eat them most of the time. If I want something elaborate, I have my "couldn't fail me shops when I need my chicken rice fixes". This one is one of them but will be my top pick.

Just writing for this post have me salivating and thinking of going there. The chicken meat was firm, yet tender and smooth. The skin silky and the taste was out of the world. What I enjoyed most was the smooth texture of the flesh. The Chinese has a description of poached chicken as 'Wat Kai' meaning 'smooth chicken'.

Go also for their fish and pork balls. Really good tasting and you get the best of both world's in the texture when you chew and eat them. Finally, check out the photographic evidence of the bean sprouts. Never seen any that fat before. That said the sauces were great.

Go there, you will not regret it.

28, Jalan Public, Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Iconic Thai Breakfast Teochew Style - Chiangmai Thailand

Thai porridge comes thick. And it can be very elaborate indeed as can be seen here. My friend's wife dished this out early in the morning.

The bland rice must be paired with strong taste for it to satisfied the palate and stomach. And the Thais has many 'tools'  in their employ to do it. Their omelette with minced pork is one of the most tasty comfort food one can get. Eggs fried till its natural fragrance intermingling with the well marinated pork in fish sauce. A fantastic dish that makes everyone happy before the start of the day.

Then the dried shrimps fried till crisp with, julienned ginger, chopped small onions and bird's-eye chili. Another strong taste dish that went well with 'flat' rice. Rounding up the morning's breakfast with some spinach and pickled leek bulbs. With my stomach full, I am ready to face the day.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Oriental Food Restaurant - Bandar Menjalara

We were hungry and looking for food Menjalara. It was late and most restaurants have closed. We ended up here as this restaurant caters to the night owls and close late to the night.

The bowls and plates were fine dining porcelain. Environment-wise it could be better. The food is of standard. The grouper was steamed to our taste and the texture of the meat attested to it. The soy sauce which is an important component of steam fish was good and brought the flavour out.

Then we had sharkfin soup. Horror of horrors to some. I was not sure why we decided to have a bowl. I have not ordered this particular dish for easily more than 15 years. Tasted pretty ordinary if not for the chef who was careful to add lots of fresh crab meat inside the soup. It enhanced the taste tremendously esp when the fins were of no taste.

Then our rather common dish with fine dining places. Ridge gourd with fish paste. It can be rather expensive in Chinese restaurants as sometimes they used top of the line fish for this.

If all the Menjalara's restaurants have closed on you, you still have one that will welcome you.

45-G, Jalan 3/62a, Bandar Menjalara

Friday, January 19, 2018

Iconic Thai Fish, Old and New - Chiangmai

Thai food can be very enticing and addictive. They have their own distinctive regional food and also influences from the neighbours and the Chinese and Vietnamese. A regional denominator will be their spices and curry as well as also usage of lots of vegetables in pods, beans and leaves.

They are also very adaptable people and case in point will be their taking to the engineered Tilapia fish. Its cheap, meaty and blend well with their sauces. Sometimes I thought that they are more interested in the food texture and lesser on taste. Especially with the vast amount of strong sauces they employ alongside their food.

The tilapia went well with the sweet and very spicy fish sauce.  Of course the degree was determined by the number of crushed or chopped birdseye chili added to it.

Another fish item which ranks as an iconic food to the Thai will be their Pla Thu which is a short mackerel cooked with it's head bent or forced down before being sold on bamboo baskets in the market. It's similar to our cooked kembong fish sold in wet market in bamboo baskets. The fish has a broad and thick body thus its a meaty fish with lots of flesh to offer. It's easy to dish out. Just pan-fried them in wok and you have a fine tasting fish. The fish goes well with a sweet belacan sauce.

Hahaha... the ubiquitous Tomyam King
Kailan fried with roast pork. Very Thailand also very Chinese
Raw cucumber and round brinjal - good with the belacan sauce

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Jatujak @ Siam Bangkok Street Food - Ara Damansara

This may be the best Thai food I have eaten in Kuala Lumpur. Especially the Kor Moo Yang with authentic cilantro, chili flakes and fish sauce (Grilled Pork - Neck) and the Moo Ping (Pork Belly Stick). The Grilled Cockles were decent. The sauce was a super match. However, cook not watching the fire as some of my cockles were overdone as they were cooked till dried and in its own blood!

The petais with prawns were average to good. The saving grace was its good size and quality prawns that come with  price. The dish that did not live up to my expectations was the Som Tam. It lacked zing, tart and taste. Rather limp. Even the roadside hawkers in Bangkok can whipped up a better one.

Back to Kor Moo Yang, though lacking in some fat which I am accustomed to getting from the Isaan hawkers, this one was grilled to perfection and the taste was out of this world. Would satisfy any carnivorous palate. The meat was cut into thin slices. The texture showed that it was properly marinated as I could see the sauces penetrating deep, the taste was further enhanced when it was laced with crushed black pepper. Make sure you envelope it with the dipping sauce. As authentic as the best I got in Thailand. Super taste but make sure you are not on dentures.

The Moo Ping which used the belly pork was another winner. Pork again. Sate pork! Well marinated and lightly caramelised, it's sweet and savoury tones, light the palate's fire like I have never experienced before. Tender and with lard oozing, what a delight. I almost broke out in a song as I ate.

It will not be long for another visit and thus time with some good friends.

2nd visit a free days later
We went for a second round this time with 7 dishes. Some were quite expensive. The grilled prawns were satisfying. Again the green sauce which I did not get to really discern its components. The tilapia fish was baked in salt. It was like a steam fish but this time it's cooked in its own juices. The sotong was coated in turmeric and done just nice.

Our vege was done tempura style. Mushrooms and kangkung coated in  batter and deep fried. As with food with batter an appropriate and strong sauce is a must. And we got it. Sour, syrupy and pungent fish sauce plus the usual onions, garlic and cilantro. A good match.

2nd visit
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 2nd visit
2nd visit
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2nd visit
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B-G-31 Blk B, Jalan PJU 1A/3J,
Taipan Damansara 1 Ara Damansara

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Vietnamese Thai Rice Rolls Breakfast - Chiangmai

This small shop serves Vietnamese food since a long ago. I went here for lunch on 2 or 3 occasions having some really tasty food esp the Bun Thit Nuong that gets you rolling grill pork pieces and lots of herbs and vegetables in lettuce leaves.

Arriving early on an AirAsia flight I was hunkering for some B/F. Told my friend I was thinking of this hole in the wall shop and viola we were there. Aside from the rush hour jam Chiangmai is easy to get from A to B.

There were many Vietnamese Thai esp those that escaped Vietnam during the war and settled down in Northeast Thailand. And from there they fanned out all over the country.

What I am having is called Pho Vien Chan or Vientiane Noodles. I am sure its not Laotian noodles but it is likely that the Vietnamese owners may have migrated from Laos.

We have rice flour being spread on a flat steamer and then steamed for to form a rice skin. Minced pork was on it and then rolled into a Chee Cheong Fun like wraps.

The taste was subtle unless one emptied the sweet fish source onto the rolls. My friend did but I am too Cantonese to do it. I preferred the food to speak for itself.

The minced pork was also tasty but not overpowering. The plenteous minced pork show the generosity of the hawker. The preserved pieces of pork were typical of Vietnamese food it went to almost anywhere as far as food was concerned. The taste was more delicate and less peppery. Not forgetting the rice skin, the texture was sticky and yet soft to the palate not like rice paper which is more rigid.

Overall a good breakfast and BTW I had 2 plates.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Paradise Restaurant Bercham Ipoh

Famous local food hunt is the order of the day. As someone that goes home to Ipoh a few times a year, food slots are precious indeed. It not only occupies my eating time but also my fellowship time with my family in the city where I was born.  We eat, talk and renew our blood ties.

Some old fashion eating for old nuts like me are a must. This age group appreciates food that has history and not just those "fleeting" establishments that come and go. Old badges are worn with honour. It is not just nostalgia that kept the eatery going, but also the pride and appreciation to a business that has given them the opportunities to send their children to study overseas, obtain good medical care when necessary and the provision of needs and wants of life.

Arriving at 10am+ is no scant comfort! The place was still full. We got to wait around tables to secure it as the customers finish and leave.

The Yong Liew was excellent. Big portions and good fish paste. The giant stuffed Tofu is really big and it's 3-4 times the normal size. I find no fault this this all time favourite of the Ipohans

Then come the dumplings of various kinds. Char Siew (BBQ pork), Wu Kok (Yam dumplings), Nam Yee Kou Yoke (Bean paste belly pork). Freshly made and just off the steamer made great dumplings. I like the taste of the fillings even though it was on the sweet side. Sugar may have been used as a replacement for MSG. 

Their famous Nam Yue Kou Yoke dumplings. Its what everybody come here for. It's rectangular and usually both ends are open, but here it's sealed. Break it open and the moisture and runny lard will show and flow.  Overall a good place to enjoy some good food and fast service.

632, Lorong Bercham 6, Kampung Bercham, Bercham, Ipoh

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Authentic Hakka Dishes, Meinong District, Taiwan

Never could I imagine, trotters can be braised till so gelatinously soft and the meat, fat and skin literally slide of the bones and knuckle bones. The portion we got looked like it was from the hind leg as it was less meaty, no problem for me as it has more skin and sinew, therefore plenteous of collagen and gelatin!

The sauces intermingled into the soft morsels and it was so good. The texture was smooth, with some rough, soft, sticky and oily. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we have our "ban thio' noodles. It was thick and cut into lengths for soup or fried noodles. They said you couldn't go to the Hakka villages in Meinong without sampling these noodles. So at the urging of our guide we went to this restaurant. We were not sure whether they were good and our stomachs could hold up.

We have the dry and the soup with pork bones broth. The dry ones was fried like our 'Char Kuey Teow' with a twist. It was fried with dried squid, bean sprouts and chives. For those who like the dried squid aroma and taste will certainly bond with this dish. It was better than the soup noodles as its taste was more subtle and only those used to lighter tasting food will appreciate it.

These are Yelian and are specially associated with Meinong. It is grown in ponds and harvested by cutting well into the depths of the waters and the leaves pruned off leaving the stem. It was delicious when fried with garlic and the ubiquitous soy bean paste.