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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

辉记大排档 Restaurant, Pantai Jerjak, Penang

A quick eat at this simple, unplug and very Kuala Lumpuresque Chinese restaurant in a housing estate. For those hankering for Tai Chow this is the place. And mind you, its not easy to find these in Penang, replete with Hawkers Centres with cheap and good food.

Hotpot fish head with fish balls and lots of yam strips. Flavourful and heartwarming. Wished there were some rice wine added to the soup and more fish head and less substitution with fish fillet. Good pot of soupy goodness any Cantonese will appreciate.
The best dish on the table beating the fish head hotpot by a head. Bitter gourd and eggs. Sloppy, messy, oily and bathed with a generous anount of soy sauce. Slid down the throat with savoury soy sauce, bitter from the guord and gamey smell from the eggs. What a combination!
Run of the mill tofu with usual toppings of minced meat. Usual sweet, meaty and creamy tofu taste. Hash to do better to grab attention.
Good deep fried belly pork. However, the rind was not sufficient crisp. Well marinated but missed the mark on the rind.
No.21, Jalan Pantai Jerjak 13, Taman Pantai Jerjak, Penang

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Best Char Siew (BBQ Pork) Ever 合记港式烧鸭 - Ayer Panas, Setapak

The Cantonese has a soft spot for "Siew Mak" eateries. This phrase is hardly heard of in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh nowadays. I used to hear this spoken by my grandma and father in reference to all things roasted. These meats will be by far some of the strongest tasting food in their menu where stir-frying and steaming dominate.

Go early, if possible at noon to get the best morsels as by 12:30pm not much Char Siew (BBQ Pork) will be left. I went there twice in a week and still experiencing the effects of brisk sale coming from years of solid good track record and reputation. I was lucky to eat the best but with no more for doggy bagging. The second occasion was the reverse. I got to pack the juicy ones and ate there some rather lean Char Siew.

Best is to call them to order the Char Siew or their ever popular roast duck or roast pork. Lady boss told me she is gettinggso not doing so much for sale in their humble 'shed'. This shed is well ventilated with lots of fan and Kerullai. Most ofomy 'shed' eating Ayer Panas is usually 'panas' (sweaty). Got to take my hats off to them for initiative and customer service.

Back to the redoubtable melt in your mouth Char Siew, I have an idea how it was done. First steam the pork till tender probably in 3 hours. Then coat them with sauces and then BBQ them in racks. A bit simple but plausible. The caramelisation was excellent, like a coat of sweet that fat and a the lean in the pork wore with great pride. The meat was very tender. The coat of caramel with its sealed sauces lent such great taste to the lean meat.

On to fowl now. The duck is juicy and tasty. Very good quality. Just old fashion style and nothing else. The other is the poach chicken. Definitely better than some of the popular joints in Ipoh.

As for their Roast Pork, it was also another honest effort. I remembered buying a few kilos for a party. All that you want to find in a good roast pork was there. The spices, saltiness, crisp rind, and penetration of sauces into the meat.

This is a place I will bring my friends and families for the foreseeable future. And not forgetting to takeaway.
Take-away for my wife, another Char Siew connoisseur
The Roast duck - RM60 a fowl
Going, going, gone
My white chicken, smooth and tasty
Thick Ginger dipping sauce for the white chicken that only serious hawkers will provide
Waze or Google Maps yourself there - Jalan Ayer Lombong, Four shops away from the corner 
20,, 13, Jalan Ayer Lombong, Taman Ayer Panas, Kuala Lumpur
016-688 4976

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Restoran Lee Hong Ke Dong Tok Hanging Roast Chicken - Sungai Buloh

We heard so much about this restaurant from friends and newspapers who went there after the recent publicity blitz on Sungai Buloh after the opening of the MRT. For those who love roast chicken, this is certainly a very interesting place to go to given the way the roast chicken is hung and served to the diners. The Cantonese call it "Dong Tok" or "upright". The chicken is sure to be hanging upright with the contraption and all. Be ready to put on disposal plastic gloves and wield the sharp pair scissors given and snip away. If I am eating alone I will dispense away this courtesy.

The chicken came out hot. It must have been briefly dipped into hot oil before being put in its place. crisp when the heat stretched the coat tight. The meat was chewy and firm. The texture felt like good meat. It did not broke down into bits like some of the chicken we have nowadays. With this half the battle on taste was won. Indeed the meat was tasty and for those who like some salt do dip the chicken into the plate of salt and pepper. Guarantee to set the palate tingling with an overwhelming explosion of umami.

We also order a side plate of Char Siew (BBQ Pork) but it did not climbed itself out of the medocrity. Boleh makan (good enough), For demanding folks it may not be up to your mark.

I look forward of going there and sampling their many dishes especially some seafood. I dare say after looking at the crowd that began to build up after 1230pm, this is a popular place among the locals here.

410, Jalan Tong Seng, Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sri Paandi, Jalan Chantek PJ

We were with good company. Near Bukit Gasing and Section 5. Sometimes without the infusion of outsiders this place look like a retirees enclave. Sri Paandi is along the same hallowed ground with Raju and rumoured has it that another banana leaf restaurant along the same road is owned by Lee Chong Wei. Anyone can confirmed this?  

Getting this South Indian mode, banana leaf and all is a Malaysian phenomena. We have to have this fix once a while or when we are away overseas for a season. 

We had dry mutton curry which is a must, Tenggiri slices and fried chicken. Mutton is a soft spot. Tenggiri is to determine how serious they are on fresh food. Truth be told fish at Raju's is at its freshest best.  But be prepared to pay. 

The mutton curry and chicken were good but is not exceptional and so were the free side dishes. Overall  a good eat. 

The Chicken was deep-fried and served immediately. A bonus was the crunchy dough that came with the meat.
15, Jalan Chantek 5/13, PJ

Monday, March 5, 2018

Pak Thong, Kepong Wet Market.

The food here is definitely wet market style 'Tai Chow.' It caters mostly to folks living or work nearby and also those whose lives are intertwined with the wet market business. The food are sourced from buddies inside the wet market. They can find the restaurant's supplies from fishmongers, butchers and vegetables sellers nearby.

Open from 12noon to 9pm, I was there for their lunch segment. It was good that we arrived at 1230pm before the crowd started their beeline into the restaurant. It has air-con, a sign of times and many in office attires are their regulars. I mean who wants to eat and then feel uncomfortable and sticky needing a shower for the rest of the day?

With proximity to the market, they can concentrate on cooking. The stuffed intestine stuffed with intestines is a rare find. Nobody wants to do this anymore. Lots of efforts are needed. It was braised to perfection from taste to texture. It felt good not just in the eating, but to also be able to chew the food and enjoy it.

Our second dish was a super fresh big grouper fish head. No fillers and fillets, just plain fish head. Love this dish for its simplicity where it allowed the food to speak for itself.

Worth mentioning would be the sang meen (freshly made) noodles with spare ribs. Sweet broth is healing food for the soul and body. Soup was full-bodied yet retained the simple sweetness.

Don't forget to order their signature Tofu, crisp on the outside and satisfying from the inside where minced pork was mixed in!

Kepong Kepong Baru Market, Jalan Ambong Kanan 1, Off Jalan Ambong, Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Friday, March 2, 2018

Bo Vien Dai Thanh, Binh Duong, Vietnam

Known for its beef balls for a take as 2 generations. Families are now bringing their grandchildren to this very busy restaurant. My friend used to be brought there by his father on a buffalo. Being in existence for 50 years and counting, there was good food to be had and the crowd was proof.

Located about 35km from HCMC, it took me 1½ hours to get there given the slow traffic and it was near to their Lunar New Year.

The beef balls were smallish but I got confirmation that it was exactly the size of 50 years ago. The beefy taste and smell were there. The balls have good firm texture and nothing was amissed. The beef tendons were braised till tender.

The soup was tasty. Vietnamese cuisine being heavily influenced by the French, got 2 baquettes. The two pieces of dough with crispy exterior and fluffy interior were a welcome change from noodles. But I wished I could used the baquette on some thicker broth or gravy. Bo Kho dish will be ideal.

44 Lý Thường Kiệt, Phú Cường, Tp. Thủ Dầu Một, Bình Dương, Vietnam