Monday, July 30, 2018

Avocados with Hard-boiled Eggs - Homecooking

There can be an endless combinations with avocados. History tells us, these are food of the Aztecs. It can be used as a base for different exciting and refreshing food concoctions. In its simplest form avocados are smashed with a fork and sprinkled with a few dashes of salt and cracked black pepper.

It is good enough for breakfast or even lunch with some toasted bread. More elaborate combinations will
have cilantro, tomatoes, onions, lime juice and chillis.

Here was my light dinner. 1 big smashed mature Dole avocado and 2 hard boiled eggs.

Preparation
Bring water to boil, slipped eggs in and simmered for 10 minutes. Shelled, sliced and combined with smashed avocados. Sprinkle salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hoong Tho Restaurant - Ipoh

Hoong Tho has been around for more half a century. They are the more illustrious son on this Jalan Bandar Timah. This street has some of the most famous food around town.

I used to come here for Dim Sum, noodles and one of the best porridge in town. They also made some of the best pastry in town. Moon cakes were alps their forte.

We ordered 3 types of noodles. What Tan Hor or Cantonese Hor Fun with the runny egg white and yolk the trademark of this dish in Ipoh. Alas the look was there but I wished it was a bit thicker ie it should stayed in the wok for another few moments.

Their signature Hoong Tho noodles were very good. It should be eaten with a drizzle or two of black vinegar on the bowl. It has quite a bit of minced prawn and pork that gave body and taste to this noodles. It was also sprinkled with their secret powder made from the "left mouth fish", a kind of flounder. This was really good.

Their fried glass nopes were down Singapore noodles style with similar ingredients ts and taste. This was the children's favourite. The noise needed to be a bit drier as it tended to cling into lumps

I enjoyed the QQ and taste fresh parang fish balls. Not cheap but good. The fried wanton taste was hampered by small amount of meat and its rather thick wrap.




Address:
20, Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fresh Water Prawns - Restaurant Kim Wah, Tanjung Tualang, Perak

I finally made it to Tanjung Tualang for a taste of the famous river prawns. Maybe 40 years too late as the prawns today are all from farms and plenty of it came from Teluk Intan. During festivities where big crowd are expected a portion of the prawns will be brought in from Thailand.

Big Head Big Prawns from Teluk Intan (I asked them where these were from). Super fresh and big on texture. Good looking very white and firm meat. It also has a lot of meat. I have eaten a fair bit of shrunken prawns. Loose shells and thin bodies.

Almost lobster like in texture and taste. The bigger it goes the blander will be the fresh water prawns. So go for other cooking style to enhance the taste. If you order like mine chew the meat slowly to get to the taste. The bed of steam egg was a bonus. Perhaps some rice wine might helped to draw out a sharper taste. RM97 for 0.75kg.
Kon Chien Har Lok. Big headed smaller size fresh water prawns. Big in taste and freshness. At RM72 for 0.75kg. Good price  Highly recommended
Great ginger chicken. Superior sauce and fragrant and hot ginger made this dish a delight. The gravy with the ginger bits were a hit.
Obligatory fish. Red tilapia.
Sweet sour pork for the picky eaters among the children or just to fill up the spaces in the stomachs.


Address:

17, 19, 21, Jalan Hamid, Tanjong Tualang, 31800, Tanjong Tualang, Perak

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Au Pagolac - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vegetables and herbs aplenty in every Vietnamese restaurant. Almost to the point of making the point that these greens are the very essence of Vietnamese culinary treasure and pleasure.

This restaurant is on the first level almost patio-like platform overlooking the street. I have eaten here half a dozen times and a favourite food hunting ground as well as entertaining friends who were here for the first time.

The have a wide variety of dishes but I have always asked for their set of 7 types of beef. Each done differently. More than 20 years ago they even get you the charcoal grill to grill the beef slices (1). Now, the pleasure was theirs.

Next we have smaller raw beef slices (2) and tripe (3) to be cooked in a hot pot. The broth was sourish (vinegar broth) with onions slices and an egg. Add these into these meat hotpot. The beef slices needed a momentary soak while the tripe was ok for a longer immersion.

It then moved quickly to some very beefy stuff. The steamed beef patty (4) and the grilled beef patties (5). The third was beef patties wrapped in  piper lolot leaves (6) (like betel but without the intense taste). These three were unique and have their own intense taste and smell all coming from the various additions which made up their secret recipes.

Finally, the minced beef soup with popped rice noodles was a hearty soup (7).

Take note at Pic 4. Various condiments, sweet sour sauce, chilli sauce and fish sauce. It came with jicama sticks, sliced lemongrass, rice paper, dried and crispy crepes, rice noodles squares together with lots of herbs and vegetables. Be innovative and learn how to make various rolls out of the rice paper and lettuce and dipped it into the sauces for each of their peculiar tastes and effects.






Address:
978 Đường Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường 7, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Chicken Soup with Common Vegetables - Homecooking

How do you get a good bowl of soup and I mean a solid one! It can be done using an electric pressure
cooker. The time taken plus prep will just be 10 minutes preparation time for the ingredients and 30
minutes for the soup to be ready.
The process is simple and we get a good part of a great quick meal cooked. I thought I got one of the
best clear chicken soup. It was sweet and nutritious. No salt was needed.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Ingredients:
1) Chicken breast with bones and ribs - 140gms
2) Good quality Anchovies/Ikan Bilis - 40gms
3) 2 tomatoes, 
4) 1 yellow onion, 
5) 1 potato, 
6) 2 carrots and
7) A few sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
Instruction:
Cut up the chicken and the vegetables to 2inch size chunks. Put all into the pot and cover with water till
an inch above the ingredients. Set to soup (20mins). It will need about 10mins before pressurising
happens. Serve with soy sauce if needed.






Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bún Chả, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Bun Cha here in Bui Vien Street is super famous. Lunch or dinner a line will form before it opens for business. Originated from Hanoi, I supposed this will be a taste of the North. Bui Vien Street in recent 3 years have been transformed into a happening place for backpackers.Previously it was the parallel Pham Ngu Lao and the perpendicular De Tham streets. Comd dusk this street is musky with sweat from all who come here looking for action. It's wine, dine and song.

Smack right in Bui Vien Street will be Bun Cha 145. It is well recommended in the social media so needs no introduction. The must have will be Bun Cha Noodles. It consists of a bowl of grilled pork in a bowl of clear soup with sweet and sour notes. The pork is smoky, tasty and aromatic. What do you expect from grilled pork from the Vietnamese?

Add the chilli slices and garlic pieces into the soup. Then the lettuce and lastly the Bun (thin rice noodles). Then dig in. Despite the various testimonies, I found the sweet and sour taste not complementary to the meat and noodles. Maybe I have had too many of the southerners' very strong fish sauce, beefy, lemongrass, pork (and others) bones soup. Again I emphasise it is more of preference than quality.

I ordered another dish as I found the Bun Cha portion was not sufficient for lunch. So I went for Fried Fish Paste in Green Rice. The fish balls were stretchy and QQ and the taste again was superior yet subtle. This I must say was very good. Worthy for fine-dining restaurant!



Address:
145 Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Crunchy and Sweet Stir-fry Holland Peas

This is another version of Cantonese stir-frying. I have with me Holland Peas. It's different from Sweet Peas in that the peas inside the Holland Pea pod are much smaller.

Ingredients:
130gm Holland Peas
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tsp Oyster sauce (reduce or increase to taste)
1 tsp soya sauce (reduce or increase to taste)

Cooking:
1) Heat wok to high heat, reduce to mid
2) Put in garlic and fry till fragrant
3) Put in pods and then Oyster and Soya Sauce
4) Since Holland Peas are quite flat without the large peas inside, a minute to two is sufficient
5) Plate and enjoy







Monday, July 9, 2018

Kopitiam Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock - Oasis, Ar Damansara

We need a good brunch fix during Hari Raya holidays and were running out of options. Decided to drive into Oasis, Ara Damansara. Fortunate to catch them.

Usually the car parking was not so amenable but well its the holidays. Zoomed in to the cart selling nasi lemak and we were rewarded. Deep-fried while leg of the chicken. Fantastic taste. A good start.

And being a sucker for sticky rice and a bigger sucker for yellow/kunyit sticky rice, the choice was as clear as day. So ended up with the curry chicken complement of the style of Kapitan curry. Yup, every bit of the curry gravy were gone at the end.

A little grouse here, the sticky rice was too moist for my liking. Still a good eat. The price was very reasonable. My first but will not be the last.

Address:
B-G-01 Block B, Oasis Square, Jalan PJU 1A/7, Oasis Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya,

Friday, July 6, 2018

J C Expresso Coffee - Bandar Sri Damansara

I have been here a couple times. Used to be my old neighbourhood and I did enjoyed a cuppa here with friends. Coffee was better than the usual. I esp liked their Piccolo Latte, really rich and taste and smell of good coffee.

Their kitchen produced good food. When hungry pick up some of the staple Cafe food. My salmon steak with spaghetti was filling, the pasta, aldente and the  steak well done.

Good for tete-a-tete, its airconed and the spacious seating arrangements with comfortable table and chairs. Sometines, lost track of time.

Do try their cakes too. May not be top of the line but good over a conversation and help to relax and bring out the good mood. A great place for a neighbourhood cafe. I am not sure if they like my classification but I do hope people outside the neighbourhood can drop by. But for that they need to have some top drawer signature food and drinks.



Address:
5, Jalan Ara SD 7/3a, Bandar Sri Damansara,

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Burger Nasi Lemak - McDonald's

Nasi lemak burger? Only from McD or else someone else will steal their thunder? There is no monet to n be made from it i believe. It is for novelty sake and bragging rights. I doubt this product will last as the price of RM14. 95 ala carte is prohibitively high. Try once if you want.

The smell and taste of Sambal was there. Somehow it will not surpassed those with a banana leave as a base layer to absorb the heat or impart an infusion of the leaf to the meal. Missing were the usual suspects of sotong, rendang and surprise, there were no ikan bilis and peanut. And of course the nasi lemak can't be there as there was the bun!

But then you may want to try the Nasi Lemak but not the burger kind. I will get it soon!