Thursday, January 31, 2019

Star Viet Restaurant - Ara Damansara

One of the way to assess food from abroad is definitely on the usage of authentic ingredients. Vietnamese ingredients were initially difficult to come by. The early years were difficult times for these restaurants. They tried hard despite of the deficit but somehow picky well-travelled customers knew the differences and would not be satisfied.

I was talking to the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant recently and was informed that authentic Vietnamese products and ingredients are coming to our shores in profusion. This is not surprising considering the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese in factories and various industries.

Case in point was the very Vietnamese baby crabs used for a seafood dish was available in his restaurant. We took up his offer to have his chef cook these crustaceans for us. A first for me and an eye-opener on how times have changed. So there is no excuse of not able to source for certain ingredients not found here.

StarViet Pho Bo (beef rice noodles) and Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef and pork rice noodles, from central) were on song. Both authentic and one of the best tasting Vietnamese noodles around. The broth for Pho Bo was thick and sweet. Many hours were spent just getting the broth ready. The central noodles were spot on with strong lemongrass accent in the broth.

The ala carte dishes were ok. The beef with vegetables platter needed some sparkle. A bit too Chinese for those looking for an authentic dish. The braised trotters needed a bit more of the fish sauce (nuoc mam) and again needed a wave of the wand. And my bowl of desserts were a bit too thick. No doubt it was made up of grains, cereals and nuts and expected to be thick in consistency.

If you are looking for Vietnamese food in this part of the town, look no further as this homey restaurant has more surprises for you and I by the look of their menu.

I-G-5, Block I, Jalan PJU 1a/1, Taipan Damansara 2 Ara Damansara

Monday, January 28, 2019

Restoran Poh Heng Curry Noodles - Ipoh

Poh Heng has one of the best curry noodles in town. Their competitors would surely be Yee Fatt and Police Station Curry Noodles. I promised to progressively introduced to my better half, the best curry noodles in town. The stall owner is confident of his wares as they operate the sole stall in the kopitiam.

Their curry was built from scratch out of spices. It was thin on santan (coconut milk) and heavy on the spices giving a it a strong taste and smell. The dry curry gravy was thick and was only watered down by the moisture left on the noodles after the jiggling act of cooking it in a pot of hot liquid.

The shop also has alot of stuff  "liews" (Yong Tau Foo in KL). The Jicama Liew (mix of jicama, starch and spices) is Ipoh specialty and  much sought after. Soak it in the curry broth or gravy and it will taste heavenly. Besides that we have the usually suspect and the best of the lot would be the stuffed tofu and the beancurd sheet done in a variety of ways with fish paste.

28, Jalan Tokong, Pasir Puteh, Ipoh

Friday, January 25, 2019

Restoran Kim Wah (Tg Tualang) - Farlim, Ipoh

They cut their teeth in Tg Tualang. Now they have a branch near to Farlim, a once sleepy hollow small town and village, just outside Ipoh. Their regulars come in droves. That's the reason for the negative comments in the social media over their service. We arrived hungry and the ground floor was filled so we were seated upstairs away from the attention. Extra effort was needed to get the attention of their waiting staff otherwise all were well. The promise of good food mitigated the discomfort of the wait. After all, there was a crowd.

The food was tasty and good and the price was reasonable. The kitchen was well- managed going by the quality and the delivery. Don't expect fine-dining 5-stars churn-out despite the brand-new restaurant and china were targeting weddings and big parties.

The duck were restaurant standard, well-marinated to work the taste in and the skin were crisp evident that it wen through the hot oil bath before serving to us. The braised trotters came with nothing amissed. The little touches of spices were there with the usual quality soy sauce to make the gravy taste savoury and with accompanying touches of sweet.

The rest of the food were Cantonese and light on sauces and strong taste as i have an octogenarian with me.

Do go early to avoid crowds and unsatisfactory service that some of us expect

1, 3, 24 & 26, Jalan Mas 2, Taman Mas, 30100 Ipoh, Perak
05-282 2228

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Pho Flinders Express - Flinders Street, Melbourne

Australia has received lots of Vietnamese refugees since the end of the Vietnamese Civil War. Since 1975 refugees left the south in droves and many landed in Australia especially in Footscray. Australian cuisine has since being enriched by dishes deeply flavoured by fish sauces and aromatic and fragrant herbs and spices.

The most famous dish among them were the Pho, rice noodles with beef or for the matter all manners and parts of the cow. I have enjoyed good bowls of Pho in Vietnam over numerous occasions and I was not to be stopped when a friend in Melbourne wanted to treat us Vietnamese food.

This bowl of Pho is authentic and has all the ingredients needed. Aromatic lemongrassy broth steeped for hours in cow and pork bones. Good fresh slices of Australian beef and I ordered my bowl with pieces of yellow cow fat. These are delicacies to those who like animal fat. And yellow fat is the best.

Our sides have to be prawn dim sum and Vietnamese spring roll. The rolls were as they should be after downing hundreds of rolls in Vietnam through the years of visit and work. The prawns dim sum was also great with nice size fresh shrimps accompanying.

288/290 Flinders St, Melbourne, Australia

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Niu Niu Kulai Beef Noodle - Taman OUG

Kulai to KL, a migration of these out of towners to the promise land. Tangkak has been around for a while. Hope the Seremban market will move in soon. Very clean eatery and open kitchen concept with lots of glass and good eating implements.

Southern style and with soya and sticky sauces as toppings. It also comes with a plate of pickled radish. This will really open up your appetite. Stir it and whirl it and the flavours will be coating the noodles.

The beef slices and beef balls have the required taste and freshness. The sauces were flavourful, aromatic with a bit of tart. If you are hankering for beefy noodles and looking to shop in the morning market in OUG this may be a worthy pitstop for your breakfast

44-58, Jalan 16, Taman Overseas Union, Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Siam Road Char Koay Teow, Penang

This uncle has been around for ages but on a different business platform. He has a shop now and some handlers, young folks helping out in a new shop. Family members? Maybe profit-sharing? Or they employed the uncle for a fee? Hahaha, leave it to some detectives to find out.

By 12 noon you will have at least 10-20 folks queuing for their plate of goodness. Numbers were handed out. So to each his own, seated or standing and most fiddling their smart phones, looking busy while whiling their time away.

Its so nice to be wanted and waited on, uncle! Our plates came within 30mins and shall I say, well, what can I say? Its good and ddfinitely Penang. I can shout it from the rooftop but then is it superlative? You judge for yourself. It has the dry noodles which I like and the fire is sufficient to give it the CKT wok hie coating. Light on sauces which was good. This would not mask the fragrance of the noodles that came from the expert's hand.

The hype is still there. My friend who without fail would visit this uncle when he is in Penang was pining for his CKT since the closure and many thought he had retired for good. But who knows, he was coaxed (I thought) to come out of retirement for the last hurrah. Like a good boxer, there will always be the last fight. I hope he will continue to be blessed and we be blessed.

82, Jalan Siam, George Town, Pulau Pinang
New Siam Road Char Koay Teow

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Shu Dao Jin Li Shanghainese Restaurant, Sunway Nexis, Kota Damansara

I got a treat from my classmate. He runs a business nearby and wanted to take us out for a meal at a newly opened restaurant. These food fed 5 male adults.

It is of the Mainland Chinese/Malaysian Chinese fusion style. The dishes were good. A mix of rich and simple food.

The 2 tastes Chinese Carp head was opulent. It came last and we were not able to do justice to it. The collageny skin and bits and parts of the head were most sought after.

The white chicken was by no means white. The skin told us a different story. It was a bit like the salty chicken. Thumbs up for flavour.

The 2 plates of shrimps were simple and savoury, done the Cantonese way. Crunchy prawns with simple direct style to let them speak for themselves. No remnants left behind.

Finally a simple peasant dish. Potatoes with vinegar and spiced up with dried chillis. Lastly the comfort food for many who have links to the farm land and villages. Cabbages with slices of pork belly. Simply got lost in a fit of nostalgia

B-G-7 Sunway Nexis, No, 1, Jalan PJU 5/1, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Big Tree Lin Kee Steamed Fish Head - Taman Connaught, Cheras

Ever so often I will be brought to some faraway place and strange shack for a stomach busting meal. The Chinese Carp head and belly were steamed just right ie slightly over-cooked. Meat was firm and the sauce was all over yet not overwhelmingly overboard.

There were three tastes: savouriness from the Tau Cheong base was clearly evident, followed by the sweetness from the sauces' caramel and finally some tart from dried Mandarin skin where it gave off the sweet and aromatic taste and smell. The rest of the dishes were ordinary in comparison to the signature dish

87, Jalan Waras 3, Taman Connaught, Kuala Lumpur

Monday, January 7, 2019

I Suka Seafood Restaurant - Teluk Panglima Garang, Selangor

Just ahead of Teluk Panglima Garang there is this quiet place with a good view for seafood lovers to have a relaxing dining experience. Both of us went for lunch. As is customary we either over order and over eat or go for just enough and cut of the vegetable dish.

We chanced upon the kurau (suan foong) fish head. A delicacy not easy to come by and it went for RM12 per 100gm. The slightly under 1 kg head will cost us over RM100. It was cooked and baked in the claypot with its own juices and some onions, garlic and simple sauces. The taste was the sweet flesh of one of the most sought after fish.

They have small squids and it attracted us as it was cooked with dried prawns and the usual onions, chili padi and garlic. Again simple sauces. The squid was so fresh that it is still swimming in its own juices. The lady fingers were cooked just right and blended well with the squid. Overall a good meal.

They have ample parking and for those who want to try a spot of fishing, there is a huge operation next to it. Saw customers reeling in a 1 kilo plus Jenahak.

319, Batu 1 1, 2, Jalan Bandar Lama, 42500 Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor

Friday, January 4, 2019

Hing Kee Bak Kut Teh - Jalan Kepong

A quick bite at my regular BKT stall in Kepong. They open till late. With the current MRT works right in front of the shop, parking outside the shop is gone. But then parking is available after immediately turning left just after the shop. There are quite some spots at the back and further behind the shop.

The captain introduced a dish called the 'fat bone' with an extra RM2.50 premium. It is the pork belly and soft bone portion. These are superior cuts. Kudos to them. Innovations work all the time.

We also ordered the dry version with lots of dried cuttlefish. This is our favourite and a must order. The taste was strong and so was the cuttlefish smell. Expect it to taste strong savoury but with strong sweet hints from the dark soy sauce. Fatty cuts were also added to the claypot to oil the dish that has a good portion of lean meat.

95, Jalan Kepong

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Yong Tat Seafood - Teluk Gong

The best Lala Meehoon in Klang Valley? Arguably it is, as I have eaten salty, oily, inferior Lala, hard noodles, etc. But there may be others out there to be discovered!

The LongDan Fish (Giant Grouper) head was also good though a tad salty. Salt is from the soya sauce. The fish was fresh and the gelatinous skin was a joy to chew. The texture was so pleasurable to the palate.

The owner's daughter was kind enough to advise us not to over order. This kind of service orientates towards long term relationship. I was told that they are also famous for their big sea prawns, perhaps the next round

Don't expect the Teluk Gong swaying coconut trees and pastoral scences. This restaurant is fronting the main arterial road in Teluk Gong and expect trucks and noise. But once inside their restaurant its bliss.