Friday, March 29, 2019

Chek Hup Mandheling Black Coffee Sachet

Ever so unoften we get an innovative product. A few tweaks, some careful procurement and work with the source may give us a good commodity to work on. It takes some degree of perseverance and desire to bring a good product to fruition. In fact let us not trivialise product development as it takes lots of R&D and funds to get one product going. Hope this one will last.

Since about 8 years ago there was an underground fan base for Chek Hup Coffee. No joke. My god-sister in Penang insisted on this particular brand and nothing else. She said the taste and fragrance were natural and did not feel artificial.

Chek Hup to Ipohan's was a confectionery producer and has little to do with coffee. But once they put their feet in, they were careful in using in good ingredients. Case in point was the sugar. My brother told me the cane sugar used in their packs actually make their coffee taste much better. Second, the subject of this short note, was their Mandheling coffee. Its one of the best in Indonesia. There may be many other strong points that made them what they are today.

I travel often to Indonesia and one of my favourite coffee is Mandheling's Arabica. I believe this coffee had strong initial links with the Ipoh Coffee roasters in which alot of their beans came from Mandheling Sumatra, that was, until the Japanese bought them all up.

The coffee tastes strong, robust and fruity. I like to have a hint of cane sugar from the rock sugar stick. Let it dissolves completely or stirs in enough as preferred. Keep it up, Chek Hup!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Love Earth Black Coffee - In Search of Great Black Coffee Sachet

Some of the best childhood experiences we're at the dining round table. Whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. We don't eat anywhere else except at that table. In the morning at my grandma's house a big kettle filled with black sweet coffee will be there. It was the entire family beverage. No Milo or tea. I love its thick sweetness. The closest to that kind of coffee I could find will be at the morning wet market breakfast sector.

This sachet was made of coffee from the east coast of Peninsula. Most certainly lowland Robusta. That typical thick black acidic beans roasted Hainanese style with sugar and margarine and some with spices. This was sugared and also with bamboo salt added.

Well how did it went? Good enough as per taste described above. Still I yearn for the Aik Cheong Kopi O sachet. Sadly, it is not easily found even other Aik Cheong's were available. Either it was sold out or just hard to find. Keep a lookout and try it!

Read Love Earth (The Star 19April2019) latest story here:

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Hakka Rang Restaurant - Kota Damansara

How do I simply rate this restaurant with a short sentence? A homely spacious family serving comfort food. What can you do be the best possible host? It is by creating a welcoming atmosphere for every dining guest. Did you see the dishes we ordered? Most of dishes found on our tables were food eaten on a frequent basis. It was cheap but nice and evoked the comfort feelings. And for today, it was a treat from a school mate, a great and generous host.

Hakka braised pork was yummy with that thick gravy without the bitter after-taste from the black fungus. Popular till all the sauces were wiped clean. The abacus seeds were also done right without too much starch. It was dry fried with lots of shallots, garlic and mince pork and several touches of soy sauce. Simple and appetising.

Minced pork homestyle - the picture spoke a thousand times that it was comfort food from mother's home kitchen. Our next meat dish was the redoubtable salted chicken. Done well the chicken is supposed to be chewy and salty. If you have not been n to a salt lick pool for a while you would know what I meant. We took the salty morsels with relish.

Even the vegetables dishes here has a heavy homecooked touch. The tomato egg and bitter gourd with Salted vegetable strips were a good end to our Hakka food. It should be over barred the calling out that we had a good meal until someone asked for the iconic Hakka noodles to round up the meal. So we had the springy al dente noodles with tofu pok and lots of unadulterated with brownish sauces minced pork.

47-1, Jalan PJU 5/7, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya

Tel: 018-388 8620

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Chen Chen BBQ Goose Duck - Jalan Seladang Off Lorong Yap Hin

One of our favourites roasted meat haunt. We had our goose drumstick and thigh. Tender and sweet. No gamey taste and smell. The BBQ Pork was caramelised well. Sweet roast with lean meat and fat. This was the chewy kind. We had sour vege and soup to complement our lunch. For those who must have their rice go for the turmeric rice. Subtle hint of spices and a better flavour rice

24, Jalan Seladang, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-233 3083

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Chinese Desserts @ Restoran Ruby Jalan Kancil, Pudu

We went here after our lunch for our desserts. I went for their black sesame seeds. It was thick but alas not sweet enough for me. I know nowadays most operators try to cut down on sugar for their customers. The rest have their own preferences. They have almond, walnut and peanut. Ground daily in situ, the operations are in the premise. Of course they have much more on offer besides the deserts. Check them out at their website

Jalan Kancil
Kuala Lumpur
Mon - Sun: 11:00 - 00:15

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Best Dry Curry Noodles @ Woh Heng Coffee Shop - Ipoh

The shop and the five foot way was packed. Hungry souls were waiting for their orders. Why come here? Why my father patronised this shop and also took me here 4 decades ago?

I will give 5 stars for shop one of the kind curry taste and aroma. Very Indian inspired. Saw 2 Indian families having their breakfast when I was there. Uncommon in Ipoh.

Do not expect mild stuff. Their servings assault your senses. They carry it to the extreme. A dollop of strong paste/gravy plus a thick curry broth being poured in. Enjoy it.

There was a 30mins wait. They will come to your table for orders if they are busy. Take the number dispensed to you.

Oh, another tip, don't forget to order their in-house sticky rice with kaya. Really good too

47, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakry, Taman Jubilee, Ipoh
012-555 3282

Monday, March 11, 2019

Wong Fee Kee Rest- Roast

We went for the afternoon session at about 1pm. The Chee Cheong Fun (you can ask for other noodles) was OK but the pork balls and stuffed tofu were very good. The texture was smooth without the meat fibres yet chunky enough for a good palatal feel as I ate. It's homemade and don't missed it.

We were at the tail-end of the roast pork session. Fortunately we caught the last piece. It's was very fatty, greasy, dirty looking but very tasty. Good marination of spices and salt. We were looking forward to the Chu Chap Chuk with the porky innards and the crispy intestines. The porridge was average but the Chu Chap was good. Not easy to find food like this anymore.

Lorong Bercham 5, Kampung Bercham, 31400 Ipoh, Negeri Perak

Friday, March 8, 2019

Steam on Demand Chee Cheong Fun @ Kedai Kopi Tai Kung - Ipoh

The CCF here was steamed on the spot for freshness and texture. It was top by no customary bought in the store fried shallots. These were crispy shallots the without the stale oil smell and powdery remnants. You know it was homemade with the great taste and look. 

Ask for your choice of Ipoh usual sweet sour, mushroom and soy sauces. Or even mix them up if you want. My CCF hunt is getting more exciting. Price: RM3.50 with dried prawns. Be prepared to wait 30mins. Operations were run by 2 elderly ladies. The entire shop was waiting for them to steam the CCF plate by plate. 

11-17, Jalan Chung Ah Ming, Taman Hoover, 31650 Ipoh, Perak

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Musang King Durians at Golden Durio - Ara Damansara

Notice: Looked like they have closed the business, will update if re-open

You can literally dine on all things durians in comfort. The place is spacious and airy. The people there are attentive and service oriented and want you to have a best possible experience. They will pander to your every whims. Tell them what you want in your durian and they will try to fulfill them.

I have gone here twice and each time I am convince that this may be the best place to eat and buy for durians. Admittedly each player is limited by what their farm produce unless they have tie-up with other farms. The fruits here were of consistent quality, taste, freshness and their level best ability and desire to give you what you want.

I had a few MSK durians in situ and also bought 1kg of frozen MSK durians (flesh and seeds). The 1 kg here is equivalent to about 5kg of unopened dudian.

I will revisit again when my craving returns and I guess its complicated by the CNY season. Anyhow, I will say that it will be sooner rather than later

33 Jalan PJU 1A/32 Ara Permata Business Centre, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya

016-698 6999

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Canning Garden Chee Cheong Fun - Ipoh

Finally I got to savour famous Canning Garden CCF, the 2nd generation is running it though. A good business is worth passing and also receiving. Hope the young people appreciate what they got from their parents or grandparents. Innovate and change if they must but do not tinker with the recipe for the mains and sauces.

The coffee shop has been there for many years and there are more coffee shops to explore. I noticed that there are 2 other corner lot shops packed with Malay customers. It's quite clear that this area is adjacent a huge military camp. This will be for another day.

We had CCF with three Ipoh basic sauces. The Sweet, Mushroom and Chili. The sweet sauce is also tart and both balance each other well. Heard about sweet and sour so and so _____? The mushroom sauce is basically savoury. The Chili sauce is spicy. Other sauces can be added in and combined. It is a bit tricky for me so I stick to just a sauce a plate.

My mother preferred savoury, I like the reddish sweet sour sauce and my wife took the spicy one being a Hokkien from the north.

The flat CCF noodles were a bit thick for my wife. I also prefer thinner ones, being eating the HKG style CCF with thin flat sheets. But these were smooth and I have a good chewy noodles that gave some good palate vibes.

Going back to the sauces. They were impeccable and each lived up to their names. And in CCF the most important element might just be the sauces. Here they won hands down.

5, Lorong Cecil Rae, Taman Canning, Ipoh

012-609 8412