Friday, June 28, 2019

Ah Yap Chicken Restaurant - Kepong

I am tuned in to Chicken Rice. Not sure why. This is clucky season for me. It turns my stomach on. I salivate hearing it. A good friend posted on a regular basis the chicken rice from this particular stall. They raved about it. That was sufficient motivation to make the trip to Kepong.

Another factor that lured me there on this Friday afternoon was that the area has very good parking spaces. The shed that homed the stall was decent and parked next to the flyover. It's sheltered enough and since its opened 4 ways, it's airy.

We arrived at about 1230pm. Within 5 mins the boss came and took our orders. Another 5 mins our meal came. Soon customers came flooding in and some have to wait for tables to clear.

The sight of the drumstick, thigh and wing neatly presented with its yellow Kampung chicken skin, vying for attention. It was such an appetising sight. Ginger and chili sauces were at the table. What's unexpected was another small bowl of ginger, garlic and spring onion sauce brought to us with the chicken. This condiment was delicious and refreshing. A first for me. It was such a tasty accompaniment that I forgotten to take a pic.

The meat was juicy and the chicken was chewy and done just right. No blood in sight. The oil and the meat got ruminated in my mouth as I ate and I tried to put words into my experience.

The soya sauce were light as I think the owner wanted us to taste the meat for what it was. For that he was successful. We were so used to bland chicken eaten with lots of strong sauces or had it pan-fried, bbq, roasted or deep-fried.

The owner was known to avoid lots of oil and salt for obvious reasons. Food should be eaten to be enjoyed. The saying goes, "having a good appetite is a blessings". Indeed, I am blessed.

Accompanying the star of the show was my chicken innards and some pork balls. Not forgetting the rich, delectable and fragrant smelling soup. It must have been boiled a number of hours. Catch it and boast it!

Ah Yap Chicken Restaurant
1175, Jalan Kanan, Desa Jaya Kepong
012-323 1364

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Awesome Penang Durians, Labu, Red Prawns, Green Skin, Jantung, Red Meat, Tian Sern and Khoon Pa

This round I manage to have a good dose of Penang wide variety of durians. Truly for those who have had enough of 101, D24 and Musang King.

My personal assessment base on my taste buds. The best would be Red Prawns when the quality is good. The 2nd would be Khoon Poh.

Pictures' numbers correspond with the commentaries

1) Ho Lor or Labu (Eat first)
Sweet taste ask for those less sweet if you know the seller
Neutral smell
Firm texture
Look goods with presentable look

2) Ang Bak or Red Meat (Eat first)
Big airil with thick flesh
Some seed were as small as 5aen coin
Not creamy, flesh is drier
Looked less oily
Flesh looks a bit more to nangka
Sweet and straightforward taste

3) Ang Heh or Red Prawns (Eat midway)
Quality depends on season, listen to your reliable seller for advice
Bitter undertones with coffeeish flavour and smell
Quite earthy
Smaller sees make this value for money
Yellowish and more to orangey colour with whitish patches

4) Khoon Poh (Eat mid-way to last)
Pillowy and yellow
Fragrant earthy smell and taste
Watery based not so creamy
Soft custardy texture

5) Jantung (Eat midway to last)
Bitter and liquery
Sweet and firmer flesh
Large seeds

6) Tian Sern (Eat last)
Strong bitter undertones
Smaller seeds
Liquer flavour and nunbing

7) Green Skin or 15 (East last)
Firm flesh
Strong bitter aftertaste
Liquer smell
Round seeds

Monday, June 24, 2019

Menglembu Famous Chinese Big Apom - Apam Balik @ near Menglembu Market

A Cold War spy novel usually features a spy with many faces and names. Here is one big face with many names. Apam Balik, Bang Ching Kuih, Dai Gow Min.... But through the years it remains essentially the same. Good ole pancake-style dough, with sugar, margarine and crushed peanut.

And the flat copper brass wok is humongous. The thick heavy pan retain heat and make the cooking fast, even and consistent. Lots of ingredients have to go in to make one big face cake. Dividing it up will get 10 slices of rather large Apam Balik.

Times have changed, from Cold War to Detent and the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991. And now there is another Cold War brewing, this time over trade, annexation and human rights. An Internet check of other floggers for the price in 2010 for this particular Apam Balik was RM7.00 for the pan. Now its RM11.00. But then its still cheaper than many in KL.

There were customers waiting for this hometown favourite. And they have only one fire! Most came for the whole pan and each pan takes about 10 mins to turn around. Inside knowledge told me that they actually cook it faster than norm to make sure the lines were cleared quickly and not choked up the queue. Otherwise, customers will be deter to join the line or bring make to wait too long.

This little compromise would generally make it slightly less chewy and the texture and feel are slightly mushier and the sides less crispy. Anyway, I was still very happy with mine. Lots of margarine. They literally slathered thick sloshes of it on the pancake. And crushed peanut was aplenty. That's made my day. Just live and love it!

Menglembu Famous Chinese Big Apom
6A, Jalan Kledang, Taman Menglembu, 31450 Ipoh, Negeri Perak

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Yew Kei Seafood Restaurant - Tanjung Tualang Perak

We travelled 50 mins to Tg Tualang but alas it was too late to catch the famous fresh water prawns at this restaurant. It can be cooked in a variety of ways. It was sold out. We have to make do with crabs and fish.

The steam and the butter crabs were super fresh. The steam crabs with a wine-infused flavour was cooked right rendering the meat firm and sweetish with that Chinese wine fragrance. Focus on the crab and not the gravy or rather liquid from the aftermath of the steaming. Some wine are for infusion and not gravies and sauces. The butter crab was delicious - too bad there was not enough of the buttery goodness sticking on to the crab. Again it might distract the diner from the crustaceans.

We had patin but thought that the fish was not 'homed' enough (probably a week in clean water) to get rid of the mud taste. They were gracious to change it to a nice looking black with colourful hues tilapia. This was good and fresh. The Soya Sauce bath was a tad sweet though.

The other meat was their ginger chicken. The ginger paste was in abundance and seasoned with a right amount of Soya Sauce. A touch of cornstarch to thicken it and viola a beautiful tasty sauce to accompany the chicken. This should be one of their signature dish.

The final two dishes were quite customary and being repeated time and again in our dinner orders. Both are reputed to be healthy dishes and are ordered to balance the overall meat and crustaceans orders. The Tofu was delicious. Crisp and taut on the outside and revealing the silky, rich and creamy inside. The Soya Sauce was again a shade too sweet for me. The vegetables were soft and tender as sweet potatoes shoots should be. And the lard smell lingered in the air for a while before being overwhelmed by other dishes.

Lovely evening. I wished I could strolled by their famous rivers where the prawns used to be caught. Of course, not anymore as modernity and demands from outstationers and beyond flood in. Seems that these prawns came from Teluk Intan area. If you are in Ipoh or on the way from the south do drop by for a meal. And go early for their fresh water prawns.

No. 1, Jalan Pasar, 31800 Tanjung Tualang, Negeri Perak
05-360 6686

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Menglembu Afternoon Market Hawkers' Square - Menglembu

These are days of discovery and also retro living. People are getting in touch and in tune with their roots. There is no shame to get tuck oneself back to humble beginnings. Firmly grounded, provides the foundation and impetus to move and reach forward.

Food is one of the most important driver of culture and custom. An episode on Menglembu from Jason's Market Trails sent me scrambling and yearning. I got my chance one afternoon.

The food in Menglembu Market starts at 1pm. Where the morning session closes, the afternoon commences. Its a collection of carts and mobile trucks plying their trade at a rather large square. Mind you it's hot but folks walloped the food with gusto. Many sampled the various delicacies and tables' space was all taken up.

We started out with ToFuFar and Chee Cheong Fun. It's very cheap compared to those at touristy places, suffice to say. ToFuFar was as smooth as the baby's skin and the Ginger Gula Melaka would satisfied any sweet tooth. The Chee Cheong Fun has the sweet red sauce, sour (green chili), curry and savoury soya sauce. I had all of these in and it was so good. An explosion of robust flavours. The curry pork rind was heavenly. Soaked in curry through its porous skin, what an incredible eat.

Then we moved on to the Lok Lok which was way too expensive for me in KL. In fact I have stop eating them. Here it's just RM1 for each incredible stick. The Sotong and Kangkung were a good combination. Then I move on to the pig's head skin and ears. Well braised with savoury goodness. The peanut sauce was rich, creamy and thick. Though the spiciness was low, one can add chilis sauces spice it up. But to me the condiments were so attractive and complemented the LL sticks and best of all it tasted expremely fresh. Just made!

Finally, the desserts of the day was the ABC. Take your pick. I can't go on anymore as I had late breakfast and some Big Wok Apam Balik earlier. Of you don't mind the heat and the chaotic goings on, take this trip and experience the wet market food culture.

P/S as it was a holiday, I could not lay my hands on the roast pork. The line were formidable, can't even see the end of it. Reputed to be the top 3 in Ipoh. But I got the pictures 😉 as well as the Kue Kak (Fried Radish Cake) and CRISPY Alam Balik 😋. Needless to say, I will be back esp for the unreciprocated love for the roast pork

Morning Wet Market of Menglembu
Jalan Lee Ming Hin, Ipoh

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Restoran Chong Yang - Leong Sin Nam Street Ipoh (Opposite Foh San)

Ipoh during holidays can be a bit of a organised madhouse when it comes to eating. One civilised Wat is to go later which means towards noon. This means most of the choicest morsels are gone. The best bet is to have a Plan B.  Always have in mind an alternative nearby which is less crowded and you can get good food speedily.

After arriving at Ming Court Dim Sum at Jalan Leong Sin Nam and upon seeing the hungry horde we retreated to Foh San which usually has no problem. We couldn't find a table and seeing the queue at the food stations (new procedure) we abandoned the idea of dim sum.

Hahaha, out of the deep recesses of my mind came Plan C. Diagonal opposite of Foh San Dim Sum situates the very common Coffee| Shop Chong Yang. It was crowded but manageable. Got our table and quickly and randomly order our favourites.

The food was good. As usual our Ipoh favourites: Dry Curry Mee and Yong Tau Foo Liew was thumbs up. Dry Curry was alot of white chicken and roast pork. The curry was aromatic and the spices lift up the ordinary noodle to new heights. Ipoh standard. The YTF has excellent fish and pork paste products. I made the mistake of ordering some soya sheets. Don't bother.

Prasn Mee was prawny. The soup may have the prawns heads or prawns essence to get to that level of sweetness. Mind you no overwhelming deluge of MSG. Prawns were fresh, just wish it has more pork slices. Perhaps I was late. And finally the Teochew signature noodles called "Hor Hee". It can still be found albeit more and more difficult. A simple no fuss clear soup noodles with special fish and pork balls and cakes. For the soae of old times!

Finally, the Rice Dumpling, Bak Chang. My favourite but for RM7.50, better be good. But then the signs are there. They sell lots of them. Customers leave this Coffeeshop with so. E in their hands. My crown jewel if you may to be enjoyed at home.
Restoran Chong Yang 中央白咖啡饮食馆
57, Jalan Leong Sin Nam, Ipoh