Wednesday, August 28, 2019

San Peng Kai See Har Fun and White Chicken - San Peng Flats area

Alas! We arrived at the tail-end of the business day and have to do the mop-up operations. The 'Kai See Hor Fun's' broth has lost a bit of their bite. Usually the later it is in the day, the more diluted it gets. But then this is not the entire truth and may have other extenuating factors. Moral of the story is not to get to good eating places too late.

Still, the shrimp and chicken soup was savoury and hit the right notes. It was sweet and was squeezed out from the chicken bones and prawn shells'. The fragrances wafted to our noses and everyone let out a cry of anticipation.
The noodles got to be smooth, but not as smooth as those from Ipoh after all this is one of Ipoh's most famous hawker food's export. The shredded chicken was good and as fresh as could be. Otherwise, it would smell gamey.

The soya sauce chicken feet were still available. The gelatinous sticky skin was made so delicious with the soya sauce bringing the best out of it. There is something special about being sticky and saucy.

Finally, the free-range chicken was as good as it can be for the price we paid. It has to fulfill three good food points. Smooth and slippery exterior, firm and chewy texture and finally the taste must be more than a hint of good chicken. All these were there thankfully.

Guang Ji Ho Fun & Chicken Rice
Jalan San Peng, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Yin Ker Lou (Hakka Cuisine) - Citta Mall Ara Damansara

Of Central Kitchen and Old Chefs

A talk with the captain can be englightening. YKL Citta Mall has become a central kitchen and they have 2 very experienced chefs of 30 years that can do culinary wonders.

I ate quite some Hakka dishes in Taiwan Kaohsiung's outskirts. They were good, and unplugged. Lots of lard, big fire, big bowls and local ingredients harvested from the farms.

How does YKL measured up? I was disappointed a few months ago when I was there for a quick dim sum. Frankly, it was not up to mark. But off course dim sum is not their signature offering.

With the new narratives of central kitchen and old chefs, I am sold and will definitely try the dim sum again. In the meantime, I ordered some typical Hakka dishes this round.

The yam abacus was springy, stretchy and bouncy. But really, I wanted to smell the yam. Was it there? Yes. Then the full complement of the savoury bits and items like dried shrimps, mushrooms, minced meat and wood fungus. All very much part of this savoury dish. If it is there I am happy. It was good enough for me. I especially like it fried dry. I kind of associate food fired dried (exclude meat) with better taste as the sauces will be sticking on to the surfaces of the food and not the plate. It also heightens the taste.

The Hakka pork belly with red fermented beans need to be wet and a bit sloppy as the sauces go well with the rice. But anyhow, the opposite here, braised food should have sauces at the bottom of the plate or bowl. I was looking for the hint of red feemented beans and was not disappointed. Together with the wood ears again, it was a good eat.

Finally, the Hakka Stir Fried Vegetables. Well I thought I saw preserved vegetables. And this is a good alternative to the spicy 4 Heavenly king. Savoury again, I like savoury, not some sticky caramelised dish, the wok hei (breath of the wok) was pervasive and was a welcome to the nostrils. Sometimes, we need to rediscover our local heritage and add variety to our meals. This is one of them.

Ying Ker Lou (Citta Mall)
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
03-7859 0138

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo - Foong Foong Yong Tau Foo

Klang Valley is blessed with this gift since over 35 years ago. At least that was my count from my first visit in the mid-80s. You can still hear the Hakka dialect is spoken by some of the senior staff there.

Their fish paste has added in it, salted fish, a Hakka not so secret ingredient. It is distinct and adds character to the dish. The taste and aroma were muscled and reined into their culinary narratives. The pungent smell and the arresting taste, alter and lift this ubiquitous, healthy and simple dish to another notch.

Due to the large volume of orders, the food was almost cooked to order. The vegetables were fresh. The tofu has the right texture, soft yet would not break easily. Finally, the soya sheets and pastry skin were excellent. It efficiently wraps the fillings and let itself be sacrificed as a crispy and tasty wrap. I don't usually eat a lot of this deep-fried stuff but these to me were the best of the best.

I found their fillings or toppings, generous much more compared to many other vendors. The price at RM1.50 is cheap compared to many others who are selling at RM1.80 per piece.

This place packs in the crowd at lunch and weekends. The lunch crowd looked like they were from the offices nearby. The reason was the 12 to 1 pm hour seemed to be loosely packed. Come at 1 pm onwards we saw the office crowd in their appropriate office wear arriving.

The ambiance is village-style with lots of space you can't find elsewhere. The wind was circulating and the table arrangements were not claustrophobic. But the most important contributions of space to a restaurant was having a good size kitchen. This is where the food can be properly and unhurriedly prepared. For that reason the workers were relaxed and this would mean good food.

Go by and have a chillax lunch. I think I will be making more regular visits too.

Foong Foong Yong Tau Foo
621, Jalan Merdeka, Kampung Baru Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor
012-209 5529

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Sisters Curry Noodles, Sea Park

This is an old-style and -time kopitiam. The owner obviously is in no rush to spruce it up. Why fix it while it is still in running condition. Business is consistent and they have a few good stalls with steady clientele. If not mistaken, the night session has a good Bak Kut Teh running the show.

The famous stall would be the Sisters Curry Noodles. They have their own following as the ingredients are of good quality and fresh. The curry paste was done daily.
I reckon that they have more of the northern style characteristics as my wife, a Penangnite, seemed to enjoy it so much. The soup base was tops. Aromatic, savoury and creamy. There was a good balance of all the various tastes of sweet, savoury, rich santan and some tart.
The cockles were very fresh. I asked for extra portion and ilthey did not disappoint. Cockles are cheap and the last I checked was RM22 per kg and there is not alot left after the shells were removed.
After the curry, I was tempted to order their beef noodles since I was sitting next to their stall and saw all the happenings. The toppings looked generous enough. A bit disappointed, as I have eaten better. Soup lacked the needy depth of the backup of good beefy smell and taste. Sadly, the salt in the broth rose up stronger and kind of elbowed aside the strong showing from the beef slices and tripes toppings.
If you are there try out the other stalls selling Teochew porridge with its accompanying side dishes. Chee Cheong Fun and Yong Tau Foo was said to be good too.

Restaurant Sum Fatt Kee
2, Jalan 21/11b, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
019-329 3823