Monday, April 13, 2020

Restoran Law Cheang Kee 璋记饭店 1962, Nibong Tebal

Quaint place, unplugged and patronised mostly by locals. You know its good thing breeds confidence seeing them. Just off the NSE and getting to the restaurant was a jiffy. But getting out was kind of tricky with a queue at the traffic junction heading to the expressway.

The food was homey and simple. We went for light sauces as we were going for seafood and preferred the freshness to speak for itself.

Famous for their crab porridge which was good. The pleasant taste of home-cool style fish was pervasive. It was done Hokkien style. Whole grain rice was present in the soup. Crabs were super good and fresh. Looked like those local varieties with hairy legs. The soup was delicious.

Moderate waiting time during lunch hour. We were informed via a notice that there was only one cook and be prepared to wait.

There seemed to be local favourites on each table like steamed stingray, different cooking styles of Lala (clams) and Tofu with chives. We went for the Lala in ginger and spring onion. The sauces complemented the fresh clams. The meat was clean, done well and firm yet not tough.

The Tofu and chives were done the same style as the Lala with ginger but instead of spring onions, we had chives. The slight peppery taste from the chives matched well with the plain, rich and creamy tofu.

Finally, the Hokkien style shrimp roll. Crisp in the outside but soft and moist inside. Slightly moister than what a Cantonese should be. I also missed the water chestnut. But then, I was reminded that I am in Hokkien land. The insides were however very tasty. Overall a good eat and a recommended one.

Restoran Law Cheang Kee 璋记饭店
1962, Jalan Che Ahmad, Taman Sentosa, Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang
04-593 1728

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Big Apam Balik (Tai Kow Meen), Pulau Tikus Wet Market, Penang

Everybody's favourite sweet dessert and breakfast portion. Anytime and everytime snack. But not everywhere available nowadays. I detest the small apam balik. Where got kick? I opt for Tai Kow Meen (Big chunky face) anytime, everytime and anywhere.

Must go if in Pulau Tikus market. Someplaces, long queue esp if the hawker has only one stove operating. And when they cut corners to speed up, you get less crispy sides and wetter insides.

Everything being equal, nuttier is not monkey. Hand me more crushed peanuts. And the more margarine, the better. I don't care if its a molecule away from that of plastic, so what! Add some salt even better and being indulgent, make it sweet, but to look after the health, not too sweet lah

Enjoy man!

Pulau Tikus Wet Market
3, Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus, George Town

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Kean Seng Lee Café, Kuala Kurau, Perak

A trip to Kuala Kurau means fresh seafood. I am glad to make this trip beyond Sepetang into Parit Buntar then dropping by a pomelo orchard with very good and juicy fruits. I reckon, comparable to those in Ipoh.

Seafood was simple kembong and some prawns. Kembong has some delicate flesh and steaming makes the flesh more fragile. Doing it right is the key. The meat came off tasting as a kembong should. Nuance and light in taste yet exhibiting the strength of character with its distinctive kembong smell. This is the reason why kembong is the Malaysian favourite small scaleless fish. The broth complemented the fish, lightly accented soy sauces and subtle, with some julienne ginger and chili to bring the kick — a good combination.

The prawns were done Thai style with a surprise bamboo twist. It's going native as bamboo cooking is an indigenous style of the Orang Asli. I would have preferred a more straightforward form, but alas, we eat together, so give and take. The sweet, sour, savoury and spicy dish has lots of onions slices to kick it up for a heightened chow.

Don't miss your seafood when in Kuala Kurau!

Kean Seng Lee Café
Kuala Kurau, Perak
011-2652 2991

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Kuala Kurau Prawn Fritters, Perak

What do you do with an abundant supply of fresh prawns? Wisdom and entrepreneurship produce some great culinary delights. One of them would be the Prawn Fritters. They are quite a few around, but this is the popular one. It is part just behind Kean Seng Lee Café that also serves excellent seafood, which is by the seafront. If there is a long queue for this delicious snack move on, there are a few nearby. Call ahead if you want to tapau a substantial amount to feed the whole village.

It's painful watching them adroitly in multiple tedious steps setting up the base or mold for the fritter in a ladle. Then the ingredients were added and followed by the topping up to put together each fritter. Finally, they put the ladle, which acted as a mold into the hot cauldron of oil for the final step. So don't begrudge the price.

Besides the basic batter made from flour, there were the Chives, Jicama (sengkuang) and a few pieces of prawns. These were quality prawns. The fritter was soft, fluffy and moist inside while it's external was crispy. The crunch from the Jicama, the distinctive scent from the Chives and the unadulterated and sweet aroma from fresh prawns these fritters make a good snack.

Kuala Kurau Prawn Fritters
Kuala Kurau, Perak
05-727 8171

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Kheng Pin Cafe, Jalan Penang, Georgetown

This kingpin has a long history. Another Penang flagship coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch. We already had our starters in Swee Kong at Burma Road half an hour earlier. We intended to go for their big 5. We managed only 4 and missed the Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Top of the line will be their Loh Bak, with pork marinated in 5-Spice Powder enclosed in a beancurd sheet. Deep-fried, it emited an aromatic fragrance like no other meat can release.

Loved by Penangnites and other dialects, it is a must-have in any Hokkien home during festivities. Crunchy and crisp beancurd with sweet, savoury meat, this is one dish no one can refuse. They have refrigerated ones for takeaways. It is easy to fry it at home.

Next, we go for their Char Koay Teow, which is famous Penang wide. Wok Hei and a combination of sweet and savoury soy sauces plus a splash of chili and a few large prawns made this dish so delectable for breakfast.

Then, the ubiquitous and obligatory Prawn Mee. It came in delicious thick broth replete with diffusion from prawn shells and pork bones with a small dish of sambal to enhance the soup any which way the diner wanted. It was topped with sliced pork and prawn with the eggs and deep-fried onion fritters. A complete meal that will satiate not only hunger pangs but also the taste buds.

Finally, the Wantan Noodles. It sprang a surprise. Really good springy noodles with a balance of sweet and savoury sauces that brought the noodles to life. Another jolt awaited us. It had chicken slices, mushroom, Wantan dumplings and BBQ Pork. Nice....

Kheng Pin Cafe 群宾茶餐室
80, Jalan Penang, George Town

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Traditional Indian Apom at Swee Kong Coffee Shop, Jalan Burma, Penang

"Your Airness" will be the best description for this traditional South Indian dish. Light and crispy sides with a concentrated dense yet fluffy central mass. It has a touch of coconut milk and sugar with a base of milled, fermented rice.

It is crafted over charcoal fire over in an evergreen clay pot. The only thing modern will be the stove with stainless steel coat to prevent cracking. If traditional is equated with quality and art, then the Apom should be good.

They did not disappoint. Crispy sides and fluffy and moist centre. Sweet, rich and satisfying. Mind you, beware; one will not be enough. If that is the only breakfast, you are having, go for 3 to 5 pieces. It is highly recommended to add an egg on top for a creamier Apom with the yolk staring out, inviting you to eat. It will also have a lighter tasting core with the presence of the egg white.

Try their Prawn Noodles and other delicacies in this old flagship of a coffee shop in Georgetown.

Swee Kong Coffee Shop
232, Jalan Burma, George Town

Friday, March 20, 2020

Jyu Raku, SS15, Subang Jaya

My go-to restaurant when I have a 'brilliant' idea to dine Japanese food. Will not go wrong. Get there early to settle down, order the food and relax.

For sashimi, beyond plumping the depths of its subtle taste and the fragrance of the sea, I look for texture. You can feel the freshness while tasting it. The tongue has, not just taste buds, but also nerves to feel.

The sashimi platter has the best to offer in terms of taste, smell and texture. The raw meat from the fish and sea creatures titillate and make the tastebuds tingle.

Each has its distinctiveness. You recognised them, but with superior selections, you get a heightened and newer dimension in culinary delight.

The salmon tasted so much better, it's stickier and denser. The meat clinged on to the palate. The tuna was smoother than its leaner cousins. Relished the bits of omega. Rolled eyes and tongue.

The prawn's smell was robust. I did not need to draw it out. They just wafted in and the richness of the meat just couldn't be described except that it was a strong fragrance, albeit from the sea. Again it was like plaster gripping on to the mouth. The sea urchin was not limp. It has a life of its own, some crunch and was rich and creamy. Tasted earthy and briny.

When it comes to grilling with sauce and tasting it, much care was put in to get it right. We got to taste the tenderness of each clutch of protein fibre intermingling with the rich soy sauce so peculiar and identifiable to the Japanese. Couldn't have enough....

Jyu Raku
13, Jalan SS 15/5a, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
03-5633 3819