Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Oven Baked Pork Chop with Ribs - Homecooking

Oven cooking is not that difficult if you keep an eye on the meat marination, heat setting and duration. These pork chop ribs are from specialty non-halal delicatessen.

Marinate the ribs overnight with crushed black pepper, minced garlic and salt. Pat dry when ready to cook.

Pre-heat oven to 140°C. You will get some really juicy fork tender cuts after an hour and a half. You can cut down the time and increase the temperature. There is no hard and fast rule. Adjust it according to your own preferences.

I like it dry on the outside and moist to dry on the inside. Plus the taste of lots of pepper and salt that have permeated deep. A tip: Invest in good quality salt. It makes a lot of difference to the taste

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vietnamese Food with Friends in Penang

Eating in with foreign friends is truly a blessed experience. Food cooked with true influence from back home and dished out according to the cook's village's style. And the best is we get the common folk dishes, so simple yet take lots of love to prepare and a lifetime of eating it back home. For those in the know, there is a large Vietnamese community in Penang and with it shipments of Vietnamese seafood and other fresh and dry food have been making their way into Malaysia. Asked the ladies who cook and you know where to get it.

The most common dish will be the Vietnamese rolls. Square rice paper, stiff and unyielding when pulled out from the packet, will be wiped with a wet cloth or just with a few sweep of the wet lettuce and viola you have a rice 'skin' so supple and attractive that you want to eat it. Stacking order:
1) Lettuce and other leaves and herbs (depending on the types available) are placed on the rice paper 2) Followed by rice vermicelli
3) Shredded carrot and cucumber slices
4) Finally the pork and shrimps

The dipping sauce is the most important and is a combination of fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, garlic and chillis. The key to a good roll is not to overpacked. Make sure the left and right of the rice paper has enough space to fold over. It must be rolled with a firm hand. A loose roll will unravel at the first bite. Bon appetit!
Another roll from their village. Each their own style. Rice netting rolls packed again with lots of pork deep-fried. Crunchy and aromatic.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Eat Tokyo Holborn, London

Incredibly large portions being dished out here. It will sure to satisfy the cravings of those pining for some good and fresh Japanese food. It is authentic enough to attract a good local following and it is filled with people when we were there. My son truly go after it with gusto.

London for all its complexity is simple on food. We have gone for Mexican's burritos, North Indian curry, Vietnamese and off course Chinatown's restaurants. If Malaysians ignore the exchange rate, unit per unit, it is not expensive. This is on the assumption that one earns in GB Pounds.

That said this simple eats which is actually at the lower level of a shop front is rather spacious. Guess it is the clientele and the volume that will determine the type of restaurant.

A bowl  of sashimi. As good as you get in Asian capitals
You can't get further than a fusion between the east and the west.
Japanese curry rice the rage now with young people or those accustomed to western style of food. Its a acquired taste, most likely.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Kandang to Piring (Pent to Plate) - Tlogowungu, Central Java

I was wondering why this village or for that matter this regency has so many families rearing goats. These are no ordinary animals. It is from the Boer family. Specifically, it is bred for their meat. It can be slaughter within a year. These goats eat the leaves and barks from the discarded tapioca plants after harvest. And these are a community of tapioca farmers.

These discards are free. So they pick them up it huge bundles and strapped them to the back of their motorbikes and bring them to the goats' pent. The branches will then be piled up on the pent's trough. The goats will eat and sleep and eat and sleep. In effect they will eat non-stop. An incandescent lamp will be switched on 24 hours a day to simulate day for these goats.

Two goats were slaughtered and turned into satay, mutton soup and other dishes. Each cut will determine which dish it will go to. The satay man told me that 1,500 sticks of satay were produced.
The dipping sauce, not unlike those we have in Malaysia

Motorbike transporting the BBQ gear
Boer goats feeding on tapioca leaves and bark. Mind you, the can peel the bark of with their mouth! 
Tapioca Plantation aplenty

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tlogowungu, Central Java (Common Folk's Dishes)

A tightly knitted local Javanese community received us with warmth. A place with lots of sugar canes, tapioca and tubers. There is a saying in Java that you can throw a seed anywhere and you will get a healthy plant. So plants that yields grains, tubers, fruits, vegetables and juices will easily feed a family or a community.

Local pan-fried small fish from the sea. It was rather meaty and I suppose nutritious. Tasty and sweet what more can you ask for in a common folk staple protein.
These mud-crabs were something. They were boiled in pepper soup! 'Wow' was my exclamation. These legless crabs have their limbs detached. I thought it because they couldn't be eaten so lopped it off rather than have them entangling one another.
Local produce galore. The local Japanese sweet potoes are really good. Moist, soft and super sweet.
Tapioca steeped in sweet syrup. A great dessert for the kids and adults alike.
Buah (Fruit) Salak reputably grows best in Central Jawa

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kings Green Hotel Malacca - Jia Restaurant

We went for food tasting and perhaps to put a conference in this hotel later part of the year. A neat and spacious venue. The hotel is rather uncomplicated and organised in straight lines. This will be good for those who are young and elderly.

Anyhow, we were treated to a free lunch and came off impressed with the Chinese Thai restaurant and the kitchen crew. I will not said too much but will only venture to say the food is good for hotel standard and we enjoyed the meal.

Fresh Steamed Sea Bass. Noticed the Thai influenced lime slices
The Har Lok Shrimps dished out was not a everyday or everytime serving. It was good though the picture might not be that good a shot!
The ubiquitous Lemon Chicken. The more common, the more difficult it is to satisfy the customer.

Jalan Tun Perak, Kampung Enam, Melaka

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aberdeen Angus Steak House, Leicester Square, London

The service is immaculate. The food is satisfying, nicely presented and passed the taste test. In the midst of tourist don' expect the prices to be cheap. Steaks from 18 quids.

Check this out. We were there in another branch in 2013.

And a well-done Rib-Eye
Well, a rather bloody 'rare' T-bone
Pork BBQ Ribs

Goat Cheese Salad
50 Leicester Square, London

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mekong Homecooking - Fish sauce accent

Some Mekong lunch I had last month and over 2 afternoons. It was good with lots of porky, vegetables and fruits in season. Meat are usually marinated deep in fish sauce. This sauce is very strong in smells and taste. For a first-timer, the reaction to the smell and taste will be something akin to the well-worn adage, "Smell like sewage and taste like ice-cream".

Fish sauced pork chop in tomato slices and paste topped with crushed black pepper. It was heavenly. Rich tapestry of taste and good combination for texture. The tough meat with the soft tomatoes and crunchy cucumber!
Another twist for the local cuisine. Rich in animal husbandry. Sausage with vegetables, An unfamiliar combination but taste good!
Sour soup tilapia. Cantonese swooned with their soup staple. Yes, every meal does have a soup! And they are good at it too!! In Mekong you get the best fishes even if it is farmed.
Meal not complete without chicken! Another well marinated and sauced. My palate is over-stimulated.
Common vegetables with pork. Very Cantonese or Chinese. Well anywhere they are from almost the same area.
Hahaha.. one of my favourite soup. Bitter gourd. Didn't I say, every meal will have a soup!
Watermelon - Good and consistent quality and with thin rind

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wrap and Roll Vietnamese

Vietnamese food when it comes to rolling or wrapping up the food always entails some form of developing comradeship. Be kind to your stomach and also friends by pausing and conversing. Always lots of raw leaves and herbs to accompany. There is nothing boring about this style of Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, Wrap and Roll has 40 types pre-rolls and self-rolls in the menu together with 20 dipping! How to get weary with such varieties! Not to mention that variety is a spice of life.

Surprise, surprise it is already in 4 locations in Singapore. I am sure with a steady and strong business format it will do well. Hope it will arrive in KL soon as they menu is unique ans special compared to other Vietnamese restaurants represented.

Bap Bo Cuon Rau Rung (Beef Shank and vegetables roll, yes you got to start rolling)
Hue Noodles (Spicy Central Noodles in Beef Broth). Wish it is stronger in taste and spicier. Usually the broth has strong lemongrass accents
Cha Gio  (Ubiquitous Vietnamese rolls)
L5 - 05, Tầng 5, Saigon Centre, 65 Lê Lợi, P. Bến Nghé, Quận 1, TP. HCM
Nhà hàng -Việt Nam
40.000đ - 165.000đ

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Peninsula Chinese Cuisine, Evolve Mall

There is something about this Cantonese cuisine... and at 40% off. It's fine dining all right. The restaurant is posh and expansive. I enjoyed the ambience and the service was attentive. In a short period I have been there 3 times.

This joint is here to stay I hope. The site is within Evolve Mall and up and coming lifestyle shopping centre smack in the Ara Damansara LRT station. Business has yet to pick up as residents who is supposed to patronise, is still not very thick as yet. Perhaps they are taking their time to move in.

The food is not the best I have eaten but good enough with solid ingredients. Good Har Kau means good prawns. They so have good Siew Mai and Yee Mai. The pork and the fish paste is good too. I am a happy camper.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nasi Kandar Pekan Lama, Ipoh (Near Kinta Heights Flats)

In the days of yore only the brave Chinese will eat cross-culturally due to non-compatibility of taste and reaction to it internally. There is the kind of provincialism that took time and globalisation to break down. Of course with learning and travel the walls have tumbled. And we can enjoy the food that we like as stomach becomes international.

This is an iconic favourite of Ipohans despite the walls. I had squid, fish roe and chicken. This shop has been around since I was a very young man and perhaps even longer. The taste is rather different from our KL's Mamak. The aroma is stronger and taste perhaps lighter. Maybe more savoury. That's how I like it.

So try it with your favourite Kopitiam food round the corner at Nam Heong and Sin Yoon Loong. With today's newer generations they can stomach all kinds of food and I am sure they will enjoy a good lunch follow by Kopitiam or vice-versa.

Looks for this tall Kinta Heights Flats, the Nasi Kandar is just next to it. It was one of the very few developed by the government solely for rental for the poorer segment to of Ipohans

125, Jalan Bijih Timah, Ipoh

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Musang King - Chen Brothers, Kepong Baru

We had a good session at Chen Brothers Durian Stall in Kepong. The fruits were fantastic and shall I say expensive. The best Musang King was at RM82 a kilo and the high elevation and old tree ex-King D24 was at RM35 per kilo. They have RM50 range for Musang King as well as RM25.00 for D24 but we decided to go for broke. After all it is a seasonal thing.

If you like bitter ask for it and you will get it. So this Musang King even for its superlative taste and smell and at almost top quality was scant consolation for the premium price as I have eaten better in Singapore. The D24 was not that worth it as the seeds were large. They were great and taste good but as I have said for the Musang King, I have eaten better D24 at Bukit Tinggi.

My take on this would be go for Musang despite the cost as the seeds is small and thin so you have lots of meat to mull and suck over compared to D24.

Pictorial guide to Musang King and D24 for May 17 season.
Bitter Musang King
D24, ex-King

Jalan Mergastua (Kepong Baru)
Tel: 019-393 6877 (Chong)
Tine: 1pm till late night

Or just check with WAZE, took right to the spot without any hassle!