Friday, September 29, 2017

Martha Stewart's Braised French Beans - Homecooking

Recipe modified from Martha Stewart

1/2kg French Beans, removed both ends
1/2 garlic, chopped up the cloves
1/2 cup chicken broth or 1 cube chicken
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh/dried thyme leaves
Black pepper, crushed
Salt to taste
Peanut oil
Lemon slices

Sautéed garlic in a work with peanut oil till brown
Add broth and mix well
Add French beans over medium heat and cover until well-cooked
Add thyme leaves, pepper and salt

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Botani Dim Sum, Bandar Cyber, Ipoh

We took 5 hours to get from KL to Ipoh on the 31st Aug. It was a very long weekend. Some have left on Wednesday afternoon taking half a day off the day before. It was the longest homeward journey I have braved from KL to Ipoh since 1982, the year I moved to KL for studies and have stayed ever since.

Upon arrival at 1pm and out of expediency and also to assuage the hunger gnawing away my good spirits, we stopped at this Dim Sum restaurant not far from my Ipoh home. I have left KL at 8am without breakfast thinking I will have brunch in 3 1/2 hours max.

Again as compared to my favourite Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon Dim Sum, this one will lose. But then to many what's the point in harping in some taste superiority compared to easy parking and close proximity to home. These facts will be accentuated further when we have older people eating with us.

The food is above average and I especially like the Yee Mai and Lau Sar Pau.
Never disappointed before with this Lau Sar Pau.
This was a pork paste wrapped in fish fillet and flooded with ginger sauce. An elaborate labour of love is needed to put this tray together. This should only be ordered at the beginning and should be eaten before any other Dim Sum as it can became a laborious chore when the stomach was half-full. It was precisely this that I have to give up not finishing this tray as I do not want to feel heavy-laden for the next 2-3 hours.
5A, Jalan Lapangan Siber 10, Bandar Cyber, Ipoh

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Red Tea Dim Sum, Sunshine Lip Sin

Penang folks have taken to Dim Sum in a big way. My in-laws have been bringing me to different ones in Sungai Nibong and Bukit Jambul areas for years. Usually they were crowded but not packed. Not until, I had my Dim Sum breakfast here. This place is massive. They have turned the wide walk way into a massive eating place with lots of tables occupying every nook and corner of this building.

If crowd is an indication of taste this location has to win hands down. We ordered an array of food more akin to the Cantonese from Ipoh. The Siew Mais, Har Kous and Siew Loong Paus with pork, prawns and fish paste. Well the ingredients were fresh and I can say that we have no issue with the food.

Personally, I found the food here above average esp with given the fresh prawns. My only observation which is quite common to many eateries everywhere is the increasing sweetness of our food. It's a recurring refrain from me. What has happened to the salt?

I was told that the Lau Sar Pau here is good. Have a go. Bring the family there if you crave for Dim Sum in Penang. I will stick to Ming Court and Yoke Fook Moon in Ipoh. But then the are from Ipoh.

Sunshine Lip Sin, Gelugor, Penang

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Huat Chicken Restaurant, Ipoh

Cold food is usually for appetisers. Otherwise it is a culinary faux pas. But then at Huat cold is cool. The only cold food I have taken was cold tofu. We just take it out from a cool larder or refrigerator then sprinkled and drizzled some fried crunchy onion, garlic, soy sauce and cooked oil on the top of the plated tofu and voila it was ready to be eaten.

I could not overcome fully my hang-up for cold food, so decided to just go for a cold chicken. It felt cool to the mouth but not to the level as though just being brought out of the refrigerator. The full complement includes, cold chicken, cold noodles, cold bean sprouts, cold feet (chicken), cold tofu and others.

The cold chicken (pic below) was smooth and the taste was superb albeit the very salty soy based sauce being used. This may be the source of complain of someone writing in the social media who felt quite thisrty after eating. Go easy on the sauce even if you are eating plain rice.
The normal chicken tastex as good. Slippery cuts meant expert poaching. Again the sauce imparted the good taste with superior soy based sauce.
A good combination of a very good typical Ipoh tofu
Spare parts were treated well again with similar sauce and I am getting a bit bored on the reliance on this particular sauce
Good short, stubby, almost rootless bean sprouts. What more can I say. Again it is the sauce that enhanced the crunchy and earthy taste
Fuzhou fish balls. Go to say that they tried to increase their menu variety
If the chicken is the queen of the restaurant, this will be the queen. I find the flat rice noodles was not kept properly and it gave off a slight smell of rice products not properly treated. Some points deduction here.
Overall a good meal. No wonder they are on the ascendant and have generally good vibes form customers
4, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1C, Medan Ipoh Bistari, Ipoh

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Roast Pork - Swisang Restaurant, Ipoh

Come 4pm people will be standing in line waiting patiently to ordered their roast pork. This will be esp so during holidays. So persevere on as some may make big orders and want it to be chopped into bite-size pieces.

Or arrive a bit earlier. There is also a reason to be there early as the best morsels may be sold out for late arrivals, leaving only some less desirable cuts. So with the promise of good roasts, we arrived at 4 pm to a line but suffer not as we waited only for 15mins to appear at the front of the queue.

I have 3 preferences but not in any particular order. The loin rack with chop is one. I called it "one rib". It is the entire rib from skin down to rib bone. It includes the the pork rib chop. Generally it has more lean meat. The other is the pork belly where it is usually booked by roast pork and chicken shop.

And finally the pseudo pork belly. I am not sure what's it is called but it has 2 layers, a fat and a lean one. The lean meat is tender, aromatic and very tasty. The fat is thicker and some may find it not so palatable. But to me this is really a good cut. I got hold of a kilo at RM50.

13, Persiaran Wira Jaya Barat 38, Desa Perwira, Ipoh

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Relau 88 Mom Homemade Authentic Asam Laksa, Penang

Relau 88 is nestled inside a little oasis where plants are everywhere, literally from top to bottom. It takes away the urbanised edge that Penang is infamous for. Our nephew was our local guide. We went around in his comfy MPV and food has never been so reachable and easy to find without WAZE.

He offered to take us here saying that it's a local favourite as far as Asam Laksa is concerned. We expected a small bowl ala Penang-style. However, a reasonable big bowl of goodness came. Everything I wanted for a bowl of Asam Laksa were inside. Prominent were the Bunga Kantan. It was very aromatic. The prawn sauce was available at the table but was not that strong. I resisted adding more as it may change the make-up of my laksa. And the tart was bit overwhelming. Also the mackerel was boiled into bits which is normal here. I prefer chunky mackerel.

The Ice Kacang was somewhat a disappointment at least to my taste save for the nutmeg bits liberally sprinkled as toppings. Just too good. The lack of evaporated milk and the associated flavoured syrup made this dessert a little bland for my palate. Perhaps a stronger rose syrup will help. All in all its value or money and given the ambience, a good place to while away some time and relax to food and fellowship.

Relau 88 Mom Homemade Authentic Asam Laksa 
Persiaran Paya Terubong 2, Pulau Pinang

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hao Yue Lou Seafood Restaurant - Aman Suria

A recommendation from a friend was turned into a pigging out dinner. Three pax over ordering for the sake of trying out the food. This Tai Chow is promising as I have eaten a couple of times at a few famous ones nearby to the detriment of my wallet. This space is humble taking up a makeshift corner of a electrical shop. But for a weekday and it was packed out with patrons standing around waiting for a table till about 8:30pm. It means good business and can be translated into into good food.

I was not wrong. The Grouper was immensely satisfying as well as fresh. It's not easy to get good fresh Grouper as most of them are quite fishy except those eaten near the sea.

The batter baby octopus deep-fried has addictive flour coating. I can imagine ganja being added. Truth be told the coating is one of the attractions, as many of us are dough craves never seems to be tried of these deep fried fattening carbo!

The 'Sang Cheong' in dried shrimps was one of the better ones. Hard to find as the prep work is not easy and my wife will order it at every opportunity. Good stuff again.

Two plates of vege to assuage out guilt of the ordering a pig spare part for food. The bill came to RM115. A contented outing for all of us.

54, Jalan PJU 1/45, Aman Suria

Friday, September 8, 2017

Manhattan Fish Market, The Curve

My constant call to the purveyors of good food, "Surprise me!" This means hard work, checking in on the latest trends, food promotions befitting the season and generally weed out laggards and introduce new dishes to keep the menu fresh.

The king crabs and lobsters sitting in a stainless steel ice box outside the restaurant piqued my attention. I thought, "must try it." Same went through my eating companion.

For around RM80 for each of those, do not expect a miracle of sorts for the size, taste and freshness tests. Suffice to say it was good enough. The food presentation was good and so was the impeccably attentive service.

Try it if you must esp those who wouldn't want to go to Alaska or Hokkiado for the King Crab and good old New England for the lobsters. Just kidding. You can find them in some restaurants swimming and ready to be made into food. Be prepared to pay.

The Curve

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ebizo and Hamakaze, Ara Damansara

The only Japanese restaurant here and it has a long name. There are 2 sections, the a la carte and the buffet, eat all you can. We decided to do a la carte. This will be my second outing here. The experiences have been good in terms of services and the quality of the food serve esp when freshness is the key.

My son who has a smattering of Japanese and can read somewhat told me that Gyu is the same as (Niu - Mandarin for cow) and Tendon is not what we understand from the English language but it is the mixed of two words, Tempura (fried in batter in Japanese) and Don (bowl in Japanese). He furthered explained that there is no such word as 'tempura' but should be 'tenpura'.

Anyway, the salmon belly at RM4 per piece was fresh to a fault. From the smell of the sea to the firm recoil as I bit in, simply said, a testimonial to its 'aliveness'.  The beef tartare, hmmm, was not orders by me and I can see from the gusto it was attacked, it must be good.

As Malaysians, no meal is complete unless there are some fried stuff on the table. My son choose the chicken karaage. Shall I say the flour used was addictive. I am not sure what was the mix, but it's fragrance and light crunch really gives the chicken a run for its money. Great combination.

There was nothing unusual about the Mixed Tempura set in the bowl of rice. Just fresh squid, fish, prawn, lady fingers and pumpkin. Again the food was as expected, except for a slight kink, one of the shrimp was a bit soft to the bite.

Well this will be another hangout in Ara Damansara for Japanese food besides Rakuzen in Oasis.

Ground Floor, Evolve Concept Mall
Ara Damansara

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sentul Pasar Dalam Steamed Fish Head and Braised Trotters

Ten of the hungry folks gathered, seated and conquered 2 large Steamed Fish Heads, 3 plates of Braised Pork Big Bone and Small Bone, 2 plates of Fried Tofu and veges to the Cantonese song of "Hungry, Hungry, Hungry till Screaming" to the melody of Burung Gagak Tua!

Big portions and food was really good. Fish Heads were steamed to perfection. Meat just fell off the fish bone. The Omega 3 melted in the mouth. The fish heads were flooded with superior soy sauce and topped with minced ginger and fried garlic.

The trotters were meaty and replete with collagen and gelatin. Again the sauces were tasty and made the meat so enjoyable. The tofus were simple and topped with onion rings and sweet and sour Thai chili sauce that brought the milky and rich tofu flavour out to the open.

Try to be a bit out of the meal times otherwise be prepared to wait  for more than 30mins. Ee were seated at the road side under a pedestrian crossing. It can get dusty and hot. Opens from 11am till 730pm.

Roadside stalls
In front of Health Lane Family Pharmacy
Jalan Sentul Pasar Dalam, Sentul
Opposite to SJK (C) Sentul Pasar Peng Ming