"Crispy outside, oozing with goey cheese inside"
From the outside, the restaurant is nothing much to look at, it looks like a small café, even slightly run down. Inside it is simply decorated, with cosy lighting. It’s very empty tonight; only 2 other tables are occupied, so we pretty much have the restaurant to ourselves. The owner himself is ushering us in and we’re all excited and chatty, we’re here to celebrate a friend’s birthday so we’re ravenous and looking forward to some good food.
Everything on the menu sounds quite fancy, for starters there’s fresh garden salad “Mimosa”, Escargot a la Suisse, and somebody at our table is insisting we go for the Cheese ‘Malakow’ and the Raclette, so we order those two to share. The Cheese Malakow is described on the menu as “deep fried swiss cheese” and the Raclette is “hot slices of swiss cheese” so I can’t really tell what we’re going to get.
When it arrives, you can definitely tell the difference. The ‘Malakow’ are deep fried cheese puffs, crispy on the outside and oozing with deliciously gooey cheese on the inside. There are 4 pieces and the puffs are quite large, so this is a pretty good starter to share, but a little pricey, around RM20 a plate.
The Raclette is a plate of melted cheese, literally, served with a side of pickles and boiled potatoes. The taste of the cheese is a bit too strong for my liking, and leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. I’ve heard that the steak here is really good, so I go for the sirloin steak with mushroom sauce. They have some interesting sauces here, like the Mussel Herb sauce, which another friend orders. We’re also having the grilled chicken with pasta and mushrooms, and the dory fish with green pepper butter sauce.
"Come here for killer fish curry"
The best thing about going back for Raya is you get to cruise around all your childhood eateries and gorge to your heart's content. Let's face it after 2 days of ketupat, lemang and everything rendang your tum would be hankering for other kinds of fare. Being an Ipoh girl this is when I hunt down my chee cheong fun haunts (I had 3 breakfasts on 3rd day Raya + a Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah), make pit stops for apom, taugeh chicken and hor fun.
"What? You ran out of roti canai?" It was barely 10.30am. Sadly the reality of coming back for Raya is that everyone has the same idea as me. Food runs out FAST as those who were deprived of daylight eating descend upon favourite eateries with the tenacity and demolishing power of ravenous locusts. At about 8pm, most taugeh chicken shops would have run out of chicken. I once queued for 2 hours by the ditch at Merdeka Garden for a bowl of kari mee in the dark. Man, what are these people doing in my hometown?
So thus M. Salim, a favourite place of mine for a roti canai fix with fish curry ran out of roti. "You can have tosei and briyani got, but you have to wait 10 minutes," the server grinned. So I ordered tosei changing my order last minute to chapati (only to be the told the last one was snapped up moments before). Fine... tosei with curry then because folks, the fish curry at this place is damn fine. It's the right thickness, not too oily with firm ocra and slightly mushy eggplant. Because the fish curry here is so popular too, you pretty much get it fresh most times of the day. It's slurp-worthy and with a bit of roti to sop up the gravy, I can drink it like soup.
In the last episode of Foodsters Invasion for Season 1, Riz takes the honours by closing with Satay Seri Melaka. Big chunky satays that makes him smile from ear to ear. Watch him trying to articulate about the place....
If you love your steaks grilled on a barbeque pit, there's a place hidden behind Kelab Syabas called Out Of Africa that might just be game for you.
Yes it's the silly season where for some odd reason, you enter a shop completely thinking you are going to be sensible and then... you buy this... Wajik durian, gooey and lovely... yummers
And some of this... How long does it take to strip meat to make a whole bushel of that?
Then you poke your head for a while at a stall that has basins of rendang and spicy, sticky acar buah (a dish that doesn't make sense to me except at old school weddings and Raya.) Mari-mari, Opah punya spesel acar buah!
And you come out with tupperwares of acar and rendang and dodol, tiny wrapped perfect to pop in your mouth or in 1kg packs. Let's not even get to the mind-boggling array of kuih raya on offer! Check out the pointing finger in case you need to know what you are buying
I also like the fact that you can indulge in ketupats and rendangs way before Raya. Somehow when Raya rolls over, the abundance… Continue reading »
This time, Riz is at a great place for Malay food in Ipoh. This is Tasik Raban. Watch him eat.
"A ‘must-have’ meal for any back street glutton"
Char Kway Teow is a local dish that every back street glutton, and most Malaysians for that matter, has eaten. Flat rice noodles, blanched bean sprouts, siham (cockles) and prawns thrown together in a wok, with egg and soy sauce and preferably a fat helping of chilli paste stands on par with nasi lemak as one of Malaysia’s favourite dishes.
Let’s get down to hawker hunting. I heard about this place in PJ Old Town (located opposite the Old Town market) that has Char Kway Teow so good, it runs out at about 1pm. Some even say it’s the best in PJ. So with no time to lose, I headed over there with some friends as food is never as good when eaten alone. This poky little hole in the wall can be difficult to spot although it is located along the roadside.
The setting was a little quiet as the shop was preparing to close for the afternoon in order to prepare for the night crowd. I spotted a few customers (all of them eating char kway teow) still halfway through their meal so I grabbed the opportunity to order a plate before the ‘kitchen’ closed. I ordered mine with extra chili, as I believe that every meal should leave your tongue burning a little. But it’s optional of course!
The stall is run by a husband and wife team. Both of them mainly understand Cantonese only, so I had to use more interpretive communication. But from what little conversation we had, I could tell that the wife is the more outgoing of the two. The husband cum ‘Char Kway Teow extraordinaire’ is a meek guy on the outside, but when standing in front of his well-seasoned wok, he transforms into a master of his art. We had to wait for about 10 minutes because this guy only fries two plates at a time, which I hear is the best control technique for frying perfect Char Kway Teow.