For someone who cooks as much as I do, cookbooks are necessity. I tend to flip through for inspiration and sometimes just for a good read. The best cookbooks are the ones where the recipe tells a bit of a story, it gives us an insight into the author’s life, their cooking rituals, and the specialty dishes that come out of their kitchen.
Belacan is so synonymous and indispensable to Malaysians, it has drawn praises to the highest heavens and silent curses from those unaccustomed to its stinky aroma. Despite the love-hate relationship, one cannot imagine how empty life would be without perennial favourites like sambal belacan, kangkung belacan, nasi goreng belacan, fried belacan chicken… More »
My dad told me about a place in Aman Suria that makes a pretty good Char Kway Teow. This, coming from a true Penangite’s mouth was enough to make me want to try it out right away. My sister and I decided to go for lunch there… and so we set off with Char Kway Teow on the mind.
The menu is bursting with hawker specialties and prices here are very reasonable with each dish costing less than RM5. The delicious food coupled with reasonable prices makes this a popular neighborhood haunt that is usually packed to the brim.
My sister and I shared a few dishes, as our greedy bellies were happy with the sight of so many favourites on the menu. We sampled the Char Kway Teow (of course!), Assam Laksa, Chee Cheong Fan, and for dessert, the Ice Kacang and Durian Cendol.
The Char Kway Teow is delicious…the noodles aren’t clumped together and there is just the right amount of heat. It is chock full of fresh prawns, cockles, and tasty fish cakes. There is also the option to add a duck egg to the CKT for added extravagance and a richer taste. I would say that the only thing it still lacks though is the charred wok hei, which can only be achieved in a proper outdoor hawker wok. But all in all this can satisfy my cravings till I’m able to make my next trip back to Penang.
"Detour, relax and refuel"
Awhile back, I was stuck in a traffic jam along the Federal Highway and for the umpteenth time when I looked left at the Naza showroom compound, there it is. Right between the Harley Davidson and the Ferrari showroom- Milwaukee Steak Corner. It was half full of people laughing away, sipping coffee and having what looked like steaks and nasi lemak from a far distance. Today is the day, I am going there! Somehow, 20 minutes later I managed to weasel my way into the friggin slip road that takes me to the showroom and food.
I must say, this is a cosy place to have a nice meal and at the same time sit out the traffic. The place serves both local and western food from mushroom cream soup to chicken chops and nasi lemak. Prices are reasonable with the most expensive being the Grilled Spare Beef Ribs at RM45. But on average, food is about RM15 per dish.
Surprisingly, my favourite here is the Nasi Lemak with Chicken Curry. Here's a couple of things I like in their version. Firstly, the chicken curry is not too spicy and balances well with the coconut rice. Secondly, the rice itself is perhaps a mix of broken basmathi and normal rice (maybe) but this gives the rice a flavour that is not too overpoweringly "coconuty" and at the rice itself has less starch and not "glutinious-like". I like. Thirdly, the nuts drove me nuts. It's the kind that you eat a whole tubful while watching a movie. A good choice to serve them on this plate. A nice symphony of flavours for RM8.90
Our beautiful office is finally ready and we wanted to invite some friends and food bloggers over to check it out. So the date was set and the response was overwhelming. Over 30 fans and friends showed up to partake in delicious eats and a laugh or two. The flame and bright red door marks the rendezvous spot...
All the food and drinks were prepared by us in some way, shape, or form. Aida, our Chef in Residence, baked yummilicious treats such as a decadent chocolate cake and the much-loved butterscotch pecan cake along with a ton of pretty cupcakes. Shida, one of our hosts, cooked up a spread of goodies with treats such as bihun goreng, three types of quiches, cucur udang, and more! Aurora J. and Captain… Continue reading »
"Tastes like assam pedas from my childhood"
For some odd reason, Negeri Sembilan always gets a little left out when we are doing roadtrips. Perhaps because people glaze over it en route to Melaka or it's always been rather relaxed and humble when it comes to their dishes. Do not be fooled, there's good food to be had here like smoked meats in rich savoury broths, spicy rubs on fried chicken and masak assam like I used to have when I was a little girl.
So when I dropped down to visit my expecting friend and future godchild, I took the opportunity to get my paws on some good Minang cooking. She took me to Hard Wood. This eatery is a little strange, it appears to be selling garden furniture and statuary (I was quite taken by a matching pair of stone lynx) but no one seems to be there to buy anything except eat. Afterall the tagline is "a special taste in an unusual place". There's a handsome wooden barn of sorts where the food is laid out. Best of all is the lagu-lagu rakyat
(Negori folk songs) playing from out the speakers, usually a mum berating her lazy son (named Jang) and hopeless crushes on rich girls (engko anok orang kayo, aku drebar bas
On to the food. The colours are rich, a smorgasbord of vermillions, fresh greens and sunny yellows. It's hard to have restraint here. The first thing I attacked was the ikan keli goreng (fried catfish). Negeri Sembilan style is to slather it within an inch of its life with a turmeric and cili padi paste then submerge it in hot oil. I found this a little on the salty side but inside the fish was white and tender.
The good stuff here is the daging salai masak lemak- smoked beef stirred lazily in a rich gravy. The mushrooms in the same gravy is delicious, mellow and tasty making you pour more and more of it on your rice.
"Lots of choices and robust flavours!"
The food they serve at Gandhi's is the usual Indian and Chinese fare just without the meat. During the afternoon the food is laid out nasi campur style with many delectable choices. In the evenings however you can order dishes to enjoy. There are specialties such as sambal ikan, mutton varuval, popcorn-fried chicken, and more. All of these are made with various soy proteins to mimic the texture of meat. They are then cooked just as you would cook a regular meat dish. No garlic or onions are used in the cooking here, so that every branch of vegetarianism can eat here. Despite these alterations the food does not lack in the flavour department and I am sure any meat lover would be able to appreciate the various dishes on offer.
The sambal ikan is tangy and spicy and just slightly sweet. The 'meat' is soft and almost fish-like although it doesn't quite have the flakiness. I especially enjoyed the mutton varuval that is robust in flavour. Since I'm not a fan of mutton I ate this happily knowing that it wasn't mutton but still had the delicious essence of a varuval. The little popcorn chicken pieces are extremely addictive. Dipped in an orange tinged spicy batter these are fried till crisp. They could easily be a tasty movie snack.