"There is nothing so fine as a crusty, wicked soft bun soaked in gravy"
Subang's SS15 Asia Cafe is a diamond in the rough for stalls. One of the reasons people keep coming back is not only because it is a hot spot for those who crave a midnight snack or drink; it also has food that will have you craving for more.
The highlight of this place is actually a Crabulous (yes, that’s a Chillism
) stall situated just in the middle span, right at the corner hailing passers-by with a gi-normous poster of a crab with a deep-fried man-tao roll (sweet soft pao like dough) beside it. There’s a tank full of live mud crabs under the poster indicating that fresh seafood is just an order away.
Boasting competitive pricing for crabs in the Klang Valley, the Crabulous stall also provides choices on how you like your trusty crustaceans to be prepared. Ordering crabs can be counted by per-crab or per-kilo, which will then be cooked to perfection (not over cooked but just nice to savour the sweet fresh meat) to a flavour of your choice. For starters, there's the old Malaysian favourite Sweet & Sour crabs, which can give most crab restaurants a run for their money. The generous sauce not only entirely covers the crabs but gives you plenty of sauce to get your hands dirty with. We say order up the crispy deep-fried man tao. Crab places that do not serve man tao are often cursed by us because there is nothing so fine as a crust of a man tao circling wicked soft bun soaked silly in extra gravy.
This Crabulous stall has about seven other flavours to choose from other than Sweet & Sour like Chilli, Dried Fried Chillies, Buttered (with curry leaves) and Salted Egg Yolk with Butter. With all these flavours, even the highly allergic will keep their anti-histamines on the table so that they can thoroughly enjoy the crabs. Another popular choice here is the The Buttered Crab. It comes laden with gritty salted egg and creamy buttery sauce. Some people really like the saltiness and texture the salted egg provides. We’ve had better but no complaints on the gravy side. Again it's generous and goes ridiculously well with those cheeky man tao buns.
If you’ve got only one night in Kuala Lumpur before flying out somewhere else…. you should head straight for Jalan Alor. Mind you the place can be a tourist trap but if you are short of time, there’s nowhere better to savour what Malaysia has to offer in terms of good cheap food than the whole stretch along Jalan Alor. Join Li Ann as she goes round some of her favourite stalls. Trust me.. You gotta budget in a return trip as you’ll be back for more….
"Fed on Grain and Love. Yeehaw!"
I moved back here from the States about two years ago and from the moment my plane touched down I began the search for the perfect burger in KL. I craved a large juicy burger so tasty on it’s own that a sauce accompanying it would have been blasphemy. A fresh ground patty filled with meaty goodness grilled to medium-well perfection; the ultimate burger. Unfortunately this search was not an easy one. I endured many occasions of rubbery, dry, tasteless patties until one day I happened across Fogal Meat Market at Plaza Damas.
Fogal is an acronym for Fed on Grain and Love and this can accurately describe the meat available here. The cattle are shipped in from Australia live, fed on grains for a few months and are then sent off to a slaughterhouse. This way they are able to monitor the quality and freshness of the meat.
Owner, Cathy Appleby’s initial motive for opening up Fogal was the fact that she was having trouble finding western cuts of meat. Most supermarkets here offer pre-cut and packaged meat which makes it hard to find the specific cuts needed for certain dishes. At Fogal you can request for any type of cut; from a thick tenderloin steak for a barbecue to a butterflied leg of lamb for a roast. The butcher knows his meat and not only can he give you the cut you want, he can also tell you the best method for preparation. Need meat for stewing, sautéing, roasting, stir frying, broiling? You’ll find just what you are looking for. In addition to the butcher counter, Fogal also has a small restaurant area where you can enjoy a simple meal grilled to perfection.
Have you ever tasted tandoori chicken prepared and cooked by someone who used to teach a lot of the tandoori cooks in KL? Well…. meet Uncle Aru in Ampang and have a taste of his tandoori. Find out from him which part of the chicken Europeans prefer. Anyway…. we like anything Uncle Aru makes….
"The first sip tickles you with flavour and creaminess"
Sipping rich Cham and crumbly soft roti bakar is the peak of happiness, especially if you add on two perfectly cooked half boiled eggs. Sublime is the word. To some, this might be a past time thoroughly enjoyed by our grandfathers as they watch the world go by over their cups of white coffee. However, the more I indulge in it the more I understand how precious old school kopitiams are.
People watching is interesting, but couple that with a pre-war structure and design that hasn’t changed for more than half a century, somehow you start drifting to another dimension and everything just tastes and feels better. Despite the vibrant and bustling atmosphere, the light floating scents of charcoal toasted bread intertwined with rich grounded home roasted coffee somehow makes this a laidback hangout.
Stepping into the premise, the urge to find a quick seat is suddenly essential. Ordering is fast while waiting is painfully aggravating. You are surrounded by spoons stirring, lips smacking, bread crumbling, egg cracking, forks colliding with spoons and the sound of people eating! The noise suddenly magnifies the wait suddenly, your tummies growl. Then clang! A froth-filled ceramic cup hits the wooden table and then it is just between you and your coffee. The first sip is so rich with flavours and full bodied creaminess that it trickles pleasure as it flows down into your tummy leaving a warm fuzzy feeling in its wake. Caffeiene buzz? Pfft.. I wave in dismissal. It is just pure simple pleasure that you get from a cuppa here.
In a small town called Chemor, just 25 minutes away from Ipoh lies Samy Restaurant. On Saturday, it’s like the entire Indian population of Ipoh is here. It’s that famous! Fresh curried mutton, fried chicken, turkey korma (yes, you heard me right!) and paya bakau crabs are there for the taking… if you can get to it before the rest of the crowd! Watch Riz Ainuddin eat his way through in this episode….
In Street Chows this time, Baki is ravishing sticks after sticks of satay somewhere near KLCC…. thick and chunky skewered meat grilled over charcoal fire never looked so good…..