Recently I’ve been making my own curry paste. It’s cool because you can control how spicy or pungent you want it to be. This particular paste I discovered makes an awesome curry laksa too! More »
Shaved ice with a creamy coconut and gula melaka mixture really hits the spot on a hot scorching day. It's named after those lovely green worms usually found in your icy desserts. Made from pandan, corn flour and green pea flour, cendol is actually quite bland. But, when you add it to some ice, santan and gula melaka it lends the ideal chewy texture… More »
"Freshly fried fritters make my day..."
When my stomach craves for a late afternoon munch, the first thing on my mind is a fresh fried pisang goreng. Here in SS2, Madame Ong still mans the giant wok at the back of her little truck, frying batches of pisang goreng for her eager customers. The amount of oil in that wok is pretty scary but amazingly, her pisang goreng are not greasy at all. Through her years of experience, she knows the exact moment when the oil is ready for frying. When oil reaches a certain temperature it will fry the batter first, which will then allow the bananas to be cooked without absorbing too much oil.
Bananas are fried whole here. Madam Ong uses pisang raja because the flesh holds its shape even after frying. The taste is sweet and rich. I love the crunchy bits caused by the bubbling batter during frying. This is a fritter that stays firm which makes it convenient to hold and easy to snack on. The luscious flavour of the pisang goreng is also brought upon by the condition of the bananas she used. She only uses ones with skin that has started to brown. Browning of the skin indicates that the banana has ripened and this produces the sugary sweet pisang goreng that we love.
Pisang raja all ready for frying...
How can anything deep-fried not taste good? Local pisang goreng is crispy on the outside with insides that are slightly soft yet still firm. It also should not be too oily… lovely. More »
Nasi kerabu is a fragrant rice meal eaten mostly in the east coast. Here in the west side you often find it during Ramadhan but unless you have a Kelantanese friend who doesn't mind cooking for you, it's not as commonly found as the more popular east coast import of nasi dagang.
Basically it's rice eaten with ulam, serunding kelapa… More »
"Take home a debal-in-a-jar!"
According to locals, the best place to eat real Portuguese cuisine comes from the very first restaurant established in the area. In fact, it’s not even within the settlement but just outside the carpark entrance. Here’s a tip, save yourself the carpark fee and park by the road fronting the restaurant. But please be considerate and make sure your vehicle does not inconvenience the residents living along that road.
Restaurant San Pedro has a timber façade with its windows and walls made from wooden logs. It has quite a nice rustic charm about it, reminding me of a log cabin. The place looked deserted though I must admit we were rather late (past 8pm). The lady gave us a simple menu to browse through. We ordered based on her recommendations.
Dinner was served not long after. First to arrive is the fried brinjal. It looked more grilled with its insides slit and seasoned with a spicy shrimp sambal. The brinjal was perfect – soft on the inside yet its skin was crisp on the outside. Best of all, it was not oily at all. The sambal permeated into the flesh so the usually tasteless brinjal tasted most flavourful. Very appetizing indeed!
Next was its signature Debal Chicken Curry. To most Malaysians, it is popularly known as Devil curry but please avoid saying that to the locals here as you might be subjected to a lengthy lecture from diehard purists! Now back to the Debal curry, I have yet to try one from a Portuguese mama’s home (where the best debal comes from, of course) but I can honestly say San Pedro’s is the best in my books thus far.
We actually made a special request for extra spicy and the chef certainly did not disappoint! The vibrant red gravy was fragrant, aromatic and pungent. The spiciness did not hit my tongue in an instant but as I kept eating it, the heat slowly built up and I was sweating in no time. Mind you, the heat is more addictive than torturous so I could not stop adding the sweet-sour-spicy gravy to my rice and even asked for seconds! The chicken was juicy tender and the moist potatoes proved perfect for soaking up the yummy debal curry. The dish was polished clean in no time. If you wish to try recreating the dish, San Pedro even sells Debal-in-a-bottle to take away.
We went traipsing around looking for not-so-famous Nasi Lemak locations. Neighbourhood haunts where your nasi lemak lady knows your name and whether you prefer sambal sotong or rendang. Some are so under-the-radar, a horny husband can bring his mistress out for a nasi lemak date away from prying eyes... well maybe not any more. This is a selection of… More »