Mutton Varuval is a dry curry dish. The meat is cooked until the gravy almost dries up. Spices like fennel seed and cumin seed are used to infuse the mutton with their spicy flavours. More »
"they even use vegetarian belacan..."
Vegetarians get the short end of the stick when it comes to dining out in Malaysia. Things get even more complicated when they're dining with a non-vegetarian friend. With a limited choice of places, vegetarians are usually confined to the salad section of the menu while their fellow diners get to indulge in meatier (and yummier) choices. Fortunately, we found a place in Cheras where vegetarians and non-vegetarians can dine happily together. Tian Yian Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant that has been around for years. Offering more than 100 dishes, you're bound to find something you like here.
We first tried the Hong Siew noodles. The 'meat' is braised in dark soy sauce, pepper, ginger and garlic. This gives it a smoky flavour and adds more depth to the dish. The broth is wholesome and garnished with an array of vegetables like bak choy and carrots. It is a satisfying dish and we were pretty full when we finished the bowl.
But of course, as always, I couldn't resist the nasi lemak. It was actually impressive. It had plenty of 'lemak' and the sambal squid was really tasty. The squid was obviously not the real thing but incredibly I couldn't tell the difference. The texture and taste was spot on. The sambal even had hints of 'belacan'. When I asked them about the vegetarian belacan, they told me that it was made from a mix of soybean and mushrooms. It's amazing how 'shrimpy' it tasted.
Salted egg creates a lovely golden crust that is so finger-lickin’ good. Crisp and rich, the sweet flesh of the crab gets an extra boost of flavour from the salty creaminess of the eggs. More »
Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Api is deliciously rich and spicy. The yellow colour of the gravy comes from the addition of fresh turmeric. Chillies give this dish plenty of heat. Eat it with rice for a satisfying lunch. More »
Debbie Teoh is one of Malaysia's greatest treasure and a good friend of mine. I can't really recall how we met a very very long time ago but I can still clearly remember her passion for Nyonya cooking. Her cooking is simply out of this world and several years ago, we shot a few episodes of her cooking
in our food studio sharing some of her favourite recipes including an ayam pongteh recipe.
It's hard to get honest refined Nyonya cooking outside the homes of a peranakan house but from 11th May for about 30 days only, you can try her cooking through a lavish buffet at Chatz Brasserie, Parkroyal. A steal at RM62++ onwards. Debbie called me awhile back to attend a media invite when I was slap bang in the midst of the heavy pre-production of our new food & drama show ieatKL, but I just couldn't resist nipping away with Ryan just to savour her cooking once again and meet up with a few old friends. Ryan just joined our FriedChillies family and this is the first time he is having 'real' Nyonya cuisine.
The Itek Tim is a savoury duck soup with salted mustard vegetables. Off the bat, it's already a homerun with… Continue reading »
"34 ways to cook your crabs...."
If you're a fan of steaming hot fresh crabs this is one spot you'll want to try out. For starters they have 34 ways in which they prepare crab. When I think of the menu I somehow get Bubba's voice from Forrest Gump listing out the variety of crab dishes. You can have chill crab, salted egg crab, marmite crab, curry crab, cheese crab, clay pot crab....I'm sure you get the point.
I decided to order two of the most popular cooking styles; their signature butter crab and my personal favourite the kam heong crab. The butter crab is pretty famous here. It's cooked in a creamy and rich sauce giving a slight butteriness to the crab. This comes with mantou buns(steamed or fried) which you can dip into the sauce while enjoying the sweet flesh. This is quite heavy on its own so if you're in a small group I'd recommend just having this with the buns and maybe a veggie on the side.
To be honest though, the kam heong is what I come here for. Kam heong literally translates to "Golden Fragrant" from the Cantonese dialect. This dish has a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay flavours as it uses a combination of dried shrimp, chilli, curry powder and curry leaves. This is extremely aromatic and tasty and will have you sucking on the shells and your fingers for more.
Tom yam goong is a popular dish from Thailand. It’s a sour and spicy soup made using exotic ingredients like kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and fish sauce. Prawns are perfect for tom yam goong because they give it a nice sweet seafood flavour. More »