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 »
"The fluffy steamed bun returns"
Kok Ee Choon started Yik Mun in Malaysia after closing his coffee shop on Hainan Island, China. Along the old interstate route connecting Ipoh to KL, his small shop started with the kaya pau. At the same time his kopitiam opened its doors, the Sultan Idris Training College opened as well. Since Yik Mun was one of the only coffee joints in the vicinity, it became the 'place to hang out'.
Yik Mun is now run by a 3rd generation Kok Family, Kok Jek Ming. The steamed pau's now come in four flavours which are chicken curry, beef curry, red bean and coconut jam (kaya). Chicken or beef curry filling has a slightly sourish curried taste that is deliciously wrapped in the fluffy bun. I love my red bean filling sweeter and my kaya generously runnier so Yik Mun's version of these are not my favourites.
True to being a Hailam kopitiam, they serve a variety of other kopitiam dishes such as Mee Hainan, Wantan Mee, King Prawn Mee and Soft Boiled Eggs. Go for the Mee Hainan, a bestseller. Yellow noodles drenched in dark soya sauce and fried with fishballs and prawns are just delicious. The soya gravy has a nice seafood taste.
You know those songs that get stuck in your head?Like those sugary sweet pop songs sang by prepubescent teens that get you humming it even though the lyrics don't make sense and the tune is annoying? Well, we've got a list of wacky food songs that will not only linger in your head but also have you dancing and rocking. Listen with extreme caution. (Don’t… More »
This recipe uses fresh squid and the sambal is hot and a little sour from the tamarind juice. You can also add petai to this dish for a bit more oomph! More »
It goes without saying that I am a Terengganuphile. I adore the drive there up the alluring coast-line, hanging out at Batu Rakit crunching keropok and paddling in the South China Sea. Terengganu operates on different rules. People here work hard but also take the time to enter weekend-long fishing competitions, play with their kids on the sand and… More »