I take great satisfaction in seeing a giant tentacled creature wrap it's arms around a ship, crushing and bringing it down to the depths of the ocean. In one thrilling scene it brings the awesome might of nature against humans, who seek to control but at the end of day are just puny in comparison. The fascination with octopi and squids are far from… More »
"The broth is so thick, it is almost a gravy!"
“Okay, we only have an hour for dinner before we have to get back here,” I tell my dinner companion. “How about curry mee? It’s not that far,” he asks as we make our way to the taxi stand. I pause in my tracks. I’m generally skeptical about uncharted waters (or broth) when it comes to curry mee. “You sure it’s sedap?” I confirm. “I’m so sure that I’ll pay for your dinner,” he replies, hailing a cab and pulling me in.
And we were off to Jalan Alor, the road that never disappoints.
The stop this time is a stall at the start of Jalan Alor, simply named “Alor Curry Mee”. Serving about six different kinds of noodles, the smells emanating from the stall are heavenly. My dinner-mate proceeds to order for us and I fidget impatiently. About five minutes later, it arrives. A large steaming bowl full of broth, chicken strips and cockles peeking through the surface. I wave away my friend’s warnings against slurping up hot broth and dug right in. It near scalds the roof of my mouth, but it immediately trumps every other curry mee I have ever tasted. The broth is so thick, it is almost a gravy. Intensely flavourful and spicy. I add the sambal sauce, which gives the curry mee an earthy kick. Everything tastes wonderful, from the juicy cockles to the moist chicken to the taufu pok bursting with curry. Our bowls empty about ten minutes later, we order a bowl of just taufu pok because we cannot get enough of the broth.
Squid is something that can be difficult to do well. You either need to cook it very quick or for a long time for it to be tender- anywhere in between and you'll end up with a chewy flavoured rubber band. Here are 7 recipes we cooked up and found to work well with this slippery creature. Fried Calamari
Sharing some experiences from the 4th Annual New York Food Film Festival, one of my favourite events was their day 4 event : The Worlds First Food Truck Drive-In Movie
at the Tobacco House, Dumbo, Brooklyn. This is a special event as somehow the organisers managed to gather 20 of the top mobile food trucks in the city. People can get a sampling of New York's best street food in one place, at the same time. Now how about that?! Cool. People were impressed because if you were to queue for them at their normal locations, the lines on some of these trucks can be about 20-30 people long at any time. It's very special occasion to see them all in one place. Tickets were sold out way in advance.
In an almost day long event starting at 1pm, food fans got a steady feed of food films
in a marquee setup whilst having the option of popping out to buy some food from the trucks nearby. According to one of the organising committee member Casey Benjamin, planning this was not easy. It took almost six full months and 'lots of calling repeatedly'. But in the end, Casey's efforts paid off when trucks such as the Van Leewen Ice Cream, The Krave and the Green Truck were amongst the lineup… Continue reading »
"Ribs brined in cencalok, smoked with oakwood..."
The latest New York based Zak Pelaccio's homage to all things funky, fishy and pungent is Fatty 'Cue, southern-style barbeque that gets down and dirty with spices and ingredients our side of the border. The restaurant itself is no frills but packed even for 6pm. Cocktails on the menu are not shy on flavour either using chilli infused mixers and leaves like Vietnamese mint and Thai basil.
Menu-wise it is undeniable that Zak loves his succulent pigs- it's porcine heavy but that doesn't mean the rest of his meats like brisket, duck and chicken or seafood (think grilled mackerel and a crab-meat laksa) suffer for it.
The Legend is a mixed plate of delicious fatty pig parts including ribs and belly- crisp and succulent with smoke enforcing the brines and rubs with blow-your-mind flavour. It comes with a side of soft bau's so you can sop up the juices, oils and the dipping sauces that come with it.
The wahyu brisket, which is my personal favourite are tender chunks and slivers of meat with more of those sinful white buns with a side of chilli jam, aioli and red onions (almost like the fushia kind that you put on a murtabak). You can eat the brisket on its own or make make-shift sandwiches. This is worth coming here for.
The duck and chicken are both note-worthy as is the mackerel. The crab laksa is a sweet-briny broth with mushrooms- I could use a little more sourness. My fellow diners however lapped it up. Though the barbecue here is undeniably delicious, Cue like any good member of the Fatty family excels in the snacks and starters.
The nasi ulam (though it resembles more like a nasi goreng kampung with crispy ikan bilis within) is addictive. It's a little herby but not overpowering and just goes so well with the wealth of chilli-fied condiments. Another, which is just called Bowl of Noodles is also ridiculously good. It harkens a little of those cold Korean noodles with a pungent chilli mix. What makes it classic Fatty is the fact that it's also mixed with all those lovely meat-drippings and topped with fresh scallions. Yummers.
John Burton Race is a lively and talkative chef who has a clear-cut passion for food. The entire interview was peppered with his anecdotes and before we had realised it, time was up, and only a handful of questions were asked, yet we walked away with many interesting stories. FC: What was the inspiration for writing your latest book… More »
"Fantastic on its own"
You know the defining moment in Ratatouille? When Anton Ego the food critic takes one bite out of Remy's offering, and is immediately transported back to his childhood? An upset little boy, coming home to his maman and being served a large comforting bowl of ratatouille that immediately takes his sorrows away. Well, the first time I ate at Kak Som, I wished nothing more that I grew up in a Kelantanese family so I could have that moment to flash back to. It felt like discovery and nostalgia all at once. And every bad thing that happened that day – heck, that week – disappeared into thin air.
The wonder-dish that made me feel this way: their nasi kerabu. Dense yet fluffy rice cooked with bunga telang, with assorted minced ulam scattered on top, complete with dashes of sambal and budu. Fantastic on its own, but there were various accompanying dishes served along with it. Fried fish is traditional, but this time I picked the daging bakar, solok lada (stuffed chillies) and salted egg. It was so good that my Kelantanese friends who have eaten here also tell me they experience the Ratatouille moment – this time flashing back to actual memories.
Other dishes they serve here are the equally excellent nasi dagang and laksam. The former is served with the customary gulai ikan tongkol (tuna curry) with chicken and beef alternatives. The gulai daging is lovely, with succulent chunks of fatty beef that go perfectly with the nasi dagang. Their laksam gravy is a titch too watery, but the flavour is all there, with tender laksam noodles that have just the right amount of bite. If you're not in the mood for any of these, they also have a spread of lauk that you can have with regular white rice.