"Hey! Leave some for me..."
“We’ll have one of each,” I told Din, the owner of Shazana Cafe. We vowed not to over order in one place during the Kampung Baru Crawl but the daily specials were too tempting to ignore. Gulai tempoyak ikan patin, rendang itik and asam pedas daging tetel- Malay dishes I love but seldom get to have.
The gulai tempoyak had the most amazing scent but it was more Pahang style hence a little spicier and richer. However, if you are hankering for this, it does hit the spot. The tempoyak is also a little on the sour side which is how I like it. The daging tetel (known as daging cincang in KL) is basically the bits of meat and fat people cut off their meat. Cooked in an asam pedas, the fattiness of the meat chunks lends itself superbly to the sour-spicy gravy. This was the first dish to finish.
Mmm… the best of the trio though was the rendang itik. The spices or bumbu are cooked until almost crispy so it has a little bit of smokiness to it. Coupled with duck, the heady spices masks the gaminess while giving it tons of flavour. A plate of fried eggplant is served with this. I suggest you get the rendang spices and slather it on the eggplant- delicious!
Shazana seems one of those Kg. Baru hang outs that mushroomed out of simpler eating shops. The newer generation of cafe taikos make it a little trendier, serve a mixed menu of local grub and Western-ish dishes and provide wifi. There are many such eateries in the labyrinth of Kg. Baru- cheeky, a little schitzo and relentlessly cheerful. This hodge podge of everything that strikes one's fancy makes interesting dining out but it's something that's uniquely ours and makes no apologies for it.
It’s the start of April and we figured you might like some ideas for tasty treats that will reward you after a busy day. We’ve made a few things that will definitely tingle the senses and tickle the mind. Be adventurous and embrace this wonderful month by trying out our recipes. Indulge in these goodies and have a good time! Vietnamese… More »
Assam laksa is a quintessentially Penang dish which is a Malaysian must have amongst locals and tourists alike. As one of the state’s most regaled dishes, Penang’s version is unlike other laksas you will find anywhere else in the world. The perfect bowl combines all elements of sweet, sour, spicy and salty, creating a beautiful assault of the senses… More »
"Delicious savoury fry-ups"
I recently discovered the Chinese community have their own “dolce vita” for tea in the afternoon. The Min Kee Food Court in Taman Gembira in Kuchai Lama was bustling with neighbourhood regulars enjoying the sweet life of soups. Literally translated as sweet water, Tong Sui is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup or custard served as a dessert at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. What coffee and cakes are to most urbanites, tong sui is enjoyed as a treat after lunch or dinner. Noted to have a chilling effect on the body, tong sui comprises of sweet soups made from beans and vegetables.
You can find tong sui stalls in numerous locations in the Klang Valley. Twenty two years at the same location, Mr and Mrs Sie have been dishing up tong sui for the people in the neighbourhood every afternoon from 1 to 6pm. It’s a family run business as their children also help out in the running of the stall.
The Sies prepare five different types of soups everyday – namely red bean, green bean, wheat, sweet potato and a delicious concoction of black glutinous rice soup. The soups, which are boiled for hours to achieve a thick consistency in huge cast iron cauldrons, are not tooth-achingly sweet but pleasant on the palate. You can savour the soups on their own but ideally it is accompanied with the savoury fry-ups like fried poh piah (spring rolls), yau char kwai (Chinese cruller), yam cakes and ham chin peng (savoury pan cakes filled red bean). If given a choice, my favourite was the black glutinous rice (pulut hitam). Swill it down with some warm ham chin peng and you’ve got a winner. The fried accompaniments were delicious and scrumptious without being soggy or stale. As there is fast turnover you can be assured that the food is fresh.
"What any burger lover could want..."
The décor is your typical laidback pub without the dark grimy feel. This is the kind of joint where anyone can feel comfortable...pretty much a place for every Tom, Dick, and Harry! Servers are friendly and attentive and the menu has a good selection of pub grub. Porky dishes are popular here so I made sure to try a few of them out along with their specialties.
We started out with the six pigs in a blanket; mini sausages wrapped in crispy bacon. This is perfect as a snack to go with drinks and the zingy spicy mustard will clear your sinuses. The cheeseburger here is exactly as you would expect a cheeseburger to be…juicy and full of flavour…extremely satisfying for a burger lover like me! If you’re more of a steak sandwich kind of person I also highly recommend theirs, as the meat is cooked medium so there’s still a slight pink to it ensuring that it is juicy. Mmm…perfect for that meat craving.
A popular dish here is their pork knuckle. It’s not actually on their menu so you just have to know that they do serve it. I’m not usually a pork knuckle fan as I find many variations to be a bit dry and stale tasting…but this was extremely moist and tender and the crackling had a nice crunch. My friend who generally doesn’t like pork actually had seconds and then thirds. Do keep in mind that this was AFTER the sausages, burger and steak sandwich. So yes…it really was that good.
If you’re heading to the beach any time soon here are a couple of treats to make the trip enjoyable. If you’re stuck in the city then why not seek out a pool and have a pool party? Invite a couple of friends over have some drinks, whip up these simple recipes and swim the day away.
You’ll be sure to enjoy the heat if you set your… More »
"Malaysian with a funky twist"
How can we not enter a restaurant named Laksa Me? At the tail end of our FAM trip to Melbourne for the Food and Wine Festival
one might think that we've had enough of food. Wrong. Afterall, there is an underlying Asian theme to the festivities this year so ending it with a Malaysian restaurant seemed fitting. The restaurant itself is simply decorated with enticing scents wafting from the kitchen area.
First up, oysters. One is done as a shot in a basil and sesame concoction that gives you a bracing kick at the back of the throat. The other is served in a mother of pearl shell with chillies and ginger- hot and leaves a pungent aftertaste on your tongue. What a meal opener.
Next up is his famous pandan chicken. It's succulent, with just enough oil to lubricate its passage down your throat. Pops beautifully in your mouth. This is followed closely by grilled calamari, sliced thinly to resemble fat laksa noodles. The strands are then tossed with jellyfish, cucumbers and dressing. An undeniably bright dish with lots of textures and flavours.
We loved the nasi lemak. Served as an appetizer it's really spiffy-looking. Three mouthfuls of coconut rice on a cucumber pedestal with a condiment on top of each. One was crowned with toasted peanuts, another bore sambal ikan bilis and the last, nested a boiled quail's egg. What a funky way to serve it! But most importantly it's delicious and does not skimp on the spiciness.