"Crisp and moist"
I was parched from walking around in the sun so I ordered the Peturi drink, said to be cooling and refreshing. It’s a drink made from blended pegaga, cucumber and calamansi. I enjoy the herb taste akin to fresh cut grass and the slight sour tang from the calamansi. It is an acquired taste though as my colleagues were put off by the thought of a drink made with a blended herb.
We then set about ordering our usual Thai favourites; a mango salad, tom kha gai (coconut tom yam), butter prawn, pandan chicken, and the green curry chicken. The mango salad has the right balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. I especially enjoy the dried prawns that soak up the dressing and get a little chewy.
The tom kha gai here is done just right. I love how unlike the usual red tom yam this one looks very unsuspicious. It is a clear soup made to look a bit milky with coconut milk, but then when you take a slurp the heat hits you right at the back of your throat. The spiciness is potent and disguised well. It is simmered with chicken, mushrooms and prawns and the broth is spiked with galangal, limejuice, lemongrass, and a large amount of green birds eye chilli. It’ll clear out your sinuses for sure and will whet your appetite.
Shuckers ready? Suckers puckered? Grab an oyster. Loosen those jaws... GO! It's not a competition for the clumsy or those with a delicate constitution C'mon! Get your shuck on!
We were in New York late last month to attend the NYC Food Film Festival
which spanned for 5 days, each day with a theme of its own. Opening night, it was oysters! As part of the opening night festivities, 5 shuckers and 5 suckers went head to head for the first ever New York Suck and Shuck
competition. Tag-teams of two have to shuck and suck 2 dozen oysters each. The fastest wins. At the end of the competition bloody towels attest to how accident-prone this contest was. Shucking blades can slip in the heat of the moment and slice off fingers. Suckers impatient to swallow down oysters get their lips cut on the jagged edges of the shell. It was mayhem. Best of all, the audience gets to eat as many oysters until their lips shrivel like prunes... Continue reading »
"Tender morsels of goodness"
When I initially heard about this favourite mall spot I was skeptical. I was even more surprised to hear that the lines are usually the longest of any other stall and so I found myself curious to give it a try. This stall comes from Singapore and I am told that it is so popular there that they brought it over here for those who have the Thye Hong cravings. They only have four dishes to order from which usually indicate that a place values quality over quantity.
The fried prawn noodle is what initially put this place on the map. It is a mixture of laksa style rice noodles with egg noodles in a thick translucent sauce. It is served in daun upih, which is something you don’t usually see. It also comes topped with plump prawns that are perfectly cooked. I enjoy the simple flavours of this dish that are highlighted by the accompanying sambal for a bit of heat and the lime wedge for a squeeze of citrus. It’s a harmonious mouthful of contrasting tastes.
Another hit at our table was the oyster omelette. I’m usually weary of shellfish in malls that are often fishy tasting and not very fresh. This wasn’t the case with this dish. The oysters are wonderful tender morsels sitting atop a pan fried fluffy omelette. A definite treat when dipped into the spicy sambal. The only thing I didn’t like was that there weren’t enough oysters. I could have definitely had a few more. Actually I have a hankering right now!
"As night approaches, magic happens"
A stone's throw away from the Chow Kit area, Restoran Rose is a real find. During the day, they serve pretty decent nasi padang fare. The rendang is quite good, though I usually reach for the lele (catfish) and sambal ijo. As night approaches, magic happens. The sate padang stall opens.
The sate padang they sell here is sliced meat served with a yellow sauce and lontong. The meat is pleasantly chewy, and the sauce poured all over the dish is simply amazing. Complex in flavor, it's usually made with the stock from boiling the meat, mixed with a whole lot of spices resulting in a rich and thick sauce. They give you a spoon to eat this dish with, and after tasting the sauce, you'll know why as you'll want to scoop up every last bit of it. I went for the beef, but they also sell babat (tripe).
I also ordered a bowl of soto paru. The bowl comes filled with fried soun (glass noodles) and a big perkedel ball (fried mashed potato with meat). The perkedel isn't that great but if you break it up it makes your soup a little thicker. Also, ask for a little less soun because they usually pile too much of it on. What I really love about it is the paru itself as I'm a big fan of paru. Even if you're taking your time to eat it, it doesn't get too soggy. The sambal is very spicy though, so be careful.
We’re back again with Yusoff from Las Vacas, this time he shows us how to choose meat when we are unsure of what they can be used for.
"Rich broth with generous servings of seafood"
One Saturday night we packed the whole family into two cars and took the 40min drive over to Klang and after many toll booths and a couple of wrong turns we finally arrived with rumbling tummies in anticipation of the tasty dishes my dad had described.
An interesting thing to note is that there are quite a few Chinese seafood restaurants in Pandamaran town away from the waters edge. I usually equate delicious fresh seafood with the sea, but my dad’s enthusiasm for the place was enough for me to know that the food would be good despite the lack of an ocean view.
A specialty dish here is the ikan pari with the ginger chilli oil. Unfortunately they had already sold out for the day, and it was only 8pm! We asked if any other fish could be prepared in the same way and the owner agreed to serve us something similar. We also ordered the kangkung belacan, sizzling tofu, seafood curry mee, and the chilli crabs.
The curry mee was the first thing to arrive at our table. A large clay pot is filled with a curry broth and a generous serving of noodles, plump prawns, tender squid, and chopped up ikan pari. The broth is undeniably flavourful without being extremely spicy. It is also not too thick, which makes slurping it up a pleasure. This could have been dinner on it’s own as there was plenty to go around
"They call themselves the beef noodle specialists!"
This unassuming restaurant occupies a tiny shoplot along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lok. So unassuming, that for the two years I studied at a college down the street from it, I never noticed the shop during my morning walks from the Pasar Seni LRT station. After a friend introduced me to it last year, however, I've been going back almost every week.
“Beef Noodles Specialist” as the sign in their storefront says, is an apt boast of the family that runs the place. The Koon family specialises in Hakka-style noodles comprising your choice of noodles (yellow mee, kueh tiao, bihun, lo shue fun) and beef cuts (meatballs, strips, brisket, tripe), served with a clear broth and minced beef sauce.
This minced beef sauce is a furiously guarded family secret; the woman of the house does not allow it to be packed separately for take-away orders. It's also the reason why people keep coming back as the unique flavor and texture is truly addictive. Hints of garlic and fish sauce are all I've been able to discern so far, which means I need to go back more to figure it out!