Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pudu Food crawl

My initiation to a Food Crawl. Special thanks to boo_licious who organised it.

Let’s see now, there was at least 9 of us floggers (food bloggers). Yes, I am playing it safe by not listing names. Very good chance I will miss out one or two. Yup, it was that long ago.

Incredibly bleached pictures ahead. Limited lightings with shadows abound. When I uploaded the photos, all black. I cannot even see what I shot. So presenting heavily doctored pictures.

Crawl started here.

Happily we tucked into 3 of its signature dishes.

Stuffed Braised Duck
Lapped up the gravy. Not a morsel escaped

Fish Paste wrapped in Chicken SkinKar-Heong (literally translated as 'hometown') VegetablesToo little you say? Hello, we just started and the night was still at infant stage.

Not so happily settled:-A few of us who had been there were shocked at what we believed were the higher than usual prices. Our conclusion, the restaurant hiked up our bill to ‘penalise’ us for occupying space and ordering only such small number of dishes … most unethical, no?

The crawl must go on.

We crossed the busy road and .. whoa *making a dramatic sweeping arms open wide gesture* One of the many street food paradises in our city!

Floggers immediately went into action. A couple went to see about our seating arrangement (grabbing empty tables and chairs), a few scooped around for things to order.

"Si-thau.. Auntie.. Leng-sou.. I’ll take this, this, and of course this .. how much.. what's the difference.. ingredients include .. and .."

Others busy shooting away at the stalls, ingredients, crowd, ambience and selves.

A banquet made up of:-

Boiled cockles. Don’t fret rasa malaysia, I do believe I ate your share.

Chee-cheong-fun (Steamed Flat Rice Sheets) drenched in curry gravy and in sweet bean sauce. Specially dedicated to bubbly CCF fanatic, of course.

Fried Chicken. Handsome Jackson swore by these crunchily-lious. Come to think of it, I think we ended up ordering 2 more plates!

Yau-yu-ong-choy (Cuttlefish and kangkung greens). I'm very sure we had that. Just cannot find the picture. =(

Mixed Pork Soup. We had better.Mixed Pork Porridge. Uh-oh, again no picture. (-_-)"

Fried Chicken Legs. Pity I have not acquired this fetish so woe to me watching the others took these apart in gusto.Iced Luk-mei drink (literally translated as 6 tastes drink)Chinese Herbal Tea drink. Less another eye-stinger. No picture.

Fried Raddish Cake. I like it chili hot.Money spent:- Err.. I don’t know how much all the above cost. I was busy positioning, snapping pictures, spooning, forking and directing personal food traffic, not much paying. *shy* Hail all generous paymasters, thank you thank you.

Night not so young but we were, especially our tummies. Desserts! After much deliberation, we leaned on paprika’s connection to score us a table at a restaurant specialising in Malay cuisine.Oh my, talk about a sudden change of ambience and being underdressed.Felt a bit shy at first. Key word here is ‘at first’. The next second this happened.

Wow. ‘Hey, you are in my light.” Click-click-click.‘Can move that away?’Oh, gorgeous-nya. Click-click-click‘Place here, place here. Here more light.’‘Click-click-click. Are you done yet? Even the cakes are melting!Sadly, my food pictures don’t do justice to the presentation nor the taste at all so please torture yourself here, here and here. My personal favourites were Durian Cheesecake and Gula Melaka Cake. Calling mamak stalls ‘kakis’, they offer Teh Tarik Ice Cream!

Bill:- paprika insisted on treating. =O

This food blogging hobby of mine is so rewarding! *enthusiastically pat self & (ahem) pockets then run to hide from the anti-opportunist /cheapskate brigade*

Contact:-The restaurant's website

Psst...If you hear grumblings or gasps of disbelieve the moment you enter this post, its expected. No, it’s not time for your medica..(ahem) vitamins. Nor mine. Those audible buzz would be from my fellow floggers who are amazed at my ‘Malaysian Time’ in posting events. This crawl happened almost 4 months ago (according to Ipoh Mali Jason, it was on auspicious 070707). *smiles sheepishly and slinks away*

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sabah Trip - Kota Kinabalu

Passing through passing through. Sorry fezzaboy but interrupt your tirade of Penang's delights a bit, k? *bow with clasp hands together*

Kota Kinabalu. A bustling city yet time seemed to move at a slower pace. Much slower. All of us been here before. My last time was in 2004. It was so dusty *cough*. Must be due to the massive ongoing constructions of new shopping complexes, new airport and last but not least new highways.

We did not climb Mount Kota Kinabalu. But we went to Kundasang, foothill of the mountain range.

Packed into a rented MPV, enjoyed the 2 hours slow drive up, breathed the cool air, snapped pictures, checked into a budget chalet (RM200 per night - all 7 squeezed in),

rushed off for another hour of driving hoping to disinfect and revitalise selves in hot spring pools, spent a cold but cosy night at the chalet, snapped more pictures and drove back to the city center.

Didn’t take any pictures at the Poring Hot Springs. We were in a rush. No mood to smile. We arrived late – an hour or so to 6pm closing time. (Regular dippers are there since morning and dip till every inch turns prune-y.) The individual pools for soaking took time to drain. Then it took even longer to fill up. We were an agitated bunch determined to make the most of the sulfur baths. Unfortunately our dip time was further shortened by the staff manning the center who threatened to close all changing rooms in a short while. *reminded self to breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out* So we scrambled to wash and change. Why? Have you ever smell sulfur? In short, it was an evening of long tension-short bliss-long tension. *sigh* Oh if really curious how that place look like, hop over here. On other hand, hop over anyway. Satisfaction guaranteed but err.. do remember to come back once a while.

Foodwise, this was memorable. Good and just so happens to be the only real meal I remember to borrow friend's camera. Broke my own. *sigh*

Look at the promising scene. We have been here during previous trips and each time it was crowded.We waited almost 1/2 hour for a table. Luckily we did happy hour *hic* at The Waterfront . Mixed nuts can be filling. Note: Thank you but a lecture on how unhygienic those exposed "fingers" snacks are is not necessary. As a matter of fact, we were the first customers so we witnessed the opening of fresh new bags.

The 7 of us enjoyed steamed white rice with err the following:-

Uh-oh. Dishes are listed in Chinese. Bear with me. Once get translated, I'll update the actual names. So, anyone out there willing to help?

Stir-fried Greens with Minced GarlicPork RibsChicken Wings. Finger-licking! The super hot and sour chili sauce was good but not necessary.BeancurdSweet Sour Whole Prawns in Batter ('ku-lou-yok' style). My favourite dish of the night.SquidsBoiled Salted Vegetable SoupOur bill:-Location:- Hope these help ..

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Penang here i come.......

Pick a few people from the streets of KL and ask them about Penang; chances are you might bump into several Penang-mali or even if you don’t, the responses would most likely be – good food, heavy traffic, aggressive drivers and so on. Interestingly, my affair with this island started in 1985, when my parents brought me to this little island to catch the ferry ride and sample some good old local food. For the first time, I couldn’t understand what my parents were ordering because Cantonese speaking Chinese was a bit of a minority there.

Believe it or not, it took me 14 years, a university degree and a job to get me to Penang again. I was auditing for my first employers and spent almost 2 months there. Good food and nice weather were blessings for me back then and though the work was tiring, I still found time and energy to drive around hunting for busy food places.

This trip however, I have a different car, a nicer place to stay and a lovely companion in the front passenger seat. En route to our destination on the weekend after the nation’s 50th Independence celebrations, we decided to stop in Ipoh for a light meal.

I present to you Kedai Kopi Ah Chow. Not exactly a very popular stop in Ipoh but busy enough for us to note that almost 70% of the tables wee filled by locals having their afternoon tea. Most of the stalls were already closing except for a char siew rice and this chee cheong fun stall. We decided to try the curry chee cheong fun since it’s pretty famous in Ipoh. We had 2 pieces, stuffed with dried shrimps and spring onion in it and topped with fried chalots, sesame seed, thick curry gravy and green chilly slices. I was told that there are better chee cheong fun stalls in Ipoh but this one’s already good enough for me. I like it coz the curry was thick for I don’t fancy this with diluted curry.

My tummy rating: 7.1/10

Next up, straight up to Penang to check in at Lone Pines Resort for a nice and relaxing weekend. Much has been said about this recently refurbished resort. Touted as an experience like no other resorts in Penang, I was gleefully anticipating this trip. True enough, it does feel different, when every other tourist you see here is a European, I felt like a foreigner here.

Our first dinner in Penang was at Goh Huat Seng Restaurant in Kimberly Street as the fried oysters came highly recommended. Indeed, it was great, perhaps one of the better ones I’ve tried thus far. My ruling for this stemmed mainly from its nicely balanced texture and generous amounts of fresh oysters. Here are the pictures:

For RM 8, I would certainly drive all the way to Penang just for this. I kid you not. You get not just coriander toppings but the clincher for this lies in its texture of crispy and soft batter. Parts of this dish are crispy and some are omelette-soft. It’s nice because in many other places, this dish is served soft.

We had ‘siu-buck-choy’ as well, stir-fried with garlic. A bit too salty for my liking but eaten with rice, it’s fine. Here it is:
And our last dish for the night was this Teochow style steamed fish. Again, coriander toppings (I dig coriander), ginger slices, tomato and asam-boi complete this dish. The fish was fresh and thankfully it wasn’t all that sour. Though I love this dish, I seldom place the order fearing that it may turn out to be a super sour affair. I know that this dish is supposed to be sour and a lil’ spicy with chillies and ginger but I had a few bad calls in the past. Some places, it’s just SOUR. Here though, it’s easier on your tastebuds, with or without rice.
All in, the dinner cost us RM 38.75 as follows:

1) Fried Oyster – RM 8
2) Vege – RM 9
3) Fish – RM 15
4) Rice – RM 1.40
5) Chinese Tea – RM 1.40
6) Groundnuts – RM 1.50
7) Napkin – RM 0.60
8) 5% tax – RM 1.85

Tummy rating: 8.8/10

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