A new acquiantance – both of food and person

Another deary Monday was salvaged at the last hour of work by an unexpected invite for dinner.

But

Venue: Unheard of place.
Directions given: Vague. Turn left, car park, tabib cina (arghh?) and church. Road name? “dunno worrr.. ” Outlet? “dunno also…” Hmmm
Person inviting: Never met him before. Now that I come to think about it, never spoke to before either.

Anyhow, promises of good chinese food, supposedly a better tai chow than Seng Kee on Jalan Sultan, and assurance that they do serve good noodles is too good to resist.
So, with some scribbled directions on a piece of paper, I braved the Pudu road jam at 530pm, and head towards Petaling Street, in search of churches, car parks and chinese medicine halls.

To give credit where it is due, that person wasn’t that hopeless in giving directions, and I found the car park and church pretty easily.
The restaurant and tabib cina was another thing entirely.

Part II: Meeting the person.
Call :
” oh hi, I’m in a very bad jam in front of Puduraya. Are you there yet?”

“Yeah, right in front of Seng Kee.”

“I see. Did you find the place? ”

“Nope, I found the car park though. Can we meet you here and you bring us there?”

“Ok, I’m in a (describe car model). I’m already on Jalan Sultan.”

“Great, we will wait for you; you can’t miss us, we will wave.”

So we waved enthusiastically at the first black car that matches his description.
Oopps, female driver. Wrong car.

Ahh.. there’s another one. Enthusiastic waving again. Driver looked at us askance and honked. Shit.

“He said he is already on Jalan Sultan right” my friend queried. “Uh huh..” I replied.
“Can’t be that long right..”. I didn’t reply to that.
For the next car both of us were more subdued and I peered cautiously at the driver..
Male – check.
Match of face to pics I saw before on blogs – ok, 70%.
Acknowledgement of driver to us – ok, car stopped and we were greeted warmly by Unkaleong in flesh. ;p

Finally.

Completely hidden, the restaurant was an old roofed “space” with typical tables and chairs of tai chow outlets that boast an open air dining concept ;)

Famished, we got down to the ordering quickly. We went by UnkaLeong’s recommendations and I added an order of noodles just to test his judgment of food ;p

Cantonese Yee Mee (dunno exact name, moi no comprehend cantonese)
Loved it. The noodles wasn’t too crispy and yielded a satisfying bite. Flavourful egg gravy and generous pieces of soft chewy squids among other toppings made me abandon my bowl of white rice.

Braised Beancurd in Egg Gravy.
Same gravy, with addition of mushrooms. Even the mushrooms was prepared right. (I am particular about this as I do not like the “smoky earthy” taste of dried chinese mushrooms that is not rinsed properly). The deep fried bean curd was fresh and smooth.
Sweet and Sour ChickenI think.
Both the onion rings and chicken was lightly coated with flour and deep-fried. I am not sure what sauce it was meant to be, for it was very mild and a cross between sweet and sour.
I liked the additions of onion rings here, something not too common. Fragrant and soft, it was a delight to munch on.

I personally thought the chicken would have tasted better if the sauce was poured over it instead of letting the whole piece sit on top of the gravy on the plate.
Maybe it was due to the onion rings? Well, nothing that a bit of mopping up of the sauce with the chicken and liberal dose of in-house sambal and green chili sauce can’t help.

Four Heavenly Kings. The pungent member was sorely missed though. But it’s ok, guess not everyone is a fan of petai.BEFORE:

AFTER:
Any guess for whose hand is that?? ;p
Another concurring thumbs-up!
Obviously a place that goes purely by word of mouth, the tables were slowly but surely filled up as the night progressed.
Overall, I liked the food here. While liberal douse of oil is common place in chinese tai chows cooking, thank god here the cook has exercise some form of prudence & likewise, condiments were added at the right dose, without any one flavour being overbearing in any dish, ie: none were too salty nor overly msg-ed.

UnkaLeong evidently has fond memories of this place. He regaled us with stories of how long it’s been in operation, how it used to look like, to remembrance of steam rice cooked in individual metal bowls.

I can feel the fondness he has for this place and his enthusiasm in sharing it with fellow foodies but apparently none has visited yet. (ahem..his foodie friends please take note! And yeahhh, the name FBB was mentioned a few times..)
He had even reminded me to blog about it. Ahhh… now with some really backlog-ged posts due, I honestly told him it will probably be sometime before I do so.

But hey, how could I say no, seeing how earnestly our Unka promotes his childhood outlet? ;p
So here it is; pics, directions, GPS and a story. No excuse for not paying a visit ok!

Restaurant Sang Kee
Jalan Hang Jebat.
Not visible from the main road, the entrance is via a car park which is right opposite the Gospel Hall Church.
Within the car park, there is a chinese sinseh “clinic”, behind it is this roofed open- air dining restaurant ;p

GPS: N03 08.597′
E101 41.956′

The meal cost RM55, with a pot of really fragrant chinese tea and 3 cups of white rice in addition to the above dishes.




Krispy Kreme Media Launch

THE over- hyped, ultimate sugar-rush, one way ticket to diabetes-doom, blood sugar level soaring and calorie packed Krispy Kreme donut has finally graced our Malaysian shores!

The “sneak preview” media launch was on Friday, 24th April 09 at their first outlet in Malaysia, Berjaya Times Square, while Monday, 27th April 09, would be their official launch to the public.


Hohooho..seen enough??

Ok ok..back to the event..
The Berjaya Group has definitely pulled all stops to create the build-up anticipation for the launch of its inaugural outlet on Monday.

Below:
People already buying like crazy during the launch….I can imagine each one and everyone of them has this going through their minds “must try must try.. tomorrow can tell my friends ” Krispy Kreme ahh.. .. I eat already *smug look on face*…” “

The people behind it all..
Dato Francis Lee, Director, Berjaya Group.
Jeff Welch – President, Krispy Kreme International, fourth guy from left.

The opening’s significant moment – the lighting of the Krispy Kreme symbolic logo, this is synonymous to all launches of Krispy Kreme branches worldwide…..

IT’S OPEN!!!

We were ushered in and greeted by chirpy staff who is sweeter than the donuts they promote.
I hit the “production” line and started to snap away…

Note the waterfall of white liquid in the last pic above. THAT…. is sugar. That coats this..
Saw how thick the “glaze” coating is? Super sweet stuff I tell you..

But but.. it was ok for some, and a bit too sweet for others, so really.. taste is subjective.
Go queue up, buy some and try it for yourself!

Oh yes, we did get some freebies ;)
Each attendee of the night get a voucher…
So, I claimed mine. And it is still in the fridge…anyone?






Penang Coconut Jelly coming to KL??!

Location? BANGSAR.
Or at least that’s what Joel Jeyachandran, 24, MD of JOEZ Enterprise has planned.
While the actual date is not set yet, he assured that we KL-ites will soon be able to savour his refreshing and unique creation.

I have been dying to try this since I read about it in the star newspaper, and not to mention the numerous blogs that has featured this unique dessert.
Hence, during my recent short trip, I made it a point to visit his shop; even canceling some of my other planned food hunts.

Still in its shell, the pandan coconut devoid of its outer green skin, it looks deceivingly like any other prepared fresh young coconut meant to be consumed as a drink.

However, open up the “cap” at the top and you will be greeted by a mass of soft, opaque, refreshing and chilled coconut jelly. Just perfect for our scorching humid afternoons!

Dig in with a straw and slurp it up or help yourself to the sweet delicate jelly by the spoonfuls.
It is very much like fresh coconut water, very natural tasting; and is simply cooling.
I can literally feel the heat dissipating from my body…aahhhh..cold relief!
Selling at the volumes of hundreds, to thousands on weekends, one can be assured that the coconuts jellies are made fresh daily, delivered from their own factory in Penang.

Joel, a very affable dude, takes obvious pride in his business and products. He took time to introduce himself, explained about his latest creation and kindly shared with me his future plans on the expansion of the business.
Obviously a true breed entrepreneur, he has admirably turned the “old” coconut Indian mom-pop shop into a business empire. His future expansion drive as covered in the News Straits Times is definitely something to watch out for.
And to think our friend is only 24 years old!

Of course, he didn’t indulge me in any business secrets ;p, but he assured me that the coconut jelly is preservative free, and can be kept for a week if properly stored chilled. But then of course its best consumed within hours.

Standing there, I personally witness a steady stream of customers coming to the shop, with most packing a min of 10 coconuts for takeaways. I myself ta-paued 2, lugging them onto the bus and carrying it all the way back to KL!

My my my, I think this may even beat the in-famous donuts queues when it is launched in KL!!


His current outlet in Penang, on the busy street of Jalan Dato Kramat.
All things coconut-ty.. from santan (coconut milk) to fresh coconut juice and all parts imaginable (husks, etc) of the coconut is sold here.

Contact :
JOEZ ENTERRPISE
201, Jalan Dato Kramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
11.00am-7.00pm
604-229 6063, 016-440 9049 (Mr. Joel@Joe)
GPS: 5.411811, 100.323208

A definitely must visit when one is in Penang, this is almost in the same league as our must-try Penang Char Kuey Teow and Laksa! So once you are done with our Penang chendol and ais kacang do head over to Joel’s for this innovative dessert!

And no worries fellow KL foodies, I will keep pestering him for the exact opening dates for his KL outlet! ;)

What is better than Nasi Lemak?

Some say NASI BERINGIN. (Beringin….sounds soooo salacious no?)

Just as the name suggest, its a dish that supposedly leaves you yearning for more. Think desire, longing, craving…or a little off the mark; obsession, infatuation, scandal

RM3.80.
Crispy crackly skin (really good!), tender flesh and a well portioned piece. (Probably an A cup ;p)
Nothing lavish, it was a most satisfying meal nonetheless. The pickled achar – cucumber & pineapple was on the watery side and lacked the sharp tang of the vinegar.
But that’s ok, considering that the rice was already rich and oily, and moderately pungent from all the spices.
Coupled with the sambal and the sides available such as beef rendang, sambal sotong and so forth, this light version of pickled cucumber compliments the whole meal nicely.
An egg may just be an egg. But I’m fussy about my eggs.
Cooking eggs may not be rocket science; (& eating out as much as I do), I’m always confronted with overcooked eggs, be it fried or boiled.

Now, this one was beauuutifullll… the whites bouncy and soft and cuts through easily via a spoon; the yellow center moist and powdery; with the melt-on-the-tongue-like texture. I could easily wallop 3 at a go! And top all that with great sweet sambal.

Huge cauldron of nasi beringin… sold out everyday.
Notice the pink plates? Reminds me of my school days! Cheap plastic plates for those RM1.50 nasi lemak or char bee hoon…
The fried chicken tray. You don’t have to wait long for the piping hot ones from the kuali. It is replenished pretty quickly since majority of the customers goes for the chicken.
Pretty decent prices for the quality and portion. Keeping in mind too that this is BANGSAR.
Now, the mother of all treats would be a plate of nasi beringin with ayam goreng,
daging rendang, sotong and telur sambal. The works! Yes, must definitely go for that the next round!

I was told that one of the “secret” ingredient for their gravy is kaki ayam (chicken feet), which is cooked with the gravy. Apparently on certain days you can get some to go with your order. I didn’t see it that day so I can’t vouch for that.

Curious as to what makes Nasi Beringin different from Nasi Lemak, I googled for some recipes..and found that it is very much the spices that influence the taste of the rice.
Coconut milk still dominates, but ghee or margarine is a must.
Tastewise, it is definitely different from nasi lemak.
Plus the rice was much more fragrant and “wet”. (No, the grains were not fluffy and perfectly separated. Some parts are clumped together)
Since I had no comparison, I assume for now it is meant to be as such.

So far I have received only 2 tip-offs on places that serves Nasi Beringin, here and Restaurant Nasi Beringin in Kampung Baru, opposite the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Menara Wawasan.
This place supposedly serves authentic Mi Bandung Muar too.
Will be heading there some time next week. .. ;)

Anyhow, for those foodies out there who haven’t tried this, it is here:
Level 2, Menara Mutiara Bangsar,
Jalan Liku, off Jalan Riong
Bangsar.

Landmarks: NST & China Press (on Jalan Riong), Petronas petrol station (on Jalan Bangsar not the one on Jalan Maarof).

Getting there: Take the Putra LRT to the Abdullah Hukum station. Walk to the Petronas petrol station (about 10 minutes away). Menara Mutiara Bangsar is just behind the Petronas petrol station.

Going up to Level 2 to the food court can be tricky. DO NOT TAKE THE MAIN LIFT. Take the lift behind Latha Cafe (an Indian restaurant) in the building or use the stairs.

It is stall number 20 and is open from 12pm to 2pm. (the food court is open 7am to 6pm)
There is a perpetual queue and is sold out daily by 130pm.

GPS: Lat N 03 07” 34.8’, Long E 101 40” 44.8’

EXTRA INFO:
The spices used in the making of the rice: (full recipes soon)
Clove or bunga cengkih. Right: Kayu manis or Cinnamon.

Cardamon, ( buah pelaga). Right: Star Anise – Bunga Lawang.

Fenugreek or biji halba.

Oh yeah, other than these 2 places, any one know of any other Nasi Beringin proprietors??

Chickened Out.


The best chicken rice in Klang Valley???
This is supposedly IT. According to voters of the friedchillies.com AFA 2009 at least.

As part of my gastronomic trail for the nominations of the AFA, we zoomed in on the chicken rice winner, since Abas was hankering for hainanese chicken rice after Sat night.

Famished, and having rounded the Atria area numerous times trying to find Jalan 22/23, Leonard, Abas and I proceeded to order immediately while waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.

Service was quick, and the manager (yup… the same dude we saw on the video at the night of the awards in Pannaz) was most attentive and friendly.

We started off with the soup and I thought I was in for a good meal since the soup was one flavourful broth.
Sadly, things spiraled downwards from here.
Me thinks the wow factors for any chicken rice is most definitely the chilli, the rice and then the soy sauce. And of course, at the very least, tender chicken meat.

The Rice.
While their version of the rice was passable, it wasn’t good enough to score additional brownie points from me.
I do like my rice with some hint of ginger, preferably bentong ones and yes, while I can make do with this, it would help if the rice was fluffier and less wet.The Chicken.
I went for the “original”of course, no frills please, thank you.. as that would allow the natural flavour to come forth and hence the best way for me to judge the taste.

Verdict?
BLAND, but luckily smooth and tender. I had the drumstick, but those who ordered the breast said it was dry and stringy. ..

Disappointment setting in, I mopped my piece of chicken with the soy sauce and dunked it into the chilli.
But alas, both were lackluster; and sure as hell couldn’t save my plate of “best” chicken rice in town.
The chilli was flat & lacked the sting to perk up my jaded tastebuds. The soy sauce that doused the chicken cuts was just as plain. No sesame oil, no garlic oil and no ginger.

However, the roasted version fared slightly better as there was some “taste” from the marinate on the skin.
The last person to arrive, Josh had to order the chicken chop as there wasn’t any chicken left. For RM13.50, it was a decent size and he proclaimed it better than the steamed chicken. But hey, this is deep fried and slatered with gravy, how could any decent cook go wrong with that??
Stir fried kai lan, crisp and crunchy. A tad salty though.
The beansprouts were alright, natural fresh sweetness and lightly salted from the salted fish added.
By the way, we were charged for these, RM1 per pax. Since there were 6 of us, we paid RM6 for these miserable crackers, peanuts and a wet towel each.
Even the “yee mai fu chok”(barley, beancurd sheets and gingko dessert) lacked the freshly boiled robust flavour.
Supposedly soft chewy and sweet gingko nuts was instead brittle and dry. The beancurd sheets are slightly “rubbery”, as opposed to the soft and melt in the mouth texture I’m accustomed to. Shaking my head in disbelief, this is the first and last visit.

Ah well, great company and good conversation saved the night.
Now, the question is … Where is the best chicken rice in Klang Valley?




The FriedChillies Annual Foodsters’ Award 2009

The results are out!

The battle for the title of being the BEST!!! in Klang Valley in each of these categories;
Nasi Lemak, Char Kuey Teow, Roti Canai, Laksa, Chicken Rice, Ramli Burger, Satay, Banana Leaf Rice, Crabs and even Kopitiam (Coffee Shop) has finally come to an end.

Climaxing in an informal dinner with good food, cosy ambience and even better company last Saturday at Pannaz, Damansara Perdana, hats off and many thanks to the jovial team at friedchillies.com for the successful run of the contest and for giving our Malaysian cuisine the highlight it deserves!
I myself felt that the categories chosen are most apposite, for nothing truly symbolise our Malaysian favourites (food-wise) more than our beloved CKT, roti canai and nasi lemak, right?

Back to the night… I was most fortunate to actually manage to secure a place for the night since I’m not part of the media/sponsor neither a famous food writer, nor flogger. Just a foodie casting my vote to give my two cents worth of the nominations (to think that I did that, but has yet to cast any vote in any of our Malaysian elections…*head down in shame*) and some of the ones i voted for actually won! Yeahhhh!!!

All geared up for the night..

Resident Chef Anas served up some pretty mean dishes for the night..and I heard the canapes rocks too..
Anyhow, I only managed to try this one..
Watermelon with Sun Dried Tomatoes…someone told me it was sambal..I dunno, cant tell ;)
Free flowing refreshing mint and lime juice…I loved it!
CEO, Adly giving his speech and kicking off the event. Apparently the competition was sizzling hot, with some of the contenders in the running having almost the same amount of votes and some tied at the top spot.
This is maybe even more exciting than our UMNO elections ;p

Dinner started off with hearty mushroom soup that was nicely frothed at the top. Not creamy, it has chock-full of mushroom bits, instantly banishing any doubts of whether it is of the canned variety.

I ordered the grilled red snapper but managed to taste the other two mains as well since I unabashedly helped myself to whatever that was on my dining companions’ (of which I just met that night itself) plates.

The grilled lamb was undoubtably the dish of the night, loved the dressing that doused the greens.

Heard that their specialty is actually the BBQ chicken. Interesting how they serve it with a slice of grilled honeydew on top..
Ahhh…dessert.. trio of choc cake, bread and butter pudding-like thingy and vanilla ice-cream.
And yes, we got goody bags! In a very environmental-friendly ta-pau brown bag. Let’s see what’s inside…

More food! Two delish cupcakes (which was my supper), a friedchillies mug; which now sits on my office desk, a Pannaz key-chain, a Maggi packet of asam fish paste (anyone wanna coming by for dinner soon?) and this Pureen toothpaste. Hhmmmm… I wonder what the guys did with theirs..??
Eh, I thought HTC also a sponsor? Seems that my goody bag is missing something? ;p

And yes, I met the Kenny Mah in person!!
And also the AWOL, the fairer half of cumi & ciki as well as Hairy Berry! WAhh… star-studded night indeed….(cuci mata betul!)

And now I give you…the AFA winners (copied and pasted from the FriedChillies website…hehehe..)

For Best Roti Canai :Raju Restaurant
No. 27, Jalan Cantik, Petaling Jaya
N 03.10159 E101.65385

For Best Assam Laksa : O & S Laksa
39, Jalan 20/14, Paramount Gardens Petaling Jaya
N 3.10783 E101.62499

For Best Banana Leaf Rice : Kanna Curry House
No. 29 Jalan 17/45, Petaling Jaya
N 3.11974 E101.62978

For Best Chicken Rice :Hainanese Chicken Rice
73, Jln. SS22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya
N 3.12595 E101.61618

For Best Crabs : Fatty Crab
No 2, Jln SS 24/13 , Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya
N 3.11482 E101.61254

For Best Char Koay Teow : Aunty Gemok
Restoran Jamal Mohamed No. 24, Jalan SS5A/9 Petaling Jaya
N 3.09526 E101.60546

For Best Satay : Satay Samuri Taman Melawati
Jalan Melati Utama 4, Melati Utama, Setapak
N 3.13505 E101.62370

For Best Nasi Lemak : Village Park
5, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya
N 3.13774 E101.62318

For Best Street Burger : Burger OM
In Front of 7-11, Off Lorong Kolam Air Lama, Ampang
N 3.16063 E101.78560

For Best Kopitiam : Yut Kee Coffeeshop
35, Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur
N 3.15705 E101.70001

I myself has not tried them all, especially the ones nominated (there are 5 nominations for each categories so there are about 50 all together!) so been keeping myself “busy” stall hopping. Anyone out there who wants to join me, give me a buzz!