I don’t eat chicken rice that much, cos my first preference for a rice based meal has always been economy rice; be it chinese, malay or indian..hell, why settle for just chicken when one gets to plonk a variety of add-ons and eat them ALL at one go? After all, I’m a gourmand, just as someone who’s been reminding me over and over again, even to the point of shoving a dictionary under my nose to make his point, of the difference between a gourmand and a gourmet.
Gourmet = a person who appreciates good food. Gourmand = a person who eats all sort of rubbish.
Ok ok la..I’m a pig. Yar..why??
My interest in finding excellent Hainanese chicken rice in KL was only recently ignited after I tried this, & comments that poured in seemed to be leading to some really promising ones. Suddenly I missed eating chicken rice. And with GPS ( a truly god- sent for people like me), nowhere seems too remote.
Ken has always been a reliable source of food hunts, and words like “Guang Ming Winner”, “Chicken Rice of the Year 2007″, “2008″.. really got me curious, “wa lau wehh..Pg also never had winner winner one…” “This must be excellent stuff”, I thought.
So another makan-makan session was organised, and barely 2 hours after breakfast we are on our way here with Horng & Pure Glutton.
As you probably would have read from their posts, I was overly excited..and ran into the wrong shop. The thing that hunger does to the mind, I tell you.
Anyways, at the correct outlet, we wasted no time placing our orders.
Half a corn-fed chicken RM30 – I find the meat a tad “tough”, apparently due to the fact that the chickens are allowed to run free & hence developed muscles?? Jeezz.. why can’t they just massage the chicken instead? Then we can have kobe chicken… or wait..was it wagyu? A quarter “normal” chicken RM17 – less strain on the mouth muscles, more tender. My kinda of chick.
Seeing that our bill came up to RM60.60, I estimated the prices for the rest.. RiceRM1.50- fluffy and fragrant with subtle ginger aroma. BeansproutsRM3.00 – Nothing comment-worthy. Soup - Complimentary – thin & tasteless. Chilli sauce – it was a bit watery as well so do as we did, scoop out the chilli and less of the sauce. The blended ginger was fine. Innards - RM5.00 – shiny, slithering smooth intestines and bouncy gizzards. A must order. Herbal tea RM1.00 – Not overly diluted, with strong herbal taste. Good.
Very clean and well organised work area.
I wish I could lug a jar home..
We almost cleaned the pot of chilli on our table among the four of us.
So there you go..“The Best Poached Chicken Rice 2008″ recipient – Restoran Loke Yun.
Good? Really really good?
Definitely one of the better ones I have had, I admit.. but I am still not entirely satisfied with the texture of the chicken meat, even for the normal bird.
So what to do..have to eat more CR I guess..maybe Kong Sai in Puchong this weekend?
The chocolate chilli brownie here was much hailed upon by my reliable foodie friend Kevin & me being me, didn’t need much prodding to round up a group as soon as he said he is up for it again.
We had all together 3 appetizers and 3 mains. ( This place is great if you are going in a group; we wouldn’t have been able to taste so many varieties at one time if otherwise)
Lastly was the long -anticipated choc chilli brownie of course.
When you go Tex- Mex, chilli is a must, so our first order was this. Chilli Con Corne RM16.95
Beef chilli garnished with homemade tortilla strips, topped with shredded cheese and chopped onions.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not as spicy as I have expected chilli to be, which is great since I find the burning, tongue numbing versions unkind on the stomach. Also, I am of opinion that one can really taste the flavour of the food better if it is not too overly spicy.
Two thumbs up for this, it was really good.
Taquitos de Pollo RM19.95
I have read so much about this dish (almost on every blog post that has been written about Frontera) that not ordering it would be taboo!
Basically shredded chicken, mixed with chilli, onions, with sprinkling of black pepper (I kid you not, I opened the roll and poked at the filling to check what’s inside), the tender meat paired with the crispy tortilla roll plus the green salsa verde and sour cream certainly whetted our appetite for the night.
Of course, other than chilli con carne, nachos are a must.
So the Frontera Nachos was duly ordered. RM28.95
It came pizza -like, with the base of crisp tortilla chips, covered with refried beans, cheese and sliced jalapeno.
The jalapeno is sweetish and vinegar-ish, a nice spice- it- up to the otherwise common pizza-like flavour.
Choices available are chicken or beef, and the waitress seeing our dilemma in deciding, gave us a combo.
The sour cream here is really nice and the pico de gallo (which is salsa to me) but to quote wikipedia;
pico de gallo = Spanish for “rooster’s beak”) is a fresh condiment made from chopped tomato, onion, and chilies (typically jalapenos) .
The version they served here was confirmed to have the above ingredients by the waitress.
Half stuffed, we shared the mains as well.
The Beef Enchiladas RM28.95 came highly recommended by Gissel ( I think she is the restaurant manager?) as well as the Chicken Tex Mex Burrito RM19.95.
Both came with sides of Mexican rice; which was nicely flavourful and the refried beans was delicious as well; all soft and mushy.
The burritto came in one big roll & I did find the skin a wee thick, though it complements the thick layer of monterey cheese melted on top. The minced chicken filling was a bit sparse though.
The Beef enchiladas, on the hand, with its really thin skin was a better choice.
Generous filling of slow roasted shredded beef, moist and plump makes this a winner.
Note: I was a bit worried about the “refried beans” phrase hence I did a little check on wikipedia.
It would be interesting to share with you guys on this little bit of info:
The name is based on a mistranslation. In Mexican Spanish, the prefix re- is an informal form of emphasis meaning “very” or “well,” not to be confused with the English re- and formal use of the Spanish prefix re-, which indicates repetition. Thus, frijoles refritos, the Spanish name of this dish, would translate to English as “well-fried beans,” not “twice-fried beans.”
Being a chinese, re-fried immediately gave an impression of leftovers being re-cooked ;p
Well, its good to know that wasn’t the case!
Frontera’s famous BBQ Beef Ribs RM49.95
Slow roasted mesquite, smoked beef ribs, basted with Frontera’s homemade Habanero BBQ sauce, served with mash potato and sauteed vegetable of onions and corn.
Don’t let the BLACK glob that you see in the picture put you off. The sauce that covers the rib was sweet smokey-goodness! Meat that gave way to the knife with no resistance what-soever..with melt in the mouth fat.
And of course the mash was good as well, earthy, spud-dy, creamy, buttery. Good to lick off with your spoon.
And for dessert, what else but the Choc Chili Brownie. RM12.95.
The brownie texture was alright, it wasn’t too dense neither too rich. There are outlets with better versions of course.
But what makes this a must -try was the experience of dull burn or the swirling effect of subtle chilli heat that only comes to surface after the rich smooth chocolate taste has melted away in your mouth. Imagine, sweet, lightly spicy..then the cooling sensation of creamy vanila ice-cream. Undeniably something unique.
note: While it was good on that particular night, it was disappointing during my next visit a week after with a different group of friends. We found it a bit dry with a very miserable portion of vanilla ice-cream.
One dessert is never enough for me, and my friend bought Pavlova from Alexis.
Very nice & not overly sweet. Sure beats the ones served at The Apartment, KLCC.
All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the meal, and because my friend Kevin forgot to order the ceviche (of which was the 2nd main reason I organised this makan-makan, we might have to head back there soon )
Another suggested dish is the mexican mole, which is a complex chocolate-y sauce to be eaten with meat.
An acquired taste, I was warned, but I think I’m up for it
Advance notice are required for both dishes so if anyone wants something out of the ordinary, do call up Larry or Gissel (03-7958 8515) TO CHECK WHETHER they would be able to prepare it as sometimes they might not have the necessary ingredients on hand.
Frontera Bar & Grill
18-8-2, Block L, Palm Square, Jaya One
72A, Jalan Universiti, PJ.
This time, we got bangsar-babe and rif joining us..
on a Sunday..haha..
Of course we had to visit the van of the super – yummy butter cake, of which I sampled last week and returned this week for more.
This time we were earlier and managed to grab a box of the coffee marbled version. It is just as good, if not even better. The chocolate one tasted as decadent as it looks, with a layer of chocolate-y stick to the top- of- the- mouth “crust” , for the lack of a better description.
Spongy, moist and utterly sinful..this is worthy of a return trip!
Corner of Jalan Hujan Rahmat and Hujan Emas 5. Look for the van “Leong Hup Roast Duck” or THE queue. GPS: N 3 04′ 26.1″ E 101 40′ 23.8″
Sadly, the donut and potato ball Aunty was only selling dumplings this weekend, but fret not, we appease ourselves with these…
Alley next to TMC Kopitiam on Jalan Emas 3. Mornings only. GPS: N 3 04′ 28 3″ E 101 40′ 21.7″
We see RED. Literally. And I meant the colour of course
While it was good, it failed to beat the one in O&S Paramount, PJ.
7/10 from UnkaLeong (who sampled it last week) and 4/10 from bangsar-babe. Myself felt that the soup was anemic in both flavour and richness a good bowl of curry mee demands.
The open air stall.
Unka noticed that the aunty from this pork noodle stall (in Restaurant Lucky; which is right beside the “alfresco” dining alley) while we were chowing our curry mee last week, takes a sip from EVERY bowl that she dished out, giving it a seal of approval before it leaves her “kitchen”.
Fascinated, we ignored the much famous version at the Sun Sea Restaurant which is a road turn away, & headed here specifically for this bowl of porcine specialty.
Generous, definitely, for RM4.30.
An egg, loads of veg, minced pork balls, pork slices and liver in cloudy broth that looks extremely promising but somewhat still fails to topple the standards of the Subang SS15 one or even PJ SS3 Kean Fatt’s.
Maybe the Sun Sea one would have fared better? Well..there’s only one way to find out
My choice of brekkie?
This superbly fragrant nasi pandan of which I spied last week during the queue for the cake. Full infusion of aromatic pandan and lightly coconut milk coated rice with fried dried shrimps and anchovies. A BIG wow in a small package. RM1.20.
Manned by an assiduous young couple, they were really friendly and quick to pack for the growing crowd. I rate this a MUST-TRY, as not only it is uncommon, it is darn tasty.
The really fragrant and crisp dried shrimps and anchovies in separate containers. The rice is tinged light green, which hints at pureed pandan leaves boiled with the grains.
Where? Corner of Jalan Hujan Rahmat and Hujan Emas 5, across the road from the butter cake van. GPS: N 3 04′ 26.1″ E 101 40′ 23.8″
The black urn of witchcraft..
As I walked pass this stall, a whiff of warm comforting ginger scent assailed to my nose, stopping me in my tracks. Could it be??
For I dare not hope…does this stall has the ginger sugar syrup that I longed for??
And the answer is YES.
Hmmm..The hint of spicy-sweet coupled with the freshly squeezed soya bean.
Perfect start of the day for the tummy. I so dig this market!!
RM1.80 for a 500ml bottle normal soya bean milk & RM2.50 for the Black soya bean version.
I’m love spending time at markets, be it morning or night ones.
There’s something about the motion & movement in the whole market place, the crowd (though I hate crowds, I don’t seem to mind them in markets), the bustling and lively atmosphere, the smell of fresh air & produce, the kaleidoscope of colours, the stalls selling everything from hair pins to roast pork; and of course, the sheer myriad of cooked food available at the most reasonable prices.
This is normally where I would spend a bomb, a bit of that from this stall, another pack of that from that stall, & yeah gimme some of that..looks good, oh..that too..never seen before eh? Ho chiak ah?
And so whenever I come back from the pasar malam, I would definitely have enough food to last me til the next day’s lunch. No joke.
But I digress.
Robin’s article in TimeOut KL this month caught my attention with the words “potato balls”. I tell you… I absolutely adore these.
In Penang, the best are at the Batu Lanchang market, afternoons only. Recent constant mingling with Pg floggers revealed one at the Weld Quay that dish out some seriously heavenly fried goodies that’s unbeatable, oil and all.
But then, that is Penang.
In kay-el, the hunt for my favourite snack is ongoing; I didn’t fancy the Petaling Street one as it got coconut flakes, likewise for the ones by I love yoo (or something of that name, I can’t recall) that’s sold in Pavillion.
So hence a Sunday morning hunt to OUG. Clutching my copy of TimeOut KL. Walking every street in the area.
To cut a long story short, we managed to find the stall, albeit missing any signboards of “wan ping an” as described by dear Robin.
I didn’t managed to catch her in action while rolling out the potato balls, but it was really selling like hot balls (pun intended)!
The balls were accounted for even before it was rolled, and I had to make my order and come back for it a good 30mins later.
Golden Hot Balls…
Soft, gooey insides…
It wasn’t sweet enough for me, I’m guessing she didn’t add any sugar in the batter mix or it could be the potatoes that she used. While I like mine pillow-y soft and porous in texture , this is the more densely gooey version.
And so, the hunt for the perfect potato ball continues.
The rings that people queue for.. more in demand than the LOTR’s…
fresh from the wok..
Dusted with sugar…
Ta-daaa! The ORIGINAL glazed. RM0.50 each
Better than J Co? Big Apple? oh no.. i hear you ask “Krispy Kreme”??
Sorry la..cannot compare.
The texture is completely different. Think J Co’s airy + fluffy + light bread-like texture versus the yu tiao (chinese crullers) kinda texture; soft but denser & slightly chewy.
This donut is more alike the latter. But it is good nevertheless.
Worth queueing up for? Nahhhh…
NOW, THIS IS WORTH THE QUEUE.
It screams moist, rich and the wonderful aroma of real butter.
With the right ratio of salt and flour and butter; this is awesome. The texture still retains the airy “spongy-ness” required of butter cakes & I would think this to be one of the better hawker-sold versions you’ll get in KL.
There’s no stopping at one piece, trust me!
With a queue longer than the kilometres you need to run to burn these babies off…
be like us, stock up a few boxes!
For RM7.50, there isn’t much to complain really (other than the queue of course).
The chocolate version looks just as decadent, so maybe this coming Sunday??