Sunday, August 20, 2006

VEGETABLE RICE @ KIM JOO, EWE HAI STREET, KUCHING


I recently discovered this place although it's been around for ages. It's towards the end of the street; quite near the Say-Han-Kong temple. It has a little sign that says "RICE" at one of its pillars. For those unfamiliar with streets, Ewe Hai Street is the opposite end of Carpenter Street.

The place is run by 2 Hainanese brothers and their respective spouses. At the front of the store, the younger brother mans the noodle stall (kolo mee, the works), while the other one minds the till. And there's the mom..... who does everything except the cooking. The ladies are tasked with the frying. As evident from the open-kitchen, the operation is very much like a home concept..... no large wok-burner; just a few small portable stoves. So cooking time is longer than expected. One thing I admire is the stress-free environment they operate - no matter how pack the place is during lunch time, the only temperature that rises is the one on the asphalt street.

I guess this place is renowned for its one-plate rice dish. Although its menu is limited in its range, but it makes up for it in quality; and one pays a
premium for it. The vegetable rice I had is rice topped with Kai-Lan, shrimp and fish slices with a light sauce. Sometimes, local lettuce-like vegetable (curly veg.) is used, depending on availability.

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

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