Friday, February 29, 2008

DINNER @ WANG SENG SEAFOOD, 11 MILE PENRISSEN ROAD, SAMARAHAN

Fried Sambal Baby Corn

This is considered a wayouttatownkindaplace - for us beyond 7 miles is regarded as far (S'nua Te'n already!). When you're this way out, out-of-town, the culinary compass usually points to something of the wild nature. Anything remotely associated with the sea is farthest from one's mind, and this area is not known for its nocturnal dining apart from the aforementioned.

Buttered Mushroom

Although I've passed this place several times during the day, this passage is less traveled at night as it's considered the wilderness, unless you live at this neck of the woods (One traffic light past 10th. Mile township). And It was brought to our attention by the front-man at 10th. Mile's Swee Sen - a culinary adventurer during his down-time - there isn't much going at his tiny hamlet when the sun goes down, and this warehouse-shaped eatery is a mecca of activity like the Sands was in its pioneering days at Las Vegas.

Home-Made Tofu With Minced Pork

The food isn't a shabby as its surrounding area, and its price is agreeable to every countrymen. Hey, it has even got its signature dish, buttered mushroom (if you've tasted buttered shrimps, you'll know where it's getting at), unlike some fancy named restaurant that puts out also-ran dishes at exorbitant prices. There isn't anything to nick pick on the food - good to the last drop for a Zi-Char. Food came out in a jiffy despite the crowd. And best of all this isn't a Slaughter 5.

Oo-Chien (Oyster Omelette)

Nestum Chicken

Ginger Wild Boar

Notice anything peculiar from the photos? Despite its name, none of the dishes we ordered were seafood, saved for one - the oyster omelette; even the oysters are imported from New Zealand. Subconsciously, we don't associate this place with seafood due to its locality; hence the omission. Next time... there'll be a next time!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

STEAMBOAT


This is our Chap Goh Mei (15th. and last day of Chinese New Year) Dinner - the easy way out; not much food preparation involved, and the cooking is a communal effort. It's one of those dishes that cooking skill is not required; even if you screw up on the soup in the first instance, the eventual outcome of the final soup flavor tastes great because of all the subsequent ingredients that are dumped into the broth during the course of the meal.

The ingredients used can consist of meat (chicken, beef , lamb, pork), seafood (fish, shrimp, calamari, crab), vegetables and noodle; it can be as frugal or as rich as you want to make it to be. The ingredients are mostly raw or pre-cooked. I had a strip of pork fillet (thinly sliced), pork kidney and promfret fish (deboned and bite-size cut). The vegetables consisted of Kangkong, Chinese cabbage, tofu and fresh mushrooms. The other stuffs are seafood-made dim-summy nuggets plus meatballs, brought to Sibu by Taiwanese fishing trawlers.

The only preparation I had was the soup (watercress in pork bones soup), slicing of pork, fish and kidneys, and the vegetables and tofu. Plain sailing! Then it's waiting for the soup to boil before cooking begins - starting with the raw ingredients and stuff that takes longest time to cook, and ending with stuff that needs only blanching. Normally whatever is cooked is eaten with dips (varies from raw egg to simple sliced chillies with soy sauce [plus garlic]), and lastly the rich soup is savored with noodle.


While waiting, there are the hor’dourves... Taiwanese sausages and home-made Ngo Hiang (meat rolls).

For the steamboat... Pork fillet slices with kidney, and varieties of fish-paste rolls and crab balls...

... Taiwanese Kong Yen (crunchy on the outside, tender inside meatballs), and tofu and fish slices...

... Kangkong and Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms....

... the utensils -coriander scoops and mini ladles... putting in the raw meat into the boiling soup...

... then the pre-cooked stufff...

... vegetables... wait for the soup to come to a boil again...scoop...

... ladle... and finally the Thai inspired dipping sauce... the perfect accompaniment.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DINNER @ TING'S NOODLE HOUSE, JALAN BAN HOCK, KUCHING

Ang-Chow Braised Pork Belly

It was after 7:30 p.m. when we stepped into this eatry for dinner. It was empty except for a table of ladies, who had obviously finished their meal, chatting away, and the boss was sitting at the counter, still suited up in his chef's attire - I think they were quite prepared to call it a night.

We ordered from its ala carte menu, which has 3 columns consisting of vegetables, meats and soup. This was what had one meal and 3 vegetable dishes. The chef is Taiwan-trained with a Foochow background.

The Ang-Chow (lees) pork belly was the highlight; except for its red color, there isn't any hint of the Ang-Chow - pretty good. The Tofu Kelp Clear Soup (left) was rather bland, but I'm sure someone can vouch for its nourishing factor. The
Fried Tau-Cheo Long Beans With Minced Pork in contrast has the flavor and aroma of the bean paste sinked into the meat and beans; the thin slices of pork fat was an added bonus. The Stir-Fried Spinach With Garlic was another plain Jane.

Fried Tau-Cheo Long Beans With Minced Pork

Stir-Fried Spinach With Garlic

After we finished, the waitress was in a hurry to get rid of us by clearing our table as we were finishing, and it was just after 8. The bill, which includes 4 drinks and 4 rice, came to RM57, which we think is excessive, considering that the majority of the dishes are vegetables.

Monday, February 25, 2008

DINNER @ DATONG VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT, JALAN DATUK WEE KHENG CHIANG, KUCHING

Faux Shark's Fin Soup

If not for its name, you'd be hard pressed to identify the dish that you consume here; they look like meat, taste like meat (for the undiscerning ones), but they are not all they seem. They are mostly glutton made to fool the eyes and the taste buds - I think it defeats the whole purpose of sacrificing now for a better after-life or something along that line...

Fried Fish Cutlets

Braised Abalone

Fried Midin (The Real McCoy)

Braised Stuffed Mushrooms

... anyway the lady who runs the place was adamant about us taking the banquet package (about RM280 for 7 dishes), but I didn't bite 'cos there were only 8 of us, nibblers! So I pre-ordered 5 dishes from the ala carte menu without finalizing the price. I was given a hint of the pricey shark's fin - even more expensive than the real thing, I was told... if that is the case people are better off making the make-believe stuff than slaughtering sharks for their fins. At the end of the dinner, the bill came to RM250! The lady tried to convince us the meal was regarded as a banquet kind. Go figure! Can't say "Never again" 'cos it's one of the few decent vegetarian places in town, and where can you turn to for reciprocal dinner for vegetarians?

Friday, February 22, 2008

POST NEW YEAR DINNER @ PENANG SEAFOOD, JALAN TAN SRI ONG KEE HUI, KUCHING

Belacan Chicken

A K.L. friend dropped by with the family, so I reserved a table and ordered the food the morning before; you get to know your food cost there and then. If your dinner is not an impromptu walk-in affair, and you give them sufficient time to shop and prepare your meal, things will come out dandy.

The kids friendly items were the Belacan Chicken and the Salted Fish Pork Patties. The Braised Pig's Trotter with Mantou was a new Chinese New Year's item. The Assam Shrimps wasn't from the usual menu - something I requested beforehand - and the shrimps were bigger than those normally used 'cos it was the festive season. All our dishes almost came out one after the other within minutes interval, and we had our table filled with all the dishes just like a home-cooked dinning affair. You get to mix and match all the dishes whichever way you fancy.

Braised Pig's Trotters With Mantau

Fried Long Beans With Minced Pork

Deep-Fried Soft Shell Crabs

Curry Assam Fish

Salted Fish Minced Pork Steak

Assam Shrimps

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MY RESTAURANT VISIT #3: A MEDLEY

Pan-Fried Fish Fillet





How do you show ten persons a good time here?



Let Walter decide. This is what he came out with. A sampler from his menu so that one gets a taste of what this restaurant is all about. Half of the group haven't eaten here before, so it's a good induction meal. There was a double order for each item so there was enough to go around buffet style. The Mongolian Pork was something Walter whipped off the cuff.

Mongolian Pork Fillet

Aussie Chix

Sausages With Pork Belly

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NASI LEMAK & SUCH @ RAJA NASI LEMAK, JALAN DATUK AJIBAH ABOL, KUCHING

Nasi Lemak With Ayam Rempah







A Rempah store by day, a nasi eatery by night; sounds like materials of which superheroes are made. Exactly what the stuff here are made of...

... superduperly "Best", as the locals would have awarded it. And judging by the congregation (the fact that the old mosque is just next door) that gathers here every evening from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., the food here is something worth waiting for.

Ayam Penyet

We were the early birds on this occasion, and the crowd was just streaming in. I had the Ayam Penyet; the rice was piping hot, so was the chicken - crispy and juicy on the inside; and if you like hot stuff, it makes your lips pucker like Elvis and do a "Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.."; Aye Caramba, the sambal chilli, with a hint of tomato and belacan, at the bottom is something worth living for - perfect with the raw vegetables (ulam).

Nasi Lemak With Ayam Masak Merah

I had snippets of the nasi lemak sambal... it was good. It prices start at RM2 for its most basic assemblage ie. without the chicken.

I've one pertinent question: How many of you have dine at this place? Of the many times I've had meals here, our table is the only one that feels out of place.

SABAHANS! NAME YOUR FAMOUS FOOD WITH ADDRESS FOR K.K. AND TAWAU. USE THE E-MAIL ADDRESS, PLS.

Monday, February 18, 2008

CNY DINNER @ THE BANQUET, 3½ ML. PENRISSEN RD., KUCHING

Loh Hei!

It's always a prosperous (Chinese) New Year for restaurateurs, while poor sods like us have to pay through our noses for a meal at this time of year... somehow they always manage to repackage their food under auspicious sounding names with an even more extraordinary price tag.

One dish that doesn't have a very long history, but gains high regard through word association is the the Yee Sang, which literally means "Raw Fish"; but its title has a grandiose sounding zing like overflowing wealth. It's a simple salad dish comprising of finely julienned carrot and radish, crispy fried dough with thin slivers of salmon and other stuff blended together with plum sauce and oil. The significance of having the dish is in the act of tossing the salad and causing an upheaval with the “loh hei!”.

Lacing the salmon with lime juice, and dressing the salad with oil and sauce.

We didn't exactly get suckered in to the New Year's gimmicky... our menu consisted of items off the rack, so it didn't have any bearing or significance on the occasion. By the way, we always eat in on eves of X'mas & New Year, Valentines and Father's and Mother's Day, so that we can have twice or even 3 times the meal on normal times...

Shark's Fin Soup

Deep-Fried Soft-Shell Crab With Slated Eggs

Thai Style Fried Fish

Blanched Broccoli With Mushrooms And Beancurd Skin

Fried Venison With Sweet Sauce

Sago Mango Pudding

...but then again, this is The Banquet; we were back to square one. The food wasn't bad though, ditto for the service despite a wedding dinner and sedate revelry next door. No foul-ups or cold dishes served this time around - fresh and crisp throughout. Wish they had provided knives for the venison.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

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...

May the Farce be With You!

BAG OF TRICKS

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