Monday, June 30, 2008


Fried Pork Belly with Salt Fish

This eatery used to be the toast of the town when it was located at Ban Hock Road, and then being the pioneer at this present location. As new kids in the block move in, they have stolen some of the thunder especially the one just across the plaza. Truth be told, we were here 'cos we couldn't get any seating without reservation at the aforementioned place.

Steamed Tapah Fish

This place was not as packed as it used to in its heydays. But that is not to say it's without its merit... it's known for its Cantonese influence due to its late owner's/chef's pedigree. Its standard and signature dishes are still maintained. Its food has more of a home-spun-feel-good quality we wish we could have at home everyday.

Fried Bamboo Clams With Curry Powder

Ang Sio Homemade Tofu (Braised Beancurd)

Fried Belacan Midin

It pictures can tell a thousand words, this is it! You'd be hard pressed to find any fault with its food and service when everyone is trying very hard to please. Price-wise, it isn't too shabby either... it'll have you coming out of the restaurant grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Friday, June 27, 2008


It's been quite a while since I've been here last - probably more than a year or so. I started patronizing this lady's stall the very first day she started business at Jalan Green Hill (opposite Ah Ka Su Seafood). She's quite a pedigree as Hainanese coffee shops' history go, but her chicken rice skill was an unknown quality when she first started, as the parents' shop (defunct) was more known for its coffee and kaya toast.

The chicken here differentiates from others in that it is steamed rather than the normal poached type. In theory, the chicken, especially the chicken's skin, comes out nicer; but it makes no difference to me as I discard the skin. Also all the flavor and juice of the chicken are retained within the fowl, and not seep into the poaching liquid. And the steaming is no advertising gimmick; the chicken does taste better if you imagine it to be.

There is no denying that the chicken rice here is nicer, in looks and taste than the more popular Fang Yuen. It loses out in the portion department - both in the chicken and the chilli and sambal served (note the small plastic receptacles used). However, a request for bigger receptacles (due to the fact that it is clumsy to handle) was met with a generous bowl of vinaigrette chilli.

Speaking of Fang Yuen, its standard has slipped a few notches the last time I was back a few weeks ago. For value it's still it, but this one definitely has an edge in terms of taste and quality.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Cheese Baked Rice With Steak In White Sauce

This snack place at the Spring is a breeze of fresh air for those opting for Tong Sui other than the usual Ice Kacang or the other Hong Kong Phooey place. Truth be told, Kuchingnites aren't exactly your regular Tong Sui persons; a few Tong Sui places had sputtered and floundered in the past; or even the present, like some that arrive stone cold!

This is a franchise that boasts a healthy dose of over 200 items on its menu. And some are nifty Chinese snack food with some twists here and there, plus some quaint British delights. Although they are meticulously prepared and presented, there are some hits and misses; but this place sure beats some places that serve mainly desserts.

Tea & Food Sandwich

Iced Sweet Corn, Sago & Herbal Jelly

Sian-Chau Jelly Drink • Mango Sky Snow

However, the prices can be steep compared to your ice kacang stall. It's not one of those daily indulgences that you can sink your teeth into without putting a dent in your budget.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Fried Pork Belly With Salted Fish

This is the less popular stall on the upper floor of the market at Jalan Petanak. It doesn't have the crowd compared with the one a few stalls down; probably it was for that reason I was drawn to it in the first place. I've never tried the other (more patronized) stall.

The selection from this stall is limited (and does vary from time to time), but sufficient for our need. All the meals we have here hasn't gone beyond the RM60 mark (mostly RM30-40) for meals feeding 3-4 persons. And the best part is that I get to dictate how the dish should be cooked, and the man happily complies; but most of the time I let him come up with some never-had-before suggestions.

Stir-Fried Belacan Kangkong

O-Chien (Oyster Omelette)

Fried Crab With Chillied Salted Black Bean (Tau-Si)

Friday, June 20, 2008


At last count, there are 7 to 8 coffee shops and restaurants within this U-shape rows of shop houses. Seems like catering is the only game in town, with its money upfront policy. This shop, Tar-Zen literally means big fellow, is right opposite Lao-Pao (wife) cafe; so there's a bit of rivalry between the spouses.

Business must be tough, as I saw a few abandoned stalls within this café. But the outlook seemed rosy by turnover of customers the place is experiencing. And this particular noodle stall fronting the corner-end of the shop boasts of its home-made noodle, which is proudly proclaimed How-Wei (good taste).

How How-Wei is How-Wei, you might ask? Very How-Wei, I must say! Its noodle is howyamightdecribeit Q-Q, or in other word, "Springy". It springs back at ya at every bite. And that's not all... its topping of Char-Sui (Roast Pork), Sui-Yuk (Roast Pork Belly) and fragrant minced pork nicely round off an already one heck of a pièce de résistance. If you can hack those fatty stuff, the pork belly is to die for... finally you wash off with the clear seaweed soup that accompanies the noodle. Worth every RM3.50 of it!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The "Loh" in the meat (Bak) is as in braising. This is almost the same recipe as Tau Eeu Bak; the only difference is the substitution of galangal (blue ginger) to garlic, all else stays the same. The amount of galangal used is up to one's discretion - the galangal is what gives the dish its distinct smell and flavor.

The tongue is the most misunderstood body parts; the mere mention of it puts most people off easily. But given a chance, it tastes better than some of meaty parts of the pig. Being what it is or where it has been, cleaning the tongue is the hardest part of this cooking exercise.


1 Pig's Tongue • 1 Strip Pork Belly • 1 Knob Galangal • Sugar Dark Soy Sauce


Almost Hard Boiled Eggs • Hard Taufu (Beancurd)


In a hot boiling water, drop in the pork belly and have it blanch to get rid of the scum.

Rinse and set aside.

Have the butcher cut off those boney part at the opposite end of its tip. Drop the tongue into hot boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until the white membrane flakes off. Remove with a thong and use a sharp knife to scrap off all the white membrane completely. Further boil the tongue if necessary to be rid of some stubborn patches.

Repeat the above a few if you have to...

...a completely scrapped tongue.

Drizzle dark soy sauce over the pork belly and tongue... about ½ doz. tablespoonful. And rub them all over, allowing it to sit for at least for ½ hour, turning a few times.

Scrap off the skin from the galangal and cut into thin slices. Heat up 4 tbsp. of oil on medium heat. Drop in the galangal to bring out its fragrance.

Spoon in the sugar to caramelize. Stir the sugar and galangal around to prevent burning.

Once the sugar is caramelized, plunk in the 2 slabs of meat, searing them ever so slightly, before pouring in the remaining soy sauce marinate. Let it simmer for a while for the meat to caramelize.

Pour in about 3 cups of hot water, barely covering the meat. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it simmer covered for 45 minutes on low heat. Turn the meat every 15 minutes.

To make a simple chilli sauce, chop a couple of chillies with a clove of garlic; put them into a blender and blitz. Add ½ tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of sugar, 1 tbsp. of white vinegar, plus 1 tbsp. water.

... blitz until it comes out like the photo right. Adjust the taste to your liking.

After the 45 minutes period the meat should be done... cut a piece of the pork belly to see if it's tender. Simmer a bit more it needs be. Drop in the hard tofu, turn a few times to coat it on all sides for 3 minutes. Finally drop in the eggs and turn off the heat. Let it soak in the liquid for another hour before serving.

Remove the meat and let it cool before slicing them.

The reason the eggs are almost hard boiled because it will cook further after sitting in the warm sauce.

Adjust the taste of the sauce if it needs it.

Serve with sliced cucumber.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Gustosa With Truffle Oil

This is upscale pizza due to its locality: a posh hotel at the heart of the city. But you don't have to be all spiffied up to get a bite of the deliciously thin crusted pizza. That's why we were having a late night snack within the peripheral confines of the Italian Ristorante Beccari - right outside the restaurant, at the lounge area of the Seattle Coffee Bar. You don't have to be pretentious 'cos there's nobody to see you, and nobody cares whether you strut in with a pair of flip-flops (See the 2 slackers left).

If you can spare a few dimes for Starbucks, the coffee here is within that ballpark. However on that particular night, the barista's drinks did not rise to the occasion - missing the oomph!

But the pizzas is another story; as usual, they never fail to please. They were ordered from the Italian restaurant, and delivered to the lounge. The pizzas were fired in the wood-burning oven, the centerpiece of the restaurant's dining area. It's not often that I have pizza, about twice a year, and this is one of those pizza moments; so when it's time to indulge, why not splurge a bit!

Speciale alla Beccari

Friday, June 13, 2008


What started out as a poor man's dish, due to the use of pig's body parts which nobody wants in the old days, the Kueh Chap has since become a delicacy of acquired taste. It's a broth dish consisting of the Kueh, which is rice flour flat noodle, and the Chap, which literally means 'mixture', is a combination of pig's internal organ like intestines, bile, ear, belly, skin from the head, meat, fried tofu and and hard boiled egg. The condiment that goes with the dish is light sambal belacan (with more chilli parts) with white vinegar.

Any measure of a good Kueh Chap lies in its broth, which invariably is dictated by the offals that are put in it. And the preparation of the spare parts, as they are normally referred to, is really what makes or breaks the sanctity of the broth; it stinks if they are not washed properly, especially the intestine. They are stalls that use 5 spices powder and other herbs to mask its smell; it's like substituting one poison with another. The best is still broth cooked in its unadulterated form: soy sauce broth, with its flavor derived from the simmered parts...

... which brings us to this particular Kueh Chap stall, which is on the other end of the 3rd. Mile market (2nd. entrance coming from town). Its broth has all the characteristics of the unadulterated one, although it might have some unobtrusive herbs in it - pure wonder! Another thing of note is the family cooking the Kueh Chap; they are anybody but Teochew, the originator of this dish. In these days and age where race transcends boundaries and borders, "it matters not whether the cat is black of white as long as it catches the mouse" holds true in every sense of the words...

Heck, this particular stall even beats the de factor Kueh Chap stall at Lau-Yah-Kheng, Carpenter Street, which used to be the yardstick in the old days, before the passing of the fat guy that ran the stall. To really appreciate the goodness of its Chap, order the biggest and most expensive bowl listed on its menu... others are just alang-alang!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I bought 3 bags of unsweetened soyabean milk from the tofu seller at Petanak market to make drinks this morning. So I thought I could quickly whipped up a small tofu for dinner with some of the milk.

I used a small cake pan; one of the RM4.90 Japanese thingy from Parkson. The end result is no bigger than a stick of butter. As in most of my cooking they is no exact formula to follow... I just use whatever is at hand and go from there, based on intuition.

The egg aids as a binding agent, and the extra yolk adds more color to the custard. The custard was steamed at high heat, which caused the bubbles and ripples; as it was going to be deep-fried, its looks and texture didn't matter. However, if smooth form is desired, cover the cake pan, and lower the heat for a gentle steam.


1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk

140 Ml. Soyabean Milk
½ Tsp. Chicken Granulate

100 gm. Minced Pork
2 Tsp.Soy Sauce
1 Tsp.Pepper
1 Tsp.cornflour
2 Tsp.oil


2 Slices Ginger ● 2 Cloves Garlic ● 1 Stalk Green Onions


Crack 1 egg plus 1 yolk ● Pour in the soybean milk ● Add ½ tsp. chicken granulate

Whisk the mixture ● Strain the egg-soybean milk mixture ● Pour into cringe wrap covered pan


Place the tofu custard pan on a steamer ● Steam for 10 minutes ● Cool in water bowl

Flip over the pan ● Gently pull the cling wrap to release the custard ● Remove the cling wrap


Fry the marinated pork with 1 clove of garlic ● Add a cup of water into the cooked meat ● Add seasoning and simmer for 15 minutes

Strain the broth ● Remove oil layer from broth and reserve ● Allow the cooked minced pork to cool and dry


Coat tofu with cornflour ● Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown ● Remove excess oil with paper towel


Mince the cooked pork in a blender ● Deep-fry the pork until golden brown, loosening the pork in floss-like ● Julienne the ginger and garlic
Deep-fry the ginger and garlic until golden brown ● Mix the ginger, garlic and pork floss together ● Heat up the reserved broth and season; thicken slightly with cornstarch slurry if desired

Top the tofu with the deep-fried ingredients in a deep plate ● Pour the broth around the tofu ● Garnish with green/spring onion slices


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!


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