Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NOODLES @ KOPI-O CAFÉ, SING KWONG MALL, JN. TUN AHMAD ZAIDI ADRUCE, SIBU


Three little monkeys
jumping on the bed,
One fell off
and bumped his head.
Mama called the Doctor
and the Doctor said,
"You'd better eat your noodle for goodness sake!"

HUUUUH!!!! Okay, O.K. ...

Three little monkeys
goin' to town for a snack.
One took the wheels,
the rest follow the leader of the pack.
One asked the Doctor, "Where to next?"
and the Doctor said,
"You'd better turn to Sing Kwong instead!"


... so here we were at Doc's favorite Kolo Mee stall. He has followed it wherever it went since its time behind Ngui Kee at Jalan Tunku Osman. He always goes for its Bak-Chooe (minced pork) Mee with the obligatory Chainē soup, which has everything under the sun - well, almost! Those two much about covered all the bases for a hefty breakfast. The other monkey, cook/baker/designer, had Roti Canai.

I, however, saw this black beef slices sitting in a bowl of braised sauce, and couldn't resist trying it out. The result is the top-most photo. Not spicy but savory... different from the usual Taiwanese beef noodle. It has the taste of a Loh-Ark (braised duck) noodle at Ruby Cafe, but with a beefy flavor. Nice!

Monday, September 29, 2008

PUASA FOOD SPREAD @ DEWAN MASYARAKAT, JALAN PENDING, KUCHING


This is the smaller of the Puasa (fasting month's) get-ups in Kuching. Here, you don't have to jostle for food, and it's less claustrophobic. Nonetheless, it has most of traditional Muslim's fare. If you ask me, I have no idea what most of the items on displayed are called, apart from the curry this, masak merah that or masak hitam this. I just let the fingers do the talking - point and pick on the wallet. Like durians, this is my once-a-year sampling of the collective Puasa quota.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BAKSO KOAY TEOW SOUP @ NOODLE BAR, SOEKARNO-HATTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, JAKARTA

This was a meal that wasn't meant to be, as we already had a light snack prior to coming to the airport. Mr. Fernandes had other plans for us... our flight had been delayed for another 2 hours despite being rescheduled to fly off 4 hours later. Why wouldn't the plane be delayed for another hour more, so that we would have RM200 as compensation for each of us?

A few moments before, this noodle bar was as quite as a church; no sooner had one discovered of the yet again rescheduled flight time, this place was teaming with activities. I'm sure the owners could use a few more flight re-timing for their benefit.


In a way, you could say there was a silver lining in every cloud... it came in a bowl of Bakso. Well, we had Bakso before, so what's so special about this one? It wasn't so much of the Bakso but the Hor Fun (rice noodle) that came with it... there's something about the water in Jakarta, more alkali in content I suppose, that makes the Hor Fun silky smooth, like the ones from Ipoh - a taste to behold. Notice the large tea cup of Sambel Olek that accompanied the 2 bowls of noodle? It's really a love affair with hot
thingy with the locals.


If you're able to get cheap fares for this destination, go for it! Shopping is great, no aggravation from your taxi drivers and reasonable fares, plus the people are graceful, contrary to any pre-conceived belief one might have, and lastly the food is simply superb!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MEXICAN PIZZA @ BAR GUMARANG, HOTEL IBIS TAMARIN, JAKARTA


Went back to the hotel, packed the last minute shopping items into the bags. But we had about an hour to kill before taking the cab. It provided us with an opportune time to sample the hotel's pizza, which can be all from all outlets in the hotel. We chose the bar/lounge closest to the entrance - that's where our bags were.

Ay Caramba! We chose the Mexican selection - a notch down in terms of weirdness from the Tempe pizza. Price-wise it was about the same as one from Pizza's Hut. The thing about dining in Indonesia, there's the ubiquitous Sambel Olek... it doesn't come in just a small receptacle, but in a cupful (see tomorrow's entry). Actually it tastes good as a pizza dip; you just can't get enough of it - it can be contagious! With the Sambel Olek I can't remember what the pizza tasted like.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

KETUPAT (COMPRESSED RICE PACKET)


It's almost Raya time, and this cooked rice in coconut casing, Ketupat, is one of the featured dish in the Raya repertoire. Cooking the rice is a simple affair that consists of boiling the rice in coconut milk, that has been slightly salted.

It's weaving the casing that is at the heart of making the Ketupat. My mom's little helpers (diminutive in size) from Indonesia make them occasionally with leaves plucked from the coconut trees in the garden; using just 2 leaves to make one casing...

WEAVING THE CASING

Didn't get it the first time 'round? Here we go again...

FILLING THE CASING
Fill the casing with rice at half its volume

COOKING THE KETUPAT
Pile the filled Ketupat onto a wok, and fill them with coconut milk (from 1½ grated coconut) with 2 tsp. of salt added.

Simmer for 45 minutes or until the milk runs dry.
Let the Ketupat cool before cutting.

Then serve...
... with curry or your Satay.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

LUNCH @ MARUZA, PLAZA BLOK M, JAKARTA

Shashimi Gozen

This is our last day in the city. Having visited most of the prescribed shopping malls, we thought of checking out the local Carrefour, which we had seen on the highway not far from the hotel; but the hotel staff thought otherwise. We were taken four a ride down south of the city (an added bonus to the cabby); fortunately, the fare wasn't too bad.

We had shopped at a few smaller supermarkets before, and this was by far one of the bigger ones, although a bit out of the way. It's one of my anthropological streaks to check out how other people eats and lives, plus to pick out a few unusual food items. Interesting finds: for the world's most populace Muslim nation, pork ham in sealed pack were displayed next to halal one; in the fresh chilled food section, in an open chiller, fresh pork of all fashion (ribs, bellies, fillet) were on sale, and this wasn't Chinatown. As in other supermarkets, there's no segregation for pork canned items either. One unexpected scene was the availability of freshly baked pizzas, and hot local food on chaffin dishes on an island counter... if only they had allowed me to take photos.

Unagi Cheese Age Roll

Dragon Roll


Cahan

Before lunch we were through with Carrefour, we asked the sales staff to places to go for shopping, they suggested Blok M; we had been to its nearby mall a few days few, Pasar Grande.

This place turned out to offer one of the better shopping experiences we had. It's a bit like the shops at Singapore Far East Plaza that caters for the hip teens and anything in-betweens.

The architectural layout of the mall is like the Guggenheim Museum, NY., in its use of the spiral walk-flow to navigate traffic to its top level. One has to snake one's way around every shops to get to the top floor. However, there are escalators and bridges in the middle for the lazies and short-cuts.

Having done a quick survey of the eateries on its basement, we settled for this Japanese restaurant, which was decent looking by appearance; besides it offered 30% discount on all food with no string attached; even after we paid for the meal, they offered us loyalty reward points for our next visit, which we had to decline... don't know when we'll be back. If a picture paints a thousand words, then the photos on this page speak volume. For 3 potions of Pocari Sweet (pickles), 2 Miso soup (that came with the Sashimi & fried rice), one plain rice, and the rest of the stuff you see here, the bill came Rp. 155,232, which translates to RM58.

Koucha Purin (Green Tea Pudding)

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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