Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE @ SIN CHIEW CHICKEN RICE, TRAVILLION, KUCHING


The developer tries to promote this place as an eatery heaven, something along the line of the Quay ... it sure makes a lot of money for the developer, but the same can't be said for those who invested in the properties, or those managing eateries. It's a sorry state of affair for a downtown area; even diners along Jalan Padungan have seen better days. This is one such eatery that nestles among the handful of hopeful trying to find a niche in the foodies paradise.

The above paragraph is an abandoned piece I wrote ages ago for this place before some distractions came along the way. Probably the prophesy has been fulfilled as I saw this chicken rice stall having its own shop further down the road at Jalan Ang Cheng Ho. Whatever the case, this chicken needs some tendering before it wanders off elsewhere.


This may seem like one of those run-of-the-mill or an also-ran chicken rice franchise, but with the boss hovering around and cheerfully greeting the customers in his white attire, one's fear of getting slip-slogged type of food is assuaged.

What arrived at the table was a plate of clinically chopped pieces of tight sitting atop some sliced cucumber, boned and all, drizzled with sesame oil to give them a glisten (pulling out the camera before food was served certainly helped in getting the choicest cuts). The chicken fat/stock infused rice made the cut as having full-flavor and loose grains and void of the fat and grime. Its price is no more than the normal price one pays for a chicken rice. Best of all, it does take-out delivery, but not one or two packs, though.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

WHAT I HAD LAST NIGHT


Had Christmas dinner with the Clancys last night. It's an annual thing at this residence, plus other numerous potluck dinners over the year. And this is the first time I brought along a camera to record for prosperity.

I did none of the dishes except for the roast lamb. Arthur did most of them single-handedly... from the turkey, shepherd's pie, mixed vegetables and potato salad.








A MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A NIGHT @ RISTORANTE BECCARI, MERDEKA PALACE, KUCHING

Gustosa Pizza

It was to be a night out to try some Italian food. Sadly, Casa Davide was nowhere to be found at its old place along Jalan Padungan. That's how we ended up here.


We had an order of Gustosa Pizza before the starters and main course arrived, even though there was a plate of hardy bread provided with olive oil dip. The pizza here is not something to be passed up for. The pizza was fired in the brass wood-burning oven done in kitchen island at the center of the restaurant. So one gets to see the going-ons if seated at its counter. The antipasto was also prepared here.



Its menu has fancy Italian named dishes, which nobody understands had it not been for the English description of what they are all about. Lucky for the printout on the check, I can piece together the Italian sounding dishes we devoured for the evening.


Antipasto Italiano

Despite all its Italian names, all we had were steaks and racks of lamb, and the non-pasta starter. I have photos for all the food except for the Tiramisu. The Mele Al Frono (top right) was the other dessert on the table - a baked apple with chocolate ice cream.

Agnnello Lamb Rack

Fiorentina 'T" Bone Steak

Vitello Steak With Black Pepper

Like I said before, this place is a quiet hideaway for a night out in a swank surrounding, with attentive service without the air of pomp and circumstance.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ROTI TERBAU @ CHONG CHOON CAFÉ, JALAN ABELL, KUCHING

Roti Terbau With Butter and Kaya

That's thick toast for the uninitiated, and it comes in 3 flavors: butter with kaya (coconut jam), butter with honey, and peanut butter with sweetened condensed milk. This is a recently introduced item from the drinks department, where the normal fares are normal thin toasts and boiled eggs. This thick toast is about 3 times the thickness of a normal slice. It's done with fresh bread, thus retaining the moist softness of the center, while having a crisp exterior of the bread.

This place is known for its Sarawak Laksa (left); but if you have a close look at the bowl of the stuff served here, you'll be surprised at the timid strains of poached chicken and the lack of julienned omelette in the serving, even for its premium bowl... and you wonder why people still clamor for its Laksa. It's all in the Laksa broth, stupid! Not for its large shrimps or anything else, as some people would have you believe.

Mee Jawa Special With Satay

Sitting quite comfortably next to the Nonya Kueh stall and the Kolo Mee stall across the aisle is the Muslim stall selling Mee Jawa and Mee Goreng. Things we take for granted here no longer exist in West Malaysia: the co-existence of Muslims and non-halal stalls side-by-side.


Above is Ah Siang, the proprietor's son: the lookout man with the fastest draw on this side of town; he can pull one mean coffee or tea in those muslin strainer - faster than you can find a seat in the coffee shop. For regulars, drinks will be served the moment your butt touches the bench seating even without placing an order.

*got 2 free fat toasts on the return visit when I gave him the above photo

Friday, December 19, 2008

SAMPAN PORRIDGE @ KWONG HUP CAFÉ, LORONG TUN AHMAD ZAIDI ADUCE 8, KUCHING


I have no inkling to what a Sampan Porridge is like... I ordered one anyway. The proprietor of the stall enquired whether I wanted century egg with it; sure, why not!

What was delivered to the table was chook (blasted porridge) with chicken shreds, peanuts, and, of course, the century egg. It's just plain porridge with salt (and msg maybe) added for taste without the benefit of chicken stock. Not flavorful... downright plain; if you're the type who fancy Teochew porridge, this is the Cantonese cousin.

This stall has since close shop since the last time I had this... a couple of months ago. Yet another victim of being located in some obscure spot at the back of the shop, or is it?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DINNER #2 @ 119 SEAFOOD, AH LIONG CAFÉ, BDC, KUCHING

Shanghai Pork Leg

Having seen what they have on its menu the first time around, we went about ordering some of it more out of the ordinary dishes. And boy, for a tiny kitchen, this place sure rocks with the dishes it parlays - no small feat.

Mongolian Lamb

Except for the ordinary spinach, the rest are a wonder to behold. Nothing much to complain... maybe the pork leg is a bit to fat, but still deliciously good to the bone (my dog certainly agrees on that one). The lamb is artificially tender, with a saving grace from its flavorful marinade. The plate of vinaigrette jelly fish certainly spices up the course of the meal, and is too much of a plateful as I'm the only one left struggling to finish it.

Jellyfish Salsa

Fried Spinach With Egg

Didn't cost an arm and leg, just over half a piece of the big one!

Monday, December 15, 2008

LAKSA @ HAK GUAN, JLN. DATUK BANDAR MUSTAPHA, KUCHING


This pit-stop apparently is popular with trades-persons plying the Serian-airport route. It's a single storey premises by the roadside in an unlikely place for an eatery. Even getting there is an inconvenience, unless you're coming from Serian or Bau-Batu Kawa direction; all else, one has to make a U-turn at the Mustapha/Perrinssen road intersection. Jln. Datuk Bandar Mustapha is the road leading from the Kenyalang flyover to 4½ mile Serian Road.

The place is almost packed with vehicles when we got there. Even though it has a spacious parking space, we had to park by the main road as there were cars parked there already. The coffee shop has most of Kuchingnites' breakfast favorites - ranging from Kolo Mee, Laksa, Kueh Chap, porridge and economy rice. I've yet to try the other stuff apart from the Laksa.


The yellow pladcad on the Laksa glass showcase says: Laksa - RM3.50, RM5 and RM6. I ordered special, thinking it must be the most expensive one. However, when the order came, it was RM5 per bowl... I wonder what the RM6 is like.

What came to the table wasn't a pretty sight in terms of presentation - sans coriander and not so pretty julienned omelette, plus there were residue from the Laksa gravy sticking onto everything; it's as if they scrapping at the bottom of the cauldron. It sure was an ample bowl of beehoon with generous looking shrimps; at most places one gets only 3 to 4 shrimps. For the acid test: the Laksa gravy borders on the also-ran to a notch above the herbie-scented- flavor scale... quite decent.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2 VEG. & A DUCK RICE @ RUBY CAFÉ (1989), LORONG NANAS 3, KUCHING


For a quick meal, nothing beats the ever ready economy rice, which is available in most coffee shops nowadays. Some offers better looking grubs than others... and this is one of the better ones. Remember this place for its braised duck noodle? Well, it has a lot of things that revolves around its braised items.

For this particular lunch, I had an order of the plum braised duck with a couple of its fried vegetables: longbeans with minced meat and luffa (
Ridged Gourd ) with anchovies. There's nothing you can fuss over its signature dish if you're a fan of duck done this way. It's the auxiliary dishes that's what the lunch is all about... they are all beautifully fried, maintaining its color and texture; that's what makes them so appealing. So is its price.


It's the time of year... running on empty!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TAU EU BAK REVISITED


It's been quite a while since I last cook this... I even have to look into the old post to refresh myself... here's an update on the old favorite, the Tau Eu Bak, with a more detailed process of the works.



This time I only use one type of meat (Chin-Chu Bak) as opposed to the last time. Whatever you put into the pot is a matter of preference. The more meat, the sweeter the broth - that goes without saying. That's what makes this simple dish a top scorer amongst the young ones. It's a blast to "lum" (cover) your rice with bountiful of the delicious broth.





INGREDIENTS
6 Pcs. Of Pork Muscles (fore-leg) • ½ Cup of Dark Soy Sauce 1½ Head Garlic • 2 Tbsp. Sugar • 3 Cups Water 4 Eggs • 2 Pcs. Firm Tofu (Tau-Qn'ua)



METHOD

Marinate the pork in dark soy sauce for ½ an hour before use. Pour 4 tbsp. of oil onto a hot claypot. When the oil is hot, lay down the pork pieces (drain of liquid), and sear on all sides.

Add the sugar; coat it well onto the meat to caramelize. Lower heat to avoid burning, and move the meat about until the soy sauce gets absorbed into the meat.

Pour the (Marinade) dark soy sauce into the pot. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, turn the meat occasionally.

Drop in the peeled garlic. Submerge in the liquid; simmer until it oozes the fragrance. Then pour in enough water to cover the meat. Let it simmer for ½ an hour to one hour (depending on the cut of meat used).


In the meantime, boil the eggs to a semi-firm state (5 - 7 minutes). Once cooked, remove from water, rinse in cold water, crack and remove shell.


Once the meat is cooked, put in the eggs and tofu. Submerge in the liquid. Bring to a quick boil...


... cover, turn off the heat and let the eggs and tofu steep in the broth to absorb its flavor for an hour or so before serving.

Adjust the taste of the broth to your preference.





Monday, December 08, 2008

DINNER @ NEW HONG KONG SEAFOOD, JALAN SONG, KUCHING

This one is for Xiao Mik... the owner has to rushed home immediately last night (300 odd km.) after hearing she's fallen sick...

Steamed Parrot Fish

I had dinner at this eatery a long time ago when it was an outpost at Jalan Beng Hock, behind the famous steamboat place. Yes, that was a long time ago... I've no idea as to when they moved to this present location behind the Upwell Supermarket at Jalan Song. From the info. I gather, this place is open for business on the 1st. of Chinese New Year. So next time you're in a bind as to where to dine on such time, this is the place. Enough of the plug already!

We brought our fish for this dinner, and was told by the proprietress/chef that the fish is a prized item by Hongkies (she, herself, being one). Shhhh, don't tell anyone, it's cheap here (I mean, in Kuching)... RM18 per kg.! It's got one silky flesh - way better than the more expensive Promfret. Steamed with ginger and preserved black beans... just perfect!

Fried Kampung Chicken With Ginger

That's another version of your K'nio Si-Kay up there. Enough ginger to bring out the spring of the free range chicken, and nicely caramelized too in the soy sauce !

Fried Eggplant With Minced Pork & Salted Fish

A simple soup of winter melon with chicken's feet and spareribs to sweeten the deal is all that is needed to cleanse the palate...

Winter Melon Soup With Spareribs & Chicken's Feet

... also the plain Kailan with garlic brings an uncomplicated taste to greens, balancing out an 70 odd ringgit meal.

Fried Kailan

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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