Friday, January 30, 2009

PRE-CHINESE NEW YEAR DINNER @ BANGKOK-THAI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, JALAN CHAN BEE KIEW, KUCHING

Came down with some stomach bug 3 days prior to Chinese New Year, and this dinner was the day after the big flush...


...
didn't have any appetite and wasn't in any mood for all those blog-shenanigan. All the photos were taken by Kong-Kay-in-training.


These represents the restaurant's package dinner. Costs a couple of couple smackaroos.
..


... the restaurant's standard fare, nothing to shout about...


... it's a good thing to have the system cleansed before the new year...



... but somehow my eco system has gone askew...


... I think it's gonna be one FART CHOI year for me... with me going fart, and the people around going "Choi!!!"


Soothsayer says, it's gonna be one hell of a fartulent year ahead, mind you...


So fasten your seat beat, it's going to be a bumpy ride ahead.
..


... more hot air and stinkaroos!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

TEA @ GOLDEN CAFE, KENYALANG PARK, KUCHING

Pork Satay

Finding afternoon snacks on a Sunday is not exactly finding needle in a haystack, but close. Apart from a couple of places like Carpenter St. or Song Kheng Hai's Hawkers' Center or those ice kacang places, the choices are limited. This place, I think is nocturnal, and lives for the weekends. It has most of the usual noodle one finds in a Kuching's coffee shop, and then some more...

... from wok-fried noodles, so-called Western grills, Foochow noodles, Kolo, to the pork satay...

Wonton & Noodle Soup

.... and then there's this Taiwanese inspired noodle stall at the other end dishing out noodle and dumplings; they are self-made ones, thus they stand out from the usual suspects. They are prettily made and presented, and its potion is generous for the price one pays. The chives in the pork filling buffer the dumplings from an all meat taste, and when coupled with the pork broth with a dash of minced pork, the bowl of noodle just exults euphoria.

Poached Dumplings

However, the beef noodle soup is a bit of a letdown. The meat doesn't have the benefit of a longer braising time thus rendering the beef on the tough side. Its soup is a bit sour, in a rancid kind of way; couldn't force myself to finish it.

Beef Noodle Soup

The pork satay is slightly different from that of Carpenter Street's of the Satay House's in that it's not marinated in dark soy sauce; thus its lighter complexion. Also the the meat is ( probably machine-cut) cut in one long strip rather several bits skewered together - feels different, texturally.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR TO ALL WHO ARE CELEBRATING....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

DINNER @ ESPLANADE SEAFOOD, TEMPLE STREET, SIBU

Durian

If you have the urge to run out to buy some durians or Ba-la-Bay (black olives)after reading this, don't! There are not in season now, as this eating session took place a couple of months back. As usual at this eatery, we tend to B.Y.O. tid-bits to go with the normal order from the house.

Business hasn't been that great for this eatery since they shifted here. Food is still the same though... bad fung-shui being adjacent to a Chinese temple, so they say... but some hog of a Lillian may beg to differ.

Soy Sauced & Sugar Marinated Ba-La-Bay

The chilled poached chicken with gizzards was pre-ordered a day ahead. Cooked just right without any ghastly bloody under-cooked bits - firm skin, tender meat; tasted every bit like the cold drunken chicken from Din Tai Fung, minus the alcohol. Yummilicious!

Chilled Poached Chicken

Looks like the next photo needs some exorcism of sorts... all the shots of the fish looked like it had gone into a fit of hysteria while the plate remained stationary. Possessed or not, the black beans and chilies brought out the devil of the crispy fried fish head.

Tau-Si (Black Beans) Pak-Ti-Poh Fish

The vegetable below is a hybrid grown locally - a cross between Kailan and Chai Sym; you get the best of both worlds. The plain fry with garlic brings an unadulterated fresh feel to the dish.

Garlic Fried Chieng Bao Chai

The last veg. is an eclectic mix of imported and local variety. Another simple fry as well.

Asparagus With Baby Corns & Mushrooms

If you' haven't noticed the sporadic Wednesday post, the Kong-Kay's kitchen is closed for the summer (Southern Hermisphere).

Monday, January 19, 2009

BREAKFAST @ SING GARDEN CAFE, JALAN MANSOR, KUCHING

Steamed Parrot Fish

This is a relatively new eatery on the approach to Hui Sing Garden from Jalan Manshur. It's like a stilt house whose ground floor is converted into an eatery - rather spacious and airy. From its setup, it seems to have a bit of everything... from the usual Kolo Mee to economy rice and such. Then there is a stall or two (from the same family) selling Penang fare...

... it's the first stall as you enter the main enterance. It offers Penang Assam Laksa. There's a faint familarity to the lady maning (or womaning) the stall; she formerly had a stall at Xiang-Xiang Central Park, then she moved to Food Avenue, at which she's still there. I guess, she has one big family, being able to spread her assets around town.

The laksa tasted okay, however, the mint leaves were absent. We asked her about it on the way out, and was told Kuchingnites take a dislike to them and they are put in only upon request.

Fried Kampung Chicken With Ginger

Being a regular at Kwong Hup, my taste buds are attuned to its taste of fried koay teow, which is bestowed with ample garlic and chilli; thus I might be partial to this plate of koay teow/mee, which lacked a certain oomph, although in looks it meets all the criteria: big-flame frying and charred bits and all. Furthermore, it was a bit on the dry side.

One thing commendable about this particular stall is that the management has the sensibility to allocate a spot at the parking lot, about 15 feet away from the seating area proper, for all the frying activities. Most of the time, it's smokey; unless going to the office smelling like Eau-de-Koay-Teow is your kind of thing, one should approach the stall with a ten-foot pole.

Friday, January 16, 2009

BREAKFAST @ A1 & B2 FOODCOURT, BDC, KUCHING

Dian-Mian-Hu

These two adjacent food courts, with different owners, are siblings separated at birth; they both share names with similar tones to them; A One Food Court and B Two Food court. They are co-joined by one umbilical cord, namely its seating area (which is actually an alleyway). They co-exist by allowing food from both sides of the border being served harmoniously. Most of the basic food items are almost identical on both sides, except for a few unique ones, like those two featured here.

They are from different sides of the border; the Cha-Kuek is from A One, while the Dian-Mian-Hu (Pan-Scrapped Noodle) comes from B Two. If I'm not mistaken, the Dain-Mian-Hu comes from the same line as the one at Expert's Corner, 4th Mile Penrissen Road. It lacks the cuttlefish. And the Cha-Kuek is too diluted with rice flour for its own good; a bit too soft, and lacking the white radish flavor too!

If there's something good to be had around here, please do let me know, anyone...?

Cha-Kueh (Fried White Radish Cake)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SWEET & SOUR FISH


There's leftover tomato paste from the last dish, and it's being put to good use for this sweet and sour fish. Rather than using the usual tomato ketchup, it's richer in color and flavor than the normal sauce.







INGREDIENTS

1 Fish

2 Tomatoes (Wedges)

1 Large Onion (Wedges)

1 Clove Garlic (Thin Slices)

½ Cucumber

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Chilli (Seeded)

2 Tsp. Sugar

3 Tbsp. White Vinegar

1½ Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Cup Water

Sugar & Salt



METHOD


Gut the fish, Score few diagonal incisions on both sides, and light salt both sides and cavity.

Peel and cube cucumber, rub with 1 tsp. salt. Halved chilli, seeded, and cut into chunks. After 5 minutes, add 3 tbsp. white vinegar and 2 tsp. sugar, and dissolve. Rest until ready to use.


Fry the onion on 3 tbsp. of oil for 1 minute before putting in the garlic slices. When fragrant, add 1½ tbsp. of tomato paste...


... stir well with the onions and garlic for about a minute before pouring in 1 cup of water. Let it come to a boil.


Meanwhile, lightly dust the fish with cornflour on both sides. Lower the fish on heat oil (3 cups or so), and put the lid on for about a minute. Then scoop oil over the fish's surface. If the fish slides, when you slightly agitate the wok, the fish is ready to be turned.


When the tomato sauce comes to a boil, add in the tomato, onion and chilli. with the vinegar liquid. Let it simmer over low heat.


Turn the fish and fry for another 2 minutes or so... until it's golden in color...


... dish out on a serving plate.


Add sugar and salt to the sauce to achieve a balanced sweet and sour taste. Pour over the fish and serve.





Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MOM'S DAY


Eggs from Easter bunny, these ain't! It's my mother's day today...

It's customary to have red colored eggs together chicken Mee Suah (thread noodle) for breakfast. The chicken is cooked very much the same way as the Too-K'nua (Liver) & Yoo-Chee (Kidney) Mee Suah, except with the added dried mushrooms.

Has anyone slurped down the whole thread of noodle without biting off a single strand as custom dictates, and live to tell the tale? The noodle in its original form is a few feet long.

Monday, January 12, 2009

LUNCH @ BOULEVARD FOODCOURT, BOULEVARD SHOPPING MALL, KUCHING

Kolo Mee

Would you believe it, this place is just a 5 minutes' drive from my place on a clear day, traffic-wise, that is? It's one of those convenient places to eat out on a rainy day without stepping into the rain; Hong Kong Noodle House at Saberkas is another one that comes to mind. The food court here, although a bit smaller than the one at the Springs, gives a far better offerings. Its one stretch canteen style counter doesn't inspire much of a confidence to work up ones appetite, but upon closer inspection the array of food represented certainly delivers the goodies. And not all of the stalls are of unknown qualities, as some of them are well established eateries in town; they represent a spectrum of flavors from Indian to Korean fares.

Thai Chicken Chop Rice

The 2 dishes shown here were ordered from 2 adjacent stalls - Homemade delicacies and Chicken Rice. The one below is a local herbal favorite which is steeped in white Chinese rice wine, reputably good for women during certain period of the month - blood cleansing, they say. Well, I wasn't having any of that, literally not both counts. Instead, I had the spicy Thai Pork Chop. Its sauce was heavy on the lemongrass flavor, but not too hot though. Still, good to the last lick!

Kacama Chicken

If you're doing your shopping at this part of town, this food court has something to please your palate without without sinking your fortune, like if you did at the franchises fast food at the mall's peripheral.

Friday, January 09, 2009

CHEAP EATS @ PUSAT PENJAJA MAONG TENGAH, KUCHING



Remember the time when sugar goes up by 10 sen a kilo, your cup of Kopi-O invariably goes up by 5 sen a cup, fuel up 15 sen and so does the Kolo Mee by 10 sens, etc. etc... every food stalls jump at the opportunity to increase their prices disproportionally with every increase of fuel, flour, rice or sugar prices or whatever you name it. If you look at the situation, some of the prices of basic food items are at their lowest, yet the price of eating out has accelerated instead of coming down. Being in the coffee shop business has never been this great. - all those flux means a windfall. It seems like god-sent and heartening to find cheap eats available in the city...

... if only one cares to smoke them out. There are a few gems to be found at these council built-and-subsidized eating places. With rental at around RM150 per month, there are certain stalls that choose not to exploit the situation and pass on the windfall to the customers. A few can be found here...


... although this market is supposed to be a replacement for the Green Road's alleyway market, business never takes off the way it should. People has been avoiding it for certain reasons, and the number of stalls keep shrinking, thus compounding an already dire situation. Whatever the situation, the few hanger-ons that offers value-for-money grubs without sacrificing the quality of the food or drinks served.

Take the mug of kopi-o (black coffee). It costs only a mere 70 sen, and it's strong and aromatic; you get a lot more for a lot less than from a normal coffee shop. The Bak-Muay (pork porridge) without egg or any accessories is only RM2.20, when the normal going rate is RM3.20.


When it comes to wonton/ kiaw (dumplings), they don't skim on the filling... you get meat on every bite. Unfortunately, we were a bit late that morning to try its shrimp-filed version; nonetheless, this one is sumptous! They food is from stall no. 7.

For 3 cups of drinks, 2 bowls of porridge and 1 wonton soup, I still managed to get back some change from a RM10 note! And you don't have to worry about parking, as can be seen from the almost empty parking lot - and they are free!

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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