Monday, March 30, 2009

WU-GOK @ MASTER BAKERY CAFÉ, REJANG PARK, SIBU


After a dissatisfying Kampua breakfast near Li Hua Hotel, Ah Lee suggested something different for tea in the afternoon. He vaguely mentioned about char-sui (BBQ roast pork) wrapped in yam at a place that sells 'kuek' (sounds that one of those selling fried fritters to me). I didn't bother to prod further, after all if there is there is food to be had, just lead on!

So off to Rejang Park we went... this shop is by the main road, before the old cinema. You won't miss the maroon signage by a mile. There is parking at the back of the shop.





The top most photo shows the dough in its raw form, with the filling already packed inside. Those lumps are then deep-fried in a tiny fryer at the pedestrian walkway in front of the shop. The top 2 photo show them being fried and its finished stage... the Wu-Gok! It ain't Scottish Egg... a delicate specimen of crispy crusted dollop of a pastry. Crunchy to the bite, followed by a moist savory sensation of the yam (taro), and finally the sweet scent of the roast pork kicks in to deliver a Lee-San-Jiao (Bruce Lee's triple roundhouse-kick).

Best enjoyed when they are freshly minted, 8 in the morning and again at 2 in the afternoon. Although I never order these at Dim-Sum's place, but these hot ones fresh off the fryer tastes better, with its filling still hot.




Well, Wu-Gok isn't the only thing that they sell here; being a bread house, there is the usual array of doughy stuff that rises to the ocassion. And then there are Chinese Sui-Baos with assorted fillings (sugary butter, red beans and Char-Sui) and the Malaysiantric Curry Puff (Somosa), which they call Curry-Kak (as in corner). They are all equally good...

... as the customer (below insisted on having his photo taken) was so willing to endorse the product with the pointing finger and the thumb-up gesture. Cheesy as it may look, but it certainly is one notch up from the normal thumbs-up routine.

I used to bring curry puffs and Wu-Gok from Chong Chon Biscuit Maker at Kai Joo Lane, Kuching whenever I come visiting. But with such fine treats here, I'll be sending coal back to Newcastle.

Hey, Ma, this is another Kong-Kay moment!!! Between 3 of us, we had 7 Wu-Goks, 2 Curry-Kak, 1 BBQ pork Sui-Bao, 1 red bean and 1 butter, plus 2 Wu-Gok to go. Thank you Mr. Ling! (I hardly met you.)


Friday, March 27, 2009

LOH ARK (BRAISED DUCK) @ MUI FAH, SG. TENGGANG, SERIAN/SRI AMAN HIGHWAY




If you thought all hope of ever finding good food on this lone highway is lost, then you haven't come across Mui Fah, located on a stretch of township as you approach a town with a explicit-sounding name, if you are traveling eastward. This is the second coffee shop from the corner... you won't be able to miss it with all its ducks hanging inside its glass display case.




I think we ordered ½ a duck for four persons. The duck was meaty, without any traces of fat; nice shiny brownish hue of the soy sauce. The best part was that natural goodness of the duck flowed through its saucy gravy, and not a hint of 5 spice, star anise or cinnamon. The meat was just braised succulently to the point where it didn't exhibit a bit of roughness.


To accompany the duck, we had a bowl of minced pork stuff fried tofu soup. Nothing spectacular. As for the price, it wasn't any cheaper than the one in Kuching, nor was it any more expensive.


Well, some says the duck here is better than the one at Tracy's, Abell Rd. You just have to travel all the way here to find out. It's only a 2 hours' drive from Kuching.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FRIED BELACAN KANGKONG


Another quickie from the kitchen of Ah Lee, Pulau Babi place in Sibu. This time the man is behind the wok instead of his brother. Same technique used as the fried beansprouts, the preparation is ¾ of the task. Cut the Kangkong (water convolvulus) into bite-size (discard the big fibrous parts), and the rest of the ingredients in another plate. Dried (oven or pan-roasted) Belacan (shrimp paste) about ½" thick and the size of a quarter coin can be used instead.







INGREDIENTS

1 Plate of Kangkong

1 Chili (Julienned)

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 Tbsp. Belacan Paste

4 Tbsp. Cooking Oil

¼ Cup Water

Salt To Taste



METHOD


Heat up the wok, oil it, and then dump in the garlic, chili and belacan paste...

... quickly wok the way around to work off the fragrance for a few seconds - before the garlic turns golden in color.

Empty the plate of kangkong into the wok.Give it a whril or two to fully coat it with the belcan oil.

Add a sprinkle of water to moisten, and salt to taste.

Give it a final toss... or two.

Then it's good to go...

... 3 minutes or less!





Monday, March 23, 2009

KAMPUA @ NEW CAPITAL RESTAURANT, KG. NYABOR ROAD, SIBU


I bet a lot of people doesn't associate this restaurant, which is better known for its chicken rice lunch, is famous for the the town's favorite noodle in its own right. It might seem most peculiar for a restaurant to serve such hawker's fare, but then there are a lot of dishes of mixed parentage that pass through its kitchen. Such is the forte of this restaurant - please-them-all-knock-them-dead-kinda menu! And it's the last of the old-school restaurant that is still standing.

We were here for the usual stuff - chicken rice, streamed fish, and the time something different: ching-chieng; well, that was the initial pre-order until they screwed it up with a plain old sui-yuk (roast pork belly). Despite aplenty of food before us, we ordered 2 plates of their kampua. Kosong! Sans char-sui.

With all the meat all around, who needs more meat on the noodle? Incidentally, that's the way they serve it here. (I hear, if you only order Kampua, they'll politely tell you that they've run out of noodle.) Might as well, one gets to taste the real deal without any other ingredients getting in the way. The raw noodle is the same as those made elsewhere in town, so what's so different about the noodle here?

The noodle is almost al dente (not soft like Ang Kow's) and has all the characteristics of the good old kampua. That's where the similarities end; I think 3 words describe the noodle best: Indomei Mi Goreng! If you've no idea what I'm talking about, head to your nearest supermarket or Chinatown and get a packet of this Indonesian made noodle, and you'll understand what I mean. In its original pack, it contains 3 sachets of chili flakes, fried shallots, seasoning plus a combo-packet of fragrant oil and
dark soy sauce. It's the seasoning and the fragrant (shallot) oil that makes the noodle stand out from the rest. That's what you get for the noodle here: same aromatic essentials to make it a delight. It makes you wonder whether they just use IndoMei's sachets (since there is [or was?] an IndoMei factory in town). Nah!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

DINNER #1: 2009 @ BLUE SPLENDOR, WISMA SANYANG, SIBU

Chicken Mee Suah Soup

Have a second glance at the title again... feeling confident that there will be more to come at this restaurant? Possibly, it's only the beginning of the year. This one is considered a standard banquet fare with the usual pre-requisites, from the shark's fin down to the steamed Promfret. Fulfilling the quotient of appetizer, meat. fish, shrimp, soup and vegetable. 8 dishes in all.

Cold Platter

Shark's Fin Soup

Steamed Promfret

Smoked Duck With Dumplings

Braised Sea Cucumber & Venison Tendon

Shrimps Viet. Style

Mixed Fruits

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

QUICK STIR-FRIED BEANSPROUTS WITH SALTED FISH


Well, the cooking session is on again after a spell. To bring me out of the slumber, I've roped in a little help...

This step-by-step demonstration of frying beansprout is brought to you courtesy of Ah Lee's brother. I couldn't possibly do it and shoot at the same time without making it soggy. Speed and readiness of all ingredients nearby ensures a crisp and crunchy sprouts.








INGREDIENTS

1 Plate Beansprouts

2 Stalks Green Onion

1 Chili (Strips)

1 Shitake Mushroom

10 gm. Salted Fish
4 Tbsp. Cooking Oil

Salt



METHOD


Group together beansprouts (remove any water), chilies, rehydrated mushroom & green onions (cut in strips) on a plate.

Heat up the wok, then drizzle cooking oil around the it...



... drop in the salted fish. Fry for a few seconds, moving around to avoid burning. When its color starts to turn golden...


... throw in the minced garlic. Bring out its fragrance...


... dump in the entire content of the prepared plate of vegetable.


Swiftly toss the vegetable around to have them sealed and coated thoroughly.


Season with salt to taste...


However, you can mix the salt (1 tsp.) with the vegetable before hand. Give it a final twirl. The sprout will emit a bit of moisture on its on naturally.


... scoop out onto a plate and serve. Garnish with parsley.

There you have it, under 3 minutes!





Monday, March 16, 2009

LUNCH @ WEN WEN CAFÉ, SARIKEI

Pi-Pa Duck

As we were approaching this town (E.T.A. 1½ hours), I called Ah Tan to have him know that there would be 9 of us coming for late lunch, and requested him to reserve some duck for us... not just any duck, but Pi-Pa to be exact Despite traveling in a convoy of 3 cars with first-time companions, my estimation was pretty right on cue. Driving slower than usual and having had a late start didn't throw off our schedule; we all pretty much arrived in tact with only a failed air con. in one of the cars.

As usual Mrs. Tan was beaming to see us... more so this time to see another fellow Johorean in a small town in the middle of Sarawak, where Foochow forms the majority of the townsfolk (although Wil and Bonkersz might disagree).

Braised Chicken Feet

The crisply fried Pi-Pa duck was the first dish to arrive on the table. It seemed we had more than a duck from the look of the plate above (3 drumsticks sticking out). Next was the braised chicken feet, coupled with some pig's trotters for good measure. Someone who has a relish for such feet sure didn't take much of a feat to tuck in those chicken goodies in no time. That inviting plate of curry sure had its comeuppance. The curry leaves were tell-tale signs.

Curry Chicken

Another 2 plates of fried vegetables rounded up a delectable lunch. With the dragon fruit drinks and all, the bill came to RM70. With all the food in the tummy, my sense of direction was momentarily lost as I struggled to find the way out of town through the new bridge. Alas, a kid on motorbike from the housing estate was kind enough to guide me out of the maze.

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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