Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BAK EEE & SUCH @ THIAN FOCK CAFE, KENYALANG PARK, KUCHING


If my mum's directional guide to eateries were to be taken in full totality, I think we'd have ended up in Timbuktu, or anywhere in that vicinity. The way she describes it: "Step out of its main exit, you'll see Kenyalang Market. Use the other one, you'll see the Springs." Where Got?!!!

Luckily there's enough clue there to figure out that it's the third shop next to the Kenyalang car park that has a slight incline at its entrance (not the Shell gas station). As coffee shop goes, this one has a few things going for it: the obligatory noodle stall, hot claypot items, fried noodles and such, "Golden Churn" butter/kaya toast, and this meatball combo stall.



Monday, September 28, 2009

POPIAH PT. 1: THE FILLINGS



The ingredients used for Popiah (Spring Roll) is quite similar to the Jui-Hu Char, and so is its process.


Julienning with the knife of its main ingredients is the preferred way, rather than using a mandolin or a grater. Other recipes call for a lot of other macam-macam; the preference is entirely up to you. If you're the Kiasu type, crabmeat or even abalone is the way to go.

This post has been in digestion for over a year and half: first I had the making of the popiah skin already in the can; then my hard disk went kaput without a back-up; so I thought. Demonstrations are courtesy of my cousin AL and the popiah ladies at the back lane of Jalan Padungan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

DINNER @ B.K. CORNER, BATU KAWA, KUCHING




Whenever I'm at this part of the woods, it just for one thing, and one thing only - the Bak-Ee (Meatballs). However, I notice at the backstreet of the main thoroughfare, there's a restaurant. I've heard murmurs of the place, and one fine evening, four of us take a drive here to try out the food, or whatever they had got cooking. But things doesn't exactly pan out. You can say I'm distracted...

... when we reach the backstreet restaurant, it looks kind of deserted, and dimly lit. Anyway, there is this corner coffee shop/restaurant by the small lane leading to this restaurant. It's usually quiet by day, but by night fall it's totally a different animal - brightly lit and hiving with activities; like a bug attracted to the bright light of those bug-killing contraption... Zoink!!! We are so there instead!



Mui Chai Pork Belly


Like I've said before, if you don't speak the local lingo, Hakka, or Mandarin in this neighbourhood, it'll be a trying time when it comes to ordering the food. I let the waitress rattle out their specialities, and stop her when something sounds vaguely familiar, or I think what it is. These are a few of them.


Home-made Deep Fried Tofu


Oatmeal Shrimps

Balacan Midin


They aren't any different from the food one can get in town, except it may be a bit cheaper, and some of the potions bigger, like the veg. above, which is about 2½ times the size. one normally gets. For the price of RM64 (4 drinks and 5 bowls of rice), one can't complain much for a good meal out in the country.

Monday, September 21, 2009

EARLY DINNER @ MY RESTAURANT, SAMA JAYA, KUCHING



This is a belated post of a dinner that took place a few weeks after I had returned from the Melbourne. We were here for an early dinner before sending the sister-in-law to the airport for an evening flight . Walter (left) the owner/chef was surprised to see me, as my (ongoing then) Melbourne's eating escapade was still running, and there I was in flesh at his establishment.


Still inspired by my blogs on the few Italian meals I had, he came out with an Italian influenced chicken dish (above) - he doesn't even have a name for it. It was chicken with capers. It has the feel of Chicken Ala King with a capers after-taste. Decidedly different from his normal menu.


The Chili Corn Crane (below) was what he had in the pot. It was one of the different stews he slips into his daily special. Despite its name, it was a toned down affair, minus the heat of chili peppers. But still, it was a full-flavored pork bathed in the richness of the tomato paste.

Friday, September 18, 2009

GLUTINOUS BALLS DESSERT @ e CAFE, JALAN PADADA, SIBU


It is a small wonder that a tiny stall specializing in Chinese/Japanese dessert still thrives in the land where Kampua Mee rules supreme. Even in Kuching, a few Tong Sui places selling local bubur cha-cha and the likes, or that selling Hong Kong varieties have bitten the dust.


Somehow, this funky Mr. Yong in a yellow corduroy manages to hit all the sweet spots with his clientèle. He does a few Japanese biscuit items, those puff balls thingy, and the glutinous rice balls: they call in either 'dry' or with sweet soup. We (Wil & me) sample both varieties.






One can opt for different fillings offered - ranging from crushed peanuts to raisins. The rice balls have a springy feel to them, and yet not sticky enough to loiter in your throat. Some of the fillings, I feel, are gimmicky, which at most one gives it a once run-over.

The soup that comes with it is not the normal Tong Sui (fragrant syrup water) type. This one has a peanutty feel to it, and the sesame sprinkle makes it all the more siok!

You don't have to wait for Dong Zhi (Winter Solstice) to come around to enjoy the Dong Yuan.




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CHICKEN CHORIZO CASSEROLE



This is my third attempt for this dish. The first time, was too much white wine; the second, I forgot the tomatoes; and this time, I oil-blanched the chicken instead of pan-frying them - less splatter.

Have the butcher chopped up the chicken into bite sizes. Pat them dry before frying.


And I used only a cup of white wine for the half chicken.; it's less pronounced, like the herbs used - thyme and parsley flakes (whatever happens to be available in the pantry). It's the Chorizo that gives it the smoky flavor, plus the olives lends a bit of tangy saltiness. After the stewing time, I thicken the sauce ever so lightly with cornflour slurry, so that the sauce sticks a bit when dunked with bread.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ANOTHER ANG MOH @ SIBU'S CENTRAL MARKET


This New Zealander isn't at the market to do her weekly grocery, but rather to collect food for the Sibu Benevolent Society. She's a veteran of sorts - this is her fourth consecutive years at it. However, she has yet to best the
record of a trio of Penangnites and a Singaporean of six years in a row.

Friday, September 11, 2009

DINNER @ XIN TSUI SIANG KITCHEN, JALAN PETANAK, KUCHING

Shredded Chicken Noodle

Xin Tsui Siang Kitchen's dinner menu is a dead ringer of Cuixiang Garden's. That comes as no surprise as whatever the name change it clings onto, the faces of the owners never do. Maybe there's a change in the price structure; becoming more customer friendly. All items are listed in a tabletop menu, so you know what you're paying at the end of the dinner.

If you're planning a banquet here, you're out of luck; there's hardly any room for those big round tables. The most you can get are 2 to 3 tables in the private dining room, and then a couple in the main dining area. Seating has become casual for small party.

Taste wise, the food hasn't deviated from its previous root, but with added gusto. You surely won't be disappointed with whatever they throw at you.

Braised Ribs

Loh Han Chai

Steamed Soon Hock

Sago Pudding

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BREAKFAST @ SIN CHONG CHOON CAFE, LORONG , KUCHING

Roast Pork Belly Koay Teow, The Works

This is the younger sibling of Abell Road's Chong Choon Cafe. Unfortunately, it doesn't feature the famous Laksa stall, although it has Laksa, alright. Somehow, it's not the same... if there's any consolation, rumor has it that there's a lady with huge diamond ring cooking the Laksa. And the Tau-Tao drops by most mornings with #4 and #5 (which is a buy one, get one free) in tow, with Lionel Ritchie's Say You, Say Me lingering in the background: "Tua-Bo, Say-Ee, living together; the way it should be...". Pique your interest already?

The coffee shop offers a variety of choices of your morning favorites: Kolo Mee, Kampua Mee, Laksa, Dim-Sum etc., etc... variety is one thing, and taste is another different creature; to each, its own. Judging by the packed place, it must have something going... whatever it is, I'm stumped!

Wonton Soup


Nasi Lemak

Me-Yeah Gao?

Steamed Chicken's Claws

Monday, September 07, 2009

SPICY NOODLE @ GOODTASTE CAFÉ, JALAN SEKAMA, KUCHING


Haven't actually blogged for quite a while since my quad core died on me, including a host of other things like the fridge, auto-gate, fish pump and air-con., and whatever electrical stuff you can think. All because of a faulty earth rod. Order has slowly been restored. All you've been reading for the past few weeks are half-finished or some finished stuff that have been lying around; including this one. In a few days, when I take delivery of a new baby, hopefully all the grunt work in the camera and the other hard disk will be processed - a new beginning!

If memory serves me right, the lady that sells the spicy noodle used to sell Tom-Yam noodle at the Pending cafe opposite Yung Kong's offices. That was a long while ago. Nowadays, she has Indonesian helpers to do the cooking for her. Time has changed, so has her menu. This is something I haven't tried before. It's not as spicy hot as the name describes, but it's different from that of the Taiwanese variety. And it's actually quite good.

The RM5 Chicken Mee Suah is from the Foochow noodle stall. Despite what the stall-owner says about his Mee Suah, it's not as good as he would have us believed. Still, you'll never know until you try it; then, it's never again!

Friday, September 04, 2009

BAK MUAY (PORK PORRIDGE) @ SONG HIN PORK PORRIDGE, JALAN KHOO HEANG YUN, KUCHING


I always kaw-kuang (patronize) the fat lady's Teochew Bak-Muay whenever I have a late supper. By accident that I discovered this pork porridge; one of those nights I manage to find a parking space in the middle bay separating the 2 open-air eateries. The moment I stepped onto the back portion of the eatery, a man beckoned me to have Bak-Muay that, and so I did! And this time was my second visit.

Be warned... this porridge is piping hot! They use those high-pressured gas rings at full blast, and the pre-cooked porridge with the raw meats are cooked in under a minute. Scorch the cavity walls of the mouth a few times too many!


This is truly Teochew Muay as you can see the each grain of the rice . I took me some time getting used to it, and I'm loving every morsel of it. Notice the liver still has blood oozing out... it's a sure sign that it's still soft and tender; just dip it beneath the pile of porridge and it'll be cooked in no time.

I think it's standard, if you don't request for anything else, the porridge comes with minced pork balls and liver only. I overheard the next table's request for the macam-macam (this-and-that), which I think I'll be opting for the next time to see else they've got up their sleeves. The order with the century egg (top) is outside the scope of a normal order, which comes with the optional raw egg cracked into the bowl to be slowly poached by the heat of the porridge.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

FISH FILLET NOODLE @ ROCKET CAFÉ, JALAN ROCK, KUCHING

Fish Soup Vermecelli

It seems the best business to go into at the downturn of the economy is the coffee shop enterprise; it's cash term business, and if you manage to rent out enough stalls, it already pays for itself as far as rental is concerned. Thus this fairly new coffee shop sprouts out at this unlikely spot towards the end of Rock Road, with its blazing hot chilli red of a signage; and pretty ambitious too, occupying 4 shop spaces. I guess with the glut of real estate, I think they must have a fire sale of sorts. What better way to go into business than with a big bang!

Fish Soup Noodle

To be sure, the owner does try to pack in as many variety of stalls as possible, but still I think it's still under populated with its offering of different food considering its size. The are the usual suspects of Kolo/Kampua Mee, Roti Canai, porridge, Laksa and what-have-nots; nothing out of the ordinary that would spur your imagination.

Bak Muay

The only stall that catches my eyes is the one selling Fish Beehoon (Vermicelli) Soup. Its origin is certainly not Teochew but some funky Chinese combination like Kwangtung from Foochow province - go figure! Anyway, state of origin aside, the pleasure of having such noodle is in the broth. This one bears a milky hue soup with a strong 'fishy' accent, plus a slight sour after taste made by the tomato and preserved chow-chai.

Kueh Chap

The other food that is shown here are just pedestrian
- nothing that would work up your saliva glands. However, the Tom-Yam noodle is worth a mention, being that it tastes like one from a packet of Maggi noodle, in terms of sourness and heatiness. Is that supposed to be a compliment?

Tom Yam Seafood Noodle

Ooops! Another 2 bite the dust! This was replaced by XYZ Cafe, which closed shop faster than I can say "Zee End"! That's what you get when you procastinate... outdated info.

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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