Monday, October 26, 2009

FRIED TAIWANESE BEEHOON @ SI ZIĀ XIAO CHI, LRG. PAHLAWAN 7B1, SIBU



When I heard Ta-Jiě​ (Big sister) has changed job, I wasted no time in locating her new place of work. She has been on the moved several times - from big restaurants to a small setup as this. She ain't no cook, but a waitress - one whose rapport has garner a great following wherever she goes. This bakery cum cafe is a relatively new one next to the bus terminal at Jalan Pahlawan; it doesn't have a proper signage but a canvas banner with its name in Chinese characters. So the name used here is a rough phonic interpretation.




We just order whatever is recommended, and just a small portion at that, as we have just eaten a couple of minutes earlier - a bit of that later. They call the noodle Taiwanese Beehoon for whatever reason. It's fried dried with egg, cabbage, carrot and little morsels of something, which we cannot surmise at first; but after a few bites and letting the flavour sink in, it's deducted to be canned Kao-Rou (braised pork) - jolly good, Watson! Subtlety is its name, I suppose, 'cos it doesn't overwhelm you with a strong distinct taste, but rather teases you with a little bit of this and that, which cumulates into a whole grand scheme of thing. Furthermore, it's a light refreshing grub.


However, the same cannot be said of the 2 dishes below. They are from this bus terminal place , which is 2 doors down from this cafe. By default, we settle down here for breakfast after failing to locate Si Ziā Xiao initially. Whoever first thought of serving Mee Sua (thread noodle) in a hot claypot never understood the nature of the noodle; firstly, it's overcooked in the intense heat of the claypot, and still cooking when brought to the table. By the time you let it cool down a bit before chowing down, it's one soggy mess. The pig's trotter that comes with it is one tough cookie. Same goes for the beef tripe on the kampua on the right. Should have gone to STP's Rasa Sayang instead.






Friday, October 23, 2009

BEEF BOURGUIGNON



I have lost count on the number of iterations this dish (count the different presentations) has gone through before making the grades. It's not an exercise of experimentation, but more on procrastination on my part to draft out a meaningful text for the proceeding. The cooking method is simple enough. I do this this a couple of times a year, and it's been a couple of years since I took the first picture of it. And I've gone through 3 cameras taking photos for this recipe. The pictures are the best there are (for now), but I'd better kick them out of the door before they turn mouldy.





INGREDIENTS


1½ Kg. Blade (Gravy Meat)

12 Halved Shallots

8 Small Onions

6 Cloves Garlic

1 Can Button Mushroom

3 Bay Leaves

750 Ml. Red Wine

Flour

500 Ml. Beef Stock

1 Tsp. Basil

1 Tsp. Parsley







METHOD



Put the wine together with the bay leaves into a pot; simmer over low heat to reduce the liquid by a third.


Cut the beef into cubes. Coat them with flour, and dust off excess. Sear them on all sides. Do them in batches.



Remove seared meat to an oven-proof pot.

Melt butter to fry shallots (halved) and garlic, until fragrant but not brown.


Pour in the beef stock.


Add in the herbs (parsley and basil). Let it simmer for 10 minutes...


... before pouring the broth into the pot of pot. Then pour in the reduced wine, with the bay leaves removed. Stir to mix well.


Put the pot into a preheated oven of 165ºC for 1½ hour.

Prior to the 1½ hour period, lightly toss the whole small onions over butter.


After 1½ hour, remove the pot from the oven...



Put in the sautéed onions.

Next sautéed the whole button mushrooms with butter; slightly brown them before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients in the pot.


Add in the optional carrot chunks if desired. Return the pot to the oven for a further ½ hour.


Adjust the taste with salt. And finally thicken the sauce lightly with cornflour slurry.






Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2nd. TIMER @ UNCLE DOM, JALAN PEDADA, SIBU



I think the majority of Sibu's bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon to give their 2 cents worth on this place like it's the only game in town ; who wouldn't when it's between a rock and a hard place. Still this place provides a lot of mileage (literally hang out for the whole evening on a single drink), if you're willing to dish out the dough; it's one of the costlier places in town by Sibu's standard. But then, whoever is willing to dough out RM10 or so at Starbucks for coffee wouldn't blink an eyelash at its prices.


Yup, you've read right! This is our 2nd. visit to this place on our usual 2 spots-per-night-out, ie. one for dinner, another one for drinks. The other night was just for drinks after dinner elsewhere, and then another nightcap at the usual haunt before calling it a night (that's for those with MTV 's attention span). We (Wil and I) are joined by Alex and his trusty companion. Alex complains of his carrot juice being too fibrous; and one wonders where the G'NAM factor between him and Mary is coming from; well, wonder no more! She's the one who shudders at my putting too much greens in my soup. Also this is the last time we are served by the PTY, who has a suitor bringing her gift on that night.

Monday, October 19, 2009

1ST. LUNCH WITH NATE @ LITTLE HAINAN, LORONG TUN AHMAD ZAIDI ADRUCE 9, KUCHING



It's never a good idea to try out a new eatery at its inaugural; chances are the place will be packed with eager beavers, service will come to a crawl, and worst yet the food suffers as a consequence, and one never gets a true picture of the place as it would be at normalcy. Such is the scenario for the latest set up along Jalan Permata...

... I've seen the signs of the impending opening of this new chicken rice place. Who can miss the fire-engine red façade of the shop?  And it opens on an ominous date - Tuesdays the 13th! Well, I didn't go on its opening date (aforementioned la-di-da, la-di-da, la la). It so happens the following evening (late), we are at the next door bakery hunting down a bargain.



Being a Kay-Po, we stroll down to the new place to have a peek as they are about to call it a night. Coincidentally the young friendly proprietress happens to be at the door, (first encounter) and she  gives us a low down of the set up. There's a notice on its front door informing of its closure for the next morning's operation; she explains that it has to do with some shake-up of the operational side of the floor crew. 2nd day of operation, and she has the acumen to nip the problem at its bud, works out the kinks, and  sacrificing a morning's worth of business.



I've been out for a good part of Saturday morning with Nate (home alone), showing him around India and Gambier Street. As we pass by this place after one o'clock, we take the gamble of finding a table; the wait isn't that bad (5 minutes), and the crew is quick to clear the table in no time.

A few items on its menu were sold out when, so we had to make do with whatever mixed meat they still had. The Kiam-Chye-T'ng (preserved mustard green soup) is the first to be delivered. It was full-bodied with enough sliced vegetable to tempt Nate to have numerous sips before the food arrives.

Next, the chicken rice arrives in 3 small scoops rather than the usual single bowl portion. Nice presentation! The rice is nicely done, not overtly oily with the prerequisite fragrance of what a chicken rice should be; moist enough to hold itself together, yet each morsel separates itself in a fluff.

When the rice passes the acid test, can there be any doubt of its chicken? After all, there's a couple of old hands behind the family's Hainanese chicken rice; mom and pop run the Ang Loke Hui at Jalan Sekama (next to the old Lido cinema), and they are on hand to ensure the food meet their exacting standard. Its Lo-Bak (braised pork) stands out from the demure poached chicken; and undoubtedly the braised eggs benefit from the savoury gravy of the pork. Unlike the normal soy-broth braised pork, this one is coarse in texture and semi-dry like Rendang.



This place is an intimate small space with a seating capacity that can probably accommodate around 50 persons at a given time - tastefully decorated, short of being kitsch. When marketing savvy meets a solid tried and tested recipe, this Little Hainan can be an island of joyous culinary endeavor.

* Breakfast and tea are served as well with the usual suspects of toast, boiled eggs, kolo mee, porridge, laksa and pau (bun).

Friday, October 16, 2009

BAKED FISH CAKES



I have a couple pieces of "N'go-Hu" fish fillet in the fridge, and they are what you might describe as "Lo-Ko" (tough-son-of-a-gun) in Hokkien. They are inedible when fried ordinarily, and its color is just a horrible hue of grey. So when I read Food-4-Tot's post on fish cake, and saw another version by Michael Smith on T.V., a light bulb just lit above! There's salvation for the fish beside stewing it.

Rather than make the fish into a paste as one would with Thai Fish Cake, I took the cue from Mike's way of cooking it first (mine, steamed to tenderize) and then mix the fish flacks with potatoes to make them into patties. This version doesn't involve frying the patties but rather baking them. So there's no oil splatter.

*While searching for the link to Food-4-Tots' recipe, it leads to a trail of this and this and this.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SET DINNER @ JAMBU RESTAURANT, JALAN BAMFYLDE, KUCHING


This is my third time here - all under different circumstances and each have different outlay of food; finger food for the book launch, normal offering from the menu the second time, and this time a buffet style set dinner. The restaurant accommodates custom menu if one has sufficient number of people dinning - I think, the minimum is 15 persons. It works out to be no more expensive than if ala carte is ordered. The neat thing is that everyone gets to sample all the different variety of food, rather than be restricted to one or two individual items. With the exception to some details, the co-owner tailors the menu to my preference (food and price-wise). Seating is arranged in an elongated co-joint tables stretching almost the whole length of the main foyer.



Creamy Mushroom Bruschetta



The meal starts off with the Bruschetta - at least it's different from the tomato ones we've been getting at most places. This is followed by the tapas of...


Sizzling Prawn in Olive Oil And Garlic

Eggplant In Spicy Spanish Sauce


Cajun Chicken Skewer

This keeps us going with the wine until the salad arrives - a lightly oil-tossed pasta salad.


Shell Pasta Salad

Then the mains...


Roast Rosemary Beef & Slow Roast Lamb With Mushroom Sauce & Lamb Jus

... with the accompaniment.

Roasted Vegetables and Potatoes

And for those having trouble chewing meat...

Fish & Chips

The ice cream ends the evening. If I remember correctly, it works out to be in the ballpark of RM35 per person, which includes 1 free corkage of wine (another one is charged), and free flow of cordial drinks.

Fresh Fruit And Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce

Monday, October 12, 2009

THINGS I DIDN'T POST(MOMOYAMA, JALAN SONG THIAN CHEOK, KUCHING)

Sushi Tsuki

Nate enquires on Japanese restaurant in the city, and it reminds me of this place we went to on September 2008. This post is not supposed to reach the blogsphere... I was told not to take photos by the waitress as the last dish was delivered. I was defiant and continued as there was no indication that I couldn't do it. The mama-san was called from her other establishment. At the end of the evening, I wasn't the one who was apologetic, and she beckoned us to come again. Nice lady though, can't say of that particular staff. (Except for the first line, everything was written in 2008)



Kaba Yaki


Tempura Saba Teruyoki


Sanma Shioyaki


Tori Teriyaki Set

Mochi

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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