Sunday, 29 June 2014

Nasi Dagang + Soft Shell Crab Linguine @ Plan B, Ipoh

Under the intense heat of tropical sun, we cannot help but escaped to a cafe instead of hitting the local non-airconditioned kopitiam for lunch.  It´s a shame, I know.  With all the glorious food found abundantly all over Ipoh.  But yes, there is a but.  One of the reason why we decided to check Ipoh out this time round too was precisely for this reason.  The cafe culture!  Alas, it was back to something Klang Valley has (and again, I´m ashame to admit this and blame it on my jetlag for my misadventure!) Plan B that is.

My lunch was Nasi Dagang, I think.  I am not very sure but it looked every bit like it.  It was as I recall, a much better version than Myth Cafe we had just a day earlier.  It came with flavourful rice, a good portion of chicken thigh cooked in a thick, creamy, rendang sauce.  A fiery red dollop of sambal sauce as you can see here, and some other condiment hidden behind, of which I can´t remember, sorry!  Oh yes, there´s keropok too! The plate is filled to the brim. Lovely and I can´t be more please with it.

My sister apparently made a very good choice.  It seems that her Soft Shell Crab Linguine is quite well known dish to order whenever one dines in Plan B.  I didn´t know that until a few of my friends started recommending me this exact dish whenever I mention I plan to visit Plan B.  And I totally understand why.  Creamy butter-like sauce with chilli padi AND curry leaf. It is a winning combo, and to top with chunks of fleshy Soft Shell Crab.  This is a winner in Plan B!

We wanted to have more, to kill time as it started to pour as I remember it, but we were too stuffed.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Kanna Curry House @ Section 17 Petaling Jaya

It is a must, must, must to have Roti Canai when I get back to Malaysia.  It is the most convenient food ever, especially for breakfast when all I need to do is to walk not more than 100 metres away and I am greeted with a very good one every morning. 

I had a piece of plain roti canai in addition to ...

Dry Curry Chicken

Fried Fish Egg

Fish Curry

Sambal Prawns

Eaten with yummy side dishes that came with Banana Leaf Rice. Yummy!  But where is the banana leaf?

This was for lunch with my brother and guess how much this came up to? Around 60 ringgit! Ouch!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Nyonya Cuisine @ Bibichik SS2, Petaling Jaya

Thinking back, every single dish we had on our table were superbly executed.  This is the thing with eatery in Klang Valley.  If the establishment withstood the test of time and is still drawing crowd, the food has got to be good.  Bibichik as such, falls into this category and prove to be an all round winner.

The dishes actually took a while to arrive.  But the moment the first plate hits the table, there´s no holding back, including the diner themselves who were seen tucking in furiously onto respective plates.  I can´t remember which came first, but I did remember how soft and flavourful the Ayam Pongteh was.

I also remembered the crunch, chewiness and slight sweetness from the Honey Fried Squid.  Gawt, I do miss this very much.  The smell of stinky petai cooked in a fiery sambal prawn sauce is still fresh in my memory.  The petais were crunchy, with slight bittertaste as how I like it.  From the petai to the succulent and crunchy tasting prawns, it was exceptionally authentic and tasty as how I remembered them.

There were also Pai Tee and few other dishes that night.  Photos missing and try to take a wild guess why.
I like the way how Bibichik prepares their Brinjal.  Deepfried them to perfection with crunchy outer and soft inner, then drizzle them with a flavourful sauce to lift the dish up.  If I were to live in Malaysia, I don´t think I would have problems turning into a full time vegetarian.  It was delicious.  I should learn to make them soon.

As always, the fish dish arrived last.  It is something very common when one order dishes for communal eating in this part of the world especially so with Steam Fish because it is meant to be eaten hot, on the spot.  Furthermore, fish is a light dish so no matter how full you are, you will still tuck some in.

I love my fish, especially so when it is steamed and flavoured in a Sweet Sour sauce.  How appetising and healthy too!

We ended the meal with some dessert, and by then, my fingers were just too heavy to lift my 1/2 kilo heavy camera up to snap any more photo.  It was a great night.  The food was fantastic and if I might say something ... Klang Valley folks are truly blessed with great food around them, all around the clock.

This place to me is definately a keeper.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Haus Gemachte Suppe @ Deli Cafe Bar Restaurant, Lake Constance

It was possibly the hottest day in this part of the world that day.  From what we heard on the radio later, the weather around Lake Constance soared all the way up to 38C!  Now I know it is nothing compare to the weather in Middle East or even Malaysia where I came from, but the impact was felt possibly due to the sky being clear and without cloud hence direct heat from the sun?  Possible too that, it is very uncommon to walk into an establishment or even a home with aircond so one just got ot live with it during summer here.

Lake Constance is really a lovely place to spent a holiday on. I am hoping we will return one day because there simply is so much to do.  The lake being shared by 3 countries : Germany, Switzerland and Austria with a beautiful alps as a backdrop does make one feel, this is it. It is where I want to retire.  Dotting the huge lake are villages, towns and even cities filled with so much history, culture, activities and more.

I settle for a light Prawn Soup with noodle in one of prominent lounge style cafe.  To hide from the heat and duck underneath the umbrella so to speak, but really ... the slight wind from the lake is making is tired and lazy hence needing caffeine to perk us up.  While at it, we nibbled on something light.  I love it when a restauranteur gets very generous with their ingredients.  Lots and lots of crunchy, fresh prawns hidden underneath the soup ... yumyum :-)  Hubby on the other hand loves his bread and spread.  

I thought I´d share you something funny I saw that day ...

You would like to have a boat paddling or boat sailing session but your baby is with you?  Fret not! They provide babysitting service too! Literarily at the docking area!

Cool eh :-)

Loveeee the lake :-) 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Nasi Lemak & Sirloin Steak @ Myth Eatery & Bar (M Boutique Hotel), Ipoh

Having just flown in from Germany the night before to KL, the first thing I ordered when I arrive in Ipoh with my sister the next morning was a huge plate of Nasi Lemak.  I took a slow drive up amidst slight jet-lag but it was all worth it because I have been looking forward to this short trip with my dear sister for the longest time ever.  Ipoh seems interesting after reading some blogs online that there seems to be a cafe evolution going on.  My drive up which was suppose to take no more than 3 hours, took more than 3 hours :-)  So you can pretty much guess that by the time we reach Ipoh, we were both famished.

Here´s what I ordered after checking in to our hotel.  And no, it was not M Boutique where this cafe is located because it was fully booked.  Instead, we checked into the new Ibis Style Ipoh and had the most amazing time due to the lovely, lovely staff who went all the way out for us! M Boutique however, though more fanciful to the eye for their decor were lavish and rich, and them being in the same price range as Ibis, their service needs lots of tweaking.  We contemplated checking in our second night into M Boutique upon finding out that a room is available after all but the reception service level turned us off.  The service level at this cafe reconfirmed our judgement so, we had no regrets staying put in Ibis.

About the food!

Its okay.  Not fantastic in terms of taste really.  If you add the price factor in, I would say it is too upmarket for a town like Ipoh.  This plate of Nasi Lemak, I reckon is around the region of 25 - 30 ringgit?  It is satisfying for me since I´ve just flown in and I do miss my Nasi Lemak, but thinking back now ... taste wise was average.

Now, the shocker is this appetiser dish.  My sister lovesssss mushroom so we decided to order them.  It was in the region of RM22.00 approximately but what greated us were these miserable 7.  We clearly expected more, perhaps some fancier cooking method or at least for goodness presentation sake, put them in a smaller plate so they don´t look so miserable.

My sister commented that their steak were tasty.  Good to hear that she enjoyed it! Because it was for a belated birthday treat and she being a western food lover, I thought Myth Eatery & Bar is `the`place to go in Ipoh.  Sorry for the mushroom sis!  Price wise as I recall were pretty pricey, but I shall not judge how pricey that is since I did not get to taste how good it was, what type of Beef were use etc  and as one know, beef depending on the producer can get very pricey.

We had a bit of room left for dessert so their Tiramisu (RM18.00) wrapped up our meal.  I would say this is the highlight of the meal.  Well prepared, light and yet, full of espresso goodness ... perhaps it is the coffee addict in me that agrees well.

The place is done up really well, evidence from photos taken by customers who visited and had posted them online.  Every inch of the space was well thought off and it was one of those spaces where I could draw lots of inspiration from to add a bit more character to our living room.  Industrial with british india inspired theme.

We later found out that there is another cafe hidden at the other corner! The food looks more authentic and price is way cheaper because it is Ipoh Old Town Cafe!  If we return again some day, I reckon the latter would be our clearer choice.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Thai Braised Pork Leg Rice, Tomyum & Papaya Salad @ Lai Thai, Section 17 Petaling Jaya

Thai food is simply fab.  It is exciting, fresh, colourful and healthy if one goes lighter on the carb or the heavy curries.  Fortunately in Klang Valley, the folks are bless with enough options to keep one sane.  This trip, I tried everything from high end restaurants (Barn Thai), to Kopitiam style (Serisik in TTDI) to street style call Lai Thai which is located in Section 17, Petaling Jaya.

It was for lunch and I was alone but look what I ordered!

A huge bowl of Seafood Tomyum Soup, which is super yum!  Fiery, hot, flavourful and its seafood fresh tasting, how I wish I could get this here during winter!

I love their papaya salad too.  Strange that I can´t seem to find Papaya Salad that easily as oppose to Mango Salad so I thoroughly enjoyed these.
And the reason why I was there was for this plate of succulent, soft, goey, flavourful plate of super, SUPER yummmmm Thai Braised Pork Leg Rice.  Full stop.

It is good, very good indeed.

And yay to the Kland Valley folks that they don´t have to fly all the way to Bangkok to have these anymore!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Flammkuchen @ Winstub-Restaurant Pfefferbriader (Strasburg, France)

Holidays are fun! But, it can be tiring that one may need another holiday to recuperate from a holiday.  Yes, we just got back from a week long holiday.  The original plan was to stay put in South West Germany in an area call Schwarzwald or Blackforest but we ended up in France, Switzerland and even contemplate hoping over to Austria.  It is a vast area with lots of variaties of things to do.  I didn´t know that.  So anyway, we ended up in Strasburg on fine day.  The weather was scorching hot, not surprising but still not to our liking - so from time to time while checking out the monuments in this quaint town, we walk into some restaurants or cafes for some bite just to escape the heat.

We had their famous Flammkuchen.  It is a very German style kinda meal but if you´re unaware, this part of the world has steep history of being conquered by German, French, back to German again then French, and god knows how many times but it was what had happened, and hence the identity crisis in their monument style as well as their culture and food.

The Flammkuchen was paper thin.  It is really, really good. I also love the way how they added shaved onion slices on top after baking it.  A lot of people tells me that Strasburg is even more beautiful during Christmas.  That, I have to see.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Ayam Goreng Nasi Lemak @ Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock, Oasis Damansara

I use to complain how much inflation had blotted up the price of a simple plate of Nasi Lemak, or that bowl of fiery hot Curry Laksa until my attempt in making them here when craving hits.  It is no joke and super labour intensive. The whole ordeal starts from shopping for the right ingredient to going thru the tedious peeling, slicing or mixing the base flavour because one actually starts cooking.  For example Roti Jala, seen above here.  I gave up the idea even before starting just by looking at the recipe.

So each time whenever my friend back home ask me what I would like to eat, I would inevitably name something that involves (gulp) lots of work to prepare.  Bad, I know.  But that is because I know I won´t be going through all the fuse that often when I come back.  Yes, even with prepack curry paste and all, but what about the Roti Jala itself?  Or the fried chicken?

My friend H is what I call a kaki-makan.  So when she says she knows of a place that serves equally good if not better Nasi Lemak than Village Park, I believe here.  Its awesome! 

Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock in Oasis Damansara got them all right.  Chicken was flavourful, crispy and juicy, BUT they could have serve them piping hot for the WOW factor.  But nevertheless, its thumbs up.  Rice was every bit fragrant.  Sambal at the side tasted balance and good.  I really can´t fault anything further.

Their Roti Jala was a surprise too.  Me and H both ordered a portion of their famous Nasi Lemak so by the time we fisnished our rice, we were stuffed.  But it did not stop us from cleaning up the Roti Jala.  Flavourful again, the chef seems to be very good with balancing out the flavour and the curry chicken, just the right consistensy in terms of spiciness, creaminess and flavour of course.

I will return again to explore more.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Dutch Paella & Pomme @ Het Brouwcafé, Scheveningen

This is a very long overdue post that took place around Autumn last year.  It was a spontaneous weekend trip, somewhere 200km north-east from our place to the Dutch border.  We both love the beach, or near water so its a blessing that its within driving distance and not too far off.  Scheveningen is the next beach town adjoining Den Hague.  Lovely place, really with super imposing Casino Hotel right smack in the middle of town with all its glory.

Anyway the reason why I am posting this is to share with you how a Dutch Paella look like!  See below ...

Amazing isn´t it! Look at the amount of seafood piled up!  The paella rice was buried right underneath it all, flavourful still but gosh, the glorious seafood! Since this Beer Brewer is located in a Hafen (or Harbour), it is not a surprise their catch is right off the nest to their kitchen.  If I´m not mistaken, I paid less than 10 Euro for this place, which is a STEAL.  If you are in this part of the world and in this town, I totally recommend you to try it out.  The view here is charming and relaxing, and that is always a plus point.

I can´t remember the name of the dish hubby ordered, but he commented that its good and fresh.  He loves his fries this way, thick and crispy on the outside but yet, fragrant and soft on the inside.  I´m not so much a potato fan so I can´t tell if this fries is top notch or the other place is better, but my gwai lou hubby eat them growing up so I will take his word for it and he said its GOOD.

I will leave you with a snap of Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel.

The inner dining hall or restaurant ...

Front view of the hotel but just partial take of it ...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Seafood Lunch @ Lala Chong Kayu Ara

I took my immediately familly out for lunch one weekend.  It had been a week since I returned home but I had yet had a chance to eat good, proper seafood.  The thing about seafood meal is this.  You can´t dine in small group otherwise you will crack your head trying to trim down which dishes to order.  Eating in an authentic seafood restaurant at night might scare away the faint hearted because the good restaurants get usually pack hence noise level gets very high.  A bit too uncomfortable for me really, to enjoy my piece of crab without distraction.

The venue was chosen and it was Lala Chong. They had since relocated and its a mere 10 minutes drive away from Sunway Damansara.  Fantastic.  When we arrive around noon, the restaurant was almost empty.  Lovely :-)  Service was prompt and we proceeded to ordering.

We stared off with Tauhu Kan (Tofu Soup), which resembles everybit like Sharksfin Soup.  But like they say, Sharksfin absorbs the flavour from the soup and itself is indeed bland, so my question is, why can´t wedding dinner make do without Sharksfin soup and go with this Tofu Soup instead?  Taste wise for this bowl is FANTASTIC.  We cleaned the bowl literarily.  With our yummy Mantou.

Mantis Prawn, ahh.  What can I say except, it is two years since I tasted you.  But Lala Chong´s version had been too skimpy.  Coating was simply too thick for me to actually taste the Mantis Prawn.  Sauce was delicious though.

I know the Kangkung hoo-haa had long subsided but I still find the whole remark back then totally insensative.  So it did somehow make me question how much did this Kangkung Belacan plate cost while enjoying it.  It is no longer cheap! So now makan apa Mr. PM?!. 

A lot of reviews online says that this Siong Tong Lala is a MUST ORDER dish when one dines in Lala Chong. I could not agree more.  The soup is simply addictive! We all LOVED it.

We could not decide which style of cooking to prepare the 2kg crab we ordered so we did half and half.  The first half was cooked the Salted Egg way, which I find it becoming more and more common trend in Klang Valley chinese restaurants.  They coat not just seafood with it but also meat, poultry, tofu and vegetables. Totally creative :-)  Taste wise for these for me were mediocre, sadly.  I guess I had my hopes too high or perhaps, we ordered too much and the crab as one of the last we attacked.  The crab quality was superb though, very meaty but pricey (80 ringgit per kilo), but I would have love this dish to be a bit more saucey.

The famous mantou which we use to clean up the bowl of Taufu Kan.  Superb stuff.

We chose Butter style for the other cooking method, with layers of butter sauce dripping all over the table as we scoop them over to our plate.  Ha.  This is what I call Dai-Chow style eating, it has to be messy otherwise it would just not taste the same!  I enjoyed this tremendously.  The rich sauce lent a lovely flavour to the sweet, succulent flesh within.  The process of hammering the crustacean, digging, sucking the meat out plus having to handle the butter sauce mess ... gawt, I am already missing this dish by writing them here!

So here you go, one of my memorable meal I had with my immediate family when I was back in KL last month.  The bill came up to around RM450 which I find a bit pricey but its mainly due to the type of crab chosen (but hey, they did not ask us what we wanted, so sneaky sneaky Lala Chong ... not good!), but having said that, I would return again for some of the dishes there.