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thrill seekers, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

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29 September 2006

Bak Kut Teh ( Pork Meat in Chinese Herbal Soup )

probably the best Bak Kut Teh (BKT) shop in PJ,
beside Indian Temple, Sg Way
Off LDP highway ( SS3, PJ )

Simmering HOT & Fully Loaded in Claypot,
accompanied with plain/flavoured rice
and other accessories eg pacific clams,
sea asparagus, etc

BKT, uniquely PORK . Dark , rich & irresistible with that lingering aroma, a true Malaysian Chinaman's culinary treasure even Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese Gluttons crave for. Westerners are astounded by this thick essence and will hesitantly dilute it with a mug or two of Carlsberg.

Original recipe concocted by an old man from Klang Town many moons ago. Copied by many, but to perfect it is eminently impossible. In the present time widespread all the way up to Penang and down to Singapore in all its fusionly (distorted ) forms .

Ah Sang BKT, around for more than 20 years. Aboutright still original balance of porkleans, fats and bones ( plus those magical herbs ) & as close n personal as it can get to the Founder's gastronomical Utopia .

Try it soon & don't forget to bring along your own favourite China Tea !

Tea cups provided but Tigers please...
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28 September 2006


Staple Meal of the Masses

Every food court will have at least one stall selling the ubiquitous Chicken Rice. The one described here is the Malaysian Chinese version with its signature boiled/steamed/roasted/fried chicken ( may include Pork too ) with plain or flavoured rice.
Strangely, no other vegetables are associated with Chicken Rice other than the versatile cucumbers and beansprouts.

A 'gourmet' version of this favourite dish is found in the SS4 area of PJ ( besides LDP Highway opposite the St Ignatious Catholic Church, Tmn Mayang, PJ ). The chickens in light sauce are xtra large, meaty,succulent and have a unique yellowish texture. The tasty self- service soup together with the other delicious body parts and bountilicious beansprouts places Kee Kee Bentong's Chicken Rice as one of the finest in KL. It is sardined- pack during lunch time on most days and the 80 or so chickens will be gone in a flash.

goodness inside out

not all chickens are created equal

even rice can be gorgeous

drop dead fresh

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25 September 2006

HOKKIAN MEE ( Fried Noodles KL version )

Dark, robust and strong Peng Yuan Hokkian Mee stall , Section 14/48, PJ (near Shell Station )

This KL Hokkien version of charcoal fired fried noodles (RM5.00/plate) in the PJ 222 area epitomises KL's bustling night 'big fry ' gourmet circuit( together with the Kong Fu Chow and Lor Mee ) and is the preferred choice of many hungry fans. Distinctively dark and full of heavy pork lard aroma ( which lingers for miles around nearby housing estates ), the extraordinarily steaming hot fried thick noodles in flavoured oil, garlic, dark soy sauce, sliced cabbages/choy sum, fishcakes /prawns/cuttlefish and pork meat is one of a kind and which many feel taste much better than the Penang favourite Char Kway Teow.

The above stall run by some Youngsters is rated no 2 in PJ by my Kakis, and beats the other end Hokkian Mee ( AhWa ) by one or two noodles.

Bon appetite !
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23 September 2006

mobile STEAMBOAT ( skewered edibles in STEAMING HOTPOT )

bloody cockles, just 3 secs,
no need tabasco or wasabe

Taiwan sausage, looks quite like it

Watch it Kid !

Black, but not rotten

No chairs, spoons, nothings..not even a drink...

...just you and your stomach ...

This grab is faster than in most fast food cafes, more scrumptious than even many 5 star outfits ... welcome to the true blue exotica of the roadside connoisseur.

The mobile vans FatMan, FatBoy, FatOne and coming soon ....the Fa tGirl .

Many call these exquisite delights God's gift, but others label them Satan's Curse, and find them revolting. Vegetarians avoid it like the plague.... So do those wannabe dieting freaks, Mr healthy and Ms straight types.

but For the rest of us ....

.........standing and hungrily whizzing around the at least 50 different magnificent spread of meat/fish/assorted exoticas ( embedded into toothpick-like skewers ) and eye them like hungry bloodthirsty hawks after their preys. With quick swoops and a few seconds of 'dip dip' into the hotpots the finished gems are soaked into either or all of the 3 magic sauces ( the sweet, the ginger chili and the peanut chili ) to complete the 15 minutes sinful gastronomical adventure !

Pig's ears, tongues, livers, kidneys+organs plus many more multi -layered lean meat and fats. Shellfishes, fish balls, jellyfish and cuttlefish,etc etc. Black pigeon/quail and chicken eggs in picked ginger/cucumber. Spicy and not so spicy red hot sausages ,and more ! A true Cholesterol paradise !

Prices range from RM0.80 to RM3.50 per stick depending on colour code.

Also, get acquainted with some ugly territorial traits of certain fellow patrons who zealously guard 'their' boiling zones and strategic spots. And don't you dare mix up your fish balls with that fierce/starving looking one ....but do make way for that dainty lady. It is a common boiling pot ( a distinctive Chinese eating cultural thing ) and you still have to share the sauces after all !

All these in a tiny brightly lit van at a Street near you.

They usually appear around 4pm outside popular Shopping Centres ( Sg Wang, Carrefour, Tesco ), Pasar Malams ( Bangsar, SS2), Pubs ( Damansara Utama, Damansara Perdana outside 'the Place' ),Restaurants ( USJ Taipan, ) and anywhere with a sizeable Chinese population ( who it is claimed will eat anything that moves with the back facing the sun ) and the feast will continue into the wee hours of the morning.

For the more hygienic option try those away from busy roads like in the Bangsar KL pasar malam area on Sundays ( their cockles definitely are safe to eat, especially raw and without the wasabe !) . Or the many other pasar malams in town.

WARNING: not suitable for kids n those with heart problems

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22 September 2006

Sup Tulang GEARBOX ( Beef Bone Soup )

.....cruising along in 7th Gear....
Drawing the Crowd

This amazing place in a nondescript double intermediate shoplots beside Dominos Pizza in Sunway Mentari ( off LDP Highway ), is reminiscent of Giant Hypermarket during the festive period, believe it or not !

Customers flock here during meal times and were literally fighting to hand over their money ( so who says Customer is King ?) to the Queen Mak Chik and her son. The place is so crowded that you would actually feel shy to even look around for a place to be seated, much less be served !

The multi-fan water-cooled blow-warm -air Kelantanese Malay ( signature rainbow-coloured rice(s), ulams of fresh raw vegetables with at least 8 -9 types of sambals and chilli sauces eateverythingexceptpork) restaurant with its different sections for kuehs, ikan bakars, chicken rice, noodles ( even assam laksa ), the main majestic buffet spread , drinks, SOUPS and deserts seem almost like a food court.

WE had wanted to have a slow lunch on a lazy Friday afternoon but in the end had to make a quick exit due to the restless crowd and unseated patrons staring at our backs ! So we took some of their nice looking prawn and tofu titbits and drowned them in this pot of hardware with a promise to be back to get the real thing , during the Puasa month ( smart thinking eh ). The tit bits with the chili sauce are good.

You need specialised tools to dismantle the Gearbox. The knife is to extract the meagre pieces of tough lean meat ( careful not to spill to neighbouring tables ) and the oversized straw to extract the whitish mother of all essence ( bone marrow ) located deep from deep inside the GEARS.... the tonic tasted surprising smooth ( but fatty) and unlike any other beef parts which we have tried before ( warning: may not be suitable for the faint hearted ). The soup itself is fragrant,tangily sourish and delicious.

Better clear and clean all those floating fats and loose meats thoroughly cos this experience is not cheap by any standards starting from RM14 per box onwards. To remember this gastronomical achievement forever and as authentic souvenir , do take home the 1st gear ( for the dog lah ).

Jaring could probably be the top earning Malay restaurant in Sunway if not all of PJ. Any disputes anyone ?
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12 September 2006

Chee Cheong Fun ( flat/rolled-up rice vermicelli in sauce )

Light n easy

A very neutral and light dish for the play safe meal. If you can't take ( or stand ) those strong and spicy superstars of curry mee ( curry noodles ) , assam laksa ( fiery hot n sour noodles) , or the deliciously oily char koay teow or ultra-heavy nasi lemak , then its time for the easy one , Chee Cheong Fun (CCF ).

These come in many versions;

*freshly steamed Hong Kong style rolled-up with prawns and meat in chili/shrimp paste and soy sauce,

*Teluk Intan rolled-up with vegetables, meat stuffings and pickled green chilies,

*Petaling Street plain & flat with brown sauce and chili ,

*Penang flat or rolled-up with dark shrimp paste and chili sauce,or

*KL ala Yong Tau Foo style with bean curds, vegetable fish stuffings , fish and meat balls, vegetables ( kangkong ) + up-to-u etc

CCF sauces can be reddish (in many parts of Perak ) or brown in most other places. There is also a curry gravy, mushrooms ( Ipoh ) and yam versions . Usually topped up with some oil , fried onions and sesame seeds for the authentic and distinctive flavour.

Happily for PJ folks a good local version is found right here in Chow Yang SS2, just beside the much acclaimed Lim Prawn Mee stall . A one man one woman show on most days, this simple and nice outfit is one busy place. A lot better than most other stalls selling similar stuff, the CCF here is tender and the brown sauce close to perfection, not too sweet and just nice, with absolutely fresh fish balls, fu chooks, tau foos including the signature crunchy friedboiled pork skin . Opens at 8am and quite definitely sold out by 12pm ( maybe that is how much he can handle I guess ).

You might want to check with him whether he is interested to franchise it like the Lim fellow !
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Lala Seehum ( clams/cockles ) hybrid

Strictly for LALA Cockle lovers

Somewhere near Sekinchan, Selangor on the Coastal Road to Lumut, Perak you can find many stalls selling a new type of whitish shellfish ( siput mentarang ). They certainly look like a cross between a cockle and a clam. If you are in the mood to try new sea creatures this is it ! They look beautiful in their shiny oyster-like shells and it is such a pity to deshell them and, well, EAT them...

Tasting exquisite in spicy garlic chili sauce as you would expect when you cross two of the most popular Malaysian shell fishes into ONE.

One warning though, wash them thoroughly before cooking. STRICTLY not recommended for weak stomachs !

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mini NASI LEMAK, pyramid bungkus

prelude to One More Jug in Damansara Utama, PJ

You do not want to be caught with an empty stomach as you catch up with your Kakis @ 6.30pm at Cafe de Fattbrew and yet you want to maintain your BMI at a trim 24 and below. So as usual you secretly head on to the neighbourhood night hawker stalls ( near the Tmn Bahagia LRT station, ss2/4 behind Cheung Kong restaurant ) off Taman Megah , PJ ).

A quickie of boiling cuppa hot teh tarik ( Malaysia's ultimate halal beverage ), one packet of Jun's or Shukri's ( better than the RA / Kg Baru real things? ) incomparable mini nasi lemaks and one very hard boiled egg ( with yolk ) will do the trick. No frills no hassles, at a cost less than a mug of course. Now get ready to cheers !

Truly Malaysian !
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CURRY MEE ( Curry Laksa )

Malaysian Spicy Curry Noodles

Curry mee is another Malaysian noodles favourite. It is found all over the country; in school canteens, restaurents, cafes and backlanes. This simple noodle dish ( but contentiously difficult to perfect ) is served in a thick coconut milk flavoured curry gravy and has a distinctive thick orange colour. As usual there are many versions with different garnishing and taste . Penang ( dubbed the Hawker Capital of Malaysia ) has its pork meat and blood (aargh! ) version. The Malays have their own styles ( State to State ) and call them by various names. The mamaks have modified ( and claimed to have improved ?) on them . Of course we also have the instant noodles version ( @ 50 cts per pack why not ? )

In KL though the popular ones come with shredded chicken meat, cockles, prawns, fried bean curds and like the other infamous culinary specialty 'Char Koay Teow ' is omnipresent in all food courts. While I would prefer eating in backlanes I have top marks for La Manila ( the original )'s solid and savoury version in Mid Valley Megamall KL.

The minty and lemak taste with the perfect cockles ( really ! ) and succulent prawns floored me and left me with an unforgetable aftertaste as I sat through 'Monster House ' ! Highly recommended at RM9.
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07 September 2006


sup torpedo !

Sometimes somewhere you will find strange things people eat, not to live but definitely
..... to eat ( food bloggers beware ) .

This charismatic side and backlane cluster of open air mamak stalls + 1 charkeowteow near Jln Doraisamy and the Heritage Row , KL just refuse to go away no matter what Bandaraya or Jabatan Kesihatan say. They are that good !

Around 5pm the area comes alive and this is where the Millionaires and ordinary MatKLs alike come out in full force and indulge in their must-have roadside Mamak Experience , with the yellow lines conjested with limousines, proton taxis and motorbikes. The place is also popular with the midnight cowboys/girls from the latest wanabe pubs in town around the Sheraton Hotel.

While most stalls offer the usual rojaks, mee mamaks, nasi lemak, beehun goreng, kuehs etc one in particular specialises in soups + loaf breads and more. His fearsome enigmatic brew known as the deadly Sup Torpedo ( RM5 ) have often puzzled patrons curious to know what has a missile got to do with soups ! Found in only a few places in town this tangily heavy spicy beef brew ( boiled together with a strategic part of a bull ) with the slippery slices of bonycrunching feel will send shivers down many a faint hearted man ( & woman ).

If you prefer to see what you are eating you may request for the thing to come out all veiny and uncut ( ala Tigerjoe ) and you can be forgiven if you abort in haste never to return !

feel the POWER......!
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soup for the soul

After an energy sapping and heart pounding session at the nearby Cosmo World theme park at Berjaya Times Square, what better way to recoup than with sizzling coconut chicken soup ( yeh chi kai, in Cantonese ) just in front of Shaw Parade in the Changkat Thambi Dollah area of Pudu, KL.

This clear herbal soup with a quarterful of chicken meat has a nice aroma and is touted by many to be heaps better than BRANDS CHICKEN ( at least it had real chicken meat !) .

For me it is the novelty of staring at some roots with chicken meat stuffed inside an old brown coconut and relishing its different taste. ....but hey hold on not eat the coconut !

This popular rice foodstall run by a Chinaman family at a corner lot shack is full of steamed herbal soups of all types ( iguanas anyone ? ) as well as the standard ready made Chinaman styled fast dishes of pork,veges, tofus, etc.

Opens sometime around 2pm and the coconut thing ( RM 7 ) is usually gone by 7pm.
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01 September 2006

Banana Leaf Rice

the place in Section 5 PJ
Jalan Gasing PJ, famously known at one time for its iconic pubs ( remember Stagecoach and Rennies' ? ), Thai Temple, Churches and Taman Jaya is still very much alive today with some decent restaurants selling Ipoh bean sprouts chicken rice ( the anti-cancer one ) , some Mamak restaurants ( the usual halal fare one) and Indian restaurants selling Banana Leaf Rice ( Raju's, Lotus etc etc).

The other prominent landmark is the notorious Gasing Hill, a one time favourite haunt for lovers and drug addicts alike , nature lovers and a battlegound of sorts for Friends of Gasing ( ? ) vs KL Cityhall .

Quite unknown to many new kids in town, is the very excellent banana leaf restaurant in Sec5 ( also the area with the upmarket condos; Camerons , Frasers plus a few more ) which is a little out of the way but still continues to draw the lunch crowds.

This run down place a left turn before the Templer Roundabout is particularly well known for its curries ( the divine chicken and fish ones especially ) and is deservingly called Restaurant Kavita's Curry House. While it also serves traditional Indian food including fish heads it has an awesome reputation for its set banana leaf rice with its abnormally varied range of aromatic spicy and hot sauces/condiments including its underated sambal petai concoction.

While the Big Chain spick and span Lotus along the main road and the very well known Raju's beside Lasalle School have better locations and layouts, better variety of fresh seafood/meat and cholesterol free curries ( Raju's signature wonder brew, isn't that just ironic ?) which are but impotent compared to Kavita's fully loaded real thing .

As is standard practice in Banana Leaf Restaurants, you should eat like a Glutton ( what else ) using your bare claws and sweat at the same time for added experience, using the versatile fresh banana leaf for support .

Banana leaf set is absolutely good value for money for ricebowlers and vegetarians because of the unlimited top-ups, altho all other additions of the meaty kind will be charged xtra.

Kavitas is an unpretentious place with its speedy service and the decent price of RM5 per set /head before xtras, will not burn a hole in your pocket (unlike that notorious Kayu fellow ), unless you decide to go for the scary Monstrous Prawns !

That is another story......

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