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30 August 2006

Pork Soup Vermicelli ( chee yuk fun)


Subang Jaya's slowhand

I had some time, so I followed my Kaki to a cornerlot shop selling the most famous pork soup beehoon stall in SJ near Carrefour. The lunchtime crowd wasn't all that many but the lady said matter-of-fact can wait at least 30 mins or not so we said why not ?

As appetizers for this main course we devoured some tapioca balls from the pisang goreng stall outside, some egg tarts and meat puffs form another Indon lady near the walkway. 35 mins from start and there was still no sign of that elusive dish. So we ordered some chee cheong fun as a further diversion.

After a few more false starts ( why is it that the one that came later always gets it first ? ), and just before I called it a day, it came, in all its cholesterol glory ! It is quite delicious really.

But seriously, next time I will look for the woman in SS3, her version plus prawns is quicker and don't think can lose to this one !
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another Roti CANAI



My favourite roti canai is not so oily, not so big, MUST come out freshly baked and yes , it must taste better than the other ones. So it was that I discovered the one finally. These guys have branches in Klang, Shah Alam, USJ and some more, which goes to show that they are doing something right.

Their highpoint is the consistency of their standard canai dough which comes quality controlled from its Klang factory! I normally have my Sri Melur MAJU canai with a piece of sardin soaked in their delicious fish curry gravy . If not for my calorie control I should be having 3 canais this morning ....but what the heck... just eat lah !
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27 August 2006

COOL STEAMboat



tomyam /herbal soups

Brinchang's Steamboat

With the current hot spell and also the intermittent haze enveloping parts of the country it is a good idea to head to the cool hills if you have the time. One such nice spot is Cameron Highlands in Pahang State. Be prepared however,for the weather has indeed changed, it is not as cool as before ( I mean the weather ).

I would suggest you take the Tapah old route on the way up and the newer Simpang Pulai way on the return journey down. The old route is more winding and narrow ( parts of it are actually dangerous ) but this is compensated by more rugged sights and a chance to sample the orang asli handicrafts, jungle tidbits and other items on display at numerous shacks along the way.

Don't forget to try the orang asli's authentic jungle durians if you have the chance. They are cheap and wow deliciously original, but be warned though because the aroma will stay with you all the way up the highlands and into your hotel !

As you plod along the old winding narrow road the air becomes cooler and cooler and the mood begins to set in . You are actually up in the highlands ! What a feeling !

Just after Ringlet along the old road and after the initial shock of discovering that the nice lake you love as a kid has now turned grotesquely GREEN you will soon come across the Bharat tea plantations to your left and suddenly the serene view of a quaint and dreamy tea house appears out of the mist. Try their lovely hot tea , and do your thing. Then take some very english countryside photos.

Brinchang is after Tanah Rata and is getting more busy nowadays. It is mostly remembered for its maybe too many steamboat restaurants, particularly along the main road where I counted at least 10 neck to neck fighting for your attention. These shops are packed with holiday makers on weekends not I suspect for good food ( 2 many many vegetables ) but yeah you got it , for the unique xperience of boating in the cool highlands!

I like it too, the cold is simply invigorating !














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bun eXtraordinaire


Truly Gombiang

These humble looking flying saucer shaped buns saved an entire kingdom from marauding invaders in a certain part of Fujian province, China a long time ago. Legend has it that as part of the defenders' food rations these multi functional, versatile, easy to carry and indestructible bread was an essential item in the kingdom's arsenal to fend off the barbarians coming in from the North. As food was scarce during these trying times the wonder bun was the basic diet which adequately provided the "bullets" to ultimately defeat the enemy.

Now only found in Fuzhou in China and a few places in Malaysia, notably Sibu and Sitiawan.

This flatted item is stuffed with pork fillings and comes in many versions ; with sesame seeds, with hole and without and is best taken fresh from the oven . As befitting its awesome reputation it can be stored in a freezer for ages and reheated weeks/months later ( but strictly no microwave please). It can be strung with raffia strings and hung over your shoulders and this will definetely make you look like an ancient warrior !

When improperly stored it becomes rock hard and can be used as a deadly missile too.

Try it .......you will love it ! ....Must ta pau from Sitiawan tho, book early as they are a very very limited and prized item.

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26 August 2006

ducK pOwer

Bidor's

Herbal

Aphrodisiac

Most KLites only come to know of Bidor by accident when they are on their way to Pangkor or Cameron Highlands.

Bidor is an almost forgotten small town along the
federal route ( old road ) to Ipoh, but thanks to its chicken biscuits, petai and the ugly seedless guavas ( & Camerons n Pangkor ) it has managed to cling on to the occasional bargain hunters and hungry passers by to keep it from becoming another route 66, ( remember Slim River ? )

It is however most remembered for its unique herbal duck soup noodles, of the brownish kind. ( The popular ONE in Lucky Gardens Bangsar has its clear soup meesuah version).

The one described here ( check out the shop with more people ) is claimed to have been marinated in a secret receipe for at least 12 hours before being steamed. While the noodle is ordinary, the piping hot soup is one of a kind ( totally unlike chicken lah ) and tastes heavily delicious and strong and is also claimed to provide abundant energy ( chi ) to protect you from the cold (those of u cannot tahan one ) of Camerons as you continue your journey up the highlands.

At 5.70 ringgit per bowl it is not exactly cheap but hey don't think you can find one as good in KL !




Just remember duck meat is different from chicken meat, is darker in colour and taste stronger ( some Chinaman says duck meat contains extra toxins ).

Always wonder why no Kentucky Fried Ducks !?

add this, for xtra oookph!!





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20 August 2006

ASSAM LAKSA ( Malaysia's spicy hot n sour noodles )


SP, Sunday pasar malam, Bangsar
...fresh, light with oversized rice noodles

outside wet market, Sea Park PJ
....strong lemongrass flavour

Acheng, USJ Summit Subang Jaya
...thick & tasty


The ultimate assam laksa in KL?

ASSAM LAKSA it is a uniquely Malaysian dish and an all time street food favourite( the others being the equally controversial curry laksa and nasi lemak but that is another story ), especially with the office girls ! Now you know why some men like to hang out in laksa stalls !

I have tried hundreds, from Bukit Kayu Hitam to Penang to Johore Baru and happy to tell you that I am still having loads of fun searching for the one !

There are a few versions of laksa really, but all are fish based, very fragrant ( or is it pungent ?),sourish ,tamarin flavoured, and spicy gravy in some rice noodle concoctions, usually served in a bowl or plate.

The experts will tell you it is all in the type of fish used. The price may vary from the 1.50 ringgit nett a plastic bowl in the kampongs to the 15 ringgit ++ visually enhanced expensive looking imported oversized ( must it be so big ?) imported china bowl in the cafes or city hotels.

Some say it is of Nyonya origin while others say it is copied from a Thai receipe. The most popular in Malaysia today however is the steaming hot Penang version, usually garnished with generous portions of cucumber and pineapple slices,raw onions, mint leaves plus a few other herbs and xx spices ( kept secret... )


Kedah has its own style with its special noodles, while Malaccans insist theirs is the best. Many Malays love the dish although they prefer it mild and accompanied by sliced boiled chicken eggs served lukewarm.

One enterprising chain called Laksa Shack is taking advantage of its halal status to cash in on its popularity in Shopping Centres. This clinical multiple versions approach is not my cup of laksa tho bcoz man it got no ambience.

Here are some laksa joints worth paying a visit, if u must find out why they r popular:


Bangsar Sunday pasarmalam mobile van ( *******/10 )
My vote for best original casual laksa dining ( with ambience n price to boot ) .
This place is where I can mingle with some nice multicultural looking chicks and
sometimes celebrities. The service is ultra fast and courteous with the only
problem being not enough seats. The plus point is the nice fresh and
unfishy taste with options to add red hot chilies and prawn paste. If the mustacho
nice boss likes you , he might let u have another bite 4 free !

Seapark, PJ ( *******/10 )
This little van parked beside the wet market is operated by a Penang Kaki n Missus.The gravy is very thick and pungent and attracts big crowds everyday, except mondays.

USJ summit, LG floor (*******/10 )
Ah Cheng Laksa in air -con comfort, original, tasty and thick and looks about right. There are many sub-versions, with extra fish, sotong, prawns etc,etc. but do stick to the original. Price from 5.9 ringgit nett. Might just turn out to be the best !
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