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31 October 2006

Laksa Melayu

Laksa Tales

While waiting for the Land Rover to take us up to Bukit Larut, Taiping ( land of Everlasting Peace, and Malaysia's best zoo, oldest Museum and Golf Course ) we decided to try the nearest stall run by an oldish ( & authentic looking ) Pak Chik under a big shady tree beside a stream at the foothills selling Laksa Melayu, the equivalent of Assam Laksa. I simply love his century old steaming brown magic pot. And also with a view of black gibbons chattering away in the dense forests nearby.

Just some onions, cucumbers and chili slices & a half egg in a mild looking brownish gravy, this is the standard Malay Laksa served by the one-man stall. Tasted surprisingly ok. I actually have friends who prefer this type of not so sour laksa over the more established Penang Assam Laksa as found in many food courts.

The Pak Chik's laksa cost RM2 a plate. Not cheap considering that my next table 4 gentlemen who between them walloped 6 plates paid RM10 and got back RM1 as balance ( ? ) ; and the Mak Chik a few trees down the road only charged RM1.70 per bowl, and that with more noodles and even more taste !

So sometimes things don't look as they seem...... and it might even pay to walk the xtra few more steps .......



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26 October 2006

Manjung ( Sitiawan)'s food highlights

Pangkor's (in)famous satay fish, on display near Lumut Jetty
Pangkor's Sg Pinang Besar's dessert, near miniature 'Great Wall'
Nasi Ayam Teluk Nipah, Pangkor's answer to Chicken Rice
Sitiawan Market ( upstairs ) banana leaf wrapped nasi lemak bungkus
Malay styled roti canai combo by the river in Kg Sitiawan
coconut wine toddy in Kg Cina's seafood haven
Kg Koh's Fuzhou red wine village chicken noodles
addictive Gong Pian, beside Courts Mammoth, Sitiawan Town Centre


Some people outside Perak have requested BSG for some authentic Sitiawan/Lumut food hideouts and together with my kampong gluttons I have managed to extract some secrets to certain notable backlanes for your mouthwatering gastronomical adventure.

These should cover your hungry 5 meals per day marathon if you have had enough of the meals from your normal routine. Or if you need to recoup from the exhausting swims and treks in the many fine beaches & hills in the area !

or .....from your long gorgeous walks along the parks, the exhilarating climb up Engku Busu Hill and the arduous romantic escapades along Lumut's romantic Waterfront last night !

*BREAKFAST


real cosy

Malay roti canai & nasi lemak shop
perched beside Kg Sitiawan river,
Kg Sitiawan

....for the riverine experience....








Kg Koh's famous noodles shop,

beside wet market Kg Koh town
Pasar Awam Kg Koh
( 1km opposite Mayban junction )

...for the authentic Hock Chew noodles Xperience





*LUNCH

Kg Cina's ( Hock Chew) seafood

(just 100m beside junction of Manjung-Taiping
Kg Koh -Kg Cina )
left turn coming into Manjung from Teluk Intan
Restaurant Makanan Laut Villa



Chin Yih, Hainanese seafood restaurant
Kg Acheh, near Lumut Port
truly hidden behind thick green foliage



Amu Coconut Villa

just beside Rest. Makanan Laut Villa
de original toddy specialist








*TEA BREAK

from a roadside afternoon pedlar beside
Persatuan Min Chian , Kg Koh
near ACS School
takeaway pillow peanut pau

ultimate toddy hut without pillars, Kg Cina
engineering marvel in the kampongs
so you won't bang it when high..........

















*DINNER

1. Ah Hing, the wedding food caterer
everything Hock Chew & more !

turn left from Alliance Bank into Simpang Dua
for 3km


2. Lumut Marina Cove
The modern seaview seafood specialist
+ fusion food
on the way in to Teluk Batik OR














or 3. Medan Ikan Bakar

just beside Marina Cove


SUPPER

Koping Restaurant ( Hock Chew )
mid way Sitiawan -Kg Koh main road
mini char siew pau +
the full course including the 3 treasures...











assam laksa with giant noodles
night stall beside Persatuan Min Chian
Kg Koh







Still Hungry ?
Wait for me and I will bring you out to sea with the Pangkor fishermen for live & jumping fresh seafood & all things marine !

....or you can try Manjung's other must see attractions Places of Interest

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22 October 2006

Ipoh's NGA CHOI KAI ( beansprout chicken ) shop

Ipoh in Perak State was at one time one of the most (s)exciting cities in Malaysia, with its Tin Mining tycoons, acknowledged Malaysian Cantonese Culinary Epicentre, anything goes entertainment scene ( especially masage parlours , who can forget 'Big Sister') ...the prettiest girls, and ........chickens ( kai in Cantonese ).

So famous were these two 'dishes' those days that if you innocently ask for chickens or 'kai' ( as for food ) in Ipoh, people can't be sure whether you are referring to Ipoh girls or Ipoh chickens . So today you have to be duly cautious and say what you mean and mean what you say in all Cantonese towns in Malaysia as far as these two favourite things are concerned !

Which brings us to Restaurant Lou Wong 's specialties below ;
( .....for the other Ipoh 'white' attraction please check with Wikipedia or
'the Datuk' Malaysian Bond girl of Geisha/Ferrari fame .....)

Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau .......

arguably the most famous beansprouts , chicken & sar hor fun shop in Ipoh ...

Crowded every night. Excellent service and reasonable prices.

de Ipoh sar hor fun ( flat rice vermicelli ) in soup,

exceptionally smooth and fine hor fun, but
signature orangy tinged oil & gau choi missing and

only so so taste.

the 'real' Ipoh bean sprouts, not as fat as even some shops in KL !

Taste surprisingly ( & shockingly ) ordinary.

de Ipoh white chicken meat or Ipoh Kai.
Not as I would expect from the most famous !

Either my taste buds have changed or they have ................

Need another review another time.
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20 October 2006

Ulu Yam's Lor Mee ( oversized noodles in gravy )


Ulu Yam's most famous son, from RM4 a bowl
starchy with egg, pork, prawn & vegetable
full bodied, robust taste
the no 2 (BSG rating) lor mee outside Klang Valley

side dish fish cake, RM 4 a piece
can safely skip
2 leave more room 4 the lor mee

brown rice vinegar & pork lard, lots of it
4 the distinctive & unforgetable UY taste

welcome to the cowboys' den

Ulu Yam Lama ( not to be mixed up with Ulu Yam Baru, the one with the karaokes at the other end 4 km away ), the antique Chinese village back- to -the -past cowboy town between Rawang and Kuala Kubu Baru (foothills of Frasers hill ) is surprisingly quiet these days.

Maybe the new flyover across the trunk KL-Ipoh road to UY Baru which rises over the legendary UY Lama train crossing has somehow obscured the narrow entrance into this little rustic kampong.

In those days Ulu Yam's fame stretches far and wide, not for the mediocre seafood restaurants sprouting left and right as soon as the new second link to Genting Highlands via neighbouring Batang Kali was opened sometime in the early 90s, but for one plain looking bowl of brownish & big noodle dish. Then the overnight Star was de show hungry outstation patrons going up & coming down from The City of Entertainment every weekend came to see ! Every other shop seemed to be selling lor mee !

On your way down from First World this next holiday forget the Karak Highway and take the Batang Kali route .... and say hi to

......the original & sensational UY Joe.
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12 October 2006

de Original Sweet Sour & Hot sea cucumbers


Kampong Koh's numero uno
exquisite sweet sour hot fish maw
with sea cucumbers

crispy fried oyster egg
with oysters from Lumut
eggs from Damai Laut
+ spring onions from Camerons

tofu soup
with oysters and prawns
uniquely Hock Chew

In Malaysia, Chinese Food with its remarkable range and variety is normally associated with Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkian styles ( as loved by their forefathers from the different provinces of China ). The newer commercial food establishments in the cities especially in KL,JB,Pg have however assimilated/incorporated many of modern Hongky, Taiwanese,Japanese including Western influences, resulting in what is called 'fusion' cuisines ( which incidentally is the rage among the well-heeled younger hip set, and not to be scoffed at ! ).

Away from cities and often beside the jungles, streams, hills, lakes and seas however you can still come across some authentic Chinese village dishes. Old fashion, rugged, original and delicious. And at a price your Grandmother will be proud of !

Such as the 3 treasures highlighted here from Kg Koh and backStreetGlutton favourites.

If authenticity is your game then head on down (or up) and immerse yourself into these Village Treasures across the length and breadth of our bountilicious country. If that fails, never mind you can still have fun of the village kind....

Sorry, backstreetGuide not provided...........not yet






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Snake Soup & Pig Tail


python soup @RM4
tastes like shark's fin soup no less
at 1/10 the price
try it soon
so forever snakes will stay away from you

braised pig tails @RM5
complements the soup above.
at least it looks like the real thing !


Enjoying great food as usual !
Section 17, PJ
Sun Yen Restaurent
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11 October 2006

Pangkor's 5 Sensations


see
Nipah Bay's beautiful sandy beaches,
clear blue waters & lush forests

hear
the sound of waves & hornbills chirping

smell
the aroma of NB's 5 star RM4.50 Nasi Ayam

taste
the rich yellow fragrant rice,crunchy cucumbers
& golden roast meat

touch
the cool wind & feel the bites as you sink into
food utopia....


Now you know why I call this place PARADISE ?
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breakfast at KAMPONG KOH, Sitiawan


Standing Tall.

That's Kampong Koh chili sauce.
Found in many Chinese coffee shops across
the country. Together with this garlic vinegar
thing, will turn a mundane noodle dish into
a gastronomical delight.

Distinctively original.

This is K Koh's version of
wantan soup ( pien neet thung, ) with the
rice sheet wrapping so fine that it literally
melts in your mouth !

Definitely authentic.

One half of the 'twin noodle wonders' of
Kampong Koh. On my frequent trips to
Paradise Pangkor I will normally have a quick
stopover by this quaint roadside shop which
specialises in noodles such as this wonderful
'loomien', flat noodles in a thick brownish
gravy of bamboo shoots, cabbages,cuttlefish,
pork lard, fungus and some strange vegetables.
Very tasty and unlike the typical ' lor mee' of KL.
And great with a dash of the vinegar garlic !














Not just any wantan mee

This is the other half of the 'twin' noodle wonders
known as 'kampuang' and the equivalent of
our dear old 'kono' wantan mee in KL. Much more
than a match for Petaling Street's version, with
double the portion
but many ringgits cheaper !

The above are but only a fraction of this sleepy little small town's extraordinary Foochow food heritage. Joining me for dinner ?




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Telok Gong's Coconut Wine, Klang
















chilled toddy, entree par excellence
fermented coconut flower juice , 3.8% alcohol
lighter than regular beer, but high for longer
......only RM2 for 500cc



the Coconut Flower strikes back !

When Kesas Highway was opened to traffic in the late 1990s, a journey of a tedious & winding 90 mins from PJ to Telok Gong was reduced to a leisurely 30 mins.

Coconut Flower Seafood Restaurant ( which began life as as a humble dilapidated wooden shed providing toddy and iguana curry to mostly Indian estate workers in the early 1990s ) and Telok Gong in general is now Klang Valley's must- eat seafood zone and has displaced Pandamaran as Klang's premier seafood destination.

Jumping into the bandwagon, in late 1990s at least 8 other new mega restaurants mushroomed overnight and at one time ( in ( 2000-2003 ) thousands thronged the area like hungry hawks every weekend making the place look like a Rock Concert ! Today the massive crowd is gone and many former big gun restaurants have vanished. The original Coconut Flower however is still standing strong, but no longer like those heady days of RM70,000 cash collections a night !

Whats so great then about Telok Gong ? Maybe for seafood fanatics ( eat anything underwater not yet try before one ). Probably they just love the Cowboy and Coconut Tree ambience far far away from home.

But for me ....its Toddy , lala beehun & my chicken . ....No Guinness please..

lalabeehun, estate fried noodles
simply plain @RM5













salted village chicken
RM18 a bird
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04 October 2006

nasi dagang by the beach


Cherating Beach's much acclaimed golden sands

pretty baby wrapped in banana leaf

steamed glutinous and brown rice with
coconut milk, and curry tuna fish

This lovely little packet of wholesome delectable goodies at a MakChik's humble stall in Cherating Village, Pahang will pack you with more than enough power to continue your next 2 hours journey to Besut and diving adventure in Pulau Redang !

Don't forget your teh tarik !
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