Thursday, June 22, 2006

Something sweet

It's been a pretty tiring week and I'm sure all you World Cup fans out there have been dragging yourselves around like zombies. Well, freshen up with something sweet for the coming weekend!

And nothing hits the spot better than a hot tummy-warming bowl of birds nest soup with gingko! It'll give you that much needed boost of energy, better than any Tongkat Ali! So you can keep cheering on your favourite team!

*sings the World Cup cheer* Wo-oh-oh-oh-oh...Wo-oh-oh-oh....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blueberry Smooshberry

I didn't have much appetite yesterday for lunch so I thought of grabbing a bun from the nearby bakeries. I walked up and down the mall, round and round visiting every bakery only to have my stomach churn as I looked at the various innovative and colourful confectionary inventions they call buns nowadays.

Finally, I decided upon an interesting bun called "Blueberry Sunrise" from Breadtalk. Gasp! I bought a bun from the bakery I swore never to buy from! But this bun did look rather nice. It was nice and round with a squishy blueberry circle centre and a piped-in custard ring surrounding it.

I took it back to my office and happily opened the bag, eager to sink my teeth into the juicy-looking blueberry filling and egad(!) the idiotic server had put the bun into a bag which naturally stuck to the sticky open filling! I gently drew out the bun trying to save as much filling as I could but sad to say, my blueberry was now smooshberry all over the inside of the bag! was a sad sad lunch chomping on an empty bun!

By the way, can anyone tell me why the buns in these boutique bakeries are so terribly over-priced?! Or better...why are they still so full of people despite the horrendously high prices?!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Peel Road Yong Tau Foo

Sis has been telling me about this really yummy Hakka Yong Tau Foo (YTF, for short) in Peel Road. After much persuasion, she agreed to take me there during one of my long lunch breaks. It's in a little wooden house/shop thing with fold-tables all around and umbrellas to protect you from the sun. Not exactly the Ritz but if the food is good, who bothers about being a little hot and sticky, right?!

Their choices of YTF are laid out in the centre of the shop and are constantly being added on, fresh from the frying wok, as they disappear too quickly!

The lady in the blue hat is draining freshly fried YTF, hot from the wok!

Left: Tofu, meatballs and fishballs and Right: Chillis, fried tofu, bitter gourd and ladies' fingers

Right: More tofu stuff and fu-chok (beancurd skin)

You make your choice of the spread of delicious YTF before you then fill out a little piece of paper provided and pass it on to the lady in charge.

All these for 3! :)

Then, you make your way to an empty table (if you're lucky) and wait for your number (ours was No. 47) to be called! According to Sis, they have "specials" everyday as well and they do a pretty mean asam fish. However, their main special of that day was curry chicken which we didn't feel like having. We did order another of their specials though - pork trotters in vinegar!

Trotters cooked in black vinegar with lots of ginger slices

I took a mouth and was immediately transported back to my childhood days when Grandma used to cook this. All the while I thought it was a Hokkien dish only to be told it's actually Hakka! But it was very home-cooked with a rich sour broth. My only complaint is that the meat was rather fatty but others said it was just fine!

Our first dish of ladies fingers, tofu, bitter gourd and brinjal. These were stuffed with fish paste then lightly fried. The fish paste was one of the best I'd eaten! I always thought Hakka YTF was fish paste mixed with meat but this was purely fish paste which was tasty and "fishy", ie it tasted like it had a good portion of fish in it instead of starch.

Some fishballs and meatballs (bigger ones). The meatballs were really good! One of the best I've tasted!

And our last platter of fried various stuff. Clockwise from right: A fried shui kao (wantan wrapper with minced meat which was very big and good), a fried fish cake and some foo chok (beancurd skin with a thin sliver of fish paste in between).

Overall, it was a very satisfying and filling lunch! :) And definitely one I'll return to again, if I can! Thanks to sis!

Monday, June 05, 2006

World Cup Fever!

How are you heralding in the 9th of June?! Why, I'll give Carrefour Subang top marks for their innovative display!

The whistle blows, the crowd cheers...

The players fight over the ball...(See the little guy on the left? He's got a funky almond hairdo!)

The goalie rushes to defend the goal...

Keep score with a buttery score board!

What an adorable edible display! It's cake with a kiwi marzipan playing field as spectators made out of little chocolate danish puffs watch and cheer the chocolate and icing-covered players run around with the chocolate puff ball!

4 days more to go...*preet, preet*

Tong Shin Char Kuey Teow

I was introduced to this stall by my boss who said this was one of the best char kuey teow in KL. I thought it was good too until my recent visit. This stall is in a lean-to by the side of a row of shops in Tengkat Tong Shin in Kuala Lumpur. They specialise in char kuey teow but also sell fried rice, fried mee, popiah, prawn mee and fishball noodles/soup.

The kuey teow is fried by an oldish couple who each have their own wok. I was told that the taste differs but maybe I don't have the tongue of a char kuey teow connoiseur for I cannot tell the difference between the two.

We start our meal with a glass of the leung char which is usually tung kua longan (dried longan and candied wintermelon strips). It costs about RM1.30 and comes in a large beer mug. Its sufficiently thick and tastes homemade but can be a tad sweet. We usually ask for the hot version so its not adulterated with ice, and then ask for ice later to cool the drink down. Sneaky? Yes! :D

This is the Char Kuey Teow which is the speciality here.

Its usually well-fried and tasty. It comes with a pretty generous serving of prawns and cockles and tauge. Unlike many places the dried sausage is fried separately and then sprinkled on top. That day when I went, the noodle was rather bland and not aromatic. I was disappointed but noticed that if you go during peak hours of lunch time when there are many customers to serve, the standard does tend to drop a little. However, in the evenings, or when there are fewer customers, you get a much better fried noodle. The small serving is RM4 and the large RM4.50. We have found that the large serving can serve 2 so we save money by ordering a large one and a side dish.

The side dish of the day was fishball soup, as that was what I was craving.

You get 10 fishballs for RM3.50. I was told they get the fishballs from the other corner shop down the road which purportedly serves the best fishballs in town. However, having tasted both stalls I prefer the texture of this one. Maybe it has to do with the way its cooked but I find them more springy and tastier. I'm not the first one to realise this.

I do still like the char kuey teow here, but I'll make sure I go only during off-peak hours for nothing tastes worse than bland char kuey teow.

Guest-blogged by tuktoyaktuk

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Hidden Gem

With the recent number of cafes and restaurants sprouting up like mushrooms in the Klang Valley, it isn't always that you stumble across something nice. Well, I stumbled upon a hidden gem in Taipan, USJ the other night that I just have to share! The family had eaten there twice and kept raving about the freshness of the food and its generous portions so I had to give it a try myself!

It's called the Big Boy cafe and it's a clean, cheery little family-run establishment. The little vases of orchids on each table add a certain whimsical charm. Big Boy has a pretty extensive menu of both local and Western food, complete with pictures of some of the food and at rather decent prices.

They even have their own coasters! And best of all, a free flow of water is provided throughout your meal at no extra charge. Quite hard to find this trait nowadays. Most places insist on selling only mineral water at exorbitant prices. Service for both the food and water refills was very fast and efficient. But on to the food!

Bro decided to give the lagsane a try. We were all pleasantly surprised at the size of the lagsane when it came. It was a huge, generous slice that filled up the big plate. Some cafes I've eaten in give you only half of that portion above! It was sufficiently cheesy and well baked. Each lagsane sheet was generously filled with minced beef and every bite till the last had a nice combination of beef and pasta.

Dad tried the chicken chop. Sorry for the camera phone picture quality. It was a generous sized chicken fillet, smothered in a slightly spicy but delicious black pepper sauce. I tried some and it was really good, tender cuts of chicken that went really well with the sauce.

I wasn't too hungry so I opted for the fried calamari rings. It came with a very interesting black-bean sauce. This was indeed a good choice as the calamari was wonderfully fresh and perfectly cooked, unlike some rubbery versions out there. The batter coating it was deliciously crispy and not at all soggy and the sauce added a certain East-West fusion to the appetiser dish.

It's a pleasant little place with lots of mirrors and nice Renaissance pictures on the wall. What struck us was the high quality and freshness of their food. They offer wines (list on the pink slips on every table), quality Twinnings tea and even Segafredo gourmet coffee! Every dish of theirs is cooked with very fresh ingredients and prices are pretty reasonable.

My family had on a previous visit tried their Seafood Pasta which was really fresh and generous with their seafood. Seafood's one of the best ways to test how fresh the ingredients are and Big Boy did pass with flying colours! That's one dish I've gotta try next!

Big Boy's located in the new row of shophouses in Taipan, behind True Fitness gym.