Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ngau Kee @ Tengkat Tong Shin

What a way to start the new year then to celebrate it with the animal literally, the cow being processed to beef noodles.

Prices on the board

Ngau Kee, not necessarily the most delicious (it goes either way, people will either protest or support the statement) but is one of the most accessible ones around town. With some at Petaling Street and less flexible opening hours, Ngau Kee trumps them all as it opens literally from lunch right up to the early hours of supper.

The super strong flavours in the soup (either meaning a shaky hand while pouring salt or lots of beef essence (which i doubt), makes it worse when one is trying to eat to prevent a hangover. With dehydration already on the way, this makes it worse, so drink lots (and i mean not beer) when you eat.

The slightly softer than al dente wanton noodles with a generous serving of minced (i believe pork) is what throngs of fellows gather around for. To just stuff yourself silly of carbs so that you can sleep in peace after copious amounts of alcohol.

Accompanying the noodles are your compulsory beef balls that are solid to bite into and gives a jaw a bit of a workout (not a bad thing with balls) rather than melting in your mouth. Other so called variants to it are slices of beef that was succulent.

Yumm, three cheers to the Ox!

Located at the start of the road of Tengkat Tong Shin
Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars, i remember the one i had when i was a kid at Petaling Street to be way better. The beef slices there was so smooth and literally slide down your throat without choking too. This though, is a worthy substitute, after all when you are drunk (not to say that i was drunk when i had this meal), who can complain right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year, ushering the Year of My Animal

To all my readers, a very good holiday, the best reason to prolong that holiday mode while in office, to celebrate a festive season with your friends and family or just take another long break before you work like a "cow" for the year.

To those traveling, drive safely and no emergency lane!

To all, eat to your heart's content, and i should be seeing a whole load more people at gym after CNY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Blues: Stress Balls in the form of Scott, Nat and Ellen

The stress balls in the form of Scott, Nat and Ellen are back to reduce the stress levels for the joyful Chinese New Year, just around the corner.

Having them live 3 doors away from me, all forms of stress or boredom is immediately evaporated when you see the kids roaming around the garden feeding the fishes.

I suppose they are like the guardians of the fishies.


Don't you think this picture has like a fish eye effect? Or is it because their heads are really round..? Hmmmm

Boo!

Argh!

Ok la, thats it folks, till next time!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My humble abode


My experience is probably the same as the fishes in their new abode.

Having stayed in the one and only house for 23 years, it has been equally daunting and exciting to move into a place with my own toilet.

Toilets aside, the tall ceiling, the calming and cooling gazebo in the gardens and many more (the upcoming sound system with the 46 inches TV (i remember the days of 14 inches and 21 inches, it is abit like the pants we buy, it keeps growing) have helped the whole family settle down.

Loving the new place, maybe i should do abit of photography in the garden, well wait, i have.

Another day, the cousins are back to grace the blog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CWZJ Cuisine (The Home of Tea Kings) @ Kuchai Lama

After reading about pork lard rice from FBB ages ago, that thought was never banished from the back of my brain. So when my friends decided to meet up for dinner one day and later come and have a look at our new humble household, we decided that we will go Restaurant C W Z J. With the last two initials the same initials of my name, what could it possibly stand for? Cha Wong Zi Jia (The home of Tea Kings), another king?Will it fall flat again like the King of Roast?

As a bonus, this place was barely a 10 minute drive away on a Friday night, which was already in the good books. Alas there was a half an hour waiting time to boot (which only means good food and a stronger desire to eat that pork lard rice). First lesson learnt, go call in advance to book a table!

Seated down in the rather small restaurant, 7-8 tables on the ground floor, we were greeted with a very good captain. Recommending was his forte, with us merely nodding to all he had in mind for us except for the zhu yao char fan.

Alas again! The pork lard was 3 days old and omitting an odour that the chef refuse to use, sigh. To make it up, there was another claypot rice that would be revealed below.

Serving good quality tea, proper methods of brewing tea, not to mention its RM4 per pax for Pu Er, the seafood tank in the front of the restaurant is a mouth watering distraction while waiting for the dishes to come. With garoupas costing from RM11.80 to RM 22.80 per 100gm, big Alaskan snow crabs, lobsters and geo ducks, we sat down and quickly got into a conversation to forget those wallet burning creatures, while sipping tea.

Good thick Pu Er. The colour remained the same throughout the 2 hour dinner.

Choy Kong (Dried Vegetables, not preserved) with Sang Yu or Haruan Fish, along with assorted boiling soup ingredients like dried scallops, chicken feet and pork ribs. The contents are dished out before scooping the soup for your to savour. A whiff in the air and the distinct smell of the fried sang yu captivates you.

I loved the soup for its complex yet simple tastes. (RM38, each one had a bowl for 7 people)

As recommended, the below dishes was served with Paulaner Beer (RM 26 per bottle) while the claypot rice was being cooked (from washing the rice to cooking it)

A simple Angled LooFah or when i googled "Fussy Melon" or as chinese calls it "Seng Kua". With some minced dried shrimp over a bed of soya sauce, this was simple yet very refreshing. If anything, easy to replicate at home too! (RM 12)

The steamed egg plan with Mui Choy (salted preserved vegetable). The look on the eggplant wasn't very appetising and in fact look a tad raw. Bite into the stripe of vegetable and it is cooked through and through without breaking apart like mush. Eaten with the saltiness of the topping, this was another simple dish worthy of replicating at home! (RM 12)

A favourite with the Beer, the Pork Strips with Nam Yue. Juicy and crispy, deep fried too, i don't see anything wrong (RM 18)

He also recommended their Char Siew. This is unlike the charred sticky versions you get outside but instead exudes a home-cooked feeling when you dig in. With a mixture of lean and fattier cut meat along with the sauce, at RM18, this was worth a try (unless you stand by your benchmark at Meng Kee char siew)

The second round of dinner..

A simple omelette with fresh prawns. The egg was still runny and the prawns very crunchy. (RM 22)

The minced meat tau foo done in a salted egg pumpkin sauce. The sweetness of the pumpkin was toned down with the salted egg to neutral the flavours. The tau foo was smooth and slithered down the throat with ease. The Captain recommended the dish for the sauce, as company to the rice. (RM 18)

A simple organic vegetable; Cheng Long Choy stir fried with some bean sprouts. (RM 15)

The surprising element..

The pot that we waited for. The waxed meat was of good quality judging from the whiff we got coming out from the pot.

Pour some hot oil and dark soya sauce

Stir it vigorously and voila.. A nice bowl of claypot waxed meat rice (RM 28)

What we got was not the usual fluffy rice but bits of hardened rice crisps that all of us on the table loved and fought for. The waxed meat when biten through was full of flavour and i suppose despite the disappointment in not being able to satisfy the original objective, it can only mean one thing, we are coming back.

Address and contact details:

8, Jalan 11/116B, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park,
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-79818714
Fax: 03-79824989

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. Truly a restaurant i enjoyed, with the above average food and the good service in terms of refilling tea, ordering dishes and the cosy ambience. Worthy of a return.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Restaurant Top Wok @ Sri Petaling

Is it just me or is the word recession ringing a bell in your heads a bit too often, in fact too often and driving you to the corner of the wall before you reply "sod it, screw you and give me proper food"?

Just last week, i attended Toastmasters and i suppose accountants being accountants, jokes being their jokes, everything was centered around the gloomy recession. If anything, only the fellow was laughing his arse off, what a "bright" life.

So i suppose with the last ring on the head, a series of photographs coincidentally appears at the right time on Flickr from a somewhat humble restaurant situated a 2 minute walk from my dad's office.

I suppose this would be very suitable in this so call "down turn" when you have to eat as a horde and won't burn the cash by the pile.

Complimentary Free Soup, isn't this a good beginning? A bit too salty for our liking.

The Dong Po Rou, was a beauty to admire and see. The layers of fat opening up like a flower to reveal chunks of lean meat served with a flavourful sauce. Pity, we didn't have any mantau to wipe up the sauce.

Their home made deep fried bean curd sprinkled with a kind of salt; suspiciously tasted like chicken salt. Regardless the minced meat and bean curd combination matched well, if only they did a sauce instead, so it could have suited the kids better.

The Mutton Claypot. The mutton smell was pungent, the sauce abit too watery, didn't think too much of this.

Now i cant remember what chicken this was called, but essentially its steamed chicken with a cornflour laden gravy with some mixed vegetables. The sauce was rather tasteless, if only a bit more oyster sauce and this would make a good dish.

A healthy mixed vegetables; lotus root and celery playing the main characters.

Another simple vegetable, the amaranth ("yuen choy", is it ar?) with superior soup. Sweet from the wolf berries and flavour from the garlic cloves.

Then came time for the fishes.

Savour the days when you can order garoupa, firm and sweet. Steamed well and a hit among the kids (inclusive of me).

A fish for the future? The cheaper but versatile tilapia. Done here "lai you" style with the shreds of egg flakes.

Overall, not a place to tickle your taste buds, this is not the time to do so (recession remember?) but finding budget places that can fill up your stomach without having to suffer from rubbish food. The food at times bland can always be sorted out with some soya sauce and fresh red chillies and the price was quite reasonable (well reasonable enough for the Dad to keep quiet and come back again).

Address and contact details:
28,Jalan 14/149L,Sri Petaling,
Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-90565808 & 012-3281398(May)

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Edible, cheap and reasonable, to come back again? Why, not?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nolboo Korean Restaurant @ Sunway Pyramid (Old Wing)

Nolboo has been around in Sunway since the hey days of ice skating and way before the huge extension was even in his diapers. Opened by a Korean family and manned by the lady boss, they serve some humble korean delights with continuous efforts to revamp the menu to suit the local taste buds. Apparently Nol Boo is a name of a the korean "Scrooge" in one of the folk stories and the family thought what a perfect name for a restaurant, to earn money the hard way.

How do i know so much? My dear university friend's mom is the owner.

So where else can one spend some time catching up other than in his own restaurant?

Looking more like a cafe, because of the small size, at full capacity, the place can probably fit around 30 people at max.

Flipping through the menu, this was a clear example of what innovation Auntie had put in. Clearly not very korean, even my friend said so, this was bulgogi down in a more watered down style.

Being in a smaller place, the number of side dishes are much less when you compare to a full fledge restaurant. Only 3 side dishes.

Once the beef is cooked and turns to the familiar brown, the whole pot is ready for consumption. I found the dish not overwhelming, rather light on the flavours but neither bland. In a way suitable for a light dinner if you choose to skip the rice, as you can happily dig into the crystal noodles ("tang hun") while eating the well seasoned beef.

Dakdori Tang (RM 26) - Chicken cooked with seasoned korean sauce (non spicy). The broth was hot and soothing for a cold day, the healthier side as opposed to the heaty BBQ. The meat was falling of its bones after being simmered evidently for a good number of hours. Seriously reminded me of home cooked food, so you can imagine what this may be like for the odd korean soul in Malaysia?

I was also dying to eat the korean pancake, and it was the Haemool Pajeon or Pajun. Apparently the authenthic version is thick with flour and chokeful of ingredients, so i was told. However those who had started the trend of eating korean cuisine, had made this thin but yet charge the expensive price. This doesnt come cheap too over here at RM22.

Drinks wise, order the fresh juices for RM6 (best deal of the lot). It is unfortunate but the only way one can recover the exorbitant rentals in shopping complexes is to make ridiculous markup on drinks, thus those looking for tea will be charged RM 5 a cup (free refill). Can't blame the Koreans, it looks like they are more shrewd business people than the chinese.

We ordered the Rocky to share. Red bean topping, fresh fruits and fine shaven ice, funny combination but lip smacking delicious (RM8).

Address and contact details:

LL2.38(A), Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall,
No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Tel: 03 7494 0238

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Whilst it is not a full blown korean cuisine experience and the prices are not dirt cheap, throw those aside and what you get is another one of those home cooked experience in the middle of a shopping complex. Perfect for those koreans in Malaysia, because you can probably catch my friend manning the shop when he is free and for those who want a quick meal.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Canton Fare @ Plaza Damansara

With a bold statement of a tagline "the King of Roast", the sarcasm and arrogance that one can derive from Canton Fare is enough to warrant a visit.

In any case, after a rather sedated dinner of porridge the night before, the cravings for roast meat in particular duck, struck again. With an errand to run to in Damansara, the arrow was struck and we walked in.

Only two stomachs to fill, a generous list of items from roast meats to cooked dishes, we went for the most obvious dish, the mixed roast (3 choice) platter and a vegetable. The dishes can wait if this fulfilled the role as King of Roast.

Roast duck was rather disappointing. The skin wasn't crispy but the cut of meat was thick and generous, with the bonus of the bones being separated from the meat. Has it got to be juicy meat vs crispy skin?

The Roast Pork (siu yoke) was good as some claimed to be. Although the notorious 1st position goes to Pudu because of the thick layer of fat, this was much more neutral for the cholesterol level and tasted very well with the oil rice.

The Char Siew was disappointing in the aspect of the cut used. Way too lean, but the marinade was done right and well, minus all the bad and black sinful burnt charcoal bits. Make sure you get them to cut the half fat and half lean bits for you.

The platter (RM30)

Vegetables as fibre and in this case the Claypot Eggplant with Minced Meat. A good dish to accompany the oil rice again (RM 15?).

Did i not say the oil rice was good? Must be the sin involved, i tell you.

Address and contact details:

71G, Jalan Medan Setia 1,
Plaza Damansara Bukit Damansara,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03- 2093 5279

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. I think a more humble tagline should be used instead of the King of Roast, as my favourite roast duck will forever be in Bayswater, char siew in Jalan Alor and siu yoke in Pudu. Maybe these 3 can get together to be the King of Roast instead? However that being said, it is nice to get decent quality of each meat under one roof, and the crowd wasn't really busy (then again, it was new year eve lunch time). Worthwhile trying out the other dishes around.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bangkok Tom Yam @ Petaling Jaya, Old Town

I ponder at the fact; how every working soul tomorrow, will miraculously get back to their usual 7am waking up routine and get to work, seating in front of their desktop and living life another year, just like the last.

I ponder after taking a break from the usual routine of blogging, how my post would sound and read like, in 2009.

If it is anything but comforting, it is coming out (the writing process), bit by bit, crudely put, like suffering from constipation. The brain cells are clearly still asleep whilst the body been spared the weekly gym workout.

As we make way for 2009, we shall firstly clear up 2008.

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The place which looks more like a corner lot dingy old house is also known as Bangkok Tom Yam. Hidden in the old side of Petaling Jaya, it houses a kitchen manned or in this case "womanned" by 3-4 ladies, with the chef hailing from Thailand.


Dishing out their killer Tom Yam Fish Head, another killer fact is the price. Their fish head pieces don't come cheap, ranging from at least RM 50 to RM 80 for pieces that you can count with your two hands. Add an additional piece of ikan kurau and that pot will easily cost you RM 120- RM150 if you are not careful.


The tom yam is on the thick side, tangy and spicy, with the ability to take control over the hand to scoop spoonfuls of it into your throat, to give that burning sensation. Despite the price scare, the fish was fresh and firm. It is definitely a seating on the fence when you have to judge whether the dish is worth its price.

The chicken feet kerabu was probably to blame for the wide open appetite. Tangy, spicy, crunchy it was an excellent starter.

The pork ribs, with my failing memory was well flavoured and almost warranted another plate, thank god we restrained with that big bill at the end.

The Fu Yong Egg dish was the usual omelette dish that one can cook at home, minus the "wok hei".

The Heavenly Four Kings was scrumptious as it was full of flavour, with the real deal petai being thrown into the dish. Warning, close interaction with the opposite sex should be avoided after partaking in this experience.

The Lala was done kam heong style with the refreshing addition of basil leaves which gave it a minty aftertaste.

The damage among the 5 of us was a costly RM50 per person. Judging from the "ambience" and the state of the sparsely equipped kitchen, RM 50 was on the pricey side. Then again, you could to take into consideration that the fish was probably purchased at almost near market price (lack of quantity purchased, a Coleman ice box was all they had) and the home cook experience is i suppose priceless.

Address and contact details:

23, Jalan 2/23, 46000, PJ Old Town (opposite GeorgeTown Pharmarcy)

Tel: 03-7782 4469, 012-617 1862

Opening hours: 11.00am - 2.00pm, 5.00pm - 10.00pm

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Pity the price because the food was definitely surprisingly good and probably warrant another time eventhough i am not the biggest fan of tom yam.

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With that wishing everyone a nice 2009 year ahead.