Thursday, 16 April 2015

Sibu - A quick guide

Here's some highlights from a recent short trip to Sibu, Sarawak.

A must try is the 'Kompia', a localization of 'Kong Piah' or King of Biscuits? It's actually just a oven baked plain bun but is usually served stuffed with meat or other fillings. This was one stuffed with a sweet chicken filling from Sarawak's  ubiquitous Sugar Bun franchise restaurants. A nice snack indeed.
I managed to try some seafood and this was at a Chinese Muslim restaurant. A word of warning though - many of the seafood available in Sibu are actually obtained from elsewhere so it may not be as fresh as you would expect of a coastal town. And not exactly cheap either.

Traditional biscuits are available on the streets. The two types shown here had peanut paste and red bean paste. Both were good enough for me to pack back home as gifts! 

 
'Kampua' Noodles - perhaps a distant cousin of Kuching's Kolok Mee? Very simple homemade noodles, slightly springy and chewy. Served dry, tossed in pork lard and topped with char siew and chopped spring onions. Definitely a must try when visiting Sibu.

 
I did not have enough time to try some other signature noodle dishes like the river prawn noodles, which is enough reason to make a return visit in future. Maybe take a slow boat ride up to Mukah too.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Gift Tilapia Restaurant @ Seremban

A word of thanks to Sivin Kit for bringing this restaurant to our attention. On a recent visit to Seremban, we made a short detour to try the food here.
A must try would be their signature farm fresh tilapia. We chose the plain steamed tilapia fish with chili padi (birds eye chilli). The fish was indeed fresh and firm. It had a clean taste and no 'muddy' smell. Highly recommended and good value at RM35 (before GST ya). Perhaps one of the best we have ever tried. 
We had to try their version of the Japanese unagi (eel). However their version was made with the humble ikan keli (catfish). The fish had the right amount of fat and was slightly sweet from the sauce. It was very good but could have been better with a little more caramalization and more teriyaki sauce. The bed of shredded cabbage and carrot is a bonus vegetable dish too. Quite good value ar RM15.
The nyonya style Kapitan chicken curry was decent only at RM13 for a small portion.
The paku (fern shoots) with sambal belacan (shrimp paste) was exceptional and highly recommended. For RM10, it's a steal.   
Overall, a great little restaurant. Lunch time is a good time to visit as it gets crowded come dinner time. We'll definitely be back to try more. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Location:   No.11, Lorong Merbok 6/1, Taman Bunga Blossom, 70100 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
Contact :  010-251 5340

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Kedai Makan Pok Nik @ Sg Ramal

A random link on Facebook lead me to Kedai Makan Pok Nik in Sg Ramal. I read a few good reviews about the place as well and decided to give it a try during the CNY holidays recently. The food was packed for take-away so my  apologies as appearance is not so appealing. 
Nasi Dagang Ikan Tongkol - RM6.50
First up, the Nasi Dagang. Brown rice - check; thick kuah ikan tongkol - check; pickled cucumber - nope; salted egg - nope; solok lada - nope. Instead, there was a red chilli, half a hard-boiled egg and some spicy brinjal. Overall the taste was good. I would recommend the Nasi Dagang here. 
Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar - RM6.00
Next up, the Nasi Kerabu. I decided to have it with the Daging Bakar (Grilled Beef). Blue rice - nope; raw vegetables - check (albeit very stingy with this); kerisik and sauces - check (but not really sufficient); daging bakar - check (but too tough and stringy). There was also a packet of gravy included which added some taste to the otherwise bland rice (due mainly to lack of ingredients). If only they were more generous with the ingredients......
Nasi Lemak (RM3.00)
I also packed a Nasi Lemak which was packed in a styrofoam box. The sambal had a real chilli kick. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give this a 4.5 on the heat scale. However overall taste-wise, it was not particularly outstanding. 
Lompat Tikam (RM4.00)
Kelantanese kuih such as Lompat Tikam were available although I did not have any. I understand that more kuih are available on normal days but their kuih maker was on leave ? 
The Breakfast menu
Overall I would only recommend the Nasi Dagang. I would return for that and also to try the Laksam. It's close to the highway, so if you're travelling south and need a convenient place for breakfast near the highway, give this a try.
 
Location : Jalan Ramal 2, Taman Ramal Indah, Sg Ramal, 43000 Kajang
Contact : 012-501 5194
Facebook Link :  https://www.facebook.com/KedaiMakanPokNik?fref=ts

 

Kafe Vietnam @ Bandar Puteri Puchong

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone celebrating! It's a long weekend and with most Chinese restaurants closed, we decided to venture further for something different. That's how we ended up in a quiet part of Bandar Puteri Puchong is a nice little cafe  called Kafe Vietnam. Note the mannequin dressed in Ao Dai (traditional Viet costume) outside that seems to be calling you to enter.

The quintessential Vietnamese starter - Cuon Tom or fresh spring rolls - with fresh herbs and prawns - a great start to any meal. Dip it in the spicy peanut sauce for full effect.
Fresh spring rolls - RM7.90
Next, Goi Rau Cau Tom Thit - a pork, prawn and jelly salad. Sounds weird on paper but it came together very well on the dish. Best when scooped up and eaten with the provided prawn crackers. 
Salad of prawn, pork and jelly served with crackers _RM13.90
Another quintessential Vietnamese dish, Bahn Xeo - a crispy crepe with various fillings. This one came with slices of pork and prawns. Best eaten wrapped in the salad leaves and dipped in the accompanying chilli sauce. 
Bahn Xeo - RM15.90
For many, Pho is to Vietnamese food what laksa is to Malaysian food. There are many variations, and this this premium version of Pho Bo Dac Biet came with tender slices of beef, brisket, tendons and beef balls in a light but flavorful broth. Add whatever herbs and vegetables you wish and a squeeze of lime or some chilli padi or fish sauce. This would be a perfect brunch for me.
Pho Bo Dac Biet - RM16.90
A dish that is found everywhere in Vietnam is Com Tam (broken rice), almost like chicken rice in Malaysia. Usually served with pork chop or fried chicken, other side dishes are a sunny side up and runny egg, a slice of steamed minced pork and egg, pickled vegetables and slices of tomato and cucumber. The marinated pork chop here is flavorful and is a perfect foil for the broken rice. A simple dish that I could happily eat everyday.     
Com Tam - RM14.90
Another noodle dish, Bun Moc is a rice noodles soup with various pork ball, minced pork slices, pork cuts and sprinkling of fresh spring onions and herbs as well as fried shallots. Again, you can add fresh herbs, lime or chillies to your own taste but for me, the stock was flavorful enough as it was.  
Bun Moc - RM14.90
For the Lunar New Year or Tet Festival as it is known in Vietnam, a rice dumpling similar to the Chinese chang is served. They did not have the dumpling but we sampled Com Chien La Sen a fried rice in lotus leaf. The lotus leaf imparts a lovely fragrance to the rice, which is fried with slices of pork sausages.  
Com Chien La Sen (Fried Rice in Lotus Leaf) - RM19.90 for 2 pax
The iced coffee is thick, strong and sweet just like in Vietnam. Highly recommended as well. You can also pick up Vietnamese coffee, instant noodles, fish sauce, rice paper, pickles and a few other  supplies from the store. 
A lovely place for a weekend brunch, we understand that it is considerable crowded at dinner time.  
Overall, this was a great find. The food took me back to my trip to Ho Chi Minh City. We spotted groups of Vietnamese workers eating here too, so the food must be pretty authentic for them to be here too. Service was lovely too since it was pretty quiet when we visited.  Possibly the best Vietnamese restaurant in Klang Valley? Give it a try and tell us what you think.
 
Location : No 1, Jalan Puteri 4/1, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong
Contact : 03-80527472  

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Food Taiwan Restaurant @ Bandar Teknologi, Kajang

Fans of Taiwanese food can rejoice with the opening of a new restaurant tucked away in a obscure location in Bandar Teknologi Kajang.

 
Looking  like a normal coffee shop, it offers up some variations to the usual local fare. These include:-
Beef noodles - a thick beef stew  with springy noodles. It was a little salty and just average in taste.
Fried rice with pork. Very generous with the pork but rather average taste. 
The highlight of the visit - the famed Taiwanese Stinky Taufoo. And wow, did it stink. This was a real Fear Factor moment for me. Both Ros and Jeremy were nauseous from the smell so it was left to me to wolf it down. The first mouthful smelt like sewage in my mouth. And the chilli topping and pickled cabbage did little to add flavor to this dish. It tasted flat and disgusting. Anyway, as per my personal motto - I'll try anything once - I persevered and finished the whole plate. And for that, I was left with a disgusting taste and smell in my mouth for the rest of the day! Once is enough for me unfortunately.
The desserts here were more promising though. This red bean, grass jelly and bubble tea thingy was huge for RM6.90 (I think) and enough for 3 persons.  
The honey tea was thick and nice. Enough for two persons too.

Overall, this is a nice little Taiwanese cafe. Go for the desserts and snacks. 

Location :  No 3 Jalan 1/3, Seksyen 1, Bandar Teknologi Kajang, Off Jalan Semenyih, Kajang
No 1 Jalan 1/3, Seksyen 1, Bandar Teknologi Kajang, Selangor Darul, Seminyih, Selangor, Malaysia - See more at: http://my.nusalist.com/restaurants/all/2.965659/101.826843/no-2-jalan-p21-bandar-teknologi-kajang-43500-semenyih-selangorno-2-jalan-p21-bandar-teknologi-kajang-43500-semenyih-selangor-malaysia#sthash.YFdwcdB6.dpuf
No 1 Jalan 1/3, Seksyen 1, Bandar Teknologi Kajang, Selangor Darul, Seminyih, Selangor, Malaysia - See more at: http://my.nusalist.com/restaurants/all/2.965659/101.826843/no-2-jalan-p21-bandar-teknologi-kajang-43500-semenyih-selangorno-2-jalan-p21-bandar-teknologi-kajang-43500-semenyih-selangor-malaysia#sthash.YFdwcdB6.dpuf

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Narak Tomyam aka Kak Su Nasi Kerabu dan Nasi Berlauk @ Batu 12 Jalan Cheras

I'm  always in search of good nasi kerabu and I chanced upon a spot in Batu 12 Cheras when I was there recently to fit new tyres for my car. Batu 12 Cheras is a rather quiet kampung area after the SILK highway bypassed this stretch of road and it is dominated by used car dealers. Narak Tomyam is situated between used car dealers and is rather difficult to spot initially. Look out for the Perodua dealership and service centre and this outlet is located somewhere on the opposite side of the road.
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The frontage of Narak Tomyam
I had to try their signature nasi kerabu (rice with shredded herbs) and chose to have it with another East Coast favorite, ayam percik (barbecued chicken coated in a spicy sauce). The nasi kerabu had sufficient amounts of herbs but maybe too much bean sprouts (taugeh) for my liking. There was enough gravy, sambal and budu (fish sauce) as well. Only thing missing was some crispy keropok (fish crackers). I should have asked for some as they did have it in sealed plastic bags.
The best nasi kerabu in Kajang?
The ayam percik was tender and tasty. Thumbs up. 
Grilled fish, sambals (on the left side) and lots of dishes on display

There's a wide array of lauk (dishes) including ikan bakar (grilled fish), ulam (raw vegetables) and curries.
The ikan and ayam percik
Various ulam (raw vegetables)
This is a great breakfast and lunch place for some authentic Kelantanese fare. They open early but some dishes may only be available closer to lunch. Possibly the best nasi kerabu in Kajang. Do give it a try and leave a comment about what you think.

Location : Narak Tomyam, JC80 Lot 717, Batu 12 Jalan Cheras, 43200 Kajang
Contact : 016-2752070
 

Friday, 21 November 2014

IOI City Mall - New food haven

We made a pre-opening visit to the spanking new IOI City Mall. We spotted lots of new restaurants and outlets there with great potential. Here are a few that we plan to try in the near future :-