Saturday, 27 March 2010

Restoran Tai Mah

I just realised that we have now written about this place since we started blogging last year. Considering that this place is a leading contender for our Top 10 list, that a pretty big omission.

This place is famous for their "lai sar yee" (translated as sandy fish?). The tilapia fish is filleted, sliced and deep fried (including the bones) together with something that gives it a grainy texture (hence the name, sandy fish). The fish is served with thinly sliced (julienne) cucumber and onions in a tangy vinegar sauce. Eaten together, the fish and cucumber is just heavenly. Whoever created the combination deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. The fish is usually picked clean with all but the main skeleton of the fish left behind.
Verdict : Excellent (this dish alone is worth the drive to Semenyih)

Another more recent discovery is the braised pork with preserved vegetabled. A typical Hakka dish, the pork belly is cooked with the mui choy until tender and literally melts in the mouth.
Verdict : Excellent

Another close-up pix of the pork belly. Yummy!

Now for those in the know, this is also the best place in Kajang for a reasonably priced bowl of shark's fin soup. I must admit that I was never a big fan of shark's fin, and now with the anti-shark's fin eco movement, I have even less craving for it. But if you have a bent for it, give it a try here. It's a little starchy but it tastes pretty good. Pardon the half empty bowl, I only realized after it was half gone that I hadn't taken my pix yet. Too busy tucking in the good food.
Verdict : Good

Another signature dish here is taufoo topped with
onions, spring onions and mui choy. A simple but well executed dish.
Verdict : Very good.

The green vegetables are generally well executed. Worth trying are the pork and yam, braised taufoo with mushrooms and sweet sour pork. It's a little difficult to find since it's off the main road so I've included the GPS co-ordinates here.

Location : Along the old Semenyih to Bangi road (State Road B18)
E101 50'29.2" N2 56'44.6"

Meng Seng Seafood Resturant

I saw and advertisement for this place in the latest issue of City Explorer (that ad magazine that they drop in your post box) and decided to give it a try yesterday. It was only me and Ros (plus Jeremy of course), so we could not order much.

We decided to have some soup so their signature "Bird Park Spicy Hot Soup" sounded interesting. It's the hot pepper soup but this was hotter than usual. Enough to induce some hiccups out of me! Taste wise, it was only so-so though.
Verdict : So-so

The photo of the "Sze Chuan Hong Siew Yee Tau" looked interesting so we decided to give it a try. The fish head (half a head) was coated in flour and fried. A starch sauce with egg, carrots, capsicums, celery, leeks, onions, lettuce and 'siew yoke' (roasted pork) is then poured over it. The fish was fresh and quite a big portion for just the 2.5 of us. Thankfully, the lady boss had warned us earlier that it was a large portion so we did not order anything else. The generous amount of vegetables in this dish would make it an ideal single dish meal too.
Verdict : Very good

This place is just a shack beside the road. Most tables are in the open, so you can dine El-fresco if the weather is fine. Good enough for us to return to try more dishes in future. Watch this space for updates.

Location : No. 429, Jalan Sekolah, Kampung Baru Sungai Chua, Kajang

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Fish Head Curry @Bangsar

Bangsar? Yes! Bangsar! It is just too addictive that I have to included it here. Just to clarify, our blog handles the travels, including the food found in KL/PJ, as work takes me to KL/PJ all the time. This entry is special, been putting if off for some time now, it is just too addictive to leave out. A must try!

Everyone knows the famous TMC Supermarket in Lucky Gardens, Bangsar and just behind it is a row of aged stalls featuring various types of food. One stands out - the nameless fish head curry stall - right at the end. You can't miss it, it is always packed and during peak, people are queuing up to be served. The multi-lingual bald headed owner I suspect was a stand up comedian in his previous life, listening to him communicate with his workers is like watching a Tamil comedy on TV. He is a comic and he keeps you entertained - its part and parcel of the deal here.

The food is nothing special, really. Fish Head Curry, cooked in huge pots with some ladies finger thrown in, not over done - just right. If you want vegetables, there is some simple boiled taugeh. Just queue up and serve yourself.
The basics here - rice with some fish curry. Then your choice comes: fried fish (small. normally when I don't take a fish head, this is my alternative), fried chicken, fried squid/sotong or if you have 2 or more in your group, you can choose to take a fish head. It comes in various sizes and a verity of fishes.

Since there was 2 other partners in crime this afternoon, decided to take a big fish head (it looked like Ikan Merah). As you can see here, it is just 'plonked' into the plate and served - no dressing up - crude raw stuff. Mind you, we were seated at a make-shift area by the road side, under the trees, placed with movable tables and chairs. The lucky ones were under the DBKL built stall, congested and hot, but no body complains.

Next up, fried chicken! Well marinated and just scooped out of the frying pan - its a must have, to go along with the curry. They keep frying and dishing it out, you can't resist. It has a nice home made taste to it. Very tasty.

Same goes for the fried squid/sotong - big ones, deep fried and served just out of the frying pan. Delicious! It is nice and crunchy (fresh) and goes well with the fish curry. Normally nice big ones, but today it was a bit smaller.

Now put the fish head curry, the chunks of rightly cooked flesh you scoop out of the head, the ladies fingers, the sotong and the fried chicken together, topped up with a dash of taugeh, it makes a perfect mouth watering lunch. I notice everyone stopped talking once food was served, busy eating.

We were seated on the road shoulder behind the stall and observing the people coming here (over the last few months, on previous visits), it ranges from the guy with a Porsche to the foreign workers from TMC. You can get a meal as cheap as RM3.50 or a lavish big fish head curry feast plus all the extras and 2 drinks each for RM60 (RM20 per person) - which in my books is very affordable.

Surgeon General Warning: Let me warn you about the addiction. I first tried this fish head curry about 6 months ago, soon after introduced it to a friend of mine, then another. All of us has since confessed, we get sudden unexplainable urge to drive up to Lucky Garden to have this fish head curry, sometimes eating alone. Why? I suspect some serious addiction to this fish head curry! Don't ask me what they put in the curry, I suspect it is something I can't write here about. We now have a regular once-a-month, Saturday afternoon outing to Bangsar to savour this fish head curry. It is one of a kind.
I'll say its similar to the once-upon-a-time Sentul Fish Head Curry and Hotel Istana's Fish Head Curry - which is just history today. So, rush out to Bangsar, before this becomes history. You won't regret it. Be prepared to queue up and sweat it out, during peak hours. Food is Halal, I term it as Malay-Indian type cooking and it is a typical ALL MALAYSIAN stall - all races. This is the real 1Malaysia Food!