Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The best hot soup in Kajang ?

A recent edition of the Ho Chak TV series highlighted a place in Sg Chua, Kajang which is supposedly famous for it's hot soup. Now we had been frequenting the featured place, Ah Hee's Hot Soup, many years ago and yes, they are pretty decent. But ask any Kajang foodie worth his or her salt and they would point you in the direction of another Hot Soup place nearby, Restoran Siaw Kah Kampung Ayam Sup Pedas. In fact, if you frequent the area like we do, you would notice that Siaw Kah is always crowded and Ah Hee is less crowded.
The fascade of Siaw Kah
Anyway, just to check if there had been any changes to the Hot Soup (since we had not been there for a few years), I went by to Ah Hee yesterday to ta-pau some Hot Soup back home. The consensus of Ros, my mother-in-law and myself is that Siaw Kah is still very much better. But don't take our word for it. Give it a try yourself and make your choice.

Other dishes to try (at both places) are the rice wine claypot chicken (fa diu kai), pork belly in claypot and otak-otak.

Location : No. 278, Jalan Berjaya 8, Taman Berjaya, Sungai Chua, Kajang (Ah Hee's is located in the row of shops just behind Siaw Kah)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Kedai Makan New Eastern, Muar

On a recent trip to Johor Bahru, we decided to stay over in Muar. The latter has a reputation as the food capital of Johor rather than JB, the state capital. It was a pretty short visit and besides the famous Merlin Restaurant (look out for a separate post on this restaurant) we had a blast from the past at a place called Kedai Makan New Eastern.

The fascade dates back to 1936

The menu is pretty much Hainanese fare, with the Chicken Chop looking prominent. Other interesting items were steamed prawn, assam fish and a very interesting "ayam goreng samsu" (hmmmm ... the sign prominently reads "Ditanggung Halal" ?).
The Menu from a different era.

We had the Chicken Chop and Fried Rice and both were good.
 The Chicken Chop was served with a perfectly soft bull's eye

The fried rice especially was well executed - not oily and fluffy with individual grains and with nice plump medium sized prawns.
 The excellent Fried Rice

What struck me most about this place was the private family booths - something that has now become extinct in the Klang Valley. This took me back some 30 years, to the coffee shops of the 60s and 70s. Priceless. I hope they preserve this place for posterity.
Kopitiam chairs and private booths
This place is worth a visit, if not for the food, then just for the trip down memory lane.

Location : 86, Jalan Abdullah, Muar

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Restoran Sg Jelok

Now this is a restaurant that we've been frequenting for a very long time. It used to be the place to go when we wanted to satisfy our crab cravings. But prices kept increasing and crabs were sometimes unavailable, so we had not been visiting this place for some time now.

Steamed tilapia in cheong cheng sauce

Taste-wise, it was pretty good. Texture wise, the chillies were ground too coarsely, leaving lots of whole seeds. The seeds tend to get stuck on your teeth, which is quite irritating. At RM21 for a small  but fresh fish, it was reasonably priced.
Verdict : Good

Sizzling otak-otak

We saw a sign displayed at the restaurant promoting their otak-otak (spicy fish paste cake). When we inquired, we were recommended the "sizzling" otak-otak. When it arrived at the table however, it was not sizzling. In fact, I would have described the dish as "steamed otak-otak on an omelette served on a hot plate". The hot plate was not even hot enough to singe the cucumbers. Perhaps the hot plate and egg justified the RM15 price instead of the usual RM8-RM10 for a plain steamed or fried otak-otak ?
Verdict : OK only (considering the price)

Four beans in sambal

This came with baby french beans (instead of the usual long beans), four angle beans, petai and lady's finger slices (which is technically not a type of bean!). It was a pretty small serving but taste wise, it was excellent with enough dried prawns to give it a nice flavor base. RM8.00 for this dish.
Verdict : Excellent

Food here is pretty good, only reason why we don't frequent this place more often is because of the slightly high prices. But it's one of the few places in Kajang to go for crabs. The crab fried with mee-hoon is a dish to try here.

Location : Beside the traffic light junction as you turn into Sungai Jelok (the road leading to the Kajang Prison)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Fook Loy Restaurant again

Our inaugural blog entry was about this restaurant, so its about time we did an update review of the food here. On a recent visit, we decided to try some new dishes we'd seen on some other blogs about this restaurant.

Tilapia in a claypot
Actually, I wanted a dish I had seen in another blog described as “suan yee”. Something was lost in the translation and what we ended up with was a fried tilapia in a claypot topped with a Cantonese style mixed vegetable eggy gravy. Despite the mix-up, the dish turned out pretty good. Actually, I would recommend it– with lots of vegetables and a whole fish, it would make an excellent 1 dish meal.
Verdict : Good

Dried oyster in fish paste

This was another dish from the same blog. It was my first time having this and it did have a pretty fishy smell. But taste wise, it gets my thumbs up.
Verdict : Good

Taufoo with small prawns
Another dish that was not what we intended. Gd wanted plain steamed taufoo topped with dried shrimp. Again lost in the translation and we ended up with braised taufoo with small fresh prawns. The prawn gravy was pretty bland.
Verdict : OK

Butter prawns in yam ring 
Yet another dish that was lost in the translation (it was one of those days !!!). What was supposed to be mantis prawn done kung po style in a yam basket, turned out as butter prawns in a yam basket. The medium sized prawns were fried till crisp and the yam ring was also suitably well fried. This dish was polished off in seconds - so much so that I only got to try 1 prawn :-(  .That says a lot about the taste though.
Verdict : Very good

Pucuk paku (fern shoots) fried in belacan
This was done nicely and tasty enough.
Verdict : Good
Loh hon chai
This stir fried mixed vegetable dish was done nicely too with 3 types of mushrooms, bean curd sheets, baby corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and kailan. Recommended for vegetarians.
Verdict : Very good

Despite 3 out 6 dishes being mixed up, I still give this place the thumbs up. Food is consistently good and prices are pretty reasonable. Dinner for 7 of us with all the above came to RM138. It would be a good idea to repeat your orders though.

Location : No 61, Jalan Kima, Sg Chua, Kajang (at the junction of the road leading to the Jade Hills project)
Contact : 03-87333985

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dangerous Creations on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Ros, my wife, says that I am very ‘dangerous’ in the kitchen. I like to improvise when cooking, with a “anything goes” philosophy. So every time I go into the kitchen, something different emerges. In fact, its also “never the same thing twice” for the same reason.

I was home alone last Sunday and feeling too lazy to drive out for lunch. Looking around, I found 2 pieces of carrot cake that Ros had bought for breakfast but had not eaten. In the fridge I found some left over pork rendang (this had been in the fridge for weeks) and a pack of wild boar curry. Carrot cake is not one of my favorites and I prefer the stir-fried version with the addition of some bean sprouts, onion shoots and garlic that you find at some Dim Sum places. So I thought, why not create something with the leftovers?

Carrot cake with pork rendang
Ros made the pork rendang using lean pork cut into small pieces. Now pork is actually not a good meat for cooking rendang, especially lean pork when cut into small pieces which cooks very quickly. The result is that the meat breaks up after cooking for some time. It tastes good and is OK to eat with rice but not quite right with the small broken up bits of meat – making it almost like serunding actually. A more tough meat (wild boar perhaps) may have been a better choice. So that explains the left over pork rendang. I just chucked some into a hot non-stick pan, added some dried chilli shrimp sambal from a bottle for some added flavor and heat and mixed in the diced carrot cake. Wallah! a new fusion creation is born – carrot cake with pork rendang. I left a little for Ros to taste when she got back home and it got the thumbs up from her too.

Carrot cake with wild boar curry

The wild boar curry (I’m not sure where Ros bought this from) was sufficiently spicy and already with enough gravy, so I did not have to tweak it further. Just heated it in the pan and added the cubed carrot cake. Presto! another great fusion creation.
I was so pleased with the results, I took some photos to share with everyone. Blending Indian and Chinese food holds endless possibilities. How about a murtabak with chopped “siew yoke” filling or tosai with “kung po” prawns ? Now you know why I’m dangerous in the kitchen ……

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Restoran 52 - Again

We hadn't been to Restoran 52 for some time but a recent chat with my colleague, Derek about this place prompted me to go here again.

We had the Guinness pai kuat (still good), spinach soup with century egg and fish fingers (the best I've had) and fried chicken wings (thumbs up again).
This time, we wanted to try a different fish preparation, so the captain suggested 'lai sar yee'.If you recall, the place thats popular for lai sar yee is Tai Mah, also in Semenyih. We gave it a try and I must say that I was very happy we did. The fish was not as well fried and crispy as the other place but it was nice, fresh and tasty.

The plus point for their version was the pickled cucumber and onion salad, which was served on another plate. Sliced finely and with sufficient vinegar to give it a nice tangy taste, it was a perfect accompaniment for the fish and grainy fried bits.
Verdict : Very good

Stir fried bitter gourd with salted egg. This was done just right. The bitter gourd was nicely bitter and crunchy and the salted egg pieces made it palatable. Gd did not like this very much but it was appreciated by my MIL & SIL. Plus points for it being healthy dish too.
Verdict : Very good

Apologies for the slightly blur images - taken on my handphone - forgot my camera.

Location:-52 Jalan Sungai Lalang
Contact : 87238733 or 0126439892