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Bangkok, Thailand - American Fried Rice @ Silom Village Restaurant, Suvarnabhumi

I absolutely *loved* it - but I guess growing up consuming strong-smelling variations of fermented stuff (Penang "belachan", Kelantanese "budu", besides "kapi" and "nam pla") has pretty much ensured that my palate has been conditioned from young.

about 22 hours ago
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Bangkok, Thailand - American Fried Rice @ Silom Village Restaurant, Suvarnabhumi

"Stinky" but in a "nice" way - like Limberger or Stilton ;-)

P.S. - Do you like it?

Bangkok, Thailand - American Fried Rice @ Silom Village Restaurant, Suvarnabhumi

It's "khao kluk kapi" (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ) - I agree: very addictive.

Penang, Malaysia - Murtabaks from Hameediyah Indian-Muslim Restaurant

We didn't try the murtabak there the last time, but we had bull's penis soup - better than I expected:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/991222

Feb 27, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

What are these small wooden utensils for?

LOL! That's a good idea.

Feb 25, 2015
klyeoh in Cookware

[Penang] Deen Nasi Kandar at Toon Leong, corner of Argyll Road & Transfer Road

Deen Nasi Kandar stall at Toon Leong coffeeshop has been operating at the same spot for more than 80 years now - the current stallholder, Sirajudeen, is the great-grandson of the original owner. Deen is one of the most popular 'nasi kandar' spots in Penang - its clientele are largely locals, in comparison to its better-known rivals, Line Clear on Penang Road and Nasi Kandar Beratur on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling (Pitt Street).

Toon Leong coffeeshop is still owned by the Teoh family since the 1930s.

Feb 24, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

What are these small wooden utensils for?

They are too small for the job. My first thought was also to do with crabs, actually - that these might be used to pick the flesh from the inside of crab legs.

Feb 23, 2015
klyeoh in Cookware

What are these small wooden utensils for?

A friend found a bunch of these wooden utensils among her granny's chopsticks, but have no idea what they are for.

The utensils are chopstick-sized. Anyone has any idea?

Feb 22, 2015
klyeoh in Cookware

Kuala Lumpur - Best Roast Pork at Wong Kee

I normally try to post as fast as possible, as my notes accumulate rather alarmingly over time. I'd not written about dozens, if not hundreds of places - hawker stalls, market places, traditional eateries, etc. in Singapore - by now, most of my notes may be outdated.

Feb 20, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Best Roast Pork at Wong Kee

Same here - I prefer HK ones - KL ones are a bit too sweet sometimes.

Feb 20, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Best Roast Pork at Wong Kee

Back to Wong Kee again last week - also got to see how they prepared their famous crisp-skinned roast pork ("siu-yuk") and BBQ caramelised pork ("char-siu") - in customised "ovens" fashioned from old oil drums! Amazing how such spartan equipment can produce such stellar quality stuff.

Feb 20, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Durian Season in Johore, Malaysia

Not exactly "easy" for tourists since durian pop-up stands usually appear in HDB estates (i.e. local residential areas) away from the city centre where foreign visitors frequent. At the moment, one of the popular spots is Ah Seng Durian stall at Blk 20 #01-197 Ghim Moh Market.

But do let me know when you're in Singapore & where you're staying, and I can direct you to one near your hotel.

Feb 19, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Chinese New Year 2015 - Different Chinese dialect groups and their CNY dishes

Eu Yan Sang's commercial features the 7 major dialect groups in Malaysia - Hakka, Chaozhou (Teochew), Cantonese, Guangxi, Fujianese (Hokkien), Hainanese, Fuzhou - and the dishes each dialect group regard as auspicious for the Chinese New Year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Tlk...

Durian Season in Johore, Malaysia

Sign on-board a public bus in Malaysia: no durians!

Feb 18, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Durian Season in Johore, Malaysia

It's durian season again - Feb/Mar is when the durians in Malaysia's southern state of Johore, opposite Singapore, are available.

We tried a couple of top-range "Mao Shan Wang" breed - the best there is in Malaysia. Characterised by their thick, pungent flesh, these durians were to-die for by durian fans like me.

We had two of the durians: the smaller one (Pic 1) was priced at MYR95 (US$26) and the larger one (Pics 2 & 3) was MYR145 (US$40). Worth every cent!

Durian season in Penang, Malaysia (another state which produces top quality durians) is in June/July, whereas Pahang follows on in Aug/Sep.

Singapore imports most of our durians from these Malaysian states.

Feb 18, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Penang] The Malay Dining Icon that is Minah Restaurant

I still have vivid memories of my first time in Minah Restaurant. It was 1969 and, by then, the restaurant had been operating for over a decade and had gained a reputation locally as the best Malay restaurant in Penang. In fact, Penang's Muslim food industry is usually dominated by Indian-Muslims: Moplah-Muslims from Kerala, Jawi-Muslims which were formed from inter-marriages between local Malays and migrants from Northern India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even as far afield as Yemeni/Hadramawti Arabs. But Minah Restaurant trascended all that - it offers 100% local Penang-Malay cuisine, and a kick-ass chicken curry which was so beautiful, I still remembered my first smell of its intoxicating fragrance until now.

I was back at Minah Restaurant for lunch yesterday. It's still at its original location in Bukit Gelugor. But a busy 4-lane highway passes in front of it now, not the small, quiet, leafy country road I remembered from five decades back. Minah herself, that imposing, feisty lady who could cook up a storm and ruled over her kitchen with an iron fist, had passed on a few years ago. Her daughter now ran the place.

The restaurant has doubled in size, and now occupied two shophouse units - with a large, airy open kitchen behind.

What we had:

Feb 18, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Ipoh, Malaysia] 'Tau Fu Fah' (豆腐花) from Funny Mountain (奇峰豆腐花)

Funny Mountain is one of Ipoh's foodie destination, known for its smooth, velvety-soft soybean curd or "tau fu fah" (豆腐花) since 1952. This tofu pudding is very popular among Ipoh's large Chinese populace as a dessert, and its location quite close to many of Ipoh Old Town's popular eateries like Lou Wong chicken rice restaurant (3 minutes' walk away) is a definite plus.

The servings are small - layers of soft curds slathered with a viscuous, not-too-sweet syrup. There seemed to be an eager crowd around at all times.

Address
========
Funny Mountain (奇峰豆腐花)
49, Jalan Theatre
Taman Jubilee
30300 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: +6012-588 6167

Feb 18, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Unique authentic dining experience in Macao

Try Restaurante Alberque in the St. Lazarus Quarter:
http://hk-magazine.com/travel/article...

Feb 17, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Penang] HK's Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle lands in Georgetown

No, Charles - there's still no matching the quality in HK for wanton noodles. Tasty in HK sets a new benchmark for its superb noodle texture.

Feb 17, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Penang] HK's Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle lands in Georgetown

The skill of their HK dim sum chefs obviously showing through. Very well-marinated filling, too - fresh prawns with bamboo shoots in chicken stock.

Feb 17, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Singapore Hawker Food Options at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel

Yup, Beijing's 'Made in China' is a great effort by the Hyatt Group folks - a much more developed concept compared to their earlier effort, Mezza9, at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

I rather liked 'Made in China' in its earlier days - large empty spaces and I can walk in anytime - back then, it was one of the very few restaurants in Beijing which I thought felt quite 'hip'. But I heard reservations are very necessary these days.

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Hawker fare at Singapore Food Street, Changi Airport - Terminal 3

Well, whoever came up with the idea to up-sell the foodcourt was sure to get it from the government here.

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Penang] HK's Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle lands in Georgetown

HK's popular Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle restaurant has opened its first outlet outside HK & China at the St Joseph's Novatiate/Gurney Paragon mall in Georgetown, Penang, last week.

Unlike its fellow HK chain, Tim Ho Wan, which franchises out its overseas outlets, Tasty maintains direct control over its first outlet in South-east Asia here. The result was A-authentic flavours, with its experienced HK chefs flown in to man the kitchens, and fronted by HK management here in Penang.

Lunch today:

- Wanton noodles - dry version. The noodles have the *best* texture you'd ever find in this part of the world. The noodles were dressed in sesame oil, dried shrimp roe and other condiments. It was superb.

- Succulent, tasty shrimp dumplings ("har gow"): perfectly flavoured and steamed to perfection.

- Steamed buns with custard and duck's salted egg-yolk filling ("Lau sar bao") with a rich, buttery molten filling that is to-die for.

- Baked BBQ pork pastries ("Char-siu sou") which had deliciously BBQ pork moist filling, but a dry-ish pastry exterior which should be improved upon when the restaurant settles down.

This place has all the makings to be the best noodle spot on the island - must-not-miss!

Address
========
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop
Shop L5.01, Level 5, Gurney Paragon
Gurney Drive, 10250 Penang
Tel: +604-2189378

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Singapore Hawker Food Options at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel

That old place was indeed nasty. Clifford Pier replaced it - Made in China was actually owned by the same folks who also own Hutong in HK and its newer branch at the Shard in London.

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Asian cuisine cooks/eaters -- am I off base here?

I also suspected that the restaurant gave you uncooked noodles - they cheated.

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in General Topics

[London] Simpson's-in-the-Strand to close after 187 years?!

Sad :-(

Feb 16, 2015
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Kuala Lumpur KL and Malacca / Melaka trip report (long)

Jalan Alor is still the best-known one due to its proximity to the clubbing area at Changkat Bukit Bintang, Tengkat Tong Shin and the hotels nearby.

I've not come across any other largish night markets like Jalan Alor - but then, KL is not exactly known as a foodie town in Malaysia: Penang, Ipoh and Malacca are.

Feb 14, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

The Beginner’s Field Guide to Dim Sum

Written Chinese is definitely an advantage as it uses one single script compared to spoken dialects, e.g. 'Xie xie' (thank you) in Mandarin is 'Duo jie' in Cantonese, 'Do sia' in Taiwanese/Fujianese, 'Kam siah' in Singaporean-Hokkien, 'boh kai' in Hainanese, 'xia xia' in Shanghainese and 'zoi sia' in Chaozhou (Teochew).

Feb 14, 2015
klyeoh in Food Media & News
1

The Beginner’s Field Guide to Dim Sum

I asked because the different Chinese dialects can be mutually unintelligible - it's akin to trying to "impress" an Italian waiter by speaking French to him.

Feb 13, 2015
klyeoh in Food Media & News

The Beginner’s Field Guide to Dim Sum

Do the cart ladies speak Mandarin? They could be Cantonese.

Feb 13, 2015
klyeoh in Food Media & News