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ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

BTW, I quite liked how this thread was labelled Zongzi aka Chinese Tamales - when I first came across tamales in SF many years ago, I told my folks back home in Singapore, "Hey, they have Mexican "zongzi" here" :-D

about 14 hours ago
klyeoh in San Francisco Bay Area
4

First time in Japan! Is Ebisu the best bet for staying/food?

I agree - it's quite interesting to explore the regional differences as you move south from Tokyo to Kyoto: the miso turns paler, the food less salty, the tempura crispier, the soy sauce milder, ...

about 15 hours ago
klyeoh in Japan

Pakistani Breakfasts

Thanks a lot, tavegyl. I've printed this out for my trip.

I'll be accompanied by a couple of Lahori colleagues, so I should be fine. As a start, they'd already mentioned the following must-visits:
- the legendary Mohammadi Nihari for its cholesterol-busting beef nihari (I'll have to skip the Nali/marrow and Maghaz/goat's brain as I'm on statin pills)
http://www.menu-lahore.com/2010/12/mo...

- Bashir Dar-ul-Mahi for its fried fish
http://www.lahore360.com/bashir-dar-u...

- Lakshmi for its chicken karahi
https://www.facebook.com/RestaurantsU...

As for Bar-BQ Tonite, I'd not been able to visit its Islamabad branch thus far due to the on-going week-old anti-government protests - much of the Red Zone, where the govt. offices plus Bar-BQ Tonite restaurant are located, have been blocked off by army troops - and my company's security department will not let me anywhere near it. Anyway, Bar-BQ Tonite has a branch in Singapore where it offers *everything* we can get here in Pakistan, down to the Paya Curry and Kaleji.

I'll update this board with photos of my Lahore culinary trip in due course.

about 17 hours ago
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Pakistani Breakfasts

Thanks. Any other food items do you think I should not miss here?

about 20 hours ago
klyeoh in India & South Asia

London dining help sought, please.

Those donuts looked positively decadent.

1 day ago
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Top Foodie Films That Will Leave You Hungry For More Than Popcorn and a Choc Top

That was a classic. A friend & I cancelled our planned post-movie meal at a Chinese roast duck restaurant though - we weren't warned of the stomach-churning roasted human scene towards the end of the movie :-D

1 day ago
klyeoh in Food Media & News

[Cheadle, Greater Manchester] Aamchi Mumbai

Ah, the vada pav - reminded me of an old discussion on the India/South-Asia board:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616194

1 day ago
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant [London]

Nice review - thanks! I love Ethiopian food, and am glad to know of any "new" spots that offer it.

1 day ago
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

Islamabad, Pakistan - Uzbek, Pashtun & Central Asian Flavours from Khiva

Khiva prides itself in Central Asian cuisine, spanning a wide swathe of regional cooking, from Uzbeki to Afghan.

What we had this evening:
- Afghani Chicken Boti: fabulous when served hot and fragrant straight from the grill;
- Afghani Veal Tikka: very chewy and gamey - I guess that's the way the locals here like their red meat;
- Osh Palov, Uzbeki brown rice garnished with raisins, julienned carrots and mutton shank: extremely aromatic rice dish with a texture that's to-die for;
- Tandir Samsa, Uzbeki pasties stuffed with spiced minced chicken: my fave dish for the evening - these little parcels of buttery goodness were literally bursting with flavours.
- Uzbeki Non (similar to Naan, studded with sesame seeds): nice and moist on the inside, crisp and delicious on the outside - highly recoommended.
- Waziristan Dum Pukht, which was lamb stew with potatoes, lemons, green chillies and onions. This is a gamey, robust-flavoured dish typical of Pashtun cooking. My colleague hosting the dinner is Pashtun himself, and recommended this dish. It was quite an experience for my tastebuds.

Overall, fab food and pretty authentic, I should say, as evidenced by the largely Pashtun and Central Asian-looking clientele in the well-patronised restaurant.

Address
==========
Khiva
#64, Main Margalla Road
Sector F-6/3
Islamabad
Pakistan
Tel: +92 51 2878788/2824928

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Rawalpindi, Pakistan - Rasmalai from Jamil Sweets

Jamil Sweets of Rawalpindi serves the *best* "Rasmalai" I'd ever had: spongy, soft, buttery oblong-shaped little "paneer" pillows soaked in rich, creamy saffron-flavoured milk.

"Ras" means 'juice' and "malai" means 'cream'. Jamil Sweets is also known for its selection of Pakistani sweets but, for me, its "Rasmalai" is a must-not-miss.

Address
==========
Shop #6, Majeed Plaza
Bank Road, Rawalpindi
Tel: +92 515567091

Shop No. 4 Razzaq Plaza
Chaklala Scheme-III
Rawalpindi
Tel: +92 515766291

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Thanks, TorontoJo - much appreciated :-)

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in Home Cooking
1

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

LOVE kueh lapis - care to share your recipe?

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in Home Cooking

Islamabad, Pakistan - Sweets from United Bakery (need help labelling the sweet items)

Thank God for Chowhounders :-)
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985713

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Islamabad, Pakistan - House of Bombay

Oh, these ones *are* by Coca Cola - the brand's been making in-roads here in Pakistan in a market heavily dominated by Pepsi! There doesn't appear to be any local soda brands which come near these two giants!

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Pakistani Breakfasts

LOL! I think I forgot to mention that I'm currently in Islamabad which is being locked down due to an anti-government march by 100,000 opposition supporters of ex-cricket-star-turned-politician, Imran Khan. They are facing off against 40,000 army troops armed to the teeth. So, our movements here have been severely curtailed due to the road blocks. I hope things quieten down soon (I have another 2 weeks in Pakistan), and still harbouring hopes to go back to the top 3 Islamabad restaurants here:
- BBQ Tonite
- Andaaz restaurant
- Dum Pukht at the Marriott Hotel

I may go to Lahore next weekend - it has infinitely better food than Islamabad.

P.S. - A correction to my original post above: one of my Pakistani friends pointed out to me that Paya Curry is *not* ox-tail, but ox-leg - somewhere near the hoof. One can also opt for lamb-leg Paya Curry.

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

What kind of noodle is this?

ryhen, besides Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City & Taipei, Penang is *THE* place to go for street food eating in the Asia-Pacific region.

BTW, if you ever go back to Yaowarat again (the Thai-Chinese will call the place "Samphaeng"), do try Kuaychiap Oun Pochana - the best I'd tried anywhere in Bangkok:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8325...

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics
1

What kind of noodle is this?

I think the Thais don't really have the concept of "wok hei" (i.e. searing the noodles over very high heat, so one obtains a slightly charred fragrance) for their fried rice, noodles or any cooked dish.

"Pad see yu" is more like braised noodles to the Chinese - Penang-style "char koay teow" is more of a dry-ish stir-fry, with no gravy. In Singapore, we have our own "char koay teow", but with some water added in towards the end of the frying process for a more "gluggy" texture. Singapore "char koay teow" also incorporates sweet dark soysauce, whereas Penang "char koay teow" uses light soysauce. These noodles, although popular among the Chinese in both Singapore & Malaysia are of Teochew origins. The Teochews use "koay teow" or, as it's called in Cantonese "hor fun", whereas the Hokkiens/Fujianese (the largest Chinese dialect group in Singapore & Malaysia) specializes in yellow egg/wheat noodles, called "mee".

The dish below "Sar Hor Fun", another popular noodle dish in Penang, is very similar to Thai "pad see yu", but without the addition of "nam pla" fish sauce which seems to be de rigeur in Thai dishes. This pic was taken at Foo Heong, a 70-plus-years-old Cantonese restaurant in Penang.

Aug 18, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics
1

Pakistani Breakfasts

Pakistani breakfast options have never failed to fascinate me: from "Halwa Poori", sweetened semolina studded with raisins and eaten with airy, chewy poori; to delicious "Niharis", either beef or chicken, slow-stewed overnight till the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and bursting with flavours.

Other dishes served for breakfast include Bhuna Qeema (spicy minced lamb) and Chicken Masala; one can also opt for the Paya Curry - spiced oxtail, or the Kalejji, curried ox-heart. Nothing is too substantial for breakfast in Pakistan.

Channa Masala (chickpeas) and Aloo Bhujia (spice potatoes) complemented the meat-heavy Pakistani diet. Thick, bread-like naans or pan-fried parathas are usually served to mope up the heavily-spiced stews.

Islamabad's cuisine tend to be less spicy than those in Lahore which, in turn, is relatively milder compared to Karachi's spicy, chilli-hot renditions.

Aug 17, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Tipping Point [Hong Kong] - HK's best burger by a mile....!

Not all Chinese, but young Hongkongers seemed to have taken to burgers - the all-pervasive American influence, I'd say. I remembered passing by BLT Burger @ Ocean Terminal last year on a Friday, and was surprised to see a long queue at the entrance.
This burger trend has not caught on in Singapore.

Aug 17, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

What kind of noodle is this?

:-)

Yep, various spellings, but only *one* pronunciation by the Chinese and Thais: "Coo-way chee-up" :-D

This noodle soup dish happens to be my maternal grandfather's favourite food of all time. My maternal grandparents are Thai-Taechew, born in Bangkok's Yaowarat district, but moved to Singapore back in the 1930s. Although Singapore has its own version of the "kway chiap",the soup stock is different in Singapore - less peppery than the Thai version.

My favourite "kway chiap" is actually the version in Penang, where the Teochew-Chinese community came up with a version that's literally to-die for:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8313...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7657...

Aug 16, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

What kind of noodle is this?

It is a type of rice noodle - differentiated by its shape and texture.

Try and look for this brand - Papa from Thailand (availabe globally), though I understand that getting this in Qatar may be a bit of a challenge:
http://instantie.blogspot.in/2012/11/...

Aug 16, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

A few things to get off my chest ...

Mustard in corn chowder - must try that.

Aug 16, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

What kind of noodle is this?

Good post, alkapal.

"Kuay jab" is a Chinese rice noodle of "Chaozhou" (called "Taechew" in Thailand) origins. "Chaozhou" is called "Teochew" in Singapore and "Chiuchow" in Hong Kong and we call this noodle "kway chiap" here in Singapore - you can find it in dry form in most Asian supermarkets in the West.

Aug 16, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Abbottabad, Pakistan - Pakoras from Nathia Gali Aabshar

The hills of Nathia Gali in Abbottabad are breathtakingly beautiful - covered with green forests of cedar, oak & pine. And the best place for a refreshment stop after a long drive through the winding roads there would have to be Nathia Gali Aabshar Restaurant.

Tables and chairs are placed over a stream with ice-cold, clear running water. One must-not-miss item has to be crisp-fried onion pakoras, sprinkled with masala powder. Delish!

Aug 15, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Bhurban, Pakistan - Grilled meats at Nadia

Dinner at Nadia this evening:
- Russian salad: a bit unusual "Western"-style potato and apple salad. Recommended by our waiter as it was apparently very popular with the local diners.
- Reshmi Malai Boti: boneless chicken pieces marinated in spices and cream, then barbecued. Very tasty and aromatic from being barbecued over charcoal.
- Reshmi Seekh Kebab: relatively spicy but nicely-textured.
- Murgh-e-Shalimar: My fave dish for the evening - chicken pieces cooked in lots of minced ginger and scallions.

Dessert: Shahi Kheer - rice-milk pudding: marvellous!

This place offers the best dining option for weekend vacationers from Islamabad and Lahore visiting Murree Hills. Nadia at the Pearl Continental in Bhurban is just a short 20-minutes' drive away, but worlds apart from the relatively more casual eateries in Murree.

Address
=========
Nadia
4th Floor, Pearl Continental Hotel
Bhurban, Murree Hills
Pakistan
Tel: +92 (51) 3355700-34

Aug 14, 2014
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Singapore halal....

Hainanese chicken rice will not use/add any pork fat or pork products. The chicken will not be halal-certified, so if you're not too particular, then do try it.

Ditto Katong laksa - the best-tasting ones are 328 Katong Laksa and Janggut @ Roxy Square. Both are in Katong (East Coast Rd) within 100 metres of each other.

Lots of differing opinions of the best prata - my fave are the ones in Jalan Kayu (Thasevi and Thohirah), though they are a bit far from the city centre.

For murtabak - just go for Zam Zam - its location is fantastic, and you can have quite a bit of shopping & food-hunting done besides.

Aug 14, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Pakistani Sweets - What are they called?

The laddu - it's my fave Indian sweet all along, and the Pakistani version is just as good.

Aug 14, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Pakistani Sweets - What are they called?

Thanks, luckyfatima, will certainly look out for those when I go to Lahore.

Aug 13, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Pakistani Sweets - What are they called?

Pretty tasty, too - and not as sweet as the Indian ones I'd had in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc.

Aug 13, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Pakistani Sweets - What are they called?

I'm pretty fascinated by the sometimes-not-too-subtle differences between Pakistani and Indian sweets - almost like the variance between Singaporean and Malaysian street foods which share the same names but tasted (and looked) different on some cases.

Hope to make a trip to Lahore next weekend to taste Lahori Nihari. I'm told that although one can find quite good niharis in Islamabad, they don't hold a candle to the versions in Lahore.

Aug 13, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics