k

klyeoh's Profile

Title Last Reply

[Bangkok, Thailand] Traditional Chinese-Taechiu (Chaozhou) dinner at Tan Jai Yoo, Yaowarat

Tang Jai Yoo is one of the oldest and best-known Taechiu (Chaozhou/Teochew) restaurant in Bangkok's Samphaeng (Chinatown) district. I remembered going there as a toddler over 4 decades ago. It's one of the favourite venues for family celebrations for the Bangkok branch of our clan. Thai-Chinese (especially Bangkokians) are very much assimilated into Thai culture, but at family events, they'll lapse into the Taechiu dialect, and dishes served at Tan Jai Yoo closely reflect the type of cooking one gets in Swatow (Shantou), China, where the Taechius come from.

Dinner this evening:

- Cold jellied ham with goat-flavoured gelatine, accompanied by an asparagus (canned variety)-and-pineapple salad. This unique dish has been Tan Jai Yoo's house specialty for decades.

- Oyster omelette: relatively similar to the type one finds in Malaysia, wetter than the version in Singapore, and doesn't have the lettuce leaves as in the Taiwanese version.

- Steamed crabs with shredded ginger: very nicely done with fresh, sweet-fleshed Thai crabs.

- Steamed crabs with olives and minced pork: this is rather special as I'd not encountered this dish elsewhere.

- Steamed pork dumplings: superb minced pork, like Fujianese "sio bee" - very tasty.

- Stuffed rice rolls ("cheung fun") with minced pork-prawn filling, topped with shallots and dark soy-sauce.

- Steamboat with slivered pork, vegetables and straw mushrooms: this is a Chaozhou favourite and ubiquitous on the dining tables of any meal in the Chaozhou diaspora around the world.

- Braised sea cucumber and sharksfin: very tasty version here - the generous amounts of sea cucumber/sharksfin (relative to the renditions we get in Singapore) made this very special indeed.

- Stir-fried Taechiu "mee tiau" noodles with yellow chives, beansprouts, shitake mushrooms and chicken strips - another Chaozhou staple, very chewy noodles, simply stir-fried with no gravy.

- Sugar-coated yam - a very traditional Taechiu dessert.

Tan Jai Yoo is always dependable for a good Taechiu meal in Bangkok - the cooking's robust, but stayed true to its Chaozhou roots. This place is definitely up there as one of the top 3 places for traditional Chinese-Taechiu (Chaozhou) food in Bangkok, together with nearby, equally old rival establishments: Sin Kwang Meng and Jim Jim.

Address
=======
Tang Jai Yoo Restaurant
85-87 Soi Yaowaphanit, off Thanon Yaowarat
Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100
Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2224 2167/+66 (0) 81753 0100

about 2 hours ago
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Chaozhou Noodles, at a Vietnam Chaozhou Venue called Bo Ke ( Po Ji )

Yes, "cho mee" is also used by the Chaozhou - it means 'robust noodles', in reference to the wider shape of the noodles in contrast to "ew mee" ('fine noodles').

"Mee" (in Chaozhou) is pronounced "Mein" (in Cantonese) - because in the US, Chinatowns, and consequently the Chinese restaurant business, were traditionally dominated by the Cantonese people, especially from 'Shuntak' (Shunde).

about 3 hours ago
klyeoh in Manhattan

[Kuala Lumpur] A Taste of Kazakhstan at Astana Restaurant

Heh-heh, the Kazakhstani family who ran the restaurant are ethnic Russians, which probably probably explained the "Russian slant" - plus, they were catering to Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Russian students in the vicinity. The restaurant does serve 'beshbarmak' and 'kazy'.

I suspect the corn is a local addition to their salad, but pretty good, though.

If you're interested in "real" Kazakh dining, have a look at some of my recent threads on the Middle-East & Africa board (the CH moderators said Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan reviews are to be posted there - don't ask!)

about 3 hours ago
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Lahore, Pakistan - Best Beef Nihari Ever at Muhammadi Nehari, Mozang Chungi

Pakistan's cuisine doesn't have the regional differences like that in India - so you basically have Punjabi-influenced dishes throughout the country. That said, the amount of chillis used vary - from non-spicy in the Pashtun-dominated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwala region near the Afghan border in the north (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987458) to mildly spicy in Islamabad (where I spent most of my time in Pakistan recently), moderately-spicy in Lahore (my fave city for food in Pakistan), to sweat-inducing "very spicy" in Karachi to the south.

But 'chapli kebabs' which I had in the north is a Pashtun favourite, more common up there and also in Peshawar than elsewhere in the country. The niharis I had in Islamabad, Murree, and Abbottabad are very different in taste from the wonderful ones in Lahore. I'm told Karachi does some great niharis as well, but I didn't have any opportunity to try those there.

Vegetables hardly figure at all in Pakistani cuisine, and virtually absent from Pashtun/Northern cooking - I once asked an office colleague in Jhelum (he's British-educated, but whose grandfather is a Pashtun tribal chieftain) why Pashtun cuisine hardly has any vegetables. He replied simply, "Because we don't like eating vegetables?".
I also find Pakistani cooking somehow lacking the sweetness of Indian-style Punjabi cooking - not sure why. But I do notice that Pakistani "karahis" do *not* utilise any onions in their cooking: only copious amounts of garlic, ginger and chilli powder. I know Indian cooking uses a lot of onions, ginger and some garlic (also a wider variety of spices like cardamom). So maybe this explains the difference in flavours. When I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I noticed the Bengalis used *a lot* of onions for their "bhuna" curries - their rationale: onions add a sweetness to the overall dish.

Hope this helps throw some light on Pakistani cuisine vis-a-vis India.

And to answer your question: the same dishes in Lahore are usually more spicy and greasy compared to the renditions in Islamabad.

about 6 hours ago
klyeoh in India & South Asia

Chaozhou Noodles, at a Vietnam Chaozhou Venue called Bo Ke ( Po Ji )

I think the flat tagliatelle-like noodle which Lau had is the same as the one you had - it's called "mee kia" by the Chaozhou people. The other type - round, fine one is called "ew mee" in Chaozhou parlance.

In Lau's blog, he asked why the dish he had in a Vietnamese-run restaurant is called Cambodian Noodle - that is because itinerant Chaozhou noodle sellers who first settled in Cambodia subsequently brought the noodle dish along when they moved to Vietnam later on. In Vietnam, it's commonly called "Hu Tieu Nam Vang" ('Flat Noodles from Phnom Penh').

Must say I'm surprised to see these Chaozhou dishes available in New York - they are pretty common in Singapore where the Chaozhou (Teochew) people are the second largest Chinese ethnic group after the Hokkiens/Fujianese - but almost impossible to find in neighbouring Malaysia where majority of Chinese are Cantonese, Hokkiens and Hakka:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mee_pok

The Chaozhou people's homeland, Swatow (Shantou) is geographically within Guangdong province, bordering Fujian. But the Chaozhou dialect is closer to the Fujianese. Their cuisine, as Lau had mentioned, is lighter than the Cantonese (and Fujianese) style of cooking.

about 8 hours ago
klyeoh in Manhattan

Sunday (pub?) meal & Indian dinner help

Talking about Tony Blair's at Porchester Place, don't miss Cocomaya for its baked goods - simply fab. It's just round the corner from the ex-PM's home.
http://www.cocomaya.co.uk/

about 17 hours ago
klyeoh in U.K./Ireland

site forgetting "read" posts

Have you tried changing the settings as per Pat Sully's post yet?
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9993...

1 day ago
klyeoh in Site Talk

Previously Read Threads Showing as New

Thanks, I just did as you mentioned, so mine's okay now.

1 day ago
klyeoh in Site Talk

Do people consider DIM SUM as breakfast?

No, dim sum in Singapore is better than Ipoh's. There's always a jostle at the top to be the best dim sum restaurant in Singapore and, at the current moment, it's (1) Taste Paradise @ ION Orchard, (2) Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck @ Paragon, and (3) Imperial Treasure @ Great World City. Crystal Jade Palace @ Ngee Ann City, which used to rule the roost for a long time in the 2000s, seemed to have fallen off the charts in the past couple of years - they expanded too quickly (latest outlet is in the Embarcadero in San Francisco) and the standards are erratic.

In Ipoh, the best-known dim sum spot in town, Foh San, still opens at 6am. On weekends, crowds will gather at 5.30am (!!) to wait for the door to open. Once it does, there'll be a mad rush inside for a table - Ipoh folks seem to have *no* concept for queuing just yet. I don't relish standing outside a restaurant at 5.30am in the morning, waiting to snare a seat for dim sum, no matter how good it is!

1 day ago
klyeoh in General Topics

[Kuala Lumpur] A Taste of Kazakhstan at Astana Restaurant

Astana Restaurant at Bukit Jalil is a haven for Central Asians students there looking for some comfort food from home. The restaurant offers a wide variety of Kazakh and Russian dishes, including 'kazy'(horse-meat sausages). What we had this evening:

Do people consider DIM SUM as breakfast?

It's the same in Singapore now - having dim sum's evolved to become a largely brunch/lunch thing.

HK in the old days was also where dim sum is an early breakfast item - some old institutions, like Luk Yu on Wellington St, still tries to stick to the old traditions by opening at 7am.

I guess the work ethics have changed these days - in the old days, cooks started preparing their food at 3am in the morning, so that fresh batches of dim sum can be ready at day-break. Somehow, I don't think you can convince kitchen staff to report for work at those hours these days!

2 days ago
klyeoh in General Topics

Do people consider DIM SUM as breakfast?

The first dim sum restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia (back in the 1950s/60s) used to open for business at 4.30am-5am in the morning, to cater to blue-collar workers who want their breakfast before work starts at 6am! The dim sum items were cleared away for the lunch menu by around 11am.

My first encounter with lunch-time dim sum was in San Francisco, actually - it came as a mild (but pleasant) shock to me that I can have my favourite breakfast items for lunch.

Nowadays, dim sum lunch is common in Singapore, but you still *can't* find it at dinner-time, which I heard is quite possible in the US.

Dec 16, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

Lamingtons are to Aussies what brownies are to Americans.
My first taste of Twinkies was actually during a business trip to Washington DC in 1991. It was a "culture shock" :-)

Dec 16, 2014
klyeoh in San Francisco Bay Area

Almaty, Kazakhstan - International buffet lunch spread at Sultan Restaurant

Sultan's Restaurant, a block from Citibank near Almaty's famous Panfilov Park, is a popular lunch spot. The unlimited lunch buffet usually includes two types of soups (borscht, etc), a salad bar, hot counter offering up to 6 types of hot entrees, desserts and soft drinks stations. There is a nice selection of breads and pastries, including baursag and samsa.

The choice of entrees change each day and can include local favourites like beshbarmak (the popular Kazakh dish of boiled horse and mutton on pasta sheets), kuyrdak, kebabs, chicken kotleki, beef Stroganoff, Georgian khinkali, etc.

This place seems to be my Kazakh office colleagues fave spot for lunch.

Address
========
Sultan Restaurant
Kaldayakov Street 58
Tole bi
Almaty 50010
Kazakhstan
Tel: +7 727 291 2384 /+7 705 273 0000/+7 727 291 7806

Dec 16, 2014
klyeoh in Middle East & Africa

Almaty, Kazakhstan - Fab Italian Dinner at Del Papa

Visit 2:
- Spicy seafood soup. Creamy-looking soup, almost akin to New England clam chowder, but surprisingly packed a spicy punch! I'll return here for this.

- Cod fillet in wine sauce. Loved the fish very much: moist and just-cooked, the way it should be. Need to watch out for the bones, though.

Dec 16, 2014
klyeoh in Middle East & Africa

Do people consider DIM SUM as breakfast?

In Kazakhstan, there is no McDonalds, but they already have a ...

Dec 15, 2014
klyeoh in General Topics

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

Would you believe it - I grew up in Australia, but *never* really liked lamingtons (Boy Scouts used to sell boxes of those to raise funds for charity) - I found the sponge cakes too dry and the chocolate sauce coating too cloyingly sweet - until I tasted Bakesale Betty's version.

Dec 15, 2014
klyeoh in San Francisco Bay Area

Bakesale Betty's - Temescal [Oakland]

I thought BB's lamingtons were the best in the world. It'd be a pity if they don't have those anymore.

Dec 15, 2014
klyeoh in San Francisco Bay Area

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

Finally, a voice of reason.

Dec 15, 2014
klyeoh in Not About Food

[Kuala Lumpur] A Taste of Uzbekistan at Restoran Central Asia

The restaurant is not very well-ventilated - opt for one of the outdoor/al fresco tables. The lunch queue streaks out the front door by 1pm each day (the restaurant is closed on Sat & Sun).

Dec 14, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Kuala Lumpur] A Taste of Uzbekistan at Restoran Central Asia

Restoran Central Asia is perhaps the most popular eatery catering to the large Central Asian community in Kuala Lumpur - Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uighurs, etc. You'll need to come early if you want to avoid the lunch-hour queue: the place fills up to the gills by 12.30pm. What we had today:

Kuala Lumpur: Disappointment at Tiffin's by Chef Korn

We actually did - but the manager said Chef Korn was not around himself. Not sure if the cooks in the kitchen were Thais - we think not.

Dec 14, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur: Disappointment at Tiffin's by Chef Korn

It's pretty new, just over 3 months old, which is why I'm surprised they let the standards slide so quickly. I guess Chef Korn can't be at two places at the same time, and his emphasis is (rightly so) on his more established Erawan restaurant. But Tiffin's is very dismal by any standards.

As always, what you read about in KL's food blogs are *all* positive reviews - new restaurants in KL have a knack of inviting well-known food bloggers to special opening events, free meals in return for good write-ups. I've learnt *not* to depend on food bloggers in KL for their opinions on new restaurants, but rather use those blogs as a source to know which new places have opened in town.

Dec 14, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Great Pork Sisig at Laguna Philippine Restaurant

I was at Laguna Philippine restaurant to try their Pork Sisig, which has just been voted by Time Out KL as one of the "15 Best Dishes in Kuala Lumpur in 2014".

Pork Sisig is a popular dish which originates from the Philippine's culinary epicentre: Pampanga. Sisig's popularity is attributed to the late Lucia Cunanan - her restaurant, Aling Lucing's (Est. 1974) in Angeles City, Pampanga, helped establish Angeles as the "Sisig Capital of the Philippines", and Cunanan herself became known as the "Sisig Queen". Originally, pork sisig consisted of finely-chopped parts of the pig's snout, tongue, ears, plus chicken liver, all binded together with pig's brain.

The version at Laguna restaurant is served sizzling on a hot plate, with a raw egg to be stirred into the chopped bits. It was seasoned with garlic, onions, vinegar and soysauce, then garnished with red and green chillis, and a "kalamansi" lime to be squeezed over the whole concoction, elevating it to another level of deliciousness.

My dinner at Laguna:

- Pork Sisig: pork cheeks, tongue, pig's ears and raw egg, with chillis, onions and garlic, served sizzling on a hot plate.

- Garlic rice. The version here was rather subdued and not as tasty or greasy as those I'd had in the Philippines, or Filipino restaurants in the US and Singapore.

- "Pinakbet": mixed vegetable dish consisting of bittergourd ("ampalaya"), pumpkin ("kalabasa"), long beans ("sitaw"), eggplant ("talong") and pork, flavoured with shrimp paste ("bagoong alamang"). Also a pretty mild version.

I need to return here to try the other dishes on their menu.

Address
========
Laguna Philippine Restaurant
3 Jalan Gereja
Kuala Lumpur 50100
Malaysia
Tel: +6011 1910 1661 (Mr Tan)

Dec 14, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur: Disappointment at Tiffin's by Chef Korn

I'd regard Chef Korn Yodsuk of Erawan restaurant as perhaps the best Thai chef in Malaysia, and his flagship Erawan as the best Thai restaurant in the country. As such, I had pretty high expectations of his new venture, Tiffin's by Chef Korn at Mid-Valley. But, turned out our dinner at Tiffin's this evening was a disappointment - and Chef Korn himself wasn't in the kitchen, leaving it in the hands of chefs with obviously less talent than he has. What we tried this evening:

Dec 13, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Ultra-spicy Manado cuisine from Roa by Jovian Mandagie

Return visit to Roa for my chilli fix. This time, I tried:
- "Nasi kuning" with "roa saos" (shredded garfish), egg, prawn crackers. The rice was dry-ish - not a favourite of mine.
- "Sapi bumbu sate garo" (spiced beef in peanut sauce) - it's extra-spicy again, as expected of Manado cuisine.
- "Sayur campur" (mixed vegetables with rice vermicelli & chicken). Too greasy for my taste.

Dec 12, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Chowdown Report: Penang Garden (San Francisco Chinatown)

To answer your question, Thomas, the Singapore chilli crab dish in your pic looked a bit dry. See the pic of one in Singapore (even the one in my pic was relatively "dry", we'd expect chilli crabs to be swimming in gravy)

I'd walked past Penang Garden quite a few times when I used to visit San Francisco frequently on business back in 2007-2010, but never thought of stepping in there as Penang food was the last thing a SE-Asian visitor to SF like me would want to have!

Dec 12, 2014
klyeoh in San Francisco Bay Area

Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine at Simply Mel's, Kuala Lumpur

Simply Mel's is one of the rare few Malaccan-Portuguese eateries in Kuala Lumpur, and perhaps the best one in town.

What we tried:

- Papa Vincent's "Pikadel Pesce": Fish croquettes.

- "Incimintu Karangezu": Baked crab with minced prawn, chicken, carrots, onions and turnips.

- "Sehbak Galinhia": Chicken salad with tofu puffs in a spicy-tangy dressing.

- Corned Beef Meatball Stew.

- "Ayam Buah Keluak": this is more of a Peranakan-Nyonya dish than a Malaccan-Portuguese one, but very well-done here nonetheless.

- Black Pomfret "Chuan Chuan": very tasty.

- "Chenchalok" omelette: the "chechalok" flavours here are more assertive than those I'd tasted in Nyonya restaurants.

- "Curry Debal": Devilishly spicy and slightly tangy - a must-order here. Unfortunately, the restaurant here is "halal" to cater to Kuala Lumpur's large Muslim community - else, the addition of pork sausages (like those served in Singapore's Eurasian restaurants) would have greatly enhanced the dish, and give it the authentic Eurasian taste.

- Eggplant "Soy Limang": salty, tangy and very addictive. I wished the eggplants were cooked softer, though, but it's a personal taste.

- "Sugee" cake: very nice here. The cake is also served in whole loaves for take-away.

- Malaccan-style Chendol: not too bad here.

- "Pulot Tekan" & "Kaya": okay-ish - the "kaya" was too liquid, and the "pulot tekan" (steamed glutinous rice) we had that evening was dry and hard, like it's been left around for too long.

- "Sago Gula Melaka": not too bad as well. I wished they'd use fresher coconut milk, though.

Address
===========
Simply Mel's
Jalan 1/112h
Pantai Dalam
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6012 428 9890

Dec 12, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Ultra-spicy Manado cuisine from Roa by Jovian Mandagie

I know *exactly* how you feel - this meal at Roa was also the first for me after returning from two weeks in snow-covered Kazakhstan. Attached is a pic across the road from my office there.

Dec 11, 2014
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? December 2014 edition!

Thanks, pistachio peas - I'll look for that other cookbook as well.

Dec 11, 2014
klyeoh in Home Cooking