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Recommendations for Jakarta?

Jakarta traffic's really bad, so makes sense to look for places near where you stay. Some recs:

1) Soto Betawi Haji Husein for delish spiced "soto" soup/stew (often with chicken) served with rice.
Jl. Padang Panjang No. 6C,
Manggarai, Jakarta Selatan

2) Bakmi Naga for Chinese noodles & dumplings (with an Indon influence)
Kalibata Mall,
Jl. Kalibata Raya
Kalibata

3) This one's a bit far - 25 minutes' drive towards to north if there's no traffic:
Restoran Pagi Sore Cempaka Putih - nasi Padang (pic of spread of curried dishes).
Jalan Cempaka Putih Raya
Jakarta, Indonesia 10520

4) In Menteng, look for Sate Khas Senayan. It's part of a chain but does its sate quite well. Also offers a wide menu of other local eats: nasi gudeg, pecel wijen Solo, ketupat campor. Finish off with a warm dessert: wedang ronde.
Jl. Cokroaminoto No. 78
Menteng, DKI Jakarta
Tel: +0213928763

about 2 hours ago
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Best kaya toasts in town at Killiney Kopitiam

Hey, Lau - best kaya toast I had in Penang this time round (probably the best-tasting I'd had in Penang in recent memory as well) is from the deliciously-retro Old Chow Thye restaurant on Chow Thye Road: thick slices of cold butter, eggy-coconutty, velvety "kaya" on traditional toasted "Benggali roti":

Good Morning, Singapore - Part 1: Economy Breakfast Noodles

Charles - a close relation in HK would be the plain, fried noodles (in dark soysauce) served together with a bowl of rice congee at breakfast.

Apr 18, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Good Morning, Singapore - Part 1: Economy Breakfast Noodles

Old Airport Road Food Centre is *not* exactly well-known for its breakfast beehoon. Diners flock there for its fried Hokkien prawn noodles, wanton noodles and lor mee.

But the Singapore palate demands a good breakfast beehoon mee spot there, and that's where Guan Kee (Stall #01-66) steps in. By no means the best spot for "economy beehoon" (that's what we Singaporeans call this dish) in town, but you'll never miss the long, slow-moving queue in front of the stall. Slow because the lady who serves out the beehoon mee seemed to have this obsessive-compulsive need to "arrange" the strands of noodles on each plate she serves out in a certain way. She also has a knack of stopping half-way when serving a customer in the queue just to give the large serving trays of noodles in front of her a rigorous stir.

I was 7th in the queue this morning, but it took me a good 20 minutes before it was my turn - which is "forever" in economy beehoon terms as everything's already cooked and only needed to be slapped onto a plate or takeaway box.

Anyhow, I opted for the usual Hokkien mee/beehoon combination, with a fried egg and 2 slices of Chinese pork luncheon meat. Guan Kee's rendition includes a splash of rather watery red chilli sauce. The result: okay, but not blow-your-mind.

Maybe I should have opted for the "lor mee" stall here, but the one-hour 30-person queue (it was only 8am) threw me off.

Apr 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Best kaya toasts in town at Killiney Kopitiam

Easy to make but needs careful attention - since the bread slices are manually toasted over a brazier - *never* an automatic toaster - as traditionally required. I'm off to Penang for a gastronomic weekend - hoping to uncover some more hidden food gems there - maybe a traditional kaya toast spot or two :-)

Apr 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Good Morning, Singapore - Part 1: Economy Breakfast Noodles

Albert Complex Food Centre on Queen Street (near the famous Kuan Imm Temple) is another gold mine of good eats. Most Singaporeans come here for the fish ball noodles, cooked by a 90-something old lady: perhaps the oldest, active hawker in Singapore!

I was here last weekend for the breakfast "beehoon mee" from the 270 Economical Bee Hoon stall. The noodles (Hokkien mee and bee hoon) were well-executed and moist. The luncheon meat pieces were perfect - crisp on the outside, moist inside. The 5-spice meat roll was more potato starch than minced pork, but well-flavoured. The fried egg was warm and (relative to other beehoon mee stalls) freshly-cooked.

Apr 16, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Lao Dian Tou Tai Nan Yi Mian 老店頭台南意麵 – Excellent Tainan Style Noodles Near Tong Hua Night Market (Taipei)

I've always wanted to visit Tainan, the street food capital for Taiwan, much like Penang is for Malaysia.

Apr 15, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] Best kaya toasts in town at Killiney Kopitiam

I think a lot of the differences arise from inconsistencies across its 20 or so branches. The bread, butter and "kaya" spread used are the same, but the method employed depended much on the cooks - in some branches, they used too little "kaya", in others, the cook left the butter out for too long, making them soft instead of cold & firm, which you require for a perfect "kaya" toast.

The toast - white "Benggali" bread trimmed of its crusts - was often done to different levels of crispness in different branches, depending on the experience (and patience) of the cooks.

It can be quite frustrating when you order and get served a sub-standard "kaya toast", which happens more often than one desires. Still, "kaya toasts" in Singapore are usually a class above those served in neighbouring Malaysia, where cheap margarine (instead of butter) and inferior quality "kaya" are often used.

Apr 15, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Funniest Restaurant Names

Another thread along the same lines:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930117

Apr 13, 2015
klyeoh in Not About Food

[Singapore] Best kaya toasts in town at Killiney Kopitiam

Killiney Kopitiam came about in 1993 when an enthusiastic customer bought over the old, typical Hainanese coffeeshop along Killiney Road which had been famous for its Hainanese-style "kopi" (local coffee) beverages and "kaya toasts" since 1919.

That coffeeshop has grown into a chain these days, with outlets all over Singapore. But for a taste of true nostalgia, one needs to go back to the original outlet on 67 Killiney Road (walking distance from Somerset MRT subway station), off Orchard Road. It opens from 6am daily, but do go early or be prepared to face the breakfast crowd.

I was back there yesterday, and its "kaya toast" was still the *best* I'd had in Singapore: perfectly-toasted white bread (crusts removed) with generous amounts of eggy-rich "kaya" spread, tinged green with pandan, and slices of cold butter.

Killiney Road's curried chicken and potatoes, served with steamed white rice, was also one of the best-tasting renditions around.

Address
========
Killiney Road Main Branch
67 Killiney Road
Singapore 239525
Tel: 6734 9648 / 6734 3910

Apr 13, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Sushi in Singapore

Try Hashida Sushi at the Mandarin Galleries:
http://hashida.com.sg/

Apr 11, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting Hong Kong and Chengdu with an 8-year old

Luk Yu is to Hongkongers what Tadich Grill is to San Franciscans or Rules to Londoners - it doesn't have the best food in town, but it forms an indelible part of the city's culinary history.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895754

Sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience there.

Apr 10, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

The Supposed Best Pad Kee Mao in Bangkok

Blame Yul Brynner for wielding a pair of chopsticks in "The King & I", leading most Americans to think that that's how Thais eat their food.

My maternal grandparents were 3rd-generation Bangkok-born Thai-Chinese - all their lives, they'd had to straddle both cultures and lived through some turbulent periods, including Field Marshall Plaek Phibunsongkhram's anti-Chinese policies. It was oft-said that "Pad Thai" came about because the Field Marshall was trying to steer the Thais away from consuming Chinese food, and especially the noodles popularised by the Taechews, and conceptualised a "Thai" version.

Most Thai-Chinese eat with their hands (as was in my grandparents' household) like the Thais do. They also used fork & spoon (a practice popularised during King Chulalongkorn's reign) - later copied by the Malayans. Chopsticks then were maintained in Thai-Chinese households mainly for ancestor worship or prayer purposes with food offerings - and certainly not for everyday use.

BTW, Curt, I'm *very* sure your neighbour's khaosoy would taste much better than the tepid version served at David Thompson's Long Chim, his new venture at Marina Bay Sands Singapore (pictured below).

Apr 08, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Seremban, Malaysia] Ice Mountain Sweet-sour Pork @ Kong Ming Oakland

It was the *only* option :-(

After the iced sweet-sour pork and the chicken topped with bonito flakes, I was actually expecting then to come up with something different for dessert. No such luck.

Apr 08, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Seremban, Malaysia] Ice Mountain Sweet-sour Pork @ Kong Ming Oakland

Yes, the outer crust was cold, but the inside remained about room temperature. It was one of the best sweet-sour pork dish I'd ever had actually.

Apr 08, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Seremban, Malaysia] Ice Mountain Sweet-sour Pork @ Kong Ming Oakland

The original Kong Ming in downtown Seremban opened post-World War II and is a go-to place for anyone seeking Hakka comfort food: braised pork with yam, Swiss-style chicken wings (reminiscent of Tai Ping Koon in Hong Kong's own original), etc.

But Kong Ming's new branch: Kong Ming Oakland in Seremban 2 (the new industrialised part of the city) seems to be attracting the dinner crowd these days. Our lunch there last Sunday consisted of:

- "Ping Zhan gwoo lo yook" or Ice Mountain Sweet-sour Pork. Besides the novelty of burying the pieces of sweet-sour pork under a mound of crushed ice, the flavours of the sweet-sour pork were absolutely perfect. Texture-wise, it was *very* crisp on the outside, and juicy & flavoursome inside.

- "Dancing chicken": another dish which packed a flavour here - boneless chicken braised in a claypot with dark soysauce, oyster sauce, ginger, onions, light soy and other aromatics, serving bubbling hot, topped with shaved Japanese bonito flakes.

- "Chun kuen": this is one dish I recognize from the older Kong Ming outlet - deep-fried giant spring roll stuffed with fishpaste and finely-chopped carrots, scallions, etc.

- Tofu, seafood and vegetable stew in a claypot: a common rendition in most Chinese restaurants, but done pretty well here: the gravy was light and tasty.

- Stir-fried "Green Dragon Vegetable" (青龙菜) with garlic: this is the vegetable which is currently taking Malaysia's Chinese food industry by storm. The light, crisp greens grown in Cameron Highlands were easy to cook and usually done with a light hand.

- Dessert: Sea coconut & lychees in iced syrup. Traditionally, the Chinese meal spread do *not* have dessert, but only "tian ping", which is usually a sweet, sugary drink. And this combination of sea coconut & lychees in crushed ice harked back to the wedding banquets of the 1960s.

Seremban is by no means a culinary destination where Malaysia is concerned and, stuck midway between the bustling capital of Kuala Liumpur and the historic tourist destination, Malacca, this town is often overlooked by travellers. But Kong Ming Oakland is a good dining option should one choose to dine here on a stopover.

Address
=========
Kong Ming Oakland
112-1-B & 113-1, Lorong Haruan 5/4
Oakland Commerce Square
70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Malaysia
Tel: +606-6314663

Apr 07, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

The Supposed Best Pad Kee Mao in Bangkok

THB800 for a crab omelette, eventhough one serving consisted of the flesh from two whole crabs, seemed a tad expensive to me.

But then, the septuagenarian chef, when she's there, has been cooking at that stall for over 50 years now - I'm curious enough to give her food a try. I won't patronise it if someone else's cooking there on that day.

Apr 07, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Seremban, Malaysia] Hawker Eats at the Seremban Main Market

This kueh stall on the 2nd floor also sells a wide variety of Hakka-influenced kuehs. Among its offering are:

- "Put chai pan", a steamed rice cake topped with chopped preserved radish, somewhat similar to the Teochew "chwee kway" we have in Singapore. However, the texture of "put chai pan" is chewier, seemingly a characteristic of Hakka foods. In terms of size, a single "put chai pan" is about 5-6 times larger than the Singapore "chwee kway".

Tastewise, it was a bit similar to Penang's "tee nya kueh", but the latter is served with liquid palm sugar.

- Steamed yam cake, this one is similar to the versions elsewhere in Malaysia, so may be Teochew-influenced, rather than Hakka per se.

Apr 05, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Seremban, Malaysia] Hawker Eats at the Seremban Main Market

Seremban is the often overlooked city which lies mid-way between Kuala Lumpur and historic Malacca. It's a mere 1 hour's drive from KL, and has its own Chinese cuisine, Hakka-influenced, in contrast to KL's Cantonese cuisine and Malacca's Nyonya food.

In terms of Malay food, Seremban is also different from KL or Malacca - its roots are the ultra-spicy Minang cuisine from Sumatera, and different from the rest of Malaysia.

We were at Seremban's busy and rather chaotic Main Market - the Pasar Besar Seremban - you need to be early to catch the action, and also the more popular food stalls.

Apr 05, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore and Malaysia – Part 4/5- Penang Report

I, too, thought petai was bitter, swannee - but I absolutely *loved* it. I can never resist ordering it whenever and wherever it's available.

Apr 04, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore and Malaysia – Part 4/5- Penang Report

"There is always the nagging worry that there might be something better close by."
----------------------------------------------------
You can say that again - happened to me way too many times in way too many cities.

Next time you're in Penang, try Kek Seng Coffeeshop on Penang Road. It's been there since 1906.

Today, Kek Seng still has the *best* koay teow th'ng I'd ever tasted in Penang. I still find one of the best "lor bak" in Penang there (Kheng Pin and Ho Ping, both on the other end of Penang Road, have better). And it still serves ice-cream, nowhere the best these days as Penangites now have Haagen-Daz and Ben & Jerry's ;-)

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/745086

Apr 03, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore and Malaysia – Part 4/5- Penang Report

Wow, what a gastronomic journey! You must have consumed enough to last the rest of the decade :-D

Wished I was there to show you around - old Georgetown is a veritable goldmine of good eats, but you must know where to find the best places: you can be in a mediocre spot a mere one street away from a legendary dining spot within the labyrinthian streets of the old city centre.

Apr 02, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Kajang, Malaysia] Kajang Satays at Nyok Lan

Back to Malaysia's Satay Capital: Kajang for lunch yesterday. Kajang has always set the benchmark for satays in Malaysia, having done so ever since the Javanese Sakiman brothers perfected their technique at Ban Seng Coffeeshop in Kajang back in 1917.

Tasmin Sakiman, the older of the two brothers, passed the satay business down to his son, Haji Amir who, in turn, passed the mantle to his son-in-law, Haji Samuri - the man identified as making Kajang satay a national icon in Malaysia.

Today, the most-established satay outlet in Kajang is Haji Samuri's, with a massive 3-storey main outlet dominating one of Kajang's main throughfares. It's still owned and run by the same family, albeit the 5th-generation down from the Sakiman brothers.

However, many local satay afocionados these days make a beeline for Kajang Satay Nyok Lan at Restoran Malaysia, barely 3 minutes' drive away from haji Samuri's. Nyok Lan was no babe out of the woods - having been established back in 1971, and has perfected their satay to a standard which many claim surpasses Haji Samuri's. It's Chinese-owned but proffers a halal spread which proved very popular with its mainly Malay-Muslim clientele. Amongst its popular offerings are halal versions of Chinese-style Hailam mee (Hainanese fried noodles) and Cantonese "wat tan hor" (braised wide rice noodles with seafood).

But these do not detract away from Nyok Lan's excellent satays: the chicken satays only utilizes tender chicken breast-meat and do *not* incorporate chicken skin, unlike other traditional satay places, their beef satay also dispensed away with beef fat which are usually skewered in-between lean pieces of meat. Nonetheless, their satays were juicy and tender - and more likely "healthier".

But we really enjoyed the mutton satay (superb flavours) and the fish satay (using catfish fillets) - unmissable.

Nyok Lan also served flavoursome "ketupat nasi" instead of "nasi himpit" on the side.

Apr 02, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] "Lor Mee" Face-off - Chinatown Complex Food Centre versus Hong Lim Food Centre

I'm absolutely amazed that you guys can actually go through *that* many places in one afternoon. For me, one or two of those places are enough to fill me up for the rest of the day.

We did talk about Lao Fu Zi before when you first went there in 2013:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/889791

I do like Hua Kee's wanton mee, which I ranked as the best in Singapore in this old thread below. As you probably realise by now - "genuine" Singapore wanton mee has really bad, red-tinted 'char-siu' pork - it's a tradition! :-D
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744161

But I actually prefer the wanton noodles in Kuala Lumpur:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/813210

Apr 01, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] "Lor Mee" Face-off - Chinatown Complex Food Centre versus Hong Lim Food Centre

So, you tried Nam Seng Hokkien mee @ Old Airport Rd, and either Heng Kee or Ah Heng's curry noodles @ Hong Lim?

But you *do* know that Ipoh hor fun @ Lee Tong Kee, although a Singapore institution in its own right, actually bore *no* resemblance to the actual Ipoh hor fun dish in Ipoh itself, right? The Singapore rendition has a gooey brown sauce blanketing the noodles, whereas the original Ipoh version is noodles in a savoury pork-chicken-prawn broth.

Apr 01, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

[Singapore] "Lor Mee" Face-off - Chinatown Complex Food Centre versus Hong Lim Food Centre

You're real lucky to be able to catch up with FourSeasons. Half the time I'm back in Singapore, he seemed to be vacationing in Japan with his family :-D

Apr 01, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Shi Jia Gua Bao 石家割包 – Outstanding Gua Bao at Tong Hua Night Market

Fabulous write-up, Lau. The minced pork-stuffed Fuzhou fishballs is one of my fave food items in the world. I remembered we talked about this dish before in my posting on Sitiawan, a Fuzhou-dominated town in Malaysia:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918615

Apr 01, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore and Malaysia – Part 3/5- Kuala Lumpur Report

I'd only been to 2 other beef noodle places in the old downtown, but both seemed already pretty well-established with addresses:

- Lai Foong http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/798824
- Shin Kee http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797775

Apr 01, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Good Morning, Singapore - Part 1: Economy Breakfast Noodles

Thanks, Ian. Always appreciate someone to show me Clementi's food scene. There is a large expat Western community where you live, right? Won't mind knowing more about dining options in Sunset Way & Pandan Valley, too. Will be in touch.

Mar 31, 2015
klyeoh in China & Southeast Asia

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Yes, I was just about to say that, too. The new policy states that:

"With that in mind, we're stepping back from moderating industry voices out of Chowhound. Instead of limiting them to answering only specific, factual questions about their business, we'll welcome them to openly join conversations, to let us know what they're up to and share their knowledge. This applies to restaurant owners, employees, and insiders, and also other industry folks like suppliers, cookbook authors, etc."

Mar 31, 2015
klyeoh in Ontario (inc. Toronto)