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Visiting KL and Penang

Today is our last day in Malaysia, so I figure apt time to write a review.

Unfortunately, the night I landed in KL, I came down with the worst stomach bug which prevented me from eating anything outside of broth and plain noodles. Nonetheless, I gave it my all tried a tiny bit of KL's offerings.

Lot 10 actually proved to be my new best friend. Plenty of plain noodles and plenty of soup. i have to say, I kind of fell in love with Mee (which we really don't have back in Toronto, Canada). Other than that, I missed out on most of KL's food.

Subsequently, my bug followed me to Penang, and I was bed ridden for most of my time here. However last night and tonight i decided to give it again.

Last night, we went to New Lane for hawker food. I tried the satay and it did not disappoint. Today, as a last meal, I decided to stomach Hameediyah and I have to say that it was probably one of the most memorable meals I have had.

I had Nasi Kandar, veggie murtabak, beef rendang, and heaps of roti prata. I could have died at that dinner table. It blew my expectations out of the water and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place as a "must" for all those visiting Penang. The curries were delicious and the murtabak too good to be true. I do have to say that walking through the kitchen was a novel treat considering us westerners are so used to never seeing the "back of house" at most restaurants. Absolutely awesome.

Oct 16, 2011
goodcookiedrift in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting KL and Penang

@penang_rojak we're staying in George Town. My parents aren't big beach people the idea of spending all the time in Batu Ferringhi kind of turned them off. But based on some research, it seems that George Town is near Gurney Drive which I'd like to check out. I definitely have my eyes set on Nasi Kandar and my parents will want to try all the Mamak food.

Oct 10, 2011
goodcookiedrift in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting KL and Penang

Huiray, we'd definitely be into that. High end restaurants are great, but they really don't captivate the food soul of a people. They captivate the credit limit of your AMEX. Plus, in North America, we have droves of high end restaurants. I'd really like to try street food and local eats and even some of the food courts.

Oct 09, 2011
goodcookiedrift in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting KL and Penang

Thanks Kyleoh. I think we're definitely in the mood to try a lot of the "local haunts". My dad is particularly interested in Islamic influence (he's been eating the hell out of mataba here in Thailand) and i'm really stoked on trying the varieties of curries. My brother's girlfriend who is Malaysian says skewers are a must and we will be trying a lot of roti prata.

Oct 09, 2011
goodcookiedrift in China & Southeast Asia

Visiting KL and Penang

I'm traveling with my retired parents all over South East Asia and tomorrow, our travels take us to KL for a few days and then Penang for another. I've been scouring the CH boards for some recommendations and there definitely seems to be a good amount of places to check out. That said, I'd like to tender a request: If you had to pick eats that sum up the pulse of Malaysia, what would some of them be? Specifically in KL.

The caveat is that my father while adventurous, is diabetic so we have stay away from highly sweet food (we're now in Bangkok and Thai food is killing him). Being Chinese Canadian, my mother is relishing the fact that there will be plenty of Cantonese dishes available. Love to hear some of your opinions.

Oct 08, 2011
goodcookiedrift in China & Southeast Asia

Does Anyone Do Deep Dish in Toronto?

It's not good. And it's not quite Chicago style. Actually, its nowhere near Chicago style.

Jun 22, 2010
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Does Anyone Do Deep Dish in Toronto?

As the title suggests, I'm on a hunt for somewhere in TO that does Chicago style Deep Dish pizza. Been craving this like a mofo and Pizza Hut just ain't cutting it.

Any recommendations?

Jun 22, 2010
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need Asian restaurant recommendation in Toronto DT and GTA

Get outside of the downtown area (ie: Richmond Hill) and you'll find a handful of places that do dim sum better than LWH. Don't get me wrong, LWH is good, but there's a lot of really good spots outside of the downtown core.

Jun 05, 2010
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto CH'er ISO a "good" Spot To Take Mom/Dad To

Red Light definitely sounds like something that my parents would be into (we're from Jamaican roots).

Michael's Genuine looks great, but i think the folks would feel completely floored at a place like that. THAT to them would be like El Buli to us.

-----
Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

Apr 26, 2010
goodcookiedrift in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Toronto CH'er ISO a "good" Spot To Take Mom/Dad To

Will be visiting family in Miami for a week (leaving in the next few days) and subsequently will fall right on Mother's Day and as such, I'm looking for a place to take the parents to.

So here's my story: All three of us are from Toronto. Dad's family is from Miami/Dade though and have been good 20 years of my life. That said, we haven't been down in a very long time (probably a good 10 years now) so my knowledge of Miami spots is well...non-exisitant.

Personally I've had my fair share of mid to high-end dining in most major cities, but my parents not so much. In fact, I don't think they would ever appreciate a dining experience at lets say a Masa, Bouchon, Cochon, Alinea or WD50. They are just your typical, down to earth, no-frills type of peeps.

But they love food. And they love trying and experiencing different food. So here's where I need to lean on you my Miami faithful. Looking for something around the $40 - $60 per head range (no wine as they do not drink), casual atmosphere, and good food that showcases Miami's local food/culture (seafood would be killer!). I was looking at something like Versailles and that's a place that would resonate quite well. Any other suggestions?

Apr 26, 2010
goodcookiedrift in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Sam James Coffee Bar OPEN

I've consistently had the best cappuccinos poured by Sam. It truly is the city's best bar none. And I've scoured shops from Crema all the way to Mercury. I'm ecstatic that it's near my work.

Aug 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SF Hound Visiting TO for first time - hole-in-wall ethnic, big breakfast, good drinks, great coffee

This is probably late but according to your post, you still got a day. so if you are checking here are my suggestions:

coffee - chances are you'll be accustomed to Ritual or Blue Bottle coffee which in my mind is probably right up there with the Stumptowns and Intelligentsia's. So if that coffee is your vibe, i'd suggest Dark Horse (queen st. w. and spadina), Mercury (queen st. e and carlaw), or even Hank's cafe (Front and Jarvis). Unfortunately, no local roasters here are quite on par with the quality of the aforementioned beans, but said shops are still decent.

Union is definitely a must given your mandate. The chef's family owns a farm just outside of Toronto and they get pretty much everything from there. They are also aging their own beef and to be honest, the beef rib cote is killer. Also, the sommelier there is wonderful. He'll pair some pretty stellar wines for you.

Ethnic - go try any handful of Caribbean restaurants. There's definitely a dearth of them in SF and unless you frequent the islands or of west indian background, this is the city to try it in. Randy's, Rap's, Alberts, Caribbean Queen, Ali's are all places that serve either Jamaican or Guyanese food. And they are bar none, the best outside of West Indies.

As for bars? depends on what your vibe is. Hipster fixtures include Sweaty's, Commies Daughter, Sneaky Dees (Kings Crown Nachos there are the perfect cure for a night of drunken debauchery), Beaconsfield. If you are a scotch/whisky man, make your way over to Allens (on the danforth). And if you are a tequila dog, then check out Reposado. Or any spot on Ossington for that matter.

Aug 18, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sam James at Harbord & Clinton

And also of Hanks where he was praised by many - including Jamie Kennedy himself - as one of the best baristas in town.

I'll be really excited when this opens up.

Jul 14, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO - cheapo scotch

Yeah, but when you talk scotches, most of the time you are referring to single malts and most of the time, a 'cheap' single malt is in the $50 - $65 range. Sure, blended scotches can be had for $35 - $40 but as the OP noted, he wanted something different.

Now, if he were to say whisky, I could recommend a handful of $25 bottles that will get you right ripped.

Jun 03, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wood Chips For Smoking

Honestly the cedar planks you buy at the grocery store are just planed and re-packaged cedar planks meant for building. They're not specially treated nor are they specifically cut for food planks.

Just ensure if you are using cedar from a lumber yard it doesn't have any impurities on it (like ink stamping).

Jun 01, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chain burgers vs. "gourmet" burgers (split from Ontario)

For sure. They have become tiny. Even the Filet O Fish sits nicely inside the bun confines. I remember when it would hang over the edge of the bun.

May 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in General Topics

Wood Chips For Smoking

Hey dude, Home Hardware on Roncesvalles carries chunks and chips. I used to buy there until i started stick burning.

May 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chain burgers vs. "gourmet" burgers (split from Ontario)

Totally agree. But sometimes, you just want a Big Mac with fries and a coke. And I don't care how accomplished of a chef you are, it's virtually impossible to replicate those flavors.

May 28, 2009
goodcookiedrift in General Topics

LCBO - cheapo scotch

Acnoc 12 - Single malt and it goes for $65 a bottle. Really smooth, fruity and nutty. Not peaty. And compared to the Dalwhinnies, Balvinie and Mclellands it's a good price.

That said, if you are putting it into a flask, I suggest you stay away from single malts as the stainless is going to taint the flavor.

Stick with the blended scotches which tend to be cheaper. Although Aberlour is a great, cheap, SM scotch. $35 a bottle. And you don't feel guilty getting blind drunk off of it.

May 28, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good Kitchen Knives

Thing is with Korin, they highly recommend you go in and at the very least hold the knife. A lot of buying the RIGHT knife has to do with feel. So buying blindly off of the website - given the OP's circumstances - might not be the best idea. especially when investing around $200 - $300 per knife.

May 11, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai Restaurants/Thai Chef Cuisine Review

This topic has been kind of beaten to death, but after reading Toronto Life's most recent article, I can't help but feel that the dearth of Thai restaurants out there are being under-represented.

When talking of Thai, the default in this city seems to be Mengrai and Mong-Kut Gold. Which is great, but in a city of such cultural diversity, you can't seriously blanket an entire culture with two restaurants. According to the TO Life article, there should be roughly 60 restaurants in this city that are Thai owned and operated.

I'd like to find these.

Currently, I'm blessed with the luxury of having an authentic Thai restaurant in my neighborhood (Thai Chef Cuisine - 233 Roncesvalles Ave.) where all the kitchen and wait staff are originally from Bangkok. Funny enough though, it seems like the yuppie crowds that dominate this area, would rather flock to the chain/westernized Thai spot a few doors down than experience authentic Thai food at TCC.

I've eaten there quite a while now and have sampled virtually every dish on the menu. I generally try to stay away from Pad Thai's and westernized menu-traps that many Can-Asian restaurants feel they need to pepper them with (ie: spring rolls, hot and sour soups stir-fry, etc). But if you ignore those items and focus on the traditional dishes like tofu and taro (fried app), papaya and mango salads, and Khow Soy - a traditional northern Thai dish which is a curry soup with egg noodles and chicken laced with Thai pickle and lime, it sure won't disappoint.

Plates like Tamarind Red Snapper - the whole fish is brough out to the table - is fried then loaded with shallots, cilantro, ginger, chilies and covered in a sweet, tangy tamarind sauce has authentic Thailand fingerprints. Even their curries (panang curry) which is a creamy coconut and peanut curry that has hints of thai lime leaves and if requested, comes piping Thai hot.

And this is just one place. I know more of these restaurants exist but it seems the Thai resources are lacking.

If anyone else knows of other authentic Thai restaurants, please do inform. It be nice to find these unearthed gems.

May 09, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need Some Suggestions

That sounds incredible!

May 06, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Home Cooking

Need Some Suggestions

I got myself a bunch of beef chuck ribs. They almost look like brontosaurus ribs.

I'm need some inspiration on how to prepare them.

Last time I braised them with a red-wine reduction. Not too sure what else I can do with these guys.

Thoughts?

May 04, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Home Cooking

Cajun Corner - Laird Drive

Good point Snarf. When you think about it, a lot of the basics of Cajun cooking is very similar to Caribbean cooking (read the holy trinity).

But the biggest stumbling block I could see being is the access to great seafood especially crawfish. When I was in NO, those little crustaceans came a dime a dozen fresh. Up here? Good luck finding frozen packs of those suckers.

PS: I've always thought that CC's poboys sucked. The artisan baguette always bugged me. Just throw it on a cheap sub-bun and call it a day.

May 04, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Stockyards BBQ

This review is pretty bang on.

I really enjoy that there's no air of pretentiousness about this place and they are not "trying to be...(insert descriptor of choice)". It is what it is: a place to get well done comfort food, with a good atmosphere and good service.

I had the pulled pork sandwich and while it's going to leave many a cue fans yearning for more, it really isn't that shabby all things considered. Sure, sure. You're going to want more smoke flavor and a brighter ring and a tastier bark. And it's not going to bring back memories of your trip to Memphis. But in all fairness, what place in the downtown core offers that level of barbecue? For a decent PP sandwich in Toronto, this is not bad at all.

The fried chicken is good too. Although I would suggest ramping up the flavor. The batter was a bit bland as was the meat. Not sure if they are brining their chicken, but Tom if you are reading: Brine those cluckens! it will make a world of difference.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience. It's not a true southern barbecue experience, but to be honest, I'm not really expecting that in TO.

PS: the ice-tea and the limeade are killer. A must for sure.

May 04, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

where do TO CHers go in NYC? [moved from Toronto]

well...fake wings and mac n' cheese. You know...that whole TVP stuff.

Apr 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Manhattan

Jamaican Food

Ali's - Queen and Lansdowne.

I'd have to say is my favorite. Curry goat + pumpkin.

Apr 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mitzi's Sister or Brown Sugar bakery--or another nearby brunch place?

Spoken like a true Parkdalian. Anyone here will tell you that Brown Sugar has to be the neighborhood's biggest disappointment. The coffee is pretty much on par with coffee time (sans depressing drunks looming over their hot cup of job) and the bread is 9 times out of 10 stale.

And here we were, hoping that a cute cafe avec La Marzocco machines and fresh bread was going to be our regular breakfast spot.

Apr 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mitzi's Sister or Brown Sugar bakery--or another nearby brunch place?

I work in Parkdale and used to live there.

Your only options for brunch (based on what you are looking for) is Mitzi's on Sauroren and Pearson and Easy on Queen and Ronces as previously mentioned. There really aren't any options at all on Queen stretching from Dufferin all the way to Roncesvalles.

Other than that, you'd have to trek up Ronces but even then, options are few.

Someone please open up a good breakfast spot near Dunn. I'm sick of eating at the Skyline.

Apr 29, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Authentic Thai food in downtown Toronto?

Thai Chef Cuisine on Roncesvales.

Tango - part owner and chef - is from Bangkok and has a lot of authentic Thai dishes on his menu. Some of which, I question not because they aren't absolutely delicious but because they seem to 'ethnic' for my yuppie-ass Roncesvales Village.

I usually ask him to make it "thai hot" and good lord, does it ever rain fire.

Apr 28, 2009
goodcookiedrift in Ontario (inc. Toronto)