Neon Khumthong Garden @ Hatyai

29 08 2011

“Sawasdee ka!” A week ago, I made a trip up north to Hatyai to attend a wedding dinner with my in-laws. Since we stayed there for a couple of days, I managed to try out some of their local food. One of the most notable restaurant which I personally recommend is called Neon Khumthong Garden.

Unlike the overpriced restaurants at the city centre, Neon Khumthong Garden offers a good variety of Thai food at decent prices. No wonder the restaurant is well-known among the locals. Their ‘laksa noodle’ is a must try dish. Served with raw vegetables such as beansprouts, long beans and etc., it reminded me of ‘Ulam’ which is the Malay version of salad consisting of vegetables that are usually eaten raw or boiled for a very short period.

The noodle is made from rice flour and it is fatter than our version of Mee Hoon.

The raw vegetables were fresh and crunchy.

But what made dish truly special were the gravy. While I have no idea on what these gravies were made from, they were thick and spicy in a very nice way. The taste just hit the right note with a rich aromatic coconut milk and condiments used.

I was told that the most popular gravy is the yellow one which has cubes of coagulated chicken’s blood in it (front bowl in the picture above) but I didn’t have the guts to try it.

Nevertheless, I was perfectly contended with the other gravies and literally poured generous quantities all over the soft springy noodle. This is my favourite gravy.

The reddish gravy was also equally good.

To tell the truth, gluttony got the better me and I finished three servings of this delicious dish that day!

Beside the laksa, their Kerabu was also worth trying. It has a slight tinge of sourish taste mix with prawns and squid. This is a good appetizer.

Their fried chicken can easily put KFC to shame. It was crispy on the outside as the chicken is coated with a layer of flour.

The flour is thin enough that you will feel that you are biting onto the real chicken texture which is tender.

And finally the lunch was ended with a fantastic dessert called The Red Rubies or locally known as Tub Tim Grob. The red rubies are actually water chestnut dipped with red colouring. Once you have tried Neon Garden Khumthong’s version of Tub Tim Grob, you wouldn’t ever want to have this dessert in any Thai restaurant in Malaysia. The chestnuts were so fresh and so was the coconut milk. Coupled with a few slices of jackfruit, this is truly the best dessert ever.

If you ever go to Hatyai, make Neon Garden Khumthong your first choice for food. It is easy to recommend this place after eating at several other restaurants which doesn’t even come close to their quality of food offered here.

Neon Khumthong Garden
518/17 Sanambin-Hatyai Road
Moo 3 Kuanlung
Hatyai
90110 Songkhla
Thailand

Tel: 074-251143, 474587





Su Ying @ Bukit Jalil

27 08 2011

I remember asking Su Ying if she has any props which can be used for the photo shoot. Good thing she suggested her teddy bear and a book as it was really fun shooting her with those props at the park.





Fei Fei Crab @ Desa Aman Puri

26 08 2011

Last weekend, I joined Selangorlicious for a foodster trip to Fei Fei Crab where the participants (including yours truly) were given a chance to sample eight signature dishes specially prepared by Chef Tan.

Chef Tan emphasises a lot on creativity and food presentation. Hence, the food that we had there were different from those serve at other Chinese restaurants.

First up was the Salt Wrap Fish (RM 30) which requires an elaborate preparation technique. According to Chef Tan, the fish must be caught fresh from the aquarium and not refrigerated overnight. This helps to ensure that the fish is still moist when it is being cooked. Moreover, the outer layer of the fresh fish will still retains its gooey texture which is important as the fine salt will stick easily onto its skin before it is deep fried. The fish was also stuffed with blended ginger and spring onion which can be eaten.

Due to the elaborate process in preparing the dish, it is best to call the restaurant in advance to make a booking. According to Chef Tan, it takes at least an hour for him to make the dish.

The Sizzling Plate Seafood (RM 20) will certainly delight those who loves spicy food. Served on a hot plate with a mixture of prawns, long beans, brinjals, mussels and bamboo clams the taste was certainly punchy without being overly spicy.

Belacan Sweet Potato Leafs with Egg Plant (RM 12) was another interesting dish prepared by Chef Tan. The inclusion of fried anchovies gave it a crunchy texture as opposed to the soft egg plant while the spicy sambal was imaginatively mixed with the sweetness of the vegetable taste.

If you fancy snails, do not missed out on Fei Fei Crab’s Japanese Snail (RM30). Cooked with two unique flavour namely butter and dried Chilies, both of them were equally good.

If I had to choose one of them it would be the butter version which was more flavoursome. According to Chef Tan, the butter was cooked with garlic and egg thus giving it a unique taste. It is interesting to note that snails by itself do not have any taste and this is where the creamy egg texture gave these snails a nice aroma when it is ‘wrapped’ around the them while being cooked.

The Pattaya Pork Knuckles (RM42) and Great Wall Pork Rib (RM28) is another creative dish from Chef Tan. The pork ribs on the side of the plate resembles the Great Wall while the pork knuckles were placed in the middle. With a mixture of fat and lean meat, the pork ribs were both soft and tender. The outer layer was slightly charred but there was certainly no hint of burnt taste.

The pork knuckle however as a bit dry whilst the skin wasn’t as crispy as it should be. According to the Chef Tan the dish was prepared by another chef that day and hence, it wasn’t as good as it should be.

However, he reiterated that the pork knuckle should be repeatedly poured over with hot oil once the inner meat is sufficiently cooked to get the crispy surface on the skin. Nevertheless, despite the slight setback in its preparation, the meal was still good enough to be eaten.

The Yam Ring with Chicken and Pork Rib (RM 30) or otherwise known as ’2012′ was inspired after watching a scene in the movie 2012 when the volcanic eruption resulted in huge molten rocks falling from the lava pit. Hence, Chef Tan made a Yam Ring filled with deep fried chicken to depict the volcano while the individual chunks of pork ribs represent the rocks.

It is interesting to note that the pork ribs has some crushed peanut on the top which gave a contrasting texture of the soft meat and sweet crunchy peanut. The mayonnaise sauce inside the yam ring was delicious and complimented the fried chicken nicely. Although some may prefer the traditional ‘Fatt Putt’ with capsicum, cashew nuts and chicken cubes, I find this dish rather special. Thumbs up for being different.

The Spicy Cheese Crab (RM35) was prepared in a claypot with thick spicy gravy. The gravy goes well with the ‘mantau’ although I find the gravy a bit too spicy for my liking.

According to Chef Tan, the dish is best eaten when it is hot. That is the reason why the dish was prepared using a claypot so that the it will stay warm for a longer period as compared to serving on a plate. Once the heat dissipates, the gravy will become thicker and the chilli taste will become more apparent.

Finally, the Marmite Crab (RM 35) deserves a two thumbs up. The sweet marmite sauce covering the crab shells was the perfect dish to end our foodster trip.

The crab was nicely cook and the meat inside the shell was fork-friendly chunks and not the flaky type sold at some below average seafood restaurants.

Overall, I would give this place a good recommendation for any food lover. My only gripe would be the location which was slightly difficult to locate at first. But I am sure that this won’t deter food lovers from wanting to have a taste of the unique dishes at Fei Fei Crab.

Fei Fei Crab Restaurant
No. 7 & 8, Jalan Desa 2/7
Desa Aman Puri
52100 Kepong
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-6272 8659

Business Hour: 11 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Location Map





Yoke Peng @ Bukit Jalil

25 08 2011

Here is a preview shot of Yoke Peng taken at Bukit Jalil. She was the last model to be shot that day (I am supposed to upload the earlier ones first…) but somehow this picture caught my eyes. Stay tuned for the rest of the pictures soon!





Erica @ Bukit Jalil

22 08 2011

Here are some of the pictures taken for Erica who has been featured in this blog previously. She has a natural flair in posing and it was really easy to take her pictures.

 





Sin Yein @ Bukit Jalil

21 08 2011

Last two weekends, I had a chance to shoot with Sin Yein and her friends at Bukit Jalil. Although it was Sin Yein’s first photo shoot, she did quite well. Here are some of the pictures taken that day.





Restoran Pan Heong @ Batu Caves

11 08 2011

When I was told by my friend that there is a restaurant at Batu Caves which serves the best ‘Wat Tan Hor’ (Flat Rice Noodle with egg gravy), I was rather skeptical. After all, I have tasted the dish in most places and frankly, they are just about the same to me. However, it soon became clear to me why Pan Heong’s version (RM 10.50) is the BEST that I have eaten so far. The distinctive characteristic lies in its gravy which is yellowish in colour as compared to the clear ones at other places. Apparently, the gravy is cooked with plenty of egg yolks which give the colour and aromatic flavour.

The flat noodle was equally smooth and thin which absorbs the gravy easily. This gives an instant umph when a spoonful of noodle was put inside the mouth.

It was the second time I ate at this restaurant and suffice to say, the cook maintains its consistency in terms of its taste. Judging by the number of tables ordering this noodle, it is hardly surprising that the flat noodle is Pan Heong’s signature dish.

Despite being famous for the abovementioned dish, I was surprise that their Mee Mamak (RM 10.50) was no slouch either.

Being a Chinese owned restaurant, one would not associate it with mamak fried noodle but lo and behold, the noodle was simply awesome! The taste was just right. I am glad to say that the thick yellow noodle does not have any ‘kan sui’ (lye water) taste. Thumbs up!

Pan Heong is also well known for its ‘Nam Yue Fah Yuk’ (deep fried pork with red fermented beancurd). This is my second time eating this dish (RM 12.50) and it still taste as good as how I remembered it to be. The outer skin is crispy while the meat was soft, juicy and moist.

Admittedly, I was never a fan of fried pork but after tasting the one at Pan Heong, my impression of it has now changed. The mixture of lean and fat meat made the fried pork very chewy.

Suffice to say, I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for cheap and tasty meals. The restaurant is awfully packed during lunch hours so be there early to avoid disappointment. This is definitely one of those places that I would visit over and over again.

Restoran Pan Heong
No. 2, Jalan Medan Batu Caves 2
68100 Batu Caves
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Tel: 6187 7430

Business Hours: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m

Location Map








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