Restoran Kuang Fei @ Tangkak

3 10 2011

While my friends have always rave about how tasty beef noodles are, I was never a fan of this dish until I stumbled across Restoran Kuang Fei at Tangkak. It didn’t take me long to find this place as Tangkak is a small town and everyone there know where this restaurant is located.

Apparently, Tangkak is very famous for its beef noodles and even Singaporeans would drive up all the way just to savour a bowl of this mouth watering meal.

Each bowl of beef noodle (RM 6 for big, RM 5 for medium) is served with beef (obviously) and cow stomach.

The sight cow stomach may not appeal many people, but it was certainly tasty.

Word of advice. Do order the big portion as the small bowl is too small and will hardly fill up your stomach.

The kuey teow noodle is noticeably larger than the ones I normally seen in KL. Taste wise, there is nothing I could fault about it. The soup has ample herbal taste with a tinge of salted vegetables flavour.

The meat and cow stomach were moist and easy on the mouth. It is no surprise that this restaurant has earned its reputation as one of the best beef noodle for so many years.

It is also worth mentioning that Kuang Fei set up its kitchen right in front of the shop to show its customers how the meal is being prepared hygienically. Thumbs of for its cleanliness.

If you happened to be driving around the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia, make sure you do give this place a try.

Restoran Kuang Fei
No. 20, Jalan Solok
84900, Tangkak
Johor Darul Takzim

Tel: 012- 6373 768 or 06-9783 768

Location Map





Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt @ Kota Kemuning

2 10 2011

I had a chance to try out Tutti Frutti a few weeks ago at Kota Kemuning. Apparently, Tutti Frutti is a popular soft serve frozen yogurt from USA and is currently franchised by Naza Group of Companies in Malaysia.

What is interesting about Frutti Tutti is that the customers can get to pick and choose the yogurt flavours using the dispensing machine.

Once the cup is filled, the cashier will weigh the cup and the price will be determined accordingly. There are also numerous choices of toppings to add up to the yogurt.

I took the blueberry flavour which costs RM 14.60 @ 275 gm. Taste wise, it was a bit sour but the texture was certainly smooth and creamy.

Besides being a delicious snack, it is interesting to know that yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin B 12.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt
No.67, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla N 31/N
40460 Shah Alam
Kota Kemuning
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Location Map





The Best Chee Cheong Fun @ Bentong

22 09 2011

Typically, most Malaysians have a common frame of mind where long queue of customers is usually associated with good food. This ‘herd mentality’ is also adopted by yours truly whenever I am out searching for food to eat. So when me and my friends who landed at Bentong town right after enjoying our ABC at Kow Po spotted a huge amount of people crowding around a little stall just beside Kedai Kopi Kwong Sen along Jalan Chui Yin, I knew that the food must be good.

The stall is manned by six people which is a rare sight but given the influx of customers during that mid afternoon, I can easily understand why. Apparently, the Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll) sold at this stall is very popular among the locals and tourists at this small town. Business was certainly brisk on that day and all the Chee Cheong Fun was sold out by 2 p.m. Luckily, I was one of the last few customer who was able to ‘tah pow’ a packet of noodle with a piece of Tau Fu Pock and Fu Chuk for RM 0.60 per piece.

The packaging is deceptively simple. Just a sheet of plastic wrapped with newspaper in an unassuming style with a rubber band to hold it all together.

Inside however was a whole different thing altogether.

The rice noodle was really thin and has a soft texture. Each bite gave a satisfying ‘hmmm…’ as the thinner texture of the noodle allows the gravy to absorb easily into it. Speaking of the gravy, it was more watered down compared to the ones in KL but flavour wise, it has a nice sweet and savoury taste which warrants a two thumbs up. I must also mentioned about the dollop of sambal which was really rich in chilli taste and complimented the gravy very well.

Unlike other Chee Cheong Fun shops that sell a whole array of Yong Tau Foo variants, the owners at this stall kept it simple with Fu Chuk and Tau Fu Pock being their main offerings. But as they say, sometimes it is good to keep things simple. Judging by the long queues, I doubt the sellers can afford to wait for customers to cherry pick their choice of Yong Tau Foo if there are a handful of them to choose from.

Make no mistake. This is the best Chee Cheong Fun that I have tasted so far. When I was trying to explain to the lady boss about taking pictures of its stall and putting it up on the Internet, the she said it was not necessary (in a polite manner) as their business is already too good!

She even mentioned that if given a choice, they do not wish to have more new customers as it is tiring for them to do this everyday. Now, how often do you hear that?

If you happened to drop by the idyllic town of Bentong, make this stall your first priority for a delicious packet of Chee Cheong Fun.

I heard that they are opened from 11 a.m. onwards. Oh, there are no seats available at the stall so you have to ‘tah pow’ and eat at the Kedai Kopi Kwong Sen located just next to it.


Jalan Chui Yin
28700 Bentong
Pahang

Location Map





Joseph @ Kitchen (Bangsar UOA)

15 09 2011

It is rare to come across a restaurant proudly accentuating its cooking philosophies from behind the kitchen doors. Hence, when Shirene, Sylvia, Agatha and Edmond shared their fascinating stories behind Joseph @ Kitchen, I soon realised that they have poured their heart and soul into creating culinary delights that would make their customers smile.

The first thing that I asked was “Where is Joseph?”, as I instinctively presumed that Joseph is the real owner of the restaurant. But that wasn’t the case.

It all started when a customer named Joseph dropped by their previous café at KL Sentral to have a meal one fine day. However, by a strange twist of fate, he ended up teaching them how to cook instead. Essentially, Joseph is a man who believes in cooking tasty food using simple ingredients. Now, this is an unfamiliar person that they knew nothing of other than his first name, stepping into their kitchen and generously imparting his knowledge about cooking. The peculiar part of this tale is that they had never knew his full name or his whereabouts. Much like a fleeting breeze, Joseph left soon after teaching them and never came back. Nevertheless, Joseph’s brief visit taught them many things about cooking among which is to always put their heart and soul in cooking. This simple yet profounding statement was the starting point for Joseph @ Kitchen in recognition of his contribution. They hope that by using the word ‘Joseph @ Kitchen’, he would one day find out about the restaurant and come visit them again.

As much as I was fascinated with their story, the food was equally enticing as well. So happened they were doing some in house food photography on that day and I happily helped them to take some food pictures before we sat down to taste the food.

First up was the Magic Bubble Coffee (RM 9.50). Using coffee rather than milk tea, I must admit that the first sip did not go too well with my taste bud due to the bitter taste of the coffee.

However, Joseph @ Kitchen cleverly combined the iced coffee with specially imported black pearls. Unlike the conventional black pearls sold elsewhere, the pearls used in Joseph @ Kitchen has sugar water contained inside its thin layer of jello skin which burst easily in the mouth thus emitting a nice sugary taste to compliment the bitter coffee. It was certainly an interesting beverage and I recommend it to anyone who like something as unique as this one.

Joseph @ Kitchen’s Tomato Pappa (RM 8.00) was certainly full of natural goodness. Using tomato puree and fresh tomatoes, it certainly packed a good punch. I could tell how much tomatoes were used judging by its thick and creamy texture.

Although it was sourish, the soup was a good appetizer to ‘open’ up the stomach for more tantalizing meals to be served.

If there is such thing as food romance, then I had certainly fallen in love with their Waldorf Salad (RM 10). Made from fresh apples, celery, raisins and walnuts, the salad was really appetizing.

The natural sweetness of the apple chunks complimented the slightly sourish taste of the Japanese mayonnaise while the crunchy walnuts provided a contrasting texture to the softer raisins. Highly recommended.

Their Grilled Steak Sandwich (RM 25.00) was another highlight in their menu. Cooked with 180gm patty, the rib eye steak was nicely grilled. The meat was certainly moist, juicy and full of beefy goodness. Instead of using corn flour to thicken the black pepper sauce, I was told that they used a special type of cheese to make the sauce thicker. Apart from being a healthier alternative, the cheese will not coagulate once the sauce has cooled down. Interestingly, I couldn’t taste the cheese which is what made the recipe so unusual. I can’t imagine having a cheesy black pepper sauce which is too bellyful to swallow.

Instead, it has a nice smooth pepperish and tangy lemon flavour. To ensure its freshness, the black pepper sauce will only be prepared upon order and not pre-cooked in a huge quantity

When Joseph @ Kitchen pointed out that not many restaurants out there can cook good spaghetti, I concurred with a heavy sigh. Thankfully, their Mushroom Olio (RM 15) was exceptionally good. Cooked with fresh Shiitake mushroom and herbs, they have competently used the right amount of ingredients to prepare this simple traditional spaghetti.

This yet-to-be-named dish was deceptively simple yet tasted very good. According to Agatha, Joseph @ Kitchen is planning to launch this starter (RM 12.00) in their forthcoming menu soon. During the food photography session, she kept insisting me to taste it as this is one of her favourite dish. After giving it a try, I must admit that it is my favourite too. I was told that the ingredients (prawns, dried chilies, sliced garlic and herbs) cannot be fried too long with olive oil. Otherwise, there would be an undesirable hint of bitterness in the dish.

The Calamari Ring (RM 8.00) was recently improvised to enhance the crispiness of its outer texture. Using a mixture of oats, the calamari rings were still crunchy after some time. I find that it is a light and appetizing enough to fill my stomach before diving into the main course.

Creamy White Mushroom (RM 8.00) is another recommended dish from Joseph @ Kitchen. If you love white mushroom and white creamy sauce, you are in for a treat. The mushroom was certainly fresh while the sauce was not overly creamy. I find that the taste very easy on the tongue.

Using fresh tomato puree, the Seafood Tomatoes (RM 18.00) the first thing that struck me was how fresh the spaghetti sauce was. Again, the dish draws attention to Joseph @ Kitchen’s philosophy in creating simple and healthy food that delights its customers.

Apart from all the meaty goodness, Joseph @ Kitchen does cater for vegetarians as well. Aptly called Veggie Lovers (RM 15), the spaghetti with white sauce does not contain any onion, garlic and egg. Honestly, I couldn’t tell that the dish was vegetarian based since the vegetarian prawns does look like the real thing from a quick glance. In fact, the cream sauce tasted very well despite the absence of garlic and onion. This is where Joseph @ Kitchen’s effort to continuously refine its recipe paid off handsomely as they cleverly used marinated herbs to substitute both garlic and onion.

Meat lovers should give the Grilled Beef Steak (RM 20.00) a try. Using 200gm of beef patty layered with black pepper sauce, I find that the beef was juicy and firm.

The potatoes were prepared using olive oil, herbs, pepper which is definitely a healthier alternative compared to French Fries.

Combining coffee and art, I simply went “Ooh…” when I saw the beautiful leaf pattern on Joseph @ Kitchen’s Cappuccino (RM 7).

The milk, foam and coffee were mixed together and poured onto the cup using a special technique called free pour. It takes years of training for a Barista to master the flair of producing great coffee art. They were nice enough to ask their Barista to show us how the cappuccino is produced.

Free pouring is different from the traditional way to making coffee art as the milk, foam and coffee are already mixed together when it is poured (or what is called ‘pulled’) onto the cup. The cappuccino was certainly smooth and rich with coffee aroma. Although it was bitter, I could taste a tinge of sweetness from the milk.

Another form of coffee art is known as ‘etching’. I took a sequence of shots to give a better idea on how the it was done.

The cappuccino has a sweeter taste due to the chocolate syrup used to make the patterns. It is interesting to know that Joseph @ Kitchen do offer coffee art classes to the pubic. Those who are interested can definitely give them a call to find out when the classes are held.

Suffice to say, Joseph @ Kitchen is a wonderful place to dine with its cozy ambiance and great food. Their passion for cooking is clearly reflected in their range of cuisines that are both healthy and tasty. With the big ‘smile’ on its logo, they have clearly not forgotten that great food will always put a smile on their customers’ face.

Joseph @ Kitchen
Unit 2-7, Second Floor
No.5, Jalan Bangsar Utama
59000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03 – 2282 2242

Business Hour:

Mon – Fri: 7:00 a.m – 9:00 p.m
Saturday: 10 a.m. -9:00 p.m.
Sunday closed

Website: http://www.josephkitchen.com.my/

Location Map (Behind Bangsar LRT Station)





Kedai Kopi Kow Po @ Bentong

11 09 2011

During the long Hari Raya and Merdeka holiday break, me and my friends decided to travel up to Bentong for a food trip. It was an impromptu decision after finishing our breakfast at Pan Heong on that Sunday morning.

Although I haven’t been to Bentong before, I did recall that it is famous for the ABC ice-cream (shaved ice dessert) from my childhood days. Therefore, I was really looking forward to try it out as I love to indulge myself with this wonderful Malaysian dessert.

Kedai Kopi Kow Po is located opposite of the bus station in Bentong town and along the same row as Hong Leong bank. I am not too sure why there is a Mickey Mouse character on its signboard, but it sure serves its purpose in catching the attention of passerby if that is the reason behind it. What is even more odd is that it is called ‘Kedai Kopi’ as the shop strikes me as a cafe more than a coffee shop.

Anyway, the star attraction is their famous ABC ice-cream (RM 3.80) and that was what really matters.

Although it was really crowded that day, the table turnaround time was quick as customers will leave as soon as they finished consuming their dessert. The restaurant is manned mostly by family members and we were served by an elderly lady. When she asked what we wanted to order, I remember jokingly said “Any flavours lah….” and she promptly brought out all six ice-cream flavoured ABCs (Banana, Coconut, Chocolate, Vanilla, Sweet Corn, Strawberry, Pandan) when there were only four of us.

On the side note, I was disappointed that the Durian flavoured ice-cream which is their best seller was already sold out by the time we reached there before noon.

The first thing I tasted was the ice-cream and it didn’t bowl (pun intended) me over. It was underwhelming without much sweetness or flavour. I am not too sure if these home made ice-cream were supposed to have a lighter taste but there was a distinct lack of ‘ummphh’ in it.

But to be fair, Kow Po’s home made ice-cream has a smooth texture and apparently, I heard it is made from natural ingredients. So this may explain why it has a lighter taste compared to what I am normally accustomed to.

The ABC was also average. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly outstanding either. One of my main gripe was that the gula melaka (palm sugar) wasn’t concentrated enough. I still prefer Weng Kee ABC at PJ Old Town.

Our group also ordered the jumbo platter (RM 8.40) which consists of three scoops of assorted flavour ice-cream. I like the coconut flavoured ice-cream as it has a nice natural flavour. Sadly, the peanut version has a strong weird taste to it (like some salty almond aftertaste).

I have to be fair here. Some said that Kow Po’s standard has dropped while others claimed that their home made ice-cream is supposed to have a lighter and natural taste without any artificial flavouring. Since it was my first visit there, I can’t really say for sure.

I guess it all comes down to personal preference. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you would find the their ice-cream rather underwhelming. But if you appreciate lighter tasting ice-cream, then Kow Po would be a great place to eat.

Still, the friendly uncle who had a chat with me said that he sells an average of over a 1,000 bowls of ABC a day.

It was also a sight to marvel on how quickly he prepares each bowl of shaved ice.

Kedai Kopi Kow Po
No.2 Bentong Heights
28700 Bentong
Pahang

Tel: 09-222 1258 / 016-931 0391

Business hour: 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

Location Map





Big Big Bowl Cafe @ Kepong

9 09 2011

When I first Googled about Big Big Bowl Cafe, there were already numerous blogs raving about their Hakka Lui Cha being the best in town. I felt that it was interesting to try it out although admittedly, I haven’t eaten Lui Cha in my life (despite my mum being a Hakka herself). Lui Cha means pounded tea where an assortment of tea leaves are pounded until it turned into greenish liquid. The liquid or what is commonly termed as the soup, is consumed with either rice or noodles top up with peanuts, bean curd and vegetables.

Depending on how you view the cuisine, it could be either a sumptuous meal (if you are a Hakka or Hakka food lover) or an odd mixture of gooey green liquid with rice or noodles (if you never like seen this dish before).

I kept an open mind when the Lui Cha (RM 7.50) was served as curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try it out for my first time (and possibly make my mum proud.. lol). And my verdict? There was a strong taste of basil and mint infused inside the soup which took me a while to get used to it.

From what I understand, the soup is made using the restaurant closely guarded family recipe. Moreover, there is no preservative which will certainly delight health conscious foodies out there. The Lui Cha is served with eight different type of ingredients including peanuts and ‘choi poh’ and painstakingly pounded although I believe it is now done using machine. After being enlightened over the technicality aspect of the dish, I started to like it better and even ordered an additional bowl of white rice to eat. From what I heard, most Hakka restaurants out there do not make soup as thick and flavoursome as the one in Big Big Bowl Cafe.

The claypot rice wine chicken RM15.50 (regular) RM20.50 (big) was another dish which I seldom eat. This is because the soup carries a concentrated taste of ‘wong chau’ or Chinese wine which doesn’t  appeal my taste bud.

Surprisingly, the claypot rice wine chicken at Big Bowl did not have strong wine flavour. On the contrary, it was much sweeter. According to Angie Lim who is the Operation Manager of the cafe, better quality wines will tend to taste sweeter which is how authentic Hakka rice wine chicken should be done. What is even more special about the dish is that the wine is home made by them.

The claypot vinegar trotters RM15.50 (regular) RM20.50 (big) is another popular dish at the cafe. I will be honest to say that I never like eating ‘chu kiok cho’.

When my mum prepare this dish, I will request her to cook a separate meal for me to eat. Perhaps the sourish smell emitting from the claypot wasn’t exactly what I would term as yummy. Well, at least I did try a few pieces of the pork at Big Big Bowl Cafe and the experience wasn’t that bad.

The soup was sweet with a tinge of sourish taste as how I expected it to be.

The cafe also recently introduced a new dish called the claypot siam style pork belly RM13.50 (regular) RM16.50 (big). This one reminded me of those Kung Pow style cooking with dark sauce and dried chilli. But what made it different was the inclusion of Basil leaves which lends an interesting taste of clove-like flavor with spicy chilli. I like this dish a lot.

What is even more interesting to note is that the all the dishes that are served with claypot are made instantly to ensure that they are served fresh from the kitchen.

Belacan fried lady finger (RM8) is also one of my favourite dish. The lady finger was big and crunchy while the sambal packs a punch.

Aptly called seven veggie pan mee RM5.50 (regular) RM8.50 (big bowl), the noodle is made from seven types of vegetables without preservative or colouring. This means that the noodle is full of wholesome goodness and fibre.

The soup is boiled only with ‘ikan bilis’ or anchovies without any pork and thus retaining the traditional taste of pan mee soup. While the soup was a bit plain to me, the seven veggie noodle was flavoursome as a result of the blended vegetables and this sort of makes up for the lack of soup taste.

I guess we are all too spoilt with eating MSG laden food huh? The bigger portion is served with a big bowl and thus the name of the restaurant.

Angie told us that her cafe started with selling only Pan Mee before adding a host of other cuisines to cater to the larger audience. She also mentioned that the pan mee dough are kneaded daily to ensure freshness.

The signature curry pan mee RM10.50 (regular) RM13.50 (big bowl) was my favourite as I love the taste of the curry soup.

Apparently the curry paste is also home made as well. The curry soup wasn’t too spicy and it has a nice sweet-ish flavour to it.

Perhaps owning to my half-Hakka roots, I am used to eating this sort of curry mee prepared by my mum. Love it.

The udon special with sambal / black pepper (RM8.50) was nicely presented with a layer of egg wrapping around the noodle like pattaya fried rice. Thumbs up for the food presentation. This is a new dish catering for the younger crowd that prefer something special. I didn’t really eat much as my stomach was half bloated by the time it was served.

Finally, our dinner ended with the signature mix platter (RM 19.90) which comes with fried pork, marmite chicken, fried dumplings and toufu with peanut toppings.

Personally I like the marmite chicken the most which can be ordered separately.

Being an eatery that specialises in home cook food, it is easy to recommend Big Big Bowl Cafe to health conscious foodies.

Given the popularity of the Lui Cha at Big Big Bowl Cafe, Hakka food lovers ought to give this place a try.

Big Big Bowl Cafe
No. 31, Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 2 (Opposite Jusco Kepong)
Taman Usahawan Kepong
52100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-211 5564

Business Hours:
Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. till 9 p.m.
Sat – Sun: 11 a.m. till 10 p.m.

Close on every alternate Tuesday

Location Map





Pan Heong @ Batu Caves #2

8 09 2011

It is rare that I blog about the same restaurant twice in a short span time. No, it is not that I am running out of ideas on where to eat but rather, Pan Heong’s Wat Tan Hor (Flat Rice Noodle with egg gravy) is awesomely delicious that it is hard to resist not wanting to have another plate of the silky smooth flat noodle with thick egg yolk based gravy.

Yes folks, the food at Pan Heong is that good and this was clearly seen from the massive Sunday morning crowd who were all lining up patiently for a table to sit when I was there during my second visit. Make sure you order a plate of Wat Tan Hor as this is their signature dish. The first thing you will notice is how yellowish the gravy is.

The texture is akin to half boiled egg; thick, concentrated and mouth-watering.

While I am singing praises about its gravy, the noodles deserve some accolade as well.

It took a couple of attempts to take the picture below as the noodles kept sliding off the pair of chopsticks. Hands down, this is the best Wat Tan Hor ever.

The Mee Mamak is no slouch either. While my other half said that there was a tinge of ‘kan sui’ (lye water) smell, I couldn’t taste it at all.

For a Chinese restaurant selling a dish which is more popularly known at Indian restaurants, I must say it is really impressive.

Just about every table at Pan Heong had a plate of Mee Mamak and that shows how good it is.

Sadly, the ‘Nam Yue Fah Yuk’ (deep fried pork with red fermented beancurd) wasn’t up to my expectation that day.

It could be that we spent a lot of time photographing the dish and it became cold under the fan. The skin was not crispy enough. Still it won’t deter me from ordering it again next time.

We also decided to try out their fish porridge for the first time after seeing customers slurping spoonful of porridge with ‘tin kai’ (frogs). We opt for the fish porridge instead and it didn’t disappoint me.

Chunks of fish meat and century egg can be clearly seen from each scoop of porridge.

Being a porridge lover, I find the texture just right. Not too thick, not too watery.

The fish meat was certainly fresh and though I never like century egg, I didn’t mind eating them at all that day.

This is the first time I seen crystalised century egg. Check out the texture.

It is really easy to recommend this place as my friends (and your truly) enjoyed eating the food that day. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with their signature dishes. I will definitely visit this place over and over again. Just remember to go there early to avoid the long queue.

Check out my first write up about Pan Heong here.

 

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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