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





Aunty Gemuk’s Char Kuey Teow @ Kelana Jaya

27 05 2011

Affectionately known as Aunty Gemuk (Fat Aunty), I guess her physical appearance says it all. I stumbled across this place after reading a lot of positive reviews in the blogsphere, praising about her mouth watering plate of Char Kuey Teow. As a food lover myself, I knew it is a matter of time before I drop by at her stall to try her famous fried noodle.

Aunty Gemuk’s Char Kuey Teow is found at Restoran Jamal Mohamed, facing the entrance of Wisma FAM. Located at the intersection of Jalan SS51/12 and Jalan SS51/9, the restaurant was super-packed during lunch hours. Despite the crowd, it wasn’t hard to spot her stall given her plump appearance. Numerous customers were seen queuing up beside her stall while most tables were already filled with her signature fried noodles – a sure sign of her popularity. One of the unique thing about Restoran Jamal Mohamed is that its sellers are made up of various races congregating under one roof. Without doubt, the spirit of 1 Malaysia is alive and well here.

The Char Kuey Teow came in a big clump of reddish-like noodles with prawns, cockles, bean sprout and eggs embedded inside. While food presentation may not be Aunty Gemuk’s forte, the taste was a different story altogether.

I must say, the service was very efficient. Despite so many orders coming in, my big plate of Char Kuey Teow (RM 4.50) arrived swiftly. I guess Aunty Gemuk has mastered the art of frying noodles so proficiently that each plate of pipping hot fried noodle is served from the wok in no time at all.

The Char Kuey Teow wasn’t very oily which was a good thing. Despite so, the individual strands of noodles were moist and well-fried. It was as if Aunty Gemuk has truly acquired the fine art of cooking Char Kuey Teow with a perfect balance of ingredients, heat and frying time.

One other unique character that I noticed in Aunty Gemuk’s Char Kuey Teow is the absence of dark soya sauce. Instead of the usual dark brownish texture on most Char Kuey Teow, here, the noodles were of slight reddish tones from what I presumed to be the use of belacan or shrimp paste.

It was also slightly spicier compared to the usual Char Kuey Teow that I have tried elsewhere. The noodles were still hot even after spending a few minutes taking pictures which is an indication of ‘Wok Hei’ or what is commonly referred to as charred taste as a result of frying the kuey teow with intense heat.

Selling Char Kuey Teow in a Muslim mamak shop means that no pork lard or pork sausages are allowed to maintain the ‘Halal’ status. Despite the absence of these two ingredients, I didn’t find it detrimental to the taste at all.

Suffice to say, Aunty Gemuk’s Char Kuey Teow warrants two thumbs up. The taste is delicious and I finished my big plate in no time at all. Her fried Char Kuey Teow has won my heart and it is ranked as one of the best I had tasted so far.

For your information, Aunty Gemuk is a very friendly person. When I asked if I can take a picture of her frying noodles, she smiled and said “Okay!”

Truly a gem not to be missed. She open daily till 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday till 4 p.m. only.

Restoran Jamal Mohamed
No. 24, Jalan SS5A/9
47301 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Location Map





Rojak Mustaffa @ Section 17, Petaling Jaya

18 02 2011

Anyone who has been staying in Section 17, Petaling Jaya would be familiar with Rojak Mustaffa. Located along Jalan 17/21, Rojak Mustaffa’s van is parked under the big tree opposite the morning market by noon everyday. As far as I can remember, this rojak stall has been around for ages and has attracted many loyal customers who are often seen sitting on the plastic chairs in front of the rojak van.

The stall was originally run by the boss himself but during my last visit there, it seems that his son has taken over the business. Judging from how quickly the ingredients were sliced on the chopping board, I would say that he is as experienced as his father, if not better. My packet of rojak was ready in less than 2 minutes.

Rojak Pasembur or rojak mamak consists of various ingredients such as floury cake, sliced cucumber, hard boiled egg, fried tofu, bean sprout and fried crackers.

One of the best thing I love about Rojak Mustaffa is the thick peanut sauce which has the right balance of spicy and sweet taste to it. Spread the peanut sauce all over the ingredients and mix them together for a plate of delicious meal!

Beside Rojak Sotong & telur (RM 5.00), they also serve Rojak Mee (RM 5.50), Rojak Telur (RM 4.00) and Rojak Sotong (RM 4.00). Business hour is from noon till around 4 p.m.

Rojak Mustaffa
Jalan 17/21
46400 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 016-327 5176

Location Map





Oriental Chicken Restaurant @ Glenmarie

6 08 2010

Oriental Chicken has recently opened its doors at Glenmarie, Shah Alam. Despite being the new kid on the block, they have already garnered a sizable number of patrons during lunch hours. Being curious, my colleagues decided to give this place a try to see what the buzz was all about.

I took the steam chicken rice which costs RM 5.90 per meal. I was told that this is one of their signature dish which comes as no surprise as  it tasted very good. The chicken meat was tender and smooth. Flavour wise, I would rank this place on the same level as Kar Heong which I blogged about previously.

And of course, what would a plate of chicken rice be without bean sprout? Thick and crunchy, the individual sprouts were an absolute delight to chew on.

And for something different they also offered what is called as chef set meal (RM 8.90). The dish consists of barbecued pork, long beans, sambal and a sunny side up. According to my colleague it was tasty. From what I can tell, the barbecued pork looks nicely marinated and flavoursome.

Overall, I find Oriental Chicken a noteworthy place to dine. Recommended for anyone who fancy a good place of chicken rice.

Oriental Chicken Restaurant
No. 22, Jalan Jurureka U1/40
Seksyen U1
40150 Shah Alam
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Tel: 013-338 2699 (Jimmy Ong)
Email: orientalchicken@gmail.com

Location Map





Restoran Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau @ Ipoh

19 06 2010

A visit to Ipoh won’t be complete without eating the famous Ipoh Chicken Rice and Hor Fun. Hence my quest to try this local dish lead me to Lou Wong Chicken Rice which is located at Jalan Yau Tet Shin. The first thing I noticed was the amount of customers at this restaurant. At around 5 p.m., scores of people were already seated at the tables stretching to the road side.

Here is a picture of their steam chicken…

To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the steam chicken. For all the good reviews I have read about Lou Wong, their steam chicken was only average. Compared to some of the steam chicken I had eaten before this, Lou Wong’s chicken left a lot to be desired. The meat wasn’t tender and flavoursome.

Thankfully, the bean sprouts were fresh, crunchy and thick.

The Hor Fun was smooth and tasted alright just as you would expect a good bowl of noodle to be cooked.

One thing I have to add is the poor level of hygiene at Lou Wong. On a few occasions, I spotted their workers smoking while waiting to serve the customers. The kitchen area was dirty….

Overall I was rather disappointed with the quality of food (and hygiene) at Lou Wong. It is hard for me to recommend this place especially when their steam chicken was mediocre. I heard that Ong Kee which is just opposite of Lou Wong is much better. By the way, the meal costs RM 16.40.

Restaurant Lou Wong Tauge Ayam Kuetiau
49, Jalan Yau Tet Shin,
3000, Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-254 4199

Location Map









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