Jason showed his mean streak ... "Grrr .... WHERE's MY EGGS???"
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Lower right's egg custard. Good stuff.
All-time favourite dessert, Sago Gula Melaka
Anyway, skip all the KL parts first, and let's concentrate on my first, virginal and innocent stay for 3 nights at The Zon Regency Hotel, Stulang Laut, Johor Bahru. There are a few pics here and there of my room and the hotel itself, but let's save those for rainy days (when writer's/blogger's block strikes).Ooohhh... we're some RED-hot babes oozing from our skins ....
We arrived by flight from KLIA at around 4pm, bearing in mind NO meals will be served (boo-hoo) by the hotel management, according to the letter sent to us. After settling down, me, CTO, and Suzy (hehe, sorry, dunno what other nicks to choose from) together with Hairy who hails from Kelantan went down for a walk at the Duty Free Shopping Centre. Though my initial expectation and high hopes for a potential shopaholic's paradise was dampen by a mediocre shopping complex, with a few liquor stores and a chocolate shop, as well as other cafes/restaurants/clothing stores that did not appeal to me.Nasi Goreng Cina
Oh well, let's go for an early dinner! As usual, food speaks the international language of love, and Hairy was dragged (literally) to join us, though he protested because he received news about free meals provided by the hotel.
Hairy : Eh, hotel macam ada serve dinner la, pada pukul 7 nanti, sekarang dah pukul 6, tunggu la sekejap lagi ya? :) Tentu best makanan yang di'serve' oleh hotel, kan?
Me, CTO and Suzy : TAK NAK! (Stamping our feets, growling and scratching at poor Hairy ...)
Justice prevailed (muahaha) and there we were on our way to satisfy our lust for good food. BTW, one awkward thing is, as the duty free shopping centre is located within the vicinity of the hotel itself, everytime we wanted to walk out or drive away from the hotel, we would have to pass by the stern looking custom officers right in front of the hotel compartment. Yes, they check the car boot and such, to avoid smuggling of duty-free items for sale.Seafood Tom Yam Soup
A short walk from the hotel is this outlet serving Malay food. In fact, the whole row of shops were populated by such eateries, competiting among each other for customers. Trusting our instincts, we chose the brightest (for taking food pics purposes, thanks to moi), cleanest (at least among the stalls, not comparing with Grade A or B premises), and the one with the most seats filled. Restoran Sayam 2's (makes me wonder, where is Sayam 1 anyway?) owner maybe a sarcastic chap, naming his restaurant Saya Ayam 2 (too), cracking a joke or 2 (too) and probably did not realise the joke was erm, on YOU? =P
Stop the crapping and on to the food. Johor is famous for its Otak-Otak, but there are 2 versions available. One being the variety from Muar, and another called Otak Otak Kempas which is shown on above. Never a fan of Otak2 since my USM days, due to my tendency to avoid anything smelling of pungent lemongrass, I had my doubts. But these babies, RED-hot ones, if you will, were just too tempting and tasty! Looks may be deceiving, but one bite and I was hooked. They placed the whole basket of Otak2 for us to attack, good business strategy, as none of us could stop at one piece. Sweet, slightly spicy, warm ,and soft, the fish paste is savoury, and devoid of unpleasant fishy smell. Definite must-try if you're in JB.
The other dishes were good, nothing particularly mind-boggling. The price was reasonable (bear in mind that this hotel IS at the Johor-Singapore border, after all). After the meal, Hairy managed to gobble down some desserts at the hotel's cafe!!! I skipped those, but oh boy. BAD decision ......
(to be continued ....)
Friday, April 25, 2008
Surfing on a dial-up line is really killing me. Really. Wonder what TM does with all those revenues streaming in. Brainwashing users into switching to Streamyx? Kinda pathetic excuse of a "broadband", but still, surfing's a breeze, and a blogging is not reduced to a chore. Erm, 'THANKS, STREAMYX???' Starting to sound contradictory here. I think I should stop here. For the day.
Wondering what's the above item? Go figure. It is either an ice cream. Or a piece of frozen kuih. The kind we fondly remembered from ancient Hong Kong drama, where the characters buy them from stalls by the street. Til the next one .... *yawn* ....
Friday, April 18, 2008
The tea came in a glass, separated into 3 distinctive layers. The top part is the tea, middle part being evaporated milk and the bottom part was a dark black layer. Hmm, initially I assumed it was coffee, but then one sip, and surprise, surprise! It was gula melaka (coconut sugar)! Strange combination but it worked wonders. Being a caffeine addict myself, the smooth, milky tea was up my alley, and one of the better Teh C I've tasted.
Dad ordered Chicken Maryland, batter-fried til crispy, and the meat was juicy, not dry, served with their signature (I supposed) onion sauce. With a slice of ham, a sausage, ONION RINGS, French fries, cucumber slices and toasted butter bread (Whew ...), the portion can be slightly intimidating at first. But Dad loves his meat, and in a matter of minutes, whoosh .... empty plate.Half Cheese Mussels (RM13)
After a long, dreadful (I was salivating at the other's chicken chops, fish and chips, maryland) wait, my mussels finally arrived! With LOTS of onion rings, fried to perfection, I'd give up my mussels for a few plateful more of the rings, ANYTIME! Not to say the mussels were bad, mind you. Half a dozen were deep-fried in batter, with cheese powder and cheddar, the big, plump, juicy morsels were just great. Moreover they were very fresh and sweet. No sauce required. But the trophy STILL went to the humble ONION RINGS !!!! =)
Location? Pls refer to my first post HERE.
We were served the soup-of-the-day, cream of chicken, with freshly toasted garlic bread. Though a bit salty, the toast was buttery, crispy at sides, with pieces of REAL garlic sprinkled on top. The soup was creamy, not too rich, with strips of chicken meat, and some vegetables (probably celery). A good starter. But, wait .... that was NOT the only starter?Oh, another appetizer? Gr8!!
Moments later, we were served with a plate of salad each. Hey, TWO appetizers? Fresh vegetables (but the carrot strips were slightly dry) drenched in thousand island dressing cannot go wrong.Spaghetti Amatriciana (RM14.90 per set)
My spaghetti arrived first, pardon the dark, blurry photos as the interior is quite dimly lit, and you know how 'reliable' handphone camera is. I think it is Amatriciana, as I browsed through the menu, and this was what the waiter showed me. With LOTS of beef bacon slices, generous sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and garnished with mushrooms and capsicums, the spaghetti was done al dente, and the portion was BIG. Delicious.
TallGal and KYT ordered the same set of Lamb Cutlets, served with spaghetti (same variety with mine) and mashed potatoes. The serving was a bit small though. Drenched in black pepper sauce, the lamb was tender, with minimal chewy parts, but the gravy was a tad salty. KYT commented that his spaghetti was overcooked, rendering the noodles tougher than ideal.Fish & Chips (RM12.90 per set)
FCOE and LWK ordered fish and chips, served cutlet-style, with the same sides as the lamb. Tried a piece, and the fish was fresh, succulent and devoid of mud smell. Probably dory fish, but quite tasty.Dilmah Oolong Tea?? (dun mind the fat fingers, that's KYT's ... hehe)
One thing I forgot to mention was that we were served a soft drink each, complimentary as welcome drink, and at the end of our meal, we were given options of coffee or tea. Strange combination of Coke and coffee I know, and would be glad if they change the welcome drink to dessert instead. The coffee was a bit too strong, definitely for coffee-lovers, but KCA had fear of palpitation (read:rapid heartbeat), and left most of her cup unattended. (One nice touch was that we were given white and brown sugar to choose from, and fresh milk as well). The rest had tea, and it came in a pot.
Total bill for 6 came to RM98 including 10% service charge and 5% gov tax. The place was quite empty, as from the outside, it was pretty difficult to ascertain whether they were open or not.
Location : 2, 2A & 4,4A, Jalan Medan Ipoh 6, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh. Tel : 05-5485720. Specifically, it is a corner lot facing Tesco hypermarket, opposite 1919 Restaurant and back-to-back with Nasmir Nasi Kandar. They have a bar that serves various cocktails as well.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Located at a side lane off Jalan Stesen, this stall's signboard caught our eyes (my fury eyes), as I've never tasted Cendol Pulut in my life, but astonishingly, KYT had!! How wrong was I to think he would avoid anything with santan. =PPathetic & empty looking arrangement huh?
The stall sells Nasi Lemak and Burgers as well. We ordered a bowl each of their signature dessert, Cendol Pulut, and they came in 2 BIG bowls, enough to be shared among 3 or 4. Not expecting much from such an empty stall, surprisingly the cendol tasted quite good, not too sweet, and not too much santan (coconut milk). And the inclusion of pulut (glutinous rice) into the mixture added texture, taste, and of course, pretty much filling. Hmm, but at only RM1.50/bowl, you do NOT get red beans, and the gula melaka is not as fragrant/tasty as the one used by Penang's or Melaka's cendol. But who's complaining? ;)
We searched high and low, but could not find the name of the shop
We picked up another kaki makan in Tapah, Miss Skoon, who works somewhere at the outskirts, on the way to Bidor. She drove us to a place she fondly refers to as "Riverfront", right beside a mosque, by the riverside. (The water is murky, be thankful the stall is located a distance away from the bank)Nasi Daging Merah (RM4.00)
They served economy rice,with plentiful of dishes, including ulam (raw vegetables) and grilled fish, as well as various masakan kampung. We chose to eat freshly cooked dishes, as from the menu on the wall, there were at least 10 types of Nasi Goreng and the likes, available for order.
KYT's Nasi Daging Merah (beef in sweet and spicy sauce) came in quite a portion (rice and dish alike), but he commented the lack of taste, and the chewiness of the chunks of beef kind of spoiled the dish for him. My Nasi Goreng USA came with a fried egg on top, small prawns, LOTS of onions (yummy), and Daging Merah as well. On the contrary, I found the beef to be well marinated and cooked, and though some pieces were slightly chewy due to the veins, overall the portion was HUGE, and the rice was fried til fragrant and delicious. Or probably I LOVE caramelized onions no matter what they're served with. ;)Nasi Goreng Paprik (RM5.50)
Skoon had some scares as the waiter/waitress kept serving the aforementioned beef dishes and claimed those were Nasi Paprik, when what Skoon ordered was in fact a CHICKEN dish. Luckily hers arrived just the way she wanted, Fried Rice with Ayam Paprik (Chicken, Prawns and Vegetables in spicy/sour sauce). Tried a piece, and the dish was tasty.
The price was pretty reasonable for the portion served, but be prepared for some wait in case you decide to order from the kitchen. The place was designed 'half al fresco', therefore brave the heat if you're seated on the outer ends.
Location : Coming from the North-South Highway, towards Tapah town, you will pass by a bridge (Jambatan Batang Padang if I'm not mistaken), after turning left at the traffic lights at Shell petrol station. This shop/stall is located on the left, immediately after the bridge, beside the mosque.
Location : Cendol Pulut @ a side lane beside Hotel Utara on Jalan Stesen. To get to Jalan Stesen, drive further down the road after the bridge, and you will reach a traffic lights with a shop named Restoran Kai Fan on your right. Turn right into Jalan Stesen, and once you see Klinik Sentosa on your left, and Hotel Utara on your right, turn right into the small lane beside the hotel. The stall is situated at the lane itself.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The words of FCOE still rang in my ears; "MUST try the chee cheong fun, OK?!" However, what she failed to warn me was that there are TWO stalls selling CCF. Hmm. Incompetent guide. =P Had to make an emergency call to ensure we did not order from the wrong one ... thus ...
FCOE's favourite stall No. 50
I ordered 2 strips/blocks of her fav CCF from a very friendly looking uncle, at stall No. 50. He asked in Mandarin, or could be Hokkien whether I wanted them to be served 'opened up' or in 'cubes'. Hmm, funny question? But it seems some Penangites have them cut open and served. Weird, huh?2 blocks/strips at RM1.60. What a steal ...
Tastewise? Sorry FCOE, my tastebuds not accustomed to Penang's version of CCF. But it was not bad. On par with the Kimberley Street's and Lorong Delima's, but Material Boy,being the CCF connoiseur that he is, commented on Delima still retaining the trophy in his books. Oh well, let's move on to familiar territory .....
One of my all-time fav Pasembor on the island, albeit a Chinese version, the Batu Lancang Pasembor really carved a name for itself. Throngs of ppl ordered from this stall No. 8, and you may have to brave the wait (though no more than 20 minutes). But this time around, it was slightly spicier than usual, which was fine with me.Delicious Char Kuey Teow (RM3)
Still craving for more, as this was the last meal for this trip, I knew I have to satisfy my lust for Char KueyTeow, my top most favourite choice when it comes to Penang food. There are at least 2 stalls selling this, but I stood by FCOE's recommendation and my own previous experience and ordered one with everything (clams, egg and prawns) from stall No. 28, right beside Nyonya kuih stall. As expected, beyond compare (when compared with Ipoh's version). Smoky flavour sipping through the golden bits of eggs enveloping the smooth rice noodle, springy medium sized prawns, and juicy cockles. With Chinese waxed sausages to boast. And it was spicy! Extremely up my alley.... Oh yeah ...
Location : Batu Lancang Market. Somewhere near Jelutong area. At Jalan Lintang, Batu Lancang. Specifically? From Jalan Gelugor, you will pass by USM Batu Uban gate on your left. Go straight for around 5 minutes, passing a few traffic lights, until you come to a Shell petrol station on your left. There will be a fork after the station. Take the right path (slightly up hill) to Jelutong. Go straight some more, and take the first turning on the left. You will come to a 2 way road, with houses on both sides. Go til the end to a T junction,and turn right. The market and the food court is to your immediate left. There is a large parking lot in front of the market.
When I tried to order, the lady mentioned something about the need to wait for half an hour, albeit in Hokkien. Just to be doubly sure, I instructed Material Boy to try his luck. Sadly, it was true. =(
We had to cancel our initial plan of trying the obviously famous CCF, and ordered Western style breakfast instead. Though they offer only 2 varieties, we did not mind and ordered both instead. (Muahaha ... no CCF nvm, we can stuff ourselves with other delicacies).
Cheese and Onion Omelette (RM2)
The fried butter bread with egg resembles French Toast, but with light sprinkling of sugar on top. Surprisingly, it was good, and Material Boy finished most of it while I was contemplating on whether to order sui kow or wantan mee. Hmm. In defense (or rather, in revenge, haha) I had the lion's share of the cheese and onion omelette. The filling was warm, cheesy but not too heavy, which was good as it left some space in our tummies for more to come. ;)
Hmm, since we did not get to try one of Penang's famous CCF stall, let's compensate by crawling over to Pulau Tikus for some duck egg char kuey teow. Located at Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock, opposite Pulau Tikus police station on Jalan Burma, this shop is quite popular among Penangites and outsiders alike. However, luck was certainly not on our side. The lady sold out her CKT by 11am!!! =ODeep-fried til perfection ... Roti Babi (Rm3)
Sigh ... Not one to give up easily, I eyed the huge banner at the back of the shop saying 'ROTI BABI'. Hey, I love pork! And after trying Penang's CRC (Chinese Recreation Club)'s Roti Ayam the previous time, I was deeply hooked with these Roti types of servings.
Served with plum sauce and red chilli, the breaded crumbs was crispy, and lent a fragrant undertone to the minced pork, potatoes and carrots filling. Delicious. But a tad oily for those health freaks. But I certainly do not mind. Hehe ... Not that I can get this in Ipoh.Stall beside the shop, selling delicious apom pancakes
Hmm, as the place was packed and tough to get a table, might as well make the full of it and order something else to indulge in. (And I wonder why my waistline is expanding). Penang has various stalls selling apom pancakes (Ban Chang Kuih) stuffed with interesting ingredients, from the sweet (peanut, banana, raisin) to the savoury (tuna, cheese, ham). The most popular one has to be Aki Pancake, in Super Tanker in Tmn Lip Sin. Hope it is still there though.Banana Pancake (RM0.90) and Peanut Pancake (RM0.60)
This small stall at the roadside has fewer options, but charges cheaper prices. Both the banana and peanut versions were good. The shop has various other stalls selling typical hawker fare, such as Koay Chiap, chicken rice, Western food, 'pau', etc.
Location : Kedai Kopi Seow Fong Lye @ Lebuh Macalister. Pretty easy to find. Lebuh Macalister is a branch from the main road of Jalan Macalister. In fact, coming from Komtar/Gama supermarket side, Lebuh Macalister is the first turning on the right when you're driving along Jalan Macalister.
Location : Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock @ Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus. It is directly opposite Pulau Tikus Police station, a corner shop at the junction of Solok Moulmein.