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Motormouth From Ipoh

Thursday, October 30, 2008

PASTA de GOHAN @ Sunway Pyramid - Pasta, Re-Mixed?

I was attracted to Pasta de Gohan ever since others in the blogosphere raved about the countless pastas they serve, and how their outlets in Singapore are performing really well in terms of revenues and popularity. They're known as Pasta de Waraku over the straits though.
Japanese Casual Pasta & Cafe Restaurant - "Casual" is an understatement here.
The past week I was stuck in Sunway Pyramid for 4 straight days, attending a conference at Sunway Convention Centre. Food's provided, but a dismal affair, at best. Once the lunch was so horrible that we went scavenging for food way past lunch hours. And so we ended up at Pasta De Gohan located at Sunway Pyramid's new wing, LG2 level. Next to JCo Donuts & Coffee.
The chic, bright and airy interior of the restaurant
Searching for a cafe serving tea time set was not a stroll in the park. But most outlets serving snacks, be it sweet or savoury, though fit the bill, but we were craving for something substantial (to fill the void in our guts, obviously) yet not of the fast food variety.
Passing by Paste de Gohan, Pancake House International and JCo Donuts (they're all side by side), the choice was downsized to the former two, as the queue for the doughnuts was building up. It was peak hour for them anyway. And browsing at Pasta de Gohan's menu, we were attracted to their value sets served from 2pm til 7pm (I think).
Vanilla Float and Fresh Grapefruit Juice (complimentary with the sets ordered)
It was 2 hours before dinner, hence we shared two sets among the trio of hungry souls. The sets include either a pizza, a doria (rice baked with cheese and mayo sauce), or a gratin (penne baked with cheese), and served with a juice of your choice, or vanilla float.
Prawn & Chicken Gratin - Penne with Wafu Cream Sauce
The portions are not overwhelming, but sufficient for intermittent meals. Baked with lots of creamy cheese and wafu (Japanese dressing) sauce, the penne served was minimal, but the fresh, and succulent shrimps made up for any losses. The tender chicken strips was a nice addition as well.

Doria - Spicy Cod Roe & Potato (Rice with Wafu mentai mayonnaise sauce)

Oozing with cheese; melted, creamy and glorious cheese, the rice baked with potatoes and spicy cod roe could be a meal on its own. The spicy cod roes provided much of the flavour, slightly spicy and saltish, topping the bland baked potatoes, and complemented perfectly by the creamy cheese melting onto the rice with wafu sauce. A perfect combination, if there ever was one.

The Gratin set was priced at RM13.80, while the Doria set was RM12.80. The selection of pasta at Pasta de Gohan is mind-boggling. I did not bother to count, but there were at least 50 types of pasta cooked with any methods imaginable. Fusion, hybrid, un-original (or original), or whatever the detractors may say, one can NEVER be bored with the endless selections here.

Location : PASTA de GOHAN @ LG2.126A, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, 3, Jln PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel : 603-5621 8166

Here's some fusion-ized pasta-lovers : kampungboycitygal, Christine, masak-masak, & Ai Wei

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hong Kong/Macau 2008 FINALE - When The Sun Goes Down in Macau ...

And here comes the finale ..... Well, for those who might've forgotten, this ultra long, and extended posts on Hong Kong/Macau actually spanned an un-enviable 5 weeks. Yeah yeah ... I could've finished them earlier, but "time constraints" and "human nature" (read : lazybum) had the better of me. For those who wish to recall the whole ordeal, from Day One til Day Nine, do click HERE for the entire itinerary.

As different as night and day .... Ruo do Cunha at night lacking in terms of traffic
We took the ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui pier to reach Macau, for HKD148/RM66.60 per pax. Of course I'm still assuming the conversion rate of HKD100=RM45, which held true at that moment when I was in HK. But as of now, the our RM has weaken slightly, and the exchange rate has since soared to HKD100=RM46+. Take note, k?
Arriving in Macau, we took Bus No 3 (or 3A) to reach Sun Ma Lou (Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro) for MOP$2.50/RM1.13 per pax. But really, if you're carrying the whole of HK (or more) back with you, do consider a cab instead, as the distance is not really far.
As it was already pretty late, we checked ourselves into Ko Wah Hotel at Ruo de Felicidade, a few shoplots away from San Va Hospideria. For MOP$550/RM247.50, we got ourselves a very spacious, clean and comfortable room for FOUR, with air-conditioning, TV, hot shower, and the likes. Just like a REAL hotel. Marginally improved in comparison to San Va (click HERE for our unique experiences on the 1st night). Sadly, I've lost the contact for the hotel (will post here once I've found it), but bear in mind they DO NOT cater to pre-booking online, thus either you call before arriving, or push your luck and hope for a room.
DUMBO Portuguese Restaurant @ Taipa
For dinner, we took a bus No 33 to reach Taipa across the straits, for MOP$3.30/RM1.50 per pax. The whole stretch of Ruo do Cunha or "Koon Yeh Khai" in Cantonese was rather deserted, raising slight surprise, that will soon be answered after dinner.
We unanimously agreed on any restaurants serving Macanese/Portuguese food for the last dinner in Macau. For this trip, at the very least. So we proceeded to DUMBO Restaurant in Taipa Village, a short walk from Ruo do Cunha. Very easy to locate, as you'll notice the signboard with what else, but DUMBO the flying elephant erm ... cheerfully welcoming you. The building's rather big, spanning a few floors.

We were ushered to our seats upstairs, and were pleasantly surprised by the large crowd in the restaurant. The exterior was unassuming, but once we stepped in, the place came to life, literally. With cutleries & glasses a-clanking, the boisterous/lively/vibrant crowd (mostly tourists, I presume) imposed a sense of camaraderie, automatically injecting charm into the classic dining hall.
The menu covers everything from Portuguese classics to Macanese crossovers. And everything in between. Bear in mind the crowd may be overwhelming at times, and reservation may be vital. But then again, the quieter than usual streets in Macau that evening was highly suspicious. Hmm ... what could be on?

Complimentary bread and butter .... The bread resembled baguette, but not as hard

Bacalhau Fried Rice (MOP$35/RM15.75)

Bacalhau is a traditional and favourite Portuguese dish, referring to salted codfish. Yup, even the taste mimicked our very own salted fish. We dared not order a whole fish, which can be steamed, fried or cooked with gravy. The simple fried rice was fluffy, with eggs and capsicums. The Bacalhau provided much of the flavours, but then again, did not click with our palates. :(
Roasted Pigeon (MOP$55/RM24.75)
Highly recommended by other floggers, the roasted pigeon arrived as a singleton, and quartered to ease serving. Stuffed with garlic and spices, the bird was served with lemon wedges to be squeezed liberately. Tastewise? Other than the overpowering garlic stuffings, the bird was roasted well, but to me was akin to a quail. And do not be fooled by the photo above, as the portion's not big at all. One can easily polish off a whole bird in record time. =P

Roasted German Pork Knuckle (MOP$70/RM31.50)

The sight of pork knuckle in the menu had me in a trance. Really. And the next table savouring the whole slab of meat was all the more inviting. You can have your knuckle roasted or steamed. But ewww .... who eat their pork knuckles steamed anyway?

The portion was definitely meant for sharing, and the tender, juicy and fatty cuts of meat were irresistible. However, the saltiness may be a put-off factor to some. Ate them with the supplied bread and the saltiness was somewhat tempered.

Mixed vegetable salad (MOP$30/RM13.50)
In fear of constipation, we opted for some fibres in the form of their salad. The usual tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and olives with a boiled egg as protein-supplement. Substantial for one on diet, and perfect as accompaniment to a carnivorous meal.
Total damage : MOP$209/RM94. In conclusion? Mixed reactions from all corners. Maybe we should've ordered something else? Or we should've dined elsewhere? Or maybe our tastebuds are not that compatible with Portuguese food? Hmmm .... To be answered in my next visit. hahaha .... NOW I've a reason to go again. :)

Wow .... deserted street at 9pm?
We exited the restaurant and noticed they serve various desserts on display at the counter. From Serradura to cakes and such. At reasonable prices as well.
Once outside, we were puzzled by the strangely isolated streets. It was a Saturday evening after all. And we expected the whole place to be swarmed/infested/congested with seas of humanity. OK, maybe a tad far off, but the quiet streets were kind of ..... weird.
Some may argue : "Of course lah ..... Ppl go casinos at night ma .... Who will go jalan-jalan and makan-makan?!"
Which, I can't deny, may be one of the reason to such phenomenon. But then the pieces started falling into place. It was the 20th of September 2008. The night when the final 2 episodes of Moonlight Resonance were being shown on TV !!! Arguably the MOST popular and MOST watched TVB drama of all time, the popularity of the drama had people glued to the TV everywhere, from cafes to restaurants, and of course most in the comfort of their homes. And they held a special screening at one of the malls in Hong Kong.
Talk about Couch Potatoes. (Of course, we would've glued to our set in our hotel room, had we not travelled so distant from our hotel)
Pastelaria Fong Kei
A confectionery on Ruo do Cunha (it's the name of the famous street in Taipa, in case you're wondering) named Fong Kei looked unpretentious, and certainly lacked the glitz and glamour of its counterparts namely Koi Kee and Choi Hiong Yuen. But they do have a following of their own, selling traditional and homemade biscuits, and some cannot be found in M'sia. Deserve a try, but the packaging is nothing like Koi Kee's perfect-as-gifts varieties.

Largo do Senado (Senado Square) - You can count the mosaics without getting your fingers stepped on ... unlike the first night.

Ruins of St Paul's .... The evening crowd was a welcoming change from the hustle/bustle of the daytime rush

You can practically sit on the steps and soak in the surroundings ....

Lots of dog-lovers bring their pets to the Ruins at night ... Made me wonder what if my LULU was with me at that moment. Sure gave the other owners a shock. Crazy Golden Retriever.
After dinner, we utilised our room's space to the fullest. For packing and unpacking of our baggages. The spacious room was God-sent for such trivial matters. Or important, depending on how you look at it. hehehe ....
Back to Slumberland ....

An equally deserted Ruo De Felicidade .... G'night Macau ....

Morning view from our room ... G'morning Macau?! :)
Our flight's at 10.45 am. Thus, we checked out and took a cab to the airport (MOP$70/RM31.50) as harming the other passengers on bus with my killer-of-a-luggage was a tempting yet morbid idea.
Macau International Airport

Disastrous breakfast of Portuguese Egg Tarts (3 for MOP$21/RM9.45) and Curry Beef Brisket Noodles (MOP$35/RM15.75)
Arriving rather early, we had breakfast at the airport's food court. Bad choice, as which airport serves GOOD food anyway? :)
GOODBYE .... Til the next journey !!!
And that ... was a wrap, folks. Do consider holidaying in Hong Kong/Macau if you're one who loves food, lots and lots of delicious food, and shopping. Sight-seeings may not be comparable to other countries, and the weather may be unpleasantly hot and humid during summer. But a small price to pay, really.
The whole trip costed me less than RM2k, including airfare, accomodation, transportation, entrance fees, and food. But of course, excluding shopping and souvenirs. For a good 9 days, 8 nights. Now who says travelling to Hong Kong is expensive?!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MOF Japanese Sweets & Coffee @ Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur - Satiates That Nagging Sweet Cravings?

If you're bogged down by the promises made by the (in)competent ministries in our country, promising the heavens but instead delivering lowly dirts, then you're probably not alone.
But seek solace in the Ministry of Food, a refreshing paradigm shift, a light at the end of the tunnel, a requiem for the masses. OK, for the sweet-toothed ones, at the very least. ;)

Ladies & gentlemen, the newest (or at least, new to me!) addition to the ever-expanding line up of eateries in Pavilion, the MINISTRY OF FOOD !!!

Read about this chic cafe serving Japanese style desserts and beverages from other food blogs over the past few months. A timely resurgence of interest to Pavilion's rather lacklustre range of restaurants and simple cafes. 'Twas either too taxing on the wallet (restaurants on top floor, especially), or the meagre run-of-the-mill outlets at the lower ground floor.

Of course I can't deny the appeal of some, the new Mr Baoz from Taiwan is interesting, but mixed reviews had me doubting. And when one's craving for some snacks/desserts, it's either JCo's donuts (there's a limit to the fresh appeal of the doughnut craze, and I've reached that long time ago), The Loaf's pastries and still-delectable Uh-Hu-Hu Cheesecakes, and John King's egg tarts.

Place your order and pay at the counter before you're served
MOF (Ministry of Food) hailed from Singapore, and practising a rather interesting concept, serving Japanese styled desserts (Hokkaido gelato ice-cream, Kakigori/Shaved Ice, Imo/Japanese sweet potaotes, Sundae etc) and beverages (green tea shakes, anyone?).

Cozy and bright ambience
The shop's located next to Pastamania on Level 1, which in fact is the lower ground floor where Food Republic's at. MOF faces Mercato Supermarket, so if you're at Carl's JR's side, then you're at the opposite end. The selection of desserts are mind-boggling, easily appeasing any dessert-lovers, and may convert a doubter into one.
Pick your spot, listen to 'cheerful' (yet half-hearted) attempts of Irrashaimase (Welcome, in Japanese) and browse the menu conveniently placed under the table. The order tabs and a pencil are on the table itself, hence jot down your preference(s) and pay at the counter. They DO NOT charge Service Charge, so don't grumble. =P

Shira Sesame Hokkaido Gelato Mini (RM9)
A variety of flavours are available with regards to the ice-cream options, and we picked the black sesame. The rich and creamy black sesame sauce drizzled on the smooth, cold yet not tooth-numbingly freezing black sesame ice-cream offered a thoroughly delightful experience altogether. Every spoonful evoked child-like glee & satisfaction, and paired with the chewy/springy Japanese glutinous balls, the combination of texture and flavours worked wonders. The crispy waffle and the cherry were mere eye-candies, complementing the sensory appeal.

Macha Mixed Imo (Soft serve with green tea sauce, red bean paste, yam and Japanese sweet potato) @ RM11

A top selection at MOF, and highly recommended by floggers alike, the Matcha Mixed Imo was served in a boat-like serving bowl, aesthetically-pleasing and leaving a lasting impression on the senses. The smooth and almost liquid-like texture of the soft serve (the soft ice cream made from Hokkaido milk, akin to McD's soft vanilla ice-cream, but a bit smoother and none of the overpowering vanilla flavour) glided down the throat effortlessly, and the melting green tea sauce and sweet red bean paste intensified the flavours and complemented each other so well.

Imo refers to the imported Japanese sweet potatoes, and they're deep-fried with light batter. The warm sweet potato and yam provided a hot and cold sensation when eaten with spoonfuls of the others. Blissful. But I'd recommend the sweet potatoes over the yam. (Note : you can have BOTH morsels of sweet potatoes, or BOTH yams, for the same price, if desired)

Location : MOF Japanese Sweets and Coffee @ Pavilion, Lot 1.02.00, Level 1, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03- 2144 1489

Those who helped in spreading the lurve : Masak-masak, Shell Food Station, and Yowazzup?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hong Kong/Macau 2008 - Soy Milk for Breakfast, & Hakka Cuisine for Lunch

From previous chapter, Glitzy Lifestyle @ Lan Kwai Fong ... click HERE for more.
In a glimpse of an eye, we've reached the 8th day of our journey. The weather was progressing perfectly, not as hot & humid as previous days. The clear blue skies and slight breeze was all too inviting .... Pity this was already our last day in Hong Kong.

Notice those HUGE fried dough? HOI KENG Congee Specialist's the shop's name, with three branches in Kowloon, and another in Tsuen Wan

Woke up feeling refreshed and not too fatigued, as the previous day's itinerary consisted of shopping and eating only. A far cry from the tormenting climb, crawl and walks in and around Lantau Island, Macau, Ocean Park, and so forth.

Fish Porridge (HKD18.50/RM8.33), Cheong Fun with Char Siew/Corn (HKD15/RM6.75), and Corned Beef+Bacon Sandwich Set with Milk Tea (HKD21/RM9.45)

Was searching for this shop selling fried dough (yau char kwai/Chinese crullers & friends) and soy milk the previous day, but did not succeed in doing so. Furthermore, our spirits were dampened with the discouraging rain, and Mong Kok's ever-confusing roads and shoplots that mimic each other to a T. Seriously, if you're not armed with a map, you probably won't be able to tell the roads apart.

GIGANTIC Yau Char Kwai @ HKD7/RM3.20

Equally GARGANTUAN Ham Chim Peng (translation, pls?) @ HKD7/RM3.20

The "Char Chaan Teng" (Hong Kong cafe) like appearance hinted at the type of food they serve, being typical breakfast set. But, with a twist. Their signature items of course, are the fried dough proudly displayed in the glass cabinet at the exterior of the shop, and normally paired with their homemade soy milk.

The BEST soy milk served warm I've ever had @ HKD8/RM3.60

And the soy milk did not disappoint. Smooth, fragrant, slightly milky, and best of all, healthy. The soy milk was served generously in a bowl. Every spoonful was a delight, and when the fried dough was dipped into the warm soy milk, the dough absorbed the soy milk, but still retaining the crunch in every bite. Bite into them, and the sensation of soy milk squirting into every corner of the mouth screamed comfort food at its best. I can't imagine a breakfast simpler and tastier than these.

Other than this, their rice noodle rolls (Cheong Fun) stuffed with various fillings are their forte as well, especially the ones wrapping around some Yau Char Kwai.

HOI KENG CONGEE SPECIALIST @ G/F, 103, Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Other outlets : (Shop B, G/F, 72, Bute Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon), (Shop A&B, G/F, Jade Plaza, 298, Sha Tsui Rd, Tsuen Wan, New Territories), and (G/F, 55 Ngau Tau Kok Rd, Ngau Tau Kok, Kowloon)

Then we packed up, checked out from Dragon Hostel but it was still pretty early. Thus we did what sane shopaholics (if there's ever a sane one!) would do. We shopped, for more. Souvenirs, clothings, and such. So that we won't be interrogated when we're back in M'sia.

Chuen Cheung Koi Restaurant on Nelson Street, Mong Kok

For lunch, we headed to a Hakka cuisine restaurant recommended not only by Lonely Planet, but also by the uncle at Lin Heung Tea House, a few days ago (click HERE for the account). Though dining in a Chinese restaurant with all the bells and whistles in Hong Kong, was kinda intimidating, at first. But we longed for a REAL meal, instead of the everyday noodles and junks.

Nothing unlike our dining restaurants in M'sia ... You can almost expect wedding bells a-ringing

Simple blanched green vegetables for the digestive system

Relieved to see the prices rather affordable for lunch. Roughly HKD30-HKD40 per person, including rice and tea. What's more, the servings were rather generous.

Salted Chicken

One of their specialty is the Salted Chicken, but do not get confused with Ipoh's Salted Chicken. Theirs leaned more to steamed chicken like chicken rice's version, but with a hint of salt & ginger. The plus point was obviously the smooth and juicy flesh, and the tenderness of the meat. I'm barely a fan of steamed chicken, but gave my seal of approval to this dish.

Mui Choy Kau Yoke (Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables)

The best dish of the meal, the Pork Belly with Preserved vegetables scored almost perfect ratings between the four of us. The meat was literally melt-in-mouth texture, and the Mui Choy (preserved vegetables) had a nice balance flavours of salty and sweet. Went really well with the heaps of white rice. None of us could finish the rice. Enlighten me on this, is rice really THAT cheap in Hong Kong?

Timeless classic = Sweet and Sour Pork

And of course, possibly my first favourite dish since I was small, before I was exposed to the amalgam of flavours opening up my tastebuds, the sweet and sour pork. Chunky pork deep-fried and coated with the glistening tangy tomato sauce. Minor difference compared to Malaysia's version, they did not spice the dish up slightly with chilli sauce, unlike our very own.

Chuen Cheung Kui Restaurant @ Shop E, G/F-2/F, Lisa House, 33, Nelson Street, Kowloon.

Kee Wah Bakery

For fear of hunger during the ferry ride to Macau, or the flight back to Malaysia, we bought some confectioneries from Kee Wah Bakery, a household bakery in Hong Kong. More famous than ever since the TVB drama, Moonlight Resonance was sponsored by Kee Wah, and the bakery shop scene in the drama was actually filmed using one of Kee Wah's many branches (correct me if I'm wrong though).

The nicely packed shortcakes with many flavours (HKD42/RM18.90 for 6)

The cakes and the cookies were alluring, but the shortcakes were the most enticing items. I bought a pineapple shortcake, and one filled with honeydew jam. Both were good, and I had them both on the plane back to Malaysia the next day. Hehe .... Air Asia's meals are horrendously over-priced for the garbage that they serve. The Nasi Lemak and Nasi Goreng looked worse than the worst you can buy from the roadside.

Buttery pastry enveloping the pineapple jam

Soon after, we collected our bags from our hostel (they provide free luggage storing service for their customers, eventhough you've checked out), and proceeded to Mong Kok MTR station to get the refund for our Octopus cards. You'll get all the remaining balance, except a charge of HKD7/RM3.15 which will be deducted.

Then we took a taxi from Nathan Road to the ferry terminal. This time, the driver was a nice chap, ignoring our luggages, but instead charged only HKD30/RM13.50 for the ride. Bought First Ferry tickets to Macau's jetty, at HKD148/RM66.60 per person.

Goodbye Hong Kong ... Til the next one!

P/S : I'll be gone til next Monday. Down to KL again for work, and then play. Happy Deepavali everyone! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kuala Perlis Medan Ikan Bakar

I'll skip Padang Besar post for time being, as I'm awaiting KYT's photos from his camera. I had to resort to plagiarism once in a while. =P
The endless rows of stalls at Medan Ikan Bakar, Kuala Perlis ; Selling (almost) the same stuff rendered decision-making a tougher choice than it already was ....
Since my previous post on Perlis skimped on FOOD (click HERE for my simple introduction to Perlis), I'd fast-forward a little, and skip to dinner instead. Previous night's experience at Medan Ikan Bakar (if that's even the place's name?) screamed T-R-A-G-E-D-Y (you can almost imagined the Bee Gees' quirky, screechy voice in that one).
But we were relentless. Or rather, the Malays were. We ain't a bunch of people who would surrender to bad food, and left Perlis with a sour taste in the mouth. So, we pushed our luck AGAIN, and proceeded to Kuala Perlis (a 20 mins ride from Kangar) for a taste of their famed Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish).

Batter-fried Squids with Sweet Chilli Sauce - Every table had at least one serving. Really!

It started to drizzle as soon as we arrived, thus sorry for no photos of the place. But it's very near to the Kuala Perlis jetty, which in turn is the pier for ferries departing to Pulau Langkawi. The area resembles a Medan Selera/Food Court style, with at least 10 stalls selling grilled fish, seafood, satay, and the typical Malay fare ie. Nasi Goreng, Nasi Daging Merah, Nasi Paprik etc.

Yes, if you're at lost on where to choose to park your derriere, go for the ones with the most customers. Can't go wrong. Or walk over to the stall and see for yourself the array of seafood on display in glass boxes, gauging their freshness and sizes.

Stir-fried Greens, Steamed Clams (La-la) with Ginger, Boiled Cockles, and Fried Egg with Chillies and Onions (Telur Dadar)

For some unavoidable reason, I had to coerce the others to find the nearest stall possible, before risking humiliation (=P). Therefore we picked Stall No 2, named Wanis Makanan Laut, with sizeable support from the masses.

We arrived in a group of 9, thus every order was duplicated to avoid untoward incidents, (FCOE tearing KYT's hair, for example). As this was our un-officially FIRST real meal throughout our stay, and potentially our LAST, we went all out when ordering.

Tom Yam Soup with Mixed Seafood and Chicken

The wait for our food was daunting. A good half an hour, if I'm not mistaken. What's worse was that, the weather was terrible that evening. It rained cats and dogs, splashing rainwater on every patron under the roof, and the icing on the cake had to be the leaking zinc roof. One table of customers was unlucky enough to be 'showered' by 'waterfalls', no thanks to the roof that gave way. Guess they had porridge instead of white rice. LOL.

We were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of mere drippings and minor splashing. Nothing that could break our spirits. And then arrived the deep fried squids. Not as crispy as I'd hoped for, and lacking in taste, but somehow the fresh and bouncy squids managed to win us over (or maybe the hungry souls in us were thankful for anything to fill our stomach) when paired with the sweet chilli sauce. No complaints. And serving them in the rattan basket was an authentic touch.

Grilled "Jenahak" (Sea Bass?) @ Rm3.50/100g

Their specialty of course, is their grilled fish. Pick from their selection of marine species, from fish to crabs and prawns to shellfish. We chose two large Jenahak (sea bass, or is that it?) to be grilled. The fish was fleshy, and bony as well, and the freshness pulled through, without any hint of unfavourable fishy taste/smell. However, the marinade was somehow lacklustre, rubbed on one half of the surface only. And the thickness of the fish was a challenge for the griller, and we were dismayed to find the other half of the fish slightly undercooked. A big no-no, as this is not sashimi we're talking bout here.

The other dish that was captivating include the Tom Yam Soup, with lots of squid and chicken meat, with heavy Thai influence. Slightly sweetish, but a very fiery undertone, you'll sweat buckets if you down gulps of them at one shot. The steamed clams with ginger was passable, not the biggest clams you could find, but thankfully fresh enough. And no, the manner of steaming is far from being on par with the Chinese's way of steaming with wine and superior stock.

Sambal Petai with Prawns

The crunchy and rather L-sized petai (stink beans) had me in stitches, as not even the Malays are fans of this dish. But me being a petai-fanatic since I was small, polished off more than the others combined. But KYT and Ms U were great assistants in this unenviable task. =)

The rest of the dishes were forgettable. Nothing that I've not tasted better versions in other Malay restaurants. Fortunately, the rain has stopped by the time we demolished everything in sight. Yes, EVEN the plate of raw greens with sambal (Ulam).

Total for 9 including white rice = RM168. Reasonable, but if there's ever a next visit, I'll probably choose another Ikan Bakar stall, OR a Chinese seafood restaurant.

And so we successfully controlled our guts on the way back .... Flatulence after the stinky (petai) culprits spells DISASTER in the form of POISONOUS GAS to the others !!!