doing the kampung baru tour
Being a food blogger definitely has its perks. Not only do we get constant invites for food and even alcohol reviews, occasionally we also get to sneak in a meet up with a celebrity chef. Bob Blumer, more popularly known as the Surreal Gourmet or that fella with the toastermobile (according to some of my friends) breezed into town, a few weeks back to promote his upcoming television shows on Discovery Travel & Living. Since he was in the neighbourhood to do a stint at the World Gourmet Summit down south, he dropped by Malaysia to do a few promotion events. He was kept busy everyday - meeting the press, taking in a food tour around Jalan Alor (as reported in the NST who also has a video of him eating durian) and meeting fans at sevenatenine. It's not his first time here, as I remember him being one of the star attractions a few years back when Kuala Lumpur hosted the World Gourmand Awards.
tucking into putu bambu and nasi lemak
Our mission for the night = take him out for another round of local eats.
Mission restrictions = No Jalan Alor nor Indian (he just came from India where he overloaded on curries, rotis and even learnt how to do the teh tarik).
Mission approved (but met with changes due to Murphy's Law!) = Nasi Lemak CT Garden, Kampung Baru Putu Bambu, Kampung Baru/Chow Kit night market, Robson Heights Seafood
Time to complete mission = 2 hours (eventually changed to 3 hours due to unforeseen circumstances!)
Hence, we ended up in Kampung Baru - the village within a skyscraper city to sample a round of Malay food. Bob, who made a quip of my name Boo (sounds very similar, right?) when we were first introduced looked a little tired from all his events but was raring to hit the streets. Murphy's Law (i.e. nothing goes right ever!) started to plague me from the early onset - Kin Kin Pan Mee, the first scheduled stop was closed! Oh no, his chance to sweat over the super hot dried chillies sambal just flew out of the window. Phew! Luckily, the next stop - Nasi Lemak CT Garden was definitely opened or I'll concede defeat. Bustling with people queuing up for their nasi lemak packets and side dishes, we hit the line. Identifying all the dishes was the hard part ....."hmmm, is that stink beans or is that jering! Whatever, it makes your pee stink the next day." Bob made the choice of sambal prawns, chicken curry, paku pakis, the crunchy tempe, stink beans, which we ate with the nasi lemak packets. We even had some grilled otak-otak on the side. Sambal prawns and chicken curry got his thumbs up. It is fascinating to watch him eat, as he approaches each dish quite seriously - tasting it slowly to savour the flavours, before giving his verdict.
ending with a little seafood including the spectacular sang har meen at Robson Heights Seafood
Hence we had to settle for salted egg yolk prawns, the ginormous Sang Har Meen, fried kangkung with belacan and seong tong lala. The salted egg yolk sauce fascinated Bob - "how do they make salted eggs?", he asked. Luckily, S was around to help answer that fact on how long they preserve the eggs for. Everything passed his approval but he is obviously very sensitive to MSG as he detected it straight away. When the huge sang har meen came, Bob was mighty impressed that he even took out his Iphone and snapped a picture of it. Phew! I guess mission was a success after all. The noodles were very good especially with the prawn roe and eggy rich sauce. Yums!
After that satisfying seafood dinner, it was home for most of us, but I did hear that Bob went on to party the night away (seems he ended up in Frangipani's bar at midnight - don't you love how small KL is that everyone knows what is happening in town!). Next stop for Blumer after his Singapore duties - a trip to China where he learns how to pour tea like a kungfu master for Glutton for Punishment. What an amazing life! One can understand how he masters a difficult technique that can usually take months for a normal chef to learn, within a week, as he's pretty detailed on his observations and completely fascinated with everything to do with food (and wine - he also judges in Los Angeles, where his home is located). Thanks so much to Discovery Travel & Living and the people from Compass Communications for giving us the opportunity to meet up with him and take him around. I know I'll be glued to the telly this week catching up his television shows so, "hand me that astro remote and don't touch that channel."
Tune into Discovery Travel & Living (Channel 707 Astro) for Bob Blumer:
- Surreal Gourmet Series 4 (from 8-9pm starting 11 May aka today, with repeats at 3pm)
- Glutton for Punishment Series 2 (from 17 May or Saturday, starting from 1pm)