Monday, April 30, 2007

San Katong Laksa @ Holland Village, Singapore

What a hectic weekend! First, we kicked off the first food bloggers gathering at Sandias, Plaza Damansara on Friday night. That was super fun. Just imagine lots of people mingling together in a tiny space with just nicknames and blog references to pair the faces with plus the influence of Martell cocktails. I won't be blogging about it (I took a well deserved holiday since I slogged over the arrangements) but keep an eye out at the other food bloggers as there will be lots of coverage. Then we made a quick weekend trip down south. This time round, the trip was much more relaxed versus my whirlwind one a few weeks back. Managed to also eat at other places.

Since we had to be at Chip Bee Gardens in the afternoon, we decided to lunch around Holland Village. Although we could have eaten elsewhere, we were slightly paranoid about the weather since the last trip saw us getting stuck due to a huge rainstorm. Rather than park our butts in a swanky place, we opted to sample the Katong Laksa stall. I distinctly remember my first Katong Laksa a few years back. Although the circumstances relating to my previous Singapore trip wasn't too pleasant and extremely stressful, the laksa made a real impact to me as it was so nice and comforting. Creamy with lots of coconut milk till it's more milky white versus the red hue we are used too, it's doubly comforting with it's cut up strands of thick vermicelli. These noodles are the same type used in fish head noodles. Slurp down the strands with a spoon given (chopsticks not required, another plus point since I am chopsticks challenged) with a cockle or sliced fishcake and prawns.

It's interesting to note how they cook the laksa - after you place the order at the counter, they start preparing your order. Cut up strands of noodles are placed in the bowl with cockles, fish cake and prawns. The lady will ladle the laksa broth being boiled over the hot fire in the bowl and then pour it back again to the pot. She does this a total of three times and just before the final time, a spoonful of tiny dried prawns is added to the bowl. According to her, this method is to heat up the cold noodles which I suspect has been precooked already. It's an excellent idea as the laksa is served to you piping hot. Just add a sprinkle of shredded laksa leaves or a spoonful of their sambal if you prefer it super spicy.

I also ordered a portion of otak-otak (otah) to sample. Tastewise, it was pretty good with the right balance of spiciness and herbs plus slight smokiness. Aside from Katong Laksa, this shop also sells nasi lemak with an array of side dishes. So next time if you're in this area, do give this stall a try.

San Katong Laksa
29B, Lorong Liput
Holland Village

(Pork free. Open from 8.30 am till 10.30 pm daily. Prices range from 3 to 4 Singapore dollars for the laksa.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Nasi Lemak CT Garden (CT Roses) @ Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Something closer to home this time round - the Petronas Twin Towers. This is the fantastic night time view you get when you dine at this nasi lemak place. Views around the Kampung Baru area are always fantastic since there's no high rise development with the Malay reserve land restriction to block it. This is where people usually flock to to watch the yearly fireworks show to celebrate New Year.

Right next to the Sultan Sulaiman Sports Club, this night time nasi lemak place is popular among local residents of Kampung Baru and those seeking for a quick dinner or a cheap supper. Here each packet wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper is simply a mound of rice topped with hot sambal chock full of ikan bilis and a sliver of hard boiled egg.

Extremely reasonable at 60 sens a packet, this is ideal budget food to fill up your tummy. Although the rice isn't the perfect fluffy type but kinda wet, the sambal and it's cheap price makes up for the dissapointing rice. Usually one is never enough hence you see people piling a few on their trays. As and when the pile of nasi lemak packets dwindle, the people behind the counter will start making them.

Once you have picked your nasi lemak, choose from a variety of dishes (lauk) to accompany it. Although it's self service here, you need to advice the lady what you want and she will scoop it out in a plate for you. She will also give you a small piece of paper with the price of the food.

There's fried chicken, fried quails, rendang, quail egg curry, chicken liver and cow's lungs on skewers, tempe, vegetables like fern shoots (paku pakis), french beans, unpeeled petai (stink beans) and etc to choose from. Our favourites are the tempe which is fried till crispy and the paku pakis. Once you have selected your food, grab your drink from the next counter before paying for your meal. There's also another drinks station outside which serves watered down fruit juices in tall glasses and coffee.

You can either sit inside which has televisions or sit outside to enjoy the Petronas Twin Towers view. This place is quite happening especially late at night - buskers will be around stringing guitars and singing rock ballads. The only thing I don't like about this place is the mosquitoes which hang out here trying to deprive me of my blood.

Nasi Lemak CT Garden (CT Roses)
Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman
Kampung Baru
Kuala Lumpur

(Halal. Open daily from 6 pm to 5 am. To get here from Jalan Raja Abdullah if you are coming from Bank Pembangunan, take the left turn when you see Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman. It's either the first or second turning on the left hand side. As it's a one way street, drive down all the way round the field and you will see the one storey building on your right hand side opposite the school.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Indian Food @ Nagarjuna Savoy, Bangalore, India

A few weeks back, Splashie Boy was in Bangalore for training. A dinner was held for the whole group at a Bangalore restaurant known as Nagarjuna Savoy which is famous for it's spicy Andhra cuisine. Knowing how interested I will be about the local food, he snapped a few pictures for me to share with all of you.

First was the Andhra Keema. What's unusual is we usually associate keema with minced lamb flavoured with spices and served with peas. Here instead of a minced meat dish, it's shaped into meatballs that have been deep fried.

Next was the Reshmi Kebab made from chicken that is marinated in yoghurt and herbs. Unlike the tandoori chicken we get in local Indian restaurants, this one is juicy plus succulent with a sauce tinged with saffron and filled with chopped herbs.

They also had the famous Andhra Thali - which is served in a metal round tray. Similar to our banana leaf rice concept, each metal bowl contains a different vegetarian item to be eaten with the mound of rice placed in the middle of the tray. There will be rasam, various vegetable curries and sambals. Yoghurt is also served to cool down the palate.

For dessert, it was the evergreen favourite - gulab jamun made with rose scented water. There was also ras/rasah gulah made from sweet cream cheese and soaked in syrup. I believe I had something similar before at Jai Hind which was really good stuff. Incidentally, Splashie Boy is so taken with gulab jamun, he even bought me a mix from Bangalore to make it at home.

He also found something unusual outside the restaurant -
Pan/Paan which is pronounced Paah'n. A sweet dessert or snack - the betel leaf will have a filling of betelnuts, cherries with limestone and gulkhand (rose leaves). Edible silver paper is also wrapped around it making it extra special.

I hope I managed to get all the names and descriptions correct. Believe me it was quite difficult since he didn't take much notes! If I got something wrong, do advice me hence I can amend it.

Nagarjuna Savoy
45/3 Residency Cross Road

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gelatos and Drinks @ Leo's Cafe, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, Selangor

After the satisfying lunch we had at Restaurant I-Po, we were keen to try out the tong yuen place which Kampungboycitygal had blogged about in nearby Bandar Bukit Tinggi. Unfortunately we found out it's only opened in the evenings. Hence it was the next choice, gelatos at Leo's Cafe. Incidentally, we drove around Bandar Bukit Tinggi - it's huge and packed with eateries. Don't think anyone will starve around the area. Also spied the Cendol Klang mini van stall near Leo's Cafe.

I was keen to try out Leo's Cafe. Heard a lot about it especially the one in USJ which has been prominently discussed in the
USJ forum. A quick chat with the supervisor indicated that it's a chain of cafes with branches in Taipan, Seri Petaling (where the Store is located) and Kepong. The gelatos are locally made at their factory in Sungai Besi. To sample their gelatos, we ordered the Gang of Five - 5 scoops of various flavours topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and colourful sprinkles. The flavours we tried was cookies and cream, strawberry, tiramisu, chocolate and mixed berries. The cookies and cream was a weird flavour - tingle of coconut oil in it, tiramisu had a strong alcohol taste, strawberry was a bit sour while the chocolate and mixed berries flavours were pretty good. All the gelatos were smooth and creamy.

Aside from gelatos, we ordered a bevy of colourful drinks which had interesting names after being prodded by Lyrical Lemongrass who wanted to snap pictures of them. The most interesting one was Precious Pea's First Love for it's star shaped mango nata de coco.

Lyrical Lemongrass went for Hard to Resist - a non alchoholic margarita in an interesting bright blue hue. It's even got salt on the rim of the glass just like a margarita to balance out the sweetness of the drink.

I ordered the Glory of Gold Cup which was mainly sweet mango juice mixed with nata de coco and fruits while WMW had the Top Ten Award. Made from kiwi juice, it was eyepopping sour for her. Prices here are pretty reasonable and the place is super packed for lunch.

Leo's Cafe
Bandar Bukit Tinggi

(Halal. Corner shop facing Giant Supermarket. To get here, take the second turning on the right hand side after the Klang Hospital)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chee Cheong Fun @ Jalan Hang Lekir, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

Wander down the streets of Chinatown during the daytime and you'll find lots to eat at every nook and cranny. At the crossroads of Jalan Hang Lekir better known to locals as Cecil Street and Petaling Street, you'll find a rundown wooden shack painted a pale green colour hidden behind fruit stalls. During the day, this stall sells chee cheong fun. When night falls, it transforms to Kim Lian Kee where you get Hokkien Noodles. Incidentally for those who crave those black charred noodles during the day, Kim Lian Kee's branch which is just across the road is open from 11 am onwards.

Right next to
Hon Kee Porridge, this chee cheong fun stall has been here for ages. They make their own chee cheong fun on a daily basis. What's interesting is in between the thin layers of rice flour rolls, you will see chopped spring onions and tiny slivers of tiny dried prawns (har mai).

As and when people place their orders, they will chop it up for you. A generous portion is served just for RM2 (small) and RM3 (big). Although it's slightly cheaper within Madras Lane (it's RM1.80 there), the portions here are substantially larger. Doused with a sweetish sauce with hints of soy bean (tau cheo) and lots of sesame seeds, it makes a really nice and light breakfast. The chee cheong fun here is also smooth and silky - made by hand by the couple who run this stall. Incidentally with so much food in this area, it's best to snack on small portions at each stall to sample the food.

Chee Cheong Fun Stall
at Kim Lian Kee
Corner of Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling
Kuala Lumpur

(Non Halal. Right next to Hon Kee Porridge and behind the fruit stalls. Open from 7 am to 4 pm. Days off are not certain. )

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ah Sang Bak Kut Teh @ Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya

I was curious about this bak kut teh place especially since I had read so many reviews about it from my fellow bloggers. One day, I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. It's relatively easy to locate since it's next to an Indian temple and a huge carpark.

Like all bak kut teh places, you can customise your bak kut teh with the various meats, vegetables, beancurd and in this case, enoki mushrooms. Based on your order, they will reheat the bak kut teh with your selection in a claypot. Served piping hot to you on a basket, let it cool down a bit before you take a sip of the broth.

Am not sure if it's individual preference or whether I had very high expectations about this place but I felt the meat broth just didn't have enough herbs in it. In fact, the taste was quite flat even though it was a deep dark brown. I did enjoy the meats and the best part was the enoki mushrooms. Thinking back about bak kut teh, I reckon every one has their preference as I know some like it more Chinese herbal tasting, some like it with a clear broth while others like it thick and almost pitch black. For me, colour does not matter so much but there must be a balance of a meaty broth with a tinge of herbal taste or else it just won't be bak kut teh for me. I definitely don't fall in the category of the clear bak kut teh soup type. What about all of you - which category of bak kut teh do you think you fall in?

Ah Sang Bak Kut Teh
No.531, Jalan SS9A/12
Seri Setia
Sungei Way
Petaling Jaya

(Non Halal. Right next to the Indian Temple opposite Bintang Supermarket just off the road of Jalan SS3/39)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Roast Duck @ Restaurant I-Po, Bayu Perdana, Klang

Last Saturday, I had the honour to join the "duck convoy" to Klang to sample the yummy roast duck which WMW has been blogging about. Aside from tasting great duck, I also met up with Lyrical Lemongrass and Precious Pea. Somehow it turned out to be a fun girls' outing which was good since Splashie Boy was sweating it out in his company's charity treasure hunt to Port Dickson.

It's not too hard to find this place, as long as you pass by the Klang Hospital, make a right at the first traffic light. The restaurant is actually at the row of shophouses on the left hand side but because of the road dividers, you need to go vide the back roads through the housing estate to get there. WMW was obviously a regular here as the owners were beaming from ear to ear when she heard more food bloggers visiting her place. They serve duck the whole day from morning till evening hence the huge amount of ducks displayed at the back kitchen. Usually most shops will roast their ducks as and when supplies dwindle. At the shop, their trick of keeping the skin crispy is to pour boiling hot oil over it as and when an order is placed.

We shared one duck which came with a thickish sauce made from soy beans (tau cheo). For extra kick, the restaurant had also added a tinge of chili to the sauce. Tastewise, I felt the duck was nice and juicy. Even though the skin had been poured with hot oil earlier on, it wasn't oily and not fat. I forgot to ask them how much they charge for one duck but per WMW's post, it's RM32 per bird. One thing I did notice is the duck here is relatively smaller compared to say Loong Foong's which has more meat.

We also ordered the kiam chye arp - salted vegetable cooked with the leftover duck bones and meats, dried red chilies and flavoured with assam (tamarind). Although it wasn't thick, the vegetables gave our tastebuds a tingling feeling as it was quite spicy.

Restoran I-Po
No. 180, Jalan Batu Unjur
Bayu Perdana 1
Tel No: 03 - 3324 2295

(Non Halal. Closes on Wednesday. Restaurant is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the ducks are usually sold out by 3 to 4 pm)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday

It's official - Masak-Masak is now two years old. Wow, time flies and as usual I almost forgot about the blog's birthday. Since last year I celebrated with a Bakerzin cake, I reckon traditions should still continue.

This past year has been interesting with so many food blogs popping up in the blogosphere. Feels like there's a new one everytime I do a Google Blog search on a particular food item or when I scour Project Petaling Street for new updates. There has also been mini gatherings with food bloggers or floggers. Incredibly nice to meet people who think alike - camwhore the food versus themselves! This year to celebrate the blog's second birthday, I decided it should be marked by the first ever food bloggers gathering to be held next week. Hopefully (crosses my fingers and toes) that works out well so look out for reports on that event. It's currently by invitation only since it's just a small event. If it's successful, I guess it has the potential to grow into a public gathering.

Other things to look out for in the blog - I'll be launching an index of the food places I have reviewed; sorted out by area and by food item by end of this month. Hopefully that will mean easier searches for all when you're looking for something to eat.

Thanks so much for reading and supporting Masak-Masak.
Pssst, by the way could you also vote for me at the Bloggers Choice Awards. Just click on this link and scroll down the pages to look for the blog. You will need to log in to vote. Sorry for the shameless pimping of votes but mustn't look too shabby among the world's food bloggers.

Weekend Cat Blogging (WCB) 98

When it comes to snapping pictures of the kitty cats, the most difficult is this kitty. Known as the Mama Cat, she's actually Boo the cat's mother. For me, she's the oldest and the dearest since she used to be my dad's cat. One day, she just turned up on our doorstep and my dad took her in. He always thought she was the neighbour's cat who was just hungry hence he fed her. It's only much later when I started taking care of her, I found out she's actually a stray hence I've always kept her.

She hates to pose so getting her to face the camera can take a long time. See how she resists in the first picture. She kinda gave up in the second picture as she knew I was going to hound her until I snapped a decent picture of her.

For more kitty stories and pictures, visit
Pet's Garden Blog who is hosting this weekend with her adorable Bengals.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nasi Lemak Mak Wanjor @ Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

I confess, I ain't no fan of Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa. For years I have heard about their legendary food and the queues of people flocking their stall. However when I tasted it for the first time, I was shocked. The sambal tasted just like it came out from the packet of chili boh. It was numbingly spicy but the taste was flat. Sorry to those who are fans but honestly, there's much better nasi lemak elsewhere.

Feeling dissapointed with Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa, I was steered towards this place just down the road from it by a Kampung Baru resident. Mak Wanjor is a simple set up - just a few metal trays of curries and sambals set up at a roadside stall. You pick and choose what you wish to order and they will assemble it for you. Either pack back in brown paper lined with banana leaf or eat inside where tables and chairs are located.

What's really good is the fluffy rice grains with a faint hint of the coconut milk it's steamed in. The not too thick sambal is slightly sweetish with ikan bilis (anchovies) in it. Mix it with the rice to get a fully satisfying meal. I tend to like the fried chicken here - juicy and fragrant with spices. They also serve sambal sotong, paru (cow lungs), kerang (cockles), rendang and etc.

Nasi Lemak Mak Wanjor
Jalan Raja Muda Musa
Kampung Baru
Kuala Lumpur

(Halal. Open in the morning and the evenings. Closes on Sunday)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hainanese Food @ Sin Seng Nam, Kuala Lumpur

Another old school place which all of you would have heard of - Sin Seng Nam at the heart of busy Kuala Lumpur. I love the building which has been spruced up with the white walls and bright yellow wooden shutters. You can either enter from this side or the front entrance. At the back of the building is the river and you can catch a glimpse of the courts and Masjid Jamek.

This place has been around for many generations and is currently run by the same family. There's the old man at the counter at the front entrance. On one side of the restaurant, they prepare the chicken rice and the curry chicken or curry fish depending on what is the specialty. Long ago, there were stalls at the back of the shophouse but these have now moved in. You can pick and choose yong tau foo, chee cheong fun, rojak, mee rebus from these stalls.

What's really popular here is their Hainanese Chicken Rice - it's a must order for every table. You get a choice between the poached version of the deep fried version. To prepare for the lunch crowd, everything is chopped ahead in small plates to speed up delivery. Must admit this is one of the nicest chicken rice I have tasted. The rice is fragrant and fluffy while the chicken meat is smooth.

Another specialty is their Hainanese Curry Chicken (RM5). Also another popular dish as people order a bowl of this which comes with a plate of white rice. Usually most people either opt for this as lunch or share a bowl of the curry with their chicken rice. Filled with chunks of chicken and potatoes, the curry sauce is fragrant with curry leaves and rich with coconut milk. Aside from the chicken curry, depending on which days they switch with fish curry that comes with chunks of fish and vegetables.

I've read quite a few accounts of people raving about their chicken chop (RM10). This takes a while to arrive so be prepared to wait especially during busy lunch time. There are significant differences between this version compared to Yut Kee. Here the chicken chop is served with baked beans and crinkle type french fries while the Yut Kee version is served with mixed vegetables and thickly sliced potatoes. At Sin Seng Nam the chicken chop is topped with chopped onions and carrots while Yut Kee's topping is chopped onions and tomatoes. Tastewise, the chicken chop here is nicer as it's tender and has an even thickness. Although the sauce here is tastier, I would have preferred the chunky potatoes from Yut Kee versus the crinkle type french fries which look like they came from a frozen pack.

Sin Seng Nam
Leboh Ampang
Kuala Lumpur

(Pork Free. Open for breakfast and lunch. Closed on Sundays.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Restaurant Soo Kee @ Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

Since Roger and Sue from
Food Tourist were quite full from their walkabout around Petaling Street, we opted for fried noodles. Soo Kee is an old favourite - I remember those times my parents will bring us to eat the noodles. In those days it was their fried beef hor fun and the cantonese fried noodles but now they serve other items. It's interesting to observe their open kitchen - there's a line of cooks manning each wok. High flames lick the cast iron woks while the cooks furiously fry up the food items.

I even managed to catch them deep frying the paper chicken parcels in a wok filled with hot oil. The cook who was manning this was doing a dual job - frying the noodles and monitoring the paper chicken parcels at the same time.

Unlike other places, the chicken pieces in the parcels here are huge. Marinated in oyster sauce, ginger juice, garlic and a touch of rice wine, the chicken is very aromatic especially when you open the parcel. There's not much sauce here as the chicken has absorbed most of it. Depending on which part of the chicken you get, the meat is tender.

Soo Kee is also famous for their version of Sang Har Meen (Water Prawns with Noodles). Unlike
Green View's version, it's served with extra crispy thin noodles here that is not drenched in the eggy sauce.

This is my all time favourite - the fried beef hor fun. Silky strands of kuey teow intermingle with melt in the mouth beef slices, chopped spring onions, ginger slices and an eggy sauce. Heavenly!

For vegetables, we tried the fried chive flowers with intestines. This was really good - the combination of the slightly chewy intestines and crunchy chives mixed with chopped garlic.

We also ordered Nam Yue Pai Kuat (Fermented Bean Curd Pork Ribs) that wasn't too fantastic. Although you could taste the fermented bean curd used, the meat on the pork ribs was too dry. Could be a combination of over frying plus the ribs does not have enough fat in it.

Incidentally, this outlet is now run by the owner's daughter while her brother runs the other outlet just across the road known as Soo Kee's Son (Meng Cheong). There are also various Soo Kee outlets in Petaling Jaya (Taman Megah and opposite Restoran Seaview) which are run by their other family members.

Soo Kee Restaurant
14, Medan Imbi
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2148 1324

(Non Halal. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Mondays)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Grilled Tofu (Tauhu Bakar) @ Jalan Sayur, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Last weekend, we played host to Roger and Sue from Food Tourist who were here for a short visit. After cracking our heads on where to eat, we ended up at Sek Yuen for dinner which was packed with diners on Saturday night. No pictures of what we ate since we ordered old favourites from previous visits. After dinner, we took a walk to the nearby "Wai Sik Kai" or Gluttons Lane at Jalan Sayur.

The last time I visited, we didn't get to visit all the stalls so this time round I saw the lok lok stall (one of those old ones which you sit down and eat), ling chee kang (dessert) stall, chee chap chuk (fried intestines porridge) and the grilled tofu (tauhu bakar) stall.

I was keen to try this grilled tofu (tauhu bakar) which I have heard a lot about. Covered extensively by the local press - this stall has been featured in the chinese paper, radio and television.

A small set up, there's just two people at the stall. One who is manning the hot charcoal grill to heat up the fritters and grill the tofu puffs. The owner, a lady who has had this stall for almost twenty years plus will prepare the grilled items to serve. First, the grilled tofu puffs are stuffed with shredded cucumber. Then drizzled with her own made chili sauce and topped with thick and pungent prawn paste (har koh) and crushed peanuts. She also serves tiny grilled sotong drizzled with more har koh and crispy prawn fritters on the side. A standard order with all these costs RM6. Tastewise, I thought it was pretty good but not fantastic. I still prefer the curry chee cheong fun topped with those crispy dried shrimps and the steamed egg custard here instead per my previous reviews.

Other reviews of Jalan Sayur:

Grilled Tofu (Tauhu Bakar) Stall
Jalan Sayur
Off Jalan Pudu
Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

(Non Halal. Stall is open at night only.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Marmalade Pantry @ Palais Renaissance, Singapore

I was in Singapore last week for a whirlwind trip. Not much time to do anything but I did manage to get one leisurely meal in and caught up with old friends. It was great fun. I've read quite a lot about Marmalade Pantry hence we were keen to try there. It was actually a toss up between Brown Sugar and this place but Brown Sugar sounded difficult to locate. Going through the past reviews by bloggers and other websites, I guess it's very much a tai tai's hangout as I remember observing during my lunch the high proportion of ladies versus men there.

I must admit I expected a closed restaurant but found it was at the basement of the shopping centre where you could sit and observe the on goings at the shops circling the restaurant. Seats were comfy as we got the central highback leather sofas. They serve bistro type food similar to the concept Delicious by Ms. Read. The menu is pretty extensive and nothing fancy - just white paper held on a clipboard.

The salads here are pretty substantial. My friend S had the Crab Caesar (S$18) - romaine lettuce tossed with caesar salad dressing, fresh crab meat, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Pretty good stuff and unique. The crab meat was a nice addition as it's light versus the usual chicken toppings for caesar salad. I ordered a salad to share with another friend - the Warm Spinach and Roast Onion Salad with Bacon and Mozzarella (S$18). This was really good stuff, the spinach leaves were nicely flavoured with the sweet roast onions and bacon bits. Topped with a poached egg and a sprinkling of pine nuts, we really liked this a lot. The only thing I didn't like about this particular salad was the slightly too dry deep fried mozzarella cubes served with it.

I wanted to try the Linguini with Crabmeat Tomato Chili and Pinenuts (S$19) after reading recommendations from other sites. Portions were really substantial - chunks of crabmeat mixed with the slightly chunky tomato sauce. It was good stuff but I felt the subtle taste of crabmeat was overpowered by the tomato sauce.

Another friend, S had the foie gras burger with sun dried tomato relish (S$24) which was served with potato wedges. Must have been really good stuff as he cleaned the plate up.

Another friend, A had the Wild Mushroom with Spinach and Truffle Oil Tart (S$8). Took quite a while to arrive but it was nice and hot. Served with fried potato shavings and a salad, the tart was good. I stole a small bit and it's nice and rich.

For desserts, their famous Sticky Date Toffee Ice Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (S$10) which was pretty good. No taste of bicarbonate soda and not sickly sweet, it was really good with the ice cream. If you dig within the centre, you'll reach the soft date center.

Marmalade Pantry is also famous for their cupcakes which you choose from a selection at the counter. Seems the Nutella Cupcake is popular ( we saw a group of ladies pack up all of them leaving just one!) but we chose to try the Elvis (S$3.70). Aptly named after Elvis Presley's favourite flavours, banana and peanut butter, this is essentially a chocolate cupcake with a banana inside and topped with a peanut butter frosting. The chocolate cake was rich with a nice crumb but lacked much banana taste despite it having a slice of banana at the bottom.

We had a great time here - good place to hang out and chit chat. Something for all of you to consider when you do visit down south. It seems they also do a wicked Sunday Brunch that is always packed with people. Incidentally taking Fatboybakes cue, I also visited Pantry Magic at Chip Bee Gardens. Heavenly place but had to restrain my self in buying out the whole shop so all I got was the candy thermometer and a scoop for cupcakes. Tempted to get the square and rectangle tart tins plus a few million other stuff. For those baking enthusiasts, note also that Phoon Huat is down the road from Pantry Magic. Although it's just your typical bake shop similar to Chang Tung and Bake with Yen here, we noticed the Wilton stuff they stock up here is significantly cheaper compared to what is available in Kuala Lumpur.

The Marmalade Pantry
Palais Renaissance
#B1-08 to 11
390 Orchard Road

Tel No: 02 - 6734 2700

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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