Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Restoran Mo Sang Kor @ Taman Berkely, Klang

When it comes to getting a nice Bak Kut Teh meal, I usually go to Fong Keow (Pottery) Bak Kut Teh.  But after being strongly recommended by my brother (who came to know from his colleague/blogger), I decided to give Restoran Mo Sang Kor @ Taman Berkeley a try.

If you’re here expecting to get the usual soupy, herbal bak kut teh (like me), then you’re in for a big disappointment because the bak kut teh here is kinda different.

So, what is different?

1.  There is only one size, flat rate (RM9).  You only need to tell them what you want (what meat, which cuts/parts etc.) and how many bowls.
Please bear in mind that one serving is pretty small compared to elsewhere.  For a family of 5, we ordered 7 bowls, which comes out to be 1.5 bowls per person.  Ordering any less than that, I doubt you’ll get to enjoy bak kut teh to the fullest.

Trust me, it is really small (unless you’re a small eater).

2.  No, it’s not served in claypot
The bak kut teh are served in really cute small classic porcelain bowls.  Although it looked more presentable, but it does not retain the heat as well as the claypot does.  As a result, the meat/soup turned cold pretty fast.

3.  It is not your usual herbal bak kut teh soup
I always associate bak kut teh with herbs (such as dong gui).  But here at Mo Sang Kor, it does not have any herbal taste (even if there are, it is barely noticeable).  In a way, this is nice especially since these herbs have a heat element.

I find the soup pretty flavourful, packed with lots of collagen.  The soup is cooked with dried Shiitake mushrooms and lots of garlic (along with all the other secret ingredients).  The only thing I find it strange is that although it is very flavourful when you drink the soup, the flavour got diluted the moment you mix it with rice.

Meat-wise, I would give it the thumbs up.  The pork is braised until really soft and tender, locking in all the wonderful flavour of the bak kut teh soup.  No wonder my brother got hooked to it.

If you ask me, I think closely resembles the slow-cooked braised pork in dark soy sauce, the watery version of Tau Yew Bak.  Not bak kut teh.

4.  Don’t bother to ask.  The soup is not refillable.
Wait a minute.  Did I hear this wrongly – not refillable?  Yeah, you heard me right.

At first I didn't believe it when my brother commented about the amount of soup provided.  How little can it be, right?  But when the bowls finally arrived, my eyeballs almost dropped out.  In fact, “not refillable” is not really an issue as long as you have given enough to begin with.  But here, it is very little, really precious.  Not sure why, but I guess there must be a reason.

If you ask, I think it is more appropriate to term the soup as gravy instead.

5.  It’s only meat.  Nothing else but MEAT.
What happened to those beancurd puffs (tofu pok) and beancurd sheets (fu chuk)?  I though it is always part of the bak kut teh package.  Either that, or I had been exposed to the wrong information all my life. Well, if you are not a meaty person, don’t even bother coming here as they only serve meat (and anything else that is part of a pig).


Obviously, I didn't really enjoy it as much as I wanted, only because there is not enough soup (well, I am quite a soupy person who enjoys hot-piping soup)!  If there had been a bit more generous, I would make this my highly recommended place for bak kut teh.

But if you minus of that expectation and are there just for a really tasty meal, then this is definitely worth visiting because the meat is really good.

Parking can be an issue, but if you don’t mind parking in front of the houses and walk, it should be fine.  The shop is also reasonably clean and cooling.

Oh ya, service is slow.  Despite the limited variety and sizes, serving time is long.  Did I mention that it was not very crowded when we were there?  Wonder what’s taking up the time.

Restoran Mo Sang Kor
41, Leboh Bangau
Taman Berkeley
41150 Klang

Apparently they have expanded to a few areas, such as Puchong and Lot 10.  So, you may not necessarily need to travel all the way to Klang.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hakka Mee @ Paris Restaurant, Ipoh

Another must-have in Ipoh is the Hakka Mee @ Paris Restaurant (previously at Yin Yau Kui Restaurant).  This place is apparently very famous among the locals and early in the morning, the shop is already fully packed.

While these plain-looking noodles may look very ordinary, it is very delicious.  The noodles, which are hand-made, are very springy and cooked just right.  

There is enough minced meat and gravy to make the noodles tasty and moist.

The minced meat is just fantastic!  I like it as it is very fragrant with garlic oil and caramelized with the dark soy sauce.  Each bite of it reminds me of the minced meat noodles Mum used to make.

To further enhance the flavour, you definitely need to add the fish sauce.  I find it being a bit bland if you do not add the fish sauce.

Our friend also insisted to add the chilli sauce and garlic, but I opt to go without as I was having an upset stomach (pity, as I loved spicy food).

Although the portion is pretty small, it is really cheap.  We wanted to have more, but since the next stop for breakfast is curry noodles, there was no second helping.

They also serve fish balls and pork balls.  I can’t really remember the taste, so, it must not have been very memorable.

Paris Restaurant
164 Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah
30000 Ipoh

Open in the mornings

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Spicy Pork Bulgogi @ Manna Korean Restaurant, Singapore

Along the Telok Ayer Street, there are many eateries.  Being unfamiliar with the area, we just let our Singapore colleagues show the way and they brought us to a nice Korean restaurant for lunch - Manna Korean Restaurant.

As it was lunch time, it was super packed.  So, without any reservation, we had to wait for 10 mins or so.  But the wait was worth it.

As I did not have a proper breakfast, I decided to go for a heavy lunch and ordered the Duckbaegi Bulgogi (SGD 16), which is a spicy pork bulgogi served in a hot earthenware.

Come with a bowl of rice, it was very delicious.  Although it looked like it was very spicy, it was not at all.  In fact, like any bulgogi, it was very sweet but with a hint of spiciness.  Plus, the pork was thinly sliced, so every bite of the meat just melts in your mouth.

It was pretty a large bowl, and so after a while, I gave up on the rice and focused on finishing the bulgogi.  I think this should be more suitable as a portion for two instead.

They also have a nice selections of refillable side dishes.  I loved the sweet and spicy fried tofu and the sweet black beans (kongjaban) but my colleague found the salad noodle very nice (I didn't try as I was busy with my bulgogi).

Their food is quite reasonably priced and with special lunch sets just below SGD10, I am not surprised that many come here for an authentic Korean lunch.  Service was pretty fast too once you put in your order.  It was the wait for the table that is longer.

Manna Korean Restaurant
101-109 Telok Ayer Street
068574 Singapore
Tel: 6227 7425

Aglio Olio Bistro @ AXA Tower, Singapore

Coming here was by random.  We were just walking along Shenton Way from our hotel, looking for somewhere decent for dinner.  Right when we almost decided to give up and head straight to Chinatown instead, I noticed there were some restaurants inside AXA Tower.  In fact, there were quite a lot of choices inside the building, but we decided to opt for western food at Aglio Olio Bistro.

My colleague and I went for the Dinner Special for 2 (SGD 34) – I guess he must be very hungry since he was the one who recommend to go for the set.  Anyway, I find this set really quite a deal as there were quite a lot being offered – 2 pasta, a basket of chicken wings, garlic bread, soup of the day and lemonade.

The soup of the day was Mushroom Soup – normal off-the-shelf cream of mushroom soup but with lots of chopped vegetables (which I suspect is onion and celery).  Pretty disappointed with the soup as it was hot enough and too starchy.  But it went well with the toasted garlic bread, which I enjoyed very much.

The fried chicken wings were pretty good – well seasoned with herbs and succulent.  It tasted good enough without the chilli sauce.

The main dish which I ordered is the Bacon Cream pasta, which is really delicious.  The cream sauce was so flavourful with the pork bacon shreds and with some chopped cili padi, the hotness made it super appetizing.  The thickness of the sauce is just right and not too overpowering.  Plus, the portion is reasonably big.  Totally enjoyed it.

Ambiance-wise, it is very cozy and perfect for a small get-together with friends for a chat or two.  Definitely will be back here again, especially since they just gave a SGD10 voucher for the next visit.

Aglio Olio Bistro
8 Shenton Way (AXA Tower)
068811 Singapore

Friday, 19 October 2012

Taiwanese Desserts @ Queen of Spades, Subang Jaya

Not wanting to go to a super crowded place, we opt for a newer, lesser known Taiwanese dessert shop, Queen of Spades @ Subang Jaya for desserts.

Signature Taro Q
This sweet dessert is totally loaded with lots of cincau flavour. What I love about Queen of Spades is that their taro and sweet potato balls, although not QQ enough, but they actually tasted like taro and sweet potato.  I'm pretty ok with the not-so-QQ-enough as I don't like it being too chewy.  Also, it has lots of sweetened red beans which I love very much.

I like how they presented the deesrt in a wide bowl so that you can see nicely each different ingredient.

Milk Tea with Red Bean
They were very generous with the sweetened red bean.  Together with the milk, it is very nice although could barely taste the tea.

In my opinion, I actually prefer Queen of Spades than Snowflake, especially on the sweet ice dessert.  The taste is better and doesn't feel too commercialized.   Price-wise, it is pretty decent.

Queen of Spades 
No. 84G, Jalan SS15/4,
47500 Subang Jaya
Open:  Monday to Saturday, 12pm-7pm

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Herbal Jelly @ Koong Woh Tong

Although Koong Woh Tong has been here in Malaysia for a very long time, I had never actually been there until KS brought me to try the herbal jelly or guai lin goh.  Somehow, my parents never fancy herbal jelly and so, my exposure to the herbal jelly is close to zero.

But after my first visit, I have never failed to return for it again and again (KS is very happy about it).

To be honest, the herbal jelly is not as bitter as everyone claims it to be (at least for Koong Woh Tong).  If eaten with the honey water, it is actually very pleasant.  I have never tried the warm version - always been ordering the chilled version.

Not to forget there's the health benefits of eating this herbal jelly especially on a hot, sunny day as it expels the heat from your body or to detox.

Dinner @ Kim Lian Kee Restaurant, Viva Home

Kim Lian Kee is no stranger to most people who grow up eating hokkien mee at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.  Established since 1927, Kim Lian Kee Restaurant, now at its third generation, relies only on using charcoal to cook their dishes so that the original flavour is maintained for all to enjoy.

We went to their newly opened branch at Viva Home to have dinner after a long, tiring walk around the mall. 

Coming here means we have to order their famous Hokkien-style fried mee (RM 8.90).  Cooked with the prefect wetness, it is very fragrant with all the pork lard.  Love the flavour and how sweet the dark soy sauce  is.  Pity it was a bit too small - noodles are comparatively lesser.

Another one of my favourite is the Claypot Loh Shu Fen (RM 8.90).  Yummy!  The noodles are very flavourful and that egg just adds a nice silky texture to it.  Not too starchy and lots of minced meat.  If you ask me, I somehow prefer this to the hokkien noodle.

To bring out the flavour even more is none other than the accompanying condiment - sambal with dried shrimps.  Not too bad, I feel, as it is not just hot but well-seasoned.

It may be a little pricey, but if you want to enjoy the original hokkien mee, yet want to do it in a nice, comfortable air-conditioned environment, you can give any of Kim Lian Kee's branches a try.  Not exceptionally good, but still enjoyable.

Kim Lian Kee Restaurant
Lot.11-1, Viva Home
No. 85, Jalan Loke Yew
55200 Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Milk Tea @ GeorgPeck, Sunway Pyramid

Recently, there are many bubble milk tea stalls popping up like mushrooms after the rain and they are selling almost the same thing.  Of course, there are the super popular ones, which don't need anymore introduction but then there are the new ones that are pretty much unheard of (unless you're a milk tea fan that research on every bubble milk tea stalls) such as GeorgPeck @ Sunway Pyramid.

This Taiwanese-based chain makes its first debut right here at Sunway Pyramid's Asian Avenue.  Not only do they serve bubble milk tea, they have a variety of fruit smoothies and coffee.

I find it not very strategically located, as it is almost towards the corner of the Asian Avenue.  But if you do find it (on the way towards The Street Cafe), you will get to experience a different kind of milk tea experience.  That's what KS and I did right after our meal at The Street Cafe.

I ordered the Hokkaido Milk Tea (RM 6.90) while KS ordered the Cappuccino Ice-blended (RM 7.90), both recommended by GeorgPeck.  We opted to go pearl-less as we didn't like "things" getting in our way when drinking.

The Hokkaido Milk Tea is very unique, with a touch of vanilla flavouring.  I kinda like the taste and texture of the milk tea.  The tea is also quite fragrant.

The Cappuccino Ice-blended, on the other hand, was so-so.  For someone who likes coffee, this cappuccino is just lacking the intensity of the espresso.  Think the espresso to milk ratio is not very correct.  Nevertheless, still alright.

The stall is very beautifully set up, with a nice chandelier as the focal point.  It is very nice to sit down and slowly enjoy the beverages because the traffic is pretty low in that corner, so you get a bit of "privacy".

F1.AV135, Asian Avenue
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, 
Petaling Jaya.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Oiso Korean Traditional Cuisine and Cafe @ Bangsar South

Another nice Korean restaurant that we recently came to know about is the Oiso Korean Traditional Cuisine and Cafe @ Bangsar South.  The food they serve is really good quality - "The best recipe comes from our heart" is no lie.

I ordered the Chicken Bibimbap (RM 16.90), which is rice topped with various cooked vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, lettuce, carrot and beansprouts plus strips of chicken and a fried egg, served with gochujang (red chilli paste), which you can mixed into the rice for more flavouring.

It is very light and refreshing as there were many vegetables.  The chicken is well-seasoned and not over-cooked.  But I found the bibimbap lacking in taste, of which at that time, I couldn't figure out what has gone missing. Towards the end of the meal only did I realised that they had forgotten to serve me the chili paste (no wonder!).  If only I realized it earlier, ish!  Otherwise, the bibimbap is worth trying.

KS ordered the Bulgogi (RM 18.90), which is stir-fried beef in a sweet soy sauce marinade served on a hot, sizzling plate.  The beef is tender and the sweet soy sauce is nice, although I feel the taste at Daorae being better and sweeter.  Nevertheless, Oiso's bulgogi is enjoyable.  If you prefer a more intense beef taste, Oiso is the better choice as its sauce has more beef flavour.

Although not refillable, all 5 side dishes were very nice as they are all our favourite especially the ikan bilis.

The kimchi that they served is also surprisingly nicer than other places that serve it complimentary.  The seasonings in it were much intense and less acidic, something we both enjoyed.

Even the complimentary seaweed soup has enough flavour and loaded with seaweeds.

If you go for dinner, for every two main dishes ordered, you'll get a complimentary steamed egg or kimchi pancake.  For us, we were given the steamed egg, which is very silky and steaming hot.  The only complain was that there was a slight burnt taste, which sort of ruined the taste.

What I liked about this shop is all their food are served steaming hot (either relying on a hot plate or on a gas stove), so you can enjoy it hot throughout the whole meal.  Lovely.  Plus, their portion is quite big given the price they charged.

The set-up of the restaurant is very nice and homey, although it can can a bit hot if you're sitting near the kitchen (the cooling system is not very good).  The shop is small, but they have plenty of tables outside their shop if you want to have some fresh, cooling air (don't worry, it is covered and there are fans installed).  Only problem is you have a large group, maybe make a reservation first?

Oiso Korean Traditional Cuisine and Cafe
G-3 Ground Floor,
The Sphere,
No.1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South.
Jalan Kerinchi,
59200 Kuala Lumpur


Pak Su Seafood Restaurant @ Kuantan

Going to Kuantan (for the very first time) was not a planned trip.  It was a pretty last minute thing (literally the night before) that my parents convinced me to follow them.

Having only less than 30 mins, I had to do a super quick research in the hotel to find where to have a decent seafood dinner and at the same time, near some beach.  Google "good seafood kuantan beach" and at the top of the list is Pak Su Seafood Restaurant @ Kg Bahagia Beserah, Kuantan.  That's where we went.

At first, I thought 'Hey, there's no restaurant here, It is all kampung houses everywhere.  Doesn't seem right".  But because the GPS seems to be showing that we were still on the right direction on Jalan Beserah, we continued (with fingers crossed).  The moment we saw the large signboard by the road, we were so relieved.

Pak Su Seafood is a halal restaurant that has an open area facing the sea.  Very good view and super breezy.  As the sky slowly darkens, the open area is lit up with little light bulbs hanging on top of you.  Really nice, cosy feel to it.

One of the must-eat dish at Pak Su is non other than the Famous Pak Su Stuffed Crab.  Having read about it in a few other blogs, I convinced my parents that this must be ordered.

The crab shell  is stuffed with a lot of crab meat (obviously) and some chopped vegetables, topped with bread-like topping before it gets grilled and fried.  For those who don't want to get their fingers dirty,  this is the best way to enjoy the juicy crab meat.  It may look very ordinary, but the stuffed crab is really good - juicy and well-seasoned.  Although fried, it was not at all oily.  Could have ordered a few more of these.

The other dishes, I left it to my mum to do the ordering.  There's the Fried Celery with Prawns.  Wow, the prawns are huge and very fresh.  The only complain is that the celery is very little although it is a vegetable dish.

For fish, we ordered the Steamed Fish with Soy Sauce (Can't remember what type of fish it is).  Cooked very well and the meat is very sweet.

Lastly, since we didn't had any meat for lunch (we had vegetarian for lunch), I was insisting for some meat.  So, my dad ordered the Fried Chicken Thai Style.  The dish is super big (either that, the plate is too small).  I love the sauce as it has a lot of lemongrass in it but the salad (cucumber and onion) is quite little.  Although it tasted good, but I think the taste is a bit too overwhelming and does not go well with other dishes.

A pretty nice, decent seafood dinner with a lovely view of the beach.  My parents were very satisfied with my recommendation and at least, for the first time, enjoyed a meal at Kuantan.

Food came pretty fast.  Not sure if it was because it was still early before the dinner crowds come, but getting the bill was super slow.  At least we have the view to distract.  Price-wise, pretty reasonable.

The only thing I dislike is that there were too many flies, pretty annoying as I had to focus on chasing them away from landing on our food.  Luckily, they started coming out towards the end of our meal.

Pak Su Seafood Restaurant
No 4/1417, Batu 6, Lot 922
Kg Bahagia Beserah
26100 Kuantan

GPS:  3.87582, 103.36636

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Japanese Fusion Lunch @ Cafe Takahashi, Pavillion Tokyo Street

It's been a while since we last went to Pavillion for lunch on a working day.  Since we are on half-day leave, we have plenty time to waste and slowly enjoy lunch at Cafe Takahashi @ Pavillion Tokyo Street.

As I was not very hungry, I ordered the Chicken Katsu Burger (RM 10.90).  There is a big slice of fried chicken cutlet sandwiched between the lightly toasted burger, topped with special tonkatsu sauce and pineapple.  The chicken cutlet is juicy and goes very well with the sauce, which tasted like BBQ sauce.  Although a bit plain without any sides (salad or fries etc), it is just right for a light meal.

For KS, he went for the Autumn Breeze set meal and ordered the Teppan Set (RM17.80), which is chicken gyoza with special hot salsa sauce served on a sizzling hotplate, along with mixed vegetables and Japonica rice.  In fact, this set is quite a deal as it comes with tofu & miso soup (the soup of the day) and a scoop of vanila ice-cream topped with cornflakes & biscuit (the dessert of the day).  A complete meal.

This Teppan set may not look attractive on the menu, but it is very nice, thanks to the delicious special salsa sauce.  This spicy sauce has a strong tomato taste and is balanced well with herbs and seasonings.  Perfect to go with rice.  As KS couldn't finish the sauce, I took all the remianing sauce and enjoyed it on my burger :P  Totally love it!

Cafe Takahashi
No 6-24-1B, Level 6
Pavillion Tokyo Street
Jalan Buki Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:  03-21436454

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dim Sum Lunch @ Yat Dim Sum Yi, Kota Damansara

Finding a nice, comfortable place serving good quality dim sum is no easy feat.  Even at Yat Dim Sum Yi @ Kota Damansara, a lot of things didn't really go right.

At first, when the drinks came, we were quite amazed with the quality of the herbal drinks - Lo Hon Guo tea and Pear & White Fungus drink.  Although on the sweeter side, but it is real stuff, i.e. not too diluted.  Totally love their herbal drinks.

As it is a made-to-order style, we browse through the menu and selected 5 different dim sums, of which 3 are chef's recommended.

First dim sum to arrive is the Yat Dim Sum Yi Lo Mai Kai or glutinous rice with chicken (RM 5.00) - a standard dim sum item to order.  We enjoyed it as not only was the chicken tender and well-marinated, the rice is seasoned well enough to give a nice fragrance.  There were quite a lot of ingredients added to the rice too.  Plus, it was not too oily.

Next came the Baked BBQ Pork Bun (RM 5.00), which turns out to be polo bao with char siew.  I love this dim sum because of the crust on top of the bun, sweet and flaky.  Filling-wise, standard char siew bao filling.

After this, the other dim sums were pretty much a disappointment - if you plot the level of our enjoyment on a graph, you'll see a significant downwards trend after each dim sum arrive.

The Pan-fried Radish Cake with Dried Meat (RM 5.00) tasted quite good at the first few bites, but after a while, it became a bit tasteless.  We felt it was a bit too soft and mushy (a bit gluey).  Unlike other places, the radish cake here was not pan-fried enough to have that thin layer of crispiness.  Also, the dried meat is pretty limited in each slice.

Next comes the Steamed Pork Dumpling in "Shanghai' Style or Shanghai siew long bao (RM 6.00), which was supposedly have two "thumbs up" by the chef, is a huge disappointment and is not at all worth ordering.  Although the dumpling skin is slightly on the thick side, which KS didn't really like, but what actually spoiled this dish (according to me) is the meat that they have used.  By right, a good siew long bao will have a clear, sweet pork broth inside.  But here, the broth has a weird pork smell and is murky with all the fats (there were many unidentifiable bits of whitish product, which I suspect is fats, although it could be anything else).  Eating that made me lost all my appetite.

The last dim sum to come (thank goodness!) is the Stuffed Pan-fried Eggplant (RM 5.00).  This is alright - pretty standard except that I find the eggplant/brinjal a bit under-cooked, but still okay.  Sauce-wise, mediocre.

Nevertheless, their food is still edible but is it worth the money?  I don't think so.  For the price they were charging, we were expecting a much better quality but obviously, there are some misses.

But I must give them some credit too - the shop is very clean and airy.  Even on a hot sunny day, it is quite cooling in the shop.  If not for its food quality, it will be a very good dim sum place.

Yat Dim Sum Yi
13-1, Jalan PJU 5/15,
Dataran Sunway,
Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya