Yoshinoya, Mid Valley KL

Yoshinoya

I first had Yoshinoya in 2005 during a business trip to KL. The outlet has been closed for quite a few years though. Thus, when I heard Yoshinoya was opening again in Mid Valley Megamall earlier this year, I was quite enthused about eating there again. If you’re not familiar with the restaurant, Yoshinoya is a Japanese chain that serves beef bowl (牛丼/gyudon).

Yoshinoya KL

I went to Hokkaido with my better half earlier this year and we both enjoyed the trip to Japan. I was especially taken with their food. With Michelin rated ramen and Michelin star sushi to choose from, we didn’t get to eat the more pedestrian offerings, least of all something like beef bowl. I frequently go to Sukiya near Kota Damansara but that shuttered too so it was good to eat at Yoshinoya again.

Ontama Beef Bowl (RM 15.80)

Yoshinoya Beef Bowl

This is what I ordered. It’s the flagship Yoshinoya beef bowl with an onsen tamago (hot spring egg) as a topping. I love the onsen egg, the runny yolk provides the perfect sauce for the salty and flavorful beef slices. Samantha had this too, but in the small size (RM 13.80). You can add a bit more rice and beef for RM 2 if you upgrade to the large.

Ontama Beef Bowl

One of the best things about Yoshinoya (in addition to their awesome beef) is their righteous pickles. You can add your own at the self-service counter beside the ordering kiosk. The vinegary peppers acts as a palate cleanser of sorts, so you can enjoy each mouthful of beef as if it was your first.

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice (RM 15.80)

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice

Michelle had the chicken instead of beef. Yoshinoya is a beef bowl restaurant but they do serve a limited side menu of chicken tempura with rice and chicken katsu curry with rice, probably to cater to Buddhists who don’t eat cow. I tried it and it was surprisingly good. I would still prefer their beef bowls though, but the chicken ain’t bad.

Yoshinoya Mid Valley

Yoshinoya straddles the strange place between quick service restaurant and Japanese dining. It’s a true blue franchise from Japan but it’s also a fast food option, which makes sense in the busy office blocks surrounding Mid Valley. It’s very popular during lunch. I was there with Michelle and Samantha – it’s located at the top of the concourse beside its sister restaurant Hanamaru Udon. The entire place is actually called Yoshinoya Hanamaru Mid Valley and has the two restaurant flanking a common seating area. I’ll definitely be back for more beef bowl action!

Mr. & Ms. Cafe @ Oasis Ara Damansara

Mr Mrs Oasis Ara Damansara

I was craving for Vietnamese pho over the weekend. I’ve been craving for pho for a very long time and thought I’ll finally scratch my itch when my better half said she’ll rather go somewhere nearer instead. Thus, we headed into Oasis Ara Damansara for our weekend brunch and saw Mr & Ms Cafe. It was packed to the rafters!

Mr and Mrs

There was another cafe called Crave Cafe beside it which in contrast was totally empty. Naturally, we went to the popular one. You can’t ignore 20 pax, especially if you haven’t been to either before. Mr and Ms is a Melbourne style breakfast place with surprisingly competent wait staff. The visitors are overwhelmingly Chinese, although I believe the place is pork free.

Yummy Duck & Eggs (RM 24)

Yummy Duck Eggs

This is ultra flavorful shredded duck with baby spinach on a baguette, topped with two poached eggs. The sauce they use is reminiscent of braised duck and it’s very good. I love the addition of raw spinach too, the earthy notes complement the dish well. The orange segment on top was gold! It actually adds a lot to the dish. The portion was slightly small but it turned out to be enough.

Fried Chicken, Portobello & Eggs (RM 22)

Fried Chicken Portobello

My better half had this. It came later than mine and she had eaten my duck first, which was a huge mistake. The chicken tasted positively bland in comparison. They use a breaded chicken breast and it’s cooked to order, which explains why it took 20 minutes to get out. To be fair, the waitress apologized for the delay, but usually restaurants will write down the wait time for longer dishes on the menu. It was decent though, just don’t eat the duck first.

Hot Chocolate Nutella

I also had a latte (RM 9) while my dear went for the Hot Chocolate Nutella (RM 12). Mine was decent while hers was slightly diluted with hot milk. Mr and Mrs also serves freshly squeezed orange juice with no added sugar or water for RM 10. It was mind-numbingly sour but I was glad I had it. It’s packed full of nutrients. I presume anyway, I refuse to believe I drank something this acidic for no good reason.

Mr Mrs

Mr & Mrs Cafe is a great destination for breakfast. The bill came up to RM 81.60 for the two of us. We didn’t order any desserts coz they only had one left. The cafe distinguishes itself with two (2) selfie props on their table in lieu of the usual fresh flowers. There is a moustache on a straw and a lipstick red pair of lips on the same. I guess you’re supposed to pose with them. I did, anyway, my better half was not as willing to embarrass herself in public.

How to write 300 Word Essay

Research

Some things to remember

Even though a 300 word essay may not be a lot of words, the focus here is not on the amount of words but on what it contains. The most important part of any essay will always be those points which is most important and therefore they will have to be stated right at the start of that essay. Such an opening statement otherwise known as a thesis statement should provide at least a brief overview of what will be contained in the other main sections. Every subsequent paragraph is expected to deal only with its own part of the essay topic. Something which is always problematic when writing a relatively short essay of 300 words is the limitation which is placed on the essay writer because they are expected to fit all of the relative information into that short essay. This is why they will always require a lot of planning and the entire project will have to be carefully thought through in order to ensure that everything is exactly right. You should really pay attention to the topic which you have been provided for that essay. You need to give it a whole lot of thought in order to allow you to be able to provide content which will be satisfactory and interesting.

Answer the questions as fully as possible

Not only should you answer the question which is alluded to in your topic but you should also provide adequate proof as to why you are convinced of your answer. In a 300 word essay there really is no time or space for fancy stuff and neither is there any room for detours since all of the words available to you will be vital in order to prove your point and to substantiate your arguments. Therefore the moment you start working on your topic you should be able to come up were approximately three main points and you should have convincing arguments to substantiate them and these should be organized into an intelligent outline for your essay. Not everybody like to be constrained by a stiff outline but the fact remains that such an outline can really help the essay writer to stick to the main objective of that essay.

A basic essay outline

In most cases it will be an excellent idea to start with that first topic sentence. That sentence should then be backed up by at least 3 supportive arguments. And each of these should have at least two statements to support that argument. This should be followed by the closing statement where everything should be taken together. This sounds very easy but it is important to ensure that there is an attractive flow to your entire outline. Furthermore you should take great care to ensure that all the supporting ideas is intelligent and sensible and they should also appear in the correct order. Sometimes it is necessary to ask the opinion of a fellow student or someone else who will be able to remain objective in order to ensure that your content is flowing easily and logically. If there is any doubt it will be better to pay attention to the points which may be troubling you before you complete your essay.

Pay attention to your format

You should really spend some time on the format of your essay. The traditionally accepted norm for an essay is three paragraphs but in a relatively short essay it is also acceptable practice to use only one essay paragraph. However in most cases the three paragraph format still provides the most maneuverability. Most people prefer this format because it is considered to be easier to read although there is nothing wrong with a single paragraph essay because 300 words is really relatively short. Some people will avoid the three paragraph essay format simply because they simply do not know how it should be approached. Fortunately there is more than enough information available online especially from Do My Essay which is a professional essay writing service. There should be an opening paragraph which is the section where you are attempting to capture the attention of the reader. It should provide a quality statement which will catch the attention of the reader. This should be followed by at least one sentence which will provide support for that initial statement and should also be a connecting statement for the content which follows. This should now be followed by the actual thesis which will basically be an outline which describes what the paragraph is about and this should also include the main points of the paragraph.

The main body of your essay

Once again you should allow an inclusion of the topic sentence which should be able to set forth exactly what that paragraph is going to contain. It should also be an effective transition between the opening paragraph and the main body of that essay. It will be useful to use three paragraphs in the main body and each of these should provide a thought provoking argument with at least two supportive arguments each. This should be followed by the closing paragraph and this should provide a rewording of your opening statement and it should be done in such a way that it completely summarizes your entire essay.

Kueh Teow Ketam + Satay Tulang @ Rawang Burger Bakar (RBB), Wangsa Maju

RBB

The last time I was in Wangsa Maju was when I had Pie Face at Wangsa Walk Mall. Wangsa Maju is really far for me, a 30 minute drive in perfect traffic conditions, so I don’t go there often. However, I was driving past last night when I saw this glorious sign – Kueh Teow Ketam! It’s at a place called Rawang Burger Bakar (RBB) and it piqued my curiosity enough for me to find a place to park.

Rawang Burger Bakar

This Malay owned eatery was still open late at night when other dining options have been exhausted. I’m not sure if this is due to Ramadan or if it’s usually open till late but I’m not surprised if it’s the latter. There were a lot of families inside, probably due to the fasting month. RBB is famous for their burgers but it just looked like regular Ramly style burgers with a few more bells and whistles so I had something else instead.

Nasi Ikan Terbang

It was the Kueh Teow Ketam which brought me here anyway. They also have a whole fried tilapia served with fried rice called Nasi Ikan Terbang (Fresh Tilapia) which goes for RM 15. You can have prawns with your kueh teow for the same price or clams (kerang) for RM 8. RBB has a very streamlined menu which emphasizes on their strength – you can have the same flower crab on top of fried rice or fried noodles for the same RM 15.

Kueh Teow Ketam

However, it seems like the signature dish of the place is the Kueh Teow Ketam (RM 15) so that’s what I got. It was really delicious! I used to have this jaw-dropping Malay style kueh teow when I first came over to KL in 2008 behind my office. This tastes similar. They use A LOT of spices and sauces to fry the kueh teow, making it ultra strong tasting. The provided home made concoction of sambal with soy sauce elevates the already salty, spicy and sweet kueh teow to new heights. The flower crab was served whole, and there was quite a lot of meat inside.

Satay Tulang

I also ordered the Satay Tulang (RM 12) coz I thought it was oxtail satay. It turned out to be huge chunks of chicken on a skewer. This took a long time to come, the server apologized for the delay and told me it’s coz the chicken takes a while to grill. The satay comes with nasi impit (boiled rice cakes), raw onions and cucumbers. I asked where the meat is from and was told it’s from everywhere, but especially the back of the chicken. Every single chunk has bones attached. This is an oily treat which isn’t easy to eat – you have to dig in with your fingers to get at all the meat.

RBB Wangsa Maju

I ultimately couldn’t finish the satay tulang coz of the cloying fat but the first two sticks were nice. It’s probably meant for sharing – a guilty pleasure of sorts. I enjoyed the kueh teow ketam though. It seems to be the most popular dish here, all the other customers were eating this too. Rawang Burger Bakar (RBB) looks family owned and the cashier is just a woman by a makeshift table. The meal cost me RM 30.50 with a Milo Tabur (RM 3.50) drink. The people are friendly and if you like strong tasting spicy kueh teow (or as they call it, cukup rasa) you’ll love the food here.

Eat clen, tren hard and accept no subs

I haven’t updated my blog in a long time and I want to start off the cycle by writing about something I’ve always felt the need to hide. I’m not even sure why besides a vague sense of it being right, and I’ll explain that the best I can now. I have had problems with substance abuse in the past and I’ve let my misadventures with methamphetamine, heroin and other fun and interesting chemicals define me. I’m the guy who was all for “better living through chemistry” and I wasn’t afraid to say it out loud to everyone who wanted to hear (and the ones who didn’t as well).

However, as I have grown older, I found myself looking askance at people like that. Admittedly there aren’t many people like me, and even less who has built up such an impressive chemical resume as I have. But the ones who have told me straight out that they’re users, I find that I tend to judge them a little. Even though I used to in the past? Especially coz I used to. I knew what kind of deviant I was and I’ll have no part of that. Now that I’ve quit for so many years, I find myself wanting to dissociate myself with other drug users.

My point is, most people have something against substance users, no matter if it’s recreational or a dependency. It speaks volumes about your character that you’re not willing to make your personal life private and maybe that’s why I stopped divulging so much. It doesn’t matter if you pop MDMA once a year or you’re shooting up smack every morning and lunch in the toilet. People don’t need to know.

There is an odd comfort in being truthful though, as long as you’re not shoving your personal politics down people’s throats. I’ve stopped using all illegal drugs for many years. However, a lot of my legacy is still there. I’m still on buprenorphine (Suboxone) and benzodiazepines.

Suboxone

I’ll talk about Suboxone first. It’s a very, very expensive and legal opiate substitute that the government has been pushing for several years. Government? So it’s free then, you say? No, it’s not. It costs RM 40 per 8 mg tablet and I take 2 per day. I used to run up RM 80 daily, RM 2,480 per month, RM 29,200 annually. RM 30,000! 30 fucking k per year! It was ludicrous.

I got on Suboxone as a legal way to get off OxyContin in 2012. I had a HUGE oxycodone problem. I was a monster. I would take 280 mg per day. That’s 14 tablets (one blister pack) of 20 mg OxyContin. It was, strangely enough, about the same price as Suboxone and offers a much superior high. However, it wasn’t legal, since I obtained them via doctor shopping, and that’s why I ultimately chose to switch over to the government Suboxone program. It was expensive but it was legal and I could travel all over the world with my prescription (except Singapore, who considers buprenorphine a Class A drug).

I was happily on Suboxone for several years before I realized I was hooked on it. Yes, that’s how buprenorphine works, it has a STRONGER binding affinity to your opiate receptors, that’s why you don’t crave other opiates like oxycodone. It’s not very pleasurable, but it’s good enough to prevent you from seeking other MORE pleasurable opiates like heroin. The buzz is acceptable, and it staves off withdrawals. Many Suboxone users already know this but I bet the general public doesn’t. Suboxone works by making you dependent on it. That’s why you don’t get withdrawals, it’s coz you’re still on opiates. In other words, you become addicted to Suboxone.

Quitting was hard. It was harder than OxyContin due to the longer half life of Suboxone. I tried once with the help of my better half and I’m not ashamed to say that I tapped out after 4 or 5 days, just when the withdrawals hit me really hard. I’m not embarrassed coz with my life experience now, I know that you’ll know when the time is right to quit. It’s when you want to, above all else, without any other reason, no pressure, no one to nag you, no guilt. You quit coz you want to be rid of it. That’s when you succeed.

I tried cutting down and I got down to 1 x 8 mg Suboxone tablet per day. After a few weeks, I cut it down to 1/2 then 1/4. It’s hard to get rid of that final bit, the “boost” you need each morning and which comforts you, but when you cut it out of your life, it’s a lot better. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner but I know the answer to that. It was coz I wasn’t ready to.

The same thing with benzodiazepines. This is the most insidious drug I’ve ever taken. Not worse than meth, methamphetamine is the worst thing I’ve ever taken, all in all. But I personally think benzodiazepines are more insidious than opiates. You know why? There is no honest “value proposal”. I took benzos for fun at first, then to help with the come downs from meth, then I obviously got addicted to them. The one time I tried to quit was cold turkey, in drug rehab, coz the sick sons of bitches at the center didn’t know anything about benzodiazepines or how dangerous it is to quit cold turkey.

I seized in the jail cell while my ankles were shackled and my hands were handcuffed. I cried, I had multiple seizures, I thought I was going to die, and I wept again. It was a fucking nightmare, going from 10 mg clonazepam (Rivotril), 2 mg alprazolam (Xanax) and 20 mg diazepam (Valium) in a day to complete zero, cold turkey, back in 2007. I’m not sure if I can do it a second time. That’s what I thought for the next few years anyway, since I started taking them again after rehab.

However, and I’m really not sure what the catalyst is, I somehow decided to take less and less starting from last year. I was on 2 mg clonazepam (Rivotril) daily for many years and then I decided to start taking 1/2 of the tablet. Thus, I was on 1 mg. It felt better, and my head was clearer and I was feeling a lot more emotions and I thought that was good. It was. I cut again to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (which is 1/4 of the tablet).

One day, my doctor said he ran out of clonazepam and it’ll take 2 weeks to get the new stock so he gave me diazepam (Valium) instead. It was a 10 mg pill which is about equivalent to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (don’t look at the mg, trust me when I say these two doses are “similar” – think of clonazepam as being 20 times stronger than diazepam) but it wasn’t. I felt significant amount of anxiety and had mild panic attacks but I liked the clarity. Clonazepam has stronger anti-anxiety effects but it’s not as hypnotic as diazepam. I felt sleepier and I hated it coz it felt like I was “going back” on my progress.

I didn’t want to let myself acclimatize so I cut it again by 1/2 to 5 mg. I cut it again the week after to 1/4 of that and within a week I titrated the dose to 1/8, 1/10 and 1/12. Then I switched to 5 mg Valium (diazepam) – it’s half the amount of my previous 10 mg tablet so it’s easier to split for a smaller dose. The doctor didn’t have 2 mg ones. I then started splitting the 5 mg pill to 1/20 until I had to pinch just a bit. It was effectively nothing coz it was about 1/30 of a 5 mg pill – or 0.16 mg daily. Most people take 5-10 mg and I managed to cut it down to zero with my own super fast taper plan. I was essentially clean. The last bit to get rid off was more psychological than anything.

It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t as bad as when I kicked it cold turkey in rehab. I kinda like the new clarity. It gives me purpose. It also made me feel bad about the time I’ve spent “under the influence” (kinda). Now, this is not medical advice, everyone is different and you should never cold turkey quit benzodiazepines coz you might die of a seizure.

However, I have grown to belief that it’s more like US FDA precaution. I’ve done plenty of things which should have killed me. I’ve taken things which I KNOW as a fact that’s over the LD50 (lethal for 50% of the population – everyone is different) many, many, God so many times and I’m still alive. There’s nothing wrong with being on benzos, some people need it for anxiety.

I just didn’t want it anymore. It was a personal decision.

This is probably the last thing I’m going to write about drugs. I’ve said I was off all illegal drugs. Well, now I’m off it all – legal and prescription included. I don’t want it to define me anymore. I just want to write an appendix for the blog. This is it.

Penang Durian Trip 2016: Black Thorn, Hor Lor, Red Gold Dragon, Red Prawn

Durian Penang

It’s durian season in the best durian producing state in Malaysia! Yes, I’m talking about Penang. They have some of the highest quality durians around. My better half wanted to head up north to eat the King of Fruits so we made the trip over the weekend. We managed to eat four (4) different kinds of local durians at four different stalls scattered across the island state.

Black Thorn (Orchee, Duri Hitam)

Black Thorn Penang

This durian first came on the scene in late 2012. I was the first to blog about Black Thorn and couldn’t find any information except from what I was told by the durian sellers. This is an example of a durian marketed right, it has really blown up and name recognition and demand has spiked since its debut. It now goes for around RM 60 per kg in Penang and it’s one of the premium durians out there. I paid RM 77 for this 1.54 kg durian.

Ochee Durian

My better half has never had Black Thorn before. It was a little early in the season so I went fully expecting to be disappointed but was surprised to see a few stalls offering it it Balik Pulau. This one had two Black Thorn durians for RM 50/kg. I took the smaller one and it was a beautiful example! Black Thorn has a concave spikeless bottom with a black thorn sticking out (thus the name) and it’s very distinctive with a thick, round stem, longkang (drain) running down the middle like a Teka (Green Bamboo) and reddish orange fruit.

Duri Hitam

The Black Thorn we had was ultra creamy, sweet with a very mild bitter aftertaste. There’s almost no noticeable fibre component (unlike D2 Dato Nina durians) so it makes for good eating. These are organic durians with no pesticides and such so you can see a caterpillar trying to get at the flesh. Haha. Organic durians taste so much better. This is the second best durian we had in Penang. I like Black Thorn but if you want complexity in flavor, you can’t beat a Red Prawn.

Hor Lor (Labu)

Hor Lor

The name Hor Lor actually means “gourd” – so called coz it looks like a gourd. We had this in the middle of town, right beside Macalister Road. It’s RM 30 per kg, cost us RM 40 for this 1.3 kg durian.

Labu Durian

I like the shape of Hor Lor durians. The hourglass figure pleases my eyes as well as my sense of symmetry. The durian was slightly dry and one-dimensionally sweet. You’ll love Holo if you like sweet durians.

Hor Lor Durian

The seeds are small and flat too. Passable, but not the best.

Ang Kim Lin (Red Gold Dragon)

Ang Kim Lin

This is a rather unusual durian which we found at a random stall. It has 4 segments instead of the usual 5, which I found rather interesting. This is similar to Sarawak jungle durians – the green and soft spiked variety we call durian isu. The durian also had taste characteristics which was similar to durian isu, which startled me.

Red Gold Dragon

The Red Gold Dragon durian cost RM 25 per kg and was very hard to open due to the large amount of impenetrable skin at the seems. You have to slice into this durian and wedge it open, there’s no easy way to open it without a knife, even after it’s open. You know how you can just push down on the sides and it’ll peel away? Not this one…just look at the seemless middle.

Ang Kim

This durian was quite strong tasting in a green way, but not from being unripe. The flesh was quite soft and wet and comes off the flesh easily. It really tastes a lot like durian isu, but not as intense. This still had durio zibethinus characteristics. It’s an acquired taste. I’ll have to eat a lot more before I’ll start liking it, but I’m really glad I tasted it.

Red Prawn (Ang He, Udang Merah)

Red Prawn Durian

This is the best durian Penang has to offer. Some say Black Thorn has usurped the #1 spot but I’m sure most seasoned durian lovers would prefer the complexity of a Red Prawn. I certainly prefer a good Red Prawn to a Black Thorn durian. I spotted the dusty brown color and short spikes characteristic of a Red Prawn and asked how much it was. I got this durian for RM 84. It’s RM 50/kg and this is a 1.6 kg fruit.

Udang Merah Durian

It was perfect! The durian opened up to reveal beautiful salmon pink flesh and the crescent curve which contributed to its name. I’ve heard a lot of false etymologies concerning the name, the most plausible one is likely to be that its said to look like a red prawn by its side.

Ang He

This Red Prawn tasted really delicious, complex and bitter and sweet. It has so many levels of flavor going on. Delicious stuff! All the durians we had in Penang were super fresh too. They just fell from the tree the previous night, and the stalk shows no signs of cutting (unlike many durians you find in KL) nor were there split bottoms, indicating an old durian. It’s perfect, silky and smooth tasting heaven.

Penang Durian

We’ll love to go back for another feast later in the season when different durian varieties ripens!

The Six Hunan Ramen, M Mall Penang

Seafood Ramen

The Japanese actually consider ramen a Chinese dish. Udon and soba are the two most popular Japanese noodles while ramen was imported from China. However, since Japan has done it a lot better since the Meiji era, ramen is nowadays thought of as Japanese. Thus, it was a bit of a surprise to see a ramen restaurant that actively advertises their proud Chinese roots.

The Six Hunan Ramen

The Six Hunan Ramen is located in M Mall. It specializes in ramen from Hunan and the spicy food from the region. One of their bestsellers is Ramen with Braised Pork Rib (RM 16.80) which comes with a generous side of glistening pork rib. I originally wanted to order two different bowls of ramen but my better half was quite full so she had something light instead.

The Six Penang

I believe this is a relatively new restaurant since I couldn’t find any reviews online. The interior décor is also very pristine. I love how atmospheric the entire place is, from the wooden menu boards handing from the ceiling in string to the warm ambient lighting. We decided to pop in for dinner. This was the only non-hawker food place we went to in Penang.

The Six Ramen

Our waitress was a friendly girl dressed in traditional Chinese garb. All of the staff is dressed the same way, male and female. It’s a nice touch to complement the flavor and look of the place. Everything from the hanging green plants to the giant paper fan on the wall makes this feel like an oasis of calm. I like the way the sun comes in from the shuttered wooden blinds too.

Premium Ramen

I had the Premium Ramen with Fresh Abalone (RM 26.80). It looks quite impressive on the menu and I’m happy to report that it looks exactly the same when served to us. There are two large scallops, a couple of prawns, shark’s fin analog (pretty sure it’s not the real thing at this price), Shiitake mushroom and beautiful tiny dried abalone. The in-house made ramen is very toothsome and the clear broth was good.

Shanghai Steamed Pork Dumplings

My dear had the Shanghai Steamed Pork Dumplings (RM 12). The Six Hunan Ramen also serves various smaller dishes, appetizers as well as rice meals. We both ordered fruit juices since it’s priced so affordably. The watermelon and honeydew juice was just RM 5 each. The bill came up to RM 59.25 for the two of us, which is very reasonable.

Hunan-Ramen

The Six Hunan Ramen is an interesting place to have a different take on ramen. It’s not the usual Japanese franchise or local halal attempt at replicating ramen. This is a Chinese lamien (拉麺) establishment that specializes in the spicy cuisine from Hunan. I tried the house blend chilli and it was quite spicy (in a dry and salty way). I’ll come back again next time we’re in Penang to try the other ramen offerings.

Sungkai Choy Kee Restaurant

Sungkai Pork Trotters

This is probably the most famous restaurant in Sungkai, Perak. It has a whole range of freshwater fish and prawns but they’re also well known for their righteous braised pig trotters. It’s about 1 1/2 hours from Kuala Lumpur itself and we popped in for a meal while coming back from Penang just now. My better half wanted to eat durians so I drove to Balik Pulau so she can feast on the King of Fruits to her heart’s content.

Sungkai Choy Kee

I haven’t even heard of Sungkai before today. I thought my dear had misremebered the name of sungai (river in Malay) when she told me about Choy Kee. I was surprised to find out that she’s been here before, with her parents, and they loved the pig’s trotters here. I had an idea in my mind of what pig trotters are – they’re basically the feet, right? Well, not here. The portion of pig trotters they serve include the hock so it’s basically a pork knuckle with trotters attached.

Choy Kee

The waitress also came out with a dish of ikan terubok. Apparently, the owner mistakenly thought I had ordered it, as did my dear. I basically nodded and said “Okay” (as in, I understand) when he explained how they prepare their terubok fish – how it was fried and then braised for a very long time so all the bones are soft. I was very full so I sent it back. I would normally have eaten it out of curiosity. I do like toli shad. But no means no and silence does not mean consent. smirk

Braised Pork Trotters

My better half had rice with the Braised Pork Trotters (RM 38) and she said it was very good. She finished her rice anyway. I also had a few pieces but I was not impressed. There’s nothing wrong with the pig trotters. I guess they’re quite good if you like this style of preparation. However, the thinness of the gravy put me off. It’s similar to bak kut teh in terms of taste and viscosity. The skin is wrinkled too, like it’s been fried before braising.

Restaurant Choy Kee

Don’t get me wrong, this is purely personal preference. I suspect being stuffed from our gastronomic adventures in Penang had a thing or two to do with it too. Maybe I would like it more if I had been hungrier. I don’t know. I usually like pig trotters. I got a portion to go for my dear’s parents too, since they like the braised pork trotters here. Choy Kee will even provide you with a frozen one upon request, ready for takeaway.

Sungkai

The bill came up to RM 80.30 but the bulk of that is from the two portions of braised pork trotters (RM 38 each). Naturally, we couldn’t finish our dish. Each portion is good for 2 pax. We passed the frozen pork trotters to my dear’s parents as well as some souvenirs we got from Penang and took our half-eaten one home. I’ll probably eat it for dinner again tomorrow. I won’t drive down to Restaurant Sungkai Choy Kee just to eat pork trotters but I’ll not hesitate to come back to check out their seafood offerings next time we go to Ipoh or Penang.

Bak Kut Teh Klang Yip Yong @ Kota Damansara

Bak Kut Teh Klang Yip Yong

Yip Yong is the nearest bak kut teh to my condo and I’ve eaten here quite often. The parking in this particular area of Sunway Giza can be a bit of a nightmare but there’s a multi-storey carpark for around RM 1/hour behind this. You can exit from the lifts right to the back of this BKT restaurant so it’s very convenient. I hear they’re originally from Klang.

Yip Yong

There aren’t a lot of people who come here for lunch, mostly due to the fact that it’s flanked by two chap fan places, both of which are cheaper options. Interestingly, the chap fan places are *packed* from 12 pm – 1 pm. However, if you’re in the mood for a little more protein in your diet, you’ll do no wrong in popping in here for some nourishing herbal pork soup.

Bak Kut Teh

This is the regular bak kut teh. It’s RM 12 for a single portion and you can opt for a variety of meats of a single type. I choose a bit of everything, including innards. There is usually a large pork bone, a few slices of prime pork belly and miscellaneous organ meat like intestines and stomach.

BKT

There is also generous amounts of different soy byproducts like fu chuk, tofu etc. You can also add yau char kueh/youtiao (Chinese crullers) for RM 2. It comes in a bowl and you’ll be charged according to whether you eat it or not. I usually do if I’m hungry. The soup here is quite nice and refills are free.

Dry Bak Kut Teh

The dry bak kut teh here is actually A LOT better than the regular one. The caramelized sauce is fortified with dried sotong and okra and other delicious bits. It’s RM 13 for one portion, slightly more expensive than the soup version. You also get a tiny bowl of BKT soup on the side for you to wash down the meal with. I’m not sure if you can refill this normally but since I’m a regular they don’t charge me.

Yip Yong Sunway Giza

A meal here usually sets me back RM 18.50 inclusive of drinks. They only have different kinds of herbal tea , there are no brewed drinks. I like the dry bak kut teh more than the soup bak kut teh. The dry BKT here is phenomenal while the soup version is kinda meh compared to Klang. Restaurant Yip Yong Klang Bak Kut Teh is the best BKT in Sunway Giza, but only coz there’s not much competition. :)

Wasabi Kit Kat from Japan (Shizuoka Kanto Edition)

Wasabi Kit Kat

These remarkable Japanese Kit Kats are made with wasabi! It’s not fake wasabi or the imitation horseradish that’s often passed off as cheap “wasabi” either. Nestle Japan teamed up with the huge Tamaruya-Honten Co Ltd (who has been manufacturing wasabi since 1875) to make these delicious snacks. I couldn’t resist trying this weird flavor so I snapped up the Wasabi Kit Kat as soon as I saw them.

Tamaruya Wasabi

There are 12 pieces of Kit Kats in the box, all individually wrapped. A regular pack in Japan holds 3 wrapped pieces of 2 Kit Kat mini bars so this is four times the amount. It’s presented in a nice box meant as omiyage (souvenirs). It opens up from the front to reveal two rows of Wasabi Flavored Kit Kats. There is writing on the flip side of the cover which explains the provenance of the product.

Wasabi

No, I didn’t inexplicably start reading Japanese from a single trip to Hokkaido. I took a photo of the text with Google Translate and it showed me the English translation. That’s actually how we got around in Japan when we were there earlier this year. Haha. These are special edition Kit Kat from the Shizuoka-Kanto area.

Kit Kat Wasabi Flavor

Tamaruya-Honten uses only wasabi from the Shizuoka Prefecture with no coloring and horseradish added. The latter two is basically what makes up virtually 100% of wasabi locally. No such shenanigans here, the stuff Nestle Japan puts in these Kit Kats is real wasabi made by a reputable wasabi manufacturer. There is a blurb at the back introducing Tamaruya and a link to their website. I believe “honten” means original shop.

I took a bite and was startled to find out that the wasabi flavor was really strong. It cleared up my sinuses and I could taste/feel the pungent wasabi notes through my nose. It was not unpleasant but the taste combination was strange. My better half didn’t like it though, she found the strong wasabi kick rather off-putting. I didn’t mind, I’m quite fond of wasabi but honestly it doesn’t go very well with chocolate.

Kit Kat Wasabi

These Wasabi Kit Kat are more of a novelty item. I was glad I got the chance to taste them but I probably won’t buy them again. I love how Nestle Japan hooked up with an established wasabi producer to make these Kit Kats. The Nestle x Tamaruya partnership for this makes for a great story. It’s the perfect souvenir due to its exclusivity and a regional specialty to boot, but they’re really not that great to eat. I’m definitely keeping the box though.

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