mi char vendor

This is one of the common street food in Cambodia. You can see it being sold from mobile stalls on the street in the evenings at the Old Market in Siem Reap. Mi Char is basically the Cambodian version of maggi goreng! smirk

mi char

There’s actually two versions – one that’s made from a loh shi fun type of noodle and the more popular one made from instant noodles. The brand they use is Red Bear Chicken Flavored Instant Noodles. I noticed that all the mi char places in Siem Reap use the same type and flavor.

red bear instant noodles

It costs 4,000 KHR (Cambodian Riel) for each plate. That’s about 1 USD (RM 3) since everyone there uses a conversion rate of 1 USD = 4,000 KHR. USD is the default currency but you get small change back in Cambodian Riel.

mi char cambodia

Anyway, the mi char seller will cook one packet of Red Bear chicken flavored instant noodles and then fry it with some shredded cabbage and other vegetables. They’ll also put in the flavor sachet at this point.

fried egg

The 4,000 KHR dish comes with a fried egg! I was wondering if we kena conned e.g. got charged tourist prices, but everyone who came, even locals, were paying 1 USD for that, so it’s all good. Heh.

mee char

It’s a simple but delicious dish! The noodles are doused with chilli sauce before serving. We ate it sitting by the river watching the sun set in Siem Reap. :)

seremban

I’m typing in the dark at Philea Resort & Spa in Melaka while my girlfriend is sleeping. We’re waiting for breakfast in bed at 10 am. I woke up early and decided to blog about this awesome lou shu fun that we had in Seremban.

yi poh noodles

I read about these wonderful lou shu fun from Melissa’s blog and told Ling about it. She likes lou shu fun and Seremban is on the way to Melaka so we decided to swing into the town to have this for lunch. It’s just a 10 minute detour from the PLUS highway and worth the side trip!

lou shi fun

Restaurant Yi Poh seems to be really famous for their lou shu fun – everyone we saw was eating this very dish! The menu is brevity distilled – there’s just a couple of noodle dishes with Yi Poh Noodles featuring as the flagship dish.

That’s the lou shu fun (literally translated as rat noodles).

Yi Poh Noodles (RM 3.80 / RM 4.50)

seremban lou shu fun

There are two sizes and the smaller one is the better sized portion. I had the large one and the lou shu fun comes with minced pork, char siew and a dark sauce that you mix into the noodles. It’s a dry dish with a side of soup.

Ling: This doesn’t look like lou shu fun.
(after eating it)
Ling: It tastes like lou shu fun though…
Me: Maybe it’s the Seremban version of lou shu fun?

The interesting thing about Yi Poh Noodles is that the lou shu fun is not the same as the ones you get in KL or Sarawak – it’s long noodles but with exactly the same taste and texture as regular lou shu fun.

special chilli sauce

One of the kind waitresses also presented me with a small saucer of chilli sauce, telling me it’s “special chilli sauce” (different from the ones on the table) and it’s very spicy.

Ling: How come she didn’t give it to me?
Me: I don’t know, maybe she likes me more. ;)

The chilli sauce is really spicy! I strongly approve! It improves the taste of the lou shu fun exponentially! It’s so spicy you want to put more than one exclamation mark! smirk

(seriously, it’s very good, ask for it if they don’t give it to you)

pork balls

We asked what else is good and the waitress recommended pork balls and pork tendons. It’s RM 1.20 for two and we ordered two of each – the pork tendon balls also comes in the shape of a cylinder. Not too bad, and made in-house

pork intestine soup

I also had a portion of mixed pork intestine soup (RM 5) which has “smelly vegetable” inside and makes for a good peppery soup. It was the main soup we drank from.

yi poh seremban

We both enjoyed the Yi Poh loh shu fun noodles. It’s really good, especially with the chilli sauce and worth a detour to Seremban if you’re heading down south. Restaurant Yi Poh is listed on Google Maps and GPS too so you won’t have a problem finding it – the huge store front sign helps too. ;)

stall no name

There is a stall in town that doesn’t have a name but serves up great herbal chicken twice a day. The operation is quite quaint and rather appealing in a sense – tables are lined along the side of a narrow lane and you can practically see flora growing out of cracks in the centuries-old building.

quaint operation

The food choices are quite simple – there’s herbal chicken drumstick (which I highly recommend) and stewed pork (which doesn’t taste good to me). They both cost RM 6.

herbal chicken stall

All the provisions for washing up and cooking is located right by the stall itself. The clientèle consists of office workers around the area, according to the proprietor.

roadside food stall

The herbal chicken is cooked in aluminium foil and this retains a lot of the moisture of the drumstick.

reconstituted pork

The meat for the stewed pork on the other hand is picked from a container and then mixed with hearty broth from a large simmering pot by the side. I don’t think much of “reconstituted meals” like this – it works for some items, but not pork, since what comes out will be one tough piece of un-kosher meat.

herbal chicken

I am hugely impressed by the herbal chicken though. The tasty broth bursts out of the foil when it’s opened and the hot, hearty soup goes very well with rice – it’s very salty.

lane stall

The chicken is ultra-tender too – the meat literally falls apart from the bone when you pick one up. Delicious, and a rather good find in the alleyways of KL.

great herbal chicken

The Stall with No Name is located in Lorong Bandar 4. It’s open from 10 am – 3 pm and then again from 5 pm to 10 pm. Go for the mouth-watering tender herbal chicken. :D

peranakan restaurant melaka

Restaurant Peranakan is the aptly named place known for it’s Peranakan cuisine. It’s often been cited as the #1 place to go for Nyonya food in Melaka. Peranakan (or Straits Chinese) is a distinctive racial group in Melaka – it comes from Chinese settlers marrying locals and is an entire culture unto itself, the hotbed of which lies in Melaka.

peranakan restaurant

Nyonya food is conglomeration of Chinese and Malay food, but there are some really unique dishes they call their own. I had lunch here while on a road trip to Melaka.

restaurant peranakan

Peranakan Restaurant has a really nice décor which reflects the heydays of the Baba Nyonya clan.

Ayam Buah Keluak

ayam buah keluak

This is perhaps the most well known Nyonya dish. It’s chicken cooked with kepayang tree nuts. Buah keluak is actually poisonous before being prepared for cooking. It prompted a lot of Googling when I mentioned that coz someone ate the inside of the nut.

buah-keluak

I like this dish – it’s a very rich and flavorful one due to the buah keluak. I ate some of the insides of the nuts too – it’s sourish and contributes to the flavor of the chicken. Peranakan Restaurant makes the best ayam buah keluak I’ve had.

Ayam Pongteh

ayam pongteh

I’ve had this at Donald & Lily’s Authentic Nyonya Food too but that pales in comparison with Peranakan Restaurant’s version.

Ikan Tenggiri Asam Pedas

ikan tenggiri asam pedas

This is a really good and spicy fish dish that I found worthy of mention – it’s cooked with brinjals, tomatos, and ladyfingers and has a sweet, spicy and sour (more towards the latter) gravy that goes very well with rice.

Udang Lemak Nanas

vivid prawns

This is a very rich dish of shrimp cooked with pineapples and lots of oil. I set the camera to Vivid and it almost hurts my eye to look at it.

udang lemak nanas

Here’s one that’s easier on the ocular devices. ;) It’s also one of the dishes I’ll recommend at Peranakan Restaurant.

Nyonya Chap Choy

nyonya chap choy

It’s mixed vegetables, nothing special here.

Kangkung Belacan

kangkung belacan

This dish has strayed into mainstream Chinese cooking that a lot of people forget it’s Nyonya origins. If you want the most authentic version, I guess here’s where you go.

Taufo Peranakan

taufo peranakan

I’m not a huge fan of tofu but it disappeared pretty quickly so I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s pretty good if you like the stuff. ;)

Fo Yong Tan

fo yong tan

I think this is the egg omelet unless I’ve completely messed up my bearings. Forgettable.

Sambal Bendih

sambal bendih

Okra with a splash of sambal on top. Simple, but good.

peranakan restaurant food

I spent the whole time piling my plate with all the different stuff so I could take a photo. Their flagship dishes are really good, while some are mediocre, but IMHO, Peranakan Restaurant is the place to go for authentic Nyonya food if you’re in Melaka.

nissan almera

I was there on a the Eat, Play, Drive road trip with a bunch of other bloggers. We drove down on several Nissan Alameras. I had the opportunity to drive the IMPUL tuned one (which is my main ride, with a very auspicious plate too – WXN 6330). Simon, Joshua and Kelly (another group) was kind enough to let me drive the stock Nissan Alamara for a stretch.

nissan almera eat play drive

I prefered the Nissan Alamera tuned by IMPUL that was issued to my group – there’s keyless ignition and the specs are pretty decent. I found the acceleration to be a bit lacking, but as they say, it’s not a sports car, but a sedan that’s surprisingly affordable for its class. I was quite impressed by the price of the car for it’s specs.

nissan almera impul

Thanks for the invite Hui Ping! :)

auntie koh cendol

This was also where I had the famous Klebang Original Coconut Shake and while we were driving there, we also stopped by Aunty Koh’s Cendol. This place churns out really good cendol – perfect for a hot day!

auntie koh

It’s primarily manned by a single woman – the aforementioned Aunty Koh. Cendol is a shaved ice dessert with squiggly green jelly and kidney beans (we use red beans in Sarawak).

aunty koh cendol

Gula Melaka (caramelized palm sugar) gives it that distinctive sugary sweet taste, which is tempered by santan (coconut milk).

melaka cendol

You’ll be amazed by how many people come here for the RM 3.50 (large) cendol.

aunty koh

I was tempted to have two (and I think I did have two) but I also heard that this place is famous for it’s taibak (RM 1.50) – which is a very simple shaved ice dessert made with red and white flour squiggles. I found the taste very similar to something we have in Sibu called “wu wei tang” (5 taste soup) which is another shaved ice dessert that has dried apples and other misc ingredients among it.

taibak

It’s simple but refreshing.

cendol melaka

However, I still prefered the cendol at Aunty Koh Cendol. They claim to be Melaka’s best cendol and I’m inclined to agree. I’ve had cendol in lots of places from Penang to Kuantan (click on the tag cendol) and this is among the top ones I’ve had the pleasure of eating. :D

town graffiti

I’ve never actually walked around this part of KL. I’ve driven through it often enough but never stopped and checked out the food. Joyce was telling me that she saw a lot of stalls there a while back with Shin.

This area is where the really old pre-war shoplots are at. I’ve had a steak dinner around the area at Ril’s Steakhouse at Jalan H.S. Lee but this time we’re out to investigate the little lanes around the area – essentially playing tourist, which is kinda fun.

mixing yam cake

I came across this auntie exerting herself mixing a batch of gooey stuff at Lorong Bandar 4 and asked her if I could have some of that.

I was quite taken aback when she said NO!

yam cake dough

It turns out that this is a batch of yam cake (oh kueh) that’s still uncooked. She said it’s for tomorrow and promptly put it into the a home rigged steamer with a wok. I ordered a portion of the (cooked) yam cake for just RM 2.

yam cake

It’s quite good when eaten with the (optional) chilli and sweet sauce. It’s a good find (also found a better unnamed shop) and goes to show that driving around and just stopping somewhere unfamiliar for an afternoon can be quite a fun afternoon in itself.

yam cake address

…and speaking of driving around town, here’s a short mention about the new Rio and an awesome contest where you can actually win the car by solving word puzzles!
___________________________________________________________________________

The all new Kia Rio is a 1.4 cc compact 5-door hatchback that comes in two variants. It’s an award winning design that has a sporty profile from the low roofline combined with a special ratio of metal and glass. It’s a great looking car with a distinctive wedge that you’ll recognize instantly.

all new rio

Do you fancy yourself a word smith? Good with puzzles and all that? Always the winner in Scrabble? You can win yourself a Kia Rio by solving word puzzles in the Runabout contest on Facebook!

It’s a lot of fun!

(plus you can win a car!)

klebang coconut shakes

This is a truly remarkable drink – one where people are willing to line up under the hot sun or even in rain for. Klebang Original Coconut Shake is located in Melaka – it’s named after the street it’s on (Jalan Klebang).

malaysia famous coconut shake

There’s constantly a queue at the small takeaway kiosk whenever we passed it during a road trip yesterday. The kiosk is for takeaways only to free up the main arena for dine-in customers.

melaka original coconut shake

Klebang’s Original Coconut Shake truly deserves the “famous” moniker as the sit-down area is huge, as big as a sports stadium and packed full of people. The car park is equally impressive and despite the constant rain and drizzle, people still come in for a fix.

melaka famous coconut shake

The shake is ingenious – it’s basically an ice blended coconut drink but everything in there is made of coconut. They take coconut water, coconut flesh and ice cubes to blend it all together.

klebang original coconut shake

Thus, you’ll taste coconut water and bits of the shredded flesh as well as you go through it with the spoon and straw it’s served in.

famous melaka shake

Klebang’s Coconut Shake must go through tons of coconuts every day and I know from observation that they go through several large boxes of vanilla ice cream in a couple of minutes. The “special” version of the coconut shake comes with a full, generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and it adds a lot to the taste of the shake.

The place does such a brisk business that it’s almost like an assembly line:

coconut cutting

1. There’s a place were the coconuts are opened and prepared – juice/water drained and then the flesh extracted by cutting the coconuts into half

blending station

2. The coconut water and flesh goes to the blending station where it’s ice blended with ice and then loaded into a funnel-like device to churn the blend into a waiting chilled glass.

prep station

3. The glasses are then sent into the prep station where it’s either sent out as it is or supplemented with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for the special version.

coconut shake special

The end result is a delicious coconut shake made almost entirely of coconut and it only costs RM 1.70. The special version with a scoop of vanilla ice cream costs RM 2.20 – 50 cents more and I feel that adds a lot to the taste – imparting a creaminess than one would usually associate with the word “shake”.

nasi lemak

The place is quite well known for it’s nasi lemak too but it didn’t work for me – it has wonderfully spicy sambal which makes my mouth water just thinking about it and it’s warm, but I’ve had better. It’s good for the main coconut shake business though, since you’ll need something to put out the fiery sambal. ;)

coconut shake stations

However, the Klebang Original Coconut Shake is a must visit when you’re in Melaka. It has grown a lot since the days and some might say it’s a tad commercialized with menus in three (3) different languages but that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great product to begin with.

klebang original coconut shake special

They haven’t slacked off since the last time I came several years ago either – each glass of coconut shake is done to perfection and I love how they use chilled mugs even with the rush of a sudden influx of people (which is why you have to queue in the takeaway section). It’s also affordable (most brewed drinks in KL costs way more than that even in regular diners) which is part of the appeal.

kelebang coconut shake

I was transfixed at a man in his twenties taking off his helmet and coming in out of the rain to savor Klebang’s Original Coconut Shake by slowly and tentatively sipping the iced concoction using the spoon. He caught me looking several times and gave me a puzzled look, for me, he symbolizes why this place is so popular. :)

bus stop hotdog

Hotsilog is the Tagalog name for hot dogs. This is different from the Philippines chorizo type sausage called longganisa. Longganisa is short links of pork sausage while hotsilog is actual hot dogs as you know it – it’s also much longer. No, there’s no double entendre intended.

hotsilog

You can find hotsilog sold in bus stops and other stalls where quick travel food is required. It’s usually sold next to balut and chicharon (pork crackling). The history of the Philippines with the long American presence has created this long and *brightly colored* radioactive red hot dog that is sold on a stick or in a bun.

hotsilog hotdog

The ones in a bun costs 30 PHP (about RM 1.80) while the hotsilog on a stick costs 25 pesos (RM 2.20). The shorter hotdog in a bun actually costs *more* than the longer ones on a skewer! You’ll be initially surprised that a locally made bun wrapped around the hot dog will actually hurt your wallet more…especially when you see the length.

bus philippines

Hotsilogs on a skewer / stick is much longer than the ones in a bun. That means you get more meat for 5 pesos less for the former. Street peddlers will come on board while you’re in a bus and sell all sorts of stuff from Buko Pies to newspapers.

me hotsilog

The hotsilogs is a distinctively American influence that has been given a local twist. It tastes much like what you’ll expect a hotdog or sausage to, but juicier and mildly spiced so it’s good to eat by itself without other condiments.

philippines hotdog

It’s an interesting experience to eat it on long journeys. The way it’s cut into spirals before being cooked is something the locals have done to make it cook evenly.

hotsilog vendor

The local hotsilog is also surprisingly sweet and worth a try if you’re on a bus with nothing better to do. You might also require a hardy stomach. ;)

bakmi pork indonesia

Bakmi literally means meat noodles and despite the Muslim majority capital of Indonesia, there are shops which caters for people who wants a dose of porcine goodness. One of these is located in Mangga Besar – a quirky name which means “big mango” (a tropical variant of the Big Apple ;)).

Bakmi Ahau claims to have been around since 1962 – that’s a good 50 years (!!!) of operation. It’s still situated in a dingy stall right by the roadside but that’s part of the appeal. If the claims are true (or if the date is based on the Muslim calendar, which produces its peculiar brand of irony) it means that they must serve a really good bowl of bakmi babi (pork noodles)…

bakmi ahau 1962

…and I can attest to that!

It has been around for a couple of years at least, a friend of mine brought me here to eat a very late supper when I was in Jakarta. The place was packed even though it was way past midnight.

bakmi jakarta

The bakso (that’s meatballs) accompanying the bakmi here is made with pork and it’s deep fried before being served, producing a crunchiness that goes very well with the juicy pork meatballs. They don’t skimp on the meat – there’s just a thin coating of batter on top. I reckon it’s the deep fried bakso that makes this stall stand out.

bakmi mangga besar

The noodles are also tossed with lard and there’s bit of char siew (barbecued pork) and deep fried pork skin to go with it. It’s also not fully “dry” – almost a quarter of the dish is filled with the seasoning gravy (or bumbu) which is a mixture of lard, soy sauce, and other things the workers are reluctant to divulge.

pork bakmi

However, it is 100% goodness! I have had a lot of pork noodle dishes and this is one of the times where it stood out in my mind. The bakmi in Mangga Besar is just one stall in a long chain but you can find it from the distinctive t-shirts that they wear.

bakmi jakarta me

A large bowl of pork bakmi with extra bakso with a glass of iced jeruk (local Mandarin orange juice) from the stall beside just cost under 20,000 rupiah (about RM 6) – a nice break if you want something other than chicken in Jakarta. A mean and delicious dish of authentic roadside bakmi at a price that’s hard to beat.

rojak mamak ss15

I don’t usually like rojak, or pasembur as it’s referred to in the North. I don’t actively go seeking it but I’ll eat it if it’s good. This one is. It’s located at SS15 in Subang Jaya and it’s pretty well known. Heck, I’ve probably eaten it and forgotten. Heh.

ss15 rojak

Anyway, the queue for Rojak SS15 Subang Jaya is quite long. I was there in the afternoon and there were people queuing under the hot sun for a taste of this – it’s a perpetual line that never seems to end!

rojak ss15 subang jaya

It’s actually a roadside stall and you only have four (4) options according to the menu:

  • Kosong (Plain) – RM 3
  • Telur (with egg) – RM 4
  • Sotong (with squid) – RM 4
  • Sotong & Telur (with squid and egg) – RM 4.50

pasembur ss15

I went for the one with all the bells and whistles (or with all the trimmings in food parley) – I like egg and squid and I don’t relish the thought of eating it plain. Rojak can best be described as a type of salad, with a peanut based sauce for the “dressing”.

rojak ss15

This place is actually Fiona’s old stomping grounds – she was craving for the rojak and we headed there to eat this. She had the plain one and it actually tastes pretty good by itself.

hb fiona rojak

However, I preferred mine with the additional squid and egg – well worth the RM 1 extra if you consider you get an entire egg and generous amounts of squid. I can’t vouch for the freshness of the squid but it’s the entire package that makes it good.

ss15 rojak egg sotong

Rojak SS15 Subang Jaya has really good rojak sauce – it’s sweet and nutty. It’s also warm which adds to the overall appeal of this rojak. I liked it but I doubt I’ll be returning specifically to eat this. I’ll have it if I’m in the area though, it’s really good rojak and it’s served warm!

rojak ss15 queue

You can even eat it right beside the stall under the shade of the trees…and watch the never-ending queue in relative comfort. ;)

red prawn durian

This should be called The Hunt for Red October Prawn. Red Prawn or Udang Merah is known locally in Hokkien as “Ang Heh” – it’s a breed of durian only available in Penang – there’s too much local demand (and exports to countries like Singapore I imagine) for it to come down to Klang Valley.

Thus, after 4 meals before 12 pm we finally drove to Balik Pulau (it’s where the orchards for Ang Heh are) where I ran down to stall after stall only to be told the same thing:

There are no Red Prawn durians. The season just ended.

One stall sold his *very last* Red Prawn durian to a customer just before we came.

balik pulau durian stall

I had almost given up at this point when the next stall claimed to have Red Prawn. In fact, there were 4 of these luscious durians.

red prawn penang

Red Prawn is characterized by it’s red colored flesh and small seeds. It’s not bright red like the Sarawakian local ones, although some can have an orange hue, with just a tinge of red, or striped. I paid RM 45 for one durian – it’s RM 25/kg after a bit of bargaining.

ang heh durian

The durian only had 5 seeds!!!

red prawn

That works out to about RM 10 per seed. It was delicious though, definitely worth it for durian lovers. :)

Suanie got another one to take away, this has more seeds and it’s heavier, cost RM 50. There’s also various other Penang-only durians on offer – you can listen to the proprietor talking about it.

Koh Tsu Koon durian

Koh Tsu Koon is also another famous durian strain but I couldn’t afford to part with another RM 50 for a tiny durian, despite it being famed for having miniscule or no seeds at all, which is a running joke about the ex-Penang CM.

udang merah

All in all, it was a good durian hunt – I got to eat Red Prawn and even though it wasn’t as red as what I tasted on a previous excursion, it’s good. It tastes like Red Prawn.

durian udang merah

Sarawak also has a bright red colored durian (as does Penang, which has several). Red Prawn is pretty good, and at that price point, a bargain compared to overrated durian strains like Musang King.

eating red prawn durian

We sapu-ed two out of the four Red Prawn durians left – it was the end of season for that strain, D15 is still going strong though. :)

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