Chee Keong & Mei Sze’s wedding @ Summer Palace

Chee Keong Mei Sze Wedding Banquet

This is the first wedding we attended this year! I had missed a friend (and co-worker) wedding in December 2014 due to prior commitments, so this is the first wedding of 2015. It’s a bit unusual as the traditional Chinese wedding banquet dinner was held on a Sunday night and the restaurant was quite far in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel so we got home quite late yesterday.

Summer Palace Putrajaya Marriott

The bride and groom had a ceremony earlier in the day which culminated in this wedding dinner. I knew the couple from a previous trip to Bangkok and the 9-course banquet was held at Summer Palace – the Chinese restaurant at Marriott in Putrajaya.

HB Ling Wedding

It’s a very nice place for a wedding – I’ve eaten here before at a company dinner and the food wasn’t too bad but the scenery and service is the main selling points. The servers are very conscientious about changing your plates after every course and I had a glass of The Macallan 12 year old for my drink.

Deluxe Five Happiness Combination Platter

Deluxe Five Happiness Combination Platter

This is the first course and instead of the traditional “Four Seasons” plate with four food items this has five different hot and cold elements. There’s also the increasingly common theatre that goes with the first course, with the servers getting in line and doing a performance before grandly putting the first plate on your table.

Deep Fried Salted Egg

I first saw this at my sister’s wedding in Sibu but it wasn’t present at her wedding in KL. We thought the cold pork belly/duck breast slices were the best part of the dish – it was lying on a bed of pickled jellyfish which provided a wonderful acidic element. We also loved the boiled and deep fried salted egg.

Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Baby Abalone, Top Shell & Chinese Herbs

Double boiled Chicken Soup with Baby Abalone

Shark’s Fin Soup has gone out of vogue since the environmentalist types and the wannabes/sheep started a crusade against it. I’m personally ambivalent about the issue, as most people who really understand the issue, with the entire hypocrisy (and racism) of Sea Shepard and other militant environmental organizations on one side and the heritage of Icelandic culture (hákarl – fermented Greenland shark), Canadian legal seal meat and Japanese/French proudly unapologetic cuisine on the other.

However, I think the substitution of shark’s fin soup with a clear soup with premium ingredients like abalone, fish maw, top shell (magpie shell) and such is a good thing too and it tastes better and there was been a spate of fake shark’s fin going around in the few years before it became the “S-word”.

This is a good example of a nice clear soup which highlights the abalone, top shell, chicken and fish maw and it’s individually portioned beforehand.

Roasted Sesame Chicken & Roasted Chicken

Roasted Sesame Chicken

The chicken done two ways is a nice twist on the traditional roasted chicken. However, I’m not a huge fan of chicken done this way – there’s no sea salt or plum sauce for the slightly overcooked and dry roasted chicken and the roasted sesame chicken wasn’t much better.

Steamed Mandarin Fish “Unicorn” Style

Steamed Unicorn Fish

This seems to be the latest trend in serving fish at Chinese banquets! The fish is totally de-boned and filleted. The fillets of fish is then wrapped around a long, tubular “fish ball” and presented on the carcass of the fish so it looks like rolled up fish flesh.

Unicorn Fish

I’m a purist so I still prefer steamed fish served whole but I have to admit, this “unicorn style” platters of fish is very easy to eat, and the fish ball inside makes it taste artificially good with lots of MSG!

Chilled ‘Ming’ Prawns with Mayo & Stir-fried Prawn Balls with Butter Cream

Chilled Ming Prawns with Butter Cream

This is the best dish that we had the entire night! There’s huge prawns done two ways, and they’re all de-shelled and de-veined. One is cooked in a sweet and wet butter/mayo sauce and the other is deep fried in butter. It’s very creamy and I love the huge, juicy prawns – I had three and my better half had two.

Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Broccoli

Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Broccoli

I love the texture of sea cucumber! I’ll actually order this if I see it around. There was a RM 60 PNG (Papua New Guinea) sea cucumber promotion at Glory Cafe in Sarikei when we went but I was too full to order it. The sea cucumber here is done well, thickly sliced and full of slippery and chewy collagen. I also liked the mushrooms – very flavorful, especially with the bits of dried and rehydrated scallops in the reduced sauce.

Special Three Layered Fried Rice

Special Three Layered Fried Rice

There’s nothing special about this dish – it’s just rice done three ways. There’s plain fried rice on top, rice fried with light soy sauce in the middle and cooking caramel (dark soy sauce) fried rice at the bottom. That’s what causes the layered coloration and it was very oily – this is a dish for people who’re still hungry to fill up before dessert is served.

I know people who eat this way – main dishes only (fish, chicken, pork etc) with no accompanying rice in a multiple course banquet where they fill up on fried noodles or rice as the last course, it’s a different style of eating but we were too full at this point to eat more than a spoonful of the rice to taste it.

Special Dessert Combination

Special Dessert Combination

This is actually pretty decent! They made the crushed peanut covered mochi to be flavorless (except for the smoky and nutty accents from the peanuts) so the sweet component comes from the mung bean shaped and moulded into a cartoonish ear of corn.

It’s meant to be eaten together and it’s a good pairing.

The Chinese characters makes a lot more sense than the English translation though. Haha.

Chilled Mixed Fruits with Avocado Cream

Chilled Mixed Fruits with Avocado Cream

This is the highlight of the dish and it was what we had saved up space for. We both thought an avocado based dessert sounded delicious and we’re glad we waited for this even though a lot of people were leaving at this point to beat the traffic and try to get home before a work day. It has a wonderfully rich mouthfeel and a nutty flavor that’s very morish. Delectable!

Chee Keong Mei Sze Wedding Photo

Congrats and all the best to the newly-weds! :)

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 18)

Garoupa Fish Noodles

Min Yee is located at the same coffee shop which hosts Ah Po Grouper Noodles so it has some stiff competition. However, their estuary grouper fish noodles are cheaper at RM 18 compared to Ah Po’s RM 22. The portion seem to be slightly larger too, at least at first glance – this is due to them not slicing the fish too much and presenting beautifully thick slabs of fresh garoupa.

Min Yee Grouper Fish Noodles

They’re also known for their fresh handmade grouper fish ball noodles too! The Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles are RM 6 per bowl and the fish balls have that prized bouncy texture:

Grouper Fishball Noodles

I ultimately found that each stall has its own charms. I’ll go for Min Yee’s Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles if I want a simple clear broth, untainted by soup stock, that allows the thick slices of estuary grouper (also known as “Loong Tan”/King Grouper) to shine through. The fish slices are equally fresh but this stall does it thicker so it’s more satisfying to eat.

Loong Tan Fish Noodles

I love eating fish noodles, and I don’t mind paying the higher prices, especially if it’s good fish. There’s a RM 30 fish noodle in Sibu but the fish noodles I’ve eaten here is a lot better, and more reasonably priced too.

Estuary Grouper Noodles Me

My current favorite is Ah Po Grouper Noodles but Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Noodles does a more than satisfactory job too, especially if you prefer a blander broth with no MSG that allows the estuary grouper fish slices to shine through.

Estuary Grouper Noodles

Min Yee Estuary Grouper Fish Ball Noodles
Restaurant Big Family
Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh
GPS: 3.166326, 101.569765

Sunday Brunch @ Maison Francaise

sunday brunch

Disclaimer: I have received numerous invites from a friend to Maison Francaise for a long time now but never did accept until recently (or since). It’s not that the food is bad, coz it’s actually quite decent. The service by regular staff was very nice too (at least for the girl who served us). It was just the front-of-house manager (?) who seemed brusque and actually dropped a cup full of desserts on our table, *shattering* the cup and sending dangerously small shards flying before giving a curt and insincere sounding one word apology which totally put us off.

shattered cup

However, I have been informed that the front-of-house manager is new to the job. I’ll just chalk that up to ignorance and inexperience and leave it at that. I do hope that he has improved coz we weren’t impressed at all. We had just gone for a very nice French dinner the previous night by visiting One Michelin Star Chef Alexy Fuchs and gladly paid RM 700++ for it, so going to such a different experience the very next afternoon was extra jarring.

I must add that the service by regular wait staff was excellent and attentive, and to be fair, the food was quite good so take that as you will.

Bread basket

bread basket

This is a very nice selection of bread to start the brunch. They’re all warm and we particularly liked the brioche like slices and the chocolate filled roll. There’s also honey, compote and butter on the side.

First serving

Smoked duck breast salad and balsamic dressing
La salade de magret decanard fume vinaigrette au balsamique

smoked duck salad

We both thought this was very nice – the smoked duck breast was flavorful and all the fat has been rendered down so there’s none of the chewy unrendered fat you find sometimes. I also liked the interplay of textures between the fresh greens, crunchy potatoes discs and duck.

Potato and leek soup
La soupe de poireaux et pomme de terre

potato leek soup

I had this one – the combination of potato and leek works well together.

Second serving

Grilled rib eye steak with green pepper corn sauce
L’entrecote grillee sauce poivre vert

grilled rib eye steak

The steak was cooked, seasoned and rested to perfection! Even my better half, who doesn’t really eat beef, liked it. I wished they trimmed some of the inedible gristle off it first though.

Le filet de merou poche au vin blanc
Poached grouper in white wine

poached grouper white wine

This is another impeccable dish – it’s delicious and plated beautifully, with just the right portion to get you wanting more. My better half had this and she loved it.

Cheese course

Cheese platter
L’assiette de fromage

This is a very French thing – having a cheese course before or in lieu of dessert. It’s not something my better half likes since she doesn’t generally like cheese (all the better for me coz I ate all her cheese in France) but I loved it!

cheese platter

It’s done wonderfully at Maison Francaise – the cheeses are selected well, and there’s a scattering of nuts and a quenelle of chutney to pair with the cheese.

The platter is also frozen before serving so the cheese doesn’t wilt, a nice touch that’s appreciated.

Desserts

Fresh fruit salad
La ssalade de fruits frais

Chocolate volcano
Le moelleux au chocolate

chocolate volcano

We actually got a selection of desserts, including two slices of cake and it was decent enough. Unfortunately, the name “chocolate volcano” evokes similes to molten lava cake or a self-saucing pudding so we were a bit disappointed when we cut into the cake and there’s nothing inside.

I wasn’t sure if it was overcooked or it’s meant to be like that and when we asked the front-of-house manager he didn’t seem to get what the question was and I was annoyed at his cavalier attitude towards such a dangerous incident which could have resulted in injury (dropping the cup from serving height and shattering it on our table) so we just left it at that.

Maison Francaise

Sunday brunches at Maison Francaise is priced at RM 188++ with wine and RM 148++ without alcohol. There will be soft drinks and chilled juices available for the latter. The prices listed are per pax and you can choose one item from each course listed. The menu is changed regularly.

Maison Francaise
5, Jalan Changkat Kia Peng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 21441474

RM 16 bowl of Heng Hua Spicy Assam Tom Yam Fish Noodles

henghua assam tom yam noodles

There are a lot of fish and prawn noodles in town but none quite like this. The most (in)famous one would be the RM 35 bowl of fish noodles from Min Kwong. There’s also a RM 15 bowl of prawn noodles in the small and hilariously named town of Jakar. However, the closest tasting one would be the justifiably popular RM 14 bowl of Asam Tom Yam Big Prawn Noodles in Glory Cafe, Sarikei.

It was my dad who suggested this place for dinner. He’s a Heng Hua and this is a Heng Hua owned coffee shop, and since it’s a small community, we might be somewhat related. smirk

sieng hing cafe

The first question the lady asked me when I ordered this RM 16 bowl of goodness is whether I can eat spicy food. I replied in the affirmative, taking pride in my cast iron stomach (and tongue) and the chilli flakes in the broth gave me the sniffles and nearly drove me to tears…in a good way.

I asked why they use a thick kind of rice vermicelli noodles called hung ang in the local dialect and it’s coz that’s the best pairing for the dish. The thick but short noodles doesn’t clump together and unlike wheat based noodles, the rice vermicelli noodles is the perfect vehicle for *transporting the broth* to your palate.

henghua assam rice vermicelli

There’s a lot of space between the rice vermicelli – you can’t really pick them up with chopsticks without large gaps – so the spicy asam tom yam broth gets into the crevices and it allows the full flavor impact to hit you.

cat
Resident cat approves of this nomz!

The fish is a mixture of tapah and patin and there’s easily 3-4 times the amount in the regular Foochow twice cooked noodles I had for RM 14 at Y2K Cafe. There’s also generous amounts of lemongrass, egg, tomatoes, chilli flakes, baby corn, fungus and a special type of pickled salted vegetable in the asam tom yam soup.

assam tom yam noodles

It left me sweating but very satisfied when I finished the dish. They also sell a large prawn version for RM 26. The generous amounts of fish and the ultra spicy broth made the Sieng Hing Cafe fish noodles one of the best gastronomic finds in Sibu. It’s perfect if you have a blocked nose since the spice will clear up your sinuses in no time! :)

Buttered King Grouper with White Wine Reduction in Bouchees Poissons

fish inside fish

This is a dish that I made for my better half during our anniversary. It’s basically fish inside a fish pastry case! :) Bouchee is a small flaky pastry shell and the word poissons means “fish” in French. There’s apparently only one manufacturer who makes bouchees poissons from a Google Image search.

This is my interpretation of Bouchee a la Reine – a French pastry dish but without the bechamel.

bouchees poissons

I bought a 250 gram piece of King Grouper at RM 80 / kg. It cost me slightly over RM 20 and I like this fish due to the relative lack of bones. You will need:

  • Fillet of grouper
  • Dry white wine
  • Fish pastry shells
  • Lemons
  • Arugula
  • Applemint
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

king grouper

I pan fried the King Grouper with lots of butter to produce a nice sear before removing it from the pan.

dry white wine

The next thing I did was to break down the fillet of King Grouper into smaller pieces so it’ll fit into the fish pastry shells.

arugula puree

I decided to play with my food processor and make an arugula and applemint puree. I had read up on it and blanched the arugula in hot water quickly before removing it and adding lemon juice so it retains that *bright green* color.

blancing arugula

However, the arugula and applemint puree turned out to be a bit of a disaster. There was just too little of the wild rocket leaves. 80 grams got processed into barely two tablespoons of watery “puree”. It did taste good though – the acidity from the lemons and the addition of applemint really makes it pop.

Sorry if that oft-repeated pretentious term made you cringe. It made me laugh while typing it too. smirk

arugula applemint puree

I had the impromptu idea of removing the insides of the bouchees poissons to the white wine reduction sauce and small pieces of King Grouper so there’s pieces of flaky pastry to soak up the liquid.

white wine reduction

This has the added benefit of heating up the fish before serving.

bouchee a la reine

I also plucked a bit of basil from our herb garden and added it to the fish pastry shells stuffed with buttered King Grouper. It was so good we finished all four (4) of the bouchees poissons – which has a net weight of 120 grams in addition to the fish! :)

Dragon cod poached in red wine and eggplant steaks

cod poached red wine

I found a nice piece of what’s called dragon cod at the huge fish supply market. It’s a 1/5 of the price of regular cod and the only English references I could find in Google is allegedly from a fast food place in China substituting it in their fish burgers. It’s called 龙鳕鱼 in Chinese.

cod dragon

Dragon cod is supposed to have fat that the human body cannot digest but I ate a piece of the sample (the tiny bit that comes in the package – you know, for like tuna) raw and it tasted fine to me.

cod okra

I ate it like that coz it’s from one of those huge fishing clearing house that can have much fresher produce than your local fishmonger.

dragon cod fish

It tasted really good and paying RM 12 instead of RM 58 for the same size sounds like it’s worth a try! :)

dragon cod

I pan-fried the dragon cod after patting it dry with serviettes. The good thing about dragon cod is that it has no bones (except for the obvious one) – much like a regular cod.

pan seared cod

However, it has a very high moisture content. I wanted to dry it sufficiently so it’ll have a nice sear on the fish steak.

red wine poaching

I used a lot of butter for frying the dragon cod. I initially wanted it to be served like that – with a reduced butter sauce before I saw a really old bottle of red wine in my fridge.

red wine cod

I poured the entire remainder of the Crimson Cabernet bottle into it – about 1/4. It’s a very sweet red wine. Think of the sweetest red one you’ve ever had and multiply it by a factor of 10 and you’ve got an idea of how this wine tastes like, which is why I couldn’t finish it.

red wine sauce

I let the dragon cod poach in the red wine for a while and then took it out and reduced the sauce before thickening it with some corn starch for some bubbling goodness that I spooned over the fish.

sliced okra

My other half was responsible for the eggplant steaks. She just sliced them down the middle…

fried okra

…seared them, and before

okra sauce

….made an awesome sauce of chopped garlic, shallots and chilli fried in oil to bring out the flavor.

okra steaks

It’s poured right on top for a delicious meal we ate together with rice! :)

cod red wine reduction

I’m quite proud of the dragon cod poached in red wine. It tasted really good, the taste of the sweet Cabernet still shines though in the sauce and the cod was flaky and moist!

A trip to the SS2 wet market (pasar pagi)

wet market

I woke up really, really early during this long weekend coz I had always wanted to go to the wet market to shop for fresh produce with my dear but never could get myself to wake up in time. I’m glad I did coz going to the pasar pagi (morning market – don’t know why people here call it this) is fun! :)

fresh vegetables

The SS2 wet market is located at an intersecting lane and you’ll see a fair amount of vendors selling all sorts of stuff from chicken to vegetables (and everything in between). Pork butchers, fish mongers, they have it all!

fresh flower car

There’s even a car that’s filled with flowers – for sale!
(the fresh flowers, not the car, I presume)

fried dough

We got some piping hot yu tiaw (fried dough) to munch on while doing our weekly grocery shopping at the equivalent of the local market (instead of the supermarkets we usually go to).

yu tiaw

The deep fried dough is awesome when eaten straight out of the boiling oil! :)

bak chang

I also got two bak chang (glutinous rice dumplings) – the Dried Oyster Rice Dumpling has dried oysters, mushrooms, pork, salted egg, dried shrimp and chestnuts for RM 5.50 while the Salted Egg Rice Dumpling has all the above except for the dried oysters and with the addition of lintel / green bean for RM 4.50.

rice dumpling

It’s really good when we ate it later in the day. However, there is only 1 small oyster about the size of my index fingernail so I thought a RM 1 premium isn’t really justifiable. I wanted to try their Pillow Rice Dumpling too but it’s a 3 day order wait. This stall has been featured in the papers and for once it’s worth the hype! Highly recommended! :)

soy milk

My dear also bought this huge take away bag of soy milk for just RM 1. There’s about 1 liter of soy bean milk inside and the queue for this is insane – not because it’s good (it’s rather diluted) but coz you get a lot of bang for your buck.

live fish

We also looked at the fresh fish stalls – some of them had specimens that are still alive and kickin’ (or rather, swimming). smirk

fresh fish

I was interested in this huge eel that we later found out was called yellow conger eel. It’s RM 8 / kg.

eel

I bought two generously long slices for RM 9. We later cooked them three (3) ways and it was really good! I didn’t know it was an eel at first, I thought it was a fish. Ling insisted it was an eel and I still thought it was a fish so we Googled it and discovered my better half was *right* – it’s a seasonal eel!

kampong chicken

We also bought two chicken legs for RM 16.50 which I thought was a total rip off! It’s kampung chicken (free range chicken) and I was appalled that just one (1) chicken leg costs RM 8+. My dear told me the price range is about right. I’m used to supermarket chicken prices (the ones reared in stacked cages PETA types are always honking on about). Hot damn, that’s expensive!

I also found a vegetable which I thought was rather interesting so I got that and lotus root, which we haven’t cooked before. It made for a nice meal with the eel done 3 ways.

pork butcher

We also bought some pork ribs (to be cooked tonight!) before we headed to one of the food stalls located right inside SS2 wet market.

hakka curry mee

I had the Hakka Mee (RM 4) while she had the Curry Mee (RM 4). Mine had a bucket-load of MSG, which made it taste really nice. The owner/cook manning the stall is one grumpy lady though. I could tell she was slightly irritated when I ordered but for some reason or other, she didn’t take the piss out of me.

food stall

The woman who ordered after me was half of a middle-aged couple that just finished jogging and the owner raised her voice and was so rude to her that I wondered why they didn’t just walk away. We didn’t get the nasty treatment so I was thinking that this must be real good food for the other couple to take the abuse. The food wasn’t anything to write home about but it’s decent and cheap.

fresh coffee

It’s the coffee that really takes home the cake though – home brewed old style with muslin cloth sieves blackened after ages of filtering the coffee grounds and with a sheen of grease (from the frying of the coffee beans with butter, lard, margarine or ghee). It’s a perfect cuppa hot strong brewed coffee that kick started an awesome day of fun in the kitchen and quality time spent together during the long weekend.

us wet market

I’ll go to the local wet market again! The prices aren’t necessarily cheaper but the produce certainly is a lot fresher! :D

Restaurant Peranakan, Aunty Koh Cendol, and the Melaka road trip

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

Ril’s Steakhouse and the fabled Gemas Gold steak

gemas gold

I was dragged to this place at Jalan Tun HS Lee at the promise of some really good meat one night. Yeah, I know how that came out. Heh. It’s located in a quite secluded area of KL – Ril’s Steakhouse is at one of those 100 year-old buildings in town, complete with a chic art gallery called thewarehouse cafe.art (complete with chic font) at the bottom.

rils steakhouse gallery

It’s actually one unit and there are a couple of paintings there but only two other groups of diners – a bunch that looks like a lawyer and another that looks like a tourist family from some country which has oil as its prime export (and loads of it).

rils steakhouse

On to the food, I was told by the waiter (and my dining companion, who has been here previously) that they serve either Australian Angus Steaks or a type of Malaysian-reared breed called Gemas Gold.

thewarehouse cafe art

They also serve a good platter of warm bread with a variety of spreads that I really liked before your meal. However, there were only one small bun for each diner, and no one going around for refills which I thought was a bit off for a place like this.

thai bloody mary
Thai Bloody Mary (RM 28)
Vodka, tomato, chilli, fish sauce, coriander

I think this is the best part of the meal – the cocktails. It’s like an East-meets-West cocktail with gnarly ingredients thrown in just for the heck of it. It’s like something I would do as my projects! I loved it. The bird’s eye chilli (cili padi) is enough to make your eyes water and clear your sinus right up! They have others in a similar vein too.

truffled egg
KC’s Truffled Egg & Asparagus Soldiers (RM 28)
Soft boiled egg caramelized with a sweet chilli glaze and served with crunchy breaded asparagus solders and a spicy salt dip.

This is an amazing appetizer that was recommended by the waiter and it comes highly recommended from me too. It was much better than the steak I had – the breaded asparagus is supposed to be dipped first into the salt you see on the cracked shell at the side and then into the egg. Lovely stuff, and immaculate plating.

Classic Fish Pie (RM 48)

classic fish pie

This is described as a mouthwatering selection of fresh fish and seafood, cooked with creamy leeks and onions in a dill and mustard white sauce, baked with a buttery, crispy golden mashed potato topping. My dining companion had this for the mains. It was serviceable but I wasn’t too impressed by it. There was nothing in it that stood out.

Australian Augus Rib-eye (RM 128)

rils steak

I went for this 300 gram steak because my dining companion does not eat beef. I thought that was rather ironic, bringing me here, but she knows I love the stuff. I ordered it extra-rare, basically a blue steak and it turned out wonderfully. This place knows how to cook their steaks, that’s for sure – just slightly cooked on the outside, with a wonderful cold center. However, it wasn’t as fresh as I was hoping for.

I should have gone with the local Gemas Gold Rib-Eye 700 gram monster for just RM 10 more and tried to finish that. Heh.

roasted garlic bulbs

They also have sides ranging from chunky skin-on steak fries (RM 14) to whole roasted garlic heads (RM 10), the latter of which I ordered. I liked it, it was done perfectly. It doesn’t do your breath much good but it tastes wonderful.

rils steakhouse kl

I was really unimpressed by the Australian Angus steak that I ordered and steaks are supposed to be the forte of the place. It wasn’t fresh enough to be cooked extra rare. I’ll like to go again just to try the Malaysian-bread Gemas Gold though – it’s local, with lower food miles and bound to be better. It comes in a huge 700 gram rib-eye at just RM 132 and I saw the tourist family eating it.

extra rare bluesteak

I’ll need to be especially hungry to tackle it on my own though – but it was beautifully presented and I’ll love to taste this Gemas Gold that I haven’t heard of before.

EZ Sweet & Sour Fish

step 1

Step 1
Get one of those dory fillets you see in the hypermarket fridges.

step 2

Step 2
Slice them up.

step 3

Step 3
Slather the fish slices in batter.

step 4

Step 4
Chop up some onions.

step 5

Step 5
Fry the battered fish pieces and onions in olive oil. Add tomato ketchup to taste.

step 6

Step 6
You’re done! It’s an amazingly simple almost-instant dish. Heh.

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