Hotsilog – street food in the Philippines

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.


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 babi in Jakarta

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.

Monkey Kampua

monkey kampua

Kampua mee is to Sibu what char kueh tiaw is to Penang. There are a lot of good kampua places here but the best is arguably the one beside the fire station, dubbed Ang Kao kampua (Monkey kampua) after the owner’s nickname. I believe most of the locals here know about the income tax fiasco and the buzz that the owner drives two luxury cars, one of them a Mercedes, despite being a “humble kampua stall owner”.

monkey kampua business

Word on the street is, one day some people from the IRB came in and sat there posing as customers, with an increment clicker to count how many plates of kampua they serve on an average day, tallied against their reported income. The discrepancy was so colossal, no amount of hyperbole can sufficiently describe it, and thus the owner was slapped with a huge fine.

monkey kampua cook

I am not sure about the veracity of the story, but if it’s true, this has made the proprietors understandably wary about people with monitoring devices in general. I was asked if I was a reporter when I waltzed in and started taking photos of the place, and although they are friendly people, I had the distinct impression that they would not take it very well if I had stated that I represent the IRB. Heh!

monkey kampua original

However, the kampua is the best in town. This is the classic version of kampua mee – the flavor comes primarily from pork lard and shallots. It’s served with finely diced spring onions and char siew.

monkey kampua soup

Monkey Kampua also serves a mean dish of pork liver soup. It’s mixed with pork balls in this photo but kampua is versatile in the sense that you can order it with pien nuk (pork dumplings), in soup (ching tang mien) and with pork liver (tu kang in the local dialect).

monkey kampua soy

I like mine with soy sauce and chilli sauce. The accepted vernacular for this is kampua puak lak puak tau yu and should be preferably vocalized with an appropriate Foochow accent.

monkey kampua eddy

My only beef with this place is that they don’t serve beer. ;)

Shark Fin Noodle

shark fin noodle stall

This has gotta be one of the more decadent dishes you can afford to eat every day. Weighing in at a relatively easy-on-the-wallet price tag of RM 5.50, it’s practically a steal! This Shark Fin Noodles is located at Ming Tien food court, and I feel obliged to proclaim the goodness of this particular dish to all and sunder.

shark fin noodle owner

The Shark’s Fin Noodle stall serves up shark fin soup and shark fin noodles. Imagine noodles dumped into shark’s fin soup and you’ll have an idea about what this dish is all about. It’s almost criminal that most places do not serve this – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that chucking some good ol’ noodles into leftover shark fin soup would make a tasty dish.

shark fin noodle setup

Granted, at the price you’re forking out (RM 5.50) you shouldn’t expect prime fin from a 3,000 kg shark inside your dish…my agaration tells me that there’s only a sliver (or two) of real shark fin inside the dish.

shark fin noodle

However, the texture is authentic enough, and the crab sticks and other miscellaneous ingredients coupled with the starchy and vinegar-ish soup fabricates a more-than-passable approximation of shark’s fins soup (with noodles).

shark fin noodles macro

I am actually quite intrigued about shark’s fin noodles. It’s almost a no-brainer to create something like this. Leftover soup? No worries! Just reheat and dump in some noodles for a meal. It’s the first time I’ve sampled this dish and it has already engendered a craving, nay, a hunger for shark fin noodles with a healthy dash of vinegar.

shark fin noodles ppc

It’s a bargain at RM 5.50!

shark fin noodles end

Ming Tien food court has a lot of great stalls and they open until 3 AM…perfect for washing down your alcohol with some solid food. ;)

Durian SS2 – All you can eat!

durian ss2

Durian runtuh! It’s durian season! There’s a famous durian buffet in the PJ area which spawned multiple competitors…er, inspired by their business model. The original durian buffet (to the best of my knowledge) is SS2 Durian, and they even have their own website! I was out drinking with Angela yesterday when I suddenly had a hankering for the King of Fruits.

durian ss2 pack

There’s this urban legend which effectively proclaims “Thou shall not mix durians with alcohol”. Unfortunately, Angela is a staunch supporter of this doctrine and was a bit apprehensive about indulging in the creamy stuff after drinking. Personally, I have no compulsion against consuming supposedly taboo food combinations. In fact, I kinda thrive on disproving urban myths. ;)

durian ss2 cutting

One thing about is that the durian buffet is only open on weekdays from Monday to Friday. You’ll have to order a la carte from their rather impressive portfolio during weekends. They have a lot of weird and wonderful durian strains ranging from the premium Raya Kunyit to the common DX varients (D2, D24, D7 etc the last of which always reminds me of a certain police department).

durian ss2 smell

Durian SS2 usually have their racks filled with the thorny fruits whenever I drive past the stall. We went quite late last night so most of the offerings were gone. However, they have Styrofoam packs for RM 20 and plastic packs for RM 25 which contains a selection of different durians. We got the slightly higher priced plastic pack and it didn’t disappoint!

durian ss2 flesh

The durian flesh is pungent and sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, just the way I like it. Angela also partook in the durians despite her initial misgivings. Durian SS2 provides wash basins, water, and makeshift tables and chairs so you can eat your durian in relative comfort.

durian ss2 us 

However, Angela tells me the Proper Way (TM) to enjoy durians is by squatting down, Ah Beng style. ;)

durian ss2 coconut 

The place also sells coconut water, which is supposed to have a “cooling effect” to counter the “heaty effect” of durians. I’m not sure if I believe any of this (a polite way of saying Hogwash!) but I must say coconut water goes well with durians.

durian ss2 wash

However, there’s one piece of traditional advice which might be true…washing your hands with the durian husk does seem to subjectively reduce the lingering smell of durians on your fingers. Ask for one at the counter and see if it works. It did for me. :)

durian ss2 packing

The King is not dead…he just set up a stall in SS2. Hail to the King of Fruits, baby! ;)

Seafood Noodles @ SS4, Petaling Jaya

seafood noodle ss4

I am told there’s an undiscovered gem serving awesome Hoi Seen Meen (Seafood Noodles) in SS4, Petaling Jaya. A couple of us went there for lunch. The unassuming place is either called B & Best Restaurant or Restauran Rasa Sayang. I don’t really know which really, since there are two signboards.

seafood noodle stall

The trick is to peek in and find this stall. It’s conveniently labeled Seafood Porridge & Noodle for those of us who have problems with Chinese comprehension. I’m told it serves both clear and spicy broth. There are reports that you can opt to add in abalone as well, but be prepared to fork over the cash for that. I think its RM 68 for abalone. Not that hoi seen noodles are cheap, it’ll set you back at least RM 12 (not RM 11 as the sign says).

seafood noodles fishcake

You can order a side of fish cake (RM 7) to go with your seafood extravaganza. Might as well do the full Monty right?

There are two variants of Seafood Noodle that you can order:

seafood noodles spicy

Spicy Soup Seafood Noodle

seafood noodles dry

Dry Seafood Noodle (the Soup Seafood Noodle looks like this too – just imagine the noodles dumped inside the broth)

seafood noodle end

I had the dry seafood noodle since I’m not a big fan of hot, soupy things…especially in the midday sun, where you’re apt to sweat 2 liters just from attacking the broth.

View SS4 Seafood Noodles in a larger map

It should be noted that all dishes are RM 12 and not RM 11 as the sign states. You can micromanage the type of fish you want too: Choose from garoupa, pomfret, or whatever the catch of the day is. It’s pretty good seafood noodles, filled with aquatic goodness!

Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol

penang road chendol

Eh, got one very fehmes stall in Penang Road (which is in Penang, BTW) selling cendol one.

penang road cendol

You gotta be careful ar, there are two stalls opposite each other. The other one con people one, not fehmes at all.

penang cendol

The good stall got a very damn long queue in front of it so it shouldn’t be too hard to spot k.

cendol stall

The fellas there damn fast in making cendol. Super fast. Blazing fast. Lightning fast.

penang famous cendol

I have run out of adjectives. My England not so powderful today k.

cendol workers

Dun play play, they can make your cendol while taking orders and collecting marney one.

eating famous cendol

Each bowl RM 1.70. Damn nice when the weather is hot. Syok! No seating ah, no place for VIPs here. You eat by the roadside holding your bowl like everyone else.

cendol pck

This stall so fehmes even Phua Chu Kang visit one k?

Williams Mamak @ Taman Mayang


Williams Mamak is a rodent infested roadside stall with seating arrangements precariously set in a hazardous manner beside, nay, on the roadside. It’s also pretty expensive even for restaurant standards. Why do people still throng to this place like flies to…er, butter?

williams mamak

Well, Williams claim to fame is its unique concept of Italian food in a mamak stall. Nowhere else can you find a mamak serving Italian food – it’s exotic. It’s also located near the old LimKokWing building and you just can’t beat the ambience of having cute little rats scurrying about while you eat.

ribena lychee

The penultimate drink in William’s Mamak is undisputedly the Ribena Lychee (RM 6). It’s a huge concoction of purple goodness that you can see on almost every table. Patrons are indulging in this 1 liter monstrosity with a fervor previously unseen to my eyes. It also sets a precedence for the rest of Williams meals – the portions of the dishes are huge!

tuna rice

It should be noted that Williams is a firm believer in The First Baptist Church of No Menu but the waiters possess the admirable ability to rattle off the dishes they serve in a very well rehearsed spiel. I can only hear bits and pieces – risotto, spaghetti etc. I asked for a recommendation and was given the Tuna Rice.

fried rice tuna

The Tuna Rice came in a huge portion with a hidden gem which I nearly missed due to the poor lighting conditions. Williams is also a member of the Dim Lighting Appreciation Society. The tuna fried rice is served with tuna pieces swimming in gravy on the side. I was complaining about the canned tuna to my dining companion…until I saw a HUGE fillet of grilled tuna underneath all the gravy. Delicious! The waiter overheard me and told me that’s the best part.

chicken pasta

Huei Juin went for the Pasta with Chicken. It was repeated as “Pasta Ayam” by the waiter – I just love the fusion of our national language with Italian food. It sounds so wrong, yet so right. Heh!

pasta ayam

It’s quite good though, it’s made with Bolognese sauce instead of Carbonara, which I usually prefer. Williams is generous with the chicken pieces and the entire dish was practically drowned in the sauce, which I’m told is how it’s done over here. I ended up eating more of this than my own. The portions were huge though and we didn’t manage to finish either one of the orders.

williams us

The bill came up to about RM 64 for two – not exactly cheap for a mamak. This is my second visit – the first time was with Yee Hou and I went again last night with Huei Juin.

huei juin

The litmus test: Would I go again? Definitely! Despite of the dodgy hygiene standards, I am intrigued by the constantly updated menu items and the concept of an Italian mamak in Malaysia. There are a lot of interesting dishes I have yet to try and I can’t wait to go again.

Jom, mamak!

Williams Mamak is located at Jalan SS 26/9, Taman Mayang.

Penang BBQ Pork Noodles @ Sing Long

sl bbq stall

I have been told that there’s a really good BBQ pork noodle stall at a coffee shop called Sing Long (Tian Long in Chinese) and the three of us headed down for breakfast to check it out. The stall has an impressive repertoire of BBQ pork products displayed at the see-through stall casement.

sl chef

The chef hails from Penang and serves authentic Penang BBQ pork noodles. The noodles are hand made and not the regular ones we get over here, but the ones from Penang/KL. The texture and diameter of the noodle is much thicker – it’s akin to Hokkien noodles.

sl breakfast

The stall doesn’t just serve BBQ pork noodles but also BBQ rice. However, their forte is definitely the pork noodles. It’s their signature dish and it would be heresy to order BBQ rice instead of noodles, which one of my coworkers did. A lot of people throng the coffee shop before office hours to eat breakfast so you have to go quite early to avoid the crowds.

sl bbq pork noodles

This is their famous Penang BBQ pork noodles (RM 4.50). I have seldom sung praises about coffee shop stalls, but I am yodeling now. It just has to be experienced – the sinful crunch of the crispy pork, the tender juiciness of the meat and the sprinkling of spring onions on top creates a dish that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Best place for BBQ pork noodles in Sibu. Hands down.

sl bbq pork noodle

Got pork?

Ferry Kebab – The quest for meat

ferry kebab meat

…one Saturday evening

kebab autumn

16:20 – Autumn does some mental arithmetic in her mind collaborating her menstrual cycle to evaluate the safety of a bout of carnal gymnastics at the back seat of my car without prophylactics.

16:23 – I storm the pearly gates with the purple-headed devil. She gave me the mark of the beast.

kebab lovebite

16:42 – Play hide the hot dog while pondering on what to have for a snack after skipping lunch. Making grass sandwiches (+6 bonus points if you get this euphemism) made us think of kebabs so off we went.

ferry kebab

16:50Ferry Kebab is a popular kebab stall in Sibu that is renowned for its delicious kebabs.

kebab meat

16:51 – Kebabs over here are not chunks of meat on skewers but a huge mass of meat which is sliced off into a hotdog bun.

kebab mix

16:52 – The meat slices (you can opt for chicken, beef or a combination of both) are mixed with onions and cucumbers (both finely diced) as the filler for the bun.

kebab squirt

16:53 – Generous squirting (of the chilli sauce bottle) is applied on the bun and it is wrapped in a plastic wrap.

autumn kebab

16:56 – Autumn with her chicken kebab. She’s not a big fan of beef.

kebab naked

16:59 – A closer peek at the resplendent folds of Autumn’s luscious wet, pink…kebab. ;)

kebab feed 

17:06 – Ferry Kebab is delicious! It makes for really messy eating, but it’s fun to eat it at the roadside in the car for the authentic experience.

ferry kebab stall

17:13 – I drove back to take a photo of the stall coz I forgot to take the entire Ferry Kebab stall setup.

…a different kind of food review. Kaizen! ;)

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