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ZI-CHAR (FRESHLY-COOKED FOOD)



Updated: 2018-01-20T21:09:19.858+08:00

 



IMPERIAL TREASURE @ 01-02 CROWNE PLAZA CHANGI AIRPORT, TERMINAL 3, SINGAPORE

2011-04-13T22:12:06.560+08:00

I've been hearing a lot 'bout this place, especially its Siao Lung Bao. The moment we step off the plane, we are brought here for lunch... eh, not exactly; let me rephrase that: For the first time in aviation history, (drum roll please) our Air Asia's plane lanes a half-hour ahead of schedule. Thus, making the person who's supposed to meet us late - yes, the very same person who's been singing praises 'bout Imperial Treasure Restaurant and she has her tot with her. Chee Chun Fun It's been some 3 years when we first met... complete strangers with one common interest, who's graciously gone out of the way to meet me and my big tot. And the lil' tot has grown to be quite a talker, and someone's been paying attention to his chitachatter to know of his impending birthday. Fried White Radish Cake This lunch, like this trip, is unplanned; I think, it totally screws up what's been lined up for the coming Saturday. But still, this provides a opportune time to catch-up and warm up to the next meetup with the man of the house. Had it not been for this, I would never have known that there's a lil' restaurant tucked in the corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, even though we had gone around taking pictures of the hotel lobby years ago. Sui Mai Loh Mai Kai Once we've gotten past the irrevocable Dim-Sum items (above), we've come to its more prominent staple. Yes, I know,I know, the roast duck isn't exactly its renowned Bejing Duck... but, What The Duck, how does 2 ladies and 1½ men gonna finish on bird. So this is the next best thing. It's as good as the Londoner's roast duck - crisp on the skin, and plum moist meat. Roast Duck What may seem like an innocuous Foo Chok roll until one bites into it coupled with the rich broth, then one will appreciate the beauty of this gem. Mr. T would certainly concur: " It's in the soup, Foo'!" Steamed Beancurd Skin Roll & Seaweed With Superior Soup For those who extol the virtues of Sibu's Hung Nan soup, you ain't taste nothing yet! This is for all aficionados of all things soupy. What looks like milky fish head soup is, in fact, a rich bone full-flavored broth. The noodle is a smooth rice noodle as opposed to the slight textured Hung Nan -one slurppily goodness jaunt! Vermicelli Soup With Roasted Duck We seem to be missing its famous Siao Lung Bao here; it's not an omission on our part. It seems the owner, who looks a bit like the C.E.O. of United Overseas Bank, would not have it included in the menu here when its quality is not to par... Baked BBQ Pork Pastry Steamed Salted Egg Custard Bun Steamed Egg Yolk Cake ... but then the steamed egg yolk cake slips through the cracks; taste-wise it's okay, but the layers are not layers - a botched job. However, the savory salted egg custard bun (2 photos above) simply oozes sweet-salty gooey delight for anyone, who digs salted egg, to sink one's teeth into. Custard Tart Mango Pudding Those 2 sweets are more for the lil' guy... (I don't think he's implying 1Malaysia there). Gotta thank her mom for the lovely meal, and more to come! This is my feeble attempt to get this blog going after a long break - blame it on procrastination than anything else.[...]



DINNER III @ CHARCOAL GRILL, 55, GND. FLR., CITYVINE, UP. LANANG RD., SIBU

2011-01-22T12:05:42.133+08:00

Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella With Balsamic DressingIs this a case of "'too much' is not enough"? Seems like it... this is my third visit, and the sixth within the family. I had called in to make a reservation for eight, 2 days prior to my flying into Sibu (the moment I landed, I was driven to this place for the dinner, barely arriving at the appointed time); I roughly indicated the the number of dishes required and preferences, and left the rest to the creative hands. And these were what they came up with:Chicken Consomme I had the salad with ume sauce twice, thus I indicated a change. And also a move away from the creamy soup to a clear one; it had a medallion of chicken with tiny dices of daikon floating on its surface.Seafood RisottoThe risotto was a larger portion than the last time; morsels of shrimps and calamari abound.Oven Roast Mushroom Crusted Beef Steak Accompanied with Duo Pumpkin and Red Wine SauceFor the mains, we had a choice of beef or lamb (I mentioned one doesn't take beef). Funnily, all the ladies chose lamb, while the rest had beef; all individually cooked to specified order.Pan Seared Rack Of Lamb Served With Carrot Puree, Crushed Potato, Olive and Confit Tomato and Spiced Lamb JusLastly the bread pudding had custard beneath the bread, which was touched to a crisp. Due to the larger portion, we were stuffed; a smaller portion like the last time would suffice.Bread PuddingOf all the visits at this restaurant, frankly, I've not actually looked at its menu. I just assume they can deliver whatever I dictate (as if I own the place), and they have on most counts with sight adjustments. Given a few days to plan ahead, the duo haven't failed to live up to my expectation so far. Bear in mind, this small town doesn't have all the ingredients one would like to have at one's disposal; one has to make do with whatever there is at hand. So call in ahead the next time you plan a visit, and see what they can cook up for you.Tel: (084)217127HP: (016)8706944 [Richard] (016)8706944 [Ryan]Email: charcoalgrill_55@hotmail.com[...]



DINNER @ CHARCOAL GRILL, 55, GND. FLR., CITYVINE, UP. LANANG RD., SIBU

2011-01-18T01:03:48.727+08:00

Even before I reached Sibu, I had a couple of missed calls from Wil. By the time the plane touched down, it was already 9 p.m.; It had been a long day traveling - starting at 5 a.m. Curiousity pique me, and a call to Wil had him rambling about having foie gras... in Sibu?!!! Curiouser and curiouser... This is a new little restaurant in town, having just open its door before Christmas. It's 2 chefs, Richard and Ryan, have both done their sting in Singapore, and opt this town to share their culinary delights. I've never got to try out this place until I was about to leave town - 2 nights earlier and twice in a row! I manage to have them prepare a degustazione menu from the range the restaurant offers. So in 2 sittings, we're able to roughly gauge the stuff the chefs are made of. Naturally, the first night's food augurs well that an encore is inevitable. So what you see below is a cumulation of a 2 nights' orgy. Charcoal Grill Salad To start off, we've the signature salad that has julienne vegetable, crispy chicken and diced egg with ume dressing. Cream Of Mushroom With Truffle Essence Cauliflower Soup A hint of the truffle oil subtly enhances the mushroom soup. On the second night, we opt for the cauliflower soup - the pumpkin has to wait for another time. Cheesy Risotto With Pan-Fried Foie Gras Pasta Carbonara Both the rice and pasta have a creamy feel to them. Outstanding! Truffle Scrambled Egg This is a little item that slips in before the mains on the first night. In texture, it borders on being a steamed and scrambled egg - quite indistinguishable. Pan Fried Sea Bass Fillet With Potato Wedge complimented with Confit Tomato & Homemade Tomato Coulis The sea bass is a respite from the usual Dory you get in most restaurant; it's crispy on the skin yet having moist flesh. The sauce goes well with the fish, and the small bite of the potato wedge with the tomato coulis is enough get by. Grilled Marinated Rack of Lamb on Soy Glaze with Crusted Potato and Onion Puree Char Grilled Sirloin Steak With Duo Of Onion, Mashed Potato & Veal Jus Lastly comes the meat; there's a serving of lamb and sirloin - both beautifully done, and retaining its juiciness - how meat should be enjoyed. Lastly on the second night, we are given dessert for the scrambled egg we opt out. It's Cheese Cake with Pear, and Vanilla Ice Cream on Reduction of Wine Blueberry compote. We gobble up before realizing of not "saying the blogger's grace" beforehand. One thing for sure, this is not your usual run-of-the-mill operation churning out pedestrian meal. For a town that has finicky taste, if "more" is more for you, or sheets of meat is better than a single slab, this might not be the place of you. However, if your quest is for the best western offering this town has for now, this is it! If you think it's expensive, it's much less than one has to pay for a degustazione meal. * The first night's meal was courtesy of Oriental Wines, with a New Zealand White Wine and a Whiskey thrown in, and there was no corkage.[...]



LUNCH @ MINH XUONG SEAFOOD & BARBECUE RESTAURANT, 211 RUSSELL ST., MELBOURNE

2010-10-08T17:59:10.513+08:00

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When Andrew wanted to catch a bite before leaving for Sydney, I suggested Pacific BBQ across the QV. But Jaq said the Minh Xuong just across the road serves quite a variety, even though she has friends working in Pacific. So the recommendation sticks. So a few days later, we have to grab a quick lunch this comes to mind.

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There's been a few casualties on this stretch since I was here last year. The chicken rice shop (Hawker's Cafe) is no more, and this Minh Xuong, a branch of Richmond, sits on an old restaurant that burnt down without any fire insurance (according to Uncle Tony).

I order the spicy chicken ribs while Sean has the braised roast pork belly with tofu. There's bountiful of rice on the plate, this much I can say. Beyond that, the chicken that I have tastes much like any ordinary fried chicken. Not like the one I remember. Ho-hum! There's no doubt that this place gives you value for money portion - too hefty for me, at least.
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LUNCH @ STALACTITES, 177-183 LONSDALE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-10-05T07:30:19.358+08:00

This Greek joint at the corner of Russell and Lonsdale operates 24/7, and it seems to be packing them in most of the time, whenever I pass by. My sister has been hankering on Greek food for days, and this is her day.Mixed DipsPitaKalamari PlatterHomemade SpanakopitaMixed GrillGreek Garden SaladHomemade Fish SoupAs one enters the restaurant, 2 big grills welcome from behind the counter tells you what this restaurant is all about, beside the cheesy stalactites ceiling. As my sister calls the shot, she has a double order for almost all the dishes as there 12 of us. Apart from the soup and the salad for dad, it's meat and meat all the way.To start off, we have the tarama,melitzanosalata, tzatziki and hommus dips with pita. The kalamari is much like those you get in the Chinese/Vietnamese shop. The Spanakopita is to be reckoned with. On the menu, it says the mixed grill is good for 2, but the 12 of us are struggling with the 2 plates that we have to doggy bag for the evening meal. The meat consists of marinated skewer of lamb fillet, marinated lamb giro from the spit, lamb cutlet and a homemade Greek rissole.Finally there's the lamb souvlaki (below), which is Greek kebab on a pita wrap. This is much a reprise of the above: tender lamb from the spit with crisp lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki wrapped with pita.I still prefer George Calombarise's Greek.Lamb Souuvlaki[...]



TRUE DEFINITION

2010-10-05T14:28:12.170+08:00

shit·head   [shit-hed] Show IPA–noun Slang: Vulgar .a stupid, inept, unlikable, or contemptible person.See Below..."Of all sculptures and statues in town, they have to poo-poo on mine!"Captain Matthew Flinders RN[...]



DESSERT @ PASSIONFLOWER MELBOURNE, SHOP 2, 168 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-10-07T14:44:03.433+08:00

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We're walking our way back home after the heavy lunch at Stalactites, we decide to pop in here. This is the Sydney success story that has made its way here. It's hardly few days old, and the congratulatory bouquets are still fresh in the shop. This is an East meets West kind of dessert shop, with Western favorites like ice cream, pancakes and crepes and marry them with Asian condiments like durian, lychee, ChinChow (Black Jelly), red beans etc.

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Tiramisu

What's there about Tiramisu that we don't know about? It has a layers of sponge soaked in espresso coffee and liqueur, separated with mascapone cream, and tipped with strawberry slices (it's all from the menu). And then there's the less adventurous fruit combo with ice cream. That's the only order we have among 8 of us. Lucky for us, they let us stay and while the time away. We witness 2 customers having cones being shooed away; It's stated on the menu that on weekends, customers with less than $10 spend won't be afforded any seating within the premises. I think our orders meet the criteria, and it's a Monday.

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Fruittilious

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DINNER @ HAN GUUK GUAN, 13A VICTORIA ST., MELBOURNE

2010-10-04T07:54:31.807+08:00

The Doc has a thing about all things Korean and Japanese - from getting hair cut at Korean salon, listening to Japanese/Korean Pop, reading Manga, and movies; yet he doesn't understand a word of the language apart from name of dishes from the menu. Thus he leads us to this red-bricked of a warehouse, which is now home to a Sino-Korean restaurant. It has long rows of school cafeteria seating with sparse decor. If you're looking for an unromantic venue with your date, this is it!BimbimbapBut this place can take your relationship farther with its fill-up- your-tummy grub, which is easy on the pocket; like the mixed rice of assorted vegetables and beef with egg (above), all stirred into one convulsed bowl of giddy yum, to be taken with the accompanying pickles.Pickles Side DishesThere's no doubt the Doc wants to introduce us to the Jajangmyeon, a Korean version of the Chinese Zha jiang mian. It's wheat noodle covered in thick black bean sauce with minced meat, served with julienned cucumber. Its variant, the Ganjajangmyeon, is noodle and the non-starchy sauce are served separately. In a way, this tastes like the Foochow Kampua Mee.On a cold evening, nothing warms you up as a cauldron of the mutton stew. It's a rustic spicy number that will keep the snuffler at bay...Mutton Jjigae ChongolSamgyetang...or the opposite, a light broth ginseng chicken soup with barley. One thing for sure, its service is as cold as the brick on a winter's day; those are not waiters - they don't wait on you - they are shufflers; they move things around only, but not necessarily the way you want it to be.[...]



LUNCH @ CHINA RED, SHOP 6, 206 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-10-02T17:07:46.301+08:00

This restaurant wasn't here when I was here last year. There seems to be a few turnover of new restaurants - it's a killer of a business. This restaurant has a ground floor seating and one down the basement. I don't know what to make of this place - one can't put a finger on its specialty; it has a bit of everything - regional food of China, and a bit of Dim-Sum - except Char Sui Bao (so Julian's Mom found out). It has a gimmick in the form of touch screen order menu on every table; so you don't have to bother the waiter. Everything is tabulated as one orders, and one's finger can get delirious over the punching in of orders so we found out.These are only some of the food I managed to snap; as can be seen some eager beavers were too anxious to chow down before I could put a finger on the trigger. I completely missed the food ordered on one table. The food are not that 'refined' with rough edges in its presentation and wrappings of dumping, but still palatable. Here's a rundown of the food ordered (so go figure out):Shanghai Shao-Long BaoWonton In Spicy SauceSauted NoodleNoodle With Flavored Venison In SoupMango Cubes And Mango Jelly In Mango JuiceCrispy Fragrant DuckMango Pudding With Mixed Fresh FruitCrab Roe and Shrimp Roe DumplingsPan-Fried DumplingsChina Red Special Hand-Made NoodleVegetable DumplingsMashed Red Bean PancakeMango PuddingSpring RollsSpring Onion PancakeStir-Fried Vermicelli With Seafood CombinationHot & Sour SoupShredded Potato In Hot & Sour SauceHot Spicy Couple (Szechuan)Yangzhou Style Marinated DuckSauted Snow Pea Shoot With Crab MeatBraised Pork Ribs With Soy Suace (Chef's Special)Chicken In Curry Sauce with RiceDeep Fried White Bait In Salt and Pepper.... Didn't I say the fingers can go crazy over the touchscreen? Oh, they have a display open-kitchen window showcasing the making of dumplings and noodle.[...]



JULIAN & TAMMY'S DINNER @ SHARK FIN INN, LT. BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-09-30T15:58:46.960+08:00

Six months after registering, Julian and Tammy give a bash on the 11th. Sept. 2010. The dinner format in terms of food (mandatory dishes) is pretty much the same as the previous night's banquet. But this time, all the dishes are individually served to each guest. What you see below are the dishes before they are served, and still on the serving trolley.The Cold Cut PlatterIt's a pretty heavy dish for a starter -Chinese Antipasto. Some of the cuts you don't get in the restaurants where I come from.The Soup That Bears The Restaurant's NameThe soup doesn't bring shame to restaurant's name as can be seen by the serving. Full of ample goodness! (How am I doing, STP, without mentioning the name that shalt not be named? If they can put up the "big" name up in the marquee in an Ang-Moh town, it can't be politically incorrect, can it?)Braised LobsterBraised Mushrooms With Baby Bok ChoiLike the previous night, it fills the quota of cold dish, soup, vegetables, fish, crustacean, chicken, rice, noodle and dessert. Then there's one surprise.....Deep Fried ChickenSteamed FishSimple Fried Noodle With MushroomHokkien Fried Rice... I've seen this fried rice done on the food channel, and they called it Foochow fried rice then. Well, Foochow is in the province of Fújiàn (Hokkien), so this can't be wrong either. A simple egg fried rice topped seafood goodness. Yums!Mochi With Almond CookiesBlack Glutinous Rice Sweets[...]



KENZAN @ GPO, SHOP 28G 350 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-09-27T18:52:28.720+08:00

What would a visit to Melbourne without stepping into Kenzan - the haute cuisine of fast food sushi? The sushi rolls may look the same as others, its prices may be comparable to other sushi shops, but the devil's in the details. Just like a fast food joint, you queue up to place and pay for your order, while picking up the ready made, on display sushi, rolls and bento sushi. Other cooked rice or noodle dishes take a while to be delivered to one's table. It's the innate nature of its food and place (the dim corridor of its eating area) that gives the place a special kind of feel; the seatings may be crowded at times, and yet unobtrusive.We have the soft shell crab, and avocado/unagi sushi rolls with a array of bento box featuring sushi and and sashimi. Then there are the Charshu Ramen, (name I can't recall), cold Dan Dan noodle, and seafood Yakisoba.[...]



TONY Q's BIRTHDAY @ DRAGON BOAT PALACE, 149 LONSDALE ST., MELBOURNE

2010-09-24T07:57:13.533+08:00

This is my mum's brother's birthday. And it's held at his favorite restaurant, 'cos my sis., who has been here about a week earlier, has been treated for lunch and dim-sum at this place 3 times prior to this occasion; it makes one wonder whether he has a stake in the place.This is the first of 2 birthday and a wedding dinners we are to attend in Australia. But I'm giving the one in Sydney a miss. A few of us flew in from K.L., Kuching, Sibu and K.K. for this bash, and the aunt and family from Sydney drove here.The menu for the evening is very much like the Old School issued standard fare, but with a twist at the end. It starts with Chinese cold-cuts from the restaurant's BBQ section. Followed by sharks fin soup, steamed oyster, done 2 ways (garlic & chilli), and lobster with noodle; they are all individually served one after the other.And here comes the twist: the next few dishes are brought to the table at the same time with a bowl of rice for everyone. Much like home dining, where one picks at bit of this, and a bit of that with a swat of rice. The stuffed baked duck, steamed fish, beef with broccoli and roast chicken ensure nobody goes home hungry. And finally....... the birthday buns with lotus paste. It feels like biting into the Gu-U Bao (Butter bun).[...]



LUNCH @ LIP CAFÉ, 226 WATERDALE RD., IVANHOE NORTH SHOPPING STRIP, MELBOURNE

2010-09-19T07:04:14.544+08:00

Andrew called a few days earlier saying he'd ask Julian to cook something for lunch on Friday; I said, it's your call so long as there's something to eat when we're there.Having arrived the previous night, after a 22 hours journey, starting 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. the next day, I still managed to get up at 7; still I'm luckier than Jonathan, my next seat journeyman, who had to rough the night in the airport before making his way to his girlfriend in Zealand the morning after. By the time I was having lunch, i think, he was still somewhere over the Tasman Sea.The next morning, the Doc drove us to Julian's cafe for lunch. This little outfit is six months old. It serves breakfast and lunch with a bit of his own baked cakes cookies and cupcakes in between. Its eclectic menu offers a twist from the norm. But we weren't here for its normal fare. Julian had cooked us roast leg of lamb with, what he called, eggplant garnish (tomato, clove, cumin etc.) and couscous. By "us", I mean there were about 20 in number, half just flew in from Malaysia and China. And there was one serving short and the Doc had to settle for this...... a roast pork sandwich...... and here's the reveal.[...]



HERBAL CRUSTED LAMB CUTLETS

2010-09-11T21:48:43.677+08:00

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There's a new recipe up on Kongkay2(image)



LAI THONG (HOME SOUP) UPDATE

2010-09-05T23:41:50.651+08:00

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There's an update on my all-time favorite soup of mine.(image)



SCENES FROM A RAMADAN BAZAAR, SIBU

2010-09-01T14:38:29.604+08:00

[...]



Merdeka Open House 2010: Food From Our Hearts

2010-08-29T06:35:09.158+08:00

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This marks my 3rd. year's participation in Babe In The City - K.L's annual do; it's a celebration in food to commemorate Malaysia's day of independence. This year's theme is Food From The Hearts. To get a zest of this year's entries, let Cap'n & Babe .show you the way...[Cont/-]

My entry can be found here.
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SUCH & SUCH @ CENTRAL AIRPORT PLAZA, MAIDOL/CHIANGMAI-HOD RD., CHIANG MAI

2010-08-28T08:42:45.717+08:00

Were we here for the food or the shopping the first time 'round? Anyway, that matters not 'cos we find the food court at the basement fascinating; and a return visit beckons. For lunch on the first visit, we all feebly try out the Beef Noodle (the dish everyone's familiar with). It's all thumbs up; far better than the Rote Yaim's. So we make it a point to come back for afternoon tea the next day.The setup (2 top photos) of the place is very much like street-stalls environment without a staged-tackiness. There are individual cart-style stalls; very much like those you see on the streets. The centerpiece of the food court is the square modular noodle bar, with the servers and chefs working behind the low counter. All the food are displayed on baskets, and the condiments and garnishes on the counter top for one's taking.Beef Noodle SoupWhat are street food with street cred? Better than one would assume; the cool clean environment, plus a dirt cheap price to boot. Can't ask for anything more! What you see is what you get - fresh produce, all cooked before your very eyes.Ingredients For The Kueh ChapThe Kueh Chap (Mixed offals in soy broth) tastes much like Kuching's with a slight difference in the ingredients (fried fish cakes and pig's blood).Kueh ChapLo-MeeAnd the Lo-Mee (Braised noodle) is a bit like the Hing-Hua Lo-Mee, with a tint of vinegar. And there is a difference in the cooking style that the noodle and other meaty ingredients are braised with the slightly starchy broth the whole time (above), and the noodle doesn't get soggy. The servings are disproportionate every time, in terms of meaty ingredients vs. the noodle. So "Do you feel lucky?" is very much dependent on the scoops of the server. Curry MeeI manage to steal a sip or two of the broth from others orders in our group, like the curry noodle and all the tit-bits on cakes and sweets. There are a lot to digest in one sitting to fully appreciate the extent for the good food present under one roof. Rice Noodle RollMango Rice PuddingTapioca SweetsWater Chestnuts Coconut JellyAnd if you're into those fishy, meaty, crunchy snack food, you'll be in heaven here. Ask not what they have to offer, but ask how much can you haul back home!Fried CrunchiesFishball Bitter Gourd SoupFreshly Made Pork JerkiesAnd Then Some More[...]



X'ZEECUTE ME, SO YOU WANNA BE A FOOD BLOGGER, AH?!!!!

2010-08-26T23:06:57.260+08:00

HERE'S A FREE BUTTON TO START YOU OFF!



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WEAR IT LOUD,
WEAR IT PROUD,
JUST LIKE BRAD LAU!
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DINNER @ OLD CHIANGMAI CULTURAL CENTER, 185/3 WUALAI RD., CHIANG MAI

2010-08-17T13:55:08.623+08:00

Boy, is it good to be on a hiatus! No camera in hand, and no expectation from any of the food that I've downed... a detox period if that's whatumacallit. So getting back into the groove is harder than when you're on the grind. So, here goes nothing......nothing!(Left to Right) Banana Fritters, Fried Minced Pork, Pickle(Left to Right) Fried Plain Beehoon( Vermicelli), Sambal Chili With Cucumber(Left to Right) Fried Pork Fat Crisp, Crispy Fried ChickenMild Curry ChickenBanana With Coconut Cream Fried Rice CrispThis is a dinner/performance orgainsed by the tour. My sister had tried it years before and said we should try it. It's a cultural center representing the tribes of the Northern region, showcasing its dance and food. So, here we are! The meal is like a Malay Kunduri's, where every small dishes are set on the table at one go, and to be consumed randomly to one's whim. And there are refills upon request. As usual, I tend to forget to take photos of the performances.As a tourist, it's a must-try-once thing. Unless, you're an Ang-Moh, the food is nothing out of the ordinary; maybe with a slight Northern Thai accent to it.[...]



TASTING THE YAMAZAKI 25 YRS. SINGLE MALT WHISKY

2010-08-13T23:14:45.455+08:00

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How was it?
The judge said, it is worth it!
The lawyer had no comment.
I said, is it because we don't have to pay for it?
That's RM2600 per bottle...
besides, there were the 18 years and 12 years old bottles to sip on... (I stopped at 18)
... all courtesy of Thomas Wong of Oriental Wines & Beverage.

That's something to Kongkay on to your grand children.


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THAI BEEF NOODLE @ ROTE YIAM BEEF NOODLE, CHANG KLANG RD., CHIANG MAI

2010-07-16T16:37:37.939+08:00

Even before we left for the trip, my brother was telling us to "must-try" beef noodle opposite the Shangri-La Hotel. Again avoiding the "provided meal" of the tour, we as the tour guide to take us to this place; as usual, she's clueless of the place - maybe it's because she doesn't take beef. As we park in front of the shops opposite the hotel, there seems to be only two coffee shops in that block. But there's nothing to indicate the "best beef noodle" as we are told. So I walk around the block and into the nearest side street, and still come out empty. So this is the only beef noodle shop, it has to be it. Contrary to expectation, the place is not all that packed even when it's near lunch time.As can be seen above, this place serves all parts of the beef imaginable; very much like the pork noodle Chainē - much more parts than those you get at Kuching's Ah Mui's. Looks may be one thing, but taste is what it's all about. One thing for sure, the liver is soft - just like a mere blanch over the hot soup. And everything is as the sign says: "THE ONLY SHOP IN CHIANGMAI THAT SERVES TOP QUALITY BEEF".And the proof is in the soup... it has the richness of a very endowed spiced-stock. But the accolade ends there; it's the sweetest soup I've ever tasted - sweet as in "sugary sweet". I understand the Thais have a panache for everything sugar (like sugar, chilli flakes and peanuts as condiments), but this one goes overboard! And we have come across better beef noodle on this trip, so this is not gonna to the best in my book.There's this dessert peddler selling his stuff as we're finishing our noodle. Coconut agar-agar.[...]



PHOTOGRAPHY OF FOOD IN RESTAURANTS IN SINGAPORE Via Red Dot Photo

2010-07-15T07:56:38.752+08:00

Interesting read....


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DINNER @ JIA TONG HENG RESTAURANT, 193/2-3 SRI DON CHAI RD., MUANG, CHIANGMAI

2010-07-13T14:06:00.489+08:00

After a disappointing meal the previous night, we opt not to take up on the meals provided by our tour, but have meals at our selected restaurants out of our own pockets. Our first choice is to have some roast goose, but our guide, either non-knowledgeable of food in town or reluctant to take us places where there are no commission to be earned, suggests this place where they have roast piglet instead. Well, from the looks of it, this place it seems to be better than the last one, in terms of the crowd in its dual-levels dining area (one can't compare a city to a county).First up is the darling of the evening - Ms. Porky. Delightful... only at its price. RM120 only (RM90 frozen uncooked imported piglet in Kuching). It ain't got quite the crunch on its skin, but ain't half bad! But still it's a bargain. The beef salad is just reasonable by all account. And so it the local vegetable below - looks like Kangkong and tastes like spinach; plain fried with garlic.This innocuous looking dish above is Teochew O-Chien (baby oyster omelette); a bit too gooey for its own good. The Deep fried pig's intestine below is a looker, but also no crunch in it.I think the fried white radish cake redeems itself. A bit unusual looking, I might add.At least the meal is not a total washout. The whole thing came to slightly over RM200, inclusive of RM10 corkage for the wine. Whatever they say about Thais being hospitable is all lost within the staff here; service is non-existent. Before one utters the word "authentic" as in "genuine Chinese", as we exit through its side door into another small kitchenette with banquette diner, we come across an old Teochew couple, whose pictures are hung above diner's wall; these must be the founders of the restaurant, who still keeps the fire burning, serving simpler food to the not so well-heeled clientèle; just like Sek Yen in K.L. The staff from the restaurant can learn a thing or two about customer relationship from this old lady.[...]



PISS-STOP @ MAE KHAJAN HOT SPRINGS, HWY. 118 (CHIANG MAI/CHIANG RAI)

2010-07-02T07:00:01.553+08:00

This is a midway point between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It's known for its hot springs - pungent sulphuric smell. Little girls will try to push their hard boiled eggs cooked on the spring water. The whole township is built around a u-shaped wooden shop houses, and at its center is a gemstone shop selling trinkets. It's one heck of a sleepy town. In the midst of all the souvenir stalls, there is one lone coffee shop selling noodle and drinks; not just any drinks but home-grown, machine-brewed coffee. Of all gin-joints and coffee shops, this dinky place is not to to be sneered at; in fact, it impresses so much that we request to stop here again on the return trip.The coffee is great - cheaper than Starbucks. The tall tub cost around RM6. And if you care to look at the menu on the top photo, you'll know who they cater for. We don't care much for the falang's fare, what we're after is the great looking stewed pork trotters below.I believe, it's called Khaa Moo Tom Pha-Loh; notice the last two syllabus... they sound like Pak-Loh in Hokkien that connotes "Braised". Tasting the Too-Ka (pork leg) is one thing, but the soup that goes with the noodle is something else. It's much more than just soy sauce. When asked about the recipe, the lady points to the spice bag, which she says can be gotten from the supermarket. Yup, I got a couple of them, and had them deciphered by the local herbalist. I've tried it on duck the other night; so what do you think of it, Nate & Annie?All that goodness costs a mere RM3.50 per bowl - preserved salted vegetable, chunks of pork leg, pork meat balls, kangkong and coriander. In fact, when the boss is not around the next day, we pay less for the noodle and drinks - more like what locals would pay.And to commemorate the porky's moment, there's a logo to warn off those having an aversion to the meat from hence forward (whatever that means).Oh, we made it to the Golden Triangle, visited the Drug Museum, forwent the Laos Casino, crossed over to the Burmese side of the border town without any stamp on the passport (call us illegals if you will). Nothing much to report except got a cache of fake phones (9 iPhones and Blackberry Bold, all for slightly over 2 grands Malaysian) and good imitation corduroy Crods for RM35. That's about it of our tour, because we decide not to follow the itinerary, and stick to shopping, shopping and shopping in Chiang Mai. It's water-marked[...]