Saturday, July 28, 2007

AWAY: Siem Reap

ANNOUNCEMENT:

My posting on Macau trip will temporarily be onhold till I get back from my Siem Reap trip next Tuesday. So till then.......

Friday, July 27, 2007

MACAU'S LOCAL DELIGHTS

Remember I said there are 2 famous food street in Macau? The first food street was in Taipa Island called Rua da Cunha, today I will talk about Rua da Felicidade, another popular food heaven in Macau city. Here, you can find shops after shops selling local yummies and not forgetting restaurants after restaurants offering seafood, Portugese, Macanese and Chinese food. I have been here both during daytime and nighttime and each gave me a different kind of feelings. It can be pretty quiet during the daytime although most restaurants do open for lunch. But one thing i like visiting here during early morning is that you can find many makeshift hawker stalls selling local delicacies like porridge, cheong fun, noodles and even KOPI-O. My dad was captivated by the strong coffee aroma as we passed an alley but since it was packed, we decided to give it a miss. Meanwhile, the street will be all lighted up and you can feel the liveliness in the air as each restaurant will try to attract passerby to stop by at their shop.

The long street of Rua da Felicidade
Is red official colour for the Portuguese?

Like I said earlier, there are lots of shops selling local food products here and one will not miss the Almond Cookies which I find is an acquired taste. Going through shops after shops, we were forced to sample their cookies, and due to their super friendliness, it was so difficult for us to reject. I was really lucky to see how almond cookies was made on-the-spot. The sifu's hand works like a machine, within minutes, he finished producing one big tray of almond cookies, ready to be baked.

Almond cookies waiting to be baked
The trays of almond cookies will be baked on top of this bin filled with burning charcoal.

Further down the street, I spotted this lady cutting up a giant-sized peanut candy, one of my favourite snack. She told me she is the 2nd generation and her peanut candy is very famous and I will sure regret if I don't try some. True enough, it was really good!

Close-up on the brick of peanut candy

While exploring the shop, I saw some framed photos of the lady boss with some HK TVB artists, the entire cast of a popular TV series ("Return of the Cuckoo") which was shot in Macau. She proudly told us that her shop is famous and one of the oldest in Macau, thus chosen by TVB. Both of us then exchanged comments about the leading actor, Chilam on how cute he is, especially his dimples. *giggle*

A few steps away, a whiff of eggy aroma filled the air. I saw a lady busy making egg rolls right in front of the shop, got to say, a very smart way to attract customers with the nice smell. Immediately, she offered me to try her freshly-made egg rolls...oooo....it just melted the moment I put it into my mouth. She asked me to try making the egg rolls myself and with her guidance, I made 2 odd-shaped rolls.

After we finished walking the food street, we headed to Senado Square as I wanted to get some snacks as souvenirs near the Ruins of St Paul. The road leading up to the Ruins of St Paul is another snacks heaven and you can just sample cookies, jerkies and egg rolls all the way up the slope. This time, I didn't take much photos since I already took a lot during last trip and here are some of the photos taken.

Kam Wah Foh Tui or Chinese Ham which is very pricey delicacy!
Dried Meat...personally, I prefer our Malaysian version
Assorted Egg Rolls
Sale! Sale! Sale! Shopping at Senado Square!
Ruins of St Paul
Lots of Lotus everywhere, found out later that it was Lotus Festival. So beautiful!

That's all about my trip to Macau city. Next post:
Wing Lai Yuen Restaurant (the award winning restaurant I went to in Hung Hom, HK)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A DISCOVERED GEM~Cheong Fun @ Macau

After a light breakfast at the hotel, we took a public bus from across the street, heading straight to Macau city. Taking public bus in Macau is so convenient as there are many buses heading to the same place, thus, waiting time is barely 5 minutes. Best thing is, it only cost us HKD3.30 per person per trip (equivalent to ~ RM1.50). Our intention was to revisit the Sui Kow (Dumpling) shop we went during the last trip (those interested, pls email me for address). Unfortunately, a notice was stuck in front of the shop, stating that it will be closed for 2 days. Sigh...

But wait, just few steps away, I saw an entrance to a long alley which lead to some housing area. Right in front of the entrance, I spotted a stall...hmm.....out of curiousity, I went to take a peep.

Once I walked in, I saw many locals having cheong fun (steamed flat rice noodle) and porridge while sitting on the plastic stools. Funny though cos I don't see any tables and after chatting with the lady owner, she told us that table is not allowed cos it's a narrow alley and supposed to be a walkway heading to the housing area. I simple love eating at places where the locals eat. The 3 of us happily sat down and ordered a plate of cheong fun and a bowl of foo chuk pak kor (beancurd sheet and gingko nuts) porridge to share.

I was asked by the lady what sauce I wish to put on the cheong fun. I asked then, what sauce you have? She replied "Sweet, Chilli, Peanut, Sesame, Mustard". Hmmm...so I requested "ALL"! The combination of the sauces produced a very unique taste. The sesame sauce was really fragrant while the mustard created a tinge on the tongue. The cheong fun was good too, soft with slightly 'QQ' texture. The lady boss told us that if we were early, we could have tried her sold-out Siu Mai Cheong Fun (Pork Dumpling with Flat Rice Noodle). Sigh...perhaps next time.

When it comes to Fu Chuk Pak Gor, I always have this combination in sweet syrup form. So I was really curious how it will taste like when cook in savoury porridge style. The beancurd sheet was boiled till dissolved into soya bean liquid. It was really smooth and light, a really good and healthy breakfast. Somehow, I still prefers the sweet version.

The Cheong Fun and Porridge only costs us HKD9. A reasonable price to pay for simple local food. Truly a discovery for us.

More Macau delicacies in my next post...till then!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

RESTAURANTE DUMBO @ TAIPA VILLAGE, MACAU

Gosh…time flies. My trip to Macau via AirAsia booked 7 months ago which seems like a long-awaited event finally just flew passed. Although it was just a 3 days/2 nights trip, I got to say the length of stay was just nice, not too overly taxing on my digestion system. Being our 2nd time to Macau, this trip was more like a recap; visiting places for food which we loved so much as well as trying out new places which we didn’t conquer during our last visit in last September.

We arrived in Macau around late evening, as scheduled (who said AirAsia always delay?) Hubby who was in-charged of hotel booking, due to convenience, decided to stay at the same hotel, Best Western Taipa, which is about 5-minute drive from the airport.


After we freshened up, we took a walk to one of the two famous food streets in Macau; Ruo Do Cunha or Macau Gourmet Place Taipa Village. I will talk about the other food street in my coming post. Rua Do Cunha is a great place to dine as well as to shop for yummies to bring home. Here you can find shops after shops selling almond cookies, egg rolls, grilled dried meat, peanut candies, nougats and the like. Walking down the street is quite an experience because each shop will try to attract your attention by offering you samples of all their products. I kinda liked being ‘harassed’ by them ie forcing me to sample their goodies. Sometimes I feel bad especially those who are super friendly so I will still buy at least one packet of goodies from them.

There are lots of eateries here too, offering international cuisine, and of course when you come to Macau, a must try is the Portuguese and Macanese food which are available almost anywhere. Our destination? Restorante Dumbo or Xiao Fei Xiang (Flying Baby Elephant). We dined here twice during last visit and were so impressed, that is why we decided to come back again.
Hubby suggested that apart from the must-order Roasted Quail, we should be more adventurous and order those dishes which we have not tried. After our orders taken, a plate of 3 warm and soft buns was placed in front of us. I simply love spreading butter on warm bread…yummmzz.
The Roasted Quails (Codorniz Assadal Tinto) were served almost immediately. Priced at HKD15 per birds, I got to say this is a steal! The quails were roasted till golden brown while the meat is still juicy. Yummzz…and that is not all. The best thing about the quail is the stuffing!!


The quail is stuffed with crushed garlic and herbs. Oooo…the aroma of the stuffings filled the air when I cut it open.

My dad came up with a very creative way to eat the quail; shred and stuff it into the warm bun!! Indeed very delicious especially when the juices of the quail combines with the garlic stuffing, thus created garlic gravy which is so good when dipped with buns.

Another great discovery; Braised Pig’s Neck (Pesco co de Porco a’Brasa) was our 2nd dish of the night. Pig’s neck is becoming a very popular as it is known to be the most tender part of a pig. Well, the picture says it all….tender and juicy, juicy and tender!

Using El Cerdo’s Ox-Tail Stew as benchmark, I was rather disappointed with their Stewed Ox-Tail with Red Wine (Lingua de Vaca Guisado c/Vinho) as the gravy was slightly on the sweet side. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not sugary but sweetness from the vegetables. I suspect lots of carrots were used to produce such sweet stock. The ox-tail was cooked to perfection, tender and it absorbed the sweetness of the gravy very well. Papa couldn't resist from ordering a bowl of rice to go with the gravy.


Err…is this Steamed Fish Teochew Style? The Codfish Caldeirada Portuguese Style is a popular Portuguese dish which we somehow didn’t quite like it. Generous chunks and chunks of meaty Codfish which I find overly bouncy. I thought it was overcooked but then the texture still very smooth…so I really don’t know if it’s supposed to taste like this. The gravy consists of lots of veggies such as salted veggie (hamchoy), tomato, potatoes, capsicums, carrots and onions. So healthy isn’t it?


To end my meal here, I decided to try their Serradura, a famous Portuguese dessert made of whipped cream and then sprinkled with lots of flavoured bread crumbs. It doesn’t sound appetizing, isn’t it? But believe me, it’s a popular dessert here. Oh yah..need to mention here, their Portuguese Egg Tart is worth a try too.

While walking back to our hotel, we stopped by at Gelatina Mok Yi Kei, a shop specializing in jellies, puddings and ice-creams which I didn’t manage to try last visit. I will sure kick myself if I don’t try it this time and so I tried their famous durian ice-cream.

It's a corner shop and you won't miss it cos they have colourful cups of dessert on display.
One spoonful into my mouth and GOODNESS!! It’s like eating frozen creamy durian flesh!!! Aiiii…sad to say, it puts many of our local durian ice-cream manufacturers to shame.

Overall, it was a satisfying meal. Since it was a late dinner, there weren't anymore space for supper. We decided to turn in early cos I know, it's gonna be a long long day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

AWAY.......TO MACAU!

ANNOUNCEMENT:


I will be away for a very short makan trip to Macau from 18 to 20 July 2007. I will try my best to bring back lots of yummy photos to share with you. Till then...stay tuned and wish me luck at the casino! ;)

Friday, July 13, 2007

WHEN YABBY AND COD MEETS...@ MAX!

UPDATES!!! (1 June 2009)
Max has been relocated to:
Lot No. 32 Jalan Jati
Off Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. No: 603 - 2142.9720
Opens daily from 11.00 a.m. till 11.00 p.m.

--------

“Paul & Ivy, Yabbies just arrived today!”

This is exactly the text message we received from Max of Max! Kitchen on Tuesday night. Knowing that I have been asking for his sold-out yabbies since 2 weeks ago, am so delighted when I received his SMS. An offer which we couldn’t turn down and so the two of us headed to Max! Kitchen for dinner yesterday. Personally, the feeling of going to Max nowadays is like going home for dinner. You wouldn’t know what your mum will cook but one thing for sure, satisfaction guaranteed. It came to a point that his waiter already knew that we don’t need to order from the menu cos Max will decide on what we will eat, which I feel so privileged since all the food I had are not in the menu yet, if not at all. And this makes me very happy because I will be the first to blog about it. *GRIN*

Max took out a big tub of yabbies for me to take picture. Greedy me, how I wish I can have the whole tub. Anyway, I was hoping that we have at least have 2 pieces each, if that is not too much to ask for. While waiting for our yabbies, Hubby was asked by Max to call our two Makan Gang members to come for champagne.

Hey, what are you looking at? Am going to eat you SOON! Wuahaha!

To my surprise, the portion served was huge with at least 6 yabbies in it. More yabbies were added into our bowl after I finished taking photos. Only then I realized the reason it was not served together was because it looks better in photo with just 6 rather than 10 pieces cramped into the bowl. Yes, 10 pieces of yabbies! 5 for me and 5 for Hubby!

The Yabbies were cooked with tomato broth which had been simmered for a whole day. The sweetness of the yabbies enhanced the taste of the clear broth and it’s just like drinking prawn juice! I thought tomato broth would be sourish but how wrong I was, it was full of natural sweetness with mild tomato taste. The yabbies were fantastic, definitely very fresh, meaty and bouncy. We have to use our hands and it got a bit messy as the sweet juices dripped all over our hand. At that moment, we totally forgotten we were dining in a fine dining restaurant!


Back to fork and knife after the yabbies, we were served with this wonderful Cod Casoulet which will be available in the new menu soon (next week I heard). I saw Max sautéed the beef bacon, onions and butter beans till fragrant and I was called by Max to enter his kitchen to take a deep smell of it. Ooooo…..so good! A piece of grilled Cod is then added into the pan and am not sure what gravy he put inside, the whole pan was then shoved into the oven for a few minutes so that the beef bacon can release its flavour to be absorbed by the Cod. Sounds so heavenly isn’t it? Fresh from the oven and right onto our table. The aroma of the beef bacon together with the onion was so good and exploding into the air. Being fan of bacon, Hubby simply loved this dish especially the gravy in which he complained too little. He asked for extra helping of bread to wipe off the gravy. Hahaha…the plate was cleared without a single stain, so I told the waiter that it’s clean, no need to wash and he replied with a wide smile.

To accompany the fish, Max recommended this good bottle of Tasmanian 2005 Pinot Noir by Tigress. A very good wine indeed, it was really light and smooth to the throat and it leaves a fruity aftertaste in your mouth. Normally it takes quite some time for me to finish a glass of red wine but this, I had 2 glasses. This wine is indeed very good, approved by Makan Gang! It’s gonna be my favourite from now till I taste another better one.

A bottle of Champagne was opened after the meal, I guess Max just want to have some company to try out the Champagne which he commented a bit saltish. No picture of it since I was practically so lazy and slightly tipsy after the wine.

The Cod Casoulet is very highly recommended and I reconfirmed with Max that it will be available from next week when the new menu is introduced. As for the Yabbies, well, it's seasonal and very much depends on your luck!

Now I wonder when will we receive another SMS from Max!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A HEARTY SOUP!

I love soup especially those double-boiled for several hours and that is usually how I will make mine whenever I have a few hours to spare at home during weekends. Depriving of those long-hour soup, I sometimes compromised by making express boiled soup which requires no more than an hour. One night, couple of months ago, I was craving for soup and so I ransacked my fridge for ingredients and guess what I found?

Salted Veggies (Ham Choy) and Tomatoes
A bottle of sour plum

For the soup base, lightly fry the ikan bilis with ginger and garlic till golden brown. Pour in about 3 bowls of water and let it simmer on low fire for about 45 minutes. While waiting, soaked the salted veggie and squeeze all the water out. Continue soaking it for about 10 minutess and then slice it thinly. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into wedges. I ran out of soft beancurd, otherwise it would taste lovely in this soup.
Do not add salt into the soup cos both the sour plum and ham choy are very salty. I usually put in 1 piece of the sour plum (mashed it a bit) and the salted veggie to simmer and then adjust the saltiness level accordingly. When it's almost done, put in the tomatoes as well. If you prefer the tomatoes to be softer, simmer it longer.

Tada! A nice pot of Sourish Salted Veggie soup ready to be savored. Mmmm....delicious!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

AH LIT Village Restaurant @ Sri Kembangan

Last Sunday, Hubby and I together with my Makan Gang was invited to Max’s house in Sri Kembangan as he said that there is a special restaurant which he wanted to take us to. He also invited his wine supplier and his wife, as well as a couple from USA. It was fun meeting them and I noticed we all do have one thing in common; we are all fans of Max! Prior to our dinner, we hang around at Max’s house for wine and snack as well as mingling session. I just realized that I should have taken a photo of all the wines. Aiii…I was too busy enjoying myself to remember that. To start off with, Max served us some cheese platter with crackers. Mmmm….I find myself beginning to develop passion for cheese as I now tend to stop by the cheese section whenever I go grocery shopping.
Apart from cheese, canned tomato tuna was served as dips. Max insisted that it is nothing special; merely canned tuna but yet we all find it so good.

Frank also brought some authentic Hakka Yong Tau Fu (Stuffed Beancurd) made by his mum for us to sample. Done the Haw Por (one of Hakka clan) way, the beancurds were stuffed with minced pork and salted fish paste and then fried till golden brown.

We then headed to Ah Lit Restaurant which apparently is quite famous among residents in Sri Kembangan, Situated in the middle of a row of houses, one would not miss the restaurants as it practically crowded everyday with people standing at the roadside waiting for a seat. We were lucky to have a big table available for us 11 adults and 3 kids.
Although huge crowd, we didn’t wait long for the food to be served. The servings came almost together and within minutes, the whole table was overflow with food! Thanks to Max for promoting my blog, everyone was very patient with me when I took photos and I tried my best not to take more than 3 shots of each dish.
Pork Belly with Yam or well-known as Kau Yuk. I just realized I didn’t try this dish because I was busy with other food, so no comment on the taste.

Curry Fish Head was rich and creamy with generous portion of lady’s finger, brinjal, tauhupok and cabbage.

Erm…Stir fry Choy Tam which tasted pretty ordinary but definitely a very welcoming dish to neutralize the amount of meat we have. Actually the ratio of 1:11 doesn’t sound balance to me.

The taste of the Jit Kong Spareribs was superb. The spareribs were marinated and deep-fried and then coated with caramelized sauce. Each bite was so juicy. A perfect dish to go with beer.

he Kampung Chicken cooked with Rice Wine was quite mild for me. I might sound bias but I still feel that Hubby cooks the BEST chicken wine.

We ordered half portion of Steamed Village Chicken as we spotted almost every table ordered it. Portion was huge and the skins was bright yellow. The chicken meat was really flavourful and the ginger dip further enhanced the taste of the chicken. I was contemplating between savouring and throwing away the thick chicken skin. Max’s wife who seated beside me seems to have the same problem and together we decided to savour it, just for tonight. Although the skin was thick, it doesn’t feel slimy at all but bounchy, almost like jelly fish texture. Mmmmm…I had 2 pieces of the skin. *GRIN*

Everyone’s favourite was their Signature Beancurd dish which came with deep fried beancurd pieces topped with tasty stir-fried minced pork and prawns. The fried beancurd was amazingly crispy on the outside and amazingly super smooth on the inside. Thumbs up!

The next dish is a must order if you like Steamed Belly Pork with Salted Fish. If you notice from the picture, you will see generous portion of salted fish instead of mashed version which normally served at other places. The gravy goes really really well with white rice.

Deep fried salted egg squid was good too. The squid was lightly coated with flour and salted egg before deep fried. I suspect they put in lots of salted egg as each bite was so sinfully full of yolk aroma. MMmm…so sinful!

Another signature dish was their Deep Fried Threadfin (Ma Yau). The flesh of the fish was removed and fish paste was stuffed into the skin and then deep fried. Also another popular dish I spotted in almost every table.

Da inside

Everyone was already full when the Claypot Black Pepper Trotter was served. I tried a piece of the thick skin, ok ok, it was fat, and OMG, texture was so springy, almost like eating braised sea cucumber. NICE! But I decided not to overdo by having second helping.

Lastly, Claypot Buttered Prawns and my very last piece of food for the day. Juicy and succulent! Gravy was good but slightly sweet. Personally, I prefer King Crab’s butter gravy.

I noticed that the portion of the dishes here are really huge and I was really surprised to know that this dinner for 11 adults and 3 kids with 12 dishes only costs us RM278 including rice and tea. I find it so value for money.
Thanks Max for such a great dinner and the rest for such great company.

Was just informed KampungBoyCityGal actually did a post on this. So I extracted the address and direction from their blog:

97,Jalan Sekolah,Section 3,Seri Kembangan,43300 Selangor. 52joy.com 超级搞笑,人体艺术,美女图片O3bt�[?e
012-3173098/012-3642016

South City Plaza in the direction of Serdang --> Go straight and pass a BP petrol station and go straight until you see a Hong Leong on your left --> Immediately go to your right lane and turn right after the traffic light --> Go straight and on your left see a small signboard Jalan SK 3/10 and turn left..its just before a big school..go straight for 10 seconds..Direction from Joe

Opens from 530 pm to 12 am every day except for Wednesday

 

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