The Malaysian Food Review

The Definitive Guide to Malaysian Food


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1 Bites (Comments)

Prawn Mee - O&S Restaurant - Paramount Garden


A hot bowl of Prawn Mee always makes for a deliciously satisfying lunch. Apparently, a stall at O&S Restaurant in Paramount Garden has built up a fine reputation for serving the tastiest Prawn Mee in the area. So to satisfy our cravings Fidel Gastro, SekSun and myself paid it a visit.



A standard bowl of Prawn Mee here comes with small shrimp, half a hard-boiled egg, and lots of fried onions, which is great. Despite the soup tasting really good, I can’t help but be a little disappointed that there were no boiled pork slices or kangkung. Most, well actually, all other prawn mees I’ve had come with pork slices. The chilli paste was decent, but nothing to shout about. At RM3.50, there’s simply not much bang for your buck.











The cool thing about this stall though, is that it allows you to customize your Prawn Mee. This is where it gets exciting. Fidel Gastro ordered his with pai kuat (pork ribs) which cost him RM6.50. SekSun had his with pig intestines, which came to RM5.00. Being the designated reviewer, I couldn’t be outdone. So having wolfed down a standard Prawn Mee, I ordered a second bowl, this time with pig intestines AND pig tail. The cost? RM8.00. The most I have ever paid for a bowl of Prawn Mee. Beat THAT.


Unfortunately, I didn’t feel pig intestines and pig tail were suitable ingredients in Prawn Mee. The taste was a bit funny. Maybe it just took some getting used to. But I would definitely recommend it with pork ribs, as it looked a good fit.

All in all, this is one of the better Prawn Mees I’ve had, mainly because of the soup and the customizability. Unfortunately I can’t give it a high rating because the standard bowl doesn’t come with pork slices, veggies or fresh prawns, which I have had elsewhere. So it’s not my personal favourite. However, if you’re adventurous and don’t mind forking out a few extra dollars for special ingredients, this place comes highly recommended.

A word of advice, having 2 bowls of Prawn Mee for lunch is not a smart thing to do, particularly if you’re playing futsal a couple of hours later. I won’t be forgetting those stomach cramps anytime soon.

7 Bites (Comments)

Dim Sum - Pan Ki Dim Sum - Sri Petaling

Any self-respecting person will know that the only decent breakfast dish on a Sunday morning is dim sum, or bak kut teh. Last weekend, I had a craving for the former.



When I think of dim sum, I think of Sri Petaling. This place I went to has been there for quite some time now and is always very crowded. If you go after 12 noon it is likely that they would have run out of some of their more popular dishes. It is located along the same row as the Public Bank and the KFC at Sri Petaling, directly opposite the 7-11. There is also a newer place for dim sum in Sri Petaling, located about a 5 minute walk away from this one, but I refuse to go there because I believe they are just copycats stealing business from the people who made a good name for themselves there.

This shop has tables inside and outside, but because of the location, the morning sun hits the outside of the shop, and therefore it is always recommended you sit inside. “Inside” consists of 2 shop lots, one belonging to the dim sum people, and the other belonging to the neighbouring bak kut teh shop. (For BKT fans out there, I have not tried the BKT here yet. I don’t think I will be trying it in the near future. Maybe one of you can try it and tell me what it is like).

Now, back to my dim sum, the service here is pretty good. You don’t have to wait too long before some skinny Chinese/Burmese/Nepalese boy carries over one of those huge wooden steaming devices to your table. There is also a very wide variety of things. I have heard very good things about the Char Siew Pau here but due to stomach capacity constraints I could not sample it.

Before I get into my review proper, let me first warn all of you that this is going to be filled with technical terminology that most of you may not understand. Most of my technical terminology will be used to describe the food, its ingredients, etc. Please try to stay focused throughout the lecture.


I shall describe the above dishes clockwise, starting from the above left. As you all can see, this is clearly some stuff with a bit of crabstick on top of it. I for the life of me don’t know what is in it, but it tastes pretty good. Next up is the long cylindrical shaped stuff with a brown outer layer. This stuff tastes good too, but not as good as the crabstick stuff above. I also had to pull out a long piece of carrot hidden just under the brown outer layer as I thought it might spoil the taste. The final item in the above photo is fishball, which is stuck on some sort of flat thing. Due to the many items I ordered, I can’t remember what this one tastes like. But I am sure it was nice.


Moving on to the next photo, first (from the top, clockwise) is the carrot cake. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they call this carrot cake. There is no carrot in it. Anyway, this was not very good. The pieces of watchamacallit are too big. Then comes the salad prawn, which was quite good. I would rate it above average. Finally, I had the delicious cylindrical shaped brown thing. This is one of my favourites. It is nice and crunchy.


The Loh Mai Kai here is very average. It is a bit bland. I was extremely disappointed. This is definitely one thing they should work on improving.



The prawn wrapped in white stuff is one of the specialties here, and for a good reason (for those of you who are slow, the good reason being that it is delicious). But then again, not many places go wrong with this dish.


Pictured above (from the top, clockwise) is the stuff wrapped in yellow coloured stuff with a little carrot on top. This is another specialty here. Better than most places. A must have when you come here.

Next is the spicy gingery pork. This stuff tastes really good, but unfortunately the pieces of pork they give consists 90% of fat, bone and cartilage. If only they gave decent pieces of meat, I would be addicted to it.

The last thing I could stuff into my tummy before exploding were fishballs. Put any fishballs in front of me and I will finish them, and they all taste equally good to me.

The bill came up to around RM35.00 including 3 drinks. I wouldn’t know how that compares to other places.

Overall, I would say the dim sum here is above average. The shop has also been renovated recently to deal with the new competition nearby. I would give it a 7.5/10.

4 Bites (Comments)

Char Kuey Teow - Lorong Selamat - Penang

Following up on the previous Char Kuey Teow review from PJ Old Town. Let me bring you to Penang where most people may already know this Penang cuisine is famous for its road side hawker foods. We bring you to another Char Kuey Teow stall at Lorong Selamat, Penang. As you can see, this is no ordinary Char Kuey Teow stall. For a whopping RM7.50 it is the most expensive Char Kuey Teow I have eaten at a road side stall.

NOTE: This hawker stall does not serve the dish to your table, it is self service! You will have to line up to get your dish, which is pretty ridiculous for a hawker stall in Malaysia.

Knowing the queues in advance, we decided to pay an early visit to the Char Kuey Teow aunty. We were third in line but the assistants were just preparing the wok to be heated up by hot burning charcoal [picture below].We were also able to witness the fresh cockles delivered by a motorcyclist to this stall. I believe it is done daily, because only a bag was delivered.

The chef aunty started at 11.30am sharp while one of the assistant took the order and the other assistant counted the exact amount of the prawns, cockles and lap cheong (Chinese sausage) for each plate. As you can see from the picture, the aunty was well prepared with goggle, apron, chef hat and also a pair of original Crocs sandals to make her comfortable standing there for the rest of the afternoon.

After lining up for 15mins, we finally got our food. The food looks and smell great with the big mouth watering prawn. After we sat down, the waiter asked us “how many bowls of ice kacang?” We didn’t know why he only offered the ice kacang because he could offer other drinks as well but we guessed that they have the highest margin from ice kacang.

Tasting

First bite, you could taste the perfect burnt charcoal wok noodle that melted in my mouth. Each bite gave me a taste of the charcoal wok which have been used to fry thousands of strands kuey teow each day. The big prawns were very crunchy and fresh even though they were fried the longest in the wok. It showed that the prawns were very fresh. The charcoal smell, a spoonful of pork lard, prawns, Chinese sausages, chilies and cockles were actually fused perfectly making it the best Char Kuey Teow I have eaten.

The Judging

The service?? There was none. The food was definitely worth RM7.50, and we will definitely go back there on our next trip to Penang. I will give this place a 9/10 for the food and the missing point for the service.

11 Bites (Comments)

Char Kuey Teow - Tai Wah Kopitiam, PJ Old Town

Ni Hao! Tongue of Fury here with probably one of the most personal review I will ever do for MFR. This is a place I have been visiting since I was a 7 year old child. It is a place where old men gather to talk (most of the time bitch) about culture, politics and Arthritis. It is a place where people wait 45mins or more for the Char Kuey Teow and have no complaints. I loved the Char Kuey Teow back then, and when I visited the place again a few weeks back with Sek Sun and Bottomless Pit to have another taste, I realised that I STILL GOD DAMN LOVE IT!!!

The place is at PJ Old Town, some people call it New Town now, but I rather call it Old Town cos it still looks like an old area to me. The kopitiam is situated opposite the market not far away from the cross junction. It shouldn't be too hard to find. Gretchen Ross if you need a map, ask smoking salmon, he's a pro at drawing maps.


Once there, make your way to the Char Kuey Teow stall and order from the nice friendly auntie. Then take a seat and wait for you food. You should bring a newspaper or magazine if you're alone and don't go with friends you dislike cos it will be quite a wait. The reason is that the cook only fries a maximum of 2 PLATES each time. This is the best quality control technique for frying Kuey Teow and is the key to why the Char Kuey Teow is so good.

Sek Sun and I ordered Kuey Teow Mee, mine with chilli, his without. And Bottomless Pit ordered just Mee. Yes its true, he ordered Char Kuey Teow without the Kuey Teow, he's one of a kind.


As you can see it is a beautiful plate of Kuey Teow. The ingredients were all perfectly blended together. I think most Char Kuey Teows are guilty of giving too little beansprout and Gau Choi, this one have just the right amount. Taking a taste I realised why I used to love it so much. The flavour is just right, and it is not oily at all. There were no evidence of pork lard used, but I may be wrong. When we finished the plate, we could see that there were not much oil left on the plate, unlike some other CKT where you could still see the red liquid on the plate.


Eating the Char Kuey Teow makes me get the feeling that the cook is really passionate about his work as he sweats it all out to make sure that every plate of his Char Kuey Teow tasted like his best plate, like an artist at work I would put him in the same class as Da Vinci, Beethoven, Zinedine Zidane and Borat.

I was tempted to order a 2nd plate but decided agaisnt it, worrying that overeating will spoil my liking for it.

Final Verdict (Poor/Fair/Good/Very Good/Excellent/Outstanding):
Taste: Outstanding
Ambience: Very Good (Bottomless Pit liked the Old School Kopitiam style of the place)
Price: RM3.00 (small) RM3.50 (big) / Reasonable
Rating: 9.5/10

Overall, a very satisfying breakfast indeed. I should point out that the place only opens in the morning till lunch time. By 1pm or so they would have sold out. For Char Kuey Teow fans out there, this is a MUST TRY!

Before I go, here is a sneak preview of Bottomless Pit as he was leaving the Kopitiam, notice the resemblence to a famous cartoon character?


Ok folks, time for me to make like a banana and split. Till the next review.

7 Bites (Comments)

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3 Bites (Comments)

Ikan Bakar - Gerai Ramli Yusuf - Jalan Bellamy


By now most of you would've heard the shocking news of the passing of one of television's most memorable personalities. Yes, the Crocodile Hunter is dead - floored (or should I say, sunk) by a Stingray barb. He's entertained us, educated us, and made us all sound like idiots when we tried to imitate his catchphrases. So I felt compelled to pay tribute to this great man..... by having stingray for lunch.

This mission took me to Jalan Bellamy, the home of 3 famous Ikan Bakar (Grilled/Barbecued Fish) stalls. Jalan Bellamy is located somewhere behind the Istana Negara.

Ikan Bakar Ramli Yusuf was my stall of choice, as it usually is. I'm not sure why I always pick this stall, but I'm guessing it's because it's always the nearest to my parking spot. All 3 are supposed to be good anyway.

For some reason, there weren't as many people as there usually were. Having caught sight of my delicious prey, I quickly grabbed 2 plates of stingray and made for the table, while my lunch partners brought along catfish (ikan keli), shad (ikan terubuk), and a whole squid (sotong) for company.

I attacked the stingray (ikan pari) immediately. In my opinion, stingray was born for ikan bakar. It's a beeeyooooootiful fish, scaleless, with soft and chewy flesh, and its skin when burnt is very tasty. Another plus point is that the stingray's bone is a flat sheet down the middle of the fish, so it's really easy to separate the flesh from it. Some people even consume the crunchy bone altogether. Crikey!

Ok, no more Steve Irwin catchphrases, I promise.

Next up, the catfish (ikan keli). This delicious freshwater fish is easy to eat and extremely soft and tasty.

One thing to note about this fish is that it has plenty of fat. It may gross you out a bit, but don't worry, because it's Omega-3 fat and is actually good for your heart.

This is one of my must-have fishes. It's good even without any sauces.

The shad (ikan terubuk) is not one I would normally pick. It's immensely popular with Malays, who argue that it possesses a very unique flavour. Personally, I prefer chucking it to the starving cats lurking underneath my table. It's not that it ISN'T tasty, the problem is that it's deathly annoying to eat. Terubuk is scaly and chock-full of tiny bones. You need patience for this, and you NEED to eat it with your hands. I won't recommend it otherwise.

Normally, I prefer my squid fried in a crunchy, golden-brown batter, but my resistance crumbled when I saw this little beauty.

This magnificent squid cost us a bomb, but it was well worth it. It was already fresh and tasty, but dipping it into the superb sour chilli sauce made it even better.

The only question is - would you pay RM20 for it? We certainly didn't hesitate.

All in all, I think this place rates very highly among other ikan bakar outlets in KL and PJ. There's a good variety of fish and other seafood, and they all taste great with or without the chilli sauces. Prices are reasonable as well, each fish costs about RM5 or 6, with the exception of the squid which can escalate depending on the size. The only problem I have is that it can be quite difficult to get a seat (or a parking spot) during lunchtime.

Next time i'm there I'll review the scad (ikan cencaru), red tilapia, mackerel (ikan kembong), and cockles (kerang) if they're available.

Steve, this one was for you, mate. Yer a bleedin' legend. Take it easy, and we'll catch ya later.

4 Bites (Comments)



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