PEr FYI

April 13, 2019

Tsui Wah, Shenzhen…failed to impress me

Tsui Wah is the Shenzhen outpost of a revered restaurant of the same name in Hong Kong. Let’s cut to the chase: this is the place if you want to visit a giant, super-sized neon version of Hong Kong’s humble coffee shop cafes (called a cha chaan teng, literally a tea food hall).

The dishes are pure Hong Kong comfort food, an eclectic and inexpensive assortment of Cantonese, Asian, and Western fare prepared for the Chinese palate. Start your meal with a local favorite—milk tea—followed, perhaps Lamb Chop Curry, King Prawns in XO Sauce with Tossed Noodles and wonton with fish roe in fish soup. And you’ll be missing out if you don’t try the famous crispy bun topped with sweet condensed milk.

Although there wasn’t much wrong, it failed to impress me. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 16, 2019

Low Yong Moh Restaurant, Melaka…a reliable choice

In Hong Kong, dim sum is almost like a religion. If you’re already a devotee, you are likely to have burned your tongue on many a pork bun and dumpling.

Hidden near antique and vintage Jonker street, spot, opened since 1947, knows a thing or two about dim sum. It’s a very traditional coffeeshop and unsurprisingly the menu consists of resolutely traditional Dim Sum. The fried turnip cakes were competently done, if not especially exciting – and free of excess oil. The skins of the siu mai were a little fragile and there was precious little prawn, but the chunky whole pieces of meaty pork made up for it. The lo mai gai (Chinese Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf) was far more impressive.

Most of the basics are done well and  – some of which are surprisingly good. But despite this Low Yong Moh is still one of the better places to have morning dim sum in Melaka. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 17, 2019

Ee Ji Ban, Melaka…a pleasant surprise

Ask someone to name a typical Melaka food and even a Singaporean will likely suggest chicken ball rice. (otherwise also known as chicken rice ball): fragrant chicken rice you know and love shaped into cute little golf ball sizes. In the entire state of Melaka, only one is halal certified – Ee Ji Ban.

Although I’m generally not a fan of halal Chinese food, I was pleasantly surpised and impressed with the excellent flavor and texture of the rice and dishes. It was busy and almost full when we arrived for dinner which we took to be a good sign. In addition to chicken rice balls, the menu offers nyonya delicacies. The sambal sotong (squid cooked in chili paste) is a crowd-pleaser if you fancy something with extra heat.

It is official, and who knew it: halal chicken rice ball is a thing. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 26, 2018

Nasi Kandar Pelita, Kuala Lumpur…KL’s worst dining experience

I want to do you the nigh-priceless service of telling you somewhere it’s imperative you don’t visit.

Some meals can feel like a punishment, and if that’s your bag, I can’t recommend Nasi Kandar Pelita enough. The nasi goreng and fried chicken were nothing to trouble Instagram with. The Maggi goreng was challengingly bland. It is profoundly awful. This is truly Malaysia’s capital’s worst dining experience, just short of eating broiled peanuts from a stall at Chow Kit Road run by a man with weeping dermatitis.

There are several words I can drum up to describe the treatment we received from the wait staff, but let me limit it one: shoddy. No, wait, remembering the wrong food they’d served despite reminders, I would add: uniformly bad.

We left hungry, of course we did, and RM60 poorer. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 16, 2018

Restoran W.A.W, Kuala Lumpur…This one’s for the monied tourist

It’s unusual to eat at a tourist hotspot in your home town. On holiday we endure it all.

Chicken wings have been popping up all across Malaysia for the last many decades and are very much on-trend in the capital – but if ever there was a subject to split opinion it is the place serving the very best in town. Only one wing can rule them all and Restoran W.A.W (Wong Ah Wah) is the chicken wing specialist.

Sure enough, Wong Ah Wah signature roast chicken wings are absolutely awesome. And precisely because of this, it is almost certainly on a tourist’s radar. Experience and instinct suggest that this restaurant has gone over to the dark side. The supporting dishes such as creamy salted egg prawns, dried chilli fried with frog, salted fish fried kai lan, fried chili cockles are not too bad either. However, the Signature hokkien mee is a poor imitation of the fame KL dish.

I came, I ate, I paid – so that you don’t have to. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 18, 2018

Dean & Deluca, Bangkok…worth visiting whether you’re in the mood to eat or not

Famed for its appearances in Hannibal and American Psycho, celebrity customers and fancy food, New York City’s gourmet grocer, the quintessential lifestyle brand, Dean & DeLuca is now a massive multi-channel retailer of gourmet foods, drinks and kitchenware.

The Lobster avocado poached egg toast – lobster salad, avocado, poached egg on toasted sourdough, rocket, balsamic – is as Instagrammable as it gets. It certainly takes poached eggs to a new level. Most importantly I am left thinking there are things here I want to come back for.

Any place with that sort of thing like the lobster avocado poached egg toast on the menu surely deserves my deep respect. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 29, 2018

Conditorei Schober Tea Room, Zurich…you can’t miss this if you are looking for true Swiss delights.

This place is the spot you can’t miss if you are looking for true Swiss delights. A quaint and very Zurich patisserie/cafe in the middle of old town, this mid-19th century café is beautifully decorated with Baroque interiors and completely unique levels.

This is THE place to go for hot chocolate in Switzerland. The super rich cup of hot chocolate, a Schober classic, is made with real slabs of chocolate, and is incredibly tasty. The flavour doesn’t just disappear after you swallow, but lingers.

They take their chocolate very seriously here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 25, 2018

Restoran Gold Chilli, Petaling Jaya…prepare to have the biggest poultry-induced orgasm of your life

Despite the health food craze sweeping through Kuala Lumpur, buttermilk chicken still has a solid fan base in the capital.

Buttermilk chicken at Restoran Gold Chilli is delicious and totally naughty. Just to tempt you, think nuggets of chicken blitzed in golden crumbs and topped with homemade, drippingly good buttermilk to finish. Prepare to have the biggest poultry-induced orgasm of your life.

Be warned, this place ain’t fancy or Instagram friendly at all. Don’t order the big portion unless you are sharing with someone!

Compose yourself. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 5, 2018

979 Nine Seven Nine Kopitiam, Penang…salted vegetable minced pork bihun soup is unmissable.

Penang is replete with high quality dining options that won’t break the bank, it just takes a little local knowledge to sort the wheat from the chaff. NSN is a super cheap local eat where you can stay stuffed without emptying your wallet. It may be a simple, humble little joint, but it’s astoundingly satisfying.

The star of the show?

The real deal comfortingly basic  salted vegetable minced pork bihun soup is remarkably deep, savoury and a wonderful depth of flavour. It is a contender for “best food in Penang” and I was told it regularly attracts long queues of devotees. It succours the old school and the hungry. It is no beauty but a winner. Seriously incredible, now I can NEVER stop craving for it. The deep fried wanton from a nearby stall in the same eatery is equally unmissable. Both are perplexingly cheap and  insanely economical.

Take friends, and order big. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 29, 2018

7 Village Noodle House, Penang…nothing special

In Penang, kway teow thng shops shops and stalls are stacking up like jets over Changi Airport. Every third shop or stall seems to knocking out kway teow thng.

7 Village Noodle House now find themselves in a market almost as crowded as the MRT train on a Monday morning. The kway teow thng was quite good, although not as good as the authentic stuff in Hutton Lane or Pitt Street but if you just want a fast, clean, comforting bowl of noodles, it’s a good call.

Its a good noodle place but nothing out of this world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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