PEr FYI

July 4, 2020

Putu Piring Melaka…it’s darn good, but the queue is ridiculous

I’d never seen anything like it. This place is a takeaway, but the queue it attracts is impressive by any standards. The queue stretched out of this compact shop door but this queue is for a good reason.

Putu piring for the unacquainted is steamed rice cakes with melted palm sugar or gula melaka and topped with coconut shavings. Portions of gula Melaka are very generous, and there’s no lovelier sight than a table piled high these putu pirings. Fluffily soft, packed with flavour and super-yummy, it’s no surprise that this Tengkera venue draws a crowd.

OK, the the putu piring is pretty darn good, but the queue is ridiculous. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 20, 2020

Ho Kow Hainam Kopitiam, Kuala Lumpur…classic old-school

Once inside it’s impossible not to smile – especially for a diner of a certain age. This joint  feels – not only right at home in its Chinatown neighbourhood but it even evokes warm nostalgia for the era of Charlie’s Angels and disco.

Have you, erm, heard of half boiled egg curry banjir toast? No? The entire toast crowned with the soft-boiled egg is flooded with curry. If your toast and egg obsession is level 99, this will be the most exciting thing you’ve for a long, long time. The only question is this: how much exercise are you willing to do after consuming this?

Even though I will never become a “regular”, I’ll definitely return. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 13, 2020

Seri Erra Roti John, Melaka…If you’re going to get one thing in Melaka, get this

Seri Erra isn’t doing anything extreme with their omelette sandwiches, they’re just doing them extremely well.

The best way to describe Seri Erra’s Roti John Special is to say that they are main courses between bread. Imagine sardine, onion, lettuce in egg batter seasoned with Nyonya spices topped with thousand Island dressing on a plate. Looks beautiful right? Now put it between two slices of crispy-crusted bun, lift it up, and shove it in your mouth. It tastes amazing. If you’re looking to change it up, try Roti John Special Cheese as well. Remember the first time you used an iPhone and you were all like “wow this thing has changed the game”. This is like that with this Roti John.

See that photo below that title and tell me you don’t want to try one. That’s what I thought. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 6, 2020

Tropique, Johor Bahru…Don’t thank me, just don’t go there

I’m often a little nervous when visiting fashionable restaurants, but Tropique didn’t disappoint. The whole lunch was a complete fiasco. Which is why it’s my job, no, it’s my duty, to tell you this is where you shouldn’t be wasting your money or special occasion on.

You’d better have something in the fridge at home, because the likelihood of your food not being served at all is very high. Of our three orders, only two were served. To compound our annoyance, none of the staff were apologetic about it. The less said about the food, the better. Without labouring about price, it was extortionate.

Don’t thank me, just don’t go there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 30, 2020

Kinotoya Bake, Sapporo…what’s not to like?

Kinotoya Bake cheese tarts ranks among Hokkaido’s most iconic foods, on par with Sapporo Beer, soup curry and milk and ice cream.

Kinotoya Bake cheese tart is what makes it “Hokkaido-style,” specifically, instead of, any one of the thousands of cheese tarts eaten all over the world. The tried-and-true recipe calls for a firm, crunchy, buttery tart shell to nestle the sweet, salty, cheese mousse-like cream cheese core. It  tastes more like an angel food than a traditional cheese tart (despite its use of cream cheese). Nevertheless, it’s one of the better dessert options in Hokkaido.

And — if you eat too much of it — it’s a pretty satisfying way to get a tummy ache. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 24, 2020

Flying wanton mee, Petaling Jaya…hawker or showman?

Since the emergence of hawkers in the 19th century, the role of the cook has not changed. For the most part they toiled entirely comfortable in their anonymity. Today however, successful hawkers are entrepreneurs, budding scientists and showman.

A humble plate of wanton noodle is deemed too plain and unsurprising to command a place here in Seapark and so the hawker makes simplicity shine – the gravity-defying bundle of noodles tossed two storeys high and deftly caught it in his sieve. He then transferred the noodles to a bowl, ladled a good helping of lard and shallot oil as well as dark sauce over the springy strands, and gave them a good mix. Apparently, the science behind it is the higher you toss, the more hot water gets dispersed. So when you mix the noodles into the gravy, they absorb better, the overall taste doesn’t feel watered down.

The definition is flying noodles is no longer those they serve you on board a flight anymore. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 22, 2020

Kiki Yococho, Sapporo…yummy as heck and beautifully flavoured.

There is a belief amongst crepe-lovers: if you could catch the crepe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air (with your left hand), while holding a piece of gold (on your right) you’d become rich that year. True or not, this I personally know: whatever filling or topping you choose to accompany a crepe, it’s always a delight – whether for a meal or dessert!

When pondering Japanese food, crepe isn’t the first thing that comes to mind but tucked away in Daimaru Sapporo, Kiki Yococho is a little local gem. The crepes are – and I’m only slightly exaggerating – a firm favourite which was sweet-but-not-too-sweet in that dangerous way that means you could eat it all day. The seating area is small in a typically Japanese bustling way.

You can’t really go wrong with the crepe. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 15, 2020

So Asean Café & Restaurant, Bangkok…master of none

My reaction to the Jack of all trade menu is that there was no way this casual cafe could excel at preparing each different ethnic dish well. They were obviously casting a wide net, trying to appeal to the largest number of diners.

The familiar dishes – Puffy shrimp omelette, Grilled pork neck with spicy jaew dip, stir-fried squid with salted egg yolk sauce are all there but you also get slow-cooked chicken and pork adobo from the Philippines, Indonesian-style chicken satay or Singapore chicken rice.

This is just another one of those typical, charmless cafes in Bangkok. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 3, 2020

Waton Katsusen, Tokyo…Highly delicious, addictive, pure bliss… (did i use enough adjectives there?)

Tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets) ranks high on the list of Japanese soul food.The best place to get Japanese tonkatsu in Haneda Airport at the moment is probably Waton Katsusen.

Pork loin cutlet platter – Japanese pork loin cutlet (only 10 servings a day) comes with unlimited shredded cabbage, house pickles, miso soup and a bowl of rice. The first bite is supremely crispy and crunchy, but you’ll soon feel the juices from the humble pork cutlet hit – the rest is pure bliss. The katsu is surprisingly light on the palate, and on the gut, you leave with a “clean” feeling rather than a queasiness. You are finished before you know it. You are happy. You look forward to the flight.

It is worth your while if you love katsu as much as I do. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 1, 2020

Fung Seng Seafood Supplier, Kota Kinabalu…not rushing to return

Good seafood is hard to come by – but when it’s done well, it’s probably the most delicious thing you can put in your mouth.

If you want to enjoy some of those wonderful Sabahan seafood back home, there’s Fung Seng Seafood Supplier on the way to the airport. Most of their business is wholesaling – they supply to hotels and resorts – but they also do retail. The seafood are deep frozen and can last up to 10 hours without refrigeration and the stores are experienced in packaging them for check-in or hand carry for your flight back home. However, it’s pretty pricey and there wasn’t much selection to choose from. I didn’t think the quality/freshness was that great either.

Needless to say, I’m not in a rush to go back there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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