PEr FYI

April 3, 2016

Bah Kut Teh Teck Lee, Kuala Lumpur…a melt-in-the-mouth delight

Bak Kut Teh – essentially pork ribs simmered in a rich, savoury and fragrant herbal broth – is another perennial favourite of mine (yes, I have heaps of favourites).

Although the bak kut teh here is credible – the meat is tender, though not falling off the bone – it is only the sidekick to the main act – the Sang Pow. Sang Pow is also a slow-cooked claypot soupy meat dish but it takes 45 mins longer to prepare compared to Bak Kut Teh so that they become a melt-in-the-mouth delight. The ingredients are totally different from bak kut teh and Sang Pow is only prepared upon request.

Teck Lee’s bak kut teh and sang pow are the perfect comfort food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 28, 2016

Naughty Nuri’s, Singapore…pigs needn’t die for this dish

One of the most anticipated openings this year in Singapore, Naughty Nuri crashed and burned right out of the gate.

Naughty Nuri’s signature ribs were a whole of impressive-looking but dull tasting, not-even-warm and indistinct ribs. For me, pork ribs should have an exterior that’s caramelised and a little firm, giving way to a smoky, tender and moderately moist interior. The indistinguishable ribs served here should have been saved for someone’s pet dog. Pigs needn’t die for this dish. The saving grace is that the subtly spiced beef rending – slowed cooked short ribs in coconut milk – is really delightful.The falling-apart-tender meat and the thick, rich sauce was a heady combination.

Naughty Nuri’s calling card is, after all, the half rack and full rack sticky ribs. I don’t care for that and neither should you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 21, 2014

T.G.I Friday’s, New York City…far from the pinnacle of American cuisine, but they are decent

First I should say, I have never been all that crazy about this chain restaurant in the first place. Let me be clear on that. They’re far from the pinnacle of American cuisine, but they’re not terrible – they are decent.

Waking away from watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, after 3.5 hours of standing by the roadside on 6th Avenue in the blistering wind and light snow, we tried to get into a couple of restaurants in Times Square but was told that waiting time is at least 30 minutes. We took a chance and jumped into the next restaurant with vacant tables, TGI Friday’s. Like all the TGI’s I’ve been to, the walls at this TGI Friday’s at Times Square are covered with everything but the kitchen sink.

We had the slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone (or should I say peel-off-the-bone) tender and juicy baby back pork ribs basted in Tennessee BBQ sauce, then fire-grilled and served with seasoned fries and ginger-lime slaw; and the Philly Stacked Burger (Braised shredded beef, mozzarella, Asiago & Parmesan, roasted cremini mushrooms, spicy giardiniera and green onion between two fresh burgers with Swiss cheese, horseradish spread, onion bacon jam and peppered bacon). The food was pretty damn good – definitely not the horrific, inedible trash-heap I was expecting – but the staff and general lack of care for customers negated all that. But…the ribs…I will return just for the ribs.

The prices were steep — most of the entrees are between $20-$30, with the sandwiches in the upper teens — but what else could you expect from a restaurant in Times Square? You’ll get the same at the Hard Rock or Bubba Gump nearby. This is the true truth, as I say it as it is…

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May 27, 2012

2nd’s, Manila…I am sure to go back for 2nds after my first visit

2nd’s is a great little restaurant which is set up like a homey living room with a laid-back vibe.

I can see why the beef rib adobo is their bestseller. The slow braised beef ribs adobo with garlic, served with steamed rice and green mango and tomato salsa is indeed my all time favourite comfort food here. Delicious. We also had the three little pigs kawali (crispy pork belly with rosemary, foie gras bites, green mango and tomato salsa with steamed rice and special liver sauce) The roasted garlic rice is also very memorable.

Great food great service what more could you ask for !!!! I am sure to go back for 2nds after my first visit. This is the true truth as i say it as it is…

April 10, 2011

Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant, Singapore…sum lor hor fun with nice “wok hei”

Their signature dish is the Sum lor hor fun (fresh fish slices stir-fried with rice noodles). The delicious fish slices were very fresh and tasty and blended very well with the beansprouts and hor fun which was smooth with nice wok hei (cantonese for “wok aroma” : the charred taste of something stir fried) aroma. 

The other dish which was very good was a mix of two of my favourite things – coffee and barbeque ribs – into one.  The dark coffee sauce tastes bittersweet and fragrant and goes remarkably well with the meat.  The chunks of pork ribs are so very tender and the strong coffee aroma accompanied every bite I took.

This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

February 12, 2011

Teo Chew Bah Ku Teh, Melaka…well-balanced herbal broth

Bak Kut Teh (spare ribs soup)  is a spiced/herbal soup that contains primarily pork ribs. The name literally means “meat bone tea”. Some people order it with spare parts – other innards like stomach and intestines.

If you are not grossed out yet, read on…

The food here while not spectacular, was decent. I especially love the yam rice. It’s  fragrant and light. Unlike the hokkien style bak kut teh, which is darker in colour and more heavily spiced, the teochew bak kut teh broth here is served in heat-retaining claypots was subtly light, herbaceous – not too strong and not too light… just perfect well-balanced herbal taste.  The slices of pork (we had the half lean-half fat portion only) were tender, meaty, perfectly cooked and went well with the side dip of soy sauce + dark soy sauce + cili + lots of garlic.  However they would do better with better quality ”You Tiao’. 

Where is it? It is located somewhere in melaka Raya. Just follow your nose…the aromatic soup is evident a block away. I try to stop here for breakfast whenever I am in melaka. So should you. This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

January 9, 2011

Heng Kee Bak Kut Teh, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia…good quality and flavoursome piggy heaven

 Bak kut teh is basically pork ribs cooked in a herbal broth.

Operating in a corner unit house, the place is brightly lit, spacious and clean. Please note that illegal parking is available right in front of the shop, or if you are chicken, you can always park on the main road. Service is prompt and pleasant. The food here is served in old school style – bowls. No claypots. The ribs are meaty enough and the meat were tender and succulent and the broth was wonderfully aromatic and fragrant. The spare parts (intestines and stomach) and pork belly cubes are oh! so good.

If you are a Bak Kut Teh connoisseur, I am absolutely certain, you will agree that Heng Kee serves damn good quality and flavoursome bak kut teh. This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

October 10, 2010

Restaurant Zemaiciai, Vilnius…like dining in an ancient catacomb with non-existent service

This traditional Lithuanian restaurant seems buried inside an ancient catacomb and makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Before eating, do wander around inside the restaurant…it’s worthwhile. Restaurant Zemaiciai is located at Vokieciu gatve, which is one of the streets with many restaurants, pubs and cafes in the touristy heart of Vilnius.

Had the beetroot soup with pork ribs and dried boletus, served with potatoes and the traditional lithuanian zeppelins with meat (grated potato dumpling with meat filling) – and yes these are indeed huge potato blimps which by itself is truly staggering – downed with SVYTURIO EKSTRA lager beer.

Though the interior was captivating, the service was virtually non-existent. This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

August 14, 2010

Famous Secret, Imbi, Kuala Lumpur…one of the better Bak Kut teh in KL

For those who are uninitiated, Bak Kut Teh literally means “Meat Bone Tea”, it is basically pork stew. And of course, lots of pork, from every part of the pig. And when I say every part, I mean EVERY PART! Even the internal organs!

This place in Jalan Medan Imbi serves both the claypot Bak Kut teh (BKT)  complete with beancurd sheets (foo chook), mushrooms or lettuce as well  as the ribs only served in bowls. The BKT here is indeed delicious, the soup was rich and full of aroma, hearty and flavoursome from all the herbs added and the meat too cooked to perfection, soft and flavorful. We kept it fairly simple, one pot of mixed lean and fatty pork, and some spare parts ( innards). One cut I always order is the ’sam cham yuk’ or Three layer meat. It has 3 layers of meat (Skin, Fat, Meat) all found in a single piece. So you get to enjoy the best of 3 worlds.

Personally, I could not imagine having BKT without the bells and whistles (you tiao/Chinese crullers and the almost-compulsory soy sauce+chilli and minced garlic dip). But to each his own. 

Minor gripes? The yam rice was bland, and the ‘yau char kwai’ (Chinese crullers) was soft instead of crunchy. That aside, Famous Secret is one of the better BKT in KL. This is still the true truth as I am still saying it as it is…

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