PEr FYI

August 2, 2020

Kedai Kopi Lai Foong, Kuala Lumpur…lala bihun combines fragrance with fiery punch

Heat freaks, your struggle to find a dish that is actually, properly hot is about to get a little easier.

The Lala bihun here will give you the fiery, eye watering addictive burn you crave. It is rice vermicelli in a bowl of ‘xiong tong lala’ (superior clam soup) flavoured liberally with ginger, chopped red chillis, scallions and Shaoxing wine. It’s definitely very fragrant but also very spicy and to me it’s actually a food challenge.

That stuff is nuclear. You might want to get some water… This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 26, 2020

Nam Heong, Johor Bahru…one dish wonder

Nam Heong is a restaurant that specializes in one dish.

The chicken hor fun here is spectacular. Super smooth flat rice noodle, shredded poached chicken, boiled prawns, garnished with fried shalllots in a bowl of incredibly flavoursome soup. I found myself downing the bowl in record time; slurping up every strand of the noodle and drinking up every drop of soup. But don’t get your hopes up, though. The rest of the menu were underwhelming, occasionally disastrous dishes. The mediocre chicken rice tastes like something left over from the night before, which may just have had its moment 12 hours ago.

To reiterate my opening sentence, Nam Heong does one thing really, really well. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 19, 2020

Nasi Lemak Famous, Kuala Lumpur…will make your mouth water and your mum proud.

Some of the best food in KL is dished up on the street, kerbside. Sitting round the corner on Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar, you’ll find Nasi Lemak Famous and have these guys got it going on.

The name says it all. Hell, taste the crunchy, dark auburn deliciousness that is its ayam goreng rempah and you’d probably come to the same conclusion. For the full artery-busting package, scoop some crisp chunks of fried batter onto your plate. But it’s actually the sweetness of the sambal on the lightly lemak and pandan-flavoured rice that will make your mouth water and your mum proud . Such exciting flavours. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

Pack wet wipes. YUM. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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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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