Monthly Archives: February 2011

Todays Lunch – Pasta and Veg with an Unbelievable Dressing

Today I felt like eating something light. I am having one of my moments I guess so out came the pasta and I boiled it al dente of coure.

I first thought of doing a Pasta Veggie Stir Fry but then I thought I really did not need anymore oil thanks to some curry puffs Eda made. Then Eda pulls out a Tupperware of nicely sliced lotus root from the freezer and we are both wondering when and how it got there, I am sure Yus had something to do with that.  So Lotus Root was one of the ingredients in my salad.

Then I had some Tao Miu (Can’t remember it’s a sprout of some sort) which I threw in and a tomato just for some color.

The dressing:

Malt Vinegar                   1 tbsp

Maggi Seasoning            1 tbsp

Sweet Chilly Sauce        1 tbsp

Nam Yee (Smelly Tofu) 1 tsp – although I think it should be 1 tbp

Method:

Mix the salad and dressing together and enjoy it.

sheer delight

My friend Carol Shun kind of went all quiet on me when I sms’d her the ingredients. It was nice and light I should say. I like simplicity with a lot of punch!

I have to add after eating and looking at the photo, I think a teensy bit of sesame seeds would have been nice sprinkled on the top and perhaps some grated orange rind and thinly sliced lemon grass.  Just a thought after I ate it and looked properly at the photo.

You should try it. The versatility of Nam Yee is plenty.  Should introduce more recipes soon.

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My Last Lunch and my first Lou Hei at the Royal China, Ipoh – No. 8, Ground Floor, Coliseum Square, Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, Ipoh.. Chapter 6

I’m late with this bit of installment, and although Chinese New Year is finished, well I still thought I had to finish this chapter.

We congregated for lunch at the Royal China courtesy of Emm Looi. It was also a big restaurant much like Oversea Restaurant the previous day. But somehow, Royal China had a much cosy feeling and it was more welcoming for some odd reason. This was probably due to the décor and the ambience and probably the location.

Once again we were probably the first three table of the afternoon, so all eyes were on us. So Emm Looi ordered and we started out with Yee Sang. My first for this year.

So today instead of a review, lets do a step by step of serving Yee Sang. Better late then never right!

So out comes the platter laden with crispies and jelly fish, and other preserves as well as half a green apple and a Nashi Pear which are both julienned so they are all the same size as the rest of yee sang fare. There are bits of carrot as well underneath.

On top of it all was peanuts, sesame seeds and thinly thinly sliced kaffir leaves. This seems to be a trend over the last 10 years or so I think. And if you look close enough you’ll also see bits of orange peel. Now for some reason when I make it at home I forget the orange peel. My home made yee sang is the usual crispies but I try to make it healthier by adding carrots and lettuce. So next time, orange peel as well.

So now our waitress gracefully sprinkles  over the 2 sachets of powder which is pepper and five spice powder. Well I think it is five spice powder because that is what they use here in PJ and KL. This has to be done gracefully, high enough for us to see, but low enough so the pepper won’t hit us and cause a bout of loud sneezes.

Then she pours the more crispies. This one is just flavored flour deep fried. Now this is the part of Yee Sang that I don’t like very much. Ok let’s face it, Yee Sang is not exactly the most healthiest of meals, but really it can be healthy without the crispies and all. Anyhow in KL and PJ, sometime these crispies has a tinge of curry powder added to it.

Now more jelly fish, or if you had salmon, that will be added on the top, this is the luxury part of the Yee Sang, the part that promises prosperity. Notice too, the plate is still clean, nothing is out of place.

Then you pour the piquant tangy sauce, which is made of plum sauce, maltose and sugar. I usually add in some lemon juice to give it a less sweet taste. You have to pour it with grace and some style of course.

And now Ladies and Gentlemen… let us Lou Hei… and notice the mess we make.

Lou Hei! Lou Hei! As high as you can...

I must say t he Yee Sang here in Ipoh was much finer then the one I have had in KL and PJ, possibly too is the fact that I did not eat it in a swanky place like Royal China.  The fresh salad, and mind you Yee Sang is suppose to be a salad came from the fruits, and the carrots, a very nice mild combination, with the different textures and tastes.

We had dim sum after that, and a half duck which I must say was actually very  very good.  It was succulent, it was not ducky, and frankly I could have taken the last few pieces had I not been new to the town. I must admit, ever since I had duck in Ipoh, somehow  Duck in PJ just does not taste the same. We had Duck last Sunday for Aunty Mary’s birthday, and for some reason, it was just not as good.  Next topic, FIND THE BEST DUCK  IN KL AND PJ.  We will however not include Duck King at the moment because I have to say their duck is pretty awesome.  Only their duck!

What a way to end my little getaway…

Finally I’d like to thank Emm Looi, if she ever gets to read this, Seok Hean and Eddie, the ever graceful Mrs Teoh and the No Nonsense Kitchen Goddess herself, Ah Yoke Cher who taught  me how to fry ngaku properly, and a myriad other Ipoh Specialties.  Thank you so much.

My Last Brekkie – Restoran Low She Fun – Ipoh – Chapter 6

This morning would be my last morning and since I was on the 2 pm train back to KL, breakfast was to be fast and simple so once again we got into the car and turned through a lot of back lanes, and voila.. a clean little corner shop it was Restoran Low She Fun.  I’m sorry but in all my haste I forgot to look around at the address, and I cannot seem to find it online, so therefore, I think this is a little hidden gem that no one has fossicked yet.

Low She Fun is known as little rat tails because it resembles the tail of a shrew. So there we were in this coffee shop that solely served this specialty and fish balls.

I am not a fan of Low She Fun simply because it always tends to be oily.  The one we get at the market or the ones I have had here, mind you it would be probably be about 20 years or so since I ate Low She Fun in KL or PJ, and the sight of the oil just never made me want to try it again.  Also I believe there was one time either in the late 80s or early 90s when some kids died eating Low She Fun, so that was another reason why.

Anyhow we got there, it was a rather windy morning, and the nice breezy cold day was warmed by the wonderful brewing hot fish ball soup.  I don’t know what it is but the fish balls and meat balls sold in Ipoh are by far the most superior I have eaten.  Ordinarily I would not even bother to touch the stuff.

Ah Yoke Cher did her usual of ordering, and since we were going out to lunch we only ordered 2 bowls or Low She Fun, one plain with soy sauce and luscious Ipoh Bean Sprouts, and the other topped with Minced pork. We also had a few fried won tons.

The first glance one would think it was such a simple breakfast but the first mouthful would deem otherwise.  The simpliness in looks, but the taste of a lot of good ingredients being put together often leaves one wanting more.  This was the case at breakfast today.  I took a small amount to taste, and it was sheer delight.  The Bean Sprouts were so lightly blanched and eaten with the noodles in the simple soy sauce was like eating a nice noodle salad.

simplicity yet so tasty

The minced pork one was a little richer because it was more meat then fat in the mince.  The mince did not leave a fatty taste in your mouth nor did it have that horrible gluggy feeling when you have eaten a lot of fatty foods.  It was just a soup spoon or so and yet it gave a lot of tastiness.

The wontons were nice and had a nice amount of filling.  One look at it you’d think it was a lot of skin, but the ratio of filling and skin was almost perfect.

I was told by Seok Hean that this was an old business and the owners son’s even quit their jobs to take over the business.

Now I have to say I am not a fan of hawker food.  I live near various hawker stalls and you can count the amount of times I go to these places, and yet I think if I lived in Ipoh it would be really different.  I am not running down hawkers in PJ and KL because I am sure there are a few gems out there, but in most cases, I think a little pride would be good. Often I have even tasted food raved upon by food critics in the newspapers only to be so fooled by them.

Sadly when Ipoh food comes to KL, it never tastes the same.  My last breakfast was truly memorable, just like my first breakfast of Ipoh Curried Noodles.

Oversea Restaurant Ipoh – Jalan Datoh, near Srimaju Bus Station – Chapter 5

Dinnerrrrrrr!!!!

I seldom have three square meals but today I had about four or five meals including the copious amounts of Ngaku we packed courtesy of Ah Yoke Cher.  She was a whiz slicing Ngaku (Arrowhead) into the hot frying pan while Seok Hean and I dried it off its oil piece by piece and popped as many into our mouths.  So by the time dinner came we were quite full.

So we all jumped into the car and as usual Eddie was instructed to turn left and right and somehow amidst all this he missed a turn and so we had a rather scenic (we even had a Thaipusam procession) route to Jalan Datoh and low and behold it was Oversea Restaurant.  Now I have three Oversea Restaurants around where I live and each are about two to three kilometers from where I live. I have often been there for weddings, so I kind of knew about the food and the restaurant.

I did not know that Oversea Restaurant originated from Ipoh and where we were was the newest addition.  It was a big place and a bit out of place for a restaurant I thought.  It was probably a factory building of sorts but I guess it was location location location after all.  Still the building looked massive and far bigger then the ones near my house.

We entered and it was like a giant school hall.  It could probably seat about 800 to 1000 people once the doors and all were opened.  It was a bit cold to be sitting in such a big place with only one other table taken.  While there was so many staff and so little customers I did think service was not so good.  After all Seok Hean had already picked the menu, so they could have been a little cordial.

The non complimentary peanuts were served.  Emm Looi brought her own tea.  Now I have never been to a restaurant with anyone who brought their own tea and I think it is a quaint idea.  I think I should try it here and watch their faces getting confused.

Soon out food came, first was the steam Soon Hock fish superior soy sauce.  Now I have to say the fish looked hideous.  I mean it would have probably

A really pissed off looking fish

frightened a young child into not having fish for life.  The fish looked mean and wild, and it looked like it would leap off its dish and bite you.  Just look at the photo.  Flavor wise it was nice and fresh and the sweetness of the fish was brought out with the superior soy sauce gravy.  I would have preferred it if there was a tiny bit of ginger. I am a ginger person so I guess it is just me.  This is when I wish my friend Angela from Fiji was around because the first thing she would have taken was the head and thus make the fish look a little more friendly.

I am not a fan of fish, I did try a bit of it, no complains there.  Next was the soup, which I must admit I took a rather shocking photo.  I guess this was similar to the eight treasure soup.  It was a nice rich and not too heavy soup with kei chee,

A Shimmering Soup

enoki mushrooms, tofu, fu chook, and a vegetable that I cannot remember. I did enjoy it so much that I forgot to take a photo of it. So this was obviously good.  The flavors of all the ingredients complemented each other very well.  And the tiny bits of kei chee handed a nice sweet bit to the soup.  Kei Chee tends to do that to a lot of foods and soups. I’ve even thrown some into fried noodles, the thick soupy kind, absolutely fabulous.

The pork belly and salted fish was next. Now I must say this dish was a downer. First presentation wise, it was a big zero.  Nothing made it stand out.  Flavor wise, all the ingredients overpowered each other that you did not taste the meat properly nor did you taste the salted fish.  I think they could have done better with this dish that most people always go for.  Maybe it is Oversea Restaurants way of doing things but I must say, presentation on the whole for the first three dishes was rather mundane. This is a favorite of many even Westerners tend to like this dish because of the different flavors and the salted fish that gives it that punch. Sadly for some reason, it looked like the meat and salted fish was ‘stewed’ a trifle bit too long.

The Combi Platter was next, now you cannot go wrong with the combi platter and Oversea did a wonderful job.  The Combi Platter comprised, juicy pieces of char siew, duck, piglet and a lump of jellyfish.   The Char Siew was roasted to perfection, the Piglet, now I am seldom keen on piglet because of the piggy taste, but this one was really nicely done.  Perfectly roasted, the piglet was the perfect age, and I always think if they are going to  roast young piglets now where are the big ones going to come from in the near future. I am sure Oversea Restaurant is guilty of this because they prepare it well and I am sure it is one of the main dishes during banquets. The duck was also perfect, no ducky taste and succulent as well.  I always eat duck and I found this duck was rather finely prepared.

The Snake Gourd and Tofu was next. Now while Snake Gourd was once used a lot in Indian food, somehow in KL and PJ we used it for yong tau foo.  I am not keen on it for some reason and I was not too keen to eat it as well.  The tofu was wonderful though. Home made tofu, it almost tasted like meat. A very silky kind of meat.  The gravy it was made it was also rich and yet not heavy.  Good stock was used to prepare this dish.  I think everyone enjoyed this dish very much.

The last dish was the Salted Egg Coated Crab.  I have always liked this dish simply because of the salted egg yolk that coats the shell of the crab. It lends a flavor that is never found anywhere.  We were all quite full at this stage but we all had a taste. I am not a crab person because I hate having to get my fingers messed up.  I only eat crabs when I have someone to take them apart for me.  This boy in distress used to work with the chicks many years ago….. alas charms can only last for so long!  The crab was obviously alive when it was cut up so the flavor and texture was perfect.

For dessert we had the usual fried pancake with lin young filling.  Nothing special here.  I did find the skin a tad bit too thick.  Did not take photos once again, I wonder why?

All in all it was an enjoyable dinner with friends.  The ambiance was a bit cold due to the size of the place, and the kids at the next table were kind of rowdy running in and out of the toilet.  Other then that, it was a wonderful night.