Tag Archives: Eddie Tang

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.

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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.

Restoran Tauge Ayam Lou Wong – Yau Teck Shin Road, Ipoh

From the land of Fabulous Food and Good Looking People – IPOH

Chapter 1

I had a chance to travel to Ipoh. Now sadly in all my years on this earth I have never been to Ipoh, only passed through, and to visit someone while passing through and for a Dog Show when I was a wee lad.

Now the funny thing is my Mother is from Batu Gajah and yet we never ever venture to that area. So this time my new BBF Singapores Culinary Goddess Teoh Seok Hean offered to take me to Ipoh and of course I jumped at the opportunity.  I was so excited because all I knew about Ipoh food is that they have nice fat bean sprouts and they produce out of this world Koay Teow (Ribbon Noodles).  That too was courtesy of Seok Hean on her last visit to Ipoh.

Another fact about Ipoh is that most Miss Malaysia’s come from Ipoh, most notably would be our very own Datuk Michelle Yeoh.

So Wednesday was a big rush to finish work for Saturday as I would be gone till Friday evening. Rush! Rush! Rush! It was and what a waste of time because that evening they called to change the date.  I was rather peeved and could have used a lot of swear words but I held my tongue as it was no use telling the idiot off because it was clearly out of his hands.  Now I know the importance of having everything in black and white. Anyhow, as angry as I was, this silly incident was not going to be a dampener for my trip to Ipoh. I waited patiently from 3 pm. I kind of felt like my Aunty Mary who would be ready be ready  and packed to leave for the railway station to Penang at 4 pm when her train was scheduled to leave KL at 9 pm.  Hope I don’t become like that.

Ok I digress, this is because I am still excited about this trip.  Anyhow while waiting, my friend Sarah Carol called and when I told her about my trip she told me I had to have the Chicken with Ipoh Bean Sprouts.  She said it was the best and it was something I could not leave Ipoh without trying.  I had a rough idea but still was clueless of whole thing.

Seok Hean and Eddie arrive and whisk me away!   Eddie is my good friend of many many years and Seok Hean is his wife.  Seok Hean and I get on like a house on fire much to the chagrin of Eddie who I am sure wonders what we talk about every day when we are online.  So off we went through the 5 pm traffic, I was entering a totally new frontier. Last time I was on this side of the highway was  in the 80s.  How shocking is that?  Everything looked strange and new. The whole trip to Ipoh was a wonderment, and of course the bad idea of making me sit behind is that I can talk and talk and talk without getting car sick!  I probably gave Eddie an earache.

So we reached Ipoh  what do I spot…. Old Town Coffee and Pappa Rich, and its marketing strategy of always being close to each other was also practiced in this land of good food. Now I wonder what their food taste like in Ipoh? Hmmm must check it out next time.

Digressed again… see how excited I am?

So we reached Seok Hean’s house and I was introduced to this very ladylike very regal woman.  I am told Mrs Teoh is Gourmand herself but due to age and health issues she hardly cooks these days.  I now know where Seok Hean developed her Goddess like ways in the kitchen.  While Seok Hean would be a little like Nigella, Mrs Teoh was much like a classy British Martha Stewart or kind of like Delia Smith with much more gentility and a lot more class.  We also met Ah Yoke, who has lived with the Teoh family and is quite the Goddess of sorts in the kitchen as well..a no holes barred kind.

Chapter 2

Ok enough said, we left our things at home and rushed out to Ipoh Town for guess what? Ngah Choy Kai (Chicken with Bean Sprouts)

Now I love Ipoh Bean Sprouts.  I have eaten our usual one in  KL and also in Australia, and nothing matched Ipoh Bean Sprouts.  They say it is the water over there, because the Bean Sprouts in Ipoh are fat, has a distinct flavor and crunch, and is just tasty even eaten as a salad.  I love my Ipoh Bean Sprouts cooked as little as possible because I like to eat my vegetables crunchy.

Our first stop was through a number of roads and finally we reached the Pekan Baru Police Station to the junction of Yau Teck Shin Road. Low and behold, almost every shop sold Ngah Choy Kai.  I guess as usual the busiest shop would be the best, so we ended up at Restoran Tauge Ayam Lou Wong.  The place was crowded as can be and it was almost 10 pm.  Eddie ordered and in a jiffy a bowl of fishballs appeared. Now I am sure I have mentioned I am not a fan of fish balls.  So ok I was ‘riveted’.

Then Seok told me to taste it and holy cow…. It was so nice. The right texture and sponginess and it tasted like the meat it was suppose to be as opposed to Mystery Meat Balls in the case of Kuala Lumpur style fish balls or any balls for that matter.

Hor fun appeared, I was excited, and then the bean sprouts and chicken was placed in front of us.  It looked like the average hawker fare, nothing to shout at presentation, but it all changed when you took a piece of chicken and tasted it.  It was melt in the mouth silky and perfect to the touch.  I had never ever eaten chicken like that before.  I even ate the skin. Now I never eat chicken skin!!  It was fantastic.

I wished though they would cut the chicken a trifle bit bigger simply because I have a big mouth.  It was a little too dainty but it was really good.  The simplicity to it all made it that much more better.

The noodles were as usual just out of this world. No need to go there or this piece will never end. I did forget to take a photo for some odd reason.

Now the beansprouts.  PERFECT! Just the way I like it. They must have known!

NO one gets it right in KL, not even the regular places I hang out at. And even with the simplest of instructions I never ever get them to do it right over here.  Today it was PERFECT!  The soy sauce dressing like gravy with a hint of sesame, real chicken stock and the hint of pepper, it was again simplicity taken to a new high.  You could not spoon the dressing and drink it on its own, I tried it and it was salty as, but together with the bean sprouts it was just perfect.  The tender flavor that oozes out of the bean sprouts when you chew on it with the dressing, is really unimaginable. I could have had more but I was being polite.

Everything was perfect.  I wish we did not arrive so late. And one more thing. Another first for me. I actually say by the roadside to eat.  I never do things like that anywhere because I always have this fear of being attacked or some car will fly over something and land on top of me.  Only me of course and no one else! So all my life I have never sat outside a shop serving anything, especially one that had tables on the roadside.

Lou Wong has a branch in Petaling Jaya at PJU 1 Sunway Mas.  I must go and have a try, since I know the original one and all. They are even on facebook!

I was so full, full of balls, full of chicken and hor fun, but I was glad a lot of it was also vegetable. A thoroughly balanced meal.

Lou Wong set the standard that Wednesday night.  I knew my trip was going to be one that would be truly memorable.  Breakfast beckons. Now I wonder what Seok Hean and Eddie have in mind?