Monday, November 30, 2009

Restoran Sun Huat Kee @ Lucky Garden, Bangsar

I used to come to Lucky Garden in Bangsar often in the past few years. Jenn used to stay nearby when she was still a student so she always have breakfast here. As for me, it was when we bought ourselves a lovely home in BU that she introduced me to this area. Why??? Because we have to pass by Bangsar on the way to her workplace in Mid Valley. Lucky Garden is the best bet to eat breakfast as not many options can be found in Telawi area.

One beautiful morning, both of us had something to do in Bangsar area. Initially we wanted to go to Rice Cafe but it was still closed (it was about 8.30am at that time), so we came to this place instead. During my many visits to these restaurants along this stretch in Lucky Garden, there was not many eateries worth mentioning. Not that the food was bad or anything, it is just decent.

The interior of the restaurant is very simple with many stalls plying their trade here.

Jenn had the pork ball noodle or sam kan zhong in Cantonese... dry version. Taste-wise was OK but it only came with one thin slice of roasted sausage and the pork ball that came separately in another bowl of clear soup was not "Q" or bouncy enough. Even the minced meat was pale (not fragrant enough) in comparison with my favourite in Win Heng Seng. When it comes to this particular dish, I can be very picky as I always compare to my all-time favourite in Jalan Imbi.

My order of yee mee with fish balls was mediocre. The fish balls lacked the bouncy texture that I love while the yee mee was over-cooked, resulting in soft and mushy texture.

Apparently, the famous Soo Kee (Jalan Imbi) has opened a branch here in Sun Huat Kee. Available only for lunch till late night, I read that it cost approx. RM30 onwards per pax. Quite steep if you ask me :) The one I had in Jalan Imbi last time cost almost RM20 only! I guess it's the price to pay for dining in Bangsar??? Better stick to Pan Heong I reckon!

Leo's verdict - parking is relatively easy to find in the morning if you plan to eat breakfast here. If you are not picky with the food and wish to have quick and decent breakfast, then you can check out a few restaurants here. Just don't expect too much OK?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Restoran Pan Heong @ Lorong Medan Batu Caves 2, Batu Caves

I must be one of those last ones who went and then blogged about this famous Pan Heong. The truth is that I didn't even know the existence of such a great place to eat if not for the Queen of DSLR's blog on Pan Heong in January this year. The sight of kau yuk mai fun and nam yue char yuk was too much for me to take. Jotting the name and address down in my little 555-like book, I made Pan Heong as my must-visit list for the longest time.

Sadly, the motivation ran out of steam after a while as I was busy with works and with the arrival of Sher Ryn in March... I totally forgot about it! That is.. until I read becky's blog and then Bangsar Babe's in June. Their description on the sang har hor fun re-ignited my fire once again!!! I'd tried Greenview's version of sang har mee but I thought that it was so so only, and while Soo Kee's version (Imbi) was good, full of wok hei but the prawn's size was pale in comparison with Pan Heong's!

However, I have not gone to non-air conditioned restaurants since the arrival of Sher Ryn. Jenn is very (and I mean... VERY!) particular when it comes to dining out with Sher Ryn along. Most of the time, we would only go to shopping malls or those with air-conds :( She wouldn't wanna risk making Sher Ryn sweat like her dad (what a pampered little princess) so I had been deprived of a lot of food and interesting places to eat. No wonder my must-visit lists are getting longer and longer lah... (Sorry dear! I'm not complaining here... I love Sher Ryn very much too)

Opportunity came one lovely Saturday morning... I had to attend Joe's BBQ party in Lakefield Sg Besi in the evening and therefore, I was free for the whole morning and afternoon! I managed to call one of my friend, Kim Seng, who agreed to go out for brunch with me. Picking him up from Cheras, we headed straight to this place as I want to beat the lunch crowd. Even though I pride myself with a good sense of direction, I gotta admit that I am not that familar with Batu Caves area but fret not... my trusted Garmin got me there in no time!

Parking is very hard to find even though we arrived shortly before 11am... it took me 10 min before finding one! Lucky for us, we managed to find ourselves a table shortly after arriving.

We looked around and noticed that almost every table has a plate of hor fun and porridge... of course, the choices are not limited to these 2 dishes only. We were recommended to try their mee mamak by the lady boss... but since there were only 2 of us, we couldn't order too many stuff to eat.

Newspaper cuttings, magazine reviews and pictures were seen hanging at one section of the restaurant's wall. Upon reading through it, I realised that the lady boss was MBA holder but decided to help her husband fulltime to operate this fledging business. What a waste to the professional qualification but I guess she might put her knowedge to good use in managing this business.

It didn't take a long time for our dishes to arrive - starting with Sang har hor fun which caught my attention at the first place. For those who has not been here before, the minimum order for this dish is 2 servings which translate to 2 freshwater prawns and hor fun enough for 2 pax. The egg gravy was by far one of the best (if not the best) that I'd ever tried in my life, and the flavour was further enhanced by the sweet prawn roe. The hor fun was full of wok hei while the prawns (quite big I mind you) were amazingly fresh and succulent! I instantly forgot about the cholesterol issue and the fact that I had crabbie in Seremban the previous evening :) and the plate was very clean and shiny after that, as the gravy was too good to be wasted!

Kau yuk mee hoon came next.. and this dish also has to be ordered minimum 2 servings. Again the meehoon retained its springy texture and full of wok hei. The sinful kau yuk which has a higher fat to lean meat ratio was like icing on the cake! Comparable to my mom's version :) even though both of us were quite stuffed by the time we finished the hor fun, we simply couldn't stop eating the meehoon + kau yuk!

Nam yue pork belly was another dish that we ordered. Nam yue is actually fermented red beancurd which is used to marinate the pork belly for at least one day (in order to give the dish full flavour) before deep fried. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside are the best words to describe this dish. It is recommended to eat the dish while it's hot.

Leo's verdict - By the time we finished everything, a long queue were seen waiting outside for tables. They normally use numbering system whenever there's huge crowd. Parking is definitely hard to find.. try to come here during lunch time and you might have to spend some time to find one. Not to mention that the restaurant is located right next to chinese school. The second time I came, I had to park quite far from the restaurant as there was school activity that morning :( having said that, the food was superb and quite fast too! Price was reasonable and service was attentive!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attack of the Crustaceans!!!

Grrrr!!! I came, I saw... I tried to conquer but was conquered by the human instead!

If one talk about Seremban... one would definitely think about the famous food which are siew bao or siew hai! For those who don't speak Cantonese, please don't think of anything dirty with the latter ok??? It's grilled crab! Normally those who go to Seremban would not miss the opportunity to lay their hands on these delectable crustaceans.. prepared Seremban style!!!

Gerald and I were on our way back to KL after visiting some clients in johor... my watch showed 6pm and it was rush hour in KL area. Better have our dinner in Seremban, I told Gerald. Crabbie came to my mind immediately but the only problem is that I don't know where to eat. Cracking my head I tried to think of any of my friend who's familar with Seremban area. Suddenly, June came into my mind (no... not the month but a girl named June). Browsing through my iPhone for her contact number, it only took a few rings before she answered my call. "Eh! Your bf is from Seremban right? Do you know where I can eat delicious siew hai?" "Yeah.. there's this place called Seremban Seafood but I don't know where exaclty la.. normally my bf drove me there and my mind wandered off until we reached the destination wor.."

She then gave me her bf's number and asked me to call him for direction. Shit! I'd only talked to him once during Sher Ryn's full moon party... summoning courage and thickening my skin, I dialed the number and to my relief, he still remember me and promptly directed me to the destination from Seremban toll. After 30 minutes later, we were finally standing in front of the restaurant!!! Thanks June (if you are reading this)

Gerald caught in the act!!! Hahaha... the restaurant may looked empty in the picture, but it's because the dinner crowd had not come yet. The whole place was very spacious and airy with both open-air and covered section. Initially we were planning to sit at the open-air section but looking at the sky made us had second thoughts.

Since we were the only few customers there, it didn't take long before we were served. I was warned that the service can get very slow once the whole place was packed. Lucky us (^_^)

The first thing that we ordered was obvious - CRAB!!! Totally different from KL style where they deep fried the crab instead of grilled. They have many ways to prepare the dish but of course the signature style would be grilled crab. We started with a kilo of the crustaceans... the crabbies were caramelised before grilled to perfection. Simple yet mouth-watering :) we were practically drooling by the time the plate was served on the table. The shiny crab's were like telling us to feast on them immediately. The shells were very sweet and I literally licked each and every part of its body before devouring the meat. Did I mention that the crab meat was fresh and sweet too???

Normally they do not guarantee on the availability of roe when you ordered the meat crab but look at that!!! Cholesterol-laden crab shell full of roe! I had to double up my exercise by the time I got back to my hometown as I don't wanna risk having cardiac arrest.

Before I forgot, a special mention has to be given to the restaurant's concoction of sauce especially for the crab. It was sweet, sour and spicy all-in-one! I was able to taste the presence of garlic, chilly, lime and coriander but the remaining ingredients remained a mystery only the restaurant know. Of course, the crab meat was sweet enough to be eaten on its own without the sauce too!

Deep fried sotong with salted egg - a decent dish and not particularly great but I assure you that it's full of salted egg yolk and quite flavourful too. Taste-wise I prefer the version of King Crab in Kelana Jaya.

Signature stir fried sang mee - a must order dish! Full of wok hei and let's not forget to mention pork lards were abundant too!!

Leo's verdict - not content with one kilo of crabbies, both of us ordered another kilo and managed to finish them off, leaving only shells and other parts that can't be eaten. We were stuffed to the brim by the time we paid the bill that came at approximately RM120 which was quite affordable since we had 2kg of crab (RM45 per kilo). Downside is that I had to check on my cholesterol level again... sigh! Still, if you ask me whether it's worth coming all the way for the grilled crab... I'd say Hell Yeah! After all, Seremban is less than an hour drive from KL. All you gotta do is to know your way to this place and of course, bring money!!!

Seremban Seafood Village @ Jalan Tuanku Munawir, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Tel : 06-7641260/012-6287661

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simple, Hearty Breakfast...

A perfect breakfast doesn't mean that you have to splurge on something nice or expensive... a simple breakfast can be satisfying as well. Something that excites your taste bud with its flavourful ingredients and skillful preparation.

My cousin brought me to this particular restaurant that serves one and only one dish... koay teow soup (well, this is what they call their dish here). According to him, this place is extremely popular with both locals and Singaporeans. Normally it will be packed on weekends and waiting for tables are norms here. Luckily we came here on weekdays so parking and table were relatively easy to find. From the outside, Yong Xin looked just like an ordinary harker style restaurant. Tables and chairs were placed outside the pedestrian walk as well as parking spot.

On the inside, wooden tables and chairs were used instead of plastic. As ordinary as it looks, I'm not here to be oh-ed and ah-ed by its design but to see if the koay teow soup is as good as my cousin claimed.

After placing orders, I took some time to take some pictures of the workers in action. The task of preparing had been delegated to the foreign workers, supervised by the owner himself.

The big steel tank where they store the soup.

There are a lot of ingredients that make up for a bowl of koay teow soup!!! Depending on the size that you order, extra ingredients will be given.

Succulent pork slices that made me drooled even before the dish was served!!!

My medium sized koay teow soup - if you like pork noodle, then this particular dish will definitely appeal to you. The presence of seafood noticably oyster, prawns & abalone slices had given it extra sweetness to the clear soup that filled with koay teow and other stuff - minced meat, pork liver, pork slices, pork kidney and seaweed for a bowl of medium sized dish. Sea asparagus will be thrown in to those who order large size.

Deep fried sui kow @ RM3.50 for 4 pieces... the skin was very crispy and yet not oily at all! Perfect!

Leo's verdict - the koay teow soup was simply heavenly! Good till the last drop... and I mean that I literally licked the whole bowl clean right after finishing the ingredients. At RM8, it's worth every penny paid for the koay teow soup. Additional RM2 to upgrade to size Large where they will throw in sea asparagus :) I'll opt for the Large one next time... can't have enough of it!

The Place: Restoran Yong Xin @ Jalan Pahlawan 1, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johor Bahru

A word of reminder, due to its popularity... there are a few copycat restaurants operating nearby to get a slice of the pie. Just head straight to Yong Xin!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Satay... Chinese style!

After 2 posts on my birthday, back to regular posting where I left off...

Jalan Sutera is a rather long stretch of road... while the Bubur Nasi Istimewa No.1 stall is located further in, you could spot a very bright sign of Restoran See Hai on the left not long after you turn in from Tebrau Highway. Judging from the picture of fish and crab on the signboard, you would have guessed that it's just another seafood restaurants in JB. Well... you are right partly! It's not that hard to see when all the fish tanks are placed at the entrance of the restaurant.

But my cousin, Wai, had other agenda... according to him, this place is also famous for its satay. I can easily eat the famous Haji Samsuri satay (Kajang) if I want la... I said to him. He just smiled and told me that it's different kind of satay that you'd normally find in KL. After the porridge thingy, he brought Gerald and I here straight away. The so-called satay stall was spotted right in front of the restaurant... on the kaki lima (pedestrian walk la..). Tables and chairs were seen placed on the road, just like those mamak stalls. Oh well, maybe Malaysian really like those mamak feel at night. An Indonesian woman was busy manning the satay placed on the grill.

Walking closer to take some pictures, I realised that those were not regular ayam, lembu, kambing or arnab satay that we eat in KL... the prawns on the skewers caught my attention.

Followed by the chicken wing that I have no idea how on earth they managed to make the shape to look like kites...

Squids and chicken heart were also on the menu...

As we were quite stuffed, we only ordered one prawn satay and one chicken wing satay for each of us. And they prepared your order on the spot. Perfect for those who like their satay to be hot. Less than 10 minutes, a plate of satay, cucumber and special-made sauce were placed on our table...

Slightly burnt, they looked simply delectable. The prawns were fresh while the chicken meat was succulent... we loved it!!

Leo's verdict - the delectable satay cost only RM1 each! A reminder... the sauce is very spicy but somehow I loved it. The downside? I was sweating a lot at the end of the meal. Also the price of the tai chow was quite reasonable too... as I managed to browse through it earlier. Maybe I will come for dinner next time I go down to JB again.

The Place: Restoran See Hai @ Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru