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A couple weeks ago we were invited to sample Chef Sam Lu’s menu at Saujana Hotel’s Ti Chen Chinese restaurant. Chef Sam Lu is the new man in charge of the kitchen at Ti Chen, and one with multiple awards under his belt.

Saujana's Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant with Chef Sam Lu (right)
Saujana’s Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant with Chef Sam Lu (right)

Chef Sam learnt the fundamentals of Chinese cuisine by attending the Chinese Cooking Course under China Hakka Famous Chefs and was also trained at the China Development Center of Molecular Gastronomy. In this menu, the play between molecular gastronomy and traditional Chinese cuisine is very apparent, and we were lucky enough to be one of the few who got to try his creation at Saujana.

For this media review, we were served the following 7 course menu.

deep fried scallops with banana & taro paste
deep fried scallops with banana & taro paste
roasted chicken roll with Korean BBQ sauce

The dinner got underway with a pair of appetizers.

Deep fried scallop with banana and taro paste was a bit like an East-meet-West dimsim & dessert marriage. Banana gave the dish a soft and sweet texture, while the scallop contributed to the taste of seafood, pretty interesting.

Roasted chicken roll with Korean BBQ sauce had a bit more of a traditional palate with a hint of Korean flavor, I find myself enjoying it quite a bit. The carefully roasted garlic was just an icing on the cake.

double boiled village chicken with fish maw soup
double boiled village chicken with fish maw soup

The double boiled village chicken with fish maw soup was the one dish that actually enticed Haze and I to go to this review session. We were spending a lot of time with house renovation and thought a bowl of good soup would do us well, we were not wrong.

According to the good chef, the soup took no shorter than 6 hours to prepare. The fish maw was soft and tender, and the soup positively rejuvenating.

steamed cod fish with chinese herbs
steamed cod fish with Chinese herbs

My favorite dish came next – the steamed cod fish with Chinese herbs. The filet was absolutely fantastic, it was tender, juicy, and just lightly seasoned. I like the presence of wolf berry in the broth, and that foam from the influence of molecular gastronomy.

butter garlic fried-rice with crab meat, roast duck
butter garlic fried-rice with crab meat, roast duck

As with any proper Chinese course dinner, there’s always a dish with carbo, and our version came in the form of butter garlic fried-rice with crab meat. Instead of the traditional dryer and more fluffy type of fried rice, this version takes the cue from Italian risotto and prepared a little wetter. To be honest, I prefer the Chinese fried rice of old, not that this one is bad, it was just.. unfamiliar.

We were also given a plate of roast duck, which was prepared differently from the traditional method. It was tender, juicy, and goes very well with any sort of rice, or just on its own.

Sam's coffee pudding, bake homemade almond cream bun, KY & Haze
Sam’s coffee pudding, bake homemade almond cream bun, KY & Haze

Desserts came in the form of Sam’s coffee pudding and bake homemade almond cream bun. I personally liked the almond cream bun, but almond is a bit of an acquired taste so I think it didn’t find too many fans among the reviewers around the table. The coffee pudding had a better reception for sure, with it’s cute presentation and subtle coffee taste to a sweet ending.

Ti Chen is open from Tuesday to Fridays for lunch (12-2:30pm), dinner (6-10pm) and on Saturdays & Sundays for lunch (9-2:30pm) and dinner (6-10pm).

map to Saujana Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Ti Chen
Saujana Golf & Country Club,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,

40150 Selangor
GPS3.106865, 101.575285
Tel03-7846 1466
emailinfo@thesaujana.com

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Let’s continue with our Klang bak kut teh related reviews, shall we? Today’s we’re looking at something just a tiny bit different from the usual bowl or clay pot type bak kut teh, we’re talking about – Hong Ba (封肉).

I first read about 158 Hong Ba on Jodie’s blog, and since it looked absolutely stunning, we went ahead and gave it a try.

158 Hong Ba at Pandamaran, Klang
158 Hong Ba at Pandamaran, Klang

158 Hong Ba is located at Pandamaran’s Jalan Chan Ah Choo, a street that has quite a few restaurants, at least half of which serves bak kut teh. Yes, Klang people absolutely love their pork.

The restaurant is set up just like a bak kut teh place, with kettle on gas stove for tea making purposes, and semi-alfresco dining area. They serve breakfast/brunch as well as dinner, and purportedly operated by different siblings on those service windows.

you can cut the meat by just using a blunt spoon
you can cut the meat by just using a blunt spoon

Unlike normal bak kut teh, hong ba is more like braised pork with thick herbal gravy. The pork is absolutely tender and super savory, braised eggs and tofu is served together with the fatty pork that melts in your mouth. While they give you quite a generous portion of gravy, it is not “soup” sort of portion, and not meant to be.

It turned out to be pretty awesome, but standard portion for two is actually a bit smallish. Next time I’ll need to order their innards and pork tendons, they looked absolutely stunning!

So if you’re a fan of melt in your mouth porky goodness, this is one of the places you should check out.

map to 158 Hong Ba, Pandamaran

Address:
158 Hong Ba
158, Jalan Chan Ah Choo, 
Pandamaran, 
42000 Pelabuhan Klang,
Selangor
GPS: 3.009868, 101.418189
Tel: 012-2263043
Hours: 6.30 am – 1 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm

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A few days before bulan puasa, we had several rounds of short lunch excursions, one of which was the famous asam pedas place at Man’s Cafe in Kampung Baru. Since Ramadan has passed, I thought it’s appropriate to write about this place as it is back in business for lunch again.

Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man's Cafe Selera Kampung
Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man’s Cafe Selera Kampung

Located at the “entrance” to Kampung Baru from Jalan Tun Razak as you turn into Jalan Raja Muda Musa, the little eatery is yet another zinc roofed structure that has seen better days as a residence. Dining tables with plastic chairs are scattered about the former porch and living room of the house, with a couple rows of delicious looking dishes presented at around the entrance.

ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more
ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more

Like most Malay mixed rice places, there’s a pretty good variety of choices here – starting from over half a dozen choices of ulam, to kari ikan, ayam goreng, several types of sambal (including tempoyak aka fermented durian), telur dadar, sambal chili, terung chili, and good mix of ikan bakar.

the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)
the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)

While those dishes we tried were all pretty good, the highlight of lunch was their signature dish – asam pedas. It is basically curry cooked with salted vegetable that’s not unlike the Chinese spicy vegetable (a good version can be found at Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Rice in Klang), but cooked with fish instead. It was sour, spicy, and absolutely intoxicating.

If you’re up for something that can jolt your senses, Man’s Asam Pedas cafe is one of those places to check out.

map to Man's Cafe asam pedas at Kampung Baru

Address:
Man’s Asam Pedas Cafe
Intersection of Jalan Raja Muda Musa
& Jalan Raja Uda
Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.165282,101.709029

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Let’s continue with the slow but steady coverage of Klang bak kut teh on this site.

Today, we are going to look at one of the more popular bak kut teh restarants in the center of Klang town – Sei Ngan Chai bak kut teh by Jalan Gelegor, located just a few steps away from Lao Heong BKT, which I wrote about just a couple or so weeks ago.

Sei Ngan Chai bak kut teh, Jalan Gelugor, Klang
Sei Ngan Chai bak kut teh, Jalan Gelugor, Klang

Like many other old school Klang bak kut teh restaurants, this place too is converted from a corner unit of a residential house. There isn’t any proper parking lots nearby, but anyone who’s been to this part of town before won’t have too much of a problem finding a semi-legal slot for your vehicle.

While most BKT places opens either at in the morning through lunch time or only for dinner, Sei Ngan Chai operates from 8 in the morning till about 9pm. You still can’t have bkt here for supper, but it covers pretty much all other meals.

bak kut teh with kah wan meat and intestine
bak kut teh with kah wan meat and intestine

We ordered portion for two that comes in a clay pot, as for the choice of meat, it was kahwan (fatty leg part with tendon) with some innards (tripe & intestine). I like the fact that they serve innards, as this is not always available at Klang bak kut teh.

The meat was as tender as other Klang offerings, and the intestine was superb. The soup isn’t thick as Ah Her or Mo Sang Kor’s style, but has a strong herbal taste and was served in pretty good portion.

strangely, there's fishball in this bak kut teh
strangely, there’s fishball in this bak kut teh

Interestingly, there’s also a few fish balls embedded in the BKT soup. They were decent tasting fish ball, and perhaps it is something that the owner tries to set this place apart from hundreds of other Klang BKT outlets, but I think it doesn’t really have any business being in there, not that I really mind.

Anyway, I think Sei Ngan Chai is a worth a visiting again if I need some BKT loving.

map to sei ngan chai bak kut teh, klang

Address:
Sei Ngan Chai Bak Kut Teh
Jalan Kepayang and Jalan Gelugor
Meru, Klang
GPS: 3.05662, 101.450605
Hours: 8 am to 9 pm

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Time for a topic that is slightly different from the usual food related articles.

We’ve received vacant posession to our KEN Rimba house at Shah Alam several months ago, and been busy doing defects and renovation work ever since. There are a few more weeks work to be done before we can probably move in and call it our new home, so I thought it’s best to start documenting some of the stuff we’ve done to the house on this space so that we can reflect in years to come.

First off, the koi pond.

pond digging and piling work
pond digging and piling work

I have been keeping koi fish for some ten years at the current SS3 address from a pond Horng and I constructed in 2005. We’re moving, the fish has to come along, so a new pond is needed.

Since the developer promised to put in a small pool to the unit, I took the opportunity to commission the same backhoe loader to dig the pond. It was to be a 14′ x 6′ x 5′ deep pond. Digging and timber piling work was done in early March.

construction of the fish pond
construction of the fish pond

Reinforced concrete were then poured to the make the foundation of the pond, which resides at the rear end of the yard just a few feed by the fiber glass pool.

We decided to hire foreign workers (Nepalese & Bangladeshi mostly) to build the brick wall for the pond. The joints were interlocked and rebar used to ensure structure integrity. I also decided that 2 layers of bricks is laid as per Sheng’s advise, who is a structural engineer by profession. (Thanks)

We also laid some PVC pipes for drainage & filtration system at this point.

This stage took about 3 weeks, with work mostly done either only on Sunday or off hours.

plastering and waterproofing
plastering and waterproofing

Next, we got a couple of Indonesian workers to help plaster the walls. Man, these guys worked fast and I reckon they were at least twice as efficient as the previous guys. We got the walls plastered in two days.

Haze and I then spent several weeks applying a couple layers of waterproofing agent on the pond. We used Nippon Flexiseal for this application.

In retrospect, we should have applied waterproofing measures while pouring concrete and making brick walls, oh well.

harvesting rain water for koi pond
harvesting rain water for koi pond

Since the house came with rain water harvesting tank at the rear, I decided to take advantage of it by connecting a pipe and run it to the pond. What’s better than natural rain water for the fish?

At this point, we also discovered that the first round waterproofing was not good. To rectify this, we use a Sika grout product as per recommended by my cousin who is in construction industry. Thankfully, we managed to solve the leakage problem with a little bit of creative workaround.

additional water proofing fix & filter hook up
additional water proofing fix & filter hook up

I’ve then temporarily hooked up the Laguna Powerflo Filter Fall to try to let it mature a little bit. Local guppies are now thriving in the pond to prevent it being a mosquito breeding ground.

This filtration system is chosen due to the ease maintenance. I purchased this from Sunway Mas Commercial Centre’s Fish Depot, they are very helpful and I urge you to check them out should you have any aquarium supply needs.

Other aspects of the house will be updated on this space soon, as well as the second part of this koi pond story with the way filtration system is set up.