My latest adventure into instant noodle brought me to the new offerings from Mamee Chef, with three flavors of instant noodle that promises higher quality noodle that’s dried and compressed from higher quality ingredients.
There are three different flavors to choose from – Thai Tom Yam, Spicy Chicken Shiitake, and Curry Laksa.
For brunch over the weekends, I tried the Thai Tom Yam flavor.
Mamee Chef comes in 3 different flavors
Instant noodle is often synonymous with quick eating with very little flair, but that doesn’t mean it must necessarily be the case. When having a few extra minutes, I like to spice it up and upgrade my instant noodle.
First, lets look at the Mamee Chef Thai Tom Yam instant noodle, it comes with three small packets of seasonings – tomyam paste, the seasoning powder, and dehydrated shrimps + vegetable. The noodle itself is packed in a round shape, which is super convenient when it comes to fitting inside the pot (who started making them in squares anyway?)
now lets upgrade this Mamee Chef perisa Thai tomyam
I like the fact that there’s already seafood that comes in the packet, but since I had some time on hand, I decided to upgrade my Mamee Chef Tom Yam to give it an even bigger kick.
the result looks pretty good kan?
super upgraded instant noodle, om nom nom
The result is a brunch fitting for the weekends. I find that the noodle really does rather good, with a good “springy” feel to it. Seasoning wise it isn’t overly strong, but has the essential tomyam flavor to it. Will try the other two Mamee Chef flavors soon!
AFC’s latest foray in their long line of food & restaurant themed series comes in the form of “Reality Bites: Rise Above with Style”, featuring two celebrity chefs - Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian of Elegantology.
I was invited to the premier of the show followed by a dinner at Elegantology, and since I’ve yet to have a taste at this rather unique restaurant that I’ve heard so much about recently, it was an opportunity I had to take.
Reality Bites premiere at Publika
Reality Bites is a six part series starting 10th December, at 9pm every Tuesday on AFC. The show takes part in Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant, featuring not only the glitz and glamour of running the kitchen of a higher end restaurant, but also the day-to-day challenge and many issues faced by the two chefs and their crews.
Chef Johnny Fua, Chef Sherson Lian, & the director of Reality Bites
During the event, we were shown the first episode of Reality Bites in its entirety, alongside with an on-stage session with Chef Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian, the director of the series, as well as the creative director of Elegantology, Beatrice Looi.
So if you want to see a restaurant themed reality series that is closer to home, tune on your TV Tuesday 9pm on AFC!
some homemade bread to start, love the truffle butter
After that of course, is what I was even more interested in, the degustation menu at Elegantology.
We started out with Elegantology Baker’s choice, served with truffle butter florets, paprika chickpeas hummus, and EVOO (olive oil & balsamic vinegar?). I think we must have asked for extra truffle butter at least twice, it was very good.
Ceviche scallop, foie gras cube with braised shimeiji mushroom
Next up was ceviche scallop, paw paw kerabu, nam pla influenced Ponzu sesame drizzle. A dish that has some similarity in Sarawak’s umai, both using acid to lightly cook the seafood. Scallop was huge, juicy, and delicious, I can hae this often. The kerabu was an interesting experiment, tho one that I wouldn’t care too much for.
Foie gras cube, olive lemon soil, soy bean milk braised shimeiji mushroom is similar to chicken liver pate, but undoubtedly a lot more luxurious and sophisticated. The mushroom adds a welcoming change of texture which I do appreciate.
oxtail broth, brandied sea cucumber
Continuing our course was a much needed soup dish in the form of oxtail broth with brandied sea cucumber. The oxtail is de-boned while sea cucumber provided the texture that’s similar to beef tendon, but with a dash of seafood sweetness. The soup itself carried a nice herbal aroma.
tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved. Josen, Mei, Cheng Yi & KY
Tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved was chosen as a sort of intermission to the degustation dinner course. It was cold, sour, and a tad sweet, perfect as a palate cleanser before we continue with perhaps the most important dish.
kobe beef skewer, miso pineapple bearnaise
Which was the kobe beef skewer with miso pineapple bearnaise. This was the first time I tasted kobe beef (well at least that’s what they claimed), and yes, it was every bit as awesome as the sterling reputation it carries. The meat was super tender with superb marbling, a melt-in-your-mouth feeling that somehow does not compromise on texture.
It was so good we jokingly asked for second servings from the waiter, who actually complied! Sometimes you can achieve a lot more in life by just asking.
barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice; replated black forest gateau
The penultimate dish was barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice. While the fish was fresh, it was perhaps just a tad too cooked for my liking, the glutinous rice was perfect though, goes especially well with the sambal-like sauce. Also, after the beef, nothing feels the same anymore.
The rather funky looking dessert was the replated black forest gateau, a bit of sponge, chocolate, ice cream, cherries, and cream all carefully arranged in a careless appearance. It was acceptable but perhaps did not live up to the capability of the restaurant.
I really appreciate the idea behind Elegantology and their bravery in always experimenting with different dishes and menu. The overall dinner experience was very good, and while a couple dishes did not wow, they were mostly excellent, and most importantly, provide diners a different and unique gastronomic experience.
It was a wonderful night overall and I’m grateful for this opportunity.
35 Level G2, Publika,
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6206 5577
GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
It’s pretty much a truce that Penang offers one of the best hawker foods anywhere, you almost plan up a whole weeks’ itinerary filled with different hawker foods and never have to visit the same place twice. The problem is, what if you only have a day?
Well, to make your life simpler, here’s 5 different places you could visit in a single day to sample some of the best from Penang. Food portions on the island is usually not too big, so 5 meals a day is just about right for anyone with a normal appetite. For extra credit, you can always fit in another couple meals in between.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup at Kim Lee kopitiam
Breakfast starts at Kim Lee kopitiam. Ah Hai’s kuih teow soup starts at around 7:30 am and would operate around 3pm. The kuih teow soup here offers bouncy home made fish ball, delicious fish cake, slices of duck meat, and most importantly, coagulated duck blood, as the original recipe calls for.
This place has been in existence for some 60 years, and still offers one of the best kuih teow th’ng there is on the island.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup | Kedai Makanan Kim Lee, Lorong Macalister, Penang | 7:30 am to 3 pm
char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat – Ah Leng’s
For lunch, we continue keep our focus on kuih teow, but this time the fried version – the all important Penang char kuih teow.
While the two stalls at Lorong Selamat gets all the glitz and glamour, I find Ah Leng char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat a more than worthy alternative. The fried kuih teow here has the customary huge prawns, lard, chives, duck egg, and for extras – mantis prawns (for RM 11 per plate). Pure ecstasy for those who loves this signature Penang dish.
Ah Leng char kuih teow | Kafe Khoon Hiang, 358 Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang | 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, closed on Thursdays
famous Balik Pulau laksa near the market
From Dato’ Keramat, drive up to Ayer Itam and through Payer Terubong to where the best laksa is found at Nang Guang kopitiam, Balik Pulau.
The asam laksa here comes in two different varieties, the usual asam style, and the richer lemak style, which is closer to the traditional Nyonya recipe. Neither would disappoint even the harshest laksa critics. The soup is flavorful and packed with fish meat, even the prawn paste has an extra kick to it.
If you’re to pack some for the journey back to Klang Valley (or anywhere else), they do it rather professionally with soup, prawn paste, and main ingredients all packed separately.
Balik Pulau Laksa | Nan Guang kopitiam, 67, Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000, Balik Pulau, Penang | Hours: morning to late lunch
mixed pork porridge at New Lane
In the evening, make your way back from Balik Pulau to the city center and stop by New Lane for something that isn’t readily associated with Penang – mixed pork porridge.
This is another stall that has been in business for decades and is still going strong as ever. A bowl of mixed pork porridge comes with delicious crispy intestine, pork tongue, slices of char siu, some spring onion, and pepper. Pretty simple list of ingredients, but one that tickles just the right spots on the tongue.
Pork Intestine Porridge (Chee Cheong Chock) | New Lane, Georgetown, Penang | Hours: from 6 pm till midnight
Green House hokkien mee and loh mee at Jalan Burma
For supper, head up just a few hundred meters to the East of New Lane to find the original Green House prawn mee stall at Jalan Burma.
This prawn mee and loh mee stall offers many ingredients you don’t typically find – home made fish ball, meat ball, sausage, pork skin, chicken feet, instine, and more can be added as extras to the prawn mee/loh mee for extra kicks. By default, they come with pork slices, prawns, hard boiled egg, fried shallots, and chili paste.
Green House hokkien mee | Jalan Burma, Georgetown, Penang (Opposite Chew Thean Yeang Aquarium) | Hours: dinner till late
Of course, I’ve missed out many other hawker stalls that are “must tries”, but if you have only 24 hours to go, this list should not disappoint. Happy eating!
Whenever we think of vacations, we often think about sandy white sand, far-away foreign cities, beautiful old temples, or at a waterfall nested within a pristine jungle. Those are “traditional” and in a sense, more ideal vacations, but at the same time they also require a lot more planning, time, and often incur higher expenses.
Enter the recent trend of “staycation”, pick a nice hotel somewhere not far away and spend a couple nights enjoying the facilities, good food, while having someone else make sure everything is clean and tidy.
We spent an awesome 3 day 2 night stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur doing just that a couple weeks ago for a much welcomed de-stressing session. At the end of this post, you’ll find out how to win the same 3D2N de-stress getaway (for 3 winners.)
Aloft KL, lobby and quirky art
The decoration within Aloft KL is one that is pretty atypical. Lobby is a mixture of industrial presence dotted with quirky art works everywhere.
Right behind the check-in counter is a re:fuel counter that offers ready-to-eat foods such as sandwiches, salads, drinks, coffee, instant noodles, and many other snacks. If you want to have a quick bite, this is a good one-stop center.
To the far right of the lobby, you’ll find the W XYZ bar that offers a selection of draught beer, cocktails, juices, and more. There’re also live bands performing at the area. Have a drink, shoot some pools, enjoy the music.
Mai Bar and Re:Charge gym
On the top floor there’s a more “serious” bar with a great view of the city.
At night, MAI Bar is lit up by colorful LED lights and offers a full range of drinks and great live performances as well as DJs spinning latest tunes. This is a place to go to shake your booty.
For those who loves to sweat, Re:Charge gymnasium is well-stock with modern equipment. While isn’t exactly big gym by any stretch of imagination, it is well sufficient.
infinity pool on the top floor
Then there’s my favorite part of the hotel – the infinity pool on the top floor, right next to Mai Bar.
The pool is some 25-30 meters in length and sufficiently wide enough to accomodate some 8-10 swimmers at the same time if they’re all doing laps. Furthermore, opening my eyes underwater did not sting, I suspect that this is probably due to the fact that they might be using salt water treatment instead of the more traditional chlorine.
In either case, this is a great place to chill.
our room for the weekends at Aloft KL
All guest rooms are equipped with comfortable platform beds, iron, ironing board, bathrobes, coffee maker, 42″ flat screen TV, a sofa, mini fridge, safe, oversized shower, and a workstation. I also particularly like the floor to ceiling windows that takes up the entire wall for an uninterrupted view of the city.
Since we have Haze’s siblings staying with us over one of the nights, we also got the hotel to provide us with extra beds that came in a form of cute little tent thing and a bed with cute bed sheet.
On top of every headboard is also a piece of quirky art work, another nice touch.
breakfast buffet spread at Nook
The big restaurant at Aloft KL is Nook, and this is where most foods are served.
Breakfast comes in the form of buffet with pretty decent spread (complimentary for room guests). There’s salad, cold cuts, juices, cereal, espresso coffee, and many local dishes. My favorite was the laksa Sarawak, which had the same soup base with the high end version that was offered during MIGF at Nook.
evening buffet spread at Nook
At night, the buffet spread at Nook gets an upgrade. There’s good selection of seafood such as mussels, prawns, smokes almon, and even scallops. There’s also roast chicken, delicious salted beef that is served with kimchi, salad, soup, cheese, desserts, and many other local and Western dishes.
Nook provides a good selection of ala carte menu too
Apart from buffet, there is a pretty decent selection on the ala carte menu as well, though you might have to wait a little bit before the food is served.
There’s mushroom soup, steak, cod fish, sandwiches, spaghetti, yee mee with tiger prawns, and many more dishes. These were mostly pretty delicious, though our experience with the steak wasn’t as good as other choices.
kids at play, Aloft KL
Over all, it was a very nice and relaxing stay over at Aloft KL. This whole “staycation” thing is something I can get used to, and hopefully will be doing more.
OK now here’s a few steps you can do to stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur
how do you de-stress at work?
3 pictures with highest votes will win a 3-days-2-nights stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, so start doing it and hopefully you’ll be the one who wins this “staycation” package! Contest ends on 15th January 2014, be quick!
The eating culture in Malaysia is so rich that even after some 9 years of writing about it, there are still many famous and well established eateries within Klang Valley I’ve yet to explore.
Kedai Kopi dan Makan Sin Ban Fatt, also known as Ngau Kei
A few days ago after another routine invisalign appointment with the good people at My Dentist, I was invited to join them for lunch at a nearby restaurant by the name of Kedai Kopi dan Makan Sin Ban Fatt, or more commonly known as Ngau Kei on Jalan Ipoh.
The proprietor of My Dentist, a massive foodie in his own right, explained that Ngau Kei have been in business for almost 6 decades at the exact same location, and is still a favorite among locals.
salted steamed kampung chicken
Parking situation around this old shop isn’t the most ideal, hence getting there before the peak of lunch time is recommended. Waiting time too can be rather long as it is almost always packed, this is not a place to visit if you’re in a hurry.
For the four of us we ordered only three dishes for sharing.
Our first dish was their signature salted steamed kampung chicken. I’m usually not a fan of kampung chicken due to it’s much tougher texture, but this version at Ngau Kei was absolutely delightful. It was tender while not fatty, and carries that flavor of kampung chicken which I really enjoy.
vegetable, deep fried garupa with sweet and sour sauce
For fish, they usually serve it either steamed or deep fried. We tried the deep fried garupa with sweet and sour sauce. The seafood was fresh, and deep fried to perfection with the outer layer and fins crispy but the meat still steamy hot and tender. The sweet and sour sauce pairs well with the fish and was a great with steamed rice.
The simple fried vegetable with garlic dish dish was our last dish, and while not exciting, it certainly did not disappoint.
a plate of fruits is served at the end of meal
There’s also a plate of fresh fruits at the conclusion of the meal. I’ll certainly be back to try their other famous dishes such as fried fish fillet with salted vegetable, steamed eggs, prawns with dark soya sauce, and fried binjal.
Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Sin Ban Fatt
647, 4th Miles,
GPS: 3.195444, 101.679899
Tel: 03-6258 2839