Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / July 2006

Ever since I moved to Klang Valley I have been wanting to find a decent kueh teow soup, one of my favorite dishes that you can find just about anywhere in Penang. Now there are many decent fish ball noodle soup around here such as the 60s Teow Chew fishball, and the other one in Damanasara Jaya, however, the ingredients are slightly different from a true kueh teow soup. A true Penang style kueh teow soup comes with fishball, sliced fish cake, chicken strips, sliced pork, and vege to go with the kueh teow (or your choice of noodle).

Kueh Teow Soup at PJ old town
finally, a bowl of real kueh teow soup

I have had a lot of forgettable kueh teow soup around this part of the country, there are times I had to force myself to finish the food. I was a little skepticle when one of my friends pointed out the offering at PJ Old Town to me, but I had to try it nonetheless.

I knew the recommendation wouldn’t be bad as soon as I saw the hawker stall bustling with activities. My order came after some 15 minutes wait, and it was good. Kueh Teow Soup the way I remember it, with the exact ingridients ingredients mentioned above, and they even sprinkle on some little cubes of fried pork lard (褚油渣) on top of everything, best. The springy fishball they served was really good, too. Sliced red chili and soya sauce accompany the soup.

Kueh Teow Soup at PJ old town
look at the spongy fishball!

Other than the traditional soup dish, they serve it the so called dried version too. With the choice of noodle or kueh teow with the ingredients (minus fishball) served with some dark sauce and the fishball and soup in a seperate small bowl. However, to me, kueh teow soup should always be served with its soup.

This dish is best when want to get away from the fried stuff and just want to have something that goes down the throat well. Not that you shouldn’t have it at any other time. I highly recommend this place.

Kueh Teow Soup at PJ old town
this old town place is great

The breakfast was a little over RM 3, in line with the average price despite the popularity. Parking at old town is usually a bit of a PITA, but the meal was worth it. The kueh teow soup stall is based at Soon Lee coffee shop, nearby to the excellent tomyam and the night market bak kut teh place at PJ old town.

Jalan Petaling 1/19
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.085591, 101.646495

When I accidentally discovered the Sunway Mas Commercial Centre a couple years back, I had wondered why anyone would build all these shop lots right in the middle of nowhere, hidden behind Kampung Chempaka, and quite a distance from Bandar Utama too. It remained relatively unoccupied for a while, until the Aman Suria residential area came up, and now it is one of the newest places for food hunters around PJ area.

We wondered at the area in search of a fresh dinner place and ended up at the Wong Siong Wong restaurant, cos one shall never get tired of the greatest Chinese food invented in Klang Valley, the Bak Kut Teh.

Wong Siong Wong Bak Kut Teh at Aman Suria
look at em bak kut teh and lamb stew

The major difference in this place over most other bak kut teh restaurants is its offering of several other dishes, one of which is the Hainanese stewed lamb ribs. We ordered the recommended lamb stew, a claypot of bak kut teh, and some vege to go with white rice for the four of us.

Wong Siong Wong Bak Kut Teh at Aman Suria
can you say.. *slurps*?

The bak kut teh, though not the best I’ve had, was pretty good. The soup has a nice herbal taste to it. Ingredients to the bak kut teh is pretty much what you would expect, meat, innards, “taupork”, mushroom, and some cabbage.

The lamb stew was quite a pleasant surprise, the ribs nicely done to a soft and tender texture. The thick gravey has a pretty strong pepper taste and mixes well with white rice. Black fungus, carrot, and spring onion served as garnish.

A little nice touch to the restaurant is that they serve yau ja gwai with a couple bowl of bak kut teh soup while you wait for the main dishes to be prepared. So if you are really hungry, there’s something to start off with. It is the proper way to start a bak kut teh meal.

map to Aman Suria, Wong Siong Wong Bak Kut Teh
map to Aman Suria

If my memory serves me correct, it was something to the tune of RM 15 for each person. With bak kut teh and lamb stew, a pretty reasonable price.

21-1 Jalan PJU 1/3F
Sunway Mas Commercial Centre
Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.119771, 101.597775
Tel: 03-7805 1576, 016-323 8200

mon to fri: 10.30am-9.30pm
weekends: 9.30am-9.30pm

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel


Richard Parker has stayed with me. I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.

A good friend of mine recommended me to read this book a while back, being mostly a popular science and science fiction reader, I reluctantly pick up the book after the repeated mention and urging. The story was better than what I had ever expected.

Life of Pi is a story about a young Indian boy’s survival across the vast pacific ocean on a life boat with a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Rules of nature ran its course and pretty soon there was only the tiger and Pi. Both of them survived for 227 days together before being rescued with Pi using his wits and vast knowledge on animals, being the son of a zookeeper.

The story is seperated into three parts. First was the childhood of Pi revolving around his strange religious behaviour (being a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian all at the same time) and his young life revolving around the family’s zoo in Pondicherry, a small area in southern India.

Life of Pi, by Yann MartelThe family then decided to migrate to Canada together with some of the animals on a cargo ship, which brings us to the second part of the story: the sea survival. This part makes up the bulk of the book while not being draggy. Though we know that Pi will survive at the end, the story still moves with good pace with Pi overcoming each challenges brought upon him with the presence of Richard Parker, the weather, the food supply, and so forth.

The relatively short last part detailed Pi’s interview with the Japanese authority regarding his survival story. Pi then told them two versions of the story, one being the fascinating but at times unbelievable survival tale with the tiger, while the other version without the tiger but with the horror of human cruelty in desperate survival situation. The author then left us with our own decision to choose which story is to believe.

Life of Pi is one of those stories that will leave you thinking after you finish the novel. A departure from the lesser stories such as that controversy book about code breaking and Christianity, or the next legal thriller from Grisham.

A group in UK has made this story into a successful play, and the the movie is scheduled for 2007. I can’t wait.

My other book reviews.

Author: Yann Martel
ISBN: 0156027321

Fuel Cell toy carAfter years of waiting and billions poured into research, the first fuel cell car is on the market… find one at the toy store, that is. There’s no commercial fuel cell car that can fit a person yet, however, the introduction of the first hydrogen-powered fuel cell toy car is still a very exciting news.

The little car from Shanghai’s Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies comes with it’s own solar-powered station that generates hydrogen from tap water. The water and sun combination replaces the battery for the toy car, instead a baloon is used in the car to store the generated hydrogen. A full tank can lasts about 4 minutes of running time for the little car. In the case of cloudy day, battery power can be used instead of the solar panel to power the hydrogen generation.

Fuel Cell toy carUnlike conventional engines, the only byproduct from a fuel cell powered car is heat and water. No carbon dioxcide, carbon monoxide, or any other harmful particles from the familiar engine smoke. This toy car is the first step of getting us to a hydrogen economy, for around US$80 ($40 for car and $40 for charging station), you too can get a glimpse of the future.

No word on the top speed or how the car is controlled though..

More information:

    * CNN article
    * Hamilton Spectator

Some of you might have read the excellent dinner time tomyam at PJ old town I wrote about a little while back. Well, the same “restaurant” (more like front porch of a house) is operated by different owners in the morning and afternoon. No tomyam served, but the food from Nam Xiang is not a bit less delicious and furthermore, quite alot cheaper.

Nam Xiang at PJ Old Town
steamed siakap and romaine lettuce with pickled tofu

On my first visit I ordered a steamed siakap fish and a plate of Chinese romaine lettuce with pickled tofu. The siakap (barramundi) was prepared with with tomato, mushroom, parsley, ginger, garlic, and sour plum as garnish. The meat of the fish was pretty tender and the slightly sourish soup base goes down well with the rice.

The vege was pretty decent itself though not anything spectacular, pretty much what you’d expect this particular dish would taste like, slightly salty and spicey. The meal for two only costs around RM 20, a very good deal.

Nam Xiang at PJ Old Town
vege, tofu soup, and the yummy thai style chicken

After the very good first impression at the place, I went there again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I mean, they have good food, quality ingredients, and low price. What are the chances?

This time around we ordered three dishes. Thai style chicken, tofu with salted vege soup, and a fried kangkung. The thai style chicken was prepared with the chicken deboned and deep fried, garnish with onion, parsley, red chili, tomato and cucumber for decoration, and a sourish plum based gravey. The chicken meat was very crispy and done just right, overall one of the best thai chicken dishes I’ve had, the contrast between the sour sauce and the crispness of the chicken was very prominent and drool inducing.

The tofu soup was pretty good too, with the salted vegetable not overpowering and the tofu provide a chance to cleanse your taste bud from the thai chicken. The fried kangkung though, was a little too salty for my taste. The meal costs less than RM 30 for 2 person, for 3 dishes, a very good price.

Nam Xiang at PJ Old Town
pretty easy to find once you get to PJ old town

Restaurant Nam Xiang
Intersection of Jalan Dispensary 38 and Jalan 2/23,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.086394, 101.645701
Tel: 016 382 9905
7am to 2pm, closed on Sunday