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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / February 2007

After coming back from the Melaka trip, we decided to have some Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶). Since this is one of those dishes that is actually better in the Klang Valley as compared to my hometown that is Penang. Going to Klang would be a bit of a drive after the long journey from Melaka, so we went to Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Ipoh instead.

Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Ipoh
this is some mouth watering stuff

I have been to Ban Lee on a previous occasion, but that was for their morning/lunch session, when we got there at around 5pm last week, the night session was just getting started. That suits me just nice as I had wanted to try their night session Bak Kut Teh since more than half a year ago.

Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Ipoh
look at the amount of herbs in the soup

For the four of us, we ordered a clay pot Bak Kut Teh with mixed ingredients, a plate of oily vegetables (油菜), and some yau char kwai (Chinese Crullers – 油炸鬼).

The yau char kwai and a bowl of plain Bak Kut Teh soup was served almost instantaneously. This was a nice touch as we could immediately start to curb the penned up hunger while waiting for the main course to be served. The yau char kwai was actually good too, very crispy.

Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Ipoh
this is some nice bak kut teh

The main pot didn’t take long before it was on our table. Steaming with the proper Bak Kut Teh smell, the clay pot came with plenty of pork (fatty and non fatty), ribs, intestine, stomach, mushroom (2 types), vegetables, and some crispy fu chok (dried bean curd skin) on top. The soup was pretty strong and tasty, as you can see from the herbs that they put into it. Overall the taste was very satisfying, with the meat properly cooked and the different ingredients making up a range of taste and textural feel.

Map to Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Ipoh

It was a good meal, though i think some of the Klang shops still retains a slight edge over Ban Lee, but there is nothing to complain about, and I will not hesitate to visit there again. The dinner costs around RM 50 for the 4 of us, a very reasonable price.

Ban Lee Bak Kut Teh is located just a stone’s throw away from Dynasty Hotel along Jalan Ipoh. Parking might be a bit of a hassle, but do not park right in front of the shop by the yellow line as the police station is just right across the road. I have actually witness a Kancil get hunted down by the police as the guy parked illegally twice (the cops gave chance the first time, but the dude did it again 2 minutes later, the guy left without even paying for his food)

GPS: 3.172557, 101.691642

Since my mom and siblings have never been to the historical town that is Melaka, I decided to bring the family down for a short day trip during their brief visit to KL for Chinese New Year. We drove down there during the 3rd day of CNY.

Melaka Trip, St Paul's Church
St Francis Xavier with his missing right arm at St Paul’s church

After arriving there, we had a quick brunch at Donald and Lily’s corner (another post on another time) and then proceeded to the must-visit spot that is the old St. Paul’s church. You might have noticed that the statue of St Francis Xavier has a missing right arm, this is not an act of vandalism but rather sculptured on purpose to show that the body does lack the right arm. Apparently the pope requested that the arm be severed from the corpse of St Francis 62 years after he died.

Melaka Trip, St Paul's Church
Inside St Paul’s Church

After that we walk to Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), where my sister bought some souvenirs. We also stopped by the same Chendol place I visited last time around, Jonker88. Can’t get enough of that gula Melaka.

Melaka Trip, Jonker Street, Jalan Hang Jebat
Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat)

There’s still quite a lot of trishaws in Melaka. Over here, they are decorated heavily with plenty of fake flowers, and many of them come equipped with loud stereo systems churning out the latest Fifty Cent’s tune. Unlike the trishaw in Penang where the passenger is seated in front, the trishaws here have the side by side configuration. Slightly less thrilling I think.

Melaka Trip, Mini Malaysia
There isn’t really anything much at mini Malaysia

Before heading back to KL, the four of us then went to Mini Malaysia at Ayer Keroh, just a few kilometers from the heart of town. Initially I had though that the park has many miniature buildings and landscape representing the whole of Malaysia, but it turned out that there were merely 13 traditional houses representing the different states. Not exactly worth the RM 12 per person we had to pay to get in, and miles away from the value for money you’d get visiting KL’s bird park.

Melaka Trip, Mini Malaysia show
worst costume ever

However, we did get there just in time for their cultural performance. Basically it was just a lot of traditional dance routines. It wasn’t half bad, but the costume was something else.

Overall it was a relaxing trip, though we did not manage to go to many eating places nor were the tourist attractions that great.

My third dish for the Chinese New year reunion dinner to greet the Year of Boar is steamed Pomphret (Pomfret) fish. This fish is a little pricey, and especially so during the Chinese festive season, however, it is very difficult to find a better fish as far as steamed fish dishes go.

Steamed Pomphret with garlic, ginger, and mushroom
looking at this is making me hungry again

Ingredients:

  • a good size pomphret fish (preferably around 1KG)
  • shitake mushroom
  • chopped garlic
  • finely sliced ginger
  • salt
  • soya sauce
  • pork fat (optional)

Steps:

  • clean the fish throughly and rub both sides with salt
  • put the sliced mushroom, garlic, and ginger evenly on the fish
  • sliced some pork fat (I got them from the roasted pork in the HK kailan dish)
  • add some soya sauce to the fish
  • steam it for about 15 minutes, and let the fish sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes after switching off the fire
  • be very careful not to spill the very hot dish while transferring it from the steamer to dining table

Steamed Pomphret with garlic, ginger, and mushroom
can you spot the secret ingredient?

This dish turned out excellent as expected, the secret ingredient (pork fat) makes the fish even smoother and adds a layer of that Year of Pig aroma that is irreplaceable. The garlic and ginger removes any fishy smell that might be present, and the mushroom gives a different taste and texture to enrich the whole experience.

I think adding a little bit of parsley might give a better presentation, sort of like how I dressed up the fried pomphret. You can try this method with other type of fish too, though the result might be less optimal.

After the lala miso soup, my second dish for this year’s reunion dinner is Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork. This is actually the first time I made this dish, though had it a few times at various restaurants, usually with Choi Tam (Brussels Sprout). I would usually have my vegetables fried only with garlic, but since this is the year of pig, why not a spice it up with some roasted pork?

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
this dish sure looks yummy, isn’t it?

Ingredients:

  • Hong Kong kailan
  • roasted pork (RM 3-5, from morning market or hawker)
  • sliced or chopped garlic
  • corn flour
  • cooking oil
  • salt

Steps:

  • heat up a few spoons of cooking oil
  • throw in the garlic and then roasted pork, stir
  • add in the vegetabl ewhen the garlic gets golden, shoots first, then the leaves
  • add some salt for flavor (half a tea spoon should suffice)
  • pour in the mixture of corn flour and water (2 table spoon of corn flour and half a cup of water)
  • stir till vegetable is cooked

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
cooking this is easy as 1-2-3

The dish was pretty easy to prepare, and it did turn out great. The aroma of roasted pork complimented the fresh vegetable really well. Corn flour and water gives a slightly salty gravy that makes eating this dish with steamed rice a very good combination. Try it!

It’s been the second year in the running that I get myself busy and cook the Chinese New Year reunion dinner for my family. It is quite a bit of work compared to pigging ourselves out at some fancy restaurant, but I don’t get many chances of cooking for the family, so why not?

Rinnai gas stove
gone with the old, in with the new!

Since my cheap old twin stove has rusted till the point of no return, I decided to get something more hardcore for the kitchen. After scouring around the few electrical appliances stores, I finally get my hands on this hardcore industrial strength Rinnai stove, made in Japan. This baby has a flame thrower ignition sequence, and come complete with thick metal stand that will last me decades. It was RM 185 well spent.

Miso Lala soup

My first dish is the miso soup with Lala (clam).

Ingredients:

  • a packet of Lala
  • some garlic
  • miso paste (or instant miso soup, since I couldn’t find miso paste at Cold Storage)
  • a tube of Japanese tofu
  • spring onion

Steps:

  • clean the Lalas throughly
  • mince some garlic and boil them with the Lala
  • add miso paste
  • add the sliced tofu
  • add some chopped spring onion just before serving

Simple isn’t it? Of course, this is only the first of four dishes that I prepared for the night. A little bit of Japanese taste to the traditional Chinese occasion. I’ll blog about the other 3 dishes: Hong Kong Kailan with roasted pork, steamed pomphret, and beef with broccoli in the next few posts.

Gong Xi Fa Chai to you too!