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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / November 2007

“This place used to be better, when the old man was doing the cooking, but now already jatuh standard.”

How many times have we heard about something like the preceding line? A particular restaurant or hawker stall that used to produce gastronomically perfect food, but had just been in decline since the “good old years”. If I get 50 sen for every time that I hear someone saying that, I’d be a very rich man now.

On the contrary, I have almost never heard praises that a certain dining place has improved in the taste; there might be better decorations, improved services, but never taste. Tasting department has somehow always been in decline, why is that?

char kueh teow

I believe there are two factors working in tandem, life style and biology. The rise of our sophistication in food, and the decline of our taste buds.

Mantis shrimp used to be the best thing, and then you have fresh Maine lobster; chicken liver was great, but it is all different after the foie gras experience. When we revisit the old favorites, it just seems to be not as good as we remembered, and that has got to do with the new taste we acquired. It’s akin to cars in a way, the Proton Wira is never the same once you’ve driven the fancy BMW.

In the biological side, it is very simple. As we grow older, our sense of taste and smell simply goes into decline. There are fewer taste buds, and hence the strength of flavor gets diluted over the years. Instead of the food lacking the taste of yesteryear’s standard, it is our tongue that we should blame.

I don’t take it for granted that the heir of a great hawker stall owner will never be able to replicate the father’s ability. He could very well be better than the old man. For otherwise I could only envy of the great food our ancestors must have enjoyed, and pity on the generations to come as everything else must taste horrible after we are gone if the perceived trend is true.

Throw away the misconception, have an open mind and enjoy your food, bon appetit!

Others
   

The uptown food court is one of those places where you can find things to eat around the clock but not being a mamak stalls area like SS2 nor a centralized food court like ming tien. I was dragged there after a weekday badminton session that ended up past 11pm and was told that I should sample the old school yong tau foo.

Ah Keong Yong Tau Foo at Damansara Uptown
double boiled and double deep fried goodness

Ah Keong Yong Tau Foo is said to have been in operation for quite a number of years. Though I cannot claim by 100% certainty that this place is halal, I did see quite a number of Muslim friends eating there. Furthermore, the yong tau foo doesn’t seems to contain any meat product other than the sausage, most items consist of vegetable, tofu and fish paste.

Most of us know that yong tau foo consists of a variety of usually but not limited to fish paste based products, that includes fish ball; red chili, brinjal, okra, bitter gourd stuffed with fish paste, tofu, crab stick, fu chok, and even sausage. The items are usually boiled or deep fried.

Ah Keong Yong Tau Foo at Damansara Uptown
sinful late night delights

At this particular stall, these already boiled and fried pieces of goodness will be boiled and deep fried again right before being served to ensure the freshness and the steaming temperature. This certainly make the food tasted extra fresh and never stale, the sauce that came with the yong tau foo was also very rich and compliments the ingredients very well. It was not easy to not over order.

Ah Keong Yong Tau Foo at Damansara Uptown
the food court is located at the heart of Damansara Uptown

The yong tau foo is reasonably priced, my plate costs RM5+. Just about the only downside is that you have to wait a bit longer for the food to be reboiled and refried, but that’s the whole point of going there instead of places like Ampang or Jalan Ipoh, right?

Address:
Ah Keong Yong Tau Foo Chee Cheong Fan
Gerai 1097, Damansara Uptown Food Court

GPS: 3.134683, 101.621872

David Lian invited me to the Symbian S60 Night by Nokia, and since it was going to be at the Rick’s Cafe Casablanca at Bangsar One (with dinner included), I didn’t need to hesitate before jumping onto the opportunity. Plus, getting to play with some of the latest gadgets from Nokia doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.

Nokia Symbian S60 Night
clockwise: Dinesh, Kim, David, KY, Suan (pic from david)

It was a pretty informal session, with Mr. Mahmood Kalantar (Nokia APAC BD), Dinesh (Nokia AP communications manager), Hazel (Nokia (M) communications manager) playing hosts. There was a presentation on the road map of S60, follow by feedbacks and discussions from us, and of course, there was also food and some of the latest phones, including the N82 to play with.

This baby was just released a few hours earlier by Nokia, it looks great, with Xenon flash, 5mp camera, GPS, HSDPA, and all that jazz. I like the candy bar format too, I’m just not as much a fan of slide & flip phones. The phone is solidly built, and the xenon flash really helps in super low light conditions. Get me one already, david! 😀

Nokia Symbian S60 Night
Mr Mahmood doing his thing (pic from david)

The food served were mostly tapas , including salmon, meat balls, cold cuts, chicken pate, and even some spaghettis. Best of all, we had free flow beverages as well. The food was actually pretty good, though I wouldn’t really order the chicken pate myself as it was too much of a departure from foie gras with the latter being 50x better.

Nokia Symbian S60 Night
the food was pretty good too (pics shot with N95)

Overall I think the event was very enjoyable, we got to know a bit more about Nokia, and specifically the versatile platform that is S60. In return, we also gave our feedbacks and tell Nokia what we think of their products and directions they should pursuit. Suan, ST, Kim, James, David, Hazel, and Dinesh actually stayed until past midnight just chatting about various nonsense, I also met Cobalt Colbertand Jason there. It was awesome.

Most of you who come to this blog expect to see recommendations of good (or at least interesting) food. However, I’ll have to disappoint you today with my second post on where not to go for lunch. Some of you might remember my rant on Kim Gary, but the experience I had yesterday at Delifrance KLCC is arguably worse.

Delifrance at KLCC, bad food bad service
Hello, I don’t want my chicken medium rare

So myself and a few colleagues decided to have lunch at Delifrance after a few other suggestions were rejected. It is a decent place for a cup of coffee and some light snacks, I suppose, but the tables were a bit smallish for lunch. I ordered the set lunch for the day (RM 16.90++), a chicken dish that comes with soup/salad, and a miniature glass of soft drink.

Delifrance at KLCC, bad food bad service
first rejection

Well, we had actually ordered 4 set lunches, but somehow only 3 came as the waitress inevitably missed out one of my colleagues. The poor lady had to wait for another 5-10 minutes for her food to arrive after everyone else’s. Bad service

After a pretty long wait during the busy lunch hours, my food finally came. A colleague of mine started to complain that the sides looked nothing like the photos on their menu. Instead of broccoli and mashed potato, we were given salad and wedges. The annoying thing is that I just had salad as my appetizer, and it is the same thing again. Bad combination

I cut through my piece of chicken, it was pink, with traces of blood. I had actually put the chicken in my mouth before looking at it, it was cold inside. Like just came out of the fridge cold. Bad food.

I called for the waitress and told her about it. Without a word of apology, she took the dish back to the kitchen. Bad service

A very long 10 minutes later, the waitress returned the same dish to me. It looked like they have reheated the chicken. I give it a try without much complain, lo and behold, the same bloody chicken is still half cooked (pun intended). Horrible food. I called for the waitress and explained it to her that she should just take it back and crossed it out of the bill, she just asked if I want them to replace it with something else (she should have done so in the first trial). When I said no, she just said ok, not a single word of apology. Horrible service

Delifrance at KLCC, bad food bad service
after they “fixed” it, I got this

The Malaysian service mentality is some what of a joke. My colleagues were nice enough to still pay the 10% service charge, I probably wouldn’t. That would be the last time I go there.

It actually took me more than three years working at KLCC to discover Ozenki Ozeki Japanese restaurant, situated just a stone’s throw away from my office at Menara TA. I couldn’t resist the temptation looking at the giant menu outside the restaurant and decided to give it a try just a while ago, and went there again with the noob Nicholas before he left KLCC to greener pasture.

Ozeki Japanese Restaurant near KLCC
the menu is huge, literally.

Other than the ala carte menu, Ozeki offers some unique set lunches. I always chose the RM 28++ combo, you basically get to choose 2 main dishes from 6-7 different choices, with salad, soup, rice, fruits, and a couple condiments accompanying the set. The mains include sushi, sashimi, tempura, saba shioyaki (grilled mackeral), salmon shioyaki, unagi kabayaki, chicken teriyaki, and beef teriyaki. There are also noodle set lunch and normal set lunch.

Ozeki Japanese Restaurant near KLCC
fresh Japanese food with decent pricing

While the 2 mains might look a bit smallish, they are actually plenty enough for lunch. In this outing, I had the grilled salmon and 5 pieces of sushi to go with some rice, soup, salad, and a rather delicious piece of tofu as appetizer. The noob had unagi and sashimi instead.

Ozeki Japanese Restaurant near KLCC
the menu inside is the same size as this one outside

Overall, the food was pretty good, and for this area in Klang Valley, a pretty good value. Service was friendly and professional, interior decoration and ambiance were nice, and most importantly, the ingredients were fresh. I’m feeling like going there again this week. Anyone?

map to Ozeki Japanese Restaurant near KLCC
Ozeki is situated at Menara TA, just a couple minutes from KLCC

Address:
Menara TA One, Ground Floor,
No. 22, Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.156724, 101.709795
Tel: 03-2166 4263