Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / January 2008

I am sure by now most of you have heard about the terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of another three innocent passenger. The bus driver involved had previously been summoned 13 times, but was still driving for the bus company Konsortium when the accident happened. How that guy managed to pass through the supposed safety net our government set up after last year’s horrific bus accident is beyond me.

This incident is significant to all of us, I am sure you or someone you are close with travels by long haul bus in this country. My brother routinely uses the bus service to move between his university in Kelantan and Penang, my home town. This CNY, my mother and brother will be traveling from Penang to KL via bus as well.

Friends of Nian Ning, one of the victim, thinks that enough is enough, and set up a petition online to plead the ministry of transportation to take actions to ensure that tragedy like this do not repeat itself.

I have signed the petition, it is the least I can do, shouldn’t you?

One of the eating places I visited at Seremban during the trip was Min Kok, probably the biggest Chinese restaurant in all of Negeri Sembilan. The massive restaurant sits right next to the main commercial center of Era Square (from Era Baru, nearby Terminal 2), can host over 150 tables, and even have a website!

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
KY, Captain Sam, Owner Joan, Ringo, Nicholas

A group of us arrived at Min Kok on Sunday morning for their famous dim sum and was greeted by Sam, the Captain who has been in the restaurant industry since before I graduate from primary school. The owner, Joan Chong (seated center in the photo above) is actually just a couple years older than me, a very capable lady who also won the Bursa Pursuit Challenge last year and walked away with RM 100,000 prize money, not to mention owning this huge restaurant. But never mind, I shall console myself with the fact that I own this blog…

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
Restaurant Min Kok Sdn Bhd

Anyway, lets get back to the more relevant important bit.

Sam told us that a typical morning at Min Kok starts very early, the chefs and kitchen helpers come in at around 4am to start preparing the food as they want to have their dim sum fresh and not left overnight. Some 40-50 serving staffs come in at around 6 something, and usually, there are already customers waiting at the door.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
check out the scallop dim sum!

We were served quite a variety of their offering. The steamed dim sum were fresh and tasted very good, I particularly love the scallop dim sum, very luxurious and actually quite hard to find else where. The prawn dim sum, stuffed chili, and ribs were all rather delicious too. We had about a dozen types in all.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
porridge, siu pao, egg tart, fried carrot cake

Other than the steamed dim sum, we also had some fried snacks, porridge, fried carrot cake, chee cheong fun, egg tart, and Min Kok’s version of the famous Seremban siu pao. I gotta say I was quite impressed with the quality of food there. The siu pao was actually so good I had to dedicate a picture just for it.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
the yummy Seremban siu pao

As for price, the dim sum goes from RM 2.00 (porridge) to RM 5.00 (the scallop), very reasonable especially if you factor in the fact that this place is fully air conditioned, and has plenty of staff to keep a good service level. Which explains why this place is always packed despite having over a hundred tables for the morning crowd.

map to Min Kok at Era Square, Seremban
map to Min Kok at Era Square

Address:
No 7645, Lot 5990,
Jalan Labu Lama, (Terminal 2),
70200 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

Tel: 06-761 8458

Yes, you read it right, I partied at Seremban! Who would have taught there’s a decent party place outside KL and Penang, but even to a not so keen party goer like me (age laaa), Trilogy Bistroat Era Square was actually a pretty good place and I had a great experience overall.

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
KY, DJ Jerryca, Suanie, and co-host Lum

We actually headed to the club right after dinner, and as Saturday nights go, the crowd doesn’t get there before 10pm. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. As our friend Lum knows the director of the club Mr. Loo very well, we actually got to leech some alcohol from the house. Suan was of course, very happy about that..

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
plenty of drinks, and the hamsup Nicholas

The music was a bit of hip hop and contemporary stuff at the beginning. After about 10+ when the crowd was starting to build up, DJ Jerryca came in and put in some awesome tunes. It was a bit of dance and techno style (I think, since I’m a total idiot when it comes to categorization of music), but I really did like it. Too bad I was somehow still in my shorts and sandals, hence was not able to showcase my talented dance moves to the Seremban people. What a let down, right?

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
chilling at the club

Now the director Mr. Loo is just too nice a guy. For the 5 of us (Nicholas, Suanie, Ringo, Lum, and I), he actually prepared a couple pitchers of beer, a bottle of imported Vodka, and something like 8 glasses of cocktails, including Bloody Mary, Long Island Ice Tea, Margarita, and some stuff I can’t name. The mixtures tasted pretty good, I particularly love the Bloody Mary that comes with fresh celery, very refreshing while packing a punch.

Trilogy at Era Square, Seremban
Lum & Suanie, Ringo and director Mr. Loo, DJ Jerryca

If you think about it, getting to Seremban only takes about 45 minutes from Klang Valley. The free parking pretty much offsets the toll price, and getting to and from there could be faster than getting stuck in the KL Saturday night traffic. Maybe the next time I want to party, I can make an excuse to get down there and sneaked in a dinner at Kensington at the same time!

More photos at my Era Walk flickr set.

Address:
Trilogy
No 18 , Jalan Era Square 3 ,
70000 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

Tel: 06-672 6619

Changing Hawker SceneKimberly the cun was the cover girl on the Star’s RAGE yesterday. Coincidentally, yours truly was mentioned in the Metro section of the paper the same day in a very good article titled “The changing hawker scene“.

True, Kim has the whole page to her, and I have 3 paragraphs. But hey, I’m keeping the paper cut out nonetheless. (the difference is, Kim has gathered more than 6 copies, I’m keeping only 1, narcissism isn’t necessary)

The article talks about the impact of foreign workers in the local hawker scene, and here are my bites, quoted verbatim from the paper:

Blogger Kar Yeong, or better known as KY, who has gained recognitions among netizens for reviewing a huge array of food and restaurants in his blog http://kyspeaks.com, is among those who prefers food stalls manned by locals.

“Foreigners grew up in their home country and aren’t as accustomed to the local taste, so naturally the flavours might be a bit out of tune when compared to what we like,” he said.

To be fair, according to KY, there are foreign stalls selling tasty non-local food such as the gyoza prepared by the Shanghainese cook at the Ming Tien food court in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.

Thumbnail of the article on the left, click here for the full screen shot (just in case the permanent link at thestar.com.my is removed)

I want to thank the writer Xin Yi for including me in her research. :)

A couple weekends ago Suanie, Nicholas, and I arranged a trip down to Seremban to lepak a bit at Era Square, a pretty new commercial area just right to the yet-to-be-opened Terminal 2 interstate bus terminal. We met up with Cheeser the local girl there, and of course, the first agenda after the 45 minutes drive from KL is to get our stomach stuffed.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
the awesome prawn, and live oyster from Canada

Due to the power that be, we had an invitation to eat at Kensington, a nicely decorated Western/Fusion restaurant. The owner Grace Chia had prepared a total of 8 dishes for us, she was super friendly and actually sat us through the whole meal to tell us everything about the individual dishes and how they (with her husband the chef) got into this business.

Grace actually lived in UK for quite a number of years and have been involved with satisfying stomachs of the public for over 15 years. Kensington at Era Square is their latest venture.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
KY, Grace the owner, and Ringo (Cheeser)

Now lets get to the food, shall we? Since there are so many dishes and Grace had laboriously explained each of them to me, I think I shall just list them one by one here.

Prawn Mango Salad (RM 18.50) – This is one Suanie’s favorite, an American recipe that has the prawn cooked with fresh mango (seafood and fruit, interesting heh?). The slightly sourly sauce is particularly excellent, very buttery and flavorful.

Aromatic Crispy Duck (RMR 18.50) – A quarter duck peeled off from the bone, served with lettuce, cucumber, and plum sauce. I find this to actually taste better than the Schezuan duck I had at Soho, 1 Utama. The fresh vegetable compliments the taste of duck meat and the sauce very well.

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
prawn mango salad, aromatic crispy duck, live oyster, and baked potato

Live Oyster (RM 6.50) – Flown from Canada, fat and juicy. You can have them cheese baked for an extra buck.

Baked Potato – Somehow I have lost the description for this dish, but if you like potato and cheese, do not miss it!

Filet Steak with Shitake Sauce (RM 31.50) – A generous serving of beef with the shitake mushroom in with cream and a touch of wine. I gotta admit that this dish did not look like a proper steak and I had doubts about it. However, a bite the red meat confirmed what Suan kept telling me “You gotta try this, it’s great omg!”

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
filet steak, lamb shank, chicken veronique, and mushroom soup

Lamb Shank (RM 18.50) – A huge piece of lamb shank serve prepared with black pepper sauce. The meat is very tender and it definitely tastes better than those you can order from the particular chain restaurant famous for their cakes. A very good value too.

Chicken Veronique (RM 15.30) – Chicken breast cooked with grapes (yes grapes!), cream, and white wine. While chicken breast is chicken breast, the sauce made all the difference, a very interesting taste with actual pieces of grape in it. Though I’m not used to having chicken served this way, I like it.

Mushroom Soup and Garlic Bread – When the mushroom soup came, I was already more than half full and wasn’t exactly overly keen on “just mushroom soup”. Grace proved me wrong, the soup actually have bits of onion, potato, shitake mushroom, and celery in it that made the taste and texture that much better. Goes very well with the garlic bread too!

Kensington Western Restaurant at Era Square, Seremban
Suan doesn’t eat oyster, so I had extra. Grace the friendly owner

This is certainly one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. I really really wish Kensington can open a branch just outside next to my house. The price is very affordable, and the food is excellent, combined with a comfortable dining area, there isn’t anything to complain about.

I am sure I will go there again, after all, going to Seremban can actually be faster than heading down town KL sometimes.

map to Era Square, Seremban
Kensington is situated at Era Square, just 5 minutes from Seremban Toll

Address:
Kensington Western Restaurant
34, Jalan Era Square 3,
Era Square,
70200 Seremban, N. Sembilan

GPS: 2.726541, 101.931442
Tel:
06-768 7288