By the way, this is the one thousandth post on kyspeaks since the inception some five and a half year ago. Been an amazing journey, rest assure there’ll be more to come. A big thank you for all the visits, comments, well wishes, critics, and the occasional “hello” in Real Life ™.
Bobby Chinn on World Cafe: Middle East (photos from TLC)
I’m generally quite content with what I do for a living, but there is a category of people that I’m quite jealous of when it comes to their profession, and Bobby Chinn is one of them.
While I’m sure there are lotsa hardwork and uncertainties, the job of a TV personalities on a food tasting/travel show couldn’t sound more awesome to me. The grass is greener on the other side, always.
Last week I got closest as I’ve been to that “dream” of mine, I got invited to meet Bobby Chinn for his new episods of World Cafe: Middle East.
Bobby Chinn’s exploit in Middle East (photos from TLC)
The series cover Bobby Chinn’s exploit in Middle East. Starting from Istanbul, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, then Damascus and Aleppo – the oldest city in the world, Jordan and the West Bank with thriving Palestinian food tradition despite the instability, as well as Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt – where Bobby Chinn was born.
The man himself turned out to be quite an entertaining and friendly host despite the very visible effect of jet lag as he just arrived in the morning. Together with Haze, boo of masak-masak, Jovin & her aunt, and other guests, we had a good time while Bobby shared his experiences whilst making this series.
Catch the show on Monday 10pm, Astro Channel 707 TLC
donut thingy with sambosa, salad, some lamb soup
Now lets get on to the food at Al Halabi, shall we?
Al Halabi at Marriot Hotel is probably one of the more up market Lebanese restaurant in the country, with posh decoration of cushions, busy looking tables, a huge selection of shisha pipes, and chandeliers looking like gemstones. A very Arabic atmosphere, other than our group with Bobby Chinn being half Arab, most clients looked like they’re either Persians or Arabs.
The lamb soup was better than the lentil soup I ordered, which tasted like diluted dhal. Salad was refreshing if not a little too sour for some. I didn’t quite enjoy the donut thingy, but the fried pastry (Sambosa vegetable) was rather nice.
hummus & baba ghanoush, fluffy soft bread
This was only the third time I had hummus, but I gotta say the hummus was actually very good! It was a bit like a cross of peanut butter and tofu but with slightly oily texture, in a good way… if that make any sense.
Baba ghanoush, a classic eggplant dip, was a bit more sour and oily (olive oil), I kinda liked it, though not too much. These two goes pretty well with the excellent fluffy bread.
egg plant dish (musaka’a), fried spring chicken, grilled fish
For my main dish, I chose to have the egg plant (musaka’a) with rice. It was quite similar to the Northern Indian’s Baingan Bartha, but slightly less flavorful. Despite the bright color, it wasn’t exactly spicy, just a bit oily and sourish, nothing to shout about.
The other main dishes to choose from were the fried spring chicken (which was reportedly to be decent), grilled fish that were too dry, and grilled lamb (said to be quite tasty).
sizzling grilled lamb, baklava
Dessert came in the form of a very sweet pastry item called baklava– made of phyllo dough and filled with chopped nuts and honey, quite nice. I think I had at least 3-4 of those.
Bobby Chinn, KY, Haze
If this was the best Lebanese food could offer, I wasn’t particularly impressed, so I asked Bobby Chinn himself on his thoughts about the dinner. The man tried to be politically correct and said he enjoyed the hummus but didn’t want to elaborate more. I guess I’ll just have to watch the show too!
Address: Al Halabi at JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14765, 101.71372 Tel: 03-2715 9000
One of the benefits working in a 1Malaysia kinda company is that you get the same treatment for everyone, when our Muslim colleagues go for prayers, we too, get 2 hour lunch on Fridays.
Last Friday we took the recommendation from our Bidayuh colleague Angelina and went for Sun Foong Bak Kut Teh at Imbi, just a short drive from our work place in the heart of the city.
Sun Foong Bak Kut Teh
To be honest, my first impression of Sun Foong is that of a TSH (tourist slaughter house). Lots of air conditioned indoor dining and alfresco tables, a little too clean and walls plastered with too many touristy posters.
The first thing that caught my mind while looking at the menu was the availability of pork kidney, I immediately ordered a small portion of pork kidney in Chinese rice wine soup. If you’re a fan of innards, don’t ever miss pork kidney, it is the reason I go to Kaka BKT in Kepong.
The pork kidney was indeed prepared the way it’s meant to be, sort, tender, and just very lightly cooked. I enjoyed this very much.
bak kut teh lunch at Sun Foong
Then there was the bak kut teh. For the five of us, we actually only ordered portion for three, which proved to be quite sufficient as the portions were rather big (RM 15 per portion).
While the additional vegetables and mushroom did not make this bowl of BKT shine in a BKT beauty contest, the taste actually exceeded my expectation. Even my colleague Ivan from Klang gave it a thumb up. The soup had a very strong and wholesome herbal taste that we liked, I think we asked for additional soup at least 3 times.
Debran, Angel, Yin Foong, KY
Oily vegetable was just normal, and to be frank, the yao char kuai was a disappointment at Sun Foong, so not everything is a hit there to be honest.
Sun Foong also serves seafood bak kut teh (which I’d probably never bother to try) and some other dishes like pork knuckle with vinegar and salted vegetable dishes, those could be interesting.
Our bill came to be something like RM 18 per pax including drinks, a pretty normal sum for good BKT meal in the city. This is a place worth returning, decent value for money and rather tasty BKT.
Address: Sun Foong Bak Kut Teh
37 Medan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14458, 101.71476 Tel: 03-2141 4064
When I was still updating the automotive site, I wrote a post on the Peugeot 206 that somehow garnered almost 1300 comments. That was 3.5 years ago, the 206 proved to be a pretty awesome car that isn’t only looking good on the outside, but at the same time a rather reliable machine too.
Kerol drives one to work on daily basis, and it has so far proved to be a good piece of machine.
the new Peugeot 207
With renewed emphasis in the local market, Peugeot is launching the new 207 (very soon!) here in Malaysia.
The 207 will be an ASEAN production and hence priced competitively in this segment. The Peugeot Malaysia website has a bit of a teaser on this car with the following details:
Datanglah Rumah Ku jikalau bang lapar! Makanan sedap, enak, lagi berkhaksyat.. or something…
Anyway.. I shall not attempt to compose this entry in Malay, the ability to write a proper essay has already gone out of the window since after SPM. These days my ability in our national language is reduced to having small talks with colleague, and ordering food.
note: I’ve been notified that this restaurant has changed ownership, menu is different from this blog now.
Rumah Ku, air bandung, ulam (and the sambal!)
I first got to know about this little Malay restaurant at Kelana Jaya from a sales person (who also happened to read this blog) that my company had dealing with. The first impression was very good, and I’ve meant to go back there again for a while but didn’t manage until just a few days ago.
Nasi Timbel with Ayam Goreng, and with Ikan Tenggiri
Other than your usual nasi goreng, danging merah, ayam paprid, sotong kunyit and so forth, this place serves the very unique (to me anyway) nasi timbel.
Nasi Timbel is an Indonesian thingy with steamed rice wrapped in banan leaf, serves with ulam (raw vegetable with sambal), keropok melinjo, spicy anchovies, beef gulai, and also ayam goreng. Alternatively you can have it with ikan tenggiri (Spanish Mackerel), kembung (Indian Mackerel), or tilapia.
I tried the tenggiri version and the fried chicken version (both at RM 12 while the other 2 versions slightly cheaper) and they tasted rather quite awesome! The beef in gulai was tender and flavorful, and I also particularly like their sambal that packs a serious kick.
The fried chicken was one of the best I had too, with the texture still very firm and I can only inappropriately described it as .. “fresh”. Give this place a try, the restaurant is situated by one of the lakes and spot a pretty nice view if you’re sitting al fresco.
Not all things are perfect here though, if you go there in the afternoon, make sure to park in the covered car park to avoid getting clamped. The food also usually takes quite a while to be served, but I guess this was due to the fact that everything was prepared from scratch
I had initially wanted to offer you, my dear reader, another cute story related to Pizza Hut when I was in US.
A story much like the previous story penned on the article about Pizza Hut Fish King. My memory however, failed in this instance, and instead I have the following photo to show you, this was yours truly more than 10 years ago taken in a dorm at Bemidji State University (I spent a semester there).
taken in my dorm room at Bemidji State Univeristy, 1999 I think?
Now the only relation this photo has with Pizza Hut is that the Bangladesh dude behind, Masud, has a friend whose name I can’t remember, but worked for Pizza Hut delivery in the tiny city of Bemidji during my short stay there. Naturally, this other dude whose name I can’t remember, and whom I don’t have a picture of, sometimes brought us free pizzas!
An awesome perk when you’re a poor overseas student. Awesome pizza in frigid Minnesota winter is always a warm experience. *slurp*
Pizza Hut and the Extreme Cheesy 6 Pizzas
Anyway, fast forward 11 years, and following last May’s promotion, Pizza Hut is at it again, and this time around it is all about cheese! So naturally Haze and I picked up cheesie for the tasting session at Bukit Damansara. We were joined by a bunch of other bloggers including Huai Bin, Tim, Audrey, Saimatkong, kampungboycitygal, Michelle, and more.
It was quite literally, a feast.
check out the extreme cheesy 6 pizza with hawaiian chicken topping
To make this Extreme Cheesy 6 pizza, Pizza Hut imported six different premium cheese into the country (I can’t remember how many containers altogether but it was a very big number).
Cheddar – classic delicate taste
Mozzarella – creamy and soft
Parmesan – flavourful and savory
Provolone – full-bodied, slightly tart
Monterey Jack – zesty and nutty
Romano – a hearty taste
To be honest, I’m familiar with only the first three types of cheese, the other three were pretty foreign to me. Then again, why worry about the details when the overall end result is only thing we’re interested at?
.. and it was good. I wanted to put in beautiful descriptions and professional-ish sentences about the pizza, but at the end I can only tell you it is wholesomely cheesy and really does taste awesome!
mushroom and chicken sausage, pepperoni, original extreme cheesy 6
Extreme Cheesy 6 comes with original style with just all the six cheeses, as well as with several other toppings. There’s chicken sausage and mushroom, pepperoni (of course!), and Hawaiian chicken. My favorite is the Hawaiian chicken, with pieces of chicken meat and pineapple to complement the super cheesy taste.
pasta, garlic bread, chicken wings, and salad bar
Of course, other than pizzas, you can also find garlic bread, chicken wings, pastas, as well as the salad bar at Pizza Hut. I remember we used to stack up a huge plate of salad (we were allowed one visit to the bar if I remember correctly).
Tim, Huai Bin, Haze, Cheesie, Michelle, Audrey, KY, and others
In conjunction with the promotion on Extreme Cheesy 6 Pizza, there’s also a contest:
Write a post on “Why You Love Pizza Hut’s 6 Cheesy Extreme Pizza” (dine in or take away) with plenty of pictures with the 6 Cheese Pizza and be sure to mention all 6 types of cheese. Make it unique, interesting, and be creative. The title of your post must be “I’m crazy about Cheeeeeese!”
Top 5 winners will win RM 2000 cold hard cash each!
The contest runs from 21th Oct to 16th of Nov 2010 and is open to all Nuffnang registered bloggers.