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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / November 2011

For the cooking competition fans, most of you is undoubtedly aware that MasterChef Malaysia is now in full swing on Astro in the following time slot:

  • Astro Ria (104): Saturday to Wednesday 9 pm
  • StarWorld (711): Thursday 9:50pm
  • Website: www.astro.com.my/masterchef

Masterchef Malaysia

For the uninitiated, MasterChef Malaysia is the reality cooking competition that was originally started in the UK and now found its way in dozens of countries. Participants in MasterChef are not professional chefs but everyday people who aspire to venture into culinary industry, or who just really enjoy cooking, people like you and me.

This is the first time we have MasterChef competition it in Malaysia

p/s: there was also a Bloggers’ Masterchef Challenge  where I was involved as a judge *bow*

MasterChef contestants

As of writing, there were only 19 contestants still vying to be the first ever MasterChef Malaysia.

There are several things to like in MasterChef Malaysia as compared to other cooking shows. First and foremost, of course, this contests involves everyday people who are just like you and me, and they are all local.

masterchef skills tests

Secondly, you can also learn a lot from this show. Not only from the recipes that can be found on the website, but also some of the skills you can learn from the skills tests as well. The proper way to separate egg white from egg yolk, the way to dice onions, etc.

Finally, MasterChef exudes a very positive environment where learning is encouraged and there isn’t any showboating or stabbing at the back like you would find in many other reality show. There are even tasks where contestants have to work together in teams to get through to the next round.

To me, this is much better than those ME FIRST attitude that is found in other shows.

Chef Kenny and Chef Johari

My favorite chefs from MasterChef are Chef Kenny and Chef Johari. If you’re old enough, you might remember the Baba and Nyonya show (Big Bibik) on TV from eons ago where Chef Kenny was always in drag. I actually didn’t know that Chef Kenny is a chef until I watched the episod featuring him as a guest chef, what a surprise.

Chef Johari almost always encourages the contestants and basically the polar opposite of personalities like Simon from Ameirican Idol. I think with that’s going on in the world, we can have a little less nasties these days. Furthermore, Chef Johari is the most senior of all chef on the judges panel.

Masterchef contestant Felix

As for my favorite contestant, it’s gotta be Felix Tay, who shares the same home town with me – Penang!

I think the guy has got a really good shot at becoming the very first MasterChef Malaysia, and you can’t fault me for supporting a my own hometown boy who has shown flashes of skills in the MasterChef kitchen.

Felix's chili invention test

Which brings us to my favorite dish at MasterChef Malaysia thus far – Felix’s dish in the chili invention test. The judges all loved this dish, and what intrigued me in this dish is the ingredients used – guacamole sauce as the bed, fish, and plenty of chili. I’ve never had guacamole with something spicy before and this really looks interesting, don’t you think?

unforgettable masterchef moment

One moment that stood out at MasterChef Malaysia, for me, was the onion challenge in the first round. The situation was very similar to the same challenge that happened in the blogger’s masterchef challenge version – a lot of people accidentally cut their fingers, crying from cutting onions, and then of course, the very first few people who were eliminated at the end of the first episod.

Ultimately, what I want to see from MasteChef Malaysia is how the winner progresses in the culinary field here in Malaysia, will he/she open a restaurant? or have a cooking program on TV? changes entire career path?

And more importantly, will I be invited to have a taste of the winner’s cooking ultimately? 😀

We can only wait, but in the mean time, MasterChef Malaysia is running a facebook contest starting on the 19th of November, 2011. Be sure to take part on https://apps.facebook.com/masterchefmy

 

There’s weekly prizes of RM 500 and 4GB MasterChef pendrive, and final prizes of iPad, induction cooker, cash, and more! Do check it out.

Good luck!

A couple days ago I got the attack of the bak kut teh craving, you know that feeling when you just have to have it, so much so that you can almost smell the bkt soup even before even deciding where to eat.

So I decided to head to SS 14, one of the few places with concentrated bak kut teh restaurants at night time. A quick search online and I found that my buddy Galvin gave a good review for Ah Ping bak kut teh, if it’s good enough for the Klang chao ah beng, it is good enough for me.

Ah Ping bak kut teh at Subang Jaya SS 14
Ah Ping bak kut teh at Subang Jaya SS 14

Ah Ping is easily the busiest bak kut teh restaurant at SS14. This of course, is a good sign. As it was already dinner time, parking was actually a breeze.

We took a seat inside (you can have a table alfresco style to0 when weather permits) and ordered a bowl of bak kut teh with everything in it + enoki mushroom, a plate of vegetable, and a serving of yao char kuai.

thick and fragrant herbal soup is essential in bak kut teh
thick and fragrant herbal soup is essential in bak kut teh

Our bowl of “everything in it” came with plenty of pork, intestine, tripes, fuchok, tofu, a couple shiitake mushroom, and a few leaves of lettuce soaked in pretty thick Klang style (as opposed to Teow Chew) bak kut teh soup.

The bak kut teh definitely packs a punch, I like the soup, and you know that they’ve cooked everything right when the meat falls off the bones easily, and intestines didn’t need more than a few seconds to chew through. It was overall a rather satisfying experience.

The yao char kuai too was quite crunchy, unlike some nighttime bkt places where they tend to use yao char kuai prepared in the morning and tends to be a bit soggy.

bak kut teh with everything in, yao char kuai, rice, and vegetable
bak kut teh with everything in, yao char kuai, rice, and vegetable

Together with drinks, total bill came to be RM 32.50, pretty reasonable for two person. If you’re not willing to drive all the way to Kepong for Kaka bak kut teh (cos they serve kidney), Ah Ping at at SS 14 certainly won’t leave you disappointed.

map to Ah Ping bak kut teh at Subang Jaya

Address:
Ah Ping Bak Kut Teh
42, Jalan SS14/2,
Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.072767, 101.590933
Tel: 012-323 3938 / 012-267 8390

Olympus E-PL3

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a glass of Strongbow might put the doctor out of business for at least a month.

Strongbow, premium cider

While the carbonated and golden apparence of Strongbow might deceive some as just another premium beer, this golden goodness is actually made from 50 different types of apple juice, fermented of course. The reason for these many types of apple is to achieve a taste that guarantee it’s premium quality.

Mom says drinking juice is good, so why not 50 in 1, right?

Strongbow comes in draught (check location here) as well as in bottles (best enjoy over ice)

Baby Tonga

When it comes the word premium and sports, nothing quite represent those two words closer than sailing, and it is in this prestigious sports that Strongbow partners with Baby Tonga – a Beneteau 53f5 owned by Antony Hastings.

Baby Tonga is returning this year to the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR) in an attempt to capture her third victory at the race – a hattrick.

Along with Sydney to Hobart and the Rolex China Sea Race, RMSIR is the only South East Asia regatta recognised by the prestigious London based Royal Ocean Racing Club. This isn’t some small race.

So you might ask, what does Baby Tonga and the RMSIR has to do with you, my dear readers?

Well, more about that later, but first here are some facts about Baby Tonga.

  • Baby Tonga is a collaboration between Bruce Farr and Pinafarina – the Italian design company behind the likes of Ferrari and Mesarati
  • at 53 feet, she is smaller than some yachts in her class, but she is nimble and quick
  • she is built for speed, one of the fastest cruising sailboat of similar waterline length
  • she has 3 fully airconditioned cabin with 3 toilets and showers, fully equipped for a holiday on sea
  • last but not least, Baby Tonga is well stocked with Strongbow for her crew, constant supply of UK’s number one selling cider

baby tonga interior

This yacht is the epitome of power and grace, and the reason this might interest you is that you (and maybe me?) has a chance to win a cruise aboard Baby Tonga by participating in this Facebook game on Strongbow Malaysia’s facebook

Access the facebook game here, then key in your information and start playing.

The game is pretty straight forward, sail as fast as you can with arrow keys towards the finishing point, then answer 3 trivia questions for added bonus. My lousy first attempt was over one minute, but that time will be cut short by a lot, look out!

The prizes:

  • Grand Prizes x 3 – a party cruise with 2 friends on Baby Tonga and more
  • Weekly Prizes x 4 – Strongbow t-shirt & landyard
The game is on from 14th Nov till 9th Dec, 2011.

Baby Tonga Sunset

I don’t know about you, but a chance to be on this brilliant sail boat, that’s gotta be a golden opportunity that only comes very very rarely.

I’ve personally never sailed before, but Haze did (on her blog post here), and according to her it was an experience of a life time, and that wasn’t on a luxury speedster like Baby Tonga.

Imagine sitting on the deck on this beautiful boat while the sun is setting, or standing at the very front of Baby Tonga feeling the wind blow on your face while the sail boat is cutting through water. That would be an awesome feeling. I want to be on it!

Good luck folks, and bring your anti seasick pill cos we’re not gonna waste any of these awesome cider aboard Baby Tonga.


Strongbow at Royal Oak, Jaya One

In the mean time, I shall enjoy a pint of Strongbow. 😀

The first time I had pork noodle at Sun Sea kopitiam at OUG was many years ago, it was probably a time before this blog was started, which placed it at.. say, at least 6-7 years ago.

restaurant Sun Sea at OUG, probably the busiest kopitiam around the area
restaurant Sun Sea at OUG, probably the busiest kopitiam around the area

Yesterday I went there again and had the pork noodle for the second time. To be honest, I actually wanted to try the curry mee at the same restaurant (Penang style with coagulated pork blood), but it we were a little too late. So naturally, I picked the pork noodle as my alternative.

pork noodle soup accompanying the dried version
pork noodle soup accompanying the dried version – with prawn & squid too

We ordered a bowl of kuih teow soup, and another dried meehun + mee pork noodle.

The stall was plenty busy, but with 3-4 cooks and over half a dozen people working, the pork noodle didn’t take too long to arrive (as opposed to the basically one man show at the famous pork noodle at SS3 Kean Fatt).

Like the night time counter part at restaurant Hong Cha located just a stone’s throw away, the pork noodle here comes with not only the essential porky ingredients – liver, pork slices, minced meat, intestine, and lard, there are also the inclusion of some prawns and squids.

pork noodle and some poh piah
dry and soup versions of pork noodle and some poh piah

While I find that the seafood does add to the flavor of the soup, and the overall taste of the pork noodle too was rather good, I still think that the Kean Fatt’s version is just a little more flavorful and more “kao”. Then again, over here there’s the choice of having the dry version (that salted minced meat on top was superb), and the huge upside of being served quite a lot faster. (never go to Kean Fatt at peak hours, after 2 p.m. would be best)

We paid RM 5.50 per bowl at Sun Sea.

Haze and KY trolling at OUG
Haze and KY trolling at OUG

In addition, we also ordered two poh piah (RM 4) as a side dish from another stall, it was absolutely average and even slightly too dry. It was light years away from my favorite poh piah of all time at Jonker Street in Melaka, and quite a lot less tasty than the one at the pohpiah stall at Lucky Garden where you can also find very yummy laksa Sarawak.

map to Sun Sea kopitiam at OUG

Address:
Restaurant Sun Sea 
Jalan Hujan Rahmat,
Overseas Union Garden,
58200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.073945, 101.673234
(close on Wednesdays) 

Olympus E-PL3

Ask anyone from Penang, and chances are char kuih teow is in the list of their favorite hawker dishes. So for those Penangites living in Klang Valley, there’s always a constant urge to find a good plate of char kuih teow.

So when a colleague who was also from Penang talked about this CKT place at Imbi, I knew that we will surely have to try this over lunch time, even thought it meant a good 1km+ walk under the sun.

Mei Sin kopitiam Char Kueh Teow stall
Mei Sin kopitiam Char Kueh Teow stall

Mei Sin eating shop is a kopitiam just off Jalan Imbi, and just like another famous kopitiam nearby – Win Heng Seng, this one is usually packed with white, blue, and no collar workers during lunch hours.

glorious char kuih teow, just need bigger prawns actually
glorious char kuih teow, just need even bigger prawns actually

We went there by around 12 p.m. and the crowd was just building up. The char kuih teow we ordered (of course I ordered in Penang Hokkien, always as a litmus test) took just 15 minutes or so to arrive.

The plate of RM 4.50 goodness came with lightly cooked cockles, prawns (medium size), egg, kuih teow, bean sprouts, and of course, chives. It was lovely, spicy, full of “wok hei”, and positively delicious.

I would rate this place a little better than the CKT stall at Win Heng Seng a stone’s throw away.

Sheng loves the CKT, and do try the fresh yao char kuai too
Sheng loves the CKT, and do try the fresh yao char kuai too

When you are at Mei Sin kopitiam, don’t miss out on the yao char kuai too. The freshly deep fried yao char kuai I had was very crispy and had just the right amount of saltiness with it. I wished there were some bak kut teh soup to go with, but I guess kopi-o wouldn’t be a bad substitute either. The yao char kuai place seems to be off on Thursdays.

Mei Sin kopitiam at Jalan Melati, Imbi

Address:
Restaurant Mei Sin
No. 16, Jalan Melati
Off Jalan Imbi,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14396, 101.714768