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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / February 2013

We were invited to the launch of the all-new Kia Rio at e-Curve last week to take a sneak peek at Naza Kia’s latest offering – the All-New Rio. I always liked the sleek and young design of Kia Rio hatch, but the latest version took it even further in terms of looks, capability, and performance.

performances prior to the launch of Kia Rio
performances prior to the launch of Kia Rio

The event was hosted by JJ from Hitz FM with a couple performances that’s full of energy to pump up the mood. Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, the COO of Naza Kia Malaysia, delivered a speech and officially launched the highly anticipated Rio.

According to Datuk Hafiz, the All-New Rio will allow Naza Kia Malaysia to tab into the growing B-segment market in Malaysia.

Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Ahbu Bakar, CEO of Naza Kia Malaysia launched the new Rio
Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Ahbu Bakar, COO of Naza Kia Malaysia launched the new Rio

The event showcases three different colors (5 available) and I think the design of the car is gorgeous. The signature “Tiger Nose” radiator grille looks sleek, and the LED daylight running light is usually only found in cars that are priced much higher. There’s automated folding mirrors and LED side repeaters at the back too.

The Rio also comes with 16″ (EX model) or 17″ (SX model) alloy wheels to complete the sporty exterior.

Electric Blue, Signal Red, and Clear White are among the color choices
Electric Blue, Signal Red, and Clear White are among the color choices

For a B segment car, the interior is rather spacious, and the centre console packed with Bluetooth connectivity and audio system by Arkamys that comes with AUX, USB, and iPod connectivity too. Other features include tilt and telescopic steering wheel, ABS, vehicle stability management, and six airbags.

Some of the premium features found only on the 1.4 SX model are sunroof, push-start ignition, front fog lamps, and cluster ionizer.

interior is sleek, and there's a full size spare tyre at the back
interior is sleek, and there’s a full size spare tyre at the back

Under the hood, the car is powered by Kia’s Gamma 1.4 MPI CVVT engine which produces 109 PS and 137 Nm of torque. That’s pretty impressive for a 1.4 liter engine that delivers 16.6 km per liter (just over 6 liter/100 km) with CO2 emissions limited to 130 gram per 100 km.

The motor is mated with a four-speed automatic transmission that comes with a shift gate for manual-style shifting, nifty when you need that extra boost to overtake on freeways.

mandatory picture of the cute model at the launch, Cheesie & I were there
mandatory picture of the cute model at the launch, Winner of the New Kia Rio, Cheesie & I

Oh, for a B-segment car, the boot space of Rio is plenty big as well, and I particularly love the fact that it carries a full size spare tyre so that you can just swap out the flat and keep going at full speed in the case of the inevitable.

The All-New Rio comes with a five year unlimited mileage warranty, if you’re in a market for a new ride, here’s one to check out.

Go to www.kia.com for more information on the All-New Rio.

One of my favorite comfort hawker dishes in Penang is the kuih teow th’ng, or kuih teow soup. This simple dish is prevalent on the island, but isn’t exactly popular at all in Klang Valley, most likely due to its similarity with pork noodle and fish ball/ fish meat noodle places.

So whenever I’m back in Penang, I usually try to sneak in a couple bowls of yummy kuih teow soup.

the kuih teow soup that used to be at Pitt Street, now at Lebuh Carnarvon
the kuih teow soup that used to be at Pitt Street, now at Lebuh Carnarvon

One of my favorite places that offers a good bowl of kuih teow soup was the stall at by Armenian and Pitt Street, and in fact I’ve written about the place more than 6 years ago in this entry, which is due for an update anyway.

The same stall has since moved to Lebuh Carnarvon, a stone’s throw away in the opposite direction of the famous (and probably the best) fried oyster omelete at Seng Thor kopitiam on the same road.

simple, light, and delicious kuih teow soup
simple, light, and delicious kuih teow soup

Over the Chinese New Year break, we stopped by there for a light lunch. For the four of us, we ordered kuih teow soup with extra “meat sheet” for everyone, and an extra bowl of fish ball soup to share. I’d have added intestines and other innards but unfortunately they’d ran out of those goodies by the time we were there.

The fish ball here is home made with eel (鳗鱼) as the major ingredient, which results in a unique softer texture and exquisite taste that is quite different from your run off the mill smooth wolf herring fish ball (西刀鱼)

we ordered extra fish balls and absolutely finished everything
we ordered extra fish balls and absolutely finished everything

We really enjoyed the extra “meat sheet” as well. It’s made of pork and carries a slightly salty but savory taste to it, a bit like a flattened smooth meat ball for the lack of a better description. The kuih teow soup also comes with fried garlic oil, lard, and duck meat. For only a few ringgit per pax including drinks, we were well satisfied with lunch.

Parking can be a bit of a hassle when you dine here, but nothing a bit of patience won’t resolve.

map to Pitt Street kuih teow th'ng at Lebuh Carnavon

Address:
Pitt Street Kuih Teow Soup
183, Carnarvon Street,
10100 Penang
GPS5.414863, 100.334439
Tel: 017-479 3208

Chinese New Year is the time for family and friends to sit together for a good meal, and after so many traditional Chinese dishes, it’s good to take a break and get something that’s a little different. Which was why I was quite delighted to be invited to Kelantan Delights for a food tasting session about a week ago to sample some of what they have to offer, with a promise of a twist.

Kelantan Delights at Subang Jaya
Kelantan Delights at Subang Jaya

Kelantan Delights is a classy restaurant that serves Kelantan and Southern Thai cuisines, for the past 10 years or so they called KLCC home, but have since moved to SS 16 Subang Jaya as well as a branch at Sooka Sentral. The restaurant was also judged as the best Halal Malay Restaurant 2005/06 by Halal Journal.

So we did expect some quality here.

tid bits to start, our menu of the night
tid bits to start, our menu of the night

While waiting for guests to arrive, we were served with some tid bits consisting keropok lekor, cucur udang, pohpiah goreng and so forth. They were presented like tapas, and we certainly welcomed them.

somtam yee sang, something different
somtam yee sang, something different

A pretty long lion dance routine later, we gathered around and had a round of “lou sang” session that I’ve never experienced before – with somtam yee sang! It was refreshing and different, but to be honest, I did miss the raw fish a bit. I think having a few slices of raw salmon might make this even better. Fans of somtam would certainly love this.

pohpiah basah and coconut tomyam with prawn
pohpiah basah and coconut tomyam with prawn

Our first dish was pohpiah basah. Filled with sengkuang, vege, carrots and more. It tasted pretty good especially with the chili sauce and crushed peanuts provided. My only complain is that the skin was a tad too thick.

Next come Kelantan Delights’ specialty – coconut tomyam with prawn. It was one of the spiciest tomyam soup I’ve ever had, but I finished it all. The sweet coconut meat somehow worked wonderfully with the sourness and spiciness of tomyam, I wonder why it wasn’t served everywhere.

ayam masak merah, garupa with dried chili, butter prawn, sayur kolok
ayam masak merah, garupa with dried chili, butter prawn, sayur kolok

Ayam masak merah was properly cooked and flavored heavily but in a good way, best served with steamed rice. Garupa with dried chili was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, it was surprisingly easy to consume, no messy bones to deal with as the preparation method have dealt with that problem.

I thought the butter prawn was perhaps a bit too soft, but it was flavored “correctly”, and sayur kolok was a welcoming change in taste with the coconut milk based soup that mellows back our taste buds down a bit.

kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, kerabu ikan bilis
kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, kerabu ikan bilis

A trio of spicy vegetables followed. Kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, and kerabu ikan bilis. These dishes were good, and while slightly over powering eating them on their own, some steamed rice or fried rice would be wonderful to accompany them.

daging bakar, sambal udang petai, nasi goreng ikan masin
daging bakar, sambal udang petai, nasi goreng ikan masin

By this time, I was already pretty much over stuffed. So the daging bakar, while flavorful, was perhaps a bit filling for me. But as a petai fan, I really enjoyed the sambal udang petai dish (and again wished I had some steamed rice!)

By the time nasi goreng ikan masin was served, I was only able to sample a small spoonful. I liked it.

bubur pulut hitam, lompat tikam, Fresh, KY, Haze
bubur pulut hitam, lompat tikam, Fresh, KY, Haze

Dessert came in the form of bubur pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) and lompat tikam (jump & stab, what a name!). I managed to sample a bit of these sweet dishes and my tastebuds were left wanting for more with my stomach begging me to stop.

If I were to come to Kelantan Delights myself, I’d probably limit my orders to 5-6 dishes for a group of 6, and have some steamed rice to go with some of the spicy dishes, and definitely the tomyam. As for somtam yee sang, well, you might want to try something at least once, right?

maps to Kelantan Delights, Subang Jaya

Address:
Kelantan Delights
Ground Floor East Wing Wisma Consplant 1.
No 2 Jalan SS16/4 47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.081102, 101.583806
Tel03-5611 7845

First, check out the video below of a strange highway incident in Germany.

There’s a CCTV footage showing a cargo truck being lifted off the highway by a strange light, and seems like whatever that’s pursuing the truck was after the cargo, which was missing immediately afterwards.

Could it be a cover up of something extraterrestrial, or just an overreaction?

It’s gonna interesting to see what’s inside the truck, and especially what’s the mysterious light caught on the camera was.

Stay tuned for more!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone and may you have blessed Snake year ahead. Not coincidentally, Valentine’s day is also just around the corner and we had the chance to sample one of the many Valentine’s day menus around town at the Renoma Cafe Gallery at Bukit Bintang the other day.

For those of you who are looking for a romantic night out with love ones, this is a place worth considering. Read on.

Update 11/11/2015: unfortunately this place has since closed

Renoma Cafe Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang (by Jalan Delima)
Renoma Cafe Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang (by Jalan Delima)

Renoma Cafe Gallery is opened by the very same person that brought you the famous underwear (and fashion) brand, and in fact, this is the second of such cafe in the world, with the first one being at Paris.

The place serves modern Western food with a heavy influence in French cuisine. There’s a dining hall with a stage and live music on weekends, alfresco dining areas, as well as a big private dining room upstairs. Interior decoration is a bit quirky but tastefully done.

Lets get on the 4 course Valentine’s Day menu (priced at RM 388++ for two person) that includes all the dishes described below as well as two glasses of champagne.

consomme of kangaroo island marron; veloute of crustacean & stone crab
consomme of kangaroo island marron; veloute of crustacean & stone crab

The gentleman starts with Veloute of Crustacean & Stone Crab, basically a cream of shellfish with stone crab meat, blue mussel, brown clam and XO chili oil. A pretty hearty way to start out  dinner, the soup was delicious and packed with plenty of crab meat as well as shellfish. Just this alone filled up almost 1/3 of my stomach space already.

Consomme of Kangaroo Island Marron is the lady’s first dish and it’s packed boullion of seafood with grilled crayfish, blue mussel, brown clam & petit pois. Crayfish isn’t something you get very often in Malaysia, and it tasted a bit like a cross between crab and lobster. The consomme is a bit lighter in taste but not lacking in character.

surf & turf; earth & ocean
earth & ocean (top); surf & turf (bottom)

For the second dish, surf and turf is in store for the guy, while the lady enjoys a dish called earth and ocean.

Surf and turf includes medallion of medium lamb loin & rock lobster, sauteed baby spinach and smoked chili coulis. I love the lamb loin, and I think the shelled rock lobster is something that you can appreciate even just by looking at the photo. Oh, that massive scallop was excellent too!

Earth and Ocean comes with tataki maguro akami, caramelized foie gras pate, chargrilled portobello mushroom and wild berries. The tuna fish was perhaps slightly too done for my liking (but I’m nitpicking), the mushroom soft and full of flavor, and the foie gras pate did not disappoint either. We were quite impressed with the food at Renoma Cafe Gallery by this point.

black Angus tenderloin, wild caught red emperor
black Angus tenderloin, wild caught red emperor

For the main course, there’s a choice of black Angus tenderloin or wild caught red emperor.

The beef dish comes with char grilled black Angus beef tenderloin that’s prepared to your choice, pomme dauphine, duck fat baby carrot, and morel ragout. The tenderloin was top notch, with the scallops and shellfish complimenting the beef perfectly.

If the beef was good, the fish was perhaps even better. Oven baked dried sole crusted red emperor, butternut squash puree, nai pak, and salted yolk emulsion made up this dish. The photo might not look like much, but the skin of the fish was really something that you need to taste for yourself. It was crunchy and salted just nice, with the seafood not overcooked. I took a bite and wished I could have the whole dish to myself.

chocolate sunrise; strawberry sunset
chocolate sunrise; strawberry sunset

The three excellent dishes were then followed by two desserts, again one for the guy and another for the lady.

Chocolate sunrise comes with guanaja chocolate with mango lavender coulis, coffee ice cream and hazelnut crumble. I love the ice cream, but though the chocolate was pretty average, perhaps the other dishes has set too high a standard to keep up.

Strawberry sunset comes with strawberry fraiser mosse cake with passion fruit and mango coulis, raspberry sherbet and praline croustillant. Again, we enjoyed the ice cream a bit more than the other part of the dessert.

KY & Haze at Renoma Cafe Gallery
KY & Haze at Renoma Cafe Gallery

Overall, I rate Renoma Cafe Gallery pretty high based on what we were served. The place also has lively music and serves a full range of cocktail and other drinks. I’d love to return sometimes to try their other offerings.

If you have a private function, this is also a potential place to check out, but for those who’re looking for a good Valentine’s dinner, if the budget fits, this is a place to go.

Renoma Cafe Gallery KL map

Address:
Renoma Cafe Gallery
Lot 510, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.147212, 101.720814
Tel: 03-2143 9919