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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / January 2016

Chinese New Year is around the corner, so I guess it is appropriate to participate in at least one CNY dinner review session, and since Intercontinental Hotel is nearby my workplace as well as having a sterling reputation in their culinary department, I decided that paying a visit to their Tao Chinese Cuisine for this very purpose should be a rewarding experience, and indeed it was.

Tao Chinese Cuisine at Intercontinental KL, with Chef Wong Lian You
Tao Chinese Cuisine at Intercontinental KL, with Chef Wong Lian You

Tao is headed by Chef Wong Lian You, who joined Intercontinental since 2012 to develop the concept behind this restaurant. The good chef has a long list of awards won in competitions, but above all, he is also humble character who does not shy away from being bold with his culinary inventions.

The CNY menu starts from 11 January to 22 February, 2016 and priced from RM 1,888. There’s also a 20% discount with payments made before 18 January 2016, but I guess this article is a little too late for that.

For our session, we tasted the Opulence set menu 3, priced at RM 2988 for a full table. A bottle of wine comes compliment with the dinner.

Bird’s nest with passion fruit sauce yee sang
Bird’s nest with passion fruit sauce yee sang

We started out with a rather special yee sang dish invented by Chef Wong – bird’s nest with passion fruit sauce yee sang. Other than traditional yee sang ingredients, there’s deep-fried salmon skin and bird’s nest in the mix, the use of fresh passion fruit as the base instead of palm sauce also made the experience rather unique.

I find myself enjoying it a bit too much actually.

Double-boiled fish maw with sea treasure soup
Double-boiled fish maw with sea treasure soup

Next up was double-boiled fish maw with sea treasure soup. The soup is served in individual bowl and packed with flavors  – there’s scallop, abalone, mushroom, chicken, and of course, fish maw. Certainly very satisfying, and beat the radish soup from my own kitchen by about 26.2 miles.

Braised eight treasureS duck
Braised eight treasures duck

Braised either treasure duck show cases the chef’s skill in combining different traditional ingredients in a duck braised to perfection. I don’t want to attempt to pretend that I remember the different individual ingredients, and was too busy chomping down the dish while other more serious journalists were taking notes.

Steamed Soloman star garoupa, stewed abalone with sea cucumber
Steamed Soloman star garoupa, stewed abalone with sea cucumber

CNY dinner menu is never complete without fish, and for this we have steamed Soloman star garoupa with braised tangerine skin, ginger, garlic and mushroom sauce. The fish was good and certainly packed with flavor, the tangerin skin gave it a bit of sophistication not usually associated with Chinese style fish. Part of me still want to have the good old old fashion steamed variety with soya sauce though.

Another classic dish served was the stewed abalone with sea cucumber and bean curd skin bag. This dish was executed as good as any I’ve tried in the past, and abalone is never disappointing.

Wok-fried AlaskaN king crab leg with salted egg sauce, lap mei fan
Wok-fried Alaskan king crab leg with salted egg sauce, lap mei fan

Fifth dish in the 7-course dinner is one that combines luxury with modern, perhaps Malaysian Chinese style of cooking – wok-fried Alaksan king crab leg with salted egg sauce.  Rich, strong tasting, and certainly delicious, the crab leg is also easy to handle and a definite joy to eat.

The penultimate dish was chef Wong’s lap mei fan – steamed glutinous rice with preserved duck leg, salted egg yolk and dried oyster. If you still have space left in your stomach by then, this dish will fit the bill just nice, if not, packing it home for next day’s breakfast is certainly a good alternative.

Pan-fried “ninko” with sesame seeds, salted bean paste dumpling served with chilled peach gum, papaya, snow fungus and glutinous dumpling in soya bean
desserts to end the night, KY & Xing Yi

For dessert, we had pan-fried “ninko” with sesame seeds, salted bean paste dumpling served with chilled peach gum, papaya, snow fungus and glutinous dumpling in soya bean, which actually sounds like two different dishes to me. I absolutely loved the ninko which carries a taste not entirely unlike salted caramel mixed with lotus paste + nian gao, you have to try it! The soya bean dessert also served as good and slightly sweetish ending to the awesome 7-course dinner.

I want to thank Lisa & Justina for the invitation, and Xing Yi for being the stand-in partner in crime for this session.

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Tao Chinese Cuisine
Intercontinental Hotel

165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159767, 101.718045
Tel03-2161 1111
Webwww.intercontinental.com

After spending a good day at Skytrex, I started to research a little on the fun adventure stuff we can do for reasonable amount of money right here in Malaysia. As I was pondering what to do with Haze on her birthday weekends, I recalled seeing a picture of whitewater rafting on one of my whatsapp groups.

A few clicks on the web browser later, I booked ourselves a half-day trip of whitewater rafting at Nomad Adventure in Gopeng, Perak.

Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak
Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak

Nomad Adventure offers quite a few different recreational activities, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, caving, rock climbing, abseiling, and more.

We chose whitewater rafting as it only needs a minimum of 2 pax, and half a day’s rafting with commute time to Gopeng will take almost a day anyway, which fits into our schedule.

we got our safety gears, then a lorry ride to upstream
we got our safety gears, then a lorry ride to upstream

We showed up at Nomad Adventure’s Earth Camp at Gopeng at about 8:30 in the morning after paying for our trip a couple days prior via bank transfer. The camp is ony some 10 minutes or so from the highway exit, which is easy enough to find.

We were then introduced to our guides and got kitted up with safety equipments, which includes a helmet and flotation device.

After that it was a some 30 minutes truck ride with our rafts to upstream. We drove passed several villages and chalets, a bit of a scenic drive I’d say.

white water rafting!
white water rafting!

Before getting on the raft, we were being briefed by our guide on the do’s & don’ts, which also includes a practise session on what to do and how to get rescued should you get thrown out of the raft.

After which was rafting time!

A raft houses 3-6, which includes a guide. Our raft was just Haze, myself, and a very helpful guide, and our “team” had three rafts watching out for each other.

It was a load of fun, part workout, part adventure, and fully immersed in the beautiful pristine jungle. The whole journey took about 1.5-2 hours, including a stopover at a halfway point where we had a little bit of picnic (an apple each).

The adventure was over just a little after midday, and it was definitely something that I would do again, but this time around maybe wait for rainy season at Cameron Highlands so that the rapids will be even more intense!

map to Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak

Address:
Nomad Adventure Earth Camp
Jalan Hussin, Gopeng, Perak
GPS: 4.430745, 101.181127

Continuing our effect of exploring more eateries in the west part of Klang Valley that is .. Klang itself, today we’re going to look at one of the most popular roast duck restaurants in the area.

The name of the restaurant is I-Po, and as you may have guessed, a play on the spelling of Ipoh, the town up north famous for ladies with fair skin and temples within holes in their mountains.

Resotran I-Po, Klang
Resotran I-Po, Klang

The restaurant itself isn’t too difficult to find, it is accessible via two different major roads in Klang, and parking isn’t something entirely too challenging.

As an additional advantage, unlike most restaurants in Klang, this one speaks Cantonese (since they’re from Ipoh, I assume) in addition to Klang style Hokkien and Mandarin, which can be convenient to some.

roast duck, roast pork, ribs, and more
roast duck, roast pork, ribs, and more

The restaurant offers a little more than just roast duck, you can also find roast pork, bbq pork, pork ribs, and several types of vegetables, tofu, eggs, almost ala mixed rice style.

For lunch, we ordered a portion of roast duck, roast pork, ribs, and some salted vegetable to go with good old fashion steamed rice. A little bit of everything, really.

a closer look at these roast meat goodness
a closer look at these roast meat goodness

The roast duck did not disappoint, properly flavored, succulent meat with crispy skin, could hold its own among the better ones (such as Loong Foong & Sunrise in PJ, Chen Chen in KL, Sun Ming in Cheras), but the duck seems slightly smaller in size though.

They’ve also got the skin for their roast pork down perfectly, which seems like something eateries at Klang does very well. The pork ribs though isn’t exactly comparable with the gems at Peng Heong just a few kilometers away.

What I really like though, is the condiments they provide here. The home-made chili sauce here is very different from the ones you get at usual roast duck places, it is slightly sweeter but has a good kick to it, I find it very appealing. Of course, the usual roast duck sauce is offered as well.

Haze and KY at I-Po restaurant
Haze and KY at I-Po restaurant

Overall I’d say it is a restaurant definitely worth visiting, especially if you’re at this part of town. Food’s pretty good and prices are fair. Remember, Klang isn’t just about bak kut teh.

map to i-po roast duck, klang

Address:
I-Po Restoran
180, Jalan Batu Unjur 1,
Taman Bayu Perdana,
41200 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.015270, 101.432853
Tel03-3324 2295
Hours: 8am to 5pm, closes on Wednesday

While Klang is famous for bak kut teh, there are other options for food just in case the pork laden goodness is not exactly your most favorite thing ever (like it should). Today, let’s look at the pretty awesome chee cheong fun and yong tau foo stall that is Long Kei at Taman Eng Ann.

there's always a queue in front of Long Kei
there’s always a queue in front of Long Kei

We actually stumbled upon this shop while looking for parking to get to the Eng Ann morning market. There always seems to be a healthy queue in front of the shop, a surefire indication that the food must be at least decent.

So naturally, we gave it a try.

yong tau foo with chee cheong fun
yong tau foo with chee cheong fun

The selection of yong tau foo here is among the biggest I’ve seen anywhere. There’s green chili, brinjal, bitter gourd, fuchok, pork skin, various types of fishball/meatball, deep fried stuff, tofu, cuttle fish, and even kangkung, spoilt for choices really.

If you want to try one of each, you better come prepared with really big appetite.

two satisfied customers
two satisfied customers

We chose about 8-10 items to go with chee cheong fun. The sauce here isn’t overly complex but they seemed to get it just right, not overly sweet nor too thick. With the homemade chili sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, it made for a more than decent meal for two under RM 20 (including drinks).

I think this could be one of our regular places whenever dimsum/yong tau foo cravings come calling.

map to Long Kei yong tau foo and chee cheong fun, Klang

Address:
Long Kei Yong Tau Foo
Jalan Kawasari 4b,
Taman Eng Ann,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.057452, 101.459852

I grew up in the era before internet was a thing, and back in those days, shopping usually means heading out to the mall (Komtar in Penang in our case), walk around and hunt for the best deals, and possibly asking the salesperson on the features and specifications of the items we wanted to purchase. It was hard work.

And if you are those who wants to get the most bang for your bucks, it meant asking around different shops, waiting for sales period, or even collecting paper coupons.

Well, those were the days. Now we have click on the computer/smart phone, and things appear in our front door a few days later. I love the 21st century.

rakuten malaysia

Now of course there are many places to shop online, but it is always wise to choose one based on the these few points (personally I think so anyway)

  • Reputable
  • Local (saves on shipping, easier returns if needed)
  • Good Deals

Rakuten Malaysia was launched in Malaysia in November 2012, just a little over 3 years ago, and to be honest, I actually purchased a Komine riding pants from the international site before the Malaysian version was launched. The process was simple and reliable then, it is even better now with the local site.

5x points everyday at Rakuten

We already know the reputation of Rakuten and that it is a Malaysian site, so today, we look at the deals offered here – the Rakuten Super Points.

how does point works at Rakuten

What is Rakuten Super Point and how does it work?

Well, every purchase you get from Rakuten now awards 5x points, which directly translate to a 5% savings to be used on the subsequent purchases. Very straightforward.

Additionally, on Wednesday, if you have a MasterCard, use it to get additional 5% off your goodies.

bike accessory shop on Rakuten

For example, I am researching for motorcycle riding gear and hop on to G7 bike store on Rakuten. Here they have helmet, bikeware, gloves, rainwear, shoes, and more, which is pretty neat and rather useful for me.

komine jackets on Rakuten

Maybe it’s time for me to get another jacket to supplement the current one (sometimes it rains and I’m out of luck the next day while waiting for the jacket to dry). G7 carries Komine, and if I get JK-063, here’s the savings:

  • purchase on Wednesday and use MasterCard (5%) and pay only RM 1007
  • get RM 50 via 5x points
  • total savings of RM 103!

You can be smart about it and separate your purchase into two batches to use the points immediately, or saves them up to be used at a later point. It’s really up to you.

rakuten coupons every weekends

But wait, remember the coupon thingy we talked about earlier? Instead of cutting it from magazine, just check out Rakuten every weekends for one that you can use. For example, at the time of writing, there’s a RM 5 coupon. Paste in the code during checkout get RM 5 off.

If you haven’t come across Rakuten Malaysia yet, go check it out now, there bound to be stuff you need in their vast catalogue. Sign up and enjoy these great deals.

P/S: this is a sponsored post by Rakuten Malaysia