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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / March 2016

Brinjal is one of my favorite fruit/vegetable (whatever you want to call it), and today I want to share with you a quick and simple way of preparing this all time favorite – fried brinjal Chinese style, with ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen pantry.

brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper
brinjal, dark soya sauce, sugar, mini bell pepper, garlic, pepper

Ingredients:

  • one purple brinjal (chopped in bite size)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon salt cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • small bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, peeled and cut

this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes
this fry brinjal dish is done within 5 minutes

Cooking instructions:

  • heat up frying pan and oil
  • put in garlic & miniature bell pepper, fry till fragrant
  • add brinjal, fry for a minute
  • add water, sugar, dark soya sauce
  • cover frying pan and let it steam for a couple minutes
  • add salt & pepper to taste
  • serve while hot

vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal
vege, fish and soup makes for a complete meal

My main purpose penning this entry is so that I can refer to this when I want to re-create this dish in the future. Eat well and start cooking!

It was my supreme ignorance that one of my favorite no frill Chinese restaurant chain now has a branch in KLCC – Kiki Taiwanese Cuisine, by the same people that brought us Fong Lye at Gardens.

Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, 4th floor KLCC
Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, 4th floor KLCC

Like the other 4th floor restaurants on Suria Mall, Kiki has a modern interior decoration with table arrangement centered towards packing as many people as possible without it being a fire hazard. That’s fine and dandy for quick afternoon lunches for the most part, but not exactly a place you’d want to bring your Valentine’s date for a quiet & private dating session over lunch.

3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80)
3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80)

Most dishes come in the form of set menus with rice/noodle, soup, vegetable, and some tidbits in addition to the main ingredient. They are generally priced at around RM 20+ to RM 30+ and served quickly, which is great for office lunch crowds.

mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80)
mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80)

The three dishes we had – 3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80), mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80), and steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80) were pretty much within expectations when it comes with taste, and definitely a little over the top in terms of portion. While you don’t get any premium ingredients (example: fish would be tilapia), the quality is more than justifiable for the price stated on the menu.

steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80)
steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80)

Overall, despite the crowd, Kiki delivers pretty much as well as their sister branches at Gardens and other locations. Would definitely not mind going again.

my lunch partners at Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, KLCC
my lunch partners at Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, KLCC

map of KLCC

Address:
Fourth Level, Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833
Tel03-2166 9699

If there’s a Japanese food I have to choose to go with cold beer, there’ll be no doubt in my mind that it has to be yakitori, so when I got the invitation to review the offering at Torii at TTDI thanks to Kirin Ichiban, I was obviously more than happy to oblige.

After all, a premium Japanese beer with one of the higher end yakitori restaurants, you’d be foolish to not do it.

Kirin Ichiban promotion at Torii, TTDI
Kirin Ichiban promotion at Torii, TTDI

The reason we were here was to try the pairing of Kirin Ichiban with the dishes. Kirin is made with 100% malt, and brewed with an innovative “First Press” method by extracting the malt liquid from only the first press. Perhaps a little bit like “extra virgin olive oil” (I may be a bit off here), this is what contributes to the smoothness and premium taste.

At Torii, there’s also a promotion going on every Wednesday and Thursday night, with a glass of Kirin going for only RM 10.

veal chunk, squid tentacles, and crispy cheese beef yakitori
veal chunk, squid tentacles, and crispy cheese beef yakitori

The restaurant is located at the inner, slightly quieter part of TTDI that isn’t plagued with crazy parking problems like some of the busier areas a couple minutes away. It is simple, elegant, and exude a very classy, fine dining feel without having a menu that is, I think, quite accessible to many of us.

broiled lobster chowder, bonded unagi & foie gras, upper thigh
broiled lobster chowder, bonded unagi & foie gras, upper thigh

Like its name suggests, yakitori is the speciality here at Torii. We tried wings (RM 8.90), squid tentacles (RM 10.90), sweet potato (RM 5.90), upper thigh (RM 6.90), rock lobster (RM 11.90), crispy cheese beef (RM 12.90), and veal chunk (RM 15.90). None of these disappoint, but if I have to pick, upper thigh, rock lobster, and cheese beef would be those you should try.

If you’re having these with beer, the chef will usually make the yakitori just a tad saltier, which really enhances the tasting experience, and Kirin with it’s crisp and refreshing taste provides excellent contrast to the strong tasting yakitori.

If you like something soupy, go for the broiled lobster chowder with crab croutons (RM 18.90) that also prepared with porcini mushroom, shallot, and olive oil. I’d love to have this on rainy days.

triple peaks - toro, unagi, and amoebi sushi
triple peaks – uni, amoebi, toro sushi

Perhaps surprisingly, cold beer goes rather well as a stand-in for green tea when paired with sushi. The triple peaks (RM 26.90) is a plate of three premium sushi with uni (sea urchin), amoebi (sweet shrimp), and toro (tuna belly). For under RM 30 this is not only awesome, but also provides very good value for the ingredients provided.

Then there’s Autumn risotto (RM 27.90), a deceptively simple dish with crab claw, egg yolk & asparagus. Beautifully presented and equally satisfying in the taste department. This dish would  not disappoint any Italian food connoisseur.

wings, avocado de la mer, sweet potato, green tea creme brulee, nutella gyoza
wings, avocado de la mer, sweet potato, green tea creme brulee, nutella gyoza

Other dishes we sampled include the bonded unagi & foie gras (RM 29.90), kampachi uni jalapeno (RM 34.90), and avocado de la mar (RM 19.90). These aren’t exactly yakitori nor are they strictly traditional Japanese dishes, but they went so well with Kirin and left us wanting for more even as our stomach was filling up to the brim.

Of course, no fine dining meal is complete without desserts. For this we had green tea creme brulee with white chocolate lavender ice cream (RM 24.90) and nutella gyoza with chocolate ganache & whisky raisin ice cream (RM 24.90). I like the creativity in nutella gyoza, and while the desserts may not stand out as much as their yakitori and other delicacies, they were certainly more than decent.

Yen & hubby, KY & Haze enjoying some awesome food and Kirin Ichiban
Yen & hubby, KY & Haze enjoying some awesome food and Kirin Ichiban

If you love yakitori, a fan of beer, or just generally love some good food in fine dining environment without breaking the bank, this is definitely one of the places worth checking out.

Also get more information on Kirin Ichiban at their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/kirinmalaysia

Torii at TTDI map

Address:
18, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148787, 101.629781
Tel03-7733 9309

Traveling abroad for a bit of rest & relax is in the list for many of us when it comes to choices in spending our vacation time & money, and when it comes to this, there’s always the concern on currency exchange – Where to a good rate? When to exchange? How much to exchange?

eForex application on Android and iOS devices
eForex application on Android and iOS devices

For this, many of us has our “favorite” money changers. Some goes to TTDI, others like certain counters in certain malls. Whichever one we head to, there’s always some potential common problems:

  • long queue and wait time
  • money exchange counter does not have enough stock of particular currency
  • having to bring (sometimes too much) cash to do it

today's exchange rate, favorites, and rate alert features
today’s exchange rate, favorites, and rate alert features

Well, the good thing is now you can get rid of some of those problems by doing this right on your mobile phone with eForex application (available on Android & iOS devices).

Yes, welcome to 2016!

The eForex application is pretty simple to use. After download and installing it on the device, you can proceed to register an account with the app, this process takes between 5-15 minutes, including an email verification step.

After that you’re good to go. There are over 20 different currencies to choose from, and all with “live” currency rates right on the mobile screen. This surely beats having to run around different money exchange counters checking out their rates. There’s also a function to set your favorite currencies.

Another feature I find particularly helpful is the “rate alerts notifications“, which sends you a notification whenever a particular currency rise/fall under certain threshold you set. Together with “travel reminder“, these is two functions can be quite neat when you’re on a budget and don’t want to get surprises.

pick up locations in Klang Valley
pick up locations in Klang Valley

eForex offers pick up points in a number of locations throughout Klang Valley, with the locations easily found under “pick up point selector” – Rawang, KL, Shah Alam, Puchong, and even Banting all has outlets to get your currency.

Other than saving time and hassle, the most important benefit to me is the availability of online payment (via FPX and MEPS). This eliminate a trip to the ATM or bank entirely, not to mention more secure as well.

book & collect, travel reminder
book & collect, travel reminder

So for your next travel & foreign currency needs, give this application a try.

Let’s get the “trying to try all the bak kut teh in Klang” project going again, this time, we look at Eng Chun bak kut teh at Taman Berkeley, which is located right across the road from the more famous Samy & Ah Her bak kut teh.

Eng Chun Bak Kut Teh, located at Taman Berkeley
Eng Chun Bak Kut Teh, located at Taman Berkeley

The restaurant set up is like most of the traditional old school Klang bkt – single bowl with the choice of cut you want, to go with rice and maybe some chili padi. Of course, Chinese tea is just about the only option for drinks, choose from the type of tea leaves they provide, order a glass, or if you’re a proper Klang resident – bring your own tea leaves.

a single portion of "big bone" cut, rice, and chili padi
a single portion of “big bone” cut, rice, and chili padi

For lunch, I chose one of my usual cuts – big bone, and was greeted with a chunky piece of meat that isn’t the most representative of what big bone should look like, but it is a correct cut nonetheless. The meat turned out to be quite soft, with the fatty part plenty delicious enough for me.

Eng Chun is one of those places that doesn’t serve a lot of food, but they are thick and very herbal, not very different from Samy & Ah Her across the road, but perhaps less peppery. A worthy competitor to be honest, despite getting maybe only half the amount of customers compared to the the more glamourous shop.

simple meal for simple man, isn't it?
simple meal for simple man, isn’t it?

If you’re already a fan of the type of bak kut teh serves by the likes of Ah Her or Mo Sang Kor, you will enjoy Eng Chun’s interpretation of this Klang’s famous dish. A single portion of meat is RM 10, and additional RM 1 for rice, so a meal can be had for slightly lower than RM 12 here.

map to Eng Chun bak kut teh

Address:
Eng Chun Bak Kut Teh
36, Jalan Angsa, Taman Berkeley,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS3.056204, 101.465012
Hours: 7:30am to lunch, closed on Thursdays