On my last trip to Sabah for work, Ben, as usual, brought me to one of those special food places where tourist business isn’t one of their aims. The place is called Taukefish Recipe, a restaurant with a rather peculiar set up that you’d think it is some sort of a joke.
Tauke Fish at Kota Kinabalu
The restaurant is converted from a house located at the deep end of a small kampung a stone’s throw away from the airport. While they have put up signboards leading to the eatery, they are about as tiny as half a piece of A4 paper, just to ensure that no one would ever notice it, but at the same time big enough to serve as a confirmation that you’re on the right track.
Secondly, the restaurant isn’t opened for business at all time. Ben mentioned that it is always best to call in prior, as the boss tend to only open for business when he could procure top quality fresh fish. Sounds good to me.
giant garupa fish meehun, only the freshest
Our lunch was their signature giant garupa fish meehun, served in typical Sabah style tomato broth (not entirely unlike the version at Fatt Kee), with a couple homemade fried fish balls, tomato, and salted vegetable. The meehun used here is also of the slightly thicker variety which does a good job of soaking up those broth a little bit more readily.
The portion of fish is certainly generous and of the best quality I’ve sampled from anywhere. They’re cooked just so you get to taste the natural sweetness of the seafood, perfect execution. If you like to spice things up, they also offer 2-3 different types of chili sauce to pick from.
you can almost smell the freshness from the photo
The taste and freshness of fish is definitely key to the existence of this place. If you’re at KK and love your seafood, this is a place to check out. Prices are definitely on the high side at over RM 30+ per bowl, but if you’re more than willing to pay such prices for some sushi, why not these?
Whenever anyone spoke of Klang & food in the same sentence, it is almost always about bak kut teh, and while it is true that the best BKTs in the land can be found right at Klang, the district also offers one other dish that’s unique to this area which I absolutely love – the Klang style red wine mee suah.
Not to be confused with fuchow red wine mee suah that is actually red in color (such as this one at Sentul), the Klang red wine mee suah uses a different concoction of wine that is actually yellowish in color. Additionally, while fuchow mee suah comes with chicken, Klang style is served with pork slices (or minced pork), poached egg, and finely chopped fried ginger.
Klang style red wine mee suah
The bowl you see on the above picture is a typical serving of Klang red wine mee suah, with the exception of having vegetable. They are usually served without, but often you can get the stall owner to add some if you prefer some greens in your breakfast.
As for taste, it usually carries a pretty strong rice wine taste with a slightly sour note in the soup base, with poach egg and those fried ginger providing balance and complexity to the dish. It is one of the better comfort food if you’re looking for something soupy and rejuvenating in the a.m.
a poached egg with semi runny yolk on the mee suah
A typical bowl of Klang red wine mee suah runs anywhere from RM 6.50 – RM 7.50, you do pay slightly more than other hawker dishes in the area due to (I presume) the cost of alcohol used.
If you find yourself at Klang next time, give this under-represented dish a try, you may just like it! They’re available at majority of the kopitiam in Klang.
Address: Eng Ann Coffee Shop 2, Lorong Kasawari 4, Taman Eng Ann, 41150 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.056437, 101.459347
Being from a somewhat typical family in Penang, I’m no stranger to Nyonya style cooking, this is mostly due to the fact that Baba-Nyonya cuisine shares many similar recipes to Penang Hokkien dishes.
So when we were at Baba Nyonya Restaurant in Avenue K, I had certain expectations on what they should be able to cook up.
Baba Nyonya, Avenue K, with my dining partners
The restaurant is located at the same level with the LRT station, with an interior decor that is pretty tastefully done, catering to mostly 2-4 people per table, though larger crowd can be arranged, to a certain extend.
The menu offers quite a variety of dishes, with selections from individual noodle or “daily plates”, as well as ala-carte entries to be eaten with steamed rice with a group of your favorite buddies, which was what we mainly did when I find myself with a few colleagues at Baba Nyonya a couple weeks ago.
proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable
We sampled one single dish in the form of Ayam Masak Merah, and three shared lauk of terung belado (RM 16.90), chicken pongteh (RM 26.90), and asam fish pedas claypot (RM 35.90) over dinner.
The ayam masak merah is a dish you can enjoy over lunch and comes with loads of those sauce that has a good balance of sweet and spicy taste to it, there’s also a spring role to get you started.
terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot
Asam fish pedas claypot was our favorite among the three shared dishes. The fish retains some crunchiness while not overly fried, with the asam pedas broth brings forth a good kick, perfect when mixed with steamed rice.
The terung too was proper, soft, tender, and packed with flavor. However, we did agree that the chicken pongteh was pretty average, or perhaps just overshadowed by other offerings from Baba Nyonya during this session.
The experience at Baba Nyonya Avenue was certainly a positive one, I think I’ll be heading over for lunch one of these days to check out more of their individual dishes.
Continuing with our food exploit at Avenue K, the mall that’s connected by KLCC via underground LRT station, we sampled the food offered by Tokyo Pastry, a Japanese themed restaurant that offers mostly Western menu inspired by Japanese style cooking, or is it?
Tokyo Pastry, Avenue K
Situated at the mezzanine floor, the restaurant got its cue from European style bakeries in Japan, with the menu that has very little resemblance to traditional Japanese cuisine that we are familiar with.
The restaurant is often quite busy over lunch time on working days, but if you want to enjoy a quiet meal here, the best time is during dinner or over the weekends, when the mall isn’t swarmed by office crowd.
salmon salad, spicy mushroom spaghetti, Tokyo burger, pan seared chicken
We started with their salmon salad (RM 22), pretty generous amount of gravlax wrapping chopped mango & greens make for a rather healthy start of a meal, or a meal in itself if you want something light. This is probably the go-to healthy choice for the dieting hipsters, but I do quite like it.
Spicy mushroom spaghetti (RM 19) is a pretty straight forward pasta dish with a few types of mushroom in a spaghetti that comes with a bit of a kick, mainly for the pepper used.
Tokyo burger (RM 20) comes with that green tea infused bun that looks a bit radio active but tasted rather good with its generous slab of chicken cooked with teriyaki sauce. There’s a small side of salad and fries too.
If you want more protein in your meal, the pan seared chicken (RM 23) may just do the trick. A big slab of chicken seared with chef’s homemade sauce, plus some vegetable and potato. Simple and pretty satisfying.
matcha mitsu, Japanese cheese cake, tiramisu crepe
Granted, I didn’t have the chance to to try the pastries above, however, as the name suggests, Tokyo pastry pride themselves in their cakes and crepe, the matcha mitsu (RM 16), Japanese cheese cake (RM 13.95), and tiramisu crepe (RM 14.95) all looked the part and I trust that they are up to the challenge in taste department.
raspberry lychee soda, latte, espresso & milk
Tokyo pastry also serve up more than competent coffee. The latte and espresso with a side of milk that I tried were as good as any. For a bit more refreshing taste, the raspberry lychee soda should suffice as well.
When it comes to street food in Malaysia, most people often cite Penang right off the bat, but for those who likes something perhaps more comforting, Ipoh street food is a great alternative. If you’re in KL looking for a taste of what Ipoh has to offer, Avenue K’s Ipoh Market Street (non halal) should be in your short list.
Ipoh Market Street, Avenue K
Walking out from KLCC LRT station, take a right turn and keep walking towards the end, you’ll find Ipoh Market Street on your right. The diminutive entrance opens up into a pretty decent size dining hall with a menu filled with a good selection of dishes hailed from the city that was famous for tin mining.
One thing to note – Ipoh Market Street at Avenue K is a non-halal restaurant.
Ipoh curry mee
The signature dish here is the Ipoh Curry Mee (RM 11.90) that comes with chicken stripes, roast pork, mint, lime, and your choice of noodle. I thought the broth does pack a punch and the inclusion of roast pork made everything that much better. Definitely satisfying for someone who wants a jolt over lunch, I liked it.
Ipoh white coffee, market street soft boil egg on toast
The soft boil egg on toast (RM 4.90) was my favorite dish over the tasting period. In fact, I went back a week later to specifically order this and savior it slowly. Perfect soft boil eggs on perfectly toasted bread, as simple as they are delicious.
The Ipoh white coffee (RM 4.50) here is one of their specialty, and always with proper thick foam too. If you like full bodied creamy coffee, this would definitely satisfy.
Ipoh caramel custard egg, spicy chili crispy pork fried rice
Ipoh caramel custard egg is something that seems sorta out of place at this “kopitiam” style restaurant, but I thought the dessert was more than decent, like most dishes we tried here.
Other than noodle dishes and light meals, Ipoh Market Street also serve “tai chao”, or hot wok style of meal from 5-10 pm daily. We only managed to try their spicy chili crispy pork fried rice (RM 11.80) and it was pretty decent, though I’d want to have the portion to be a bit smaller so that the pork to rice ratio is higher tho, but for those with a big appetite, it is definitely not a bad thing.