For this year’s CNY escape, my brother & I brought mom to Siem Reap for some Angkor Wat sight seeing. So naturally, we got to try some of the local foods.
I always thought it was a little strange that we can find many representations of South East Asian food in Malaysia – Thai being most popular, but you can also find Indonesian, Vietnamese, and to a lesser extend, Filipino food. However, I haven’t seen a single Cambodian hawker stall or restaurants in all of Klang Valley, and now I think I know why..
Old Market at Siem Reap
The short answer is – Cambodian food is just not very good.. or rather, they don’t appeal to the Malaysian taste at all. The biggest problem being that most everything ended up to sweet, even dishes that you never expect to have any sugar at all, they will add some just for kicks in Siem Reap.
So, if you order food there and specifically tell them not to put any sugar, things usually will turn out OK-ish.
Even though it’s the second biggest city in Cambodia, Siem Reap is really quite a small place, with population of only around 200 thousands. You can use local currency, but US dollar is accepted anywhere with a rate of around 1000 Cambodian Riel to 1 USD, I’d suggest using US dollar for your travel here.
Our first meal was at the Old Market at the heart of the city, walking distance from our hotel (there are many around the area at varying price range).
Instinctively, we went for the busiest noodle/rice stall in the market.
brunch for three, rice or noodle for you?
We ended up ordering 3 different dishes – vermicelli with pork, “instant” noodle with beef, and a plate of chicken rice. Ordering wasn’t too difficult since they do have English menu, and each dish cost US $2. Probably cheaper for the locals? Not sure.
Taste wise they were pretty decent, I particularly love the pork blood and vege in the soup. The soup base however, was a tad too sweet, though still quite acceptable, unlike some of the other stalls we tried at later meals.
I’d not shy away from eating at this stall again.
the dessert stall is right next to noodle stall
Right next to the noodle stall is this very popular dessert stall operated by a lady who doesn’t really speak any English.
Since Siem Reap food is already too sweet, it follows the logic that they would be pretty good at dishes that should be sweet, right? And after having been convinced by some instagram friends who urged me to try it out, we did, and it was awesome!
desserts for three
We had no idea what these desserts were called, or what they really were other than knowing grass jelly, coconut milk, sago, banana, condensed milk and the likes were involved. These 3 bowls cost us 5,500 Riel, they were sweet, tasty, and absolutely satisfying.
I’m always in the look out for new bak kut teh places to try out, so when I saw this new stall opening up near Peng Heong Paikut at Klang, I thought I should check it out, hence, Yi Pin Seafood Bak Kut Teh.
Yi Pin Seafood Bak Kut Teh, Klang
Yi Pin took over the space that was previously occupied by another bkt place by the name of 石头肉骨茶 (rock bkt?). A corner shop a stone’s throw away from Masjid Bandar Diraja Klang.
I ordered a single portion of bkt with seafood, prawns in this case. I’d have liked to have it with lala, but was unavailable when I was there.
That order didn’t turn out bad at all. The prawns were top notch, fresh, flavorful, and together with the spicy herbal soup, makes for a good, sumptuous meal. The fatty 3-layer pork held their own too. I thought it was perhaps a little better than the version at Hon Kee I had prior, but my favorite is the lala bak kut the at Yun Heng.
a claypot full of fresh prawns and bak kut teh
At 28 ringgit for enough pork, 5 pieces of decent size prawns, I thought it was of good value as well.
They are open for lunch as well as dinner, and offer other dishes ala “tai chao” style in addition to bak kut teh.
Address: Yi Pin Bak Kut Teh 21, Lorong Gudang Nanas 2, Kawasan 18, 41400 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.049213, 101.444402
Can’t believe I didn’t know about this Chong Kok Kopitiam after having stayed closed to Klang for some four years, more spectacularly, it’s located just a stone’s throw away from Seraph Awaken, one of my favorite hand crafted coffee places in all of KL.
Chong Kok Kopitiam, Klang
For those who were like me, Chong Kok Kopitiam is one of the rare type of eatery that truly represents the best of Malaysia – the restaurant is always crowded with Chinese, Malay, and Indians alike pretty much daily, a scene that reminds me of Hai Peng kopitiam at Kemaman, Pahang.
The restaurant serves your typical selection of local coffee menu, with toasts, steam bread, and half boiled eggs. They also have a few stalls, including a very popular nasi lemak, satay, Nyonya kuih, and more.
breakfast set with perfect sous vide half boiled eggs
The toast and eggs here were perfect, with the half boiled eggs especially on point having prepared using sous vide method. The coffee too is thick and flavorful.
nasi lemak, nyonya kuih, and more are also available
However, the best thing about this otherwise unassuming coffee shop is its atmosphere. You don’t often see this mixture of Malaysians from all walks of life congregating in the same eatery, often even sharing tables.
We need more places like Chong Kok kopitiam.
Address: Chong Kok Kopitiam 5, Jalan Stesen, Kawasan 1, 41000 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.042631, 101.449515 Tel: 03-3371 0996
I need to do a better job at posting on this blog, as this was from a trip to Bangkok last year….
Anyway, if you find yourself at Thong Lo, an upscale area in Bangkok with quirky cafes and plenty of Japanese restaurants, this Khao Jao Thai Restaurant is one modern eatery serving pretty traditional Thai fare worth checking out.
Khao Jao Thai Restaurant, Bangkok
The restaurant is located along Thong Lo 17 Alley, a stone’s throw away from a popular hipster watering hole that is The Commons. It’s air conditioned, tastefully decorated, and offers quite a good selection of traditional dishes to choose from (see menu below).
For the three of us, we had the prawn with petai, bamboo shoots yellow curry, a plate of vege, and stuffed omelet.
The petai came with pretty big and juicy prawns, with a strong, slightly sweetish belacan taste that was also spicy, a perfect combination.
Fish noodle is one of my favorite noodle dishes ever, and being situated by the coast with access to great ocean haul and a knack for making the best out of these sea bounty, it’s not secret that Kota Kinabalu offers some of the best seafood noodle restaurants.
jewel garupa soup, with kanlau mian on the side
A few weeks ago, during one of my now almost routine visit to this East Malaysian city, we got the opportunity to check out one of the more “hidden” fish noodle restaurants by the name of Notung Kusan Cafe, sometimes also known as Seafood Ah Huat.
The restaurant has just recently moved from a household set up to a proper shop lot situated at Dongongan, just a stone’s throw away from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Do check to make sure you’re not routing to their old location if you decided to visit this place (use the GPS info below).
Notung Kusan Cafe Mihun Soup, Kota Kinabalu
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to noodle, we picked kon lou mee (dry noodle), to go with fresh fish slices, jewel garupa was available so we went for that. There’s also fish stomach, fish egg, and fish head if that’s what you crave.
The portion for two pax (RM 35) was huge and came with loads of thick cut super fresh fish fillet that’s cooked so the texture was just right – soft, almost crumpling on first bite but not in an “unfresh” sort of way. I really love it.
The tomato soup base was quite subtle, but takes on the sweetness of seafood itself, a plus point if you ask me. The dry noodle too was properly seasoned and I thought compliment the seafood quite well.
super fresh chunky fish fillet, awesome fish skin too
I think this has just became my favorite fish noodle place in KK right now, they open from morning till around lunch time, and I’ve heard that they may close whenever there’s no fresh fish or when owner goes out fishing. Do try to call in to avoid disappointment.
For availability, Fatt Kee is the one to go, they’re pretty good and open all the time.