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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / asam

I discovered Restaurant Sing Kee in most unconventional way – while riding my mountain bike for the purpose of waist management (beats running IMHO, you get a bit of adventure thrown in), I found myself at Sungai Way and saw this restaurant that was full of people.

If a restaurant at an old neighborhood is packed, it is usually good, and many weeks later, Haze and I decided to pay a visit for dinner.

Sing Kee at PJ Sungei Way
Sing Kee at PJ Sungei Way

Sing Kee is just like any “tai chau“, with a huge variety of dishes on the menu. The specialty here though is their asam fish, a dish that we noticed on more than half the tables.

Since it was our first time here, I asked for the server to give us her recommendations. We ended up with asam fish, squid with salted egg yolk, and a plate of vegetable to go with two steamed rice.

the glorious asam fish - tilapia
the glorious asam fish – tilapia

It did take a while for food to be served, but at least the home brewed loh hon goh drinks accompanying our wait were plenty good.

Our food arrived.

The asam fish (RM 21) was almost a balanced meal by itself – steamed tilapia with brinjal, long bean, lady’s finger, onion, tomato, and red chili all in an asam soup base that strikes a perfect balance of sourness and hotness. The fish were done perfectly too, and despite a generally inferior species when it comes to taste, preparing it in this method clearly removes any muddy tastes that we sometimes associate with tilapia.

It was really one of the best asam fish dish I’ve tried thus far.

squid with salted egg, vegetable for vitamin c quota
squid with salted egg, vegetable for vitamin c quota

Our second dish was the squid with salted egg (RM 22). A dish not recommended for the weak hearted (or those with high cholesterol for sure). It was another win, squid that still retains some chewiness coated with generous amount of salted egg and breading for that extra savory taste. The only problem with it was that the portion should be for 4 pax, not 2.

Then there was the vegetable, which tastes like any normal vegetable dish. Nothing to see here.

Haze and I were positively satisfied
Haze and I were positively satisfied

If you’re looking for old fashion tai chau and a good plate of asam fish, you can certainly do worse than Sing Kee. I’m going to visit this place again when the asam addiction strike. Will try other dishes too.

P/S: I later found out that this is also one of Kerol’s favorite place, she is a picky eater.

map to Sungai Way Sing Kee

Address:
Restaurant Sing Kee
No. 28, Jalan SS 9A/16
Sungai Way New Village
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.086855, 101.62206
Tel:  013-217 7260, 012-380 3918

Olympus E-PL3

Many eons ago when I was slightly younger and poor enough not be able to afford decent hair cut, I studied at the States. The photos on the following collage were taken with an actual film camera and scanned on a computer slower than the handphone I’m using now.

St. Cloud State University student life
don’t laugh at my hair style, it was cool back then

During those days, many of us used to take up part time jobs while studying full time, and though I never had to work at food services, many of my friends did, and one of my classmates happened to work at Pizza Hut located at the cafeteria in our university.

That was the period of time when I had a lot of pizza hut meals. Wholesome pan pizzas and chicken wings were my staple diet, and when my buddy’s on shift, we sometimes get a dozen wings for the price of six. It was an awesome time.

Pizza Hut at Kota Damansara
Pizza Hut is awesome!

I wouldn’t have thought about that period of time if not for this session of food review at Pizza Hut last week. Together with a bunch of other bloggers, I was invited to one of Pizza Hut’s outlets at Kota Damansara for the introduction of Fish King Pizza.

Many of us somehow associate Pizza Hut with fast food, but nothing can be further from the truth. The restaurant is nicely decorated, comfortable, and the recently expanded menu includes quite a large number of dishes and drinks to choose from too.

Pizza Hut Fish King pizza
Fish King Pizza, comes with regular and cheesy lava crust

After everyone got there and a bit of exchange of pleasantry, the star of the night was served. The Fish King Pizza comes with 8 Alaskan Pollock fish fingers on a bed of  Mozzarella cheese, roasted bell pepper, onion, crab stick, pineapple, and a couple slices of fresh lemon in the middle.

It was good! The pollock tasted fresh and yummy, I particularly like the sweetness of pineapple in the mix too. A bit of a Hawaiian feel to it, goes well with the seafood. I had a slice of regular and another with cheesy lava crust. *slurps*

chicken wings, prawns, onion rings
BBQ wings, tempura king prawns, calamari ring, smoked deli wings

Our hosts then brought more food out of the kitchen, we had sweet chili wings, honey bbq wings, smoked deli wings, tempura king prawns, and calamari rings from the appetizer menu. They make very good finger foods, my favorite would be the smoked deli wings, reminds me of old times when I had them back in the States.

pasta, asam boi drinks
carbonara, asam boi drinks, seafood lasagna

And as if that wasn’t enough food, we were served creamy carbonara and seafood lasagna. I didn’t actually try them (way too full), but those who did gave good comments. Pizza Hut serves more than just pizzas these days, there are pastas, salad, rice, and even kebab on the menu to ensure there’s always something for everyone.

And by the way, you gotta the asam boi drinks when you’re at Pizza Hut!

audrey, citygal, vivy, KY
Audrey, CityGal, Vivy, KY

Together with Audrey, CityGal, Vivy, Huai Bin, Iza, and others, we had an awesome dinner at Pizza Hut. Check out their accounts of the occasion too.

If you’re a blogger, there’s also a contest from Pizza Hut that gives out RM 2,000 for 5 most creative blog posts. All you have to do is by writing a post titled “Big Fish Moment with Pizza Hut” and share the experience at one of the outlets or delivery. For more information check out the post at Nuffnang’s blog.

Good luck folks! and eat more!

When I first got the invitation from foodstreet for a food review session from Peony Garden at Kota Damansara, I did some searches on the internet and but was not able to find any blog entries. So I went to the restaurant with Eiling (who is going to give me some golden tickets) having little to expect.

note: tragically, this place is no longer in operation, it was one of my favorites! (20/9/2010)

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
seven dishes to sample, with original ingredients

As it turns out, Peony Garden serves Northern Nyonya food, which means they are actually from Penang, my hometown. The relatively new restaurant is run by a pair of siblings, Karen and Eugene Chew, whom despite knowing little about blogs and the way of cyber world, were very friendly (especially when we arrived at our common mother tongue, Penang Hokkien).

We were served the unique “green leaves drink” that is made of seven different types of grass and leaves. It tasted pretty refreshing though slightly on the sweeter side. The owners explained to us that many of the ingredients used are sourced from Penang and other states, and Karen cooks everything from scratch, the traditional way, even the sambal is made by pounding fresh chili and shrimp paste by hand.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
Penang otak-otak, asam prawn, curry black pomphret, salted vegetable duck soup

We were then served seven dishes, and I recognized what they were instantly without having to be explained! Tau eu bak (soya sauce pork), asam prawn, curry bawal hitam (black pomphret), salted vegetable duck soup, Penang otak-otak, jui hu char (fried sengkuang with dried cuttle fish), and fried spring roll. These are the dishes I grew up with, the memory of mom working in her kitchen flashes back like a tsunami wave, the familiar smell, the sound of sengkuang sizzling in the wok, and how she always peel the asam shrimps for us. I wish mom was here to have this session with me.

In the taste department, the food actually measured up very well. The asam prawn, cooked with asam and dark soya sauce carries a strong and fragrant asam taste that is slightly salty and sourish, complementing the sweetness of the shrimp perfectly. The fish curry is done the traditional way as well, with black pomphret and a generous portion of laksa flower that adds to the taste. There is no substitute with another type of fish as “lemak” (fatty) taste of the black pomphret suits the asam curry best.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
soya sauce pork, jui hu char, spring roll

I personally always prefer the Penang style otak-otak, and the version at Peony, though not the best I’ve had, was not bad either. As for salted vegetable duck soup, it might take a little used to if you are not accustomed to it, sourish and slightly spicy, I liked it.

Jui hu char is a dish that is cooked by many Penang family whenever they worship ancestors (don’t ask me why). It is best eaten with some sambal and wrapped with fresh lettuce, much like the way you’d have Korean BBQ meat. The deep fried spring rolls actually shares the main ingredient (sengkuang) with jiu hu char, but served with a unique blend of dark soya source and chili that gives it a pretty interesting taste, in a good way.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you know that I am a pork lover. The tau eu bak here was absolutely fantastic, cooked for hours to the very soft and tender texture, the soya sauce is imported from Nothern state to get the taste just right. Coupled with the original sambal, I had to fight with Eiling till the last piece, it was as good as it is sinful.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
green leaf drinks, and eiling with the Peony plate

Dishes are priced from RM 8 to RM 20+, pretty decent even though the portions aren’t big. Authentic foods are hard to come by these days, and I don’t think you can get them any more authentic than here. A family run restaurant that prepares everything painstakingly the traditional way. I am sure I will return.

map to Poeny Garden at Kota Damansara
Poeny Garden is just 5 minutes away from IKEA/Ikano/Curve

The restaurant also host private events and birthday parties. If you like it the old school way with nasi kunyit, curry chicken, and hard boiled egg for your baby’s full moon, they do it too.

Lunch: Tue to Fri 11am – 2pm
Dinner: Tue to Sun 6 – 10pm

Address:
16-1, Jalan PJU 5/10,
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.150886, 101.593237
Tel: 03-6141 8323

One of the must-eat item (especially for females, I don’t know why) in Penang is the Asam Laksa. The most famously stall would be this one at Air Itam, walking distance from the Kek Lok Si temple, by the alley across the morning market.

Penang Asam Laksa at Air Itam
a walkway packed with hungry people

The place is not particularly hygienic or comfortable, just some tables and the stalls by the busy road, partially exposed to the element. But hey, we’re here for the food anyway.

The Penang Laksa, popularly referred to as Asam Laksa in other parts of the country, comes in a sourish fish (ikan kembung) based soup with thick rice noodle, plenty of shredded pineapple, lettuce, red chili, cucumber, onion, galangal (curry flower), and lemon grass. All these are topped with some mint leaves and the thick shrimp paste with a very distinctive love-it or hate-it smell.

Penang Asam Laksa at Air Itam
yumm… *slurps*

Our order was served up in just a few minutes’ time. Simmering hot and oozing with the glorious laksa smell, we attacked the bowl like a vengeance. There were nothing left 5 minutes later. The combination of sour and spicy soup with the fresh produce and the thick rice noodle was perfect. I never waste the soup either, thick with shredded fish, it has a very unique texture and taste that I find very nice.

Map to Penang Asam Laksa at Air Itam
the map of air itam laksa!

The smallish bowl of laksa is yours for RM 2.40. I would never recommend this as a main meal due to the sour and spicy nature of the dish, but it does make a nice afternoon snack. This Air Itam stall serves in the afternoon to evening.

Address:
Jalan Pasar,
Ayer Itam, Penang

GPS: 5.401386, 100.277377