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Tag / bitter gourd

A few weeks ago, we decided to venture up north (still within the state of Selangor) for a hike to Bukit Batu Pahat. This was partly due to Suan not being able to go back to her home town Batu Pahat due to MCO so .. the bukit as replacement, or something like that. It was a fairly easy hike that ended with a great view, would recommend.

at the peak of bukit batu pahat
at the peak of bukit batu pahat

If you’re the hiking type, one of easier starting locations for this trail is from Taman Tasik Millenium, Kuala Kubu Baru. There’s also paragliding from the same bukit too!

Anyway, the more important thing about hiking is always the meal after, for this, we first headed to the sleepy town of Kuala Kubu Bharu. A short chat with the uncle at KKB bakery then led us to driving some 10 minutes to Ulu Yam for Teo Kee Restuarant.

Teo Kee at Ulu Yam, with the old chef
Teo Kee at Ulu Yam, with the old chef

The baker told us that Teo Kee was his favorite restaurant in town when we asked for a recommendation, and suggested that we should skip the offerings in KKB and make a (very slight) detour to Ulu Yam for Teo Kee, for they serve the best stewed pork with mui choy (preserved mustard green).

So we did.

Teo Kee is located within a housing area (thank you, GPS), with the restaurant itself located at the side of a single level corner house, semi-alfresco dining, with a purpose built small kitchen as well.

The menu is simple yet comprehensive (see below), it is in Chinese, however, there are also photos and helpful servers.

chef's signature dishes
chef’s signature dishes

To make it simple, we decided to go with all four of their recommended dishes, plus an additional bitter gourd with roast pork dish. You then either opt for rice or porridge to go with them.

Food took about 10 minutes to arrive, and they arrived all at once!

The stewed pork with mui choy (潮州卤肉) was indeed quite special, tender fatty pork with tofu, hard boiled eggs, and mustard green that gave it a very balanced taste, sour/salty + savory & sweet.

Braised tofu fish (豆腐焖鱼) is another one of our favorite dishes, it was soft, well flavored, and had just enough ginger without overpowering the seafood.

we added bitter gourd with roast pork
we added bitter gourd with roast pork

Steamed salted fish with minced pork (咸鱼蒸猪肉) here is as good as the version I’ve had from any restaurant, and I do like the addition of soft tofu to give it a softer texture.

Then there’s the pulpy mess of fried spicy brinjal (香辣茄子), a dish that won’t win any beauty contest, but the spiciness within those mushy sweetness was quite a good mix.

The last dish we had, bitter gourd with roast pork, was competent as well, even if it lacks the uniqueness of those signature dishes.

The five dishes, 2 rice, a porridge, and a big bottle of herbal tea cost us RM 67.60 (year 2021). A very good value and certainly an awesome meal, will be back again!

teo kee ulu yam menu (1) teo kee ulu yam menu (2) teo kee ulu yam menu (3)

teo kee ulu yam menu (4) teo kee ulu yam menu (5) teo kee ulu yam menu (6)

map to Teo Kee Ulu Yam

Address:
Teo Kee
7, Jalan Patin 4b,
Taman Desa Patin,
44300 Batang Kali, Selangor
GPS: 3.4475985, 101.645529
Tel: +6012 365 1448

The funny thing about tastes is that for things that you absolutely loath as a kid may yet turn out to be one of your favorites as an adult – such is the case for me with bitter gourd, and to be frank, quite a few other items.

So for those of you who dislike durian, petai, asparagus, Guinness, and more, perhaps ya’ll just need more doses of them until you like it!

bitter gourd tofu soup recipe

Anyway, here’s one of the recipes I did with bitter gourd over the course of this Covid-19 season.

Bitter Gourd Tofu and Pork Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 bitter gourd, cut in chunks
  • 3 carrots
  • 300 gram pork belly, cut into bit size chunks
  • 1 block of soft tofu
  • 2 tomato
  • 1 inch ginger
  • a handful of salted vege (optional, you can replace with salt to taste)

Instructions:

  • boil pork belly for a couple minutes and remove from pot, throw away the scummy water
  • use a bigger pot, boil 4-5 bowls of water with everything except tofu for about an hour or so in low heat
  • add tofu just before serving
  • salt (optional) and pepper to taste

Comfort food especially on rainy days, I usually have it with steamed rice and some soya sauce + cili padi as condiment.

Pork noodle must be one of the most popular non-halal soup based hawker dish in Klang Valley. It’s in almost every single multi-hawker kopitiam. After all, what’s not to like about a bowl of flavorful soup with all the porky goodness and your favorite choice of noodle?

Ten Noodle, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, PJ
Ten Noodle, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, PJ

When it comes to this dish, many people will gravitates towards the like of Kean Fatt SS3, Ah Or, Win Heng Seng, OUG’s version. While they’re all very good, there’re often some “flaws” – either in wait time, parking, or lack of certain ingredients.

Well, here’s where TEN Noodle steps in.

The modus operandi seems simple here – be efficient, priced competitively, and give people plenty of what they want.

When you get to TEN Noodle, you’ll be handed a sheet of ordering paper – ticks several boxes – choice of noodle, wet/dry, ingredients, snacks, and beverages. Food is then served rather swiftly, which is always a good thing.

dry mee suah with mixed pork
dry mee suah with mixed pork

Mine was dry mee suah with mixed pork and additional pork kidney and bitter gourd. The result was this huge bowl of ingredients loaded with everything I wanted!

To be fair, taste wise it was .. decent, perhaps 80-90% up there if compared to some of the others mentioned above, but they more than make up for it via value and experience.

my favorite innards - kidney!
my favorite innards – kidney!

So yes, if I’m at Kota Damansara looking for pork noodle, this is definitely in my list.

map to ten noodle kota damansara

Address:
Ten Noodle Restaurant
No.25-1, Jalan PJU 5/10,
Kota Damansara, 47810 Selangor
GPS: 3.151422, 101.593351
Tel: 016-205 1741
Hours: 11am – 9pm daily

ten noodle menu (1) ten noodle menu (2)

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

Sometimes all you need is some simple comfort food, and for me, sometimes that comes in the form of a bowl of good bitter gourd noodle soup.

While running around trying to sort of stuff for our new home and somehow missed lunch in the process, I found myself at around Ara Damansara, and recalled that someone mentioned once about a stall at Restoran Do Re Mi 123 that offers bitter gourd soup, so I took the turn to investigate.

Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam at Ara Damansara
Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam at Ara Damansara

Restoran Do Re Mi 123 is a medium size kopitiam located at the “busiest” commercial centre in Ara Damansara on an island surrounded by major roads going in and out of the residential area. Parking is usually not too challenging, and the restaurant offers quite a selection of different hawker fair that any KL folks will be familiar with.

bitter gourd mee suah, with egg
bitter gourd mee suah, with egg

The noodle soup stall offers bitter gourd noodle, pork noodle, fish ball noodle soup, and “imperial” noodle.

For RM 5 you get a bowl of soup with your choice of noodle (I choose mee suah) laden with reasonable amount of pork slices, fish cake, bitter gourd, and even tomato. It was quite well balanced and not overly salty. Another RM 1 gets you an egg just to make it closer to a balanced meal.

A simple comfort food I don’t mind having a couple times a week.

map to restaurant doremi 123, Ara Damansara

Address:
Restaurant DoReMi 123
Jalan PJU 1a/20b
Ara Damansara
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.119897, 101.579194