Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / cheesie

First of all, let me get the most important message across.

On the 18th March 2013, head to any one of the over five thousand participating McDonald’s across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa and you’ll get to enjoy the biggest regional breakfast giveaway in conjunction with National Breakfast Day.

In Malaysia, each of the 222 McDonald’s Breakfast Restaurants will offer FREE Egg McMuffin to the first 1,000 customers from 7am to 10am on Monday (18/3/2013). So wake up and grab yours, don’t miss out!

McDonald's on a Sunday morning, Egg McMuffin, coffee, and hash brown
McDonald’s on a Sunday morning, Egg McMuffin, coffee, and hash brown

Last Sunday I was joined by Cheesie, Huai Bin, Nazwan, Cik Epal, and some of our fellow readers for a meal of McDonald’s wholesome breakfast and a kitchen tour at McDonald’s outlet at Sri Damansara.

We started the day with an Egg McMuffin, coffee, and piping hot hash brown. If your Sunday, or in fact any other day does not start out with a wholesome breakfast, then you are missing out the most important meal of the day, I previously wrote about the importance of breakfast in “Lets talk about breakfast” post.

some of my readers brought their kids for the kitchen tour, too cute
some of my readers brought their kids for the kitchen tour, too cute

It was pretty awesome to be meeting some of my reader’s kids at the event. Kristen’s husband brought his cute daughter, and Mycelt came with two kids too. Thank you for coming!

The 50 odd strong crowd were then separated into a few batches for the McDonald’s kitchen tour.

one of the most efficient and cleanest kitchen anywhere
one of the most efficient and cleanest kitchen anywhere

Little known fact – my first ever real job was being an employee at McDonald’s right after my PMR examination, it was a valuable experience and I learned a lot from the job.

So to me, the kitchen tour is a little bit like a homecoming event after some 20 years absent from being in one. I was impressed to see that they have managed to make the place even cleaner and more efficient than it already was from years ago.

Employees who handle food must thoroughly wash their hands and wear gloves while cooking. Food are made to order, with only the patties and eggs being prepared minutes prior and kept in what they called universal holding cabinet. So the Cheeseburger or Egg McMuffins you order is as fresh as it gets.

reliving the days when I was a McDonald's employee almost 20 years ago
reliving the days when I was a McDonald’s employee almost 20 years ago

On Sunday, I also had a chance to put my long forgotten skills into use once again. While it took me probably around a minute to get it done, seasoned employees get it done in seconds. Their efficiency is impressive, and the whole kitchen is kept spotlessly clean, I need to adopt the same mentality at my own kitchen.

and here's a group photo, smile!
and here’s a group photo, smile!

We had a great time with breakfast and kitchen tour at McDonald’s, and I certainly hope the kids enjoyed themselves (especially going into the giant freezer). Thank you to those who came and I hope you had a great time.

So don’t forget to head to a McDonald’s this 18th March, 2013 and get your free Egg McMuffins to kickstart your workweek! Click on National Breakfast Day to learn more.

Ahhh, bak kut teh, one of my favorite Malaysian foods, so much so that there’s a category on this blog for it. Last weekends I had the privilege of having two bak kut teh brunch in a row, and the second one was this place that I haven’t been before, an old school establishment by the name of Restoran Chow Kiat, at Klang of course.

Chow Kiat bak kut teh at Klang, can't get any more old school than this
Chow Kiat bak kut teh at Klang, can’t get any more old school than this

We met at Ken Rimba (more on that in upcoming post) on Sunday morning and Sam Tan, the executive director of KEN Holding Bhd brought us here to share one of his favorite bak kut teh outlets.

It was only 9:30 am and the place was packed. According to Sam, by 10:30 am or so, some of the better cuts would be unavailable already. While the premise sells bak kut teh in the morning as well as at night, they are run by different operators. The morning session that we tried is said to be the more superior.

steaming pot of bak kut teh, I was sold when I saw this
steaming pot of bak kut teh, I was sold when I saw this

The bak kut teh here is as old school as they come.

There’s no clay pot, no vegetable, no pepper soup, extra mushroom, or any of those other options that purists tend to label as “gimmicks”. Just pure unadulterated bowls of pork (or chicken legs, the little known ingredients in Klang bak kut teh) with just enough of those thick herbal soup.

The only non meat dish you can order is yao char kuay, and to be honest it is pretty average here.

choose your favorite part, finish your bowl of meat, or share with friends
choose your favorite part, finish your bowl of meat, or share with friends

The meat and soup tho, was excellent!

Pork cooked to perfection and so soft you can pry it off the bones just by using your spoon, and the fats? Oh my, they are so flavorful it’s a sin not to have. The soup is thick, packed with herbal goodness, and unlike the similarly styled (and equally delicious) Mo Sang Kor bak kut teh, you can ask for extra soup.


KY, Cheesie, Kampung Boy & City Gal

Choices of meat includes ribs, big bone, small bones, “kawan” (this with plenty of fats, super delicious), stomach, intestine, lean meat, and more. If you love bak kut teh, this is definitely one place to check out. Prices are similar to other establishments around the area.

location map of Chow Kiat bak kut teh, Klang

Address:
Restoran Chow Kiat
Jalan Kapar, Kawasan 18,
41400 Klang, Selangor

GPS: 3.05049, 101.448263

Restoran Chow Kiat

Several weeks ago we were invited to Private Kitchen at Damansara Uptown. From the outside, this looks to be a very modest little restaurant not unlike many other eateries at the area – air conditioned, clean, and with a contemporary furnishing that seems to focus on function than pure aesthetics.

Private Kitchen at PJ Uptown
Private Kitchen at PJ Uptown

This is, however, not just another local restaurant. The kitchen is led by Chef Lam Fai, an experienced Hong Kong chef who was trained both in Western and traditional Hong Kong cuisine, and it is this unique background of Chef Lam that results in some rather creative dishes we sampled during this food review session.

While waiting for food to be served, we snacked off long spring roll with shrimp paste (RM 10). The taste of shrimp paste is not unlike shrimp balls, and the deep fried spring roll skin gives it some crunchiness. A different interpretation of spring roll, easy to eat off your fingers, and I believe, would make excellent beer food.

beef with strawberry sauce, shredded chicken and cucumber, soup of the day
beef with strawberry sauce, shredded chicken and cucumber, soup of the day

Our first dish then, was shredded chicken with Private Kitchen “ma la” sauce (RM 12). The shredded chicken sits atop cucumber that’s seasoned with vinegar, a decent cold dish to prepare the stomach, but not one that I’m overly impressed with though.

Like any Chinese/HK restaurant, soup is a must in any meal. The soup of the day was carrot & radish with lean meat soup (RM 6). Very homey, flavorful, and certainly excellent value for money for this type of setting.

Then came one of my favorite dishes of the night – stir-fried prime beef fillet in strawberry & black pepper sauce (RM 28). According to the chef, the beef is prepared and tenderized using Western cuisine techniques, and he chose strawberry to add a different dimension to this black pepper beef dish after some experiments (Chef Lam jokingly said that banana wasn’t a good idea). The result was excellent, if you are “elite” and like to dismiss fusion food, this dish may very well change your stance.

HK style ginger chicken, panfried pork chop with lemongrass
HK style ginger chicken, panfried pork chop with lemongrass

Hong Kong style sand ginger chicken (RM 25 for half bird) went through some half a day’s work of preparation (boiling in broth, preparing the skin with a bit of turmeric for that color, etc) and was delicious and smooth. I especially enjoy the ginger + spring onion sauce that came with this dish.

The next dish looks almost like mantis prawns, but was actually strips of pan-fried pork chop with lemongrass (RM 25). The pork carries pretty strong lemongrass and ginger taste, and tasted pretty decent with chili sauce, but I thought is one of the weaker dishes in this session.

typhoon shelter tiger prawn, sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce
typhoon shelter tiger prawn, sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce

No HK cuisine is complete without typhoon shelter dishes, and at Private Kitchen, we were served typhoon shelter tiger prawn (RM 38). The preparation method was as I remembered the last time I had typhoon shelter crab at Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas – plenty of garlic and chili, the aroma was superb, and the prawns did not disappoint. Now I wonder if this would be a good way to prepare squid, hmm.

Sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce (RM18) was our token vegetable dish, even though there’s pork belly in it. I thought it was slightly sinful, but pretty tasty though.

amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup, Portuguese style fried rice
amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup, Portuguese style fried rice

Another soupy vegetable dish that we had was amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup (RM 16). Most of us would recognize it by the common name Chinese spinach. This is another very homey type of dish, a comfort food.

The Portuguese style fried rice with braised pork belly & seafood (RM 16) wasn’t a dish that looked very good in its presentation, it was sorta brownish overall with little color contrast, but don’t let the apparence fools you. The fried rice was very flavorful, and with prawns, squid, and pork belly, they didn’t skimp on ingredients at all. I had a bowl even though I was already stuffed by then, highly recommended.

deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce, typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop
deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce, typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop

The deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce (RM32) is another unique fusion food by Chef Lam that works well. The ribs were tender and juicy, and the slightly sourish and fruity salad sauce, while a bit unorthodox, worked well in this instance. I really enjoyed it too.

Our last “extra” dish of the night was a bowl of typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop in chili & garlic soup (RM15). This is a dish fit for single person consumption and comes with a generous portion of pork chop and the noodle in a soup that has some kick. I tried a spoonful (was stuffed already), and from what I could tell it was pretty decent.

Cheesie, chef Lam Fai, Suanie, Joyce, Dennis & Evelyn, Haze
Cheesie, chef Lam Fai, Suanie, Joyce, KY, Dennis & Evelyn, Haze

Most of the dishes we had at Private Kitchen were pretty consistent and for the lack of a better description – tasty. The prices are reasonable as well. The only downside of the place is, well, the location and challenging parking situation at times. Saying that this place is sort of a poor-man’s Elegant Inn would not be incorrect. Worth visiting though, for sure.

map to Private Kitchen restaurant at PJ Uptown

Address:
Private Kitchen Hong Kong Cuisine
103 Jalan SS21/37
Damansara Utama (Uptown) 
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.13451, 101.62378
Tel: 03-7728 8399
Hours: 11:30 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm, closed on Mondays

Private Kitchen

When it comes to Penang food, laksa is always one of the first dishes to be mentioned (especially by girls, I don’t know why), and when it comes to laksa for many Penangites, the best laksa on the island is this little stall located all the way at the other side of the island at Balik Pulau’s Nan Guang kopitiam.

some say this is the holy grail of all asam laksa
some say this is the holy grail of all asam laksa

This place too has been around for a while, my first visit there was when I was a little boy probably close to 25-30 years ago. Going to Balik Pulau from my grandma’s place at weld quay was a pretty long journey then, before the relatively recent improved road system, but it did not deter my aunts & grandma then.

When you want your laksa, you find a way.

two "normal" asam laksa, and one "lemak" version
two “normal” asam laksa, and one “lemak” version

On our last visit back to Penang for Tim & Audrey’s wedding, we took the opportunity to take an hour’s drive (traffic…) to Balik Pulau for some laksa goodness.

While it wasn’t RM 0.80 a bowl anymore (they are RM 3.00 per bowl now), the laksa still tasted as good as it was. Other than the “standard” asam laksa with plenty of vegetable, cucumber, mint, and fish meat laden asam soup, they also serve a different variant – the “lemak” laksa.

The laksa lemak tastes closer to Nyonya laksa, with added santan (coconut milk) in the fish-based gravy to give it a richer taste that is slightly less sourish than asam version. It was a little different, and I really liked it.

Cheesie, Haze, Li Ling, Michael, and I, we drove almost an hour for this
Cheesie, Haze, Li Ling, Michael, and I, we drove almost an hour for this

When you go to Penang, always try to make sure laksa is your last meal, and bring a cooler too. That way you can buy some to go for later consumption in KL (or wherever you’re from), and they make excellent gifts too (my braces dentist was overjoyed). Soup, vege+noodle, and the prawn paste is always separated for tapao too, very convenient.

map to asam laksa at Balik Pulau

Address:
Nan Guang kopitiam
67, Jalan Balik Pulau,
11000, Balik Pulau, Penang
GPS: 5.351844, 100.235845
Tel: 012-428 6235

Laksa at Nan Guang kopitiam

New Yew Sang might not have a name that sound like an authentic Thai Food place, but this little coffee shop that is famous for steamed rice (and soup) and lui cha for the breakfast and lunch crowds is a hidden gem for tomyam lovers.

New Yew Sang Thai Food with Yuki, Horng, Ring, Kerol
New Yew Sang Thai Food with Yuki, Horng, Cheesie, Kerol

I was first introduced to this place by Kerol, who is a fellow Penangite and one of the harshest food critic especially when it comes to tomyam. If she said it’s good, she’s usually right.

I went there for a scouting expedition by ordering the tomyam meehun prior to the following two visits (where these pictures are sourced), and the experience was a really positive one. I think I overhead the owners speaking Thai to the kitchen staff as well, that’s always a positive sign.

paku, Thai steamed siakap, seafood tomyam
paku, Thai steamed siakap, seafood tomyam

To be fair, this is a tai chau place with heavy influence of Thai food instead of a typical Thai restaurant, like Ghee Seng Thai food in Penang. The ambiance is nothing to shout about, the place is relatively clean, and there’re fans under the root in an otherwise semi alfresco dining area. Parking is relatively easy to get at night though.

The menu is quite extensive, but lets start with the most important item – tomyam. The tomyam here is thick, extremely flavorful and positively spicy. Use the ladle and dig at the bottom of the bowl will reveal the ingredients that made up the soup, ie: no short cuts, no powder/paste nonsense. If you like your tomyam hot & spicy, this is a place to go.

lala, steamed fish, butter squid
lala, steamed fish, butter squid

The butter squid here is laden with plenty of those very addictive deep fried egg on top. A dish that I’d recommend ordering, but according to Yuki & Horng, they have a “wet” version of butter squid that is even better. I imagine it to be similar to those from Thim Kee at Pudu.

The lala here is commendable, but not something that is really special. If you’re going for a pure lala trip, look no further than the lala stall at Alisan SS4 just down the road. Steamed saikap that we tried was of pretty good standard, the soup base definitely carries a heavy Thai influence – sour, strong, and slightly spicy.

prawn with petai, some tofu dish, vege (vitamin c, hey!)
prawn with petai, some tofu dish, vege (vitamin c, hey!)

In another visit we tried prawn with petai, another spicy dish that never disappoint. The petai was halved and cleaned (some place tends to leave the center bitter part intact), and prawns were fresh prepared just right, delicious.

For those who likes a bit of balance and enjoys eating tofu, I wish I could tell you what the dish in the picture was called, but for the life of me that escaped my mind. Ask the server to recite the tofu dishes they have and stop her at the most bizarre sounding one and you’d have the winner. It was very rich, smooth, and provides a great contrasting taste to the other dishes that were usually spicy, sour, or a combination of both. I enjoyed it a lot.

Prices at New Yew Sang is reasonable. We paid something between RM 15-20+ per person when we eat there. If you like your dishes rich and spicy, check out this place, or you can check out other Thai food posts here.

Address:
New Yee Sang kopitiam
Jalan SS 6/8
Kelana Jaya

GPS: 3.106717, 101.598178

New Yee Sang kopitiam