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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / chinese

Sometimes last month I got an invitation for a food review EEST, Westin. As it turned out, the PR lady, Yoke May, had invited Suan to the same session. Which made logistics a simpler matter to sort out since it was to be on a weekday evening.

The decoration of the restaurant was nice and inviting, an open kitchen, a bar seating area, a section of raised floor, comfortable chairs, big round tables, and a beautiful view.

chef Kuan of Westin
the slightly eccentric but very friendly Chef Kuan

Our mission of the day was to try their Hurry Slowly Signature Lunch Box. The eccentric (not in a bad way) and very friendly Chef Kuan explained to us that they have 5 different cuisines – Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnam, and Thai. Each type comes with its own type of soup, main dishes packed in a lunch box, and dessert.

We were to sample the three most popular lunch boxes, Malaysian, Chinese, and Japanese. Since there were basically only two of us in the review session.

dimsum at eest, Westin Hotel
refreshing mint drinks, char siu pau, har kao, siu mai (dimsum)

To start, I was served with this refreshing mint drink to open up the appetite. I can’t remember what was the ingredients, but there were definitely mint (like duh!), and some mixture of juice that tasted not exactly unlike umbra (kedondong.)

We also sampled their char siu pau (chicken), siu mai (also with chicken meat), and har kao (prawn dumpling). I gotta say that they actually tasted quite good despite the lack of pork as this is a Muslim friendly restaurant like most other hotels.

westin lunch box - Malaysian cuisine
Eest lunch box – Malaysian cuisine (with wagyu beef cheek rendang!)

Our next serving was the Malaysian cuisine lunch box that comes with soup soto, spring roll, rojak (pasembur in Penang), fried bean sprout with salted fish, and nasi pulut with rendang.

The beef rendang was actually made from wagyu cheek and was officially the best tasting rendang I’ve ever had. In one box you get a taste of typical Malaysian Chinese, Indian, and Malay dishes at the same time, and with good quality ingredients too.

westin lunch box - Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine – tempura, miso, salmon, tofu, garlic fried rice

The Japanese lunch box came with a bowl of miso soup with straw mushroom, three huge prawn and a few other types of tempura, garlic fried rice, grilled salmon, and tofu with spinach.

I particularly like the spinach tofu, silky smooth and the spinach really added a different dimension to its taste. A dash of ebiko gave it a bit of texture and the Japanese touch too. Grilled salmon was excellent as well.

westin lunch box - Chinese cuisine
Chinese lunch box, love the black chicken herbal soup

Then there’s the Chinese lunch box, with soup, dim sum, three cup chicken, brocolli, and pickled cucumber and jelly fish. The three cup chicken was very tender and packed a kick with it’s dried chili, I liked it. I think it’ll go well with just a bit of rice.

The dim sum was of good quality too, about as best and you can have it without any lard/pork in it. However, my favorite item from the Chinese lunch box has got to be the soup. The double boiled black chicken herbal soup was very sweet and fragrant, reminded me of the way mom used to cook them.

desserts and glaced gravilax with fish roe
the three different desserts and chef’s special smoked salmon

Just about when we were filled to the brim, came the three types of desserts for the lunch boxes.

Ice kacang for Malaysian cuisine, longan tong sui for Chinese, and the Japanese box came with mochi black sesame ice cream. They were all quite tasty, but I think the sesame ice cream a bit more special.

Chef Kuan was in a very joyous mood and specially created a dish not found on the menu for us – smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, salmon roe, flying fish roe, truffle and beetroot oil. The salmon, with the combination of other ingredients was so savory and tasty I was literally in heaven! Thanks chef!

KY and Suanie at EEST, Westin
KY and Suan at EEST, Westin Hotel

The lunch box is priced at RM 42++, quite a decent value considering the ambiance you get and the quality of food provided. The restaurant is only opened from Wednesday to Friday, 12pm – 2.30pm. The ingredients of the lunch boxes may vary from week to week (probably according to Chef Kuan’s mood), but I trust that they will be equally good.

map to Westin KL

Address:
Eest, Westin Hotel
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.147758, 101.714591
Tel: 03-2731 8333

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One of the eating places I visited at Seremban during the trip was Min Kok, probably the biggest Chinese restaurant in all of Negeri Sembilan. The massive restaurant sits right next to the main commercial center of Era Square (from Era Baru, nearby Terminal 2), can host over 150 tables, and even have a website!

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
KY, Captain Sam, Owner Joan, Ringo, Nicholas

A group of us arrived at Min Kok on Sunday morning for their famous dim sum and was greeted by Sam, the Captain who has been in the restaurant industry since before I graduate from primary school. The owner, Joan Chong (seated center in the photo above) is actually just a couple years older than me, a very capable lady who also won the Bursa Pursuit Challenge last year and walked away with RM 100,000 prize money, not to mention owning this huge restaurant. But never mind, I shall console myself with the fact that I own this blog…

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
Restaurant Min Kok Sdn Bhd

Anyway, lets get back to the more relevant important bit.

Sam told us that a typical morning at Min Kok starts very early, the chefs and kitchen helpers come in at around 4am to start preparing the food as they want to have their dim sum fresh and not left overnight. Some 40-50 serving staffs come in at around 6 something, and usually, there are already customers waiting at the door.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
check out the scallop dim sum!

We were served quite a variety of their offering. The steamed dim sum were fresh and tasted very good, I particularly love the scallop dim sum, very luxurious and actually quite hard to find else where. The prawn dim sum, stuffed chili, and ribs were all rather delicious too. We had about a dozen types in all.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
porridge, siu pao, egg tart, fried carrot cake

Other than the steamed dim sum, we also had some fried snacks, porridge, fried carrot cake, chee cheong fun, egg tart, and Min Kok’s version of the famous Seremban siu pao. I gotta say I was quite impressed with the quality of food there. The siu pao was actually so good I had to dedicate a picture just for it.

Min Kok Restaurant, Era Square, Seremban
the yummy Seremban siu pao

As for price, the dim sum goes from RM 2.00 (porridge) to RM 5.00 (the scallop), very reasonable especially if you factor in the fact that this place is fully air conditioned, and has plenty of staff to keep a good service level. Which explains why this place is always packed despite having over a hundred tables for the morning crowd.

map to Min Kok at Era Square, Seremban
map to Min Kok at Era Square

Address:
No 7645, Lot 5990,
Jalan Labu Lama, (Terminal 2),
70200 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

Tel: 06-761 8458

Last Friday, the traveling Australian dude Dabido decided to spend a bunch of us to a vegetarian dinner on his last night in Kuala Lumpur. Suan decided that Jade Garden at Bandar Utama Centrepoint would be a good place for such occasion because she knows the food is great, or maybe just because it is a place close enough for her to walk there with her under utilized legs.

Jade Garden at Bandar Utama Centrepoint
acha as appetizer, and the 4 season dish

Dinner was scheduled at 8, but inadvertently we only got to eat at around 9pm. I guess it is a good thing cos we were able to show Dabido the full extend of our culture, including the Malaysian Timing when it comes to having a group dinner. There was 14 of us split into 2 tables, and Suan ordered the food for everyone. Nice and dandy.

Jade Garden at Bandar Utama Centrepoint
imitation luncheon meat, tofu, imitation fish with mango salad, fried vegetable

We had about 7 dishes in total. There’s the 4 season dish with some imitation meat and fake fish balls that actually tasted quite good despite it being a cold dish. The tofu soup was more like a thick broth that goes well with rice, I like the fungus that came with it. Then there’s my favorite, the imitation luncheon meat that tasted almost as good as the real thing minus the oily bit.

Jade Garden at Bandar Utama Centrepoint
kang kung with nuts, tomyam soup, and the bunch of jokers

The imitation fish tasted pretty decent as well, and with no real fish in there, you don’t have to worry about getting your neck pierced by fish bones, which isn’t a particularly nice thing to do, speaking from experience. There’s also a fried kailan that tasted just like any fried kailan you’d expect. Other than that, we also have a fried kang kung dish with nuts and some imitation seafood that I didn’t think tasted very good, slightly too sourish with the imitation seafood a poor substitute for the real thing.

However, the tomyam soup with imitation squid and some very real tomato was an excellent dish. It was actually one of the best tomyam soup I’ve tasted and surely a must-order item if you find yourself at Jade Garden.

Jade Garden at Bandar Utama Centrepoint
Jaime, Suan, Dabido, Jack, Erna, Reta, Paul, Kim, ST, Tim, Samantha

In all, it was a very good meal, and the total bill came to about RM 370 for 14 of us. That translate to about RM 26 per person for a pretty good vegetarian meal. The price is just slightly more than the Restaurant Kuan Yin at Seksyen 17 that I went, but with a nicer ambiance and free and easy to find parking spots at Centrepoint.

Thanks Dabido, see you at Perth!

map to Bandar Utama Centrepoint
map to BU Centrepoint

Address:
Centrepoint, Bandar Utama,
Petalig Jaya, 47800 Selangor

GPS: 3.137988, 101.610124
Tel: 03-7710 2939

After helping Suan to come up with her latest post aptly titled “according to ky..”, I figured I should do a quick research and verify whatever crap I told her. This is important as the woman put my words on the INTERNET for everyone to see. Half way through, I had a feeling I’m onto a great discovery.

You see, fertility rate needs to be roughly 2.1 children born/woman to sustain the population. While looking at this list of total fertility list rate by country, I noticed the bottom three countries:

  • 224 Singapore 1.06 2006 est.
  • 225 Macau 1.02 2006 est.
  • 226 Hong Kong 0.95 2006 est.

I reached the conclusion of:

Chinese Extinct
Chinese on small island + $$ + education = extinction!

Lucky I’m not in Penang anymore. 😀

With the onset of the famous Malaysian haze season and hot weather, undoubtedly some of you might be experiencing sore throat and maybe even ocassional fever these days. Which is nothing the ancient Chinese has never faced, hence the remedy, traditional herbal tea. Ya ya, you can tell me you order your “leong char” from kopitiam and maybe you drink it from one of those herbal tea shops, but nothing beats the economy of scale and wholesomeness that you get by doing it yourself.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Tea
good old herbal tea & rock sugar

Well, it’s easy really. Get the pre-packed herbal tea from one of the traditional Chinese Medicine shops, and I happened to know one at Taman Megah that sells more type of herbal tea leaves/herbs than you have fingers. They are priced from RM 5 to RM 10 for quite a big packet that is good enough for a huge pot.

Then of course, you boil it for an hour or two. Sift the solid stuff out when done, and add some old school rock sugar if you can’t take it straight. I prefer mine with the original taste though some types might be more bitter than most people can tolerate, but that’s what makes it great, no?

Traditional Chinese Herbal Tea
how easy can this be?

This stuff does wonder to the throat, I mean, if the Chinese Opera can continue singing for the demi-gods this month, what other proofs do you need? It’s simple to make, doesn’t require any fancy wok-works, and will make your mama proud. Take care of yourself, fight the haze, inside and out.

map to taman megah
this is where you can buy them