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Tag / clam

Over the CNY break and in conjunction to having my whole family staying over, we decided to bring mom to Khunthai for dinner, since Thai food is one of mom’s favorite cuisines aside from traditional Chinese fair. It turned out to be a pretty good decision.

Khunthai at Klang
Khunthai at Klang with my family

Khunthai is located at a rather remote area in Klang via KESAS highway, but fortunately it is rather simple to navigate to since it is just one straight long ghetto farming road to the rather lavishly built restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Forget about going there if a low-riding sports car is your only mode of transportation, but otherwise you’ll get there just fine after cursing at how bumpy the road is for about 5 minutes.

This seems to be the theme with Thai restaurants, Mae Salong in Sungai Petani, and De Cheingmai at Sungai Buloh are both located at pretty obscure locations.

miang kham, seafood tomyam, chicken feet salad
miang kham, seafood tomyam, chicken feet salad

The menu is pretty extensive and covers all bases when it comes to Southern style Thai food. The restaurant is also pork free.

For the 5 of us, we ordered miang kham, chicken feet salad, and raw prawn salad to open up our appetite.

For those who’re not familiar, miang kham is a type of traditional Thai appetizer where you wrap a bunch of ingredients such as crushed peanut, shallot, ginger, lime, and so on with a Piper sarmentosum leaf. If you haven’t had this before, it is definitely something to try.

Raw prawn salad and chicken feet salad were both pretty spot on as well.

raw prawn salad, lala, kangkung belacan
raw prawn salad, lala, kangkung belacan

To go with rice, we also had Thai style lala, kang kung belacan, and seafood tomyam. While the kangkung belacan was perhaps a little too oily for my liking, lala & tomyam did not disappoint. One thing to note though – have your lips prepared for how hot the food can get.

safe to say we enjoyed ourself really well at Khunthai
safe to say we enjoyed ourself really well at Khunthai

To be fair, there are other comparable Thai restaurants in the city with better access and similar pricing, but there’s always a bit of fun to travel to a god forsaken place from time to time for a dining experience that is just slightly different from the ordinary.

map to Khunthai Klang

Address:
Khun Thai
6, Jalan Kg Air Hitam,
Taman Pendamar Indah 1,
42500 Klang, Selangor
GPS2.960457, 101.439903
Tel: 03-3081 3308

A couple weeks ago we were at Klang meeting up with Zess, and since it was dinner time, we naturally asked him to bring us to yet another bak kut teh restaurants. This Klang native bak kut teh connoisseur thought, why not something slightly different – so we took a bit of a drive and ended up at Klang Coast Seafood Bak Kut Teh (滨海肉骨茶).

Klang Coast Seafood bak kut teh, Bukit Tinggi Klang
Klang Coast Seafood bak kut teh, Bukit Tinggi Klang

Klang Coast bak kut teh is located at Bukit Tinggi, just a stone’s throw from the huge AEON Shopping Centre, which is about half an hour’s drive from Petaling Jaya.

Parking isn’t an issue at this part of town, and if you can’t speak in Hokkien, ordering with Mandarin is perfectly acceptable.

how about bak kut teh with lala & crabs?
how about bak kut teh with lala & crabs?

Seafood bak kut teh is a relatively new comer to the bak kut teh scene, after the invention of claypot bkt and dried bak kut teh. According to Zess, the operator here (a friend of his) used to be an apprentice of the original place that came up with Seafood bak kut teh in Teluk Pulai before opening his own shop.

We ordered our BKT with fatty portion of pork (tua kut aka big bone, and pua pui chiak aka 3 layer pork) with addition of clam and flower crab.

The Bak Kut Teh soup with seafood comes with a much stronger peppery taste. It was explained that this is necessary to counter the raw seafood taste that may be overpowering. This strategy was achieved after countless experimentation with pepper, chili padi, and so forth. In all honesty, I like it, I thought the herbal taste and spiciness was well balanced.

The clay pot bak kut teh was RM 12 per portion, clam cost RM 12, and the flower crab RM 14. In all, the bill for three of us was close to RM 25 per pax, a pretty decent value all things considered. Would not hesitate to revisit.

Now I want to try other seafood BKT places.

fatty pork and seafood goodness, winning combination
fatty pork and seafood goodness, winning combination

Address:
Klang Coast Seafood BKT
No. 16, Jalan Remia 5/KS6
Bandar Botanic
41200 Klang, Selangor
GPS2.998301, 101.445234
Tel: 017-218 8911

Steamboat has traditionally been a pretty strong branch of Chinese cuisine in KL. It is something that can be very simple, like just ordering a couple sets, or you can go wild with a bunch of friends by having fancy seafood, meat, and everything in between.

Being the type of dish that is rather mature, how do you have a new steamboat place that everyone wants to go?

Well, The Pot at Kuchai Entrepreneur Park found the answer, and we loved it!

The Pot Steamboat at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park
The Pot Steamboat at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park

The Pot is the new kid on the block at Kuchai Lama, and like any shops at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, parking can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, even for a restaurant that is situated at a corner premise closer to the main road.

The restaurant is fully air conditioned, so you don’t need to go there only when it rains, which is nice. In fact, all steamboat places not at Cameron Highland should have climate control if you ask me.

Alaskan Crab, 1.5kg or so for RM 155
Alaskan Crab, 1.5kg or so for RM 155

The unique thing about The Pot Steamboat is the glorious Alaskan Crab. For RM 155 at about 1.5KG, you get this beautiful crustacean served on a plate ready to be boiled in the steamboat soup and thereby making the broth ever so sweet.

While looking totally bad ass, the shell isn’t actually very hard and can be cut with a pair of culinary scissors to reveal those awesome meat fairly easily. This is a must-order and I believe more than half the tables at The Pot has an Alaskan Crab.

fresh geoduck, have it raw or just slightly blanched, your take
fresh geoduck, have it raw or just slightly blanched, your take

Other than Alaskan crab, the other pretty unique underwater creature they have is fresh geoduck (pronounced as “gooey duck”, thanks Suan!), the rather phallic looking salt water clam that can be eaten either raw (sashimi style) or just lightly blanched for about 2-3 seconds in steamboat soup.

Fresh geoduck isn’t cheap, the serving we had came up to be about RM 200, though it usually cost more in other seafood restaurants. The innards and other parts of the geoduck is also provided at the end of our meal to be boiled with leftover steamboat broth and rice, making a sort of clam innards porridge. This you gotta try to appreciate it.

steamboat set, smoked duck, black fungus, fish ball, meat ball, etc
steamboat set, smoked duck, black fungus, fish ball, meat ball, etc

Of course, as any steamboat place, there’s a host of other dishes to choose from to go with the three types of soup base they serve (sang yu pot, supreme clear soup, drunken wine soup).

The steamboat set goes for RM 17.80 (min 2 pax per table) and on top of that there’s a selection of live seafood from the aquarium that includes prawns, crab, frogs, giant clams, and so forth. Then there’s pork ball, fish ball, meat slices, chicken, mushroom, fungus, and even smoked duck (RM 7.90).

and of course, steamboat is best shared among friends
and of course, steamboat is best shared among friends

We had a pretty good time at The Pot and I reckon it is certainly a place you should consider if you’re looking to share a pot steamboat with friends and family while looking at some decent seafood offerings. Traffic and parking situation isn’t ideal, but then again sometimes we can’t ask for everything.

Thank you Ah Yat for the invitation.

map to The Pot steamboat at Kuchai Lama

Address:
The Pot Steamboat
No. 1, Jalan Kuchai Maju 4,
Kuchai Entrepreneur Park, Kuchai Lama,
58200 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.091500, 101.686195
Tel: +6016 821 2280

A week or so ago, I was lucky enough to get invited to one of the more exclusive dinner previews in town – to sample the All Kansai Festival dinner at Kampachi Pavilion KL.

The festival runs from 15th – 23rd of February 2014, including traditional street performances, takoyaki workshop, stage performances, and of course, Kaiseki dinner, which happens on 19, 20, & 21 February 2014 (priced at RM 300+)

All Kansai Festival, only at Kampachi, Pavilion KL
All Kansai Festival, only at Kampachi, Pavilion KL

The festival is exclusive only to Kampachi at Pavilion. For the tasting session, we had a subset of the menu. Instead of the full 9 course dinner, we sampled 6 dishes, mainly due to the fact that certain ingredients for other dishes will not arrive until the slated days to ensure freshness.

Anyway, lets get started.

Fresh Oyster with Ponzu Vinegar Gelée, Clear Soup with Clam
Fresh Oyster with Ponzu Vinegar Gelée, Clear Soup with Clam

Our first course was Kaki no Ponzu Jure (Fresh Oyster with Ponzu Vinegar Gelée). Served on a bed of ice, the oyster was huge and succulent, with the ponzu gelée giving it that extra sophistication. This version is the best way I’ve had oyster yet, beats the usual lemon or worse, tabasco sauce by a mile.

Next up was Hamaguri, Uguisuna, Harinegi, Kinome (Clear Soup with Clam, Japanese Mustard Spinach, Julienned Leek & Young Japanese Pepper Buds). This was not your ordinary miso soup, it was subtle and very refreshing. The huge clam certainly provided an unmistakable seafood sweetness to the clear soup.

Slices of Raw Fish – Tuna, Ark Shell & Yellowtail
Slices of Raw Fish – Tuna, Ark Shell & Yellowtail

No Kaiseki menu is complete without sashimi. We had Maguro, Akagai, Hamachi (Slices of Raw Fish – Tuna, Ark Shell & Yellowtail). The premium raw seafood was served on a bed of ice with grated wasabi. My favorite out of the three was the ark shell, fresh, crunchy, with a blend of sweetness and savoury taste. Excellent.

Grilled Yellowtail with Teriyaki Sauce
Grilled Yellowtail with Teriyaki Sauce

Tennen Hamachi Teriyaki Manganji Togarashi Syoyuzuke (Grilled Yellowtail with Teriyaki Sauce garnished with Marinated Manganji Green Pepper) came next. While it was a more than decent dish on its own, I believe that with wild Amberjack (as intended during the festival) would elevate this dish to a new height as the texture of Amberjack would be superior to Yellowtail when grilled.

Boxed Sushi with Seabream, Prawn, & Conger Eel
Boxed Sushi with Seabream, Prawn, & Conger Eel

Sushi came next, in the form of Sanshoku Oshizushi (Box Sushi with Sea Bream, Prawn & Conger Ee). To be honest, this was the first time I had pressed sushi, the texture is a quite a bit different from the usual nigri sushi (hand made rice ball with raw seafood on top), maki (rolled sushi), or temaki (hand roll). The rice in boxed sushi is a bit denser, providing a different experience.

Yuzu Mousse, Kampachi Signature Peanut Mochi
Yuzu Mousse, Kampachi Signature Peanut Mochi

Our dessert was Yuzu Mousse (Japanese Citrus Mousse), refreshing and perfect for a sweet ending.

We couldn’t help ourselves and asked for Kampachi’s Signature Peanut Mochi as well. The mochi is served warm and covered with mountain of crushed peanut and sugar, similar with the traditional mochi found in Penang’s hawker scene, except more refined. I find myself enjoying this very much.

The seats for Kansai Festival dinner menu is fast selling out (I believe 21st Feb already sold out), so book yourself an awesome dinner if you’re a fan of Japanese food. Check their website for full menu and other information.

we had a great time sampling the Kansai Festival Menu
we had a great time sampling the Kansai Festival Menu

map to Pavilion KL

Address:
Kampachi
Level 6, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368
Tel03-2148 9608
Websitewww.kampachi.com.my
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

It’s going to be the year of Horse in a few more days, and like so many Chinese families, reunion dinner is on the menu. So are you going to just watch your mom prepare everything? or are you going to be contributing at the kitchen and come up with at least a dish like a good filial son or daughter should?

Well, if you’re the latter and lacks in the finer skills in front of the stove, here’s a simple lala recipe you can follow that just might make your mom proud.

ingredients are lala, garlic, ginger, chili padi
ingredients are lala, garlic, ginger, chili padi

This is a lala (or any clams) dish with garlic, ginger, and chili padi. Takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and is also one of the cheapest seafood dishes you can come up with especially during CNY season.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 big bowl of lala/clams
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, stripes
  • 6-10 chili padi, chopped
  • 5 tablespoon cooking oil

fry till the shells are opened, wise to steam it a bit too
fry till the shells are opened, wise to steam it a bit too

cooking instructions:

  • soak lala/clam in salt water for 30 minutes, rinse
  • heat up cooking oil and fry ginger & garlic till fragrant
  • add in lala/clam
  • add chili padi
  • fry till all shellfish are opened, you can use a lid to cover the pot for steaming effect
  • ready to serve

lala with chili padi and garlic
lala with chili padi and garlic

This is a rather simple and fail proof dish, you can also spice it up by adding some Chinese cooking wine or soup stock to give it a more fragrant flavor.

Click for simple recipes from yours truly, and Happy CNY.