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Tag / duck

There are quite a number of places in Klang Valley that are famous for their char siew (bbq pork), and a couple weeks ago my colleagues introduced me to another place that serves one of the best char siew in town – Restaurant Soo Kee at Jalan Ampang.

I think some day I should compile a list of the best char siew places, but until then… lets talk about this place instead.

restaurant Soo Kee is where you find awesome char siu
restaurant Soo Kee is where you find awesome char siu

Restaurant Soo Kee is situated at Jalan Ampang, just right next to the flyover heading to Ampang Point. While you can’t park directly outside the shop, it’s not exactly tough to find a spot at nearby roads.

It’s an old school restaurant with even older owners, but the place is air conditioned, and pretty clean too, that’s always a plus.

intestine, salted roast duck, and the char siu (bbq pork)
intestine, salted roast duck, and the char siu (bbq pork)

For the 7 of us, we ordered the char siew, salted roast duck, intestine, deep fried spring roll, and their signature tofu dish. I think we had initially ordered a vegetable dish to go with, but canceled it somehow.

So the char siew – it was easily one of the best I’ve had. The skin was slightly charred, the meat soft, succulent, and the layer of fat almost transparent. This is what we came for, and none of us were disappointed.

Then there’s the salted roast duck, this too was a dish not to be missed. It tasted essentially like .. well, salted version of a good roast duck. I do like the extra dimension that the saltiness bring, the skin was crispy, and we devoured everything.

The intestine though, was a bit of a disappointment to me, it was a little bit too tough (perhaps overcooked?). Not bad per se, but could be nicer if it was a bit softer.

deep fried spring roll and signature tofu
deep fried spring roll and signature tofu

Deep fried spring roll actually looked and tasted nothing like spring roll, but a lot closer to fish cake instead. However, it was a really good fish cake and something that I’d order again without a doubt.

The signature tofu is basically Japanese tofu in egg drop soup with a bit of seafood ingredients. Offers some contrasting taste to the mostly oily/fatty dishes we had, a good balance, but nothing to shout about.

KY, Debran, Sarah, Yin Foong, Angelina, Michelle & another ninja
KY, Debran, Sarah, Yin Foong, Angelina, Michelle & another ninja

We had an awesome Friday lunch for sure, and Soo Kee is definitely a place worth revisiting. The lunch came to something like RM 15-17 per person. Reasonable for what we had.

That Friday afternoon was spent fighting the zzz bug though. Just one of the disadvantages of having a lunch too good on working days

map to Soo Kee restaurant at Jalan Ampang

Address:
Restaurant Soo Kee
No. 373-1, 4th Mile,
Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158449, 101.747088
Tel: 03-4257 0767
Closed on Mondays

Olympus E-PL3

Bebek  Bengil is one of the higher end eateries at Ubud. Located within walking distance from Monkey Forest, the restaurant spots several tastefully decorated alfresco style dining areas with paddy fields at the back.

The place exudes class, and that was reflected in it’s price, but fortunately, also the quality of the food.

bebek bengil, a paddy field behind the classy restaurant
bebek bengil, a paddy field behind the classy restaurant

Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) was opened in 1990, and they have a little story on how the restaurant got the name

 When we were building the restaurant, we thought long and hard about a name. Many suggestions came from our friends, but none seemed just right.

We know we wanted a Balinese name that translates well to English. However, for a long time the metaphor eluded us.

One tropical monsoon morning, when the restaurant was very close to being finished, a flock of ducks from the rice field across the road ran quacking and squawking into the restaurant and across the floor and tables. They left the muddy webbed footprints all over the place. They were our first guests, those “Dirty Ducks”

grilled duck with sweet chili sauce
grilled duck with sweet chili sauce

We ordered two main courses, Haze had the grilled duck with sweet chili sauce (85,000 IDR) that was prepared by grilling the duck with Balinese sauce and serve with steamed rice. A side of salad and the usual Balinese style chili/tomato sauce came with the dish too.

It was sweet, spicy, and full of flavor. The portion was half a duck (duck here are generally much smaller, kampung duck?), and absolutely delightful.

bebek bengil, the original crispy duck
bebek bengil, the original crispy duck

My lunch was the bebek bengil itself, the original crispy duck (82,000 IDR). It was half a duck steamed in Indonesian spices then deep fried for a crispy finish. The dish came with steamed rice (you can opt for sauteed potato)  and Balinese vegetable.

The duck skin was absolutely crispy and delightful, there’s also undoubtedly the distinct herbal taste that has gone into the duck meat itself. It is unlike any type of roast/peking duck I’ve had, and in a sense, this was actually much better. It was a tad salty, but every bid tasty.

and frestea is everywhere
and frestea is everywhere

The lunch at Bebek Bengil was easily our most expensive meal in Bali, but it was also the tastiest. While Babi Guling might be the most famous food out of Ubud, but to me, the must-try when you are at Ubud is Bebek Bengil.

map to Bebek Bengil, Ubud

Address:
Bebek Bengil
Jalan Sugriwa, Ubud, Indonesia
GPS: -8.51681, 115.26478
Tel: +62-361 975489

 

Of the various type of meat that is popular in Asian kitchen, duck is often considered a bit of an after thought in this country. While you can find pork, beef, chicken, and mutton in almost every supermarket, duck is usually a bit harder to obtain.

The fact is, duck is just not a very popular meat here, and my best guess is the “duck smell” that many dislike, and that it is also less versatile and at the same time, more expensive than chicken.

ingredients for stew duck
ingredients for stew duck

That being said, stew duck is one of my favorite poultry dishes. My mom used to make this a couple times a year during festive seasons, and most of the time we’d finish the whole duck rather quickly.

As it turned out, while the process takes quite some time, stew duck isn’t a particularly difficult dish to cook.

This recipe is one that I find pretty simple to follow, and yet yield a pretty good result.

first boil the ingredients in a frying pan
first, boil the ingredients in a frying pan

The ingredients are simple enough to obtain, and this is for half a duck that should sufficiently feed up to 3 person.

  • half a duck
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • half a dozen cloves
  • 3-4 slices of ginger
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 3 tablespoon of dark soya suace
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • pepper

stew the duck for about one hour, cut before serving
stew the duck for about one hour, cut before serving

Cooking instructions:

  • rub salt all over the duck and let sit for at least 15-20 minutes
  • in a frying pan large enough for the duck, heat up water & dark soya sauce
  • add cinnamon, star anise, cloves, sugar, ginger, pepper, and lemongrass, bring to boil
  • reduce fire to simmer, and add duck, garlic
  • use a soup ladle, pour sauce over duck to cook the exposed portion
  • turn the duck over every 15 minutes and cook for about an hour
  • add water if it gets too dry
  • cut and serve!

Teow Chew Stew Duck
and here’s half a duck, cut and served

The duck will shrink a bit after cooking. I prefer to cut them into bite size before serving, but that can get a little tricky when it’s piping hot.

The stew duck goes well with white rice, and for those who loves garlic, you’ll also enjoy that bulb of garlic that is now soft and soaked with rich ducky flavor!

haze, KY, vinn
Haze, KY, and Vinn who is obviously enjoying herself!

Happy cooking! For those who doesn’t care about cooking, you can have some good stew duck at Fatty stew duck at restaurant Okay, or the stew duck stall at PJ State.

Restaurant Teochew Lao Er was discovered pretty much accidentally by us. One one fateful noon over the weekends, Haze and I had initially wanted to go to Wong Kee for some roast pork (best you can find in KL really), but when we reached there, the roast pork had already ran out.

I then recommended that we try Sui Kau mee around the corner, so we drove around in search for a parking space. We ended up right in front of this new-looking restaurant by the name of Teochew Lao Er.

restaurant teochew lau er, at jalan brunei, behind berjaya timesquare
restaurant teochew lau er, at jalan brunei, behind berjaya timesquare

Since fate had landed us right in front of the restaurant, I thought we might as well give it a try. There’s air conditioning, and it was packed, I supposed that can’t be bad for a hot afternoon. We went straight in and took a seat on the first floor.

stew duck, fried grouper skin, stew intestine & pork bell, petai
stew duck, fried grouper skin, stew intestine & pork bell, petai

We made our orders and waited for less than 5-10 minutes when they came. That is the best thing about teochew porridge places (even though this one is sorta new age and a little different), most of the foods are already cooked, and you don’t need to wait for ages before food is served.

For the two of us, we ordered a total of five dishes. On hindsight, that was a little too much, but I just can’t help myself then.

The Teochew red stew duck (RM 10) was pretty generous in portion. It was succulent, soft, and flavorful, went really well with the sweet potato porridge (RM 1.20) for sure.

check out the fried grouper skin, absolutely marvelous!
check out the fried grouper skin, absolutely marvelous!

Then there’s the signature fried grouper skin (RM 8). If you love fish skin, this is an absolute must-try over here. I don’t actually see it served at anywhere else, an absolute delight!  it is served with some soy beans, chili padi, and tomato sauce. I could have only this and porridge and life would be complete.

The teochew stew pork belly (RM 5) and stew intestine (RM 4) came in the same soya based sauce and both were as good as any I’ve tried.

glorious food, to go with sweet potato porridge
glorious dishes to go with sweet potato porridge

The lone vegetable dish we ordered was the petai (RM 8) that was prepared with sambal and anchovies. To be honest, this was an average dish and perhaps not one that goes well with porridge. But four excellent dishes out of five that we ordered? I’ll call that a success!

I want to go back there again, pronto!

map to restaurant teochew lao er

Address:
Restaurant Teochew Lao Er
6, Jalan Brunei off Jalan Pudu
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.138866, 101.713132
Tel: 03-2141 5822

2011 kicks off pretty good, it was only mid January and I’ve already had my second yee sang session. Just like the previous session at Gu Yue Tien, this is yet another invited food tasting session from Meena in conjunction with Standard Chartered’s Extravagant 8 menu promotion (20th Jan till 17th Feb.)

For those who did not read about it on the previous post, this promotion basically allows Standard Chartered credit card holder to enjoy special menu priced at RM 888++ for 8 pax at 8 different locations by 8 award winning chefs. Li Yen at Ritz Carlton is the second place I sampled.

yee sang at Li Yen
and we started off with yee sang, what else?

It was during the work week. I went back from work, had a few rounds of slow run at Taman Aman, showered, and then got stuck at traffic for a good 30 minutes to get passed a 300 meter stretch of road in PJ State, drove faster, found parking at Starhill, and arrived at Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The above paragraph was totally unnecessary, but I had to illustrate what a man would do to have his yee sang.

The yee sang served at Li Yen is the traditional type, shredded carrot, marinated vegetable, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, crackers, plum sauce, oil, and of course, fresh raw salmon. Always good.

double boiled assorted seafood soup with bamboo piths
double boiled assorted seafood soup with bamboo piths

Like pretty much all traditional Chinese course dinners, the second dish is a soup. The double boiled soup with assorted seafood and bamboo piths was subtle yet exquisite. I always love soup that doesn’t overpower and spoil the taste of subsequent dishes, nice.

I had actually first mistaken bamboo pith as some sort of fish maw, but apparently it is a type of fungus grown in bamboo forest. hey, learn something new everyday!

Oh, there’s no sharks fins with Standard Chartered promotional menu, thumbs up!

peking duck served with steamed sesame pancakes
peking duck served with steamed sesame pancakes

Next up was a dish that I’ve been waiting for – peking duck in steamed sesame pancakes. The Peking duck roasted to perfection, with it’s skin gleaming with a thin layer of fat calling for me.. ahh.

Our server was an expert who made light work of the duck. *slice slice slice* and within seconds we have the duck skin all tidily wrapped within the soft and warm sesame pancakes. It was as good as any peking duck I had, took extra servings too. 😀

steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce, braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss
steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce,
braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss

After the duck, we were served the steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce. This is a dish that isn’t uncommon but one that requires really good quality fish. The patin was certainly fresh, fat, and tender. Superior soya sauce isn’t your everyday Kikkomon either, it really adds to the flavor and isn’t overly salty even if you drink it on its own.

Another classic CNY dish, braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss, followed. The sea moss actually looks almost like wet hair, but obviously taste very much different from the stuff that clogs your shower drain hole… (ok perhaps that’s not the best way to describe food). The dried shellfish gives the sauce a very sweet, savory taste, very nice.

stir-fried assorted mushroom and asparagus, hokkien fried rice
stir-fried assorted mushroom and asparagus, hokkien fried rice

We had stir-fried mushroom and asparagus to start winding down the dinner. A light dish that is simple yet delicious, I like the contrasting textures of mushroom and the crunchier asparagus.

The last main dish was Hokkien fried rice, which looks and tastes almost like “lam” rice (with similar type of sauce from loh mee). I thought it was a mislabel, but apparently despite being a Hokkien, I didn’t know any better. Hokkien fried rice is actually steamed rice topped with gravy cooked with chunks of mushroom, vegetable, prawns, and other goodies. It was very yummy actually, I had a small bowl since my stomach was already like 98% full at the time.

deep fried yam with lunar cake, salted pork bones for soup
deep fried yam with lunar cake, salted pork bones for soup

Deep fried yam with lunar cake (nian gau) served as the dessert that concludes the dinner. It was sweet, crunchy on the outside while sweet, soft, and comfortably warm on the inside.

See the picture of salted pork bones? That’s the not-so-secret ingredients in that seafood soup, imported from Hong Kong, as revealed by the good chef.

KY, Meena & Chef Leung, Haze
KY, Meena & Chef Leung,
Bangsarbabe, foodpoi, Lionel, Mei Yee, Chocoholic, Bald Eagle; Haze

Li Yen is manned by Chef Leung Kwai Hong from Hong Kong armed with 45 years of experience in kitchens at Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and now Malaysia.

The dishes we had at Li Yen were all positively traditional Chinese, perfect for someone looking for that old school experience, but with style and luxury, of course.

map to Ritz Carlton Hotel

Address:
Li Yen @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel
168 Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.146960, 101.715406
Tel: 03-2141 8000