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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / eats

One of my main aim going into the Bangkok trip was to taste some of the weird and wonderful foods the land of smile has to offer, something that is very difficult or impossible to get from Malaysia. This of course, would be the infamous deep fried worms, insects, and alike.

Deep Fried Worms, Insects and Frogs
for a few ringgit, we got all these wonderful snacks

I was expecting fried insect stalls to be on every street corners. In actual fact, they are not very common. We weren’t able to locate anyone selling this for the first couple days of our stay. It was only on the 3rd night at Bangkok that Terence managed to buy a plastic bag full these weird and wonderful food from the streets near Pantip Mall (the one that is famous for selling Amulets, not the IT mall with the same name). Myself and Dree were overjoyed!

Deep Fried Worms, Insects and Frogs
McBugs, McFrogs, and Worm Fries

Inside the goody bag there were worms, crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, praying mantis, and of course, those little fried frogs in whole. Not knowing exactly how to start, we first arranged them into McBugs, McFrogs, and Worm Fries combo meal. A couple minutes staring at these creatures, we decided to bite the bullet bugs and go straight to it to get the maximum taste instead.

Deep Fried Worms, Insects and Frogs
having a feast!

I attacked the worms first. I don’t know if they were just worms or some insect larvae, but the slightly yellowish exterior sure looked a lot more inviting than the dark brown insects laying next to them. As it turns out, the worms were actually pretty good, slightly crunchy and tastes a lot better than the bee’s pupae I had in Vietnam. They were seasoned with salt and some spices, I believe.

Deep Fried Worms, Insects and Frogs
my god, we were so proud of ourselves!

Next in line were all the different types of bugs. It was a bit weird chewing down grasshoppers, crickets, and so forth, but actually they too tasted quite ok, very crunchy and tasted a bit like having deep fried small prawns with shells on. Again, it was a little salty and slightly spicy. The different bugs basically tasted the same except but with slightly different textures, you can make out the long arms of praying mantis and the grasshopper’s legs in your mouth, neat.

Deep Fried Worms, Insects and Frogs
naturally we finished the whole serving

The more difficult part of the snack attack session though, were the frogs. Unlike the familiar big fat frogs served in Malaysia, these are tiny frogs the size of fifty sen coins. They come with everything intact except for innards, so you get the whole head, the eyes staring at you, the legs, spines and all.

We threw it into our mouths and start chewing off, amazingly there were actually pretty tasty! Crunchy with slight taste of meat, it goes well with the seasoning and not too salty like the bugs. Once you get over the fact that you have to chew the entire head, it was all good!

Of course, we finished the entire serving and like little kids we just finished their vegetables, we were proud. If you’re going to Thailand, this is a must-have!

I was invited to an exclusive Guinness St. Patrick’s day Food Creation event at Nikko Hotel last Thursday thanks to Celine. All I knew about this event was that I get to sample a Guinness infused food, I was quite intrigued, as the only type of Guinness infused food I’ve ever had was Guinness pork ribs served by many Chinese tai chau places.

Update 18/8/2013: Nikko Hotel is now Intercontinental Hotel

Guinness lamb shank at Nikko Hotel, KL
Guinness infused Lamb Shank

For the uninitiated, St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day which celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. It is traditionally observed on the 17th of March every year. Since this is a celebration of food and drinks, and Guinness is from Ireland, they came up with this Guinness infused Food Creation contest that runs until the end of the month. There are 9 outlets participating in this contest judged by celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant of Chef in Black. The results will be out on the 25th of March.

KY and chef at Nikko Hotel
chatting up with Chef Halil

This particular food tasting event was held at Bentley’s pub on first floor, a very cozy English pub setting with classy deco that seems so fitting for this occasion. I was greeted by Azira, the communication person at Nikko (who incidentally worked at the same place I am working now), the resident manager Ron Brooks, and of course, the very friendly Chef Halil. Besides all sorts of drinks (alcoholic or otherwise), they serve dishes such as fish and chips, steak, shepherd’s pie and so forth. However, until the 30th of March, the special addition to the menu is the Guinness Braised Lamb Shank on Sauteed Arrow Root Chips with Onion Jam, the very dish that is the competition. Best thing is, I get to eat it!

Christian from KL Lifestyle and Celine enjoying their lamb shank
Christian from KL Lifestyle and Celine enjoying their lamb shank

As we were waiting for the lamb shank, chef Halil explained to me how the dish is cooked. First marinated with salt and pepper, the lamb shank is browned with vegetable oil on a flat pan. Then came the celery, carrots and onion, and then garlic cloves, tomato paste, then a whole bottle of Guinness stout. After that there’s the brown sauce and so forth. 1 hour and 15 minutes later, the dish is done. (I actually have the recipe from this friendly chef, but I guess I am in not hurry to try this myself just yet).

The lamb shank was very tasty and very tender, with a very subtle hint of bitterness from the stout but masterfully balanced with the sweetness of onion jam. The use of arrow root (ngaku) and other vegetables compliments the texture and taste of the lamb. It was very gastronomically satisfying, I think it’s a winner! Naturally, I had the lamb with a glass of Guinness Draught.

Guinness Black Beer
I just had to have a glass of this!

To try this dish, you have until the end of this month. It is available at RM 30++ at Bentley’s pub, Nikko Hotel (just right next to Citybank at Ampang Park).

GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045

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

Of the many types of dried fruits available, from raisins and prunes to dried guava, my favorite has got to be the dried mango. The sweet sourish taste of mango in the easy and convenient to eat package makes a very good office snack.

Dried Mango From Cebu, Phillipines
absolutely delicious dried mango from Cebu, Phillipines

Furthermore, this stuff has plenty nutritional values. Lots of potassium, vitamin C, and most importantly, good amount of fiber for those who might have digestive inconveniences but do not fancy prunes. Dehydrated mango is believed to preserve all the nutritious properties of the fresh fruit (or so they say).

I have tasted three different brands of dried mango from Philippines, two found at Isetan at KLCC, the Joy Mangoes, and 7D Mangoes, with the third, CEBU (also the name of the province that produces the best mangoes in Philippines) brought back by my buddy ShaolinTiger all the way from its country of origin.

The taste of all three brands are comparable to each other, and way superior to the local brands I have tried. However, a 100 gm pack of imported dried mango goes for RM 8+, while the local brands are around RM 3+. In this case though, you get what you paid for. The local stuff is just too sweet and lacking the distinct mango sourness and aroma.

Give it a try, this is really good.

Post originally appeared on MonsterBlog

A few weeks ago the three of us: Rachel, Kelvin, and myself were doing some shopping around the city that somehow brought us to Bangsar Village Shopping Centre. It was almost dinner time, so we were starting to look into potential places for dinner. After the unpleasant experience at Kim Gary, I would normally not look at another HK style restaurant, but the picture of the DongPo Pork (東坡肉) dish proved too difficult to resist…

Dongpo Pork, 東坡肉 Chatterbox at Bangsar Village
glorious DongPo pork

Background on this dish:
DongPo Pork is said to be created by accident when the famous poet Su DongPo (蘇東坡) started to cook pork out of boredom, his friend came and challenged him a game of chess which took his mind away from the cooking until the fragrance of pork came out from the kitchen. Viola! the famous dish is created. According to one recipe, the dish takes about 4 hours to cook.

Chatterbox at Bangsar Village
nice ambiance at an up-class shopping mall

The DongPo pork did not disappoint, it was truly a mouth watering dish especially for a pork lover. The texture is very soft and tender, you can easily pry the meat apart with your spoon or even just chopsticks. Broccoli offsets the texture and tastes of the pork fat and everything goes very well with rice. However, the 3 pieces of giant pork belly proved too much for my stomach, and I will recommend anyone to share the dish instead. I would have finished it if I had a bigger stomach.

Chatterbox at Bangsar Village
the other dishes, including noodle and pork patties with salted fish

The other two noobs had some sort of noodle and pork patties with salted fish rice. They rated the dishes favorably, and we also had a plate of vegetable to share. I remember that the DongPo pork was RM 18 while the other dishes are comparable to any other HK style restaurants, usually priced at around RM 8-12. If you are a pork belly lover, don’t miss out this good stuff.

Map to Bangsar Village
bangsar village

Bangsar Village Shopping Centre is located at Bangsar’s famous Telawi Road, just a stone’s throw away from the Laksa Sarawak stall that I blogged about last year.

Address:
Lot F9, 1st Floor,
No 1, Jalan Telawi
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre
Bangsar Baru, 59100 KL

GPS: 3.130435, 101.670088
Tel: 03-2287 8833