Last weekends I went back up north for cheng beng (Hokkien for prayers to ancestors & grave cleaning), and this time around instead of heading back to Penang, we slept over at my brother’s new house at Sungai Petani instead.
More reason to try some of the local hawker fair my brother talked about.
Curry Mee is the busiest stall at Eupe food court, sungai petani
We went to the (I think) the number one hawker attraction in Sungai Petani – the curry mee stall at Eupe food court.
The food court itself is converted by stripping off the walls and ceiling of 28 shop lots to create a giant dining area under one roof, there are dozens of stalls offering various types of food, with the curry mee stall being the one that’s easiest to spot – the one with a long queue.
slices of fresh mackerel is what made this awesome
The ingredients for this curry mee is very different from the ones in Penang or KL. Instead of pork blood, prawns, and cockles, what we have here is a couple slices of fresh mackerel, lady’s fingers, tomato, potato, and half an egg. Of course, there’s the curry broth and sambal. You can also ask for pork ribs as additional topping.
The mixture worked pretty good, felt unusual at first but it proved to be really worth the wait. The best part about this curry mee is the freshness of the fish. According to my brother, if the market doesn’t have fresh fish for the day, the stall isn’t opened.
me & my younger brother, who’s a doctor at Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim
If you’re at SP, get on the queue and spend the RM 6 for this, you’ll not regret.
Address: Eupe Food Court Jalan Gamelan 5, Taman Ria Jaya, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah GPS: 5.652733,100.517535 Hours: 9 am till around lunch time
It’s been a while that this blog features any fancy dining experience, so the invitation from Tanzini Upper Deck came just at the right moment.
Situated at the 29th floor in G Tower, Tanzini Upper Deck features a double volume (ermm.. aka very high ceiling) dining room complete with custom made star-lights which. Coupled with the full view of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers, the ambiance is about as good as one can wish for.
Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower
Tanzini Upper Deck only offers 4-6 course degustation menu and private functions, if you’re looking for ala carte dining, that would be Tanzini just a level below.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, we started off the night with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, a non-vintage champagne comprises 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. I’m not exactly a wine critic, but the fruity aroma and full texture of this drinks makes it one of the better champagne I remember having.
Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”
We tried three types of appetizers, starting with a daring display of creativity in the lollipop scallops. It was in essence, grilled scallop on a stick encased with caramelized sugar. Sweet and savory, a departure from the normal preparation which tends to go towards the salty side. Interesting nonetheless.
Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane” is inspired by Japanese mixed metal patterns. In this instance, using halibut and salmon that results in the orange/white pattern. Served with house pickled ginger, lemon grass-calamansi granita, candied hojiso (shiso leaf), and horse radish. The taste was quite distinctly Japanese for me, and in a very good way.
Black Truffle Custard
Another choice of appetizer is the black truffle custard that comes in three parts – truffled egg-mushi, a squid ink cone with sweet corn, and finally, prawn noodle with trout roe.
This was almost a 3-in-1 dish. I love the truffled egg (kinda reminds me of the foie gras egg in Gu Yue Tien, though they are different) and enjoyed the textures of prawn noodle with trout roe. The final third of the dish though, was overpowered by the sweetness of the corn that very little hint of squid ink was apparent.
Next up was a choice between the two soups we tried.
Chef Eugene’s interpretation of “BLT” was our first soup. Veloute de tomates, bacon marmalade, 30″ lettuce m-sponge, and tempura soft shell crab.
I’ve never tasted bacon, lettuce, and tomato quite this way before, and I gotta say it was very impressive and daring. The soup was like a very supped up (pardon the pun) version of tomato soup. It was quite delicious.
Smoked Oyster Tea
Should you choose the smoked oyster tea as the choice of soup instead, you won’t be disappointed. This dish was a demonstration of the perfect harmony in consomme of oyster, fenugreek (herb), smoked trout roe, ginkgo, and oyster kara-age (similar to tempura).
The soup is poured just before eating, and rightly so, because 2 minutes later the crispy skin of oyster kara-age would’ve become soggy.
Ox Tongue Yakitori and House Muscovy Duck
After appetizer and soup, we moved onto starters.
Ox tongue yakitori and house-cured muscovy duck were the two dishes to be chosen from the menu.
On one hand, the fancier ox tongue dish comprises of miso-ginger infused ox tongue skewer, fennel in Yuzu dressing, asparagus kimchi, and fried béarnaise. The ox tongue was very good in its delicate taste and texture, fried bearnaise was interesting, but the asparagus kimchi though, was a surprise that wasn’t exactly in a good way. I felt that it was a little bit out of place.
the duck dish, on the other hand, was excellent! Plum sauce, pop rocks & melon galia, truffled potato stuffed bok choi, and litchi glass are the ingredients. Chef Eugene got this one perfectly executed, it just tasted very very good.
Redefined “Aussie Pie”
We had an intermezzo in the form of some sorbet which acted as a palette cleanser, after that was the main dishes.
Out of the 3 choices, I selected the Redefined “Aussie Pie” – glazed hilside farm lamb loin in house stock, kataifi, truffled mashed peas, vegemite orb, and sautéed vegetables. This dish was another display of art, and the good news was, it actually tasted rather good. The lamb loin was almost a little too dry for my liking, but that was just me nitpicking a little.
“Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man’s Treat
Haze had the “Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks – slow braised wagyu in rye stock, grilled king trumpets, dark chocolate crouton, and seasonal vegetable. This turned out to be one of the weaker dish, and we felt that it was actually a little bit of a waste to braise a good piece of meat. Truth be told, it was a disappointment.
The third main dish was the Deconstructed English Man’s Treat, basically chef’s interpretation of the classic fish and chips, with fillet of marbled goby fish & carbonized batter, violet potato, glazed savoy cabbage, texturized garlic oil, and 62 Celcius organic egg yolk. Eiling, who ordered this dish, had this to say:
“This is a very complicated dish but I like the contrasting textures and the egg yolk certainly is a unique addition.”
Sweet Ending: Flamed Popcorn Gelato
The dinner ended with flamed popcorn gelato – hazel streusel, bruleed banana, black elderberry glazed fuji apples, and salted caramel toast.
The presentation of the dessert really placed an exclamation mark to the chef’s creativity. It was served with the smoke from dry ice overflowing the table, and some Grand Marnier poured onto the glazed apple for the flame. The spirit did make the dessert a bit bitter, but I actually love it bitter so that suited me well (not so for the girls).
KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck
All throughout the dinner, chef Eugene came out and explained the meaning and intricacy of each dishes, which made a world of difference. Service too was excellent throughout (but this is an invited food review, so your mileage may vary).
Most importantly, you might ask, is the price:
RM 155++ 4 course dinner
Choose one out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
Choice of Mains
RM 185++ 5 course dinner
Choose 2 out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
Choice of Mains
RM 215++ 6 course dinner
Choice of Appetizers
Choice of Soups
Choice of Starters
Choice of Mains
Address: Tanzini Upper Deck Level 29, GTower 199 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.1590, 101.7200 Tel: 03-2168 1899
The biggest appeal of diving to me is the calmness I get when underwater, listening to nothing but the breath that I take and the bubbles flowing out from the regulator, the sense of weightlessness and the ability to move about without restriction in 3 dimension. It is a form of freedom you never get on land.
The magnificent seascape and underwater creatures, well, they are just a huge bonus. While no picture can convey that sense of liberty, here are some underwater pictures I took from various dive sites at Similan Islands.
My gears were Olympus E-PL3 with the underwater housing coupled, Inon UWL 100 & Dome port, and a single Sea & Sea YS-01 external flash.
swim through, Deep Six
I logged 14 dives over 4 days of diving living aboard M/V Vilai Samut operated by Liquid Adventure. (previous year experience here). The boat departs from Khao Lak at night, so night one started before day one. The sites we went to were:
West of Eden
West of Eden (night)
Ko Tachai (night)
Koh Bon (night)
Koh Bon Pinnacle
Bon Soon Wreck
tiny black reef fish atop table coral at West of Eden
We were lucky to have excellent visibility of at least 30-40 meters in more than 70% of the dives, and had at least 20 meters in the rest of the dives too. Comparing with Pulau Sembilan/Lumut’s 5-10 m visibility…
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics, and say no to shark’s fins!
giant spiny lobster, night dive at West of Eden
sea snake, Koh Bon
the reef at Koh Bon
clown fish in anemone, night dive at Elephant Rock
an unnerving cuttle fish, night dive at Elephant Rock
lion fish, night dive at Elephant Rock
Dave convincing a lion fish to pose, Richelieu Rock
Ma Yau, or threadfin fish, is one of the commonly available sea fish this part of the world, coupled with it’s reasonable price, it is one of the more popular fish in the kitchen and tai chau places alike.
The most common way of handling Ma Yau is usually oil-soaked Ma Yau 油浸马友鱼, which can be a bit dull, so when I had one to work with a couple weeks ago, I decided to come up with something slightly different.
Ma Yau Fish with dark soya sauce and onion
I call this the Mau Yau fish with dark soya sauce and onion, though there’s a little bit more than onion that goes into this dish.
Ma Yau fish – obviously
one onion, cut into half, and slices
a few slices of ginger, cut into sticks
4-5 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
one lemongrass, chopped
a few chili padi (optional)
1 table spoon of oyster sauce
2 table spoons of dark soya sauce
ingredients for friedd ma yau fish
This dish requires a two part preparations. First, the fish, which is fairly simple.
clean the fish and rub both sides with some salt
heat up enough oil to cover half the fish with medium fire
fry both sides of fish for 7-8 minutes for each side
remove fish and place on serving plate
Then the sauce:
heat up 2 table spoon of oil
add garlic, ginger, onion, chili, and lemon grass prepared earlier
fry till fragrant (about 2 minutes with fairly high heat)
add dark soya sauce and oyster sauce
continue stirring for a minute or so
pour on fish to serve
The result is a Ma Yau fish with some kick. The lemon grass gives it a bit of Southern Thailand taste while chili padi added some kick to the sauce. Give it a try, I hope you like it.
p/s: a bit of coriander or basil on top would provide a nicer presentation, but I ran out of those herbs.