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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / frog

Many eons ago (actually just a few decades), Hong Kong wasn’t exactly as developed as it is now. Among the settlers, traders, and foreign administrations, there were a group of people whom took home on boats. They were the boat people, and whenever the weather does not agree, they would seek shelter at Causeway Bay.

The boat people had a subculture all to themselves, living by the sea, when it comes to food, their speciality were undoubtedly seafood.

Update 10/7/2018: this place is permanently closed

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab, now at Hartamas

Fast forward to 21st century, Causeway Bay is now a heavily developed area, but the subculture continues. A local businessman went over to Hong Kong, partnering with the original boat people and started the Causeway Bay Spicy Crab restaurant at Jaffe Road in Causeway Bay.

Building on the success of the restaurant in HK, the local owner now brought the restaurant back home. So now we have our very own Causeway Bay Spicy Crab right here at Hartamas, KL.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas
signature dish – Garlic and Chili Crab

A couple weeks ago I was invited by one of the partners to have dinner at this very restaurant. Together with Haze, Gareth, Kim, Suanie, and Horng, we headed over to Hartamas with, I must say, quite a high expectation.

We left the task of ordering to the restaurant manager, and some 20 minutes later, our first dish came – Garlic and Chili Crab (RM 68/80), their signature dish. The gigantic crab’s covered with almost one whole pound of garlic with a bit of chili for that spicy kick. The crab was delicious, and the fried garlic positively addictive!

crab porridge, chicken gristle, garlic and chili crab
crab porridge, chicken gristle, garlic and chili crab

The rest of the dish came within a couple minutes of the first one, I’ve always hate it when restaurants take their sweet time serving between dishes, no such problem here.

The crab porridge (RM 68/80) was another winner. The huge crab and porridge were cooked to order so you really get the sweetness of the seafood well seeped into the congee. I think it’s big enough to feed at least 2-3 people.

Then there’s the chicken gristle, a definite must-order non-seafood item here. The texture of the chicken cartilage and the little chunk of meat/skin was perfect, this dish reminds me of the chicken gristle I had at Sumi-ka in the form of yakitori.

duck tongue, steamed tofu, squid with salted egg, frogs in XO sauce
duck tongue, steamed tofu, squid with salted egg, frogs in XO sauce

The “exotic” dish we had came in the form of a plate of duck tongue. The dish must have caused a whole classroom of dumb ducks. Tho I’m usually a huge fan of the strange and exotic dishes, this one did not impress me. It was my first time having duck tongue too, and while I didn’t find it gross or anything like that, it was just a little too soft and blunt in taste.

I did like the steamed tofu, stuffed with chunks of scallops, prawns, and other seafood, it provided balance to the other stronger tasting dishes.

condiments, Horng & Suanie, Kimberly and Gareth, KY and Haze
condiments, Horng & Suanie, Kimberly and Gareth, KY and Haze

Just like the garlic in their signature dish, Causeway Bay Crab does not spare the usage of salted egg in their salted egg squid. The excess salted egg covered every square inch of the squid and then some. It was another dish that we love.

Then there’s the frogs in XO sauce, Kim’s favorite. Really fresh tasting frog with generous amount of garlic, XO sauce, and peas to give it a bit of a crunchy texture, it was easily one of the better frog dishes I’ve had. I prefer it over the usual kam heong method of preparation.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab

Towards the end of the night, we were mixing garlic, salted egg, and the condiments from XO frogs and consuming them as is. These wasn’t exactly the healthiest way of eating but we just couldn’t help it.

While Causeway Bay Spicy Crab isn’t the cheapest places to dine at, but if you are looking for quality seafood and some huge Sabah crabs, you can’t go wrong at this place. The dishes were mostly excellent (with the questionable duck tongue, but it might be just me), a great ambiance, and on top of that, a slightly overly cold air conditioning too.

map to Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas

Address:
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
銅鑼灣辣蟹莊
26 & 26-1 Jalan 30/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16347, 101.64898
Tel: 03-6205 2280

I first heard about this Geylang Lor 9 frog porridge from the biggest frog nemesis of all – Kim. Ever since then we’ve been talking about going there to give it a try but somehow failed in actually doing it.

The craving eventually got the best of me last night, so Haze and I went there for dinner without waiting for the frog queen. Sorry Kim.

Geylang Lor9 clay pot frog porridge
Geylang Lor9 clay pot frog porridge

From the friends who had the luxury working in Singapore, I’ve always told that if there’s one food the republic got it better than here, it is the clay pot frogs, and when it comes to clay pot frogs, Geylang Lor 9 is the most famous of them all. So I guess we’re lucky that the first specialty frog centric restaurant in PJ is this original branch from Singapore.

clay pot kung pao frog
clay pot kung pao frog

The restaurant is located at the other end of the same row that houses McDonald’s at SS2. Smallish in size, but air conditioned with a visible kitchen behind see through glasses, so you know what you’re being served isn’t prepared in some back alley (some restaurants at SS2 actually do that.)

The menu is pretty simple. There’s frog porridge, kung pao frog, and frog with ginger and onion, all served in clay pot and priced at RM 12 per fresh frog. They’re a few other chicken dishes and vegetables but who really cares right?

frog porridge and kung pao frog
frog porridge and kung pao frog

We ordered a portion of frog porridge, a serving of kung pao frog, and a dish of oily vegetable to provide a bit of balance to the dinner.

The frog porridge came piping hot, the frog’s quite big and definitely fresh. Adding a bit of sesame oil, soya sauce, and pepper complete the dish. It was good!

Kung pao frog was hot, fragrant, and definitely had some kicks to it. While we also ordered steamed rice for it, I found myself mixing some kung pao frog and it’s sauce with the porridge very addictive.

Haze and KY
Haze and KY

While I haven’t tried it at the original Geylang Lor 9 branch in Singapore and thus can’t provide any direct comparison, I certainly think that this place is worth a visit if you’re a frog lover. Lets go there Kim!

map to Singapore Geylan Lor9 at SS2

Address:
Shi Sheng PJ Claypot Frog Geylang
No. 10, Jalan SS2/61
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117076, 101.621904
Tel: 03-7874 1233

Earlier this month I went on a bit of a food review streak. First was Iketeru at KL Hilton, then the Wine dinner at Opus Bistro, followed by Leonardo’s, and then Mandarin Grill, and I think there’s one more before the conclusion of this week.

I usually don’t go to as many review sessions, but the invitations from this month were all too tempting to refuse (though I did forgo a wine dinner in favor of futsal). Leonardo’s stand out in the list for that it is the only one that serves one of my favorite meats – pork.


Leonardo’s Dining Room, Concha Y Toro Sauvignan Blanc 2008

Tucked at a little row of shops by Jalan Bangkung at Bukit Bandaraya, Laonardo’s is run by the same people that brought you Opus, Cava, and Moxie (I haven’t been to the latter two).

While the name might have an Italian origin, the food is more fusion than anything: from pizza, pork knuckle, to bak kut teh and hokkien mee, the menu cuts across different cuisines but with a distinctly pork centric theme. A theme the invited guests in this session agreed whole heartedly.

crispy bacon lollipop, belgian black mussels, kentucky fried frogs
crispy bacon lollipop, Belgian black mussels, Kentucky fried frog

We had three appetizers to start the night, crispy bacon lollipop was this cute dish with breaded pork balls on satay sticks served in a glass of salt, a mayo based sauce accompany the dish just to make it even more sinful. The balls had cheese and pork in it, I didn’t pace myself and had more than a couple.

The Belgian black mussels (RM 55) were cooked in a savory white wine and cream broth, from fresh and not frozen seafood, with of parsley and onion to add to the flavor.

My favorite appetizer out of the three must be the Kentucky fried frog, and I’m sure Kim would kill for this. Deep fried in a very light batter, the freshness of the frog legs perfectly intact. I’m amazed how well it goes with the tartar sauce (if I get it right). Perfect beer snack.

italian cippino, spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza
Italian Cippino, Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza

The Italian Cippino (RM 46) is, I supposed, a dish Leonardo himself would be quite familiar with. Plenty of seafood in tomato broth, served with foccacia bread. There’re fish, mussels, prawns, and squid too.

The Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak (RM 55) is served medium well with picon blue risotto mustard sauce. The meat was as tender as any top grade steak but with a hint of pork texture and taste, no wonder it is also known as the wagyu of pork world. Delicious!

The rectangular mama mia pizza (RM 35) is a thin crust pizza cut in six pieces and precariously topped with jamon serrano (similar to parma ham), rocket, and mozzarella cheese

ciki, Leo's Pork Knuckle Platter, KY
ciki serving Leo’s pork knuckle platter, I licked the bone clean

My favorite main dish of the night has got to be their signature Leo’s pork knuckle platter (RM 75). The pork knuckle is perfect, with the meat super tender you could tear em clean from the bone (as I demonstrate) while the skin roasted till super crispy.

There were red sauerkraut & garlic herb roasted potatoes to balance the taste too, it couldn’t have been better. I absolutely love it.

pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns
pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns

Pork chorizo sausage (RM 38) is served with bacon, potato, and apple rosti with chunky tomato relish. A pretty hearty meal by itself, I’d have this with some Guinness.

Another unique dish at Leonardo’s is their grilled pork neck (RM 25) with spicy mango. I like the cilantro salsa that comes with it, but to be honest I personally didn’t like the pork neck much, the texture’s a bit too soft and oily for my liking.

Edward, the part owner, insisted that we try their fried hokkien mee. Served with some seriously huge prawns, I must say that it didn’t disappoint if only it’s a tad too sweet for me. Then again, perhaps my taste bud was tainted with the previous nine dishes I tried?

banana bread and butter pudding, grilled mango, baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction
banana bread n butter pudding, grilled mango w pink peppercorn & cardamom,
baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction

Then of course, the desserts have to come when I’m already absolutely full to the brim. However, I find that this is generally not a problem with girls, they seem to have a separate stomach reserved just for dessert. Call me sexist, but it is absolutely true!

The banana bread and butter pudding (RM 18) served with vanilla ice cream was my favorite among the desserts. Grilled mango with pink peppercorn and cardamom (RM 18) was a bit strange, the baked apple with fillo pastry (RM 18) sweet and savory, and the chocolate seduction (RM 22) was absolutely rich and flavorful I don’t know how anyone could actually finish it right after a big meal.

Then again, I don’t have that spare dessert stomach.

hanging out with the gang at Leonardo's, Jalan Bangkung
we had a whole lot of food and fun at Leonardo’s

It was a very satisfying review session. Cumi & Ciki, Fatboybakes, Eiling, A Lil Fat Monkey, Nigel & Allan from Just Heavenly, and Li Zhi were among the people that made up the great company.

Fadlin also got us some lovely wines sponsored by Magnum to go with all these food. We had Villa Girardi Soave 2007 (Italian) , Concha Y Toro Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 2006 (U.S), and James Irvine Barossa Merlot 2006 (Australia).

map to Leonardo's Dining Room

Address:
Leonardo’s
61-1 and 61-2, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2096 2226

I have actually been to Ho Chi Minh City on business trip for more than half a dozen times since some three years ago, it is alway such a delightful place to visit. The Vietnamese people really does offer the very best of hospitality anywhere, and of course, the city offers some interesting food too.

Beer with friends at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
clam with pork, bbq frog with skin, and bbq prawns

I managed to contact an old pal of mine, Trinh, for some drinks on Sunday night. The last I met this guy was back in August 2005 for some Banh Xeo, more than one and a half year ago. We rode to one of the nearby seafood and beer restaurant to catch up on old times.

The host ordered a plate of BBQ prawn, some interesting “grilled clam rolled with Pig’s omental fat”, and BBQ frog with skin. Of course, a few bottles of chilled Heineken to go along with these local delights.

Beer with friends at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The words mean “welcome” and “see you”.. or something like that

The food were certainly very good. The BBQ prawn was marinated with some pretty spicy seasoning, and packs a kick even if you don’t dip it into the traditional lime + salt + chili paste. The locals usually chew down everything, including the head and shell.

The grilled clam was an interesting dish that tasted kinda like bacon and clam meat, except in a bigger and juicier bite. It went very well with beer, and definitely one of the heart surgeon’s worst nightmares.

Thought I’ve had frogs before, this is the first time I’ve had it with skin intact. The texture is similar to fish skin, but tougher and slightly sticky. The aroma of the frog meat was very good as well. Fresh vegetable is featured in every dish, not very different from the Malay ulam. It is actually a very nice concept, you have some meat or seafood, then some vegetables to freshen up the tongue, repeat.

map of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
this place is just right next to Legend Hotel in District 1, HCMC

It was a very good supper, and nothing beats meeting old friends from far away places. I’m not exactly sure how much the food costs, but the pork with clam was about 55,000 VND, with another 10% tax. One ringgit equals to around 4,500 VND.

This particular restaurant is situated on
3C, Ton Duc Thang
District 1, HCMC
Vietnam