Last week mom was here for a bit, so naturally it was my duty as a son to bring her form some breakfast worthy of trying. And since we’ve had bak kut teh, and red wine mee suah the day prior, I thought it was appropriate that we try one of the other less “normal” breakfast choices – chicken rice.
chicken rice with mom
Yeap, chicken rice is as popular as the first meal of the day in Klang as it is for lunch or dinner.
We headed to Jalan Gelugor for one of my favorite chicken rice fix in the area – Top 1 Chicken Rice. The stall is located at the same food court with the Jalan Batai Char Kuih Teow – with zinc roof, plastic furniture, and generally acceptable hygiene standard.
Top 1 chicken rice offers only steamed chicken, of normal and “walk on the ground” chicken, which I assumed to be kampung, or organic variety.
perfectly cooked steamed chicken with Bentong ginger
What sets this place apart though is their use of Bentong ginger as condiment in addition to their home made chili sauce. As you maybe aware of, Bentong is often touted as the place that produces the best ginger in the country, with its slightly more spicy and stronger taste profile. I love it, so did mom.
The chicken too is steamed perfectly, on that fine line between being under cooked and overly hard/tough when you boiled chicken seemingly only half a minute too long.
dark soya sauce on rice is the Klang way
Overall, this is as proper as chicken rice goes, I’ve heard that you can request for rice balls as well, maybe I’d have to try that next time.
There are two types of travelers, the one that plans for everything including transportation, hotel, point of interests, and which restaurants (and sometimes what to eat) to dine in; then there’s the type who likes to have a bit of surprises and a sense of adventure. It’s not surprise which type is me, and luckily, my brother is pretty much the same.
pork offal soup with rice, breakfast of champions
One of those adventures brought us to this pork offal soup with rice place when we went to Bangkok over CNY with mom.
This little stall is located on Soi Sukhumvit 55, the road in which we walk by on the way from our hotel to the Thong Lo BTS Station (Bangkok Mass Transit System, not that Korean boy group thingy..)
What intrigued us was how busy the stall is, and that it is seemingly a slice of time capsule wedged in between two roles of shop houses in this increasingly modern city that is Bangkok. So we did a bit of pointing here and there and had our orders for brunch.
blood, intestine, kidney, liver, and meat
As it turns out, they serve only one dish – pork offal soup with rice, and yep, just like Klang, there are people who has rice and porky goodness as breakfast.
the stall is wedged between two buildings
The soup came with a good mix of coagulated blood, intestine, kidney, liver, and pork slices, the soup is quite flavorful if slightly too salty for my taste, there’s also generous amount of cilantro to provide some balance to those fatty bits. The chili sauce condiment accompanying the dish is rather spicy too, as you’d expect from Thailand.
It was overall a rather yummy dish and one of the best meals we had in Bangkok. For 35-40 baht per bowl, this was also one of the more affordable meals too.
there’s a coffee stall next to it too
Address: Pork Offal Soup (Opposite El Gaucho) Soi Sukhumvit 55, THONGLOR KLONGTON NUA Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand GPS: 13.730904, 100.581437
Several weeks ago when my family was in town, we decided to meet up my cousin & extended family for a bit of a catch up session, and when you stay near Klang, the obvious option is bak kut teh, so that’s how we ended up at Ki Heong bak kut teh.
Ki Heong Bak Kut Teh, Bukit Tinggi Klang
Ki Heong (not to be confused by Kee Heong at Taman Eng Ann) is located at Bukit Tinggi, occupying two shop lots with one side fully air conditioned.
This is perhaps one of the best things anyone’s done to bak kut the – having it served in climate controlled environment! I mean, hot soup and hot weather doesn’t work so well together otherwise, right? Perhaps this is why bkt is often preferred as breakfast when it isn’t sweaty hot out.
The bak kut teh here comes in either soup or dry versions with a variety of different cuts to choose from. For those who loves pork fat, “pua pui chiak” (half fat, half lean), “tua kut” (big pone), and “seh kut” (small bones) are some of the cuts you should go for.
Additionally, you can also order innards such as stomach and intestine here. You can have these on a separate bowl in case some may not want them next to their meat, which is a bit of a shame, really!
dry bkt, soup bkt, and innards
The dry bkt here is certainly competent, rich in flavor and as usual, comes with a bit of dry chili and some okra slices to gives it a bit of character. Soup version is pretty decent here as well, while it isn’t the thickest, there’s still good herbal note, and they are happy to refill the clay pot as much and as often as you like.
As for the meat, I thought they are just slightly firmer than some of the best ones in Klang, though by no means anywhere close to “tough” territory. Overall this is a pretty decent bkt outlet that’s made better by having air conditioned dining area and unlimited soup. Not a bad choice really.
Bak Kut Teh is always best with a big group
Address: Ki Heong Bak Kut Teh Bukit Tinggi No. 28, Jalan Bayu Tinggi 2A, Batu Unjur, Klang 41200 Selangor GPS: 3.011611, 101.439157
Vietnam probably has the most mature coffee culture in all of South East Asia, when we were in Hanoi earlier this year, we definitely took advantage of visiting some of the more quaint cafes in this capital city.
Hanoi House Cafe, Hanoi
Our second cafe stop was probably named by someone who’s not overly imaginative, calling it Hanoi House. The first cafe was Gardenista.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi
Well, it is located in Hanoi, but more specifically, right across from the beautiful St. Joseph’s Cathedral, which was constructed way back in 1886 as one of the first structures built by the French colonial government. The church was closed down after Viet Minh took over North Vietnam, and wasn’t reopened until closed down until Christmas Eve of 1990, which… is already almost 30 years ago… (how time flies!)
It is open for public and for mass, and we were lucky to get in and have a peek on a Sunday morning.
Vietnamese Coffee, thick and aromatic
The cafe itself is situated on the first floor of a shop lot which also happened to have some permanent inhabitants. Interior itself smells of antiquity, while also being rather cozy. If you’re lucky, grab a seat by the balcony and you’ll have a great not-quite bird-eye’s view of this small segment of the city.
a lovely place to unwind
We had the standard hot coffee with condensed milk (32,000 vnd, equal to RM 5.70 at time of writing), and like with many other places in Hanoi, they’re thick, aromatic, and has an effect of lifting your eyelids immediately. I love it.
If you want to live a little, they serve alcohol too, but I thought it was perhaps inappropriate with mom around, and the fact that it was 11 in the morning.
My style of travel usually involves minimal planning with a few points of interests we’d visit, and pretty much winging it rest of the way. After all, it’s always more exciting to have a bit of surprises and a sense of adventure while at a foreign land, isn’t it?
Mien Luon Dong Thinh, fancy some eel?
This method of traveling was precisely how we ended up at Mien Luon Dong Thinh, we were basically walking around Hanoi looking for a lunch spot and thought whatever that they have right at the stall in this restaurant looked peculiar enough to warrant further investigation.
As it turned out, we landed on a rather notable eel restaurant! Yessss!
There are several options to choose from at this place, and luckily the menu on the wall did have English subtitle for all the half a dozen choices – vermicelli blend, fried eel, clear vermicelli soup, fried vermicelli, eel soup, and eel porridge. Each will cost between 25,000 to 60,000 vnd.
crunchy deep fried eel with porridge turned out to be rather good
We ended up trying the fried eel with vermicelli and the eel porridge. The eels were crispy and quite tasty, a very different taste from the boiled eel soup I had in Ho Chi Minh City, much easier to eat and not entirely too different from Japanese shishamo, but with sweetness of eel.
Of course, the vermicelli salad comes with fresh greens, nuts, and a healthy dose of fish sauce, as you would expect. The porridge also would make a very good comfort food on a cold day.
I’d recommend anyone with at least a mild sense of adventure to try this while at Hanoi.