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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / mom

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 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
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
Bak Kut Teh is always best with a big group

map to Ki Heong bak kut teh, Bukit Tinggi

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
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
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
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
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.

hanoi house at Vietnam, map

Address:
Hanoi House
47A Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
GPS: 21.029161, 105.849447

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?
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
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.

map to eel porridge at hanoi, Vietnam

Address:
Nhà Hàng Miến Lươn ĐÔNG THỊNH
87 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
GPS: 21.031978, 105.846789
Tel: +84 24 3826 7943

One of the more improbable thing I heard about Hanoi (or Vietnam in general) while doing research about the place prior to visiting was this “free food tour” thingy, cos you know, in my mind, how can anything truly be free?

HanoiKids free food tour at Hanoi
HanoiKids free food tour at Hanoi

Well, as it turns out, there is such thing. The many different “clubs” that offers free food tour operates under a similar motto – in exchange for their service, the tour guides, usually university students, get to practice their conversational English, and all we needed to do is to pay for the meals.

Our experience at Hanoi was provided by HanoiKids, we booked the service online through their website, and sure enough on the evening of our appointment date, our guides – Mint & Mok,  showed up at the hotel lobby as promised.

Both these girls are students from Foreign Trade University located just a few kilometers away from here. In fact, they didn’t even know each other prior to this engagement, which I thought was a pretty interesting arrangement.

first meal - herbal chicken noodle
first meal – herbal chicken noodle

Our first destination was herbal chicken noodle, or My Ga Tan. This is not entirely too different from our version of herbal chicken mee suah, but with darker broth that’s almost half way to bak kut teh taste, and “instant” noodle instead of mee suah. The chicken was rather tasty and really soft, there’s also a side of salt & chili padi should you want to kick it up a notch.

Address:
Mỳ Gà Tần
24 Hàng Bồ, Hàng Gai,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

dry pho with steamed chicken
dry pho with steamed chicken

Next up was none other than the most famous dish in Vietnam – pho. In Hanoi this is usually served with chicken instead of beef, and the place we were brought to – Pho Ga Khanh Beo, has the more unique dry version.

The chicken was again very soft, with the overall flavor here more subtle than the beef version in Ho Chi Minh City, but does make for a good comfort meal as well. This isn’t entirely unlike dry version of kuih teow soup in Penang, but with more vege and nuts.

Address:
Phở Gà Khánh Béo
22 Hàng Hòm, Hàng Gai,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hours: 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm

Grilled quail eggs at Nguyen Quang Bich Street
Grilled quail eggs at Nguyen Quang Bich Street

Moving on from those noodle dishes, we had this traditional street food that’s made of 3-4 quail eggs cooked with cheese, meat floss, fried shallots, green onion, sausage etc and served with tamarind sauce. It does take quite a bit for the lady to “grill” those tiny plates up but what you get at the end was quite a unique taste and experience unlike any other, now if they can just serve this at hotel breakfast egg station, my life would be complete.

Address:
24B Nguyễn Quang Bích,
Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hours: 4-10 pm

you deserve desserts
you deserve desserts

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, and for this purpose we were brought to this place by the name of Hoa Beo for a spot of dessert. We ended up having yogurt, fruit jelly, and even mixed fruits with condensed milk. While they aren’t exactly very sophisticated, it was a good sweet note to this rather awesome free food tour.

Thank you Mint & Moc for the wonderful hospitality. Do check out HanoiKids if your’e heading to Hanoi.

yeap, these desserts aren't too unfamiliar

Address:
Hoa Béo
17 Tố Tịch Hàng Gai,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

When in Hanoi, one has to of course, go to the many many cafes dotted around the city that embraces the coffee culture unlike any other South East Asian countries. While the traditional drip coffee is still king around here, there are increasingly more and more fancy modern cafes as the economic status of the country progresses.

Gardenista, French Quarter Hanoi
Gardenista, French Quarter Hanoi

While walking around the Hoan Kiem Lake Park, a place anyone would surely visit while at Hanoi, we took a rest as this beautiful cafe that is Gardenista for a spot of coffee and a bit of rest after a long walk around the lake.

black coffee, extra milk coffee, coconut ice cream coffee
black coffee, extra milk coffee, coconut ice cream coffee

The cafe itself is almost half green house & half cafe, with plenty of plants both on the floor, the counter, and even hanging from the ceiling. The interior is separated into three distinct areas, with another outdoor section to boot. I think this place can easily house over a hundred caffeinated souls.

ambiance is as important as taste when it comes to cafe
ambiance is as important as taste when it comes to cafe

We tried their standard long black, extra milk coffee that’s got a bit more milk than your usual latte, and my favorite – the coconut ice cream coffee. These were pretty good coffee, but I do think that the ambiance is what anyone is really here for. Would love to revisit and spend an afternoon with a good book (nay.. phone and data plan).

gardenista cafe, hanoi, map

Address:
Gardenista
2 Lê Thạch, Tràng Tiền,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
GPS: 21.027078, 105.854083