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Tag / pork belly

When I first received the invitation email for a food review at Paradise Inn, I was wondering why I haven’t heard about this hotel since it’s located near Sunway Pyramid, an area I’m quite familiar with. As it turned out, Paradise Inn is actually a Chinese restaurant WITHIN Pyramid.

Traditionally, the word “inn” refers to a place where travelers seek food, drinks, and lodging. Paradise Inn provides two out of the three functions, so I guess it is more legit to use the word “inn” than most political parties in forming government.

Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it's a restaurant
Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it’s a restaurant

Paradise Inn is a subsidary of Paradise Group Holding, Singapore. While only been in Malaysia since 2011, the group has been operating several F&B brands in Singapore since 2002. The concept of the restaurant is to combine traditional Chinese cuisine with a touch of modern innovation, and serve the resulting dishes at a reasonable price.

The interior of the restaurant reflects that very concept, with decoration true carrying tell tale traditional styling with added modern touches. I find it quite classy.

stewed pork belly with lotus bun
stewed pork belly with lotus bun

We kick started the food review session with one of Paradise Inn’s signature dishes, the stewed pork belly served with lotus bun (RM 4.80). It reminds me of the similar dish at Fong Lye at Mid Valley Gardens, but I like this version even more. It’s more juicy, and certainly very savory and flavorful.

The portion is perhaps a little big for appetizer, but I’m not one with huge appetite, so your mileage may vary.

doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple
doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple

Like any proper Chinese dinner, soup is of the essence. We tried their double boiled water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple (RM 39.90 per pot), one of the nine different double boiled soups offered here.

The soup is supposed to reduce internal dryness, relieve thirst, and improve metabolism. What I know is that it tastes great, and I’d have never thought that the addition of apple in this otherwise very traditional soup managed to give it a hint of freshness and sweetness that adds to the overall taste. I should try this at home.

coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo
coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo

Next up was another pretty unique dish that was a first for me, the coffee pork ribs (RM 19.90 onwards). Imagine Guinness pork ribs, now imagine the aroma from the black beer substituted by the smell of coffee. It was different, not better or worse than it’s sibling, but different in itself, people who loves coffee would definitely love it. I quite like this.

Stewed eggplant with minced pork and salted fish (RM 16 onwards) isn’t quite as unique, but something that carries its own and goes well with steamed rice.

Crisp fried crystal prawns in wasabi mayo (RM 29.90 onwards) came across to me like something from a dimsum restaurant with great Japanese influence, minus the dimsum skin. The wasabi mayo and that sprinkle of ebiko really adds to the otherwise straight forward fried prawns.

fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns
fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns

Another prawn dish we had was the crisp fried crystal prawns with salted egg yolk (RM 29.90 onwards). This should be quite a familiar taste to most, and execution of the dish here is pretty good. I like how the prawns are shelled.

Poached Chinese spinach with egg trio and minced pork in superior stock (RM 16 onwards) is a bit of a fancy name for the familiar “siong thong yuen choi” dish that is common across most Chinese restaurants. The difference here is that they use century egg, salted egg, and chicken egg all in one dish, which makes for a more interesting tasting soup, but I wish there was more liquid.

Crisp fried shrimp paste chicken (RM 18 onwards) might have been inspired by local Nyonya cuisine (my mom cooks this), and turns out to be quite delicious. Great with some cold beer.

chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk, braised vermicelli with pork trotter
chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk,
braised vermicelli with pork trotter

Another poultry dish we tried was chicken with fragrant herbs in clay pot (RM 18 onwards), this dish isn’t all too different from Taiwanese 3 cup chicken, but with a stronger taste of spices and herbs.

Steamed minced pork with water chestnut and salted egg yolk (RM 18) looks pretty interesting, the flattened egg yolk though, was probably more for aesthetics than practicality. I’m also not sure if water chestnut with pork is my thing and probably prefer the traditional type with salted fish instead. It’s not bad per se, just not really my thing.

Braised vermicelli with pork trotters (RM 19.90) is a dish that must be consumed while piping hot. The collagen and fat from pork trotter melting into those meehun – heaven! One of my favorites.

hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago
hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago

There are eight different traditional desserts to choose from at Paradise Inn. Hasma with red dates and logan (RM 12), lemongrass jelly with lemonade (RM 6), and chilled mango sago (RM 8) were among the few we tried. The desserts serve as sweet conclusion to the session.

there are lunch sets too
there are lunch sets too, and look at how these bloggers work

To me, Paradise Inn seems to sit right in between the cheaper Chinese “tai chau” and the higher end restaurants in hotels in terms of their price point. Quality of food is pretty high up there, offering very decent value for what they are asking.

This review was arranged by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

Sunway Pyramid map

Address:
Paradise Inn
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
OB3.LG1.7 & 1.8, Lower Ground One,

Oasis Boulevard
GPS3.07208, 101.60539
Tel: 03-5637 8822

As promised on the Taman Desa Japanese BBQ post, here’s how you spend less than 1/4 the money and DIY some pork bbq goodness at home. An awesome BBQ chicken wing recipe is thrown in as well.

This BBQ was done several weeks ago when my sister and my niece were in KL to get their visa application finalised. They have moved to the states now.

pork, chicken wings, vege, we have it all
pork, chicken wings, vege, we have it all. Kerol & FA working on the grill

pork belly BBQ:

  • buy pork belly from the market, I paid RM 25 for about 15 portions of what you’d get from Taman Desa BBQ place, cut them in squares
  • marinate with half a cup of cooking sake, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • as for sauce, add chopped garlic to Japanese salad dressing (wafu dressing, shoyu vinegar)
  • BBQ on medium heat till cooked
pro tip: soak the satey sticks in water for 5-10 minutes before BBQ to prevent burning
pro tip 2: don’t mix vege in between meat, they have different cooking time
p/s: Haze came up with the recipe and marinated the pork, everyone loved it, need to make more next time

my sister & niece, with a few friends & ex housemates
my sister & niece, with a few friends & ex housemates

awesome chicken wing BBQ:

  • marinated chicken wings (together with drummets) with 3 parts oyster sauce, 2 parts soya sauce, and 1 part dark soya sauce
  • add some pepper to the marinate
  • let it marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge, longer = better
  • BBQ over medium fire, poke the drummet – no juice coming out = cooked

instax pic with my sister, the niece, and me. =D
instax pic with my sister, the niece, and me. =D

Vegetable BBQ:

  • er.. just put them on stick and burn away!
  • add some salt to serve

That’s it, simple and yummy BBQ. The experiment was a success, will have a bigger BBQ party next time!

Hidden at Taman Desa is a pretty special place, a little shack with the name 大众烧肉 (Japanese BBQ) that seems like it was lifted from one of those Chinese kungfu series of the 80s. A place where the protagonist grabs a few bites while casually kicks about fifteen person’s butt.

Within the small shack there were a few tall tables and benches, and around the area, more tables are available al fresco style. This Japanese BBQ place is a fair weathered restaurant, while there are some areas under the roof, capacity would be quite limited during rainy day, which unfortunately, would also be the best times to have BBQ around here.

small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining
small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining – perfect ambience

We were introduced to this place by Terence and Michelle (who speaks Japanese), and decided to pay a visit several weeks ago to check out what the fuss is all about.

On a weekend night, the place was fully packed. We had to wait for some half an hour before a table was available, and another 15-20 minutes before the busy waiters bother to start taking our orders.

he Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable
the Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable

Most items on the menu consists of raw meat, but for those who want to lace their stomach while waiting for food to be cooked, they serve 3 types of ramen (RM 10 each), and steamed rice is available at RM 3 per pop too. Kerol tried the ramen and reported that it was acceptable, if not underwhelming.

After we ordered our raw meat, a charcoal stove is set up between the two tables we were seated. Our first dish to go on the stove was Genghiskhan lamb (RM 20), which reminded me a little bit of bulgogi but with chunks of lamb instead. it was pretty tasty and went well with steamed rice, but portion was a little small.

various pork including three layer pork, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue
various pork including  pork belly, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue

When our meat finally arrives, we finally realized that “small portion” is a pretty consistent issue here.

Pork belly, shoulder loin, inside leg, neck and big intestine are priced at RM 10 per plate, while tongue, throat, liver, heart, stomach, and small intestine at RM 6 per plate. The slightly bigger plate beef short ribs was RM 15.

We didn’t order steak (RM 25) or beef brisket, ribeye, tongue (RM 10 each) though, so can’t comment on the portion.

here's four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck
here’s four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck

The meat could take a bit of time to grill, but the result was mostly positive, with the pork belly especially superb! Those layer of pork fat in between the meat were succulent and yummy (if you don’t mess up and over cooked it lah).

I’m pretty partial to the leaner cut of meat, and pork stomach (tripe) was a bit too tough to chew after grilling, I guess that’s a part of pork that’s best left stewed or cooked in soup.

we only had one stove for seven of us though
we only had one stove for seven of us though

Dining at Gerai Makan Japanese BBQ can be pretty cool, there isn’t another place that let you grill your pork with charcoal fire in that rustic environment anywhere in Klang Valley that I’m aware of.

The problem though, was that of price and service. If you really want to have a satisfying dinner, expect to dig in quite a bit to your wallet and spend at least a couple hours there.

Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze
Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze (saw BangsarBabe there too)

While I am probably never going to be a regular customer there, it’s a cool place to be once in a blue moon (they do serve pretty cheap beer, including Asahi). We also took the idea and made our own pork BBQ, I’ll share that on this space soon. 😀

map to Japanese BBQ at Taman Desa

Address:
Japanese BBQ
Center Court Plaza Faber,
Jalan Desa Jaya Taman Desa
Off. Jalan Klang Lama
58100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1065905 , 101.6783134

After cooking regularly for a better part of a year now, I thought it’s about time we try dishes that is a little bit more challenging, and since Haze has a thing for braised pork belly with yam (芋头扣肉), we decided to give it a go.

The following recipe is perhaps the simplest formulation for a good braised pork belly with yam, but that being said, it still requires at least 3-4 hours of cooking time to complete. The result though, if done properly, is a serving of yummy succulent pork with buttery soft yam good enough for 4 person.

braised pork belly slices with yam
braised pork belly slices with yam

The ingredients:

  • pork belly – 600 gram
  • one small/medium size yam
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 6-8 shallots
  • half a bulb of garlic
  • 2 cubes of namyu (fermented bean curd)
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice
  • pepper to taste

a big slab of pork and yam, enough to feed 4 pax
a big slab of pork and yam, enough to feed 4 pax

Cooking method can be divided into 4 major steps, pork preparation, yam preparation, frying, and steaming. Divide and conquer make things easier now isn’t it? 😀

step 1 – yam preparation:

  • cut yam into thick slices (same thickness as pork)
  • heat up frying pan with 2 tablespoon of oil, then fry yam for 3-4 minutes

dark soya sauce is used in the second stage of pork preparation
dark soya sauce is used in the second stage of pork preparation

step 2 – pork preparation step:

  • boil the whole slab of pork for 10-15 minutes
  • remove pork from water, pat dry, then cover the whole slab with dark soya sauce
  • heat up frying pan, then fry pork till brown
  • remove pork from frying pan and cut in thick slices

shallots, garlic, and namyu to bring out the flavor
shallots, garlic, and namyu to bring out the flavor

step 3 – frying:

  • heat up a couple tablespoon of oil
  • fry chopped garlic and onion till fragrant
  • add pork, yam, and namyu
  • add oyster sauce, soya sauce, five spice powder, and sesame oil
  • stir fry till even (try not to break the yam, or meat)

finally, arrange pork/yam and steam for 3-4 hours
finally, arrange pork/yam and steam for 3-4 hours

step 4 – steaming:

  • arrange the pork and yam alternately in a bowl (or in this case, a metal plate)
  • steam for a minimum of 2-3 hours

And you are done! Do always keep an eye to ensure that your steamer don’t run out of water in the process. If a pressure cooker is used, the steaming process can be cut short considerably (20-30 minutes, I will try this method next time).

Do check out more recipes on this site, and happy cooking!

Nam Yu is one those simple marinating ingredient that is quite rather, magical. Not only it can single handedly make your meat extra tasty, it is also very cheap, easy to store, and versatile (you can use it for porridge).

For the uninitiated, nam yu is the older cousin of fu yu (check out my fuyu pork recipe) – with the distinction that this fermented tofu is red in color instead of white. Nam Yu carries a stronger flavor and is a better candidate for marinate.

namyu pork
nam yu fried pork on a bed of lettuce (for presentation la)

Today lets look at one of my favorite beer foods you can make with nam yu, a recipe that is applicable to both pork and chicken (I prefer chicken wings, but any type of chicken cut will work)

namyu pork cooking steps
marinate, dip in egg white, dip in flour, deep fried, done

Ingredients:

  • pork belly (or ribs, or chicken wings, etc)
  • 3-4 cubes of nam yu
  • black or white pepper to taste
  • 2 egg white
  • flour
  • oil for frying

namyu chicken wings cooking steps
the same recipe works great with chicken wings too

Instructions:

  • marinate pork or chicken with nam yu and pepper for at least 1 hour, the longer the better
  • heat up cooking oil
  • dip the pork/chicken into egg white, then flour (or corn flour) before deep frying

That’s it! The dish is really this simple. The chicken wings you see below is slightly over fried, I suggest frying with medium heat for longer instead of high heat fast to avoid burning the skin.

namyu chicken wings

For those who are too lazy to cook, you can find pretty decent nam yu pork at Pan Heong, near batu caves, they serve some pretty awesome big prawn noodle and wat tan hor too.

Happy eating!