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Tag / pork

Tonkatsu remains to be one of the latest Japanese foods to be introduced in Malaysia. For those who aren’t familiar with this Japanese dish, it is basically a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet served with shredded cabbage. In fact, this dish is originated in Japan in the 19th century, so even in Japan it isn’t a particularly old dish.

Tonkatsu at Ma Maison, at One Utama shopping mall
Tonkatsu at Ma Maison, at One Utama shopping mall

My first time trying tonkatsu was at the version by Wa Kitchen at Pavilion, then probably the first and only tonkatsu restaurant in Malaysia in 2011.

Fast forward a few years later, we have another worthy contender in the tonkatsu landscape – Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. We tried to 1 Utama branch (they just opened another branch at Publika) after hearing good things about this place.

so this is how you use those condiments
so this is how you use those condiments

The set up is slightly different from their counterpart at Pavilion, with clear instructions on how to enjoy the dish printed on a little instruction panel on every table. There’s a choice of salt, sweet, and spicy sauce on the side, and of course there’s a sesame grinder and peanut sauce for cabbage as well. You’re also encouraged to consume the accompanying rice with pickle.

Wafu Negioroshi Hire Katsu and Hire Katsu
Wafu Negioroshi Rosu Katsu and Hire Katsu

The menu at Ma Maison is rather extensive (check their menu online). There’s the traditional hire (pork filet) and rōsu (pork loin) sets with a few variations, plus deep fried oyster, crab croquette, jumbo prawn, chicken, and so forth.

I tend to stick with the pork, and in particular, pork loin, only because of the layer luxurious pork fat accompanying the meat.

salad, deep fried pork, miso soup, perfect
salad, deep fried pork, miso soup, perfect

Every set comes with pretty good quality miso soup, pickle, and refillable cabbage that goes very well with their version of peanut sauce.

As for the pork, they are glorious. It is lightly salted with very crispy yet light breading and always piping hot when served. Dipping the meat in either the sweet sweet, spicy sauce, or mustard and any pork lover will be in ecstasy. The experience is like the first time you have KFC as a kid.

KY & Haze, after a satisfying dinner
KY & Haze, after a satisfying dinner

So if you find yourself at 1 Utama, this is definitely a place worth checking out. Average meal would be around RM 30+ per person including drinks.

Happy eating!

Address:
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison @ Eat Paradise
Level 2, Isetan, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, 47800 Selangor
GPS: 3.149080, 101.615896
Tel: 03-7727 3337
HoursSunday to Thursday, 11.00am – 9.30pm;  Friday to Saturday, 11.00am – 10.00pm

The golden standard of bak kut teh is the soup, that strong herbal taste with a thick porky flavour that we all love, and almost without fail, we would ask for refill… or so I thought.

A couple weekends ago we were introduced to Ah Her bak kut teh by a local Klang girl and her family. According to her, this is a place where you get perhaps 1/3 bowl of soup, and there’s no refill, but it would be one of the best bak kut teh you’d ever had.

I must say that I had my doubts.

Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang
Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang

Her in Ah Her means fire in local Hokkien dialect, and I suppose that’s just the boss’ name.

Located between Jalan Polis and Jalan Chianniah deep within Klang town, Ah Her bak kut teh’s set up was not unlike many food courts, semi alfresco with a zinc roof on top, plenty of electric fans, and no walls. On the Sunday that we were there, the place was packed. Business starts at about 5-6 pm and the last bowl of bak kut teh goes out before 8:30 pm.

yep, that's all the soup you get here
Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang

Bak kut teh here is served in their individual bowl (RM 9 per bowl) and you get to choose the cut that you like, there’s intestine, big bone, small bone, 3 layer pork, stomach, ribs, and more.

The locals usually order their favorite and basically eat their from their own bowl, but it’s not uncommon to share. Another place with similar style would be Mo Sang Kor at Taman Berkeley, also at Klang.

Like what the photo shows, you don’t get a lot of soup.

ribs, fatty meat, intestines, 3 layer pork, big bones, take your pick
ribs, fatty meat, intestines, 3 layer pork, big bones, take your pick

The real deal here, to me, is the meat. It was by far the tastiest pork I’ve had, full of intense herbal flavor that is somehow not overpowering, and all cooked till it’s so tender you could cut them using the spoon.

The soup too was very thick and strong, almost consistency of stew. I really love it, even though there’s no extra serving. You truly learn to appreciate and treasure them.

thank you Angel and family, it was a great dinner
thank you Angel and family, it was a great dinner

If you’re a bak kut teh lover, you owe it to yourself to make a drive to this place. I went to another bak kut teh a couple weeks later and find myself not being able to finish, gahh.

Now I really want to try all the other bak kut teh in Klang.

map to Ah Her bak kut teh, Klang

Address:
Ah Her bak kut teh
jucntion between Jalan Police & Jalan Chianniah
Pandamaran, Klang
Selangor
GPS: 3.006168, 101.413631
Tel: 012-370 1217

I love a good bowl of bak kut teh, and while it is generally true that you often get the best bak kut teh at Klang, going all the way to the “ah beng country” isn’t always practical.

For those who aren’t familiar with bak kut teh, there are actually two versions. There’s the thicker broth infused with pork bones typical of Klang’s style, and then there’s the Teow Chew version that is lighter but more herbal.

bak kut teh, best served with yau char kuai
bak kut teh, best served with yau char kuai

Heong Kee at Seapark is a bak kut the stall that offers one of the better Teow Chew style bak kut teh.

The unassuming stall is situated just a stone’s throw away from the KFC at Seapark (which is also the first KFC I visited in Klang Valley more than 20 years ago, but that’s not the topic for today.) There are about half a dozen foldable tables by the stall, with a canopy just in case the weather turns back.

ideal for quick dinner, so long as weather permits
ideal for quick dinner, so long as weather permits

I like the fact that the meat here is always very well cooked, and while the soup is not the most intense, my taste buds are happy with them. You can also add enoki mushroom, yau char kuai, and innards.

A meal here will cost about RM 10-12 per person, they also serve pork tripe soup, vegetable and a few other dishes here.

map to seapark bak kut teh

Address:
Heong Kee Bak Kut Teh (香记肉骨茶)

While most bak kut teh connoisseurs will tell you that the best bak kut teh dishes are from Klang, I believe that there exists many good quality stalls and restaurants offering the same dish outside of its place of origin. Not too long ago, we went to Kg. Chempaka in PJ to try out one of the newer places in town by the name of Hou Siang.

Hau Siang bak kut teh at Kg. Chempaka
Hau Siang bak kut teh at Kg. Chempaka

There is Klang and Teochew style bak kut teh, the former being stronger tasting, and the latter slightly sweeter and less herbal. Hou Siang bak kut teh advertised to be of 100% Klang.

The bak kut teh stall is located within the kopitiam that shares the same name. There’s no air conditioning or table cloth, and thankfully, the food was as unpretentious as the restaurant.

a no nonsense clay pot of bak kut teh
a no nonsense clay pot of bak kut teh

A big clay pot of bak kut teh here is good enough to share among 5-6 people. There’s the signature “big bone” with plenty of collagen & tendon, fatty meat, intestine, ribs, and pork knuckle too. It is really a no nonsense serving of bak kut teh,  other than pork, bone, and soup (essentially the definition of bak kut teh,) there’s no other ingredients.

While the soup isn’t the most fragrant of strongest I’ve tasted, it is actually still very good, probably one of the better versions outside Klang.

extra tofu and innards to complete the meal
extra tofu and innards to complete the meal

Tofu, yau char kuai, extra innards, and other ingredients can be ordered as sides, and I really like the way they serve extra soup on separate bowls for everyone and refills them constantly. I hate it when bak kut teh places are stingy with their soup, this place definitely do it right.

Shiang demonstrate exactly how big the clay pot is
Shiang demonstrate exactly how big the clay pot is

Our lunch came up to be around RM 20 per person, which includes Chinese tea and plenty of pork for the day. If you’re looking for a very decent bak kut teh place around PJ, this is one place to check out.

Address:
Hau Siang Bak Kut Teh
No 496, Jalan PJU 1/6,
Kampung Cempaka
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117291, 101.599030
Tel016-928 7691

I’m currently in Philippines enjoying a dive trip, so I suppose it’s appropriate to introduce to you one of the dishes I discovered by accident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport of Manila.

I was waiting for my flight back to KL on the Operation Smile trip late last year, hungry struck, so we decided to stop by one of the small airport restaurants at Terminal 3 to catch lunch. The name of the place was Great Man Hann Restaurant.

dinuguan at Great Man Hann restaurant
dinuguan at Great Man Hann restaurant

The menu was full of vocabulary not found in my system, so like any adventurer, I picked the first item – Dinuguan, and asked the server about the dish.

“Sir, it’s pork cooked with pork blood”

He had me at pork blood, so I ordered, and it came exactly like what the server described.

Dinuguan from Philippines
Dinuguan from Philippines

Well, there’s also a side of steamed rice, and a green chili native to the Philippines on top. The “gravy” is made of pork blood and thus not exactly liquid but more like very tiny chunks of coagulated pork blood. Meat was delicious especially those with a mixture of fats in it, and when eaten with the chili, it provided an excellent kick.

It was an interesting dish and one that I would definitely try again. Since this one was from the airport, I’m sure there are superior versions out there, I shall try more. Especially those that not only include meat but intestine, ears, liver, and more.

Yum yum, so what’s some of the more interesting things you ate in 2012?