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Tag / prawns

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

It’s been a while since I posted any home cooked dishes. So here’s one, a simple garlic fried rice with seafood recipe.

This is something that you can prepare in less than half an hour, garlic fried rice is a pretty classic Japanese dish, I just add some seafood to kick it up a notch a bit. While traditionally they also use spring onion, I replaced it with red onion due to availability and that worked out well to add that crunchiness and freshness element to the dish.

garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops
garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup of rice for 2 person
  • 2 large eggs
  • prawns (you can also add squid or other seafood)
  • scallops(optional)
  • 2-3 bulb of garlic, chopped or cut in slices
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, some salt & pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil

ingredients - garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops
ingredients – garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops

Cooking instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil
  • fry garlic till a shade before golden brown, remove and set aside
  • using the same oil, fry prawns (with a dash of salt), then remove and set aside
  • sear scallops with shells on, then remove and set aside

the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately
the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately

Cooking instructions part 2:

  • with the same oil, fry eggs till 80% cooked
  • add rice, and stir for a minute
  • add soya sauce, salt, and some pepper
  • add garlic and continue to stir for another minute
  • add garlic and prawns, stir for another minute
  • serve while hot (arrange your scallops with best of your artistic ability)

start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything
start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything

The key to this dish is to have the garlic and seafood fried separately. This allows better control and ensures that each ingredients are cooked properly since they have different cooking time. Try it!

More recipes from yours truly can be found here.

It’s time for another recipe sharing session. This time it’s seafood – fried prawns with soya sauce, a simple to prepare and yet pretty luxurious dish (just because prawns are so expensive these days).

I had some prawns in hand thanks for mom who actually works in a market, and since I ran out of asam to make my favorite nyonya style sam prawn, I went online to look for something simple to prepare, and landed on this fried prawns with soya sauce recipe from Babe KL. I know Babe KL & Capt’n Hook personally and was sure that her recipe wouldn’t go wrong.

trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch
trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch

Anyway, here are the ingredients you need:

  • big prawns, I had XL prawns, bigger the better
  • 1 bulb garlic – chopped
  • 2 inches ginger – cut into stripes
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • a couple stalks of spring onion
  • cooking oil

cook the prawns and place it aside
cook the prawns and place it aside

Prawn preparation steps:

  • trim off the all appendages of the prawns with a scissor
  • clean and pad dry the prawns with paper towels
  • marinate prawn with salt, pepper, and cover with corn starch
  • heat up some cooking oil and fry prawns till reddish (2-3 minutes)
  • set prawns aside

ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion
ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion

Remaining steps:
  • heat up oil (or just use the remaining from frying prawns)
  • fry ginger for a minute, then add garlic (because it takes longer to cook ginger)
  • when garlic & ginger starts to turn golden, add in the prawns
  • add worchestershire sauce, soya sauce, and dark soya sauce
  • stir fry till fragrant
  • add green onion and stir a little more just prior to serving

there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce
there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce

So there, the dish really turned out pretty well, I actually wished that we had put in even more garlic & ginger cos they really brought out the taste of the prawns and went well with rice. For those who likes it a little sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar too.

For more recipe from yours truly, click on my cooking category.

There’s a new diver in town! Haze just did her PADI Open Water certification at Pulau Sembilan, which is a cluster of small islands half an hour’s boat ride away from Lumut. The underwater condition, and thus diving, was subpar at best. Visibility was quite poor except for one of the dives, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of exotic creatures to spot either.

However, for whatever that is lack in diving, the couple dinners we had at the area more than made up for it.

Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan

On the second night of our stay at Lumut, Haze and I joined our fatty dive master James, together with fellow dive buddy Alan to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan with the promise of awesome fresh oysters and yummy seafood.

It was about a 20 minutes drive away from where we stayed at Marina Island Pangkor, and we were not disappointed.

check out the size of fresh oyster there
check out the size of fresh oyster there

We ordered 10 big oysters as appetizer (RM 5 a piece), and just check out their size! They fleshy part of the oysters were as big as my palm, easily the biggest oysters I had.

Coupled with the fact that these creatures were actually alive in the tank prior to being served, they were absolutely delicious. A dash of lime or some Tabasco sauce was all it takes, and try not to make the mistake of putting it in with one mouthful lest you wanna make a full of yourself having oysters spilling out at the corner of your mouth.

Positively tasty.

steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago
steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago

Our biggest main dish was the steamed live prawns. At Hai Tien Di, you get to choose between the “normal” frozen prawns, or the live prawns from the tank. We of course, went for broke and chose the later.

With live seafood, the simplest cooking method is usually the best. This is to preserve the essence of the taste, so for this dish, we have it steamed, as recommended by the operator.

The prawns sliced in halves, and steamed with a bit of ginger, fried garlic, spring onion, light soya sauce, and Chinese wine. It was delightful, packed with that seafood sweetness. At RM 65 this was definitely not cheap, but worth it nonetheless.

fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper
fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper

A seafood meal is not complete without fish, so we ordered a live grouper, steamed teow chew style (RM 35). It was of course, absolutely fresh and went well with steamed rice.

We also had a plate of vegetable (RM8) to satisfy the vitamin c/fiber requirements. You must always have a serving of vegetable at every meal, no?

we sure did have our stomachs stuffed
we sure did have our stomachs stuffed

The service at Hai Tien Di was pretty good, food came quite fast as well. I can’t say that this is a place that is economical (for a small town), but the quality of fresh/live seafood here was stunning, and those oysters were absolutely delicious.

If you find yourself at Lumut/Sitiawan, this would be a place worth visiting.

map to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan

Address:
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant
522 Kampung Cina,
32000 Sitiawan, Perak
GPS: 4.190067, 100.684217
Tel: 05-692 4679 

This blog is often criticized by many of my Muslim colleagues and friends for its lack of halal/pork free food content, well, here’s an entry that will perhaps right things a little. (wait, I do have a little less than 30% of my posts in this category, oh well..)

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a classy Malay restaurant hidden in the midst of the city for a food review – Songket restaurant.

Songkek restaurant at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Songket restaurant at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

Songket is actually a type of traditional Malay and Indonesian fabric that is hand woven in silk or cotton, and often with intricate gold or silver threads in them. In short, the restaurant, like the fabric, is one of class and quality.

Anyway, lets get on with the dishes!

satey & cucur udang, otak-otak, begedil
satey & cucur udang, otak-otak, begedil

We started out with appetizers, naturally.

There were satey ayam & daging (beef and chicken satey, RM 18) that is served with peanut sauce and some raw onion, cucumber, and ketupat, just like how they’re supposed to be. The meat were marinated properly, succulent and void of impurities like hard tendon or chicken skin, tasty.

Then there’s cucur udang (prawn fritters, RM 10) in light batter and home made chili sauce with a kick. I was happy that they also serve Northern style otak-otak (steamed fish cake, RM 12) with generous amount of seafood in it.

My favorite appetizer of the night though, has gotta be the begedil (deep fried potato cutlet RM 10) – it is basically deep fried mashed up potato with chicken (or meat). A little sweet, a little savory, and positively brilliant!

kerabu mangga, ayam sambal petai, ayam lemak asam gelugur
kerabu mangga, ayam sambal petai, ayam lemak asam gelugur

Kerabu mangga (raw mango salad, RM 12) is another Northern dish that is very similar to those found in Thailand, certainly appetizing.

I like the way they prepare the petai by splitting them into half and taking away the centre stem for the ayam sambal petai (chicken with bitter beans, RM 28) dish. Personally though, I still think that petai goes better with seafood instead of chicken, but this dish was actually not bad.

Ayam lemak asam gelugur (chicken with tumeric, coconut milk, curry gravy, RM 23) is a light curry dish that I thought could use a little more kick, I suppose this has to do with catering tourists, you should be able to ask for hotter version if only you ask.

nasi minyak, pandan nasi lemak, nasi kerabu
nasi minyak, pandan nasi lemak, nasi kerabu

We sampled 3 types of rice at Songket, the nasi minyak (oily rice, RM 6) goes well with curry dishes, pandan nasi lemak (RM 6) is aromatic with a light pandan taste, and nasi kerabu (rice with herbs and vegetables, RM 8 ) can almost be eaten just by its own. I would recommend any of these over the normal steamed rice.

ikan siakap masak manis, pucuk paku goreng, kari udang raja
ikan siakap masak manis, pucuk paku goreng, kari udang raja

Ikan siakap masak manis (sweet style barramundi, RM 60) definitely tastes like a traditional Malay dish, the fish was fresh, and tomato, chili, onion, and other ingredients complimented the seafood perfectly, I like it.

My favorite dish of the day though, has gotta be pucuk paku goreng (stir fry wild fern, RM 12), the texture of fern and its taste are something that can’t be substituted by another vegetable. Chili, garlic, shallots, and a few shrimps made up the rest of this fabulous dish. This is a must-order.

For those who wants the ultra luxurious dish, there’s the kari udang raja (king prawn in curry, RM 75). The prawns were definitely huge, and there were some eggplants to go with in the rich, thick, curry.

rusuk panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs)
rusuk panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs)

Rusuk Panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs, RM 60) is dish not to be missed by any meat lovers. The marinate as well as the grilling were perfect. As a result, the ribs were really tender to the point where you can cut it just by using the spoon. The flavor too were absolutely marvelous. Best of all, this is served with the same begedil that I really like.

durian tiramisu, sago gula melaka, pandan pudding
durian tiramisu, sago gula melaka, pandan pudding

Then it was time for desserts.

For the durian lovers, you must not miss the durian tiramisu (RM 15), rich, creamy, and full with that unmistakable durian aroma that will probably prevent you from taking this to your hotel room.

The sago gula melaka (RM 10) is a classic, with plenty of sago swimming in coconut milk and palm sugar beneath it, another rich dessert. Pandan pudding (RM 10) is well, a pandan infused pudding with palm sugar. After the other two desserts, this one came across without much excitement for me.

traditional dance, KY & Haze at Songkek restaurant
traditional dance, KY & Haze at Songket restaurant

Songket is not just about food, if you stay a little longer on Mon-Sat, by 9pm there are traditional dance performances of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and native origins. A pretty cool show especially if you happen to have foreigner friends.

The prices at Songket is definitely a little on the high side, but the food quality, ambiance, and all the extras that were thrown in definitely make this a place worthy of a visit especially if you’re looking for fine Malay cuisine.

map to songkek restaurant

Address:Songket Restaurant & Bar
29 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162557, 101.714998
Tel: 03 2161 3331