We had some relatives over at the house the whole afternoon .... so Mom did not cook dinner. She wanted to eat the char kueh tiaw from Stall 40 at the Kenyalang old market. This is the third time I had this char kueh tiaw .... and tonight I felt that the noodles were a bit underfried ... so it lacked the charred flavour. Too bad.
Char Kueh Tiaw, RM4.00
The ABC was bought from Good Days Cafe .... and a bag cost RM3.00. It filled a large bowl and could serve at least 4 people!
The ABC was delightful because it was cold and sweet and satisfying. Ingredients were giant beans - not sure what beans they were ....., cendol, grass jelly, and plain jelly, flavoured with palm sugar and milk. Not bad. ))
When I come home and there's nothing to eat ........... Very quickly, I was able to cook myself a bowl of noodles complete with meat and vegetables from the fridge.
My Quick Fix
Instant noodles with an egg, broccoli, and lots of char siew
Today I found a better way of poaching the egg. Usually, when I dumped the whole egg into the pot and when it boiled, there would be lots of foam on the surface. I hated that. Today, I whisked the egg hard and then swirled it bit by bit into the pot .... and that created a very light custard-like texture. Most importantly, there was no foam.
At the last minute, C, S and I were invited to attend our colleague R's daughter's wedding reception. Of course we agreed to go and to share the happy occasion with him and his family. The wedding reception was held at the Hornbill Restaurant, and still, compared to the 2 wedding receptions that I had attended recently, I would say that Hornbill Restaurant still fared better compared to the other two - Cousin J's & Cousin F's. The quality of the food served here is just more refined ... compared to the other two occasions.
Just look at the huge chunk of crab meat in this fish maw soup!
The taste was great, with lots of texture provided from the fish maw strips.
Apart from the soup, the buttered prawns weren't to be missed. The lamb rendang was flavourful and so tender that I could slide the meat off the bones with my chopsticks! The beggar's chicken was also tender and delicious. So all in all, I'd look forward to more meals at the Hornbill Restaurant than anywhere else. Lol.
Sorry no pictures .... the few pictures that I took weren't very up to the mark. :P
This cafe opened just a few months ago .... and it's my first time here the other day to chill .....
Iced chocolate, RM12,00
Iced latte, RM12.00
Chocolate peppermint cheese cake, RM11.50
I had the iced green tea, which I found to be very pleasant to drink. I liked it, in fact. The cake was also very nice. The ambience was great too, only that the space inside the cafe was a little cramped. Had it not been the unforgiving weather, I'd choose to sit outside. Pleasant place to chill and while some time away. :))
I always walk past Farmer's Crib at CityOne Megamall. I know that they sell a snack called UFO - a waffle snack that looks like an edible bubble wrap - a bubble waffle, actually. I've always wanted to try it .... but of course, I hated waiting. So I procrastinated .......
Today, S wanted to wait with me ..... because it's her favourite snack. Lol. And wait we did, for at least a good 10 minutes.
Chocolate UFO, RM5.50
S' favourite is the chocolate UFO, and she likes to peel each bubble open to look at the chocolate filling inside before she ate it. It amuses me to see her eat. :))
When eaten hot, the waffle is in fact crunchy. But it gets cold very quickly, and of course then it gets soft. The chocolate UFO is sweet while the cheese UFO is sweet and salty at the same time.
When I looked at my cheese UFO, my first question was "Where's the cheese?" S said it melted.
Cheese UFO, RM5.50
Nah, it did not melt, actually.
The bubble top
The bottom and a sprinkling of cheese powder on the surface
You know, in the picture in the menu (and you can check the FB page too), the cheese UFO is supposed to be sprinkled with grated cheddar and not cheese powder. I could dispute this and claim being cheated. Simple matter, but not a good feeling, you know.
Melted cheddar inside - I wish there could be more ...
The waffle was very filling indeed .... and I quickly felt very bloated after eating them.
Today was spent shopping ... I bought some unmentionables so that I could get rid of the old and worn ones .... and some sport socks too. It took me a long, long time somehow, because choices in this part of Malaysia is really very limited. Sigh. And then I got distracted by some fancy jewellery .... which I was tempted to buy and almost bought but did not buy. Phew.
Anyway, I've been wanting to try the Korean-style fried chicken at Magic Fingers Crispy Chicken at CityOne Megamall ....
3 pieces of drumsticks
RM11.00 ala carte
The chicken drumsticks were served in a square tin receptacle. They were nicely arranged, and looked very delicious indeed. Without hesitation, we both digged in.
The chicken was really very crispy, so that was a really pleasant feature. Each drumstick was coated with glistening red sauce - it looked fiery and spicy, but in fact it wasn't. It tasted sweet and very prominently of smoky BBQ sauce.
I found the sauce a bit too sweet for my palate. I prefer fried chicken to be savoury, and not sweet. As for the BBQ sauce, hmn .... it did not sit very well with me too. I'd like the Korean red pepper flavour to stand out more, instead of the Westernised BBQ flavour.
Not bad actually, just not how I would want my friend chicken to be. I'd come back here for the pizza and charcoal burgers. :P
This packet of kolo mee is from Mom's favourite stall at the Kenyalang Wet Market - Kim Sen, stall 24. Mom likes the generous servings - huge amounts of noodles and lots of char siew. Mom calls it Ah Pek's kolo mee ...... because the vendor is an old man.
For me, Ah Pek's kolo mee just tastes so-so. It's certainly not my favourite. But still, as I zoomed the camera towards the noodles, I could smell the very enticing aroma of the shallot oil and I could not help but salivate. That's the power of kolo mee. Lol.
Kim Sen Kolo Mee, RM3.00
Some auntie at the market shared with Mom that she always stir-fried kolo mee with egg and vegetables. We had never done this at home. And Mom decided to try it out. Back home, she heated up the wok and cracked in an egg, and added in some crunchy beansprouts and some crinkly mustard. Then she threw in the whole packet of ready-to-eat kolo mee and very quickly breakfast was ready to be served.
Stir-fried kolo mee
Hmn ..... stir-frying the noodles somewhat altered the taste and it lost the flavour of the aromatic shallot oil, though I liked the crunchy addition of the vegetables. Mom seemed to like the noodles, but I still preferred the kolo mee in its original form. :))
Selamat Hari Raya! This morning I woke up and missed the familiarsound of the takbir. I hear it every Raya ..... but not this morning somehow. It seemed strangely quiet. The streets too, were empty and quiet at this part of the town. So I suppose that celebrations were concentrated on specific areas - probably across river and in the kampungs.
So on this Raya morning, I decided to hit the gym. It too was nearly empty. Only a handful of men were pitting their strengths against the weight machines. The cardio zone was mine. So I ran on the treadmill for a good 40 minutes.
Many shops were closed near the gym .... so for lunch, I bought chicken rice for myself and the folks too. They hadn't tried the chicken rice from this outlet before.
Chicken rice, RM5.30
from the Authentic Chicken Rice shop
Soft and moist, savoury and aromatic was the rice. A generous amount of sesame oil and light soy sauce enhanced the flavour. The chicken was deboned, and made up mostly of chicken breast.
Glad the folks enjoyed the chicken rice. :))
My blood test came back fine actually. Blood sugar rose a notch higher than it was before, but still in the non-diabetic range. Cholesterol was a tad high .... and I need to exercise more regularly to control that. Still, I ate chicken rice for lunch? Lol ......
I had a condition for a couple of days .... and it bothered me and cause me some discomfort. I was worried that it could be symptom for something more serious. So I decided to go for a blood test. After telling Doc about it, he said it might not be serious .... but then he too recommended a blood test.
Today was my blood test day. I haven't done one for quite a while. Doc drew blood from my the back of my hand because the vein in my arms were difficult to locate. Too much fat there for certain. Lol.
A nick near my knuckle after dashing out of the car in the rain yesterday .... ouch
The plastered area where blood was drawn .... ouch ....
So I had been fasting for 16 hours, and was a bit hungry. And Annie Kolo Mee at KNNG Cafe, Jalan Petanak was just nearby. Annie Kolo Mee is a netizen's favourite.
The stall opened from 6.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., and then 3.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
That's according to the red piece of paper stuck on the glass
The drinks server was funny. He forgot my drinks order ..... and then he gave me back the wrong amount of change. He was such a young lad, and the cafe was not even crowded, and so I wondered why he was so distracted. Lol. He apologised profusely ... lol. I was amused.
Freshly-cooked barley, RM1.50
I decided to try the most basic of kolo mee, and this is what it looked like ...
Kolo Mee, RM3.00
A closer look
The curly noodles were very springy and not overcooked. There was no broth in the bowl. So after tossing the noodles, I found them to be glistening with oil. There were lots of chopped deep-fried shallots in the bowl ..... indicating the generous use of the aromatic oil. Taste wise, I'd say that the noodles were alright. Good, but not good enough to make me want to come back that soon.
Ingredients wise ... 5 slices of char siew, quite a generous spoonful of minced pork, and a stalk of vegetable. No spring onion used.
I waited quite long despite there not being a lot of people. It's because only one serving of noodles was cooked at one time. One could actually have their noodles customised in lots of ways - with wantons, or fishballs, or with black vinegar ....
The next time I do come, I'd try the red noodles and the black vinegar one. :))
We're breaking off for Raya for a week .... so I'm feeling immensely happy about a much-needed break. S and I wanted to have lunch at Bungalow 8, but then it was closed ....so we ended up going to Cafe Cafe at Brighton Square.
Iced Honey Lemon, RM8.90 and Hot Lemon Tea, foc
Nyonya Kapitan Chicken Rice Set, RM15.90
The set meal with which the complimentary hot lemon tea was served with - only available up till 2.30 p.m.
A perfectly shaped dome of good quality rice, served with the whole thigh of Kapitan chicken, 3 pieces of battered deep-fried vegetables, and lots of mini vegetable keropok.
The chicken was heavily spiced, somewhat akin to rendang, but with lemongrass infused in it. I did not exactly fall in love with it, though my friend S kind of liked it. Eggplant and okra were encased in crispy crust ... hmn .... I didn't know why but I peeled off the batter and merely ate the vegetables inside. Lol.
Madurese Chicken Satay, RM11.90
This was chicken, but the meat must have been very heavily marinated till it became dark brown in colour! The chicken skewers were reasonable in size, and we counted 7 of them altogether.
Indeed the flavours of the meat were strong and sweet, and because there was sugar sprinkled on the surface, there was a slight crackling texture as I bit into the meat. The meat was lean, and luckily not too dry.
The peanut gravy had a tangy flavour .... which was unlike the ordinary satay that we were accustomed with. And you don't actually need to dip the satay because it was already well-flavoured on its own.
Both S and I enjoyed munching on the mini vegetable keropok though.
Hot and Sour Szechuan Soup, RM14.90
The soup was real tangy .... and I liked the consistency. The ingredients used were reasonable, and enough to provide texture to the dish. There were diced prawns, tofu, chicken, and mushrooms in there. It wasn't really spicy, but I liked the fact that it was served hot from the wok. What I found a bit annoying was that I kept biting into bits on chopped garlic in the soup .... hmn ......
We paid RM51.60 for our meal, inclusive of 6% GST.
The weather has been punishingly hot and humid these days. I'd be sitting down and watching tv, the ceiling fan spinning above me, and yet I'd be sweating. Sigh.
Hot weather equals to an ice-cream treat. And one of my favourite ice-creams in Kuching is this one at Sugar Bun. Yup, it's the RM1.60 cone that's so satisfying, especially on a hot day. But well, in fact, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day, really.
Yummy Vanilla Cone
Of course, one could choose to have a chocolate cone of a mixture of both chocolate and vanilla flavours .... but I would inadvertently go for my plain old vanilla. :))
Not sure if they sell this at all Sugar Bun outlets? I usually get mine from the ones at City One Mega Mall or The Spring. :))
I was just wandering around at The Spring, my weekly shopping routine. Feeling happy after buying an outfit, I went to the Food Bazaar .... and noticed that there was Nasi Kerabu at the "Melayu" stall. So of course, I decided to try that.
Nasi Kerabu, RM10.00
I looked at the serving and I was disappointed. Let's start dissecting the dish ....
1) Papadam - Hmn .... why not keropok ikan?
2) Rice - looked artificially blue, but tasted alright
3) Sambal tumis (at the top) - tasted like fish sambal - lacking in that sharp, tangy and zesty flavour; this one tasted of fish .... it tasted like mackerel or sardine sambal
4) Coconut flakes - there were no fish flakes in these ....
5) Gulai ikan - there was a chunk of tenggiri here, with lots of gravy; the fish was tender and infused with a heavy flavour of curry, and occasionally punctured by the fragrance of torch ginger. Too bad that the fish was served cold, though. The gulai was not bad, actually. Except that I preferred my nasi kerabu with deep-fried fish.
6) Half a salted egg - loving the rich taste of the yolk
7) Solok lada (in front of the salted egg) - traditionally stuffed with coconut and fish paste, but this one is stuffed merely with grated coconut
8) Ulam - mainly of cabbage, torch ginger, and a sprinkling of herbs.
Overall, the meal did not leave me feeling satisfied. And since it sold for a whopping price of RM10.00, I'm not sure I would eat this every again.
I'd return to try their Nasi Dagang - only that I am very certain that it will be served with the same cold, gulai ikan and that thought really put me off as I am accustomed tovery good homemade Nasi Dagang. Not that I want to be negative, but I already foresee that it will fail to meet my standards.
Lor mee is braised noodles. It is thick yellow noodles, and served in a thick, starchy gravy. It's not commonly found in Kuching, though.There are various styles of lor mee .... and depending on the style, the types of noodles used and the ingredients used differ. The Hokkien style lor mee comes in a darker hue, and has a distinctive vinegary flavour. The Heng Hua style lor mee, however, uses handmade noodles and are lighter in colour.
Mom decided to cook lor me for dinner, and her version resembles the paler Heng Hua style noodles.
The gravy was cooked from scratch, by boiling chicken bones for long hours, then thickened with starch and egg. Condiments used were pork slices, prawns, shiitake mushroom strips, and some fish cake slices. The noodles were served hot with a garlic, chilli, soy and malt vinegar condiment.
I must say that I enjoyed the lor mee a lot, mainly because of the very sweet and delicious gravy. The soy and vinegar condiment enhanced the flavour even more. :))
We finished our job at noon. By then, I was mentally exhausted. But then, there was no rest as there was a briefing in the afternoon. We had a mere forty minutes break for lunch. So we rushed to Thompson Corner at Nanas Road because it was the nearest to our work place. It seemed that everyone had the same bright idea ... for we met many of our colleagues there too. :))
This time, I decided to try the Ipoh Dried Curry Noodles ...
Ipoh Dried Curry Noodles, RM6.00
The noodles were nicely presented. The handmade noodles were springy, but by itself, it lacked much flavour. The thick curry tasted good, only that the portion was meagre. There were 3 small pieces of chicken which did not have much meat .... and 2 large pieces of potatoes which I left uneaten. For RM6.00, this noodle dish did not seem worth eating.
S ordered this .....
Foochow Fried Cook Mee
She said that it did not look much, but it tasted good. She finished every strand of noodle on her plate.
It was Saturday, but I had to work. I overslept a little. Lol. So I rushed to get ready .... and of course, I stopped by to buy some kueh for breakfast at about 7.00 a.m.. I went to Ban Hock Road, and there is this kueh stall at the five foot way, in between 2 coffee shops - Yang Guan and Cheng Gong. I bought ....
freshly fried banana fritters, 3 pieces for RM1.00
peanut balls, RM0.80 each
Yummy freshly made kueh
However, I did not have time to eat when I reached my work place. :((
I ate the kueh much later. Well, I must say that I liked the deep-fried banana fritters - the skin was not to thick, and just a little salty so it went well with the sweet, ripe bananas inside. The peanut balls were also very nice - the chewy skin wasn't too thick and the peanut filling was sweet and satisfying. I'd really buy these yummy kuehs again in the future.
Do not expect gourmet. Do not expect aesthetics. Do not expect comfort.
Expect variety. Expect to get hot and sweaty. Expect to eat more than you should be eating. :P
I walked into D11 Steamboat at Ban Hock Road at about 6.30 p.m. My first impression was that the shop was very dimly-lit. The poor lighting made the interiors seemed dark and dull, and it seemed to suppress my appetite rather than whet it. Then, I noticed that many tables were already occupied, with people standing and busily cooking on the hot grill and hot pot at the centre of every table.
I walked inside the shop, where the food was ....
At the side of the shop was a table, where there were 4 trays of cooked food. One contained assorted processed food like deep-fried fishballs, fish sticks and beancurd skins. Another contained deep-fried chicken wings. Two more trays contained stir-fried kueh tiaw and stir-fried noodles. A giant rice cooker contained cooked white rice. On this table also set the condiments like a variety of soy sauces, chilli and tomato sauces, pepper, chopped parsley and preserved cabbage or winter vegetable (冬菜).
Inside the shop were 3 huge chillers. Inside every chiller were trays and trays of ingredients used for cooking. Grab a plate and a tong .... and just pick up whatever that fancies you to cook it in whatever way that you wish.
The main chiller at the centre of the shop contained seafood - like prawns, calamari rings, cockles, fish slices. There were meats marinated in different styles - like chicken breast slices, bishops nose, lamb shoulders, beef slices. Then, there were stuffed tofu, stuffed bitter gourd, tofu slices, and fishballs.
Of course, do not expect paper-thin slices or quality cuts of meat.
Two more chillers were at the side of the shop - one contained assorted noodles, eggs, fresh vegetables,
black and white fungus, kelp and seaweed. The second chiller contained trays of frozen processed fishballs, meatballs, surimi crabsticks, artificial prawns and so on.
We sat down and got the table set up for us. The staff turned on the stove, and poured water into our pot. Hmn ..... so unlike other steamboat outlets which uses stock as the soup base, this one uses only water. A small container of butter was on the table - and that was for us to grill our food with.
The hot grill and hot pot
My grilled meats
I do think that the meats are well-marinated, that the flavours were infused into the meats.
Since the lighting was pretty dim, I couldn't tell whether my meats were cooked or not, or whether they were overcooked. Since there weren't labels on the food, I couldn't tell which meat was marinated in which sauce. I could only make a guess, really - some meats in black pepper sauce, some in a bright red char siew kind of sauce .....
But in the end, when everything was cooked together on the grill, it became all mixed up anyway. Overall, the marinate was slightly on the sweet side, which agreed to my palate. Of all the meats, I enjoyed the lamb shoulder and also the beef slices very much.
Despite plain water being used for the hot pot, it wasn't difficult to create a tasty soup which all of us enjoyed. The dong cai (冬菜) created a wonderful flavour, together with some salt, kelp, seaweed and seafood.
Ice-cream was on hand for dessert - for which I had 2 bowls. :))
Here, everything was self-service .... grab your own plates and bowls, grab your own cutlery, grab your own condiments ..... grab your own food, cook your own food. Only the drinks needed to be ordered from a staff.
Adults pay RM21 per person, exclusive of 6% GST. Drinks are charged separately. It is advisable for large groups to do a reservation to guarantee a table. Some say this is the best steamboat outlet in Kuching - I can say that it's certainly one of the more successful steamboat outlets around. Overall, it is a fun experience dining in this way.
My colleague said she loved the Vietnamese fare at Nam Nam Cafe. A good bowl of Vietnamese pho is always heartwarming, so I decided to go have a try. I had ....
Vietnamese Drip Coffee, RM5.90
I had mine black with ice and no sugar. I liked the coffee for it was thick and had a sweet, caramel aftertaste.
Pho Tai Bo Vien
Pho with Beef Slices and Beef Meatballs, RM13.90
The bowl of noodles were huge! The vegetables came on a separate plate. I then dumped everything into my bowl.
The rice noodles were narrower than our local kueh tiaw, and more translucent too. It was smooth and I liked it. The beef broth was indeed beefy and sweet. I liked it too. It was really good when flavoured with the herbs. The thinly sliced meat were in small slices .... and some were in small bits. I'd say that they weren't properly or neatly sliced. The chunks of beef balls were juicy and tender. I liked them too.
What could be improved? Well, I think the beef broth wasn't hot enough - that when I dumped in my beansprouts they did not cook as fast as it should have. I loved my pho to be boiling hot, tongue-burning hot .... and this one here at Nam Nam could have been served hotter.
Accompanying the pho is Sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce and the house chilli sauce.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Prawns and Pork, RM5.90
The goi cuon were huge pieces! In the paper rice pastry were lettuce, thin slices of pork, prawn, herbs and lots of rice vermicelli. Dip that in the hoisin peanut sauce .... and it was refreshing and quite delicious.
Altogether, I paid RM25.70 for my Vietnamese meal. Nam Nam opens from 10 am to 2 pm, 5.30 pm to 9 pm daily, closed on Tuesdays.
I was driving and images of burger swam in front of me. Lol .... so I headed to Cosmos Burger. Indeed, I looked up and down the menu ... and decided that there was nothing more appealing than an American Favourite burger. So I ordered one.
American Favourite, RM14.90
Now, I loved the bun, which was fresh, soft yet well-toasted. The charred and crispy bits on the bun were my favourite. The vegetables - coral lettuce and tomato slices were crisp and fresh as well. I liked the beef patty smothered with honey mustard sauce ... and this time around, the burger was loaded with quite a lot of beef bacon. This time around, I also found the meats to be slightly saltier than I remembered ...
Nonetheless, my craving for burger was duly satisfied. Cosmos Burger opens from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. :))
I had just reached home when my dad's friend Uncle B came by and dropped off these beautiful and freshly made Ham Chim Peng or Chinese doughnut rolls with five spice powder. These were so crisp on the outside, dense yet soft inside.
Homemade by Auntie B
The pastries weren't greasy, were mildly sweet, and the taste of spices were subtle. It was really yummy. Thanks, Auntie B.
The rice tasted alright - fluffy and not too greasy, with bits of salmon in it. I quite liked it. The sashimi was nicely presented on a board, but the fish slices weren't thick at all - probably about 8 mm per slice. It tasted alright, I suppose.
For my food and drinks, I paid RM21.90, but I was charged a service charge of 5% and that was RM1.09. So in total, I paid RM22.95 for lunch .... a bit pricey .... but I think all Japanese themed eateries are expensive. Right?