Sunday, December 27, 2009

Penang Hawkers' Fare @ York

Click picture to enlarge

Every year, I pay homage to York Hotel's White Rose Cafe to indulge in what I consider is the best Penang food in town.

Indeed, nothing quite compares to the Penang Hawker fare at York Hotel. The hawkers are especially flown down from Penang and fiercely proud of their food.

The buffet only features less than 15 items..which doesn't really come across as much. However, most items are lovingly prepared ala minute by each individual hawker, which adds to the authenticity of the experience.

Here's a rundown of some items you cannot afford to miss...

- Penang Laksa: Downright delicious with enough tangy-ness to jolt your tastebuds awake.
- Penang kway teow: Only go for the ones cooked by the guy. Remember to enjoy the glistening cubes of lard hidden within
- Ban Chang Kueh: Crispy buttery peanut goodness. So light and addictive you could just keep going on and on.
- Kway Teow Soup: Looks bland and uninteresting but once you take the first sip, you will be instantly converted by the richness of the broth of the smoothness of the noodles, which effortlessly slides down the throat.
- Orh-Luak (oyster omelette): Eaten with an accompanying killer chilli sauce, this cholesterol laden dish is lip smackingly good and is in a class of its own.
- Ice kachang- The ubiquitous dessert star. For a touch of nostalgia, ask for the dessert to be moulded in the shape of a ball.

Word of warning though...if you are planning a romantic date with a significant other, this place is not for you (unless, of course, your significant other is a diehard Penang food fanatic like me). The ambience is simple at best and simulates that of a air conditioned food court, with each hawker manning his own makeshift shopfront. The crowd mainly comprises of big families and elderly folk. As the restaurant doesn't take reservations, do make it a point to be punctual.

Look into her eyes

...what do you see?

Hint: Its a popular Japanese character created by Sanrio.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Malacca Madness

Although it may be some time before I actually do head down Malacca, it is never too late to start planning. =)

Based on snippets of information compiled from various sources (magazines, websites, food forums, blogs etc), I've come up with my very own list of eateries to visit in Malacca.

I can't wait to go!

1. Restoran Aunty Lee
Add: 365 Jalan Ujong Pasir
Tel: 606 2831009
Open for lunch: 1130-2pm, Dinner:6-9pm
Closed on Tuesdays

NOTE: Prior reservations required at all costs!

100 seater restaurant. Must order: Fish Maw Soup, Cincaluk Omelet, Ikan Goreng Chilli Garam (Deep fried dish with chilli paste), Ayam Buah Keluak, Udang Lemak Nanas (Prawns with pineapple), Itek Siu (Duck), Kacang Bendi Ulam (Ladies finger salad), Fried Kangkong with Garlic, Chendol. Remember to buy back Aunty Lee's homemade curry powder and keropok

2. Nancy's Kitchen
Add: 15 Jalan Hang Lekir (off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock)
Tel: 606 2836099
Open for lunch and dinner

Must order: Otak, Kangkong, Nonya Fried Beehoon, Pork Pong Teh, Sek Bak (Pork in black sauce with hard boiled egg), Kueh Pie Tee

3. Ah Lek's Roast Meats
Add: Bunga Raya Hawker Lane
Open: 11am-3pm. Closed fortnightly either on Wed or Thurs

Must order: Roast pork, chicken, sausage and long yok (a special sweetmeat made from liver and pork). Don't bother looking for the signboard- it does not exist. Just head for the first stall on the right as you enter the hawker lane.

4. Jasmine's Nyonya Laksa
Add: 385A Jalan Ujong Pasir
Tel: 6012 3980669
Open: 8-630pm
Closed on alternate Tuesdays

Must order: Nyonya Laksa and homemade Nyonya kaya. Kaya is MYR6 for a 250g tub

5. Grandpa's Curry Puff and Chicken Pie
Add: Yung Lai Siang Coffeeshop, next to Putra Specialist Hospital, corner of Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai and Jalan Bendahara
Tel: 6016 6432200
Open: 730-6pm

Must order: Chicken and potato curry puffs, Red bean and yam puffs, chicken pie, honey lemon and sour plum drink

6. Nadeje Cafe
Add: Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
UB051 & 053 (level 2)
Tel: 606 2843469


Nadeje Patisserie G23 & 25
Jalan PM4, Plaza Mahkota
Tel: 606 2838750 (Closed on Mondays)
Open: 12 noon-10pm

Must order: Feathery light 20 layered pastry layered with custard cream and jam. Choose from 10 flavors including Tiramisu, rum and Raisin, Cheese and Banana Chocolate. Great for teatime snack and buying back as souvenirs.

7. Malacca Straits hotel
Add: 27 Jalan Chan Koon Cheng
Tel: 606 2861888

Must order: Makcik Zaleha's Ayam Rendang (fragrant and aromatic)

8. Mee Kahwin
Add: Stall at Ming Huat coffee shop (opposite Jalan D'Albuquerque, turning into Portugese Settlement)
Tel: 6012 6991724

Must order: Abdul Rahim's Mee Kahwin- a cross between mee rebus and rojak. Eat it with a swig of black vinegar and thick black sauce for a sweet, sour and slightly spicy sensation

9. Hup Huat
Add: Setor A-7, City Park, Jalan Bunga Raya (slightly hidden behind a yong tau foo coffeeshop)
Tel: 606 2842 5634
Open: 830-6pm

Must order: Deep fried wanton (highly addictive). Also serves wanton mee

10. Hoe Kee
Add: 4 Jonker Walk
Tel: 606 2834 751
Open: 8-5pm

Must order: Chicken rice ball, lotus root soup and black bean soup

11. Teo Heng
Add: Wang Food Court (beside Grand Continental Hotel)
Jalan Tun Sri Lanang
Open: 6pm-11pm

Must order: Hoo Khiaw (fish dumplings) served with fish ball noodles and Teochew fish porridge

12. Restoran Lee
Add: 155, Jalan Bendahara
Tel: 609 3612008

Must order: Sri Lankan crabs in milk sauce, beancurd with minced pork, hokkein mee

13. Mr Lim's Nyonya Bak Chang
MYR3 each. Orders can be delivered to your hotel.
Tel: 606 2834734

14. Nyonya Kueh
Lucy: 606 2810368

15. Cendol 88
Add: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat

Must order: Assam laksa and normal chendol. Do note that the sitting area is very cluttered and big groups will be in trouble. Hordes of tourists pack the place so be prepared to queue.

16. Putu Piring @ Tengerah - beside pet shop and 4d toto shop.

Must order: Concentrated palm sugar clusters wrapped in cottony white flour. A bit like kueh tu tu but purportedly 1000 times better. Opens after 7pm- you will see motor bikers and cars illegally parked by the road side, hogging the lane just to take away this.

17. Boon Leong Bunga Raya Oyster Omelete (Orh Chien)
Add: Bunga Raya Food Court (lane off Jalan Bunga Raya)
Open: 7pm-12 midnite.
Closed on Tuesdays

Must order: Orh Chien. Stall has 70 years history and arguably serves the best orh chien in Malacca.

18. Capital Satay Celup
Add: 41, Lorong Bukit Cina
Tel: 606 2835508
Open: 530pm till late
Closed on Mondays

Must order: Satay hotpot (over 60 diff types of skewered seafood, meat and vegetables to be dipped into a cauldron of spicy peanut sauce). Each stick priced at MYR 70 cents. Shopfront looks quite clean. Be prepared to wait at least 20-30min before getting a seat.

Useful Malacca blog references:

If I have missed out any good eats or if you have any feedback on the above listed restaurants, I'd love to hear from you. Please drop me an email at with your comments.

Top 10 grossest food in Singapore

As complied by CNN.

Items include pigs fallopian tubes, turtle soup, century eggs, stinky tofu and hashima. Gross meh?

Century old butter anyone?

Your food might actually outlive you if you stay in the Antarctic.

Christmas lunch at Sage (CLOSED)

Me and my ex colleagues (turned makan kakis) make it a point to meet up once a year for Christmas lunch. Last year we ate at Restaurant Ember. The previous year, it was Buko Nero. Both lunches were nothing short of spectacular.

Needless to say, deciding this year's venue was challenging. After ploughing through several food blogs and websites, we decided on Sage Restaurant. The restaurant has a similar setup to Ember and Buko Nero- it is helmed by a husband and wife team. Hubby cooks while wifey serves. In Sage's case, the couple is exceptionally young- the guy is only 30 years old while the lady is 26.

Since its inception, the restaurant has already received several thumbs up from various local culinary critics. As it was our first visit there, we decided to play safe and order from the set lunch menu. The choices are not as varied as those from Ember although initial prices seem similar (a 3 course set lunch costs SGD38). To our horror, a closer examination of the menu revealed that many of our favored choices required further top-ups. We don't mind topping up an additional amount for foie gras but topping up an additional SGD15 for cod and SGD5 for chocolate fondant seems a tad too exorbitant in my humble opinion. My 3 course meal of mushroom cappuccino (starter), cod (main) and chocolate fondant (dessert) effortlessly catapulted to close to SGD58 (before tax and service charge)!

Complimentary warm herb bread was served on the onset. Staff seemed harried and were zipping around with expressionless faces. The accompanying olive oil, vinegar and cold slabs of butter were divine. The bread was nice but seemed a little too rubbery in texture.

Most of us started off with mushroom cappuccino. Served in a cup, it was thick, wispy and utterly delicious. The hints of cappuccino added a wicked twist to the harmless looking liquid.

For main courses, some of us ordered the cod while the rest had duck confit.

The cod was perfectly grilled and was served atop a potato base with an accompanying jade green sauce. I appreciated the subtle cognac undertones but wished that the cod had been more robustly flavored.

The cod is a little too bland for my liking...

The duck confit elicited a mixture of oohs and aahs when it arrived. The portion was generous and well worth the additional top up of SGD8. The piece de resistance was its crispy caramelised skin, which left a satisfying fatty aftertaste in the mouth (akin to eating german pork knuckles). The duck meat was stringy but full of flavor. We also enjoyed the bed of braised cabbage hidden under the duck leg, with a number of us likening its taste to "mei cai kou rou". I wish I had ordered duck confit as my main course instead.

Order this if you have a hearty appetite and like fatty crackly meat...

Perhaps the greatest letdown of the meal was the chocolate fondant. Being chocoholics, all of us unanimously ordered this item as dessert. It was very pretty and came with a scoop of pistacho ice cream and a shot of vanilla creme. Unfortunately, tastewise, the fondant failed to impress with its jarring sweet and bitter cocoa undertones which did not fuse seamlessly together. The outer crust also came across a little too dry.

the biggest letdown of the meal...

At the price we were paying, I would have expected more from this restaurant. Okay for a business lunch (given its chic modern ambience) but not recommended for a meal with friends.

Back from Hong Kong

After 4 days of indulgent gorging and shopping in Hong Kong and Macau, we're back in Singapore.

Hong Kong's food is great but Singapore food still wins for its wide variety and spicy lemak factor.

Here's what we had the moment we touched down in Singapore

Fishball noodles drenched with tons of chilli (from a Tampines St 11 coffeeshop)

Chicken and Mutton satay (from Satay Solo at Bedok Corner Food Centre)

Stay tuned for a rundown of our food adventures in Hong Kong!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Marutama Ramen

To me, the best part of eating Marutama Ramen is the EGG

Some folks swear by the char siew which comes in huge meaty discs with spirals of fats. The meat effortlessly melts in the mouth and oozes with fatty goodness. (Unfortunately, being the die hard traditionalist that I am, Kay Lee's honey crusted version still wins by a whisker)

Others harbor an soft spot for Marutama's thick soup stock which is saturated with meat juices, seaweed, spring onions and a tasty dashi base. Liberally sprinkle lashings of crunchy garlic chips on the noodles if you are a garlic lover like me (beware of dragon's breath though). I've seen many a grown man ask for second helpings of the soup, only to slurp it down within seconds. Seriously, its that good.

The egg however takes center stage for me. I could eat ten of these at one go and I'm not joking. Let's take a closer look.

See the elusive yolk glistening within the egg white? This is worth its weight in gold. How the chefs manage to maintain its spherical shape whilst keeping the insides semi solid is a mystery.

Once you pop the whole egg into your mouth and take your virgin bite, the result is life changing. There's no more turning back. Eggs will never taste the same again.

Several egg lovers have since aspired to unravel the secret recipe behind making this perfect egg. Chubby Hubby shares his version over here

6 ways to know its Christmas in Singapore

1. Your office elevator starts streaming Christmas music
2. Restaurants are aggressively promoting Christmas themed food and drink (Christmas tea anyone?)
3. (Almost) everyone in office is on leave and those left behind have no mood to work
4. Orchard Road suddenly gets all shimmery
5. Your mailbox gets stuffed with Christmas sale flyers
6. It rains almost everyday.

Merry Christmas in advance everyone!


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