Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hong Cha, OUG

Played house all weekend and was feeling the early symptoms of cabin fever, so off we went for a drive to shake it off.

Lazing around does take its toll - inertia begets inertia. We simply couldn't exert energy to go too far so Fat Tulip's idea of Hong Cha, near-and-dear pork noodles place in OUG, had to do.

For me, OUG's a tough one to get excited about, simply because of the questionable state of hygiene generally - there's so much good food within and if it was maybe half as filthy, we'd be eating there a lot more often.

Rats the size of cats aside, Hong Cha was the best pick that lazy evening - warmed us up plenty, paving the way for even more lying around and catching up on film downloads.

Fat Tulip got the Hong Cha special - liver, minced pork, sliced pork, intestines, seafood, everything but the kitchen sink!

The more modest version of just minced & sliced pork, with a raw golden egg to break up the colour code, perfectly complements nicely blanched noodles drizzled with soy.

Dry Lou Shu Fun

The menu at Hong Cha also featured, oddly enough, some standard Japanese fare. We saw many tables digging into sushi rolls with their steaming bowls of pork noodles - cross-cultural appreciation redefined!

Tonkatsu, with a side of potato salad. Meat was a bit too tough to leave much of an impression. Had to leave this unfinished, even if that goes against every grain of my being.

The mixed vegetable tempura set served its purpose. Ordinary enough to tough it out with the Japanese mom & pops' version around, crunchy enough to add another dimension to the already-hearty meal.

Hong Cha, evidently already well-known and well-loved

And best film of the weekend, by the way, had to be Mike Leigh's Another Year. Sad, funny, scary all at once. Deserves a bigger audience and all the accolades in the world. If you haven't seen it, make it a point to download it via your friendly torrent client!

Hong Cha
Jalan Hujan Rahmat 3
OUG, Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pure Life Organic, Kajang

Suppp Kajang!! I come this lovely Saturday not to ravage your satay supply. Nor have I travelled the distance to appraise the merchandise at Billion. I come to learn to eat and dispose, in the friendliest possible way Mother Earth could wish.

Truth is, we consume a lot of crap outside. What you don't know about the food preparation in the back end won't hurt you, but it sure makes you feel pretty damn nasty after. Pure Life Organic's proposition seems pretty straightforward and hard not to like. No preservatives, no additives, all natural, and as much as possible, they practise the concept of sustainable consumption. The menu varies everyday of the week and Saturday's greets us on the chalkboard as we arrive.

The converted residence makes for a casual cafe setting. We could sit and wonder why our tastebuds respond so differently to our bodies - what may taste like heaven to the tongue may very well be the source of some benign, but nevertheless aggravating, physical reaction in a few hours' time. But instead, we grab a staff member and make sure food is on the way.

Pure Life's organic food store in one separate wing of the establishment is busy and frequented by staunch regulars. The friendly and enigmatic owners appear to know most by name, and are always genuinely ready to engage and help. I'd like a store like this in the neighbourhood very much! Somehow, my current fresh mart/ beer guy opposite where I live isn't scoring high points for customer retention.

We have the deceptively-named Caesar Salad to start. Caesar dressing typically goes down all wrong with me. However, no such worries here because the salad is fresh and crisp and lovely with a balsamic vinegarish dressing. It's anything but Caesar!

The Mee Mamak order is a mild, almost better-groomed version than its original street counterpart. The noodles (of the buckwheat variety, I think) are buoyant to the bite and the abundance of crunchy greens and organic tofu uplifts what would have been a muted affair.

What did stay muted unfortunately was the Curry Pan Mee. It comes across as having tried too hard but missing the mark somewhat. The curry broth was a drab watery concoction and anything submerged in it would have basically failed.

We have to give the banana-leaved triangles of Nasi Lemak a shot, even if the carbs, no matter how pure and unadulterated, were starting to weigh us down. The use of brown rice means Pure Life does end up compromising the fluff factor but if we look past that, everything else, down to the sambal, makes for a decent little package.

We come to the last, and what's probably the most worthwhile part of the experience at Pure Life. Patrons are encouraged to clear their tables and take their plates through a waste-friendly 5-basin washing cycle. It begins with a rinse and scrub in the first basin, containing palm oil and coconut oil, before moving to the second basin of oiltea camelia seed powder, a cleansing agent. You repeat in the third and fourth basin before finishing with a clear water rinse in the fifth and final basin.

We think there's some way to go but Pure Life is doing something right here. It's not that hard for anyone half-sensible to appreciate the many reasons for greater personal involvement in changing the way we consume and dispose.

And guess what, the body feels great after. So great that I even pass up on Fat Tulip's offer to stop by for Kajang satay after!

Pure Life Organic
Jalan 1, Off Jalan Reko,
43000 Kajang
Tel: +603-8733 6189

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Seri Petaling Seafood Village

The Boss decided she would show those willing and able a slice of neighbourhood seafood that was turning into a regular spot for her family.

Seri Petaling Seafood Village is located at an unassuming spot, on the road running somewhat parallel to the back of Carrefour. The place was brightly lit, open air and already nicely filled with diners - we switched our hungry blinkers on and listened, bright-eyed and bushy tailed while munching on peanuts and sweet potato chips and Boss helmed the ordering for feast.

Alas, Devastation befell us! The lady informed us that they had run out of crabs! What kind of seafood restaurant runs out of crabs at 8.30PM? A busy, popular one, evidently! We had to make do, and made do we did.

Green Dragon - as green as our colour, watching a neighbouring table suck down the claws of the last crab of the night. Oh we'll get you one day, just you wait!

Fresh, sumptuous, utterly finger-licking Assam Prawns - we downed two plates of these babies!

The Salt & Pepper Squid disappeared as fast as it came - crunch crunch, gulp, gone!

The Assam Fish is probably the best way to prepare the tilapia (fei chow yu or African fish) here. The second preparation of similar fish which came later revealed that maligned swampy freshwater taste.

Mud - lovely on skin, not so in my fish

And came our favourite part the meal - the Salted Egg sigh, everybody together, now! The prawns gleamed in golden grandeur and the squid shone supreme.

TV snack on its own, totally!

Not a fan of venison so gave the Stir-fried Venison with Ginger a miss. Probably a shade paler than the seafood stars here but the others had no problem wiping this clean whatsoever.

The meal fed seven of us too well, and bill total came to about RM350. A right steal, we felt!

And for those slippery lil' crustaceans, we must be back. To the crabs!

Seri Petaling Seafood Village Restaurant
Lot 24221, Jalan Merah Silu
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling
57000 KL