Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bunga Raya, New Lynn, Auckland NZ #2

Assam Snapper in all its glory - a beautiful fish with a beautiful gravy. Someone posed the question if this version was better than KK's (our other favorite Malaysian restaurant in Epsom), I think Fab put it best when he said that it was a different kettle of fish, different consistency, different kind of gravy - they weren't exactly comparable to each other. But he personally preferred KK's coconut-rich thicker gravy, but the lemongrass was fresher at Bunga Raya's? I don't know how his palate distinguishes this but hail Fab. I really enjoy both myself.

More fish. Tummy satisfaction tick. I'm definitely going back to try the lunch menu. If you're in Auckland, check it out; bookings essential - 2/3062 Great North Road, ph 8278666. If you care, Peter Calder digs it too

Bunga Raya, New Lynn, Auckland NZ

The highlight of my Easter was dining at this Malaysian restaurant out in New Lynn with Liyen, Fab, Lydia & Tahi - thanks my fellow rakyat for tucking in with me.

Above is the XO Squid, deep-fried with XO Sauce and dried chillies.

Scrumptious batter. I think Tahi tried one of the dried chillies, on purpose, and started suffering and sweating profusely.

Plum Sauce Chicken with pickled vegetables. I know Plum Sauce Chicken seems like such an Ang Mor compromise when you are desperate for Rasa Malaysia - but this was a seriously good dish. The chicken was perfectly fried, ultra-good sauce and well-complemented by the pickled cabbage/carrot. And yes I ate chicken even though I'm in NZ but once I am in a Malaysian restaurant, it is technically Malaysia by culinary definition.

Eggplant Sambal, good texture. I reheated the leftovers at my workplace cafetaria three days after the dinner and it was still yummy - pungent though for a sterile cafetaria.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Best meal ever: Lunch at Home #2

Fried prawns courtesy of Papa Chow. Thumbs Up!

Lotus root soup with peanuts, mushrooms.

Collapsing structure of yam and pork deliciousness.

Chubby delight for dessert

My champions: Mama & Papa Chow + 2 week old Ollie xx

Best Lunch Ever: At Home

Best. Meal. Ever. Clockwise from top: Papa Chow Prawns, Lum Yee Kow Yok, Sambal Kangkung

Freshly-gravied, steamed pre-fried yam and pork cooked with fermented bean paste. Aboslute perfection. Supreme props to Mama Chow.

Sambal kangkung, plentiful dried shrimps yum yum yum yum

Yam steamed to near-distintegration, yam is a heaven-sent root, Mama Chow is a heaven-sent champion.

Breakfast in Pulau Tikus

This kopitiam is just across from Bellisa Row on Burmah Road. To start: we have roti canai and dhal. Min resented the readily-torn roti, I am with her on this - we really should get the roti and decide what to do with it ourselves. Nevertheless, very good roti and dhal, all is forgiven.

Wan Tan Mee & Lam Mee stalls, apparently everything in this kopitiam is ace except for the CKT.

Curry Mee was great, very oomph. It sent Min and I into coughing fits, I've taken this to be a barometer of curry-mee excellence. Thanks Min, again.

YMCA & Favorite House

M at the enquiry desk at YMCA.

Next to YMCA, across from Island Hospital, is my favoritest house in Penang, apart from my family's of course. This is a tres bad photo but it is a well-maintained 60-70s modernist Penang specimen. Real pretty.

Dinner at New Lane

Today is a big day for Malaysia, for all yous in the country - hope you put your voting hats on. I am unfortunately not there to cast mine, and am unable to cast a postal vote given I am not a government-employed public servant, government-sponsored scholar, or spouse of government-employed public servant. I am hence designated the "normal" category. Fancy. Interesting distinction. I have faith in the people. Now for some retrospective blogging action:

My last night in Penang and I was hungering me some Char Koay Kak, after being disappointed at Batu Lanchang Pasar with the famed seafood CKK stall being closed in the afternoon - Min kindly took me to New Lane for some of final treats of the trip. Pictured is the CKK stall we ordered from, this is an interesting posture for CKK/o-chien fryer.

Array of hawker goodness. The area's actually known for its two congee stalls but it was CKK I was hankering for.

Lard at First Bite. Literally. I had ordered BIG assuming that meant to include seafood. I was wrong, regardless it didn't disappoint. The consistent crunch of deep-fried lard-cubes did not even make me flinch.

Egg, Bean Sprouts, Pickled radish, Koay Kak + Lard = satisfy me.

To finish off, Heng Jing, an almond dessert accompanied with yow za kuai. The heng jing was old-school, having a strong almost bitter aftertaste, it hit the spot. Min took photos of me eating this up, because she said that I never posted any of myself on the blog. Now I would have obliged, as I wouldn't have eaten this meal without her, however, I look like I am giving blowjobs to yow za kuai in all the photos. And these associations are too easily drawn upon on the internet, yknow. Might have had to do with the garish flash, the fact that I do not eat like a dainty lady, but well we didn't need the disturbing visuals.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Batu Lanchang #3

Seafood Deliciousness Action. Actually I don't get turned on by uncooked seafood either. But you can tell this is freshness. Which will translate into tastiness, no?

Vegetables, on the other hand, just look so pretty. Pretty.

Mama Chow inspects some lotus root for some soup-making later.

Chubby scrubbed roots. Pretty cute.

Batu Lanchang Pasar #2

Two-tone Mama Chow selecting veges

The produce at this pasar just looks beautiful, beautifully arranged, beautifully grown, beautifully fresh. Pandan, you, my favorite leaf, you.

Purchase of Yam - the purpose of this pasar trip, was to acquire the ingredients to make the longed-for and as-yet untasted Lum Yee Kow Yok pork/yam dish for the brattish majesty that is me. On top of caring for post-natal Mag, Ollie and the entire family, poor Mama Chow has been guilt-tripped into making this laborious dish for Big Brat. Sam Hap, you could have spared us all this! And also, why doesn't anyone else in this town make this dish? We called about 20 cantonese restaurants. Oh yea, it's tres laborious. That might have to do with it. Thanks mom.

Pomfret for Post-Natal Fish. She eats this almost every meal with a heap of fried ginger strips.

More Fish. Possibly not Post-natal Friendly.

Batu Lanchang Pasar

Election Ephemera Overkill at Batu Lanchang Pasar. Big Day Tomorrow, wish I was there to cast my vote.

An assortment of Nyonya Kuih. Papa Chow delights!

This stall is hot, vendors in non-stop action.

Keropok Assortment

Lunch at Cititel's Japanese Restaurant

We had intended to go to old-school Cantonese restaurant Sam Hap on Carnavon Street for lunch because it was the only place we knew to serve Lum Yee Kow Yok, a Cantonese pork/yam dish specialty, somewhat of a rarity in a Hokkien-heavy town. This was not to be as Sam Hap was, inexplicably closed, on a Saturday lunchtime. We recovered quickly from the disappointment by retreating to the tried and true, the reliably excellent Japanese restaurant in Cititel.

Onsen Tamago Sarada: a half-boiled egg, croutons, cruncheroos - an exquisite salad.

I made the rather generic choice of katsudon - the humble combination of pork chop on rice was beautifully executed. Papa Chow loved this, exclaiming, "How do they make this so good?!!"

A tiny side-dish of roasted brinjal with sesame sauce - perfect texture.

Chawan Mushi - perfectly executed again, but both Min and I were at the end of our tummy fill by the time we had proceeded to this and struggling to make a clean sweep.

The set in full. I love this restaurant. Easily one of the best meals of the trip. Didn't worry about missing Sam Hap a bit.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ecco Cafe, Chulia Street

The posse: Kang Wei, Ricardo Pregnant, Kah Soo and Jaye. When Kang Wei told me we were meeting at Chulia Stree, I was fully psyched up for Char Koay Teow & other hawker delights. Little did I know, or expected, we were to meet up at Ecco Cafe which serves pizza and pasta. Pizza and pasta were perhaps the last things I would concede to eating on my second last night in Penang but it was a once-a-year meeting and I had to try to not be a brat. I was pained but I would endure the disappointment. So imagine my surprise when well, I hadn't bothered photographing the pasta because I was gutted, but it was actually the best pasta I've had for ages. Seriously, I do not know how they produced this at this price, but it was really good and I felt compelled to give the chef a thumbs up even.

Because I neglected to photograph the food, here's like a shot of the kitchen y'know. But it's good y'all. Go eat some pasta at Ecco Cafe, they deserve all the kudos. And thanks to Kang Wei for taking a whiny brat there.