Archive for January, 2012



Kuching Day 2 Bee Wee Hiong bak kut teh + Hui Sen dinner

I promised my sister Jan that I would blog frequently about my Kuching trip (especially about the food) so here goes Day 2 in Kuching.

kopi
My father actually wanted us to bring us for good kolo mee at Green Road, but we forgot that it was the weekend (I love holidays when everyday is a weekend) and the cafe was full. So we headed for our usual spot Bee Wee Hiong for bak kut teh instead. Good ol’ kopi to start the day.Jo had teh-c-peng and my father had his usual Kou Kou Gan.

pork leg rice
This kopitiam also sells good pork leg rice which we always have with a side of pig intestines, not for everyone but a favourite for Daitaoha’s family.

bak kut teh

Jason’s favourite bak kut teh. The owner told us that he will be open by the 6th day of CNY, just in time for Jaso’s arrival.Finally Gerry will get a taste of the real thing too! He’s been lying to strangers for years that he comes from Klang in Malaysia, with his house right next to the famous Ming Sen bak kut teh shop.

yew char kueh
I’m not sure whether it’s normal for other parts of Malaysia, but we always have yew char kueh (fried donut sticks) to dip in our bak kut teh.

ah chong

It was a busy day with visits to the shining star of Kuching the Spring as well as my favourite Kenyalang. By the time we went to Hu Sen for dinner, the open air food court was very very busy. Can you spot my ah pa in the crowd?

f&n

The food court was hot, smoky and humid. To beat the heat I had my favourite soft drink which can’t be found in Perth, Fanta Green. I don’t know why I like it so much, maybe the lurid green colour?

jagung peng

Jo had her favourite Jaguang Peng which means sweetcorn ice. She said looking at this photo made her feel like having another one.

matterhornThis is a Kuching special, the Matterhorn which doesn’t have the usual coconut milk in ices, but is tangy and very refreshing with pineapple, longan and lemon slices.

kolo

My usual order at Hui Sen which is kolo mee pang ang, straight kolo noodles with char siew sauce. Very good and one of my favourites, I finished my entire bowl.

Ok, end of Day 2. Day 3 has been full on so far, I’m really tired now, bye bye!

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Kuching Day 1: kaya toast, Aladin chicken rice + durians!

It took us a long time to get to Kuching but we’ve finally arrived! We had one of those long wait in transit flights which ended up with us wandering aimlessly around the empty Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the wee hours of the morning. Nothing was open safe for Mcdonalds, so it became a temporary camping site for the early travellers.

toastbox

Not willing to settle for just Maccas, we were delighted when ToastBox lighted up. It was such a cute looking stall too.

kaya

HC’s brekkie of kaya butter toast. Try to ignore the thick slab of butter in the middle which was sinful but yet good.

otah toast

Jo opted for the Otah Toast which I found a bit too overpowering for me in terms of taste, she said it tasted more like tomyum toast. We were not used to Singaporean prices, $1 -2(Sing dollars) for breakfast, surely that’s unknown in Perth.

yakun

I was feeling a bit ill then (airplanes do that to me) but was much better by the time we were inside the departure lounge for Terminal 1. So it was my turn for the breakfast of champions, Yakun soft boiled eggs, kaya toast and kopi. I enjoyed my eggs and coffee, but the kaya toast wasn’t toasted long enough to gain that lovely crispy yet soft texture. I think I prefer Killiney kaya toast more. Still, it was lovely to have a really Singaporean/Malaysian style breakfast.

angry birds

Many hours of waiting in the airport meant many hours of shopping and spending at duty free shops! There was an angry bird promotion in the airport, and we spent enough to get three angry birds! What are we going to do with them?! The blue one is kinda cute though.

bishop

But we finally left Changi Airport (still my favourite airport in the whole world) and arrived in Kuching. It was so heartwarming to see the familiar sight of my dad eating his soft cone icecream outside the arrival hall. He had his usual soft cone even though he was nursing a cough!

My little brother wasn’t there to pick us up because he had friends in town and was their designated tour guide for the day. But he tried to make up for it by having takeaway kolo mee from Bishop’s Gate waiting for us at home. Ok lah, forgiven. Bishop’s Gate is a famous cafe in Carpenter Street (one of the oldest streets in Kuching) well known for their kolo noodles. It’s an acquired taste because there’s vinegar in the noodles, ours being a takeaway was stiff in shape and rather dry. I’ve never been a big fan of Bishop’s Gate noodles but nevertheless it was still our first taste of kolo mee and I enjoyed it .

aladin cafe

After a rest in the afternoon, it was time for dinner. As you can tell, in our family, it’s just eat eat eat non-stop. For dinner we settled for Aladin Cafe, also located on Carpenter Street and famous for it’s fried chicken rice.

rice
Can’t have good chicken rice without perfect rice. This rice wasn’t as great as the kind you get in Singapore, but fragrance and taste wise, it packed a lot of good flavour. I think Singapore chicken rice is perhaps smoother, oilier.
chicken

The steamed chicken rice was rich in sesame oil flavours and was tender. Again, different from Singapore and not not tasty, but somehow I still prefer the Singaporean version.
fried

But really, Aladin cafe’s claim to fame is  their fried chicken. I can understand why people  go through stacks of these, they come out freshly fried, piping hot and juicy, salty and not too greasy. Sometimes you just need fried chicken.

teh

Wash it down with an icy cold teh c special, and it’s another fantastic Kuching meal.

durians

But that was not all! Our dessert of the day was durians! I haven’t had durian for almost a year now and you know you’re really home in Malaysia when you’re sitting on the floor with your family, with opened durians and empty durian shells on newspapers laid on the ground, feasting on the king of fruits and drinking salt water to ‘cool down’ your bodies afterwards.

A fantastic first day and more to come !

Going Home

Flying out in a few hours.

The next time I blog, it will be from Kuching!

3 weeks of family, friends and food. Can’t wait.  See you all in a bit 🙂

First Day of 2012 + Nine Fine Food

So it’s the ninth day of 2012 and I’m finally finding some time to blog about the first few days of the new year.

ramen

2012  started with a giant bowl of char siew ramen from Dokusui in Freo. Just how the boys like it.

maritime museum

WA Maritime museum at sunset. We didn’t actually visit the musuem, it wasn’t open anyway. But this was our fishing ground! We ended up with 30 mackerels and even some crabs. It’s so odd to think that Christmas Day and New Year Day was spent fishing, and I don’t even fish during the year!
goose mousse

A week later R and I were in Nine Fine Food for my early birthday celebration. We chose Nine Fine Food because I love Japanese food and I’ve been wanting to try this place for ages. We both decided on the four course set menu, R’s first entree was the goose mousse which was foie gras mousse with tobiko caviar. It was also our favourite dish of the night, gorgeous taste of foie gras and I love the crunch of tobiko, yums.

sashimi

Apologies for the bad photos in advance. It was a very dim restaurant and we didn’t do the food any justice with blurry photos. My entree was the Sashimi Nine Style which included squid, salmon, tuna etc. The sashimi wasn’t too impressive, but I’ve never been very impressed with the quality of sashimi in Perth. Otherwise I liked all the sauces on the squid, the prawn, very moreish.

pasta

R’s 2nd course was the Lamb and Scallop (picture too blurry so not up) which was marinated grilled sliced lamb round steak, blended spiced miso braised lamb shoulder, seared scallop with balsamic, soy & truffle oil dressing. The lamb was very tender and flavourful, scallop was pretty good but not outstanding.

My 2nd course was the Kinocho Caviar Pasta. More caviar for me please!I was really surprised at the taste of this pasta, it felt oddly familiar, like the rice wine chicken soup that we have for Chinese New Year, but there was this creamy and rich texture to it which must have been cream. The mushrooms were silky and lovely, giving it that extra Asian flavour. I loved the extra tobiko crunch too. Now looking back at the menu description, it says sake rice wine cream sauce, so my guess was right. This was pretty heavy so I felt quite full afterwards.

land

My main was The Land which was a special of the night and consisted of all things meat. There was lamb cutlet, lamb steak, beef tenderloin steak and pork belly. The pork belly wasn’t as tender as I would have liked it to be and not very well spiced. Beef tenderloin steak was tender. In fact, besides the pork belly, everything else was very flavourful to the extent that I found it slightly too salty, heavy, I think everything would have tasted great with a bowl of rice 🙂

ocean east

Blurry pic again 😦 R’s main was also a special, Oceans East which included all things from the sea. There was unagi (eel) which was nice, barramuni in miso and soft shell crab. We were most impressed with the soft shell crab which was lightly battered and crunchy but not in the overly deep fried sort of way that you get at many Chinese restaurants.

tiramisu

Final course of the night, I had a green tea brulee which tasted nice (strong green tea flavours) but texture wise was a bit lacking. R’s tiramisu was a surprise as it didn’t come out looking anything like tiramisu, but it sure tasted like one and was very nice with strong coffee flavours, very refreshing.

Overall we had a really good time at Nine Fine Food! In terms of the food there were hits and misses but I had lots of fun trying everything and like the idea of modern Japanese ‘fine dining’. Plus service was good and that’s a definite plus for me.

Nine Fine Food
227 Bulwer Street Highgate
Tel (08) 9227 999
BYO, corkage $3.50 pp

4 more days till Jo, HC and I fly home, but who’s counting? I’ve been cooking up a storm over the past few days and freezing everything. I don’t know why I think R will be starving when I’m not around, he is actually a pretty good cook and was functioning perfectly well before he met me. I think it’s really because I feel sorry for him that he’s alone this Chinese New Year and food is my soothing balm for everything.

I wish it was Friday already …..


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