Friday, March 28, 2014

Traditional Malay Cuisine at Songket Restaurant Jalan Yap Kwan Seng Kuala Lumpur

Where can you find a restaurant that offers top quality Malay cuisine in the heart of Kuala Lumpur? Well, I was invited to the 4th Anniversary of the Restaurant and a preview of the new menu.

Finding the Songket Restaurant which is located at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng can be a little challenging especially if you are not that familiar with this area. Having found the place, you will feel like going into a kampong like atmosphere as the restaurant is decorated to resemble a village house.

The ambience of the restaurant brings memories of our Malay kampong adventure. The venue is especially suitable for entertaining foreign guest as it will give them a cultural tour of a Malay kampong atmosphere while dining in exquisite traditional Malay Cuisine.

 So, the next time you would like to organize a corporate event, weddings or private function with a Malay theme, you should try it out at Songket. They can also arrange traditional Malay dance for your function too.

For the night, Songket introduce a few new dishes as part of the new offering which are as follow:

Ketayap Pandan Dengan Ice Cream

Kukus Mangga Madu (Ikan Siakap)

Durian Tiramisu

For the lovely evening, we were served a buffet spreads which consists of some of the specialty dishes like Ayam Rempah Bertumis, Masak Lemak Ayam Dengan Nangka, Daging Salai Masak Lemak Cili Api, Rendang Kambing as the main meat dishes.

The meat in the Rendang Kambing was cooked with the right amount of spices and the meat was tender enough to be eaten without much struggle.

We were also served with seafood specialty like Ikan Masak Lemak Tempoyak, Udang Sos Mentega and Ikan Lemak Asam Gelugur.

For fish dishes, Songket offers a variety of fishes that you can choose ranging from Ikan Siakap, Ikan Jenahak, Ikan Senangin, Ikan Bawal, Ikan Patin, Ikan Tongkol and Ikan Tenggiri. After choosing the type of fish, you can then select the style of your choice, which among others include the Masak Lemak Cili Api Dengan Mangga Muda, Masam Manis, Kukus Mangga Muda, Asam Pedas, Goreng Sambal, Masak Tempoyak Utara, Masak Lemak Asam and Gulai Kari.My personal preference was the Ikan Lemak Asam Gelugur that was served that night.

Most of the dishes that was served that night in the buffet was Songket signature dishes which you can order ala-carte from the menu.

To eat together with these delicious dishes, you can opt for either the white rice, Nasi Minyak and Nasi Kerabu

As part of the buffet spread they have dessert like the Ketayap, Sago Pudding and etc.Songket Restaurant is truly a place to be for traditional Malay Food. 

To complement and able to cater to other tastebuds, Songket also offers Western Cuisine too.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Authentic Korean BBQ and Traditional Korean Home Cook Jal-Dae-Ji at One Ampang Business Avenue

안녕하세요 - Aann Yeong Ha Seyo

When it comes to Korean food in Kuala Lumpur, where should one go for this delicious fares. The first place is of course in One Ampang Business Avenue. There are about 20 plus Korean restaurant serving BBQ and specialty Korean dishes.

We were invited for dinner at Jal-Dae-Ji located at B-41, One Ampang Business Avenue, Jalan Ampang Utama 2/2, Kuala Ampang, Selangor. What does Jal-Dae-Ji means in Korean, it literally translates to Getting Better. So if you meet a Korean friend or associates, the next time they ask how are you doing now? You can reply by saying Jal-Dae-Ji. 

To start off the night, we were shown on the right and proper style to savour our Korean BBQ meal. One of the best things as a food reviewer, is that we are not there just to try out food but to really understand the culture and to gain knowledge about food antics.

As usual, in most Korean BBQ meal, you will be served with green lettuce. Usually this is used to wrap your BBQ food but apparently, as Malaysian, we will eat it at its own, wrap with some side dishes or eggs servings and etc. This is a no no in Korean BBQ eating style.

For Korean BBQ, your first taste of BBQ should be to eat the meat as it is, with no condiments and any sauces. This is to enable you to taste the freshly grill piece of the meat as its best. From this, you will be able to taste the whether the meat is of quality and well marinated.

If you eat with sauces added to it, most of the time the taste is of the sauce and you can’t really savour the taste of the marinated meat.

Your second helping of the meat should be with the lettuce wrapping. Next, will be the meat with the dipping sauce (only for pork) with lettuce wrapping, a slice of garlic and spring onion, parsley salad. This will ensure that you will be able to taste each of the condiments and meats. Note: Another No No is the Korean does not eat their BBQ with rice.

At Jal-Dae-Ji, the proprietor is a Korean and has a strong passion in cooking and serving real authentic Korean fares i.e. he will not compromise to make the dish suited to local taste. Almost all the sauces and marinates are his top secret recipes (jokes aside, even his wife does not know how we made it). That is why, majority of the customers venturing to this restaurant are mainly Korean. To them, this is the next best to home cooked meal.

For BBQ, we started with Yong Yang Galbi (Marinated Fresh Marble Beef)

Daew Ji Galbi (Marinated Pork Spare Ribs) – marinated for 2 days

Dak Gla Bi (Marinated Boneless Chicken) – marinated for 1 day

GoChuJang Samgyoup Sal (Marinated pork Belly in Red Hot Pepper Paste).

The taste of all the meat was juicy and succulent even after grilling it. We had the pleasure of one of the staff to grill for us and making sure it was grill to perfection.

Side dishes are common in mostly Korean restaurant, these side dishes varies on a daily basis i.e. You don’t get to eat the same side dishes everyday except for one or 2 i.e, Kimchi (a must for all Korean food). We were told by the proprietor that they do l prepare about 100kg of Kimchi every week for his restaurant.

Rice is usually eaten with these side dishes which are a little tad salty. These side dishes are cooked without the use of oil. Thus, it is a healthy food.  Now, you know the secrets why majority of Koreans are quite lean. You seldom see many Korean which are extremely obese.

Next, we proceed to the Bulgogi Beef – it is a dish which is served with thinly slices of beef, marinated in with a special sauce and cooked with a variety of vegetables and the familiar soo hoon noodles.

Our next dish is the Kimchi Jiggae, which is a thick stew of Kimchi simmered in Pork. If you love Kimchi, this is the one of the dish for you to try out.

A Korean pancake (Kimchi Jeon) is really a great challenge for many chefs. In the past those that I have tasted was either too soggy, too much batter or somewhat not the right taste. Here at Jal-Dae-Ji, the pancakes was nicely made, it retains the flavors and blended well with the seafood infused into the pancakes. Taste wise, it was perfect especially the fresh squids. A dip of the pancake to the slight spicy dipping sauce was the perfect blend to this dish.

The next dish was none other than the tTeokbokki (similar to Chinese Chee Cheong Fun) but the noodle here is of the harder and tougher type unlike the chee cheong fun which have a smooth and silky texture.

Lastly, we had the Bibim Guksu which is Noodles with vegetable and Red Hot Pepper sauce. For me, this was an average fare, which I find the sauce a little too sourish and the texture of the noodles was not to my liking.

On the whole, the entire meal was very satisfying and I would rate it as one of the best Korean restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. So, the next time you carve for real authentic Korean food, head over to Jal-Dae-Ji, it sure will be “getting better”.

Tips. If you really want your Korean meal to be cooked by the proprietor himself, make way there on every Monday. It is when he will be helming the kitchen. Also if you are going there on a weekend, please make sure you  make a reservation well in advance else you might be left waiting for your place outside the restaurant.

감사합니다   Gam Sa Ha Bni Da

Signature KimChi at Jal-Dae-Ji

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Famous Macao Pork Chop Bun At Tai Lei Loi Kei at Subang Jaya Taipan USJ 10 by Best Restaurant To Eat.

One of the most popular street food in Macao is none other than the Pork Chop Bun. Nowadays, we need not travel all the way to Macao to try out this famous Bun. 

We were invited for a food review session at this newly opened outlet Tai Lei Loi Kei located at 4A Jalan USJ 10/1J (Topspeed Business Centre), 47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor. The first outlet was opened at Lot 10 slightly more than a year ago and now have 17 outlet strategically located within the Klang valley.

These days, we Malaysian are very fortunate that many restaurants are bringing in popular foods from around the region i.e. you will have the opportunity to taste these fares at reasonable price.

At Tai Lei Loi Kei, they have a stringent rule to abide, the most important is of course is quality - meaning fresh produce and top quality ingredients. 

The signature buns are bake to reminiscent that of the original taste so baking it to the standard is top priority. Next, the frying of the pork chop is as important as the chef have been trained to ensure that every piece of pork chop are fried to the same intensity. This is to ensure consistency and same taste to the customers.

Before hand, these specially prepared pork chop are marinated in the central kitchen (with more than 10 ingredient) to maintain the quality and sent to each outlet where they will be fried on demand at that precise temperature and timing which I was told was 2 minute 40 seconds.

There are 2 offering of these bun that comes with the juicy and succulent pork chop namely the Signature Bun and the Polo bun. Personally, i preferred the Polo buns (another very popular Macao food) as it has that tangy soft flavor of the pineapple taste. The buns here are served Ala-Dante (no sauce like mayo or black pepper and so forth), so the Pork Chop really have to be good on its own. 

At Tai Lei Loi Kei, you can have your buns, noodles or rice served with add on of Luncheon meat, Ham, Cheese, Fish Ball and Fried Eggs.

Since, I was having buns, I ordered the Ice Macao Coffee to goes with the bun. Well, to me the coffee was rather plain and a little too sweet as I am used to the strong aroma and caffeine in my coffee.

Next, we had a different variation of the Pork chop i.e. Comes with Cantonese noodles (it looks like wantan noodles) but these noodles are made with duck eggs to ensure that it will remain springy and does not become soggy after cooking. 

We were told that they make 2 types of noodles i.e. one type for the soup which will not turn soggy after it is cook and simmered in the soup, while the others is for the dried (kon lou) type. Taste wise, I preferred the dry version as it was added with a special sauce i.e. Pork lard blended with soya sauce (I am feeling guilty now). This proves to be a winning combination and it really enhanced the overall taste.

For the rice wannabees, you don’t have to be disheartened, you can order your Pork chop with rice too. For the rice, the special sauce are sparingly coated over the white rice. 

Next, we tried out one of the side dishes which is the Macao Curry Fish ball . The curry taste was very pungent probably from too much of the curry powder and it was not very spicy. Garlic are used to flavor up the curry. Overall, so so. 

We had another try on the curry noodles instead, as this curry was flavored more for the local market. Yes, this was much much better than the other curry that was served earlier.

For Chicken lovers, you can have Chicken chop serves in the buns, noodles or rice too. 

Another side dish, is the Fried Macao Chicken wings. The chicken are also marinated in the same way as the pork chop, so taste wise, it is quite similar.

For desserts, we were served the Saw Dust Cake. Didn’t know we can eat saw dust too, but the saw dust here are actually biscuit crumbs which are crush to look like saw dust and henceforth it is called saw dust cake.

.To prepare this, the saw dust are put into 3 layers i,e, at the bottom, middle and top layers to provide you with variations and taste at each level. It comes in 2 flavors i.e the chocolate and the milk cream taste.