Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Peng Wah Restaurant @Damansara Jaya Petaling Jaya - Authentic Village Style Home Cook Dishes

For those of you that stay in or near Damansara Jaya, you would probably notice the New Peng Wah Chinese Restaurant located at Lot 15 & 17 , Jalan SS 22/19 Damansara Jaya 47400 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, just behind the Atria Shopping Gallery.

New Peng Wah Restaurant has been around this neighbourhood for the past 3 years and one of the very few Chinese Restaurant that serves authentic village style home cook dishes. +BestRestaurant ToEat got the invitation to taste these special signature dishes which are only available at this restaurant.

The setup is very simple and minimal, no fancy decor and furniture to line up the restaurant to impress you but what is more important is the food that is served at this restaurant.

Our review started off with Signature Lala Soup (Small Serving RM16.00). This is a very different dish from the one that we normally eaten at other restaurant. The main difference is in the soup broth which is flavoured with Tong Kui and wolfberries. Love the herbal taste and the aroma of the wine. Here the Lala is of a special species which is from the Philippines; has a bouncy and chewy texture. Best eaten with white rice especially with the flavourful soup.

For those familiar or regular customers, one of their favourite dishes that is ordered is the Signature Deep Fried Ma Yau Fish Senangin (RM6.00 per 100gm). This fish is deep fried to a nice crisp and with the accompanied soya sauce was a nice match to a simple dish.

Next on, is a another village style dish; which is the Signature Potato Fried Pork (Large - RM 25.00). The potatoes are thinly sliced and fried together with the strips of pork. We like the texture of the slice potatoes and with the sauce that was used to stir fried this dish. Another one of the dish that are good to be eaten with white rice

The second fish dish that we had is the Stew Grouper Fish Head (Large - RM48.00). The fish head are cut to biteable sizes. Using garlic, old ginger, red chillies, green chillies, capsicum and soya sauce; the flavours of this mixture was delicious. We can't help ourselves to more orders of white rice to goes with this tasty dish although it was a little tad of saltiness - you can pre-empt the captain when you order this dish to cut down on the level of saltiness of this dish.

This is another dish which is difficult if not impossible to get from other restaurant; as this is very Temerloh village style. It is called the Homestyle Claypot Brinjal (Large - RM28.00). The brinjal are pre boiled and mashed to a paste. It is then cooked with minced pork and prawns in a belacan paste. This is a dish when you start eating; will be difficult to stop. Love the taste of this dish.

The next dish is a chicken based dish which is named as the Claypot Hua Teow Wine Chicken. The strong aroma of the Hua Teow wine was very nice and make this dish very tasty. Served on a claypot the gravy was slurped up to the last drop. 

The last dish for the night is the Fried Pork With Nyonya Sauce. A very interesting dish. According to the manager, you can ordered this nyonya sauce with steamed fish or chicken. Well, you guessed it; we really need to order another white rice to go with this addicted sauce.

If you love village style home cooked meal as much as we do, New Peng Wah at Damansara Jaya Petaling Jaya will definitely not disappoint you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Izakaya Kushi Raku Japanese Restaurant @TTDI Kuala Lumpur -Japanese Bar and Yakitori Review

I really enjoyed Izakaya style dining especially its skewers (Yakitori ) offering. Recently +BestRestaurant ToEat was invited to Izakaya Kushi Raku Japanese Restaurant located at 28, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2 Taman Tun Dr Ismail TTDI 60000 Kuala Lumpur to taste out these special offering.

Izakaya Kushi Raku Japanese Restaurant has opened for business less than one year ago with a theme of Japanese grilled bar concept.

The interior is a modern and fun setup with a lots of Japanese inspired peripheral. Sake bottles can be seen adorned on top of the rack. Even the furniture which is custom made to foster the ambience of a casual dining.

Izakaya Kushi Raku offers chicken, beef and pork skewers. There are also vegetables and seafood skewers too. Izakaya Kushi Raku now have some very special signature dishes for customer to enjoy it with a cold sake or a cold beer.

Our food review started with 2 appetizers; the first of which is the Skate Fish (Eihire) – RM10. For those that are not familiar with what a skate fish is; it is actually a Stingray fish (Ikan Pari). The fish meat are cut and grilled. It has a sweet salty taste. Nice to eat with the some sake.

Next is the Snail Meat (Chuaka Sazae Niku) – RM9. I love the chewy and bouncy texture of this snail meat. The sauce was just right and was served chilled.

For the skewers (yakitori) we started with the Chicken Wing Salt (Teba Shio) – RM7 per skewer. The chicken wing are slightly seasoned with table salt and put to the griller. During the grilling process the chef, sprinkle some sake to add in the wine flavour to the chicken wings. Loves the crisp, and sake taste in the chicken wing.

Next on is the Chicken Thigh meat with Wasabi Mayo (Momo Wasabi Mayone-zu) – RM5 per skewer. As with the chicken wings this thigh meat is also seasoned with salt and during the grilling process, the special wasabi mayo sauce are applied on the meat. This ensures the flavours are locked into the meat when you bite into it.

After which we had the Beef Ribeye with Miso Sauce (Gyumiso) – RM11 per skewer. This is another sauce enhance grilling. This time, the chef uses the miso sauce. I like it as the miso sauce was not too overwhelming, as if he has applied too much of the miso, it will be salty and would not have tasted the flavour of the beef meat. Love the medium done texture which leave the meat still tender and juicy.

The second last skewers is the Pork Belly Special (Bara Yaku to Age) – RM7 per skewer. For this skewers, the chef uses the teriyaki sauce to apply to the skewers. It has a sweet and salty taste and with the use of pork belly meat (oil mix with the sauce); gives a nice texture and taste to this slight crunch skewers.

The last skewer is the Cherry Tomato (Cheri Tomato) – RM4 per skewer. Lightly seasoned with salt and sent to the griller.

For the main course we had the Squid Stuffed Rice (Ikasaki Raisu Zume) – RM27. Using seaweed, sesame seed, bonito flakes and mix with Japanese Grain rice; it is then stuffed into the squid before being grilled. Using Teriyaki sauce to spread on the squid while grilling; the chewy texture squid gives you a sweet taste.

The final dish is the Grilled Riceball with Salmon (Salmon Yakionigiri) – RM7. The Salmon meat are moulded into the rice and then send to the griller. Before serving, it is topped with seaweed. I am really not a fan of grilled rice as I find the rice to be a little hard and have a slight crunch; but for those that loves this kind of texture, they will probably find it tasty.

Whether to hang out with friends or to have some good food while enjoying a nice beer or just plainly stayed chill for the evening, Izakaya Kushi Raku is definitely a nice pick. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Raj's Banana Leaf Rice Restaurant @Bangsar Baru Kuala Lumpur - No MSG Banana Leaf Rice Feast

As I was in Bangsar with my makan kaki gang and it was quite sometime ago that we last eaten Banana Leaf Rice, so we decided to try out a friend recommendation on a NO MSG Banana Leaf Rice at Raj's Banana Leaf Rice Restaurant located at 38G, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

At Raj's Banana Leaf @Bangsar Baru, I saw a big notice that says NO MSG; so decided to try it out. At Raj Banana Leaf Restaurant; all its chef are from India and are specially trained to cook these authentic South Indian dishes.

As it is located at a corner shop, it offers a well lit and a clean environment to dine in, unlike some of the restaurant which are stuffy, dirty and feel claustrophobic.

As with any Banana Leaf Restaurant, there are the curries and the fried delicacies to choose from. These fried item are fried upon an order being made.

You can also personally select the kind of meat and seafood that you like from the chillers to be handed to the chief grilling chef.

For us, we choose a variety of seafood for our fried selection starting with the Fried Flower Crab (RM15.00). The crab is marinated in a special curry powder paste before being sent to the hot wok for frying. 

Next is the Giant Tiger Prawns (RM24.00 per 100g). As with the crab, the tiger prawn are also subjected to the same curry powder marinade.

Followed by the Fried Chicken (RM6.50 per piece). We like the texture of the chicken as the meat was still moist after the frying. At this restaurant the skin of the chicken have been taken out; so for those that dislike having Fried chicken skin will rejoice this Fried chicken.

We have also chosen a couple of fish to taste out, the first of which was the Senangin - Threadfin (RM 7.50 per 100g).

followed by the Tenggiri (RM6.50 per piece) and the Fried Fish Egg (RM 5.00 per 100g).

another fish was the Ikan Bulus - Silver Whiting Fish (RM7.50 per 100g).

and the last fish was the Ikan Bawal - White Pomfret (RM7.50 per 100g).

The last seafood that we selected was the Fried Squid With Onion (RM9.50 per 100g). Nice bouncy texture.

Next, we moved on to taste the curries; the first of which is the Mutton Varuval (RM10.00).

followed by the Mysore Mutton (RM11.00). For those that cannot to take too spicy curries, then Raj's will be just nice for you as most of the curries are less spicy.

and the other 2 dishes are the Chicken Peratel (RM8.00).

and Chicken Masala (RM8.00).

Besides Banana Leaf, it also serves Roti Canai and Thosai all day; together with some snack food and kuih for tea time. We tasted a couple of these roti canai starting with the plain one (RM1.50).

followed by the Roti Banana (RM3.10). One of the thing I like about the Raj Banana Leaf Restaurant is that these Roti Canai and Thosai are served on Banana Leaf.

the Roti Tissue (RM3.00).

and then the Thosai which we had was the Thosai Ghee Paper (RM3.00).

and the last one is the Rava Thosai (RM2.50).

For those that might not want to travel all the way to Bangsar to try the No MSG Banana Leaf Rice; you can go to the other 2 outlet of Raj's Banana Leaf; one in Publika and the other one which was just opened in Jalan Gasing (a few doors away from Raju Banana Leaf).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant @Starhill Gallery Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur - Award Winning Chef New Teochew Menu

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Cuisine is a household name in Hong Kong which started in 1967 but little did we know that it has setup the first oversea restaurant in Malaysia which is located at Feast Village Starhill Gallery Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur for the past ten years.

+BestRestaurant ToEat was invited to savour the specially created dishes by its award winning chef Alex Au to celebrate this occasion that blends the traditional Teochew dishes that not only taste delicious and tasty but retains the authenticity of the original flavours.

In conjunction to this 10 years anniversary celebration of Pak Loh Chiu Chow in Malaysia, we were served 10 of the over 40 new dishes that will be introduced to customers starting 5th December 2015 for lunch and dinner.

Chef Alex Au have painstakingly taken more than 9 months to craft out these dishes using the much touted condiments, common ingredients to prepare the dishes using the fine art of preparing these famous and popular Teochew (Chiu Chow) cuisine;  which uses very little flavouring as compared with most other Chinese cuisines.

In traditional Teochew (Chiu Chow) custom; we were served the "Kung Foo" tea. It is a welcome drink that are customary served to guests before a meal; one of the reason for this tea is to whet your appetite. This tea is a very strong blend and a mixture of a few types of tea leaf; of which the main tea leaves used was the "Oolong or Ti Kuan Yin".

We then proceed to our culinary journey of Teochew cuisine; which leads us to the first dish which is the Baked Bombay Duck Fish with Plum Sauce (RM25.00). The thinly sliced fish fillet are battered with a special flour mix and deep fried to a golden brown; which is then cooked with plum sauce that caramelizes the fish. We loves the crunchy feel of the fish and its taste; if not for the name of the dish, we could have easily thought it was a piece of pork meat as it resembles the "Pai Kuat Wong" when the dish was laid on the table.

Next, the chef have decided to do a live cooking of this dish which is the Threadfish Fish Soup with Coriander and Leek (RM98.00). Using leek, pre cooked radish, coriander and a soup broth of threadfish bone boiled over a number of hours to extract out the rich full flavours of the fish.

According to chef Alex, the Threadfish Head which has a strong taste and texture is used for this dish. One of the selection criteria of this fish; is to use a deep water fish which must weigh at least 5kg and above. Cut to a bite sizes, the Fish Head is pan fried before adding the flavorful broth and then followed by all the other ingredients.

 From the look; it resembles the First Head Noodles that we are accustomed to; but there is no milk that was added into it. The rich milky look of the broth (collagen) is from the painstaking process of boiling of the fish bones for hours before hand.

The next dish is the Authentic Top Shell with Preserved Vegetables (RM108.00). Due to the proximity to the sea of the Chiu Chow province, seafood are normally used to cook most of the dishes in Teochew cuisine. High quality Top Shell are associated to the likes of Abalone, which are premium seafood dishes. With that, the Chef butterflied these Top Shell to a very thin slice and cooked with his special preserved mustard. Loves the glistening texture of the Top Shell which has a springy and bouncy sweet natural taste.

After which, we had the Traditional Steamed Tiger-Toothed Croaker with Pork, Ham and Garlic Wrapped with Aromatic Chinese Cabbage (RM98.00). The fish is first wrapped with a big piece of Chinese Cabbage while the pork meat and ham flavours are intertwined to make the special taste to the gravy. It was a little challenge for us to eat this fish as the small size of the fish poses a challenge of the separating the bones. But nevertheless, the taste of the fish white meat was a delight to be eaten.

This is then followed by the Classic Chiu Chow Wok Fried Assorted Seasonal Vegetables (RM32.00). For Teochew (Chiu Chow) people, this dish is usually served on the 7th Day of the Chinese New Year as it represent family harmony; there are 7 different types of vegetable used for this dish with the careful selection of each of the vegetable which rhyme with a prosperous or lucky sound.

Moving on is the Braised Spring Chicken Stuffed with Glutinous Rice, Garlic, Ginger and Straw Mushroom (RM45.00 per chicken). The Glutinous Rice is first fried and then stuffed into the Spring Chicken with the mushroom and the other condiments. It is then slow braised to extract the full flavour of the chicken together with the stuffing. The end result is that the Glutinous rice has a soft texture and was nicely matched with the braised stew with the soft peeling meat of the spring chicken.

After which is the Authentic Smoked Bacon Cooked with Yellow Chives (RM45.00). The salted bacon are made inhouse by the chef; It is smoked with a special tea to gives it a special aroma and taste. Combine it with the imported Yellow Chives which has a crunchy feel together with the bacon was a perfect match to the white rice that we ordered to go with it.

This is then followed by the Braised Pumpkin Bean Curd with Wild Mushrooms and Dried Scallop (42.00). The bean curd are made with a blend of soyabean and pumpkin paste. Getting this right texture is a painstaking process that enable the proper setting of the bean curd. After that; it was fried to a golden brown before being braised with wild mushroom and dried scallop sauce.

Rounding up the food review, we then had the Flat Rice Noodle Soup with Threadfin Fish and Preserved Vegetables (RM35.00). On the first slurp, we can really taste the slippery and thin layer of the flat rice noodles. We love the texture of the flat rice noodle and also the Threadfin fish meat which was accompanied by the broth which has a slight sourish taste extracted out from the sour plum that was used to give it a very distinct flavours.

For dessert, we were served the special Authentic Crispy Bananas with Golden Cream (RM24.00). There is a story behind this dessert;  Legend has it that during a cooking competition the two finalist has ran out of ingredient to cook after a gruelling competition and one of the contestant saw some bananas hanging from a nearby house and decided to use it as the main ingredient, which then became the winning dish. When interviewed, the Chef could not think of a proper name and just utter the dish name as "not in time".

As Chef Alex relates; the batter used to coat the bananas are from a mixture of five different flour and this gives the crust a super light crispy texture which literally melt in your mouth. Combine with the sweet flavours of the bananas, it was the perfect end to our delightful journey to explore the Teochew cuisine at Pak Loh Chiu Chow @Starhill Gallery Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur.