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I've been to Restoran Station 8 @ SS2 PJ once when it was known as Restoran Okay, for its dim sum, wantan mee and roasted meat rice but found the food to be, like its namesake, just okay.  I hear there's a good Penang-style curry mee here though but one I don't think I'll ever get to eat since it's always sold out very early in the morning.

I also went once after the shop changed its name to Station 8 and we had nasi lemaksiu yuk rice (again) and some other noodle dish (at that time I didn't realise that it was the same shop!).

Since the food I had didn't impress (though there are many more stalls now after the name change), it isn't a coffee shop we'd eat at.

But I decided to return one Sunday morning to check out a char kuey teow (CKT) stall which my husband has been telling me about (he said it comes with large prawns!).

So, I went to make our orders while my husband chup chup our table.  On reaching the stall, I recognised instantly the name of the stall and realised my spouse had been eating a so-called reputable CKT...James Bond Char Kuey Teow (he wasn't aware of it, of course)!

Even though this James Bond Char Kuey Teow is supposedly famous (I was made aware of it by the numerous reviews I've read online), I've never once thought of seeking it out to try.  Some of these famous stalls tend to move from coffee shop to coffee shop (and James Bond is no exception from Ho Ho Sek/WDS, SS2 to Tong Fong, Seapark to Okay/Station 8, SS2 and maybe a few more times in between) coz they know their loyal customers will make the effort to find him.

Probably, that's why I never attempted to seek out Robert's Char Kueh Teow either coz there are so many stalls (Damansara Kim, Kota Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Damansara Jaya, Taman Megah, Section 17) that lay claim to be Robert's CKT that it leaves us wondering....which one exactly is the 'real' Robert? >.<  Or he could also have moved from one place to another.

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about Robert but to talk about James Bond (or Peter Tan, his real name apparently), so let's direct our focus back to James Bond Char Kuey Teow.  Well, let me tell you a little story that transpired before I get down to telling you what I thought of his CKT.  When I first approached the stall, there wasn't any cooking action going on (and no-one was manning the stall either).  After standing there for a while, a foreign worker approached and I gestured with my hand and asked...mana towkay (where's the boss)?  He pointed to a table across the stall and I'm assuming the chap sitting down with a customer (or a friend) is James Bond.  So, he was sitting there all this time while I stood there waiting (like a fool) at his stall.  That's the attitude some can have when they're famous.

Only when I looked a little annoyed, he asked me what I wanted (he speaks English by the way) without budging from his seat still.  If not for my husband who brought me to try this stall, I'd probably have walked away.  I proceeded to order for the both of us, one with cockles and one without...and that's when he pointed out to a sign (which I didn't notice at his stall which said "no cockles today").  Couldn't he just say that instead of pointing to the sign?  Just because you're famous, you can be a snob, is it? >:(  I read that he doesn't entertain requests for extra ingredients (or customised orders) either...looks like it's his way or the highway (don't know how true that is since mine was a standard order).

Anyway, a plate of his char kuey teow here costs RM7 (RM8 for big) and it comes with 3 large-sized prawns (my spouse says he has gotten more than 3 prawns before) and fish cake slices along with the usual stuff of egg, beansprouts and Chinese chives.  There were no cockles (on the day that we were there) and his version has no lap cheong (dried Chinese sausage) either.

From the colour of the noodles, does this look nice to you?  It wasn't fried or tossed long enough and the noodles weren't even charred.  If you look at vkeong's post from 2016, the noodles looked really different...darkly caramelised and well fried....and served on a banana leaf!  In fact, I couldn't detect any smokiness or wok hei...plus it tasted bland as well...and that pretty much sums up the taste of this CKT! >_<

Sorry for the digression.  That said, one noodle dish did leave an impression.  I just thought I'd include this since I'd much rather eat this than James Bond's CKT here! :P  I don't even know what it's called (or remember the price) as I've never come across such a dish before.  I was first attracted by a large pot of stewed pork, so I just pointed to a picture at their stall and said I wanted one....with everything! ;)

So, the dish came with tender stewed pork (something like Hakka char yoke), a minced meat (pork) stuffed braised bean curd puff, smooth poached chicken and some greens of crunchy sang choy (lettuce), beansprouts, coriander and spring onion (I even spotted a whole garlic clove, braised till soft).  Have you seen (or eaten) a noodle dish with such ingredients before?  Seems rather unorthodox to me.

Not only that, it was served with two very delicious home-made fish balls in a bowl of soup since I chose to have my noodles dry-style.  You know they're home-made (probably hand-made too) from its odd shape + they're unlike those overly bouncy textured balls that are more flour than fish paste.

My Personal Opinion

The way James Bond (or Peter Tan) treats his customers....is the way he treats his noodles...without much care or passion!  Maybe he used to whip up a good plate of CKT...but certainly not so anymore....at least not from what I tasted.  So, how can the same person, who has been frying CKT for years, serve up two different tasting plates of CKT?  One that got him good reviews (from news portals, food guides & blogs) and one from me that's meh.  Well, I guess it can happen when the person is missing that fire and passion and couldn't care less if he fries up a plate of good CKT for his customers or not (after all, he did leave me standing at his stall).

The attraction here for me is only in the name of the stall.  But I will give it a thumbs up for their larger prawns (at least larger than most CKT stalls for the same price)...but that's about it.  It certainly won't join my list of to-have CKT....once was enough for me.

Sometimes when we seek out these famous stalls, we have higher expectations and the disappointment ends up to be even far greater.  Hmmm, I wonder if I should seek out Robert's Char Kueh Teow too...hehehe! ;P

Restoran Station 8
(formerly known as Okay Restaurant)
2 Jalan SS2/10
47300 Petaling Jaya

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I first visited Chang Kitchen Beef Noodles @ Pandan Indah for their beef noodles specifically.  After all, their signboard clearly points to them being a beef noodle specialist and most will think that's the only thing they serve.

Well, suffice to say, I've tried all their beef noodle variations...in soup or dry version....with beef balls, beef brisket (ngau lam), raw beef slices or beef mix (with beef stomach or tendon) but I don't like to eat the latter two including omasum (ngau pak yip aka some kind of beef tripe).

When I'm here, I usually have the beef balls and brisket paired with dry (wantan) noodles, second only to my favourite of the lot which is the raw beef slices.

They do offer other types of noodles besides beef noodles like fish ball, mutton noodles and wantan mee as well as nasi lemak (plain, with chicken or abalone).  So, here's the rest of the menu that I tried other than the beef noodles.

Starting with the Fish Ball Noodles @ RM7 that's available dry-style or in soup.  What you get are three large-sized fish balls, fried fu chuk (beancurd sheets) and some greens of sang choy (lettuce).  The fish balls were overly bouncy (commercially-produced ones, I reckon) with a soup base that tastes generic (you'd know when a stock wasn't the result of hours and hours of boiling).

I paired it with dry wantan noodles (with a few crispy pork lard thrown in).  This fish ball noodles was most probably included in the menu just for people who don't eat beef as it was obvious the dish was put together without much thought or effort.

If you don't eat beef, there's also the Wantan Minced Pork Noodles @ RM7 that you can choose to have.  This time, the wantan noodles came with the addition of minced pork which was tasty.

The wantans, with a minced pork filling, were plain and ordinary like many other wantans out there.  The soup base tasted similar to the one with the fish ball noodles, probably made with some flavour enhancers! >_<

At least this one tasted much better than the fish balls noodles and I did appreciate the extra effort put into the making of the minced pork themselves.

If you don't eat beef, you can ask for pork balls instead which can come in either the beef broth or the broth they use for the fish balls or wantans, your choice.  This one was a mixture of beef and pork balls (the pork balls are the slightly larger ones, at times I got 4 beef + 3 pork but sometimes it's 5 + 2).  I could taste the dried squid bits in the pork ball mix, so they were very pleasant.

Recently, I've started to have my beef noodles with lai fun (thick rice noodles), a type of noodle usually associated with assam laksa (and beef noodles), just that I wasn't aware they had it here (I think the noodle choices were written in Chinese in the menu, that's why!) until one day the person who took my order rattled away the noodle choices, only then I came to know....and it has been my first choice ever since.  I don't know what is it about lai fun with beef noodles, it just goes so well together.

Nasi lemak offers a choice to those who want to eat rice rather than noodles.  You have an option of plain (RM4) or with abalone (RM25!).  I went for the Nasi Lemak with Chicken @ RM9.  It was fried chicken with acar (pickled vegetables), hard-boiled egg, kacang & ikan bilis and sambal.

The fried chicken, which looked like a version of ayam goreng berempah, unfortunately lacked marination + it was cold and dry (obviously it was not fried to order but pre-fried some time ago).  The acar was ok and I did like the fragrant and fresh taste of the peanuts and (better quality) crispy silver fish (aka tiny ikan bilis) but the sambal was atrocious.  From the colour, it has obviously not been cooked long enough (or as they say "kena tumis sampai pecah minyak dan wangi") but, worst still, it had a tinge of sourness instead of being sweetly spicy or spicily sweet.  It was a shame as the rice was suficiently lemak.  Definitely not something I'd have again.

Well, if you don't want any noodles or rice, you can have a simple breakfast of eggs & toast for RM5, Kaya Toast @ RM2.50 and Half-Boiled Eggs @ RM2.50.

The good thing is, for the price, you get kampung (or free-range) eggs here.  They're brought to the table steeping in hot water and told to give it 5 minutes.  Is this to custom-cook them the way you like it or to exonerate them in case they bring you overcooked eggs? >_<  I see more and more coffee shops doing it this way nowadays...I just wish they'd bring them cooked already.  That way I can send them back if they're overdone...wuahahahaha....instead of me having to keep an eye on it to know when it's done.

The kaya toast, using traditional coffeeshop-style bread, had quite a few slivers of cold butter in between a decent-tasting, sweetish kaya.  Can't go wrong with a light breakfast like this.

Mutton Noodles (RM15) and Mutton Soup (RM20) makes up the balance of their menu.  Well, since I don't like mutton, I won't be trying any of the mutton dishes.  I wonder if anyone orders the mutton noodles since many Chinese don't eat beef and even lesser eat mutton (!).

My Personal Opinion

It's quite obvious that the other noodles and nasi lemak were put on the menu for people who simply don't eat beef.  And let's just say those aren't their forte...their speciality is still beef noodles.

Even though their fish ball noodles and nasi lemak aren't anywhere near remotely good (per my standards), I'm quietly happy for them when I see their santan rice running out by 2 pm and people packing extra fish balls home (after their meal).  I want them to endure, so I'm rooting for them to survive as I actually like eating here coz the place is air-conditioned and spacious, the owners are friendly, parking is plentiful and there's never a crowd though the latter isn't necessarily a good thing for them. ^_~

If you don't mind a non-char siew type of wantan noodles, the one here with minced pork isn't too shabby. This, and the beef noodles (with either raw beef slices or a mixture of beef and pork balls), are the only two things I go for here.  

Chang Kitchen Beef Noodle
14 Jalan Pandan Indah 1/18
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9201 7059

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Remember this little furball from not too long ago?

Well, someone put a collar on him, so he got adopted....or, at least, I thought he did.  But his mama wasn't as fortunate.  I don't see her anymore.  I guess she didn't get adopted (I wonder what happened to her...she could have been relocated on purpose so that she doesn't come looking for her offspring).  Well, that's what some people do...they take in adorable kittens but not the no-longer-cute adult cats. :'(

I'd always see the little kitty around the neighbourhood.  He'd usually run to me from across the street when I call.

I'm thinking he got adopted by a house across the street (I have my suspicion which house).  I see the little kitten running outside that house all the time.  I'm not even sure if he's ever let in the house by the people who adopted him.

And he always comes to me for food.  Doesn't his adoptive family feed him? >_<  I used to wonder too.  He looks so skinny.  If he comes to my house, he knows he can sucker me for food.

And because we engage with the little kitty by playing with him and feeding him, he makes himself right at home.....in my porch.

And on my car.

Cookie doesn't quite know what to make of him.

He's probably wondering who is this little fella that's slowly taking over his porch.....and his territory....and maybe even some of my affection. ^_*

And then, one day, he just upped and left...disappeared completely! :'(  I don't see him roaming in my neighbourhood of late.  He doesn't come over for food or playtime anymore.

If I were to guess, his adoptive family probably decided to give him up and let him loose.  Sometimes, people take on a kitten because of the cuteness factor only to realise later that it's a lot of work to keep a pet...haiz.  I've even seen people move away and left their cats behind (like the house-owners behind me).  I feed the left-behind cats sometimes when I see them but most have moved on though some do come back occasionally.  People give up their pets all the time.  It's sad but it happens.

Cats always find their way home.  It's highly unlikely that they don't return to their homes unless they've been let go elsewhere.  Poor kitty, I thought he found a forever home...but it wasn't meant to be! :'(  So long, little kitty, I'll miss you (I'm still hoping that he was given away to someone and not released elsewhere to fend for himself).

A while later, I noticed another abandoned little furball in another neighbour's house.  This time, I made sure I didn't interact with him (as in calling out to him), otherwise he would just follow me back to my house and not leave.

And because he didn't budge from that house, that neighbour decided to take him in.

That busybody likes to venture into my compound...and noseys around my house (even when I try to have minimal contact with him).

And he will, of course, turn on his charm when he's here so that I won't shoo him away.  Hey, my Cookie doesn't like competition for my affection, ok?

He can even catch forty winks at my place if I don't disturb him.

He's also very clever to ask for handouts (of the good stuff)! :P

Luckily, the kitten is kept indoors most of the time but each time he's let out, he will find his way to my house...and make himself right at home.  He's also very clever to submit to Cookie and say, "Hey, you're the boss!"

Let's hope this little kitty has better luck with his forever home....he sits here like he's the king of this house, more like second-in-command coz...psst....there can only be one King...and this is his kingdomGo back to yours and stop infringing on Cookie's domain.  Of late, Cookie isn't all that happy with him as he has taken over his territory (the porch) and even peed in his litter box! >_<

Cookie is the only royal in this household.....see, even his head is tilted up like a snobbish royal for this photo op! :D :D

All hail His Majesty, King Cookie.....who resides on his throne...hmmm, only one thing is missing....a crown...which would complete the look! ;D

Two little fluffballs found forever homes...one was (probably) shortlived.....the other only time will tell.

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I remember my first visit to Dai Cha Dim @ Pavilion fondly for a taste of their HK-style wantan noodles which I ended up liking very much.  So, a return trip was on the cards to try some of their rice dishes.

Although the place seems to offer cha chaan teng delights (based on the similarities of some of their offerings like milk tea, teng chai chuk or Hong Kong-style boat porridge and shrimp roe noodles), I actually thought the food was much closer to our local tastes than other HK-style eateries here.  I later found out (from the staff) that the chefs are indeed locals though some ingredients are imported from Hong Kong (such as the wonton noodles).

After enjoying the Cursory Rice (a similar luncheon meat & egg rice) so much at Mak's Chee, I wanted the same thing here with an order of Steamed Rice with Luncheon Meat & Pork Lard @ RM14.80 from their Steamed Rice section.

This one came with two thick slices of fragrantly-fried luncheon meat and a perfectly runny egg (drizzled with a good-tasting light soy) but with one notable exception...the inclusion of crispy pork lard! ^.^

The luncheon meat was of good quality (with a familiar taste, like one I've eaten from a rectangle can) though not quite as fragrant as Mak's Chee.  And I was more than happy to find it served with two slices of luncheon meat (yay!)...and not one (as depicted in the menu).

But it was the devilish pork lard that took it to a whole other level...wickedly good! :P  The pork lard was super crispy and fresh tasting but this time I noticed that some pieces came with skins on (which I'm not thrilled about for its slightly harder bite).  Definitely preferred the ones (without skin) from before! :(

Other options from their Steamed Rice section include Pork & "Mui Choy", Minced Pork & Salted Fish, Chicken & Mushrooms, Spare Ribs & Chicken Feet and Char Siu & Pork Lard.

From their Plated Rice section, we went with an order of Sweet & Sour Fish Rice @ RM20.80, always a favourite with us whether it's done with fish or pork.  This dish was cooked with a medley of all the requisite vegetables that should be in a sweet and sour sauce...tomatoes, onions, green bell pepper, pineapple and red chillies.

The fried fish pieces were lightly battered and crispy...not sure what fish was used though but it certainly didn't taste like sang yue (snakehead or haruan) that's commonly used by tai chow places.

The sauce consistency was just right, not cloying thick or sweet, with the necessary dosage of sourness.  As you can see, instead of tossing the fish pieces in the sauce, the sauce was poured over the fish which enabled the fish to stay crisp.

I've also always liked Hakka-Style Braised Pork Belly Rice @ RM17.80, otherwise known as char yoke, and the dish here was served with a sunny side up egg and choy sum.  The egg was cooked perfectly with a runny yolk.  Even the choy sum was tender and soft just the way I like it (most places prefer to undercook it to yield a crunchy bite but that sometimes ends up being too hard).

I love char yoke provided the pork pieces are on the leaner side.  Oh, I can hear rumblings already...my mother-in-law would always say...aiyah, not fatty, not nice!  Lean?...how to eat...so coarse and dry! >_<  That couldn't be further from the truth.  Not if it's cooked right....and this one was cooked right! :P

This char yoke was tenderly lean (with only a little fat).  The sauce was very tasty too...I wish there was more of it, I lapped up every drop.  So, this ended up to be one of my more favoured renditions of char yoke. Who says lean meat can't be good?  This was...adequately lean, achingly tender and amazingly good.

Besides the normal menu, I was given an additional (probably new) menu showcasing four Piping Hot Claypot Dishes of Braised Pork Trotter (RM16.90), Pig's Stomach in White Pepper Soup (RM16.90), Braised Chicken Feet with Mushrooms (RM12.90) and Braised Guang Xi "Tou Fu Bok" (RM12.90).

So I ordered the Braised Guang Xi "Tou Fu Bok" @ RM12.90 to try.  I thought I was ordering braised tau fu pok (based on the name of the dish and how it looked in the menu) but what arrived didn't look anything like the menu.  I found four pieces of stuffed tau fu pok floating in a claypot of soup instead which looked just like a dish of yong tau foo in soup.  It was during a subsequent visit that I noticed the words "soup base" were added to the dish.  I guess they realised the ambiguity it caused and rectified it (but the photo is still rather misleading though).

Turning them over, I was at least pleased to see it wasn't quite like plain yong tau foo as they've been pan-fried with a bit of charring at the bottom.  The size of the tou fu bok depicted on the menu was also misleading.  That one, the tou fu bok filled the claypot snugly, the ones served were floating loosely in soup.  So, they were either very huge pieces of tou fu bok or it was a very small claypot...hahaha! :D

The tou fu bok filling had prawns and fish paste (maybe even some pork) in them but they were very ordinary in taste.  Nothing that would be memorable enough to make me order them again.

Condiments of a cooked chilli paste, pickled green chillies, light soy and a bottle each of chilli sauce and (probably) sweet sauce (teem cheong) or (it could be) dark soy are available tableside.  Pu Er Chinese Tea is RM3 a glass.

I think I need to take a moment to mention even the simple things like soy and rice here coz they deserve mention.  They boast of using the finest virgin soy sauce and a quality aged homemade sauce for a rich, rounded flavour...and I concur, the soy that was drizzled on the egg (and rice), much like the first draw soy from Mak Chee's, was certainly much tastier and of a better quality than most others I've tried.

They even get the simplest thing right...the rice is always well-cooked, fluffy with nicely separated grains, sometimes even a bit crusty around the edges (the steamed ones that come in an earthen bowl).  You don't have to worry about getting wet or mushy rice here.

My Personal Opinion

If you're looking to eat some one-plate rice meals, small stir-fry (siu chow) dishes or fried rice and noodles or big stir-fry (tai chow) dishes with rice in absolute comfort without breaking a sweat (literally) and the bank...this is a top contender!  Most of the one-dish rice meals are priced very reasonably under RM20 (with good portions too) for a location like this.

I'm wondering how their siu chow dishes stand up to the superb wonton noodles and equally stellar one-plate rice meals I've had so far, so I'm thinking of trying those next.  It's pretty obvious I intend to return. ^_~

Dai Cha Dim
Lot 6.01.03 Level 6
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2148 8108

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I'm indeed privileged to have received so many snacks from around the world from friends and family that I wasn't able to fit them all in one blog post.  Well, I could...but it would be a very long read.  So, here comes snacks from around the world, part two! ;)

#1 - Godiva Assorted Classic Truffles

Chocolates are always a good gift to receive...more so if they're Godiva chocolates of individually wrapped Belgian masterpieces in dark, milk and white chocolate truffles.

#2 - Irvins Salted Egg Potato Chips

#AbsolutelyGood and #DangerouslyAddictive but #ExorbitantlyExpensive at S$16 (big, 230g) or S$8 (small, 105g) are these made-in-Singapore salted egg potato chips.  The question is...would you be willing to pay about RM25 for a small bag of potato chips? ^_*

#3 - Archer Farms Deluxe Roasted Mixed Nuts

You have the unsalted variety (that's good for health)...

.....or one with sea salt.  Of course, the salted variety tastes better. ^_~  I usually give them away as my family isn't into nuts.

#4 - Jenny Bakery's Butter Cookies

Another gift from a sister-in-law were these 4mix butter cookies from Hong Kong...and they were absolutely buttery, flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

I like the coffee-flavoured ones the most.

#5 - Hershey's Chocolates

Hershey's American collection of truffles, nut clusters, caramels and other fine confections in assorted milk and dark chocolate is a pot of gold indeed.

#6 - Almond Nut-Thins

These wheat and gluten-free nut & rice cracker snacks from Sacramento (US) are sugar-free and have no trans or saturated fat for guilt-free snacking! ;P

#7 - Irvins Salted Egg Fish Skin

Equally as addictive as the salted egg potato chips (of the same brand) is this salted egg fish skin.  Much crispier but sweeter too, these crispy morsels of delight should not be missed if you're a die-hard salted egg fan! ^.^

#8 - Byron Bay's Dotty Cookies

Touted as Australia's original cafe cookies, these cookies were originally baked in an old farmhouse stove in the hills of the Byron Bay hinterland.

These bite sized cookies are studded with milk chocolate chunks and topped with colourful button-shaped chocolate (much like M&M's).

#9 - Momiji Manju

These little maple leaf-shaped cakes from Japan are really nice and soft.  The fillings are absolutely delicious and they come in many flavours. ^o^

#10 - Godiva Mousse Truffles

These 'heaven in a bite' mousse truffles comprise individual flavours of dark chocolate vanilla, milk chocolate, strawberry, lemon, peach and cafe au lait.

#11 - Korea Haitai Toppoki Snacks

Some kind of Korean rice cake cracker (shaped almost like penne pasta) that has a nice crunch with a sticky-sweet texture but lacking in savouriness.  The colour looks fiery but it isn't spicy at all.

#12 - Bangkok Seaweed Cookies

These are not your typical flour-and-butter cookies but rice cookies from Bangkok flavoured with seaweed for a nice, savoury crisp.

#13 - Furikake

Does this even qualify as a snack?  A great export from Japan...furikake is pretty versatile in that you can sprinkle it on rice, eggs, meat, instant noodles, tofu, vegetables, poke bowls or just about anything you can think of.  Well, if you sprinkle it directly into your mouth...that qualifies as a snack, right? :D

#14 - Indomie Salted Egg Curly Fried Noodles

Indomie brand of instant noodles from Indonesia is pretty well-known in the market (available from our supermarkets too).  But this one, bought from Indonesia directly, is a salted egg flavour which I've not seen sold here (or are they?).  Salted egg is so in demand nowadays that every entrepreneur is jumping on the bandwagon to include it almost everything, so why not instant noodles, right?  But this one missed the mark completely. :(

#15 - Lindt's Chocolates

From master Swiss chocolatier (since 1845) Lindt & Sprungli comes this creme brulee filling encased in the finest Lindt milk chocolate that tastes as decadent as it sounds.

Or how about a mint coulis enrobed in dark chocolate instead?

#16 - Sake Kit Kat

This Kit Kat from Japan showcases the elegant taste of sake (provided you love to drink sake) wrapped in the gentle sweetness of a white chocolate-coated wafer.

As soon as you open it, you get a whiff of sake (or alcohol to me).  Probably appeal to sake drinkers but an acquired taste for me since I have never drunk sake before (and, after this, I don't think I will if it tastes anything like this). >_<

#17 - Irvins Salted Egg Potato Chips (Hot Bomb)

Similar to the original salted egg potato chips which hails from Singapore, this is as advertised...it's a hot bomb indeed (the heat hits you at the back of the throat as you eat more).  For those who subscribe to the motto "if it's not spiced, it's not nice" will surely favour this over the original version...but for some of us, it may be too hot to handle.

So, thank you again to all my 'snack givers'.....hey, if you continue to keep this up, there may possibly be enough 'material' for part three...hihihi! ^_~

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In my previous visits to Keng Nam Hai @ Kepong, I discovered a fantastic curry mee (by accident) and a really good rice wine la-la noodles (based on online reviews).  The roasted meat stall (especially the siew yuk) is more than decent too...and these are what we'd usually have when we're here.

But each time I'm here, I've also noticed a steady queue at the Black Man Nasi Lemak stall at the front of the coffee shop.  I can certainly relate to why the stall is called Black Man Nasi Lemak as one can clearly see the resemblance between the stall owner and the caricature in the stall's sign complete with bandana, glasses and beard (when he's not clean shaven) + his darker-than-usual skin tone (for a Chinese).  I actually mistook him for a foreigner until I heard him speaking Chinese.

There were the default condiments of ikan bilis & kacang, shredded carrot & cucumber and half a hard-boiled egg for each plate of nasi lemak.  As for the kar liew (aka additional dishes), I could see (from left to right on the upper shelf) options for luncheon meat, fried egg, sihum (cockle/kerang) sambal, choy poh sambal and (what looked like some kind of) dried spicy pork....and pork chop (on the lower shelf).

I told myself that I must try the nasi lemak on my next visit.  So, I did.  I ordered the Nasi Lemak with chicken rendang, choy poh sambal & curried potatoes.  I don't know how much my plate of nasi lemak cost (probably RM10) as the total came to RM19 including my husband's plate of nasi lemak with pork chop.

The chicken rendang (I asked for thigh) was absolutely tender and delicious.  It can give the Malay version of chicken rendang a good run for its money.  In fact, it was even better than some Malay versions I've eaten. The curried potatoes were equally outstanding with a softness that's almost like a mash consistency.

I can understand why there's a big pot of the curried potatoes (cooked with fragrant curry leaves) as it's a well sought-after accompaniment for the nasi lemak.

The curry encasing the potatoes is also rendang-like (maybe it's from the rendang chicken itself).

If you like rendang-style chicken and potatoes, you won't want to miss these two. ^.^

I pointed to some kind of dried sambal and asked the 'Black Man' what it is and was told that it's choy poh sambal.  Hmmm, I don't think I've had choy poh sambal before.  Choy poh (preserved radish) is something you'd find stir-fried with carrot cake or as a topping for woon chai koh (steamed rice flour cake).  This choy poh concoction was probably fried with some blended chilli paste, dried prawns and onions.  It was really, really tasty...salty but tasty (so you'll need more rice for this). ^_*

For a Chinese-version sambal, I think this one was more than worthy...a lot closer to the benchmark Malay-style sambal and way better than most of the Chinese-made sambal I've eaten.  The rice is decently fragrant too.

My Personal Opinion

If you're looking for a good Chinese nasi lemak with pork on the menu, a sambal and rendang that can give the Malay ones a run for their money....this is a worthy contender, for sure.  It was certainly a lot better than many of the Chinese-made nasi lemak I've tried so far.

I was already thinking what I'd want to try next...the kerang sambal...with those thick cut pieces of luncheon meat (they look like they're of a good quality).

The chicken rendang and choy poh sambal are clear standouts! ;)  So far, I'm not one bit disappointed with the four stalls I've tried here...I'm absolutely thrilled about the rice wine la-la meehoon and the accidental find of a terrific curry laksa. ^o^

Update: I went back for the Black Man Nasi Lemak some two weeks ago and found another nasi lemak stall occupying its place! T_T  I decided to go ahead and post this anyway since the blog post was already near completion in my draft folder.  I've had a reader tell me previously when a shop I patronised relocated, so (who knows), perhaps another reader might tell me where he has moved to. ^_~  I don't think he has called it quits since his nasi lemak is so good (always with a perpetual queue).  Well, in case you bump into him elsewhere, you'll know that this is something worth trying.

Restoran Keng Nam Hai
Pusat Niaga Metro Prima
No 1-G Jalan Prima 1
52100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 017-947 1988
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I've always enjoyed eating Claypot Chicken Rice (my husband loves it) though I've also been weary of rumours (unfounded or not) that eating directly from a claypot cooked over charcoal flame or a gas burner isn't all that good for us.

But, alas, if there's a bigger turn off for me (when it comes to claypot chicken rice) is the smell of the claypot infusing into the rice that I get from some stalls (have you experienced that before or is my sense of smell and taste just too sensitive?).  It could either be due to the fact that the claypots aren't replaced promptly enough or not thoroughly cleaned to have that lingering smell.  Some of claypots have been so overused to the point that the hawkers use wires to bind over the cracks just to extend their usable life.  Mind you, I have eliminated claypot chicken rice stalls based on this reason alone...haha! :D

So, if I want to eat a healthier version, I guess I'll have to make it myself.  It seems simple enough since just three ingredients (besides rice) are needed.  Of course I knew I had to give up that crusty rice (at the bottom of the claypot) as you just can't achieve that with a rice cooker.  So, here's my home version of Claypot Chicken Rice (minus the claypot)...and minus the crusty bottom! ;)

You start by marinating about 450g of chicken pieces (I used choi yin kai or village chicken, skin removed) with thick dark soy (1 tsp), sweet soy (1 tsp), light soy (2 tbsp) and a dash of sesame oil.  If the marinade looks too dark, don't worry, it won't be later coz you'll be mixing that in with quite a lot of rice.  I normally marinate the chicken in the morning (and leave it in the fridge) if I intend to cook it for lunch.

For my home cooked version, I like to add a few slices of ginger and long stems of spring onions (which you can fish out later) for a bit more aromatics.  Sometimes I'd even add fried garlic or shallots if I have them.

Wash and cook 1 1/2 cups of rice and put it into the rice cooker to cook with just a tad less water than usual (as they'll be some liquid from the chicken and marinade).  I put in the marinated chicken pieces once I see the water almost fully absorbed by the rice grains.  If you missed that 'window of opportunity' and the rice has finished cooking, you can still put in the chicken at that point, not a problem.

Give it a really good stir to make sure your rice is well incorporated with the dark sauce from the chicken. This is also the window where you can tweak with a bit more thick dark soy if you find the rice needs a darker colour (mine needed another 1/2 tsp).   If the rice has finished cooking, press the cooker on again for a second time to ensure the chicken cooks properly (as we wouldn't want under-cooked chicken now, would we?).  

The key to a good claypot chicken rice is to complement the flavours with a piece of good quality salted fish (like mui heong) that's fragrant besides being just salty.  Most of the salted fish used by claypot chicken rice stalls are usually of a low quality and doesn't have that requisite fragrance.  I'm not sure how good a quality this piece of salted fish was but it cost me RM8 for this slice (and I used half of it though it could certainly do with the entire piece).

If you're using a fairly thick piece of salted fish (like the one here), put in on a sauce plate and add it to the rice cooker to steam when the chicken goes in as it'll need time to fully cook.  But if you're using just small bits of salted fish (like the miserable bits the stalls give), then you can put it in at the last minute (as they cook in no time).

When the chicken pieces are almost done (that's when the rice cooker finishes cooking for the second time which is about 10 minutes later in the case of my rice cooker), add (generous) slices of lap cheong (from 1 1/2 strips of Chinese dried sausage) and press the rice cooker on again (for the third time).  This is the other key to a good claypot chicken rice...lap cheong.  There was a time when I tapau-ed this but, to my horror when I opened it at home, I got someone's else order instead without lap cheong and it just wasn't the same.  I know of some people who dislike Chinese waxed sausages but I feel it's really needed to bring out that bit of fragrance and oil to the claypot chicken rice.  I suppose you could add some other waxed meat or liver sausages if you really wanted to.

Once the rice cooker finishes cooking for the third time, remove the spring onion stalks (and ginger slices if you can find them) as well as the salted fish.  Give it a final taste test and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add more light soy if you find the rice not salty enough (it probably could do with another tablespoon, perhaps even two, but I refrained as I try to eat less salty food at home when I can).  Plus you also have to take into account the mashed salted fish that will be going into the rice later.

Finally, sprinkle in the chopped spring onions at the very last minute, finish with a dash of Chinese rice wine (optional but that's what I saw some hawkers did), give it a good stir and you're ready to serve.

Here's my home-cooked version of Claypot Chicken Rice (minus the claypot)...and minus the offensive claypot smell (that only I can detect?)....haha! ^_^

The best thing about a home-cooked version is that it's definitely no where near as oily as the ones we order outside.  That could be due to the less fatty nature of choy yin kai and because I removed the skin or perhaps the hawkers added oil in the marination of the chicken.

My bone of contention with ordered claypot chicken rice from hawkers has always been that it doesn't contain enough lap cheong to give the rice the fragrance it needs.  It's so coz good quality Chinese waxed sausages are expensive...and that's why they allow you to add more at a price (and my spouse will always want more).

Then the other thing my spouse would complain of not having enough is salted fish (sometimes you can't even see it if they've already been mixed in together with the rice).  That's why he'll always request to add extras and then not even getting good quality ones.  You can choose to serve your salted fish whole (in a piece that you can see!) or smashed and mixed into the rice.

Great eaten with some sliced red chillies or fiery cili api....or, better still, like how I would eat it at claypot chicken rice stalls, with a plate of oyster sauce sang choy (lettuce) and a bowl of double-boiled soup :)

If you can freeze rice, you can certainly freeze claypot chicken rice!  So, if there are extra servings or leftovers, freeze them to be eaten on another day.  When scooping up the leftovers, I found a bit of crusty rice at the bottom...yes, that can happen if you're not using a non-stick but a stainless steel inner pot (like mine).

In the end, I won't claim that this home-cooked claypot chicken rice is as good as the ones I eat at claypot chicken rice specialists but a version that you can easily make at home as it's one of those fast to cook, good to eat, one pot wonders! ^.^  And if you're not a fussy pot about the overall flavour, you can certainly take it literally and make it a one pot wonder by chucking everything in at one go into your rice cooker.

Good for 3 - 4 servings (as a one-dish meal)

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I stumbled upon this new restaurant in my neighbourhood (a week after its opening), Restoran Lok Zok Liu @ Pandan Indah when I noticed the many flower bouquet arrangements on the road.

I decided to visit as their display of roasted meat was plentiful which convinced me that if they're confident of selling that much of meat, they must be good.

The name of the shop is rather cute....'lok zok liu'...but since I don't read Chinese, I don't know what the characters mean in Chinese.  My first instinct was that the owner's surname must be Lok...haha!  I did ask one of them but I was hopelessly lost in translation...I only managed to understand the word 'lok' which he said comes from the word 'fai lok' which means happy.  But if I were to do my own translation of the sound of the words directly from Cantonese, 'lok zok (or zuk) liu' means 'put in plenty of ingredients'.  Well, I certainly like the sound of that! ^_~

On my first visit, I tried the White Curry Noodles (Drumstick) @ RM10 (with poached chicken drumstick, RM9.30 for other chicken parts) coz I just happened to see a bowl of it being dished out when I passed by their prep/cooking station at the entrance of the shop...and I know a good one when I see one! :P  It's listed in the menu as white curry noodles (but I'm not sure why they call it that) as it looks like a typical KL curry laksa to me, not to be confused with Penang white curry mee.  It came with chopped poached chicken, two pieces each of fu chuk (beancurd sheets) and tofu (beancurd) puffs and taugeh (beansprouts).

I was told by the server that they use la mian (pulled noodles) for their curry laksa (there's no option for other types of noodle like mee or meehoon here) but I was afraid that the texture of the la mian would be too soft to be eaten in a curry, so I opted for wantan mee instead as my choice of noodle.

And, as I suspected, the curry that looked absolutely fantastic (at their kitchen counter) did not disappoint one bit.  It had the savouriness and thickness I wanted with a good dose of santan flavour and just the right amount of chilli oil in the mix.

I can't gush enough at just how amazing the curry is and I'm absolutely ecstatic that I now have an excellent one in my neighbourhood.  Though it didn't quite overtake my favourite no. 1 curry laksa, it certainly did give them a good run for their money.

Let me show you again just how good the curry broth is.....before I drank (almost) every last drop of it up...wahahahaha!  You can see just how thick the broth is by the way the remnants clung onto the side of the bowl.

On another visit, I kept thinking what it'll taste like if I opted for la mian which the server highly recommended.  So, I went for it and asked for the White Curry Noodles @ RM9.30 to be served with char siew instead.  There are people who don't like poached chicken (and I can't fathom why, my spouse included), so you can substitute with the meat of your choice (but poached chicken is still the best IMHO).  This round, there were pieces of rehydrated pig skin too besides beancurd sheets and puffs.

And the server was right, it was good with la mian (something different from the usual meehoon + mee) and the noodles were cooked just right and it doesn't go soft even when it's soaking in the broth.  In fact, the wantan noodles I picked for my curry earlier turned out even softer.

The broth is pleasantly savoury (with a tinge of sweetness)....it's robustly thick...it's sufficiently creamy....it's suitably santan-ish.....it's just everything you can ask for in a great curry.  And the fragrant sambal and squeeze of kalamansi lime gave it even more zing.  Now, if there were some bloody cockles, it could have been perfect! ;P

If that's not a beautiful thing.....I don't know what is!  #SoGood  Sorry that I went on and on about the curry laksa but, as you can see, I'm thrilled to bits that I don't need to travel far anymore for an outstanding bowl of curry now. ^o^

As with any roasted meat shops, they're bound to offer wantan mee as well.  I went with the Char Siew Wantan Noodles @ RM7.30 to start.  The char siew was definitely praiseworthy with a good ratio of lean-to-fat, tender meat and just the right amount of smoky, not-too-sweet caramelisation.  The sauce was more than decent too.

It comes with only two wantans (not the usual three) but rest assured that these are bigger-sized wantans than the norm.  The minced pork filling of the wantans was tasty and juicy, pretty good wantans in a broth that's very umami flavoured...a stock that's too good to be true, if you ask me. *wink wink*

Their Char Siew & Siu Yuk Wantan Mee comes in at RM8.50 (you can choose from a selection of any two meats which include char siew, siu yuk, roast chicken or siew cheong (roast sausage) with an additional RM1 if you opt for roast duck as one of the two meats selected.  However, I don't think the siu yuk was nearly as successful (there are lots better siu yuk in my neighbourhood than this).

Condiments of fresh chilli dip and pickled green chillies to complement both rice and noodle dishes were competent too.  The fresh chilli dip had that appetising, zesty tang of lime (or kalamansi) juice but wished it had a thicker consistency.

Besides having two thumbs up for char siew and curry noodles (in their menu indicating what they're good at), the thumbs up also applied to their mushroom chicken feet noodles and roast duck.

So, I gave their Roast Duck Rice @ RM8.50 (RM11.50 for drumstick) a try (I asked for duck breast).  Even though you see a poster on the wall of hot oil being used to bath the roasted duck, don't be thinking that you'd be getting crispy skin coz there'd be none.  Hmm, presentation could be better too (seems like their duck chopping skill is rather haphazard).

The meat was tender (and tasty) enough but the sauce that was poured over the duck was very herbal in nature (not a taste I particularly fancy).  I'm not very familiar with Chinese herbs (since I don't enjoy them, so I don't take the trouble to familiarise myself with them) but if I had to guess, it's probably dong guai (Chinese angelica root)! >.<

Served with white rice, I had to douse the duck slices with lots of the fresh chilli dip to mask the strong taste of the Chinese herb (a bit too pungent for me but fragrant to others).  So, this would only appeal to those who like the herbal version of roast duck (and I'm not one of them).  In the end, it's not a duck rice I'd have again as I certainly prefer the other one near me in BBQ Kong Meng (with crispy skin some more!).

On yet another trip, I tried a mix of two meat combination, Siu Yuk & Roasted Chicken @ RM8 (a two-meat combo is listed as RM8.50 in the menu, not sure if it's because they gave me breast meat or because I complained about the rice...hehe!).  This time, at least, I was happier with the (shorter) cut of siu yuk I got which looked way better than the one I had with wantan noodles.  The siu yuk skin was suitably crispy but the meat isn't quite as tender compared to others I've had before.

I should have requested for my default (preferred) cut of chicken as I ended up with all breast meat...and yikes, some pieces of the breast meat still had bones (I think their fowl handling and chopping skill needs refinement).  The chicken was ordinary tasting.  I don't understand why some roasted meat shops like to dump chicken breast on people who did not request for that cut (I've encountered this in other shops as well).  The right rationale would be to give a combination of meat cuts instead of trying to get rid of all their chicken breast (as quickly as possible on one person just because we forgot to specify the cut we wanted)! >_<

I liked that the rice had a really good dose of chicken flavour in it but it was a shame that it happened to be cooked way too soft on this occasion.  I also found some mysterious green stuff within the rice (not something I've seen with other chicken rice) which I think were green onions (it was difficult to see as they were in a very softened, almost disintegrating state).  Hmmm, is this another secret ingredient (for making chicken rice) besides ginger? ;)

The thick and frothy White Coffee @ RM3.20 was very commendable too, certainly among the better ones, and my default order here every time.  I don't know when I'll get round to trying the other coffee variations.

My Personal Opinion

*Stop Press* I can't believe my luck...there's such a good curry laksa at my doorstep!!!  I'm not fully convinced of their roasted meats (other than char siew) but it'll certainly be a place I'd return frequently for curry noodles (first and foremost) and char siew wantan mee (second in line).  That said, the rest of the roasted meat is still decent by many's standards (but the char siew is still your best bet though)! ^.^

Though prices may be just a smidge higher than some of the other roasted meat stalls, do note that the portions here are pretty generous.  I can't even finish the rice at times.

It was truly unexpected that the supporting cast of curry noodles turned out to be even better than its main cast of roasted meats (oh well, it happens sometimes...even in Hollywood!).

It may not take the crown for the best roasted meats shop in my neighbourhood.....but it certainly can be crowned the best curry laksa (even if it doesn't come with cockles)!! ^o^

Restoran Lok Zok Liu
No 29 Jalan Pandan Indah 1/22
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9202 9333

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I recently realised that food prep and freezing has many advantages.  It's a safe way of preserving food for consumption later and it saves you a lot of cooking time too.  And I learned that from phonghong bakes & cooks.

When life gets hectic and you're hard pressed for time to get a home-cooked meal on the table, it's wonderful to be able to reach out into the freezer and instantly reheat (steam, microwave or bake) something in a jiffy that you can eat in a matter of minutes.  Most  food can be reheated by steaming directly from their frozen state while some can be defrosted and reheated in the microwave oven.  But baked or grilled food is best thawed and reheated in the toaster oven (or oven).

If you intend to embark on this food prep and freezing thingy, you have to (first of all) invest in freezer-friendly storage containers.  Well, I don't mind at all since I love to collect (more like hoard) containers of any kind.

You can always buy a few first and then, over time, gradually add on to your collection.  I did that and I think I have a pretty sizeable collection for now...for my needs..though not quite nearly as many as phonghong has (hehe!)...but then she preps for two, I usually prep for one! ;)

Now that I have a good stock of containers, I better put these containers to good use and do some food prep and freezing with them.  But, of course, not everything taste great frozen and then defrosted, some will obviously be better than others.  Over time, by trial and error, I was able to pick out the ones which fared better frozen and eliminate those that weren't as successful.

#1 - Meat (Chicken)

One of the most ideal meat to cook and freeze is chicken.  The meat holds up immensely well frozen and doesn't lose its flavour or texture when defrosted and reheated.  I usually braise it with ginger, mushrooms or potatoes.

#1.1 - Braised Chicken with Ginger

#1.2 - Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

#1.3 - Oyster Sauce Chicken with Potatoes
The only thing you have to remember when dealing with potatoes is to undercook them as they become even softer when reheated from a frozen state.

#2 - Meat (Pork)

The other meat that's great for freezing is pork...especially if it's minced where it'll taste good even if they're not eaten in a super tender state.

#2.1 - Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs

(for recipe, click here)

#2.2 - Luncheon Meat with Potato, Egg & Green Beans

(for recipe, click here)

#3 - Meat (Beef)

I won't choose dishes like stir-fry beef (or pork) for freezing coz this is best eaten when the meat is tender to the bite.  Those that require the meat to be minced or in sauces are more suitable for freezing.

#3.1 - Minced Beef Bolognese

Tomato-based pasta sauces (with either minced pork, beef or chicken) are really good for freezing.  All that's needed is to boil up some pasta and you can have spaghetti bolognese, pronto (for recipe, click here).

#4 - Vegetables

I initially thought that vegetables wouldn't be ideal as I felt they won't stand up to freezing and reheating.  How wrong I was.  I was most impressed at how well some of them took to freezing.

#4.1 Stir-Fry Green Beans with Minced Pork

(for recipe, click here)

#4.2 - Potatoes with Mushrooms, Beancurd Puffs & Onions

#4.3 - Fried Turnip with Shredded Carrot & Dried Cuttlefish

This dish is extremely ideal for food prep as their flavours get even better after being kept (for recipe, click here).

#4.4  Sauteed Eggplant with Minced Pork

#4.5 - Wong Nga Pak (Chinese Cabbage) Stir-Fry

The key thing to remember is to choose vegetables that taste good when eaten in a soft state (like the selections above) and not vegetables that need to be eaten with a crunch.

#4.6 - Stir-Fry Yin Choy with Garlic

I actually thought green leafy vegetables weren't a suitable candidate for freezing until I tried it once with yin choy.  We know that green vegetables tend to turn yellow if covered right after cooking while they're still hot.  So, make sure they're cooled before covering and storing in the freezer.

I was amazed at the results of my experimentation with yin choy.  The first photo (on the left) showed the vegetables in their frozen state.  The upper right hand photo was after thawing...still green.  The lower right hand photo was after reheating...and amazingly it still retains its vibrant green colour!  The conclusion is...if you can do it with yin choy, you can pretty much do it with any green leafy vegetable but choose only those which taste good eaten soft.

#4.7 - Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower & Capsicum

Any vegetables (or potatoes) that are roasted or baked is totally perfect for freezing as well.  Great as a salad on its own or as a side vegetable with a protein (for recipe, click here).

#4.8 - Roasted Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

Any kind of potatoes is welcomed as a side dish (for recipe, click here).

#4.9 - Cottage Pie

I reheat baked and grilled food by thawing them first before reheating them in my toaster oven (for recipe, click here).

#5 - Egg

#5.1 - Fried Omelette with Minced Pork & Scallions

Eggs (especially omelettes) keep very well frozen.  You can make your omelette with any filling you like.  Simply defrost and stick it into the toaster oven to reheat.

#6 - Soups

Soups are good for freezing too, after all, we make broth and freeze them all the time for use in our cooking.  If I had to freeze clear soups (especially when there are leftovers), I'd choose those vegetables which can withstand freezing and become softer like radishsalted vegetable or lotus root.

#6.1 - Vegetables & Tomato Soup

And I love to store frozen soups in my freezer as they come in real handy when I want something warm on a cold, rainy evening (for recipe, click here).

#7 - Rice

I keep leftover plain rice in the freezer, so, in the same context, any kind of cooked rice is also desirable for freezing.

#7.1 - Fried Rice

#7.2 - Claypot Chicken Rice

Whether self-cooked or otherwise...hehe!

So, thanks to phonghongbakes & cooks for inspiring me to do food prep and freezing, I now do this quite frequently.  Though what you can have may be somewhat limited (as not all food is tasty when thawed and reheated), there are still some good choices available if you make your selections wisely.  For even more ideas on food prep, you can refer to her blog posts here, here, here, herehere and here.

I think meat dishes work best when prepped for freezing.  I wouldn't recommend seafood for freezing though I've not attempted it myself.  You can try but I prefer to eat fish, prawns and squid when they're freshly cooked.

The next time you cook, you might want to make extra for freezing.  It's great to be able to rummage through your freezer and have something that you can reheat at a moment's notice.  I find it really convenient on days when I'm too lazy to cook or don't wish to go out and eat.  There's nothing better than having dinner on speed-dial, don't you think? ^_~

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Ever since my maiden visit to Dean & Deluca @ Pavilion for breakfast, I've been back numerous times as it has become a current favourite place of mine for beautifully cooked poached eggs.

Their poached eggs are always perfectly done (at least the times when I had it) and complemented by a terrific hollandaise sauce.  If you love poached eggs as much as I do, you've got to give these ones a try...seriously! ;)  And my sisters-in-law did when I brought them here...they went for the poached eggs which I highly recommended.

When I see grinders (not shakers!) of black pepper and salt on the table, I'm always happy....and here, it's no ordinary sea salt but (the more atas) Himalayan pink salt some more...kekeke! ;)  Freshly grounded pepper (from whole peppercorns) tastes so much more fragrant.  The place starts me off on a good note for my upcoming lunch already.

Each time I'm here, I'm always tempted to order the poached eggs time and time again but I think it's high time I give their other dishes a chance.  I decided to order the Seared Norwegian Salmon Fillet @ RM35 instead.  The salmon fillet was cooked just right, with a nice sear on the outside and revealing a juicy, tender fillet on the inside.  And for once, I didn't miss not having a crispy skin! :P

The salmon was served sitting on a bed of quinoa and spinach.  The first time I had quinoa, I can't say I was a fan of the bland taste and texture but my fears were unfounded as these ones turned out delicious.  Maybe it's because this one was cooked with spinach which gave it much more flavour.  I think I've a newfound fondness for quinoa.  The fresh tomato salsa (of chopped tomatoes, onions and parsley) was equally appetising to freshen up my palate.

This dish will appeal to those seeking a light, fresh, subtle-tasting dish with a host of healthy benefits at the same time.  I'd gladly order this again. ^o^

Next was a pasta dish chosen by my nephew, the Dean & Deluca's Signature Meatball @ RM30 in a tomato-based sauce served with parmesan shavings.  It came with three very substantially-sized beef meatballs making it a very filling dish.  I enjoyed the texture of their fresh, house-made pasta tossed in a lovely, light tomato sauce.  Choices include tagliolini or fettuccini as your pasta of choice (I'm assuming this is tagliolini which looks somewhat like spaghetti, only flatter and not as rod-shaped).

But the meatballs were very beefy...and the pasta very cheesy, not necessarily two things I'd love together in a sentence, but well suited for those who enjoy such flavours.

Another pasta dish, the Carbonara @ RM28 with beef bacon, mushrooms and grated parmesan was the choice of my niece.  It was both creamy and cheesy but not to the point of cloying.  Again, freshly made pasta is the way to go...so much better than dried pasta anytime.

I was fond of the good quality beef bacon and juicy button mushrooms which freshened up the plate from all that creaminess.  Yeah, I would have appreciated some fresh greens (perhaps arugula) to add a touch of lightness to the dish.

My sister-in-law got herself a piece of Carrot Cake for dessert from the cake counter.  I'm not much of a carrot cake fan (and the cream cheese frosting looked a bit over-chilled to me) but she said it was nice.

My Personal Opinion

Apart from their freshly cooked house-made pastas (way to go!), they have a variety of other options like sandwiches, burgers, quiche, soups, salads and more main courses of beef, chicken, fish and prawns to tickle your fancy! ;)

Though the pastas wouldn't be my personal choices, they certainly would be for people who like cheesy carbonaras and beefy marinaras.  I've got my eyes set on the other aglio olio pasta on the menu though.

Whether it's for beautifully cooked poached eggs in the mornings...or a more substantial main course (like salmon) for lunch or dinner, it's all good...and the prices are pretty friendly too! ^.^

Dean & Deluca
C3.10.02 Level 3
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2110 0140

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