Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hoong Tho, Ipoh

Let me tell you a story. A story that I've told to anybody who would listen.

About 6 years ago, give or take a couple of years, I found myself in Penang with my family. On the day that we were to leave back to KL, I woke up at about 5 am with severe pain in my tummy (the umbilical region, for those who want to know more). It was as if I needed to go to the toilet, but that did not relieve it at all.

That morning, the plan was for my dad to take my brother and me out to the beach, while waiting for my mum to attend the final conference event for the day, then leave in the afternoon. I was nearly doubled up in pain by then (no, I don't remember the pain going to my RIF, if that's of any interest at all), but the decision was to get back to KL first before going to the hospital, rather than go to the hospital in Penang. So my dad brought my brother to the beach, my mum attended her event, and my grandma stayed with me in the hotel room. I remember being on the floor, curled up into a ball, and trying to drink 100 plus.

We left Penang sometime before noon, about 10 plus am. I was sitting in the back seat, trying to lie down, but with my brother and grandma there as well, it was difficult.

All I was trying to do was to tahan and wait it out till we get to KL.

At noon, my dad declared that he was hungry. And we turned off into Ipoh, and drove to this place called Hoong Tho, where I struggled to sit on the chair, watching my family feast on Wat Dan Hor and Fried Wantan.

That was 6 years ago.

Ever since then, I've decided that I'll go back to this Hoong Tho to eat the War Dan Hor and Fried Wantan. Drive all the way there if I have to. By myself, if I have to! The years flew by, and nothing ever did happen.

Even the times that I did have the opportunity to go there, I was dissuaded one way or the other. "The place not so nice already." "Now very dirty." "Got other nicer place, we go those la!" Bla bla bla.

So this last week, I decided that I'd drive there by myself for a daytrip, and maybe meet 2 of my friends there, and drag them to Hoong Tho. Eat then come back. A bit of a waste of a long drive, I know.

The daytrip happened yesterday. Got one other friend who happened to be in KL to go along as well. Upon reaching the 2nd friend's place to pick her up, her mum said "Hoong Tho?! Why want to go there?! So dirty."


I insisted we go anyway.

After 6 years, finally. And the verdict? Not so nice. KL can get better. Fried wantan was better than the Wat Dan Hor, but also, nothing spectacular.

Proceeded to another shop a few doors away and had 2 bowls of noodles shared between the 4 of us, and even then, we did not finish the noodles.

And that was all we did with respects to food, this Ipoh trip.

Since they wanted to play mahjong before we left, that was what we did. I had to be taught how to play it though. I now realise its just like any other boardgame.


That's me. Apparently, my friends had some issues with regards to how I arranged my tiles.

I thought it wasn't too bad. And no, I did not actually win this hand. I did however, win the next one. Yes, I really did!

We left after that and I had to drive home in the heavy, pouring rain.

Oh, and the conclusion of my tummy pain story? We eventually reached KL, and I was feeling slightly better by then already. Went to Hospital Selayang, got some bloods taken, decided it wasn't worth doing whatever it was they wanted to originally do to me (I wasn't told), and went off to have some dinner somewhere in Selayang. I think it was some Double Boiled Special Chicken Soup. I was feeling well enough to eat already, and recovered thereafter. No similar pain has recurred again since.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel

Look at this!

A Tropical Daiquiri!


Absolutely gorgeous.

Okay, well, it isn't much to shout about really. It tastes like juice, except with alcohol. Its also the first cocktail that I didn't mind drinking, except I think it'd be better without the alcohol. Maybe I should just drink juice instead. =D

Anyway, back to the restaurant. The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel is located in the Crown Casino, in the row of shops right beside the river. A cozy little restaurant, with a view of the river, if you are sitting downstairs, or in a very comfy area with a few tables located upstairs, but with no view of the river.

We ordered, including this Daiquiri above, 2 entrees, 2 mains, and 1 dessert.

This came first. Yellowfin tuna and leek tartare, cucumber gaspacho, cream and condiments. In the picture, the tuna is peeking out from behind the cucumber. No, I did not intend it to be that way. I can't really remember how it tasted like, but it was a great dish. Whoever wants a comment should go watch Top Chef and pick one of the positive comments from there. My first time eating a tartare of any sort, and a gaspacho of any sort.

Scampi carpaccio, citrus and ginger vinaigrette. Another raw dish. The scampi were flatly laid onto the plate. This tasted very much like what you'd imagine a fresh garden to taste like, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

So once those were finished, the mains made their way to our table.

My Pan-roasted rib-eye with boulangere potatoes, served with herb butter. This was a very oily and fat dish. Not only the butter on top of the meat, but within the steak itself was creamy, melt-in-your-mouth fat. It was very very filling, and if you don't mind the fat, then it was also very very good.

The duck breast with braised turnips, onion, apple chutney, confit leg spring rolls. The western way of serving duck is to make sure that there is a layer of fat on top, and it must be medium rare. So different from the chinese style roast duck. The duck was good, but we didn't really care much for the turnips and the spring rolls. The sauce was excellent though.

And finally, to top it all off, some chocolate mousse for dessert.


The chocolate tear drop with morello cherries and sorbet provided a very good finish to a very good meal.

I absolutely enjoyed the meal here. The presentation of all the dishes was really nice, the environment was really cozy, the food was excellent, and I had good company as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ajisen Ramen

I've been a bit lazy lately. Of course, the end of the very long semester was coming, everybody was feeling tired, exams were coming up as well, but well, the reason why I've not been updating is because I've been fairly lazy. Oh, and I think Fallout 3 might have had something to do with it as well. Now that I'm back in KL, I've got nothing better to do anyway. Might as well clear up the backlog of pictures that I have. Here goes.

A couple of weeks back (most of the weeks seem to get mixed with each other in my mind, I can't really be sure which week it was already), I was at this Ajisen Ramen on Bourke Street. I've mentioned before that I think ordering Ramen in a Japanese restaurant is like ordering Glorified Instant Noodles and paying $10 or more for it, which is true to a certain extent, but then again, good instant noodles is still good food.


Now this bowl of ramen cost me either $15 or $22. I think it might have been $22. And I'm sure it had a fancier name as well. But it was quite quite good. I loved the soup base that they use, and it had plenty of seafood to keep me satisfied as well.

A cheaper bowl of noodles, this was. My friend mentioned that the steak was fairly bland compared to her previous time, and I concur. I suppose they might've forgotten to season it.

And finally, dumplings! Or, gyoza! Have I mentioned before how much I love dumplings? I love dumplings. My next post will have dumplings in it as well. Watch out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Squire's Loft, again

I was at Squire's Loft again recently, where I somehow contrived to polish up 1 kg (4 racks) of pork ribs by myself, because I wasn't too sure how much I usually eat (I normally get one chunk of ribs from Victoria Market and finish that, but I never did check how heavy that one chunk of ribs was).

It turned out to be quite a lot actually, although a lot of the weight was taken up by the bones. But the alternative would be to get half that, and I don't think that that would've been enough.

And this is a scotch fillet. I love the chips though, which I didn't get with my own meal, as I thought that would've been overkill.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Villa Romana

What a lazy person I've been. Its been so long since I last updated. Everyday, I check other people's blogs and feel disappointed if they haven't updated it, and here I am, not updating mine. And even this was taken 3 weeks ago.

So what I did was to go to Villa Romana on Lygon Street again.


Its difficult remembering the names of the dishes that I ordered, especially 3 weeks down the track. I do remember there were clams in the pasta, and that it was not too bad, but that was it.


And this is a Scotch Fillet. It might have been an Eye Fillet instead, but I think that it was a Scotch Fillet. With mushroom sauce. And mashed potatoes and some beans and carrots.


One of the better Sticky Date Puddings that I've had before, with a good balance of cold ice cream to the hot pudding. Quite sweet as well.

Bye bye!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been making quite a bit of spaghetti lately.

I've always loved the seafood pasta with white wine that you could order from the restaurant. I find that its much better than pasta with thick sauce like bolognese. So, with a recipe I plucked off the net, I went and bought some marinara mix and mussels, and came up with this.

There's some white wine in there as well, plus a couple of cloves of garlic and some chopped tomatoes. All in all, I considered this a very successful venture.

This is what it looked like in a bowl. That whole pan amounted to 2 bowls of this, which I finished. 

Also, using very similar ingredients, I also replaced all the seafood (except the prawns) with meatballs, removed the white wine, added some mushrooms, and came up with a surf and turf pasta, which I think was very good as well, but a picture of that was not taken.

And finally, again, using the same ingredients as the previous pasta, but this time using minced meat and not meatballs, I made the same thing, except I also dumped a whole can of Campbell mushroom and chicken soup inside, coming up with this, which was also very good:

I ventured to finish that by myself in a single setting, and I usually succeed, but this time, the creaminess of the whole thing just got the better of me, and for the first time since living outside, I actually set some aside in the fridge and ate it the next morning.

And what exactly was the whole point of this? Well, I haven't been taking pictures of food from restaurants much lately, so I had to come up with my own things to fill this space up.

Bye bye.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vic Harbour

Docklands has plenty of restaurants to choose from. Vic Harbour is one of them.

Chorizo and grilled bread and what tasted like the chinese dark soy sauce drizzled all over it. Nothing very much to say about this.

I think this lacked a bit of basic seasoning, but upon the sprinkling of some salt, I thought it was awesome. I love the seafood and the tomato base to the extremely (olive) oily pasta ;p

Surf and turf! The prawns went very very well with the medium rare steak, and the potato mash (obscured from view) and the red wine jus.

And finally, sticky date pudding to finish it up.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Crepes in Geelong

And we're back in business!

I suppose I'll start with something relevant, considering I just got back from Geelong, and this could also be a study in comparison of crepes. ^^

So we see a crepe in the middle, drizzled with chocolate sauce and chocolate crunchy bits, a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, a dollop of cream, and one slice of orange.

Death by Chocolate, that's what it was called.

Was struggling to finish it towards the end, but no, wasn't anywhere near Death.


For those in Geelong, this is on Ryrie Street, next to Baskin Robbins, which is next to McDonald's.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

I have a theory. Its based on taking advantage of Murphy's Law (if there can even be such a thing as taking advantage of it).

So, if you lose something, Murphy's Law would dictate that you will never get it back. Or alternatively, you get a replacement and you find your things again.

The only way I see out of that is to buy a replacement immediately after you lose something. This way, if Murphy's Law holds true, you get your things back, and now you have an extra; or you don't get your things back, but you already have a replacement.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hot Pot

A couple of weeks ago, before I came to Geelong, a few of us had hot pot at my place.

There were seven of us, and we had four pots of these.

We could not finish the fourth pot.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


So I'm in Geelong right currently for my placements, and just cannot be bothered updating the blog when I get back to Melbourne during the weekends. This post is just for the sake of continuity, and just an excuse for not putting anything else up =P

And that's my room. Internet isn't provided in the room though =(


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Om Burger

Recently this short film made by FriedChillies Media won the Best Super Short Film at the NYC Food Film Festival. Titled 'The Sloppiest Burger in Malaysia', it was just a 2 minute thing, showing a Ramli Burger stall, somewhere in Ampang. Go and watch the video; if it can win, it must be good, right?

So, I also went and tried the thing lor. In Ampang Jaya.



It does look sloppy, doesn't it? While there have been claims by some people that this Ramli Burger is the best in the Klang Valley, to be honest, I think it tasted just like any Ramli Burger anywhere. Someone will have to convince me otherwise.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fogal Meat Market

There is this place, called Fogal Meat Market, in Plaza Damas, which is somewhere in Hartamas, where I got lost at sometime at the beginning of the year when I was trying to get to Bukit Tunku (but that's another story altogether).

So, the place is actually a meat butchery in front, with seats at the back (and some outside the shop at the back and front) which allows the place to double as a restaurant.

There's plenty of blogs reviewing this place, and the impression was that the Lamb Burger was the 'thing-to-have'.


I do hope the Aussie owner of the shop isn't reading this (he seemed like a very nice guy), but unfortunately, this burger was very plain, and, um, forgettable. The meat patty lacked seasoning, and so it was quite plain. The wedges and salad were so-so only. I suppose being slightly sick that day played a part in influencing my taste buds though.

If you cast your eyes to the back of that picture, you see a plate of toast and some scrambled eggs.

This is what it looks like.

And although it looked plain and simple, this was gobbled down by my friend who claimed that it was "sooo goood".

Oh wells. Looks can be deceiving, after all.

To wash it all down, sticky date pudding.

The pudding/cake was too 'room temperature though'. Would be much better had they been warmer.

Yum yum.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sang Har Meen

So I've been a bit lazy lately. But that doesn't mean I haven't been eating! I had (until this morning) two weeks worth of pictures sitting around in my camera, waiting to be uploaded.

But since I'm still feeling lazy right now, this will be a one picture post.

Last Sunday, Dad brought us to eat Sang Har Meen at this restaurant on Jalan Imbi. Restaurant Weng Choon (Soo Kee's Son), I think it was called. At first, I was a bit hesitant, as I remember having the same thing at this Restaurant Green View somewhere in PJ (Look here for a review of the Sang Har Meen at Green View; no idea who that is, and did not ask for permission to link, so, sorry), and I wasn't too happy with it, and it also cost quite a lot.

That's why I was a bit hesitant.

But this one, was sooo good. So good that its now on my list of 'must eat once everytime I'm back for holiday' foods.

I personally prefer this sauce to the one from Green View. This is not as dark, and perhaps more orangy (in colour, not taste) compared to the other one. And it was huge!

Simply splendid.

p.s. You can compare this with the other 2 seafood noodles I had in Melbourne a couple of months ago.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jogoya, again

What kind of buffet doesn't serve you white rice? Why, Jogoya of course. Although, the last time I was there, I managed to get white rice from somewhere, but this time, even that avenue was blocked off. So, no white rice.

"But who wants to go to an expensive buffet and eat white rice?!"

"Me la, of course! Can do so many things with white rice you know? From the dishes I'm going to show you here, so many of them could be vastly improved if only there was white rice."

To start off, I got distracted by the tempura counter while getting the coconut drinks (refer previous post).

And prawn tempura, is basically, prawn tempura lah. Deep fried prawn with batter, dipped into the radish sauce. Crispy and light. Yum yum.

Next up, raw oysters. Or as some of you would call it, 'Icky Raw Stuff'.

There we go. Two oysters with some lemon. There are people who like it, and there are people who don't. There are also people who don't like it but eat it for the novelty. I'm not too sure which group I fall into.

And then, more 'Icky Raw Stuff'!

The fish looks quite pink. I'm sure there's some hamachi in there somewhere. But realistically, I only liked the sashimi. Now if only I had some white rice, I'd be able to make some Salmon Don, a la Sushi Ten!

My meal then progressed from the raw food, to the cooked food. So.

Some unagi, which I was raving about the last time I was there. Only had 2 sticks this time though. Again, if only I had white rice.

I did find some fried rice though, and I also got distracted by some fried fish. So I put those two things together and came up with this.

The rice was pretty good, with plenty of prawn. But the fish was not good at all. Thumbs down for this.

After that, I remembered that I could request for handrolls. So back I went to the counter.

Unagi roll, and Crab Roe roll. Orange and green. Both were made fresh on the spot and put on the plate for me. And I think not many people knew about it, so I was the only one there requesting.

And thennnnn, because I so wanted to recreate the Salmon Don, I tried it with the fried rice.


Which turned out to be a spectacular failure, and should not be talked about anymore.

The next two dishes were ordered by my friend.


Looks like a dead fish, and probably is a dead fish. As much as I like steamed pomfret, I had to ask my friend, "Why come to Jogoya to eat this? Cannot get at home ah?" Oh yes, this would benefit greatly from white rice as well.

And a plate of garlic black pepper beef.

I tried a few pieces of this, and it was quite good. Like mini pieces of steak. If only it could be done medium rare, I think this could be one of the hidden gems on the menu.

It is a well known fact that no meal is complete without vegetables.


Upon the arrival of this dish on the table, I got hit by my own question from my friend, "Why come to Jogoya and eat this? Cannot get at home ah?"


My other friend ordered some Soft Shell Crab, which, looking at the picture now, I probably should have ordered, but that thought did not occur to me at that time.


I'm quite sure it tastes as good as it looks.

And finally, dessert was some Haagen Dazs ice cream (they had Baskin Robbins and some other brand as well).


That egg tart was a separate thing that I just dropped into the ice cream cup.

Overall, I remember it to be a very enjoyable and satisfying meal. I did not overeat.

And I would have been happier had I found some white rice.