Monday, September 25, 2006

Old Style Kopitiam Yut Kee

One day I was craving for Hainan Pork Chops. Craving like a lunatic I tell you. Maybe a much more accurate word is lust. Yes, I was lusting for some really great Hainan Pork Chops and only something fantastic would douse the flames of my lust. Thankfully ST my most dependable dearest darling knew just where to get some great Hainan Pork Chops.

This place is called Yut Kee and incidentally it's one of the last surviving old style kopitiams in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The place certainly looks the part. While far from being dilapidated almost (this is an important point) everything in the place looks really old. Not that I'm complaining though because that's a definite positive! Places like these bring back memories of childhoods spent with the grandparents at a dingy kopitiam sipping some house brewed coffee (first from the cup then from the saucer) and (usually for me anyway) having some curry laksa.

ST posing with some memorabilia from times gone by. They placed it there merely for aesthetics purposes.

But you can't expect everything to be run the old way forever. This place is obviously run by some very smart and enterprising people. It puts up a facade of old school kopitiam but immediately there are two glaring signs that things have moved on with the times (or more likely it's a sign of commercialism). First the waiters are all foreign workers and they all wear some nice green uniforms. Secondly the prices are anything but old school.

Old school facade.

But then again who really cares? Doses of nostalgia are always good but when it all comes down to it it's the food that matters the most. How then does the food fare? In short it was very satisfying.

Hainan Pork Chop (RM8.00).

Like I said earlier I was going bonkers for some Hainan Pork Chop and the one I ate at Yut Kee really hit the spot. I've been wanting to have some Hainan Pork Chop for probably over 10 years on and off now. As far as I can remember the last time I had any such thing was when I was a very small kid in a place in Brickfields. I liked it and I've always wanted more but my dad never took me there again and I've no idea where it is. I could be wrong about the Brickfields part though but i digress.

Yut Kee's Hainan Pork Chop is a generous serving of fried pork chops served with a healthy serving of brown sauce. I really really loved the sauce. It had a very sweet taste of onions. The combination of tomatoes, onion slices, mixed vegetables and potatoes with the sauce is brilliant. If there's one complaint is that I wished the sauce could be a lot thicker because it's quite watery. Well watery but tasty. In fact I sipped some of the sauce using my straw after I was done with the pork chop (because they didnt' give me any spoons).

Let me just sidestep from the subject awhile to throw a few questions to you guys. Does anyone know where the Hainan Pork Chop originated from? Hainan in China? What was such a Western dish doing there?

Roti Babi (RM7.00).

The Roti Babi was something we spotted on the menu and just had to try. It's simply one of the funniest sounding things we have seen in recent times. The name is entirely politically incorrect and enticing at the same time. So what is Roti Babi? Basically it's french toast with shredded pork, onions and waxed Chinese sausages inside. The bread was surprisingly soft and fluffy and it was a perfect match with its fillings. I learnt later reading from other blogs that this dish goes very well with Worchestershire sauce. However it costs RM7.00 and I think it's ridiculously expensive.

French Toast with Kaya (RM2.50).

Because I wasn't full enough after eating the Hainan Pork Chop I ordered another small dish to line the tummy. It was a simple French Toast. I didn't know it would come with any Kaya but I'm sure glad that it did because their kaya is very decent. The French Toast like the Roti Babi before this is soft and fluffy. Very nice.

Do give this place a try. The other recommendations I've read about is the Belacan Fried Rice and the Hainan Noodles.

Also check out:

posted by wyejon at Monday, September 25, 2006 (permalink) | 19 comments | trackbacks

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Urban Legend of the Carcinogenic Disposable Chopsticks

Sorry still no food blog for this week as I have been exceptionally busy/tired/lazy but here's something interesting that a colleague of mine tried out this morning during breakfast at the office pantry.

You know how people love to spread urban legends around. With the avent of email the spreading of rumours/gossips/unsubstantiated junk has become easier than ever. One of the latest ones I've received concerns the use of disposable chopsticks.

Read on for the email:


This is a true case, if you don't believe try the following test:

Soak a pair of disposable chopsticks (usually given to you when you buy pack food from a Chinese take-away) for between 3 to 5 minutes

inside hot boiling water. Within minutes and right in front of your eyes, you will noticed that some white colouring matter seems to be dissolved into the hot water from the chopsticks.

What is released from the chopsticks is actually a chemical, a bleaching agent.

In a campaign promoting healthy care in Singapore recently, Professor Jackson Mathis reminds people not to use disposable chopsticks, as almost the majority of them are made in or imported from China. He explained that during the manufacturing process of disposable chopsticks before the actual production itself, all raw materials are already cover-grown with germs that make the wood materials look like they are coated in multiple colours or are covered with poisonous fungus.

The first process itself is already frightening as the manufacturer starts the process by soaking up the wooden raw materials inside a very big container that is filled with a very toxic and highly poisonous chemical. This chemical is intentionally added in, in order to preserve the materials. After a few days of soaking, they are then washed with an even worse cleaning agent, in this case it is a bleaching agent (which chemical ph level is believe to be more than a thousand times over the general permissible/acceptable international standards).

And guess what? These chemicals itself is likely to cause greater harm to our health (if we continue consuming such chemicals into our body on a daily basis) not forgetting that since these chemicals used are usually carcinogenic in nature, they are likely to cause cancer.

Since his last visit to a disposable chopsticks manufacturing plant in China 5 years ago, Professor Jackson Mathis has immediately stop using such disposable chopsticks anymore. In Professor Jackson case, just in case if he ever forgets to bring along his own pair of chopsticks for lunch or dinner, he usually make sure that he do not forget to put one pair of it inside his bag since it can be re-use again and again.

Professor Jackson Mathis said: "If you have been using disposable chopsticks in the past, and you insist on continue using them again, please pause and think for a moment. Why is cancer spreading like wild fire these days throughout the world affecting all sorts of people. After that think of how many pairs of disposable chopsticks a factory in China is producing by the minute. The answer itself is right here !"

So what happened is we soaked some extra chopsticks in scalding hot boiling water and just sat down and observed.

Here's how it looked at the first minute, the second minute, the third minute...

As you can see... nothing happened at all. Doesn't meant that I think the chopsticks are safe for use though... those damn splinters can be very dangerous.

Also check out:

posted by wyejon at Thursday, September 21, 2006 (permalink) | 5 comments | trackbacks

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pic of the Day: Pet Food for Cannibals

Puppy, Chicken, Beef.

If it says Chicken it means it's got chicken meat inside. Likewise if it says Beef that would imply that it's got beef inside. What then does the can labeled Puppy contain?

posted by wyejon at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 (permalink) | 6 comments | trackbacks

Friday, September 15, 2006

Special Claypot Lou Shi Fun at Yoke Heng, Serdang

Today wAntAn productions brings you to Serdang to enjoy a delightful variation of the ever popular Claypot Lou Shi Fun dish. This time around the gravy is all white but it's strongly contrasted with a dash of dark brown (see picture).

Claypot Lou Shi Fun (lit. Rat Tail Noodles).

What's that brown stuff? That's actually dried shrimps or as the Cantonese call it Ha Mai. The dried shrimps are very fragrant and they're fried so they're also very crunchy which makes it a superb accompaniment to the soupy gravy and noodles. It's like western soup and croutons. The soup itself is great but add in some crunchy bits and everything suddenly becomes better :) For that extra kick you can request for additional Ha Mai with your noodles (charges apply of course).

Marmite Pork Ribs.

The other specialty (to my knowledge anyway) here is their Marmite Pork Ribs which as its name implies is baked (in tin foil) pork ribs with Marmite sauce. It's very tasty stuff. Yoke Heng is actually the first place that I sampled this dish before and it remains one of the best. I would say this is a definite must try.

Fried Kangkung.

The Kangkung picture is here simply because I think it looks nice :) It's just your ordinary fried kangkung. All 3 dishes combined it cost us about RM27.00. Not exactly cheap because there were only 2 of us eating. Or maybe I just over-ordered :P

Also check out:
Yoke Heng Restaurant,
No. 33, Jalan SR 8/4,
Taman Putra Indah,
Serdang Raya,
43300 Seri Kembangan.

posted by wyejon at Friday, September 15, 2006 (permalink) | 8 comments | trackbacks

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Chinese Hot Dog?

You know how sometimes you eat something but never know what it's called? Well such is the case with today's food review. For convenience's sake let's just call this the Chinese Hot Dog. It's a simple snack. A bun is toasted with butter over charcoal fire. A strip of barbequed dried meat (the kind you receive for Chinese New Year) and some meat floss is placed in between and smothered with chilli sauce.

My bun being toasted over the charcoal pit.

After toasting the bread the elderly uncle uses a penknife to scrape off all the soot from the bun. This time however he tore the bun while doing that for me :P

Chinese Hot Dog (RM1.70). The bun is slightly torn.

What's inside.

It's a very delicious snack! The bread is very nicely toasted. Everything toasted by charcoal just tastes better! The filling is very well paired with the chilli sauce. It's hard to find this snack being sold anywhere in KL nowadays. Perhaps it's possible to find it being sold in some pasar malams but then I haven't seen any for years.

You can find this uncle operating directly opposite the Tin Ai Ker Pan Mee stall in Chow Kit.

posted by wyejon at Sunday, September 10, 2006 (permalink) | 8 comments | trackbacks

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Petaling Street Pan Mee in an alley

I must admit, I have a love affair with Pan Mee. It began about 7 years ago when my mom introduced me to Pan Mee. She packed home some Pan Mee from a coffee shop nearby where we used to stay in Taman Desa and I was immediately hooked. Prior to that I never knew what Pan Mee was.

When I'm in an unfamiliar coffee shop or restaurant and there's a Pan Mee stall in sight I will try them at least once. If I liked them then I would become a frequent customer. Back when I was studying in APIIT KL one of my favourite Pan Mee stalls was located in a small alley in Petaling Street.

Konlo (dry) Pan Mee (RM3.70).

Their Pan Mee is not to say particularly great but it never disappoints. I prefer the konlo version over the soup one. They do provide you with a decent amount of mushrooms and anchovies. I also like dash of fried garlic they put in. However the greatest thing about this particular Pan Mee stall is actually its chilli sauce :) It's a really spicy and soury conconction that's a perfect match for the Pan Mee. They also provide you some lime and you can add as many as you like to your noodles or to the chilli sauce. It gives your Pan Mee an extra zesty kick!

The stall.

The stall is located in an alleyway along Jalan Hang Lekir which is the same road as the famous Air Mata Kucing stall and Koon Kee wantan mee. From the Mata Kucing stall, walk past Koon Kee and you will see a small alleyway on your right. There's a small Bak Kut Teh stall at the front of the alley. Walk in a little bit and you will see the Pan Mee stall. Besides from Pan Mee they also sell wantan mee, hakka mee and fish ball mee.

posted by wyejon at Wednesday, September 06, 2006 (permalink) | 8 comments | trackbacks

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Sometimes there are great restaurants that I want to visit but they never come to my mind when I'm in the area. Somehow or other I find myself in the Bukit Bintang area quite often but I never remember to visit Crystal Jade despite having read so many of our local food bloggers rave about it. Thankfully ST is a lot less forgetful than I am. One fine day last month we were able to try Crystal Jade for ourselves and we're really glad that we did.

I've placed Crystal Jade's address at the bottom of the post but I doubt that would help in explaning its exact location. Basically it's located in the Lot 10 building but is only accessible through the outside of the building. Crystal Jade directly faces Sungei Wang Plaza. To get there use the sidewalk and go past Secret Recipe towards Parkroyal Hotel. Keep an eye on your left, you should be able to spot Crystal Jade.

We were hungry that day so I ordered a little bit extra. Aside from a bowl of noodle for each of us I ordered an additional soup and a basket of Xia Long Baos. That was a BIG mistake because their servings are surprisingly generous. The must try item here is the Xiao Long Bao. After all it actually forms part of the restaurant's name! What about the La Mian you ask? Well read on to find out.

Spicy and Sour Soup (RM8.00).

It's everything the name says it is; spicy and sour, though more spicy than sour. I really liked this. It was a good appetizer. Probably not going to order it next time though. You want to save some space in your tummy for the Xiao Long Baos!

La Mian with Spicy Sauce (RM10.00).

You can't see the noodles in this dish but trust me it's there. This dish was OK. The sauce was a little more spicy than I expected and it was filled decently with minced meat (pork perhaps... I can't really remember).

Shanghai Xia Long Bao (RM7.00).

Truly one of the better Xia Long Baos I have eaten. This one comes as a definite recommendation. Honey Star once asked me in a previous blog post if I knew that the proper way of eating a Xiao Long Bao was to pour the soup from the dumpling out first. Well I still can't figure out how to do it properly... do you poke the dumpling open first or what? Anyone knows?

Shanghai Noodle with Meat and Cabbage (RM13.00).

This was a recommendation from the captain. It's thick la mian which is cooked with meat and cabbage. What's special about this dish is that the cabbage is stewed first then the noodles are added in and fried. This gives the noodles a nice cabbagg-y taste. It tastes a lot better than it looks. Incidentally it looked a lot better in the menu.

Barley with Lemon (RM2.50).

I'm featuring this barley with lemon drink because it's actually a very nice combination. How come so few people selling barley in Malaysia offer a lemon add on? :P

In conclusion I heartily recommend you try out Crystal Jade if only for their Xiao Long Baos. Their noodles are decent but not great. Read the links below, boo_licious from masak-masak had a great time with their snacks so that's something to look out for. I liked this place a lot better than dragon-i.

One funny thing you'll notice about this place is that nothing they serve you actually looks like how it's represented on their menus. Not that what you get served looks ugly it just doesn't look like what you ordered!

R2 Annexe Block
Lot 10 Shopping Centre
50 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2148 2338
Business hours: 11 am to 10 pm daily

Also check out:

posted by wyejon at Monday, September 04, 2006 (permalink) | 6 comments | trackbacks

Friday, September 01, 2006

Set Dinner at Chinoz on the Park

Ever wanted to try one of those fancy schmancy restaurants in KLCC but didn't know which one to choose? Chinoz on the Park is a good place to start. Located at the ground floor of KLCC facing the park, Chinoz is also one of the more popular restaurants in the establishment. You can choose to sit outside or inside. Sitting outside means sitting with lots of people smoking sisha so if that's not your thing I'd advise you to sit inside. Besides the weather's pretty hot nowadays. Sit in and enjoy the aircon.

Lucky for us Chinoz is offering set dinners and they're not really that expensive. Have a look at the menu:

The Set Dinner Menu.

Because there were two of us we were able to try everything on the set menu. The servings were not bad. No need for any desserts because we were really full after we were done with our set dinner.

Complimentary buns with butter.

I think the buns were pretty cute. I like the curl they put into it. It was a little hard but dip it in some soup and it softens up enough to be enjoyed.

Oven Roasted Roma Tomato with Feta Cheese and Crispy Bread.

You just have to love oven roasted tomatos. Even ST who does not usually eat tomatos liked them. A properly roasted tomato loses it's soury taste and instead becomes a little sweet. Coupled with some fresh leafy vegetables and feta cheese and smothered with olive oil, the salad was really tasty. They could have toned down on the olive oil though. Eating oil just isn't all that great a feeling.

Seafood Chowder.

Their seafood chowder was good. It was really thick and tasty. Seafood chowder is not to everyone's taste though but I loved every bit of it. Dip in some bread and I'm in heaven.

Minute Steak with Caramelized Red Onion Sauce.

What's a minute steak? As the name suggests it's a steak that takes about a minute to cook each side using high heat. That's achievable because the beef is not the usual inch thick steak. Instead it's a thinner slice of tenderized beef. You can't see it very well in the pictures but they had a lot of nice grilled vegetables underneath. The beef was tender and very easy to eat. ST felt that the onion sauce was a little too salty. I think it was ok.

Fusili with Smoked Chicken and Capsicum in Tomato Sauce.

The pasta was very good. The smoked chicken offered an excellent contrast to the otherwise bland tomato sauce. Strips of capsicum added some welcome flavour and color to the otherwise plain pasta dish.

Hoegaarden (white beer!, RM19.00).

I also had the chance to try out some Hoegaarden beer that night. It was heavily endorsed by some of our local bloggers some time ago so I had to try it for myself. It blew me away. It's a totally different beer from you Tigers and your Carlsbergs. While it proudly calls itself white beer it is anything but. Instead the colour is a light shade of yellow. The beer itself was also very smooth and very easy to down. There was also a distinctive sweet taste in the beer. Very nice indeed.

Chinoz on the Park offers some fine dining but I felt they were understaffed. The service wasn't that great and we had to wait a long time for our food to be served. There's one other thing I found pretty weird about this place. Look at what they use for tablecloth.

Mahjong paper!

Also check out:

posted by wyejon at Friday, September 01, 2006 (permalink) | 7 comments | trackbacks

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