Into the Doorway of Food, where it's all about Eating...

Let's start the journey into my world of food...

Different tastebuds with different tongues; you're the eater and you're the judge...
What I share here is simply the passion towards food and drinks.

Don't hesitate to ctiticize; if you like my articles, encourage me.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

1-Day Eating Trip, Part I: Passage Thru India

After a long time of not meeting up each other with my ex-colleagues, we've decided to go for our one day eating trip. Our part I is basically an 'accidentally' case whereby it's not in our plan to dine here; Passage Thru India at Leith Street. To our surprise, everyone of us has enjoyed the lunch very much that it's a no regret to discover and to taste this Indian meal.
Stepping inside the restaurant, all of us are astonished by the beautiful and tidy decorations inside; what a contrast to the old outside look of the restaurant. The dim lighting is creating a cozy ambient that makes us comfortable and peaceful to be here. The plenty decorative items on the wall and the lighting seem to have complicated up the small space but somehow, a special feeling of difference; looking old from outside but a cozy ambient inside the restaurant.

The welcoming or free appetizer is the Papadum, a type of thin and crispy Indian cracker that is being served with a green sauce here. According to the waiter, the sauce is actually made from the mint and yogurt. To me, it's a great sauce as it tastes so refreshing and it just goes well with the Papadum that has been added with some Indian spices.

Starting with the drinks; We've ordered the Masala Tea, Great Indian Coffee and a Mango Lassi. Masala Tea is a special drink that has been added with some Masala spices, giving the tea itself a nice aroma yet it may not be liked by all people. Going to the Great Indian Coffee, it tastes alike a normal milk coffee but I dislike it as it turns out to be too sweet. The Mango Lassi is another compliment as it's neither too sweet nor too thick with a good ratio of the mango to yogurt.

Well, we're totally in lost with the lunch menu as we're not familiar with Indian food. For a safe specification towards the deliciousness, we've asked for the recommendations from the house. Here comes our orders... The first dish is called Mixed Kebab Platter whereby it has the mixture of fish, chicken, lamb and sausage. The colourful red Kebab is really making me hungry that they seem to be very tasty. My first bite starts with the fish... Wow, I do really enjoy the spiciness that is strong at the first moment but it starts to be softer after the meat starts to melt in my mouth. All the Kebab is grilled to the perfection whereby the meat is still juicy and by squeezing the lime on top, it's adding even more freshness and deliciousness to spice up our appetite.

Our next order is the Meen Moilee; the fish is being cooked in rich coconut gravy. Similarly, the dish seems to be so appetizing as well. The fish is actually delicious without being too sweet, too salty or too spicy; in short, it's just-to-taste on the seasoning. However, the coconut milk has been too milky that we start to feel 'full' after few spoons with the sauce.

The 5-stars dish here and also the favourite for us is the Bendi Masala. I can't guess the ingredients inside but the thick gravy with the chili paste tastes just perfectly with the Bendi that has been cooked sufficiently to maintain the little crispiness. Frankly speaking, I hate Bendi as it always turns out to be very sticky. However, I'll rate a maximum 10marks for the deliciousness of this Bendi Masala here.

To go with our dishes, we've chosen the Nasi Beriyani. I think it's the nature of the rice that is being used here that it's a little bit sticky if comparing to our rice in Malaysia. The rice is cooked with the sliced chili and added with some coloring; they do smell nice.

It's an unplanned event to bump into Passage Thru Indian for our lunch, but it's a complete satisfaction to have this delicious meal. We'll definitely come back here to eager for the Indian food again... Located at: No. 11A, Leith Street, 10200 george Town, Penang.

(From Left: Siang Tian, myself & Amy)

Talking about Seafood: Teluk Kumbar Seafood

Another seafood restaurant that is by the beach; Teluk Kumbar Seafood公巴好友. This is purely a real on-the-beach restaurant whereby the tables and chairs are placed on the sandy beach. I personally prefer the scenery here; partly is I'm stepping on the sandy beach, feeling the sands and stones between my toes.

No doubt that Teluk Kumbar is serving fresh seafood as well, ranges from prawn mantis, clam, squid to various types of fish. Our first dish of the night is the most famous Herbal Clam Soup药材蛤汤. The herbal taste is not too strong that the aroma is just nice to smell and it does taste delicious with the freshness and sweetness from the clam itself. I like this clear soup except that the clam is too small and 'meatless' as it shrinks after cooking.

The main character is our Baked Crab烤螃蟹; my favourite way to taste the fresh crab. The crab that has been baked till a shiny red color will release the freshness and natural sweetness in its juicy meat. The next dish for myself is the Steamed Prawn Mantis. This is the most perfect way to have my prawn mantis because all the juiciness and sweetness inside the fresh meat will be tasted to the maximum.

Next to come is the Fried Asparagus with Sambal Belacan参巴炒芦笋. I like asparagus as it tends to be quite crispy but the sambal is a little bit sweeter than to be spicier. I guess that I still dislike to see the oily vegetable but I do enjoy every prawns in the dish. Additionally, we've asked for the Fried Noodles炒面条 to fill our stomach. A simple noodle dish to be fried with some cabbage, capsicum, green onion and squid; the seasoning is just-to-taste and the noodle is not over-cooked either.

We've also ordered the Teow Chew Style Steamed Fish潮州蒸鱼. The chef is mainly using the pickled vegetable to create the sourness in the soup. This clear soup is moderately good in the sourness and spiciness, except that I think the soup is too little. We're finishing up the fish quickly as the wind is cooling down the fish.

Another bonus that is not to be missed is the Satay沙爹; the small hut that is just beside the restaurant. Satay is a local specialty whereby the marinated meat will be grilled on the stick and it's to be eaten with the specially made peanut sauce. The very one specialty here is about the peanut sauce; instead of to be eaten with, the peanut sauce is actually being poured on the meat during grilling. Greatly to say is, the sauce is actually absorbed into the meat and it's adding on more delicious taste to the Satay. Well, I personally like it this way...

Teluk Kumbar or Hai Boey; they're both located at Teluk Kumbar area. Which of the restaurants to be chosen for your seafood meal is somehow depending on your tastes. Do enjoy the beautiful scenery when you're here, letting the wind to blow and listening to the ocean waves...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Talking about Seafood: Hai Boey Restaurant

Hai Boey Restaurant海尾海鲜 is located somewhere at Teluk Kumbar and they're famous for the seafood by the beach. It's seafood time; a special treat from our friend... Reaching there by dawn time; I like the sunset view of the sunlight to colour the sky, with the lazy armchairs and swing to make a peaceful scenery view.

None of us has the ideas of the choices for food, so we've decided to go for the recommended ones. The first dish or the appetizer is the Fried Meatballs with Eggplants茄子肉丸. Frankly, I won't know if this is an eggplant's dish as it has been blended and mixed well with the meat. The meatballs are fried till crisply brownish yet the juiciness is still being locked in the ingredients.

Our main characters of the night are the Fried 'Kam Heong' style Crab甘香炒蟹 and the Claypot Steamed Fish瓦煲蒸鱼. 'Kam Heong' style is using the curry leaves, shrimps, small chili and with the dark soy sauce to fry the crab till the sauce is absorbed into the crab. It tastes sweet, salty and with a little spiciness that will spice up the appetite. Anyway, I'll recommend to steam or to bake the crab if you're a seafood lover whom enjoys the natural sweetness and freshness. The Claypot Steamed Fish is a famous dish that will be introduced here whereby we're seeing it on every tables. To my personal opinion, it's actually a quite common steamed fish with soy sauce except that it's being placed in the claypot. No doubt that this is a good way to keep the fish warm and to lock the aroma inside the closed pot. Just one big disappointment is, the fish has been over-steamed that the meat is becoming hard and dry.

My all-time favourite dish follows next, the Fried 'Kung Po' style Prawn Mantis宫保虾羔. 'Kung Po' style is also in dark soy sauce, but it's a frying dish by using the dried chili, onion and ginger to create the sweet and spicy tastes. The green vegetable that we've chosen is the Fried 'Kai Lan'清炒芥兰 that is so yummy from the color itself, but again... it's too oily.

Guess what, our most favourite dish goes to the Fried Mixed Rice Vermicelli鸳鸯炒粉 whereby it's a simple dish of two types of rice vermicelli are fried together with some bean sprout, onion, green onion, egg and prawn. The rice vermicelli is cooked just nicely to be bitten in the mouth and the correct seasoning has created the deliciousness that we've wanted for.

Lastly, we've also tried the dessert of the day; Honey Dew with Sago蜜瓜西米露. The blended honey dew is cooked with the sago and also with some honey dew cube before it's chilled in the refrigerator. We do enjoy the chilling of the cold dessert but it has been mixed with too much water that we don't really taste the sweetness of the honey dew itself.

I'll rate Hai Boey Restaurant with a moderate taste for their seafood, but it's somehow worth to come here for the nice scenery and reasonable price. To seafood lover, this is one of the place that can be chosen for the fresh seafood.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Story of Guilin: The most Famous Rice Vermicelli or What's Called as 'Bee Hoon' in Malaysia

Rice vermicelli or Bee Hoon is one of the most famous local food in Guilin, that it can be easily found in any shops or food stalls. It's a common food that it's kind of a must for them to have Bee Hoon as breakfast. According to the motel owner of where we've chosen to stay, the Bee Hoon comes from the same manufacturing factory and it's the sauce or the soup that has determined the deliciousness of your bowl of Bee Hoon.

It's a hard task for us to choose a place to have our Bee Hoon as I've to say that Cleanliness has played the most important part. At the end, we've chosen the 崇善米粉; it's one of the listed in top ten golden brand of Bee Hoon in Guilin. This is a self-service restaurant whereby once you've done the payment at the counter, you've to drop your order to the kitchen and waiting to pick up your plates then.

My friends have ordered the 白果老鸭汤粉Duck with Ginkgo Soup and 玉米排骨粉Pork Ribs with Corn Soup; both are Bee Hoon in soup. We prefer the duck soup whereby there's no bad smell of duck and in fact, the duck bones and meats have been boiled for so long, to create such a natural sweetness in the soup itself. Besides, the ginkgo has also been a good ingredient to enhance the taste of the soup. Talking about preference here, the pork rib soup doesn't look as clear as and doesn't taste as sweet as the duck soup. The most awful is the smell of the soup that has strongly reduced my appetite.

For myself, I've ordered a 素粉Vegetarian Bee Hoon that is served with peanuts, pickled long beans and chili with some light sauce as the base. Additionally, I've asked for a 香卤腐竹Bean-curd in Dark Soy Sauce. I like the crispy peanuts and pickled long beans that have just perfectly matched the soft Bee Hoon. The sauce is not too salty or sweet either, to mix with the tasteless Bee Hoon by itself. The best part for me is, I've added in a big spoon of blended dried chili, chopped chili and some green onions into my bowl; to give me the spiciness for a big sweat.

Been Hoon in Guilin is not a big surprise for us as it's just alike the 'Laksa Noodle' that we're having in Malaysia. What have made the difference is the how to cook it, way to serve it and where it's being served; another life culture in Guilin.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Story of Guilin: Must Try... Lipu Taro Looped Meat

One of the traditional dish that is not to be missed is the Lipu Taro Looped Meat荔芋扣肉 and we've chosen 小南国, a restaurant that is famous and recommended for local dishes of Guilin.

Our main character is the Lipu Taro Looped Meat whereby it's actually made of Taro or what we call it as Yam from Lipu country in China and the streaky pork. The pork is cooked and then steamed together with the Taro and seasoned with pepper, mashed onion, preserved bean curd of Guilin, cooking wine, sugar, salt etc. The dish is sweet and heavy in taste that goes well with white rice and the cooking wine is actually enhance the aroma to stimulate our appetite. The only thing that scares us is the thick oily skin of the streaky pork. Well, not to eat too much to increase my BMI and cholesterol ;)

We've ordered the Winter Melon Soup with Dried Scallops and Bamboo Fungus冬瓜球干贝竹笙汤 and the Fried Egg with Bitter Gourd苦瓜煎蛋. We love the soup so much as it's so sweet and refreshing. The winter melon and the dried scallops are such a perfect match to add the natural sweetness to the chicken soup. It's so creative that the winter melon is shaped into small balls while the bamboo fungus is actually a little crispy when biting. Even though the soup comes in a big pot, but 3 of us manage to finish it till not even a single drops in our bowls. The fried egg is just alike a pancake with the bitter gourd slices inside. Not much complaints as egg normally goes well with most vegetable but I personally prefer the bitter gourd scramble egg.

The last dish is a Fried Green Vegetable. The green color is so appealing when it's served whereby the vegetable is fresh as well, except that the chef seems to have soaked the vegetable in the oil instead of frying them.

This is one of the meal that really suits our taste while we're in Guilin and meantime, we've the opportunity to try the local dish there.