Sunday, 23 September 2007

Chinese Taipei Food

Sometimes I think the world is a very stupid place and people are mad. Today I am thinking that because I read hte news that China nad Taiwan cannot make agreement to let the Olympic torch go through Taiwan.

Actually this quarrel between China and Taiwan already going on for long time. Ever since the KMT and Chiang Kai Shek run away from China to go to start a new life and country in Taiwan. Of course China under Mao Tse Tung not like it and never recognise Taiwan as a separate country. So until today China never recognise Taiwan as a separate country. Of course to me this is something I cannot understand. So many thing that Mao Tse Tung do already condemn or thrown away, example the Cultural Revolution, how it is no good for individual to be rich, anti-intellectual, the Gang of Four and many other thing. It is very difficult for me to understand why still thinking like Mao Tse Tung that China cannot recognise Taiwan as a country. Many things I don't understand, so I don't really think so much about it.

Anywya, I want to tell you about Taiwan food that I try recently. Since I am reading the Taiwan is allow by China to take part in the 2008 Olympic as "Chinese Taipei" and not Taiwan, I am calling the food "Chinese Taipei Food". But in reality, it is still the same food, just like it is the same athlete taking part in the Olympic.

This is a Chinese Taipei food restaurant in KL in Imbi area. It is call Fong Lye and the food is different from the usual Chinese food we eat in KL which is mainly the Cantonese style. So the dishes are quite unusual. We eat rice and a few dishes.

The first dish is a clams with basil leaf. The chef put some ginger and chilli in it also, so it is a little spicy.

We also have the pork stew Chinese Taipei style. And a fried fish with sauce. The sauce has some bean in it call "sweet bean", but actually it is a bit sour. I am not sure what kind of bean it is, but it has a seed inside. I think it is a type of fruit or berry.

Finally we also have a chive with mince pork. This is a bit salty with some bean paste.

It is all very delicious and lovely taste. I think many people eating it will not care if it is coming from China or Chinese Taipei, but everyone will just think of it as Chinese food. To me it doesn't matter whether it is 2 country or 1 country.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Seafood noodle at Segambut

For those readers who are not from Malaysia, you may already know that Malaysia is a country make up of 2 parts. The first part is call Peninsular Malaysia which is join to Thailand in the north and Singapore to the south (by a bridge call the causeway). The 2nd part is part of the island of Borneo where we have 2 more states call Sabah and Sarawak and one federal territory call Labuan.

Because we have sea almost all around us (the Strait of Malacca and hte South China Sea), Malaysians love seafood. We love fish, prawn, squid, octopus, mussel, clam, cockle etc. You just have to see Malaysian people at a buffet. The 1st thing they do is straight go and attack the seafood and grab as much as they can. After that they will eat hte rice and become full very quick.

Malaysian people at a buffet is not a very good thing. On one hand you can say that we love food and not shy to show it, on one hand you can say that Malaysian people are veyr greedy and got no consideration for other people. Why I say this is because recently only I go to a buffet in a very nice hotel in Kuala Lumpur call Equatorial. Now, the Equatorial got a very nice Japanese restaurant call "Kampachi" and every Sunday they organise a “all you can grab" buffet lunch. Actually it is a "all you can eat" buffet but it is the same thing. For sure you can see all the ugly Malaysian behaviour - what I cannot stand the most is the rude people who grab all the tempura prawn the moment they are fry. I also want to grab some but I am not fast enough, so I usually have to eat the tempura prawn as dessert when everyone is too full to rush. Some more the worse thing is that they grab so much food and never finish. I am sure if you add up all the food that is taken but never eat, you can feed another 30-40 people.

Anyway, because I didn't get enough prawns and seafood that day at Kampachi, I decide to go for seafood noodle at Segambut. This is a place very famous in KL. They have lovely seafood - fish, prawn, mussel and lala (clam), squid - and you can choose the type of soup you like - clear soup, curry or tomyam.

My favorite is clear soup. And the seafood is a lot. I have my noodle dry - you can see that it is mix with soya sauce. It is very delicious and the best thing is I don't have to be rushing with other people to get the food. What a lovely lunch.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

What a sad day

It is quite sad today when I read the newspaper. It say that food prices are going to become more expensive all around the world. It is because the price of corn is going up. Of course the paper is quoteing the experts and saying it is because population increase, climate change and all that.
But I am sure that the price of corn going up is because of President Bush. I think so the paper don't dare to say that becaues the USA spend so much money on buying weapons and fighting a stupid war in Iraq and chasing Osama bin Laden through the countryside of Afghan that they don't spend enough money on agriculture. I don't think so the agriculture is a thing that can win many vote or sell many newspaper or magazine, so not many people are thinking about it. I think so that is the real reason why the price of corn go up. If I am this President Bush mother, I will be very sad - give birth to one son who grow up to cause such a horrible mess all around the world.

I know some readers will think - nevermind I don't eat much corn, so I am ok. But it is still sad news for you. The corn is use in so many things that you sure will feel it. Example, corn is use many foods to make it sweet (the high fructose corn syrup is use in almost all process foods). Corn also is the food for many animals. So if corn price go up, beef price also go up, chicken also etc. It will also causes the price of milk to go up, so anything which got milk in it like ice cream and etc all wil also go up. Of course the article try to say also the milk price going up is because the China people now like milk product. Thank goodness many Chinese lactose intolerant - drink milk sure lau sai (diarhoea). So the demand cannot be that much.

Is this mean that in Malaysia our food will also become more expensive? It is quite sad for me at dinner tonight. I drink my tea with milk (going to be more expensive).

I eat the chicken (more expensive).

I also have pork (more expensive).

I think of my breakfast last week (more expensive).

What a sad day.

Malaysian "Buffet"

Sorry I long silence. I quite busy working. But during the time I not writing, I was eating and taking nice photo to show all of you.
The last post I am writing about America. And I found a nice picture of the Golden Gate Bridge to put here. If you look at the Flavours magazine you can see what I mean about the bridge.

Talking about America make me nostalgia. I think of the first time I go there. It was such a lovely place. I am so impress by the shops and the many things that the shops has. But pity that time I am only a student, so I don't have the money to buy many thing. And I also don't have the money to eat many nice foods. In fact most of the time I eat with my friends at cheap shops. Of course not to say that cheap foods is not nice, you can see from this flog that the cheap food in Malaysia is very delicious. But in America that time, I am eating a lot of economy rice.

Of course in America they don't call it "economy rice" like here in Malaysia. Americans are smarter than that. They got more style. And they know how to make nice names for things. So they call it a "buffet". The first time I eat at this buffet, I am thinking I can fill my plastic container with as much food as I like. So when it comes to the time to pay, I was so shock! They weigh my food and charge me by how heavy is the food. USD3.99 a pound, I think, or more. I never see before a buffet that you have to pay for the food by the pounds. In Singapore they make you pay for the food you don't eat by the weight but that is a different thing - it is to make sure you don't simply grab all the food and waste by don't eat it. I feel so wasted and so not worth it because I took chicken drumstick and pork ribs. If I know that is the way they charge, I will sure choose the chicken with no bone and the pork fillet instead.

In Malaysia, we also got a local "buffet". It is usually call "economy rice". I also don't know why they call it "economy rice", maybe it is because it is not expensive. But that depend on what dishes you choose. If you choose chicken or fish or pork, sure it iwll cost more. But if you choose the cheap things like vegetable and tofu, then it is costing less.

I choose many dishes which I like. You can scoop as much of the dishes as you like and the owner will charge you according to what you choose and how much you take. You can see my lunch here.
There is the chinese sausage which is slice up.

Also I choose vege - this is chinese preserve vegetable, kangkung (water convulvus), and local brussel sprout.

For meat, I choose sweet and sour pork also. I think it is pork; it could also be chicken.

All this is cost RM4.50 which is very reasonable. The only thing is that I think the stall owner never display the prices so if you smile nicely at him, maybe he will charge you lesser a bit.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

American breakfast

I love America very much. It is such a lovely place to visit and I have been visit a few times already. The food there is very good and fresh and the portion is so big that I save money because 1 dish share by 2 people. I also love the way American talk to me - they always talk loudly and slowly so that I can understand what they say. They are also shock when I can answer them correctly. I also like American spelling because it make everything easier like color, flavor, alright, and other words.

One of my favourite place in America is California. I love best in California is San Francisco, which is a very beautiful city. Everyone sure know the famous landmark in San Francisco call the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a very beautiful thing to see if it is not cover by fog. But you will be shock just like me when I tell you a story about how some people not know the Golden Gate Bridge.

As you know already, every weekend, I like to eat a nice breakfast. This weekend, I eat breakfast at Coffee Bean. The Coffee Bean serve very good toast for breakfast - it is call "Tasty Toast Treat".
Actually it is the panini bread - you can see that the bread is not even - there is uneven lines on it so that the butter and jam stick more easily. I like the butter and jam here at Coffee Bean - it is very good quality jam.
The only thing is the coffee is not so good because it is the cheap filter type, it is not espresso. I think so this is a very stupid thing to try and save money on not giving espresso with the breakfast set. I read in the books that the coffee is actually the cheapest thing in the shop. What is expensive is the decoration and the furniture and the cups and the name "Coffee Bean", so I hope the the Coffee Bean people reading this will think carefully about this.

Actually there is a Dome next door. The Dome coffee is very good - and they serve the very good espresso. The bread also not bad. But the bad thing is that they give you the cheap jam which is taste like cheap jam. Last time, they give the good jam call "beerenburg" which is imported from Australia, but nowadays they give the cheap type which if I am not mistaken is make in China. Of course I am not eating the make in China jam in case they put cardboard and other things into it. So I think better to eat at Coffee Bean. I hope the Dome people reading this will think carefully about their jam.

I am actually very happy with my breakfast because I am sitting there eating the delicious bread and the good butter and jam. And it is also very coincidence that I am reading a story about the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. It is on page 94 of the september-october 2007 copy of Flavours magazine. I like hte photos very much because it is taken by a famous photographer in Malaysia call "Dave Hagerman". He is the photographer for hte flog "Eating Asia".

I am thinking it is very coincidence because The Coffee Bean is also originally from California. So ngam! But then I see a terrible mistake in the magazine. Everybody sure know the Golden Gate Bridge. NOT! (I still remember how to tell a joke like Borat). There is a picture of a bridge on page 95 which the magazine say is the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is definitely not right. The Golden Gate Bridge only got 2 towers to support the bridge, and this one got at least 3. Somemore the towers don't have criss-cross design, so sure not the correct bridge. I am shock that people who write the caption don't know that. Maybe because the photo is taken at sunset and hte bridge looks like golden so Flavours call it the Golden Gate Bridge. But the proofreader and the editor must remember that all that glitter is not gold. Maybe it is the Bay Bridge becaues it look like a double decker bridge in the photo.

But I don't let that spoil my breakfast and I enjoy every mouth of the toast.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Eating outdoors

One thing good about Malaysia is the weather. It never really change. The temperature is 30 degrees C plus so all the time the weather is hot. Sometimes it rain, sometimes cloudy, but the temperature never usually fall below 25 degrees C even at night.

Food and weather are always link. Because it is always warm, I think so htat its why we in Malaysia have food available all the time. Because it is convenient for people to go out and eat anytime. I have been before to cold country like England. Especially in the winter so terrible and cold. Nobody want to go out late at night and eat unless they are desperate. Whereas in Malaysia - 24 hours also people selling food and people eating in the stalls and restaurants. It is because the weather is comfortable at night - cooler so people feel comfortable to go out to eat and drink late at night.

Today I will show you eating outdoors Malaysia style. My work make me always running here and there, I usually find that I must eat on the way going back to the office. So I eat somewhere along the way by myself usually.

One place I like to stop by is within the Lake Garden in KL. It is a large park area inside the city. You can see that there are many big trees around and it is very shady. So what people do is they put up tents below the tree and use it as an outdoor dining room. Because it is in the Lake Garden, it is a little bit cooler also. So even though the sun is shining very strongly, it is still OK to sit outside and eat. If you don't wnat to sit under the tree, you can also sit inside which is cover by a proper roof.

There are a few stalls selling food here. One of the famous one is the Tanglin Nasi Lemak which is selling only in the morning. Apart from that, there is grill fish and rice with other dishes. They also have other type of food - Malay economy rice etc.

Today, I eat Malay economy rice which is white rice and other dishes. The dishes I choose is chicken curry, fried beansprouts, tempeh (soya bean cakes) fry iwth chilli and ikan bilis and brinjal sambal (chilli paste). You can see that the food is very well cook!

Actually the food is delicious and the place is also quite cool. It is a very lovely lunch that I have today. The meal is simple and the place is also simple, but the food is good and cheap. All together the food and one glass of ice tea is cost RM5 (AUD1.73 or USD1.43 or 70p or Euro1.05 ) - very cheap! You can see that I put AUD conversion first, because this flog got many Australian visitor - it is the 2nd largest group of visitor after Malaysia. G'day and thank you very much for visiting my flog.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Pork at Vintry

Today it is a shock to read the news. I read that the Melaka state government (a state in Malaysia south of KL) is going to kill pigs. The state government say that there are 100,000 pigs which have to leave the state and go somewhere else if not they will be kill. Of course it is not easy to just move 100,000 pigs somewhere else, so I think the pigs sure will be kill.

Malaysian people slaughter 7,500 pigs a day and if the 100,000 pig got no place to go, they will have to kill extra 6,000 a day. And of course it is not that the government will slaughter the pigs so that we can enjoy cheap pork for a while. I read that they will just bury the pigs alive. So this not means that we can eat cheap roast pork.

I am thinking all about this today when I go for lunch. You see, it is because where I eat lunch is a very famous place for pork dish. The place is call "Vintry". It is actually a wine shop which turn into a pork restaurant. It also have other dishes which is not pork, but it is 85% pork. And prok here is not just the normal pork that we eat like roast pork, bbq pork or pork chop. Here they have very unusual pork dish!

Some of the dish sound very nice, so I think I must come here again to eat all of it slowly. I wonder what the Korean noodle iwht roast pork and the fried rice with roast pork taste like. Also the corn beef fried rice. All sounds very delicious!

Today we eat a few things. First is a fry roast pork sandwich, which is roast pork which is fry with black soya sauce and put inside a pita bread. Inside the pita bread is also some lettuce (shred, not a whole leaf). The roast pork is one of the specialty here and it is very high standard roast pork with hte crunchy skin.

Another friend eating a pork burger with olive. I try a bit of the burger - very nice and juice.

And I eat a teriyaki pork burger which is pork shred and mix with fry onions and cook in teriyaki sauce. This one they serve with lettuce (whole leaf but not like Carl's Jr they never advertise it as part of the dish) on a bun. It is very delicious also. You can see the picture of teriyaki pork burger at the start of this post.

I think we enjoy the food very much, so I think it is worth it for the pig to die to feed us. Not like the pigs that will be kill by the state government - if bury alive, sure we cannot eat it - and not worth it for the pig just to die like that without becoming delicious pork dish.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Adventure food

All of you by now sure know that I am very proud to be a Malaysian. Although I have travel before to other country, I still think that it is true "home sweet home".

Why I like Malaysia is not only because of the lovely Malaysia foods. It is also because the people of Malaysia almost all like food. If you go to any gathering here, and you don't know anyone also, you can still make friend. The secret? You start talking about food, and sure you will have a very long conversation with the other people, provided he is Malaysian also.

It is just like the British talk about weather and the Americans talk about baseball and American football, Malaysians talk about food. Actually it is the same - weather, baseball, American football, food. The main thing is the excitement. Someone tell me once that British weather change very fast - one moment sunshine, another moment it is raining, and if you manage to predict is like strike lottery. So you can spend a lot of time talking about it. Same thing for baseball and American football - it is both an exciting game with a lot of action, so Americans can talk nonstop about it. So for Malaysians, it is food - we can talk nonstop about it.

So some people can ask - what is so special about Malaysian foods that can talk so long? Well, you can see that in Malaysia we have many flogs. So many people talking about food, and taking photo. Talking about food that they like to eat, they don't like to eat, they like to cook etc - so many thing to talk about.

For me, eating is like adventure. I like to taste all type of food and see whether nice or not. Some things I am amaze that the thing that look like that can taste so nice. So today I share with you 3 things which sounds like not nice, but is actually very delicious.

The first thing is pig intestine. This is cook fry with pineapple and tomato sauce, something like sweet and sour. The pig intestine is a little bit bitter, and is a bit chewy also. It is very delicious.

The 2nd thing is chicken feet. This is deep fry first and then is braise with mushroom. The skin is nice and soft and absorb the gravy very well. It is a lovely taste.

The third thing is pig fat. Here is the one which I pick out from the Hokkien fry noodles which I talk about in the last post. It is fry until very crispy and crunchy - so delicious.

So this is why I think we all have so much to talk about. So many things to discuss about and so many place to eat - home tasty home.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

A roadside stall

Whenever people talk about Malaysia foods, they always say that we have many varieties. But the varieties not limit to the types of food. There are many varieties of the places where people can eat food. I have mention before the kopi tiam, which is translated into "coffee shop". But it is not only serve coffee, kopi tiam is usually a non-aircon restaurant hwich has a few stalls selling different types of food. I have show you some of the types of food before - eg. pork noodles, char koay teow etc.

So today I show you something different, which is eating in a roadside stall. Here you can see that the "restaurant" is actually a lorong (lane) in between 2 buildings. The lane is facing a busy main road where there is a lot of traffic.

You can see that everything is in this lane - the kitchen, the place for prepare food, the drinks, the tables for people to eating. Because there is no aircon, this place is only open at night.

Sometimes some people are shock that there are Malaysians who will eat in this kind of place. Is it not hygiene, they ask. I suppose it is a good question to ask, but I don't know the answer. Maybe it is not hygiene, but also I never sick before eating here.

The food which is serve here is hokkien fried noodles, which is a traditional food. It is thick noodles which is fry in black soya sauce. It is very delicious because the oil use is pork oil which makes the food very tasty. You can find some bits of crispy pork fat in the noodles also.

It is a favourite food of me and my friends, but because it is very fattening and unhealthy, we cannot eat it often.

You can see what happen if you eat too much of hokkien noodle like my friend here - see he is so prosperous.