Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paradise Inn ... errmmmmm .... doesn't ring a bell. Nice ? Good food ? Cheap ? That's the first thought in my mind when my friend has organised a celebration (of some sort) over there. A search with my next best friend on the Internet (aka Google) reveals my ignorance, 1, 2, 3, ... 9, 10, 11 outlets ! I didn't know they have so many scattered across islandwide and shame on me ! The only Chinese restaurant chains I've ever known in Singapore is either from the Tung Lok Group or Crystal Jade. Pardon my limited knowledge but I seldom dine in Singapore and tends to avoid even at the slightest chance. All my friends know that ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On my every trip to Taiwan, there are a few items which would definitely be on my shopping list ... primarily 太阳饼 and 芋头酥. They are practically being sold in almost all major shopping outlets or even at the airport, if I decide to do some last minute shopping for gifts.

This time round, I've gotten a friend to help bring back some for me, as I miss the 芋头酥 ever since my last Taiwan trip, which another friend has introduced to me. I remember vividly that we had to travel to a specific 星光三越 shopping centre just to order it, as the branch is not conveniently located in any other malls. She opinioned that brand sells the most wonderful 芋头酥 that she has tried to-date. I've not tried any before to voice out my preference but man, it just made me fell in love with it that moment I tasted it. So this time I had to tumpang my friend to help me get it on her trip to Taiwan ... hope she doesn't mind the extra baggage back home :)

太阳饼 is a famous product of Taichung with its savoury fillings (a mixture of malt and honey) and flaky skin. This time, my friend has gotten the one from 太陽堂老店, who is one of those with a long history, dating back to more than 5 decades. As shown on their website, there are typically 3 ways of savouring it, either in hot water, dipping with milk, or simply just eat it plain. For me, plain would be great since I'm not exactly receptive to the idea of either dipping with milk or simmering in hot water. Sounds weird doesn't it ?

先麥芋頭酥, ohhhh my favourite. What attracts me initially to this is the creaminess of the paste, aroma of the yam and that melt in your mouth feeling. The closest description I can relate to is the Teochew yam paste dessert minus the starchy gravy. They share the same texture and taste. As with the taste buds for majority of the people these days, pastries also have to tone down on the sweetness and this is what I like about 先麥芋頭酥. I know its not overwhelmingly sweet when I do not have to run for a glass of water after downing a whole of it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is my 1st ever invitation to a food sampling event ever since I started blogging in less than a year, and I have to thank both Eight Lido and Euginn (an enthusiastic and outgoing character) for the invite. Alot of people I met at the event asked me the same question, "What got you started into all the, blogging, food reviews, etc ?" and my reply was simple ... "I dine out frequently, have no qualms trying out new makan places (I know of people who aren't just adventurous enough to try something different) and in actual fact, I love exploring new makan grounds. Coinciding with the new found hobby of taking pictures, I thought it would be a good thing to get myself started, by blogging to share the passion I have for both food and photography combined. Afterall, what use is there if all that goodness in kept under lock & key, with nobody to share with and appreciate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This wasn't exactly a random foodie trip, in fact we had it planned to go in search of this infamous 炒果条 stall  in Kulai. Had a tough time finding the place, but after a few spins around the neighbourhood we finally spotted it. 

It was located in a rather secluded location, away from the main street, away from the sight of most people. The stall is situated behind a hilly slope opposite AMBank, and poses a challenge even for the eagle-eyed. There are numerous blogs or forums out there, describing it to be opposite AMBank which in theory is accurate, but they lack the most crucial piece to complete the puzzle. I think my explanation would sum it all up ... On a hill opposite AMBank, with an ascending road sandwiched between it and the shophouses. Follow up along the road and the stall will be to your left.

Business is brisk so please be reminded to head there early if you want to get your share, and do note they sell only limited plates of char kuey tiao daily. A rather peculiar method of doing business in my opinion.

Some people, including yours truly will attest to the fact that it is fried with too much lard, while the rest would contest otherwise, lard brings out the taste and aroma of the food. I find the char kuey tiao mediocre, and not as mouth-watering as described by fellow bloggers/forumers. 
Rating: 5.5/10

Monday, November 14, 2011

Void of any enthusiasm on a weekend afternoon ? The next best thing to do is either lie on the bed at the comfort of my home or take my ride out for a spin, in the relentless pursuit for more speed or just enjoy a good afternoon tea with a group of friends, catching up on the happenings for the past one week. Well, I had mine last weekend with a combination of both 2nd and 3rd. A good ride out to Kulai along the NSE, followed by a dessert indulgence at Sweet Dynasty. Am originally inclined to revisit Happy Land but my mood decided against it. I felt it would have been better to check out something new, rather than expand on the reviewed.

So here I am, landed myself at Sweet Dynasty but looking at the time which I've arrived, I reckoned dessert would suffice for me. I'll leave the reviews of their food to my next trip, speaking of which they do serve a variety of local or western cuisines, as with the many many cafes out there.

The mixed herbal dessert 六味汤 and honeydew with sago & milk 蜜瓜西米露 both cost RM2.50. If I'm not mistaken, every item in their dessert section costs the same. A bit pricier than what you get at hawker stalls, but not by a great deal. Probably topping up the extra RM0.50 for a better ambience. As for the quantity and quality of their dessert, let's just say I did not feel shortchanged at the end of the day.
Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Being a Hainanese myself, all the more I couldn't resist the temptation of paying Swee Bee a visit when I googled and saw some rave reviews about it. It has been much blogged about and I just got to find it, taste it and review it for myself. First thing we reached Batu Pahat is head towards it, arriving at around 3PM, way past the usual lunch hour but still brimmed with patrons aplenty, in small clusters around the shop.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Featured before in a local variety show, Taste with Jason (阿贤人情味)  has uplifted the popularity of this joint beyond the boundaries of Batu Pahat, from Perlis in the North to Johor Bahru in the Southern tip of Malaysia.
It is no easy feat to have a foodie joint that spans across 3 shops, and much more so to be featured in a popular programme. All of it certainly cannot be achieved without the stamp of recognition from the TV producers, viewers,  bloggers and patrons alike.
We have driven past this seemingly rundown corner coffee shop umpteen times, but never gave it a second look, probably because it was overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours, 水记咖哩鱼头 and 金山鸭面. Another plausible reason is the geography of the stall, hidden at the back of the shop with only a small signboard to maintain its presence in the otherwise unorderly, crowded place.
This place has definitely garnered quite its fair share of recommendations from the locals or bloggers, making it one of the must-visit places if one were to ever go to Batu Pahat. Better known as Ah See wanton mee to the locals, it has sort of being widely acclaimed as one of the signature food of Batu Pahat.

The wanton noodles come without dark soy sauce but with a choice of chilli paste, a different variation to the equally popular (black version) wanton mee. The noodles itself are springy but I think the overall taste still lacks that ohmmphh in it. Above average but not impressive. Rating: 7.0/10

This isn't in the Batu Pahat itinerary but an impromptu decision to just stop over and have our dinner. We cursed our luck, after going around BP town searching left and right to only find out all those that featured in our plan was closed for the day. Geezzzz ... final resort was to then head to Batu Pahat Mall where we can get a selections of restaurants, cafes or fast food. Along the way, we chance upon Chor. Seems pretty decent and packed with patrons, so we decided to give this a try.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I remember blogging about them on my last trip here, and the review wasn't good coming from me, mainly due to the unforgivingly long waiting time for our food to be served. This time round, I am much more impressed by their eagerness to serve up the meal.
Be it roast duck lovers, foodies looking to fill their stomach or somebody out to look for an inexpensive meal, all can look no further than Restaurant Kim Loong albeit far away from Johor Bahru city. Although remotely located in Senai area, the daunting task of driving to Senai has been tamed with the new hookups to various expressways. The place is certainly more accessible with lesser time on the road needed, especially for our friends heading back to Singapore or from a trip at Desaru.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

For the people who is or has been to Kuching before, should know they have a few local hawker dishes which everyone must try, notably the kolo mee (哥罗面), laksa and tomato sauce mee. I have never tried all of them before simply because 1) I've never been to Sarawak before and 2) I've never come across them locally in JB.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Well, I guess I can call this place a cafe if I'm transported at least 20 years back into the past. The outlook of the place would under no circumstances, allow people to associate with one. I think it should rightfully name itself as Kopitiam Happy Land. Before the readers decide to skip and give this page a miss, I implore you to read beyond.