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a little phallic, a little enjoyable. (at Artisan Roast HQ)

cakes. colours. ramadan. (at Bazar Ramadhan TTDI)

green curry chicken @ fa-ying. slurp-worthy!

italian in the city - every now and then i’ll have a craving for pasta… and i do one of two things…

1) cook my stash of knorr pasta sides (don’t diss till you try it!)

2) go to trattoria il porcelino on p ramlee at menara hap seng

this entry is dedicated for option 2. i’ll have to say that trattoria il porcelino is one of the most unassuming italian eateries in kl… the look of the resto isn’t striking, and the interior isn’t one of the most inviting.

however, it scores brownie points for me in the fact that it isn’t halal. it really is challenging to eat a proper sit-down italian meal that is.

the cold cuts antipasti is pretty good. they give you a nice salad to wash down the excellent meat choices they give you. if i remember right, there are 4-5 different types.

the pappardelle you see in the second photo is pretty hearty. they don’t scrounge on the meat/sausage, and the sauce it comes with is so flavourful. 

as for the risotto… well, i’ve been known to make a pretty good one… but their version adds a little twist… prosciutto! how can i compete with that? give it a go!

kuching eats two - battered buttered fried squid, medin, and seafood kolo mee. just some of the culinary reasons to visit kuching.

seafood is abundant and fresh, and my friend was lamenting that her cholesterol had been rising as a result! after just spending a few days there, i understood why. the pictured kolo mee is a favourite sarawak mainstay, and to order it with a little twist of adding seafood made it all the more desirable.

as for kuching - it’s a very relaxing place. riverfront is brilliant, and much of the city’s charm remains intact with ‘heritage’ structures providing a wonderful backdrop for excellent photography. it’s all too easy to immerse yourself in its pace… it just draws you in that effortlessly.

kuching eats one - sarawak laksa, foochow dry wanton, and fried noodle in a tomato broth. it’s good to come ‘home’. i know next to nothing about my birthplace, but it’s great that work brings me back to see the sights, hear the sounds, and savour the food. 

nowadays you can find many of these dishes in the klang valley, but if you’ve spent a significant amount of time in malaysian borneo, you’ll know that the taste can’t be 100% replicated. i think i’ll be coming back a little more often now that i’m reminded of my childhood tastes.

kuantan. a surprising delight. - 

work recently brought me to one of the larger cities of east coast peninsular malaysia, kuantan. i was pretty excited to go… my parents lived there for a couple of years and i came back to visit them over the summer holidays during my uni years. this was well over a decade ago, so understandably, i wanted to see what the years had done to it.

i arrived way past eleven on a wednesday night. i was surprised at how vibrant and energetic it was as compared to my previous desination: johor bahru. i was put up at the hyatt at teluk chempedak, a hotel by the sea. back then, the hotel was pretty much the only thing in the area. i was taken aback to see the raft of fast food places that had opened. good and bad i suppose. 

the photo on the right was taken in the morning around eight. a pretty sight! too bad i was there for business. however, i didn’t need to start until about ten, so i decided to drive around the old neighbourhood where the family used to live, and also search for the nasi lemak or roti canai place our family used to frequent. THEY WERE ALL GONE :( well not really, but as i remember, the famous satay zul around kubang buaya (which serves great nasi lemak) used to be open in the mornings too. maybe my memory fails me as the launderette beside them informed me that they commence business at half past five in the evening.

a little downtrodden at the prospect of eating a hotel breakfast buffet, i drove back to teluk chempedak with an empty stomach (yet happy to see the many old places which brought back interesting memories). i was about to reach the hotel when i saw a little coffee shop called restoran hoi yin. it was PACKED. this is a rare sight as a lot of the mamaks or kopitiams will not have that level of patrons in their eateries. even more suprising is that there was only one stall offering three dishes. ALL patrons however, ordered only one thing. curry mee.

i decided to drop in and try what the locals were having. turns out it was a splendid rendition of curry mee. teeming with fresh ingredients consisting of chicken and seafood, it was certainly a treat for the senses. the broth was not overly thick (as it tends to be with a lot of the curry noodles you’ll find in peninsular malaysia), and the auntie gave two kinds of chilli (one belacan based) for you to adjust the taste to your liking. i piled it on. the result? 

one big smile. my morning was complete.

a mere 2.5hr drive from KL, i will definitely consider spending a relaxing weekend in this charming town… so that i can have this curry mee… and attack satay zul!

while i think it’s great to travel alone at times, i can’t ignore the advantage of dining out with more people (it would be even better if they, like you, love to eat). in a city like penang, it would be rather advisable to bring as many people with you as you can, so that you can sample loads of stuff.

the dish on the left was the hero for the night… and the name surprised me. hokkien mee, penang style, known in KL as prawn mee. NONE of the versions i’ve tried in KL ever tasted like the one pictured here, which is why i was hesitant to eat it. i didn’t order it, but ended up hijacking it from the person who did!

the curry chee cheong fun was a slight let down, but still better than many versions you’d find in the klang valley, and the lo bak… well… fried stuff… you can’t really go wrong with that.

just the other day i was lamenting to my best friend that i have not had good chinese-style char kuey teow (CKT) in a long long time. so we went to teh tarik place at the curve to satisfy the CKT craving. of course, that didn’t do the trick as it just isn’t the same. teh tarik place offers malay-style CKT. it is however, very good… just not the same.

imagine my delight when i WAS able to actually satisfy my craving in the CKT capital itself. so at new lane, we not just sampled one, but two different versions. it was great. whether the left or the right, both had their virtues. huge prawns and chinese sausage on the left, and crab meat shavings on the right. which would you choose? i say, just eat both!

given that i was going to be in penang for a mere 24 hours, i didn’t expect to partake in many or any of the things that make it famous… the food! luckily the client had a hankering for great street food, and they called on their local-based colleagues to bring us out for a sumptuous meal. and feast we did at a place called new lane. pictured here… new lane, assam laksa, and oyster omelette.

on the way to the mall i spotted this kopitiam behind eastin hotel. curry chee cheong fun is not bad. can’t really go wrong with food in penang, and that’s a fact!

a lunchtime favourite #food #dimsum (Taken with Instagram at Duck King Restaurant)

keropok lekor at killiney kopitiam uptown pj . probably the best one out there. for me at least. chawan ranks a close second.

great meal at #apartment #klcc. chicken pâté with red wine & brandy, served with onion marmalade & ciabatta… accompanied with a competent mushroom soup! #food

thinly sliced roasted #duck and roast #pork @ four seasons empire subang. #sj #food