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.

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Jetty of Surname; I've chosen Tan Jetty

Jetty of Surname; this is an area in Penang that each of the walkways towards the sea has its own surname. Categorizing by surname, this is how the Chinese builds the houses to live here. We're led by the walkway to a nice scenery of the wide ocean.

We come to TAN Jetty姓陈桥 for our Thai food during the lunch time. The business starts from 11am and it's ran by a couple whom I guess the wife is a Thai. It's a good compliment when they've an album to publish every single dishes that they serve here. Well, it's not a must for a restaurant but I'll say that it eases me to make my choice.

Our first dish is a Laksa as an appetizer. Laksa is a type of round-shaped rice noodle, being served in the soup that is boiled with mashed fish meat. The fish meat will thicken the soup and being added with some dried chili paste to create some spiciness. Thai Laksa is more milky but the spiciness comes at the end of the tongue when the soup flows through your throat; it gives you a short 'kick' but indeed it's not very spicy. One specialty that we've found on the Laksa is the fermented white radish as the garnishing. The white radish is kind of tasteless, less sour from the normal fermented vegetable but it creates the crunchiness when goes with the Laksa soup or noodle.

A must to order is the Tomyam Kung or it's so-called the clear Tomyam soup. The 'innocent' clear look of the soup is actually spicy and sour. As there's a request to the chef to reduce the spiciness, thus I find the soup is less spicy and sour to cater for my appetite. I'll say that the seafood is fresh except that the prawn and the fish meat have been over-cooked; losing the juiciness and appear to be harder. Our next dish is also seafood-based whereby we've ordered a Seafood Otak-Otak. The mixture of seafood and fish paste that has been added with some spices, is wrapped with the aluminium foil and then steamed to cook. Traditionally, banana leaf is commonly being used as a wrapper, to give an additional aroma to the Otak-Otak. Otak-Otak is normally not spicy as coconut milk is added to give an additional aroma and deliciousness. Personally, I don't really feel amazed by the Otak-Otak here as the fish paste is a little too 'watery', making it a little slimy and I just feel that it's killing the freshness of the seafood. Also, this dish seems to taste a little over-cooked, with some smell like charcoal?

(Source from Wikipedia: Otak-otak (Chinese: 鲤鱼包) is a cake made of fish meat. It is widely known across Southeast Asia, where it is traditionally served fresh, wrapped inside banana leaf, as well as in many Asian stores internationally - being sold as frozen food and even canned food.)

Talking about Thai food, don't miss out to try the Fish Cake. The fish cake is a mixture of fish paste with chopped vegetable like onions and coriander leaves and then being pat into round shape; before we fry it in the hot oil. Dipping the fish cake in the Thai chili sauce gives additional sweetness to the taste. I like the fish cake here as it's soft and juicy whereby it's neither too compact nor too oily. Anyway, I just can't guess the ingredients inside while I'm busy eating.

I can't recall the Thai name of this dish but it's actually Fried Long Beans with Chicken. Thai food is normally sweeter and same goes here, the coconut milk is actually reducing the spiciness of the dish. I'm kind of enjoying the crunchy long beans with the juicy chicken meat; here is the proof that the dish is just nicely cooked. Another vegetable that we've ordered is the Fried Petai whereby the chef has generously put in the medium-sized prawn. Frying with chili and onion, this is just a simple way to cook petai.

What has really surprised us is the bill! The portion of each dish is quite small whereby we've to order 2bowls for the Tomyam soup and 2pcs fish cakes per person, yet this meal costs us RM128 for 5people only. Well, I do think it's expensive! Even though I like the view here, but the price is really a doubt for me; if I should come here again...

Friday, 24 December 2010

To the End of the World; Dining at the 'Fishing Village'

Fishing Village is a seafood restaurant that you'll find it at the Teluk Bahang area. This is how we like to say 'To the end of the world for Seafood' and this is definitely our old place. Going by Franky's jeep; I do enjoy the strong wind and nice scenery along the way.

What should we eat here? Let's start with the vegetable whereby we've ordered the Homemade Tofu with Mushroom and the Fried Broccoli with Mixed Seafood. I dislike the Tofu as the sauce is too slimy and what I feel worse is the stickiness that has made the mushroom tastes so awful. Nothing that is so special about the Broccoli except that the chef has put in a lot of seafood such as prawn, squid and fish meat. By the way, they're medium-sized; it means they're larger than what you can have in standard restaurant.

Our first dish is the Fried Squid that I think that they've been fried too long in the oil and I dislike the feeling to chew the squid hardly that I really need strong teeth. Furthermore, I'll prefer if the fried squid is added with some spices or if it's saltier. Followed by is the Kung Po style Fried Mantis Prawn. Frying the Mantis Prawn in Kung Po style of dark soy sauce with some dried chili for spiciness does fit my appetite, especially that I'm a Mantis Prawn supporter for no matter how it's being served.
Our main dishes for the night are the Black Pepper Tiger Prawn and the Fried Red Snapper with Butter Lemon Sauce. I enjoy the compact meat of these big-sized tiger prawns. The thick black pepper sauce is being absorbed completely by the fresh prawns and I love the juiciness and tenderness of the meat with the strong black pepper taste to spread in my mouth. Fried fish is mainly to cater my picky boyfried whom doesn't eat steamed fish at all. I've to say that the butter lemon sauce tastes special as it's giving a little saltiness, sourness but also sweetness to the fried fish. Anyway, I don't really like this fried fish dish as the fish is not as fresh as what we can have for steaming.

The last dish to fill our hunger is the Fried Noodle. Luckily, the mixed seafood that I can find inside the noodle is enough to compensate the disappointment that I have towards the noodle that has been over-cooked. The noodle is too soft and thus making it tastes very slimy.

I don't really put a high compliment towards the food in Fishing Village but surprisingly, the restaurant is always full with crowd. It's either we've ordered the wrong dishes or it's just because people come here for the famous name only?!! Whatever, I'll be really glad if the waiters or waitresses can wear more smiles on their faces.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Homemade Pasta; Thanks to the Chef Franky

It's always relaxing when you don't need to cook and there's someone to serve you a nice meal; here comes our chef Franky that has prepared his special homemade pasta for our dinner.

Oh, it's so annoying that Franky doesn't want to share the secret recipe with us. It's a meat-based sauce that is mainly with beef, chopped onions and tomato cubes. The sauce is a little bit alike Bolognese but it doesn't have strong sourness from the tomato and in fact, it's a bit more milky. I guess the chef must have added some whipped cream or yogurt to create such smooth and creamy texture? Personally, I prefer it to be saltier. Well, maybe I should put in more Parmesan Cheese. The Spaghetti is perfect, neither too hard nor over-cooked. Franky has mixed some butter into the Spaghetti, so that they don't stick together in the bowl.

I do enjoy this delicious homemade pasta from Franky. It may not be as good as or as elegant as what you've in restaurant, but the taste does fit my appetite. To my surprise is, he can really cook well.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Kuala Gula; a Village for the Seafood?!!

I've always heard about 'Kuala Gula, Seafood; Seafood, Kuala Gula...'; anything is special? This small village is famous for the cheap seafood because of its strategic location that is near to the sea, somewhere the fishermen grow. We've traveled so far to reach our destination; I guess around 2hours from Penang.

Sitting in the small hut, on the soiled land for our lunch; here is the Ai Tee Seafood Restaurant that is recommended by my colleague. The restaurant seems to be very old, I think this should be one of the oldest restaurant here?!! The first impression to my boyfriend is DIRTY. It's no doubt that the environment is uncomfortable and the smell is unease but I've to say that 'this is how a village life is, especially a fisherman village'.

'Different colors of life, this is how I describe the colorful drinks that all of us have ordered. Now, let's go to the food that we've ordered...
First dish is the Thorn Lo or what is familiarly known as 'Helicopter' to the locals in M'sia. This type of creatures are having a lot of sharp thorns on their hard shells, that has gained them the name. Basically, the meat is tasteless and all you need is the sauce to spice up the flavour. Luckily, the 'Helicopter' is fresh as it's nothing so special about the Thai sauce that is available in any shopping mall. Our next 'shell' is the Steamed Kepah in the sauce that is tasted alike Chinese herbs, garnished with some Chili Padi to add on a little spiciness. The Kepah is fresh and big; I mean it's really bigger than any that you can find in wet market. But, I personally dislike the sticky sauce that has been thickened with corn flour whereby it's destroying the freshness and sweetness of the Kepah.

Frying food for my boyfriend; here comes the Fried Squid. The squid is not very crispy and in fact it's a little bit hard as its small size is hardly to have more meat for you to chew. But these small bite-sized squid is just nice to pop into the mouth. The next dishes are our main courses of Fried rice vermicelli or Bee Hoon with Crab and the Steamed Prawn with Pork. Basically, this is just a normal fried Bee Hoon in dark soy sauce with the Crab. The specialty that has added the deliciousness to the dish is the canned pork meat! The saltiness and the sweetness of the pork is enhancing the taste of the crab and giving a nice aroma to this simple Bee Hoon dish. The Steamed Prawn with Pork is indeed a surprise; at the moment I hear its name. It's actually kind of similar cooking method with the Crab. Instead of frying, the prawn is indeed steamed with the egg and canned pork. The dish is oily but somehow I do enjoy the steamed egg that has absorbed sufficient taste of the pork. Just a little disappointment, I think that the prawn is too small and it's not so fresh whereby the meat is a bit too soft.
Our last dish is the Teow Chew Style Steamed Fish. The dish is really appetizing from the garnishing and in reality, the tender meat of the fresh fish goes well with the soup that tastes sour and yet with a little spiciness; just-to-taste for my appetite.
To me, it's a little bit too faraway to travel to Kuala Gula for such a seafood meal. I'll not deny that the seafood is indeed cheaper there but the dishes are not really very special; to motivate me for a re-visit. It's somehow an unforgettable memory to be there with a big gang of friends.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sungai Acheh; Here We Go for the Yummy... Curry Prawns

Always... I've been waiting eagerly for the Curry Prawns at Sungai Acheh; somewhere near to Nibong Tebal. Everyone around me has been so often to discuss about the deliciousness of the dish. I'm really wondering of the extent that the prawn can taste.

Lim Aik Chew is the one and only restaurant that serves the Curry Prawns with Bread. The sauce is thick and it does add on a strong curry flavour to the prawns. The bread is nice to go along with the Curry Prawns as it absorbs the thick curry paste and letting the strong curry taste to spread in the mouth. Honestly, the curry is very salty and thus it'll taste more delicious if to go with bread or white rice; whereby the saltiness is neutralized. Personally, I like the big prawns that are fresh whereby the meat is compact yet still tender and juicy. However, some people may dislike the thick curry that will make you feeling too full that it does stop my appetite for more dishes.

Our next order is the Steamed Prawns. The chef has put in a lot of chopped garlic and with some white rice wine to enhance the nice aroma. To me, the garlic is a little too much that it covers up the sweetness of the prawns. Luckily, the fresh prawns have saved some tastiness for this dish.

I do quite enjoy this meal here. Imagining; in a small and rural town, there's an old restaurant that serves a special and tasty meal that you'll remember...