Fermented Durians & Fish Sauce at Saramz Makanan Kampung Kelantan on Lorong Haji Hussein, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


One thing that is absolute in KL is that eating with Simon is never dull. He has detailed details and dirt on places that just boggle your taste buds.

Take for example my second day in KL where I got out of bed still feeling very mellow (since the painkiller hasn’t worn off yet), Simon decided to throw me into the deep end of ethnic Malay cuisine.

Truth be told, Kelantanese cuisine is in a class of its own with Thai influences and Kelantan being on the coast of Northern Malaysia, hence fish is a dominant ingredient in Kelantanese cuisine.

Take for example Budu, a Kelantanese fermented fish sauce. Every significant culture with a coast line has a fish sauce from the Thai Nam Pla to the Korean Jeotgal, from the Roman Garum to the British Worcestershire sauce. Basically, what you need is fish, salt and heat – it’s the mix of spices that varies culturally – and you’ll get a nutty cheesy sauce that will either whet your appetite or make you (wimp!) lose it.

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Posted on 21st Nov 2010 in Food and Drink, Kelantanese, Malaysia, Old School  |  6 comments

A visit to the hospital


Honey, do my hips look big?

Bright was the day as I set off from home to the airport for a short trip to Malaysia. Simon and Jeff have been asking me to go up to KL without the large group so that we can get down to some serious, distraction-free eating.

In fact, when Simon asked what I wanted to do on my trip, my reply was to be like a Wagyu Cow: eating, drinking alcohol, lazing around and getting massages.

Simple hopes, modest hopes but it was not to be.

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Posted on 12th Nov 2010 in Malaysia, Musings  |  9 comments

Soo Kee Mee on Medan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wok Hei

I’ve always been fascinated by professional cooks using the Chinese Wok to transform ingredients into palatable wonders. The primal roar of fire, the crackle snap and pop of boiling oil and the singing spatula with backing sizzle; closing my eyes, I can sometimes tell by listening if there is good eating ahead.

Kitchen cacophony segues into gastronomic symphony; the audible edibles. Like a broken drum, it can’t be beat.

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Posted on 2nd Nov 2010 in Cantonese, Makankaki, Malaysia, Old School  |  9 comments

A comparison of the Singaporean Teochew and the Malaysian Klang (Hokkien) Bak Kut Teh using the analogy of wine


You all know Simon. Couple of weekends ago, he visited us and commented about how our local Bak Kut Teh (BKT) was not as flavorful as the Klang version.

A defense of our local clear version of Bak Kut Teh is that it gives an “honest” clean taste whereas with the Klang version with its herbs and soy sauce, it is easy to hide inferior quality pork within the heavy liquor. Nevertheless, we had a tasting of Bak Kut Teh (BKT) documented here.

And this is what Simon had to say.

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Posted on 19th Aug 2010 in Hokkien, Malaysia, Singapore, Teochew  |  2 comments

King’s Beef Noodles in Seremban

Old School Beef Noodles for teh win!

The cuisine section in the Wikipedia entry for Seremban states that the other great Seremban dish to sample is the Braised Beef Noodles or Ngau Nam Meen. While that particular entry reads like an advertising spiel (unverified even), it is no less true about being one of the unique Serembanite dishes.

And Jeff have been talking about King’s Beef Noodles despite the fact that in the past 3 years, he’s only been there like thrice. That’s because the man running King’s Beef Noodles sources his own beef from a particular farm in Seremban and would not open if he is unable to obtain beef of sufficient quality.

Intriguing no?

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Posted on 18th Apr 2010 in Chinese, Food and Drink, Makankaki, Malaysia, Meat  |  1 comment

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