Showing posts with label prawn mee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prawn mee. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2015


Pomelo is a fruit that's associated with Perak especially in the town of Tambun. It's only befitting that the first dish to welcome us to Ipoh's WEIL Hotel is this palate-pleasing pomelo salad from TIFFIN All Day Dining Restaurant. Bursts of fruity sweetness mingled with umami savouriness and punchy sharpness of sliced shallots and spring onion in this Thai-inspired pomelo salad adorned with plump blanched prawns. 

Served at WEIL's stylishly designed Tiffin, diners will discover there's more to the outlet's substantial buffet. The a la carte boasts some hidden gems that should satisfy discerning foodies, ranging from a Balinese slanted satay lilit to its excellent Penang prawn noodles.
The secret lies in the capable hands of Tiffin's chef de cuisine Lee Choon Boon (pix below) and his team. Following several successful international hotel stints, this affable Ipoh guy aims to conquer his own home turf. His dishes have been great testaments thus have to taste them to believe it.
The uber-delicious prawn mee stock comes in fiery red-masala hue; its full-bodied, savoury depth culled from a mixture of dried shrimp, prawn shells and heads that teases your palate with prawny sweetness amidst riffs of warm zingy chilli heat. Teamed with sizeable sea prawns, hard-boiled egg, kangkung (water convulvus), beansprouts and sliced fish cake (Tiffin is pork-free), the noodles can rival the best in Penang.
Weekdays see a mostly business and corporate crowd partaking Tiffin's Asian buffet (RM35++ per person) while weekend tunch (tea & lunch RM47++) lets you feast from 12 noon to 4 pm. From our experience, the buffet has ample choices that should leave you spoiled for choice with several notable offerings worth returning for.
Welcome drinks for guests are served at the cosy Tea Lounge one level up. A serene haven filled with cushy armchairs, comfy settees, modern pendant lights and linear streamlined touches, you can while away an afternoon here over tea and cakes or unwind over Happy Hours with your fave tipples and bar snacks.
We took our own sweet time to savour the refreshing lemongrass mocktail; a simple but meaningful welcome gesture that typifies the cordial charm of Ipoh. Soaking in the quiet atmosphere, this little nook is ideal for reading, business discussions or chilling out post-work.
Aesthetically pleasing interior decor inside the Tea Lounge
Personally I like the muted shades of gray, stone, wood and dusky blue of its soft furnishings - all neutral tones that aren't too feminine or masculine. Teamed with wood and some metal trimmings, it's contemporary decor with subtle retro slants should withstand the passage of time well without being dated too quickly.

TO BE CONTINUED...Highlights on The Deck Gastrobar and Yuk Sou Hin coming up. 

For reservations and more information, call tel: +6 05 - 2082 228. WEIL HOTEL IPOH is located at 292, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Ayam Masak Cili Padi from Negeri Sembilan to set your tastebuds alight

For countless city folks whose roots lie beyond the Klang Valley, Ramadan is that time of the year when they crave for comfort food; simple, rustic dishes lovingly prepared by one's mothers and family matriarchs back in the kampungs come time for berbuka puasa or breaking of fast.

To assuage these culinary longings, they can either trawl the numerous Ramadan bazaars or head to the nearest hotels or restaurants that proffer a profusion of local Malay delicacies from all over Malaysia.

This is exactly what Malay chef Azhar Alias and his Nipah CoffeeShop team have set out to do - conjure up 150 homely kampung-style fare for buka puasa nightly.

“We've drawn inspirations from every nook and cranny of the country. Some specialities are prepared according to treasured family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation,” says Chef Azhar.

Kambing Gulai Kentang...hearty mutton curry with potatoes

Few Johoreans would be able to resist Nasi Briyani Gam, the ubiquitous spiced-infused basmati rice cooked with chunks of scrumptious chicken or beef. Fluffy and flavourful, you just need some Jelatah (pickled cucumber, pineapple and onion) or Acar Buah (subtly sweet fruit pickles) to complete the dish.

Kerabu Daging to whet the appetite for starters

If you're from the East Coast then you'd love the Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol, a rich and spicy tuna curry that's the requisite accompaniment for this unique rice dish. Another perennial delight from this part of the country is Ayam Golek with Percik Sauce, grilled whole chicken basted with a thick spice and coconut milk-based sauce.

It was an evening of meat overload as we feasted on Grilled Stingray, Mutton Keema (thick Indian mutton curry), Chicken Satay and the piece de resistance of every buffet worth its salt, Kambing Panggang Berempah - a whole roast lamb rubbed with exotic spices.

My good Penangite friend gave the Prawn Noodle her stamp of approval which means the dish is as close to the real deal as you'd get at five-star hotels. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the mushy Otak-otak.

Spicy Mussels on half shell is one of the many piquant dishes on the buffet

Thank goodness, the meat-filled Murtabak with Onion Pickles came up to mark as did the Sweet and Sour Razor Clams which was prepared on the spot at the live cooking station.

Colourful desserts from East and West to sweeten the breaking of fast

From the dessert section, my favourites are the velvety soft and smooth Soya Bean Curd, and unusual Fried Ice Cream, dodol and assorted fresh local fruits such as jackfruit, longans, water apple, and watermelon. The Apam Balik was too chewy for my liking but my dining companions had a field day rounding up their meal with Ais Krim Potong, Ice Kacang, traditional Malay kuihs and sweet broths.

The Aneka Sajian Tradisional Buffet Dinner is priced at RM99.00++ per adult and RM49.00++ per child.

For reservations at Nipah CoffeeShop, call: 03-2161 7777 ext 8555.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


A recent trip to Johor Bahru means lunch with an old friend who is a good cook and an ardent food lover. We had lunch at Danga Palace. The Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup was notable in which the sour, spicy and saltiness are well-balanced. It was also brimming with goodies - strands of soft beancurd, wood ear fungus, bamboo shoot, etc.

We ordered a chicken dish prepared in two ways - one with a piquant Thai-style sauce while the other coated in Marmite. Again the harmonious blend of flavours made the dish truly memorable. The latter was outstanding as the batter coating was thoroughly imbued with the Marmite sauce.

The other dishes we had were Stir-fried Kai Lan and a simple Beancurd dish. Later as we were wandering around JB, we stumbled upon an old bakery which has a 66-year old oven. They sell the real Roti Bengali that is popularly used for thick Hainanese toast, butter rolls, curry puffs and rounds of butter pastry. We bought one of their chicken curry puffs - the flaky pastry tasted richly of butter and the filling had a surprisingly generous amount of diced chicken meat. Too bad I forgot to snap a pix before it was devoured!

For dinner, we drove to Singapore. Found this decent Prawn Noodles with Pork Ribs in Chinatown. Quite different from our Malaysian version but it was tasty nonetheless. I luuuurrrvvve the soup - thank goodness it wasn't MSG-laden or else I would have suffered the consequences! Its hearty sweetness probably stemmed from the prawns and pork in it. Speaking of which, the pork ribs were equally nice and tender. Even the soft bones are edible with a nice crunch to them.

Hubby's Pork Rib Wantan Mee also came up to mark. In fact, it was better than some local ones from our "instant hawkers" here. It certainly put paid to our old presumption that Singapore-style wantan mee is weird and laden with tomato sauce. Well, not anymore. And if we Malaysians aren't careful their hawkers may just beat ours one day. Prices were another surprise - let's not do the currency conversion ok. Dollar for dollar, mine costs S$4 and hubby's S$3 for ours were small portions. I can't imagine us getting such decent food nowadays in KL...not when big prawn and pork ribs are concerned.

Other goodies which we had during our Chinatown jaunt included this German cheese sausage with mustard, a durian cendol (better than average which again was unexpected) and some roasted chestnuts (fresh, fresh, fresh without any badly shrivelled up ones like I sometimes get when I buy them in KL).

The following morning I had a most delicious kon lou (dry toss) meehoon with minced pork, pork and fish balls, sliced fish cake and deep-fried lard dices! Even the soup came with chopped seaweed which lent so much flavour. I can't get over the fact that I only paid S$2.20 for it!

All in all, it has been quite a revelation. It looks like their street food is fast gaining on us. Not a threat yet but if we are not careful, they will be.

We also went to Food Hotel Asia the next day but sadly, the show was a letdown. Perhaps my expectations were too high but there was nothing ground-breaking unlike when I first attended the event some years ago. So much so that I didn't even bother to shoot any photos...

Enroute back to KL, we stopped by the Machap rest area for a quick bite. Since I didn't have lunch, I grabbed a packet of Nasi Ambeng. This is Johor's equivalent to Nasi Lemak. A Malay friend told me it's a Javanese speciality usually served at weddings and auspicious kenduri or celebratory feasts.

Here's a not-very-good photo of the packet of rice - it has plain white rice with some fried yellow noodles in it, two pieces of salted fish (extra-large anchovies), spiced kerisik (grated coconut), fried chicken in a sweetish, mildly spiced black sauce and sambal. Unlike Nasi Lemak, it leaves you feeling less jelak (bloated? overly satiated?) and the multiple spice flavours more aromatic than red-hot spicy. A nice way to round off this business cum food trip ;-))

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What A Banquet

Crispy Salt-Fish Flavoured Chicken Wings

Super-rich Foie Gras for the well-heeled crowd

Hip & Hot Hokkien Pork-free Prawn Mee

Must try! Spaghetti with Crackling Duck Skin Croutons

Heavenly death by Chocolate with Truffle to boot!

The eclectic crowd who knows about chic Parisian-style eatery, Café Café at Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur will adore this place. Despite being newcomers to the cut-throat F&B biz five years ago, Ben Yeong and Toto Ooi have naysayers flummoxed over their success. And they about to repeat it with Banquet.

We stumbled upon the outlet when we went to check out the newly opened Bangsar Village 2. With old folks in tow and a kid, it's not easy to find an eatery that suit everyone. Still the classy place offers a good East-West menu (NOT fusion but segregated into separate sections). Get past the 'chi chi' chandeliers and you'd feel right at home, lolling in the white wicker chairs that go with the white marble tables. Rows of potted fir trees give the dining area a mock outdoorsy feel. One tends to have the impression of being waited on hand and foot by a battalion of chefs as the service team is immaculately garbed in spotless white chef’s uniforms.

We were surprised the local items stayed true to tradition while the European-style salads, appetizers and mains will strike a chord with more sophisticated tastebuds. Definitely a good place to bring Mom, aunties and trendy gal-pals!

Had a recent windfall? Treat yourself to the Pan-Seared Foie Gras (RM45++) served with olive oil and fruity apple reduction. Supremely smooth yet light enough to leave you feeling hugely satisfied. Oh, we guarantee your diet will fly out the window once you sample the Baked Escargots with Anchovy Garlic Butter (RM24++).

The luxurious Wild Rocket, Parmigiano, Sliced Pear and Roasted Pine Nuts drizzled with Foie Gras Reduction (RM25++) is too good for rabbits so greenies will do well to order this.

Who says ham yue (salted fish) is only fit for a pauper's table? Crushed and mixed into the batter for Aromatic Chicken Wings (RM14++), the dish is fit for a king! Imagine biting into crisp batter and then moist, juicy and subtly briny chicken wings - oooohh...this humble ingredient deserves some new-found respect.

But all said and done, we always look for a kick-*** dish that defines a particular restaurant. We certainly found it in the Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato and Duck Skin Croutons (RM25++). Inspired by an unforgettable French peasant dish of solidified duck lard eaten with fresh sliced baguette, Yeong's duck skin croutons are good enough to rival the regular chee yow char (deep-fried pork lard dices).

Tossed with pasta, olive oil and sun-dried tomato, the simple combination worked like a charm. One gets a light, well-rounded gamey aftertaste in the pasta, with the crispy duck skin bits heightening the sun-dried tomato’s delicate piquancy. In turn, the latter prevents the dish from being overly rich.

OK, local foodies can take comfort that the Prawn Noodles (RM16++) has all the requisite flavours nicely balanced too. The soup is spicy without being tongue-numbingly so and has a tasty prawny sweetness to it. The recipe comes from one of Toto Ooi's relatives who runs her own prawn noodles shop back in Bukit Mertajam, up north in Penang. Served with decent size prawns, blanched beansprouts, kangkong, sliced chicken and hard-boiled egg, it is now one of Banquet's hot sellers. My only beef is the absence of crispy fried shallots to give it that essential finishing touch but Ooi has promised to rectify this.

Imagine eating a rustic dish like Mee Jawa (RM16++) in achingly hip Bangsar! Well, the noodle dish is on the menu and worth trying. Even though the mildly spicy sweet potato and crab gravy is not as thick as I would have liked it to be, the dish more than passed muster with its generous accompaniments of sliced flour fritters and fried firm beancurd, crunchy flour cracker, prawns and beansprouts.

Another diet-busting temptation that you must not miss is the Hot Chocolate Cake. You have to wait 15 minutes for it but heck, this light, ultra-decadent chocolate cake with a molten liquid centre imbued with white truffles is simply to-die-for! Don't let the RM30++ tag deter you - go on and have it just this once! Saner diners may want to opt for the classic chocolatey or peanut butter filling.

Inject a burst of 'sunshine' onto your palate with the Lemon Tart (RM9++) or pick up some Italian smoothness with its Tiramisu (RM18++).
Overall, Banquet is well worth a visit for its prompt service, stylish ambience and most of all, some ravishing dishes. It won't be cheap but it's not gonna cost you a king's ransom either to feast at Banquet.

Banquet (pork-free)
1F-28 Bangsar Village II
2 Jalan Telawi Satu
Bangsar Baru
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2282 3228

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