October 29, 2015

Rat Ox Bar, Bintulu, Sarawak (BUSINESS CEASED)


Location: Jalan Tanjung Kidurong, Kidurong Light Industrial Estate, 97300 Bintulu, Sarawak (The junction to Daiken Sarawak, new shop lots on the right hand side, behind 7-11).
Business Hour: 11am - 2pm; 4pm - 12am (kitchen last order at 10:30pm).
Tel: 010-982 6889

Weeks ago I went back to hometown Bintulu to celebrate my mum's birthday. Finally got the chance to visit my friend, Janet who is working at Rat Ox Bar as chef. I have been wanting to try out the food she cooked as she has worked in NZ for many years. She is very experienced and acquired a lot of cooking skills with certificates. When talking about cooking, her eyes beamed.

The location of the restaurant is a little bit out of town. It took me sometime to get there. But those who are working in the Kidurong industrial area shouldn't be confused with the location. It is along the road to Daiken Kidurong.

The menus, fusion cuisine. Which one entices you more?

They open for lunch too. 11am - 2pm. I haven't got chance to try out the lunch menu yet.

Tiger Radler is suitable for ladies. Sweeter taste, quite similar to Shandy. The alcohol percentage is slightly higher than Shandy, 2% to 3%.

I had the pork belly, as recommended by Janet. This is one of her signature dishes. I love its texture and taste. Very unique taste as she used orange to roast it. The meat is tenderly soft, chew effortlessly. I am just wondering if she can replace the pork belly with pork ribs too? Lean meat is a better choice for health conscious people like me. The baked potato is a big bonus, crispy skin. The french beans also not overcooked.  Thumbs up!

It is a rare find to have this NZ style cuisine in Bintulu. I am not being bias, it is a honest review. I used to dine at one restaurant (which used to be famous) with my friend in Bintulu, hmm...  the worst meal I ever had. Barely finished the chicken meat because it was prepared early and reheat to serve. The food served is totally different from the description and picture. Worst, they used sweet potatoes to replace the french fries. I believe the previous chef has resigned, the current chef didn't keep the standards maintained.

Rat Ox Bar posts updates and promos on Facebook page, check it out here:  https://www.facebook.com/rat.ox.btu.

Next, going to blog the best kampua in Bintulu. Stay tuned!

October 23, 2015

NTV7 Foodie Blogger 为食客 on 11th Oct 2015

Hi all, I doubt how many of you have watched the Foodie Blogger 为食客 on 11th October 2015? Yes, that's me, collaborated with NTV7 to introduce Kuching foods. The shooting took place on 10th May 2015. I hid the news from everyone, including my parents. Even myself didn't watch it. Feel extremely awkward to watch myself on TV. I was hoping none of my friends and family watched it, and let the case closed. I want to keep it low profile as I didn't want my friends and parents to find out I have a blog. Well, my wish didn't granted. The episode was reran on 17th October. My parents watched it. Then some of my friends found out too. "I saw you on TV, is that you?". Felt so embarrassed. Even having lunch at a coffee shop, the taukunio came to ask me the same thing. Quite amusing. Since then I have a little bit of 'fame' these few days because of the show.

Middle of March this year, I was invited by Victor, the Assistant Producer of Foodie Blogger to work for their Kuching food episode. I had the hesitation at first because I am not a foodie like some of them who know the history background, the ingredients, the making, etc. I just blog for the sake of sharing. I hope my blog can attract more tourists to come to Kuching. Nevertheless I submitted the list for them to choose. Since the shooting scheduled in May, I thought I still got time to consider about it. I have thought of two suitable candidates to replace me. However, both of them don't have a food blog. So I carried it out myself.

From the list submitted, they chose Kim Joo, Song Kheng Hai, and The Dyak. These are the safe list because they have been existed for long time. I don't have to worry they will cease business one day and whatnot. At Kim Joo, I can introduce their zheng and tomato kueh tiaw. At Song Kheng Hai, I can recommend the coconut sugarcane, belacan beehoon and gong pia. The Dyak, is the symbolic Dayak cuisine which tourists should not miss it out.

During the shooting, all the owners were very helpful. The sugarcane owner even continuously served us assorted of drinks. 3 out of 4 I never tried before. I wish I can help them more. Unfortunately time was limited. We could only select two types of drinks. The crew had to shoot the dish from every angle, picking up the food with the spoon/chopsticks. This took several minutes. Though it looks simple and easy but it is the hardwork behind the screen. When the dish shooting finished, the food had turned cold. The owners replaced either new bowl or reheat the food for us. I am very grateful for their help. Though I made a few mistakes. I forgot to introduce the story of some items at The Dyak. The bowl they used has the story behind. During the barter economy, the China merchants used the bowls to trade with them for jungle products. This the example of the bowl the Dyak used.

The handsome host, Ernest 张顺源.

First stop at Kim Joo 锦裕, with the owner.

Second stop at Song Kheng Hai, with the owner of Mao Zhong Drink Stall 茂忠饮水摊.

With the owner, Padungan Belachan Bee Hoon.

With Rihga owner.

Last stop at The Dyak.

The photo with the NTV7 crew.

If you missed the episode, you can watch it HERE. Just register and it is free to watch. Or you can view the travel article posted by Ernest here: http://travel.cari.com.my/portal.php?mod=view&aid=67703.

October 17, 2015

Kurtos Spiroll @ Pavilion KL

Location: Pavilion Food Court, Kuala Lumpur

A year ago I found something new at Pavilion food court. It is the type of pastries I ever had in Prague. I missed it so much! It is called Trdlo / Trdelnik, traditional Slovak cake. Can't believe I found it in Malaysia.

The menu board. Many choices to choose. It is safe to ask them for recommendation. But I believe all tastes as nice. The guy recommended us to have the Nutella Walnut and Spirall Dog.

The best sellers, Nutella Walnut, Cinnamon Sugar, Peanut Butter n Choc Chips, Spiroll Dog, Smoked Salmon, and Chicken, Olive & Cheese.

The process of making kurtos kalacs is open for public to view.

The Nutella Walnut. The combination of nutella and walnut is impeccable. Who can resist not to have it?

The Spiroll Dog. Not bad actually..

This is the shop I bought the trdlo from in Prague. The cheapest food I could get in Prague. 50Kč is roughly about 2 Euro dollar.

The trdlo I had 5 years ago. It is coated with sugar only but tastes real good.

Every time I visit KL, I never skipped Auntie Anne's pretzel. Almost every visit to KLCC, I'll queue up for pretzel. And this kurtos kalacs is inside my favourite list too after my first trial. Too bad the kitchen wasn't ready on my second visit in June this year. I guess I went early around 10am and the cashier asked me to come back in a hour time. Oh well, still got chance. Hope they will open more branches in KL soon. It would be good to have it at KLIA2.

October 13, 2015

Authentic Foochow Cuisine @ Meekwong Cafe, Kuching

Location: Ground Floor, Jalan Song Thian Cheok, 93100 Kuching (same block with KWB payment counter).

This coffee shop only operates from early morning till 2pm. It has been my favourite place these days for late lunch. The variety of Foochow food is the main attractions, such as Foochow version fried noodles, mee soup, kampua, gong pia, zao cai beehoon, herbal soup with mee sua, chicken soup mee sua, etc.

The menus and pricing. The price is reasonable as the portion is quite large with generous ingredients.

This is kampua 干盘面. The texture of kampua is different from kolo mee. The noodles of kampua is like 100% cooked, and authentic Foochow kampua must contains pork lard. Secondly, a bowl of clear soup should be provided. In Kuching they don't provide soup unless you request it. We Foochow will not miss out soup in our meals, especially dinner. Looking at this picture, I feel like having it tomorrow. It looks so seducing. 

On my second visit, I tried out their fried noodles 炒面湿. Foochow version, stir-fried with dark soy sauce and the condensation of gravy must be thick enough.

This is called zao cai beehoon 糟菜米粉. Zao cai is fermented vegetables, imported from China. Tastes sour, it is my favourite too. Usually zai cai beehoon 糟菜米粉 will contain black fungus and the beehoon is thicker than the normal type. This type of beehoon we call it "fen gan" 粉干.

Ba zhen mee sua 八珍面线. In Foochow, we pronounce it as "bek tin". This soup contains 8 types of herbs. Usually we will use duck meat to cook, but here they use chicken as a replacement so that the price is affordable. The chicken thigh looks huge, it is only RM6. Worth it. The herbal soup is heaty type in Chinese medical terms, it is good for ladies especially. Taste wise, ba zhen soup has a little bit sweetness.

Fried bai guo gan 炒白果干, white rice cake is another Foochow dish too. This is not really my favourite, but my mother loves it. Every year she never missed this dish on CNY reunion dinner. This dish we usually stir fry with leeks imported from China.

My brother has also tried out their food. But he still prefer the one at Rock City Cafe. Actually I agree with him. The auntie's Foochow fried noodles is really unbeatable.

October 4, 2015

Nice Dumplings & Pulut Panggang @ Lee Coffee Shop, Kuching

Location: Lot 225 - 228, Section 51, Jalan Ban Hock, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak
Close on Mondays

This stall selling dumplings and panggang at Lee Coffee Shop has been in business for quite sometime. I hope they will continue their business for more years to come. They used to have one stall outside Chong Chon Cafe at 3rd Mile but it is no longer available. Luckily the main branch is still operating at Lee Coffee Shop, or else I would be headache to find nice panggang as theirs. Other than pulut panggang, their pork with yam paste fillings dumpling also tastes very nice.

Their menu as such:
Red nylon string (Pork with mushroom fillings) RM3.50
Blue nylon string (Pork with yam paste fillings) RM4.00
Yellow nylon string (Sambal chicken) RM4.00
Green nylon string (Pork with salted egg fillings) RM4.50
Pulut panggang RM1.50

The size of dumpling is quite huge.

The panggang with sambal fillings. RM1.50 each. Worth it. Usually the panggang is wrapped with banana leaves. But they use pandan leaves which make the aroma even better.

This is the mushroom pork dumpling. RM3.50 each.

This is another good alternative if you crave for dumplings.

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