home made sar kort liew (yam bean)

Sar kort liew is a deep fried local delicacy, only to be found primarily in Ipoh.

Besides the usual fare of fish ball, tau foo, lady finger with fish paste or meat ball in a bowl of steaming noodle soup, it is normal to have sar kort liew in your bowl of noodle soup in Ipoh.

I grew up practically eating sar kort liew when I was a little boy and it is quite difficult or even non existent in places out of Ipoh. Basically it is a concoction of yam bean / turnip and fish paste, bind together with bean curd sheet. They are then steamed for 10 minutes prior to deep frying to golden brown.

Since I yearned for this Ipoh delicacy, I decided to make it myself. 

The outcome?

Taste was almost there. Appearance similar to those found in Ipoh. Texture: dissappointing. But overall, I was happy 🙂

char goa tiao (char kway teow)

I have not been having  a good plate of char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles) for months and my favourite place to have char kway teow was at Maluri, Cheras.

There was this “tai kor” (big brother) was used to be a triad gang member but had since turned over a new leaf.

His version of char kway keow, is quite similar to those found in Penang. Besides the “wok hei” (charred flavour due to quick stir frying over high heat), there’s slices of chinese sausage and “kao choy”. Unfortunately, he has since stopped plying his trade and his replacement is a young couple. All hopes are gone.

I was at Eunos food court recently and when I saw a “char goa tiao” stall, I wasted no time and ordered a plate. Five minutes later and SGD2 lesser, I have my first plate of “char goa tiao” in Singapore.

How did it fare?

Again I can’t compare as it will not do justice to the uncle.

It was actually not too bad, taste wise. It has a tinge of sweetness as it is quite common in Singapore to use sweet sauce for “frying” and good thing is, it was spicy enough. The only setback was that it was a tad bit wet as I prefer my char kway teow, err dry.

Then again, I wouldn’t mind to patronise the stall again.

made in candy

I came across this candy store at United Square shopping complex and decided to have a look. The store is aptly named, Made in Candy 🙂

It is not everyday where you get to see how candies are being produced from scratch and it was quite an experience.

I realised that there were quite a number of people who came into the store and watched the entire process. And most of the spectators were FEMALE.

Why?

I think I know.

Those candy guys were eye candy to the ladies.

Mind you, these are good looking young men, with bulging arms (i guess you get to pump your biceps from all those moulding of hardened maltose) and it didn’t hurt a bit, with a few smiles threw in, albeit sweat beads on their foreheads.

I guess ladies like their men know their candies, no?

By the way, I bought a packet of the hand-made candy. Not too bad.

candy young men, hard at work

mince meat mee

I was at Eunos station and decided to have “local” breakfast at the nearby hawker centre.

I ordered my first kopi “siu tai” (less sugar) and as for breakfast, I looked hard on the marathon of signboards. I was trying to make sense of all the chinese characters and  finally I settled for mince meat mee. Or what we simply call back in KL, pork noodle (chue yoke fun)

I ordered my mince meat mee, fully in ENGLISH. Good thing the boss understood my babbling and within 5 minutes, I have a bowl of piping hot mince meat mee.

How did it fare? I try not to compare because I can’t. Totally 2 different type of mee.

All I can say is the boss was pretty fast with the whole noodles assembling. He worked alone and every mise-en-place was in place. Maybe that explains why he was fast. Any type of noodles..dry or with soup, all done within 5 minutes.

her first qi pao

It is Celeste’s first qi pao.

She has to wear something which reflects Chinese culture (not necessarily qi pao) for one of her kindie’s cultural activities. So qi pao it is, instead of cheongsam (as I don’t think Celeste knows how to walk proper with the slit at the hem on a cheongsam)

Came early morning of wednesday and Celeste donned her first qi pao.

How does she look? Honestly, I think she doesn’t look chinese at all. Not a bit.

sea salt ice cream

Ice creams come in many forms and flavours. As far as I know, no one can resist a good ice-cream. Not even Ah Boy.

Ice cream can make a crying boy smile. Even softens an angry man. And soothes aching heart.

During my younger days, of course we had the ever popular ais krim potong and my favourite flavour was the kacang merah (red bean). Or even chendol flavour. Perhaps jagung too.

That time, we never had the luxury of those many exotic flavours one can find now. What do we have now?

We have nuts laden flavours, king of the fruit, durian, cheese or soon perhaps, bak kut teh? Just imagine, bak kut teh on a cone :). Or even nasi lemak flavour..

Anyway, I was at Takashimaya and decided to have Hokkaido ice-cream and I chose a scoop of sea salt flavour and another scoop of durian.

Which do I prefer?

Sea salt. Funny, it doesn’t taste odd, in fact it was quite good. I loved sea salt..

banana leaf rice

The best way to chow down banana leaf rice is using your hand. Either you love it or you loathe it.

Most women would shun using their hands as the tumeric from the flavourful curries will stain their neatly manicured fingers. For men, it is an opportunity or reason to be a child again, playing food withe their nimble fingers.

I chanced upon a newly opened banana leaf rice restaurant at Taman Maluri, right next to the New Dragon restaurant (which is just 2 doors away from the old post office).

I had just wanted to have teh tarik but those waiters were a persuasive lots, with their not-too-perfect English.

“Boss, got banana leaf rice..got chicken varulval, masala chicken, curry chicken, fish also got..dhall curry..mango cutney..also popadom”..all the while swaying their heads left and right; as if to covert me unconsciously.

Alas, I gave in and swaying my head left and right, I gave a thumb up signaling I am going ahead with the banana leaf rice.

On cue, those waiters played their own individual roles. One laid the banana leaf in front of me and scooped heaps of fluffy white rice, smiling at me. Another came a short while later with a tiffin carrier, scooping all melange of vegetables onto the leaf; long beans, cucumber in yoghurt, potatoes mildly stir fried with curry and what have you. Yes he smiled too. The next came, also with a tiffin and this guy I guess he is the “le saucier”..in charge of sauces..he offered chicken curry sauce, dhall curry, mutton curry and the like.

Now, the last one whom I shall term him as the “butcher” as he is in charge of different meat..chicken, fish, mutton, more chicken, more fish and more mutton; all in different way of cooking. I settled for a piece of deep fried fish, again swaying my head left and right. I smiled in return.

It was pretty good and it did justice to my craving for banana leaf rice (it has been ages since I last had one in Taipan, Subang)

Once done, the appropriate way to fold the banana leaf is to fold the upper leaf towards you, indicating you enjoyed the meal. Well, that’s the custom back in India.

Oh yeah, you do see fork and spoon in the picture as I was lazy to go all the way to the back of the kitchen to wash my hand (normally they would offer a jug of water on the table and a finger bowl for hand washing)

Remember to sway left and right when ordering, when you do have banana leaf rice.