nekochan
Dear readers
Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka! (Happy Merdeka Day)
First you start the day off with a typical Malaysian breakfast of kaya on toast (photo from Old Town Kopitiam) then you move on to the chocolate cake frome IKEA!



What will you be having this August 31st?
nekochan
Some colleagues and I have been going to one of the latest Shanghainese-style restaurants in SS2. We were just discussing the other day that before it was the Hong Kong Char Chan Tengs, now it's Shanghainese cuisines with numerous siaw loong paus for us to try ...

Anyway, the food at One Noodle at SS2 is not too bad, pretty decent in terms of pricing and ambiance. Tried their tom yum noodles which was packed with lots of seafood (approx RM14), KS had the duck noodles (which looked really boring in comparison with the tom yum!) and we also tried their fried dumplings. I ordered a drink that came with pieces of lotus root which I thought was a nice touch ..






One Noodle
Same block as KFC,
SS2, Petaling Jaya
Selangor
nekochan
Today my colleagues and I (all 20 of us) went to the San Fran Steakhouse at Damansara Intan to celebrate a colleague's birthday. As there were so many of us, one of my colleagues took the liberty of pre-booking our lunch (which was from the set menu - Wed is either chicken pasta or lamb) so that we wouldn't have to wait too long when we got there. At the same time, we were advised that they will also arrange the drinks for all, which would be cheaper than if we ordered drinks individually.

The set lunch there sounds reasonable at RM13.90++ per head for main course and 2 out of 3 of salad, soup and/or dessert. Ok, so there were 20 of us in one long table and definitely we would ask the waiter what the soup of the days was, what was for dessert, etc. However, the waiter seemed very very annoyed that we kept asking him the same questions as he took our orders and by the time he got to my end of the table his annoyance was really showing through. He rolled his eyes when asked what the soup of the day was and snarled out "Tomato". I initially ordered the salad and dessert combination but then when he mentioned that the dessert was ice cream, I asked him to changed my combination to soup and salad. He proceeded to give me dirty look for that!

I guess that was a prelude of things to come.

Drinks were served in little tiny 'wine' style glasses - a fruit punch I suspect which wasn't too bad if there wasn't so much ice.
Tomato soup was bland - a result of over diluting of the concentrate probably and lukewarm in temperature.
Oh .. the rolls were pretty nice, served piping hot.
Salad was pretty non descript, some lettuce leaves thrown together with a piece of tomato, cucumber and purple cabbage for some colour.

We waited at least 40 minutes for the main courses to arrive, even after pre-booking. The lamb was so tough that my hand ache after cutting it. The rosemary rice that accompanied it was bland and tastless (though it didn't smell too bad) and the vegetables that came with it was quite wilted and dead though that probably had the most flavour of all.

For my poor colleagues who opted for the Chicken pasta, what they ended up getting was a small plate of fettucini carbonara which was completely tastless and bland and slices of the driest looking chicken I've seen in the longest time.

As for dessert, which I'm glad I didn't order, it was a scoop of vanilla ice cream with mint sauce. One colleague remarked that the mint sauce should have accompanied the lamb earlier, not as dessert. I took a peek and saw that they used mint sauce which would normally accompany lamb, as in, there were bits and pieces of dried mint leaves in them.

To top it all of, when we were presented with the bill, we found out that the drinks cost us RM50 per jar (same size as the beer jug) and that we had consumed 7 jugs! So, inclusive of tax, that meant that we consumed about RM280 worth of food and RM350 worth of fruit punch and I don’t think we even consumed the equivalent of one full normal sized glass either! We were a bit taken aback because earlier we were informed that ordering the drinks by the jug would cost us much less than ordering a la carte. Turns out, if we had ordered our drinks separately, it would have only set us back RM10-12 per head, and not around RM17! What a rip off!!

So, if you're in the market for lousy service, tasteless food and in the mood to get rip off, head to San Francisco Steakhouse now!
nekochan
I remember the times when we used to travel to Port Klang just for seafood, to Seremban for a breakfast of beef noodles, to Bidor for duck noodles and to Ipoh for my favourite creme caramel. While I don't think it's crazy travelling great distances in search of food, I think many foreigners would think we were mad!

My recent trip to Thailand saw me taking a 4 hour journey north of Bangkok for tamarind and oranges and 4 hours south to Bang Sean for a seafood dinner. I also remember the times when I was working in Bangkok and L and I would plan to go to Chonburi for dinner after work. Chonburi is near Pattaya and would take us a solid 80-90 minutes of driving each way but we'd make our way through the Bangkok jam (I'd try to sneak out of office early), get on the Expressway and speed along, planning on what to order. Thinking back, it was absolutely madness, as these were working nights (like school nights!) and all in all, it would be around 3 hours of driving.

During my last trip, on the Friday we were there, G had a field trip to Chonburi Province so she said to us, "Why don't you take the bus and meet me at Bang Saen for a seafood dinner? It will only take about max 90 minutes." Sure, I thought, why not?

So we timed ourselves, got to Ekkamai Bus Station at around 4pm and looked for a counter that read Sri Racha / Bang Saen. Found the counter, no problem. Paid only around RM7 for the ticket and the bus was leaving in 15 minutes.

We get on the bus, realise that we are the only 2 passengers. Wow! Bus leaves and I'm getting all excited .. then it stops at another bus terminal ... funny, I thought to myself, isn't think supposed to be a direct bus? G calls on the mobile and I ask her and she says, well sometimes with less passengers they may stop to pick up more. OK.

Later, I realise that the bus ISN'T getting on the Expressway but rather, we were taking the normal roads UNDERNEATH the Expressway and that the bus was stopping at ALL the bus stops along the way! Spoke to G again and she was like .. argh, sometimes the bus with few passengers do this in order to get more $$. You see, the $$ I paid goes to the bus company, but the $$ they collect from all the other passengers goes into the driver's pocket.

Thus, we resigned ourselves to the ALL STOPS bus to Bang Saen ..in the light drizzle and all. Nearly 4 hours later (3 hours later than we thought!) we finally arrive at Bang Saen. Poor G is starving and dying from hunger, poor dear. We go to this Seafood place for dinner (we've never been before) and the food wasn't very great and there was very poor lighting, so the pics I took of the food didn't come out very well.

Anyway, after dinner, we stop at this stretch of shops which I love visiting for they sell all kinds of tid-bits. Unfortunately, many were close but we still managed to get some really yummy and freshly roasted cashew nuts, sotong bakar, durian chips and G also got us this sticky rice thing cooked in a bamboo (looks like our lemang but it's cooked with some beans and coconut so it's dessert-like). Took some pics while I was there. The stickey-rice-in-bamboo (Before and After) and pics of some raw small crabs a lady was selling ...
nekochan
A new cafe has opened at the Siam Centre and aptly named Chocoholic. With a name like that, I definitely had to stop to have a look at the menu and at their dessert offerings. Mainly miniature cakes and delicious looking cupcakes.

I couldn't decide what to have so we finally settled for a Lemon Meringue Cupcake and the Red Velvet Cupcake.

The Lemon Meringue one was excellent, with a lemon sponge with lemon syrup in it which was zesty but not too sour which offset the sweet meringue on the top beautifully.



The Red Velvet was also very moist and delicious. Actually, it's a plain vanilla cupcake with red colouring and topped with toffee icing.



A great place to rest our weary feet after walking ..and walking ...and walking ...

Chocoholic
Siam Centre
Bangkok

nekochan
The best meals are often the simplest meals and I love plain grilled seafood with various Thai dipping sauces.

The morning I was scheduled to arrive in Bangkok, L & G went to the fresh market in the morning and bought some fish, squid, crayfish and prawns for grilling. So, the moment we arrived in Petchaboon, G set us to work, chopping, mincing, etc. I expected this so I bought along my trusty video camera to video this "cooking lesson". G did a great job as hostess, introducing the various Thai herbs and spices that they used and there's some footage of me pounding away using the traditional mortar and pestle and G giving instructions, "not fine enough, pound more!"

I pounded away at leaves and stalks and roots for what seemed like forever. The final concoctions would end up as dipping sauces as well as stuffing for the fish.

A grill was later prepared and we grilled the fish, prawns, crayfish and my all-time favourite pla meuk (squid). Below are photos of our feast (including some of the Thai home-cooked food that L's family prepared .. pork and veged and deep-fried pork skin with dried pork meat...




nekochan




One of my all-time favourite places in Bangkok has to be the Old Siam. I can't remember if someone introduced me to the place or if I stumbled upon it myself during one of my many sojourns to the City of Angels.

The main attraction at the Old Siam, for me anyway, is the Food Hall. Here, they make, on the spot, all kind of Thai desserts and snacks. One can watch how all the food is being made and then purchase them.

What I normally do is purchase the stuff I like, which includes mieng kam (already wrapped!), other nibbles which I don't know the names of (but I certainly know the taste of!) and take it all upstairs to the Food Court. There, I normally order the oyster omelette, some som tum (papaya salad) and cha yaan (Thai iced tea) and Im ready to enjoy a great meal!




After my meal, I'd go down to the Food Hall again and there's a stall at the end that sells durian with glutinous rice and other very, very delicious (and extrememly sinful, with all that fatterning coconut milk!) desserts. There are some benches nearby so you can order and devour the desserts on the spot!

After feasting, you can feast your eyes with some window shopping. Many stalls selling Thai silk (around Bt350 per metre, very good price) and there's an electronics place upstairs. If you're getting married, you can make your invitation cards there and there's also a shop selling all the stuff for a Siamese themed wedding.

The Old Siam is definitely NOT a place to miss out if you visit Bangkok.

The Old Siam Shopping Center
Burapa Road
Pharurat / Chinatown area
nekochan




I LOVE going to Thailand, not just for the food, but for the shopping, the spas and of course, visiting good friends.

This time, seeing we planned the trip quite a while back, and I went for a week, we managed to make bigger plans. The moment the plane touched down at Don Muang, we were swept off our feet and piled into a huge van which continued it's journey north on Lam's hometown of Petchaboon. Petchaboon is known for tamarind and Thai oranges and we were going to spend the night at my friend's family home.

First Thai meal was duck noodles and pork knuckle and Thai sausages and roast pork. It was at a small stall / shack in one of the towns we passed through on the way. It was a great way to start the trip!

Enjoy the pics...


nekochan
I was waiting to catch my flight to Bangkok last Saturday, 29th July 2006 (for my Tantalizing Tastes of Thailand Makan trip! :) and what do you know, my Air Asia flight was re-timed to an hour later.

With an additional one hour to kill, we got the Star newspaper and in the Lifestyle Section there was an article by Deepak Gill on Malaysian food entitled "Fight for your Food". Interesting, I thought ... and as I read on there was a list of food blogs for readers to browse. Imagine my great surprise to see FoodSafari being listed too! As I was picking at the nasi lemak served at LCCT, I squealed with delight when I saw it, there, in print!

Guess I feel a littie pressured now to update my blog regularly .. still have the Bebek in Bali to update and now my Tantalizing Tastes of Thailand ... coming soon ..

Anyone, if you want to view the article from the Star, click HERE