Friday, February 27, 2009

Chao Yen Teochew Cuisine

New Wing of 1Utama
(A few steps from Cold Storage)

There used to be a Giant Supermarket at the New Wing of 1 Utama. That has now changed to Cold Storage and with this change, several new food outlets have sprouted in that vicinity. One of them is this Chao Yen serving Teochew cuisine.

Since it opened a few weeks ago, they have been offering their Lunch Sets which consist of 1 Main Item (rice/porridge/noodles) and a complimentary Braised Duck item and 1 "home-boiled" drink - either sugarcane + water chestnuts or loh hon kuo + longan. The Lunch Sets are priced differently depending on which Main Item you choose.

As it was the lunch hour, we decided to order the lunch sets, thinking that this would save time... because surely these would be express items from their kitchen, no? Well, I would say the service was painfully slow, even though the restaurant was not exactly bustling with crowds of customers.

The first to arrive was this Braised Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce (RM13.90) served with a bowl of white rice and the complimentary drink and braised duck. Looking at the pale chicken wings on the plate, I had an inkling that it would be quite bland. Well, it proved to be correct - when I tasted the colorless soup-like "gravy", it was pretty tasteless save for a hint of chinese wine and the chicken flavour.

This was the complimentary loh hon kuo drink I had...
... and this was the complimentary Braised Duck with Half an Egg. They serve you the duck wings for this - you either get the "mini-drumstick" part or the other "middle-part" of the wing. I would say this tasted a tad better than the chicken wings - for one, this had more colour to it and it was flavoured with star anise - that much I could detect from the sauce. But be prepared to eat it with your fingers as it proved to be rather chewy and you need to pull the meat off rather vigorously!

My colleague ordered this for his main item - Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Vegetables (mui choy) (RM16.90) served with a small bowl of white rice. As you can see, this was another pale bland-looking dish and taste-wise, it really wasn't very exciting. I'm sure many of us can cook this much better at home! The bowl of white rice was barely enough for my colleague, so he ordered a 2nd bowl and that cost RM2.00! (mind you, it was a really small bowl too, ok!)

For me, I ordered their Teochew Noodle Thread (meen seen) with Pork Gut & White Pepper Soup (RM19.90). Looks-wise: very boring! Taste-wise? Nothing spectacular - just like any pig stomach soup you can boil at home... it was peppery enough, there were a few pieces of "ham-choy" (pickled mustard leaves) and about 8 pieces of pig stomach.

All in all, it seems Teochew cuisine served here are on the "ching" side, ie simple, bland, pale. Obviously they don't use dark soya sauce here much! They have a comprehensive range of a'la carte items on the menu - quite a lot of porky stuff (including spareparts!)... so maybe those are worth trying, maybe in the next visit.

As for the lunch sets... hmmm... I wouldn't say they're worth a repeat visit.

My rating: 6/10

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pappa Rich

Pappa Rich
No.1 Jalan USJ 10/1D
UEP Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-56367318

The mushrooming of kopitiams in the Klang Valley continues... like mushrooms popping up after the rain. Recently, there's the Old Town White Coffee in Kota Kemuning and then there's this Pappa Rich. What a name! Is it owned by a rich pappa? Judging by the crowd there, it's not surprising if that pappa got rich. Or maybe USJ folks just like to throng new joints just like what they say "new toilets laku for 3 days!" (if you dunno cantonese, please ignore that, haha!)

This joint is located at the corner shop lot behind Ampang Yong Taufu. It used to be the coffeeshop housing my favourite Pan Mee and Curry Chee Cheong Fun - now no more already! Haiyaa... where have they gone to?? Anyone knows? I miss them terribly!

Anyway, it was LL's idea to bring me there the other day. He has been there a few times and he told me the food there is "not bad" and also because a couple of his mates are working there.

So, LL had his usual Nasi Lemak with chicken rendang (RM8.90)... I had a biteful of it and I found it to be very mediocre only... and the ikan bilis wasn't very fresh, rather chewy in fact...
I had their Curry Laksa Special (RM9.90) which turned out to be not very special. Capitalising on LL's friend working there, I asked for extra cockles... which was obliged immediately...
As you can see, presentation needs to be improved. What appeared before me was a bowl filled with very lemak curdled orangey curry topped with a sprig of mint leaves! You can't see what the condiments are, can you?

Well, there were a few pieces Fu Chook (fried beancurd rolls), Taupok (beancurd puffs), 2 chunks of chicken breast meat and cockles. All these plus the meehoon soaked in a tasteless lemak santany curry. Even with the addition of this sambal below, I still couldn't finish the bowl of tasteless laksa.
The only saving grace items we had were these...

Their Iced Coffee (RM3.80) was frothy, creamy and not too sweet. It could have been a little bit more "kau" for one who prefers stronger coffee.

The must-try item in any self-respecting kopitiam - Kaya Toast (RM3.80). I like the fact that their bread came in thick slices and toasted perfectly. Kaya & butter (or was that margerine?) were put on the side for you to sapu-sendiri. I like that because you can choose to go light/heavy on the kaya or butter, whatever your fancy!

I would return there for the coffee and toast lah... the rest - no need lah!

My rating: 6/10

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I know CNY has come and gone and I haven't blogged anything here for more than 3 weeks now. So how was everyone's CNY?

Phewww! Am I glad the eating fest has toned down now, hahaha! It's time to work out hard to try to burn off the thousands of calories consumed during the CNY.

It's extra hard to burn off the calories especially when you had something like this for CNY...

Oh yeahhh... somebody gave us a WHOLE Roast Pig!! OMG... I have never chopped up a whole pig before and we did a kinda clumsy job out of it, hehe! The objective was to get it cut up and distributed... I still have a few pieces meat plus 2 legs in my freezer now...

On the 5th day of CNY, I hosted a dinner for relatives... and you know how by the 5th day, everyone would have been feeling "jelak" with all the usual CNY dishes... know what I mean?

So, I had to come up with some not-so-CNY'ish dishes to serve...

Knowing that people would have been tired of steamed fish, I decided to cook this Sliced Garoupa with Ginger & Spring Onions...

Instead of roast pork or braised pork knuckles, DL did his "signature" Pork Belly with Salted Fish & Dried Chillies (ham-yue fah lam poe)... this went well with rice...

Ahhh... can't exclude the popular Braised Sea Cucumbers with Mushrooms & Dried Oysters...

For vegetables, I did the Lettuce with Abalone, sprinkled with chinese wolfberries...

This was the kids' favourite - Fried Battered Prawns... prawns being a must-have for CNY...

To spice up the dinner, since we had lots of roast pork, I cooked Curry Roast Pork and this was totally wiped out by the family, haha!

This Roast Goose was ordered from Spring Golden... at RM130 - it was really delicious! If you think goose is a big bird, you're wrong! I had expected a huge bird but it turned out to be just slightly bigger than the regular roast duck!

Ahhh... we also had my signature Crabmeat Sharksfin Soup... the whole pot was wiped off too!

This was how the spread looked like...

... and Koji was waiting for his share too!