Friday, April 23, 2010

I Lost & Found Mr Mak

For the records, let me declare here that I don't simply eat Fish-head Noodles.

What I mean is I'd never order that if I walk into any coffee-shop which has Fish-head Noodles in one of the many stalls. Simply because I find that generally most Fish-head Noodles are really not that nice... most of them throw together fried pieces of fish bones that pass off as "fish head" and add copious amounts of milk into the soup presumably to mar the fishy taste (which is not surprising, considering most of them use questionable types of fish!).

OK, coming back to the main topic here....

Allow me to introduce you to Mr Mak...


As you can see, Mr Mak is a very busy man - he does not smile much and he absolutely refuses to look into the camera. Can't blame the guy. Mr Mak is too busy cooking his stuff.

Delicious stuff, too...


Mr Mak's Fish-head Noodles is the only fish-head noodles I would eat by choice. And that's saying a lot, because, like I said earlier, I do not simply eat Fish-head Noodles one.


My acquaintance with the dour Mr Mak started many years ago... when his stall was in a coffee-shop somewhere tucked away in USJ16, amongst the residential houses there. Back then, we'd always go for our fish-head noodles fix there, at least once or twice a month. Almost like clockwork: we'd place our orders and wait patiently for 30-45 minutes for the noodles.

And then, one day, tragedy struck: Mr Mak has disappeared! We mourned for a while, not knowing whether he has fatt-tatt (struck the mega jackpot, so to speak), retired or simply moved elsewhere.

And I have not eaten fish-head noodles ever since..

Until... recently, through the food grapevine, we found Mr Mak again! Oh, that was a happy day.

He has now relocated his business to a coffeeshop in Subang Perdana Court 2 in USJ.

Mak FH Ndls-BKT

Mr Mak is never stingy with loading his offerings - you can find loads of fried fish fillet, fried fish-head pieces, tomatoes, kiam-chye and silky-smooth white tofu in your bowl of noodles. Curly meehoon is the new meehoon in town. I love it. It's a bit more chewy & springy than the normal ones. And the soup is amazing, none of the fishy smell that can be very off-putting!

And... oh yes, you definitely MUST order a plate of Mr Mak's Fried Fish Fillet. I read somewhere today that someone said Fish is good for you. Mr Mak uses only Ikan Jenahak and his fried fish fillets are the crunchiest, freshest, yummiest ones on this side of town. Believe me. You may not stop at 1 plate (RM5). So order 2, like what I always do... or else order a Big Plate (RM10).



If you have any more stomach space after the above, do try his Tomyam Seafood Noodles too...


At only RM6.50 per bowl, this is definitely Great Value! As you can see, the bowl is filled to the brim with big prawns, mussels, scallops, fishcake noodles, tomatoes! And the tomyam? It's certainly got all the ooomph in it - fiery, fiesty & unforgettable. Really one.


As you can see, Mr Mak is a specialist. His offerings are limited & focused. He does only what he's best at. Only 3 choices.


Mr Mak's amazing Fish-head Noodles can now be sampled at this coffee-shop with the very apt name: Kopitiam Que Up. Yes, you really have to que up if you go at peak hours, which is usually around 12.30-2.00pm. So, go early. Otherwise, be prepared to wait 45 minutes to satisfy your hunger.

Mak FH Ndls-BKT-1

Kopitiam Que-Up is visible from the main road. If you are coming from Summit heading towards USJ/Puchong, the kopitiam is on your right - you can't miss it. Look out for it after you have passed the crossroads traffic lights after Summit. Just go further up to the next set of traffic lights and make a U-turn.

Mr Mak's noodles are available from 11.00am until all are gone, which should be around 3-4pm. His friendly Indon waitress told me that - Mr Mak doesn't talk much either.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Karl's Beisl @ Soho, Mont Kiara

I have passed by Karl's Beisl a few times in the past but had never stepped into this place. Through the good connections of my friend, Z, I was invited to review the food here. Not only me, but several other food bloggers were also invited and that was how I spent a long lazy afternoon there sampling the delights that this Austrian-styled restaurant had to offer. The afternoon definitely got lazier (if that's possible) after the good food and company... just read on :-))


"Beisl" in Austrian means a bistro, beer house or just a casual dining place. Typically it serves grilled meats, seafood dishes, traditional roasted pork knuckles, suckling pigs - Austrian homestyle cuisine.


As in any Austrian-styled restaurant, the moment you step into Karl's Beisl, there is that European "home feel" to it, which is both cosy and rejuvenating at the same time.

Karl Beisl

High ceiling, muted lighting, wood panelling, ornate balustrade leading up to the mezzanine floor all gave this place a "fine dining" feel... but it is not overwhelming... in fact, it exudes a warm and cheerful welcome!

This beisl is owned by an Austrian gentleman by the name of Karl (obviously, hehe) and his charming Malaysian wife, who warmly welcomed hosted the lunch for us.

First to arrive at our table was this Spinach Salad... tossed with red peppers, bacon strips and roasted potatoes. Immediately, FBB declared there were "chee yau cha" (fried pork lard) on the salad and that got everyone all kancheong until we realised those were actually the roasted potato cubes, haha! Well, just look at the similarity!


I like this salad for its simplicity - crunchy pine nuts, bacon bits and those sweet sweet Australian-imported spinach leaves were a joy to munch. I think everyone took 2nd and 3rd helpings of this!

Next came the Cold Platter - a platter of colourful cold cuts such as Serrano Ham, Chorizo sausages, pork belly, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, gherkins, cheeses (various types) - all accompanied by a basket of warmly toasted baguette slices. The cold meats had wonderfully smoky and hearty flavours - not surprising as Karl's Beisl has their own smoker machine to smoke their meats.


Even while we were munching on the cheeses and meats, we were served their signature soups: Cream of Forest Mushrooms and Cream of Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper with Rosemary.

Karl Beisl-2

Prepared from scratch - nothing from the can, that's what our hostess proudly informed us. I definitely prefer their Cream of Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper with Rosemary - subtle unique flavours with just the right touch of creaminess - this soup definitely got the thumbs-up from all!

Then the meats came... fast & furious... starting with this Suckling Pig - there were oooh's and ahhh's from everyone at the table...


It tasted as good as it looked, really. Super-crispy golden skin - you can practically hear the crackling sound from the person next to you crunching down on the pieces of sublime porcine skin! The meat is thicker than the usual chinese-style suckling pig but it was meltingly tender...

Karl Beisl-3

Served with steamed cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes - this alone filled up my tummy almost 80%!

Oh... before I forget, Karl's Beisl serves a variety of German beer - like this Franziskaner Weissbier here. I'm no beer fan, but judging by the numerous refills the others had, well... I'm sure they are yummy ;-) Besides, I was told beer goes extremely well with grilled meats, no?


Guess who that is, hiding behind the glass? :-P

We had hardly eaten half of the suckling pig when this Farmer's Platter was served... a splendid showcase of Karl’s Beisl's Roasted Pork Knuckles, Pork Belly, Kasseler Ham, Bratwurst, Frankfurter Sausages and ...


... "Siew Yook" (roast pork, chinese-style)!!


Oh my oh my - this was truly a plate of pork heaven! It's all about crunchy crackling skin, tenderly roasted meats & robust smokey sausages - what more can pork lovers ask? There were sides of sauerkraut served, which in a feeble way tried to balance the rich intense dosage of sinful cholesterol-laden bliss on that platter. Of course it failed miserably. Oh, well... we die another day lah ;-)

We took a "breather" from the relentless porky onslaught... we had this Seafood Pasta in White Wine with Scallops, Shrimps, Squids and Mussels.


The pasta was cooked just right - al dente, with a great bite - the way I like it. The dash of white wine in the sauce perfectly enhanced the flavours of the succulent morsels of seafood. Do try this - it's excellent.

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat another bite, our hostess introduced MORE ... like this Pork Wiener Schnitzel, served with Potato Salad ...


Slices of pork tenderloin had been "hammered" thinly, coated with breadcrumbs (made in their own kitchen) and then fried to a golden crisp. Oh my god - one bite into the schnitzel and you get sweet flavourful juices spurting out! Yeah, I could only take one bite - that's all I could manage at that point.

Yes, at that point, almost everyone had reached pork-coma level. Unfazed by the groans of "I'm sooo full" and "I can't eat anymorrrrr", our hostess signalled for their Double Rib Pork Chop to be served...


It came with potato wedges and a twin-tower kinda corn... the thick pork chop, while nicely charred at the sides, was a bit tough & dry though.

If you think that was the last of the meats, well, you are wrong! One more porky dish... the Black Pepper Spare Ribs with Garlic Butter Rice and Pickled Carrots...


The meat from the ribs was so tender it practically fell off my fork... and all I could manage was just one mouthful of it. Peppery, smokey flavours... those were the taste memories in my pork-laden stupor ... I think we would have passed out if there had been more pork coming...

At last, the desserts came to the rescue... their renowned Calvados Apple Strudel served with Vanilla Sauce...


Now, I have never been a fan of apple strudel as I find it too sweet, with cinnamon too cloying on the tongue. However, one bite of Karl's Beisl's Apple Strudel had me won over. The thin crispy pastry (FBB said you have to roll/fold that 100x) enclosed a generous filling of tarty apples, with subtle hints of cinnamon which totally did not leave any feeling of "jelak-ness"! Bravo! You definitely must try this.

Their Palatschinken – Crepes with Apricot Jam, Rum & Raisin Ice Cream did not do anything for me. I find the crepes a tad too thick - Apple Strudel for me, please ;-)


Another thing which I liked about this place is their plates - if you had noticed, their plates came in different designs! No two plates on our table was the same - so cute!

We were blessed indeed... as we got to sample Babe in the City_KL's awesome Guinese Chocolate Cake...

Karl Beisl-4

Yummy! Thanks a lot, Babe!

If you are thinking of having a cosy party, do consider the lounge on the mezzanine floor of Karl's Beisl (the sofas and cushions were sooo inviting, especially in our pork-drunken state!) ... or have yourself some Happy Hours downing their beers on the patio outside...

Karl Beisl-1

Oh, by the way, if you want to learn how to make that awesome Apple Strudel I was raving about, please note that The Bukit Bintang Girls’ School (BBGS) Old Girl’s Association will be having a Hi Tea cum Apple Strudel Demo this Saturday, 24 April 2010 from 3.00pm – 5.00pm at Karl's Beisl. If you are an ex-BBGS girl and wishes to attend this event, please get in touch with them soon!

Contact info:
Sow Yoong: 012-292 1460
Kim Lin: 012-2183 799, Tammy 012-296 4148

Karl’s Beisl
Lot K-OG 13 & 14, Soho KL
No. 2, Jalan Solaris,
Solaris Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-6204 0628

For other recent reviews on Karl's Biesl, check out:


Friday, April 9, 2010

Handmade Meesuah @ Beng Shen, Klang

The first time we went in search of this place, we found it but it was closed. On a Sunday. It really wasn't their "official" off-day (that should be a Monday) ... there was a handwritten cardboard hung on the gate stating that they were closed for 5 days. No reason was given.

Determined to eat their famed handmade & homemade Meesuah, we made another trip back there 2 weeks later. It's located a bit way out from Klang town, along the main road, Jalan Kapar. Just keep a lookout for it on the left after you pass Carrefour and Bata.


The set-up was rather spacious, with typical plastic chairs and gas cooker-with-kettle so omnipresent in Bak Kut Teh joints in Klang. We were greeted warmly by the owner & his wife and our orders were quickly acknowledged.


First to reach our table was the BKT Meesuah. We ordered a 2-persons portion (RM19) and the bowl of steaming hot BKT & meesuah served was huge! Their meesuah is not the usual type that you usually get, ie soft thin easily-breakable strands ... The meesuah noodles here are thicker - much like linguini, and the texture is more dense & robust. While I always like to have rice (oiled) with my BKT, I was pleasantly surprised that this meesuah went very well with the herbal soup too.


Their BKT is above average, I would say... the meats were sufficiently tender in the rather thick herbal brew.


Meesuah in Chicken Wine (RM16 for 2 pax) was next. I must say I liked this very much, in fact much better than the BKT!


The soup was very well-flavoured with glutinuous rice wine - thick and full of "heat", the kampung chicken pieces had been lightly-fried before being boiled in the rice wine, with just the right amount of ginger & chinese herbs. The meesuah had delightfully soaked in the very yummy piquant soup - it was nutrituously alcoholic to leave you rosy-cheeked after you have slurped everything off the bowl!


We also tried their Fried Meesuah (RM8 per pax). It was OK - just like any normal regular hokkien-style noodles.


Their Tomyum Meesuah (RM8 per pax) was a disappointment. It was very clear they must have used some kind of mediocre tomyum paste which was very bland. There were a couple of lemongrass stalks and a few chunks of tomatoes tossed in... besides a few prawns and the meesuah, of course. They should just stick to the BKT and the Chicken Wine.


I was rather disappointed when the cool-lookin boss told me they were not making any meesuah that day - the "workshop" facilities behind the restaurant was closed. I had hoped to catch some meesuah-making action!


You can buy their ready-packed meesuah from the shop too. Each 1 kg packet costs RM11.


Forgetful me left my precious tin of chinese tea there... I called them asking them to keep for me and that I'd pick it up in my next trip there. They readily obliged and promised to keep my tea safe, hehe!

Restoran Beng Shen is located at:

Batu 5, Jalan Kapar
Tel: 03-3291-1575
Closed on Mondays
(best to give them a call, in case they decide to close on other days for some reasons!)

My rating: 7/10

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RM1 Chicken @ Canton-i

If you reside in the Klang Valley, you'd probably have eaten at Canton-i or its sister restaurant, Dragon-i. The latter is famous for their Xiao Loong Pau - one of the best you can get around here.

Canton-i in 1-Utama is a favourite lunch spot for me as my office is just about 128 steps from the place.


Both Canton-i and Dragon-i are having a "RM1 Chicken" dish promotion, in appreciation of their customers, or so they say lah. It sounds good, right? They've put up some posters & stuff advertising this promo but what they didn't inform everyone is that this promo is ONLY available from 6.00pm until 10.00pm. So, don't go there hoping to eat their RM1 Chicken during lunch time! They're very strict about the 6.00pm thingy - the waitress refused to put in the order even if it's 5.59pm!

OK, coming back to the Chicken... well, at Canton-i, they serve the "Roasted Chicken with Red Beancurd" - basically, it's roast chicken with nam-yue marinade. (Dragon-i serves a different version, I believe) You get a whole chicken if there're at least 4 people in your group.

As there were only 3 of us that evening, we were given half a chicken. So, there we were, eagerly anticipating our el-cheapo chicken. When the plate of fowl finally reached our table, we were really "amazed" by the tiny portion! Man, it was really a very very small chicken, I kid you not!


Yeah, from the pic, it looked pretty decent-sized, but let me assure you, this was like an adolescent spring chicken, really it was.

Oh well... for RM1, just treat this as a Side Dish... you know, something like that dish of pickled chillies/sambal you always have on the side...



That mini plate of chicken could only fill a teeny weeny corner of our tummies. Even the whole chicken served (on other tables that I saw), well... the whole chicken could sit on a 10"-diameter plate with lots of space to spare!

So... to fill our still-growling tummies, we had to order stuff like these...


Noodles with Roast Duck (RM12.80)- you can never go wrong with this!


Rice Rolls with Bamboo Pith (RM9.80) - a refreshing change from the usual rolls stuffed with shrimps or char siew.


Spinach (they had a fancier name for this veg, can't remember what!) in soup & century + salted eggs (RM16.80) - very generous with the cholesterol, as you can see.


Steamed Fish Maw Dumpling (RM13) - I liked this... the spongy chewy fishmaw went very well with the fishpaste filling, all freshly-steamed.


Steamed Beancurd Roll (RM8)- quite ordinary.

So, there you go - if you want to catch the RM1 fowl, do so before the end of this month. At the sizes they go, I totally believe them when they said (in the media, recently) that they're confident of serving 50,000 chickens (or more) to their customers. It's sup-sup-soei to devour 1 whole chicken there lah!

So, hop on over & get your fowl-ly side dish, people!