Friday, March 26, 2010

Peng Heong Hakka Paikut

Last weekend we went on a food hunt in Klang, the main target being the highly-publicised Beng Shen Meesuah in Jalan Kapar. However, when we reached that place, to our dismay, it was closed! Closed for some reason - probably they went for a holiday after the super busy Chinese New Year. A handwritten sign on the gate informed that they'd only be open from 25 March.

Anyway, we made a U-turn and headed back to Klang town - this time for the famed Peng Heong Hakka Paikut! We easily found the place and being a Sunday at lunchtime, this was how the crowd looked like...


We were lucky to grab a big table just next to the food counter. Orders were quickly taken by the loud but friendly waiter.


While waiting for our food to come, we watched in fascination the boss/chef's super-active antics chopping up their signature Paikut - Pork Chops... at the same time hollering for more paikut to be brought out from the kitchen! Their service staff were all scurrying back & forth carrying plates piled high with the freshly fried pork chops. Finally, our plate of porcine delight arrived at our table...


The slabs of pork chops were succulent and tender... with the sides a bit charred - totally decadently delicious!


The sweet sauce splashed over the pork chops will have you mopping up your entire plate of rice - I guarantee you! Everyone gave the thumbs-up for this Paikut!

Next we had the Claypot Curry Pork Ribs...


The meat and potatoes were tender and the curry while very lemak & thick, lacked certain ooomph - typically Chinese-style curry. I prefer my curry to have more kick ;-)

Next came their Hakka Meatballs...


This was a great hit! Big balls of minced pork mixed with adequate spices were nicely fried to a crisp outside but oozing with hot steamy goodness when you bite into them!

In order not to turn the meal into a 100%-PORK fest, we chose a chicken dish - their Red Wine Chicken. Now I'm always particular about alcoholic chicken - the dish must have sufficient wine for it to qualify. Most places will scrimp on the wine and present bland watered-down versions. Peng Heong passed my standard with flying colours!


Thick chunks of chicken were dunked into a claypot of hot red wine brew with all its alcohol seeping into the meat! There were no ginger strips or black fungus distractions - just plain chicken in alcoholic broth - absolutely divine in its plainness.

Next, try their Assam Fish ...


Two decent-sized Ikan Kembong cooked in a decent-enough assam gravy, piquantly sour & spicy with just the right amounts of the requisite spices. Another winner for mopping up your rice - if you still have some on your plate by this time!

Sour Veg - "kiam chye boey" - usually I can't resist ordering this if I see it in a restaurant. Peng Heong's kick-ass version is one of the best I have ever tasted!


Served piping hot in a clay pot, the vegetables (mustard leaves?) were sufficiently soft, without breaking up... and the soup was resplendently sour, hot with just a tinge of sweetness - just the way I love it!

After all the hot & spicy stuff, it was time to cool-down our fiery tummies with some greens...


Kangkong - not fried, like most restaurants do, but blanched and served with a sprinkling of fried shallots, oil and soy sauce. Great stuff.

While waiting for our bill, we noted this huge poster on one wall, advertising their special "Food Packages for Special Occasions" namely QingMing (Chinese All Souls Day), Dongzhi (I guess that's the Dumpling Festival), Ghost Festival etc...


Really innovative, don't you think? A chat with the ladyboss revealed that the average price for such packages is around RM300.

This here is the very affable boss/chef... he looked exactly like his pic in the menu - same pose too!


Restoran Peng Heong Hakka Paikut is located at:

Jalan Gudang Nanas 3

You really can't miss it :-)

After our super delish lunch, we crossed the main road and walked over to Jalan Gudang Nanas to this shop for DESSERTS...


Cendol Klang has been around for ages (ever since I first stepped foot in Klang decades ago!). Their cendol is pale green, as you can see - no colouring added to it! Only natural pandan juice is used to flavour the cendol.


A bowl costs only RM1.50. If you want more "substance" in your cendol, add in some Pulut...


... and I guarantee your tummy will be totally satiated after that!

My rating for both places: 8/10!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Subak - a culinary sanctuary!

Subak is a gem of a restaurant, nestled in the lush greenery of Bukit Lanjan.

From their website, I learned that "subak" actually meant the highly intricate and ritualised water irrigation system practised in Bali's rice fields. It is an inspirational tradition of sharing life-giving water that sustain rice terraces in Bali.

From the main entrance, we walked up a slope... a sanctuary of tropical flora, where an immaculate lawn provides a green carpet for the beautiful trees and plants cocooning the restaurant...

The reception area

Traditional mortar and pestle... even a congkak set were on display on the front lawn... charming!

As you walk across their roofed wooden deck - Serambi, overlooking a pond...

... you can choose a quiet private corner and dine in total romantic privacy... see how well hidden that couple was!

The setting sun, together with the lit lamps, cast some lovely golden shadows on the surroundings...

Thatched attap roof, wooden beams & furniture - all added to the warm rustic charm of the place.

As dusk approached, the friendly service crew prepared the candles and mosquito coils for the guests' comfort...

The idyllic soothing tranquility can only be surpassed with some refreshing drinks...

... and FOOD, of course :-))

For starters, we had their highly recommended Gado Gado Ibu Yati (RM12). The freshly shredded sengkuang & cucumber topped with slices of boiled egg, with kerepek emping at the sides went very well with their excellent peanut sauce - with just the right touches of sweetness, sourness & spiciness.

Our next appetizer - Breaded Calamari Rings (RM15) was good, but not really outstanding - the thick pieces of calamari were very fresh & succulent.

Oven-roasted Rack of Lamb (RM45) did not disappoint. The lamb had just the right texture - neither too chewy nor soft. Well-marinated, the flavours of the meat and sauce were a perfect marriage!

Like I have mentioned before, LL is the King of Fried Rice and he just could not resist ordering their Balinese Fried Rice (RM25). Served with skewers of Grilled Chicken Satay, bull's eye fried egg, 1 huge grilled prawn and kerepek emping on the sides, LL had no complaints about this comfort dish.

Pan-fried Medallion of Cod Fish with Butterfried Prawn (RM45)
was my choice. The thick cut of cod fish was very fresh and it came on a bed of sliced baby potatoes & mushroom. The prawn, though, was a bit overdone & kinda tough but I can forgive that as the excellent cod fish more than made up for that little mistake.

Tapai Pulut with Vanilla Ice-cream (RM8) - what a quaint fusion dessert! This was LL's order - I was too stuffed for any dessert.

With my tummy fully satiated, I was just happy to sit back, relax and enjoy the rustic tranquility after sunset...
The steps leading up to the washroom

Subak is helmed by the soft-spoken smiley Executive Chef Hassan Abdullah. Chef Hassan was formerly with Avillion Port Dickson before setting up Subak and prior to that, he has the distinction of being the first malay ever appointed as Executive Chef in the Hilton Chain.

I will definitely be back at Subak to try their other offerings. This place is just perfect for group gatherings as well as private romantic dinners, away from prying eyes ;-)

Restaurant's address:

Lot 3213 Jalan Penchala Indah
Bukit Lanjan
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 7729 9030/31

Visit their website for map & directions!

My rating: 8/10

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My little Greek adventure

This post has been long outstanding. It's been 3 months since my trip to Greece and the photos (thousands of them!) have been lying dormant in my thumb-drive. Amazing how time really flew! I was so caught up with other stuff the past few months, since returning from Greece & Abu Dhabi. There was the New Year, then Chinese New Year and in between, my medical woes.... which hopefully have been settled now.

So... there you have up there that beautiful pic of the Acropolis, as seen from our hotel window. It's so spectacular, isn't it? Especially when viewed at night! We did climb right up to the site on one of the mornings and the view of Athens from there was breath-taking. I shall cover the sights of Greece in Raynebows later.

We chose a central location to stay - Monastiraki - a very hustle-bustle area with everything right at our doorstep - shops, restaurants and the Flea Market in the Plaka area! The train station is merely 300m away from our hotel - a really "plus" point, especially when we had to lug our baggage to go to the airport! It was such a breeze as the train goes straight to the airport - no need to change train/station at all!

So.... how did I find Greek food?

I shall elaborate more on what we actually ate there... but first, I want to showcase some of their desserts...

I have no idea what they are called. We found all these in a local food outlet which sold cooked food as well as a wide array of their sweets! They were all placed on HUGE trays and quite a number of them were soaking in thick syrup... they do look verrrryyy sweet & rich, don't they??

Their pies and pastries were all served in humongous pieces - just look at these!

These looked like birds' nests huh??
Every restaurant that we ate at, we were served a huge basket of this bread...

They may look nice but actually the texture's quite dense and hard and dry ...
They taste better when toasted with garlic & butter like this...

The Greeks are great meat eaters. Lamb and pork are the firm favourites... beef don't feature much on their menus but are available. Chicken and seafood are not really favoured there... maybe not in winter...

So, LL and DL had a great time feasting on their meat dishes... Pork Chops like the one above... and Braised Wild Boar with Onions...

This was also Pork ... in white sauce and served with garlic rice...

... and another time it was served with pasta...

LL loved their Lamb, cooked in any way... roasted like this...

... or grilled the good old fashioned way...

Me? I found their Moussaka much more appetizing (and not so heavy!)... The soft layers of mashed potatoes and aubergine were tasty, easy to eat and very filling!

Topped with white bechamel sauce and grated cheese, Moussaka is easily the Greeks' favourite fast food... and mine too!

Ohh... here's another favourite of the boys ... Grilled Meat (all kinds!) ... which is sold practically everywhere, from roadside souvlakis to trendy fine-dining restaurants!

A huge platter like this can easily feed the 3 of us!

What about vegetables? Well, you only have one choice - Salads! This is the typical Greek Salad - tomatoes, capsicum, onions, croutons and chunks of feta cheese! I love their juicy tomatoes and capsicum but can do without the feta cheese, thank you :-)

So it's a better option to order their plain Garden Salad - which was just tomatoes and greens served with a dash of vinaigrette dressing!

Oh yeah... the Greeks like to stuff and bake their tomatoes and capsicums too. I didn't quite fancy these... the stuffings were mainly cheese & rice :-S

In the background there is a slice of their Spinach Pie - mashed spinach rolled in pastry...

Soups aint great either - rather bland and oily...

Since we were staying in Monastiraki, we were recommended to try "The Best Pork Chops in Athens" which was located in a dark creepy side alley - it was quite a hair-raising walk that night as we went in search of this place, frequented mainly by the locals. It seems to be a family-run business... here you can see the very-buff son doing his thing grilling the pork chops...

All my close-up pics of the pork chops didn't turn out well, mainly because the lighting was very dim where we were seated. But I can tell you how they tasted - they were extremely salty!!! And hard! Because they were over-grilled! What they did was grill these thin slices of lean pork and then sprinkle handfuls of salt over the meat and then pile them onto a plate to serve to you!

This was the only seafood item we ate while in Greece... a plate of Little Fried Fish - yes, that's how it was listed on their menu! This was at the cafe by the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

We had a chance to visit the market in Monastiraki (2 minutes' walk from our hotel) ... what an eye-opener that was!

Firstly, you can see all their workers/vendors donning white coats - very "clinical", don't you think??

Caution: Explicitly gory pics coming up....

Let the pics speak for themselves... hehe ...

Most of their seafood were the frozen kind...

They are big on octopussies...

See how beautifully symmetrical their fish arrangement is??!

Loads of cured meat in the market... sausages, hams, bacons....

... in every shape, size and colour...

Ahhh... Olives are Greece's No.1 produce...

... nuts and raisins too!

I will post about the sights of this trip in Raynebows, hopefully soon :-) So... do check that out later!