Category Archives: chinese

Seafood in Klang

Ok, seafood mania has hit my brains. This happened in the wake of the release of Harry Potter’s 7th and final book. But back to seafood. A couple of peeps and I had decided on having food cum party at a nice place. But what was supposed to be an interesting night, took a turn for the worse as rain started pouring out its emo-self on us.

It took us nearly an hour (+traffic jams & +distance) between my house to this place, Bagan Hailam Restaurant. Getting there, in the heart of Port Klang itself isn’t a problem but finding the right place to eat is a HUGE problem. Upon arriving at this quaint little place, I’m aghast to find loads of restaurants of disparaging differences! However, fret not :p While this is my first time at that place, it wasn’t for those peeps.

“Oh this place is a rip off!”

“Food here isn’t that great”

“Lousy ambience in here”….etc

Ok, fair enough. You guys lead the way lol.

Finally after what seemed like eternity, we arrived at this place, with loads of jack russell terriers scurrying about their business and hush, I don’t mean their waste disposals but rather, eating scraps of anything. You have a pervo mind! 😀

Restaurant Signboard

Entrance into that erm…eatery? Looks dodgy! Argh!

Interior of the restaurant, rather cozy and warm with breeze from the estuary blowingi n on us.

Yacht Club and a dinghy in the foreground

Mussel-like shellfish, looks weird but tastes heavenly! This was cooked in erm, I have no idea what but from the pics, I can make out a few simple ingredients.

. black looking sauce/gravy
. onions (no idea which type that is :p)
. mussel-like shellfish
. some celery-leaves
. salt + pepper + sugar (roflmao)

Vegemite Crab! Seriously! They use vegemites! :p It was vegemite with honey + something else altogether…OMFG heavenly!

Evidently, eating crabs left me with no other option to take pics of other food. Ah well, I’ll show you the aftermath of Hurricane Gluttony that unleashed its fury on food!

House on stilts, these were adjoining the restaurant that I was in. Interesting structure.

Primary school, rather dodgy looking though I must surmise.


Overall, food was good, pricing itself was stupendously good! It’s cheap even by local standards and will definitely be back for more. It was staffed by friendly people and the breeze, ah..oh-so-welcoming!

Distance though is another problem altogether but if you could carpool, it shouldn’t be a problem as there aren’t any public transportation that heads in that direction. If you must ask me, public transportation in the Klang valley or in Malaysia generally pales in comparison with their neighbouring countries. Another thing to take note of, it takes ages for your food to arrive. I wonder if I’m actually allowed to assume that they were fishing while trying to cook our meals? :p

>>> Goes back to reading Harry Potter’s 7th book <<<


Lion Dance in KL’s Chinatown

Ok, I know that Chinese New Year has somewhat passed us like ages ago. But I remember taking some videos from my mobile of an event that left me
with ears that rang non-stop.

Walking around Chinatown in KL’s no easy task. You find people speaking a smattering of Chinese, Canto, Hokkien etc and so much so, there were times when I was at a lost as to which dialect to converse in.

Ok, lion dancing.

The first thing that is conjured up would be images of lions dancing in the
Serengeti  to hip-hop music or to whatever jazzy tune.
Think, Michael Buble or 50 cent :p But no, blame it on my brains that isn’t starved from the lack of sugar atm :p
*as of 6pm, I’ve had enough sugar to last me the entire night without having the need to erm, starve myself* :p

However, that’s not the point in this entry of mine. What I’m about to show you, is the importance of lion dancing in the Chinese culture. Lion Dancing was in the past and at present, used to usher in good fortune and to ward off evil spirits. Well, this was probably China, before Christianity said hello to them.

I cannot however, verify if evil spirits are indeed afraid of these lions,
seeing that they’re manned by human beings, but what I do know is that lions according to the chinese folklore are known to be guardian creatures. But that’s the basic thing you’d have to know about Lion Dances among the chinese. The variation of styles between Northern and Southern Lion Dancing is a different story altogether. This is atypical of chinese art, culture, food etc.

Till then, here’s a short video.  (pardon me but the video and audio quality is bad…and it’s loud!)

Dinner Fanfare 190KMs away!

….that took abot 2-2.5 hours of driving. I still cannot believe I drove that far for food Well, not that it’s any different from other places but I’d to attend a rather, festive-like dinner in commeration of my grandaunts 95th birthday. Boy, I’d love to be at her age :p

The restaurant that I’d to go to was in Ipoh, which would roughly acrue to about 190km or so from Kuala Lumpur.

I don’t have any form of addy, and neither do I recall the name of the restaurant but I did however, manage to make up for my short term memory by showing you food(s) that were on display and digested by our tummies.Yes, they were good and I don’t know how much everything would have amounted to.

First dish, started with a ‘pau’ that had red marzipan-ish letterings on it, Fertility. How fertile that is I don’t know as grandaunt’s childless.

This was promptly followed by a seafood fanfare of lobsters, crabs, lobster meats in salads etc. I don’t know what other things may have entailed in this fare but this was by far, my favourite.

Large scary looking lobbie 😀

And a huge roasted pig. Say cheese dahlings. I nearly puked as it was oily, imagine eating a whole chunk of lard.

And was quickly followed by shark fins soup. Yes, I know that PETA would probaby be pissed at me for this but it was all very much a part of the banquet. Oh, this soup was shark fins + crab roe. Erm, anyone for the roes?

Ooh my next favourite! Loads of lily buds, on little vegs I have no known name for and century eggs. *literally century eggs as they’re known for their rather putrid taste but aren’t exactly 100 year old eggs ;)* What could be as bad as a balut?

Fish. Looks very much dissected.

Mango pudding on some Japanese jello. The chinese word, if I’m not mistaken it means, Double Happiness/Prosperity? Will someone help me out here?

I could have taken more pics but seriously, I was grossed out by the amount of food/dishes that led to waste.

Pancake – The Malaysian Way

Well, it seems true thus far though :p

I was on a eating frenzy a few nights ago, pretty much ravaging whatever I could lay my eyes on.

*or feast my olfactories & tastebuds on, that is*, when I stumbled upon this Malaysian-style

Pancake. I know it’s not like your usual pancake of maple syrup/golden syrup, served hot and down it goes.

This is, still served hot but it comes with more goodies than your usual maple syrup.

This malaysian pancake is called, Apam Balik (malay) or Tai Kao Meen (canto) – literally for big face.

It has crushed peanuts, filled to its brim, with caramelised sugar, sweet corn or

creamy corn (whichever way you want it)

all in its core and when it’s done, it’s folded into half, cut into pizza-sized shapes.

It costs only MYR 0.50 / A$0.17 / US$0.15 / Eur 0.11 per piece.

Talk about cheapness!

*on a sidenote, it’s high in carbohydrates so if you’re an avid Atkins dieter, it’s best to stay as far away as possible ;)*

The Dragon Boat Festival

On the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is the Chinese festival known as 端午節 or Danwun Jie, “The Dragon Boat Festival”. According to the legend, in 278 BC, a poet know as Qu Yuan, who was also a trusted adviser to the emperor. One of his enemies the ruler of the Qin state, paid the emperor’s favorite mistress and the emperor’s brother to spread rumors about Qu Yuan in order to get the emperor to loose his trust in his adviser. As a result, the emperor sent the poet into exile. During his time in exile, he received a reputation for his honesty, kindness and honor. Upon hearing that the capital was captured by the Qin, he fell into a depression and wrote his last poem before carrying a giant rock to weigh himself down, he walked into the Milua River, committing suicide.

Qu Yuan the Poet who's death started off the festival

When the villager heard about his suicide, they raced their boats to save him, banging drums and splashing the water to scare the fishes and evil spirits from killing Qu Yuan, and throwing in rice dumplings into the water so that they would not consume his body. However his body was never found. Another legend is that a few nights after this, he appeared to a friend in a dream telling him that he had been taken by a River dragon, and so that he would not be eaten by the dragon, they were to make the rice dumplings in a three cornered package and throw that into the water.Dragon Boat races Dragonboat racing in the US

That tradition is still carried on to today, when on the anniversary of his death, people gather to make the tri-cornered rice dumplings and to race dragon boats. This year the anniversary falls on the 19th of June. On Saturday, my family and I made these rice dumplings. There are a wide variety of rice dumplings depending on your family ethnicity. The northern Chinese make their dumplings in a longer shape, and fill it with sweet adzuki bean paste, the Southern Chinese make savory ones. Being of Southern Chinese decent and more specifically of Hokkien decent, we usually make the dark savory ones (It is dark because we use soy sauce instead of salt. We call it Bar Tzang, Zongzi ongzior Meat Dumplings as it usually contains meat, but I know of several Vegetarians who refer to it only as Tzang and rather than having meat, they fill it with mushrooms and black eyed peas only. Some also add the vegetarian ham, which I reckon tastes like spam. Hehehe. In our version we put in a chestnut, a piece of Chinese mushroom, and a piece of “3 layer pork” which is just pork with the fat and skin layer still on it. The fat is needed, as the dumplings themselves can dry out, and the fat layers leak out the fat to moistion the whole package. The rice mixture is then wrapped in giant bamboo leaves, and let me tell you, there is a trick to it, and it usually takes a couple of goes before you can get it right. The package is then tied with a string and boiled until the rice is soft, sticky and fluffy.

Tzang ingredientsTzang ready to be boiledCookedInside a Tzang

As there is just way too many variations of making it, I won’t bother putting up the recipe for it, but if you are curious as to what it tastes like, the Asian grocers usually have a box of it for sale around this time every year. This is a one of those treats which although may not look so special, is considered a treat as it is usually only made and eaten on a particular day every year. I find it tastes quite like a a package of fried rice without the peas. 🙂 So on this year if you should go see the Dragon boat races, enjoy a picnic on the foreshore eating some Zongzi and remembering the story of Qu Yuan.



I thought Angela didn’t like eggs unless they were hidden in pastry or cakes etc, but I was just informed that she actually didn’t mind some of the ways eggs are prepared. I, on the other hand, love eggs. They are so versatile and delicious cooked anyway. 😀

The Finished goods! - congee, chinese food, wandering gourmet

So I thought I’d share my favorite way to prepare a special and different type of egg. It’s called “Century Egg and Lean Pork Congee”. I made this the other day for my brunch (I over slept), so the pictures are my own. Century Eggs or 100 year old Egg, for the uninitiated, is usually a duck egg that has been preserved in a clay, salt, lime, ash and straw mix for a few weeks.

I don’t know the chemical affects of the process, but it turns the egg white into a brown jelly like consistency and the yolk turns a partially creamy, bluish green, almost like mold colour. The taste of this egg on its own is slightly tart and almost like blue cheese, so it is more of an acquired taste.

You can buy it form most Asian grocers now, as it is rather popular, and to make life easier they already washed the mud off the eggs. Contrary to popular beliefs (due to its name) it is not preserved for 100 years. I think it was one of those poetic names bestowed upon the humble preserved egg by our ancestors. An easy way to serve this is sliced into quarters and eaten with a slice of pickled ginger. Yummy! Or the more common way is to have it in a congee. Congee is a savory rice porridge eaten throughout East Asia for breakfast or as a light lunch. So here is my recipe for Pwei Tan Sow Yok Chok (Century Egg and Lean Pork Congee).

You start with your basic congee, which is made with just lots of water and a little bit of rice, boil th eheck out of it until it is to the consitency you like. I prefer mine thick, but if you find it too thick add more water. I think it is about 4 parts water to 1 part of rice. When we make a large pot of it we tend to use just half a cup of rice in a big pot filled up to the halfway point with water.

While that is cooking, slice up into tiny little shreds, some lean pork. I’m talking pork with preferably no fat on it. I like to boil my egg first, but I don’t think you have to. (I have a paranoid mother, I’ve picked up her habits. :S) cut up the egg into iddy biddy pieces, keeping in mind the taste is strong and its not cheap for an egg.

When the congee is mostly a soupy consistency, add the pork and season with salt and white pepper. Add chicken stock if you want, then add the egg pieces. Taste it and adjust to your tastes. Serve piping hot with a drop of sesame oil a sprinkling of finely chopped spring onions, and deep fried wonton pastry pieces if you want. Enjoy!

Meet Kylie Kwong in Perth

Australia’s most famous Chinese tv chef, Kylie Kwong, will be heading to Perth this April to promote her latest book, ‘Simple Chinese Cooking’. If you’re a Kylie Kwong fan, head to these places to find her at:

Amano Cookware Store and Cooking School in Cottesloe will be hosting Kylie Kwong. Their meet and greet event is on Tuesday the 11th of April, 2007. You get a glass of champagne (because it’s never too early to drink) and a sweet treat. To book or to find out more details, call Catriona on 9384 0378.

If you can’t make it to this lunch time/morning tea appointment, you can also have Dinner with Kylie Kwong at the Dymocks Literary Events – Leeuwin Estate event which is the next day, on Wednesday the 12th of April. Kylie will be a guest chef with Beaumonde Catering. The evening which consists of a 4 course dinner with wines is $120.00. To book or to find out more details, call Dymocks Literary Events on either 9385 6820 or 0401 671 849.