Tuesday 29 May 2012

Char Siu Wantan Mee (Noodles) @ Restoran Meng Shiang, Taman Yulek


I've heard and read so much about the char siu (bbq pork) over at this corner coffee shop named Restoran Meng Shiang in Taman Cheras/Yulek but never got round to it. The thing most people complaint about was the waiting time. Since we were passing by here on a weekday, we gave it a try. Took a look inside the double-lot coffee shop, doesn't seems pack and we managed to grab a table near this stall.

This stall sells char siu wantan mee (noodles), it's nearly 12.30pm and thank goodness there were char siu strips hanging at the glass display. Later on, we saw one of the staff bringing out more char siu strips wooohooo. We put in our order of one small and one medium, surprisingly our noodles came within 15 minutes instead of the standard waiting time of 45 minutes.

This was my one-portion noodles. Loved the generous amount of char siu that were glistening in full glory of the caramalised sweet and sticky marinade. What I liked is it's not sickly sweet kind and they are not fatty. Plus I got char siu thau (head) part of the strip. Yes I know it's not healthy to have the charred bits, I guess once a while should be ok? And this is my kinda of a perfect char siu wantan mee where the noodles were cooked al dente retaining the bite whilst not tasting heavy of alkaline that is used to make the noodles. The dark sauce must have the right balance of oil, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce with a slight hint of sesame oil which this stall have nailed it to the T!

Char Siu Wantan meen

My benchmark is Koon Kee and this stall really matched up, if not better! The 3 pieces of wantan - nothing to shout about though but the char siu, noodles and the sauces combi were excellent.


This is Capt'n Hook's one and a half portion (medium) noodles (sorry pic a bit blur cos I need to hurry up and tuck in :p).

Char Siu Wantan Meen medium

I gather the elusive waiting time must be for weekends. We also noticed that the chicken rice stall next to them also belonged to the same family. The display of steamed chicken, siu yuk (roast pork) and char siu, has very little offering left. The wife manned the noodles stall whilst the husband took care of the rice stall. Meanwhile, the daughter takes in order and stuffing the wantan with minced pork mixture.

Restoran Meng Shiang is just a stone throw away from A Wet Thai Cafe and opposite the 3-shoplots Restoran Hau Kee.

Restoran Meng Shiang
1 & 3, Jalan Kas Kas 2
Taman Cheras (Taman Yulek)
Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Review: Menya Musashi @ Eat Paradise, Isetan 1Utama


Early May, whilst I was waiting for my gift to be wrapped at Isetan 1Utama, a flyer announcing the opening of Isetan Eat Paradise on 11 May caught my eyes. I took one and oh myyy... I'm very excited over the possibilities of so many delicious food places right inside Isetan 2nd floor. Looking at the floor plan, the eating places seems to be spacious but in actual fact, they're just postage stamp size. I can imagine the crowd during peak hours.

The non-halal outlets consisted of Menya Musashi (Tokyo Ramen) debuting in Malaysia; Gantetsu (Hokkaido Ramen) also making its debut in Malaysia and Won Korean (not visible up front, just walk right to the end).

Meanwhile the pork-free outlets are Senya (Udon & Soba); Ichiro Sushi (sushi bar debuting in Malaysia); Puran B (cafe) which is actually Plan B where The BIG Group laid its first baby foot step in 1Utama; Gyu-Kaku (Japanese BBQ) also debuting in Malaysia. Then there's Caffe Gino over on the Ground Floor serving gourmet Japanese coffee.

With Capt'n Hook being a big fan of porky ramen, I guess we don't have to look any further than checking out Menya Musashi which has already gained wide publicity by the bloggers.

Menya Musashi front

Apparently Menya Musashi with its flagship store in Shinjuku is one of the legendary ramen in Japan. It's owner, Yamada Takeshi is amongst the 3 ramen industry icons apart from Kawahara Shigemi (Ippudo) and Furuya Ichiro (Nanttsutei). Unlike Goku Raku Ramen's porky broths, Menya Musashi has a subtle broth based due to it's usage of dried saury (a type of fish that is usually in season during autumn) other than pork and chicken bones. Ramen used is thicker than Goku Raku Ramen, about medium thick I would say.

One of the characteristics of Menya Musashi is the interior decor which is samurai based with quite a number of art pieces of some kinda of samurai heros, samurai and sword themed lampshades, black pillars, tables and chairs. I'm no expert in this but while waiting for our ramen to arrive, Capt'n Hook peppered me with info about Miyamoto Musashi. Gee, I've no idea Musashi is actually a legendary swordsman!

There's no table service here. One has to place order and pay at the cashier upfront at the entrance. Then take a seat and soak in the art pieces. I've asked for a glass of cold green tea (RM2) and it really came ice cold, very very refreshing. It's also great to note that they serve drinking water FOC without even asking!

Menya Musashi Centre

Menu is small and there are 3 steps in ordering a bowl of ramen, very simple as stated in the part pictorial menu. Just take a pick of your choices.

Step 1 - Oil

  • Shiro (white) - Onion Flavored Oil/Original
  • Kuro (black) - Special Oil of Fried Shallot & Garlic
  • Aka (red) - Homemade Musashi Chili Oil

Step 2 - Ramen and Ingredients
  • Musashi Ramen - 2 pieces of Chashu, Menma (fermented bamboo shoots), Ajitama (flavoured egg) and Negi (spring onion)
  • Ramen - 1 piece Chashu, Menma and Negi
  • Ajitama Ramen - 1 piece Chashu, Ajitama, Menma and Negi
  • Chashu Men - 3 pieces Chashu, Menma and Negi

Step 3 - Served in Broth or Tsukemen (Broth on separate bowl)

Options to "kar liu" (Cantonese to add on extra) Chasu, Ajitama, Menima or Negi at extra charge. There are also a few of side orders such as gyoza.

I've opted for the signature (according to the cashier) Musashi Ramen (RM26) with a Shiro base of original flavour. I liked the texture of the thicker bouncy ramen. The broth is simpler in flavour. Chashu piece is humongous in size so far as compared with the rest of the ramen places I've been to. However, the texture of the pork slices is kinda coarse. The yolk is not runny at all for my Ajitama :(

Shiro Musashi Ramen (RM26)

Capt'n Hook as usual went for a full body broth of Kuro Chashu Men (RM30). He seems to enjoy his broth till the last drop. I did have some of the broth and find the fried shallot and garlic oil way too overpowering as I prefer to enjoy and taste the natural flavours.

Kuro Chasu Men (RM30)

Other than the ramen as the draw, at the moment Master Chef Yamaguchi is around. You can't miss him as his photo appeared on the menu and his imposing fiercesome aura (kekeke) is hanging around the restaurant klik klaking on his wooden clogs. He was looking at us at the corner of his eyes while I snapped pics using my tiny mobile phone. So fiercesome that I did not dare to approach him :p

Not sure how long he's going to be here but there were a couple of Japanese chefs in the kitchen. I guess if one really would like to have a genuine taste of Menya Musashi ramen, it's really a good time to taste it now. Once the chefs left... let's just hope things will maintain but as far as my own experience thing's won't be the same. So do go now.

Menya Musashi Empty bowls

On a note, we went for a show after our dinner here and we both felt thirsty in the midst of the show... the only day I left my water bottle at home duh! We scrambled to the supermarket to grab some cold drinks before heading home.

Oh ya, there's 10% service charge and 6% Government tax because it's opened under Isetan Malaysia.

Menya Musashi
2nd Floor Isetan 1Utama
Bandar Utama
Tel: +603 7713 7777
Dining Hours:
Sun - Thu 11.00am - 10.00pm (last order 9.30pm)
Fri, Sat & Public Holiday 11.00am - 10.30pm (last order 10.00pm)

Friday 11 May 2012

Review: Restaurant Wong Poh (Revisit)


A friend recently discovered Restaurant Wong Poh serves fantastic crab dishes with reasonable prices. She has always been a big fan of Green View Restaurant but noticed that it was getting expensive as time goes by plus the cajoling of her son, she decided to give Wong Poh a go. So in order to taste more dishes, she rounded up some other friends making up to 7 of us for this trip last week.

Since she doesn't like the signature creamy butter crab that appears on every table, we have this Stir-fried Mee Hoon Crab. I have to say the rice vermicelli is fried with full of wok hei (breath of the wok) where the noodles remained stringy and chewy. It's not easy to fry rice vermicelli without it turning soft and not breaking up! The flavour was great too with the fresh sweetness goodness from the crab pieces.

Wong Poh Restaurant

The friend was raving over the Sang Har Meen (Fresh Water Prawns Noodles, RM72 for 2 portions) and so we have that too. Loved the rich eggy gravy that is so full of fresh prawn flavour. The prawn size is commendable too!

Wong Poh Restaurant

Next we have a Sweet and Sour Crab. In total we have around 7 medium sized crabs for the 2 crab dishes, I believed which costed RM201.10. Quite reasonable eh? As for this style of sweet and sour, the balance is there just that I didn't like how the egg appeared. I like mine to have an even small thin ribbons of egg.

Wong Poh Restaurant

The sweet and sauce sauce was a delight to be mopped up with deep fried mantous (6 pieces RM4.20).

Wong Poh Restaurant

We have 2 greens, one is the Stir-fried Baby French Beans (RM13). Can't really go wrong with this when the French beans remained crunchy as one chomped them up.

Wong Poh Restaurant

The friend had overheard us discussing about 4 Heavenly King (RM10) earlier, and so that's how a plate of that ended up on our table. This dish of spicy stir fried 4 variety of vegetables was one of the dish that went empty first. Wong Poh's version has my fave petai, yum yum, ladies fingers, 4 angle beans and long beans. It's not too hot and loved that the sambal paste has bits of fragrant dried shrimps.

Wong Poh Restaurant

The total bill of the above dishes plus a pot of Chinese tea with ice (RM10.50) came up to RM310.80! What do you think of the price we have paid? Was it reasonable in your pocket too?

Btw, it's pleased to note that they have expanded to 3 shop lots now as compared to 2 when we first went there. Best to call to make a reservation especially on weekends as it can be really packed. I doubt you would want to wait for a table when everyone is slowly enjoying digging into their crabs!

Restaurant Wong Poh
36 & 38 Jln BM 1/2
Bukit Mayang Mas
47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603-7803 3527

Thursday 3 May 2012

Free-Form Plum Pie

Phew, what a hectic April it was... I'm going to catch a few breather before I could concentrate here :D

Whenever I make shortcrust pastries be it for savouries or sweet items, I tend to double-up the recipe so that I can freeze the leftover to be used whenever I fancy some pies or tarts. To store the pastry, just roll into a thick disc and wrap with cling wrap tighly followed by another layer of aluminum foil. Label the pastry with a marker pen on the type of pastry and the date it is made. Chuck in the freezer. That's it!

For sweet shortcrust pastry, I loved the no-fail recipe from Donna Hay. I did an Apple Crumble ala Coffee Bean Cafe that has a pie layer, apples followed by crumbles. I did a couple of apple pies with this pastry as well.

This time round I have a small portion of the pastry (maybe just 1/4 portion) that I just want to get rid of from the freezer. It's too small for a proper pie but I could do a free form pie enough for 2 - 3 person. I also have loads of plums in the fridge so I decided a free form plum pie as it's really so easy.

Free form Plum Pie 01

I stoned and cut 3 plums into thick wedges. Set that aside.

I thaw the pastry out until it's pliable but not totally soft. Roll out the pastry into a round of about 3 mm thick. Remember to flour the work surface lightly before rolling out with rolling pin. Place pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Sprinkle in about 3 tablespoons almond meal on the pastry leaving a 5 cm border all round. Place the plum wedges on top of the almond meal. Sprinkle sugar over the plums to prevent them from drying out. Fold the sides up to partially cover up the plums. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake in pre-heated oven 180C and bake until golden brown. Remove from oven a cool a little before dusting some icing sugar over. Serve warm with thick cream or ice cream... oh so yummy!

Free form Plum Pie 02

Here's Donna Hay's recipe from Modern Classics Book 2 if you wish to have it.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour
3 tbsp caster sugar
150g cold butter, chopped
2-3 tbsp iced water

Rub flour, butter and sugar with fingers until resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can do this in a food processor. Then add in iced water to form a smooth dough. Knead dough lightly. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface or in between 2 pieces of non-stick baking paper to thickness required and line the tart tin.

Preheat oven to 180C. Place a sheet of non-stick baking paper over pastry and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice/beans. Bake for 10 mins then remove the weights and bake for another 10 mins or until pastry is golden brown.

Spoon in filling and top with the crumble. Bake until crumble turned golden brown.

Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012