Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ho Boh Hakka, Ping Wah Hainanese & Hoi Kee Henghua

Delving into the diversity of Chinese cooking at three eateries, starting with Ho Boh, a trove of Hakka recipes in Puchong.

I'm half-Hakka & completely love 'lei cha,' the mix of pounded tea, nuts, grains & herbs that's often considered an acquired taste. Ho Boh does a satisfactory version, costing a reasonable RM8 for a fibre-rich serving with brown rice & anchovies.

Green is good - Ho Boh also does 'lei cha'-style pan mee & fried rice; both taste more wholesome & nutritious than the norm.

Ho Boh isn't a vegetarian outlet though - there's fowl play afoot, from brown ginger duck to equally aromatic yellow wine egg

Abacus beads, another cornerstone of the Hakka culinary heritage, alongside lotus roots, a perennial family favourite.

Next up: I'm also half-Hainanese, which makes Ping Wah in PJ's Taman Paramount an extremely easy recommendation.

There's a feast of comforting soul food here - savoury braised potato with pork (RM8) to tangy fish maw with pineapples (RM12) & the piece de resistance, which you might spot on every table: Hainanese-style fluffy 'choy poh' egg (RM8).

Ping Wah's crispy village duck (RM24) seems a bit dry, but it does come in a hearty portion; meanwhile, the village chicken with crispy 'choy poh' (preserved turnip) is tasty but pricey at RM18 for a less substantial serving. The deep-fried senangin fish with ginger & soy sauce (RM4.50 per 100 grams) & fried bitter gourd are both serviceable.

Final stop: Hoi Kee, a Henghua neighbourhood restaurant in Taman Desa that gets exceptionally crowded in the evenings.

Oysters run riot on Hoi Kee's menu; have 'em with mee sua in broth (RM30) or fried in an omelette (RM26), both nutty & nice.

Claypot fish maw with stewed mushrooms (RM48) supplies steaming-hot, soupy nourishment for a stormy evening; boneless chicken wings stuffed with ham & mushrooms (RM15 for six pieces) are also delicious. Ginger fish head (RM38) Heng Hwa fried veggies (RM22) both taste encouragingly wholesome enough to endorse.

Ho Boh, 21A Jalan TK 1/11a, Taman Kinrara Seksyen 1, Puchong. Tel: 03-8076-8329
Ping Wah, Jalan 20/12a, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7875-8987
Hoi Kee, 16, Jalan 1/109e, Taman Desa Business Park, Kuala Lumpur.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 

Pot & Kettle @ Empire Damansara

Pot & Kettle's claim to fame might be its ties to pop singer & Celebrity Masterchef Malaysia winner Fazley Yaakob, a charismatic culinarian who curates elaborately experimental recipes with hit-or-miss results.

We're garlic enthusiasts, so it's easy to endorse Pot & Kettle's pizzas, which each emerge with an entire bulb of fleshy-fragrant cloves, complementing thin-crust treats topped with beef, prawns or even scrambled eggs, costing between RM24 & RM30. Note: Our visit here was several months back; the menu was still in flux, so not everything we tried might still be available now.

It's not often that we see beignets in the Klang Valley, so these seemed potentially worth ordering. More delicately airy than dense, which not everyone might enjoy - they collapse with a bite into hollowness. Accompanied by butterscotch sauce. RM10.

Pot & Kettle boils, freezes, then fries its triple-cooked French fries - a tad too greasy on the outside & mushy inside. A bit bland too, though that's rectified through another triple-threat theme: Dips of garlic sour cream, paprika sour cream & honey mustard.

Dodol topped with macarons - Malay-French fusion. Alas, the dodol proved rubbery while the macarons were hard & chewy.

Cakes also boast a distinctive touch - Brazilian chocolate ganache layered with Japanese green tea paste, adorned with Hawaiian papaya & Philippine mango slices. But the sum of the parts tastes like a regular chocolate cake with preserved fruits.

Lavazza coffee - not exactly Empire Damansara's ideal option for caffeine; many other coffee specialists occupy this complex.

Pot & Kettle Cafe
G-18, Empire Damansara, Damansara Perdana. Closed Mondays.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Charlie Chaplin Cafe & Evelyn's Chocolate House @ One City USJ Subang

Chilling out with Charlie & Evelyn, two of the more familiar F&B names at Subang Jaya's Skypark One City shopping mall.

We have mixed feelings about Charlie Chaplin Cafe - 'City Lights' is one of our favourite movies, & we're not sure this restaurant captures the Tramp's warm, playful spirit; it's beautifully but too slickly outfitted, showcasing more sheen than soul.

Black-&-white bolognese pasta (RM26) on plates emblazoned with Chaplin's signature character's image & coffee profiled with bowler-hat-&-baggy-pants artwork make for distinctive designs; they look more memorable than they taste. Argentinian & Aussie wine is offered at RM12.50 a glass & RM59 a bottle - more affordable than expected, but not for the Tramp of course.

Also in this mall, Evelyn's Chocolate House, which specialises in choc desserts, boasts an old-school diner's rollicking vibe.

Evelyn puts chocolate to creative use; its offerings range from white chocolate swans on choux pastry boats (RM8.50) to soft crepes sliced into pasta strips, smothered with chocolate sauce & ice cream (RM23.90), washed down with all manner of chocolate-heavy beverages. Probably best enjoyed by children with parents who won't mind sending them on a sugar rush.

Charlie Chaplin Cafe
Ground Floor, One City USJ Subang, Selangor. Tel: 03-5115-0196

Evelyn's Chocolate House
Level 1A, One City USJ Subang, Selangor. Tel: 03-5115-0200

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses