Showing posts from June, 2012

Food Gems - Klang Valley, Malaysia

McCurry Noodles in Shah Alam , the capitalof Selangor State, has the unique proposition of being run by a Scotsman, Colin James Mcculloch, and his Penang Chinese wife.  Their version of this fav street food in the Klang Valley (and also in Australian capital cities) has a spicy kick, a rather wholesome soup and niftly cut chicken pieces served on the bone that somehow draws the flavours better.  (Image above). I also highly recommend their accompanying teh tarik, lightly tinged with an cinnamon aftertaste. I was taken to try this for breakfast one weekend morning by Yew Ting and his youngest son. The cafe is located at 7, Jalan Juruaudit U1/37 in Section U1 of Shah Alam in Selangor State.

Walking around the Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur, I was captivated by two stores, one providing Haagen Dasz ice cream flavours (the Austin Chase above) and the other looking as cottage prettty as it can be (image below, the Delectable Cakes).
Austin Chase originates from Seattle, the home of Starbucks …

Ole Ole Bali, Empire - Klang Valley, Malaysia

Bali conjures images of sultry seasides, the lingering aroma of Keretek (cloves) and a place where time moves at its own pace. The air is humid tropical, the food is spicy and the living can be easy. One wakes up wrapped in a  sarung, that delightful wardrobe that does allow air to flow through. One views the moon in the evening through different eyes. Bob took me to the Empire one evening in early June outside Kuala Lumpur, near the suburb of Subang Jaya, where amidst the shops in a modern shopping mall, a restaurant called Ole Ole Bali beckoned. Ole with the same spelling has been used by J.K. Rowlings and Mark Twain.  It is also the expression used by Spanish bullfighters in the bullring.

I was not disappointed by the saffron coloured rice, the centerpiece in my dinner set chosen. (picture above) Surrounding this were a variety of concoctions and a generous serve of marinated chicken. There were crispy bites of crackers, bits of fresh red chili, a sambal sauce, deep fried garlic,…

Dean's Diner - Newtown, Sydney

On first impressions, it can be one of the ubiquitous takeaways seen in each conurbation across the Australian sub-continent. Deep fried stuff, burger buns and the quick takeaway coffee. After my first visit, I found Dean's Diner to be more of a budding Hard Rock Cafe, without the frills, but with the friendly service, framed pictures that defer to the Age of Rock and Roll and a practical neighbourliness of its own.  I had a bacon and egg wrap for a late breakfast on my recent drop by there, together with the usual cuppa of cappuccino. A poster under the counter for a concert by the Flight of the Conchords caught my eye (image above).  Most customers that morning seem to know the place well and just had takeaway.  Great 1980s music was blaring away.

Spanish Harlem, Australian Crawl, Love Shack, Dixie Chicks. If the clientele are fans of such tracks, then their average age must be getting up there - baby boomers!  However, as you can figure out above, the food is ever ready teena…

Tao Asian - Penang, Malaysia

Salmon papaya, a delicate and delectable entree served with oozing juice and a contrast between fruit and seafood. Best eaten with chopsticks. Welcome to the world of Tao.

A selection of sushi and more from the buffet table (above picture) gives a hint of the care and diversity that goes into a thoughtful and varied menu. Try the clam with garlic, three layer egg, spicy Idaki Maki, Shabu Shabu and Hawaiian Lamb.

The setting at Auto City is idyllic, with wood panels, interesting with even a live music area and cultural feel.   Watch your step as you climb up artificially made sloping steps from the entrance, and once inside, you have to navigate your way past quaint Japanese styled bridges and stone structures to get to the reception or washrooms.  Tables are often small to adequately accommodate the range of food any typical group or couple orders.  You do, however, get a choice of seating options from cushioned enclosures to  that of chairs which can be too low rise.

Chawan mushi is …

Auto City Juru - Penang, Malaysia

Bright strobbing lights, flashy sights, well polished surfaces and clean brick tiled floors. Car accessories, pharmacies, mobile phone stalls and hair saloons add to the variety. Welcome to a fair in Auto City, alive with crowds of people, periodic parades, diners, apparel sales and music.

It is not just all cars, for it is a suburb, offering all the amenities of a small township. There are replica murals of a Thai restaurant (above) and another manifestation of Americanism (below) is an example of what draws the crowd out of their residential areas to congregate.  When I was last there, the rains came down and whipped up by the winds, unleashed the water on all the cars exhibited there.  Audi, BMW, Subaru, you name it.

Auto City lies at a locational nexus, not far from the Peninsular Malaysian mainland side of the Penang Bridge, within a half hour drive from the regional hubs of Butterworth, Seberang Perai and Bukit Mertajam, having easy access to the North-South Expressway to Alor Se…

Wedding Vibes, Georgetown, Penang

Many preparations lead to a festive wedding. They include the traditional practice of making and consuming brightly coloured rice dough balls (above) in light syrup, to signify roundness, celebration and good vibes. Cakes, hearts and toasts share a common link for all cultures to mark a marriage.  The images below were taken on site at the Ming Garden Restaurant in Georgetown's Times Square on 30 May 2012.

The above images in this entry are from the collection of Mr Loke Yew Fai of Kuala Lumpur.

Scenes From A Wedding - Georgetown, Penang 2012

Shaun and Tze Yin came back to the island of Penang to reunite with relatives, meet up with new ones and generally mark a most festive occasion in their lives.  The occasion is also to take a meal together, with parents, relatives and mates.  The opportunity is also to be introduced formally to older and younger relatives, as symbolised by the offering of tea in cups and the exchange of red packets.  The venue is reputedly the largest Chinese restaurant on the island.  The Master of Ceremony was a band member from the iconic Penang band Sweet September. 

Images following below are from the collection of Mr Loke Yew Fai.

Shaun and Yin offer tea to brother Chet and sister-in-law Karen from Singapore.

Father of the bride (above picture) puts a wedding necklace on daughter, whilst the bride offers tea to the paternal grandmother (below).

Suckling pig roast (above) and mushrooms in a veg concoction with good iconic meaning (below) are part of the staple of Cantonese-styled wedding menu d…