Youkoso and Welcome!

The Shokumotsu Kouhyou means 'The Food Review'.

Meals around my little town, eating escapades, simple recipes, gastronomical affairs, food tips and recommendations - all you need to know!

The kouhyou also features the $$$ of foods and ingredients so you may be able to eat around your budget.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop

Ok, firstly, sorry for the delay! I had my trial exams and then my crazy phone decided to bail out on me by deleting all my photos from my SD card! Bro recovered the photos for me but my food photos were all gone. :( New phone? Hehe but no money to pay for petrol.

Merdeka = holiday. Time to take a breather. And to go out for brunch with Dad and Mom. We went to a coffeeshop in Bercham but everything was sold out and we had to gulp down our poor-tasting coffee and leave.

We decided to check out Peking Pan Mee Noodles Shop in Medan Ipoh Bistari. It's located at the row of shophouses next to the Petronas station next to the Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah drive-thru McDonald's (formerly known as Tasek Road). It's situated opposite Ka Fe Tim and is just a few doors away from Japanese restaurant Akamomiji.

When we arrived, it was about 11:30 am only but the place was packed and we had to wait awhile for a table. The shop accomodates about 15 tables only, but it was a great escape from the heat. The staff took quite a long time to clear the tables and our tummies were rumbling already! The moment we saw a vacant table being cleared by a foreign worker, we pounced on it.

We requested for a menu, which, thankfully they had because we are Mandarin illiterates! But, the menu was, erm, digustingly covered with somebody's spilt coffee... To get the workers to get our orders took quite a bit of time. And we only got to order about 15 minutes later. Five staff but seriously lacking in manpower. Our noodles came 10 minutes later, but there was a jumble of orders with the table next to us. The staff wasn't sure what noodle was what? Need a better system?

Where are the wolfberries?! RM 5.00

I decided to go with the Wolfberry Pan Mee (kei chi). But where were the wolfberries? It was in the noodle itself, thus, the orangey hue. But, the only taste of it that I could make out was the very mild sourish taste of kei chi which leached into the clear soup. Very generous with the noodles. But the homemade fishballs were not there!

Priced at RM 5.00 as well, the Dry Curry Chicken Pan Mee fared better than the wolfberry one. The pan mee for this one was flat. It wasn't too oily and there was even a piece of liver. Mom said it was not bad but felt it was a little dry.

Dad settled for the Spicy Fermented Soya Bean Fish Head Pan Mee. Not attractive at all. But don't be deceived! It tasted the best at RM 7.00. They were very generous with the fish which was cut into smaller pieces. The fish was pretty fresh too. The soup was very mildly spicy and tasted like miso with a light wine taste.

They provide sambal belacan which smelt good. But our joy was shortlived because it had no 'kick'. Not spicy at all! Need to double up on cili padi. Hehe.

Other than noodles, they serve soup dumplings for RM 5.00. There are about 12 types of noodles served here and the most expensive item, priced at RM 10.00 is the Ginger Wine Chicken Pan Mee which is only available on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. They make their own noodles without preservatives and it's fresh. Other types of noodles include pumpkin and spinach. They serve Chinese herbal deserts as well.

All in all, it's something different from the usual pan mee sold elsewhere. But they don't serve hand-torn pan mee.

Address: 30, Medan Ipoh 1E, Ground Floor, Medan Ipoh Bistari, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Contact: 0127288727, 0125149782
Opening hours: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm daily

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Min Jiet: The Best Coffee

It is known that Ipoh is famous for its white coffee. In fact, the place where white coffee first originated, Sun Yee Loong, is still in operation.

A lesser known place with the best coffee my friends and I vouch for is Restoran Min Jiet. Located directly opposite the Anglo-Chinese School at Lahat Road leading to Menglembu, this nondescript shop bears only a small yellow signboard and would usually go unnoticed by most passing motorists. Most of its customers are the ACS students and workers from the industrial areas in Menglembu.

The shop is rather small and has about 10 tables that can accomodate at least five people - more if you have a small-sized group! The place gets really packed during lunch. It may seem a little rundown, dark and hot; but it serves good food and coffee. :)

Besides coffee, a couple serves hor hee (clear soup flat noodles) and kon lou noodles (dry black sauce noodles) in the morning. To cater for the working crowd, there's economy rice and also one-dish rice like sweet and sour pork rice, Thai-style chicken rice (our all-time favourite! *will post a picture soon).

The 40-something Min Jiet Aunty (as we fondly call her) runs the drinks stall, takes rice orders and sells economy rice single-handedly! And there is only one cook. Talk about efficiency.

The menu and prices are pasted on the walls; and they are reasonable despite the recent hike.

BACK TO THE COFFEE. The coffee is gao (thick) but not overdone, and the milk in right proportion. It's fragrant as well and done with just the right amount of froth, for me. (I'm not a coffee expert, except in the tasting department XD) MJ Aunty mixes the coffee with a whisk at full speed, and rest be assured, coffee arrives on the dot.

RM 1.40 for satisfying an addiction. Very worth it!

Opening hours:
Breakfast till about 4:00 pm daily except Sundays.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Go Ko-Re-An!

My parents know how much I love kimchi and so, after my MUET exams, they took me to a Korean restaurant (my first time!) for authentic kimchi.

Onix Jun Restaurant is manned by a Korean family and yes, they can speak Mandarin and English. I was so worried the young boy couldn't and so I, embarassingly pointed to my order and said "This, one." while indicating "one" with a finger.

We ordered a very minimal meal as it wasn't exactly very cheap. We had Kimchi Stew, of course, barbecued beef and plain rice.

The kimchi stew which comes with a bowl of rice was delicious but the portion could have been bigger. It was on the salty side but very tasty and not too spicy. The white tofu was just right. I once tried making my own kimchi stew from scratch (ie. from fermentation) and I loaded too much gochugaru (red chilli pepper flakes) which sent the spice straight to my ears! But taste-wise, mine tasted almost exactly like Onix Jun's! :) It was sour and appetising.

The barbecued beef was simple goodness. The unmarinated beef is wrapped with Romaine lettuce and chomped down.

Also served was banchan or side dishes like:
Sigeumchi namul 시금치나물 - Lightly parboiled spinach dressed with sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce.
Baechu kimchi - Napa cabbage kimchi
Yeolmu kimchi 열무김치 - thin and small young summer radish kimchi
Pa kimchi 파김치 - hot and salty scallion kimchi, seasoned with lots of myeolchijeot, the Korean version of salted anchovies.

Dad had aloe juice and Mom had green tea. I decided to try dunggulle tea which is made from the dried root of Solomon's seal. It had a rather interesting taste. For the teas, water is refillable.

1. Kimchi stew: RM 18.00
2. BBQ beef: RM 12.00
3. Banchan: RM 0.00
4. Aloe juice: RM 5.00
5. Teas: RM 4.00 x 2
Total: RM 43.00 (13.5 USD)

*No service or government tax.
** Lunches during weekdays are more affordable.

I would certainly like to dine here again and try more dishes like kimbap, bibimbap and bulgogi! The atmosphere is pleasant and it's a good place for conversation.

There are vacancies as well and they pay RM 5 per hour. Employment is by walk-in interview. I wouldn't mind going after STPM! Haha.

Onix Jun Restaurant. 31, Jln Medan Ipoh 4, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh. Tel : 012-5377530, or 05-5477530. Open at lunch and dinner.
I'll be back!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kimchi Kraving

I have an insatiable craving for the popular traditional Korean dish kimchi. Kimchi is fermented vegetables with various seasonings and is usually eaten as a banchan (side dish) or made into stews, soups and fried rice. Koreans eat kimchi at every meal and they actually have a museum displaying more than 60 types of kimchi!

Kimchi is made from vegetables and therefore, have high dietary fibre content. It has high contents of vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamine and various lactic acid bacteria. It is also on Health's top 5 "World Healthiest Food" list. It is also said to reduce cancer growth and boosts immunity against SARS. (Source: Wikipedia)

There are many types of kimchi, but I like baechu kimchi which is made of Chinese cabbage. It's really simple to make and unlike the very pricey kimchi you eat in restaurants, homemade kimchi is really cheap!

Make a brine solution with 1/2 cup of salt and 5 cups of water.

Wash and cut the Chinese cabbages into bite-size pieces. Soak the cabbages in the brine solution for 5 to 6 hours. To ensure all of them are submerged completely, I placed a plate filled with water on top.

After the 6 hours, mix 1/2 a tablespoon of chopped garlic, 1/2 a tablespoon of chopped ginger, 1/2 cup of dried chilli flakes (gochukaru), 1 tablespoon of sugar and cut scallions (if you like). I like adding scallions because they give a nice colour to it and it have a pleasant fragrance as well.

Drain the cabbages and rinse them in cold water. Then, throw them into the mixture and mix! I think that it's easiest to use your hands to mix it, but, my hands have to endure the spice after that, which hurts! :)

After mixing, place it in an airtight container. To make sure it was completely airtight, I actually taped the jar with masking tape. But I'm paranoid. :P

Leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 days, then, refridgerate. Mine's been sitting in the kitchen for 3 days already. I'm gearing up to make kimchi jjiggae (kimchi stew) on Sunday! :)

$$: Overall cost was less than RM 5 (1.5 USD)

Friday, April 30, 2010

For Old Time's Sake

Recently, I headed to Teluk Batik, Perak. On the way back, my family and I headed to Kampung Baharu, Lumut for seafood. Three years ago, my parents, uncle, good friend and I stumbled upon this little village when we went to Lumut to visit my sister in National Service.

At the end of a narrow road that leads to the river mouth is New Bay Restaurant; not anything fanciful. The last time we were there, we had bamboo clams, sweet and sour crabs, curry prawns.. That's what I can remember. But the food was VERY good.

For old time's sake, we had two sweet and sour crabs, curry prawns and kangkung belacan (shrimp paste water spinach, ipomoea aquatica). They didn't have any sort of clams that day. However, we were disappointed this time. The sweet and sour crabs lacked enough taucu (fermented soybeans) and the curry prawns had to much santan (coconut milk). The kangkung was average.

Sweet & Sour Crabs

Curry Prawns

Kangkung Belacan

$$$: I must say that the meal was rather affordable. It came up to RM53.00 only (17.60 USD) for 3 persons, including two Chinese teas and a fresh coconut, and we had leftover prawns that Mom had its flavour tweaked with pineapples!

The food is average but cheap, but, I think I'll be heading elsewhere...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Igniting the Gas Stove!

Welcome to The Shokumotsu Kouhyou! (which translates to 'The Food Review') I'm pretty much into food - for the eating and cooking, too.

Meals around town, simple recipes, gastronomical affairs and food tips; together with their respective prices will be featured in the kouhyou. Some recipes are available on my personal blog joie de vivre, but I'll repost them here for convenience sake and also because the prices for ingredients etc. aren't available there.

Since I'm no chef de cuisine, do give your opinions of better cooking methods or improvisations!

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