Saturday 31 January 2015

Enjoying Dim Sum @ Restoran Zui Le Xuan, First Garden, Ipoh

Our eldest son is back in Ipoh for the weekend and this morning his dad asked whether he wanted any breakfast or not. Usually, my sons would skip breakfast because they wanted to sleep late, and would only take brunch or lunch. This morning was an exception because he was up early and will be meeting some friends after breakfast.

At first, dad suggested First Garden's famous fish noodle but son said he wanted dim sum because long time didn't go for dim sum breakfast. So dim sum it was for pa, ma and son and off we went to First Garden's Restoran Zui Le Xuan Dim Sum for our dim sum breakfast.

We were early and only a few tables were occupied. We took a table at the corridor, more airy because it was not air-conditioned. Service was fast and good because there was no crowd.
First item on the table was steamed "siew mai" - meat & prawn paste, etc.

Next is steamed "har kow" - prawn dumplings

This is steamed "yu wat" - smooth, soft, bouncy fish paste with green peas.

"Woo Kok" - yam paste skin with diced meat, peas etc. as filling.

Do not know what this is called, but we know this is very good and tasty. Tasted like fish paste, prawns, etc.

Fish paste stuffed long purple brinjal (eggplant).

Fresh julienne ginger in black vinegar to eat with steamed little buns (siew loong pau). The spoons are to hold the buns and when you take a bite into the bun, soup will run out of the bun and collected in the spoon.

A set of 4 steamed little buns. Filling of bun is minced meat, etc. and soup. The "siew loong pau" cannot compete with those in KL or Singapore.

A plate of 3 minced meat and prawn bean curd rolls. To be eaten with mayonnaise or chili sauce.

A mini saucer with 3 tiny free samples of chicken biscuits (kai chai paen)

Restoran Zui Le Xuan is located in one of the shops just beside GP Foodcourt in First Garden, Ipoh.

Follow My decrees and be careful to obey my laws,
and you will live safely in the land.
Then the land will yield its fruit,
and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.
(Leviticus 25:18-19, New International Version-NIV)

Friday 30 January 2015

Frying Arrowhead Chips (Nga Koo) For Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just about 2 weeks from now and I was reminded of this when my sister gave me a bag of arrowheads (nga ku in Cantonese) last week. My sister and I have been frying our own nga ku chips for the third and fourth year now. Both our families love munching on nga ku chips. Since we consume a lot, it is more economical to fry the chips ourselves.

When my boys were younger, I used to bake and buy cookies for Chinese New Year and Christmas celebration. I no longer bake cookies now because nobody eats them. Now nga ku chips is the most important snack for this festive season.

Last Tuesday, I dropped by at the supermarket and saw the arrowheads selling at MYR 3.88 per kilo. Since it was near dinner time, I saw only one lady choosing from the huge pile of arrowheads. That was the best time to buy my arrowheads without the big crowd. I took my time to choose the arrowheads without having to compete with the other customers. Somehow, competing with other customers is one area I am not good at.

I got so carried away that I didn't realized I have bought almost 10 kg of nga ku! Anyway, I was happy with what I have bought. Being a once a year thing, I spend 2 nights frying my nga ku chips.

This afternoon I was in a mall in Kamunting and I saw that nga ku was also sold there. At the place where the nga ku was placed, there was a chart with pictures showing the steps to prepare and fry nga ku. Now all customers will know how to fry and be able to enjoy nga ku chips, whether they are celebrating the festive season or not.
Day 1 - This was the first batch of arrowheads to be fried. I remembered the first time I bought arrowheads of frying, I didn't know that I must choose the arrowheads with the shoot intact. They are for holding when slicing the arrowheads. That was lesson number 1 that I have learnt from experience.

The arrowheads have been peeled, leaving the shoots of nga ku intact.

Heating up the oil in the frying pan (kuali) for frying. The fire must not be too high and the oil must be of right temperature for frying. To test whether the oil is ready for frying, just drop a slice of arrowhead into the oil. If the slice of arrowhead pops right up on the surface of oil and started frying/bubbling, then it is ready to fry the arrowheads slices.

While waiting for the oil to get heated up, I started slicing the arrowheads, getting them ready for frying. My arrowhead chips are without salt because we prefer the chips plain.

Fry arrowhead slices in small batches so as not to overcrowd in the frying pan. Over crowding will cause uneven frying of arrowhead chips. Fry the arrowhead chip till they are not bubbling in the oil.

When arrowhead chips are light golden, lift them up with a strainer. Let the oil dripped dry and place the chips on kitchen paper towel to absorb the oil. After the chips have cooled down, place them into containers lined with oil absorbing sheets. Allow the chips to totally cooled down before sealing the containers.

Arrowheads peeling and shoots are used for garden compost. Nothing is wasted. It took me 2 days to fry almost 10 kg of arrowheads.

I managed to get about 9 biscuit tins of fried nga ku. The nga ku on sale are placed in the plastic container with the red cover. 1 plastic container of nga ku cost MYR 12 or 13. It is so much cheaper to fry our own nga ku chips and we can munch to our satisfaction.

When you have eaten and are satisfied,
praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you.
(Deuteronomy 8:10, New International Version-NIV)

Thursday 29 January 2015

Curry Mee, Prawn Mee & Lam Mee @ Sun Seng Fatt, Ipoh Old Town

Few weeks ago, my ex-colleague and I, together with our husbands had our breakfast at Sun Seng Fatt. Initially, this business was operating from an opposite shop. Those days we were much younger and still working. My ex-colleagues and I used to frequent the old place for the famous curry mee and lam mee. Those were the days when we enjoyed going out for breakfast together during our tea break.

After our retirement, we seldom come together to this part of town for our breakfast. On this particular morning, we wanted to show our friends around to see the wall murals, the changes and happenings in old town. So before sight-seeing, we must fill our tummy first. It so happened we found a parking lot near Sun Seng Fatt. Since its has been a long, long time we have not been here, we decided to get a taste of our old favourite noodles.
Curry mee/noodle - yellow noodle with BBQ pork slices, prawns, bean curd ball, crunchy bean sprout, mint leaves in curry gravy.

Prawn mee/noodle - yellow noodle with hard boil egg slices, BBQ pork slices, prawns, crunchy bean sprouts, water spinach, crispy fried onion slices.

Lam mee/noodle - yellow noodle mixed with rice vermicelli, BBQ pork slices, prawns, crunchy bean sprout, thin egg strips in non-spicy soup.

Workers peeling prawns.

MYR 5 (approx. 1.39 USD) per bowl for all types of noodles.

Restoran Sun Seng Fatt, 32, Jalan Market, Ipoh Old Town.

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works
and consider what Your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to You;
my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.
(Psalm 143:5-6, New International Version-NIV)

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Hearty Breakfast At Kedai Kopi Kui Lao Ban Mee, Ipoh

Finally, we found this place! Kedai Kopi Kui Lao Ban Mee.
My hubby first tasted this Ban Mee (egg + flour noodle) with his friends. He knows Ban Mee is one of my favourite noodle and he wanted me to taste it too. One morning after our morning walk, he drove me to the Ban Mee shop, but the shop was no longer there. What a disappointment because I was looking forward to taste the Ban Mee. Later, my hubby got news from his friend that the shop has shifted some where opposite the former shop.
It is on the same row as Hou Mei Wo Steamboat.

No parking problem especially early in the morning.

Last week, we had our fellowship gathering with my ex-colleagues and their husbands at this Ban Mee shop. There is a wall menu board for our reference but it is written only in Chinese.

4 bowls of warm water chestnut sweet drink with white fungus, gingko nuts (mai tai kang) MYR 2.50 (approx. 0.69 USD), 1 cup of hot milo and 1 glass of iced milo.

Diced water chestnuts, gingko nuts boiled till soft and fluffy, white fungus like soft jelly. Served with ice or without ice.

First plate to arrive, a plate of narrow Ban Mee dry version with dark sauce. Topped with minced pork, crispy deep fried anchovy and green vege.

Comes with a bowl of soup with 2 meat/fish balls.

2nd - 2 bowls of flat, broad yellow pumpkin noodle with grouper fish slices and cilantro or Chinese parsley (yim sai in Cantonese). Tasty soup with the fragrance of cilantro, thick slices of fish and I like the texture of the noodle.

3rd - 2 bowls of flat, broad yellow pumpkin noodle with minced meat, 2 fish balls, crispy deep fried anchovy, green vege (sayur manis).

4th - a plate of narrow Ban Mee with minced meat, crispy deep fried anchovy, green vege (sayur manis) with hot spicy sauce, served with chili. prawn paste sauce.

Some add-ons - we shouldn't have ordered this because the noodle were more than enough to fill our tummy. Cost of breakfast MYR 59.50 (approx. 16.48 USD).

This picture was taken before the morning crowd came in. The place is clean and comfortable. Hope it will continued to be well maintained.

Kedai Kopi Kui Lao Ban Mee, No. 77, Lengkok Desa Rishah 1,
Taman Desa Rishah, Ipoh. Tel: 016-544 1640.

... let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.
(Hebrews 10:22-23, New International Version-NIV)

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Wanton Mee/Noodle At Restoran Big Oriental, Ipoh

Wanton mee/noodle is quite common in Ipoh and can easily be found in most coffee shop. But to get tasty wanton noodle is not easy. When it comes to eating wanton noodle I have my own preferences and one of them is the Georgetown wanton noodle (tok tok mee) sold at Restoran Big Oriental, Persiaran Greenhill, Ipoh. As a landmark, there is the Tower Regency Hotel, a tall rise building in the background.
Whenever my hubby and I want to have our breakfast at Restoran Big Oriental, we will usually reach there around 8 am. That is when we get to smell the sweet fragrance of BBQ pork (char siew) coming from the kitchen.
The wanton noodle I am talking about is this Georgetown Tok Tok Wanton Noodle. Normal plate of wanton noodle MYR 3.80 (approx. 1.05 USD)

Roasted pork and homemade BBQ pork (char siew). The boss grills his own BBQ pork (char siew). He only prepare just enough for the day's business.

Wanton noodle dry version with special sauce, topped with BBQ pork, some green vege and pickled green chili.

Wanton noodle dry version with special sauce, topped with fried wanton, roasted pork, some green vege and crunchy pickled green chili.

It has been quite a while since we last ate Tok Tok wanton noodle. The boss has been on medical leave due to an injury to his ankle bone when he fell from his motorcycle.
We have heard that he is well and fully recovered now and will be back in business soon. That is really good news to us because we missed the fragrant smell of homemade BBQ pork and tasty Tok Tok mee.
This is glutinous rice dumpling with filling consisting of pork, beans, mushroom, salted egg yolk. I like glutinous dumplings and once in a while we will order one dumpling as side order. 1 dumpling MYR 4.80 (approx. 1.33 USD).
Besides Tok Tok mee, there is another stall selling GP Kopisan noodle. This is one of the many outlets of GP Kopisan from Gopeng. Every morning the van will deliver fresh noodles and stuffed goodies (liew) from Gopeng.
Crispy fried bean curd with fish paste (left) and crispy fish cracker (right).

Some fish paste stuffed goodies (liew) e.g. fried stuffed bitter gourd, tofu, bean curd, etc. in clear soup.

More fish paste stuffed goodies e.g. fried meat balls, fish paste, etc.

Spicy sauce for dipping the goodies (liew).

Rice noodle (lai fun) in clear soup with sesame seeds and spring onion (top pic.) and Rice noodle (lai fun) in curry soup (bottom pic.). I still prefer the clear soup version.
There are more choices from the kitchen if you prefer the fried noodles, rice dishes, etc. The menu is pasted for customers' reference.
Available for breakfast and lunch.

This is a plate of crispy fried rice vermicelli. Thicken gravy with pork slices, fish cake slices, prawns, green vege and egg.

Your eye is the lamp of your body.
When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light.
But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.
See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light,
and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted,
as when the light of a lamp shines on you.
(Luke 11:34-36, New International Version-NIV)
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