A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
It was the world’s cheapest sang har meen. Or at least, that’s what it appeared to me in my well-protected cocoon. At only RM8.50 a plate with some fresh juicy prawns thrown into a lovely eggy sauce, I certainly had no complaints.
I am not sure if I shall be able to find this coffee shop again on my own though. Ecstatic Eeyore had led me through a maze of shops quite like the catacombs of Rome, where amidst some beauty salons and shops selling cheap nail polish and hair products, there stood a coffee shop, rather displaced in the surroundings. It was a real coffee shop, not one of those beautified kopitiams made to resemble the real thing with muted yellow lighting for subdued ambience and without the 20 year old grime. This one had white tiled walls, bright fluorescent light and a couple of stalls selling chicken rice and chap fan (mixed rice).
Also good was the lor meen (RM8.50) with a thick gooey sauce made even more delicious with a dash of vinegar.
Paramount Coffee Shop
2nd Floor (near the arcade), Sungei Wang Plaza,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Open for lunch only.
When I visited my friend, Machiko, in Singapore last year, in addition to enjoying some glorious Japanese food with her (because eating Japanese with a Japanese epitomises the saying “You complete me.” Tom Cruise be damned), she offered me an interesting beverage.
“It’s rice vinegar,” she smiled. “It’s good for your health.” She had poured one part of vinegar and diluted it with three parts of water. I sniffed it. It definitely smelled of vinegar.
Always game to try new things, I took a sip. It tasted like vinegar, obviously. But to make it more palatable, other ingredients had been added to it. My Red Grape Vinegar drink had grape juice sourced from the Nagano prefecture in Japan, and it tasted like a sourer version of Ribena.
After a couple of sips, putting aside all thoughts of drinking vinegar and imagining that it was just another drink, I thought it was rather good. Of course, I’m addicted to all things sour. I love anything with an acidic taste, and my salivary glands immediately work at full speed at all thoughts of sour food items. Like now. My saliva’s dripping faster than the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe.
“The Japanese have been drinking vinegar for years,” Machiko explained. “It is used as a digestive, for lowering blood pressure, for reducing fatigue and for improving calcium absorption.” It was almost the Medicine Man’s panacea for all illnesses. Me? I just liked the taste. I gave it thumbs and toes up.
This year, a package arrived for me from Singapore. Machiko had sent me three bottles of the vinegar drink which I loved so much. Aside from the Red Grape, there was a bottle of Acacia Honey Vinegar drink and a bottle of Citrus Sudachi (citrus fruit with a zestier flavour and aroma compared to lemons or limes) Vinegar Drink. My personal favourite is still the Red Grape, but the others are pretty good too. The Honey tastes closest to the original flavour, while the Citrus is very refreshing. A great idea is to use this in a salad (as one would do with balsamic vinegar) to give it a light and zesty flavour.
A 300ml bottle retails at S$17. Further information can be found on their website.
61 Heng Loong Building, Bukit Batok Crescent, No 08-07,
Tel: +65 6316 2790
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.