A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
Taking the lead from Kenny Mah’s blog with his lyrical rendition of breakfast with his better looking half, I am inclined to share my experience with you, because breakfast with the one you love is the best feeling in the world.
The breakfast ritual which we practice dates a-a-a-l-l-l-l the way back to 2002 when we first moved to our current residence in Shah Alam. Being the morning person that he is, Bald Eagle would set out into the wild country (Shah Alam ain’t KL, after all) at 7.00am to hunt for breakfast to feed his wife who would still be curled up in bed with dreams of char siew and siu yoke. When he chanced upon Chicken Cuisine, he knew he had hit the jackpot. It was there that we discovered our favourite curry mee and curry chee cheong fun, and that, my dear friends, is the secret of marital bliss (only if you take non-halal food lah). After making me a steaming hot cup of coffee, he’d wake me up, and I can assure you that there is no better smell than the heady aroma of spicy curry and coffee as I open the bedroom door. And the sight of a hairy well toned chest.
Six years later, Bald Eagle is still a regular patron at Chicken Cuisine where the owner is already familiar with his order of either two CCFs or two curry mees and a copy of Saturday’s New Straits Times. About a week ago, the owner announced to Bald Eagle that he had opened a new restaurant next to Chicken Cuisine, named, quite unsurprisingly, Fish Cuisine. It is just like when you name your children, isn’t it? The first child will be Peng Eng, the second Peng Beng, the third Peng Chee, the fourth Peng Yee (yes, I can go on). With very few possibilities left, I bet I can guess what the next outlet will be called.
If you look close enough at the picture above, a chopped garoupa head may suddenly materialise. Ok… I screwed up. Shit happens when your hubby’s wearing an expression that says My Wife Doesn’t Let Me Eat Hot Food. Served in a claypot, this curry is not very thick, but is sufficiently flavourful to be eaten with rice. Priced at about RM15 (or RM16?), this portion is enough for two. Like all the dishes served here, there is a generous amount of fish (both head and flesh) in this dish.
Let’s see if we can spot any fish in this photo. No? Remind me to tell you about my honeymoon pictures of our Safari expedition in South Africa one day. (Hint: All the pictures have foliage. Lots of it. You can play Spot Simba and win RM100.)
Another specialty here is the Fish Head with Tofu dish. The garoupa head is chopped and cooked in a dark sweet sauce and then cooked with firm tofu and other vegetables. Not bad, but nothing exceptional like the drink-worthy fish head curry above. Again, this dish has quite a lot of fish in it, and the portion is enough for two as well. Priced at about RM15.
The soft tofu in this dish is cooked with minced pork and an egg is broken into the dish while it is still hot. It looked quite different from the picture on the menu, but aside from that, this was quite delicious.
I really liked this sliced lotus root, beans and capsicum with fermented red bean curd (nam yue) dish. The intense flavour of the bean curd enhanced the flavour of this dish and was wonderfully fragrant, especially when eaten with steaming white rice. Talking about steaming, on the flipside, the restaurant is airconditioned and I found that the food turned cold pretty quickly.
There are one-dish meal options as well. The fish head noodles is cooked with a type of fish called leng yue (dace?) which is a seawater fish and which lacks the muddy smell. There are also less bones, so one can order this dish even if one were in a hurry. (I know how I sometimes painstakingly remove one bone after another before I ingest the fish, and by the time I’m done with one piece, my makan companion would have finished his plate of wantan mee and started drumming his fingers impatiently on the table. Tsk tsk. Anyway.) The soup is slightly sour and tasty with a mild chinese wine flavour. You can also tell them to hold the milk if you’re lactose intolerant.
The garoupa fish fillet noodles is cooked in the same soup base as the fish head noodles above sans the milk. This is a rather exceptional bowl of noodles as the fish fillet is just so fragrant and firm and delicious. Both noodles above had bits of pork lard for the X-factor flavour too!
I’m beginning to enjoy living in my neighbourhood where I can get superb fish head noodles, curry mee and char siew and still manage to smell the roses and enjoy the odd hot air balloon that gets snared in the trees. (So I’m consoling myself about the petrol price hike and the extra hundred bucks I have to fork out each month for living in Shah Alam and working in Kayell….but what price happiness, eh?)
8, Jalan UI/36, Seksyen UI
Hicom-Glenmarie Industrial Park, Shah Alam
Open daily 8.00am to 10.00pm
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.