NOT a food blog
You know that feeling of being overwhelmed when you’ve got too much on your hands and you don’t know what to do first? I came back this week from a lovely holiday in Australia, my memory cards bursting with pictures and stories to share with all of you, and it’s already Friday, and I have yet to write a single sentence about the holiday. There is so much that I want to tell you, but it will have to wait until I compile all my photographs.
For now, let me share with you what I had for lunch today.
I’ve always been fortunate to have a two-hour lunch break on Fridays. Sometimes, I eat in together with the Partners, while at other times, when the mood strikes, I explore far-off places with my Makan Club. Pan Heong was first introduced to me by Ecstatic Eeyore a couple of years ago, and I knew we’d be good friends thanks to this mutual love for food. Our obsession for food is apparent in our daily greeting – So….what’s for lunch today ar? Upon leaving each evening, the standard question is – So….what’s for dinner tonight ar? It is a characteristic that is uniquely Malaysian, a compulsive curiosity about the other person’s meal. Can’t visualise this? Say you’re enjoying a nice chinese dinner with your family, table groaning with the weight of the food from all different food categories to ensure that your family’s dietary requirements are met. Someone walks by. What does she do? She slows down her pace, turns around and stares at the food on your table. You look at her, willing her to stop invading your privacy, but she continues examining your food, making mental notes on what she should or should not order for herself. Thankfully, she stops short of asking you for recommendations, hence preventing any untoward incident involving a swinging DSLR against her rebonded head.
Pan Heong. We love the porridge, smooth, creamy and rich with generous slices of toman (snakehead) fish and century eggs, mildly flavoured with julienned ginger and sprinkled with coarsely chopped scallions.
The wat tan hor is a sunshiny yellow, an evidence of the number of eggs used in the sauce. Cuttlefish and prawns add flavour to the base. My only gripe is that the sauce was thinner than what I used to enjoy before. Nevertheless, the sauce is still highly, for want of a better word, egg-y, and should satisfy many out there.
The kau yuk mai fun (noodles in stewed pork) is sinful enough to make me want to skip the next three meals. The meat is fatty and oily, but surprisingly, the noodles still have a nice springy texture. Despite that, the noodles are still coated with some of the oil from the canned stewed pork, and mental images of pork floating in oil prevent me from taking more than one serving. As far as flavours go, this is very tasty. Let’s face it, how can one resist stewed pork? All that whatchacallit seasoning that goes into each can makes it rank high up there with ganja.
I absolutely love the nam yue (fermented red beancurd) pork. The surface is so lightly crisp without being hard, and the meat, tender and biteable with just the right amount of fat. Delicious!
Prices are very reasonable. Porridge for 5 cost RM19.90, wat tan hor for 3 – RM10.50, kau yuk mai fun for 2 – RM15, and the nam yue pork – RM11. Parking is horrendous at lunchtime as you’re fighting with the traffic from the nearby school. Be prepared to curse a little.
Pan Heong Restoran (Map HERE)
No. 2, Jalan Medan Batu Caves 2,
Medan Batu Caves, 68100 Bt Caves.
Tel: 03-6187 7430 (Call before going, as they close on random days in a month)
Business hours: 8.00am to 3.30pm.
(Photos taken with mobilephone as DSLR was inadvertently left behind)
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.