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Friday, 16 November 2018

Just One Food - Nando's New Smoky Peri-Peri Flavour

In our last visit to Nando's, we were given the opportunity to try their soon-to-be-launched new flavour.  At that time, the new flavour was known as "Secret" Peri-Peri, of course.

And now the secret is out...on 14 Nov to be exact....and the new flavour is called Smoky Peri-Peri! ;) 

After getting a glimpse and taste of their Smoky Peri-Peri flavour via two complimentary chicken wings, I liked it enough to want to return to have it again.

Looks like the new flavour of Smoky Peri-Peri is available not only with chicken wings but with any chicken meal (even grilled chicken tenders).  I had the 1/4 Chicken (what else but Smoky Peri-Peri) with 1 Regular Side (Chargrilled Vegetables) @ RM19.90 (RM22.90 with 2 regular sides).

Well, first of all, I did get the secret sauce right...it was indeed a flavour reminiscent of a good barbecue sauce.  Their Facebook shows the ingredients that went into making the sauce...garlic, chillies, onions, lemon, lime, tomatoes, paprika...and probably some secret herbs and spices too.

On the Nando's Peri-ometer, the Smoky Peri-Peri flavour is in a spot higher than Lemon & Herb but lower than Mild Peri-Peri (meaning it's slightly spicier than Lemon & Herb but less hot than Mild Peri-Peri).  The heat level was really mild, almost insignificant, if you ask me.  So, no worries for those who can't eat any level of spiciness...it's safe even for children.

This sauce delivers a more robust flavour, with hints of zesty lime and lemon (without the sourish taste of Lemon & Herb and their other Peri-Peri sauces), mild heat from the smoky paprika and natural sweetness (probably from the onions and tomatoes). ^.^

Those who love the bold flavours of a good barbecue sauce will embrace this flavour.  The brushed-on sauce gives the chicken real flavour...and, for once, I didn't need to use any bottles of peri-peri sauce whatsoever to try to amp up the flavours.  In fact, this is the only peri-peri flavour that doesn't have a sourish undertone, so I can see why children would gravitate towards this flavour.  Although I love all things tangy, I'm not so on board when it's the dominating flavour in something savoury.

The sauce also allowed the chicken to be browned even better (compared to their other sauces).  Just look at the beautiful charring on the chicken which brought about a smokier finish to the chicken.....yum, yum! ^o^

Even the chargrilled vegetables (of red and green peppers, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms) were good this time...first time they were so well-charred (looks like they do a better job when they're less crowded).

I did fancy their Mango & Lime flavour previously but I think this Smoky Peri-Peri is their best flavour yet (incidentally, their Mango & Lime has been taken off the menu and replaced by this new flavour).  It's not-too-hot and not-too-sweet flavours will make this a favourite with the kids...and the adults too (from now on, this will be my default flavour with any Nando's chicken!).

They now have a flavour I can see myself coming more often to enjoy.  For those who have never liked Nando's chicken before, this may well change your mind.....finally.  Tempted to try? ^_~

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Sg Besi Wantan Mee @ Sungai Besi

After being impressed with their wild boar curry on a previous visit which led me to believe that they must be good with curries, I was eager to try their curry laksa to see how it compares to my benchmark of a good curry laksa.

So, we were back to Sg Besi Wantan Mee @ Sungai Besi for yet another round.

I ordered a Curry Laksa @ RM7 on this visit.  I asked what the curry laksa contains and the lady boss told me that it comes with poached chicken.  I was delighted to hear that as I do like smooth poached chicken with curry laksa but I wasn't expecting to get the majority of it in chicken breast...there goes my wat kai (smooth chicken) out the door! >.<

One of my favourite ingredients in a curry laksa are the beancurd puffs.  They're like these little pillows that soak up all the delicious broth.  I like it when they're really soft and had absorbed all the lovely flavours of the curry and when you bite into them, they'd be bursting with all the curry juices in your mouth.  That's the should-be scenario.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite like that.  Perhaps we were too early and the beancurd puffs had not had enough time to soak in all that curry.

Though the laksa broth was more savoury than sweet and the flavours were decent...and you can taste the santan, it wasn't quite enough and the consistency was a little too thin for me.  It certainly wasn't in the same league of my favourite laksa but still better than some of the curry laksa stalls you'd find in coffee shops.

When I was almost half way through my noodles, I found the see hum (cockles) at the bottom of the bowl...cooked all the way through! :>(  What happened to my bloody cockles (pun intended)? O_o  Now why would they serve it that way? *scratch head*  Don't they know cockle lovers prefer their cockles raw and bloody...and that's why they're always served on top.  If they want it less raw, they can dunk them in the hot broth to cook it a little...it's our choice, you don't get to decide for us! :P  Now, I think even less of their curry laksa! >_<

It was the smashing Wild Boar Curry @ RM10 in the first place that convinced me to return, so, of course I had to order it again.  Still as good.  Still as delicious.

Since they serve rice here, they also offer vegetables.  We got the Po Li Sang Choy (Iceberg Lettuce) @ RM9 with oyster sauce, garlic oil and crispy minced garlic.  For those not into wantan mee, you can make a meal of these two dishes with rice.  Some other dishes that can complement rice would be their Char Chee Yoke or more commonly known as Hakka Char Yoke (Braised Pork Belly with Wood-Ear Fungus), Chee Kiok Chou (Vinegared Pork Trotters) and yong tau foo.

If you're having rice, don't forget to help yourself to the splendid ma lai chan lat chiew (cooked sambal belacan) that's on the table.  Very generous of them to leave it on the table to let us take however much we want.

On my last visit, my wantan mee came without wantans, so I made sure I got to try these this time round.  I ordered both the Soup Wantans and the Fried Wantans @ RM0.50/pc.  The wantans were alright, with a thicker than usual skin and a minced pork filling, nothing special.

The fried wantans offered a crispier bite than the fried dumplings (I had the last round) as the skins were thinner.  The fillings were probably the same.

My Personal Opinion

Though they're more popular for their signature dish of wantan mee (you don't have to be Einstein to know this, it's pretty obvious from the name), I'm not particularly fond of it.  I much prefer their other dishes like wild boar curry which you can eat with rice (perhaps their curry chicken and Hakka char yoke will be good accompaniments too).

Having said that, it's still a place to get a fairly decent plate of wantan mee (with all the "works" as in a lot of different toppings)....especially in the odd hours of the morning! ;)

Sg Besi Wan Tan Mee
302 & 304 Jalan Sungai Besi
57100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9222 8177

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Eatomo @ Bangsar

Since making our first visit to Eatomo @ Bangsar to try this branch of Eatomo's, we have fallen in love with this branch more than the one we used to visit at Taman Desa.

Even when parking isn't as easy to find as in Taman Desa!  But we prefer the ambience here, so I think this is going to be the start of a long and beautiful 'friendship'....kekeke! ;)

For some light bites, start with the Salmon Sashimi (Regular) @ RM19.90 (RM37.90 for large) with eight thick slices of fresh Norwegian salmon.

The terrifically fresh salmon was served with ultra-thin slices of pickled fresh ginger and a wedge of lemon.

Accompanied by condiments of wasabi and soy for the sashimi for those who need it (I don't).  The soy sauce always come in super cute cat-like containers.

Was there any doubt that we would order one of our favourites when we're here...and that's the Wok-Fired Spicy Gyutandon @ RM21.90 that needs no introduction of prime beef tongue in a spicy shoyu garlic sauce with lots of fresh chillies.  Great for those who want to spice up their lives...hahaha! :O

Another not-to-be-missed is the unbelievably-priced, not to mention tasty, Mentaiko-Seared Tamadon @ RM14.90 featuring four thick slices of fluffy-sweet tamago.  Have to admit the searing wasn't as well done as the Taman Desa branch as this one was only lightly torched but I did appreciate the generous lashings of savoury-creamy-yummy mentaiko though.

All the rice bowls come with a free miso soup.

Ok, enough with the same old, same old dishes already. >_<  On this visit, we did try something new...another one of their made-to-order seafood pots of Mixed Seafood (Regular) @ RM42.90 (RM68.90 for double) in Thai-style coconut chilli sauce.

The mixed seafood pot contained 1.25 lbs of seafood made up of juicy-firm tiger prawns, mussels, moreish clams, scallops and tender Pacific halibut.  They were all super fresh and absolutely delicious.

The Thai-inspired coconut chilli sauce was more creamy than spicy with full flavours of santan (coconut milk) coming through.  The added flavour and aroma of lemongrass, onions, ginger, chillies, Chinese coriander and fresh lime made the sauce vibrantly appetising.  I've now tried two of the four sauces for the seafood pots but I certainly preferred the lemon butter garlic sauce with clams I had on a previous visit (I guess the freshness and tangy flavours of the lemon appealed to me more).

The dish comes with a default side of calrose rice though you could change it to another side of your choice such as gourmet fries or French bread.  But I think it's the perfect side to drench the rice with the slightly spicy coconut sauce for a fragrant santan-infused concoction.

I like that their seafood pots come served in a sizzling cast-iron pot which helps to retain heat and keep the seafood warm throughout for an even more satisfying meal.

Default drink as always...Green Tea (Cold or Hot) @ RM2.90 that's refillable.  We were given some discount vouchers by GrabFood and DeliverEat only to realise they don't deliver to our address when we tried to use them....T_T

My Personal Opinion

I've always come away with a truly satisfying experience in all my visits to Eatomo.  The cooked-to-order seafood pots are a must-try as the seafood is undeniably fresh and the sauces assuredly delish.

There is more on the menu I want to explore, so I guess there'll be more visits in the future then. ^_~

Eatomo Food Co
No 21 Jalan Telawi 2
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2202 3280

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Nando's (+ A Sneak Peek of Their Latest Flavour) @ Aeon Taman Maluri

When we're contemplating a chicken meal from a restaurant chain, Nando's is usually the first choice that comes to mind.

And it was in one of these visits last Saturday afternoon that we came to know about Nando's upcoming latest flavour....."Secret" Peri-Peri!  For now it's called secret peri-peri since it hasn't been officially introduced yet (so I don't what it'll be called when it's finally launched)...but more on that later.

We like Nando's lunch offers when we're looking for a light and truly affordable meal.  I like to go for the Chicken Hot Pot @ RM11.31 that features shredded chicken (stirred in your favourite peri-peri flavour) with vegetables and spicy rice.

Although the menu pic shows vegetables of cabbage, carrot with green, red and yellow capsicum, the actual dish only came with shredded cabbage and carrot.  The shredded chicken and vegetables have a bit of charring on them making them rather pleasant to eat.  A simple dish that should appeal to children too.

The other option is Chicken Trinchado @ RM11.31 (again, at a great price) which comes with grilled chicken tenders in their special peri-peri and garlic sauce served with Mediterranean rice.  The prices of these two meals are almost what you'd pay (if not cheaper) for some of the dishes from Aeon's food court.

The chopped up chicken tenders (you can choose the flavour too) is cooked in a tomato and onion relish that tastes tangy but the Mediteranean rice is bland (compared to the spicy rice).

The Grilled Chicken Tenders @ RM14.42 is yet another choice though this one is priced slightly higher than the other two.  The grilled juicy chicken tenders basted in peri-peri sauce of your choice are served with two regular sides...seen here with peri-peri chips and peri-peri wedges (I think you can guess who this one belongs to!).

I prefer to have mine with chargrilled vegetables and peri-peri chips.  Other sides include spicy rice, Mediterranean rice (no!), coleslaw (uh-uh), corn-on-the-cob (maybe), garlic bread (too dry), side salad or red skinned mashed potatoes.  When I'm feeling particularly lazy and want something that's easy to eat, this offers me respite from having to deal with chicken bones....kekeke! ;)

It was during one of these meals that we were asked if we wanted to claim the complimentary two "Secret" Peri-Peri Chicken Wings which happen to be available to members only from Nov 3 -13.

So, we were among those given the chance to be the first to try out this new "Secret" Peri-peri Chicken Wings.  Well, it tasted like some kind of BBQ sauce to me, the sweetness of which allowed the chicken to be better charred thus giving rise to a smokier and tastier chicken.

I think they may just have another winner on their hands! ^_~  I do like this new flavour and I think it'll be a hit with the children too since this one isn't spicy and also not zesty and tangy like all their other peri-peri, lemon & herb and mango & lime flavours.

Psstttt...this "Secret" Peri-Peri Chicken Wings is expected to be launched on Nov 14 and will be available for all to try.  Yes, you heard it here first (I've always wanted to say that)....or maybe not...hihihi!  Will you like this new flavour?  Find out on 14 Nov! ^.^

My Personal Opinion

These three very affordable meals are great options (for children too) when you're looking for a simple, fuss-free meal.

Are you tempted to find out what the new secret flavour tastes like?  Then mark your calendar and head to a Nando's near you starting 14 Nov! ;)

Nando's Taman Maluri
Lot G-20 Aeon Shopping Centre
Jalan Jejaka Taman Maluri
50766 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2856 0855

Monday, 5 November 2018

Just One Food - Rempeyek

One of the most well-liked crunchy Malay snacks are these crispy crackers that I love...for which I didn't know what they're called initially.  So, I googled crispy fried crackers with nuts and ikan bilis....and that's how I learned they're called rempeyek.

I wasn't aware that they're actually an Indonesian snack to begin with.  I thought they were a local snack since it's commonly found here, usually made and sold by Malay vendors.

There are a couple of variations of this crispy cracker...some have green beans (kacang hijau) while some may even have dhal but the most common are the ones studded with nuts (kacang) or a combination of nuts and anchovies (ikan bilis).

They're made with very basic ingredients of rice flour, coconut milk and water into a runny batter before being studded with toppings and fried.  Some might have additional shredded curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves in the mix for more flavour.

The crackers are also scattered with ground spices which I think are cumin seeds (jintan putih) and fennel seeds (jintan manis) since the seeds share a similar shape (and I can't tell them apart).  These spices have highly aromatic, strong flavours.  They taste earthy, pungent, lemony, even slightly bitter.  There could possibly be some coriander seeds in the mix as well.  The spices of cumin and fennel seeds give the cracker this very lemony taste, perfumey fragrance that some may not like...but I do. ^.^

I've eaten quite a few of these in my time but most of them, though crispy, had hard and thick textures which I didn't really fancy.

The ones I really like are ones sold by a Malay lady who goes around on foot to restaurants and coffee shops in my housing area.  I first had a taste of those made by her some years back and then never saw her again until recently when I bumped into her again at a coffee shop.

Hers were the only ones I've eaten thus far that were truly thin...and utterly crispy, of course.  The batter is so thin, it's almost transparent...so crunchy, so yum!  It's very addictive and it's difficult to stop at one. ^o^

Though hers have only nuts and no ikan bilis, I prefer it that way since it's difficult to find those with good quality ikan bilis.  Most of the ones I've tried are those poor quality ones that taste really hard.  Hers also have little flecks of chillies.

Getting to eat her rempeyek depends on luck....as and when I bump into her at the eating places in my taman.  On one hand, I could ask for her contact no. but I think that'll be inappropriate as it wouldn't be very nice to ask her to meet me when I only buy like one to three packets at a time.  She sells each packet at RM4 (or RM10 for 3) and each pack has about 8 - 10 pieces (she sells other crispy snacks too).

I guess I'm destined to eat her rempeyek only as and when I bump into her when I'm out eating in my neighbourhood which is fine by me (I don't have to overindulge).  So, fingers crossed....kekeke!  Are you a fan of this crispy snack? ^_~


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