Wednesday, 23 August 2017

What Some People Do in Supermarkets.....

I wrote about what some people would do at "chap fan" stalls a while back but I can't believe what I've seen some people do in supermarkets that I'm compelled to share what I've personally witnessed!

#1 - Those who eat for free (unethically)

Supermarkets sell a lot of foodstuff by weight (usually those fried food like potato wedges, fries, fried squid, sausages, etc.) where you can fill a plastic bag with the amount you want, have it weighed and a price tag attached to it.  And what I've seen people do at this food counter amazes me....I've seen some of them scoop the snacks into a plastic bag and went on their merry way....and eating them straightaway....without paying for it.

Worse still, there are those (usually children) who would just use their hands and pick up a piece or two to eat without paying (some would even walk away with a stick of food in hand).  Worse still, I've even seen parents taking them for their children! O_o

What pisses me off is that it's unhygienic (for us genuine buyers) as they use their hands, not the tongs provided...ish!

#2 - Those who take advantage of free food

I know the food and drink sampling stations are there for people to sample and try new food and drinks but some people just take full advantage of the free food.  I've seen families with children and each and every member will take a sampling before walking off to the next food sampling station.  I know they have every right to try and are not at liberty to buy the product after tasting but, seriously, do you need every member of the family to taste?  For me, personally, I'd refuse an offer to taste if the product is not something I have the intention of buying.

#3 - Those who are real cheapskates

Have you been to the area that sells garlic and find lots of skins of garlic all over the garlic tray?  It's a ghastly sight...I don't know why people would do that.....peeling the skins off the garlic!  It's not that the skins weigh a tonne that peeling them off would reduce the weight of the garlic they wish to buy drastically! @_@  Nowadays, some supermarkets have wised up and sell them already pre-packed.

#4 - Those who can't estimate the price of foodstuff sold by weight

They'd buy it, have it weighed and then realise it's too expensive....and decide that they don't want it (usually it's either fish or prawns).  It's fine if they discard it by leaving the weighed items back where they belong (as these are perishables) or by telling the supermarket staff they don't want it anymore, but no, they're too embarrassed to that.  Instead, they'll ditch them away from the fresh food section by stuffing them in the dry food aisles (I once found prawns stuffed between canned food).

#5 - Those who can't decide

And then there are those who can't decide what they want (this photo I snapped is a clear example).  They will take the produce and put it into their shopping cart and, when they decide they don't want it anymore, they won't be bothered to put it back where they took it from but just leave it anywhere that's convenient for them.

#6 - Those who cheat (on purpose)

I once saw a lady replace a tray of eggs she wanted to buy with some other eggs (of another brand!).  I didn't know what she was doing at first...I thought she were just replacing the same brand eggs with what she deemed to be bigger ones from another tray.  I actually felt embarrassed (spotting her do it) and moved away from her.  After she has left, I went to where she was and I found a tray of regular eggs amongst the branded eggs.  She switched the cheaper (regular) eggs with a more expensive brand (of healthier eggs).  When I relayed this story to my spouse, he said he has seen that a couple of times himself (and here I was thinking that I witnessed something unseen before)! o_O

#7 - Those who don't give a hoot about inconveniencing others 

I've also seen once a customer paying part of her grocery bill with lots of coins.  Just because you have coins you want to get rid of doesn't mean you can do it at the supermarket and inconvenient the cashier and other customers waiting in queue.  I think she paid more than RM10 in coins and the poor cashier had to slowly count them while the next person in line (me!) was fuming (and the gentleman behind me too) but we dare not tick her off as she'll probably argue that coins are legal tender and that she's entitled to pay with coins if she wants! >:(

Another common incident of when people inconvenience others at the payment counter is when they don't weigh the items that need to be weighed (out of ignorance?) and have a price tag put on it before proceeding to pay at the cashier counter.  And then the poor cashier has to run to where the produce is to get it weighed and priced.  Luckily, some cashiers are smarter and would not scan the unweighted item so as not to hold up the queue.

#8 - Those who (I don't even know what to call these)

They would open sealed items (usually those in paper and plastic packaging that can be torn easily) to see what the product looks like inside?  Or to take away some of the contents? @_@  I don't know.  I bumped into this when I was buying Cookie's food.  More often than not, I've seen packets of opened packets of foodstuff, especially biscuits and instant noodles, as well.

I'm simply amazed at what I witness in supermarkets sometimes.  What brings them to behave in such an inconsiderate manner or do some of these uncalled for things is certainly beyond my understanding.  Have you ever encountered any of these untoward and embarrassing incidents yourself? ^_~

Monday, 21 August 2017

Golden Tin @ Pandan Indah

Restoran Golden Tin @ Pandan Indah has long been my favourite haunt for good "Har Mee" (aka Prawn Mee) coz it's the best we have in Pandan Indah and dare I say it can beat some of the better ones out there too.

If not for a delicious prawn mee, you won't find me stepping into this coffee shop.  The reason...I don't quite like the elderly lady boss who runs the coffee shop and helms both the chap fan and yong tau foo stalls.

So, let's begin with our little side story first, shall we?

I used to patronise her chap fan stall (and I have to admit her Hakka dishes were the best as it tastes very home-cooked) but she has this annoying habit of using tongs to flip over some of the dishes you've taken to gauge how much she should charge or to check if you have hidden any stuff she can't see! O_o  I stopped going to her stall altogether when I could no longer tolerate her demeanour.  There was even a time when I heard her reprimanding a customer..."lei mou lor sai ngo tik chap" (don't take all my sauce)! @_@

Whenever I'm at the shop having my prawn mee, I'd talk briefly to two of her workers who are overworked (as she don't hire enough staff) but don't complain though I can sense they don't like her very much either. Those two are the backbone of her two stalls, one helping with the cooking of the chap fan dishes while the other mans the yong tau foo stall.  Even if she succeeded in finding help, the workers always end up leaving very soon (which says a lot about her).

With no workers wanting to work for her, she finally sold her shop...lock, stock, and barrel....including the two core workers, the name of the shop and, presumably, the recipe for her yong tau foo (the chap fan stall is now manned by someone else).  You'd thought that was the end of, she set up shop a road away and called it New Golden Tin! O_o  That's the kind of shitty person that she is.  I'm sure the new owners paid her 'goodwill' to retain the name (and recipe) and she opens another (a few months later) with an almost similar name.

In the end, karma got her and she closed shop within a few months (luckily her two hardworking workers didn't follow her to her new place and remained at the current shop till this day).  I don't know the reasons behind her closing but she probably couldn't get workers to work with her (again) with such an unlikable attitude.  Well, I guess she got what she deserved...what goes around comes around! :P

Now, coming back to the food before I got side-tracked, I come here mainly for the Prawn Mee @ RM6 which I'm doing more often now that the annoying old lady is no longer around.  I like the full-flavoured prawn broth (you can see the rich prawn oil around the rim of the bowl), even better with an extra dollop of sambal added, even though the smallish prawns are quite meagre (but we know prawns are expensive these days).

I always like my prawn mee with lots of freshly fried shallots, so paying an additional 20 cents for extra fried shallots is more than worth it for me for no prawn mee is complete without fried shallots IMHO.

My other reason for coming to this shop is because of the yong tau foo stall.  Now that this yong tau foo stall is under 'new management', I've started to frequent the stall again.

I have to say this yong tau foo is slightly pricier (ranging from RM1.40 - RM1.70 a piece) but that's because the filling is made with a combination of minced pork (that's why!) and fish paste (only a few types are made with just fish).

I actually prefer a filling made with both minced pork and fish paste as the pork gives it a more savoury taste while reducing the bouncy texture of fish paste.  Below are some of the yong tau foo on offer.

The Fried Fu Chuk Roll @ RM1.70 is one of their most popular items (it's also their most expensive item but at least the fu chuk roll is longer than norm).

Fried Sui Kow (Dumpling) @ RM1.40 - my family's favourite

Fried Brinjal @ RM1.40 - my favourite

Stuffed Tau Foo @ RM1.40

Ladies Fingers & Stuffed Hard-Boiled Egg @ RM1.40.  The stuffed hard-boiled eggs are one of my favourites as I seldom see this in other yong tau foo shops.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd & Red Chillies

Some Fish Paste Items (which kids will lap up even if they're commercially prepared ones).

Egg-coated Fried Luncheon Meat (what else can they be other than yum!)

Fried Fu Chuk (Bean Curd Sheets)

The stall also offers various noodles (and chee cheong fun) which you can have to supplement your meal of yong tau foo.

I usually have Dry Kway Teow with Minced Pork @ RM5

Or the soup version (RM3.30 without minced pork)

There's also Curry Mee @ RM7.50 (or RM7, I can't remember) and it's a very big bowl that one may find difficult to finish on her own.  The curry broth tastes a little sourish and is more watery.  It's just a passable curry as it lacks that savoury and creamy taste of coconut milk that I'd want in my curry.

Besides the prawn mee and yong tau foo stalls, the other stall worth checking out is the roasted meats stall that's run by a foreigner (whom I initially thought was a worker at the stall).  He must have learnt to speak our local language as well as stole the secret to making good roasted meats learned how to make roasted meat (from his previous boss) and now opens his own stall.

He does a decent char siew and roast chicken but it's the Siew Yoke Rice @ RM6 that draws my family in, not so much because of the taste (though it's still very decent) but more so because of the portion size.  On some days, there can be three orders of the very same thing for each of us.  You have to be early to get your hands on these as he doesn't make a lot of it and it's usually sold off in the mornings itself.

Unlike our more Chinese 'profit making-foccused' counterparts, his portions are more generous than the rest and because of that he can serve the abundant siew yoke separately as he doesn't need to 'camouflage' it with the rice! ;)  He doesn't charge extra for the box either like some do.

The rice is of a decent quality, well cooked, not mushy, with nicely separated grains, although you'd find some bits of broken grains too.

Since the new owners took over, at least the kopi-o-ping tastes better and the owners are a much friendlier lot too.  The Hakka mixed rice, together with the nothing-to-shout-about fish head noodles and char kway teow stalls, round up the rest of the stalls in this coffee shop.  

My Personal Opinion

The prawn mee and yong tau foo are the two stalls you should head straight for when you're here.  The prawn mee can rival some of the best I've had and their fried shallots are as fresh as you can get, so make sure you ask for extra (for a small fee lah) if you're a big fan of fried shallots like me.

Also, don't miss the extra-long fried fu chuk roll with your other favourite yong tau foo types while you're here.

Restoran Golden Tin
M4A/9 Jalan Pandan Indah 4/1
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Friday, 18 August 2017

El Iberico @ Pavilion

After reading about the 50% opening promotion of iberico ribs at a newly opened month-old Spanish inspired restaurant, there was no way I'd forego such a great deal, so here we were at El Iberico @ Pavilion.

Since it was just my friend and I, we didn't think we needed to make reservations as we thought it should be pretty easy to get a table for the two of us (and her kid) but when we got their at prime dinner time, we were told they were fully booked.  But that's the beauty of it being in Pavilion, we could always do with a bit more sightseeing shop-seeing first while waiting for a table to free up! ;)  No sooner had we walked away, we got a call that they had a table for us.

Once we made our orders, we were served some complimentary house-made bread with butter or a choice of a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dip while we wait for our food to arrive.  The bread had a crisp crust and was soft to soak in the balsamic/olive oil dip.

There's only one pasta on the menu and we ordered the Spaghetti with Clams @ RM29 in white wine sauce with parsley and chillies.  I would say that it was a generous portion (more generous-looking than their promotional photos) as there seemed to be an extra portion of pasta given.

As for the clams, they could be fresher.  They were just ok as they were on the border of being slightly fishy. It definitely cried out for the chillies (to mute the fishiness somewhat) though it was our choice to hold the chillies for the sake of my friend's daughter.

But it's all about the ribs here...and that's exactly what we came for.  We went with their top seller of Beer/Honey Mustard Meaty Ribs @ RM34 (normal price RM68).

It came with three ribs marinated in beer and honey mustard for 24 hours before they're put on the grill (three good-sized ribs are pictured on their Facebook though I've seen four on food blogs and their promotional banner)...???  Maybe you get three ribs if they're substantial enough or four if they're smaller ones...I don't know though I'd suggest they try to keep it standard lest people compare.  They can always offer it by weight (similar to what Iberico Kitchen do for instance) if it's difficult to get the ribs to come in standard portion sizes.

The ribs, with a good charring but lacking a bit of smokiness, were totally tender and succulent...and two of them were rather meaty too.  The lack of smokiness is probably due to the way the ribs are grilled...over a flat top (as seen in their Facebook video) instead of over a direct fire where the ribs can be 'flame-kissed'!

The ribs were served with a side of roasted potatoes and roasted vegetables of baby carrots and cherry tomatoes.  What can I say...the side was baby-sized! :P

The menu says that the ribs are +400g and it's meant for sharing between 2 - 3 persons while a blog mentioned that it's enough for 3 - 4 persons (I'm not sure what sized ribs the blogger got)! @_@  Based on this, my friend and I ordered only one plate but, after we polished off our first plate of ribs (there were only three and they weren't that big), we realised we'd have no problem polishing off another.  So, it's either false advertising or the ribs we got (for the promotion) were really small or they weren't quite 400g...I don't know.  Even us ladies could eat a plate of 3 ribs on our own (and that's after having some pasta as well)!

For our second round, we ordered the Original Spare Ribs @ RM34 (normal price RM68).  The third option would be Spanish Paprika Spare Ribs but seeing that it may have a bit of heat because of the paprika, we opted for a more kid-friendly option of original.

The original ribs, seasoned with just salt and pepper, are actually deep-fried (we were informed beforehand) and served with the same roasted vegetables (only lesser + missing the cherry tomatoes!).  Because the vegetables were so scant, it was very glaring when there were less on the plate! ;P

The ribs of this one were deep-fried, so it was a little on the oily side + the misfortune of getting a rather fatty piece of rib didn't help its cause (though getting one fatty rib out of six was pretty acceptable I think for these discounted ribs).  We need a bit of fat for flavour but too much can also be a put-off, so we had to scrape off some of the fatty bits.

It came with two dips, a herbs dressing with flavours in the song....parsley, sage (maybe), rosemary and thyme (possibly) in olive oil (yikes, adding to the greasiness) and a spicy sauce (that wasn't spicy at all).

Between the two, the beer and honey mustard one, with notes of slight sticky sweetness reflecting the taste of a good BBQ-like sauce, is definitely the better choice.

I was first attracted by the photos of the ribs on a blog and didn't notice (initially) only to realise later (when I compared the shot I took of the banner at the restaurant whilst writing the post) that the photos used in that blog were actually taken from the restaurant's promotional/advertising materials (they were the exact same ones in the banner and menu at the restaurant)! ;P  No wonder all the food photos (especially the ribs) looked so damn good...haiz, how gullible of me! O_o

We finished our meal with the Tarta de Santiago @ RM18 on the recommendation of a blog that it's worth dropping by just for it.  This traditional Spanish almond cake (I googled) is made principally with ground almonds, eggs and sugar.

It looks like a slice of cake but the texture is quite different from a cake since there's no flour involved.  It was delicious (no doubt about that) but some may find it expensive for such a small slice which can be finished in 3 mouthfuls if you really wanted to (but since it's made wholly with almonds, the price tag is more acceptable, I guess) decide if it's worth it! ^_*

I was glad I ordered a tangy Fresh Orange Juice @ RM12 to cut through all that meatiness (and some greasiness).  Their coffees like the Iced Cafe Latte @ RM14 my friend ordered ain't their strong suit.

Service was extremely friendly, perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic at times it seems (to some) but probably deemed passionate (to others).  It's nice to see such passion from the restauranteurs who believe in what they're doing wholeheartedly.  I was attended to by two 'retiree-looking' gentlemen (who could be part owners, I may be wrong) and one of them even sang 'happy birthday' to a guest personally (too eager to please?) even after their wait staff had already done so.

My Personal Opinion

Even though I was disappointed that the ribs didn't turn out looking quite as spectacular as the ones I saw online, I wasn't disappointed with the taste.

And because the ribs were half the price, there's definitely no cause for complaint as it's one heck of a deal! Now if I were to pay full price for these ribs (now that the opening promotion is over), I'll probably be more critical in my assessment.  I'd like the ribs to be bigger or longer and I'd want them looking more like the ones from Gourmet Hunter KL's video shown on El Iberico's Facebook.....and with a tad more roasted vegetables! :P

I might return at some point but hopefully by then there'd be better consistency in the size and fattiness of the normal priced ribs.  I'll definitely not be happy if I get even one overly fatty rib.  That isn't too much to ask, is it?  Hope not. ^_~

El Iberico
Lot C4.05.01 4th Floor
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2110 2631

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