Wednesday, 12 December 2018

How many ways can you eat potatoes?

Fresh off my last post on how many ways can you cook potatoes, here comes one on how many ways can you eat potatoes....and there are many.

What is it about this high-carb food that is so irresistible?  Well, I don't know but I know I just love them...whatever colour, form or shape they come in...hihihi! ;) 

#1 - French Fries (as a Side Dish or Nibble on its own)

Probably the most popular of way of eating them would be as fries!  It's unlikely they're not on menus of most cafes and restaurants as they're a sought-after nibble or bar snack and goes well with any type of drinks.  It's unthinkable to even fathom the next three dishes not accompanied by fries! ^o^

#1.1 - Fish & Chips

#1.2 - Steak & Fries

#1.3 - Burger & Fries

These three are classic combinations and you rarely find one without the other.

#2 - Begedil

favourite of mine when I see it at Malay rice stalls.  The mashed potato patties, studded with beef bits, are coated in egg before being deep-fried.  Love the frizzy, crisp egg bits on the outside and the soft potatoes within.

#3 - Mashed Potatoes (as an accompaniment to any protein)

It's very common to see proteins served on a bed of mashed potatoes as it makes a good base for your protein to sit on, don't you think?

Especially good with gravy and juices from your meat dripping into it...yum! ;)

#4 - Minced Pork (or Chicken) with Potatoes

This is a common dish cooked in many Chinese households.  Goes well with rice and adored by children.

#5 - Cottage or Shepherd's Pie

savoury, meaty, classic comfort food of minced beef or lamb blanketed by a smooth, buttery mashed potato topping.  It's pretty easy to make in large quantities that can feed a lot of people.  Great for freezing too.

#6 - Fisherman's (or Fish) Pie

variation of the meat pie, this one has a filling of fish chunks instead in a white sauce with a topping of creamy mash that's just as delish.

#7 - Chicken Curry & Potatoes

Potatoes in a chicken curry is a must-be-there ingredient.  Sometimes, they end up disappearing even faster than the chicken. ^_~

#8 - Baked Potato Skins

Baked potato skins stuffed with turkey bacon bits and cheese or minced steak chilli con carne (as the case here) is a favourite starter of my spouse when eating out.

#9- Tater Tots

These small cylindrical shaped potatoes are deep-fried till crisp on the outside.  Great as a starter or light bite.

#10 - Ikan Bilis, Kacang & Potatoes in Sambal

This dish of matchstick-sized potatoes with crisp ikan bilis and nuts fried in sambal is usually found in Malay rice stalls.  A favourite of my son, it's great with rice.

#11 - Potato Salad

Who doesn't love a good-old western-style potato salad dressed in mayo...usually perked up with added ingredients of hard-boiled eggs, bacon and chives.

#12 - Japanese Potato Salad

Or how about a Japanese version that's slightly tangy with thin slivers of cucumber and carrots mixed into it with a dash of vinegar?

#13 - Potato Dauphinoise (or Potato Au Gratin)

Potato slices baked in milk, cream, butter and/or cheese for a creamy, soft rendition with a wonderfully browned crust on top.

#14 - Potato Rosti & Latkes

A Swiss version of the classic potato pancake, rosti is made with grated or shredded potato formed into patties and pan-fried till crisp.  Topped with an egg, it's a popular breakfast food European style.  Latkes (a Jewish-style potato pancake if you will) are very similar, usually made with a binding ingredient such as egg.

#15 - Sweet Potato Tempura

A popular choice at Japanese restaurants are sweet potatoes with the lightest tempura batter fried to perfection to yield an enjoyable, crisp bite.

#16 - Potato Hash

These are cubed or diced potatoes that are pan-fried till golden brown, sometimes with onions, bell peppers, carrot and zucchini.  Topped with a fried egg, it turns into a hearty breakfast too.

#17 - Potato Soup

have to say this is one of my least favourite ways to have potatoes.

#18 - Meatballs & Potatoes

Oven-baked (or pan-fried) potatoes and meatballs with gravy is another classic combination that screams comfort food.

#19 - Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi are fluffy little pillows of deliciousness made with potato and flour.  Pan-seared to achieve the desired browning, they can be eaten on their own or served with a hearty sauce.

#20 - Sweet Potato Balls

Now, these sweet, golden deep-fried sweet potato balls are an absolutely yummy treat fresh out of the wok.  Wonderful as a tea time snack with coffee.

Of course there are still many other ways to eat potatoes (some I've not even heard colcannon & totsagna) but, hey, I can only show you those that I have pics of (or those that I can find) in my archive!  So, what's your favourite way of having potatoes? ^_~

Monday, 10 December 2018

Qian Qian Little Kitchen (New Location) @ Pandan Indah

I have my sister-in-law to thank for telling us that she ate at a new place called Qian Qian Little Kitchen @ Pandan Indah (though she didn't think much of the food).  But little did she know that we've been patronising the shop regularly since 2016.

This is their new location but we weren't aware that they actually relocated to another address in Pandan Indah (coz when we googled it showed us that they were in a different location).  Although it would have been just a matter of time before we'd eventually bump into them again since they're still in our neighbourhood.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were 'reunited'.  I did ask the lady boss why the address on Google Maps showed a different location and she said it was her mistake as she left out the word 'Indah' in the street address...oops! >_<

They're essentially a pan mee specialist with some side dishes to complement their main noodles.  They also introduced nasi lemak when they were at their old location.  This time, I noticed they've got a brand new item on their menu they all Creamy Egg Pan Mee @ RM8.90.  It's basically like Cantonese fried noodles in egg gravy (otherwise known as wat tan hor or Kong Foo Chow).  The only difference is that they use pan mee as its noodles.

The dish comes with prawns, slices of lean pork and fish cake (the same fish cake that you can order as a side dish) with vegetables of choy sum and carrot before being topped with a sprinkling of freshly fried shallots.

The noodles are pre-fried into round discs (much like they do with meehoon or sang meen) and the sauce is then poured over it.  I actually liked the fried pan mee noodles as they were light and rather crispy though the gravy could be better tasting but I still enjoyed the noodles nonetheless.  It's now my favourite order here.

There's also the Spicy Creamy Egg Pan Mee @ RM9.90 for those who like a spicy version (something like ma lat pan mee).  It came with the exact same crispy noodles and ingredients as the Creamy Egg Pan Mee...just a lot spicier!

The lady owner confirmed that the original version is very spicy, so I asked for the spiciness to be toned down but it was still too spicy for me! >.<  I think I better stay clear of this one.

I've eaten most of their side dishes which I covered in detail in my two previous posts.  But for old times' sake, here are some of them again.

Fried Fish Cake @ RM6 - somehow I like this light version.

Fried Beancurd Sheet @ RM4.50 (for 5 pcs) - this one can skip.

Fried Wantan @ RM2 (for 3 pcs), portion shown here is RM6 - just something crispy.

The Fried Luncheon Meat @ RM6 (RM1.50 per piece) is always a good order no matter what and theirs is of a good and fragrant quality.

Their Salted Pork @ RM7.90 or fried nam yue (fermented beancurd) pork has obviously seen an improvement in taste over time.

Otak-Otak @ RM5 (for 5 pcs) - order this

Spiced Chicken @ RM4.50 (this one is new, I think).  It's like lor bak, the filling is just passable but, at least, it was freshly fried with a crisp skin.

My default drink order here (since I 'discovered' it) is always the Iced White Coffee @ RM3.50 as it's one of the better-tasting ones I've had even though they used store-bought all-in-one types, so the sweetness can't be tweaked.  If I had a choice, I would have preferred it less sweet.  My other choice would be the Teh Ais (Iced Tea).

My Personal Opinion

For those who are not into noodles, you can have their nasi lemak with either luncheon meat or fried chicken (go for the luncheon meat). ^_~  For a Chinese-style nasi lemak, they do justice to the sambal (but a little on the salty side).  The thing they need to improve is the always the over-fried egg.

Still a regular spot for our family weekday dinners even though we don't fancy their pan mee all that much. It's always for the nasi lemak and side dishes...and now the Creamy Egg Pan Mee for me. ^o^

Qian Qian Little Kitchen 
5G Jalan Pandan Indah 4/6
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4287 7333

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Keng Nam Hai @ Kepong

Each time I visit my mother, I'd pass by Keng Nam Hai @ Kepong and notice that the coffee shop is always packed to the brim.  You know what they say about a place full of customers, something must be good.  So, we decided to stop by one Sunday morning enroute to my mom's place.

It took a good 15 minutes wait before we got ourselves a table.  I was circling around the tables so many times while my spouse was trying to find a parking space (oh yeah, parking is a challenge, be prepared to park far away) that the fruit rojak stall owner told me that there are more tables upstairs.  Huh, got upstairs?  That's when I noticed the staircase but I didn't want to sit upstairs in case it's difficult to get service (it's air-conditioned upstairs by the way).

Before coming, I (of course) googled to see what's good here and noted from vkeong's blog that it's famous for Hennessy XO Seafood Noodles.  As you can see, they have pictures of the food they offer like Seafood Beehoon, Hennessy XO Seafood Beehoon and Salted Egg King Prawn Beehoon...but they have also conveniently omitted displaying the prices! :P  I think the latter two is in the region of RM20 or more.

Well, since I don't drink hard liquor, the Hennessy XO Seafood Beehoon was not an option for fear that they'd put too much and it'll be too potent...and I'll get drunk (hehehe!).  Of course, liquor connoisseurs would say otherwise...the more, the better.  As for the Salted Egg King Prawn Beehoon, I was wondering how that it salted egg mixed into the broth?  If so, it sounds too rich and creamy for me.  As I was about to order, I saw a worker prepping 3 bowls of lala (clams) beehoon (rice vermicelli) and since I liked the looks of it, I went with the Hua Diao Lala Beehoon @ RM11 (which I think is probably the cheapest option at this stall).

I loved that they used the coarser, thicker type of beehoon (and theirs were quite different) which held up very well to the hot broth unlike the usual thinner version of meehoon which tends to absorb the liquid very quickly.  I was happy with the lala as they were fresh, plump and juicy...certainly of an acceptable size and amount for the price paid (there were at least 15 pcs of lala).

As for the broth, it isn't clear like some I've had before.  The broth itself was flavourful and good with the taste of rice wine and a hint of ginger.  Would I have appreciated more rice wine in the broth?  Sure...but I still liked it a lot nevertheless. ^.^  But, then again, I'm not one who likes the wine flavour to be too intense. So, I guess for those who do, they could perhaps ask if they can add-on extra rice wine for a fee, of course.

I also stumbled upon ccfoodtravel's blog which enlightened me that the siew yuk here is good.  Walking past the roasted meat stall, the meats did look tempting....and glistening.  I placed an immediate order for a plate of Char Siew & Siew Yuk Rice @ RM8.

For a very reasonable price of RM8, they were generous with the meat and the char siew was thickly cut too. Both the meats were good...the tender siew yuk had a nice crispy crackling (just that the crackling was slightly harder than I would have liked) and well caramelised melt-in-the-mouth char siew.

On a separate visit, my son had the Char Siew Rice @ RM7 (though this time the cut wasn't as well caramelised).  But just look at the portion given...truly value-for-money.

The fluffy rice had a decent dose of chicken broth flavour.

I got a nicely charred cut of char siew for my tapau-ed rice.  It was even topped with some crispy garlic.

Since we enjoyed the siew yuk the last time out, we ordered the Siew Yuk again (for 1 pax) @ RM10.  The pinkish meat at the bottom is testament that the siew yuk is cooked just right but got a cut that's longer this time (I like those shorter pieces when it comes to siew yuk).  Do watch out for the fresh chilli dip, it's fiery.

When I was having the lala noodles on a previous visit, I saw that the curry laksa ordered by the people sitting next to me (sharing tables is the norm in a crowded coffee shop) looked really good.  I made sure we ordered the Curry Laksa @ RM7.50 on our next visit, three to be exact, one for me (with cockles), one for my spouse (without cockles) and one-to-go for my mom.  This order was for small but the portion here is considered large for an average-eater, so come very hungry (I spotted a man ordering a large serving...omg, you should have seen the size of that bowl!).

The bowl of curry laksa was generously filled with ingredients of (lean) char siew, pork balls (or squares), beancurd puffs (that have soaked in all the delicious broth), beancurd sheet, rehydrated pig skin (that could be a tad softer), raw cockles (with its rightful place on top of the bowl, not underneath) and beansprouts (even that is served on top to ensure it stays crunchy, maybe?).  And don't be a smart alec like me and ask for a half-lean-half-fat cut of char siew coz it doesn't work if they're not a roasted meat specialist.  You'd end up with chewy, fatty char siew instead (just stick with the char siew they give you which is normally lean).

The curry broth was both creamy and savoury with enough sweetness from the coconut milk.  It also had a thick consistency, probably just missing that spoonful of very thick curry, and wasn't too oily.  Nevertheless, this was an outstanding bowl of curry mee.  Would I have preferred if there was some poached chicken (instead of pork balls) in the mix?  Yes...but that doesn't take away the fact that it was still really good. ^o^

For this to get a nod from my husband (maybe even in the running for a no. 2 spot on his list?) when all other curry laksas have failed to meet his standard, you can be assured that this is indeed a fine bowl of curry laksa.  This definitely makes it to my list of favourite curry laksas too but I'm not so sure about the no. 2 spot 5 certainly....hehe! ;P

I had Kopi-O Ping (Iced Black Coffee) while my spouse had the Kopi Ping (Iced Milk Coffee).  The coffees here are good too...just remember to ask for less sweet.

My Personal Opinion

My husband is glad to have found another worthy spot for curry laksa while I'm glad to have a place where I can have a good lala beehoon....and curry laksa as well.  Can't find many places that offer lala beehoon...and even less places that offer a good one.  And for the prices we paid, the portions here are more than generous.

No blogs mentioned about the good curry laksa here which we stumbled upon by virtue of looking at someone's ordered bowl.  It pays to notice what other people eat...hihihi! ;)

On both our visits, we also noticed that there was a perpetual queue at a stall known as Black Man Nasi Lemak.  No prizes for guessing what we'll have next! ;P

Restoran Keng Nam Hai
Pusat Niaga Metro Prima
No 1-G Jalan Prima 1
52100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 017-947 1988

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