Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Noodle Pancake

I was browsing through my collection of photos when I realised that I've taken lots of photos of food that I've never wrote about due to laziness -- laziness to process my thoughts into words (I think in pictures, not words). When I first started blogging, I had verbal diarrhea. But until recently, I've been verbally constipated.

There are many good places we've been to, but I can only remember a handful of them (the names of the food). One of them is okonomiyaki.
Supreme set (2 pax) RM35.90

For the uninitiated, okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese noodle pancake. It is comprised of a base made of batter, topped with shredded cabbage, bacon strips (or any choice of meat or fungus) and "covered" with a fried egg. Before serving, a dark, thick sauce is spread over it, and salt, pepper and chopped parsley is sprinkled.

The set we ordered came with one bacon okonomiyaki, four slices of grilled salmon and a plate of octopus. Yummy. One of my favourite Japanese food, next to sashimi and cawanmushi.

Original Okonomiyaki Hiroshima Style
Lower ground floor, Low Yat Plaza
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Restoran Mei Gai Hup @ Jalan Ambong Kiri 1, Kepong

Many of our Saturday nights are spent with friends, and yesterday was no different, even though it was my birthday. Tony had called, and it was our turn to suggest a new place to go to.  Out of ideas, hubby searched the internet for places we've never been to, and came across this restaurant which had been interviewed by various media. 

Although we've passed by this restaurant umpteen times, we've never stepped foot inside the premises. The menu is in Chinese, and none of us could read Chinese to save our own lives. But armed with recommended dishes by the media, we were finally brave enough to venture into  a restaurant where they expect their customers to be Chinese-literate.

One of the recommended dishes was Siew Haw Kuat (RM15), their signature dish. Literally translated, Siew Haw Kuat means Smilling Thick Rib.
Except for the sauce, this dish is similar to the barbecued honey spare ribs prepared by chefs from Hong Kong in Bournemouth, England. Why do I bring up a Chinese restaurant in Bournemouth, of all places, as comparison? Well, the best grilled spare ribs I've ever had in my entire life happened to be in Bournemouth (pronounced as born-mirth), a beach town in Dorset, and that has become the benchmark I use when it comes to grilled or barbecued spare ribs.

It has that lovely combination of honey with Worcestershire sauce flavour, and is so tender and succulent, yet with a crisply edge, that I actually picked up the rib and gnawed the bits and pieces to the bone, like a dog (or should I say bitch, since I'm female?!). It was a good thing I had some wet tissue with me, or I'd have been a sight to behold, with the lower part of my face smeared with the caramel.  

Another recommended dish was their homemade tofu with minced meat sauce (RM10), steamed in a bamboo steamer. The tofu is excellent, very smooth, but the minced meat sauce is nothing extraordinary. It tastes like bolognaise sauce made of pork instead of beef.

While perusing their menu, which we didn't understand a word, a photo drew my attention. It looked like something we've never eaten before, so after consulting Tony & hubby, I ordered it. Don't ask me what the dish is called, but it is some melon with mushrooms, green bell peppers, carrots, baby corns and small, square bits of pork (RM15). It tasted as good as it looked.

We also ordered a bowl of shark's fin soup (RM8) each. And before animal activists scream murder, it's not the real deal. It's what the Chinese would call fake shark's fin, or what my hubby likes to call, the poor man's shark's fin. The taste? Not too bad, for the price. We didn't pay RM24 for a bowl, so our expectations weren't high.

The total damage was RM71.20, including 5 bowls of rice and a pot of Chinese tea for 3. Thank you, Tony, for the birthday dinner!!  :)