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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Mangoes, everyone here in Batu Pahat seem to have the habit of planting at least one of those trees around their house compound. I used to have 3 such trees, till the bugs and a lost fox came over and started ‘sharing’ with us … and enough was enough, we decided to chop it off. I dont miss the mangoes that my family used to plant, I do miss the shade the tree provide to my room.

These are mangoes found at my girlfriend’s house. It’s still a young tree with its first fruitings for the year. Quite a number of them right, pretty normal dont you think so.

How about these below;

Still looks pretty normal right, now the next one.

Giant Mangoes, not bad for its first fruitings. I know I might not view mangoes the same again, gone are the image of cute small mangoes, now replacing them are this vertically inclined giant mangoes from my girlfriend’s house compound.

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Origins

Some believe that satay was invented by Chinese immigrants who sold the skewered barbecue meat on the street. Their argument is that the word satay means “triple stacked” (三疊) in Amoy dialect, and indeed, satay is often made with three flat lozenges of meat.

It is also possible that it was invented by Malay or Javanese street vendors influenced by the Arabian kebab. The explanation draws on the fact that satay only became popular after the early 19th century, also the time of the arrival of a major influx of Arab immigrants in the region. The satay meats popularly used by Indonesians and Malaysians, mutton and beef, are also traditionally favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken.

Malaysia

Known as sate in Malay (and pronounced similar to the English), it can be found throughout every state in Malaysia. Besides restaurants that serve satays, one can find hawkers selling satay in food courts and Pasar malam. While the popular kinds of satay are usually beef and chicken satays, different regions of Malaysia have developed their own unique variations of satay.

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This is a chinese owned satay stall situated in Glutton Square along Jalan Shahbandar. It is non-halal, it served only pork satay (sate). On busy days you will see 3 people manning the stall, the owner, his wife and his father. On other days, it’s just the owner and his dad.

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Sometimes during festivities, the owner gets orders of hundreds of sticks per order, so if you don’t mind waiting you can come back later to pick up your food. Here you can see the owner busy grilling the satay over the open fire. (Pardon the smoke screen, no nice angle and the road was also very busy).

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Another view of my order of 15 satays getting prepared. They still use the convential method of charcoal fire instead of the electric ones, cause of the smell once the satay is cooked differ with the methods of cooking.

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Their stall isn’t very big, just a simple street side stall, a charcoal oven, some tables behind the stall for putting their raw satay and ketupats. This is one of the trays where they placed the raw skewered meat before they are taken to the fire. The oil that you see coming out from the satays are actually spices mixture (which includes ginger, thats why its yellow).

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To complete the satay combo, you can never do without the ketupat (a type of rice dumpling that is wrapped in a woven palm pouch which is then boiled). Some other stalls have the option of adding shredded onions or cucumber in addition to the satay and ketupat. The owner has the last 3 pieces of ketupat in his basket. Business must be really good that day.

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This is satay gravy. Its also called the spicy peanut sauce dip or peanut gravy. Its main ingredients are crushed peanuts, chilli powder, lemon grass, onions and garlic. This particular stall gravy is thick. Some other stalls have gravy that are so liquid that you can drink them with a straw. Thick gravy means when you dip your satay in it, the crushed peanuts is coated to your satay sticks and the taste is simply heavenly.

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A simple fare of satay dish consist all the protein, carbohydrates and vitamins you need (not forgetting the sinful cholesterol levels that comes with it).

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Otak-otak is a fish cake found throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.  It is also known as otah-otah, otah or otak in Singapore. It can be eaten as a snack or with bread or rice as part of a meal.

Otak-otak is made by mixing fish paste (usually mackerel) with a mixture of spices including chillies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemon grass and coconut milk. The mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf that has been softened by steaming, then grilled or steamed.

While fish otak-otak is most common, otak-otak is also commonly made with prawns, often resulting in a more textured variety.  

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I have been quite a regular patron at this stall at Glutton Square. There are a few otak-otak stalls over there, this one is located at the end of the square (near the junction to YC Superstore). That’s the owner busy grilling the otak-otak to some customers. The lady giving the ‘V’ sign is the owner of the BBQ chicken wings next to this stall ( I will review it later).

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What I like about this stall is that the owner is very friendly and the price is competitive. Furthermore the otak-otak is quite thick and its not so salty like the ones sold at other stalls. The spicyness is also just right.

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Here you can find the owner grilling the otak-otak over the electric grill. (That’s my order).

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Usually after grilling he will immediately wrap the otak-otak up, its best to take this when its hot.

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My orders of 40 otak-otak freshly grilled.

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The texture of otak-otak is just nice. It was not overdone (burnt). When you people come back or visit this town, do give this stall a visit, you won’t regret it.

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Beef noodle soup is a Chinese noodle soup dish composed of stewed beef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia. It was created by the Hui people (a Chinese Muslim group) during the Tang Dynasty of China.

In the West, this food may be served in a small portion as a soup. In China, a large bowl of it is often taken as a whole meal with or without any side dish.

In Chinese, “牛肉麵” literally means “cattle-meat-noodles”. If one orders “牛肉湯麵” or “cattle-meat-soup-noodles” in a restaurant in Taiwan, China, or Hong Kong, one might be given a very inexpensive bowl of noodles in only beef broth but no beef. Since beef has become much more affordable these days, most restaurants no longer provide these broth-only noodles. If one orders a “牛肉湯” or “cattle-meat-soup”, one could be given a more expensive bowl of beef broth with chunks of beef in it but without noodles. A common Vietnamese version of this dish is called Pho. (Taken from wikipedia)

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The simple signboard of the only beef noodles stall in Batu Pahat. Had breakfast with philip today.

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The uncle who has been selling the noodles for more than 30 years. When I asked the auntie how old uncle has been in operation, she said many years, so I tried to ask 20 years? Auntie said, more than that. I am sure most of you remembered this uncle.

He used to operate at the Jalan Jenang Chia Pa Sat before it was torn down and replaced with Hong Leong Bank building now. His son used to help him but has since seek greener pastures elsewhere. Most of the time uncle is alone handling the stall.

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The sizzling hot bowl of beef noodles costing RM6.00 for a big bowl and RM5.00 for a small one. The soup has a very thick aroma of beef and spices. The beef portions are also generous (meat, stomach, tongue, etc.) Its like sup lembu but chinese version.

The chilli sauce that comes with it isn’t spicy hot, it has a blend of ginger and vinegar into it. Complements nicely with the beef. Bon Apetit!

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Mid Autumn Festival

The Mid Autumn Festival also known as the Moon Festival is a popular East Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back 3,000 years to China’s Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or “Mooncake Festival”, which is just the same as “Mid-Autumn Festival” but with different names.

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar), a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar. This is the ideal time, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, to celebrate the abundance of the summer’s harvest.

I celebrated this festival at my girlfriend’s house with a few of her family members and friends. You can see the different kinds of paper lanterns waiting to be lit.

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My girlfriend’s brother sorting the lanterns, some of it are already too old and missing the wicks.

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Her younger sister and brother’s girlfriend also came to assist or rather just to ‘kepo-kepo’ around.

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While they were busy setting up the lanterns, a few of them were arranging the tables in preparation for the guests that would be coming later.

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The following are the food that were specially ordered and cooked for the festival. First we have the fried meehoon.

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Then we have the mini popiahs …

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Satay or sate (bought from Glutton Square) …

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Ling Kok or Horned Water Chestnut …

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Or Kia or Mini Yams …

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Hay Chee or Prawn Fritters …

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Otak-Otak (bought from Glutton Square) …

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Vegetable Curry …

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Chicken Curry …

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some fruits as dessert …

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and last but not least, not forgetting the main food, MOONCAKES!! (I personally like the pig shaped mooncake).

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After the lanterns were lit, they hung them around the fence to brighten the evening and to create the festival air to it.

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And when we got bored of eating, chatting and lighting lanterns, we decided to relive the lantern walk that we used to do during our childhood days. You can imagine the support as well as the curious stares we got when we ‘patrolled’ the whole of Batu Pahat Garden while carrying lanterns.

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The slow but steady walk along the streets.

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Ah See Wantan Mee

When BP folks do come back to town, one of the first thing they have to eat is Ah See Wantan Mee. This business has been passed down through generations. This shop is located at Jalan Jenang, the shophouses situated behind OCBC Bank. You will never miss the signboard, its near the taxi stand.
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During lunch hour, there is usually a big crowd waiting to be seated, some of the customers even resort to waiting outside just so they can get a seat in this shop. If they see a table has paid, they will stand next to the table. When I went there, it was past lunch hour, but there is still a sizable crowd in it.

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This is the owner of the shop, we call him Ah See. The Ah See name has been synonymous with this business ever since his grandfather and father times. He was busy cooking when I took this picture, he even looked up to me and gave me a smile.

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The main ingredients of a Wantan Mee is the wantan or wonton. Wontons (Traditional Chinese: 餛飩; Simplified Chinese: 馄饨 details), also written as “wantan”, “wanton”, “wuntun”, are a type of dumpling common in Chinese cuisine. A wonton is made with a thin ten centimeter square lye-water pastry wrapper made of wheat flour, water, salt, and lye, and filled with savory minced meat. The filling is typically made of minced pork, coarsely diced shrimp, finely minced ginger, finely minced onions, sesame oil and soy sauce. Wontons are commonly served in soup or can be deep fried.

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Other ingredient would be the ‘char siew’ or ‘char siu’. “Char siu” literally means “fork roasted,” which is the traditional cooking method for the dish of the same name. Forks hold long strips of seasoned boneless pork in a covered oven or over a fire. The meat, typically pork shoulder, is seasoned with a mixture of sugar or honey, five-spice powder, soy sauce, red food colouring (optional) and sherry or rice wine (optional). These seasonings turn the exterior layer of meat dark red, not unlike the “smoke ring” of American barbecue. (Please ignore the money container =p)

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A simple price list for the wantan mee, from small plate to big plate to double plate. Double plate simply means more mee or noodles. Their noodles are homemade, meaning they knead, stretch, pull and cut it in their own kitchen. The recipe of which is not known to the public but only to the See Family. Which is what makes people come back for more, the texture of the noodles.

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This is what a bowl of wantan looks like. This soup isn’t too sweet like what others served. It’s homecooked soup with little or no MSG at all. Those green colored things are chopped spring onions.

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My girlfriend had a bowl of soup wantan mee. Its just a plate of wantan mee cooked in the soup of wantan you saw earlier.

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This is my large plate of wantan mee. One thing I like about the mee is the springy effect it gives me when I chew on it. It’s not too soft nor too hard. Stories have been told about Ah See’s father learning how to make homemade noodles from one master. One day, Ah See’s father wanted to buy the recipe from the master but the master refused to sell it, hence Ah See’s father decided that he will try to make his own noodles by hook or by crook. And that’s how the mee come to this after all these years. If you happen to sit near the kitchen, you will see this small blue room where it’s locked most of the time with people coming in and out covered in flour, thats the Ah See’s Secret Noodle Making Room.

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After a stomach filling meal of wantan mee, time to washed it down with home cooked soya drink. Thick and sweet, very nice.
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You can see this stall when you are driving along Jalan Kluang, its located before the junction to Parit Besar. Not exactly beside the road, but a bit in the inner road.

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The number of cars you can see parked in front of the stall

The first thing you see this stall is the crowd in it. It usually draws a larger crowd during the weekends especially Sunday Mornings. The food and drinks here are very tasty. The drinks also do not have much sugar, nice and thick.

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The Sunday Morning crowds. If you come later in the day, you have to queue for your seats.

There will be one guy in charge of the drinks department. Another lady in charge of the ‘kueh’ department as well as the friend noodles and nasi lemak section. 3 person will be in charge of flipping the roti canais and 3 more to knead the dough. Very efficient, I must say. The orders usually come in thick but the speed they serve the food is also very fast.

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The kitchen aka ordering section.

Seating arrangements is very basic. There are also longer wooden tables for big family sizes.

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Simple chairs and plastic covered tables

The roti canai kosong I had for breakfast. Very crispy and well done. The dalchar (gravy) is rich in potatoes and very thick. Even the optional sambal is not too sweet nor too spicy.

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Crispy, brown and fresly cooked roti canai. It breaks easily.

My girlfriend had the roti canai telur, here you have the option of ordering it with onions or without. Pardon the gravy on the roti, it was not until she had scooped some on her food till she remembered I had to take a photo of it. =p

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Freshly cooked roti canai telur or roti telur.

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