Friday, December 8, 2017

Momo Fubu, Canning Garden

This is another backlog post, a farewell treat I got from my colleagues. Hours before having this meal, I was praying hard for good weather as the sky was pitch black in the late afternoon. Even at 5:30pm, it was showing signs of drizzling. Nevertheless it turned out that there was not any better weather that night to enjoy an open air BBQ dinner. The breeze was cooling, just perfect to cool off the heat from the pit. The photos for this post are taken under low lighting and it may not be very attractive. But those who passed by Canning Garden often would definitely caught the glimpse of this building

For some munching, a portion of Japanese seasoned baby octopus comes at RM12. Topped with some shaved bonito flakes, this plate was gone within minutes. Nothing spectacular as these stuff can be bought in bulk nowadays

Although BBQ seems to be the theme of food here, the team recommended the Genghis Khan hotpot series to us. Enough for 2-3 persons, they have a few variants available. We tried the a pot of pork ribs and another pot of seafood. The meat at the centre is surrounded by generous portions of Chinese cabbage and enoki mushrooms before a savoury shoyu based broth is poured into it

This is how it looks like after being simmered for more than 5 minutes. This place is good if you are coming in a slightly bigger group so you can order and try more items. The hotpot ranges from RM23 to RM38 with choices from lamb, pork ribs and seafood.

The Genghis Khan hotpot goes along well with white rice. And if white rice seems to mainstream, you could opt for the one with fried lard and drizzled with more lard and soya sauce. A bowl of porcine goodness at RM4.... guilty feeling can always come later :)

We had pork belly and shoulder loin (RM10 per plate) and this is the portion size. The meat is NOT marinated. Just pure and unadulterated taste from the red meat

A portion of pork belly being BBQ. The sizzles of lard dropping down to the fiery furnace translates into a smoky aroma which entice the senses of every pork lover like yours truly. As the meat is not seasoned, the spicy dipping sauce is quite addictive though but once the pork belly is well done with charred edges, its just too good on its own.

This is sampler of the King Pork Rib - RM25 for this portion. Apparently one pig only has around 250-500g of King Pork Rib, making it a prized "limited" edition portion of a pig. The meat is tender indeed but most of the cuts has a high percentage of bones. If you prefer meaty cuts, opt for the loin instead.

Enoki mushroom wrapped with pork belly (RM12 for only 3 pieces. This photo shows 3 portions ordered. It is a good break from the one being wrapped in bacon though.

The bill came to around RM230 for 9 of us but honestly, most of us are still not really full from the meal though. The open environment makes it a good spot for a BBQ themed gathering, minus the hassle of starting the fire and also the horrendous clean up to follow later and the two houses on both sides are not really occupied so you can really turn up the volume of laughter. Another plus point is the beer here is reasonably priced - RM9 for a can of Tiger beer. The down side is probably the weather is not really on your side, if its the hot spell season, we will be sweating dozens while on the other extreme, dining here is troublesome on a rainy season. Though they have a living hall as a back-up dining area if the weather turns gloomy all out of a sudden, one better check the weather forecast before coming over. Till then, enjoy pigging though the weekend :)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bad Ape Yakitori, Greentown Ipoh

Just not long after PadiHouse and Spade Burger stirred some revival to Greentown, a Japanese restaurant with Yakitori theme (grilled skewered food) made its presence felt in the same zone. My first try was a treat from a colleague. And we actually went for Spade Burger later on (which was also my first try that night). And since then, I was frequenting this 2 joints quite regularly for at least few times. And these two places are always on my mind when I am back to Ipoh on weekends... why? cause they serve good pork dishes! lol

Before starting the meal that night, I went all out and pick something from almost each category since its a treat! For the greens, there is an option of the Salmon Salad or the Chuka Wakame (seasoned seaweed) salad. The sesame dressing is good but the salad turns quite watery towards the end probably from the moisture of the leafy vegetables.

I even tried the Grilled Smelt (Shishamo) for the first time! All this while I am worry of its fishy smell. But later on, I got a huge surprise that the is not much flesh for this fish. Under this fish from almost the head onwards to the tail contains a lot of yellow roe! Honestly speaking, I really dunno how to appreciate this fish LOL

Next,  I would like to recommend you to the stuffed shitake mushrooms (RM2.90). Dipped into yakitori gravy as soon as its off the grilled, this tiny little morsels are bursting with flavour. Very umami-ish! The stick at the back is actually grilled pork belly (RM3.90) - lightly seasoned with just salt. Still juicy and with a good ratio of lean and fat layers! You get the taste the original charred aroma as it does not come with dipping gravy. Some may argue it could be too dry though.

Here is a picture of the Grilled Hotate (3 pieces of scallop for RM4.80), Bacon with Enoki mushrooms (RM3.80) and Bacon with Asparagus (RM3.80). On a seperate trip, I sampled the Bacon with cherry tomatoes and Bacon with Shimeiji mushrooms. Personally I feel the Bacon with Asparagus and Shimeiji mushroom is worth recommending. Nevertheless, on one occasion, the bacon had a mild unpleasant "porky"smell.

Stuffed Crab Shell cost around RM9.80 (I forgot the actual name and the price though). Shredded crab meat is seasoned and stuffed into the shell and is baked (grilled I supposed) with a layer of melted cheese on top. It is recommended that you hasten your photo snapping as its best eaten hot when the cheese is still goey

They only serve one type of beer here. And what better icon to represent the land of the rising sun if it is not Kirin Ichiban (because Asahi is too easily available at supermarkets and bars here, not to mention it is already locally produced). RM18 for a pint and RM28 for 2 pints which is freshly drafted from the tap. Else, one can opt for bottled Apple Ciders. For a more lavish complement, they have sakes and some plum wines available as well. 

There are a few recommended beer food in the menu. The Fried Lotus Roots are so thinly shaved. Fried to near crisp and melt in your melt-like state, it just need a little sprinkling of salt for a light seasoning and its good to go with your booze.

Not having enough vegetables? There is this tempura battered leafy greens (forgot the name, its spinach if not mistaken) at RM3.80. Good beer food. Resembles the fried kankung in Thai cuisines.

The Gyoza is not bad too as most of the tables here also ordered it. The bottom is pan fried to a lightly charred and fragrant while the upper part of the skin remain like it was just well steamed. The centre filling of pork is well marinaded and maintained a good degree of moisture. RM6.80 for 6 pieces, I reckon it is really reasonably priced for such environment. You wont get such price even at some non-airconditioned dim sum restaurant.

Haha, this is some Grilled Rice (RM2.90), it looks like those grilled Onigiri or Korean Rice Balls. The outer layer is dry but not really "crusty" and the charred aroma was missing. The rice could be more flavoured (additional seasoning? add in seaweed and sesame seeds?) before putting it into the grill. I will suggest you to skip this though

Agedashi Tofu was a slight miss though. While the tofu is soft in the centre with the slight crispy skin on the exterior, the top part was a bit weird as it was abit too chewy to my liking. The top layer it too geletanious, as if I am slurping some mochi down my throat. You can also skip this as well.

On one of my subsequent visits, I tried the Grilled Tiger Prawns. For RM13.80, you get 5 sticks of attractive bouncy prawns which is just lightly salted. The prawns are freshe and cooked to the right mark. That is the Grilled Chicken Wings (RM3.80 for 2 wingette, no drummette) and Chicken Skewers with Leeks (RM3.80) in the background.

If you feel that yakitori is not enough to give a filling meal, there are a few selections of rice meals here. Ginger Pork Belly Rice Bowl is a very oriental dish, mimicking the Ginger Spring Onion Chinese stir-fry dish, which usually uses beef and chicken. Priced reasonably at RM9.90, the meat is served on top of a bed of warm and moist rice.  They are using those high-calrose grains here for the rice, giving rise to a pleasant texture which is different from what we have most of the time elsewhere. 

There is also a Chasu Don at RM12.90. Instead of the “pork roulade” or the swiss-roll-lookalike pork you see in your usual bowl of ramen, the one here resembles the Chinese braised pork slices (those with yam/preserved vegetables). Initially, the sauce is slightly too salty to my liking but give it a good mix with the rice and it was better later. 

If pork isn’t your preferred meat (then I would be wondering why are you here at the first place) there is also the staple Chicken Katsu Don available. Fried breaded chicken fillet drizzled with soya sauce and sprinkled with seaweed. Oh ya, both the Chasu and Katsu comes with a stewed egg. The egg is served cold, with a slightly runny egg yolk.

As I had Spade Burger last weekend, I will have to look forward into satiating my cravings for grilled pork/bacon and some booze this weekend! Go try the Kirin Ichiban draft - smooth and full bodied. Till then, stay tuned for more posts :)