Saturday, February 16, 2013

Street Food @ Tiny Taipei, Berjaya Times Square - Wafllemania & Scallop-Q

Its been few years since I last stepped into Berjaya Times Square. Traveling to this shopping from UPM this those days was quite an arduous task, as one need to switch between trains. If waiting for KTM is not frustrating enough, try squeezing in a cramped monorail. After doing it for some time, I discovered the slightly better alternative, which is to switch train at Bandar Tasik Selatan into an LRT, which drops you off at Hang Tuah station. This option will save you from being cramped but won't be practical if it's on a rainy day as you will need to walk a slight distance from Hang Tuah LRT to Berjaya Times Square. 

 (photo grabbed from Scallop-Q Facebook)
There is some noticeable change in Times Square over the years. They have additional passenger lifts at the extreme left and right of building. This is to ease the movement of the people as the escalator and design of this building is quite asymmetrical from floor to floor. This place was never in my top list of place to lepak, unless I wanna hunt for clothes and good haircut or if I wanna cross over to Sg Wang for karaoke, window shop for tech gadgets at Low Yat plaza nearby, cross over to Lot10 before mesmerizing branded fashion apparels and accessories in The Pavilion.

Food-wise, most of the shops remained there besides additional stalls on the third floor nearby the cinema area . The branded this area as "Tiny Taipei". It does lift up to its name though as one can see many ordinary stalls selling extraordinary things. Take this photo for example, a typical waffle stall?

The display caught my attention. Not to mention to small crowd/queue waiting for their food. Must be good I thought. Despite having intentions to try Mille Crepe later on, I could not help but to join the crowd and see, or rather taste for myself what is the hype all about innovating traditional Belgian Waffles.

Of the few flavours available, its hard for me to decide whether to go for sweet or the savoury flavour. Okay, I'm a sucker for sweet stuffs, especially those pleasing to the eyes and hence I had the Marshmallow (RM5.50). One side of the waffle is dipped in melted cooking chocolate to serve as an adhesive surface to welcome generous serving of marshmallow and crushed nuts. It it then slightly heated in an oven to get browned and slightly gooey marshmallow. The waffle is crispy on the exterior but gooey and slightly chewy at the centre portion. The texture is very typical to Taiwaneese preference which they have their own mouthfeel terminology known as "Q", or rather "QQ-ness". "Q" is a texture that your teeth will dig into but not sunken, slightly more gooey than a marshmallow but less elastic compared  to licorice. Complexed huh?  "Q" can also be used to describe a noodle being al dente and bouncy at the same time. The secret for a QQ waffle is besides taking pride in using 100% milk,  the secret just lies in the "dough" or rather.... a specially modified flour/starch. Yup, its not waffle batter but "dough"! 

 I find these young entrepreneurs innovative in making a twist to the conventional honey/butter/kaya/peanut butter/strawberry jam toppings on a typical waffle sold at RM2.50-RM3. Since they are in the novelty stage, most waffle here are charged with a premium price for RM4.50 onwards for both savoury and sweet delights. I think the Cheesy Ham will be a good pick if I happen to drop by Times Square in the future for a snack or light lunch.

I've picked up an add-on  lemonade drink from Wafflemania for just RM1 but the acidity didn't serve well as a palate cleanser. I needed something more, something savoury. Situated just at the next stall, skewers on a grill caught my attention, there are actually SCALLOP! ^^

 (Photo grabbed from:

This stall is named Scallop-Q, (干贝烧)  a Taiwanese based brand started in 2011. It started off business in the famous Shilin Night Market, breaking the strereotyping that scallop is an expensive restaurant delicacy. Sourcing fresh and large scallops from Japan and running on kiosks were Scallop-Q's modus operandi in formulating a affordable scallop snack.

The scallop are first cooked in a hot plate/press grill (something which look like a sandwich maker) and basted with their own in-house secret recipe sauce. Upon near cooked status, they are transferred to the open grill to "dry" them off. Customers can opt for different sauce/flavours for their skewer of scallops ranging from BBQ Bonito, French Garlic, Japanese Seaweed, Indian Spicy Curry, Sea Salt, American Black Pepper, to name a few.
Being spoilt for choice, I picked the original "Scallop-Q Special" flavour. There are 4 morsels of scallops almost she size of the old 50 cent coin promising a savoury and appetizing taste. Basted with their own sauce which resembles Teriyaki sauce, they are lightly dusted with chilli flakes upon serving. Scallops were fresh yet succulent and have a tinge of sweetness from the sauce brushed on the scallops during the grilling process. For RM5.80, some may find it priced a bit steep for just 4 scallops. You need to fork out more than RM60 to savour all its 11 flavours. 1 down, 10 more to go. I will definitely return for more if I'm in Times Square. I would really love to try the Sea Salt and Frenh Garlic flavour which hopefully is less overpowering and you can sample the "taste of the sea" of the scallop. Lets hope that this time around, I can grabbed somebody interested to go food hunting in the heart of urban jungle! :)

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