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Issue 04 . October 2011

FOOD is published fortnight, twice a month. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without permission. While the publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, we will not be held responsible for any errors therein. The opinions and experiences articulated on this magazine are entirely based on blogger's personal tastebuds and may be at odds for other foodies. For advertising enquiries, please contact Ivy . 016 364 7707 .

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BENTONG The Best Chee Cheong Fun by

BORNEO RAINFOREST CAFE Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya by

KECHARA OASIS New Age Vegetarian Cuisine by

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BENTONG The Best Chee Cheong Fun

by Typically, most Malaysians have a common frame of mind where long queue of customers is usually associated with good food. This ‘herd mentality’ is also adopted by yours truly whenever I am out searching for food to eat. So when me and my friends who landed at Bentong town right after enjoying our ABC at Kow Po spotted a huge amount of people crowding around a little stall just beside Kedai Kopi Kwong Sen along Jalan Chui Yin, I knew that the food must be good. The stall is manned by six people which is a rare sight but given the influx of customers during that mid afternoon, I can easily understand why. Apparently, the Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll) sold at this stall is very popular among the locals and tourists at this small town.

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Business was certainly brisk on that day and all the Chee Cheong Fun was sold out by 2 p.m. Luckily, I was one of the last few customer who was able to ‘tah pow’ a packet of noodle with a piece of Tau Fu Pock and Fu Chuk for RM 0.60 per piece. The packaging is deceptively simple. Just a sheet of plastic wrapped with newspaper in an unassuming style with a rubber band to hold it all together.

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Inside however was a whole different thing altogether. The rice noodle was really thin and has a soft texture. Each bite gave a satisfying ‘hmmm…’ as the thinner texture of the noodle allows the gravy to absorb easily into it. Speaking of the gravy, it was more watered down compared to the ones in KL but flavour wise, it has a nice sweet and savoury taste which warrants a two thumbs up. I must also mentioned about the dollop of sambal which was really rich in chilli taste and complimented the gravy very well. Unlike other Chee Cheong Fun shops that sell a whole array of Yong Tau Foo variants, the owners at this stall kept it simple with Fu Chuk and Tau Fu Pock being their main offerings. But as they say, sometimes it is good to keep things simple. Judging by the long queues, I doubt the sellers can afford to wait for customers to cherry pick their choice of Yong Tau Foo if there are a handful of them to choose from.

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Make no mistake. This is the best Chee Cheong Fun that I have tasted so far. When I was trying to explain to the lady boss about taking pictures of its stall and putting it up on the Internet, the she said it was not necessary (in a polite manner) as their business is already too good! She even mentioned that if given a choice, they do not wish to have more new customers as it is tiring for them to do this everyday. Now, how often do you hear that?

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If you happened to drop by the idyllic town of Bentong, make this stall your first priority for a delicious packet of Chee Cheong Fun. I heard that they are opened from 11 a.m. onwards. Oh, there are no seats available at the stall so you have to ‘tah pow’ and eat at the Kedai Kopi Kwong Sen located just next to it. Jalan Chui Yin 28700 Bentong Pahang Start Manage Your Reservations Efficiently Call 016.364.7707 Now

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BORNEO RAINFOREST Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya

by Love Borneo food? You no need to pay your flight ticket to fly to Sarawak for the authentic Borneo cuisine. You can find the feel of Borneo here at the Borneo Rainforest situated across from Sunway Hotel & Spa. The outdoor restaurant which served authentic Borneo food and more is situated across the Sunway Resort Hotel. The Borneo Rainforest is an idea by Tiara Jacquelina and is a good place to go for if you are looking for an ambient atmosphere paired with good food. The restaurant is decorated with indigenous art and a lush green space, this cafe takes its customers deep into the rainforests of East Malaysia. Its seating capacity of up to 450 pax, serving a fusion blend of Malaysian and Western food items. We are served with the famous Sarawakian food started of with Mee Kolok. It is made of blanched egg noodle, served in a light sauce and tender beef slices with some condiments. The noodles is nice and the texture is well combine with the light sauce which is not too salty. The beef is also tender and juicy as well.

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Mee Kolok (RM13.90) Taste 5/5

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Sarawak Laksa (RM14.90) Taste 5/5

Next comes the Sarawak Laksa which is the signature dish of the restaurant. The sarawak laksa is alike the curry noodles n Penang. This is where the springy vermicelli submerged in a concoction of deliciously thick soup rich in 'santan' (coconut milk) and spices, topped with tasty chunks of seafood, chicken and slice omelette. This is a gastronomical delight which is a MUST in the restaurant.

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Umai (RM13.90) Taste 3/5

Umai is a raw fish salad popular among various ethnic groups of Sarawak, especially the Melanaus. In fact, umai is a traditional working lunch for the Melanau fishermen. Umai is prepared raw, iced but not frozen. It is made of thin slivers of raw mackarel, thinly sliced onions, chilli, salt and the juice of sour fruits like lime or assam. Its simplicity makes it a cinch for fishermen to prepare it aboard their boats. The taste is alike chinese "yu sang" which is nice to eat and simply spicy. The umai is indeed spicy as there are small chilly padi on it which burns my lips. If you like to have them, please call to have a pre-order as they need 2 days pre-order for the dish.

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We are served with the ginger lemon grass tea which is the signature drink there. The drinks helps in aiding digestion, calming nervous disorders and helping in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is said that the drink is filled with vitamin A and is good for "those who wish to have bright eyes and clear skin!'. When getting a sip of it, the taste is more towards Ginger tea to me rather than the lemon grass tea. Tuak Mojito is one of the signature cocktail where it is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, yeast and sugar. Nice and delicious one to try.

Restaurant Borneo Rainforest Cafe Address OB-K5, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway 3 Jalan PJS 11/15, 46150 Petaling Jaya Telephone +603 5635 0888 Business Hours 5pm – 1am (Tues – Sun, closed on Mon) Email

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KECHARA OASIS New Age Vegetarian Cuisine

by Every once in a while, I’d like to detox and clean my body off from meat. This is when a vegetarian meal comes to mind. As much as I enjoy the occasional vegetarian food, I find it hard to find those that are not overloaded with gluten or flour, in their effort of making vegetarian food look like meat. In the quest to search for nice vegetarian food, my colleagues and I ended up in Kechara Oasis restaurant one afternoon for lunch. The restaurant had a comfortable and cozy ambience, with statues of deities (Tibetan?) decorating the place, giving it a calming and soothing feeling. We chose the set lunch for 10 persons that came with 8 courses including one dish of dessert.

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Mandala of 5 Prosperity

The first course was the Mandala of 5 Prosperity, a platter of 5 mini dishes including vegetarian skewers, deep-fried Vietnamese spring rolls, stir-fried artificial meat and walnuts. I found the skewers to be pretty tasty with each piece coated with a dark, sticky and slightly sweet sauce. I believe it was made from gluten or seitan, since I found it to have a chewy texture that was quite similar to meat. The Vietnamese spring rolls were especially crispy with fillings of mushroom in a savoury gravy.

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The second course was Yam Basket with Kong Po Chicken, which was, unfortunately, made from gluten again. The gravy was flavourful and slightly spicy, while the yam basket was fluffy with a crispy skin. But I did not want to overdose myself with another dish of gluten so I only had a piece of it to try. Yam Basket with Kong Po Chicken

The next dish of soup was not in our set menu, but came highly recommended by the waitress. The Kechara Treasure Pot was a pot of miso soup with shitake mushroom, carrot, romaine, broccoli and round momos. What are momos, you ask? These cute dumplings that looked like ‘Xiao Long Bao’ were wrapped with potatoes, vegetables, herbs and cheese within. I found the soup to be light and refreshing, with a pleasant mixture of flavours from the mushrooms and vegetables. I definitely could have more than a bowl of this!

Kechara Treasure Pot

Momo – potatoes, vegetables, herbs and cheese

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Miso Cod Fish

The next dish surprised us for it did not look vegetarian at all – Miso Cod Fish came in the unmistakable shape of a fish fillet, complete with the fish skin on the sides. Don’t be alarmed, for this dish was actually largely made from soya and tofu, resulting in the white colour and soft texture. Apart from its deceiving look, this was just a dish of beancurd soaked with miso soup. It turned out to be lightly flavoured bordering bland, but this was to be expected for a dish of just tofu I guess.

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Mushroom Kai Lan

My favourite dish was the Mushroom Kai Lan. Yes, this is what I would love from a vegetarian restaurant – nothing pretentious, but just delicious and authentic vegetables cooked in the most traditional manner. It was done perfectly with big juicy mushrooms mixed with young and green kai lan. The burst of flavours in every bite of mushroom was simply the highlight of my meal.

Another dish with vegetables was the Golden Pocket Broccoli, served with pieces of deep fried mini dumplings filled with what I thought was potatoes, vegetables and some herbs. I loved the taste of the gravy which complemented the broccoli very well, but I thought the fillings in the dumplings were a little too starchy.

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Golden Pocket Broccoli

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Lotus Root with White Fungus

Lotus Root with White Fungus was another of my favourite that day, with a combination of vegetables and nuts that made this a crunchy and enjoyable dish. I loved the addition of macadamia nuts that also gave it a nutty taste!

Longevity Noodles

At this point, we were all full to the brim but we still had the dish of Longevity Noodles to go. Most of us only had half a bowl of this and had to pack half of it home. Nothing really impressive with this noodle but nothing to complain as well. It’s just at after so many dishes, I came to realize that most of their gravy tasted quite the same? Maybe it’s just me. Finally, dessert was Longan Sea Coconut served icy cold. Totally loved longan for its sweet and juicy texture. Perfect as a finishing dish indeed.

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Longan Sea Coconut

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Restaurant Kechara Oasis Address Unit 19-LG1, Level B1 Block D Jaya One No 72A Jalan University 46200 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia Telephone +603 7968 1818 / +6012 617 9118 Business Hours Mon – Sun 11:30 am – 3 pm / 6 pm – 10 pm Website

The cost of the set menu was RM388++ for 10 persons, while the cost of the soup was around RM40. To be honest, this was definitely not cheap considering it’s vegetarian. Some of the dishes were executed perfectly, while I still have my reservations over gluten-inspired meat-like food. Perhaps I might just go for a la carte order if I return next time.

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FOOD Magazine . issue 04 Oct 2011  
FOOD Magazine . issue 04 Oct 2011  

This fortnight online magazine talks about food reviews from the bloggers and latest promotional news from the restaurants.