Tuesday, April 21, 2015

YummY! - Iberico Pork Ribs @ Sausage & Ribs Taman Midah

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               Jotaro's Food Review              
Taman Midah, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur - April 2015
I have heard much of those Iberian pigs from Spain and how good the meat from the Iberico pigs are. Hah! I have even read about them in the adventures of Asterix the Gaul!
The thing is I have heard so much about them but have yet to try them. So when our Facebook group the Makan Club held a gathering at the Sausage & Ribs Shack, it was a MUST GO for me - they serve Iberico Pork Ribs there, Yeah!

It was a night of hits and misses.
A big hit as Makan Club members got to know each other better. Most knew each other through the net only and it was a good time to see each other face-to-face. Patrick brought some whiskey to loosen up everyone and soon we were warming up to each other.
It was a night of misses as by the time some of us got there, the crème de resistance (the Iberico ribs) were sold out. Fortunately, other kindly members shared theirs with us.
I kicked off with some mushroom soup before hitting the bottle of whiskey. It was just nicely thick, creamy with good slices of mushrooms; and warmed up the tummy for more to come. (the soup not the whiskey *smiles*).

Along the way we had this beautiful garden salad that came with sesame dressing instead of the usual. They call it the Coral Salad, it does look like a green coral doesn't it?

As the Iberico Ribs were sold out, some of us went for other dishes on the menu, needless to say they were all very good.
I went for this sausage platter, a mixed of a few types - chiplotas, garlic, etc. It was a good mix, one of varying complementing tastes. The meat inside were just nice, not overly minced so that they still retain a good bite but were still tender and juicy.
Chef Yeoh, who runs this place, does the sausage himself; from the grinding, mixing and stuffing to ensure that it is up to his standards.

The sausages came sitting on a carpet of fried onion which had soaked up the juices seeping out from them. I just love this, a very good combo.

Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon.
This is one dish that seems easy to make but difficult to get right by most restaurants. Many  end up with the fish meat being too dry. I won't say that they have done it perfect here, but they were close; with a good crispy layer over the meat which was not that dry.
You must be wondering what happened to the Iberico ribs! Patience, our friends had not come round to sharing with us yet.

I loved those succulent Portobello mushrooms that I ordered two plates of them to share with my foodie buddies. They were not in the menu but the Chef Yeoh was most kind to whip them up for us.

New Zealand Lamb Cutlets.
I always like these from New Zealand, somehow they are more tender and with just the right amount of fat.

And here comes the long awaited pork ribs:
This is not the Iberico por ribs but the standard Spanish pork ribs, still it looks and tastes good.

AND this is the Iberico Pork Rib, nice honey-glazed and with just a thin layer of fat to add to it's flavour. (Apologies, if I did not show a proper rack of the ribs. These were the ones our buddies kindly shared with us).

Finally... I got to sink my teeth into a dream. I have had pork ribs, many very nicely done but nothing compares to these. The meat was juicy, tender and easy to chew into, it was par excellence!

Below are their menu, pricing is at time of this blog:

  • 9 Jalan 2/105, Taman Midah, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Phone: +603-91743866 / +6016-2292168
GPS : 3.089674, 101.726550
Hours : Saturdays - 09:00am to 9:30pm (Breakfast to Dinner)
Sundays - 6:00pm to 9:30pm (Dinner Only)
Mondays & Tuesdays - 12:00pm to 9:30pm (Lunch & Dinner)
Closed on Wednesdays to Fridays.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

YummY! - Coconut Crabs @ Hiro's-Batanes

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           Jotaro's Food Review          
Basco, Batanes - March 2015
An upside down coconut crab wrapped in banana leaves.
I had never tried coconut crabs before or even seen one in real life. In fact, many have not even heard about them. So what are they?

Coconut crabs are fearsome looking creatures; they look something coming out from the Aliens movies or like one of the monsters from the Ultraman TV series.
They are a species of land-based hermit crabs with large claws and thick legs (their legs are the size of a crab's claws). They have a head that looks like prawn's and round bodies.
And, yes, they do climb coconut trees to get at those coconuts and eat them.

Coconut crabs are the largest crabs and can grow up to one metre in length form leg to leg and up to 4.1kg in weight. They are land-based and oddly will drown if thrown into the sea or water.

Besides coconuts, the coconut crabs eat other fruits and at times will eat carion.
In the Batanes islands, are cacti looking Thatch Screw Pines (Pandanus Tectorius) the sweet fruits of which also forms part of the crab's diet there.

We had coconut crabs while on a cycling adventure in the Batanes, Philippines. We did not specifically look out for coconut crabs there, in fact we did not know that the crabs were fairly easily available here. We were having some authentic Ivatan fare (... see Philippines Ivatan Food @ Batanes blog) see at Hiro's Cuisine when we noticed that they sell coconut crabs; at 1000PHP for one that's slightly more than a kilogramme, it was not cheap. But then we asked ourselves, "Why not?" After all we had not tried coconut crabs before and they are not easy to come by these days. So, "Why not?"

The crab came served on a large banana leave, the green contrasting the red very well and made the crab looked even better. Thank goodness they had already pre-crushed the crab after cooking. According to Lydia, the best way to cook the crabs is just to simply boil it.
The crabs were huge, their legs alone were as thick as a normal crabs claws. And this is just a regular sized one.

Another view of the crab. Clock-wise from bottom left is the stomach (the best part, we will come to that later), the claws, the body and then the head.

Okay enough viewing of the crab, time to dig in.
I started with the legs, saving the best for last. The coconut crab legs are not like a normal crab's, as mentioned earlier each is as large as a normal crab's claw and full of meat. The leg meat is soft and fresh, tasty like a normal crab's. I then work my way to the main body.... and then work my way to the claws.

Each claw is huge, more than a foot long and more than five inches around at the thickest part. Although the shells were super thick (on account that the claws have to crack up coconuts), inside it was full of meat.

And now for the last part, the best part - the STOMACH.
The stomach is oval-shaped about the size of a goose egg. It is protected by segmental shell.
Now the way to eat this is to slowly peel off the segmental shell, pull out the intestine at one end, and slowly cut open a small slit at the top so that the contents in side won't spill out.

Inside are the eggs, creamy like a yolk. It looked a bit yucky but with each mouth that I savoured, I just wanted more until it was all empty. It tasted like the soft eggs of a normal crab but much, much more creamier (probably from the diet of the crab - coconuts, Screwpine berries, etc.)
Trying out the crab was decades of curiosity realised. Now I can say I have eaten this rare delicacy before.

106, Abuyo Street, Kayvaluganan, Basco, Batanes, Philippines.
Tel (Smart): +63-0999 995 4211 / +63-0920 217 9031     (Globe): +63-0927 387 8172
Hours: Open everyday for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
GPS : 20.449344, 121.972562

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog  / FootSteps / YummY! / Philippines 2015 Batanes - Filipino Food / Coconut Crabs @ Hiro's
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
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