Saturday, August 30, 2014

YummY! - Aunty Lee Nyonya Malacca: Tempted 2!

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                  Jotaro's Food Review              
Ujong Pasir, Malacca, Malaysia - August 2014
We are down in Malacca for some cycling to promote the opening of the KIP Mart new outlet in Batu Berendam. While doing a pre-ride we dropped by at Aunty Lee's Nyonya Restuarant for a good Nyonya dinner. Having ate here a couple of years ago and being a Baba myself, I will certainly be judgmental and critical (... see earlier Nyonya Temptations @ Aunty Lee blog). Their food, I am glad to say, is still as tempting as ever.

This time round, seeing that there were forty of us, we made reservations for four tables and to simplify things selected from set Menu B. The set menu included white rice and warm/cold Chinese tea is free flowing, eat or drink as much as you want but don't waste. We were there earlier by 6:30 pm to avoid the crowd so that the food will be served fast.
Ordering from the set menu has the fast service advantage, but I will miss some of their signature dish like the Ayam Pongteh - a dish not easily found in other Nyonya outlets.

First to come was the Fish Cili Garam. You will have to excuse me if I use the original names in their Menu. The Nyonya Malaccans speak a mixed lingo of Malay-Chinese- English, I will try to translate as best as possible.
The Fish Cili Garam translates to Salted Cili Fish. It is not salted fish but deep fried fish seasoned with some salt and served with a lightly stir-fried pounded chilli and cut onions topping. The fish was a crisply fried "Mahyao" fish, nice and crunchy to bite into. The topping was a simply pounded chilli with some garlic without other embellishments. This was great, because its simplicity did not hinder the good taste of the fish.

The Sambal Sotong Petai or Chillied Squid with Petai.
I normally don't like squid as very often I find them to rubbery to bite into. In this dish, they had cleverly cut the squid into narrow rings and lightly stir-fried them so that they were still tender. The chilli used for frying was just adequately sweet with a slight sourness from the tamarind base. The combo of fresh petai and cut onions added that extra spunk to the dish.

The Cincalok Omelette. Firstly my apologies as this photo did not turn out well....

... so here is a nicer photo from an earlier eats at Aunty Lee. You will notice that other than the blurry first photo; the second photo looks more delicious, and it really is. I must put a thumbs down for their latest do of the Cincaluk Omelette. It was not well beaten and lacked a good hot frying, and thus lack the fluffiness one would expect from good omelette. Also they seemed to have reduce the amount of Cincaluk in the mixture, I could hardly taste the omelette and did not get the same good kick from this dish which I got previously.

The Chap Chai (Chop Suey) did not come as I would have expected. I was expecting the Penang Nyonya style which used green salted vegetables cooked with roasted duck and pig trotters. Well we are in Malacca, and this is the Malaccan Nyonya style, so I better stop griping.
Here, they have the vegetables cooked in a soupy gravy until they are very soft. Glass noodles and pieces of fried sweet flat bean curd are added too. It tasted good but is not that memorable a dish.

Photo by Joyful Cycle
Bendi Ulam (Okra/Lady's Finger Salad). Ulam is the Malay or Nyonya style salad; normally the vegetables used are raw, but some vegetables like okra and long beans are lightly pre-boiled first. Here the okra was just nicely boiled, having retained a certain amount crunchiness. The sauce - a mix of ground chilli with lots of onions and some ground dried prawns - looks temptingingly red above the green okra. Slightly sour with a bit of squeezed lime, it went very well with the vegetable.

Now comes my favourite for the evening, Ayam Limau Perut (Chicken Curry With Kaffir Lime Leaves). This photo alone have me salivating to try this dish again. The chickens is cooked in a thick curry (similar to Curry Kapitan stlye) with some Kaffir Lime leaves. The curry is slightly sweet and a bit sour; the lime leaves have imparted their unique aroma into the curry which went well with white rice. Wonderfully YummY!

Ok... apologies again. By the time I wanted to take a photo of the Udang Lemak Nenas (Creamy Prawn Curry With Pineapples) my hungry friends have walloped it, and I have only this photo of a single prawn to show; but I hope you do get the picture.
Fresh prawns are cooked in a creamy santan curry with slices of pineapple. Just a small amount of santan (coconut milk) was added in the cooking of the curry so that it was not of the very creamy type. The pineapple's sourness has seeped into the curry giving it that distinct pineapple sourish taste. This is another dish that went very well with the white rice.

When I saw that Chendol was on the menu, I sort of dreaded it, as my previous time trying out this dessert here was a disaster. Then it did not taste good at all. But now Aunty Lee's Chendol is definitely a far improvement; the Santan used is fresh, creamy and slightly salty. They have improved on the Gula Melaka too, now it's thick, sweet and have a good aroma. The Chendol noodles has been improved too, darker pandan green in colour and with a good slightly bouncy bite.

Softly boiled large red beans were included in the Chendol. I am glad that they have markedly improved on this dessert; now I can confidently recommend their Chendol to my friends.

385 Jalan Ujong Pasir, 75050 Malacca.
Tel: +06-283 009     Mobile: +6011-2319 8479 (Michael)
GPS: 2.186722,102.273683
Hours: Lunch 11:30 am to 3:00 pm; Dinner 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Related Blogs :

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog  / FootSteps / YummY! / Chinese Food / Aunty Lee Nyonya Malacca: Tempted 2!
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

YummY! - Beggar's Chicken @ Ijok

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     Jotaro's Food Review     
Ijok, Selangor, Malaysia - August 2014
We were on a cycle ride from Rawang to Ijok. The day had started with a light drizzle, but just as we started cycling it started pouring cats and dogs. The rain continuously lashed down on us without mercy and by the time we reached this restaurant 4-1/2 hours later we were all wet and drenched. It was a good thing that lunch was the Beggar's Chicken as the warm dish certainly dissipated our cold.

You must be thinking that we are crazy to be cycling for hours in the rain. Well we did have a couple of other stops along the way. First was having some Nasi Melayu at Tasik Biru  for breakfast, and then just before lunch we popped in to visit a nearby rabbit farm at Bukit Badong.

At Ijok, while waiting for the food to be served, a few of us went to the "kitchen" (an open shedded area) to see how the chicken are prepared and cooked. The seasoned chicken together with some herbs wrapped in aluminium foil. The wrapped chicken is then coated with a thick layer of mud and put into an "oven". The oven was basically a large steel tray filled with sand. The muddied chicken are put into the oven and are fully enclosed by the sand. A strong fire burns from below, while at the same time hot embers are put on top to even out the baking process.
The chicken takes about close to seven hours to cook in this make-shift oven. It's because of this long cooking time that orders for the Beggar's Chicken have to be made one day in advance.
The cooking method here is quite the same as the one that I had a few month's earlier at Ulu Klang in Kuala Lumpur. The only difference is that the Ulu Klang one, being in an urban area, used construction timber waste to fire the ovens. Here, this one far out in a remote country-side, logs cut from the surrounding forest are used for the ovens. 

By the time we went back to our tables, three aluminium-foil packages were waiting for us. I was wondering what's inside them; one must be the beggar chicken.

No.... Two of them were Beggar's Chicken; that should be enough to feed nine of us at the table.
A friend enlightened me a bit on the history of this Beggar's Chicken joint. It seems that the original Beggar's Chicken is the one at Ulu Klang, Kuala Lumpur. One assistant chef let to start a second one in Ijok, while a third started this one in Jugra. This place is now being managed by the assistant's son.

Inside the chicken were herbs; I presumed the quantity and kind of herbs used were individual trade secrets to the respective Beggar's Chicken outlets found in the Klang Valley. The herbal chicken juice had seeped out very well from the chicken and had formed a sort of chicken essence soup, tasting heady as there was a bit of Chinese White Wine included in the seasoning.

Unwrapping the third package, we found that it contained glutinous rice. The uncooked rice  had been lightly pre-fried with salted duck eggs, mushrooms. The combo was then wrapped in aluminium foil and then steamed cooked.

The glutinous rice was nicely done, well cooked but still with the individual grains well separated. The salted duck egg add a good flavour to the rice and the Chinese Black Mushrooms were softly tender.
The meat of the chicken drumstick was also tender and had soaked the herbal essence into its meat; it went very well with the rice.

To detract from just eating chicken, we had this simply fried Beehoon (vermicelli). Looks simple but the larger prawns made it better than simple.

And some roughage from Stir-fried Spinach with crispy anchovies added.

Looks like the beggars are spreading; now there's Beggar's Duck too.
I found these to be nicer than the chicken; the duck meat being more tender and flavourful with a distinct duckish aroma.

With the duck essence seeping into it, the thicker gravy was tastefully excellent.

This dish looks fishy but not so fishy? That's because it's actually not fish but fish paste. The fish have been carefully filleted without fully tearing out the skin. The meat is then made into fish paste and reinserted under the skin craft-fully so that it still looks like a proper fish.

While at the back, observing how the chicken were being baked, I noticed these bottles of kumquats being pickled. I enquired the operator about it and he asked me to try a glass.

A glass of iced Honey Kumquat juice, taste fantastic and refreshing!

I liked it so much that I bought a bottle at RM25-00. I thought it was not cheap, but then later I found out that with a couple of the pickles and some syrup, you can keep on adding water and the drink still tastes good.

Lot 894, 2, Jln Harmoni 1, Simpang Tiga Ijok, 45000 Bestari Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: +603-3279 1936     Mobile: +6019-317 3687/+6019-317 3678 (Mr. Tee)
(To order, call a day prior in advance as the Beggar's Chicken needs 7-8 hours to prepare)

GPS & Directional Map: 3.30694, 101.41881

As the roads leading to the restaurant may not be clear; here is a map as a guide.

Related Blogs :

Nasi Melayu @ Tasik Biru Kundang
A simple delicious Malay rice meal at an unpretentious place next to a scenic lake.

Rabbit Farm @ Ijok : August 2014
A visit to a rabbit farm saw us petting and hugging these lovable creatures - Bukit Badong, Ijok, Selangor.

You may also like :

You are at - Jotaro's Blog  / FootSteps / YummY! / Chinese Food / Beggar's Chicken @ Ijok
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