Thursday, April 25, 2013

Joo Fa Trading – Let The Aroma of Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans Lead the Way

My Tanjong Sepat’s day trip brought me to another local specialty in the form of a famous local coffee trader.

 Joo Fa Trading is one of the famous local coffee manufacturer cum trader in Tanjong Sepat. Ask around and you can be easily directed to its premise. It’s not a big time coffee trader in the sense that it operates from a house. It’s more like your neighbourly coffee brewer than a serious manufacturer. 


Joo Fa Trading – signboard leading the way

From the outside of the house (in fact, from the main road leading to Joo Fa Trading), you will be greeted by the sweet aroma of coffee. The smell of coffee is heavenly for a coffee lover like me. I bet those coffee enthusiasts will agree with me on this. Moving inside along a narrow alleyway before reaching into the main area where the proprietor roast his coffee. This is where the actions are and you can surely see coffee beans (fresh and dried) being displayed.

Joo Far Trading roast their own Hainanese coffee powder here.  The owner is very friendly. He will take you on a full tour of his coffee roasting and grinding process in the house. Quite interesting if you have never seen how it is done. His explanation gives us a better understanding of coffee and how the roasting process works. What I didn’t know is that the coffee bean has 4 layers of skins to be shelled before you reach the bean itself. The big kiln where the coffee is roasted reminds you of the good old days where wood is being used to fire the kiln.


The coffee beans – fresh and shelled


The kiln – where the coffee beans are roasted


The old way – wood fired kiln


A Closer Look of the Coffee Beans

The proprietor himself is not a Hainanese but a Hokkien. He trades in Hainan coffee as Hainanese is famous for their coffee.


 The owner explaining his trade 


 Coffee grinding machine

 I took a quick peek of the backyard and saw some smaller coffee grinding machines. Since Joo Fa is a coffee trader, surely you won’t miss the opportunity to taste some of its coffee. The owner gave us some samples of his coffee to drink on the spot. So, if you like it, you can buy it on the spot! What I find funny is that the coffee is being served in Chinese tea cups. Doesn’t it amuse you that you drink coffee from Chinese tea cups. Honestly, I have not drank coffee this way before. Have you?

The coffee is quite nice to drink. I purchased 2 packets of Joo Fa’s coffee. They actually sell the coffee in a few forms : black coffee powder, sachet or white coffee. I am not sure if I missed out other varieties, perhaps I did. At home, after I had tried out both the ground black coffee powder and the sachet form, I prefer the latter.



Drinking Coffee using Chinese Tea Cups


As I sipped on my coffee, I noticed this quote on the wall


Coffee is sachet form



Joo Fa Trading – the entrance

For those of you who plan to make a trip to Tanjong Sepat or happen to be there, do visit Joo Fa Trading as it’s considered one of the tourist spot in this town. Below’s the address to Joo Fa Trading:

Joo Fa Trading

No. 356, Lorong 5,
Jalan Besar, 42800,
Tanjung Sepat

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baywatch Restaurant – Tanjong Sepat

The weekend short trip to Tanjong Sepat, Jenjarom & Sepang Goldcoast turned out to be a fun and outting of discovery. I personally like to visit small towns in Malaysia as they have other sights to offer. Having stayed in the concrete jungle of Klang Valley for more than 15 years, it’s good to have a different kind of “feel” to bring some stability to our hectic lifestyle.

Our stop at Tanjong Sepat started with lunch at Baywatch Restaurant. The entrance of the restaurant is decorated with a “sampan” (fisherman’s boat). Afterall, Tanjong Sepat is a fishing village where seafood is at abundance. The decoration at the restaurant is simple but tastefully done up. It’s also lined with coconut trees for the beach and “kampung” feel.


The Sampan welcomes its diners to Baywatch Restaurant

Stepping into the restaurant, I saw a poster with our local TV celebrity Axian. Axian has came here before to do a TV food programme’s coverage of this restaurant. Hmmm… It should be not bad then since Axian has recommended this place to his TV viewers before.


 Axian was here

As we were on a trip, our lunch menu has been pre-booked. We didn’t get to see the menu or check out the pricing of the dishes here. However, I would expect it to be cheaper as it’s a fishing village as I have mentioned it earlier and the sea is just next to the restaurant. However, I would share the dishes that we had and how they fared.

First to arrive on our table was the steamed chicken with soya sauce. From the texture of the meat, you can tell that it’s not kampung chicken. However, it was not a letdown, never! The steamed chicken actually tasted NOT BAD! The flesh is steamed just right, not overcooked. The skin is smooth and it’s a thumb’s up for me!


Steamed Chicken with Soya Sauce 

Next up was the fishball soup. Tanjong Sepat is known for its fishballs. Therefore, you will find the fishballs being served in most of the restaurants here. Nothing special about this soup. Throw in some fishballs and some leafy veggies and there you go – fishball soup….


Fishball Soup with Leafy Greens

The next dish – Stir Fried Mantis Prawns with Dried Chillis, The dish was served straight from the wok as you can still taste the crunchiness of the deep fried mantis prawn. And, they are fresh too. It tasted right although I would have prefer it to be more spicy. 


Stir Fried Mantis Prawns with Dried Chillis

The next dish is something that I like – prawns and more prawns! We opted for the prawns cooked with Baywatch’s special sauce. It tasted something like the XO sauce – sweet & salty taste. Since the sea is just next to the restaurant, the prawns should be as fresh as you can get. So, one should not expect anything lesser than fresh prawns :-) The XO prawns did not come disappointed as you can literally taste the freshness of the prawns.


Prawns in Special Sauce

The next dish is one of the “must have” when my daughter is around. She loves marmite over her meal. It’s the only gravy which she loves. Hence, having a dish of Marmite Pork serves as a taste bud opener for her. The pork are cut into bite size pieces of about an inch thick apiece. The pork pieces are deep fried and doused with marmite sauce and given a quick toss in the wok for the marmite to seep into the pork pieces. This dish did not disappoint too. It got the “thumbs up” from my daughter.


Marmite Pork

 The next dish is not something which I could comment as I don’t like to eat this dish. It’s called 4 Heavenly King locally. For those who’s not familiar with Malaysian local Chinese food, this is actually 4 different types of veggies, stir-fried with belacan (“a type of chilli paste”). Since I’m not a fan of lady’s fingers, I gave this dish a miss.


 4 Heavenly Kings

Crab is not something that I fancy when I’m on a road trip since I’m not good with “dissecting” crabs. The presentation of the next dish, Sweet & Sour Crabs, looks good but again, I gave it a miss. I did note that the gravy look a bit watery though. My concern was correct when I tasted a spoonful of the gravy. Baywatch Restaurant should have served the diners with toast bread or bun for those who would like to enjoy the crab’s gravy. 


 Sweet & Sour Crabs

 The final dish; Hot Plate Tofu, came with generous portion of Japanese tofu. The thick gravy makes a good meal mixed with rice. I would prefer if Baywatch Restaurant had added in some salted fish or silver anchovies to add in some saltiness to compliment the tofu and the gravy. 


 Hot Plate Tofu

 Before I end this post about Baywatch Restaurant, I would like to share some photos of the beach & jetty that’s nearby the restaurant.

Cheers !!



 The Jetty besides Baywatch Restaurant

Baywatch Restaurant
72, Jalan 3, Tepi Laut,
42800 Tanjung Sepat
Tel: 03 3197 3843

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ah Tuan ee’s Place

My latest gastronomic adventure took me to Ah Tuan ee’s Place in SS2. After I have had my lunch at this restaurant, I googled up the place and found that there are actually 2 branches of this restaurant. The other one is at The Curve. SS2’s branch is supposed to be the original branch.

Ah Tuan ee’s Place basically serves Nyonya cuisine. Ah Tuan Ee is famed for its delicious jeu hoo char (fried dried squid), perut ikan (fish stomach), and sambal prawns with petai. Stepping into the restaurant gave me a nostalgic feeling as it’s decorated with old Straits Chinese furnitures. The table top is made from white marble, ala kopitiam style. You feel like stepping back in time going into this place.


 Stepping back into time with kopitiam’s style furniture


 I ordered a plate of yellow noodle soup, a plate of honey ginger chicken and a glass of mango juice to complete my meal. As I was there early (read 12 noon) on a Sunday, I was the only customer to start off the business for the day. The waiters and waitresses nowadays are all non-Malaysian and from their skin colour, you can’t really judge from which part of Asean are they from. You can only tell that they’re from Indo-China. That’s all. Sometimes, you speak to them in English, they reply in Bahasa. At time, you ordered in English, they reply you in Cantonese and speaks much better Chinese than you do.

 My order came in less than 10 minutes. Hack, if they take longer to cook a bowl of noodle with only 1 customer, they can fold the business within 1 month. I was actually served with my drink first – mango juice. It was really a shocker to me. At RM5.80, I only get a cup of cordial mango juice. You can immediately tell outright that it came from a bottle of “off the shelve” cordial, diluted mango juice!

My main course of yellow noodle with shredded chicken and prawn came next. It was disappointment from the very first spoon! The soup was very plain. I just can’t wait to get out from this nightmare at lunch time. The drink was cordial juice, the noodle was blant. I wonder what can my side order turn out to be?


Yellow noodle with shredded chicken and prawns ( Mee Siam – RM12.80 )

As I was brooding on my chair, waiting for my honey ginger to be served, the saving grace reached my table. The look of the honey ginger chicken was good enough to be eaten. Biting into the chicken piece proved not to be deceiving. It actually turned out to be very nice! Ginger was cut into small bite chunks. Lightly fried I guess just to bring out the taste of ginger. Honey was diluted and mixed with the ginger, toss in the fried chicken pieces and voila, you have a dish of honey ginger chicken! At least something did turn out right in the end.


Honey Ginger Chicken ( Small – RM 20.80 )

Pricewise, the food here is priced above average and please, please go easy on the drinks. Don’t order the juice if you don’t want to be disappointed. Since this restaurant is more famous for its Peranakan cooking, perhaps I should give Ah Tuan ee’s Place a benefit of a doubt by ordering its signature dishes. Perhaps, it was my fault that I didn’t order the right dishes but instead opted for some non-Nyonya noodle. One day, I will visit The Curve’s branch and check out Ah Tuan ee’s Nyonya dishes…

Monday, April 8, 2013

Loa Yau Kee–Sikly Smooth Mixed Pork Porridge in Kuala Lumpur




Loa Yau Kee is situated in front of Soong Kee Beef Ball Noodle Shop

Anyone asking around for a famous eating place in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown will most likely be directed to Soong Kee Beef Ball Noodle shop or the Loa Yau Kee Porridge. Both are now located at the interjunction of Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin. If you’re looking for a landmark around this area, look for the RHB Bank which is situated across the shop. Or, it’s a stone throw away from the Bangkok Bank. for those who intend to drive to this place, you would have to park further away from the shop as there are not many open parking spots around this area and the traffic is heavy practically from dusk till dawn. From the photo above, you can see that eating at Loa Yau Kee gives you the option of either eating “alfresco” style (read “eating your wonderful porridge” in a fume infused environment ) or opt for the indoor air-conditioned seatings. While Soong Kee’s beef ball noodle starts its business from the morning, Loa Yau Kee is only available from the evening and is closed on Sundays and public holidays.



The silky smooth mixed pork porridge with a generous portion of deep fried pig intestines

Loa Yau Kee’s specialty as the name says; is its Pork Intestines Porridge. You get a bowl of mixed pork that comes in slices or chunks. The porridge is boiled to a very smooth texture. Loa Yau Kee is generous with giving its customers a good portion of fresh mixed pork (and other “spare-parts”) and the deep-fried pig intestines. The pig intestines are very crunchy. I love the combination of the silky smooth porridge mixed with the crunchy pig intestines. Ever spoon of the porridge is pure delight! A bowl of mixed pork porridge sets you for RM4.50 if I do my maths right ;-)



Smooth Steamed Chicken

Besides the mixed pork porridge, one can also order Chicken Porridge, Fish Porridge and others at Lao Yau Kee. The one thing that I highly recommend foodies to try is the Smooth Steamed Chicken. You can order from a plate of the Smooth Steamed Chicken or up to 1 bird. The steamed chicken is glazed with a a mixture of sesame oil and good old soya sauce. The result is a very nice plate of smooth steamed chicken that certainly compliments well with the mixed pork porridge.

Loa Yau Kee opens from 5pm to 10pm. Do make your way to the stall early to avoid disappointment as the crowd usually builds up by 6pm onwards. You will have to wait for your table if you come anytime later than that.