A long weekend and so I sat down to blog, and nothing seem to come out. I wouldn’t say I got a writer’s block; I can only say I got a tham jiak block. Oh no! Not so tham jiak anymore? Don’t worry, not everywhere near there, ha-ha, just that J and I have less time to go out and try new food, as work had been quite exhausting for both of us. When lunch/dinner comes, all we want is just to go somewhere near or somewhere familiar to just sit down, relax and enjoy ourselves. Don’t even get me started on what about cooking. I am still very much waiting for my new apartment to become mine, legal matters that involves many parties can never be fast, I learnt this the hard way. So there, with not much of food exploration and none on cooking, what is there worthy to blog about?
Fortunately though, Chinese New Year is just around the corner and I am eagerly waiting in anticipation. Chinese New Year is the time where we are reunited with families and friends, enjoying good food together while catching up on the year that has passed. There would be non-stop feasting and munching as well as the gambling. Ah, these are typical traits of the Chinese, and we does it best and most during this time. I had been gambling with RM1 ever since high school, and it never went up even though judging from my increase spending power plus the inflation rates I should, but age has caught up with me and now gambling is more of just to pass time than to earn money. I still remember that my friends and I used to go house to house collecting ang pows and then sat right down to ‘earning money’. Some year I had huge profits, some losses but most years are neither, so I did quite enjoy this way of passing the time.
So as Chinese New Year is just next week, I will be sure to head home to my beloved home town Taiping. I can’t wait, seriously. So I thought it would be best to blog a little about my humble home town. I have mentioned about it several times, but have lacked terribly in blogging about the good food it possessed. I assure you, it is as good as you would expect from a place shield from urbanization thus still very much prepare food the way it does few generations ago.
There is this place in Taiping where it serves really good authentic Hainanese food. The restaurant still cooks and serves like how it used to way before I was born. The place still looked pretty much the same, except I remember it did some clean up once and built the cashier place bout 10 years ago.
One extra special thing about it is that it serves halal food. I did not notice this of my years in Taiping, until after I came here to study, where one day a friend mentioned she brought her Muslim friend to dine there, stating it is the only choice for Chinese food around Taiping which is halal. Since it is halal, we definitely would not be able to find the infamous Hainanese pork chop, but guess what, it did extremely well in subbing with chicken chop Hainanese style. Prepared the same way, just with different meat, and it is still real good. Definitely a must order at this shop.
The chicken is cooked to the right crispiness, and then doused with the thick deliciously salty sauce with peas, tomatoes and onions. The potatoes wedges are definitely worth mentioning too, for being so well fried, non greasy, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Then there is one special dish that I love to order when I am there, and have yet to find it anywhere else in Malaysia. It is called roti sayur (bread and vegetables). Whenever I call this in front of someone who have yet to try it, they would definitely raise an eyebrow. “You want to eat bread with vegetables???” must be going through their mind. That was how J reacted when I ordered it. Then it came, really different looking with sautéed vegetables lying over a thick toast bread with a sunny side up egg on top, bringing to whole dish to new heights, catching the eye of the raised eyebrow.
This dish certainly need some coaxing to people before they are wiling to try it, after all we Chinese/Asian are not that used to eating savoury vegetables with bread, but this one definitely converted many after just one try. J nodded in agreement to it when I passed it for him to try, while I devour his chicken chop. The vegetables were still pretty crunchy, yet soft enough along with the peas and onions are of great combinations. Mixed in with the slightly sweet yet savoury soft bread (from soaking the sauces), it wss certainly a good match. Not to forget smashing the egg yolks as you go, I don’t need to explain why, eh?
Lastly I finish off with my ever good ol’ cham(mixture of coffee and tea). The cham here is just as good as I can get as it is kau (thick) enough.
Alright, so now you know we have good Hainanese food in Taiping, so do drop by if you are ever in north Malaysia, maybe drive up a little from Ipoh, or make a pit-stop on the way to Penang. It is definitely not a bad place for good food.
Yut Sun Restoran