Malaysian Hut Restaurant

Man shall not live by bread alone …
~ Moses

Today, we were invited by Bernie and his family to try out a Malaysian restaurant in Surrey. Bernie hails from the Pearl of the Orient, Penang. The restaurant we went to is called Malaysian Hut and is managed by Irene Chang, a baba-nyonya, from Sibu, Sawarak. Irene is a very friendly person who came out and chatted briefly with us. The restaurant has been operating at the 108th Avenue for more than five years. They were featured twice recently in The Province. Anyway, Irene is the tall one in the picture below.

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We decided to order different types of dishes for sharing so that we all get the chance to try out varieties. So, we ordered Char Koay Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa. The servings were pretty generous. Of all the dishes, the Char Koay Teow and the Hainanese Chicken Rice are the most popular. We ordered an extra serving of rice because there were more chicken leftover.

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Arkensen and Nanzaro rated the Char Koay Teow a “five”. For me, I will rate the Char Koay Teow a little lower. It is because that dish does not have the two MOST important ingredients: crispy fried lard (gee yow jar) and cockles. Anyway, I have not come across Char Koay Teow so far in Vancouver that has these two ingredients. It is perhaps because Vancouverites are just plain afraid of Hepatitis and clogged arteries! 🙂 I will grudgingly give it a 4.5.

The best Char Koay Teow I have tasted was the stall behind the Selangor Emporium in Jalan TAR … I wonder if that stall is still around. Let me know your favourite place for Char Koay Teow, especially one that has “gee yow jar” and raw cockles!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friends are chocolate chips in the cookie of life!

Believe it or not … Suanne’s chocolate chip cookies were so good that her recipe has landed into the Richmond School Board’s Grade 5/6 curriculum. He he he … not exactly … but this is how things happened: Just before Christmas, Suanne baked some chocolate chip cookies and gave some to Arkensen and Nanzaro’s teachers. Ms T, Arkensen’s class teacher, liked it so much that she told Arkensen she rationed herself to just one a day. She also asked Suanne for the recipe and decided to organize a class baking project using Suanne’s recipe. Well, the project was carried out today by Arkensen’s class in the staff room and the gym’s kitchen. The class was divided into two groups: the boys vs the girls. Here is a picture of the boys’ cookies:

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The two teams were given the written recipe and were expected to make the cookies all by themselves. They are to learn how to read instructions very carefully. Suanne supervised the boys team while Ms T. supervised the girls.

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Suanne can’t be at two places at a time and so she just took pictures of the boys in action. They had a great time and everyone took active part. Everyone wanted a hand in every step of the process that they did the math and divided the tasks equally between themselves. For example, when the recipe called for 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract, the boys divided the task into 8 half-teaspoon so that each of them had a chance to pour it into the mix. That is teamwork!! (more…)

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Spicy Pulled Pork Bun

The four food groups: Fast, Frozen, Instant, and Chocolate.
~ ahajokes.com

OK, OK … I know, I know, I know … it’s another PORK dish! Sorry-lah bruder! Before you pass any judgement, just take a look at it … mouth-watering, right? Well, it’s another of Suanne’s fave. It’s a bun filled with spicy pulled pork.

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Suanne uses a bread-machine to prepare the dough. It takes two hours for the bread-machine to prepare the dough — that includes rising time. I guess you could also manually knead it but it won’t be easy. Suanne knows of people who uses food processor or standing mixer to prepare the dough.

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It is easy using the bread-machine because you just dump all the ingredients into the pan and set it to dough-cycle. The mixing, kneading and rising process is all done in the machine. You just got to wait for two hours. Ingredients includes milk, egg, flour, sugar, margarine, salt and yeast.

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Casserole Sausage Rice

Everything has an end — except for a sausage which has two.
~ Danish Proverb

This was what Suanne made for dinner yesterday. She found the recipe from the internet. It has been one of the more frequently made dish at home. Suanne says that she likes to make this dish is because this is the only way she can make Nanzaro eat carrots. Here is how it looks like:

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It’s quite an easy meal to make. It will take about 1.5 hrs in all, including baking and preparation time. It’s has everything one needs for nutrition … vegetables, meat, carbohydrates … all in one pot. Cleaning is also easy because it’s just one casserole and dry plates to wash.  (more…)

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Richmond Sushi

Health food makes me sick.
~ Calvin Trillian (1935 – )

Today is our anniversary as new Canadians. Coincidentally, this week is also the week we landed in Canada. We decided to celebrate these two special occasions by eating out somewhere more than our regular budget — as we always do every year. I wanted to try out this new Malaysian restaurant (called Cafe D’light) along West Broadway which was featured in the local papers but Arkensen and Nanzaro both wanted sushi, all-you-can-eat sushi! We had all-you-can-eat sushi last year in Sui Sha Ya but we decided this year to go to Richmond Sushi in Union Square along Capstan Way. We have been to Richmond Sushi once before — it was decent and not too expensive. There are a lot of nice restaurants in Union Square.

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Well, this place has both ala-carte and all-you-can-eat. We opted for all-you-can-eat. We asked for a pick list and left the first round selection to Suanne. Of course, both Arkensen and Nanzaro wanted to weigh in on what is chosen.

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Arkensen asked for a total of 12 salmon sushi! Arkensen loves raw salmon and can eat just that and nothing else. The all-you-can-eat menu does not have sashimi for lunch and so the next best thing for Arkensen is the salmon sushi. Here he is picking off the salmon pieces first:

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Myojo Ramen Char Mee 100

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not eaten well.
~ Virginia Woolf

This is our favourite instant noodle — we call it the Myojo Pedas 100. No other instant noodles comes close in comparison and it has no peers in the spicy-ness department. Although we have found some other Myojo instant noodles in many shops we have not come across this specific type. So, everytime we hear someone coming over from Malaysia or Singapore, we would go on the carpet begging friends or family to bring over some. This latest consignment comes courtesy of Rachel, little Angela and little Gabriel … specially imported from Singapore. [Rachel, Angela and Gabriel, we dedicate this blog to you!] We now have precious 15 packets — got to ration really closely because it’ll be a long while before we get our next replenishment! BTW, this is a dry noodle and not the normal soup type. This is how it looks like:

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Of all the in family, Nanzaro is the one that goes ga-ga over this the most. For a small guy, he can really take spicy food. So, the honor of eating the first pack goes to him. He has kindly consented to showing the world how he prepares the noodle. KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF AT HOME. ALWAYS REMEMBER, SAFETY FIRST AND GET AN ADULT TO SUPERVISE YOU.

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[Dad]: Over to you Nanzaro.

[Nanzaro]: Ahem. Hello everyone. You MUST first of all make sure you have all the utensils you need. You don’t want to start looking for it midway cooking or you might rush and cause little accidents. This is what you need: a plate, pair of chopsticks, a small cooking pot with cover, and a sieve.

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Char Siew Wonton Noodle (Without the Wonton)

My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.
~ Buddy Hackett

Suanne and I had a big debate over how to name this dish. I mean, how can one call this a wonton noodle where there is no wonton. Anyway, it’s her dish and she gets to call it what she wants. The star of this simple dinner is the CHAR SIEW (roasted red pork). Suanne made the Char Siew herself. To make perfect char siew, you need pork shoulder butt. Suanne used some Thai made seasoning mix. She can’t recall where she bought it but should be in one of the many Asian market along Kingsway or Metrotown area (we hang around that place a lot because there is where I work, Arkensen and Nanzaro’s chinese school and our church). Here is the picture of the Roast Red Pork Seasoning Mix:

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Anyway, to cut to the chase (i.e. without showing you the whole roasting process because we did not take pictures), below is what the char siew looks like. I really like it a bit charred but trust me, it taste really GREAT.

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Now, hear this. You do NOT eat char siew like STEAK! They are to be sliced in bite size, like below. Here is a secret from Suanne … leave the slicing until the end or else everyone in the family will munch it all before the noodles is ready. Go, jot it down.

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Steamboat

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.
~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826)
~ French gourmet & lawyer

Suanne’s favourite show … oh, I mean to say, Suanne’s OTHER favourite show is the Iron Chef. She roots for Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi. The Iron Chef show always starts with the above quote. So, with the words “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”, here is Suanne’s first presentation. Suanne prepared a steamboat (better known as Hot Pot in Canada) for our January 1st, 2006 dinner. Her thoughts is only with Nanzaro and Arkensen and prepared what they like best (meatballs!). Here are the stuff she prepared for the pot: Marinated thinly sliced pork. Suanne says that her marinate is very complicated and cannot be described on the internet.

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This is Arkensen and Nanzaro’s favourites consisting of artificial crab stick, fish balls and pork balls:

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This one is for the resident daddy: fried tofu puff (tofu pok?) and enoki mushrooms.

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Then we have the staples: Suey Choy, and Vermicelli.

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