Hutong Lot 10

Not many things that i have ever come across which has been celebrated to a great extend. Even to a larger and a wider scale than the annual Mardi Gras festival. To come to think of it that its just another food court. Raise your eye brows yes? Few thought i had before this. Isn't food courts the established nexus of all that is bad and awful. The neatly arranged stalls on each side with customers sitting in the centre like a painted target for harassment. It surely does find a consisted spot of my least visited food joints and it even makes the golden arches restaurant of the almighty Ronald Mc Donald look like a revelation.

Hutong Lot 10 has been the centre piece of attention to all Kl-ites in general. First impressions of it of course is this just some hyped up marketing ploy to lure a bigger crowd to Lot 10 itself. This thought left me held back before i eventually made my way there after reading mixed reviews sneering everything from its food, odd layout and faulting it for taking the away the  novelty off everybody's beloved hawkers.
Placing every detail in place.

Well to me this place does things differently in a very good way. Fashioned in a quirky way after Bejing's narrow streets giving it a distinct layout which forms small pockets of seats. Everything here has been meticulously recreated including employing an old lady pushing her cart around advertising her products like the good old days, charcoal fire frying and same cutlery minus the heat and upgraded hygiene standards.

After getting my bearings around the oddly located stalls and feeling slightly nauseous in the process i opted for beef noodles that im familiar with, Soong Kee Beef noodles. Having tried out the original one in town i wont lie that i came with great expectations. 
Total Beef Power!

Vary well done beef mince.
I ordered a set of mixed beef soup with tripe, oily vegetable, small bowl of noodles and home brew tea. Taste wise i there really isn't any difference between the original one and this. Its like asking whether a zebra has black with white stripes or white with black stripes, there shouldn't be any difference.

Its a reassuring thing to see an old hand behind the counter acting as quality control.

Hmm if the tea is good enough for former Russian president Mr Putin and China's Hu Jintao.

But the hokkien mee was slightly off with the lack of wok hei though. But the caramel, ingredients were still just as good.

On my second time round i couldn't help myself but to order a desert for myself. Cant really go wrong with a Malaysian classic desert, Ais Kacang. It does to a certain extend ressembles the taste of upper Penang road ais kacang.

A little more fillings inside would have made things nicer.

Hutong would definitely be one of my locations to head to each time i make it down to this area. To the creators of Hutong i applaud you for raising the bar of Malaysian food courts. This might just be the beginning of salvation for food outlets in malls apart from the typical franchise chains. Keep 'em coming.


Hutong Food Court
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang

Cup Cakes @ Wondermilk

Afternoon tea to me always carried an image of luxury not just for time but for the life of my wallet as well.  But the life of afternoon tea is and only is as exciting as the diner behind it isn't it? So being trendy, young and exciting Wondermilk is one of those popular spots that would be a more unconventional place to hang out apart from the ubiquitous star bucks and their awful coffee.

mmm birds.
Entering this place resonates a sense of rebellion, quirky yet familiar with their contrasting decorations and layout. But one thing's obvious, whoever decorated this place must really like birds. Could they have employed Bill Oddy as their interior designer? Never want to know the answer to that.

Wondermilk started off from a blog just as quirkily designed as their shop thats what i was told anyways. So by now you'd probably detect that i have been beating around the bush with my point with screams in your head saying"Oh just talk about the cupcakes already". Its not that i dont like cup cakes but some of them are made just too pretty to be eaten. Its like a peacock, its so pretty but you just dont eat them. Sometimes they're made too pretty for their own good. Dont get me wrong as much as i love rustic food but cupcakes, well some of them looks like a typical sample of art work that scored a high A in primary school.

Well like they say the proof of the pudding is in its taste. I like it here, plenty of choices that has a middle or maiden name of chocolate with it. To top that off its not too sweet, but im not implying that i can polish off a dozen of them in one sitting. That would set me off on a first class ride on diabetes airlines.

I did particularly enjoy their blueberry cupcakes. Those are the ones that truly defined my memories of cupcakes.  I was recommended their red velvet cupcake. I bought that as a gift but didn't try that myself, it does sound like something Scarlett Johansson would wear to the Oscars.
turning nothing into something. isnt that art?
One sad thing was we were being real cheap skates and nothing like an upper class glitterati sipping Caffè latte but was just diluting our blood sugar with cold water with a wedge of lemon inside it(water with abit of class?). But honestly they do make good coffee here, i did take a sip/gulp off a friend who did order one.

So if your into coffee, cup cakes or hypoglycemic Wondermilk would be a wise choice to consider. Ooo and one more for photographers who are into Lomo (yeah very trendy these days). Real lomography not an iphone application that just over saturates colours and adds shadows to your pictures Wondermilk will probably be your next den as they are as it states in their business card Lomographic Embassy Malaysia.  


41 Jalan SS 21/1A,
Damansara Uptown,
47400 Petaling Jaya

Weekend Musings

The combination of boredom, slight freedom and a short list of things to do managed to pull myself out of my chair away from my computer on my way down to KL city. The list of things to do wasn't that long and not too complicated of a task so i had quite some time to walk around and enjoy the vibe of KL's Golden Triangle of Bukit Bintang.

Coincidentally the monorail decided to be shitty with frequency of each monorail brought down to once every 30 minutes. So it was similar to KTM on a daily basis with half its passenger capacity. Funny thing is that most of monorail's stops are about a 10 minutes walk from each other. I stopped at Hang Tuah and walked to Imbi which so happened to be at the door step of Times Square.

The rebellious voice of teenagers

Reminds me of Hindenburg

On my way Lot 10 i came across some street carnival for some youth activity thing. Didn't really pay much attention to it.

But i one thing caught my eye or nose to be more accurate. The sizzling sound of meat on the grill and a combination of sautĂ©ing onions in the air. Now i wont actually miss that out from a mile away. To every carnival there would definitely be some street grub lying around somewhere like Sponge bob is to Patrick.

Slightly delirious from head banging tunes of Metallica in the back ground i non-chalantly pointed out for 1 BBq bomb and muttered for beef with more action on my lips rather than sound itself drowned by the noise surrounding. This was replied with a smile saying no beef for today. Regardless slight disappointment i  persisted on with my order a dawg.

Taste wise, nothing very wrong that i picked out. But i never really expected much like the very notion and impulse that i had to actually pick this route on my way to Pavillion. In terms of journey there are much faster and convenient routes that i knew and could have taken. Another prime example of the rewards of walking the path less taken. Its a small token, an appreciation to my own bravery that was how it tasted like.

Tony Hawk?

Sloppy and dripping with sauce in one hand while maneuvering one hand shots with my compact camera on the other.

On the way to Pavillion i stumbled upon a rather oddly shaped building which 5 minutes upon my own entrance i felt totally displaced. Eyes upon a average height teen clad with shorts and slippers with a messenger bag slinged around himself. Not the usual demographics that the store usually receives so i buggered off.

This was one of the items on the list. In conjunction with American Independence day on the 3rd of July, Tony Roma's holds a once in a year buffet featuring their signature dishes for a reasonable price of Rm 79.90.

Its like the greatest hits from their menu with beef ribs, onion loaf and others. Another plus point would be Carlsberg on draft for RM1. Thats beer-ily good!

Its gonna be my first time to Tony Roma's so fingers crossed. Will most probably be heading down to their E@ Curve branch. See you if i see you there!

Delivery as good as a para-drop

Sunday is usually the time when i put my writing hat on and expect my creativity to flow like water coming out of a beaver dam. But on this particular sunday i really needed more than just a stream of ideas and inspirational words to fill up my posts. I needed something in a scale of a bad diarrhoea. Reason being a fully packed schedule in the following week crossing out any opportunity for some midweek blogging.

It didn’t help with sleeping late the night before and waking up with half of my day consumed by paying of a weeks accumulation of sleep debt.

So it was set just another sunday sitting in front of my computer processing food pictures and bashing away on its keyboard. With good food ideas thrown out the window, delivery was the only plausible for receiving warm food apart from phosphate saturated canned and processed food.

Though i may have slagged off domino’s time and time again but it has always been there when i needed some form of saving grace for the day. Some time a little too friendly to an extend where i get rewarded loyalty items on certain occasions. But this sunday it was a little different.

It starts off with me putting a call through its delivery hotline reciting my name and handphone number and them recognizing me on their vast database of cardboard chewing civilization. And in that 2 minutes worth of talk time i have never been called “sir” that many times in my life thinking that i might have been knighted in my dreams and this was an extension of it. Then a little less than 5 minutes later i received a call which i hoped never should have gone through thinking that they might have found out that i was using a coupon that expired one month ago. But with great relief it was just a call of mere protocol mismatch between customer and supplier with me ordering under less than RM25.
Packed like airplane food, tastes just about the same as airplane food

Trust me on this one, i did not intentionally order a side of chicken lasagna totaling the bill to a mischievous RM24.80. But it opened up a small wiggle room for dominos to continue their run of being customer-friendly. “This isnt Rm25 yet isnt it?” Very indirect? Yes it was but like every customer friendly enterprise they obliged with “Alright we will deliver for 24.80”.
But for the sake of starving children worldwide i finished it.

I was taken back for a while as i was all prep-ed up to change my order and flipping open my wallet making sure i had enough currency to pay for it. Though i’ll never admit that i love dominos pizza despite its customer friendly treatment and all. I’ll just keep a mental note that i know i can count on it when i need to. Much like a reliable migrant worker that booming industries of the 21-st century heavily rely on but would never declare them as their own.

Village Park Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak our nation's true favourite dish. Its as widely varied in as many ways as there are races in our country but they all share the same badge of being Malaysian. Oh enough with the comradery already. Short relapse for a moment there but this particular nasi lemak has a really fond memory thats as sticky as elephant glue. It was my last meal that i had in KL before i returned home just after i ended college. But memory and sentiments aside its really good.

Let me tell you why. To begin with it has a the perfect rice of a nasi lemak dish with its soft, fluffy and fragrant flavour. The backbone in every nasi lemak dish and this one sure sustains the NASI ( meaning rice) in Nasi Lemak very well.

Then there's the Sambal which has a slightly sweet and if you let your guard down at that very moment it bites you back with is spice. But not too hard, more like a teaser of what's more to come.

Dont skip out on the condiments too. It might seem small but it really plays a big part much like your liver hidden deep beneath many layers of fascia's but cant live without it can you? In nasi lemak its equivalent would be the hard boiled egg, deep fried anchovies, roasted peanuts and raw slices of cucumber. One important point that i must highlight is proper slices of cucumber which tastes like cucumber and not the handlers sweat. (bad experience with raw cucumber i have)
Can you hear it's soft tender cries?

Now for the true icing on the cake. Its fried chicken. Yet again, simple to most skeptics but the true excitement lies in the marinate and spice rub used. Here they do it with a typical Malay style rub of "rempah" with a slight twist of sweetness which strikes me as more chinese. Thats just the skin, second helping of pleasure is in its juicy and tender pieces of meaty protein underneath.

All of this washed down by a cup of "teh ais" (freshly brewed tea, condensed milk, ice) wraps this whole meal and sends away all misery and reluctance for a short lapse of time.

Exaggerating a little too much you might think. But this was that whole experience replaying itself over and over again in repeat in my mind. Like as if someone jammed the replay button on my ipod. But when i went back there again hoping to rekindle some college nostalgia. Everything replayed itself again staying true to its core values just like a good rock band(U2). Still dont believe me? Try it for yourself then. Go on, stop reading and drive/run/fly if you have to.


5, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Im on twitter!!!

Yes its my first time announcing that im on twitter to the public. I first registered for a twitter as a much  faster way to filter through feeds and to be able to follow trends of current news in a much more efficient way with its hash tag functions and all.

Still relatively new to this social media platform but climbing up the learning curve steadily no doubt. So follow me on twitter! Probably another reason why im tweeting more frequently is the challenge of condensing 200 characters together as oppose to facebook of word diarrhoea without any Buscopan.

Follow me @briancsyong!

Read a post in Niki Cheong's blog about tweeting and its potential in delivering news in real time.

Frog Ovaries Anyone?

This isnt a post from a high school biology dissection session but as tough as it might actually be to swallow its a food related post. At this stage your ideas might have already evolved to the wildest and most vile of ideas. But lets address the true elephant in the room. In Europe the french have a policy of "Nose to tail" which means  every part of an animal from nose to tail is utilized or etched in their culinary genome. No wastage at all, i like that it shows great respect for the produce and culminates to a true feast for the palette.

But in Asia things are taken to the next level most prominently or notoriously known in the chinese. Hang on about that, not the next level but actually levels off all form of level or hierarchy with a simple yet gut turning (at times) philosophy of eating anything that has its back facing the sun. I dont really have any noble way to put this in an artsy or philosophical interpretation for this but in the case of a country like Cambodia spiders like tarantula has become a favorite snack with its country people out of mere necessity due the the famine during the Khmer Rouge reign.
The much more typical dessert menu you'd find

But one vague idea that i can come to grip with is that most of this prized after ingredients such as Sharks fin and birds nest symbolises power, wealth and aristocracy. At one time these were only available to the emperors and aristocrates. But in this modern day and age of better economic wealth distribution its hard to find a chinese person who has never tried a bowl of sharks fin soup or at least knows someone who does. And strangely enough even after 100 years of the reign of the chinese Monarch the elite status still stands.

Going back to the title of the post itself , Frog ovaries? or you might find it written in certain specialty restaurants written as Hasma isn't the frog ovaries as i was first introduced to but more specifically the frogs fallopian tubes. For those unfamiliar with anatomy, its the portion where the eggs/ovum is transported through to be fertilized from the ovaries.
the unassuming porcelain pot

So what so special about this? Taste wise like shark fin and birds nest it doesnt have a taste on its own but takes on the flavour in the broth which its being cooked in. In this case it had a slightly gingery sharpness to it and is served in a broth with red dates and dried lotus seeds. It has a texture cross over of the starchiness of sago and tapioca. Appearance wise it looks no different from enlarged sago seeds and comes sold in a dehydrated form.

It was my first time seeing this dish of the menu and i was told it's frog ovaries. Being an adventurous foodie its hard to turn away from something that intriguing after being told its a very traditional chinese dish and like all of them has its own medicinal properties. A little reading up tells me that is believed to give better skin complexion, and cure respiratory associated ailments.

Im actually still curious as to how its actually being harvested from the frog itself. Main producers being China, Taiwan and Hong kong (no surprises here).
A different form of specialtly available. Mango, red bean and kiwi Loh

But anyways, before animal right activists and green loving tree huggers go up in arms i would like to clarify that this post isnt meant to take sides nor encourage the consumption of shark fin/birds nest/ Hasma. Honestly i never really seen any culinary value in its tasteless gelatinous texture and the cruel atrocities inflicted towards sharks when harvesting their fins is good enough to put me off. I sure do hope  these pond hopping loud croaking amphibians dont suffer the same fate when being harvested off their egg transporting tube.

This is the location of the restaurant which i tried this dish:

Restaurant KTZ,
N0. 22 Jalan SS2/63
Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.
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