What you see, is not what you get. While I enjoyed my Mee Cha Long at The Chaiwalla Restaurant in Banting, Alex Wong MF ordered a salmon steak. Who can fault him? It looked so tempting on the menu (inset). What arrived looked drastically different. I think we should all call out restaurants who use pictures of meals on menus that are overwhelmingly different.

Fast food companies always hide behind a disclaimer that states pictures shown are for illustration purposes only or that it may not represent the actual product. The salmon steak didn’t have the criss cross griddle lines or heat searing marks seen on steaks. Furthermore, it is thickly crusted.

Alex was quite happy with the salmon steak though. I guess in the end, that is what matters.

Meestery Of Chai Loong

I was traveling back from my Gold Coast, Bagan Lalang and Morib adventure with Alex Wong MF the other day. Since Alex was feeling a little sleepy, I suggested we stop at The Chaiwalla Restaurant in Banting for dinner and coffee.

Chaiwalla is my favorite restaurant in Banting since my first visit many years ago. I discovered very good western cuisine there and asked for the Chef to compliment him. This a tiny town and was surprised they serve Bangsar quality food. The Malay chef told me, and true enough, he used to work at La Bodega in Bangsar!

Wanting to try something different this time, I flipped through the menu and saw an intriguing Mee Chai Loong. I have eaten all kinds of noodles but dont know what is mee cha long. It is also spelled as chalong or calong in some places. Google didn’t reveal much except it is popular in the Kuantan and Beserah areas. No historical info or etymology of the name can be found. Maybe sister Jehan Bakar from that parts can shed some light? Or anyone who can help unravel the mystery. Thank you.

It was soupy and was pretty tasty. Yumz.

Sony Alpha A7R, ISO 2000, f10, 1/60 sec.

#banting #chaiwalla #meechailoong #meechalong #meecalong #foodphotography #localfood

Cendol Ibrahim Banting – A Cursory Review

Off the bat, I like the metal bowl and metal spoon used. It always make the cendol concoction feels colder. Love the coarsely textured shaved ice too but the green cendol jellies tasted a little too salty. And it was not because of the santan (coconut milk brew).

I regretted not specifying “Kurang Manis”(less sweet) as some regulars did. Lessening the palm sugar can reduce the sweetness significantly. Not sure if it will do well with the saltiness of the cendol.
The shop sells its own complementary mamak rojak pasembor too. I tried it on a previous trip and it was quite good.

Panasonc Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f7.1, 1/200 sec.

#banting #cendol #dessert #shavedice #drink #ice #localfood #foodphotography #foodreview #smalltown

Getting A Good Shave At Cendol Ibrahim Banting

The traditional ice shaver used by mobile hawkers used to be the planing type made of wood and an embedded blade. I remember when I was a kid, the grab handle for the ice was a wooden ice pick with rows of nails to dig into the ice.

The hawket than slide the ice back and forth on the shaver as seen here.

Nowadays, almost all cendol and ABC sellers use a motorised electric shaver which is modified from the hand cranked circular version.

People used to the soft and finely shaven ice from machines nay not like the course and unevenly textured shaved ice from the manual hand powered process. I like it though. It has more character.

The chief cendol barista at Cendol Ibtahim Banting was still using the old fashoned method, from some 50 years ago, when the stall started, but curiously there is no nail embedded ice pick. He held the block of ice with his bare hand when I was there.

Don’t be shy about going close. This is a famous hawker and he is used to cameras in his face. He is also chatty and friendly.

Panasonc Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f10, 1/200 sec.

#banting #cendol #dessert #shavedice #dronk #ice #localfood #foodphotography #documentaryphotography #smalltown

Selfie Epicenter – FGS Dong Zen Jenjarom

The selfie and posing epicenter at Dong Zen was concentrated at the area where giant roosters stood. I like how the temple made a cascading water fountain out of three large ceramic dining bowls with cockerel emblems.

The rooster bowls were significant in ancient Chinese society when agriculture played an important role. The cockerel motifs paid tribute to the rooster as a symbol of hard work, abundance, wealth, fertility and prosperity. Another cultural observation is the prominence of the colour red in wardrobe for CNY. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy.

Rain or shine, selfies go on at Dong Zen. Since its beginning more than 10 years ago, Dong Zen’s CNY themes have always incorporated a lantern and floral fest.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f16, 1/200 sec.

#dongzen #fgs #jenjarom #buddhist #temple #selfie #2017 #cny #candid #rain #rooster #fountain