Into A Top Secret Military Operation

After all, the building was rickety and at the verge of collapse. LOL. Inside, I was surprised to see her using big stainless steel steamers, shiny new stainless steel containers and even a conveyor belt system for automation. A crew of Indonesian women were deployed and they worked with military precision. Wow. Looks from outside can be deceiving. Mei Ling, an auditor by profession, scolded me for being naive. Surely they make money, she noted.

Now I am wondering if Teluk Intan had some techno clubs that justified such late closing hours (until morning). I like techno music but hate the loss of neck control induced by the pills. This was nine years ago when ‘feng thou’ clubs dominated many Chinese communities.

We were late because we spent the whole night looking for an elusive hotel room. There was a Hindu Festival the next day and every hotel in town was booked. Saw a sign advertising ‘Homestay’ hanging by the roadside and decided to call the number out of desperation. It was already 4am.

A lady came on a motorcycle and led u to a corner terrace house somewhere. Paid her, she handed over the keys and whispered where the towels were hidden. This was my first experience with the weird and bizarre world of independent Homestay.

#telukintan #telukanson #perak #liewkee #cheecheongfun #ricerolls #smalltown #kitchen #homestay

Yellow Noodles On A Red Brick Road

I’m still in Kuala Kubu Bharu town and at a shop famous for Ulu Yam ‘Lor Mee’. It is a Hokkien dish of yellow noodles cooked with a thick gravy of corn starch, spices, meat and eggs. It also tastes sour as vinegar is added for the distinctive flavour. What is special about authentic Ulu Yam Lor Mee?

The yellow noodles are hand made or hand-pulled. According to chef and owner Lim Kwee Hock there is no artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives nor is brine added. Brine creates the familiar love or hate pungent smell.

Now that you know, you may want to check out Restoran Xin Yuen Kee (non-halal) when you are in Kuala Kubu Bharu town. Lim’s grandfather opened the first restaurant in Ulu Yam Lama. A 2nd generation successor opened another shop in Batang Kali. Their grandson is operating this outlet in KKB.

It is not that common to see a third generation descendent interested in a family business enough to inherit the recipes and to cook. Young Lim and his wife Elaine operates this simple eatery by themselves. The Lor Mee and other dishes taste very good and prices are reasonable.

Photography Tip: Sometimes, the best food shots aren’t just on the table. Ask for permission and go for some unconventional or less seen angles in the kitchen. Traditional Chinese kopitiam kitchens are usually dark, moody and full of character.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 320, f4, 1/60 sec.