Unpalatable Plates & Passionate Paul

How can I tell you about him?

Paul has been my family friend for 15 years, maybe more. Who cares? I’m not counting the years of our friendship but I would like to count my blessings having him. He was the one who introduced me to charity work more than 10 years ago. He was the one who brought me to places to eat for my blogging when I returned to Singapore this year. He was the one who linked me to the photography groups and brought me to Malaysia, also earlier this year, for photo shoots. Some of my posts were put on this blog because of him. I don’t think I could ever thank him properly enough.

Paul is very passionate about charity, especially those involving children and old folks. He always have hands-on activities with them, from bringing them out on excursions to physically painting their homes. That’s Paul in brief; to those whose lives he has touched, he is not just a man on the street. He is the superhero they envisioned wearing a red one on the outside. 😉

Ayer Hitam is a rest town in Johor, Malaysia. Located just at the junction of route and route, it is known for its many outlets selling pottery and other crafts. It also is one of the interchange for North-South Expressway. Info credit: Wikipedia

Ayer Hitam is a rest town in Johor, Malaysia.
Located just at the junction of route and route, it is known for its many outlets selling pottery and other crafts.
It also is one of the interchange for North-South Expressway.
Info credit: Wikipedia

A few days ago, Paul invited me with a paparazzi pass to Kuala Lumpur’s ONE FC event. I had missed the one held in Jakarta earlier this year and I did not want to miss this, so I agreed. I had to “sacrifice” a BBQ party (sorry Lawrence), in order to make it. I also had to make some new arrangement for my Kukup trip with Benny and 20 odd photography kakis for the upcoming weekend. Paul would send me directly to the chalet on Saturday.

I was still not feeling very well and had overslept on this ocassion.  Paul was unlucky enough to wait without complaint for me for one hour in the car. Along the way, Paul asked if I had eaten. I said no and we made a rest stop at Ayer Hitam as most of those we had passed along the highway were closed for "washing".

I was still not feeling very well and had overslept on this ocassion.
Paul was unlucky enough to wait without complaint for me for one hour in the car.
Along the way, Paul asked if I had eaten. I said no and we made a rest stop at Ayer Hitam as most of those we had passed along the highway were closed for “washing”.

We passed by an organic farm but Paul did not find organics tasty. He was right. There was a crowd at the farm but only one family dined there. We went on our way, further along and came to this food/hawker centre (Ayer Hitam style) and saw a few stalls still open for business. I was very hungry by then so we stopped for some food – only Malay cuisine was available here. We placed our orders.

They called the iced dessert ABC (Ice Kacang).<br />In the middle was Mee Soto (noodles with spicy chicken broth).<br />Mee Rebus, literally meaning boiled noodles, in the fore.<br />Not shown was my glass of Iced Coffee.<br />Our meal totalled MYR12 (less than S$6).

They called the iced dessert ABC (Ice Kacang).
In the middle was Mee Soto (noodles with spicy chicken broth).
Mee Rebus, literally meaning boiled noodles, in the fore.
Not shown was my glass of Iced Coffee.
Our meal totalled MYR12 (less than S$6).

<del>Clark Kent</del> Paul.

Clark Kent Paul.

Mee Soto is a Malay cuisine. It is noodles with spicy chicken broth commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. This version here is rather different from Singapore.

Mee Soto is a Malay cuisine.
It is noodles with spicy chicken broth commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
This version here is rather different from Singapore.

Mee Rebus literally means boiled noodles. Again this is a common dish found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. There's chicken in this dish which we do not get in Singapore's version.

Mee Rebus literally means boiled noodles.
Again this is a common dish found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
There’s chicken in this dish which we do not get in Singapore’s version.

There's half a boiled egg, taukwa (firm beancurd) and chicken.<br />The dish was garnished with crispy shallots, chopped cilantro, cut green chillies and a small lime.<br />The gravy in Mee Rebus is made with mashed potatoes, flour and water.

There’s half a boiled egg, taukwa (firm beancurd) and chicken.
The dish was garnished with crispy shallots, chopped cilantro, cut green chillies and a small lime.
The gravy in Mee Rebus is made with mashed potatoes, flour and water.

The taste here was more subtle than those I get from Singapore, which may not be a bad thing since I am sick.Lesser spices, lesser agitation for my tummy and throat.

The taste here was more subtle than those I get from Singapore, which may not be a bad thing since I am sick.
Lesser spices, lesser agitation for my tummy and throat.

ABC is very similar to our shaved ice dessert known as Ice Kacang - ice and beans (red beans).

ABC is very similar to our shaved ice dessert known as Ice Kacang – ice and beans (red beans).

While I was sipping my coffee, Paul enjoyed his dessert until I disturbed him with my photo snapping. As you can see, ABC or Ice Kacang are similar due to the ingredients used. There's red beans, corn kernels and some jelly cubes.

While I was sipping my coffee, Paul enjoyed his dessert until I disturbed him with my photo snapping.
As you can see, ABC or Ice Kacang are similar due to the ingredients used.
There’s red beans, corn kernels and some jelly cubes.

The maciks (middle-aged and above women) found it amusing that I was interested in taking photos of their “mundane” fare, even the half eaten portions. They are blissfully unaware what food blogging is about.

We continue the journey towards Kuala Lumpur at snail’s pace. Most drivers would have reached Malaysia’s capital in 4 hour’s time (from Singapore) but we arrived at our destination after 7 hours. It was a leisurely drive as we were not in a hurry. The ONE FC event starts at 5pm the next day, 15th November 2013.

We arrived safely at the hotel around 8pm. The front desk asked for MYR100 deposit and we barely managed the amount. We hadn’t had a chance to visit the money changer. We were told there’s foreign exchange outlet at a mall about 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel. Naturally, we went. We needed local currency for dinner. At the mall, Paul who had noticed my constant hacking got me a small bottle of Loquat syrup.

King-to Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (京都念慈菴川貝枇杷膏, Jīngdū niàn cí ānchuān bèi pípá gāo), commonly known as Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa or simply Pei Pa Koa, is a traditional Chinese natural herbal remedy used for the relief of sore throat, coughs, hoarseness, and loss of voice. It is a throat demulcent and expectorant. Today, it is manufactured and sold by Nin Jiom Medicine Manufactory Limited, a Hong Kong corporation. It is available worldwide.

In the name of the company, “King-to” means “capital”, referring to Peking, and “Nin Jiom” means “in memory of my mother”. “Pei Pa Koa” means “Loquat syrup”. Info credit: Wikipedia

King-to Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa 京都念慈菴川貝枇杷膏 or simply Pei Pa Koa.

King-to Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa 京都念慈菴川貝枇杷膏 or simply Pei Pa Koa.

After the necessary errand was done, we went for some street food (stalls near the hotel which we had spotted on our way to the mall) before retiring.

Along the way back to the hotel, we spotted these stalls.<br />We had mistaken these stalls to be the one we saw earlier on our way out.<br />We only realised after our dinner when we drove back.<br />Oh well, we'll try those stalls tomorrow night perhaps.<br />Not to be rude, but the food here was bleh.<br />They weren't the standards I have come to expect from Malaysian hawkers.<br />I had lived in KL for a year from 2008-2009 before moving to Dubai.

Along the way back to the hotel, we spotted these stalls.
We had mistaken these stalls to be the one we saw earlier on our way out.
We only realised after our dinner when we drove back.
Oh well, we’ll try those stalls tomorrow night perhaps.
Not to be rude, but the food here was bleh.
They weren’t the standards I have come to expect from Malaysian hawkers.
I had lived in KL for a year from 2008-2009 before moving to Dubai.

Yong Tau Foo. This was one of the better dish we had. Salty but tasty. I hope I won't need coke later to counter any msg.

Yong Tau Foo (YTF).
This was one of the better dish we had.
Salty but tasty.
I hope I won’t need coke later to counter any msg.

Chee Cheong Fun (CCF).<br />This is "Pig's intestines" noodles.<br />It is not made from pig but ground rice flour.<br />This dish is also very different from Singapore's version.<br />Again very tasty and was from the YTF stall.<br />The crispy brown bits on top was fried minced dried shrimps.<br />The crispy lone item is fried Wanton.<br />This CCF and YTF cost less than MYR9.

Chee Cheong Fun (CCF).
This is “Pig’s intestines” noodles.
It is not made from pig but ground rice flour.
This dish is also very different from Singapore’s version.
Again very tasty and was from the YTF stall.
The crispy brown bits on top was fried minced dried shrimps.
The crispy lone item is fried Wanton.
This CCF and YTF cost less than MYR9.

These two dishes arrived at the table first and I was hopeful the rest would be better but alas!

These two dishes arrived at the table first and I was hopeful the rest would be better but alas!

Char Kway Teow (CKT). This plate cost MYR5. Paul is not picky with food but if he ever says the food is not good... The food is NOT good.

Char Kway Teow (CKT).
This plate cost MYR5.
Paul is not picky with food but if he ever says the food is not good…
The food is NOT good.

Oyster Omelet. Crisp on outside with generous helping of oysters but salty salty salty! Taste wise, nothing to shout about. No umami, no eureka moments. The chilli sauce was actually very similar to Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce and that's a no no!

Oyster Omelet.
Crisp on outside with generous helping of oysters but salty salty salty!
Taste wise, nothing to shout about.
No umami, no eureka moments.
The chilli sauce was actually very similar to Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce and that’s a no no!

We weren't satisfied with our dinner. We had to give this place one more try. After all, we see so many people eating here. Something must be good. Paul said the Nasi Lemak looked good enough to be given a chance. We had it and my mind drifted to the one in Happy Land. The chicken was very dehydrated (cooked eons ago) and cold egg had a runny centre I was praying inside I would not be down with food poisoning. The rice was fragrant but not lemak (rich) enough. The saving grace was their sambal chilli which was sweet and spicy.

We weren’t satisfied with our dinner.
We had to give this place one more try.
After all, we see so many people eating here. Something must be good.
Paul said the Nasi Lemak looked good enough to be given a chance.
We had it and my mind drifted to the one in Happy Land.
The chicken was very dehydrated (cooked eons ago) and cold egg had a runny centre I was praying inside I would not be down with food poisoning.
The rice was fragrant but not lemak (rich) enough.
The saving grace was their sambal chilli which was sweet and spicy.

The meal was unmitigable but we were not disconsolate. We had a bigger agenda. ONE FC here I come!

Happy adventuring 🙂

Read my posts with mention of Paul:
SINGAPORE’S STREET FOOD – PASIR PANJANG FOOD CENTRE
IGNITING A PASSION
BRING IN THE DRAGONS!
HAIR FOR HOPE 2013

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