Battle of the Fragrant Biscuits #2

Heading back up to Ipoh in March this year, I acquired another batch of heong peah to attempt another battle. It’s been six years since the first.

The contestants in this round are Sin Eng Hoe, Sin Eng Heong, Lam Fong and Ching Han Guan. Are Eng Hoe and Eng Heong related? Who knows? We’re just going to go on taste here.

The only repeat from the previous lot (unplanned) is the sample from Sin Eng Heong. But even that has a different packet and the biscuit looks slightly different.

Continue reading “Battle of the Fragrant Biscuits #2”

Joy in a Sandwich Stack

There are not many exceptional experiences one can talk about when one eats at a fast food restaurant.

There is that basic requirement that the food tastes consistent. A large food chain like McDonald’s fails every day from outlet to outlet. You’ve tasted it before. Fries that have been left out too long, too cold, too soggy. A McSpicy with shredded lettuce all over the burger box rather than in the burger. A burger that has sat too long in the warmer and just doesn’t taste good any longer.

But there are times when you do find a gem. That one such day was on the 19th of August at the Subway at The Verge.

Continue reading “Joy in a Sandwich Stack”

Chicken Biscuit fight

There’s another famous biscuit that comes from Perak, and it’s the chicken biscuit.

It contains zero real chicken, but has all the beauty of chicken flavouring. It also contains nam yu, a type of red coloured fermented bean curd, sesame seeds, sugar, maltose, winter melon, spices and a healthy dose of lard. It’s a far cry from the salty Western option in the form of Nabisco’s Chicken in a Biscuit.

Inside detail of Pun Chun's thick and chewy chicken biscuit.
Inside detail of Pun Chun's thick and chewy chicken biscuit.

The chicken biscuit comes in two forms, a thick and chewy one, and the thin and crispy one.

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Battle of the Fragrant Biscuits

Heong Peah, Heong Peng, Pong Peah, Biskut Wangi – whatever way you call it, it means fragrant biscuit and it refers to the flaky local biscuit that’s filled with a sticky, chewy filling of maltose, onions and sesame seeds.

In Ipoh, famous for its heong peah, there are plenty of brands and it’s not always clear which is the best tasting. So when I was there, I took the opportunity to pick up a few brands of heong peah.

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Malaysian and Taiwanese Beef Jerky

I love beef jerky.

Dried meat, full of concentrated beef flavour and just enough herbs and spices to enhance the flavour.

On my recent trips to the US, I had the opportunity to have not just beef jerky, but elk, bison and other exotic meats. Elk, while more gamey made a jucier jerky.

While the jerky in the US is salty and readily available, ours is sweet, sometimes spicy and quite difficult to find.

So I was very excited to receive two packets of Taiwanese Beef Jerky from a friend – a spicy version and a sweet one, both from the same company. As I’ve never been to Taiwan, I’ve no idea if this is the most popular brand.

Since I also purchased some beef jerky for Malaysia a couple of weeks back, I decided it’s time to rip open all the packets and compare both types of beef jerky.

The difference is night and day. Continue reading “Malaysian and Taiwanese Beef Jerky”

Lunar New Year Yu Sheng dish

This being the 15th and last day of the Lunar New Year, I thought it’d be good to talk about the wonderful dish of Yu Sheng, Yee Sang, Lo Hei, or whatever else you may call it.

To me, it’s always been a special treat to have the dish, best described as a raw fish salad, that has significantly more salad than raw fish. So much such that the fish is hardly discernable, unless it is not absolutely fresh.

Traditionally, Yu Sheng is not eaten till the 7th day of new year. So you could only have it 8 days out of 365 days. How special was that? Continue reading “Lunar New Year Yu Sheng dish”

Enjoy root beer the right way

When I see root beer offered on a menu in Singapore, I always ask, “Is it served with ice?”

I already know the answer, but still I ask, in the hope that someone will give me the right answer, and I can have the pleasure of enjoying a root beer at a cafe.

A frosted mug of root beer
A frosted mug of root beer in an air-conditioned room

A long time ago, when A&W could still be found on our sunny shores, they showed us the right way to have root beer – in a frosted mug, no ice – until they decided they weren’t a family restaurant, but a fast food chain and went with disposable cups.

Why is it so important that root beer is served in a frosted glass without ice? Continue reading “Enjoy root beer the right way”