The next best thing (to feasting on a never ending bowl of eggplant moussaka) is going on an entirely spontaneous trip with the BF.
I hardly see this as a patronizing exercise. Cause as far as feelings go, it was a rollercoaster of emotions, dips, turns, whiplashes all thrown into the mix. But at the end of the ride, you’re left with your head spinning and your heart craving for one more go. That’s exactly how I felt at the end of our little escapade.
It all started with an innocent tagging of an email link. One click revealed a spectacle of lush green foliage, a beautiful abstract home stay standing in the middle of it. At this point of time, you would brush it away, pinning it as a standard gimmicky boutique hotel package; “I’ve seen it all before” escaping your twisted lips. But wait a minute, you might just be converted on this one. Sekeping Tenggiri is the brain child of Malaysian Landscape architect Ng Sek San. A 7-room guest house located right smack in a residential area of Jalan Tenggiri, the vicinity and décor speaks with resonating volumes of the preferred styles and character of the designer himself. Laidback, yet ultra chic in composition, I adored the wide usage of raw materials and recycled materials throughout the house. Imagine lamps made of disposed milk cartons and doors rescued from old kampong houses.
We occupied the glass room during our stay here. What beats living in a slightly voyeuristic life, yet in total tranquil privacy? One look at the scuffed doors and the lovely veins twining down a characteristically wavy branch outside our window and I was sold. Not to mention the lovely outdoor rain showers that we had amongst the coverage of bare brick walls. I couldn’t help but marvel at it’s understated beauty every time.
In conjunction to our lovely lodgings, our trip to KL was enhanced by the wide variety and gastronomical advances of the food here. Whether it be the old school wanton mee from Restoran Satellite or the 7 layers of Sin from Delectable by Su, all are tummy stirring experiences heightened by the presence of my dearest companion beside me as we indulged. One word of advice though, If you’ve got the time or the waistband space, you should – must give El Cerdo at Bukit Bintang a good whacking.
I don’t suppose I can prevent from jumping the gun. But yeh, the pork knuckle was a solid work of art. And at this stage, I can claim that it’s the best pork knuckle to date that I’ve tried. Think crisp skin, glistening with savory goodness and shouting its well managed blast furnace treatment through its golden brown hues. The hidden layers revealing a twisted realm of warm succulent meat intertwined with a detailed marbling of juicy fats. I shudder at the mere thought of this wicked source of euphoria.
Need a drink? Drop by one the many lively pubs and bars at the Bangsar or Bukit Bintang region. The former holds brims of Holland Village likeness in its wake. The many restaurants and bustling pubs making merry till the wee hours of the night. Bukit Bintang on the other hand is a cluster or rather a tight linear settlement of Irish pubs, Clubs and fabulous restaurants. As night sets in, ladies donned in dark lacey upholstery and short skirts attract the gazes of the many misty eyed men enjoying a pint or lots more of beer along the sidewalks. Beer has a draw factor here given the terribly hot and humid weather.
Last of all, use those pair of trotters (in my case, as my bf describes them) as your best means of transport. Walking can bring you to many places, and it’s usually less damage-inflicting on the pockets; we are on the assumption that your feet works more efficiently than your shopping-eager hands. KL can be a haven for shopping fanatics with it’s many bargains hidden in back alleys and at the tips of the locals mouths. I shall not stress on this anymore as I myself am not too much of shopaholic. Meanwhile, while you’re at it, take a breather and visit the twin towers. Despite it’s mediocre post card performances as Malaysian icons, they do perform better in real time. Soaring to dizzy heights and assuming a hauntingly beautiful silhouette once the magic hour sets in. Lay on your backs and enjoy the view as the tiers light up individually from top to bottom.
So there it is, a trip to KL in a nutshell. An experience so short yet un-denyingly sweet in all aspects Most importantly, hold an open mind and you’ll learn to embrace all that comes your way.
Cheers guys. Updates on Sydney coming your way!
This time around, I managed to steal a first time visit to Tunglok Signatures and an 'not-so-welcomed' re-visit to Lingzhi Vegetarian Restaurant with the family. In a bid to claim the two hundred and more in value of vouchers, we scheduled two Tung Lok visits in a span of a weekend! Talk about striking when the iron is hot.
So moving on to food. First stop, Tung lok Signatures, we chose the branch located at the Central Mall (the other is situated at Vivocity) because of it's convenient locality.
Tung Lok Signatures serves up a collection of signature dishes from the various Tunglok outlets. A versatility and diverseness of cuisine has saw to the quick success of the restaurant. Combined with tasteful decor in house and a delightfully chic ambiance, I could clearly understand the popularity of the restaurant with families and secretive dates alike.
So starting the drum rolling is steamed angle luffa ($18.00) with fried compoy chips. This dish was outstanding with the said chinese okra slices tender and smooth, the soy like sauce with a tinge of pungency from the raw garlic, complimenting the steamed greens.
Next up, the sauteed black pepper beef ($28.00) was another great dish with the aroma of freshly ground pepper combined with a bright splash of colorful vegetables. More importantly, the beef chunks though large and rather unevenly sliced, were deliciously tender.
The next three dishes were a major disappointment, the first, the crispy roast pork ($10.00) literally chip my tooth upon the first bite. I suppose, they could have used a little help from a better cut of pork. The layers of fat between the crispy skin and succulent meat roasted to an almost non-existence. The second dish, the fried golden salted egg yolk prawns ($28.00) had a beautiful flavor and complex saltiness from the salted egg yolk, however, the grease sipping out from it scared the heck out of everyone except my younger brother, an avid fan of all things deep fried. The Pig Shank slices in Chili Oil ($7.00), oh gosh...I would just send you running in the opposite direction .
The remaining of our dinner fared much better. The half BBQ peking duck ($30.00), was both affordable, yet not stinching on quality. It's crisp skin wrecking havoc in my mouth as the gregarious flavors spoke volumes with the sweet hoisin sauce stuffed in fluffy pancakes.
Desserts was a sweet affair with a chilled pudding ($6.00) from the special menu. A green tea panna cotta with red bean endings. I loved this all except for the coarse stewed red beans at the bottom of the parfait glasses, non-complimentary to the quivering yielding soft pudding
Our next Tung Lok venture brought us to Lingzhi Vegetarian Restaurant. Yes, you heard me right, it's vegetarian! The carnivorous likes of me protests quietly, it's dull screams smothered by the power of natural greens. What I enjoy most about Lingzhi is its dedication to produce top nosh vegetarian fare, encouraging the use of a wide variation of fungi and veggies alike. For all who have their initial reservations about this cuisine, rest assured that you would be nothing but impressed at the end of the meal. Not a staunch convert, but at least piqued by the experience.
Self deception. Yes, these sauteed monkey head mushrooms with dried chili can pass off as a close relative of the dish, sweet and sour pork. I kid you not, the somewhat hideous fungi has a texture similar to the sinful dish of rainbow reds. Yummy and incredibly huge in portions, this can easily feed 4 people.
The best dish of the night and certainly the most surprising was the satay. Sad to say, the fried sluten disguised by the generous coating of thick satay sauce was a major turn off for me.
The best dish and possibly the safest bet for the night was stewed eggplant with beancurd paste ($16.00). Thick, luscious and spicy with the likes of mushrooms and tender potatoes thrown into the warm depths. The eggplant was gorgeously cooked through without being overly mushy. The side of fried mantou, a practical tool for soaking up the gravy.
The braised wild morel with chef recommended sauce ($24.00) was a mediocre dish. Honestly, I do love asparagus and mushrooms, but you do reach a stage in a meal where, your stomach flips at the sight and taste of this moreish earthy treat.
on hindsight, the signature fried brown rice with mixed vegetables was a ravishing dish, with standards of a good fried rice applicable to the mixture of unpolished brown rice. aromatic, with each grain of rice exuding a foxy gleen of oil.
Desserts was an incredible as well. A roll of mango puree, and fine grained coconut. This literally melts in your mouth at lightning speed. Be sure to pick up the pace when grabbing your portion as well as this dish is sure to be a quick seller with seconds.
So there you have it. two meals in the name of Tung Lok. Advocates of exceptional cuisine and a all rounded fine dining experience. Signing out to relieve my induced fullness from this incredibly long review. Cheers mate.
The Central #02-88
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Tel: 6336 6022
Lingzhi Vegetarian Restaurant
238 Thomson Road
#03-09/10 Velocity @ Novena Square
Tel: +65 6538 2992