23 July 2009

Belacan in Beijing

Last Sunday I was walking around looking for a place to have lunch when I came across.... a Malaysian restaurant! Looking at the menu, I knew I had to try it. Not that I was pining for Hokkien Mee or Or Chien (after all, I'll be back in 8 days), but I really wanted to see how well our cuisine is represented here.

Entering the tastefully decorated place with Malay wood carvings and motifs, I was seated next to the window in a comfortable sofa. The waitresses wore tight and glittery baju kebaya, but I didn't check if they knew any Malay. Some generic Malay pop music was playing in the background, but it wasn't anyone I recognized. Certainly nothing as old as P. Ramlee, but nothing as recent as Siti Nurhaliza either. I proceeded to scan through the English/Chinese menu (what? No BM?).

Here's what I ordered for my lunch:
  • Otak-otak: The taste is too mild and it was a bit too dry/hard. So it tasted more like fish cakes than the mushy and soft versions.
  • Kangkong Belacan: The star of my meal! The belacan taste is authentic, and brought me back to choo char outlets back home. However, the Chinese are not known to be big fans of spicy dishes (except their own Sichuan cuisine) so the kangkong wasn't fiery at all.
  • CKT (Char Kuey Teow): Ahh... I consider this the gold standard of any Malaysian cook! And the CKT here wasn't up to par at all. Alright, for someone who hasn't tasted home for 3 months, it was passable. But thinking of it with a critical tongue, the rice noodles were too thick (twice of what it should be), and it tasted mostly of soya sauce with not enough depth or crispiness. Still, a commendable effort since it has large prawns and lap cheong (no cockles, though I'm not a fan anyway).
  • Ais Kacang: I'm still unsure if it was meant to be ais kacang or ABC. The glaring difference: gula melaka is used instead of sirap ros dan sarsi. Ice was blended in a machine, so lacked the fine shaves of true ais kacang. FAIL.
Here are the prices of some of their dishes. There is a wide variety of multi-cultural cuisine. If I weren't dining alone, I would have tried one of their rendangs or curries.
  • Otak-otak: RMB32
  • Rojak: RMB28
  • Satay (6): RMB42 (WTH?!?)
  • Kangkong Belacan: RMB26
  • CKT: RMB36
  • Laksa: RMB38
  • Hokkien Char (Penang style): RMB35
  • Char Koay Kak: RMB35 (WTF?!?!)
  • Nasi Lemak: RMB42
  • Nasi Goreng Melayu: RMB32
  • Chinese Chicken Rice: RMB42
  • Roti Canai: RMB18 (Holy mother of ....!)
  • Bubur Cha Cha: RMB18
  • Ais Kacang: RMB28
  • Teh Tarik: RMB18
  • Tom Yum Soup: RMB25

I've started to compile what I'll be eating on the Saturday and Sunday after I return. Hokkien Mee, Char Koay Teow, Loh Mee, here I COME!!!

1 comment:

William said...

Don't expect so much la...