To remind me what I’ve been eating!
Saturday 6 February
Dim sum breakfast in vast Chinese restaurant.
Chicken curry lunch at Oi Lin’s
Friday 5 February
Breakfast at a Muslim cafe in Seremban. Roti teloy(?) – roti chani with egg.
Lunch with uncle in a small Malay restaurant in Mantin. Fried chicken, fish, rice and sambal.
Early Chinese New Year dinner at large restaurant. (Actual New Year is next weekend so they’ll be doing this again next week!) The Chan family occupied four large tables – 10-12 each, and we spent most of the time before and after the meal taking photos of each other. The first course was the most interesting, a special New Year salad almost Thai-like: shreds of different coloured carrot, pomelo, crispy wontons, raw fish and sour and sweet sauces mixed in at the last moment. Other dishes included rice with preserved duck and sausage, Peking duck, a fish, chicken, a custard-like bean curd with cucumber, aubergine, mixed vegetables.
Thursday 4 February
Breakfast at hawkers’ market in Seremban. Local specialities of beef noodles (rich soy and sesame and some sourness, with a beef consommé), Hakka noodles (minced pork with al-dente noodles), some other mee and a chewy purple sticky rice ball wrapped around sweetened coconut.
Lunch in Melaka at a chicken rice ball place (again, a local speciality). Fairly solid balls of rice served with roast and boiled chicken. Also a bean sprouts dish and some roast pork. Lime juice came with a Chinese plum leaching salt into it.
Dinner was a satay local to the town; satay celup. We sat round a table with a boiling pan set in it. This held a spicy, but fairly thin peanut sauce. We collected a large number of stick kebabs from the fridge (about 0.5 RM each) with fish and meat balls, wontons, prawns, crab meat, stuffed chillis skewered onto them.
Wednesday 3 February
Forget how good (and difficult to make) roti chani is. A thin rice dough is stretched and wrapped – in this case incorporating an egg – and then fried to crispy and chewy. Eaten with thin dal. Also some nasi lemok and an extraordinary dosa cone, crisp and sweetened with sugar and some salt.
Late lunch in the twin towers shopping centre in a Penang-style cafe. Various noodle dishes but a prawn mee in a rich shellfish broth was really good.
Dinner in KL Chinatown. Some satay, chicken and sizzling bean curd.
Tuesday 2 February
Lavish breakfast at the Vie; multiple helpings. (Still doesn’t rival the Taj.)
Oi-Lin fed us soup and fish and cabbage and chicken.
Monday 1 February
Afternoon tea in the hotel lobby (they gave us a voucher). Dinner buffet there too; too lazy to find somewhere else.
Sunday 31 January
Ate at Away. But can’t remember what!
Saturday 30 January
Dinner at the Thai-oriented Peter Pan resort, by the beach. Food really not bad, and much cheaper than at Away. Entertained by a Thai corporate away weekend.
Friday 29 January
Dinner: Away Resort (Koh Kood)
Mango and dried shrimp salad was authentic but they completely undercooked the steamed fish. When it came back it was all rather underseasoned and bland.
Thursday 28 January
Dinner: Away Resort (Koh Kood)
Wide range of opinions of the food here, but asked for it to be properly spiced and has a decent beef musellman curry and a spicy pork salad. Not bad for a resort. Pad thai was pretty poor though.
Wednesday 27 January
Dinner: ?? (Trat)
Tempted by the night market but choose a safe and not too exciting Thai restaurant. Ensured they spiced things up properly. Still better than London Thai food.
Tuesday 26 January
Dinner: Crab market (Kep)
Ate at Rudolphe’s wife’s bar here rather than the more authentic ones. A couple have very much styled themselves for the tourist market. With the drinks the best bar snacks ever of garlicky, breadcrumbed clams in their shells. Kim had a nice simple piece of fish while I went for the crabs with green peppercorns. Messy, fiddly and delicious.
Monday 25 January
Dinner: Lili Perle (Kep)
Kim feeling a little sick so didn’t really eat. Breakfast kept us going. I ventured out to eat at a new jewellry shop that did a prawn stir fry, prawn soup and rice for $5. Even threw in some sour mango to dip in salt/sugar/chilli. Company was the French joint owner; drunk and doped up and generally predatory.
Sunday 24 January
Lunch: on the bus Dinner: Le Flamboyant (Kep)
Horribly nasty lunch stop on the coach put us off eating, though a minibus of intrepid French people went ahead anyway.
Ate in the evening at our hotel. Lots of tables and an ambitious changing blackboard of French tropical dishes. Crab and breadcrumbs in their shells was nice. Kim had a bland gazpacho in hollowed out cucumbers. The beef fillet was spongy but Kim’s Cordon bleu was tasty.
Saturday 23 January
Lunch: Shop. Dinner: Lemon Grass
Grilled sandwich and cake in the Shop. After skirting the night market we found a tasty recommended Thai restaurant.
Friday 22 January
Lunch: Le Wok. Dinner: FCC
Decent set lunch at Le Wok, close to National Museum. $9 bought a mango salad, a hot green curry and a fruit salad. Too lazy to move after sunset drinks and good wifi at the Foreign Correspondents Club. Eclectic snacks of satay, green salad, pork dumplings and a slightly scary soft shell crab. Are you really meant to eat the lot?
Thursday 21 January
Despite Rick Stein’s praise this small cafe/restaurant was a bit of a let down. They took about an hour to serve a fish amok (OK) and a charcoal grilled chicken breast (fine). They also forgot the salad. I need to downmark them in Trip Advisor.
Wednesday 20 January
Foreign Correspondents Club (Siem Reap)
We almost booked to stay here. The building is lovely; a pure white modernist triumph. (I don’t know if it really dates from the 60s/70s.) But the food wasn’t too hot. Some reasonable starters – a limey pork salad and crab cakes with various chutneys – but the mains of green curry and stir fried belly pork were a bit tame. About $50.
Tuesday 19 January
Kitchen Angkor Chey
A huge and very well-hidden place off the main street. The house was dressed as a ‘traditional’ Kymer house and had plenty of tables; all empty. Seems to be part of the general over-supply in Siem Reap. Food rather bland. Mango salad with smoked fish was not good as the (many) others we’ve had. Steamed fish and chilli chicken were underwhelming. They were very friendly though. £20.
Monday 19 January
This is the restaurant attached to our hotel and it was pretty good. Fusion food. I had a tangy beef salad (mango, shallots local herbs) and then squid with peppercorns. Bother very nice. Kim had the the ‘contemporary’ tasting tray of bacon pannacotta, $50 including wine.
Sunday 18 January
Samot, Siem Reap
Could have been good. A French Sofitel chef setting up a fusion restuarant with a tightly drilled staff of Cambodian girls. The menu was odd in places – oxtail stew? turkey? – but hinted at local ingredients. The marinated tuna came with a selection of interesting local shoots and flowers as a salad and a bunch of kampot peppercorns. But Kim’s crab was smothered in a yoghurtsauce and difficult to reach in a schooner glass. Her pasta de vongele was awful. Over cooked pasta in the French manner, just two clams (unshelled) and it all sat in a vegetable broth, including potato cubes. My oxtail was on special offer and came with buttery mash. Light and very nice. Finally we were to share a pineapple crumble with Kampot peppers. It took 40 mins and turned out to be a roast baby pineapple in a pepper sauce (all very nice) with a gooey layer on top (dreadful). Roast pineapple was probably a better menu selection in the first place.
Saturday 17 January
Sugar Palm, Siem Reap
Good amok, fresh and tangy pomelo salad, and (un) crispy noodle with beef. We liked this place on the upstairs terrace of a (old-looking) wooden house down a dusty dark back street.
Friday 16 January
A well-regarded restaurant though targeted at foreigners. Tender beef curry with a roti, a salad and some fried soft shell crabs in batter.
Thursday 15 January
Anonymous place opposite Le Meridien. But great food. A hugely hot Tom Yam-type soup and a dish of crudities dipped into a pungent and spicy paste. A world away from Thai food in London.