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2007.05.07

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Cupcake

Yumyum. I still yearn for a good steak tenderised by pounding on it with the back of a cleaver and seasoned with pepper and worchestershire sauce. Fried in a wok of course. Served with a sauced made from chicken stock and canned mushrooms. Hold the peas for me.

Cupcake

Nate

After bad experiences eating "modern" Western food, I was suspicious of eating any Western food not actually prepared by Westerners. I've seen those Western food hawker stalls in Penang but I wasn't interested. Who would be, with all that CKT and assam laksa to eat?

Robyn

Cupcake - I draw the line at canned mushrooms. And I'll always take the peas!

Nate - we were skeptical too. It took us over a year to try 'Western' food here in Malaysia. Horrid versions abound, of course, but the good ones are really good - I give a big thumbs up to Yut Kee's nicely pan-seared, yet perfectly tender and not overdone lamb chop and roast potatoes with their crispy, golden crust.
Of course, visitors probably wouldn't want to waste a meal on something they could get at home ... but for us residents who can have CKT and assam laksa any old time, sometimes a chop really hits the spot.

phiz

you must have been to the Coliseum for their steak already, right?

bayi

The Hainanese excel in cooking Western cuisine and there is no doubt about this. In fact this can be traced to their historical dominance of running rest houses and clubs during the colonial times when they had to cook for the British guests and their families and friends. When I was growing up, everyone in town who wanted a excellent chicken chop just had to drop by the rest house restaurant. And that was just a small fringe town in Pahang. You could find the Hainanese elsewhere in similar positions, in the Sentul Golf Club for instance. In the Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill, apart from being in charge of the rest house, there were a number of Hainanese caretakers of bungalows. They also cook for their guest and certainly have an excellent reputation for their cooking skills, including western food.

Cynthia

Thanks for enlightening me.

Jennifer

Greetings from CS' HK-born, wok-spaghetti loving wife. (Don't hold it against me; he doesn't!) Just wanted to echo the comment on Hainanese caretakers of Cameron Highlands bungalows. We stayed a week at one a couple summers ago, and the food! the food! was among the best I've ever had anywhere, running the gamut from Chinese to Western. Every meal (and there were four or five a day) was an eagerly-anticipated treat for my foodie in-laws and me. The man (and his family) could cook! It would be worth a trip up there -- dining on fresh vegetables straight from the farms in a temperate climate is as close to SF Bay Area living as one can get in Malaysia. Thank you for your blog!

Robyn

Cynthia - thanks for your patronage and regular comments!

bayi and Jennifer - any bungalows in the Cameron Highlands, in particular?

Jem

Just a thought. Have you been to Cozy's Corner in Ampang Park?

Robyn

Jem, we don't know the place. Is it in Ampang Park shopping center? What do you recommend there?

Jem

The place that I mentioned is in the Ampang Park Shopping Center. Couldn't remember what floor it is on, maybe 2nd or 3rd floor. That place is packed during lunch.

They have opened a new outlet in Great Eastern Life Insurance Building in Jalan Ampang.

I ordered steak the last time I was there. But of course the waiter could always recommend you the house favourite.

FatMan Seoul

@bayi - great insight.

Yut Kee is a local institution and an ode to colonial times. Much like how Coliseum Steakhouse is too. The sound of Coliseum's sizzling steak still makes me salivate.

Personally, I've found Yut Kee's standards have declined in recent times. Perhaps this could be due to the changing of guards in the kitchen. Anyhoo ..... they used to serve excellent Brit-style pies. Not sure how they are these days.

Leng jai Gwai lo

On my various trips to KL i have frequented the local eateries with local food which is splendid. However on my last visit I was taken to the restaurant pictured by my lovely malaysian tour guides. It brought back memories of my mothers cooking, which some may take as a compliment, however my mother was a terrible cook.

Robyn

Well, what can I say. I was just at Yut Kee earlier this month - twice, in fact - and found the food to be delicious as always. The shredded pork in the roti babi melts in the mouth, the kaya is rich and coconuty, the belecan fried rice deliciously fishy with plenty of char, the lamb chop tender and nicely seared. Everytime I go the place is packed out with locals, young to old. Either you had a singularly bad experience or I and a whole lot of KL-ites don't know horrible food when we taste it.

Meagan Abraham

Your blog is fascinating! I'm Anglo-Indian and grew up eating dishes like crumb fried chops, liver and kidney curry, bone marrow soup, mullagatwany soup and lamb dry pepper fry, HP steak sauce and worcestershire being favourite accompaniments! All these typically colonial foods of the Raj have similarities with colonial Malay cuisine!
I never knew this part of Malaysian cusine or culture existed!

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Our other blog: refurbishing a Penang shop house