August 13, 2014

Canto-Malaysian evening

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I'm out for a third night in a row, and it was pouring down hard again.  I walked the exactly same route as I did last night, only tonight I stopped just a little short and went up to Celebrity Cuisine (名人坊).  We had a visitor in town, and I'm glad this venue was chosen for the gathering.  I haven't been here since a pretty disastrous lunch a few years ago, and I'm curious to see how the Rubberman decided it was worthy of two macarons.

Chef Cheng was seated by the door and recognized Susan the Great.  No doubt this was the reason why the kitchen sent out a plate of pan-fried radish cake (煎蘿蔔糕).  Not quite as mushy as I remembered from my last lunch here, but still a little too wet for my taste.

Bird's nest stuffed in chicken wing (燕窩釀鳳翼) - a signature dish here that I don't particularly care for, because bird's nest really does nothing for me.

The crispy skin was absolutely delicious, but the stuffing was simply too soft and without any flavors in my book.

Stewed minced assorted meat with bean curd (琵琶豆腐) - the recipe for this dish is in Susan's cookbook A Celebration of Food, so of course we had to order this.  Pretty nice.

Sautéed pig's tripe tip in black bean and pepper sauce (豉椒炒肚尖) - not bad.  The tripe was sliced very thin and remained very crunchy, although my personal preference is still the version at Tim's Kitchen (桃花源) - for the thicker cut that leads to a more crunchy texture.

BBQ baby pigeon (脆皮妙齡鴿) - they've always done a good job here, although I kept myself to just a quarter pigeon.

Chinese ham with Chinese broccoli (雲腿芥菜膽) - not bad, but a little translation fail on the menu.

Signature special fried rice (富哥招牌炒飯) - very, very good as it's been fried at high-heat for that "wok hei (鍋氣)".

2003 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - minty, cedary and sweet.

We were very kindly comped some delish Xinjiang melon and watermelon, as well as beancurd sheet and gingko nut soup (腐竹白果糖水).  However, we had deliberately kept the menu short because there were plans to move to dinner number two...

No, I'm not kidding.  Two days after tasting the fabulous durian pudding at Café Malacca for the first time, someone (not yours truly) was craving for it and wanted to go back.  So the bunch of us trekked over, and our visitor decided that she was gonna take advantage of this excursion and get some authentic Malaysian dishes.

Well, I was pretty full and needed to stay disciplined, so I sat and watched as the ladies dug into things like assam laksa, otak otak, satay and roti canai.  I wanted one thing only - the durian pudding.  It was my third time having it in exactly seven days, and it was still awesome.  Tonight, though, I decided to get an extra one to take home...

Burping up durian has never been so satisfying.

P.S.  The durian pudding lost at least half of its intense flavors a day later.  I guess I'll need to keep going back to have it at the cafe...

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