CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

LOCAL AND WESTERN CUISINE AT THE GATE CAFÉ

Posted by crizlai On August - 25 - 2010

Hunting for an early dinner in Taiping, Perak can quite tedious especially those good ones would only operate from 6.30pm onwards. I never had such problem in Penang at any odd hours. LOL! Anyway, after a few failed attempts to locate good hawker food stalls along the Taiping Lake Garden as well as at the Pusat Penjaja Taiping, I ended up at The Gate Café. Initially, I thought it was just another mamak store but upon checking, they have both local and western cuisine in their menu. Better still, all items were at nett price. Cool!

GATECAFE01

Since I had a car load of other Taiping local goodies, especially the Huan Chu Leng, I decided to go for a light dinner. We just ordered a set each of Grilled Chicken with BBQ Sauce (RM8.90) and Grilled Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce (RM8.90). To my surprise, the grilled chicken drumstick fillet came out better than my expectation. The surface still had the crispiness from the grilling and the meat was tender and juicy. There was a hint of turmeric being used as marinates. Nice! The BBQ sauce was also great. Although the black pepper sauce was a bit diluted but it was quite flavorful to compliment the grills. Each set came with some greens and potato salad. The potato salad was beautifully prepared too. What a nice change from the usual fries.

GATECAFE02

As for beverage, we had Iced Lemon Tea (RM2.50) and Sprite Float Jumbo (RM8.50). Just look at the size of the mug! I was wondering how my friend could gobble up that much liquid mixed with 3 large scoops of Vanilla ice cream. Amazing! Anyway, that drink was a good bargain.

GATECAFE03

What amazed me were not the Western dishes but the spread of buffet dishes they have for breaking fast during this Ramadhan Al Mubarak period (16 August – 8 September 2010, 6.30pm-8.30pm). I should have waited to try out those dishes cooked by their Chef Emer, Chef Ahmad and Chef Hassan although driving back to Penang alone with a full stomach might not be a good idea after all. 😛 There was a little corner with all those ulam-ulam (raw vegetables with sambal belacan), Mee Kari Bali, cut fruits, local desserts (kuih-muih), rainbow jelly, cendul and many more. On the other corner were the main dishes with hot steaming rice or Nasi Briyani, Sayur Goreng Buncis Ala Malaysia, Ikan Keli Masak Lomak, Kari Daging Kampung and so on. The menu changes daily with at least another 20 proposed attractive dishes such as Ayam Rendang Trengganu, Daging Arab Utara and Udang Goreng Nestum. It’s only RM18.00 nett (per adult) or RM12.00 (per child). Hmm… maybe I shall visit the café in another visit. Those dishes sure gave out a nice and flavorful aroma.

GATECAFE04

If you are driving in through the Simpang highway, go all the way up the flyover until you see a “Y” junction (Masjid India Jalan Kota). Turn right into Jalan Kota and drive all the way until you see Public Bank on your right. Turn right into the junction before the bank (Jalan Sultan Abdullah) and drive all the way pass a cross junction (Jalan Sultan Abdullah/Jalan Panggung Wayang). From here you can see Pusat Penjaja Taiping (Chu Chang Ka/樹下) on your right and Taiping Studio on your left. The Gate Café is just below the Taiping Studio at the cross junction between Jalan Sultan Abdullah/Jalan Maharajalela. There would be ample free parking spaces behind the building. For your information, if you turn left into Jalan Maharajalela, it would lead you directly to the Taiping Lake Garden/Taiping Zoo.

GATECAFEMAP

Name: THE GATE CAFE
Shop Address: 33 Jalan Maharajalela, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.
Contact: 05-805 7748
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 12.00am
GPS: 4.85038, 100.74421

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

THE ORIGIN OF HUAN CHU LENG

Posted by crizlai On August - 23 - 2010

Now who’s Huan Chu Leng? You may ask if he’s someone famous in Malaysia. In fact, it’s just a name given to a 14” long steamed bun or more commonly known as Mee Koo/Mi Koo (Steamed Tortoise Buns in Hokkien dialect). Huan Chu Leng (Potato Dragon in Hokkien dialect) is originated from Taiping, Perak, Malaysia. I have not seen anywhere else selling these delicious steamed buns anyway. They can only be found in the night market at Plaza Perbandaran Taiping, Perak (Taiping Bowling Centre is at Level 3). It has become a delicacy amongst the locals, whether it is eaten plain, toasted or fried with eggs like French toast.

HUANCHULENG01

What made the Huan Chu Leng my most sought after buns during my each visit to Taiping was the option to choose from the many varieties the stall has. There are basically 5 types of dough flavors such as Plain, Potato, Pandan, Yam and Brown Sugar with the options to have “Swiss roll like” filling such as coconut jam (kaya), red bean paste, chocolate and brown sugar. Such a huge bun only cost RM3.00 each. It’s darn cheap right? After so many years of patronizing this stall, my favorite is still the Green Pandan Huan Chu Leng with kaya filling.

HUANCHULENG02

The stall is also famous for its Mini Mee Koo (RM3 for a pack of six), round pink colored buns with a flower designs and also the cute yellow pineapple shaped plains buns. Both buns are usually used for Chinese praying purposes. If you asked the locals or those from the Northern states of Malaysia, practically Penang, you would find that most buyers prefer those obtained from this stall more as the buns here have more refined textures. You can even get many flavors of mooncakes prior to the Mid-Autumn Festival month.

HUANCHULENG03

Unless you are familiar with the road into Taiping town, you would be a bit confused with the directions as Taiping has developed very fast within the last few years. The easiest way to find the Mee Koo shop is to use the Simpang way rather than to drive all the way to Kamunting (Lake Garden and Taiping Zoo). As you exit from the Taiping Plaza toll, turn right at the first traffic light. Drive on and you would pass through a few traffic lights before you reach the main traffic light at Simpang.

Turn left into Jalan Taming Sari. Go over the flyover and drive on until you see Bismillah Roti Canai shop on your left. Turn right into Halaman Pasar. Drive on until you reach a cross junction. Turn left into Jalan Kota. Drive on until you reach the second cross junction (CIMB Bank at the corner) and turn right into Jalan Tupai. Drive straight again after you have reach another cross junction. You will see the Taiping Hawker Center on your left. Take the first turning on your right and you will see the Plaza Perbandaran Taiping there.

The roads here are rather messy as many of the roads are one-way. If you are still unsure, just ask for the direction to “Plaza” or “Taiping Bowling Centre”. The Hokkien speaking locals would be glad to direct you there. You can even call up Mr. Chong to collect the buns if you feel that it’s a bit too late for you to get them at the Plaza.

TPGMEEKOOMAP

Name: CHONG BAKERY
Shop Address: Plaza Perbandaran Taiping, 34000 Perak, Malaysia.
Residence Address: 97, Jalan Landak, Green House Area, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-4511899 (Mr. Chong)
Opening Hours: 4.30pm – 9.00pm
GPS: 4.849453, 100.741882

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

TAIPING HUAN CHU LENG (GREEN MEE KOO)

Posted by Criz Lai On September - 1 - 2008

TPGMEEKOO01

Who would want to join me for tea? We can have some Green Aliens from Mars and a cup of Old Town White Coffee? Most people have not seen this so called fortune buns as they can only be found in one “Pasar” in Plaza Perbandaran Taiping, Perak (Taiping Bowling Centre is at Level 3). What are they called? They are called Huan Chu Leng (Potato Dragon in Hokkien dialect). Some will call these buns Mee Koo (Steam Tortoise Buns) as the texture for the Huan Chu Leng is exactly the same.

Tortoise is believed to have long lives and thus Mee Koo symbolized longevity. Mee Koo were originally made to celebrate birthdays, or given as an offering to the deities and to the King of the Hungry Ghosts during the Hungry Ghost Festival. It usually comes in the shape of a pink tortoise or peach. Sometimes, they do produce yellow ones for the birthdays of deities. You can get them easily anytime throughout the year. It has become a delicacy amongst the locals, whether it is eaten plain, toasted or fried with eggs like French toast.

Some of the Mee Koo are filled with peanuts mixture or lotus seed paste. However in this modern era, these traditional Mee Koo have evolved into something different such as the Huan Chu Leng which is about 14” in length and Pandan flavored. Moreover it has either kaya (coconut egg jam) or red bean paste rolled up inside as fillings, somewhat like Swiss rolls. The Huan Chu Leng also comes in other versions such as the plain white ones with the same fillings or the yellow ones with chocolate. Somehow, I still prefer the Pandan flavored with kaya which is only RM3 each.

TPGMEEKOO02

The stall is also famous for its Mini Mee Koo (RM3 for a pack of six) which is a round pink colored bun with a flower design on top. I did not manage to get them but it looked like the photo below but with a much more refined and thin flower designs.

TPGMEEKOO03

Unless you are familiar with the road into Taiping town, you would be a bit confused with the directions as Taiping has developed very fast within the last few years. The easiest way to find the Mee Koo shop is to use the Simpang way rather than to drive all the way to Kamunting (Lake Garden and Taiping Zoo). As you exit from the Taiping Plaza toll, turn right at the first traffic light. Drive on and you would pass through a few traffic lights before you reach the main traffic light at Simpang.

Turn left into Jalan Taming Sari. Go over the flyover and drive on until you see Bismillah Roti Canai shop on your left. Turn right into Halaman Pasar. Drive on until you reach a cross junction. Turn left into Jalan Kota. Drive on until you reach the second cross junction (CIMB Bank at the corner) and turn right into Jalan Tupai. Drive straight again after you have reach another cross junction. You will see the Taiping Hawker Center on your left. Take the first turning on your right and you will see the Plaza Perbandaran Taiping there.

The roads here are rather messy as many of the roads are one-way. If you are still unsure, just ask for the direction to “Plaza” or “Taiping Bowling Centre”. The Hokkien speaking locals would be glad to direct you there.

TPGMEEKOOMAP

Name: TAIPING HUAN CHU LENG (GREEN MEE KOO)
Address: Plaza Perbandaran Taiping, 34000 Perak, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-4511899 (Mr. Chong)
Opening Hours: 4.30pm – 9.00pm
GPS: 4.849453, 100.741882

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs