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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Food Review - Ah Koong Eating House

Name
Ah Koong Eating House
Food
Chinese Fish Ball/Fish Paste Noodle/Mee
Location

Pudu (in the Berjaya Times Square vicinity)
They also have an outlet at the Subang Business Centre and another one at Taman Sentosa, JB.
Getting there
There are various ways to get there depending on where you are coming from but if you just zoom in on a landmark (there are quite a few landmarks in the vicinity) such as the Berjaya Times Square or the Pudu Prison/Jail. Once you have located these landmarks, then, you just need to get your bearings and then make your way there as they are all within the vicinity.

Parking
There are lots of parking around the shop-lots or even at Berjaya Times Square itself which is located at about 300m away.
Ambience
Despite this place having the comfort of air-conditioning, this is strictly a no-frills dining place (hence I categorize it under "Street Food").

The place is relatively clean & well-lit, which is a plus point in helping it look clean & bright.
Variety
The process begins at the front door when diners are given an empty bowl and need to select the type of noodle they wish to have and whether they would like to have it dry or with soup. The standard noodle types  plus a couple of less common types are available:
- Bee Hoon (Vermicelli)
- Mee (Yellow Noodles)
- Loh Shue Fun ("Rat" Noodles)
- Kuey Teow (Flat Rice Noodles)
- Wantan Mee/Noodles (both flat & thin varieties)
- Spinach Mee/Noodles
There are simply too much choice in terms of the many types of accompanying items you can add on to your meal. They range from:
- Fish Cakes (this is a "must try" item when you are there*)
- Fish Balls
- Fujok (soya skin with fillings) items
- Tofu & Yong Tau Foo
- Prawns (or shrimps as the Americans like to call them)
- and many more

* The fish cakes are fragrant, springy in bite texture and it just looks fantastic! Can't resist this item!
Service
The place is mainly manned by Nepalese or Myanmarese workers. It used to be manned by local Chinese. Other than the occasional inability to understand due to their lack of command of our languages or strong accent, the service is quick & fuss-free.

You order your food when you arrive up at the front door, go find a table and the food will be served to you in usually 10-15 minutes. After you are done, just bring the order chit to the cashier counter located right behind the open kitchen, and you're done.

Presentation
Again, despite this place being a no-frills dining outlet, they have nicely branded themselves as all of their wares, from the white plastic plates & bowls to even the spoons have their branding. This helps make the place a lot more presentable than a mere food stall.

Nicely done.

Taste
I'd say that the food here is a little bit too savoury (salty-lah macha). However, I personally, quite like strong flavours in my food (despite my liver's silent protestations). 

I like my noodles dry while some may prefer their noodles in soup. Either way, you won't lose out on the soup as the goodies (fish balls, fish paste slices, sea-weed, etc) all come in a separate bowl soaked in the deliciously fragrant soup!

I usually like to add the finely cut red chillies to my bowl of Ah Koong noodles. However, they have recently switched from the red chillies to the significantly spicier Cili Padi (more commonly known as Bird's Eye Chili). And sadly, the red chillies are nowhere to be found! I guess the reason why they switched was because the Cili Padi is much cheaper when compared with the red chillies.

Overall
This place is a favorite of mine when I'm in the area and have run out of ideas as to where or what to eat. It's affordable and delicious at the same time. No need to worry about whether I'm appropriately dressed or not. As I had said, no-frills fuss-free quick bite kind of place that never lets you down.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My path to geekdom (aka trip down memory lane)

Although many of my friends know that I am a comic geek but not many of them know the details as to how I got started. Not even my fellow comic geeks (I'm not gonna mention names but you know who you are.)

It all started back when as a 6-year-old kid, my next-door neighbour - Nicholas Choe Chee Meng (whom I remember fondly & miss dearly), who was a couple of years older than me, showed me and shared his collection with me whenever I and a couple of other kids from the same street popped by his place for some play time.
I was fascinated by the colorful characters and their gaudy costumes. Bear in mind that this was back in the days when TVs were in B&W. So to a kid, anything with so much color was already interesting! I remember 2 of the characters that stood out so much and got stuck in my mind up until today were the Beast (a hero or villain who looked like...a beast!) & Vision (a hero or villain who had red skin and go thru' walls!).
One day, a few years later, his family was moving away and he was clearing out his comic collection. I was sad to see him go but happy at the same time because I was lucky enough to receive a whole bunch from him (although not all of them as he gave them to the other kids as well.). I don't think I remember how many comic books he gave me but I was 9 then, and to a 9-year old, that was A LOT of books! Of course it didn't matter if the books had massing issues or if they were reprints. It's the stories and the art that mattered.

Here, I'll try to include every single comic I ever received from him. Thanks to him, I'm now the comic geek that I am today (much to the chagrin of my parents for many of my formative years as they did not quite think that comic books were appropriate reading material).