Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Restoran Kolam Air

R and I have this weird habit when it comes to eating out...it goes a little something like this:

1. We find a new place and love it!

2. We go back there at least once or twice a week for a month or sometimes even longer...it's at least long enough that the staff at these restaurants get to know us and can even remember the dishes that we enjoy.

3. Then we'll get busy, life gets in the way, and we can't make it back to that restaurant for a while.

4. The next time we have a chance to eat out and we decide on where to eat sudden amnesia develops, we forget about that restaurant and find a new place.

5. And the cycle starts all over again...

There are many times we've done that...it's as if we gorge ourselves on the good food and then we're sick of it and we just move on as if that place never existed. It's kind of harsh...and I'm sure the staff that are so used to our weekly visits wonder where we've disappeared to. Usually we don't feel too bad because these restaurants do well and we're sure they don't miss us...but sometimes there are the little stalls that do know us quite well and have come to expect us a few nights a week...

Infact it happened recently when we revisited a Chinese shop in our old neighborhood...we had stopped eating there not because of the food or anything related to that...it was because we had moved and there were so many new restaurants to distract us...and being as flaky as we are about restaurants we just simply forgot.

So when we got there the woman who owns the place immediately recognized us and said "Wah! So long you never come here. You move to new place ah?"...and the guilt washed over us...because the food here is good...really good...and we allowed ourselves to be swayed by shiny flashy new restaurants...and we forgot the little place that fed us many evenings when I didn't have a kitchen to cook.

And once we ordered our favourite dishes we took one bite...and the memories came flooding back...the amnesia cloud had lifted...and we enjoyed every last bite!

We ordered our favourite Cantonese kway teow bihun.

A very crispy fried nest of bihun(rice vermicelli) is placed on a plate then topped with wide slices of charred kway teow (flat noodle) and then finished off with a thick eggy sauce ladled on top. This dish can be found in almost any Chinese shop, but it is not always done right. Sometimes the sauce can be too thick with hardly any flavour, or the bihun has been sitting in the sauce for too long and has turned soggy…the list of how many ways this dish can go wrong can go on and on. Here however they get it right every time…the sauce is so tasty on its own that I slurp it up like a soup with some of their special sambal (chilli paste) mixed in…the bihun maintains its crispness on the inside as the outside softens and the kway teow has just the right amount of smoky wok hei (essence of the wok). Ordering this is a must!

We also ordered the sweet and sour pork
The pork has a lovely fried batter exterior to give it that crunch upon first bite and then it reveals a tender juicy piece of pork. This play on texture coupled with the sweet tanginess of the sauce is lip smackingly good!

The ginger fish fillet dish is light with a gingery sauce and the spring onions give it a nice crunch and sweetness. The fillet pieces are very fresh and so soft that they fall apart the minute they’re in your mouth. This is perfect for people who don’t want to order a whole fish but would still like to have a fish dish.

The last thing that comes highly recommended here is the pot of sambal that sits on every table. This is so tasty that I could be happy just having that and plain rice. It adds additional flavour and a nice heat to all the dishes served here. Absolutely delicious!

After this meal I think R and I will come back more often...maybe not once a week...but at least once a month. We will put this on our 'Do Not Forget' lists :)

Restoran Kolam Air
Jalan Kolam Air off Jalan Ipoh
Behind Dynasty Hotel

7 comments:

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I'm always tempted to go back to the same place every week. The familiarity is relaxing, but eventually you get sick of it, which is a shame because it's only because you went too often. To combat this habit my new year's resolution was to go somewhere new each time I went out. I haven't kept it up though - the temptation of the familiar is too strong.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Haha although I suppose it's good that you can come across so many good places! I also love a good sambal!

550ml jar of faith said...

I'm totally sold on the Cantonese Koay Teow, it oozes the simple goodness of the wok! This is a little out of the way for me, but will make a mental note of it should I ever swing by the area!

Anita said...

I do that with restaurants too, I love going back to places that are fantastic, but also want to try new places.

thenomadGourmand said...

ohh..chinese tai chows are simply the best no?
Must make a note to come here! the Cantonese Koay Teow really hits the mark. i agree w ya, they got it right here!

burpandslurp said...

oh man...that little sambal brings back such nostalgia...I used to slather about 5 of those onto my rice.
I'm kind of different. Once I find a good place to eat, it's hard for me to go to another good restaurant...somehow I feel like it'll never be as good! Though it usually ain't true.

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Arwen - It's exactly that familiarity that keeps us going back until we get a bit sick of the same thing.

Lorraine - hehe...that's true! In Malaysia there is never a shortage of places to eat :)

550ml - Oh yes do give them a try if you happen to be in the area!

Anita - It's so hard trying to balance between the two!

TheNomadGourmand - Ohh yes and topped with that sambal it's so good.

BurpandSlurp - hehe I can just eat sambal and rice...no need for anything else! Finding new places has its good and bad...sometimes we try a new place and it's aweful..and sometimes we find a gem...so it's worth venturing out from time to time :)