Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Eating to Live or Living to Eat Part 2

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

IMG_1931.JPGWhen I first started eating 6 meals I had already been exercising for 2 1/2 months. I wasn't really watching what I ate but for most, it would have been a decent diet. Breakfast of muesli, lunch of a meat, a little veg and some rice and then tea was a piece of fruit and dinner again meat, and a little rice. Those were my 'everyday' foods.

Then I sort of decided to 'up' it to the next level. I had come to a point where my state of mind was "I want to do this" rather than "I have to do it." One is internally motivated, and the other is "grit-teeth-act-like-constipated" motivated.

So here we are. Some people will be like "you SURE or not?" The pictures of ribs and of the rainbow horn of cornucopia that seems to get posted seems to be at odds with the life I say I live. But I find that it's truly not incongruent. I love food crafted passionately into taste sensations. It is, along with the eating of it, the experience of creation. A "giving birth" if you will. So along with the savouring I enjoy the process of sitting down amongst friends and family and allowing the smells, tastes, textures, to envelop, enfold, and embrace me.

Also please understand that I write this of my own experience and I do not advocate that IMG_2160everyone do this but I have never felt better or more alive. I feel more grounded. My feet feel the earth move under my feet as never before and it's almost like life certainly holds more possibilities than it ever did. Sure, it still has it's challenges but rather than trudging dully through an existence, it's nice to realise that life is there to be savoured. Sipped into your mouth like a good wine, rolled around and slowly allowed to slide down your throat.

And there's the secret of life; You always swallow. You never spit! ;)

And so, here are the highlights of these last couple of weeks. And the 'also-rans.' I've included some because there is an element of grotesquerie in them or they're just plain interesting things that didn't tickle my tastebuds

Amongst the more grotesque things to have crossed the rubicon of my palate was this Beetroot juice (right) from Bermuda and Onion. Oh. My. God.

Earthy. Like earth. Sweet. Sort of. And most interesting of all, that purple. Which was the only thing I loved about it. Otherwise it tasted like they blended earth with purple food colouring and a little water. I knew it was full of anti-oxidants so I sucked it all up in one go. And then slurped up a big mouthful of coffee to forget the experience. But there are seriously better ways to get your goodness people.

IMG_2163To make up for that singular lapse in judgement (I love healthy but there is a point when enough is enough) I had this English Breakfast (left). I gave Allan my rashers of bacon and the sausages were a bit crunchy, but the rest of it was, as is attributed to Michael Caine, a "heart attack on a plate." But, what a lovely way to go. Earthy (in a good way) sauteed mushrooms, warm, soft, juicy, fried tomatoes, sunny side up eggs, and hash browns (or the more colourful, "bubble and squeak.")

I'm so glad for places like Neroteca, Bermuda and Onion, Chiaroscuro, and of course, the granddaddy of them all, La Bodega, where you can actually get breakfasts/brunches like this.

And then eating is a great excuse for hanging out with people like FBB, LL, Toyboy&Toygirl, cumi&ciki, et al. You know who all of you are.

It's become almost like the good food is and has become an addition to the good company. As food should be.

Have you noticed that the company always makes the food? Not the other way round. It certainly doesn't hurt to have good food. But lousy food doesn't always spoil good company.

Look, you should have smelt and tasted these Barbarian Ribs by Ribs by Vintry while we were ribbing LL a few Sunday nights ago. IMG_2182

The fact that they were meltingly tender, as only a low and slow BBQ (at least 4 to 6 hours) would have made them was enhanced by unkaleong AND Ll. The sweet, savoury glaze, the tang of summer citrus, and that unctuous gorgeousness of dissolving pork on your tastebuds all added to the experience of the laughter AND camaraderie. May I please say that I have rarely had better ribs. If anyone who has been to Tony Romas disagrees (and I'm speaking of apples and apples, so I'm referring to the aforementioned restaurant in our little neighbour down south) then please tell them that they pressure cook their ribs and it's a fake and fraudulent pass-off of true Barbeque goodness. Hence, the sponginess of the meat and the required caramelised glaze for the finish.

On that particular Sunday, I happened to notice some Strawberries in the fridge. Allan mentioned that they were selling them at RM10 for 3 punnets in the supermarket and he couldn't resist. So as an after dinner sweet-thing, we adjourned to Gasing and had some Chocolate Mousse with a quenelle pillow of whipped cream and some fragrant fraises.

IMG_2198The fact that the Mousse was also scented with some Orange Zest added to the contentment that night, I believe.

Of course, one doesn't need to indulge in expensive restaurants all the time and we believe that the true essence of good food is it's ability to make a get-together gel. A couple of weeks ago, Allan's Dad bought us dinner in No-Name Coffee Shop in Jalan Peel. It's located just next to a Shell Station.

IMG_1838.JPG It was a dark and stormy night. Our legs and butts were sore from the unending squats that Masta V made us do.

We found a parking place. Ran in and was greeted by steaming, caramelised, pieces of chicken and wings. The highlight of this coffee shop however was the rare poached beef with dry minced pork noodles ala Tong Shin Terrace. IMG_1847.JPGSucculent, pinkish, tender, flavourfully beefy, it was just the thing for a wet night.

Having done part 1 and 2 about Eating to Live or Living to Eat, I might just continue in this vein for future posts. A compendium of eating adventures, rather than a post about a particular restaurant at a time UNLESS it was so outstanding that it warrants it. What do you think?

Ribs by Vintry
120-122, Jalan Kasah,
Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2096 1645

Opening hours: Noon till late. Kitchen closed between 3pm to 6pm. Closed on Sundays and some public holidays. Call to enquire.

No Name Coffee Shop on Jalan Peel
Next to Shell Station

Bermuda & Onion reviewed here


i couldn't agree more. the company one keeps in life makes all the difference.
Good food good friends. *sighs in contentment*

Amen and Hallelujah!, Nomad

we know that jalan peel coffee shop! LL knows it too.. it's near her church! damn shiok..! (sinful.. there goes the healthy eating)
Great pork ribs close up - sorry to hv missed it i tell ya;)

Hehe, the beetroot juice ain't too bad if they juice it with other fruits... I usually get mine at MBC/Avenue K where they mix it with orange and another fruit methinks.

Prada doesn't like it either but me? I kinda like that earthy, soil-ey flavour... :D

Ya it's coloured soil ;-)


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