Archive for March, 2010

‘Back’ , < despite holding a canggih iPhone that wouldn’t cause tendinitis if she were to type a few more alphabets, that would be the regular short and precise  text message that appears on my phone whenever MY is back in town. After which, there  will be a flurry of text messages or e- mails between myself and  Chunny, to set a date and time for  dinner.

I thought we would be having dinner at a ‘big fried’ ( tai chow) stall and hence  found myself rather inappropriately dressed when was told that we are heading to Megamall for dinner. This is the other problem with these meet ups, we can’t seemed to make a decision on where to have the meal and would have to wait until when we meet physically , to decide where we want to go.

After some debate and a false alarm ( i.e. having sat at a table and studied the menu at another establishment ) we decide to try out Fong Lye


When we arrived at FL, we ‘reported’ to the counter, and was given a number ( kinda like at the post office) and was told to wait until our number is called.

 We were served (tiny) glasses of milk tea while we wait, we settled at the comfy seating area and studied the menu. And we sat..and studied and sat….and sat.. and it was a  rather frustrating wait as we saw couples or groups that came after us get to  a table before us,  as there were more tables for 2 pax–( or multiples of 2 pax), so , our group of 3 just have to have a longer wait.    …..the wait was more than 30 mins and we had actually walked to the counter to return our number /gave up waiting. Miraculously, 3 pax finished their dinner and we get a table. And it was already 9 pm.

 MY, being a regular visitor to Taiwan was consulted on what we should try out, and I guess I wouldn’t have ordered what I did if I came on my own.


For drinks we had a pot of Hot Taiwanese “Gui Hua’ oolong tea ( RM12.50) / pot 


We also tried the Papaya milk drink (RM7.80)  – I found there were some holdback to the taste as possibly the papaya wasn’t ripe enough to give this the aromatic and richness of the papaya flavour. Another comment was that this could do with more milk .

Chunny had the Fresh Tomato fried egg with fish (RM20.80) – this was like a feast, there were so many bits and pieces that came with the set lah.  Dumpling lah, sour salad lah, crunchy green stuff lah,  seaweed soup lah … The rice came with minced pork on the side and this was very tasty .The egg in tomato was rather delicious albeit slightly sweetish, I find that the slices of fish a bit dry.

 MY ordered Cool noodles (RM10.80)- her comments was :  texture was pretty ok, but could do with being more springy, the sesame seed was slightly burnt – wow, I am sorry, I can’t even taste the sesame, and MY was commenting that they are burnt. This was interesting and rather nice.

I had the Herbal Soup with Taiwan Burger ( RM17.80). I was served a steamed bun thingy full of fillings and pork intestine soup . At first , the taste was a glaring extreme , i.e, the mild and pleasant soup versus the sweet , spicy burger, but after a while, hey, this was rather nice ! the burger had a big slice of  fatty pork ,  took a glance and without a second thought, I bit into the burger – and forgot about the LDH, HDL, trigliserides eh, It didn’t felt like I bit into  fat juicy lard. The soup was heavenly,   the strong distinct taste of Chinese barley with  lotus seed and  tons of  pork intestine- I hadn’t had so much pork intestine in one seating before, and after this, I think I will look at pork intestine a bit differently, they are rather pleasant and smooth ( no weird thingy in the orifice and no strong smell)


Spring Roll ( RM9.30)  – the skin was like what we get in regular popiah and it was a bit thick, MY said that the skin for Taiwanese spring rolls should be egg based. The fillings – rather interesting taste- kinda saucy, sweet and a tinge of spiciness with a bit of a crunch.

 Total bill , plus service charge and Govt tax, came to ~ RM91. Not that cheap but quallity of food was pretty good.

 Meanwhile,  we wait with bated breath  for the word   ‘Back’ to appear on our phones…

Fong Lye Taiwan Restaurant
Lot T-208, 3rd Floor
The Gardens Mid Valley
Tel : 03-22828699

We had dimsum for breakfast : 2 plates of siu mai and 8 steamed buns ( char siu, pandan & red bean) for 4 pax.  Taste was ok . The coffee shop owner (?), an elderly auntie, switch effortlessly between Thai and Mandarin when taking our orders . And we later learnt more about her language proficiency  when she spoke in Malay to the Indian chaps at the next table.

Although it was way passed Chinese new year, this auspicious wall sticker thingy ( as below) was still on the walls of the coffee shop.


I took the pix because one of the ‘auspicious saying’ is rather foreign to me. The first one read ‘ Xin Nien Fat Chai ( prosperity for the new year), and the second one read   ‘Xin Chen (?)  Ru Yi’. I thought there were some printing errors, but then I saw the same greetings used in the CNY banners still hanging around Hat Yai. Maybe someone can help me ?

 Back to food.

The Tai Thong chicken rice shop has been around for 55 years, and judging from the number of people eating at the shop ( running at full house at time of visit) – this is a popular eatery.

For drinks I ordered lemongrass and the others had chrysentimum , I thought these would be homemade..but then these pre-packed drinks arrived at our table .Luckily  they didn’t taste too artificial or plasticky  but  were rather tasty


The chicken– I found the meat rather dry and a bit rough, from the leanness of the chicken, I concluded ( whether rightly or wrongly) this was possibly due to it being ‘kampung chicken’  and on top of that – the plate that was served to us was from the chicken breast. We had better luck with our a second plate, which was from the thigh and it was much better- not as dry and the meat were smoother.

Roast pork – there were too many pieces with oily layer  on our plate lah, I found the taste to be average only.


Soup – fish balls plus chicken blood. I enjoyed the fishballs, tasty and springy;  gave  the blood a miss though. There were also some taugeh inside the soup, the chicken soup was rather tasty.


 The meal ( including drinks), rice, 2 servings of chicken, roast pork and soup costs us 400Baht . ( rather pricey ?)

 My initial schedule was to fly back to Bangkok and then take a flight from Bangkok back to KL, but the brewing situation of the Red Shirts in Bangkok made me a somewhat  uneasy and I decided to travel by road from Hat Yai to Penang instead .Travel time by van is ~3 hours and cost me 350Baht. Some tour companies do hotel pick up as well, which was rather convenient. There are also vans from Hat Yai to KL which is said to take ~ 7-8 hours ( not sure about the cost though).

 Thus end part 4 / 4  of my travel to south Thailand. Sawadee Kha..

NB: one thing i forgot to mention in the earlier posts. from my trip – i can conclude that : Toilets in Thailand are way way way cleaner than those in Malaysia. Thoughout the trip, i think we must have made maybe an average of 3 toilet stops per day at either petrol stations or  eateries ,  and ALL of them were clean, no unpleasant smell, no objects in the toilet bowls or on the toilet floors. Why aren’t Malaysians entitled to clean toilets ?

At the hotel in Hat Yai, I felt at home- at the lobby:  I saw  ( and heard) fellow Malaysians , Malaysian newspapers were on the racks, in my room : TV3 was on the telly, out in the streets : most of the vendors can speak (some) Hokkien or Mandarin, stalls selling Bak Kut Teh and Thong Sui ( sweet dessert) etc ..

I weren’t sure where our dinner destination was supposed to be, but when our car stopped in front of a posh looking restaurant with a water fountain and some nice chandeliers  , host A said to host B  ‘oh, this is not where I meant, we came here with XX customer, I said  to go to where we took YY customer, that open area seafood place, you remember ?’ off we went..good bye posh restaurant…

 Hello ..Chong Khao Seafood ..Open air dining area, swaying palm trees, light breeze, low lights, smoke free environment…but that  there were also flaws in heaven — the occasional screech from tone deaf  singers from the Karaoke lounge opposite the road and the sound of traffic


Steamed squid – wow, what a start to a meal . the squid was fresh, sweet and at just the right level of chewiness to be considered an enjoyable chew and  not to  be a chore-ish chew. The sauce was major Yumm – I don’t know what they have in this but I saw – bits of  chili padi, garlic, lime, maybe some fish sauce. Long after the last piece of squid was fought after , the plate was retained because we loved the sauce so much and use it with the other dishes too.


Snails – I think these were steamed, in a no frills fashion, just plain snails with no fancy side dish to distract us. We poked our forks into the fleshy ‘foot’ at the  opening and pulled , trying  to ‘fish’ out the rest of the crustacean…if you are lucky… a clean pull and you get to  dislodge the flesh from the shell. Toooiiiiinnnggg..curly crustacean stuck to fork..Hurahhhh…..juicy, tasty and firm meat. Wow. This was good.


Stir fried mixed vegetables – broccoli ,black fungus, baby corn, asparagus, carrot stir fried in a sauce that is a bit too sweet for my liking..Upside was that the wok-hei ( wok fire) , vege was cooked just right.


We had fried rice with our meal, this was average, nothing to shout about …


Throughout dinner,  only 2 topics were  discussed  : 10% : this guy at our table getting periodic updates from his friends on his blackberry on Red shirts situation in Bangkok &  90% : debate on which are  the 8 teams that will qualify for the 2010 World Cup..

Fried Ang-Cho ( red) fish – hmm…I think the cook might have forgotten to use some ingredient, the fish seemed to be fried with oil without any flavoring. The fish on it’s own  was neither sweet nor with any distinct taste, making this a rather tasteless dish, it was over oily too. What a waste !


Seafood SomTam- springy fishballs, chewy squids, sweet prawns, black fungus , onions, etc etc  served with  tung hoon ( vermicelli) in a fiery yet sour, sour yet sweet gravy. Seemed like a weird combination – but it works ! YUMMM. This is said to be a popular dish for drinkers. One of my host mentioned that his wife can do a mean seafood somtam ( and that was why they got married) . The sauce is made up of : fish sauce, lime, sugar, vinegar and salt. 


 Grilled squid – I think  some kinda caramel or syrupy thingy was applied /poured on the squid while they were being grilled over a slow fire..squids were fresh, chewy but not elastic, and both the squids were laden  with eggs..the coating on the squid can be a bit too sweet but the freshness and texture of the squid made this flaw rather insignificant


Overall a rather good meal, top 2 dish ; steam squid and I can’t decide between seafood som tam or snails.


Chong Khao Seafood
Address : 551 Suphasan Rangsan Road, Amphoe Hat Yai, Songkhla
Telephone : 0 7424 4060