Monday, March 31, 2008

Belanga, The Gardens

Contrary to popular belief, I hardly eat out, and hardly get to try new places. If eating alone with the other half, it makes more economic sense to eat in places where I have the discount card, which gives 50% discount. If with a group of friends, I usually go where the winds blow, and in this case, it blew up North to Kelantanese cuisine, which I absolutely LURVE, actually.

Despite its close proximity, I have yet to eat at any of the F&B outlets in the Gardens, so I was pretty thrilled when old classmates boys lunch was to be held there. Anyway, Belanga (it means clay cooking pot..... Lemongrass thought it meant silver, and she's closer to schooling age than I am) is a semi food court-ish set up (but it's not self service, thankfully) with a rather limited but adequate menu. In fact, I think I'd rather be at a place that serves a few good things, then have 1000 items of their menu, but are all utter junk.

Cardio surgeon was already waiting for us, and had ordered his nasi kerabu.


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I know we're more used to seeing the plain colored one in Madam Kwan's, but he assures me, being of Kelantan stock, that this is the real thing. Probably colored yellow with tumeric. His ayam percik also PASsed the test.


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I opted for my favourite Nasi dagang. Lovely long grain rice, almost glutinous (I think it's mixed), fluffy, yet sticky and tasty all at the same time, doused with a generous portion of chicken curry, and a chicken maryland slab which was tender and flavourful. The rice portion didn't seem enough, which ordinarily I would have probably asked for a top up, but decided to leave room, and wisely so, to try some other stuff.

Other class mate, Landscape Architect and Musician, had the same thing, but had Tongkol instead of Chicken. Tongkol is probably similar to Bonito Tuna.

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That's quite a generous helping of tongkol, considering in the packeted ones up north, you only get a small chunk. Oh, hangon, then again, you're paying like 1/4.


Keropok Lekor.....if ever something resembled turd in photos, this would be a close contender for the crown. It was very tasty, but I prefer the ones catering to the masses, ie, deep fried till crispy on the outside. This one is uniformly soft, and apparently it's the correct way of doing it.
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Quite ironic, that we should be lunching with a cardiac surgeon, and discussing the grim realities of how people are keeling over of heart attacks younger and younger, but at the same time, we ordered, as seconds, LAKSAM, the Kelantanese Laksa. Pure coconut milk, soaking a kind of rolled kueh teow, not unlike chee cheong fun, but thicker, with a generous garnishing of beansprouts and julienned cucumbers.

The sambal belacan complemented the dish the way Carla Bruni complements Nicolas Sarkozy, or the way black hair complements Nigella. Absolutely blissful, but certainly tipped the
in the fullness department. (tipped the SCALES, people, tipped the SCALES...in case ya didnt get it).

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I am most thrilled to discover affordable and rather delicious Kelantanese fare in the vicinity, and also to discover that parking rates at the Gardens are the same as Mid Valley Megamall. Belanga is located in the basement of the Gardens- Megamall link....quite near the taiwanese place, and CIMB bank.

26 comments:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

in my quest to eat all the food, Gardens has to offer..this shall be put in my top priority before i need to visit your Cardiac Surgeon friend..

Confused Lemongrass said...

There are so few good Kelantanese eateries around. I think I shall visit this place tomorrow. But with your vague directions, I'll probably find the jamban first.

JOjo said...

Wah!The Laksam is seriously soaked with coconut milk!!! Calorie laden... @@"
The keropok lekor reminds me of the stall in front of my secondary school. 10cents per pc, crispy on the outside yet soft in the inside. Served right from the hot wok, with lots and lots of sweet & sour homemade chili sauce by the makcik selling it, it's like heaven after school,haha!

Nic (KHKL) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic (KHKL) said...

oopsss, incomplete comment just now..

uhhmm..if that was turd, the chilli sauce must be a matter which the name rhymes with "tabloids" lar, hor? hehehe...like Carly and Nicky, no? :)

Love Kelantanese food for its richness and the sticky texture of the sauces. very much different from the starchy sauces in Chinese cooking

kennymah said...

"The sambal belacan complemented the dish the way Carla Bruni complements Nicolas Sarkozy, or the way black hair complements Nigella."

Speechless.

But I think the two of us would complement Ms. Lawson even better than her long, lustrous black hair. Adoresss her, adoress her...

sQuall said...

oh...the nasi dagang looks delicious...feel hungry now...

fatboybakes said...

squall, yup, the nasi dagang was yummy, and not enough.

kennymah, ya, what issit about ms lawson? must be the accent and come hither look....her cooking in the latest series, nigella express, looks very run of the mill.

nickhkl, what rhymes with tabloids, that goes with turd? you got me up thinking all night..hemarroids? who's carly and nicky?

jojo, wah, your school got keropok lekor outside ah? i only had my first taste of keropok lekor at 23 yrs old.

confused lemongrass, if you find the jamban first, dont mistake the turd for keropok lekor pulak ya.

nipples, aiya, young man like you, can still pile on a bit more before making appointment with cardiac surgeon la.

Nic (KHKL) said...

yupe! i thought the chilli sauce looks like hemarroids (to the turd), since we were at the topic of compatibility mah (carly/nicky = carla/nicolas.). din wanna contamination your blog with such words, hence the masking. guess i tercakap already. ooppss.

fatboybakes said...

hahah, nicholaskhkl (is your nic short for nicholas? or is it the kelantanese Nik abdul aziz kinda nik?, that was too cryptic (the carly and nicky) even for me. actually, i have no idea what haemerroids look like....but you may have put off some ppl from keropok lekor for life....snigger.

Big Boys Oven said...

oh another good kelantanese food! Did you know chinese folks sell these dishes in Kelantan? It was surprised!

Big Boys Oven said...

fbb, yes you can replace gelatine leaves with gelatine powder. We did a class on figurine 2 weeks ago and we might repeat the class in May. FBB what is your email address?

kampungboycitygal said...

its like us girls talking about yesterday's yoga class / the latest diet secret while burping over a full meal, and desserts after

Tummythoz said...

Fbb, pls excuse me a bit but I am really very confused over
kampungboycitygal's comment. Apatu?

Btw, I did get d scales reference. *pat brilliant self*

fatboybakes said...

tummythoz, clap clap,...so crever hor you. kgboycitygal was referring to the fact that we were with a cardiologist and talking about heart attacks while tucking into all this santan, like she at talking about yoga after burping....hor citygal?

BBO, keep me posted with the classes. i'm not surprised that chinese cook all this stuff in kelantan la. actually, i also want to learn how to make. nasi dagang with charsiu, phwaaaah, sure syiok one.

breadpitt said...

tempting yet fattening , lol. btw where did u join gym at?

Simon Seow said...

I think I can use 2 weeks in The Garden and still can't finish sampling all the eateries there.

"Don't waste cholesterol on bad food", Dr. Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost.blogspot.com.

Meaning, if you want to eat high cholesterol food, make sure it is worth your while.

fatboybakes said...

simon, ya, i fully agree with dr leslie tay. i also say, dont waste calories on bad food, which is why it can be soooo frightening to order desserts that turn out to be bad, coz they're suchhh a waste of calories.

breadpitt, (i still LOVE your nickname), i joined Fatness First. (oops, Fitness First). you go to gym?

breadpitt said...

ya, almost everyday b4 or after i worked, workout is part of my life now i would say, o ya, im with celebrity fitness in one utama. btw, who knows there will be fatness first comin soon , coz i have few friends who just wish to be
fat( the soak in oil also wont fat type of friend ) thx for the compliment

fatboybakes said...

oh, celeb in 1 u? so you know jackson kah la? he's a regular there ma. now that you mention it, i thik a FATNESS FIRST isnt a bad idea hor. i also know some people who can eat an elephant and still be stick thin.

teckiee said...

eating lekor like that is wrong man... really wrong...

breadpitt said...

jackson kah? nop, perhaps i saw a guy
from gym in ur blog look, wearing spec. the guy used to go dance class,
easy to notice, coz the whole class almost all girl, haha!

fatboybakes said...

breadpitt, HAHAHAH, i must ask jackson to read this comment. aiya, how can you not know jackson, he's the most recognisable food blogger in town.

teckiee, so how is lekor meant to be eaten?

breadpitt said...

im still newbie in blogging, thats why, haha!wanted to join dancing class
but im just tooo lauzy ta dance ,lol!

Anonymous said...

i tried their laksam last week. not tasty at all!

hafizmz said...

is 'nasi tumpang' (nasi tupe) available here..?