Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.
Showing posts with label Seremban. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seremban. Show all posts

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Accidentally In Love

Still posting of last year’s (long, long ago) eat, on the way back from the urban escape at Port Dickson, we stopped by Seremban for lunch. Before, I was having a real bad time, as our dear friend’s car air-condition had decided to break down during our trip, and I am not kidding you when I say driving in Malaysia during mid-day is like being slow roasted in an oven for a really mushy lamb stew. Come to think of it, I should have brought a pot of stew along; maybe we would have a nice stew when we got home. So when we finally turn into Seremban, we took a few rounds circling nearby the market, following another friend’s car and unable to find parking. I was already cursing inside and ready to kill the nearby lambs beside me if we do not stop anytime soon. Finally, my friend parked at the next available space; he had to do a sudden park as there were lambs screaming “park there, someone coming out, THERE!”

So we all stumbled out of the car breathing for fresh air and the hot breeze of our Equator’s neighbouring country. Alright, with head a little clear, we decided to walk to find the other friend’s car, who managed to park by the market, but as we walked down the street, we realized it was impossible to reach (possible, but not at this heat with our half-cooked bodies), so we decided to fall back to a shop we just passed by. We called to ditch our the other group of friends and settled down at Kedai Kopi Saudara (brothers and sisters coffee shop).

As I was just happy to eat anything at that time, still pretty full from the morning’s Nasi Lemak at Port Dickson, I decided to just order my trusty kaya toast with half-boiled eggs. Then J’s chicken rice came, and I instantly regret again I did not order it! Why? Because this one came with seriously juicy looking steamed chicken and to top it off, the rice is the infamous rice ball, a specialty very much sought after in Melaka.

I stared at it showing my tham jiak face, so much so, J ordered another portion of chicken with two more rice balls, such a sweet understanding tham jiak partner. So greedily I eat the perfect rice ball with the sweet juicy and flavourful chicken. To say it was delicious seemed like the understatement of the year, or maybe last year, eh don’t kill me for that overused term. The rice was really fragrant of chicken stock and spices, and then nicely rolled into a ball, not too sticky yet just sticky enough to be able to nestle as mini bites at the brink of chopsticks. Ah, perfect! Although I have never been an avid fan of chicken rice, and had a bad experience with the Melaka’s version of chicken rice ball before, I felt that I had accidentally found the one! I must also mention that the accompanying chili sauce was also really good, the real authentic sour, spicy and gingery sauce that goes so well with steamed chicken. I guess J’s and my tham jiak face truly shone as my friend was attracted into ordering as well, on top of his finished noodles.

The owner, seeing us as true blue tham jiak kaki (gang), after all we ordered one after another from J’s first one portion; decided to drop by our table for some chat. He introduced himself as Kevin, much to our surprised, in fluent English. Then he mentioned nonchalantly that his rice balls and steamed chickens were authentic Hainanese fare; the best in town, claiming that people from all over came here purposefully just for his carefully prepared meal. Judging from our face, he knew we would return, which we definitely would, thus he also mentioned that he had another branch just around the next street, and on some days he might close here but we can find him over there instead. We were feeling bit kiasu (fear of losing), that we might miss him if we ever drop by again, so we asked him to please write down his address, which he did along with his hand phone number, how’s that for good marketing?

So there we ended our meal, I did not take enough pictures as I was first too excited in ordering and then too busy in enjoying the food. Oh, I nearly forgot I had ordered toast bread and eggs, when it came a little later after we devoured our Hainanese meal, so I shared the bread and gulped down the eggs like a good kid. In a dimmer light, but for the benefit of the cook, I must say the bread was well toasted, egg half-boiled to just right (I hate it when it was uncooked or too well cooked) and the white coffee was just the right drink to end a wonderful meal. Ah, bliss. In fact, we lambs were even smiling blithely as we boarded the oven again.

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