Lemang is a very popular delicacy among the Iban tribe here in Borneo. Its history has it that it is actually a traditional food that originated from Indonesia, and was brought to Malaysia and Singapore. We were very surprised to see lemang being sold in China too.
Lemang is a delicacy that is made from glutinous rice, and coconut milk, with salt added for taste. Once all the ingredients are poured into the bamboo, it will be cooked in a hollow bamboo stick lined with banana leaves to prevent the rice from sticking to the wall of the bamboo. Normally with a standard length of around 16 inches, lemang filled bamboo sticks are then lined up and burnt with charcoal until they are cooked. It takes about 4-5 hours to cook each stick.
The most popular way to enjoy a stick of lemang is to eat them with chicken or beef curry. As it is made traditionally with burnt rice and coconut milk, you can smell the coconut fragrance the moment you eat it. A stick today depending on the size ranges from RM8 to RM12 each. You can buy them easily along roadside sold by the villagers. They are most easily available during festive seasons like Gawai Festival for the native folks and Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the muslims. Some of these lemangs can be kept for three days or longer if refrigerated.
We recently visited Jilin Pedestrian Street, Chengdu China and was surprised to see lemang being sold in China too.
Here below is how the lemang looked like inside. We would give it a 7 / 10.
We bought one to try and found that they had more ingredients in it. The bamboo stick was shorter and the glutinous rice tasted almost similar to the ones here in Sarawak. However, we do not know where their China recipe originated from, but could it be a modified recipe from our Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore version of lemang?
I have walked past this restaurant a few times at Plaza Merdeka UG level Kuching, and at first glance it looked like Nando’s Chicken to me. If it is another Nando BBQ chicken alike, then it wont have me as their customer.
However, one fine day, we walked past the restaurant and we decided to check out this Korea’s No. 1 BBQ chicken restaurant. We read the menu and thought that the food listings looked interesting enough. Many people are crazy for K-Pop or just anything Korean from Oppa Gangnam Style to Fashion and food of course. Someone just reminded me that the Korean craze all started with Winter Sonata Korean drama series.
We decided to check out the Korean restaurant, because it states in the menu, that their meals are all cooked with olive oil, 100% trans fat free oil. So that is supposedly to be healthy and good. This is a plus point for health conscious folks like us. With inflation these days, do not be surprised if most restaurants cook with recycled cooking oil.
The environment is warm with a cartoon drawing of NY city I think, wallpaper covering the wall, the waiters were friendly. We took a good 10 minutes to flip through and understand the dishes.
I will share with you here what we ate that evening. We ordered ganyeong chicken, nasi goreng Korean style and grilled chicken with 2 drinks. Here is what I think of the dishes:
1) Gangjeong Chicken
The pieces of chicken were deep fried with some Korean spices, and then dipped in honey that has been mixed with some other sauce. When we sank our teeth into the chicken, we practically fell in love with it. It was absolutely delicious, especially if you have a sweet tooth, as the sweetness of the chicken seasoning will appeal to you not to mention the crispiness of the chicken too.We give it a 10 out of 10.
2) Sous Vide Nasi goreng Korean style
This fried rice may be ordered on its own ( as seen in photo) or it would come with grilled Chicken together with some salad. We really liked the nasi goreng because it tasted different somehow from our usual “yong chow” fried rice or our nasi goreng kampong. It must be the added Korean sauce. Do note however, that they have different menu every day, so this nasi goreng may not be available on certain days. In its place you may have other types of fried rice with shrimp or Pineapple fried rice. We still prefer this Nasi Goreng.
3) Paris Chicken
The name Paris, the first thing that comes to our mind is Paris, France or Paris Hilton, the notoirious heir of Hilton Hotel. I do not know how this Paris Chicken name came about. Maybe the Chef had an inspiration to fuse East and West ingredient when he was in Paris. This Paris Chicken is also deep fried but the special ingredient here is that chilli padi was also added into the seasoning. So the chicken tasted spicy and at the same time also delicious.
4) Olive Fried Chicken
Having gotten my taste bud spoilt with the tastes of the Ganyeong chicken and the deep fried Paris Chicken, I was disappointed with the Olive Fried Chicken though as it tasted bland. Smooth texture with crispy skin but bland to the taste bud.
5) Grilled Chicken Meal
If you do not know what to order, then just check out this dish. It is a complete meal in itself as it has the chicken, salad, rice and perhaps a stripe of pineapple at the side.
We ordered Margerita pizza. Their thin crust pizza is crispy but the toppings consist of chunky tomatoes and several other ingredients beside cheese. If they could cut the chunky tomatoes into smaller bites, it would be better because the crust is already thin and crispy. So, the toppings itself should be in smaller sizes and bites to balance up the bottom crust.
They serve soft drinks or some juices. If you top up a few RM more, you can get a free refill. They do not serve desserts such as cakes though.
…..On the whole, my experience eating there was pleasant and I have made several visits to the restaurant since my first visit. Go on and check out the place and support everything Korean.