Roti

JB Malaysian

For this past week’s Sunday brunch we decided to mix it up a bit and veer away from the usual dim sum. Jefe came up with JB Malaysian in Burnaby. He hails from Malaysia, has visited JB several times and gives it a solid thumbs up. On that recommendation, Matty and I joined him for a mini-Malaysian feast.

JB Malaysian’s location is rather unfortunate. It’s just on the east side of the Royal Oak/Kingsway intersection. Traffic tends to fly past it’s tiny storefront. The lack of street parking isn’t helping neither. This particular room was the location of Penny Farthing many moons ago. Sure miss their killer fish ‘n chips…the real deal, right down to the newspaper wrap. Asian 54 and Miki Ramen then came and went in rapid succession.

The room is quite small seating maybe 25. We arrived Sunday afternoon to nearly a full, bustling house. Great sign, that.

We started with a couple orders of Roti Prata. Right about average, these were. Nice and greasy, a good chew but not near enough of the stretchiness of Bo Laksa King’s heart-cloggingly amazing version.

The accompanying curry dip was also workmanlike. A good depth with a hint of heat. It reappeared in the Kari Ayam (Malaysian Curry Chicken).

A fairly solid bowl. A bit too mild for my liking. I was hoping for more flavor bursts i.e. fennel seed, ginger, lemongrass to jump out…coconut, maybe? The chicken itself was OK. A few more minutes braising time would’ve done this dish a world of good.

The only other time I’d had Gado Gado was at Kedah House. Because it was part of their buffet, all the items were separate. So, if you’re like me, and had no idea how it’s assembled, your first try would be a minor, albeit tasty, disaster. JB’s Gado Gado was truly delicious. Big hunks of chewy, fried tofu covered with bean sprouts and julienned cukes, smothered in a rich peanut sauce and sprinkled with powdered peanuts. Great fresh flavors and textures. It’s not the most authentic version but it’s got enough decent elements to make it work.

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Lin Chinese Cuisine

Lin Chinese is a busy, little Northern Chinese restaurant at the equally busy intersection of Broadway & Granville. Many fellow bloggers have written about it over the years. Most of the write-ups were positive but several weren’t. Last weekend I got together some friends to find out what’s what.

This is a spot that’s been on my ever-growing “to-visit” list. I’d heard good things about their Tan Tan Noodles…a big favorite of mine. As that is more of a “solo” dish, I’ll have to make a return visit.

I arrived on a crappy, very wet and chilly Sunday afternoon…the perfect weather for feasting. Actually, any weather’s great for feasting!!

When I ordered the Crispy Daikon Pastry, I was told it wasn’t available. In lieu of that, our server suggested we try the Five Spice Tofu Sheet. Not too sure why she’d offer this kind of substitution. Oh, wait! I know why…it’s more expensive. Silly me…fell for that old trick again. Anyway, it was a pretty good suggestion…a nice refreshing start. Maybe there was “five-spice” in it but the only discernible flavor agent was sesame oil. It completely overpowered any additional elements.

The Hot & Sour Soup was a WTF moment. When I say WTF, I mean, “Where’s The Flavor”? It certainly wasn’t hot and was definitely missing the sour part. Nowhere near what we’ve come to expect. At six bucks for a huge bowl, a very good deal. If you’re looking for authenticity, not so much.

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Seri Malaysia

After my visit to Bo Laksa King’s, I needed to fill a craving for Roti Canai. At the same time, a noodle fix was also in order. There aren’t a lot of spots around the Hastings area to accomplish that. In fact, there’s only one that came to mind…Seri Malaysia.

Roti canai is basically a puffy flatbread made from a lot of fat (clarified butter), flour, egg and water. The roti at Seri Malaysia seemed a bit flat and not very flaky…although damn tasty. This is probably due to pre-preparation and/or a lack of proofing. The curry dipping sauce livened things up considerably!

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Bo Laksa King’s

From what I’ve been reading, there’s a Burmese fellow and his wife making some incredible food inside a Filipino grocery store on Joyce Street. Apparently, Bo Laksa King’s makes some amazing laksa and roti canai. After reading posts from the good folk at Chowtimes and 604Foodtography, I got there the first chance I could.

Bo’s occupies a small space at the front of the shop. They’ve only been open for about four months or so. Aside from the menu items shown, they roll out different specials on the weekend. This being my first visit, I had to go for the Laksa.

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