Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Tapau


When I don't have enough time or am too lazy to pack my lunch to work, I eat chap fan. Yup, I tapau just like everybody else.

The coffee shop behind my office used to prepare very good dishes for their chap fan stall. Their selections were limited but the quality was decent by chap fan standards. Prices were reasonable too.

But alas, their standards dropped over the years and I hardly go there anymore unless if I am pressed for time.

I had been going to Tar Chong opposite UOB Bank in Damansara Uptown for my lunch or dinner fix but sadly there has been a drastic drop in the quality of their dishes. I don't know why, maybe there has been a change in ownership or the proprietors have fallen on bad times (hence can't buy good ingredients) or the cook left hah..hah..

I have stopped buying food from Tar Chong and my other alternative is the chap fan stall at the coffee shop near Standard Chartered Bank. That chap fan stall is the most expensive in this area but the food is quite good.

Lately, I noted they are not doing as well as they did before. The crowd and long queues have since died down. Why? Are people more cost conscious and are opting for something cheaper or have they started to bring their own food? I don't know.

Anyway, here is some of the food I tapau last year just for laughs.

This is dinner from Curry Leaf. It doesn't look very pretty but it's deeelicious! I've got rice, mutton, beansprouts and a medley of brinjals and potatoes.

Again, this is dinner from Curry Leaf. I forgot to bring my own container hence it is packed in this styrofoam box. Same as above except for the mixed vegetable curry.

This is lunch from Tar Chong during their heydays. I love their lemon chicken and couldn't get enough of it. I usually take one meat and two veggies, but as you can see, I have got a serving of marmite chicken too because I couldn't decide between the two. So I took both hah....hah... For veggies I took bittergourd and mustard greens. Take note of the fiery sliced red chili padi.

Oops! Curry Leaf again. I cannot resist their dry mutton curry and that brinjal and potato mix. This time, cabbage joined the combo. I was in heaven!

This one is from the stall near Standard Chartered Bank. I love their sweet and sour pork and brinjals. To that I added choy tam and a piece of beancurd. This cost me RM9.00 if I am not mistaken.

I miss this a lot. From Tar Chong when it was great. See my favorite lemon chicken? I took 3 veggies to accompany it. What a satisfying lunch!

When I am tired of chap fan, I treat myself to a delicious salad at Salad Shack. This was so good!

So how now? With expensive chap fan which is not that great, I have resorted to packing my own lunch again. These were from last year.


Grilled pork with tomatoes, peppers, salad leaves and cucumbers.

Roasted chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and coriander.

Meatloaf, stir fried chicken, curried pumpkins and broccoli.

51 comments:

  1. Good morniing Phong Hong. I like "chap farn soong" you know. I can eat it 5 times a day. They taste good, with the "added" seasoning, especially the soup. If eat in, got free soup and iced tea, teehee.. Hubby takes a tiffin carrier and tapau 3 dishes (and free soup) for us, RM12. Eh, I prefer your packed lunch more.. Sekali pandang, your packed lunch more "western" and colourful. But I think if you say tapau nasi kandar, gone case, RM15 already (mutton, fried chicken, egg or cabbage)..

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    1. Good evening Louiz! Actually I also like chap fan food if it is good. I also don't mind eating everyday if there is variety. But now the prices going up but at the same time the taste is not that nice. So no choice have to DIY my lunch.

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  2. From all the pictures, I only drool at your own packed lunch. Those last few photos are food that I like. More healthy.

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    1. Thanks Yannie! Nice to know you like mine better hee..hee..

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  3. Good morning Phong Hong. I like curry mutton too (Vegie one).
    I like the grilled pork and tomatoes.

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    1. Hi Angeline! Eh, I also like the vegetarian mutton curry hah..hah..

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  4. I like that you bring your own container when you tapau food....I do that too whenever I can. It tastes so much better (in my mind :D) + we're doing our bit to save the environment. I see you have a fondness for Curry Leaf...both the restaurant...and the herb! ;D

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    1. My container is bigger than the styrofoam box and that is my motivation LOL! Yes, I love the food at Curry Leaf :)

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  5. My goodness!!! You sure stack up everything!!! So many selections, the rice is completely buried, no sign of it!!! You eat all that yourself, one meal? How much would that be? Would be a lot more expensive than the regular one meat and two veg, I'm sure.

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    1. I sure do hee..hee... Yes, I'm a big eater and that is all for me. I once had a chap fan seller asking me if the food is for one or two persons LOL! Mine usually cost between RM8 and RM9 if I really stack it up or else it would be RM7.50 minimum.

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  6. So when you cook, do you eat those dishes with rice or just go without? I must have rice, a bit also never mind, as long as there is some to go with the dishes especially those curry! I want to be like you next time, if I cannot choose between the two, just order both! Why stress.. hahahahaa...

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    1. I have done away with rice and I eat my dishes and the chap fan dishes without rice. But I do take rice during weekends. As a matter of fact I love rice.

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, all your tapau dishes look appetising but your home packed ones are definitely more healthier and you have lots of variety too.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! The tapau food used to be good but not anymore. So I have resorted to packing my own.

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  8. Love looking at the "tapau" dishes. Thanks for sharing out your tapau meals with us...

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    1. I had nothing else to write so I thought it would be fun to share the tapau dishes hee..hee..

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  9. I still eat at Tar Chong occasionally and you never smacked my head when you walked in??? You can cubit my cute face too! Wakakaka

    I am so simple that I thought Tar Chong's food is still good esp their Marmite Chicken which is always tasty and crispy. Yums! I am hungry now.

    Your Curry Leaf food really looked deeeelicious and a lot. I would normally eat half that portion. Maybe you shared with your darling la.

    I must try this Salad Shack for a change.

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    1. I have not spotted you yet at Tar Chong LOL! In fact I went there this afternoon because I was hungry. But after looking at the dishes, I left empty handed.

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  10. so today you are showing photos from your archive folder on the food you usually have for lunch in office, bought and not cooked or baked by yourself.. patutlah, takkan cook all the time, especially if you have to wake up super duper early before work to prepare your lunch..

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    1. not bad at all, you have so many choices around your office even just for chap fan!! I don't have much choices here, if not the mamak downstairs (for real convenience), there are only one chap fan stall and two kopitiam that we will always patronize.. that is why cooking in the office is a good alternative to me..haha!!

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    2. so you bring your own container to tapau, so that the thing won't look too overloaded like it seems to be when you use the default styrofoam, haha!! surely, that styrofoam lunch from Curry Leaf looks like a mountain to me, but I bet it was absolutely satisfying, and errr, probably a little sleepy in the late afternoon due to sugar rush?? hehehe~~

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    3. you have got a good balance of dishes you took.. I would also go for one meat with one veggie and then one egg/tofu or any miscellaneous stuffs.. hahaha!! how do I define "miscellaneous stuffs"?? I like the lemon chicken and marmite chicken too, I can't choose also but I think most probably I'll take one for the day and then come back the next day for another one.. chap fan stalls usually cook the same set of dishes everyday right?? :p

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    4. chap fan sure getting more expensive now, I guess many places starting from RM5.. I'm lucky the one we patronize near office where I can still get below RM4 for three veggie, if there's meat then sure more than that la..

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    5. why are those all photos from last year?? what are you eating now?? air?? muahahaha~~ xD

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    6. That's what is good about my area, lots of makan places. Chap fan already got 5 choices not to mention restaurants and cafes. Some of them I haven't even been to.

      I like my own container because it is bigger than the styrofoam box LOL! I like to tapau rice from Curry Leaf in the evening. Very syiok to eat like that for dinner and after that go to sleep.

      I like more vegetables but there are days when the meat dishes look very tempting and I take two servings. I know it's bad but what the heck :D

      Chap fan prices over here I doubt if can get RM5.00 unless if you take very small servings. For me, my most modest serving cost me RM7.50. Anything below that, tak cukup makan.

      hah..hah...I took those photos at random last year. After CNY I have been prepping my own food. See how long that can last.

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  11. I love your lemon chicken with the three veggies, Phong Hong!
    Also, the grilled pork with the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, on top of the salad...yumm! You added everything so wisely, healthy, and nutritional as well! It's quite expensive here, to eat out for lunch every day, and time consuming as well when you don't have much time. We do have food stalls here, as well, but I'm not aware of that people are bringing their own containers to fill it up, everything is 'take out' and perhaps the reason it might be more expensive because of the 'take out' containers they provide is NOT styrofoam, but a plastic re-usable container with a lid...very interesting and informative post!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! Eating out (those mixed food stalls) used to be very affordable but over the years prices have crept up. I don't mind paying more if the food is good but sadly it isn't. The vendors are cutting corners and it is time consumers send a message out to them loud and clear by packing our own from home. But it is not feasible for some to to that since they may not have enough time in the morning before rushing off to work. On my part, I hope that I can keep up with my own lunch prep :)

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  12. Your Chap Fan all look so good, I like the lemon chicken with three veggies too, your chap fan look very filling, I like, I am a big eater

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    1. I miss the lemon chicken. The last time I had it, the chicken was so hard and dry :(

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  13. Of course your meals packed from home wins. They look so tasty and not oily unlike chap fan dishes which are oily. I will eat mutton curry from curry leaf until I am sick of it if I work near there.

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    1. LOL! I see that you are a mutton curry fan. Me too, can eat until get sick of it hah..hah...

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  14. Lunch options near my office are also not always what one could expect, therefore Home made always wins!

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    1. Home is best and I hope to be able to keep up!

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  15. I like the last 3 photos, their combination.

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  16. Oh I see, your last 3 photos are home packed, no wonder they looked so good, chap fan from outside might be too oily, except the lemon chicken with three veggies which I like

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    1. Home packed is best but takes a lot of effort.

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  17. I usually ate outside rather then tapau, too troublesome though it's hot too eating out. I think the food you prepared are so much better ! Hahha

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    1. Eating outside is good also, so that people in the office/phonecalls can't disturb you while you are eating.

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  18. Hi Phong Hong,

    Unlike Singapore and Malaysia, there is many cheap place to take away in Melbourne... The tapau prices are the same as sitting in so might as well sit in then :p

    Having said that, I reckon your homemade tapau are still the best!

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe! I hope to keep up with my homemade tapau. I actually feel better after eating my own food though it may not taste as good as the outside ones.

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  19. What a great round-up of tapau food, PH! I do that at times too when I'm lazy to cook :D

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    1. Shirley, it's comforting to know that you do that too LOL!

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  20. Hi Phong Hong,
    I like chap fan too but somehow the standard of the stall that's nearest to my work place has dropped too. Lesser variety and too salty/oily for most dishes. So sometimes I'll bring a pot of soup or settle with noodles from other food stalls.

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    1. Hi Karen! Oh dear looks like you have the same problem too. I avoid noodles due to the carbo. I only eat once in a while.

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  21. Your blog always makes me so hungry!

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  22. Ah your lunches look so delicious! The chap fan ones too, esp the lemon chicken. I once had this amazing lemon fish dish in Singapore, I dunno what it was called but looking at the lemon chicken reminded me of that. It was soo good, can't go wrong with lemon and deep fried stuff eh :P

    The lunches you prepared yourself look so delicious and healthy! I try to restrict my carbs so they look perfect to me ^ u ^

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    1. I am eating less chap fan now but I had a go last week because I got tired of my own cooking hah...hah...

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