Long known to be lost, it has recently resurfaced in a puff of BBQ smoke in the streets of Taman Sentosa. This wondrous and magical dish is said to only appear at night, teasing and tantalizing the hordes of hungry travelers that pass by there everyday.
I shall share with you this tale that has never been told before, a tale filled with danger, suspense and ultimately, victory. Let me begin.
On that 28th day of the 3rd month of our calendar, we set off from the shores of the lion country, culinary weapons in hand, to seek out this treasure of deliciousness.
Our intrepid party consists of our party leader, the infamous and unflappable Anthony the Instant, known for his penchant for devouring every brand of cup noodles known to mankind. His intimate knowledge of the lands of Johor would prove invaluable.
|Anthony the Instant|
Flanked by yours truly, the silver haired one that once put Gandalf the Grey to tears that he has since been called Gandalf the Crying One. Yes, I was Anthony the Instant's wingman for the day, and it was a heavy responsibility.
|Marin the Smart|
With the aid of Martin the Smart, the elderly but wily seeker of great foods and equally knowledgeable about the culture of Johor, our adventurous party was finally completed with the grace and poetry of Nicole the Pink. The lady of wings that is all things fowl, and not foul.
|Nicole the Pink|
Thus, the Fellowship of the Triangle Chicken Wing was formed.
Setting off at the break of dawn, we braved the treacherous sun and howling rain as we made our way across the concrete causeway. We knew we were fighting against time, for the agents of the dark lord, Dauron Yaldermott were fast on our hungry trail.
We went past the town of Skudai, where we had to resist the tasty temptations of the kuay teow kia there, but that as they say, is a tale left for another day. Along the way, we also had to fight off the flirtations of our various food foes, including a reputable BKT, fried durian and french pastries.
After a day's of adventuring, we finally set foot on the tarmac of Taman Sentosa, where Anthony the Instant pulled our petrol powered carriage into the awaiting dwellers of Kimdo BBQ. There, the Eye of Dauron was watching over us, awaiting our next move.
|A Traveller's Feast at Kimdo|
Sitting down our tired butts, and not sure if this was the destination of our fabled chicken wing, Anthony the Instant cautiously ordered only one plate of chicken wings to savor.
Our eager eyes, weary from a day of adventuring were still roaming all over the eating lodge, not missing the diversity of food that was all offer. Chicken hearts would conquer a far lesser braver quartet, but we soldiered on and ordered that as well. And ordered we did too for the sumptuous petai that was BBQ to a charcoal bliss.
|The Mystical Triangle Chicken Wing|
When our plate of the triangle chicken wing eventually arrived, we knew our quest was coming to a conclusion. Just looking at our mythical prize that we had so fought so long and hard to reach was almost enough to satisfy us.
Then, one by one, we all tore into the chicken wings like there was no tomorrow. And then we knew, the quest was indeed fulfilled. It was more than that. It was a revelation.
The crispness of the chicken wing as never in doubt. But what was surprising was that immaculate charred flavor buried deep within the chicken flesh that had us mesmerized. It was a true skill of a BBQ smith to infuse the charcoal taste in the delicate chicken flesh.
We knew that one round was not sufficient, so without haste we ordered another plate. And it was this time, that the portly owner of Kimdo came by and decided to regale us with his tales.
|Elvis the Smiling|
With a cheeky grin and a mischievous glint in his eye, Elvis the Smiling could disarm even the most sinister of orcs this part of Middle Nanyang. Alas, it was revealed he is the son of the owner of this establishment, and he is soon to inherit the wealth that is the Kimdo heritage.
He was modest in his own gentle giant manner, but he was also excited to talk about his new adventures beyond the shores of Johor. Having braved the lands of Vietnam, he has come back like a prodigal warrior, ready to do his duty and his family proud.
We still had one minor side quest, that of the Takeaway Chao Tar Bee Hoon, which we had originally envisioned to seek at the notorious San Lou Lodge. But the smiling Elvis convinced us otherwise. You see, he said, the secret to a good chao tar bee hoon depends on the chef's mood.
We pursued further and yes, his chef was in a generous mood that evening. So we decided to remain at the lodge of Kimdo to savor the prized dish. Perhaps fate had a say that day.
|Chao Tar Bee Hoon|
We were still somewhat skeptical, for we were told we had to uphold the code of authenticity and tradition if we were to consume this and report this to our Guild of Who-Knows-Why-We-Are-Still-Debating-On-Authenticity-And-Real-Cuisine-When-We-Should-Just-Chill-And-Enjoy-Food-For-What-It-Is. Quite a silly guild actually.
Yes, the dark shadow of Yaldermott was upon us that night. As we waited and waited, it seemed that the promise of this equally fabled dish might not be fulfilled, or worse, it might actually disappoint.
After what seemed like a dozen months had passed, the scarlet plate of aromatic vermicelli noodles landed on our table like the return of the King. It was then that our doubts subsided.
The burnt aroma, filled with the tinge of seafood sweetness had us won over by the first mouthful. Yes, the prophecy was right. Elvis the Smiling was smiling even more now, as I completed the quest by ordering my takeaway packet of this illustrious dish.
|The BBQ Fires of Kimdo|
By then, Yaldermott was banished far from our minds and emotions. The dread that filled us earlier was utterly lifted by the night's light singing of the stars. The Dark Lord would be back at a later time, but for now, we were duly rested and fed with the food of the Johorian Kings.
But wait! There is more to this tale. You see, the scroll that was delivered to this party to begin our quest had an origin. An origin that was unbeknownst to us, and even as we ventured forth, we knew that one day, the identity of this mysterious stranger that sent us on our merry way would prove to be both revealing and surprising.
And as Nicole the Pink was about to tabao another 10 triangles back to her round pink house with a round pink door in her Bag End, I wondered who this mysterious stranger might be.
To be continued ...
Look for the next installment of this Lord of the Culinary series, The Two Bak Kut Tehs, where the forces of peppery light and the minions of herbal dark will do battle over the fields of Middle Road to determine who is the rightful ruler of this famous Nanyang delicacy.
23 Jalan Sutera