Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rumah Makan Cibiuk @ Kajang

Cibiuk is a popular Sundanese restaurant in Taman Putra Kajang. The restaurant is pretty easy to find since it's facing the Kajang highway and we found parking to be a breeze (do note we came during an off peak hour though). It's spacious, clean and modern with some Indonesian decor (I like how the ulam bar looks) and yay, they have baby chairs.

K: I had Nasi Timbel Komplit Ayam Goreng: RM13.90. What is nasi timbel? Rice wrapped tightly in banana leaf so that it remains fluffy and of course, the aroma of the banana leaf would seep into the rice. Included with the rice is fried chicken, fried tempeh & taufu, sayur lodeh, ulam & sambal Cibiuk.

I like my sayur lodeh creamier and thicker. Sue me, I'm not health conscious! The kuah here is quite watery but I've seen the same dish at other Indonesian restaurants and it seems to be the way they prepare it. The corn was not very sweet, no surprise, as all the sweetness have probably been drained into the gravy. 

The rice was exquisite! I had ordered the ayam bakar instead, which for me was on the sweet side and sadly, rather small too. It was tasty and tender but the portion I got was dissatisfying for a hungry tummy.

Our dishes came with jering goreng. Fuh. I've never had jering fried before and I must say...I LIKE IT. It brought out a nuttier taste and and mellowed the usually uber-strong flavour of jering.

K: I'm not a big fan of raw petai. The taste is too strong for my liking. I only like cooked petai. By the same token, I've never bought jering because it's supposed to be stronger than petai and I didn't know how to cook it. But now that I know jering can be deep fried, well, jering here I come! 

My nasi was supposed to come with pegedil jagung but it was missing from the plate. When asked, they gave me a blank look (it's supposed to come with what?) and then (after checking with the kitchen) said it was finished. And that was it. Waduh. We asked them to give us extra tempeh to compensate, which they did with no extra cost of course.

K: The sticking point is that we had to ASK them about the lack of the pegedil. They should have informed us earlier if a key ingredient was unavailable, then we can order something else. Also, there was no effort to make up for the missing pegedil. It's like, "No pegedil? Sucks for you. We are still charging you the full price." We had to ASK them for the extra tempeh. 


There's an ulam bar with a wide variety of sambal. Wah, sambal ada berjenis?? Sadly, the ulam bar was not replenished (veggies or sambals) throughout our visit. We only managed to sample a teensy weensy bit of 3 types sambals and don't know what they were because nothing was labelled.

This was a rather unfortunate problem throughout the restaurant to be honest. Take the menu for example, there's very little description for the dishes (just what's in it). If you, like us, are unfamiliar with Sundanese food, you'd be scratching your head wondering "what's a nasi timbel? how is it different from nasi komplit?". Ask the waiters and they'll be "uhhhh...."

K: For an establishment with the tagline, "Rajanya sambal" or "The king is sambal", the variety of sambal was visibly lacking. At the ulam bar there were  7 containers of sambal but only 3 had any content & even then we had to scrape the bottom of the container because they were almost finished. Come on lah, it's not as if we came at closing time. Don't tell me with 4 hours of operation left, you just can't be bothered to replenish the sambal & the ulam?

Service was also a little slow. K had devoured his rice in record time and asked for seconds...which did not come. He had to order it again with another waiter, and it appeared soon enough after. However, we were double charged with the rice refill cos they added the forgotten order in the bill, just not the kitchen. D'OH.

I've been told that the poor service we experienced (minus the unreplenished ulam bar) that day is an anomaly. Maybe it's because we went on a public holiday, and they gave their staff an off day cos they looked short handed. However, I have to state that though it was a public holiday, we came for an early dinner, and the restaurant was not full house when we arrived or left.

If you're coming in a large group, do call ahead and book a table as this restaurant is popular. They even advise you to order ahead to avoid disappointment.

Verdict - Top notch food with third rate service. I would come again, but not in a heartbeat.

Rumah Makan Cibiuk
No. 1-G,
Jalan Putra 6, Taman Putra Kajang,
43000 Kajang
T: 03-87415000



Opening Hours 11am- 11pm on Saturday - Thursday
2:15pm (after Friday prayers) - 11pm on Friday

Monday, April 14, 2014

Serabei Cafe @ Ayer@8, Putrajaya

There's a new commercial area in Putrajaya called Ayer@8. I'm guessing the name is because it is at the waterfront (Ayer) and in Precint 8. It's a little hidden from the main road. 

Serabai Cafe serves East Coast food, such as Nasi Dagang, Nasi Kerabu, Laksam, Lompat Tikam, etc. They also have specials that they'll announce on their FB page.

Nasi Briyani 

K: You have a choice of chicken briyani, mutton briyani or a mixture of both. I took the mutton + chicken combo. The mutton was tender and nicely seasoned. The chicken was also delicious, not too spicy and not too hard, something that is common with chicken not freshly fried. (Roughly RM13-RM15)

Nasi Kerabu 

The Nasi Kerabu (about RM9) was served with pieces of fried chicken, telur masin (salted egg) and keropok. To those unfamiliar with this dish, it's rice mixed with raw herbs, veggies, and  kerisik (toasted dessicated coconut) drizzled with budu (fermented fish sauce) and sambal. The rice is either yellow (from tumeric) or blue (from a flower which unfortunately can be hard to come by, therefore most use food coloring). Funny the blue rice is usually called Nasi Kerabu Hitam, which means black. My east coast cousins tells me the name is derived from when the blue rice is mixed with all the condiments, making it look more black. 

OK, you're here for a Nasi Kerabu review, not thesis. Cut to the chase; I found the chicken to be a little tough and dry. Personally, I'd have prefer it with grilled beef or batter fried fish or solok lada (fish and dessicated coconut stuffed in a large cili). I would have also liked a little more budu but I like my sodium. 


I have never had Serabei (RM5) before, never even heard of it before that night! In fact, I thought the restaurant's name was just "serabai" in Kelantanese dialect - oops! They were like little fluffy dollar pancakes made of rice flour. It's very bland because it's supposed to eaten with this sweet, coconut-creamy sauce.

Lompat Tikam

Sadly we did not get to try the Lompat Tikam (RM5) despite ordering it. grandma gobbled it all up. She says it was good, and since she's Kelantanese, she should know better anyway.

Check out the view from Ayer@8.

I have to apologise for being rather vague about the pricing. My cat literally pissed on a whole bunch of receipts (which includes Fa-Ying).

If you are coming from KL, you have to turn right at the crossroads just before the Wawasan Bridge. Another left turn and the straight past the Precint 8 Low Risk Maternity Centre and voila, you're at Ayer@8.

Unfortunately, Googlemaps has not been updated to include Ayer@8 yet. However, Serabei's FB page has a map.

Verdict - Good service and atmosphere, excellent food presentation. TJ - in terms of taste, I find it slightly above average but bear in mind that I have very high standards for Nasi Kerabu. K - The chefs probably have formal training because the way they set out the plate reminds me of food from Top Chef. Taste wise, good enough for occasional visits but not something makes you yearn to go there time after time.

Serabei Cafe
Lot A2-3-GA, Ayer@8,
Jalan P8 G/13, Presint 8,
62000 Putrajaya
T: 012-9581056 or 019-2412115

Serabei Cafe Facebook

Price - $-$$
Opening Hours - 10am-10pm daily*
* Please check their FB or call the restaurant ahead as they are closed on occasions (usually Sundays based on observation la)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fa-Ying by Rama V @ Paradigm Mall

Ever heard of Rama V? It's supposed to be one of the best Thai restaurants in Klang Valley. I've been there once, for buka puasa, it's good but certainly a splurge as it's fine dining. Plus it's in the middle of Ampang, a little out of the way for us living in the boondocks.

Fa-Ying is the casual dining spin-off at Paradigm Mall serving fusion thai-western on the menu. I thought it was a chinese restaurant to be quite honest.

Clockwise from top: Red Duck Sandwich, Pineapple Krunch Cake and Thai Tea with milk.

I had the red duck sandwich. Truth be told, I was a little dubious when I saw it as I thought it could use more meat. However, it turned out to have a surprisingly strong flavour. The soft bread did not overcome the tender duck meat. There's some veggie in there; salad, some onions and cucumber.

It came with a serving of a tempura fried veggies and papaya salad (som tam). The tempura, while crispy, was just a wee bit oily. Could have been drained a little longer, I think. The som tam was spot on with texture but I personally like my som tam with a kick - spicier and more sour. This was like som tam for beginners.

The Thai Tea with milk was a little weak for me. I've had the one at Rama V and this one doesn't match up. Maybe it was the ice making it watery?

The generous sized Pineapple Krunch cake was incredibly moist with some pineapple pieces in it. I wished that there was more of that delicious caramel glazed walnuts as it gave a lovely crunchy texture and added a much needed contrast. It was yummy but a little sweet for me and probably would've been better shared.

Apologies but I have lost the receipt in an unfortunate incident which involved my cat. But the prices (based on memory, so I do apologise if they are wrong) are roughly RM10 for the drink, RM15-20 for the main, and the cake was RM12-15.

Verdict - I definitely wouldn't mind returning, though I won't be rushing back.

Fay Ying by Rama V
GB-08, Level G,
Paradigm Mall,
No. 1, Jalan SS7/26A,
Petaling Jaya, 47301
T: 03-7451 2933


Price - $-$$
Halal meat sources, alcohol served
Open from 11am to 12am daily

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Le French Wrap @ Gardens, Midvalley

Trivia - the sandwich is Sailor Mercury's favorite food because you can eat it while reading (or doing other studious things). Yes, I just dropped a Sailor Moon reference in this food blog. Because I can. And because everything Sailor Moon is awesome and I won't hear otherwise.

I happen to like sandwiches myself, and isn't it nice that we have more gourmet choices in Klang Valley now? A nice change from the usual sardine (though I am fan of that too!).

In The Gardens Mall, just opposite of Cold Storage supermarket is Le French Wrap. A friendly teeny tiny deli (I think it only has seats for 10?) that serves wraps and sandwiches.  that has just increased their tables!

The wraps, I guess this is the french twist, are crepes.

However, being my first time at Le French Wrap, I was recommended the bread, which according to my receipt is Pain Viennois (Viennese bread), instead. Baked fresh daily from a french bakery no less. Fuyoh, nice and soft.

I had the lunch set; a sandwich/ wrap with side order, RM17 + RM1 (the additional is upgrading from wrap to sandwich). My sandwich of choice - Le Mediterranean; chicken with sundried tomato cream cheese, crispy romaine and cherry tomatoes, with potato salad served with dill.

And despite having a creamy potato salad side, I felt like I had a very healthy lunch because everything tasted so light and fresh.

There's just one problem.

I had skipped breakfast that day (my bad), and was borderline ravenous. In this situation, my asian stomach would probably have preferred something heavier like nasi or noodles or mee instead of a healthy sandwich.

The Viennese  bread, while certainly not dinky, is narrow like a baguette, therefore smaller in portion than what you'd get at Subway sandwich.

Have I mentioned they have homemade sauces to go with these sandwiches? I had the wasabi mayo.

My sandwich was pleasant enough but once I had it with the wasabi mayo...wah liao! MOON PRISM POWER MAKEUP ~ transform from ordinary school girl to kick ass crime fighter! 

Seriously, a grilled chicken sandwich is nice but that wasabi mayo sauce brings in the naughty that makes you sit up and pay attention. They have other flavours, which hopefully is just as good. Only one way to find out kan?

There are other, healthier (there's that word again) side orders to choose from, like coleslaw, steamed spinach salad or fresh salad. There are also sweet wraps and mille crepe to tempt those with a sugar craving.

You can also make your own sweet or savory wrap/ sandwich starting from RM4. I would definitely like to try the sweet crepes next time. 

Verdict - J'taime! Especially that wasabi mayo sauce.

Le French Wrap
LG, Gardens Mall (Midvalley)
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
T - +603 7887 8417/18

Le French Wrap FB

Price - $ - $$
Halal meat sources
Open from 10am to 10pm

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Red Cherry @ Jaya One


In the very quiet (at least on Sunday evenings) Jaya One lies a store called Pop, which is dubbed a "retail hotel". Basically it's a shop that sublets its space for a minimum of a day, so you'll find a hodge podge of kiosks.

Among these pop up stores is The Red Cherry, which besides selling Legos and children's clothing Gymboree, offers desserts by UnionJac and Cherry On The Cake.

I must confess to having a sweet tooth and after being delightfully surprised how yummy their crunchy cornflake cookies (rm16 for a box) were, I just had to try the macarons.

Have you had a bad macaron? My first one ever was. It was chewy and dry and cloyingly sweet, might as well down a spoonful of sugar la, no other flavor.

But I've been fortunate enough to have tried some really good ones since though I certainly can't call myself an expert. I can, however, tell if I've enjoyed it.

Back to Red Cherry, yes, they have macarons! At Rm4.50, which seems to be the going KL rate. 

I only took 2 flavours, because let's be honest, it feels extravagant to pay that much for an itty bitty cookie in our current economy. 

Pistachio and a special Valentine themed macaron called "Jack & Rose" (as in Titanic).

The pistachio gets a thumbs down for me. It had a nice flavor but was on the chewier side. I'm guessing it might be a little old?

But the "Jack & Rose" gets a thumbs up! Rose with a dark chocolate and raspberry jam filling. I am a sucker for chocolate and raspberry anything, and this one didn't disappoint. However, I did feel that rose is too delicate a flavor to pair with, so it was lost on me although the macaron itself was light and airy. 

Plus those little hearts are a nice touch. It seems that they come up with special edition flavors with matching designs for festive occasions ie a red and gold pineapple spiced macaron for CNY.

Verdict -  hit and miss! But I'd most definitely come back for more (just not pistachio) when the sweet tooth temptation is too great. I'd like to try the lemon poppyseed loaf another day.

The Red Cherry
POP @ The School, 
Jaya One
Jalan Universiti, 
46200 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Price - $ (for the food, not retail items)
no pork served

Friday, February 7, 2014

Eating Halal @ Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is one of my favorite cities, especially as it's pretty affordable and has a great public transportation system. But eating there can be such a challenge if you're going halal.

Halal food in Bangkok exists but not at all tourist spots! Or at least, not that we know of...

This isn't a review, more like a short guide of halal food in Bangkok based on our experience.

Soi Arab aka Soi 4 @ Sukhumvit
A few blocks away from the naughty nightclubs and bars of Nana and ladies (and ladyboys) of the night is Soi Arab aka Little Arab. You'll find plenty of middle eastern cuisine, thai and some familiar dishes like roti naan, roti canai/ prata. However, the prices here are like KL midrange and up e.g roti for rm5 (WAH LIAO!), briyani rice around RM15.
Nearest BTS - Nana or Phloenchit

Surao Alley @ Ratchatewi
A simple rule of thumb - where there's a mosque, there'll be halal food. Along the walk on Phetchaburi Road to the corner of Surao Alley is Darul Aman Mosque and several halal eateries. If you can't take the heat, head to Hayati Restaurant as it is air conditioned but the prices there are more mid range but the food mediocre. Skip their cendol as it was served with ice cubes instead of shaved ice, sugar instead of gula melaka. Other restaurants include Mak Yah and Ali Selatan.
Nearest BTS - Ratchatewi (about a 5 min walk)

Platinum Fashion Mall @ Pratunam
The food court has one halal vendor (look out for the sticker on their food display, none on signage). It can be a bit tricky to find if there's a queue blocking the sticker so keep a lookout! They also have one stall that sells only seafood dishes and an Indian stall. There was a vegetarian but it was closed (for the day or for good, we're not sure).
Do note that this is a food court with shared utensils/ cutlery although I think the cooking pots are washed separately. Eat at your own discretion.
Nearest BTS - Siam or you could take the Khloeng river taxi to Pratunam

Chatuchak Market
There are several halal stalls in Chatuchak! They should have a halal sticker on display. Relatively easy to find. 
Nearest MRT - Chatuchak

The Khloeng behind Jim Thompson House @ Rama 1
A few years we found a restaurant along the khloeng behind Jim Thompson House that sold inexpensive halal thai food. Authetic and delicious but alas, we cannot confirm if the place still exists as we didn't head that way recently. No harm taking a peek if you're in the area though.
Warning: it's right next to the khloeng. Speeding water taxis may spray you.
According to google maps, somewhere across the khloeng from Jim Thompson is Darul Faha Mosque. 
Nearest BTS - National Stadium

Siam Paragon
(Dated information) there's a halal indian restaurant but it's rather pricy.
The supermarket stocks some halal certified local items like sauces, pastes, cookies and snacks. The challenge is going through their extensive collection to find the halal ones!
Nearest BTS - Siam

I was told a few years ago from a trusted source that chicken in Bangkok is halal, so places like KFC are safe. However take this information with a pinch of salt as I've recently read this has changed, it depends on which outlet you go to. So to be safe, ask the staff!

Useful links:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Singgah Selalu @ Johor Bahru

Whoops, didn't realise that this post was languishing in the unpublished pile!

Apologies for the lack of photos, we only had the camera phone to work with.

The restaurant is quite easy to find as they have a few branches. We went to the one at Danga Bay, which is opposite of Tune Hotel.

The restaurant is huge, could easily seat a 100 pax or more!

K: I think it can seat more than 100. Maybe 200++? It also has live music performance at night. Very convenient place to meet up & lepak. Nak tengok bola pun bolehhhh....

We had the controversial asian favorite; sharks fin soup, tomato chili crab and butter fried sotong (calamari).

The sharks fin soup, to be honest, was forgettable. The restaurant didn't even have black vinegar and instead gave us kicap - FAIL wey! It wasn't bad, mind you, but it wasn't great so why spend money and have a poor shark die in vain for mediocrity?

The tomato chili crab was rather pricey (RM40++) but the portion was fair enough. I don't have chili crab often enough to tell you if this is the best thing ever but it was good. The crab was meaty and fresh, I only wished the sauce was just a little more sour. 

The outstanding dish was the butter fried sotong because of the generous portion. Rm14 for a dish big enough for 3! And yes, it was yummy too.

K: Yeah, the butter fried sotong is the only dish that I would consider value for money. The rest were, hmmmm, average.

Good variety of food - Western, Malaysian, Chinese - so, if you come in a big group there're plenty of choices for everyone. Shisha pun ada!

Quality wise, not bad but just doesn't have that extra zing.

Verdict - It's not bad but it's not outstanding. Certainly won't have us rushing for another trip to JB.

Singgah Selalu
36, D,E,F, Jalan Skudai, 
80200 Johor Bahru.
T: 07-2377255

Price - $-$$$
Open 24 hours