Monday, February 4, 2013
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
(TJ is unable to review this place as thinking about it puts her cravings into a mad frenzy.)
K: As an old boy of MCKK, one of our hangouts during weekends was the Hainanese kopitiam Yut Loy. Our exclusive boys club was at the 1st floor of the restaurant, where only MCKK boys were allowed. The other lesser mortals would have to be satisfied with the ground floor.
The paus are so good that they get the royal thumbs up from the Sultan of Perak!
However, there was one particular food that was actually really good and quite unique but I only discovered it after I left school.
Okay, I'm sure everyone had tried hainanese chicken chop and beef steak before, but the one thing that I am not sure many people have ever tried is egg steak. Yes, you read it right, egg steak!
The story goes that the MCKK boys were too broke to afford chicken chop or beef steak, so instead they ordered egg steak which is basically fried egg with gravy. It's the same gravy used for the beef steak and chicken chop, just poured on egg. The gravy is not your typical black pepper sauce but a brown sauce served with onions, peas and carrots.
Having said that, the beef steak and chicken chop is much better than the egg steak. But hey, if you want to try something unique, just give the egg steak a go!
No 51, Jalan Kangsar
Price: $ - $$
(first pic courtesy of dammitlil)
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
When asked for makan spots in Taiping, K's friends enthusiastically nominated the famous Mee Udang Mak Jah at Kuala Sepetang aka Port Weld. We were warned that it tends to be rather hot to dine in this open air stall during the day, so we came at night instead.
Finding the place was an anti-climatic adventure as we couldn't find an address. Turns out there's really no need for one as it's facing the ONLY trunk road from Taiping. There are a lot of Mee Udang stalls along the road but we were told to ignore them and only go for Mak Jah.
The famous dish is actually called Mee Udang Banjir (literally translates to Flooded Prawn Noodles) and is not the same as chinese style prawn mee. I've never actually had Malay style prawn mee before but whoa, this is good stuff I can't believe I've been missing out all my life!
The biggest difference between the malay style and chinese is that the former's soup is thicker and more tangy, probably due to a tomato base. Add the slow burning spiciness balanced with sweetness and you've got a bowl good to the last drop. It's served with crunchy fried shallots and of course, a generous serving of fresh prawns from Kuala Sepetang.
The noodle dish comes in two versions; "biasa" (RM7) and "special" (RM11). The difference is the size of the prawns, the latter served with bigger prawns.
K: I had the Mee Goreng Udang Biasa (RM7). It's basically mee goreng basah with a generous serving of prawns. The mee goreng udang was good but having tasted TJ's mee udang I have to admit, mee udang is waaaay better than the mee goreng.
According to an article published on a local daily that hangs proudly on display, the restaurant exclusively uses fresh prawns from Kuala Sepetang. No prawns = no mee udang = close shop. Fuh, that's commitment!
Afterwards a friend of K's asked him if he tried the cucur udang which we didn't since we were already quite full after eating the noodles. K's friend said the cucur udang is a must have too. Ah well, next time then.
Mee Udang Mak Jah is a family run restaurant and one of her children opened an outlet in Klang Valley! Some critics say it is not as good as the original but we have no complaints upon our recent visit there. Having missed out on the cucur udang at Kuala Sepetang, we didn't want to miss out on them this time. Alas, the Wangsa Maju outlet does not serve cucur udang.
K had a chat with the cashier who turned out to be the wife of Mak Jah's younger son. She says it's not easy to prepare the cucur udang, which is why it's not available in KL. Apparently the cucur udang is prepared by Mak Jah's older son, who is running the original outlet in Kuala Sepetang. He was supposed to come over to KL and serve cucur udang at the outlet here which would mean no cucur udang at Kuala Sepetang, but since his kids are still in school, the idea was shelved.
K was quite astounded at this bit of news. Since when was cucur udang so complicated that only ONE PERSON in the entire family knows how to prepare it? Not even the younger brother can prepare it?
Wow!! This must be a helluva cucur udang!! SAYA MESTI PILIH!!!
Another trip to Kuala Sepetang beckons....
In short - Slurp slurp burp! Good food + generous portions + good price = Must makan
Mee Udang Mak Jah
Jalan Taiping-Kuala Sepetang
Kuala Sepetang, Taiping
Open from 11am to 10pm daily*
*closed on Wednesday
Mee Udang Mak Jah
No.22, Jalan Wangsa Delima 10,
Wangsa Maju (near Wangsa Walk)
Open from 11am to 10pm daily
Price - $
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
TJ: I love chinese food. I grew up on chinese food. If you share this love, you'll understand my frustration on finding good, affordable chinese food. I know there's a lot of chinese muslim restaurants popping up in Klang Valley but, despite the rave reviews I hear from others, are just "meh" to me.
Yeah, yeah, my standards are too high I guess.
Most of the halal dim sums in Klang Valley tend to be either pricey or too cheap (cheap is not good when it tastes cheap aka inferior. You can find them at pasar malam. Blergh). On a recent makan trip to Perak, K & I stoppped at Ipoh to try halal dim sum at a reasonable-ish price (cos let's face it, dim sum isn't cheap lah).
The restaurant has a good spread of dim sums to select from, price ranging from RM3.20 to RM5.20.
BBQ Chicken Pau (left, RM3.60) has a soft, fluffy bun that wasn't over steamed (I hate wet pau, don't you?). The filling was smooth and sweet, but it can't beat Yut Loy's pau though! The Prawn Dumpling (centre, RM4.90) had a nice springy bite but was outshone by the succulent Chicken Siew Mai (right,RM3.60).
Under the fried dim sum category, we had the (top left panel) Fried Beancurd Roll (RM4.60), the Hive Yam Puffs (mid left panel, RM4.60), the Prosperity Chicken Ball (lower left panel, RM5.20) and Fried Radish Cake (right panel, RM4.20). The fried items were not greasy, so major points for that!
The beancurd was nice, the yam puffs better and the chicken ball, which comes with a mysterious brown sauce dip, tastes like a dim sum karipap ayam. I personally didn't care for the latter but if you're adventurous and want something a little different...
Fried Radish Cake was the spiciest dish of the day and we were too full by then to truly appreciate it. It had a nice char and like their other fried items, was not greasy but too much taugeh for my liking.
I wanted the Chee Cheong Fun but alas, habis hari tu. I'll have to come back again some day and hope it'll be available! I must also make a note to try their porridges.
For dessert, we had the Egg Tarts (RM4.20) which would've been better had the buttery crust been thinner.
The Greentown Milk Tea (RM3.80) is a must order on the menu. The light layer tea is not too sweet and has a distinct but not overpowering pandan flavour. The addition of fragrant pandan makes this drink a winner! The Sea Coconut and Longan (RM2.70) was good but couldn't stand up to the outstanding Milk Tea.
In short: Definitely worth a visit for dim sum lovers.
Greentown Dim Sum Cafe
Greentown Dim Sum Cafe
No 10, Persiaran Greentown 4,
Greentown Avenue, 30450 Ipoh,
Price range - $-$$
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Somewhere on 10km of Jalan Kuala Krai in Wakaf Che Yeh, is a little run down shop selling Roti Canai. It opens only at night, so you probably would miss this place driving during the day. In fact, it's a little hard to find even when open! It doesn't stand out, it doesn't have a crazy crowd.
But what it does have is a seriously wicked Kari Gearbox aka Bone Marrow Curry.
A good malay roti canai tastes slightly different from mamak as it tends to be more flaky, less chewy. This is an example of a good malay roti canai. Crispy but still soft, I could eat this on it's own but who would want to when there's Kari Gearbox?
This being malay and from the east coast, the thick curry tastes more sweet and spicy but lip smackingly good. Most bone marrow dishes have very little meat on the bone but there was enough tender morsels on this one to pick off. Deelish.
And of course, the best part is the marrow. Whoo. Do grab a straw and suck that precious stuff out!
Caution - this meal is not for those with cholesterol problems. Or for small stomachs. One of these bad boys could feed an army. OK, I exaggerate but it's a HUGE serving best shared. Our group of six pax had made the mistake of specifically ordering the Biggest, Meatiest Hunk of Chunk to which the shop dutifully served. Thank goodness we cancelled from having one each to just one to share.
As stated, this place is a little hard to find even though it's facing the main road as there's no big restaurant signage, just a little sign in front of the tiny stall. Just drive on Jalan Kuala Krai heading towards Wakaf Che Yeh, the nearest landmark is the Kraftangan Malaysia Kelantan branch on km 10.
In short - Perggghhhhh best curry OMNOMNOMNOM.
Bob Roti Canai
Somewhere on KM10 Jalan Kuala Krai
15050 Kota Bharu
Price - $-$$ (depends on the bone size mah. still worth it.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Mother's Day was coming up and we were racking our brains on where to take my grandma for makan. She's big on ambiance for special occasions and of course, food must be good too. At my sister's suggestion, we decided to try On The Table at Solaris Dutamas.
The restaurant is headed by Chef Riz Redz aka anak Chef Wan aka that Masterchef Malaysia judge wearing the ridiculous cravat. Not that he was in that day, maybe out celebrating Mother's Day. With such a BNC (Big Name Chef) the restaurant oughta be really, really, really good right?
Heard good reviews about the Cappuccino of Wild Mushrooms Soup (RM23) and yes, it is justified. It has a wonderful presentation and again, the soup tastes home made and served with a generous portion of meaty sautéed mushrooms. However, the taste of the foam was a little too subtle to me and so was the truffle oil.
The biggest disappointment came from the main courses. TJ had the Redz Heat BLT (RM23) while K opted for the highly recommended RFC (RM38).
|note the offensive turkey jerky |
between the onions and bacon
The turkey bacon, served as a large slice, was very chewy and impossible to cut with a knife and and hard to bite off as well. Therefore you won't be able to taste all the components together. Ended up eating as a separate piece, which was a salty turkey jerky. The caramelized onions were nice but I would've like more than just a spoonful as there wasn't enough to make an impact.
The RFC came with 3 pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and a small salad. The biggest problem was everything tasted underseasoned. The chicken was crispy and juicy, the mashed potatoes smooth and creamy, but ultimately lacked salt. The salad, which was pickled, was not to our liking either as it was too vinegary for our tastebuds.
(apologies for the lack of photo for this dish, there's a html bug)
Dessert was the saving grace. We opted for the Chef's Dessert plate (RM45) which consists of a duo of creme brulee (choc & vanilla), panna cotta topped with dragon fruit and hot chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate fondant was fresh and hot from the oven albeit (intentionally?) on the gooey-er side, but I've had fondants just as good and with a bigger portion for roughly the same price at Yogitree, Gardens.
In short - Good service, lovely atmosphere but the food's pricey and sadly, the mains don't impress.
On The Table
Mon - Sat: 11:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00
A4-UG 1-08, Solaris Dutamas,
Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price Range - $$$
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Galleria has opened with very little fanfare. I honestly thought it was just another office block until one night, while driving by, saw that they had some sad buntings outside the building saying so-and-so shops/ restaurants were open.
Right at the front of the building is Al Dente, a restaurant affiliated to Pullman hotel that offers Italian and Malaysian cuisine. Warning - the prices reflect its affiliation to the hotel.
The menu looks pretty interesting; there's italian, there's Malaysian, and then there's the fusion for the adventurous. Spaghetti with peas and coconut cream? Pizza with sambal and quail eggs? Alas, we weren't feeling terribly adventurous that day, perhaps another time.
|Fresh garlic bread, breadsticks and dips|
The meal began with complimentary starters - yay! Who doesn't like free food, right? Crispy breadsticks and fresh herb and garlic bread with an array of dips. The fresh bread, actually more like plain pizza base, was a delight as it was fluffy and warm. Dips were olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sambal, curry mayonaise and coarsely crushed black olives in oil.
We tried the curry mayonaise with slight trepidation as it sounded kinda gross. But it was a surprising hit with us, mildly zesty but creamy with a slightly cheesy tang. The sambal was also another favorite, more savory than sweet and not too oily, which is how TJ prefers it.
K had the Prawn Risotto (RM22) while TJ opted for the slightly less adventurous Spaghetti Bolognaise (RM22) instead. They didn't stint on the prawns and the texture of the risotto was nice but a big letdown was the asparagus. K expected the asparagus to be crunchy. Alas, there were a few that were too chewy. It was impossible to eat them. Some might say, "Aiyaaah, a few asparagus only maaa. No big deal." No big deal if it's a roadside warung but for a hotel restaurant, unforgivable!
TJ doesn't usually order Spaghetti Bolognaise in restaurants as she has impossibly high standards after a lifetime of being spoiled with her mom's cooking. Alas, mom's overseas and unable to make the spaghetti and TJ would rather not mati kempunan. Verdict - pretty good. The pasta, ironically, was not al dente but the tomato sauce was thick with browned ground beef. Still can't beat mom's cooking.
|Ginger Creme Brulee|
We were pretty excited for dessert as they have Ginger Creme Brulee (RM12), which was an intriguing combination for TJ the ginger lover. Sadly it didn't quite match our expectations. The custard was smooth and creamy but the ginger was too subtle, almost non-existent. But the biggest letdown was the lack of hard caramel, which was either too thin or not under the flame long enough. What's a creme brulee without that hard layer to crack open? A disappointing end to an otherwise promising meal.
In short - Pricey but comes with excellent service in a tastefully simple modern environment, overall good food though a rather disappointing dessert.
Galleria Putrajaya (Next to KBS Building)
Precint 4, Putrajaya
Opening hours 10am til 4PM (so come for lunch or tea)
Price - $$-$$$