a.k.a. The Worst Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant in the Known Universe

jothys fish head curry banana leaf rice

Jothy’s Fish Head Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant is located in Api Api Center in KK, Sabah and has a lot of impressive stickers on its front window facade, including one that says “as seen in Lonely Planet”, which was the reason we headed there to eat in the first place. I place a certain amount of trust in the Lonely Planet brand.

jothys interior

The first clue that it might not exactly be the best place to eat when we walked in is the underwhelming crowd in the restaurant. We were the only ones there. I swear I could hear crickets chirping.

jothys banana leaf

Their banana leaf rice seems authentic enough…

jothys banana leaf rice

…but the taste did not live up to expectations. I tried every single one of the side serves and found them severely wanting.

jothys curry fish head

Their flagship signature dish – the curry fish head – was tough, overcooked and dry. It’s certainly not “the freshest fish head from the market”.

jothys curry fish head meat

I don’t know what kind of fish this head came from but finding meat is like looking for a needle in a haystack (or insert other cliched analogy here since there are a lot of fish bones in there).

jothys prawn

The fried prawns were not “succulent” as the menu claimed, but tough. I’m also highly doubtful about the “choice fish eggs fried to perfection” description as our fish roe had the same taste and texture of cardboard (not that I’ve ever eaten cardboard – it’s what I imagine cardboard would taste like).

jothys lonely planet

I find this unforgivable in a place known for it’s abundance of seafood. The bill was exorbitant too – the fish head curry alone was RM 50.

jothys herpes

It’s a tourist trap. Avoid it like a bad case of herpes.

hakka mee start

One dark and stormy night…

hakka loh mee

Okay, it wasn’t stormy but it was late at night. Most of the places were closing down but I saw this coffee shop which was still open and drove in.

hakka mee 

We decided to share the Hakka Loh Mee since Caydence is of Hakka descent and would be able to gauge the authenticity of the dish. I was wrong on both counts since she doesn’t eat anything – apparently she was the inspiration for Matthew when he wrote “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God“.

hakka mee caydence

However, she does know how to cool down a piping hot bowl of Hakka Yee Mee (they ran out of Loh Mee) quickly. Don’t be fooled, she wasn’t getting a portion for herself, I did that already and she doesn’t want to eat. She’s just reducing the temperature of the Hakka noodle dish.

hakka mee macro

I wouldn’t heap accolades on the Hakka Loh Mee – it wasn’t anything special even after hefty seasoning with vinegar and pepper. It was starchy and eggy and by all accounts looks palatable but if I had one word to describe it, it would be mediocre.

hakka mee us

This place is located Somewhere in Bukit Jalil (TM) near her apartment but I’ll be damned if I can find it again since I didn’t turn on the GPS. Well, considering the quality of the food, it’s not like I want to anyway. ;)

grim eater

The Grim Eater reviews:

happy house

Happy Family Ice & Refreshment House is a small, sterile eating establishment occupying a side lot of a shop house unit. This is a vegetarian establishment that does not serve meat.

happy interior

The interior looks very common, with generic seating arrangements. The proprietor obviously believes in the absurd concept of having ceiling mounted air conditioning units in an open space. The air conditioning units are never turned on, which makes one wonder as to why they were installed in the first place.

happy warmers

The food warmer units ridiculously occupying the entire left counter is almost empty, suggesting that the place is doing less-than-brisk business for a reason. The original stickers were also left on, which displays deep fried cholesterol, carbon and oxidant laden chicken. I would think that the proprietor would have taken the trouble of replacing the placeholders with vegetarian fare, but apparently, the sliding mechanism proves to be too complicated.

happy retail

There is also an opportunistic retail section that offers vegetarian fare from the dubious food factories of China.

happy rojak

The Vegetarian Rojak is tasteless and has no redeeming value at all. It also seems that the concept of presentation is lost on the cook.

happy laksa

The Vegetarian Laksa did not bring back wonderful childhood memories of my late mother cooking for me.

happy laksa macro

I find the dish a putrid mockery of this established Sarawakian dish. It is not merely tasteless, but undercooked.

happy baked spag

The Roasted Cheese Noodle is translated as Italy Noodle. I would be amused if not for the blatant ignorance of simple pasta like spaghetti.

happy baked spag macro

The establishment also confuses the word “roasted” with “baked” and should take English lessons. The shitake mushrooms did not infuse enough flavors into the dish and the pasta was not al dente, which is essential to prevent sogginess in al forno dishes.

I find this establishment an insult to my taste buds!

The Grim Eater is not happy at Happy Family Ice & Refreshment House.

happy us

However, Autumn did bring a (single) tear to my eye. Hmph. It’s the only reason I didn’t look my usual grim self.

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