Tudia! Crabby Fatty Char Kueh Teow @ The Food Bank, Kota Damansara

Tudia Crab Char Kueh Teow

The Food Bank is a collection of Malay hawker stalls in The Strand, Kota Damansara. I eat here quite often since it’s just opposite my condo and the halal options here are limited. Tudia! Char Kueh Tiaw is one of the stalls I frequent. It’s from Penang but it’s not Chinese style CKT – this is Malay style CKT with gravy. They also have a premium option with crab!

Tudia CKT

I like eating Malay style char kueh teow. The first time I came across it was when I started working in KL and frequented the Malay stall behind my office. I thought the gravy was simply mouth-watering! I have had kueh teow ketam in a lot of places since I also love eating crab. Tudia charges RM 6 for their kueh teow but the crab version goes for RM 15 – RM 25!

Deep Fried Crab

Tudia! crab char kueh teow is made by deep frying the flower crab. That’s quite unusual since most places just steam it. I thought it’ll come out greasy or overcooked due to the way it’s prepared but it’s actually quite good. The flower crab is huge too – the claws overflowed from the plate and they gave me a separate one to eat from. Haha.

Crabby Fatty (RM 23)

Crabby Fatty

The price fluctuate according to season, it was RM 23 yesterday. The kueh teow here is awesome! I love the sweet gravy that floods everything. I think it’s made with a combination of peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce and sambal. It’s very savory and sweet and makes you want more. There’s also an egg in addition to the deep fried crab. It’s yummy but not very filling. I had to order a ikan keli penyet (also called nasi lalapan in Sarawak) to fill up.

Tudia HB

There’s quite a lot of meat in the flower crab and I had fun picking at the shell. There was a Chinese couple who just got off work beside me who ordered the dish after seeing me eat it. The bomb ass sauce goes very well with the crab too. This is a problem in other crab kueh teow places since you don’t have gravy to eat with the crab. It’s a little expensive and you should probably go when you’re not wearing a white shirt but it’s delicious!

Chin Hua Vegetarian Food, Melaka

Chin Hua Vegetarian Food

I was in Melaka for a durian trip with Lindsay over the weekend. She’s a vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no animal byproducts) so we went to Chin Hua Vegetarian Food for dinner. I think this is only the second or third time in my entire life that I’ve gone into a vegetarian restaurant. It’s not high on my list of preferences since I eat just about anything, including exotic animals like dog, snake and rat. I have no religious or social taboos against any type of meat. I just don’t discriminate like that. smirk

Vegetarian Food Melaka

The woman manning the place looks Thai but she speaks fluent Mandarin. They have a rather popular chap fan service. I saw quite a few people eating here, including a large family. Lindsay chose six items for RM 6 from the warmers and I tried some of them. I thought the fungus was quite decent. It doesn’t taste bad at all but I feel like they use a lot of seasoning, oil and salt to boost the taste profiles.

Vegetarian Water Chestnut Ball

This is the Vegetarian Water Chestnut Ball (RM 5). It’s made to order and you can either choose to have it fried or boiled. This is the latter – it’s actually meant to be an analog of the ubiquitous fishball soup. The water chestnut balls have a springy and yielding texture like a fish ball and the soup is flavored the same way. I would never have guessed that this was made with water chestnuts. It’s remarkable! It really eats like fishballs.

Sizzling Mee

I had the Sizzling Mee (RM 5) which came with generous portions of vegetables. The meat is replaced with mock meat (either gluten/seitan or soy) in a variety of textures. It was alright. The noodles are perfectly edible, just not downright delicious. I feel like this is one of the problems with vegetarian food, together with over-seasoning to replicate meat or enhance neutral flavor profiles.

Lindsay HB Melaka

It was a great experience though. The meal just cost RM 16 for two and I wouldn’t have stepped foot into a vegetarian or vegan place otherwise. My parents don’t do the vegetarian cuisine during CNY thing coz they’re Christians so I have limited exposure to such food. I would eat it again but not by myself. I’ll be perfectly happy to go with a vegetarian or vegan though. That’s about the best thing I can say about vegetarian food. Haha.

Cafe Koel, Kota Damansara

Melon Bingsu

Cafe Koel is a Korean owned and operated restaurant in Kota Damansara. It just opened a few weeks ago and I’ve eaten there twice already. My better half wanted to eat bingsu last weekend and we came here for the icy treat. She noticed that they serve Korean food too and we brought her parents with us for lunch Sunday afternoon.

Cafe Koel

The owner of Cafe Koel is a friendly South Korean lady. She’s always cheerful and bubbly and that really makes her service stand out in the F&B industry. There are no reviews or buzz yet for this place (except for the one my dear wrote) coz it’s just so new so I thought I’ll write one coz we really enjoyed the food. Her parents did too!

Kimbap (RM 7.90)

Kimbap

My better half ordered a stuffed rice roll coz she wanted to save space for bingsu. We had something similar a few weeks ago from the Korean grocery near Chicken House in Solaris Mont Kiara and we liked it very much. This is a similar product – the rice is rolled in seaweed and stuffed with pickles, vegetables, egg etc. I love the takuan (pickled radish which the Koreans call danmuji) and the ends are the best part of the kimbap coz it has extra long pickle sticking out! smirk

Japchae (RM 18.90)

Japchae

My dear’s mom had this. It’s stir fried sweet potato noodle mixed with vegetables and sliced chicken. I’ve seen mung beans noodles before but never sweet potato noodles. It seems quite common in Korea though. The slippery texture of the sweet potato noodle is very pleasing and I like the savoriness of the dish. I ate so much from her plate that I felt a little guilty. Haha.

Bulgogi Deopbap (RM 16.90)

Bulgogi Deopbap

Her dad and I ordered the beef bulgogi with rice. I have eaten bulgogi in Korea before (and even had bulgogi burgers in both Lotteria and McDonald’s Korea in Busan) and I like the slightly sweet nature of the dish. This is the pan cooked version instead of the grilled version which I’ve seen in mukbang videos. The sweetness of the meat is perfectly balanced by the salty freshness of the kimchi served as a side.

Melon Milk Snow Flake Bingsu (RM 49.90)

Bingsu

This is made from a whole honeydew melon. I saw the melons in the fridge and the flesh was scooped out to use as the topping/side. The cavity is filled with their delicious milk bingsu and served with red bean paste and more melon milk on the side. It was really good but a bit too large for 2 pax. It was a bit of a challenge to finish it coz the kind owner also gave us her new coffee bingsu to try that day.

Milk Snow Flake Patbingsu (RM 17.90)

Patbingsu

I ordered this yesterday as part of my meal. It’s RM 24.90 together with the bulgogi rice bowl or RM 17.90 separately. We were craving for the bingsu since our trip the week before and we had planned to order more once we finished our meal. However, the owner surprised us with 4 servings! She added on 3 more on the house so we could each have our own bingsu. That’s a really nice gesture. I loved the kinako (toasted soy bean flour) that goes on top of this.

Bingsu Us

I have been craving for their bingsu ever since Sunday and wanted to drop in this afternoon but they were closed. Cafe Koel is just opposite my condo. It’s an undiscovered gem located at Dataran Sunway beside Sunway Giza Mall. We got a small gift each time from the Korean owner and her friendly touch makes us always feel welcome. There are a lot of Korean owned restaurants in the Klang Valley nowadays and this is one of the better ones. We’ll definitely be back for more!

Macha & Co Banana Leaf Restaurant

Macha & Co Banana Leaf Restaurant

Macha & Co is the new place that just opened up in Kota Damansara a few weeks ago. I live across the street watched the renovations with interest. I was just talking about it with my better half last weekend. The restaurant serves banana leaf rice, which adds another halal option in addition to Sari Ratu Prima. I decided to pop in and see what they’re all about.

Macha and Co

I actually spilled all the fork, spoons and serviettes when I was eating here. The tables were a little close to each other and I was slightly clumsy and bumped into the next one, bringing the utensils crashing to the floor. The waiter had to clean everything and replace the tissues but he did it with good humor.

Banana Leaf Rice

This is the Banana Leaf Set Meal (RM 9.50). It’s the main dining option here and includes white or brown rice with 3 vegetables, 2 papadams, fried salted dried chilli, acar, rasam and curry/dhal. Banana leaf rice is usually a completely vegetarian meal by default. I like the peratal pumpkin and the deep fried bitter gourd.

Varuval Chicken

You can also order from a wide menu of tavams. I assume tavam means sides. They are various vegetable tavams, dry spiced tavams, curry tavams, seafood tavams. I went with the Varuval Chicken (RM 6.50) coz I like eating my rice with meat. It’s quite good. They also have more premium sides like Fresh Red Snapper Head (RM 68) and Black Pepper Peratal Crab (RM 22.50).

Receipt

The wait staff here is very friendly. I ordered a Diet Coke and they added a line which said “Terbaik bro” (The best, bro) to the bill. I thought it was funny but a little dangerous to have this system. I read about servers calling customers fat, racist names or other misc slurs in the United States appearing on the news. I used to work as a waiter in Melbourne so I know the kind of humor the restaurant industry has and I don’t think it’s a good idea to make custom order lines (that’s what its actually for) visible on the receipt.

Macha

Macha & Co Banana Leaf Restaurant also serves other items like roti canai goreng but their signature menu is banana leaf rice. The lunch cost RM 20.90 inclusive of drinks. There’s not a lot of people here yet, probably due to a combination of factors – parking is a problem and this area is predominantly Chinese. It’s located in Dataran Sunway so there’s a lot of competition and the F&B turnover is quite insane…for instance, both Flaming Melt and Sabah Kampung Beef Noodles has closed since we went. It’s pretty good though, I’ll be back to try the other items!

Kai’s Plato, Kota Damansara

Kai Plato

My better half’s parents wanted to have dinner together last night so I thought of Kai’s Plato. Kai’s Plato is a restaurant specializing in seafood that subscribes to a no utensils and plates policy. The lobster, prawns, crabs etc comes in a platter and you use the table and your fingers to eat everything. It’s a pretty cool experience.

Kais Plato

I had wanted to come when it first opened but the queues were prohibitive. It’s still quite packed but you’ll be able to get in with a reservation. I booked a table for 4 pax at Kai’s Plato for 6:30 pm.

Kais

There is only 1 menu item here. The meal is standardized and goes according to the number of people. 2 diners will be served with a 3-tier platter while 4 pax has a 4-tier platter.

Writing Shell

You get shells to draw with from the server. These will be mounted on the walls with your customized message – the walls of Kai’s Plato is filled with these.

Watermelon Lychee

I ordered a Virgin Mojito (RM 8.90) while my dear had the Watermelon Lychee (RM 8.90). These two drinks are the house specials. I liked the Watermelon Lychee, it’s very refreshing. The mojito was decent too, they don’t skip on the mint leaves here. It takes up a full half of the glass!

Scallop Oyster

Our 4-layer platter came and was mounted on the jelly flame source. This is the first tier in the platter. There are 11 types of seafood in total here. I particularly liked the sea snails. It’s musky and sandy. Yum! The scallops are served with chopped ginger and spring onions. The oysters are topped with cheese and it’s pretty awesome.

Prawn Octopus

The second tier is filled with prawns, clams, mussels, bamboo clams and octopus. There is another type of clam called arc shell so there’s actually 3 types of clams in this layer. The bottom is lined with cabbage and the vegetables are edible. I preferred the broccoli from the first layer though.

Crab Lobster

The third tier is the best one! It contains the most premium ingredients – slipper lobsters, crabs, huge big head prawns, and grouper fish slices. I love the monster big head prawns. The brains are bigger than the size of my thumb when extracted! The mud crabs are super delicious too. I enjoyed eating the grouper and the small serving of vermicelli is infused with the flavors of the shellfish and seafood. It’s so bomb!

Seafood Soup

The fourth tier contains the seafood soup. You’ll notice that each layer has holes at the bottom to allow stray juices to drip downwards though each tier. This means the scallops, snails, oysters from the first layer drips down to the clams, octupus, mussels in the second layer which in turn goes into the huge prawns, crabs and lobster in the third layer and everything finally drains into this sweet, sweet broth.

Pasta

Kai’s Plato will give you a serving of pasta to eat with the soup. This is meant to fill you up but we were all very full from the seafood already. The soup was really nice though.

Seafood Pasta

I kept a little bit of the crab meat to put into my pasta and seafood soup. The soup is soooo delicious from the 11 types of seafood juices dripping down. It’s such a treat to finish the meal with piping hot soup. I like how the flame is kept going so the soup is boiling. The soup also serves as as steam source to keep the rest of the platter warm.

Kais Us

Kai’s Plato works out to around RM 86 per pax. I ordered the Captain’s Platter for RM 270++, which is what they call the set for 4 people. It’s RM 138++ for 2 pax or RM 390++ for a group of 6. We all enjoyed eating with our hands and using the table as a plate. I also learned that my dear’s dad is a collector of snail shells last night. The meal came up to RM 343.60 for the 4 of us which is reasonable for a meal with lobster, crabs, prawns and grouper. I’ll be back again but not for a long while since you can get sick of eating so much seafood. Haha!

CaliBurger, Sunway Pyramid

CaliBurger

CaliBurger is Southern California burger chain that just recently opened in Sunway Pyramid. I say “just recently” but I honestly don’t know when they started. I’ve been to a weird US-based chain called Miami Grill at the same mall with my better half and told her it was co-owned by Pitbull (the singer). It wasn’t really good and I fully expect CaliBurger to be mediocre too but I thought I’ll check out the burgers.

CaliBurger Malaysia

I thought CaliBurger fits in nicely as a “higher end fast food” chain. The pricing is slightly lower than Wendy’s. I like Wendy’s (their chilli is awesome) but the price for a burger set is about 2-3 times what McDonalds or Burger King offers. CaliBurger seems to be positioned below Wendy’s and above Maccas and BK. It filters out the huge families and students, who will naturally gravitate more towards the cheaper options which can make it a better dining option.

Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich (RM 14.90)

Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich

I actually wanted a beef burger but CaliBurger ran out of beef. I went with the chicken option instead, fully prepared to dislike it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the chicken is actually real chicken breast. It’s not reconstituted and reformulated chicken like other fast food places but a real slice of chicken breast. That’s pretty awesome.

Cali Milkshake (RM 9.96)

Cali Milkshake

CaliBurger has a lot of milkshake options and I went with the Bubblegum. No, they don’t have spiked milkshakes with alcohol in Malaysia. The flavoring came out of a bottle which was disappointing. I don’t know why I even tried to hope that a flavor called “Bubblegum” would be natural. It was still pretty bomb ass though. The milkshake is creamier than most, reminded me of the dairy (small shop) opposite my homestay in Christchurch, NZ.

CaliBurger Sunway

I’m actually moving to the Subang area so I might pop over more often in the future. I was on my way back from meeting my lawyer and wanted to grab something to eat so I came to CaliBurger. I really like the fries from Wendy’s since they’re natural (not reformed) and comes with skin on but Wendy’s pricing is a little iffy – I could (nearly) eat fast casual like TGIF or Chilli’s instead. CaliBurger seems to have a more reasonable price point with decent enough food.

KyoChon Malaysia, 1 Utama

KyoChon

I’ve been a bit obsessed with Korean fried chicken lately and went down to 1 Utama just now to check out KyoChon. My better half went with the kids when I was back in Sibu and told me that it’s quite decent. She had a mixed platter and thought the Honey Series are great. KyoChon is an international Korean fried chicken chain that started in South Korea but now has branches all over the world, including the United States, and now, Malaysia.

KyoChon Malaysia

KyoChon recently started serving 1/2 and whole chickens but they used to only have drums, breast strips or wing + drumlet combos. I was eating by myself this afternoon so I couldn’t order the whole chicken. I went with the drumstick option since I prefer a whole leg to Buffalo chicken wings. The pricing is RM 18.50 for 8 pieces of wing and drumlets or RM 11.50 for 2 pieces of drumsticks. KyoChon also serves fresh, unfrozen chicken so it’s not tacky like fast food.

Soy Garlic Series (RM 11.50 for 2 drumsticks + RM 6 for combo)

KyoChon Chicken

I made this a meal with an RM 6 upgrade. It comes with steamed rice, salad, soup, and a drink. The rice costs RM 3.90 separately so adding RM 2 for soup, salad and a drink is an awesome deal. KyoChon takes at least 15 minutes to get your order ready since they’re cooked to order. It actually took more like 20 for my order to come but it’s worth it. The drumsticks are much smaller than I had thought so it’s a good thing I ordered two sets. I wouldn’t have been willing to wait for another 15 min just to add on an item.

Red Pepper Series (RM 11.50 for 2 drumsticks)

KyoChon Red Series

I’ve seen a lot of Korean mukbang hosts eat these drumsticks. They’re real drumsticks from the legs e.g. not the smaller drumlets from the wing. However, they’re a lot smaller than what you’ll expect. I’m not sure why this is the case…maybe they use smaller chickens? One portion isn’t enough for a person, unless you’re a small eater. I actually thought these were full sized drums and planned to eat 3 and take away 1 coz I thought I’ll be full but I ate everything in the end and was less than full.

KyoChon Me

KyoChon is a good option for mall dining. I like how the Red Pepper Series is reasonably spicy and mildly Tabasco hot sauce like sour. It’s my favorite sauce. The rice they serve looks like Korean short grain rice but tastes less sticky, like a hybrid of local and Calrose rice. It’s not as good as the ones we had over the weekend. Honestly, the Korean fried chicken we had at Chicken House in Mont Kiara was a lot better too. However, RM 31.90 for lunch, inclusive of their wonderful beetroot salad dressing and the thirst-quenching Natural Sparkling Yuzu Fruit Tea, is a reasonable price in a shopping complex.

Chicken House @ Solaris Mont Kiara, KL

Chicken House

My better half told me she wanted to eat Korean fried chicken today. It seems that her consumption of Korean dramas has resulted in a craving for Korean food. I’ve been watching a lot of mukbang (eating videos) lately and have felt the same longing for Korean chicken so we drove down to Mont Kiara to eat some yangnyeom tongdak. I’ve been to Korea twice (and ate dog meat in Busan) but I seldom yearn for their food.

Korean Grape Drink

Chicken House is owned and operated by a Korean expat living in Malaysia. The Korean owner greeted us when we went in and took our order. The restaurant does take away and delivery (much like in South Korea) but they have a nice air-conditioned area for dine-in customers too. Chicken House uses whole chickens and you can order 1/2 or whole chicken.

Soy Sauce with Garlic Chicken (RM 55 per chicken/RM 35 for half)

Soy Sauce Chicken

This is their flagship seasoning and the best one we had. It came swimming in soy sauce and garlic and the seasoning is spot on! It’s deliciously umami. My dear said the chicken is fresh and not frozen too – she can tell from the color of the bones. We got a half chicken and it comes with a neck (!) too. The twice fried chicken is really crispy but still tender and juicy in the middle.

Sweet Chilli Sauce Chicken (RM 50 per chicken/RM 32 for half)

Korean Fried Chicken

I originally wanted their hot chilli sauce chicken but the owner warned us that it’s very spicy. My better half can’t eat spicy food so I changed it to the sweet chilli sauce instead. The drum is delicious! I like the breast and thigh meat that has been chopped into smaller pieces too. You can eat it by itself but since it was lunchtime, we ordered rice to go with it.

Pickled Radish

I really enjoyed the pickled radish they serve with the fried chicken too. It’s sour and sweet and reminds me of takuan in Japan. It makes eating the mildly greasy chicken easier since the cold pickles cleanses your palate. I’ve seen mukbang BJs eating this when consuming loads of ramen coz it neutralises heavy flavors. Awesome stuff.

Chicken House Us

The meal came up to RM 82.95 for the two of us, inclusive of drinks. I had an iced coffee and my dear had the interestingly named Bong Bong (some kind of grape drink with real grapes inside) for RM 7 each. I thought the steamed rice was a little expensive at RM 10 though (RM 5 per pax) but the meal itself was wonderful and the overall price is about the same we’ll pay for breakfast at a cafe. I love the Korean fried chicken at Chicken House, we’ll definitely be back for more dak!

Margarine Durian, D88, Musang King @ Say Heng Durian Stall, USJ 14

Margarine Durians

I’ve never even heard of a Margarine Durian before so I was very intrigued when Lindsay told me about it. I thought it was a derivative of the Butter Durian or Susu Durian from Penang. She came down to KL just now and we headed to Say Heng to check out the Durian Margarine.

Say Heng USJ14

It was raining very heavily and we were sitting under a tarp beside the highway to try this.

Margarine Durian

The Margarine Durian went for RM 25 per kg. It has a thin stalk and rather slim spikes.

Durian Margarine

The flesh looks really good too. We got a couple of these, one of them was 0.7 kg and the other 1 kg so they’re quite small specimens.

Margarine

I liked the taste but it was completely overshadowed by:

D88 USJ

This D88 which Lindsay brought from Bentong! It was amazingly complex – very bitter and sweet, lots of stuff happening on your palate. I love rich and bitter durians like this. It’s perfection.

Young Musang King

They also had a very young Musang King. It looks really nice but the taste is a little one dimensional. It’s cloyingly sweet and I would have loved it if I had eaten it as the first durian, or if I wasn’t so full. I had a bit of trouble finishing it but when I think about it now, it’s actually not too bad.

Durians USJ14

Lindsay and Sasha (it’s a Russian abbreviation of Alexander, as I found out) came with loads of durians. They’re both vegan so this is all they eat. I joined them and ate it for dinner too, although I was slightly sick from so much durians at the end. Haha. They brought along heaps of durians in their car and she bought some at the stall too. It was good to catch up though and I really like eating durians so it’s all good. Thanks for all the durians Lindsay!

Restaurant Padang Sari Ratu Prima

Ikan Berdiri

I was shopping with my better half over the weekend when we saw Sari Ratu Prima. I know that place, I told her. They had just opened up a huge branch opposite my condo in Kota Damansara earlier in the year and it’s just about the only decent halal food (not counting mamaks) in my area. My dear isn’t keen on Malay food but I come here quite often.

Sari Ratu Prima

Technically, Nasi Padang is Indonesian food and the Sari Ratu Prima brand comes from West Sumatra. I would call them a higher end halal eatery, with air conditioned comfort and the prices to match. The people are friendly and the best part is that the dishes come out all hot. Unlike chap fan or nasi kandar, the protein and vegetables are either reheated or cooked to order, making it a lot more delicious.

Restaurant Padang

I come here for their deep fried fish. I used to work with government ministries a lot, and had a client who was really into “ikan berdiri”. It means “fish that stands up” in Malay and basically he wants it fried whole in a certain way that makes it defy gravity. Sari Ratu Prima does this quite well. There are a lot of other dishes which you can pick from as well.

Gulai Kambing (RM 13.65)

Gulai Kambing

This is Indonesian style mutton curry and the priciest meat on their menu. I didn’t even realize that I had such expensive taste. Haha. All kidding aside, mutton always costs more than chicken or beef. There are quite a lot of bone-in pieces so it’s great value. I like their gulai too – it’s mild and creamy, not overly spicy. I think my dear can eat this if she liked the flavor combinations more.

Sayur Kailan (RM 5.50)

Sayur Kailan

This is supposed to be RM 5.50 but I got it for free. I’m not exactly sure how that works, but if you order above a certain price for 1 pax, the workers have some kind of leeway to deduct the lowest priced item (usually a vegetable) from your total. They do charge full price for rice though (RM 2.20). It comes in a pyramid shape like a famous Kota Kinabalu chicken rice shop.

Jus Durian (RM 8.90)

Jus Durian

This is a very creamy milkshake made with vanilla ice cream and durian flesh. It’s quite good and I like to order it whenever I come to Sari Ratu Prima. They also have an avocado fruit juice called Jus Alpokat for RM 10.50. However, you can get the avocado juice for free in their RM 12.90 weekday lunch deal (told you they have strange pricing) so I recommend doing this instead.

Ikan Nila Goreng (RM 25)

Ikan Nila Goreng

This is a whole fish deep fried until crispy. The nila fish has little bones to speak of so you don’t have to worry about getting any stuck to your throat. It’s also served piping hot since it’s cooked to order. I love the fish here. Their sauce is excellent too – it’s a mixture of sweet soy sauce and sambal and it goes very well with the fried fish. This is what I usually come for.

Nasi Padang

Sari Ratu Prima also has a RM 12.90 weekday lunch deal where you can get a few items + a drink which is quite good value. The bill came up to RM 55.20 when I ate here last but the fish made up 1/2 of the total. The reason everything tastes so good here is coz they follow the “cukup rasa” philosophy – all the dishes are overspiced and oversalted, including the fried fish. I had a sodium headache so bad that I had to go to sleep after the meal! It was still worth it though. smirk

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