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!
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!
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
I’ve always looked forward to Ramadan. It’s the time when families and individuals have the chance to showcase their food to the public. These are people who don’t have restaurants, cafes or stalls – just regular folks cooking and selling their food at Ramadan bazaars across the country. I like the idea of trying out random people’s cooking and I’ve been eating at Bazaar Ramadan almost every day. Here are my favorites:
This is a classic Ramadan specialty. It’s usually given away to the poor in mosques, but obviously this is a more premium version. The porridge is full of root vegetables like yam and the shredded chicken and fried anchovies they put on top is awesome. It’s RM 4 for a small tub at Bubur Lambuk Subang at the Subang 2 Ramadan Bazaar.
Putu Piring Zainab Gula Melaka
This is one of my favorite putu pirings around. Check out the massive queue which forms up around it!
The putu piring is a steamed confection made on the spot. It’s RM 0.60 per piece and it’s really good.
The distinctively blue rice in nasi kerabu comes from butterfly pea flowers. This stall in Subang serves it with a relatively large fried fish and superbly hot chilli sauce. The amount of chillies they put in here would shock most people. The woman who runs it is from Kelantan and has a suitably authentic level of spiciness in her chilli paste.
I like her crunchy ulam (raw vegetables and herbs) too.
Pak Ya Popia Power
This is the famous stall at the Bazaar Ramadan in TTDI. They have three (3) kinds of popiah – popia basah, popia goreng and popia sira madu. It’s RM 5 for 5 pieces. I like their popia basah (wet popia) and popia sira madu (honey glazed popia). The first one is made with regular popiah skin and the latter is fried and drizzled with a honey glaze. The popia goreng (fried popia) is decent too but these two are the best.
I first had this in 2008 when I came to KL to work the second time. This is from Bazaar Ramadan Kelana Jaya, where my first office used to be. They make the murtabak with Maggi instant noodles and stuff lots of meat and vegetables inside. It’s just RM 3 for a heart shaped piece.
It best eaten when hot, these things taste horrible when they’re cold.
They give you a generous pack of chilli sauce to put on top too.
Puding Karamel Original
This is a creme caramel from the SS6 bazaar. It’s RM 3 per slice or RM 5 for two. The quality varies wildly – sometimes it’s delicious and other days the pudding is overcooked and egg-like while the caramel tastes burnt.
I guess that’s one of the things about home cooks. When it’s good, it’s great.
This unusual dessert is made from pumpkins. There are 10 pieces in a pack for RM 5, together with some desiccated coconut. I found it at TTDI. It’s surprisingly good!
Nasi Briyani Johor
There is a well known nasi briyani gam stall in TTDI that used to be good. However, I feel that their quality has dropped in the past few years and the other two competitors have surpassed the original. Rahimah Catering serves a pretty good version of lamb biryani for RM 13 at the very end of the TTDI bazaar Ramadan. There’s one in the middle that serves up awesome bone-in lamb shank biryani for RM 20 – RM 22 (depending on size) too.
Lai Chee Kang
It’s RM 5 for a small container or RM 10 for a big bag. The TTDI Lai Chee Kang stall says it has 28 ingredients. I was dubious. I thought it’ll be 20 different types and colors of jelly. I was mistaken.
This is legit. I dug and ate dates. Saw some barley. Cincau. Peanuts. Snow fungus. The best thing inside was nutmeg, they had lots of that too! Truly epic.
My favorite one is at the Kota Damansara Bazaar Ramadan. It’s only RM 5 for the Nasi Tomato Ayam Merah (tomato rice with red chicken). The owner of the stall is the wife of a police officer that lives in the low cost flats opposite AEON BIG in Sunway Giza. The first time I had it, I thought she had accidentally dropped a whole fucking bowl of salt into the chicken.
I told my better half about this amazingly salty chicken I had and promptly had diarrhea the next day. Haha. I’m sure it’s unrelated though as I’ve had it many times since without incident. I asked the lady about the shockingly salty chicken and she told me she does it on purpose coz her husband likes it that way. That’s why she only gives you a small amount of gravy coz the amount of sodium in there is enough to kill a small horse. It’s the saltiest thing I’ve ever had…and the best!
Ikan Bakar Special
There are many smoked/grilled fish stalls in bazaar Ramadan all over the country and most of them sell pretty much the same thing. The one in TTDI just has a wider selection than most and you’ll spot it by the epic lines which form up to buy a catfish or a skate. The prices vary according to what you get but it’s quite competitive.
Nasi Ganja Omak Den
The guys who runs this stall offers free drinks with your meal. They only sell one dish – nasi ganja omak den, and they do it well. The chicken is fried on the spot and you can choose the cut you want. The rice is spiced and they serve an Indian style gravy to go with it. I love the heavily spiced chicken and it’s good value for just RM 6.50 inclusive of the drink of the day (usually air sirih or air somboi).
The word “ganja” is the local term for cannabis. There’s none in here of course and the etymology of the name is somewhat stupid, it’s meant as a testament to it’s “addictiveness”, never mind that THC/CBD isn’t physically addictive.
Nasi ambeng is a dish of white rice topped with fried coconut flesh so it tastes like coconut rice. They also put fried bee hoon, salted fish, and vegetables as sides. The main protein is usually chicken cooked in soy sauce. I was home late one day and chanced across this dodgy stall at Kota Damansara with two young boys manning a small booth with about 10 servings to sell. I took a chance and ordered one and it was delicious!
This stall in TTDI serves only cow offal. There are plenty of offcuts for sale – tongue, tripe, heart, lungs etc. You can have it with rice, in kueh tiaw or in a soup. I prefer it in a soup. It’s one of the best sup gearbox I’ve had. You’re supposed to suck the marrow out of the large bone.
Nasi Burung Puyuh
I love quail. I usually get it at Shah Alam but the one at TTDI is decent too (and a lot nearer to me). It’s RM 5 per quail or RM 7 if you want rice to go with it. I recommend the rice pack, their chicken rice is delicious!
The lady will give you a tasty broth to go with the rice too, nicely packed in a plastic bag to go.
The biggest Bazaar Ramadan in Klang Valley is probably the bazaar in Shah Alam Stadium but TTDI and Kelana Jaya is pretty big too. I would say TTDI has more choice than SS6 but even the small ones in Subang 2 and Kota Damansara has something to offer. The stalls are all about bringing home cooked food from families as a purchasable option before Hari Raya and that’s the part I love the most about this month. It sure was good eating, too bad we only have a couple more days before it ends!
Maggi Ketam?!? For real, Restoran Chilli’s Crab Seafood has this unusual dish and it’s not cheap. Maggi is one of the most popular instant noodles around and this place has paired it with a whole mud crab to produce a deluxe variant of Maggi Ketam (Crab Maggi Noodles) in a claypot!
This is located at Sunway Giza and I’ve seen the poster announcing their “extraordinary and must-try Maggi Ketam” a couple of times. I went there alone last week and had their Maggi Ketam in a claypot. My better half didn’t like the idea of Maggi instant noodles with crab so I embarked upon this culinary adventure myself.
Maggi Ketam Claypot (RM 38.80)
This is one (1) whole mud crab in the region of 500 grams cooked together with 2 packets of Maggi instant noodles in a claypot. You can opt for either Curry flavor or Tom Yam flavor – it really depends on which flavor of Maggi instant noodles you like. I went for the Curry version. I was told that it might be a little too big for a single person but I regularly eat 2-3 packets of Maggi anyway so I thought I could handle it.
I was right. It was just the right size for a big eater like myself. The novelty of this dish is the pairing of the proletariat Maggi noodles with a luxurious ingredient like crab. The Maggi instant noodles were cooked well and the broth was super thick! I suspect they put it a lot more than just 2 packets of soup powder.
The claypot Maggi Crab Noodles also had a whole mud crab inside. You’re given a crab cracker so you can get at the meat. I think the thick soup was perfect since it added flavor to the crab. There’s also a smattering of vegetables and whole chillis inside to spice up the dish so beware if you can’t take spicy food. I think it was pretty decent, but there are cheaper crab noodle places out there.
This place is very popular though – I saw two Chinese girls sharing a Maggi Ketam Claypot when I was there and that was around 3 pm in the afternoon. I went again over the weekend with my dear and the place was quite packed.
Crab Kam Heong Bee Hoon (RM 38.80)
Chilli’s Crab Seafood Restaurant also serves their signature crab with bee hoon. There are 3 such dishes – Crab Singapore Bee Hoon, Crab Kam Heong Bee Hoon and Crab Hokkien Bee Hoon. They’re all cooked in similar styles with one (1) whole crab per dish. My dear went for the Crab Kam Heong Bihun and it’s spicy dry fried rice vermicelli with a whole crab. The rice vermicelli is great and the crab is awesome.
Crab Hokkien Bihun (RM 38.80)
This is the other crab-in-a-noodle-dish option. The Hokkien style fried rice vermicelli is slightly wet and the crab essence goes into the gravy, which makes it taste much better than the dry fried options. The prices are standard since the crab size is standard (500 grams per plate) – I just wanted to try all their crab noodle dishes. Haha!
I thought the best dish at Chilli’s Crab Seafood is their Maggi Crab Noodles. The Maggi Ketam is like a guilty pleasure, something to indulge in once in a while. I know some people might think it’s not “worth it” and to them I say, do you know how little rice vermicelli costs? It’s the same thing. The prices here are admittedly higher at Mee Ketam KL (review coming up soon) but they only use mud crabs instead of flower crabs for more meat. The meal came up to RM 86.50 for the two of us the time I went with my better half, which is less than the price we usually pay for dinner anyway.
Pie Face! It’s a huge institution in Australia and there are many branches down under, not just in their New South Wales origins but in Victoria. I remember seeing it when we were in Melbourne 3 years ago and I even took a photo of the Pie Face shop. They’re famous for the quirky and funny faces they put on their pies to tell them apart.
This was actually a little after my time as my convocation was in 2003. I spent almost 5 years in Melbourne and in between snowboarding, raves and doofs I managed to eat quite a lot of pies. Pies are very big in Aussie, and I do miss chowing down on a nice meaty Australian style pie. Thus, when I passed by Pie Face while finding parking during the weekend, I immediately walked in.
The friendly tudung-clad girl behind the counter told me this branch just opened earlier this month. I think she said 10th of February. I was here for a Hearthstone event at 1 pm but I thought I could spare a bit of time to grab some lunch so I ordered the 2 Mini Pies + Coffee or Tea for RM 10 deal. The mini pies usually go for RM 5 and the regular sized ones for RM 7 so that’s a good deal – the drink is essentially free. I opted for a long black.
There is a wide selection of pies divided into roughly two categories – Australia Premium and Local Favorites. I got one from each, the Mini Chunky Steak Pie and the Mini Beef Rendang Pie. You can choose to have “The Ultimate Aussie Stack” as an add-on. This is a topping of mash, peas and gravy for the pies and I highly recommend it. It costs RM 3 for The Stack (regular sized) and RM 1.50 for Mini Stack (mini pies).
This is more of a Perth and Sydney thing, back in Melbourne we mostly just ate pies with ketchup on top. It is quite good though and the hot mash and peas goes very well with the chunky steak pie. It provides a more substantial meal too – all those carbs are quite satisfying to eat.
You can see the generous filling of the pies here.
I liked the mini pies, it gives you an opportunity to try out more flavors since the pies are about 1/2 the size of regular ones. You can also have them to go – I packed 6 of the mini pies back for my better half for RM 18 (a dozen mini pies are RM 34) as part of their Pie-tastic Deal. I got one of each flavor: Black Pepper Chicken Pie, Creamy Mushroom Pie, Curry Chicken Pie, Spicy Chicken Pie, Creamy Vegetable Pie, Classic Mince Beef Pie.
I think the two premium Australian pies from Pie Face are the best – Chunky Steak Pie and Classic Mince Beef Pie. The local favorites can be a little hit and miss. Some, like the Black Pepper Chicken Pie is decent but others like the Curry Chicken Pie is quite awful with too much potatoes inside. The latter tastes like a badly made karipap (local curry puff).
I also grabbed an Apple Crumble Pie (RM 6) for dessert. Pie Face has a couple of sweet offerings as well and this was palatable enough.
It was good to see Pie Face in Malaysia. I know they opened an outlet in Sunway Pyramid but I’ve never seen it or heard about it until the weekend. I went to the recently opened one in Wangsa Walk Mall and I just happened to spot it coz I was parking to go to a Blizzard event. I actually started eating pies when I went to New Zealand for high school when I was 15 so I’ve been scoffing them for a while. It’s worth a visit if you’re ever hankering for a good ol’ Aussie pie. :)
I just came back from my second yee sang dinner of the year. It was a Tourism Australia event for partners and media and this is a dinner I try to attend every single year. It’s always a blast to meet up with the tourism reps and the food at Celestial Court is good. This year had an ingredient for every dish (usually seafood) brought over all the way from Australia.
I thought that was a brilliant idea!
Prosperity Yee Sang with Tasmania Ocean Trout with Truffle Sydney Green Lips Abalone
The highlight of the yee sang is the Sydney green lips abalone (something I’ve been seeing a lot in yee sang this year) and the Tasmanian ocean trout. The plum sauce and acidity of this raw salad is spot on. I’ve never really enjoyed yee sang for the sake of it, it’s more like a tradition for me, but Celestial Court’s yee sang is quite yummy.
Double Boiled South Australia Mini Abalone Soup with Fresh Ginseng and Wolfberries
I love abalone, especially in poon choy, and this year we’ll have another abalone filled poon choy too. The double boiled soup was done really well, with lots of ginseng goodness and a nice baby abalone in the clear broth.
Jasmine Tea Marinated Northern Territory Barramundi with Melbourne Vegemite Soya Sauce topped with Fruity Dressing
This is my favorite dish of the night. I’ve had barramundi in Australia before and it’s always with crispy skin. However, barramundi cooked Chinese style with soggy skin is even more fabulous! I like the umami sauce, it’s made with Vegemite and goes very well with the flaky tender barramundi. I saw an extra piece on the table and didn’t hesitate to help myself to seconds. The hint of smokiness from the Jasmine tea marinate is just irresistible.
Wok Fried Queensland Scallops with Celery and Flower Fungus in Premium Scallop Sauce
The fresh scallops were really awesome too. There were two Malay guys sitting beside me (this is a pork free restaurant) and one of them told me this is his favorite dish due to the spiciness. The scallop sauce is actually a hot sambal and it goes surprisingly well with the soft and moist scallops. Very nice.
Stewed Bean Curd and Bean Puff with Dried Oyster Sea Moss and Darwin Broccoli
I am usually not a huge fan of soy bean and tofu byproducts but I was quite hungry tonight since I skipped lunch (was too busy and had to rush to make dinner in time). It turned out that this was quite pleasing to my palate, but no one could finish it, unlike the other dishes.
Five Grain Rice with South Australia Kinkawooka Blue Mussels and Barbeque Meat Topped with Bonito Flakes
I ate every single mouthful of this individually portioned dish as well. It was the standard filler but I enjoyed the mussels from South Australia. I generally enjoy all types of seafood and would prefer it to any other protein.
Victoria Frost Berries with Chinese Nian Gao
The nian gao (sticky glutinous rice cake) is usually eaten around Chinese New Year. This was sliced and pan-fried and it tasted good with the tartness of the Victorian frost berries.
Chrysanthemum Ice Cream topped with Western Australia Macadamia Nut Crush
Wonderful stuff! We were all wondering what the ice cream flavor was since it was very mild when contrasted with the toasted macadamia nuts. I finally got a hint of chrysanthemum and thought it was ingenious to make a chrysanthemum flower flavored ice cream. It’s a very adult dessert, not too sweet with plenty of texture.
There was a picture under the ramekins when they served up the ice cream. It’s either a hot air balloon or a tower and the latter was limited to 68 pieces. You can redeem it for a Tourism Australia koala soft toy while the default door gift was a gold wire mesh kangaroo with two Mandarin oranges. I got the first one but they were kind enough to give me one of each. The kids would love it!
Thanks for the wonderful dinner Shamila! I really enjoyed all the seafood from Australia.
This is the home of the famous salted egg yolk cronut.
We dropped by Dotty’s Café this morning after seeing that they were serving hot food for the first time this weekend. It was our Sunday morning brunch option of the week and we weren’t disappointed. I was actually a little apprehensive that the place would be packed considering its their “opening weekend” (of sorts) but it was quite manageable.
Predictably, most people came here to take away boxes and boxes of their salted egg cronuts. I asked about the availability when we got there at 10:30 am and they were all sold out! I had to wait for the 12:30 pm batch. We ordered breakfast while contemplating whether to wait or not – part of me wanted to just wait for the hype to die down before sampling it but since my better half didn’t mind, we sat there until the next batch came out.
Doughnut Latte (RM 14)
This is a really quirky item that Homer Simpson would absolutely adore. My dear wanted to try it and I was curious too after seeing it on their Facebook. It’s a hot donut that’s topped with ice cream with a pitcher of latte on the side. It works a little like an affogato – you basically pour the latte into the doughnut. This has the magical effect of partially melting the ice cream and making the donut soggy.
It’s surprisingly good to wolf down bites of the warm coffee-infused doughnut with the colder ice cream as a contrast.
Salted Caramel Latte (RM 13)
It’s pretty good but I would have liked the caramel to be saltier. I’m a huge fan of salted caramel and personally always tend to go more savory but there’s nothing wrong with Dotty’s implementation. They also have brews like Coconut Milk Latte (RM 14) which would be ideal for vegans, organic food lovers and hipsters alike.
Baked Eggs (RM 26)
We shared this for breakfast. It was one of only three (3) items available on their menu today. I think most of them were sold out, I originally wanted a Salt Beef Sandwich (RM 26) but it wasn’t available. That said, the bread was simply out of this world! It should be noted that Dotty’s Café is also a bakery and all their bread is freshly baked. You can taste the wonderful bread here, there’s sour dough (which goes very well with butter) and slices of brown toast which went perfectly with the baked eggs.
Mixed Berries Pavlova (RM 10)
I went to New Zealand to study high school when I was 15 years old and have eaten a lot of pavlovas over there. I’ve also eaten a lot in Australia but have always felt that pavlova is more of a Kiwi thing, they do it a lot better. This implementation is also good – there are just three ingredients, the pavlova shells, crème patisserie and berries and it’s a testament to their baking skills that these 3 go so well together.
Salted Egg Yolk Cronut (RM 11)
We waited hours for this to come out and finally the floor manager (?) took one out before the 12:30 pm batch and served it to us. I thought it was nice of him to personally do that, and was a bit puzzled when he warned us that it’ll be hot and to wait for it to cool down. It wasn’t hot and I later found out the reason why – it can’t be hot, or the structure of the cronut will be compromised.
The salted egg yolk cronut (which is a combination of a croissant and a donut, texture wise, just in case anyone has been living under a rock for the past few years) was really good. I can see why people would wait for this. The thick and generous amount of butter and salted egg appealed to me immensely – it was mouth-wateringly delicious!
The beautiful thing about the salted egg yolk cronut is that the insides are filled with the butter-salted egg combination too. It’s very rich and creamy.
The salted egg yolk cronut is something you have to eat at Dotty’s Café and Bakery. You can take away of course but I personally feel it doesn’t taste the same if left to its own devices for too long. They have a wide range of freshly baked goods (and salads) as well as hot food so we’ll be back again to have brunch another weekend to try their other stuff. The meal cost RM 75 for the both of us, which is cheaper than our usual brunch outings. Dotty’s is located at Jalan Tun Mohd Faud 2 in TTDI.
We were at Citta Mall when we came across this relatively new restaurant. Jombali had taken out a large sign which advertised (of all things) a Michelin inspired dish.
Needless to say, this had nothing to do with Michelin and I have no idea where the whole “inspired by Michelin” bit came in.
I ordered an Oreo Shake (RM 8.90) and my better half had a Coconut Shake (RM 8.90). The latter was quite enjoyable, tasted a bit like the Thai counterpart it was meant to emulate but the former wasn’t anything to write home about.
It was dinnertime so I had the Nasi Goreng 3 Rasa with Ayam Goreng (RM 13.90). This was from their Jomabli Top Sellers menu and the 3 Rasa part means “3 tastes”. It pulled that off quite well – the fried rice was salty, sour (from the tomatoes) and spicy. The portion was GIGANTIC though and I couldn’t finish it although it was good.
My dear had the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah (RM 10.90) – the chicken is the same but hers is made with rice steamed with santan (coconut milk). It also came in a Supersized portion but the rice wasn’t very hot. I think part of it was due to them trying to serve us both at the same time, a very noble concept but maybe not so suitable for an eatery of their aspirations.
Jombali serves up decently priced food and adds to the selection at Citta Mall but we probably won’t be going back again unless we were really hungry.
I was on my way to a haircut the day before when I passed by this food truck. It was close to dinner and my better half was cooking so I didn’t want to spoil my appetite, but I was a little hungry and needed something to tide me over for a couple of hours, so I pulled over.
Amaze K Cafe is actually a food truck that sells all kinds of hotdogs. It was their very first day of operations when I visited on Friday evening! I talked to the two guys running it for a while and they said they might not be located here all the time but they decided to situate themselves in front of Encorp Strand Mall for their première.
I asked for a recommendation and got their flagship Mushroom & Chicken Hotdog (RM 10). It’s the one that they’re most proud of and for good reason – the juicy chicken frank was large and has that “snap” to the bite that good sausages have. I was told the halal chicken hotdogs are specially made for them.
They also recommended the Burritos (RM 11) for next time, which is just their chicken sausages wrapped in a commercially available tortilla wrap – no rice or beans, so it isn’t so much a burrito as a wrap. The menu items all revolves around their ½ foot chicken sausage and is either priced at RM 10 or RM 11.
This is their entire menu.
I thought the pricing is a bit on the high side for a food truck that is basically selling hotdogs. There are Ramly burger stands around (though they only operate at night) and the shops near them includes a Korean BBQ set lunch with drinks for RM 9.90 and a RM 1.90 Chinese small bowl mixed rice shop.
There’s also Encorp Strand Mall’s own Sam’s Deli – which hits the exact target market as these guys are aiming for – halal deli items and the latter has a lot more choices. Amaze K Cafe Food Truck does a very good hotdog though – the one I had was loaded with fresh sautéed mushrooms, chicken mince sauce, and mayo and I particularly liked how the juicy mushrooms goes with the snap of the hotdog.
I think they might struggle if they don’t revise their pricing, but if they do, it’ll be a welcome addition to the local food truck scene.
Amaze K Cafe Food Truck can be found in front of Encorp Strand Mall.
I was invited by Suanie to come along for my first yee sang dinner at Tai Zi Heen. It’s the resident Chinese restaurant of Prince Hotel & Residence and I was quite impressed by the view looking out of one of the private lounges:
It’s glass so you can see the entire lobby without the noise intruding. You also can’t jump out of it, so if you’re scared of heights, don’t worry, it’ll take quite a concerted effort to do so. Haha.
Vegetarian Snow Pear Yee Sang
This is the traditional first dish – yee sang (which actually means “raw fish”) is an imported tradition where you toss a salad (of sorts) while wishing for something. The very polished waitresses says a couplet of prosperity, health and general good wishes when she adds each ingredient – a rather nice touch!
You can see her doing just that. The video also shows the yee sang tossing session. If you strain your ears hard enough you can hear me say “Win 4D”. I’ve never won before and that very day (after an impromptu decision to get a couple of lottery numbers) I managed to win slightly less than RM 1,000 (about USD 300).
That’s some mighty wish fulfilling yee sang going on there.
I do like the addition of snow pear instead of salmon or jellyfish (which they both offer) – it makes the entire yee sang more crunchy and sweet.
Stewed Dried Oysters with Fatt Choy and Lettuce
I liked this dish as well although it’s not customary to serve it with lettuce (there’s more unique dishes coming up). Fatt choy is a type of bacteria that produces a very hearty and distinctive flavor – it basically absorbs whatever sauces are around.
Excellent stuff, and a Chinese New Year staple.
Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Diced Prawns, Scallops and Grouper
Oops! Did I use the S-word? Well, you can ask for it without shark’s fin as well. It tastes just as good – the combination of prawns, scallops and grouper makes it a very sweet broth.
I really liked this one as well.
Roasted Chicken dusted with Crispy Garlic and Five Spice Salt
I was expecting regular sea salt but they used five spice salt, which vastly improves the taste of the roasted chicken. There’s plum sauce on offer too, but I’m probably not the best person to ask about roasted chicken. I didn’t like it, but all the other diners were in agreement that it’s delicious.
There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t like roasted chicken.
Chef’s Special Baked Cod Fish
This is the flagship of the Chinese New Year banquet. Well, to me anyway. It’s a fusion dish made with mushroom, onions, cheese and turkey bacon. Yup, this is a halal outlet.
Check out the plating – there’s a Chinese character written on it with sauce.
The ingredients goes really well together and the result is this magnificent piece of cod that’s baked and dripping with cheese and bursting with flavor. I highly recommend this one, it’s not in the regular Chinese New Year menu but you can ask for it – it’s the Chef’s Specialty.
Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice with Chinese-style Preserved Duck
Waxed meat is another traditional Chinese New Year meal. This one is done Hong Kong style and I have to say, it’s one delectable dish. The saltiness of the duck is offset by the rice and the best thing about the dish is that there’s some stir-frying action going on.
Warm Almond Purée with Glutinous Rice Dumplings
This is basically tong yuen swimming in a concoction of milky almond. It sounds simple but it’s heart-warming food. The glutinous rice balls are filled with black sesame too.
It’s a righteously hot dessert that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Deep-Fried Chinese New Year Cake with Thousand Layer Puff Pastry
This is actually two desserts.
The first is nian gao (the above-mentioned Chinese New Year cake) dipped in batter before being deep fried. It’s a wonderful execution – much better than what I’m used to eating at home. The nian gao is made in-house and that makes all the difference – it’s not saccharine sweet and more suitable for adult palates.
The second dessert is the Thousand Layer Puff Pastry – a silkworm like cocoon surrounding a sweet corn and salted egg based interior. The crumbly texture of the pastry gives way to the warm salted egg filling. It’s still sweet, but has that tang of saltiness from the salted egg. I loved this so much I ate 4-5 pieces!
You’ve gotta eat it while it’s still hot though.
Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel has 3 different Chinese New Year menus, starting from RM 1,188 for a table of up to 10 people. It was a cozy dinner, with just the six of us sharing a banquet meant for 10. It’s also a halal outlet, which I was quite surprised to find out (asked about the usage of turkey bacon instead of real bacon).
The restaurant does a great Chinese New Year banquet and the Chinese New Year menu is on offer from now till 24 January 2013 – Chap Goh Meh. I particularly liked the baked cod fish so ask for it if you’re there – it’s really something else. :)
Thanks for having us over Elisa! Happy CNY everyone! :D