Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Banh Mi @ Bandar Puteri, Puchong

After my recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I have been on the lookout for nice Vietnamese food in Klang Valley. After reading about this place on Eat Drink KL blog, I was tempted to give it a try.

Located behind the Columbia Asia hospital in Bandar Puteri, this is a relatively quiet neighborhood for a restaurant, far from the hustle (and parking madness) of the Bandar Puteri town centre. Lots of parking in this vicinity.
They have a very limited menu - maybe less than 15 items, of which half are choices of Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches). You can have it with choice of pork (bacon or grilled pork), fish, chicken, egg or a combination of these (on request).
Banh Mi with bacon - RM6.80
Banh Mi with grilled chicken - RM6.60
Banh Mi with Grilled Pork - RM6.60
I liked the grilled chicken and grilled pork as these had the added smoky aroma and flavors from the grilling. Recommended.

Also available are rice sets with braised pork belly or lemongrass chicken. I tried the lemongrass chicken which was served with stir fried bitter gourd with egg and a vegetable soup. The chicken was nice and tasty but if would have been better if it was served with hot steaming rice instead of the lukewarm rice I got.
Lemongrass chicken with rice set - RM6.80
Lastly, we had the Bo Kho or beef stew. Served with a baguette, the stew was nice but not as thick and flavorful as I anticipated.
Stew beef with baguette set - RM6.60

Special mention about the unique decor made with real unused baguettes. The baguettes are made fresh daily so the unused ones get used as decor for the shop. Brilliant! It's a small non air-cond cafe so it does get stuffy in the afternoon.
The entire operation is run by Vietnamese so you're ensured of an authentic experience. Vietnamese drip coffee (hot or iced) and Ice Lime Tea are available and are recommended as well.

Location : No 21, Jalan Puteru 7/9, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor (opposite the Bandar Puteri Police Station)
Contact : 012-3225548 (Cindy Pham)
Website : www.banhmi.com.my
Operating hours : 10.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. (closed once a month)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Restoran ZZ Mee Rebus Tulang @ Johor Bahru

A colleague of mine told me of a place in Johor Bahru that I 'die-die also must try' when i was there recently. Armed with my Waze, I ended up spending a good 20 minutes circling a residential area looking for the elusive restaurant. When I finally found it, it was a nondescript shack in between some trees with cabana like sheds scattered around in a random fashion. Very kampung-esque.
Putting aside the setting, I went straight for the main course - mee rebus tulang. Two large beef bones with bone marrow inside were heaped onto a serving of tasty mee rebus. The mee rebus was good - not overly sweet or thick and with just the right amount of spices. Topped with some green chillies, the mee rebus alone would be worth a visit here. The tulang (bone) was a little bit of a let down. Maybe because of the hype about it, my expectations were set very high. It turned out to be just OK. I ended up spooning the mee rebus gravy into the bone when sucking out the marrow to give it the extra taste boost. They serve the dish with a straw to facilitate the extraction of the marrow from the bone (brought to mind a phrase from the Dead Poet's Society about sucking out the marrow from life).
The ubiquitous otak-otak (this is the Johor version, served grilled in nipah leaves) was available. This turned out to be just OK, bordering on the bland.
The area is dark and the parking lot nearby is littered with glass fragments from shattered vehicle window glasses. Doesn't give you a sense of security, especially when the owners of the restaurant have also posted up prominent signs at the entrance stating that vehicles are parked at owners' own risk. It wouldn't hurt them to have some security personnel stationed there.

So in conclusions I can say to my colleague Danny, I would go here again if I was in JB - but only with a local and I think I could still live happily even without returning here again.

Location: Off Jalan Petrie, Johor Bahru, Johor
Contact : 012 7227209 / 013 7492671

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Restoran Do Do Do - Tangkak Beef Noodles

I had a short trip to JB last week and chanced upon an article about Tangkak Beef Noodles at Motormouth From Ipoh's blog. I learnt that I did not have to venture far from the Plus highway toll and since it's about 2 hours out of KL, it's actually a great stop on the way to JB. Here's a map to the shop:-
The beef soup was robust and flavorful, no doubt the result of long hours of brewing. The cuts of meat though were soft but still firm - just the right texture. You can choose to have it with lean meat only or with tripe, brisket and tendon. The soup was peppery and the spices were not overpowering. Noodles (I had bee hoon and kuey teow) had enough bite.
Conclusion - an ideal stop on the way to JB. The sign at the shop said they opened until 6.00 pm but on the weekday that I stopped by, they were already packing up at 4.30 pm. Give it a try if you're ever in those parts.

Monday, 30 June 2014

O'baroi @ Taman D'Alpinia, Puchong

O'baroi is basically a Thai restaurant, with some local and Western dishes thrown in. Chef Mei who helms the kitchen is a 10 year veteran of a resort in Pulau Perhentian. He dishes out good Western and local dishes but hailing from Kelantan, he excels at Thai dishes.Here's what we tried during our recent visit:-

Serai drink and ice lemon tea - both were nice and refreshing.

Seafood tomyam. What can I say? I was impressed! For a Malaysian cook, this may be one of the best tomyam soups that I have had around Kajang. The chef got the balance of tangy, sweet, sour and pungent just right.

We were recommended the deep fried siakap with mango salad but asked for the fish to be steamed with a lemon sauce instead. I think we should have stuck with the recommended preparation as this turned out rather disappointing with the lemon sauce being rather watery and not sufficiently sour.

Sambal squid (with green peppers) was suitably spicy and the squid cooked just right to retain its crunchiness.

Kangkung belacan (ala PM Najib - hahahaha). Done nicely.

'Obaroi' fried rice - tasty and comforting though a tad expensive at RM12.90.
The star of the evening was a dish called 'Thai Style Chicken'. It had pieces of deep fried chicken which were nice and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This was topped with a simple sweet and tangy 'kerabu' of carrot, cucumber and onions. I would return to Obaroi just for this dish. Highly recommended.
Its a small restaurant in a quiet part of Puchong near the SKVE. I must try to get the GPS coordinates and post it here later as its a little difficult to locate. Its wort the journey there for the tomyam and Thai Style Chicken. Give it a try.

Location : 10, Jalan D'Alpinia 10, Taman D'Alpinia, 47120 Puchong
Contact : 012-533 2996

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Le Moon's @ Jade Hills

Jade Hills comes to life with the opening of Le Moon's, a cafe, bakery and 'zakka'.

I haven't found out what 'zakka' means but here's what we have tried.

Confit duck leg. This turned out rather dry and the skin was not crispy as expected.
Thai chicken salad. Crispy fresh vegetables but the 'Thai' chicken was heavy on the turmeric and it did not really have any  Thai chicken to us.

Chocolate Marquee. This was finally redemption for Le Moon's. A rich and not overly sweet chocolate cake served with a raspberry coulis. Great balance of rich and tangy. Excellent.

They serve Illy coffee here, which is reasonably acceptable but unexciting. We also packed some pastries - a Chocolate Danish and a Raisin Danish. Both were suitably flaky and buttery. Excellent and recommended.

Conclusion - Le Moon's is a place to go for a cake and pastries. The food menu (at least the items we tried) needs more work. However they win hands down for The Prettiest Cafe in Kajang. Give it a try.

Location :  18-G, Persiaran Jade Hills Utama 1/1, Kajang
Contact :  012-620-3638 or 010-289-9585

Monday, 13 January 2014

The best Arabian food in Kajang

Of late there have been several new Arab / Middle Eastern restaurants sprouting up in Kajang. The majority are located in the Sg Chua area where there a number of flats/ apartments occupied by the Middle Eastern community.

I still have not learned to distinguish Lebanese, Egyptian, Moroccan, Turkish, Syrian or Greek cuisine. I have a feeling its going to be difficult task, like trying to distinguish the different Malay specialities from different states in Malaysia. So any feedback, comments would be appreciated.

Which is your favorite? Some of the choices out there include:-
1. Tareem Hadramawt Restaurant at Taman Sepakat Indah 2
2. Al Diafah at Taman Putra Kajang
3. Arabian House Restaurant also at Taman Putra Kajang 

Drop me a note in the comment box. Cheers.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Kg Koh chilli sauce, direct from Sitiawan

Happy New Year everyone!

Our Christmas outing for 2013 was to Sitiawan, Perak - home of the famous Kg Koh chilli sauce. We always have a bottle of Kg Koh chilli sauce at home to go with dim sum and fried foods. We did not get to visit a chilli sauce factory, but we made it a point to visit the Kg Koh wet market to stock up on some sauce. Here's what we got:-
The collection of Kg Koh chilli sauce bottles
Now you may be able to get Kg Koh chilli sauce almost anywhere in Malaysia, but there is one brand that is only available in Kg Koh itself.  It's the one in the middle in the photo above, NKJ's -
NKJ's, only found in Kg Koh, Sitiawan
It's thicker in consistency, more pungent and with a more pronounced garlic flavor. It's my pick between the 3 Kg Koh chilli sauces that we found. Do pick up a bottle if you're in Sitiawan. You'll find it in most provision stores there and you can even get them in six-packs, tied up with raffia string. Real old-school style.