Sunday, 30 October 2016

Lakeside Hometaste Restaurant (tepi rumah)

Front Entrance to Lakeside Hometaste Restaurant (side of a house next to lake)
On a cloudy late Sunday morning, decided to go food hunting in Sg. Chua with my partner-in-crime, the unexplored territories. Following my GPS to a so called 'free range chicken' place nearby - which we presumed had closed, we accidently found this place as there were many cars parked there. We decided to try it out. It is right opposite the lake from the famous Thai restaurant, A-Wet.

Loh Pan-Mee before adding black vinegar
Basically its a noodle place with most of them going for pan-mee base. There was Yee Mee, Pan Mee, Loh Mee, Curry Mee served dry (kon lo) or soupy. I tried the Loh Pan Mee in thick Pan Mee (they also have thin Pan-mee) - which I found it to be tasty but a little thick on the broth. My PIC went for Kon Lo Pan Mee which was quite tasty too. Side dishes were fried dumpling and fish ball soup. Fried dumpling was a little small but very tasty where as the fish ball soup was big but the fish ball lack the springy texture and ordinary in taste. I do intend to try other side dishes next time there.
Kon-loh Pan-Mee & fish ball soup

The airy spacious enviroment was a plus point, it has lots of fans too, clean and nice. There was a constant flow of customers but it was not crowded/congested. 

This place gave me the feeling you were seated at the verendah of your house, overlooking the lake in front and enjoying your Sunday morning brunch. They also make lovely kampung styled kopi-ais which went great with the meal. Nice place, nice food and some SYTs to serve you - what else could you ask for? BTW. I was told, there have been in business since 2015, so its not that new.
Fried dumplings

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ex Oldman, Restaurant Happy

To write or not to write, to share or not to share - the million dollar question we always ask. To be honest, I am reluctant to share this place as it is ‘damn good’ and I don’t want to end up waiting when I go there once he become famous, but.......what the heck!

Famous Oldman (retired)
Farewell Oldman, welcome Youngman and I am indeed happy to blog about Happy Restaurant - it’s kept me happy for the last month or so since they appeared on my food radar.

Located at the parking lot of Pasar Kajang where the Oldman Restaurant used to be, it is now renamed as Happy Restaurant and run by a young tattooed Chef and his Cantonese/Mandarin speaking and ever-smiling wife. Nice couple they are.

I was a bit skeptical when this new guy appeared about 2 weeks after Oldman Uncle decided to retire. He told us his son’s friend will be taking over after a quick renovation. Now I have been a faithful customer for the last 3 weeks or so and I have to admit, I am kinda addicted to this place, swearing to come back again next weekend!

'Youngman' Chef
Today’s dinner even inspired me to get back to my blogging, so here it goes - Kajang’s new secret food hideout @Pasar Kajang parking lot - Restoran Happy.

Husband wife team with a child in tow, the wife greets you with a big smile (every time without fail), she even remembers what you had there the last time and ever willing to recommend something new for us to try. Although a Myanmarese, she speaks Mandarin and Cantonese fluently and some Bahasa too.

What have we tried so far and recommendations: at the top of the list will be the simple fried Talapia topped with lots of fried garlic-chili-api mix - superb, will make your crave for more! Well executed for a very simple fried fish but full of flavour from the garlic-chili api sauce.This is a must have. (FYI: There is a guy under a tree in Sg. Way who does this style of frying Ikan Kembung for lunch, laced with similar garlic sauce - very famous - behind Cycle & Carriage, 200m from new Krishna Curry House - Federal Highway)

Fried Talapia with garlic-chili-padi topping
Next, pork ribs cooked with lots of onion and tomato plus some samsu (rice wine) - as normal as it look, has a fantastic aroma/flavour to it (reminds me of really good claypot musang from the good old days) - its a very 'old school' way of cooking with fantastic results.

The Bitter Gourd and Salted Egg came as the biggest surprise - we were expecting the normal stir fried green bitter gourd, but was completely surprised when it was served as deep fried and looked much different from our expectation - it was very tasty and strangely, not bitter! Makes a good appetizer. 

Retro-tasting Pork Ribs with onion-tomato & samsu
I also have to mention the pork ribs (or even fried chicken) topped with crushed peanuts sauce we had - very tasty and flavourful.

We had eggplant/brinjal with salted fish and this was also a winner - flavourful but a little oily (he admitted, he forgot to drain the eggplant after frying it - give him the benefit of the doubt this time - still new).

Fried Bitter Gourd in Salted egg
Other dishes we tried here were kangkong in claypot - not sure why the claypot but just average stir fried kangkong. It was ok, little different. The curry sea-food claypot of parwns/sotong/fish was very tasty, worth a try too. There is also a dry fish head curry - garupa fish with some vege - also tasty and worth the try.

What was amazing, my kaki makan friends all kept telling me, this place is like an addiction, we keep wanting to go back there week after week for his cooking! Must be good. He is open from about 10am in the morning to about 3pm after lunch, then a break till 5.30pm, then to 9.00pm. Youngman has taste and can dish out some awesome dishes, tell us what you think. Keep up the good work Chef Youngman! 

GPS Location 2.990527, 101.793127
Address: 824, Jalan Changkat, 43000 Kajang, Selangor
(Pasar Kajang Car Park area)
(more photos to whet your appetite below)

Garupa Fish Head
4-angled beans with lotus root - very good!
Fried nam yee pork - simple, nice
Steamed brinjal - yes, white in colour! nice.
Fried squid/sotong with salted egg - nice

Pork ribs in special peanut sauce
Signature fresh fried talapia & loads of garlic-chiliapi! RECOMMENDED!
Live & Fresh Talapia in 'Samsu' - sorry, only for regulars ;-) (1/3 bottle of samsu!)
Fried Ikan Kembung with young garlic-chilipadi - also for regulars only, sorry ;-)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Sunday Breakfast - Roti Canai & Nasi Lemak

So what does a foodie do on a lazy weekend? Sunday breakfast starts on Saturday night, 'spying' on other foodie's post for some breakfast ideas. I spotted one untested in Sg. Chua titled Roti Canai 17 as 'one of the best food places in Kajang' - OMG! and I didn't know about it! Set alarm for early breakfast and jumped out of bed and headed there on this lazy Sunday morning, so here goes - my field report.

Finding the place was easy, just look for Sek. Agama near the Old Town White Coffee place, it is right next to the school.

Go to Jalan Wan Siew in Sg. Chua, at the traffic lights turn left if you are coming from Bangi/Giant Supermarket/SILK Highway, look out for the Sek. Agama signage on the left. You should see Roti Canai 17 as you turn left here. Ample parking around the shop. If you are coming from Sg. Chua main road/Kajang town, you turn right at the traffic lights in Jalan Wan Siew.

What caught our eyes was, its an Indian shop but there was a Chinese altar outside the shop and Indian deity inside the shop. What gives? This was seen pasted on the wall and I guess explains the reson for it being so. 

Religion aside, we came for the food. So as per the 'norm' with other patrons, we ordered roti canai, roti telor and nasi lemak, plus an extra plate of 'kari ayam', which was served in a big plate, a whole drumstick. Nasi Lemak + chicken curry was RM6.00 - not bad for the size.

To down it all, we had teh tarik & teh ais - the tea was excellant I must confess. Roti canai was off the mill, nothing spectecular - I felt it was rather 'thin'. The dhal curry plus 'sambal' was so - so, but freshly made and fast service. They used the same 'sambal' used in the nasi lemak - which was just onions, no ikan bilis sighted. Nothing great, but not bad too to be fair. My Kajang roti canai reference is this mamak stall next to the old APEX building near Crystal Oriental Hotel, beside the river (behind Texas Chicken). The freshly made roti canai and 'kari ikan' is the best I have tasted in Kajang and its cheap!, comes with 60" LED TV entertainment too ;-)

Now for the nasi lemak - it tasted average, I won't write home about it. I just found their fried egg was very small/thin and didn't fell like a full egg. The plus point, there was fried 'kacang' and 'ikan bilis' the traditional way, how we all remember nasi lemak to be. The rice was done well.
Now when you have eaten Kak Maznah's Nasi Lemak in Sek. 5, Bangi (behind the Shell Station along Jalan Reko), that really sets the standard of 1st Class Nasi Lemak, possibly the best I have eaten (ever) - this turns out to be very average - then again, I have been spoilt with the best. We took a dig on the curry chicken, it was a nice generous drumstick but to a seasoned taste-bud, the curry lack the Indian finesse. To me, it tasted like the curry powder used was not properly 'fried till the oil separated', thus giving it this 'curry powder taste'.  However, this curry seem popular among patrons. Also, there was those going for the mutton curry - both popular.
Chicken Curry/Kari Ayam

Roti Telur with Dhal Curry/Sambal
BTW. We also did spot other Indian food like Tosai but did not have the oppurtunity to try it. I plan to give it a 2nd try to see how other Indian food tasted, perhaps even lunch spread. We can sure do with a nice Indian restaurant in Kajang. Ravi's Corner, Basil Leaf and Sri Pandi just don't cut out anymore.

Roti Canai 17
6, Lorong Kajang Raya 2,
Taman Kajang Raya,
43000 Kajang

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Sibu - A quick guide

Here's some highlights from a recent short trip to Sibu, Sarawak.

A must try is the 'Kompia', a localization of 'Kong Piah' or King of Biscuits? It's actually just a oven baked plain bun but is usually served stuffed with meat or other fillings. This was one stuffed with a sweet chicken filling from Sarawak's  ubiquitous Sugar Bun franchise restaurants. A nice snack indeed.
I managed to try some seafood and this was at a Chinese Muslim restaurant. A word of warning though - many of the seafood available in Sibu are actually obtained from elsewhere so it may not be as fresh as you would expect of a coastal town. And not exactly cheap either.

Traditional biscuits are available on the streets. The two types shown here had peanut paste and red bean paste. Both were good enough for me to pack back home as gifts! 

'Kampua' Noodles - perhaps a distant cousin of Kuching's Kolok Mee? Very simple homemade noodles, slightly springy and chewy. Served dry, tossed in pork lard and topped with char siew and chopped spring onions. Definitely a must try when visiting Sibu.

I did not have enough time to try some other signature noodle dishes like the river prawn noodles, which is enough reason to make a return visit in future. Maybe take a slow boat ride up to Mukah too.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Gift Tilapia Restaurant @ Seremban

A word of thanks to Sivin Kit for bringing this restaurant to our attention. On a recent visit to Seremban, we made a short detour to try the food here.
A must try would be their signature farm fresh tilapia. We chose the plain steamed tilapia fish with chili padi (birds eye chilli). The fish was indeed fresh and firm. It had a clean taste and no 'muddy' smell. Highly recommended and good value at RM35 (before GST ya). Perhaps one of the best we have ever tried. 
We had to try their version of the Japanese unagi (eel). However their version was made with the humble ikan keli (catfish). The fish had the right amount of fat and was slightly sweet from the sauce. It was very good but could have been better with a little more caramalization and more teriyaki sauce. The bed of shredded cabbage and carrot is a bonus vegetable dish too. Quite good value ar RM15.
The nyonya style Kapitan chicken curry was decent only at RM13 for a small portion.
The paku (fern shoots) with sambal belacan (shrimp paste) was exceptional and highly recommended. For RM10, it's a steal.   
Overall, a great little restaurant. Lunch time is a good time to visit as it gets crowded come dinner time. We'll definitely be back to try more. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Location:   No.11, Lorong Merbok 6/1, Taman Bunga Blossom, 70100 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
Contact :  010-251 5340

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Kedai Makan Pok Nik @ Sg Ramal

A random link on Facebook lead me to Kedai Makan Pok Nik in Sg Ramal. I read a few good reviews about the place as well and decided to give it a try during the CNY holidays recently. The food was packed for take-away so my  apologies as appearance is not so appealing. 
Nasi Dagang Ikan Tongkol - RM6.50
First up, the Nasi Dagang. Brown rice - check; thick kuah ikan tongkol - check; pickled cucumber - nope; salted egg - nope; solok lada - nope. Instead, there was a red chilli, half a hard-boiled egg and some spicy brinjal. Overall the taste was good. I would recommend the Nasi Dagang here. 
Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar - RM6.00
Next up, the Nasi Kerabu. I decided to have it with the Daging Bakar (Grilled Beef). Blue rice - nope; raw vegetables - check (albeit very stingy with this); kerisik and sauces - check (but not really sufficient); daging bakar - check (but too tough and stringy). There was also a packet of gravy included which added some taste to the otherwise bland rice (due mainly to lack of ingredients). If only they were more generous with the ingredients......
Nasi Lemak (RM3.00)
I also packed a Nasi Lemak which was packed in a styrofoam box. The sambal had a real chilli kick. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give this a 4.5 on the heat scale. However overall taste-wise, it was not particularly outstanding. 
Lompat Tikam (RM4.00)
Kelantanese kuih such as Lompat Tikam were available although I did not have any. I understand that more kuih are available on normal days but their kuih maker was on leave ? 
The Breakfast menu
Overall I would only recommend the Nasi Dagang. I would return for that and also to try the Laksam. It's close to the highway, so if you're travelling south and need a convenient place for breakfast near the highway, give this a try.
Location : Jalan Ramal 2, Taman Ramal Indah, Sg Ramal, 43000 Kajang
Contact : 012-501 5194
Facebook Link :


Kafe Vietnam @ Bandar Puteri Puchong

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone celebrating! It's a long weekend and with most Chinese restaurants closed, we decided to venture further for something different. That's how we ended up in a quiet part of Bandar Puteri Puchong is a nice little cafe  called Kafe Vietnam. Note the mannequin dressed in Ao Dai (traditional Viet costume) outside that seems to be calling you to enter.

The quintessential Vietnamese starter - Cuon Tom or fresh spring rolls - with fresh herbs and prawns - a great start to any meal. Dip it in the spicy peanut sauce for full effect.
Fresh spring rolls - RM7.90
Next, Goi Rau Cau Tom Thit - a pork, prawn and jelly salad. Sounds weird on paper but it came together very well on the dish. Best when scooped up and eaten with the provided prawn crackers. 
Salad of prawn, pork and jelly served with crackers _RM13.90
Another quintessential Vietnamese dish, Bahn Xeo - a crispy crepe with various fillings. This one came with slices of pork and prawns. Best eaten wrapped in the salad leaves and dipped in the accompanying chilli sauce. 
Bahn Xeo - RM15.90
For many, Pho is to Vietnamese food what laksa is to Malaysian food. There are many variations, and this this premium version of Pho Bo Dac Biet came with tender slices of beef, brisket, tendons and beef balls in a light but flavorful broth. Add whatever herbs and vegetables you wish and a squeeze of lime or some chilli padi or fish sauce. This would be a perfect brunch for me.
Pho Bo Dac Biet - RM16.90
A dish that is found everywhere in Vietnam is Com Tam (broken rice), almost like chicken rice in Malaysia. Usually served with pork chop or fried chicken, other side dishes are a sunny side up and runny egg, a slice of steamed minced pork and egg, pickled vegetables and slices of tomato and cucumber. The marinated pork chop here is flavorful and is a perfect foil for the broken rice. A simple dish that I could happily eat everyday.     
Com Tam - RM14.90
Another noodle dish, Bun Moc is a rice noodles soup with various pork ball, minced pork slices, pork cuts and sprinkling of fresh spring onions and herbs as well as fried shallots. Again, you can add fresh herbs, lime or chillies to your own taste but for me, the stock was flavorful enough as it was.  
Bun Moc - RM14.90
For the Lunar New Year or Tet Festival as it is known in Vietnam, a rice dumpling similar to the Chinese chang is served. They did not have the dumpling but we sampled Com Chien La Sen a fried rice in lotus leaf. The lotus leaf imparts a lovely fragrance to the rice, which is fried with slices of pork sausages.  
Com Chien La Sen (Fried Rice in Lotus Leaf) - RM19.90 for 2 pax
The iced coffee is thick, strong and sweet just like in Vietnam. Highly recommended as well. You can also pick up Vietnamese coffee, instant noodles, fish sauce, rice paper, pickles and a few other  supplies from the store. 
A lovely place for a weekend brunch, we understand that it is considerable crowded at dinner time.  
Overall, this was a great find. The food took me back to my trip to Ho Chi Minh City. We spotted groups of Vietnamese workers eating here too, so the food must be pretty authentic for them to be here too. Service was lovely too since it was pretty quiet when we visited.  Possibly the best Vietnamese restaurant in Klang Valley? Give it a try and tell us what you think.
Location : No 1, Jalan Puteri 4/1, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong
Contact : 03-80527472