Monday, 18 January 2010

Top 10 Restaurants in the Kajang area - updated 2010

We first posted our Top 10 Restaurants in October last year and there really has not been much change, with the exception of a newly found restaurant in Sri Kembangan, which replaces that old favourite, Soon Lee (which still has the best roast lamb I have ever tasted in my life). These are proper restaurants (excluding hawkers or places with just one specialty) all in the Kajang and surrounding vicinity which extends to Serdang, Sri Kembangan, Semenyih and Broga - anything within a 30 minute radius from Kajang. We are still looking for that elusive Indian restaurant to put on our list, but maybe we have very high standards in this respect.

Listed as before in no order of preference:-

  1. Old Man Restaurant, Sg Chua, Kajang
  2. Kedai Makanan Wan Fatt, Kajang town
  3. Bukit Mewah Restaurant, Jalan Semenyih, Kajang
  4. Restoran Min Kee, Broga, Lenggeng, Negri Sembilan
  5. Restoran 52, Semenyih
  6. Fook Loy Restaurant, Sg Chua, Kajang
  7. Restoran Soong Kee (NEW) - Seri Kembangan
  8. Restoran Huat Kee, Semenyih
  9. Restoran Malaysia, Kajang town (Halal)
  10. Haji Samuri Satay, Kajang town (Halal)

The last 2 places on the list are our favourite satay restaurants in Kajang. Look out for the review of Soong Kee soon.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Kedai Makanan Wan Fatt (Part II)

What a better way to start the New Year than to review what may possibly be our choice as the best of our Top 10 restaurants in Kajang again. Here's some dishes we tried recently.

1. Taufoo in 2 styles.
On a single dish, you'll get 2 types of taufoo (plain and with fish paste) in 2 styles. The plain taufoo is deep fried and served with a piquant Thai cucumber 'kerabu'. The homemade fish paste taufoo is deep fried and served with a mayonnaise sauce. It's tasty no doubt, but I have mental block on any dish using mayonnaise in Chinese cooking.
Verdict : Good

2. Claypot steamed tilapia fish with ginger wine
This was the first time we tried this dish and it was a winner. The fish was steamed to perfection and the ginger wine lent a sweet / pungent flavour. Very good for the digestion and it will keep you warm on cold days. This was a hit with the wife and mother-in-law.
Verdict : Very good

3. "Pakis" vegetable with sambal belacan
Fern shoots (paku-pakis) are not very commonly used by the Chinese in these parts, although quite common in East Malaysia. If not cooked properly, the pakis will leave a "kelat" (sticky) sensation in the mouth. It was done reasonably well here though I've had versions with tastier sambal belacan in East Malaysia.
Verdict : Good

4. Pork with "mui choy"
A simple dish which was done well. The flavour of the mui choy (preserved vegetable) had seeped into the pork. Every last morsel was polished off.
Verdict : Very good

5. Taufoo steamed with minced pork
Another very simple dish but done really well again. The soy sauce gravy was very tasty and every morsel was polished off.
Verdict : Excellent

6. Fried pork ribs coated in salted egg
A tasty dish indeed, thanks to the salted egg coating.
Verdict : Very good

Best to try this place on a weekday. They have limited seating so waiting for a table may be necessary on weekends and public holidays. There is a fruit stall next door so you could get some fruits to munch whilst waiting for your food, if you're really hungry.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Basil Leaves, Taman Kajang Sentral

The excitement of a new Indian Restaurant in Kajang with a western name was rather interesting to say the least, so like every other Kajang folk, we anticipated its opening after the signage came up. This dragged from weeks to months. Finally, on 24th December, it opened its doors - after the long anticipation, it was like they say 'potong stim'.

No body talked about this restaurant until my uncle decided to drag me there one afternoon for lunch. Mind you, he knows the owner personally. It was one of the most memorable lunches I have had, in recent times, but for the wrong reasons.

Upon entry, noticed the strange green colour theme in the shop and the pictures of western dishes on the walls - very strange for Indian restaurant to have so many western dishes featured on a large poster-backdrop. Signs of confusion ?

We wanted a nice Indian meal, noticed no menu, no display rack - so we kept guessing. We had to ask for what we wanted, i.e. rice, dry mutton, some dry chicken, fish curry and waited. Food came in very impressive utensils to say the least, but all in small portions. Missing were the vegetables - a must in any Indian restaurants - and we were told, that we had to order it seprately. So we did ask for it by name - cucumbers in yogurt - "Sorry, we don't have that!" What! No cucumbers in yogurt in an Indian restaurant? We then found that they did not have any other Indian type vegetables either and only a Chinese style stir fried garlic vegetable was available (see pic).
There were also no 'resam', no pickles, no yogurt dipped fried chillies??? Certainly was not what we would expect from an Indian restaurant?
And every time we requested for something simple (things commonly found in an Indian restaurant), the elderly waiter would run into the kitchen and bring out the boss, who would then apologise to us that they did not have it. Why didn't he just tell us? The 'staff' were certainly not trained or prepared to run a restaurant. Everyone was a 'greenhorn'. There was so much confusion and frustration from the look of the customers faces around us, we were not the only ones unhappy with the service.
The food itself was slightly below average. The mutton had no real taste, fish curry was ok, considering the fact that there were 2 slices of Ikan Tenggiri in there. Vegetable was very Chinese, didn't quite blend in to the Indian food. The fresh ginger pickle was the only dish worth a mention. Fried chicken was reasonably good as it was freshly fried with curry leafs. The rice portion was insufficient and nobody asked us if we needed more (possibly came at an additional price).

We finished our meal and asked for the bill. For just the 2 of us, with pretty simple dishes. it came to a whopping RM45.20 !!! My uncle who knew the owner, almost fell off his chair. But since it was our first time (and possibly the last), we just paid the bill and left.

Outside, we bumped into an old friend and his wife who were about to enter the shop, going in to try for the first time too- we blurted out our sour experience - they made a u-turn, jumped into their car and drove off to Sri Paandi's in town for a 'better' deal. They just wanted 'real' Indian food!

I'll give this restaurant 6 months at the most if they continue operating like this. Anyone looking for a good deal to start a restaurant in the Taman Kajang Sentral area, just sit back and wait, you may get a good deal taking over the 2 shop lots here soon.