Saturday, 25 September 2010

Porridge @ Restoran New Lucky (Sri Petaling)

An ex-colleague of mine introduced me to the porridge stall at this corner kopitiam in Sri Petaling more than 10 years ago. I've been hooked ever since and keep going back for my fix when I have the chance to be in the area in the morning. I was there recently and the stall is still very much the same. 

Fresh seafood and frogs are chopped up and put on ice every morning, for patrons to choose. There's ikan bawal putih, red fish, prawns and frogs. 
My favorite is to mix the fish with prawns. It's RM13 for 1 person and comes with a medium sized prawn and lots of fish slices. There's actually enough for 2 persons. 

The porridge is just the right consistency, watery enough to cook the seafood but not thick or starchy. It's pretty plain with just the addition of sliced ginger but has a slighty sweet taste from the fresh seafood. If you are lucky enough to get prawns with roe, it will lend a pinkish tinge to the porridge.

I must admit that I've never tried the frog porridge as I do not fancy the taste of frog without a strong accompanying sauce (kung po sauce would be ideal). The ikan bawal putih though is especially sweet with the plain porridge.

Breakfast is a better bet than lunch time and weekdays are better than weekends. On busy weekends, be prepared for a waiting time of more than 1 hour! The good news is that there's lots of other food stalls in the kopitiam to satisfy your hunger whilst waiting for the porridge. One worth mentioning is the you tiao (yau char kwai) stall located at the front of the kpoitiam. What better accompaniment for a bowl of porridge than a freshly fried and crispy you tiao ? Bliss.

Location : Jalan Radin Anum 1, 57000, Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur,

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The best Bak Kut Teh in South Klang Valley ?

We're on the prowl for the best BKT in the Southern part of Klang Valley. Whilst the West Klang Valley (Klang side) has hundreds of good BKT stalls, the choice in the south is very much less. Around Kajang, there are only a handful of BKT and not many worth mentioning.

So we're on the lookout for good BKT - as far as Cheras, Sri Petaling, Puchong, Semenyih, Broga or even Nilai. If you've tried any good ones, do post your comment below. We'd really appreciate your feedback. It would give us an excuse to eat more BKT lah!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The best satay in Kajang ?

For those of you who have been following kajangfood.blogspot regularly would be waiting in anticipation for the results of our "Best Satay in Kajang shoot-out" held on 30th August. The article was posted earlier, but for some unknown reason, seems to have been deleted. So here we go again.

Firstly, let's introduce the 4 shortlisted finalists who made it to the shoot-out:-

Frontage - Restoran Malaysia
The Satay Man
The Service Team
  1. Malaysia Restaurant a.k.a. Nyok Lan Satay
    This is one of the most popular satay shops in Kajang and the only one that is Chinese owned. They've been around since we were kids and our parents actually knew Nyok Lan herself!

    The landmark Haji Samuri outlet at Bangunan Dato Nazir
  2. Haji Samuri
    Arguably the most popular in Kajang, they have outlets at the 2 Medan Satay in Kajang (one along Jalan Sulaiman opposite the KFC and the other behind the Town Hall). They also operate at the landmark Bangunan Dato Nazir building and have become almost synonymous with Kajang satay.

  3. Restoran Yus
    This is a relative newcomer and does not operate in Kajang town anymore. Their 2 outlets are located in Sungai Ramal Luar (just after Country Heights after coming off the PLUS highway) and at Bandar Baru Bangi. They have a good local following.

    The Medan Satay complex behind the Kajang Town Hall
  4. Sate Emas
    Now the last finalist was supposed to be Haji Tasmin, one of the pioneers of satay in Kajang (established in 1917), who used to have a stall at the Medan Satay. Unfortunately we found their stall No 7 had now been taken over by Haji Samuri. So we had to proceed with our next choice, which was Sate Emas, which has it's own local following. They also have another outlet at the Cheras Highway rest area.
Serving from Satay A
Serving from Satay B
Serving from Satay C
Serving from Satay D
Next, the methodology of the shoot-out. We decided to restrict the comparison to only beef and chicken satay – arguably the most popular types of satay although mutton, rabbit, stomach (perut), fish and ostrich satay are found at many of the outlets. We packed the satay back home with just cucumber (and onion) and the kuah (sauce) packed and chilli sambal packed separately, if available. The 4 varieties of satay were then labeled A to D and the identities were known only to me and another helper (who did not participate in the judging). The kuah was served separately from the sambal so that the judges could add the sambal according to their personal preference. The satay was reheated on a grille (without fire) before serving. A form was also provided to the judges to jot down their observations on the appearance and taste of the satay and kuah. 
Judge in deep thought....
Judges in 'hot' discussion
'Junior Judge' gives a thumbs up!
A tickled judge.....
The satay was served in 3 batches – 1st batch was just to satisfy everyone's hunger and get a basic idea about the 4 varieties. The 2nd and 3rd batches were the more critical and comparative rounds and the judges were seen trying the satay from one outlet with the sauce from other outlets too. Here's what the judges thought:-

  1. Malaysia Restaurant a.k.a. Nyok Lan Satay
    This restaurant easily won the Best Beef Satay award. Their beef satay was lean and chunky, well marinated and most importantly, was juicy and tender. Their chicken satay too was chunky and lean, perhaps the largest in terms of size. But chicken meat needs some fat content for taste, so theirs was not too popular with the judges who felt it was rather flat and uninteresting. The judges found the sauce to be too thick and sweet. Starch or some thickening agent had been used and it made the sauce too thick, especially when cold. The sambal kuah was added to individual taste, but did not help to counter the overly sweet sauce. The kuah was rather a let-down for them. They did however get extra points for providing onions with the cucumber. None of the other places provided onions – maybe a sign of the times with high onion prices ?

  2. Haji Samuri
    Haji Samuri had possibly the Best Chicken Satay in the shoot-out. The meat-fat-meat combination added more taste to the well marinated chicken satay. The fat also added some moisture whilst creating crispy charred bits, essential for a good stick of satay. Their beef satay was perhaps runner-up with well marinated meat, which remained quite juicy inside although not as tender as Malaysia Restaurant's. Their sauce was thick with sufficient ground peanuts, not overly sweet and with a fiery sambal to be added according to taste.

  3. Restoran Yus
    This was the only place that did not provide the chilli sambal separately from the peanut sauce. That did not stop them from having perhaps the Best Kuah in the shoot-out. The thick peanut sauce was well balanced with chillies to provide a thick, tasty and flavorful sauce. Their chicken satay was a close second to Haji Samuri, being well marinated and well grilled. The beef too was evenly grilled but that could not help it from being too tough. One of the judges commented that the meat could possibly be buffalo meat (kerbau) and not beef ?

  4. Sate Emas
    This last minute inclusion did not fare well against the competition. The meat was not evenly grilled causing one side to be charred and the other side not properly grilled. The meat was well marinated but had a strong lemongrass (serai) smell. Both the chicken and beef were rather dry with the beef being particularly tough. Gd commented that it was as tough as the sole of his shoe ?

So after careful discussion and deliberation, our overall winner of the BEST SATAY IN KAJANG award would have to go to HAJI SAMURI ! They had the best chicken satay, a decent beef satay and a pretty good kuah. They pipped Malaysia Restaurant on the strength of their kuah and great chicken satay. The proliferation of Satay Kajang Haji Samuri restaurants not only in Kajang but to the all over the Klang Valley is testament to their popularity and consistent quality. They have also reportedly expanded operations to Seremban, Port Dickson, Ipoh and Kuching ? There's no doubt that they have carried the fame of Kajang satay all over Malaysia.

Malaysia Restaurant on the other hand get our vote for Best Beef Satay. Aside from the shoot-out, we also packed some Mutton Satay from here as they are undisputedly the best place for mutton satay in Kajang. No need for a shoot-out for this category – take our word for it. Like the beef, their mutton is well marinated, juicy and tender. There is also no gamey smell to their mutton.

Restoran Yus gets our recommendation as a good option on busy weekends when both Haji Samuri & Malaysia Restaurant tend to get very crowded. With their excellent kuah and well grilled satay, they are a serious contender for the crown in Kajang. If only they would upgrade from kerbau to lembu….

Don't take our word for it – try them yourselves. Feedback is most welcome.

1. Malaysia Restaurant – along Jalan Semenyih
2. Haji Samuri – their flagship restaurant is at Bangunan Dato Nazir, across the road from the Kajang Police Station and beside the Kajang Stadium
3. Restoran Yus – the Bandar Baru Bangi outlet is located along Persiaran Bangi connecting Jalan Reko with Banadar Baru Bangi
4. Sate Emas – their outlet is located at the Medan Satay behind the Kajang Town Hall

Odd Couple spotted on the garden swing!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Restoran Loi Fatt Baru (New Loi Fatt Seafood)

I must confess that this is a restaurant that I have been planning to visit for about 15 years but have somehow never managed to make it previously. Located in the Batu 9 Cheras New Village, it is known to locals as a hidden gem, serving up good and fresh seafood. It is located just next door to Restoran Loi Fatt which may be a bit confusing at first. Both are popular and have their own set of regulars and fans. Loi Fatt has appeared on Taste with Jason (or at least Jason has visited the place as his photo is on the wall) whilst the Ho Chak crew had just filmed at Loi Fatt Baru the day before we visited. We learnt from the owner and cook at Loi Fatt Baru that he is the brother and was a former cook at Loi Fatt. He set up his own restaurant and has been cooking for the last 40 years.
The walls of the restaurant were plastered with articles and reviews from various newspapers and magazines. Photographs of their signature dishes on the wall were also a great help in deciding what to order. It was the eve of Hari Raya when we visited and we were the only patrons in the restaurant – I guess everyone was busy balik kampong. It was however good for us as the chef/owner himself came out to take our order and make recommendations.

The chef/owner showing us a large prawn!
This restaurant is particularly famous for their udang galah (large river prawns) and we had to try some, despite the rather prohibitive RM98 per kilo price tag. The prawns were imported from Indonesia and were apparently just delivered the previous day. There were 5 us so we ordered 5 medium sized prawns which turned out to be 1 kg or 200g per prawn. Those are pretty big sized prawns, but we were told that the big ones go up to 600g per prawn! 
The special prawn dish 
The prawns were cooked in a thick black sauce, somewhat like the kam heong style but without chilies or curry leaves. The outer shell of the prawns were singed, which made us suspect they had been grilled before being stir-fried. However the cook later told us that it had only been wok-fried, which actually revealed the skill of the cook in creating the wok-hei (breath of the wok) for this dish. This was very good and is worthy to be their signature dish.

Another signature dish was described as curry shark 'mouth'. What arrived at the table though would be better described as assam shark instead of curry. Served with ladies finger, brinjals, tomatoes and onions in a slightly sweet assam sauce, the pieces of sharks 'mouth' were crunchy, somewhat like the pieces of squid or terrapin. It is quite tasteless on it's own and needed the slightly spicy assam sauce to lend it some flavor. A pretty unique dish especially for the texture of the shark 'mouth'. RM40.80 for a medium sized (600g) serving.

The chef recommended pork ribs cooked in a claypot with yam. The yam used was a good variety and had a nice yam fragrance. Cooked until soft, the ribs were coated in the yam gravy. The ribs were tender and soft and had an almost melt-in-your mouth texture. We would recommend this dish.

The chef also recommended their special taufoo. The soft taufoo pieces were served in a gravy with various types of mushrooms, baby corn, shallots and chicken meat. It was nice, but not particularly outstanding.

To complete the meal, we had kalian cooked in 2 styles – shredded and fried till crispy (like seaweed) and stir-fried with garlic. Again, nice but not particularly outstanding and we felt that places like Wan Fatt did this dish better.

Overall it was a memorable meal – especially since we were able to chat with the chef/owner. We were told that their crab dishes are very popuar too – we'll keep that for our next visit. I guess business will pick up after their appearance on Ho Chak. They certainly do deserve more recognition.

Location : No 168, 9th Mile Cheras (just before the traffic light junction to Hulu Langat)
Contact : 9075 1853 or 017-356-6592
GPS Co-ordinates : E:101, 46'14.8" N:3, 4'10.6"

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Sing Kee – Part II

After getting 4 Excellent dish ratings on our last visit (see our first review), we were keen to make another visit to explore Sing Kee's repertoire. And we wanted to try different dishes too. So here's what we had:-

 Steamed wan yee topped with ginger
This style of fish is not very popular with gd and myself although it is our elder brother's favorite. The dishes we have had in the past have tended to be very heavy on the ginger taste that it tends to overpowers the taste of the fish. However on our last visit, we saw this dish on another table and we were told by the lady boss that the customers (who were regulars) always ordered this dish when they came. We found the minced ginger topping on the fish was light and flavorful. It was so tasty that it would have made a great accompaniment for some plain steamed kampong chicken (which we recalled the regulars had also ordered previously). RM30.
Verdict : Excellent

 Thai style chicken
This was recommended by the lady boss and we also saw it on a number of other tables. The chicken pieces were well fried and flavorful and served with julienne cucumber and onions in a tangy chilli sauce. RM18.
Verdict : Very good

 Pork belly (far lam) stir fried with onion shoots
We actually ordered this to see how they manage a relatively simple stir-fry dish. They passed with flying colors – the dish was done just right. RM16.
Verdict : Very good

 Egg foo yong
Another simple dish done with small prawns. Done well again. RM8.
Verdict : Very good.

Sweet potato leaves with fermented bean curd
Yet another simple dish. The this vegetable should not be cooked too long or it becomes soft and soggy. It was done just right here again with the vegetable remaining firm and crunchy and the sauce not to salty. RM6.
Verdict : Very good

Another very satisfying meal. This is definitely a restaurant heading for a place on our Top 10 list. Give it a try and do let us have your feedback. 

Location : 31-33, Jalan 1/6, Seksyen 1, Bandar Teknologi, Jalan Semenyih, 43000 Kajang (located in the row of shops behind the Billion Shopping Centre)
Contact : 017-2451916 or 016-3648296

Friday, 3 September 2010

Restoran Lan Je (CLOSED)

They have branches in other locations but this Balakong branch is now closed.

My former class-mate, now a banker, Mr Kong recommended this place when we met at a recent reunion. He recommended the steamed tilapia which is supposed to be their specialty. The restaurant originated in Rawang and has another branch in Kota Damansara. It so happened that after Mr Kong's recommendation, I came across an advertisement in the latest issue of City Ad (that ad magazine they drop in your post box). And coincidentally, we were in the Balakong area after a visit to Jusco Cheras Selatan and were looking for a place for lunch. 
So here's what we had:-

Steamed black tilapia
This is their signature dish. Small black tilapia, perhaps about 300g each, are individually steamed with a ginger garlic topping. There are 3 heat levels available – Regular, Spicy and Extra Spicy. The difference I understand, is just the addition of extra cut chillies to the sauce. We ordered 2 fishes both Spicy and both were steamed to perfection. The flesh was firm and juicy. And the sauce was a perfect complement to the fish – the ginger to mask the muddy smell and the garlic for a nice flavor dimension. It was RM29 for the 2 fish i.e. RM14.50 per fish ?

"Malaysian" taufoo
The waitress was trying to explain that their taufoo was not the Japanese variety. She described it as "Malaysian" although I think she meant 'local'. The taufoo can be served with chicken or prawns and we chose the prawns. To describe the dish in one word, it was just tasteless. Don't bother with this dish – try something else. RM8.00 for this dish.

Cabbage with dried prawns
The cabbage was poorly cut – large chunks. This was interspersed with some carrots and stir fried with a big dollop of oyster sauce ? The result – a rather salty and unappetizing dish. RM7.00 for this dish.

Only the steamed fish stood out – everything else was below par. My suggestion, go here, order the fish, maybe some green veggies and try not to be too adventurous with the side dishes.

Address: 10 & 12 Jalan Kasturi 3, Plaza Kasturi, Batu 11 Jalan Balakong, 43200 Cheras
Contact : 016-2482009