Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Narak Tomyam aka Kak Su Nasi Kerabu dan Nasi Berlauk @ Batu 12 Jalan Cheras

I'm  always in search of good nasi kerabu and I chanced upon a spot in Batu 12 Cheras when I was there recently to fit new tyres for my car. Batu 12 Cheras is a rather quiet kampung area after the SILK highway bypassed this stretch of road and it is dominated by used car dealers. Narak Tomyam is situated between used car dealers and is rather difficult to spot initially. Look out for the Perodua dealership and service centre and this outlet is located somewhere on the opposite side of the road.
The frontage of Narak Tomyam
I had to try their signature nasi kerabu (rice with shredded herbs) and chose to have it with another East Coast favorite, ayam percik (barbecued chicken coated in a spicy sauce). The nasi kerabu had sufficient amounts of herbs but maybe too much bean sprouts (taugeh) for my liking. There was enough gravy, sambal and budu (fish sauce) as well. Only thing missing was some crispy keropok (fish crackers). I should have asked for some as they did have it in sealed plastic bags.
The best nasi kerabu in Kajang?
The ayam percik was tender and tasty. Thumbs up. 
Grilled fish, sambals (on the left side) and lots of dishes on display

There's a wide array of lauk (dishes) including ikan bakar (grilled fish), ulam (raw vegetables) and curries.
The ikan and ayam percik
Various ulam (raw vegetables)
This is a great breakfast and lunch place for some authentic Kelantanese fare. They open early but some dishes may only be available closer to lunch. Possibly the best nasi kerabu in Kajang. Do give it a try and leave a comment about what you think.

Location : Narak Tomyam, JC80 Lot 717, Batu 12 Jalan Cheras, 43200 Kajang
Contact : 016-2752070

Friday, 21 November 2014

IOI City Mall - New food haven

We made a pre-opening visit to the spanking new IOI City Mall. We spotted lots of new restaurants and outlets there with great potential. Here are a few that we plan to try in the near future :-

Friday, 31 October 2014

Kafe Imiki @Jalan Bukit

It opened its doors on 28th Oct. 2014 and this review could be a bit premature as they could be going through teething issues in the kitchen. The cafe was decked with loads of flowers from well wishes both inside and outside. Deco was simple but tastefully done, a partly wallpapered wall, 'unique looking plastic chairs' along with modern tables decked this cafe - first impression, a nice place in town to bring a date for a dinner and they have broadband WiFi! Yey!

My partner in crime (PIC) and I visited this place on 30th Oct., two days after opening to try out this new cafe in town. It is located next to the The Crystal Oriental hotel or behind AmBank along Jalan Bukit. The ex-market Old Man Restaurant is located just two doors away.
Jokbal Yam Rice
Menu was very well done, looked so impressive and gave me the impression that we were going to have some Japanese fusion food. My partner ordered what seems to look like a 'bento box' named 'Jokbal Yam Rice' and I went for some porky dry Japanese looking noodles - named Teppan Pork Rib Ramen, comes with vegetables and french fries. The Jokbal Yam Rice came in a nice looking Banto Box served with a fried egg, 'dry' cabbage and carrots and some 'chili sauce' and 2 small slices of watermelon which somehow tasted more like 'chap fan' serving. The Yam was cooked with some pork in soya sauce and was pretty much flat tasting. The flavour or texture of the yam was non existent.
Teppan Pork Rib Ramen
My Teppan Pork Rib Ramen (I asked for the dry one) came with an egg, sunny side up and french fries, the same cabbage-carrot 'dry vege' salad and two stingy pieces of fried pork (see pic). The description on the menu and what was served was far apart. My guess, they had a good photographer and copywriter. They forget the 'cooking department'. The noodles was so flat tasting, I had to 'steal' some of the gravy from the Jokbal Yam to add some flavour to the noodles. Mixing the egg with the noodles did not help either was there was 'no salt'. Disappointed, I moved to the side dish we ordered, Tempura Fish. From the colour, it looked like tempura coated fish strips, but it seriously tasted like fried 'kerpok lekor'. What gives?
Tempura Fish
For drinks, I decided to play safe and ordered a hot cup of coffee being a cold day outside, and this was exceptionally good - the saving grace. My PIC got herself a fusion drink - Apple & Cucumber called J6 and that went terribly wrong. It tasted more like a health drink one would make when on a liquid diet, to put it mildly. There was no sense of pride in mixing this fusion drinks. There was no colour/presentation to the drink either - blend, dump into glass, dump straw into it and served by a 8 year old kid on his playful mode.

To make matters worse, there were two kids 'working as waiters', my guess the mother owns the eatery with the father in the kitchen. One was aged about 8-9 yrs old (you heard me right!) and the other higher secondary - both of schooling age. The mother occasionally appears when a customer goes to the counter to pay. Service was non-existent. FYI. We wrote the order ourselves (pencil and order form given) and went to the counter to give it to the kid. The killer: we were charged 5% Service Tax! Adding all up, it certainly felt over-priced. I was not in the mood to kick a fuss, just paid and left. 

I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt for being only 2 days old when I dined there, so if you have a better experience then I did, do write to us, we want to hear from you.

PS. I do hope Imiki take my criticism as feedback and improve as I like their concept and the menu looked so inviting plus the lack of a fusion outlets in Kajang. Also, I would love to have a cosy hangout with reasonably good food in my neighbourhood. Please la....

Imiki Cafe
12 Jalan S10/3
43000 Kajang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: 03 8740 2755

This is a personal blog. All content is based on my opinions and experiences. This means that my posts are not factual, but rather subjective to my views, tastes and background. Though one should keep this subjectivity in mind, I hope that my posts will be informative and interesting for readers and perhaps, lead you to form your own opinions and preferences. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Y Y Fish Ball Noodles @ Pearl Avenue, Sg Chua

Rainy days always give me cravings for something hot and soupy. With the current rainy spell, we decided to visit YY Fish Ball Noodles at Pearl Avenue for a bowl of hot noodles. 
It has the look of a kopitiam / cafe. Simple and  clean.
First up, the 'Special" Seafood Noodle Soup. It came with about 5 springy fish balls, fresh pomfret fish slices and several medium sized prawns. All the seafood were fresh and tasty. The soup was clear and slightly sweet from the fresh seafood. Some green vegetables gave a healthy balance and the topping of spring onions with fried shallots lent the noodles a lovely fragrance. Add some chilli padi if you need some heat. This really hit the spot for me, although it was a tad expensive at RM16.50 a bowl. 
Next up was the fried fish head noodles. The fish head was fresh and juicy. You can have the noodles with or without the evaporated milk. I had it with and it lent a nice creaminess to the soup. The preserved vegetables however made the soup a little salty. The mee hoon had a nice bite. A tad expensive also at RM10.50. 
We ordered a side dish of Braised Fried Pork Belly (RM11 for a small portion which was quite generous actually).  It was crispy on the outside and moist inside. The meat had absorbed the lovely marinade flavors during the braising and this was brought out by being fried. This is a recommended dish.
Lime and Sour Plum and Hot Barley drinks to wash it all down.

Overall, it was a little pricey but you do get freash and and tasty seafood in the noodles. Good for a rainy evening meal. Give it a try.

Location :  PA-S-37, Pearl Avenue, Jalan Pasir Emas, Kajang, Sg Chua, 43000

Monday, 13 October 2014

MyLim Restaurant and Kang Master Chef Restaurant @ Semenyih Sentral

If you've been to Ipoh before, you may have noticed a red and white building in the heart of town selling salt baked chicken. It's practically an institution in Ipoh and I make it a point to pack back a few chickens every time I visit Ipoh. The good news for Kajang and Semenyih folks is that you need not have to travel to Ipoh to taste this delicacy. We have our own version of
it in Semenyih called MyLim.

MyLim and Kang Master Chef - side by side
If you visit the shop, you'll find rows of ovens with chicken slowly baking in salt crystals.
The chicken are wrapped in paper which retains all the juicy goodness or 'chicken essence'.
 You can have the chicken chopped and served with rice at the restaurant. 
Or you can eat it at the next door restaurant called Kang Master Chef Restaurant. Supposedly famous for fish head noodles, we found the signature dish there to be quite uninspiring.
Ditto for the seafood curry noodles. Not worth talking about.
But do give MyLim a try. You can also get it shrink wrapped and ready for the freezer. It makes an excellent spare dish when you need it, just take out from freezer, steam, chop it up according to your personal liking and it's ready to serve.  It's RM22 for a whole chicken, either freshly baked or shrink wrapped. They also do delivery so give them a call to find out.

Location :  Jalan Semenyih Sentral 6, Semenyih Sentral, Selangor
Contact : 03- 87248820 (MyLim)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Fook Loy Restaurant @ Sg Chua

Another leisurely Sunday family lunch, this time at Fook Loy in Sg Chua. This is a restaurant that has remained the same over the years. This is what we had:-
Their signature must-order dish - prawns in fresh coconut. This is NOT a Thai style tom yam, so you have to get your expectations right. Fresh medium sized prawns are cooked in a spicy broth, using fresh coconut water. The coconut water and fresh prawns impart a delicate sweetness to the soup. Don't forget to scoop up the soup, it's the best part and good to the last drop. RM55 for a large serving for 13 persons.
Fook Loy serves roasted duck and chicken rice at lunch time for a quick lunch. Their duck is worth ordering, and this half duck portion (RM23) came with a tangy lemon sauce. Recommended.
 Another signature dish, braised taufoo with seafood. Nice.
Steamed pak su kong  fish. The fish was fresh (the use live fish from tanks), but the sauce was rather bland. The fish is RM5 per 100g.
We asked for the roasted chicken (RM46 for a whole bird) to be served with a Thai style kerabu gravy. The chicken was rather dry and the gravy was not sufficiently spicy/piquant or sweet. This was quite disappointing. 
For vegetable, we had the stir fried bean sprouts with green dragon leaf (Ching Long Chai). A simple dish with different textrures and tastes. Well executed.

The lunch cost us RM255 for 7 dishes (we also had a claypot pork with salted fish dish) with rice and tea for 13 persons. Overall, the food was good, but not outstanding. As I mentioned earlier, this is a restaurant that has remained very much unchanged over the years, which in the ever evolving food scene and with customers having more discerning palates, is not a good thing. 

Location : No 61, Jalan Kima (Kg Bukit Angkat), Sg Chua, Kajang (at the junction of the road leading to the Jade Hills project)
Contact : 03-87333985

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Lek Kee Chicken Rice @ Taman Kajang Utama

Here's the new location for Lek Kee Chicken Rice 

It's situated opposite the Hyundai service centre in Taman Kajang Utama.
Location :  Jalan Seksyen 1/19, Taman Kajang Utama, 43000 Kajang, Selangor

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wan Fatt Restaurant - Revisited

This is probably our favorite restaurant in Kajang at the moment. Almost everything they churn out is good and they keep innovating and adding new dishes too. See our previous post on this restaurant in 2009 and 2010 They've moved to a new premises now, not far from their old place. This location is easier to find - it's just behind the Maybank Kajang branch and located in the compound of a large Taoist temple there.
The fascade of new premises
We had a leisurely Sunday lunch here today. For a Chinese restaurant, they do a pretty tasty and satisfying fish head curry. You'll find plenty of brinjals, ladies finger, long beans and tomatoes in the curry. 
We tried a new dish - pork ribs with purple dragon fruit sauce. It needs more work though, maybe a touch more lemon piquancy. 
This was described as a 'midin' kerabu. We've only had midin or a type of fern shoots  in Kuching, Sarawak before. It had all the elements of a good kerabu - sweet and tangy, although we would have liked some chilli heat and more deep fried shallots. It's served cold which is great for an afternoon lunch. Give it a try.
Deep fried soft and smooth tofu served with broccoli.The tofu is topped with deep fried shrimp powder and drenched in a light salty soy sauce.   

Location : Bangunan Tin Hong See, Jalan Belakang, Off Jalan Mendaling, 43000 Kajang
Contact : 012 6566 553/0122469169

pH Pastry House @ Lakefields, Sg Besi

I read about pH Pastry House in a recent issue of Time Out KL magazine and decided to see if it was as good as reported.
It was my first visit to the Lakefields area in Sg Besi and on arrival, I must say that I was impressed by the external fascade and lighting (we visited at dinner time).
A display counter showed off their selection of cakes and desserts. There were quite a few cheesecakes and tarts on display. We were impressed.
To begin, we selected a Starter - Honey Barbecued Short Ribs. The honey barbeque sauce was thick and tasty but the ribs were tough and contained too many chewy sinews. Some trimming of the meat would have elevated this dish.  
Our Main Course arrived next - Beef Wellington. The beef for this dish fared better - lean and juicy. The pastry was buttery and flaky but overall the dish needed more seasoning. The sides of mashed potato and boiled vegetables were rather flat and uninspiring.

Our Salad arrived after the Main Course. Perhaps the crab for the Soft Shell Crab Salad  took time to be deep fried first? When it arrived at the table, we were not sure if it was our order. It looked more like a main dish rather than a salad. Anyway, there were two large pieces of soft shell crab coated in a thick batter and deep fried until crispy and topped with a tomato salsa sauce. The salad (on the side) came with avocado, olives, lettuce, baby tomatoes and cream. A real mish-mash salad which didn't really work for us.  Perhaps it should be moved to the Main Course section and renamed Deep Fried Soft Shell crab with a side of salad?
Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are available. We picked a drink described as Passie (Passion Fruit). It arrived in a shocking blue color and had only a mild passion fruit flavor in it. Hmmmmm. 
There were more misses than hits thus far, so we were hoping the  dessert would fare better. We chose the Lady Royale (fancy name for a Blueberry Tart). It looked great, and tasted OK. But the crust was just too thick and hard. In fact it was so hard we just ate the topping and left the crust behind. For a place that calls itself a pastry house, this was disappointing.
The total damage was RM112.75.
Final verdict - mediocre. I don't think I'll be making another drive to Lakefields to eat here again.

Location : 1, Jalan Tasik Utama 3, Medan Niaga Tasik Damai (Lakefields), 57000 Sg Besi, KL
Contact : 03-90548339

My Kuali does it again - Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee

After the phenomenal success of My Kuali's Penang White Curry Noodles, we were waiting in anticipation for their follow-up Penang Hokkien Mee and Tom Yam. We managed to get our hands on the former:-
And here's the result (we added pork balls, some fresh prawns and a hard boiled egg). 
The verdict ? Absolutely brilliant! It gets the Penang Hokkien Mee flavor down exactly. In fact, it's so good, I would have this any day over any hawker version around the whole South Klang Valley area. My advice to enterprising hawkers out there; find a good location, set up a stall, get some fresh prawns, sliced pork, hard boiled eggs and dish this out. Customers will be queing up for it.

Well done to the guys at My Kuali. You're doing Penang and Malaysiaa proud. Keep it coming.

Available at Giant supermarkets and some morning markets for now.