Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / July 2009

I found myself at Central Market in KL a couple weeks ago in search of a particular little gift, and as it was quite a while since I last did any street shoots, I bought my trusted little Canon DSLR with.

central market

The last time I went to there must have been over ten years ago. In my memory, I always associated the place with the likes of Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, or a very scaled down version of Chatuchak in Bangkok, full of traders offering all sorts of touristy and artsy merchandise in a crammed, hot, and very sweaty environment.

picking an altar

As it turned out, to my surprise, Central Market is fully air conditioned! While there are still many stores selling anything from religious statues, post cards, photo frames, art works, jewelries, cloths, 101 types of souvenirs, you can also find Old Town and a couple restaurants and food court within the main building.

guardian buddha

Note the giraffe statue right next to the wooden Buddha on the picture above. Cheesie bought them all the way from Bali while we have them right here in the heart of KL. I have a feeling these things are probably made in China anyway.

windless wind chimes

In addition to plastic and rotan sepak takraw balls (which hurts like a bitch if you try to do a header), wind chimes seem to be a popular item around here though there isn’t any wind at all inside the building.

snoozing artist

The annex at the back of the main building houses quite a few local artists, some with very impressive looking masterpieces. For a small fee, you can commission a painting of yourself in pencil, water color, or even oil. Business wasn’t exactly brisk on that Sunday morning though.

catching a breather

The street to the right of Central Market is cordoned off for pedestrian access only. Hawkers and street artists have taken up this space to offer anything from cold drinks to barely bearable music.

grabbing a bite

I took a breather at the side of the building with a can of chilled Coke, looking at the hawker arranging her keropok lekur, and wonder how this place will look like in another 10 years.

Celebrate Like A Champion

This portion is to help me hopefully win some MU tickets and a jersey woohoo! (from TGB’s entry)

  • Name 4 of the Manchester United legendary players.
    Bill Foulkes, Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, George Best
  • Name the founder of Smirnoff Vodka, and the country Smirnoff originates.
    Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov, Russia
  • Complete this sentence, stating the partnership between Smirnoff and Manchester United:
    Smirnoff is the official Spirits Sponsor and Official Responsible Drinking Partner of Manchester United.
  • What is the latest Smirnoff’s Limited Edition bottle called?
    Smirnoff® 21, Smirnoff® limited edition promotional pack.

KY MU Smirnoff
Ahhh, after a hard day’s work on the field, ze Champion gets a bit of a rest!

After hearing so much about Tenji from friends and other food blogs, Suan, Horng, and I decided to give it a try almost 2 months ago. One of the reasons it took us so long to finally go there was to actually avoid the madness during their half price promotion (which still runs once in a while, check their website).

note: this place is closed and now replaced by Shogun, a Japanese Buffet

Tenji Japanese Buffet
Tenji Japanese Buffet at Solaris

Tenji is often compared with Jogoya, the first premium Japanese buffet restaurant not in a hotel to hit KL in early 2006. Personally I think that the comparison is justified as both Tenji and Jogoya caters for slightly higher end market and offers dishes that are quite similar, and more importantly, they’re priced competitively with each other at full price.

At Tenji, lunch is priced at RM77++ while dinner and supper at RM88++. Jogoya’s buffet is RM78++ for lunch, RM68++ for late lunch, RM88++ for dinner, and RM78++ for late dinner. (Jogoya pricing, Tenji pricing)

fresh oyster at Tenji
ohh, the oysters!

Located at Soho Solaris, Tenji is a much friendlier place for those who drives. Parking is a breeze if you don’t mind paying a couple ringgit for the underground carpark, on the other hand, Jogoya is accessible via public transport since it is located at Bukit Bintang.

As for the restaurant itself, Tenji is huge, with both air conditioned indoor area as well as quite a bit of alfresco dining, especially for those who wish to punctuate an extended buffet session with some nicotine.

KY, Suan, and Horng at Tenji
KY, Suan, and Horng

I started off the late lunch with some oysters, steamed prawns, and sashimi.

The oysters here were pretty big and certainly fresh and juicy, the good thing is that the oyster bar is always being refilled anytime it is less than half filled. I am very very annoyed at places that takes forever to refill their most sought after ingredients/dishes (like Yuen steamboat‘s chicken wings, or Talipon‘s prawns).

sashimi, oysters, at Tenji Japanese Buffet
always start with raw or lightly cooked food

I like their surf clam, scallop (albeit a bit small) and their rather fatty salmon sashimi, the butter fish was pretty decent too but I would stay away from tuna and squid sashimi if you’re particular about quality. As with most buffet places, the tuna served are of pretty inferior quality. This is due to the insanely high price of tuna these days I suppose.

There are also plenty of pre-cooked items on the buffet spread, the Singapore chili crab was actually very delicious, and there’s always the added advantage of choosing only the pincers (who cares about other customers, right? hehe). Other dishes include grilled vegetable, squid with dark sauce, fish, lamb, beef, and dozens more I can’t recall.

buffet spread at Tenji
buffet spread, including drinks and dessert area

Like Jogoya, Tenji also employs the clips system whereby you drop a clip with your table number at the bowl indicating certain dishes, wait for a few minutes, and they will be served freshly cooked. The downside is that you might end up waiting for quite a bit if the restaurant is particularly busy, but since it wasn’t when we were there, we didn’t need to wait for more than a few minutes before our orders were served.

The steamed cod with soya sauce was good, but the serving was rather miserable so it’s best advised that you order 2-3 at one go. Another more memorable freshly prepared dish was the soft shell crab and this vegetable (a type of beans?) with black beans. We also ordered steak, some teriyaki dishes, mushroom, fish filet, and so on. In general they tasted pretty good and very few of them were disappointing (for eg. the soup with razor clam).

Singapore chili crab, soup, steamed cod
Singapore chili crab, soup, steamed cod

In the drinks department, you have fresh brewed coffee, cappuccino, latte, quite a selection of fruit juice, soft drinks, and my favorite – chilled fresh coconut. I think I had about 4 of those.

Haagan Dazs ice cream was what I had for dessert while the huge selection of pastry and other desserts lay sitting in front of me. We were simply full to the brim after spending about 2 hours having the late lunch. If I remember correctly, we skipped dinner.

Tenji is located at SOHO, Solaris Mont Kiara

Compared to my last 2 visits to Jogoya, I would personally prefer Tenji. Although the buffet spread is smaller, the food quality reminds me of the earlier days of Jogoya. Fresh, tasty, and with good service, they just somehow managed to aged in the last 4 years to a point that I stopped going there, hopefully Tenji never follow the same path.

Tenji Japanese Buffet
Lot L-01-01, Soho KL,
Solaris Mont Kiara,
No.2, Jalan Solaris, KL

GPS: 3.174689, 101.659595
Tel: 1700-80-1818

Last weekend I played tour guide to Mellissa on her first tour of Penang in over 10 years, one of the first tourist friendly spots we went was the good old Fort Cornwallis, a place I haven’t been since high school and had virtually no recollection.

Fort Cornwallis, Penang
there are more cannons in Fort Cornwallis than A Farmosa!

So we parked the car by esplanade, had a plate of mee goreng by the food court (which was not the famous mee sotong I was expecting, but oh well there’s always next time) and then took a leisure walk to the fort built by the founder of Penang, Captain Sir Francis Light. That was way back in 1786, but the fort wasn’t completed until 1810 with a total cost of $80,000. Nowadays you can’t even get a decent linked house with that kind of money.

Mell and KY at Ford Cornwallis
cowboy hat and rifle the “Sepoy Hut”

So we paid RM 3 per person to get into the fort, which was pretty well maintained for a state run facility. There is a little “Sepoy Hut” right after the entrance that just begs for photo opportunity (by the way you can rent a captain’s outfit too). Oh yes, the rifle was heavy, and it’s barrel sealed.

the cannon and jail at Fort Cornwallis, Penang
ohs no, prison girl!

Did you know that the biggest cannon in the fort was cast in 1603, more than 400 years ago. Incidentally it was also the same year Queen Elizabeth I of England dies, and yey to you cos you just acquired another piece of useless trivia.

There are 5 little air conditioned galleries within the fort exhibiting the history and archeological findings in the fort which I didn’t really read. I find wikipedia a little easier and more accessible.

gun powder magazine and chapel at Ford Cornwallis
gunpowder bunker and the chapel

Other buildings within the fort includes a gunpowder bunker complete with a lot of fake cannon balls and a few barrels of gunpowder magazines. Oh, by the way the cannons were said to have never been fired, apparently nobody really wanted to attack Penang.

There is also a little chapel that is seemingly designed for Audrey, very small and very cute, check Mell’s penang part 2 post and you will know what I mean.

Mellissa at Fort Cornwallis, Penang
Mell by the wall

I wished I’d remember to bring my big camera with for the trip, but oh well, at least you get this very cutesy photo of Mell to end this post. kthxbai!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might know that I keep koi fish and have a koi pond at home. And if you have been loitering in this space for more than 3-4 years, you would also know that the pond was built by these bare hands with a lot of help from Horng and other friends in 2005.

building the koi pond
the koi pond building project in various stages

It was a lot of hard work over a period of some 3 months for the over ambitious building project that first started out as an idea to have a little blue pre-fabricated fiber glass pond in the ground.

Work started on early June 2005 when we kicked off by digging the garden. Then we built a roof, poured concrete foundation, erected the brick wall, plastering it, completed the top, and waterproofed the pond. Plants were then added and the filtration system installed after we put up a waterfall for the pond.

koi pond
the koi pond and garden, completed and matured in 2007

Upon completion of the koi pond, I had built up quite a bit of strength and probably lost a couple KG off the midsection too, it was well worth it.

Having a pond had been a dream of me for a long time, the idea came when we were building one for my high school’s Aquarium Society (which I eventually became the president), it was a lurve affair came true. It was an awesome! Little did I know that the pond would eventually land me in a newspaper article too.

koi pond and twisties lurve
Lurve served up by Mr. Chef

Today, other than the little time spent each month on maintaining the pond and the garden, I had all the luxury in admiring the fish and the garden sitting on the bench while munching some snacks. Since this whole koi pond thing is a rather healthy hobby, a good snack to go with today’s topic would be the healthy snack – Lurve, multigrain chips with no artificial coloring or preservatives.

KY eating Twisties Lurve
Lurve – nom nom nom

That’s my lurve affair with my koi pond, do you have something (or someone) you are passionate about? You can participate in the Lurve’s “What’s Your LURVE Affair?” Contest.

The shortlisted top 3 bloggers get a 3-4 minute spot on 8TV Quickie (imagine pimping your blog there!) and Grand Prize winner walk away with MacBook Pro 2.66Ghz 13″ (GIVE ME PLEASE!). The contest runs from 23nd June 2009 till 12th July 2009, and all you have to do is:

  • Write a blog post titled “My LURVE Affair with XXX” in your blog.
  • Upon completing your blog post, kindly send an email to with details of yourself such as your full name, IC number and the permalink of your written blog post.

For more information and T&C, visit the Lurve Affair site.