As a pork loving guy, there are two types of breakfast that will always make me happy. The first is of course, bak kut teh, and the other? Proper Hong Kong style dimsum.
And when it comes to dimsum, there are plenty of choices to be had in town, but few offers as many variety as Jin Xuan (锦选). Ever since it started operation a few years ago, the restaurant steadily picked up its pace and has become one of the most popular dimsum destinations among PJ dwellers.
these golden custard buns, heaven!
Situated at Damansara Jaya right next to the mall that used to be Atria, getting a parking space is usually quite a lot less troublesome than getting a table on weekends. They have, however, a decent numbering system and waiting area under the tent, and with a few opportunistic traders offering fruit rojaks and soya bean drinks around the vicinity, the wait is usually not too tough to bear.
dim sum goodness at Jin Xuan
Once seated, like all dimsum places, ordering is usually not necessary. Servers carrying various types of dimsum will appear right in front of the table, all you need to do is to pick what you want and start eating.
Like in conveyor belt sushi restaurants, the pricing of each dish is determined by the type of plate used, this removes the need for having the server jotting down what you get on a piece of paper like what some dimsum places practice. Quite a lot more efficient.
some of the fried stuff, the scallop with salted egg is a must try
There are a few broad categories of food you can order here. Steamed dimsum, deep fried dishes, various types of bao (steamed buns), porridge/chee cheong fun, and even a few non-dimsum related dishes.
and of course, they have the whole selection of everything dimsum
Most of the dishes at Jin Xuan that I’ve tried were very yummy, with a few that are fantastic, or if you like – must tries.
To me, the number one item on the list must be their fried scallop with salted egg. I’m not sure if you can get this anywhere else, this is the only place I had this dish and absolutely love it.
The “lau sar pau” is another yummy dish that I always have. Another salted egg based item, but in liquid form flowing out all hot and tasty when you bite it down. yums!
Other commendable dishes are their fried chicken wings, porridge, and the classic dimsum items.
Prepare to spend about RM20 per person and an hour of your morning and I’m sure you’ll start your day on a good note.
Address: Jin Xuan Hong Kong Dim Sum restaurant 59, 61, 63, Jalan SS22/19, Damansara Jaya, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia GPS: 3.12708, 101.61549
There’s a new diver in town! Haze just did her PADI Open Water certification at Pulau Sembilan, which is a cluster of small islands half an hour’s boat ride away from Lumut. The underwater condition, and thus diving, was subpar at best. Visibility was quite poor except for one of the dives, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of exotic creatures to spot either.
However, for whatever that is lack in diving, the couple dinners we had at the area more than made up for it.
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan
On the second night of our stay at Lumut, Haze and I joined our fatty dive master James, together with fellow dive buddy Alan to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan with the promise of awesome fresh oysters and yummy seafood.
It was about a 20 minutes drive away from where we stayed at Marina Island Pangkor, and we were not disappointed.
check out the size of fresh oyster there
We ordered 10 big oysters as appetizer (RM 5 a piece), and just check out their size! They fleshy part of the oysters were as big as my palm, easily the biggest oysters I had.
Coupled with the fact that these creatures were actually alive in the tank prior to being served, they were absolutely delicious. A dash of lime or some Tabasco sauce was all it takes, and try not to make the mistake of putting it in with one mouthful lest you wanna make a full of yourself having oysters spilling out at the corner of your mouth.
steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago
Our biggest main dish was the steamed live prawns. At Hai Tien Di, you get to choose between the “normal” frozen prawns, or the live prawns from the tank. We of course, went for broke and chose the later.
With live seafood, the simplest cooking method is usually the best. This is to preserve the essence of the taste, so for this dish, we have it steamed, as recommended by the operator.
The prawns sliced in halves, and steamed with a bit of ginger, fried garlic, spring onion, light soya sauce, and Chinese wine. It was delightful, packed with that seafood sweetness. At RM 65 this was definitely not cheap, but worth it nonetheless.
fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper
A seafood meal is not complete without fish, so we ordered a live grouper, steamed teow chew style (RM 35). It was of course, absolutely fresh and went well with steamed rice.
We also had a plate of vegetable (RM8) to satisfy the vitamin c/fiber requirements. You must always have a serving of vegetable at every meal, no?
we sure did have our stomachs stuffed
The service at Hai Tien Di was pretty good, food came quite fast as well. I can’t say that this is a place that is economical (for a small town), but the quality of fresh/live seafood here was stunning, and those oysters were absolutely delicious.
If you find yourself at Lumut/Sitiawan, this would be a place worth visiting.
Address: Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant 522 Kampung Cina, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak GPS: 4.190067, 100.684217 Tel: 05-692 4679
Lot 10 is one of those shopping malls that has seen better times. Some 15 years ago, it was the premier place to shop, that was before Suria KLCC, before Mid Valley, and of course, before Pavilion.
These days, Lot 10 is keeping up with the newer malls by reinventing itself a little bit, starting with the excellent food court that is Hutong, and now, the Shabu One steamboat buffet restaurant. I’m not sure if that’s their strategy, but stuffing the mall with good food might just bring in the crowd.
Shabu One, the new steamboat place at Lot 10
I first got to know about this place from my colleague Sheng, who has a bit of a hobby in monitoring online group shopping deal sites. The dude brought 4 coupons to the Shabu One, so we headed over to Lot 10 for a Friday lunch without much expectations.
After all, the full price for lunch/dinner was only RM27.99+, and we had bought the coupons for something like another 40% off of that.
seafood and fishball-ish choices are aplenty, check out the clams!
While the restaurant is certainly not very posh, it was clean and comfortable. If you’re looking for decorations the class of Shogun or Jogoya, this is not the place for you.
On the other hand, if you love steamboat with a good selection of seafood at reasonable price, this is the real deal!
veges, noodles, and there are some pre-cooked dishes too
There’re three types of soup to choose from: clear soup, tomyam, and ma-lak (嘛辣). We had our pot split between the ma-lak and clear soup.
To be honest, the ma-lak soup was a bit of a let down. The clear soup too was slightly bland, but nothing a bit of seafood (crab in this case) can’t fix. We didn’t try the tomyam soup, so I can’t commend on that.
beef slices, various condiments, desserts, ice cream
The selection of food here is as good as anywhere else at this price point. I particularly love the super big clams they have on that day (not sure if it’s an everyday thing), along with the cuttle fish, lala, prawns, bamboo clams, and more. They are constantly being refilled too, which is always a plus.
Other than seafood you do get the usual suspects: plenty of fish ball lookalike and taste-alike stuff, big selection of vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, egg, and sliced beef.
There are also a buffet line of pre-cooked dishes such as fried noodle, curry chicken, hot and sour soup, sausages, tea leaf eggs and more so you can start stuffing your mouth from the get-go, before the steamboat is boiled.
our stomach was completely stuffed, was a great lunch for sure
As for desserts, the choices aren’t great. There’s ice cream, kuai leng gou, fruits, and a few other Chinese/Taiwanese jelly thingy. Then again, who has stomach for desserts when you go for steamboat?
Overall it’s a pretty decent place to go, pretty good value for what you have to pay, and I think we’ll be back again for some long lunches in the future.
Mee Pok (面薄), the dish that appears to have a wrong spelling at first glance (mee pork anyone?), is one of the “newest” hawker dishes that I got to know. Growing up in Penang, I had never heard of it, and did not know the existence of this simple yet wonderful dish until Haze brought me to Tang Pin Kitchen at PJ SS2.
Tang Pin Kitchen at SS2, the Hailam coffee/tea is beautiful
Tang Pin Kitchen is situated on the same row of shops that also houses Lobsterman, Teow Chew Meng, and Bibichik. I’ve drove past it several times heading to these other restaurants, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I started frequenting this place.
Parking is usually plenty easy to find, though it can be a little tough to get a table on busy weekend mornings.
mee pok, not for the faint hearted
My go-to dish is always the wholesomely delicious mee pok (RM 6). Why delicious? Simple, the abundance of lard and minced pork covering the yellow flat noodle. One does not simply deny lard. The sauce consists of a mixture of vinegar, oil, and chili. Mix em all up and you get a little bowl of excellence.
The dish is is also served with a side of clear soup and a few slices of fish paste. The fish paste is exactly the sort you’ll find from 60s Teow Chew fish ball restaurant, since they’re run by the same people.
gyoza, hailam tea, tao fu far, and fried noodle
Other than mee pok, there are also choices like curry mee, soup noodle, fried chee cheong fun, fish ball, fish paste, porridge, and more.
We usually share another side dish to go with the mee pok. Gyoza (RM 6) and home made fish noodle (RM 7) are pretty tasty. Their Tien Pin toast bread is a must try too especially if you’re looking for just a light breakfast.
pork belly appetizer, century egg with shredded pork porridge
Directly behind Tang Pin Kitchen is the related Restaurant Tien Pin. The menu choices is a little bigger, and you can actually order everything that’s available at Tang Pin Kitchen as well.
I’ve tried their pork belly appetizer thingy which was delightful, and the century egg with shredded pork porridge, which while very tasty, should also be about three times the serving size. Then again, I’ll have to pay another visit to check this place out more comprehensively, perhaps over dinner one of these days.
Address: Tang Pin Kitchen No. 24, Jalan SS 2/24, 47300 PJ Selangor GPS: 3.11326, 101.62090 Tel: 03-7877 2376
Valentine’s day is an occasion I loath, and I believe that a lot of guys probably share the same sentiment. Restaurants are packed, traffic is terrible, and plants are mutilated for the sole purpose of the male human species trying to impress its female counterparts.
It is terrible.
But like the saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” goes, sometimes you just need play the game.
However, that does not mean playing the game just like everyone else, a little bit of effort and some thoughtful planning is all that it takes to have a memorable Valentine’s Day.
as a bonus, they serve tomyam there!
On Valentine’s Day, I took Haze for a prawn fishing session. While this appear to be quite a weird activity for Valentine’s day, prawn fishing is quite special for us. It was what we did on our first date.
I initially wanted to go to the very same place at Selayang, but since that particular place has ceased operation, we went to Tropicana Prawn Fishing center instead (GPS: 3.133312,101.601144).
a piece of chicken liver can net you a lot of prawns.. if you’re skilled
For a couple hours we sat there and… caught 1 prawn per person. That worked out to be something like RM 50+ for the two prawns. (RM 15 first hour, RM 12 subsequent hour per fishing line). Not exactly an economical to get prawns if you are a noob like us. The “pros” can easily get 10 times as much in the same time frame.
Oh, by the way, Tropicana Prawn Fishing center also serves Thai/Malay food. We ordered a bowl of tomyam to share and it was really spicy and kao, perhaps we’ll try having dinner there or something one of these days.
Now those two prawns are in the koi pond. How was your Valentine’s Day?