One day while trying to find something new to eat, we chanced upon Chu Cha Dan Fan (粗茶淡饭) at Seksyen 14, a restaurant that I’ve noticed for quite a while but somehow never manage to try. Looking at the menu posted at the stairway leading up to the restaurant, my buddy Horng immediately agreed to give it a try.
Chu Cha Dan Fan is one of the very few restaurants in Klang Valley that offers Hunan dishes, and since Horng spent a few years working in China, he was keen to relive the taste of some of those dishes.
Chu Cha Dan Fan at PJ Seksyen 14, or in English, humble food
粗茶淡饭 literally translate to “rough tea and bland rice”, or humble food.
So prior to looking at the menu, I initially thought that this is perhaps a place offering comfort food like porridge or tongsui. As it turned out, they have quite an extensive Hunan dishes instead. I think they can really use a line of description on their signboard outside.
The look of the restaurant though, really exudes that “humble food” name, there isn’t any decoration to speak of, but it was pretty clean and air conditioned.
all three dishes turned out to be spicy, in a good way
Since there were only 3 of us, we ordered 3 classic Hunan dishes for dinner – Mala chicken (辣子雞 RM 16), Hunan skewered prawns (串烧虾 RM 28), and dry fried green beans (乾煸四季豆 RM 10).
All three dishes turned out to be more than decent. While Horng commented that the mala chicken was not as aromatic as he’d like them to be, I found them to be delicious with the right amount of mild spicy numbing feel.
Our favorite was the shrimp on skewer, spicy, crunchy, and full of flavor, you can actually eat the whole thing with shells and all. The green beans weren’t bad either.
love the prawn, even though Yuki was trying to avoid spicy food that night
Overall it was a pretty pleasant dinner, we should go back there again with a few more people so that we can order more. I’ve heard that they also offer simple set lunches for the office crowd as well, so do give it a try.
Address: Chu Cha Dan Fan No. 6A-2, Jalan 14/20 Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS: 3.109763, 101.635860 Hours: Open for lunch and dinner
Yeap, the stall at O&S is now taken over by another operator (reportedly not nearly as delicious), so if you want to get the familiar taste, here’s where you have to go. The new place is air conditioned, slightly more expensive, and much more comfortable compared to O&S.
Additionally, opening hours are longer as well.
Penang style lor mee, pork intestines extra
In addition to prawn mee and loh mee (starting from RM 6.50) with all sorts of extra ingredients such as extra prawns, intestine, pig tail, ribs, and squid, the shop also offers other dishes such as kuih teow th’ng (yet to try), toast, nasi lemak, chee cheong fun, and so forth.
well satisfied with my breakfast of lor mee
For my visit, I went for my favorite – Penang loh mee.
For those who aren’t familiar with Penang version of lor mee, it is pretty similar to prawn mee, but in addition to prawn, bean sprout, fried shallot, and sliced pork, there’s usually half a hard boiled egg, minced garlic sauce, and of course, those thick startchy broth.
The version here is as good as any, and the extra RM 2 I paid for those intestine was well worth it. Now I feel like I want to have a bowl with all the extras!
Address: Choon Prawn Mee 13 Jalan 20/14, Taman Paramount Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.106983, 101.625309 Tel: 012-265 8193 Hours: 7am to 4pm (Mon-Sat), 7am to 4.30pm (Sat/Sun/public holiday)
The pasar malam at Taman Megah operates every Sunday evening from about 6pm to almost midnight and conveniently located only about one kilometer away from where I stay, hence eliminating the pesky problem of having to find a parking spot when one goes to pasar malam.
Even then, it is not a pasar malam I often go due to the relatively lack of good food.. or so I thought.
Evidently, things have changed for the better, and here are the three stalls we found from the visit last Sunday that I thought worth a try for any foodie.
char kuih kak at Taman Megah Pasar Malam – legit!
First and foremost, there’s char kuih kak!
Char Kuih Kak is one of the Penang dishes that aren’t easily found in Klang Valley. There isn’t many stalls out there, and prior to this, my only go-to char kuih kak stall would be the one at Jalan Sayur in Pudu. So when I saw the stall here, I had to give it a try.
finally I found a good version of char kuih kak outside Penang
The RM 3.50 worth of char kuih kak turned out to be rather good, perhaps the best version I’ve tried in Klang Valley. The radish cake is chopped to tiny pieces with the two metal spatulas so that it’s well coated with oil and dark soya sauce. There’s also plenty of “choi pou” and chili, I love it.
The fact that the operator spoke perfect Penang Hokkien definitely help too, I think. 😀
BBQ oysters and seahum? yeap!
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw there’s oysters at pasar malam, so obviously we had to give it a try.
A set of 3 oysters go for RM 10 here, and you can choose from any combination of three flavors – spicy, cheese, and garlic. The oysters took some 10-15 minutes before they were ready, and tasted more than decent.
RM 10 for three oysters, RM 6 for those juicy cockles
Of the three, I prefer the garlic version, and will probably avoid the cheese next time around unless I bring my own cheese.
The BBQ cockles go for RM 6 per portion. They were rather juicy and certainly went well with the accompanying homemade chilli sauce.
steamed chicken with chrysanthemum, pretty satisfying
Last but not least, there’s the steamed chicken with chrysanthemum. Since it was something I’ve never even heard about before, we gave it a try.
The steamed quarter chicken (RM 8) came with plenty of mashed garlic, ginger, and chrysanthemum flower. The skin smooth and chicken meat was well salted. The flower certainly gave it a unique taste but not something that is overpowering, worth a try, and certainly fills the stomach.
Address: Taman Megah Pasar Malam Jalan SS 24/8 Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya GPS: 3.113745, 101.611061 Hours: 6-11pm every Sunday
A couple weeks ago I was invited to yet another event hosted by Glenlivet at Truefitt & Hill, the oldest barbershop in the world. The event unveiled the Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter, and we got ourselves a proper hair cut as well.
Truefitt and Hill at Starhill Gallery
The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter is a whisky voted by thousands of whisky lovers across 37 different countries from the three expressions hand picked by Master Distiller Alan Winchester. The Exotic edged out Classic and Revival to be among The Glenlivet’s limited edition single malt releases.
unveiling the Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter in Malaysia
The whisky has an aromas rich with marmalade and fruitcake, while the palate tantalises with dark chocolate, hints of zesty orange and finishes long and slightly dry. I find it pretty easy to drink, not being overly dry or having an overly strong finish.
some tasty canapes to go with the single malt whisky
To get your hands on a bottle of the Guardians’ Chapter, you have to be either a Glenlivet Guardian, or purchase one at selected travel retails (ie: airports) at RM 398 per bottle.
We sampled the Guardians’ Chapter with some canapes while waiting for our turn for what turned out to be a pretty interesting experience – a Royal Haircut at Truefitt and Hill.
getting my Royal Haircut experience at Truefitt and Hill
Truefitt and Hill is recognised by The Guinness World Record as the oldest barber in the world with the history tracing back in fashionable Mayfair in 1805. They have four branches in Malaysia, and also perhaps the only barber chain that offer services only to men.
the boys with our new haircut
The experience was the most unique I had in a saloon/barber shop. The entire process for the Royal Haircut (RM 95) took some 30-45 minutes. Through the whole thing I never needed to get off my chair, and left with not a single strand of hair on my shirt either.
I quite like my new haircut that was styled in accordance to the occasion, what say you? 😀
A few weeks ago we were invited to Kampachi at Troika to sample a few dishes from their upcoming Okayama Fair. Before we start, here’s when the Okayama fair is going to happen at various Kampachi outlets:
Kampachi Troika – 26 August, 2014
Kampachi Pavilion – 1 september, 2014
Kampachi Plaza 33 – 5 September, 2014
Kampachi Johor Premium outlet – 1 september, 2014
Seats will be limited, so do call and book ahead.
Okayama fair at Kampachi, we had our tasting at Kampachi Troika
Okayama prefecture is located in the Chugoku region of Japan, or roughly in between Hiroshima and Kyoto. The climate is mild compared to other parts of Japan and thus making agriculture one of the more important contributor to the region’s economy. On the northern part of the prefecture in the mountains, white peaches and grapes are cultivated as well.
Nama Gaki Ponzu
While our food review was mainly focused on fresh produce, the first dish of the day was Nama Gaki Ponzu (from set menu).
The oysters were soaked ponzu sauce and served on ice. They tasted superb, very fresh and juicy. I like the subtlety of the accompanying ponzu sauce, much better than butchering oysters with the likes of Tabasco sauce.
Okayama Yasai salad, salmon carpaccio
Okayama Yasai salad (RM 35++) was a deceptively simple dish with green asparagus, yellow Chinese chives, endives, and boiled prawns served in half a tomato on a bed of spaghetti squash (yes, squash cut to spaghetti shapes). It was quite refreshing and delightful, the bits of seafood gives the salad an extra dimension.
The Okayama style salmon carpaccio came with bits of fresh produce such as asparagus, spring onion, and avocado served with the raw salmon. I also like the slices of fried garlic in this dish which gives it an interesting texture and explosion of differing taste when combined with the wasabi dressing. This was one of my favorites.
Okayama winter melon with minced prawn, Okayama Pione grapes
Okayama winter melon with minced prawn with thick sauce (RM 32++) was the ultimate comfort food and reminds me of mom’s cooking more than anything else, very simple yet elegant, and I would say that it isn’t something difficult to replicate at home.
The biggest surprise of the night though, turned out to be the Okayama Pione grapes (RM 38++). Now I have tried Muscat grapes that was super juicy and sweet, but this Okayama Pione grape was something else, it tasted like wine. It felt as if you’re “eating wine” but without the alcohol, I absolutely love it.
This is something that you definitely must try.
the good chef, KY & Haze, Lex & Weizhi
Other than the ala carte menu, there’s also the Okayama course menu that goes for RM 250++ which includes the following dishes:
前菜二種 ZENSAI マスカット白和え Muscat Shiraae Mashed Tofu with Okayama Muscat Grapes
糸瓜と桃太郎トマト 土佐酢ジュレ Itouri & Momotaro Tomato Tosazu Jure Okayama Spaghetti Squash & Tomato served with Homemade Vinegar Jelly
生ガキ 橙酢 Nama Gaki Ponzu (2 pieces) Fresh Okayama Oyster with Homemade Japanese Citrus Vinaigrette
サーモンカルパッチョ 冷菜 REISAI Salmon Carpaccio Thinly Sliced Raw Salmon rolled with Okayama Tomato, Asparagus & Yellow Chives served with Wasabi Dressing
煮物 NIMONO 冬瓜の海老そぼろ餡掛け Togan no Ebi Soboro Ankake Okayama Winter Melon & Minced Prawn with Thick Sauce
食事 SHOKUJI バラ寿司 Bara Zushi Assorted Cube Cut Raw Fish served over Vinegared Rice