Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / May 2015

This is not a typical food, travel, or advertorial entry to this blog, but is rather an even that I want myself to be reminded of years to come. I met the US Ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun, and I was invited to do so.

Monika & KY with US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Y. Yun
Monika & KY with US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Y. Yun

A couple weeks ago I got this email that says:

The Ambassador of the United States of America
Joseph Y. Yun and Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun
request the pleasure of your company at the

 U.S. Travel and Food Promotion Event

on Tuesday, May 26, 2015
from 5:30  to 7:00 o’clock

Which initially looked sorta suspicious, but I really couldn’t think of any Nigerian scam that could start this way, so I responded, and after a couple KM walk from office on the 26th of May, 2015, I arrived at the ambassador’s residence, which by quarter to six was filled with people whom I’ve never met before (except two.)

US Travel & Food Promotion Event at the US Embassy, KL
US Travel & Food Promotion Event at the US Embassy, KL

The US Travel & Food Promotion Event was attended by mostly people in the travel industry, the media, and a couple food writers (that I can recognise).

At the Ambassador’s “humble” home, we got to sample quite a few products from the States. OceanSpray cranberry juice, Florida’s Natural orange juice, cheese, Kettle’s chips, a couple types of ice cream, Californian wine, and even raw oysters.

some of the products from United States
some of the products from United States

If you think about it, the most popular food in the world is actually American food. They’ve been incredibly successful in exporting American culture & food via hollywood & fast food chains, but look around a little more and you’ll find that there are many other US food brands that carries a much more positive image of the country.

This event sorta reminded me of the good times I had spending that 4.5 years in the States.

Thank you for the invitation, and hopefully I get to travel to the States again soon.

Ramadan 2015 on KYspeaks is just around the corner, so it’s about time to review another traditional buffet offering that is fast becoming a popular seasonal event in our country. Together with my colleagues Nik, Razi, & William, we went to JW Marriott last Tuesday to sample what they have to offer.

JW Marriott's "Kampung Dining Experience" by the poolside
JW Marriott’s “Kampung Dining Experience” by the poolside

Lets get the most important details out of the way – the prices:

Poolside (June 17, 2015 onwards)  – RM 95.00 nett per adult and MYR 48.00 nett per child.

4th Floor (June 17, 2015 onwards) – RM 85.00 nett per adult and MYR 43.00 nett per child.

on the menu - roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice
on the menu – roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice

Both locations essentially serves the same 130 (mostly) Malay delicacies from around the country, though you get to save RM10 dining on the 4th floor by sacrificing the pool view and not being able to see the chef expertly carving that beautiful roast lamb.

ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah
ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah

The menu didn’t seem to vary much from my last visit a couple years ago, which is a good thing. You don’t really need to change something that’s already good.

The food can be separated in a few categories, and to start with I usually head straight to the ulam station that comes equipped with some half a dozen sambals, including sambal belacan, tempoyak, sambal mangga, sambal nenas, cencaluk, and budu. A spicy and pungent start to a traditional Malay fair is never disappointing.

ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak, panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege
ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak,
panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege

Appertizer consists of jeruk, kacang botol, kerabu mangga & udang, acar buah, ikan masin, telur masin, as well as several types of keropok (including the all important papadom). For those who wants something a little more global, there’s green lettuce with dressing, Thai chicken & glass noodle salad, potato salad, seafood cocktail, potato salad, waldorf salad, and even coleslaw.

After you get your stomach warmed up, there are a few “gerai”, or live cooking stations to check out. Here you find satey, rojak buah, ikan bakar (including pari, keli, kembung), nasi ayam (chicken rice), tandoori, mee (laksa, mee kari, char kuih teow), BBQ (the all important roast lamb!), bubur, and soup (including sup ekor, kambing, and more).

desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih
desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih

Then of course there’s the all important main dishes such as ayam masak kicap, ayam masak merah, ayam percik kelantan, kari kambing, sambal udang petai, fried chicken with dried chili, daging masak halia, sweet and sour fish, kurma ayam, labu masak lemak pucuk manis, sayur campur, rendang ayam, redang daging, daging kunyit, paru goreng berlada, sotong goreng kunyit and more.

Dessert is offered in the form of quite a few variety of traditional kuih, pudding, sago gula Melaka, some pastries, and the really awesome bread and butter pudding.

William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya
William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya

My two Malay colleagues gave these a thumb up, while William was busy eating to register a response. I personally really like the fact that we are keeping our traditional Malaysian cooking alive via these type of buffets. No longer were the days when hotels only serve fancy Japanese or Western cuisines, we are once again proud of real Malaysian dishes.

Thank you Natasya for the invite.

map to JW Marriot KL

Address:
JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.14765, 101.71372
Tel03-2715 9000

A couple weeks ago we continue our journey in the exploration of Minang food within the KLCC vicinity, and this time around it’s Restoran Grand Garuda Baru at Kampung Baru.

Grand Garuda Baru, Kampung Baru
Grand Garuda Baru, Kampung Baru

The restaurant is rather big but with pretty simple decoration. It seemingly sits between the old school type of shack like Masakan Padang at Jalan Raja Muda Musa and the higher class establishment like Puti Bongsu. One good thing though is that it is air conditioned, and plays some pretty funny sounding MTV if you’re not familiar with Minang language (sounds like a cross between Malay & Japanese)

masakan Padang in all its glory
masakan Padang in all its glory

As of the food, it’s typical Padang dishes. We had the famous ayam pop, the beef tendon that must not be missed, and the daging salai (smoked beef) that’s so crunchy I wish they come in a plastic bag so I can bring them to cinema.

The tempe, sambal chili, terung (eggplant), and nangka were pretty delicious as well. it was pretty satisfying overall.

don't forget to have this little dessert
don’t forget to have this little dessert

The bill came to be about RM 30 ish per pax, which is pretty decent for the type of food we get.

If you have a big group, Restoran Grand Garuda should definitely be in your short list for Padang food.

map to Grand Garuda Baru

Address:
Restoran Grand Garuda Baru
176, Jalan Raja Abdullah,
Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.167473, 101.702800
Tel03-2202 7170

This is a pretty simple question – where would you travel for 100,000 KMs?

Going to work would be 20-30+ km for me, getting to breakfast? Maybe 2-5 km, a fancy place for dinner? Perhaps 20 or even 30 km away. A one-night getaway? Perhaps up to 100-150 km. Two day binge eating trip? Up to 350 km.

travel around peninsular Malaysia

To put things in perspective, 100,000 km would allow you to go around all the states in peninsular Malaysia almost 50 times!

Bean sprout chicken rice at Ipoh, laksa and char kuih teow in Penang, fish filet curry mee at Alor Setar, tomyam up North, nasi kerabu at Kota Bharu, keropok lekor at Kuala Terengganu, stuffed crab over at Kuantan, kuih teow kia by Johor, satey celup at Melaka, Seremban beef noodle/crab, and then back to Selangor for some good old fashion bak kut teh.

travel to eat

Around, around, and around in this great nation of food that is Malaysia, and we’re only talking about peninsular. If you hop over to Sabah, Sarawak, and Borneo, there are even more opportunity to explore.

All of which can be done with on your favorite mode of transportation, which more often than not, would come in the form of a vehicle with 4 wheels, which in turn, needs a set of good tyres.

Now imagine if the longevity of the tyres is something you don’t need to worry about. Check out the following video:

Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus is a tyre that’s engineered to take it all the way – up to 100,000 km on the road. The tyre is reinforced with DuPont™ Kevlar® technology that provides added protection as well.

Check out the other features & benefits:

  • TredLife Technology™
    For longer lasting tread
  • Enhanced Durability
    Reinforced layer from DuPont™ Kevlar® for added protection against road hazard. An additional layer of lightweight material that is used to reinforce/strengthen the tire for enhanced protection and durability.
  • Advanced Carbon Based Tread Compound
    The compound with higher carbon content provides higher resistance to road wear, thus improving tread wear performance.
  • Optimized Wide Face Cavity
    The larger tread width design from optimized cavity shape puts more wearable rubber in contact with the road.
  • Maximized Rubber Volume
    Maximized road contact area. Deep tread depth resulting increased wearable rubber volume.
  • Asymmetric Tread Design for Precise Handling
    Asymmetric tread design places more rubber on the outside shoulder providing increased grip during cornering.

Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus

Apart from that, Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus is also under the programme of Worry Free Assurance; where your tyres are insured from the nasty road hazard damages. This programme also covers damages from manmade mishap, such as puncture, cut and buglers impact. Pretty cool initiative by the company for their client. Click here to know more.

So for those of you who loves to travel for makan or putting on mileage on the car for any other purpose at all, Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus is definitely something to check out if you are due for a new set of shoes for the car.

Head to the website to find out more.

Last weekend I decided that since we’re moving to Seksyen 16 in Shah Alam, it might be a good idea to scout around for some good Malay/Indonesian food around the area and see what we can find.

We drove straight into Padang Jawa without any plan or expectation, and just as we passed the flyover, a sign appears that says “Pecel Lele”, we scouted a bit some more before decided to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised that within this almost-jungle/kampung area exists a rather busy shack/restaurant/stall that’s packed with people.

Kedai Makan Pecel Lele, Padang Jawa
Kedai Makan Pecel Lele, Padang Jawa

We then immediately got our car parked at the dedicated carpark for the restaurant just behind the building, and proceed to check out what the all fuss is about.

As it turned out, Pecel Lele is an ayam penyet stall/restaurant that operates around the clock, and a local favorite among Padang Jawa folks as well as UiTM students. Haze and I were the only two Chinese at the time, and I was absolutely delighted.

que to order, then get your unlimited rice and soup
que to order, then get your unlimited rice and soup

The SOP at Pecel Lele is simple.

  • jot down your table number
  • line up, order, and pay for your food
  • get your own rice & soup (unlimited)
  • wait for your food and drinks to be served (usually within 5-10 mins)

berbola, pecal lele, ayam penyet, and those sambal!
berbola, pecal lele, ayam penyet, bergedil, and those sambal!

The prices at Pecel Lele is really one of the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere, especially in Klang Valley. Ayam penyet with rice at RM 4.50, with catfish (pecel lele) is RM 5.50, pecal berbola RM 5, pecal daging RM 5. Other extras offers great value as well – RM 0.50 bergedil, nangka, or pucuk ubi, two bebola for RM 1, and tempe for RM 1.50.

If you’re not into rice dishes, mie ayam, soto, bakso, or gado-gado are priced at RM 3.50. Drinks are RM 1.50.

we definitely enjoyed the meal, all for only RM 15.50 too
we definitely enjoyed the meal, all for only RM 15.50 too

As for the taste? We absolutely loved it!

The chicken was properly seasoned, and the cat fish deep fried to a crunchy state that goes really well with those tomato salsa/sambal concoction. Berbola tasted very similar to keropok lekor with body image problem, and even the bergedil was pretty decent (could be warmer though).

The drinks? Though they’re supposed to be “mango juice” or “grape juice”, they tasted more like melted Sugus candies, which my taste bud loved, but I reckon may not be perfectly good for your health. Then again, you don’t eat there everyday kan?

I’m definitely going to make this place one of my weekly pilgrimage soon.

map to Pecal Lele Padang Jawa

Address:
Pecal Lele Padang Jawa
Lot 617, Jalan Berangan 
Kampung Padang Jawa, Shah Alam
Selangor
GPS: 3.050029, 101.489769
Tel019-206 8920
Hours: 24 hours, closes for Friday prayers