My day job brings me to Kota Kinabalu quite often these days, which is a bit of a blessing when it comes to work travel as this North Borneo city does offer a full package of beautiful ocean & beaches, the magnificent mount KK, and a host of rather unique hawker dishes not easily found this side of Klang Valley. I’m also particularly blessed to have friends who would bring me to explore these places.
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu
During my last visit, I had to go offshore for a short stint. For Sabah, that meant using the old Terminal 2 at BKI airport (who has flown Air Asia flight via this side before?). On my return trip, my friend Yann May picked me up and we decided to stopped by this rather busy looking kopitiam located by Tanjung Aru, between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.
As it turned out, this was the famous Kedai Kopi Wah Juan that offers mixed pork (or pork offal) noodle which if I remember correctly, is an addiction of a friend who claimed to eat clean otherwise.
our lunch spread for two
We ended up ordering a plate of noodle with roast & bbq pork (as the lady doesn’t eat pork offal, WHYY!?), a bowl of beef ball soup, a plate of noodle with pork offal, and an additional small plate of pork offal.
Well, the result? It was awesome!
Can’t say much about those BBQ & roast pork, but the pork offal was on point, soft, flavorful, and properly braised to perfection. In addition, the home made noodle were superb as well, subtle in taste which compliments the other ingredients, and soaks up those sauce just nice. The beef ball soup too did not disappoint, and would be something I order again.
If I had to nitpick, they could do with slightly better chili paste, that’s about it.
When it comes to food in Klang, one would usually point to bak kut teh, but if you dig in a little bit deeper, there are other gems hidden in this older part of the valley which you may not find in other places – one of such treasure is mee hoon kuih, or Klang’s own interpretation of pan mee.
Kah Ping hawker stall at Jalan Gelegor food court
The most well known of such dish this part of town has got to be Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih located at Taman Berkeley, a shop that’s almost always packed, hot, and requires a long wait time.
However, if you ask some of the locals, the best Mee Hoon Kuih is arguably the version served at Jalan Gelegor’s food court by a stall with the name of Kah Ping.
You may have recognized this particular food court for it’s famous Jalan Batai char kuih teow which I’ve penned on this space some time ago, yeap, you can have them both at the same place!
Klang style mee hoon kuih (or pan mee)
My mee hoon kuih took a little over 10 minutes to arrive (much faster than Fatty’s). The bowl of goodness comes with hand pinched dough, pork slices, liver, an egg (optional), vege, spring onion, dried anchovies, and curiously, some small shrimps.
pork, veggie, and even prawns
The dough was as solf and silky as it comes, and I thought the soup base was even sweeter than Fatty’s version, most likely due to the addition of those shrimps (much like the OUG pork noodle). I find myself enjoying this version quite a bit. As per usual Klang style, there’s only chili padi & soya sauce as condiment instead of those home made chili sauce you find at KL’s pan mee, but they do compliment the dish well if you like to add some kick.
A worthy mee hoon kuih to try, I’ll bring mom next since she loves a good bowl of mee hoon kuih!
When I first received the invitation for Gin Rik Sha, I must admit that from the name itself I’d have never guessed what this place is all about.
Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara
Well, as briefed to us, the name Gin Rik Sha actually derived from the “pulled rickshaw” in Japanese, which does not really explain what they serve here and how it is all related, but it is definitely a fun quirky name that I’ll remember.
a drink after a long day’s work
As it turned out, this restaurant at Plaza Damansara specialized in something that isn’t very common around Klang Valley – modern Indian cuisine with a bit of fusion touch, as well as a fully equipped bar serving wine, whisky, spirits, and even cocktails.
how do you like your cocktails?
Started the evening with cocktail, I wanted something sour and was recommended to go with Amma’s Potion made with gin, coriander leaf, lime juice, and cucumber syrup, a good refreshing start to the evening.
My second was Whisky Cha, a play of whisky, masala herbs, and sour which was a tad more sophisticated compared to the refreshing note of the first.
If you’re not a cocktail person, there’s plenty of other drinks to choose from, alcoholic or otherwise (see menu below)
chili chicken is great as bar snack
If you like something with a bit of a kick to start, Chili Chicken certainly fits the bill. This is Gin Rik Sha’s interpretation to the classic popcorn chicken but one that is quite high on the spicy meter. Juicy inside, crispy out while being spicy and aromatic, I love it, a perfect bar snack to go with beer, or cocktail in this case.
kerala shrimp, wrap it up
Kerala shrimp is a classic Indian dish of spicy tamarind flavored shrimp with roasted coconut, and in this case served with toasted chapati instead of rice, which turned out to be quite a good combination. The sauce carried a kick and complimented the seafood well without being overpowering.
banana leaf baked sea bass
If you like fish, check out the Banana Leaf Baked Sea Bass – banana leaf wrapped with fresh aromatic sea bass and basmathi rice and served with brinjal sambal.
This dish is certainly a full meal, love the long grain rice and I wish there’s more brinjal sambal to go with! The fish was prepared properly and not overcooked, a good execution in this case. If this could be tapao as lunch I’d be a happy man.
Other interesting dishes on the menu includes spiced cauliflower rice, vegetable lasagna, chicken briyani, and even rack of lamb. There’s a good variety of modern and traditional classic to choose from.
hello Sammi! kulfi with caramelized bananas, carrot halwa filo pastry samosa
In the dessert department, their menu isn’t exactly very comprehensive. We did try the Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas and Carrot Halwa Filo Pastry Samosa with Black Pepper Ice Cream as the sweet endings to the night. I enjoyed the samosa and pepper ice cream, and thought the kulfi was perhaps ordinary and not having a lot to write home about.
Overall this was certainly an interesting visit, a place fit for after-work wind down or a proper meal with friends. The menu and combination is bolder than most, and I for one welcome more innovations in culinary offerings in KL.
If we connect via instagram (@kyspeaks) or FB, you may have been aware that wordworking is one of my many hobbies. For whatever reason I’ve not been updating this part of myself on this site, an oversight that I should fix, and I suppose there’s no better time than now.
I may post other previous projects if there’s interests.
measure twice, cut once
This particular project stemmed out of my need to have a better way to keep my coffee pods. While there are numerous styles in the market, most of holds only the pods, not the box, which means the labeling info (intensity etc) is lost.
I did a bit of research, found a design that’s made from metal and decided to improvise and make one for myself with leftover wood scraps.
There’s never enough clamps!
The holder takes 5 tubes of Nespresso pods and hold them vertically, I cut notches on the wood to make sure the tubes stay in place vertically as well as holding the dispensing “mouth” open.
finished result, nespresso pods holder
Glue was used instead of screws or nails to give it a cleaner overall look and feel. Made four of these and given two out, keeping two for myself, quite a decent built I thought, what do you think?