On my last work trip to KK, my buddy Yann May suggested that dinner should come in the form of chicken wings. I like chicken skin, and wings has the most skin, so, why not?
And that’s how we got ourselves to Lido Square at Lintas.
Lido Square, Lintas, Kota Kinabalu
Lido Square is this huge food court situated about 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city center. Like most food courts, there are dozens of different stalls offering a wide variety of dishes, many of these are pork free, but some aren’t. If halal food is a must, choose wisely.
We ended up having more than just chicken wings, of course.
The highlight, for me at least, would be those big cockles – RM 10 for half a kilo if you have them boiled, or RM 15 if fried. These cockles are several times larger than those you typically find in Klang Valley – only 9 pieces for half a kilo. They were absolutely on point and delicious! I love it, the lady doesn’t eat cockles, hmph.
May approves of the stingray, but maybe not cockles!
The ikan pari (stingray, RM 25) was properly grilled and rather tasty as well. The fish was fresh, and prepared to a texture that lets you chew down 90% of the cartilage. We enjoyed the fish quite a bit.
melvic chicken wings is the “brand” to go
Then there’s we came for – MELVIC chicken wings. That took quite a wait as the stall is almost always pretty busy.
The wings were nice, sweet with all its honey goodness, and made better with a squeeze of limau on top as well. These are comparable with some of the best wings in KL too.
the popiah is a bit of a disappointment
If you’re a fan of popiah, I can safely say that you may want to skip the version here in KK. Their “Northern style popiah” is almost acceptable, but the Lido style popiah was just a blend of thick popiah skin with not much else to shout about. I’ll avoid.
Other things worth checking out would be the freshly made mochi, and those steamed soup. Plenty of stalls we had no stomach space to try, perhaps next time!
Address: Lido Square Jalan Penampang, Lido Square, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.943246, 116.081579 Hours: 7:30 am to 11:30 pm
Last week mom was here for a bit, so naturally it was my duty as a son to bring her form some breakfast worthy of trying. And since we’ve had bak kut teh, and red wine mee suah the day prior, I thought it was appropriate that we try one of the other less “normal” breakfast choices – chicken rice.
chicken rice with mom
Yeap, chicken rice is as popular as the first meal of the day in Klang as it is for lunch or dinner.
We headed to Jalan Gelugor for one of my favorite chicken rice fix in the area – Top 1 Chicken Rice. The stall is located at the same food court with the Jalan Batai Char Kuih Teow – with zinc roof, plastic furniture, and generally acceptable hygiene standard.
Top 1 chicken rice offers only steamed chicken, of normal and “walk on the ground” chicken, which I assumed to be kampung, or organic variety.
perfectly cooked steamed chicken with Bentong ginger
What sets this place apart though is their use of Bentong ginger as condiment in addition to their home made chili sauce. As you maybe aware of, Bentong is often touted as the place that produces the best ginger in the country, with its slightly more spicy and stronger taste profile. I love it, so did mom.
The chicken too is steamed perfectly, on that fine line between being under cooked and overly hard/tough when you boiled chicken seemingly only half a minute too long.
dark soya sauce on rice is the Klang way
Overall, this is as proper as chicken rice goes, I’ve heard that you can request for rice balls as well, maybe I’d have to try that next time.
While char kuih teow, laksa, and cendol gets all the attention in Penang, one of the must-eats for me is actually the humble old apong. Specifically, the stalls offering these tiny apong that have been operating at Jalan Burma right outside Union Primary School for decades.
Apong Guan, Penang
There are only two of such stalls on the island as far as I know, both offering very mini sized apong made with plenty of eggs, flour, ripe banana, corn, and some other secret ingredients (I think the guy will sell you the recipe for a handsome fee).
I’ve wrote about Apong Chooi back in 2011, so now let’s look at Apong Guan, arguably the more “famous” of the two.
Each Apong now goes for RM 0.60, up from RM 0.35 8 years back, and seven for RM 1.00 maybe two and a half decades back when I first got my motorbike license.
Apong Guan will usually have a small crowd surrounding the stall on weekends, an exercise in patient in these hot climate to be sure. The reward though is definitely worth it. The apong is sweet from the ripe banana & corn, savory from its egg, and perfect in every way. I suggest you order enough to lasts the afternoon, and eat them while hot!
RM 0.60 each for this goodness, must-eat if you’re in Penang
Apong Guan has been in operation for some 50 years, with no heir apparent in sight, so if you’re longing for something uniquely Penang, this is a stall not to be missed.
A couple weeks ago, Suan made me wake up at 6 in the morning on weekends, just because she needed a trail walking buddy to go to Chilling Falls (we went many years ago). She’s a friend for over two decades, I had no choice but to comply.
fried pan mee in all its glory
So we made our ways from PJ to Hulu Selangor way too early on a Sunday morning, and stopped by Rasa (yes, it’s a real town) for a pretty unique type of breakfast – Fried Pan Mee at Happy Like Coffee House.
Rasa is a pretty small town, and being situated less than 30 mins from Chilling Falls makes it a perfect destination for pre-hike stopover. The town area is plenty small and you won’t miss the time capsule of a kopitiam.
So, how’s the fried pan mee?
It is almost exactly like how you would imagine. Literally pan mee, but fried, with plenty of the same type of vege you’d find in normal soup version of pan mee. The portion here is way too big but makes for good carbo-loading pre-exercise routine. I was impartial to the taste, but Suan loves it.
Happy Like Coffee House, Rasa, Hulu Selangor
If you’re heading to Chilling Falls or any of the hiking trials nearby Hulu Selangor, this would be a worthy stopover.
bonus pic of me freezing my ass off at Chilling Falls
Address: Restoran Happy Like Coffee House Taman Rasa Jaya, 44200 Rasa, Selangor GPS: 3.496102, 101.632591
When it comes to Indonesian food, none is more famous than Ayam Penyet, essentially a flattened deep fried chicken served with tempeh (made from fermented soya bean), tofu, and those oh-so-addictive sambal.
Ayam Penyet Mak Maya, Kampung Baru
My first ayam penyet was at Waroeng Penyet just over a decade ago, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been on a look out for ayam penyet stalls in its most “pure” form ever since, for a lack of a better word.
A hunt that led me to Ayam Penyet Mak Maya at Kampung Baru, my current favorite.
Mak Maya is located at Kampung Baru, directly opposite to one of my favorite Nasi Padang restaurant. The restaurant itself is a bit of a time capsule from the 80s, with plastic chairs and laminated table.
I always order mine with extra sambal
What sets Ayam Penyet Mak Maya apart from other such stalls is their sambal. The sambal is prepared “fresh” on the spot by grinding fresh ingredients to the paste form we’re familiar with.
The result was expectedly excellent, spicy, aromatic, and pure. I love it.
ayam or ikan for you?
Other than ayam penyet (chicken), they also have ikan kembung (Indian Mackerel), and ikan keli (catfish) deep fried in the same style.
These are served with deep fried tauhu, tempeh, and a slice of raw cucumber, cabbage to go with plain rice. The sambal of course ties everything together to make a plate of super satisfying lunch.
if you love it spicy, you’d love it here
If you want a good meal of ayam penyet in the heart of KL city, this is one to check out.. before Kampung Baru is eventually being redeveloped.
Address: Ayam Penyet Mak Maya 58, Jalan Raja Muda Mus Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164533, 101.708807