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Tonkatsu remains to be one of the latest Japanese foods to be introduced in Malaysia. For those who aren’t familiar with this Japanese dish, it is basically a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet served with shredded cabbage. In fact, this dish is originated in Japan in the 19th century, so even in Japan it isn’t a particularly old dish.

Tonkatsu at Ma Maison, at One Utama shopping mall
Tonkatsu at Ma Maison, at One Utama shopping mall

My first time trying tonkatsu was at the version by Wa Kitchen at Pavilion, then probably the first and only tonkatsu restaurant in Malaysia in 2011.

Fast forward a few years later, we have another worthy contender in the tonkatsu landscape – Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. We tried to 1 Utama branch (they just opened another branch at Publika) after hearing good things about this place.

so this is how you use those condiments
so this is how you use those condiments

The set up is slightly different from their counterpart at Pavilion, with clear instructions on how to enjoy the dish printed on a little instruction panel on every table. There’s a choice of salt, sweet, and spicy sauce on the side, and of course there’s a sesame grinder and peanut sauce for cabbage as well. You’re also encouraged to consume the accompanying rice with pickle.

Wafu Negioroshi Hire Katsu and Hire Katsu
Wafu Negioroshi Rosu Katsu and Hire Katsu

The menu at Ma Maison is rather extensive (check their menu online). There’s the traditional hire (pork filet) and rōsu (pork loin) sets with a few variations, plus deep fried oyster, crab croquette, jumbo prawn, chicken, and so forth.

I tend to stick with the pork, and in particular, pork loin, only because of the layer luxurious pork fat accompanying the meat.

salad, deep fried pork, miso soup, perfect
salad, deep fried pork, miso soup, perfect

Every set comes with pretty good quality miso soup, pickle, and refillable cabbage that goes very well with their version of peanut sauce.

As for the pork, they are glorious. It is lightly salted with very crispy yet light breading and always piping hot when served. Dipping the meat in either the sweet sweet, spicy sauce, or mustard and any pork lover will be in ecstasy. The experience is like the first time you have KFC as a kid.

KY & Haze, after a satisfying dinner
KY & Haze, after a satisfying dinner

So if you find yourself at 1 Utama, this is definitely a place worth checking out. Average meal would be around RM 30+ per person including drinks.

Happy eating!

Address:
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison @ Eat Paradise
Level 2, Isetan, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, 47800 Selangor
GPS: 3.149080, 101.615896
Tel: 03-7727 3337
HoursSunday to Thursday, 11.00am – 9.30pm;  Friday to Saturday, 11.00am – 10.00pm

As someone from Penang staying in Klang Valley, we always look out for a good bowl of curry mee. Unlike char kuih teow which is now pretty popular pretty much everywhere, curry mee is a bit of a different case.

See, the problem is, there’s already a version of curry mee (often called curry laksa) in KL that are quite similar yet different from the Penang version in terms of ingredients and sometimes, the soup base itself.

Mayiang Jaya cafe at Taman Mayang, behind Lincoln College (old Lim KoK Wing)
Mayiang Jaya cafe at Taman Mayang, behind Lincoln College (old Lim KoK Wing)

While both versions usually have santan (coconut milk) as the base of the curry mee soup, the Klang Valley version is usually closer to curry chicken in taste, while the Penang version is more bare, relying only on santan and the usually more superior and fragrant chilly paste. As for ingredients, KL version usually has curry chicken, while the Northern counterpart completes the bowl with seafood.

this bowl of Penang white Curry Mee is legit
this bowl of Penang white Curry Mee is legit

So far I’ve only had less than a handful of good Penang curry mee in KL, so I was more than happy to discover a relatively new stall at Mayiang Jaya cafe here at Taman Mayang in PJ claiming to offer Penang “White” curry mee.

The curry mee turned out to be legit. It came with coagulated pork blood (my favorite!), cuttle fish, cockles, long bean, tofupok, mint leaves, bean sprout, and pretty decent fragrant chilli paste as well. You can choose between mee hun, mee, or a mixture of both as your choice of carbo.

yeap, there's cuttle fish, and even coagulated pork blood
yeap, there’s cuttle fish, and even coagulated pork blood

For RM 5.50, this was a pretty decent bowl of Penang curry mee, even though one crucial ingredient, prawns, is lacking. I would not hesitate to have this curry mee again.

Hours are from breakfast to lunch, so this is definitely the place to go if you can’t wake up early enough for the SS2 Restaurant Okay’s version (which is slightly superior). If you’re a fan of Penang curry mee, this version at PJ is definitely worth checking out.

map to Mayiang Jaya cafe

Address:
28, Jalan SS26/4,
Taman Mayang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya
 47301 Selangor
GPS: 3.116374, 101.604224
Hours: breakfast and lunch

After I posted the review on the Kuih Teow Soup stall at New Apollos kopitiam at USJ 4, one reader, Ley, commented that I should give the curry chicken pao a try, and on the very next visit, I did just that.

the pao stall at New Apollos, USJ 4
the pao stall at New Apollos, USJ 4

According to Ley, the curry chicken pao is the famous version from Klang with handmade bun.

The stall in fact, offers more than just curry chicken pao, there are also mantau, lor mai kai, lin yong, custard corn, kaya, peanut, vegetable, charsiu, red bean, sang yok, mui choi, black pepper, yam & pork, and big pao. Quite a selection.

the curry chicken pao is actually huge, good for a full meal
the curry chicken pao is actually huge, good for a full meal

The curry chicken pao was huge, not any smaller than a typical big pao that I’m used to. Interestingly, to prevent the curry chicken from making the bun soggy, an aluminium bowl thingy is embedded within to contain the ingredients. So the way to eat this is not exactly you would with typical pao, instead, a pair of chopsticks is provided and it had the feel of having mantao with some awesome curry chicken, I find myself enjoying it!

So if you want a pao that’s out of the ordinary, this is a place to check out, thanks Ley!

map to New Apollos kopitiam, USJ 4

Address:
Restaurant New Apollos
2, Jln USJ4/6B
Subang Jaya
GPS3.051770, 101.576209
HoursLunch and Breakfast, Closed on Tuesdays

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
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
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
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.

map to Chu Cha Dan Fan at Seksyen 14

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

 

For many prawn mee and loh mee fans out there who used to frequent Choon prawn mee stall at O&S, here’s their new location just a few shops down the road.

Choon Prawn Mee at the new location (same row as O&S)
Choon Prawn Mee at the new location (same row as O&S)

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
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
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
GPS3.106983, 101.625309
Tel: 012-265 8193
Hours7am to 4pm (Mon-Sat), 7am to 4.30pm (Sat/Sun/public holiday)