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Well, back when going out to eat was an option, we took a trip to Kota Kemuning and had ourselves a couple bowls of Japanese ramen at one of the very few “proper” ramen outlets in Shah Alam at Menya Hanabi. Yes, there are more than one Menya Hanabi in Klang Valley, this is the one closest to me.

Menya Hanabi at Kota Kemuning
Menya Hanabi at Kota Kemuning

Menya Hanabi is located right next to Gamuda Walk within Kota Kemuning, a bustling township within Shah Alam that has perhaps the most “up to date” eateries. Fortunately, parking is still a relatively simple exercise at this area.

The restaurant is of a typical Japanese ramen shop set up, with a long kitchen/bar taking up 30-40% of the floor space, and tables on the other side. I also love the fact that they have pictorial menu that showcases every single dish they offer, though some description would have been helpful as well.

shoyu soup ramen, gyoza, Nagoya mazesoba
shoyu soup ramen, gyoza, Nagoya mazesoba

For our visit we tried their classic shoyu soup ramen (RM 27), Nagoya mazesoba DX (RM 31), and a portion of gyoza (RM 10).

The soup ramen came in 3 options, shio (salt), shoyu (soya sauce), and Nagoya (spicy with minced meat). The shoyu version I had was on par with most Japanese ramen I’ve tried over the years. The noodle was springy, the soup too packed quite a punch. The chasiu had the awesome 3 layer texture and came with decent thickness, though I’d love to see 3 instead of 2 pieces in there. The egg too was prepared just nice. Overall it was a very competent bowl of ramen, satisfied.

the chasiu was super yummy, so was their gyoza
the chasiu was super yummy, so was their gyoza

As for the Nagoya mazesoba DX, well, the ramen itself is of a thicker variety, when stirring it up with the minced meat, egg yolk, and leek, the entire bowl felt almost not exactly unlike a more expensive version of chili pan mee, except one that’s less spicy and carries less “kick”. Once you are done with this “dry” version, they will also give you a scoop of rice to fully utilize those sauce, something that I thought was a bit of a gimmick to be honest. I’d give this dry ramen a “meh”.

Lastly, do order their gyoza, one of the best I’ve tried, and well worth the RM 10 asking price.

Overall, Menya Hanabi is a pretty decent Japanese ramen place, give the dry ramen a try if you must, stick to soupy version if you’re into more of a traditional taste kinda guy.

menya hanabi kota kemuning map

Address:
Menya Hanabi
2-37-1, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla,
Seksyen 31, Kota Kemuning,
40460 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.000433, 101.532942
Tel: +603 5131 9308
Hours: daily 11 am to 10 pm

Some of the most famous dishes in Ipoh revolves around chicken, isn’t it? There’s many chicken rice places such as Pak Kong, kai si hor fun which features chicken at Thean Chun, honey chicken wings at Menglembu, and salt baked chicken at Aun Kheng Lim.

Well, to add to this list, today we’re going to talk about one of local’s favorite bean sprout chicken hor fun place at Ipoh – Restaurant Cowan Street.

Cowan Street Chicken & Horfun, Ipoh
Cowan Street Chicken & Horfun, Ipoh

Restoran Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau is the full name of the place, and despite the name, is located at Jalan Raja Ekram in Ipoh New Town, a stone’s throw away from other popular eateries such as Ming Court dimsum.

The restaurant has a reputation of having erratic opening hours, and has 3 rest days per week. They’re serve dinner for quite a limiting hours of 6-9:30pm, do call ahead and check if they’re opened to avoid disappointment.

dinner for two - chicken, bean sprouts, chicken feet, offal
dinner for two – chicken, bean sprouts, chicken feet, offal

We ordered chicken for two, a plate of bean sprouts (always a must!), chicken feet, and added a plate of chicken offal to go with two bowls of hor fun, there’s no rice served at Cowan Street.

Ordering was very quick, and service was even quicker, it took only a couple minutes before everything was served, I was quite impressed.

chicken feet, steamed chicken, chicken liver/intestine/gizzard
chicken feet, steamed chicken, chicken liver/intestine/gizzard

The review of the food is simple.. everything here was absolutely on point!

The chicken was cooked just right, smooth, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. The bean sprouts did not disappoint, and even the chicken feet and chicken offal were all just spot on.

I absolutely love the texture of everything here, those meat, fats, and innards’ soft and tender texture in contrast with those crunchy bean sprouts, perfect. If one would to nitpick, you could perhaps say that the dishes are just very slightly to the salty side, but they do balance out with the hor fun.

when in Ipoh, one must always order bean sprouts
when in Ipoh, one must always order bean sprouts

Dinner came to be RM 45 including two drinks, perhaps a little pricey according to some, but I’m more than happy to pay for the quality and will certainly be back here again when I have another chance.

cowan street ipoh menu

map to cowan street restaurant

Address:
Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau Restaurant
44, Jalan Raja Ekram,
Kampung Jawa, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
GPS: 4.597606, 101.085821
Tel012-520 3322

Chicken rice is perhaps one of the most popular lunch options for Malaysian, a plate of rice, with a portion of the nation’s favorite meat on top and maybe a few slices of cucumber will satisfy most people as a quick refuel option during the day.

Wan Shoon kopitiam, Damansara Kim
Wan Shoon kopitiam, Damansara Kim

When it comes to chicken rice, we’re usually familiar with those offering roast chicken or steamed chicken, but the less popular third option exists – and that’s our topic for today – Fatt Kee’s soy sauce chicken rice.

Fatt Kee is located within Restoran Wan Shoon in Damansara Kim, a small township nested right next to TTDI, on the border of KL & PJ.

Like many other chicken rice stalls, other than chicken, they do offer roast pork (siu yok) as well as bbq pork (chasiu). While I’ve yet to try their chasiu, their siu yok is uninspiringly average and something that I would definitely skip the next round.

The star here is their soy sauce chicken, a version I can only describe as the cross between steamed and roast chicken that managed to have the best of both worlds. It’s flavorful, tender, and succulent all at the same time. The soy sauce blend here is addictively delicious, and I also felt that they put a bit of effort into the accompanying soup as well.

soy sauce chicken rice with roast pork, Fatt Kee
soy sauce chicken rice with roast pork, Fatt Kee

Prices here is a little higher than “usual”, the portion above for two pax came up to RM 18, but well, sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for good food. On my next visit I’m going to only have the chicken and forgo the pork, a position I don’t usually stand for.

Another soya sauce chicken place I tried was the one at Jalan Ipoh, I’ve also got a recipe for soya sauce chicken, tho the result is a little bit different.

map to wan shoon kopitiam

Address:
Fatt Kee Soy Sauce Chicken Rice
Wan Shoon kopitiam
47, Jalan SS 20/11, Damansara Kim,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.135504, 101.627173
Tel: +603 7499 7188

Following the blog post on Abanico at Kota Kemuning, I was reminded that actually there was another iberico experience a few months ago back when we were in this “Recovery MCO” period when case number of Covid-19 was in the teens daily.. remember that feeling of hope before it all came crashing down again? Seemed like a long time ago isn’t it?

Anyway, the restaurant I want to talk about is Habanna Charbroiled Steakhouse at Taman Paramount, PJ.

Habanna at Taman Paramount, PJ
Habanna at Taman Paramount, PJ

The unassuming restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from Loong Foong (great roast duck) and Shokudo Japanese curry. It’s been around for a while and for whatever reason, took me this long to finally paid a visit, and I’m glad I did finally give it a try.

The minimally decorated restaurant has an ambiance that matches its asking price. The menu has a healthy selection of burger, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, pasta, and even a few seafood entrees priced from just below RM 20 to around RM 30-50 range (see menu below).

Since porky “steakhouse” are hard to come by, we decided to check out their pork belly, and there’re two to choose from at Habanna if you’re into this fatty cut of pork. Unsurprisingly, we chose both.

Iberico Black Mama "IBM"
Iberico Black Mama “IBM”

The two different pork belly entrees are Iberico Black Mama “IBM” (RM 33.90), and the cheaper Charbroiled Apple Belly “CAB” (RM 20.90). Both are essentially the same dish with a side of salad, some potato wedges, and apple dipping sauce, however, IBM uses the famed Iberico pork, while CAB is made from local pork belly.

As it turned out, both dishes were rather good to eat, the meat were grilled perfectly and had very good texture, they were also seasoned just right. Also as expected, the Iberico pork does carry a better texture due to it’s superior marbling (fat layers between meat) as compared to local pork.

Charbroiled Apple Balley "CAB"
Charbroiled Apple Belly “CAB”

The verdict is predictable, but when factor in prices, makes for slightly tougher decision. Iberico is some 60% more expensive but arguably maybe 30-40% tastier? A bit of a diminishing returns. That being said, the value offers at Habanna is an excellent one, and I should be back to try their other offerings.

map to Habanna charbroiled grill, PJ

Address:
Habanna Charbroil Steakhouse
No.23, Jalan 20/13,
Paramount Garden,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.106153, 101.624798
Tel018 227 7369

Over the last decade or so, Kota Kemuning has slowly transformed from sort of a backwater township to one that is rather mature, and with that, comes a slew of pretty interesting dining options we often associated the more “hip” places like Bangsar, Subang, or PJ area.

Today, we look at one of the more interesting offering at Abanico Your Deli Restaurant.

Abanico at Kota Kemuning
Abanico at Kota Kemuning

For those who love to indulge in some porky goodness, it may be quite a common knowledge that Iberico pork are some of the most sought after type of pork there is. Iberico, as the name suggests, is the meat from Black Iberian pigs that are originated from Portugal and native to the Iberian Peninsula.

Much like Wagyu for beef, this type of pork has a higher percentage of intramuscular fats, making it more tender and have higher marbling. Additionally, the pigs are often fed on acorns, giving it a distinct taste that is quite unique and often said to be superior than normal pigs we get.

Anyway, what I really wanted to get to is that Abanico is actually the spare ribs of Iberico pigs, so by the name of the restaurant they really do tell you what is the specialty here.

abanico, pinchos, claims in white wine pasta
abanico, pinchos, clams in white wine pasta

Abanico operates like a deli, pick your choice of meat from the glass chiller, and the kitchen will prepare and serve you there after. Additionally, there are also a selection of dishes not displayed on the chiller, but clearly stated on the blackboards just above the cashier.

We ordered a piece of abanico (pork ribs, RM 52.90 per piece), a stick of pinchos iberico (RM 26), pasta with clams in white wine sauce (RM 35.90), and Portuguese seafood stew (RM 38.00).

Portuguese seafood stew
Portuguese seafood stew

The ribs were served in a very straight forward, simple manner, grilled just right to retain the natural flavor and came with their homemade (who’s home?) black pepper sauce and mustard sauce. To be honest I actually liked to savor the meat as is, without any sauce, but there’s no wrong way to enjoy it your way.

The pinchos iberico were our favorites of the day,  the skewer was properly marinated and carry a hint of sweetness coupled with the savory taste from iberico pork that were so delicious I wished we had ordered more.

menu on the wall at Abanico, Kota Kemuning
menu on the wall at Abanico, Kota Kemuning

The other two non-meat dishes we ordered held up the standard as well. The pasta were filled with plenty of clams (lala actually, although I’d much preferred the bigger clams) infused properly with enough white wine to compliment the seafood sweetness.

Portuguese seafood stew too is a dish worth ordering, packed with enough seafood in the dish to satisfy anyone. I also liked that they gave a generous slab of garlic bread for you to go with the stew.

I thought the food were as good as anywhere, they could perhaps improve a little by having served the meat with a bit of sides instead of a few green leaf. Additionally, the prices are perhaps on the higher side for the service quality rendered, but it is something that usually happens in smaller townships. The services wasn’t bad, it just could have been better.

Overall, the experience was a positive one, Abanico is certainly worthy of a visit, especially if you’re closer to this part of Klang Valley.

abanico map

Address:
Abanico
39-G, Jln Anggerik Vanilla BF 31/BF,
Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.00455615, 101.535562
Tel: 011-6565 3533