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Heading East from Klang Valley via the Karak Highway towards the direction of the East Coast, there exists quite a number of restaurants that offers “proper” food just a few kilometers away from the exit that brings you up to the mountain top wonderland that is Genting highland or Berjaya Bukit Tinggi (if visiting a Japanese garden is your thing.)

Late last year, we did just that with a couple Singaporean friends of Haze’s.

Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there's actually a vegetable garden
Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there’s actually a vegetable garden

Our stop-over for late lunch was at Garden View restaurant, a pretty big zinc-roofed restaurant over viewing a vegetable garden. Looking at the size of the little farm though, I can’t be sure if it is sufficient for the crowd that this restaurant gets. Doesn’t bother me anyway.

The menu is quite extensive. They offer a variety of river fish, kampung chicken, pork, seafood, and a selection of “wild” meat such as wild boar, frog, ostrich, soft-shell turtle, and deer.

river patin, this is the expensive bit
river patin, this is the expensive bit

We ordered a river patin (RM 90, 1.2kg of RM 7.50 per 100 gram) prepared in its purest form – steam with soya sauce. The portion was perhaps a little too big for just the four of us but it was delightfully prepared and certainly very fresh, smooth, and absolutely packed with seafood fatty texture which I really like.

You can also have the fish prepared by steam with ginger, with assam sauce, teo chew style, with chili sauce, in clay pot, or even deep fried. There’s also quite a variety of fish to choose from, with tilapia (RM 3.50/100gram) being cheapest, all the way to kelah  (RM 40/100 gram)

steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish
steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish

In addition to the fish, we also ordered steamed kampung chicken with ginger (RM 15), wild boar curry (RM 15), and “4 kingdom vegetable” (RM 15). These are very reasonably priced and tasted more than decent.

The chicken is my favorite and a speciality of sort of Bukit Tinggi. You can get pretty good ginger steamed chicken just about at any restaurants around the area, the key being the Bentong ginger they use, which is really spicy and extra fragrant.

Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy
Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy

Over all it was a very satisfying late lunch for us. The river fish is pricey but expectedly so, if you stay away from having river fish, the prices at Garden View restaurant is very competitive. So if you’re around the area looking for a good meal especially with a group, this place won’t be a bad choice.

map to Garden View Restaurant, Bukit Tinggi Bentong

Address:
Garden View Restaurant
Lot 19326 Pesona Heights,
Kg Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
GPS: 3.353010, 101.826982
Tel: 09-233 0282

The weekend prior to Hari Raya, we went up to Penang for a little staycation getaway at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. The trip was quite a special one for me for reason that may be different from most. Close to two decades ago, I worked at the very same hotel as a casual worker and used to think “what if I was a guest there one day…”, and that day came true.

The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang
The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang

I will write about the hotel and our experience staying there next, but today let’s talk about their huge dinner buffet at Spice Market Cafe located at the Garden Wing (the “right” side).

seafood on ice, baked salmon
seafood on ice, baked salmon

Dinner starts at 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm every evening and it’s the all you can eat affair. Priced at RM 185 nett for adults, it is also the buffet that offers one of the biggest selections of dishes on the island.

You have a choice of indoor seating that requires fewer steps to get to all those dishes, or alfresco dining area right next to the unique free-form swimming pool surrounded by their huge garden complete with giant rain tree by the beach.

Indian & Malay cuisines, selections of salad
Indian & Malay cuisines, selection of salad

The dishes include authentic ethnic cuisines from diverse cultures – including Chinese (with chef from China doing freshly made “knife slice noodle”), Indian, Nyonya, Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Western.

freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices
freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices

Some of the must-tries are the slipper lobsters either as-is, or covered in sauce, sashimi, roast beef, and snow crab. We also really enjoyed their selection of cheese, but the number one favorite for all three of us for the night though, was their deep fried soft-shell crab, it had just the right amount of seasoning that reminds me of some of the best banana leaf side dishes I’ve had the pleasure to taste.

desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef
desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef

If you just try a spoonful from each dish, you’ll probably need at least several visits to sample everything, the selection is huge. Unlike most buffet places that only serves water, there are also a selection of juice to go about.

mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang
mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang

If your wife or girlfriend can’t decide what to eat, this is not a best place to be. There bound to be something that’ll tickle her senses. I know my mom was more than satisfied.

map to rasa sayang

Address:
Spice Market Cafe
Rasa Sayang
Batu Ferringhi Main Road,
Kampung Tanjung Huma,
11100 Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang
GPS5.478865, 100.254181
Tel+604-888 8888

While Penang is synonymous with char kuih teow, laksa, and curry mee, one of the least talked about awesome hawker food from the island has got to be mee goreng. Sure, you can find mee goreng just about anywhere in Malaysia at 24 hour mamak stores, but once you had it in Penang, you’d think that you life has been a lie.


mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang 

When it comes to mee goreng, one of my favorites is the little unassuming stall parked at the Yok Fong kopitiam in Tanjung Bungah where the old Hin Bus station used to be, or about half way from Tanjung Tokong to Batu Feringghi.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need

The mee goreng here is manned by Indian stall owner who is actually not the “original” owner, but thank goodness the trick of the trade isn’t lost to this next generation operator.

A plate cost RM 5 and comes with the usual fritter, squid, potato, egg, bean sprout, and a bit of greens. If you want it hot, ask for more “cabai”. Squeeze the limau lipis just right before you dig in for that extra umph. The noodle is very wet in comparison to the usual versions, so much so you can eat it with a spoon.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
we ended up ordering another plate

If you’re in Penang and crave for something slightly out of the usual hawker fare, this is one to try out. Also, this would be suitable to bring your Muslim friends along.

Address:
Mee Goreng at Yok Fong Kopitiam
Jalan Chan Siew Teong
Tanjung Bungah, Penang
GPS5.465812, 100.279872

Last week week while driving around exploring places for dinner around Klang Parade surrounding, we chanced upon a newly opened Thai restaurant by the name of Mae Porn Tom Yum Goong located just by the road next to the mall, and since Thai cuisine has always been one of our favorites, we went in to take a look.

Mae Porn Tom Yum Goong, next to Klang Parade
Mae Porn Tom Yum Goong, next to Klang Parade

On first look I already have a positive feeling about the place. The almost-kopitiam style restaurant is air conditioned, clean, and with the parts of the walls filled with racks of Thai groceries. There were also staffs happily chatting in Thai language. Unlike Japanese restaurants with local staffs greeting you in the only line of Japanese language they know, over here they use Thai as their native language to communicate, not to give you a false sense of authenticity.

chicken feet salad, nam tuk, prawn salad
chicken feet salad, nam tuk, prawn salad

Anyway, the “menu” they have is a bunch of photos on the wall (look below), with many dishes cater to individuals, but there are also those for sharing. Each priced at between RM 6-8, great value for money even for Klang.

We’ve visited this place twice now and came away really satisfied.

For salads we’ve tried yam leb meu nang (chicken feet salad, RM 7), nam tuk (pork salad, RM 7), and yam goong (prawn salad, RM 8). Strong seasoning and definitely appetite opening, they go well with rice as well. The only “issue” we may have is that the chicken feet were cut in bigger chunks than what we’re used to so that took a bit of getting used to.

tom yam, kuey chap, moo ping (grilled pork satey)
tom yam, kuey chap, moo ping (grilled pork satey)

The tom yam goong (RM 8) may not have big prawns or loaded with big chunks of seafood but certainly tasted every bit a bowl of authentic tomyam should.

We also tried their kuey chap (RM 7) and opted with no noodle since we had it with rice, the pork was tender and of course they also serve coagulated pork blood, a definite plus.

Lastly, moo ping (RM 3 per stick) certainly makes for good beer food, as any properly seasoned and grilled fatty pork should.

menu's on the wall, priced from RM 6-8 per dish

We’re certainly going to be back for more, the second trip already seen the place being filled pretty good with customers, I think it’s here to stay. Give it a try if you love some good authentic Thai food that also serves pork. Other alternatives are Go Thai SS2, Lai Thai seksyen 17 (changed name since), and Surasit TTDI.

mae porn thai food, klang parade

 

Address:
Mae Porn Tom Yum Goong
Pelangi Point, Lintang Pekan Baru,
Off Jalan Meru, Klang,
41150 Selangor
GPS3.064992, 101.453392

Let’s continue with another Klang bak kut teh review since I said I was going to make it a bit of a mission to go to as many different bak kut teh in Klang as possible. So here’s BB Bak Kut Teh Garden at Bandar Baru Klang, located close to Bukit Raja Jusco and one of our favorite tai chao places in the area – Da Tuan Yuan.

BB bak kut teh garden, Bandar Baru Klang
BB bak kut teh garden, Bandar Baru Klang

BB bak kut teh garden often have moderate to even rather low review, and personally I think a lot of it has to do with how the place looks like. The setting is almost like a modern food court, with pictures, banners, and a menu that illustrates the price and exactly what you’ll be getting very clearly. This runs in contrast to most old school BKT places that expect you already know what you want.

Additionally, they also serve some non-BKT dishes, such as steamed fish, fried vegetable tofu, sea cucumber, and so forth. All of which gives this place a “less authentic” look.

kahwan, and intestine in claypots, all finished
kahwan, and intestine in claypots, all finished

But to be perfectly honest, I actually found the BKT pretty decent. A bowl (RM 10.50) or clay pot (RM 12.50) is right around the average asking price, though some reviews may suggest that this place is a little more expensive than others.

On our visit I had kahwan (right around the leg joint with plenty of fat & tendon) and intestine. They were properly tender and the soup too had a strong herbal flavor, tho perhaps not as complex tasting as some. I actually enjoyed it.

BKT meal, I'm happy
BKT meal, I’m happy

So don’t let the look of a place fools you. If a BKT place can survive in Klang, they’re usually pretty capable when it comes to taste. If you keep an objective mind, you’ll often not be disappointed.

map to bb bak kut teh bandar baru klang

Address:
BB Bak Kut Teh Garden
Store 14 PT21438, Jalan Tiara 1,
Bandar Baru Klang, 41150 Selangor
GPS: 3.063847, 101.470480
Tel: 012-508 2667
Hours: breakfast/lunch/dinner

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