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Category / Halal Food

Ever since we moved to KEN Rimba, we have had to drive out for most of our meals, until very recently – the famed Ana Ikan Bakar Petai opened a branch literally right outside at our doorstep here in Shah Alam.

Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, now in Shah Alam
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai, now in Shah Alam

For the uninitiated, Ana Ikan Bakar Petai is a “brand” originated from Kuantan which also has a rather popular branch in Bangi. This is their 3rd outlet, occupying three shop lots, including upstairs & side walkway, a pretty big set up for the this otherwise pretty sleepy commercial area.

We’ve been to the place quite a few times since, it certainly is legit.

squid, prawns, crab, shellfish, and a variety of fish to choose from
squid, prawns, crab, shellfish, and a variety of fish to choose from

At Ana Ikan Bakar, you get to choose from quite a variety of seafood – squid, lala, bamboo clams, prawns, blue crabs, sting ray, cencaru, siakap (barramundi), jenahak, garupa, and more. The price is per 100 gram (RM 3.50 – RM 7.00) is clearly stated on the display as well, so you know what you going to have to pay.

There are several cooking methods as well, with the most popular being bakar petai. If bakar isn’t what you want, you can have them masak cili, manis, halia, kicap, pedas, tiga rasa, asam pedas, lamprik, kerabu mangga, goreng kunyit, or steam limau, asam boi, or halia. Quite a number of permutations really.

pari & sotong with petai
pari & sotong with petai

On our first visit we had a ikan pari & sotong prepared the traditional bakar petai style. The fish was absolutely on point, super spicy with the hint of petai permeating from the sauce. As it is basically covered with the sauce, you really don’t need to have a separate condiment to go with. I also particularly like the texture of the fish here that is not overly cooked like many others.

all wrapped up in banana leaf, the only way!
all wrapped up in banana leaf, the only way!

The sotong bakar petai was pretty good too, but to be honest if you already have a bakar petai dish, it’s best to go with a different cooking method. On subsequent visits, we found out that the sotong is best deep fried, and they also serve very good ikan siakap steamed limau, with tiga rasa among their most popular orders as well.

keropok lekor, tomyam, lala, kailan ikan masin
keropok lekor, tomyam, lala, kailan ikan masin

Ana Ikan Bakar Petai serves more than just ikan bakar. There’s a full menu of traditional “goreng goreng” dishes. Their vegetable dishes are among the best I’ve had (try their kailan ikan masin), tomyam was good as well. There’s also other dishes such as various types of fried rice, meat, soup, etc.

Oh by the way, the lala is not worth ordering. Happy dining!

map to Shah Alam Ana Ikan Bakar Petai

Address:
Ana Ikan Bakar Petai
No. 27, Jln Lengkuas B 16/B,
Ken Rimba, Seksyen 16,  
40200 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS3.055502, 101.484363
Tel 017-791 0197, 018-321 4519

On our Mt. Kinabalu Hiking trip, we took the opportunity to dine at perhaps the most popular Kadazan restaurant in town on the last day of our visit. The reason is simple, D’Place is located at Kepayan Perdana, which is just a few minutes away from KK International Airport, most strategic place for dinner prior to flying back since KK traffic can get quite horrific and requires a bit of management at times.

Update 28/11/2016: Moved to 2.01&2.02 2nd floor, Plaza Shell, from 12/12/2016

D'Place Kinabalu, a short drive from KK Air Port
D’Place Kinabalu, a short drive from KK Air Port

The restaurant itself is easy to miss if you’re not familiar with the area as it is actually located on upper floor and does not have very visible signage from the most common angles. Alas, we found it, and fortunately parking isn’t too big of a hassle.

Haze and I had the pleasure of having my colleagues Kelly & Zureen joined us for dinner, which made the occasion that much better.

part of Kadazan Set A
part of Kadazan Set A

D’Place serves no pork, and while you can order each dishes separately, most people ended up with their sets.

We ordered Set A, Set B, and Gulu Gulu Set to be shared among the four of us. Each of the sets are priced at RM 20.90 and comes with a free traditional drink.

These are what the sets have:

Set A:

  • Pinasakan Bangusan
  • Linopot
  • Sayur Kampung
  • Bambangan Om Tuhau
  • Talur Masin
  • Ikan Masin Masak Lada Putih
  • Hinava
  • Lada Belacan
  • Sambal Ikan Masin

Set B is the same thing but with Basungan Guring in replacement of Pinasakan Bangusan

pinasakan basungan, linopot, sayur kampung etc
pinasakan basungan, linopot, sayur kampung etc

The Gulu Gulu Set has the following:

  • Linopot Rice
  • Bambangan, Tuhau
  • Hinava
  • Sayur Kampung
  • Bosou/Nonsom Sada (fermented fish with rice)
  • 1 Sup Pinasakan
  • Sambal Belacan
  • Ikan Masin Asam Limau
  • Jantung Pisang Tumis

this is the gulu gulu set
this is the gulu gulu set

Feel free to google on what these funny words mean and what the ingredients actually are. They mostly tastes slightly salty and sometimes slightly gamey though not in a bad way. The sambal was most excellent, and we did enjoy the various preparation of smallish fishes that went well with the rice served.

It was an certainly an interesting experience but at the same time it’s not difficult to see why the cuisine does not gain wide spread popularity. Personally I prefer Sinalau Bakas anytime.

Zureen, Kelly, KY, Haze
Zureen, Kelly, KY, Haze

One thing that I do regret not trying is the sago worms (butod). You can have it here either alive or deep fried at RM 12.90 for 8 pieces. Since this is a delicacy in Kadazan cuisine, I’ll make sure I do that the next time!

D'Place Kadazan food map

Address:
D’Place Kapayan Perdana
Lot E36-2 Block E,
Kepayan Perdana Commercial Centre,
Jalan Cybercity,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.919138, 116.062750

Address:
D’Place Kapayan Perdana
2.01&2.02 2nd floor, Plaza Shell
29, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman,

Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu,
88000 Kota Kinabalu
GPS: 
5.977140, 116.074755
Tel016-833 2381

Since Setia City Mall is arguably the most happening shopping center nearest to our residence, we’ve been going there quite a bit. To be honest, shopping mall food aren’t usually in my list of preferred lunch/dinner options, but sometimes you do find a gems among the thorns.

For Setia City Mall, Tuk Tuk and Little Nyonya being some of our favorites, and today we’re going to talk about the latter.

Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed
Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed

It’s easy to want to give Little Nyonya a try when you’re at the mall. It is almost always one of the most crowded restaurants on the lower ground level. The decoration is simple and optimised to packed as many customers as possible, so comfort level may not exactly be on top of their list.

Think of it as a place for quick eats instead of leisure dining with great ambience and you’ll not be disappointed.

asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken
asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken

Little Nyonya offers quite a comprehensive list of menu with individual dishes such as nasi lemak, rendang beef with rice, nyonya curry chicken rice and so forth as well as dishes to share ala “tai chao” style.

For the four of us, we ordered four dishes, a starter, and some desserts for dinner.

Apart from asam pedas fish (RM 22.90) which I thought had a good seasoning and base but lacking quality fish (dory was used I believe), the other three dishes were on point. Asam prawn (RM 19.90) had a balance of asam & cooking caramel taste to it, two style kailan was as advertised, and the redang chicken (RM 17.90) turned out to be one of our favorites of the night, really good marinate that seems to penetrate the poultry while not being over powering, we would definitely order this dish again.

pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut
pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut

Pie tee (RM 7.50) is a must-haves at any Nyonya restaurant, and this version is well, acceptable.

For desserts, I thought cendol (RM 5.50) was perhaps a little too watery for my liking, it did have a good gula Melaka presence. Others were happy with bubur cha cha (RM 4.80) and the rather rarely seen pengat pulut (RM 5.80). Pengat pisang, pengat ubi keladi, bee koh moy, and ais kacang were some desserts we did not try, perhaps next time.

for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive
for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive

If you find yourself at Setia Alam City Mall, Little Nyonya is certainly a place worthy to spend a meal on, especially when Tuk Tuk is overly packed.

map to setia city mall, shah alam

Address:
Little Nyonya
LG-43, Setia City Mall,
Persiaran Setia Dagang,
Setia Alam,
40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.085229, 101.458629
Tel: 03-3375 8788
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

In my previous job, I had the opportunity to travel to East Malaysia on quite a few occasions, and one thing that stuck in my memory is that there are whole different sets of restaurants and popular dining areas in Borneo than what I’m used to in Peninsular Malaysia, and one of the more prominent one that I remember till today was the ubiquitous SugarBun.

SugarBun Borneo Asian Food at Menara Hup Seng
SugarBun Borneo Asian Food at Menara Hup Seng

Well, now you can find SugarBun right here in KL at Menara Hup Seng (opposite Shangri-La KL & behind Mercedes) to get a taste of what Borneo’s most successful franchise restaurant has got to offer. They are also opening their second outlet in Klang Valley at Ara Damansara on 15/10/2016. So if you’re into some no-nonsense Borneo cuisine, keep reading.

Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup
Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup

While started out as an ice-cream parlour back in 1979, over the years SugarBun has expanded its offering to include many dishes sought after by Sarawakians & Sabahans alike. On the outside it looks a little bit like fast food joint or even a food court, but what they offer is rather different from what you may expect.

I had the opportunity to try some of their dishes a couple weeks ago, and I gotta start with my favorite – Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup (RM 28). Cooked with generous portion of Sabah giant garoupa slices, the deceptively simple dish carries a broth thick with seafood sweetness that will satisfy anyone who loves seafood. The fish slices too were perfectly cut and came with chunks of those springy garoupa skin that I really enjoy. At RM 28 it is certainly not a “fast food” friendly price, but this is not fast food and you definitely get a more than decent value from the quality of seafood offered.

You can also order this as a soup to go with rice.

Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice
Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice

Another rendition that utilise the same awesome seafood is the Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice (RM 20). Deep fried giant garoupa meat is served on top of pretty fragrant fried rice, very simple and satisfying. I think a few chili padi with soya sauce should come with this, but they do offer sambal, which compliments the dish quite well.

authentic Sarawak Laksa
authentic Sarawak Laksa

Laksa Sarawak (RM 12) is arguable the most famous streetfood from Borneo, and at SugarBun Borneo Asian Food, they have a version that is authentic and true to its origin. You get the shredded chicken, prawns, strips of omelette, bean sprout, and of course, those thick meehun. Haze loves it, and she’s like the no. 1 fan of any type of laksa.

If you’re looking for a certified halal version of authentic laksa Sarawak, this will definitely fit the bill.

Fish Burger
Fish Burger

For those who wants something on the go, SugarBun’s fish burger (RM 9.50) should fit the bill. The patty is made from pollock and together with their blend of sauce and slices of fresh cucumber, made for a pretty satisfying meal you can enjoy while being vertical. I also thought their bun was pretty soft and airy too, which is a plus.

the classic - Borneo Eco Fish Meal (tilapia)
the classic – Borneo Eco Fish Meal (tilapia)

Another notable fish related dish is the classic Borneo Eco Fish Meal (RM 20). Here you get a portion of rice, some acar, and a properly deep fried tilapia fish with some sambal and dark soya sauce on the side. This felt like something  you get from a mom & pop restaurant than an air conditioned chain restaurant, in a good way, of course.

This was actually the first dish I had at SugarBun many years ago when they came to West Malaysia (at PJ SS2 if not mistaken), and I’ve always enjoyed it.

Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal & Broasted Chicken meal
Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal & Broasted Chicken meal

If comfort food is what you crave for, the Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal (RM 14) should be on your short list. You get a side of rice with a clay pot full of chunks of chicken and black fungus in herbal soup, not entirely different from grandma’s kitchen.

To complete their almost-fast-food image, SugarBun offers broasted chicken (RM 12) with or without saucy kano (RM 15). I had to google a bit, but broasting is a cooking process that combines broiling and roasting, which is distinctly different from deep fried. The result is a lighter crust and less oily product. I thought they taste pretty good.

If you want to get a taste of what Borneo has got to offer right here in KL, this is definitely the place to go.

P/S: this post is brought to you by SugarBun

map to Menara Hap Seng

Address:
SugarBun Borneo Asian Food
Level 1, Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P. Ramlee,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.152761, 101.707296
Tel: 03-2022 0003
HoursMon – Fri 7.30 am – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 2 pm

A little while ago we decided to hunt for some different offerings within Klang for dinner, I mean, while bak kut teh is the best invention ever, you can’t have it on every single meal. A bit of a change from time to time is healthy, and furthermore, I had wanted to try some of the more popular halal joints at the area.

This is how we came to Restoran TSY with the headline “Claypot Kari Mee Klang”

late night dinner at restoran TSY
late night dinner at restoran TSY

The restaurant is manned by a rather old Chinese chef/owner who married a Muslim wife (source), and the place was still pretty packed at with customers of mixed ethnic groups at about 10:30 pm when we got there. Usually a good sign.

claypot curry mee is what we're here for
claypot curry mee is what we’re here for

We ordered claypot curry mee for two and a plate of fried lala as a side dish (total RM 33 with drinks).

The curry mee was pretty special, thick boiling curry broth, prawns, sting ray, long beans, tofu pok, fresh bean sprout, and of course, yellow noodle in them. I enjoyed the crunchiness of fresh bean sprout in contrast to the spicy soup, and have string ray in curry mee was a first for me, I liked it.

their lala was spicy and had a good kick
their lala was spicy and had a good kick

The fried lala did not disappoint either, it was prepared with plenty of ginger and chili padi, with a sprinkle of fried garlic on top that gives it that additional complexity which was pretty lovely.

If you’re looking for something spicy at night here in Klang, this is a worthy option.

Address:
Restoran TSY
No. 16, Jalan Goh Hock Huat,
41400 Klang, Selangor
GPS3.051349, 101.446909
Hours: 6:30 pm till 1 am