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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Halal Food

Being from a somewhat typical family in Penang, I’m no stranger to Nyonya style cooking, this is mostly due to the fact that Baba-Nyonya cuisine shares many similar recipes to Penang Hokkien dishes.

So when we were at Baba Nyonya Restaurant in Avenue K, I had certain expectations on what they should be able to cook up.

Baba Nyonya, Avenue K
Baba Nyonya, Avenue K, with my dining partners

The restaurant is located at the same level with the LRT station, with an interior decor that is pretty tastefully done, catering to mostly 2-4 people per table, though larger crowd can be arranged, to a certain extend.

Baba Nyonya restaurant at Avenue K, asam pedas, terung, chicken pongteh, and ayam masak merah rice set. What’s your choice for lunch/dinner? #kyeats #avenuek #halal #klcc @avenuekmy @baba.nyonya

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The menu offers quite a variety of dishes, with selections from individual noodle or “daily plates”, as well as ala-carte entries to be eaten with steamed rice with a group of your favorite buddies, which was what we mainly did when I find myself with a few colleagues at Baba Nyonya a couple weeks ago.

proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable
proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable

We sampled one single dish in the form of Ayam Masak Merah, and three shared lauk of terung belado (RM 16.90), chicken pongteh (RM 26.90), and asam fish pedas claypot (RM 35.90) over dinner.

The ayam masak merah is a dish you can enjoy over lunch and comes with loads of those sauce that has a good balance of sweet and spicy taste to it, there’s also a spring role to get you started.

terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot
terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot

Asam fish pedas claypot was our favorite among the three shared dishes. The fish retains some crunchiness while not overly fried, with the asam pedas broth brings forth a good kick, perfect when mixed with steamed rice.

The terung too was proper, soft, tender, and packed with flavor. However, we did agree that the chicken pongteh was pretty average, or perhaps just overshadowed by other offerings from Baba Nyonya during this session.

The experience at Baba Nyonya Avenue was certainly a positive one, I think I’ll be heading over for lunch one of these days to check out more of their individual dishes.

map to Avenue K

Address:
Baba Nyonya
Lot UC-1, Upper Concourse,
Avenue K,

156, Jalan Ampang, 
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS:  3.159257, 101.713610
Tel: 03 2181 5544
Web: www.babanyonya.co

Avenue K is greeting year 2018 CNY celebration with the campaign themed Bloom of Grandeur’, which transform the mall into a garden of beautiful blossoms. The ground level is set up with 13 CNY booths offering a variety of festive treats and goodies.

We were invited to the launch for this month-long event that will lasts from 19th Jan to 25th Feb. Other than CNY booths, there’s a series of CNY themed workshops from crafting paper lanterns to designing CNY cards made from AngPows for kids aged 4-12.

Flower Power CNY At Avenue K
Flower Power CNY At Avenue K

From 19/1 to 15/2/18, spend a minimum of RM 388 (max 2 receipts) and you get to join the AK Prosperity Draw with Asia Miles and be one of the five lucky winners to walk away with 60,000 Asia Miles points redeemable for a pair of return tickets to Hong Kong and RM 1000 Shoes Gallery by Parkson gift vouchers. There are also consolation prizes of RM 500 (x5) worth of cash vouchers to be won.

For those spending up to RM 288, there’s the AK Wheel of Prosperity in which you get to spin and win prizes. With RM 188 in a single receipt, you’ll get to redeem exclusive AK Ang Pow packets.

The highlight of the event will be on 23/2/18 where there will be a Lion Dance Money Showering session, yeap, literally having acrobatic lion dance throwing money to shoppers. There’ll also be fire crackers lighting ceremony followed by dotting of the lion’s eyes. Then, there’s ‘Rolling in the wealth’ segment in which there will be rolling of mandarin oranges from the main entrance of the mall, to ensure that prosperity will flow into the building. All in all there’ll be 8 pairs of lion performing on the day. It’ll be quite a sight.

Dolly Dimsum with special CNY menu including yee sang
Dolly Dimsum with special CNY menu including yee sang

Of course, since this is a food blog, what I am particularly interested in this period is what some of the restaurants are doing. For this, we were invited to Dolly Dimsum for their special CNY menu.

CNY special menu at Avenue K
CNY special menu at Avenue K

For the CNY period, Dolly Dimsum, which is one of the few halal dimsum restaurants in the city, offers a special set of CNY menu priced at RM 62++ per pax (6 pax group dining). The good thing is, the limited time dishes in the menu is also available ala-carte basis, and we got to give them a try.

scallop dumpling, golden kamquat dumpling, lucky 88 noodle, szechuan tofu
scallop dumpling, golden kamquat dumpling, lucky 88 noodle, szechuan tofu

The dishes include a yee sang (RM 65) with plum sauce & fresh salmon. Scallop dumpling (RM 17.8) which was one of my favorites, huge chunk of scallops with a base of prawns underneath too.

Had the opportunity to taste some of @dollydimsum’s CNY menu at @avenuekmy, certainly a good option for quality halal dimsum in town. #kyeats #halal #dimsum #avenuek #dollydimsum

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Then there’s the Lucky “88” Noodle (RM 36.8), fried yee mee with really generous amount of crab meat, prawns, and again those delicious scallops that I absolutely love. Then there’s also the Schezuan Tofu (RM 23.5) that comes with really soft tofu, chicken, and the sauce that has a bit of those szechuan kick, tho personally I probably want it a bit more spicy.

nian gao with fresh coconut, lunar blossom mocktail
nian gao with fresh coconut, lunar blossom mocktail

For sweeter ending, there’s the Golden Kamquat Dumpling (RM 9.9), basically mung bean paste wrapped in mochi skin. Their version of nian gao, called Happiness Kuih (RM 11.8), is one of the rendition that I actually find not overly sweet while still carrying that unmistakable CNY spirit, I think having fresh coconut coating was the right way to go.

 

map to Avenue K

Address:
Dolly Dimsum
G-9A Ground Floor,
Avenue K Avenue K, 156,
Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159257, 101.713610
Tel 03-2181 3830

If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you should know about J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10 KL – a concept that is unlike any other when it comes to Japanese cuisine offering in Malaysia. As one of those fans myself, I was glad to be invited to the launch event and be one of the firsts to get a taste of what this place has to offer.

J's Gate Dining, Level 4, Lot 10 KL
J’s Gate Dining, Level 4, Lot 10 KL

J’s Gate Dining is located on level 4 of Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang. Head up the escalator now and you’d see 18 different Japanese restaurants taking up almost the entire floor space offering various different types of Japanese cuisine,centered around the concept of authentic Japanese cuisine and services.

J's Gate Dining launching, Lot 10 Level 4
J’s Gate Dining launching, Lot 10 Level 4

The  grand opening was officiated by Mr. Makio Miyagawa, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia and Mr. Joseph Yeoh, Vice President of YTL Land & Development Bhd and YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn. Bhd., together with Mr. Naoki Yokoyama, Executive Officer of Sojitz Corporation, Chief Operation Officer of Retails & Lifestyle Business Division.

Level 4 at Lot 10 is now J’s Gate Dining, home to 18 of Japan’s best restaurants. We were at the launch event with Mr. Miyagawa, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia delivering his speech for the grand opening & ribbon cutting ceremony. . Also during the event was the carving session a 40.8kg cultivated maguro. Of course, we also got to sample many of the dishes from the various restaurants, and most importantly the otoro sushi from the freshly carved tuna. I may have helped myself too many times with those tuna sushi. So good! . Lot 10 is transforming to this Japanese food heaven, it’s great! #kyeats #jsgatedining #lot10 #toro #tuna #jsgate @jsgatedining

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The opening ceremony is followed by a carving session of a 40.8 KG cultivated Bluefin tuna specially air flown by Sojitz Corporation all the way from Japan. We were then served the fatty tuna in the form of sushi after the event, and I may have returned for more than a few servings!

Bluefin tuna carving demonstration
Bluefin tuna carving demonstration

J’s Gate Dining is separated into two “sections”, with one side a food court type of set up offering all pork free Japanese dishes, and another section with individual restaurants, some with non halal dishes.

Here is the list of restaurants:

Restaurant Name Category
Tendon Kohaku Tendon
Menya Ichiyutei Udon
Kaisendon Kinme Seafood rice bowls
Shinanoji Soba
Fuji no Sakura Japanese hotpot
Bonta Bonta Eel rice bowls
TSUJIRI Matcha sweets
Cravebit Bar Bar
Mo-Mo-Paradise Sukiyaki/shabu-shabu
Torisakaba Hanazen Chicken izakaya
HACHI Traditional Kyoto cuisine
ViTO Café, gelato
Torikin Yakitori
Umai Sushi Kan Sushi
OSAKA Kitchen Teppanyaki, okonomiyaki
Kushiage Kinme Kushiage
YAYOI Set meals
Kaguraya Chicken ramen

These are the 5 out of 18 restaurants we managed to try during the special tasting session at J’s Gate Dining, Lot 10 4th floor. . Umai Sushi Kan for more of those tuna belly & other sushi, Torikin for yakitori with a kick, Kushiage Kinme for deep fried skewers, Hachi with traditional Kyoto cuisine (Wagyu beef for us in this case), and also Vito for some galato to end the night. . This place has got to pack the most variety of Japanese food in one location, with reasonable pricing as well. . #kyeats #jsgatedining @jsgatedining #japanesecuisine #wagyu #kinme #sushikan #torikin #hachi #halal #nonhalal

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On the same evening, a few of us were also invited to an exclusive tasting session to sample dishes from some of the restaurants at J’s Gate Dining. In the span of some 2.5 hours, we managed to visit these five restaurants:

Umai Sushi Kan - Sushi restaurant
Umai Sushi Kan – Sushi restaurant (pork free)

Umai Sushi Kan offers sushi & sashimi, perhaps the most familiar type of Japanese food for many of us. Again we got to have more of that cultivated Bluefin tuna sushi & sashimi, simply heaven. The rolls were pretty on point as well.

Torikin Yakitori (non halal)
Torikin Yakitori (non halal)

Next up was Torikin Yakitori. There’s a good selection of different skewers to choose from, from chicken tail all the way to pork belly, priced at RM 4 to RM 7 per stick. These makes for some really good beer food.

Kushiage Kinme - deep fried skewers
Kushiage Kinme – deep fried skewers (non halal)

If yakitori isn’t your cup of tea but you still love things in skewers, hop over to Kushiage Kinme. Over here you get fresh ingredients deep fried with light batter in skewers. There’s prawns, quails’ eggs, pork, and even asparagus, my favorite is gindara (cod).

I highly recommend some cold sake with these, which was what we did.

Hachi Traditional Kyoto cuisine, we had waygu beef here
Hachi Traditional Kyoto cuisine, we had waygu beef here (pork free)

If you prefer traditional Kyoto cuisine, Hachi could be your destination of choice at J’s Gate Dining. We sampled the wagyu set here that came with wagyu steak, roast beef, wagyu cutlet, bulgogi, roast vegetable, and rice, miso & edamame. A complete meal that should satisfy any beef lover.

Vito Cafe & Gelato
Vito Cafe & Gelato (pork free)

Our fifth and final stop for the night was Vito Cafe & Gelato, where we had a sweet ending to the day. Vito also serve coffee in addition to gelato.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
J’s Gate Dining
Level 4
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel:  03-2110 6850
Webwww.js-gate.com

Growing up on an island and having relatives who were fishermen definitely does instill some love for seafood in me from a young age. Hence, Crab Factory being one of our destinations for the short food trip to Johor Bahru definitely helped encouraged me to participate in this fun little blogger get-together.

Crab Factory at Little Paris, Johor Bahru
Crab Factory at Little Paris, Johor Bahru

I’ve been to the original Crab Factory outlet at PJ SS2 about a year prior and enjoyed the experience tremendously, so the expectation was certainly up there for this visit down south.

The restaurant is located at Little Paris, JB’s attempt at replicating the famous city in France with tastefully thought out architecture, I must say overall the small development area looks rather neat.

Overly sumptuous lunch at Crab Factory, Little Paris Johor Bahru. Food coma time now. #kyeats #crabfactory #johorbahru #seafood #seefood #jbseafood #crabfactoryjb @mycrabfactory

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For the afternoon, we sampled three different sauces – Signature Southern Bang, Creamy Lemak, and seemingly flavor of 2017 for many dishes these days – Salted Egg.

crab, shrimps, or squid?
crab, shrimps, or squid?

For those who hasn’t tried the Louisiana style seafood dining before, the experience can be quite fun. Your seafood is basically poured directly on the table and you use your bare hands & fingers to dig in. There’s no bowls, plates, or forks & knifes, but thankfully, a little hammer & clamp is provided for those pesky crab claws.

pour it all on the table and lets get messy
pour it all on the table and lets get messy

As for pricing, there are 3 different value meals to choose from – Crab Lover Shiok (2-3 pax), Crab Lover Party (4-5 pax), and Crab Lover Giler (7-9 pax) priced at RM 49.90 or RM 59.90 per pax. Pretty decently priced for the experience and premium ingredients I thought.

what's your favorite sauce?
what’s your favorite sauce?

Having sampled all three sauces, I find myself gravitate towards the classic Southern Bang, with it’s cajun spice, lemon, garlic, and herbs contributing just enough to the fresh seafood. Creamy Lemak makes for good sauce base if you love to have some deep friedmantao with. As for the Salted Egg sauce, well, could perhaps be a bit stronger to give it that extra kick.

To be honest though, I also kinda missed the original butter garlic sauce, of course you could order yours that way.

map to Crab Factory, Little Paris, Johor Bahru

Address:
Crab Factory
G14, Block B,
jalan jaya putra 1/1,
Bandar Jaya Putra,
81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
GPS1.567581, 103.776728
Tel: 07-351 4062
Web: http://www.crabfactory.com.my
HoursTues-Sun: 12pm – 10pm, closed on Mondays

Sarawak Laksa seems like the flavor of the year, so before the end of 2017 I decided to give yet another highly recommended Sarawak Laksa place a try – SALTed at Mutiara Damansara.

SALTed, Mutiara Damansara
SALTed, Mutiara Damansara

As it turns out SALTed does stand for something – Sarawak Authentic Local Taste Extra Delicious!

The restaurant is located quite deep within Mutiara Damansara, and while it is perhaps only 5 minutes away from IKEA and Curve, you can’t really get there by walking from the big furniture shop.

SALTed stands for Sarawak Authentic Local Taste extra delicious, and yes I went for the RM 15 special laksa Sarawak with big prawns and cuttlefish. Worth it! At Mutiara Damansara. #kyeats #porkfree #salted #sarawaklaksa #mutiaradamansara @saltedswk

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The Sarawak laksa comes in three different versions, basic (RM 6) comes with chicken stripes but no prawns, original (RM 9) comes with normal prawns, and special (RM 15) gets you some cuttlefish as well as three pretty large size sea caught “meng har” (明虾) prawns.

Special version of Sarawak Laksa with extra prawns & cuttlefish
Special version of Sarawak Laksa with extra prawns & cuttlefish

I went for the “special” and happy to report that the dish definitely did not disappoint. The broth was thick and flavorful, and the seafood perfectly compliments the meehun and all other ingredients. I also enjoyed the pretty hot sambal as well. Will definitely put this in place in my list of recommendations (which I need to create, I think)

simple menu at SALTed
simple menu at SALTed

Other than laksa Sarawak, the restaurant also offers kolo mee, belacan meehun, and mee Jawa Sarawak. .My mission was only for the laksa, so no I did not try any of these dishes.

map to SALTed, Mutiara Damansara

Address:
SALTed
30-1 Jalan PJU 7/16a,
Mutiara Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.159828, 101.602412
Tel: 03-7733 4566
Hours: 10 am to 3:30 pm