When it comes to Indonesian food, none is more famous than Ayam Penyet, essentially a flattened deep fried chicken served with tempeh (made from fermented soya bean), tofu, and those oh-so-addictive sambal.
Ayam Penyet Mak Maya, Kampung Baru
My first ayam penyet was at Waroeng Penyet just over a decade ago, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been on a look out for ayam penyet stalls in its most “pure” form ever since, for a lack of a better word.
A hunt that led me to Ayam Penyet Mak Maya at Kampung Baru, my current favorite.
Mak Maya is located at Kampung Baru, directly opposite to one of my favorite Nasi Padang restaurant. The restaurant itself is a bit of a time capsule from the 80s, with plastic chairs and laminated table.
I always order mine with extra sambal
What sets Ayam Penyet Mak Maya apart from other such stalls is their sambal. The sambal is prepared “fresh” on the spot by grinding fresh ingredients to the paste form we’re familiar with.
The result was expectedly excellent, spicy, aromatic, and pure. I love it.
ayam or ikan for you?
Other than ayam penyet (chicken), they also have ikan kembung (Indian Mackerel), and ikan keli (catfish) deep fried in the same style.
These are served with deep fried tauhu, tempeh, and a slice of raw cucumber, cabbage to go with plain rice. The sambal of course ties everything together to make a plate of super satisfying lunch.
if you love it spicy, you’d love it here
If you want a good meal of ayam penyet in the heart of KL city, this is one to check out.. before Kampung Baru is eventually being redeveloped.
Address: Ayam Penyet Mak Maya 58, Jalan Raja Muda Mus Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164533, 101.708807
Penang style curry mee is one of my favorite hawker food of all time, while there are a few places that offers this dish here in Klang Valley, they often lack the proper ingredients you would expect in the classic recipe.
Green Lane Noodle at Sri Petaling, sharing venue with The Roti Man Bakery
Enter Green Lane Noodle – a fairly new outlet sharing the same shop lot with The Roti Man Bakery at Sri Petaling offering several types of Penang dishes, including curry mee, kuih teow soup, prawn mee, loh bak, and even the elusive Hokkien char.
The restaurant itself is located at the rear half of the shop lot, fairly basic set up, clean, and with air conditioning.
Penang style curry mee, with pork blood
As a fan of curry mee, that was the dish I had to try, so I went for the small bowl (RM 9.50), which comes with cuttle fish, prawn, tofu pork, cockles, bean sprouts, yellow noodle/meehun, and the all important pork blood.
The santan base soup was on point, as was their sambal that carries a strong aroma with charred bits and shallots. I love it, this would be perfect with some mint leaves (maybe I should bring my own next time)
So if you can’t wake up for Okay kopitiam at SS2, or don’t want to deal with the classic kopitiam situation at OUG’s Sun Sea, this would make a very compelling place for Penang curry mee in Klang Valley.
I plan to go again, this time maybe to try their Hokkien Char.
Address: Green Lane Noodle Ground Floor, 117, Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.071147, 101.693364
I’ve been on a bit of a hot pot hunt as of late (or as well call it in Malaysia, steamboat), especially Sichuan style mala hot pot. So when the opportunity to be one of the earliest group to sample Xiao Long Kan Sichuan Hot Pot (小龙坎火锅) came calling, I was quite excited, to say the least.
Xiao Long Kan at Fahrenheit 88
Xiao Long Kan is one of the most popular spicy steamboat chain originated from Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan province in China. So when it comes to authenticity, you can’t do any better than that, this is the ground zero of Spicy mala hot pot.
pork bone broth, tomato, or mala soup?
Xiao Long Kan’s first branch in Malaysia is located at Fahrenheit 88, more specifically, at the side that is facing Starhill shopping mall (don’t try to look for it INSIDE Fahrenheit 88 like I did..)
While there’s plenty of seats spanning across 4 levels, it already gets pretty packed, but a little patience from your end and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is definitely worth it.
original condiment, without all the other fuss
There’s four different soup base to choose from – traditional spicy soup (mala, a must have), tomato soup, mushroom, and pork bone broth. You can always go for up to three like we did (all except mushroom). Additionally, the level of spiciness can also be customized. Do refer to the menu below.
Condiment situation is different here at Xiao Long Kan compared to just about every other hot pot outlets. Instead of a dozen or even more choices, here they stick to the traditional way of cilantro, green onion, and garlic. A special oil (xiang yu) is then added to the condiment which has the property of lowering heat. You can also choose to add soya sauce or black vinegar, though the good chef does not recommend doing so.
This blend is to ensure the taste of ingredients and soup is tasted to its fullest instead of being overpowered by fancy condiments. Can’t say I disagree.
Australian wagyu A5, we had to order another portion, so good
And then there’s ingredients. Xiao Long Kan does not lack in “special dishes” not easily found at other restaurants. Some of which even requires some sense of adventure.
We were served with Astralian wagyu A5 (so good we went for seconds), pork ball, pork neck, fish paste, prawns, pork belly, chili beef, rose meat ball, sliced lamb, and these are just the “normal dishes”.
In addition, we also had duck intestine, tripe, pork blood (my love!), pig’s brain, and even aorta!
I like that they also include a guide on the menu on how long you should cook each ingredients – ranging from 30 seconds (sliced green bamboo shoots), to 8 minutes (pig’s brain). Following the guide ensures that you don’t overcook certain items to the point where flavor is lost, or worse, under cook dishes and end up having an washing machine within…
sliced green bamboo shoots were definitely on point
Their rice cake & fried crispy meat are two of the ready-to-eat items we tried, and both are pretty delicious too. The rice cake should be consumed soonest possible to enjoy that crispy on the outside and soft inside texture.
As a rule of thumb, meat is best cooked in the clear or spicy soup, while vege goes better with tomato/clear soup, as advised by the head chef from Chengdu. These sort of pairing ensures that taste doesn’t clash, sorta like how you pair red with meat, and white with seafood kinda idea.
Jess, Mei Mei, KY, Eunice, Mag at Xiao Long Kan
Overall I got to say that this was one of the best hotpot I had recently, the super thick tomato soup, to the aroma from the red spicy soup, and all those fancy, fresh, and mostly imported ingredients. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back again for more mala goodness.
While the breath of Japanese cuisine kept advancing in Malaysia, there’s a segment of this food that alienate majority of the population here in Malaysia. See, you can find sushi, sashimi, and yakotiri that are suitable for most everyone to consume for the most part, but when it comes to proper Japanese ramen, the pork free or halal version proved to be a bit of a challenge to locate.
Kagura Chicken Ramen is hailed from Tokyo with the name of Seimenka Kaguraya, and even back in Tokyo, the recipe has always been pork-free and lard-free. Rare but still pretty popular at the same time.
There’s a selection of different soup base and ingredients, ranging from RM 12.88+ to a maximum of RM 22.88+. When it comes to proper Japanese ramen at these type of set up, I’d say they’re very competitively priced.
While the base is chicken, there’s a choice of shoyu, miso, and “rich” soup. They also serve gyoza, fried rice, and a limited choice of tempura (menu below)
Kagura Chicken Ramen
So how do they taste like?
We tried the “rich” and shoyu ramen together with their dumplings, and I gotta say that the soup base rivals the pork based ramen, with a slightly less greasy note. They also did a good job with the chicken base chasiu, but I do feel that the texture of pork chasiu is still superior. Overall though, this is a more than decent version of ramen that certainly did not make me regret having it for sure.
The dumpling though was sort of average, I guess perhaps it’s the lack of fatty bits that failed to bring it to my expectation.
fancy some dumpling to go with your ramen?
Skip the dumpling unless you are way too hungry, otherwise, this ramen is fit for anyone who loves ramen, even if you’re not specifically avoiding pork for whatever reason.
When it comes to food that represent Malaysia around different embassies all over the world, satay is probably right on top of the list. Not only it is delicious, these meat on stick is also portable, easy to store, simple to cook, and super convenient to eat.
Satay Sri Melaka, Lembah Keramat
For most of us, satay usually means chunks of chicken or beef served on skewer that’s not unlike Japanese yakitori, but if you spend some time looking around, there are other varieties available that may surprise some of us – and for those who likes it a little different, take a look at Satay Melaka.
Satay Sri Melaka is located at Lembah Keramat, some 20 mins away from KLCC, closer to Zoo Negara area (makes for a great after-zoo early dinner spot if you ask me). This is a “lesser developed” area of KL, parking is a breeze, and prices aren’t overwhelming.
plenty of peanut sauce with sambal to go around
The selection of satay here should satisfy even the most picky of eaters, there’s beef, chicken, mutton, as well as various different innards – chicken heart, liver, gizzards, and even beef tripe.
I thought the chicken was perhaps a bit dry (would be great to have some chicken skin), but those innards were really lovely, with beef tripe being my favorite. For chicken satay my favorite would be Satay Ampang.
The peanut sauce and sambal was quite top notch and adds to the overall flavor in ways that every satay place should. Spicy, flavorful, and with just enough spice.
meat, chicken, liver, stomach, they’ve got it all
If satay is what you long for, this is a worthy place to check out for sure.