Category / KL City
A few weeks ago we decided to have a little “not very surprised” birthday party dinner for Suan, one of the pioneer of Malaysian blogsphere, who also happens to be one of my dearest friends.
Since she’s been the yakitori sort of phase, we decided that Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa would make a good venue for this purpose. It turned out to be an excellent choice.
Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa, they could use a better signboard
Getting to Maruhi Sakaba isn’t a problem, but identifying the exact shop lot proved to be a bit of a challenge. For some strange reasons, the owner decided that a Kanji signboard designed for ants would be sufficient. Nonetheless, if you walk towards the center of the shop lots (Faber Plaza) from Public Bank at the corner, you won’t miss it.
Interestingly, the “Japanese BBQ” at Taman Desa is situated just behind at the alleyway of Maruhi Sakaba.
chicken sashimi, baby intestine carpaccio, organ meat stew
There are two menus at Maruhi Sakaba, the laminated version showcase over two dozen dishes, while another portable white-board menu gives you an additional 15-18 dishes that aren’t as “permanent”.
We ended up ordering over 3 quarters of what they offer.
Lets start with the non-grilled items. Chicken sashimi (RM 15) is something that we haven’t tried before, it tasted a bit like tuna carpaccio with a slightly more chicken taste, not particularly impressive but rather interesting for a first timer. Baby intestine carpaccio (RM 10) was crunchy and rich, goes well with beer. Then there’s the organ meat stew (RM 10), with the broth so sweet we just had to order a few more bowls, you need to order this if you’re there.
pan fried egg on rice, grilled pork rice, and cold appetizers
For those who want to fill up their stomach quicker, there are rice dishes such as the medamayaki (fried egg on rice, RM 7) or yakibula don (grilled pork & vege on rice, RM 20), both versions were pretty tasty according to those who ordered.
There are also some vegetarian appetizers here, including tofu and wakame salad, (RM 8), pickled cucumber (RM 5), Hiyashi tomato (RM 5), and shio cabbage (RM 5). I recommend not having these as appetizers but use these dishes as refreshers for your tongue in between the yakitori sticks that tends to be a bit more oily and savory.
chicken, pork, mushroom, tomato, okra, and even brinjal yakitori
Then the question is, how are the yakitoris?
Well, for the most part, they are pretty darn good. Prices per stick ranges from about RM 3 to RM 5, and service was rather fast. We never had to wait for more than 10-15 minutes for our dishes to come, so ordering in the middle of eating won’t really interrupt the “flow” at all.
I liked their chicken wings, chicken skin, and pork belly sticks, and also particularly happy that they have quite a few choices of vegetable yakitori as well. The brinjal and lady’s fingers were quite awesome too.
we sure had a great time at Maruhi Sakaba, it was Suan’s birthday!
Maruhi Sakaba also serves a few types of Japanese beer and sake.
Of course, this place is not without flaws, for one, it would be great if there’s air conditioning and maybe better chairs. But for the price and quality of food and services, we’re not going to complain much. Filling up our belly with plenty of meat and a few glasses of beer totaled up to RM 40-50 per pax. Would go again.
6A, Faber Plaza,
Jalan Desa Jaya,
Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.102578, 101.682947
Hours: 6 pm-11 pm daily, closed on Mondays
Lets go back to one of my favorite breakfast spots in town at Imbi Market, and this time, we look at Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun, one of the busiest hawker stalls.
Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun at Imbi Market, always with a queue
While chee cheong fun is on the banner, the stall is actually very popular with their yong tau foo that is prepared fresh everyday and cook right on the spot. Fresh yong tao foo is definitely the way to go.
As for chee cheong fun, there are two types to choose from, the usual plain type, and the On Soon chee cheong fun that comes embedded with some ingredients. I always choose the latter.
a good selection of yong tau foo made from scratch on the spot
The selection of yong tau foo is pretty good as well, with a few types I haven’t seen anywhere, such as long beans and “four angle beans”. There’s also a few types of tofu, tofupok, and fish balls as well. My favorite piece is however, their fried fu chuk. If you’re a fan of fu chuk, you gotta try this.
chee cheong fun with yong tau foo, awesome breakfast combination
As a bonus, imbi market also serves the best Hainanese tea from Ah Weng Koh’s stall. So if you’re up to a wholesome breakfast, here’s surely a place to check out. Close on Mondays.
Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)
Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664
Hours: breakfast and brunch, closed on Mondays
One of the little secrets every food lovers should know is that the way to enjoying awesome meals without breaking the bank is to just do it during lunch. Many higher end or even fine dining restaurants usually have a rather affordable lunch menu that offers dishes that are of very high quality but at substantially chaper price tag than after sun down.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence
Hence, my favorite time to visit good Japanese restaurants is during lunch time.
Today, lets look at Ten Japanese Fine Dining’s offering.
I’ve been to Ten for an invited food review but was never a paying customer until recently when I was told that they serve lunch. See, even though I really loved what they do, fine dining prices just isn’t something I can afford often.
Assorted Sushi & Ten Special Bento
Ten offers about two dozen different dishes priced from RM 28++ onwards for lunch. There are also four different omakase courses priced at RM 100, RM 118, RM 148, and RM 240++ per person.
So far my friends and I have tried about half a dozen of the set lunches.
The Assorted Sashimi (RM 60++) and Assorted Sushi (RM 60++) featured some of the freshest seafood ingredients anywhere, with grated wasabi and chawamushi that’s packed of ingredients on the side.
Interestingly, they also have a Vegetable Sushi (RM 28++) option that Jean tried, and according to her, it was very unique and absolutely awesome. Instead of fish you get asparagus, tomato, baby corn, mushroom, cucumbers and so on presented in a way that’s not unlike seafood.
Assorted Sashimi, Saba Shioyaki, and Vegetable Sushi
Other dishes we tried were Bara Chirashi (RM 48++), Saba Shioyaki (RM 35++), and Ten Special Bento (RM 55++). None of these disappoints and I wouldn’t hesitate to order any of them again.
The only item that’s still at fine dining price would be their green tea at RM 6++ with unlimited refill. I guess you somehow have to pay for the great ambiance and excellent service somehow.
Haze, Sophia, and Jean all agreed the lunch sets were awesome
So now I have Ten Japanese Fine Dining together with Fukuya and Ozeki as the few Japanese restaurants that serves really good and value for money lunch sets.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
A-G-1, Marc Residence, Ground Floor,
No.3 Jalan Pinang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.155396, 101.710203
Tel: 03-2161 5999
Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6 pm onward, closed on Mondays
One of the most ubiquitous lunch dishes in Malaysia must be the chicken rice. A plate of aromatic rice cooked with the essence of chicken oil, a serving of chicken that’s cut into bite sizes, slices of cucumber for that crunchy freshness, and of course, the all important chili paste.
fried chicken rice “shop” under the big tree, with Winnie
Most chicken rice in KL falls under two categories – steamed chicken and roast chicken, but if you look closer, there are several other sub-categories that aren’t as popular, but tastes equally awesome as well (soya sauce chicken and fried chicken, for example.)
Today I’m going to introduce you to this version of fried chicken rice at Segambut that is probably different from any other chicken rice places I’ve tried in KL so far.
The stall/shop is located under a big tree among the light industrial area, so naturally the name is 大樹頭, or “tai shu dao” in Cantonese. Parking isn’t too big a problem, though locating the shop can be somewhat challenging if you’re not aided by a GPS device.
I always ask for whole leg and thigh, love the chili paste too
I always go for the whole leg portion here (RM 8), basically a drumstick + thigh cut that is almost a double portion of meat from what you usually get at other chicken rice stalls. The deep fried but not battered chicken has a crunchy skin with an unmistakeable belacan aroma. The meat too is soft and juicy despite being fried.
Additionally, the chili paste here is one of the best I’ve tried as well. Purists of chicken rice will agree that the chili paste is often the most important ingredient in a plate of good chicken rice.
So if you’re up for something slightly different in a traditional dish, this place is definitely worth checking out. The other similar place I could think of would be Jiang He kopitiam at Imbi.
Segambut Chicken Rice
Intersection of Persiaran Segambut Tengah &
Lorong Segambut Pusat 1
Segambut, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.185151, 101.677973
Hours: 11 am to 3 pm
It is very common for a dish famous in one area to be offered in another part of the country with slightly altered ingredients. This is usually done due to availability, or sometimes just to better suit the local taste.
For Penang hawker dishes in Klang Valley, curry mee is perhaps the one dish that is affected the most. The ingredients used is sometimes so different from the version up North you wonder why they still share the same name.
Anyway, for the true Penang curry mee lovers, here are four places where Penang curry mee is offered with one crucial ingredient (to me, the most important ingredient) to unite them all – coagulated pork blood.
Penang curry mee at Restaurant Okay, PJ SS2
The father and son stall at Restaurant Okay, SS2 operates from about 7:30am and usually sells out in a little over two hours. There’s prawn, blood, cockles, cuttle fish, and very fragrant sambal paste. There’s always a couple tables filled with Penangites seated right next to the stall on weekday mornings, I join them from time to time.
2, Jalan SS2/10,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
(at the other end of the same row of shop houses comprising KAYU)
GPS: 3.115084, 101.616390
Hours: 7:30 am to 9:30 am, off Mondays
Curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam, OUG
Closer to KL, the version of Penang curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam in OUG is also legit. It comes with all the essential ingredients with those slightly charred chilli paste. I also love the way they leave the cockles just ever slightly cooked.
Restaurant Sun Sea
Jalan Hujan Rahmat,
Overseas Union Garden,
58200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.073945, 101.673234
Hours: daily till around noon+
curry mee from Penang One, Puchong
For those who are willing to pay a bit more for air conditioned dining environment, Penang One offers curry mee all the way from Pulau Tikus Keong’s curry mee stall in Penang. The cuttle fish used here is the darker version closer to one you find in mee goreng mamak, and there’s long bean, mint leaves, and even bunga kantan thrown in. Definitely worth the extra RM 2-3 they charge over kopitiam versions.
Penang One at Puchong
G2, Jalan Puteri 2/6,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS: 3.023883, 101.617950
Tel: 03-8052 0181
Hours: 9.30am – 9.30pm daily
Penang One at Kota Damansara
16-1, Jalan PJU5/7,
47810 Kota Damansara, PJ
GPS: 3.151183, 101.056600
Tel: 03-6151 1083
Hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm daily
Penang white curry mee at Mayiang Jaya cafe, PJ
The Penang white curry mee stall at Mayiang Jaya Cafe is one of my latest discovery in this category. All the essential ingredients is presence except prawns. Mint leaves and long beans sort of make up for it I guess, I always ask for more pork blood here. It is perhaps the weaker version among the four, but still one that manage to satisfy my cravings.
Mayiang Jaya cafe
28, Jalan SS26/4,
Taman Mayang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya 47301 Selangor
GPS: 3.116374, 101.604224
Hours: breakfast and lunch