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Category / Ampang

After passing Jalan Semarak en route to work for the past 6 months or so, I finally decided to check out the wet market/medan selera look alike building at the intersection of Jalan Semarak and Jalan Padang Tembak in the morning.

It turned out to be another good food find.

Nasi Kerabu at Medan Selera Semarak
Nasi Kerabu at Medan Selera Semarak

Selera Semarak is one of the older type of food court serving mostly Malay and Mamak food. After scouting the place for a little bit, I decided to order nasi kerabu from the second stall on the right of the entrance.

the blue colored rice is the result of butterfly-pea flower (kembang telang)
the blue colored rice is the result of butterfly-pea flower (kembang telang)

For those who aren’t familiar with nasi kerabu, it is a traditional Kelantanese dish with the signature blue rice. The color is obtained from the buds of butterfly-pea flower (kembang telang), which also gives it a distinct aroma.

Chopped long bean, cabbage, coconut sambal, and keropok (prawn crackers) makes up the rest of the dish. I added a fried chicken drumstick for good measure.

a cacophony of flavors, perfect for breakfast
a cacophony of flavors, perfect for breakfast 

I really liked the coconut sambal though it proved to be quite spicy, the aroma of blue rice and freshness of those vegetable made this a pretty awesome dish. For about RM 5 including the chicken, this was definitely one of the better breakfasts I’ve had in recent time.

map to Selera Semarak

Address:
Selera Semarak
Jalan Semarak
Kementah, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.175878,101.720737
Hours: Breakfast and Lunch

A few weeks ago I had a couple hours and a hungry stomach to kill before a futsal session at Ampang Sports Planet. Since Dato’ Keramat is sort of a half way point between where I was and where I need to be, I thought I’d explore the area a little bit and see what I can feed myself.

Malay roti canai/roti arab stall at Dato' Keramat market
Malay roti canai/roti arab stall at Dato’ Keramat market

My initial plan was to have the ikan bakar (grilled fish) for dinner, unfortunately at almost 6pm in the evening, the stall has already closed for business (even though it says until 6:30pm).

Walking about the market and around the area, I spotted this roti telur/roti arab stall by the makeshift food court/restaurant opposite the LRT station .

the roti is a quite unique, puffed up and slightly sweet
the roti is a quite unique, puffed up and slightly sweet

After a brief description by the friendly waitress on what exactly this roti arab is about, I ordered a portion to load up some carb before exercise. Like roti canai, you can have it with curry, and I think it will also go very well with some condensed milk.

The ingredients of roti arab is pretty similar to normal bread, with the addition of butter on top of yeast, flour, and some sugar. The dough is then pan fried instead of baked.

I think it tastes great with some fish curry
I think it tastes great with some fish curry

I find myself enjoying roti arab quite a bit. It is easy to eat, almost like in between roti canai and normal bread. Dip it wet with fish curry and viola, instant carb loading that cost less than RM 3 including a glass of teh-o-ais. Perfect afternoon in-between meals.

I hope more places started serving this.

map to dato' keramat wet market

Address:
Dato’ Keramat Market
Opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT
Jalan Dato’ Keramat
GPS3.165396, 101.73118

Ampang Park is said to be the oldest shopping mall of such set up in the country. First opened its door in 1973, this place has been in existence since our current Prime Minister’s father was in office as the Prime Minster.

Recently, my office moved to Intermark, which is located just right across the road from Ampang Park, so naturally I went to check out some of the lunch options at this place since the two buildings are connected by a skybridge.

food court at Ampang Park, the oldest shopping mall in Malaysia
food court at Ampang Park, the oldest shopping mall in Malaysia

As it turns out, the oldest mall also has one of the oldest food courts at the top floor. There are a variety of hawker stalls at the area, but two that caught my eyes were the Korean and the Vietnamese food outlets.

Both of these places are pork free, and offers exceptional value.

Vietnamese beef, chicken or fish noodle at RM 5.00 to RM 6
Vietnamese beef, chicken or fish noodle at RM 5.00 to RM 6.00

The Vietnamese dishes are typically made from the same soup base, you can get beef noodle, beef stew noodle, beef ball noodle, chicken noodle, and like the example above, fish noodle for the price of RM 4.50 to RM 6.00.

There’s mint leaves, fish sauce, and a soup base that’s undoubtedly Vietnamese, but don’t expect great cut of beef or beef tendons in them. A pair of spring rolls here goes for RM 2.50 and they are rather decent too.

The Vietnamese lady who operate this place doesn’t speak much English, but can converse in Malay, and of course in Vietnamese.

kimchi soup ramen for RM 7.00
kimchi soup ramen for RM 7.00

If you fancy some cheap Korean food, just look at the busiest stall in this food court.

The menu here includes Korean glass noodle with soup (RM 6.50), seafood noodle soup (RM 6.50), mixed vegetable rice (RM 6.50), kimchi rice roll (RM 6.50), bibimbap (RM 7), kimchi pancake (RM 6.50), kimchi soup rice (RM 7), kimchi fried rice (RM 6.50), and more.

Most of these dishes come with side dishes that includes kimchi, vegetable, bean sprout, and an omelette lookalike thingy.

the ramen noodle comes with a side dish of 4 too
the ramen noodle comes with a side dish of 4 too

My favourite dishes from the Korean food stall is the kimchi ramen noodle that also comes with side dishes that goes for RM 7. The soup isn’t very intense, but for the price you can’t really ask for more. There’s plenty of kimchi and overall taste is rather decent.

The only complain I have is that the portion is perhaps overly huge though.

If you work or happen to around the area and want something cheap and decent for lunch, here’s a food court to check out.

map to Ampang Park

Address:
Ampang Park Food Court
Level 2
Ampang Park Shopping Centre
Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.16054, 101.71947
Hours: weekday lunch

Malaysia is such an awesome country when it comes to celebrating festivals, Hari Raya Adilfitri is basically still on going, but we are already preparing for the next – the mooncake festival that falls on the 15th of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar.

A little over a week ago, we went to InterContinental Hotel to check out their mooncake offerings and I even got my hands on trying out how to make them.

ingredients and method of making mooncake
ingredients and method of making mooncake

Here’s a recipe that’s shared by InterContinental Hotel’s Executive Chinese Chef Wong Lian You. The recipe isn’t exactly too complicated, but you might have a problem if you don’t have the cool wooden mould.

Here’s a recipe that makes 15 pieces of Mini Green Tea Paste with Single Egg Yolk mooncake.

Ingredients (for skin):

  • icing sugar – 600 gram
  • cooked glutinous rice flour – 300 gram
  • shortening- 100 gram
  • green tea powder – 10 gram
  • water – 450 ml

Fillings:

  • green tea paste with sunflower seed – 700 gram
  • salted egg yolk (cooked) – 8 nos

old school wooden mould is used to shape the mooncake
old school wooden mould is used to shape the mooncake

Method:

  • put all ingredients for the skin in the mixing bowl and mix well manually. Let rest for 10 minutes
  • divide green tea paste into 15 portions and roll into a ball, make a depression in the centre and wrap an egg yolk, set aside
  • spread some glutinous rice flour on a table
  • roll out into a strip and cut into 15 poritons, roll and wrap the fillings
  • spread some glutinous rice flour in mooncake mould, put the ingredients and press firmly
  • KNOCK HARD until mooncake falls out!

and I got my hands dirty to mould this mooncake, it was a success!
and I got my hands dirty to mould this mooncake, it was a success!

I’m not so sure if the instructions is any useful, but that’s exactly how they make mooncakes in this hotel, all by hand and all in house. After trying it out for myself making the XL sized mooncake, I now really appreciate the effort it takes into making proper mooncakes. If you don’t get it just right, the skin will be uneven, or worse still, the ingredients spill out.

looks like handbag, but does not smell like one
looks like handbag, but does not smell like one, yes they are mooncake boxes

The mooncakes at InterContinental are priced from about RM 17 to RM 25 each, with the mini almond milk cream with bird’s nest mooncake at RM 33. The best thing here is their super ridiculously cute mooncake box that resembles high fashion handbags, I was equally impressed and amused. Too awesome!

The 7 star premium collection is priced at RM 288, which includes 6 smaller and one giant mooncake.

The full list of flavors (traditional baked):

  • white lotus paste with single egg yolk
  • white lotus paste with double egg yolk (I love double egg yolk and actually want 4 egg yolks!)
  • pure white lotus paste with nuts
  • pandan paste with egg custard and walnuts
  • bamboo charcoal paste with pumpkin seeds
  • assorted nuts paste with chicken ham

Snow skin:

  • mini white chocolate snow skin with dark chocolate paste and rice crunch
  • mini duo roseberry snow skin with spirulina paste and gummy candy
  • mini peanut butter snow skin with dark chocolate paste and mixed nuts
  • mini tiramisu paste with dried mix fruits and raisins
  • mini green tea paste with single egg yolk
  • mini durian meat with oats
  • mini almon milk cream with bird’s nest

mooncake tray, and pick your own tea at Intercontinental KL
mooncake tray, and pick your own tea at Intercontinental KL

After messing about at the demonstration, we proceeded to OneSixFive to sample the exclusive afternoon tea showcasing their mooncakes.

The mooncake comes in a unique stand (RM128++ per stand for 2 persons) while you pick the tea (by TEALEAVES) from the box by first sampling them by smell. It’s quite a high life and there’s certainly more than enough mooncakes to go around for two person.

mooncakes from InterContinental KL
mooncakes from InterContinental KL

As for the mooncakes, I find myself still gravitate towards the traditional white lotus paste with double egg yolk. The durian mooncake here was positively potent and should satisfy any durian lovers. I was a bit impartial to the gummy bear version though some really liked it. Other flavors were all pretty much spot on.

Oh, as for the bird’s nest mooncake, while interesting and certainly luxurious, it was tough to actually taste the bird’s nest itself due to the stronger tasting paste/skin necessary for a mooncake. Credit must be given to Chef Wong & Chef Lo for pushing the envelop though.

we had fun at the event, thanks to Chef Wong and Chef Lo
we had fun at the event, thanks to Chef Wong and Chef Lo

Mooncake festival lasts through 19th September, 2013. If you’re looking for some gift ideas, I gotta say that so far the handbag packaging here is the most impressive of all

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Intercontinental Hotel
165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
Tel: 03-2161 1111
Web: www.intercontinental.com

As someone who loves coffee, I quite happy to see that we are slowly developing a coffee culture in Klang Valley. While it used to be just a few big chains to consider when you want a good cup of espresso based caffeinated drinks, we now have many independent coffee outlets to choose from.

Today we are going to check out That Latte Place, a very small all-day breakfast and coffee outlet at Ampang Hilir.

beautiful latte, served at a place that looks like a vacation spot
beautiful latte, served at a place that looks like a vacation spot

The restaurant is hidden within Yayasan Seni Berdaftar. There is a small semi-alfresco dining area with a few tables and an even smaller kitchen.The man behind this place is Mark, an ex white collar executive who decided to pursue his passion in F&B instead of being a rat in the race.

I love the place, it gives me a very zen and relaxing ambiance not unlike one you get from being on a vacation in a tropical island a few hours’ flight away.

one of my favorite egg benedicts
one of my favorite egg benedicts

The coffee at That Latte Place is smooth, strong, and just the way I like my coffee to be. Americano is RM 5, latte and cappucino at RM 8, and I believe they probably serve the cheapest affogato at RM 6.

Non caffeinated drinks include hot hazelnut milk (RM 7), hot chocolate (RM 9), and some bottled fruit tea drinks.

hearty breakfast, fajita 'TLP' style, house egg ben
hearty breakfast, fajita ‘TLP’ style, house egg ben

Food wise, the menu only consists of half a dozen different entries, and so far we’ve tried half of them.

Hearty Breakfast (RM 17.90) comes with chicken sausage, scrambled egg with mushroom, tomato, baked beans, and served with homemade toast. It might not be as big as those big breakfasts from places like Antipodean, the dish is more than enough to satisfy.

House Egg Ben (RM 17.90 double, RM 12.90 single) proved to be one of my favorite dishes here. The dish is deceptively simple, but execution is key here, perfect poached eggs aren’t easy to prepare and I love it when they’re done right. The Hollandaise sauce is brilliant as well.

My lunch partners were happy with their Fajita ‘TLP’ Style (RM 8.90) and gave positive feedbacks. The dish consists of chicken in Mexican herbs sauce, classic pesto, and with capsicum and lettuce wrapped in pita bread.

Sheng, KY, Joyce, Kelly
Sheng, KY, Joyce, Kelly

Ever since my first visit, I’ve been there pretty much every other week. Parking is easy, ambiance is great, and the coffee is superb at That Latte Place, now if they only serve bacon… (it is pork free)

Unlike donuts, bubble tea, and gourmet burgers, the emergence of coffee culture in Malaysia seems to be a slow and steady process. Which means it’s going to stay and not taper off as soon as it gets started.

That Latte Plate is located at Ampang Hilir

Address:
That Latte Place
333 Persiaran Ritchie,
Off Jalan Ritchie,
55000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159108, 101.74026
Tel: 016-850 3546