While Penang and Ipoh hawker dishes have been a mainstay in Klang Valley for decades, Sarawakian cuisine seems to be just starting to make its mark here, a welcoming sign to those who loves hawker fare for sure. One of the latest to join the scene is Da Niu Sarawake Kuching Kolomee at PJ.
Restoran Tropikiri, Bukit Mayang Emas
Ah Niu sets up stall at the cheekily named Restoran Tropikiri at Bukit Mayang Emas, a stone’s throw away from the rather “atas” neighbourhood of Tropicana, while also easily accessible from Bandar Utama and PJ via Kampung Chempaka.
Plenty of parking space by the same row of shops, though you may have to walk a few steps.
Da Niu stall is operated by Da Niu himself and the wife Heidi since early Q2 2018, both hailed from the land of the hornbills.
Da Niu Sarawak Kolomee
The Sarawak kolomee is of Da Niu’s own recipe, and comes with the normal or “red” version with those yummy chasiu sauce (strongly recommend going with the latter).
In a bowl of kolomee you’ll also find chasiu, fried wantan, minced pork, and an accompanying small bowl of soup. The chasiu was one of the better ones for sure, soft, juicy, and full of flavor, do tell them if you like it fatty or lean and they are more than happy to accommodate.
very good chasiu & love those springy noodle
I also particularly enjoy the accompanying soup, which has a lot more going on than your typical wantan mee bland tasting soup that doesn’t do anything other than offering a way to wet your noodle.
With the springy, curly noodle and everything that goes on here, this is becoming one of my favorite kolomee now.
Other than kolomee, they also offer Sarawak Laksa. In fact, I had actually tried the laksa first before going again for the kolomee on second trip.
Sarawak laksa is quite legit too
The Sarawak laksa comes with the usual ingredients of bean sprout, sea prawns, eggs, cilantro, and shredded chicken. I thought it tasted pretty decent though with a bit of room for improvement.
According to Heidi, Kuching style laksa is usually a little less creamy, but that does not seem to resonate with the taste buds of those in Klang Valley, so it is something they’re still working on.
For now though, I’d certainly go back for that kolomee!
Kuih Teow Soup is one of those Penang hawker food that receive very little attention in Klang Valley, and I believe this is mostly due to the fact that pork noodle and the KL style fishball noodle (very subtle differences) serves most of the same demographic that gravitates towards this type of dishes.
do re mi kopitiam at Ara Damansara
Here’s the subtle differences in these three types of noodle soup, even though their broth are all clear and choice of noodle is usually kuih teow (flat rice noodle):
pork noodle – major ingredients of pork slices, innards, and even pork balls, sometimes you get to add poached egg, no bean sprouts
KL style fish ball noodle – fish ball, fish cake, bean sprout, mustard green
Penang kuih teow soup – fish ball, fish cake, chicken/pork/duck meat slices, bean sprouts, sometimes with coagulated duck/chicken blood, spring onion
So in essence, kuih teow soup has a more complex taste when compared to plain old fish ball noodle, while being not as savory and heavy as pork noodle.
For a proper bowl of Penang kuih teow soup in Klang Valley, my favorite at the moment is the hawker stall at Do Re Mi kopitiam at Ara Damansara. It is one of the very few places in town that serves kuih teow soup with duck meat. Duck meat is an ingredient that you don’t often find in hawker dishes in KL, I suppose mostly due to cost, and perhaps lesser appreciation from the public.
kuih teow th’ng, with duck meat
If you’re a fan of kuih teow soup in it’s proper form, this is surely a place to check out. Let me know if you have other favorites of yours to share.
Address: Restaurant DoReMi 123 Jalan PJU 1a/20b Ara Damansara Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.119897, 101.579194
When it comes to good old fashion fried rice for lunch, one of the best places you can go to Restoran Hup Soon at Petaling Jaya SS3.
The operator from the stall that specialize fried rice is originally from Kedah and has been operating in the same stall for over a decade, serving up the same recipe from all those years.
egg with runny yolk is my favorite
A plate of fried rice comes with finely chopped long beans & char siu, egg, crunchy bean sprouts, and prawns. I’d also strongly suggest that you ask for an additional fried egg that’s perfectly fried with the egg yolk that remains runny.
The fried rice is also served with some chili padi for those who loves a bit of kick, tho I think it’ll really be perfect if there’s some proper Penang sambal here.
If you’re a fried rice lover, this is definitely a place to check out.
Address: Restoran Hup Soon 7, Jalan SS 3/29, Taman University, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.095309, 101.611128 Hours: breakfast & lunch
Back in late 2015 I was involved in The Star R.AGE food fight competition, it was one of the highlights of my online writing career to stand along the likes of Chef Wan & Chef Darren Chin as one of judges of the cooking competition. One of the finalists of the competition was Ahong Yeang, who was already running a small restaurant at University Hospital then.
Sometimes around Q3 21017, Ahong moved on from his previous joint and opened Grub by Ahong & Friends at Seksyen 17. I finally visited a couple weeks ago.
Grub by Ahong & Friends, Petaling Jaya, Seksyen 17
Grub by Ahong & Friends is located at the small rows of shops right behind Happy Mansion (possibly the birthplace of hipster food in PJ?). Parking can sometimes be a bit challenging for those who can’t walk more than a couple dozen steps, but alas, the walk back to the car after a good meal can be a healthy exercise.
Grub serves a selection of Western dishes at very reasonable prices. The restaurant itself is minimalist but comfortable, with a few tables and open kitchen at the ground floor, and more seating area upstairs. Yes, there’s air conditioning.
beet root salad & wine
To keep prices low, Ahong came up the system of ordering by pencil & paper as well as self-serviced drinks you pick up from the counter where you also find cutlery, plates, and glasses. Corkage is RM 7 per pax but if you spare a glass for the good chef then that is waived. Grub also carries a small selection of wine.
We started the night with beet root salad (RM 13.50) that came with roasted beetroot, fresh fruits, feta cheese, rockets, honey, and nuts. A simple mesh up that leaves me wanting more.
local seafood bouillabaisse, wagyu steak
For main I picked steak, the picture above is wagyu rump, wagyu ribeye is priced at RM 145 but they ran out that night. Again another spot on execution with no fuss and great ingredients.
My partner in crime picked the local seafood bouillabaisse (RM 25) which is served with grilled white fish, clams, squid & prawns in lightly spiced seafood soup with pasta & sourdough bun. A comforting dish if you’re looking for something lighter. Also their sourdough bun was actually very good as well.
carrot cake, chocolate tart, fruits in ice, Ahong
We rounded up dinner with carrot cake (RM 10) and chocolate tart (RM 12), and were also served Grub’s signature fresh fruits in tear-drop ice that is on the house.
Overall it was a great no-fuss dining experience. We ended up spending another couple hours chatting with Ahong until his staffs lowered the shop grill half way. Fantastic night and will definitely go again.
When it comes to Chinese tai chao restaurants, you often find very conventional names that usually involves someone’s surname or places of origin. XFrens Cafe & Restaurant though, likes to be a bit different, so I was looking at a map and this name came up, I’d have thought that they probably serve good pastry and maybe some warm pies…
Restaurant Xfrens, Subang Jaya SS18
Well, I have no idea what went through the owners’ thought process when they came up with the name, but we’re here for the food, and in this regard they definitely put in more thoughts than the naming exercise.
XFrens is located at Subang Jaya SS18, with few busy shops around the same short row of shop houses in the evening, parking your car is usually a relatively painless process. However, do plan to get there early as the place usually gets rather busy and fetch quite a long queue on weekend busy dinner hours. I’d say anytime before 6:30 or 6:45 pm and you should have a table immediately.
The menu at Xfrens is pretty comprehensive, with different sections offering dishes involving poultry, seafood, vegetable, tofu, and such.
For the group of 6 of us over dinner, we ordered five dishes to share.
“siong thong” lala, pumpkin tofu, paku with chili padi
Siong Thong Lala was a pretty decent dish that provides some spicy soup to open up the appetite, the shellfish was of decent size and freshness. Pumpkin tofu was one of their signature dishes, and one that provides a nice contrast in texture and taste, crispy on the outside with stronger tasting sauce, while soft and mild within.
I was also very glad that we ordered paku with chili padi, one of my favorite type of vegetable that should be more popular here (as they are in Borneo). This is one vege that I’ll order again.
garlic pork, teow chew style steamed red snapper
Garlic pork is another must-order at Xfrens, and it is what we’re here for. The dish was basically a dish of deep fried pork with many, many cloves of garlic. It was as simple as it was tasty, the combination was an assault to the senses in the best ways.
The last dish we shared was steamed red snapper teow chew style. This dish was executed rather well, with ingredients you’d expect from a typical toew chew steamed fish – tomato, tofu, salted vegetable, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chili. I enjoyed this quite a lot too.
The dinner came to be around RM 40 per pax including drinks, a fair price considering the fact that we ordered quality fish as well as lala. Would definitely come here again.