Category / Subang & Sunway
June 19, 2013
It’s been a while since I last had a buffet dinner, and almost one year ago since I had my last eat-all-you-can dinner with Shah, so when Saujana Hotel asked for a review their Flavours of Sri Lanka promotion at Suria Cafe, I took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Suria Cafe at The Saujana Hotel
For those who are unfamiliar with The Saujana Hotel, it is located close to the old Subang Airport. The hotel has a beautiful 18 hole golf course right next to it that provides lush green views from most of its rooms and restaurants, including Suria Cafe.
Unlike most hotels in the city, parking space’s ample at The Saujana, and they are free. The only downside is that traffic along Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance during rush hours due to the LRT extension constructions lately. Something that might not be a problem anymore when you read this.
prawn baduma, lamb black pepper curry,
cashew and drumstick meat mitikirata, chicken red curry
From the 17 June to 27 June 2013, you can get a taste of Sri Lanka at Suria Cafe as the hotel brought three of the best chefs from Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo to provide their expertise in Sri Lankan cuisine.
Executive sous chef, Chef Clifford, senior sous chef, Chef Wijesiri, and chef Chandana lend a hand at the kitchen of Suria Cafe are the three Lankan-teers at work for this period. The two sous chefs combined to have over 60 years of cooking experience, so you know you’re not getting your food from any amateurs of the industry.
traditional festive yellow rice, beef curry, fish stew, Sri Lankan desserts
While this was the first time I had proper Sri Lankan food, it really did not taste unfamiliar. So far as ingredients and cooking method is concerned, it shows pretty big influence from South Indian cuisine due to geographical proximity and common colonial history.
Festive yellow rice looks similar to briyani but tastes a lot more subtle in flavor due to the lack of meat, it does however, go very well with stronger tasting dishes such as prawn baduma, black pepper lamb curry, or chicken red curry.
chicken and vegetable kottu, plain hoppers with lunu miris
While many of the dishes has some heat in it, they are generally not overly spicy for those who are already well versed with Malaysian food. One of the noted dish that I find quite unique was the cashew with drumstick curry, drumstick here is the seed pods for Moringa oleifera and not your favorite piece of chicken meat. Soft cashew and the distinct taste of spices brought a new experience to my taste buds.
whole lot of other selections on the buffet bar too
Chicken and vegetable kottu is a dish that looks pretty similar to the Nyonya “jiuhu char” but instead of cuttle fish and mengkuang you have shredded roti, vegetables, and chicken. It was pretty good.
My favorite dishes of the evening was the Sri Lankan hoppers, something that looks like our Indian Apom but comes with “lunu miris” – mixed of chili flakes, red onions, sea salt, lime juice, etc. It was like a spicy version of apom/pancake thingy that I wish I could get for breakfast by the streets. You can have hoppers with an egg in the middle as well.
the men behind the food on top, KY & Shah were only there to eat
In addition to Sri Lankan dishes, the buffet spread at Suria Cafe still includes many of the local favorites and some international dishes such as bread, cheese, apple crumble, soup, cakes, and more.
Flavours of Sri Lanka ends 27th June 2013 and priced at RM 90++ for buffet dinner, RM 70++ for buffet lunch.
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
GPS: 3.108849, 101.578474
Tel: 03-7843 1234
June 14, 2013
I love me some good steaks, and while we have plenty of awesome affordable good foods in Malaysia, steak isn’t exactly one of them. Good steaks are often rather expensive, and the cheaper ones usually left me thinking if I should have been chewing my shoes instead. Hence, we don’t end up having steaks nearly as often as we want to.
My last steak dinner was at Las Vacas at Kelana Jaya, a restaurant with minimal frill and good steak, and it was also where I found out about El Fresco at Jaya Grocer from Lance & Enoch (hello neighbour!) from feedbacks on facebook and Instagram
El Fresco at Jaya Grocer, pick your meat
El Fresco is located at Subang Empire Mall’s Jaya Grocer, and yes, a restaurant within the big grocery store where the tables and seats are arranged pretty close to isles where you find racks of .. well, groceries.
The concept is simple, go to the meat section (or fish if you want to have salmon steak, for example) and pick your steak, then proceed to El Fresco’s counter and hand the meat over and have them cook it. There is no cooking charge for anything over RM 20, and just like Air Asia, if you want extras, you can always add on (salad, mixed vegetable, fries etc)
Angus tenderloin, one with salad, the other with mixed vegetables
Standard cut for steak is usually at around 250-300 gram here, and prices stated at the butchery is by the kilogram. We chose Angus tenderloin (mid-high in price, RM 189/KG) and each slab cost us just under RM 42.00.
In a way, you can go expensive, or you can go much cheaper as well. Lamb rack at RM 85.90/KG, and beef anywhere from RM 99/KG to RM 359/KG for some Wagyu with good marble ratings.
I like mine medium rare, and they executed it perfectly
I had my Angus tenderloin medium rare with mixed vegetable, and Haze ordered hers prepared rare with salad. While wait time was a little long (25 minutes) when we were there, it actually wasn’t too bad, you can even walk around and shop a little bit in the mean time.
The steak came out excellent and I really liked my steak pure as is and without any sauce or extra seasoning. The meat tender and juicy, and for under RM 50? An awesome value.
The pizzas & salmon steaks from El Fresco looks good too, and I have a feeling we will be back there pretty soon.
Jaya Grocer, Empire Shopping Gallery
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
February 12, 2013
Chinese New Year is the time for family and friends to sit together for a good meal, and after so many traditional Chinese dishes, it’s good to take a break and get something that’s a little different. Which was why I was quite delighted to be invited to Kelantan Delights for a food tasting session about a week ago to sample some of what they have to offer, with a promise of a twist.
Kelantan Delights at Subang Jaya
Kelantan Delights is a classy restaurant that serves Kelantan and Southern Thai cuisines, for the past 10 years or so they called KLCC home, but have since moved to SS 16 Subang Jaya as well as a branch at Sooka Sentral. The restaurant was also judged as the best Halal Malay Restaurant 2005/06 by Halal Journal.
So we did expect some quality here.
tid bits to start, our menu of the night
While waiting for guests to arrive, we were served with some tid bits consisting keropok lekor, cucur udang, pohpiah goreng and so forth. They were presented like tapas, and we certainly welcomed them.
somtam yee sang, something different
A pretty long lion dance routine later, we gathered around and had a round of “lou sang” session that I’ve never experienced before – with somtam yee sang! It was refreshing and different, but to be honest, I did miss the raw fish a bit. I think having a few slices of raw salmon might make this even better. Fans of somtam would certainly love this.
pohpiah basah and coconut tomyam with prawn
Our first dish was pohpiah basah. Filled with sengkuang, vege, carrots and more. It tasted pretty good especially with the chili sauce and crushed peanuts provided. My only complain is that the skin was a tad too thick.
Next come Kelantan Delights’ specialty – coconut tomyam with prawn. It was one of the spiciest tomyam soup I’ve ever had, but I finished it all. The sweet coconut meat somehow worked wonderfully with the sourness and spiciness of tomyam, I wonder why it wasn’t served everywhere.
ayam masak merah, garupa with dried chili, butter prawn, sayur kolok
Ayam masak merah was properly cooked and flavored heavily but in a good way, best served with steamed rice. Garupa with dried chili was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, it was surprisingly easy to consume, no messy bones to deal with as the preparation method have dealt with that problem.
I thought the butter prawn was perhaps a bit too soft, but it was flavored “correctly”, and sayur kolok was a welcoming change in taste with the coconut milk based soup that mellows back our taste buds down a bit.
kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, kerabu ikan bilis
A trio of spicy vegetables followed. Kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, and kerabu ikan bilis. These dishes were good, and while slightly over powering eating them on their own, some steamed rice or fried rice would be wonderful to accompany them.
daging bakar, sambal udang petai, nasi goreng ikan masin
By this time, I was already pretty much over stuffed. So the daging bakar, while flavorful, was perhaps a bit filling for me. But as a petai fan, I really enjoyed the sambal udang petai dish (and again wished I had some steamed rice!)
By the time nasi goreng ikan masin was served, I was only able to sample a small spoonful. I liked it.
bubur pulut hitam, lompat tikam, Fresh, KY, Haze
Dessert came in the form of bubur pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) and lompat tikam (jump & stab, what a name!). I managed to sample a bit of these sweet dishes and my tastebuds were left wanting for more with my stomach begging me to stop.
If I were to come to Kelantan Delights myself, I’d probably limit my orders to 5-6 dishes for a group of 6, and have some steamed rice to go with some of the spicy dishes, and definitely the tomyam. As for somtam yee sang, well, you might want to try something at least once, right?
Ground Floor East Wing Wisma Consplant 1.
No 2 Jalan SS16/4 47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.081102, 101.583806
Tel: 03-5611 7845
December 3, 2012
A couple weeks ago we found ourselves at Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang during dinner time, the girls decided that we should dine at Serai. A decision I very much supported since Malay restaurants that serves made to order food aren’t exactly the most common type of eateries in the country, and it’s been a while since I went to one. (Alicafe TigaRasa at USJ)
Serai at Empire Shopping Gallery
According to Horng, the restaurant was pretty quiet the first time they tried a month or two ago, but steadily picked up returning customers over that period of time. By now, you often need to wait for a bit to get a seat during busy weekend dinner hours.
Interior decoration is pretty classy, menu easy to read, and the servers seemed to be quite well trained. It is quite similar in setting to some of the more successful modern restaurants in the country, ie: Madam Kwan, Ben’s, etc. Not a bad thing I must say.
deep fried brinjal with spices, our favorite of the day
The menu weren’t super extensive, but covers most of the popular local dishes you’d expect.
The first dish that was served to us was the deep fried brinjal with spices (RM 15). Thinly sliced brinjal deep fried with sugar, spices, and chili, the combination was superb and instantly became one of the very few culinary surprises that I experienced this year.
I highly recommend this dish.
steamed siakap with lime sauce, tomyam seafood, chicken with dried chili
Tomyam seafood (RM 22) here was not particularly spicy, but did come with plenty of seafood ingredients and carries a pretty good aroma with distinctive good tomyam sourness. This is very good for those who can’t have it too spicy and still want to enjoy tomyam closest to it’s pure form.
We were delighted by the steamed sea bass with lime sauce (RM 54.99), the fish was fresh and tasty, but the real winner here is the soup base – it was very flavorful and very sour, so much so that it actually overlapped the tomyam a little bit, not that we minded. The only problem with this dish is for the budget conscious, for over RM 50 a pop, it’s definitely not cheap.
Chicken with dried chili (RM 15) turned out to be just a kung pao chicken dish basically. It was decent, but lack the kick and spiciness that I usually expect from it.
deep fried salted egg with squid, berry pavlova
The deep fried salted egg with squid (RM 20), another classic Chinese tai chao dish that isn’t always available at Malay restaurants, is perhaps the only dish that disappointed me. It was a bit too wet, sweet, and too chewy for my liking. Your experience might vary.
For dessert lovers, the pavlova (14.8) is something to check out. It was sweet, crunchy, and simply delicious. The experience was like the best of macaroon, strawberry, and cake toppings all in one. I’m not a dessert lover, but this one I don’t mind at all, it was delicious!
While there are some creative and interesting drinks at Serai, they certainly don’t come cheap. Serai iced tea was RM 12 each, and milky bandung will cost you RM 8.5. Even though the iced tea comes with fresh lemongrass and a scoop of lime ice cream, I felt that it is still a bit too pricey for that sort of setting, if you don’t want to burst your budget, there’s always ice water.
Ultimately, while Serai at Empire is not the most budget friendly of restaurants, the quality of food and ambiance make it a place worth visiting, so if you are looking for some modern Malay cuisine, this is certainly a place to check out
LG 37, Empire Shopping Gallery
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
Tel: 03-5611 3200
July 25, 2012
Most of us know Alicafe as the tongkat ali infused canned coffee drinks. In fact, it is my favorite driving companion to keep me awake whenever I’m on one of those balik kampung drives on the highway.
There’s more than just drinks when it comes to this brand, now there’s an Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant. I was one of the lucky few who was invited to get a taste of what they have to offer just a few days ago.
Alicafe Tiga Rasa restaurant, at USJ Taipan
Located at USJ Taipan, Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant offers Malay cuisine in a contemporary setting and pretty good range of menu. The restaurant is tastefully decorated, giving it a bit of a kampung feel, but of course, dining area’s air conditioned.
The kitchen area is separated by glass, you can actually see your food being cooked (side effect: they always have to keep the place spotlessly clean).
here’s the TigaRasa secret – sambal lemak, gulai lemak, and hebi-hiam
Now here’s how this restaurant got it’s name, tiga sara (three flavors) – from the three different traditional Malay sauces:
- Gulai Lemak – the creamy coconut based sauce with kunyit, sambal, and lemongrass. Rich and flavorful
- Sambal Lemak – a classic with plenty of chili, garlic, some coconut milk, and other spices
- Sambal Hebi-Hiam – now this one is interesting, hebi means dried shrimp and hiam translate to spicy in Hokkien. So yah, this is inspired by Nyonya cuisine and prepared with dried shrimps, curry leaves, onions, garlic, and more.
ikan pari, grilled lamb, and grilled chicken in different sambal, vegetable
You can then mix and match the three sauces with ikan pari (stingray) or ikan selar (yellowtail scad), grilled lamb chop, grilled chicken, mixed grill, or mixed vegetables. For those who like it even hotter, you can always customize the order with added chili padi too.
I tried the three sauces with pari, mixed vegetable, and lamb, and it is pretty difficult to pick a favorite. Each one offers a different experience, but they share the same characteristic of being rich and flavorful. I like the fact that terung (brinjal) and other vegetable is added onto the meat/seafood dish too. Goes well with steamed rice.
siakap tomyam, curry fish head, and fried chicken
Other than dishes prepared from those three sauces, Alicafe TigaRasa offers dishes such as siakap tomyam, curry fish head, fried chicken and more.
Saikap tomyam (barramundi) is deep fried but served with spicy tomyam sauce, and the curry fish head reminds me of my mom’s style of cooking, the Nyonya version of curry that is slightly milder (unlike some Indian style would) yet plenty delicious.
The fried chicken has a hint of belacan to it, a very different style from some of those “KFC copycats”, and definitely a taste that I’m familiar of from the mixture of Nyonya-Chinese style of food we get in Penang.
this whole set for 4 can be had for RM 69.90
To be honest, I’m quite impressed with the food at Alicafe TigaRasa, they do fill a niche by offering mostly traditional Malay cuisine with some mixture of other tastes that is still very close to home.
For the puasa month, there’s special promotional set that starts from RM 10.90 that includes a drink, kurma dates, a main course, and Hokkaido cake as dessert. For family of four (or 5), a RM 69.90 set gets you siakap fish, fried chicken, scrambled egg, TigaRasa mix grilled vegetable, Hokkaido cakes, kurma dates, and Alicafe’s homemade Pati Kurma Madu drinks.
the desserts, and the leng lui is of course, Hanis
I can’t wait for them to have more branches!
Alicafe TigaRasa Restaurant
No.8, Jalan USJ 10/1H,
Subang Business Centre,
GPS: 3.04817, 101.68677
Tel: 03-8011 9412