Last weekend I made a short food seeking trip down south to this little kampung at Negeri Sembilan aptly named Pedas (or Spicy in English), as what we’re looking to eat is indeed something spicy!
Sabak Salai, Pedas, Negeri Sembilan
Our destination of the day was Resipi Sabak Salai, a rather popular spot located just 2 kilometers away from Pedas exit point on the North South Highway, which itself is about 20 kilometers south of the more popular Seremban exit.
Sabak Salai has a very simple set up not unlike most Malay road-side restaurants – zinc roof, electric fans, tables and chairs, but no wall or air conditioning.
What you do get though, is a good selection of Negeri Sembilan style dishes – starting with the most important ingredients – daging salai and itik salai, or smoked beef and smoked duck, both in masak lemak cili api- with tumeric, coconut milk, and plenty of hot cili padi.
choices of dishes at Sabak Salai
Additionally, they do also offer ikan masin, ayam goreng, ikan bakar, terung sambal, ulam, and more. My suggestion is to keep your stomach space for dagang salai or itik salai, with a healthy portion of those yellow spicy thick broth to go with steamed rice.
The in-house smoked beef is the star here, they pack a sweet, smokey flavor that I find rather delicious, and the masak lemak broth makes for a perfect compliment with its spicy and rich nature.
daging salai and itik salai with masak lemak cili api
If dining in isn’t enough, they also sell vacuum packed smoked beef as well as masak lemak condiment you can cook at home.
Instead of the usual R&R meal, do consider stopping over Pedas for a meal on your next trip down South.
Address: Sabak Salai No.13, Batu 5 1/2, Kampung Kundur Hulu, 71400 Pedas, Negeri Sembilan GPS: 2.549070, 102.037146 Tel: 06-697 0128 Hours: 10 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays
One of the other places we dined at during the trip to Seremban was this very nice looking restaurant called La Esquina, or “the corner” in Spanish. Naturally, it specialized in Spanish cuisine. The interior of this place is modern yet very cozy, it spots a full bar and has seating areas both in and outdoor. The first Spanish cuisine in Seremban is also probably the nicest decorated restaurant at Era Square.
grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon
La Esquina doesn’t have a huge menu when it comes to food selection, they do, however, serve all sorts of drinks and a variety of tapas. As we were still half full from our very satisfying meal at Kensington, we only had some light dishes at this place.
a full bar and a nicely decorated interior
The grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon slice was a pretty delicious dish. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with grilled asparagus and bacon. The bacon, however, is of the beef variety rather than the non-halal version from pork. Though I think the later might have jazzed up the taste just a tad more, the beef bacon wasn’t a bad substitute.
We also had fresh button mushroom, mussel in white wine sauce, Spanish warm potato salad, and spicy chicken sausage. The tapas were served with slices of bread to go with the sauce that comes with it. I mentioned that the spicy chicken sausage isn’t exactly spicy for our taste, the owner Mr. Satwant explained that the level of spiciness in Spanish cuisine is a lot less than what we are accustomed to.
basque crab casserole
The last dish served was not tapas, but the pretty unique basque crab casserole. Generous portion of crab meat and some other ingredients I can’t name were baked in flowery crab shells. This dish carries a slightly salty taste that I imagine would taste pretty well with some red wine.
La Esquina is located at Era Square
Tapas at La Esquina ranges from RM8 to RM15, the crab casserole goes for RM18 per pair.
Address: No. 49, Jalan Era Walk 3,
70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan GPS: 2.725641,101.930938
One of the eating places I visited at Seremban during the trip was Min Kok, probably the biggest Chinese restaurant in all of Negeri Sembilan. The massive restaurant sits right next to the main commercial center of Era Square (from Era Baru, nearby Terminal 2), can host over 150 tables, and even have a website!
KY, Captain Sam, Owner Joan, Ringo, Nicholas
A group of us arrived at Min Kok on Sunday morning for their famous dim sum and was greeted by Sam, the Captain who has been in the restaurant industry since before I graduate from primary school. The owner, Joan Chong (seated center in the photo above) is actually just a couple years older than me, a very capable lady who also won the Bursa Pursuit Challenge last year and walked away with RM 100,000 prize money, not to mention owning this huge restaurant. But never mind, I shall console myself with the fact that I own this blog…
Restaurant Min Kok Sdn Bhd
Anyway, lets get back to the more relevant important bit.
Sam told us that a typical morning at Min Kok starts very early, the chefs and kitchen helpers come in at around 4am to start preparing the food as they want to have their dim sum fresh and not left overnight. Some 40-50 serving staffs come in at around 6 something, and usually, there are already customers waiting at the door.
check out the scallop dim sum!
We were served quite a variety of their offering. The steamed dim sum were fresh and tasted very good, I particularly love the scallop dim sum, very luxurious and actually quite hard to find else where. The prawn dim sum, stuffed chili, and ribs were all rather delicious too. We had about a dozen types in all.
porridge, siu pao, egg tart, fried carrot cake
Other than the steamed dim sum, we also had some fried snacks, porridge, fried carrot cake, chee cheong fun, egg tart, and Min Kok’s version of the famous Seremban siu pao. I gotta say I was quite impressed with the quality of food there. The siu pao was actually so good I had to dedicate a picture just for it.
the yummy Seremban siu pao
As for price, the dim sum goes from RM 2.00 (porridge) to RM 5.00 (the scallop), very reasonable especially if you factor in the fact that this place is fully air conditioned, and has plenty of staff to keep a good service level. Which explains why this place is always packed despite having over a hundred tables for the morning crowd.
map to Min Kok at Era Square
Address: No 7645, Lot 5990,
Jalan Labu Lama, (Terminal 2),
Negeri Sembilan Tel:06-761 8458
A couple weekends ago Suanie, Nicholas, and I arranged a trip down to Seremban to lepak a bit at Era Square, a pretty new commercial area just right to the yet-to-be-opened Terminal 2 interstate bus terminal. We met up with Cheeser the local girl there, and of course, the first agenda after the 45 minutes drive from KL is to get our stomach stuffed.
the awesome prawn, and live oyster from Canada
Due to the power that be, we had an invitation to eat at Kensington, a nicely decorated Western/Fusion restaurant. The owner Grace Chia had prepared a total of 8 dishes for us, she was super friendly and actually sat us through the whole meal to tell us everything about the individual dishes and how they (with her husband the chef) got into this business.
Grace actually lived in UK for quite a number of years and have been involved with satisfying stomachs of the public for over 15 years. Kensington at Era Square is their latest venture.
KY, Grace the owner, and Ringo (Cheeser)
Now lets get to the food, shall we? Since there are so many dishes and Grace had laboriously explained each of them to me, I think I shall just list them one by one here.
Prawn Mango Salad (RM 18.50) – This is one Suanie’s favorite, an American recipe that has the prawn cooked with fresh mango (seafood and fruit, interesting heh?). The slightly sourly sauce is particularly excellent, very buttery and flavorful.
Aromatic Crispy Duck (RMR 18.50) – A quarter duck peeled off from the bone, served with lettuce, cucumber, and plum sauce. I find this to actually taste better than the Schezuan duck I had at Soho, 1 Utama. The fresh vegetable compliments the taste of duck meat and the sauce very well.
prawn mango salad, aromatic crispy duck, live oyster, and baked potato
Live Oyster (RM 6.50) – Flown from Canada, fat and juicy. You can have them cheese baked for an extra buck.
Baked Potato – Somehow I have lost the description for this dish, but if you like potato and cheese, do not miss it!
Filet Steak with Shitake Sauce (RM 31.50) – A generous serving of beef with the shitake mushroom in with cream and a touch of wine. I gotta admit that this dish did not look like a proper steak and I had doubts about it. However, a bite the red meat confirmed what Suan kept telling me “You gotta try this, it’s great omg!”
filet steak, lamb shank, chicken veronique, and mushroom soup
Lamb Shank (RM 18.50) – A huge piece of lamb shank serve prepared with black pepper sauce. The meat is very tender and it definitely tastes better than those you can order from the particular chain restaurant famous for their cakes. A very good value too.
Chicken Veronique (RM 15.30) – Chicken breast cooked with grapes (yes grapes!), cream, and white wine. While chicken breast is chicken breast, the sauce made all the difference, a very interesting taste with actual pieces of grape in it. Though I’m not used to having chicken served this way, I like it.
Mushroom Soup and Garlic Bread – When the mushroom soup came, I was already more than half full and wasn’t exactly overly keen on “just mushroom soup”. Grace proved me wrong, the soup actually have bits of onion, potato, shitake mushroom, and celery in it that made the taste and texture that much better. Goes very well with the garlic bread too!
Suan doesn’t eat oyster, so I had extra. Grace the friendly owner
This is certainly one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. I really really wish Kensington can open a branch just outside next to my house. The price is very affordable, and the food is excellent, combined with a comfortable dining area, there isn’t anything to complain about.
I am sure I will go there again, after all, going to Seremban can actually be faster than heading down town KL sometimes.
Kensington is situated at Era Square, just 5 minutes from Seremban Toll
Address: Kensington Western Restaurant
34, Jalan Era Square 3,
70200 Seremban, N. Sembilan GPS: 2.726541, 101.931442