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I was contacted by Amalina from Unreserved magazine to give my inputs on several restaurants I would recommend for dining on different occasions sometimes late last month, and now the magazine article is out. You can click on the three thumbnails below to access the full article in all its full PDF glory.

unreserved story 1unreserved story 2unreserved story 3

I was joined by two other prominent writers in the interview for this piece, Sean of Eat, Drink KL who is usually first to write about any new restaurant that opens up, and Kelly Siew, who is as talented a singer as she is in her food adventure.

Unreserved magazine Oct Vol.1 (Issue 95) is available at MPH stores around Klang Valley, and their FB page is at facebook.com/unreservedmagazine. Thank you Amalina.

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Some of you who has been following this site for a while know that I have a certain soft spot for coagulated pork blood, pork kidney, and bitter gourd, so when I found out that there’s a stall that happens to offer all these ingredients in one dish, I just had to try it.

The said stall is the appropriately named Bitter Gourd Soup with Rice/Mee, located at the right side of the popular food court if you’re going in from the main entrance. of Taman Megah Ming Tien

Bitter Gourd with mixed pork soup stall at Ming Tien food court
Bitter Gourd with mixed pork soup stall at Ming Tien food court

The formula here is pretty simple, choose from the various (mostly) pork ingredients and the operator will boil them together with bitter gourd soup, you can then consume your loot with rice or your choice of noodle.

Among the ingredients to choose from are intestine, coagulated blood, pork slices, fried pork skin, kidney, liver, fuchuk (soya skin), tofu, meat balls, fish balls, and fish cakes.

you can have it with rice or various types of noodle
you can have it with rice or various types of noodle

I usually gets a bit carried away when ordering from here. My typical bowl of bitter gourd soup includes at least blood, kidney, tofu, meat, pork skin, and sometimes more. You should always attack the kidney/liver first as they may tend to get overcooked if being left too long. I would like the coagulated blood here to be slightly softer, but that’s just nitpicking.

I love it, all the essential nutrients and satisfaction for my blood thirstiness
I love it, all the essential nutrients and satisfaction for my blood thirstiness

A bowl of bitter gourd soup here goes from just above RM 6 to over RM 10 depending on what you put inside. Worth it? Yes!

The stall operates till pretty late at night.

map to ming tien food court

Address:
Ming Tien Hawker Center
Jalan SS24/8, Taman Megah,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.114334, 101.611658

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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
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
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
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
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
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.

map to Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa

Address:
Maruhi Sakaba
6A, Faber Plaza,
Jalan Desa Jaya,
Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.102578, 101.682947
Hours 6 pm-11 pm daily, closed on Mondays

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Horng and I were both from the same “11200” postcode back in Penang, an area that is called Tanjung Bunga (literally cape of flower). So it was a bit of a wonder why it took us so long to step into the Tanjung Bunga nyonya restaurant at SS2 despite having driven by the shop lots on multiple occasions over the years.

well, my very first address was under the Tg. Bungah postcode
well, my very first address was under the Tg. Bungah postcode

As a rule of thumb, if a restaurant has been there for ages and do very little in terms of decoration or renovation, chances are the food is usually at least decent.

In that sense, Tanjung Bunga Penang Nyonya Cuisine is one such places, the interior is rather basic but clean, with air conditioning system that sort of works.

curry fish head, asam prawn, perut ikan
curry fish head, asam prawn, perut ikan

Tanjung Bungah restaurant offers pretty much all the essential Penang  nyonya dishes. For the five of us, we ordered five different dishes for dinner. Serving time was actually pretty fast, with the first dish arriving some 10 minutes after ordering.

Curry fish head with garupa was rich, spicy, and true to Nyonya style, comes with a plenty of vegetable and even mint leaves. Fried asam prawn was prepared the way my mom would, which also reminds me of the version at Kah Soh – retaining the sweetness of tiger prawns while infusing the dish with just the right amount of dark soya sauce and asam.

Perut ikan, or pickled swim bladder curry, could be slightly richer and creamier, but a passable dish nonetheless.

inchi cabin and paku pakis
inchi cabin and paku pakis

Then there’s paku pakis, or the wild fern shoots, a vegetable dish to fill the vitamin C quota, and one with texture that I always love. The preparation method here is more “lemak” than spicy, which suits us just find as there was already curry on the table.

Our favorite dish turned out to be the inchi cabin, or the Nyonya fried chicken. The unique blend of spices and sauce used to marinate this version of fried chicken was just spot on, We wish we ordered more.

Dinner came to be about RM 15-20 per person, which is on par with other similar restaurants, would not hesitate to go back there again.

map to Tanjung Bungah Restaruant, SS2

Address:
Tanjung Bungah Nyonya Cuisine
117, Jalan SS 2/6, Ss 2,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.116029, 101.616522
Tel: 03-7877 4531
Hours: lunch and dinner, closed on Thursdays

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One of the more popular thing to do for many restaurant owners is to name their restaurant with the place the business is conducted from. After all, it is convenient for anyone to remember, and also make it sounds a lot more legitimate.

That is, until you expand to another location. One of such example is the confusingly named Peel Road Yong Tau Foo located at Sungai Way, our subject of this entry.

Restaurant Peel Road Yong Tow Foo at Sungai Way
Restaurant Peel Road Yong Tow Foo at Sungai Way

We actually stumbled upon this place as Sing Kee was closed when we wanted to go for their asam fish a couple weeks ago. Since this shack/restaurant seems to be offering more than just yong tau foo, we thought why not?

As it turns out, the place is more of a tai chau restaurant that happen to offer yong tau foo.

naturally, we had to order some yong tau foo
naturally, we had to order some yong tau foo

Naturally, we ordered a selection of yong tau foo as appetizer.

True to the name, the YTF here were actually rather good, with the fuchuk particularly tasty. The tofu, chili, bitter gourd, brinjal and such did not disappoint either. The stuffing is a little heavy but we liked it nonetheless.

steamed egg, vegetable, curry fish head, bitter gourd chicken
steamed egg, vegetable, curry fish head, bitter gourd chicken

For the six of us, we ordered another four dishes to go with rice for everyone.

The steamed egg was smooth n silky with a hint of sesame oil, reminding me of the version we had at K.T.L. Cheras. The vegetable more than passable, in addition to ticking off the vitamin C requirement in every meal.

The third dish, bitter gourd chicken, was also pretty decent, though not exactly the best version I’ve tried.

the curry fish head was really good
the curry fish head was really good

However, the curry fish head here turned out to be superb. We asked for grouper head which isn’t very commonly available in Klang Valley, but in my opinion, the best candidate for curry fish head. The version here has a thick flavorful gravy and packed with extra vegetables that adds to the overall experience. If I had to order only one dish from here, this would be it.

Over all this branch of Peel Road YTF at Sungai Way makes for  a more than decent dinner option. We ended up paying around RM 15 or so per person.

map to Peel Road yong tow foo at Sungai Way, PJ

Address:
Peel Road Yong Tow Foo
Jalan SS 9a/14 & Jalan SS 9a/19
Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.086527, 101.622316