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
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
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
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
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, 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.
6A, Faber Plaza,
Jalan Desa Jaya,
Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.102578, 101.682947
Hours: 6 pm-11 pm daily, closed on Mondays
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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
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
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.
Peel Road Yong Tow Foo
Jalan SS 9a/14 & Jalan SS 9a/19
Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.086527, 101.622316
In my previous work assignment at KK, I was fortunate enough to have awesome friends sending me to dinners every night. On one of the nights, Nelson, my biking buddy whom I never biked together with, brought me to one of the more popular Sang Yuk Mian places in town – Jia Xiang Sang Yuk Mian (家香生肉面)
Jia Xiang Sang Yuk Mian at Lintas, Kota Kinabalu
Jia Xiang is located at Lintas, some 10 minutes away from the heart of Kota Kinabalu. The restaurant is opened pretty much the whole day, with a host of rather efficient Philippine workers preparing the various dishes.
For those who aren’t familiar with Sang Yuk Mian, it is basically Sabah’s version of pork noodle. Sang Yuk directly translate to raw pork, as the slices of raw pork are cooked just before serving.
dry version of sang yuk mian, with mixed innards
Much like pork noodle in other places, there’s dry and soup versions, and both comes with soup that includes pork slices, liver, lard, pork ball, and other types of innards. The dry version also has some minced pork sprinkled on top of the noodle.
The noodle used here (at least at Jia Xiang) is a type that’s quite similar to Japanese soba and thus carry a better texture to it. The dark sauce also gave it a richer flavor.
soup version of sang yuk mian, I love the chilli sauce
Above all though, what I really enjoyed about sang yuk mian is the chili sauce that comes with the noodle soup, I find it very aromatic and packs a punch. In fact, I wish I can buy some of these chili sauce that’s so common in KK but seemingly unavailable in Klang Valley.
If you’re a fan of pork noodle, give this a try when you’re in KK, there aren’t many other better ways to spend RM 7.
I’d like to thank Nelson for introducing me to this place, he also took me to the pyramid chicken rice place, good times!
Jia Xiang Sang Yuk Mian
Lorong Lintas Plaza
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.946552, 116.089308
Lets go back to one of my favorite breakfast spots in town at Imbi Market, and this time, we look at Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun, one of the busiest hawker stalls.
Ah Fook Chee Cheong Fun at Imbi Market, always with a queue
While chee cheong fun is on the banner, the stall is actually very popular with their yong tau foo that is prepared fresh everyday and cook right on the spot. Fresh yong tao foo is definitely the way to go.
As for chee cheong fun, there are two types to choose from, the usual plain type, and the On Soon chee cheong fun that comes embedded with some ingredients. I always choose the latter.
a good selection of yong tau foo made from scratch on the spot
The selection of yong tau foo is pretty good as well, with a few types I haven’t seen anywhere, such as long beans and “four angle beans”. There’s also a few types of tofu, tofupok, and fish balls as well. My favorite piece is however, their fried fu chuk. If you’re a fan of fu chuk, you gotta try this.
chee cheong fun with yong tau foo, awesome breakfast combination
As a bonus, imbi market also serves the best Hainanese tea from Ah Weng Koh’s stall. So if you’re up to a wholesome breakfast, here’s surely a place to check out. Close on Mondays.
Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)
Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664
Hours: breakfast and brunch, closed on Mondays