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Tag / Ampang

A few weeks ago I had a couple hours and a hungry stomach to kill before a futsal session at Ampang Sports Planet. Since Dato’ Keramat is sort of a half way point between where I was and where I need to be, I thought I’d explore the area a little bit and see what I can feed myself.

Malay roti canai/roti arab stall at Dato' Keramat market
Malay roti canai/roti arab stall at Dato’ Keramat market

My initial plan was to have the ikan bakar (grilled fish) for dinner, unfortunately at almost 6pm in the evening, the stall has already closed for business (even though it says until 6:30pm).

Walking about the market and around the area, I spotted this roti telur/roti arab stall by the makeshift food court/restaurant opposite the LRT station .

the roti is a quite unique, puffed up and slightly sweet
the roti is a quite unique, puffed up and slightly sweet

After a brief description by the friendly waitress on what exactly this roti arab is about, I ordered a portion to load up some carb before exercise. Like roti canai, you can have it with curry, and I think it will also go very well with some condensed milk.

The ingredients of roti arab is pretty similar to normal bread, with the addition of butter on top of yeast, flour, and some sugar. The dough is then pan fried instead of baked.

I think it tastes great with some fish curry
I think it tastes great with some fish curry

I find myself enjoying roti arab quite a bit. It is easy to eat, almost like in between roti canai and normal bread. Dip it wet with fish curry and viola, instant carb loading that cost less than RM 3 including a glass of teh-o-ais. Perfect afternoon in-between meals.

I hope more places started serving this.

map to dato' keramat wet market

Address:
Dato’ Keramat Market
Opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT
Jalan Dato’ Keramat
GPS3.165396, 101.73118

Mexican cuisine isn’t one of the most popular foreign foods in Malaysia, but if you want Western style food with a dose of hotness, this is where you go. Las Carretas is probably one of the earlier establishments serving Mexican cuisine in the country, and with three branches in town, the brand is proved to be pretty popular among locals and expats as well.

Las Carretas at Ampang
Las Carretas at Ampang

This is the second post on Las Carretas on the blog, the first being a 2006 version when (I believe) they only had one branch at USJ. The chain has grown since and I thought it’ll be appropriate to pen another review since we went to the Ampang branch just a while back.

fresh oysters in different flavors
fresh oysters in different flavors

There are quite a selection of starters in the menu, but for oyster lovers, one must not miss their offerings. Have it fresh, with cheese and herbs, or salsa on top (RM 29.90 for half dozen). The shellfish were big, fresh, juicy, and absolutely mouth watering. Very decent value for what you get.

chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup
chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup

Chips and salsa is always served while you wait for food to arrived. While they’re very tasty, try not to over indulge in them to avoid stuffing your stomach too early before your main arrives.

Calamares a la Romana is the Mexican way of saying deep fried squid rings (RM 21.90), and they are served with garlic mayo dip and tartar sauce. Tastes pretty good but not exactly something you can’t get from just about anywhere.

I tried Sopa De Rabo (boneless oxtail soup, RM 11.90) and well, if there’s anything better than oxtail soup, it is making it boneless. Easy to consume, delicious and with zero hassle. I love it.

rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin
rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin

For my main dish I chose Bife Ancho, or rib-eye steak with an addition of seared foie gras (RM 92, or RM 68 without). The 45-day aged Australian grain fed beef were excellent, but the preparation of foie gras was lacking, I felt that they overcooked it a bit.

Other friends who had Pollo Loco (boneless chicken chop with black peppercorn sauce, RM 19.90) and Crusted N.Z. Lamb Rack (RM 64.90) were very happy with their choices. The lamb, served with freshly made rosemary sauce and cooked to perfection, was especially praised.

prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas
prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas

Prawn Spaghetti (RM 38.90) was served with pretty good size prawns and drenched in garlic, chili, and fajita sauce. Positively Mexican and yet something that’s easy to adapt to if you’re not used to the taste.

If you have a big appetite, Chuleton De Bistek (T-bone steak, RM 65.90) and all it’s 450 gram glory can be yours, complete with salad, ranch dressing, and steak fries. One of our team members’ go-to meal here.

Interestingly, we only really ordered one “classic” Mexican dish among the 10 of us. The beef Fajitas (RM 33.90) was served in a sizzling hot plate with plenty of warm tortilla to go around. I love their Guacamole sauce that comes with this dish.

awesome lunch with the team
awesome lunch with the team

It seems to me that after some 6-7 years between the last visit and this one, Las Carretas hasn’t missed a beat. Food is still generally very good (except for the foie gras), prices are reasonable for what you get, and service isn’t anything to complain about either. I should go there again, this time maybe sooner.

map to Las Carretas, Ampang

Address:
Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant
22 Persian Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159156, 101.746702
Tel: 03-4257 1668
Weblascarretas.com

Las Carretas

Japanese cuisine is perhaps the most mature foreign cuisine in the country, from PJ to KL, Penang to Johor, you’ll find them all over the place mostly serving sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, teppanyaki, soba, ramen, and more.

This is a good thing, it creates an environment with healthy competitive spirits among Japanese restaurants. Some strives to provide cheaper prices, some a great dining experience, and others come up with creative and delicious dishes not easily found anywhere else. Fukuharu at Terrace in Ampang got it right by managing to provide two out of the three points in this “measurement”.

Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang
Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang

Nestled in a classy bungalow just off Jalan Ampang, Fukuharu Japanese restaurant is unlike most .. well, restaurants. There’s lush green lawn and even a swimming pool by the side. Inside, the dining hall is tastefully decorated. On a sunny afternoon, the hall is mainly lit by natural sun light, giving it a bright yet cozy feeling that I really like.

Together with Evelyn and Veron, I was invited by Poesy to a review session at Fukuharu over lunch, hosted by the Japanese restaurant manager, Masamichi-san.

seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi
seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi

We started out with the specialty dish of the restaurant – Tamango Mentai Sushi (RM 15). Mentai is one of my favorite ingredients of all time, and the combination with one of the simplest ingredients in tamago (grilled egg) was surprisingly awesome. The soft texture gives way to the extreme savory taste from mentai, brilliant. This is a must order.

The Seafood Korokke (RM 22) wouldn’t be a dish unfamiliar to those who has had crab cakes, except this dish was a bit creamier and has more seafood ingredients in it. I like those tiny sprouts on top and thought it gives the dish more balance. You’ll find prawns, scallops, fish, and potato in this seafood “cake”.

chef's sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad
chef’s sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad

Chef’s Sashimi Selection (RM 38) isn’t a “big” dish for the price, but one with superior quality and a pretty interesting presentation. Instead of pure traditional style, this sashimi dish is served with truffle oil and wasabi dressing on top of some salad that’s more at home in Western restaurants. The interpretation does work very well and I love the combination of truffle oil with raw fish, wonder why it’s not done more often.

For those who wants to opt for a light healthy lunch, the Salmon Tataki Salad (RM 28) would be a good selection. Flash seared salmon with home made Caesar dressing, this salad is one that I wouldn’t mind having (in addition to other dishes tho, hehehe). I like the fact that they serve it with some ikura as well.

lamb moromisoyaki
lamb moromisoyaki – this is super delicious!

Lamb Moromisoyaki (RM 35) was probably the first Japanese lamb dish I’ve ever tasted, and incidentally it was also one of the best dishes on the afternoon. The lamb rack marinated with mori-miso and then carefully grilled to perfection. It was glorious, the slight saltiness of mori-miso together with the savory taste from lamb was perfect, I wish the serving was bigger.

Veron even ordered a portion to take away.

unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi
unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi

For those who likes clay pot rice, unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi (RM 35 each) will give you a taste of Japanese way of preparing these dishes. Both were served with generous amount of eel or scallops. If you love the slightly burnt taste of rice, don’t over stir it (I’m sure those with experience in clay pot chicken rice knows this trick already).

black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi
black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi

Fukuharu also serves their chawan mushi  (RM 12) slightly differently, a version that is a tad bigger in portion and quite a lot softer in texture. They’re also prepared fresh here, but to me, perhaps a dish that is priced a bit too high for what you get.

The black sesame cheesecake (RM 18) tho, is a combination of taste that’s new to me, and one that shouldn’t disappoint any dessert lover. I find myself enjoying this quite a bit more than I usually do with any desserts.

KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy
KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy

For ice cream lovers, you’d find black sasame, green tea, and a couple other types of ice cream around here as well. They tasted as these ice creams usually do, doesn’t disappoint, but not exactly special either.

Ultimately, Fukuharu is a Japanese restaurant that managed to carve a niche in this crowded market with the dishes they serve while being fairly competitive in pricing. I’d love to go there again.

Thanks for the invite and the ride, Poesy!

map to Fukuharu, off Jalan Ampang

Address:
Fukuharu Japanese Restaurant
Terrace Hock Choon
241-B, Lorong Nibong
Off Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159799, 101.728717
Tel: 017-209-8477

Fukuharu

For whatever reason, it has taken me this long to write about Kangsane Korean Restaurant in Ampang despite having been there numerous times since more than a year ago. In fact, this is the Korean restaurant I most frequent in recent times, and there is a reason for it: simply the best Galbi (marinated beef ribs) anywhere!

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
nice ambiance, illustrated menu

Kangsane Korean Restaurant is situated right in the middle of Little Korea at Ampang, that interesting commercial square where you can find dozens of Korean restaurants, grocery stores, and even optical shops. This place is to Korean like Brickfields is to Indian. Parking is usually not an issue here.

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
kimchi jjigae (soup), samgyeopsal (pork belly), and Galbi (marinated beef ribs)

Just like most other Korean BBQ restaurants, Kangsane serves various BBQ meat, stews, bulgogi, and of course, all these comes with plenty of Banchan (side dishes) that is the signature of Korean food. The must-order dish here would be the Galbi, I just couldn’t get enough of the succulent and perfectly flavored beef ribs.

I suggest that you always give them a call to make sure that the supply of Galbi is ample before heading there. We had to go for pork galbi on the last visit as the beef version ran out of stock, while it was still very good, the beef ribs is simply irreplaceable.

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
the many banchan (side dishes)

The other commendable dish is the samgyeopsal (pork belly), do start with this dish first if you also order galbi as the pork carries a more subtle taste that might be overpowered by the beef if you reverse the order.

Of course, a good Korean restaurant must also serve good banchan (side dishes), and the good thing about Kangsane is that they always have different banchan every time we go there. From anchovies to tofu, kimchi to some funny looking vegetables, they are always very delicious and accompanies the main dish very well. I also absolutely love their kimchi jjigae (kimchi soup)

Kangsane Korean Restaurant
good food is to be enjoyed with friends: Kim, Kelvin, Pinkpau, ST, Kenneth

Price wise, this place is pretty much in par with similar Korean restaurants. Some BBQ meat dishes, stews, and maybe some dumplings will usually cost around RM 40-50 per person for a table of 4-5. Very worth it though.

Map to Little Korea, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Kangsane is situated in the Little Korea at Ampang, KL

Address:
C5 Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1
One Ampang Avenue
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.155283, 101.751364
Tel: 03-4251 2598

It’s been a while since I had any decent Yong Tau Foo (釀豆腐) like the one at Ampang, so we headed to Segambut for the famous Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo last weekend. The name might be a little deceiving, for this restaurant is not exactly located at Jalan Ipoh, but at Jalan Segambut, just off Jalan Duta.

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo, Segambut
much better set up and parking situations than Ampang

We got to the restaurant at about 2pm in the afternoon, purposely avoid the heavy lunch crowd. As the restaurant is a converted bungalow, there are ample parking space, unlike Ampang Yong Tau Foo’s dreadful parking situation.

Ordering the food is pretty simple here, they provide a form and you basically just fill in the numbers, like some of the dim sum places. This saves time for both the customers and the restaurant operators, I can only wonder why the other places don’t do this. For the five six of us, we ordered 72 pieces of goodness and some rice for the first round. Of course, we added 10 more for 2nd round.

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo, Segambut
don’t these make you drool? Yummm

If my memory serves me correct, there were 5 pieces of white tofu, 8 pieces of brinjal (egg plant), 4 bitter gourd, 10 red chili, 8 lady fingers (okra), 10 fish balls, 11 fried sui kow, 6 soup sui kow, 15 fried foo chok (bean curd skin), 5 rice, and some drinks. On top of that, we had a fruit rojak as appetizer. Quite a portion for 3 4 guys and 2 girls.

For the newbie to Malaysian cuisine, most Yong Tau Foo pieces are stuffed with fish paste. The exception being sui kow, fish ball, and foo chok.

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo, Segambut
we didn’t leave anything behind

The good thing about this place is that the food is served almost instantaneously, so you can satisfy your hunger right from the get go. As for taste, it is right up there with their Ampang counterparts, with the rojak being the exception. I guess Penangites are a little more picky when it comes to fruit rojak.

Price wise, at REM 0.70 a piece, it is very competitive. We spent only around RM 15 each after filling our stomachs to the point of having difficulty in walking.

Jalan Ipoh Yong Tau Foo, Segambut
This Yong Tau Foo place is just a stone’s throw from the Duta round-about

Good food, reasonable price, and a comfortable eating environment, this place is definitely worth repeating visits.

Address:
Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo
67, Jalan Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.180645, 101.677523
Tel: +603-6252 6473
HP: +6019-309 8283