The inner part of Ara Damansara away from the slightly more glamorous Oasis Square area used to be quite a bit of hidden area of PJ that’s not exactly a gem. There were a few less than interesting kopitiam, and an ill fated then-new commercial area by the name of New Ze Xui that eventually died a natural death. It was quite sad, and I know that full well as I used to stay at the nearby Crimson Apartment when I first moved to KL for work.
Well, that all matters little when the owner of Jatujak Bangkok Street Food decided to set up shop and provided a little spark to the area, I suppose you could call it a hidden gem.
Jatujak Bangkok Street Food at Ara Damansara
Being located at this part of PJ with little else going has its benefits, especially when it comes to parking. The shop itself too get to occupy quite a decent alfresco area since there isn’t any other competition nearby, which all translate to a good start to any dining experience.
Haze and I paid our first visit there a couple weeks ago when we met up with Lance for our first, and his second dinner in the same day at the same place. It’s always a good sign when someone is game to visit the same place more than once on the same week, much less the same day.
salt grilled tilapia, petai prawn, clear soup tomyam
The menu at Jatujak is quite extensive, they have a good selection of seafood, tomyam, otak otak, and other typical Thai “tai chao” style food, as well as grilled items, and even pork dishes.
For dinner, we ordered four dishes to go with rice, and a few desserts to boot. All our main dishes came within 5-10 minutes despite the crowd, something that few restaurants manage to deliver, I was very impressed to say the least.
The salt grilled tilapia (RM 39) was our main dish, the fish properly prepared just the way you’d find by the streets of Bangkok, and we didn’t need to wait for 20+ minutes like we did at Tigerlily, and I thought it was actually a more than decent dish.
grilled cockles, this was really awesome
Clear tomyam soup (RM 22) was proper hot and did not disappoint, while the petai prawn (RM 30) could perhaps use more petai than prawns, but my favorite dish turned out to be the grilled cockles (RM 10), which reminds me of the good times back in the days at Nong & Jimmy, the cockles would go really really well with a cold beer or three.
iced coconut original, with red ruby, and with mango
We completed our dinner with a dessert each – coconut shake with ice cream (RM 8), coconut ruby (RM 12), and ice coconut mango (RM 12). Each came in their proper coconut shell as container and were proper rich, sweet, and have their shaved iced so fine they were silky smooth.
I guess it’s no wonder this is one of Lance’s favorite place to dine, and I believe it is also a place I’d revisit pretty soon.
Jatujak @ Siam Bangkok Street Food
B-G-31 Blk B, Jalan PJU 1a/3j,
Taipan Damansara 1 Ara Damansara,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.119825, 101.590183
Tel: 03-7859 6359
Ten years ago, Japanese food is synonymous with with raw fish. When someone told you they’re going to have Japanese food, it is always sushi & sashimi. Over the last few years though, the cuisine from far east has slowly mature at the local scene, there’s places that only offers ramen, there’s tonkatsu, yakitori, and even izakaya style Japanese restaurants.
Latest to the scene is Klang Valley’s very first Japanese restaurant that specialized in tendon (not the connective tissues of animal..) – the dish with tempura on rice.
Shitamachi Tendon Akitmitsu at Evolve Concept Mall, Ara Damansara
Shitamachi Tendon Akitmitsu is located at Evolve Concept Mall, one of the newest malls located at Ara Damansara, just a stone’s throw away from Citta Mall (use the same entrance/exit from main Subang Airport road). Half the restaurant serves tendon, while another side sharing the same kitchen serves yakitori (another story for another time).
Chef’s special tendon
The menu consist of a dozen of so different tendon offerings ranging from RM 20 to RM 67. The choices are:
- Nami Tendon (mixed shrimp, scallop, white bait, 2 prawns & 2 vege) – RM 31
- Sumire Tendon (conger eel, prawn, 3 vege, small rice) – RM 40
- Kakiage Tendon (large mixed shrimp, scallop, whitebait, 2 vege) – RM 32
- Regular Tendon (whiting fish, squid & 2 prawn) – RM 36
- Deluxe Tendon (conger eel, prawn, 1 vege) – RM 49
- Super Deluxe Tendon (conger eel, mixed shrimps, scallop, whitebait fish, 2 prawn, 3 vege) – RM 61
- Chef’s Special Tendon (chef’s selection) – RM 67
- Shrimp Tendon (self explanatory) – RM 51
- Anago Tendon (2 conger eel bone cracker & 3 vege) – RM 64
- Squid Tendon (2 squid & 3 vege) – RM 27
- Vegetable Tendon – RM 22
- Tencha (mixed shrimps, scallop, soup stock, wasabi) – RM 20
- Kid’s Tendon (small mixed shrimps, scallop, whitebait fish, prawn, 1 vege) – RM 18
shrimp tendon, super deluxe tendon, chef’s special tendon, tencha
Additionally, the restaurant also serves tempura and a selection of sake as well as Japanese beer. The menu then, as you can guessed, is rather simple, and just the way it should be.
We were served shrimp tendon, super deluxe tendon, chef’s special, as well as tencha for our session. Haze and I were joined by Keiko & her business partner (they’re Japanese). The food was certainly top notch and satisfied not only the two Malaysians in us, but our two Japanese friends had nothing but great feedback on these tendons.
The sauce was prepared in-house by the Japanese chef, marrying the the light & fluffy tempura batter with fresh seafood cooked just before serving. While at the first glance it appeared to be hastily put together, the combination was in fact meticulously prepared and very well balanced. You can ask for more sauce, but we felt that whatever the chef decided was spot on.
check out the oyster, yums
I’m going to have to plan a second trip pretty soon, and hopefully there are more of such restaurants coming up!
Shitamichi Tendon Akitmitsu
EV-G-09, Ground floor
Evolve Concept Mall
Pacific Place @ Ara Damansara
Petaling Jaya Selangor
GPS: 3.110532, 101.586864
Tel: 03-7831 9929
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm; Weekends and public holiday, 11am-9pm
If you were to tell me 10 years ago that salad can make a healthy, hearty, and really delicious meal, I’d only believe you 1/3. After all, salad are for girls who wants to look demure and polite having meal in public, right?
Well, Chai Bar proved me wrong.
Edit 2017: Unfortunately this place has since closed down
Chai Bar at Oasis Square, Ara Damansara
One of the Chai Bar’s co-owner, Dennis, is a close friend of Haze. So to be honest, we’ve heard of the concept and already been to the pre-tasting events before the restaurant was even opened.
It was a concept that isn’t completely new, salad bars such as these are already quite popular in Singapore and other countries.
salad isn’t just lettuce with thousand island sauce
The concept is simple, choose from some 70 different ingredients such as freshly washed and cut vegetables to beans, cheeses, nuts, pickles, and roasted vegetables. Plus, you also get to add smoked salmon, shrimp, poached chicken or grilled beef (just in case you think salad is only all about greens). To complete the meal, pick from some 15 different dressings.
Voila, you have yourself an awesome healthy meal.
chicken rice, superfood, steakhouse, sombrero
For the review session we tried 7 different salads with some from their “fab 10” selections, basically ten different mixes of salad for those who doesn’t want to scratch their heads choosing your own combination from 70 different ingredients. These salads are priced from RM 16-20, a very good value for what you get in my opinion.
Chicken rice came with spinach, red rice, onions, cucumber, bean sprouts & poached chicken and dressed with Sesame Soy. Here the chicken is cooked sous vide so even though it’s breast meat (my least favorite but healthiest option), it was still very juicy and rather delicious.
Superfood had mixed leaves with sweet potatoes, beets, avocado, dried cranberries, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds & quinoa dressed in peanut sauce. A mixture of all the healthy ingredients you can think of. Very nice texture to munch on.
Steakhouse is a salad for the men, I mean, steak, kan? Baby spinach with baby potatoes, tomato, caramelised onions & grilled beef. I like the dressing in this one – blue cheese! If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, you can always opt for another dressing.
If you like a little bit of Mexican, try Sombrero. Mixed lettuce with 3-bean mix, corn, tomatoes, onions, mixed peppers, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips & grilled beef. This salad is dressed with avocado and topped with salsa.
bibimbap, caesar, california girls
Fancy Korean style salad? Baby spinach with red rice, cucumber, carrot, mushrooms, bean sprouts, hard boiled egg and grilled beef. Sweet Gochujang. Sprinkles of kimchi makes for a bowl of Bibimbap.
Caesar, the most common of all salad, turned out to be our favorite. The sous vide chicken that’s lightly grilled was superb, and the Green Goddess dressing compliments romaine lettuce, croutons, onions, hard boiled egg, beef bacon, Parmesan cheese and grilled chicken really well.
According to Dennis, California Girls is one of the most popular salads with the ladies. A bowl that’s inspired by Japanese cuisine, with mixed lettuce, red rice, avocado, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, pickled seaweed & kaori-hako. Wasabi Mayo. Dusted with roasted seaweed and ebiko. I thought the ebiko was a really nice touch.
refreshing drinks at Chai Bar
Juices goes for RM 7.50 and smoothies RM 8.50. We had kaffir lemonade, watermelon & mint, and of course I went for avocado. They complements the food well, and I think make for good afternoon “snacks” on their own too.
KY, Haze, Dennis (co-owner), Cheesie & Junya
Chai Bar is really a trailblazer for salad in this side of Klang Valley, I really hope they thrive and open up more restaurants, and hopefully one near my workplace. Good job Dennis!
G31, Oasis Village
Oasis Square Ara Damansara,
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.114834, 101.574750
Tel: 03-7832 3138
Sometimes all you need is some simple comfort food, and for me, sometimes that comes in the form of a bowl of good bitter gourd noodle soup.
While running around trying to sort of stuff for our new home and somehow missed lunch in the process, I found myself at around Ara Damansara, and recalled that someone mentioned once about a stall at Restoran Do Re Mi 123 that offers bitter gourd soup, so I took the turn to investigate.
Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam at Ara Damansara
Restoran Do Re Mi 123 is a medium size kopitiam located at the “busiest” commercial centre in Ara Damansara on an island surrounded by major roads going in and out of the residential area. Parking is usually not too challenging, and the restaurant offers quite a selection of different hawker fair that any KL folks will be familiar with.
bitter gourd mee suah, with egg
The noodle soup stall offers bitter gourd noodle, pork noodle, fish ball noodle soup, and “imperial” noodle.
For RM 5 you get a bowl of soup with your choice of noodle (I choose mee suah) laden with reasonable amount of pork slices, fish cake, bitter gourd, and even tomato. It was quite well balanced and not overly salty. Another RM 1 gets you an egg just to make it closer to a balanced meal.
A simple comfort food I don’t mind having a couple times a week.
Restaurant DoReMi 123
Jalan PJU 1a/20b
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.119897, 101.579194