Being from a somewhat typical family in Penang, I’m no stranger to Nyonya style cooking, this is mostly due to the fact that Baba-Nyonya cuisine shares many similar recipes to Penang Hokkien dishes.
So when we were at Baba Nyonya Restaurant in Avenue K, I had certain expectations on what they should be able to cook up.
Baba Nyonya, Avenue K, with my dining partners
The restaurant is located at the same level with the LRT station, with an interior decor that is pretty tastefully done, catering to mostly 2-4 people per table, though larger crowd can be arranged, to a certain extend.
The menu offers quite a variety of dishes, with selections from individual noodle or “daily plates”, as well as ala-carte entries to be eaten with steamed rice with a group of your favorite buddies, which was what we mainly did when I find myself with a few colleagues at Baba Nyonya a couple weeks ago.
proper meal for three, with poultry, fish, and vegetable
We sampled one single dish in the form of Ayam Masak Merah, and three shared lauk of terung belado (RM 16.90), chicken pongteh (RM 26.90), and asam fish pedas claypot (RM 35.90) over dinner.
The ayam masak merah is a dish you can enjoy over lunch and comes with loads of those sauce that has a good balance of sweet and spicy taste to it, there’s also a spring role to get you started.
terung belado, chicken pongteh, ayam masak merah, asam fish pedas claypot
Asam fish pedas claypot was our favorite among the three shared dishes. The fish retains some crunchiness while not overly fried, with the asam pedas broth brings forth a good kick, perfect when mixed with steamed rice.
The terung too was proper, soft, tender, and packed with flavor. However, we did agree that the chicken pongteh was pretty average, or perhaps just overshadowed by other offerings from Baba Nyonya during this session.
The experience at Baba Nyonya Avenue was certainly a positive one, I think I’ll be heading over for lunch one of these days to check out more of their individual dishes.
Continuing with our food exploit at Avenue K, the mall that’s connected by KLCC via underground LRT station, we sampled the food offered by Tokyo Pastry, a Japanese themed restaurant that offers mostly Western menu inspired by Japanese style cooking, or is it?
Update 11/12/2018 – This place has since closed down
Tokyo Pastry, Avenue K
Situated at the mezzanine floor, the restaurant got its cue from European style bakeries in Japan, with the menu that has very little resemblance to traditional Japanese cuisine that we are familiar with.
The restaurant is often quite busy over lunch time on working days, but if you want to enjoy a quiet meal here, the best time is during dinner or over the weekends, when the mall isn’t swarmed by office crowd.
salmon salad, spicy mushroom spaghetti, Tokyo burger, pan seared chicken
We started with their salmon salad (RM 22), pretty generous amount of gravlax wrapping chopped mango & greens make for a rather healthy start of a meal, or a meal in itself if you want something light. This is probably the go-to healthy choice for the dieting hipsters, but I do quite like it.
Spicy mushroom spaghetti (RM 19) is a pretty straight forward pasta dish with a few types of mushroom in a spaghetti that comes with a bit of a kick, mainly for the pepper used.
Tokyo burger (RM 20) comes with that green tea infused bun that looks a bit radio active but tasted rather good with its generous slab of chicken cooked with teriyaki sauce. There’s a small side of salad and fries too.
If you want more protein in your meal, the pan seared chicken (RM 23) may just do the trick. A big slab of chicken seared with chef’s homemade sauce, plus some vegetable and potato. Simple and pretty satisfying.
matcha mitsu, Japanese cheese cake, tiramisu crepe
Granted, I didn’t have the chance to to try the pastries above, however, as the name suggests, Tokyo pastry pride themselves in their cakes and crepe, the matcha mitsu (RM 16), Japanese cheese cake (RM 13.95), and tiramisu crepe (RM 14.95) all looked the part and I trust that they are up to the challenge in taste department.
raspberry lychee soda, latte, espresso & milk
Tokyo pastry also serve up more than competent coffee. The latte and espresso with a side of milk that I tried were as good as any. For a bit more refreshing taste, the raspberry lychee soda should suffice as well.
When it comes to street food in Malaysia, most people often cite Penang right off the bat, but for those who likes something perhaps more comforting, Ipoh street food is a great alternative. If you’re in KL looking for a taste of what Ipoh has to offer, Avenue K’s Ipoh Market Street (non halal) should be in your short list.
Ipoh Market Street, Avenue K
Walking out from KLCC LRT station, take a right turn and keep walking towards the end, you’ll find Ipoh Market Street on your right. The diminutive entrance opens up into a pretty decent size dining hall with a menu filled with a good selection of dishes hailed from the city that was famous for tin mining.
One thing to note – Ipoh Market Street at Avenue K is a non-halal restaurant.
Ipoh curry mee
The signature dish here is the Ipoh Curry Mee (RM 11.90) that comes with chicken stripes, roast pork, mint, lime, and your choice of noodle. I thought the broth does pack a punch and the inclusion of roast pork made everything that much better. Definitely satisfying for someone who wants a jolt over lunch, I liked it.
Ipoh white coffee, market street soft boil egg on toast
The soft boil egg on toast (RM 4.90) was my favorite dish over the tasting period. In fact, I went back a week later to specifically order this and savior it slowly. Perfect soft boil eggs on perfectly toasted bread, as simple as they are delicious.
The Ipoh white coffee (RM 4.50) here is one of their specialty, and always with proper thick foam too. If you like full bodied creamy coffee, this would definitely satisfy.
Ipoh caramel custard egg, spicy chili crispy pork fried rice
Ipoh caramel custard egg is something that seems sorta out of place at this “kopitiam” style restaurant, but I thought the dessert was more than decent, like most dishes we tried here.
Other than noodle dishes and light meals, Ipoh Market Street also serve “tai chao”, or hot wok style of meal from 5-10 pm daily. We only managed to try their spicy chili crispy pork fried rice (RM 11.80) and it was pretty decent, though I’d want to have the portion to be a bit smaller so that the pork to rice ratio is higher tho, but for those with a big appetite, it is definitely not a bad thing.
Avenue K is greeting year 2018 CNY celebration with the campaign themed ‘Bloom of Grandeur’, which transform the mall into a garden of beautiful blossoms. The ground level is set up with 13 CNY booths offering a variety of festive treats and goodies.
We were invited to the launch for this month-long event that will lasts from 19th Jan to 25th Feb. Other than CNY booths, there’s a series of CNY themed workshops from crafting paper lanterns to designing CNY cards made from AngPows for kids aged 4-12.
Flower Power CNY At Avenue K
From 19/1 to 15/2/18, spend a minimum of RM 388 (max 2 receipts) and you get to join the AK Prosperity Draw with Asia Miles and be one of the five lucky winners to walk away with 60,000 Asia Miles points redeemable for a pair of return tickets to Hong Kong and RM 1000 Shoes Gallery by Parkson gift vouchers. There are also consolation prizes of RM 500 (x5) worth of cash vouchers to be won.
For those spending up to RM 288, there’s the AK Wheel of Prosperity in which you get to spin and win prizes. With RM 188 in a single receipt, you’ll get to redeem exclusive AK Ang Pow packets.
The highlight of the event will be on 23/2/18 where there will be a Lion Dance Money Showering session, yeap, literally having acrobatic lion dance throwing money to shoppers. There’ll also be fire crackers lighting ceremony followed by dotting of the lion’s eyes. Then, there’s ‘Rolling in the wealth’ segment in which there will be rolling of mandarin oranges from the main entrance of the mall, to ensure that prosperity will flow into the building. All in all there’ll be 8 pairs of lion performing on the day. It’ll be quite a sight.
Dolly Dimsum with special CNY menu including yee sang
Of course, since this is a food blog, what I am particularly interested in this period is what some of the restaurants are doing. For this, we were invited to Dolly Dimsum for their special CNY menu.
CNY special menu at Avenue K
For the CNY period, Dolly Dimsum, which is one of the few halal dimsum restaurants in the city, offers a special set of CNY menu priced at RM 62++ per pax (6 pax group dining). The good thing is, the limited time dishes in the menu is also available ala-carte basis, and we got to give them a try.
scallop dumpling, golden kamquat dumpling, lucky 88 noodle, szechuan tofu
The dishes include a yee sang (RM 65) with plum sauce & fresh salmon. Scallop dumpling (RM 17.8) which was one of my favorites, huge chunk of scallops with a base of prawns underneath too.
Then there’s the Lucky “88” Noodle (RM 36.8), fried yee mee with really generous amount of crab meat, prawns, and again those delicious scallops that I absolutely love. Then there’s also the Schezuan Tofu (RM 23.5) that comes with really soft tofu, chicken, and the sauce that has a bit of those szechuan kick, tho personally I probably want it a bit more spicy.
nian gao with fresh coconut, lunar blossom mocktail
For sweeter ending, there’s the Golden Kamquat Dumpling (RM 9.9), basically mung bean paste wrapped in mochi skin. Their version of nian gao, called Happiness Kuih (RM 11.8), is one of the rendition that I actually find not overly sweet while still carrying that unmistakable CNY spirit, I think having fresh coconut coating was the right way to go.
I work with a team of people who likes to get together and enjoy good lunches together from time to time, and several days ago it was Stanely’s turn to play host to these ad hoc events we have every now and then. The destination – Warisan Kafe at Avenue K, just a short walk from our office.
Warisan nasi kukus at Avenue K
Warisan Kafe is located at the concourse level on Avenue K, just a short walk away from the KLCC LRT station. Instead of a proper restaurant, it is set up under the stairs and had tables and chairs sprawled along the hallway, which was plenty fine for quick lunches.
Warisan Kafe has five different types of nasi kukus to choose from – the usual nasi putih, nasi kukus beras perang, nasi kukus lemak, nasi kukus pandan, and my favorite, nasi kukus telang, or the blue rice commonly found with nasi kerabu.
Choices of lauk to pair with the rice include their signature dish in ayam goreng berempah, rendang daging, lamb Mysore. Accompanying the rice & meat would be 3 different types of curry, keropok, telur rebus (hard boiled egg), and sambal belacan.
teh lapis pandan & ubi kayu kukus
In addition to their signature dishes, Warisan also serves mee kuah, laksa, bubur, and even roti jala. Dessert choices are ubi kayu kukus & bubur manis.
thank you for lunch, Stanley!
I’ve had their lamb, ayam goreng, and tasted a bite of the rendang. Quality of food is more than decent, and certainly present itself as a serious enough option especially in a shopping mall environment. With drinks, a meal can go up to almost RM 20, but you can also get by with a slightly smaller budget.