When it comes to Ipoh, none is more famous than their chicken rice and those sweet, crunchy bean sprouts. While many places offers the same dish all over town, tourists and locals alike will often congregate around middle of new town for this dish over lunch.
ipoh pak kong chicken rice
One of such place that is favored by the locals is none other than Restoran Nasi Ayam Pak Kong, a stone’s throw away from the more famous Ong Kee (often packed with tourists).
The shop offers quite a good selection of dishes you’d often associate with chicken rice – roast chicken, steamed chicken, roast pork, bbq pork, bean sprouts, and some of the other dishes you don’t usually find at these sort of establishments, such as sambal petai, acar, spicy sour vege, and more.
chicken, pork, and most importantly, petai side dish
Prices at Pak Kong is more “local friendly” compared to the more touristy shops at the intersections, dishes here are very good as well, I particularly love their chicken (either version), and really lovely charsiu (bbq pork), the wild card here is their sambal petai, if you like them pungent and full of aroma, this is is not one you’d want to miss.
Roast pork and spicy sour vege would be something I skip the next time around and perhaps order a big plate of bean sprout instead. (and more of those petai!)
A couple weeks ago while getting myself a band saw from a hardware supply shop in Subang SS15, we walked past a restaurant with no name that seems to be enjoying quite a healthy stream of customers. Upon closer inspection, the nameless restaurant is called Uncle Seng, and they just didn’t bother fixing up the sign board that has half its letters fell/worn off.
Uncle Seng at SS15, a short walk from the colleges
I’ve not heard of Uncle Seng before, but a shabby restaurant that has a good crowd is usually a positive sign, so we went in and took a table.
Ordering system here is pencil & paper sort of affair, and we ticked our options without too much trouble. The choices consists of combinations of char siu, wantan, shredded chicken, chicken feet + mushroom, deep fried pork, and curry chicken with their homemade noodle. They’re priced at RM 7 to RM 10 depending on your choice of combo.
what ingredients do you want on your plate?
For lunch, I chose chicken feet with mushroom + charsiu wantan while Haze had the noodle with deep fried pork plus charsiu.
The order did take some 15 minutes to arrive, and at first, we thought while the texture of homemade noodle was good, the overall taste was pretty average. It was not until the owner came over and informed us that the unique thing here is their chili sauce, and that you have to mix it all in.
Well, that sure made a whole lot of difference. The chili sauce give the otherwise muted tasting noodle dish quite a kick and added dimension, it was quite enjoyable.
mixing the chili sauce up is the way to go here
At the end, it was clear to us that there isn’t a secret why this place is packed even in a lazy rainy afternoon over the weekends. If you’re around the area, Uncle Seng is worth a try, they have a branch at Puchong too.
If you’re at Sabah traveling from Kota Kinabalu to the Kinabalu Park or Kundasang, the only sane ground road to get there involves driving a long stretch of winding hilly road that is a dream to any motorcyclist (especially those who’re stuck driving a beat up rental Perodua Viva).
Sinalau Bakas along AH 150 Highway in Sabah
On this road you’ll come across a few road side stalls that is really, really smokey, and that’s where you’ll find one of the must-try indigenous Dusun food for those who consume non-halal food – Sinalau Bakas.
In the local language, Sinalau Bakas translate to smoked wild boar, and the dish is simple as it sounds – slabs of marinated wild boar meat smoked on an open BBQ pit, with the operator usually flipping those glorious meat while squinting or seated on a small “bangku” fanning the wood fire below.
smoked wild boar sure is done with plenty of smoke
The meat is usually only transferred to direct heat for cooking once you make your order, which means you’ll get it freshly prepared, and that usually involves some wait time of 10-15 minutes or longer.
As some say – if you wait for the food, it’s gonna be great, if the food waits for you, well…
this was our ten Ringgit’s worth of wild boar meat
The meat is very spicy in a traditional herbal way while not overly tough like you’d expect from wild boar. Get chunks with a fattier cut if you like it more tender. Sinalau Bakas is also served with traditional chili sauce that gives it a bit more kick. I actually found it overall to be rather tasty and we finished everything despite having a slightly leaner cut.
KY & Haze enjoying some wholesome wild boar meat
There’s no actual address for this place, but the GPS location below should help. You’re in better luck than me when I was asking Elfie the Sabahan girl where I could find these stalls!
P/S: and yes, I will be writing the long overdue Kinabalu Mountain Climbing post soon.
Address: Sinalau Bakas stalls Along AH 150 Highway,
about half way from Tuaran to Kinabalu Park GPS: 6.107336, 116.367638 Hours: late morning to after lunch, not regular
Sometimes there are instances where I visited a place and be impressed, then proceed to forget about it and waited till more than half a year before writing a blog entry, this is one of such instance, and the restaurant is Gyukingu Japanese BBQ at Kota Damansara.
Gyukingu at kota damansara
Gyukingu is located next to Sunway Giza, on the first floor at the same shoplots that also houses Al Rajhi bank (what an unfortunate logo for a bank). As with most anywhere in Kota Damansara PJU 5 area, getting a desirable parking space requires a little bit of patience and quite a lot of element of luck.
gyukingu BBQ mixed beef set, under RM 40
The menu at Gyukingu is pretty extensive, and as the name suggests, mostly consist of beef.
If you want to splurge, there’s some pretty high end stuff like saga beef that is priced over RM 100+ per 100 gram, but there are also some affordable sets and “normal” priced items to choose from.
For example, the BBQ mixed beef set, priced at under RM 40, is a mighty fine way to enjoy their BBQ while not risking skipping your rental for the month.
mixed pork platter was pretty good too.
If beef isn’t your favorite type of meat, or that you have a religious obligation to avoid consuming beef, Gyukingu also serves pork. We tried their mixed pork platter, and while not as flavorful as beef (grilled pork is rarely as good), they were actually still rather good, especially the “bacon cuts”. They even serve tongue as well.
soup and rice dishes are available too
For those who aren’t a fan of having to grill your own meat, there are rice bowls, soups, and even udon available here as well. They are usually priced at around RM 20 range. Yuki swore by the BBQ Pork Rice Bowl here, and it was only RM 14.80 or so.
the yuzu ice cream was excellent, and raw beef anyone?
Another one of our favorites was the beef sashimi that came in a form that’s not entirely unlike beef tartar. Chopped raw beef with an egg yolk on top. If you haven’t had raw beef, try it! It’s very close to high quality raw tuna. This version was less than RM 30 as well.
Oh, and be sure to end your dinner with some rather excellent Yuzu ice cream, it’ll set you back at RM 10 a scoop, but it’s really worth it!
Suan, Horng, Haze, Lance, Mel
If you’re a fan of BBQ beef, this is definitely a place to check out, but even if you’re not, there are enough other choices to satisfy most everyone.
A week or so ago I went to KK for a short working trip. Of the many places my career brought me, KK has always been one of my favorite spots, so I was glad that I had the chance to visit the city again after some 7-8 years since I last stepped foot on it.
I was incredibly blessed to have awesome friends from KK for brought me to lunches and dinners while I was there the entire time. After all, you can’t get any better than having local food guides who knows the city in and out.
Wiya Nasi Ayam dan Kedai Kopi, Kota Kinabalu
On the second day, Nelson, whom I got to know through some weird circumstances revolving a possible purchase of Aprilia motorcycle suspension (you can meet people from all sorts of settings kan?), came to my office and took me to the best chicken rice stall in KK for for lunch at Wiya Nasi Ayam dan Kedai Kopi.
steamed chicken, charsiu, and the unique pyramid shaped rice
Since there were only two of us, we ordered the steamed chicken and chasiu (bbq pork) with a side of vegetable to go with some rice.
The chicken rice here is served in a distinctive pyramid shape, which was kinda cute though it doesn’t contribute to the way it tastes, obviously. The steamed chicken though, was smooth and quite delicious, with the chasiu tasting pretty decent as well.
As for the often neglected vitamin C entry, this vegetable dish was rather good. In fact, over my stay at KK I’ve found that the vegetable here tasted so much fresher, crunchier, and juicier than their peninsular counterpart.
For those who complains about the lack of good hawker food in KK, this is one place to check out. Thank you Nelson!
Address: Wiya Nasi Ayam dan Kedai Kopi Block F, Lot 4, Jalan Padas, 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.983967, 116.074422 Tel: 088-214 378