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Tag / bitter gourd

It was my supreme ignorance that one of my favorite no frill Chinese restaurant chain now has a branch in KLCC – Kiki Taiwanese Cuisine, by the same people that brought us Fong Lye at Gardens.

Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, 4th floor KLCC
Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, 4th floor KLCC

Like the other 4th floor restaurants on Suria Mall, Kiki has a modern interior decoration with table arrangement centered towards packing as many people as possible without it being a fire hazard. That’s fine and dandy for quick afternoon lunches for the most part, but not exactly a place you’d want to bring your Valentine’s date for a quiet & private dating session over lunch.

3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80)
3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80)

Most dishes come in the form of set menus with rice/noodle, soup, vegetable, and some tidbits in addition to the main ingredient. They are generally priced at around RM 20+ to RM 30+ and served quickly, which is great for office lunch crowds.

mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80)
mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80)

The three dishes we had – 3 cup chicken set (RM 23.80), mixed seafood & bitter gourd set (RM 35.80), and steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80) were pretty much within expectations when it comes with taste, and definitely a little over the top in terms of portion. While you don’t get any premium ingredients (example: fish would be tilapia), the quality is more than justifiable for the price stated on the menu.

steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80)
steamed fish with pineapples & Taiwan marinated sweet bean (RM 23.80)

Overall, despite the crowd, Kiki delivers pretty much as well as their sister branches at Gardens and other locations. Would definitely not mind going again.

my lunch partners at Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, KLCC
my lunch partners at Kiki Taiwanese Restaurant, KLCC

map of KLCC

Address:
Fourth Level, Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833
Tel03-2166 9699

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
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
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.

map to restaurant doremi 123, Ara Damansara

Address:
Restaurant DoReMi 123
Jalan PJU 1a/20b
Ara Damansara
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.119897, 101.579194

Some of you who has been following this site for a while know that I have a certain soft spot for coagulated pork blood, pork kidney, and bitter gourd, so when I found out that there’s a stall that happens to offer all these ingredients in one dish, I just had to try it.

The said stall is the appropriately named Bitter Gourd Soup with Rice/Mee, located at the right side of the popular food court if you’re going in from the main entrance. of Taman Megah Ming Tien

Bitter Gourd with mixed pork soup stall at Ming Tien food court
Bitter Gourd with mixed pork soup stall at Ming Tien food court

The formula here is pretty simple, choose from the various (mostly) pork ingredients and the operator will boil them together with bitter gourd soup, you can then consume your loot with rice or your choice of noodle.

Among the ingredients to choose from are intestine, coagulated blood, pork slices, fried pork skin, kidney, liver, fuchuk (soya skin), tofu, meat balls, fish balls, and fish cakes.

you can have it with rice or various types of noodle
you can have it with rice or various types of noodle

I usually gets a bit carried away when ordering from here. My typical bowl of bitter gourd soup includes at least blood, kidney, tofu, meat, pork skin, and sometimes more. You should always attack the kidney/liver first as they may tend to get overcooked if being left too long. I would like the coagulated blood here to be slightly softer, but that’s just nitpicking.

I love it, all the essential nutrients and satisfaction for my blood thirstiness
I love it, all the essential nutrients and satisfaction for my blood thirstiness

A bowl of bitter gourd soup here goes from just above RM 6 to over RM 10 depending on what you put inside. Worth it? Yes!

The stall operates till pretty late at night.

map to ming tien food court

Address:
Ming Tien Hawker Center
Jalan SS24/8, Taman Megah,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.114334, 101.611658

For those who loves classic Hokkien dishes, Hua Xing would be a  place you shouldn’t miss. For reasons unknown, I didn’t know the existence of this place until very recently, despite staying rather close to the area and actually visited the police station just across this restaurant for “official business“, furthermore, Sing Kee is also one of the restaurants we frequent.

Restaurant Hua Xing at Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
Restaurant Hua Xing at Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya

Most of it though, has to do with the location of this place. Situated on the first floor of a fantastically planned shopping strip that is Plaza Seri Setia (conveniently situated behind a row of shop houses), it is but 50 meters from Federal Highway, but well hidden enough that you’d never find Carmen Sandiego if he take up residence in this building.

Anyway, the restaurant has a pretty clean, air conditioned interior, with photos of various dishes plastered on the wall, which was helpful. Food arrived in less than 10 minutes after we ordered, definitely a good thing.

Hokkien braised pork with "alkaline" kuih
Hokkien braised pork with “alkaline” kuih, or Hong Bak in Hokkien

I’m ashamed to be a Hokkien for not having heard about Hong Bak before, and how insanely awesome this dish is. Really fat cuts of pork braised in thick, sinful gravy accompanied with soft “alkaline” kuih. The kuih is like a softer version of char kuih kak’s kuih, and really goes well with the gravy. Of course, those fatty pork doesn’t hurt at all. I love it.

bitter gourd Hokkien mee, potato flour noodle, fried eggplant, rice wine chicken
bitter gourd Hokkien mee, potato flour noodle, fried eggplant, rice wine chicken

Another notable dish here is the fried eggplant. It reminds me of the version at Serai which I loved, both are deep fried, one with sugar (Serai), and another with plenty of garlic. Very delicious and positively addictive, I will order this every time I’m here.

The bitter gourd Hokkien mee is a nice change from the ordinary version which can be a tad “jelak” after having the 2nd bowl. The slight bitterness from the vege neutralize the dark sauce in a positive way, I like it.

Potato flour noodle was a bit of a disappointment for us, a bit too dry for my liking, and doesn’t offer any advantage in taste either.

The rice wine (or actually red yeast) chicken was another old school dish that we tried, it could do better with heavier dose of red wine/yeast thingy but the dish held its own nonetheless. It’d be better with rice, we had noodle, so a bit of mismatched there.

Yuki, Horng, Suan, and KY
Yuki, Horng, Suan, and KY at Hua Xiang, Sungei Way

Over all, the dinner at Hua Xing was a positive one. I believe we’ll definitely head back there again. I only wish that the parking situation is a bit more favourable though.

map to Hua Xing at Sungai Way

Address:
Hua Xiang Restaurant
Lot1-12, 1st Floor, 
Plaza Seri Setia, 
Jalan SS9/2, Seri Setia, 
Sungei Way,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.085874, 101.62023
Tel03-7876 3288
Hours: lunch and dinner, closed on alternate Wednesdays

After attending the Time Out Food Awards at KLPAC (a couple weeks ago), a few of us decided to have supper (or actually, dinner, since we didn’t really have a meal at the event). Boo of masak-masak suggested Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee, which was a great location since we were already at Sentul, and Hokkien mee for late night?

Awesome choice if you ask me, nothing beats some starch, pork, seafood, and lard near midnight.

restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul
restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul, Jon & Isadora

While the premise of Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee is now a pretty nice corner shop lot with air conditioned as well as al fresco style dining areas, every plate of Hokkien mee is still prepared with good old charcoal fire, exactly the same as when it was just a stall in the nearby kopitiam. (there are even other branches now).

Many believes that Hokkien Mee is best fried using charcoal fire, and that there is a distinctive difference in taste when preapred with gas vs charcoal. For me though, I’m not quire sure, I like it when it tastes good, and frankly doesn’t care too much about the romantic idea of having it old school or modern. If it tastes good, it’s fine by me if it was gas, coal, charcoal, or wood fire.

the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire
the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire

Our Hokkien mee  (RM 12) was quite awesome, there were no surprises – big fat noodle, meehun (we asked for it), prawns, slices of fish cake, pork slices, vegetable, and of course, pork lard.

It really did taste as good as it looks, and made better when Isadora asked for extra lard for us. 😀

butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee
butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee

Other than the Hokkien Mee, we also ordered marmite pork ribs, butter chicken, bitter gourd with salted egg yolk, and another plate of special Hokkien mee made with tapioka noodle.

The marmite ribs (RM 23) were frankly speaking, way too skinny. It would probably be a dream come true for those who loves lean meat, but we weren’t really impressed.

Butter chicken (RM 23) was a pretty decent dish though, flavorful with pretty nice texture to go with. The bitter gourd with salted egg yolk (RM 20) though, was my favorite for the night. The combination of the bitterness and the richness of salted egg yolk, in a weird sort of cosmic logic, worked well for our palates. This is a dish that needs to be tasted to be impressed.

As for the tapioka noodle Hokkien Mee (RM 16), well, imagine the texture of bubble tea pearls, except flattened and served in a plate of Hokkien mee ingredients. I wouldn’t say it was bad, bit it was a bit too chewy for my liking. A novelty perhaps, but not something I would order again.

Ah Yap Sentul Hokkien Mee map

The Hokkien mee at Ah Yap is certainly worth eating, the other dishes however, was a bit of a hit and miss, and does not really offer very good value for money either. I’d stick with having the original Hokkien mee and that sinful bitter gourd with salted egg yolk here.

Address:
Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee
744, Jalan Sentul,
51000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.178117, 101.692436
Tel : 012-3036800, 012-2816862
opening hours are from 5 p.m – 1 a.m

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