On my last work trip to KK, my buddy Yann May suggested that dinner should come in the form of chicken wings. I like chicken skin, and wings has the most skin, so, why not?
And that’s how we got ourselves to Lido Square at Lintas.
Lido Square, Lintas, Kota Kinabalu
Lido Square is this huge food court situated about 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city center. Like most food courts, there are dozens of different stalls offering a wide variety of dishes, many of these are pork free, but some aren’t. If halal food is a must, choose wisely.
We ended up having more than just chicken wings, of course.
The highlight, for me at least, would be those big cockles – RM 10 for half a kilo if you have them boiled, or RM 15 if fried. These cockles are several times larger than those you typically find in Klang Valley – only 9 pieces for half a kilo. They were absolutely on point and delicious! I love it, the lady doesn’t eat cockles, hmph.
May approves of the stingray, but maybe not cockles!
The ikan pari (stingray, RM 25) was properly grilled and rather tasty as well. The fish was fresh, and prepared to a texture that lets you chew down 90% of the cartilage. We enjoyed the fish quite a bit.
melvic chicken wings is the “brand” to go
Then there’s we came for – MELVIC chicken wings. That took quite a wait as the stall is almost always pretty busy.
The wings were nice, sweet with all its honey goodness, and made better with a squeeze of limau on top as well. These are comparable with some of the best wings in KL too.
the popiah is a bit of a disappointment
If you’re a fan of popiah, I can safely say that you may want to skip the version here in KK. Their “Northern style popiah” is almost acceptable, but the Lido style popiah was just a blend of thick popiah skin with not much else to shout about. I’ll avoid.
Other things worth checking out would be the freshly made mochi, and those steamed soup. Plenty of stalls we had no stomach space to try, perhaps next time!
Address: Lido Square Jalan Penampang, Lido Square, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.943246, 116.081579 Hours: 7:30 am to 11:30 pm
When I was a student in the States years ago, I remember one of the things we always struggle to find when it comes to cooking ingredients is santan, or coconut milk.
I mean, if you’re a Malaysian, you got to have curry, and to make curry and a host of other Malaysian dishes, santan is often a key ingredients. Back in the days, we had to substitute santan with milk, so you can imagine how happy I would have been if I had access to something like S&P Santan instant coconut cream powder back then.
S&P Santan and other FFM’s sponsored products at the cooking workshop
A couple weeks ago, I was invited to attend the I love S&P Santan Cooking Workshop with Chef Andri to check out some of the products from S&P Industries as well as getting our hands wet at the kitchen learning from the good chef in making three different dishes.
Lex from KampungBoyCityGal and I are in the same team
A little bit on S&P Industries Sdn Bhd.
S&P Industries is the pioneer in coconut milk powder manufacturing in Malaysia since 1983 and is the world’s largest producer of coconut milk powder with distributions to more than 40 countries.
Their Santan Instant Coconut Milk Powder is made 100% from fresh coconut, does not have preservative or artificial coloring.
The coconut milk powder comes in 50 gram sachets in original, omega, & pandan. They also have coconut milk coming in 200 ml and 1 liter packs.
working on our first appetizer dish
We had a lot of fun at FFM Marketing’s kitchen with the lively Chef Andri showing off his three recipes – an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert.
I really liked how versatile the coconut cream powder was, it is very easy and convenient to use compared to traditional method. Simply add in the powder while cooking and let it dissolve. The S&P Sejati Desiccated Coconut also came in very handy for making desserts and other dishes, the longer shell life is most helpful too.
With Lex from KampungBoyCityGal as my partner (we called our team Kampung Utara), we competed with other teams in creating these dishes, and although we did not win, I think we can claim that we made some of the best looking dishes among the contestants. If you aren’t the best, try to look the best, right?
I also like the choice of venue, the FFM cooking facility located at Sungai Buloh is really well equipped. In fact we were the first group of people to get to use it. The venue is open to rental too, do contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 03-61457888 for inquiries.
The recipes from Chef Andri are shared below so you can give them a try at home.
Sentul is one of those places in KL that I probably go less than once per year, and both times in the last two years, I went there for dinner at Zhen Liew Siang, courtesy of Haze’s aunt, one of those old school ladies who loves her good, strong tasting Malaysian Chinese food.
Zhen Liew Siang at Sentul, always packed at weekends
The restaurant is located at Sentul Raya, the part of Sentul that has seen quite a bit of rebuilt over the years, you’d easily mistaken the area with some of the more glamorous parts of KL.
The restaurant occupies two floors of a shop lot, and a big chunk of parking space as make shift alfresco dining area. On weekends, parking is terrible and you almost always have to wait for a table, telephone booking is recommended.
fried mantis prawn with egg yolk, deep fried choi sam, belacan fried chicken wings
For this session, we ordered five dishes for the six of us, and had to wait for some 20-25 minutes before the food is served on a Saturday night.
Fried mantis prawn is battered and coated with salted egg yolk, and curry leaves to spice it up a bit. Anyone who likes squid with salted egg would love this.
For greens, we had fried “choi sam”, a cooking method that’s been gaining popularity recently, especially with kailan. The choi sam version is just as good, and I especially like it that they sprinkle some deep fried imitation crab meat on top for that extra texture and complexity.
The belacan fried chicken is a dish taken from classic Penang Hookien/Nyonya cooking style, and according to Haze’s aunt, the head chef is apparently a Hokkien, which explains the chicken wings and the next dish – curry fish head.
nyonya style curry fish head
The curry fish head here is excellent, and pretty much the same as the way my mom cooks it. There’s brinjal, long beans, lady’s fingers, tofu pok, curry leaves, and of course, the fish head itself (I believe it was red snapper). Gravy positively thick and flavorful, with just enough hotness to go with steamed rice. If you want a full flavor Penang Nyonya style curry fish head, this is the place to go.
steamed stingray, irresistibly spicy
The last dish we had was the steamed sting ray. Smaller sized string ray is used here as they often have a much smoother texture. The fish is covered with a thick layer of really spicy sambal that is slightly sweet and positively addictive. I struggled a bit to cope with the hotness but find myself unable to stop scooping up more of those spicy sauce. It was really good.
Zhen Liew Siang also offered other signature dishes like their steamed lala, banana leaf prawns/sotong, and even “shark mouth”. Do yourself a favor, make a trip to Sentul and give it a try!
Address: Restoran Makanan Laut Zhen Liew Siang No.30, Jalan 14/48A, Sentul Raya, Off Jalan Sentul, 51000 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.18472, 101.69212 Tel: 03-4041 3781
When I first received the invitation email for a food review at Paradise Inn, I was wondering why I haven’t heard about this hotel since it’s located near Sunway Pyramid, an area I’m quite familiar with. As it turned out, Paradise Inn is actually a Chinese restaurant WITHIN Pyramid.
Traditionally, the word “inn” refers to a place where travelers seek food, drinks, and lodging. Paradise Inn provides two out of the three functions, so I guess it is more legit to use the word “inn” than most political parties in forming government.
Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it’s a restaurant
Paradise Inn is a subsidary of Paradise Group Holding, Singapore. While only been in Malaysia since 2011, the group has been operating several F&B brands in Singapore since 2002. The concept of the restaurant is to combine traditional Chinese cuisine with a touch of modern innovation, and serve the resulting dishes at a reasonable price.
The interior of the restaurant reflects that very concept, with decoration true carrying tell tale traditional styling with added modern touches. I find it quite classy.
stewed pork belly with lotus bun
We kick started the food review session with one of Paradise Inn’s signature dishes, the stewed pork belly served with lotus bun (RM 4.80). It reminds me of the similar dish at Fong Lye at Mid Valley Gardens, but I like this version even more. It’s more juicy, and certainly very savory and flavorful.
The portion is perhaps a little big for appetizer, but I’m not one with huge appetite, so your mileage may vary.
doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple
Like any proper Chinese dinner, soup is of the essence. We tried their double boiled water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple (RM 39.90 per pot), one of the nine different double boiled soups offered here.
The soup is supposed to reduce internal dryness, relieve thirst, and improve metabolism. What I know is that it tastes great, and I’d have never thought that the addition of apple in this otherwise very traditional soup managed to give it a hint of freshness and sweetness that adds to the overall taste. I should try this at home.
coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo
Next up was another pretty unique dish that was a first for me, the coffee pork ribs (RM 19.90 onwards). Imagine Guinness pork ribs, now imagine the aroma from the black beer substituted by the smell of coffee. It was different, not better or worse than it’s sibling, but different in itself, people who loves coffee would definitely love it. I quite like this.
Stewed eggplant with minced pork and salted fish (RM 16 onwards) isn’t quite as unique, but something that carries its own and goes well with steamed rice.
Crisp fried crystal prawns in wasabi mayo (RM 29.90 onwards) came across to me like something from a dimsum restaurant with great Japanese influence, minus the dimsum skin. The wasabi mayo and that sprinkle of ebiko really adds to the otherwise straight forward fried prawns.
fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns
Another prawn dish we had was the crisp fried crystal prawns with salted egg yolk (RM 29.90 onwards). This should be quite a familiar taste to most, and execution of the dish here is pretty good. I like how the prawns are shelled.
Poached Chinese spinach with egg trio and minced pork in superior stock (RM 16 onwards) is a bit of a fancy name for the familiar “siong thong yuen choi” dish that is common across most Chinese restaurants. The difference here is that they use century egg, salted egg, and chicken egg all in one dish, which makes for a more interesting tasting soup, but I wish there was more liquid.
Crisp fried shrimp paste chicken (RM 18 onwards) might have been inspired by local Nyonya cuisine (my mom cooks this), and turns out to be quite delicious. Great with some cold beer.
chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk,
braised vermicelli with pork trotter
Another poultry dish we tried was chicken with fragrant herbs in clay pot (RM 18 onwards), this dish isn’t all too different from Taiwanese 3 cup chicken, but with a stronger taste of spices and herbs.
Steamed minced pork with water chestnut and salted egg yolk (RM 18) looks pretty interesting, the flattened egg yolk though, was probably more for aesthetics than practicality. I’m also not sure if water chestnut with pork is my thing and probably prefer the traditional type with salted fish instead. It’s not bad per se, just not really my thing.
Braised vermicelli with pork trotters (RM 19.90) is a dish that must be consumed while piping hot. The collagen and fat from pork trotter melting into those meehun – heaven! One of my favorites.
hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago
There are eight different traditional desserts to choose from at Paradise Inn. Hasma with red dates and logan (RM 12), lemongrass jelly with lemonade (RM 6), and chilled mango sago (RM 8) were among the few we tried. The desserts serve as sweet conclusion to the session.
there are lunch sets too, and look at how these bloggers work
To me, Paradise Inn seems to sit right in between the cheaper Chinese “tai chau” and the higher end restaurants in hotels in terms of their price point. Quality of food is pretty high up there, offering very decent value for what they are asking.
This review was arranged by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.
Some 9 or 10 years ago a friend brought me to a Malay/Mamak place that was pretty special. There were tables set under and around a garden, and even a few on platforms set on trees, like childhood tree houses. I also remember the place to be beautifully lit, and that they served some decent food as well.
I had no knowledge of its location since I wasn’t family with KL then. It wasn’t till I mentioned to Yuki about this place that I found out it was actually Naili’s Place at Sentul.
We decided to check it out a few weeks ago.
Naili’s Place, not your average night time hangout
The place has probably changed a bit since my first visit almost a decade ago. It looks quite a lot cleaner and more comfortable. There are trees sprawling throughout the place, and yes, the tree houses are still there, but you’d have to be very lucky to get those tables unless you call ahead.
We picked a spot near the bar and ordered our dinner, it was on a raised platform with shoes off, pillows, and low table. Comfortable and informal. The music in the background goes well with the type of food served too.
tomyam seafood, nasi temasik, nasi lemak,
The menu is pretty extensive (available on their website here), they serve local delights, Western foods, snacks, and some “special” drinks.
The Mixed Tomyam (RM 15) got the seal of approval from Haze & Yuki. It was a pretty big serving loaded with chicken, squid, prawns, mushroom, and does carry a kick. Positively spicy, and goes really well if you’re having some rice to go with.
I had the Temasik Rice Special (RM 12.90) and that came with spicy shrimp, beef rendang, and fried chicken alongside butter rice. This is similar to Madam Kwan’s Nasi Bojari but with better value, and equally as tasty. Make sure you’re really hungry before ordering this.
Nasi Lemak (RM 6.90) here tastes pretty decent too, it comes with a choice of Rendang Chicken, Rendang Beef
or Sambal Sotong.
naili’s special fried rice, “twin mermaid”, fried rice with beef rendang
Naili’s Special Fried Rice (RM 12.90) is a pretty decent dish that came with fried chicken wings, fried egg, and keropok, but in my opinion the Temasik Rice Special is a superior dish at the same price.
We also ordered the twin mermaid (RM 14.9) to share, the fish can be either deep fried or grilled, we had the former since the grill wasn’t ready yet. They tasted pretty decent especially with the condiment, I’d love to try their ikan bakar next time though.
Winnie, KY, Horng, Haze and Yuki
We didn’t try any Western food at Naili’s, they serve salmon, lamb chop, steak, chicken chop, pizzas, pastas, and even burger. It’s a pretty sweet place to hang out that is friendly to most everyone (it is halal). Other than Sentul, Naili’s place has branches at Ampang Point, Uptown, and USJ Taipan.