Nasi campur, or Malay mixed rice, is usually a pretty uneventful type of meal. You pick a few dishes from a couple dozen precooked “lauk” to put on top of steamed rice, and go about filling up your stomach.
Unless of course, you head to Istana Budaya.
Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur
Most people associates Isatana Budaya as a place where you dress up to catch a fancy play such as Puteri Gunung Ledang, but did you know that they also serve perhaps one of the fanciest nasi campur over lunch?
Well, I was just as surprised when I got there the first time with a couple of my colleagues who are just as big a fan of good food as me – Razi & Amalia.
yes, this nasi campur spread looks like a luxurious buffet
The nasi campur spread here looks as good as any hotel grade buffet, complete with a huge selection of halal dishes, including appetizer, main course, dessert, and even selection of kuih and other tea time favorites.
The modus operandi though, is the same as any nasi campur places – fill up your plate, go about filling it up with your favorite dishes, head to the counter to pay, and makan!
laksa, sago gula melaka, and more
Other than rice dishes, there are also noodle dishes such as laksa. I also recommend ending the meal with a small container of those really sinful yet delicious sago gula Melaka.
Amalia sure looked happy
Prices are not out of the ordinary, a usual meal cost less than RM 10 in an air conditioned dining hall, and being located at a big function building, parking is not a problem either. Have a try!
One of the more popular thing to do for many restaurant owners is to name their restaurant with the place the business is conducted from. After all, it is convenient for anyone to remember, and also make it sounds a lot more legitimate.
That is, until you expand to another location. One of such example is the confusingly named Peel Road Yong Tau Foo located at Sungai Way, our subject of this entry.
Update 21/11/2014: unfortunately this place has already changed to a “tai chao” operation and no longer serve yong tau foo
Restaurant Peel Road Yong Tow Foo at Sungai Way
We actually stumbled upon this place as Sing Kee was closed when we wanted to go for their asam fish a couple weeks ago. Since this shack/restaurant seems to be offering more than just yong tau foo, we thought why not?
As it turns out, the place is more of a tai chau restaurant that happen to offer yong tau foo.
naturally, we had to order some yong tau foo
Naturally, we ordered a selection of yong tau foo as appetizer.
True to the name, the YTF here were actually rather good, with the fuchuk particularly tasty. The tofu, chili, bitter gourd, brinjal and such did not disappoint either. The stuffing is a little heavy but we liked it nonetheless.
steamed egg, vegetable, curry fish head, bitter gourd chicken
For the six of us, we ordered another four dishes to go with rice for everyone.
The steamed egg was smooth n silky with a hint of sesame oil, reminding me of the version we had at K.T.L. Cheras. The vegetable more than passable, in addition to ticking off the vitamin C requirement in every meal.
The third dish, bitter gourd chicken, was also pretty decent, though not exactly the best version I’ve tried.
the curry fish head was really good
However, the curry fish head here turned out to be superb. We asked for grouper head which isn’t very commonly available in Klang Valley, but in my opinion, the best candidate for curry fish head. The version here has a thick flavorful gravy and packed with extra vegetables that adds to the overall experience. If I had to order only one dish from here, this would be it.
Over all this branch of Peel Road YTF at Sungai Way makes for a more than decent dinner option. We ended up paying around RM 15 or so per person.
Peel Road Yong Tow Foo
Jalan SS 9a/14 & Jalan SS 9a/19
Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.086527, 101.622316
A couple weekends ago I had an epiphany. I had garupa fish fillet in the fridge, and a pack of curry powder, so why not put them together and see what happens, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – fried fish fillet with curry powder.
cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying
This dish is so easy to make you could do it in kemahiran hidup and not mess it up.
- fish fillet (any type of fish)
- curry powder
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 bulb of garlic
- petai (optional)
some garlic and petai for garnish
- apply salt and curry powder to fish fillet (must be dry)
- fry fish in medium heat for 7-10 mins each side depending on thickness
- separately, fry chopped garlic to golden brown
- fry petai for 2 mintues
- serve while hot!
fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic
So there you go, a simple recipe anyone can try. Fried curry fish fillet with petai. For more simple home-cook recipes, check the KY cooks section.
A few weeks ago I had a couple hours and a hungry stomach to kill before a futsal session at Ampang Sports Planet. Since Dato’ Keramat is sort of a half way point between where I was and where I need to be, I thought I’d explore the area a little bit and see what I can feed myself.
Malay roti canai/roti arab stall at Dato’ Keramat market
My initial plan was to have the ikan bakar (grilled fish) for dinner, unfortunately at almost 6pm in the evening, the stall has already closed for business (even though it says until 6:30pm).
Walking about the market and around the area, I spotted this roti telur/roti arab stall by the makeshift food court/restaurant opposite the LRT station .
the roti is a quite unique, puffed up and slightly sweet
After a brief description by the friendly waitress on what exactly this roti arab is about, I ordered a portion to load up some carb before exercise. Like roti canai, you can have it with curry, and I think it will also go very well with some condensed milk.
The ingredients of roti arab is pretty similar to normal bread, with the addition of butter on top of yeast, flour, and some sugar. The dough is then pan fried instead of baked.
I think it tastes great with some fish curry
I find myself enjoying roti arab quite a bit. It is easy to eat, almost like in between roti canai and normal bread. Dip it wet with fish curry and viola, instant carb loading that cost less than RM 3 including a glass of teh-o-ais. Perfect afternoon in-between meals.
I hope more places started serving this.
Dato’ Keramat Market
Opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT
Jalan Dato’ Keramat
GPS: 3.165396, 101.73118
A good restaurant to a resort is like a good sound system to a cinema. While not always the centrepiece of the overall experience, good in-house restaurants often enhance the overall experience during a stay.
For The Datai Langkawi, there are four different on-location restaurants within the confine of the luxury five class establishment – The Beach Club, Gulai House, The Dining Room, and The Thai Pavilion.
All four restaurants offer quality food, making travelling out of the resort for food unnecessary. This is especially important for The Datai since the location of the resort is quite far away from Kuah, Langkawi’s main town.
The Beach Club, by the second pool and beach
Our first meal at The Datai was at The Beach Club, appropriately located by the beach and the second swimming pool. On foot it’s about a 10-15 minutes’ scenic walk from the main entrance of the hotel, free buggy service’s available as well.
The Beach Club is a strictly open air restaurant, with most tables and comfortable huge chairs under the roof, with some outside if you prefer a little bit of sun.
pizza, surf & turf, bruschetta with mozzarella, wat tan hor, ice cream
The menu comprises the best from East and West. The four of us shared the following dishes:
- bruschetta topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and olives. 46
- langkawi prawn, lemongrass, mushroom, corinader, chili, lime pizza. 65
- surf & turf, black angus strip loin with tiger prawn, vegetable medley, barbeque sauce. 87
- wat tan hor with king prawns and seafood (chef’s special)
- stir fry chicken with thai basil. 56
- home made ice cream. 14
The western affairs were well executed, with the thin crust pizza particularly delicious. Wat tan hor too were surprisingly tasty, benefiting from the fresh seafood in the list of ingredients.
The Dining Room serves lunch and dinner.
The Gulai House, premier restaurant of The Datai Langkawi
The premier restaurant at The Datai Langkawi is Gulai House.
Many luxury five star resorts in Malaysia have premier restaurants serving foreign cuisines such as French, Japanese, Cantonese, Italian, and so forth. So I was more than happy to see that Datai took the initiative to make Malaysia proud by serving something closer to home. A great way to introduce our local cuisine to many visitors from all around the world.
mango salad, sup ayam, soft shell crab, aloo gobi, grilled cuttle fish
The Gulai House is located not far from the Beach Club and best accessed via a buggy. The restaurant has both indoor as well as alfresco dining area, the latter provides great ambiance only unless it’s rainy heavily or if it’s a particularly hot night. Gulai House is only open for dinner.
Our dinner was determined by the chef, a degustation affair if you like. Our menu was written on a piece of huge dried leaf picked from the forest, a unique approach to personalization and one that is tastefully done.
tiger prawns, grilled garupa, lobster, skewered boneless chicken, prata, kuih
We had mango salad, sup ayam (chicken soup), deep fried soft shell crab, aloo gobi (cauliflower & potato with spices), grilled cuttle fish, grilled tiger prawns, grilled fish, skewered boneless chicken, prata bread, nasi briyani (rice), and even lobster that’s prepared with both grilling and frying techniques.
It was an absolute feast and we stuffed ourselves silly. Food was authentic with ingredients of quality, very hard to find any fault.
Prices is seasonal and depends on weight of ingredients. As with every facet of Datai, it is with a bit of a premium, but you do get what you pay for, including excellent service.
champagne breakfast at The Dining Room
Breakfast is usually served at The Dining Room, located by the main swimming pool, just below the resort reception.
Much like most international breakfasts, the menu changes a little bit everyday, but with the core items such as juices, the egg station, fruit & salad bar and such always presence.
I enjoyed the cold cuts, smoked salmon, and noodle soup. Of course, there’s also the free flowing champagne to jump start your day, everyday! The dining room also serves lunch and dinner.
classic Thai cuisine at The Pavilion
During our second and final night at The Datai, we had dinner at The Pavilion, which was also the location where we learned to cook tomyam and drunken prawn dishes.
For dinner, we had crispy soft shell crab with Thai chili oil, green curry chicken, seasonal vegetable with oyster sauce, deep fried snapper with chili and soya sauce, and of course, tomyam prawns. It was a spicy, strong tasting, and very satisfying, like a good Thai dinner is supposed to be.
We also concluded the meal with mango on sticky rice.
The Pavilion is open for dinner only.
I miss this resort already, when we can return?
The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Datai, Teluk Datai,
07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Tel:+60 4-959 2500
FB: The Datai Langkawi