Ever have cravings for meat dumplings and ikan bakar at the same time? Well, Kota Kinabalu apparently has enough people who have this unique combo from time to time to warrant a few of these gyoza + grilled fish restaurants.
Today let’s look at one of the most popular of them – Kedai Kopi New Mui Vui.
Restoran New Mui Vui, Kota Kinabalu
New Mui Vui restaurant is located at Hilltop, some 10 minutes away from the heart of Kota Kinabalu, and a stone’s throw from one of the most popular tomato soup fish noodle in town – Fatt Kee (it’s good, check it out!)
Like many local eateries in this part of the country, service isn’t looked at as an area of emphasis, so don’t take anything personally. Overall however, the restaurant is comfortable enough, and hygiene is passable.
gyoza, seafood fried rice
The restaurant serves gyoza, grilled fish/squid/lamb/beef, fried chicken wings/quails, as well as a fried rice and a selection of different noodle. Do note that your dishes may not come all at the same time. Menu is linked below.
We ordered those dumplings to go with a plate of seafood fried rice, as well as grilled stingray and squid for dinner.
ikan pari bakar, sotong bakar
Those grilled fish and squid were actually pretty good, even though the chili sauce it came with wasn’t much to shout about. Fried rice too was rather delicious, as most seafood ingredients from KK are of rather good quality. The gyoza however, was pretty subpar if you ask me, but if you’re in KK and long for gyoza, this is one of the few places you can get some, so I guess it’s… OK-ish?
Next time I may just have chicken wings instead of gyoza.
Hailed from Hakata, the supposed ramen capital of Japan is Ippudo, the latest international Japanese ramen chain to arrive on our shore. The founder Shigemi Kawahara started selling ramen at a ten-seater stall in Fukuoka some 28 years ago, and has since expanded to some 10 cities around the world, serving up piping hot tonkotsu (pork bone) based ramen to eager diners.
We were invited for a tasting session last week ago to find out what the fuss is all about.
Hakata Ippudo Ramen at KL Paviliion
Ippudo Ramen is located just a floor up from the semi-alfresco dining area and a floor below the GSC cinemas. The ramen shop itself is pretty compact in size and could probably cater to around 40 pax or so.
The interior decoration is modern, and they even include “handbag drawers” under some seats, something I’m sure most ladies and dudes with man bags approve.
curry cheese haru maki, pork bun, spicy shrimp mayo
If you’re a fan of rather unique Japanese appetizers, you’re in luck. Ippudo carries quite a few dishes that goes well with hot green tea (or beer) before the main meal.
Curry Cheese Haru Maki (spring roll, RM 10) is indeed cheesy inside with a crispy skin as its exterior, delicious while hot, but you gotta find a balance and not let the melted cheese burn your taste buds.
Spicy Shrimp Mayo (RM 15) is beautifully presented and reminds me of those fried shrimp and mayo dimsum dishes that you could have for half the price.
Goma Q, Crispy Corn, Hakata Style Soup Gyoza
If you prefer something cold to start with, Goma Q (Japanese cucumber, RM 9) will fit the bill. This is very similar to those cold cucumber dishes served in some Chinese restaurants such as Private Kitchen at Uptown, or Hong La Qiao at Pudu.
Crispy Corn (RM 8) is something that I haven’t seen before and find myself liking it. The sweet corn seemed to be seared with a healthy dosage of paprika and other seasoning on top, giving the kernels a pretty unique taste. A serving is only 4 slices of corn though.
Hakata Style Soup Gyoza (RM 15) is an alternative to the usual pan fried version. It is served in the same tonkotsu soup with a bit of ginger in it. The gyoza was decent, but not something I’d get excited about, the soup is nice though.
akamara shinaji, shiromaru motoaji, and karaka-men ramen
Then came the ramen.
Ippudo serves three basic variety of ramen with noodle much thinner than most other places. Much like Italian food, you can also choose to have it al dente (cooked to be firm, but not hard).
Most basic is Shiromaru Motoaji with original tonkotsu broth, belly chasiu, bean sprouts, kikurage (black fungus), and spring onion. Akamara Shinaji has the same core ingredients but enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragant garlic oil. For those who like their ramen spicy, there’s the Karaka-men version, which incorporate special spicy miso and ground pork.
KY & Haze at Hakata Ippudo Ramen, KL Pavilion
I find myself enjoying the original broth most, and have a bit of a mixed feeling for the other two miso infused soup as I think it somehow dilutes the essence of the pork bone taste (which takes 15 hours to cook, as I was told). I’m also not a fan of making ramen spicy, for that I’ll have my kimchi soup instead.
The chasiu at Ippudo is easily one of the best I’ve yet. Premium cut and prepared to perfection, this is the part I like most.
Over all though, I find Ippudo pretty decent and will certainly face strong competition from nearby ramen places within walking distance (Marutama at Fahrenheit 88, Hokkiado Santouka at Pavilion, Ton Chan at Cosway). While having the best ambiance among the competitions, Ippudo is also the priciest, expect to pay RM 26 for a basic bowl to RM 36 with everything in it.
I was with an otaku at Sungei Wang plaza picking up his expensive Japanese action figures, and decided to head to Lot 10 for some La Mian (拉面) at Crystal Jade. According to the guy, this place serves one of the best La Mian in the region, and heaps better than the One Noodle at SS2, a place that I thought was pretty decent.
absolutely mouth-watering La Mian
The restaurant is located by the side of the Lot 10 main entrance, nicely decorated with wooden partition, pretty comfortable chairs, and a bar-style kitchen area so you can watch the chefs swinging dough into noodle. There is also an outdoor area, I imagine it’ll be pretty nice enjoying your bowl of noodle at night watching the carousel of people strolling down Bintang Walk.
We didn’t have to wait long before the dumpling is served. They were very delicious and juicy, still packing some soup together with the meat inside. The xiao long bao too were top notch, served steaming hot on top of some lettuce in the bamboo basket. You can even see the juice in the xiao long bao from the picture above, and it really tastes as good as it look. The vegetable too, wasn’t overcooked and the seasoning done just right, I found myself chewing down the stems as if it was some high quality asparagus.
the sifu making la mian.
The La Mian though, was something else. It was very smooth and rich in flavor to the point that the beef, though pretty delicious itself, proved to be a distraction to the savoring taste of the noodle. No wonder the dude ordered a plain La Mian instead. Comparing the La Mian here to the SS2 counterpart is like comparing Fiat to Ferrari, same country of origin, you might even say same soul, but totally different class. It really opened my taste to La Mian.
map to Lot 10
Of course, the location and the excellent quality of food does come at a price. We spent over RM 30 per person, but it was all worth it. I will definitely go there again when I head to town again.
Address: R2 Annexe Block
Lot 10 Shopping Center GPS:3.146290, 101.711721 Tel:03-2148-2338