Quite a few moons ago I went up to Cameron Highland for the second time in my life, and as with the last time, I was not entirely prepared by how long the winding road was, and how tiring a drive that can be, not to mention how frustrating it can get when you’re stuck being a vegetable laden lorry going at 30 km/h.
So, Cameron isn’t as much about the journey as it is about the destination, and one of the destinations to check out would be Water Cress Valley Farm & Restaurant.
Water Cress Valley Steamboat
Water Cress Valley, like the menu stated, is both a farm and a restaurant. Right beneath the semi-alfresco (the only way to dine in Cameron Highland) is a beautiful water cress farm. I suppose the water cress served here at this restaurant is right from the farm, and other vegetables most likely from the highland as well, but I’m just guessing.
Since Cameron Highland is many hours away from the closest fishing village, ordering seafood at this part of Malaysia would be a pretty silly thing to do. Hence we went with their vegetarian charcoal steamboat set to complete the farm to table experience.
They do offer chicken, deer meat, lamb, and seafood options, I believe this establishment is pork free.
Cameron Highland is famous for vege so..
The fancy charcoal pot did take a while to heat up, but once it got going that thing was ferocious. There’s no such thing as “turning down the heat, aunty” option. In a way, this sorta forced you to eat at a pace dictated by dead wood.
The watercress based soup was quite interesting in its taste, it was light, subtle, and perhaps lack sophistication. To be honest I thought we could also use a bit more leafy vegetables than what was provided, but there’s plenty of mushroom though so that’s a plus.
vegetarian steamboat set
Overall, the experience of dining in at Cameron Highland climate and freshness of produce makes up for the lack of fancy flavor and different condiments. If you’re already on the highland, this would be a place to visit, I wouldn’t suggest a 4 hour drive from KL just for this though.
A few weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to try out one of the more recent addition to our rich selection of food choices in Malaysia – mala steamboat, also known as Sichuan steamboat.
For this, we headed to Chuan Chuan Xiang at Sunway Velocity, the occasion being Henry’s birthday & SY was buying dinner.
chuan chuan xiang mala hotpot
For some reasons, Sunway Velocity sorta transformed to a mini-China in a way, over here you do find quite a few Sichuan hotpot restaurants often packed with customers from China (you can tell by their accents).
And if it’s good enough for them, it should be “ori” enough for us.
To start with, you choose one or two different soup base. The obvious choice is to go for a spicy and a non-spicy option to maintain sanity.
After bringing the soup to boil, you then add in whatever you pick from the open fridge – consisting of skewers of vegetable, meat, various different types of offal, and seafood. There’s also ingredients that come in dishes, including fish ball, pork belly, prawns, and even pig’s brain and duck blood!
can you spot the duck blood and pig’s brain?
There’s of course, a variety of condiments you can choose from, from different versions of sambal, to garlic, chili padi, fermented tofu, and more. There’s also a bottle of extra spicy chili oil on the table should you need to kick if up a notch.
The ingredients are fresh and of pretty good quality, with soup made of proper herbs and spicy, numbing mala pepper those Chinese guys really love. For me though, I thought it’s perhaps a little bit too spicy for me for the most part, so I ended up mostly using the non-spicy soup base more.
spicy mala soup + pork bone soup, Henry & Choulyin
Soup base is RM 39, meat at RM 19, pig’s brain RM 9, and the skewers are priced by weight regardless what they have on them (hence those has more ingredients than others).
Overall it was a pretty interesting experience, and worthy of a place to visit especially for a late night wake-up supper. They operate from 10 a.m to 2 a.m.
A couple weeks ago I was invited to check out Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10. Do read up on J’s Gate Dining here if you haven’t heard about this fantastic new Japanese dining area before. It is literally a paradise for those who loves food from the land of the rising sun.
Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining
Back to Mo-Mo Paradise, this latest outfit at J’s Gate Dining offers shabu-shabu and sukiyaki in a no-frill, all-you-can-eat buffet style within 100 minutes. In another word, eat as much as you want, or can, during a 100 minute period and pay one all inclusive price for the food offered.
At Mo-Mo Paradise, the asking price is RM 68++.
The restaurant is founded in 1993 at Shinjuku Kabukicho in Tokyo with the aim of providing the ultimate shabu-shabu and sukiyaki experience by focusing on a wide variety of fresh and high quality ingredients. On top of the traditional ingredients, they also aim to provide a modern and inviting ambiance with good hospitality to diners.
From our experience, I think they got it down quite well at this outlet.
all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too
Well, what do they really offer then in terms of food?
First off there’s a vegetable bar where you get all your greens in self served style. There’s a good selection of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, onion, and even fuchuk and some fish balls.
Then there’s obviously the most important ingredients – the meat. For this session we were served 3 different types of beef and pork each, with a total of 6 varieties. My favorite was the “bacon” cut of pork (probably isn’t the best for my cholesterol level?) but all 6 types of thinly sliced meat were all so delicious.
We had the shabu with ponzu and gomadare sauce, and raw eggs for sukiyaki.
great food is best enjoyed with friends
We ended the night with a couple scoops of ice cream (included in the package), and I thought the experience overall was rather positive, good was very good, and while it isn’t the cheapest meal option, it does offer pretty good value and way above average in terms of quality. Will return.
If you’re looking for dinner at Klang, there are a few repeating themes you’ll see. First and foremost, there’s of course the various bak kut teh restaurants at every other block, followed by seafood & tai chao restaurants, and then if you look closely, there’s also quite a few steamboat/hotpot sort of places.
A few weeks ago, we decided to check out one of those places.
Restoran Max Venture, quite a weird name for a kopitiam
This particular restaurant is situated a stone’s throw away from Mae Porn Thai, one of our regular Thai restaurants, so you could say that we’ve been curious for quite a while prior to giving it a try.
Ordering is simple, you get a set for two pax for something like RM 30, which comes with assortment of vegetables, mushroom, tofu, imitation crab, egg, meehun, bakwa, a couple prawns and sliced pork.
Thai style hot pot, grill & soup two in one
The hot pot is heated up with charcoal and has a grilling dome at the center and a ring of soup surrounding it. To start, you grill some pork lard to oil the pot, then one by one goes the prawn, pork slices, and other ingredients. Be sure to stuff the cabbage in the soup too, by the time your grill items are done, the cabbage gets to soak up all those juice and makes for a very sweet, delicious soup too.
KY & Haze, was a nice long leisure dinner
Places like these are quite popular around Klang, if you’re ever looking for dinner around the area, perhaps it should be in your short list. Happy eating!
Address: Restoran Max Venture Pelangi Point, Lintang Pekan Baru, Off Jalan Meru, Klang, 41150 Selangor GPS: 3.064707, 101.452734
A couple weeks ago a few of us were fortunate enough to get a taste of ten different dishes at Senya Izakaya at Publika for their upcoming Aomori Fair that runs from 15th February to 29th February 2016.
For those who aren’t familiar with Senya Izakaya, they are from the same group that runs Ten Sushi, Sushi Ichiro, and Menya Ramen. Izakaya is basically a type of informal Japanese gastropub, a place for after-work dining and (sometimes plenty of) drinking.
Senya Izakaya at Solaris Dutamas
The Aomari Fair is basically an initiative to introduce the produce from Aomori Prefecture, which is situated at the northernmost area of Japan’s main island, just South of Hokkaido. The prefecture is famous for apple, in fact, 50% of all apples produced in Japan is from Aomori prefecture, and 90% of all apples exported out of Japan is Aomori apples.
Seafood, squid, and scallops are also among the exported produce from the area.
In conjunction to the Aomori Fair, Senya Izakaya is running a competition with the winner getting an RM 100 voucher, just vote for the most popular dishes out of the ten below on their FB page and in the restaurant. Check it out!
Now, here are the ten dishes that will be available during the fair, though the actual number of dishes is actually slightly more than these presented to us, but we had to be somewhat realistic in the ability to sample all these in one seating, isn’t it?
Aomori Apple with Pork Belly Skewer
One of my favorite of the day, and probably the best beer food I’d like to have with me – Aomori Apple with Pork Belly Skewer (RM6). Made from preserved Aomori apples wrapped with sliced pork belly and grilled in charcoal, this was just the perfect blend of savory and sweetness in a mouthful, absolutely beautiful.
Fried Aomori Baby Scallop & Long Bean Sprout
Fried Aomori Baby Scallop & Long Bean Sprout (RM25) looked a bit like fried noodle in a glance, but those are actually really long bean sprouts that is packed with vitamin C, E, and B (twice as much as normal bean sprouts, I was told).
Those baby scallops pack a punch in flavor as well, mostly due to the smallish size which tend to condensed the natural sweetness of scallops.
Grilled Aomori Squid with Guts
The Grilled Aomori Squid with Guts (RM22) is a traditional dish that may take a bit of getting used to for some of us. Whole squid is used in this dish, and since innards aren’t removed, the squid used must be really fresh, often at sashimi quality. This dish is usually enjoyed with shochu or sake.
Aomori Baby Scallop Kakiage Tempura
If you like deep fried food, Aomori Baby Scallop Kakiage Tempura (RM19.80) is not to be missed. This tempura is almost like a really luxurious version of our local prawn fritters, but with baby scallops, onion, carrot, and mitsuba leaves. I really liked it.
Vinegared Saba Sushi
No Japanese menu is complete without sushi, and I was glad when we were served with Vinegared Saba Sushi (RM22.80). Made with Aomori saba that is harvested during winter time when they’re packed with more fat, this pressed sushi (oshizushi) also comes with egg, cucumber, and sakura denbu to give it that extra character.
Nanbu Aomori Senbei Hot Pot
Nanbu Aomori Senbei Hot Pot (RM19) is a dish that’s perfect for cold weather, and I guess for here too when it rains or the aircond is particularly cold. It is a traditional local dish famous at the Nanbu area. The soup is a blend of shoyu and chicken broth and accented by Nanbu Senbei, a type of local rice cracker (an award winning one at that.)
I really like the rice cracker when it soaked up the broth, not entirely unlike how we have fuchuk in BKT soup, if you know what I mean.
Aomori Seafood Barachirashi Don
Then there’s the Aomori Seafood Barachirashi Don (RM33.80), a dish that I’d most likely order if I was completely oblivious to the menu, just because chirashi and barachirashi sushi are some of my favorite Japanese dishes.
This version uses boiled Aomori baby scallop, raw scallop, Aomori squid, Aomori vinegared saba, tuna, garlic, and Aomori yam. It certainly packs a punch with all the flavors in a bowl. Not disappointed at all.
Pork Don with Preserved Aomori Apple
If you can only order one dish from this list of ten, my recommendation will go to the Pork Don with Preserved Aomori Apple (RM23.80). This is Senya Izakaya’s signature dish, a fairly simple pork don with preserved Aomori apple. The apple with lemon flavor balance the rich taste of those perfectly prepared pork belly, it is basically just heaven in a bowl if you love pork like I do. Don’t miss this.
Aomori Baby Scallop Miso Curry Milk Ramen
For those who like ramen, you’re covered. We sampled the Aomori Baby Scallop Miso Curry Milk Ramen (RM22.8), which interestingly, is an invention by the children of Aomori by putting milk and curry into ramen. It is a little creamier than usual, and still packed with plenty of ingredients, most notably those baby scallops. I find the soup base perhaps a little too creamy for me, but your mileage may vary.
Cream Cheese Snow Mountain & Aomori Apple Sorbet with Cinnamon Cookie
Then of course, we had dessert. The Cream Cheese Snow Mountain & Aomori Apple Sorbet with Cinnamon Cookie (RM16). It is a cream cheese moose with Aomori apple ice cream and cinnamon cookie. This dessert is most popular at Hiromae-shi Ringo Park, which is at Hiromae-shi, a place where the best quality of apple is produced in all of Aomori.
The dessert proved to be a great ending to this overly lushed tasting session. I feel like I need to go back for some of those pork & apple dishes now.
Address: Senya Izakaya D5-G3-5, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.171465, 101.667620 Tel: 03-6205 4999