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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / jaya one

Non-halal Japanese Ramen used to be a bit of a novelty in this country. For a long time, Wisma Central’s Tenka Daiichi and Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway were two of the few places that serves it.

Mai Ramen at Jaya One
Mai Ramen at Jaya One

But with the seemingly rapid maturity that Japanese cuisine enjoys in this country over the last decade or so, I’m glad that there are now more ramen shops that don’t feel like they have to make compromises to capture a wider demographic.

Mai Ramen is one of such places, a relatively new comer to the scene that serves ramen as intended – with pork!

chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice
chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice

I ordered basically the measuring stick of any ramen place – chasiu ramen. If you ask for a set, it comes with 3 pretty tasty gyoza, a somewhat forgettable salad, and some interesting salty+spicy vegetable on the side that goes pretty well with the ramen.

As for the bowl of ramen itself, it was certainly not a disappointment. The broth was pretty thick and flavorful, the noodle palatable, and the chasiu were commendable too. It was actually, quite good.

I think we might have over ordered..
I think we might have over ordered..

Yuki had ramen that comes with unagi. The unagi sauce certainly made the eel tasted as good as any. The 3/4 boil egg in the ramen too were perfectly done. Good stuff.

The yakitori (grilled stuff) at Mai Ramen, on the other hand, were a pretty disappointing affair. They somehow tasted a little old and you don’t get the flavor and punch you’d expect from good yakitori such as those you can get from the excellent Sumi Ka or Hyotan at SS15.

Horng, Yuki, Kerol
Horng, Yuki, Kerol at Mai Ramen

A dinner at Mai Ramen would come to about RM 20-30 inclusive of drinks. The best ramen I’ve had in the region is still Santouka in Singapore, but Mai Ramen is certainly not a place to be dismissed if you’ve got that pork ramen craving coming. Now I just wish they don’t take nearly as long to serve…

map to Jaya One

Address:
Mai Ramen
D-13-G, Block D
Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.117537, 101.635680
Tel: 03-7957-6689

In many ways, Korean food is like a bastard child of East Asian cuisine. With THE big brother Japanese food enjoying tremendous success around the world with a million types of Japanese restaurants from conveyor belt restaurants to ramen stalls to supermarket takeaway, Korean cuisine is still largely represented by Korean BBQ places.

Most Korean restaurants look the same, a hold in the middle of the table, with an exhaust vent extended from the ceiling. With such specifications and most foods involving BBQ meat with full service, Korean restaurants are also typically out of many young adult’s budget. It became a bit of a one-in-a-while cuisine, like Japanese food 20-30 years, or French food today (and most likely, forever.)

KimichiHaru at Jaya One, PJ
KimichiHaru at Jaya One, PJ

Then there’s KimchiHaru, a quaint little restaurant located at the slightly less glamourous corners of Jaya One. I actually discovered this little restaurant while making my rounds in the parking lot looking for a spot. The photos and menu on the outside looks enticing and reasonably priced, hence we went in for a quick lunch.

Sam Gye Tang and Beef Bulgogi set
Sam Gye Tang and Beef Bulgogi set

A quick look at the menu revealed the usual Korean BBQ dishes – the chicken, pork, and beef bulgolgi, kimchi soup, fish/pork cutlet, and spring rolls too. We ordered Sam Gye Tang (chicken soup with ginseng, RM 23) and Beef Bulgogi (RM 23).

Instead of the unlimited supply of banchan (side dishes) found at full service Korean restaurants, we were served with 4 small portions of them with kimchi and salad too.

While the kimchi was a bit lackluster and the banchans we had were nothing to shout about, the sam gye tang turned out to be pretty decent, it was a quarter of a pretty good size chicken with the typical ingredients you find in such dish. I finished the soup too. Haze’s beef bulgogi was commendable too.

Haze and KY at KimchiHaru
Haze and KY at KimchiHaru

To me, KimchiHaru represents a step in the right direction for Korean food in this country, with it’s affordable menu (weekday bibimbap at RM 9.80, lunch set at RM 17.80), clean and modern set up, it is sure to attract younger crowd that will graduate to appreciate Korean food.

map to Jaya One, Petaling Jaya

Address:
KimchiHaru
No. 13-LG1 Block D, Jaya One,
No 72A, Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.118298,101.635294
Tel: 03-7629 8020

It all got started when Larry of Frontera sent me an email that titled “Ready for some real Tex-Mex?” a few weeks ago.

Having spent quite a number of years in the States, I was quite eager to give this place a try. It had been a very long time since I had any Mexican food, let alone the more unique Tex-Mex, so Mellissa and paid Larry a visit a couple weekends ago.

Frontera TexMex restaurant
Frontera Tex Mex restaurant with owner Larry

Frontera is located at Jaya One, a place that is fast becoming a very trendy watering hole in PJ. There are dozens of eateries offering a wide variety of choices from fast food chains, cafes, Chinese restaurants, pubs, and of course, a Tex-Mex outlet.

Larry greeted us warmly and we took a seat at the bar. The restaurant is decorated in typical sports bar concept that is not very different from the likes of Chili’s. Nothing to shout about, but it was clean and comfortable.

habanero, jalapeno pepper, mexican oregano
Habanero and Jalapeno peppers, Mexican Oregano

Larry is a man who appears to be very passionate about his food, from the moment we sat down, the Texan went into in depth discussions about the ingredients, recipe, origin, and basically almost everything about the dishes we were served.

Everything here is done according to the way Larry learned from back home, and it all starts out with the ingredients. I had recently noticed that some Cold Storage outlets are carrying jalapeno and habanaro peppers (love the former, didn’t miss the latter), and apparently Frontera is the reason behind it. Larry was the one who initiated the import of the peppers that eventually found its way to the grocer.

chips and salsa, nachos, taquito de pollo
chips and salsa, Frontera nachos, Taquitos de Pollo

We got started with chips and salsa (RM 8.95), they used to offer this for free so long as you order drinks, but apparently Malaysian can’t handle free chips and will inadvertently start to abuse it (as in come in, order a beer and have free chips all night long). Despite knowing we will have a lot to eat in the session, we finished the chips anyhow. The salsa was just too good.

Two classic Tex-Mex dishes came next, nachos (RM 22.95) and taquitos de pollo (RM 19.95). The nachos aren’t the typical messy type that you get at cinemas (for example, at Gardens), individual tortilla chip covered with melted cheese and a slice of marinated jalapeno pepper on top with some sour cream, lettuce and tomato at the center. Very authentic and nicely presented.

The taquito de pollo is something that looks like a love letter (pastry) but with the texture that is closer to deep fried spring role. The rolled up tortilla with chicken was very delicious with the spicy homemade jalapeno salsa, I would have eaten more than just one if Larry didn’t keep bringing out other dishes.

BBQ beef ribs, Frontera burger, Chili Con Carne
BBQ beef ribs, Frontera burger, chili con carne

The BBQ beef ribs priced at RM 49.95 is one of the most expensive dishes you can find at Frontera. I do like the BBQ sauce that goes with it, but ultimately, it is no pork. I personally prefer the pork ribs at Tony Roma’s (in Bangkok) over this. If you’re a beef ribs person, I suppose there would be no complains.

The Frontera burger (RM 15.95) is a great value that beats the Carl’s Jr. equivalent by miles. A good size beef patty with cheese and chili in between the buns that goes so well with mustard for some kicks.

My favorite dishes of the session was the unassuming Chili con carne (RM 8.95, RM 16.95). I lived in the hometown of Skyline Chili at Cincinnati for a year and chili was a taste I had acquired there. The chili here was the best I’ve tasted, there’s no beans, plenty of beef and the flavor of jalapeno, onion, and garlic all mixed together. This would be something I’ll order when I go there again.

beef enchiladas, golden chicken tenders
new menu item, beef enchiladas, golden chicken fingers

The spring roll look alike dish in the collage above should be ignored, it is an experimental dish that might be part of the new menu that is in works. I can’t remember the name of it but it was something that tasted pretty good (especially with the sauce).

Enchilada is another popular dish at any Tex-Mex restaurants. The beef enchiladas (RM 28.95) we had tasted every bit like how an enchilada should taste like. Rich and flavorful.

And as if we haven’t been wasting too much food, Larry brought out the chicken tenders (RM 16.95) just because I told him I like honey mustard sauce and they are so hard to come by around here. The home made sauce made me want to cry, it was the long lost taste (from the sauce with McD’s nugget in USA) that finally found it’s way back, except 10x better. *slurps*

Don Julio and Patron tequila, margarita, XO cafe coffee liqueur
Don Julio and Patron tequila, margarita, XO cafe coffee liqueur

We were also served margaritas that’s made with premium tequilas including Don Julio and Patron (made with 100% agave plant). They tasted great, and maybe a tad too strong for me. We were also half-forced into taking a shot of Patron XO cafe coffee liqueur. It is a strange mix of strong coffee and tequila taste that somehow worked together very well. Saying that it tastes similar to Kahlua would be unfair, but that is the only description i could come up with.


Frontera Bar and Grill is located at ground floor, Jaya One

We chatted with Larry about a lot of other things too, it was a very enjoyable food review session. I headed back with a stomach that is so full and ended up skipping dinner for the day.

If you’re into authentic Tex-Mex food, give this place a try. After all the Mexican embassy has already made this place one of their favorite restaurants.

Address:
Frontera Bar & Grill
18-G-2, Block L,
Palm Square Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.118298, 101.635294
Tel: 03-7958 8515

A couple Fridays ago, Eiling invited me to Cubes Chinese Restaurant at Jaya One for a food review session.

Jaya One is slowly becoming a pretty popular watering (and dining) hole in PJ, and it is not hard to see why. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering a wide variety of cuisines, and parking is relatively cheap and easy to find.

Cubes Chinese Restuarant
Cubes Chinese Restaurant

Yiling, Eiling’s sister, but not Ziling, (mystery of the EZY sister naming convention) and I reached the restaurant and had a good 20 minutes flipping through the menu and chatting before our Eiling finally arrived.

The interior decoration of the restaurant is modern, chic, very different from typical high end Chinese restaurants. We were greeted by the owner, Mr. Ang, who turned out to be a very friendly, funny, and fine host.

london aromatic crispy duck at cubes restaurant
probably the best London Aromatic Duck….

So we got started with a serving of “probably the best London Aromatic Duck”. The server flossed the quarter duck confit to and we then wrapped the meat with very fine crepe, spring onion, julienned cucumber, and the special sauce. Their signature appetizer dish, and it was very yummy! Reminded me of the similar dish at Kensington, Seremban.

braised peanuts, apple and pineapple juice, enzynme drinks
braised peanuts, juice, enzymes

Throughout dinner, we were served hot tea, a variety of interesting juices (vegetable juice anyone?); and since Eiling is a buddy of the restaurateur, we were also served the little shot glasses of “enzymes” which were fermented juice that tasted very close to being alcohol but not quite, it was pretty interesting. An acquired taste I must say.

ginseng chicken soup, tofu with mushroom, deep fried tiger prawn
double boiled soup, tofu with spinach and mushroom, tiger prawn with rice crisp

We then had the Double Boiled Scallops with Tong Sum Soup. The pork ribs, scallops, and herbs certainly works very well together to produce a very sweet and herbal tasting soup, I like it.

Tiger Prawn with Rice Crisp came next. The prawn itself was the size of my palm, deep fried in a way that still leave the meat very succulent. The pairing of rice crisp is to provide a different texture to the prawn.

Homemade Bean Curd with Spinach and Mushroom provided yet another dimension of taste that is typical of Chinese cuisine. Soft, smooth, and certainly not lacking in taste, the mushroom with it’s sauce and scallop bits certainly adds a bit of character to the otherwise plain tofu dish.

pork ribs, lotus roots, soya bean with tong yuen
honey roasted pork ribs, stir fry lotus roots and celery, almond soup and  black sesame tong yuen

The dish that was probably most amazing in the whole dinner was the Honey Roasted Pork Ribs. I mean, just look at it, a generous piece of ribs, doesn’t look anything more like a slab of char siew (bbq pork), but when you cut into the meat, ahh. The meat immediately breaks on impact and the aroma of that perfectly roasted pork come rushing out. It was really succulent and really, really tasty. This dish should not be missed.

We finally wrapped up the main course with Stir Fry Lotus Roots and Celery, the vegetable certainly provided a fresh change of taste from the seafood and meat. The lotus roots is prepared in two ways, deep fried and by normal stir frying.  This provides a slightly different flavor, the deep fried version reminds me of deep fried bitter gourd you get in places like Kanna Curry House

Yiling, KY, and Eiling at Cubes, Jaya One
Yiling, KY, and Eiling

After we were absolutely filled to the brim, Mr. Ang ordered us (and we denied at first) the Almond Soup with Black Sesame Glutinous Balls. I think the almond soup was a tad too thick and would personally prefer soya milk in this case, but the glutinous balls was very yummy. Reminded me of the version made by (well, reheated) Mellissa one particular night at Melbourne.

Overall, the dinner was only bested by the company at the table. Eiling and Yiling always made good company, and Mr. Ang, being a fantastic host, made the entire experience that much better. Price at Cubes would be slightly higher than your run-of-the-mill Chinese outlets, but the combination of food and ambiance made it all very worth it.

So if you’re looking for a finer Chinese cuisine not located in a 5-star hotel, this would be one of the very few places worth visiting.

Address:
Cubes
18-1, Block L1-1,
Palm Square Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.118298, 101.635294
Tel: 3-7958 6616

A few days ago Cheesie and I went to check out the newest dining hangout area that is Jaya One at PJ. Since I was in this Guinness gastronomic workshop with Chef in Black not too long ago, it was just appropriate that I head to the restaurant that spots a big Guinness sign board. Cafe Chulo it was then.

Cafe Chulo at Jaya One
cafe chulo is located on first floor, alfresco as well as indoor

The concept of Jaya One is pretty nice, in the middle island surrounded by the shops lie four small blocks of double story restaurant buildings. While a few restaurants take up both levels, some only occupies a single floor. The upper level of the four blocks are connected via a series of (slightly confusing) walkways with plenty of alfresco style dining area. Pretty unique and very comfortable.

Cafe Chulo is one of the modern Spanish restaurants/pubs on level one with about half its tables located outdoor. We, of course, chose to be seated along the sheltered walkway.

Cafe Chulo at Jaya One
scallop, grilled mushroom, potato gratins

With some recommendations from the restaurant manager, we ordered three tapas, two main dishes, and of course, I got myself a pint of Guinness Draught to go with the mix. The alluring malt & caramel aroma with its dry roasted bitterness of Guinness Draught helps to round out the savoury bite of the tapas and complements the bold taste of most meat which goes very well with the selection of food that i have ordered. Food pairing with Guinness Draught makes good food taste great.

The scallop ceviche came with 8 mid size scallops lightly cooked in lime juice and parsley, preserving the juiciness of the shellfish while giving a hint of tangy taste.

Champinones al jerez is the slightly fancier name for the whole mushroom grilled with olive oil, sea salt and dry sherry. I like the mixture of mushroom and sauteed bell pepper. Our favorite tapas though, was the patatas au gratin, or Spanish style potato gratin. Basically layers of potato topped with cheese ala lasagna style. You must try this one.

Cafe Chulo at Jaya One
Spanish lamb chop, mixed paella (seafood)

The main dishes were served shortly after. I ordered mixta paella since this is basically a Spanish outlet and it proved to be a decent choice. The rice is pretty fragrant and the seafood, especially the four rather big and juicy mussels were very tasty indeed. This dish certainly goes well with my premium black beer.

Cheesie’s chuleta de cordero, or Spanish lamb chop, was even better. Two slabs of pretty good size lamb chops marinated with spice and what I believe to be citrus served with some onions and greens. It was very succulent and the slight citrus taste gives the meat a different dimension, it was very good! I can’t believe this dish is priced only at RM22

Cafe Chulo at Jaya One
Cheesie, Guinness Draught, KY

We certainly enjoyed ourselves at Cafe Chulo, food was good and the Guinness draught was of course, as smooth as ever.

Map to Jaya One, PJ
Jaya One is just a short drive from Federal Highway or SS2

For the amount dishes we ordered, the totally bill came to a tad less than RM 120. The entrees are only RM 20 and 22. Tapas from RM 8 – RM13, very affordable.

Good food with great drinks under very nice ambiance, a very positive dining experience in foreign cuisine without breaking the bank.

I was also told that the restaurant is going to feature some Guinness infused Christmas dishes beginning next month, and a voucher is given per order for those specified dishes. Simply fill in the voucher with some basic information, tear it off to redeem a free pint of Guinness Draught. The other half entitles the diner to have RM 12 off three pints of Guinness Draught in the same receipt on the next visit.

Check out the banners here and here for more information. There are a few other outlets doing the same thing and I’ll be writing about them too, stay tuned!

Address:
L-20-1 Blk L,
Jaya One, Section 13/6
46400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor

GPS: 3.118298,101.635294
Tel: 012-331 0277

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