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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / kailan

When it comes to foriegn cuisine, it is safe to say that the most popular of all out of South East Asia is that of our Northern neighbor – Thai. You can find a good bowl of tomyam most anywhere in the world.

For us in Malaysia, we had the good fortune of being able to indulge in some of the most authentic dishes Thailand has to offer thanks to our proximity and our shared history across the border.

Tigerlily at DC Mall
Tigerlily at DC Mall

This tradition continues at Tigerlily, one of the latest Thai restaurants located at DC Mall, the new spanking shopping complex located at Damansara Height, and we were lucky enough to get invited to sample some of their dishes.

To properly prep for the restaurant, the local chefs were sent to Thailand to sample and learn about the different dishes from its origin so they can be recreated at this outfit. Don’t let the interior decoration and plating style fools you, what you get here is not far from what you’ll find in some of the old school Thai restaurants.

3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?
3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?

To start the night, we ordered their Thai iced tea & iced coffee with gula melaka (RM 6.90) which looked stunning, but for those who liked it old school, their traditional Thai iced tea (RM 4.60) would be the one to go for. For those who like it plain & soothing, perhaps a glass of lemongrass drink (RM 3.50) would do the trick.

fried calamari, lemongrass satey
fried calamari, lemongrass satey

There’s no alcohol served here (they’re in process of obtaining halal certification), but the fried calamari & lemongrass satey (RM 9.90 for 5) really begs for a cold one. We particularly like the zesty homemade sauce that is served together with the squid.

four angle beans, steamed otak otak
four angled beans, steamed otak otak

Another snack we ordered was the steamed otak-otak (RM 5.90), it came in an aluminium cup similar to those you’d find holding larmaikai, but instead of chicken you’d have seafood in classic Thai otak fillings. I thought it was decent, though if I have to choose between this and regular Penang style otak-otak, the latter would be my pick.

We then proceed to main dishes to go with rice and started out with the veges.

First was four angled beans with peanuts (RM 9.90), a juicy and crunchy affair that’s fitting to open up one’s appetite.

stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp
stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp

The stir fry kailan (RM 12.90) here is a simple dish that’s not out of place from any ‘tai-chao’ restaurants around town. My favorite though, would be the spicy eggplant with dry shrimp (RM 14.90), really rich, savory, and comes with a kick, steamed rice is really compulsory with this.

tomyum seafood, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn
tomyum kung, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn

No Thai meal is complete without a good serving of tomyam, their tomyum kung (shrimp, RM 26.90) really packs a punch. You’d have to be a bit careful not to treat everything green here as scallions, for there are a lot of whole green chili padi in the mix, just the way a good bowl of tomyam should be.

The Thai red curry chicken (RM 15.90) is slightly less hardcore on the spicy scale, but it makes up for being creamy and flavorful. A decent interpretation of the dish in my opinion.

Then there’s the Thai green curry prawn (RM 26.90), served with generous amount of eggplant, this dish delivers a mix of seafood sweetness and the unique taste of green curry, I really enjoyed it (mostly cos eggplant is one of my favorite veges too.)

Thai grilled fish
Thai grilled fish

The Thai grilled fish (RM 46.90) was our final main dish of the night, and would be for you anyone who orders it as Tigerlily makes this from scratch when you order and it takes the longest amount of time to prepare.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t particularly find the dish impressive, and not to the fault of the chef or how they prepare this. Tilapia is quite a bland tasting fish and I find this classic Thai preparation method did not sufficiently add enough flavor to the fish. It was okay, if you love this street style fish, you’d like it here, otherwise I’d probably give it a miss. My favorite Thai fish dish is still the steamed siakap (which they also serve)

mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol
mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol

Then of course, we proceed to desserts.

We sampled their mango sticky rice (RM 9.90), ice kacang (RM 11.90), tub tim crob (red ruby, RM 7.00), cendol (RM 4.90), and banana fritters with ice cream (RM 12.90).

With the exception of the banana fritters, every dessert looked like a piece of art, the presentation is really stunning! Thankfully, they do taste the part as well.

I like how the cendol, ABC, and red ruby all uses the really fine shaven ice (sort of like those Korean style desserts) which makes the sweetness melt in your mouth that much quicker. Careful not to get brain freeze though.

banana fritters & friends we were with at the session
banana fritters & friends we were with at the session

If you haven’t find a reason to head to DC Mall, perhaps Tigerlily would be a good excuse.

map to DC Mall

Address:
Tigerlily
Damansara City Mall,
Lot LG 18 Lower Ground,
6, Jalan Damanlela,
50490 
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.146140, 101.661675
Tel03-2011 2912
Web: www.tigerlily.com.my

Since Setia City Mall is arguably the most happening shopping center nearest to our residence, we’ve been going there quite a bit. To be honest, shopping mall food aren’t usually in my list of preferred lunch/dinner options, but sometimes you do find a gems among the thorns.

For Setia City Mall, Tuk Tuk and Little Nyonya being some of our favorites, and today we’re going to talk about the latter.

Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed
Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed

It’s easy to want to give Little Nyonya a try when you’re at the mall. It is almost always one of the most crowded restaurants on the lower ground level. The decoration is simple and optimised to packed as many customers as possible, so comfort level may not exactly be on top of their list.

Think of it as a place for quick eats instead of leisure dining with great ambience and you’ll not be disappointed.

asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken
asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken

Little Nyonya offers quite a comprehensive list of menu with individual dishes such as nasi lemak, rendang beef with rice, nyonya curry chicken rice and so forth as well as dishes to share ala “tai chao” style.

For the four of us, we ordered four dishes, a starter, and some desserts for dinner.

Apart from asam pedas fish (RM 22.90) which I thought had a good seasoning and base but lacking quality fish (dory was used I believe), the other three dishes were on point. Asam prawn (RM 19.90) had a balance of asam & cooking caramel taste to it, two style kailan was as advertised, and the redang chicken (RM 17.90) turned out to be one of our favorites of the night, really good marinate that seems to penetrate the poultry while not being over powering, we would definitely order this dish again.

pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut
pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut

Pie tee (RM 7.50) is a must-haves at any Nyonya restaurant, and this version is well, acceptable.

For desserts, I thought cendol (RM 5.50) was perhaps a little too watery for my liking, it did have a good gula Melaka presence. Others were happy with bubur cha cha (RM 4.80) and the rather rarely seen pengat pulut (RM 5.80). Pengat pisang, pengat ubi keladi, bee koh moy, and ais kacang were some desserts we did not try, perhaps next time.

for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive
for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive

If you find yourself at Setia Alam City Mall, Little Nyonya is certainly a place worthy to spend a meal on, especially when Tuk Tuk is overly packed.

map to setia city mall, shah alam

Address:
Little Nyonya
LG-43, Setia City Mall,
Persiaran Setia Dagang,
Setia Alam,
40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.085229, 101.458629
Tel: 03-3375 8788
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

My friends have been raving about this place with the best fried eggs for a while now. Yuki, Winnie, and Kerol kept talking about the fried eggs that everyone must try, and my thought was probably exactly like yours, “Fried eggs? Serious?”

So we made a trip to Restaurant Muar at Tengkat Tong Shin a couple weekends because I had to know what the fuss is all about.

Restaurant Muar is situated right next to Ngau Kei at Tengkat Tong Shin
Restaurant Muar is situated right next to Ngau Kei at Tengkat Tong Shin

Located just a few doors down from the popular 24 hour beef noodle place Ngau Kei, Restaurant Muar serves home cooked dishes from a comfortable home-turned-restaurant setting. There’s air conditioning and some attempts in interior decoration, but we’re here for the food anyway, right?

The menu has your usual home-cooked dishes broken down into a few categories – seafood, chicken, egg, beancurd, vegetable, and soup. Pork is missing from the list though.

this fried egg is what we came here for
this fried egg is what we came here for

And.. this is what we came here for. The famous crispy fried eggs (RM 5/RM 7) at Restaurant Muar was really a very simple yet very well executed dish. A few eggs deep fried and with dark soya sauce or cooking caramel sprinkled on top, that’s it!

It was really as what they said – the best fried eggs there is! Crispy on the side with the egg yolk still slightly runny, it was glorious. I kinda miss it right now while penning this down actually.

paku pakis, otak otak, prawn with petai
butter kailan, otak otak, prawn & squid with petai

To go with steamed rice, we also ordered a few other dishes for the four of us.

The petai squid and prawns (RM 16) was positively spicy and rather fragrant, goes well with rice. Butter kailan is another interesting dish and tasted like the crumbs from butter prawns with a hint of kailan taste, it worked well I think.

I thought the otak-otak (RM 12) was merely average, a little bit too firm for my liking and didn’t carry the reputation of Muar otak-otak well.

Kerol, KY, Yuki - the cendol is pretty good too
Kerol, KY, Yuki – the cendol is pretty good too

Restaurant Muar also serves set meals for 1 pax (RM 5.80), 2-3 pax (RM 25.90), 4-6 pax (RM 45.90), and even 7-10 pax (RM 65.90). Prices are pretty reasonable for what you get and food is generally rather delicious. Now if I have a super hot deep fryer at home…

map to Restaurant Muar at Bukit Bintang

Address:
Restaurant Muar
No. 6G Tengkat Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.145677, 101.706941
Tel: 03-2144 2072, 012-219 2199
Hours: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm Closed on Mondays

To be honest, when I first heard about I’m Spicy, the image that came up in my mind wasn’t exactly a very classy one. For a place that turned out to look as good and decorated as well as this restaurant, it probably deserves a better name.

What intrigued me at I’m Spicy though, isn’t the name, location, or interior decoration of this place; I was drawn to the restaurant because it serves pork, something that is uncommon when it comes to Thai food in this country, and it is this that marks the biggest difference between I’m Spicy and My Elephant, another modern Thai restaurant at Seksyen 17.

I'm Spicy Thai Restaurant, Seksyen 17
I’m Spicy Thai Restaurant, Seksyen 17

I’m Spicy is located on the same row as Kanna Curry House, on the border between SS 2 and Seksyen 17, two of the more famous dining havens among Klang Valley dwellers. As this isn’t a very hot commercial area, parking is usually a relatively uneventful affair.

The restaurant is fully air conditioned, clean, and very tastefully done. It is however, not very big, and probably not a great idea if you are bringing a party of 30 for a visit without prior call in.

The following photos are taken from 2 different visits to I’m Spicy, once just myself and Haze, another with Suan, Horng, Yuki, Kerol, and Haze too.

house drink, green mango salad, garlic squid
house drink, pamelo salad, garlic squid

The house drink is a blend of pandan, lemongrass, lime, and mint leaves (RM 15 per jug). It was absolutely refreshing, but probably a little too small a jug (more like a small decanter). Good if you are sharing it between two fellas, but for a party of six, it was only a few mouthful per person.

deep fried pork ribs, stir fry kailan, pomelo salad, grilled pork skewers
deep fried pork ribs, stir fry kailan, pomelo salad, grilled pork skewers

I’m Spicy has a tad over half a dozen appetizer and salad dishes. We’ve tried a couple of them. Pamelo salad (RM 25) comes with pomelo tossed in tamarind sauce, green apple, carrots, and deep fried squids. The result is a blend of fresh and slightly sour taste of pomelo mixing up with the savoriness from the squid. Certainly new to me, it was good.

Deep fried chicken skin (RM 12) well, was exactly as advertised. Not as great as your KFC chicken skin, but would certainly still go well with a glass of beer.

jasmine rice, deep fried chicken skin, thai stewed pork leg

jasmine rice, deep fried chicken skin, thai stewed pork leg

The following dishes, while classified under main dish in the menu, aren’t exactly big in serving size, but they are rather delicious.

The deep fried pork ribs (RM 25) is a house speciality here. Ribs marinated in a blend of herbs and spices that is unmistakably Thai, and yet unfamiliar at the same time, I wish the serving was larger.

Grilled pork skewers (RM 18) comes with special Thai dipping sauce – Nahm Jim Jeaw, with the meat marinated in galangal, lemongrass, and garlic, then chargrilled.  I really want to know how to make this for my own BBQ, it was better than any satay I’ve ever had.

Thai stewed pork leg (RM 25) was something that I insisted on ordering. It comes with an egg that’s about a 3/4 way cooked, some salted vegetable, and fatty pork leg that’s succulent and falls off from the bones to the touch. It reminds me of the stew pork from Fatty Duck at restaurant Okay, but presented in a nicer way and carries and extra hint of Thai flavoring. Unfortunately, it was also twice as pricey.

The vegetable dish we tried was the rather standard kailan with salted fish (RM 15). It served it’s purpose as the only green plate in a sea of brown and red.

thick soup and clear soup seafood tomyam, red curry with pork
thick soup and clear soup seafood tomyam, red curry with pork

I’ve tried both thick and clear soup tomyam from  I’m Spicy ( RM 15/20 for chicken, RM 18/30 for seafood). The photo on the left was the large portion with thick tomyam, on the right, small and clear. Both versions were top notch, and we wished it the serving was larger.

The red curry comes with either chicken or pork, and we had the latter (RM 18/24), it too was very good. We had initially thought we were going to get the green curry, but the mistake turned out to be a blessing.

red ruby waterchestnuts crushed ice, mango with sticky rice
red ruby waterchestnuts crushed ice, mango with sticky rice

As with any respectable Thai restaurant, I’m Spicy also serves two of my favorite Thai desserts – red ruby (RM 7) and mango with sticky rice (RM 9). The red ruby certainly didn’t disappoint, and mango with sticky rice is best shared with 3-4 person. The desserts are delicious.

Haze, Suan, Horng, Yuki, Kerol, KY
Haze, Suan, Horng, Yuki, Kerol, KY

My impression of I’m Spicy is very positive … if you don’t take pricing into account. Another qualm I have with I’m Spicy is the serving size. Other than tomyam and curry which comes in two different sizes, everything else comes in only one size – relatively small.

Ultimately, I’m Spicy is a little too pricey for a restaurant that is located at the less glamourous part of PJ, but if you don’t mind paying Changkat prices, you probably won’t regret paying this restaurant a visit.

more photos at KYspeaks facebook page

map to I'm Spicy Thai restaurant, Petaling Jaya Seksyen 17

Address:
I’m Spicy Thai Restaurant
1, Ground Floor, Jalan 17/45,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.11875, 101.62982
Tel: 03-7954 2281
Webwww.imspicy.com.my
Hours: Everyday for lunch and dinner, except Tuesday 

I'm Spicy

After the lala miso soup, my second dish for this year’s reunion dinner is Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork. This is actually the first time I made this dish, though had it a few times at various restaurants, usually with Choi Tam (Brussels Sprout). I would usually have my vegetables fried only with garlic, but since this is the year of pig, why not a spice it up with some roasted pork?

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
this dish sure looks yummy, isn’t it?

Ingredients:

  • Hong Kong kailan
  • roasted pork (RM 3-5, from morning market or hawker)
  • sliced or chopped garlic
  • corn flour
  • cooking oil
  • salt

Steps:

  • heat up a few spoons of cooking oil
  • throw in the garlic and then roasted pork, stir
  • add in the vegetabl ewhen the garlic gets golden, shoots first, then the leaves
  • add some salt for flavor (half a tea spoon should suffice)
  • pour in the mixture of corn flour and water (2 table spoon of corn flour and half a cup of water)
  • stir till vegetable is cooked

Hong Kong Kailan with Roasted Pork
cooking this is easy as 1-2-3

The dish was pretty easy to prepare, and it did turn out great. The aroma of roasted pork complimented the fresh vegetable really well. Corn flour and water gives a slightly salty gravy that makes eating this dish with steamed rice a very good combination. Try it!