Heading East from Klang Valley via the Karak Highway towards the direction of the East Coast, there exists quite a number of restaurants that offers “proper” food just a few kilometers away from the exit that brings you up to the mountain top wonderland that is Genting highland or Berjaya Bukit Tinggi (if visiting a Japanese garden is your thing.)
Late last year, we did just that with a couple Singaporean friends of Haze’s.
Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there’s actually a vegetable garden
Our stop-over for late lunch was at Garden View restaurant, a pretty big zinc-roofed restaurant over viewing a vegetable garden. Looking at the size of the little farm though, I can’t be sure if it is sufficient for the crowd that this restaurant gets. Doesn’t bother me anyway.
The menu is quite extensive. They offer a variety of river fish, kampung chicken, pork, seafood, and a selection of “wild” meat such as wild boar, frog, ostrich, soft-shell turtle, and deer.
river patin, this is the expensive bit
We ordered a river patin (RM 90, 1.2kg of RM 7.50 per 100 gram) prepared in its purest form – steam with soya sauce. The portion was perhaps a little too big for just the four of us but it was delightfully prepared and certainly very fresh, smooth, and absolutely packed with seafood fatty texture which I really like.
You can also have the fish prepared by steam with ginger, with assam sauce, teo chew style, with chili sauce, in clay pot, or even deep fried. There’s also quite a variety of fish to choose from, with tilapia (RM 3.50/100gram) being cheapest, all the way to kelah (RM 40/100 gram)
steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish
In addition to the fish, we also ordered steamed kampung chicken with ginger (RM 15), wild boar curry (RM 15), and “4 kingdom vegetable” (RM 15). These are very reasonably priced and tasted more than decent.
The chicken is my favorite and a speciality of sort of Bukit Tinggi. You can get pretty good ginger steamed chicken just about at any restaurants around the area, the key being the Bentong ginger they use, which is really spicy and extra fragrant.
Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy
Over all it was a very satisfying late lunch for us. The river fish is pricey but expectedly so, if you stay away from having river fish, the prices at Garden View restaurant is very competitive. So if you’re around the area looking for a good meal especially with a group, this place won’t be a bad choice.
Garden View Restaurant
Lot 19326 Pesona Heights,
Kg Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
GPS: 3.353010, 101.826982
Tel: 09-233 0282
While most people have a set group of lunch buddies at workplace, I tend to join different groups of colleagues and friends for lunch escapades, maximising the opportunity to try something different.
Today’s adventure brought us to the R&R Bukit Awan, somewhere near OUG & Bukit Jalil on the Shah Alam Highway. Our target was Restoran A. Hassan for some Ayam Kampung.
Hassan Ayam Kampung at R&R Awan Besar, Lebuhraya Shah Alam
Our “tour guide” of the day was Lukman, who previously introduced us to another equally excellent Restoran Salero Negori at Dato’ Keramat.
I was a little bit skeptical on a place at a highway stopover, but when we were greeted with the huge lunch crowd at the place, any doubt I had instantly went away.
they have more than ayam goreng kampung
While the restaurant pride itself on Ayam Goreng Kampung (deep fried village chicken), there are plenty of other dishes to choose from. Much like most nasi kandar places, there’s a wide variety of curry with fish, chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables. One thing for sure though, there isn’t many dishes that aren’t spicy.
we had chicken, beef curry, anchovies, ulam, and plenty of sambal
For the four of us, we took 6 pieces of ayam goreng kampung, a plate of beef curry, sambal anchovies, and a healthy serving of ulam (raw vegetable to be consumed with sambal).
The chicken, being their signature dish, was not a let down at all. The meat was firm yet tender and full of flavor, adding a bit of sambal and you’ve got yourself a winner. The beef and anchovies proved to be worthy companion dishes as well.
such a lovely lunch, thank you Lukman for bringing me there
The meal totalled up to be slightly over RM 10 per person including drinks. I’ve never had a highway stopover meal nearly as good, this is a place I’ll definitely go again.
Other than Awan Besar R&R, Restoran A. Hassan also has branches at Kampung Baru, Shah Alam, USJ Taipan, and Puchong.
Restoran A. Hassan Ayam Kampung
R &R Awan Besar (West Bound)
Lebuhraya Shah Alam
47100 Kuala Lumpur
Hours: Lunch and Dinner
Being a fella from Penang, the name Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant isn’t foreign to me. The bright red signboard with a huge green lobster is a sight quite familiar to, having seen it at Gurney Drive on numerous occasions. It is also a bit of a go-to seafood restaurant for some of my extended family members.
Well, the good news is, Bali Hai is now in Klang Valley, and we went to sample their set dinner menu.
Bali Hai, now in Kota Damansara too
Bali Hai is located at Sun Suria Avenue at Kota Damansara, a stone’s throw away from Sunway Giza Mall. There is ample parking right in front of the restaurant, and we only had to pay RM 1 per entrance during our visit. It was well worth it.
Most of the tables are situated at the center area at the huge semi-alfresco dining area, but there are also some air conditioned rooms for private parties. We were seated in one such room for the session, the room comes complete with a TV & karaoke system too.
The restaurant has an impressive wall of tanks housing a huge variety of live seafood for your picking. Boster lobster from US, rainbow lobster from Indonesia, geoduck from Canada, Alaskan king crab, oyster, tiger prawns, “soon hock”, giant grouper, and even exotics such as empurau fish. You can pick your spoil, aided by clearly written prices of each spices on the side of the tank so there’d be no surprises.
I must say that Bali Hai really do live up to their tag line of “If it swims we have it”.
Canadian geoduck and lobster sashimi and steamboat
On this session, we were treated to their RM 1388 set menu which comes with 9 dishes (including dessert) for 10 pax.
Our first dish was the Steamboat Canadian Geoduck and Lobster, which were actually served raw on crushed ice with a clay pot of superior soup , tofu, string mushroom, and vegetable.
I’m a big fan of sashimi and was glad that a side of wasabi and soya sauce was provided. The fresh rainbow lobster we had was fantastic, if you haven’t had lobsters before, having them raw is a great way to really taste the sweetness of lobster, distinctly different from that of crab or prawns. I’ve had the same style of geoduck from Pantai Seafood in PJ before, and the version is equally good.
Bali Hai Siam mini lobster in claypot
After the great introductory dish, we had the Bali Hai Siam mini lobster (crayfish) in claypot. This dish has a kick, spicy and full of flavor, a welcoming change to heighten your palate after the more subtle lobster & geoduck dish. It’d go great with some steamed rice too I think. The curry has a tone of sourness to it which I really enjoyed.
deep fried thai style mackerel
Next up was the deep fried Thai style mackerel. A fish that is pretty common. The execution was good, with really crispy skin but soft, and not overcooked meat that only a high temperature fryer could achieve. The Thai style sauce in this dish is spicy and sweet, another change from the previous sourish taste.
dried shrimp with cili padi clam, beancurd with minced chicken, emperor vege
Dried shrimp with cili padi clam is as advertised, a lot of small pieces of cili padi and tiny fragrant dried shrimps in it. I felt that the clams were perhaps slightly overcooked. That or because I’m half way in my invisalign treatment resulting in uneven bite at the moment, chewing was a bit difficult.
We also had some of the softest and tastiest beancurd in the beancurd with minced chicken dish. While traditionally paired with minced pork, this pork free version actually impressed us.
Emperor vegetable with deep fried lotus root and mushroom was our green of the day, and it never disappoint, which is why emperor vegetable is among the more expensive vegetable you can get from the market.
steamed salted kampung chicken, Japanese style seafood fried rice
The lone meat dish in the set was the steamed salted kampung chicken with herbs. I love the fragrant broth, and the chicken was well flavored too. Anyone who likes kampung chicken would love this dish. As for me, I’m not a fan of kampung chicken so it was pretty neutral for me.
Our stomach stuffer at the end was the pretty unique Japanese style seafood fried rice. The blackish color you see in the fried rice is actually tiny pieces of dried seaweed. Add in tiny chunks of seafood & egg resulting in a cacophony of taste that I’ve never experienced before, it was pretty good.
The last dish on the RM 1388 set was a plate of mixed fruits, which was your typical blend of papaya, watermelon and so forth.
KY & Haze, Josen & Mei, sweet and sour lobster noodle (not part of the set)
Since it was also during their lobster promotion period, we got to sample another sweet and sour lobster noodle dish, which came with rainbow lobster drenched in sauce on top of yummy yee mee. I wish I can have this for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner actually. Was yummy!
If you’re looking for a proper seafood restaurant with plenty to choose from, Bali Hai should definitely be in your short list. From 13th Sep – 3rd Oct 2013, they also run the “buy one free ten” promotion. Buy a Boston/rainbow/Australian lobster and you get 10 free crayfish (mini lobster) for free.
Bali Hai Seafood Kota Damansara
Suria Avenue, Persiaran Mahogani,
PJU 5, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.1544, 101.5904
Tel: 016-461 2333