I’ve always had problems with parking and navigating within Publika. The place has the most confusing lettering/numbering system for floors. There are numerous different “ground levels”, and some parking lots aren’t connected to each other the way a logically sound person may expect.
That being said, the place is also packed with huge amount of restaurants offering various different dining concepts, and often in relatively affordable price range due to the immense competition. Today, we’re going to look at Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya. One of the Japanese restaurants that is undoubtedly among one of my favorites in the area.
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika
Izakaya is basically an informal Japanese gastropub, a place caters for after-work drinking and dining session not entirely unlike many of the Western pubs/bars, but one that obviously serves Japanese cuisine.
Tsubohachi is a renowned chain with over 300 outlets in Japan since its inception 40 years ago at Hokkaido, and currently is one of the two izakaya outlets in Publika, the other being Senya Izakaya owned by the Sushi Train group.
Our first time visiting Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya was with Cheesie sampling their normal menu, but this time around we were invited to try their special Zuwaigani (snow crab) menu. How could I say no?
zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)
The snow crab menu is available till late July, but do call up to make sure its availability. Then again, the usual menu is quite extensive and certainly worthy of a visit or three.
Our session started with zuwagani nabe, or snow crab hot pot (RM 79.90). Basically half a raw snow crab (male, female would have too little meat) with fresh vegetable, tofu, and mushroom in a hot pot. Certainly a luxury comfort dish that is perfect especially on a rainy day, or any day for that matter.
The crab made the soup oh so sweet, it was as good as I had hoped.
aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi
For those who likes it grilled, aburi zuwaigani (RM 58) should satisfy your cravings. A no-nonsense and unadultered way of enjoying snow crab with maybe just a little squeeze of lemon. Snow crab has a much softer shell than our Malaysian mud crabs, so getting a “perfect” peel is an easier job.
Kani chawanmushi (RM 12.90) too is worth trying if you just want to lux up the ordinary Japanese steamed egg with some snow crab meat.
zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi
Want more greens? Try zuwaigani sarada, or snow crab salad (RM 22.90), though all those mayonnaise may discount the perceived healthiness of this salad dish, but those savory taste combined with sweetness of snow crab makes it worth the extra calories.
Aburi zuwaigani hakozushi (RM 35.00) is another dish we tried that incorporate liberal use of those savory Japanese mayo. The pressed sushi was certainly delicious, though I always find mayo & wasabi sort of clashes a bit with each other.
Rice or porridge? Take your pick in ankake kani chahan (RM 22.90), or kani zosui (RM 29.90). Neither should disappoint as they were both expertly prepared and show cases the sweetness of snow crab through the simplicity of the dishes. I can have either of these for lunch and be a happy man.
If you like things in small packages, try the zuwaigani masu-zushi (RM 21.90). A tiny box of sushi rice with generous amount of snow crab meat on top. Just enough to taste, but unless you have had stomach stapling surgery, this can’t be your only dish for the night.
a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom
All the trying pretty much all the snow crab dishes sans tempura & sushi, we got greedy and decided to sample some of their signature yakitori dishes.
We tried chicken skin, bishop’s nose, chicken soft bone, chicken neck, pork belly, and mushroom. They came in both salted or in teriyaki, and I wished I had enough stomach space left to order a beer to go with these. Yakitori dishes are priced mostly at RM 7.80 to 9.80 for two sticks, pretty decent deal if you asked me.
Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru
Our final dish of the night was macha de roru as dessert, a sweet ending to a satisfying review session. I certainly don’t mind coming back here again, good food, great value, and without fuss, there should be more izakaya around town!
Over the weekends we went to Singapore for a super short trip as Haze & Angel wanted to visit an art exhibit and a Singaporean friend. We drove down on Friday night and naturally waking up hungry the next day looking for wholesome breakfast to start the day.
Our Singaporean guide traversed half the country and brought us to Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio, promising a place with pretty good egg benedict. We weren’t at a position to suggest anything else, so we rolled along.
Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio
Canopy Garden Dining is pretty much a restaurant within a garden, with plants surrounding the mostly alfresco dining area and even a rooftop that’s planted with greenery.
We reached at almost noon with the hot sun up above, so seated outside was a little warm though acceptable. I’m guessing the dining experience would have been greater in the morning.
Egg Royale, with poached eggs and smoked salmon
We came here for the egg benedicts, so we ordered both the Egg Royale and Classic Egg Benedict ($15).
Unlike most places that takes forever to prepare a pair of proper poached eggs, our serving arrived in about 5 minutes. I was really impressed with the speed.
Both dishes came with a side of salad with vinaigrette and sautéed mushroom. The poached eggs were perfectly prepared and draped with hollandaise sauce on English muffins. The classic version came with ham, while “royale” with smoked salmon. We really liked them.
Classic Egg Benedict and Buttermilk Pancake
If you’re into pancakes, the buttermilk pancake ($8.5) here is worth trying as well, it comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.
Additionally, coffee served at Canopy Garden Dining is also of pretty decent quality.
In all, it’s a rather pleasant place for a lazy weekend breakfast in this otherwise overly fast paced country.
Address: Canopy Garden Dining Bishan Park II, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 569931 Singapore GPS: 1.362467, 103.847094 Tel: +65 6556 1533
First of all, I want to thank everyone for coming and made the fifth installment of our annual Xmas Eve Party a blasting success. There were some 40 people who turned up, quite a few bottles of liquors and wines brought by you, and again, Tuborg sponsored loads of free beer with their beer girl Siao Ling joining the party as well. It was awesome.
Due to the hectic schedule a week (including a trip to Singapore) prior to the party, my housemates and I only managed to put up some minor decoration and set up the place in the last 2 hours. I bought some x’mas lights for my two x’mas trees, reuse the deco, got some snacks, mixers, a Coleman huge ice box filled with ice from 7-11 and we were good to go.
free Tuborg beer, and lotsa socializing
The party got started at around 9pm with Terence, Chris, and Anthony arriving first. Sheryl, Cindy, and Simon arrived there after, and joined by Eiling, who managed to fetch Huai Bin to my place despite being already 3/4 drunk before the party even got started.
Suan, Alan, and Wei Yi were around when our favorite Tuborg girl Siao Ling showed up with all those beer just as my new ice box was yearning for some attention. We quickly set things up and the party really got started right after that.
As the resident alcohol pusher, Terence was doing a fine job ensuring everyone a fair chance to get royally drunk by mixing 2 huge glasses of alcohol laden concoction named Life and Death. Erna was very fortunate to have a few gulps and ended up missing half the party by passionately hugging my gate with a really stoned facial expression. Elfie was embarassed that her fellow Sabahan can’t hold her drinks.
There were some new faces in this year’s party, Shamsul, AC, Faye, Chris, Anthony, Rebecca, Jenson, Aireen, Daniel, and Debra are friends of friends or people whom I got to know via the blog but never met prior to this party.
Cindy, Selina, Siao Ling, Tock, Yee Hou, Firdy, Huai Bin, Elfie, Michael, Eiling, Erna, and Zoe are certainly are friends who attended the party for the first time. I got to know some of them via blog, random events, and via other friends.
There are also those who are no stranger to our little yearly celebration, Reta, Naufal, Nicholas, Alan, Adrian, Rachel, Kelvin, and Mohan all came to the party at least once before.
Then there is the group of my closest friends who were here since the get go. My housemate Horng, Suanie, Gareth, Kim, Huey Fang and Chan, and Terence. I am glad that my exgf Sheryl was able to make it after being away in Europe for post graduate studies for the past two years.
some of the more embarassing gift exchange moments
We didn’t actually have a dress theme this year. Instead, the legendary gift exchange has a little twist in it: It has to be something you can wear, and you must wear it after opening. This idea came from Horng, blame him if you were one of the victims.
Some of the more messed up gifts include a purple bra (I hope the size fits you, Elfie), disposable undearwear, a few boxes of condoms (Huai Bin wore one in public, scaring off all the girls), numerous underwear, socks & stockings, headgear, and lipsticks. The gift exchange was pretty intense, very dangerous.
the Heineken hat exchanged hands 5 times, stupid Michael!
The most saught after gift item was this Heineken hat brought by Michael. The hat was snatched up 5 times and ended up back to Michael just because Elfie wanted it (that’s wh4, stupid Michael). I think we should make it a rule that you can’t pick your own gift next year onwards.
some of the things people do when they are slightly influenced
Things got a little wilder after the gift exchange session as the blood alcohol mixture gets a bit out of hand for a few people. There’s this particular “Patrick” who can’t seem to walk properly and ended up passed out all over the place. The best thing was he kept saying “careful! careful! the earth is moving” and “are you guys ok?” everytime right before he passed out. Patrick is seen sleeping in two places with “James” sitting in both places in the collage above.
There were also some toe licking actions by Faye and Huai Bin, Siao Ling was, tragically, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The party was great, and it was only appropriate that we had to end it after the cops came at 3:30am saying we were a bit too loud. Some of us then headed to Ming Tien for an early morning breakfast where Rachel promptly vomit out the wan tan mee after consumption. I think she was eager to join Patrick and James as the third person to throw up.
Again, thanks for coming, Merry Christmas and see you guys next year!
Merry X’mas to everyone! The 4th X’mas Eve Party we had last night was awesome, I want to thank everyone for coming, and for the few who didn’t manage to make it (eg. my hot chick), hopefully we’ll do it again next year. I hope that everyone had fun and enjoyed the party, if I wasn’t a good host, please file your complains elsewhere cos I’m not gonna give a crap. 😀
There are more photos on my facebook album and flickr set
Gerald, Suan; Kim, KY
Chan, Huey Fang; Alicia, Su Li, Mohan
Like the previous year, we have the regulars and some newcomers. Lets see if I manage to count how many of us were at the party.
Host: KY (naturally)
House mates (current & ex):Rachel, Huey Fang, Carol, Chan
Friends: Audrey, Damien, Dree, Jessica, Winson, Jack, Edward, Douglas, Arthur, Alicia, Su Lin, Adrian Low, Naufal, Aysraf, Suertes, Gerald, Adrian (giant sotong), and Adrian Low’s friend (whose name I don’t remember)
That makes 40 even, pretty good turn-out I’d say. 😀
Albert, Ringo; Aysraf, Sueter
Esther, Sew Jin; Jessica, Arthur
The party got started at around 9pm. I had gotten the place ready with plenty of drinks, the few bottles of harder stuff I have laying around, and 3 crates of Tuborg beer that were given to me by this nice lady from Carlsberg after reading the X’mas Eve Party invitation post. I guess everyone at the party was grateful of Mr. Ole, the GM of marketing and Mr. Teh, the Brand Manager of Carlsberg.
Reta, FA; Nicholas, Rachel;
Kelvin, Skyler; Justin, Simon
As the night went along, people were starting to get friendlier, probably alcohol had something to do with it. They started chatting up and doing some camwhore sessions.
The theme was Ah Lian and Ah Beng outfit, but most of the guys were not really up to task. Credit must be given to FA, Reta, Chan, and Huey Fang for going the extra mile. Ringo had an interesting harajuku type of outfit though, while Alicia didn’t even need to try, she is from Klang after all 😛
Adrian Low and friend; Arthur, Audrey
Suan, Jack, Reta; Carol, TBG, Ed
At midnight, we started the gift exchange program. This time around, everyone who contributed a gift is given a number. We then draw and call each number from the hat. Whoever has their number called will get to choose a gift from the pile, or anything that is already opened from the previous person. As always, the later you get your number called, the better selection of opened gifts you’ll get to choose for. If you chose a good gift early, someone can snatch it off, as we shall see.
The various gifts we got
Jack, being a noob as usual, inadvertently chose something Carol gave, a packet of adult diapers. Nicholas got a toilet survival kit from Suan. There were also condoms, KY jelly, crayon set, bubble blower, puzzle, CEO cafe, and even a Basic Instinct 2 dvd. I gave away a curry dinner meal with raw fish, prawn, curry powder, and all the vegetables.
the bacon bak kua went through 8 people!
The hottest gift this year was the bacon bak kua from Kelvin. The gift was snatched up 7 times, Skyler was the lucky last person to bring back that delicious bag of bacon. Douglas promised he will bring the most sought after gift next year, like how he did the previous year (a set of keyboard)
The bacon trail: Alicia -> Aysraf -> ST -> Audrey -> Su Lin -> Reta -> Kim -> Skyler
it was a great party, we must thank the Tuborg beers from Carlsberg
I think the whole bacon debacle got everyone excited and police actually came to ask us to quiet down at around 1am. Luckily the uniformed officers were nice (though they didn’t want to take a photo with me when I asked) and just politely asked us to keep it down and end the party soon.
I had a great time, and I want to thank you for coming. See you again next year!
For whatever reason, it has taken me this long to write about Kangsane Korean Restaurant in Ampang despite having been there numerous times since more than a year ago. In fact, this is the Korean restaurant I most frequent in recent times, and there is a reason for it: simply the best Galbi (marinated beef ribs) anywhere!
nice ambiance, illustrated menu
Kangsane Korean Restaurant is situated right in the middle of Little Korea at Ampang, that interesting commercial square where you can find dozens of Korean restaurants, grocery stores, and even optical shops. This place is to Korean like Brickfields is to Indian. Parking is usually not an issue here.
Just like most other Korean BBQ restaurants, Kangsane serves various BBQ meat, stews, bulgogi, and of course, all these comes with plenty of Banchan (side dishes) that is the signature of Korean food. The must-order dish here would be the Galbi, I just couldn’t get enough of the succulent and perfectly flavored beef ribs.
I suggest that you always give them a call to make sure that the supply of Galbi is ample before heading there. We had to go for pork galbi on the last visit as the beef version ran out of stock, while it was still very good, the beef ribs is simply irreplaceable.
the many banchan (side dishes)
The other commendable dish is the samgyeopsal (pork belly), do start with this dish first if you also order galbi as the pork carries a more subtle taste that might be overpowered by the beef if you reverse the order.
Of course, a good Korean restaurant must also serve good banchan (side dishes), and the good thing about Kangsane is that they always have different banchan every time we go there. From anchovies to tofu, kimchi to some funny looking vegetables, they are always very delicious and accompanies the main dish very well. I also absolutely love their kimchi jjigae (kimchi soup)
Price wise, this place is pretty much in par with similar Korean restaurants. Some BBQ meat dishes, stews, and maybe some dumplings will usually cost around RM 40-50 per person for a table of 4-5. Very worth it though.
Kangsane is situated in the Little Korea at Ampang, KL
Address: C5 Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1
One Ampang Avenue
Kuala Lumpur GPS:3.155283, 101.751364 Tel: 03-4251 2598