Several weeks ago I found myself at Desa Park City at Yee Hou’s place, with the boy promising that he’d bring me to one of the better wantan mee stalls around the area – Ming Kee Wan Tan Mee at Taman Bukit Maluri.
Ming Kee Wan Tan Mee, Taman Bukit Maluri
The restaurant is located at the heart of the small township, basically surrounded by the busy morning market. If you go on a weekends, expect to spend some time in getting your car parked, but you’d also be rewarded by the energy and joy of the market, with fresh produce and freshly slaughtered meat for your picking, all at rather reasonable prices too.
The restaurant itself has a single stall set up straight out of the 80s, with the operators probably still wearing the same cloths and enthusiasm from a few decades ago, when TV had a dial, and you’re interrupted by Berita Malam Ini in the middle of your favorite CNY movies.
chicken feet, or curry chicken? Take your pick
Anyway, the stall offers wantan mee in a few different options – the classic chasiu & wantan, curry chicken, or chicken feet. The latter two being the recommended options, so that’s what I tried.
Curry broth was thick and flavorful, with a healthy portion of chicken drumstick too, but if you eat chicken feet at all, the version here is definitely one of the better ones I had this part of Klang Valley, they’re soft, tender, and almost melt in your mouth, no teeth required!
the “sui kao”, or dumpling, is proper delicious too
Sui Kaw here is proper delicious as well, and I’d definitely asked for more pork cracklings the next time I’m there, and yeap I’d wan to go there again.
A little while ago one of Haze’s aunt from Kepong, who is quite a foodie herself, introduced us to Restoran Penang Corner at Jalan Kepong Baru, just a stone’s throw away from the popular KTZ dessert store.
Restoran Penang Corner at Kepong
The restaurant is more like a road side food court with several stalls than an actual “restaurant” if you will. While there is a roof above you, the “walls” consists of iron grills. That being said, the whole set up is more than sufficient for its purpose, which is to serve authentic Penang style hawker fare.
Penang style curry mee, with coagulated pork blood
There’s coagulated blood, the chili paste has a strong fragrant from fried shallots, and those cuttlefish and half-raw cockles were great. My only complain is that they replaced good old fashion prawn with meatballs. A bit of sacrilege I thought, otherwise a decent version.
Penang Hokkien mee, or popularly referred to as prawn mee
The prawn mee has a decent base, but yet again there is a bit of a mismatch in the ingredients served.
The soup, chili paste, fried shallots, bean sprout, pork, and eggs were on point, but I thought there should be kangkung instead of fish paste. There should be no fish paste in Hokkien mee. Throw away the fish paste and this is a decent bowl worthy of being called Penang prawn mee.
Penang char kuih teow, with almost-raw cockles
Then there’s the char kuih teow, and luckily over here they got the ingredients all right. There’s prawn, chives, cockles, bean sprouts, lap cheong, and even some lard. I actually quite enjoy the almost-raw cockles placed on top of the dish, if you want it more cooked, simply bake the cockles within the pile of kuih teow for an extra minute.
Over all I found the food in this place to be more than decent except for a few quirks which probably may not irk non Penangites much. I’ll be trying their kuih teow soup next time I’m there.
Restoran Penang Corner
Jalan Kepong Baru, Kepong
52100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.206880, 101.644220
I don’t often venture out to Jinjang, in fact, Jinjang is sort of a place we always joked about as a “kampung” within KL. Whenever we see a particularly badly dressed young female, we’d say that she must be from Jinjang.
But like many older part of the Klang Valley settlements, Jinjang, and the whole Kpong area, spots some pretty good old school eateries, and Restoran Seafood Ho Kee is one of them.
Restoran Seafood Ho Kee, Jinjang
We were brought here by Haze’s aunt, a lady who is well versed with good old fashion Chinese food around the city, often with very reasonable pricing too. She was also the one who introduced us the equally good Zhen Liew Siang restaurant at Sentul.
Ho Kee is located at a row of shop lot on Jalan 1/32 at Jinjang, which is just off Jalan Kepong. The restaurant has a pretty simple set up, with plastic chairs, wooden tables, and plastic liners. Surprisingly, it is also air conditioned and smoke free.
sambal fish, kulou yok (pork)
One of the speciality dishes here is their sambal fish, with tilapia coated in generous amount of sambal all wrapped up in aluminium foil. The whole concoction is then lit up with a bit of alcohol when serving, probably a bit gimmicky and unnecessary. That doesn’t matter tho, cos the fish was very delicious with the potent sambal, and goes superbly with steamed rice.
The kulou yok (sweet and sour pork) here is definitely one of the bests I’ve had anywhere, we ended up ordering an extra serving. Crispy yet juicy pork with those savoury tomato sauce, yummy!
steamed ginger chicken, Japanese tofu with egg, pork belly with salted fish
Another dish on my must-order list would be their steamed kampung chicken with ginger. This version is as good as the one we had at Bukit Tinggi’s Loong Sing restaurant, the minced ginger will surely open up your sinus, in a good way.
Pork belly with salted fish is worthy worthy dish, but one that is perhaps not the best I had, for a better version, try Lucky Loke at PJ SS3.
The Japanese tofu with egg provided a welcoming change in taste, a more moderate note to balance out the stronger tasting dishes.
fried cuttle fish with dried red chilli
Ho Kee also offers one of the rarer dishes out there – fried cuttle fish with dried chili (in Cantonese “si jiu chau yau”, also means getting fired from work). The cuttle fish perfectly cooked, fresh tasting and crunchy while not being rubbery, the flavour of dried chilli and ginger permeated in the seafood, making a uber delicious choice.
If you want a good old fashion Chinese cuisine and don’t mind a bit of a wait (It was some 45 minutes for us), give Ho Kee a try. The owner/operator/chef cooks every dish, ensuring quality though sacrificing time. Pricing is rather reasonable as well, I believe it was less than RM 20 per pax.
Address: Hoi Kee Seafood Restaurant Jalan 1/32, Taman Jinjang Baru, Jinjang, 52000, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.20814, 101.65765
Several weeks ago I managed to convince the girls to try a new place, and we ventured out to the land of gangsters that is Kepong. We past by the glamorous Desa Park City and turned into the older part of Kepong where steamboat restaurants are aplenty and finally arrived at where we were going to have dinner – Jan Jan Thai Restaurant.
Jan Jan Thai restaurant at Kepong
There are in fact, two Thai restaurants within 50 yards from each other here. Directly opposite Jan Jan is the older and almost equally as busy Thai restaurant by the name Janwa. According to the locals, the head chef from Janwa left to open Jan Jan as a competitor (similar to Rakuzen and Jyu Raku at Subang Jaya)
There’s an on-going healthy debate as to if Jan Jan or Janwa offers better Thai dishes, but for the purpose of this trip we’re not going to worry too much about that.
excellent tomyam and steamed barramundi
Once we found an empty table and made our order, which took a while on a weekend, food did not take very long to be served.
Seafood tomyam soup (RM 16-29) comes in either clear or red, and we opted for the latter, more chili laden variety. It was hot, spicy, and filled prawns, squid, fish, tomato, and more. Perfect dish for us since it was raining so heavily.
The Thai style steamed barramundi (market price) turned out to be pretty good dish too. The fish was fresh and the soup positively sour and flavorful. This dish is not quite De Chiengmai‘s standard, but it holds its own.
the lala was great, green curry not so much. Yuki, Haze, KY, Kerol
Thai golden lala (RM 17) was my favorite dish of the night. The shellfish were big and juicy, and I particularly love the unique Thai style sauce that the dish came with. It was a combination of sweet, spicy, with a hint of sourness. Very different any Chinese or Malay style preparation.
The disappointing dish turned out to be the Thai green curry (RM 12). I love my green curry thick and flavorful, but this one was just watery and very sweet. We took a few spoonful but otherwise left the dish almost untouched.
There are definitely more dishes at Jan Jan Thai that I want to try on other visits – petai prawns, deep fried brinjal, paku with belacan, mango chicken, bbq crab and Thai curry crab all sounds very enticing. I’ll just have to remember not to order their green curry again.
Address: Jan Jan Thai Restaurant No.33, Jalan 5/62A, Bandar Menajalra, 52000 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.193859, 101.631517 Tel: 03-6277 7598
Thai Garden Village is about 2/3 correct, it is a Thai food place that has a pretty neat looking garden, but at the same time it isn’t exactly a village. Situated at the less glamourous part of KL that is Kepong, I was first introduced to this restaurant by Kim, who is as big a fan of Thai food as Haze and myself.
Thai Garden Village at Kepong
Getting to Thai Garden Village is actually pretty simple, drive along Jalan Kepong either from MRR2 or Jalan Kuching (if you’re from KL) until you see a smallish Shell station, turn into West Road right next to it, and viola, Thai Garden Village is right there, almost disguised as a light industrial factory.
Parking is a pretty simple affair as they do provide ample space, the restaurant has both indoor and outdoor (garden) dining area, and can probably accomodate more than 2-300 diners.
smoked salmon salad, fish cake, tomyam, raw prawn salad
The menu at Thai Garden Village is pretty extensive even though it is a pork free outlet.
For starters, you should never miss the raw prawn salad. This is the only place that I know of serving this in KL, and it doesn’t get any more genuine than this. Over a dozen prawns “cooked” by the acid from lime and served with plenty of cabbage and equal amount of bitter gourd and raw garlic, not for the faint hearted, but it is as rewarding as it is interesting.
They also serve a version of raw papaya salad with smoked salmon, which makes for good “yee sang” substitute if you were to have it over CNY period. Delicious even at non festive season.
The fish cake is another richly flavored affair, and goes well with the familiar Thai chili sauce.
Thai style lala, clear soup tomyam, kai lan ikan masin
The tomyam here comes in two versions – clear soup, and the more familiar reddish version. The “normal” version is basically just the clear type with added chili oil. Both are top notch, but ordering them at the same time was an overkill we should have expected.
Another personal favorite of mine here is the Thai style steamed lala that is usually served on an elevated metal plate with fire still burning below. The seafood is succulent, and the spicy, sourish soup was really addictive.
My only experience with vegetables here was limited to kailan ikan masin, which fared pretty well.
KY, Haze, Pearl, David
One other interesting dishes here is the flaming chicken, which is literally served burning (fueled by some alcohol, I suspect). While plenty fancy, I found the taste average.
Dessert choices include the standard red ruby and mango with sticky rice. The former gives a proper sweet ending, while the sticky rice could prove to be a little bit overkill on an already stuffed stomach.
Prices at Thai Garden Village is fair, an average meal should cost between RM 20 – RM 30 per person.
Address: Thai Garden Village Lot 32713, 6 1/2 Mile (West Road), Jalan Kepong, 52000 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.2091, 101.6542 Tel: 03-6250 5519