Sarawak Laksa seems like the flavor of the year, so before the end of 2017 I decided to give yet another highly recommended Sarawak Laksa place a try – SALTed at Mutiara Damansara.
SALTed, Mutiara Damansara
As it turns out SALTed does stand for something – Sarawak Authentic Local Taste Extra Delicious!
The restaurant is located quite deep within Mutiara Damansara, and while it is perhaps only 5 minutes away from IKEA and Curve, you can’t really get there by walking from the big furniture shop.
The Sarawak laksa comes in three different versions, basic (RM 6) comes with chicken stripes but no prawns, original (RM 9) comes with normal prawns, and special (RM 15) gets you some cuttlefish as well as three pretty large size sea caught “meng har” (明虾) prawns.
Special version of Sarawak Laksa with extra prawns & cuttlefish
I went for the “special” and happy to report that the dish definitely did not disappoint. The broth was thick and flavorful, and the seafood perfectly compliments the meehun and all other ingredients. I also enjoyed the pretty hot sambal as well. Will definitely put this in place in my list of recommendations (which I need to create, I think)
simple menu at SALTed
Other than laksa Sarawak, the restaurant also offers kolo mee, belacan meehun, and mee Jawa Sarawak. .My mission was only for the laksa, so no I did not try any of these dishes.
30-1 Jalan PJU 7/16a,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.159828, 101.602412
Tel: 03-7733 4566
Hours: 10 am to 3:30 pm
While Penang and Ipoh hawker food has been quite a staple in Klang Valley, what Sarawak has to offer has just recently enter a lot of street food lover’s radar. And when it comes to Sarawakian simple eats, none is more popular than a good old fashion bowl of Sarawak Laksa.
Restaurant NZX Food Court, at Ara Damansara
One of the latest places to offer a good bowl is the newly revived NZX at Ara Damansara. NZX, or Niuzexui, was once the latest and hippest commercial area in PJ when it first opened several years ago. There were Starbucks, Big Apple donuts (when it was at its peak), and many more. I mean, it had semi-outdoor air conditioning, the place was great.
The biggest issue around NZX though, was access roads. You had to go through a dodgy and often congested tunnel under NKVE to get there via Taman Emas in PJ.
The access has been sorted out since, and there’s even the Lembah Subang LRT station just a stone’s throw away, so it was prime that NZX is experiencing a bit of a revival of late.
proper Sarawak Laksa, with decent size prawns too
Anyway, back onto the laksa Sarawak.
I was first notified about this place by one of the people who now manages the area, and after Anna Wong (a proper Sarawakian) gave her approval of this stall, I knew I had to give it a try.
And true to what the Sarawakian girl said, the laksa here was proper (at least to me). The soup was on point, and ingredients were rather generous. I also like the fact that they do not skimp on those prawns. It was quite a treat.
Penang char kuih teow here is decent as well
Oh, there are other stalls at this kopitiam as well. The char kuih teow I had on my first visit when the Sarawak stall sold out was pretty decent as well. I still need to try their kuih chap and other dishes.
While up at Sungai Petani a couple months ago, we took the opportunity to get my brother to introduce some of the more unique dishes the biggest city in Kedah has got to offer. Since we already had those awesome curry mee at Eupe food court, it was time for laksa fish at Restoran Piao Siang.
Restoran Piao Xiang at Sungai Petain, Haze & Win Sern
Restoran Piao Xiang, or Sin Piao Xiang, is located just a stone’s throw away from the Sungai Petani Utara toll plaza, and like most places in Sungai Petani, you won’t have too much of a problem trying to get a parking spot.
The restaurant opens for both lunch and dinner, and is considered one of the bigger eateries in the area, well, big enough to hosts wedding functions every now and then.
the famous laksa fish, with fish, and some laksa noodle too
For the three of us on a very hungry afternoon, we ordered four dishes to go with steamed rice.
The claim of fame here is the laksa fish (RM 26), a dish that is so simple in its ingredients you wonder why we don’t see it anywhere else. You make some awesome laksa broth, throw in steamed fish, mint leaves, and some laksa noodle for good measures.
I think having this dish as is as a whole meal is certainly viable, especially for laksa fans.
eggplant with sambal, stuffed chicken skin, seafood tofu
The eggplant with sambal (RM 7) is a musts order for those who like northern style sambal that comes with a kick. Seafood tofu (RM 9) is pretty decent as snacks, but the stuffed chicken skin (RM 17) actually surprised me, chicken skin stuffed with minced pork, reminds me of the first time I had something like that from Elegant Inn (stuffed with prawn meat tho).
Over all it was certainly a satisfying lunch, and one that is pretty reasonably priced too. If you’re up North, this is certainly not a bad place to check out.
Restaurant Piao Xiang
20 & 21 Jalan Melati 1,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
GPS: 5.677679, 100.507461
Tel: 04-442 6219
When I was a boy in Penang, whenever the topic of laksa came up, there’s always two stalls that came up in the conversations among the locals – the one at Balik Pulau, and the Ayer Itam stall. The good news is, for those of us who has moved to Klang Valley, the famous stall from Ayer Itam, Angcle Peoh’s asam laksa, is now available in Bukit Tinggi, Klang.
Angcle Peoh, now at Bukit Tinggi Klang
Restoran Angcle Peoh is a non halal outfit located just a stone’s throw away from one of the larger malls in the country – AEON Bukit Tinggi.
While Klang may sound like a distance too far for some, it is actually just half an hour’s drive from Petaling Jaya on a decent day, and we Malaysians have a habit to go far in search for good food anyway, kan?
asam laksa is good, and char kuih teow more than decent
While the Ayer Itam stall offers only asam laksa, the air-conditioned restaurant in Bukit Tinggi carries other Penang hawker dishes on the menu as well.
The asam laksa is as good as the original, with the old man himself often seen at the kitchen, it is as authentic as you can get. It is arguably one of the best asam laksa in Klang Valley you can get right now (I’d also recommend Aik Asam Laksa at Seapark, PJ as a close second)
The version of char kuih teow cooked up at this place is pretty decent as well, though I find myself preferring Uncle Vincent’s version (Bukit Rimau) just a tad more, though both of these are still a notch below Lot 10‘s duck egg CKT in my view.
curry mee, cendol, and hokkien char too
I was delighted that they have Hokkien Char (Penang style fried hokkien mee) on the menu, gave it a try and had an okay experience. The taste was there, but there was way too much noodle to properly enjoy the dish.
Cendol was alright here, and don’t order the curry mee, it was awful, and not even a proper Penang version at that. For other dishes, well, you gotta try them and tell me.
Restoran Angcle Peoh
42, Lorong Batu Nilam 21B,
Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2,
41200 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 2.997816, 101.442465
Tel: 017-936 2223
Earlier this month on the 1st of September 2015, Malaysian Airlines officially welcomed the start of its new company Malaysia Airlines Berhad. As with many of you, my first ever flying experience was with our national carrier, with what has happened in the past 18 months or so, I personally felt that this is a significant step to the right direction for the company to once again proudly graze the Malaysian skyline.
Flying with Malaysia Airlines Berhad on the first day of business
Together with a few other writers, I was invited to take a short day trip with the new MAB to Penang.
To be honest, last I flew back to Penang was almost two decades ago when I took a flight (and was upgraded to business class, my first business class experience!) back to my hometown, down with dengue.
To commemorate the occasion, the customers on this particular flight was given a cute little pilot bear.
Malaysian Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller on Sept 1st, 2015
The CEO of Malaysian Airlines Berhad, Christoph Mueller, was on location to make sure everything runs smoothly, and to salute the aircraft before we take off, it was a proper sent off, albeit only to a location 45 mins away.
breakfast at 1997 kopitiam, Paya Terubong, Penang
Upon touch down in the Pearl of the Orient, we first took care of the most important business – breakfast!
We headed to Paya Terubong and jumped right into 1997 kopitiam. The restaurant is named after the year in which it was established. To be fair, I’ve never been here (as I left Penang in 1996 for college).
The loh mee I ordered turned out to be more than satisfying, I particularly love the super spicy sambal. and of course the availability of those soft & smooth pork skin didn’t hurt at all. The char kuih teow we shared was pretty decent, and kuih teow soup received positive remarks too. It was a pretty good start of the day.
heading up to Penang Hill
After breakfast, we went up to the highest peak of the island – Penang Hill.
There are two ways to head up to the hill – by the new & improved cable car from Ayer Itam, or use the Number 11 bus (your 2 legs) and walk your way up from the road next to Botanical Garden. Of course, we chose the easy way up.
Not to be outdone by Paris’ love locks, Penang Hill has our very own section of the same thing too, I found it pretty cute. If you didn’t bring your own locks, they’ve got a stall manned with traders who are quite eager to sell you a few models of locks, rather enterprising.
the old cannon’s still there, but the cable car is now much faster
I walked up to the highest peak and made sure to take a photo next to the cannon, reminiscing a similar picture taken at the same spot when I went up there with classmates at the age of 10 or so, time flies man.
Oh, make sure you take the lowest car on the way down, the faster speed makes for quite a pretty thrilling ride, I love it.
the famous Ayer Itam asam laksa
After Penang Hill, it was time for lunch, and since we were already at Ayer Itam, the famous laksa right next to the morning market made for an obvious choice.
I’ve had this laksa from when it was sold for RM 1 per bowl, and glad to say that it still tastes the same as it was from decades ago. Check out this old blog post of the place from almost 10 years back.
Fort Cornwallis, where Sir Francis Light first stepped foot on Penang
Fort Cornwallis was our next destination. This was the place where Sir Francis Light, the founder of modern Penang first set up camp on the island. The historical site isn’t overly interesting to be perfectly honest, but if you’re hungry (unfortunately we weren’t), the mee sotong at the adjacent food court is excellent.
Peranakan Mansion, I’ve never been to this place even though I’m from Penang
We then moved to Peranakan Mansion, a typical mansion for affluent Baba & Nyonya from a century ago. This mansion was super impressive and definitely worth every sen of the entrance fee. There are over 1000 pieces of antique & collectibles on display. I am quite embarrassed to be a Penangite who only stepped foot in this building for the first time.
If you go to Penang, be sure to pay a visit to this place.
Masjid India, the oldest mosque in Penang, and the nasi kandar next to it
Continuing the tour of Georgetown, our Muslim tour-mates took the opportunity to pray at the oldest mosque on the island – Masjid India.
As for the rest of us, it was an excuse for nasi kandar. I had nasi tomato from the Nasi Kandar Masjid stall (next to the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur which opens only at night). As with most nasi kandar in Penang, the curry was thick and flavorful, but it didn’t have as much umph as I had wanted, I guess I expected just a bit more.
Penang road cendol and rojak
For tea break, we headed to Penang road to have some cendol. There are two stalls operating across the road from each other, and to be honest, they both tasted as good as each other. Some may argue that one is “definitely better”, but I can’t tell.
Oh, the rojak is pretty good as well.
a visit to Chew Jetty before we head back to KL
Chew Jetty was our last destination before heading back to the airport. The famous residential jetty now has about half the houses converted to make-shirt shops of sort. In a way it was perhaps slightly less charming? I don’t really know what to make up of it.
My grandparents stay very close to one of these jetties at Weld Quay, so as a kid I used to roam around the different jetties with no shoes, carelessly side stepping open nails and barely secured planks. There was definitely a sense of nostalgia.
Oh, by the way, I also tapao 10 packs of laksa back to KL, and happy to report that airport security did not think it was a bad idea. 😀
Best of luck, Malaysian Airlines!