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Tag / mid valley

For someone who dines out quite a lot, I’m almost always in a lost when it comes to eating in shopping malls. Out on the streets, pasar malam, or random restaurants? I’m good at those, but under the giant roofs that house hundreds of shops? Good luck.

Manmaru Udon at Midvalley Megamall
Manmaru Udon at Mid Valley Megamall

So when we found ourselves at Mid Valley the other day, we did what most people do, randomly wandering around to find something to eat.

In this instance, facade of a restaurant is important, and that’s how we got into Manmaru Japanese Udon Restaurant, despite the fact that I’m not exactly an udon fan at all.

Signature Supreme Udon
Signature Supreme Udon

As it turns out, other than a good variety of udon, Manmaru also serves starters, salad, yakimono (grilled or pan fried stuff), agemono (deep fried stuff), and nabe (Japanese hot pot).

Since this is a primarily udon place, we had to try their udon, so why not choose the top of the range?

The Signature Supreme Udon (RM 28.90) comes with pretty good amount of prawns, scallops, and even abalone slices (not sure if it’s “real” abalone, but I don’t really care). The broth was thick, creamy, and actaully pretty delicious. I also enjoyed the udon noodle itself, having a pretty good texture.

By the way, the cheapest udon here starts at RM 11.90, with more than two dozen varieties to choose from.

ebi pizza & tuna carpaccio
ebi pizza & tuna carpaccio

The picture of their ebi pizza (prawn pizza, RM 19.90) looks too good to pass up, so I ended up ordering that. The thin crust pizza was loaded with cheese, had 8 pretty good size prawns, and all those mushroom, chunks of bell peppers, and spring onion. I really enjoyed it.

We also ordered one of their specials – tuna carpaccio. This starter actaully took the longest to be served, and while looking pretty decent on the photo, it was a disappointing dish. The tuna was a bit too “cooked” and the dish could use more olive oil. I’ll avoid this.

we had a pretty good meal I'd say
we had a pretty satisfying meal

That being said, Manmaru is a pretty decent place if you’re looking for udon or pizza, I’m assuming other standard dishes such as tempura and grilled items are worth trying as well. If I’m at Mid Valley again over meal time, I wouldn’t mind checking it out again.

Address:
Manmaru
S-045A, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.120346,101.677834
Tel: 03-2201 1663
Webhwww.manmaru.com.my

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Hokkaido Ichiba at One Utama and Mid Valley Gardens are two of the latest restaurants to be opened up by one of the largest Japanese restaurant chains in the country – Super Dining.

The group started out with their Raku Zen restaurants at SS 15 and other locations, then ventured into lower end conveyor belt style restaurants in Sushi Zanmai, a Japanese pasta chain in Pasta Zanmai, a higher end hotel-restaurant in Kura, and now, sitting between Zanmai and Raku Zen – Hokkiado Ichiba.

Hokkaido Ichiba, One Utama branch
Hokkaido Ichiba, One Utama branch

The menu at Hokkaido Ichiba is rather extensive, there are sushi, sashimi, various bento, maki, ramen, udon, and even small side dishes that you normally wouldn’t find in ordinary Japanese outlets.

California temaki, anglerfish liver, spicy oyster ramen
California temaki, anglerfish liver, spicy oyster ramen

For the two of us, we ordered an oyster ramen, a chirashi sushi, California temaki, and something that I haven’t eaten since 5 years ago in Vietnam – anglerfish liver.

The service was pretty brisk on a weekday night at One Utama, and we got our dishes within 15 minutes or so upon ordering.

The California temaki was Haze’s appetizer and reportedly quite tasty. The anglerfish liver though, was a tad too dry for me, though still retaining that distinctive taste that I can only describe as a blend of liver with a fishy (in a good way) undertone and has a texture between that of foie gras and pork liver. If you haven’t tried it before, this is a place to do so in an affordable way.

The spicy oyster ramen was a pretty decent dish as well, spicy and rather flavorful, though slightly lacking when compared to dedicated ramen shops such as Santouka or Marutama. This is perhaps due to the home made ramen used in other outlets, or the amount of effort poured into the making of ramen broth.

chirashi sushi, with scallops, amaebi shrimps, salmon, and ikura
chirashi sushi, with scallops, amaebi, salmon, ikura

My chirashi sushi though, was a steal at RM 30. It has two amaebi (sweet shrimps), hotate (scallops), ikura (salmon roe), salmon, and a couple crab sticks. The ingredients were pretty fresh and I thought it was a very good bowl of chirashi sushi especially considering the price point.

Haze and KY at Hokkaido Ichiba Japanese restuarant
Haze and KY at Hokkaido Ichiba Japanese restuarant

Overall, Hokkiado Ichiba really does find a niche in this pretty saturated Japanese restaurant market. The food is pretty good, prices reasonable (RM 77.70 for everything, including green tea). If you are at One Utama or Mid Valley Gardens looking for reasonably affordable Japanese food and not wanting to fight with the crowd at Sushi Zanmai, this is a place worth checking out.

Address:
Hokkaido Ichiba
Lot T-201, 3rd Floor, The Gardens,
Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 KL.
Tel: 03-2283 1060

Hokkaido Ichiba
Lot LG 101, Lower Ground Floor Promenade,
1 Utama Shopping Centre, No 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Bandar Utama Damansara, 47800 PJ.
Tel: 03-7727 0020

I must be one of the luckiest guy around. In conjunction with my unceremonious birthday, I had a total of 6 free meals from my closest friends. Steamboat from Suan, late night porridge from ST & Kim, Wendy’s thanks to Douglas, Zanmai from Ringo, lunch at Ah Yip soup place from Lorna, and last but not least, Ninja Jones courtesy of my ex-housemate Kerol. What more could a man ask?

Wait, it’s actually 7 meals altogether with Eiling‘s pre-birthday dinner at Il Divo Italian restaurant, which I have yet to blog.

Ninja Jones at Mid Valley North Point
beware of the automatic sliding door!

Anyway, we went to Ninja Jones on a weekday evening. The restaurant is located at NorthPoint, just across Mid Valley Mega Mall, you have keep to the right and go into NorthPoint’s parking lot lest having to walk all the way from the main mall via the not-so-well constructed pedestrian bridge.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor, with a pair of automatic sliding door leading to the dark but very well decorated interior. We were seated on the first floor. There were really some waiters dressed up as Ninjas, though none of them looked remotely Japanese.

Ninja Jones at Mid Valley North Point
chawanmushi, salad, soup, tofu

The menu is rather extensive, you can find kobe beef, sashimi, sushi, noodles, sake, and many set meals as well. I also like the fact that most entries in the menu is accompanied by a photo.

We ordered two set dinners for the night. Kerol had the Ninja set while I chose something that is priced just below RM 50 with a name that escaped me.

Ninja Jones at Mid Valley North Point
grilled chicken on hot stone, beef cubes, sashimi

Kerol’s set came with a lemon soup served in a teapot, soft shell crab salad, grilled chicken on hot stone, tofu, tempura, smoked salmon, and some sushi roll (my camera ran out of battery when they were served).

The soup carries a slight lemon taste to it and were pretty unique and refreshing, and I really love the grilled chicken. It was done in a minimalistic way and yet very very delicious. Of course, smoked salmon with vinaigrette never disappoints.

Ninja Jones at Mid Valley North Point
kerol enjoying her favorite cuisine

The set that I had came with salad, chawanmushi, miso soup, sashimi, rice, and grilled beef cube. The sashimi was fresh and really good, especially fatty cuttings they gave for the salmon.

However, the best item on my set had to be the beef. They were really succulent and carried none of the foul smell. I can only imagine how the Kobe beef version would taste like if this version is already so good.

map to Mid Valley North Point
Ninja Jones is located at North Point

The total bill came to slightly above RM 100. It was good ambiance, good food, and good company. A place worth revisiting

Address:
A-G-5, Ground Floor, Northpoint,
Mid valley City,
No.1 Medan Syed Putra Utara,
59200 Kuala Lumpur.

GPS: 3.120346,101.677834
Tel: 03-2288 1646

Huai Bin was in town a few days ago, so Ringo and I took the opportunity to meet him at Midvalley Gardens for dinner. My previous time meeting this formally notorious dude was actually during the PPS bash in June 2005 when this blog was just barely 5 months young.

Time certainly flies, the dude went through a national fame and a year of rehab since. How many of us could boost that kinda personal history? And then there are those crazy piercings. Anyway.. lest I digress.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
this place is constantly packed

Fong Lye to Taiwanese food is pretty similar to Dragon-i in Shanghainese food, relatively affordable, comfortable ambiance, with a high turnover rate. The menu is not overly extensive, but most importantly, it is laden with many pork dishes, some beef, and a few chicken entrees.

I ordered the pork intestine set while Ringo asked for hot & spicy dimsum. Huai Bin went for the three variety supreme diced chicken, Melody the Taiwanese braised beef noodle, and HB’s friend a beef roll.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
braised beef noodle, hot & spicy dimsum, pork intestine, and 3 variety supreme dice chicken set

The sets come with soup, a small portion of vegetable, a yong tao fu style brinjal, and a meat ball of sort, and steamed rice with some minced pork on top (was very good!) as standard package. The Three Supreme Diced Chicken was probably the tastiest of what we ordered. Very flavorful with just enough hotness provided from the dried chili, it is pretty similar to kung pao chicken, except better.

My Pork Intestine Set came with intestine, coagulated pork blood, tofu, and salted vegetable in a tomato based broth that is sour and spicy. It was pretty good, but I thought the portion of salted vegetable might have been a little excessive, and Ringo should stop stealing my coagulated blood though!

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
coagulated pork blood, beef noodle, beef roll, peanut snow mountain

Hot & Spicy Dimsum was somewhat similar with the previous dish, except that it doesn’t have much broth, and a lot more spicy. Tofu, intestine, vegetable, and some other pork parts with the “ma la” spicy sauce. It was pretty interesting but a little too spicy though.

Beef Roll and the Taiwanese Braised Beef Noodle were delicious dishes themselves too, as you would expect from a restaurant specialized in Taiwanese food.

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant at Midvalley Gardens
Huai Bin’s gf was the camera lady, secret identify

We also had a Peanut Snow Mountain as dessert, but unfortunately the memory of two girls one cup killed my enjoyment for this item.

While the main dishes were pretty reasonably priced at less than RM 20.00, drinks are pretty pricey here. A pot of tea for two is RM 12, a beer RM 12.50, and yoghurt drinks at RM 7.30 each. I guess you gotta make up for the rentals at Gardens somehow.

map to Midvalley Gardens
Fong Lye is on 3rd floor, Mid Valley Gardens

Fong Lye can also be found at 94, Jalan Imbi; and No. 9 Plaza Prismaville at Hartamas.

Address:
Lot T208, 3rd Floor The Gardens,
Mid Valley City Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200, Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.118675, 101.676085
Tel: 03-2282 8699

Earlier this month I was invited to the Wild Rice restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard hotel for a food review session courtesy of foodstreet. I looked through the list of my MSN and found a dinner partner in Ringo to go there with me. (you know, a fehmes blogger to increase my street cred.)

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
wild rice restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seatings

The wild rice restaurant is situated on the 9th floor with nice indoor seatings as well as the open terrace with a beautiful pool view.

We were greeted by the friendly communication manager Mr. Huang, and shortly after that the dishes started coming in. The good chef prepared eight dishes for just the three of us for the night. Other than their weekend buffet, Wild Rice restaurant serves Malaysian food as well as Western dishes.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
clay pot chicken rice, char kueh teow, Penang seafood hor fun

Our first dish of the night was none other than Char Kueh Teow. I usually have my reservations when it comes to this dish, but the chef (who has a very strong Penang tie) actually pulled this off rather well. The good size prawns, chives, bean sprouts, and egg combined to deliver a dish that tasted pretty good.

Similarly, the Penang Hor Fun was very nice as well. I like the way the egg is done with the yolk still half cooked while the white spread over the flat noodle. The hor fun comes with prawns, squid, dory fish fillet, and vegetables.

The chef also prepared two versions of clay pot chicken rice for us, the more usual recipe with salted fish, and a version with century egg. Although I love century eggs, I think the combination is a little weird though, this little experiment from the chef didn’t turn out very great (the dish is not on the menu). Then again, I always applaud chefs who are willing to experiment.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
Hainanese chicken chop, avocado burger, pan fried salmon, oxtail soup

Then there’s the very crispy and juicy Hainanese chicken chop that I wish I have a bigger stomach to eat more. The chicken chop consists of 1/4 quarter chicken with thigh and drumstick, fresh button mushroom in brown sauce with some mixed vegetables, and of course, fries. (I wonder if they have fries in Hainan, but lets not digress)

The pan fried salmon was good as well, but I think the most interesting dish for the day goes to the avocado burger. This vegetarian dish has beet root, cheese, butter, and a generous serving of sliced avocado. If you had California Roll, you know how avocado tastes like. The combination of avocado relish, and cheese in the bun was actually delicious.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
the good chef and Ringo

Ringo’s favorite dish, if my memory serves me correct, was the Malaysian oxtail soup. It wasn’t too spicy nor tasted too strongly. The soup was just nice with the meat tender and the carrots soft, serving it in a clay pot does help by keeping the temperature.

map to Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
Boulevard Hotel is situated at the North Court of Mid Valley City

The best thing about Wild Rice restaurant is the fact that it is open 24 hrs a day. To me this spells the end of mamak after midnight show especially if I’m at Mid Valley.

As for price, I think they are pretty reasonable for a hotel. Soup is RM15; the burger and other local dishes are around RM 18 to RM 22. Expect to pay slightly more for western dishes, but the portions are pretty big. The good news is that the prices are nett, no extra 10% or 5%. I like that.

Address:
Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.119262, 101.677802
Tel: 03-2295 8000