When it comes to Chinese tai chao restaurants, you often find very conventional names that usually involves someone’s surname or places of origin. XFrens Cafe & Restaurant though, likes to be a bit different, so I was looking at a map and this name came up, I’d have thought that they probably serve good pastry and maybe some warm pies…
Restaurant Xfrens, Subang Jaya SS18
Well, I have no idea what went through the owners’ thought process when they came up with the name, but we’re here for the food, and in this regard they definitely put in more thoughts than the naming exercise.
XFrens is located at Subang Jaya SS18, with few busy shops around the same short row of shop houses in the evening, parking your car is usually a relatively painless process. However, do plan to get there early as the place usually gets rather busy and fetch quite a long queue on weekend busy dinner hours. I’d say anytime before 6:30 or 6:45 pm and you should have a table immediately.
The menu at Xfrens is pretty comprehensive, with different sections offering dishes involving poultry, seafood, vegetable, tofu, and such.
For the group of 6 of us over dinner, we ordered five dishes to share.
“siong thong” lala, pumpkin tofu, paku with chili padi
Siong Thong Lala was a pretty decent dish that provides some spicy soup to open up the appetite, the shellfish was of decent size and freshness. Pumpkin tofu was one of their signature dishes, and one that provides a nice contrast in texture and taste, crispy on the outside with stronger tasting sauce, while soft and mild within.
I was also very glad that we ordered paku with chili padi, one of my favorite type of vegetable that should be more popular here (as they are in Borneo). This is one vege that I’ll order again.
garlic pork, teow chew style steamed red snapper
Garlic pork is another must-order at Xfrens, and it is what we’re here for. The dish was basically a dish of deep fried pork with many, many cloves of garlic. It was as simple as it was tasty, the combination was an assault to the senses in the best ways.
The last dish we shared was steamed red snapper teow chew style. This dish was executed rather well, with ingredients you’d expect from a typical toew chew steamed fish – tomato, tofu, salted vegetable, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chili. I enjoyed this quite a lot too.
The dinner came to be around RM 40 per pax including drinks, a fair price considering the fact that we ordered quality fish as well as lala. Would definitely come here again.
Haze always described me as someone who’s bordering insufferable when it comes to dining at shopping malls. It usually takes me quite a bit of merry-go-round trying to evaluate what is worth eating before settling into a restaurant. Luckily, at IOI City Mall, I found just what’s worth spending a meal – at Kakatoo.
Kakatoo at IOI City Mall
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with a modern touch and Baba Nyonya colors, and with a cute logo to boot, it is one of the better looking outfits among the many restaurants on the lower ground of this huge IOI City Mall.
As for menu, they offer a mix of Western & classic Nyonya dishes, I was only interested in the latter.
cencaru with sambal, just like how mom makes them
For the two of us, we went for the classic dishes that defines any Nyonya restaurants – ikan cencaru with sambal, and paku paki sambal belacan.
The fish (RM 29.90 for two) was on point. Fried to perfection and with properly seasoned sambal too. They gave a bit of extra sambal tumis in the middle, but I’d be a happier man if even more was offered.
paku pakis with sambal belacan
In retrospect, we probably should have ordered some other vegetable dishes that provides a bit of variety in taste, but thankfully the pucuk paku pakis (RM 16.90) did not disappoint. It was spicy, crunchy, fresh, and definitely went well with rice.
KY & Haze at IOI City Mall
The Nyonya dishes experience at Kakatoo was one that worth revisiting, and now if I go to IOI City Mall again, I know where to go for a decent meal I won’t regret.
Horng and I were both from the same “11200” postcode back in Penang, an area that is called Tanjung Bunga (literally cape of flower). So it was a bit of a wonder why it took us so long to step into the Tanjung Bunga nyonya restaurant at SS2 despite having driven by the shop lots on multiple occasions over the years.
well, my very first address was under the Tg. Bungah postcode
As a rule of thumb, if a restaurant has been there for ages and do very little in terms of decoration or renovation, chances are the food is usually at least decent.
In that sense, Tanjung Bunga Penang Nyonya Cuisine is one such places, the interior is rather basic but clean, with air conditioning system that sort of works.
curry fish head, asam prawn, perut ikan
Tanjung Bungah restaurant offers pretty much all the essential Penang nyonya dishes. For the five of us, we ordered five different dishes for dinner. Serving time was actually pretty fast, with the first dish arriving some 10 minutes after ordering.
Curry fish head with garupa was rich, spicy, and true to Nyonya style, comes with a plenty of vegetable and even mint leaves. Fried asam prawn was prepared the way my mom would, which also reminds me of the version at Kah Soh – retaining the sweetness of tiger prawns while infusing the dish with just the right amount of dark soya sauce and asam.
Perut ikan, or pickled swim bladder curry, could be slightly richer and creamier, but a passable dish nonetheless.
inchi cabin and paku pakis
Then there’s paku pakis, or the wild fern shoots, a vegetable dish to fill the vitamin C quota, and one with texture that I always love. The preparation method here is more “lemak” than spicy, which suits us just find as there was already curry on the table.
Our favorite dish turned out to be the inchi cabin, or the Nyonya fried chicken. The unique blend of spices and sauce used to marinate this version of fried chicken was just spot on, We wish we ordered more.
Dinner came to be about RM 15-20 per person, which is on par with other similar restaurants, would not hesitate to go back there again.
Address: Tanjung Bungah Nyonya Cuisine 117, Jalan SS 2/6, Ss 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.116029, 101.616522 Tel: 03-7877 4531 Hours: lunch and dinner, closed on Thursdays
At workplace, I am a bit of a freelancer when it comes to lunches. Most people have a group of colleagues or friends they always lunch with, but I sort of wander around a little bit, hanging out with different groups of colleagues and friends. Partly to socialize with more, and mainly to appease my appetite of having wide variety of different lunch options since most groups usually to go to the same places repeatedly.
Restoran Salero Negori, at Jalan Gurney, KL
A couple weeks ago I joined a group of Malay colleagues on a bit of a lunch excursion to this place suggested by our friendly Indonesian expat by the name of Pak Alwi to this restaurant located at Dato’ Keramat by the name of Restoran Salero Negori.
Restoran Salero Negori is located in a converted bungalow house along Jalan Gurney (not to be confused with Persiaran Gurney which is in Penang).
As with many Malay restaurants, the set up is pretty similar to “chap fan” or nasi kandar style. Most food are already prepared, and you just point and pick what you want. The benefit is that you don’t ever need to wait more than 5 minutes before food is served.
For lunch, we ordered up qiute a big feast for the six of us. There’s boiled duck egg, smoked beef curry, paku pakis, deep fried chicken with rempah, curry squid, curry chicken, and more.
I find the beef pretty interesting, a bit of a smokey taste that goes well with the spicy curry. The rempah from fried chicken was addictive, but my favorite turned out to be the brinjal, covered with sambal and fried to almost crispy texture while still retaining the sweetness.
Over all, it was a very good lunch, plenty of kick, and maybe a bit too much lemak, but that’s what Negeri Sembilan food is all about.
it was a great afternoon lunch session
We spent about RM 24-25 per person for this meal including drinks. Cheap? No. Satisfying? Oh Yes! Will go there again.
Address: Restoran Salero Negori Jalan Gurney Dato’ Keramat Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.167662, 101.720818
When I first heard about My Elephant sometimes last year (or 2 years ago?), I’ve been telling myself to pay a visit. But for some reasons that did not happen until just a couple weeks ago, and boy I wished I had done it way earlier. This place really lives up to all the hype circulating online.
My Elephant Thai restaurant at PJ Seksyen 17
My Elephant is situated at Happy Mansion, on the ground floor of the first of three really old school apartment blocks. The restaurant really does not fit in to the area, but that only adds to its charm. This is just a block from Food Foundary, a place that serves really good mille crepe.
We went at on a Wednesday night, and even then the place was packed with diners. A good sign, the three of us were seated, and then we made our orders. The restaurant is air conditioned, comfortable, and decorated with little ornaments and drawings that looks to be from Chatuchak, but not in a good way.
fish cake, seafood tomyam, brown rice, deep fried chicken
We ordered 5 dishes, and had brown rice to go with. I usually dislike brown rice (RM 3/pax), but over here they are rather fragrant and adds to the overall flavor when eaten with the other dishes.
The fish cake (RM 8) was slightly salty and not hiding any Thai “flavors”, a good dish to start.
When in a Thai restaurant, a must-order is usually the tomyam, and over here they serve up a pretty mean bowl. While not overly spicy, the seafood tomyam (RM 20) we was packed with mushroom, prawns, squid and more.
The deep fried chicken (RM 15) is my favorite dish of the evening. They were cut in small chunks with plenty of crispy skin accompanying each piece, and together with strong marinate and curry leaves, man, you have to really try it to realize that deep fried chicken can be this good. I like this more than KFC, and that is saying a lot, I love my KFC.
paku pakis, gai tod gratiam prik thai duck salad
The vegetable dish I ordered was paku pakis (fern, RM 15). I first tried fern at Lala Chong with cheesie and instantly loved it. The version here is even better, *yums*
Our last dish was Thai duck salad (gai tod gratiam prik, RM 15). A pretty typical Thai style salad that is sour, spicy, and work your tongue to its limit. We liked it too.
If you love Thai food and haven’t tried My Elephant yet, pay a visit. For weekends it is advisable to call for booking though.
Remember, consumption of awesome Thai food will leave you wanting more 2 days later, when you feel them coming out. 😛
Block C-G4, Happy Mansion,
Jalan 17/13, Seksyen 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.122486, 101.634747
Tel: 0 10-220 1283