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Tag / pork belly

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA to sample what they have to offer. Now first things first, Taman SEA is not SEAPARK. The former is right between Taman Megah and Damasara Jaya, while the latter is closer to Taman Paramount in PJ.

Slight difference, but getting from one side of LDP to the other can be quite an exercise in patience during rush hour, you don’t want that.

Getting to Mr. Wolf can be slightly tricky, as where you can see the restaurant isn’t where you can navigate to it. Follow the GPS and throw your logic aside, you will get there.

Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)
Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)

To understand the type of cuisine served at Mr. Wolf is to understand the main man behind this restaurant – Chef Bryan Tan.

Chef Bryan served at the kitchen of Cilantro, crafted the menu at The Point KL, and had quite an extensive experience cooking in Australia prior embarking on his own restaurant at Mr. Wolf. The background certainly shows up in his cuisine, a play of modern cooking without the constraint of the taboo in using ingredients as well as cooking methods from both East & West. The dirty word for this is “fusion”, but Chef Bryan calls it modern cuisine.

I think the word fusion has an unfair and unfortunate reputation, without those who push the boundary of what is acceptable, culinary art will always look at the past and not the future. I applaud the courage of those who brave the new frontier.

While those chefs may not get everything 100% right, when they do, you stand a chance to taste something like never before.

jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict
jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict

Mr. Wolf has a cozy bar upstairs and a restaurant on the ground level, today we’re going to talk about the restaurant, which started serving brunch on Friday thru Sunday, so let’s start with a few brunch dishes.

There’s a few egg benedict dishes, and boy do they make it right. We tried two – Jamon serrano benedict (RM 28), came with cured Spanish ham (white pig), English muffins, poached eggs and mentaiko hollandaise, while the streaky bacon benedict (RM 22) basically has the same ingredients but substituting ham with bacon. The poached eggs were done right, and the mentaiko hollandaise sauce definitely works, either would make excellent breakfast with some coffee.

Mr. Wolf’s Pibig breakfast (RM 32) – with tonkatsu pull pork on toast, poached eggs, pork sausage, streaky bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled tomato and salad, hollandaise sauce is quite a meal and perfect for those with a bigger appetite. Here again, a touch of Japanese influence is found on the tonkatsu style pull pork, which gives it that bit of extra sophistication.

deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns
deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns

Having a bar upstairs obviously means they have bar food that goes really well with cold beer.

The deep fried baby crabs, school prawns with chili lime dressing (RM 15) was something I wish comes in a bag like you’d get chips. The batter is light (ala tempura style), and the seafood crunchy and delicious. Sorta reminds me of those Thai baby crab snacks, but better.

Tiger Beer battered soft shell crab buns with kimchi mayo and caramelized onion (RM 12 per bun) was something of a surprise. The dish didn’t look particularly exciting, but it was like a mini burger that’s unlike any other. It’s basically just some really soft buns with really crispy and perfectly seasoned soft shell crab, I can’t come up with fancy descriptions, everyone loved it.

crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops
crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops

For seafood dishes, we tried the crispy skin salmon, edamame, somen and mentaiko sauce, seaweed and salmon roe (RM 34). Another dish taken from the inspiration across the continents and one laden with one of my favorite ingredients – mentaiko. It is rather rich and would suit those who loves strong tasting dishes.

Pan fried Hokkaido scallops (RM 42) came with cauliflower pureer, avruga puree, aojiso truffle dressing, French bean and quinoa. A combination that would satisfy any scallop lovers, and the truffle dressing does give it an additional edge.

sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken
sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken

Going slightly more conservatively, there’s the slow roasted chicken (RM 34), with tomato jam, black fungi and beanshoot salad, fried quinoa, grilled baby corn, curry leaf infused buttermilk sauce. The chicken (I suspect sous vide) was tender, and overall it felt like a really healthy dish. Other dish for your gym rat friends.

The sous vide pork loin (RM 32) with sautee mushroom, kimchi vegetable, soft boiled eggs, corriander jus, on the other hand, is almost but not entirely like a dry version of tau eu bak. I was looking for those fat layers, but I suppose it too is more fitting for those who likes to be a bit on the “healthier” side.

braised char siew pork belly, donuts
braised char siew pork belly, donuts

Our final main dish was the braised char siew pork belly (RM 34), with crispy pork hock, nahm prik, pickled papaya and cucumber salad. This was something that I found myself enjoying quite a bit, it tasted abit like a cross between dry bak kut teh & char siu, with a nice layer of glistering fat to boot. I found msyelf wanting to have some rice with these actually, it was good!

We concluded the night by having the nutella & salted caramel donut. I don’t see this in the menu but do ask about it from the good chef.

Over all Mr. Wolf easily beat my expectations on what they came up with. You don’t need to go to the likes of Bangsar, KL, or Mont Kiara for fancy modern food, Mr. Wolf has them right here in PJ, and for very reasonable prices as well.

map to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA

Address:
Mr. Wolf
5, Jalan ss23/11, Taman Sea,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.116975, 101.614549
Tel03-7886 1098
Hours: Brunch on Fridays & Weekends, Dinner daily

A few weeks ago we decided to have a little “not very surprised” birthday party dinner for Suan, one of the pioneer of Malaysian blogsphere, who also happens to be one of my dearest friends.

Since she’s been the yakitori sort of phase, we decided that Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa would make a good venue for this purpose. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa, they could use a better signboard
Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa, they could use a better signboard

Getting to Maruhi Sakaba isn’t a problem, but identifying the exact shop lot proved to be a bit of a challenge. For some strange reasons, the owner decided that a Kanji signboard designed for ants would be sufficient. Nonetheless, if you walk towards the center of the shop lots (Faber Plaza) from Public Bank at the corner, you won’t miss it.

Interestingly, the “Japanese BBQ” at Taman Desa is situated just behind at the alleyway of Maruhi Sakaba.

chicken sashimi, baby intestine carpaccio, organ meat stew
chicken sashimi, baby intestine carpaccio, organ meat stew

There are two menus at Maruhi Sakaba, the laminated version showcase over two dozen dishes, while another portable white-board menu gives you an additional 15-18 dishes that aren’t as “permanent”.

We ended up ordering over 3 quarters of what they offer.

Lets start with the non-grilled items. Chicken sashimi (RM 15) is something that we haven’t tried before, it tasted a bit like tuna carpaccio with a slightly more chicken taste, not particularly impressive but rather interesting for a first timer. Baby intestine carpaccio (RM 10) was crunchy and rich, goes well with beer. Then there’s the organ meat stew (RM 10), with the broth so sweet we just had to order a few more bowls, you need to order this if you’re there.

pan fried egg on rice, grilled pork rice, and cold appetizers
pan fried egg on rice, grilled pork rice, and cold appetizers 

For those who want to fill up their stomach quicker, there are rice dishes such as the medamayaki (fried egg on rice, RM 7) or yakibula don (grilled pork & vege on rice, RM 20), both versions were pretty tasty according to those who ordered.

There are also some vegetarian appetizers here, including tofu and wakame salad, (RM 8), pickled cucumber (RM 5), Hiyashi tomato (RM 5), and shio cabbage (RM 5). I recommend not having these as appetizers but use these dishes as refreshers for your tongue in between the yakitori sticks that tends to be a bit more oily and savory.

chicken, pork, mushroom, tomato, okra, and even brinjal yakitori
chicken, pork, mushroom, tomato, okra, and even brinjal yakitori

Then the question is, how are the yakitoris?

Well, for the most part, they are pretty darn good. Prices per stick ranges from about RM 3 to RM 5, and service was rather fast. We never had to wait for more than 10-15 minutes for our dishes to come, so ordering in the middle of eating won’t really interrupt the “flow” at all.

I liked their chicken wings, chicken skin, and pork belly sticks, and also particularly happy that they have quite a few choices of vegetable yakitori as well. The brinjal and lady’s fingers were quite awesome too.

we sure had a great time at Maruhi Sakaba
we sure had a great time at Maruhi Sakaba, it was Suan’s birthday!

Maruhi Sakaba also serves a few types of Japanese beer and sake.

Of course, this place is not without flaws, for one, it would be great if there’s air conditioning and maybe better chairs. But for the price and quality of food and services, we’re not going to complain much. Filling up our belly with plenty of meat and a few glasses of beer totaled up to RM 40-50 per pax. Would go again.

map to Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa

Address:
Maruhi Sakaba
6A, Faber Plaza,
Jalan Desa Jaya,
Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.102578, 101.682947
Hours 6 pm-11 pm daily, closed on Mondays

Several weeks ago when the sky in KL was enveloped with haze, we decided to take a short trip to Fraser’s hill. On the way back down, we took the long route and somehow ended up near the exit of Tanjung Malim, and since we were already there, I thought we might as well stop by Fu Man restaurant for dinner before heading back to the city.

Fu Man restaurant, book ahead if you're going on weekends
Fu Man restaurant, book ahead if you’re going on weekends

Fu Man is located just a few minutes away from the Tanjung Malim highway exit. If you’re heading there on a weekends, be sure to call ahead and book your table. We didn’t, but was lucky enough to get a table located at the alleyway by the side of the restaurant, everything indoor was already fully booked.

signature fried salted pork belly
signature fried salted pork belly

We let the server recommend us a few signature dishes for the two of us, and I’m glad to report that all three dishes were spot on.

The first dish was the fried salted pork belly (RM 18), served with home-made chilli sauce as well as a sweetish sauce with raw garlic. The pork was crispy on the outside and soft within, full of flavour and definitely a delight to eat. I reckon it’ll make excellent beer food too.

fried vegetable, and home-made steamed stuff tofu
fried vegetable, and home-made steamed stuffed tofu

Next up was the home-made steamed stuffed tofu (RM 6). The combination of minced pork and that extra soft tofu went very well with steamed rice. I wish someone would make yong tau foo that tastes exactly like this.

Naturally, our final dish was green, and it came in the form of “choi sum flower”, or basically a crunchier and juicier version of your normal “choi sum”, we enjoyed this too. They’re a lot less fibery and much easier to munch.

RM 39 for the two of us, great value
RM 39 for the two of us, great value

Dinner costs us RM 39 in total for two person, a great value you won’t likely find in the city. If you’re looking for a great meal and won’t mind driving some 70-80 KM up north, be sure to check out this place.

direction to Fu Man restaurant, Tanjung Malim

Address:
Restoran Fu Man
No. 39, Jalan U1,
Taman Universiti,
35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak
GPS3.683572, 101.530057
Tel05-4597 620
Hours: 11:30 pm – 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 22:30 pm daily

When I first received the invitation email for a food review at Paradise Inn, I was wondering why I haven’t heard about this hotel since it’s located near Sunway Pyramid, an area I’m quite familiar with. As it turned out, Paradise Inn is actually a Chinese restaurant WITHIN Pyramid.

Traditionally, the word “inn” refers to a place where travelers seek food, drinks, and lodging. Paradise Inn provides two out of the three functions, so I guess it is more legit to use the word “inn” than most political parties in forming government.

Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it's a restaurant
Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it’s a restaurant

Paradise Inn is a subsidary of Paradise Group Holding, Singapore. While only been in Malaysia since 2011, the group has been operating several F&B brands in Singapore since 2002. The concept of the restaurant is to combine traditional Chinese cuisine with a touch of modern innovation, and serve the resulting dishes at a reasonable price.

The interior of the restaurant reflects that very concept, with decoration true carrying tell tale traditional styling with added modern touches. I find it quite classy.

stewed pork belly with lotus bun
stewed pork belly with lotus bun

We kick started the food review session with one of Paradise Inn’s signature dishes, the stewed pork belly served with lotus bun (RM 4.80). It reminds me of the similar dish at Fong Lye at Mid Valley Gardens, but I like this version even more. It’s more juicy, and certainly very savory and flavorful.

The portion is perhaps a little big for appetizer, but I’m not one with huge appetite, so your mileage may vary.

doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple
doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple

Like any proper Chinese dinner, soup is of the essence. We tried their double boiled water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple (RM 39.90 per pot), one of the nine different double boiled soups offered here.

The soup is supposed to reduce internal dryness, relieve thirst, and improve metabolism. What I know is that it tastes great, and I’d have never thought that the addition of apple in this otherwise very traditional soup managed to give it a hint of freshness and sweetness that adds to the overall taste. I should try this at home.

coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo
coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo

Next up was another pretty unique dish that was a first for me, the coffee pork ribs (RM 19.90 onwards). Imagine Guinness pork ribs, now imagine the aroma from the black beer substituted by the smell of coffee. It was different, not better or worse than it’s sibling, but different in itself, people who loves coffee would definitely love it. I quite like this.

Stewed eggplant with minced pork and salted fish (RM 16 onwards) isn’t quite as unique, but something that carries its own and goes well with steamed rice.

Crisp fried crystal prawns in wasabi mayo (RM 29.90 onwards) came across to me like something from a dimsum restaurant with great Japanese influence, minus the dimsum skin. The wasabi mayo and that sprinkle of ebiko really adds to the otherwise straight forward fried prawns.

fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns
fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns

Another prawn dish we had was the crisp fried crystal prawns with salted egg yolk (RM 29.90 onwards). This should be quite a familiar taste to most, and execution of the dish here is pretty good. I like how the prawns are shelled.

Poached Chinese spinach with egg trio and minced pork in superior stock (RM 16 onwards) is a bit of a fancy name for the familiar “siong thong yuen choi” dish that is common across most Chinese restaurants. The difference here is that they use century egg, salted egg, and chicken egg all in one dish, which makes for a more interesting tasting soup, but I wish there was more liquid.

Crisp fried shrimp paste chicken (RM 18 onwards) might have been inspired by local Nyonya cuisine (my mom cooks this), and turns out to be quite delicious. Great with some cold beer.

chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk, braised vermicelli with pork trotter
chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk,
braised vermicelli with pork trotter

Another poultry dish we tried was chicken with fragrant herbs in clay pot (RM 18 onwards), this dish isn’t all too different from Taiwanese 3 cup chicken, but with a stronger taste of spices and herbs.

Steamed minced pork with water chestnut and salted egg yolk (RM 18) looks pretty interesting, the flattened egg yolk though, was probably more for aesthetics than practicality. I’m also not sure if water chestnut with pork is my thing and probably prefer the traditional type with salted fish instead. It’s not bad per se, just not really my thing.

Braised vermicelli with pork trotters (RM 19.90) is a dish that must be consumed while piping hot. The collagen and fat from pork trotter melting into those meehun – heaven! One of my favorites.

hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago
hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago

There are eight different traditional desserts to choose from at Paradise Inn. Hasma with red dates and logan (RM 12), lemongrass jelly with lemonade (RM 6), and chilled mango sago (RM 8) were among the few we tried. The desserts serve as sweet conclusion to the session.

there are lunch sets too
there are lunch sets too, and look at how these bloggers work

To me, Paradise Inn seems to sit right in between the cheaper Chinese “tai chau” and the higher end restaurants in hotels in terms of their price point. Quality of food is pretty high up there, offering very decent value for what they are asking.

This review was arranged by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

Sunway Pyramid map

Address:
Paradise Inn
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
OB3.LG1.7 & 1.8, Lower Ground One,

Oasis Boulevard
GPS3.07208, 101.60539
Tel: 03-5637 8822

As promised on the Taman Desa Japanese BBQ post, here’s how you spend less than 1/4 the money and DIY some pork bbq goodness at home. An awesome BBQ chicken wing recipe is thrown in as well.

This BBQ was done several weeks ago when my sister and my niece were in KL to get their visa application finalised. They have moved to the states now.

pork, chicken wings, vege, we have it all
pork, chicken wings, vege, we have it all. Kerol & FA working on the grill

pork belly BBQ:

  • buy pork belly from the market, I paid RM 25 for about 15 portions of what you’d get from Taman Desa BBQ place, cut them in squares
  • marinate with half a cup of cooking sake, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • as for sauce, add chopped garlic to Japanese salad dressing (wafu dressing, shoyu vinegar)
  • BBQ on medium heat till cooked
pro tip: soak the satey sticks in water for 5-10 minutes before BBQ to prevent burning
pro tip 2: don’t mix vege in between meat, they have different cooking time
p/s: Haze came up with the recipe and marinated the pork, everyone loved it, need to make more next time

my sister & niece, with a few friends & ex housemates
my sister & niece, with a few friends & ex housemates

awesome chicken wing BBQ:

  • marinated chicken wings (together with drummets) with 3 parts oyster sauce, 2 parts soya sauce, and 1 part dark soya sauce
  • add some pepper to the marinate
  • let it marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge, longer = better
  • BBQ over medium fire, poke the drummet – no juice coming out = cooked

instax pic with my sister, the niece, and me. =D
instax pic with my sister, the niece, and me. =D

Vegetable BBQ:

  • er.. just put them on stick and burn away!
  • add some salt to serve

That’s it, simple and yummy BBQ. The experiment was a success, will have a bigger BBQ party next time!