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Tag / prawns

One day while trying to find something new to eat, we chanced upon Chu Cha Dan Fan (粗茶淡饭) at Seksyen 14, a restaurant that I’ve noticed for quite a while but somehow never manage to try. Looking at the menu posted at the stairway leading up to the restaurant, my buddy Horng immediately agreed to give it a try.

Chu Cha Dan Fan is one of the very few restaurants in Klang Valley that offers Hunan dishes, and since Horng spent a few years working in China, he was keen to relive the taste of some of those dishes.

Chu Cha Dan Fan at PJ Seksyen 14, or in English, humble food
Chu Cha Dan Fan at PJ Seksyen 14, or in English, humble food

粗茶淡饭 literally translate to “rough tea and bland rice”, or humble food.

So prior to looking at the menu, I initially thought that this is perhaps a place offering comfort food like porridge or tongsui. As it turned out, they have quite an extensive Hunan dishes instead. I think they can really use a line of description on their signboard outside.

The look of the restaurant though, really exudes that “humble food” name, there isn’t any decoration to speak of, but it was pretty clean and air conditioned.

all three dishes turned out to be spicy, in a good way
all three dishes turned out to be spicy, in a good way

Since there were only 3 of us, we ordered 3 classic Hunan dishes for dinner – Mala chicken (辣子雞 RM 16), Hunan skewered prawns (串烧虾 RM 28), and dry fried green beans (乾煸四季豆 RM 10).

All three dishes turned out to be more than decent. While Horng commented that the mala chicken was not as aromatic as he’d like them to be, I found them to be delicious with the right amount of mild spicy numbing feel.

Our favorite was the shrimp on skewer, spicy, crunchy, and full of flavor, you can actually eat the whole thing with shells and all. The green beans weren’t bad either.

love the prawn, even though Yuki was trying to avoid spicy food that night
love the prawn, even though Yuki was trying to avoid spicy food that night

Overall it was a pretty pleasant dinner, we should go back there again with a few more people so that we can order more. I’ve heard that they also offer simple set lunches for the office crowd as well, so do give it a try.

map to Chu Cha Dan Fan at Seksyen 14

Address:
Chu Cha Dan Fan
No. 6A-2, Jalan 14/20
Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.109763, 101.635860
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner

 

A few weeks ago we were invited to sample some drinks and food at The Roof & Stratosphere in One Avenue.

I must say that I’m perhaps one of the very few people who didn’t realise that there’s such a happening place at around One Utama area. My memory of “happening” and “One Utama” was still stuck in 1997 where there were clubs blasting “Lemon Tree”. When you’re drunk and can’t remember where you park your car in the maze that is One Utama car park, you would have quite a situation. Anyway, I digressed.

The Roof at One Avenue's top floor
The Roof at One Avenue’s top floor

The Roof is located at the top floor of One Avenue, which is located next to One Utama. With an underground car park and a pretty high speed elevator system that gets you on top rather quickly, it is rather convenient.

There are a few hang-out places at The Roof, and the one we checked out was Signature by The Hill, a restaurant with a full bar and pretty interesting menu.

Hawaii 5-0, The Fish Bowl, and Milo Ais
Hawaii 5-0, The Fish Bowl with Deep, and Milo Ais with Haze

The cocktail menu at Signature is contemporary and playful. I tried Hawaii 5-0 (RM 40) that’s laden with Smirnoff vodka, Frangelico, organic raspberry jam all housed within a hallowed out pineapple. It was very sweet, refreshing, and easy to drink. I really liked it.

Haze tried the Milo Ais (RM 28), our local favorite breakfast chocolate drink but infused with rum, baileys, and kahlua. Rich and silky.

The other cocktails we tried at Signature were really impressive as well, perfect compliment to the food we were ordering next.

Pan Seared Foie Gras, Black Angus Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Fingers
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Black Angus Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Fingers

The food menu isn’t particularly extensive, but covered all the bases.

With about 10 items to choose from, we picked pan seared foie gras (RM 48), black angus carpaccio (RM 32), caesar salad (RM 22), and chicken fingers as starters.

I liked that the foie gras was served with caramelised fig, and the carpaccio too was sliced to perfection. Chicken fingers made for perfect beer companion as well. Would love to their their salmon & maguro (tuna) tartar (RM 25) and escargot (RM 28) next time.

wagyu ribeye, black cod, king prawns
Wagyu ribeye, black cod, king prawns

For mains, I picked Wagyu Ribeye (RM 138) with a pretty simple presentation of baked sweet potato and sautéed seasoned vegetable. The beef has a marbling no. 7 rating. The only complain I have with this dish is that it came in a hot plate, and thin cuts don’t work particularly well with hot plates. I’d order this with normal plate instead.

Black cod (RM 50) turned out to be one of the best dishes we tried. Perfectly seared and served with braised leek & fennel topped with tomato jam, it was excellent. That perfectly prepped fish skin, I can have it all day!

King prawns (RM 55) came with creamy pasta, and I thought the presentation was particularly clever. The prawns served in a jar making it a less messy affair. Deep who had this was happy about the dish.

Other dishes to check out would be Black Angus tenderloin (RM 88), seared duck breast (RM 45), and perhaps the ultimate gourmet burger that’s priced at RM 200!

Stratosphere - where drinks are served on a helipad Stratosphere – where drinks are served on a helipad 

After dinner, we adjourned to the Stratosphere, which is actually a helipad on top of the roof of… well, The Roof.

This was one of the bars with the best ambiance in town, with 360 degree uninterrupted view of Selangor and KL, you can see all the way to KLCC, the whole of Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, and TTDI.

There were 10 different cocktails to choose from here, and all priced at RM 40 nett. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the couple drinks I tried to be honest, and this is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve had those excellent cocktails just a couple hours prior, but the view was able to make up for it.

I think the cocktail department is something that they will be able to correct, and I certainly hope so. Regardless, it is still most definitely worth checking out.

Thank you Kim for the invitation and a great night.

direction to First Avenue, Bandar Utama

Address:
The Roof
First Avenue, Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.146684, 101.617005
Tel012-6910628 (Stratosphere)

I’ve always complained to Yuki that we hardly ever try new places for Sunday brunch, the usual suspects are always Jin Xuan dimsum, Nang Feng bak kut teh, Peng Heong paikuat rice, various ramen places, and a few selected kopitiam.

To shut me up, she brought us to Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong the other day, as first recommended by her boss (who is an avid gastronomic adventurer)

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)

While the name might suggest that this place serves fish head curry (which it does), the speciality dish here is actually the steamed fish with superior soup and a variety of accompanying seafood.

While not exactly a high end restaurant with cute interior design, Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga does offer air conditioned dining area with pretty decent hygiene and responsive staffs.

the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork
the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork

Our main dish was a rather huge steamed tilapia fish with superior soup (RM 72), accompanied by quite a lot of prawns, squid, and lala. The seafood is garnished by generous amount of finely chopped garlic and spring onion as well.

As a result of all those seafood, the rather concentrated superior soup tasted fantastic, it was super sweet and absolutely savoury. The fish tasted good, and the squid super fresh as well. By the way, you can also top up the soup ala bak kut teh style, but we felt that the first serving tasted better than the top-ups.

free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves
free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves

Other than the main dish, we also ordered a Vitamin C quota fulfiller dish that is the Emperor vegetable (RM 12), and a non-seafood dish in Mui Choy pork (RM 16). The vegetable was lovely, and the pork held its own as well.

With drinks and rice, the five of us spent RM 19 per person for this meal. Not the cheapest lunch options for sure, but one that I think offered decent value for what you get. I would have no problem to revisit.

map to restaurant kari kepala ikan, Puchong

Address:
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga
No 19, Jalan BPU 2,
Bandar Puchong Utama,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS2.993324, 101.620637
Tel: 016-288 2829 / 019–647 7941

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

It’s been a while since I posted any home cooked dishes. So here’s one, a simple garlic fried rice with seafood recipe.

This is something that you can prepare in less than half an hour, garlic fried rice is a pretty classic Japanese dish, I just add some seafood to kick it up a notch a bit. While traditionally they also use spring onion, I replaced it with red onion due to availability and that worked out well to add that crunchiness and freshness element to the dish.

garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops
garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup of rice for 2 person
  • 2 large eggs
  • prawns (you can also add squid or other seafood)
  • scallops(optional)
  • 2-3 bulb of garlic, chopped or cut in slices
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, some salt & pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil

ingredients - garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops
ingredients – garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops

Cooking instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil
  • fry garlic till a shade before golden brown, remove and set aside
  • using the same oil, fry prawns (with a dash of salt), then remove and set aside
  • sear scallops with shells on, then remove and set aside

the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately
the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately

Cooking instructions part 2:

  • with the same oil, fry eggs till 80% cooked
  • add rice, and stir for a minute
  • add soya sauce, salt, and some pepper
  • add garlic and continue to stir for another minute
  • add garlic and prawns, stir for another minute
  • serve while hot (arrange your scallops with best of your artistic ability)

start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything
start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything

The key to this dish is to have the garlic and seafood fried separately. This allows better control and ensures that each ingredients are cooked properly since they have different cooking time. Try it!

More recipes from yours truly can be found here.