I’ve heard about Checkers for a while and always wanted to try their famous pork ribs, years after I was first recommended by a friend about this place, we finally went there for dinner over Pearl’s (belated) birthday.
Checkers at Damasara Heights, there isn’t a sign board
Located at a pretty quiet part of Damansara Heights with ample parking space, Checkers is very small family run restaurant that gives you the homey ambiance with the stern looking proprietor and his friendly wife. Most everyone that shared the other 5-6 tables in the dining hall seemed to know the owners on first name basis.
Equipped with plastic chairs and basic white table cloths on square dining tables, interior decoration at Checkers were probably done in 5 minutes. In fact, the restaurant doesn’t even have a sign board. But we’re here for food, right?
village bread, served with a side of sliced tomato & salami
Menu is a simple one page A4 sheet with choices of pasta, appetizers, grilled meat, and a few types of desserts. There are also usually some off-menu dishes you could order, all you need to do is ask.
We started the night with an order of village bread (off menu) and it turned out to be surprisingly good. The bread was steaming hot and served with a side of sliced tomato and salami as well as olive oil and vinegar. Perfect to munch on while waiting for the main attraction. The bread might look deceptively small in portion, but it’s good enough to serve a table of four.
Lord of the Ribs, the main attraction
The aptly named Lord of the Ribs (RM 120) is what we came here for. A giant slab of pork ribs expertly seasoned and grilled with perfection. While the exterior looks a bit dry, it was prepared so to seal in the juices within. Home made bbq sauce (I think), and an olive oil based sauce comes with it. While some have complained about the ribs being a little dry, I thought it was lovely and not over powered by too much sauce (then all you taste is sauce instead of meat).
The dish also came with generous portion of salad and mash, if there’s only two of you, this slab of ribs should be the only thing you order.
some chicken pasta, grilled pork tenderloin and sausage
We also shared a chicken pasta dish (off menu, can’t remember the exact name) which could have been lovely if we didn’t wait till it was cold to consume. I did like the way the poultry tasted though.
The grilled pork tenderloin and sausage (RM 39) is something I wouldn’t mind having if dining alone at Checkers. The thin sliced pork were tender and lovely, and I particularly love the way they served the potato, in thin slices with onions mixed in. This dish is as porky as it ias tasty.
Pearl, David, KY, Haze at Pearl’s birthday dinner
If you’re to pay Checkers a visit, do call for bookings to avoid disappointment as they have less than 10 tables even if you count the two non-weatherproof tables on the balcony. Prices aren’t cheap, but quality of food is good, and that homey feeling and very personal service is something you don’t get in most restaurants these days.
Address: Checkers 19 Lorong Setiabistari 2, 50490 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.143856, 101.65728 Tel: 03-2095 3304 Hours: 6-10 pm
To be honest, when I first heard about I’m Spicy, the image that came up in my mind wasn’t exactly a very classy one. For a place that turned out to look as good and decorated as well as this restaurant, it probably deserves a better name.
What intrigued me at I’m Spicy though, isn’t the name, location, or interior decoration of this place; I was drawn to the restaurant because it serves pork, something that is uncommon when it comes to Thai food in this country, and it is this that marks the biggest difference between I’m Spicy and My Elephant, another modern Thai restaurant at Seksyen 17.
I’m Spicy Thai Restaurant, Seksyen 17
I’m Spicy is located on the same row as Kanna Curry House, on the border between SS 2 and Seksyen 17, two of the more famous dining havens among Klang Valley dwellers. As this isn’t a very hot commercial area, parking is usually a relatively uneventful affair.
The restaurant is fully air conditioned, clean, and very tastefully done. It is however, not very big, and probably not a great idea if you are bringing a party of 30 for a visit without prior call in.
The following photos are taken from 2 different visits to I’m Spicy, once just myself and Haze, another with Suan, Horng, Yuki, Kerol, and Haze too.
house drink, pamelo salad, garlic squid
The house drink is a blend of pandan, lemongrass, lime, and mint leaves (RM 15 per jug). It was absolutely refreshing, but probably a little too small a jug (more like a small decanter). Good if you are sharing it between two fellas, but for a party of six, it was only a few mouthful per person.
I’m Spicy has a tad over half a dozen appetizer and salad dishes. We’ve tried a couple of them. Pamelo salad (RM 25) comes with pomelo tossed in tamarind sauce, green apple, carrots, and deep fried squids. The result is a blend of fresh and slightly sour taste of pomelo mixing up with the savoriness from the squid. Certainly new to me, it was good.
Deep fried chicken skin (RM 12) well, was exactly as advertised. Not as great as your KFC chicken skin, but would certainly still go well with a glass of beer.
jasmine rice, deep fried chicken skin, thai stewed pork leg
The following dishes, while classified under main dish in the menu, aren’t exactly big in serving size, but they are rather delicious.
The deep fried pork ribs (RM 25) is a house speciality here. Ribs marinated in a blend of herbs and spices that is unmistakably Thai, and yet unfamiliar at the same time, I wish the serving was larger.
Grilled pork skewers (RM 18) comes with special Thai dipping sauce – Nahm Jim Jeaw, with the meat marinated in galangal, lemongrass, and garlic, then chargrilled. I really want to know how to make this for my own BBQ, it was better than any satay I’ve ever had.
Thai stewed pork leg (RM 25) was something that I insisted on ordering. It comes with an egg that’s about a 3/4 way cooked, some salted vegetable, and fatty pork leg that’s succulent and falls off from the bones to the touch. It reminds me of the stew pork from Fatty Duck at restaurant Okay, but presented in a nicer way and carries and extra hint of Thai flavoring. Unfortunately, it was also twice as pricey.
The vegetable dish we tried was the rather standard kailan with salted fish (RM 15). It served it’s purpose as the only green plate in a sea of brown and red.
thick soup and clear soup seafood tomyam, red curry with pork
I’ve tried both thick and clear soup tomyam from I’m Spicy ( RM 15/20 for chicken, RM 18/30 for seafood). The photo on the left was the large portion with thick tomyam, on the right, small and clear. Both versions were top notch, and we wished it the serving was larger.
The red curry comes with either chicken or pork, and we had the latter (RM 18/24), it too was very good. We had initially thought we were going to get the green curry, but the mistake turned out to be a blessing.
red ruby waterchestnuts crushed ice, mango with sticky rice
As with any respectable Thai restaurant, I’m Spicy also serves two of my favorite Thai desserts – red ruby (RM 7) and mango with sticky rice (RM 9). The red ruby certainly didn’t disappoint, and mango with sticky rice is best shared with 3-4 person. The desserts are delicious.
Haze, Suan, Horng, Yuki, Kerol, KY
My impression of I’m Spicy is very positive … if you don’t take pricing into account. Another qualm I have with I’m Spicy is the serving size. Other than tomyam and curry which comes in two different sizes, everything else comes in only one size – relatively small.
Ultimately, I’m Spicy is a little too pricey for a restaurant that is located at the less glamourous part of PJ, but if you don’t mind paying Changkat prices, you probably won’t regret paying this restaurant a visit.
Klang is of course, most famous as the epicenter of bak kut teh, but hidden in this town that is notorious for producing a large number of ah bengs & gangstas is also a one of a kind restaurant that serves very unique pork ribs rice.
The restaurant is Peng Heong Hakka Paikut (or pai kuat in Cantonese, which means pork ribs). I’ve actually covered this place back in the first year of this blog, but since then, the little shack has moved into a big corner restaurant, and the menu has expanded too. So I suppose it warrants a rewrite. 😀
Peng Heong Hakkai Paikut at Klang
The restaurant is situated just off Jalan Pasar, and unlike the old location, now there is ample parking. Furthermore, weather is not a factor anymore, the place is clean, well ventilated, and with good hygiene.
The menu is filled with picture and price for every dish, and ordering is done via wireless device from the server straight to the kitchen. If you think Klang is the backwater of Selangor, this might change your mind, might.
the all important pork ribs, succulent and full of flavor
The star here is obviously the pork ribs. Priced from RM 8 to RM 20, they are succulent, sweet, and absolutely delicious. The ribs are mostly de-boned too so there’s plenty of meat in this plate of goodness. The taste is a bit strong if you have it as is, but with rice, it’s heaven.
chai buih, rice with dark soya sauce, pork tripes soup, asam fish
Other than pork ribs, the chai buih is a must order. Take it as a Chinese version of kimchi, spicy, sour, and full of kick. Over here they have it proper, and anyone who loves chai buih shouldn’t ever miss this one.
The asam fish and pork tripe soup too are of pretty good quality around here, they make very good complimentary dishes and provides a good change of taste.
the drinks usually comes in big bottles to be shared, love the soya bean
Missing from the photos is the pork knuckle in vinegar that we tried on another visit. It has some of the fattest pork knuckle in arguably the most sourish vinegar “soup” that I’ve tried. I love it!
We usually spend about RM 14-20 per person per visit. Pretty reasonable pricing for what you get, so don’t just go to Klang for bak kut teh ya!
Address: Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Restaurant No 2, Lorong Gudang Nanas, Off Jalan Pasar, 41400 Klang Selangor GPS: 3.048, 101.4448 Tel: 019-260 0855, 012-236 9855
In the past few years, quite a number of restaurants that has a primarily pork laden menu with good choices of beer (and wine) selections rose to prominence. Some of the more well known players are Brussels at Solaris & Jaya One, Berlin Biergarten at Solaris Mont Kiara, Weissbrau at Pavilion KL, Hoofed at TTDI, Racks at Changkat, Sid’s pub at TTDI/Bangsar South, and Jarrod and Rawlins at a few locations.
Now, it looks like the same trend is happening in Penang, one of the latest of such establishments is BeerBQ at Precinct 10 (right next to Island Plaza).
Update: this place is closed
Beer BQ at Precinct 10, next to Island Plaza in Penang
First, a disclaimer. Two of my ex schoolmates are share holders of this restaurant, and they invited me to this review session. I’ve known these blokes for the past 20 odd years, they told me to treat this with honesty, like any other review, which I will gladly comply. 😀
I like Precinct 10, it is a brand new commercial center that reminds me of suburban US. The shops are aligned in U shape with ample of parking in the middle. That way you never need to have a very long walk to any outlets. Most commercial areas packed in too many shop units with too little parking space, this place is a fresh departure from those greedy developer’s SOP.
wild mushroom soup, cauliflower soup, caesar salad
Now to the food. Together with mom, sister, brother, Haze, and Horng, we had the restaurant manager recommended us some of their signature dishes to share.
We started off with some complimentary bread, with plenty of butter.
Then the soups: Wild mushroom soup (RM m9.90) has all those chunky bits of mushroom which I like, and soup of the day (RM 7.90) that night was cauliflower soup with very smooth texture and slightly “strange” taste to me, but Haze and my siblings absolutely loved.
The Caesar salad (RM 15.90) has bacon, croutons, and chunks of Parmesan cheese in it, and was easily one of the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if this is the best for someone who’s on diet, but it was awesome!
buffalo wings, roast pork, smoked salmon salad
What’s a beer place without some good old beer food?
We tried their Buffalo Wings (RM 15.90) which has quite a kick, they were strongly flavored with homemade Hot BeerBQ sauce and really does go well with beer. Comes with Blue cheese dressing too!
Anyone who loves roast pork (RM 16.90) would agree that this is always the perfect finger food to go with beer. While I did find the skin for the roast pork a tad too chewy, it was overall still plenty satisfactory. They suggested Stella Artois to go with this, but I think any beer would work!
We also had the smoked salmon salad (RM 19.90) that came with home made cheese sauce. This is a dish most suited for those who are really on diet. Tastes decent.
BeerBQ pork ribs – succulent and yummy
Then we moved on to the real deal, the BeerBQ pork ribs (RM 38.90). Drenched in their signature BeerBQ sauce and very well marinated, this rack of ribs was tender and absolutely flavorful. If you have already order some starters, I recommend sharing this dish, the portion is rather generous for the price.
This is one of the better ribs I had.
BeerBQ seafood platter, fish and chips, brownies
Another main dish that we shared was the seafood platter (RM 40.90). There were king prawns, squid, mussels, clams, and even scallops. While the ingredients were superb, the platter is covered in the same BeerBQ sauce that I thought suited the ribs perfectly, but not quite well with seafood. It was a decent dish though, but I think perhaps the standard bread & fry preparation might work better here. Especially if you’ve already ordered the ribs.
My mom had a serving of fish and chips (RM 21.90), and she liked it. Mom helped sell fish at the market in the morning, so if she says that the fish is good, it is good.
At this point, we were pretty much stuffed, but was convinced to try their brownies (RM 8.90). We ended up finishing it in about all of 20 seconds, the brownies was top notch.
brother, sister, haze, myself, mom, and horng
Other than the dishes we tried, BeerBQ also serves five pasta dishes, rib eyes, grilled salmon, chicken chops, beef ribs, and lamb rack. Other beef food includes fries, calamari, fish fingers, and onion rings.
This is a real restaurant that does concentrate on their food instead of a beer place that “oh by the way we” also serves some food.
Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Franzishaner, Konig Ludwig Dunkel, Leffe
As for beer, there’s Hoegaarden, Carlsberg, and Franziskaner Weissbier on tap. On bottles they serve Konig, Franzishaner, Leffe, Stella, Budweiser, Erdinger, Beck’s, Lowenbrau, and more.
So if you’re looking for porky goodness and a cold one to spend the evening, this is a place to go in Penang.
When it comes to food courts within shopping malls in this country, Lot 10 Hutong wins my vote by a wide margin. It has a very unique (and sometimes confusing) layout and decoration, and most of the stalls are operated by “hawkers” who have established themselves in other places.
As a bonus, it is also one of the very few food courts that serves pork.
Ho Weng Kee at Lot 10 Hutong
Today, we’re gonna look at Ho Weng Kee at Hutong.
The original Ho Weng Kee at PJ SS2 serves some awesome wantan mee and really good fried dumpling. So I wanted to try this one and see if they are any good. I ordered their pork ribs noodle.
side note: Ho Weng Kee at SS 2 is now run by the former owner’s ex-staff, so still the great taste despite change of owner.
glorious pork ribs noodle, with black beans on wantan noodle
It only took a couple minutes for the pork ribs noodle to be ready. It costs me RM 8.35, a pretty good price considering the size of serving and the air conditioned, clean environment within a mall at Bukit Bintang.
The pork ribs were very tender, and the black bean sauce they made the ribs with were absolutely heaven. The noodle used were the same (thinner than usual) wantan noodle that soaks up the sauce readily. It was indeed very good.
and everything is gone!
The pork ribs noodle is also served with a bowl of soup, it was just like any almost tasteless wantan soup. That didn’t bother me, the noodle was good. I’m going to have it again.
Address: Ho Weng Kee at Hutong food court
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758