Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / sambal

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
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
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
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
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.

map to IOI city mall

Address:
Kakatoo
LG-78B & 78C,
IOI City Mall Putrajaya,
62502 IOI Resort City, Putrajaya
Wilayah Perseketuan
GPS: 2.970467, 101.713870
Tel: 03-89538074

Wherever there are office workers, there’ll be mixed rice stalls, and often time it is very difficult to tell them apart in terms of quality. This is especially challenging at places like Wisma Sentral with a number of different stalls catering to wage earners working at KLCC and surrounding area.

Nasi Campur at Wisma Sentral, KLCC
Nasi Campur at Wisma Sentral, KLCC

But after years of being here, I think I’ve found my favorite halal food stall in the building – the Kelantanese place at the far right corner on ground floor.

On the surface, this place doesn’t look very different from the other half a dozen different stalls, but on closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are subtle differences.

the selection of ulam is what brings me here
the selection of ulam is what brings me here

Firstly, the selection of ulam is excellent. There’s always at least about a dozen different raw vegetable to choose from that pairs well with some the few choices of sambal. This ranges from cucumber, tomato, long bean, lady’s finger, to petai, ulam raja, and more.

Furthermore, they also have a pretty big selection of ikan bakar freshly made just prior to lunch hours. With patin, kembung, keli, and a few other choices available.

However, my personal favorite from this stall has got to be their solok lada – this unique East Coast dish is basically a stuffed green chili with a mixture of fish & coconut insert. If you think yong tau foo is good, this one will blow your mind. I love it!

some of the typical "lauk" we usually go for
some of the typical “lauk” we usually go for

So if you’re around KLCC area (or happen to work here), do check out this stall, it may not be the cheapest option among the few, but it is definitely the one I enjoy most.

Address:
Nasi Campur (Right far end corner)
Ground Floor
Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
GPS:
3.158728, 101.714473
Hours: Weekday Lunch

Ramadan 2015 on KYspeaks is just around the corner, so it’s about time to review another traditional buffet offering that is fast becoming a popular seasonal event in our country. Together with my colleagues Nik, Razi, & William, we went to JW Marriott last Tuesday to sample what they have to offer.

JW Marriott's "Kampung Dining Experience" by the poolside
JW Marriott’s “Kampung Dining Experience” by the poolside

Lets get the most important details out of the way – the prices:

Poolside (June 17, 2015 onwards)  – RM 95.00 nett per adult and MYR 48.00 nett per child.

4th Floor (June 17, 2015 onwards) – RM 85.00 nett per adult and MYR 43.00 nett per child.

on the menu - roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice
on the menu – roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice

Both locations essentially serves the same 130 (mostly) Malay delicacies from around the country, though you get to save RM10 dining on the 4th floor by sacrificing the pool view and not being able to see the chef expertly carving that beautiful roast lamb.

ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah
ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah

The menu didn’t seem to vary much from my last visit a couple years ago, which is a good thing. You don’t really need to change something that’s already good.

The food can be separated in a few categories, and to start with I usually head straight to the ulam station that comes equipped with some half a dozen sambals, including sambal belacan, tempoyak, sambal mangga, sambal nenas, cencaluk, and budu. A spicy and pungent start to a traditional Malay fair is never disappointing.

ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak, panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege
ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak,
panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege

Appertizer consists of jeruk, kacang botol, kerabu mangga & udang, acar buah, ikan masin, telur masin, as well as several types of keropok (including the all important papadom). For those who wants something a little more global, there’s green lettuce with dressing, Thai chicken & glass noodle salad, potato salad, seafood cocktail, potato salad, waldorf salad, and even coleslaw.

After you get your stomach warmed up, there are a few “gerai”, or live cooking stations to check out. Here you find satey, rojak buah, ikan bakar (including pari, keli, kembung), nasi ayam (chicken rice), tandoori, mee (laksa, mee kari, char kuih teow), BBQ (the all important roast lamb!), bubur, and soup (including sup ekor, kambing, and more).

desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih
desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih

Then of course there’s the all important main dishes such as ayam masak kicap, ayam masak merah, ayam percik kelantan, kari kambing, sambal udang petai, fried chicken with dried chili, daging masak halia, sweet and sour fish, kurma ayam, labu masak lemak pucuk manis, sayur campur, rendang ayam, redang daging, daging kunyit, paru goreng berlada, sotong goreng kunyit and more.

Dessert is offered in the form of quite a few variety of traditional kuih, pudding, sago gula Melaka, some pastries, and the really awesome bread and butter pudding.

William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya
William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya

My two Malay colleagues gave these a thumb up, while William was busy eating to register a response. I personally really like the fact that we are keeping our traditional Malaysian cooking alive via these type of buffets. No longer were the days when hotels only serve fancy Japanese or Western cuisines, we are once again proud of real Malaysian dishes.

Thank you Natasya for the invite.

map to JW Marriot KL

Address:
JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.14765, 101.71372
Tel03-2715 9000

Every once in a while, the bunch of jokers at work would organize a fun “eating out” session, usually when one of us has something to celebrate and belanja the team.

A few weeks ago, we ended up at Jalan Bellamy for some good old fashion ikan bakar on one of such occasions.

Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy
Gerai Mak Alang Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy

Tucked behind Agong’s old palace between Jalan Syed Putra & Jalan Istana is a small hill that is very different from most part of KL. There’s virtually no development, you can’t find any big commercial buildings or high rise offices. A place so close to the hustle & bustle of the likes of Puduraya and yet immune to the change of time.

It is here that you find some half a dozen ikan bakar places, all packed with hungry lunch crowds any given afternoon.

Gerai Mak Alang was the restaurant of choice for our excursion.

tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places
tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places

Gerai Mak Alang offers quite a good selection of grilled fish and other dishes. You have the standard ikan pari (sting ray), kembung, tilapia, and even terubok (toli shad, full of annoying tiny bones but with the softest meat ever). There’s also a selection of sambal to complete the dishes, including my all time favorite – tempoyak!

prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too
prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too

In addition to fish, they also offer prawns, cuttle fish, and cockles. I expected the cockles to be of the Nong & Jimmy bakar method, but it came coated with curry powder/sauce instead, which turned out to be quite ok nonetheless, but I would still prefer it grilled tho.

The cuttle fish was superb though, soft, succulent, and tasted supremely fresh. The prawn seemed to be prepared similar to nyonya asam prawn style, which was mighty fine by me.

food is always best when enjoyed with great company
food is always best when enjoyed with great company

Food quality is more than decent, and we certainly had a great time at Jalan Bellamy. There are a few other stalls still yet to be explored for me, and judging by the amount of crowd, I believe they are all worth trying out.

map to ikan bakar at Jalan Bellamy

Address:
Gerai Mak Alang
Jalan Bellamy
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670

Last week semperna ulang tahun kelahiran Haze Long, we went to Templer Park Forest Retreat for a bit of a getaway (blog post some other time). A place that’s a bit out of the city and more in tune with nature, which also translate to making our own food.

Fortunately, there’s a pretty well equipped kitchen for our usage, and the Selayang market nearby. So on the morning of the 2nd day, we went to the market and picked up a chunky barramundi fish (siakap) for a bit of DIY ikan bakar.

I want to share with you the recipe of this dish, as it is  a very simple dish to prepare at home. It’s pretty delicious and the use of banana leaf in this preparation method ensure that the skin is edible and never charred.

home cooked ikan bakar with siakap fish
home cooked ikan bakar with siakap fish

Ingredients:

  • 600-800 gram barramundi fish (or stingray, or any other fish of similar size)
  • turmeric powder (kunyit)
  • salt
  • lime
  • 2 pieces banana leaves big enough to cover the fish
  • a couple table spoon of cooking oil or butter

ikan bakar with kunyit (turmeric) - sedap!
ikan bakar with kunyit (turmeric) – sedap!

cooking instructions:

  • clean and dry the fish
  • cover generous amount of turmeric powder and two teaspoon of salt on the fish, set aside for at least a few minutes
  • heat up a flat surface frying pan, then pan fry the fish on top of banana leaf for 10 mins with oil
  • fry the other side of fish with a fresh banana leaf for another 8 minutes
  • serve with a couple slices of lime (bonus: with sambal)

Happy cooking!