When I moved to KL from Penang many years ago, one thing that I was never able to really get used to is the taste of sambal. In this region, sambal is often a pretty sweet affair, prepared with oil, galangal, turmeric, sugar, and involves process of cooking.
What I’m more familiar with instead, is mom’s version that is ultra simple and requires only 2, or maximum of 3 ingredients. This sambal is superb as a condiment with fatty food such as tau eu bak, and can also be used as an ingredient for other recipes such as sambal fried rice.
Here’s how you can prepare yours, all you need is fresh cili (maybe also some cili padi if you want it really spicy), and good quality belacan.
toast 2 tablespoon of belacan in frying pan until dry and fragrant
remove seeds from red chili (a dozen), and cut into small chunks
pound with pestle and mortar until they’re crushed
keep in fridge, squeeze a calamansi when serving and it’ll be instantly “fresh”
Sungai Way, situated across from Heineken factory divided by Federal Highway, is a pretty old part of Petaling Jaya. The main road at Sungai Way has a few rows of shop houses near the morning wet market and police station, with a few kopitiam open for business, which make for a perfect spot for weekday breakfasts.
Nasi Lemak at Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
Arguably, the busiest stalls at the center of Sungai Way has got to be the nasi lemak stall at Wing Lee kopitiam, situated just before the wet market if you’re coming from Federal Highway. The little stall operated by a few Chinese ladies always sell out their goods by around 8ish in the morning.
So I decided to take a stab at what they have to offer.
Other than the standard hard boiled egg, deep fried anchovies, peanuts, fresh cucumber, and sambal on coconut milk rice, there are also a couple add-ons you can ask for to spice up the dish, namely cuttlefish, potato, and curry chicken.
love my nasi lemak with potato curry & cuttlefish
While I find that this version of nasi lemak isn’t the most fragrant when it comes to the amount of santan in the rice, the coconut & curry chicken were on point, and I also particularly like their the texture of their cuttlefish.
Overall it is not hard to see why they sell out so early in the morning. Prices are reasonable, and the nasi lemak is certainly above average. Will tapao for work again!
Address: Nasi Lemak at Sungai Way Kedai Kopi Wing Lee Jalan SS 9a/1, Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS:3.086479, 101.620678 Hours: breakfast
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Address: JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14765, 101.71372 Tel: 03-2715 9000