Like many of you, I love myself a bowl of ice cold dessert on a hot day, and in this part of the world, what’s better than a bowl of ice cold cendol, one of the most popular cold desserts this part of the world.
I mean, bingsu & kakigori is nice and all, but they’re not cendol.
Kwong Wah Ice Kacang at Happy Mansion
Good cendol is easily found in Penang and Melaka, but if you’re in Klang Valley, most options tend to be of the mamak cendol + rojak variety, which is alright to curb addiction, but doesn’t quite leave you in post-orgasmic satisfaction sort of way. Most likely due to the harsher shaved ice and quality of ingredients, like normal brown sugar instead of gula melaka, and normal red beans instead of those bigger variety.
Cendol with Gula Melaka, yums
For folks in PJ, Kwong Wah Ais Kacang at Happy Mansion serves up a good version of cendol that hits the spot squarely. A bowl will set you back RM 5.50, and there’s often a queue on hot weekend afternoon. But if you love cendol the way I do, this should satisfy.
I’ve yet to try their ais kacang, but heard good things.
Address: Kwong Wah Ice Kacang Block C, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.123148, 101.634671 Tel: 012-550 0975 Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Happy Mansion is perhaps the first area in PJ to be “hipsterized”, with Food Foundry, My Elephant, and other eateries having established at these three old blocks of low cost flats nested within Seksyen 17.
Pizza Mansion, Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya
One of the latest addition is Pizza Mansion, brought to you in fact by the same people that were involved in other eateries around the area. The pizza house promises an ambiance that’s a mixture of old and new, with dark green and yellow color scheme that reminds me of green hornet era. I love it.
The menu had ten different pizzas to choose from at the time (first week of opening) with four side dishes, coffee, soda, and some craft beers.
The pizzas are priced from RM 20 to RM 35 each, all with the same size that serves two average adult with moderate hunger just fine, or one really hungry big fella, I assume.
zucchini eggplant chickpea pizza, truffle mac & cheese
We ended up with Zucchini, Eggplant, and Chick Pea pizza (RM 28) to go with Truffle Mac & Cheese (RM 20) for a totally meatless afternoon meal.
truffle mac & cheese
We got the mac & cheese first, and it came bubbly hot. It was creamy, torched just nice, and had a generous dosage of truffle paste that made this classic dish that much better. We really enjoyed this.
freshly baked, absolutely sumptuous
The pizza too was rather good, the crust isn’t overly thin (think Dominos), or overly thick (think Pizza Hut), but soft, fresh, and of course, freshly prepped and baked. The toppings did not disappoint either, thinly sliced zucchini and egg plant, with some sun dried tomato and copious amount of cheese and tomato paste, yums.
This is now my favorite pizza place, for now at least. 😀
Address: Pizza Mansion Block B, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.123148, 101.634671 Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Back in late 2015 I was involved in The Star R.AGE food fight competition, it was one of the highlights of my online writing career to stand along the likes of Chef Wan & Chef Darren Chin as one of judges of the cooking competition. One of the finalists of the competition was Ahong Yeang, who was already running a small restaurant at University Hospital then.
Sometimes around Q3 21017, Ahong moved on from his previous joint and opened Grub by Ahong & Friends at Seksyen 17. I finally visited a couple weeks ago.
Grub by Ahong & Friends, Petaling Jaya, Seksyen 17
Grub by Ahong & Friends is located at the small rows of shops right behind Happy Mansion (possibly the birthplace of hipster food in PJ?). Parking can sometimes be a bit challenging for those who can’t walk more than a couple dozen steps, but alas, the walk back to the car after a good meal can be a healthy exercise.
Grub serves a selection of Western dishes at very reasonable prices. The restaurant itself is minimalist but comfortable, with a few tables and open kitchen at the ground floor, and more seating area upstairs. Yes, there’s air conditioning.
beet root salad & wine
To keep prices low, Ahong came up the system of ordering by pencil & paper as well as self-serviced drinks you pick up from the counter where you also find cutlery, plates, and glasses. Corkage is RM 7 per pax but if you spare a glass for the good chef then that is waived. Grub also carries a small selection of wine.
We started the night with beet root salad (RM 13.50) that came with roasted beetroot, fresh fruits, feta cheese, rockets, honey, and nuts. A simple mesh up that leaves me wanting more.
local seafood bouillabaisse, wagyu steak
For main I picked steak, the picture above is wagyu rump, wagyu ribeye is priced at RM 145 but they ran out that night. Again another spot on execution with no fuss and great ingredients.
My partner in crime picked the local seafood bouillabaisse (RM 25) which is served with grilled white fish, clams, squid & prawns in lightly spiced seafood soup with pasta & sourdough bun. A comforting dish if you’re looking for something lighter. Also their sourdough bun was actually very good as well.
carrot cake, chocolate tart, fruits in ice, Ahong
We rounded up dinner with carrot cake (RM 10) and chocolate tart (RM 12), and were also served Grub’s signature fresh fruits in tear-drop ice that is on the house.
Overall it was a great no-fuss dining experience. We ended up spending another couple hours chatting with Ahong until his staffs lowered the shop grill half way. Fantastic night and will definitely go again.
One of the things I love about Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is definitely the street foods. Much like Penang, there are many food stalls offering a variety of different dishes at just about any street corners, and standard of those dishes are usually rather good.
Lai Thai Mini Market, Happy Mansion at Seksyen 17
Back in Malaysia, Thai food are usually found in restaurant settings. You get your tomyam, maybe pad thai, and many other dishes that goes well with rice, but there aren’t usually a good selection of individual dishes.
Good news is, there’s Lai Thai Mini Market at Seksyen 17 offering just that.
Thai pork leg rice, rice noodle in hot & sour soup
Lai Thai is actually a mini market that sells a selection of Thai grocery products, including snacks, condiments, sauces, and even some fresh produce. However, the front of the shop/restaurant also spot a well equipped stall that offers some 20 different dishes to be consumed on the spot of taken away.
The operators are Thai, and so are all the workers. Stepping into Lai Thai and you’ll touch your left pocket wondering if you’ve forgotten your passport. It’s marvellous.
som tam done right, and tomyam soup
The food here are prepared the traditional way with traditional ingredients, and it’s also the only place I’ve found serving pork leg rice!
So far I’ve tried the pork leg rice, tomyam, pork with rice noodle in hot and sour soup, red ruby (dessert), and their Thai ice tea. We weren’t disappointed at all.
Thai ice tea for drinks, red ruby for dessert
Other dishes to check out would be pad Thai, dry noodle, lime salad with pork, green curry, fried petai, fried rice, papaya salad, and more!
Lai Thai also offers a selection of desserts all packed up and ready to be brought home or consumed on the spot. My housemate loved the mango sticky rice and gave it a seal of approval.
KY & Haze at Lai Thai, we love it
If you’re hungry for some cheap, non-halal Thai street food, check this place out.