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.
Last weekend Kerol decided that chicken and pork should be on the menu for brunch, and hence the lady took us to Hong Seng kopitiam at Seksyen 17 to visit the chicken rice stall with the longest queue.
In Penang, you have nasi kandar beratur, in PJ, we have nasi ayam beratur. The former is halal, this one isn’t.
chicken rice at Hong Seng Seksyen 17, Kerol in queue
Anyway, the chicken rice stall in Hong Seng is probably the most popular hawker stalls in the whole of Seksyen 17. Business starts at just before 10 am, and by around brunch time, there’s always a long queue right in front. Average queuing time is about 10-20 minutes, and yes, this is a self-served only stall.
For the three of us, we had a big plate of roast chicken, roast pork, bbq pork, and a side of spicy and sour vegetable.
The chicken was tender and flavorful, the bbq pork (charsiu) was top notch, but the real star of the show was the roast pork (siu yoke). The skin of that siu yoke is a work of art, crispy yet doesn’t break your teeth, with the pork quite subtle in taste (not having overpowering 5 spice flavor) but pairs well with their home-made chilli sauce.
the roast pork is a must order here
The hot and sour soup though, was mere average, we thought that there’s way too much leafy vege compared to the actual soup, and the spicy taste wasn’t nearly as intense. My favorite version is still the one at Peng Heong Hakka paikut, Klang.
Overall it was a very satisfying lunch, and at RM 10 or so per pax, it is of pretty good value as well.
Address: Chicken Rice stall Hong Seng Restaurant No. 1, Jalan 17/29, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.128289, 101.635371 Tel: 016-939 3118 Hours: 9.30am to 1pm
Pork intestine porridge is also a dish that isn’t nearly as common these days as it used to be. I suspect this has something to do with the idea that pig innards aren’t exactly the healthiest thing out there, and younger generations are usually less familiar with them.
While being from a relatively “young” generation, I on the other hand, absolutely love them. I always believe that you can and should eat everything in moderation, and a little bit of innards now and then never hurt, especially if you have a balance diet and exercise on regular basis (everyone knows about this anyway..)
an unexpected find at restaurant Say Huat
Anyway, just the other day I found myself at Seksyen 17 having an hour to kill, so as a Penangite, the natural thing to do was to find a place to sit and eat, and that’s how I ended up at restaurant Say Huat, having Robert’s Char Kuih Teow in my mind.
My attention was drew to the porridge stall when I got there, and a glance on the menu confirmed that they serve pork intestine porridge – it was then I decided I gotta have this.
this porridge is full with “liu”, and only RM 4.50
For RM 4.50, this is perhaps the most beautiful bowl of porridge you can get. The surface is completely covered with crispy deep fried pork intestine, yao char kuai, spring onion, and ginger. It was a work of art.
yau char kuai, pork, crispy intestine, liver
Inside there’s also chunks of pork (with soft bone), liver, and of course, the porridge that is topped with some soya sauce, pepper, and sesame oil. The texture of the congee was soft, smooth, and actually perhaps just slightly too thick.
Over all though, it was still a very decent bowl of good old pork intestine porridge, if you like it lighter, try the seapark version, but if you want it heavy, and not to mention excellent value for money, this one won’t disappoint.