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I first got to know about red wine mee suah from having a bowl at Suan’s sister’s place, with her mom being the cook. I was intrigued by this simple yet unique dish. From then on, I was hooked… and didn’t know where I could find them outside of Foochow strongholds like Sibu & Sitiawan.

Chin Heng Restaurant, Off Jalan Ipoh
Chin Heng Restaurant, Off Jalan Ipoh

Then one day after one of my dental visit for invisalign check up at Mydentist.my at Jalan Ipoh, I somehow ended up at Chin Heng kopitiam while looking for a quick lunch.

Looking at the big menu plastered on the wall, I found it! Red wine mee suah! I gotta have it, so I did.

Foo Chow style red wine mee suah
Foo Chow style red wine mee suah

The red wine mee suah (RM 9) here comes with plenty of ginger with stripes of mushroom and chunks of chicken. The soup isn’t as thick as I wanted, but according to the operator (2nd generation foochow from China) you can always ask to have less soup and they’ll prepare it to be thicker. It is a pretty good version nonetheless.

Restaurant Chin Heng also serves lamb chop, chicken chop, pork chop, and quite a variety of noodle/kuih teow. It is pretty popular with the office crowd nearby, but I think it is a place to check out even if you don’t work nearby.

Chin Heng restaurant, Sentul

Address:
Chin Heng kopitiam
Jalan Selvadurai, Sentul,
51200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.177289, 101.682162
Hours: Mon-Sat 7 am to 4 pm

As previously mentioned, for my invisalign treatment at MyDentist, I find myself at Jalan Ipoh around twice a month. Naturally, I take the opportunity to explore eateries around the area.

Today’s soya sauce chicken rice is one of those places that was suggested by the friendly staff at the dental clinic, thank you Belinda!

soya sauce chicken rice, Jalan Ipoh
soya sauce chicken rice, Jalan Ipoh

The stall is located at a small stretch of hawker centre along the part of Jalan Ipoh that is pretty close to the Jalan Kuching intersection. There are two kopitiam at the same vicinity with chicken rice stalls as well, but those will not be the correct location.

soya sauce chicken, bean sprouts, and pork ball soup
soya sauce chicken, bean sprouts, and pork ball soup

Unlike most chicken rice stalls that offer roast chicken, this place has a pretty unique soya sauce chicken in addition to steamed chicken. The skin is smoother compared to roast version, and carries the aroma of soya sauce. It is not exactly the same as the recipe of soya sauce chicken I posted on this site before, but there are certainly resemblance in taste. It was pretty good.

For a little bit of change up, there’s also fish ball and pork ball soup in addition to bean sprouts. Mixing them up in a dish proves to be a welcoming combination. The standard minced ginger and home-made chilli sauce are presented as condiments as well.

and that makes a simple, cheap, delicious lunch
and that makes a simple, cheap, delicious lunch

A plate of chicken rice is priced at RM 4.50, and they also serve rice noodle in addition to rice.

If you’re looking for chicken rice with a slight twist, check this place out.

map to Jalan Ipoh soya sauce chicken rice

Address:
Hawker Centre
Jalan Batu Ambar
by Jalan Ipoh,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.202508, 101.674270

Sentul is one of those places in KL that I probably go less than once per year, and both times in the last two years, I went there for dinner at Zhen Liew Siang, courtesy of Haze’s aunt, one of those old school ladies who  loves her good, strong tasting Malaysian Chinese food.

Zhen Liew Siang at Sentul, always packed at weekends
Zhen Liew Siang at Sentul, always packed at weekends

The restaurant is located at Sentul Raya, the part of Sentul that has seen quite a bit of rebuilt over the years, you’d easily mistaken the area with some of the more glamorous parts of KL.

The restaurant occupies two floors of a shop lot, and a big chunk of parking space as make shift alfresco dining area. On weekends, parking is terrible and you almost always have to wait for a table, telephone booking is recommended.

fried mantis prawn with egg yolk, deep fried choi sam, belacan fried chicken wings
fried mantis prawn with egg yolk, deep fried choi sam, belacan fried chicken wings

For this session, we ordered five dishes for the six of us, and had to wait for some 20-25 minutes before the food is served on a Saturday night.

Fried mantis prawn is battered and coated with salted egg yolk, and curry leaves to spice it up a bit. Anyone who likes squid with salted egg would love this.

For greens, we had fried “choi sam”, a cooking method that’s been gaining popularity recently, especially with kailan. The choi sam version is just as good, and I especially  like it that they sprinkle some deep fried imitation crab meat on top for that extra texture and complexity.

The belacan fried chicken is a dish taken from classic Penang Hookien/Nyonya cooking style, and according to Haze’s aunt, the head chef is apparently a Hokkien, which explains the chicken wings and the next dish – curry fish head.

nyonya style curry fish head
nyonya style curry fish head

The curry fish head here is excellent, and pretty much the same as the way my mom cooks it. There’s brinjal, long beans, lady’s fingers, tofu pok, curry leaves, and of course, the fish head itself (I believe it was red snapper). Gravy positively thick and flavorful, with just enough hotness to go with steamed rice. If you want a full flavor Penang Nyonya style curry fish head, this is the place to go.

steamed stingray, irresistibly spicy
steamed stingray, irresistibly spicy 

The last dish we had was the steamed sting ray. Smaller sized string ray is used here as they often have a much smoother texture. The fish is covered with a thick layer of really spicy sambal that is slightly sweet and positively addictive. I struggled a bit to cope with the hotness but find myself unable to stop scooping up more of those spicy sauce. It was really good.

Zhen Liew Siang also offered other signature dishes like their steamed lala, banana leaf prawns/sotong, and even “shark mouth”. Do yourself a favor, make a trip to Sentul and give it a try!

map to Zhen Liew Siang, Sentul

Address:
Restoran Makanan Laut Zhen Liew Siang
No.30, Jalan 14/48A,
Sentul Raya, Off Jalan Sentul,
51000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.18472, 101.69212
Tel: 03-4041 3781

Some 9 or 10 years ago a friend brought me to a Malay/Mamak place that was pretty special. There were tables set under and around a garden, and even a few on platforms set on trees, like childhood tree houses. I also remember the place to be beautifully lit, and that they served some decent food as well.

I had no knowledge of its location since I wasn’t family with KL then. It wasn’t till I mentioned to Yuki about this place that I found out it was actually Naili’s Place at Sentul.

We decided to check it out a few weeks ago.

Naili's Place, not your average night time hangout
Naili’s Place, not your average night time hangout

The place has probably changed a bit since my first visit almost a decade ago. It looks quite a lot cleaner and more comfortable. There are trees sprawling throughout the place, and yes, the tree houses are still there, but you’d have to be very lucky to get those tables unless you call ahead.

We picked a spot near the bar and ordered our dinner, it was on a raised platform with shoes off, pillows, and low table. Comfortable and informal. The music in the background goes well with the type of food served too.

tomyam seafood, nasi lemak, nasi temasik
tomyam seafood, nasi temasik, nasi lemak, 

The menu is pretty extensive (available on their website here), they serve local delights, Western foods, snacks, and some “special” drinks.

The Mixed Tomyam (RM 15) got the seal of approval from Haze & Yuki. It was a pretty big serving loaded with chicken, squid, prawns, mushroom, and does carry a kick. Positively spicy, and goes really well if you’re having some rice to go with.

I had the Temasik Rice Special (RM 12.90) and that came with spicy shrimp, beef rendang, and fried chicken alongside butter rice. This is similar to Madam Kwan’s Nasi Bojari but with better value, and equally as tasty. Make sure you’re really hungry before ordering this.

Nasi Lemak (RM 6.90) here tastes pretty decent too, it comes with a choice of  Rendang Chicken, Rendang Beef
or Sambal Sotong.

naili's special fried rice, "twin mermaid", fried chicken wings
naili’s special fried rice, “twin mermaid”,  fried rice with beef rendang

Naili’s Special Fried Rice (RM 12.90) is a pretty decent dish that came with fried chicken wings, fried egg, and keropok, but in my opinion the Temasik Rice Special is a superior dish at the same price.

We also ordered the twin mermaid (RM 14.9) to share, the fish can be either deep fried or grilled, we had the former since the grill wasn’t ready yet. They tasted pretty decent especially with the condiment, I’d love to try their ikan bakar next time though.

Winnie, KY, Horng, Haze and Yuki
Winnie, KY, Horng, Haze and Yuki

We didn’t try any Western food at Naili’s, they serve salmon, lamb chop, steak, chicken chop, pizzas, pastas, and even burger. It’s a pretty sweet place to hang out that is friendly to most everyone (it is halal). Other than Sentul, Naili’s place has branches at Ampang Point, Uptown, and USJ Taipan.

map to Naili's place, Sentul

Address:
Naili’s Place
116C, Kampung Chempedak,
Jalan Taman Dato’ Senu,
51000 Sentul, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.194678, 101.69353
Tel: 019 2020755, 019 393 0878, 013 205 6419, 019 919 2165
Website: www.nailisplace.com

After attending the Time Out Food Awards at KLPAC (a couple weeks ago), a few of us decided to have supper (or actually, dinner, since we didn’t really have a meal at the event). Boo of masak-masak suggested Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee, which was a great location since we were already at Sentul, and Hokkien mee for late night?

Awesome choice if you ask me, nothing beats some starch, pork, seafood, and lard near midnight.

restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul
restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul, Jon & Isadora

While the premise of Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee is now a pretty nice corner shop lot with air conditioned as well as al fresco style dining areas, every plate of Hokkien mee is still prepared with good old charcoal fire, exactly the same as when it was just a stall in the nearby kopitiam. (there are even other branches now).

Many believes that Hokkien Mee is best fried using charcoal fire, and that there is a distinctive difference in taste when preapred with gas vs charcoal. For me though, I’m not quire sure, I like it when it tastes good, and frankly doesn’t care too much about the romantic idea of having it old school or modern. If it tastes good, it’s fine by me if it was gas, coal, charcoal, or wood fire.

the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire
the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire

Our Hokkien mee  (RM 12) was quite awesome, there were no surprises – big fat noodle, meehun (we asked for it), prawns, slices of fish cake, pork slices, vegetable, and of course, pork lard.

It really did taste as good as it looks, and made better when Isadora asked for extra lard for us. 😀

butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee
butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee

Other than the Hokkien Mee, we also ordered marmite pork ribs, butter chicken, bitter gourd with salted egg yolk, and another plate of special Hokkien mee made with tapioka noodle.

The marmite ribs (RM 23) were frankly speaking, way too skinny. It would probably be a dream come true for those who loves lean meat, but we weren’t really impressed.

Butter chicken (RM 23) was a pretty decent dish though, flavorful with pretty nice texture to go with. The bitter gourd with salted egg yolk (RM 20) though, was my favorite for the night. The combination of the bitterness and the richness of salted egg yolk, in a weird sort of cosmic logic, worked well for our palates. This is a dish that needs to be tasted to be impressed.

As for the tapioka noodle Hokkien Mee (RM 16), well, imagine the texture of bubble tea pearls, except flattened and served in a plate of Hokkien mee ingredients. I wouldn’t say it was bad, bit it was a bit too chewy for my liking. A novelty perhaps, but not something I would order again.

Ah Yap Sentul Hokkien Mee map

The Hokkien mee at Ah Yap is certainly worth eating, the other dishes however, was a bit of a hit and miss, and does not really offer very good value for money either. I’d stick with having the original Hokkien mee and that sinful bitter gourd with salted egg yolk here.

Address:
Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee
744, Jalan Sentul,
51000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.178117, 101.692436
Tel : 012-3036800, 012-2816862
opening hours are from 5 p.m – 1 a.m

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