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Tag / soft-shell-crab

Several weeks ago I was invited to a soft launch of Little Mums, the restaurant that was run by the same people that brought us Mum’s Place at Damansara Perdana, a restaurant that I’ve reviewed almost ten years ago, with shitty camera phone then.  As the name suggests, this offshoot is run by the second generation, offering many of the best selling dishes from the parent restaurant.

Little Mums at Damansara Uptown
Little Mums at Damansara Uptown

Located at the back row of Damansara Uptown, Little Mum spots a modern yet simple interior, and while parking isn’t the most ideal this part of PJ, it is not exactly an exercise of patient either. Little Mum serves both lunch and dinner, and offers several individual plates in addition to the usual “tai chao” style dishes.

prawn sambal petai, fried cencaru, soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce
prawn sambal petai, fried cencaru, soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce

On our visit, we started off with an appetizer with the crab cheese sticks (RM 16.80), a dish that would really go well with some cold beer, which sadly they do not offer.

Our main meal was served with steamed rice, and we had prawn with sambal petai (RM 31.80), fried cencaru with cili padi paste and petai (RM 26), soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce (RM 10.20/100g), daun keledek with lime juice (RM 15), and brinjal with black pepper (RM 15).

daun keledek, terung black pepper
daun keledek, terung black pepper

These dishes were as good as I remembered them. The cencaru and soft shell crab stood out as the two must-order dishes were strong tasting in a good way, especially for those who like their food spicy. While daun keledek is one of their classics, I found myself really enjoying the black pepper brinjal even though as with the other previously mentioned dishes, it was really spicy as well.

crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan
crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan

For dessert, sago gula melaka (RM 6.30) was really well executed, and pulut tekan (RM 7.30), served with homemade kaya, is another must-try. This version is like hot KFC vs stale fried chicken from the roadside, you gotta try it.

I did find the cendol with red bean (RM 6.30) a little underwhelming though, and perhaps being from Penang has something to do with that judgement.

KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze
KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze

Little Mums serves Halal food and the prices are nett. While it is slightly on the high side when it comes to pricing, they do deliver rather well in terms of quality of food. Would certainly visit again.

map to little mums at damansara uptown

Address:
Little Mums
13, Jalan SS 21/1a, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
GPS3.136665, 101.620997
Tel: 03-7710 0388

A few weeks ago we were invited to sample Toh Yuen‘s new a la carte menu. Some of you might have read about my previous visit to Toh Yuen back in 2011, well, of all the dishes prepared by Master Chef Lee this time around, only the fried rice and sea cucumber dish were repeats.

Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant at PJ Hilton Hotel
Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant at PJ Hilton Hotel

Regulars of Toh Yuen will be delighted that Chef Lee still stick by his principle of using the freshest and traditional ingredients with no additives in his cooking. For example, prawns are sourced fresh in the day and finished by the same night without ever being frozen. This ensures that the seafood you get here are some of the freshest one can get from a Chinese restaurant.

The slight down side of this method is that food generally tasted a bit more subtle, and thus might not suite tongues that are desensitized with too much tomyam and other heavily seasoned food, but if you are into traditional Chinese taste, this is worth a visit.

Here are the dishes we sampled:

chilled pacific clam, lamb with cumin & dried chili, soft shell crab
chilled pacific clam, lamb with cumin & dried chili, soft shell crab

We got started out with three appetizers –  chilled pacific clam with salsa (RM 28), deep fried lamb with cumin and dried chili (RM 28), and deep fried soft shell crab with garlic and chicken floss (RM 22).

Of the three, only the pacific clam is a cold dish, with the seafood sitting atop a bed of “salsa” arranged in a way not unlike tartar. The clams were sweet, but it did take me a while to accept having the pretty soft tasting salsa to go with them. A bold try but one that is still pretty experimental I thought.

The slightly spicy lamb was pretty good, and the chicken floss was an especially great addition to the soft shell crab, giving it an entirely different dimension. A trick I will shamelessly copy should I prepare soft shell crab (or even deep fried prawns) next time. I love it.

double boiled chicken with "shi hu" or "chong cao hua" soup
double boiled chicken with “shi hu” or “chong cao hua” soup

Like any proper 8 or 10 course Chinese dinner, our next dish was soup. we tried the double boiled chicken with “shi hu as well as the double boiled village chicken with “chong cao hua” soup (RM 32 per bowl).

Both were subtle but not lacking in taste. Herbal soup lovers will enjoy this, as I did. These aren’t of quality you find at Elegant Inn, and they weren’t priced as such either.

smoked duck with fruit sauce
smoked duck with fruit sauce

My favorite dish of the night has gotta be the smoked duck with fruit sauce (RM 38). The duck breast has the perfect skin-fat-meat combination that reminds me of  good quality roast pork, except with the slightly more exquisite taste of duck breast. The dragon fruit sauce gives it an extra bit of sophistication as well, I had at least 4-5 pieces (more than everyone :D)

prawns with salted egg, sea cucumber with mushroom, lamb with cumin & dried chili
prawns with salted egg, sea cucumber with mushroom, lamb with cumin & dried chili

Our first main dish was the sautéed prawn with salted egg yolk (RM 50). The freshness of the prawns were evident here, and I liked the fact that they were shelled and thus requires zero effort to consume. The richest dish we had, it was very well executed.

The sea cucumber with flower mushroom and abalone sauce (RM 80) is one of those dishes you often find at wedding dinners, but over here the sea cucumber were fat, juicy, and tasted quite a bit better. Older folks would love this dish for sure, and the sauce goes very well with steamed rice.

steamed Canadian black cod, sauteed celery with pine nuts, vegetarian "chicken" with yam basket
steamed Canadian black cod, sauteed celery with pine nuts, vegetarian “chicken” with yam basket

Next came steamed Canadian black cod fish with “yu feng” ginger sauce (RM 32/100 gram). The seafood was again very fresh, and the ginger/soya sauce base would go very well with steamed rice. I particularly love the fish skin and bits of fried garlic/ginger placed on top of the fish. This was a very luxurious dish to me.

Sautéed celery with lotus root & pine nuts (RM 30) is a blend of fresh crunchy vegetable with the texture of pine nuts. A bit bland for me, but a pretty good change of taste from the other dishes.

Our last main dish was the sauteed “gong bao” vegetarian chicken with yam ring (RM 60). This is a dish that I don’t particularly enjoy, and this has nothing to do with the taste but the fact that I usually like chicken to be .. well, made of chicken, and vegetable stayed vegetable, but if you’re those who enjoys fake fish and vegetarian meat, this isn’t a bad choice. The yam basket was delicious.

Toh Yuen fried rice, banana fritter & strawberry cheese cake dessert
Toh Yuen fried rice, banana fritter & strawberry cheese cake dessert

We concluded the night with Toh Yuen fried rice (RM 35) and deep fried banana with strawberry and cheese cake (RM 20). The fried rice was very well balanced and tasted superb without having any ingredients that stands out, Haze over stuffed herself quite a bit trying to have as much as she could.

The dessert was decent, but a little out of place with the dishes that we had, I would probably prefer herbal jelly or snow hasma instead (which they have in their menu as well)

The full menu can be found here.

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Address:
Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122

Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant

I was at The Curve last Friday after work with a few friends, since a couple of them has already eaten, we decided to go to some place less lavish and ended up at Thai Express on The Street.

As the name suggest, this is an “express” restaurant that has a limited range of dishes. The interior decoration is simple and clean, without much fuss.

Thai Express at the Curve
nice looking menu

After looking over the illustrated menu, I decided to go for the curried soft shell crab rice and a glass of Thai Pina Colada (non alcoholic version). Kelvin ordered the BBQ fish rice, while the other two jokers only ordered desserts and drinks as they have already eaten.

We didn’t need to wait long for the dishes to be served. I was more than delighted to see two pretty good size soft shell crabs covered with good-smelling curry sitting right next to the steamed rice. As the taste of soft shell crab (argh i kept miss-spelling it as software crab) is pretty standard, it came down to the curry to differentiate the dish from the simple deep fried soft shell crab, it was not a disappointment. Kelvin’s fish dish was pretty decent as well.

Thai Express at the Curve
ahh, the soft shell crab rice!

The Thai Pina Colada is basically some mixture of mostly pineapple juice with a big scoop of the excellent ice cream. Then there’s the traditional glutinous rice with mango, red rubies, and more coconut ice cream (sweet temptation) we ordered.

The highlight of the evening was when I looked at Kimberly‘s half chewed mango skin, and she explained:
“I was wondering why this mango is a little weird until I saw the skin… “
Basically the girl ate half the mango skin without realizing what she was chewing, this girl never cease to surprise us.

Thai Express at the Curve
kim with her half-eaten mango SKIN

As for price, the food, while not cheap, weren’t too expensive. The curried soft shell crab was RM 17.90++ and the fish RM 15.90++. However, the drinks are a little pricey at RM 7.90++ for what I ordered, and even mineral water will set you back at RM 2.90++.

A decent place to dine in if you’re at The Curve, but for proper Thai food, I’ll go to De’ Chiengmai at Sungai Buloh.

Address:
Thai Express Restaurant
G50, Jalan PJU 7/3
The Curve, Mutiara Damansara

GPS: 3.157699, 101.611540
Tel No: 03-7710 9629

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