Quite a few moons ago I went up to Cameron Highland for the second time in my life, and as with the last time, I was not entirely prepared by how long the winding road was, and how tiring a drive that can be, not to mention how frustrating it can get when you’re stuck being a vegetable laden lorry going at 30 km/h.
So, Cameron isn’t as much about the journey as it is about the destination, and one of the destinations to check out would be Water Cress Valley Farm & Restaurant.
Water Cress Valley Steamboat
Water Cress Valley, like the menu stated, is both a farm and a restaurant. Right beneath the semi-alfresco (the only way to dine in Cameron Highland) is a beautiful water cress farm. I suppose the water cress served here at this restaurant is right from the farm, and other vegetables most likely from the highland as well, but I’m just guessing.
Since Cameron Highland is many hours away from the closest fishing village, ordering seafood at this part of Malaysia would be a pretty silly thing to do. Hence we went with their vegetarian charcoal steamboat set to complete the farm to table experience.
They do offer chicken, deer meat, lamb, and seafood options, I believe this establishment is pork free.
Cameron Highland is famous for vege so..
The fancy charcoal pot did take a while to heat up, but once it got going that thing was ferocious. There’s no such thing as “turning down the heat, aunty” option. In a way, this sorta forced you to eat at a pace dictated by dead wood.
The watercress based soup was quite interesting in its taste, it was light, subtle, and perhaps lack sophistication. To be honest I thought we could also use a bit more leafy vegetables than what was provided, but there’s plenty of mushroom though so that’s a plus.
vegetarian steamboat set
Overall, the experience of dining in at Cameron Highland climate and freshness of produce makes up for the lack of fancy flavor and different condiments. If you’re already on the highland, this would be a place to visit, I wouldn’t suggest a 4 hour drive from KL just for this though.
A few weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to try out one of the more recent addition to our rich selection of food choices in Malaysia – mala steamboat, also known as Sichuan steamboat.
For this, we headed to Chuan Chuan Xiang at Sunway Velocity, the occasion being Henry’s birthday & SY was buying dinner.
chuan chuan xiang mala hotpot
For some reasons, Sunway Velocity sorta transformed to a mini-China in a way, over here you do find quite a few Sichuan hotpot restaurants often packed with customers from China (you can tell by their accents).
And if it’s good enough for them, it should be “ori” enough for us.
To start with, you choose one or two different soup base. The obvious choice is to go for a spicy and a non-spicy option to maintain sanity.
After bringing the soup to boil, you then add in whatever you pick from the open fridge – consisting of skewers of vegetable, meat, various different types of offal, and seafood. There’s also ingredients that come in dishes, including fish ball, pork belly, prawns, and even pig’s brain and duck blood!
can you spot the duck blood and pig’s brain?
There’s of course, a variety of condiments you can choose from, from different versions of sambal, to garlic, chili padi, fermented tofu, and more. There’s also a bottle of extra spicy chili oil on the table should you need to kick if up a notch.
The ingredients are fresh and of pretty good quality, with soup made of proper herbs and spicy, numbing mala pepper those Chinese guys really love. For me though, I thought it’s perhaps a little bit too spicy for me for the most part, so I ended up mostly using the non-spicy soup base more.
spicy mala soup + pork bone soup, Henry & Choulyin
Soup base is RM 39, meat at RM 19, pig’s brain RM 9, and the skewers are priced by weight regardless what they have on them (hence those has more ingredients than others).
Overall it was a pretty interesting experience, and worthy of a place to visit especially for a late night wake-up supper. They operate from 10 a.m to 2 a.m.
A couple weeks ago I was invited to check out Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10. Do read up on J’s Gate Dining here if you haven’t heard about this fantastic new Japanese dining area before. It is literally a paradise for those who loves food from the land of the rising sun.
Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining
Back to Mo-Mo Paradise, this latest outfit at J’s Gate Dining offers shabu-shabu and sukiyaki in a no-frill, all-you-can-eat buffet style within 100 minutes. In another word, eat as much as you want, or can, during a 100 minute period and pay one all inclusive price for the food offered.
At Mo-Mo Paradise, the asking price is RM 68++.
The restaurant is founded in 1993 at Shinjuku Kabukicho in Tokyo with the aim of providing the ultimate shabu-shabu and sukiyaki experience by focusing on a wide variety of fresh and high quality ingredients. On top of the traditional ingredients, they also aim to provide a modern and inviting ambiance with good hospitality to diners.
From our experience, I think they got it down quite well at this outlet.
all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too
Well, what do they really offer then in terms of food?
First off there’s a vegetable bar where you get all your greens in self served style. There’s a good selection of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, onion, and even fuchuk and some fish balls.
Then there’s obviously the most important ingredients – the meat. For this session we were served 3 different types of beef and pork each, with a total of 6 varieties. My favorite was the “bacon” cut of pork (probably isn’t the best for my cholesterol level?) but all 6 types of thinly sliced meat were all so delicious.
We had the shabu with ponzu and gomadare sauce, and raw eggs for sukiyaki.
great food is best enjoyed with friends
We ended the night with a couple scoops of ice cream (included in the package), and I thought the experience overall was rather positive, good was very good, and while it isn’t the cheapest meal option, it does offer pretty good value and way above average in terms of quality. Will return.
If you’re looking for dinner at Klang, there are a few repeating themes you’ll see. First and foremost, there’s of course the various bak kut teh restaurants at every other block, followed by seafood & tai chao restaurants, and then if you look closely, there’s also quite a few steamboat/hotpot sort of places.
A few weeks ago, we decided to check out one of those places.
Restoran Max Venture, quite a weird name for a kopitiam
This particular restaurant is situated a stone’s throw away from Mae Porn Thai, one of our regular Thai restaurants, so you could say that we’ve been curious for quite a while prior to giving it a try.
Ordering is simple, you get a set for two pax for something like RM 30, which comes with assortment of vegetables, mushroom, tofu, imitation crab, egg, meehun, bakwa, a couple prawns and sliced pork.
Thai style hot pot, grill & soup two in one
The hot pot is heated up with charcoal and has a grilling dome at the center and a ring of soup surrounding it. To start, you grill some pork lard to oil the pot, then one by one goes the prawn, pork slices, and other ingredients. Be sure to stuff the cabbage in the soup too, by the time your grill items are done, the cabbage gets to soak up all those juice and makes for a very sweet, delicious soup too.
KY & Haze, was a nice long leisure dinner
Places like these are quite popular around Klang, if you’re ever looking for dinner around the area, perhaps it should be in your short list. Happy eating!
Address: Restoran Max Venture Pelangi Point, Lintang Pekan Baru, Off Jalan Meru, Klang, 41150 Selangor GPS: 3.064707, 101.452734
Steamboat places are aplenty all over Klang Valley, so when it comes to picking one out for dinner during rainy days, it can be a little challenging. The rule of thumb for most people is that the place must be busy, for me, I usually rely on recommendations from friends instead, which was how I got to Dian Huo Xin Wo Steamboat at Kelana Jaya a couple weeks ago.
Edit 2017: This place has moved to a new location, address below
dian huo xin wo steamboat, Kelana Jaya
This steamboat restaurant is a little bit different from others when it comes to the interior decoration. At first glance, the place looks like a hipster cafe with old typewriter, TV, charcoal iron, and all those sort of memorabilias from yesteryears. Look closer, and you’ll find the built in stove in every table.
decent selection with good choice of soup base
Instead of electric stove or steamboat pot utilized at some places such as Bone & Pot, Dian Huo Xin Wo opts for the traditional gas stove, which I prefer as it is a lot more responsive. Their solution is by placing a gas tank right under each table, I’m not entirely sure if this is the safest manner, but it works pretty well.
For a smallish shop, the menu is pretty comprehensive. There’s more than enough different fish balls (even one with quail eggs inside), meatballs, sliced meat, innards, vegetables, and starters (try the salmon skin) to go around. The “balls” are self-made and pretty good in size, which we enjoyed.
there’s even black chicken in the soup
You’re allowed to choose up to two different soup base for a single pot. We tried the herbal black chicken soup and their signature soup, both broth were plenty flavorful in itself, and of course, refillable whenever running low. There’s also tomyam soup if you fancy something spicy, though I usually prefer sticking with traditional soup base for steamboat.
Condiments in this place doesn’t impress much, there’s 3 different types of chili paste, and you can ask for chili padi, but that’s about it, no fancy fermented beancurd or fried shallot oil, but they are, I guess, sufficient.
The meal came to be about RM 40+ per person, which is in line with most quality air conditioned steamboat meals.
Address: Dian Huo Xin Wo Steamboat 19, Jalan SS4D/2, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Ground Floor @ The Grand@Kelana SS6/2,
Lorong Damansara Lagenda,
Damansara Lagenda, 47301 Petaling Jaya GPS: 3.113118, 101.5996573.101798, 101.598425 Tel: 03-7887 4557 / 012-296 3886 Hours: 5pm to 11pm daily