Several weeks ago I managed to convince the girls to try a new place, and we ventured out to the land of gangsters that is Kepong. We past by the glamorous Desa Park City and turned into the older part of Kepong where steamboat restaurants are aplenty and finally arrived at where we were going to have dinner – Jan Jan Thai Restaurant.
Jan Jan Thai restaurant at Kepong
There are in fact, two Thai restaurants within 50 yards from each other here. Directly opposite Jan Jan is the older and almost equally as busy Thai restaurant by the name Janwa. According to the locals, the head chef from Janwa left to open Jan Jan as a competitor (similar to Rakuzen and Jyu Raku at Subang Jaya)
There’s an on-going healthy debate as to if Jan Jan or Janwa offers better Thai dishes, but for the purpose of this trip we’re not going to worry too much about that.
excellent tomyam and steamed barramundi
Once we found an empty table and made our order, which took a while on a weekend, food did not take very long to be served.
Seafood tomyam soup (RM 16-29) comes in either clear or red, and we opted for the latter, more chili laden variety. It was hot, spicy, and filled prawns, squid, fish, tomato, and more. Perfect dish for us since it was raining so heavily.
The Thai style steamed barramundi (market price) turned out to be pretty good dish too. The fish was fresh and the soup positively sour and flavorful. This dish is not quite De Chiengmai‘s standard, but it holds its own.
the lala was great, green curry not so much. Yuki, Haze, KY, Kerol
Thai golden lala (RM 17) was my favorite dish of the night. The shellfish were big and juicy, and I particularly love the unique Thai style sauce that the dish came with. It was a combination of sweet, spicy, with a hint of sourness. Very different any Chinese or Malay style preparation.
The disappointing dish turned out to be the Thai green curry (RM 12). I love my green curry thick and flavorful, but this one was just watery and very sweet. We took a few spoonful but otherwise left the dish almost untouched.
There are definitely more dishes at Jan Jan Thai that I want to try on other visits – petai prawns, deep fried brinjal, paku with belacan, mango chicken, bbq crab and Thai curry crab all sounds very enticing. I’ll just have to remember not to order their green curry again.
Address: Jan Jan Thai Restaurant No.33, Jalan 5/62A, Bandar Menajalra, 52000 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.193859, 101.631517 Tel: 03-6277 7598
My siblings and me share the same passion when it comes to food – we want to eat everything and anything that is delicious, and usually would travel to illogical distances just for this purpose.
Over the last CNY holidays, we paid a visit to my younger brother who works at Sungai Petani as a houseman and he brought us to this little hidden gem that is Mae Salong Thai Restaurant for dinner. Most of us are tomyam fanatics, so the destination suits us very well.
Mae Salong at Sungai Petani, crazy decoration
Mae Salong resides in an unimpressive part of Sungai Petani, which is a pretty unimpressive town in a state that isn’t known to be impressive. The restaurant however, is anything but.
Nestle in the kampung is a structure that could easily confuse diners as a set for fantasy movie. There’s hanging bridge, a huge koi pond with a two level dining area that is half submerged, and even a massive water wheel and fountain and the center. Oh, it is also some sort of a mini zoo as well.
All these fancy decoration proved to be useful when we had to kill time waiting for table on the Saturday evening when we were there. (booking highly advisable)
the drinks come in a big bottle, red ruby’s nice!
After securing a seat, we were given some Thai tidbits as some sort of appetizer, and they come in the form of dried anchovies with curry leaves, peanuts, and dried chili padi. That thing was quite awesome, and you could actually buy them at Thailand in packets, beats potato chips anytime.
We made our orders with the friendly Thai lady, and asked for desserts to be served first since we knew it was gonna take a while before food is ready. The red ruby (RM 2.50) was delicious, with the right amount of santan, fresh nangka, and that chestnut in tapioca. Yummy.
We ordered honey dates with sugar cane drinks (RM 12 for all) to quench our thirst, and was happy that they come in big bottles instead of individual cups.
thai style lala, mantis prawn, otak otak
Our first dish that came was the the Thai style lala (RM 15), though the shellfish wasn’t exactly big in size, the taste more than make up for it. There’s chili, green onion and garlic all mixed up with the lala soaked in spicy sourish broth that’s kept warm with a small fire under. The soup itself was very very delicious.
Mantis prawn (RM 15) is deep fried with salted egg yolk, another dish that never disappoint. Again you find chili padi in the mix, spicy, savory, with the hint of saltiness, love it.
Thai otak-otak (RM 15) was perhaps the only thing that was a bit disappointed. It was packed with seafood, but somehow the otak otak paste wasn’t exactly up to the level of standard I was expecting. Not a bad dish per se, but nothing special.
steamed siakap, omelete, and of course, tomyam
Of course, no Thai meal is complete without an order of tomyam (RM 20). The seafood tomyam is hot, flavoful, and absolutely packed with ingredients – prawns, fish, squid, and more lala in addition to tomato, chili, and other ingredients that make up a proper bowl of tomyam soup. We enjoyed this a lot.
We also had a fish to go with all the other seafood dishes, the steamed siakap (RM RM 27) was the most expensive dish we ordered. It was fresh and does taste very good, the soup made me suspect that it is a cross between the lala and tomyam, and hence didn’t make a very good combination to the other dishes we oredered. It was however, a quality dish nonetheless.
Last but not least, there’s omelete (RM 8) that again, has a hint of seafood in it – very tiny baby prawns, the same size that you find in cincalok. It brought back some childhood memories when we’d catch them in the sea, good times. The omelete was pretty decent as well.
mom, sister, brother, haze, niece – happies!
By the time we are done and headed back to Penang, it was already some 11pm, but that was after a very good dinner that only cost less than RM 140 for the 6 of us. If you find yourself anywhere within 50 or even 100 km from Sungai Petani, give this place a try, but do call and book your table if it’s on weekends.
Address: Mae Salong Restaurant 199-E, Kampung Bakar Bata, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah GPS: 5.62594863, 100.46545 Tel: 016-424 6842
There’s a new diver in town! Haze just did her PADI Open Water certification at Pulau Sembilan, which is a cluster of small islands half an hour’s boat ride away from Lumut. The underwater condition, and thus diving, was subpar at best. Visibility was quite poor except for one of the dives, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of exotic creatures to spot either.
However, for whatever that is lack in diving, the couple dinners we had at the area more than made up for it.
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan
On the second night of our stay at Lumut, Haze and I joined our fatty dive master James, together with fellow dive buddy Alan to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan with the promise of awesome fresh oysters and yummy seafood.
It was about a 20 minutes drive away from where we stayed at Marina Island Pangkor, and we were not disappointed.
check out the size of fresh oyster there
We ordered 10 big oysters as appetizer (RM 5 a piece), and just check out their size! They fleshy part of the oysters were as big as my palm, easily the biggest oysters I had.
Coupled with the fact that these creatures were actually alive in the tank prior to being served, they were absolutely delicious. A dash of lime or some Tabasco sauce was all it takes, and try not to make the mistake of putting it in with one mouthful lest you wanna make a full of yourself having oysters spilling out at the corner of your mouth.
steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago
Our biggest main dish was the steamed live prawns. At Hai Tien Di, you get to choose between the “normal” frozen prawns, or the live prawns from the tank. We of course, went for broke and chose the later.
With live seafood, the simplest cooking method is usually the best. This is to preserve the essence of the taste, so for this dish, we have it steamed, as recommended by the operator.
The prawns sliced in halves, and steamed with a bit of ginger, fried garlic, spring onion, light soya sauce, and Chinese wine. It was delightful, packed with that seafood sweetness. At RM 65 this was definitely not cheap, but worth it nonetheless.
fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper
A seafood meal is not complete without fish, so we ordered a live grouper, steamed teow chew style (RM 35). It was of course, absolutely fresh and went well with steamed rice.
We also had a plate of vegetable (RM8) to satisfy the vitamin c/fiber requirements. You must always have a serving of vegetable at every meal, no?
we sure did have our stomachs stuffed
The service at Hai Tien Di was pretty good, food came quite fast as well. I can’t say that this is a place that is economical (for a small town), but the quality of fresh/live seafood here was stunning, and those oysters were absolutely delicious.
If you find yourself at Lumut/Sitiawan, this would be a place worth visiting.
Address: Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant 522 Kampung Cina, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak GPS: 4.190067, 100.684217 Tel: 05-692 4679
From time to time, I like to go into a restaurant totally devoid of any idea what is being served there. Last weekend was one such occasion. Haze and I were near Leisure Mall and hungry, we drove around a bit, parked the car, and decided to head into Restaurant K.T.L – which stands for Kwong Tau Lou (光头佬, bald guy)
steamed tilapia and steamed egg are the must order items
The reason we chose this particular restaurant was that it looked cheap, almost unfurnished, and yet filled with mostly older diners & families. To me, these are a sure sign that good food is available, and it won’t break your wallet.
After seated, we asked for recommendations from the wait staff and ordered a steamed tilapia with tao chio (beans), steamed egg, and a plate of vegetable. Total dishes to choose from was very limited, there’s 2 types of fish (other being haruan), always steamed but with a few different variations, eggs, steamed ribs, and a few types of vegetables. Just as well, makes ordering quite a lot easier.
check out how smooth is the steamed egg, slurps!
Dishes didn’t come quick, and you have the pleasure of seeing them catch the tilapia that’ll end up on your table.
But when it does, boy, the fish was great! The tao chio sauce was very flavorful and quite a bit spicy too, they even stuffed it full in the fish’s cavity too, a nice touch for sure.
The steamed egg was on a big plate but very thin, and very very soft. Imagine the softest chawanmushi, and this was 3 times softer. It tasted very simple yet awesome, with soya sauce and a hint of sesame oil on it. (I tried to replicate the steamed egg at home the other day and failed miserably)
The only let down at the place was the vegetable. Well, it wasn’t bad, it was average, but after the fish and egg, this was slightly disappointing.
The dinner came to be slightly less than RM 20 per person including two Chinese tea. For fresh fish and excellent dishes, it was a steal. Definitely will go there again.
Address: Restaurant K.T.L. Gerai No.3A, Jalan Manis Taman Segar 56100 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.088250, 101.743231 Tel: 017-872 7567, 012-308 7311, 014-322 3613
Jalan Peel has always been a place where the locals go to eat. The area has some of the most old school traditional eateries one can find outside Pudu area.
A few weeks ago I went there for the first time when we visited the Sunway Velocity showroom. It was the good people from Sunway who actually treated us lunch at Kar Kar Lai (家家来). Thanks!
Edit: According to Aaron Lim - They have since then shifted to China City Restaurant and renamed to Yoong Char Siew after their stall at Jalan Peel is demolished.
Kar Kar Lai 家家来 at Peel Road
The set up at Kar Kar Lai isn’t much. An inconspicuous stall with plenty of meat on display, with make shift tents over a dozen of so tables by Jalan Peel. Not very different from Thim Kee at Pudu, 10 points for old school feel, 1 for weather protection.
We ordered steamed chicken, siu yok (roast pork), char siu (bbq pork), steamed tilapia, and vegetable to go with rice for lunch, but did not try the yummy looking pork knuckle or chicken feet, unfortunately.
steamed tilapia, steamed chicken, char siu
The steamed tilapia with thai sauce was pretty good. The meat fresh and tender, the sauce packs a kick, goes well with white rice but probably too strong to eat as is.
Steamed kampung chicken was yummy too, slightly tougher than normal chicken, but quite a bit more flavorful. After all, Kar Kar Lai’s signboard shows that this is a chicken rice stall.
The siu yok (roast pork) was what our host kept telling us about, but to be honest, while it was good, I couldn’t say that it is exceptional with a straight face, an off day perhaps? (Our host swore it’s better on other days). I would definitely give it another try.
As usual, we also ordered a vegetable dish to make sure mom approves.
Overall, Kar Kar Lai is a place definitely worth visiting even just for the char siu and steamed chicken, I’d also like to try their pork knuckle and Chinese sausage next time. Price information is absent since lunch was bought by our generous host from Sunway, but I have a feeling it’s pretty affordable.
Address: Kar Kar Lai 家家来
Jalan Peel, Cheras
55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.12865, 101.72488