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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

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Found myself at JB a couple weeks ago looking for dinner options after a short day trip for work, and since I know very little about JB, I decided to be a bit adventurous and head to KSL area which I stayed last time to pick a restaurant to try out.

Matang Seafood View, Johor Bahru
Matang Seafood View, Johor Bahru

As fate would have it, we stepped into Matang Seafood View, a relatively quiet looking place at 6 something in the evening. Little did we know that the same place would be packed just half an hour later, always a good sign for a restaurant.

Ordering affair is pretty simple, you can choose one of the pre-packaged seafood porridge deals or go by picking your favorite ingredients to be in the same claypot. Alternatively, there are quite a number of ala carte dishes to choose from as well.

seafood porridge with crab and garupa fish
seafood porridge with crab and garupa fish

We ended up ordering a claypot porridge with 2 crabs, minced pork, and fish fillet, a plate of vegetable, and two rather large oysters as starters.

Those oysters turned out to be better than I’d expected, they were huge, fresh,and packed with sweetness, a couple drops of lemon was all we needed to bring out the flavor.

As for the main dish, the crabs weren’t exactly huge in size, but they were rather flavorful. The garupa fish and minced pork further adds to the overall taste of the porridge as well. It was rather satisfying.

fresh oysters, cho sum vegetable
fresh oysters, cho sum vegetable

The dinner came to RM 90.30 with drinks included. Pretty decent value for what we get, and it is no wonder this place was packed. Would not hesitate to go back again should I find myself at JB.

Matang Seafood View map

 

Address:
Matang Seafood View
35, Jalan Seringaka,
Taman Century,
80250 Johor Baru, Johor
GPS1.486020, 103.761499
Tel07-336 5746
Hours: 11am–10pm daily

matang seafood view menu 1 matang seafood view menu 2 matang seafood view menu 3

matang seafood view menu 4 matang seafood view menu 5 matang seafood view menu 6

matang seafood view menu 7 matang seafood view menu 8 matang seafood view menu 9

matang seafood view menu 10 matang seafood view menu 11matang seafood view menu 12

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
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?
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
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.

location map - Sunway Velocity

Address:
Chuan Chuan Xiang
VO3-3A-6, Sunway Velocity,
Lingkaran SV, Maluri,
55100 Selangor
GPS3.127852, 101.725303
Tel018-771 6999

Pasar malam, or weekly night markets in Malaysia often offers unique dishes you can’t find at any other settings. This is especially true when it comes to stinky tofu, as so far I have yet to see any stinky tofu stalls outside pasar malam setting.

Black Tofu, SS2 Pasar Malam (every Monday)
Black Tofu, SS2 Pasar Malam (every Monday)

And when it comes to this smelly delicacy, there are several different variations to choose from, all of which involves deep frying a particular stinky version of tofu and served piping hot with some condiments.

Examples of these stinky tofu are Hong Cha SS2, the one at Meru Klang (stinkiest of them all, love it), and the one at Connaught Pasar Malam.

However, of all these, Black Tofu at SS2 is perhaps one of the more unique version out there. In this version, the tofu is pre-cut into smaller chunks before being deep fried instead of after, and then being served with some sort of soup, crispy bits, spring onions, and best of all – sambal!

the tofu is soaked in soup, and you can make it spicy!
the tofu is soaked in soup, and you can make it spicy!

As with most stinky tofu in Malaysia, this too isn’t particularly smelly, perhaps done so to cater more to our local taste. Nonetheless, black tofu carries a more complex taste profile and one that has more of a kick to it with the inclusion of sambal.

Each portion is priced at RM 7, so while they’re not cheap, it is less pricey than the equivalent at Hong Cha, which I find slightly less inferior than this one.

Happy eating!

map to SS2 Pasar Malam

Address:
SS2 Pasar Malam
Jalan SS2/61
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor
GPS3.117366, 101.621668
Hours: Every Monday Night

For the fan of stinky tofu, there are a couple of stalls offering this dish in one of the bigger pasar malam in Klang Valley – at SS2 every Monday evenings. Let’s look at the stall by the name of Hong Cha, or “red tea” stinky tofu.

Hong Cha stinky tofu at SS2 Pasar Malam
Hong Cha stinky tofu at SS2 Pasar Malam

Usually situated closer to SS2 McDonald’s, this stall offers a single type of stinky tofu for RM 10 that comes in a paper container. The triangle cut tofu comes with a side of pickled radish, sauerkraut, and some dipping sauce.

The single portion came with about two full piece of tofu cut into 8, portion wise it really isn’t a lot, and you could also argue that the asking price of RM 10 is rather high for what is offered. As for taste, I thought it lacked the tell-tale pungent smell that should be a mandatory characteristic of any stinky tofu, perhaps trying to cater to local taste a bit too much.

Additionally, the sauerkraut, or “almost kimchi” on the side was a bit weak too.

comes in paper box, but not stinky enough tho!
comes in paper box, but not stinky enough tho!

If you’re a huge fan of tofu or if this is the first time you’re introduced to stinky tofu, Hong Cha maybe a good point to start. For the true stinky tofu fan though, you will probably be disappointed.

map to SS2 Pasar Malam

Address:
SS2 Pasar Malam
Jalan SS2/61
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor
GPS3.117366, 101.621668
Hours: Every Monday Night

When it comes to hotel restaurants, Shangri-La must be the gold standard, I’ve been to a number of corporate events, attended wedding dinners, and been to a few restaurants under Shangri-La group. The experience has always been a positive one, so when I received the invitation for the reopening of Lemon Garden at Shangri-La KL, I knew having to brace the traffic would be worth it.

Shangri-La KL Lemon Garden re-opening
Shangri-La KL Lemon Garden re-opening

My prediction was correct, the food and dining experience was great, and traffic was thoroughly atrocious thanks to the light drizzle on a Friday evening. Alas, most of the invited guests and members of media managed to show up on time to witness the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, the all important event that was in the way of us getting our dinner.

love the new seafood station
love the new seafood station

First and perhaps most importantly, here are the prices:

International Lunch Buffet
Monday – Friday (12noon – 2.30pm)
RM 128 nett (adult), RM 64 nett (child)
Saturday (12noon – 3pm)
RM 148 nett (adult), RM 74 nett (child)

International Sunday Brunch
Sunday (12noon – 3pm)
RM 168 nett (adult), RM 84 nett (child)

International Dinner Buffet
Sunday – Thursday (6.30pm – 10.30pm)
RM 158 nett (adult), RM 79 nett (child)

Seafood Dinner Buffet
Friday – Saturday (6.30pm – 10.30pm)
RM 208 nett (adult), RM104 nett (child)

Sunday Champagne Brunch (inclusive of 1 bottle of Veuve Cliquot per person)
Sunday (12noon – 3pm)
RM 488 nett (adult)

good selection of sushi and sashimi
good selection of sushi and sashimi

The newly face lifted Lemon Garden is designed by Bond Studio Inc from Japan and took four months to renovate, the result is an ambiance that is rather elegant, sophisticated, yet very welcoming. The restaurant now also has an alfresco dining area at the garden terrace offering a scenic view by the koi pond.

Personally though, I think the indoor tables are just great for buffet dinners as you are that much closer to the humongous selection of food.

ample selection of traditional Chinese dishes
ample selection of traditional Chinese dishes

I can safely say that the selection of dishes at Lemon Garden is the most impressive I’ve seen so far, and I’ve been to quite a number of buffets ever since the inception of this blog.

Let’s start with the new seafood station. There’s snow crabs, fresh oysters, scallops, crabs, spanner crabs, prawns, clams, mussels, crayfish, as well as sushi and sashimi. All these dishes are either boiled or raw, and with almost no seasoning, the taste is entirely up to the quality of raw ingredients, particularly on the freshness of these seafood.

In that sense, it did not disappoint at all, I had two plates entirely filled with seafood for dinner.

cold cuts & salad
cold cuts & salad bar

The Chinese section has dimsum, double boiled soup, chicken rice, a noodle station, as well as plenty of dishes you may find at wedding dinners, including steamed fish, mushroom with brocolli, sea cucumber, and mantis prawn with  salted egg yolk.

tandoori chicken, poached chicken, or roast chicken rice?
tandoori chicken, poached chicken, or roast chicken rice?

Then there’s the Asian station. Here you’d find tandoori chicken, naan, satay, murtabak, chicken tikka, roti canai, and others. There are also other local signature dishes such as Nyonya laksa, curry, and more.

Italian & Spanish cuisines are part of the line up too, as with selection of cheese
Italian & Spanish cuisines are part of the line up too, as with selection of cheese

Moving to the West, you’ll find several types of pizza, a selection of bread, cheese, pasta, huge selection of salad, and my favorite – roast beef and lamb rack. The pizza here is made in the traditional wood burning stove too.

red meat includes roast beef, lamb rack
red meat includes roast beef, lamb rack

Then of course, for those with sweet tooth, the dessert pavilion offers a dazzling display of both local and international desserts. You can find ice kacang, waffles, crepes, chocolate fountains, an assortment of cakes, tarts, ice creams, and various traditional Malay and Nyonoya kuih.

dessert includes Western & traditional Malaysian kuih muih
dessert includes Western & traditional Malaysian kuih muih

So next time if your significant others can’t decide what he/she wants to eat, bring them here and you can be quite sure that there’ll be something that will satisfy even the most choosy diner.

dinner was made even better with media friends
dinner was made even better with media friends

Map to Shangri-la Hotel, KL

Address:
Lemon Garden
Shangri-la Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.152139, 101.709419
Tel: 03-2074 3904