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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / tempoyak

The first time I heard about Temerloh had nothing to do with food. I remember hearing that the town in Central Pahang was badly flooded, and a few of my friends organized trips in relief efforts. Some of us helped out a little financially to the cause as well.

Well, thankfully other than flood, Temerloh is also famous for its ikan patin (freshwater catfish), so much so that they are now really getting popular here in Klang Valley.

Restoran Termeloh Catering, Wangsa Walk
Restoran Temerloh Catering, Wangsa Walk

A couple weeks ago, one of our colleagues brought us to get a taste of what central Pahang has to offer right here at Restoran Temerloh Catering, Wangsa Maju.

The restaurant is located right next to Wangsa Walk and directly adjacent to the open air paid parking lot, quite a convenient location if you get there by a car.

ulam & other lauk, choose your patin cuts
ulam & other lauk, choose your patin cuts

Like many Malay restaurants, the set up here is very straight forward. Pick from the choice of pre-cooked dishes, get rice, and be on your way. You can choose to have this all on the same plate, or in individual dishes for sharing.

We were of course, here for the patin tempoyak. To properly enjoy this delicacy, it is best to order one portion for each person. The beauty here is that you can pick your favorite part – head (for advanced appreciator, I guess), body, or tail.

balanced meal, with proper patin tempoyak
balanced meal, with proper patin tempoyak

The catfish is positively smooth and fatty, with the tempoyak sauce properly pungent, just the way the dish is supposed to be. One of my colleagues who has a habit of traveling to Temerloh said that this is about 80-90% as good as the original version, which is plenty fine by me.

Other dishes we had here were pretty decent, if unremarkable, though I really enjoyed the fried lady’s finger and ikan masin. The tempoyak (for ulam) was rather good as well.

bill came up to be just over RM 20 per pax including drinks
bill came up to be just over RM 20 per pax including drinks

Total bill came up to be about RM 20+ per pax, which I think is within expectations. Give it a try if you’re a patin fan. There’s also branches at Shah Alam and Bangi

map to wangsa walk

Address:
Restoran Temerloh Catering
35-G, Kedai D’Wangsa,
Jalan Wangsa Delima 12
Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.198098, 101.742626
Tel: 03-4141 5044

A few days before bulan puasa, we had several rounds of short lunch excursions, one of which was the famous asam pedas place at Man’s Cafe in Kampung Baru. Since Ramadan has passed, I thought it’s appropriate to write about this place as it is back in business for lunch again.

Update: Place has since moved down the road next to Akar Homestay

Man's cafe updated, Asam Pedas
updated pic of the new Man’s Cafe Asam Pedas

Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man's Cafe Selera Kampung
Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man’s Cafe Selera Kampung

Located at the “entrance” to Kampung Baru from Jalan Tun Razak as you turn into Jalan Raja Muda Musa, the little eatery is yet another zinc roofed structure that has seen better days as a residence. Dining tables with plastic chairs are scattered about the former porch and living room of the house, with a couple rows of delicious looking dishes presented at around the entrance.

ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more
ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more

Like most Malay mixed rice places, there’s a pretty good variety of choices here – starting from over half a dozen choices of ulam, to kari ikan, ayam goreng, several types of sambal (including tempoyak aka fermented durian), telur dadar, sambal chili, terung chili, and good mix of ikan bakar.

the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)
the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)

While those dishes we tried were all pretty good, the highlight of lunch was their signature dish – asam pedas. It is basically curry cooked with salted vegetable that’s not unlike the Chinese spicy vegetable (a good version can be found at Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Rice in Klang), but cooked with fish instead. It was sour, spicy, and absolutely intoxicating.

If you’re up for something that can jolt your senses, Man’s Asam Pedas cafe is one of those places to check out.

map to Man's Cafe asam pedas at Kampung Baru

Address:
Man’s Asam Pedas Cafe
Intersection of Jalan Raja Muda Musa
& Jalan Raja Uda
Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.165282,101.709029

Due to the preparation in moving to new home, my schedule has been crazy, and that has a direct impact on my availability to participate in Ramadan buffet reviews. I’ve only been going to very few of them, but when Intercontinental Hotel came calling, I just know I have to make it there.

the famous seafood spread at Intercontinental KL
the famous seafood spread at Intercontinental KL

The biggest reason this is a must-attend event for me is simple, just look at the seafood on ice spread they have above! US & Finn de Claire oysters, Australian spanner crab, baby lobster, crabs, NZ green lips mussels, pacific prawns, slipper lobsters, Harvey bay half shell scallop, and even Alaskan king crab!

If you’re a fan of minimally prepared super fresh (and also sashimi) seafood, this is a spread you must not miss.

ulam, kuih, rojak, salad, and the all important sambal (including tempoyak)
ulam, kuih, rojak, salad, and the all important sambal (including tempoyak)

Before we continue, the most important information:

Selera Pantai Timur bersama Chef Zamzani is available from 8 to 17 June, 2015. Priced at RM 128 nett per adult & RM 64 nett per child. This is the chance to savor all of East Coast’s delicacies brought to you by the good chef who will be at the restaurant during this period.

Serena Brasserie’s Berbuka Puasa buffet will continue from 18 June to 15 July, 2015. Priced at RM 139 nett per adult on first and forth week or Ramadan, and RM 152 nett per adult on 2nd and third week of Ramadan.

roast beef, bread, cheese, for the Western touch
roast beef, bread, cheese, for the Western touch

Other than seafood, the dishes from the West includes pink pepper macadamia crusted Australian beef, lamb, Yokshire pudding, pastry, a good selection of cheese, bread, mushroom soup, gratin potato with cheese, pasta and so forth.

So you don’t really need to be someone who can eat spicy food to fully enjoy this spread.

okra, ketam berlado, kung pao chicken, gratin potato with trio cheese,  sautee mussel,  chicken tandoori, har lok prawn, asparagus
okra, ketam berlado, kung pao chicken, gratin potato with trio cheese,  
sautee mussel,  chicken tandoori, har lok prawn, sautee asparagus

As for traditional Terengganu cuisine, there’s plenty to choose from. Gulai udang, kerutuk daging, singang sotong hitam, gulai telur itik, ayam percik, and ketupat sotong are among the few. There’s also nasi dagang as well.

Of course, ulam and a selection of sambal (including the all important tempoyak) is available.

rendang ayam, gulai udang, hati ayam kicap, nasi dagang, home made ice cream, sup ekor, sup mushroom
rendang ayam, gulai udang, hati ayam kicap, nasi dagang,
home made ice cream, sup ekor, sup mushroom

Other than the selection of Malay traditional fair, there’s other Asian representative too in sautee asparagus with garlic and soya, har lok prawn, kung po chicken, and chicken tandoori.

Like many other places, there’ll also be “stalls” serving roti, roasted whole lamb, roti canai, roti jala (with durian flavor!), ABC, and celup-celup tepung. If you want noodle, they have mee rebus Terengganu and mee goreng lambak as well.

Pauline, Kerol, & KY having a whale of a time enjoying the Ramadan buffet
Pauline, Kerol, & KY having a whale of a time enjoying the Ramadan buffet

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite buffet spread. The price is certainly on the high side, but you do get what you pay for, so if you’re looking for something a bit more premium with great ingredients while still retaining a traditional touch, this is the place to check out.

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Serena Brasserie
Intercontinental Hotel

165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159767, 101.718045
Tel03-2161 1111
Webwww.intercontinental.com

Every once in a while, the bunch of jokers at work would organize a fun “eating out” session, usually when one of us has something to celebrate and belanja the team.

A few weeks ago, we ended up at Jalan Bellamy for some good old fashion ikan bakar on one of such occasions.

Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy
Gerai Mak Alang Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy

Tucked behind Agong’s old palace between Jalan Syed Putra & Jalan Istana is a small hill that is very different from most part of KL. There’s virtually no development, you can’t find any big commercial buildings or high rise offices. A place so close to the hustle & bustle of the likes of Puduraya and yet immune to the change of time.

It is here that you find some half a dozen ikan bakar places, all packed with hungry lunch crowds any given afternoon.

Gerai Mak Alang was the restaurant of choice for our excursion.

tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places
tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places

Gerai Mak Alang offers quite a good selection of grilled fish and other dishes. You have the standard ikan pari (sting ray), kembung, tilapia, and even terubok (toli shad, full of annoying tiny bones but with the softest meat ever). There’s also a selection of sambal to complete the dishes, including my all time favorite – tempoyak!

prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too
prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too

In addition to fish, they also offer prawns, cuttle fish, and cockles. I expected the cockles to be of the Nong & Jimmy bakar method, but it came coated with curry powder/sauce instead, which turned out to be quite ok nonetheless, but I would still prefer it grilled tho.

The cuttle fish was superb though, soft, succulent, and tasted supremely fresh. The prawn seemed to be prepared similar to nyonya asam prawn style, which was mighty fine by me.

food is always best when enjoyed with great company
food is always best when enjoyed with great company

Food quality is more than decent, and we certainly had a great time at Jalan Bellamy. There are a few other stalls still yet to be explored for me, and judging by the amount of crowd, I believe they are all worth trying out.

map to ikan bakar at Jalan Bellamy

Address:
Gerai Mak Alang
Jalan Bellamy
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670

Continuing with the buka puasa buffet 2014 series, today we look at the buffet offering at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton hotel. This year, the restaurant is headed by executive chef Ridzuan Malek, who has over 20 years of culinary experience to present a buffet spread of local specialities in unique ‘kampung-style’ stalls and live cooking stations.

The spread here is impressive, and definitely the largest of the lot that I’ve sampled in 2014 with over 300 local delicacies to choose from. You can come back here half a dozen times and not taste the same dish twice.

roast lamb, chicken curry laksa, asam laksa, fruits, at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton
roast lamb, chicken curry laksa, asam laksa, fruits, at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton

The Ramadan buffet promotion runs from 7pm to 10pm daily and are priced at RM 139++ per adult and RM 79++for children. For the last five days of Ramadan (July 23 – July 27, 2014), the same spread is priced at RM 119++ per adult.

For the selection you get here, it is worth what you’re paying. On top of the food, there’s also entertainment from a local traditional music group from Bale Bale Entertainment to add to the festivity.

mussels and prawns on ice, salted fish, ulam-ulam, lemang, and even tempoyak
mussels and prawns on ice, salted fish, ulam-ulam, lemang, and even tempoyak

Now lets talk about what you’ll find at the buffet spread, I make no attempt to list down all the dishes, but you should get an idea of what they offer.

Pretty much everything you can find at any Ramadan buffet spread, you can find here.

Starting from appetizer, you have Thai beef salad, Vietnamese chicken salad, gado-gado, rojak, over half a dozen types of kerabu (ikan, ayam, kerabu jantung pisang, mangga muda, nangka, perut, pucuk paku, etc).

There’s also a huge selection of ulam to go with sambal belacan, cencalok, budu, sambal gesek, sambal nenas, sambal mangga, and my personal favorite – tempoyak chilli.

If you like the even more traditional appertizer, you can find ikan masin goreng belada, sambal hijau, telur masin, kacang tanah goreng berlada, petai, paru lembu, pedal ayam, hati ayam, and bergedil. These are definitely closer to kampung than the city, I love it.

chicken, beef, seafood, lamb, vegetable, in Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western style
chicken, beef, seafood, lamb, vegetable, in Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western style

Main dishes too is represented by classics from various states and even international cuisines. There’s fish head curry, rendang tok, ikan bakar melaka, whole roasted lamb Malay style, serawa durian and pulut, kerabu gamat and apam balik.

There’s also Chinese style mushroom and vegetable, curry prawn, asam prawn, nasi briyani, roast chicken, and more.

there's also Madras corner, Kampong Melayu corner, China Town, and Western food
there’s also Madras corner, Kampong Melayu corner, China Town, and Western food

I would guess that perhaps about 70% of the dishes available here at Paya Serai consists local cuisine originated from Malacca, Penang, Perak, Kedah, and Johor, with the remaining 30% Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Western, and other origins.

The team of 13 chefs definitely managed to impress.

satey, Mongolian BBQ, grilled fish, tempura, and kerang too
satey, Mongolian BBQ, grilled fish, tempura, and kerang too

Of the various live cooking stations, I was most impressed with the Mongolian BBQ (not that I actually managed to try all of them, to be honest). Here you basically choose one or many main ingredients such as beef, chicken, or seafood, and the chef will cook it up with an assortment of vegetable such as carrot, celery, mushroom, bell peppers and so forth.

It was a dish that I consumed on regular basis while working for a Chinese restaurant in US, this brought back the memory, and the execution was spot on.

KY & Shabana as well as Jean enjoying some durian to end the night
KY & Shabana as well as Jean enjoying some durian to end the night

To end your buka puasa session for the night, there’s an assortment of fresh fruits, air batu campur (ABC), cendol, a variety of traditional kuih, custards, mini pastries, hot desserts, cendol santan kepala muda, and last but not least – durian!

Yes, they serve durian at buka puasa, which was just brilliant.

If you’re looking for one of the biggest Ramadan buffet spread in town, check out PJ Hilton’s Paya Serai.

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Address:
Paya Serai Restaurant
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122 (ext 4260)