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.
I usually love meat in pretty much every meal, but every now and then, it’s good to get in tune with our slightly more spiritual side and slow down this whole butchery of living beings for our gastronomic pleasure.
That… or you do it with colleagues/friends because of the company.
Vegetarian Food at Kun Yam Thong Temple
In either case, if you’re a fan of Chinese religious style vegetarian (no ginger & some other restrictions), the Kun Yam Thong Temple at Jalan Ampang is one of the best places to be when it comes to value and selection.
The temple is located between Citibank and KLCC, just a stone’s throw away from the MCA building. There’s no exterior clue as to it being anything other than a temple, but head in, and walk towards the rear of the building will reveal an entirely different identity the façade suggests.
very big selection of vegetarian food, including fruits & drinks
Here you find a very good selection of vegetarian dishes. Head to the “chap fan” area and there are at least 3-4 dozen dishes to pick from to go along with steamed rice, “red rice”, or even meehun.
Other than that, there’s also vegetarian pan mee, wantan mee, curry mee, pumpkin spaghetti, tomyam meehun, and other noodle dishes according to day of week. On every 1st & 15th of Chinese lunar calendar, they also offer vegetarian bak kut teh.
this plate of meehun with quite a lot of vegetable was RM 5
The taste of food here is generally pretty good, and best of all, prices are more than decent. My plate of meehun with two pieces of vegetarian “roast goose”, radish with mushroom, and pumpkin only cost RM 5, and I don’t think there’s GST!
To keep the price low, everything here is self served, and do make sure that you bring your plates & empty glasses to the cleaning area when done.
Address: Kun Yam Thong Temple Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.159702, 101.715831 Hours: Lunch on weekdays
One of the little secrets every food lovers should know is that the way to enjoying awesome meals without breaking the bank is to just do it during lunch. Many higher end or even fine dining restaurants usually have a rather affordable lunch menu that offers dishes that are of very high quality but at substantially chaper price tag than after sun down.
Update 10/7/2018: This place is now permanently closed
Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence
Hence, my favorite time to visit good Japanese restaurants is during lunch time.
Today, lets look at Ten Japanese Fine Dining’s offering.
I’ve been to Ten for an invited food review but was never a paying customer until recently when I was told that they serve lunch. See, even though I really loved what they do, fine dining prices just isn’t something I can afford often.
Assorted Sushi & Ten Special Bento
Ten offers about two dozen different dishes priced from RM 28++ onwards for lunch. There are also four different omakase courses priced at RM 100, RM 118, RM 148, and RM 240++ per person.
So far my friends and I have tried about half a dozen of the set lunches.
The Assorted Sashimi (RM 60++) and Assorted Sushi (RM 60++) featured some of the freshest seafood ingredients anywhere, with grated wasabi and chawamushi that’s packed of ingredients on the side.
Interestingly, they also have a Vegetable Sushi (RM 28++) option that Jean tried, and according to her, it was very unique and absolutely awesome. Instead of fish you get asparagus, tomato, baby corn, mushroom, cucumbers and so on presented in a way that’s not unlike seafood.
Assorted Sashimi, Saba Shioyaki, and Vegetable Sushi
Other dishes we tried were Bara Chirashi (RM 48++), Saba Shioyaki (RM 35++), and Ten Special Bento (RM 55++). None of these disappoints and I wouldn’t hesitate to order any of them again.
The only item that’s still at fine dining price would be their green tea at RM 6++ with unlimited refill. I guess you somehow have to pay for the great ambiance and excellent service somehow.
Haze, Sophia, and Jean all agreed the lunch sets were awesome
So now I have Ten Japanese Fine Dining together with Fukuya and Ozeki as the few Japanese restaurants that serves really good and value for money lunch sets.
Address: Ten Japanese Fine Dining A-G-1, Marc Residence, Ground Floor, No.3 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.155396, 101.710203 Tel: 03-2161 5999 Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6 pm onward, closed on Mondays Web: tenrestaurant.com.my
Last weekends I attended an event organized by Open Rice at Grand Millennium Hotel’sLai Ching Yuen thanks to the invitation from Marcky, a friend who is associated with the project, and someone who definitely loves to eat.
chef Kong of Lai Cheng Yuen showing off his skills
Lai Cheng Yuen is famous for it’s dimsum, and our host was the very friendly Chef Kong, a dimsum chef 28 years. Some of chef Kong’s signature dishes are the steamed siew mai with fresh scallop, deep fried bean curt roll with prawns, and mini durian tart.
On that day, however, we were in a treat for something different. Dimsum is usually associated wit seafood and pork as main ingredients, but Chef Kong wanted to show us that you can make yummy dimsum using all vegetarian ingredients too.
we got to try our hands on making dimsum
Even better, right after the cooking demonstration, we got to get our hands dirty and make our own dimsum as well.
The good chef prepared the all important dimsum skin from scratch (they do this everyday at Lai Ching Yuen) using Hong Kong flour as the main ingredient. The filling of the dimsum was prepared from the combination of carrot, mushroom, sengkuang, celery, bokchoi, and more.
these are all vegetarian dimsums
After the cooking demo, we were served 5 different vegetarian dim sum dishes chef Kong prepared on the spot. These were the pan fried soft bun with mixed vegetable, deep fried yam ring with mixed fruits, vegetarian lot mai fan, chee cheong fun, and a transparent sort of sui kao.
vegetarian chee cheong fun, lor mai fan, and the last 2 pieces, we made
The dishes were pretty good, and I suppose as close as you can get to tasting like real dim sum without any hint of meat or seafood ingredients. This is perfect for vegetarians who prefer real vegetarian foods instead of those menu that’s filled with fake meat & fake seafood that is popular in Chinese vegetarian offerings (always irks me especially for those who do it for religious purposes).
the five dimsum dishes we sampled
Unfortunately we did not get to try dim sum from Lai Ching Yuen’s normal menu, but judging from chef Kong’s expertise in this demonstration, I am pretty sure that they won’t disappoint.
At the end of the event, I won a lucky draw – lunch buffet for two at The Mill, Grand Millennium, and Horng walked away with a handsome voucher of RM 800+ from Slimming Sanctuary. Yuki should be happy about it. 😀
Address: Lai Ching Yuen 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang 55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14791, 101.71222 Tel: 03-2117 4180
My mom has always been pretty critical about “outside food”, and every once in a while, she would volunteer to chip to my kitchen renovation fund with some of her hard earned money so that perhaps I could cook a little more.
Well, mom, the kitchen will be taken care of eventually, and in the mean time, worry no more, I have finally found the disgustingly healthy hawker food – Lui Cha (擂茶)
Lui Cha – brown rice, nuts, tofu, and lots of vegetable
Lui Cha literally means pounded tea in Cantonese, which described the way the way the soup is made – by pounding mixture of tea leaves and possibly mints to a very minty green tea like liquid. The soup accompanies a bowl of brown rice topped with plenty of nuts (or roast soy beans), chopped long beans, tofu, pickled as well as fresh vegetable.
mix it, eat it separately, drink the soup, it’s up to you
You can now find quite a number of kopitiam and hawker centers selling this traditional Hakka dish, I had my first one at New Yew Sang kopitiam at Kelana Jaya, recommended by Cheesie (there’s another one at Ho Weng Kee at SS2, which also has this nice wan tan mee).
The reason it took me this long to try Lui Cha is basically the fact that it’s all green with no animal killed in the production, but after tasting it, I must confess that I actually find it rather tasty.
The brown rice is quite sweet, the combination of nuts and all that vegetable gives a very fresh and crunchy texture while the pickled vegetable chipping in with a little bit of saltiness for that extra dimension. It was nice.
it was well, quite tasty actually!
I think most people like to mix the dry bowl with the soup, but after experimenting with mixing them in the spoon, I find my taste buds agree more with having the rice and vegetables/nuts separately, and in the end, I didn’t exactly finish the soup. I guess I probably only salvaged 65% of the goodness from the whole dish, but one can never ask for too much. 😀
Address: New Yee Sang kopitiam Jalan SS 6/8
Kelana Jaya GPS:3.106717, 101.598178
On another non related note, check out Joyce’s interview on the new BB curve from Xpax, preregister for one here