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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / September 2012

Nasi Lemak Itik Salai, now that’s something that you don’t commonly see. We are used to nasi lemak having sotong (squid), ayam goreng (fried chicken), daging rendang (beef), and for the non-halal version, even pork; but itik salai (smoked duck)? That’s pretty interesting so far as Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak goes.

note: this place has moved. new address is at No 70 jalan Pekaka 8/3, Kota Damansara Section 8
(Same row with jabatan pendaftaran and hospital Pusrawi)

Izwan Woon Abdullah, located just behind Taman Bahagia LRT station
Izwan Woon Abdullah, located just behind Taman Bahagia LRT station

The restaurant that offers this dish is Izwan Woon Abdullah, located just behind Taman Bahagia LRT station at SS3, a few doors down from the famous pork noodle and Luckly Loke tai chao at the corner.

nasi lemak itik salai, you don't see this very often
nasi lemak itik salai, you don’t see this very often

The restaurants offer nasi lemak and a few other more traditional Malay dishes, but I had to try their nasi lemak itik salai.

The plate comes with fragrant nasi lemak on a slice of banana leaf, a side of sambal, anchovies & peanuts, half a hard boiled egg, smoked duck, and some brown sauce for the duck.

The brown sauce though, was a waste of time, so we asked for more sambal instead, which more than made up for it. 😀

the sambal and the rice itself was quite awesome too
the sambal and the rice itself was quite awesome too

The sambal was top notch, spicy and very flavorful, and the duck tasted pretty close to Chinese style smoked duck but with a slightly different taste that I can’t exactly point out, it was good, and certainly a different experience being paired with nasi lemak. I find myself enjoying it.

they have nasi lemak ayam too, and the otak-otak is pretty good
they have nasi lemak ayam too, and the otak-otak is pretty good

Their nasi lemak with chicken was able to satisfy one of the biggest nasi lemak fan in Horng, and otak-otak Johor (RM 0.80 per stick) was delicious enough we ordered second servings (even Suan who was from Johor approved of the taste).

The restaurant has been in business some 2-3 months and I sure hope it stays. I’ve only been there a couple times but looking forward to head there more often. =)

map to izwan woon abdullah, nasi lemak itik salai

Address:
Restoran Izwan Woon Abdullah
SS 3/59E Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor
GPS: 3.109904, 101.611722
Hours: lunch and dinner

Hidden at Taman Desa is a pretty special place, a little shack with the name 大众烧肉 (Japanese BBQ) that seems like it was lifted from one of those Chinese kungfu series of the 80s. A place where the protagonist grabs a few bites while casually kicks about fifteen person’s butt.

Within the small shack there were a few tall tables and benches, and around the area, more tables are available al fresco style. This Japanese BBQ place is a fair weathered restaurant, while there are some areas under the roof, capacity would be quite limited during rainy day, which unfortunately, would also be the best times to have BBQ around here.

small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining
small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining – perfect ambience

We were introduced to this place by Terence and Michelle (who speaks Japanese), and decided to pay a visit several weeks ago to check out what the fuss is all about.

On a weekend night, the place was fully packed. We had to wait for some half an hour before a table was available, and another 15-20 minutes before the busy waiters bother to start taking our orders.

he Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable
the Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable

Most items on the menu consists of raw meat, but for those who want to lace their stomach while waiting for food to be cooked, they serve 3 types of ramen (RM 10 each), and steamed rice is available at RM 3 per pop too. Kerol tried the ramen and reported that it was acceptable, if not underwhelming.

After we ordered our raw meat, a charcoal stove is set up between the two tables we were seated. Our first dish to go on the stove was Genghiskhan lamb (RM 20), which reminded me a little bit of bulgogi but with chunks of lamb instead. it was pretty tasty and went well with steamed rice, but portion was a little small.

various pork including three layer pork, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue
various pork including  pork belly, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue

When our meat finally arrives, we finally realized that “small portion” is a pretty consistent issue here.

Pork belly, shoulder loin, inside leg, neck and big intestine are priced at RM 10 per plate, while tongue, throat, liver, heart, stomach, and small intestine at RM 6 per plate. The slightly bigger plate beef short ribs was RM 15.

We didn’t order steak (RM 25) or beef brisket, ribeye, tongue (RM 10 each) though, so can’t comment on the portion.

here's four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck
here’s four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck

The meat could take a bit of time to grill, but the result was mostly positive, with the pork belly especially superb! Those layer of pork fat in between the meat were succulent and yummy (if you don’t mess up and over cooked it lah).

I’m pretty partial to the leaner cut of meat, and pork stomach (tripe) was a bit too tough to chew after grilling, I guess that’s a part of pork that’s best left stewed or cooked in soup.

we only had one stove for seven of us though
we only had one stove for seven of us though

Dining at Gerai Makan Japanese BBQ can be pretty cool, there isn’t another place that let you grill your pork with charcoal fire in that rustic environment anywhere in Klang Valley that I’m aware of.

The problem though, was that of price and service. If you really want to have a satisfying dinner, expect to dig in quite a bit to your wallet and spend at least a couple hours there.

Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze
Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze (saw BangsarBabe there too)

While I am probably never going to be a regular customer there, it’s a cool place to be once in a blue moon (they do serve pretty cheap beer, including Asahi). We also took the idea and made our own pork BBQ, I’ll share that on this space soon. 😀

map to Japanese BBQ at Taman Desa

Address:
Japanese BBQ
Center Court Plaza Faber,
Jalan Desa Jaya Taman Desa
Off. Jalan Klang Lama
58100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1065905 , 101.6783134

Favola at Le Meridien KL is pretty synonymous with fine Italian dining, but what’s little known is the fact that they do serve dishes that are not pizza, pasta, or risotto. On the latest visit to one of our favourite Italian restaurants, we tried their beef and lobster instead.

We were told by our hosts to pick our main dishes and soup, while appetizers will be taken care of. I found out that I certainly wasn’t the only person who always over order.

bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese
bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese

As usual, we were served with some lovely breads to much on while pondering what to pick for dinner. I had to constantly remind myself not to have too much of these whenever I’m at Favola, they were yummy with just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Soft creamy mozzarella, shaved truffle, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was the description for Burratina (RM 40) was refreshing, and the crispy beef bacon gave the dish an added dimension.

For cheese lovers, you’ll love Caprese (RM 35), how does marinated trio of tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic emulsion sounds like? It tasted as good as it sounds, I can use some buffalo mozzarella cheese right now, not overly cheesy, yet soft and creamy. A small pack can be had at Jaya Grocer for about RM 30.

deep fried breaded mozzarella cheese, grilled jumbo asparagus with poached egg, mushroom soup
deep fried breaded mozzarella, grilled jumbo asparagus w poached egg, mushroom soup

Fritti Mozzarella  (RM 40) has a different take in mozzarella preparation, two generous slabs of buffalo mozzarellas breaded and deep-fried, then served with sautéed mushroom and avocado purée. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the skill of the chef is exhibited here by not over cooking the cheese, while still giving the skin that crispy texture.

The most beautiful appetizer of the day was Asparagi alla Griglia (RM 45). Grilled giant asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, brown butter and parmigiano.  This was both beautiful and delicious.

cream of clams, sausage, vegetable in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth with spinach
cream of clams, sausage, vege in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth w spinach

For soup, I picked Brodo di Spinaci (RM 35), clear chicken broth with fresh spinach, with lobster dumpling and grated Parmesan. The soup was light, but I felt that the dumpling did not have enough lobster flavour to it. This was the least filling soup I think, a good thing in this case.

Haze had Zuppa di Vongola(RM 40). You could call it an Italian clam chowder, officially it’s cream of clams, Italian sausage, vegetable sofrito and green peas in golden pastries, and you gotta have a big stomach for this. The broth is creamy and quite filling, and tasted pretty good, the only minor qualm was that we wish  they’d be more clams.

Zuppa di Fungi Calabrese(RM 35), or assorted mushrooms cooked in milk with garlic rustic bread and Swiss cheese, is always a favourite among diners at Favola. The mushroom soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, rich but not overly creamy, and absolutely fantastic.

black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak
black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak

OK, now we finally get to the main dishes.

There were two beef dishes on the menu and we tried both of them. Haze and I ordered the grilled Angus T-bone steak (RM 150) with Caesar salad and smoky pimiento butter, while Josen asked for the black Angus ribeye Fiorentina (RM 135) with grilled lemon halves and balsamic vinegar.

The beef were very good, I had mine medium rare, and Haze asked for hers to be served “blue” – which was rarer than rare. While these weren’t quite the standard of Prime (nor the same type of beef), they held their own very well and did not disappoint at all. At this price point, the beef were quite a bit cheaper as well.

ciki and her full baked boston lobster
ciki and her full baked boston lobster

While we enjoyed our beef, ciki went the other direction and picked the baked Boston lobster (RM 230 full, RM 120 half) that came with spice tomatoes and lemon chermoula with buffalo mozzarella. She was kind enough to share the seafood with us and I’m happy to report that it was indeed excellent.

You can have Maine lobsters for a tad cheaper at Lobsterman, SS2, but of course there won’t be buffalo mozzarella, attentive servers, or ambiance anywhere near the standard of Favola.

risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta
risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley

For those who favours traditional Italian food, Risotto con Cappesante (RM 65) comes with pan-fried sea scallops on leeks, lemon zest, chili and basil; or you could perhaps choose pasta in the form of Gamberetti ai Pinoli (RM 45) with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and mushroom in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, I’m quite sure you won’t leave in disappointment.

The menu with price can be found at http://discoverlemeridien.com/menus/

Thank you Janice & Damian for the invitation.

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

OK guys, it’s time to talk about bak kut teh again, one of my favorite Malaysian food of all time. Today’s bak kut teh is Mo Sang Kor at Taman Berkeley (the branch that is closer for us PJ folks).

bak kut teh naturally goes with a pot of good tea
bak kut teh naturally goes with a pot of good tea

Mo Sang Kor is one of the older bak kut teh establishments, and instead of the usual clay pot with everything in it serving, they do things slightly different here. You order the type of cut you want, and each type is served in a single serving bowl, usually with the meat/innards, a mushroom, a bulb of garlic, and of course, bak kut teh soup.

Most uniquely, you aren’t allowed to ask for additional soup here. What you are served is what you get. This is because the bak kut teh soup here boiled together with the meat and herbs over long hours and is super concentrated.

we had six types of bak kut teh meat/innards
we had six types of bak kut teh meat/innards

Small price to pay for that really aromatic and thickest bak kut teh soup I’ve ever tasted. You will learn to appreciate the broth in smaller doses here, they are fantastic.

As there were six of us, we ordered 6 portions of different items that day. There were big bone (“tai kuat”), 3-layer pork belly, pork knuckle, spare ribs, ribs, and intestines. The meat were properly cooked and so tender they fall off from the bones easily, you could almost chew them down without dentures.

If you plan a visit to Mo Sang Kor, make sure you get there early so that you get to choose from different cuts of meat. By brunch time, all that’s left might be only lean meat.

Kim, Kerol, Horng, Yuki, KY, and Haze
Kim, Kerol, Horng (ya dude enjoyed the soup), Yuki, KY, and Haze

Price wise, they are competitive to Klang’s standard. Everything comes out to around RM 12 per person including rice and tea.

If you are a bak kut teh soup lover who places emphasis on quantity, don’t go there, but if you love quality and could live with rather low volume of fantastic bak kut teh soup, this is a place you should check out.

direction to Mo Sang Kor bak kut teh at Taman Berkeley, Klang

Address:
Restaurant Mo Sang Kor
41, Jalan Bangau,
Taman Berkeley,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.060285, 101.464983
Tel: 019-272 7728

Following the previous post about diving at Tioman, I thought I’d share what are some of the choices of food available at Salang Bay (since food is mostly an ala carte affair here)

There are probably a dozen or so food and drinks outlets along Salang Bay, two duty free shop (one only sells alcohol to-go), and a partially stocked convenient store. In another word, everything essential is available.

Salang Indah Restaurant, tomyam, traditional Malay food, and more
Salang Indah Restaurant, tomyam, traditional Malay food, and more

One of the biggest restaurants here is Salang Indah Restaurant (yah these guys aren’t very creative with naming business establishments), located just a 100 meter north of jetty. They are one of the very few that open for business throughout the day. There’s plenty of tables and you get seated right next to the beach, sea breeze and holiday mood, very nice.

Here you can find Thai food, sandwiches, toast, pancakes, porridge, and even roti canai. The tomyam, kailan ikan masin, and omelet we had was pretty decent. At 6-8 ringgit per dish it wasn’t expensive either.

However, don’t ever eat here if you’re in a hurry. Service is super slow and ultra terrible. We asked a server to expedite our order on second visit as we had to dive within 25 minutes, she acknowledged and then sat down on and started playing with her phone, we ended up canceling the order 25 minutes later as they haven’t started cooking yet. No apologies given either.

Salang Beach Restaurant - Chinese food (pork free though)
Salang Beach Restaurant – Chinese food (pork free though)

The lone Chinese restaurant at Salang Bay is another super creatively named place called Salang Beach Restaurant. This place is perhaps a 8-10 minute walk north of the jetty.

We had clay pot mutton (RM 16), bean curd (Rm 13), and cabbage soup (RM 8) to go with some steamed rice. The mutton was tender and rather tasty, but the other two dishes were quite bland. We had to ask for soya sauce and chili. They weren’t bad, just .. tasteless.

Oh yeah, service is very slow here too, I guess it’s just the laid back island life.

Though this is a Chinese restaurant, they are pork free. In fact, the whole Salang Bay is pork free.

food court, on the left once you get off the jetty at Salang Bay
food court, on the left once you get off the jetty at Salang Bay

Just to the right of the jetty is a food court that usually has at least a couple shops open for business. We caught the national double’s pair playing on TV while enjoying some fried rice from the last stall to the right.

It was a meal that was forgettable, but the operators were very friendly, and we spent another half an hour chatting with them and a local dive master. It turned out to be a decent experience.

Haze & KY
Haze & KY at Salang Beach, Tioman 2012

These are just the place we ate, I was told that you get very good ikan bakar to the left of jetty at night, and there were many drinking place serving cold beer at RM 5 a can and other alcoholic drinks at RM 10-12 per glass.

Even though food wasn’t exactly anywhere near good, they were edible and priced pretty decent for a holiday destination. I wanna go back to Tioman!