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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / May 2013

Every few weeks, we try to spend some time at Cheras with Haze’s siblings. At the same time, we also take the opportunity to grab some good eats around the area. During our previous trip, we had one of the better old school mixed pork porridge at the outdoor hawker area at Taman Cheras.

this porridge guy take no shit from anyone
this porridge guy take no shit from anyone

The porridge stall is right outside 7-11, manned by a lone Chinese operator who takes no shit from anybody, representing a dying breed of food stall owners who takes pride in their dishes and cares very little about meeting extra demands from customers.

If you want extra soya sauce? You’re out of luck. Service with a smile? Hahaha, dream on!

Other than mixed pork porridge (RM 4.50), frog (RM 5.50), shredded chicken (RM 4.50), pork meat (RM 4.50), raw fish (RM 4.50), and century egg with lean meat porridge (RM 4.50) are available here as well.

yau char kuai next stall, perfect combination
yau char kuai next stall, perfect combination

Right next to the porridge stall is the very popular “yuyi” yau char kuai place, usually with a small crowd. While I waited for the porridge, Haze lined up for some yau char kuai.

It was a good 15-20 minutes before we both achieved our missions.

KY, awesome porridge, Haze
KY, awesome porridge, Haze

The porridge itself was delicious, and those crispy deep fried intestine were excellent. Mix it up with those freshly fried yau char kuai is and you reach that sweet spot only two cheap ingredients can bring together, delicious!

Dinner cost less than RM 20 for both of us including drinks, and there are surely more to try  here as well. The char kuih teow stall enjoys brisk business, wantan mee is pretty delicious, and I’ve heard good things about the fried oyster omelet here too.

map to the night time outdoor food court at Taman Cheras

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
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
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
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.

map to Jan Jan Thai restaurant, Kepong

Address:
Jan Jan Thai Restaurant
No.33, Jalan 5/62A,
Bandar Menajalra, 52000
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.193859, 101.631517
Tel: 03-6277 7598

Check out this video from PETRONAS Motorsports:

This is the follow up video that finally reveals the highway incidents in Germany and what its got to do with PETRONAS Motorsport’s Liquid & Metal.

The car’s power and ability in zipping through the city evading the alien mothership and its drone is born from a partnership between PETRONAS and AMG. It’s a sweet machine and I’m sure we’ll find out more about this soon enough. In the mean time, enjoy the video.

While I have a little bit of reputation when it comes to food, I’m actually also quite an active person with a healthy dose of gadget addiction. The active part (4-6 hours of futsal/badminton per week) is what’s allowing me to eat whatever I want, thank you for asking.

I keep track of my workouts with Endomondo (runs on Android & iPhone, or even just web). While the application tracks outdoor running/cycling very well, it doesn’t do a very good job for in-door activities that I usually partake, I usually ended up manually logging in those workouts.

This is where Jawbone Up comes in, this is my review of it after 2 weeks usage.

Jawbone Up in my wrist
Jawbone Up in my wrist, and charging via supplied adapter

WHAT IS JAWBONE UP?

Jawbone Up is basically an wristband with a concealed battery, vibrator, and g-sensors that serves as a pretty sophisticated pedometer+alarm+sleep meter all rolled in one.

The gadget is made by Jawbone, a company most famous for their higher end bluetooth headsets.

THE HARDWARE:

The finishing of Jawbone Up is a rubber compound that felt pretty comfortable on the wrist, the wristband comes in quite a few colors but apparently at the time of purchase, Machines stores only carry blue & black versions. I chose black just because it’ll match with pretty much all outfit.

One end of the wristband is an operational button, and the other end is removable for when you synchronize with your phone (Android/iPhone), or when you need to charge the internal battery. A separate dongle is supplied for charging purpose.

I had hoped that no dongle is needed, but I supposed without which there’s no way to maintain the elegant & minimally intrusive design. A single charge (an hour or so) keeps the Jawbone running up to 10 days, so you don’t really need to bring the dongle everywhere you go, chances of losing it is thus quite minimal.

I can live with that.

Jawbone Software - overview, trends, and lifeline
Jawbone Software – overview, trends, and lifeline

USAGE & SOFTWARE:

Jawbone Up basically tracks three different facet of your life – MOVE, SLEEP, and EAT.

MOVE:

MOVE is where the pedometer comes in, it tracks how many steps you take and how you measure up to the 10,000 recommended steps per day. I’ve tried this with other form of pedometer but Up makes it a lot more accurate and much easier since it’s on my wrist all the time.

There’s also a “stop watch” function to record length of workouts. For example, I now know that during my 2 x 1 hour futsal session last night, I took 10,268 steps that equals to about 8.3 km and burnt 809 cal (measured based on published MET values). My total for the day was 18,210 steps. Good job KY!

This is a valuable and new information to me, I had no idea how my futsal session translate to distance prior to using Up, GPS based app such as Endomodo would never work indoor nor it is advisable to use the phone while playing contact sports.

There’s also an Idle Alert function that you can set to vibrate the wristband whenever you idle for too long, as reminder to start moving your ass. This is a feature I don’t use though.

SLEEP:

This is my favorite part of Up, and also one that other competition such as Fitbit and Nike+ FuelBand does not provide. There are some phone application that provide similar functionality, but who’d really want to sleep with a phone strapped on their arm?

When you get in bed, press the lone operation button to switch Up to sleep mode (shown by a moon LED), the wristband then tracks how long stay in bed, the length of time it takes for you to finally sleep, and the amount of deep sleep & light sleep.

I take this data and try to improve my sleeping pattern, it also basically let me know if my fatigue is simple due to lack of sleep or something else. Very neat.

To swith back to MOVE mode, simply press and hold the button again when you’re awake. Pretty simple operation really.

logs food, smart alarm/idle alert, sleep summary
logs food, smart alarm/idle alert, sleep summary

EAT:

While MOVE function tracks your calorie output, those who want to track calorie intake can do so by utilizing the EAT module. Here you can enter information on the food you have throughout the day. The application comes with a list of dishes and you can even scan the barcode of certain food products to obtain calorie information from their database. A custom list can be made as well.

I find the EAT function quite cumbersome to use, and probably only effective if you tend to eat Western dishes or processed food in limited varieties, otherwise the calorie information is going to be sketchy at best.

I gave up the EAT function after a couple tries.

ALARMS:

The gadget also has two other Alarm features – Power Nap & Smart Alarm.

Both these features wake you up by vibration after a preset amount of time, 25-40 minutes for nap and preset time window for smart alarm. The neat part is that the alarm doesn’t kick in if you’re in deep sleep, thus giving you a better rest and supposedly feeling less groggy. I think this feature is pretty neat.

REAL LIFE USAGE:

My user experience with Jawbone Up is pretty good thus far. After a couple days or so you hardly even realize it’s there anymore. Press a button when I’m awake, and another time when I go to sleep. I synchronize it a couple times a day and charge it around once a week.

While the band is resistant to water and supposedly, I usually take it off while showering. Jawbone Up won’t survive well if you bring it for a swim, but showering, washing hand, and running in the rain is supposedly okay.

SOCIAL:

On the mobile app, you can also connect with your friends and share information of your MOVE/SLEEP/EAT. The application connects to your phonebook and facebook account to find Jawbone users in your friend list. You can customize and hide certain or all info as well.

You can also comment on your friend’s activities as well.

WRAP UP:

I got the Up for RM 469 from Machines, not exactly a cheap toy, but so far I’m quite happy with the functionality of the device and its overall construction.

The mobile application, while beautifully designed and sleek looking, relies on data connection and seems to not have a very good caching function. This sometimes results in laggy operation when trying to view your own “Life line” or friend’s updates. I also wish that there’s a web interface (you can download your personal raw Up data from Jawbone’s website) to allow better visualization and perhaps ability to input EAT data more easily.

That being said, I’m satisfied with Up and do think that it is something you might want to check out if you’re interested in tracking your activity & sleep 24/7, for without knowledge of self you wouldn’t know where to start improving.

A couple days prior to General Election 13, we were invited to a food review session at PLOY to sample some dishes from their new menu.

According to their website, PLOY means Gem in Thai. It is then this pretty unique contemporary fine dining restaurant’s aim – to have their dishes be true gems of Japanese and Thai cuisine.

PLOY at Clearwater, Damansara Height
PLOY at Clearwater, Damansara Height

PLOY is located at Clearwater Residence in Damansara Heights. Parking is a pretty painless affair, there’s an underground car park in the building, and it also seems like you can park on the streets just outside of it, though legality in that is questionable.

The restaurant itself is tastefully decorated and has two separate dining halls, a fully air conditioned area, and another half outdoor for alfresco dining.

there are some interesting drinks on the menu
there are some interesting drinks on the menu

There’s a full bar at PLOY. Beer, liquor, cocktails, coffee, and several other rather interesting drinks can be ordered. My drink for the night was Apple Sour, basically fresh apple juice with sour plum in it, very refreshing. Fraps, cappuccino, and Thai ice tea were reportedly pretty good as well.

tuna wakame salad, golden needle salad
tuna wakame salad, golden needle salad

Dinner started out with a couple different types of salad. Tuna Wakame Salad (RM 23) comes with chunks of tuna cubes, avocado, and sesame in shoyu dressing, while Golden Needle Salad (RM 15) with tofu, avocado, broccoli, and wafu dressing.

Due to the pretty distinct taste of avocado, the two salads ended up more similar than different, but not in a bad way. I love the way they deep fried the string mushrooms, and if you were to choose a salad, I’d recommend the golden needle, tastes as good, and cheaper too.

tempura surprise, kabocha tempura
tempura surprise, kabocha tempura

Tempura Surprise (RM 15) is a dish with questionable usage of one of my favorite fish – seabass. The fish is wrapped in oba leaf, and then deep fried. It was a surprise alright, but not exactly in a commendable way. The combination did not work well even though I’m a fan of both major ingredients. I think they should re investigate this dish.

On the other hand, Kabocha Tempura (RM 8.50), or salted egg pumpkin tempura, fared much better. The pumpkin were delicious, and would scored even higher marks if those salted egg yolk sticks to the gourd better. I like it.

crab in wrap
crab in wrap – a maki with a hint of tropical influence

Most of us have tried Spider rolls, or soft shell crab maki in Japanese restaurants, this is PLOY’s interpretation with their Crab in Wrap (RM 28). Other than soft shell crab, avocado, sushi rice, and spicy kani, mango can be found in this roll.

To me, this is a perfect blend of Thai & Japanese influence, and one that works very well. I love the taste of Thai in the maki, very well executed.

magic puff - with goat cheese, truffle oil, and wild rocket
magic puff – with goat cheese, truffle oil, and wild rocket

Magic Puff (RM 32) does not come cheap, but it’s got truffle oil and goat cheese in the homemade crispy pastry with wild rocket. This is a dish that had to be consumed ASAP before the cheese melts into the pastry, and oh it tastes very good! Truffle oil, made all the difference, yums!

the godfather special, pasta from heaven, smoked duck breast with chicken ham pizza
the godfather special, pasta from heaven, smoked duck breast with chicken ham pizza

The trio of main dishes we shared were the Godfather Special (RM 22), Pasta from Heaven (RM 28), and Smoked Duck Breast with Chicken Ham Pizza (RM 28).

Godfather Special is a fancy name for a salmon ikura don with avocado, royu and nori (seaweed) in tempura flakes. The flakes gave it a crispy texture in an otherwise pretty average dish. It felt.. healthy.

Pasta from Heaven is angel hair spaghetti with sakura ebi (small shrimps) and flying fish roe  in truffle oil. Again, the truffle oil proved to be the salvation in this one, and I love angle hair pasta, so it worked for me. Though I’d love to have chunks of something else in it, like prawns or .. just something.

The pizza was awesome, I really loved the pizza! For RM 28 this is the real deal, plenty of real yummy duck breast on the really thin crust pizza with avocado sauce. The sprinkle of flying fish roe gave it that extra pop. It was delicious, if you love duck breast, you’ll absolutely enjoy this pizza. I wanted to have more!

sticky date pudding, durian panna cotta, creme caramel
sticky date pudding, durian panna cotta, creme caramel

When we thought the dinner was over, our host brought out these three types of desserts.

The sticky date pudding was alright, the creme caramel will satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth, but the durian panna cotta is what I really want to talk about.

It might look uninspiring, but the durian panna cotta was awesome. It’s rich, it’s pungent, and it’s an absolute must for anyone who even remotely like durian. It’s the stuff that should make some people go to PLOY just for the dessert. Try it!

Ivy, Haze, KY, chef Daniel, Marc, Hitomi and others having a good time
Ivy, Haze, KY, chef Daniel, Marc, Hitomi and others having a good time

So if you’re up to something slightly out of the ordinary, PLOY is a definitely a place to check out. While I can’t say that everything is awesome, there are quite a lot of bright spots in their latest menu. I would also say that prices are pretty competitive for the setting PLOY offers.

Thank you Lennie for the invites.

map to PLOY at Clearwater

Address:
PLOY
G-2, WORK@Clearwater,
Jalan Changkat Semantan,
Bukit Damansara, KL
GPS: 3.152327, 101.666762
Tel 03-2095 0999
Webploywithyourfood.com