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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / October 2013

Tucked right next to the Philippines embassy and just a stone’s throw away from Pavilion and the KLCC Convention is Maison Francaise, an elegant French restaurant situated in what was formerly a bungalow.

Dining area is separated in a few areas that used to be patio, living room, pool side, and so forth. Art works, white tablecloths, leather seats, fresh flowers; decoration is simple yet classy.

Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng
Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng

Being at the less glamorous of KLCC area has its benefits, you can get here without having to go through any traffic bottle necks, and you never have to park your car more than a few steps away from the restaurant.

While dinner session is usually pretty busy, as the manager and chef mentioned, Maison Francaise is usually pretty quiet over lunch. So for this session, we sampled the lunch set priced at at RM59++ for 2-courses or RM75++ for 3-courses.

amuse bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon
amuse-bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon

Even though it is a set lunch, we still started out with amuse-bouche, a bite size pre-appetizer selected and prepared by the chef. The in-house smoked salmon isn’t anything fancy, but carries a delicate smoky taste which we like.

duck pate, home-made mushroom soup
duck pate, home-made mushroom soup

The lunch menu may change from time to time and usually carries a couple different options for each course.

Appetizer was between duck pate with truffle and walnut dressing and mushroom soup finishing with truffle oil and whipping cream.

The pate, with its inclusion of walnut dressing, is a little drier than your normal pan-fried duck liver, and should delight fans of this appetizer. Mushroom soup was beautiful, creamy, and those truffle oil really gave it an extra dimension which we love.

leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus
leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus

Main course was either fish or beef.

The fish option was leather jacket with green olives and garlic, braised fennel. The seasoning was perfect with accompanying vegetables positively enhanced the seafood.

The slow cooked Angus beef, an “oyster blade” cut, is meticulously prepared in seven hours cooking. The result is a piece of meat that’s so tender you can cut it with just using the fork. The flavour of the meat is not lost, and the supporting cast of root vegetables complimented the dish beautifully.

raspberry mousse temptation
raspberry mousse temptation

To conclude the lunch set was the dessert in the form of raspberry mousse temptation, a cacophony of sour, sweet, and very rich creamy taste. I particularly like the tiny bulbs of raspberry “bubbles” that pops in your mouth.

Haze & KY at Maison Francaise
Haze & KY at Maison Francaise 

Maison Francaise is a pork free establishment that carries a good wine and champagne selection, the restaurant also serves liqueurs and espresso coffee.

I want to go back again.

map to Maison Franciaise at Changkat Kia Peng

Address:
Maison Francaise
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng 
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200
Webmaisonfrancaise.com.my

Breakfast is of course, the most important meal of the day, so I usually make it a point to wake up a little earlier to feed myself before heading to the office.

Riding to work enable me to have quite a lot of flexibility when it comes trying out new places for breakfast, and for a while, Pudu, or more specifically, the area behind Berjaya Times Square was the where I was exploring. Here are four different places with four hawker offerings I find worthy of repeated  visits.

All of these places operate from before 8 am and most have been in business for decades.

Hakka noodle at Jalan Sayur, brisk business in the morning
Hakka noodle at Jalan Sayur

The Hakka noodle at Jalan Sayur is originated from Dabu county, a district of Meizhou, Guangdong Province of China, center of Hakka culture. The noodle comes with a side of wantan soup and serves with minced pork, chasiu, and vegetable.

The minced pork is the key ingredient here that some prefer over the chasiu, but I like the varying texture provide by both types of meat. Business is brisk in the morning, table sharing is common.

“Da Bu Mien” (大埔面) | Jalan Sayur, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur | Hours: breakfast to late lunch

wantan mee at restaurant good friend
wantan mee at restaurant good friend

For those who loves a plate of old school wantan mee, the stall at Restaurant Good Friend is a definitely a place worth visiting. The ingredients is similar to the Hakka noodle above, but they do taste rather different.

The noodle is springy, wantan delicious, and it is every bit a great execution of wantan mee if you’re a fan of one. There’s even a bit of fried pork lard as well, one of my favorite ingredients in any food.

The guy manning the stall looks to be at least in his late 60s of 70s, and I’m guessing he’s been doing this for a long time.

Wantan Mee @ Restaurant Good Friend | Jalan Brunei (behind Caltex), Pudu, Kuala Lumpur) |Hours: breakfast to lunch

Seremban style pork noodle at Lorong Brunei
Seremban style pork noodle at Lorong Brunei 2

At the corner of Lorong Brunei 2 and Jalan 1/77C, you’ll find a pretty old school shack under a tree that offers something pretty unique – Seremban style pork ball noodle.

Like most other pork ball noodle, there’s a choice for dry or soupy version. There’s the home made pork balls, ‘fuchok’, and your choice of noodle. What you also get here is the rather interesting chili flakes on top of the noodle that gave it a very different kick. Those who loves spicy food will enjoy this a lot.

Seremban Pork Noodle | Lorong Brunei 2 & Jalan 1/77C, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur | 016-396 8976 | Hours: breakfast to lunch

pork noodle at restaurant Yuyi
pork noodle at restaurant Yuyi

For those who prefers a bowl of pork noodle with everything thrown in, the pork noodle stall at Yuyi kopitiam is the one to go.

Pork slices, minced pork, coagulated blood, liver, intestine, and even pork kidney are all available. I also love the fact that they serve meesuah in addition with your usual choices of yellow noodle, meehun, and kuih teow. The only down side at this place is the wait time. If you can’t afford to wait for at least 15-20+ minutes, this place isn’t for you, and they probably have too many customers to handle anyway. It is very delicious though!

Pork Noodle at Restaurant Yuyi | Jalan Brunei & Lorong Brunei 2, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur | Hours: breakfast to lunch

A couple weeks ago I attended an event that has a slightly different twist to it.

Instead of promoting a certain product or service, PHILIPS introduced us to something with a tittle Innovation That Matters to You.

Philips Meaningful Innovation event at BSC
Philips Meaningful Innovation event at BSC

Now this has nothing to do with any cookware, lights, or electrical products from Philips at all. It is a call-to-action campaign that reflects the company’s commitment to improve the quality of life with innovative ideas that matters to the people. People like you and me.

To best illustrate what this project is about, check out this short youtube video below:

Philips believe that if we come together and contribute ideas and solutions that contribute to produce solutions for better living, good things will happen. But ideas can mean so many things, so they’ve narrowed it down to two distinct guidelines:

  • Create healthier homes for you and your family
  • Create safer roads and safer cities

Keywords being healthier and safer. Also, ideas that benefit a bigger population and with sustainability would be better than the one and done or something that benefits only a small group of people.

Philips Meaningful Innovation event
Listen, Co-Create, Deliver

The way to achieve this is a pretty straight forward 4-part process:

  1.  Contribute your idea for healthier homes and safer cities.
  2.  Six Ideas will be shortlisted by the Innovation that Matters to You campaign experts.
  3.  Take the initiative to share your favourite idea with others to garner support.
  4. One winning idea, as voted by you, a Malaysian, will be implemented by Philips.

So basically we come up with the ideas, 6 will be shortlisted, and then the highest voted ideas will be implemented by Philips to benefit us. I think this is definitely CSR done right.

One of the past ideas that was chosen and implemented by Philips was the installation of LED lights on bus stops to improve safety of those who utilizes public transport at night.

From now until the 14th of November, 2013. Log into  http://philips.to/innovationMY and submit your ideas on how to address issues in either one of the two categories.

Should your idea gets voted to the top, it’ll be implemented by Philips and benefits the masses. Furthermore, there’s also a chance to win prizes up to RM 5,000.

  • The Grand Prize – 1 unit of Philips Viva Collection Airfryer and 1 unit of Philips Viva Collection ME Computerized Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Consolation Prizes – 1 unit of Philips Living Colors Bloom Black and I unit of Philips RaGa MP3 Player

customary group photos
customary group photos for #meaningfulinnovation

I submitted the idea that we should put bicycle racks at public transportation hubs such as LRT stations that are well lit so that people can safely lock their bicycles. This encourages healthier lifestyle with cycling as a form of commuting, and a bit of safety too with it being well lit and a proper place to lock the  bicycle.

What’s your meaningful innovative idea? Share it now at http://philips.to/innovationMY, and together we make a difference!

While most bak kut teh connoisseurs will tell you that the best bak kut teh dishes are from Klang, I believe that there exists many good quality stalls and restaurants offering the same dish outside of its place of origin. Not too long ago, we went to Kg. Chempaka in PJ to try out one of the newer places in town by the name of Hou Siang.

update 16-1-2015: unfortunately this place is now closed

Hau Siang bak kut teh at Kg. Chempaka
Hau Siang bak kut teh at Kg. Chempaka

There is Klang and Teochew style bak kut teh, the former being stronger tasting, and the latter slightly sweeter and less herbal. Hou Siang bak kut teh advertised to be of 100% Klang.

The bak kut teh stall is located within the kopitiam that shares the same name. There’s no air conditioning or table cloth, and thankfully, the food was as unpretentious as the restaurant.

a no nonsense clay pot of bak kut teh
a no nonsense clay pot of bak kut teh

A big clay pot of bak kut teh here is good enough to share among 5-6 people. There’s the signature “big bone” with plenty of collagen & tendon, fatty meat, intestine, ribs, and pork knuckle too. It is really a no nonsense serving of bak kut teh,  other than pork, bone, and soup (essentially the definition of bak kut teh,) there’s no other ingredients.

While the soup isn’t the most fragrant of strongest I’ve tasted, it is actually still very good, probably one of the better versions outside Klang.

extra tofu and innards to complete the meal
extra tofu and innards to complete the meal

Tofu, yau char kuai, extra innards, and other ingredients can be ordered as sides, and I really like the way they serve extra soup on separate bowls for everyone and refills them constantly. I hate it when bak kut teh places are stingy with their soup, this place definitely do it right.

Shiang demonstrate exactly how big the clay pot is
Shiang demonstrate exactly how big the clay pot is

Our lunch came up to be around RM 20 per person, which includes Chinese tea and plenty of pork for the day. If you’re looking for a very decent bak kut teh place around PJ, this is one place to check out.

Address:
Hau Siang Bak Kut Teh
No 496, Jalan PJU 1/6,
Kampung Cempaka
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117291, 101.599030
Tel016-928 7691

A good restaurant to a resort is like a good sound system to a cinema. While not always the centrepiece of the overall experience, good in-house restaurants often enhance the overall experience during a stay.

For The Datai Langkawi, there are four different on-location restaurants within the confine of the luxury five class establishment – The Beach Club, Gulai House, The Dining Room, and The Thai Pavilion.

All four restaurants offer quality food, making travelling out of the resort for food unnecessary. This is especially important for The Datai since the location of the resort is quite far away from Kuah, Langkawi’s main town.

The Beach Club, by the second pool
The Beach Club, by the second pool and beach

Our first meal at The Datai was at The Beach Club, appropriately located by the beach and the second swimming pool. On foot it’s about a 10-15 minutes’ scenic walk from the main entrance of the hotel, free buggy service’s available as well.

The Beach Club is a strictly open air restaurant, with most tables and comfortable huge chairs under the roof, with some outside if you prefer a little bit of sun.

pizza, surf & turf, bruschetta with mozzarella, wat tan hor, ice cream
pizza, surf & turf, bruschetta with mozzarella, wat tan hor, ice cream

The menu comprises the best from East and West. The four of us shared the following dishes:

  • bruschetta topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and olives. 46
  • langkawi prawn, lemongrass, mushroom, corinader, chili, lime pizza. 65
  • surf & turf, black angus strip loin with tiger prawn, vegetable medley, barbeque sauce. 87
  • wat tan hor with king prawns and seafood (chef’s special)
  • stir fry chicken with thai basil. 56
  • home made ice cream. 14

The western affairs were well executed, with the thin crust pizza particularly delicious. Wat tan hor too were surprisingly tasty, benefiting from the fresh seafood in the list of ingredients.

The Dining Room serves lunch and dinner.

The Gulai House, premier restaurant of The Datai Langkawi
The Gulai House, premier restaurant of The Datai Langkawi

The premier restaurant at The Datai Langkawi is Gulai House.

Many luxury five star resorts in Malaysia have premier restaurants serving foreign cuisines such as French, Japanese, Cantonese, Italian, and so forth. So I was more than happy to see that Datai took the initiative to make Malaysia proud by serving something closer to home. A great way to introduce our local cuisine to many visitors from all around the world.

mango salad, sup ayam, soft shell crab, aloo gobi, grilled cuttle fish
mango salad, sup ayam, soft shell crab, aloo gobi, grilled cuttle fish

The Gulai House is located not far from the Beach Club and best accessed via a buggy. The restaurant has both indoor as well as alfresco dining area, the latter provides great ambiance only unless it’s rainy heavily or if it’s a particularly hot night. Gulai House is only open for dinner.

Our dinner was determined by the chef, a degustation affair if you like. Our menu was written on a piece of huge dried leaf picked from the forest, a unique approach to personalization and one that is tastefully done.

tiger prawns, grilled garupa, lobster, skewered boneless chicken, prata, kuih
tiger prawns, grilled garupa, lobster, skewered boneless chicken, prata, kuih

We had mango salad, sup ayam (chicken soup), deep fried soft shell crab, aloo gobi (cauliflower & potato with spices), grilled cuttle fish, grilled tiger prawns, grilled fish, skewered boneless chicken, prata bread, nasi briyani (rice), and even lobster that’s prepared with both grilling and frying techniques.

It was an absolute feast and we stuffed ourselves silly. Food was authentic with ingredients of quality, very hard to find any fault.

Prices is seasonal and depends on weight of ingredients. As with every facet of Datai, it is with a bit of a premium, but you do get what you pay for, including excellent service.

champagne breakfast at The Dining Room
champagne breakfast at The Dining Room

Breakfast is usually served at The Dining Room, located by the main swimming pool, just below the resort reception.

Much like most international breakfasts, the menu changes a little bit everyday, but with the core items such as juices, the egg station, fruit & salad bar and such always presence.

I enjoyed the cold cuts, smoked salmon, and noodle soup. Of course, there’s also the free flowing champagne to jump start your day, everyday! The dining room also serves lunch and dinner.

classic Thai cuisine at The Thai Pavilion
classic Thai cuisine at The Pavilion

During our second and final night at The Datai, we had dinner at The Pavilion, which was also the location where we learned to cook tomyam and drunken prawn dishes.

For dinner, we had crispy soft shell crab with Thai chili oil, green curry chicken, seasonal vegetable with oyster sauce, deep fried snapper with chili and soya sauce, and of course, tomyam prawns. It was a spicy, strong tasting, and very satisfying, like a good Thai dinner is supposed to be.

We also concluded the meal with mango on sticky rice.

The Pavilion is open for dinner only.

I miss this resort already, when we can return?

Address:
The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Datai, Teluk Datai, 
07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Tel:+60 4-959 2500
Webwww.dataihotels.com
FBThe Datai Langkawi
Reservationreservationsdatailangkawi@dataihotels.com