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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Annual Archives / 2017

The name Isetan The Japan Store is often associated with very high end products as well as rather expensive price tags, but thankfully when it comes to their lower ground floor food offerings, the quality is still there, minus the overly crazy price tags.

The other day I took a detour and check out one of their many food stalls house within the departmental store’s grocery area and checked out Shoya Sushi Bar.

Shoya Sushi bar, at Isetan the Japan Store, Lot 10 KL
Shoya Sushi bar, at Isetan the Japan Store, Lot 10 KL

Shoya Sushi Bar takes up only maybe some 100 sq. foot of area and offers a relatively small menu consists mainly of sushi platter, hand rolls, and sushi don. A sushi don is priced from around RM 26.50 (Special Bara Chirashi Don) all the way to RM 90 (Omakase Shoya Kaisen Don), with nothing exceeding 3 digit price point.

We tried the Salmon and Salmon Ten-Don (RM 35) which came with four pieces of raw salmon as well as another four pieces of tempura salmon on a bowl of sushi rice. The salmon tempura required a little getting used to (slightly soggy texture), but the raw seafood was pretty fresh and tastes rather good.

Salmon and Salmon Ten-Don
Salmon and Salmon Ten-Don

I also decided to try one of their more expensive options on the menu – Chef’s selected sushi (special) priced at RM 85.

What came was a collection of sushi that really is right up there with some of the more expensive Japanese restaurants in terms of quality. There’s fatty tuna, tuna, squid, ikura, amaebi, salmon, yellowtail, mackerel, and tuna belly roll. I felt that this offers quite a good value despite its asking price.

Chef's selected sushi (special)
Chef’s selected sushi (special)

If you find yourself in Bukit Bintang craving for some good sushi, this place should be in your short list.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
Shoya Sushi Bar
Lower Ground Floor
ISETAN The Japan Store KL
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel:  03-2141 7777

Truth be told, beef isn’t exactly a staple in Chinese cuisine in the Northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Growing up in Penang I could probably count with one hand the number of beef serving hawker stalls there operating on the island at the time.

Luckily, when they do serve beef, it is often not disappointing. Case in point – the old beef noodle stall at Taxi Station in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

old taxi stand beef noodle, Sungai Petani, Kedah
old taxi stand beef noodle, Sungai Petani, Kedah

From what I can gather, this beef specialty stall is manned by Mr Tan, who is now over 80 years old. The stall was originally started by his father in 1950, with the current location now manned by him & the brother since 1974. Chances are most of the customers were not even alive yet when the first cow is scarified for this stall.

mixed beef soup with rice, or you can have it with noodle
mixed beef soup with rice, or you can have it with noodle

There main offering is beef slice, tripe, brisket, tendon, and beef ball (most often called mixed beef soup) to go with with noodle or if you’re hungry – rice. We opted for the latter when my brother brought me there for lunch some weeks back.

The old master definitely got everything all figured out, the soup is flavorful but not over powering, with the beef cooked just so and not overly done, the tendon was soft, and the garnish supporting the dish perfectly. I also enjoy their unique sambal condiment. Overall this was just a very pleasant dish to have, doubly so on a rainy day.

old school lunch, just what the doctor ordered
old school lunch, just what the doctor ordered

I recommend anyone who find themselves at Sungai Petani to give this a try, unless you don’t eat beef.

taxi station beef noodle at Sungai Petani map

Address:
Beef Noodle at Taxi Station
Bangunan PKNK,
12 A, Jalan Petri,
Taman Pekan Baru,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
GPS5.639290, 100.487675
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm

One of the earliest food post that I wrote on this site was about a certain laksa Sarawak in Bangsar way back in 2006, introduced to me then by my friend Lorna who hailed from East Malaysia.

Well, Lorna is still from East Malaysia, but t he very same stall – Aunty Christina’s laksa Sarawak, has now moved to its very own shop lot in Seapark, Petaling Jaya. I had the chance to stop by and grab a bowl for lunch a some weeks ago.

Aunty Christina's Laksa Sarawak, PJ Seapark
Aunty Christina’s Laksa Sarawak, PJ Seapark

The restaurant is now located along the same row of shops with KFC in PJ Sea Park, which means parking during busy periods can be a bit of a challenge to those who are impatience. However, the restaurant itself is cleaner and much more comfortable than the kopitiam it came from.

The menu too has been bumped up a bit. There’s now laksa with 2 king size prawns that goes for RM 20, there’s Hakka abacus seeds, kacangma (some sort of wine chicken), kolo mee, and even black pepper pork/chicken soup.

For the die-hards though, you can always opt for the old regular Laksa Sarawak at RM 9, with a choice of meehun, mee, or both.

original laksa sarawak, just like how they are supposed to be
original laksa sarawak, just like how they are supposed to be

I’m happy to report that while there’s been an upgrade to the price and ambiance, Aunty Christina’s laksa still remains true to it’s origin and tastes exactly the same as it did when I first tried it over ten years ago. There’s still the prawn, strips of chicken, shredded egg, bean sprout, and some greens as garnish. Still lovely as ever.

For the faithful, this is where you should go.

For everyone else, there’s also quite a few other laksa Sarawak places especially in PJ area to check out these days. The more the merrier.

map to aunty christina laksa

Address:
Aunty Christina
26, Jalan 21/19, Sea Park,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.109249, 101.622051
Tel016-315 3213

For many of us Malaysians, driving to work everyday is a ritual we’re all familiar with, and since we are also a country not particularly blessed with great parking situations, stopping by for breakfast can be a challenge. In fact, it is found that one in four Malaysians ended up skipping breakfast.

PETRONAS breakfast at only RM 5
PETRONAS breakfast at only RM 5

When it comes to breakfast, there are three things most of us look for:

  • accessibility – how am I going to get to that breakfast place?!
  • choice of food – what do they offer? will it be halal? how does it taste?
  • value – I don’t want to spend RM 10 just for breakfast!

 pick any combo of food & drinks to go
pick any combo of food & drinks to go

The good thing is, PETRONAS Mesra has got you covered in all three aspects.

  • accessibility: Many of will pass by a participating Kedai Mesra en route to work
  • choice of food: sandwich, nasi lemak, pulut, kuih, and more!
  • value: combination of main dish with a drink of canned milo or coffee for only RM 5!

choices!

If I’m on the go and have little time to spare, a combination of tuna sandwich and canned Milo is the way to go. Sandwich because I can actually even eat it in the car, and milo to give me that extra protein and feel good stomach.

If a little bit of Malaysian flavor is what I crave, the nasi lemak and coffee provides a great alternative. I’d tapao this and have it at the leisure of the office’s pantry when I get to work.

nasi lemak from Kedai Mesra

If you love pulut and a bit of curry, or some good old fashion Nyonya kuih, grab those instead. All for RM 5 per set.

You can find your nearest Kedai Mesra at http://www.mymesra.com.my/Promotions-@-Get_Breakfast_Combo_for_only_RM5!.aspx

So, remember, feed your stomach in the morning, and now there’s no excuse you can’t grab something filling before hitting the keyboard to start the day.

While Penang and Ipoh hawker food has been quite a staple in Klang Valley, what Sarawak has to offer has just recently enter a lot of street food lover’s radar. And when it comes to Sarawakian simple eats, none is more popular than a good old fashion bowl of Sarawak Laksa.

Update 18/9/2018: Moved to new location at Tin Ha Kopitiam

Update 2/4/2019: Moved to the shop opposite called I-Tea House

Restaurant NZX Food Court, at Ara Damansara
Restaurant NZX Food Court, at Ara Damansara

One of the latest places to offer a good bowl is the newly revived NZX at Ara Damansara. NZX, or Niuzexui, was once the latest and hippest commercial area in PJ when it first opened several years ago. There were Starbucks, Big Apple donuts (when it was at its peak), and many more. I mean, it had semi-outdoor air conditioning, the place was great.

The biggest issue around NZX though, was access roads. You had to go through a dodgy and often congested tunnel under NKVE to get there via Taman Emas in PJ.

The access has been sorted out since, and there’s even the Lembah Subang LRT station just a stone’s throw away, so it was prime that NZX is experiencing a bit of a revival of late.

proper Sarawak Laksa, with decent size prawns too
proper Sarawak Laksa, with decent size prawns too

Anyway, back onto the laksa Sarawak.

I was first notified about this place by one of the people who now manages the area, and after Anna Wong (a proper Sarawakian) gave her approval of this stall, I knew I had to give it a try.

And true to what the Sarawakian girl said, the laksa here was proper (at least to me). The soup was on point, and ingredients were rather generous. I also like the fact that they do not skimp on those prawns. It was quite a treat.

Penang char kuih teow here is decent as well
Penang char kuih teow here is decent as well

Oh, there are other stalls at this kopitiam as well. The char kuih teow I had on my first visit when the Sarawak stall sold out was pretty decent as well. I still need to try their kuih chap and other dishes.

nzx food court map