Following the blog post on Abanico at Kota Kemuning, I was reminded that actually there was another iberico experience a few months ago back when we were in this “Recovery MCO” period when case number of Covid-19 was in the teens daily.. remember that feeling of hope before it all came crashing down again? Seemed like a long time ago isn’t it?
Anyway, the restaurant I want to talk about is Habanna Charbroiled Steakhouse at Taman Paramount, PJ.
Habanna at Taman Paramount, PJ
The unassuming restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from Loong Foong (great roast duck) and Shokudo Japanese curry. It’s been around for a while and for whatever reason, took me this long to finally paid a visit, and I’m glad I did finally give it a try.
The minimally decorated restaurant has an ambiance that matches its asking price. The menu has a healthy selection of burger, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, pasta, and even a few seafood entrees priced from just below RM 20 to around RM 30-50 range (see menu below).
Since porky “steakhouse” are hard to come by, we decided to check out their pork belly, and there’re two to choose from at Habanna if you’re into this fatty cut of pork. Unsurprisingly, we chose both.
Iberico Black Mama “IBM”
The two different pork belly entrees are Iberico Black Mama “IBM” (RM 33.90), and the cheaper Charbroiled Apple Belly “CAB” (RM 20.90). Both are essentially the same dish with a side of salad, some potato wedges, and apple dipping sauce, however, IBM uses the famed Iberico pork, while CAB is made from local pork belly.
As it turned out, both dishes were rather good to eat, the meat were grilled perfectly and had very good texture, they were also seasoned just right. Also as expected, the Iberico pork does carry a better texture due to it’s superior marbling (fat layers between meat) as compared to local pork.
Charbroiled Apple Belly “CAB”
The verdict is predictable, but when factor in prices, makes for slightly tougher decision. Iberico is some 60% more expensive but arguably maybe 30-40% tastier? A bit of a diminishing returns. That being said, the value offers at Habanna is an excellent one, and I should be back to try their other offerings.
When I was growing up in Penang, I remember there was a period of time where we’d head go grandm’s over the weekends and more often than not, having Hokkien Char for breakfast at the old shack right outside Weld Quay. That was how I developed a taste for this particular dish.
Ai Jiak Penang Food, PJ Seapark
Hokkien Char (福建炒) simply meant Hokkien style fried noodle in Penang. While sharing almost similar name as Hokkien Mee in KL, the two dishes are quite different from each other.
While KL’s favorite comes with thick, fat noodle drench in very dark sauce, Penang’s style is quite a lot lighter and usually done with yellow noodle and meehun. Additionally, the Hokkien Char sambal is often a lot hotter and less mushy.
Back to Ai Jiak Penang Food restaurant.
I’ve actually heard about this place when it was situated in the old location at the Chung Ling Alumni Association in Jalan Utara, KL (fun fact, I am from the same school), the restaurant has since moved to Seapark, directly opposite Public Bank.
The restaurant offers a few Penang classic dishes to go with rice, such as asam fish head, curry chicken, pineapple curry prawns, pork trotter vinegar, sambal petai prawns, and so forth.
Additionally, they also offer single serving dishes such as asam laksa, chee cheong fun, herbal chicken meesuah, and what I came here for – Hokkien char!
Penang style “Hokkien Char”
So is their Hokkien Char any good?
The answer is a resounding yes! To be perfectly honest, if you didn’t grow up having Hokkien Char, it may not be a dish that speaks to you, but if you love spicy sambal and a dish of fried noodle that’s not overly strong or starchy, you may want to give this a try.
Address: Ai Jiak Penang Food 9, Jalan 21/12, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: Tel: +6 011 2778 8428
Chee Cheong Fun is a dish that’s found in many places in Klang Valley. However, most versions here are of central region, where the sweet sauce is watery, or that they are served with curry, and most of the time, together with yong tau foo, which admittedly I’m also a fan of.
chee cheong fun stall at Restoran O&S
However, being from Penang, my favorite version of chee cheong fun is still the version served up north on the Pearl of the Orient – a version that’s ultra simple – just the rice noodle roll with sweet, thick, dark sauce that’s not entirely unlike rojak sauce, and then topped with sesame and fried shallots with a side of sambal. (edit: of course it’s also with prawn paste, this was something I failed to mention)
I also like mine still rolled instead of unwrapped (the usual way of serving)
While you get them readily on Penang island, my go to in Klang Valley is the little stall at Restoran O&S at Taman Paramount in Petaling Jaya.
For RM 2.60, I get my serving of proper chee cheong fun that hits all the spots. The sauce is thick & flavorful with a hint of peanut butter (perhaps?) and not overly sweet at the same time. The chee cheong fun itself too is soft and smooth as it should.
The restaurant gets busy over weekends, be prepared to share tables.
Those who’s been following this space for a while should know that I’m a huge fan of curry mee, but usually for me though, curry mee is the Penang version that comes with pork blood, prawns, santan broth, and those sambal with a charred note.
Curry Mee stall at Sun Fatt Kee, Seapark
However, being a food enthusiast with an open mind, I am always up to trying anything that is good, even tho certain dish may share the same name and hence, somehow has an unfair prejudice attached to it, from a cultural-location superiority complex basis.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is, there’s also awesome non-Penang curry mee. Especially this version at Sun Fatt Kee kopitiam, PJ Seapark.
The curry mee stall at this kopitiam has been serving up (according to many) the best curry mee this side of KL.
A bowl of this curry mee comes with your choice of noodle, perfectly prepared shredded chicken, tofu pok, long beans, bean sprouts, sambal, lime, and possibly the best cockles in any curry mee you’d find, from anywhere, and I don’t use the word “best” lightly.
curry mee with perfect cockles
Yes, a bowl cost RM 7, and yes, the portion isn’t big at all, but I’ll be damned if I don’t go over and order me another one pretty soon.
And this time I’ll make sure I get them with extra cockles!
I usually favors Penang style curry mee, but can’t say no to this one
I love myself a good afternoon snack, and when it comes to that, sometimes the options can be quite limited. There’s always the rojak, hipster cafe, and mamak, but if you want good old fashion Chinese snacks, well, they aren’t just as common. So it was quite refreshing to see that a such a place sprung up at Seapark recently by the name of Restoran Yuen Ting.
Restoran Yuen Ting, PJ Seapark
Yuen Ting is a bit of a throw back when it comes to a new restaurant, they offer old fashion deep fried Chinese pastry such as yutiao, ham chim peng, and a couple different soya bean products like soya bean drink and tofufar.
a selection of deep fried goodness & soya bean products
While the selection isn’t particularly extensive, the quality of product and value offered was more than decent. I liked that the soya bean drink has a bit of a gingery tint in the syrup supplied, which gives it a bit of extra complexity.
The taufoofar here is has a really smooth texture, a hallmark of any good taufoofar. Like the soya bean drinks, you can choose to have it with dark or normal sugar syrup, I almost always go for the dark version and did not make it an exception this time.
ham chim peng, soya drink, tofufar
Overall, I’d not hesitant to return for a good & comfortable afternoon snack. While there’s no air conditioning, fancy decoration, or even IKEA sofa, this place hold its own among the newer establishments in PJ, and it is one that I believe will stand up to the test of time better than others.
Address: Yuen Ting Restaurant
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS：3.109909, 101.621816