Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / beef ribs

This blog is often criticized by many of my Muslim colleagues and friends for its lack of halal/pork free food content, well, here’s an entry that will perhaps right things a little. (wait, I do have a little less than 30% of my posts in this category, oh well..)

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a classy Malay restaurant hidden in the midst of the city for a food review – Songket restaurant.

Songkek restaurant at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Songket restaurant at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

Songket is actually a type of traditional Malay and Indonesian fabric that is hand woven in silk or cotton, and often with intricate gold or silver threads in them. In short, the restaurant, like the fabric, is one of class and quality.

Anyway, lets get on with the dishes!

satey & cucur udang, otak-otak, begedil
satey & cucur udang, otak-otak, begedil

We started out with appetizers, naturally.

There were satey ayam & daging (beef and chicken satey, RM 18) that is served with peanut sauce and some raw onion, cucumber, and ketupat, just like how they’re supposed to be. The meat were marinated properly, succulent and void of impurities like hard tendon or chicken skin, tasty.

Then there’s cucur udang (prawn fritters, RM 10) in light batter and home made chili sauce with a kick. I was happy that they also serve Northern style otak-otak (steamed fish cake, RM 12) with generous amount of seafood in it.

My favorite appetizer of the night though, has gotta be the begedil (deep fried potato cutlet RM 10) – it is basically deep fried mashed up potato with chicken (or meat). A little sweet, a little savory, and positively brilliant!

kerabu mangga, ayam sambal petai, ayam lemak asam gelugur
kerabu mangga, ayam sambal petai, ayam lemak asam gelugur

Kerabu mangga (raw mango salad, RM 12) is another Northern dish that is very similar to those found in Thailand, certainly appetizing.

I like the way they prepare the petai by splitting them into half and taking away the centre stem for the ayam sambal petai (chicken with bitter beans, RM 28) dish. Personally though, I still think that petai goes better with seafood instead of chicken, but this dish was actually not bad.

Ayam lemak asam gelugur (chicken with tumeric, coconut milk, curry gravy, RM 23) is a light curry dish that I thought could use a little more kick, I suppose this has to do with catering tourists, you should be able to ask for hotter version if only you ask.

nasi minyak, pandan nasi lemak, nasi kerabu
nasi minyak, pandan nasi lemak, nasi kerabu

We sampled 3 types of rice at Songket, the nasi minyak (oily rice, RM 6) goes well with curry dishes, pandan nasi lemak (RM 6) is aromatic with a light pandan taste, and nasi kerabu (rice with herbs and vegetables, RM 8 ) can almost be eaten just by its own. I would recommend any of these over the normal steamed rice.

ikan siakap masak manis, pucuk paku goreng, kari udang raja
ikan siakap masak manis, pucuk paku goreng, kari udang raja

Ikan siakap masak manis (sweet style barramundi, RM 60) definitely tastes like a traditional Malay dish, the fish was fresh, and tomato, chili, onion, and other ingredients complimented the seafood perfectly, I like it.

My favorite dish of the day though, has gotta be pucuk paku goreng (stir fry wild fern, RM 12), the texture of fern and its taste are something that can’t be substituted by another vegetable. Chili, garlic, shallots, and a few shrimps made up the rest of this fabulous dish. This is a must-order.

For those who wants the ultra luxurious dish, there’s the kari udang raja (king prawn in curry, RM 75). The prawns were definitely huge, and there were some eggplants to go with in the rich, thick, curry.

rusuk panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs)
rusuk panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs)

Rusuk Panggang (chargrilled marinated short ribs, RM 60) is dish not to be missed by any meat lovers. The marinate as well as the grilling were perfect. As a result, the ribs were really tender to the point where you can cut it just by using the spoon. The flavor too were absolutely marvelous. Best of all, this is served with the same begedil that I really like.

durian tiramisu, sago gula melaka, pandan pudding
durian tiramisu, sago gula melaka, pandan pudding

Then it was time for desserts.

For the durian lovers, you must not miss the durian tiramisu (RM 15), rich, creamy, and full with that unmistakable durian aroma that will probably prevent you from taking this to your hotel room.

The sago gula melaka (RM 10) is a classic, with plenty of sago swimming in coconut milk and palm sugar beneath it, another rich dessert. Pandan pudding (RM 10) is well, a pandan infused pudding with palm sugar. After the other two desserts, this one came across without much excitement for me.

traditional dance, KY & Haze at Songkek restaurant
traditional dance, KY & Haze at Songket restaurant

Songket is not just about food, if you stay a little longer on Mon-Sat, by 9pm there are traditional dance performances of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and native origins. A pretty cool show especially if you happen to have foreigner friends.

The prices at Songket is definitely a little on the high side, but the food quality, ambiance, and all the extras that were thrown in definitely make this a place worthy of a visit especially if you’re looking for fine Malay cuisine.

map to songkek restaurant

Address:Songket Restaurant & Bar
29 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162557, 101.714998
Tel: 03 2161 3331


Before heading to Malones for a food review session, I had somehow cooked dinner for 5 days in a row, which must be a record. The review session came as a nice break from doing the dishes, so it was all good. 😀

This review is in conjunction to Malones’ St. Patrick dishes, which suddenly reminds me that we are already in March, 2011! I was still trying to write 2010 on my notepad…

Malones at Sooka Sentral, just across from KL Sentral
Malones at Sooka Sentral, just across from KL Sentral

Since Sooka Sentral is just right across the street from KL Sentral Suanie and I took the train there, it was RM 2.00 well spent, no getting stuck in traffic jam, best.

Malones is its own building, surrounded by high rise office towers with the LRT line zipping right next to it, giving the place a very metro feel while devoid of cars, I like. We were greeted by the friendly Hui Peng of G2, and May of Malones (who also invited me to EEST while at her previous job.)

Guinness infused beef stew
Guinness infused beef stew

First dish to come was the Guinness infused Beef Stew (RM 29.90), and yes, it was my favorite dish of the night. The beef was very tender and with a strong hint of Guinness flavor in the savory sauce. The vegetable in the stew was done just right too, it didn’t take the slightest of pressure to bite the carrot and celery that are both well flavored.

Guinness infused sausages and burger
Guinness infused sausages and burger

Then we had Irish Sausage on Colcannon and Guinnness Onion Gravy (RM 30.90), they are made of chicken, lamb, and beef. Calcannon is basically mash potato with cabbage, a traditional Irish dish. I like the chicken & beef sausages more than the lamb, and they do go better with a tad of mustard. It was also the first time I had calcannon, and I like it!

Guinness Beef Burger (RM24.90) came with a super thick beef patty that’s marinated with Guinness, then cooked to perfection with melted cheese on top. Sumptuous, almost too rich, but  absolutely satisfying.

Guinness infused beef ribs, sooo good!
Guinness infused beef ribs, sooo good!

Last dish for the night was Malones Beef Ribs with Guinness Sauce (RM 29.90). I am usually not a very big beef rib fan (preferring pork, of course, but Malones is pork free, in fact, the only pork free Irish pubs in town), but the XL size beef rib (yah, singular) was actually very impressive.

It was so tender and easily cut even just with spoons, absolutely delicious!

Suanie, KY, May, Hui Peng, Jason, Tock
Suanie, KY, May, Hui Peng, Jason, Tock

Jason and Tock were the other two bloggers, and we had a good time catching up. Tock and I play futsal occasionally (he’s supposed to be a regular but the fella always ffk), and Jason just moved to KL from Malacca not long ago.

The menu is available now, and on St. Patrick’s day, Malones have a special deal whereby for RM 99, you get on the St Patrick’s Bus Tour that takes you to four different locations, with food & drinks at and on the way, pretty sweet deal I think! Do check it out ya!


map to Sooka Sentral

Annex 1 & 2 Sooka Sentral
Jalan Stesen Sentral 5
50470 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.13365, 101.68511

It all got started when Larry of Frontera sent me an email that titled “Ready for some real Tex-Mex?” a few weeks ago.

Having spent quite a number of years in the States, I was quite eager to give this place a try. It had been a very long time since I had any Mexican food, let alone the more unique Tex-Mex, so Mellissa and paid Larry a visit a couple weekends ago.

Frontera TexMex restaurant
Frontera Tex Mex restaurant with owner Larry

Frontera is located at Jaya One, a place that is fast becoming a very trendy watering hole in PJ. There are dozens of eateries offering a wide variety of choices from fast food chains, cafes, Chinese restaurants, pubs, and of course, a Tex-Mex outlet.

Larry greeted us warmly and we took a seat at the bar. The restaurant is decorated in typical sports bar concept that is not very different from the likes of Chili’s. Nothing to shout about, but it was clean and comfortable.

habanero, jalapeno pepper, mexican oregano
Habanero and Jalapeno peppers, Mexican Oregano

Larry is a man who appears to be very passionate about his food, from the moment we sat down, the Texan went into in depth discussions about the ingredients, recipe, origin, and basically almost everything about the dishes we were served.

Everything here is done according to the way Larry learned from back home, and it all starts out with the ingredients. I had recently noticed that some Cold Storage outlets are carrying jalapeno and habanaro peppers (love the former, didn’t miss the latter), and apparently Frontera is the reason behind it. Larry was the one who initiated the import of the peppers that eventually found its way to the grocer.

chips and salsa, nachos, taquito de pollo
chips and salsa, Frontera nachos, Taquitos de Pollo

We got started with chips and salsa (RM 8.95), they used to offer this for free so long as you order drinks, but apparently Malaysian can’t handle free chips and will inadvertently start to abuse it (as in come in, order a beer and have free chips all night long). Despite knowing we will have a lot to eat in the session, we finished the chips anyhow. The salsa was just too good.

Two classic Tex-Mex dishes came next, nachos (RM 22.95) and taquitos de pollo (RM 19.95). The nachos aren’t the typical messy type that you get at cinemas (for example, at Gardens), individual tortilla chip covered with melted cheese and a slice of marinated jalapeno pepper on top with some sour cream, lettuce and tomato at the center. Very authentic and nicely presented.

The taquito de pollo is something that looks like a love letter (pastry) but with the texture that is closer to deep fried spring role. The rolled up tortilla with chicken was very delicious with the spicy homemade jalapeno salsa, I would have eaten more than just one if Larry didn’t keep bringing out other dishes.

BBQ beef ribs, Frontera burger, Chili Con Carne
BBQ beef ribs, Frontera burger, chili con carne

The BBQ beef ribs priced at RM 49.95 is one of the most expensive dishes you can find at Frontera. I do like the BBQ sauce that goes with it, but ultimately, it is no pork. I personally prefer the pork ribs at Tony Roma’s (in Bangkok) over this. If you’re a beef ribs person, I suppose there would be no complains.

The Frontera burger (RM 15.95) is a great value that beats the Carl’s Jr. equivalent by miles. A good size beef patty with cheese and chili in between the buns that goes so well with mustard for some kicks.

My favorite dishes of the session was the unassuming Chili con carne (RM 8.95, RM 16.95). I lived in the hometown of Skyline Chili at Cincinnati for a year and chili was a taste I had acquired there. The chili here was the best I’ve tasted, there’s no beans, plenty of beef and the flavor of jalapeno, onion, and garlic all mixed together. This would be something I’ll order when I go there again.

beef enchiladas, golden chicken tenders
new menu item, beef enchiladas, golden chicken fingers

The spring roll look alike dish in the collage above should be ignored, it is an experimental dish that might be part of the new menu that is in works. I can’t remember the name of it but it was something that tasted pretty good (especially with the sauce).

Enchilada is another popular dish at any Tex-Mex restaurants. The beef enchiladas (RM 28.95) we had tasted every bit like how an enchilada should taste like. Rich and flavorful.

And as if we haven’t been wasting too much food, Larry brought out the chicken tenders (RM 16.95) just because I told him I like honey mustard sauce and they are so hard to come by around here. The home made sauce made me want to cry, it was the long lost taste (from the sauce with McD’s nugget in USA) that finally found it’s way back, except 10x better. *slurps*

Don Julio and Patron tequila, margarita, XO cafe coffee liqueur
Don Julio and Patron tequila, margarita, XO cafe coffee liqueur

We were also served margaritas that’s made with premium tequilas including Don Julio and Patron (made with 100% agave plant). They tasted great, and maybe a tad too strong for me. We were also half-forced into taking a shot of Patron XO cafe coffee liqueur. It is a strange mix of strong coffee and tequila taste that somehow worked together very well. Saying that it tastes similar to Kahlua would be unfair, but that is the only description i could come up with.

Frontera Bar and Grill is located at ground floor, Jaya One

We chatted with Larry about a lot of other things too, it was a very enjoyable food review session. I headed back with a stomach that is so full and ended up skipping dinner for the day.

If you’re into authentic Tex-Mex food, give this place a try. After all the Mexican embassy has already made this place one of their favorite restaurants.

Frontera Bar & Grill
18-G-2, Block L,
Palm Square Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.118298, 101.635294
Tel: 03-7958 8515