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Imbi Market (or Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang officially speaking) is fast becoming one of my favorite places for breakfast stop over. Today, we take a look at one of the more unique stalls within the market, bak kua bun (肉乾糆包).

Pork floss and bak kua (BBQ dried pork) bun used to be one of my favorite breakfast/snack dishes. When I was in high school there’s a mobile stall that often parked outside the side gate and I would sometimes have one right after school session is over. Unfortunately, there aren’t many such stalls here in Klang Valley, so I was rather happy to stumble onto this one.

bak kua bun, numerous choice of selection involving pork floss, bak kua, and eggs
bak kua bun, numerous choice of selection involving pork floss, bak kua, and eggs

There are three major ingredients available for your choosing at this stall – pork floss, bak kua, and eggs. The bun is by default, and the lady threw in a couple slices of cucumber for good measure too.

If you’re not a mathematics savant, here are the 8 combinations:

  • pork floss and bak kua bun – RM 2.50
  • pork floss and egg bun – RM 2.50
  • pork floos, bak kua, and egg bun – RM 3.20
  • bak kua and egg bun – RM 2.50
  • bak kua and bun – RM 2.00
  • pork floss and bun – RM 2.00
  • fried egg and bun – RM 2.00
  • bun only – RM 0.80

my breakfast had everything - bak kua, pork floss, and fried egg
my breakfast had everything – bak kua, pork floss, and fried egg

Of course, I chose the one with everything for breakfast. The combination of pork flooss, bak kua, that one simple fried egg and the cucumber was most excellent and a great way to start the morning.

The stall is situated opposite the main walkway across from Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea area, so you can’t order from the famous Hainan tea stall unless you tapao over. Then again, the other coffee stall isn’t bad at all either.

Here’s the short video shot on the same day:

map to Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)

Address:
Bak Kua Bun Stall (肉乾糆包)
Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)
Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664
Hours: breakfast and brunch

Ben’s is one of the latest restaurants to open on the 6th floor of Pavilion KL, replacing the ill fated Carat Club, as I suppose, the owner probably discovered that diamonds and food doesn’t necessarily go well together.

If you’ve just spent 2 month’s salary on a piece of carbon, chances are your appetite might not be very good.

Ben's at Pavilion, 6th floor
Ben’s at Pavilion, 6th floor

Ben’s is another restaurant under the BIG group, which also owns T Forty Two, Plan B, and such. Their website is at thebiggroup.co, yes a URL with .co and not .com.

Ben’s interior has it’s design cue from Delicious, there’s sofa and tea table both indoor and outdoor,  smallish dining tables and comfortable chairs. The outdoor area overlooks Jalan Bukit Bintang, giving it a nice city ambiance but without the exhaust fumes from cars on street level.

Spaghetti Pomodoro
Spaghetti Pomodoro with chunks of Pecorino Romano cheese

The menu at Ben’s is almost too extensive, you’ll most likely find yourself spending at least 5-10 minutes going through the listing of dishes on your first visit. I did the same, and finally settled on Spaghetti Pomodoro. A pretty simple pasta dish that turned out to be a delight, I love the chunks of Pecorino Romano cheese on it, and everything was just in the right balance – sauce, pasta, everything.

beef lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, portobello mushroom burger
beef lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, portobello mushroom burger

On the very next day, I went to Ben’s again, this time with Winnie & Horng.

Our orders took some 20 minutes to prepare, a pretty long wait for weekday lunch, but luckily it was worth it. The beef lasagna ordered by Horng was superb, packed with ample amount of cheese, beef, and cooked to perfection. You could cut it with just your spoon. The pickest eater gave his approval.

Winnie had spaghetti carbonara that did not disappoint. I’m not a big fan of cream based spaghetti but this one was pretty good when I had a bite. Of course, the chunks of romano cheese helps. 😀

wagyu beef pie
wagyu beef pie

I opted for the portobello mushroom burger. I first had this type of burger back in the States, and so far only very few places has this on the menu.

Instead of one huge mushroom, the burger had 2 slightly smaller one instead, sandwiched by 2 pieces of sourdough, cheese, and some greens. It was pretty good, but would be better with one giant mushroom and probably less healthy choices of bread instead, then again I’m nitpicking.

On another separate visit (this time on Saturday), Haze ordered the Wagyu beef pie for lunch. She love the beef, but thought the pastry was slightly too thick.

KY, Haze, Horng, Winnie
KY, Haze, Horng, Winnie

Main dishes at Ben’s are priced from just below RM 20 to RM 30 and up, with majority in the RM 20+ range.

Customer service is exemplary, case in point: Winnie found a single strand of eyelash on her pasta after eating 70% of the dish and informed the captain. The captain was very apologetic and offered her a dessert (we had the velvet cake, was good!), and on top of that, took the dish off the bill. We postulate that the eyelash probably belong to Winnie herself to begin with.

Now if only they can shorten the time it takes to serve those delicious dishes, this would be a perfect mid-range lunch option.

map to Pavilion KL

Address:

Ben’s (Another Bright Idea by BIG),
Level 6, Pavilion KL
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368

Lala is of course, is most commonly associated with the description of female who dresses up in horrible fashion with matching technicolor hair from the wrong decade, the male version would be addressed as ahbeng. They also tend to speak in the most accurate manglish (0.5% English, 10% Malay, 50% Chinese dialects, the rest unknown). The whole subculture is so amusing I wonder why there isn’t any PhD thesis written on it.

However, the lala we’re talking about today doesn’t walk on two feet with 4″ platform shoes. We’re talking about the favorite Malaysian shell fish found at many food courts and seafood restaurant, so lest I digress..

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
fat lala in kam heong style = best

It just occurred to me that I haven’t blogged about the best lala place despite having been eating there since before the inception of this blog, until I went there again a couple of weeks ago with IQG for a yum cha session, and again 2 days ago with Tock for dinner.

At this place, lala is typically served in two methods of cooking, “kam heong” and “shiong thong”. “kam heong”, with curry leaves, plenty of garlic and spicy curry sauce, is by far my favorite. The latter is a slightly soupy version with a lot less kick but most suitable for those who can’t handle hot food.

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
this place is actually a mamak strip

The thing I love about this place is that the lala is always rather big. The “kam heong” sauce packs a punch and the shell fish not overly done so it retains most of the juice. Imagine the spicy sauce in your mouth, and that sweet lala juice exploding into the mix when you bite on it. Simply irresistible. I mean, just look at the dude’s expression in the photos below. The sauce was so good Tock actually “sapu” it clean with the “chai kueh” from the other stall.

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
tock can’t get enough of the sauce!

The medium plate of lala costs RM 15, probably slightly on the more expensive side. However, I rather have this once than the others twice due to the quality on both taste as well as the size of the shell fish served. Simply second to none. Give it a try!

Video taken on 26th July, 2013 on a separate visit

Lala at Alisan, PJ SS4
alisan is just behind Perodua showroom at SS4

Address:
Jalan SS 2/4A,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.111388, 101.611133

The gwai lou was the one who suggested that we have this great curry fish head at Kampung Atap over the weekend, with Kelvin the walking encyclopedia of eating places in the Klang Valley leading the way.

Curry Fish Head at Kampung Atap, Kuala Lumpur
The place, the fish head, and Kelvin the connoisseur

The Kampung Atap curry fish head place (as it doesn’t seem to have a name) is hidden in the midst of the sprawl that is KL. Situated just a stone’s throw away from Jalan Syed Putra but yet not exactly easy to find. However, fear not, there’s the map at the end of the post. This establisment is operated by Mamak under the set up typical of such operations, tables under the roof with no luxury of air conditioning. However, there are plenty of trees surrounding the area making it a rather cozy environment.

We arrived at around 11:30am and it was just half an hour too early as the curry wasn’t ready yet. We could see the chefs cleaning quite a lot of fish heads of various sizes (big, bigger, enormous). We ordered a curry fish head for the four of us, three pieces of honey chicken (ayam madu), two rather large squid, and some bean sprout. Papadum and a dish consisting onion and green pepper soaked in soya sauce comes standard.

Curry Fish Head at Kampung Atap, Kuala Lumpur
papadum, bean sprout, honey chicken, curry squid

After having to smell the cooking for 30 minutes we were finally served with all the dishes. The fish head was the size of a tiger’s paw, and tasted very good. Curry flavour was strong yet not overly spicy. The fish was fresh too. Tau pok and okra accompanied the fish head as garnish.

The honey chicken (ayam madu) was the best I’ve had. The deep fried chicken is chopped and served seperatedly from the honey to ensure the texture remain crispy. The sweetness from honey and the slight saltiness from the chicken mixes very well. This is a must try item apart from the de facto curry fish head. The squid and bean sproud were pretty good, though not spectacular. We over ordered and wasn’t able to had to waste a big squid at the end..

Curry Fish Head at Kampung Atap, Kuala Lumpur
it was that good

As for price, this place doesn’t offer the cheapest mamak meal, but certainly one of the bests in terms of gastronomical satisfaction. The lunch costs us about RM 20 per person but it was well worth the price, certainly better than having KFC twice.

Short videos taken on 25th June, 2013

Map of Kampung Atap, Kuala Lumpur
Going to Kampung Atap from Federal Hwy (bottom), or Cheras (left)

This place opens for lunch, starting 12pm. I suggest you get there early as there might be a limited amount of fish head. When we left the place at 12:45 or so, the place was already packed.

GPS: 3.137259, 101.695676