RA number of weeks ago I asked a friend who stayed at Taman Desa what is her favorite restaurants at the area, and Apple Samgyupsal was what she told me. I had meant to give it a visit but for one reason or the other did not manage to make it.
Fast forward a few weeks later, I got an invitation to do a review on their latest branch – Apple Samgyupsal at Jaya One, perfect.
Apple Samgyupsal Korean Restaurant at Jaya One
Located between Jaya One opposite the main entrance of The School, this is actually the biggest outlet of Apple Samgyupsal. Seating arrangement is semi-alfresco and in my opinion, perfectly suited for Korean BBQ restaurant.
The formula at Apple Samgyupsal is quite simple – you choose a set from the menu (available below), and it’ll come with unlimited side dishes and ramyeon (Korean instant noodle, for Apple Sharing Set & Apple King Set).
first, some side dishes and kimchi
The set starts with Apple Platter (RM 88) that comes with 120g Apple Samgyupsal (pork belly), 120g Apple Moksal (pork neck), Apple Hanjungsal (pork jowl). The meat is accompanied by apple wraps, tteok (rice cake), home made sauce, and apple salad.
There’s also BBQ Sharing Set (RM 168) for 3-4 pax and Apple Jumbo Set (RM 378) that’s good for 8 pax.
the various type of meat served, including my favorites – pork ribs
For the visit, we got to sample the Apple King Set which includes the best of everything, as our host explained. Other than the three cuts of meat mentioned above (Samgyupsal, Moksal, and Hanjungsal), there’s also the homemade sausage as well as Wang Galbi (King Ribs).
As the name suggests, the meat is marinated with apple sauce, then smoked and pre-baked before going on to the grill on the table at the restaurant. I was explained that this helps seal in the flavor and juice to ensure that the meat does not get too dry from the BBQ process.
apple marinated pork served with apple slices or vege
The BBQ is tended by the server who carefully ensure that they’re cooked perfectly and cut into serving size where you can then eat it with traditional lettuce or more interestingly, apple wraps.
The taste is rather unique and I thought sweetness from fresh apple does add an extra dimension to the experience.
Of all the cuts, my favorite has got to be their signature Apple Samgyupsal and Wang Galbi. Gotta love those fat layer and ribs.
joomuk bap and ramyeon
For carbs, we also tried their joomuk bap (RM 25), a rice ball dish that is loaded with plenty of seaweed. Something that I thought would make for very good on-the-go breakfast.
The unlimited ramyeon is also cooked on the spot with a little pot and stove so you can have it just the way you like them to be. They’re also not overly spicy, fortunately.
makgeolli with apple juice
As for drink, other than tea, we also had a go at the makgeolli (RM 28) that’s blended with extra fresh apple juice. It was quite sweet with the infusion of apple juice, and I thought tasted a little bit like a good cocktail that’s not overly alcoholic. It was just perfect for the afternoon.
Overall it was a great experience and definitely a restaurant that I would visit again.
Non-halal Japanese Ramen used to be a bit of a novelty in this country. For a long time, Wisma Central’s Tenka Daiichi and Ton Chan at Wisma Cosway were two of the few places that serves it.
Mai Ramen at Jaya One
But with the seemingly rapid maturity that Japanese cuisine enjoys in this country over the last decade or so, I’m glad that there are now more ramen shops that don’t feel like they have to make compromises to capture a wider demographic.
Mai Ramen is one of such places, a relatively new comer to the scene that serves ramen as intended – with pork!
chasiu ramen, always my go-to ramen of choice
I ordered basically the measuring stick of any ramen place – chasiu ramen. If you ask for a set, it comes with 3 pretty tasty gyoza, a somewhat forgettable salad, and some interesting salty+spicy vegetable on the side that goes pretty well with the ramen.
As for the bowl of ramen itself, it was certainly not a disappointment. The broth was pretty thick and flavorful, the noodle palatable, and the chasiu were commendable too. It was actually, quite good.
I think we might have over ordered..
Yuki had ramen that comes with unagi. The unagi sauce certainly made the eel tasted as good as any. The 3/4 boil egg in the ramen too were perfectly done. Good stuff.
The yakitori (grilled stuff) at Mai Ramen, on the other hand, were a pretty disappointing affair. They somehow tasted a little old and you don’t get the flavor and punch you’d expect from good yakitori such as those you can get from the excellent Sumi Ka or Hyotan at SS15.
Horng, Yuki, Kerol at Mai Ramen
A dinner at Mai Ramen would come to about RM 20-30 inclusive of drinks. The best ramen I’ve had in the region is still Santouka in Singapore, but Mai Ramen is certainly not a place to be dismissed if you’ve got that pork ramen craving coming. Now I just wish they don’t take nearly as long to serve…
D-13-G, Block D
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya GPS: 3.117537, 101.635680 Tel:03-7957-6689
In many ways, Korean food is like a bastard child of East Asian cuisine. With THE big brother Japanese food enjoying tremendous success around the world with a million types of Japanese restaurants from conveyor belt restaurants to ramen stalls to supermarket takeaway, Korean cuisine is still largely represented by Korean BBQ places.
Most Korean restaurants look the same, a hold in the middle of the table, with an exhaust vent extended from the ceiling. With such specifications and most foods involving BBQ meat with full service, Korean restaurants are also typically out of many young adult’s budget. It became a bit of a one-in-a-while cuisine, like Japanese food 20-30 years, or French food today (and most likely, forever.)
KimichiHaru at Jaya One, PJ
Then there’s KimchiHaru, a quaint little restaurant located at the slightly less glamourous corners of Jaya One. I actually discovered this little restaurant while making my rounds in the parking lot looking for a spot. The photos and menu on the outside looks enticing and reasonably priced, hence we went in for a quick lunch.
Sam Gye Tang and Beef Bulgogi set
A quick look at the menu revealed the usual Korean BBQ dishes – the chicken, pork, and beef bulgolgi, kimchi soup, fish/pork cutlet, and spring rolls too. We ordered Sam Gye Tang (chicken soup with ginseng, RM 23) and Beef Bulgogi (RM 23).
Instead of the unlimited supply of banchan (side dishes) found at full service Korean restaurants, we were served with 4 small portions of them with kimchi and salad too.
While the kimchi was a bit lackluster and the banchans we had were nothing to shout about, the sam gye tang turned out to be pretty decent, it was a quarter of a pretty good size chicken with the typical ingredients you find in such dish. I finished the soup too. Haze’s beef bulgogi was commendable too.
Haze and KY at KimchiHaru
To me, KimchiHaru represents a step in the right direction for Korean food in this country, with it’s affordable menu (weekday bibimbap at RM 9.80, lunch set at RM 17.80), clean and modern set up, it is sure to attract younger crowd that will graduate to appreciate Korean food.
Address: KimchiHaru No. 13-LG1 Block D, Jaya One, No 72A, Jalan University, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.118298,101.635294 Tel:03-7629 8020
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 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 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, 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
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.
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
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.
A couple Fridays ago, Eiling invited me to Cubes Chinese Restaurant at Jaya One for a food review session.
Jaya One is slowly becoming a pretty popular watering (and dining) hole in PJ, and it is not hard to see why. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering a wide variety of cuisines, and parking is relatively cheap and easy to find.
Cubes Chinese Restaurant
Yiling, Eiling’s sister, but not Ziling, (mystery of the EZY sister naming convention) and I reached the restaurant and had a good 20 minutes flipping through the menu and chatting before our Eiling finally arrived.
The interior decoration of the restaurant is modern, chic, very different from typical high end Chinese restaurants. We were greeted by the owner, Mr. Ang, who turned out to be a very friendly, funny, and fine host.
probably the best London Aromatic Duck….
So we got started with a serving of “probably the best London Aromatic Duck”. The server flossed the quarter duck confit to and we then wrapped the meat with very fine crepe, spring onion, julienned cucumber, and the special sauce. Their signature appetizer dish, and it was very yummy! Reminded me of the similar dish at Kensington, Seremban.
braised peanuts, juice, enzymes
Throughout dinner, we were served hot tea, a variety of interesting juices (vegetable juice anyone?); and since Eiling is a buddy of the restaurateur, we were also served the little shot glasses of “enzymes” which were fermented juice that tasted very close to being alcohol but not quite, it was pretty interesting. An acquired taste I must say.
double boiled soup, tofu with spinach and mushroom, tiger prawn with rice crisp
We then had the Double Boiled Scallops with Tong Sum Soup. The pork ribs, scallops, and herbs certainly works very well together to produce a very sweet and herbal tasting soup, I like it.
Tiger Prawn with Rice Crisp came next. The prawn itself was the size of my palm, deep fried in a way that still leave the meat very succulent. The pairing of rice crisp is to provide a different texture to the prawn.
Homemade Bean Curd with Spinach and Mushroom provided yet another dimension of taste that is typical of Chinese cuisine. Soft, smooth, and certainly not lacking in taste, the mushroom with it’s sauce and scallop bits certainly adds a bit of character to the otherwise plain tofu dish.
honey roasted pork ribs, stir fry lotus roots and celery, almond soup and black sesame tong yuen
The dish that was probably most amazing in the whole dinner was the Honey Roasted Pork Ribs. I mean, just look at it, a generous piece of ribs, doesn’t look anything more like a slab of char siew (bbq pork), but when you cut into the meat, ahh. The meat immediately breaks on impact and the aroma of that perfectly roasted pork come rushing out. It was really succulent and really, really tasty. This dish should not be missed.
We finally wrapped up the main course with Stir Fry Lotus Roots and Celery, the vegetable certainly provided a fresh change of taste from the seafood and meat. The lotus roots is prepared in two ways, deep fried and by normal stir frying. This provides a slightly different flavor, the deep fried version reminds me of deep fried bitter gourd you get in places like Kanna Curry House
Yiling, KY, and Eiling
After we were absolutely filled to the brim, Mr. Ang ordered us (and we denied at first) the Almond Soup with Black Sesame Glutinous Balls. I think the almond soup was a tad too thick and would personally prefer soya milk in this case, but the glutinous balls was very yummy. Reminded me of the version made by (well, reheated) Mellissa one particular night at Melbourne.
Overall, the dinner was only bested by the company at the table. Eiling and Yiling always made good company, and Mr. Ang, being a fantastic host, made the entire experience that much better. Price at Cubes would be slightly higher than your run-of-the-mill Chinese outlets, but the combination of food and ambiance made it all very worth it.
So if you’re looking for a finer Chinese cuisine not located in a 5-star hotel, this would be one of the very few places worth visiting.