For those who fancy a good bowl of Penang kuih teow soup, there’s now another challenger in Ara Damansara at the kopitiam by the name of Restoran Tien Tien Lai.
Tien Tien Lai kopitiam
Interestingly, I was told about this kopitiam by my mom when she was staying with me for a couple of weeks during the times when Covid-19 seems to be more rampant up North (things has reversed since…). It was a recommendation by one of her friends. When older folks recommends places to eat, more often than not, they’re right.
The kuih teow soup stall in this restaurant offers both kuih teow soup as well as asam laksa. The latter looks pretty good with big chunks of fish in the soup, but I did not try as my love for kuih teow soup usually surpasses asam laksa.
look at those coagulated blood in kuih teow soup!
The KTS here comes with the usual ingredients of sliced pork, chicken, fish ball, fish cake, spring onion, bean sprouts, and even two of my favorites – coagulated blood and fried pork lard! The combination proved to be as good as I expected, with soup that’s not overpowering, making for a comfort meal suitable at any time.
This is only the second kuih teow soup place in Klang Valley that I know of offering coagulated blood, the other being at O&S kopitiam in PJ.
mom didn’t look impressed in this pic but she did like the KTS!
There’s a stall offering superb chasiu as well, and I will soon talk about another very good dish here – yam rice. Stay tuned.
And yes, this is a kopitiam worth visiting for sure.
Address: Tien Tien Lai kopitiam Ara Permata, 33, Jalan PJU 1a/42, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.117288, 101.587120 Hours: breakfasts
Yam Rice is something of a specialty that’s often forgotten when it comes to Penang food, for one, it is not exactly a famous dish from the island, but rather on the mainland. Additionally, it is also a little bit difficult to call it a “hawker food” as this is more of a full blown meal best had for lunch or even dinner.
But alas, for those who loves pork, yam, or both, this is definitely a must-try if you find yourself by the lesser known half sister of Penang island – mainland Penang.
Chai Leng Park yam rice at Chip Heng kopitiam
When it comes to yam rice, the go to place is Chai Leng Park at Seberang Jaya, a stone’s throw away from the infamous Penang Megamall, once the biggest shopping complex in Penang, and I believe the first to have had an ice skating rink in Northern area.
In fact, there is more than one shop offering yam rice in Chai Leng Park, each serving its own customer base. My mom’s favorite is the one at Chip Heng kopitiam, so that’s where we went.
My last visit here was over 20 years ago with my late dad, a quick lunch detoured from buying tractor parts at a shop around the area. There’s definitely a sense of nostalgia for me. Things at Sebarang Jaya does seem to change little after all these years.
For mom and I (later joined by an uncle), we ordered a big bowl of mixed pork soup, a side of braised tofu and egg, and a tiny bowl of braised trotter for lunch. These were of course, accompanied by their famous yam rice.
The soup has a sourish undertone brought on by those salted vegetable, with generous amount of perfectly cooked pork parts – including kidney, pork slices, pork ball, liver, and even coagulated blood. A dash of chopped cilantro completes the dish, and it’s as wholesome and would only be made better with a rainy, cold weather.
price list above
Those braised dishes did not disappoint either, I thought the trotter could be just a tad more tender but perhaps I was too used to the ways Klang bak kut teh is prepared.
Over all it was definitely a lovely lunch, 3 pax, and just a tad under RM 30.00.
For Chinese New Year of 2020, we decided to head to Siem Reap for a short family getaway, while we may not necessarily enjoyed the local food at the Old Market that much, one thing that did not disappoint was the visit to Angkor Wat.
Monks at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
For those who prefer moving pictures and some of my mumbling, the three minute video below shows our experience at Angkor Wat, though for the other four temples I’ve only taken photos in the interest of not having it overly long winded (that and who’s got time to edit all those clips!).
We pre-booked our tour earlier via many of the online website and asked for a tuktuk driver for a day. The package includes visit to five different temples and lasts some 6-7 hours (or until you give up due to heat).
As scheduled, our guide picked us up at 8 in the morning.
tickets will have your face printed
Our first destination was to the ticket counter building, some 20 minutes away from Siem Reap city center.
Ticket was at a cool USD $37 per pax for a day pass, $2 goes to some education fund apparently. We each had to have our pictures taken and printed on the ticket as their semi high tech way of ensuring tickets are not transferable. Fair enough.
Angkor Wat, since the 12th century
Our tour includes the following temples:
Bayon temple, with lots of smiling stone faces
Angkor Wat was obviously the most famous site, with the huge body of water surrounding it, you’ll need to walk through the temporary floating bridge to get to the temple. For those who wants to have those iconic sunrise/sunset photos, you’d have to book a separate type of tour instead, we obviously did not do that.
Ba phuon with the “sleeping buddha”
Bayon temple was our next destination. It was famous for having a lot of stone faces. Thank goodness that they are all smiling, otherwise this could make for an interesting night time visit on a daring mission (though unfortunately you can’t get there at night..)
yeap, expect some really steep steps at Ba Phuon
Next up was Ba Phuon where we also encountered some monkeys, and a lot of really steep steps if you’re adventurous enough to get all the way up to the top. The view was not overly impressive, but a view nonetheless. What was more impressive though was the “sleeping buddha” made of stone blocks at one side of the temple, barely recognizable due to years of erosion.
Lunch break at Banana Tree (overpriced and lousy)
Our guide then took us to this tourist trap of a lunch place called Banana Tree, where we had our first “amok fish”, a dish I could only described as someone trying to make otak-otak and gives up half way.
Food was again overly sweet, and too pricey for what we got. Didn’t blame the tuktuk driver much.. “cari makan” lor.
Ta Prohm, with trees growing out of the ruins
Next temple was a proper ruins made famous by Lara Croft & Tomb Raider. In fact, the guide just called it the Tomb Raider temple..
Trees growing out of crumbling stone buildings, do expect line of tourists all wanting to take photos at the same first tree spots. My advise is, walk a little deeper and there’ll be less of a wait.
Banteay Kdei – A Citadel of Chambers
Our last spot was Bantaey Kdei, and to be perfectly honest, things start to look a little bit like they’re repeating itself. Also, the afternoon heat on a dry season-day starts to take its toll.
yeap, a hat is good, umbrella is better, and wear your sunscreen
To me, one day is just nice for touring Angkor and its temples unless you’re a hardcore history fan. If you do plan to go there, bring an umbrella, plenty of sunscreen, and water to drink.
I need to do a better job at posting on this blog, as this was from a trip to Bangkok last year….
Anyway, if you find yourself at Thong Lo, an upscale area in Bangkok with quirky cafes and plenty of Japanese restaurants, this Khao Jao Thai Restaurant is one modern eatery serving pretty traditional Thai fare worth checking out.
Khao Jao Thai Restaurant, Bangkok
The restaurant is located along Thong Lo 17 Alley, a stone’s throw away from a popular hipster watering hole that is The Commons. It’s air conditioned, tastefully decorated, and offers quite a good selection of traditional dishes to choose from (see menu below).
For the three of us, we had the prawn with petai, bamboo shoots yellow curry, a plate of vege, and stuffed omelet.
The petai came with pretty big and juicy prawns, with a strong, slightly sweetish belacan taste that was also spicy, a perfect combination.
Last week mom was here for a bit, so naturally it was my duty as a son to bring her form some breakfast worthy of trying. And since we’ve had bak kut teh, and red wine mee suah the day prior, I thought it was appropriate that we try one of the other less “normal” breakfast choices – chicken rice.
chicken rice with mom
Yeap, chicken rice is as popular as the first meal of the day in Klang as it is for lunch or dinner.
We headed to Jalan Gelugor for one of my favorite chicken rice fix in the area – Top 1 Chicken Rice. The stall is located at the same food court with the Jalan Batai Char Kuih Teow – with zinc roof, plastic furniture, and generally acceptable hygiene standard.
Top 1 chicken rice offers only steamed chicken, of normal and “walk on the ground” chicken, which I assumed to be kampung, or organic variety.
perfectly cooked steamed chicken with Bentong ginger
What sets this place apart though is their use of Bentong ginger as condiment in addition to their home made chili sauce. As you maybe aware of, Bentong is often touted as the place that produces the best ginger in the country, with its slightly more spicy and stronger taste profile. I love it, so did mom.
The chicken too is steamed perfectly, on that fine line between being under cooked and overly hard/tough when you boiled chicken seemingly only half a minute too long.
dark soya sauce on rice is the Klang way
Overall, this is as proper as chicken rice goes, I’ve heard that you can request for rice balls as well, maybe I’d have to try that next time.