Nasi Kandar is one of those dishes that is perhaps taking a back seat when it comes to our national identity, everyone associates nasi lemak with Malaysia, bak kut teh with Klang, but most may not know that nasi kandar originates from Penang, with vendors on foot balancing a post “kandar” on their shoulder carrying rice & various other (usually) dishes such as mutton curry, fried chicken and so forth.
Kok Siong nasi kandar, Puchong
It is also one of the many must-have dishes when one visits Penang, the state where I grew up. For those who are in KL though, there are always Kayu & Pelita that littered pretty much the entire Klang Valley. These places offer decent enough nasi kandar, but the usual complains would be price, and sometimes the lack of confidence in hygiene standards.
For those looking for something different than those chains, there’s Kok Siong Nasi Kandar in Puchong.
Situated in Puchong right next to Tesco Extra hypermarket, this is perhaps one of the only nasi kandar places that is run by Chinese instead of traditional mamak vendors. Apart from that, the dishes offered are actually very similar, and pork free. If you’re looking for chasiu nasi kandar, well, you’d still have to assemble it yourself, probably at home.
squid with extra petai, fried chicken nasi kandar
We tried their squid with petai, and a piece of 1/4 fried chicken in two plates, with plenty of curry over rice. The dish is also served with papadem (as usual), and plenty of crispy bits on top, which I really like.
The squid is your typical mamak style that’s slightly on the harder/more cooked side, and does taste proper. Chicken was well cooked with crispy skin and juicy meat, but what I really love was those petai with ikan bilis, absolutely pungent and super delightful.
mixing up the different curry is the way to go
Fans of nasi kandar should find this place quite satisfying. As the “kitchen” is pretty much an open concept, cleanliness isn’t a dodgy affair. Price wise I thought they were neither cheap nor expensive, while a “standard” plate of nasi kandar with fried chicken should be RM 8, the bigger piece of chicken we ordered actually carried a higher price, so if you’re on a budget, do ask ahead.
Address: Restoran Kok Siong Nasi Kandar 45, Jalan Bandar 16, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor GPS: 3.036115, 101.616258 Hours: lunch
When it comes to Ipoh, none is more famous than their chicken rice and those sweet, crunchy bean sprouts. While many places offers the same dish all over town, tourists and locals alike will often congregate around middle of new town for this dish over lunch.
ipoh pak kong chicken rice
One of such place that is favored by the locals is none other than Restoran Nasi Ayam Pak Kong, a stone’s throw away from the more famous Ong Kee (often packed with tourists).
The shop offers quite a good selection of dishes you’d often associate with chicken rice – roast chicken, steamed chicken, roast pork, bbq pork, bean sprouts, and some of the other dishes you don’t usually find at these sort of establishments, such as sambal petai, acar, spicy sour vege, and more.
chicken, pork, and most importantly, petai side dish
Prices at Pak Kong is more “local friendly” compared to the more touristy shops at the intersections, dishes here are very good as well, I particularly love their chicken (either version), and really lovely charsiu (bbq pork), the wild card here is their sambal petai, if you like them pungent and full of aroma, this is is not one you’d want to miss.
Roast pork and spicy sour vege would be something I skip the next time around and perhaps order a big plate of bean sprout instead. (and more of those petai!)
The inner part of Ara Damansara away from the slightly more glamorous Oasis Square area used to be quite a bit of hidden area of PJ that’s not exactly a gem. There were a few less than interesting kopitiam, and an ill fated then-new commercial area by the name of New Ze Xui that eventually died a natural death. It was quite sad, and I know that full well as I used to stay at the nearby Crimson Apartment when I first moved to KL for work.
Well, that all matters little when the owner of Jatujak Bangkok Street Food decided to set up shop and provided a little spark to the area, I suppose you could call it a hidden gem.
Jatujak Bangkok Street Food at Ara Damansara
Being located at this part of PJ with little else going has its benefits, especially when it comes to parking. The shop itself too get to occupy quite a decent alfresco area since there isn’t any other competition nearby, which all translate to a good start to any dining experience.
Haze and I paid our first visit there a couple weeks ago when we met up with Lance for our first, and his second dinner in the same day at the same place. It’s always a good sign when someone is game to visit the same place more than once on the same week, much less the same day.
salt grilled tilapia, petai prawn, clear soup tomyam
The menu at Jatujak is quite extensive, they have a good selection of seafood, tomyam, otak otak, and other typical Thai “tai chao” style food, as well as grilled items, and even pork dishes.
For dinner, we ordered four dishes to go with rice, and a few desserts to boot. All our main dishes came within 5-10 minutes despite the crowd, something that few restaurants manage to deliver, I was very impressed to say the least.
The salt grilled tilapia (RM 39) was our main dish, the fish properly prepared just the way you’d find by the streets of Bangkok, and we didn’t need to wait for 20+ minutes like we did at Tigerlily, and I thought it was actually a more than decent dish.
grilled cockles, this was really awesome
Clear tomyam soup (RM 22) was proper hot and did not disappoint, while the petai prawn (RM 30) could perhaps use more petai than prawns, but my favorite dish turned out to be the grilled cockles (RM 10), which reminds me of the good times back in the days at Nong & Jimmy, the cockles would go really really well with a cold beer or three.
iced coconut original, with red ruby, and with mango
We completed our dinner with a dessert each – coconut shake with ice cream (RM 8), coconut ruby (RM 12), and ice coconut mango (RM 12). Each came in their proper coconut shell as container and were proper rich, sweet, and have their shaved iced so fine they were silky smooth.
I guess it’s no wonder this is one of Lance’s favorite place to dine, and I believe it is also a place I’d revisit pretty soon.
Address: Jatujak @ Siam Bangkok Street Food B-G-31 Blk B, Jalan PJU 1a/3j, Taipan Damansara 1 Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.119825, 101.590183 Tel: 03-7859 6359
Several weeks ago I was invited to a soft launch of Little Mums, the restaurant that was run by the same people that brought us Mum’s Place at Damansara Perdana, a restaurant that I’ve reviewed almost ten years ago, with shitty camera phone then. As the name suggests, this offshoot is run by the second generation, offering many of the best selling dishes from the parent restaurant.
Update 29/6/2017: This restaurant is closed, rumor has it that the owners moved out of the country.
Little Mums at Damansara Uptown
Located at the back row of Damansara Uptown, Little Mum spots a modern yet simple interior, and while parking isn’t the most ideal this part of PJ, it is not exactly an exercise of patient either. Little Mum serves both lunch and dinner, and offers several individual plates in addition to the usual “tai chao” style dishes.
On our visit, we started off with an appetizer with the crab cheese sticks (RM 16.80), a dish that would really go well with some cold beer, which sadly they do not offer.
Our main meal was served with steamed rice, and we had prawn with sambal petai (RM 31.80), fried cencaru with cili padi paste and petai (RM 26), soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce (RM 10.20/100g), daun keledek with lime juice (RM 15), and brinjal with black pepper (RM 15).
daun keledek, terung black pepper
These dishes were as good as I remembered them. The cencaru and soft shell crab stood out as the two must-order dishes were strong tasting in a good way, especially for those who like their food spicy. While daun keledek is one of their classics, I found myself really enjoying the black pepper brinjal even though as with the other previously mentioned dishes, it was really spicy as well.
crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan
For dessert, sago gula melaka (RM 6.30) was really well executed, and pulut tekan (RM 7.30), served with homemade kaya, is another must-try. This version is like hot KFC vs stale fried chicken from the roadside, you gotta try it.
I did find the cendol with red bean (RM 6.30) a little underwhelming though, and perhaps being from Penang has something to do with that judgement.
KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze
Little Mums serves Halal food and the prices are nett. While it is slightly on the high side when it comes to pricing, they do deliver rather well in terms of quality of food. Would certainly visit again.
A few weeks ago one of my colleagues asked “hey KY jom makan”, and since there’s nothing outside of endangered species and kiwi I don’t eat, I got on the car without knowing where I would end up.
The destination turned out to be Ayam Bakar Wong Solo, one of my favorite ayam bakar/ayam penyet places that I’ve only had from take-outs.
Ayam Bakar Wong Solo at Ampang
Wong Solo at Ampang is situated by Jalan Dagang Besar, less than five mintues away from Ampang Point. Parking is a painless affair, and the restaurant, while having less than inspiring interior decoration, is equipped with air conditioning, a great feature considering you’re going to end up eating something spicy.
ayam bakar, terung, and petai sambal
Both the ayam bakar and ayam penyet is served with a side of tempe, tauhu, a small portion of terung (eggplant), and those really addictive sambal. The tempe here is the first that I really enjoyed.
The difference between ayam bakar and ayam penyet is the way the chicken is cooked. One is over fire, and the other is deep fried and smashed. Both are equally good but I do prefer ayam bakar as it is a rarer dish among the two.
Terung is a pretty decent dish but we were glad we ordered sambal petai. Those stinky beans and prawns made for good side dish for sure.
Address: Ayam Bakar Wong Solo G18/G19, Jalan Dagang B/3A (Taman Dagang), 68000 Ampang, Selangor GPS: 3.148964, 101.754808 Tel: 03-4270 1947
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