While Penang and Ipoh hawker dishes have been a mainstay in Klang Valley for decades, Sarawakian cuisine seems to be just starting to make its mark here, a welcoming sign to those who loves hawker fare for sure. One of the latest to join the scene is Da Niu Sarawake Kuching Kolomee at PJ.
Restoran Tropikiri, Bukit Mayang Emas
Ah Niu sets up stall at the cheekily named Restoran Tropikiri at Bukit Mayang Emas, a stone’s throw away from the rather “atas” neighbourhood of Tropicana, while also easily accessible from Bandar Utama and PJ via Kampung Chempaka.
Plenty of parking space by the same row of shops, though you may have to walk a few steps.
Da Niu stall is operated by Da Niu himself and the wife Heidi since early Q2 2018, both hailed from the land of the hornbills.
Da Niu Sarawak Kolomee
The Sarawak kolomee is of Da Niu’s own recipe, and comes with the normal or “red” version with those yummy chasiu sauce (strongly recommend going with the latter).
In a bowl of kolomee you’ll also find chasiu, fried wantan, minced pork, and an accompanying small bowl of soup. The chasiu was one of the better ones for sure, soft, juicy, and full of flavor, do tell them if you like it fatty or lean and they are more than happy to accommodate.
very good chasiu & love those springy noodle
I also particularly enjoy the accompanying soup, which has a lot more going on than your typical wantan mee bland tasting soup that doesn’t do anything other than offering a way to wet your noodle.
With the springy, curly noodle and everything that goes on here, this is becoming one of my favorite kolomee now.
Other than kolomee, they also offer Sarawak Laksa. In fact, I had actually tried the laksa first before going again for the kolomee on second trip.
Sarawak laksa is quite legit too
The Sarawak laksa comes with the usual ingredients of bean sprout, sea prawns, eggs, cilantro, and shredded chicken. I thought it tasted pretty decent though with a bit of room for improvement.
According to Heidi, Kuching style laksa is usually a little less creamy, but that does not seem to resonate with the taste buds of those in Klang Valley, so it is something they’re still working on.
For now though, I’d certainly go back for that kolomee!
Address: Da Niu Sarawak Kuching Kolomee Restoran Tropikiri 2, Jalan BM 1/2, Taman Bukit Mayang Emas, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.125287, 101.595897 FB: fb.com/pg/DaNiueKuchingKoloMeeinPJ
One of the earliest food post that I wrote on this site was about a certain laksa Sarawak in Bangsar way back in 2006, introduced to me then by my friend Lorna who hailed from East Malaysia.
Well, Lorna is still from East Malaysia, but t he very same stall – Aunty Christina’s laksa Sarawak, has now moved to its very own shop lot in Seapark, Petaling Jaya. I had the chance to stop by and grab a bowl for lunch a some weeks ago.
Aunty Christina’s Laksa Sarawak, PJ Seapark
The restaurant is now located along the same row of shops with KFC in PJ Sea Park, which means parking during busy periods can be a bit of a challenge to those who are impatience. However, the restaurant itself is cleaner and much more comfortable than the kopitiam it came from.
The menu too has been bumped up a bit. There’s now laksa with 2 king size prawns that goes for RM 20, there’s Hakka abacus seeds, kacangma (some sort of wine chicken), kolo mee, and even black pepper pork/chicken soup.
For the die-hards though, you can always opt for the old regular Laksa Sarawak at RM 9, with a choice of meehun, mee, or both.
original laksa sarawak, just like how they are supposed to be
I’m happy to report that while there’s been an upgrade to the price and ambiance, Aunty Christina’s laksa still remains true to it’s origin and tastes exactly the same as it did when I first tried it over ten years ago. There’s still the prawn, strips of chicken, shredded egg, bean sprout, and some greens as garnish. Still lovely as ever.
For the faithful, this is where you should go.
For everyone else, there’s also quite a few other laksa Sarawak places especially in PJ area to check out these days. The more the merrier.
Prawn mee is only called prawn mee if you’re in Klang Valley, which is a bit funny since it is a dish that is originated from Penang, and up North we always called it Hokkien mee. It is unfortunate that Hokkien Mee is referred to something that looks like a plate of greased up worm instead of this glorious bowl of some of the finest creations from the Hokkien clan.
Heng Lee kopitiam at Sungai Way
Anyway, today I want to introduce to you one of my latest hawker find, the prawn mee stall at Sungai Way, first made aware to me by one of my instagram followers. A hawker stall at Heng Lee kopitiam located right opposite Sungai Way morning market on the main road with the entrance from Federal Highway.
glorious bowl of Penang style prawn mee
For RM 6, you get a bowl of prawn mee with all the proper ingredients such as prawn, boiled egg (a whole egg in this case), pork slices, kangkung, bean sprout, your favorite noodle/meehun, and even a few slices of fish paste which I don’t really care much about. The chili paste here is pretty decent, but the stand out part of this dish would be the broth, which I thought was really on point.
One thing to note, this stall serves Penang Laksa instead of prawn mee on Wednesday, something which I thought is a bit of a funny dish for breakfast, but whatever rock your socks. Give it a try if you’re a fan of these dishes.
Address: Heng Lee Kopitiam (opposite wet market) 611 Jalan SS 9a/1, Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS:3.086479, 101.620678 Hours: breakfast
Many many years ago, before the existence of this website and when I was still a student in the States, we took a super long road trip down to New Orleans for spring break. It was a beautiful city with quite a bit of culture, and it was also the first time I had Louisiana style seafood, with crayfish, shrimps, and those really distinctive sauce.
A few weeks ago, I had the same type of seafood treatment for the second time of my life, right here at PJ SS2’s Crab Factory.
Crab Factory at PJ SS2
Crab Factory has been in existence for almost 3 years now, situated just right across the road from McDonald’s in the busy commercial area that is PJ SS2. Parking can sometimes be a challenge at this area, especially on a Monday night when Pasar Malam is in full swing. Which isn’t really a problem since Crab Factory smartly chooses Monday to be their rest day.
menu with price list on the table, and on the wall
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with very practical table arrangment fit for group and couple dining as well. For those who are worried about going out of hands in terms of budgeting for a seafood feast, the prices are well written on the wall, in the menu, as well as their website at crabfactory.com.my
brown crabs in signature southern bang sauce
The ‘standard operating procedure’ when it comes to a shell-out type of restaurants like this is a little bit different from the conventional seafood restaurants many of us are familiar with. There’s no fork & spoon, chopsticks, or even gloves.
crayfish/yabbie in zesty lemon, shrimp with garlic butter
The seafood is poured onto your table that is laced with a giant piece of food grade wax paper. You then use your base hands to feed these delicious sea creatures right into your mouth ala caveman style. Quite a fun experience for most, but you’d want to make sure the nails are clean prior to dinner.
For a restaurant this size, the seafood selection is rather impressive. There are various types of crabs such as brown crab, king crab, spanner crab, and meat crab. Then there’s normal lobster, red lobster, and slipper lobster. You want shrimps? They’ve got tiger prawn, white prawn, freshwater prawn, and amaebi. Then there’s baby octopus and several types of shellfish as well.
brown crab set
If you can’t choose, the easiest way to start is with one of their sets. Such as the crab set we tried. In addition to your choice of crab, the set come with king white prawns, yabbies, hamaguri clams, NZ green mussels, scallop in shells, and baby octopus.
Additionally, there’s also sweet corn, chicken sausage, potatoes, french beans and shallot rice. These are the stuff that will help fill up the stomach a bit if you don’t want to overindulge yourself to way too much seafood (like we did this session)
brown crab set, mussels, and more shrimps (spicy plum sauce)
We sampled quite a variety of offerings from Crab Factory. The crabs were really fresh, big, and very juicy. The white shrimps tend to soak up seasoning very well, while baby octopus is perhaps just a tad slightly more cooked than I’d like it to be, but I think they stay quite true to the Louisiana style.
As for the sauces, I found myself enjoying the Signature Southern Bang sauce quite a bit, but my favorite has got to be the with the butter garlic sauce, which I think let you really taste the sweetness of seafood.
good times, and extremely full stomach
Overall it was quite a fun experience, the only problem I had was trying to operate the camera while eating with my bare hands (many trips to the water basin).
If you want to treat yourself some out-of-the-norm seafood feast, this is certainly a worthy option.
Here are several news worthy items you may find useful:
Valid till the 15th of January 2017 – Double Trouble- 2 L Crabs for RM120 only (1.2-1.4kg)
Seafood sets for 2-3 pax
1) Meat Crab-M (2pcs) RM175
2) French Brown Crab (900gm – 1kg) RM239
3) King Crab L 900gm – 1kg) RM299
new sauce – Thai Sambal and Spicy Plum
Scroll down and you’ll a coupon for 25% off (valid till 31st Jan 2017)
A couple weeks ago we were invited to a food review session that promises a good dosage of “Dong Po” (東坡肉) pork belly, and since that is one of my favorite dishes of all time, it was an easy decision to not miss this one.
Update: Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant is permanently closed.
Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant, PJ
The restaurant is Secret Garden at Taman Megah nearby Wolf Modern Dining and almost a walking distance from our previous home in PJ, but alas, this time around it was a bit of a drive, which was fine for some a porking promise.
The restaurant is stunning, with vertical garden, beautiful wooden long table, and tastefully use of empty space. I’m going to go on a limb here to say that it is most likely attributed to the fact that the founders include an interior designer, a fine art illustrator, and a mural artist.
When the surrounding is awesome, appetite also increases, kan?
crispy fried prawn cracker
Anyway, let’s get on the food.
For the review session, we got to sample quite a few dishes from the menu, starting with the appetizer – crispy fried prawn crackers. This is not your typical prawn cracker, but rather thin layer of pastry stuffed with plenty of prawn meat in between, best enjoyed with a dip of Thai chili sauce. I had white wine to go with this, but beer would make for excellent liquid to wash this down.
home style Taiwanese chicken soup w pickled pineapple & bitter melon
Any Chinese restaurant worth it’s salt should serve up a decent bowl of hot soup.
At Secret Garden, the choice was a simple and comforting home style Taiwanese chicken soup with pickled pineapple and bitter melon. I love myself a good bowl of soup, and this version checked the box as well as any with simple everyday ingredients done right.
steamed free range duckweed fed chicken w homemade sauce
Up next was steamed free range duckweed fed chicken with homemade sauce. You can taste the difference in duckweed fed chicken meat compared to the normal wet market/hypermarket variety, the meat is firmer and the skin springier. With the condiments it makes for a good meal by itself with a bowl of rice.
If you love pork, you gotta try this dish named after the famous Chinese poet Su DongPo (蘇東坡) . The interpretation of this dish at Secret Garden is very, very good, and only made better when you have it with their super soft steamed bun. Can I get this combination for breakfast, please?
grouper fish head in yellow curry with fresh milk
Perhaps to demonstrate the range of dishes this kitchen is able to come up with, we had grouper fish head in yellow curry with fresh milk next.
If really spicy and rich Indian or even Nyonya style curry is your cup of tea, this may disappoint, but if you enjoy milder curry with all the necessary ingredients with a much gentler assault on your taste buds, then this yellow curry may fit the bill. I’m a Penang boy who loves me some really spicy curry fish head, so it was just a tad underwhelming for me.
pan fried fresh king prawn with soya sauce
Pan fried fresh king prawn with soya sauce was my favorite seafood dish of the day. Instead of the usual tiger prawns or “meng har”, this version uses fresh water king prawns, which has big and juicy prawn head to suckle on (human cholestorel isn’t from what you eat, right?). I liked it, and wished I had some rice to go with this.
(btw I’ve published a recipe to my version here, if you care to cook your own)
homemade organic black soya bean tofu in pumpkin gravy, & the hungry bunch
The last dish I got to try before we had to leave due to another appointment was the homemade organic black soya bean tofu in pumpkin gravy. I was told the tofu is made in-house, and it certainly tastes fresh as can be with the texture that’s almost like tofufar, it was nice, and pumpkin gravy certainly served as a good contrast to the salty and savory bits on top of the tofu.
our menu, and some live seafood for your picking too
Overall it was a more than satisfying dinner, and certainly an experience that is made unforgettable thanks to the beautiful dining area and excellent companions we had.
Secret Garden is current modelling the upper level and will be offering Private Dining. You give them a budget and number of pax, and the chef will come up with a menu from carefully chosen ingredients available. There’s currently no set price for Private Dining, I suppose the more you are willing to pay, the more exotic the dishes get.
Thank you Jessica for the invitation and for hosting us!
Address: Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant 家園私房菜 7 & 9, Jalan SS 23/15, Taman Sea, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.116306, 101.612408 Tel: 03-7887 6999 Site: secretgarden.my