When I was growing up, burger was roadside Ramly stalls, with chicken or beef patty, fried egg wrapped the meat, a slice of cheese perhaps, couple slices of tomato, shredded cabbage, all drenched in excessive chili sauce and mayo. And for those who wants it a bit more “atas”, you’d go to TGI Fridays or maybe even Hard Rock cafe and pretend to have a bigger bank account than your neighbor (there’s also McD but it’s not relevant here).
Spade’s Burger, Subang Jaya SS15
The burger scene in Malaysia has gone through a wave of expansion several years ago. Starting from those charcoal buns from MyBurgerLab and reaching a peak where you’d find a fancy burger outlet at every hipster joint all across the country, offering their own interpretation of how this American invention should look & taste like.
Alas, like every hype food that came and go, it eventually settled down to a plateau with a few brands that continue to thrive. One of such brands is Spade’s Burger, founded back in 2013 from my home town in Penang.
In fact, I was first told about Spade’s Burger by my brother quite a while ago, and finally managed to give it a try a couple weeks ago at their outlet in Subang Jaya.
Spade’s Burger offers a choice of pork, chicken, or beef as your choice of meat, there’s also salmon & mushroom options for those of you who prefer not to eat anything that can scream.
We went for the more traditional option of Dark Knight with pork, and BBJ with beef. These burgers are priced from RM 10.90 all the way to RM 17.50, you can also combo it up with unlimited refill for drinks and certain sides, we opted for fried bacon strips, salted egg fish skin, and mushroom wedges.
BBJ, Dark Knight, fish skin, mushroom, bacon fries
The pork patty here was so good it legit makes an almost indistinguishable replacement for those who does not eat beef, both types of meat were very juicy and full of flavor. I really enjoyed the bacon bits and cheese crisp in Dark Knight, and thought that BBJ, while very good in itself, was perhaps s tad too sweet for my liking. Overall though, they were both way above average and certainly satisfying.
As for the sides, fish skin and mushroom wedges were on point, while those fried bacon strips were too thin and contained too much breading to allow the natural flavor of bacon to shin, a bit of a shame really.
Will be back to sample more of their other offerings, will miss the bacon fries next time.
Been hearing about this Bangkok lane Mee Goreng that’s at USJ (that would be UEP Subang Jaya as the official name) for a while now, so I decided to check it out last week.
Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng at Restoran Ehsan Maju
For those who aren’t familiar with the background, there’s rather well known mee goreng located at Bangkok Lane in Georgetown. One that I’ve had quite a few times in Penang, and while it wasn’t my favorite, they do offer a very competent plate of this Indian dish compared to others on the island.
Of course, here in Klang Valley Penang style mee goreng is hard to come by, my previous favorite at PJ SS5 ceased to exists after the owner passed on, so to be honest, I haven’t had proper mee goreng outside Penang for years.
mee goreng with sotong
The stall at Restoran Ehsan Maju in USJ 2 is essentially a ‘branch’ from the same stall in Bangkok Lane, Penang. The menu is pretty simple, there’s mee goreng with or without sotong (squid), mee rebus (wet version) in the same two variety, and rojak – essentially their mee rebus without noodle.
mee rebus and rojak available too
So, how does it taste?
I would say it’s pretty spot on, except for the huge KL style portion, it is pretty consistent with what they offer in Penang. There’s decent flavor and all the ingredients are there. The fried shallots could be improved, and those sotong are a bit too bland (I’ll order without that next time). Other than that, definitely a more than acceptable “Penang style” mee goreng.
Will go again.
Address: Restoran Ehsan Maju 21, Jalan USJ 2/2c, Usj 2, 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.057507, 101.591064
What’s better than spicy hot pot that goes in hot and comes out hotter? Well, unlimited refill at one fixed price, of course!
This is essentially what Fei Fan Hot Pot at Subang Courtyard offers, while I would have been a lot more excited about the prospect of buffetsteamboat/hotpot 20 years ago, I was still pretty excited about it when Carol suggested that we check it out.
Fei Fan Hot Pot at SS15 Courtyard
We did, and as it turned out, we weren’t the only two who thought paying RM 45.90++ per pax to fill our stomach to the brim was a great idea.
There was about an hour’s wait before our turn, which led to me getting a hair cut, and Carol did her eyebrow.. or something.
Anyway, finally we got in at around 9 p.m. with the host ushering us to a shared table located at a semi-outdoor dining area, which worked out just fine to diffuse the steamboat smell while not being overly too warm since it’s pretty late at night. No complains from me other than it being a bit far from the buffet spread.
condiments, vegetables, balls, mushrooms, and more
Fei Fan offers quite a decent selection of condiments with just over a dozen types of various spicy/salty/fresh “stuff” you can mix up. They include cili padi, raw garlic, green onion, cilantro, fermented tofu, soya sauce, chili paste, and more. With that many choices, you are probably bound to get overly excited and mess it up.
As for soup base, there are four to choose from, with a maximum of two choices – pork bone soup, pepper pig’s stomach soup, tomato soup, and spicy mala soup.
We went with pork bone & spicy mala, though I’ve heard good things about the other two types as well.
unlimited refill on everything you see here
The way it works is like this – pick the ready-made items from buffet spread – including various types of vegetable, mushroom, balls, tofu, and so forth.
There’s also a self-ordering sheet that includes pork/chicken/beef balls, shrimp dumpling, chives dumpling, tofu pok with pork, fish noodle, and beef/chicken/pork slices, intestine, liver, and such. You can use the sheet multiple times but food wastage will be charged 20% of total bill, which I thought is fair.
these thin sliced meat’s pretty good, as attested by Carol
What’s the verdict you may ask?
Well, Fei Fan Hot Pot certainly offers great value especially if you’re a big eater. The mala soup offers a good enough kick, while those pork bone soup was quite proper as well.
The meat slices might be a tad thin, but that also means they get cooked fast, and with unlimited order it’s not an issue anyway. I also like that there’s enough options for greens.
Overall it was a rather positive experience and I would certainly happy to go there again, but this time around I’d be sure to call ahead and make bookings.
Address: Fei Fan Hot Pot Lot G-10 Ground Floor, SS15 Courtyard, Jalan SS15/4G,, SS15, 47500 Subang Jaya GPS: 3.077683, 101.586468 Tel: 03-7496 6438 Hours: 11 am to 11 pm daily
Penangites always love a proper plate of char kuih teow and would usually regards CKT prepared by non Penang Hokkien as a bit of suspect. So naturally, most of us probably won’t sample char kuih teow manned by a Malay operator, since it’s .. well, usually not at all similar to the “original” version in which we’re familiar with.
It’s a game of fire and showmanship
However, being a food writer, it is also very important to be open and be willing to try all sorts of food and dishes, including those that may looked to be going against my “cultural heritage”, a decision which brought me to many wonderful surprises and great experience, including this kuih teow basah stall at SS15 that I tried a short while ago.
The stall operates out of a van usually parked just outside the SS15 wet market on Jalan SS15/8a. There’ll be a few ad hoc tables set up right next it, comfort isn’t of any particular emphasis.
The cooking though, was a bit of a show, with flames threatening to blow up the entire operations, though any experienced hawker adventurer would find this a welcoming sight. And indeed it was!
simple looking kuih teow basah, but oh so delicious
The resulting plate of kuih teow was nothing like the type I’m familiar with, it came with kuih teow (of course), egg, bean sprout, cockles, and a couple prawns with shells still on. It was also really wet, and spicy in a way that’s different from what I’m used to, yet it was very delicious in its own way, with the sauce packing a strong sweet seafood flavor and the dish having its own “wok hei” if you will.
If you’re a fan of kuih teow, give this a try as well, you may be surprised.
Address: Kuih Teow Basah Food Truck Jalan SS15/8a (outside wet market) Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.074237, 101.587796 Hours: night
When it comes to Chinese tai chao restaurants, you often find very conventional names that usually involves someone’s surname or places of origin. XFrens Cafe & Restaurant though, likes to be a bit different, so I was looking at a map and this name came up, I’d have thought that they probably serve good pastry and maybe some warm pies…
Restaurant Xfrens, Subang Jaya SS18
Well, I have no idea what went through the owners’ thought process when they came up with the name, but we’re here for the food, and in this regard they definitely put in more thoughts than the naming exercise.
XFrens is located at Subang Jaya SS18, with few busy shops around the same short row of shop houses in the evening, parking your car is usually a relatively painless process. However, do plan to get there early as the place usually gets rather busy and fetch quite a long queue on weekend busy dinner hours. I’d say anytime before 6:30 or 6:45 pm and you should have a table immediately.
The menu at Xfrens is pretty comprehensive, with different sections offering dishes involving poultry, seafood, vegetable, tofu, and such.
For the group of 6 of us over dinner, we ordered five dishes to share.
“siong thong” lala, pumpkin tofu, paku with chili padi
Siong Thong Lala was a pretty decent dish that provides some spicy soup to open up the appetite, the shellfish was of decent size and freshness. Pumpkin tofu was one of their signature dishes, and one that provides a nice contrast in texture and taste, crispy on the outside with stronger tasting sauce, while soft and mild within.
I was also very glad that we ordered paku with chili padi, one of my favorite type of vegetable that should be more popular here (as they are in Borneo). This is one vege that I’ll order again.
garlic pork, teow chew style steamed red snapper
Garlic pork is another must-order at Xfrens, and it is what we’re here for. The dish was basically a dish of deep fried pork with many, many cloves of garlic. It was as simple as it was tasty, the combination was an assault to the senses in the best ways.
The last dish we shared was steamed red snapper teow chew style. This dish was executed rather well, with ingredients you’d expect from a typical toew chew steamed fish – tomato, tofu, salted vegetable, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chili. I enjoyed this quite a lot too.
The dinner came to be around RM 40 per pax including drinks, a fair price considering the fact that we ordered quality fish as well as lala. Would definitely come here again.