Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Restoran Taktaz @ South City Area, Serdang

Recently I have had the pleasure of taking out some Arab friends to lunch. They can be very choosy as to what kind of food they eat. Rice is definitely not one of their favourites, although they are open to our local delicacies as long as they are branded halal.

So to save me the trouble of choosing where to eat, in the Serdang area, I asked them to bring me go eat Arab food. To my delight, and to theirs as well, I was brought to this row of shop lots, opposite South City Plaza, to this Restoran Taktaz.

As you walk in, you can't help but feel their sense of camaraderie amongst the Arab world, and their many types of people, as they speak the same language. My friend identifies them easily, this is from UAE, he is from Egypt, Iraq, and so on and so forth, while I was clueless as to how he knows.
We ordered a pitcher of Yogurt with mint. I believe its called Doogh, a kind of yogurt drink which is very popular in the Middle East. My friend, was telling me, they can drink these stuff all day back home, especially when its really hot and dry, Doogh, helps to keep them hydrated.
It wasn't to my taste, as it is watered down Moru, with salt and dried mint.

I ordered myself a Lamb Kebab with Rice dish. Its very different from what I am used to eating. This dish is served with a rack of lamb meatballs (similar to pork ball noodles ) but they call them lamb kebab, heavily marinated with black pepper and mint. I think it is fried then put in the oven before it is served with long grained rice on top, with just a touch of spice on top. A grilled tomato on the side, and single serving of salted butter as condiment to the white rice.

I finished the lamb kebabs which I thought was quite enjoyable, although I know a lot of chinese who will never touch lamb. I found the rice a tad too bland as I added only a little bit of the butter given (fat ma....)

My two friends went for this chicken curry thingy. They both enjoyed it so much. They finished everything including the hill of rice. The only difference with their rice is that it has raisins on top.

I couldn't resist the idea of ordering a non alcoholic beer that day, which tasted nothing like beer. Never try it again... and neither will I recommend it to anyone....Their prices are quite reasonable, main dishes are from Rm 8 - Rm25.

Restoran Taktaz
No B-G-3, Block B, Persiaran Serdang Perdana,
Taman Serdang Perdana,
43300 Seri Kembangan
Tel - 8941 3364

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tea at Ka Fei Tiam, NZX Ara Damansara

The first time I heard about Niu Ze Xui, I really thought someone was telling me that the bull was pulling my water. What bull bring water all ? My cousin was telling its a new place in Ara Damansara where you its great for shopping, jalan - jalan, flea market style shopping mall, and you can find lots of great food.
My friend brought me to this Ka Fei Tiam, always packed, and supposedly serves great food and coffee. So ok la, we sat down, and I ordered this Kopi Ais with Herbal Jelly... which actually was quite refreshing.

The waitress recommended me this Sambal Fried Rice. They put in a generous amount of ingredients, like chicken, dried shrimps and lots of sambal belacan. I found it to be ok la.... but definitely didn't make it to my, whoa so nice list....

I also ordered a Ka fei Tiam Curry with bun. I thought I actually enjoyed this item more than the fried rice. The curry was pretty thick, and had a nice aroma to it. Those buns, are just normal buns, the curry was great.

At the end of the day, I thought this coffee shop is just another kopi tiam with a nice interior. I still am clueless as to why, this place is packed all the time .... after all I find the food, rather just average, service was quite attentive, and the prices are all above average (Oldtown kopitiam type of prices).

Google niu ze xui (its one of the most blogged about shopping mall)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Restoran Yik Kee @ Karak

While most people find themselves visiting Yik Kee, en route to Genting Highlands, I found myself in Karak one afternoon, while on my way home from Kuantan. It is probably the same Restoran Yik Kee which is famous for their durian bombs and such.

I'd planned immaculately the timing, how much time I should spend with the client, who to see, what to say, how fast to drive, so on and so forth, that I'd be in Karak in time for lunch. Hahaha...

But when I reached Yik Kee, I didn't know what to eat, because I was alone. In the end I ordered myself a plate of Roast Duck Rice, which tastes very different from the usual roast ducks we get from KL. The meat is tender, and is served with a layer of dark, sweetish soya sauce, and sprinkled with spring onions. I thought the rice could be better, but its really not bad.

Yik Kee is actually famous for their pastries. They are probably the pioneers in making durian tarts, but I don't really understand why their tarts are so over rated. Below is a picture of one Durian Tart ( something like an egg tart, except that it is filled with durian paste and not egg paste), and the right hand side, its a durian bomb ( lau lin KOK).
The durian tart's pastry was sticky and had not much texture to it. Although I didn't mind the taste of the tart, I was rather reluctant to finish up the rest of the crust. The durian bomb was nothing to shout about either. Nothing explosive came out of it, maybe just a sore throat after you eat these pastries.

I like the taste, as in the filling only. I wish they could improve on the quality of their pastries, ie, make them more crispy, and also less sticky to the teeth. It will help a lot too, if their durian tarts weren't falling apart when I tried to pick it up from the plate.

For comparison's sake, try A1 Crispy Puffs (better stuff there). But so far, I still have not found anyone else who makes those Durian Pies and Durian Cakes that Yik Kee makes.

Also read

Everything Asian
Small Kuching

note: took this from Babe's Post...
Yik Kee Restaurant
29 Jalan Besar
28600 Karak
Tel: 609-231 1240

Gohtong Jaya Branch:
22 & 23 Jalan Jati 1
Gohtong Jaya
69000 Genting Highlands
Tel: 603-6100 3240

Restaurant Sri Karak, Petaling Jaya Branch
17 Jalan 52/8
Section 52
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603-7958 3240

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Family Dinner @ Oversea Restaurant Jaya 1 PJ

This post has taken a bit of time to get posted, but better late than never. During Chinese New Year, our family , aka the uncles and aunties, usually takes turn to belanja makan. So all those eating cramped into a space of 15 days, one can become jelak, if there is repetition.

One phone call from my aunt, and we were summoned to Restoran Oversea's Jaya 1 outlet. It was packed that night, and the service was slow, and the restaurant just was too noisy. We have to raise our voices to talk to each other in the restaurant.

In spirit of the Chinese New Year festivities, we had this Yee Sang as an appetizer. The presentation wasn't exactly great, but most of the ingredients were fresh, added texture, and taste to the collective as a whole. Of course nowadays, Yee Sang is served mostly with the freshest salmon slices, and as I remembered correctly, Overseas had a strict policy on serving food with the freshest ingredients.

In our set dinner, a shark's fin soup was also included. It came in a starchy broth, filled with lots of shark's fin, and crab meat in it. Tasted quite good, and as we went on, so far, 2 out 2 dishes that came out pretty much impressed my tastebuds. Sayang who seated next to me, approves as well.

This blurry picture of this Chandon bottle, probably plays a role as to why were enjoying the meal as well as the company. It was a great bottle, but shared amongst quite a few relatives, we wished we brought a second bottle.

This dish is an assorted vegetables dish with mushroom and macadamia nuts. I am a sucker for this dish especially at Overseas. Everything came crunchy and fresh. No hint of fibre in those celery sticks on that dish. It was prepared very well.
This steamed Red Garoupa, came with out much presentation. But it was huge, meaty, juicy and very very sweet.

This is a broccoli with abalone, mushroom and sea cucumber.

Perhaps had too much bubbly, picture of the plate of prawns which I finished half off. LOL.... Nice big juicy prawns.

To finish off, the dessert came with one Tong Sui, and a Lin Kou (sticky rice cake). Everything was appetizing, generous serving for all dishes. I had no complains about, fish not cooked enough la, the prawns smelt funny la, vegetable a bit over cooked... everything was alright.

I really enjoyed every bite that went into my mouth, although they could improve on the food presentation. It was like everything cooked in a jiffy, dumped from wok to serving plate, wipe off the edges, and then served.

Service was a big let down. Why ? Because I had to go to the pantry to refill my tea, and collect more ice.

If you are looking at a quiet restaurant where you can chat or catch up with friends/relatives, this is not the place for it. On the other hand, if you wanted to just eat some good food, I recommend this place.

Price : I don't think that meal was cheap, but Uncle Belanja, bes !

Call Oversea @ Jaya 1
Sam Chow : 03 7956 9911

or visit their own website for details of the other outlets

Friday, May 16, 2008

Emperor Garden @ Gold Hill Club, Bdr Manjalara

I think when someone mention Kepong, each one of us will have a different image related to the place. For me, its a place I willl soon be moving to, and thus going to be spending a bit more time at. Its also a good place to hunt for good food, especially if you like street fares, and semi formal restaurants.

Of late though, Kepong has sprung up with two new "above average" chinese restaurants, like Regal House and Emperor Garden. I tried to look for my Regal House review, which I didn't write so the link is to Nic's review.

The first impression I got when I walked up the stairs leading to Emperor Garden, wah blardy grand wo this place. Air conditioning powering away full blast and all, and the usual chatting and high noise level of a chinese restaurant ( very evident in restuarants like Fullwealth, Tai Thong, Oversea, etc).
The first dish that came was tofu and some vege. I know what its called in cantonese, but have no idea what the vege is called in English.

My parents love this dish, the four heavenly kings. I still have no idea why they call this dish that. Does any of these vegetables resemble Aaron Kwow, Leon Lai, Andy Lau or Jacky Cheung ? ...
We ordered a serving of Pork ribs too. Looks like it was deep fried first, before it was put into a marmity type of gravy, which is sweet, aromatic, and salty. Yumm... if I remember correctly, you could see Sayang's face smiling while biting into those ribs....

I thought this dish was quite nice. Some kinda deep fried fish pieces cooked with buttered garlic bits. Lovely, the fish was fresh, and tangy, and the buttered garlic definitely gave it the extra kick this dish needed. I think there is also lots of lard in the garlic too...

Their roast chicken was nice. Skin was crispy but I think some parts like the breast was a bit too dry. I had no problem with the food here.

To summise, everything seems ok, food is alright, service can be improved. Pricing leh, its higher than Regal House and Fullwealth. The environment here is best, with a nicer looking entrance, seats, the whole works.

Emperor Garden Restaurant
Gold Hill Club
No18 Jalan 7A/62A,
Bandar Manjalara,
52200 Kuala Lumpur

Also read :


Monday, May 12, 2008

Kampung Attap Fish Head Curry @ Gerai Zabrullah

This is perhaps one of the most talked about Fish Head curry in town. For one, it is located right smack in the middle of town, but not exactly a very visible or a well known place. Kg Attap is not exactly a place most "out of towners" would like to go wandering about, because there really isn't much to see there except for this Gerai Zabrullah.

It must have been until quite recently that this Gerai Zabrullah, was a little stall, that operated under one of those huge trees, in one of the corners of Kg Attap. They have since moved to a new Corner Shop right next to their original location. People are still wondering if this shop is from the same proprietor or this is another case of a COPYKAT restaurant... ITS the same one....
We ordered quite a few dishes since they were seven of us. I really dislike these restaurants because of their long rectangular tables, synonymous to most non-Chinese eateries. It you eat in a group of more than 5 persons, you have to order 2 servings. Like lets say you got 6 flers eating with you, you go for 3 and 3.

Anyway back to our Kari "Kepala Ikan Merah", I mean it wasn't bad. The fish head was huge and yet the meat / skin is not tough. Bau hanyir pun tak ada. It must be due to the generous amount of spices, and curry powder they use to cook this curry. Now unlike chicken or smaller fish, these huge ones can't be overcook, otherwise it gets too tough. Their curry I categorize them under sour and spicy, and not too HOT. Its nice, plus the fish is neither smelly nor tough.
I didn't know this ayam goreng is called the ayam goreng madu, as I read from Joe's blog. But looking at the amount of ayam they were gorenging all the time, its a good sign that, thats a hot item there, so ordered only. To say the least, the chicken came smoking and vaporing. It was crispy, aromatic, juicy and moist. Most importantly, it was thoroughly cooked. No bloody stains on their bones...
This Cili Bawang is a must have. Its a mixture of green chillies, onions, sweet soya sauce and lime. A superb combination to have when eating fried / roasted stuff.

When it comes to recommendations, this Squid Curry dish, is no exception. Of course, you don't have to makan hidang like this, because you can always go for a single serving of dishes like in Mixed Rice stalls.

This place serves up some seriously good food. The pricing can be quite expensive when you go for a Fish Head. But I think a serving of fish head comes at a minimum of Rm25 for two persons. The rest can be quite reasonable.

Joe's Cravings
KY Eatz There also

Gerai Zabrullah
Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012 329 8515
012 9040 100
012 220 2041

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sushi Zanmai @ The Gardens, MidValley

I am definitely no connoisseur when it comes to Japanese food. I usually find them either too raw, too pretentious, two pricey and three don't know what the food is all about. Don't have the interest to find out either. Fortunately, I have a Sayang who loves her Japanese Food, whereby once in a while she will drag my reluctant ass into a nice restaurant.

I mean all these genki sushi, sushi king, edo sushi restaurants have given me the impression that there is no hope for Japanese food.

Here's how she dragged me into this one, a new place which is quite nice. Your uncle's been here many times and he recommends this place. My eye brow raised abit and I was like, ok la... can la... I thought wa, this place look quite attractive also wo...

As usual, you are bombarded by a whole lot of greeting in Japanese by local people. "Sushi ma zen !!!" one of them greets, I go, Hello !..... another waiter walks past and goes Tsim Sha Tsui zen... and I go Hello! again.... I actually wish they could just speak English to me instead...

I have no idea why, I've been here twice now and we've been seated at the same spot twice. I bet Sayang's been there more often than I have. Anyways, I wasn't into picking plates of the conveyer belt so when the waiter came, this was how I ordered

I looked at him sheepishly and go, can I have this Beef Noodle Soup in Maggi mee type noodles. What do you call those again ?
Waiter : That would be Ramen sir.
Me: ok, ....thanks... Hot Tea pls...

Sayang ordered her Chicken Chop noodles, in soup. I think it was a Soba...

When my noodle arrived, I was suprised that the noodles were straight and not curly like Maggi Mee.. kekekeke. I put a piece of the beef into my mouth first, followed by some soup. Good man, this bowl of noodles. I mean the beef was juicy and tender. The soup wasn't very MSG laden either. Great stuff. Wanted to share with Sayang, but she don't take beef...
Sayang's noodles came steaming hot, and it was those really fat ones. I thought, mana boleh. Makan Mee Kosong Soup meh... But then the chicken chop came shortly.

Sayang was nice enough (actually its her plan to make me FAT) to pass over a few pieces of her chicken to me. I find it to be very tasty ( abit like if it was marinated with fermented beancurd ), although it was a tad salty. But then it was suppose to accompany a bowl of soup noodles ma, so I guess salty is alright. By the side, they give you some salad, and am still wondering what the lemon was for....

Sushi Zanmai is located on the third floor of The Gardens, and is located in between Fong Lye and Flying Chillies. I remember now, one plus point about this Japanese Eatery is that, it doesn't play old fashion Japanese songs, instead they just played simple Hit songs...

The meal came up to about 30 bucks, which I thought was quite reasonable considering it was pretty good Jap food, and its in The Gardens.

Also read:

Dinner is Served
Ai Wei
Simon Says

Monday, May 05, 2008

Nam Heong Chicken Rice @ Petaling Street

It can be quite fun if you can afford the time to go back to the origin of Nam Heong Chicken rice. It felt like it was some kinda pilgrimage of some sort. It can be quite nostalgic if you know what I mean. After so many years of eating their chicken rice at that particular stall, they suddenly turned themselves around, over the last few years, and opened up so many branches, now you can eat Nam Heong, in your favorite shopping Mall, like MV, Sg Wang, etc....

We were in Petaling Street, and decided to pop by this shop. After all its, Sayang's fav chicken rice place. So we walked, and realized, every thing has changed. Its facade is consistent with its new branding and image. I remember it used to be dark, no air conditioning and such.
When I come to Nam Heong, I always thought their main attraction are their sauces, Chili and Ginger. To me thats a classic sauce, original to the max. Not many restaurants make them better than the way they do it.

We ordered a plate of Chari Siu , Siu Yoke to share. Hoping that it was world class, it was not. Just like any other plate of Char Siu , Siu Yoke, which is quite average. The best char siu in Klang Valley still goes to Uncle Bill's.
Sayang ordered her Roast Chicken while I opted for Hainanese White chicken. When I was a lot younger as a kid, I hated the taste of White Chicken. If not prepared well, the smell of the chicken can be unbearable. Which is why, the chili sauce is made of chili, garlic, vinegar, lime and sugar. It helps take away the smell of the chicken.

Fortunately the smell that I mentioned earlier is not found on their white chicken. So I happilly gobbled up my portion. Sayang, on the other hand prefers Roast chicken anytime.

Any good meal should be accompanied by some fibre. We ordered this old time favourite, Cabbage in Onion Oil.

To sum up, we had a fabulous lunch, in a nostalgic trip back to the first Nam Heong branch. I found it difficult to diffrentiate the taste between this outlet with the one in Mid Valley (which we recently went to).

Nam Heong Chicken Rice
56, Jalan Sultan
56000 Kuala Lumpur


Friday, May 02, 2008

Ah Yat Abalone Forum @ Avenue K , Jalan Ampang

It is really not everyday that we should eat like this, but it is definitely nice to know that there are restaurants such as Ah Yat Abalone Forum. From what I understand, their restaurant here in Avenue K, which is opposite of KLCC, was the same outlet which used to be in Swiss Inn, Jalan Pudu.

We were there to celebrate my Dad's birthday and we selected one of their set Menus, which went for about 140/pax.

Ok first dish up was a plate of Taugeh.. with no heads or tails.. HUH ?

No kidding, that was what they put on the table, I didn't know what to do with it, after taking that picture. Later I asked the Captain, hallo, whats this taugeh for ? She replied, for the sharksfin soup wan......

Ah Yat's sharksfin soup is definitely very fragrant. I definitely like theirs as it is not served in a thick starchy style. I liked it, and the sharksfin are served in chunks...

Oh I thought this next dish up was brilliant. It was a Triple Play dish, consisting of a mushroom, an abalone and a goose paddle. To be frank the goose paddle didn't look very appetising, but since everything was drenched in Ah Yat's massroom and abalone sauce , goose feet sure taste nice lo.... hehehe... actually it was quite nice... definitely tasted better than it looked.
This one was a fish and mushroom combo. Not sure why , but this restaurant loves combine mushroom with abalone/ fish. The fish was nice, but the serving was too small for my liking. I like my fish huge, juicy and fresh....

Their vegetables were shiny, green and crunchy. Really cooked to perfection, the gravy was abalone sauce.... Vegetables in abalone sauce...

Hor Yip Fan, Leaf Wrapped Rice was a filler dish. As every other thing came in a small serving, I was beginning to wonder, if the 145/pax price tag for whatever we were eating was gonna be worth it..... Normally when at a wedding dinner by the time this rice comes out, I'd be stuffed already, however so, I was gladly eating it up...

This is killer. Its the first time I ever had, Bird's Nest Egg Tart. We all got served one each, again, it came in a little piece of egg tart which was only 2" in diameter. Take my word for it, the Tong Kee egg tart tasted much better at RM 1.10 each. The Birds nest was probably just a feel good factor, its like eating a gold leaf or something like that.

Then the dessert came. It was some kinda red bean soup with Glutinouse Rice Ball(Tong Yuen) in it.

The meal was very pricey, but I thought the quality was high. Service was superb and the environment was great. It is not noisy, not like the usual Tai Thongs, Six Happiness, Overseas kind of crowd.... it really felt like Chinese Dining at its finest....

My main complain was to come only after we finished. The MSG after effect kicked in while driving home. Hmm.. we are now wondering, how come they need so much MSG, if all those gravy had abalone sauce in it....

Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant
M6-8 Mezzanine Floor
Avenue K, No.156, Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Also Read

FBB's Visit
Memoirs of the Heart
Life Pursuer