Category Archives: Food and Drinks Review

Kedai Kopi Raya @ Keningau

A day before  the 13th General Election, my wife and I visited Chia Min at Keningau, a town 1 1/2 hours away from Kota Kinabalu City. The drive there was pretty scenic as we went through the hills of Banjaran Crocker. We could see the valley below us. Amazingly,  you can see the clouds up-close!


Rest stop with a scenic view


Paddy field

Keningau is a small town. Although it’s a small city with less than 150,000 people, their local Facebook page, I ♥ Keningau, has 17, 000 members!

I was expecting a town with a few rows of shops but it’s actually a developed town with a shopping centre.


Election fever @ Keningau

Chia Min brought us to a local favourite called Kedai Kopi Raya which is famous for their pastries. So famous that you’ll find a queue whenever the new pastries come out from the kitchen!

We tried the big pao and char siew (barbecue roasted pork). They were not bad. Texture is all fluffy and the pork is sweet. Many times better than Tanjung Malim’s Yik Mun pao.


Peanut butter bun. It’s a mixture of peanut butter and sugar. I remember when I was a kid, I hated peanut butter on its own. But I will only eat it if my peanut butter sandwich is mixed with sugar!


Each pastry comes with a price tag!

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Address
44A & 46A changkat bukit bintang
50200 kuala lumpur . malaysia
Tel: + 603 2110 0431
Fax: + 603 2145 1375
Reservation: + 6012 251 5797

Website: http://www.dininginthedarkkl.com/

Christmas @ Cristang @ Avenue 8, PJ New Town

There I was. Sitting on the red bench of Cristang holding my knife and fork. This time round, it wasn’t their famous pork burger. It was something else.

Lee Shih and I (and our partners) were invited to try Cristang’s Christmas set and give feedback thereafter. I was told that we will be served pork loin with other dishes.

While waiting for our pork loin, we ordered the ever delicious Cristang mash potatoes. It’s a mixture of mash potatoes, cheese and bacon topped with cream of mushroom soup. If I could have this mash potato served as a burger, I would definitely eat it.

Mash potatoes aside, Gerald (owner) served us Winter Summer Salad (RM 13.80+)(previously know as Uncle G’s salad) as the appetizer.

It’s a representation of the traditional colors of Christmas, red, green and white. Freshly grilled tomatoes topped with asparagus and crumbled herbed feta cheese, drizzled with olive soaked olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar for a touch of acidity. I normally do not eat asparagus but I must say that this asparagus is tasty.

Then came the shrimp ceviche (RM 23.00+). According to Gerald, it’s a “quick blanch of shrimps in hot water and soaked for 24 hours in freshly squeezed lime juice, allowing the acidity to ‘cook’ the shrimps, together with Bombay onions and jalapeno peppers. Served with diced tomatoes, mangoes and avocados with julienned cucumbers“.

If you’re bringing a date for dinner, bring some strong mint along cause the smell of onion in your mouth is as good as an overloaded garbage truck.

The highlight was the Pan-seared Pork Loin. For RM42, you can enjoy this tender and juicy loin served with cherries, cinnamon and walnuts with a dash of seasoning and seared in olive oil, with cherries, cinnamon and walnuts, together with a juice reduction with cherry brandy and port wine sauce.

There are so many ingredients in this dish and I think one word summarizes this dish – AWESOME.

For dessert, we had the cranberry and cinnamon Semifreddo (RM12.90+). I was told that it is served traditionally during the Christmas season at Cristang. It consists of fresh cranberries cooked with cinnamon and blended with heavy cream into an ice-cream consistency.

I must say that Cristang serves one of the best desserts in town. If Gerald is in the restaurant, get him to describe the food to you. His description is extremely meticulous. You’ll appreciate the dish more after hearing from him.

Richard Wee told me that Gerald framed my review of his restaurant but I never got the chance to see it. It’s the first time I had someone framing my blogpost on their walls. That made my day! Here’s a picture of it.

Address
Unit B-G-19, 8 Avenue,
Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/1
Seksyen 8, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 03-7956-7877
Facebook Page

OPERATING HOURS: Tuesdays to Sundays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; 5:30pm to 11:00pm. Last call @ 10:30pm.
CLOSED ON MONDAYS

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Pan Mee @ J&E Little Kitchen, OUG

J&E Little Kitchen used to be in a small stall located at one of the coffee shops of Overseas Union Garden (OUG). That coffee shop was demolished recently and J&E Little Kitchen took over a smaller coffee shop.

There was a time I was crazy over their pan mee. So much so that the boss and her helpers know what I want – dry version of pan mee in the morning and soup based pan mee in the afternoon.

The reason why I like J&E’s pan mee is the texture of their noodles. It’s quite springy and chewy. Also, their broth is quite clear and tasty. Unlike many other pan mee, it doesn’t leave me thirsty (due to MSG I guess) after a bowl.

I don’t like their vegetables in my dish thus I always leave aside. J&E was quick to know that and they replaced the vegetable with extra fish paste – without me asking them. You will notice that the pictures above do not have vegetables in it!

Amazing how little sales and marketing tips to win loyalty of your customers that you can pick up from your neighbourhood hawker stalls.

Address
19, Jalan Hujan Rahmat,
Taman OUG, Off Jalan Klang Lama,
58200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 012-667 1611 (Eileen Khoo) / 012-377 3236 (Carol Lee)

Business hour: 6.30am to 9pm

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Mixed Pork Soup @ Sun Tho Yuen, Sungai Way

It started off with a small group of us meeting up for lunch but the group grew to 11 people with the help of WhatsApp group.

Recommended by Eric and Dj Anatta, Sun Tho Yuen is located in one of the remaining villages of Petaling Jaya. It’s an old school coffee shop –  probably a favourite of the retirees of the village. It has a healthy mixture of Chinese, Malay and Indian inhabitants. But I guess foreigners have moved in too.


JKLMNOPQRSTU

The restaurant has no visible signboard outside but you can see it inside the shop. You wont miss the mixed pork soup stall inside.


Old school comic character – Lou Fu Chee.

We ordered their well known mixed pork soup, pork trotters, braised tofu and eggs. Instead of white rice, they serve yam rice. But if you come too late, you’ll probably get white rice and scraps.

The pork soup came with various parts of the pig like the stomach, liver, lung, intestine, belly and pork balls. I’m not a big fan of pig spare parts.

But the highlights to me were their yam rice and pork trotters. Yam rice was fragrant. Pork trousers were wrapped with a soft piece of skin and fat which melt in your mouth.

The other highlight is that the price was extremely affordable. There were 11 of us and the bill came up to a grand total of RM104! 

Address
At the crossroads of SS9A/2 and SS9A/9, Sungai Way,
47300 Petaling Jaya.
Opposite a temple.

Opening Hours: Tues to Sunday (approx.) 8.30am till 2pm

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Menya Musashi @ Isetan 1 Utama

I’ve never been a big fan of ramen until I tried Ichiran ramen in Fukuoka. After trying Ichiran ramen, I was on a search for good ramen in KL.

After Jessica Wong of Plasterdoll recommended Menya Musashi to my wife and I, we’ve been going to this place for their awesome pork ramen regularly.

Menya Musashi is located at the second floor of the Old Wing of 1 Utama. It’s part of the row of Japanese and Korean restaurants inside Isetan’s Eat Paradise.

Service at Menya Musashi is awesome. You’ll be welcomed with a big shoutout from the crew. Once in a while the kitchen crew will roar loudly. I guess it’s an indication that a bowl of ramen is ready.

Their pork ramen comes in versions namely normal ramen (RM22), Ajitama ramen (with egg) (RM24) and Chashu men (with barbecued pork) (RM30). It also comes in 3 flavours namely onion flavoured oil (shiro), special oil combined with fried shallots and garlic oil (kuro) and chilli oil (aka). My favourite would be the shiro ramen. There’s an unlimited supply of fried shallots on each table. 

Their pork comes in a long and thin slice with a lovely piece of fat. Soup is full flavoured peppered with cruncy bamboo shoots. Noodles is springy. It’s not as good as Ichiran ramen but it’s quite yummy!


Shiro ramen


Aka Ramen

The only drawback is the soup is a little bit oily. Price is also at the high side. A bowl of ramen is from RM22.

Other reviews
Vkeong – http://www.vkeong.com/2012/08/menya-musashi-samurai-ramen-isetan-eat-paradise-1-utama/
Eat Only Lar – http://www.eatonlylar.com/japanese-food/menya-musashi
Pure Glutton http://pureglutton.com/menya-musashi-is-open-at-1-utama

Address
Menya Musashi Ramen
2nd Floor, Isetan Eat Paradise
Isetan Bandar Utama City Centre
Opens 11am onwards

Assam Laksa @ Fruit n Spice @ Balik Pulau, Penang

There is something about this place. Although tucked in the middle of no where in Balik Pulau, this place somehow managed to attract my attention. My wife and I were driving around the trunk roads of Balik Pulau when we saw a bungalow with a sign “Home Cooked Assam Laksa”.

Without hesitation, we turned into the bungalow and found that the owner had turned his home into an open-air restaurant.

Some parts of the house reminds me so much about my childhood in the Chinese village at Balakong and also Tanah Merah.

Tables were placed on his porch and one can even choose to sit in his garden – with his dog too!

Assam laksa was okay. My wife thinks it’s not hot enough for her but it was just nice for me. It’s also not very sour. But for the ambiance, I don’t mind coming back here just to enjoy the view and atmosphere.

I managed to speak to the owner of the place, Eric Kee. He is also an avid antique collector like me. During our conversation, he told me of a series of antique Chinese classics translated into Malay. Classic Chinese novels such Romance of Three Kingdoms and Water Margin were translated by one Chan Kim Boon, a Baba, in the 1890s. I was told that his books were popular back then that it was impossible to collect a whole series (each series have numerous volumes). Back then, it was popular with children and children used to exchange volumes with one another because it was expensive to own a whole series. Eric told me that some antique collector found a mint series and was selling it for a high price. Interesting..

Anyway, back to Fruit N Spice. You can read more of Fruit N Spice below:-

Jen ❤ Jen 意 • Blog – Fruit n Spice 传统式叻沙 @ Balik Pulau
All about Penang food – Fruit n Spice

Address
202B, Jalan Sungai Pinang,
11010 Balik Pulau, Penang
Tel: 04- 866 1807 /
Eric Kee 012-401 0101
Website: http://fruitnspice.atspace.co.uk/map.htm

Business Hours: Sat, Sun & Public Holidays
From 10.00 am

New York City Food Guide – Part 2

My wife and I didn’t do much research on the places to eat. Most of the places we were found using Yelp when we were around a particular area. Fortunately, free Wifi was ample in Manhattan and we could surf the net anywhere we wanted. In fact, you can even get Wifi at parks!

Cafe Lalo @ Upper West Side

Apparently Sarah Jessica Parker, the star of War Horse, goes here. Famed for their organic food, you won’t find any pork or poultry on the menu.


Notwithstanding that, food was pretty good especially their Belgian waffles. Their crispy waffles is served with maple syrup, cream and fresh strawberry. Heavenly I must say!

There is usually a queue to get a seat especially during peak time e.g weekends.

Address
201 West 83rd St.
New York, NY 10024

Website: http://cafelalo.com/cafe/
Opening Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8am-2am

Friday: 8am-4am
Saturday: 9am-4am

Sunday: 9am-2am
Holidays until 4am


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Clinton Street Baking Company

This place is located amongst the good eateries of Lower East Side of Manhattan. So good that the queue is extremely long queue. The wait can go up to 1 hour but fortunately we got in within 20 minutes. There is a cafe, namely Pause cafe, which serves good coffee and free WiFI. We had coffee there while waiting for our turn to be called.

We ordered Pancakes with warm maple syrup (USD12) and Southern Breakfast.


Blueberry pancakes was extremely good. Fluffy and large in portion. Maple syrup complements the dish.


Southern dish on the other hand was interesting. Their sugar cured bacon was awesome but the rest was just okay. I would order something else if I had another chance.

Address
4 Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002

Website: http://www.clintonstreetbaking.com/

Opening Hours:
sunday:
open 9am to 6pm (no dinner on sundays)
monday thru friday:
open 8am – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm
saturday:
open 9am – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm
The restaurant is closed Monday thru Saturday from 4 to 6pm.


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Yonah Schimmel Knishery

With over 100 years of history, the premise aged together with the business. Yonah Schimmel Knishery doesn’t have beautiful decor but it does have a lot of history on its walls. Sitting in the shop itself can be a history lesson of the place.

A knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is either baked, grilled, or deep fried and it is a Jewish snack food. To me, it taste like a savory tar sar peng but with potato fillings.

Address
137 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
Between 1st & 2nd – The Lower East Side
Phone/Fax (212) 477-2858

Website: http://knishery.com/


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Laboratorio del Gelato

As the name suggest, this place looks like a laboratory. Its interior is mostly white and the walls are made of glass.


You can actually see how gelato is made in their kitchen.

It’s just a few streets away from Clinton Street Baking Company. It’s been featured in many mainstream medias.

We had their strawberry gelato. It was not bad. Salted caramel seems to be pretty popular as it was the only flavour that ran out.

They also have other unique flavours. Ginger is one of them. Big fat Euw!

Address
188 Ludlow Street
(at East Houston)
New York, NY 10002
Te: 212 343 9922

Opening hours:
monday to thursday 7:30am – 10pm
friday 7:30am – midnight
saturday 10am – midnight
sunday 10am – 10pm

Website: http://www.laboratoriodelgelato.com/


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La Mela Ristorante @ Little Italy

Another Zagat rated restaurant on Little Italy. This Italian ristorante occupies three lots.


Three Types Pasta was awesome. Although small in proportion, one dish was enough to feed my wife and I.

Surprisingly, their cafe latte was not bad.

Tirasmisu on the other hand was just alright. Nothing to shout about.

I would recommend people to come here for their pasta.

Address
167 Mulberry Street
New York,
NY 10013, United States
Tel: (212) 431-9493

Website: http://www.lamelarestaurant.com/


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Norma’s @ Le Meridian

This place was a little bit upscale. Food starts from USD20. Cappuccino was USD7 and orange juice was also USD7!

Apparently this place is well known but Yelp criticized this place like mad.

But I must say that their Crispy French Toast (USD21) was great. Sprinkled with crispy rice, it was massive in size. Crust was crispy but the bread was soft. My wife and I shared it and it filled the both of us up!

[Note: Also try Burger Joint if you’re in the same building]

Address
119 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019,
United States
Tel: (212) 708-7460

Website: http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat1.php


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Totto Ramen
After waiting for 30 minutes for a spot, we finally managed to squeeze ourselves into this small tiny Japanese restaurant.


Maximum 4 people per table.


Niku Ramen was good. It was a meat galour. Full of yummy tender beef!


Half meat, Half Fat. Ah.

Broth was thick and flavoured. But it is not as good as Ichiran in Fukuoka. Although the first few bites were good, the taste sort of died down towards the end. It is no where near Ichiran in Fukuoka!

Address
366 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019,
United States
Tel: (212) 582-0052

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri 12pm – 12am
Sat 12pm – 11pm
Sun 5pm – 11pm

Website: http://tottoramen.com/


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Mukha Cafe @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI)

My wedding photographer, Anna-Rina recommended this place to us for coffee.

I must say it was a good recommendation. Located in the neighbourhood of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, this classy artistic cafe provides a comfortable environment for patrons which are predominantly hispter Malays.

According to their Facebook page:-

A Recipe For A Good Gathering In the heart of TTDI, nestles a cozy little cafe called Mukha that draws its inspiration from a place of the same name in Yemen where traders from all corners of the world used to meet and trade coffee in the 15th century. A place that was built out of love for good food and good company, Mukha will continue to inspire others as a place where you can meet, unwind while enjoying the taste of your favourite cup of coffee and other delectable offerings. Coupled with its cosy ambience, it’s the perfect recipe for all gatherings, whether with friends or families. Gather and share your common love for good food and good company at Mukha, TTDI.


The cafe shares a spot with a small pastry shop called Suoka which serves to-die-for red velvet cake. Cream cheese was sour enough. It was very moist too!


Big Breakfast (RM13). Large portion. Doesn’t come with many options like Departure Lounge. But Arab toast was tasty.


Latte. Coffee taste rather light and faint. Should have ordered double shot!

I accidentally left my iPad at Mukha and rushed back there after an hour. When I came back, the kind waiter kept it for me. Looks like honesty is one of the things they serve! Thumbs up!

Address
15, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours :
Mon – Thurs 12pm-10pm,
Fri 2pm-12am,
Sat 12pm–12am.
Closed Sundays.

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Ishin Japanese Restaurant, Old Klang Road

I brought my wife to Ishin Japanese restaurant for her birthday after a treat at Khayena Spa. My friend recommended Khayena Spa and my wife thinks it’s great.

Anyway, Ishin Japanese Restaurant is located in an old bangalow facing Old Klang Road. The bangalow has been there ever since I was a kid. Before it became a Japanese restaurant, it was a laundromat. Now its a spanking Japanese restaurant with nice ambiance and interior. Service is not bad. There’s free valet parking too.


Their menu is in the iPad. Quite impressive. Would be better if you could order your food using the iPad!

Their website stated that their ingredients are specially flown from the famed Tsuji market in Tokyo. Notwithstanding the distance, their food was fresh. Our first meal, salad tofu, was great. The tofu tasted was thick and creamy. It was like ice cream.


I had their Unagi Zen. Like any normal Unagi dinner set, it came with tempura, chawamushi and fruits. Priced at RM45, it was nevertheless good.


Sushi was great as well. Wasabi was great too. Gave me a massive headache.


For dessert, we ordered chocolate parfait and gomo (black sesame) ice cream.

The chocolate parfait was disappointing. It was just a cupful of chocolate icecream and whipped cream. I did not even finish it. So far, I prefer Pasta Zanmai’s parfait.

In fact, their goma ice cream was better although it came in a small bowl.

Overall experience was good. I will come back again.

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Address
No. 202, Persian Klang Batu 3 3/4
Off Jalan Kelang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur

03-7980-8228 (Call for reservation)
Website: http://ishin.my/