Monday, 26 September 2016

RVS Banana Leaf Restaurant @ Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur

I had a meeting this morning in Jalan Pahang and by the time it was over, it was close to noon. Instead of heading back to the office for lunch, I decided on having lunch here itself. As I was walking to my favourite Indian food stall which is located inside a Chinese Coffee Shop, I discovered this new Banana Leaf Restaurant called RVS Banana Leaf Restaurant. Seems that the place is just about a month old and it's located directly opposite the entrance to KL General Hospital right on the Ground Floor of Vue Residences Serviced Suites. 

The Restaurant

A Very English Like Setting

Air-conditioned And Lovely Cafe Set Up

Special Area For Banana Leaf Meals
The restaurant had recently taken over the place from a cafe that had closed down and as such, it had a trendy feel to the overall atmosphere. The entire restaurant was air conditioned. Thanks to the previous cafe owners for having not taken those air-conditioning units with them when they moved out. The staffs were very friendly and chatty. At first I was very keen on trying their Banana Leaf Meals and when I checked, unfortunately they were not ready. That's rather strange as it was already close to 12 noon and I was told that it would take at least another 30 minutes. I did not have that much time at my perusal and so decided to opt for the standard meal on plates. The dishes were all placed on a counter at the entrance and they had already prepared close to 15 dishes which was more than enough for me. In a way this was good as I get to sample more things in smaller quantity instead of having lesser items but a larger meal. The restaurant had two sections. The open seating area which is for all diners and another exclusive section inside which is specifically for Banana Leaf Meals. I had a peek at that 'exclusive' area and it seemed more like a romantic place with all the dim lighting. I guess it must have been a couples only zone when the previous tenants were occupying the place. 

Ice Lemon Tea @ RM 2.50

Iced Tea @ RM 1.80
Despite the place being air conditioned, it was a rather hot afternoon and so I had to go with two drinks. For variety sake, I ordered a glass of Ice Lemon Tea which was priced at RM 2.50 and another glass of Iced Tea which was priced at RM 1.80. It had taken them a while to fix the drinks despite me being the sole customer at that hour and that was because the guy making the drinks was trying to multi task. He was making a Tosai for one of the customers and at the same time fixing the drinks. A rather hilarious scene it was. And yes, the guy that ordered the Tosai was not at all happy with the Tosai. That I could see from his face which he eventually voiced it out to the waiter. And of course, after about 10 minutes, more and more customers started walking in. As for the drinks, the Ice Lemon Tea was really good and for that drink, I would give it a 9/10. The Iced Tea however was just okay. Good but still with some room for improvement and so I shall give it a 8/10. Prices seemed reasonable to me, what more for an air-conditioned restaurant.  

My Lunch @ RM 10.00
I took a little bit of everything that I wanted to taste and the price was RM 10.00 for this lot. Pricey? Maybe for an ordinary restaurant but for one with such a concept and comfort, it seemed acceptable to me. To list the items that I had taken, they were Rice, Chicken Curry, Ayam Masak Kicap (Soy Sauce Chicken), Fried Egg, Potato Perattal, Bottle Gourd Perattal and some Mutton Perattal. Now, just hoping that the food would taste as good as it looks. 

White Rice with Chicken Curry
To start off my meal, I tasted their Rice and Chicken Curry first and guess what, it turned out to be quite bad. Seriously, the gravy was not even close to how Chicken Curry should me. I am one who would never waste food and it is my habit to eat till the last grain of rice on my plate but today, I just gave up. However much I tried to force myself, I just couldn't do it and ended up leaving the whole lot of rice and curry on the plate. This is such a surprise as these are the basic curries in any South Indian restaurant and it's just a shame that it's so bad here. I would only give this at 3/10. 

Fried Egg
Having been disappointed with the rice, I had to fill my tummy with just the veggies and the rest of the meat stuff that I had taken. The Fried Egg was okay. Again, it wasn't great but just okay. I wonder how one can even go wrong with frying a simple egg. It was a little soggy and that always put's me off. I would give this a 6/10. 

Ayam Masak Kicap (Soy Sauce Chicken)
Their Ayam Masak Kicap was good for a change and thank God for that. It was sweet, mildly salty and spicy and they had used smaller chicken cuts for this which was just perfect. Glad that I had taken this instead of the Chicken Perattal. As for this Ayam Masak Kicap, I would give it a 7/10. 

Potato and Banana (Valakkai) Perattal
The Potato and Valakkai Perattal was another one that pissed me off. Not because it lacked flavours, even that can be pardoned but simply because it was not fully cooked and that's a sin that is not permissible for a chef. Being one that cooks in restaurants, how can you make such a mistake. Come on, it was not just one in the whole lot that I took but it was each and every piece. Terrible! I would deem 0/10 to be a very generous marks for this preparation. 

Bottle Gourd Perattal
Just when I was about to say luckily the Bottle Gourd Perattal was properly cooked, another terror struck me as it tasted so bland. Yes, so flat in taste it was that I felt like I was chewing on some fiber pills. Don't they even taste the food they prepare? I would only give this a 2/10.

Mutton Perattal
Their Mutton Perattal was nice, yes really nice. Quality meat cuts that were lean and fat free cooked in a thick aromatic gravy with potatoes added to give it a really nice flavour. The only setback was that it could have been a little spicier. Well, after having tried some disastrous food items, this seemed like a boon from God and so I would not complain. As for this preparation, I would give it a 7/10. 

To cut a long story short, I guess this would be my last visit here. It is such a shame that the food sin't up to acceptable levels as I really liked the environment as well as the staffs who were so friendly and nice. Even the prices seemed very reasonable to me. Sad to say, if the food continues to be like this, I dread that they too would not last long. Hopefully, they would do something about the cooking and may it be done soon. 

Address: No. G-08, Ground Floor, Vue Residences Serviced Suites, 
                102, Jalan Pahang, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2230 Daily

Telephone: +6010 291 5353 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Restoran Corner Tomyam @ Hulu Bernam, Selangor

Restoran Corner Tomyam isn't a new restaurant. It has been around for years now. Located on the Selangor side of town, this restaurant is right beside the famous Cendol Pulut Behrang, Tanjung Malim outlet, just alongside the village route to Escot Estate. Despite it's long existence, I have never seen a large crowd at this restaurant as I tend to pass this way almost daily and on the flip side, there has never been a moment where they have not had customers. At any point in time, there would be at least two or three tables that are occupied. I did ask around with some of my friends and I got some very interesting feedback. The majority said that it depends on the mood of the lady boss. If she's in a good mood, then the food would be good. Otherwise, it would perhaps be the worst meal that one has had. This feedback was one that I had least expected. That was when I thought that I should also give it a try just to experience it myself and I was hoping that it would turn out to be a good experience. 

Inside The Restaurant
The place is rather simple. A small indoor dining area and a larger outdoor space. There's ample of parking space in front of this restaurant and so that solves the parking problem. Just an elderly Kelantanese couple that run's this eatery along with their teenage children that help occasionally when they are done with their school work. Cleanliness is good and there's a TV as well. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu
Despite there being just a handful of customers, it did take them a while before attending to us. The look on the lady boss's face wasn't too pleasant and that gave me an indication that today was going to be a rather painful dining experience. Since we were already here, we decided to just proceed and have whatever that was served. Their menu was quite comprehensive and they had all the dishes that we would normally find in a similar restaurant. The prices too were equally reasonable. We already knew what we wanted to have and so it didn't take us too long to place the orders. With that, she disappeared into the kitchen without saying another word.  

Ayam Masak Merah @ RM 4.00
Ayam Masak Merah was the very first dish to arrive. For RM 4.00 , I felt that the portion was small. Just look at the amount of chicken bits. Way too little. And taste wise, it was really off. Clearly she had cut short on the ingredients and the base sauce seemed very watery and lacked the required flavours. Should I be surprised? Well, we had already guessed how this would be even at the time of placing our orders and so, it wasn't a surprise at all. We just looked at each other and smiled. As for this dish, I would give this a 5/10 rating. 

Telur Dadar @ RM 1.20
Telur Dadar wasn't that great either. I just hate it when it comes soaked in oil and this happened to be exactly that. That greasy feel generally tends to kill the taste especially when it had been friend using recycled oil. I would only give this a 5/10.

Kailan Ikan Masin @ RM 4.00
Kailan Ikan Masin was also a so so dish. The good thing was that the veggies were fresh. The setback was the watery sauce and the lack of salt fish. In fact, I never tasted any traces of salt fish in that sauce or did I even discover one small lump of it among the veggies. Another let down and I would only give this a 4/10.

Chicken Tomyam Soup @ RM 4.50

A Few Pieces Of Chicken Was Sighted In The Soup
As expected, the Chicken Tomyam Soup was another disappointment. Five or six small bits of chicken were added for namesake along with a handful of mushrooms. Otherwise, the soup didn't taste anywhere close to Tomyam but tasted something like a herbal soup.This I shall only give it a 4/10. 

In summary, it was a total waste of money. The food was cheap but taste wise, it was really bad. Now I am really wondering how they have survived this long. I guess most of their customers don't really return and they must be surviving solely because of UPSI, which is the university in Tanjung Malim. I doubt there would be customers returning to this restaurant after being served this kind of food. I for sure am not going back ever again. 

Address: No. 1, Lot 4802, Jalan Escot, Hulu Bernam, 35900 Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1800 - 0200 Daily

Telephone: +6012 225 3187 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chinese Mixed Rice Stall In Kedai Kopi Hup Hing @ Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur

This isn't my first visit to Kedai Kopi Hup Hing. Previously, I visited the Indian Food Stall and the Wan Tan Mee Stall that is located inside this restaurant and was very impressed with the food. At that time, I noticed that there was another Chinese Mixed Rice stall that also seemed to be famous with the patrons and all the dishes looked good. I made a mental note then to try that the next trip and here I am today. 

The Restaurant Located Along Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur

Just A Simple Chinese Coffee Shop
This restaurant is located opposite the main entrance to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital and is just a few minutes walk from Grand Seasons Hotel. It would not be possible to miss this place. The Chinese Mixed Rice stall starts as early as 10.00 am and business goes on till around 2.00 pm . Usually by 11.30 am, some of the dishes would have been sold out and the staffs would get busy and start preparing more dishes to replenish whatever had been sold out. It is always best to come here before 12 noon as it tends to be easier to get a table. From 12 noon onwards till around 1.30 pm, it's usually full house. The restaurant isn't that big and so it can only cater for a certain number of customers at any point in time. Having three different stalls which are all top sellers, you can imagine how the place would look like. In fact, many of the customers that had initially planned on dining in would eventually do take away's as there wouldn't be a place for them to sit. Easily during those hours, there would be at least 200 to 300 customers walking in. 

Local Coffee @ RM 1.60
Having been hooked onto their coffee from my previous visits, I ordered the same this time as well and it was one that did not let me down. A perfect mix of local ground coffee and milk. This is one drink that one should not miss. Perfect bliss!!! I would rate this at 9/10 .

My Selection of Chinese Mixed Rice Items @ RM 9.00
There were so many dishes to choose from and most of them were my favourites. After having been challenged as to what to have, I finally settled for the above which cost me RM 9.00 . Pricey? Maybe but it was absolutely worth it. I took two slices of Fried Luncheon Pork, some Fried Potatoes in Soy Sauce, two pieces of Pork Chops and some Stir Fried Ladies' Fingers (Okra) with Belacan (shrimp paste).

Fried Potatoes in Light Soy Sauce
Being a huge fan of potatoes, I just could not resist this. Thinly sliced potatoes were fried and then stir fried with soy sauce and onions. Somehow, the preparation here seemed very different and that's meant in a very positive manner. What did they add that made it taste so different is something that I could not figure out but trust me, it was so good and way better than the ones that I have eaten say in the last 20 years. If only I could guess what that ingredient was. Whatever it was, I absolutely loved it and would give this a 10/10.

Luncheon Pork Dipped In Eggs and Fried
Now anyone can say that this is just the standard Ma Ling brand Luncheon Pork which has been sliced and fried but for me, it was different. The difference here is the lack of greasiness in the meat. Do have a look at the same thing sold at other Chap Fun places. It would be greasy but this just did not look and taste so. Great skill in frying this. Again, I would rate it at 10/10 and that's solely for the frying skills. 

Ladies' Finger (Okra) Stir Fried With Belacan
This Ladies Finger stir fried with Belacan was another fantastic preparation. I think they had prepared the paste first and then added the Okra into it and not the other way around. The reason for saying so is simply because of the crispiness of the Okra even after cooking. Even the Belacan paste had evenly spread to the entire preparation. Spicy and crunchy and not a single moment where I could taste the oil. A healthy way to prepare this dish and it was so tasty. It would only be fair if I give this a 10/10. 

Pork Chops
These Pork Chops were the highlight of my meal. It was so good! In fact, this was the most expensive part of my meal. Each slice was priced at RM 2.00 but, it was truly worth it. It was so juicy and tender and I could taste honey. I went over to the lady boss asking her how they prepare their Pork Chops and she was so kind to bring me to the kitchen and show me. Guess what? They were marinating tomorrow's Pork Chops this afternoon. No wonder it was so good. It is kept marinated for almost 20 hours. Besides that, I also saw them adding bottles of Tiger Beer to this. Now that explains how the meat was so tender. This for sure was an amazing piece of meat and I wouldn't even mind giving this a 20/10. That fabulous it was!

If you happen to be on this side of town, don't miss out this place. If not for anything else, at least for their Pork Chops. They were just divine!

Address: No. 20-7, Jalan Pahang, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 1430  (Closed On Sundays)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Restoran Claypot Junction @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Restoran Claypot Junction is a restaurant that has been in operation for about a year now and they are located in Taman Angeerik Desa, Tanjung Malim which is directly opposite the Thandayuthapani Temple. I have blogged about this restaurant before when they first opened but that entry was solely focused on their Mixed Rice variety that is served for lunch. This restaurant is open daily from 10 am till 3 pm and then again from 6 pm till 10 pm. During the first session, they only do Chinese Mixed Rice and come dinner, they serve a number of dishes like any other Chinese restaurant and all the dishes are served in claypots hence the name Claypot Junction. I must agree that their food is good and that was based on my experience trying out their Mixed Rice on a number of occasions though the prices are slightly premium. Well, I seriously don't mind paying for that slight premium since the food tastes good. Somehow, we had always avoided coming here for dinner. No specific reason for that but I guess it'ssimply because we usually prefer something light for dinner. Today, I made it a point to come here for dinner with my parents simply because it was a visit that was way overdue. Moreover, these guys are located a mere three minutes away from my place. 

The Restaurant in Taman Anggerik Desa, Tanjung Malim

A Handful Of Customers
We were here around 8 pm and the place wasn't too crowded. In fact, I have never seen this place crowded for dinner but it certainly is very crowded for lunch. I guess just like us, most people have marked this place as a lunch venue. Still, they had a good flow of customers coming in in batches. Throughout the two hours that we were here, they had around close to 12 tables that were occupied and assuming that was like RM 30 per table, that's not bad for a quiet night. One thing that I love about this restaurant is the breeze that blows through in the evenings. Being a corner unit, they are lucky to have this breeze that blows through all the time making it such a pleasurable dining experience. Fans are least needed because of that breeze. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu
The above are just some of the pages from their menu. Quite an elaborate offering they have and most of their dishes comes in three size options, small, regular and large. Of course you don't get those exquisite seafood items here. Even a full fish is not available but you do get fillets. Forget about crabs and other seafood items as well. Otherwise, they have a good selection of dishes, noodles, fried stuffs and also some individual dishes like rice and sweet & sour pork etc. Prices again were about 10% to 15% more than the other restaurants but it would be acceptable if the food was good. After going through their menu, we placed our orders. 

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.50

Cutlery, Soy Sauce and Garlic with Bird Eye Chili
At night's, the restaurant is basically manned by three people. Two young chaps, a guy and a girl man the shop floor and another middle aged guy does the cooking. For the kind of crowd that they have for dinner, the three of them are more than enough as they tend to handle it pretty well. If you come for lunch, you'd see a much larger manpower team managing the restaurant. It wasn't too long a wait and one by one, the dishes started arriving. 

Claypot Loh She Fun (Small) @ RM 6.00

All Stirred Up
The first dish to arrive was the above Claypot Loh She Fun. I must confess that the portion was good for the price. It was good to fill three small bowls to the brim and that seemed like very reasonable to me. Just like I had mentioned earlier, it was a little more pricey as the common price in town for a similar dish would be around RM 5.00 but for me it was acceptable for two reasons. Firstly, it tasted really good. Very good in fact. And secondly, we don't get Loh She Fun elsewhere in town. The noodles were all good, came with lots of shrimps and pork and it tasted fantastic. I would give this a 9/10. 

Rice Porridge with Pork & Century Eggs (Small) @ RM 7.00

Rich With Ingredients
If I said that the earlier Loh She Fun was good, this Rice Porridge with Pork and Century Eggs were heavenly! Just look at the amount of the ingredients used. It came with so much pork, century eggs and ginger and the one that truly gave it a marvelous taste was the lavishly used ginger. Honestly, I never liked rice porridge simply because of the flat taste but this one was something else all together. If this is how porridge would taste, I wouldn't mind having this on a daily basis. Each scoop was filled with a burst of flavours and it was served piping hot. Truly some marvelous porridge and it deserves a rating of nothing less than a perfect 10/10. 


Claypot Tofu with Roasted Pork Belly (Small) @ RM 8.00
Wow! This Claypot Tofu with Roasted Pork Belly was another fantastic preparation. So many components to this dish that carried it's taste so well. Firstly, the tofu was so good. It had a crispy but fragile skin and the inside was so soft, juicy and delicious. Secondly, it was the pork belly. I wonder how they had roasted it so well. Fatty, crunchy, crispy and chewy..... it was just awesome. And finally was the broth. Wow, another amazingly done dish. I have tasted the similar dish in other restaurants and none can come close to this one. Again, a 10/10 for this!

Claypot Kung Pow Chicken (Small) @ RM 10.00
Their Claypot Kung Pow Chicken was another dish that lived up to it's reputation. It came with lots of chicken bits, dried chilies, green pepper and onions served in a dark and spicy broth. Good but it could have been better and would have tasted good if they had added some cashew nuts. Still, a good preparation it was and I would give this a 8/10. 

Claypot Fish Fillet with Ginger & Spring Onions (Small) @ RM 12.00
This Claypot Fish Fillet with Ginger and Spring Onions was surely better than the earlier chicken dish. The fish fillet's were fresh, sliced at just the right thickness and the one that truly boosted the taste was the lavish ginger slices. Mildly salty, gingery yet delicious. I would rate this at 9/10. 

Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish (Small) @ RM 10.00

Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish (Small) @ RM 10.00
Just like the earlier Rice Porridge and Tofu dish, their Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish was another heavenly dish. Another potpourri of ingredients that took it to another level. Thinly sliced pork belly, salted fish, spring onions, dried chilies, onions and thinly sliced ginger were served in a spicy dark broth.. Totally mind blowing stuff and I would give this a perfect 10/10. Another dish that I would highly recommend here.  

In summary, I totally loved their Rice Porridge, Tofu with Pork Belly and the Pork Belly with Salted Fish. The other two Loh She Fun and Fish Fillet in Ginger were good as well but weren't up to this level. The Kung Po Chicken was just an above average preparation. After having tried some of their dishes tonight, I would conclude that this would surely be another great place for dinner in Tanjung Malim. Slightly premium but totally worth it. And yes, I am coming back for more soon and also to have another helping of their Rice Porridge.

Address: No. 1-1A, Jalan Cahaya, Taman Anggerik Desa, 
                35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 1500 & 1800 - 2200 Daily