Thursday, 29 October 2015

Heart Lock Cafe @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Many would be familiar with Hard Rock Cafe but Heart Lock Cafe? This is a unique restaurant in Tanjung Malim that goes solely by the concept of budget meals. Located in Taman Universiti, having a budget meal concept is ideal as their target segment is solely the university students. Meals range from RM 2.80 to RM 5.99 which comes with a good meal and free flow of drinks. The concept sells well with the student crowd and the restaurant is mostly full house during lunch hours. Later hours are no exception too. Even if one is to come around 4 pm, there is still an encouraging number of customers dining here. 

Hard Lock Cafe Located in Jalan U1/1 of Taman Universiti

They Occupy A Corner Unit

Beautiful Deco With HBO

It Is A Self Service Restaurant

Ashtray's.... Loved The Design
If you know where the 7 Eleven in Taman Universiti is, this restaurant is located right at the end of that row. They occupy a corner unit and the place is wonderfully designed and cosy as well. There are a number of dishes that one can order. They have rice sets, noodles, laksa, Char Kuey Teow, Fried Chicken and western sets as well. Do note that this is a self service restaurant and therefore, one has to go to the counter, order your dishes, pay for them and with that, customers would be given a plastic cup. The reason for this is simply because they go with bottomless drinks and one can choose from the few drinks that they have available on daily rotation basis. Ice cubes are provided too but of course, you would have to get these yourself. Once the dish is ready, they would ring a bell and one would have to go and collect the dish from the counter. It's a hassle free concept to keep costs low. Also, they serve these dishes in plates but with plastic sheets laid on the plate. This is also to save washing costs thereafter and customers are expected to dispose off the plastic paper in the bin provided and leave the food trays at the designated place. Sounds like a hassle but for those coming freshly out of school, it isn't anything much. Even for me, I felt that it wasn't a hassle at all. Coming to think about it, in the United Kingdom, one would have to do the same at all fast food chains including KFC and Mc Donalds. So why not here when eventually we are reaping the benefits of lower costs for a meal. 

A Lemon Drink

Blackcurrant Drink

Orange Squash
The above are some of the drinks that I tried and they were all good. Not like those commonly available diluted ones. The drinks were fixed perfectly and even the sweetness was just nice. These drinks are available on daily rotation as they try to avoid serving the same variety daily. Everyday, there would be three types of these free flow drinks along with drinking water. One can choose to have any one of them or even all of them, no limitations whatsoever. For me, these were really good and I would rate them at 9/10 .

Western Set @ RM 5.99 + Free Flow of Drinks

Western Set @ RM 5.99 + Free Flow of  Drinks

Baked Beans

The above is their Western Set which comes priced at RM 5.99 . Some call this Chicken Chop but it isn't, maybe we could call this Chicken Maryland as they use deep fried chicken and topped with some Black Pepper sauce. On the sides, some fries, baked beans and coleslaw is provided. For the price of RM 5.99 , it is surely worth it as you get a complete meal and not to forget the free flow of drinks. The portion was also decent, not stingy for sure. These were some tender chicken slices, coated in a lovely batter and deep fried to a golden brown colour. The flavours from the batter was bold, the black pepper sauce was mild, nevertheless they complemented each other perfectly. Would have been nasty if both were bold in taste. The sides were also good. It would be unfair to compare this with those 'Western' restaurants in town as they would generally price the same from RM 10.00 onwards. For a budget meal restaurant, this was good and I would rate this at 9/10 .

Kuey Teow Senyum Kerang @ RM 3.99 + Free Flow of Drinks

Kuey Teow Senyum Kerang @ RM 3.99 + Free Flow of Drinks

Comes With Chili Paste
For RM 3.99 plus drinks, this was a fantastic deal. The Char Kuey Teow was the dry style of preparation and it had the Malay style taste to it. The preparation was lovely and it came with generous portions of cockles and bean sprouts. For this price, it is simply unfair to expect shrimps to be there in the dish. Taste was good, in fact beyond good. Delicious I would say. I would also rate this at 9/10 .

Laksa Telur Sarang Hae @ RM 3.99 + Free Flow of Drinks

Laksa Telur Sarang Hae @ RM 3.99 + Free Flow of Drinks

Closer Look At The Laksa Broth
Another set meal that was priced at RM 3.99 with drinks. This is a unique dish. The standard Laksa is beneath the egg but the way the egg is fried is what gives an exceptionally good boost to the dish. The egg goes very well with the broth. Portions were good. But my only complaint would be that it would have been better if there were more fish flakes in the broth. It seemed slightly on the watery side, nevertheless for the price, I surely can't complaint. After all, the place is all about budget meals and as a dish, this was indeed nice. That complain was solely about being better, that's it. Taste wise, I would rate this at 7.5/10 .

Ayam Goreng Abang Janggut @ RM 2.80 per piece

Ayam Goreng Abang Janggut @ RM 2.80 per piece
This was the only exception where drinks were not included. Firstly, this is not a set and you can choose any number of fried chicken pieces that you would like to have. It's their proprietary recipe, one belonging to a Mr. Beardie (Abang Janggut) and each was priced at RM 2. 80 . Not limited to drumsticks, it's just that I prefer drumsticks over the other cuts. Even at this price, I felt that they were quite cheap compared to other fast food outlets and the cuts were reasonable and satisfying. The batter was just lovely and I just enjoyed the chicken without any Chili or Tomato sauces. The meat was tender, juicy and fulfilling. Two of those were good for a meal. One thing that I noticed after my meal was that I did not feel thirsty. That's a healthy indication that none or perhaps very minimal MSG had been used. Taste wise, I would rate this at 9/10. Would definitely prefer this over KFC. 

Overall, a fabulous place with a fantastic concept. Come to think about it, they are doing a service for the students here by serving value for money meals. Cheap, tasty and I just loved the ambiance. I guess I would be becoming a loyal customer here for sure. Definitely a recommended place!

Address: No. 31, Jalan U1/1, Taman Universiti, 35900 Tanjung Malim,
                Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200 Monday - Saturday
                             Closed on Sunday's

Telephone: +6018 570 7808


  1. Hi, is this limit to student only? Non-student can have this cheap set meal too?

    1. Hi Soulesscloudy. Apologies for the delay in responding. And yes, it is the same for all. Students and non students get to enjoy the same prices. :)