Sunday, 30 September 2012

Restaurant Fish Castle @ Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya

This is one of my favorite joints around Petaling Jaya for Curry Mee. I have been to this place many times in the past, but never recorded it through my blogs as this food blog was a recent initiative which I had just started last month. 

Restaurant Fish Castle @ Damansara Uptown
This restaurant is located in Damansara Utama a.k.a. Uptown along the Standard Chartered Bank row, closer to the Starbucks end. It is owned by a local Chinese man but the workers are mostly from mainland China. 

Guarantee of Quality
There are three main specialties about this restaurant. Firstly, it is Halal and this attracts a lot of Muslim crowd here. Secondly, as per the picture above, they use 100% fish meat for their fish balls and other add ons. And finally, the Curry Mee is superb and you would be able to see this from the photo below.

Waiting for the dishes to arrive
Since parking in this area is a little bit of a problem, I usually visit at night. Just like the previous visits, today we came here for dinner too. Usually, I would order curry mee for me too but this time around, wanted to try something different and a few add ons. 

Crispy Fried Sui Kau
The first add on that we ordered was the above, fried Sui Kau. This is one of my favorite items here.It is made to perfection. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Lovely!

One of the best Curry Mee in town!
Then comes the Curry Mee. As you can see, it is loaded with a lot of fish paste, has some fried Sui Kau and the lovely thick curry itself....hmmm is mouth watering. This is definitely heavenly.

The Sambal that goes along with the Curry Mee
The above photo is of the sambal that goes along with the Curry Mee, usually served together.

Angel Hair Home Land Mee
The above dish was what I ordered for myself today. Not sure why it is called Angel Hair noodles, perhaps due to the texture of the noodles itself which is a little thinner. This was also pretty good but a little too light a dish for me. I perhaps, can have two of this. 

Fish Balls in Soup
The fish balls here is a must try. They are soft and fluffy, reminds me of the 70's. The soup is quite good too and definitely they do not use MSG.

Us having our dinner
On the whole, the food here is great. I have recommended many in the past and none of them had a complaint about this place. They have always thanked me for introducing this place to them, especially Curry Mee lovers. The price, is very affordable too.

Address: Fish Castle Restaurant,
106, Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603 7725 0462

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sen Kee Satay @ Desa Amanpuri

This is a place that I had wanted to visit in a long time but never got the chance The specialty here is the Duck Satay, Lamb Satay and Pork Satay. This afternoon, I decided to visit this place later at night for dinner. I have been reading quite a number of blogs on this stall and from that, I understand that they have two outlets, one in Desa Jaya, Kepong and another in Desa Aman Puri. Luckily, the contact numbers were given too and I called that number. Spoke to a young lady and she informed me that the other two places mentioned above had been closed down and they had just moved three days ago to Ehsan Industrial Park which is not too far from the previous outlet in Desa Aman Puri.

The Present Stall of Sen Kee Satay
Later at night, I head out to the location as advised by the boss earlier. When I was not too far in that area, I called the handphone number again but no one answered. I just waited where I was to call back shortly. To my surprise, the owner Mr. Yap called me back. He then guided me over the phone to his shop. I was touched by this gesture.

The Stall With The Various Write Ups Cut Out
 Once I reached his stall, he immediately recognized me. Such a nice man. This stall is located inside another Chinese restaurant but is clearly visible from the roadside. I placed my orders with him and then moved over to an empty table.

Mrs. Yap Preparing My Orders
Then Mr. Yap came up to my table and then he started telling me about his past. Quite an interesting story. He mentioned that he has been doing this for the past 36 years. Originally he started with the first stall in Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong and a few years back, he started the second outlet in Desa Aman Puri. However, due to immigration issues, he had to close the outlet in Desa Jaya as the workers that were running that outlet were from Cambodia. 

Seating Area in the restaurant
His sons are also not interested in the business and presently he only has his wife and daughter assisting him. He is already 68 years of age and said that he would continue doing this until such time where he deems possible. He also mentions that it is a very tedious process and takes up the entire day for preparations. His sons are not interested as they prefer office jobs and do not get themselves involved in this business.

The Duck, Lamb and Pork Satay
However, he also has a big group of supporters. He does a lot of functions and even now, his Saturdays have been booked right up to the month of December to cater for parties and private functions. Otherwise, his official close day is every Tuesday. So please bear this in mind before heading over as in short most Saturdays and every Tuesdays, he is closed. It is also good to call before going to confirm that the stall is open. The numbers are there on the first photograph. 

The Duck, Lamb and Pork Satay
The satay itself was quite good. I took his recommendation to try the satay without the peanut sauce dip and then with it. I personally preferred it without the dip as you get to taste the juicy meat and each of those variations, gave a different flavor. 

The Duck, Lamb and Pork Satay
The Thick Peanut Sauce
The Peanut Sauce that he prepared was also very thick when compared to that of Satay Kajang Hj. Samuri and it surely was very low in sugar. 

The Prices of the various Satays
The price is also very reasonable for the size of each skewer. On the whole, I would definitely visit this place again soon for many reasons which includes the price, taste and the warm reception of Mr. Yap. As I was about to leave, he also showed me various magazine write ups on his stall in the past and even some interviews which he did with ASTRO Chinese Channel. 

Address: Ehsan Industrial Park, Kepong
GPS :  N 03.20978 E101.61727
Tel: Mr. Yap +6019 218 7538
Closed on Tuesdays. Open 1800 - 2230

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup @ Tropicana City Mall

Today we were all set to catch the movie Bait and its the 9pm show. Well, since I have managed to get the tickets at GSC Tropicana City Mall, we decided to have dinner there too. When leaving home, I had already made my mind to get my Vietnamese Pho fix at this place. 

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup Restaurant @ Tropicana City Mall
I have been to this restaurant numerous times before. The setback then  was, I usually go alone and hence, am only able to taste the Pho Noodles since the portion size is relatively big. Today, since there were two of us, I was hoping to taste the other items on the menu too.

Lovely Ambiance In The Outlet
This restaurant is located on the 1st Level of Tropicana City Mall. It is at the opposite end from GSC side, though GSC is on the 2nd level. This is my usual marker to locate this restaurant. 

Vietnamese Paper Lanterns
They do not have a very large lot size. Despite that, it is very well organised. I simply love the deco and the warm ambiance inside this restaurant. Coming back to todays meal, well as usual, we were ushered to our table and there was quite a crowd when we arrived. I had already pre decided my orders and for me it was quite fast. The items you would be able to see in the coming photos. As you all may know, the staple meat in Vietnam is pork. This Pho Hoa Noodle chain is an international retail chain and they have adapted to the local regulations very well, country by country. In Malaysia, to attain the Halal status, they do not serve pork at the restaurants. Mostly it is beef and some dishes are chicken and seafood.

Vietnamese Drip Milk Coffee @ RM 6.90
Well, as I am a hard core coffee drinker, surely I would not want to miss the opportunity of having my dose of the famous Vietnamese Drip Coffee. One of the many things that keep me coming back to this restaurant, is their service, it is extremely fast. Food gets delivered in 5 to 10 minutes. 

Vietnamese Drip Milk Coffee @ RM 6.90
Finally, after about 10 minutes when my coffee has dripped in entirety, I can finally taste it and it was very good.

Summer Rolls @ RM 4.50
This is also another one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. Well, in Vietnam, they call it Rice Paper Rolls. I have tasted this in many places, even in Vietnam. Most often, in all restaurants there, they serve this in one way or another, just the ingredients differ. But somehow, I prefer the one which they make here. It tastes better. I have even had this at Pho Hoa Noodles in Ho Chi Minh City but that has more mint taste to it, this is well balanced to me but however, taste is a very subjective matter and differs to individuals. 

Fried Summer Rolls @ RM 3.90
The above is just another variation from the previous, just here, it is deep fried and the ingredients differ. This to me tastes quite similar to our own Fried Popiah. In fact, in comparison to the earlier one, I would prefer the previous. Nevertheless, this was still good.

Chicken Pho Noodles (R) @ RM 14.50
Finally comes our Chicken Pho Noodles. This time I ordered the Regular size. Last time I was here, ordered the large by mistake and was forcing myself to finish it. Even today, I find the regular portion to be quite big. They should perhaps introduce another small version. The price for this is RM 14.50 and the large is upped by a Ringgit.

Chicken Pho Noodles @ RM 14.50
Well, this dish arrives plain, like the earlier photo. Then we need to customize it according to our taste preference. The waitress arrived with the extra ingredients. Usually it is bean sprouts, mint leaves and chillies. And you add these items to taste that you prefer. To me, this is served perfectly here.

Chilly Paste To Add
Chili paste is also provided along with this noodles. It is quite like our sambal which we have along with Curry Mee, but this, has a Vietnamese touch to it. 

Having Our Pho at the Restaurant
Now, with the starters and main dish over, time to get some desert.

Coconut Ice Cream Cendol a.k.a. Cendol Kam @ RM 7.90
This was heavenly. It is coconut ice cream which is imported and added with the above seen ingredients. It tastes just perfect and right beneath the ice cream, is a layer of palm sugar. A must try here.

Coconut Flam Caramel @ RM 4.90
Our second and last desert item was the above. This tasted exceptionally good, just the portion size was quite small. For me, three spoonfuls and it was like it had disappeared.  Otherwise, the taste was good. Another recommended item here.

On the whole, the total bill including service charges came to RM 62.80 . Not bad for that many dishes and it was a meal worth the money.

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup Restaurant,
Lot L1-52, 1st Floor, Tropicana City Mall,
3, Jalan SS 20/27,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Garden Seafood @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Honestly, today we had no intention of eating out. My brother suddenly came to my place at 6 pm and mentioned that he had to head back to our home town of Tanjung Malim to get something from our parents and I agreed to follow.

It is such a short drive anyway, just 45 minutes toll to toll. By 7pm, we were already at my parents place and that was when I suggested that we should go out for dinner. This is one of the local restaurants in Tanjung Malim that is quite famous among all races. Despite it being a Chinese Seafood restaurant, it has the Halal status which attracts a lot of Malay crowd here, besides the usual Chinese and Indians. This place is also a favorite stop over restaurant for many of the tour operators in the country. Sometimes, even when we locals want to have our lunch or dinner, there are no available seats as buses of tourist stop by. In such cases, the owner would inform us before hand. 

Garden Seafood Restaurant

Luckily, today was not such a day. It was just having the usual weekday crowd when we arrived. In fact for this restaurant, there has been a lot of mention in the local news papers as well as magazines. The owner, a Chinese guy from our neighborhood, came up with this idea of setting up a Halal restaurant instead of the usual Chinese restaurant and today, he has no one to compete with. 

Antique Clocks on the wall
The entire restaurant has a antique taste to it. The owner is a great antique collector and he displays his collections here. They range from wall clocks, to old bicycles, gramophones and paintings. 

Sketches of Tanjung Malim in the Yesteryears
Just like the one above, there are loads of sketches on the wall hung up for display. They show the various places in the town as it was in the 60's and 70's. Very nostalgic to people like me who belong here and grew up here.

They have an extensive menu and the pricing is very reasonable, in fact cheap. As there were only four of us to dinner today, I had to be careful as not to splurge too much food on the table as I do have a tendency of doing it and have done it many times. Well, today, I decided to cut the rice just 2 bowls to be shared among four of us and this would enable us to taste more of the dishes.

Venison Meat in Black Pepper @ RM 15.00
The first dish that arrived was the Venison Meet in Black Pepper. I have dined here many times over the years and the taste of these dishes have never dwindled. Decent portion for a very decent price.

Ginger Soup with Eggs @ RM 6.00
This soup is one of their signature dishes. The quantity is good to serve 6 individual bowls with soup and yes, you saw the price right. It is just RM 6.00 . Lovely dish. Gets you sweating from the very first taste.

Hong Kong Style Kailan @ RM 10.00

This dish was something new which we tried today for the first time at this restaurant. It was good, may not be the best that I have tasted, but surely good. The price for this dish was also very reasonable in comparison to many of the places in Kuala Lumpur where I have tried it.

Honey Sotong @ RM 10.00

There was three sizes to this dish and I went with small, in fact I went small with all the dishes. Amongst all, this dish had the least amount but having in mind the number of dishes ordered, it was still okay for us. On the whole, the portion for this is a little small but still decently priced and definitely tastes good.

Ginger Chicken with Cashew Nuts @ RM 10.00
The taste for this dish was good. The only complain that I may have is that the amount of cashews could have been more to make it even better. Otherwise, taste & portion size was great.

Steamed Egg with Minced Chicken Meat @ RM 8.00
This steamed egg dish was just average. I felt that they should have made the platter less broad hence the egg would have been deeper. Here, it was thinly sliced. For a moment when they brought this my mom even asked if it was an empty plate. A joke as it may sound, it was quite thin and the meat very scatter due to this thinness. 

Homemade Tofu with Minced Chicken @ RM 8.00
This Tofu dish is a usual dish which we order here. We are generally satisfied with this dish. The tofu itself is very soft in its texture and is fresh too. Definitely should order this dish when you are here too. 

Us at our table
On the whole, it was a great dining experience. The total bill for the number of dishes and drinks came to RM 71.40 which is quite fair. We usually come here to this restaurant as it one of our favorite restaurants here in Tanjung beloved hometown. The next time we head here, would try to post other dishes and perhaps other restaurants too. Please also do note that they have some dishes for Vegetarians too.

Garden Seafood Restaurant,
No. 7-8, Jalan Wangsa Utama, Taman Wangsa,
35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 1500 ; 1800 - 2200 Daily

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Restoran Hamid Maju @ Damansara Damai

It was just by chance that I stumbled across this restaurant today which is around my housing vicinity of Damansara Damai. I had to run some errands at that area and then along the way, just decided to have dinner here.

Restoran Hamid Maju @ Damansara Damai

We stopped and as usual, we ordered the usuals at the Mamak Restaurant, Mee Goreng Mamak and Rojak. It was a simple restaurant, just occupying a single shop lot compared to other larger restaurants within this area itself. All the workers are Indians from Tamil Nadu. 

The Interior of the Restaurant
One setback here as you can see from the photo above is that all the furnitures are all including the seats and are all stained. However the restaurant itself is very clean and I loved the deco, looked somewhat Pakistani in origin.

Teh Tarik...all time Malaysian favourite @ RM 1.20
The tea was decent...however it was just a little too sweet for me.

Mee Goreng Mamak @ RM 3.50
The Mee Goreng was indeed one of the best that I have ever tasted. The spices were so perfect and it was very spicy. One thing that I observed was that the chillies were ground and made into chilly paste and they did not use cut green chillies like in other restaurants. This dish is something that I would highly recommend at this restaurant.

Rojak @ RM 3.50
The Rojak was also excellent. The sauce did not have too much peanuts, that means it was much lower in cholesterol and it tasted great. The ingredients were well balanced between vegetables, cakes and egg. 

I would strongly recommend this restaurant to any true spicy Mee Goreng Mamak lovers out there....beware....the spiciness is beyond ordinary tolerance.... :) 

The Address:
Restoran Hamid Maju,

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Monday, 17 September 2012

Annie 1 @ Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya

I had passed this shop many times before as Uptown is just a throw away from my place but never really tried their food.  Today, I decided lets go in and try the food and to see if their claims of being authentic is valid.

We arrived here around 1 pm and the place was extremely crowded. Somehow, as another table emptied, we grabbed the seats. Shocked to see the neighboring restaurant quite empty and this to be so full. 

Annie 1 Restaurant
I was specifically curious to see if the Wan Tan Mee and the Mushroom Sauce Chee Cheong Fun was up to the mark in comparison to the one in Menglembu Ipoh. Having got our seats, its more like a self order system here. You go through the menu card and place your orders by self filling the order chits, quite similar to other Kopitiams. Then each table comes with a 'Call' bell and then the waiter comes and collects the chit from you. Of course, they do not respond immediately and I had to press at least twice with 5 minutes interval. I don't blame them anyway, it was just too packed. The came the waiter and he did not even verify the order with me, just took it away to the counter. There goes the courtesy, even the boss does not move an inch out of his cashiers stool. Well, business is very good as I can see it.

White Coffee @ RM 3.00
Only after 15 minutes, did we even get our drinks. They must be seriously under staffed and keeping the customers waiting is surely not good. The first to arrive was our white coffee as you can see above. Well, I have tasted White Coffee in many places but this one, was truly the same as per the one you get in Ipoh. The cup size is a large on too and wort the price of RM 3.00 for this. 

Mushroom Sauce Chee Cheong Fun @ RM 4.20
Then came my dish, the Mushroom Sauce Chee Cheong Fun. Well, this dish was good and is up to the mark as per their claims. The mushroom sauce was just right, not too starchy with no MSG taste into it. The portions were quite big too.

Dry Wan Tan Mee @ RM 5.90
Here, the menu is quite flexible, just like the hawkers. You can choose a variety of options on what you want inside your noodles. For example, the above is RM 5.90 because it comes with Char Siew and a small bowl of Soup with 3 Wan Tan's in it. 

Wan Tan Mee + Sui Kau Soup = RM 7.50
Well, my brother's order was to include the above Wan Tan Mee plus a larger soup which comes with the same 3 pieces of Wan Tan plus another 2 pieces of Sui Kau and this totals up to RM 7.50 . Taste wise, it was good and tasted the same as the one in Menglembu. Finally I got to verify this hehehe.

Dry Curry Noodle @ RM 5.90
My dad ordered this Dry Curry Noodles. The noodles were okay but the curry was flat. Something was definitely missing from the curry and this was a let down. Maybe we should have ordered the Curry Laksa instead.

10 Pieces Wan Tan Soup @ RM 4.00
We also ordered an additional bowl of the Wan Tan Soup for all to try. The Wan Tans were definitely good and the soup was lovely, though I know they are using some MSG here, could trace the taste.

Yam Cake @ RM 3.00
The Yam Cake is highly commendable...truly delicious. The only thing is that for three small pieces, the price of RM 3.00 was a little over charge. This is in my opinion but definitely no regrets on the taste.

Us Having Lunch at Annie 1
On the whole, it was worth it. Just a couple of things which they need to improve on some of the processes and dishes. Their notable signature dishes were up to the mark though. Payments must also be done at the counter. Please do go early to avoid disappointments as they are quite punctual in maintaining the opening and closing hours. I don't blame the staffs as they are surely exhausted with the number of patrons visiting.

The Address:
Annie 1 Restaurant
18-20, Jalan SS21/58,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours : Mon-Fri – 7.30am – 9.30pm, Sat-Sun, PH – 8.30am – 3.30pm

GPS Coordinates :3.137292,101.622545