Thursday, 31 January 2013

Restoran Abdul Briyani Power Batu Pahat @ Sungai Buloh, Selangor

This is about a hidden gem in Sungai Buloh which serves great Briyani Batu Pahat. While searching for good Briyani's on the internet, that is when I came across a single blog that spoke about this place and decided to try it. It is located in Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh. As I am not very familiar with that locality, decided to call the phone number from the blog which I would include as usual at the bottom of the entry. The lady on the other end Pn. Efa guided me and it seemed pretty simple to locate this place with her assistance. It is located quite close to Bukit Rahman Putra.All you have to do is drive into Sungai Buloh, take the ramp just before The Store heading to Bukit Rahman Putra. The moment you come down the ramp, you would see at Petron Station on the left. Just before the Petron Station, take the road on your left and just drive in straight. You would see this stall on your left.

Restoran Abdul Briyani Power Batu Pahat @ Sungai Buloh
It is not much of a restaurant but just a simple shed style shop. Just across this shop, there seems to be a very decorative and high end restaurant that sells the same Briyani Gam and that shop was quite empty where as this restaurant was really buzzing.

The Kitchen Area

They Offer Quite A Number of Items

Busy All The Time
When I arrived, Pn Efa that I was communicating with greeted me and all the staffs in the restaurant were very friendly. I walked up to the pots where the various Briyanis were located and had a good look. Truly great aroma and at that moment I knew that it would surely be good. They serve a number of dishes from the basic Roti Canai, Mustabak, Pasembur, Mee Goreng and Chicken, Mutton & Beef Briyanis. As you may have noted from the array of dishes mentioned, yes the owners are Indian Muslims. They have quite a number of staffs and from the moment I was there, there were easily more than a hundred packs of Briyanis being taken away and this is post lunch hours. They start their business at 0800 every morning and by 0900 Briyani is ready. This restaurant is open till around 1930 every evening and they close the third Monday of the month. However it is advisable to call them before heading there.

I placed my orders which includes a Mutton Briyani and a Sirap Bandung Soda which is a common Balinese drink known as Soda Gembira. It is hard to find that drink here and I was amazed that they have it at this stall.

Sirap Bandung Soda @ RM 2.50
The Sirap Bandung Soda was excellent. No complaints at all and it had the right flavours with a strong Soda taste, just the way I like it. I would also like to mention another drink that I observed here which I saw others order that seems pretty good and that is the Pineapple Juice which is also sold at RM 2.50 for a tall glass. It is real juice with chunks of pineapple cubes and it looked great.

Dhall Accompanying The Briyani
I must say I have never seen Dhall Curry that is this thick. It was thick with a great taste. I was told that they make it by boiling it with Chicken Feet. Interesting to note that non Chinese know how to extract the juices from the Chicken Feet. On the whole, this was an excellent Dhall Curry.

Vegetable Acar
This was just average and I have tasted better ones elsewhere. When you order the Briyani here regardless of the type of meat, you get a plate of the Briyani, a plate of the Dhall Curry and a plate of this Vegetable Acar.

Mutton Briyani

Comes With Three Big Chunks of Mutton
A Complete Set of Mutton Briyani @ RM 13.00
The portion was really huge and I struggled to finish it. The taste, excellent especially when you mix it with the Dhall Curry. The Mutton was cooked well and it did not taste sweet like other Briyani Gam's. It had a distinct taste of it's own and a close similarity to the Indian Muslim style. The Chicken Briyani is sold at RM 9.50 each set and Mutton and Beef Briyani's are sold at RM 13.00 per set. My verdict, it was worth every penny and the distance traveled.  

On the whole, this is a great place to have Briyanis. I have not tried other dishes here but the Pasembor seemed pretty good too. Though it is just a stall, it is very well ventilated with loads of ceiling fans thus dining experience even during hot afternoons, is great. I would strongly recommend others to try this place.

Address: Lot 119-4,5,6,8 Medan Selera Utara Fasa 4,
                Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh,
                47000 Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 1930 Daily (Closed third Monday of the month)

Telephone: Pn. Efa +6017 304 9265
                    Tn. Haji Abdul +6019 724 8434

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Cafe Berlin @ Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

This is an entry about a new bakery called Cafe Berlin that has opened in Mont Kiara. Located in 1 Mont Kiara Mall, they serve a different variety of breads and sandwiches that vary greatly to other bakeries out there.

Cafe Berlin @ 1 Mont Kiara Mall
Having been established themselves in the expatriate zone of Mont Kiara, they had made the best decision to serve quality bread that is baked freshly as the supply depletes. I was told that on some days, they have to bake up to three times and baking is done in the shop itself just behind the cashiers' counter.

Nice Ambience
 I like the overall appearance of the cafe. It gives a very posh look as well as great cosy feeling. This restaurant is manned by two Filipino staffs and the boss and to me they seem quite efficient.

Display of various breads
The greatest differentiator of this restaurant is that they serve mainly quality European breads which include the famous German Schwarzbrot, Vollkornbrot, Brotchen, French Baguettes and Croissants, Italian Ciabatta, Panini and many more grain type of breads.

Variety of cakes & sweets
 They also have a variety of cakes and sweets. Having this restaurant at close proximity to my office definitely seems like I am going to be visiting them often.

More Bread
There was a considerable que at the counter when I arrived at that gave me time to take these photographs as I was moving along the counter. When it was my turn, the waiter attended to me and I ordered a Sandwich Dark Roll, a Redcurrant Raspberry Tarte and a Cafe Latte. Sorry I became too greedy and wanted to try one of the breads and one of the cakes. Here, once you place your orders, you would have to pay at the cashier and then self carry the items to your place. Only drinks which takes time to be made is served at your table.

Sandwich Dark Roll @ RM 12.70

Well, time to attack this sandwich. The bread was absolutely fresh and the ingredients used were of the best quality. Every bite of it was delicious. It definitely was one of the best sandwiches I have had in a very very long time. Honestly by the time I finished this, I was pretty much full.

Redcurrant Raspberry Tarte @ RM 15.60

 This was another amazing piece of tarte. Absolutely rich, no floury flaky taste and that shows the quality of the ingredients and it was heavenly. It just melts in the mouth. Absolutely delicious!

Cafe Latte @ RM 8.90
Being a real coffee lover who has to drink a cuppa before going to bed, I felt that this was a notch above average only. Definitely not worth shouting about and they should improve a little on their coffee. I can see that they have spent loads on their coffee machine and beans but something is just not quite right. Could be that the beans are over oxidised, just a wild thought as that can be a possible contributing factor too.

On the whole, this is a good place to head specially if you are in for some quality sandwiches and cakes. Some may rate that their price is expensive but I do not think so. It is quality that you are paying for and you would not be let down. I hope they maintain the same quality going forward.

Address: G-20, 1 Mont Kiara Mall,
               1 Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara,
               50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 6411 6496

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2200 Daily


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Restaurant Imperial Kitchen - Teo Chew & String Tied Bak Kut Teh @ The Strand, Petaling Jaya

I had some business at The Strand in Kota Damansara this afternoon and that is when I discovered this restaurant by the name of Restaurant Imperial Kitchen - Teo Chew & String Tied Bak Kut Teh. It was located in a secluded location at the Strand. One would only be able to find this restaurant with the right address. As always, it is a craze to find parking at The Strand and as I was going around this place in search of a parking lot, that is when I came across this restaurant. I have also not seen much write ups or blogs on this restaurant.

Restaurant Imperial Kitchen @ The Strand, Kota Damansara
This restaurant is located right at the end of The Strand where there are not many shops that are utilised and fortunately this is where I found my parking bay. Having seen this restaurant and with my work settled, I walked over to this restaurant. I was greeted by a lady whom I think is the boss and she was very accommodating in explaining to me what their offerings were. Having been pleased that this is something that I have not tried, I took my seat at a table and was given the menu.

A Brief On The Signature Dishes

First Page of the Menu

Second Page of the Menu

The menu was an elaborate one. I have included the first three pages of the menu above. The rest of the pages, were more on the side dishes and the drinks. I was keen to try the Teo Chew Style today instead of the Hokkien Style. I was told that the Teo Chew style was based on a light and peppery soup. Not having tried that, I ordered my dishes. I  also ordered a bowl of the bean curd and a drink. I wanted to order more but was stopped by the Aunty taking my orders as she mentioned that that is already too much and anything more would surely be a waste. I appreciate her honesty here.

Interior of the Restaurant

Interior of the Restaurant
The restaurant had a very classy look to it. They also seemed to sell high end Chinese Tea at the restaurant. Don't be fooled to assume from the above photos that the restaurant was empty. It had a decent crowd and mostly professionals from around this area. This was the only place where I could see a White guy having Bak Kut Teh alone. At first, I did take a shot with the crowd but then was stared by two table full of guys. Seems that they do not like their photos being taken and as such, I just deleted those pictures and posted photos from areas that were not occupied in the restaurant. The restaurant was also very clean and it was air conditioned.

Bean Curd in Fermented Sauce @ RM 5.00

Bean Curd in Fermented Sauce @ RM 5.00

This was the first dish to arrive. As you can see from the pictures, it comes with candle burners at the base to keep it hot. That is a good initiative and I should congratulate them for this. The Bean Curd was also good. It was full bean curds and home made. The sauce was that of the thick herbal base but somehow it did taste slightly different. I could not catch what that additional ingredient was but it tasted good. The portion size was large too and it is good for two people.

Teo Chew Bak Kut Teh (Small) @ RM 13.80

Teo Chew Bak Kut Teh (Small) @ RM 13.80
Though quoted small, this Bak Kut Teh dish was pretty huge and it is surely good for two people. It is also good that they serve this dish with a burner to keep it hot. Now, in this restaurant you are not able to choose your type of cut and it comes mixed with meat, bones, stomach and Fu Chok. I must say that the meat was extremely tender and lean and literally fat free. The soup is a light base but it has a strong taste and flavour of pepper. I was told that this soup is made to boil with Chinese Herbs and Pig Stomach thus giving it it's taste. It was quite unique and tasted good. The only set back is the lack of capacity to choose your cuts. It also had some button mushrooms inside. On the whole a good dish and worth every penny spent.

Contact Details

Brief Map

On the whole, I would surely return to this restaurant for a number of reasons. Fast service, good customer service as the Aunty kept returning to me asking how the Bak Kut Teh was and also the good taste and reasonable price. I initially expected the price to be high based on the decor of the restaurant and the fact that it is fully air conditioned but the actual was contrary to my expectation. I would love to try their Hokkien String Tied version soon and just another point to share here is that they would also be open for the coming Chinese New Year.

Address: 2G, Jalan PJU 5/22, Encorp Strand Kota Damansara,
                47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 6150 3028

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200 Daily

Monday, 28 January 2013

Restoran Yi Xin Bak Kut Teh @ Dataran Sunway, Petaling Jaya

In my quest to find another good place to have Bak Kut Teh, I had discovered this lovely restaurant today in Dataran Sunway called Restoran Yi Xin Bak Kut Teh. I was just driving around the place by chance when I stumbled across this restaurant. Being located in the busy suburb of Dataran Sunway, this restaurant is tucked all the way in from Nasi Kandar Kayu and it is just before the Alpha Specialist Medical Centre.

Restoran Yi Xin Bak Kut Teh in Dataran Sunway
Having spotted this place, I parked my car not very far from this restaurant and walked towards it. There was a decent crowd at the restaurant at that time.

The Entrance
Unlike many other Bak Kut Teh restaurants, I must say that this restaurant is very clean indeed.

The Interior of the Restaurant

Inside The Restaurant
I must congratulate the owner for keeping his restaurant very clean and tidy despite having a decent crowd coming in and out. I then walked up to the counter and placed my orders and specifically mentioned the parts that I would want in my Bak Kut Teh. Having placed my orders, I then went over to my table.

White Rice
I must say that the service level here is very good and pretty fast. Not very long after me placing my orders,the food items started arriving. The first to arrive was the rice.  Honestly, I was expecting the Shallot Rice but not sure if they do have it or not or even if it was my mistake not to ask, I just went on with this.

Yau Char Kui
This Yau Char Kui was also quite decent. I must say that it was pretty soft and went very well with the soup.

Tofu in Soup
Not many places give out tofu's like this in a separate bowl of soup. Mostly, it is mixed together into the main claypot Bak Kut Teh. Here, you can also add more Tofu if you require so. I strongly believe that this is a better option as you can choose to eat more or less of your dish of choice.

They had a variety of vegetables to choose from and I loved this dish. The vegetable was steamed well maintaining its freshness and the sauces were just of the right amount. The Oyster Sauce used had a light taste to it too and I loved that. A definitely recommended dish here.

Bak Kut Teh
As you can see from the above photo, they do not make the usual dark soup which has a very strong herbal taste to it. This however is more like the Teo Chew style of making Bak Kut Teh as it is light and made with Chinese Herbs. I did spot quite a number of wolf berries in it and it made a great dish. I would also say that it was much less oily then the usual dark sauce and very little of soy sauce was used which is good news for people with hypertension. On the whole, I just loved the way they had made this as it is surely a healthier alternative to the traditional Bak Kut Teh and above that, having a class and taste of its own which was surely delicious. Another point that I would like to mention here is that if you require refills of the soup, the owner is more than happy to do it without any fuss. I did observe some people refilling their bowls a number of times.

I feel that compared to many of the Bak Kut Teh outlets out there, this one surely is worth to mention and if you happen to like Bak Kut Teh too, you should give this place a try. The owners are very friendly to their customers and are open to take any feedbacks on their dishes.

Business Hours
They are open daily at those business hours. However they close alternate Mondays.

Contact Information

Address & Directions
To summarize, this is a great place to try a different version of Bak Kut Teh. Their prices are very reasonable. It only cost me RM 21.70 for my meal today. Taste wise, it was delicious with its unique style and character of the soup and is a much healthier alternative to the traditional Bak Kut Teh out there. I like the friendliness of the owners and the cleanliness of the restaurant is worth mentioning. Definitely a must try!

Address: No. 5-1, Jalan PJU 5/6, Dataran Sunway,
                Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Telephone: +6012 288 3466

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 0930 - 1530 & 1730 - 2230
                           Saturday and Sunday 0930 - 2230
                           Closed on alternate Mondays

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Doli Kuey Teow Goreng @ TTDI, Kuala Lumpur

I have read a lot of online reviews about this Restoran Doli Kuey Teow Goreng and today decided to visit this place myself. Just to give you a brief background, this restaurant made its name in Taiping, Perak where they have been operating for the past 30+ years.I was told that their Kuey Teow Goreng is so famous that on weekends, one has to wait for almost an hour. For your information, that scenario happens in Taiping. Of late, the son had opened a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur selling the same offerings as the one in Taiping, Perak.  The restaurant is located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail near TTDI Plaza. I was not sure on the exact location and hence decided to give them a call to get some directions. After my second ring, someone answered the phone and he was quite patient and helpful in giving the directions.

Restoran Doli Kuey Teow Goreng in TTDI, Kuala Lumpur
Later in the evening, I head out to TTDI to try the Kuey Teow Goreng. Another fact that I would like to add here is that it is said that the Kuey Teow is fried using a charcoal stove and not the gas stove. That should surely add taste to the food I felt. However, let me try it myself to judge. I arrived at the restaurant as per the directions and it is pretty easy to find. It is directly opposite Hero Supermarket in TTDI Plaza and the same row as Brunsfield. Parking is also not a hassle in the evenings.

Interior of the Restaurant
As this is a Halal restaurant, most of the patrons here were Malays. I could not see a Chinese or an Indian in this shop for the hour or so that I was here, except for myself.

Endorsement By The Jalan Jalan Cari Makan Team
Full Page Write Up on the Restaurant
Looking at all these endorsements, made me even more eager to try the food. Now let me narrate my experience at this restaurant. I took my place at the restaurant which was reasonably full. Then came the waiter bringing the menu card. The offering was quite simple. They had the famous Kuey Teow Goreng, Kuey Teow Goreng Special, Sup Ayam, Nasi Ayam and Mee Rebus. I asked the waiter the difference between the Kuey Teow Goreng and the Special version and he mentioned that the special was a larger portion with extra prawns. I just peeped the next table and saw them having the special, it was just two extra prawns and that was RM 10.00 whereas the normal version was RM 5.00 . I just ordered the normal version plus a Sup Ayam and a Milo Tabur which is quite similar to the Milo Dinosaur. All the waiters seemed like they were not so concerned about customer experience and just wanted to do their part for the sake of attending to the customers. This is a negative point. He then left and within a short while, came with the food and drinks.

Milo Tabur @ RM 2.00
This drink was pretty good. It is Iced Milo with a huge scoop of Milo on the top. Pretty refreshing to eat the scoop and wash it down with the iced Milo.

Kuey Teow Goreng @ RM 5.00
The next one to try was the Kuey Teow Goreng. Okay,judging from the first look, it was extremely oily. There was nothing more in this dish then just three piece of cockles and a little bit of bean sprouts added to the Kuey Teow. Taste wise, it was surely not up to the mark. It tasted very flat. At RM 5.00 for this dish, there was no eggs at all. It was not even spicy. On the whole, it surely does not deserve all the hype and write ups that has been built surrounding this restaurant. I just ate it because I was hungry and had been starving the whole day. I would only rate this dish 4/10 .

Sup Ayam @ RM 8.00
This dish was another disaster. I was hoping that at least this would be better. The chicken was actually the same one they used for the Nasi Ayam. It was fried and then put into this soup. The base of the soup was just pepper and onions. It was also quite flat in taste and I feel that you get better Chicken Soup in some of the road side Tom Yam stalls. Even an average Nasi Ayam stall serves better soup than this. I would rate this 3/10 .

Being dissatisfied with this restaurant both in customer service and food quality, I decided to head back. Now, for the bill you would have to go to the counter. That is acceptable except that there is no one manning the cashier. There is a bell that you would need to press and in 5 minutes someone would come out of the kitchen to attend to you. That in itself was testing my patience and then came this guy who then looked at my order chit and was calculating the bill for almost 10 minutes. Come on guys, it is just three items and you can do that mentally. After failing to calculate even after attempting to use his fingers, he then resorted to a calculator and told me the bill due was RM 15.00 .  What an embarrassment. If you are running a restaurant that is this famous supposedly, at least have someone who can do basic arithmetics at the cashier.

On the whole, this restaurant is just a washout. They do not deserve any of the commendations that they have received. They would definitely need to step up the bar and I wonder if the restaurant in Taiping had the same food quality level. However, my personal 2 cents is that it must be good there in Taiping but just this outlet in Kuala Lumpur is bad. If ever you would want to try the food here, you can find the contact details below.

Kuala Lumpur Outlet:

Address: No. 16, Jalan Wan Kadir 4,
              60000 Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +603 7722 5351 

Opening Hours: 1200 - 0000 Closed on Fridays

Taiping Outlet:

Address: No. 5, Regat Tupai,
              34000 Taiping, Perak.

Opening Hours: 1200 - 2300 Closed on Fridays

Friday, 25 January 2013

De Place Fish Head & Bak Kut Teh @ Bandar Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya

I was browsing the internet for some good food outlets to try tonight and kept seeing discount vouchers popping up for this particular restaurant in Bandar Damansara Perdana called De Place Fish Head & Bak Kut Teh. I became curious and started specifically searching for more information on this place among fellow food bloggers but I could not see any entries. With this curiosity in my mind, I decided to head out to Damansara Perdana in search of this restaurant. Finding this restaurant was quite easy as it was just beside The Place and parallel to Mum's Place.

De Place Fish Head & Bak Kut Teh in Damansara Perdana
 Once I went into the restaurant, I observed a lot of news paper write ups on this restaurant which was framed on the walls. It seems to be very famous but there were only two customers in the restaurant. Not sure what to expect, I just went ahead and got my place. If my feeling is right, this must be a branch restaurant however that information was not shown anywhere here. There were only two people manning the restaurant. A Burmese girl taking orders and being the cashier and another Burmese man handling the kitchen. Just the two of them. She then came up to me bringing the menu.

The Menu 

The Menu
As you could see from the above menu card, there are a number of items that are offered here at this restaurant. One variety of food is the Bak Kut Teh and another is the Fish Head Curry and a few other Fish varieties.  I was more inclined to try the Bak Kut Teh and its accompanying dishes as I was alone. If there was one other, then I could have ordered more items. Even then, as I placed the orders, the girl kept staring at me and repeated twice as to how many people would be eating. After repeating thrice that I am alone, she then kept quiet.

The Restaurant Quite Empty During Dinner Hours
As you can see from the above photo, the restaurant seems quite empty at 7pm and that is something abnormal I felt especially for a restaurant where so much hype had been built through the news papers.

Herbal Tea @ RM 1.40
This was the first to arrive. I like their mugs, they look clean and neat being white. The drink, was good. No comments.

Bak Kut Teh @ RM 11.00

Now, my say on this Bak Kut Teh. The soup was watery, light colored and not up to its mark. The meat however was lean with a little fat just the way I had wanted it. On the whole, I would rate this dish 5/10. It surely was not anything great at all and I would recommend them to remove the word 'Famous' from their menu card.

Fried Lala @ RM 8.00

This dish was pretty decent. It was surely sauteed with Rice Wine and the base sauce definitely has a mixture of Rice Wine in it. It was okay, much better than the above BKT. My rating for this would be 7/10.

Fried Tofu in Soup @ RM 2.00
This dish was nice and it is worth the price.

Yau Char Kui @ RM 2.00
This was also nice. Not sure if they make it in house or if it is purchased from outside, but it was soft and fluffy. Worth ordering this.

Vegetable in Onion & Oyster Sauce @ RM 6.00
This dish was nice too. The vegetable was fresh and the sauce and garnishing was great. However the portion size is a notch too big. They only have this in two sizes, Big and Small. The above one is the small portion and it is surely good for at least three pax. Taste was also pretty good.

On the whole, this restaurant is okay though the Bak Kut Teh may not be up to its mark, it still is not bad though. My total bill for today came up to RM 31.70 .  However, I sincerely feel that all the hype that has been built around this restaurant is just not justified. Nevertheless, I have not tried the fish variety including the Fish Head Curry. Perhaps should try that variety in my next visit.

Address: 12-1, Jalan PJU 8/5E, Damansara Perdana,
               47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 1500 & 1800 - 2200 Daily

Telephone: +6016 322 6387
                 +6012 297 6178