Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Farm House Kitchen...Taste Of Sarawak @ Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya

Located in Bandar Damansara Perdana is this restaurant called Farm House Kitchen which sells authentic Sarawakian dishes. Having passed this restaurant a number of times in the past, I had never attempted to visit them before until tonight.

Restaurant Farm House Kitchen in Bandar Damansara Perdana
They are located along Jalan PJU 8/5G, right opposite the entrance to The Place. I believe that there is a hotel too along this same row of shops. Parking can be difficult here both day and night so please come prepared to go in circles in search of a parking bay. 

Interior of the restaurant

Write Ups by TV8 Malaysia

Write Up by Nanyang Siang Pau

Interior of the restaurant
Interior of the restaurant
The restaurant is very brightly lit up and is extremely clean. When we walked in, I was surprised to find that this restaurant had already been showcased by both TV8 and Nanyang Siang Pau. That being said, the food must surely be good here. Nevertheless, I could not find any endorsement by the Jalan Jalan Cari Makan Team. They must have somehow missed this place. The staffs are all Sarawakians, even the cooks. The cooking area is just separated by a glass panel and one is able to see through to all the activity happening there. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu
As we took our seats, we were promptly attended to by the waitress. She handed us the menu and waited for the orders. The menu itself was simple, just a double sided laminated card which sums up all their dishes and drinks offered. The menu is predominantly Sarawakian dishes and a few Malaysian dishes. Even those Malaysian dishes are customised to Sarawakian taste buds with a slightly altered preparation. This was told to me by the waitress.

Sarawakian Coffee with Milk @ RM 2.20
I ordered the above Sarawakian Coffee and Angie just got herself a glass of water. The coffee was pretty nice, definitely much different to the Hainanese Coffee, slightly salty and rich with margarine taste. On the whole, a pretty unique taste. I would rate this coffee at 8.8/10 .

Sarawak Laksa @ RM 6.80

The accompanying Chili Paste
The Sarawak Laksa served here was nice and I liked it very much. The gravy was thick and you can choose the preferred noodle type. It was slightly salty, not spicy but delicious the way it was. There was no need to use the Chili Paste given as I enjoyed this dish even without it. I would rate this at 8.5/10 . 

Sarawak Curry Noodle @ RM 6.80

The Accompanying Chili Paste
The Curry Noodles however was a little too salty. Everything else was fine but this overload of salt truly killed the taste. I would only rate this at 4/10 . I wonder as to why there is an additional pinch of salt in all the dishes. Is it common in Sarawak? Something that I should learn more about.

Vegetable With Oyster Sauce @ RM 3.50
This dish was again another well prepared dish. Again, just like the previous dishes, this dish too had an overdose of salt but it was still bearable and tasted decent. At RM 3.50, I think it is quite cheap. I would rate this dish at 7/10 .

The total bill for the meal came to RM 19.80 which is cheap for two including drinks. There were no Service Charges or Service Taxes included. I find this place to be nice, clean and serving decent food at pretty cheap prices. This is definitely a recommended place for those who love Sarawakian dishes.

Address: No. 30-1, Jalan PJU 8/5G, Damansara Perdana,
                47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0700 - 2100 Daily

Monday, 29 April 2013

Puffs Garden @ Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur

As I was walking around the Publika Shopping Gallery today, we spotted this little outlet that sells my favourite curry puffs called Puffs Garden. Previously whenever I wanted to have their curry puffs, I used to go to their outlet in Damansara Utama and now it is good to know that they also have another little outlet in Publika.

Puffs Garden at Publika Shopping Gallery
The outlet here is located on the UG level, quite close to the food court. It is not very big like the one in Damansara Utama however, it is well stocked with their delicacies.

Price List

Price List
For customers convenience, the price list is listed clearly at the kiosk and I also realised that the price here is slightly more expensive compared to that in Damansara Utama. Well, it must be the location cost.

Puffs Displayed


Closer Look At Their Puffs

Potato Puffs
The great thing about this place is the variety of puffs available, both fried and baked. In total, they have about 17 different varieties of puffs and above this, they have a number of pies, cookies, pastries and deserts. This covers both vegetarian and non vegetarian items. I find their price to be reasonable at RM 2.50 each for their puffs. If you go towards 8 pm, then they offer a promotion to clear the items at buy 2 free 1 which again is a good buy. All their puffs are also stamped to identify the type of puffs. Generally, I would rate these puffs at 9/10 . For good curry puffs, this outlet is still one of the top places in my list.

Address: Lot No. 25, Level UG, Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas,
                No.1, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Damansara Outlet: No.15, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 
                                 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 7729 3115 (Damansara Outlet)


Email: puffsgarden@hotmail.com

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200 Daily 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Restoran Lai Ketong @ Ayer Hitam, Johor

Ayer Hitam is a town that is famous for it's pottery but not many know that this little town has a number of wonderful restaurants that offer great food too. Today with the North South Highway, heading into this town may seem out of the way but it is surely worth the distance especially if you love good Chinese food. One such restaurant is this Restaurant Lai Ketong, but conveniently they are located right near the highway exit heading into Ayer Hitam.

Restaurant Lai Ketong

Interior of the restaurant

Interior of the restaurant
To go to this restaurant, from the toll plaza go straight until you come to a T junction. This short stretch is about 300 meters only. At this junction, turn left and within 100 meters you would be able to sight this restaurant on your left. This is a pretty large restaurant. Though the ground floor space is small, they have a three shop lot size dining hall on the first floor and it seems that it is mostly used for Chinese wedding dinners. I also saw a number of newspaper clippings on the walls which was write ups on this restaurant, the chef and the great food here. The restaurant itself was pretty clean and being in a corner lot, parking was ample.We arrived at around 6.45 pm and at that time, it was just us but pass 7 pm, the crowd started coming in for dinner. We were attended to by the lady boss and they have a laminated menu to choose from. After going through the menu, we then placed our orders with her. From the photographs in the menu, it was evident that the dishes in the Southern states are prepared differently than the central areas of Peninsular Malaysia. I ordered some common dishes that I am familiar with and am waiting to see as they arrive how different they can be.

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.50

Plain Rice @ RM 1.00
The Rice and tea is definitely the same price to what we pay in Kuala Lumpur. I was hoping that it might have been slightly cheaper here but it is not.

Dry Chili Chicken @ RM 15.00
This dish I must say was pretty good. It was loaded with Dried Chili's and Cashew Nuts but slightly on the high side of pricing. This similar dish would probably cost RM 12.00 in Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, it was well done here and we did not mind paying the premium. I would rate this dish at 8.7/10 .

Egg Fu Yong @ RM 6.00
This dish in contrary was cheap. For that pretty huge egg, they only charged us at RM 6.00 which was a good deal. The eggs were well done and the filling was good. The only set back was the oil taste did linger in the mouth for a while after each bite. Perhaps the oil might have been recycled. I would rate this dish at 6/10 .

Sizzling Tofu @ RM 8.00
Unlike the ones we find here in Kuala Lumpur, this dish was really dry. In Kuala Lumpur, this would have a base sauce but here it had a thick layer of eggs at the bottom and the Tofu was above it. Definitely different in style of preparation. Between the two styles, I would prefer the one common to Kuala Lumpur. The taste however was not bad. The only set back again in this dish, is the quality of oil used.I would rate this dish at 6.5/10 .

Kangkung Belacan @ RM 7.00
This dish was good. The vegetables were fresh and it was crunchy even after being cooked. There was also an abundant amount of belacan in this dish. I would rate this dish at 8.5/10 .

These were pretty much our meal for today. For the two of us, including drinks the total bill for this meal came to RM 42.50 . Obviously these were just common dishes but I am sure that they have specialty dishes which are unique to their restaurant. This is based on my reading from the newspaper clippings available at the restaurant. These specialty dishes have to be ordered days in advance and is most suitable for large dinners and wedding dinners. Would I return to this restaurant again? Yes, surely I would. There are still many more dishes here that is to be tried.

Address: No. 9 & 11, Jalan Bestari, Taman Bestari,
                86100 Ayer Hitam, Johor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +607 758 3888 

Opening Hours: 1100 - 2300 Daily

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Table Talk @ TTDI, Kuala Lumpur

Located in the corner of Jalan Datuk Sulaiman in Taman Tun Dr Ismail is this lovely place serving good breakfast sets daily till four in the evening. 

Table Talk in Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Table Talk in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
This shop lot was previously occupied by an Indian restaurant called Namaste and they have now relocated their restaurant to a few doors away. As always, parking is a problem in TTDI and when we were here today we ended up going in circles looking for a bay. Finally I ended up parking at the open car park and walked over to the restaurant.

Outdoor Seating Area

Indoor Seating Area

More Spaces Inside
We were here around noon and the restaurant was quite packed with customers. At the door, we were greeted by this waiter and then he ushered us to our table. I was hoping to get a space in the deep end section of the restaurant which had roman style high back chairs but unfortunately it was full. We had to settle for the mid section, which was also comfortable. I like the reception here and all the waiters were very friendly and quick to attend to your needs.  

The Menu

The Menu
Once seated, we were given the menu cards. As you can see from the above photographs, most of their items are breakfast sets and sandwiches which is what this restaurant is famous for. They do have a limited number of mains though. We placed our orders and now waited for the dishes to be sent. 

Pepper & Salt Shakers

Within minutes of ordering, another waitress came over and placed the appropriate cutlery on the table in accordance to what we have ordered. From my observation, their breakfast sets are doing extremely well. People from all age groups and races seem to be here enjoying their meals. For example, in Departure Lounge which is another restaurant famous for its brunch sets, most of the patrons are students and youth and that has become like a stereotype there and that is not the case with this restaurant. 

Lemonade @ RM 6.50
Angie ordered a glass of Lemonade. We asked for less ice and what we got was less ice. Hardly you can find restaurants where the waiters really listen to what you mention but that was well followed here. The drink was wonderful too. I would rate this drink at 9/10 . 

Fresh Brewed Coffee @ RM 7.00
The coffee was particularly nice too. Not as good as Departure Lounge to compare them on an apple to apple basis,yet it will still score 8.5/10 . The serving method was also very professional. 

Spicy Sausages @ RM 12.00
This dish was really good. It comes with two slices of Garlic Bread and a bowl of sliced Chicken Sausages which is cooked with loads of Onions and Black Pepper. It is mid level spicy in taste and went very well with the Garlic Bread. A highly recommended dish here. I would rate this at 9.8/10 .

Rosti Potatoes with Sausages @ RM 15.00
This again was another good dish. It comes with 5 slices of Rosti Potatoes which is pan fried grated potato patties and sauteed chicken sausages in brown gravy. I just love the way the Rosti Potatoes were done. It was well prepared and fried to the right level. There was also no taste and smell of oil in it. Great dish. I would rate this dish at 9.2/10 . 

Ultimate Brekkie @ RM 18.00
Another value for money dish. They call this Ultimate Brekkie which is their biggest portion breakfast set. This comes with two farm eggs in choice of fried or scrambled, two slices of Turkey Ham, two Chicken Sausages, Baked Beans, two slices of Rosti Potatoes, Sauteed Greens and two slices of Wholemeal Toast. Definitely a great breakfast dish. I would rate this at 9.5/10 based on value for money, quality of items used and taste.  

Breakfast In Progress
Overall, I must say that this is an excellent place for these breakfast sets and the fact that they sell them till late afternoon means that these can also be brunch sets which would take us through the rest of the day. I have no complaints on this restaurant. The interior is lovely, staffs are friendly and efficient, food is good, price is good, what else can we ask for in a restaurant. A highly recommended place.

Address: No. 4, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail,
                60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 7733 7718

Opening Hours: 0730 - 0000 Daily

Email: dynastyhazel@gmail.com

Friday, 26 April 2013

Curry Leaf @ Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya

Having not had Tamil food for more than a week now, Angie and I decided to go for a good Banana Leaf meal.With that said, most of the good places that we know of are in Brickfields and we wanted to go to some place closer. I searched around in the internet and came across this restaurant called Curry Leaf which is located in Damansara Utama. Being close by, we decided to head there for lunch today.

Restaurant Curry Leaf in Damansara Utama

Write Up Put Up At The Entrance
I believe that this restaurant is a branch of a restaurant located in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. From the write up pasted on the glass walls at the entrance, I was made to understand that this is a third generation restaurant and boasts of good home cooked Tamil food. They are open daily from 7 am till 10 pm and breakfast is served from 7 am to 10.30 am. This restaurant is quite easy to locate. To those that are familiar with Damansara Utama, this is just a few doors away from the Satay Kajang outlet and it is a Halal restaurant. When we arrived here, we realised that most of it's customers are from the Chinese community and the second largest group are the Indians. I guess the locality must be a big contributing factor to this demographics.

Food Counter

Food Counter
As we walked in to the restaurant, we were greeted by the waiters who seemed shy yet friendly. I usually like to head on to the food counter to see whats available and place my orders from there. Most of the dishes seemed good. They also had a number of rare items that are not commonly found in other Tamil restaurants. That being said, their menu is not limited to this as they have a number of other South and North Indian dishes which can be cooked to order. We then decided to have the Banana Leaf meals and ordered our  sides at the counter itself.

Simple & Clean
Beside the good variety of food available here, I must say that their restaurant is very clean. This impressed me a lot as most Indian restaurants out there are not spick-and-span like this.

Banana Leaf Meals + Vegetables @ RM 6.00
Here, the basic Banana Leaf meal set is sold at RM 6.00 . Now this again varies with the type of rice. Angie had the normal rice and it was priced at the above price. I had Par Boil Rice and that set was charged at RM 6.50 . It also comes with four good vegetables and I would write more about them below.

Bitter Gourd
In most restaurants, they would just serve three or four simple vegetables like Cucumber, Cabbage and perhaps another vegetable but here, they vegetable dishes were of good quality and not the cheap vegetables. The first one as per the above photograph was the Bitter Gourd Kootu. This was pretty well done, not spicy and just about the right taste. I would rate the above preparation at 8.5/10 .

Potato & Onion Kootu
This above dish is a mixture of Potato and Onions. I liked this preparation very much. Usually this would be very oily but here the oil was well under control. It was also fried to the right level. I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Snake Gourd Kootu
This is another rare vegetable that we usually do not get in Indian restaurants. I am surprised that they serve quality vegetables here and at an almost competitive price compared to most restaurants out there. This vegetable was also well done and I would rate it at 8.5/10 .

Fish Curry
As for the curries, we had an option to choose from Sambar, Fish Curry, Venthayam Curry and Chicken Curry. I decided to try the Fish Curry first. Gosh, look at that colour. It was near perfection and the spices were perfectly balanced. I would rate the above Fish Curry at 9/10 . Subsequently I also tried the Sambar and that too was good.

Pineapple Kootu
The fourth vegetable that was served with this meal was very unique. It is basically Pineapple Kootu and it surely shows their creativity in bringing out new dishes and their commitment in providing the best to their customers. The sour taste of the pineapple and the spices blended very well. I would rate this dish at 9.7/10 .

Chicken Varuval @ RM 6.00
I really liked their Chicken Varuval. Though light coloured, it was excellently prepared and is slightly on the spicy side. I would strongly recommend this dish to anyone. I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Mutton Varuval @ RM 7.00
Just like the above Chicken Varuval, this Mutton Varuval also comes in multiple sizes and this is the small one. I must congratulate them in providing lean mutton cuts and not the fatty parts like in some other restaurants. Taste wise, it was nice but could have been better. I would rate this dish at 7/10 .

Their Rasam is provided complimentary to those who order the Banana Leaf meals. Their Rasam was just above average. I think, with a little more work it could be perfected easily. Nevertheless, I would rate this at 6.8/10 .
Us Having Lunch
On the whole, this is definitely a great place for good Indian food in Damansara Utama. They also have a private dining hall upstairs. Most of their dishes are good except for a few that could have been better. Our total bill today came to RM 29.50 including the drinks which is quite decent for the number of dishes we had and the locality of the restaurant. Apart from improving one or two of their dishes, I would say that they are doing an excellent job here. Definitely a good neighbourhood Indian restaurant.

Address: 75, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama,
                47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +6017 337 7880

Opening Hours: 0700 - 2200 Daily

Facebook: www.facebook.com/restaurantcurryleaf