Saturday, 30 November 2013

Restoran Selera Pengasih: Nasi Lemak Petai Tiong Nam @ Jalan Tiong Nam, Kuala Lumpur

Nasi Lemak is somewhat one of the national dishes of Malaysia, one which every Malaysian would always savour. In my quest to identify good Nasi Lemak places, I recently visited this particular restaurant that is located along Jalan Tiong Nam, parallel to Jalan Raja Laut in Kuala Lumpur.

Restoran Selera Pengasih along Jalan Raja Laut

Both Indoor & Outdoor Seating Available

An Array of Available Dishes

Drinks Station
Famous for it's Sambal Petai Nasi Lemak, this restaurant is located right opposite Wisma Havela Thakadass, closer to the rear side of the Sime Darby building. There is a covered outdoor seating as well as two shop lots which cater for indoor seating. Although all the staffs and cooks are Malays, the owner is a Chinese gentleman. Nevertheless, this restaurant has the Halal status. It is famous among the locals in this area as well as the KLMUC students as their campus is just right opposite this restaurant. 

Cashier Right in the Centre of the Restaurant
This restaurant has very long operating hours. They start at 11 am daily and this goes on till late night whereby they close briefly at 4 am and they serve delicious hot Nasi Lemak throughout the day and night. The rice is prepared in limited amounts and is cooked again to top up thus ensuring the supply is always hot and fresh. Besides their famous Sambal Petai, they also do have other sides to accompany their Nasi Lemak which includes Rendang Chicken, Spiced Fried Chicken (Ayam Berempah) and a number of other dishes. They also serve Roti Canai but that starts only around 4 pm and goes on until closure. Service here too is very efficient and they would attend to you almost immediately once you take your seat.

Teh O Ais @ RM 1.50
Their drinks is prepared by a local Malay guy. I had the above Teh O Ais and it was fixed quite well. I would rate this drink at 8/10 .

Nasi Lemak Sambal Petai @ RM 2.50

Another Angle View

Closer Look At Their Sambal Petai
Their basic Nasi Lemak with Sambal Petai comes at RM 2.50 per plate. You get  really a lot of rice with a huge heap of Sambal Petai and half a boiled egg with each serving. The rice is very aromatic and has a lovely fragrance to it. It is prepared very nicely and you get a strong 'Lemak' flavour from it. Their Sambal Petai is made using the large anchovies which makes it really good and they slice the Petai's into smaller bits and this allows the juices to spread out thoroughly in the Sambal. It is also cooked slightly on the spicy side but that's on a tolerable level. The gravy of the Sambal too is not diluted and hence emanates a strong taste and dominates the dish. Overall, it is surely a taste to remember. I would rate their Nasi Lemak Sambal Petai at 9/10 .

For Nasi Lemak lovers, I think it is worth giving this place a try and check out their offering. The portions here are huge, the taste is good and the service is humble. Definitely a place that I would recommend.

Address: No.2, Jalan Tiong Nam, Off Jalan Raja Laut, 
                50350 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 0400 Daily

Friday, 29 November 2013

Home & Away - Cafe. Bar. Pool @ Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur

If you are looking for a bar cum cafe which serves excellent Tamil food and relatively cheap beers, then Home & Away is the place to be in. Located in Desa Sri Hartamas, this is a neighbourhood bar that is a great place to hang out with friends. Besides the great food, the environment is also very safe and comfortable and they even have a pool table for those who are interested. 

Home & Away in Desa Sri Hartamas

Tiger Package - 15 Beers @ RM 122.50

This bar has a mixed crowd of both expatriates and locals. It is a open concept bar and as such, customers can opt to sit either inside or outside along the corridor. The staffs here are friendly and attend to customers needs fairly quickly. They have a number of draught beers besides the bottled ones and also have a wide range of liqueurs and cocktails. We decided to have Tiger Beer and went for the package that is 15 beers priced at RM 122.50 which is a very good deal in this part of the city. 

The Menu

The above is their food menu and it is typically covering a wide range of Tamil dishes with the exception of a few Western dishes like Chicken and Lamb Chops. Spicy food and beers are definitely an excellent combination and we decided to stick to trying out their Tamil food. 

Ikan Bilis @ RM 11.30
Their Ikan Bilis was very good. It was prepared spicy and cooked with green chilies and onions and served with a sprinkle of lime. The salty taste of the anchovies, the sour flavours from the lime and the spiciness from the chilies all blended well and together they were a treat to have with the beers. Definitely a recommended dish here. I would rate this dish at 9.2/10 .

Mutton Varuval @ RM 14.10

Comes With 3 Slices of Bread
Another well prepared dish. The mutton chunks were very well marinated, definitely something that has been marinated overnight and the meat was tender.Besides having used dry chilies, they have also used a lot of black pepper in this dish making it a very spicy dish. This dish is served with three slices of White Bread. I would rate this dish at 9.4/10 .

Chicken Peratel @ RM 15.10

Three Slices of Bread with the Dish
Their Chicken Paratel was again good and in fact, it was as good as the mutton. Loved the spices and the chicken chunks were just the right bite size. I would rate this dish at 9.2/10 .

Prawn Potato Masala @ RM 15.10

Served with Three Slices of Bread
The Prawn Masala with Potato was fantastic. It was prepared super spicy and came with loads of small prawns and little chunks of potato. I loved the fact that they had made it slightly wet and having added not only Chili Masala but also ground black pepper, an that too a whole load of it. Definitely a dish that I would order again. I would rate this dish at 9.8/10 .

Sardine Masala @ RM 14.10

Three Slices of Bread
This dish would be every Malaysian boy's favourite. Sardines were mashed and cooked with extreme spices making it a wonderful dish to go with drinks. They were prepared so well that even those who do not like sardines would love this dish. Excellent! I would rate this dish at 9.7/10 .

Egg Curry @ RM 13.20

Three Slices of Bread
The Egg Curry was cooked like a homemade preparation. If I did have rice, I would have had it with rice as it was really nice. May seem slightly odd to have this in a pub but we didn't mind getting our fingers dirty. A very well prepared dish. I would rate this dish at 9.2/10 .

On the whole, I am very pleased with this place and would love to thank my friend for introducing this joint to me. Definitely a place that I would be frequenting more often as I love the food, environment and hospitality here. 

Address: No. 37, Jalan 23/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1300 - 0000 Daily

Telephone: +603 6203 5262


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sarawak Kuching Kolo Mee @ Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya

Located right in the middle of Perdana Business Centre in Damansara Perdana is a common Chinese restaurant called Restaurant Ah Sai which works like a typical Chinese restaurant whereby there are a number of stalls occupying the premise and the main tenant usually supplies the drinks. Today my entries special highlight is on a stall located inside this restaurant called Sarawak Kuching Kolo Mee which serves excellent Kolo Mee. 

Restaurant Ah Sai in Damansara Perdana

Sarawan Kuching Kolo Mee Stall
This stall is quite clearly noticeable as you walk over to this restaurant. It is right beside the Pan Mee stall and do note that they tend to get sold out rather quickly so getting here early is important. 

The Owner Preparing the Orders

It is mostly quite busy at this restaurant

Interior of the Restaurant
As this restaurant shares it's space with a number of other stalls, the place can get to be quite busy and during peak hours, do expect to share a table with a stranger. The cleanliness is mediocre but the service is quite good. It is a good place for a quick, cheap and good meal. Although this restaurant operates from 10 to 10, this particular stall only opens from 11am - 2.30 pm and then opens again from 6 pm - 9.30 pm. When placing your orders, it can be quite a challenge to get the owners attention as he is usually swarmed with orders but then, with some patience, you would be able to get a fantastic dish of Sawawak Kolo Mee sent to your table. 

Sarawak Kolo Mee @ RM 6.00 (Big)

Closer Look At The Dish
Within minutes, you would have a wonderful dish of Kolo Mee served at your table. This dish reminds me of the bowl of Kolo Mee that I had in Kuching almost a decade ago. Everything here is homemade. The owner makes all the items himself including the Char Siew and hence the unique colour of the Char Siew. There is a wonderful amount of ingredients added to this dish and it is fixed so perfectly that you might yearn for another bowl. At the price of RM 5.00 for a small bowl, it is something that you would truly love. The lavish amount of minced Pork meat and the rest of the ingredients blended so well with the dish. Definitely a great dish. I would rate this at 9.4/10 .

Clear Soup provided with the Dish
Although this looks like a simple clear soup, it was really very good. Not flavoured by MSG, it had true flavours to it which were from Chicken bones and spices. I would rate this at 9.1/10 .

This is not a place that you should travel great distance to try their food but if you happen to be nearby, this is a stall that you must visit especially if you love Sarawakian cuisine. Definitely a must visit place for Sarawakians living in Peninsular Malaysia. 

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

Opening Hours: 1100 - 1430 & 1800 - 2130 Daily

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Komichi Ramen @ Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur

Desa Sri Hartamas is an area which has a number of Japanese Restaurants and Komichi Ramen is a new entrant that had started their business about a week ago. This restaurant is located right in front of  the open car park in Desa Sri Hartamas, adjacent to the row of shops which has famous restaurants like Jojo Little Kitchen and Aoyama The Green Room. Due to it's location, it may not be easily noticeable from the main road but it is clearly visible once you enter the open car park.

Komichi Ramen in Desa Sri Hartamas

Interior of the Restaurant
As it is just a week's old, not many people know of this restaurant yet and when we arrived here tonight, it was rather quiet. The owner and the staffs are all Japanese and the owner is fond of standing at the door and greeting everyone who passes by. I guess it is his way of attracting people to the restaurant. The design is quite open, unlike other Japanese restaurants as it is meant to be one of those restaurants where you stop for a quick Ramen and move on. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu
Their menu is a simple one sided laminate which has a handful of Ramen variety and some sides. The prices definitely look to be on the high side.

Green Tea @ RM 2.00
The Green Tea here definitely was different as it had a very distinct green colour, something that I had not seen before. Priced at RM 2.00, it is not refillable and had a very bold and bitter taste to it. I would rate their Green Tea at 7/10 . 

Edamame @ RM 4.00
The Edamame was nicely prepared and had a good amount of salt sprinkled on it. It was also quite fresh. A decent portion for the price. I would rate this at 8/10 .

Deep Fried Chicken @ RM 10.00
This dish was quite good but I feel that the portion size was rather small for the price paid. Otherwise, the chicken was fried to a crispy and juicy golden colour and was well flavoured. I would rate this dish at 8/10 .

Gyoza @ RM 8.00

Closer Look at the Gyoza
I was a little disappointed with the Gyoza. Firstly, it was ridiculously small. Secondly, it was sticking to each other and when you tried separating them, they started to tear. And finally, the filling was quite scanty. It did not taste that great either. I would rate this at 5/10 .

Cha-shu Spicy Ramen @ RM 23.90

Closer Look At The Dish
For the price paid, I was very satisfied with the portion size. This dish came with three huge Cha-Shu's, Boiled Egg, some bean sprouts, noodles and this came in a thick broth which tasted delicious. Nevertheless, it was not spicy despite them having added some chili paste into the dish. However, the taste was quite good and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. I would rate this dish at 9/10 . 

Spicy Ramen @ RM 17.90
My friend ordered the Spicy Ramen and it looked very similar to mine except that it came with just a single slice of Cha Shu. Taste wise, it was the same as the earlier dish. I would rate this dish at 9/10 .

On the whole, the Ramen served at this restaurant is quite good but the other side items are just above average. I find the price slightly on the high side but the service was efficient and satisfying. This would ideally be a no frills place where you come for a quick bowl of good Ramen and nothing more. Definitely worth visiting if you are in the vicinity. 

Address: 7-G, Jalan 26/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 1430 & 1730 - 2300 Daily

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Li Yaa Restaurant & Bar @ Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

Located in Plaza Damansara is a Sri Lankan restaurant called A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar. Previously having been occupying a bangalow unit located in Jalan Dungun, they have shifted to this new premises sometime in early 2011. Their specialty is Jaffnese and Sinhala Cuisine. They do not have the Halal status as they are running a bar, however it is pork free.I have previously dined at this restaurant sometime in April this year but since I had my family along with me, I wanted them to try this place out too as it surely would be something that they would love. Being a Jaffnese Tamil, I was very sure that they would surely appreciate these food more.

A Li Yaa Restaurant & Bar in Plaza Damansara

Entrance to the Restaurant

Bar Style Tables Located on the Outside

Interior of the Restaurant
This place is quite easy to locate. If you are familiar with Plaza Damansara, the famous landmark here is the CIMB Bank and this is just a few doors away along the same block. Along the corridor, they have an outdoor seating area which is themed more towards the bar style. This is more suitable for those who are having some drinks and bites to munch. These high stool type chairs are not suitable for those who come here to have full meals, especially senior people. The moment we arrived at the door, we were greeted by the staffs. The restaurant manager personally ushered us to our table. Since I had made a reservation earlier, things were smoother. I strongly feel that should you have a large group, it is best to make reservations a few days in advance as they tend to get full house quite easily, especially on the weekends.

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

My brother checking out the menu
I must say that the interior was beautifully designed. The menu was very elaborate and had a wide variety of dishes from the island country of Sri Lanka. Though the price may seem on the high side, the portions were huge and I am sure the taste would be excellent specially from me having tasted their food in the past. The manager assisted us with our orders advising us how much to order bearing in mind that there were only three of us.

The Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu
I was amused by the drinks menu. They had some interesting names there. Some were Blow Job, Quick F**k, Sex on the Beach and etc. Pretty weird names for drinks.  Having finalised our orders, the workers were quick to get to their feet. They are definitely well staffed and worked very efficiently. From my observation, I believe they get quite a number of high profile customers here and they had to ensure the professionalism was at the peak at all times, never allowing room for mistakes. In fact, they were even accurate in terms of having what to be delivered to you first. For example, starters were delivered first and the main course would never be sent until you finish the starters. There is a waiter assigned to each table to ensure customer satisfaction. This is the kind of satisfaction that I am surely willing to pay for.

Coca Cola @ RM 8.00

Ginger Beer @ RM 8.00
The drinks arrived pretty quickly, if I recall right, within five minutes of us placing our orders.We decided to go for soft drinks and they were served by the cans and were priced at RM 8.00 each. 

Cutlets Mixed Platter (L to R: Crab, Mutton, Fish & Potato Cutlets) @ RM 23.00 

Closer Look at the Fish Cutlets
This was the starters that we had. It was an assortment of their Cutlets which gives an option to try all their Cutlets. From left to right, they were Crab Cutlet, Mutton Cutlet, Fish Cutlet and Potato & Peas Cutlet. All their cutlets were excellent. They were was wildly spiced and would surely get you sweating. The Potato and Peas Cutlets was even spicier and had a great amount of spices and pepper in it. All of  these cutlets were heavenly. I would rate these at 10/10 .

Spring Hopper Kothu Chicken @ RM 20.00
This was a mains that came once we finished the above dish. This is basically fried Spring Hoppers with Chicken, something that is very common in Ceylonese homes. My late grandmother used to prepare this when she was around and it definitely brings a lot of memories and here, this restaurant was able to make it as good. An absolutely great dish which is very spicy. This dish would definitely hook you on to it. I would rate this at 10/10 .

Plain Appam part of the Appam Galore Set @ RM 20.00

Sri Lankan Sambals Served Along With The Plain Appam
Appam is another traditional Sri Lankan dish and it is quite different to the Indian Style of preparation. We wanted to try a variety of Appams and it was great that they had this set called Appam's Galore which is a choice of four different Appams. We chose one Plain Appam, one Egg Appam and two Sweet Appams. The Plain Appam comes with four different Sri Lankan Sambals. The Appam was good but the Sambals were excellent. I would rate their Plain Appam at 8.5/10 and their Sambals at 9.8/10 .

Egg Appam
The Egg Appam was well prepared, in fact it was better than their Plain Appam. I would rate this at 9.7/10 .

Sweet Appam
A major difference between the Indian Appam and the Jaffnese Appam is the center part. The Indian style is dry and they would pour some coconut milk just before serving it. The Jaffnese Style maintains the center to be wet, soft and richer and the coconut milk is poured during the cooking process. The only addition to this Sweet Appam would be that they have added some Palm Sugar in the center. Another great item here. Without fail, this scores 10/10 on my scale.

Aliyaa Puttu with Fish Curry Set @ RM 28.00

Ceylonese Style Fish Curry
The Puttu was another excellent dish. It came with some sides like Potato Masala, Coconut Sambal, Seeni Sambal, Okra and Brinjals accompanied by the above Fish Curry. You have a choice of Fish, Chicken, Mutton or Vegetarian Curry options to choose from. We asked the manager as to what he would recommend and he suggested the fish curry. The Indian Style of having Puttu is with Palm Sugar but the Sri Lankan style is to have it with curry. The fish curry was again extremely delicious and prepared according to the Sri Lankan style. I must say it was heavenly spicy and I am quite sure that they were using Sear Fish. I would rate both the above again at a perfect 10/10 .

Overall, this is definitely a great place to have Sri Lankan meals. Right from simple items like Appam to every day items like Spring Hopper Kothu, everything is made to perfection. I would surely return another time with my parents and sibling to try a number of other dishes.For today, the bill came to RM 126.50 and it is worth every cent spent.

Address: No. 48 G & M, Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, 
                Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 2092 5378 / +6017 717 8700




Opening Hours: 1200 - 2300 Daily