Friday, 28 February 2014

Bistro Cafe @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Bistro Cafe is a newly opened restaurant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. This restaurant is located along Jalan Bernam Baru 1, Taman Bernam Baru and is owned by my childhood friends. Every time I go back to my hometown, my parents used to boast about the food here and how good it is. They used to say that the food here is akin to home cooked food and nowhere like a typical restaurant's cooking. Curious, I followed them for lunch today.

Bistro Cafe in Taman Bernam Baru, Tanjung Malim

Entrance to the restaurant

Simple and clean
This restaurant is very simple in layout and it was extremely clean. Being familiar faces, we were greeted by the owners and I see them doing this with all if not most customers. This is definitely a good approach and they seem to have a very personal touch with all their customers and you do not get a sense that you are dining at a restaurant. The conversations, atmosphere is all non business like and makes you feel as if you are visiting them at their house. Such is the atmosphere here and now I truly see why my parents love this place. Not only them, all the customers here seem to be in the same boat and I too, felt the same. 

Food Counter

Food Counter
Being a Friday, the emphasis was more on vegetarian dishes and they had minimal meat dishes. It seems that most people from the neighbouring residential areas come here and pack the curries back and hence if you would want to have a better selection, best to come by 1 pm. They have both Par Boil Rice and the usual rice here. Here you have the full liberty of taking the preferred items yourself and at a quantity that you prefer. The food definitely looked good and seemed to be made from quality ingredients. 

Ice Tea
Their Iced Tea was quite good. There was a good amount of tea dust used to fix this drink and it was just nice. I would rate this drink at 8.5/10 .

My Helping
I took some Brinjal Kuttu, Chicken Perattal and Chicken Curry to go with the white rice.  Though I wanted to try other curries, I was quite full by the time I finished the meal. The Chicken Curry was really good and I would rate it at 9/10 . I actually came back here on another occasion and that time tried their Mutton Curry. It was really good and just for information sharing, I would rate their Mutton Curry at 9.8/10 .

Brinjal Kuttu
The Brinjal Kuttu was very good. It was perfectly made with loads of black pepper and was very spicy yet delicious. I would rate this curry at 9.5/10 .

Chicken Perattal
Their Chicken Perattal was again good. Tasted just like those homemade dishes and nowhere close to a restaurant quality. I would rate the above at 8.7/10 .

My Dad's Lunch

My Mom's Lunch
Both my parents went for vegetarian meals. Their selection of available vegetable dishes was really good and would not limit and disappoint any vegetarian. 

Papadam is served separately. There is no charge for this and it comes complimentary.

Their Rasam is good though slightly oily. Nevertheless, there are loads of spices in it and the Rasam is really hot and spicy. Those would sore throat should think twice before consuming this as you are surely to cough for a long period after having this. For me, I just loved it and would rate it at 9/10 .

The total meal for the day including drinks came to a mere RM 14.00 which is definitely very cheap. I for sure would agree that the food here is good and definitely homemade quality. Do come early to enjoy a greater selection as food tends to get sold out fast.

Address: 15, Jalan Bernam Baru 1, Taman Bernam Baru, 35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Opening Hours: 0700 - 1900 Daily (Closed on the first and third Tuesdays of the month)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Restoran Chun Mei @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

There are two restaurants in Tanjung Malim selling old school Bak Kut Teh since the 1970's. One is Restoran Kim Kee which is located in Kampung Berop and the other is this Resturant Chun Mei. Between the two, this is the preferred one but in recent months the other one has become more famous due to the lack of staffs at this restaurant and the lady boss only occasionally opened the restaurant. Now however, her son is back and he runs the restaurant with some additional helpers.You could still see the lady boss at the restaurant but she does not involve much in the business as she has already aged. 

Restoran Chun Mei in Taman Intan Setia, Tanjung Malim

Interior of the Restaurant

The Son Preparing the Dishes

The Drinks Station
The restaurant is quite an old structure but it is still in usable condition. Cleanliness is decent but not immaculate. Nevertheless, you still see a lot of customers coming here due to the taste of the Bak Kut Teh which is anytime better than those found in Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Subang and even some of those in Klang. On days when this restaurant is open, then there is very few customers in Kim Kee. I guess, most people like me would come here and check the place out first to see if they are open and if they are not, only then head to Kim Kee. Ordering here is very simple. You could just place your orders at your table and this could be done with the helpers themselves. Since I know the son and mother personally, I usually walk up to them and tell them exactly what I want. Since the son and I are schoolmates, he usually tends to give me better meat cuts.

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.50
If you were to go for the pot, then they have a number of different tea's that are available for you to choose from.

White Rice
Here you don't get the Onion Oil Rice as it is all the plain White Rice. This usually comes with the Bak Kut Teh but if you do not order the meat and just go for the sides, then a bowl of White Rice is priced at RM 1.00 .

Lor Tan @ RM 0.80 each

Lor Tan @ RM 0.80 each
The eggs here are really good. They are hard boiled in a very thick herbal soup and is served along with some soy sauce. Definitely an excellent preparation and I would rate this at 9.4/10 .

Bowl of Taufu @ RM 2.00

Bowl of Taufu @ RM 1.50
Once again, their Taufu would definitely not disappoint you. The Taufu is prepared in the same dark herbal broth and it is very fresh and delicious. I would rate this at 9/10 .

Dark Herbal Soup

Dark Herbal Soup
Their Dark Herbal Soup is definitely a taste to remember. You hardly get this dark soup anymore and most places today, tend to serve very light coloured soup and sometimes I get confused if that is the real herbal soup or if it is some soy sauce. This comes complimentary and they would keep topping up the soup as it finishes. This is done even without you asking for more. As they walk pass you and if the helpers notice that your soup is finished or near finished, then they on their own initiative would top it up for you. I would rate their Herbal Soup at 10/10 .

Yau Char Kui @ RM 1.20

Yau Char Kui @ RM 1.20
They get their supply of Yau Char Kui from the vendor at the local market and he delivers them fresh to their shop daily. The Yau Char Kui is very soft and hence absorbs the delicious soup when dipped in. Definitely good stuff and I would rate this at 9.5/10 .

Bowl of Lean Meat @ RM 7.00

Bowl of Lean Meat @ RM 7.00
If there is a larger group, then you should go for their Claypot Bak Kut Teh which comes with an assortment of items. Since I was alone, I went for the solo bowl like the above. I always prefer lean meat with a little fat which goes just nice with me. Do note that they also have spare parts and the big bone here. The meat is tenderly cooked in the delicious dark herbal soup and is a treat to any Bak Kut Teh lover. I would rate the above meat at 9.5/10 .A perfect dish!

If you wish to try old school Bak Kut Teh, then I would strongly recommend this particular restaurant. After all, Tanjung Malim is a mere 40 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur via the North South Highway and we KL'ites are used to travelling that distance. Definitely a place that you would not regret unless you dislike the dark soup as I do know some friends who would simply prefer the lighter soup over the dark one as they dislike the strong herbal flavour. In a nutshell, cheap and good food.

Address: Jalan Intan Setia 7, Taman Intan Setia, 35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Opening Hours: 1800 - 0000 Daily

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Restoran Mungo Jerry Bak Kut Teh @ Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur

Restoran Mungo Jerry Bak Kut Teh is a name that is familiar to all Bak Kut Teh lovers in the Klang Valley. This restaurant was started by Mr. Jerry Sow when he was 21 years old sometime in the year 1978. His original stall was initially somewhere in Klang but then he moved his business to Kuala Lumpur and this was followed by the opening of the other branch then in Jalan Barat. To read more on the history, please do click on this link: This is a blog that is maintained by his daughter which gives more information on the history of this establishment. 

Restaurant Mungo Jerry in Jalan Raja Laut

Interior of the Kitchen

Sample Dishes at the Entrance

Interior of the Restaurant

This restaurant is located along Jalan Raja Laut, just opposite the EON Bank building and is parallel to Lorong Haji Taib. They occupy two shop lots. One is used as the kitchen and another would be the dining hall. The restaurant is simple and acceptably clean. Until mid 1990's, you used to see Jerry here at the restaurant and he used to be quite a chatterbox but nowadays, the shop is run by his trusted two Bangladeshi employees who have been with him since the late 1980's. They are assisted by other foreign nationals.  At the entrance to the kitchen, sample dishes are cooked and placed for display. This from my observation is not quite for the locals as the locals are mostly familiar with their offerings but is specifically targeted for the foreigners. I do see quite a number of expatriates at the restaurant every time I am here. I believe besides the expatriates, his largest customer segment is Malaysian Indians. Just walk in at any time and you would see that most of the tables would be occupied by Malaysian Indians. You could place your orders at the kitchen and for those who are familiar with the offerings, orders could be placed at your table. 

Herbal Tea @ RM 1.00
The Herbal Tea is one of their signature drinks here. The tea is pure, thick with loads of herbs and is sweetened with rock sugar. A very hydrating drink. I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Sugar Cane Drink @ RM 1.00
The other famous homemade drink here is the above Sugar Cane drink. Mildly sweet, it is a good alternative to Tea. I would rate this drink at 8.5/10 .

Onion Rice with Pork Lard @ RM 1.50
Per serving of the above Onion Rice comes at RM 1.50 . The Onion Rice is absolutely delicious and being prepared with Pork Lard, it tends to be quite sticky but absolutely good. This is definitely something that I have not seen elsewhere. I would rate this at 9.7/10 .

Herbal Soup
All orders comes with the above complimentary Herbal Soup and you could ask for as many servings as you may want. The broth here is thick and dark and has a very sticky nature so much so even your lips tends to be sticky after consumption. Nevertheless, it is really good and has a very unique taste which is specific to this restaurant. I would rate the above soup at 9.8/10 .

Yau Char Kuey (Big) @ RM 4.00
I am not sure if they make this in house or get it from an external vendor. Anyway, this was not all that great. It was slightly hard and dry and that did not allow it to absorb the soup well when dipped in. I would only rate this at 5/10 .

Tau Poh @ RM 2.00
The Taufu was good and it once again tasted very unique. There was a slight saltiness in it and I am not sure if it came from the Tofu or the herbal soup. The soup itself was different compared to the one that was served separately. This soup was much lighter in colour and had different flavours. Nevertheless, I liked this dish very much and the taste was really distinctive from the others out there. I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Pokkari (Pork Curry) @ RM 12.00

Pokkari (Pork Curry) @ RM 12.00
Lean meat cooked in a very dark and thick herbal and spiced broth along with loads of dried chilies, this dish was a treat to Pork lovers. A unique dish that is only available here and is a special recipe of Mr Jerry. Definitely a taste to remember! I would rate this dish at 9.7/10 .

Kailan in Oyster Sauce @ RM 8.00

Kailan in Oyster Sauce @ RM 8.00
A delicious vegetable dish. Fresh Kailan sauteed with Oyster Sauce and topped with fried onions and Pork Lard. The greens were very fresh and the lavish amount of Oyster Sauce was a great combination. Loved this! I would rate this at 9.4/10 .

Fried Roasted Pork @ RM 12.00

Fried Roasted Pork @ RM 12.00
Roasted Pork stir fried in oil along with a secret sauce and honey. The meat was crispy at the top yet so juicy and soft on the inside. Wonderful preparation and I would rate this dish at 9.7/10 .

Bar-B-Q Ribs @ RM 12.00

Bar-B-Q Ribs @ RM 12.00
The above are juicy chunks of Pork Ribs fried with Sambal Belacan and onions. On first taste, this dish would taste like a typical Tamil dish and no doubt that this is a favourite among the Indian customers. Slightly spicy, this would definitely be a dish that you would not regret ordering. I would rate this dish at 9.3/10 . Previously, this dish used to be sold at RM 14.00 but they have reduced the price to RM 12.00 recently and I am not sure why. Nevertheless, the portion seems the same. 

Our Dinner for the Night
Overall, it was a very delightful meal for us and I am glad that the food has been consistent over the years. I first visited them in the year 1993 and have been a loyal customer ever since. The taste remains the same and the price has not gone up much over the years. Even today, our meal came to about RM 50+ and that is quite reasonable bearing in mind the number of dishes ordered. Cleanliness may not be up to the mark and definitely would not be suitable to fussy customers, otherwise it is a decent place to have a good meal. If the Jalan Raja Laut outlet may not be in easy reach, then you could visit their outlet in SS2, Petaling Jaya. 

Address: No. 292, Jalan Raja Laut, Chow Kit, 50350 Kuala Lumpur.

Opening Hours: 1700 - 0230 Daily

Monday, 24 February 2014

Heng Heng Yong Tau Fu @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Being in my hometown, I am able to try all my favourite food outlets since childhood days and this is one such outlet too. This Heng Heng Yong Tau Foo stall is located inside another restaurant called Restoran Kar Kui. It is located on Jalan Loke Yew, right beside the old Rex Theatre. Just ask any local and they would be able to guide you here.

Restaurant Kar Kui in Tanjung Malim

Restoran Kar Kui visible from the Rex Theatre
I have been eating at this stall for the past 30 years. He has become so famous that nowadays he starts his business as he likes, usually around 1930 and it closes by 2130 as his food is all sold out. Now, he has already started another stall which is manned by his son on the Ulu Bernam side of the town. When he first started, his stall operates from 1800 - 2330. I still remember that very clearly. Sometimes, even past midnight. There is usually a long crowd that comes in by around 2000 and people would be literally fighting for their food. His Yong Tau Foo is so delicious that every time a tray of items comes in, in less than 5 minutes, its sold and people just keep waiting until the next tray of their required item comes and they just pick it up.

Heng Heng Yong Tau Fu Stall

Most of the Yong Tau Fu

Us picking the food items
The unique thing about this stall is that most his fillings are pork and not fish. For example, there is no Sui Kau here but Chung Kin. Even the tofu has pork filling and not fish. And per piece of any of the items was only RM 0.90, but now the price has been upped to RM 1.00 each and sadly, the sizes have become smaller. Many years ago, this stall was manned by him, his wife and his late mother. Today, his son helps in and business is surely good for him. Loads of people come from Kuala Lumpur just to try his Yong Tau Foo.  If you come during the peak hours you would observe that customers are queuing here just to get their orders. Sometimes, it takes up to 45 minutes to get all that you want but people still do not mind because it is really good. As this is inside another restaurant which is just an old wooden structure and seating is limited and not so comfortable, most locals take away the food.

The Cutlery

Chili Paste
It took us a long wait today too and after 45 minutes, we finally got our food. Here they do not have the sweet sauce and only provide the above Chili Paste. His Chili Paste is quite good and I would rate it at 9/10 .

Our Bowl of Yong Tau Fu

Fried Chung Kin
The food items are usually served in the above soup except for the Chung Kin which is served separately. The soup here is good but honestly, it has dropped in terms of what it used to be. I have a strong feeling that he is cutting on the ingredients to save cost.  Nevertheless, I would still rate his soup at 8.5/10 .

Fried Chung Kin @ RM 1.00
There are not many places that you get Chung Kin's as most of them only serve Sui Kau. This one however, has been our all time favourites here and it disappears just like that. A good preparation that deserves a rating of 9.5/10 .

Steamed Chung Kin @ RM 1.00
The Steamed Chung Kin is equally good. It is packed with meat and the vegetables and has a very thin skin that almost dissolves in the mouth. I would rate this at 9.3/10 .

Fried Tofu @ RM 1.00

This Layer of Pork At The Base
If you observe carefully, he only fries the base of the Tofu where the meat is attached. Those days, the meat was much more and covered the full base of the Tofu but not it has become much smaller. Nevertheless, the taste is still good and I would rate this at 9/10 .

Fried Fu Chok @ RM 1.00
His Fried Fu Chok is just okay. For the price of RM 1.00, I think this is too small and definitely should be sold for only half the price. I would rate this at 6/10 .

Steamed Okra @ RM 1.00
The Steamed Okra is good. It has a lot of meat in it and the Okra used is mostly quite fresh. Definitely a good preparation and I would rate this at 9.2/10 .

Fried Brinjals @ RM 1.00

Fried Brinjals @ RM 1.00
His Fried Brinjals are good too but I do not favour them as it is slightly on the oily side. I would rate this at 8.3/10 . His Bitter-gourd is better but unfortunately it was sold out today.

Steamed Chili @ RM 1.00
Once again, a good preparation that comes with a decent amount of meat. I would rate this at 8.5/10 .

Fish balls @ RM 1.00
This is another one of my favourite items here but sadly the size of it has shrunk over the years. For this size, it should not be sold for RM 1.00 each. Perhaps 50 cents would be just right but customers are willing to pay the price just for the good taste. Taste wise, I would rate this at 9.5/10 but would not agree on the size and price paid for it. 

On the whole, the food here is delicious and is surely worth the wait. I have heard many of my Kuala Lumpur friends mention about this Yong Tau Foo in Tanjung Malim as they have tried it through recommendations. It is definitely worth a drive from Kuala Lumpur to Tanjung Malim to try this dish. However, do give him a call first to check if the stall is open and make sure you turn up early to avoid disappointments.

Address: Jalan Loke Yew, (beside Old Rex Theatre)
                  35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1930 - 2130

Telephone: +6012 272 1401