Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Restoran Garam Masala @ Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

Garam Masala is a rather new restaurant in Brickfields, located along Jalan Tun Sambanthan and is just a few doors away from Brickfields Asia College. They have taken over the place from the previous operator's which was Moorthy's Mathai who have relocated their restaurant to Pelangi Damansara. Having passed this place numerous times, I have always noticed that it is usually crowded for breakfast and lunch but rather quiet  after that. They must be doing something good to attract such a huge crowd for lunch. Curious, I decided to drop by this afternoon.

The Restaurant In Brickfields

Tender Coconuts Are Available Too

Very Simple Layout

Very Simple Layout
I believe that they may have taken over this place and commenced business without doing any renovations. The layout was simple and the interior was just the same as when Mathai's was here. In fact, the wordings Moorthy's Mathai is still seen at the entrance. They must have just changed the signboard at the entrance and not done anything else. The place is a family owned enterprise and this is clearly noticeable. The place itself was moderately clean and is suitable for a quick meal. When I was here this afternoon, there were quite a bit of working adults but the majority of their customers were Brickfields Asia College students. 

Teh O Ice @ RM 1.50
The food station was quite crowded when I arrived and so I decided on taking a seat and ordering my drinks first. I ordered a glass of Teh O Ice and this was priced at RM 1.50 . Pretty standard in this part of town and the Tea was quite good. I would rate their Teh O Ice at 9/10 .

Food Station
Once it was a little clear, I went over to the food station to check the curries. Here, both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes were separated and what you see above is their non vegetarian dishes only. This was located along the left side wall of the restaurant and the vegetarian dishes were located along the right side wall of the restaurant. The variety was good and the food seemed quite appetising. I am not sure if they serve Banana Leaf Meals as I did not sight anyone having that. Everyone seemed to be having their meals on a plate and since I was not in the mood for Banana Leaf lunch, I decided to just skip enquiring about that and proceed with my meals on a plate. Having collected my dishes, I returned to my table. 

My Lunch Priced at RM 5.50

A Closer Look At My Lunch
I had some White Rice, Mutton Gravy, Mutton Perattal, Potato's, Prawn Sambal and Rasam and the entire lot was priced at RM 5.50 . I was so surprised when I saw the bill. That was like so cheap! It is impossible to get the similar variety for that same price anywhere in Brickfields and what more in Kuala Lumpur. A simple meal with Mutton would cost somewhere around RM 6 plus and the moment one add's prawns, that would go beyond RM 10.00 . Amazingly cheap! Now I realise why they have such a good crowd for lunch daily!

Mutton Gravy
Their Mutton Gravy was very good. As you can see from the above photograph, it was rich with spices and tasted lovingly good. Being a mutton fan, I was amused by their curry. I would rate this at 9/10 .

Potato Perattal
Another excellent preparation. Their Potato Perattal was very good, the potato's were soft, cut into the right size and cooked with diced onions and spices. Truly loved it and it went so well with the rice. I would rate this at 9.5/10 .

Mutton Perattal
This again was good. Right cut sizes, perfect blend of spices and served in a thick gravy. The only setback with this dish was that the meat was slightly on the hard side. Boiling it prior to cooking would have made it even better. Nevertheless, a good preparation and I would rate this at 8/10 .

Prawn Sambal
This was awesome! Medium sized Prawns were cooked with onions and served in a super spicy Sambal. The Prawns were juicy and tasty. Though the Prawns were not skinned off, the Sambal had distributed itself well and thoroughly mixed with the meat. An excellent dish and I just loved it! I would rate this at 9/10 .

Their Rasam was quite nice too but it was not one that was mind blowing. Just another good Rasam it was and I would rate this at 8/10 .

The Bill
Overall, it was an awesome lunch for me. The spread was good, service was prompt, dishes were tasty and above all, they were so cheap. I was also told that they have Puttu and Pal Appam for breakfast. This is definitely a place that deserves greater mention. One that I would recommend for sure.

Address: No. 78, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0700 - 2100 Daily

Telephone: +603 2272 1744 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Mansion Tea Stall - Selangor Mansion Roti Banjir Special (Formerly Al-Amnah Restoran) @ Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur

Everyone has tried the usual Roti Canai Banjir but this particular Roti Canai Banjir Special is a unique dish that is only available here at Mansion Tea Stall which is located on the Ground Floor of Selangor Mansion. This used to be my favourite post midnight hangout during my varsity days and that was sometime around the year 1992 and since then, I have been a loyal customer of this place. Not many people are aware of this dish and that is why I would like to introduce this special dish via my blog today. These days, I am hardly around Masjid India and as I was here this morning on some work assignments, I decided to drop by to savour my favourite Roti Canai Banjir Special.

Mansion Tea Stall in Selangor Mansion, Masjid India

Very Simple Layout

Food Prices
Those days, they used to be officially known as Al-Amnah Restaurant but still, everyone used to call them by their pet name, Mansion Tea Stall and recently, they have ceased using the older name and officially replaced the name to Mansion Tea Stall. Since the time that I can recall coming here, they have always been operating 24 hours daily and still do. This place has two entrances, one from the Masjid India side and the other from Jalan Melaka heading towards Lebuh Ampang, where the old Citibank used to be. Assuming that you are coming from Jalan Melaka, come to the centre of Selangor Mansion and you would notice two stalls operating there, one would be Mansion Tea Stall on your right and Restoran Noor on your left. 

Restoran Noor On Your Left
It is generally free seating here and customers from both stalls, share the same space. As mentioned earlier, Mansion Tea Stall operates round the clock but Restoran Noor only operates up to limited number of hours, not too sure as to what the exact timings are but they are surely opened for lunch and dinner. Restoran Noor specialises in Nasi Kandar style food and that includes Briyanis. I have not tried the food here but hope that I would someday. Everytime I am here, I keep ordering the same dish from Mansion Tea Stall. The place is mostly crowded and you would be surprised if I said that it is the same in the wee hours post midnight too. I still remember clearly that from around midnight till about 2 am, it used to be people coming after the 9 pm show at Coliseum and from 2 am till around 3.30 am, it used to be students. From 4 am till around 6 am, the place is filled with Postmen who have just finished sorting out the mails for the day and then it is back to the office crowd and this cycle goes on and on day after day.

Roti Canai's
One would probably loose count on the number of Roti Canai's that are sold here. Back in the 90's, the Roti Canai maker is solely tasked to do that alone and works on 12 hour shifts. That time itself, his salary was RM 3,500 each (as there were two of them). I wonder what they are paid these days and that's a confirmed figure as I used to know them on a very personal level. The demand for Roti Canai just never ends here. Coming back to today, as I walked in, I placed my orders with one of the staffs there and within minutes, my food and drink were served. Everyone works in an express mode here and there is just no time for rests, except during their break hours. 

Teh Tarik (Small) @ RM 1.30
They generally have two drink sizes and I just preferred the small glass this morning as I was in a rush. Their Teh Tarik is very good, in fact this is also a good place just to chill while having a Teh Tarik over conversations with old friends. The only setback with the place would be the environment itself. It is not conducive for lengthy conversations as seats are limited during the day. At nights, it is fine as they have tables that are extended over to the roads right up to the riverbank. For me, their Teh Tarik is very good and I would rate this at 9.5/10 .

Roti Canai Banjir Special @ RM 2.80

Roti Canai Banjir Special @ RM 2.80

Sambal & Dhall
Their Roti Canai Banjir Special is priced at RM 2.80 per plate. This comes with 2 slices of Roti Canai, 2 half boiled eggs, Dhall, some Fish Curry and some spicy Sambal. In order to have this dish, one needs to mix the entire lot thoroughly and in that process, ensure that the eggs too are beaten and successfully blends with the gravy, Sambal and Roti Canai. To some, this may seem like an odd practice but trust me, it is really good.

Ready To Be Consumed

Ready To Be Consumed
Once the entire lot is mixed up, it does look strange but just forget about the colour or texture for a minute or so and enjoy the dish. Some have a pet name for this too which does not sound too comfortable to be mentioned while eating. Anyway, don't be surprised if you hear anyone mention Roti Muntah Kuching which translates to be 'Cat's Vomit Roti' as they are referring to the very same dish. If you have a second look, it does look like that but just put that thought aside when having this, especially when having it the very first time. Once you are used to it like me, you would be coming back for more. The taste is just awesome. The Dhall and Sambal and the half boiled eggs along with the Roti Canai just emanates a burst of flavours that is hard to put in words. It is one that has to be experienced in order to know the joy of having this dish. For me, I would rate this at 9.5/10 . The only other place I know of, that has tried to duplicate this dish to a certain level of success is Restaurant Mahbub, which has two branches, one in Bangsar and the other in Damansara Damai. They too have the same, priced much higher and tastes 75% similar. They are just not there yet to compete with these guys. Definitely worth making a trip to try out this unique delicacy!

Address: No. 2, Ground Floor, Selangor Mansion,
                Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 24 Hours Daily

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Fatah Steak House @ Hulu Bernam, Selangor

This is my second visit to Fatah Steak House which is located in Taman Bahtera, Tanjung Malim. I first visited them when they were just four days old, and that was about a month back. I still remember being the sole customer there that evening. The place then had just one Chef, and two assistant's assisting him with the orders. Out of that two, one was also assigned to fixing the drinks. This evening however, I was impressed to see that the place was almost full house, mostly student's from the nearby University and they had around four Chefs and at least six waiters. That is definitely some serious progress. 

The Restaurant In Taman Bahtera

Parking Space Just Outside The Restaurant

Interior Of The Restaurant

Interior Of The Restaurant
This place is situated along the row of shops that is located behind the 7 Eleven in Taman Bahtera. It may seem quite dark from the main trunk road but once you take the turn in, the restaurant is brightly lit up and is hard to miss. My last visit here was good and I left with a very good impression of the place. The portions were really huge and the grills were good and that is why I returned this evening, tagging my Dad along as well. 

Somewhat A Candle Light Concept

Complimentary Iced Water

My Dad Going Through The Menu
Even though they were all busy, they were very quick to attend to us. Just as the last time, even before the menu was handed over to us, they poured us two glasses of Iced Water and that was a very nice gesture that they are still maintaining. We asked for a couple of minutes as my Dad wanted to go through to see what he would like to order and the waitress obliged. The lighting were all pinkish in colour and that is why all the photographs have a pinkish tone to them. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

Prices Of Drinks
It was good to see that prices have not increased ever since their business caught up. Having gone through the menu, I then hailed one of the waitress over and placed our orders. It was all a breeze and with that, we were left to have our own conversation. I also observed one of the waitress walking around with a pitcher filling up those glasses with more Iced Water. It is great and I really applaud them for having emphasized service over money. 

The Outdoor Grill

Teh O @ RM 1.00
Their kitchen is located outdoors, just beside the seating area and this is somewhat of an entertainment to diners. It is good that customers' could see how their dishes are being prepared, especially those sizzling ones. Moreover, having the kitchen indoors just increases the restaurant's temperature and leaves the dining hall with a kind of strange smell. This is an excellent practice of having it outdoors. In a matter of minutes, our drinks arrived. Both of us ordered a glass of Teh O and this was priced at RM 1.00 each. Their Teh O was nice, light but nice and not too sweet. I would rate this at 9/10 . 

King Fish & Chips @ RM 9.90

King Fish & Chips @ RM 9.90

Comes With Baked Beans and Coleslaw

French Fries Too

Baked Beans
It took them approximately 20 minutes to get our dishes ready. I understand that there was quite a queue and 20 minutes was not a long wait at all. My Dad's King Fish & Chips was the first to arrive. This was priced at RM 9.90 and came with a slice of battered Deep Fried Fish, some Mushroom Sauce, a scoop of Baked Beans, a scoop of Coleslaw and some Fries. The Fish had surely shrunk in size compared to my last visit. Now, I see how they are cutting on costs. It was not by price but by the portions. Even the Coleslaw and Baked Beans seemed like it was just a table spoon's scoop. Nevertheless, the preparation was still nice and it was as good as it was. It would not do any justice to compare this with the real 'Western' restaurants as this is just a localised version of this dish. For the price paid, though the portions have shrunk, it was still acceptably good and I would rate this at 7.5/10 . Not excellent but still acceptably good. 

Sizzling Black Pepper Chicken Chop @ RM 10.90

The Meat Cut's Has Shrunk By 40%

Some Fries and Coleslaw
I ordered their Grilled Black Pepper Chicken Chop, the very same dish that I ordered the last trip here and this was priced at RM 10.90 . It came with a shrunk piece of chicken which was 40% smaller than what it was, a good serving of Black Pepper Sauce, a scoop of Coleslaw and some Fries. The Corn on Cob that was provided the last time was missing from the scene. Taste wise, it was equally good but it was frustrating to see the shrinkage. Ever since my first trip here, I have always promoted this restaurant as the one that serves the largest meat cuts but that statement is no longer valid. Today, they serve equal meat cuts to their other competitors in town, of course much bigger compared to the puny sized ones that California Steak House serves. To those that do not know, California Steak House is another player in the local market here in Tanjung Malim. Solely based on taste, I would rate this at 9.3/10 . Once again, I would repeat my statement that I am disappointed that the cuts have shrunk but I am still happy as the taste have not been compromised. 

Overall, it is still a decent place to visit and yes, I would definitely return again. Just for comparison, I am attaching my previous entry on this place. http://venoth.blogspot.com/2015/02/fatah-steak-house-tanjung-malim-perak.html . By checking out the previous one, it would give you a good sense as to what I was trying to derive at. The prices are still cheap and considering the price, it is still a good eatery. I do hope that this does not drop further or perhaps, the price starts going up due to the response. One that they (the operator's) would have to remember is that most people always value two main things before deciding on any restaurant....they are price and value. If either one lacks, then the customer base shrinks to a very thin line of customers. I do hope that they do not get there and continue to provide the same kind of quality going forward. 

Address: No. 25, Jalan Bahtera 1B, Taman Bahtera, 35900 Hulu Bernam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1500 - 0300 Daily

Telephone: +6019 377 9893 (Yazid)
                    +6012 254 9685 (Mad)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ori-Udon @ The Garden's Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Many people often relate Sanuki Udon with a name of a restaurant in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur but not many are aware that it is the name of a particular type of Udon (Japanese Noodles) that originates from the Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku Region in Japan. It generally has an appearance of a thick, squarish shape noodles and with flat edges unlike the usual Udon's. Sanuki Udon was named after the previous name of Kagawa Prefacture, which was then known as Sanuki Province. One such place that sells some great Sanuki Udon is Ori-Udon which is located on the Lower Ground Floor of Garden's Mall in Kuala Lumpur. 

Ori-Udon in Garden's Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Simple Restaurant

Simple and Practical Layout

Located Opposite Tai Lei Loi Kee

A Write Up On This Place
This restaurant is located on the Lower Ground Floor of Garden's Mall, just opposite Tai Lei Loi Kee. The place is simple and the layout is very practical. I was here late this afternoon for a tea time snack and the place was not too crowded. I am quite certain that being one of those places that serve great handmade Sanuki Udon's, this place has got to be quite crowded during peak hours. The service was very prompt and the moment I walked in, I was greeted in Japanese and then one of the waiters came up to my table and handed me a set of menu's to go through. While he was waiting by my side, I asked for a couple of minutes to go through the menu and said that I would call him in a matter of minutes once I was ready to order. Well, the actual fact was that I wanted to photograph the menu and that would seem a little odd with him standing by my side. That's why I dismissed him. 

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

Simple Illustration On How The Noodles Are Made

A Brief Of The Place
It was good to read that this place had a collaboration in place with Fujimoto-san (who is the owner of the famous Sanuki Udon outlet in Taman Desa) and that gave an assurance that these handmade Sanuki Udon's had surely ought to be up to the mark. 

Set Menu's

Set Menu's

Set Menu's

Set Menu's
The menu was simple, a handful of selections which seemed sufficient in itself. They serve both hot and cold Udon here. Prices were very reasonable, in fact I feel that this must be one of the cheapest places to dine in Garden's Mall. They had both stand alone dishes as well as sets that were designed to be better value for money. Do note that this place is a Pork Free restaurant. They do not have the Halal status as they serve alcohol (Sake) on premise. The food however, is all alcohol and pork free. Having decided on what to have, I then called upon the waiter to place my orders.

Ocha (Hot) @ RM 1.80
Being in a Japanese Restaurant, it would surely seem odd to have Coca Cola and so I went for their Green Tea. They had both hot and cold servings and this glass of hot Green Tea was priced at RM 1.80 . A slight premium for the location, however it seemed very reasonable to me. The tea too was quite good, not the very bold variety and it was just nice. I would rate this tea at 9/10 .

House Special (Hot) @ RM 7.90

House Special (Hot) @ RM 7.90
I was very keen to try their House Specialty dish. This was available both hot and cold but I generally do not fancy cold dishes and therefore went for the hot one. This was priced at RM 7.90 and it came with a decent portion of Sanuki Udon, an egg, some vegetables and some 'Dashi' broth at the base.

Eggy Porn
Just look at those runny eggs. They were just awesome! That is exactly how it should be for this dish! Excellent preparation!

All Mixed Up

Bouncy Noodles
Having stirred all the ingredients, it was now time to enjoy the dish. The noodles were so tasty and it was bouncy and soft. Simply perfect Sanuki Udon! One of the best Sanuki Udon's that I have tasted in Malaysia!

Eggy and Milky Broth

Add To Taste
Overall, it was such a perfect dish and a true delight to Udon fans. Everything was just perfect! The Udon, the runny eggs....and the broth, a combination that was power packed. Thoroughly enjoyed the dish and I would definitely agree when one says that these guys have one of the best Sanuki Udon's in the country. I would rate this dish at 10/10 . 

Karaage @ RM 5.00

Karaage @ RM 5.00

Closer Look At The Fried Chicken

A Good Sauce Too
I also ordered a plate of their Karaage which is the Japanese Style Fried Chicken and this was priced at RM 5.00 and came with three pieces. The Karaage was nice but it was not as great as their Udon. I have definitely tasted much better one's elsewhere. The marination was good but as I went deeper into the meat chunks, it started losing it's taste and character. Nevertheless, it was still good and I would rate this at 7.5/10 .

My Bill
In summary, this place definitely has some awesome Sanuki Udon's! The Karaage was good but it was nothing to shout about. Reasonable prices and excellent Sanuki Udon's. Definitely a place that I would recommend! 

Address: LG-K01, Lower Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, 
                Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200 Daily

Email: oriudon01@outlook.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oriudonmvg/timeline