A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about the A&W Drive-In restaurant in PJ closing down in December to make way for a new building. The place has been around since 1965 and is an iconic landmark in Petaling Jaya, being one of the oldest fast food chains in Malaysia. Sadly, the franchise hasn’t been doing so good; trumped by stronger competitors like KFC and McDonalds.
Since the announcement, the old and tired restaurant has seen a boost in customers flocking for a last taste. Since I was in the neighbourhood the other day, I dropped by for lunch on Saturday. The place was full of customers, mostly families. Generations of Malaysians have dined in here, and it’s sad to see it go. My parents used to go on dates here, and I celebrated my 8th birthday with my primary school friends with the A&W bear, fries and fried chicken.
Feeling all nostalgic, I sat at the bar countertop facing the parking area. The old coin slot ride machines have been there since forever, and as a kid I used to ride in them. The memories!
Ordered spicy fried chicken along with my all-time favourite curly fries androotbeer float.
It’s impossible to find curly fries like the ones at A&W. Seasoned just right without being too salty, crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft and mash-like on the inside.
There are two versions of fried chicken – original and spicy. If you can’t take the heat, I wouldn’t recommend the spicy one (above) because they really are quite hot. My ear drums hurt after eating the crunchy skin, but it was oh-so-worth it. The meat is tender and juicy, unlike some other fast food joints where the meat is dry and flaky.
It surprises me why people don’t come here more often before. The food is decent. I guess its the whole ambience of the restaurant, because they haven’t renovated for a long, long time. They’re still using the old tables and chairs, and the countertops, even though clean, had dark splotches built up over time that wouldn’t go away. The flourescent lighting also makes the whole place look much shabbier than it really is.
Finished off my meal with a glass of cold Root Beer Float! Root beer float is… well… root beer float. Ice-cream ftw!
They used to serve these in large glass mugs, but I guess they did away with it for convenience.
I went to IOI Mall later that night to get a Thai massage, but the staff there said it was full over the weekend. Ended up browsing through the bookstore and then eating at Simple Life Healthy Vegetarian restaurant, a new eatery on the third floor of the mall. The shoplot used to house an A&W but it shut down due to lack of business.
Anyway, Simple Life has a very cosy Zen-like interior, with lots of wooden accents and clean bright lights. I ordered assorted fried mushroom to go with my white rice. I haven’t eaten white rice for close to a month since I started cutting carbs, and after having my first bite…. ohmygod.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s something to do with being raised on a staple diet of rice – I crave for it after not having it for a long time. I know it’s tasteless, but there’s nothing better than to have a savoury dish to go along with white rice.. especially if there’s sauce.
The mushrooms were good, albeit a little oily. There was needle mushroom, Oyster and Shiitake. For RM12++, the portion is reasonably big
Last but not least for this food post… home made spirelli pasta!
Now I fail at most cooking, but even I can make a decent meal. How did you think I survived living alone in the UK?
I like stir-frying some garlic before adding in minced chicken and shrimp, (it really adds flavour to it!) then tomato sauce and water. I also like my pasta al-dente. The chicken and shrimp were marinated in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil and black pepper before sauteing.