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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Coffee Spot: Cornerstone Cafe @ Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong

Hey, everyone! We’re well into the first week of 2022 – how has the new year been for you so far? It has been pretty busy for me, what with the Hubs finally coming to Malaysia after 22 months of us being apart, me starting a new job, preparing to apply for the Hub’s spouse visa, etc.

I have a tonne of posts rolled over from last year still pending in drafts, but in the meantime, here’s one from when I went to buy lunch recently at Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong. Whenever I’m craving for Ipoh-style Chicken Hor Fun, I usually pay a visit to Wai Wai kopitiam (this warrants a separate post!). I haven’t been this way for some time now, and I noticed a new canopy set up around the corner – which turned out to be a ‘cafe’!

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Run by a young man named Jeshua, Cornerstone Cafe has apparently been open for several months now – serving handcrafted coffees, teas, and lemonades, as well as cookies and snacks. The setup is simple, so you can only get your orders to go, but service is warm and friendly, as befitting a neighbourhood coffee joint.

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There aren’t any cafes serving coffee in this neighbourhood – unless you count kopi o from kopitiams and instant coffee from convenience stores – so it’s nice to see one serving ‘fancier’ items like lattes and cappuccinos. Prices are also extremely reasonable, given the quality, which is on par with what you get from proper cafes in Puchong Jaya or Bandar Puteri Puchong.

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Homemade cookies and the trending item that everyone’s into these days – dalgona candy.

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The cafe is open from Tuesdays to Fridays, and on Sundays, from 8.30AM to 3PM.

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I got a cold Caramel latte (RM9), plus a dalgona candy (RM3). The drink was perfectly balanced; not too sweet nor bitter, and it was smooth and creamy. It was perfect as an accompaniment to the candy.

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Anddddd I’m dead if this had been Squid Game.

CORNERSTONE CAFE

Tanming Boulevard, Taman Meranti Jaya, 47120, Puchong, Selangor (across the road, a short walk from Wai Wai restaurant)

instagram.com/cornerstonecafebyjeshua

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Christmas 2021 Recap: Of Food, Friends and the Spirit of Gifting

Anddddd just like that, another year has gone by.

I have much to be thankful for as I bid adieu to the old and welcome the new. Although it wasn’t a great start to 2021 – what with extended lockdowns due to the pandemic, job uncertainty and a general feeling of being stuck in limbo – things picked up towards the final quarter; the highlight being that my husband and I were finally able to reunite after almost two years apart from each other. He had to spend Christmas in quarantine, but we were able to usher in the new year together – and that for me has been the best present ever.

While waiting for the hubs to finish quarantine, I busied myself with preparations, finishing up work for my old job (I’m starting a new job tomorrow!), and catching up with old friends – which helped keep my nervous energy to a minimum. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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November to December is typically monsoon season, and floods often occur on the east coast of West Malaysia, due to their proximity to the South China Sea. It is rare for serious floods to occur on the west coast, where I live, as we’re protected from most bad weather, thanks to the Indonesian islands. On 18 December, however, a continuous heavy downpour (it rained almost non-stop for more than 24 hours) caused by a tropical depression caused parts of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to be inundated by floods.

The flooding was so severe that in some cases, homes in low lying areas were completely submerged up until the second floor. In total, 50 people across the different states lost their lives. People were extremely angry with the government, as they were ill prepared and the response was slow – leaving victims to fend for themselves, and some lost their lives while waiting for help that was too slow to come. But where the government failed, it was heartening to see how ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life banded together to help each other, with volunteers risking their lives and bringing their own boats to help with search and rescue.

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My brother and I did our own little part by volunteering to pack vegetarian food, to be distributed to victims at relief centres. The activity was organised by the Kuala Lumpur Chung De Confucian Association, of which my brother’s ex-lecturer is a member – that’s how we came to know about it. We were up early to head to May Yen Vegetarian Restaurant in Kepong, KL, where we joined a group of mostly young volunteers to pack 900 packets of lunch boxes.

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The kitchen was sweltering hot, and there was little space to maneuver about. It was a bit chaotic in the beginning, but once we had coordinated the roles, things moved quickly – there was a team assigned to ladling food (tofu, mock meat, vegetables and rice) into plastic containers, another team assigned to putting garnish and sealing off the lunch boxes, and yet another in charge of packing them into plastic bags for transport. We didn’t really have much chance to mingle as everyone was focused on completing their tasks as quickly as possible, but it was a good experience nonetheless.

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As of the time of this writing, flood victims are still in need of help, so it would be good to donate either monetary assistance or in the form of goods, if you’re not able to be on-ground for relief efforts.

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That aside, I’ve been taking time to catch up with old friends. Shopped for gifts for a few close friends, and also met up with G, a high school friend of mine whom I’ve been friends with for over 18 years. We don’t always get to hangout since she’s based in Ipoh, but we managed to have a quick catchup session. I think she badly needed some alone time that didn’t involve bringing her kid along.

Motherhood is an immense sacrifice – I think a lot of mothers give so much of themselves to their child, that they lose who they are as a person. I’m not here to judge, but that shouldn’t be how it is, even though society often expects it of mothers – and it’s sad that in Malaysian society, we still have this mentality. A healthy environment should involve a mother having the proper support to raise her child, but also the freedom to stay true to her own dreams.

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Anyway, I brought her to 1Utama and we ended up at Rocku Yakiniku, a Japanese-style BBQ buffet that offers free flow of various cuts of meat and seafood, including lamb, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and squid. I’ve been here several times, including once solo for my birthday celebration (yes, I celebrated my birthday by gorging on a BBQ buffet alone. lol), and they’ve never failed to disappoint. This time was no exception, and I think we got back our money’s worth.

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We got to 1Utama pretty late, so I was starving. While waiting for the charcoal brazier to heat up, I got some quick bites – stir-fried udon, samosas, hams and fried dumplings. I know you’re not supposed to eat a lot of these at a buffet, coz they’ll fill up space in your stomach quickly, but the fried dumplings were exceptionally good.

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Two things that I recommend: the enoki mushrooms, and the scallops. They come served in small aluminium bowls that you can heat directly over the grill. The former has butter, which brings out the rich, natural sweetness of the mushrooms; the latter comes swimming in a clear, sweet broth, with sizable scallops that squirt juice forth with each bite.

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Another thing about Rocku Yakiniku: the shrimps are huge. Just eating the shrimps alone will give you your money’s worth, since shrimps of this size are usually expensive. They’re not marinated, but they’re fresh and juicy, and the grill highlights the meat’s natural sweetness.

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The meat selection is great too, especially if you eat it with fresh lettuce, which cuts through the greasiness.

Our meal for two came up to RM120, inclusive of drinks. Quite a reasonable price, given the amount we ate, the variety, and the service.

ROCKU YAKINIKU (1UTAMA)

F.355, F.356 & F.357, First Floor, Rainforest, No. 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM (Daily)

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Dropped G back at her house and took the chance to play with her cats.

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And that was how I spent my Christmas! It was a great one, all things considered.

Here’s to a great 2022 ahead!

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Flavourful Mee Pok @ SRK Borneo Noodle House, Desa Setapak

As a college student, I frequented the shops at Desa Setapak, as I often had lunch there in between classes, or before I hopped onto the LRT back home. One of my favourite eateries there was Fancy Mee Corner, which served pan mee. I have fond memories of the place, not only for its excellent food, but also the company: many an afternoon was spent there with my friends, either having a meal, chilling out, or doing assignments while we munched on fried snacks.

But times change – and a lot can happen within a decade, which is also how long I haven’t been back to this neighbourhood. I was nearby after dropping off a Christmas gift for a friend, and decided to make a stop for old times’ sake.

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The main thoroughfare (Jalan Genting Klang) was almost unrecognisable. You know how a place feels familiar yet strange, because it has changed so much? The LRT station is still there, but there are now two massive flyovers, and there are multiple new high-rise projects within the area.

I walked over to where Fancy Mee Corner used to be. Unfortunately, it’s gone – but there is another restaurant in its place, called SRK Borneo Noodle House. Apparently it is not the same as the popular SRK Noodle House, even though the names are very similar, and the dishes are almost identical: they specialise in Sarawak-style kolo (dry) mee.

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The decor, however, is familiar, as it has the same layout as how Fancy Mee Corner used to look like. Nothing fancy (pardon the pun), with wooden stools and simple tables. Not a place to ‘chill’, but to have a quick meal.

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They have a lunch option going for RM6.50.

You can choose from a variety of noodles, including kolo mee, which has a thinner texture, wantan (egg noodles), as well as mee pok, which is what I prefer – the noodles are flat and thick, so it gives a good bite. They come with different accompaniments: the basic version has minced pork and slices of fishcake, and there is also a version with fishball. I opted for the one with charsiew (roast pork) sauce, which has a sweet and savoury flavour.

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Iced milk tea

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The char siew mee pok has a distinctive orange hue. The dish was pretty good: noodles were cooked al dente, the char siew sauce was sweet but not overwhelming, and the portions were generous. The bits of fried pork lard added extra oomph.

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For sides, I got a bowl of bursting pork balls, which were filled with minced pork and broth. They were bouncy with plenty of bite.

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Another side of fried wantans. Again, decent – they were freshly fried, sizable, crunchy and flavourful.

The food was pretty good, and the flavour is similar to SRK Noodle House. I wonder if they’re a ‘branch’ of sorts – it’s common here to have two ‘rival’ restaurants selling the same items, one opened by the original proprietor and another by a disciple/family member who had a disgareement or something.

The service, however, leaves much to be desired, especially from the main wait staff who also manned the cashier. The difference in service provided to me and another group of customers was too blatant for me to pass it off as me being paranoid, lol.

When I entered the shop and asked if there was a table for one, the staff (let’s call him A) didn’t even bother to reply : he simply looked at me as if I was annoying him by asking the obvious, and nodded to an empty table. After sitting down, I was given the menu, all without a word of hello, or any sort of acknowledgment. Well, at first I was like whatever – I’m here to eat, not to make chitchat. But then another group of diners – consisting of young college students, with what society would call ‘pretty’ girls – came in.

The difference in service was astounding. A came to their table, laid out menus for them, gave them recommendations, made jokes, laughed, and was generally the perfect picture of a friendly waiter. When he carried their meals to them, it was with a ‘enjoy your meal’, “oh this is your bowl, you didn’t want the pork intestines, right?”

Meanwhile, my meal was served and A was practically throwing the box of cutlery on my table.

Well, I know I’m not a pretty young thang … but dude. Same thing went I went to pay at the counter. Unsmiling, not so much a thank you for coming. If Malaysia had a tipping system, you’d get a 0 from me, my friend.

And guess what? It was the foreign wait staff who was professional and courteous to me when I had to place my order. Kudos to you, foreign wait staff.

So yeah. Probably not going to come back here. Not coz the food is bad, mind you. At first I thought it was just me being sensitive, but I was looking up Google reviews while writing this, and apparently I’m not the only one to think so. 😛

Or, you know. If you have faith in your ‘looks’, (I think I look okay, but apparently I don’t qualify, lol), by all means, give it a shot.

SRK BORNEO NOODLE HOUSE

Lot 15, 1/27B Desa Setapak 53300 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 9AM – 9PM

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

PS2: Opinions here are entirely my own, and are not presented as fact. So if you’re thinking of suing me for a negative review, note that I’ve read up the relevant laws on libel. And hey – I did say your food is good, didn’t I?

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Boozy Sweet Treats @ The Ice Cream Bar, Puchong

Dessert, or booze?

Why choose, when you can have both? Newly opened at Le Pavillion in Bandar Puteri Puchong, The Ice Cream Bar serves artisanal ice cream infused with alcohol, with boozy creations the likes of Rum & Raisin and Bailey’s Original Ice Cream Liqueur. This is the brand’s latest outlet, after successful stints in Hartamas, 1Utama, and Seapark.

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Interiors are cool and sophisticated, with a sleek black and white colour scheme, paired with high ceilings and lots of windows to give the space an airy feeling.

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Pick your poison: aside from the signatures mentioned above, they also carry flavours such as Smoked Cognac, Guinness Brownies, Kahlua Cheesecake, and more. For those who prefer non-alcoholic flavours, opt for choices such as Valrhona Chocolate or Vanilla.

PS: If the design/feel/flavours of The Ice Cream Bar remind you of homegrown artisanal ice cream brand, Inside Scoop, that’s because they are under the same company.

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You can have your scoop ice cream in cups, with cones, or on waffles. S and I went for the latter with three scoops of ice cream (RM27) : Whisky Cream, Popcorn Daiquiri, and their signature Rum & Raisin.

Now, I’m a bit of a teetotaler. I can’t hold my liquor well, and I can’t identify different kinds of liquor to save my life. So if you want my honest opinion: the ice cream tasted boozy. But they also tasted very similar to me. The Rum & Raisin had a distinctive flavour, but otherwise, all the flavours kind of blended together into one big hodgepodge of creamy alcoholic ice cream lol. That’s not to say it wasn’t good though; and I can see how people would enjoy this. It’s not like we have many boozy ice cream bars in Malaysia, so the concept is unique – that alone makes it worth a try.

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Bought a Mapled Churchill for the bro. I like that they put it in these little transparent cans: not only is the packaging adorable, it’s also easy to store and eat from.

THE ICE CREAM BAR (PUCHONG)

LPC GF 18, Block C, Le Pavillion, Jalan Puteri 7/13, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong
Phone: 03-5878 4735

Website

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Largest Don Don Donki in Malaysia @ Tropicana Gardens Mall, Petaling Jaya

Earlier this year, Japanese discount chain store Don Don Donki opened its first outlet in Malaysia at Lot 10, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It was very well received, with people queueing up for hours just to get into the shop on the first day. I visited the store a month after its opening (read about it here), and it was a great shopping experience, with lots of interesting things to see and buy.

Fast forward to December 2021, and Don Don Donki has opened its second store at Tropicana Gardens Mall, Petaling Jaya. Covering over 42,000 square feet and spanning two floors, this is also the largest Donki in the country. Plans are in the works for a dozen other Donkis, but in the meantime, let’s see what this outlet has in store!

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I came during a weekday, so there was no queue, and I was able to shop in peace without having to squeeze my way through crowded aisles.

The entrance to the shop is located on the first floor. You go up the escalator in the central area ,then make a U-turn to where Donki is. The signs are a bit confusing as they point to the far end of the ground floor, which is where the exit is.

Video here. Subscribe if you haven’t already!

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You’ll be greeted by CosmeDonki as soon as you enter the shop, which is a section that carries makeup, beauty, and wellness products. Not my thing, so I made a beeline for the food section next to it. This area has numerous dessert counters, with items such as souffle, pudding, jellies, mochi, sweet sando (sandwiches), basque cheesecakes served in cups, and more.

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Here, you’ll find Japanese condiments like bonito flakes and wasabi furikake.
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Onigiri with a unique packaging design! I assume it’s meant to be convenient, especially for salarymen on the go.
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We might not be able to travel right now due to restrictions, but you can still experience a taste of Japan, as Donki carries specialty items from the different prefectures.
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On this floor, you can choose from a wide variety of ready-to-eat meals, from sushi rolls and sashimi over rice, to fried gyoza, karaage (fried chicken), bento bowls, and more.

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To cater to Muslims, the store has a section carrying halal certified products.
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Aside from food, there is a section dedicated to sports and gym equipment, as well as hobbies and toys. Check out these adorable socks.

One thing I observed with this Donki outlet – they seem to be focused more on food. The Donki in KL has a wider selection of household products. But being a foodie, I’m not complaining! The aisles are also a little organised compared to Don Don Donki KL, in that they’re neatly sectioned according to category, so it makes it easier to shop. The design still has that characteristic Donki ‘feel’ though, with shelves piled high with products, loud and colourful posters and signages, and of course, their mascot Donpen.

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After buying your snacks or ready-to-eat meals, you can pay for them directly and enjoy the food at a dining area nearby. There’s more to explore downstairs, though, so this can be like a ‘pitstop’ to your shopping.

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Try your hand at a capsule machine!
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Just before the escalator is a section selling street food. I adore this concept as they’ve designed the stalls (yatai) to look like Japanese railway stations, with the signs at each stall displaying destinations like Tokyo and Osaka. Each stall also sells a street food that is famous from that region; for example Taiyaki (fish-shaped pastries with filling) for Tokyo, Takoyaki (octopus balls) for Osaka, and Tako Senbei (octopus crackers) for Kanagawa.

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On the ground floor, you’ll be directed past a section selling premium Japanese goods, such as handmade Ukiyoe soaps, frozen seafood from Hokkaido including giant hairy crabs and fat, juicy scallops, handmade crafts, teas, as well as kimonos.

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Also in this area is the kitchen, where you’ll be able to see through a glass window the staff prepare sushi and sashimi, to be sold at the store.

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You then exit from this small section and reenter through another entrance, which is where they have the fresh produce, such as vegetables, fruits, meat and seafood. Most of these are imported from Japan. Everything looks fresh and is beautifully displayed – but expect to pay higher-than-average prices, of course.

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Wagyu beef, thinly sliced for grilling or the hotpot.
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Of course, not to be missed is the fresh seafood section. Thick cuts of tuna, uni (sea urchin), salmon, tako (octopus) – you name it, they got it.

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Uni. Which I still haven’t tried to date, by the way, due to its expensive price tag.
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Sashimi cuts, complete with sauces for dipping.
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Fish roe
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Unagi (eel)
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Moving on from the fresh produce section, you’ll come to the snacks section selling dry goods, including snacks, ramen, biscuits, drinks, and more.

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Have you tried Ramune? I first had this carbonated drink in San Francisco’s Japantown, and the little glass ball in the bottle has always fascinated me. Apparently in the old days, before the invention of bottle caps, it was used to stopper the drink and prevent the carbon from escaping. In modern times, Ramune is a symbol of summer in Japan, where it is often enjoyed at festivals.

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Anime fans are not left out, as you’ll also find anime-themed merchandise here, such as these Demon Slayer-themed snacks.

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I was tickled to find the Sakeru Gummy candy, which was popularised by the hilarious series of ads featuring the Long Long Man character. And it was, indeed, true to the name, measuring 50cm. There was a short version too.

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More unusual products – giant serving of noodles
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A lot of thought goes into packaging and presentation when it comes to Japanese products. I, at least, feel tempted to buy (and keep) them just for their looks lol.

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After over an hour exploring the aisles, I finally settled on a couple of snacks, some chuuka idako (marinated baby octopus) and fried squid. Would have liked to get more, but my budget doesn’t allow for it. Check out was fast as they have multiple counters, and there are staff members to help you bag your purchases. But do note that they don’t provide plastic bags, so you’ll have to bring your own or buy their recyclable tote bags.

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The squid was a bit rubbery since it had been fried early in the day, but it was well seasoned. The octopus was excellent and came in a sizable portion, considering the price.

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And that was my trip to Don Don Donki Tropicana Gardens Mall! I actually enjoyed shopping here more than the KL outlet. Not only is it closer to where I stay, so I don’t have to brave KL traffic, they also have a larger section dedicated to food and snacks, which is what I prefer over household goods or toys anyway. Another plus point would be the organisation – it’s definitely more neatly organised than Donki KL.

To those planning a visit, I recommend coming early or on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Tropicana Gardens Mall is a good place to shop too, with lots to see.

DON DON DONKI (TROPICANA GARDENS MALL)

Lot CC-26, 27, 28 & Lot G-20, 20A, 21 Tropicana Gardens Mall 2A, Persiaran Surian, Tropicana Indah Petaling Jaya, 47810 Selangor

Open daily

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Tendon Kohaku, Tropicana Gardens Mall

Donburi – literally ‘rice bowl dish’ – is a staple in Japan, consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients that are either simmered or fried, then served over a bed of rice. There are many different types of donburi, but the most well known are gyudon (beef), oyakodon (chicken and egg), katsudon (fried pork/chicken/beef cutlet), and of course, tendon (tempura). There’s a Japanese chain in Malaysia that specialises in the latter, called Tendon Kohaku (kohaku meaning amber) – and while I’ve seen the shop several times while at J’s Gate Dining in Lot 10 Kuala Lumpur, I only got to try their food recently at their second outlet at Tropicana Gardens Mall.

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The eatery is small but cosy, with lots of wood furniture. You can view the chefs in action through a glass window.

The menu is limited – it’s a specialty restaurant after all – but what few items they serve, they do extremely well. Their signature tendon comes with tempura prawn, squid, crab stick, chicken breast, french beans, baby corn, shiitake mushroom and pumpkin. Alternatively, you can go for the kakiage tendon (mixed vegetables and shrimp fritters), or the single item dons.

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I wanted noodles, so I went for udon instead of rice. As the restaurant makes each dish fresh to order, expect some waiting time.

My tempura shrimps (set of 5 – RM38) came to the table freshly fried and piping hot, alongside a belly warming bowl of udon noodles, some pickles and grated radish for palate cleansing, as well as a dipping sauce.

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The shrimps were sizable and deep fried to golden perfection. The mark of good tempura is in its batter, and Tendon Kohaku aced the test – it was crispy, light and did not feel greasy at all. The dipping sauce was light too; I would have liked it to be saltier, but it brought out the natural sweetness of the shrimp really well.

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The udon was excellent. These are ‘hoso udon’, or thin udon. They had a chewy texture, and the warm broth it was served in was very comforting. Portions were substantial. You can have these either warm or cold.

Overall, really satisfied with my Tendon Kohaku meal! Service was attentive and friendly. Food is on the pricier end, but I think it’s worth the splurge every now and then. Will be making a return visit to try their signature rice bowls!

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TENDON KOHAKU (TROPICANA GARDENS MALL)

Lot CC-25, Concourse Floor, Tropicana Gardens Mall, No, 2A, Persiaran Surian, Tropicana Indah, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 8PM (daily)

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur

The pandemic has put a damper on many plans — but with things now easing up a little, it looks like the economy is getting back on track, with the opening of new malls and entertainment spots. The latest to join the fray is Pavilion Bukit Jalil, which opened its doors on December 3. A ‘sister’ mall of sorts to the iconic Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, it spans five floors and has over 1.8 million sq ft of retail space, making it one of the largest malls in Malaysia.

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I went to the mall a week after its opening. Manage your expectations if you’re planning a visit, as not all the shops are open yet. Once they do, however, I imagine it’ll be super busy, as there are many popular brands, including familiar ones that you can find at Pavilion KL (plus point for us living in South Klang Valley — we won’t have to drive all the way to the city centre for the Pavilion experience!)

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The design of Pavilion Bukit Jalil is similar to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, with the ground floor dedicated to restaurants and eateries. Food options at the time of this writing include Secret Recipe, Grandmama’s, Shihlin Taiwanese Snacks, and a non-halal food court called Eight Avenue.

Here’s a semi-walking tour of the mall. Subscribe to my Youtube channel if you haven’t already!

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As a foodie, I think a visit to Pavilion Bukit Jalil is worth it for The Food Merchant alone. Located on the ground floor, this premium grocer offers a wide selection of local and international food products, from fresh produce and dried goods, to cookies, snacks, wines, and more.

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The space is intuitively designed, making it easy to navigate across the different sections. As soon you enter, you’ll be greeted by cheerful Christmas decor, and the “Vineyard” section that sells wines and alcoholic beverages. Further along are the fresh vegetables, seafood, and meat and poultry sections. There is a small dining area to the left, where you can rest and grab a bite. There are sections dedicated to organic items, as well as products from particular countries, such as China, Australia, Thailand, and Korea.

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Was tempted to get these ‘mystery boxes’ for gifting. Tis’ the season, after all
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The Food Merchant has a wide selection of produce that you might not necessarily get from your local pasar or hypermarket. Some of the more unusual things I found were Chitose melons from Japan (RM100 each), and banana blossom (jantung pisang) — which I know Malays and Indians like to use in their cooking, but I have rarely seen being sold in supermarkets.

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Locally grown jalapenos
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The grocer plays its part in providing environmentally-friendly options, such as this section with dried goods where you can bring your own containers to measure out the amount you need. This helps to reduce plastic and avoids wastage.

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I love the butter and cheese section. So much variety! Got some hummus.
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I was very tempted to buy this giant bottle of coffee (RM50). It was the length of my forearm and at least twice the width.
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Just past checkout is a Mahnaz Food store, a chain that specialises in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean snacks, like dates, nuts and honey. What intrigued me, though, were the long rolls of colourful desserts on display. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the elusive Turkish Delights — if you’ve read or watched the Narnia series, you’ll know that the Snow Queen conjured up some for Edmund Pevensie; and I’ve always wondered what would taste so good that you’d betray your family and friends for it lol.

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So I tried a Honey and Almond one. They’re wonderful. Chewy like nougat, with bits of crunchy nuts within, all wrapped in a sticky sweet layer of sugar and honey. I understand you now, Edmund.

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Time to check out the Concourse Area! The design is very similar to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, down to the iconic red ‘Spanish steps’. Christmas decor is in full swing, with giant baubles hanging from the ceiling, a snow tunnel, Christmas trees and a carousel. It’s really festive and great for photos. They do have crowd control, though, so you’ll have to queue up to enter the concourse.

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Parkson is another anchor tenant in the mall. Other notable stores that are open include a Harvey Norman, Toys R’Us, HOHM, and Mr DIY. Expect a Dadi cinema and karaoke too in the coming months.
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All the walking around made me hungry, so I stopped at Dai Cha Dim for a late lunch. It’s one of the few proper restaurants that are open in the mall, so it was still quite busy even around 4PM. The restaurant specialises in Cantonese cuisine, the likes of roasties, wantan noodles, dim sum, and steamed rice bowls.

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First, an appetiser of fried wontons. They were fried to golden brown perfection, and unlike places where all you get is wrapper skin, these were sizable, each holding a whole juicy piece of shrimp, plus minced pork meat, within.

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For my mains, I had roasted pork (siew yok) with soy sauce. This technique of double cooking (roasting the pork, then stir-frying it again in soy sauce) gives it a deep and intensely rich flavour. If you like fatty pork, this will be right up your alley — the fat didn’t feel greasy at all, and it had a melt-in-the-mouth consistency. One can easily polish off bowls of rice with this.

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To wash it all down, a bottle of HK Milk tea, served in an ice bucket so that the drink remains cold without diluting its flavour. PS: Dai Cha Dim is located on the first floor.

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So how was my overall experience at Pavilion Bukit Jalil?

Pleasant, as it was not crowded, but there really isn’t much to see at the moment, except The Food Merchant and the Christmas decor. Parking is cheap, considering the location, and getting here is easy by car and LRT (you’ll still need to take a Grab from the Bukit Jalil station, though, as it’s far to walk — about 3KM). I’ll make a return visit when more shops are open next year, and I’m especially looking forward to Filipino fast food chain Jollibee, which will be opening here in March 2022.

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Review: Luckee Canteen, Puchong

One thing about living in Puchong? The food scene is never dull – and even as a Puchong-ite I’m always finding new spots to discover. In fact, if it wasn’t for a lifestyle article I read recently, I wouldn’t even have known about Luckee Canteen.

Opened earlier this year, this charming fusion cafe is tucked in a relatively quiet corner of Pusat Bandar Puchong (behind Lotus hypermarket) – which is probably why it doesn’t get as much traffic as the more commercial areas of Bandar Puteri and Puchong Jaya.

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The cafe isn’t difficult to spot: just look for a bright red food stand outside, where one of the chefs serves up toasty ciabattas.

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The outdoor seating area is cosy, and accommodates six to eight people. Bikes seem to be a theme here, as there’s one on the wall outside, and one inside. There are also a couple of mannequins and some skeleton(s) that make up part of the decor – it may sound odd, but the overall aesthetics go pretty well together.

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A vintage 1970s bike
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On the outside, the cafe looks like a single-storey building, but it actually slants to the back, so you get a very lofty ceiling. They’ve designed it in such a way to allow for plenty of natural sunlight to filter in, making the place bright and cheerful looking.

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Feeling ravenous? Luckee Canteen offers a brunch buffet for RM88 per pax, where you can get free flow of items such as salad, ciabatta sandwiches, meat and dessert.

Luckee Canteen offers a modest selection of fusion cuisine, including Asian-style rice bowls (like Minced Pork in Tomato Sauce rice, Teriyaki Salmon Rice), ciabatta sandwiches, and pastas. There’s also coffee and tea from Harney & Sons to go along with your meal.

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Iced lemon tea and Matcha Latte
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The rice bowl portions here are very generous. Moo ordered the Luncheon Meat with egg rice bowl, which came with a side of sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes and pickled cucumber, as well as a fluffy omelette atop a bed of rice. If you’re a small eater, I think this can even be shared among two people.

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Pops had one of the cafe’s signatures, namely the fried chicken rice bowl. The sides were similar to Moo’s order, except that the main protein was tender, juicy pieces of deep fried chicken. They were very flavourful, although Moo and Pops felt like it was a tad too salty for them.

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I had the Fish Ciabbata, which was served with a side of chips. Again, the portion was quite generous; the fish fillet was sizable and cooked perfectly, the vegetables were fresh, and the melted cheese complemented the natural sweetness of the seafood well. The fish was moist enough on its own that no sauces were needed, and the ciabatta was soft and fluffy, with a crisp shell. Solid dish!

Our meal for three came up to about RM70. Most of the regular mains go for about RM18 – RM20++, but they also have pricier dishes like lamb and what not.

Luckee Canteen has pretty limited seating (about 30). I think it’s still relatively ‘hidden’ for now, but you might have to queue up if the place gets busier. Service is friendly.

LUCKEE CANTEEN

6, Jalan Bandar 13, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM (closed Mondays)

https://www.facebook.com/luckeecanteen

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.