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Review: McDonalds Malaysia’s New Spicy Chicken With Apple Slices Burger

Apples belong in pies.

They certainly don’t sound like something you’d put in a burger – but that’s exactly what McDonalds did with their new Spicy Chicken with Apple Slices Burger. Available for a limited time only, it’s described as a sweet and spicy blend with ‘real apple slices paired with crunchy spicy chicken patty, topped with black pepper mayo sauce, all tucked between a warm bun’.

So I went to the drive-through and got a set for brunch.

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I thought the set would come with Prosperity fries, but they turned out to be regular fries. Not sure if you’d need to request for it specifically or top up a certain amount to get the curly ones. Also included in the set was orange juice.

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I was feeling pretty hungry since I skipped breakfast, so I got the double patty (RM24+ per set).

One thing I like about McDonalds, which I’ve mentioned before, is that their products always look true to size, or at least close to the appearance of what is advertised – and this burger was no exception. Even if I hadn’t ordered the double patty, it was still sizable.

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There was a good amount of apple slices on top, slathered with sauce.

Verdict?

The patties that they use are the same as the ones used in the Spicy Chicken McDeluxe, but the addition of apple slices was a nice touch, as there was a sweet, fruity burst to balance out the saltiness, and the apples were also fresh and crunchy. The ‘black pepper mayo’ didn’t really have a black pepper taste (maybe it all went to the Prosperity burger? lol); and was a tad on the sweet side. Like dessert kinda sweet, which tasted weird when combined with the chicken. But other than that, the buns were nice and fluffy, and the chicken patties were good; fried to golden perfection, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.

Overall, I think the Spicy Chicken with Apple Slices isn’t bad, but it feels like a #rehash of the Spicy Chicken McDeluxe and doesn’t offer anything special, unlike some of their other creations like the Nasi Lemak Burger, which I really liked. So, if you’d like to try this, it isn’t bad, but it’s nothing phenomenal.

But definitely better than the Prosperity Burger lol.

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Korean Soy Garlic Chicken Wings @ K-Fry, 1 Utama

As a self-professed fried chicken connoisseur, I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate golden bird – whether it’s tangy and slathered in buffalo sauce, hand breaded with 11 herbs and spices, brined in buttermilk for maximum flavour… the possibilities are endless.

I do, however, have a soft spot for Korean fried chicken. Maybe it’s the double-frying that makes it ultra crispy. Maybe it’s the light batter, and the succulent, moist meat. In my search for the best “KFC”, I’ve tried numerous joints – Singapore-based Four Fingers, the ever popular KyoChon 1991 and NeNe Chicken – but I think I’ve recently found a serious contender for top spot… in the form of K-Fry.

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K Fry touts itself as a “homegrown Korean brand that specialises in authentic Korean Fried Chicken and hearty Korean food with an urban twist”. True to its theme, the outlet in 1 Utama Shopping Centre looks cool and trendy, and wouldn’t look out of place if it was a resto in Gangnam or Hongdae. The warm overhead lights, coupled with neon signs, plant decorations and a matching wood + dark colour scheme make this a perfectly Instagrammable spot.

Prior to this visit, I’ve walked past the place a couple of times and it was always packed pre pandemic. Now it’s much quieter, but that means you won’t have to queue up to dine in.

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If you’re dining at K Fry, it’s best to come in a big group as most of their dishes are designed for sharing, such as their signature Fried Chicken Bumbuk (RM58.90) – juicy boneless fried chicken dipped in Korean sweet and spicy sauce and savoury mozzarella cheese. Staff members prepare the dish at your table, so you can watch as they wrap melty, oozy cheese around each piece of chicken before serving. Other recommended items include the K-Fry Nude Chicks (RM28.90), which comprises 12 pieces of their signature fried chicken – as well as flavours like Snow Cheese (RM35.90 – chicken topped with cheddar cheese powder) and honey butter (RM32.90). Although chicken may be the star, K Fry is a full service resto, so you can also order ramyeon, rice balls, soups, dosirak (lunchboxes), banchan (side dishes), bingsoo (shaved ice) for dessert and mocktails.

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I think the benchmark whenever one goes to a K-fried chicken joint is to have the most basic flavour – soy garlic. K Fry’s version comes with 4 wings and 4 drummettes for RM21.90. Of course, the best feeling is to eat something deep fried with lots of rice, so I got a bowl of white rice to wolf down with my protein.

Usually, the soy garlic chicken at most places have a glossy, sticky sheen – the result of the chicken being tossed in the sauce after frying – so I was surprised I didn’t see any of this when the food was served. The chicken looked like regular fried chicken, with a crunchy batter. The wings/drummettes were decently sized though (KyoChon has tiny tiny wings), so that was one point right off the bat.

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Biting into the chicken, I had my next pleasant surprise. Despite the lack of sauce on the surface, the chicken was delicious and packed with flavour. It seemed like the sauce had been condensed somehow, its flavour seeping into the skin, which was extremely crispy. The meat inside was also moist and juicy, which according to K Fry’s website is because they never use frozen chicken, only chilled ones, to maintain freshness and quality. The chicken was perfectly fried and did not taste greasy at all. I’d give it a 9/10!

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Service at K Fry is impeccable. Staff members are friendly, accommodating, attentive and approachable. When I declined to order a drink, my server asked if I’d like water instead – free of charge.

K Fry gets a lot of Muslim customers, and they employ Muslim staff. They are not yet halal-certified however, as the local JAKIM certification process takes a super long time, but they source ingredients from halal-certified sources. The establishment is pork and alcohol-free.

K FRY (1 UTAMA)

LG 221A 1 Utama Shopping Center, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM

Phone: 03-7624 0027

kfry.my

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Noob Cook Makes Chicken Karaage – 100% Foolproof!

As much as I love food, I’ve never been much of a cook.

When I was younger, the kitchen was my mom’s domain (still is), and now that I’m older I just don’t have much interest in it. Since I live with family, making meals that I actually like (usually Western – pastas, pizza, steaks) is also difficult because I have to consider what my fam would eat (dad and bro have super Asian palates so every meal must have rice, dad doesn’t like cheese, mom dislikes fried food and can’t eat raw veggies, etc.).

Since I’m no longer dining out as much due to the pandemic, I haven’t had Japanese food in ages – so I thought of making some chicken karaage. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not much of a cook and I wasn’t expecting it to be anything wow, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much they tasted like the ones you can get from actual Japanese restos.

I adapted the original recipe from Rasa Malaysia, with a couple of tweaks. If a noob like me with little to no cooking experience can whip them up, I’m sure this will be a breeze for everyone else!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs, deboned
  • 3 inches ginger – grate and squeeze to get 2 tbsp ginger juice
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • a teaspoon of sugar (substitute for cooking sake)
  • cornflour

Method:

  1. cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  2. combine ginger juice, soy sauce and sugar. Allow chicken to marinate overnight.
  3. coat chicken with cornflour. (I used a ziploc bag so it would coat evenly)
  4. Shake off excess cornflour.
  5. Heat oil to boil in a pot / wok. Fry chicken at medium heat until they float. Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  6. Adjust to high heat. Fry chicken again until crispy and golden brown.
  7. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve.

And that’s it! It’s super simple; and I was so happy the chicken turned out juicy and well-flavoured – didn’t need extra seasoning or anything. Is this what they call ‘the joys of cooking’? Or maybe I’m just excited because it’s fried chicken ha

The original recipe says to use four chicken thighs (about a lb), but because the thighs I bought were humongous (wtf are they feeding the chickens?), I only used two. You can use breast meat, but thigh meat tends to be more tender and juicier. Cooking sake helps to break down the meat, but if you’re going for a halal recipe / don’t have cooking sake, sugar works as well. The portion was enough for our fam of four (mom doesn’t like fried food and only had a bit) but I think I could have polished off this entire plate by myself lol. I think judging by regular portions, it’s good for 2-3 people.

If you’re trying this recipe, let me know how it turned out. Happy cooking! 🙂

Review: Restoran Kong Sai, Bandar Puteri Puchong – Best Poached Chicken In Town

When Restoran Kong Sai first opened in Bandar Puteri Puchong, it quickly gained a reputation for its delicious poached chicken; attracting hordes of hungry diners who would queue to get in over dinnertime. While the resto has since expanded to include the adjacent shop lot, the crowds remain – so it’s best to come early to grab a seat, especially on weekends.

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The air-conditioned area was packed so we sat outside. Service was fast and efficient. They don’t have an extensive menu, but the few items that they have are all excellent.

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The star of the establishment is the poached chicken, which can be ordered in half and whole portions. There are two types available – Kampung (jau dei gai) which is smaller and has leaner meat, and dai san keuk gai (commercially reared) which is fatter and larger in size. Some people prefer kampung chicken because it’s healthier, while others prefer the fattier commercial chickens. Whichever you order, expect smooth, flavourful pieces of chicken that soak up the soy/sesame sauce really well. Getting poached chicken right without drying it out is difficult, but Kong Sai delivers with aplomb. Each piece is juicy and tender. I usually don’t eat the chicken skin when it’s poached, but it’s nice and chewy here. 😀

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I would also recommend the stuffed tofu (minimum order five pieces), which consist of minced meat and vegetables stuffed into beancurd and served in a soup. The tofu balls are sizable and the meat is seasoned just right, with a delicate bite to it.

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Veggies are veggies.

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Another house speciality is the curried pork ribs. These are prepared in a limited amount each day. I think not everyone will like this as the curry is very mild and barely has any kick to it, but the curry has good flavour and the ribs are done well. Personally, I would prefer more ribs. You get a couple of huge potatoes and a few ribs, but they don’t have much meat on them.

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Kong Sai also offers various soups; such as peanut with lotus root and black pepper pork stomach soup. The latter is one of my favourites and they are generous with portions; even throwing in some pork belly slices. The pepper is not overwhelming either, and the offal tastes clean with no gaminess.

Our meal for four came up to RM94 for 2 soups, 4 dishes, 4 portions of rice as well as drinks, which is quite reasonable. The star is surely the chicken, but everything else is pretty good as well.

RESTORAN KONG SAI (PUCHONG BRANCH) 

44G, Jalan Puteri 5/2, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 11.30AM – 2.30PM, 5.30PM – 10.30PM (Closed Mondays).

 

Review: Food by Fat Cat @ Jaya Grocer, Sunway Geo Damansara

On the way back from work one evening, I decided to drop by the newly opened Sunway Geo Avenue to check out the place and grab some grub. The place was pretty quiet – aside from a couple of restaurants and a Jaya Grocer, there really wasn’t much to do. Anyway, I was here specifically to look for a place called Food by Fat Cat coz I read good reviews on eatdrink.my.

Successful location! It’s a bit out of the ways from other restos, since it’s tucked in a corner within Jaya Grocer. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, but I opted to sit outside coz it was cooling after the rain.

Interior is nice and cosy. Dark seats work well with the light beechwood furniture.

Counter, where there were also some cakes/baked goodies on display. Menu comprised mostly of fusion dishes, like chicken karaage with buttermilk waffles. I went for the quirkily named Fatty Boom Boom rice bowl. 

Service was quick and efficient! Wasn’t long before my rice bowl came, topped with crunchy pieces of fried chicken karaage drizzled over with a creamy cheese-like sauce and ebiko, fried egg with runny yolk and a side of juicy mushrooms. The chicken was nice and tender on the inside with a crispy outer skin. The rice was a bit clumpy though (probably from soaking up the sauce). A solid 7.5/10.

Side of fried oyster mushrooms with wasabi-mayo dip. The wasabi taste was really prominent! Mushrooms were fried to a nice golden brown, although they were a bit on the oily side. 6.5/10.

Washed down with an ice-cold glass of chocolate. Size of the glass was smaller than I expected but there was a rich cocoa taste to the drink.

Not a bad place for a nice, casual dinner now and again. Maybe I’ll try their homemade buttermilk waffles or some ice cream the next time around!

FOOD BY FAT CAT 

Jaya Grocer, Sunway Geo Avenue, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor.
Business Hours: Daily, 10 am to 10 pm
Tel:+603-5650-5181

 

Review: Betong Chicken @ Ta Yern Chinese Restaurant, Betong, Thailand

The sun sets early in Betong, a quaint border town straddling the edge of the Malaysian state of Perak and Thailand’s southernmost province, Yala. By 6PM, the sky goes completely dark, shutters close, and the lights come on for night businesses – bright, white fluorescent ones for the streetfood stalls, seedy red ones for some massage parlours and bars. It was too late to do any sightseeing after checking in to our hotel at 4PM, so we just went out to town for dinner.

After Googling for recommendations, we went for Chinese food at a place called Ta Yern at the town centre, close to the clocktower landmark. I was tickled when I looked up at the electrical lines…

So many birds! There must have been hundreds of them roosting on the power lines. Be careful when walking underneath lest you get a ‘surprise’ bomb lol.

It was full-house at the resto on a Friday night, comprising mostly Chinese and Thai families. The setting was typical of a Chinese resto in Malaysia: red plastic chairs, big round tables. Service was pretty efficient, seeing as how they didn’t have that many staff and the resto was packed. The Chinese-speaking Thai lady gave us some recommendations, including the house special, Betong chicken. 

Thailand has one of the largest overseas Chinese diaspora in the world, and they brought with them the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Chickens from Betong are said to be the best for prepping this dish, as they are free range and farm bred in a natural environment, which supposedly gives the chicken an unrivalled tenderness and flavour.

The version at Ta Yern lived up to expectations. The chicken was tender but firm (as befitting chickens that run free range), not too fatty and smooth. The soy sauce was not overpowering but enhanced the flavour of the meat. Deep fried shallots added fragrance. Usually I take out the chicken skin coz it feels fat and yucky, but the one here was done so well it actually complimented the flesh. Really good!

Stir fried veggies were okay – cauliflower, baby corn, mushrooms, pork slices, squid.

(Right) A hot bowl of tom yum soup to warm the belly. One of the better versions out there ! It was spicy but had us coming back for more, fanning our tongues out as it burned oh-so-good. Chock full of ingredients and herbs, the soup gave us a much needed kick to balance out the milder dishes we ordered. Also great with rice.

Last but not least, we ordered a fried chilli grouper. The fish was humongous. Betong is landlocked, so the seafood can be quite expensive, but since seafood is a staple of Thai cuisine, we thought it’d make a nice addition to the meal. The fish was fresh and fleshy, while the sauce’s spiciness had a creaminess to it as opposed to the tom yum soup.

The meal came up to 800baht for the four of us, which is approximately RM100. Can’t say it’s super cheap, but then again we did order a fish which can be quite pricey in this area.

TA YERN RESTAURANT BETONG 

23 Sukyang Road, Betong Thailand

Open for lunch and dinner. 

 

Nando’s Chicken @ IOI City Mall Putrajaya

 Nando’s might not be very well known in the US, but it has certainly made a name for itself in Malaysia. Famed for their roast chicken – South African-style –  the restaurant has a Mozambican and Portuguese vibe.

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H and I got to sample their buffet after an event at IOI City Mall Putrajaya, so.. tuck in we did. 🙂

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Famed for their flame-grilled chicken, each table is furnished with bottles of their signature sauces – Lemon & Herb, Mild, Hot and Extra Hot Peri-Peri – which, as their name suggests, get increasingly spicy. The peri-peri sauce which is popular in former Portuguese-African colonies like Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa, is made from ingredients like crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, basil, oregano and tarragon. This gives it a distinctively salty and sour taste.

Since our event booked the restaurant for a buffet-style lunch, we also got to try a few other items on the menu. I had a side of wings to go with my chicken thigh, grilled vegetables, coleslaw and a chicken pitta wrap.

The food left me disappointed because I’ve had Nando’s elsewhere and it was pretty good. The chicken thigh was not cooked well on the inside, while the wings were wayyy too salty. The grilled veges were oily, limp and bitter, while the pitta was soggy (I think it had been lying around for awhile on the buffet line).

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On the flipside, the mushroom soup wasn’t seasoned well enough and super watery. You know a place’s quality is in big trouble when the best item out of all of the above is their garlic bread. .__.

Maybe it’s because they had prepared all the buffet food in advance as opposed to a normal walk-in customer that will have their food prepped fresh-to-order, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back here again. Give it a try at other outlets though, I know they serve decent chicken.

 

Nando’s IOI City Mall Putrajaya

LG 53 & 55, Lower Ground Floor,

IOI City Mall, 62502, Putrajaya

Open daily: 10am – 10pm