I am a creature of habit. While I like trying food at new restaurants, what often happens is I try something I like and upon return visits, only ever order that dish. Forevermore. I mean, if it’s good, why order anything else, right?
Here are some of my favourite places for food and what I almost always get when I’m there.
Pork noodles at Restoran Puchong Utama.
Don’t underestimate this simple-looking bowl of pork noodles. Beneath the unassuming looks is an amazingly clear yet flavourful soup base that has no hint of MSG whatsoever (which can’t be said of many other hawker stalls these days). Run by an elderly couple, you can tell they put a lot of heart into the cooking from the sliced pork meat and in the soup – just the right cut without being too thick or thin, perfectly cooked. The minced pork bits are well-tenderised and soft with a melt-in-the-mouth-texture. You can select the noodles you want, from egg noodles to kuey teow (flat glass noodles) to bihun, but for myself I have Vits (it’s a curly instant noodle) without fail. For RM5, this simple bowl of pork noodles beats posh, fancy breakfast buffets any day.
RESTORAN PUCHONG UTAMA
38, Jalan PU 7/2, Puchong Utama, Puchong.
Since my workplace is based in Putrajaya, there aren’t a lot of cheap food choices, due to its large Muslim demographic, other than mamak (Indian-Muslim) food or Malay food. But since its surrounding neighbourhoods have an up and coming university student population, places like Cyberjaya have some pretty good eateries and cafes (albeit a little on the pricier side). One of my regular lunch places is atShaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya, where I usually drop by Ko Hyang Korean Country Delights for their (delightful!) Ramyeon.
Instant noodles again? tsktsk. But yeah. Ramyeon is the Korean version of ramen noodles, and the version here is done just to my taste – al dente, with a chewy, springy texture, swimming in a steaming hot bowl of tender beef slices, egg and magic. Magic because I really can’t place what exactly the soup is.. it’s savoury and sour, eggy, and despite it’s bright orange appearance, is not very spicy. It comes with sides, but I rarely touch those except the sweet fried anchovies. If you haven’t figured it out yet from these two dishes I have featured, I love soup – so I can finish this entire bowl by myself. Ramyeon ftw!
Ko Hyang Country Delights
Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya
Lot P 1-20, Shaftsbury Square
Persiaran Multimedia, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor
When I’m NOT in Putrajaya, I’m at my main office in Petaling Jaya. There aren’t many options to eat around the two office towers, so my colleagues and I often end up eating at this very affordable cafe/canteen downstairs. I had a fave food here – their chicken rice – but when they introduced a new item on the menu, something possessed me to try it. That’s how their beef burger special became my new favourite food at Commons Cafe. Instead of the usual beef burger patty, the special is cooked with beef slices, grilled onions and is melted over with oozy cheese between two soft and toasty burger buns. The fries are pretty good as well – crunchy and crispy. RM9,90 will give you a cheap and satisfying meal.
No. 106, Block B, Phileo Damansara II, 15 Jalan 16/11, Petaling Jaya, 46350 , Selangor
Last but not least,
A couple of months ago, I discovered this newly opened vegetarian restaurant in IOI Mall, Puchong. You’d think that since I avoid veges like the plague, a vegetarian resto would be the last place on earth to have my fave food. Technically, it’s not a vegetable, so I don’t know if it counts, but I adore mushrooms. Ever since I set food into Simple Life, that’s all I’ve been having – their Mushroom Platter. Since no one else eats like that, even the waiters there know what I want to order every time (and they see me there pretty often!). It is always a plate of golden fried assorted mushrooms (needle, oyster and shiitake) with a bowl of fluffy white rice and either a mug of hot green tea or iced matcha with soy milk. The mushrooms come with a sweet chilli dip.
I’m slightly in two minds with this one. On some days, the mushrooms are fried really well, without being too oily; but on other days they can be overwhelmingly soaked in oil. I think it depends on who is manning the kitchen on those days. Still, the inherent Asian-ness in me finds a bowl of white rice extremely comforting when eaten together with fried things.
Mushroom platter – RM12.90 (a steal, considering the portion is very generous)
Simple Life Vegetarian Restaurant
Level 2, IOI Mall Puchong