Favourite Eats

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.

BREAKFAST

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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.

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LUNCH 

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!

RM13.90.

Ko Hyang Country Delights

Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya
Lot P 1-20, Shaftsbury Square
Persiaran Multimedia, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor

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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.

Commons Cafe

No. 106, Block B, Phileo Damansara II, 15 Jalan 16/11, Petaling Jaya, 46350 , Selangor

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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

Monjo, Shaftsbury Square Cyberjaya

 

DECOR and concept play a huge part at Monjo at Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya. The shop has been renovated to resemble a Metropolitan train station, and even the name ‘Monjo’ comes from a marriage between ‘Metropolitan’ and ‘Cup of Joe’. Think tiled walls, bright orange chairs and wooden accents, little ‘nooks’ resembling subway booths, and even the counters have ‘checkpoints’ on them like Station A and B.

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Adding a touch of uniqueness is the custom-made furniture, such as paint drum lids converted into table tops. The food served is largely French inspired, with all-day breakfasts and heavy use of eggs. They also have pastries like the chocolate eclairs (above), which were lightly coated with a top of chocolate and stuffed with a light yet creamy filling.

The founder, Ray, said that he was inspired to set up the subway-themed cafe from his travels around Europe. He wanted to create a cafe that would be a meeting place for people, where they can mingle and chill out.

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One of their hot-selling items is the Hot Chocolate, made from Marou Chocolate sourced from Vietnam. Instead of chocolate powder, the drink is made by melting chocolate bars. It is low-fat and customers can adjust the sweetness according to the percentage of cocoa.

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Also tried their Croque-Madame, which is a grilled sandwich with juicy slices of ham in the middle, topped with cheese and a fried egg sunny side up, side salad of chopped carrots tossed in a balsamic vinegar and served with half of a grilled tomato. Wholesome breakfast!

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Sweet items.

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MONJO

P5-11 Shaftsbury Square, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyber 6, Cyberjaya.

Phone: 03-8689 5208

Opening hours: 8am – 8pm

Chubbies Cafe, Cyberjaya

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LIKE home made cooking? Here’s another chic little cafe/eatery in Cyberjaya that you should check out! Chubbies Cafe is run by ex-high school friends Natalie and Stephie. The European-inspired cafe has a homely feel with scenes of Paris and London on the wallpaper and comfy cushions. Stephie mans the front counter and handles the coffee, while Natalie works in the kitchen.

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I tried their latte, which was pretty good! Stephie said that she learned latte art on her own. The beans are Musetti mi Robusta and Arabica. Some other selections available include cappucino, mocha and matcha (green tea) latte. For those with a thing for cold drinks, try their Chubbfrappe, an ice-blended mix of berries and passion fruit.

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For the mains, I tried the Carbonara spaghetti, which cam with generous chunks of chicken ham and sliced button mushrooms. The sauce was creamy and rich, flavoured by chopped bits of sauteed garlic and black pepper. nothing fancy, very ‘homely’, like the type my mum would make. Comfort food at its best.

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They also have cakes and desserts baked fresh everyday, like this Chocolate Molten Lava cake. Oozing soft, melty chocolate when it was cut open, the outside was fluffy and soft. The chocolate is a tad too sweet for me though.

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Cutesy murals, which were all done by the owners themselves!

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If you’re wondering about the name, Stephie said it’s because she and Natalie are foodies and were ‘chubby’, lol.

Chubbies Cafe

P3-21, Shaftsbury Square, Persiaran Multimedia, 63000 Cyberjaya

Opening hours: 9.30am – 8.30pm

Tel: 03-8320 9313

It’s A Grind, Cyberjaya

A COUPLE of years ago, Cyberjaya was this new out-of-the-way place with clean roads, a couple of buildings, and nothing else. These days, it is fast becoming a growing hub for chic eateries and cafes – thanks to the number of MNCs and large corporations which have established swanky new headquarters here, as well as universities like MMU and Lim Kok Wing University.

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One of these places is It’s A Grind Coffeehouse along Jalan Teknokrat 6. This is the Californian brand’s second outlet in Malaysia, and the chic decor and menu reflects the heyday of 1960s Californian surfer culture, with retro and bohemian influences. Unlike ‘fast-food beverage chains’, the people at It’s A Grind pride themselves in special ‘barista-crafted’ coffee. The beans are from Central and South America, and are roasted in America before they are packed and flown over here. They also carry single origin beans from Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

They also have a nice selection of pastries. I like the baked chocolate eclair (foreground) which had a crispy outer texture and soft core filled with thick, dark chocolate.

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Its ice-blended drinks are popular, with quirky names like Funky Monkey (ice-blended chocolate, peanut butter and banana), and Nutty Cookie Gnar Gnar (Oreo, chocolate, peanut butter and espresso blend). There are muffins, cakes and light meals such as sandwiches and pastas.

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Fruit juice concentrates and other bottled drinks .

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They use Gibraltar naked porta filters to make their coffee. These come without a spout, which means that the liquid is pressed directly into the cup during tamping, resulting in less resistance and more flavour. Tamping requires specific skills as the barista needs to know how much pressure to apply, and the taste may vary according to individuals.

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IT’S A GRIND 

G03, Prima 11, Blok 3545, Jalan Teknokrat 6, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Business hours: Mon-Fri 8am – midnight / Sat-Sun 10am – midnight

Phone: +603-8311 9488

Review: Roast Kitchen, Cyberjaya

 

Update: Roast Kitchen Cyberjaya is now closed. 

I don’t really like newsy assignments coz my editors always bug me to send it in quickly, even if it means skipping meals (deadlines are more important!) but I’ve learnt that work can never be truly done and I’m over stressing out on these things… it makes me depressed and my gastric flares up if I don’t have regular meals.

I guess that separates me from a dedicated journalist. 😀

So I went to one government event today, which was a closed-door meeting and the media had to wait outside for three effing hours. I mean, if you’re only going to comment after, why did you call us to go early in the morning? Bejeesus. By the time it was over, it was already 1pm and I hadn’t eaten anything except a cup of milk for breakfast. I knew I had to send in the story by the day, but my stomach had a higher priority…

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I dropped by quickly at Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya for a meal. Passed by a relatively new restaurant called Roast Kitchen, which serves roast chicken and duck. It had a lot of newspaper cuttings plastered outside the shop, so I decided to give it a go. The decor is nice, clean and tidy, with orange, black and wooden chairs/tables, as well as pictures of food lining the walls.

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Their specialty turned out to be my favourite, roast duck. One can opt for rice or noodles to go along with the meat. I had rice. It came poured over with an ‘aromatic’ sweet and savoury soy sauce. The duck had the right amount of fat under the crispy skin, while the meat was cooked well without having the gamey taste duck meat often has. Pretty decent roast duck rice! The soup that came with it was also done well, with a buttery aftertaste.

For the meal together with a glass of warm water, the bill was Rm10.45. It’s okay considering the environment/location. You can’t get cheap food in Klang Valley these days anyway. 😡 sigh

The good thing about the place? It’s HALAL. So our Malay-Muslim friends can dine here as well! It’s hard to find authentic Chinese-style cooking that caters to Muslims; I always feel that Chinese food for Muslims tends to be prepared by Malays and has lost the true blue Chinese cooking flavours.

 

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They also have set lunches.

 

ROAST KITCHEN CYBERJAYA

Unit P1-23 Shaftsbury Square

2350 Persiaran Multimedia Cyber 6,

63000 Cyberjaya