Image

Vlog: Is This The Best Halal Ramen in Malaysia?

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Ramen Seirock-Ya, an up-and-coming halal ramen chain that specialises in toripaitan (chicken ramen) – and how it might just be the best halal ramen that I’ve tasted. Well, my opinion hasn’t changed – but this time, I’ve made a vlog about it. And in Malay, no less!

The video clips have been in my folder for some time now, but I just couldn’t find the time/energy to edit them. But better late than never, right? PS: This was filmed before the Movement Control Order 3.0 came into effect, when dine-in was still allowed. Fret not, though – you can order from them online here.

BTW, this is the first time that I’ve vlogged in Malay. Language gets rusty if you don’t use it often, which is the case with my Malay, and that’s why I wanted to at least practice it a bit in my vlog.

“But aren’t you Malaysian?” my non-Malaysian readers might ask. “You should be fluent in Malay, since you live there.”

Well, technically, I am fluent. I learned it for 10 years in school. I even got a “Best in BM” award in high school, which is a pretty good achievement if I say so myself, seeing that I’m Malaysian Chinese.

Here’s the thing though. It’s complicated. Malaysia is a pretty odd country. You have all these different races living together in relative harmony, but racial (and religious) polarisation has been on the rise in recent years, and it’s no longer surprising to find people who aren’t that fluent in Malay, even though they are citizens. My parents, for example, can speak in Malay relatively well. But they tend to mix English words into their conversations, and if you asked them to speak purely in Malay, they would find it difficult. Would that be considered ‘fluent’?

As for myself, well, being stuck at home means I only speak Cantonese and English (my first language) most of the time. And to be honest, my Malay has been on a downward spiral ever since I graduated from high school, because I don’t have that many Malay friends (or friends in general *cough cough*) who speak to me in Malay. The only occasions where I have to dig up my long-lost BM vocab are when I have to visit a government office.

Anyway, I hope to make more vlogs in Malay. I’m already an outcast when it comes to Chinese (I can’t read Chinese characters and I’m not fluent in Mandarin. Third culture kid problems), so I don’t want mastery of my second best language to go down the drain.

If you liked the video, please consider subscribing! Or you could buy me a cup of coffee on Patreon.

Til the next one!

Image

The Narra Filipino Resto Lounge, Petaling Jaya

Despite having a sizable community here, Filipino cuisine is still (imo) underappreciated in Malaysia. Unlike Thai or Indonesian restaurants, which are ubiquitous all over the country, Filipino restaurants are a bit more difficult to find, and their patrons are usually Filipinos, rather than Malaysians. There is one thing to be said about that, though – it usually means that these are the places that serve authentic food for those who crave a taste of home.

One of these restaurants is The Narra Filipino Resto Lounge, tucked within Dataran Millennium in Petaling Jaya. When searching for the best Filipino restaurants in KL, The Narra regularly tops the list – and for good reason. They have a wide variety of dishes from different parts of the Philippines, service is good, and prices and portions are fair. I’ve been here several times, and even celebrated a birthday here with the Hubs. Since my parents have never tried Filipino cuisine, I thought it’d be a good idea to bring them here for dinner on Sunday.

20210411_191636

The decor is pretty much the same from my previous visit: neat, with clean white tables and chairs, and a small stage where a live band performs on weekends. There is a display of baked goods and cakes at the counter, as well as a couple of shelves stocked with Filipino treats and canned goods. It was quiet during our visit, so we didn’t have to wait long for our food.

20210411_192040

Bro and Pops ordered Calamansi juice while I went for Gulaman, which is a syrupy sweet brown sugar drink with a jelly like substance, similar to cincau or agar. It was a tad too sweet even for me, so you might want to skip this if you don’t like sugary drinks.

20210411_193243

Of course, I had to get my favourite order, Sisig, consisting of chopped pig head with onions, chilli peppers, calamansi and egg, served on a sizzling hotplate. The parts of the pig’s head create a medley of interesting textures: you get the crunch from the cartilage, and soft and fatty bits from the jowls and cheeks. It’s definitely not a healthy dish, what with the fat and grease, but it’s oh-so-sinful.

20210411_193404

I usually come here alone, so I haven’t had the chance to try dishes like the Pininyahang Manok, which is chicken braised in coconut milk, pineapples, carrots, potatoes and bell peppers. My parents found the flavour ‘very odd’, but I liked it because it reminded me of Chinese-style buttermilk, albeit with a slightly sour aftertaste. Not a fan of bell peppers in general, but I don’t think the taste was very pronounced. The chicken was cooked well, and the carrots were done just right; soft without being mushy.

20210411_193410

Bro had Embosilog. The name comes from the dish’s three main components: Embotido (pork meatloaf), Sinangag (garlic fried rice) and Itlog (egg). Nipped a bit from his plate and was impressed. The fried rice was very fragrant and the meatloaf was tasty.

20210411_193454

Grilled pork intestines for sharing. I know some people will find it off-putting but I actually enjoy the slightly gamey smell 😛

20210411_193629

The chicken inasal (grilled chicken thigh) was humongous. Among all of the dishes, I think this was my least favourite. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exceptional either.

PS: If you’re wondering why we didn’t order Filipino signatures like sinigang (a tamarind-based stew) and adobo (pork cooked in vinegar and soy sauce), it’s because my mom has intestinal and stomach problems, and she can’t take spicy, oily, or sour food. Which ruled out many options because a lot of Filipino dishes are sour, and some of the good ones are oily (lechon, crispy pata).

20210411_193633

Having been to the Philippines many times, I think I have a good grasp of Filipino flavours – but I think my parents found it quite foreign and unlike anything they had tasted before. My mom commented that the food takes some getting used to, while my brother said, “I’m not sure what to make of it. With Thai food or Malay food, you get a distinct flavour profile that is easily recognisable. But these dishes are hard to identify.”

They both make valid points. The Philippines has a unique culture, being the only country in Southeast Asia that was occupied by the Spanish for well over 400 years. The cuisine has strong Spanish and Latin influence, which is why you’ll find dishes like adobo, chiccharon, flan, picadillo and empanadas gracing the dinner table in Filipino and Latino homes. At the same time, it also has distinct Malay influences, as evidenced by the Pininyahang Manok we ordered, which uses coconut milk – a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking. There are also dishes like the kare-kare (beef tripe cooked in peanut butter, influenced by Indian cuisine), and lumpia (spring rolls, from Chinese culture).

For me personally, I like some dishes, and some other dishes not so much. The hubs says I blaspheme because I don’t like the taste of Choco Butternut, but hey, you can’t expect every single non-Malaysian to fall head over heels with nasi lemak, right? (although I have yet to meet someone who didn’t like nasi lemak, lol).

20210411_195623

The Narra also sells imported products from the Philippines, such as corned beef, banana ketchup (mom: WHAT?) and Mang Tomas (pork liver sauce).

20210411_210143

I usually get Piattos (they call it Jigs here in Malaysia – although it’s super difficult to find these days), but the restaurant was out of stock, so I got some Lucky Mee Pancit Canton to take home instead.

Our meal (plus my snacks) came up to about RM120. I think we went a bit overboard – could have made do with 3 dishes instead of four – but the price was fairly reasonable given the portions.

If you’re Malaysian and curious about how Filipino cuisine tastes like, The Narra is a good place to try authentic Filipino food. If you’re a Filipino residing in Malaysia, the dishes and the atmosphere (the servers sing Filipino songs while they go about their work, and the resto is always playing OPM) will surely remind you of home.

THE NARRA FILIPINO RESTO LOUNGE

G001 Dataran Millennium, Jalan 14/1, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 10.30AM – 9.30PM (Saturdays 11.30PM)

Phone: 03-7498 1061

https://www.facebook.com/thenarraresto/

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website by buying me a cup of coffee through Paypal. This will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. You can also support me on Patreon. Thanks for stopping by!

Image

Review: Ticket To Korea, Setiawalk Puchong

Setiawalk Puchong has seen better days. Once the hottest hangout spot in Puchong, the place has been on a decline, especially in the last few years. There aren’t many restaurants left, but one that has been around since the mall’s inception is Ticket to Korea. Despite having been to Setiawalk many times, I have never thought to try them out — so a recent lunch date with my friend H was as good a time as any.

20210407_130116

The restaurant’s interior is brightly lit by natural sunlight and the space feels cosy and welcoming. A young couple whom I assume to be the owners greeted us enthusiastically, and we were quickly given menus. Aside from authentic Korean fare the likes of bulgogi and pajeon (pancake), diners will also find popular fusion dishes like Korean-style pork ribs with cheese, hot plate cheesy corn, and kimchi quesadilla.

20210407_130802

H ordered a bibimbap bowl, which came in a huge portion — I think it was good enough for two small eaters. It was beautifully presented, with generous heapings of vegetables, grilled pork belly, shredded cucumber, carrots and seaweed, topped off with a fried egg. It was delicious; the sweet and savoury sauce brought everything together really well.

20210407_131328

Despite the sweltering heat outside, I went for the Kimchi Ramen (because I’m masochist that way lol).

The bowl looked fiery red when it came to the table; there were soft slices of tofu swimming within, and the soup’s colour contrasted nicely with the enoki mushrooms and spring onion garnish on top. The soup was the bomb. Some places cut corners and add more kimchi paste, which means you get watery, ‘flavoured’ soup — but with this, I could really taste the texture of fibrous, blended vegetables, and there was a good amount of kimchi within as well. It was thick and sour, perfect for whetting the appetite, and the slight viscosity meant that the soup clung to each strand of ramyeon for maximum flavour. Did I also mention that the pork slices were super tender and had a great ratio of lean and fat?

The owners kept popping by to our table to check if I was okay with the heat. The soup was rather spicy, but hey — what’s pleasure without a bit of pain? *wink wink

20210407_130253
To wash everything down, a cold glass of coffee with condensed milk.
20210407_135533

We had a nice surprise at the end, compliments of the house — ice cream, served on a cold stone plate. They were drizzled over with what tasted like honey, and cookie shavings. Definitely a sweet end to a satisfying meal.

There are lots of good things to say about our dining experience here: the service was impeccable, the dishes that we tried tasted excellent, and prices were not too steep (our meal for two came up to about RM60). I wouldn’t mind a return visit !

PS: They have another branch at Tropicana Avenue, PJ.

TICKET TO KOREA

C-8-1, Block C, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Jalan Wawasan 1/1, Taman Wawasan, 47160 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 11PM (daily)

facebook.com/tickettokoreafinedining

Hello!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website by buying me a cup of coffee through Paypal. This will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. You can also support me on Patreon. Thanks for stopping by!

Image

Moge Tee, PFCC Puchong

Update: A week after I posted this, the outlet closed. Guess I jinxed it lol.

You know how certain locations seem to be jinxed? Some people call it bad juju; in Chinese we call it bad fengshui. Think a business that can’t seem to prosper despite being in a high traffic area, or a shop that people always bypass, even though the adjacent ones do just fine.

20210326_210250

This corner lot at PFCC Puchong seems to be one of those locations. It was previously home to a cafe called Miss Paris and Toast; then another cafe. Both shuttered. Now Moge Tee, an established tea and snack chain known for its pancake souffles, has taken up residence – and while I’m hopeful it’ll break the ‘chain’, I’m not too optimistic, judging from how quiet it was on a Friday evening, when S and I came by.

20210326_210257
20210326_211144

I tried Moge Tee’s pancake souffle at their SS2 outlet before, and it was among the best ones I have tasted, thanks to the addition of cheese, which gave it a nice balance between sweet and salty. Didn’t order the souffle this time though; went for the Mango Milk instead, while S had the Oolong Tea with cheese.

While Moge Tee also serves the usual bubble milk tea, they are better known for their range of fruit teas. The Mango Milk I had was okay, not too sweet, but the mango puree was quite stringy and fibrous. S’s Oolong tea with cheese was decent too but I wouldn’t say it was outstanding.

20210326_213108

Our snack of fried chicken took a long time to arrive. Avoid this if you’re planning to come here; the chicken had a texture like cardboard. Any random Alisan stall from a night market would have been better than this.

MOGE TEE (PUCHONG)

G-06,Ground Floor Tower 4 & 5@PFCC, Jalan Puteri 1/2, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Image

Meal for Two: S’mores, Bangsar South

The Moomin’s eye doctor is located at Nexus Bangsar South, so I’ve been hanging around the neighbourhood a lot lately (her eye is much better now, but we’ve been doing follow-ups regularly because it wasn’t healing as quickly as it should due to age).

20210326_132132

On one of these follow-ups, we checked into S’mores for lunch. The place has been around since Nexus opened and touts itself as a “friendly neighbourhood bistro that promises the coldest beers” and “the most authentic charcoal and wood fire cooked western delights”. It was a weekday and the restaurant was packed with office workers, but service was still fast, attentive and friendly. The resto has a nice, chill vibe, a large bar and an al-fresco dining area.

The menu is mostly Western (think pastas, pizzas, ribs and burgers), with some Asian favourites thrown in (nasi lemak, laksa, meehoon). The Moomins and I ordered set lunches (RM16.90++) which came with a drink.

20210326_132232
Smores looks like a great place for a beer or two with colleagues after work
20210326_133013
The Moomin’s Spaghetti Bolognese. Portions were very generous.
20210326_133021
20210326_133033

My carbonara spaghetti came in a huge serving, topped with heaps of Parmesan cheese. The pasta was cooked al dente, and it was creamy without being cloying (to me, at least), with generous bits of bacon. Solid dish, no complaints. Those who don’t like rich flavours might want to give it a pass though.

S’MORES

Nexus, Bangsar South, Unit G7, Ground Floor, Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 11AM – 12AM (daily)

smores.com.my

Image

An Eggs-traordinary Easter With Hilton Hotels

If you haven’t made plans for the weekend, Hilton welcomes you to celebrate Easter with a sumptuous spread of Easter delights and fun activities, to make the season a memorable one.

Rooftop Bar, Hilton Garden Inn KL South – Easter High Tea Specials

Gear up for an afternoon of sipping and feasting with the accompaniment of the KL skyline at Rooftop Bar. The high tea buffet has plenty of mouth-watering fare to dig in to, including special highlights such as Red Devil Egg, Sweet Potato Congee and Meatloaf with Crockpot Potato & Carrot that are guaranteed to delight one’s taste buds.

Hilton Garden Inn KL South_Rooftop 25_Easter Diary Listing Image

4 April 2021 | 12pm – 3pm

  • RM99 nett per person
  • RM169 nett for 2 persons (inclusive of 2 welcome drinks)
  • RM299 nett for 4 persons (inclusive of 4 welcome drinks)
  • RM50 nett for kids (below 12 years old) & senior citizens

For reservations, call +60 3 2771 6888, email KULMY_FB@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Vasco’s, Hilton Kuala Lumpur – Easter Day Luncheon

Celebrate Easter weekend at Vasco’s as they bring you an exciting line-up of festive delights and activities. The chefs have decked up an Easter feast, featuring premium gourmet specialties such as Slow-roasted Victorian Lamb from Australia, Egg Benedict with Smoked Salmon Caviar on Brioche, Mac n’ Cheese Soft Shell Crab Slider and Crispy Wanton Noodle with BBQ Duck. Children will be thrilled to join in the Easter egg hunt, egg-painting and get their faces painted as well.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur_Vasco's_Easter Diary Listing Image

4 April 2021 | 12pm – 3pm

  • RM158 nett per adult | RM68 nett per child (aged 5–11)
  • Option to add on RM120 nett for a free-flow of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Prior reservations required. 20% discount applicable for in-house guests and partner credit card holders.

For reservations, call +60 3 2264 2264 or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Axis Lounge, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang – Easter High Tea

Bring the whole family to Axis Lounge for a fun time together. The Easter Sunday High Tea includes some notable highlights such as Chocolate & Strawberry Sandwiches, Grilled Medallion Beef with Mushroom Sauce and Easter Deep Fried Egg. The Little ones will be thrilled, as they’ll get to take part in a treasure hunt and egg-colouring activities too.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang_Axis Lounge_Easter Diary Listing Image

4 April 2021

  • RM88 nett per adult
  • RM44 nett per child (Kids below 6 years old eat for free for every full-paying adult.)

For reservations, call +604 892 8000, email to PENMB_FBD@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

Tosca, DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru – Easter Brunch Buffet

Famed for its rustic Italian fare, Easter at Tosca will wow you with an abundant spread of exotic delights such as Seafood with Pepper & Cocktail Sauce, Roasted Lamb Leg with Rosemary Sauce, Boeuf en Croute with Tuscany Vegetable and Italian Pizzas. Let your little ones try their hands at artsy activities such as DIY pizza and egg painting, before having a splash at the poolside.

DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru_Tosca_Easter Diary Listing Image

4 April 2021 | 11am – 2:30pm

  • RM118 nett per adult | RM59 nett per child (aged 5–11)

Prior reservations required. 20% off for selected credit card holders and TABLEAPP bookings.

For reservations, call +607 268 6868 or email us at JohorBahru.FB@hilton.com or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com

Caffé Cino, Hilton Kuching – Easter Goodies

Bright flavours and ornate decorations are par for the course with Easter desserts. Indulge your friends and family with adorable treats such as homemade Easter Cookies, Bunny Strawberry Sponge Cake and Bunny Chocolate Sponge Cake at Caffé Cino. Bound to add the perfect sweetness to your Easter holiday.

Hilton Kuching_Caffe Cino_Easter Diary Listing Image

29 March – 4 April 2021

  • From RM15 nett per item | Pre-order is required two days in advance.

For reservations, call +6012 496 3500, email KUCHI_FB@hilton.com or visit www.takeus-home.com.

Image

Ying Jia Dimsum and Seafood Restaurant, Happy Garden KL

Sometimes, restaurants have to be versatile and offer different items on the menu to entice customers – like Ying Jia Restaurant in Happy Garden KL, which serves dimsum by day and dai chow fare by night.

20210327_094812

The Moo and I had originally wanted to eat dimsum at Phang Kee, a popular stall just a few shops away, but since it was packed, we ended up here instead. The restaurant is very spacious, and even though it isn’t air conditioned, it does not feel hot thanks to the high ceilings and large fans. Orders are made on a chit.

20210327_095138

We got the usual favourites: har gao, chee cheong fun and minced pork meat with fish maw.

20210327_095142
Chee cheong fun with shrimp filling
20210327_095145
Har gao was sizable and tasted pretty good.
20210327_095148

20210327_095303

The restaurant has a novel way of keeping their dishes ‘protected’ – by using a plastic bottle with the top half cut open to act as a ‘shield’.

20210327_095617

Shanghai siew loong bao are conveniently served on spoons for easy eating. The dumplings are steamed together with cabbage, which imparts the skin with the natural sweetness of vegetables. The broth is flavourful and the skin’s thickness is just right.

20210327_095622

Salted egg custard buns. The colour is lighter than the ones I’m used to from my favourite dimsum place, but they’re nice and fluffy. I think the inside could have used more custard, though. Tasty nonetheless.

20210327_095919

And last but not least, ‘salad prawns’ – essentially deep fried shrimp dumplings. These are my favourite and a must-order whenever I go to any dimsum shop. The version here is done well; crispy and flaky shell, juicy, bouncy shrimps enveloped within. Best eaten with mayonnaise and washed down with lots of hot tea.

Overall, I found the dimsum at Ying Jia pretty good and value for money. The owners themselves are out and about serving customers, and service is fast and friendly.

YING JIA DIMSUM & SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

1, Jalan Lazat 1, Taman Bukit Indah, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 7.30AM – 2PM, 5PM – 9PM (closed for dinner on Tuesdays)

*Opinions here are my own. Feel free to agree/disagree with my taste buds.

Hello!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website. This will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. You can also support me on Patreon. Thanks for stopping by!

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$5.00
$10.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Image

Sushi Zanmai, Main Place Mall USJ

Back when I worked in PJ, I used to frequent Sushi Zanmai at Jaya Shopping Centre, which was just a 10-minute-drive from my office. I went there so often the server could anticipate my order even before I placed it (one plate of fried mushrooms, one bowl of rice and one portion of chuuka idako. Lol.) Unfortunately, I haven’t been back since transitioning to a fully WFH setup, which means that I haven’t had Sushi Zanmai for… well over a year.

20210322_134353

I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed it until I walked past the Sushi Zanmai outlet at Main Place Mall in USJ recently. Of course, memories of my favourite mushroom-rice-octopus combo came flooding back, and I had to stop by for lunch. It was a weekday afternoon so the place was empty and service was fast.

20210322_130118
The aesthetics are pretty standard across all of their outlets – wooden dividers, lots of beige, booth seating for privacy, plush pleather seats, and an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action.

I’m a creature of habit, so of course…

20210322_130520
Did you imagine I’d order anything else? lol

For some reason, the chuuka idako (baby octopus) came in a bigger portion than I remembered. Not that I’m complaining. The seafood was well marinated in a savoury sauce that brought out its natural sweetness, enhanced with a sprinkling of sesame and served atop a bed of salad.

One great thing about Sushi Zanmai is the consistent quality between outlets; so you get pretty much the same taste from one outlet as you do at any other.

20210322_130818

Not forgetting my favourite fried shimeji mushrooms, served with a small dollop of Japanese-style mayonnaise. The batter was perfectly crispy and salty, but the mushrooms retained their moistness on the inside.

There’s something about eating fluffy white rice with fried items, be they mushrooms or fried chicken wings; perhaps not the healthiest option, but oh-so-satisfying nonetheless.

20210322_130826
20210322_131250

To switch things up beyond my usual trinity of orders (also because I haven’t had Japanese food for some time), I ordered kaki furai (fried oysters) and soft shell crab inari. They did not disappoint; the oysters were fresh, nicely battered and not greasy, while the inari and soft shell crab offered a great blend of textures and sweet and savoury flavours. Solid sushi!

Main Place Mall is much closer to where I live, so I guess I’ll be coming here now whenever I crave my Japanese food fix.

Service is friendly and efficient, prices are above average. If you come on weekends there might be a wait.

SUSHI ZANMAI (MAIN PLACE MALL USJ BRANCH)

Lot No.21, Second Floor, The Main Place, Jalan USJ 21/10, Persiaran Kewajipan, 47630 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

https://www.supersushi.com.my/mainplace.php

Hello!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider supporting my website. This will go towards hosting fees and ensuring that I can continue to deliver authentic content for your reading pleasure. You can also support me on Patreon. Thanks for stopping by!

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$5.00
$10.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly