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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!

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This Might Just Be The Best Halal Ramen in Malaysia: Ramen Seirock-Ya, IOI Mall Puchong

Tonkotsu has always been my favourite type of ramen. I mean, what can compare to a bowl of chewy, al-dente noodles, swimming in a rich, savoury pork broth?

The answer: Tori-Paitan, aka Chicken ramen.

Up until recently, I had not heard of this type of ramen – but apparently it’s quite popular in many parts of Japan, especially Osaka, where it is said to originate from. Just like tonkotsu, the broth is simmered for hours with chicken bones and meat, until it’s bursting with umami flavour.

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Now, Malaysians can also indulge in this scrumptious fare at Ramen Seirock-Ya, a ramen restaurant specialising in Tori-Paitan. Founded in Tsukuba City in 2009, the brand has been expanding to parts of Southeast Asia with a large Muslim demographic, including Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s excellent news for our Muslim friends out there who love ramen (which is normally made with pork), since the brand is halal-certified by JAKIM.

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The outlet at IOI Mall Puchong is spacious and comfortable. You check off the items you want on a chit, make payment at the counter, and they’ll send the food to your table.
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The signature is, of course, their Tori-Paitan ramen, which comes in several variants including Extreme (the must-try), Shoyu (soy-sauce based), Shio (salt-based) and Miso. You can also decide if you want the basic, or with additional egg or chicken slices. The noodles come with a slice of lemon – the servers recommend savouring the original flavour of the broth first, before adding the lemon, which gives it a slightly different taste.

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The noodles are good – well cooked, al dente and springy – but the broth is the real star here. After being boiled for hours, the flavour of the meat is condensed into the lip-smacking broth, and the taste is further accentuated by fried shallots and spring onions. Despite the amount of oil swimming on the surface, it does not taste greasy at all.

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On another visit, I ordered a plate of pan-fried chicken gyoza. They were crispy and slightly brown on the outside, and juicy and moist on the inside with lots of vegetables – no complaints here.

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Order a side of fried chicken karaage – expertly marinated and deep fried to golden perfection – before washing down your meal with a cold (or warm) glass of green tea.

If you’re not keen on the signature, also on the menu are items like Tan-Tan Men (a Japanese take on Chinese Sichuan dan dan mian), Tsukemen (cold noodles dipped in hot soup), Japanese curry rice, katsu don and chahan (fried rice) among others. Prices are actually more affordable than my favourite ramen place (which, sadly, has become so popular now that it’s impossible to dine-in without at least a 45-minute wait), ranging around RM18 – RM30 for most mains.

RAMEN SEIROCK-YA (IOI MALL PUCHONG)

1F Food Street, IOI Mall Puchong, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong, Selangor
Tel: +603 5882 1262
Business Hours: 10AM – 10PM (last order 9.30PM)

HALAL

seirock-ya.com.my

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

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First Halal Beauty Products Portal: Prettysuci.com Launch

Never been much of a makeup fan, and on the rare occasion that I wear some, it’s super basic – foundation, powder, blusher, eyebrow pencil. 😀 Of course, makeup can enhance one’s features and help them gain more confidence. And having to go to lifestyle events for work, I’m starting to feel a teensy bit left out when I see people looking all glam and fabulous.. maybe it’s time to invest a bit more into looking more presentable instead of my usual beanie-sweater-jeans-sneakers style. 😀

Was recently invited for work to the launching of Malaysia’s first halal beauty products portal, Prettysuci.com. Started by two entrepreneurs with a passion for beauty and fashionHalal in this sense encompasses more than products that are suitable for Muslim customers; it also means the brands are vegan, cruelty-free and organic.  The site carries both local brands as well as from Australia, USA, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia: everything from lip sticks and balms, skincare, fake eyelashes and face wipes to foundation, primers, nail polish and more.

Booths at the event launch with a showcase of items.  Have to say I was really tempted – too bad my wallet wasn’t allowing it :/

Lipsticks from a local brand called Sorfina. Look at those pretty colours!

I have a thing for nail polish;too bad I  do a lot of housework and it tends to chip. 

Can someone gift this entire set for my birthday or something ? 😀

The launching was graced by members of royalty and celebrities such as rapper Joe Flizzow and Indonesian songstress Dato Rossa, who also performed a couple of numbers to delighted fans. I also got to interview Dato Sheila Majid, and she was super down to earth and friendly! 🙂

Potato me and Dato Sheila. For a woman in her 50s, her skin is flawless. Fans can also find her lip range, Boneka, at the Prettysuci store.

Prettysuci.com

Al-Amin Xinjiang Muslim Restaurant

Update: This outlet is permanently closed. There is another outlet located in Section 19, Petaling Jaya. 

Located in the far northwestern part of China, Xinjiang has a unique demographic as it borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Krygyztan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. With such a melting pot of cultures, it is no wonder that the cuisine is one of a kind. Because the population is predominantly Muslim, most of the food is halal. Malaysians, especially Muslim-Malays, can now enjoy authentic Xinjiang food at Al-Amin Xinjiang Muslim Restaurant in SSTwo Mall, Petaling Jaya. 

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The place is simple and cosy, with wooden chairs and tables accentuated by Chinese-Muslim paintings on the wall. The place is owned by Mr Musa Ma, who hails from Xinjiang and is also a famous chef in the Chinese food scene. In case you’re wondering, the chefs here are also from China.

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For starters, we had a stir-fried vegetable dish, which wasn’t particularly ‘Xinjiang’, although the taste was good. The ingredients and cooking style for this dish was more like regular Chinese stir-fry, with wood ear fungus,tofu, brocolli and tomatoes in a light savoury sauce. The veggies were fresh and crunchy.

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‘Polo’ rice with stir-fried fish and a side of vegetables. The Polo rice is steamed and infused with bits of carrot and raisins, giving it a sweet and subtle flavour. The manager, Hussain Ma, explains that the recipes are all Musa’s creation and were modified to suit local taste buds. For example, the sauce that goes with the fish uses sambal for a local flavour.

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One wouldn’t normally pair watermelon, or orange and lemon drizzle with seafood, but that is what this dish is about. It is quite similar to the popular Chinese dish of lemon chicken, albeit sweeter. The sweet taste was a bit too overpowering for me, but the fish was well done and fresh. The pairing wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. Musa explains that they use fruits so that it would give patrons a balanced meal.

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The lamb dumplings are a marriage between Xinjiang’s Han Chinese culture and the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and its surrounding areas – with the thin, slightly translucent dumpling skin (commonly called gaozi) to wrap around juicy, succulent and heavily spiced lamb meat. The conventional gaozi would usually have pork or chicken filling, so lamb, which is heavily used in tribal cooking, is something different.

It was really good! I’d give it an 8/10. It was also very filling – just one dumpling and I was half-full already.

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The main star of the entire meal was the braised lamb cutlets. Also a Xinjiang specialty, the lamb is boiled in water for two hours, drained, and then cooked for another few hours to ensure each piece has a melt-in-your-mouth texture that falls off the bone. The carrot chunks are soft without being soggy, and the sauce, which is a mix of some sort of chilli oil that isn’t spicy, lends a smooth feeling as you savour the meat. There is none of that gamey smell that often comes with lamb, either. Perfect score!

For thirst quenchers, go for the house specialty, the Papaya and Sago milk with ice-cream. They also have desserts like goat’s yoghurt.

AL-AMIN XINJIANG MUSLIM RESTAURANT
SSTwo Mall, G – 53, Ground Floor, 40, Jalan SS2/72, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03- 7931 9588
Business hours: Noon to 10pm daily
Halal.