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A Dragon Hotpot / Ann Cafe @ Bandar Puteri Puchong

What’s the best food to eat on a cold, windy evening?

If you answered hotpot, then great minds think alike! Nothing beats the warmth of a rich hearty soup, brought to a boil with slices of meat, vegetables, seafood, and other goodies within.

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The Hubs and I thought it was the perfect time to try A Dragon Hotpot, a spot we pass by often while getting drive-through from the nearby McDonald’s.

The restaurant is located in a building on its own, complete with a patio where you can dine outdoors. It also shares a space with Ann Cafe, which serves drinks and desserts.

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The interior is spacious, with peach pink walls, faux marble table tops and gaudy golden chairs. To the right is a bar counter where they serve drinks, and a fridge filled with alcoholic beverages + bottled Chinese teas.

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Most hotpots I’ve been to offer buffet options or set menus. A Dragon Hotpot brings you the best of both worlds.

You get a bucket that you can fill with the items that you like. You can then bring it to the counter, and they’ll charge you by weight. I quite like this idea! With set menus, there are often ingredients that I don’t like (*vegetables* cough), while buffets encourage me to eat more than I should because I want to get my money’s worth – so this combined concept is just perfect.

Granted, there are some cons to the system. If you pick the processed stuff like meatballs, they tend to be quite heavy despite being cheap in price/value.

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A Dragon Hotpot offers a good selection of the usual hotpot items: hotdogs, cocktail sausages, hams, tofu, fishballs, fresh vegetables, as well as mushrooms, seafood, and pork slices. If you prefer lamb or beef, they have pre-packed ones in the fridge that come at a standard price.

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For carb lovers, you can choose from a variety of different noodles. These are not counted towards the weight of your food.

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Once you’re done selecting your ingredients and weighing them, let the staff know what soup base you prefer. There were three available during our visit: mala (their signature; a very spicy soup filled with chillies, popular in the Szechuan region of China), tom yum, and pork bone broth.

We decided on the latter. It was served in a garish-looking pot which sported a dragon head on each end.

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And here’s what we picked! Like a couple of kids, we left the greens out of our plates. 😛

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The pork slices here are cut quite thickly, so they take a bit longer to cook. But it also gives you a more satisfying bite of meat. There are dipping sauces available at the counter, including favourites like soy sauce with garlic and chilli sauce.

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The processed items tasted pretty standard. I like to get cheese tofu, which has a springy, bouncy texture embedded with creamy bits within. I also enjoy the bursting pork balls, which contain a savoury soup within. That aside, the pork slices were fresh and thick, but the Hubs didn’t enjoy it as much as he said the odour of pork was pretty strong.

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The winner for both of us, though, was the soup. It was rich and hearty, and I was smacking my lips from the collagen, which left a slightly sticky residue.

Our meal for two came up to about RM60+. I wouldn’t call it super value for money, but our bellies were filled, the food was tasty, and it was still cheaper than a buffet, without the wastage. Didn’t manage to try any drinks from Ann Cafe, but I think this place warrants another visit.

A DRAGON HOTPOT

12-G, Jln Puteri 7/13A, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Phone: 03-8066 5839

Open daily 11.30AM – 12AM. Non-halal

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Bistro Monologue, Bandar Bukit Puchong

In Puchong, you’ll find most of the hip cafes clustered within the commercial areas of Bandar Puteri Puchong and Puchong Jaya. So I was surprised when I came across Bistro Monologue in Bandar Bukit Puchong, surrounded by car workshops, kopitiams, hardware stores, delivery centres, and the like. This unassuming spot has apparently been around for some time now, specializing in fusion (Asian and Western) cuisine.

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Bistro Monologue is sandwiched between a COWAY service centre and an office/warehouse selling straps. They had the door propped open during our visit because the air conditioning was down.
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The interior looks classy and cozy, with lots of wood and warm, ambient lighting. Tasteful art pieces adorn one side of the wall, and there is a small stage area at the back for weekend performances. It wasn’t too busy during our visit, and we were attended to quickly.

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You can come here for tea time as they offer a good selection of cakes and desserts. A selection of cakes and desserts.

The menu is pretty extensive, so you can take your pick from rice dishes (roast pork nasi lemak), pasta, burgers, pizza, and breakfast items (croissants, ciabattas).

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Since the Hubs and I had a late breakfast, we opted for a few lighter dishes. I got the Soup of the Day (Mushroom – RM6.90), which came with a slice of buttered, toasted bread. I enjoyed the soup as it was creamy but not cloying, and had a good balance of flavours. I also liked the fact that it tasted like actual mushroom soup, with bits of chopped mushroom in it, instead of the ‘instant’ type a lot of establishments serve.

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Their signature Raisin Pork roulade was not available, so we ordered a side dish of roast pork (RM9.90) to fulfill our pork quota lol. The version here reminds me of the pork served in European bistros; the skin is not super crunchy, it has a bit of chew to it, and a very strong odour. This might not be for everyone, especially if you’re not keen on gamey, meaty flavours. I still think it’s pretty good, though!

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The Hubs had a 9-inch Mushroom Pesto Pizza (RM15.90), which came topped with pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms, with a layer of melted cheese.

To be perfectly honest – I don’t think the crust tasted like pizza at all; more like a crunchy dry bread or cracker. Again, I wouldn’t say it’s bad, it just didn’t taste like regular pizza, lol.

We enjoyed our light lunch at Bistro Monologue. While I wouldn’t call the food mind blowing, everything tastes fresh and homemade, service is friendly, and the environment is cozy. Prices are slightly above average, though, so probably not a lunch spot I’d go to often.

View the menu here: https://easyeat.ai/r/bistro-monologue/

BISTRO MONOLOGUE

16, Jln BP 7/11, Bandar Bukit, 47120 Puchong, Selangor.

Phone: 012-988 3669

Opening hours: (Sun-Weds) 8.30AM – 9PM, (Thurs – Sat) 8.30AM – 11.30PM

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Review: Cerdito Restaurant, Bandar Puchong Jaya

Puchong is known for its hipster cafes, no-frills dai chow stalls, and dimsum joints – but full-service restaurants are few and far between, especially ones serving pork.

Enter Cerdito, a casual but elegant resto that specialises in Iberico pork dishes. The place has been around since 2016, and I’ve walked past it many times, but never got down to trying it until recently.

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The interior is spacious and brightly lit, with a bar occupying one side of the room. Mahogany tables with matching coloured chairs contrast nicely with the beige and nude walls.

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So what is Iberico pork, and what makes it special ?

Iberico pork comes from the Black Iberian pig, a breed native to Spain’s Iberian peninsula. They are highly prized for their meat, which is considered far superior in quality than that of regular pigs raised in commercial farms. For one, Iberian pigs have a propensity to be fatter, with good marbling. They also feed on acorns, which gives the meat a unique, almost earthy flavour.

Because of this, prices at Cerdito are above average – but you get what you pay for, as the pork is imported directly from Spain. Their specialities include items such as Iberico Chuletas – Short Rack, Iberico Cabecero (made from pork collar on top of the loin), and Iberico Mango BBQ Loin Ribs (glazed with mango barbeque sauce before they are grilled). They also carry dishes such as the Pork Burger, German Sausage Platter, and Rosemary Honey Pork Belly.

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The fam and I were on a budget, so we didn’t order the set for four, which will set you back RM330 (includes salad, ribs and other mains). We instead opted for the lunch sets, which are available daily and come with a soup appetiser and a drink. You can choose from three different types of carbo, namely pasta, mantou (buns) or rice.

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I got the Roasted Pork Belly with Mantou (RM28), which was served with a side of vegetables tossed in a refreshing vinaigrette dressing. Each mantou was stuffed with two large pieces of roasted pork belly, cucumber, and just a smattering of spicy sauce.

The mantous were pillowy soft, encasing flavourful pieces of roast pork within. As for the protein, I could tell that it tasted different from regular pork – more pungent and flavourful, with an excellent meat to fat ratio. The fat was a tad chewy, but I like it that way. It would have been perfect if the skin was crispy, but unfortunately it was tough. Still tasty, though!

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Bro got the Aglio Olio with Roasted Pork Belly (RM28). The portion was sizable, and the pasta was cooked well, although it was a bit more spicy than I was used to.

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Pops being the typical Asian, had to have his rice – and since he’s not a big fan of pork, he went for the Fried Chicken Rice Bowl (RM20). What arrived at the table was a giant fried chicken thigh, sitting atop a bed of rice blanketed in a fried omelette.

The chicken was brined before deep frying, so it was very flavourful (bordering on salty, depending on one’s taste buds), but the inside was moist and perfectly cooked.

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Last but not least was Moo’s Pineapple Maple Pork Belly (RM35). This is an ala carte option, by the way, and not part of the lunch sets.

This was my favourite dish, and not just because other people’s food always looks better than one’s own after you’ve ordered, lol. The pork was extremely tender and flavourful, having been marinated overnight in a blend of pineapple juice, maple syrup and soy sauce, the enzymes of which would have broken down the proteins further. Grilling the pork gave it a nice, smoky aftertaste, and the mashed potatoes that were served as sides was also done well. Everything came together on the plate perfectly.

Our bill came up to RM122, which I still find reasonable given the setting and the quality of the food. Service-wise, waiters were attentive and friendly. My only qualm was the timing in which they served the food; my Bro, dad and I got our food first, and were nearly finished eating before Moo’s dish was served.

Parking and traffic in the area (or anywhere in Puchong, for that matter) can be a btch, but I think it’s well worth a trip if you’re a pork lover.

CERDITO RESTAURANT

G-11, Kompleks Kenari, Jalan Kenari 19a, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 9PM (closed Mondays)

Website

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Signature Pork Noodles @ Harbour Steamboat, Bandar Puteri Puchong

Harbour Steamboat in Bandar Puteri Puchong is known for its hearty, belly warming hotpot dishes, which are available for dinner. It’s not common to eat hotpot during the day though, so the restaurant has affordable rice and noodle dishes for the lunch crowd – and they serve some pretty darn good pork noodles.

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The restaurant is cosy and air conditioned, and has Japanese touches, with rows of Japanese sake bottles lining the walls. This is because the owners of Harbour Steamboat also run a Japanese yakitori place upstairs, called Minato Yakitori. (Also one of the best places in Puchong to get Japanese-style skewers!)

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Iced plum and calamansi juice; a refreshing thirst quencher
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The star for me is the signature pork noodles (RM14.90), which is what I order every time without fail. The portion is large and will easily satisfy big eaters. If you’re a small eater, you can even share the bowl between two people. Choose from a choice of different noodles such as kuey teow, mee, beehoon and meesua (my preferred choice).

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The noodles are soft and silky, but the winner is the soup. Chock full of ingredients, you get generous portions of pork belly slices, pork mushroom balls, offal (intestines, kidney, liver), tender minced pork, squid and shrimp, all swimming in a cloudy broth that is bursting with flavour. To top it all off: a smattering of deep fried pork lard, which really adds extra flavour to the soup.

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Not in the mood for noodles? You can always get the pork soup with rice.

HARBOUR STEAMBOAT 

G, 49, Jalan Puteri 2/3, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: (daily) 11AM – 2PM, 5.30PM-10.30PM. Pork noodles available for lunch only.

Phone: +603 8063 5776

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Satisfy Your Pork Cravings @ Truly Wine, The Starling Mall

Since the MCO started, I’ve been bringing homemade lunches to work, so I haven’t really had much chance to explore The Starling, the neighbourhood mall near my office. My ex-boss asked V and I out for lunch recently, so we dropped by to see what was good.  We settled for Truly Wine, where they offer pork-heavy set lunches and fusion fare.

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Wide selection for RM19++ per set, inclusive of a drink and ice cream. You can top up RM5 for soup of the day, and RM5 to upgrade your drink to a latte. On the menu are pastas, pizzas, noodles and rice. The restaurant seems to pride itself in its pork dishes, such as Hainanese Pork Chop, Roast Pork Indomee, Roast Pork Hokkien Mee, Roast Pork Nasi Lemak and Roast Pork Pizza. 

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Cosy interior with a nice looking wine rack. They also have a wine room next door.

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If you’re up to a more fancy lunch (or dinner), the restaurant has seafood offerings the likes of cheesy clams and fresh oysters.

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 “Say no to pot” 

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S and V both had the Nasi Lemak Roast Pork. It came served with a crispy fried cracker atop a bed of fragrant coconut rice, a side of roast pork, fried egg with luncheon meat, peanuts, anchovies and sambal. The portion is right for ladies, but V had to get another bowl of rice. Tried a piece of the pork – it had nice crackly skin and a good balance of lean and fat.

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Some people might think the Indo Mee Goreng with Roast Pork isn’t worth RM19+. After all, its just spruced up instant noodles. I beg to differ. I think there’s an art to elevating the humble yet extremely versatile IndoMee, and Truly Wine does it right with the flavour, the al dente texture, and the generous chunks of fragrant roast pork begging to be uncovered like hidden treasure – topped off with a golden, oozy fried egg.

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Ice cream for a sweet end to the meal.

Truly Wine is a nice place for a good, porky lunch – will come back to try their other dishes like the intriguing Roast Pork Hokkien Spaghetti next!

TRULY WINE 

G-033 & G-033A, The Starling Mall, No, 6, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 10AM – 12AM

www.trulywine.my

 

Review: Thai Hou Sek, 1 Utama – Thai Food With A Twist

You need to understand Cantonese to get the cheeky wit behind Thai Hou Sek‘s name. Tai is a homonym for ‘very/too much’, and hou sek means delicious. It can therefore be translated as ‘too delicious’, or simply, ‘Thai food is delicious’.

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Ignoring the semantics, Thai Hou Sek prides itself in Thai food with a Chinese twist, served in a distinctive setting reminiscent of Bangkok’s colourful Yaowarat Road. Speakeasy vibes abound, accentuated by cosy lighting, a neon-lit elephant and a wall papered with newspaper clippings and vintage posters of Thai ads.  Across the room is a mural of King Bhumibol Adjulyadej – in shades. It’s a perfect representation of Thailand, a modernizing country that still holds dear to its roots and traditions.  Meanwhile, a bar at the back dishes out both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, from creative signatures such as Thai Hou Yum (jasmine tea, assamboi, lime) and Sparkling Ribena Lychee, to cocktails like Lemongrass Mojito and Cucumber Sake Madness.

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The menu is extensive. Choose from mains to share if you’re in a group, or single rice and noodle dishes. The restaurant also offers lunch sets to cater to the weekday office crowd. While you can opt for chicken and seafood, it is clear that pork takes center stage. Expect classic flavours with a modern touch when you tuck into dishes such as Pad Thai with Seafood and Bacon, Pad Kra Pao Pasta, Papaya Salad with Luncheon Meat, and Siu Yuk Tom Yum.

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Despite the full house, service was fast and efficient during our visit. C had the classic Pad Kra Pao; stir fried minced pork with basil and chilli padi, served with steaming white rice, fried egg, and a side of crackers. Portion was generous.

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Also ordered one of their bestsellers: Siu Yuk Tom Yum. The dish is good enough for 2-3 people, and comes loaded with chunks of roast pork and juicy mushrooms. The soup is everything a good tom yum should be: sour and appetising, great with rice, and spicy with a kick.

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I got one of their lunch set options: Tom Yum Mama Noodles with Siew Yuk (RM16.90). The pork is served on a platter with a side of crackers, while the noodles are served in a bowl, topped with egg (look at that beautiful yolk!). Mama Noodles are the Thai equivalent of what Maggi is to Malaysians, and I like the springy, al dente texture. While the soup is not as thick as the Siew Yuk Tom Yum dish, it still packs a punch. Pork skin is crispy and crunchy, and the meat has layers of lean and fat that literally melts in your mouth. If you eat it on its own it might feel a bit greasy, but you can set this off by dunking it into the sour tom yum soup.

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You can get a drink with your set lunch for a few extra ringgit. Can’t have a Thai meal without iced Thai milk tea: sweet, cold and refreshing!

For dessert lovers, Thai Hou Sek offers a selection of classics like Mango Sticky Rice, Tab Tim Krop (water chestnut rubies, jackfruit, mango slices, served with vanilla ice cream and coconut milk) as well as Pumpkin Custard and Coconut Ice Cream Surprise. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first time at Thai Hou Sek – service is fast, warm and friendly, food’s great, and the ambience is cosy. It can get pretty crowded over lunch time though, so either come earlier or expect a wait. Prices are above average.

THAI HOU SEK 

S132, 2nd Floor, Old Wing, 1 Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03-7731-7933

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

 

Review: Hong Kong-Style Hotpot @ Bone & Pot, Bandar Puteri Puchong

Update 8/2/2021: This restaurant is permanently closed.

Puchong-ites seem to have a love affair with hotpots – just drop by Bandar Puteri Puchong or Bandar Puchong Jaya, and you will be spoilt for choice with the number of establishments serving the specialty. One of these places is Bone and Pot.

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Even among hotpots, there are a variety of different styles, from Ma La (Sichuan) to Sukiyaki (Japanese). Bone & Pot touts itself as a Hong-Kong style hotpot, specialising in pork bone soup which is rich in collagen – good for the joints, bones and complexion!

S and I were early so the place was empty – they get quite busy during peak hours on weekends.

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All-you-can-eat hotpot is the in-thing now, but we didn’t want to gorge ourselves – which is why we went to Bone & Pot, where you can order individual dishes. S and I are both meat eaters, so we only got the needle shrooms as our ‘greens’ (technically they’re not even vegetables, lol) + pork slices, bursting beef balls, shrimp and pork dumplings, cheese-stuffed tofu and pork stomach.

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Everything was fresh and tasty, but the soup was awesome (though S said Genting’s Beauty and the Pot is better). Bone & Pot’s version was rich, milky and full of lip-smacking goodness, especially after it had absorbed the flavours of the ingredients. The meat on the large pork bone was so tender after having been cooked for so long, it literally flaked off.

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Just dip the slices into the boiling broth for a couple of seconds and voila! Tender, juicy meat. Best with plain soy sauce and a bit of chilli for that spicy kick.

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For snacks, I recommend the fried salt and pepper squid which was seriously crunchy and addictive; although it was more batter than actual squid.

Our bill for two came up to RM90, which was quite pricey considering that some hotpot buffets are cheaper, but the quality of the food was above average, especially the pork bone broth.

BONE & POT 

No.47, Jalan Puteri 2/3, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 5PM – 1AM (Daily)

Review: Elsie’s Kitchen @ Happy Mansion Section 17 Petaling Jaya

On the recommendation of AD, hunting for lunch spots brought us to Elsie’s Kitchen at Happy Mansion in PJ. Tucked in a corner, the place is still new and still has congratulatory garlands decorating its entrance.

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A very Instagrammable swing and flower background.

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The interior is very basic; almost canteen-like.

There are several affordable set lunches to choose from, most of which are porky-themed.

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JW’s Mee Siam (RM9.90 – comes with lemonade drink). The portion was generous and the noodles tasty, but it needs a tad more salt and moisture.

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I went for the curry pork rice (RM13.90). Rice came draped in a beautiful sunny side up egg. The pork was nice and tender, but again, needed a bit more salt to make it perfect.

Also ordered a side of roast pork belly (RM18) to share. This was divine – nice balance of fat and lean, and the skin was extremely crispy. Loved the mustard dip it came served with.

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AD’s pork chop was not part of the lunch set and quite pricey for the small portion (RM19.80). Didn’t try but looked rather dry.

All in all, a decent lunch spot to satisfy porky cravings.

  • Food: 7/10
  • Ambience: 7/10 basic, no frills but comfy
  • Service: Very fast and friendly. 8/10
  • Price: Affordable set lunches, RM10++

ELSIE’S KITCHEN 

AG-6, Grd Flr Blk A, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: Tues – Suns (1130AM – 10PM), closed Mondays