Jollibee Opens First Outlet in Peninsular Malaysia @ Sunway Pyramid

A household name in the Philippines, Jollibee is a Filipino fast food chain serving American-style fare alongside Filipino favourites like sweet-style spaghetti and pancit canton (noodles). The brand is a national icon, beloved by Filipinos all across the world.

I first tried Jollibee while on a trip to LA, at a stand-alone outlet just next to the subway station on Beverly Boulevard. It was my second week in the US, and I was already experiencing “rice withdrawal” symptoms lol. Burgers and fries are good and fine, but an Asian girl’s gotta have her rice. Jollibee served that, as well as my other favourite: fried chicken.

Jollibee @ Beverly Boulevard, LA

I was hooked from the first bite. Looking back, perhaps it wasn’t so much the taste as the memories of tucking into comfort food in a far away place, in good company. Since then, I’ve been a big fan of Jollibee, and would have it without fail whenever I visited the bf (now husband) in the Philippines.

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Jollibee dinner at the then-bf’s house with his fam. He laughed at how excited I was coz getting Jollibee was the first thing on my mind after he picked me up from the airport, lol

Fast forward six years since my first bite of Chickenjoy, and my wish has come true. Jollibee has finally opened a branch in the Klang Valley, the first of many that the company is planning across Peninsular Malaysia.

Of course, I dragged the Hubs to Sunway Pyramid on opening day – but I underestimated the power of Filipinos craving a taste of home. Arriving at 10AM, there was already a queue of 100 people, some of whom apparently started lining up at 8am. And while I absolutely adore Jollibee, I wasn’t willing to queue hours for it (based on some posts, some people queued for 7 hours). We ended up getting A&W instead, which wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed lol.

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A week later, the Hubs and I went to process some immigration papers. The officers were down with COVID, so we couldn’t proceed with our application. It was early, so we tried our luck once again at Sunway. We arrived around 9am and this time, we were fourth in line. And good thing too: by the time the store opened at 10, the queue was once again at least 50 strong. There were some locals, but again, the line comprised mostly of Filipino patrons.

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Good thing is that they have SOPs in place, so there’s a proper space to queue, and Jollibee’s security (yes, they have these) made the rounds and gave reminders for people to observe social distancing.

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Jollibee’s mascot is Jolly Bee, a smiling bee in a chef’s hat.
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On the menu are Jollibee signatures: aside from Chickenjoy, they also have Yumburger, Jolli Spaghetti, Burger Steak, and chicken tenders. Since we were only two, we couldn’t get as much food as we wanted, so we ordered a 5-pc bucket mix (ala carte – about RM25/310 pesos) and two Cheesy Yumburgers. These are usually my go-to items at Jollibee, as the spaghetti is not to my taste.

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Service during our visit was friendly; staff greeted customers with “Welcome to Jollibee!“, which I think will remind many Filipinos of the warm service back home (I guess it’s like when I fly with Malaysia Airlines and the announcements always say “to all visitors, welcome to Malaysia, to all Malaysians, welcome home!” Always makes me feel fuzzy and warm on the inside).

The shop has a modern and chic design, with lots of red and wood. The space is small though, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to dine in.

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A wall detailing the history of Jollibee.

Trivia: Jollibee started off as an ice cream parlour, founded by Tony Tan Caktiong, a Filipino-Chinese businessman. When business grew and they started offering hot meals such as burgers, fries, and fried chicken, they quickly realised that the hot meals were more popular. The business became Jollibee in 1978. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Jollibee has over 1,400 outlets worldwide, and Tan has an estimated net worth of over USD2 billion.

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It took awhile to get our takeaway (about 40 minutes), but here’s a picture of me looking like a kid who just got ice cream. Or an Eris who just got fried chicken.

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What I really like about Jollibee is that they have gravy. For some reason, Malaysians aren’t big on gravy – no other fast food chain (other than KFC, and even then it’s the gravy for their mashed potato, which you have to request separately) offers gravy with their fried chicken.

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The chicken was still nice and crispy after our 30-minute drive home. We got a mix of the spicy and original.

Verdict? I’m thrilled to say that it did not disappoint! The flavour is almost exactly the same as Jollibee in the Philippines. Skin was deep fried to golden, crunchy perfection, meat was tender, juicy, and flavourful, and the chicken pieces were large but cooked thoroughly. There is a slight difference in spiciness level: I believe the spicy chicken here is much spicier than the Filipino version, which I think caters more to Malaysian taste buds. Gravy also tasted more peppery compared to Philippine Jollibee. But it’s not a downside (to me at least).

The Cheesy Yumburger was tasty too, although Hubs said the bun had a different texture/quality, so he still prefers the one from back home.

I’m very happy that Jollibee now has a Malaysian presence, and that I don’t have to wait for a trip to Manila every time I want to enjoy their fried chicken. I used to tell the Hubs back when we were still doing LDR that I wished Jollibee would open a branch here. Now the Hubs is here, and so is Jollibee.

Life is good.

JOLLIBEE

Lot LG2.126A, Lower Ground 2, Blue Atrium, Sunway Pyramid Mall, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily: 10AM – 10PM

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Review: Wagyu More, Sunway Pyramid

Sukishi at IOI Mall Puchong used to be my go-to place for a cheap but decent hotpot buffet, but the quality has gone down of late (or at least during my last visit in October).

Luckily for me, my friend recently introduced me to another chain – and I think I might have just found my new favourite place. Originally from Hong Kong, Wagyu More is a Japanese shabu-shabu chain, that specialises in – what else – wagyu hotpot. They entered the Malaysian market in 2019, opening an outlet at The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur, and later at Sunway Pyramid. It was at the latter that C, J and I met up for lunch last weekend.

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Wagyu More offers several buffet packages catered to different budgets. If you’re rolling in dough or just feel like celebrating a special occasion, the priciest option is of course the one with their specialty: All-you-can-eat Miyazaki A5 beef, priced at RM388++ per person. The slightly cheaper option is the Australian Wagyu Beef buffet – at a fairly reasonable rate of RM148++, this is ideal for diners who still want to indulge in wagyu beef, but don’t want to splurge. Fans of pork might want to opt for the Spanish Iberico Pork buffet (RM98++).

For the rest of us plebians, the cheapest option costs just RM38++ – a steal, considering that you get free flow of pork, beef, chicken, fish and vegetables. And if you feel like trying one or two ‘premium’ cuts, you can always go for an ala carte add-on.

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The resto gets quite crowded on weekends, so I recommend booking in advance on their website if you don’t want to wait. We didn’t, as C and I had to wait for J to finish an event, and we weren’t sure what time she’d be available (they give you a dining time limit of 2 hours per session). We managed to secure a table at 1.15PM (I was starving by then, lol), but thankfully the service was fast, and everything was served immediately after we sat down.

The interior is bright and cheerful, with Japanese-inspired touches. Tables are adequately spaced, and they require diners to wear their masks and plastic gloves (provided by the resto) when taking food from the counter.

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The main proteins. Basically everything at the top is available for the cheaper buffet, and you can go for ala carte ‘premium’ items at additional cost.

There are eight soup bases to choose from. We got collagen chicken and pork bone. In retrospect, should have gone for a more distinct flavour (like tomato or kimchi), because the two soups ended up tasting quite similar.

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While waiting for the soup to boil, I made a beeline for the hot food section. And *gasp!* – no photos! Because that was how hungry I was lol. They had fried rice, pork meat balls, and insanely addictive curry samosas, fried spring rolls, and sweet potato balls. I think I ate 10 samosas on my own. They were really crispy, but didn’t feel greasy at all, and the curry filling was not too spicy either.

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The section that I rarely go to in a buffet, but hey, here’s a photo. lol.

They have a good selection of vegetables, and even if you’re not a big fan of vegetables, they’re good for adding flavour to your soup base. Just remember not to take too much, as they do have a surcharge of RM10 for every 100g of food wasted.

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Salad and dessert counter.
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Processed items – pork balls, fishballs, cocktail sausages, seafood cheese tofu, and more. Also small plates of noodles, for those who need to get their carbs in.

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It has been seven months since I last caught up with C, and even more than that with J (no thanks to the pandemic!), so I didn’t take many pictures of the food. What I can say, though, is that the food is fresh and tasty; especially the pork belly. The meat cuts are thinly sliced so they cook evenly and fast. You can also dip them in your own condiment mix for added flavour: I made a simple one with shallots, chopped ginger and soy sauce. As for the broth, as mentioned earlier, I couldn’t really differentiate which one was chicken and which was pork towards the end – but it tasted good all the same; kind of like a naturally sweet meat broth that had absorbed all the goodness of the ingredients that were cooking in it.

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Rounded off the meal with some dessert. Mochi was a bit hard, but the cakes were soft and moist. There was also chocolate and matcha ice cream. To wash everything down, you can choose from several drinks such as iced lemon tea, Coke, and peach.

Our meal came up to about RM48 per person, which is extremely reasonable given the selection and the quality of the meats, even for the ‘lowest’ buffet tier. I think it’s also a one-up from Sukishi, which doesn’t have a hot food section, or desserts other than ice cream. Do note that the dinner buffet is slightly more expensive than the lunch one.

So if you’re looking for a relatively cheap hotpot buffet, consider Wagyu More! I’ve yet to try the wagyu buffet … perhaps one day when I’ve gotten a bonus from work, or I’ve hit the jackpot.

A girl can dream.

WAGYU MORE (SUNWAY PYRAMID)

G1.98C, LG 1 Floor, Sunway Pyramid, No 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Sunway City, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM

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.

Best Tom Yum and Fried Squid @ Thai Thai, Sunway Pyramid

Been awhile since I went to Sunway Pyramid! The original plan was to have hotpot with C, but we ended up getting Thai food instead at Thai Thai. Despite being rather pricey, they’ve been consistently good on previous visits, and they did not disappoint this time either.

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The interior hasn’t changed much – but they added some colourful murals of plants/flowers and animals on one side of the wall.

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Thirst quenchers: Ice blended coconut shake and iced three-layer Thai milk tea. A bit hard to drink because they don’t give straws anymore, but gotta do our part for the environment!  The coconut shake was refreshing and sweet – good ice to coconut ratio. Milk tea was milky but not too sweet.

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I highly recommend getting the Tom Yum (you can choose from chicken, seafood or shrimp). We ordered the chicken for 2 pax (RM39++). It was hard to get the soup out with the spoon because the pot was kinda narrow – but taste wise, this is one of the better tom yum soups that I’ve had in the Klang Valley. Sour with a spicy kick (but not to the point that you breathe fire; just makes you sweat a little), it’s chock full of flavour from the lemongrass, chilli and other herbs. The chicken meat was also cooked to tender perfection. You can easily polish off bowls of rice with this.

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I also suggest getting the fried squid appetiser. Coated in crisp batter, the springy pieces of squid come with a sweet Thai chilli dip.

We only ordered two dishes to go with our rice because the stuff is rather pricey, but they have loads of other dishes as well, such as the popular Thai basil chicken, fried omelette, steamed fish, mango sticky rice, and more.

Prices average from RM20+ up to RM60++ for dishes such as the whole fish.

Thai-Thai Restaurant
LOT G1-135.Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid, No.3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway,46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-74919428

Business hours: 10am – 10pm (daily).

Extra Crispy Korean Fried Chicken! – 4Fingers, Sunway Pyramid

The name of the place may be 4Fingers, but I guarantee you’ll be licking all of yours after you’ve had a taste of their delicious, extra crispy Korean-style fried chicken! The popular franchise from Singapore, which made its way to Malaysian shores a couple of years back, has opened up a new outlet in Sunway Pyramid and its enjoying brisk business, judging from the long waiting lines on a weekend. The interior is cosy and modern, with lots of seating space (albeit a little tight).

Patrons order at the counter where they choose ala-carte or Combo meals which come with drinks and sides. C and I had the 12 piece signature drummetes/wingettes (mixed marinade – soy garlic and spicy kimchi) with two soft drinks and fries (Kimchi/Seaweed).

We collected our order from the kitchen. The chicken was served in a small metallic tray, and they gave us cups to put our bones in.

Korean-fried chicken is different from regular fried chicken in that it’s tossed in a sauce. Since they double-fry the chicken, the skin is extra crispy and doesn’t get soggy fast, even if you take it home to enjoy later! 🙂

The kimchi powder-seasoned fries were good!

What can I say? Finger lickin’ good. Despite being fried, the chicken wasn’t greasy and you can really hear the crunch as you bite into each piece. The soy garlic sauce was excellent – sweet and salty, garlicky goodness. Polished off six pieces with no trouble. Had the rest to take home. 😀 Definitely someplace I’d come back to if I’m ever in Sunway Pyramid! 🙂

4FINGERS SUNWAY PYRAMID 

LG.127. LG2 Floor (New Wing), Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM (daily)

4fingers.com

 

Round 2 – Thai Thai, Sunway Pyramid

Met up with some ex-colleagues for dinner at Sunway Pyramid. Our original plan was to go to Mr TukTuk, the newly opened Thai street food restaurant (review here) but the place was so packed for dinner on a weekday wtf. K still wanted Thai food, so we ended up at Thai Thai. This is my second visit here; the first (post here) left a good impression so let’s see if they lived up to it this time around…

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Dark, classy interior. The resto is very spacious and runs all the way to the back, with an outdoor terrace. Low yellow lights give an intimate setting.

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My must-have beverage every time I go to a Thai restaurant – Thai milk tea ! No self respecting Thai place would go without this on their menu.

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Tom Yum Goong for two pax came served in a pot lit up with a small fire underneath. This signature Thai hot and spicy soup counts lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and chilli peppers among its ingredients and is surely to give you a spicy oomph. Great to go with rice! Our group of four shared it and still had one shrimp each so it is enough for small eaters.

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Green Curry (beef) has a thick, creamy consistency and is filled with generous slices of beef. Not very tender but the broth makes up for it with flavour.

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(Right) Stir fried mixed vegetables was a tad on the sweet side, but the veggies were fresh and crunchy.

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A crowd favourite, starter of Deep Fried Squid which turned out as good as a main dish, especially when eaten with the sweet chilli dip.

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Fragrant Basil Chicken had well balanced flavours and a tender texture.

All in all, the meal was satisfying but prices are fairly steep at RM200+ for the four of us, so be prepared to shell out some moolah when dining at Thai Thai.

Thai-Thai Restarant
LOT G1-135.Oasis Boulevard,
Sunway Pyramid, No.3, Jalan PJS 11/15,
Bandar Sunway,46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-74919428

Business hours: 10am – 10pm (daily).

Chinese New Year @ Sunway Pyramid – Spring Flower Market

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It feels like a never ending string of festivities – with Christmas and New Year’s just over, we’re already gearing up for Chinese New Year (which falls on Jan 28 this year!). Ushering in the Year of the Rooster at Sunway Pyramid is a Spring Flower Market, featuring dozens of beautiful flowers and plants for sale.

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Auspicious plants to have in your home for the New Year – neat little bamboos arranged in a cluster. Bamboos are considered lucky and represent strength. Some are twisted to form auspicious shapes like the number 8 (8 in Chinese sounds like ‘prosperity’ – making it a favourite number for special occasions)

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Fake decorative peonies. No less pretty though!

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Colourful orchids in a variety of hues and patterns.

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One of my favourites: look at that vivid colour!

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Also on display: terrariums.

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Aside from orchids, there were also other flowers. Sorry, my knowledge of flora is limited so I have no idea what these are.

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Over at the other concourse, the mall had set up a Hong Kong style ‘avenue’, with posters of old HK movies and prop-filled shopfronts. To mark the year of the rooster, a giant chicken sat atop the structure.

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Bel, Jo and I took our customary CNY reunion photo at the photo booth, with a backdrop of a traditional herbalist’s store.

Happy CNY!

Thai Street Food @ Mr Tuk Tuk, Sunway Pyramid

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If crowds are a good indicator of how popular a restaurant is, then Mr Tuk Tuk in Sunway Pyramid certainly knows how to draw them in! During our visit for dinner on a weekday, a long line of hungry families and young working professionals could be seen snaking out from the shop, while every inch of spare space within was packed to the brim with customers. Even so, service was fast and efficient, and we got a seat within a few minutes (albeit, having to move tables around because they were packed so tightly we couldn’t enter lol).

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With vibrant city scenes as wallpaper, cosy yellow lighting, road signs, wooden pallets and even a replica of a tuktuk at the shopfront, diners are transported to the bustling street food capital of Bangkok, Thailand. Not exactly a place to chill with a laptop and a drink, but perfect for sharing good food with good company.

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Thai Iced Green Tea / Thai Iced Tea (RM7.80) were both cool and refreshing. The iced tea, with its distinctive orange hue, tasted exactly like the one I tried in Phuket! 🙂 Unlike cloyingly sweet milk tea drinks, Thai iced tea usually carries a balancing bitterness from orange blossom water and star anise, and a creaminess from the sweetened condensed milk.

 

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Ordered the Tom Yum Goong Na Sai (Seafood) – a clear, spicy broth loaded with all sorts of goodies. Ingredients include limes, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, tomatoes, fish sauce, cilantro, chilli peppers, tamarind paste, onions and chilli paste – giving the soup a salty, sweet, sour and spicy kick all at once. It’s great for polishing off bowls of rice. The version here came with medium-sized shrimps and chewy squid. While the flavour was good, it did get overwhelmingly sour and salty after a bit.

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Side of fried chicken wings, which were crunchy and juicy without being too greasy.

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Jo’s Thai Basil Chicken came with rice, fried egg and chicken wing sides. Portions were generous, flavours were there, and it’s only RM10.80. Very value for money!

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To share – Thai Special Platter (RM23.90)prawn crackers, spring rolls, tender barbecued chicken, chicken basted with honey and mango salad with a peanut dip. My favourite was the honey chicken, as it had a nice sweet coating over smokey, grilled meat.

Overall, the portions were generous, service was fast and efficient, and the food was tasty. Prices were also very reasonable. It’s not surprising why they’re enjoying brisk business. Would come again to try something else next time 😉

MR TUK TUK 
LG2.27, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall,
3, Jalan PJS 11/15,
Bandar Sunway,
47500 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia

fb.com/MrTukTuk
instagram: @mrtuktuk_my

Fong Lye Taiwanese Restaurant, Sunway Pyramid

 

 

Hey, guys! I haven’t been blogging as often as I’d like to since starting my new job, coz travelling/work takes up most of my time – but I’m trying my best to squeeze in some blogging time. It’s 10.45 now, which leaves me about 15 minutes to write this before I hit the sack. I try to get 8 hours of sleep these days, or I feel really washed out in the morning…part of growing old. 😛

Speaking of old, I turned 26 recently. Yay, mid 20s….not. I don’t feel like a prune yet, but I don’t feel like a spring chicken either. Things really mellow down as you age. You might have had a lot of ‘friends’ in high school/college, but once you hit your mid 20s, the time you have for people just dwindles, and you’re left with the small circle that really counts.

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I met up with my ex-UK flatmates Mabel and Jo, as well as another college friend HP at Sunway Pyramid for dinner recently. It was to celebrate my birthday/new job + HP’s farewell as she’s leaving for a work/travel holiday to New Zealand soon. It was so sweet of them to plan it, even on a Friday evening where they had to rush there from work.

All the restos were packed. Mabel suggested a Taiwanese resto called Fong Lye. Service was quick and efficient; while we waited for tables, we placed our orders and most of the food was ready by the time we got a seat.

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Hot tea for two.

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I had a craving for noodles, so I got the innards meesua. It’s good to have noodles on your birthday in Chinese culture, it represents long life 😛

Meesua came in a thick broth. The flavour was just so-so though. Too salty, and the intestines weren’t cleaned well and still had a gamey smell to it. The meal came served with ‘banchan’-like side dishes of marinated eggplant, a sweet potato ball and tofu.

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Jo had rice with deep fried pork chop. The chop was marinated with namyue (fermented bean curd). It tasted weird to me xD

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HP also had pork chop, but hers tasted better as it was cooked in a sweet sauce topped with fragrant sesame.

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Mabel had dumplings and hot/sour soup. Dumpling skin was pretty thick and there was more chives > meat ratio. It tasted better with the soup.

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The real winners of this meal are their snacks. The deep fried mushrooms were thick and chunky, seasoned with spiced powder. Crispy on the outside, but moist and juicy on the inside without being too oily.

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Sweet potato balls were divine. Wish they had more, even though the serving was already pretty huge. Chewy and light, it had a porous texture with just the right amount of sweetness. Not too oily either.

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FONG LYE TAIWANESE RESTAURANT (Non halal) 

LG1.43A, Lower Ground 1, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall,

No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway,

46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Phone: +60 3-5633 3699 

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Of course, everywhere we walked through the mall was held up by three people playing Pokemon Go.. myself included. Jo doesn’t play lol.

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Dessert time was at Caffe Bene, a Korean bingsu (shaved ice) chain.

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Pricey imo, and the texture of the shaved ice isnt really like the original bingsu, which is very soft and fluffy just like fine snow. This was chunky like our local ais kacang lol. The chocolate one was very sweet but it was offset by the ice. It was good for Instagram pictures though.

Would just like to say thank you to the girls for taking the time/trouble to celebrate my birthday with me. I got a neat present from them, but that’ll be for another post. Way past a 26-year-old’s bedtime. 😛

Toodles. xoxo