Review: Two Pesos Hotpot @ Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong

It was a scorching hot day but that didn’t stop C and I from having hotpot for lunch at Two Pesos, a hotpot specialist restaurant in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong. While the brand was founded by a Taiwanese couple, the story goes that they met and got married in Boracay, hence the resto’s Filipino-sounding name.

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The resto’s interior is cheerful and decked out in bright orange, with a fuss-free design that resembles a canteen. The interior was air conditioned, so we could enjoy our food in comfort.

While most hotpot restos adopt an ‘all-you-can-eat’ concept, orders at Two Pesos are by set – which is good in a way because you won’t over-indulge. Their signature is the milky seafood pot, and they also offer hotpot/BBQ sets where the meat is grilled over a stone plate, which gives you that beautiful sear and flavour. There are plenty of different sets to choose from, such as Japanese Sukiyaki, Hua Diao Chicken, Basu Spicy Pot, Mongolian Herbs Pot, Supreme Tajine Seafood Hotpot, and more.

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Felt like something salty and sour, so we went for the Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae) instead. For those not familiar with this dish, it’s a relatively ‘new’ invention created after the Korean war,  when food was scarce and people used any surplus food they could get from US army bases, chucking them together to make a stew. Primary ingredients include ham, sausages and spam, mixed with Korean ingredients such as kimchi and gochujang (bean paste).

The version at Two Pesos had sausages and the usual hotpot items such as crab meat sticks, fish balls, tofu, beancurd sheets, enoki mushrooms, corn and vegetables like cabbage and carrots. Of course, you can’t run away from the kimchi and gochujang mix, which gives the soup it’s intense red colouring and spicy, sour taste, as well as chewy teokbokki (rice cakes). It was also topped with a block of instant noodles.

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The set came with a choice of meat – either pork, Australian beef or fish. We went for the pork slices which were just the right thickness and fresh. Only had to cook it for awhile in the bubbling soup to achieve the perfect tenderness.  Also included was a choice of  carb – ie rice, instant noodles or yee mee (fried dried noodles).

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Overall the flavour was pretty good, although I still prefer the one from Gangnam 88. For RM20.90 per set, the price was reasonable but I wished they had more ingredients instead of just a few pieces of fishballs/crabsticks, and less cabbage.

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Ordered boneless fried chicken as a side. Again, portion was not very large and it costs RM8.90 – but the flavour was good with a crunchy exterior and moist insides.

TWO PESOS 

16, Jalan Kenari 8, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 11PM (Daily)

2pesos.com.my

 

Food Review: Ichimachi Taiwanese & Japanese Cuisine, Bandar Puteri Puchong

Hey guys! Been awhile since the last update – so I’m dropping by with a quick post to make sure this blog isn’t completely dead, lol.

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S and I initially wanted to grab BBQ buffet dinner at Ruk Mookata in Bandar Puteri Puchong last weekend, but after considering the price, we decided to check out a new, cheaper place just across the road that serves Taiwanese and Japanese cuisine. Despite its minimal decor, the warm lighting makes Ichimachi a cosy spot, and there’s an ‘open’ kitchen where you get to see the chefs in action.

The menu is a mix of Japanese meals such as saba (grilled mackerel) and chicken karaage bento sets, katsudon, and curry rice, as well as Taiwanese favourites the likes of braised minced meat rice, meesua and sweet potato balls.

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S and I felt like having Taiwanese, so we kicked things off with a glass of Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea (RM4) each. Strong milky taste accentuated by deeper, thicker notes of dark brown sugar and chewy pearls – good stuff.

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The most basic bowl you can get here is the lurou fan (RM5.50), which is almost a Taiwanese national dish. Minced meat is braised in a dark soy sauce and topped over steaming white rice – the ultimate comfort food. However, the version here pales in comparison to the authentic version. From looks alone, the meat is much lighter in colour and lacks the defining thick, meat sauce.

Didn’t try it, but S says that it didn’t taste much different from normal minced meat.

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I had meesuah (Flour vermicilli) with all the trimmings – oyster, pork and innards (RM10). Meesuah is another popular dish in Taiwan, where they serve it without chopsticks, as the slippery smooth noodles in a broth can be eaten purely with a spoon. The version here was decent, although the pork was tasteless and had an odd jelly-like quality to it, while the innards were a tad too sweet.

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For snacks : Fried oyster mushrooms. They were served in a paper baggie like how you’d get them from Taiwan’s famous night markets. Batter was too thick and mushrooms were not seasoned well, so just meh.

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The sweet potato balls fared much better – I’d nominate them as best dish of the night! Puffy on the outside but hollow on the inside, their crisp exterior crumbles in with each bite to reveal an almost chewy center, with a hint of sweetness. Wasn’t oily either. If there’s one thing I’d come back to Ichimachi for, it’s the balls.

Our meal came up to RM40: a reasonable price seeing that if we went ahead with our original BBQ plan, it would have been RM50 per pax lol.

Have yet to try other items on the menu, but prices are reasonable so probably worth another visit.

ICHIMACHI TAIWANESE & JAPANESE CUISINE 

2A-G, Jalan Puteri 2/6, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 1130AM – 930PM (Closed Mondays)

 

 

Review: Shihlin Taiwanese Snacks, Jaya Shopping Center

I remember a time when Taiwanese street snacks were all the rage in KL, with stores like Hot Star Fried Chicken and Snowflake popping up faster than mushrooms in the rain. Most of these are long gone, but not Shihlin. Shihlin is, for some reason, still going strong, despite its relatively limited menu. And once in awhile, when the craving for oyster mee sua comes around, I head to their outlet at Jaya Shopping Center.

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There isn’t much space to dine in, but most people get their specialty, the boneless fried chicken, to go anyway.

Nothing like a warm bowl of gooey goodness in the middle of the day!  The version here is topped with lots of shredded chicken, parsley and a localised ingredient you won’t find in Taiwan – a big dollop of sambal. Nothing to complain about here – the oysters were sizable and fresh,and the broth was nice and savoury.

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A new item on their menu, available for a limited time only – the Crispy Beartastic Mushrooms  -essentially fried needle mushrooms with either a seaweed or a dried squid seasoning. The first few bites were good but it got really greasy after and I couldn’t finish it. Felt like I was swallowing oil.

Shihlin is of course best known for their fried chicken, but I find it passable. Give me Alisan anytime at a night market. 😀

SHIHLIN (JAYA SHOPPING CENTER BRANCH) 

Jaya Shopping Centre, 26A, Jalan 14/14, Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor