Review: Texas Chicken Malaysia’s Crunchy Jalapeno Burger

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So recently I saw this on my timeline: Texas Chicken Malaysia (known as Church’s overseas, but due to religious sensitivities they’ve changed the name in certain countries) was having a new promo with their Crunchy Jalapeno Burger and Wrap. It looked really good, so I thought of trying it out when I was at The Mines shopping center recently..

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I was pleasantly surprised to find that the burger was rather huge. At least there’s no false advertising! Tastewise it was decent, although I felt the fried chicken patty’s batter was too flour-ish and lacked flavour. And if you think about it, it’s really just the regular chicken burger, but with a nacho and Jalapeno bombers added on top.

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The combo set came with fries and a piece of fried chicken. The fried chicken is much better than KFC’s, but I still list it as third after A&W’s and Marrybrown’s. The fries were limp but I actually like them that way. Soft drinks are refillable.

The service at The Mines outlet, though, is far from stellar. My server was daydreaming and was really slow, and he forgot to give me my chicken until I reminded him. It took him more than 15 minutes to serve the two customers in front of me, I was wondering if I was in a ‘fast food’ restaurant or not lol.

TEXAS CHICKEN MALAYSIA (MINES outlet)

The Mines, L1-46A, Jalan Dulang, Mines Wellness City, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia

Open daily: 10AM-10PM

BBQ Plaza, The Mines

For my ‘farewell’ lunch, the colleagues treated me to a meal of mookata / Thai bbq at BBQ Plaza, The Mines. Unlike traditional bbq, Thai-style has a shallow pot with a protuding hotplate in the middle so you can grill and boil things at the same time.

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We ordered the mixed family set (good for three small eaters) – which came served with a variety of meats, such as lamb, beef and pork + a tray of assorted goodies, including fish slices, shrimp, squid, fish noodles, chicken, bacon, pork balls and loads of veggies. The cabbage is refillable.

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Looks like a lot, but actually isn’t. Or maybe I’m just a big eater. The meats are very thinly sliced for easier grilling, but that also means it’s not very filling. Guests can opt to add on garlic fried rice to go with the meal. Tastewise, everything was okay – good but not great. I think it’s more of the novelty of being able to grill/boil at the same time.

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This was my favourite dish: Cheesy Bacon-wrapped needle mushroom and asparagus. The veggies on the inside were soft and mushy, complemented by the crisp and crunchy bacon on the outside, which had just the right amount of fat and lean meat. I had two plates 😛

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Marinated grilled pork belly. Fatty but good. Then again, it’s the fat that always tastes good, hm?

Our meal came up to RM120. Pricey, but we also ordered some add-ons of pork belly/pork slices.

BBQ PLAZA (Mines branch) 

L3-30, Level 3, The Mines,

Jalan Dulang, Seri Kembangan.

Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (daily)

Sepiring, The Mines Seri Kembangan

Having the same ol’ hawker food for lunch everyday can get boring, so the colleagues and I drove out to The Mines for some food and chill. Since the prices looked reasonable, we went to Sepiring, a cafe that serves local favourites such as rice and laksa.

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Interior is modern, cosy and dimly lit for a comfy ambience. Place needs better ventilation as the mixed smell of food lingered in the air, and not a pleasant one at that.

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Set lunch comes with an iced peach tea.

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Colleague had ‘Rice Rhapsody’ (RM13.90); flavoured rice cooked with chicken thigh cubes and sliced mushrooms, braised Chinese mushroom, pak choy and shrimp dumpling soup.

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I tried their Curry Laksa (RM13.90), which came in a decent portion with taufu pok and chicken charsiew. The grilled chicken was sweet with a nice glaze, while the shrimp dumplings were sizable. Only qualms was that it seemed to have been soaked in soup for too log as the skin was soft and soggy. The curry broth was meh and kinda oily. Overall, it was an okay meal for the price, but wouldn’t go purposely to have it if am at The Mines.

SEPIRING 

Unit No. L1-91, Level 1, Mines Shopping Fair, 228 Jalan Dulang

Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan.

 

Japanese Lunch: Izumi @ Nu Sentral & Sushi King, The Mines

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[Update: Izumi is permanently closed]. 

I was rushing for an interview at Nu Sentral in KL the other day. With only a few minutes for lunch, I ordered a quick chicken karaage bento (RM12.90) from a Japanese stall called Izumi at the mall’s food court. Was pleasantly surprised at how tasty the food was!

Four largish pieces of deep fried chicken –  salty and well-seasoned on the outside, crispy and juicy on the inside – lying on top of a bed of lettuce, shredded cabbage, pickled daikon and rice. The miso soup tasted good too – not like some powdery sht you get from commercial chains. For the affordable price, I think it was a good deal. No wonder the place was packed with the office crowd.

They have loads of other stuff like Ramen, Udon, Teppanyaki and more.

IZUMI JAPANESE CUISINE

Level 3, Quizinn Foodcourt, Nu Sentral Shopping Mall, KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

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Had Japanese food again for lunch today. Nope, I don’t get tired of it!

The nearest place for a quick fix is Sushi King at The Mines. I always grab their Mix N Match set, which costs only RM14.90 for two items of your choice. Got the Tsukimi Udon and Mini Tempura. The portion is of course, not as big as the regular one but enough for me. I like how they have fried tempura batter bits swimming in the tempura soy broth, and the half boiled egg adds more flavour. Tempura was done well and very value for money, since there were two pieces of prawn, long beans, and a piece of chicken.

Also got their Chuka Idaako (Marinated baby octopus). The version here always tastes better to me than the Sakae Sushi one.

This post was pretty random. Are you hungry yet?

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2015

The BBW Book Sale (that’s Big Bad Wolf, you…) is an annual book sale held on a massive scale, where thousands of titles go for cheap.

I’ve been attending them religiously for the past few years, but as I still have many books left unread, I decided to skip it this year.

Or so I thought.

C wanted to check it out, so we hopped on over to The Mines International Exhibition and Convention Center (MIECC) in Seri Kembangan after work yesterday.

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Maybe it was coz it was a weekday evening, but it felt quiter than usual. Past events have always had long queues of people even before entering the hall, and you’ll see crowds of people sitting cross-legged on the floor with luggage bags containing their purchases. The first few years, they asked you to bring your own cardboard boxes but now they provide small trolleys for visitors, which is much more convenient.

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A heaven for book lovers!

They rearranged the layout, which had me confused. The counters were at the far end and the fiction/non-fiction section had been switched from last year. You can tell they’re way more ‘commercialised’ now. I used to be able to walk around in peace without getting accosted by credit card staff asking me to sign up every 10 metres.

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Upstairs is the F&B section for those wanting a quick break between shopping. Did I mention that the fair is open 24 hours? You know… for when you get the urge to buy some books at 3am.

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Guess it isn’t just tolls, bills, electricity, water.. (and everything else) that’s increasing. Even my beloved book prices have increased too. 😦

Although they are still relatively affordable, most of the books are now priced at RM10 -12 instead of RM5-8 like in previous years.

I was disappointed at their non-fiction selection, because there weren’t many titles to choose from. The columns of books stacked on neat islands were mostly the same books. Fiction was slightly better. but I couldn’t find many good Horror titles. They had upwards of 8 columns dedicated to Romance alone.. guess chiclit sells more than some gory Stephen King (who, incidentally, is my favourite author).

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After three hours, I got just two books. I wouldn’t put it down to better self control: I think it’s because this year’s titles were just not attractive enough. I didn’t find many books that I liked or where I felt like OMG-I-HAVE-TO-HAVE-THIS. Last year I bought almost 30 in one go.

Titles: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory – historical fiction on the Plantagenets, who ruled before the Tudors. I love stories from the English middle ages, and Gregory writes it in a style that is easy to understand and match with actual events and characters in history. This book centers around Elizabeth Woodville, grandmother to one of the most infamous kings in England: Henry VIII.

Collector’s Book of Science Fiction by H.G Wells – I’m sure most of us have seen War of the Worlds, but I’m ashamed to say that I still haven’t read the famous novel. The book I got has a few of his stories thrown together, so looking forward to reading them. 🙂

The Big Bad Wolf Sales will be on until Dec 14. So if you’re looking to fill up your library, here’s a good place to get some bargains.

Quick Lunch – Fish & Co, The Mines Seri Kembangan

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One of my favourite places when I’m craving for seafood is the Fish N Co franchise. A local brand founded in 1998, their specialty is ‘seafood in a pan’, inspired by Mediterranean fishermen – who caught seafood fresh from the sea, and cooked and ate them immediately from the pan. There are many outlets across Malaysia, but the quality varies from place to place.

The one at The Mines is pretty decent. Hidden in a corner, the outlet can be hard to find coz of the mall’s weird layout.

The menu is standard at all their franchises and features stuff like their signature Fish N Chips, fried/grilled squid, seafood platters, pasta and baked rice, and even pizza. Their fish n chips are themed ‘Around the World’, so there are items like New York (stuffed with parmesan cheese), Malaysia (topped with fiery sambal), Sawadee (spicy mango vinaigrette), and many more.

Good news for those wanting to grab a quick and tasty lunch – they have set meals. The only Fish N Chip option available for sets is the Arctic (pollock, prepared in their signature style), which comes with chips and is drizzled over with a cheesy, garlicky sauce + mayo dip. The fish is flaky and meaty, the batter is crunchy, just slightly salty and goes really well with the cool mayo dip.

Other choices: Spaghetti Pomodoro, grilled peri-peri pollock with herbed rice for a healthier option, caesar salad with chicken, aglio olio. Lunch sets come with a lemon tea drink and are priced from RM11.95 onwards. You can also add on soup for Rm6. 🙂

Fish N Co 

Lot L1-100*102,
The Mines, Jalan Dulang,
MINES Resort City,
43300 Seri Kembangan.
Tel: + 6 03 8958 5856

Sakae Sushi, The Mines Seri Kembangan

My first experience with Sakae Sushi was at their outlet in 1Utama Shopping Mall, when I was still a college student in 2009. My (ex) boyfriend and I had some of their sashimi… and spent three days vomiting and puking our guts out from food poisoning. Although the manager there was very kind and offered us a complimentary voucher after my complaint, needless to say, I never went back there again.

Until recently.

It was the Awal Muharram holidays in Malaysia, but my colleagues and I were stuck at work. We decided to treat ourselves to a nice lunch at The Mines Shopping Center, and since they had some vouchers, we went to the Sakae Sushi there. The restaurant is hidden in a quiet corner on the 3rd floor.

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Salmon sashimi. Some people might not like the idea of eating raw stuff, but I took to it like a fish to water (pardon the pun!). I like how the meat has a melt-in-the-mouth texture, and it’s especially good when dipped in soy sauce. The version here was fresh and thick-cut, with a nice layer of fat.

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H’s eggy Chawan Mushi, topped with artificial ‘shark’s fin’ (it was actually vermicilli) and mushrooms.

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Salmon piri-piri (fried skin). The batter almost tasted like KFC fried chicken! It was so addictive to munch on, we polished off two bowls.

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Ebi(prawn) tempura sushi. Crunchy batter enveloped a springy shrimp on the inside, wrapped around with nori (seaweed) on a bed of firm, vinegar-infused Japanese rice. It was okay, but nothing special.

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Soft-shell crab temaki. The crab sticking out of the roll looked limp and sad when it arrived, but tastewise, it was pretty good! The serving was also generous for the temaki; so many places put in a tiny piece of crab and yet still charge you exorbitant prices.

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Tamago Inari, a sweet beancurd stuffed with sushi rice and topped with egg and mayonnaise. I found the beancurd to be too sugary, to the point that it overpowered the taste of egg.

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One of my favourites of the afternoon was a new item on the menu, smoked duck sushi with sesame dressing. The dressing had that smooth, aromatic flavour of sesame oil, and the duck meat was so tender and chewy it felt like bacon. Double thumbs up!

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We were craving for something sweet to end the meal, so we ended up ordering Warabi Mochi. While it was beautifully presented, the texture was hard and flour-like on the inside. There were two flavours – green tea and some sort of sweet caramel. The outside was dusted with sweet toasted soybean flour and drizzled over with honey. It wasn’t very tasty, as all I could taste was the sweetness from the honey and it felt like munching on a hardened sponge.

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Overall, there were a couple of hits-and-misses, but the food quality is decent. I like how they provide iPads at each table so you simply have to press on them to place your order, aside from the usual sushi conveyor belt.

SAKAE SUSHI (The Mines) 

Lot L3-19B, Level 3, The Mines

Jalan Dulang, Mines Resort City

43300 Seri Kembangan

Selangor Darul Ehsan,  Malaysia

Phone: +60 3-8944 1163