Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Restoran 168 Curry Mee and Wantan Mee, Pudu KL

We first passed by this unimpressive stall after having breakfast at ICC Pudu (one of my favourite weekend breakfast place when I have to go into the office). Hubby was attracted by the fact that it's crowded (a hint its probably serving good food as with most restaurants).

Of course if you are looking for a polished and clean eatery, this place will be far from it but appearance aside, the food is decent.

We finally went last week and the food was quite nice. Curry mee wasn't available yet when we were there at about 8am so we had the wantan mee instead. The noodles were slightly softer than the usual wantan noodles. However, I like the dark soy sauce used and the pork lard in the noodles helped lift up the whole dish. The Char Siew were tender and sweet with crispy edges burnt to perfection, and the wantans were just amazing pockets of minced meat and prawn goodness in delicious broth. The upgrades from small to large were insignificant in prices but the portions were definitely obvious.


They warrant a visit from any wantan mee lover at:

Restoran 168 Curry Mee and Wantan Mee
1, Jalan Brunei Utara,
Pudu, 55100 KL.

Isetan The Japan Store - Food Hall

Since opening its door after the major refurbishments done late last year (2016), Isetan at Lot 10 has experienced a major image uplift. Of course that means all their new products reflect a new "uplift" in terms of price as well especially since most of them are imported from Japan. Imagine having a small pack of sweets and chocolates for slightly less than RM100? Yes, its RM100 not RM10.

That aside, they now offers an astounding amount of hot food from various stalls at the ground floor (right next to the Lot 10 Food Hall) but seatings are separated. Each stall offers different food: teppanyaki, sashimi and sushi, bento and don, udon and ramen, skewers and snacks. What separates them from the usual is the fact that you choose your raw ingredients i.e. the proteins and fish, and the chef (Japanese) cook them on the spot for you. This is applicable to the teppanyaki stall and sushi-sashimi stalls but I was really intrigued when I saw. Sadly, the wait (40 minutes) on the weekend was enough to change my mind. I opted for the faster option and ordered the don instead. I did not regret my decision and it was amazing. The only disappointment was probably they replaced the avocados initially illustrated in the menu to cucumbers. I realised they actually made a notation that the vegetables will be seasonal so my bad.


Even their skewers were excellent and reminded me of a tiny bar in Ginza where I gorged myself on delicious skewers both grilled and fried.

I am especially partial to their grilled smoked mozzarella. In fact, despite a full tummy, I managed to make space for those goodies!


The chicken skewers with leeks and capsicum. They were lightly salted and peppered but the chicken was still so juicy and flavoursome I felt that two was too little! Heh!


We only had the green tea (refillable) but they do have a sake and Choya (isn't that Korean?) bar. As long as you ordered from them, you can sit anywhere in there.

Please note that you have to order first before hogging a table as there are queues everywhere so it would be selfish to hog a table when other patrons could have finished their meal by the time your group got to order yours.


UPDATE: We went back and this time we had the teppanyaki! It was amazing as the meat was well seasoned and went well with the fluffy Japanese rice. Hubby had a cold Japanese beer to round off and I ordered the skewers again (my fave mozzarella but the mustard seed chicken skewer was not to my liking). The chicken skewer with mustard seed was too sour and pungent so I only had a bite. The Japanese beer was quite mild and surprisingly smooth with lots of froth. Not a bad second experience!


Oh and I had their soft-serve ice cream. The hefty price tag makes it a little painful on the wallet at RM15 a cup/cone but they were quite generous with it and we could hardly finish one even though we shared. I had the mixture of cappuccino and matcha flavour. The milk in the soft-serve was quite strong but not the other flavours. It was milky and creamy but I would probably never order it again. Heh! Once is enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Check them out at:
The Isetan Japan Store,
Lot 10, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 KL.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Escapade, Miri

I still remember when a trip to Brunei was necessary to get good reasonable Japanese food. It was not that Miri does not offer any Japanese food but rather, they were almost always ostentatiously expensive. A plate of sashimi at a certain Japanese shop was nearly a hundred ringgit and just a few slices at that.

Anyway, when Escapade finally opened a branch in Miri, it was packed nearly every night and bookings were needed especially on weekends. Thankfully, the hype died down but sadly, so does the quality. The food there now is mediocre and the price revisions are so often that their menu are now covered with stickers for the new prices.

All the same, Escapade Miri probably still offers better alternative than most other shops in Miri.

I would not suggest ordering the sashimi "salad" below as they come in a less than appealing sauce drizzled liberally over them. For sashimi, do order their normal sashimi serving to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Seow Fong Lye Kopitiam @ Macalister Lane, Penang

The best Chee Cheong Fun in town!
Penang is well-known for its good food but even amongst them, there are some which stood out: the crème de la crème. Seow Fong Lye's Chee Cheong Fun is one of them.

A plate of this popular snack is available for less than RM5; as a roll just cost about RM1.30, and I usually ordered two per serving.

Coated with the thick "her koh" (prawn paste) and sweet sauce, it made the perfect snack in the morning or afternoon. I like mine with a generous amount of sesame seeds!

You can ask for rolled or but I prefer my soft, silky "Fun" (noodles) unrolled so I can poke through them and use them as a spoon of sorts to scoop up the delicious sauce accompanying them. The ones at Seow Fong Lye is especially soft and silky compared to other shops even though rumour has it they are sourced from the same factory in Penang. Their sauce is balanced enough that I don't feel queasy after having a whole plate to myself.

On a side note, the Otak-otak a few stalls before this shop is very good. The aunty selling it boasted that she's one of the best around lol but the most epic moment would be when she handed me a card and it was hand-written. Lol!


Creamy and slightly spicy, it was delicious. There were fish fillets inside as well which was tender and flavoursome. I love it and would probably go back for more.

Oh and if you're a fan of Char Kueh Kak (fried carrot cake), the one in Seow Fong Lye was really good too! In fact, Ho Jiak (a local foodie show) had been here to review it.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Hock Seng Rojak@Penang

It was after 2pm. I felt like having Rojak but have no idea where to go. After a quick google, we stumbled upon the Hock Seng Rojak located at Gat Lebuh Cecil. We actually tried coming here before and ended up in another Rojak stall before this stall. It wasn't too impressive and at first when I directed my hubby here he was quite apprehensive. LOL. I have to say I am too.

Thankfully we arrived early and this stall was open. It was actually blocked by the amount of people and cars crowding this unassuming little cart but I was glad we made this trip! It was hands down the best rojak I have ever tasted!!!

The sauce was thick and luscious topped with generous amount of dried shrimps and peanuts! I think the shrimps made a difference and you get a richer experience when mixed with peanuts. The crunchiness from the yao char kwai complemented the sweet, soft fruits. The sauce was so thick that they just dollop a generous amount on top of your fruits. They are not stingy with the cuttlefish either so you get a decent amount on the side. I actually like that my fruits and cucumbers were placed separately on each corner of my bowl. That way I can get what I want without rummaging around the bowl, and the sauce was not mixed into your fruits so it did not turn watery at all. Rather, you are given a spoon to scoop up the sauce with your fruits. If you take longer to finish, then the sauce will slowly trickle down and cover the fruits at the bottom. Do note that they are priced at a minimum of RM7 (small), RM10 (medium) and RM13 (big). They even sell the sauce at RM10 but delivery are available in KL for extra RM2.90/container.

A must-visit if you are craving for good Rojak!

Hock Seng Rojak
Gat Lebuh Cecil,
10300 Georgetown,
Penang.

The namecard they gave did not show the full address though.

Dai Shu Geok (Big Tree Feet) Yong Tau Hu@Ipoh, Perak

Finally tried the famous Yong Tau Hu here! On our way back from Penang we made a detour to Ipoh for a late lunch and decided to try this iconic Ipoh eats. We realised there were two stalls but lucky for us, we didn't even have to make our choice because only one was opened. It also happened to be the "original" one.

Hubby had the plain soup before and wasn't too impressed but since I was quite excited to try, he relented. Heh! We tried the curry and laksa soup and I had my noodles dry instead of in the soup. Both the broth were excellent! The laksa broth was sweet and had plenty of fish flakes inside but the curry broth was the star!

The fishball was definitely homemade and tasted amazing. I was not a fan of the deep fried sliced turnip in crispy popiah (bean curd) skin. The Yong Tau Hu was quite huge and cost about RM0.95 each. Even the dry noodles tasted good and I actually prefer it that way as opposed to dunking it together with the soup.

PS: They will usually leave the crispy/fried Yong Tau Hu in a separate bowl and the soup in another unless your Yong Tau Hu is the boiled type.

They are located at:
652, Jalan King,
Pasir Pinji,
31650 Ipoh.
Opens at 8.30am - 5.30pm

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Santinos Pizza, Miri

If you want a change from Pizza Hut, Santinos offers a different ambience. However, pizza-wise, it is not too different from Pizza Hut on a heftier price tag. They offers thin crust pizza though so it's something to have as a lighter meal option.

The settings in the restaurant was quite pleasant although the service was not stellar. Food was similar to Pizza Hut standard so I would actually recommend Fratini's for good pizza in Miri.

I felt that MamaMia used to be good but they shut down already so with the limited choices available, maybe Santinos could be worth a visit.

Santinos Pizza
Lot 2186 (Sublot 10),
Block 9, Jalan Sungai,
Miri Concession Land District,
98000 Miri.

Note: It is just behind Pullman Hotel Miri.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Grandpa Homemade Noodle, Miri

I'm back in Miri and my sister told me about this latest sensation in Miri. We were there early at about 8-ish and the place was packed! However about 9-ish the crowd seemed to be slowly dying down.

They only have a pretty limited menu different types of noodles: original, sesame, spicy and curry with either wantons or roasted pork as the toppings. They have toasts and curry rice/pork vinegar rice/assam curry rice too but their specialty lies in their noodles.


The slivers of roasted pork seemed a far difference from their photos but I guess that's why we shouldn't believe illustrations in menu. The noodles are alright but not especially mind-boggling. The spicy noodles reminded us of the Szechuan flavours: peppery and hot ; quite tongue-numbing.

Drinks however are quite disappointing.

Find them at:
Lot 1936
Marina Parkcity
Miri.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Timang Beach @ Pantai Timang, Jogjakarta

Timang Beach ranked quite high on Trip Advisor, and I actually decided on it based on that. The beach, if you can call it that, is located at Gunung Kidul where the caves attraction are, so it would be wise to squeeze all that in the same day if you are heading there.


It was mentioned in a few websites that it boasted of the only white sand beach in the whole of Jogjakarta, implying that this is a beach where one can dip in the sea. Sadly, this is not the case. I actually suggested this as my BIL actually wanted to visit a beach or two during our trip so imagine my horror when it was just a cliff overlooking the sea!

There is a "gondola" ride manned by two guys pulling on a rickety pulley transferring the "passengers" to the stone island a little further off and back. It looks quite dangerous to us so we decided not to attempt that. That aside, the view was magnificent and the rocks were uniquely beautiful from years of waves crashing on them.


However, our ride there stopped at the outskirts of a village where the locals offered to bring us to the "beach" on their bikes for a fee. I think it was IDR 50k per pax on an off-road trail. My husband and I quite enjoyed it but we can't say the same for the rest of the family. 😵

My future BIL actually got his leg burnt on the exhaust and we didn't even know until later. I guess it could be quite hazardous as not all the bikes seemed to be well-maintained.

If you are looking for a dip in the sea, I would suggest not coming here. For a adventurous ride on a bike off-road (albeit a little on the risky side), you can definitely make a trip here.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Summit Parkview, Yangon

I'm back in Yangon and this time, instead of Novotel Max, I was put up for a night at Summit Parkview. It was an okay hotel from the outside, slightly smaller and less impressive than Novotel but once inside, it looks great.
As it is a smaller hotel, it only has six floors. My room on the topmost floor has a view of the whimsical clock tower at Mahagandalo Street in the distance.

My room was quite pleasant with a good-sized sofa and plenty of pillows on the king bed. Mattress was a little lumpy but I was too tired to mind much. I would say it was a good place to stay as it's walking distance to Shwedagon Pagoda. They have free wifi and even a welcome drink!
I love their bottles of toiletries but looks aside, they are quite hard to flow out and the quantity was too little for more than two showers!

Only one restaurant in the hotel though. It's good enough if the price is right for visiting the city. There's a whole row of restaurants nearby down the road so I guess options for food are aplenty. However, during my stay the hot water in the shower was quite problematic. It was hot for a while but slowly became cold and no matter which way you turn the shower knob, it did not stay at the same temperature. I found this very annoying as I did not relish having cold showers early in the morning.

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