Farewell Foodtrip (back to maKan Land)
Warning: long post + lots of pics that will make you hungry
One of the best things that happened to me in 2013 is forming an office “barkada” or what they term ” your gang” in Singapore/Malaysia. It was the longest I’ve stayed put in one country and one location (1 year) in GE, and I had crazy people around me who were of the same age (real and mental :D). We realized from seeing each other putting on weight every day in the office that we have a shared passion for food, and this started our food trips.
Before I left for the US to start a new role that requires 100% traveling, the gang planned a farewell food trip for me and due to our tight schedule, we ended up where it all started – back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Expecting a dearth of rustic Asian food in the US, I was looking forward to the trip not just to discover new food, but also to revisit my favorites from our very first food trip.
So off we went, and I brought along Ian this time. As usual, we had a sick itinerary:
1. Restoran SS2 Murni
53 Jalan SS 2/75, Taman Sea, Petaling Jaya
8AM-5PM ; 6PM-5AM (closed Mondays)
As long as we take Friday night flights and land in KL at night or past midnight, I think SS2 Murni would always be a tradition to kick off our trips. This very popular mamak, (street side restaurant selling Indian-Muslim food) as you can see by how it’s occupying the frontage of all its neighboring stores, is open 20 hours a day except Mondays, and can offer you a wide range of Malaysian/Indian favorites!
We ordered the usual – Nasi Lemak Rendang, Mee Raja and 3-layered tea. We also tried the Nasi Goreng.
No I didn’t eat all of that by myself. In true food trip fashion, we ordered a lot of things and just shared. That’s the only way to do it!
Everything was as awesome as I remembered it to be, except the Mee Raja which was particularly bland that day. Hope that was a one time thing as I had very good memories the first time I tried it (read it here).
2. Kedai Makanan O&S Restaurant
39, Jalan 20/14, Taman Paramount (Jalan 20/16a), Petaling Jaya, Selangor 46300, Malaysia
Coming from our Melaka trip which I still have to write about, Li Ning and I were craving for Asam Laksa. Thus, a trip to O&S was number 1 in our list. We ordered the exact same things as last time and all of them were still as delectable as we left them. The Chee Cheong Fun, Curry Chicken Chee Cheong Fun and the Asam Laska really hit the spot for breakfast. Even KC, our toughest critic from Penang, agreed that the food here was great. Detailed descriptions of these food from my previous post here. O&S is definitely my favorite breakfast spot.
3. Village Park
5, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opens 7AM-7:30PM (Mon-Sat), 7AM-6PM (Sun)
I have a special relationship with Village Park. I named it my favorite in our first ever KL/Selangor food trip. I also mentioned in that blog post that if anyone had time to only visit one food stop in Malaysia, it should be Village Park. That’s why I was nervous when we came back. I was hoping that my favorite Nasi Lemak place was consistent, and that every good thing I wrote about it was still applicable.
When our order arrived, I realized our Nasi (rice) wasn’t warm. This wasn’t a good sign. But when I tore a piece of the Ayam (chicken), dipped it in the sambal (chili sauce), mixed a bit of the ikan bilis (dried fish) with the fragrant nasi, and placed them in my mouth, I was taken back to the first time I’ve ever tried it and was immediately happy! Village Park still lived up to its standards! KC again agrees that this has been one of the best Nasi Lemak’s he’s ever tasted.
I will go back here every KL trip. If you’re gonna visit Village Park, I suggest trying to get a fresh, warm batch of Nasi for the full experience!
4. Restoran Kin Kin
40 Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman Satu, KL
Opens 7:30AM-9PM (Mon-Fri), 7:30AM-4:30PM (Sat-Sun)
This trip, I discovered a new amazing Malaysian dish, the chilli ban mee! Pan mee which translates to flat flour noodles, are Hakka-style noodles. It is served with minced meat, dried anchovies, fried onions and topped with a poached egg which you break and mix! It’s also served with soup with sweet potato leaves on the side. For some restaurants, they put the dried chilli on the dish, while restaurants like Kin Kin which recognize that not all spicy-friendly tongues are created equal, have it served on the side for you to mix at your own discretion.
I am a big fan of dry noodles so I was really looking forward to this. I was not disappointed at all! This was my favorite dish this trip. The smooth noodles, minced meat, crunchy fried onions, broken egg and chilli all mixed very well together. It was heaven! Aside from Nasi Lemak from Village Park, all my KL trips will now have chilli pan mee stops.
Next time you visit Malaysia, don’t forget to try the chilli ban mee.
As we had Ian, a first-timer in KL with us. He requested some sight-seeing versus our usual all-food itinerary. So off we went to the KLCC mall to view the breathtaking Petronas Twin Towers. Of course we weren’t gonna allow a visit to a place without eating there. So we had tea time at my favorite kueh store – Nonya Colors. I just got to have my Talam.
Since we were in the area, Choy took us to a pre-dinner. Although the food here was good, there was nothing as memorable that I’d write about.
5. Yap Chuan Bah Kut Teh
53 , Ground & 1st Floor, Jalan BPU, Bandar Puchong Utama, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Opens 8:30AM-10PM (daily) – BUT BETTER COME BEFORE 8PM
For our “proper dinner”, we headed to Bandar Puchong Utama to try the famous bah kut teh of Yap Chuan. Bah kut teh (pork bone tea) is a famous soup dish in Malaysia and Singapore that has pork ribs in a broth infused with herbs and spices. There are two famous variants – the pepper soup base which I love (Singapore) and the herbs-based one (Malaysia) which is also good.
What makes Yap Chuan famous aside from its yummy broth is that it also offers DRY bah kut teh. I’ve never tried this before so I was very excited to try it. We arrived in Yap Chuan at 8PM to give us enough time in case there was a line (it closes at 10PM). To our dismay, they were already sold out at 8PM!!! Though I’ve never tasted it, the fact that it was sold out tells me that it must be really worth all the hype. I shall be back Yap Chuan…
With phantom bak kut teh taste on our tongues, we left Yap Chuan unsatisfied. We were already hungry and didn’t want to drive back to the city before we ate. We had to find a restaurant nearby that had as many people as Yap Chuan so we kept on driving around. We were about to give up and head back to the city until we saw this…
6. Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga
19, Jalan BPU 2, Bandar Puchong Utama, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Steamed fish pictures on the sign + lots of people = good potential for dinner. At least that’s what our hungry and disappointed selves thought when we walked in this air-conditioned restaurant that had large, round family tables with lazy susans on them.
Everyone eating there were in groups of 8 or higher, and we learned soon why.
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga’s specialty is seafood: large platters of curry or steamed fish that can also go with squid, shrimps etc. The large portions make it ideal for family or group meals so avoid coming here by yourself or a date.
We went for the steamed fish with squid and clams. This plate was really huge!
With all the garlic and ginger in the dish, you can just imagine how strong and flavorful was the broth. It’s one of those dishes that would take away your stuffed nose. The fish, squid and clams were all fresh. We felt that the things we stuffed in our tummies all day were being cleansed by this healthy meal…until the sweet and sour pork came. The sweet and sour taste of this dish complemented the strong tangy broth. They were a good combo plus the plain rice.
Lesson learned! Being risk-takers by leaving one meal off your itinerary, and just finding something that looks like everyone is going for, can be very rewarding. I never had this style of seafood before and it was great! Our next trips would definitely have “mystery meals” next time (Choy, Celine and Lining please note)!
We wanted some cendol, ice kacang etc after but it was quite late when we got back to the city. We ended up having coffee and cakes in some mainstream coffee shop which I’m not going to write about anymore.
That ended day 1 of our farewell food trip! And yes in case you got lost along the way…we ate all those within 24 hours!