"Bouncy chewy udon"
While I simply adore Japanese food, I’ve always found it to be on the expensive side. A simple meal for two at the fast food spots can easily run a bill of RM50 and there are times where the quality does not match up to the hefty price tag. What’s a girl to do when she simply must have her Japanese noodle fix?
Marufuku is the sister restaurant of the very popular Sanuki Udon in Taman Desa. Sanuki makes the udon daily and delivers it over to them. This ensures quality control and freshness. There are quite a few udon dishes to choose from; you can have it hot or cold, in a soup or dry, in a clay pot, or even with curry. The sheer variety makes eating here a treat. Being a bit of a health nut, it’s also comforting to know that this chewy noodle is lower in calories than rice, pasta, bread and even soba. That makes the slurping up of this delicious dish a guilt free experience.
Prices here are another major attraction. The most expensive bowl of udon is RM10. We were able to enjoy a meal for 4 at RM50 complete with a bowl of udon each and a few sides to share.
My personal favourite is the Niku udon, a hot fish broth topped with thin sliced strips of beef and green leafy veg. While it’s a fish broth, it has a beefy richness to it resulting in a deep intricate essence. Of all the bowls at our table this broth had the most flavour by far. The beef slices are thin and tender, although there is a bit more fat left on the strips than I would like.
"Dreamworthy Asam Pedas!"
Mimpi Muor sounds like a mispelt dream but actually, if you are an asam pedas afficianado, you might be in a good one. People flock to this place for the variety of fish used in their asam pedas. Ikan Merah, Jenahak, Parang and Pari. And these are served daily. Combined with a table spread of local Malay ulams, sambal, bergedel, various masak lemaks, salted fishes and malay dishes, the folks at Mimpi Mour sure give people a lot to dream about before they even reach this small restaurant.
Owner Reny Sabarina manages this place with family. She has 9 other siblings and she has loved to cook since a very young age. It's hard to get good asam pedas but Reny makes it well. I like the fact that her gravy is not too pedas that it destroys all sense of taste and it's not too soury. The flavours come out well because she uses good quality belacan and tumeric. Of course, it's all about balance as well. Jenahak and Merah have similar taste profile but parang and pari are different. I find that sometimes I want merah which is codlike, and sometimes I prefer the pari or parang which is more flavourful. Spoilt for choice really.
"This stuff is addictive!"
I’ve tried many a nasi kandar on the island of Penang, from famous stalls to quiet neighbourhood shops but they just don’t have that zing. That zing, my friends, I found a long time ago in a food court right near home in Petaling Jaya. I remember finding out about Zainul Nasi Kandar back in high school. My mom’s friends insisted that it was better than any nasi kandar in Penang. Incredulous, we had to check it out. Needless to say, I haven’t really eaten nasi kandar anywhere else since. I went back the other day with my brother after weeks of not having a proper nasi kandar fix, and boy, was I not disappointed.
Let’s set the scene: Makcik Zainun’s (the boss lady) operations span 3 stalls: one for the main shop, one for drinks, and one kitchen where large vats of curry bubble like cauldrons. Makcik Zainun herself prepares these curries every morning before the stall opens. Women workers were walking around in giant plastic aprons carrying steaming containers full of curry, calling out “Panas, panas, panas” as a warning for people to get out of the way. Drink orders are shouted over the din of the crowd, louder than usual that day as it was raining. The line is manageable as it’s rather early but I’ve been here at 1.30pm before and the slow-moving queue will stretch all the way to the food court entrance.
The crowd is diverse. Everyone eats here; young families, elderly couples, large groups of yuppies, policemen, MBPJ workers, students. Office boys drive away with more than ten bungkus take-away packs balanced precariously in their motorcycle baskets to bring back to their hungry colleagues. And amazingly, they all seem to be regulars. I’ve seen many of their faces before on many occasions; their drinks arrive on their tables without them having to order. The large, varied and patient crowd speaks volumes about the quality of the food.
This year we celebrate small stuff: the tiny gadget that puts stray beansprouts in place or those that cost next to nothing: a pocket notebook to jot down all your favourite grazing spots. We applaud a daddy who cooks with his small son, a portable stove that saves moolah on trips and a shop that sells most things at RM5. Then there’s the stupidly… More »
Truth be told, we do not have a great variety of chillies native to our little country. We’ve managed to discern three, all under the species of capsicum frutescens. Chillies of this variety are actually only midway on the Scoville scale, scoring only 50,000 to 100,000 on the scale used to measure the heat or piquancy of chillies. Compare this to… More »
"The lean beef is meltingly tender"
What draws me to this little stall is the crowd of people surrounding the uncle placing their orders, what seals the deal though is the smell of the deeply fragrant broth. The scent is slightly reminiscent of the popular perfumey phos of Vietnam. The sign on the stall states that it has been operating since 1956; with over 50 years of experience I know I’m in for a real treat.
When you place your order you first pick your noodle of choice kuey teow, bihun, or thick rice noodles, then you pick the parts you want added in, tripe, beef balls, intestines, or lean meat. As I’m not a fan of innards I go for the lean meat with a mix of kuey teow and bihun.
The bowl arrives piping hot and fragrant. Upon the first slurp I am rewarded with a delicious broth peppered with herbs that immediately clears my sinuses and warms my throat. While at first glance it looks like a simple broth, it actually has many layers of rich flavour. It is meaty and packs a zing with chopped coriander and pickled mustard cabbage added in. I find that the broth is even tastier as the day goes on as it has time to simmer for hours. It also doesn’t feel as though there is any MSG added as I didn’t feel like I was dying of thirst afterwards. Definitely a plus point!
In addition to being tasty and versatile, this one will keep the vampires away. Count Dracula won’t be happy but your tummy will. It packs a mild punch with a 4/10. More »