"Late night nasi lemak haunt"
What would drive people to dine in a back alley in SS2? Nasi lemak and piping hot fried chicken, of course! At Nasi Lemak Bumbung, look around and you’ll see waiters scurrying about carrying trays of nasi lemak, delivering them to tables upon tables of hungry patrons. The fried chicken is the main attraction, marinated in a bevy of spices, fried till golden, a great accompaniment to the subtly flavoured coconut rice. More »
"Great value South Indian cuisine!"
The Indian food scene is mostly dominated by Mamak shops or banana leaf restaurants. And let’s face it, despite good food, those places are hardly have good ambiance. To get that, you’re talking high end Indian restaurants in KL. But that could change if Chennai Xpress has anything to do with it. Chennai Xpress is a small Indian restaurant in Damansara Perdana that’s been around since the beginning of the year. More »
Banana leaf rice is as 'up there' as nasi lemak or char kuey teow when it comes to favourite makan-makan choices amongst Malaysians. It's easy to see why too: a heaping pile of rice, customary selection of vegetables and gravies and if you want, great side dishes of the fried or curried kind. Sri Paandi in Section 11, PJ is no different. This restaurant has been here for more than a decade and was even involved in a 'Curry War' some years back! More »
"Rojak and cendol! Cheap!"
You know what’s a great pick-me-up for a lazy weekend (or any other day, for that matter) afternoon?
Rojak and cendol.
And while there are so many different kinds to cater to the equally many different tastes, I think I’ve found one of the nicest examples from Rojak Ali, a food truck at Jalan PJS 1/26. You won’t miss the simple, small white truck with a couple of tables and some chairs set up, nicely shaded with umbrellas. It’s visible even from the NPE heading towards Sunway. You won’t miss the area too, as it’s rows of motorcycle shops!
The rojak (RM3.50) is of the Penang Pasembur variety, and it comes to you freshly prepared and chopped up by Karim. The rojak is chock-a-block full of excellent textural contrasts: delicate tofu, meaty cucur, and crunchy fritters lie beneath a bed of crisp, fresh sengkuang and cucumbers. Half a boiled egg garnishes the dish, and all this is bathed in their excellent kuah pasembur.
The kuah is wonderfully balanced, not too thick or thin, with spicy, sweet, creamy and nutty flavours that get soaked up by the other ingredients. To bulk it up, you can also order it with sotong and mee.
To accompany the rojak, the cendol pulut (RM2.50) is lovely. The ice is shaved using an old-school, hand cranked ice shaving machine that looks decades old (and probably is!), then scooped into small bowls, then a dollop of pulut is added. More »
"The briyani specialist"
Living up to its name, this neighbourhood restaurant offers a range of Briyani sets. We ordered the Chicken Briyani, plain Briyani with Fried Chicken and a number of sides. The Chicken Briyani is gingery soft, while the fried chicken is succulent and lean. They used a fine, lightly spiced basmati served in large portions. Acting as a base, its mild taste is a welcome when coupled with hot condiments.
A proper Briyani experience would not be complete without its side dishes. We greatly recommend the Green Chicken; chunks of juicy meat doused with mint sauce, coriander and green peppers. The resulting flavor is an exotic blend of sweet, refreshing and fiery spice.
Another side dish to try is the Chicken Tikka Karahi. The Karahi comes in a delicious coriander and chilli mix. It’s hot and spicy, providing the extra taste mileage to the meal. We also ordered Qeema, a minced meat dish spiced with ghee. The meat provides depth to a tasteful sauce - great to eat with rice and bread. For a vegetable side, we had the Aloo Gobi. The cauliflowers and potatoes are covered in thick masala sauce, leaving a lingering taste that’ll heat up your mouth.
Each Briyani is served with a small bowl of mixed vegetables and yoghurt. The yoghurt deserves special mention as it's thin, a fantastic silky taste of sweet mint and sour milk. For bread selection, the restaurant includes Naan Garlic, which is chewy and thickly flavored; and Special Naan (Taftan) which is served in three fluffy slices sprinkled with sesame seeds. Both are perfect to dip with savoury gravies like curry and dhal.
"Their roti booms are da bomb!"
Many folks are divided on what makes a good roti canai. There’s the flaky-and-crispy camp (which I lean towards) and there are those who like the light-and-fluffy kind. My personal taste? I love the smaller and thicker reincarnations of roti canai and I know exactly where to get it. It's the same reason why a lot of people come to Naan Corner, it's one thing and one thing only: their incredible roti boom.
Most people agree that the best roti booms are crispy, with a bit of heft and layers to catch all the gravy it’s dipped into. They also shouldn’t be too big – so you can proudly say you’ve eaten 5 in a row – or too small that you can eat it in one bite, because you want to break apart that swirly mass of crispy dough. Naan Corner’s roti boom ticks all the right boxes. People have been known to brave the rain and traffic for it, and even some foreigners make beelines for it once they arrive in Malaysia.
Our favourite gravy for roti boom-dipping is their butter chicken. The moment the dish reaches your table, you’re almost assaulted by the scent wafting out of it. Tender pieces of chicken chunks are almost swimming in a sea of lightly spiced, yet almost obscenely buttery gravy. Ignore the surgeon general’s warning and have it anyway. More »
"Ask for the killer 'secret' sambal...."
Chanai & Chaya is one of the few places in the whole of Klang Valley where I will absolutely order their apoms. They make it plain and simple. Just in case you have not already known, the TTDI market
was scheduled to be demolished to make way for 'development' with no plans to relocate the sellers into a new place. It's such a shame that one of the best managed markets in Malaysia with the choicest ingredients had to go in this manner and we are all to blame if we don't do anything about this. Just in case we lose this market entirely, I wanted to record a piece of history before all this fades away.
So here's your apom guys! An indian apom is fermented rice flour cooked over a hot small wok. One expert batter pour later, the wok is covered with a small lid so that the heat from the steam cooks the thick middle layer but leaving it moist and juicy whilst the wok crisps the sides like a sweet cracker.
Aunty Padama makes this perfectly everytime. Her mom helps sometime when things get busy. Perfection on a plate. Apoms like this has a companion. Sweet coconut milk, slightly diluted so that it does not become too creamy. I like. It's such a simple dish with the simplest ingredients but every chef or cook that is worth their salt will attest that it's the simplest recipes that are the hardest to make well. C&C's version is light, slightly soury, no rice flour residue and comes with 27 years of experience.
Most people ferment the batter overnight but at C&C, they actually start batter fermentation at 4am. Perhaps they have a very good yeast catalyst or my best bet is that they put some of the previous day batter into the new one.