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Saturday 26 October 2013

Mohd Yaseem Nasi Kandar

Mohd Yaseem Nasi Kandar
351 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
50100 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 41' 51.1" N3° 9' 39.9")

Brendan had to replace a school day today, and since we were running late (school bell at 12.45PM) we needed to have lunch in a hurry and in an area not too far from St. John. I immediately thought of this 1Nasi  Kandar joint. Truth be told, this restaurant has long been on my list of must-visit, and my curiosity has finally gotten the better of me, since today we would finally be paying  this Nasi Kandar restaurant a visit.

What is it that has perked my interest, you ask? It seem that everyday without fail, be it a weekday or weekend a large crowd will usually gather at lunchtime to form a long line along the front of this restaurant. Today I will finally put this mystery to rest. Also, there seems to be a dispute as to the actual name of this restaurant. While it clearly states YASEEM on the large signboard outside, for all intent and purposes it is known as YASEEN to all and sundry. In fact, the little signboard at the dish racks inside allude to YASEEN.

1a popular northern Malaysian dish which originates from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavoured, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.The word Nasi Kandar, came about from a time when rice [Nasi] hawkers or vendors would balance a large pole [Kandar] on their shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals.


right across from CIMB


Thankfully we were early enough that we were among the very first in line at the restaurant. Brendan settled on Nasi Kandar with Chicken Curry (as if you’d need to ask?) while Cat and I settled on Nasi Kandar with Fried Mackerel.

crowds gather even before lunchtime on a Saturday

Cat at the head of the queue

we both had the fried mackerel

standard nasi kandar fare


Brendan's chicken curry

my little fried mackerel

Cat's fried mackerel was even more diminutive!

Iced Lemon Tea & Iced Black Coffee

The verdict? The taste in itself does not explain the long queues, since it is pretty much the standard fare. In fact, the cuts of chicken and mackerel were very ‘economical’ in portion, which leads us to the second question; the damage? it all came to a very cut-rate total of RM20.20 which amazed us. A-ha, is this why  crowds  gather here at lunchtime 7 days a week?

To be perfectly honest, we would rather pay not much more more to have very generous portions of chicken, mutton and/or mackerel at Sithique which, in our humble opinion, has the better selection of even more flavourful curries. But that’s just our two cents.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Senya Udon-Ya

Senya Udon-Ya
Isetan Foodmarket
Lower Ground Floor Lot 10 Shopping Centre
50, Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur


I did not feel like driving today, so we hopped on the RapidKL’s U24 bus that took us to Bukit Bintang. Along the way, we noticed groups of Cosplay enthusiasts gathered at Fahrenheit and surmised that there must be an event going on at Parkamaya (as is always the case).

We got off the bus and Brendan (being a budding Cosplayer himself) wanted to rush over immediately to Parkamaya to check out the Cosplay event. We however thought we’d have lunch at Isetan’s Foodmarket first before heading to the event.

heading down to the lower ground floor


char kuey teow at RM9.90? no thanks!

Cat has no idea what this means

A quick scan of the place soon led is to this quaint little Japanese stall.

signs, banners and notices galore

choosing their topping


funny thing is, we were all seated

see what I mean?

Always wanting to have this, I quickly ordered the 1Japanese Curry (with white rice); taking up the waitress/cashier’s recommendation I added the 2Karaage topping as well. Brendan and Cat tried signature 3Udon, and ordered the Pumpkin Croquette and Tempura Vegetable toppings respectively

1Curry sauce served on top of cooked rice to make curry rice. Curry sauce is made by frying together curry powder, flour, and oil, along with other ingredients, to make roux which is then added to stewed meat and vegetables, and then simmered until thickened
2 small pieces of meat marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and/or ginger, then lightly coated with a seasoned wheat flour or potato starch mix, and fried in light oil — similar to the preparation of tempura
3Thick wheat flour noodle

this lady prepared our meal

Brendan's udon with pumpkin croquette

Cat's udon with vegetable tempura

my Japanese curry


reasonable enough?

First the damage; it all came to a respectable total of RM38.15, which is still well within the realms of the everyday food for the everyday person. Now for the second and vital question; will we be back? With Berjaya Times Square’s excellent Taste of Asia just a few minutes’ walk away we would have to say no, since the Japanese stall there wins hands down in terms of taste, ambience and overall setting (we found Isetan’s Foodmarket to be a bit claustrophobic).

Price wise, the excellent Sanuki Udon and even Sukiya’s fabulous ‘fast food’ joint has our vote every time for reasonably priced Japanese fare. To us Senya Udon-ya is sadly a novelty stall within Isetan’s Foodmarket and nothing more.

*On a very tragic and heartbreaking note, a day later we read about the murder of the dearly departed Ng Yuk Tim, known as the case of the Cosplay killing. Our hearts go out the family of the deceased and we sincerely hope that she rests in peace. In spite of all that has happened we hope that Malaysians do not cast an doubtful eye toward the Cosplaying community who are by and large still very decent, law abiding and god fearing people.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Bak Kut Teh Yu Yi (Taman City)

Bak Kut Teh Yu Yi
88 Jalan Kepayang, Off Jalan Kuching
Taman City, Segambut
52100 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 40' 9.6" N3° 11' 43.8")

We are here for a reason, and that reason has everything to do with Brendan. Ever since coming back from his trip to Singapore, he’s been asking for curry every chance he gets. So it came as a surprise this evening when he specifically requested that we have 1Bak Kut Teh for dinner instead.

1A Chinese soup that literally means "meat bone tea", and at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours. Additional ingredients may include offal, varieties of mushroom, choy sum, and pieces of dried tofu or fried tofu puffs. Additional Chinese herbs may include yu zhu (玉竹, rhizome of Solomon's Seal) and ju zhi (buckthorn fruit), which give the soup a sweeter, slightly stronger flavor. Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup during cooking and garnished with chopped coriander or green onions and a sprinkling of fried shallots, and usually eaten with rice.

After a quick check online, we settled on Yu Yi (which means friendship) and made our way. Despite being situated along the very busy Jalan Kuching, the restaurant sits in a row of shop houses that is unusually quiet at night. This particular restaurant is apparently a branch with the main outlet headquartered in Jalan Imbi.

a slight drizzle meant this was the only photo of the exterior


plainly and simply BKT

We ordered a large bowl portioned for three persons with a side order of Cha Kueh (a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough conventionally lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two). Since we were early, and with only two other families dining at the time, our large bowl of Bak Kut Teh was served in no time.

thin and thick soy sauce

no herbal tea, so barley it is

pretty speedy service

pale broth

here we go!

The verdict? To be perfectly honest we found the broth a let-down, as it was not nearly as ‘herbalistic’ as the ones we’re used to. To further compound things, we could not get over the overbearing flavour/fragrance of charcoal in the broth which drove us to distraction. And the damage? thankfully the total came to R50, at the absolute border of what we define as the everyday food for the everyday person. Leng Kee still has our vote as the best BKT shop in Kuala Lumpur, and still very reasonably priced at that.

Restoran Syed Bistro (Breakfast)

Restoran Syed Bistro
57, Jalan Dang Wangi
50100 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: 3° 9' 23.75", 101° 41' 57.25")

We had posted about this restaurant before, although at the time we were here for dinner. We had also recommended the excellent 1Roti Canai for breakfast.

1a type of Indian-influenced flatbread, known as roti prata in Southern Malaysia and Singapore, and is similar to the Indian Kerala porotta.  Circular and flat, the dough is either twirled until it becomes a very thin sheet and then folded into a circular shape or to spread out the dough as thinly as possible before being folded and being grilled with oil.

our default breakfast destination

if only for the roti canai

ample seating, but we chose to sit outside

Since today was going to be a pretty busy day (I had promised to take my father out shopping!) we decided to have a hearty breakfast. Syed Bistro serves the fluffiest Roti Canai this side of the Klang Valley, believe you me. The Roti Canai is freshly prepared and not pre-made, unlike most Mamak shops thus ensuring its fluffiness. Also, it is not as oily as most others.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking for us…

Nasi Lemak...

quintessentially Malaysian

this is what I'm talking about!

Brendan opted for toast, Malaysian style

Brendan and Cat had Iced Milo

my Iced Nescafe

Friday 18 October 2013

Wahab's Cendol

Wahab's Cendol
No. 43 Rampai Business Park
Jalan Rampai Niaga 5
53300 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 43' 45.3" N3° 11' 57.6")

Tonight my car club would be gathering in Setapak, and as we headed out this was the sight from our apartment:

pink KLCC

for a worthy cause

It was indeed an amazing sight to see the Petronas Twin Towers awashed in pink, illuminated in the signature pink of Estee Lauder Companies’ annual global breast cancer awareness campaign.

We got to the  restaurant where we were supposed to rendezvous only to find it closed, and so we  headed to Sri Rampai nearby where we would be certain of ample parking on a Friday night.

the best in town? we think not

an unpleasant surprise awaits

We finally decided on Wahab’s Cendol, and while my car club members met to discuss matters pertaining to an upcoming event, Cat and Brendan proceeded to order. Since we’ve already had dinner at home, Cat and Brendan decided to share a bowl of 1Mee Rebus Ayam. The three of us had the signature 2Cendol and I opted for a bowl with additional red bean.

1A dish made of yellow egg noodles with a spicy slightly sweet curry-like gravy. The gravy is made from potatoes, curry powder, water, salted soybeans, dried shrimps, and peanuts. The dish is garnished with a hard boiled egg, calamansi limes, spring onions, Chinese celery, green chillies, fried firm tofu (tau kwa), fried shallots and bean sprouts.
2A traditional dessert of coconut milk, jelly noodles made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Other ingredients such as red beans, glutinous rice, grass jelly, creamed corn, might also be included

the chicken wing that accompanied the...

mee rebus

the so-called signature dish

The Mee Rebus Ayam and three bowls of Cendol came to RM14.80 which was just about right considering we already had dinner and were merely looking for some comfort food. Apparently this shop has made a name for itself Cendol, although truth be told, we’ve had way better from push cart stalls.

The big is question is however: would we come again? We’re very sorry Mr. Wahab, but the answer is regretfully in the negative. We do not take kindly to being treated like criminals at the cashier’s counter. Despite having written the order down on a clear piece of order chit, this very bright and intelligent person actually makes you recount your order not once, but twice, all the while giving you the distinct impression that he does not believe a word you are saying.

So Mr. Wahab, if you insist on treating your customers with disdain and distrust, then we have no other choice but to consider ourselves dissed!