No hiding from Yi Yan if you’re seeking chee chap chuk

No hiding from Yi Yan if you’re seeking chee chap chuk

When a customer called up to ask for the direction to Restoran Yi Yan, 61-year-old Fan Kin Lin responded in Cantonese that his restaurant is Chuk Yi Yan.

The customer answered, “No, I am bringing my wife to try out your porridge, not to play hide-and-seek.”

The customer had a good laugh when he and his family finally arrived at the restaurant and learned how the name “Chuk Yi Yan” came about from Fan.

“In Chinese, Chuk Yi Yan means playing Hide and Seek, and the name Yi Yan was picked because Chuk is the closest sound to the word, ‘porridge’ in Cantonese. Apart from that, there is no other special meaning to it. It was meant to help customers remember our name better.”

The restaurant has been in business since 2010. In the past eight years, we have eaten in the restaurant on numerous occasions, as we find it is convenient for the children to spend their time reading books in the Mini Oasis library located just above the restaurant.

Kin Lin, or “Auntie” as we are fond of calling her, is friendly enough to have a good chat with occasionally. This is something to which a friend of mine, James Pang can also testify, having travelled all the way from Petaling Jaya to taste the food here.

Although she wakes up as early as 4am to prepare the porridge, Kin Lin is still energetic even by 9pm at night. When James flatters her by saying that she still looks young for her age, Kin Lin smiles sheepishly.

On top of her friendliness, James also agrees with me that Yi Yan’s minced pork porridge “stands out from the rest.”

“Although it is common, I strongly recommend it. Really sedap!”

Kin Lin, who hails from Rahang, Negeri Sembilan, has a long history in the food business, having sold noodles from as young as 12 years old.

Their specialty here is a wide variety of porridges, with the chee chap chuk being a bestseller.

According to James, the porridge is neither too watery nor too thick. “It’s just nice and really silky smooth,” he said, adding that these days, there are not many people who can still cook such good porridge anymore.

James, who hardly eats duck meat anywhere else, even recommends Yi Yan’s smoked duck, calling it exceptional.

His wife Priscilla Lee also enjoyed all the food she was served. Besides the chee chap chuk and the smoked duck, she listed her third favourite dish as the lor pan mee.

I couldn’t agree more. The lor pan mee is a unique dish that would be hard to seek anywhere else.

We’ve all heard of Ulu Yam lor mee, but this one uses pan mee, which gets my thumbs-up. It tastes even better when you add in some vinegar.

Their kids, Jayden and Jonathan, also fell in love with the fried pan mee, and the many kinds of porridge on offer.

Yi Yan also makes lovely vinegar pork trotters, which has a little taste of Bentong ginger.

Restoran Yi Yan is located at Jalan Medan Putra 1, Bandar Sri Menjalara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6279 0186
Business hours: 9am – 10.30pm
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4iTaVwzLug32
Waze location: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.19376&lon=101.62571

Mixing and matching with Ten Noodles

Mixing and matching with Ten Noodles

Variety seems to be the way how restaurant operator YY Wong models her noodle shop in Dataran Sunway.

Ten Noodles Restaurant’s business model is interesting. Instead of the standard “eat-or-leave-it” dishes, Ten Noodles’ kitchen is set up to tailor noodles based on individual preferences.

This restaurant in Kota Damansara is well-known for its pork noodles, but the difference between its many other competitors is that her clients get to mix and match what they want for their meals.

With seven different types of noodles to choose from, the kitchen hands can prepare noodles either in soup or dry, accompanied by a variety of condiments.

Though only operating from September last year, Ten Noodles has received quite a positive response. Even on a working day, there is a steady flow of customers. We arrived at the restaurant for dinner at 7pm, and nearly every table was occupied.

“We have young and old people as well as people from different races, who love our pork noodles.”

“They have become our regular customers. The prices are based on what is being picked. Most of them who have been eating here know exactly what they are looking for.”

Most of the customers are office staff working in Dataran Sunway, but university students are also making this their favourite eatery, despite the numerous restaurants in the commercial square.

The friends who recommended Ten Noodles to me – who are now regulars – asked me to check out their pork noodles. According to Wong, the pork noodles are now starting to attract non-Chinese customers.

Besides the usual condiments, Wong said customers can also choose from a range of internal organs to go with their noodles. I have been reluctant to ingest organs since my youth, but I’ll take Wong’s word on many of her customers loving what has become their speciality.

“We allow the customers to tell us what exactly they would like to eat. In that way, there is little wastage.”

Wong’s love for pork went back as early as her 80s, when she was growing up on a pig farm in Negeri Sembilan.

“My family was involved in pig farming. From young, we had had a lot to do with pigs. I am familiar with the pork business; that’s why I decided to start a restaurant that sells pork noodles.”

It doesn’t just look like she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to pork; it tastes that way as well.

Restoran Ten Noodles is located at No. 25-1, Ground Floor, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway Kota Damansara.

Tel: 03-6143 9585
Business hours: 11 am – 9 pm (closed on Fridays)
Google Map: Search for Ten Noodle Restaurant
Waze location: Waze for Ten Noodle Restaurant

Is Mookata set to boss the competition?

Is Mookata set to boss the competition?

Mookata or mu kratha comes from mu (Thai for “pork”) and kratha (“pan”), which is where Boss Mookata gets its name from. The restaurant is located at a corner of Taman Perindustrian KIP, the growing commercial area in Kepong.

But mookata isn’t your standard Thai fare; it manages to fuse the styles of Korean BBQ and Chinese steamboat.

I like the way it uses the same source of heat (the traditional charcoal style) to create two different versions of cooking: one which is air-fried and the other in a soup stock.

Although it is believed that it came from Korean BBQ grills, the idea has already caught on in Thailand and Singapore. In Malaysia, a number of these restaurants have already started to appear, but whether this will be the next big trendsetter depends on local foodies.

According to restaurant proprietor Jason Tan, a small dinner set includes two packs of white marinated pork slices and a pack of black pepper marinated slice, Japanese tofu, crab sticks and fish balls.

“This costs RM38 for the dinner set, enough for two adults. The bigger set costs an additional RM10, but it has four packs of white marinated pork slices, one pack of black pepper marinated slices, Japanese tofu, crab sticks, fish balls and an unlimited supply of glass noodles, kangkung and Chinese cabbage (or pak choi).”

The ingredients can be cooked either on the air fryer pot, or in the soup, and for those who like it spicy, Boss Mookata prepares its own Thai style chili paste.

Another of its signature dishes is the snowflake steamed fish (雪山飞狐) that is stuffed with lemon grass and rock salt to preserve the moisture inside the fish so that the fish is juicy at all times.

Their lemongrass chicken wings is separate dish by itself, but they have green chilli that goes with

For now until February 3, Boss Mookata is hosting a competition to win an iPhone 8. All you need to do is to take a photograph and post it on your Facebook.

Restoran Boss Mookata is located at No 1 (Ground Floor), Persiaran KIP 3, Taman Perindustrian KIP, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 014-3420 300
Business hours: 5:30pm – 12.00 midnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bossmookata/
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/BNmSNtDqQH22
Waze location: https://www.waze.com/location?h=w2860pkfj

Famous for Penang Curry Mee, yet its name is whatever you call it

Famous for Penang Curry Mee, yet its name is whatever you call it

 

If you are a fan of Penang curry mee, and you do not know where to go for a good bowl of the well-known island cuisine, you cannot go wrong if you look for this simple coffee shop at the intersection between Lorong Seratus Tahun and Lebuh Nanning.

In fact, there is not even a fanciful signboard on its façade, but (let’s just call it) Restoran Penang Curry Mee Lorong Seratus Tahun is one of my favourite eateries when it comes to Penang curry mee.

It is now easy to locate using either Waze or Google Map although it is located at a quiet part of Georgetown; on a weekend, there are not many cars, but its regular customers know exactly where to find their favourite curry mee.

Most of the Penang foodie fans whom I have spoken to have grown to love this particular version of the Penang cuisine. In fact, I am not surprised some of them are using this as the benchmark, for what they consider as ‘good’ Penang curry mee.

Here, they only use a pale white and watery curry stock instead of too much of the santan stuff. Usually, I take away the cubes of pig’s blood jelly, but I do not mind the blood cockles, cuttlefish, prawns and tofu puffs.

Not every Penangite, however, can accept the pig’s blood jelly or the blood cockles, but the stock that they use, even without their specially concocted chilli paste, is delicious.

Some do not even consider this as their ‘best’ curry mee; they prefer the one in Chulia Street. So, no two persons’ tastes buds are the same.

To me, it is the chilli paste that really makes the difference. The secret recipe has been with the family since the business started over three decades ago, when the dried chilli was grounded and fried in oil to give it a special aroma and spicy flavour.

What I like about this place is that they allow their customers to put in as much of the chilli paste they want depending on how spicy they like their bowl of noodles to taste. The paste is provided in a stainless steel bowl on each table.

The other thing I like of the people who are now operating the business are very simple and nice people. Although the coffee shop is already in the limelight where good food in Penang is concerned, I presume that they are easy to talk to as they appear not to be putting on airs.

When I asked for permission to take a photograph of them, one of them just waved to me and smiled. They are probably the most down-to-earth persons that I have seen in the food business. Unfortunately, they appeared too busy to chat and we were also in a hurry to go off.

 

 

Based on my own research, the original curry mee business was operated from a simple food cart in 1960 by a gentleman, the late Moey Saik Kooi, who is fondly known to his customers as Uncle Moey.

His curry mee became well-known that the business had to move to where it is currently located, where the eldest son, Kok Keong still runs the business.

So, we are in fact talking about a family food business that has survived nearly six decades, and based on my observations, a number of the people eating here are their local fans who are probably into their seventies. I can only guess that they have been regulars for many years.

This explains why the restaurant is frequented by Penangites who are back to their hometowns, and wherever they are, they still talk fervently about Lorong Seratus Penang Curry mee.

There is, in fact, now several Lorong Seratus Tahun restaurants. Its branch in SS 2 Petaling Jaya is operated by Kok Keong’s brother Kenny and his wife, Chan Lye Ho since 2000.

The others are licensees and located at Taipan, Publika food court and The Scott Garden at Jalan Kelang Lama, which serve authentic Penang cuisine, which includes a lot more varieties compared to the original outlet at Lorong Seratus Tahun.

Restoran Lorong Seratus Tahun
Curry Mee

Restoran Lorong Seratus Tahun Curry Mee is located at No. 55 Lorong Seratus Tahun, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.

Operation Hours: 7.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. (Closed on Thursday and public holidays)

Website: http://lst.com.my (managed by Chan Lye Ho)

Waze: Search for Curry Mee @ Lorong Seratus Tahun

Google Map: Key in Curry Mee @ Lorong Seratus Tahun 百年路

A good Milligram for young and old alike

A good Milligram for young and old alike

Although the façade did not suggest it to be an eatery, Milligram Coffee and Eatery at Taman Mayang (just behind the old Mayang Plaza) is a nice, cosy little place for a good meal.

Or, in the afternoon, instead of having a siesta, it is a good place to hang out for a cup of coffee and some deserts with family or friends. Unlike most indie cafes, this one is different because you can feel their creative juices here. There is even a drink called Obama.

Its owner and co-founder, Robbie Kwong picked the name because they wanted a name that is short and sweet.

“A lot of guests misunderstood a café as either too much of a coffee place or too much of an eating place; here, Milligram Coffee and Eatery adopts a hybrid concept of comfort food and specialty coffees,” he says.

Besides serving artisan coffee, Robbie’s team of young and enthusiastic attendants, barista and chefs concoct new beverages, prepare meals and serve the dishes to guests with a lot of passion. Some of their signature dishes appeal to the appetite of both the young and the older folks too.

For example, we love their New Age Chicken Chop (RM22.25) which is basically a plate of Pan Seared Chicken Chop with assorted sauteed vegetables on carrot puree and black pepper sauce. All three children who joined us in the food tasting said they loved the chicken chop. I personally tasted it and I would also give it the thumbs-up.

Their Pork Bacon Pasta Carbonara (RM22.25) is also recommended. It is cheesy and creamy, and the kids simply fell in love with it.

Older kids with good appetites generally love their Mother Porker Burger (RM26.50) served with Zuchinni fries because it is generally filling enough.

According to Robbie, it is people with the passion that can make a difference to the food here.

“We have a myriad of cooks in the team, three full timers and two part timers currently, all of them which have zero experience prior to joining Milligram,” he elaborates.

“Although they have never attended any culinary courses, we firmly believe in one thing – if you have the passion, you can cook. We always believe the core of our cuisines revolves around comfort food, more like home cooked meals with pork, of course!”

When Milligram was first set up in December 2014 by Robbie and his wife, Trincy, who was working in the banking industry before joining Milligram full time, they had in mind of serving comfort food. Robbie himself was a graphic designer prior to starting Milligram.

This explains why he enjoys serving artisan coffee. Although the place is just a simple eatery with no posh decorations, it has a nice ambience to it that makes guests feel comfortable to dine with their family and friends.

I strongly recommend families, especially those with younger children, to check out their food here.

“We wanted it to be a place which can bring good memories of our childhood days, when we used to have our burgers at the fast food outlets,” Robbie explains. “We want our adult patrons to feel young again, when they eat here; hence, we have names like the Hulk and Lazy Pig to spice up the day.”

The connoisseurs, on the other hand, will be able to tell that the beverages and the meals here are prepared with a lot of passion.

The Hulk (conjuring the image of The Hulk starring, Edward Norton as scientist Bruce Banner who was desperately looking for a solution to reverse the gamma radiation that transformed him into The Hulk in the 2008 Science thriller) is a mixture of coffee and green tea.

“We have fans who like the way the Hulk is concocted so much that we are doing well with this drink,” he said. “Others prefer the classic Expresso, Cappuccino or Latte.”

I tried to discourage the children from ordering their orange juice with lime, thinking that it is too common and there is nothing much to write about it. However, to my surprise, on one sip, I think Robbie and his team have got it to near perfection – it is simply refreshing especially on a hot afternoon. This is something that you must try!

I asked Robbie about the Lazy Pig (RM27) and how it came about. All I can remember was when we were young, we used to call our siblings by such nicknames.

“It is a signature dish which is basically the pork shoulder topped with cheese,” Robbie explains.

Again, being more health conscious these days, my personal choice is the Milli Salad (RM16.95), which comes with raddichio, orange slices, romaine, red oak, jap cucumber cherry tomatoes top with vinaigrette and parmesan sprinkle, but I get to taste a little of every dish served.

Milligram Coffee and Eatery is located at No. 8, Jalan SS26/4, Taman Mayang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, 47301 Selangor

Tel: 03-7497 4358

Business hours: 11AM–11PM (7 days a week)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/milligramcoffee/

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/NPx941VyUP52

Waze location: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.11659&lon=101.60488

Business agility helps Yen Shabu Shabu to sustain itself

Business agility helps Yen Shabu Shabu to sustain itself

When Yen Shabu Shabu restaurant started in Bandar Menjalara in 2010, the owners had intended it to be an authentic Japanese restaurant. However, local taste buds were not ready for it, so Yen Shabu Shabu adapted itself to suit the local tastes.

After nearly eight years, business is still good. On an ordinary weeknight, the restaurant was still packed from as early as 7pm when we were there to check out the place.

Surprisingly, most of the tables were occupied by young people in groups of threes and fours who came for the buffet dinner. By the time we were about to leave, there were already guests waiting to be seated.

Although it can no longer claim to be a Japanese restaurant, its owner, Jack Chan says the restaurant runs on the concept of shabu shabu, which is common to both Japanese and Korean diners.

It is not the usual steamboat, because guests can either pick the set plate for three or four adults, go on buffet or pick their choices from the conveyor belt (similar to some Japanese restaurants).

Their set plate is priced differently for the lunch hour at RM29.50 (Nett RM31) while dinner time its signature set for two pax is priced at RM37.99 (Nett 39.90). Individuals can also ask for their set lunch from RM9.90 or set dinner from RM11.90. Buffet is at RM39.90 nett per pax.

They also have snacks including golden buns (RM1.30), BBQ honey pork or chicken satay (RM1.30), chicken wings (RM5 for two pairs), Penang lobak (RM1.30), which are served on trolleys, reminding me of the dim sum restaurants.

This is what makes Yen Shabu Shabu stands out from the rest of the steamboat restaurants.

They use warm light to create a nice cosy feeling of the restaurant. It is eating in style that I guess is the reason why young people are attracted to it.

Besides that, unlike most local steamboat restaurants, this one is airconditioned which makes its ambience more comfortable to dine in – a real plus point for me especially since I have the tendency to perspire a lot when taking something spicy.

Unlike the steamboat ingredients sold in supermarkets which come from one same supplier, Jack and his food tasters specially selected some of the best ingredients from different suppliers to serve their clients.

For the soup, there are four choices to pick from – imitation abalone, tom yam, Chinese herbal or Dong Yan and Qufeng pepper soup.

Yen Shabu Shabu is located at Unit 1-02.10, Jln Menjalara Idaman 1(1/62A), Bandar Menjalara ,52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .

Tel/ Whatsapp: 011-2685 4790 / 016-338  7237

Business hours:
Sun – Tue (5.30pm – 12.15am)(Lass call 11.15pm)
Wed – Thu (11:30am – 3pm; 5.30pm – 12.15am) (Last call 11.15pm)
Fri (11:30am – 3pm; 5.30pm – 3am)(Lass call 1.45pm)
Sat (5.30pm – 3am)(Last call 1.45pm)