Joo Tiang’s Penang curry mee has no right to be this good

Joo Tiang’s Penang curry mee has no right to be this good

Fancy this: a bowl of Penang curry mee for just RM4 – and not in a small town, but in the Klang Valley!

There’s only one catch. Because it’s so good, you have to get to the Lim Sisters coffee shop before 10.30am, or all of Khaw Joo Tiang’s Penang prawn mee and curry mee may be sold out.

Khaw, who goes by the nickname “Leng Ma” (pretty mother), serves the Penang curry mee with a spoonful of chilli sambal mixed into white coconut broth. It also comes with brown squid, blood cubes and cockles.

Portions aren’t the biggest, but it’s enough to give most people a hearty breakfast. Or if you’re craving for more, you could opt to add additional noodles, only for an additional 50 sen.

According to Khaw’s son, Vincent Ng, they have maintained the low prices for a long time.

“The stall has been operating even before I was born. We have tried to maintain the prices for some time now. It is the volume that helps to sustain the business.”

Even better is the fact that unlike some hawkers, Khaw still does the cooking herself, waking up at 4am in the morning to prepare the special broth.

Hailing from Butterworth, Khaw and her husband started selling Penang curry mee in the 1970s. They made the trip to Petaling Jaya in the 1980s, selling only prawn mee, before setting up shop in Subang Jaya.

Now, her stall is located in Lim Sisters, Taman Sri Bintang, right next to SJK (C) Kepong 3. But have your GPS at the ready, because finding the shop would be difficult otherwise.

Ng, who also goes by “Ah Hong,” helps his mother at the stall six days a week. And it looks like the help is appreciated, because the stall appears to be the busiest in Lim Sisters, with waiting times of up to 20 minutes on busier days.

“Despite the prices, my Mom still tries to maintain the quality of the curry mee to satisfy the taste buds of her regular customers.”

Some may be put off by the general ambience of Lim Sisters, which tends to become as crowded as any other famous coffee shop in the Klang Valley. But just one taste of the curry mee will drown out the din of the crowd.

Besides curry mee and prawn mee, Khaw’s stall also serves Penang loh mee.

Lim Sisters coffee shop is located at 1 & 3, Jalan 3/36, Taman Sri Bintang, 52100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +6012-663 1319
Business hours: 7am – 5pm (every day except Mondays)
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Simply irresistible green curry at Yum Yum Thai

Simply irresistible green curry at Yum Yum Thai

Thai green curry to me is what Penang curry mee or beef rendang are to some people. I need not say anything else – I simply love it!

And as it is not too spicy, even children get to enjoy it. I almost regret not listening to a piece of advice I received long ago: when you find something delicious, tell no one about it, so you can quietly enjoy it yourself!

I recalled these words as my nine-year-old son and I had to compete for the bowl of green curry the moment it was served in Yum Yum Thai, as if we had starved for weeks, if not months. We are both in love with the taste of the green curry they serve in this restaurant, which is located in Casa Tropicana, Petaling Jaya.

My romance with green curry goes back a long way. I always order it anytime I walk into a Thai restaurant; therefore, when restaurant owner, Marcia Lau Saunders suggested that I gave it a try, I was delighted.

Even when we were living in Maputo, Mozambique, the green curry we found there was something that brought us some sanity, being among only a handful of Asians in a country where almost everyone speaks Portuguese.

When we were there, green curry was always something we looked forward to, being the closest thing we could get to satisfy our Asian taste buds.

And so, after a lifetime of eating green curry, I have to admit that to date, I haven’t tasted anything better than Yum Yum Thai’s irresistible green curry.

The ingredients, according to Lau, are all imported from Thailand. Even the chefs, Ying and Mee, are from Chiang Rai.

“We import basil leaves, aubergines and coconut milk from Thailand. This may bring up the cost a bit, but for the authentic Thai taste, it is worth it.”

“The style of cooking is Northern Thai. The food we serve here is therefore authentic Northern Thai cuisine.”

As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted by the waitress Mila, who will greet you with the customary “Sawasdee Kap” (for men) and “Sawasdee kah” (if you are a woman).

Besides the green curry, I also recommend to try their signature dish, moo ping (grilled pork skewers) and pineapple fried rice. Both aren’t very spicy, and are very suitable for children.

My only regret is that we came with only one adult and two children, meaning that we could hardly run down Yum Yum Thai’s menu.

If you are planning to go Thai this weekend, try Yum Yum Thai where you can also enjoy the soothing Thai music playing in the background.

Restoran YumYum Real Thai Food is located at B-0-3A, Block B, Casa Tropicana, No. 5, Jalan Persiaran Tropicana, PJU 3, 47410 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 011-3386 9417
Business hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM (Mon and Wed)
11am – 10pm (Thurs-Sun)
Closed: Tuesdays

The kids will have a blast at Laser Warzone

The kids will have a blast at Laser Warzone

‘Colonel’ Matthew steps out of the Laser Warzone a victor after battling it out with his friends. He lays his weapon down and feels exhilarated.

“Wow! That was a great fun game for me and my friends! Being able to battle it out using the world’s latest war technology makes my birthday all the more fun. This is the most memorable birthday party I have had with my friends. Thank you, mummy and daddy for making it possible!”

The 10-year-old, then takes off his vest and goes on to celebrate his birthday party with his fellow classmates at the Laser Warzone, eCurve Damansara.

For Matthew’s birthday, 24 boys and girls were divided into two teams. The Green Team led the way with a 3-1 victory against the Blue Team, after a two-hour war involving four major battles.

Though not the birthday boy, Matthew’s classmate, Kyle was the big hero of the day, collecting over 3,000 points in the four battles.

They each wore a jacket with either green or blue targets, and had to move about in the dark, simulating an actual battleground, each carrying a hand-held infrared-emitting targeting devices. The moment a laser is shot at it, the target turns white.

Laser Tag is the high tech big brother of paintball – without any of the pain! Children and adults alike can experience what it is like to be involved in a futuristic war.

No one was injured, and both winners and losers were later reconciled over a sumptuous meal at the virtual reality arena.

That was where Matthew’s birthday cake was cut, and when the birthday song was sung by both his teammates and ‘enemy troops,’ there was the camaraderie of being classmates again.

The birthday party package priced at RM50 per pax includes four games, food and drinks and a two-hour usage of a private room. There is however, a minimum of 15 pax.

Guests can also get food catered from the in-house cafeteria or bring their own. They are even allowed to bring their own audio system to keep the party alive.

On normal days, prices for adults are RM20 per battle, RM32 (battles), and an additional RM10 for each game, while students who can produce their identity cards get a discount (RM17 per battle, RM27 for two battles, RM37 for three battles and so on).

There are also unlimited battles that one can participate in for just RM60 per pax (adults) and RM55 (children).

So, kids, the next time you have school holidays, remember to drag your whole army of cousins along to the Laser Warzone! And for the adults, Laser Tag is the perfect way to build team spirit with your colleagues, without having to brave the elements.

Laser Warzone is an intense and immersive multi-interactive Laser Tag arena located at Lot 113A-120, 1st Floor Ecurve Damansara, 2A, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, as well as on the 4th Floor, Gurney Plaza, Penang.

Tel: 03-7733 1335 (Ecurve), 03-4131 0006, 04-229 9973 (Gurney Plaza)
Business hours: 10am – 10pm (7 days a week).

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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
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A wellspring of knowledge at Mini Oasis

A wellspring of knowledge at Mini Oasis

Seven volunteers saw a need for a good library to serve their community, and they pooled in their resources together to create the Mini Oasis in Bandar Menjalara.

The name is fitting, as it conjures the image of a wellspring of knowledge.

Located just one floor above Restoran Yi Yan on Jalan Medan Putra 1, Mini Oasis provides good reading materials to the local community.

Because of its strategic location, young children can enjoy their reading here while their parents have a sumptuous meal downstairs.

The volunteers had no big plans when they first started out in 2015, just a simple idea. According to its founder, Moan Wai Meng, it was just like the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”

“We sat down together to discuss the plan. All we wanted was to set up a library in our neighbourhood. We created a comfortable space which can help to promote good reading habits, especially among the young ones.”

With the help of six others, Thai Yew Kuan, Jessie Yap Suet See, Karuna Chi Hui Fong, Tan Han Bin, Mandy Wong Shiang Hua and Ching Chen Seng, Mini Oasis today has a total collection of 10,973 books.

“We decided to focus on Chinese books first. Slowly, we hope to buy more books in English and Bahasa Malaysia when we receive more funds. We hope more people will be able to make use of the resources we have pooled together and donate to build up the library.”

Based on his observations, most government-funded libraries have very limited number of books, especially when it comes to Chinese literature. Most of the Chinese books here are imported directly from mainland China and Taiwan.

“That is why we decided to do something about it. With more funds, we can get more books.”

To date, they have a very good collection of books and magazines, including National Geographic in Chinese, a full set of books on world history, and even children’s comic books.

Occasionally, Moan also conducts science experiments and explain to children how static electricity is generated.

“We use this experiment to show how lightning and thunder works,” he said. “They are reminded not to stand in open spaces when there is lightning.”

There are also special workshops for children that take place at Mini Oasis, like the lion dance workshop taking place this month. lion dance workshop

Mini Oasis is located at 9, Jalan Medan Putra 1, Kepong, 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan.
Tel: 016-681 0581

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday 2pm – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – 9pm
Closed on Mondays

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