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My day job brings me to Kota Kinabalu quite often these days, which is a bit of a blessing when it comes to work travel as this North Borneo city does offer a full package of beautiful ocean & beaches, the magnificent mount KK, and a host of rather unique hawker dishes not easily found this side of Klang Valley. I’m also particularly blessed to have friends who would bring me to explore these places.


Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu

During my last visit, I had to go offshore for a short stint. For Sabah, that meant using the old Terminal 2 at BKI airport (who has flown Air Asia flight via this side before?). On my return trip, my friend Yann May picked me up and we decided to stopped by this rather busy looking kopitiam located by Tanjung Aru, between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.

KY eats - Pork Offal noodle at Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu - YouTube

As it turned out, this was the famous Kedai Kopi Wah Juan that offers mixed pork (or pork offal) noodle which if I remember correctly, is an addiction of a friend who claimed to eat clean otherwise.


our lunch spread for two

We ended up ordering a plate of noodle with roast &  bbq pork (as the lady doesn’t eat pork offal, WHYY!?), a bowl of beef ball soup, a plate of noodle with pork offal, and an additional small plate of pork offal.

Well, the result? It was awesome!

Can’t say much about those BBQ & roast pork, but the pork offal was on point, soft, flavorful, and properly braised to perfection. In addition, the home made noodle were superb as well, subtle in taste which compliments the other ingredients, and soaks up those sauce just nice. The beef ball soup too did not disappoint, and would be something I order again.

If I had to nitpick, they could do with slightly better chili paste, that’s about it.


pork offal noodle, roast/bbq pork, beef balls, pork offal (small)

If you’re at Kota Kinabalu and does eat pork innards, this is surely a place to check out.

Address:
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan
Jalan Lee Thau Sang, Pekan Tanjung Aru,
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
GPS: 5.952751, 116.056229
Tel: 016-830 6160

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When it comes to food in Klang, one would usually point to bak kut teh, but if you dig in a little bit deeper, there are other gems hidden in this older part of the valley which you may not find in other places – one of such treasure is mee hoon kuih, or Klang’s own interpretation of pan mee.


Kah Ping hawker stall at Jalan Gelegor food court

The most well known of such dish this part of town has got to be Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih located at Taman Berkeley, a shop that’s almost always packed, hot, and requires a long wait time.

However, if you ask some of the locals, the best Mee Hoon Kuih is arguably the version served at Jalan Gelegor’s food court by a stall with the name of Kah Ping.

KY eats - Kah Ping mee hoon kuih, Klang - YouTube

You may have recognized this particular food court for it’s famous Jalan Batai char kuih teow which I’ve penned on this space some time ago, yeap, you can have them both at the same place!


Klang style mee hoon kuih (or pan mee)

My mee hoon kuih took a little over 10 minutes to arrive (much faster than Fatty’s). The bowl of goodness comes with hand pinched dough, pork slices, liver, an egg (optional), vege, spring onion, dried anchovies, and curiously, some small shrimps.


pork, veggie, and even prawns

The dough was as solf and silky as it comes, and I thought the soup base was even sweeter than Fatty’s version, most likely due to the addition of those shrimps (much like the OUG pork noodle). I find myself enjoying this version quite a bit. As per usual Klang style, there’s only chili padi & soya sauce as condiment instead of those home made chili sauce you find at KL’s pan mee, but they do compliment the dish well if you like to add some kick.

A worthy mee hoon kuih to try, I’ll bring mom next since she loves a good bowl of mee hoon kuih!

Address:
Food Court
Jalan Gelugor
Meru, Klang
GPS3.050413, 101.451221

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When I first received the invitation for Gin Rik Sha, I must admit that from the name itself I’d have never guessed what this place is all about.


Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara

Well, as briefed to us, the name Gin Rik Sha actually derived from the “pulled rickshaw” in Japanese, which does not really explain what they serve here and how it is all related, but it is definitely a fun quirky name that I’ll remember.


a drink after a long day’s work

As it turned out, this restaurant at Plaza Damansara specialized in something that isn’t very common around Klang Valley – modern Indian cuisine with a bit of fusion touch, as well as a fully equipped bar serving wine, whisky, spirits, and even cocktails.


how do you like your cocktails?

Started the evening with cocktail, I wanted something sour and was recommended to go with Amma’s Potion made with gin, coriander leaf, lime juice, and cucumber syrup, a good refreshing start to the evening.

My second was Whisky Cha, a play of whisky, masala herbs, and sour which was a tad more sophisticated compared to the refreshing note of the first.

If you’re not a cocktail person, there’s plenty of other drinks to choose from, alcoholic or otherwise (see menu below)


chili chicken is great as bar snack

If you like something with a bit of a kick to start, Chili Chicken certainly fits the bill. This is Gin Rik Sha’s interpretation to the classic popcorn chicken but one that is quite high on the spicy meter. Juicy inside, crispy out while being spicy and aromatic, I love it, a perfect bar snack to go with beer, or cocktail in this case.


kerala shrimp, wrap it up

Kerala shrimp is a classic Indian dish of spicy tamarind flavored shrimp with roasted coconut, and in this case served with toasted chapati instead of rice, which turned out to be quite a good combination. The sauce carried a kick and complimented the seafood well without being overpowering.


banana leaf baked sea bass

If you like fish, check out the Banana Leaf Baked Sea Bass – banana leaf wrapped with fresh aromatic sea bass and basmathi rice and served with brinjal sambal.

This dish is certainly a full meal, love the long grain rice and I wish there’s more brinjal sambal to go with! The fish was prepared properly and not overcooked, a good execution in this case. If this could be tapao as lunch I’d be a happy man.

Other interesting dishes on the menu includes spiced cauliflower rice, vegetable lasagna, chicken briyani, and even rack of lamb. There’s a good variety of modern and traditional classic to choose from.


hello Sammi! kulfi with caramelized bananas, carrot halwa filo pastry samosa

In the dessert department, their menu isn’t exactly very comprehensive. We did try the Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas and Carrot Halwa Filo Pastry Samosa with Black Pepper Ice Cream as the sweet endings to the night.  I enjoyed the samosa and pepper ice cream, and thought the kulfi was perhaps ordinary and not having a lot to write home about.

Overall this was certainly an interesting visit, a place fit for after-work wind down or a proper meal with friends. The menu and combination is bolder than most, and I for one welcome more innovations in culinary offerings in KL.

Address:
Gin Rik Sha
37, Ground Floor, Plaza Damansara,
Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.150079, 101.652613
Tel:  010-243 8266

 

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If we connect via instagram (@kyspeaks) or FB, you may have been aware that wordworking is one of my many hobbies. For whatever reason I’ve not been updating this part of myself on this site, an oversight that I should fix, and I suppose there’s no better time than now.

I may post other previous projects if there’s interests.


measure twice, cut once

This particular project stemmed out of my need to have a better way to keep my coffee pods. While there are numerous styles in the market, most of holds only the pods, not the box, which means the labeling info (intensity etc) is lost.

I did a bit of research, found a design that’s made from metal and decided to improvise and make one for myself with leftover wood scraps.


There’s never enough clamps!

The holder takes 5 tubes of Nespresso pods and hold them vertically, I cut notches on the wood to make sure the tubes stay in place vertically as well as holding the dispensing “mouth” open.


finished result, nespresso pods holder

Glue was used instead of screws or nails to give it a cleaner overall look and feel. Made four of these and given two out, keeping two for myself, quite a decent built I thought, what do you think?

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One of the cool things about being slightly known for food is that I get a lot of recommendations to check out food outlets others find delicious, Ivy Sekinchan is one such places introduced by one of my futsal friends who are well aware of my love for fish noodle (particularly how often I ended up at B & Best)


Ivy Sekinchan fish noodle, Taman Bukit Anggerik

Ivy Sekinchan is located at Cheras, or more specifically, Taman Bukit Anggerik. This is quite a “remote” part of Cheras that doesn’t draw much crowd from people who does not stay within the postcode. The good thing about these sort of places is that you do get a stress-free parking situation, I guess…

KY eats - Ivy Sekinchan fish noodle, Cheras - YouTube

While B & Best, or indeed Fatt Kee in Kota Kinabalu has quite a big menu, the offering at Ivy Sekinchan is a simple one-page affair. You get to choose from several types of fish ball noodle (in curry, dry, soup), grouper, dragon grouper, or giant garupa fish noodle, and fish head too (menu at bottom).


dragon garupa fish noodle soup

I had myself a bowl of dragon garupa with kuih teow (RM 22). The portion of fresh fish was quite generous, and was actually rather fresh and delicious. The soup base was quite strong tasting, if a little too salty. Cilantro, spring onion, tomato, and some fried shallots make up the rest of the ingredients.

A more than competent bowl of fish noodle for sure, but I’d like them to tone down the salt next time if that’s possible (or perhaps have it with dry noodle)


Hakka noodle if fish isn’t your thing

If fish noodle isn’t your thing, apparently the Hakka noodle here is worthy of a meal as well. Instead of wantan they have fish ball soup on the side, but you do still get the typical shredded pork on dry noodle as with any hakka noodle places (like the one at Pudu).

Address:
Ivy Sekinchan
71, Jalan 1/154,
Taman Bukit Anggerik,
43200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.065825, 101.748636
Tel: 016-263 0120

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There are two types of travelers, the one that plans for everything including transportation, hotel, point of interests, and which restaurants (and sometimes what to eat) to dine in; then there’s the type who likes to have a bit of surprises and a sense of adventure. It’s not surprise which type is me, and luckily, my brother is pretty much the same.


pork offal soup with rice, breakfast of champions

One of those adventures brought us to this pork offal soup with rice place when we went to Bangkok over CNY with mom.

KY eats - Pork Offal Soup with Rice, Bangkok - YouTube

This little stall is located on Soi Sukhumvit 55, the road in which we walk by on the way from our hotel to the Thong Lo BTS Station (Bangkok Mass Transit System, not that Korean boy group thingy..)

What intrigued us was how busy the stall is, and that it is seemingly a slice of time capsule wedged in between two roles of shop houses in this increasingly modern city that is Bangkok. So we did a bit of pointing here and there and had our orders for brunch.


blood, intestine, kidney, liver, and meat

As it turns out, they serve only one dish – pork offal soup with rice, and yep, just like Klang, there are people who has rice and porky goodness as breakfast.


the stall is wedged between two buildings

The soup came with a good mix of coagulated blood, intestine, kidney, liver, and pork slices, the soup is quite flavorful if slightly too salty for my taste, there’s also generous amount of cilantro to provide some balance to those fatty bits. The chili sauce condiment accompanying the dish is rather spicy too, as you’d expect from Thailand.

It was overall a rather yummy dish and one of the best meals we had in Bangkok. For 35-40 baht per bowl, this was also one of the more affordable meals too.


there’s a coffee stall next to it too

Address:
Pork Offal Soup (Opposite El Gaucho)
Soi Sukhumvit 55,
THONGLOR KLONGTON NUA
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
GPS: 13.730904, 100.581437

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Penangites always love a proper plate of char kuih teow and would usually regards CKT prepared by non Penang Hokkien as a bit of suspect. So naturally, most of us probably won’t sample char kuih teow manned by a Malay operator, since it’s .. well, usually not at all similar to the “original” version in which we’re familiar with.


It’s a game of fire and showmanship

However, being a food writer, it is also very important to be open and be willing to try all sorts of food and dishes, including those that may looked to be going against my “cultural heritage”, a decision which brought me to many wonderful surprises and great experience, including this kuih teow basah stall at SS15 that I tried a short while ago.

KY eats - Kuih Teow Basah, Subang SS15 - YouTube

The stall operates out of a van usually parked just outside the SS15 wet market on Jalan SS15/8a. There’ll be a few ad hoc tables set up right next it, comfort isn’t of any particular emphasis.

The cooking though, was a bit of a show, with flames threatening to blow up the entire operations, though any experienced hawker adventurer would find this a welcoming sight. And indeed it was!


simple looking kuih teow basah, but oh so delicious

The resulting plate of kuih teow was nothing like the type I’m familiar with, it came with kuih teow (of course), egg, bean sprout, cockles, and a couple prawns with shells still on. It was also really wet, and spicy in a way that’s different from what I’m used to,  yet it was very delicious in its own way, with the sauce packing a strong sweet seafood flavor and the dish having its own “wok hei” if you will.

If you’re a fan of kuih teow, give this a try as well, you may be surprised.

Address:
Kuih Teow Basah Food Truck
Jalan SS15/8a (outside wet market)
Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.074237, 101.587796
Hours: night

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For those who stays outside of Klang and Shah Alam, Klang seems like a destination that seems to be quite.. far. However, there are two sides of Klang, before and after the Klang River, for destination before the river, it is actually just 15 minutes from Subang, so if you were to drive to places such as Medan Selera 128, it doesn’t really require planning ahead for 3 weeks and getting visa approved by your home minister.

And the best part is, you can find some unique dishes not easily found in other parts of Greater KL.


128 food court, Klang

For example, one of these unique dishes is Hailam Rice, as offered by one of the stalls located at the rear part of Medan Selera 128.

Yeap, you read it right, Hailam rice, and not Hailam chicken rice.

KY eats - Hailam Rice, Medan Selera 128, Klang - YouTube

Hailam rice turns out to be a dish consists of the following different ingredients:

  • braised 3-layer pork
  • hard boiled egg
  • braised tofu skin
  • pork blood + intestine in soup
  • rice
  • sticky curry sauce


Hailam Rice @ Klang

The braised meat/egg/tofu skin side is quite a familiar taste that you’ll be able to find at any good teow chew porridge shop, and the intestine + pork blood soup not too different from a good pork stomach soup. Both these dishes were executed quite on point at this particular stall, with proper seasoning, and pork cuts that was perfect and well cooked.

The sticky curry sauce though, was something quite unique, it’s almost like a cross between Japanese curry and Loh Mee’s “loh” soup, something that I haven’t really acquired the taste on just yet. If you’re new to this dish like me, I’d suggest asking for this sauce to be served separately and pace it out. Good thing is, their sambal is hot and really adds to the whole experience.


egg, pork, tofu, blood, intestine, curry rice

For RM 10, this was a rather sumptuous and satisfying meal, and it won’t be the last time I order a serving of Hailam Rice.

Address:
Medan Selera 128
Jalan Mantin, Kawasan 18,
41400 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.053676, 101.448358

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Several weeks ago when my family was in town, we decided to meet up my cousin & extended family for a bit of a catch up session, and when you stay near Klang, the obvious option is bak kut teh, so that’s how we ended up at Ki Heong bak kut teh.


Ki Heong Bak Kut Teh, Bukit Tinggi Klang

Ki Heong (not to be confused by Kee Heong at Taman Eng Ann) is located at Bukit Tinggi, occupying two shop lots with one side fully air conditioned.

This is perhaps one of the best things anyone’s done to bak kut the – having it served in climate controlled environment! I mean, hot soup and hot weather doesn’t work so well together otherwise, right? Perhaps this is why bkt is often preferred as breakfast when it isn’t sweaty hot out.

KY eats - Ki Heong bak kut teh, Bukit Tinggi Klang - YouTube

The bak kut teh here comes in either soup or dry versions with a variety of different cuts to choose from. For those who loves pork fat, “pua pui chiak” (half fat, half lean), “tua kut” (big pone), and “seh kut” (small bones) are some of the cuts you should go for.

Additionally, you can also order innards such as stomach and intestine here. You can have these on a separate bowl in case some may not want them next to their meat, which is a bit of a shame, really!


dry bkt, soup bkt, and innards

The dry bkt here is certainly competent, rich in flavor and as usual, comes with a bit of dry chili and some okra slices to gives it a bit of character. Soup version is pretty decent here as well, while it isn’t the thickest, there’s still good herbal note, and they are happy to refill the clay pot as much and as often as you like.

As for the meat, I thought they are just slightly firmer than some of the best ones in Klang, though by no means anywhere close to “tough” territory. Overall this is a pretty decent bkt outlet that’s made better by having air conditioned dining area and unlimited soup. Not a bad choice really.


Bak Kut Teh is always best with a big group

Address:
Ki Heong Bak Kut Teh
Bukit Tinggi No. 28,
Jalan Bayu Tinggi 2A,
Batu Unjur, Klang
41200 Selangor
GPS: 3.011611, 101.439157

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Quite a few moons ago I went up to Cameron Highland for the second time in my life, and as with the last time, I was not entirely prepared by how long the winding road was, and how tiring a drive that can be, not to mention how frustrating it can get when you’re stuck being a vegetable laden lorry going at 30 km/h.

So, Cameron isn’t as much about the journey as it is about the destination, and one of the destinations to check out would be Water Cress Valley Farm & Restaurant.


Water Cress Valley Steamboat

Water Cress Valley, like the menu stated, is both a farm and a restaurant. Right beneath the semi-alfresco (the only way to dine in Cameron Highland) is a beautiful water cress farm. I suppose the water cress served here at this restaurant is right from the farm, and other vegetables most likely from the highland as well, but I’m just guessing.

KY eats - Steamboat at Watercress Valley, Cameron Highland - YouTube

Since Cameron Highland is many hours away from the closest fishing village, ordering seafood at this part of Malaysia would be a pretty silly thing to do. Hence we went with their  vegetarian charcoal steamboat set to complete the farm to table experience.

They do offer chicken, deer meat, lamb, and seafood options, I believe this establishment is pork free.


Cameron Highland is famous for vege so..

The fancy charcoal pot did take a while to heat up, but once it got going that thing was ferocious. There’s no such thing as “turning down the heat, aunty” option. In a way, this sorta forced you to eat at a pace dictated by dead wood.

The watercress based soup was quite interesting in its taste, it was light, subtle, and perhaps lack sophistication. To be honest I thought we could also use a bit more leafy vegetables than what was provided, but there’s plenty of mushroom though so that’s a plus.


vegetarian steamboat set

Overall, the experience of dining in at Cameron Highland climate and freshness of produce makes up for the lack of fancy flavor and different condiments. If you’re already on the highland, this would be a place to visit, I wouldn’t suggest a 4 hour drive from KL just for this though.

Address:
Watercress Valley
Lot UT/KF/F 160, 159,
Batu 44, Jalan Besar, Tringkap,
39100 Tanah Rata, Pahang
GPS: 4.508113, 101.416869
Tel: 012-506 3252

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