Monday, 20 February 2017

Restoran Shanmuga Vilas @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Having started in the year 1959, Shanmuga Vilas is the oldest Indian restaurant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. Then, there was another one called Sorna Vilas which was just a few doors away but sadly, they went bankrupt in the late 90's. 

Shanmuga Vilas Along Jalan Douglas
After the town council closed up the main trunk road heading into town, business had been very much affected for most of these restaurants that are located in the original town of Tanjung Malim. Today, the other side that used to be non existent till around ten years back has become the new town and is busy all day long. Despite that, the food here is still the best taste wise. I have not come here in a while myself and having missed some good South Indian food for a while, I decided to have dinner here this evening. This restaurant is located along Jalan Douglas, right opposite AmBank.

Vegetarian Banana Leaf Meal @ RM 6.50
The vegetarian meal set here comes with three vegetables, usually they would have two vegetarian curries, Appalam, Moor Milagai, Fried Bitter Gourd and Fried Tapioca. Apologies as not all those mentioned are in this photograph as they came after I took this picture and I was already too hungry then. 

Potato & Chick Pea Perattal

Mashed Mix Vegetables with Ghee

Beet Root
All the vegetables at this restaurant are very good. As mentioned earlier, the food here is simply fantastic and you tend to get many food items that are not easily available in most restaurants. Vegetables too vary daily and so if you're one who has your meal here daily, you would not get the same variety on a daily basis. The setback however is the price. That is a huge problem here. The price varies daily and depends on the mood of the lady boss. Once again, locals are charged differently and outsiders are charged differently. I have witnessed incidents where outsiders were charged RM 30 for two Banana Leaf Meals plus two plates of Chicken Varuval. I know many locals are disgruntled because of this and have boycotted this restaurant and any outsider who comes here once would definitely not return simply because of the charges. Even the price that is quoted here for me has varied on a day to day basis. Funny but true. Coming back to those vegetables, they were all excellent and I would give them 9/10. 

Sambar


Kirai Kulambu
Their Sambar is very unique, some like to call it Paruppu Rasam as it has a mild sourness to it but then, it is very similar to the ones that you would get in Tamil Nadu. Again as you can see, the Kirai Kulambu is made using Ponnangani Keerai which is rich in medicinal values and a dish that you hardly get elsewhere. Both were excellent and I would rate them both at 10/10. 

Milagu Rasam
The Milagu Rasam here is my favourite. In fact, I would never order a drink at this restaurant and the lady boss knows my requirement. She would serve me two tumblers of Rasam at the end of my meal. The truth is that I do come here very often despite the prices being on the steep side. It's all because I love their food and the satisfaction that I get from my meal here is simply indescribable. And before I forget, this Rasam deserves a 10/10. 

Rice + Rasam + Papaddam @ RM 5.00 and Mutton Varuval @ RM 8.00

Mutton Varuval
This was from a few days before when I was here for their Mutton Varuval. I had some rice, Rasam and Papadam as you can see from the above photograph and for that, I was charged RM 5.00 . Not a thing that I would do often but I do not mind spending like this once or twice a week. Their Mutton Varuval is excellent as they cook it using wood fire instead of  gas stoves. It tastes so much better and the meat is lean. Another point to note is that they do not use lamb or local mutton. They only buy Australian Mountain Goat which is one that is quite expensive. If you're a fan of mutton, you have got to try their preparation. I would definitely give this a 10/10. 

Rice + Rasam @ RM 4.00  and Chicken Perattal @ RM 7.00

Chicken Perattal @ RM 7.00
Also from a few days back, I was here for Rice, Rasam and Chicken Perattal for which I was charged RM 11.00 . As you can see, their prices fluctuates on a daily basis. Probably they have a basic amount that they would want to get out from a customer and based on that, the prices vary. Again, their Chicken Perattal was excellent. Sorry for the bad picture quality but rest assured, it was delicious! Just like the earlier Mutton Varuval, this too deserves a 10/10. 

In summary, the food here is excellent but you can hardly see many customers on a daily basis. Most of them would be from out of town, especially parents of those university students who have come down to visit their children. There may be a handful of locals, mostly just here for drinks or perhaps a quick meal. That being the case, they prepare very limited amount of food on a daily basis, just sufficient to cater for that small pool of customers. However, if you are willing to spend for some very good Tamil food, then by all means please visit them. There's no other place in town that could even come close to them in terms of taste. That's for sure!

Address: 6, Jalan Douglas, 35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2100 Daily

Friday, 17 February 2017

Chee Cheong Fun Stall in Restoran Big Family @ Kota Damansara, Selangor

The last few weeks, I have been visiting this restaurant at least once a week and here I am again. I have tried the food from a few stalls but how can one not have any more choices here. There are easily 25 to 30 stalls in total. As for today, let me try the Chee Cheong Fun stall.

The Chee Cheong Fun Stall in Restaurant Big Family

Assorted Fish Balls, Fish Paste and Tofu
The Chee Cheong Fun stall is located on the far right side of the shop. Besides the usual sauce based Chee Cheong Fun, he also sells Curry Chee Cheong Fun as well. Business is definitely good as there were a number of customers who were waiting in line to select the Yong Tau Fu items and I was impressed with the variety that he had. That speaks volumes on the daily sales. After having selected what I wanted, I handed those to his assistant and was back to my table. 

Sweet & Chili Sauce Chee Cheong Fun
In a matter of minutes, the dish was sent over to the table and it definitely looked good. As far as the Chee Cheong Fun is concerned, he has the rolled one as well as the flat one and so, you could choose whichever you prefer. 

Generous With The Sauces
He was definitely generous with the sauces and had been careful in placing the chili sauce on to the side. This is good as each person would have a varying level as to how much chili is needed and this way, they can scoop as much as they need to enjoy their meal. 

Even the tofu and fish balls tasted great. In summary, this is definitely a good plate of Chee Cheong Fun. No wonder business is good for him. I would give this preparation a 8/10. Definitely a stall that I would recommend!

Address: 65, Lorong TSB 10A, Taman Industri Sungai Buloh, 47000 Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

Opening Hours: 0900 - 1500 Daily

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Lampu Neon Cafe @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

It's been a while since I last visited Lampu Neon Cafe. I very much enjoyed the food the last trip here which was sometime in February 2015. Since it has been two long years,  we decided to visit them this evening. This restaurant is located along Jalan Ketoyong, just beside Elite Futsal. For those who are not familiar, come along Jalan Ketoyong until you see the KTM Station on your left. Shortly ahead, you would see a row of shops on your right and there would be a sign which reads 'Elite Futsal'. The moment you turn in, you would be able to sight this restaurant on your right.

Love The Design

Clean And Tidy

The place is simple, a no frills restaurant, nevertheless it was very clean and tidy. The restaurant had a funky look to it and it seemed like a great place to chill out with friends. Previously they used to provide WiFi as well but it seems that it's out of order today. 


The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu
When we arrived, it was approximately 7.00 pm and the place was quite quiet, with just another table being occupied. But as time passed, customers started arriving in large numbers. Being a weekday, this flow of customers was quite impressive. The pricing of both Western and Local dishes seemed very reasonable and it seems that they have added more dishes and drinks to their menu. Specifically, their Western dishes were very reasonably priced, if not cheap. This must also be one of the reasons why customers' keep flocking here. As far as the customer service goes, there's nothing much to say. The waiters had to be called to attend to us and there wasn't much of an interaction like the previous time. Anyway, we were here for the food and hope that quality remains the same. Customer service is a bonus if it's good and sadly it wasn't this time around. 

Grilled Chicken Chop with Black Pepper Sauce @ RM 10.00
The Grilled Chicken Chop comes in two options, either Black Pepper Sauce or Mushroom Sauce. I went for their Black Pepper Sauce and this selection is done at the time of order. Wonderfully marinated Chicken, being grilled and served on a sizzling hot plate with Fries and some Black Pepper sauce. The portion was not too huge and commensurates the price. I think this is great. Some places charge an exorbitant rate and serve a humongous piece which is too much for a single person. This was just about the right size. The marinated chicken was grilled and it was perfectly done. Not overdone or under cooked, it was simply perfect. I wonder what they had used to marinate the chicken as it was very delicious. The last time I was here, I did mention that the Black Pepper Sauce would have been better if only it was thicker and bolder and true enough, they did listen. What was served this evening was simply marvelous. I loved the batter as it was so good.  The Fries too were nicely done and fried to a golden brown perfection. Overall, an excellent dish. I would rate this at 9/10 . 

Nasi Goreng Sardin @ RM 5.00
Their Nasi Goreng Sardin was simply out of this world! One of the best Malay version Fried Rice that I have tasted. The rice was spicy, came with lots of sardine chunks and it was such a treat to the taste buds. For RM 5.00 , the portion was huge. Absolutely loved this and I would give this a 10/10. 

Dimmu Chicken Burger @ RM 6.00
For those who are tired of having the usual Ramly Burger, this is definitely a good alternative. This comes in a choice of either Chicken or Beef. Do note that these are the common processed Burgers that we get and not those minced meat patties. This preparation comes in a soft bun, served with some cheese in the burger and topped with Black Pepper sauce and some Fries which have been sprinkled with some spicy powder. The taste of the Burger mixed with the Black Pepper batter was truly an electrifying experience and would nail a burger lover just at the right spot. For me, this was one to cherish as it was truly tasty! Another excellent preparation that deserves a 9/10 rating.  

Spicy Chicken Wings @ RM 8.00
These Fried Chicken Wings was another marvelous preparation. The wings were marinated and deep fried to perfection. The marination was so good that none of us dipped it into the sauce. The wings too were huge chunks and they were priced at a very reasonable RM 8.00 for five. A fantastic dish and I would give this a 9/10 as well. 

On the whole, our dining experience tonight was a memorable one (except for the shabby customer service). All of us enjoyed the food along  with the wallet friendly prices. I am truly glad that the food quality had not dropped even a bit over the years and hope that it continues to remain so in the years to come. Definitely a place that I would recommend!

Address: Lot 8138 (153 D & 153 E), Jalan Ketoyong, 35900 Tanjung Malim,
                Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1500 - 0000 Daily (Best to check their Facebook as the timing may change)
                             Closed on Saturdays

Telephone: +6012 363 2045

Monday, 13 February 2017

K. R. Mani Curry House @ Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur

K.R. Mani Curry House isn't new to the people who are living and working along Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur. This restaurant has been around for some time now and they are located right opposite the Thandayuthapani Temple and also not too far from the old Sentul Cinema. 

The Restaurant Along Jalan Ipoh

Air Conditioned Restaurant
Despite being just a few doors away from the famous Madras Cafe, this restaurant has it's own crowd and is usually very busy during lunch hours. The restaurant is a two floor set up and both floors are air-conditioned for customers dining comfort. The place is also very systematically designed  and despite all the money spent on renovation, their Banana Leaf Meals are a mere RM 5.50 . Another thing that attracted me is their waiters. They were all dressed in Dhothi (Veshti), the cultural attire of the Tamils. I do not remember seeing this practiced anywhere else. For that, my salute to the waiters and the management. 

Banana Leaf Meals (Vegetarian) @ RM 5.50
Their basic Banana Leaf Meal comes with three vegetables, unlimited rice with a variety of curries, Appalam (Pappadam), pickled chilies (Moor Milagai), pickles, Rasam and Payasam. All this for just RM 5.50 . I also adored the way the staffs served. Each automatically takes charge of a table as the customer walks in and the rest seems like a seamless dance. Right from laying the leaves till the last dish served, it was just happening in a blink as if they have been doing this all their lives. Perfect syncronisation of efforts. 

Ladies Finger with Mocha Kottai

Keerai Kadayal

Cabbage
All their vegetables were tasty and none were over cooked. I particularly enjoyed the Vendikkai (Ladies Finger) & Mocha Kottai Perattal. That was really something. The other two were also good. I would rate their Vendikkai at 8/10 and the other two at 7/10.  

Sambar

Mocha Kottai Kulambu
As for the curries, I went for Sambar and Mochai Kottai Kulambu. Of course, you could go for their non vegetarian curries as well at no extra charges. Their Sambar was delicious and their Mocha Kottai Kulambu was excellent. The latter gravy is one that is quite rare these days and I was impressed when I saw these guy's serving this. As for their Sambar, I would give it a 7/10 and their Mocha Kottai Kulambu at 8/10. 

Appalam & Moor  Milagai

Rasam

Payasam
Even their Appalam and Moor Milagai is served in a separate basket and they were quite generous with the portions. Their Rasam was superb, way better than what you mostly get these days in restaurants and their Payasam was tasty too. Perhaps a tad too sweet for me but otherwise it was good. I would rate their Rasam at 9/10 and their Payasam at 7/10. 

Card To Be Handed Over To The Cashier 
Wondering what that door access card is doing here? Well, their entire billing system is automated. Once the waiter is done serving your table, he then keys in the orders into the system and then that information is duplicated on to this card. When one is done with their meal, instead of mentioning the table number or listing down the food items, you just have to hand over this card to the cashier and in a instant, your bill is ready. The only Indian restaurant that I have come across with total automation Way to go guys!. 

In summary, the food was good, very reasonably priced, speedy service, impressive attire and super impressive billing system. If you happen to be in this area, please do give these guy's a try. The only problem here would be parking. If you drive behind the shop, there should be some public car parks very close to the cinema. From there, it's just a 5 minute walk. 

Address: No. 355, 2 1/2 Mile, Jalan Ipoh, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 4042 5842

Opening Hours: 0700 - 2230 Daily

Friday, 10 February 2017

Sisters Kon Loh Mee Stall @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Ask anyone from Tanjung Malim who has traveled vastly where the best Wantan Noodles is and they would always say that nothing beats the one from Tanjung Malim and it is indeed true and not an overstatement. This Chinese Aunties have been selling these noodles for the past 50 years. Those days their stall used to be by the side of Bunga Raya Barber Shop, after which they shifted to a number of locations around town. Today, this stall is located by the side of Maybank, Tanjung Malim, attached to Kedai Kopi Sun Sin Lee. 

The Stall Located Beside Maybank
In the mornings, this stall is occupied by another vendor selling similar food items. This Auntie then sells above the present wet market on the first floor and come noon, she operates from here. It is not difficult to locate this stall. Come to Maybank, look at the far left end and you would notice this stall.

Seating Area
There is an indoor seating space as well as a covered outdoor seating area, both of which are quite comfortable. The Auntie prepares all the dishes herself and this includes the noodles used. Besides Kon Low Mee, she also sells Curry Mee and Soup Noodles. There are a number of add on's that one could choose from and therefore it is best to walk over to the stall, choose the items yourself and once done, inform her and she would then prepare the dishes accordingly. This stall only sells food items and the drinks are sold by the landlord which is Kedai Kopi Sun Sin Lee. Prices are slightly expensive for the drinks but they are still within an acceptable range.

Wantan Mee @ RM 3.70
It does not take her that long a time to prepare the dishes and usually, within 10 minutes, the dishes are ready and served at your table.  

The Noodles Are Really Tasty

As for me, I always go for the larger one. The noodles are soft and springy and even the noodles are made by them. This comes with some Wan Ton's and sliced Char Siew. A perfect dish of Wan Ton Noodles and I would rate this at 9/10 .

Delicious Char Siew
The Char Siew however may not be the best of quality. Nevertheless, it is still tasty. For those who love Curry Mee, you should also try her Curry Mee. It is pretty good as well. 

Dumplings In Clear Soup
These are also provided as part of the set. If you want more, you could always ask for extra. These too are homemade and not the ready made ones. She usually charges RM 0.15 each for these. A very good price I feel and they are so tasty. I would rate these at 9/10 as well. 

What more can I say. I have so many memories attached to this stall since my childhood days. Wherever I go, I would always use this Kon Low Mee as a benchmark to rate others. Definitely great food, speedy service and very reasonable prices! Simply love this place and would highly recommend it!

Address: Next to Maybank, Jalan Chong Ah Peng, 
                35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1330 - 1730 (Or Until Sold Out)
                          (In the morning's, she is in the wet market next door on the first floor)

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Popiah Stall in Restoran Mei Keng @ Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Restoran Mei Keng is a typical Chinese food court that is located in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. Just like any other food court concept restaurants, they have two batches of stalls that operate daily. The first batch does lunch and the second batch does dinner. As far as the breakfast and lunch scene is concerned, there is not much variety here but you get a whole lot of more stalls in the evenings. This blog entry is specifically about the Popiah stall that operates in the evenings. 

Restoran Mei Keng in Section 14, Petaling Jaya

The Popiah Stall
It was tea time actually when I arrived and most of the stalls were still being set up. Since the Popiah stall is one that belongs to the shop owners, this one was ready for business by 3.00 pm. They are open daily and most of the stalls are open till around 11 pm. Parking can be a problem here as the roads are quite narrow but it's not impossible to find a bay. If I am not mistaken, I was the very first customer for the day as she only started steaming the vegetables after my orders. Kindly do note that the Popiah that you get here is the vegetarian one. There is no animal based ingredients that is added to the sauce and they do not add eggs to the Popiah as well. 

Popiah @ RM 2.20 per piece
The Popiah weren't too big, just nice in terms of size and each was priced at RM 2.20 which I felt was very reasonable. Despite being smaller in size, if you're having this as a side dish, one is good for a person and for light eaters, perhaps half is more than sufficient. 

Loaded with Vegetables and Ground Peanuts
They were definitely very generous with the sauces and in all their Popiah's, they add both sweet sauce and chili sauce. The veggies were just right and the outer layer was coated with ground peanuts which gave it it's crunchiness. Definitely a good one taste wise and I would rate this at 7/10. 

If you happen to be in this area and looking for a mid afternoon snack, this would be an ideal place for that. The Popiah's were good and besides this, there were many more stalls that offer a variety of dishes. Perhaps I would come back some day and try some of the other dishes as well.

Address: No. 42, Jalan 14/48, Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1500 - 2300 Daily