Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Bamboo Land Seafood Restaurant 翠竹园海鲜饭店 @ Bandar Indahpura, Kulai

Bamboo Land Seafood Restaurant 翠竹园海鲜饭店 @ Bandar Indahpura, Kulai

Having casual dinner in Bamboo Land Seafood Restaurant, a famous tzu-char restaurant in Kulai. The restaurant is located in a residential area, so it is always crowded with families for dinners, especially during weekends. It is also popular due to its reasonable pricing and decent food portion. Let's see what we had for our dinner:

KungPo Lala 宫保啦啦 RM22
Ordered this KungPo (dried chilies) Lala, which the tangy flavour definitely goes well with rice. Anyway, Bamboo Land's version of KungPo Lala is rather sweet, suitable for everyone in the family, be it adult or children.
Qing Long Cai 青龙菜  RM18
Qing Long vegetable has been a regular vegetable dish we often order and we have not missed it out for this round too.
Sizzling Beancurd 铁板豆腐  RM16
It was a family dinner and hence the sizzling beancurd was ordered. Sizzling Beancurd has always been one of the all time favourites, a simple yet savoury dish to go with rice. We normally opt for Japanese egg beancurd, which is more flavourful.


Teow Chew Steamed Red Snapper  潮州蒸红潮  RM70
To make the dinner slightly more sumptuous, we ordered a steamed red snapper too. There are few flavours of steamed fish to choose from, and we get the Teow Chew steamed, which is lighter in flavour and minimum seasoning, but definitely enable us to enjoy the freshness and natural sweetness of the fish.

Dinner for five pax (including a big fish) only costed us less than RM150, I consider the pricing quite reasonable and the decent portion of the dishes definitely worth the price. This is indeed a good place for family dinner if you are not looking for a super big feast, but simply want a rest from daily cooking at home. The dishes taste very close to home-cooked foods, which are lighter in flavour and not too sinful to eat more. 

Address : Bamboo Land Seafood Restaurant 翠竹园海鲜饭店
5229 , Jalan Matahari 34/4,
Bandar Indahpura,
81000 Kulai, Johor 

Business Hour: 5pm till late
Tel : 07-660 8063 / 012-768 7255 (阿烈)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅 @ Vivocity, Singapore

Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅@ Vivocity, Singapore

Hai Di Lao steamboat is originated from China, but has been expanding its business territory to many other countries around the world. Hai Di Lao has been the leader and benchmark of premium steamboat among the competitors of the same trade for many years, and it is definitely deserved its fame and reputation. While Hai Di Lao is not available in Malaysia, the nearest place to enjoy the premium steamboat would be our neighbour land -- Singapore. There are several branches in Singapore, but almost every outlets are packed with patrons at all times.  


So what is so special about their steamboat which makes patrons willing to queue up for hours? You may think that it is just another trend and will fade over the time. To me and many other patrons who have visited Hai Di Lao, it is actually due to the premium food quality and their tip top service. 

Before even starting your steamboat session in the restaurant, patrons get to enjoy their service. There is a waiting area outside the restaurant, which provides free flow foods and drinks while waiting for your queue number. Manicure service is also available free of charge. 

When you are seated, ladies will be given a rubber band to tie up hair and each of us gets a handphone cover, so that we can still use our handphone while enjoying the steamboat. The waiter and waitress are friendly and answer to patrons' request speedily. 


We opted for the mixed pot with four flavours, i.e. herbal chicken soup, mushroom stock, pickled vegetable soup and tomato soup. 


There are several choices for sauce and condiments too. The patrons can perform their own mix and match at the condiments bar.


There is also a snack bar, which patrons can start off the meal with some China local delicacies.


Pumpkin pancake is one of the signature desserts, which has sticky texture. The sweetness is just right to our taste.


Sliced beef is a must for steamboat.


Seafood balls made of fresh seafood and fish roe. 


Fresh fish slices.


Vegetable platter.


The overall dining experience is pleasant although the price is slightly on the high side, the cozy dining environment and high quality ingredients definitely worth the price and our re-visits in near future.

Address : Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅
Vivocity #03-09 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585

Tel: +65 6250 7557 / +65 6250 7667

Business Hours: 10:30am – 6am

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Baan Na-na Thai Cuisine @ Taman Pelangi, Johor Baru

Baan Na-na Thai Cuisine @ Taman Pelangi, Johor Baru

Baan Na-na is a hidden gem in Taman Pelangi, located at Jalan Kuning which has few other famous restaurants on the same street. Baan Na-na is not easy to be identified, as it is located at the first floor above a Thai steamboat restaurant.We found this place through friend's recommendation.


Lemongrass & Roselle Drinks
During our first visit here, the restaurant is still very green and not very well known. They were having promotion where every patron gets a complimentary house drink, either lemongrass or roselle juice. Although the promotion is no longer available, almost every lunch set meal comes with a beverage.

We ordered for a set meal for 2 pax, comprising a chicken tom yam, stir-fried minced meat with century egg and basil leaves. The set meal also includes 2 sunny-side up and white rice. 

Tom Yum Chicken
Even I always prefer tom yam seafood more, the tom yam chicken turned out to be better than expected. Chicken thigh was used and stir-fried before cooking it with the tom yam soup, hence the texture was soft and springy. The tom yam gravy was great too, the non-excessive hotness did not overwhelm the fragrance from the spice and lemongrass.  
Stir Fried Century Egg with Basil Leaf
We have been big fans of Pad Kra Pao, especially love the aroma of basil leaves with a hint of spiciness from the chili padi. The version here is slightly different, which came with century egg. The combination was new to us but indeed a good try. A very flavourful and savoury dish to go with white rice.  
Mango Sticky Rice  RM 7.50
We added on a mango sticky rice to complement the meal. It marked a perfect ending to our lunch, the serving was very decent at a reasonable price. 


Address : Baan Na-na Thai Cuisine
33A & 35A, Jalan Kuning 2, 
Taman Pelangi, 
80400 Johor Bahru

Business Hour : 10.30am - 2.30pm / 5pm - 10.30pm
Tel : 07-336 0980

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Chua Kee Seafood 蔡记海鲜 @ Gelang Patah, Johor Baru

Chua Kee Seafood 蔡记海鲜 @ Gelang Patah, Johor Baru

For seafood lover, Chua Kee Seafood at Gelang Patah is one of the must-go seafood restaurants. Although Gelang Patah is distant from Johor Bahru down town, it does not stop the town folks from visiting Chua Kee for the quality seafood with reasonable pricing. 
Clam Soup  上汤啦啦
Stir-fried lala with strong flavour seasoning (e.g. black pepper, sambal and kam heong) has been the more favourite choice among patrons. If you are looking for clam with lighter flavour, clam soup is a good choice. The broth was very sweet, but also with a hint of natural spiciness from ginger, white pepper and rice wine, very stomach-warming. The clams were not over-cooked too, remained their tenderness. 
Salted Egg Prawn  咸蛋虾
Dishes cooked with salted egg have been very popular since few years ago, mainly because of its savoury taste which is very appetizing. Salted egg dishes can come in dry or moist version, but I like the moist version better as the gravy can go with the white rice very well. The salted egg gravy in golden yellow colour makes the prawn very appealing too. 

Fried French Beans with Minced Meat 干煸四季豆
French Beans was slightly soaked in boiling oil, making its texture softer and easily cooked, before a quick stir frying with minced meat. The vegetable is slightly oily but very flavourful.
BBQ Chicken Wing 蜜汁烤鸡翅
Our research showed that this BBQ Chicken Wing is a must-try dish in Chua Kee. The chicken wings were deep fried then coated with honey and barbecue sauce, definitely an excellent beer food.

Fried Beancurd with Salted Egg 咸蛋豆腐
The fried beancurd was very well done too, crispy on the outside, silky smooth and soft in the inside.

Blackpepper Crab  黑胡椒螃蟹
How can we miss out crabs in a seafood restaurant? The crab was very reasonably priced hence we placed order without hesitation. There is no additional cooking fee charged by the restaurant. The crabs were very fresh, so the flesh is very solid and succulent, perfectly matched with fragrant and delicious black pepper sauce. The peppery taste is strong and favourful but didn't overwhelm the sweetness of the crab flesh, went very well with rice. 


A family photo of our orders. Yummy.




Address : Chua Kee Seafood 蔡记海鲜
67, Jalan Kacang Panjang, 
Gelang Patah 81550 Johor Bahru
GPS : N1.447108 E103.586133

Tel : 07-5103198 / Chua 012-7610529 / Lily 012-7628255
Bussiness Hour: 11:30am 至 10:30pm (Off alternate Wednesday)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Curious Case of Colmar Tropicale

The weather was unusual this time around. Somehow it was cloudy and dark, but it’s only 2 PM. Odd. We’ve been driving for quite some time now. We’re supposed to be there by now. Why are we still on the road? The map clearly shows we should’ve been there. This is weird, but when I look at my friends, they were not bothered at all. Am I just over thinking stuff? This holiday was not even my idea. All of a sudden, they wanted to have a get-together and decided to go to this old European-like resort; the Hotel Colmar Tropicale in Malaysia. They even did the whole booking hotel process. I was free at the time and I thought I needed the break from my office, and so I went. I don’t know. Something just doesn’t seem right to me.

The journey has been quiet too.

There was just the radio.

Everyone was quite - probably minding their own business or just too lazy to talk to each other.

We finally turned into KM48 at Persimpangan Bertingkat, and there it is. The hotel; standing majestically with its middle European design and huge entrance, right in front of us. I have to admit, I feel a sudden urge of excitement. I should be, right? My friends were pretty pumped too. Alas, I was beginning to think I’ve been going on this journey with ghosts.
“Dude, this place looks wicked!”, yes, he is clearly excited.

“It looks so unique, man! It’s like we’re on another planet!”, maybe she’s over exaggerating a bit, but, the place does look different. The large expanding forest surrounding the hotel made it look like this hotel is the one and only civilization there is.

“Hey, what are you waiting for? Come on!” he called from across the bridge to the entrance. I must’ve been staring at the place for more than 10 minutes. I followed them in like a zombie, feeling very much in awe, but still, I can’t shake that sense of chill I’ve been filling every since we started our journey here. We walked through the entrance into the main roaming area. From each side we already get to see all the lodges for shops and the accommodations.

But, then…

“Hey, guys, where is everyone?”, I asked.

They turned and looked around. We are the only ones there. There were no other people there. The large fountain in the middle is like a hollow ground. The whole area is very quiet, leaving only the sound of water gushing in the fountain - bringing it life to this seemingly dead place.
“Maybe they’re all inside the hotels. Or out.”, she’s the realist in the group.
“How can everyone be inside at the exact same time? Where are the staffs? I read up there were dancers around the area.” I questioned. It’s a legitimate question, but it seems to fell on deaf ears.

“Who cares? We have the whole place to ourselves!”, he is literally jumping and yelling in joy.

That seemed to cheer the mood for everyone except me. They were running around, taking pictures, playing with the waters at the fountain. I walked past the La Cigogne restaurant, it’s the main dining attraction in here but there is no one there. I can’t even smell the fresh pastries they are usually known for. I peered through the half-open windows when I saw a flash of black silhouette dash across the hall inside. I look closely again, but there was nobody there. Was I imagining it? I could’ve sworn I saw…

“Hey, what are you doing? Come on, we’re checking in!”, he called out to me.

I turned and worked my pace towards him. There, at the corner of my eye, I caught something! I turned and my gaze falls on the end of one of the accommodation building. There, behind the corner, there was somebody there. It’s small...or is it short? It’s a girl. She’s looking at me but she’s just standing there. The shadow covers most of her face. All I can see is her blue dress and bright red shoes. I can feel myself turning and trying to approach her when suddenly a crow strikes down right in front of me. I looked down and see the crow on the ground...looking right up at me!

What is going on? I can only voice it in my head as I am settling in the Deluxe Room. I could’ve sworn I saw the girl there, standing and staring directly at me, but when I looked up from the crow to where she was supposed to be, she is gone. When I turned back down at the crow, it is also gone. The whole time I was unpacking, my mind was on that girl. Who is she? Why is this place so quiet and empty? I thought this place was the talk of people around; people were boasting the great price on colmar tropicale hotel they have out there.
Creak…

Creak…

Creak…

From the closet. My heart is starting to build up it's beating for no reason. I approached the closet door slowly. My imagination was racing.

Creak…

Creak…
I can feel my hand trembles as it reaches for the knob. I opened it and there was the girl in the blue dress. The shadow is not covering her face anymore and it was horrific. Her eyes are bloodied red, her smile is widely disturbing - like a clown’s smile, but this is not a happy smile, it’s evil. Her smile grew wider and more menacing. Before I could do anything, the girl leaps on me and pin me down to the ground. I could hear her inhuman growls and the stench was foul of a decomposed carcass. I can hear myself screaming but only then I notice that it was all in my mind. I was screaming in my mind! The girl extended her jaw in no way possible for a human to do. I can see rows of razor sharp teeth as it sunk deep into my flesh. I screamed.
 
I gasped and opened my eyes. There was the ceiling of the room. My eyes scanned around the ordinary Deluxe Room. I pull myself up. I’m on the bed. “It was a dream.”, I whispered to myself. I turned to the unpacked bag at the side. It was a dream. A silly dream. I scoff at how silly everything is and begin to unpack. The phone rings. Must be them complaining how long they’ve been waiting for me to check out the rest of the place. I answered the phone with a long apology waiting, “Hey, I’m sorry, I totally dozed off…”

“Babe, are you ready? We’re coming to your place for another 10 minutes.”, she assured at the end of the line.

“What are you talking about?”, I asked. Is she dreaming too or something? We’re already here.

“What do you mean what I’m talking about? We’re going to Colmar today! We got a flat just now, so we headed to get it fix. We’re on our way to your place to get you. Don’t tell me you forget about the trip?”

My heart stopped. Every inch of my body stiffened and my breaths shortened to a beat.

CREAK...CREAK...
***Fiction of the day!***

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Kingyo Japanese Restaurant @ Marina, Danga Bay, Johor Baru

Kingyo Japanese Restaurant @ Marina, Danga Bay, Johor Baru

Have been eyeing this Japanese Restaurant at Danga Bay for a while and finally we got the chance to visit it on a random Saturday for lunch. Kingyo is the name of this Japanese Restaurant, located just next to the beach. However, due to the ongoing construction in the vicinity, we are unable to enjoy the beach view. The serenity environment and cozy interior design inside the restaurant still able to compensate the shortcoming of beach view. 


Danga Bay is not crowded at all during daytime, so during our visit, the restaurant has only a few patrons. Despite no crowd, we were told that 20 minutes are required for the foods to be served. 


Actually we waited for 30 minutes instead, but the waiter was very thoughtful to keep refilling our cups with hot green tea. We are pleased by the presentation of the set meal and its taste did not disappoint us. The portion of food was quite decent. 
Grilled Salmon Cheek with Teriyaki Sauce  RM30
The grilled salmon cheek came with a salad, chawanmushi, soup, fruits and pickles, a very complete combination. 
Grilled Eel and Sashimi  RM49
This set meal is perfect for me, a lover of unagi and sashimi, all of them are on the same tray. Kingyo is famous with its sashimi, and it definitely deserves the reputation. The sashimi were very fresh and solid.

The sashimi were in very thick cut and 5 pieces of them were more than enough to satisfy my craving. 


Last but not least, the grilled unagi. I like this very much as it does not carry the fish smell and despite the teriyaki sauce, I can still taste the sweetness from the unagi. I would say the portion is proportionate to its price, if you are not a big eater, this set can actually cater for two. 

I will definitely re-visit Kingyo for its high quality food.

Address : Kingyo At Danga Bay
Lot 21350 Jalan Batu 4 1/2, 
Jalan Skudai, 
Danga Bay, 81200 Johor Baru

Tel : 07-220 0333
Bussiness Hour : 12pm - 2.30pm / 6pm - 11pm

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Yummy Nasi Lemak House @ Taman Century, Johor Baru

Yummy Nasi Lemak House @ Taman Century, Johor Baru

Although Nasi Lemak is one of the most popular food among Malaysian, it is definitely adventurous to specialise and sell only Nasi Lemak in a restaurant. Yummy Nasi Lemak House has taken the challenge by offering Nasi Lemak and Mee Siam only as its main courses. Their menu has only 2 pages, featuring Nasi Lemak and Mee Siam with different side dishes, i.e. fried chicken, rendang chicken and rendang mutton.

Other than the main course, they have various nyonya kuih-muih displayed at the counter, good to be served as breakfast or high tea snacks.
Otak-Otak  RM1 per stick
While waiting for the Nasi Lemak to be served, patrons can also try their otak-otak. I actually like its otak-otak very much, as it is made of real fish and we can still see and taste the texture of fish flesh. It is not too spicy and just right to my taste.
Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng  RM9.90
Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng is their signature dish. To ensure the freshness and crunchiness of the fried chicken, the restaurant will not pre-fry too many chicken in advance. So if you are ordering more than 3 sets of Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng, you might need to wait for 10-15 minutes for the chicken to be fried. 

The fried chicken is marinated well and because it was served hot, the outer layer was very crispy but remained moist and juicy in the inside. The oil temperature was controlled well too, so the fried chicken is not oily at all.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang  RM10.90
The Ayam Rendang matched well with Nasi Lemak too, the rempah was not too pungent. I would prefer it to be with slightly more gravy. 

Instead of sliced cucumber, the Nasi Lemak is complemented with achar, which makes the Nasi Lemak less sinful and more appetizing. Papadam (which normally being served with Nasi Briyani) is also made as a side dish here, to add different texture to the dish. The combination is slightly new but perfectly matched.    

Address : Yummy Nasi Lemak House
104, Jalan Dato Sulaiman,
Taman Century, 
80250 Johor Baru
GPS :N 1 28.962   E 103 45.438

Bussiness Hour : 7.30am - 3pm (Till finish)
Tel : 07-332 9375

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Capitol Seafood 佳必多祖传海鲜小吃 @ Mount Austin, Johor Baru

Capitol Seafood 佳必多祖传海鲜小吃 @ Mount Austin, Johor Baru

Looking for light food during Friday night. Having heard that the famous "longkang siham" in Melaka has expanded its business in Johor Bahru, we decided to have a try despite we hate the traffic jam along Jalan Tebrau.

The menu is quite limited to shellfish and finger foods, such as clam (siham), lala, chicken wings, century eggs, rojak and some vegetables, may not be suitable if you require main course for dinner, but it definitely serves as a good choice for supper and finger snacks.

However, compared to the price and portion in Melaka, the dishes here are relatively more costly and smaller in portion.  


Other than the dishes in the menu, the shop also provides "lok lok" to enhance the varieties. Similar to other lok lok in Johor, the lok lok can be made by boiling it, deep fry it or even barbecue it at the patron's choice.


Boiled lady fingers with the special sauce.


Fruit Rojak


Grilled chicken wings



Address : Capitol Seafood 佳必多祖传海鲜小吃
22-G, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, 
Taman Mount Austin
81100 Johor Baru

GPS :  N 1 33.887   E 103 46.608

(Same row with Ho Ho Steamboat)

Bussiness Hour : 6pm - 1am (Monday off)

Tel : 018-395 1161 /  019- 727 9793 /  012 - 712 7792