Wednesday 27 December 2017

Choo Choo Chicken 츄츄 @ USJ Taipan, Subang Jaya

Choo Choo Chicken 츄츄 @ USJ Taipan, Subang Jaya 

Korean Fried Chicken has become a trendy finger food due to increasingly popularity of Korean drama among Malaysian. Other than the famous Four Fingers, it is not hard to find new eateries featuring Korean Fried Chicken. 

Choo Choo Chicken originated from Singapore and for sharing their delicious crispy golden Korean fried chicken, few outlets have been opened around Klang Valley to satisfy the taste bud of Korean fried chicken's lovers. 

We visited one of the outlets in Subang Jaya. It is located in a rather-quiet street where most of the shops on the same row are not opened at night, but Choo Choo's business does not seem to be affected, there is a long queue outside the shop and we waited for half an hour before seated.

Not too sure if it is still crowded as before, but customers should deserve more comfortable and appropriate waiting area and services (need not to be on par with what are offered by Hai Di Lao in Singapore and Warakuya in Johor Bahru, but at least chairs or proper seatings during peak hours). 
Wing and Drumlet (Spicy) RM19.90
Nowadays, the Korean fried chicken has developed into various flavours and Choo Choo Chicken has most of the flavours you may think of, ranging from Spicy, Garlic, Sweet, Soy and Honey Soy. The chicken wings or drumlets are deep fried until golden brownish in colour before being coated with the selected sauce. Get the best taste by eating it while hot, spiciness and crunchiness all in a bite.
Bulgogi (Beef) Spicy Rice Burger  RM11.90
Other than fried chicken, Choo Choo also offers rice and noodles dishes to extend the varieties. Rice Burger is also one of their specialties. Creatively presenting the korean fried rice with bulgogi beef in the form of burger, its new look has successfully attracted customers' curiosity and also increase the appetite.  
Wing and Drumlet (Honey Soy) RM19.90
It tastes both sweet and savoury, a flavour which will be loved by kids! The seasoning of honey soy is a very thin coating on the surface of the fried chicken and drumlet, hence it is not very sticky and you wouldn't reluctant to eat it with your bare hands. 

Spicy Ramen  RM13.90

Choo Choo Chicken is a eatery specialising in Korean fried chicken and it does not offer full fledged Korean cuisine menu. To cater the Asian's need of having carbohydrate in each meal, Choo Choo Chicken has also developed creative modern Korean dishes, for example the rice burger and provide some noodles main course in its menu. We have ordered the spicy ramen and the kimchi  ramen. Nothing much about the spicy ramen, it is just the ready-made instant spicy ramen that we can bought from the supermarket, with additional pieces of fried chicken added to make it more filling.

Kimchi Ramen  RM13.90
Another noodles main course. 

Our experience with Choo Choo Chicken was not bad, save for queuing outside the shop. The fried chicken was nice and the variety of sauce flavours definitely gives the patrons additional option. Oh ya, Choo Choo Chicken is not of self-helped fast food concept (different from Four Fingers), hence you can sit down and make your order to the waiters, the foods will also be served to your table so that the patrons can chit-chat with the friends and family comfortably while waiting for the dishes to be served.   

Address : Choo Choo Chicken 츄츄
20-G, Jalan USJ10/1B
Taipan Business Centre, 
47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Tel : 03-5621 0772
Bussiness Hour : 11.30am - 11pm

Wednesday 13 December 2017

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

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

This is our re-visit to Baan Na-na. It was quite a long time after our first visit and this round, we found few other interesting set meals and dishes in the menu.
Roselle Drink 洛神花茶 RM3.80
Ice Milk Tea 泰式奶茶 RM4.80
After the promotional period, there is no complimentary house drink anymore. the Iced Milk Tea that I had was part of my set meal and we ordered another Roselle Drink, which we found to be very nice and refreshing during our first visit.

Fruits Salad 水果沙拉
The fruit salad was part of my set meal too, comprising few tropical fruits, i.e. guava, pineapple and watermelon. I could not tell what makes the salad dressing, but it was of little spicy and tangy.
Pandan Chicken 泰式班兰鸡  RM4.50 / Piece
Pandan chicken as our side dishes and I would say this is a must-order in Baan Na-na. Price wise, I feel it is quite expensive for a not-very-big piece pandan chicken. But taste wise, it was heavenly good, the chicken was soft and well marinated. We will definitely come back for this pandan chicken in the future.

Tom Yam Seafood Spaghetti 泰式海鲜意大利面 RM16.80
Thai Baan Na-na is offering few fusion main courses for lunch, Tom Yam Seafood Spaghetti is one of them. It may sound odd to match spaghetti with tom yam, but surprisingly it turned out to be very nice and perfectly match Asian's taste bud. Spaghetti used to be tasted very heavy with creamy sauce, this was very refreshing with the appropriate sourness from tom yam and a hint of lime. 

Pad Thai 泰式炒粿条 RM13.80
We ordered Pad Thai too, but this was a little bit too sweet to my flavour.despite the optional chilies powder added to the kuey teow. I would probably skip this for our future visits. But overall, I like most of the dishes offered by Baan Na-na, the best part is they serve customers with their sincerity, the lady boss always greets the patrons with warm and welcoming big smile, the presentation of the food resembles fine dining standard and I always feel their efforts in improving and making the dishes better. 

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 29 November 2017

Morganfield's @ Zenith, Johor Baru

Morganfield's @ Zenith, Johor Baru

Morganfield has first landed within the southern region in Mount Austin, a recent-developed party area. As we are staying in the downtown area, the heavy traffic to Mount Austin has prevented us from visiting this famous pork rib restaurant. Now, it has expanded its business right in the middle of town by having an outlet at Zenith, the newly opened hotel cum serviced apartment.  

Magners Cider  RM46.90
Definitely not to miss beer out and I enjoy trying something new to me. Magners Cider is a mild beer, which is very smooth and refreshing, goes well with the heavy dishes. Not too sure if the promotion in ongoing, we had this at RM46.90 with a free half pint.
Apple Juice  RM11.90

Sizzling Whole Chicken Leg  RM39.90
Other than the famous pork rib, there are many other good foods on the menu too. We ordered a sizzling whole chicken leg, which was served on a hot plate. The chicken leg was marinated well, very flavourful, I like the baked mini potatoes too, cute and soft. The dish was also served with mixed vegetables as sides. To retain the freshness and sweetness of the vegetables, they were placed on the hot plate just before the dish was served, but I found it a little bit too raw :P
Hickory BBQ Pork Ribs - Half Slab  RM54.90
The pork rib is normally for sharing and hence the portion is quite generous. I would say the pork rib deserves its reputation. The pork rib was off-the-bone soft, but remained juicy. It paired well with the cider beer too.

Address : Morganfield's
G-03 & G-03A, 
Suasana,82C, Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru

Bussiness Hour : 11am - 11pm
Tel : 07-288 6638

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.



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.


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.

***Fiction of the day!***