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!***

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

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Ah Hua Kuey Teow 亚华粿条 @ Taman Century, Johor Baru

Ah Hua Kuey Teow 亚华粿条 @ Taman Century, Johor Baru

Ah Hua Kuey Teow is not new to residents in Johor Bahru, as it is the pioneer of abalone kuey teow soup with 50-year history in the southern tip of Johor. Ah Hua Kuey Teow started in 60-an with a pushcart, selling Teo Chew style kuey teow soup in the downtown. With the late owner's creativity and innovation, Ah Hua had invented the abalone kuey teow soup even back in those poverty-stricken years. 

Other than the luxury abalone kuey teow soup, Ah Hua also offers the basic version with pork, intestine and fish balls. Ah Hua Kuey Teow has dry and soup version, we ordered both. If you order the dry version, the waitress will ask if you need chilies and black vinegar too. I thought it was the Singaporean style to eat it with chilies and black vinegar but I was told this is actually the traditional Teo Chew style, which has been practised by Ah Hua since day one of its business. 

The soup version was good too, the broth is very flavourful and with the natural sweetness from the pig bone. The pig liver was thinly sliced and well cooked, hence very soft. Not to forget the springy fish ball, I am not too sure if the fish balls were hand made, but it perfectly matched with the kuey teow soup and definitely will be loved by kids.

Since almost every patron ordered their signature fish cakes, we ordered two pieces to satisfy our curiosity as well. It turned out to be not too bad. The chilies sauce was quite special with the minced coriander, making the fish cakes taste more refreshing.

Although the food here was quite good, the restaurant took quite a while to get our servings ready, it is either due to the crowd on the weekends or the kuey teow soup is cooked bowl by bowl to ensure its quality. If you are rushing for appointment or looking for quick meal, you may want to skip Ah Hua during lunch hours or weekends.  

Address : Ah Hua Kuey Tiao 亚华粿条
21, Jalan Serigala, 
Taman Century, 80250 Johor Baru
GPS: N1 29.138   E103 45.664

Business Hour : 7.30am - 4.30pm 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Boat Noodles @ JBCC Johor Baru City Center, Johor Baru

Boat Noodles @ JBCC, Johor Baru

The famous Thai Boat Noodles has landed in Malaysia for quite some time and I still remember the initial big crowd when boat noodles were first introduced in Kuala Lumpur. Now, the population boom has slowed down, but it still provide an additional choice if you have run out of idea what to have for lunch or dinner.

Different from before, boat noodles restaurants have increased the variety of foods to attract more patrons. Now they offer more Thai cuisines and desserts to accommodate different patrons' preference.
Longan Drinks  RM3.90
Similar to Malaysia, Thailand is also famous with tropical fruits, like mango, longan and durian. My mum used to buy big packet of dried longan when she visits Thailand as it is much cheaper and fresher. During our visit to Boat Noodles, the restaurant was offering Longan Drink as their "today's special". As usual, Thai drink and dessert are slightly sweeter to my taste bud, but it is still acceptable if you are taking hot food. 

There are four types of soup base and two types of noodles. We wanted to order Egg Noodles for testing but was told that Egg Noodles were sold out.

Pathumtani - The Pathuthani recipe is a dark soy sauce broth with an appetizingly sour-ish and delica spicy flavour

Ayutthaya - Ayutthaya has an intensely flavour based creamy dark broth with no less than ten herbs and spices.

We ordered both chicken and beef noodles. Small portion of noodles and meat ball (respectively made from beef and chicken) are served in a small bowl, which was just now for a bite.

The broth was good and both are very appetizing. It is also quite enjoyable to stack up the bowls after eating, especially when you are eating with a bunch of good friends and each of us were competing with each others on how many we could eat! 

Address : Boat Noodles
Lot 307, 3rd Floor,
Komtar JBCC Johor Baru City Center
80000 Johor Baru
GPS : N 1 27.709 E 103 45.811

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Broovies Cafe @ Bandar Indahpura, Kulai

Broovies Cafe @ Bandar Indahpura, Kulai

It has been a while since our last cafe hopping and this round, our target is Broovies Cafe in Kulai. Broovies Cafe is located in Indahpura, a new township in Kulai and getting crowded in recent years after Aeon Jusco rooted here. Following the crowd, many eateries have been set up in the vicinity to cater all levels of patrons. Apart from Broovies, there are also other franchise cafes expanding their territory here, i.e. Sugar on Top, UFB, MyLiberica, Anmour cafe and etc.

Because of the banks located nearby, the traffic flow in front of Broovies Cafe is quite busy and you might need to park further and walk across. Broovies Cafe has a dark blue colour signboard with white wordings and a hidden nation flag of UK, the usage of colours and design truly reflect the UK concept of the cafe. *Please ignore the recruitment banner in front of the shop which slightly spoiled its outer look.*

You will definitely be surprised when you walk closer to the cafe. A blue public phone booth right in the walkway, the glass door and windows which we can see through from inside (just like in the dramas), are so attractive! At the entrance of the cafe, the owner has left the unused coffee grounds on a table to be grabbed patrons who would like to recycle them as fertiliser or for other usage.

The interior look of the cafe, which we are amazed at. The cafe is not spacious, but very contented and well divided into different sections.

Those little ornaments are very matching with the overall concept of the cafe.

Every corner in the cafe worth photo-taking. 

Various cakes are displayed in the glass cabinet, not many choices but each of them looks attractive.

We have chosen the rainbow mille crepe. If you are having the cake in the cafe, they will present it in a nice way, the drawing on the plate and creamy flowers on top of the cake are additional which really opened up my appetite.
Peppermint Mocha  RM11
If you are coffee lover but would like to try something more refreshing, peppermint mocha is a good choice. A combination of coffee, chocolate and mint, fragrance, sweetness and refreshing-ness are all in a cup. 
Rainbow Mille Crepe  RM13
Colourful rainbow mille looks nice, but tasted just normal. I still prefer the rainbow mille crepe from Passionfood, which is layered with fresh fruits and jam.

Waffles are one of the signature dishes in Broovies. So, definitely not to miss it. Other than the Banana Nutella Waffle that we had, Broovies has few other choices of waffle as well. 
Special Drink - Buah Long Long Juice  RM3.9
Broovies was promoting Buah Long Long* Juice during our visit, a tropical fruit juice and very popular among Malaysian. We think its price is quite reasonable and worth for a try and it turned out just nice to match with the creamy cake and waffles. Its sourness refreshed our taste bud and slightly balance the accumulated heaviness from the cake and waffle.

*Buah Long Long is also known as Buah Kedondong in Indonesia, its taste is akin to sour and unripe mango, normally made into juice. 
Banana Nutella Waffle topped with Chocolate Ice Cream  RM16
If you are a fan of the combination of chocolate and banana, you will definitely love this. The waffle batter was itself with chocolate flavouring, making it super duper chocolate-ish. The waffle was topped with banana and nutella, the usage of ingredients is indeed generous. To add a scoop of chocolate ice cream on top, the dessert became extraordinary fabulous.

Address : Broovies Cafe
55, Jalan Kenanga 29/5,
Bandar Indahpura,
81000 Kulai
GPS : 1.642151  103.619689

Business Hour : 12pm - 11pm
Tel : 07-665 1019
FBBroovies Cafe
Insta Broovies Cafe