Saturday, July 12, 2014

Remember 126 Restaurant @ Bukit Tinggi, Bentong.

Bukit Tinggi Bentong seemed to be one of our favorite destination for food because we kept going back for more. I trust I have done write ups on a couple of restaurants there earlier which have received good page views and feedback.

Indeed there are lot's of restaurants there simply because this is a tourist spot as it is located not far away from Genting Sempah 'the entrance and exit' point of Genting Highlands. And also it is not far away from KL and people are willing to make a short trip to Bukit Tinggi just for lunch or for dinner.

Our introduction today is a restaurant with a fancy name to it called 'Remember 126 Restaurant'. This is directly translated from the Cantonese dialect. There are two different meaning to the numbers '126'. The first would mean that the owner have no problem in making a good living. And the second means patrons found a place for a meal. There is no right or wrong just a perception or interpretation from a different point of view.

This place can be very crowded during weekends and holidays. So be prepared to travel early to avoid disappointment. We made this trip on a weekday and we were surprised as it was quite crowded.

Once arrived and seated we immediately put in our orders ....kiasu mah. The wait was quite lengthy and one of my ex-colleague was so kind and thoughtful that we bought some 'mangka' from a nearby stall to keep us busy. LOL.

This restaurant is famous for it's 'claypot fish' or 'sarpou yue' and this is one dish you have to order if you are dining there. There are few choices of fish you can choose for this dish and we decided to go with 'red talapia' since this sarpou dish comes with an aromatic delicious sauce. Not necessary to chose an expensive fish like 'sek pan' or 'hong chou' unless it is steamed with clear sauce.
'Sar Pou Yue' or 'Claypot Fish'
The best I have eaten so far and no other restaurant does it better than 126. Red Talapia fish in general does not have any sweet taste to it and that was why we chose this fish for this preparation. Fish was done perfectly, not too overcook nor undercook. Just perfect. This 'claypot fish' was indeed amazing and delicious. Highly recommended
Cheong Ching Fish

The other Red Talapia fish dish which we ordered was cooked in bean sauce or 'cheong ching'. Nothing spectacular about this dish but it was ok lah! A very safe dish to order as their 'cheong' or sauce was pretty good. Goes very well with white rice. But this time the fish was slightly overcooked and we didn't like the texture of the meat due to this.

Stir Fry Baby French Beans with Crunchy Shrimp
Stir Fry Watercress
We ordered two different types of vegetables. Stir fry baby french beans with crunchy shrimp was good but jut a tad too salty. And the crunchy shrimp was too hard and it was really a pain to chew and eat em.. Just don't know why they had to make it so overly crunchy. Beware! those with dentures please eat with caution!

The latter vege dish 'stir fry watercress' was a beauty and delight. It was fried with garlic .... as clear as possible ..... but still a tad too salty. We really wonder why again..... a simple dish that was killed by the chef.

Marmite Pork Spare Ribs
What is wrong with the chef!!! Yeah, it was again a tad too salty. Aiyayaya........ someone have to tell them not to use too much salt. Otherwise this dish scores pretty well in terms of it's taste but the meat was rather 'hard' as it had to be fried to a certain degree before it was cooked with the sauce. A let down, indeed.
Fried Sotong / Squid
Last but not least this fried squids was good and delicious. It was served with some chilli sauce for dipping and it does goes well with it. No doubt this is not a very healthy dish as long you do not consume it too often.

Conclusion :  Overall was ok. It would have been great if not for the chef of overusing salt for his dishes. The 'claypot fish' was a bomb and highly recommended. Service was reasonably good  but don't expect it to be good during the peak seasons

Reasonably priced BUT remember NOT to order the expensive type of fish and tiger prawns otherwise the bill can be skyhigh.

Overall I would give a rating of 3.5/5 but an exception for the claypot fish it scores a 5/5. And this is non-halal restaurant.


Remember 126 Restaurant
PT3347, Kampung Bukit Tinggi,
Bentong, Pahang
Tel : 012 225 1894

Note : The above review was purely based on my personal opinion.

Pan Mee @ Kedai Kopi Hoh Piah @ Sg Way, PJ.

Frontage - Entrance
Business was as usual on a sunny late Tuesday morning. Lot's of emails to clear and lot's of inquiries to attend to. Sure was busy and was looking towards lunchtime for a break. Just as the thought came to my mind a 'WhatsApp' message was beeping on my tab. The message was from my childhood friend Brian beeping myself and another couple of other buddies for lunch. Perfect timing and he even suggested where and what to have for lunch. Brian even volunteered to pick all of us up which we were more than glad to accept his generosity. It was brilliant as we usually have problems with it.

Brian mentioned that today's journey will be driving to Sungei Way in PJ for a good bowl of 'Pan Mee' and 'Iced Kopi'. The first words that came out from our mouth was 'Huh! Are you sure ar Brian.... pan mee wor .... Sg Way wor..... sure or not ...... good meh?'. It was like a 'trivia question' from all of us because none of us ever heard about a good pan mee in Sg Way. This is going to be a great adventure for all of us.

Varieties of Pan Mee
And indeed it was an adventure. Do not expect this 'Pan Mee' to be operating in a shop lot or sorts like that. Our journey brought us to some nearby houses in the housing area and viola we have arrived. This 'Pan Mee' store is operated from a house where the boss is a young middle age man who personally does the 'kopi' himself whereby the Pan Mee was manned by a few good aunty.....

Lunch crowd was over as we arrived the place close to around 14:00 hours. It was good as we preferred to dine in such conditions...... you know service can be much faster and better.

We wasted no time with our orders which consists of 3 bowls of 'Bak Kut Teh Pan Mee' and 1 bowl of 'Dry Chilli Pan Mee'. Of course not forgetting the 'kopi ping' for all of us.

Yeah! Their varieties are pretty awesome eh.... but of course they also serve the normal pan mee and others like 'spicy soup pan mee', 'tom yum pan mee', 'herbal soup pan mee', etc...... A must try too. We heard the herbal soup pan mee was good too.

Kopi Ping
We were taken aback by the taste of the kopi ping. It was fantastic and the best I have ever had. It was really a knock out! An upper cut blow with the first sip and a TKO with another few sips. Coffee was indeed aromatic and must give credits to the boss who managed to make such a good cuppa or in this case a good glassa..... with the right combo and mixture of sugar and condense milk and whatever..... Dang!!! What can I say about this kopi ping. A must have!!!

Bak Kut Teh Pan Mee with 'Yau Mee'
Bak Kut Teh Pan Mee with 'Chou Mee'
We could smell the aroma of the Bak Kut Teh pan mee even before it was brought to the table. The aroma was awesome it made me drool.... The broth was amazing which is important. It was really like having bak kut teh but minus the pork, spare parts and rice. Pretty amazing bowl of noodle, really.

Another thing that got the thumbs up from me was they served the noodles in a ceramic or porcelain bowl, those 'made in China' bowl with gold fish imprints instead of plastic melamine ware. To me this is more hygienic and safer as I never can accept hot broth served under melamine ware. You never know what toxic you are exposed to.

Dry Chilli Pan Mee with 'Yau Mee'
I do not know how many TKO's I can handle but this is truly another knock out! Which blew me off the chair. Not too spicy as compared to others but it was the taste that gave me a 'black eye'. This was delicious! And with the right combo and amount of condiments (mushroom and anchovies) spread on top of the noodles .... just sit back, sit tight and enjoy your meal.

We had a good time chatting with the owner and the aunty and when they knew we will do a write up for them they were extremely happy.

Conclusion : I am sure everyone knows better about some of the 'Pan Mee' chain of restaurant that has been mushrooming in The Klang Valley with the likes of 'Jojo', KinKin  or 'Super Kitchen Chilli Pan Mee'. Little will someone knows or even heard of this Pan Mee store in Sg Way (unless you are residing there). But to me this Pan Mee store in Sg Way with the name of 'Kedai Kopi Hoh Piah' is a 'Jewel of the Crown'. The place may not be high class but the food is. Highly recommended  and not to be missed. And please don't forget the 'kopi ping' too. A 4/5 and 8 thumbs up from all of us. And this is non-halal.

Thanks Brian for the intro and invite.


Kedai Kopi Hoh Piah                    Operating hours: Tuesday - Sunday.
Jalan SS9A/4                                                                7am - 2:30pm.
Sungei Way
Petaling Jaya.

Note : The above review was purely based on my personal opinion.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Rakuzen Japanese Restaurant @ Publika

This chain of Japanese restaurant need no extra introduction as I believe they have already made themselves a name in the food business. There are so many outlets now in The Klang Valley which means they are doing something really right in order to be so big.

Today I will bring you to Rakuzen situated at Publika Solaris Dutamas. This outlet is located at level G2 which is NOT situated in the shopping mall. It's location is actually adjacent to the mall which can be easily found. Otherwise it would be wise to ask for directions to make things easier.

Frontage - Entrance
Personally I quite fancy this outlet at Publika as the whole concept of the restaurant is so cool. As usual you will be greeted with by the staff of the restaurant, in Japanese of course which is a norm for Japanese restaurant because it is their nature and culture in both welcoming and 'sayonara' to their guests.

Chef at work

Once you entered the restaurant you will be greeted with some Japanese chef hard at work in their own comfort cooking zone where one can chose to be seated at the 'bar' area surrounding the cooking area. This area is specially designed for their sushi preparations, I reckon.

The whole area is decorated in natural wood material in light oak colour which is very cool, relaxing and comfortable.

Take a short walk to the right side will bring you to the rest of the dining area with both open seating and private dining in a private room. We were brought to an open dining area by a charming lady staff who was both professional and pleasant. She then laid some Rakuzen's menu on the table for our perusal. We decided to take some time with the ordering as we wanted to explore the place and at the same time take some snapshots of it for sharing.

Without fail we had to start off with 'Ikura Chawamushi' This dish is a steamed egg custard which are usually prepared and steamed in a 'tea bowl' which consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, dashi and mirin with numerous ingredients such as shiitake mushroom, kamaboko, lily root and shrimp. Come to think of it this dish is the Japanese version on the Chinese 'steam egg'.

Ikura Chawamushi @ RM20.00++
The texture of the custard is just so-so. Not as smooth and silky as I would expected but for the price this 'Chawamushi' scores a high as it was very delicious indeed.

And without fail a bowl of 'Chawamushi' must go with a 'Temaki' and this time we ordered 'Unakyu Temaki'.
Unakyu Temaki @ RM10.00++
Temaki (手巻, "hand roll") is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks.  For optimal taste and texture, temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness, making it somewhat difficult to bite through.
This is one delicious temaki and can never get enough of it.

For the mains we had 'Sukiyaki Zen' which is my all time favourite. Sukiyaki is a very traditional Japanese dish which is more popular with the older generation as to compared to gen Y. Sukiyaki is a soup based dish served in a hot pot.

It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten egg.

Sukiyaki Zen @ RM33.00++
This dish is not to be missed. Everything about this dish is so good but the only thing that I was unhappy with was the 'beef' slices was cooked in the soup based hot pot. I would rather prefer to cook the beef slice myself by dipping the meat onto the hot soup whereby I can control how cook or how raw I want the meat to be.

S. Ebi Tamago Toji @ RM13.00++
Tamago Toji is actually scrambled egg noodle soup based. This is a very simple dish to prepare and a very healthy dish enjoyed by most Japanese.

Tomago means egg and Toji refers to preparing a dish mixed with egg. Simple as it is but big in taste.
Saba Zen @ RM38.00++
Saba Zen is a fish dish made of mackerel fish was well marinated and grilled to perfection. The meat was tender yet juicy every bite of it is like 'made in heaven'. A fish dish is never easy to cook as it can either be overcooked which will make the meat too lean and dry or it can still have the 'fishy' smell on it which makes it dreadful to be eaten. A 'pat at the back' to the chef for a job well done.

Spider Maki @ RM22.00++
To wrap things up we had a plate of delicious 'spider maki'.

Spider roll is a type of maki sushi which includes breaded or battered deep-fried soft shell crab and other ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts or lettuce and spicy mayonnaise rolled inside nori and sushi rice.

Another knock out dish as it is so juicy, delicious, everything seems to be right. I could still remember how good this maki was until I had to close both my eye while taking a bite at it. I reckon this is one of the best ways to enjoy it.

Conclusion : As good as it was. My first experience with Rakuzen was some 3-4 years ago and the quality of their dishes was the same as before which is incredible. A job well done by the restaurant chain in keeping the quality of it's food at it's best level. I would recommend this place to others and Rakuzen will continue to have me as one of their guests for a long time.
A 4/5.


No. 5, Level G2
Publika Solaris Dutamas
1, Jalan Dutamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03 6411 0822.

Note : The above review was purely based on my personal opinion.
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