Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fabulous Food Discovery 2016: KopiClub, Sungei Wang Plaza

Looking for an affordable yet scrumptious food for lunch around Bukit Bintang area? You gotta drop by Sungei Wang Plaza or also known as 金河广场 in Chinese. This infamous mall had brought us memorable experience for the past 39 years and unveiled a brand new look in 2013 after its refurbishment completed.

Today, Sungei Wang Plaza is a one-stop destination providing you with trendy, chic and wide selection of retail outlets. Sungei Wang Plaza had just launched their Fabulous Food Discovery 2016 campaign yesterday to promote and create awareness about the hidden culinary treasure inside this infamous mall. During the launch, bloggers were invited for a food trail to discover and sample delicious food from 10 food outlets in this 5 hours event. Thanks to the PR team of Sungei Wang Plaza for the invitation and I must say that it was a very fruitful and memorable experience to me.

 Fabulous Food Discovery 2016, Sungei Wang Plaza


Our first stop for the Fabulous Food Discovery 2016 is a place which whipped up delicious home cooked  food - food which reminds us of our childhood days - our very own local delicacies, KopiClub. KopiClub serves good coffee and delicious food that you'll craved for more.

Located on the concourse floor of the mall, the interior of the restaurant is being set up to resemble the traditional kopitiam atmosphere with its back-to-back seating arrangement on traditional wooden storage bench with a giant wood piece as backing. Oh well, I'm not so sure of the correct name of this 'chair or bench' but indeed it's a great piece of furniture to 'store' your items because that mini plank of wood which you put your butt on can be lifted up and there's a storage place inside there. And that ceiling lantern lighting adds to the nostalgia feeling too - we use electricity now, no more candle lights in handing lantern.
p.s. I saw them lifting the wood okies. Brilliant idea for storage! 

As they are a restaurant serving local Malaysian cuisine, you can be expected to find local breakfast items such as roti bakar with soft boiled eggs, nasi lemak and mee goreng as well as local favorites fit for all-day dining which includes fried rice aka nasi goreng, noodles such as laksa and fried kuey teow - and Western fare such as sandwiches and chicken chop ala Malaysian style. 

As for the drinks, they serve strong and bold local coffee which gives a kick in your mouth. Be sure to try one of these signature drinks - local Teh Tarik, 'Kopi Ping', 'Kopi Soya Cino Ping' and the 'Kopi Api or also known as Kopi Rose Syrup Ping' when you're dining here. If you're not into coffee, fret not because they do serve a full page of other drinks which includes fruit juices, teas, soda water, soft drinks and other local favorite drinks too. 

As for me, I chose to sample the Kopi Ping (RM4.10) which is one of their house specialty drink. Kopi Ping is also known as iced coffee for the local Chinese community where the word 'ping' refers to 'ice' in Mandarin. Their Kopi Ping is good where you can still taste the boldness in the coffee which gives you a kick even though there's ice in there. I usually love to have my cup of local coffee in its hot state because the ice will normally dilute the taste when we order cold ones. But not here in KopiClub because you can have an iced coffee but without feeling the 'icy' part  - something we often jokes about iced drinks but without ice! And yeah, you can still see the think layer of froth floating on this cup of Kopi Ping! Yum. 

By the time we were busy sipping our coffee away, we could already smell the aromatic food aroma coming from the kitchen. And I kicked off my first meal of the day at KopiClub with some must-have Malaysian delicacies. 

The usual breakfast fare - Roti Bakar Kaya Butter (RM2.90) with Soft Boiled Eggs (RM2.90/2 eggs). A simple local food that gives utmost satisfaction to your hungry tummy in the morning. I usually dipped my bread into the runny egg yolks instead of munching them separately. I would prefer if there's more 'kaya' and butter spread on the bread as it would create a strong savory sweet sensation on your tongue. 

Done with the bread and we came to the local mains. Of all dishes, the Nasi Goreng Ayam Berempah (RM14.20) was the top one of my own must-try list in this restaurant. All because their fried chicken aka the fried ayam berempah is that great! Crunchy and flavorful coating on the outside and juicy on the inside; stir-fried with curry leaves which leave an impression that this is the eggy (you might know what I'm saying) curry leaves dish which created quite a storm nowadays. It might not be the eggy dish that you wished to be (salted egg chicken again meh?), but this dish is more than that. The chef had crafted this dish diligently that somehow, you'll be wait for more ayam berempah

The ayam berempah is served alongside local fried rice and some local style vegetable dish. The fried rice is good - but I prefer it to be a little spicier (more sambal perhaps) to have the kick (just some personal preference because I love spicy food). The local vegetables is a good companion to the rice and fried chicken by providing some crunchy freshness to your palate. I would relate this side dish to the local kerabu dish because there's some resemblance in them - except that this side dish's vegetables are all cooked and uses chopped cabbage as the lead. 

The next item that you gotta try is their Tom Yum Special (RM14.80) and is served with either a choice of rice or mihun (rice vermicelli). You need not go to a Thai restaurant to get a bowl of good tom yum soup because the tom yum soup at KopiClub is equally good. A perfect tom yum soup is not entirely about how spicy or sourish the soup tasted; but it's about the perfect combination of the four key elements, spicy, salty, sour and sweet. A good ratio of these elements gives you a bowl tom yum that makes you say 'oh la la!'. That's how KopiClub cooked their Tom Yum Soup; and served with generous amount of chicken, prawns, mushrooms and assorted vegetables. Nothing is better than a bowl of piping hot tom yum soup to start my day!

If you're not into some spicy food, their Nasi Ayam Goreng Panas (RM12.80) is a good choice too. You'll be served a fried chicken whole leg which is marinated with some house special sauce along side a bowl of white rice and local styled fried vegetables. As the name of the dish presented itself, 'panas' means 'hot' and you need to eat it while it's still hot because it tasted better at that temperature. I love their fried chicken because it's well marinated and yes - tasted great when it's still hot. And you can also top up RM3 bucks to add on the Sotong Kunyit to your meal. The Nasi Ayam Goreng Panas & Sotong Kunyit is only priced at RM15.80. It's delicious with huge portion and goes light on your wallet. 

No to chicken or squid? Pick the Nasi Indo Siam (RM12.80) which comes with marinated fried whole mackerel (ikan kembung - correct me if I'm wrong), stir-fried ladies fingers, a bowl of white rice and kicap special dipping sauce. The fried mackerel is delicious when you eat it with their kicap special sauce and this a mixture of Malaysian/Indonesian cuisine. Kicap special sauce is quite usual in Indonesian cuisine and is also associated with Malay cuisine too - the sweet soya sauce. 'Kicap' means soya sauce and the main host here is the sweet soya sauce and is mixed with chopped bird's eye chilies, small sized red onions, some lime, light soya sauce and a bit of sugar to form the sauce. Belacan is sometimes added into the sauce too. Therefore, you will have a combination of sweet, savory and sourish taste in one bite. And I really do love onions - it gives some texture to your palate. 

If you're not into rice that very dining moment, you can order their KopiClub Mee Goreng Mamak (RM9.90); the usual fare of yours when you're feeling like going for mamak food. What's better than a plate of mee goreng mamak and a cup of teh tarik? And your plate of mamak styled fried noodles is upgraded with presence of prawns, a generous chucks of chicken meat, leafy greens and bean sprouts. Don't forget to squeeze that half lime on to your noodles before you eat it - don't throw the lime away. After squeezing it, I usually dump the lime into a glass of warm water and drink it to end my meal. You'll feel less sinful that way. hehe! 

The food at KopiClub is delicious and affordable (with huge portion that your tummy will be satisfied too). They also have a special set where a plate of Nasi Ayam Goreng Panas plus a drink (either Kopi Ping or Teh Ping) is only priced at RM13.50 -which means you only paid RM0.70 extra for that cup of great drink! It's a really a good deal that you should consider when visiting Sungei Wang Plaza. 

To locate KopiClub in Sungei Wang Plaza, walk straight to the center concourse from the mall's main entrance. Walk down the stairs and you'll see the mall's main stage in front of you. Then, turn right and walk towards the row of retail outlets on your left. KopiClub is located at the end of the alley.

For convenience, do refer to the map below. This is the floor plan of Sungei Wang Plaza, Concourse level.
From the information counter, do follow the dotted lines to locate KopiClub.

That was one first stop of the Fabulous Food Discovery 2016. There's lots of hidden gem that you can locate inside Sungei Wang Plaza's dining scene. Meanwhile, do follow Sungei Wang Plaza's Facebook Page or visit their official website for more updates on their latest news and promotions.

Do stay tune for my next update on the Fabulous Food Discovery 2016 journey at Sungei Wang Plaza.

C1(B), Sungei Wang Plaza, 
Jalan Bukit Bintang, 
55100 Kuala Lumpur. 


Friday, April 22, 2016

Harley's Malaysia (Taman Tun Dr. Ismail)

Harley’s which is nestled in the same building as the Deloitte PJ office is a hidden gem around the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (TTDI) neighborhood. If you have not heard of them, here’s a hint; they serves California In-and-Out styled burgers.

I’ve heard of Harley’s from Foodpanda, one of the main player of food delivery service around Klang Valley but have not dine in their shop before. Thanks to Betty Liew and the team at Harley’s, I was invited to sample delicious yet healthy burgers on their menu. 

If you’re coming into TTDI, just head to the building which Deloitte is located or look for TTDI wet market, the building is located about 1 minute from the wet market. You might be a bit confuse on where the restaurant is located, but just look for ‘Golden Valley’ Chinese restaurant signage or the CIMB bank on the ground floor of the building. Harley’s and Golden Valley co-sharing the same shop in the building where you can actually orders from both Harley’s as well as some Chinese styled dishes from Golden Valley at the same time.

The menu at Harley’s is quite straight forward where they served made-to-order burgers and sides, fried chickens, homemade drinks and delicious brownies.

One thing you need to be impressed is that there’s no freezer at Harley’s – and you might be wondering how were they able to keep things fresh? Ordinary fridge (without the freezer part) may only allow you to store your meat for a day. You see, the team at Harley’s bought their supply of chicken meat from the TTDI market daily and the beef meat patties are made from 100% ground beef meat, delivered from their Halal certified supplier too. And they source their milk and cheese from the local PJ supplier, Bright Cow for their daily usage. Thus, the ingredients used at Harley’s are freshly supplied and never kept overnight. Fresh and good quality ingredients are used in their daily kitchen production to ensure the food produced is healthy without any preservatives. 

My partner in crime had their Ice Lemon Tea (RM4.50) and we would love to say that this is the real lemon tea with ice. Light on the sugar level and bold in terms of tea smell and taste with a hint of tangy element from the lemon juice. Perfect drink to quench your thirst under this hot and dry weather.

As for me, I had the Chocolate Milkshake (RM7.90) and the texture of the drink is quite impressive. Fresh milk from Bright Cow is blended with good quality Van Holten chocolate powder to create the creamy and chocolatey drink which runs smoothly down your throat. Yum! They have other flavours of milkshakes too - imagine fresh strawberries blended with fresh Bright Cow milk. Heavenly. 

We started off our dinner with some signature California In-and-Out styled burgers. Introducing the very basic version of California styled burger is the freshly ground beef patty on their homemade buns with lettuce. This is the Hamburger (RM7.50) and it can satisfy you with its delicious made-to-order beef patty. The basic burger in this category which is light on wallet. And their beef patties are made from 100% ground beef meat - no fillers and no preservatives. 

If the Hamburger is quite ordinary for you, and you wanted something more; their Cheese Burger (RM8.50) is a perfect choice. Using the same base from the Hamburger version, this one has some melted cheese on top of the beef patty. Say yes to beef patty with cheese! Everything tasted great with cheese, what’s more with freshly delivered cheese from Bright Cow. 

The 2x2 Burger (RM13.50) is the king of burgers where two pieces of beef patties are sandwiched between melted cheese, lettuce, homemade sauce and buns. If you’re a beef burger lover, you gotta try this because it was that good!

You can also mix and match or even top up to create your own version of hamburger. My other partner in crime loved their 2x2 Burger a lot that they ordered a unique 3x3 Burger version (RM17.30) where there’s a total of 3 beef patties sandwiched between the homemade buns. You only need to top up RM3.80 to have an additional piece of beef patty in your burger. 

As for me, I loved their Chicken Burger (RM7.90) where freshly bought chicken breast meat from TTDI wet market is fried and sandwiched between their homemade buns. Unlike the frozen chicken meat used in commercially sold burgers, Harley’s fried chicken is still juicy and tender. Say no to frozen meat parts used in your burgers. 

If you’re a vegetarian, they also have a Vegetarian Burger (RM8.90) where a thick slice of paneer cheese is used as a substitute to meat patties. I actually enjoyed this Vegetarian burger the most that I had my second servings of this burger! Vegetarian is the way to go!

Besides burger, Harley’s also served awesome fried chicken – which I dare to say that it’s better than the main player in the market (you know what I’m talking about). Simply because their fried chicken are made-to-order, hot and crispy when it’s served and you can still see juices flowing out from its meat. Yum! Yum! And their chicken parts are bought from its nearby TTDI market daily – thus, no frozen chicken here. Its Crispy Chicken is available in 2pcs (RM8.90), 4pcs (RM17.50) and 9pcs (RM38.50) portion. Thumbs up to this delicious fried chicken!

You should also sample this Hot Wings where a sweet and spicy sauce is drizzled on the freshly cooked fried chicken giving a kick in your mouth. Available in serving size of 2pcs (RM5.90), 4pcs (RM11.50) and 6pcs (RM18.90). 

Having only these items as your mains might not be a satisfying enough for you. Just like how some of us that need to have a complete meal course by starting our meal with an appetizer or have something more on the plate besides the mains alone. That's why side meals or side dishes plays an important role in your daily meal. I love to have lots of dishes to choose from when I dine in - simply because it makes my dining session more interesting with lots of food texture and flavors; life is an interesting journey after all.

At Harley's you can add on RM6.50 to your mains to make it a Combo Set. A Combo Set comes with your choice of drinks and a side. For the drinks, you can choose from any drinks on the menu - that's so cool; nothing to limit you from choosing your perfect drink from the menu; which I sometimes get upset on choosing the drinks I wanted through set meals. As for the sides, you can either pick the Coleslaw or Potato Salad or French Fries.

It's quite affordable where for instance, you only pay RM15.40 for the Vegetarian Burger Combo Set. Comes with a delicious non-meat; paneer cheese patty filled burger, homemade potato salad and a signature creamy chocolate milkshake. I can eat this every week because I simply love their Vegetarian burgers a lot - great choice for your Meatless Mondays.

An meat eater? It's okay. Make your Cheese Burger into a Combo Set and it will only cost you RM15. A beef burger made from 100% beef meat patties with melted cheddar cheese, homemade Coleslaw and a glass of Iced Americano will be served. Their Coleslaw is fresh and crunchy with balanced amount of mayonnaise in it. Alternatively, you can also order the Coleslaw by itself for RM4.50. And the Iced Americano is exceptionally good where they use 100% organic single origin Arabica beans from the Highlands of Myanmar. It resulting in a bold and aromatic cup of coffee and the addition of ice makes it a perfect drink for me to sip on it in between my meals. But if you're around the corner and wish to grab a coffee to go, their Americano is priced at RM6.50 for Hot, RM8.50 for an Iced and RM8.90 for an Iced Blended version.

If you love the Crispy Chicken, you will love their Popcorn Chicken (RM5.90). It uses the same ingredient and preparation method as their signature fried chicken - but without the bones and in smaller chunks of meat; thus minus the messiness that you might have (I do, okay) when munching on the fried chicken. Since the meat are cut into smaller piece before deep-frying them, the Popcorn Chicken is crunchier since the crispy layer from the batter to chicken meat ratio is more balanced. And the team at Harley's created their own frying batter recipe from herbs and spices - no pre-mixed flour is used. How I wish that I can sneak them into the cinema and say goodbye to those conventional popcorn. Popcorn Chicken at Harley's is way better.

The French Fries (RM4.50) at Harley's are freshly made from its kitchen daily. Its kitchen team patiently cut strips of potatoes from a whole Russet Burbank potato before deep frying them just when you order it. And it's lightly salted with salt and pepper too so that the potato taste remains as the lead in this side dish. Too much salt is not good for you too but no worries about the fries at Harley's because they care for your health.

Among all the sides, I love the Chili Con Carne (RM5.90) the most. Oh well, now you can have some ala-Texas flavors in your burger meal too. Harley's cook this awesome side dish in their kitchen daily and it's actually a spicy stew made of kidney beans, chilies, meat and of course - CHEESE. To me, this dish serve as a kick in my burger meal that I actually dip my fries as well as my fried chicken into this because it's a great alternative to your chili sauce. This Chili Con Carne has this savory cheesy and spicy flavors in it that you'll want for more.

How about a dish which combines their homemade French Fries with the awesome Chili Con Carne? Yes, they actually do, at Harley's. It's their Chili Cheese Fries (RM8.50). Freshly fried fries are topped with the awesome spicy stew and added more melted CHEESE as the finishing. What more can you ask for? Double thumbs up to this one. And do remember to eat it while it's being served or else your fries will lose its crunchiness when it's being left on your table for too long.

As the saying goes again - your meal is not complete without a sweet ending. Harley's heard you. And that's the reason they have Brownies (RM5) on their menu. It's really chocolatey and they did a great job in baking it - and creating this caramel chocolate sauce as glazing. And do eat it while it's still warm and I wish they have ice-cream on this brownies!

For more information on their latest offerings and promotions, do follow their Facebook page here.

LGB Tower, Lower Ground Floor
1, Jalan Wan Kadir,
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail,
Kuala Lumpur.