Sunday, October 30, 2011

After our karaoke session, we were all hungry and ready to go for the next round of food. There were reviews on forums mentioning some must-visit cafes when going to Kulai. 一风堂 is one of them. We came with high expectations, spotting that rich Japanese themed designs fronting the entrance. From the outside, it looks every bit a classy Japanese restaurant. Venture further in and I was feeling that tinge of disappointment. The inside were designed to look like any cafes with modern contemporary setup, a stark contrast to the facade lined with rows and rows of sake bottles.
We chanced upon this beef noodle stall while driving around scouting for something to eat in Kulai. We've tried 云来点心, infamous for the steamed buns aka 包 and available at many places, mostly dim sum shops that sourced it from them. I've tried the bak kut teh as well, blogged in one of my recent post 士华肉骨茶. So what else is left in Kulai, I reckon their beef noodle is good as well. I vaguely remembered coming across a stall is popular but have no clues to where it is. A search on my GPS is to no avail as well. What now ? The game plan is to, drive around and give any beef noodle stall a try ... only condition is they have to be crowded.

After some searching with no results, we gave up trying but God helps those in dire needs ... we were famished and decided to just drop by 云来 for breakfast, which it was then we spotted this shop across the street opposite 云来 selling beef noodle. The inside were packed with the breakfast crowd. Great ... let's give it a try then :)

They do serve up a variety of food for breakfast, curry noodles, (both dry and soup) beef noodles and fishball noodle (if I'm not mistaken). We decided to try both the dry and soup beef noodles. The beef and cow stomach were all braised and served piping hot in a claypot. Very unique, since I thought they are usually gathered together in the bowl of noodle.

Whether if its dry or soupy beef noodle, each comes with a claypot of beef chunks and cow stomach. If you ordered yours in soup, you get a spoonful of lard to ladle in your soup, adding that extra "character" to the aroma and taste. If you had it with dry noodles, it comes with a dark, thick gravy and some salted vegetables. The crunchiness of the salted vegetables maintains an additional texture onto the otherwise overcooked noodle. Besides the soup, I can think of nothing better from it. The beef is too small a chunk, something like eating leftover beef shraps. Rating: 5.5/10

Price: 6.0/10
Service: 6.0/10
Conclusion: Don't expect much from the food or service, but if you are just keen to experiment and enjoy the novelty of having your beef soup served in a claypot, please give it a try. Even if not the claypot novelty, the soup is at least worth a try too.

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Jalan Susur Kulai 3
Taman Seri Kulai Baru 81000
Kulai, Johor

Friday, October 28, 2011

Teluk Sengat is a small rural, fishing village situated between Kota Tinggi and Desaru, surrounded by palm oil plantations. Its location would definitely spook some 1st timers off, trees and nothing but trees on both side of the long, windy road. As for the strong-hearted, they would be duly rewarded with a view of the newly built Senai-Desaru bridge spanning across the Johor River (and of course fresh seafood).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It was my Mother's birthday so she suggested going to some place new to celebrate instead of our favourite joints in town. She was informed Cathay Restaurant is very famous in Kulai and coincidentally, it happened to be owned by the family of my brother's friend. My brother was there once to attend the friend's wedding, and he commented the food was good.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Al-Ameen has been around for years and has always whipped up excellent Indian, Western cuisines and Halal food. They serve varieties that range from tandoori chicken, naan, roti prata, beriyani, nasi goreng to even chicken chops. Quite an extensive list and I could go on and on, but to put it simply ... they serve about anything except for non-Halal food.
An unpretentious Chinese restaurant that has been around for more than 10 years, and have seen better days than today. I still remember back then Taman Daya was a relatively quiet neighbourhood, unlike the booming scene we are experiencing today, traffic, traffic and more traffic. On the contrary, Eng Huaa's fortune was left dwindling, a far cry from its pinnacle. We used to visit it very frequently, maybe a weekly affair thing but with the onslaught of new eateries around Setia Indah & Austin area, Eng Huaa has slowly fallen off our radar. 

Let's take a look at what I had for lunch ... in a clockwise manner.

Rose marinated chicken. The chicken is smooth and tender, oozing a mildly flavoured rose aroma. I think they use kampung chicken, that tends to be leaner and has less fats underneath the skin. Rating: 7.5/10
Stir fried spinach. The usual fare, nothing to blog about. Rating 6.0/10
Spicy pork ribs 干香排骨. The taste is good but unfortunately the ribs were overcooked and meat were tough to chew. What a letdown. Rating: 5.5/10.
 Dry curry powdered fish. I thought it was all good except for the slightly over-the-top buttery flavour. Rating: 6.5/10
Thai styled beancurd. The beancurd is smooth and nicely deep fried, topped with Thai chilli sauce and generous amount of onions and chillis shreds. Rating: 7.0/10.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The building facade, the interior and the signages headlining the restaurant, everything looks as if it belongs to the past decade. It's hard to imagine there's a makan corner, a gem of its kind hidden among the throngs of tuition centres. One would have easily miss it if you are riding up from the escalator, running in parallel to it.

Being a skeptical creature, my first thoughts were "opps...only 2 tables occupied during dinner time ? Standard of food dropped ? Recommendations from others were proven otherwise ? Should I leave now ?" Alas, I still walked in hoping the suspicions doesn't come true ... keeping my fingers X.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Was driving around Danga Bay area sourcing for new food joints when I came across this Malay restaurant, sandwiched between Tunes Hotel and the Volkswagen car showroom. It is out of sight and outshine by the row of beautifully renovated cafes fronting the main road along Danga Bay. Hidden in a corner, what caught me was the dinner crowd at this remote location. I told myself there must be something worth my digestion inside, otherwise there wouldn't be such a pack in this god-forsaken place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An authentic place to have a decent Japanese meal in Johor Bahru. They have a rather extensive menu and quite a selection of sakes as well. I can see they have quite a following of Japanese expats, most probably a place where they can feel right at home after a long day at work or after a golf session.

This is where it all originated ... the original Sze Hwa Bak Kut Teh @ Kulai, with numerous other branches sprouting all around Johor Bahru. Bak kut teh or the oriental version of stewed pork ribs has 2 variants to it, primarily the Teochew style with light coloured broth and herbs or the Hokkien version, which uses dark soy sauce resulting in a darker soup. It's more of a personal preference and I like mine the Hokkien way. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

With the recent influx of the Korean wave, we are fortunate enough to be able to experience Korean culture from what's showing in that 50" rectangle box in our living room to the dining table. The latest Korean food joint to have come under my radar is Woori Nara, a quiet little outlet planted behind Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Decorations are simplistic in nature but apart from the KBS programs constantly airing in the TV, nothing feels quite Korean in here. The wallpaper and the few pictures hanging around just doesn't quite make the cut.

As per normal, the usual little side dishes were being served, bean sprouts, kimchi, pickles and etc. No complaints from me. We order a bibimbap just in case the fried chicken portions were too small. Bibimbap are supposed to be served piping hot from a sizzling stone pot but not for ours. It wasn't even anything near hot, it look just like an ordinary bowl of rice with mixed vegetables topped with a sunny side up. Disappointing. Rating: 6.0/10

The must-try Deep fried chicken in canola oil when you come to Woori Nara, at least that's what they are famous for. With 4 flavors to choose from (Original, soy garlic, yum yum & volcano) and stuck in a dilemma, the safest bet would be to go for the Samplers (3 pieces of chicken each for Original, soy garlic and yum yum). The chickens are tough and dry and I must say they are disappointing, average at best. Well, at least the yum yum and soy garlic flavor are better than the original, but only marginally. Rating: 6.0/10