Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nihon Kai Japanese Restaurant

When he asked if I mind having Japanese for dinner, I replied, "No, I don't care what we have, as long as someone is willing to have dinner with me." He then forwarded a link to me to have a look at the restaurant that he thought of taking me to.

I did not know that there was a Japanese restaurant situated just a few shops away from Denise's dad's shop along Old Klang Road. With only street parking available, it took some time to find a spot for the car.

A friendly waitstaff ushered us up the stairs to where there was more seating. Both of us shared some warm green tea, which we ordered first, and then proceeded to browse the menu. The result:

It was a combination of what I wanted (the agedashi and unagi sushi) and what he liked (the seaweed below), as well as some other dishes to share.

Mixed sushi plate (RM48.00/AUD16.35)
As I only dug into the udon after I had sushi, I was not able to finish the whole bowl. In the end, he helped me to finish the udon.

However, with the agedashi tofu, I had more (3 out of the 5), because I love agedashi tofu! They could have made it more crispy, though. Either that or lessen the sauce that the tofu pieces are soaked in.

Interestingly, after that first visit with him, my second visit was with his sister-in-law who brought me here for lunch one day (seems like the only times I dine here is with the members of the same family). I ordered a Chicken Katsudon and Sashimi Set (RM28.00/AUD9.50) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The sashimi, although not as fresh as the sashimi at a smaller Japanese establishment in nearby Taman Desa, was still of commendable freshness. The chicken katsudon was done to perfection, too. A little too heavy for lunch though, I reckon, but reasonably priced for the portion and quality.

Clean, quick and friendly, not easy to tell why they are popular. They do not take reservations so be sure to arrive early to beat the queue.

Nihonkai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nihon Kai Japanese Restaurant
4-2 Jalan Telok Gadong, Off Jalan Klang Lama, Batu 3½, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 7982 3668
Open daily from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 5:00pm to 10:00pm

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Teamwork Rainbow

One of the many activities that we frequently carry out at Honey Bee is completing scenarios to display on our walls. These scenarios are like large scale craft projects, which involve a group of children, sometimes from mixed age groups.

For this rainbow scenario, the children were guided by Puan Nora and Miss Foo, who modeled what to do for the children to imitate and complete independently.

Some children chose to sit on the floor, some chose to stand while a few others chose to grab chairs.

There was much negotiating that occurred between the children; lots of asking for glue, passing different colour paper and asking for help with tearing or cutting.

They would also ask the Puan Nora in Malay, "Puan Nora, macam ini ah?" or Miss Foo in Mandarin, "这样可以吗?"

It is always a sight to behold to watch children working collaboratively, as they use so many of their existing social, cognitive and language skills. In addition, the sharing and negotiating that occurs further develops their emotional and higher order thinking.

Monday, December 23, 2013


It took me a while before I had a chance to visit Alexis Bangsar. Friends have been talking about the place for years and instead of visiting with friends, I visited with Dad.

As it was just before lunch time, the place was still quiet. We were shown to our table very quickly.

We sat right at the front overlooking their outdoor dining area.

I liked the interior of the place - they used quite a bit of wood.

The place was brightly lit at that time but I wondered if it would be as brightly lit during dinner time.

Dad ordered a Chicken and Mushroom Pie (RM26.00/AUD8.90), which he found just average. He reckoned that it was a tad expensive, though.

Please smack me for I did not take down what I had (again, sorry). It was a little too heavy for lunch, as I realised that I had to force myself to stay awake as I was driving home. The penne could have been left to boil for slightly longer though.

Was not very impressed despite how friends rave about the place, in all honesty.

Alexis Bangsar
29 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 2284 2880 
Open daily from 12:00pm to 12:00am

As they had a bigger outlet at The Gardens, I asked VK if we could dine there before our movie. I decided to give their pasta another try and chose to have a pumpkin and ricotta ravioli (I love ravioli). I was disappointed yet again, as the eight pieces of ravioli that got served were not worth the price VK paid.

The only consolation was the Tiramisu (RM15.00). Starting with a top layer of caramelised nuts followed by layers of finger sponge soaked in rum and rich mascarpone embedded with chocolate shavings, the huge piece of cake could make a meal on its own. Although the home-made raspberry sauce was a unique addition, I did not think that it added to the taste of the cake - it was fine on its own.

Lot F209 1st Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 2287 2281
Open daily from 10:00am to 12:00am

Friday, December 20, 2013

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga

We love our steamed fish head, so when we stumbled upon this restaurant, we stopped and walked in. We gave their Famous Steam Fish Head a try and were not disappointed. The fish was fresh and I liked how it was spicy with garlic flavour.

Not sure what this other steamed fish dish is called but it came in a peppery broth with lots of chopped garlic and lala (Asian clam). One dish that I would recommend.

Another dish I would recommend is Guang Xi Tofu Puffs, juicy puffballs stuffed with fish mince. 

Their restaurant is of reasonable cleanliness and we have always opted to be seated outdoors instead of indoors. Waitstaff are happy to recommend dishes when asked.

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga
1 Jalan BPU5, Bandar Puchong Utama, 47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia.
Mob: +601 16 288 2829, +60 19 647 7941 (Johnny Yap)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tree Monkey @ Tropical Spice Garden

During a visit to Penang to pay a courtesy call to my Adjunct Supervisor in USM, Dad played tourist and brought me on a coastal drive. One place he made a point to stop at was the Tropical Spice Garden in Teluk Bahang. Apparently, the last time he visited with Mum, they loved it and felt that I would like it, too.

I was too hungry to listen to his lengthy explanation of how interesting they found the garden to be. Instead, the word "restaurant" on this sign caught my attention.

"Are you hungry?" I nodded. "Sigh, okay, let's go grab some makan then."

We walked up the stairs, which were pretty steep, and found an open-air restaurant atop the hill.

I really liked the outdoor dining area, as in addition to the scenic ocean view, it felt as though we were treetop dining. A few months down the road on another trip up to the island, I brought some friends here, too.

The menu had a fusion of local, Western and Thai dishes. We could smell the Pandan Chicken (maximum four pieces per serve), from our table as it was brought out from the kitchen. The succulent pieces of marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaf were mouthfuls of crunchy delight. Be careful not to dig into them as soon as they get served because they are extremely hot (temperature-wise).

Their Satay was so-so, especially when compared to those available in the local hawker places.

The fish fillets of the Fish & Chips were crumbed and fried to perfection. They could have given more of the salad, though.

A small serve of Tomyum is a single bowl of thick lemongrass soup with mushroom, fresh chilli and lime juice. A little too thick for my liking but the sour and spicy balance was acceptable.

I am a sucker for Pad Thai and so it was no surprise that I would give theirs a try. The dish of Thai fried noodles with prawns, eggs, dried shrimps, shallots and bean sprouts was too big for me but oh, so nice. With a dash of chilli powder, it was mouth-watering.

Instead of normal nasi lemak, they serve Thai Nasi Lemak, coconut rice with Massaman curry chicken and condiments. Nicely presented and the chicken was fragrant.

The Seafood Fried Rice, fried rice with prawns, squid, egg and vegetables served with fried egg looked small but actually was quite filling. The sambal that came with it was quite spicy. 

The Belacan Fried Rice, shrimp paste fried rice served with sweet chicken and condiments was a plateful of contrasting flavours. Sweet, sour, spicy and salty, all in one. 

Another beautifully presented dish was the Pineapple Fried Rice. Served in a half-cut pineapple, the fried rice with chicken, egg, ham, onion, pineapple and cashew nut came in a big serve, too! It was fragrant, fried well (still moist and not too dry) and if not spicy enough, it is served with a dollop of sambal at the side.

Their drinks did not disappoint, too. Their freshly pressed juiced come without sugar, such as the apple juice below.

They also serve an interesting combination of mocktails, such as this Monkey Juice, which is a combination of mango, banana, pineapple, orange and basil leaves. 

Another refreshing healthy drink is the LGH, which is a concoction of lemongrass, ginger, honey and lime. Dad and I love this drink!

During my first visit, as I was staring into space, I noticed something moving in the trees. Was that a face? Oh my goodness! It was! A really adorable one at that!

Look, a dusky leaf monkey! Aw, cuteness!!!

Not just one but a whole family! No wonder the place is called Tree Monkey.

Should you not mind the price (which I think is reasonable for such fantastic ambience), do not give this place a miss the next time you visit Penang. You will like this place, even more so if you are a nature person.

Tree Monkey
Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 4 881 3493/4, Fax: +60 4 881 3494
Open daily from 9:00am to 11:00pm