Middle Eastern Restaurant

What my previous 3 visits (see here, here and here) to Middle Eastern Restaurant (مطعم الشرق الأوس) confirms my liking for Arabic and Iranian food. Today's dinner craving brings me back to this little food establishment at Plaza Ivory.
Today, I decided to try the Mix Kebab (RM14.00) for a change. This is a plate of meat skewers served with rice and curry.
There are three types of meat skewers: beef, chicken and lamb. The beef kebab is OK in flavor, but the chicken version is quite dry and lacks the same level of tastiness. However, I particularly love the scrumptious flavor of lamb kebab; the mutton is well marinated and quite tender.
The curry is slightly sour and works well with basmati rice. If it were not for the curry, the rice would have been plain and dry.
A complimentary bowl of soup is served with each à la carte dish. This yellow-colored soup is made of chicken stock. It has an appetizing rich flavor but I wonder whether monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added.
I requested a Meat Shawarma (RM6.00) for my side order. This shawarma (شاورما‎) is made from beef (from a spit oven), cabbage, carrots, cucumber and mayonnaise, all wrapped tightly in pita bread. I think the shawarma can use more mayonnaise because it is quite dry. Taste-wise, I find this snack quite pleasant.
Today's dinner is quite satisfying to my palate. The price is also quite reasonable when compared to the serving sizes. This is certainly a place that I can patronize regularly.

Sushi Kyodai

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Located at the former location of Kome Sushi is an new Japanese restaurant, Sushi Kyodai (寿司巨大). Bright red signage mark the facade of this restaurant at the ground floor of Taman Kheng Tian apartment block in Jelutong.
The interior layout remains similar to Kome Sushi. One notable difference is that the food counter has been covered with blinds. Several bottles of sake (酒, Japanese wine) decorate the former drinks counter.
Our meal is preceded by a round of Green Tea (お茶, RM1.50). Tea can be refilled upon request.
Craving both sashimi and unagi, our first order is the Shake Sashimi To Unagi Bento (鮭刺身と鰻弁当, RM35.90). The bento meal consists of five slices of salmon sashimi, a serving of unagi, braised potatoes, rice, chawanmushi, miso soup (味噌汁) and a couple of pickled daikon radish (沢庵). Orange is also included as dessert.
The five slices of salmon sashimi (鮭刺身) are reasonably fresh and taste succulent when served cold. The flesh also includes nice composition of fatty tissues. We feel that the slices should be made thicker for better enjoyment.
The unagi (鰻, grill freshwater eel) also scores some points here. Served with a nice bath of tare sauce (垂れ), the sweetened soy sauce condiment enhances the scrumptious flavor of eel.
As for the chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) or steamed egg, the amount of ingredients in this egg custard is reasonably acceptable. But what really missing is more variety of mushrooms than the usual shiitake (椎茸). Some enoki mushrooms (榎茸) would have served us well.
Next, we have Chirashi Don (チラシ丼, RM18.90) which is an assortment of sashimi (刺身, raw fish) served on rice. This is the right choice if you want to sample different types of raw fish that Sushi Kyodai has to offer.
The platter consists of raw salmon (鮭) which is sliced too thin to be enjoyable. The boiled octopus (章魚) is OK. So is the small slice of raw butterfish (白マグロ).
Also included is a piece of cooked shrimp (海老) which is just mediocre in terms of taste. This is followed by an individual slice of raw squid (烏賊) and raw tuna (マグロ) respectively. Crabstick (カニカマ) is a common ingredient so I shall not bother to elaborate. Finally, the egg omelette (卵) is decently savory thanks to its sweet sensation.
Our next dish is Kaisen Yaki Udon (海鮮焼きうどん, RM14.90), basically stir-fried udon noodles with seafood ingredients such as shrimp (海老) and squid (烏賊). The taste is reasonable but it lacks any seafood aroma.
As for the bento meal of Chicken Katsu Curry (鶏肉カツカレー, RM11.90), the Japanese curry is mildly spicy as expected. This dish has a respectable amount of chicken, potatoes and carrots. In the other hand, it is slightly on the salty side; not something we really like.
We also sampled a small bowl of Unagi Chahan (鰻チャーハン, RM6.90), which is fried rice with freshwater eel. The rice is quite fragrant due to liberal amount of garlic, but taste is just slightly above average. The not not much eel, but I am not surprised considering the affordable price.
As for individual sushi dishes, the Inari Sushi (稲荷寿司, RM2.90) is quite delectable primarily due to its sweetened bean curd skin. This type of sushi is named after the Shinto spirit Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神) who is believed to love fried bean curd skin.
Next is a plate of Tekka Maki (鉄火巻, RM2.90). This sushi is made from tuna (マグロ) wrapped with rice and a layer of seaweed (海苔), and then cut cross-sectional.
Finally, we have Maguro Nigiri (マグロ握り, RM3.90), also using tuna but served on top a lump of hand-pressed rice. The tuna is a quite delightful due to its smooth and fatty texture.
In terms of service, the waiting staff at Sushi Kyodai is occasionally inattentive. We have to hail a waiter several times for our tea refills. There is also mix-up in our order because several members of the staff are unfamiliar with the menu.

PP Noodle Station

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Located at the former location of Prillion Cafe is a new restaurant: PP Noodle Station (碰碰面板面). There is an opening promotion from now till 2 February 2014, where each order of noodles comes with a free drink.
The restaurant is so new that it still carries the old imagery from Prillion Cafe.
As the name implies, this restaurant specializes in pan mee (板面), a type of noodle made from wheat flour. The dough is typically flattened using a hand cranked press, therefore the noodle resembles a plank ("pan", 板). According to the restaurant, its pan mee is free of lye-water (碱水) and preservatives (防腐剂).
There are several variations of pan mee, and a handful of other rice and noodle dishes. Some menu items are still not available, presumably because the kitchen is still not fully equiped.
We started with the Pan Mee Soup (招牌清汤板面, RM6.90). My golden rule when I visit an eatery for a first time: always order the proclaimed signature dish. If I am disappointed with it, then there is little incentive to try the others.
The Pan Mee Soup comes with a dropped egg, minced meat, anchovies, black fungus (木耳) and choy sum (菜心). The soup base is quite tasty as it has been boiled with anchovies.

For the noodle, we ordered the thin version which gives it a circular cross-section. For soup-based pan mee, I prefer thinner noodle to allow the taste of soup to penetrate the it more thoroughly. I am reasonably satisfied with the overall taste. The only complaint is the small portion compared to the price.
We also tried the Curry Mee Special (特式咖哩鸡面, RM7.50), which is actually a dry version of pan mee with thick curry gravy and chicken pieces. Several slices of fried potatoes are also added in the mix.
The curry gravy is quite thick but turns out to be too salty, even after stirring it with pan mee. As for the chicken chunks, we find them quite delectable as the meat is tender and tasty.
The type of pan mee used here is the thick version. This gives the noodle a taste which feels more "starchy" and "dough-like". Apart from over-saltiness and the small portion, this dish is quite acceptable.
The complimentary drinks are Herbal Tea (特制凉茶), which normally cost RM2.20 for hot version, RM2.50 for cold version. The herbal drink has some barley (薏米) at the bottom.
I think PP Noodle Station is a decent eatery, but I feel the menu is quite limited. Perhaps it should also improve on the taste of some ingredients such as the curry gravy.

US Pizza

US Pizza in Island Glades is one of my favorite pizza parlors. Although the food can be quite pricey when there are no special offers, I think the taste is quite good and commensurates the price paid.
At US Pizza, the pizzas are tossed and baked right in front of your very eyes. This gives customers a sense of freshness and nostalgic originality.
Like our previous visit, we ordered the Jumbo Deluxe Crust Pizza (RM32.95). This time, we opted for chicken chunks instead of beef. Other pizza toppings are pepperoni, pineapples, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. This toppings are held in place using a coating of tomato paste and molten cheese.
I love the pizza crust at US Pizza; It feels chewy and not too tough like rubber. The toppings are also fresh to each bite. This pizza is certainly a crowd-pleaser.
For sides, we also ordered the Crazi Garlic Twist (RM3.50) which comes with 4 sticks. The sticks are quite oily. I think US Pizza should tone the oil down.
Our dinner at US Pizza is quite satisfying. We will be back for more soon.

Middle Eastern Restaurant

They say third time's a charm (see here and here for previous visits). And charm it is during today's visit to Middle Eastern Restaurant (مطعم الشرق الأوس) at Plaza Ivory. To put in simple words, the food here is nice and cheap. I just love to put these two adjectives in the same sentence!

As usual, chicken soup is served as appetizer on the house. The flavor of chicken stock is very strong, enough to open our appetites by at least an order of magnitude.
The Makloba Lamb (RM14.00) is a tomato rice dish served with grilled eggplants (brinjals), onion rings and several succulent chunks of delicious lamb. Typical in Middle Eastern cuisine, basmati (long-grain) rice is used. I find it nice to have this type of rice occasionally for a change. It is less starchy and feels "looser" than the local rice that we are accustomed to.
Speaking of the lamb, we really like the tenderness of the grilled lamb chunks. For one, I am sure that the meat cuts are of the right proportion of lean and fatty tissues. But you really need to give credit to the chef for grilling it to juicy perfection. The eggplants and onion rings add extra sweetness to this dish.
The Bagla Baldhan (RM8.00) is a naan flatbread dish topped with a fried egg and kidney beans. The egg and beans are alright, but we feel that the dish is too dry overall. I am not sure whether the bowl of mild curry is meant to be poured into the flatbread, but we did precisely this anyway. If I were in a foreign land, I will try to observe the local table manners first. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
Moving on to the Doleymiyeh Chicken (RM12.00), this dish is a combination of turmeric-flavored rice and naan flatbread. I guess this is a suitable dish if you cannot decide what to eat. If you cannot choose one, why not get both?
What is not obvious here is the large piece of chicken leg (thigh and drumstick) initially hidden under the rice! I must say that the taste of this grilled chicken is simply heavenly. The flesh peels off gracefully from the bones, while the marinate permeates all layers of the meat. KFC should learn a thing or two about grilled chicken before attempting another fiasco!
Once again, we did not miss the opportunity to enjoy another round of refreshing Barbican (RM3.00) beverage. Eager to try something new, we ordered a raspberry-flavored and a peach-flavored ones. Both are genuine thirst quenchers.
The verdict from my previous visit is upheld: The food remains nice and cheap, and I still enjoy using these two adjectives. Once again, I am amazed with the large food portion here at ridiculously affordable price!

Ju Lie Restaurant

Ju Lie Restaurant (高渊茱莉海鲜粥及猪肉粉) has an outlet at The One in Bayan Baru. The store is located at the same row as Green Island Western Food, somewhat facing Moo Cow Frozen Yogurt.
This restaurant specializes in porridges (粥类) and pork noodles (猪肉粉). According to the menu, steamboat is also for larger dining parties.
Since Seafood Porridge (海鲜粥, RM15.00) is one of the purported specialty here, I decided to give it a try.
The porridge is a far cry from ideal. For starters, the watering soup base does not have much flavor, relying solely on seafood ingredients to impart flavor. I found it necessary to add ground pepper to the porridge for better flavor.
Seafood ingredients available in the porridge are prawns (虾), fried fish (炸鱼肉), abalone slices (鲍鱼片), fish maw (鱼鳔) and squid (鱿鱼). Chinese cabbage (白菜) and coriander (香菜) are also added for more all-rounded flavor.

The two pieces of prawns are quite fresh and succulent. However, I wish more prawns are given considering the price of this dish.
The fried fish pieces are quite oily and still have mild fishy smell. I think the chef has to look into this seriously.
The presence of fish maw and squid are welcoming. Once again, the amount served is miserably limited.
The best way to describe the porridge is "rice grains suspended in clear soup". While some people like this type of porridge, I prefer the type with mashed-up, homogeneous consistency whereby individual rice grains are no longer visible. The latter type allows the soup base to impart more flavor into the starchy rice grains.

For drinks, I ordered a glass of Chrysanthemum Tea (菊花茶, RM1.50), which turns out to be quite diluted. Although I asked for a warm glass, I received a room-temperature one instead.
What's my verdict here? I think the seafood porridge was marginally disappointing. Given an opportunity for revisit, I would like to try the pork noodles instead. Perhaps Ju Lie performs better here?