Eateries in SS2

There are so many eateries in SS2, the area that is my hometown, it will take months just to try them all. This time round, I made my maiden visits to Chan Meng Kee, a restaurant specializing in roast meat, as well as Le Bread Days, a bakery cafe i came across on Facebook.

Chan Meng Kee is famous for their Char Siew. The Char Siew was very good indeed. Characteristics of good Char Siew – good mix of fat and lean meat, juicy and soft lean meat, well marinated, having the right level of sweetness in the maltose coating, and finally sufficiently charred but not burnt. Chan Meng Kee’s Char Siew satisfies all these requirements. It still does not match up to my all time favourite Char Siew though, at Hee Lai Ton, where the fat and lean portions are intertwined and almost indistinguishable. I think that the chefs at Hee Lai Ton are truly experts at picking out and slicing up the pork to make Char Siew. It is also better charred. Anyway, these chefs who do the Char Siew at Hee Lai Ton are only there on Sunday morning, with a special stall set up. I suppose the extra attention given to the preparation of a smaller batch of Char Siew results in better Char Siew, as compared to Chan Meng Kee’s which is mass produced for a very large number of customers. Having that said, Chan Meng Kee’s Char Siew is very satisfying and better than most.

Char Siew
Char Siew

Siew Yoke on noodles. Siew Yoke is good but there's nothing special about the noodles.
Siew Yoke on noodles. Siew Yoke is good but there’s nothing special about the noodles.
Roasted duck. Very soft meat, nice
Roasted duck. Very soft meat, nice
Wanton. I'm no fan of wanton, but these are good sized wanton with leaner than usual pork inside.
Wanton. I’m no fan of wanton, but these are good sized wanton with leaner than usual pork inside.
Chan Meng Kee
Chan Meng Kee

All in all, Chan Meng Kee is very nice for what it is. Don’t expect fine dining here, it positions itself as a mass market roasted meat specialist, and it delivers. It is certainly a lot better than what you normally get from Kopitiams. Address: 44-G, Jalan SS 2/66, 47300 Petaling Jaya

I learned about Le Bread Days from a shared Facebook post and was surprised to find them to be located in SS2, my hometown! Everyone comes here for the one thing that catapulted them towards the cult status they are enjoying – molten salted egg yolk croissants. It is basically fusing the concept of the golden lava bun with the croissant. I know what the golden lava tastes like, and i know what a croissant tastes like, so i can imagine what a molten salted egg yolk croissant would taste like. Still, the novelty of this creation makes me curious enough to want to try it.

I arrived at Le Bread Days at about 415pm, and i noted a sign on the entrance that reads – they make 2 batches of the molten salted egg yolk croissant, at 1130am and 330pm, and the queue starts here. Well, no queue was to be seen. Obviously the molten egg yolk croissants were already sold out. If you’re reading this, please take note of the timing to avoid disappointment (Update 6 Jun 2016: there is all day availability of the croissant provided it hasn’t sell out for the day, see below). I had a salted caramel cheese cake and latte as consolation, and as proof that i have been there. I’ll be back. Address: 68, Jalan SS 2/72, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya

Salted caramel chesse cake. It was quite nice, not too moist, not too dry.
Salted caramel chesse cake. It was quite nice, not too moist, not too dry.
Latte was a little diluted
Latte was a little diluted

As further consolation, we went over to Wai Sek Gai to have fritters (they’re really good!) from stall 1 (the stall probably opens around 3-7pm), and to check out a new trend that is taking hold in SS2 – mobile kiosks selling Thai coffee. A latte cost RM8.50, and except for the use of sugar syrup which isn’t really to my liking, it was better (and cheaper of course) than the latte from Le Bread Days. I think this concept may take off in Singapore as well.

My significant other enjoying the fritters
My significant other enjoying the fritters
Mobile Chiang Mai coffee kiosk
Mobile Chiang Mai coffee kiosk

Over the past few days we developed a new night time routine to go for dessert after dinner. Tonight we decided to check out a shop that has been open for some time, though it looked virtually empty most of the time – Sweet Bean. It must be doing something right to survive in SS2.

sweetbean_mangorice
Mango with glutinous rice. Not quite like the real thing but good enough to satisfy cravings
sweetbean_longansoup
Steamed honey sugar with sea coconut, longan and red dates. Double boiled, the taste of the sea coconut and longan is emanated into the soup, but they remain firm enough for chewing. A very soothing dessert!

This was a good find and we’ll probably be back. Address: 27, Ground Floor, Jalan SS2/67

Update 11 Feb 2016: Decided to make this post a registry of food places in SS2, so i’ll be adding on as and when i try new places, though i tend to just revisit the same old places.

3A Yong Tau Foo is one of those “same old places” that i visit virtually every time. The food they serve have not changed a bit over the years. Consistency is certainly the key to success in F&B business. The must order items here, besides Yong Tau Foo of course, are the Curry Sauce Chee Cheong Fun and the Fu Chuk Barley (腐竹薏米).

DSC_0005
Brinjal is our perennial favourite
DSC_0001
Curry Chee Cheong Fun

Address: 12, Jalan 19/3, 46300 Petaling Jaya (Strictly speaking not SS2 but is probably more associated to SS2 than Section 19)

Hailam Kopitiam is the another one of the “same old places” we never fail to visit each time. It is the longest surviving Cha Chan Teng (茶餐厅) style cafe in SS2. No fewer than 10 others have sprung up and closed down in the past decade. The success of Hailam Kopitiam lies in their consistency in delivering above average food. You can hardly fault them in any of the item they serve, though you can’t say that any of them is particularly spectacular. The variety they offer is amazing, and i believe this is the other half of their winning formula. Also, save for the first day of Chinese New Year, they are always open!

Hailam Kopitiam - sure win
Hailam Kopitiam – sure win

Address: 20, Jalan SS 2/67, 47300 Petaling Jaya

Finally got around to trying Murni. We were seated in their new air-conditioned section which was also brightly lit. “Malaysian fusion”, if there’s such a thing, is probably an apt description of the food. Roti Hawaiian is the classic example – Hawaiian pizza filling wrapped in Indian Roti. The menu spans Indian, Malay and Western dishes, with Chinese influence. The drinks menu is full of wacky concoctions, which was probably what catapulted them to fame. Judging by the crowd flocking this place, you know the formula works.

I think it’s not really the taste, but the presentation and the portion that wins patrons over. The taste simply plays a complementary role, but it still does more than meet expectations. A satisfying meal, you will find here.

Mee Raja Meletup, the number one dish at Murni. It is a little wet when served, so you might want to wait a little while for extra moisture to be absorbed before tucking in. I found the fried onions a little too crunchy and the noodles a little mushy. Otherwise, this is a crowd pleaser. Go for the non-spicy signature Mee Raja if you have low heat tolerance, otherwise you might find the spiciness overpowering.
Mee Raja Meletup (loosely translated royal explosive noodles), the number one dish at Murni. It is a little wet when served, so you might want to wait a little while for extra moisture to be absorbed before tucking in. I found the fried onions a little too crunchy and the noodles a little mushy. Otherwise, this is a crowd pleaser. Go for the non-spicy signature Mee Raja if you have low heat tolerance, otherwise you might find the spiciness overpowering.
Signature Nasi Leak, with Thai style Pandan grilled chicken and Satay style sambal sauce. Very unconventional. I don't quite like sweet Satay sauce, so this didn't work for me, but overall it is fragrant and satisfying enough.
Signature Nasi Leak, with Thai style Pandan grilled chicken and Satay style sambal sauce. Very unconventional. I don’t quite like sweet Satay sauce, so this didn’t work for me, but overall it is fragrant and satisfying enough.
Roti Hawaiian. The combination actually works.
Roti Hawaiian. The combination actually works.

Address: 53, Jalan SS 2/75, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya

Visited Le Bread Days and managed to get hold of their molten salted egg yolk croissant this time. Apparently, they have ramped up their production sufficiently to be able to satisfy the demand, so no more disappointment. No disappointment with the croissant too. They’ve inspired many to copycat their idea, but I’ve not tried any other molten salted egg yolk croissant (a mouthful!) prior to this, and all i can say is well done Le Bread Days, the croissant rocks! The other pastry items look just as tantalizing. Tried the Kouign Amann and it was fantastic too. No gimmicks here!

Molten salted egg yolk croissant nicely decorated with lumps of icing sugar
Molten salted egg yolk croissant nicely decorated with lumps of icing sugar
Oozing..
Oozing.. i suppose Malaysia can lay claim to being the originator and experts at applying salted egg yolk in all manners of food, just as the Japanese can lay claim to applying cheese

Made another visit on 11 Sep 2016, and they have maintained the standard and even improved on the coffee latte served.

Thick, creamy and runny molten salted egg yolk, not like some copycats who cut corners and make the fake starchy type
Thick, creamy and runny molten salted egg yolk, not like some copycats who cut corners and make the fake starchy type
Hot enough finally
Hot enough, finally

Visit on 27 Mar 2017

Le Bread Days still going strong and they continue to innovate.

Newly introduced “Polo” version of the molten salted egg yolk croissant – a cross between Polo buns and croissant. Love the crust.
Runny salted egg yolk goes well with pastries.

Rekindle has been around in SS2 since 2013, but I haven’t had a chance to visit until now. The cake selection is impressive and the coffee is not bad.

Nice ambiance in Rekindle SS2. I found the mosaic flooring very intriguing as it was the same type that was used in my childhood house from 40 years ago.
Smokey bitz mille crepe cake and flat white.

Address: 25, Jalan SS 2/64

I guess you could say it’s unbelievable that I’ve not dined at the mamak stalls of the Medan Selera even after decades of hanging around SS2. I’ve finally visited on the Eve of Chinese New Year. This place starts kicking into live from 5pm.

We will definitely be back for mee goreng someday.

This is the halal counterpart of Wai Sek Gai. There are Chinese stalls here as well besides the Mamak stalls.
Kopi Tarik and Teh Tarik. The hole in the middle is for an umbrella.
Tumeric and lemon grass fried chicken, without Nasi Lemak for our afternoon snack, as we were going to have our reunion dinner very soon afterwards.

Address: Jalan SS 2/60

SS2 has become a haunt for setting up cafes, and new ones were added every few months. P.S. Tokyo is a one year old new kid, and I didn’t know its existence until it showed up on Google search today (28 Mar 2017). It has taken the bold move of setting up shop on the second level instead of the more visible ground level shop lot.

As their name suggests, they do Japanese style cakes, parfait and soft serve, complemented by Japanese style tea and the usual hot coffee beverages. The pricing is on the high side, with cakes and Japanese tea at RM 15.90, soft serve at RM 12.90 and coffee at RM 12.90 as well.

Elderflower and lime cheesecake and Hojitcha soft serve. The cheesecake had an overpowering taste of Elderflower and was a little soft/watery. The Hojitcha soft serve was pretty good actually, but overpriced in my opinion.

The huge glass panel allows one to people watch like how you can do so in those multi-storey cafes in Seoul, but I think the hot weather in Malaysia may be a deterrent for a large part of the day. The brightly lit interior can be a nice change for those who got bored of dark interior themed cafes.

Overall, I think they need to work harder on their menu. The parfait were expensive and I didn’t try them, and other than that, there was nothing compelling. This is unlike Le Bread Days, which continues to attract a steady stream of customers despite their obscure location, and even after the novelty of their star product has run out.

Address: 80, Jalan SS 2/60

 

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