Monday, June 28, 2010

Kanna Curry House - Bandar Sri Menjalara, Kepong

From the distance it stood out in a quiet part of Menjalara. De Foodland aka Crabs Centre was on the other end of the row of shops. Kanna was not on my radar until the call for Banana Leaf rice came. An old player obviously and the only one in its genre for many miles radius. They have lots of tables outdoors and on the first floor. So unlike De Foodland finding a seat is a breeze. Seated and ready the underworked waiters came quickly and just as the formalities were almost transacted the banana leaves came. Seamless service.

There was a lacked of variety of vegetables. I asked for bitter gourd and  there was none. No ikan bilis just three and all three were unceremoniously dished on the leaves. Then came the poppadam. It was not cracking anymore obviously due to the waiters not storing them well. But then I was busy with anticipation for the 'mains' to arrive.

The curries another three types. Triad? I preferred those that come with the mains and being small carbo consumers there was no need for these.
Old-style Chicken Curry. Lots of spices,oil and gravy. Contentment was clearly spelt out on our faces. Good chicken, tender, nicely cooked.
Prawns Curry was with a strong tomato base without the overpowering spices. Again fresh and packed with ingredients. Not too sweet and slightly tart. The prawns were firm but over-cooked rendering it slightly leathery. But still a delightful dish taking in consideration the tasty gravy base.

My favourite mutton was tender with lots of spices especially of the jintan varieties. These will overpower the gamey smell. But alas it was too salty.

The test of a good Indian restaurant is to try out their deep-fried fishes. Its their ability and diligence in sourcing fresh seafood that will separate them from the competitors. The tenggiri block was superb. There were 7-8 types of fishes. But by then we were filled.

Rasam. Not sour enough and too much oil was floating on top.
Fruit Lassi. Not thick enough for me. At RM4.50 it was expensive. Go for a teh tarik.
Address: Jalan 3/62B, Bandar Sri Menjalara

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tropika Corner from Memori Corner - Melati Utama, Along MRR2

The 5 of us were confused as we could not find the Memori Corner. We thought we could catch some of their signature dishes. But apparently there was a change of ownership. Nothing drastic except the new name, Tropika Corner. The interior remained, obviously a cost-saving step. The food concept was also retained. The Menu though is unsettled as seen by the decrepit piece of Menu given to us. The old had all gone under the bridge. The new has come. The rhythm of business cycle.

I have people telling me that business cannot be studied. They reiterated that 'Business Studies' is a misnomer. They preached the message that it has to be practiced and learned. So getting the head wet (Chinese idiom) is essential and that means sinking/investing the EPF, savings, borrowings, property etc. But that is not enough. It show the intent only but will not guarantee success except through entrepreneurship.

Michael Gerber who wrote the best-selling book on entrepreneurship, E-Myth, reckons that there are 3 roles owners will bring into their businesses by design or default. The three roles are the Technician, Manager and Entrepreneur. Gerber asserts that the Technician and Manager in the owner will rear its ugly head time and again in every business situation, relegating the Entrepreneur to the peripheral. So the owner of the business is like a schizophrenic frantically trying to surface the weaker/passive/subdued Entrepreneur personality. The ability to delegate, discipline, order and prioritize these roles will make or break the business.

Personally I pay attention to the two ends of the business. The left end has to do with Product/Services/Marketing Research (PSMDR). The right end will be the PR and HR. The mid-section is where the operations and production are. Build a team of technicians and managers and delegate authority to them. Give them the expectations and inspect regularly.

So why does a business go bad with the owner cutting losses? Or the owner losing interest and wanting to sell out a viable business? Statistics show that out of 100 new business start-ups only 4-5 will remain after 10 years. Some sold, absorbed, acquired or broken up and sold, others collapse through bad business sense and the rest swept away by the once every 10 years tsunami.

The cartoon mural interior that reflects the old - walking down memory lane. It was relaxing and spacious. Very nice place to hang loose.
The usual Nasi Lemak. The sambal packed a big wallop in taste. It was not so hot but still retained its spiciness so I enjoyed it.
The wrong order. Not one but 2 wrong orders. Instead of the sunny side up, an omelet came. The manager was nice and compensated us with a scoop of ice-cream each. A good start for customer service. Come on win us over and succeed in your business!My Chai Latte, my staple beverage in the cafe and kopitiam.
The food street along MMR2 in Melati Utama. Tons of choices. Samuri Satay, Sabak Steamboat, Old Town, Leha Kelfood, McDonalds, Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa, Secret Recipe, mamak etc.

Directions: Coming from Zoo Negara MRR2 take the Wangsa Maju and also the Taman Melawati flyovers. Another 2-3 hundred meters turn into the shophouses. From Kepong MRR2 , U-turn under the Taman Melawati flyover.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Skybridge - Petronas Twin Towers

KLites will not take time out to tour their own city. If it wasn't for my friends from America, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Mongolia, the Petronas Twin Towers' Skybridge will still be a bridge in the sky. When I took my Vietnamese friend there for the first time 8 years ago, it was a visit that had shocked me in financial terms or the lack of it. It was free. My friend was pleasantly pleased. Such an iconic place will be a cash cow. There is money to be made. Look at the KL Tower. It's RM20 per visit.

But then Petronas is a gargantuan cash cow unto itself and showcasing the Skybridge free is good for their image. Beyond putting the social bottom-line in the black, maintaining their staff to run operations and making sure all things mechanical is in tip-top condition will run into millions of Ringgit each year. Surely the visitors will not begrudge them when visiting for a reasonable fee. Well, no complaints here.

What Petronas has done is not just in the interest of the company. They have raised the bar in an area where few ventured and fewer still succeed. I am talking about the principle of equality and respect for all. It is free for locals as well as the foreigners. In my last trip in March, I saw a mini United Nation waiting their turns. I heard diverse tongues and saw a kaleidoscope of colours and facial features.

One of the big grouse for the tourist is the two-tier pricing imposed imposed on them just because they come from a different geographical area. Some find this practice objectionable and discriminatory. The feelings can get really toxic esp. for the harassed expatriate already wallowing in the deep throes of culture shock. You would not like to hear the colourful language their used to describe the locals and their practices.

Visitors are organised into small groups of 20 so as not to crowd the bridge that also serve as a viewing platform. The bridge has live traffic and connect personnel from both towers besides functioning as a fire run for either tower. Getting a ticket is not a big hassle. Be there and join the queue. Get your tickets and go for a walk around KLCC Suria, get a drink at the cafes etc. There is no need to be there early in the morning. I have tried mid-morning and still get to go in at around noon. If you have a big group, you may have to wait 2-3 hours. Small group may get lucky as some time slots has 2-3 vacancies to just fit in such small group to make 20. Get more info from WikiHow.

The Bridge is at 41st and 42nd level. The twin towers have 88 floors.
The side with the Public Bank Tower
Close up of the tower
Another close up
The side with the fountain and lake

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tmn Industri Bolton Hawker's Centre - Sri Gombak, Batu Caves

Old school Claypot Chicken Rice with Salted Fish
Getting into the groove for lunch in a non-prime food area needs a lot of psyching up. Otherwise it will be the regular folks eating at regular proven eating grounds. Some rely on sandwiches and even lunch boxes from spouses. God bless them! But for some if they can get motivated and moving, it will an exercise that could be as interesting as pitching for a sale.

When I am in Batu Caves area, the easy way out would be to the Hawkers' Centre @ Taman Industri Bolton. This is the Chinese side of the Batu Caves area. Claypot Chicken Rice, the old school way for older folks. All manner of soups for the good or the ying and the yang of the body. Old school again. Salted Chicken Rice - raised eyebrows. Poached chicken. Steam Fresh-Water Fish. Those are my favourites when I am lazy and at my competitive worst. And they are concentrated at the further end of the centre going in from the BHP Station side.
Salted Chicken
Kidney Ginger SoupOld Cucumber Pork Ribs SoupPig's Stomach Pepper SoupBlanched cooked (not stir-fried) VegePoached Chicken

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food Crawl at Starhill's Feast Village @ RM3.60++/dish - Shook! & Luk Yu Tea House & Fisherman’s Cove & Pak Loh Chiu Chow

Feast Village is a cacophony of sights. Like an eccentric and quirky person there is no consistency, no logic, reason and symmetry. Like this place or hate it. At a price of RM3.60 ++ per dish its value for money. Drop by from 3pm - 6pm for a feast. But buyers beware. The 3-6 menu is limited, smaller, with lesser sides but still packed enough fire-power if you choose right. Another thing, the service is professional to a fault in Shook! as the wait staff are probably used to the fine dining crowd and not trawlers. The lack of warmth and smiles gave me the feeling that they just can't wait for the 6pm dateline to arrive.

Personally 2 restaurants are worth visiting and do allocate more time at these, Pak Loh Chiu Chow and Shook!. Fisherman's Cove is ok while Luk Yu is a no no! Offer is available till June 30th. Further savings if you car pool. Parking may come up to more than RM10. Inquiries: 03-27823855.

Luk Yu Tea House - all our dishes fail the taste test.

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant - Mostly good especially their pork dishes.
Pork Cake/Paste with salted fish powder. Excellent. Get your nose assaulted by the pungent top quality "Mui Heong" salted fish.
A true test of the chef in a Chinese restaurant. Did the Fried Rice order comes right? This one passed the test. Fluffy, with individual grains, fragrant and full bodied.Another porky dish. Preserved pork in pork. The usual Chiu Chow condiments were found inside. Bear with the saltiness.
Shook! offered the best in terms of varieties in fusion food, desserts and drinks. Allocate more time and linger in its beautiful ambiance.
Good food galore. Shrimp Salad!The best deal - a huge sausage. Passed the taste test with flying colours. Will cost double digits under normal circumstances.
A weak try on Japanese. Soup base was weak. Two pieces of vege and 2 pieces of salmon tempura.
Good deal. Flew out from the oven. Fresh, crisp and as fragrant as it could be.Do reserved some stomach space for some good desserts and drinks.