Friday, July 03, 2009

Nonya & Penang Hawker Food @ The Wok Cafe, The Strand, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya


aromatic and slurp-licious till the last spoonful Prawn Mee (RM7)

I'm in love with this place!! Ever since I discovered it, I've been back two more times, once for a late lunch and recently this week, with friends for dinner. Packed during lunch and dinner, I reckon this is definitely THE place for great Nonya food (aside from homecooked goodies!). I've always been a fan of Hot Wok Cafe, having dined at the one along Tanjung Bungah during my visits to Penang. This new place opened by the same family retains the same charm with Nonya touches, antiques, kopitiam marble tables and chairs decorating the place. While ambience is always great, the best thing about this place is the food tastes awfully good.


1. dragon & phoenix tea cups for wedding ceremonies, 2. tangy assam prawns, 3. full of flavour kapitan chicken

Hmmm, where does one start? The menu is divided into items to eat with rice or one dish meals. These one dish meals consists of hawker favourites - assam laksa, prawn mee and char kuey teow. I love the aromatic prawn mee here, served the traditional way with a mix of yellow mee and beehoon. Topped with pork slices, sliced prawns, deep fried shallots, half a hard boiled egg, and spinach, it makes a fantastic tummy satisfying meal for RM7 per bowl. Char kuey teow (RM8) here is pretty good too with bits of deep fried lard and lap cheong slices. Seems to be the classic favourite too as I see quite a few tables ordering this for lunch.


1. fingerlicking good & crispy inche kabin, 2. perut ikan for those who dare, 3. gold coloured details on the panels covering the kitchen

Best to come here with loads of friends and families, so everyone can share the food. We did the mistake of overordering one night (we thought there was 4 of us eating vs 3 of us who ended up eventually polishing almost 80% of the food still!). I love the hong bak (RM14 for small portion) - tender braised pork with aromatic spices that goes so well with white rice. Heavenly stuff and definitely the ultimate comfort food for the tummy. Inche Kabin here is also good passing the crispy test (nice and crunchy on the outside) but juicy within.


the ever popular char kuey teow with deep fried lard bits and lap cheong

Perut ikan is not for everyone since most people don't like fish roe and stomach but I love this tangy tickling dish with loads of spices and herbs. Jiu hoo char here is served with the lettuce leaves and sambal belachan. Another thumbs up to the finely shredded yambean cooked with mushrooms and cuttlefish. Sambal paku pakis (RM10 for small portion) was also good, not too spicy and came with a few large prawns.


1. comfort food at its best, hong bak, 2. cendol packed with goodies, 3. sago gula melaka 4. antiques for anyone?

Assam prawns (RM20 for small portion) were also good (peeled partly so less finicky to eat) but then I'm always partial to tangy food flavoured with tamarind. I did find the otak otak (RM4 per packet) a little watery though but it was chockfull of fish and daun kadok leaves. While some dishes they do really well, like the kari kapitan chicken (RM14 for small portion) served with potatoes (another dish requiring loads of rice), I didn't quite love the lorbak (RM8) here. Felt the one at Little Penang Cafe is nicer since it is crispier (I love my lorbak with a crunch!) even though the taste of this lorbak was good. Kiam chye boey soup (RM9) was also a good tummy filler but wasn't earth shattering great stuff.

my fav way to end the meal, the refreshing sago nangka

Last but not least, we have the desserts. They serve ice kacang, cendol, sago gula melaka (RM3.50), sago nangka and etc. I've tried the cendol (RM3.50), which I thought was average tasting. Instead I prefer the not so common sago nangka (RM3.50) - sago pearls with mango puree and diced bits of nangka. Simply heavenly stuff especially to end a great meal with friends. Do go and give this place a try but be sure to bring a huge appetite with you as once you start eating all those dishes, you'll end up asking for extra rice. For more pictures, see
my Flickr set.
26, Jalan PJU 5/21
The Strand
Kota Damansara
Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03 -6142 7388

(Non Halal. Closed on Mondays. Open from 11am-1opm. To get here from the Kota Dsara NKVE Toll, after the toll gates, take the first left turn. Go straight and at the end of the road, take a left turn. Go straight until you hit a traffic light, take a left turn. Go straight and take a right turn and proceed straight again. You will see signboards to Giant Kota Damansara. On the left hand side is The Strand, while the right hand side is Sunway Kota Damansara. Take the first left, go straight and take the second left turn. The cafe is on the left hand side on the row behind CIMB.)


*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.


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26 comments:

babe_kl said...

Oh great!!! I also like Hot Wok in Pg

J2Kfm said...

this place seems to garner much attention, probably as there's not many nyonya restaurants aside from in Pg or Melaka.

550ml jar of faith said...

This is excellent news! You mean I don't have to wait till my trips back to Penang to visit Hot Wok?? Do they have the prawn mee here? They whip up a rather mean one back in the outlet on Burmah Road!

email2me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
email2me said...

Hot Wok's prawn mee is the best you can get in Klang Valley. Champ's also nice but not many can afford to eat it.

sc said...

ooo, nice one boo. and so near my place! am so popping over :)

thenomadGourmand said...

this plc has many conflicting reviews frm other bloggers & frens ;)
I must try for myself already..

boo_licious said...

babe kl - ah, if you're a fan of hot wok in Penang, then this is the place to be.

j2kfm - there's quite a lot of nonya places in KL but not good ones, hence this place is quite rare.

550ml - yes, prawn mee is here. Let me know if it compares favourably (or not) to the one in Burmah Road.

email2me - well, so far 2 friends and I love it and now you have stamped yr approval so I reckon, we're on the rite track.

sc - lucky you! So many good makan places near yr hse.

thenomadGourmand - hmmm, must go read those reviews again, didn't spot any negative ones but who knows. Oh, one word of advice, this place really gets packed for lunch and dinner, so book ahead if you are in a big group.

Hazza said...

SOunds like a great place, Penang food without going to Penang. Does the CKT has any clams in it?

SimpleGirl said...

saw tv recommended for this place last week....the most impressed part is there is only one main chef to handle all the cooking!he is the 3rd generation of baba

-eiling- said...

will definitely pay this a visit. i love inche kabin and char kuey teow!

worldwindows said...

The desserts are hot! I only an get good desserts in Thailand and Vietnam.

Paranoid Android said...

OMG! The food looks out of this world fantastic! Hope I don't have to beat the crowd to dine there because the prices are reasonable too!

David Jr said...

Hi boo_licious, great writeup and good to know it is in Kota D'sara. I will keep a lookout for this place next time I am there.

How about the staff there? Are they friendly? Service fast?

David

thule a.k.a leo said...

Nothing much to say... read my review here:
http://thule-food-quest.blogspot.com/2009/06/wok-jalan-pju-521-strand-damansara-pj.html

Sugar Bean said...

This looks so good. Don't have to go all the way to Malacca and we have good nyonya food in Klang Valley! Char kway teow with lap cheong, does it make it too salty?

Sorry to ask for a favour, can you please link Sugar Bean? Thank you very much.

J2Kfm said...

boo, just saw this on TV yday, on Chui Ling's One Day 5 Meals.
guess the place is REALLY garnering attention from all corners.

qwazymonkey said...

Oh did you say inche kabin? I'm in! I wanna go now...*poof*

boo_licious said...

Hazza - no clams in ckt though.

simplegirl - oooh, thxs for that info, sounds very interesting.

eiling - I love inche kabin too, double fried with a tangy dip.

worldwindows - the sago nangka is good but the cendol is a waste of time though.

paranoid android - sssshhhh! not so loud as we thought the prices were good too.

david jr - I thought service was ok but can get a little chaotic when they're busy.

poor leo - looks like a bad experience there with the fish. I didn't order the fish though and we went for the nonya food since that was their specialty.

sugarbean - this is penang style nonya food though, so will have slight differences. Sure, no problems will link you, I actually thot I did that a while back.

j2kfm - LOL, didn't know it was featured! Gosh, it will be even more packed with people.

qwazymonkey - hee hee, monkeys definitely like crispy chicken.

Josh said...

Just been to that area but went to the CHINESE MUSLIM restaurant instead, its location is still pretty isolated since there hasnt been any shops nearby it that are opened. Foods are pretty good, the chef from CHINA, tried the BEEF SIU LONG PAO and they were great, the Braised lamb was tender. Business is quiet but I guess nobody are aware of its existance yet due to its location, worth a try though. Will come back for its fish which looked piping hot from the table next to us. Will check out the WOK too next time when we are in the mood for PENANG's foods. Love your site!

boo_licious said...

hiya Josh, ooooh, a chinese muslim outlet sounds very nice and interesting. Will give that a try the next time. The Strand is pretty quiet since not many places are occupied now.

Hot Wok Penang said...

Pride of Penang & Hot Wok

http://www.megavideo.com/?v=JGT7BNB7

Leung Man To, Ella kung & Police Koh in Gourmet Sceret Agent

ultbbwadmr said...

met with really really bad service, and waited ages for the waitress to come take the order.

the owner of the restaurant is one heck of arrogant fellow. wouldn't even want to help out the staff, as they were lack of it
he just sat there, and barked orders

and they couldn't just notify the customers earlier when one of the dish is not available anymore, until i needed to wave my hands to death, asking for the waitresses to come over and asked about where is the dish that i ordered, as i have already finished my rice!

and talking about rice, they serived the dishes before the rice, and left them cold on the table, before i had to shout my lungs off to ask for rice.

the worst thing is, instead of impressing my in laws with a new place i found on the net about how good is the food, turned out to be a farce.

i had but no choice to tell the waitress when the bill came, that she should quit her job, because her boss is an arrogant, selfish man, and wouldn't care less about his staff, let alone offering decent service
to his customers
i told her not to waste her life there..

this is the first time and the last time tat arrogant fellow of a boss, who don't know nothing about running a business where he fails to realize that customers are gold, is ever gonna get one cent of my hard-earned money ever again

one of the worst dining experience of my life.
i was fuming when i left the place

boo_licious said...

ultbbwadmr - sorry to hear abt yr bad experience there.

Kinda weird that the owners were not helping as I have seen the father, the son & I think his girlfriend helping out with the service during my numerous visits there. I wonder if they are overwhelmed with customers since they came out in television recently.

ai wei said...

i heart their Char Kuey Teow. dad even said their CKT is superb

but too far to travel for another revisit

Hot Wok Penang said...

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for Hot Wok Penang & The Wok

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