IOI City Mall, Putrajaya – Part 7

Still can’t forget eating nervously with then PM Dr M (1981 to 2003) watching over us. He was a regular there and his picture was hanging on the wall as an endorsement or reminder of sorts. Such vivid memories a benevolent dictator evokes.

One of the signature dishes there that captivated me then was Ju Hu Char. Pronounced Jew Hoo Char.

Happy to see Little Penang Kafe at IOI City Mall and am glad they retained the menu offerings even though they have now grown into a giant chain. This dish is like a misnomer as Ju Hu Char means stir fried cuttlefish in Hokkien. There was more stir fried turnip or pang kuan (jicama to hipsters) but it was still tasty. Imagine eating popiah fillings without the skin. The shredded dish is a side order at Little Penang restaurant. It is not a Penang dish you can find easily at hawkers. It is more a home cooked festive dish in Nyonya or Peranakan homes.

Little Penang is good in that it allows the Malays to try normally non halal Penang dishes such as Char Kuey Teow, Lor Bak and Curry Laksa. The halal versions still taste authentic. Kudos to them.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 800, f3.5, 1/60 sec.

Where is IOI City Mall? See MyCen Maps

#ioicitymall #mall #littlepenang #penangfood #juhuchar #jicama

Yik Mun’s Hainanese Chicken Chop

Yik Mun kopitiam in Tanjung Malim was a popular stopover during the heydays of Federal Route 1. The Chinese steamed buns shop was an institution.

Now run by third generation descendents, the restaurant is located outside the old town. A shophouse factory in town churns out the assembly-line buns. They are no longer hand-made.

I didn’t order their famous pau (steamed bun) this time. It tasted lousy on a previous visit. Fortunately, the shop sells other local food including the famous Malaysian invention; the Hainanese Chicken Chop.

I am a bit OCD when I see salad dressing carelessly splashed all over the dish. The Hainanese chicken chop’s gravy is a speciality by itself. Typically, it has oyster sauce, HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce and blended secret ingredients in it. It must not be contaminated with Thousand Island dressing.

That aside, the chicken chop here tasted “so so” and the portion seems to have gotten smaller. At RM 14 ++, it is not cheap for a small town.

Nevertheless, the shop was packed when I was there. I guess a good reputation from the past can go a long way. Try it yourself and let me know what you think, if you are in town. Yik Mun is Halal.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1000, f4, 1/60 sec.

Inside Hitz Cafe

On one wall, there is a big mural of old Tanjung Malim town painted by a young local artist. I was also fascinated by this corner where nature created art too.

From a photography perspective, natural light from the sun can enhance the atmosphere or ambience (spell or say ‘ambiance’ if you want to sound uppity when you are not). Sunlight is a factor beyond the control of anyone on a casual visit though.

On a paid gig with the right budget, I can easily re-create the same by bringing a truckload of lighting equipment and a big electric generator. On a personal outing, I am happy to use the sun when the timing is right.

Late afternoon sunlight was seeping through the glass facade and casting nice shadows on the vintage marble-top kopitiam (Chinese coffee shop) table and chairs.

Saw this by chance while walking back from the washroom at the rear of the restaurant. Yeah. Moral of the story: Bring along your camera bag when you go wash your hands.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4.5, 1/250 sec.

Hitz Cafe

With a silky curtain acting as sunshade and intentionally mismatched kopitiam chairs, Jolene’s Hitz Cafe has all the cues of a hipster cafe. But since there are no hipsters in Tanjung Malim, how do they survive?

With good food, patronised by staff from nearby banks, UPSI lecturers, Proton City execs and other local folks.

Uniquely, there’s a Malay, a Chinese and a Orang Asli cook in the kitchen. According to owner Jolene Bateman, the menu was customised by her brothers (and partners) who used to work with hotels in England.

The grilled chicken I had was juicy inside and crispy on the outside. Like any respectable hipster outlet, there are sprinkles of finely chopped parsley on the food and a slice of lemon in the glass of water served.

There is even a special selfie corner with an old bicycle inside. Isn’t it nice to pay humble Tanjung Malim prices for a Bangsaresque dining experience?

Hitz Cafe is halal certified and is at 10 Jalan Chong Ah Peng, Tanjung Malim old town.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 500, f8, 1/60 sec.