Subang Jaya

Subang Jaya

Featuring Naj & Belle (SS15), Asia Cafe, Analog KL, Victoria Station (USJ), Peppercorn Cafe, Sora Café, Great Hall, Palate Restaurant, Kin Ryu Tei Japanese Restaurant, Daughter Peoh Restaurant (Penang Asam Laksa)
Trisha Toh
Trisha Toh

Surprisingly tasty spaghetti dish tossed with a creamy sambal sauce and some crispy chicken ham on top. The dish may sound complicated in theory (I was skeptical too) but I could see myself wanting this again in the near future. It’s the sort of recipe that mom comes up with randomly during one of those experiments at home and it makes no sense yet it becomes a staple. The heat is subtle and the strips of ham adds much-needed texture to the dish. Honestly, this place is such a pleasant place to have a meal. It’s casual and unpretentious, and service is very friendly. The iced coconut latte is a plus point.

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This is no momofuku milk bar, but the homemade nutella ice cream with cornflakes is a nice try. It’s light and milky, with lots of nutella chunks for good measure.

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Daughter Peoh’s a place you’d run to if you’re desperately looking for something local at an air-conditioned spot. The char koay teow won’t do much in satisfying the craving though as it lacked the qualities of a good Penang-style char koay teow. Felt like I was playing a game of “Where’s Waldo” searching for cockles (which are puny) and duck egg (close to none). Filing this under char koay nope.

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A+ Kombucha (fermented and lightly sweetened black tea) at Subang's best coffee and drink purveyor. This is one healthy I'd happily take any day!

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Used to frequent here a lot during my time at Starbucks with the closing crew. Their Indo Mee have a cult following so expect a half hour wait. For a mere RM3, you get a single portion with a perfect fried egg on top. It’s the kind of place that makes you think “So cheap but wait so long, worth it meh?” The answer is YES. You will find yourself coming back for more cuz it’s just that addictive. Easy on the bank and oh so satisfying. Practice a little patience and you’ll leave a happy camper.

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This place has been pretty much every Subang kid’s staple special occasion spot in the 90s and early noughties. And as vivid as our childhood memories may go, it’s not the food that we remember but the restaurant’s interesting train dining concept where diners get to sit in a built-in life size railway coach within the restaurant that we all dream of having at home. I was prepared to set my expectations low on this one after reading many negative reviews online. The standards here have definitely dwindled down from its popular days. The waitstaff appear to be taking casual dining more casually with their untucked shirts and singlets, and they certainly didn't look very motivated working there. I can't tell if it was the pressure or if the waiter pitied me because I was alone, but I totally did not feel comfortable having him right behind watching me eat. Service was fast. Barely 10 minutes upon ordering and my plate of grilled fish fillet baked with garlic butter sauce was served. I was the only customer there at 3pm. Thankfully the fish was cooked alright although the garlic butter tasted a bit ‘jelak’ after a while. Their chocolate cake with ice cream was nice though. For RM7.90, I thought that was the highlight of my entire meal. They have three parking lots for their customers, but you’d have to move the reserve pole yourself. It's sad to find a restaurant so amazing back then to end up like this.

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Step inside The Great Hall, and you’ll feel transported to a restaurant in China. The restaurant oozes oriental old-world charm. Had a go with one of their lunch sets and ordered the Angel’s Mane (RM12.90) pork stew stir fried with angel’s hair served with their appetiser of the day and a drink. It’s quite a bargain seeing that the dish’s ala-carte price is RM14.90. It’s not omg best thing eva but it’s an affordable option that will surely satisfy non-fussy eaters.

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Matcha lovers can flock to this new nook at Empire for a trusty cup of Uji Matcha Latte (RM12). The decor is minimalist and elegant, a combination of marble countertop and timber with a neon outline of Sora’s moniker (a hummingbird). Just like its interior, Sora’s matcha latte is pretty darn good. Smooth and creamy, with the perfect balance of green tea and milk. No sugar required. They also do a photogenic Matcha Adzuki Mousse dessert that looks major gram-worthy. Go!

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With a similar competition in the vicinity, Sheesh Mahal will always stand out as one of my more memorable dining experiences. The menu boasts classic favourite Northern Indian dishes with a Pakistani mogul twist. When asked to elaborate, the waiter replied, “Northern, Southern, they all taste same. Like home!”. Not quite the answer I had in mind. I had thought it would be a long defensive riposte, filled with culinary patriotism and maybe some stories of his homeland Pakistan. But I was glad he kept it short, enough to keep me quiet to think deeper into the meaning of that short, humble line. Was he trying to be deep?

I dug straight into their specialties starting first with the restaurant’s recommendation of their BBQ-spiced lamb, Dhuan Gosht (RM24.9), aromatic and easily-chewed, this was the winning dish. Then it was the ubiquitous Garlic Naan (RM4.9) dipped in their spud-heavy Aloo Gobhi (RM13.9) and Channa Massala (RM12.9). Commendable. Ended the meal with their free flow soft drink beverage (RM7.9) and some food for thought.

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A fairly modest cafe offering simple food that caters to the student crowd of SS15. Serving up a handful of western dishes, the fish and chips (RM14.9) here was decent but nothing more than that.

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Peppercorn Cafe’s decor hasn’t changed much since my primary school days, nor has it aged. For breakfast, they do one thing and they do it well. Boasting a menu of satisfying English breakfasts, full homemade style breakfast shouldn't cost you more than RM10 here. Parking can be nasty come weekday mornings, but a friendly hi to the nearby market’s car park guardian could win you an “only-for-you” spot on the curbside.

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Naj and Belle is a collaboration between Najib (of Serai Group and Jibby Group) and Belle (the baker responsible for the infamous pavlova in the two restaurants). The casual cafe features mostly brunch comforts and pastas, and all da CAKES; try the Moroccan-style baked eggs (RM26.5) with Dukkah chicken sausages, chickpeas, crumbled feta cheese and Napoli sauce set on a griddle pan, and reserve your stomach for the unusual but refreshingly delicious dessert, the Watermelon cake layered with actual watermelon slices in between fluffy and creamy cake base. You’ll be sure to leave with a happy heart!

Alternate Breakfast + Brunch restos: The Red Beanbag, Jibby + Co or Yeast Bistronomy.

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