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Thursday, May 30, 2013

KL Sedap Part 2: Hard Rock Cafe

I'm sure you guys remember when we headed to Hard Rock Cafe (HRC) in Melaka right?
Well before there was HRC Melaka, there was HRC KL!

But before we start, let me apologize in advance for the quality of some of the pictures.
The place was rather dark and I had no choice but to fire the flash in most of the shots so they appear rather bright. But I guess that's better than having pictures of the silhouettes of the food right?

Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings (RM26.00)
When you order your wings, you have to choose between either Classic (Normal), Tangy BBQ (Mild) or Heavy Metal (Spicy). Talk about lighting the fire of my appetite am I right?

Well it's basically like an order of Buffalo Wings.
The wings are tossed with the special sauce of your choice. They douse the wings with the sauce just nicely because you will get some on your fingers when you pick it up but not too much that it's overpowering.
Served with a Blue Cheese ranch dressing!!!

And at RM26.00 for half a dozen wings, it's a steal!!

Famous Fajitas Trio (RM55.00)
So these are the famous HRC Fajitas. (My mum's favourite!)

You have a choice of beef, chicken, shrimp, a double combo of two meats or a trio like mine!
It's served on a hotplate with a bed of sizzling onions. Awesome!

Fajitas Accompaniments
The Fajitas come with some accompaniments of course.
Some tortillas for you to stuff with the meat. You've also got lettuce, guacamole (avocado), herbed diced tomatos, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses plus sour cream!

So if you're looking to have a party in your mouth, all the guests are already invited!

I can tell why my Mum loves this so much.
The grilled meat on the hot plate taste so much better when they're still sizzling hot and getting to choose what you want (or don't want) to be in your tortilla makes it even better. In fact, ditch the bread and just eat the meat! It's totally fine!

Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs (RM78.00)
This is something we wanted to have in HRC Melaka but we passed.
And my darling wife decided she wasn't going to pass it up twice in a row!


The tender beef ribs come smothered in BBQ sauce and cooked absolutely superbly.
The meat is so tender you don't even need a knife! You can just use your fork to twist of the meat and it comes falling off the bone just like that. Wish they would have laid off a little on the sauce though because I'd rather enjoy a little more of that beefy flavour instead of the BBQ sauce which is also in the baked beans.

It comes with fries, coleslaw and some baked beans.
This is a MUST HAVE for any meat lovers!!!
(My mouth is literally watering as I type this now while looking at the picture above)

Adam's Verdict:
Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings 3/5 -- Famous Fajitas Trio 3/5
Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs 4/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings 2.5/5 -- Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs 4/5

Still so many items to try on the menu at HRC.
I reckon we'll be making our way there a few more times. At least.

Hard Rock Cafe (Kuala Lumpur)

Concorde Hotel
No 2 Jln Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: +60 3 27155555

Operating Hours:
11.30am til 2.00am (Sunday til THursday)
11.30am til 3.00am (Fridays and Saturdays)

Kitchen closes at 10.30pm Daily

Monday, May 27, 2013

KL Sedap Part 1: Grand Seri Garuda Emas

So we're going to begin our KL Sedap series!

I know a lot of us probably travel overseas to KL more often than any other city.
It's convenient, not too far away and is a modern city but still rich in history and culture.

Let's face it, whenever we go to KL, confirm plus chop plus guarantee we're definitely going to spend a good amount of time eating. There's just so much to eat! From the street stalls to the restaurants, there's simply no end I tell you!

Well anyways our adventure begins at a place that my darling wife went to on one of her previous visits.
She kept raving about this dish she had called 'Ayam Pop' which was apparently the BOMB!
We tried a version in Singapore but it was a complete disaster so we've gone to the original source of my wife's fascination with this dish.

And since this was a family trip, my trusted brothers-in-law (and fellow foodies) Razali and Azim were along for this makan adventure in KL. Read more about them at our Bio page!

So Restoran Grand Seri Garuda Emas actually serves authentic Minang-style food.
We're talking about good old 'put everything on the table and we charge you for what you eat' kinda thing.

As you'd expect, they have the usual Padang favourites like Daging Salai, various seafood and vegetables.
They even have otak (brains)!!

And let's not forget the favourite Cabe Hijau (Green Chilli)!!!

Yeah we all know about Nasi Padang (or Minang) but what about this Ayam Pop eh?

Ayam Pop
 So what's so special about Ayam Pop anyways?
Apparently, the chicken is marinated then boiled in coconut water.

So the coconut water does nothing much for the flavour of the chicken but it surely makes the chicken meat very tender while retaining a moist texture. And let me tell you something else. Another thing it doesn't help is the appearance! But appearances aside, this chicken is really super tender and you DO get a hint of the coconut water and when you bite into it.

Well, anyways Azim wasn't buying into any of the coconut water talk and says it doesn't make much of a difference. But both he and Razali agree that.. it.. doesn't.. look.. appetizing....

They give you this special sambal to go with the Ayam Pop.
It's basically a mix of petis (fermented shrimp paste) and chillies. It's actually pretty spicy but the petis definitely kills any chance of it being overpowering.

I love me some petis so this was definitely a hit.

But for those of you who aren't interested in any boiled chicken...

Ayam Goreng
Great news! They also some pretty good Ayam Goreng!
(It definitely looks better doesn't it?)

Adam's Verdict:
Ayam Pop 3/5 -- Ayam Goreng 3.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Ayam Pop 4.5/5 -- Ayam Goreng 3/5

Razali's Verdict:
Ayam Pop 2/5 -- Ayam Goreng 3.5/5

Azim's Verdict:
Ayam Pop 2.5/5

Well besides the Ayam Pop and Ayam Goreng, the rest of the dishes are really good too.
I really enjoyed the fried beef dishes and the vegetable dishes like 'Terung Sambal'!
Worth the trip if you're in the area and hankering for some Nasi Padang!

Restoran Grand Seri Garuda Emas

No 176 Jalan Raja Abdullah
Kg Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: +60 0322027170

Operating Hours: 10.00am til midnight Daily

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Halal Food Blog Team

I'm sure most of you are probably wondering...
Who exactly are these people who are talking about these makan places?
Are they qualified? How can I trust them?

Well, my darling wife and I started this humble blog because we noticed that, well, there were simply not many blogs/articles catered for people looking for Halal food. Newspaper articles and TV shows galore but majority of them are for food which is not Halal.

The only blog which we noted that was providing information on Halal makan places was World Halal Quest whom we look up to for inspiration. So we decided that since we're going to spend the time eating the food, why not spend some time spreading the word out to people as well right?

So The Halal Food Blog was born in June 2012.
And our aim was simple - to eat the food and tell people what we thought of it.

However, please allow us to explain that we are not in any way self-proclaimed experts on food.
We do not have any special certification or any special culinary mastery to makes us "experts" in critiquing people's cooking. The ratings we give are solely based on our personal preference and may not reflect the views of others.

Plus, it seemed kind of boring to talk so much about the food and then not tell you how much we rated it. :)

And another thing. If we feature a makan place, it means that it was certified Halal and/or Muslim-owned when we ate there. And this is of course based on certification or information provided by the makan place at that particular time.

As Muslims, the onus is on ourselves to ascertain and confirm the Halal status of any eatery we patronize.

The reason we say this is because we have cases where the makan place is Halal when we review it but perhaps later on, for whatever reason, it may no longer be. If we do know about it, we will definitely want to alert our readers. But the basic rule of thumb (which I'm sure almost everyone follows) is - check first.

So please allow me to introduce The Halal Food Blog Team;

Adam Shah (That's me by the way)

Co-founder of The Halal Food Blog

Favourite Food: Meat, Sweets
Dislikes: Offal and specific seafood (like Sotong Masak Hitam)

Maryah Qubt

Co-founder of The Halal Food Blog
My darling wife

Favourite Food: Meat, Seafood, Salted Egg
Dislikes: Asam Pedas, Gulai, Cincalok

Azlan Shah
Regular Reviewer
My Brother

Favourite Food: Home-cooked food, Malay and Chinese cuisine
Dislikes: Mutton


Guest Reviewer
Wife of the Regular Reviewer known as Azlan Shah

Favourite Food: Simple foods like Porridge
Dislikes: None. Fussy about Nasi Lemak and Mee Rebus


Guest Reviewer
KL Sedap Series

Favourite Food: Steak, Pasta
Dislikes: Green vegetables


Guest Reviewer
KL Sedap Series 

Favourite Food: None
Dislikes: Too much mutton


Guest Reviewer
Phuket Power! Series

Favourite Food: Home-cooked food
Dislikes: Brinjals, Ladyfingers

It's actually really simple - we love to eat.

We just want to share our views on the meals we have.
Sometimes you will agree with us and sometimes you won't which is fine because everyone is entitled to their own opinions. What's important is that we all MAKAN til the end!

So we hope you enjoy the blog and we thank you for your support!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Burger Bakar

Okay so we've heard so much about this famous Burger Bakar.
A few people who hopped over the Causeway come back and say to me "Hey man, go try the Burger Bakar it's really a monster!"

Challenge accepted!

Okay so maybe it took a really bloody long time but we finally had the chance to try it.
However, we didn't get to try it at the place where everyone recommended us to try it.
B Point (just past the customs checkpoint) was closed when we passed by so we followed the advice of some of our neighbours and tried a secondary place instead. It's still in JB and it's near our place too!

So the first thing I see when I walk up to the stall is a grill with some burger patties sizzling.
It's not the stovetop grill you normally see them using when you buy Burger Ramly. This is the charcoal type.
This is obviously how Burger Bakar gets it's name - it's being bakar-ed!
Kinda gets the mouth watering whenever I see meat being cooked!

Firstly, you have a choice of either beef or chicken.
Next, you have to decide if you want cheese or not (Normal or Mozarella).
Last and cretainly not least - choose how many patties you want!
A single patty is apparently 200gm. Top up for a double if you'd like.
Really hungry? Go for the TRIPLE!!

Single Beef Burger Bakar (RM7.50)
Well, they were right. It looks like a monster that's for sure.

The patty itself is actually pretty tasty on its own despite being minimally seasoned.
I guess that's why they feel the need to pile on the sauces in overdose levels. This not only takes away from the taste of the beef but also makes it a really messy burger to eat.

And for the record, the centre of the patty was (surprisingly) raw-ish.
Not to be confused with medium-rare, this was just before that point but definitely too rare for my taste.
I guess if you're cooking meat over a grill like that, it's important (and quite a challenge) to make sure your meat is cooked but not overcooked (or undercooked for that matter) to the point it loses its moisture.

Single Chicken Burger Bakar (RM7.50)
The Beef Burger has a skewer through it too by the way.
Actually, I saw a few people eating it with the skewer still in the burger and they ate around the sides.
Is that the correct way I'm supposed to eat it? No wonder we were so messy!

The Chicken version of the Burger Bakar is quite a monster too.
But the patty had just a little too much flour in it and this made the patty taste a little pasty.
It was still quite okay for me but my darling wife didn't really fancy it.

Adam's Verdict:
Beef Burger Bakar 3/5 -- Chicken Burger Bakar 2.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Beef Burger Bakar 2.5/5 -- Chicken Burger Bakar 1.5/5

Well we started out with the single. Maybe if we're really hungry, we might try the triple next time.
We may have had just the single this time, but we sure made one big mess.

Burger Bakar (Taman U)

Junction of Jln Pendidikan 2 and 4
(Look out for Al Ikhsan and Maple Hotel)

Operating Hours:
5pm til 10pm Mondays to Saturdays
Closed on Sundays

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Carousel - Breakfast Buffet

Well we actually had this awhile back so apologies in advance for the daley.
There are just simply too many delicious makan places to review!!

We are always getting requests to review certain places and quite a number are calls to review the few Halal buffet spreads that are offered in Singapore. These are mostly found in hotels of course and quite a number of new names are joining the growing number of Halal buffet spreads in town.

Our only official review of a buffet has been of Aquamarine in the past.
Well no offence to any buffet spread in town but the preferred Halal buffet spread of The Halal Food Blog is still Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts.

Perhaps one day, someone might come and grab our attention but til then, Carousel is tops.
And today, we're sampling their Breakfast Buffet.

I know that most people will probably be opting for the Lunch, High Tea or Dinner buffet at Carousel. But if you're ever staying at the hotel, then this is what you will probably be served.

And with most buffets, we will let the pictures do most of the talking.

Bread Selection

Assorted Breakfast Pastry Selection
The assorted breakfast pastries include freshly baked croissants, pies and puffs of both savoury and sweet variety. Definitely a must have!

Paratha with assorted vegetable curry
Assorted Salads with dressing
American Breakfast selections
A staple at any decent breakfast buffet is the much-loved American Breakfast.
At Carousel, get your egg fix with freshly-prepared eggs any style you like (sunny side up, scrambled etc), baked beans with some toast and hash browns.

Something you should definitely try (if available) is the Chicken Meatloaf with Peach which goes really well with eggs and toast.

If you're looking for something a little more basic, they also have a nice selection of cereals for you!

Assorted Cheeses and Cold Cuts
Aha one of my favourite sections!
Gouda, Camembert, Swiss, Cheddar etc. Name it and they probably have it!
They even have assorted fruits and nut soft cheeses!

Must-try at the Cold Cuts station are the Black Pepper Pastrami and the smoked salmon.
That's right - SMOKED SALMON!

Assorted Dim Sum
Chee Cheong Fun, Chwee Kueh, Har Gow are some of the favourites you might find.
That yellow dumpling you see in the front is a Phoenix Prawn Roll.
It's got a nice texture to it with a whole prawn inside but I guess the flavour was a little underwhelming.

Congee with assorted condiments

Low Mai Kai and Chicken in Beancurd Skin
This might actually be my favourite plate of the whole review.

The Chicken in Beancurd Skin was delicious. I even went back for a second helping.
It's bathed in this simple gravy that gives it that nice slurpy feeling you enjoy in a breakfast dish.

My Dad makes the best Lor Mai Kai I've ever tasted. This one at Carousel comes in a close 2nd place.
It is without a doubt the best item I had in this breakfast session. Simply delicious!

Dessert Pastries and Muffins
Pancakes with Fresh Cream
Waffles with Fresh Cream
Pandan Cake with Coconut
If cakes and pastries are not your thing, Carousel also has a selection of yoghurt and muesli plus a fruit platter for the healthy side of breakfast.

The whole buffet was simply delightful.
I'm not really a morning person and I very seldom have breakfast but since we were staying at the hotel, we decided it was a great chance to review the Carousel Breakfast Buffet and we were not disappointed.

Adam's Verdict:
Breakfast Buffet 3.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Breakfast Buffet 3.5/5

The one single blemish on our whole experience was the Guava Juice being served.
Maybe it was just us. Maybe it was a bad batch. No one else seemed to have a problem with it so we left it.
So if you do go, please try the Guava Juice and let us know if it was just our imaginations :)

Buffet Prices:
Breakfast (Weekdays/Weekends) -  $28++ (Adult) / $20++ (Child)
Lunch (Weekdays) -  $46++ (Adult) / $28++ (Child)
Lunch (Weekends) -  $50++ (Adult) / $32++ (Child)
High Tea (Weekdays) -  $38++ (Adult) / $24++ (Child)
High Tea (Weekends) -  $43++ (Adult) / $28++ (Child)
Dinner (Weekdays) -  $62++ (Adult) / $37++ (Child)
Dinner (Weekends) -  $75++ (Adult) / $42++ (Child)


Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road

Tel: 65897799

Operating Hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am - 10.00am
Lunch: 12.00pm - 2.00pm

High Tea: 3.30pm - 5.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30pm

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old Town White Coffee

I'm sure a lot of you have had Old Town White Coffee (OTWC) before.
But it was probably across the Causeway in Malaysia!

Well, you don't have to travel all the way to have it anymore. You can get your OTWC fix right here in Singapore because they have just recently been certified Halal!

But for our friends who may not have tried OTWC before, perhaps a little introduction is in order..
Firstly, Old Town White Coffee's main product is, well, White Coffee. Ipoh is known for its white coffee and the instant coffee mix has been available to us for more than a decade.
Well they also decided that besides coffee, people might also wants to grab a bit of Ipoh classics so they started serving food too!

So instead of just having a cuppa, you can also fill your tummy!

Apparently (from what I've been told), the menu in the Singapore outlets is a little bit more extensive than the outlets you might find JB. And with so many choices, we decided to start slow...

Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun ($6.20)

Okay this is definitely filed under the Ipoh Classics folder when it comes to makan.
The thin kway teow is completely swimming in steaming prawn and chicken stock. The dish is completed with some shredded chicken and prawns as well.

I'll be honest and say that I've heard so much about Ipoh Hor Fun but I had never tried it before. This is probably because there are not many Halal eateries where you'd be able to find it.

And for a first time, I'd say that this was not too bad.

One of the unique characteristics of the kway teow used for Ipoh Hor Fun us normally thinner than the normal kway teow you might use for Char Kway Teow. They do tend to get extra slippery when they're dripping with stock so be careful when you're using chopsticks!

For (lazy) people like me, you'll be happy to know that they peel your prawns for you so there's less hassle there. Doesn't really rank high in the taste department if you're expecting anything more than fresh prawn flavour.

And I was pretty disappointed with the shredded chicken but the tasty soup definitely made up for that. I'm normally not really into clear-soup dishes (eg Kway Teow Soup or Fishball noodles etc) and the picture makes it seems like its not much but that soup really does pack quite a strong flavour!

Supreme Asam Lemak ($8.20)
 My darling wife decided to go for something a little bit more unique.
Asam Laksa isn't really something new because we can get quite easily in SG (even when you have Maggi Mee!) but this is supposed to be the "SUPREME" version plus they added coconut milk which normally does very well with most dishes. Right?

Let me start by pointing out that they DO use the thicker version of the Laksa noodle and not the thin variety.

And you can see from the picture above that there's a big piece of chicken which comes with the dish. But what you can't see (hiding behind) is a whole sardine (which appears to have come straight out from the tin) and a prawn (unpeeled by the way).

The gravy itself is definitely packing a punch. We'd both say it's actually pretty tasty and definitely a good choice for people who are looking for a full-flavoured dish. Presentation was absolutely top notch in my opinion.

Unfortunately, there's also a lot going on with this dish.
Maybe a a bit too much going on to be more precise.
The chicken was actually really big and you pile on a whole sardine and a prawn and it's pretty much overload.

I guess maybe sometime less is more?

Cendol ($2.90)
For dessert, we had the Cendol.

Well if you start from the top, where all the gula melaka is, it taste delicious.
But as the ice melts down, I found myself wondering where all the delicious flavours went.
Mixing it all up made a little bit of difference I guess but it seems like it was still lacking...

And the actual Cendol?
I'm not sure if it's store-made or their own product or out of a packet they bought somewhere.
But I do know that it was probably one of the least appetizing textures of any Cendol we've ever had.
It just disintegrates into a pasty mush when you bite down and was lacking of any pandan flavour.

PS  do you see those 3 WHOLE red bean at the top?
Please ration carefully because those are the only 3 whole beans you're getting.
You see all the toppings before you. There are none hiding beneath the shaved ice.

Honey Lemon Juice / Orange Fizzy
On the left you have a majority of water with some lemon juice and honey.
On the right you have some Sprite (or 7-Up) with some Sunquick.
We both recommend the Orange Fizzy.

Adam's Verdict:
Ipoh Hor Fun 2.5/5 -- Supreme Asam Laksa 2.5/5 -- Cendol 1.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Ipoh Hor Fun 1/5 -- Supreme Asam Laksa 2.5/5 -- Cendol 2/5

I'm guessing that we definitely still have a few things to try at OTWC.
Dishes like the Nasi Lemak, Curry Mee, Javanese Mee and Steamed Rice Pots do seem nice!
Plus... next time we are DEFINITELY having the famous White Coffee!

Old Town White Coffee

White Sands
No 1 Pasir Ris Central #01-15

Tel: 6584 4404

Operating Hours:
8.00am til 10.30pm Daily

Monday, May 13, 2013


Does anyone remember the kebab shop that was situated at Peace Centre along Selegie Road?
It was called Sultan Kebab and it was really popular because it had some delicious kebabs.

Well, for those of you who go to Peace Centre now looking for it (like I did), you'll find out that it's already closed and before you start Google-ing to find out where they moved to, let me save you the trouble.
The owners of Sultan Kebab actually closed shop because they returned home to their native land from what I heard.

But fret not!

Just a little further up, you'll find Wilkie Edge which houses the new incarnation of Sultan Kebab.
They call themselves - EpiKebabs. And before you start thinking that this is just a joint that's trying to capitalize on the popularity of Sultan Kebab in the area, think again.

Photo from EpiKebabs
For those of you who have ever been to Sultan Kebab, you're definitely going to recognize that dude there.
That's Safak - one of the 2 regular faces you would have seen at Sultan Kebab.

The owners of EpiKebabs are good friends with them and obviously there has been some knowledge passed down so rest assured that this is not someone trying to copy the original. Think of it more like... Kebab v2.0!

Kebab Roll ($5.50)
Just like the original Sultan Kebab, they have choices for you.
Roll, rice, sandwich or salad. And of course, either beef or chicken.
If you're really a carnivore (like us!) you can opt for the mix of beef and chicken!

So the roll is as expected. Some veggies, sauce and the MEAT!
EpiKebabs takes a new turn by throwing the roll under a Panini toaster to give the wrap a little go.

The wrap overall does bring back memories of Sultan Kebab.
The first thing I notice is that the size of the roll is a little bigger. The meat DOES bear a resemblance in taste to the original as well but I actually would have like a little more sauce.

My darling wife who normally doesn't go for kebabs actually enjoyed this one. He favourite of the day.

Kebab Sandwich ($6.00)
The Kebab Sandwich also come with your choice of meat (beef/chicken/mixed) with veggies and sauce.
It's basically a kebab with Panini bread instead of a wrap.

I'm not too sold on the Panini though. But still good for those who like something a little more filling than a roll... And speaking of filling...

Kebab with Rice ($6.50)
This is something I used to have at Sultan Kebab.
They serve some meat with veggies and rice. It used to be white rice at Sultan Kebab but they've updated it to a more fragrant and tasty rice here at EpiKebabs.

The reason I always used to order this is because I can really enjoy the flavour of the meat.
I used to get them to squirt some mayonaise over my meat at Sultan but I opted to keep it 'clean' this one time because I really wanted to taste the flavours at EpiKebabs.

I've always preferred the beef at the original shop even though it was always a bit on the dry side.
It had a good flavour and that's still the case at EpiKebabs.

The chicken is still juicy and tender and has a nice flavour to it. If you're like me, then you'll consider yourelf lucky if you get the slices where some of the outer layers have just charred up a little on the roaster.
Nice big juicy bite of flavour right there!

They also have salads by the way!

Adam's Verdict:
Kebab Roll 4/5 -- Kebab Sandwich 3/5 -- Kebab with Rice 3.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Kebab Roll 4/5 -- Kebab Sandwich 2/5 -- Kebab with Rice 2.5/5

Azlan's Verdict:
Kebab Roll 3.5/5 -- Kebab Sandwich 2/5 -- Kebab with Rice 2/5

My brother really misses Sultan Kebab.
He says that everything seemed a little better at the original (like most cases).
But for those of us who still want a good kebab, at least we know we can still go to Selegie and grab one.
Or three.

And here's a tip, they always make less beef than chicken every day so if you're a beef person, make sure you go early to get your fill of cow meat. (Anyways, the chicken is pretty good too).


Wilkie Edge, 8 Wilkie Road #01-17
Tel: 8575 6393

Operating Hours: 11.00 am til 8.00pm Monday-Saturday
Closed on Sunday