1 Stop Cafe @ Jalan Ipoh, KL

On 1/20/2010 04:54:00 PM 40 comments
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Hidden away off the busy Jalan Ipoh, 1 Stop Cafe is located inside at a corner shop lot in Jalan Balam. Situated not too far off from Jalan Ipoh's famous dim sum, I actually do passed by coffee shop numerous time but never walked into it. Of all places, why kopi tiam lah? Afterall, we already have so many Old Towns, Pappa Rich, Old Taste, Hainan Kopitiam, on and on...and I already so sick and tired of such kopi tiam serving overpriced normal food.

Something draws me into this place, the crowds, the homely cosy environment, thinking that maybe this might be different...Hence, I still walked into this kopi tiam without much expectations. Menu came and now I understand what draws the crowd here. I was impressed with the decent pricing and the amount of choices to pick from.

Lala clam meat fried beehoon (RM 7.50) is one of the chef's recommendation. The beehoon has the "wok hei" and the bits of salted fish taste infused into it. It was good except for the over cooked lala.

Pumpkin pie (RM 3) is displayed as a huge banner outside the shop, definitely a must-try even though I don't particularly enjoy the sweetness of pumpkin. This finger food is their signature dish made from special steamed pumpkin filling with a crispy coated bread making it to resemble the actual pumpkin fruit. From someone that doesn't like pumpkin, this is awesome!

Fried kway teow (RM 6.50) is decently tasty as well, it has the sufficient "wok hei" to be considered as a good fried kway teow. Unlike the famous Penang fried kway teow, somehow this tasted differently - it has this homely feels, so can't really compare between them.

Crepe couple (RM 3.50) is a banana and grated coconut wrapped in a soft pandan and egg flavored crepe. Innovative combinations yet affordable.

Trendy tortilla (RM 3.50) is another light snack at an affordable price to munch on. Tortilla skin with a thin layer of omelette inside wrapped around a filling of cheese and chicken ham cooked in char siew sauce.

Pork cheese backed rice (RM 9.80), not the best cheese baked rice I had and they come in 3 different choices, either chicken, pork or fish.

Chicken lobak (RM 3.50) served with chili sauce, it was meaty and tasted pretty decent.

Liquor and seafood loh mee (RM 9.80), the thick gravy was really good with a hint of added liquor and vinegar into it. Unfortunately, there isn't much ingredients in it but the overall taste of this loh mee is good enough to warrant a second visit.

Minced meat with brinjal noodle (RM 6.50), you can hardly go wrong with these combinations, no doubt it tasted really good.

Also, this cafe has an extensive list of natural concoction juices for only RM 4.90 that benefits your health. For example, to reduce your blood pressure, pick Purple Lady - beetroot, starfruit and apple blended together. I believe the owners must have done their thorough research and tasting as the ratio of each fruits seems to be carefully tuned to retain the taste. Some of the concoctions can taste really awful.

"Owner Heng See Soon's grandfather had actually started the business at its current location in 1961. With 10 years of experience as operations manager for a big Malaysian restaurant chain, Heng decided to take over the family business about three years ago. Together with three chefs experienced in different gourmet styles, they revamped the look and also the menu of the shop.

Even with a contemporary decor and new fusion dishes to keep things fresh, 1 Stop Cafe has also successfully maintained that time-honoured aura of a Hainanese coffee shop. “That's why the ‘Stop’ in our name actually stands for ‘same time, old place’,” said Heng, adding that some of his current customers were descendants of customers who frequented the shop during his grandfather’s time.
" excerpt from Tan Karr Wei's article.

They too serve strong hand-roasted coffee sourced from the very same Hainanese supplier since their grandfather's time. A perfect cup of coffee...maybe next visit...

Verdict: Portions were good, pricing was affordable and overall taste was good as well. Definitely worth visiting again!

1 Stop Cafe
No 2, Jalan Balam,
Batu 3 Jalan Ipoh,
51100, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4042 6880
Business Hours: Opens daily from 11am - 11pm
Halal: No
GPS: 3.18191, 101.68270

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Babitarians unite to hunt and devour for more pork indulgence again. It's a pork out night...so praise the Lard! This time we head to a small homely restaurant hidden in the middle of Damansara Heights. Checkers is nicely tucked in a single row of shop which is well-hidden within the housing areas. You will have to roam into dark and quiet streets before locating this restaurant which has no signboard at all, interesting isn't it?

This exclusive place is really small and it is usually fully booked, so an ahead reservation is a must. Decor is simple casual with those fold-able metal chairs. The menu does not show you completely what they have, just refer to the chalkboards on the wall or talk to the boss.

Roast pork knuckles (RM 69) is served with mash potatoes, sauerkraut (sour cabbage) and salad. Crispy skin with tender and succulent meat, not entirely too fat. An utterly sinful yet delicious dish that is hard to resist...

Jamaican jerk chicken (RM 39) marinated with tantalizing Jamaican jerk spice is served alongside with salad and a grilled sweet caramel flavored banana plaintain. No complain here except for the price...

Pasta from Hell (Hell note $24 mil) is one of the most hella hot and spicy spaghetti I have ever eaten. Served with pork chop and some fiery salsa sauce with diced bananas in it. Unfortunately, we didn't bring some hell note along, if we did, we would have paid them like $100mil and they can keep the change. Good thing they do foreign exchange here and the exchange rate at that time was $1mil to RM 1. Despite its incredibly fiery name, I didn't enjoy this dish too well, it was way too spicy for me and the pork chop is too dry.

My precious! Ooo my precious...Lord Of The Ribs, LOTR (RM 98), a whole rack of pork ribs served with mash potatoes and salad. Sadly, this is not my style of ribs, it was too dry for me. I personally still prefer those tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth with smoky barbecue taste. However, I really do admire their flow of creativity by churning out various refreshing salad.

Now for desserts, rum ice-cream with cendol (RM 15). This is seriously one of the best dish of the night...I'll be back...definitely worth coming back for this insanely alcoholic ice-cream cendol. Fresh and rich vanilla ice-cream topped with cendol, cincau, rum, lychees and nuts - what an ingenious masterpiece! It was so good till you wouldn't mind getting yourself drunk on it.

Verdict: No doubt it is expensive for certain dishes but I really don't mind going back for the pork knuckles and rum ice-cream cendol. Heard that the pork chop and galatte are pretty good too, maybe next time. Free corkage by the way, so bring along your own wines/liquors to pay homage to the porks...

19, Lorong Setiabistari 2,
Damansara Heights,
50490, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2095 3304
Business Hours: Opens from 6pm - 10pm, Closed on Monday
Halal: No
GPS: 3.1444, 101.65622

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Betty's Midwest Kitchen is a successful example of a restaurant using social networking sites for marketing. Started only in October 2009 and in less than 3 months old, they have numerous food bloggers reviewing about them, their Facebook page is raking up new fans by the day.

It is a family run restaurant and Betty, the chef, picked up the homely American heartland recipes from her daughter in Iowa (too bad she is already married to an American guai lou by the way)Furthermore, you won't find many place serving nothing except pork, pork and pork (yum!) with a reasonable price. That is probably the driving force of our visit.

Midwest is one of the four geographic regions within the United States of America which includes Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. The territory is vast and the food variety is rich. Unlike the mainstream classic American cuisine, you will feast on pot roast, meat loaf, barbecue pork fillet or ribs, pork chops, green bean casseroles, apple pie, bacon and eggs, deviled eggs, etc.

Classical meatloaf (RM 15.00), is a must-try classical Midwest signature dish that uses pork to create the moist and flavorful results. This hearty and tasty dish is served with mash potatoes, peas and onion relish. The meatloaf was juicy, flavorful and combined with the sweet skin glazing (the sweetness probably comes from ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar), it was awesome...The mash potatoes too deserved to be mentioned, it was rich in flavor and really smooth.

Roasted pork chop with apple (RM 20.00), an oven baked pork chop with caramelized apple served with mash potatoes, peas and onion relish. Didn't exactly enjoy this dish, the sauce was too sweet and the pork was too dry.

Grilled beer braised Boston butt (RM 25.50), pork shoulder braised in beer for 4 to 6 hours, then sliced and grilled till perfection. This is not exactly the pork's butt by the way, Boston butt is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg. Even though I am not a drinker, but I really do think this pork deserved more beers. The meat was also a little too dry but hey it is pork shoulder and they need lots of tender loving care - long hours of slow roast with the right temperature and moist environment, not easy at all.

Jucy Lucy (RM 13.50), hamburger with melted cheese core inside the thick grilled beef and pork pattie and served with fries. Pretty creative creation with the melted cheese right inside the thick pattie.

Grilled soft ribs (RM 25.50), soft pork ribs marinated in special sauce and grilled to succulent crispness accompanied with greens and fries. These succulent tangy pork ribs were so tender till it tasted like beef instead, excellent stuff!

Verdict: Definitely worth the next visit with the reasonable pricing for the pork lovers (babitarians). Both the meatloaf and grilled soft ribs are our recommended dishes so far.

Betty's Midwest Kitchen
A-G-40, Jalan PJU 1/43
Aman Suria Damansara,
47301, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7880 0196
Business Hours: Opens only on Tues - Fri from 11am - 10pm, Sat - Sun from 10am - 10pm
Halal: No
GPS: 3.12274, 101.59542

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