Marufuku Udon @ Jaya One, PJ

On 11/29/2010 09:04:00 PM 17 comments
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Marufuku is a newly opened sister branch of the ever-popular Sanuki Udon from Taman Desa.

Opened in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya during mid of October 2010, this new restaurant features simple yet soothing bowl of authentic udon at an affordable price.

Good food and really good prices are sometimes mutually exclusive, but not always. That's the case at Marufuku which is tucked away in a corner just right behind Frontera.

Marufuku during the busy weekdays is like a fast food chain. Place your orders at the counter, add your own toppings, pay the bills and carry it over to your table. Only during night time and weekends, they are more laid back and orders are taken at the table.

A wider range of udon varieties are introduced in Marufuku's menu. Luckily, the udon is pretty much consistent with Sanuki since it is freshly made daily at Sanuki and delivered over.

Curry udon (RM 8), with cubes of potatoes, carrots, sprinkled with chopped scallions and served with an egg (RM 1). Was hoping there'll be an improvement in their curry udon but I guessed not. Didn't really like it that much, it was quite bland and hardly any curry gravy in it. But it doesn't matter at all, the fresh chewy texture of the udon simply made up for it.

Nabeyaki udon (RM 10), served in a simmering hot pot with prawn tempura, egg, mushrooms, taupok (beancurd skin) and dumplings. With a touch of local Malaysia flavor, you may call it fusion.

Niku udon (RM 10) with tender beef slices, onions, choy sum and sprinkled with chopped scallions.

The beef slices were tenderly tasty and it added an extra sweetness to the light kelp-based soup. Even though the soup was very little, the portions of beef slices and udon noodles were sufficiently satisfying.

Oyako udon (RM 9) with boneless chicken meat, mixed with a raw egg and spinkled with chopped spring onions - Oyako means "parents and children" and the chicken is clearly the parent of the egg.

Karaage (RM 3), chunks of boneless chicken meat lightly battered and deep fried till piping hot tender and juicy. This is definitely one of the must-have side dish, I'll usually do a double! It was really heart-stopping tasty and juicy!

Kakiage ebi (RM 3), deep fried vegetables mixed with tiny prawns. Having it just like that, it'll be light and not entirely crispy. It'll be better when you dip it into the soup soaking up all the goodness.

Just like Sanuki, Marufuku offers yakitori only after 5pm. Ranging from RM 2-3 per skewer, you can choose to have your yakitori grilled in either a soy-based sauce or salt. From left to right: Kawa (chicken skin) yakitori (RM 2), juicy grilled chicken skin goodness - the heart attack in a stick! Momo (chicken leg meat) yakitori (RM 3), tender juicy chunks of boneless chicken leg meat. Bonjiri (bishop nose / chicken backside!) yakitori (RM 2), probably the best yakitori meat from the list. It was scandalously smooth and juicy!

Zuri (chicken gizzard) yakitori (RM 2), with a muscular, chewy and crunchy texture. If you're into chicken inner parts, then you're in for a treat with other parts like kimo (liver) and hatsu (heart).

For dessert, daifuku with red beans (RM 4), small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with vanilla ice-cream. Didn't know daifuku was THAT small.

Verdict: Definitely will be one of my usual place to eat in my neighborhood. Totally worth the money and satisfying with a sense of comfort after slurping down a hot bowl of freshly made udon.

Unit L-18-G-1, Ground Floor,
Palm Square, Jaya One,
72A Jalan Universiti,
46200, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7957 6368
Business Hours: Opens daily from 11am - 10pm
Pork Free: Yes
GPS: 3.117773, 101.635364

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Green T-Shirt Chicken Rice @ Pratunam, Bangkok

On 11/22/2010 01:45:00 PM Comments
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At the Pratunam intersection (Thanon Petchaburi and Thanon Ratchadamri streets), there are few competing khao mun kai (chicken rice) stalls; the tourist friendly menu green t-shirt (located nearest to the intersection), the most popular pink t-shirt Kaiton (located in the middle) and the least known blue t-shirt (located further up).

Compared to the pink t-shirt Kaiton, the green t-shirt stall is slightly tourist savvy. With featured articles framed up along the wall, "English speaking" menu and strategic location, this stall will never fail to attract tourists in.

Even though the pink t-shirt Kaiton is the most preferred choice, I personally don't find much difference between them. Moreover, this stall opens 24 hours and offers more varieties.

Chicken rice (THB 30 / RM 3.20), boneless steamed chicken meat with a bowl of chicken soup and special dipping sauce made from black soy sauce, soy bean paste, garlic and cili padi (bird eyes chili). Like Kaiton, it's decently taste and for THB 30, it's a steal! However, the chicken soup wasn't as strong and peppery as Kaiton.

Fried chicken rice (THB 35 / RM 3.70), boneless deep fried chicken meat with a bowl of chicken soup and Thai sweet and spicy sauce. It was okay but the only downside, you don't get the tasty special soy bean dipping sauce.

The other selling point of this stall is their satay. They certainly do look different compared to our local Malaysian satay.

Pork satay (THB 40 / RM 4.20 for 8 sticks), served with peanut sauce, cucumbers, onions and chilis. These are probably the thinnest and leanest looking satay I've ever eaten. It was very lean, dry and you hardly get any fats out of it! No wonder you hardly see any overweight Thais, too healthy for the Malaysian! The peanut sauce wasn't very nutty but it was very spicy. I'll stick with their khao mun kai.

Verdict: This green t-shirt chicken rice restaurant isn't too bad either. If Kaiton is closed or too crowded, this will be a good alternative.

Intersection of Thanon Petchaburi and Thanon Ratchadamri streets,
Pratunam, Bangkok
Business Hours: Opens daily 24 hours
Pork Free: No
GPS: 13.749733, 100.541274

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At first glance, Kaiton in Pratunam looks like any other street food vendor in Bangkok, with a small stand fronts the eatery and staffs busily prepare plate after plate of food to be served to customers. Located close to the Pratunam intersection and directly across the derelict Pratunam Center, this is a favorite haunt among the night crawlers dropping by for an after-hours khao mun kai (chicken rice). With the strong crowd presents, it definitely shows a good testimony.

With over 40 years heritage, Kaiton is possibly touted as the best chicken rice in Bangkok. Look out for their staff helpers, all clad in bright pink t-shirts that are easily identified from afar.

The dish (THB 30/RM 3.20 or THB 40/RM 4.20 with some chicken innards) comes with a serving of boneless chicken meat, a bowl of soup and a small bowl of dark spicy soybean sauce. Similar to the Hainanese chicken rice but certainly much healthier and less oily. After a few samplings, I noticed that the chicken rice has a milder taste but comparatively less sinful compared to our local version. The soup was good too - it was rich, tasty and very peppery.

On its own, Thai's chicken rice would've been quite bland and ordinary but with the special sauce poured all over it, it transforms into something out of the world! Made from soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, soybean paste, chopped garlic and cili padi (birds eye chili), the sauce is simply fantastic! It'll be better if they have some basil in it as well; I remembered having that in Hat Yai when I was young.

Verdict: THB 30/RM 3.20 for a plate of chicken rice, it is definitely a worthy place to eat! Service is responsive and food serves promptly. Opens till the wee hours and sure deserves my repeated visits.

Petchburi Soi 30,
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: 02-252 6325
Business Hours: Opens daily from 5.30am - 3pm and 5pm - 3am
Pork Free: Yes
GPS: 13.749619, 100.542106

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