Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Bayou Diner @ Bandar Kinrara

In the evening, Bayou fires up its barbecue, promising prodigious, protein-propelled platters: New Zealand short beef ribs are unmistakably smoked with hickory wood, while chicken legs are are brined for 12 hours and char-grilled with Cajun spices. Each can be paired with two side dishes, which include well-prepared choices like delicious russet potato gratin, potato croquettes, arancini-style rice balls, and the ultimate carb indulgence of deep-fried mac-and-cheese rolls. RM68 for the beef, RM38 for the chicken platter - worthwhile, considering either can easily feed two hungry persons. Flavourful stuff.

The BBQ selection is offered only for dinner, daily. At other times, check out Bayou's diner fare with a twist or three: The Mexican chicken burger comes with a deep-fried, crisply battered ground-meat patty, sprinkled with a little salsa (RM13.90), while the Moroccan lamb pizza is crowned with minced spiced meat, olives, tomatoes and onions on a crunchy base (RM14.90). The recipes turn out to be crowd-pleasing, targeting the majority of local palates - the burger, for example, mostly evokes the flavours of Malaysian street burgers.

Bayou Diner
51G, Jalan BK 5A/2, Bandar Kinrara 5, 47180 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia.
Open Mon-Thurs, 10am-10pm; Fri, 11am-11pm; Sat, 9am-11pm; Sun, 9am-10pm. Tel: 03-8080-3200

Halab @ Bukit Bintang

Middle Eastern flavours take centre stage at Halab, with a slight emphasis on Syrian specialities.

For an acquired-taste adventure, order the Damascus favourite of shakriya, a full-fat yogurt stew with tender pieces of lamb - slurp it up like a broth and shower it over firm, fragrant rice (RM23++). It may seem a little strange at first (imagine having hot, tangy yogurt with savoury meat), but it works well for a hearty, no-fuss meal.

Dairy devotees can have a field day here - it certainly helps to not be lactose intolerant if you want to try the ackawi white cheese (RM10), a creamy cheese that's very salty (even more sodium-packed than the cured black olives it comes with), and the ayran yogurt-based cold beverage (RM6).

Prices are pretty reasonable - you can order a fresh and well-spiced beef kebab wrap, rolled with tahini sauce, tomatoes and onions for RM10++, and it's easily enough for lunch. Bonus points too for Halab's bright, spacious setting.

Win RM60 Vouchers For New Food, Shopping & Entertainment Fiesta

Culinary explorers, get your guessing caps on and win cash vouchers for the Klang Valley’s newest contemporary food and lifestyle market: Scheduled for the final weekends of June, July and August, with the first edition kicking off on June 30, the Quayside Fiesta is an event to bookmark for fans of the most engaging local F&B purveyors.

We have cash vouchers worth RM60 each for TEN (10) winners that you can spend on food at the market. Just guess the name of the township in Kota Kemuning where this exciting Quayside Fiesta market will be held. It's a brand-new location set amid a lively waterfront landscape of parks and promenades!

The first 10 correct responses (five on Facebook and five on Instagram) will win RM60 worth of cash vouchers each. Winners will be notified directly on Facebook or Instagram by June 27 and must collect their vouchers at the Registration Booth at the market on Saturday, June 30, between 5pm to 8pm.

Note: Winners will need to provide their full name, NRIC and contact number for identification purposes. All decisions by Eat Drink KL regarding this contest are final.

Enter the contest on our Facebook link for this post at or on Instagram at

(8 a.m. update: We have all our winners already! Thank you for participating!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Garbo Spanish Gastro Bar @ Melia Kuala Lumpur

Paella by the pool? Melia Kuala Lumpur has been around for decades, but the hotel's newest F&B outpost has the potential to lure a fresh generation of food fans. The seafood paella (RM75 for a serving for two persons) is notable for its use of calrose rice, resulting in paella that's firm and sticky rather than moist; it's an interesting rendition that's well-executed enough, complete with a satisfying socarrat (crusty base).

The menu also features no fewer than twenty types of tapas, both hot and cold: Minced beef tenderloin meatballs are subtly spiced and served with pimento sauce (RM38), while yellowfin tuna loin is sliced and splashed with onions and olive oil (RM46). Competent, though prices may seem a bit steep for these.

Of course, there's sangria (RM37.30) on the beverage list; the Spanish Hills cocktail though has scant connection with Madrid or Barcelona (RM37.30; whisky, cointreau, lime juice). While there are several Spanish wines available by the bottle, the only options by the glass are Aussie (RM36).

Note that the Spanish menu is available only in the evening, starting 4pm daily; it is not offered for lunch.

Garbo Gastrobar
Level M2, Melia Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. Spanish menu starts 4pm daily.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Paradigm Mall: Johor Bahru's Dining Destination

By Aiman Azri

As Johor Bahru's largest mall, it's no surprise that Paradigm Mall boasts a staggering diversity of eateries. With no fewer than 86 food and beverage venues open here right now, this mall is well worth a day-trip for dining enthusiasts - which is exactly what we experienced, munching our way through Malaysian rice platters and Hawaiian poke bowls to Japanese soft-serves and much more.

Here's a small sampling of the delicious surprises at Paradigm Mall JB, many of which can only currently be found in Johor.



Outfitted with murals of chickens and birds, it's easy to figure out what Gokako's speciality is. Fusing Malaysian and Western cuisine, this new restaurant creates unconventional concoctions like the Gokako Mini Burger, a sampling platter of three beautiful, tiny burgers, with three kinds of sauces -  original, sambal and gula Melaka. Borrowing inspiration from the Italians, the Zicaza is a pizza with a local twist, sweet and flaky with coconut and gula Melaka. Do also try the chicken or quail dishes, like the Nasi Lemak Burung Puyuh.
Nyonya Leaf

The mall's second-floor bridge houses Nyonya Leaf's premiere outlet, looking like it came straight from Penang's past. Nasi Lemak Pandan Rendang Chicken and Cucur Udang are a few of the many Peranakan dishes here. Take a break and indulge in some kuih-muih, or sip fine white coffee brought in from Ipoh.
Yokosuka Curry House


This modest kiosk that serves Japanese-inspired dishes that are big on flavour. Check out the mighty Hammer of Thor Curry Rice, with its massive crispy deep-fried chicken protruding right out of a mountain of rice, bathed in Yokosuka's own blend of curry. There are also beef, duck, fish and seafood options for various curry rice or noodle dishes.

Japanese desserts include the delightfully jelly-like Mizu Shingen Mochi, a moderately sweet Japanese raindrop cake that's very fun to poke and prod.

Kuu by Tea Garden


Kuu by Tea Garden is the place to go for your fix of Chinese Malaysian cuisine. Over a dozen meals are available, such as the thick Lou Shu Fan and a Hainanese Chicken that's light and delicately balanced. Sip some signature Kuu Coffee on the side, the brand's own coffee brew that's layered with cheese, or slurp on the Cendol beverage.

Health & Fitness Poke Bowl


This grab-and-go healthy-eating kiosk brings a unique twist to Hawaiian poke bowls. Unlike most poke bowl places in Malaysia, Health & Fitness offers an extensive variety of proteins: salmon, chicken, beef, prawn, turkey breast or organic tofu. Mix your choice together from a pool of nine bases and 26 sides.

Signature preset bowls include the Teriyaki Surf & Turf (chicken, prawn, cucumber, purple cabbage, pineapple, whole grain rice and sweet teriyaki). Hearty portions and a customisable menu makes this the perfect choice for gym enthusiasts.

Batu Sembilan


Batu Sembilan corners the quick, affordable and convenient market, with its array of signature rice and noodle dishes that include the likes of Kampung Fried Rice, Nasi Lemak, and Thin Noodles. There's also toast, hard-boiled eggs, rojak, otak-otak, and waffles, complemented by Malaysian drinks like the Three Layer Coffee, Three Layer Tea, Neslo, Milo Dinosaur and more. It's a simple place, for simple times with your favourite people.

Arashi Shabu Shabu


Johor favourite Arashi Shabu Shabu fashions a delicious hodgepodge of hotpot specialities. Take your pick of pork, chicken, salmon, barramundi, meat and toss it all in, or have some cooked dishes like bibimbap and teppanyaki. A place to gather with friends and family.



Japanese cuisine chain Kinsahi opens its fifth Johor Bahru outlet in Paradigm Mall; it has made a splash in the past with its playful Sashimi Ramen, which could pair well with an evening beer. Besides the ramen, plenty of your Japanese favourites can be found here, like Japanese Curry Rice, Karaage Chicken, Spicy Teriyaki Gyudon and more.


Customers here are seated in a beautifully sleek black space, situated next to the open kitchen of this ramen joint. Some of the tonkotsu ramen are inspired directly by the cookbook of Hakata prefecture in Fukuoka, with a pork bone broth that's boiled for more than 10 hours. You can also find char-grilled meat, rice bowls, gyoza and more.

Stone Angel

Stone Angel might be heaven-sent for carnivores, promising pleasurable proteins served on a patented stone grill. Main courses include rib-eye steaks, chicken, and smoked duck. Or go for a smaller but still complete meal of pasta and rice dishes.

AWA Mee Bar


AWA Mee Bar's first-ever outlet take its cues from dipping ramen, with the noodles and the soup (which has been double-boiled for four hours) served separately. Choose between spicy or non-spicy noodles, take your selection of toppings (pork, vegetables, seafood), and dip away!

Super Laksa 

What was originally a humble stall has now found a home as a full-fledged restaurant in Paradigm Mall. Super Laksa specialises in authentic Penang laksa, but Curry Chicken Rice and Nasi Lemak, as well as Nuggets and Fries if you're just peckish, can also be found here.

Bao Zhan


Bao Zhan is Johor Bahru's largest steamed bun and dim sum store, so it makes sense it shows up in the city's largest mall. Enjoy the flagship Char Siu Bun, Siu Mai, Glutinous Rice right at the store, or buy the prepackaged buns and have them at home.



D'Shanghai is popular for Soup Dumplings, Crispy Deep-Fried Durian, Steamed Rice Rolls and Chee Cheong Fun, as well as an impressive array of dim sum that kept the restaurant fairly busy even when we visited at 4pm on a working weekday.

Isaac Toast & Coffee

Isaac Toast & Coffee is one of South Korea's most popular toast chains, with over 700 outlets in Korea alone. The one in Paradigm Mall carries six types of sandwiches, with no pork or lard. Turkey Ham Cheese Special, Chicken Bacon Cheese Special, Pizza (turkey ham), Potato Double Cheese, Hot Chicken MVP (chicken patty) and Shrimp MVP all prove thick and filling. They also serve a range of the Korean Ade, a sweetened fruit drink.

Mori Japanese Bakery

A bakery that's brimming with freshly baked buns, comprising about 20 varieties, such as bestsellers Double Cheese and Raisin Nama Cheese. Top tip: You'll know when they have a promotion running, as their announcement broadcast can be heard on a loop from nearby.

Dolce Story 


Dolce Story is a thrill to not only taste, but to just be at, as you get to watch them work on preparing pan-fried ice cream, hearing the clacking of the utensils, then seeing the ice cream being pried into rolls. The signature flavour is the Soursop pan-fried ice cream, served as a parfait with a variety of toppings. If you're old-school, there's also hand-scooped ice cream to go around, with the latest flavour being the King of Fruits, D24 Durian Ice Cream.

Emack & Bolio's 


American brand Emack & Bolio's debuts in Malaysia with its cones overflowing, offering no fewer than 31 flavours. We especially like the ice cream cones, with openings that have been filled with various cereals that add a lot more flavour and crunch to what's typically just an ice cream holder. The brands used in these cereal cones include Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops and Coco Pops.

Other desserts here include brownies and pretzels, plus a humongous Pizza Ice Cream that we're intrigued by, meant for parties of 12 people.

Fabulous Churros


What makes churros fabulous? At Fabulous Churros, the answer lies in the abundance of flavours and topping possibilities. There are four interesting flavours of churros: original, jackfruit, pandan, purple sweet potato. Plus, four types of sauce: cheese, dark chocolate, salted caramel, durian. All made on the spot, they can be consumed with Hokkaido milk soft-serve for a pleasant warm/cold combination, without being overpoweringly sweet, for a lovely break-time indulgence.

Umami Softserve


Umami Softserve is a very focused dessert parlour, serving one thing and doing it well. Three main flavours await you: Matcha, Black Sesame and Nama Chocolate. Customers can choose to have their soft serve in a cup, a cone, a waffle bowl, or as a full-fledged parfait. No matter your decision, each soft serve's flavour shines right through.

All in all, we enjoyed our eating expedition through Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru; we've barely scratched the surface of the food here though, so we look forward to returning for a full grand tour! Many thanks to Paradigm Mall JB for having us.

Selected photos in this post are courtesy of the respective outlets.

Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru

Jalan Skudai, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.