Eat Drink KL: September 2021

Thursday, September 30, 2021

La Strada Pizza, Desa Melawati

Move over, pepperoni pizza: KL's most distinctive pizza of 2021 might be La Strada's Tongmo Pizza, topped with tongmo, a traditional Cambodian sausage that's becoming popular in parts of Malaysia. 

It's a richly sweet-savoury mix of minced beef, fat and herbs stuffed into beef intestine casing, with a texture that's rustic and succulently full-bodied on a smoky, tender-crusted sourdough pizza.

Have the pizza with freshly grilled tongmo plus beef pastrami for a punchy protein-powered pie (RM28-RM40, depending on the toppings, sufficient for two to share), a street-side sensation that rivals many of KL's most respected pizzerias.

La Strada Pizza

6, Jalan 3/4C, Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. Usually daily, 5pm-8pm. Tel: 018-282-3098

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GrabFood: Sedap, Suka, Sapot Small Businesses!

If it's tasty and you like it, show your support for it!

Offering everything from traditional nasi dagang to modern bao, independent F&B purveyors are benefitting from Grab's new initiative, the Grab Online Shop, created to help GrabFood restaurant partners build their online presence and boost sales with 0% service fees.

The Grab Online Shop helps small businesses have their own branded website with a unique URL as an additional sales channel. For example, you'll find Petaling Jaya's The Bao Guys at

As customers, we can help these small businesses as they aren't charged any fees for the food we order - for the rest of 2021, Grab earns 0% service fees from orders made for small businesses on the Grab Online Shop.

The Grab Online Shop is integrated with GrabPay and GrabRewards, with deliveries fulfilled by Grab’s delivery partners - so we'll enjoy the seamlessness of Grab’s cashless payment option, earn GrabRewards points and have orders conveniently delivered to us.

Small businesses can effortlessly set up their website based on their preferred look and feel, then promote it on their social media channels, sharing their unique link on Instagram and Facebook to loyal customers.

If you're looking for businesses to order from on the Grab Online Shop, here are some recommendations!


We first tried The Bao Guys in November 2020 when they were a delivery-only service, lured by their fun recipes fired up with Szechuan spices, pepped up with pickled carrots and more.

The Bao Guys have since launched a full-fledged restaurant in Petaling Jaya, earning a well-deserved following for contemporary baos loaded with well-balanced fillings that make smart use of Asian flavours.

Check out their Sawadee-Cluck (bao stuffed with fried coriander chicken and spicy Thai mayo), Onz Like The Prawnz (with a panko-crusted shrimp patty and tangy roasted garlic sauce), and Pho-king Good (with braised lamb, onion basil lime slaw and chilli - like a bowl of pho, in a bao!).

The baos, which include steamed and fried varieties, are built to travel well for delivery - terrifically prepared and packaged, typically arriving warm and fresh-textured after delivery.

Cotta is another newcomer that we visited in April this year in Bukit Damansara. This ricotta specialist serves terrific toasts slathered with fresh, creamy-soft cheese - Cotta’s founder Ivan and his team simmer and strain their ricotta every morning, for delicious dairy delight.

On the Grab Online Shop, customers can currently purchase whole jars of Cotta's freshly churned ricotta, pairing the cheese with loaves of handmade sourdough bread. Wash it all down with cold-brewed coffee, lemonade, water kefir and kombucha.

Fun fact: Ivan has personally made ricotta at home for years, perfecting his recipe with milk, cream, lemon and salt - the result is a far cry from grainy, rubbery curd; it's the kind of luscious, lovable ricotta that'll keep customers coming back for more.

Nasi Dagang Corner Maggi Ketam Tomyam & Seafood

At a time when most of us in the Klang Valley haven't travelled to Terengganu and Kelantan for months, 
Nasi Dagang Corner Maggi Ketam Tomyam & Seafood promises an authentic taste of Peninsular Malaysia's east coast.

Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar, Nasi Dagang Ayam, Nasi Berlauk Ikan Tongkol and Laksam are just a few of the cherished classics you can order here - rasa ori, as our Kelantanese friends would say!

If you're regularly on Instagram, you've probably spotted Bean Brothers often while scrolling - its coffee bar is irresistible for social media shutterbugs!

Bean Brothers' Grab Online Shop offers all the convenience of its cold brew concentrates and pour-over coffee delivered to your doorstep. But there's more - an intriguing selection of hot fare with Korean and Italian influences, from Yangnyeom Fried Chicken and Kimchi Fried Rice to Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta, Spicy Piccata Crab and Tomato Clam Stew.

If you have a sweet tooth, save space for Bean Brothers' burnt cheesecake, walnut banana bread and chocolate meringue roulade!


270sqft may not sound like a lot of space, but it's enough to harbour the hopes of its founder Vivien, whose modest-sized but marvellous cafe in Sea Park we first visited in December 2020.

Fans love 270sqft's original, sesame and poppyseed bagels, lovingly layered with everything from avocado and house-made pesto to salmon to an apple basil spread. Pair with an impressive array of beverages, from filter coffee to genmaicha lattes to oolong rose tea.


'Follow The Cat,' read a sign outside the entrance of Kalico Coffee when we visited in April this year. Inside, we found a wonderland of temptations from across the globe - Portuguese Chicken On Rice, Pulled Beef Panini, Shashouka, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, Chicken Hummus Panini and more. 

The baked selection is equally enticing, with Chocolate Butterscotch Chip Cookies, Onde Onde Cake, and Chai Loaf Slices among the highlights. If you need a caffeine fix sent to your home or office, order Kalico Coffee's cappuccino or cold brew.

Jom order di Grab Online Shop - there are many more businesses to explore, including these below.

Madam Leelas Kitchen & Catering:
Coffee Stain:
Leng Zai Bak Kut Teh:
Bo The Avocado:

Bröom Artisan Bakery:

Beans And Yogurt:

Rush Roastery:

Pepo Pizza:

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Take a table by the window at this Japanese-inspired hideout for long conversations over skewers and soups - chunky deep-fried kushikatsu, spanning chicken thigh and tail to broccoli and garlic, and light, steamy broths, swimming with fish cakes, broccoli and brinjal - washed down with bottles of umeshu.


167B, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 016-442-7390

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Thai Chala, Sri Petaling

Founded by a Thai chef who hails from Hat Yai but has family roots in Chiang Rai, Thai Chala offers Malaysians the opportunity to taste Thai fare from both the far south and the north.

For a Thai kitchen that blends honest home cooking with punchy street flavours, this colourful restaurant with plenty of Thai touches is well worth exploring, showcasing distinctive dishes alongside delicious interpretations of familiar favourites. 

Start with soulful bowls of noodles, for a satisfying meal at any time of the day.

Patrons can customise their order - pick your noodles from choices of Thai Mama instant noodles, Thai rice noodles, egg noodles or glass noodles. Then select your soup - the Rich Tomyam is the well-known crowd-pleaser for Malaysians, while the Vintage Tomyam is the milder, peanut-tinged Thai classic.

You can even decide your spice level, from mild to medium to hot. The noodles are available with seafood (RM20.90), pork (RM18.90), or as a signature (RM26.90) with both. 

Our serving of the Rich Tomyam Signature was beautiful to the last slurp, brimming with prawns, fish balls, baby octopus, pork and egg, lip-smacking with a clear, robust tang. If you love Thai noodles, bookmark Thai Chala for a future destination.

Many of Thai Chala's recipes have been handed down through generations - the Chiangrai Noodles (RM14.90) are a cherished household staple by the chef's grandmother. It features thin, tender rice noodles that are the hallmark of kanom-jeen, topped with pork ribs as well as minced pork potently stir-fried with tomatoes and Thai bean paste, crisped up with crunchy pork lard, vegetables and chilli for a well-balanced bowl. A soothing preparation, pure comfort food for noodle enthusiasts.

While most Thai restaurants in KL serve traditional offerings from the north and central regions, Thai Chala makes its mark with several southern specialities. 

The Turmeric Chicken Soup (RM15.90 for the smaller serving, RM28.90 for large) is wholesome with herbs and spices, including lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal, with a yellowish hue courtesy of turmeric. It's a fun Thai twist to chicken soup, alluringly aromatic - two or three people can sufficiently share even the smaller serving.

Thai Chala's assurance of authenticity and quality is illustrated by the Southern-style Stir-fried Petai (RM22.90), with a choice of seafood, pork and prawns, or chicken and prawns tossed with A-grade petal in chilli paste imported from southern Thailand. The paste is pleasurably pungent, making this addictive for fans of full-bodied flavours, fragrantly savoury and spicy. As with many Thai Chala dishes, you can opt for mild, medium or hot.

Craving more crustaceans? The Stir-fried Prawns with Curry Powder (RM26.90) convey a decadently creamy kick, with large, whole prawns saturated with a thick, textured premium curry mix. We're still fantasising a week later about these prawns, inspired by Thai curry powder crabs.

Thai Chala's pork platters have become bestsellers for excellent reason. The restaurant even has a dedicated cook responsible for the Grilled Thai Pork Neck (RM19.90), marinated for half a day with Thai palm sugar to lend a perfumed depth of succulence (Thai Chala uses no white sugar). This is the perfect pork neck, with impeccable proportions of flesh and fat, lightly charred and lusciously juicy. 

Equally enticing is the Pork Leg Rice (RM18.90), with meat carefully stewed for five hours, resulting in soft, supple slices of pork. Rounded out with steamed rice, kale, Thai salted and pickled vegetables and a hard-boiled egg, the pork comes in a generously hearty portion. This plate alone should keep many customers coming back for more.

Ultimately, there's something for everyone at Thai Chala, whether you like your food fiery or tame, highlighting top-notch, thoughtfully prepared ingredients at fair prices.

Vegetarians will appreciate nearly two dozen meat-free dishes here - we recommend the corn and salted egg salad (RM14.90), a lively, memorable change from papaya and mango salads.

Many thanks to Thai Chala for having us here.

Thai Chala
15, Jalan Radin Tengah, Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 1130am-1030pm. Tel: 03-9547-7525

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