Monday, June 13, 2016

=Food Hunt= Kuala Lumpur - Authentic Kelantanese food @ Taste of Kota Bharu (TOKB) Cafe, Avenue D'Vogue, Petaling Jaya

This is Durian Fish or well-known among Kelantanese as ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak, where tempoyak is a Malay condiment made from fermented Durians. It may sound extreme to have durians in a seafood dish, but it actually tastes nothing like Durian, and if you have never heard about tempoyak, you won’t even think that there is the presence of Durians in the dish.



This is one of the recommended dish at Taste of Kota Bharu (TOKB) café, which they emphasize that they only served authentic Kelantanese food with the right flavour and texture, and if you like spices, this is right place to enjoy great spiced food.



Ikan Patin (Silver Catfish) Masak Tempoyak RM14.50
The fish is best to serve with Nasi Dagang.



Teh Atom Ice RM9.50
One of the signature drink here, the bubble of the tea does look like the smoke of an atom bomb, but thank God this is tweaked version, so there is no need to request for a reduction to its sweetness.



Laksam RM13.90
This is Laksam, a Laksa with a M, is a bowl of creamy fish stock (usually Mackerels or Sardines) and coconut milk, it may sounds overwhelming, but surprisingly this little “snow white” version of Laksa is not too fishy and goes well with a touch of Sambal.



Nasi Rocket with Beef Serunding RM20.40
Nasi Rocket or more well-known as nasi tumpang is rice that is wrapped with different ingredients, so that the farmer can bring along to the farm for easy consumption. Although this is one of their secret recipe dishes, but be warned that the texture of the rice is more like a ketupat-rice mixture, between hard and sticky. The Serunding also came with too much Chili flakes, so Gibson not a fan of this.



Nasi Dagang RM5.30
On other hand, Gibson prefers this aromatic rice that involves a lot of hard work. They cook the rice with an imported 5-star Thai rice where they have to steam it at least twice. First steam is to half cook the rice, then coconut milk is added and then stirred until the rice adsorbs the milk completely, then spices are added and then steamed until it is completely done. The result is that the rice has a semi glutinous rice texture with the light aroma of coconut milk. The rice is also served with fish cracker and Acar.



Ayam Masak Merah RM12
The chicken can be a bit tough, but the sauce is more sweet than spicy, that compliments perfectly the Nasi Dagang. It is learnt that all the pastes or sauces are prepared from scratch and slowly simmered(Tumis) to concentration, that’s why they are very aromatic and flavourful.



Ikan Keli Paprik RM12
Catfish is not easy to cook due to its strong smell of mud, but this Paprik when done is crispy on the outside and juicy inside, the only worry is that without deep frying, the bones are what you need to be on the lookout when eating.



Nasi Kerabu RM23
Similar to our famous Nasi Ulam, all the vegetables are mixed with the sauces like Budu fish sauce and Butterfly pea flower rice before eating. The fried chicken is also marinated overnight prior to frying.



The stuffed green Chilli looks the Chinese yong tau fu, but this one is stuffed with fish and coconut, and is known as Solok.



Keropok Lekor RM4.90
These Lekor has a very close texture to fish cake, every bite has a taste from the sea.



The café founder are 2 very young boys Bernard Tung and Lucas Lee, who are family friends since their fathers' generation, and they both have a common interest, which is the love of Kelantanese food. So they scoured the small town of Kota Bharu and finally found their chef Kak Ma, who has been sharing her home-cooked meal in a small stall for over 30 years.



Lucas himself is a great chef with passion, although many of the dishes are prepared at the Kak Ma’s centre kitchen, with all her secret recipes and ingredients, Lucas will still “digging in” as much as he can to understand the flavour and the right way to enjoy the traditional food.



So when the waiter suggests that you eat the dish in certain way, please follow the instructions, or else you will miss out on the authentic traditional taste and texture, then you might end up with having a wrong impression that somehow their foods are not as great as their fancy decorations.



Oh yes, they are the nation’s very first military-concept café, and this is part café and part viewing gallery with various wartime memorabilia.

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TOKB Cafe
Address: Avenue D'Vogue, 3A, Jalan 13/2, Section 13, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact: 012-2830780
Business Hours: 12pm-9pm daily, closed on Tuesday.

The price list presented here is as on 9th June 2016, the day when I visited the restaurant, They do charge 6% GST and service charge.

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