Review at Food Republic, Pavilion KL
I was invited and had the honour of sampling some of the local delicacies served at Food Republic, Pavilion KL, recently. I sampled about eight types of dishes from four different food stalls at the Food Republic food court. The idea of this review is to give an idea of what you can have for your break-fast in the coming Ramadhan month or for your meal while working in the heart of KL. And here is my review.
Before we start, I would like to say that I’m giving an honest review here. So if any of the stall owners or cooks who are reading my review feel a pinch of hurt, take it as an advice to be better and improve the food quality. Also, I’m reviewing the (apparently) best four food stalls in Food Republic Pavilion KL.
Mee Jawa Stall
I sampled two dishes from the Mee Jawa stall. I had Mee Jawa and Char Kuey Teow. Let’s go with the Mee Jawa first.
At first look, I thought the soup is diluted and watery. But it’s actually not. The soup is pretty thick and taste okay. The sambal that comes with it is not that strong in taste. The look can be tantalizing to some, but looks can be deceiving. I’ve had good mee jawa before this that comes with thick and very prawny tasty soup. This one may not be diluted, but the taste can be better. Maybe need to add a little bit more of the prawn taste or make it thicker or something. The portion is big. Enough to feed my tummy. But I might not finish it because I probably will order something else.
Beware again. Looks can be deceiving. I can confidently say that I cook better char kuey teow than this one. Not bragging. It’s slightly tasteless, like some people would say…”no kick ah”. The kuey teow itself in my opinion is hard. Not hard that it can shatter your teeth but hard as in, you can chew it like chewing gum. I assumed the egg is fried first before adding the kuey teow. They fried the egg until it’s well cooked that it didn’t “mix” well with the kuey teow. Usually the egg would stick to the kuey teow right? This one is like…on its own. And taste bland. Sorry guys, I don’t like both of the dishes from the Mee Jawa stall.
I’ve had dishes from this stall before when I was working in KL. I find it as not bad. So here are the dishes from this stall.
They probably can’t go wrong with this one. The Chinese style would always cook the meat on high heat and stir-fry it very quickly. Malay style however, would cook the meat first and keep it aside to use when needed. Thank God it’s the Chinese style because the meat is very soft and tender. The overall taste of the dish along with the dry chili taste so good. Yes. This one I like. Like I said, they can’t go wrong with this one especially if it’s Chinese cooking style.
They said that they made the black pepper sauce themselves, not using the ready made sauce or anything that comes in glass bottles. So how’s the black pepper sauce? VERY strong with the pepper. Not bad actually but I actually sneeze a few times while eating this. I do have a comment about the “crispy” chicken.
Usually when you’re running a food stall, you will have lots of customers during lunch hours. I sampled the dishes after the lunch hour. What I’m saying is that they will fry the chicken at least 1 or 2 hours before lunch hour and in bulk. And then they will set it aside to be used when someone ordered the dish. What happens then? It becomes cold, dry and the meat becomes hard. Yes, I understand that if they didn’t fry the chicken beforehand, they won’t have time to fry when someone ordered especially if there’re lots of orders. Nevertheless, what I had was the cold, dry and hard chicken meat. And the vegetable coleslaw was too darn sweet.
I was actually excited to try the dishes from this stall. The owner was present during my sampling and he spoke highly of his dishes. Here’s what was served and what I think of it.
What’s so special about their satay? I can tell you that this Satay is Sarawak style and it taste slightly different than the Semenanjung style. In most part of Semenanjung, they will add lots of rempah into making the marinade and lemongrass is the main ingredient. The Sarawak style is slightly milder but the meat is so tender and juicy. I may look dry in the picture, but it’s freakin’ juicy on the inside. This is probably one of the best chicken satay I’ve tasted in a while. Boom!
Looks dry too. But this beef satay is also very tender and juicy on the inside. Also a little mild on the rempah ratus, maybe not ratus but puluh instead. The satays from the Sarawak Cuisine stall is a must-try!
I’d like to comment on the satay peanut sauce here too. It is one of the best peanut sauce that I had. The peanuts are not chunky like how we usually have it. They blended the peanuts until it’s really crushed and cooked with blended shallots too. I can taste the shallots in there and it mixed really well in the sauce. Really really good.
I’ve had the best Kolo Mee when I was in Tabuan Jaya, Kuching Sarawak a few years back. To me, that is the benchmark for the taste of Kolo Mee. Anyone who can make it as good or better, I will be their loyal patron. Looks like I found it. I got teary eyes when I put the noodle in my mouth. It brought my memories back to Tabuan Jaya and how I loved the taste. Like I said, the owner spoke highly of his dishes and I so agree with him. I love this Kolo Mee so much that if or when I’m in KL again, I’ll head over to Food Republic in Pavilion just to have this. The portion? Huge! Me likey. If only they can add more of the minced meat, then it’ll be perfect.
The owner also gave me a small bowl of their Sarawak Laksa soup/sauce for me to taste. I went like total OMG moment. Their Sarawak Laksa soup/sauce is oh so gooood. I will definitely try their Laksa too next time.
I’ve also sampled two of their local desserts from the dessert counter. Here is the review.
Their cendol is nothing like what you’d have by the road side in SS15 Subang Jaya. But the reason they have cendol as dessert here is so that the tourists can try a sample of our favourite cendol without having to go out eating it by the road side. It’s all because of the hygienic purpose actually. But this cendol has failed me. The taste of the gula Melaka is nonexistent, just sweet. The key taste in cendol is from the gula Melaka. So for tourist to like our cendol dessert, they may end up with false first impression. No for me.
There are so many types of Bubur ChaCha out there. This is the warm and thick type. And this taste excellent! The yam and sweet potatoes are cooked nicely, not too hard and not too soft. Even the sago was cooked to perfection. This is truly what I love about Malaysian desserts. The sweetness is just right and the soup is warm and thick. Loved it!
Obviously, there are the good ones and the not so good ones. What I would recommend is the one from the Sarawak Cuisine stall where they serve excellent Kolo Mee and juicy satay. Also their Sarawak Laksa is a must try although I only tasted the soup.
Another one what I would recommend are the ones from Little Wok stall. The Dry Chili Beef Rice is good while the Black Pepper “Crispy” Chicken is not bad. The black pepper sauce was a little too peppery to my taste but at least they made their own sauce from scratch.
It’s a no go for me with the ones from the Mee Jawa stall. Maybe if you wish to have Char Kuey Teow, maybe you should order from another stall that serve CKT as their specialty. As for the desserts, I only like the Bubur ChaCha and not the cendol. Perhaps they can make the cendol to have the taste of gula Melaka more prominent, then it’ll be good.
I told you that this will be my honest review of the food served by the said four stalls. I hope that the owners or cooks would take my review as something to ponder and do some improvements to the dishes that I reviewed with negative comments. And those that I praised, please maintain the quality of the food. That’s all I’m asking.
Hope you guys like my food review on the dishes served in Food Republic, Pavilion KL.