Looking for underrated restaurants in PJ? Here are 7 PJ restaurants to check out.
As two people born and bred in this neighbouring city of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya (better known as PJ) you can often find us at a makan spot here during the weekends.
Like Kuala Lumpur, PJ has one of the most diverse cuisines in the country. You can easily locate good Malay, Chinese, Indian, Burmese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Arabian, Italian and French at almost every price-point available.
7 PJ restaurants to check out
Over the past few decades, we have tried many restaurants PJ has to offer – these include coffeeshops as well.
Many popular ones have often been documented on other sites, so we wanted to highlight a few ‘hidden gems’ here instead. Some of these restaurants are well-known for a single dish, while others are recommended for their overall menu.
Do note that this list is not exhaustive – we hope to expand on it in the future. Whether you are a first-time visitor to Petaling Jaya (hooray for the open borders!) or a long-time resident of this beautiful city, we hope you discover something new.
In no particular order, here we go!
1. [Pork-free] Bowls of Steel, Damansara Utama
The noodles were one of the best dishes we ate in 2021 – it made it into our Top Nine Meals of 2021 list.
BOS offers newly-created noodle dishes which take inspiration from hand-crafted ramen noodles, and infuse them with local produce and influences. All of the dishes are created by head chef Jun and his team, and do not feature any pork.
For a more detailed review, check out our post here.
2. [Non-halal] Ipoh Ipoh Kafe, SS2
For a taste of Ipoh cuisine, head to Ipoh Ipoh Kafe.
Nestled within two rows of shops in SS2, Petaling Jaya, we strongly recommend having a bowl of their signature Ipoh hor fun (flat rice noodles in Cantonese). The broth is simmered over low fire for 10 hours before it is cooked with black sugar cane and pre-fried prawn shells for 1.5 hours.
Appearance-wise, the dish looks perfect with its milky broth (similar to tonkotsu), layer of prawn oil, and a generous amount of shredded chicken, prawns and chives.
Ipoh Ipoh’s kitchen is helmed by Chef Eric – who hails from Ipoh. In fact, he sources some of the key ingredients from the limestone city – including the very important noodles to provide an authentic taste.
Apart from the signature hor fun, Ipoh Ipoh also serves poached Kampung chicken, char siew, chee cheong fun and tomato soup noodles.
We also recommend having their cup of coffee here which is brewed using the original recipe from the famous Chang Jiang Coffee in Ipoh. The coffee here is rich, aromatic and creamy.
Read here for more information here.
3. [Non-Halal] TNR by Sean & Angie, SS2
Take walk to the row of shops behind Ipoh Ipoh Kafe in SS2 to find one of the best spots for char siew at TNR by Sean & Angie.
Translated from Cantonese as Chinese BBQ pork, We love the char siew here because they are always nicely charred with lovely caramelisation. Just look at the beautiful glaze!
Apart from char siew, we also love their Hakka Noodles. The Hakka noodles here is pretty yummy – springy, and not too dry. It is well-seasoned and topped with minced meat, fried fish skin and scallion.
TNR by Sean & Angie also delivers. We can attest to the fact that their meals taste good even in takeaway form. Read our post here.
4. [Halal] Little Yum Yum, Kota Damansara
Little Yum Yum has probably become our favourite place for Peranakan food. We love this place and order for delivery from this place once every few weeks to get our fix of Nyonya dishes.
For those who cannot take overly spicy food, we strongly recommend the Ikan Gulai Tumis (tamarind fish curry), which is one of the best gulai tumis we ever tried.
We also love their signature Yum Yum brinjal – unique deep-fried brinjal fries that is soft in the middle with a crispy exterior, Yum Yum egg as well as their Creamy Basil Chicken.
Check out our post on it here here.
5. [Halal] Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant, Kayu Ara
Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant in Kampung Kayu Ara is a popular jaunt for seafood lovers, and they have a large space split into open-air and air-conditioned sections.
We love their clams in superior soup(better known as xiong tong lala in Cantonese) which we found succulent and fresh, their crabs in kam heong sauce and steamed fishes.
Since our last post (here), we recently returned to try their crabs in chilli sauce, steamed tilapia in cheong cheng sauce (steamed gravy sauce in Cantonese) and lai liu har (mantis prawns in Cantonese) cooked in kam heong sauce.
Happy to report that these were good too (no post this round as we were too busy eating haha).
6. [Non-halal] Traditional Hakka Lui Char Restaurant, PJ Old Town
Our ultimate favourite bowl of traditional Hakka Lei Cha can be found in PJ Old Town, which we crave for every now and then.
What makes this bowl extra delicious is the addition of black-eyed beans and caramelised onions. They also add dried shrimps, which gives an extra umami to the dish.
For the uninitiated, Lei Cha (also known as thunder/pounded tea rice) is a traditional Hakka dish where rice is topped with various vegetables, legumes, and seeds. The rice and greens are usually served with a bowl of tea soup made with different types of herbs and tea leaves.
While we recently ordered takeaway from this place, we note that the restaurant has simple but comfortable seats for dine-in.
Check out our post here.
7. [Pork-free] Acha Curry House, SS2
Acha Curry House is no stranger to BLR lovers in PJ.
Acha used to operate in Petaling Garden next to Bukit Gasing, before moving to its new premise here in SS2. We visited the restaurant earlier this year and loved the variety of sides available, especially the Ikan Bilis sambal. The fried anchovies were still crispy despite being coated with sauce.
Check out our post at here.
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