[Pork-free] Looking for good Penang Assam Laksa and White Curry Mee in PJ? Newly opened in Ara Damansara, Jo’ Tesha Northern Colours offers Northern delicacies such as Assam Laksa, White Curry Mee, Yam Cake, and Kedah otak-otak.
While this part of Ara Damansara had recently seen a surge of new restaurants and cafes, we like that Jo’Tesha offers something different.
The space here is comfortable and we love the story behind the name.
Jo’ Tesha Northern Colours 槟沙 in Ara Damansara
Opened in Dec last year, the business owners used to operate a coffee express shop in SS15 Subang Jaya.
Some of the popular items offered since then include Penang-style yam cake, Assam laksa, roll cakes, and macaroons.
After years of operations in Subang, the owners finally opened this stand-alone shop in a quiet nook in Ara Damansara.
Jo’ Tesha Northern Colours 槟沙
We actually stumbled upon Jo’ Tesha Northern Colours when we were driving around in the area on a Monday morning.
While the restaurant was closed then, we were immediately drawn by the beautiful mural drawing on the wall depicting a scene at a food stall.
We then made a mental note to visit this place and brought our mom along as well.
Jo’ Tesha – a lovely name
We finally visited this place for brunch on Saturday. Despite being only two-month-old, the place was already busy.
We liked that there were a lot of “old-timers” here – which is a good indicator of the food quality.
The space here is really comfortable as it was fully air-conditioned (good for our mom), and is brightly lit with plenty of natural light.
There is also a wall filled with photos and a newspaper write-up. It was then we learned that the Jo’ Tesha is operated by Joey Low – an independent rescuer of stray animals, and the name is a combination of hers and her rescued dog Tesha.
Jo’ Tesha offers Malaysian comfort food and more
We found the menu here at Jo’ Tesha to be quite extensive.
Apart from the aforementioned Assam Laksa and Yam Cake, Jo’ Tesha also offers plenty of classic Malaysian dishes such as Nasi Lemak with Nyonya Curry Chicken, Nasi Kunyit, Chicken Chop, and Hainanese Coffee.
Jo’ Tesha also offers a selection of Nyonya kueh, pastries, cakes, and ice-cream.
Assam Laksa – one of the better ones in KL
The dishes that immediately caught our eye were the Penang Assam Laksa and Penang White Curry Mee (both RM13.90).
We’ve been craving good Assam Laksa, and the one here looked good with its generous topping of vegetables, a good spoonful of he ko (black prawn paste), and authentic rice noodles.
Thankfully, the Assam Laksa is as good as it looks! This is one of the better ones we tried in KL as we found the broth to be very balanced a good hit of sourness and savouriness.
The he ko provided a hint of pungent sweetness, but it is the generous portion of raw onions, pineapple, and greens that gave it so much texture and depth.
The soup is also not diluted with plenty of fish bits for texture.
Our mom loved the Penang curry mee
We don’t usually order Penang White Curry Mee often as we usually find it too spicy or milky.
The one here was an exception. Despite the fiery red colour, the broth was not too spicy – which is great as we could taste the rempah with a lovely hint of kerisik-like sweetness.
Hence, our mum really enjoyed it! The curry mee comes with long beans, cockles, prawns, and squid. The seafood was fresh and the prawns were especially succulent.
Signature Yam cake
For only RM5, the Signature Yam Cake is generously topped with dried shrimp, fried shallots, scallion, and chillies.
We can understand why the yam cake is popular as it is definitely rich in yam (instead of just starch) with lovely crispy bits from the shrimp and shallots. Our mom did find the yam cake slightly soft – but we thought it was alright.
Nasi Lemak with Nyonya Chicken Curry
We also enjoyed the Nasi Lemak with Nyonya Chicken Curry (RM14.90).
We found the rice to be reasonably fragrant, but the best element here was the curry as it was equally creamy and rich in spices. The chicken was tender as well.
The acar here was also stellar – so much so that we wanted to order it on its own.
Plenty of kueh here
There was plenty of kueh to go with our Nanyang Coffee (RM4.50) – but we opted for the Pulut Panggang and Seri Muka (RM3.80 each), which were decent.
Overall, we really enjoyed our meal here. We will definitely return for both the noodle dishes (Assam Laksa and Curry Mee), while the acar and Nyonya Chicken Curry were delicious too.
Jo’ Tesha Northern Colours 槟沙
Address: 61, Jalan PJU 1A/42A, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 8am-6pm Daily (Closed on Mondays)
Phone: 016-453 9434
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