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Pandan Coconut Soft Serve and Gula Melaka Latte at Pandan Republic in KL

Just next to and outside Kwai Chai Hong at Lorong Panggung in Kuala Lumpur, is this yellow dessert cafe with blue door and windows. Here at Pandan Republic, satisfy your sweet tooth in the hot and humid weather with their special pandan coconut soft serve and other creative desserts and beverages.

How to get there

đź“Ť 6, Lorong Panggung, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Since it’s in the heart of KL, it is convenient to get to Pandan Republic via public transport.

If you’re riding the LRT or MRT, get off at Pasar Seni station. Walk towards MRT Exit – Pintu A towards Jalan Panggung. Pandan Republic is behind the row of shophouses along Jalan Panggung. 

If you’re riding the KL Monorail, get off at Maharajalela station. Walk towards Jalan Petaling. Pandan Republic is about 10mins walk from the Station.

If you’re driving, there’s ample parking nearby. There’s Joy Full Parking and DY Parking, which are just next to the Pasar Seni MRT.

Pandan Republic

Before touring Kwai Chai Hong and Chinatown, you might want to pause for a cooling treat, which we did.

Instead of taking away, we dined in. Pandan Republic is a cozy 2-storey cafe. The cafe is hard not to miss from it’s yellow paint, blue door and windows, and the ice cream stand outside.

From the window upstairs, you’ll be looking out to Lorong Panggung and the back of Beryl’s Chocolate.

Place your orders at the counter near the entrance and a seat will be assigned to you after payment. Directly opposite the counter, you can see the soft serve-making in action. 

There was the choice of either pandan coconut soft serve or chocolate soft serve. We had the pandan flavour. 

Beverage-wise, they’ve a range of creative and unique beverages. We had the cold gula melaka latte. The latte was topped with a floating coffee bear!

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Kwai Chai Hong in KL Chinatown

Travel back in time to the 1960s golden era of KL Chinatown at this lane – Lorong Panggung in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Lorong Panggung, is also famously known as Kwai Chai Hong, which is directly translated as “Ghost Lane” or “Little Demon Alley” in English from Cantonese. 

How to get there

Since it’s in the heart of KL, it is convenient to get to Kwai Chai Hong via public transport.

If you’re riding the LRT or MRT, get off at Pasar Seni station. Walk towards MRT Exit – Pintu A towards Jalan Panggung. Kwai Chai Hong is behind the row of shophouses along Jalan Panggung. 

If you’re riding the KL Monorail, get off at Maharajalela station. Walk towards Jalan Petaling. Kwai Chai Hong is about 10mins walk from the Station.

If you’re driving, there’s ample parking nearby. There’s Joy Full Parking and DY Parking, which are just next to the Pasar Seni MRT.

Kwai Chai Hong

Under Project Kwai Chai Hong, 10 shophouses – six fronting Jalan Petaling and another four units along Lorong Panggung – were restored.

Next to the entrance of Kwai Chai Hong is Pandan Republic. You can grab an ice cream on the go and sweetly tour Kwai Chai Hong. 

You’ll be greeted by a red bridge and arch that sports the Mandarin characters of “Kwai Chai Hong”. Spot strings of red lanterns and the Bunn Choon Restoran (since 1893) signage above.

The guardrails or safety rails of the bridge are colourfully painted in red. Along the left side of the bridge, you’ll be greeted by the sign, 红桥 Hong Qiao which is the name of the bridge. On the bridge, you’ll find a mural of a loving couple sitting on the bridge.

Inside the lane are few murals depicting the daily activities of early Chinese settlers in the area during the 1960s. 

You’ll find yourself at the back of a few restaurants. Directly after the bridge, you’re at the back of Da Bao.

Next to Da Bao is a mural of a man sharpening a knife and a Tiger Beer advertisement above him.

There is another door with a sign above brightly shining in red, Restoran Bunn Choon. Next to the door is a mural of a girl looking out a window and 2 little boys squatting and playing. These show the simple life back in the past.

Just after the bridge on the left is a red street lamp and a mural of an elderly uncle playing the erhu – a traditional Chinese string instrument with only two strings. There is a bench in front, where you can sit a take some pics with the uncle.

Towards the other end of the lane, you’ll be greeted by a bright red, Japanese-looking arch. 

At the end is the red (mockup) store of DayOne DayOne Noodle.

Above is a full wall mural of shop lots in the past. Funnily, you’ll see a mural of the kung fu landlady from Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle. 

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Grand Imperial Dim Sum in Bangsar Shopping Centre

A few of my friends and I wanted to experience the “grander” side of (an imperial) Chinese restaurant (cue the Star Wars’ emperor marching music in the background), so we had lunch at Grand Imperial Restaurant in Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. It was not only a fine experience but also a different one, as it was dim sum for lunch, not breakfast.

How to get there

đź“Ť T5, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur

If you’re taking the train and riding on the MRT – stop at Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT. Then walk 650 meters up Jalan Maarof to Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC). 

Alternatively, if you’re driving, you can park in the basement. Entry is paid parking.

Then in the mall, take the lift or escalator up to the 3rd floor on the newer section of BSC.

Grand Imperial Restaurant

Established since 2008, we are Malaysia’s leading company in the food & beverage industry and wedding services. We showcase a fleet of outstanding restaurants offering various culinary experiences, from Chinese delicacies to Chinese Dim Sum, BBQ, Seafood Steamboat, Hong Kong noodles, and tangy fresh seafood.

True to it’s name and the location it is in; it has a grand setup and feel upon entering the restaurant. Even the service and attention from the staffs makes one feel of importance.

The restaurant itself is very spacious, so you do not feel congested or in a very closed up environment.

Dim Sum for Lunch

From the dim sum menu, we had deep-fried prawn dumplings, deep-fried beancurd roll with prawns, deep-fried yam puff, radish cake, cheong fun with BBQ meat, baked egg tart, siew mai, mango pudding, and a few more dim sums.

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Beggar’s Chicken at New Heong Kee Restaurant in Ampang Jaya

Instead of the usual, popular restaurants for dinner in town; why not something different and out of town?

From Petaling Jaya, we travelled out to Ampang Jaya. There, we had Beggar’s Chicken for dinner at New Heong Kee Restaurant.

How to get there

Driving along Jalan Lingkaran Tengah 2 (main road), it’s just after the Petronas petrol station. 

The restaurant is not in a shop lot but in a housing lot along the main road. There are 2 gates. The first gate is the entrance to more space at the back to park your car. The 2nd gate is the the main entrance to the parking space in front and to the restaurant. Nevertheless, both gates are on common ground and lead to the restaurant.

However, take note that parking is very limited with space for approximately less than 15 cars.

New Heong Kee Restaurant

You need to call, make advance booking, and pre-order your food.

Back to the restaurant, it has open-air seating. Mind you, it’s a non-airconditioned restaurant.

You can see how the Beggar’s Chicken is being cooked. Under a shack at the backyard, you can see the chicken cooked the traditional way.

Beggar’s Chicken. The chicken has to be ordered as it takes several hours to cook. The meat was soft, tender, succulent and moist at the same time. 

Below are some other dishes we ordered to go with the Beggar’s Chicken for dinner.

Beggar’s Duck. The duck was drenched in soy sauce, thereby giving it the additional flavour. As for the meat, it was soft and very tender. You don’t need a knife to even slice and cut the meat.

Beggar’s Pork Trotter. There was a good layer of chewy fat and good meat.

Boneless Fish, Country Fish, or as someone called it – Zombie Fish. Even though it’s fish, but it tasted like and had the texture of fish cake.


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OUG Jade Restaurant in Taman OUG

In the heart of Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur and above the popular OUG market is OUG Jade Restaurant.

The restaurant has been serving delicious food to the local community for many years. It is known for its mouth-watering dishes, excellent service, and cozy ambiance.

How to get there

đź“Ť 2nd Floor The Market Place, 2, Jalan Hujan Rahmat, Taman Overseas Union, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

If you’re driving, you can park in the basement car park. Then take the lift to the 2nd floor. The restaurant is the whole of the 2nd floor. 

OUG Jade Restaurant

Don’t be fooled by the shabby exterior and the “grand” ambience in it. 

Having been there twice few years ago, recently was the 3rd time back here in a long while.

Being a whole floor by itself, it is like a grand hall with multiple rows and columns of round tables lined up. The setup can accommodate small group lunches and dinner, and grand (corporate and family) events. 

It has a cozy and inviting ambiance, with elegant decor and comfortable seating. The lighting is warm and welcoming, creating a relaxed atmosphere for diners.


The menu at OUG Jade Restaurant is extensive, featuring a wide range of Chinese dishes. The restaurant is known for its seafood dishes, which are fresh and flavorful. 

Some of the must-try dishes at the restaurant include the steamed fish, butter prawns, and salted egg yolk squid. The restaurant also serves a variety of meat dishes, such as roasted duck, sweet and sour pork, and braised beef. 

Vegetarians will also find plenty of options on the menu, including stir-fried vegetables, tofu dishes, and vegetarian noodles.

Can’t recall the exact names of the dishes, but below are photos of some of the food we ordered.

Beancurd and ham mixture
Vegetable claypot dish
Butter-milk prawns
Ginger chicken
Assam fish

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CC in BB: Capitol Cafe in Bukit Bintang

Last month, we were at Halab Gate Shawarma (link here). Over the weekend, just across the main road, Jalan Sultan Ismail, we were at Capitol Cafe. 

In a lane behind Damascus Bukit Bintang and WOLO Kuala Lumpur is the Capitol Cafe.

How to get there

đź“Ť Address: 46, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

The cafe is just a stone’s throw away from the Bukit Bintang MRT and monorail stations. 

If you’re taking the MRT, alight at Bukit Bintang station and head towards Entrance E. Then u-turn and then turn right towards Jalan Sultan Ismail. Then turn right towards the lane just before Maybank Bukit Bintang.  

If you’re taking the monorail, alight at Bukit Bintang station, cross the Bukit Bintang Crossing and walk up along Jalan Sultan Ismail. Then turn right towards the lane just before Maybank Bukit Bintang.  

Capitol Cafe

Capitol Cafe has a cozy and inviting interior design that’s perfect for a casual meal or a catch-up with friends. The cafe has a rustic vibe, with wooden tables and chairs, exposed brick walls, and vintage decorations. The ambiance is relaxed and laid-back, making it a great spot to unwind after a long day.

Capitol Cafe’s menu is a fusion of Western and Asian cuisine. One of the must-try dishes at Capitol Cafe is their signature nasi lemak. You can browse and download their menu here.

We had their Nasi Ayam Penyet, Hainanese Chicken Chop with Boiled Egg, HoGaSai Ping, and many others for lunch.

The nasi lemak was not the usual nasi lemak with ayam goreng. This nasi lemak is with ayam penyet. The ayam penyet is topped with breaded crusts.

As my friend quoted, “I’ve never had Hainanese chicken chop with boiled egg.” It is a new and good addition with boiled egg in the dish. The chicken chop sauce has an added eggy taste and protein.

Mix iced milo and iced coffee, and you get HoGaSai Ping.

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Ah Lee’s Crab Noodles in Pandamaran, Klang

Klang is not only famous for it’s Bak Kut Teh, but also the local food in Klang itself. Welcome to Ah Lee Restaurant in Pandamaran, Klang.

How to get there

đź“ŤAddress: 97, Jln Pendamar, Pandamaran, 42000 Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor

The restaurant operates outside of a house along the busy main road, Jalan Pendamar.

If you’re driving, you might want to drive slower along this road, so that you don’t miss this restaurant.

Ah Lee Restaurant’s operating hours are only at night and on selected days.

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Ah Lee Restaurant

Even though the restaurant is sheltered yet it’s non-airconditioned. The kitchen is at the front, so you can see the cook passionately cooking your food and the waitresses preparing your drinks.

Due to the limited operating hours, especially since they start operations during peak hour, and it’s a popular restaurant, judging my the crowd; suggest to make reservations or go earlier ahead of time to get a table or two.

Crab Noodles and More

We didn’t give their crab noodles a miss! It was a real standout dish. The noodles were cooked to perfection and mixed with a generous amount of crab. It was rich and flavourful, making for the perfect comfort food on a chilly evening.

Since we had 2 tables side-by-side, we opted for 2 types of chickens: fried chicken and steam chicken. The fried chicken was crispy and juicy, and the steam chicken was incredibly tender and flavourful. Then we swapped the plates of chickens at every interval.

The fried prawn rolls were filled with juicy prawns and fillings, which were crispy and flavourful.

Last but not least, the claypot tofu was also a hit, with the sauce that perfectly complemented the Japanese tofus, vegetables, and pork meat in the claypot.

Overall, we had an excellent dining experience at Ah Lee Restaurant. The food was delicious, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere was cozy and welcoming. If you’re in the Pandamaran area, be sure to stop by Ah Lee Restaurant and try some of their amazing dishes.

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Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa in Damansara Jaya

Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa is a must-visit restaurant for seafood lovers. Located in Damansara Jaya and just outside Atria Shopping Gallery, this restaurant is known for its delicious seafood dishes and ambiance.

Reviews on Google showed that it was first opened and known as New Peng Wah Restaurant. Today, it is rebranded as Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa.

How to get here

There are several ways to get to Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa:

By Car/Grab: If you are coming by car or Grab, you can enter the following address into your GPS or navigation app:

27,29, 31, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

By Public Transportation:

  • By MRT: Take the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang line and alight at the Phileo Damansara MRT station. From there, you can take a Grab or a bus to Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa. Alternatively, you can take a short walk to the nearest feeder bus stop and take the free shuttle bus service provided by Atria Shopping Gallery. The shuttle bus operates every 30 minutes from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.
  • By Bus: There are several buses that pass by Atria Shopping Gallery, including RapidKL buses 780, 783, T784, and T786. You can check the RapidKL website for more information on bus routes and schedules.


But the real star of the show is the food. The menu offers a wide range of seafood dishes, including crabs, prawns, squid, and fish, prepared in various styles such as grilled, steamed, or fried.

Some of their signature dishes are the sweet & sour chili crab, kam heong butter crab, salted egg yolk crab, kam heong crab, stew grouper fish head, pandan chicken, steamed otak otak with eggs, signature homestyle claypot brinjal, signature choi heong tofu, and fish maw & crab meat soup / shark fin soup.

Since there were 9 of us, we ordered the below from the menu.

Honey sesame chicken
Stir-fried baby sweet potato leaf
Brocoli tofu with crab meat
Superior soup lala
Stir fry squid and prawns

The service at Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa is also worth mentioning. The staff are friendly and attentive, and they always make sure that their customers are well taken care of. They are also knowledgeable about the menu and can recommend dishes based on their customers’ preferences.

Overall, Restoran Kampung Seafood Parit Jawa is a great place to enjoy delicious seafood dishes in a tranquil setting. The combination of fresh seafood, excellent service, and a serene ambiance make it an unforgettable dining experience. If you are in the area, be sure to give it a try.

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Halab Gate Shawarma in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Halab Gate Shawarma is a hidden gem in the heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It is located along Jalan Berangan, just off Jalan Sultan Ismail.

This Middle Eastern restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for its authentic flavors and generous portions.

How to get here

Halab Gate Shawarma can be easily accessed by various modes of transportation.

By Car/Taxi: If you are coming by car or taxi, the best landmark to use as a guide is the Lot 10 Shopping Centre, which is located right next to the restaurant. You can enter the following address into your GPS or navigation app:

Halab Gate Shawarma, 158 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

By Public Transportation:

  • By Monorail: The closest monorail station to Halab Gate Shawarma is the Bukit Bintang station. From the station, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the restaurant.
  • By MRT: The closest MRT station is the Pavilion Bukit Bintang station. From there, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the restaurant.
  • By Bus: There are several bus stops in the vicinity of Bukit Bintang. You can check the RapidKL website for more information on bus routes and schedules.


Menu and Prices in 2023

The menu is extensive and includes a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, including shawarma, kebab, falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh.

The star of the menu, however, is undoubtedly the shawarma. The meat is marinated in a blend of spices and slow-roasted on a spit, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a smoky flavor. The shawarma is then wrapped in a warm pita bread and topped with fresh vegetables and a variety of sauces, including tahini and garlic mayonnaise.

One of the most popular shawarma options is the chicken shawarma, which is packed with flavor and generously filled with tender, juicy chicken. The beef shawarma is also worth trying, with its melt-in-your-mouth meat and bold flavors.

Large Meat Shawarma with Cheese (RM20.00)

Aside from the shawarma, the restaurant’s hummus is a must-try. The creamy chickpea dip is perfectly seasoned and served with warm pita bread, making it a perfect appetizer to share with friends or family.

Overall, Halab Gate Shawarma is a fantastic Middle Eastern restaurant that offers delicious food at affordable prices. The staff are friendly and attentive, and the portions are generous, making it a great value for money. If you’re in the area and looking for a satisfying and authentic Middle Eastern meal, Halab Gate Shawarma is definitely worth a visit.

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7 Best Franchises in Malaysia

Today, we shall discuss the topic of franchising!

But first, ever wondered: what is a franchise?

A franchise is a business model where an individual or group purchases the right to use a company’s trademark, products, and operating system in exchange for a fee or royalty. It is a practice that is very prominent in the world.

Investing in a franchise

Investing in a franchise can be a great way to get into business for yourself. With the right franchisor and SME loan, starting and running a business becomes less of a daunting task. Franchise businesses are a great source of income when done right!

There are many brand franchises in the world, but if you are looking for a franchise business in Malaysia, here are the 7 best franchises you should consider!

1. Nelson’s

Source: Nelson’s

Nelson’s started with the corn-in-a-cup concept and has since grown to become one of Malaysia’s top brands, with over 1000 outlets in 17 countries. Ideal for the entrepreneurs who are looking for a franchise business with low capital investment, the franchise offers a low capital investment requirement with the following terms:

Initial capital investment: RM15,000 –RM60,000
Franchise fee: RM5,000 – RM12,000
Royalties: Available Upon Request

2. The Soya Shop

Source: The Soya Shop

With a focus on using in-house technology and non-GMO Canadian beans cooked in filtered water with no preservatives and additives, This franchise is a great opportunity for those looking to invest in a franchise with low start-up costs. Here are the details:

Initial capital investment: RM49,000 – RM300,000
Franchise fee: RM12,000 – RM60,000
Royalties: 3% gross sales

3. Tealive

One of the top franchise options in Malaysia is Tealive, a renowned brand that has won multiple awards and has outlets in Malaysia and Vietnam, and have now expanded in the United States! One of the things that set Tealive apart is their impressive record of year-on-year sales growth for seven years in a row!

And that is not the best part! One of the key benefits of becoming a Tealive franchise is the support you’ll receive in various areas, including location selection, construction, operations, advertising, and marketing. With over 50 attractive new locations to choose from across Malaysia, finding a suitable spot for your franchise is made easy. Here is the investment information:

Initial capital investment: RM250,000+
Franchise fee: RM75,000
Royalties: 3%

4. Burger Bakar Abang Burn

Source: Burger Bakar Abang Burn

With over 20 outlets throughout Malaysia, Burger Bakar Abang Burn is one of the most successful burger franchises in the country. To become a franchisee, you will need to invest in the following:

Initial capital investment: RM85,000
Franchise fee: RM15,000
Royalties: 5%

5. Daily Fresh

Source: Daily Fresh

It’s Malaysia’s humble version og Big Apple Donuts Coffee! With over 800 franchise outlets in 15 countries, Daily Fresh is a leading global snack food retailer. As the owner of the largest sweet corn plantation in Malaysia, Daily Fresh has a unique edge in its market segment. Here are the investment information needed for the franchisee:

Initial capital investment: RM85,000 – RM120,000
Franchise fee: RM25,000
Royalties: 2%

6. Each A Cup

Source: Each A Cup

If bubble tea is your thing, Each A Cup might be the franchise for you. One of the most successful and popular bubble tea brands in the Asian markets, Each A Cup more than 100 outlets throughout Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. With extensive support for franchisees, including training, site selection, design, and recruitment by the franchisor, there are more than these ways that you can expand on this franchise. Here is the investment information:

Initial capital investment: RM100,000+
Franchise fee: RM20,000
Royalties: 5%

7. Hot & Roll

Source: Hot & Roll

Hot&Roll is a rising leader in wholesome baked food products that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. With some of the lowest inventory costs and little or no wastage, extensive training and business and financing guidance to franchisees are provided by the franchisor. Here is the investment information of the franchise:

Initial capital investment: RM100,000 – RM165,000
Franchise fee: RM15,000 – RM30,000
Royalties: 5%

In conclusion, starting a franchise is a lucrative business opportunity as long as you carefully consider all the costs involved. Franchising can be more than just about providing products and services, it’s about making your step into the world. With the right fit, a franchise can provide the perfect blend of independence and security, allowing you to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a thriving reality. The initial investment, franchise fee, and royalties may seem like steep costs. Still, they’re a small price to pay for access to a wealth of resources, including training, marketing support, and a proven business model. So why wait? Start exploring the exciting world of franchising today and find your path to success!

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