PETALING JAYA, Sept 22 — Located inside Glomac Business Centre, Restoran Kampung Muar grabbed my attention with these magical words on their signboard.... mee bandung Muar!
This place opened about two months ago but it seems they're not new to the business, having chalked up their experience as a nasi campur stall at the food court in TM Tower. As there was a change of ownership there, they relocated to Kelana Jaya.
Everything served here will make any homesick Johorean happy.
There's, of course, the all-time favourite laksa Johor, comforting lontong with its distinct yellow hue and the local version of chilli con carne aka kacang pol. You also have biryani rice for lunch time and lempeng or pancakes too.
And just as the signboard promises, the food does have a kampung vibe as it resonates strong homestyle flavours.
The Mee Bandung Muar (RM9) does not have dinosaur-like prawns so you can show off on your social media. Instead, its essence lies in that thick orange broth that is a blend of dried prawns and tomato sauce.
Laksa Johor is my forever bowl of happiness and this version feels like home as it's not too sweet but still rich enough to satisfy.
For lunch, you will spy this 'asam pedas' with fish... pair it with rice and the fresh, sweet 'ikan kembung'.
You will slurp up every spoonful of that broth with your yellow noodles. There's also an egg inside the bowl that gives you protein and a touch of creaminess with its jammy egg yolk.
The only setback is the prawns topping it, which could be better with bouncier flesh.
On the same page of wholesomeness is the laksa Johor (RM10). Here, your spaghetti strands are engulfed with the thick blended fish laksa gravy. Sliced onions, chopped preserved radish, chopped herbs and bean sprouts are also added.
You have a splash of bright red on the side with the sambal belacan with calamansi lime to give it a citrus edge.
Fill up your stomach during lunch with this fluffy 'biryani' rice and tender cooked beef swimming in a fragrant gravy.
'Lontong' may not look like much but it's comforting with lots of vegetables.
The spread during lunch will make you hungry for more.
Don't be afraid to mix it all up together as the sambal balances out the rich gravy making it a nice combination with your spaghetti. The gravy is not as overpoweringly rich or sweet compared to others, making it a pleasure to eat.
If you drop by just before lunch, the spread of dishes will distract you, like how a fiery red asam pedas called my name.
Served in claypots, the broth was piping hot and crazy spicy, burning my tongue. You get different fishes with the asam pedas gravy. I relished my ikan kembung with its sweet, delicate flesh.
Nibble on these 'kuih ketayap' with a soft texture and grated coconut for a snack (left). There's also 'pulut panggang' to tempt you (right).
Inside the glutinous rice, there's 'serunding kelapa'.
I do suggest multiple visits to try various items, like their biryani rice with beef (RM15). The fluffy long grains were so light and tasty that one can easily finish that mountain of rice. The tender beef with the deep tasting gravy was a great combination. There's also crackers and a tangy vegetable acar on the side.
You can also get the chicken version for RM12.
The Lontong (RM7) may not be a looker, as it's flooded with vegetables and the broth. It's comforting though especially after you mix in the peanut sauce and serunding kelapa.
At the counter, there's a multitude of temptations. This includes their house-made kuih ketayap (70 sen per piece). It's not pretty but I liked the pillow soft pancake amply filled with grated coconut tossed with gula Melaka syrup.
It's quiet at breakfast but the crowd trickles in for lunch time.
The eatery is located within the complex so there is ample paid parking inside.
Another temptation was the pulut panggang (RM2) with serunding kelapa. The grains were soft and the filling was mildly spicy.
Restoran Kampung Muar,
205A, Glomac Business Centre, No. 10, Jalan SS6/1, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya.
Open: 7am to 7pm. Closed on Sunday.
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