This time we ventured into another area in PJ called Dataran Sunway (of Kota Damansara). You can find more than 10 halal restaurants in this new business area alone. So after venturing into every corner of Dataran Sunway, we agreed to go for another kopitiam adventure.
We opted for Pak Li Kopitiam and once seated, we noticed the image of Maria Sabri of JJCM having meal at Pak Li's plastered on one side of the wall - Maria being Maria, gave her famous "sedap sangat" face and usual thumbs up sign! Hehehe!!!
As for the menu, Pak Li provides more dishes than I had anticipated. Prawn Mee for Naz and Lemon Chicken Rice for me.
Lemon Chicken Rice
Prawn Mee was quite ok, but no where near the original (Penang) prawn mee. As for the lemon chicken rice, the steaming hot rice (in combination with the cold lemon chicken) magically managed to salvage the dish and put a smile on my face. I would actually prefer if they could at least reheat the chicken slightly before serving me the dish.
The only dilemma we had was - we were still hungry due to insufficient 'intake'. Hahaha! Since the dishes are being (very) reasonably priced, so to be fair, we can't complain much on the food portion. Basically, we didn't learn our lesson from our previous 'adventure' at another kopitiam outlet. Hehehe!
If you are looking forward to have a 'heavy' lunch or dinner at any kopitiam outlet, you better order multiple dishes because one dish will not do wonders to your hungry tummy. Trust me!
And what did we do next? Did we order additional 'supplementary' dishes? Other customers did just that...
Nope! We were 'smarter' :p
We immediately stepped into Pappa Kopitiam which is located directly opposite to Pak Li Kopitiam for another round of meal!!!
Another kopitiam, another adventure...
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With kopitiams sprouting everywhere, how does a businessman secure a competitive edge in this business? KASMIAH MUSTAPHA speaks to the owners of the Pak Li Kopitiam outlets. PROBABLY the best thing about Pak Li Kopitiam is that it serves more than your regular kopitiam food. Sure there are the butter and kaya toast, coffee, tea, cham and half-boiled eggs but the menu does not end there. You can also feast on Katong laksa (its specialty), lemon chicken rice, nasi lemak kari, asam laksa, prawn mee and nasi lemak vegetarian, just to name a few. The drinks selection offers ice-blended tiramisu, cappucino, mocha, chocolate, mango and more.
A STAPLE: Nasi lemak with chicken curry.The outlet in Shah Alam’s Seksyen 7 opened last June. Pak Li Kopitiam is fast becoming a popular hangout for students in the area as well as office workers who are attracted by the cosy ambience and affordable food.No wonder then that in less than six months, another outlet in Seksyen 18 was opened. There are also two Pak Li Kopitiam outlets in Klang and one in Kota Damansara.
The outlets opened in 2005, set up by four partners. One of the partners, Desmond Ang, says they felt there was a need to offer more variety to customers than just simple kopitiam food. “We are actually bringing back the style of the kopitiam in the 1960s and 1970s with more dishes in the menu. Back in those days, kopitiam actually had more food and drinks than coffee and half-boiled eggs.“But over the years, as kopitiam started to make a comeback, people thought that these were the only foods available in a kopitiam. We are changing that perception.”His partner, B. H. Lim, agrees, saying that Pak Li Kopitiam’s wide range of food and drinks their gives them a competitive edge.
Ang and Lim, together with two others, have been partners since they set up the Nyonya Kitchen chain of restaurants 10 years ago. The restaurant’s central kitchen, according to Ang, is certified halal by Jakim. “We have been serving halal food all these years and we are familiar with the Muslim culinary preferences. When we wanted to expand our business, we ventured into kopitiam food because it is becoming acceptable to the Muslims.”
Ang says the name Pak Li is their tribute to the pakciks and makciks who are regular customers at Nyonya Kitchen and who helped refine their recipes. The name Li was also inspired in part by famous actor Bruce Lee, for his dedication to kung fu; and by the richest man in East Asia, Li Ka Shing, for his business acumen in building his empire, says Ang.
Ang sees the potential of more Pak Li Kopitiam outlets in Shah Alam in the coming years as there is demand for authentic local food at affordable prices. “We do not want to compromise our food just to get profits. To us it does not matter if we are running at higher costs and slightly lower margins as long as we can build a long-term clients base.” Ang and Lim do practise what they preach.
The delicious Katong asam laksa with thick curry gravy is only RM4.50 for a big bowl; the lemon chicken rice is RM4.50, prawn mee costs RM4.50 and the Pak Li curry chicken briyani is RM6.50. Try the thirst-quenching kedondong juice — another specialty of Pak Li Kopitiam. The drink costs RM3, ice-blended mango is only RM4.50, tiramisu coffee is RM3.50 and mint cool lime with cucumber is RM3.90.
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Pak Li Kopitiam
47-1, Jalan PJU 5/11,
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Rating: Food = C
A = Recommended
B = Worth A Visit
C = Average
D = Below Average
E = Waste Of "Hard-Earned" Money. Seriously, I'm Not Kidding!