Located on a corner lot in the Bukit Jelutong shoplot area of D'Pangkin, Kayu Manis (Malay for cinnamon stick) is a regular haunt for families living nearby. The restaurant serves Chinese Muslim cuisine along with a few Western dishes that are only available on the weekends. My family discovered this place a little while after my parents bought a house in Bukit Jelutong, and it has become a regular dinner spot for us ever since.
Sometimes, we will decide to have a variety of dishes to go with servings of rice. Tonight however, we decided to go a la carte, and the kuey teow goreng (fried rice noodles) shown above was shared between my mother and sister. It's a really good dish, how kuey teow goreng is supposed to be. Not too dry and not too wet, it is also one of my mother's favourite meals to order here.
The shark's fin soup here is not actually made from shark's fin; the last time I tasted real shark's fin was as a child, so I can't tell if it matches it. I was a little apprehensive about the dish at first, as I don't support the consumption of shark's fin, especially in light of the ocean predator's rapidly declining numbers. I felt a lot better when we were assured that it was fake shark's fin, and as it was a delicious soup, maybe it's time everyone ate this as an alternative to real shark's fin. The texture is thick without being gooey, and the flavours were good too.
I originally wanted to have something Western from the menu, but was told that the steaks and pastas are only available on the weekends. In the end, I went with a plate of Cantonese yee mee. It's not the best I've tasted by far, but it's alright. The sauce is a bit runny and not as thick as I would like.
From time to time, Kayu Manis will announce the addition of a new assortment of dishes to their menu, and the honey marmite cumi-cumi is one of their latest fare. The serving is a plate of fried baby octopus coated in a honey marmite marinade. It's a little different, with the chewy and crispy texture of the octopus and the sweet flavour of the marinade. It went really well with my Cantonese yee mee, and even with the fake shark's fin soup.
The photograph above doesn't show how crowded this restaurant can get. We arrived for dinner pretty early, and by the time our food arrived, almost all the tables were taken up and some people were seen waiting about the counter for their takeaways. According to one of the waitresses, they usually have three cooks in the kitchen, though one of them was sick on this night that we visited. The result was a really long wait for food, and an even longer wait for the fried rice we ordered as takeaway.
Compared to some other restaurants in the area, Kayu Manis is definitely one of the better family dinner options in Bukit Jelutong. Service is pretty good and they have a wide variety of curries, vegetables, meat and seafood dishes, most of which are quite tasty. The Western dishes are a little lacking, but I guess the traditional fare is their specialty - the seafood in particular is good.