Happy Land Cafeteria 欢乐园饮冰室 – An Outing With Tony Johor Kaki Pt. 2

“Are we happy with the Wanton Mee?” Tony asked.
“We’d be happy if there’s dessert!” Tyng and I chorused.
“I know just the place, it’s called Happy Land”.

I thought that was lame but as it turned out, Tony’s not delirious. There’s this shop called Happy Land Cafeteria and it specialises in Ice Kacang desserts. I thought a saw The Silver Chef smiled or was it the sun glaring through the untinted windshield that made him squint his eyes? I didn’t keep track but we reached Happy Land in no time.

Happy Land Cafeteria in Kulai,  Johor, Malaysia.

Happy Land Cafeteria in Kulai, Johor, Malaysia.

“As the place was jammed packed, we waited about 20 minutes for a table. But everybody was patient and good natured. People here are very considerate, they leave their tables for other customers, once they finished their meal. Table sharing is the norm”.
– Tony Johor Kaki (click here to see his review)

We were very lucky indeed that we need not wait so long this morning. The shop had just opened business for the day not too long ago so we were ahead of lunch crowd. By the time I walked to the counter, the three caballeros had already ordered their desserts. All of them were having Ice Kacang, of course! I knew I could pinch scoop hijack taste their share so I ordered Fruit Jelly, instead. Naturally, it would be served with shaven ice, too.

Ais Kacang (where "ais' means ice and "kacang' means beans) has evolved to Ice Kacang. It is an old school dessert common in Asia, especially Malaya.

Ais Kacang (where “ais’ means ice and “kacang’ means beans) has evolved to Ice Kacang.
It is an old school dessert common in Asia, especially Malaya.

Ice Kacang is shaved ice on desserts where the “snow” was traditonally churned out by hand-cranking a block of ice on a special ice-machine (before modernization leading to the invention of motorised machines). Originally, Ice Kacang only consisted of only shaved ice, food-coloured syrups and red beans. Through the years, the number and diversity of ingredients used have since expanded.

Today, Ice Kacang comes in mixed hue of lime green, lemon yellow, rose pink and sarsaparilla brown syrups, streaked with either evaporated or coconut milk, or they may totally shun the rainbow colours and are served with just a drizzling of gula melaka. The various ingredients concealed under the heap of ice usually contain red beans, attap chee, sweetcorn, herbal grass jelly and cubes of agar agar jelly while the its peak may be topped with fresh fruits, canned fruit cocktails, chocolate ganache or fudge, ice cream or even a dollop of durian pulp!

Ian, The Silver Chef, had Ice Kacang with Attap Chee (亞答子) but there's also a scoop of cream corn on the side.<br />Attap Chee or Attap Seed is the immature seed (endosperm) or fruit of the Nipah Palm tree.<br />The trees are harvested for their jelly-like translucent sweetmeat called 'Attap Chee'.<br />Ian loved the Ice Kacang sold here. He said the designs were visually pleasing and the shaved ice tasted very light and soft.<br />The texture of ice became our conversation topic.

Ian, The Silver Chef, had Ice Kacang with Attap Chee (亞答子) but there’s also a scoop of cream corn on the side.
Attap Chee or Attap Seed is the immature seed (endosperm) or fruit of the Nipah Palm tree.
The trees are harvested for their jelly-like translucent sweetmeat called ‘Attap Chee’.
Ian loved the Ice Kacang sold here.
He said the designs were visually pleasing and the shaved ice tasted very light and soft.
The texture of ice became our conversation topic.

Tyng's order of Mango Ice. Chunky Fresh Mango with a canned Peach in the middle of this Ice Kacang.

Tyng’s order of Mango Ice.
Chunky Fresh Mango with a canned Peach in the middle of this Ice Kacang.

Yup, she was happy as a lark!

Yup, she was happy as a lark!

Fruit Cocktail Jelly Ice Kacang served with a calamansi lime.

Fruit Cocktail Jelly Ice Kacang served with a calamansi lime.

Fruit Cocktail Jelly is usually eaten with freshly squeezed calamansi lime juice.

Fruit Cocktail Jelly is usually eaten with freshly squeezed calamansi lime juice.

The citrusy, sweet, icy dessert was soothing to my parched throat.

The citrusy, sweet, icy dessert was soothing to my parched throat.

Tony's Ice Kacang dessert tasted as beautiful as it looked.<br />The ice mountain was covered in chcolate ganache (which was still warm), topped with two layers of tender red beans (which reminded me of the Japanese style of cooked azuki beans) and creamy sweetcorns, respectively.<br />The way they sprinkled the toasted crushed peanuts made the whole display seemed like an erupted volcano with strewn rocks, overflowed with glowing larva.

Tony’s Ice Kacang dessert tasted as beautiful as it looked.
The ice mountain was covered in chcolate ganache (which was still warm), topped with two layers of tender red beans (which reminded me of the Japanese style of cooked azuki beans) and creamy sweetcorns, respectively.
The way they sprinkled the toasted crushed peanuts made the whole display seemed like an erupted volcano with strewn rocks, overflowed with glowing larva.

What was Tyng feeding me?

What was Tyng feeding me?

Rojak in Malay means mixture.<br />This medley of Chinese crullers (油条), jicama or what we called (bangkuang - 沙葛), pineapple (黄梨) and cucumbers (黄瓜), dressed in gummy sauce made from caramelised-coloured prawn paste (虾膏), sugar, peanuts and lime juice was such a delight, the mouthfeel was like eating a sticky chewy chocolate! I normally shy away from rojak but this was yummilicious!

Rojak in Malay means mixture.
This medley of Chinese crullers (油条), jicama or what we called (bangkuang – 沙葛), pineapple (黄梨) and cucumbers (黄瓜), dressed in gummy sauce made from caramelised-coloured prawn paste (虾膏), sugar, peanuts, assam water or lime juice was such a delight, the mouthfeel was like eating a sticky chewy chocolate! I normally shy away from rojak but this was yummilicious!

The Wong sisters have been selling Nasi Lemak for about 10 years. A small frypan at the stall front was meant for frying the eggs whenever an order came through.

The Wong sisters have been selling Nasi Lemak for about 10 years.
A small frypan at the stall front was meant for frying the eggs whenever an order came through.

The younger Wong (with a ponytail) was also seen cutting onions which was meant for the nasi lemak sambal chilli and she later told us that every lot of sambal they cooked using onions, chili peppers, garlic and certain spices would only last 2 days.

The younger Wong (with a ponytail) was also seen cutting onions which was meant for the nasi lemak sambal chilli and she later told us that every lot of sambal they cooked using onions, chilies, garlic and spices would only last 2 days.

We couldn't help but noticed that the Wongs kept bringing out fresh batches of crispy fried chickens from the kitchen.

We couldn’t help but noticed that the Wongs kept bringing out fresh batches of crispy fried chickens from the kitchen.

Chicken thigh and chicken breast at MYR2.80 each.

Chicken thigh and chicken breast at MYR2.80 each.

Chicken drumstick at MYR3 each.

Chicken drumstick at MYR3 each.

Nasi Lemak with Thigh Meat &amp; Egg Set - MYR5.20.<br />The fried egg was sparingly sprinkled with some white soy sauce, nothing to shout about.<br />The chicken was remarkably crispy on the outside, fully cooked and tender on the inside.<br />There was no traces of blood or pink marrows and the meat seemed rested enough to produce smooth succulent flesh.

Nasi Lemak with Thigh Meat & Egg Set – MYR5.20.
The fried egg was sparingly sprinkled with some white soy sauce, nothing to shout about.
The chicken was remarkably crispy on the outside, fully cooked and tender on the inside.
There was no traces of bloodied pink marrows and the meat seemed rested enough to produce smooth succulent flesh.

Nasi Lemak with Thigh Meat & Egg Set - MYR5.20. The fried egg was sparingly sprinkled with some white soy sauce, nothing to shout about. The chicken was remarkably crispy on the outside, fully cooked and tender on the inside. There was no traces of blood or pink bone marrows yet  the meat seemed well rested enough to produce smooth succulent flesh. The rice, yes the rice and spicy sweet sambal, the benchmark of a good nasi lemak, how did they fare? I'd say the rice was so magnificent you could literally eat it on its own. The sambal was excellent too but it ran a second in my opinion to Mdm Rita's from Indonesian Delights because I found this one slightly sweeter, but I liked the thickly sliced red onions which gave the sambal some crunchy bite.


The rice, yes the rice and spicy sweet sambal, the benchmark of a good nasi lemak, how did they fare?
I’d say the rice was so magnificent you could literally eat it on its own.
The sambal was excellent too but it ran a second in my opinion to Mdm Rita’s from Indonesian Delights because I found this one slightly sweeter, but I liked the thickly sliced red onions which gave the sambal some crunchy bite.

Nasi Lemak with Thigh Meat & Egg Set - MYR5.20. The fried egg was sparingly sprinkled with some white soy sauce, nothing to shout about.

Nasi Lemak with Thigh Meat & Egg Set – MYR5.20.
The fried egg was sparingly sprinkled with some white soy sauce, nothing to shout about.

Nasi Lemak Stall 七里香 translates to 7-mile fragrance.

Nasi Lemak Stall 七里香 translates to 7-mile fragrance.

I have been eyeing on this hawker and his son for a while now. I made a little small talk and he told me he grew up in Singapore and had his primary education there. He has been selling CKT here for 7 years. Let's take a look at his cooking in the gallery below.

I have been eyeing on this hawker and his son for a while now.
I made some small talk and he told me he grew up in Singapore and had his primary education there.
He has been selling CKT here for 7 years.
Let’s take a look at his cooking in the gallery below.

Click photos below to view in full.

It was time to be on the road again...

It was time to be on the road again…

Flashback: I alighted Tony’s car, noted the signboard Happy Land Cafeteria and took a quick glance into the dingy looking shop. I didn’t feel any buzz, no excitment… Nope, I did not feel happy. There was little if not nobody in the cafe. What was I expecting, a carnival? However, the feel was different once I’m inside. The sun had played tricks on my vision. The cafeteria was clean although not as bright as Restoran Chin Chin. In the end, the glorious iced desserts, the rojak with lip-smacking gooey dressing, the delicious coconut rice and finger-licking-good fried chicken, the friendly chat with the CKT man and the brewing lunch crowd, had me leaving Happy Land with a contradicted feeling – I was sad to leave. What an irony! 😉

Happy Land Cafeteria 欢乐园饮冰室
Address: 1-38 Jalan Pinang,
Taman Kota Kulai,
Kulai, Johor.
Malaysia.
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/pNvVO
GPS: 1.668227,103.578801

Operating hours: 11am to 4.30pm

To see Tony’s review on the desserts, click here.

To see Tony’s review on the Nasi Lemak, click here.

To see Ian’s review on Happy Land, click here.

Happy eating 🙂

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Comments
4 Responses to “Happy Land Cafeteria 欢乐园饮冰室 – An Outing With Tony Johor Kaki Pt. 2”
  1. You are making me so hungry

  2. Everything makes me hungry now! My type of food!

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