Taktaz Restaurant

Last week I get to taste some Iranian cuisine courtesy of my manager at Taktaz Restaurant in Serdang Perdana.

After gazumping too many Arabian food of late, Taktaz restaurant is a fresh change.

Located in bustling Serdang Perdana, Taktaz is situated right in front of the South City Plaza mall between a row of similar Middle Eastern restaurants and shops.

This restaurant is owned by Iranians (obviously). The waiter had very little grasp of any English or Malay language so we had some difficulties explaining our order. Fortunately the lady owner did know some English and she came to help out.

We both had some chicken and lamb kebab with their signature saffron rice and not forgetting the regular Barbican drink. Their rice is big and long, unlike the regular rice that I'm used to.

Their kebab is roasted and served with vegetables which is a healthier alternative compared to my regular fried and fattening every food.

To be honest, I find Saba's hanith chicken and rice tastes slightly better than Taktaz's rice. The kebab is awesome but the rice could be better. Maybe I should try some more dishes before I give my final verdict.

The restaurant is nicely decorated with Iranian motives and the place is peaceful and quiet when we came to visit in the afternoon. My sources say it will get a little bit crowded later in the evening.

Their price is standard middle eastern/arabic range with meals starting from RM10.00 each and lunch for two persons today costs RM45.00.

You can check Taktaz Restaurant out at Serdang Perdana, right in front of South City

Why I hate land transportation

Yesterday I took a train home to Tanah Merah. I would have driven the car but then I need to service it first and then we would be back again in KL the day after so we've decided to take public transport instead.

I think it was close to a decade ago since I last took public transportation for a long distance journey. Something happened that make me loath to take another if I can help it. Our train ride costs RM30 each for adults and half price for children. We'd prefer the bunk beds but the bottom ones are always fully booked and we can't imagine ourselves sleeping in the confined top bunk. Plus the kids still have to pay even if we shared beds.

The train was punctual on departure and we boarded the train without any incidents. You are advised to dress warmly because it can get really cold inside the train, I mean like Siberia-cold, seriously. The 3rd class seats are slightly more cramped than the 2nd class seat where there's also a TV set in each coach although there's no guarantee that they are working. There's also individual rooms with double decker bunkers but that won't come cheap.

Now the toilet is relatively clean when you first board the train. However they will get extremely dirty with an unbearable stench towards the end of the ride. It's so bad, I'd rather hold myself for the final 2 hours of our journey than venture into the toilet. While the train comes on time for departure, arrival is another story. I don't know why but we arrived nearly 2 hours late at our destination.

And one more thing, be careful when putting your bags and stuff on the top compartment. I put my laptop bag there and 11 hours later my beautiful laptop is covered with inch-thick soot thanks to the diesel exhaust fume. Had to scrub it with alcohol cleaner to get rid of the dirt.

For the return trip, we choose to ride the bus since they are generally faster although the ticket price is cutthroat at 50 bucks. We're supposed to depart at 10:15 AM but the bus chooses to arrive fashionably late. So we had to enjoy breathing the fresh carbon monoxide gas at the bus station for that duration. When the bus did came, the driver offers no explanation nor did he apologize for his incompetence. And don't tell me it's because of traffic cause there's no such thing in Tanah Merah.

Most express buses, they have a designated resting place midway through the journey. These drivers had a deal with the restaurant owner where they get to eat for free and also supplied with a packet of cigarettes every time as a reward for bringing in the customers. The passengers cum customers will have no choice but to eat at the place if they're hungry and pay up for the usually expensive but sucky food and pray they don't get diarrhea.

It's not so much for the bad food and pricey food, it's the toilet that really pisses me off. All Transnasional bus to and from Kelantan must stop at this one eatery in Merapoh which has, without a doubt the most stinking toilets in the whole universe. I mean, its like they never cleaned the place ever.

Words cannot describe how disgusting I felt visiting this toilet. And still they had the audacity to charge everyone for visiting the pig sty in disguise. Seriously, putting this boy in charge of collection is a crime against humanity.

Given a choice, many people would rather not take the bus or similar land public transportation. Seats on trains are rather limited and booking or buying one online or at the counter can be a pain in one's behind. Buses on the other hand is quite expensive and notoriously prone to crashes compared to other modes of transportation. The thing is, some people don't have the luxury of personal transport so they have no choice but to ride the buses and trains and suffer all the inconveniences. Rather than wait helplessly for these public transportation to improve, many would rather pay a monthly installment for a car, get caught in crazy traffic jam than choose the former.

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Tadika Cahayaku Seri Nilam

My son Adam had been going to Tadika Cahayaku Seri Nilam for the past 2 years. Last week was his graduation day and his kindergarten held this little convocation/prize-giving ceremony with performances by his classmates.

Like last year, this year's ceremony was held at Cyberjaya Lake Community Club which is just 15 minutes away from my place.

As always, the parents were very supportive and they came in droves to see their children graduate and perform.

This is Puan Rozinah, founder and headmistress. After 2 years I must say she had done a pretty good job with the kindergarten and nursery.

This year Adam got 3rd place overall. He got 100 marks for all subjects except for Creative and Fardhu Ain. I think he did very well although only 3rd place. Adam needs to work more on his drawing and coloring.

Like always, every boy and girl in his class get to perform a dance on stage. They practiced for weeks for this. This is Adam and friends performing Joget Pahang.

The girls dancing to Bad Romance. If they only knew the meaning of the lyric.

The audience were thoroughly entertained with this Goyang Inul dangdut number.

Although World Cup is long over, this boys still got the fever performing Waka-waka.

The last song was Cinta antara kita from the movie Dunia Baru. Girl with violin is the headmistress' daughter. Very talented.

There's also a little fashion show with the girl doing a catwalk wearing some clothes sponsored by a boutique.

Next year Adam will start primary school. I highly recommend this kindergarten for 5 and 6 years old.. They teach English using the very effective Cahayaku reading system apart from Science, Malay Language, Maths, Creative, Fardhu Ain, Jawi & Doa (prayers).

The teachers are dedicated and the owner, Puan Rozinah is really kind and considerate. If you send 2 or more kids to the kindergarten or nursery, you can always negotiate the fees with her. If you're looking for kindergarten or nurseries, give Tadika Cahayaku Seri Nilam or Taski Rozinah a try. Contact them at this number: 012 5022948.

Restoran Saba

Finding a middle-eastern/arabic restaurant in the Klang Valley is quite easy nowadays. There's so many to choose from Arabic, Lebanese, Iranian, Turkish, Syrian, even Iraqis and priced from relatively affordable to ridiculously expensive (Al-Diabah, Sri Petaling quickly comes in mind).

But not all middle-eastern restaurants are created equal. Some serves really good food while others are just so-so. Restoran Saba in Cyberjaya serves one of the best food I have ever tasted anywhere.

I brought my family for lunch there last week and we were the 2nd customer to come in when it opened at 12:00 PM. This place is so popular that sometimes you'll be hard-pressed to find an empty table. That is why we come early. True enough, most table is filled with patrons just an hour after opening.

Maybe because it's still early in the day but the waiters took their own sweet time to take our orders.

We ordered the usual hanith rice with chicken. Avoid ordering anything grilled because they will take forever to cook.

Presentation-wise, Restoran Saba is fail! I think they just shove everything on the plate in a hurry.

Lucky for them the food here is good. I had my usual raspberry Barbican drink to wash down those delicious chicken and rice.

They also serve free gravy in the middle of the restaurant, you'll just have to pick them up your self. Look out for the "self-service it's free" sign.

Restoran Saba serves the best rice cuisine money can buy. The hanith rice with chicken is 12 ringgit a plate and the barbican drink is RM4 each. A standard meal for 2 people starts from RM25 onwards but it's worth every penny. To get there just head on to Cyberjaya and look out for the CBD Perdana signboard. You can find them at the address below and they're open everyday from 12:00PM till midnight.

Restoran Saba
4800 Suite, 0-2 Ground Floor Block A1
Jalan Perdana CDB Perdana,
Tel: 03-83202544

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