You may have heard of their sister restaurant, Skohns Canteen at Damansara Perdana.
It made headlines recently for its tongue-in-cheek advertising (posters) of known political figures.
Brazen advertising and controversial aside, Skohns Canteen’s food IS reasonably good.
In my past visits I’ve tried their Country Fried Steak, burgers, awesome double fried fries and the ribs. True to its promoted “canteen prices”, meals at Skohns are satisfying in portion and generally tasty.
But it was the scones by Skohns (sorry, couldn’t resist cos it rhymes!) that got me hooked.
The same delectable scones are now available at its sister outlet in TTDI, a much nearer drive from my home.
Located on the same row as the famous D’Chengkih, Cake Sense and Dominoes outlet, Dua By Skohns’s menu was intended to offer the best of the worlds of local and western dishes; hence, the “Dua”.
The western is a duplicate of their menu at Skohns Canteen while the local and Malay cuisine are new.
Now, “Malay cuisine” in the Klang Valley is as common as the empty promises made by our local politicians.
However, the founders of Dua hit the sweet spot by offering local but dishes of rarer variety such as Nasi Kerabu and Nasi Dagang.
This is fantastic news for fans of these tedious-to-prepare dishes. They do not have to hunt roadside stalls and night markets for their fix anymore!
BELOW: Nasi Kerabu (RM12 nett) and Lamb Shank (26 nett) – 1st visit on 2nd August.
The Nasi Kerabu was fantastic while the lamb shank was decent.
This was about a week after they first opened so I decided that another visit is warranted before passing verdict.
Check out my video for the on-the-spot review!
On my next visit I bought along 2 friends and told them to order ahead so my visit remained anonymous.
Vera liked that Dua offers different staple food from different Malaysian states in one avenue: Nasi Dagang Kelantan & Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik (Kelantan), Nasi Kukus (Terengganu/Kelantan), Nasi Tomato Ayam Masak Merah (Pahang), Soto (Johor), Mee Kari (Penang) and more.
Karen was almost in tears over the beef rendang. She said reminded her of her mum’s.
She remarked that this could be the Johor type which is “drier“, versus the commonly oily and thick paste version.
I had no idea that there were different types of rendang much less how to cook one. We tried speaking to the staff but no one seems to be very knowledgable about the food here.
We were not asking for the recipe mind you, but just stuff like ‘what is this, why is that” and got blank looks and “Oh, not sure” in return.
I guess the staff is not trained to handle inquisitive customers like us! 😉
Anyhow, as you can see from the videos I enjoyed most of the dishes here.
Portions are generous to a fault and the flavours of each dish is distinctively different.
It goes to show of the care and effort taken to prepare each dish.
Vera said, “The basics in Malay cuisine are generally rooted in same amazing ingredients, but what I have experienced at Dua is that they do not cheat on their ingredients. For example the sambal for the Nasi Lemak is different from the one in Nasi Bujang, which the team could have repeated to save time or effort. But no, everything is prepare to order and our food arrived fresh and hot.
Even the sides such as the acar (pickles), nuts and anchovies are all fresh and of good quality.”
Yes, we notice things like that.
I’m particular about the crisp of the anchovies and I hate burnt peanuts in my nasi lemak.
Nasi Lemak Pandan with Beef Rendang – RM8.50
This dish truly personify the perfect nasi lemak.
The rice in nasi lemak is commonly cooked with coconut milk but in this case, the grains were cooked with both coconut milk and pandan leaf juice; imparting a serene hue of green in addition to a wonderful pandan fragrance.
The sambal was moderately spicy and more on the sweet side.
We took the Beef Rendang since our Nasi Tomato comes with chicken. All the spices had seep well into the meat so each bite was tasty though we found some chunks of meat quite hard to chew.
Still, at RM8.50, one would be a nitpick to complain.
Besides the beef, you can opt for the Ayam Goreng Berempah.
Here is my review video for the Nasi Lemak and Nasi Tomato:
Nasi Bujang – RM3.50
Nasi Bujang literally means ‘Bachelor’s Rice’. It was named as such as it is meant to be the meal of choice for singles and college students with limited money to spend – quick, easy and cheap fare.
At only RM3.50, we got steamed rice with sardine cooked in sambal, a fried egg and slices of cucumber. A large fat sardine is such a pleasant sight!
Topped with an egg, I daresay it is a substantial meal with fat, carbs and protein included.
Check out this video for the Nasi Bujang and Soto:
Nasi Tomato Ayam Masak Merah – RM10
As its name suggested, the rice is cooked with tomatoes to give it flavour and color.
This is served with a large piece of sweet spicy tomato chicken topped with cashew nuts plus a side of pickles and papadom.
Fragrant and tasty, I could eat the rice on its own!
Chicken breast has always been a worry for me as it is likely to be overcooked rendering it hard and dry.
No such indignity happened here at Dua though for both the chicken breast I’ve had for my Nasi Kerabu and now the Nasi Tomato were firm but tender and had absorbed all the flavours of its gravy.
Soto – RM7
The Soto was chicken broth served with vermicelli, rice cubes, shredded chicken, beef cutlets and vegetables.
I enjoyed the broth as it was robust, flavour packed and aromatic.
Our only gripe was the missing shredded chicken (you can see from the video) but we realized that late.
We consulted the person in charge and she apologised for the oversight. She offered us a new serving but we declined since we had devoured half the bowl.
Scone – RM2.50 EACH
The signature Skohns’ scone – rich and buttery, you would want to eat it on its own. Only at RM2.50 each!
The dining areas are divided into air-conditioned and open-air smoking areas by bifold doors. Located on the first floor, the size of the restaurant is considerably small but cozy.
Decor seems to be a casual mish-mash of mismatching furniture, traditional items such as straw hats and batik prints plus colorful paintings.
WIFI is available, service is alright and a plus point would be the child-friendly section.
Service and price
Overall, the experience at Dua By Skohns was positive. There is no GST or service charge so do leave a tip if you are happy with your experience.
I personally love the food, thought the service could be improved and had no issues with the ambiance.
My spot is always by the window out at the non-air conditioned area. Quiet and comfortable, it is nice to hang out here and enjoy my favourite local dishes while getting some work done.
Dua By Skohns
Hours: Opens everyday (except Sundays), 11:00 am – 10:30 pm.