The Canteen @ Da Men USJ Mall

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Looking around for a place to have lunch after the Whamisa opening @ Da Men USJ Mall, I asked someone at the concierge desk and was recommended The Canteen, then newly opened. It’s on the top floor of the mall and you can consider that the mall’s food court but it’s fully owned by one company rather than individual tenants.

Dr Jeffrey Goh, co-founder of Manhattan Fish Market is the man behind The Canteen and fortunately he was making his rounds on the day I visited so I was introduced to him. He is so humble and nice for someone who is obviously a very successful restaurateur. He is also on the Board of Directors of Grandpolitan Sdn. Bhd. who also owns other franchise food chains such as Tony Roma’s, London Fish Tale, SushiGroove and Hainan Kopitiam.

Jeffrey introduced himself as “Jeffrey” and not “Dr Goh” as I would have called him. He showed me around The Canteen which can seat 400 inside and there is a very spacious al fresco area which can seat another 100, great for cool evenings (hopefully we do have some cool evenings).

At the time of my visit, all the stalls there were not fully operational yet. There is a mixture of Western and Oriental fare. There is a children’s play area where parents can watch over the precious ones while they have their food. That’s a good idea since kids can get restless and that means they won’t run all over the place when there is such a nice play area. Parents can have peace of mind while they partake of the food and drinks.

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At The Canteen, one is issued a card upon entry and the card is passed to each eatery as you order. Payment is only made at the cashier once you leave The Canteen so in this way, even children can go up to each eatery and order what they want without having to bring any cash.

As there weren’t that many eateries open when I visited, I went to the most crowded stall which was A’Famosa Chicken Rice. Set A of Poached/Roast Chicken with Rice is just RM7 and if you want bean sprouts with that, it’s RM9. You can choose to have chicken rice balls just like the famous ones in Melaka.

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The poached chicken is tender and delicious with the sauces (I love it when they provide the thick black sauce) but the portion is quite small. At The Canteen, you can scan your card to find out how much you have accumulated. It’s a better concept than having to pay cash at every stall.