Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lim Fried Chicken Stall @ Restaurant Wong Soon Kee, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya

Apologies for the lack of blog posts as I admit I've been caught in a blogging funk lately. While I've been chomping around the whole of Klang Valley, it has been numerous revisits to certain places that I've still not made up my mind about or to old haunts like this super popular fried chicken stall in Subang Jaya. Strangely enough, looking for great places to eat that maintain their standards have been super hard lately. Not sure if this is a sign of times that food proprietors don't care much about quality.
           Back to this ultra sinful place you don't want to tell your doctor about. This is my go-to-place for a mid-week pick-me-up. Occasionally I'll starve myself (since I rarely wake up in time for breakfast) till 2 to 2.30pm specially for this treat. Beating KFC and Popeyes hands down, the fried chicken here is freshly prepped (I suspect from the nearby morning market) and deep-fried in super boiling hot oil to produce to-die-for crispy skin (leave it for the last to savour).
           Just bear the crazy queues that snake around this humble little stall. You can opt to have Chinese style nasi lemak or curry chee cheong fun with your fried chicken. Their nasi lemak version won't win them any awards since it is just plain rice splashed with a bright red sweet yet not spicy sambal. You get a choice of dishes to eat your carbs with - mussels, assam fish, fried fish, greens like cabbage or long beans, and a pretty decent chicken curry. So go forth and clog up those arteries with this golden brown fried chicken.

Lim Fried Chicken Stall
Restaurant Wong Soon Kee
Jalan SS14/1
Subang Jaya
Petaling Jaya

(Pork Free. Closed on Tuesdays. Stall is open in the morning for nasi lemak and chee cheong fun. The fried chicken starts only from 2.30-5pm. More pictures in Flickr.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sichuan Food @ Z.G.M. Ramen, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

March seems to have brought in the rain (hopefully not from Spain) in bucketloads. Every day, it is weird Gemini-like weather that can't decide what it'll like to be. One minute it is crazy heat with the bright sunshine, the next we get greeted with a heavy downpour. All this slightly chilly weather kicks off an urge to consume foods such as steamboat, double boiled soups or hot spicy Sichuan food.
       Even though I don't go ape crazy over adding bird-eye chillies to all of my food, I do appreciate on occasion, the good old slow burn from chillies and Sichuan peppercorns. With Sichuan food, my senses tingle and the tongue goes numb like it had hit an electric current.
       Recently, I was introduced to this place across from the iconic Sakura, where the kitchen is ruled by chefs from Mainland China. Even though it proclaims to be a ramen place, it actually serves authentic Sichuan food and handmade noodles. The food here feels a little milder than other Sichuan restaurants I've tasted before but it is still very enjoyable and addictive.
        My favourite dish was the poached fish fillet in hot chilli oil (RM38 for small) - tender fish fillet pieces served with a Sichuan peppercorn laden soup with cabbage and kangkung that burned and numbed my tongue. Another big favourite was the Sichuan Dan Dan noodles (RM10 for large) since they use the knife cut noodles, which gives it a slightly chewy texture. I really enjoyed the noodles including the thick ones served with a braised chicken potatoes dish (RM8 for small) packed with spices (we spied black cardamom pods, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, chillies). Thumbs up to the cold dishes like the chicken in chilli sauce (RM16), crunchy pickled vegetables (RM10) and the sinful pork belly slices (RM15). While most items are of the Sichuan genre, the sauteed lamb with cumin (RM30) had a familiar Indian aroma from the cumin spice.
         The place is not big on desserts with a selection of two types of sweet rice wine soup - one with glutinous rice balls (RM5)  and another with stirred with egg (RM6). The dessert has a very faint aroma of the rice wine but we welcomed its slightly fermented taste that helps refresh the palate. While the glutinous rice balls tasted fine, the egg drop version felt a little weird since my tastebuds associate it more to a savoury soup.
          Thanks to Justin for introducing my tastebuds to this hidden gem. Now I can't stop craving for this kind of food, whenever it pours.

Z.G.M. Ramen
Lot 124, Jalan Imbi
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2145 1211/2141 1195

(Non Halal. Open for lunch and dinner. Located directly opposite Sakura Restaurant. More pictures are found in the Flickr set.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Il Lido Italian Dining & Lounge Bar @ Jalan Mayang, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur

I'm often a rebel. Take for instance, the sequence of pictures above - it starts and ends with a dessert. Incredibly illogical but it makes perfect sense for a sweet lover like me.
          Back to the restaurant in question, which is Il Lido in this case that had taken us by storm last year as THE Italian restaurant from across the Causeway. While I had dined here in its early days, I've not blogged about it until now so here goes. A group of friends had gathered here to sample Il Lido's latest spin on Italian fare, their family set (RM148 per person) that brings us back the essence of Italian food, which is sharing good food with families and friends over a long table until night falls.
           With this set, you will be spoiled for choice as you can choose four antipastis from a selection like buffalo mozzarella cheese (locally made in Langkawi, no less), calamari (perfect for those young at heart), eggplant parmagiana (hearty fare with lashes of cheese and tomato sauce oozing out), parma ham (with sweet melon) and tomato stuffed with crab and tuna tartare. Loosen up their belt, as you tackle the mains, a selection of potato gnocchi with crab and white wine, crispy codfish with mash potatoes, tomato and basil sauce and grilled beef sirloin topped with rucola and parmigiano cheese. Of the selection sampled, what stood out for me was their garganelli pasta (homemade and resembles penne) topped with fava bean cream and smoked mozzarella. Simply divine especially eaten hot off the stove. Leave tummy space for desserts as the pannacotta is silky smooth on the tongue and not overly sweet. If chocolate is your thing, then the chocolate lava cake is a must while the classic Tiramisu can always lift you up.
         Aside from the family set, there are also some new faces on the menu that have a spring in their step with the new season. The stuffed quail with goose liver (RM88) is decadent and balanced with the sweet taste of the roast carrot puree served on the side. The homemade spaghetti with cod, artichokes and mint (RM49) sees the flavours all coming together. Carb haters should slurp down the seafood casserole served with a rich lobster broth (RM75) that'll make you ask more like Oliver Twist.

Il Lido Italian Dining & Lounge Bar
183 Jalan Mayang
Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2161 2291

(Non Halal. Open from 12 noon - 2.30pm (Mon-Fridays), 6.30-10.30pm (Monday to Sundays). A daily 3-course lunch set for RM49.90 from Mondays to Fridays is also open. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.)

* This meal was by invitation from Il Lido.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vegetarian Briyani @ Chat Masala, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

Whenever I meet anyone new, I must admit I often quiz them on their favourite places. It's through these "poky" little queries that I've managed to unearth great finds. During my Macau trip, I was given this little tip about Chat Masala, whom one person proclaimed as very authentic and excellent. Being an avid reader of Eating Asia, I know the place is well known for its teatime snacks but since it was mid-day sustenance I was looking for, we were lost when we walked in to the busy restaurant. The best thing to do was eye up what people were eating around us and it pointed us to briyani. Turned out it was vegetarian and a choice of mutton or chicken. Throwing wind to the caution, we ordered each variety and prayed for the best.
           We hit the jackpot as bowls of the super aromatic and fluffy briyani rice (RM7.50 each) was placed in front of us on a platter filled with chopped vegetables in yoghurt and a vegetable puree with bits of cauliflower. The yellow rice was perfumed with fragrant spices, nuts and came with chunks of soy dressed as mutton (the darker ones) and chicken pieces. Having eaten pseudo meat before, I was skeptical but these soy chunks were darn tasty and almost as good as the real stuff. It was definitely one of the best briyanis I have eaten since it packed a punch of aromatics in each fluffy grain. I also enjoyed the eggplant curry but the deep fried bittergourd was mediocre. A quick glance at their menu made my mouth water as everything sounded scrumptious. Too bad my tummy was full of rice or else it would have been the teatime snacks. We did manage to include some sweets i.e. the kulfi, which was too icy and an interesting ice cream eggless cake, which despite its neon pink look turned out to be pretty decent tasting.
           Being in the neighbourhood, we walked around the newly revamped Little India. Buildings have been given a splash of lavender and the sidewalks now sported these colourful and garish looking arches that didn't seem to add much aesthetic value but worked well as great pigeon perches. Right smack in the road was the fountain built in honour of the Indian prime minister's visit - a monstrosity of sculpted elephants, and peacocks that looked a little out of place with the Sentral apartments as a backdrop. Even though Little India seems to have been given a new splash of colour, things don't seem to change with the main road being choked up with inconsiderate double or illegal parkers on the side. Maybe money should have been spent instead on new parking facilities?

Restaurant Chat Masala
259G Jalan Tun Sambanthan
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2260 3244

(Pork Free. Open from morning till night. Vegetarian briyani is available every day for lunch except Wednesdays. For more pictures on the restaurant, see this Flickr set. For more pictures on Little India, see this Flickr set.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.

*Pictures of the pigeons, fountain and the faces of Brickfields are taken by Splashie Boy with his Olympus PEN E-P2

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shanghai Tang Spring/Summer Collection 2011 @ Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

I confess that I'm a bit of a fashion follower, especially on what's new and hip on the catwalks. Not an active one who dresses up with the trends but more like a closet watcher from afar since the monthly take home pay won't buy even a thread of those swanky labels. Hence, I was thrilled to get an invite for the unveiling of the Shanghai Tang's Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Topping off the great fashion was a wonderful dim sum tea party at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Hotel.
             The Metamorphosis Collection is rich and vibrant as it incorporates the Chinese ethnic Miao's patterns and symbols. These are paired with various accessories like jade necklaces, figure eight knot leather belts and etc. Each piece is beautifully designed with the Miao prints and butterfly symbols that are understated. One of the pieces (I didn't manage to capture a very clear picture of it) I loved was this richly embroidered Miao printed silk/cotton coat with details on the front and back. For more on the collection, visit Shanghai Tang's boutique in Pavilion KL. More pictures are available in my Flickr set.
                While we watched the models sashay around us in the finery, we indulged in Celestial Court's funky fusion dim sum. Fresh from a refurbishment and revamp of their menu, each tiny morsel was beautifully crafted by their dim sum chef Ken Liew. Since they are a pork free restaurant, the dim sum uses various ingredients like seafood, kimchi, foie gras in their offerings.
                 Our first platter was a trio of dim sum - the ebony black squid ink "har kao" filled with conpoy and topped with salmon roe. Incredibly eye catching in jet black with the contrast from the transculent red salmon roe, it holds a crunchy prawn with scallops. On the other side of the platter was the crispy cod fish and scallop nest served with wasabi mayo - codfish and scallop wrapped in kataifi pastry. Last but not least was my self-nicknamed treasure pouch which is actually a sharks fin parcel with braised sea treasure broth. These items are available on the daily dim sum menu but with variations. For instance, the sharks fin dumplings is served with abalone and bamboo pith in the regular menu for RM38, the "har kao" is available minus the squid ink for RM13 and the rolls also contain bananas in the regular menu for RM15.
            I loved the light flaky baked unagi pastry with teriyaki sauce and sesame crust (RM16) and the deep fried breaded shrimp, spinach ball with cheese (a special item not available in the menu) as it hid melted cheese, which we had fun playing with. Even the potstickers (gyozas) were given an interesting twist with a kimchi and minced meat filling served with a green ginger dressing (RM11). Only the cold Shanghai ramen with XO sauce topped with sliced roast duck paled in comparison. We end our lovely meal with an eye catching dessert platter. Two cute mandarin oranges were actually chocolate pralines and the sesame ball hid pandan paste within and was served with Teochew yam paste (RM9). For a refreshing taste, the chilled herbal jelly with lemon and lychee granita (RM12) hit the spot.
             Looking through their dim sum menu, I must admit I'm excited as they have so many interesting items like the charcoal soft bun with salted egg yolk custard, golden puff with scallop and preserved olive topped with mango salasa and tobiko and chilled avocado puree with walnut ice cream. Definitely worth another revisit I reckon.

Celestial Court Restaurant
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2717 9900 ext 6988

(Pork Free. Dim sum available daily for lunch from 12-2.30, 10am-2.30pm for Sunday and public holidays. Open for dinner from 6.30-10.30pm. For more pictures on the dim sum, see my Flickr set.)

* The event was by invitation. Thanks to Aly from Aly's Wonderland for being my "model".

Monday, March 07, 2011

Jake's Charbroil Steaks @ Medan Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur

Here's a golden oldie...Jake's, a familiar name to many. Steakhouses used to be where we dined out for special occasions but nowadays with so much choices, they have been replaced with more stylo places. One thing is sure, while the decor can be a tad kitsch with old Wild West reminders, Jake's serves excellent food especially steaks that will make you return for more.
          It takes a regular like my friend CS to manoeuvre us around the menu filled with meaty references as she selected the best of the lot. The overall favourite was the Angus Ribeye (RM148) - a juicy, packed with flavour and suprisingly slightly sweet tasting piece of steak that didn't need any enhancements at all. Good meat should be eaten au naturel with just a little salt and a grind of black pepper. Also ranking high for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty was the lamb flap (RM78) with its tasty meat and fats mingling together.  The spare rib bone (RM98) was tender and full of flavour but some of us didn't quite like the slightly sweet sauce slathered on it. The lamb steak (RM42) seemed to pale in comparison to these weighty bovine (and lamb) delights. Equally as good as the meat was the pan fried Dover sole (RM88.40) with its sweet tender flesh. It was so good on its own we forgo the melted butter on the side.
          Apologies for jumping straight into the mains but the appetizers were good but not exceptional i.e. the escargots that I often approach hoping and praying no Pretty Woman scene happens (the escargot flies off!), the cheesy nachos and the butter laden garlic bread. We end our protein rich meal with a sliver of pecan pie with ice cream (RM12.90) and nut brittle complimentary from the management. The brittle is addictive that you find yourself munching on it even though you're full to the brim.
          So next time you crave for steak, do your tastebuds a favour and drop by Jake's for some good olde steak, as they sure do them very well here!

Jake's Charbroil Steaks
No. 21, Jalan Setiapuspa
Medan Damansara
Damansara Heights
Tel: 03-2094 5677

(Halal. Jockey parking is available. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.
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