Friday, February 27, 2009

Kolo Mee @ Restoran Gembira, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya

Mee Kolo
curly noodles topped with minced meat and char siu slices

A quickie for today - comfort food for the soul. Was in Taman Megah this week to make a quick stop at the bake shops hence I grabbed breakfast. Decided to check if Kolo Mee stall was open, as
Fatboybakes was complaining the other day, the stall has been closed for quite some time. Happy to report the couple is back, with the wife wearing her quirky hats and they were serving the mee kolo. Tasted pretty good and lardy of course but I felt the char siu was a little harder than before. For more of this place, see my old review. This corner coffeeshop also has a pretty good Looi Cha stall.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Eat-what-you-want, give-as-you-feel (Swayamvara) Buffet @ Annalakshmi, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur


Gosh, my Internet has been even slower than a much so that uploading pictures has been a real chore and bore. Taking the cue from one of my blog readers, who mentioned she recently became vegetarian, I thought I'll share with all of you, my great vegetarian experience last weekend.

fluffy chappati
one of the best ever chappatis tasted - fluffy, soft and not oily

I have had Annalakshmi on my list of must-eats for a very long time. The last time, I wanted to eat here, I didn't have the full address hence I couldn't find it but this time, I was all prepared with the address and telephone number. Located within the modern looking Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) on its ground floor, this is right opposite the Buddhist temple.

green pilau rice with sambars
unusual green tinged pilau rice with a variety of vegetarian dishes

It has been a while since I visited them, I think the last time I ate here was when they used to be in Bangsar! I had a colleague who was vegetarian on Fridays, hence it was a favourite place for us to drop by whenever he joined us for lunch. For those new to the Annalakshmi experience, the food is prepared by volunteers and completely vegetarian. You pick what you wish from the buffet line, order your breads (prata or chappati) and drinks (mango lassi is the best!).

vadai and payasam
tiny vadai packed with flavour with white payasam with cashew nuts at the back

Sounds simple and completely ordinary but wait, unlike other places in town, here you eat what you like and pay what you feel like. Hence, the price can range from anything depending on how much you decide. An amazing service concept, this is based on the philosophies of Swami Shantananda Saraswati, the founder of TFA whereby, "the guest is God" or "athithi dhevo bhava". Here, the principle objective of the restaurant is service. Volunteers help to serve and cook the food with no expectations of anything in return.

It is probably why the food tastes delectable and the whole dining experience is even better with the polite and courteous service. For me, I find the food has a home-cooked air about them. Akin to eating in a family friend's house, the food tastes does not overwhelm like other places with the overusage of spices. Instead, flavours tend to sing out true blue here. Even though we were a little unfamiliar with the food and how to pair it, everyone is helpful in giving gentle suggestions. Not surprisingly, this place is packed with people streaming in to help themselves to the array of foods from Northern and Southern India - sambars, vegetarian dishes, idli with a superb fresh coconut chutney, vadai rasam where the sourness does not overwhelm, vadai, green pilau rice, fluffy chappatis, pratas and etc. For dessert, they serve a white payasam with cashewnuts.

And, how much did we pay? Honestly we couldn't put a price tag to it but we felt for the taste of their food and the great service, this is definitely even better than those posh Northern Indian restaurants in town. Do go and experience it for yourself and give as you wish. Hopefully you will feel the same way as we did and pay top dollar for the superb food.

Temple of Fine Arts
114-116, Jalan Berhala
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03 - 2272 3799

(Pork free. Closed on Mondays. Open for lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and dinner from 6.30 to 10.30pm)

*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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Monday, February 23, 2009

Nasi Bawal Power @ Selera Central, Sunway Damansara, Kota Damansara

bawal goreng1
arty looking fried bawal (RM6 without set, RM8 for the set)

My colleague has been talking about this particular stall for the past 2 weeks, making me drool with her descriptions on how good the food here. After waiting forever at the service centre on Saturday (only sustained by a FOC nasi lemak packet, cups of milo and teh tarik), we made our way here for a very late lunch. We were unfamiliar with the food court, hence we ended up at the Chinese non halal section. Walking through the area, it didn't look right, so we walked further and came across a carpark in the middle. Looks like the halal and non-halal food courts were seperated by the carpark. Got there and finally found what we were looking for - Bawal Power at the corner of the food court.

ayam goreng
yummy fried chicken (RM6 for the set)

Since it was late afternoon, it was sweltering hot, but we sat down and ordered out food; ikan keli set for me and ayam goreng set for Splashie Boy. This place said to originate from Penang, specialises in fried fish and chicken and best of all, it is done on the spot, i.e. they fry the items as and when you order. Hence you get piping hot and extra crispy fish or chicken served to you. That really works for me as I hate pre-fried food - all cold and yucky.

With the set, you get a plate of ulam (a mix of ulam raja, longbeans, 4 angled beans, cabbage), sambal belacan said to be from Penang, rice and a plain gulai curry. The fried items are drizzled with kicap manis (a sweet soy sauce) and if you like it hot hot hot, they also give you a soy sauce dip with chopped chillies and onions. I really loved the fish - fried till all the sides were crispy for you to crunch on the bones. While the catfish is not the prettiest thing in town, it is a favourite of mine with its sweet and fine flesh. Splashie Boy's fried chicken was very good too and you won't want to visit KFC or Popeyes, after tasting it. We couldn't resist, so we added a bawal goreng (fried pomfret). It was just as delicious that you can't help and use your fingers to eat every crispy bit.

love the spicy sambal belacan and kicap with chopped chillies & onions

If you love deep fried fresh fish and chicken, this is definitely THE place to come to. I also loved the sambal belacan with the fresh vegetables - balances out the unhealthy fried food, I guess. During peak times, I reckon a little patience is needed since everything is prepared on the spot but the wait will definitely be worth it, since the food is damn shiok! Other pixs are in

Bawal Power
Selera Central
Central Park, Sunway Damansara
Kota Damansara
Petaling Jaya

(Halal. Open from 12 noon to midnight. Closed on Sundays. Near the police station.)

*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.

Other reviews:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Divine Inspiration - The Times London Top 50 Food Blogs

The Times London just published their top 50 food blog picks from all over the world. Some food blogs on the list are no surprise, as I have been reading them for ages but I did discover new ones that knocked me off my seat like Cannele et Vanille. In Asia, we have Chubby Hubby from Singapore and Eating Asia who lives in our backyard, even though they travel all around this region. Both of them made it to the top 20 list.

Today, just surf through these sites for divine inspiration and drool over their gorgeous pictures. I know I will be checking this list all the time.

1. Orangette
Cannele et Vanille
The Wednesday Chef
Delicious Days
David Lebovitz
Chez Pim
Matt Bites
Serious Eats
101 Cookbooks
Smitten Kitchen
Chubby Hubby
Chocolate & Zucchini
Rambling Spoon
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Dorie Greenspan
Artisan Sweets
Eating Asia
The Kitchn
Becks & Posh
Simply Recipes
Sticky Rice
Souvlaki for the Soul
Bitten: New York Times
Baking Bites
La Tartine Gourmande
Glutton Free Girl
Steamy Kitchen
What's For Lunch Honey
Cream Puffs in Venice
Egg Beater
Homesick Texan
The Traveler's Lunchbox
Joy the Baker
Cook and Eat
Lucullian Delights
Cafe Fernando
The Food Section
Use Real Butter
Tea & Cookies
The Amateur Gourmet
Wild Yeast
NYC Nosh
Not Eating Out in New York
Cook Sister
Artichoke: Best of British Food
Grab Your Fork
A Slice of Cherry Pie
The Bitten Word

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yong Tau Foo @ Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo, Kota Damansara

fresh and crispy from the wok

I often get a little confused around the Kota Damansara area - there's so many places to eat and somehow the one place I keep wanting to visit is always closed i.e. Peony Garden. My friend has been raving about that place for a long time but everytime we drive there, it seems to be closed. Anyway, we spotted this huge sign proclaiming they were selling Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo.

bittergourd and silky tofu stuffed with fish paste

Having fond memories of the original shop in Segambut (they used to operate in a shack next to a river but has now moved into a mansion nearby) where we used to eat lunch, I picked this place. It was a good choice, we liked the quiet and efficient service - just write down how many items you want on this paper filled with all the choices, hand it back to the waiter and within minutes your food arrives fresh from the wok.

While it may irk some purists who believe the fish paste stuffing must be mixed with minced pork and a little salted fish, I liked their stuffing made from pure fish paste. My favourite bits were the crunchy stuffed tofu skin rolls. Damn crisp that I wanted more. Had to restrain myself and eat the other "healthier" yong tau foo aka the bittergourd and soft tofu. I also ordered a paper wrapped chicken, see pixs in Flickr. It was a pretty generous piece soaked in a gingery sauce. Not the best but pretty decent. Definitely won't mind returning to this place again, as I saw quite a few people eating their assam fish also.

Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo
5 Jalan PJU 5/18
Sunway Damansara
Kota Damansara
Petaling Jaya

(Pork free. One of the branches they have. Original is in Segambut and shares the premises with a steamboat place. The Kelana Jaya outlet is closed and I remember also seeing another big branch around Kepong.)

*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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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Japanese Buffet Promotion @ Xenri D'Garden Terrace, Menara Hap Seng, Kuala Lumpur

Japanese buffets at heavily discounted prices seem to be in vogue nowadays. Just heard that Xenri D'Garden Terrace over at Menara Hap Seng is set to roll out their Japanese buffet extravaganza (with claims of more than 100 dishes) on 21 February until 29 March, 2009. To kick off that momentous occasion, a 50% discount is available for 1 month only, hence prices are slashed as follows:

Buffet lunch for Sunday - RM27.50++ (50% discount from RM55++)
Buffet dinner for Sat/Sun - RM34++ (50% discount from RM68++)

Believe me, word has got around about the promotion that phone lines are jammed up and it only seems to go towards their voice mail. It will be interesting to see, if the buffet lives up to its name like its infamous Old Klang Road outlet's buffet (which I have heard loads of praises), as this place didn't impress the last time I dined here. Wonder if this is just a promotion gimmick like Tenji or can we see other places slashing prices down? For more on the Japanese restaurant, read my previous review here. If you do want to give them a call to book, you can dial Tel: 03-2078 6688 but I do suggest a personal visit instead as it is nearly impossible to get through.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Italian Food @ Nerofico, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur

nice interior with wine bottles as decoration

Sorry about the glitch on Monday, but the notebook I usually work on decided to expire, hence I couldn't work on Sunday night. Luckily after it checked into the PC Hospital and got some TLC from Splashie Boy, it is working well despite it experiencing a fatal system error!

the unimpressive Caprese Salad (RM32+)

Hope everyone's Valentine's Day was eventful; we celebrated with friends over a simple homecooked dinner. My friend even brought her kids who had great fun playing with the chocolate fondue, we decided to make for them. Back to food, I managed to give Nerofico a try but sadly I felt, it was a little too much hype and nothing much to shout about.

Tortelli Mushroom with dissapointing butter thyme sauce (RM30+)

For those who have very long memories, you will remember the infamous Modestos in Damansara Heights. It used to be our regular hangout place since it was near work - drinks, pizza and pasta outside on the balcony. Not only did that place on Lorong Dungun house Modestos, there was also a pretty good Thai restaurant and the first Vintages bar upstairs. When that place burned down (amid rumours flitting it was just an insurance scam), everyone was devastated. Eventually a tall skyscraper took over that spot and coincidentally that is where Nerofico is located.

tiramisu that passed the test (RM22+)

Deadly quiet like a ghost town on Sunday, it is usually vibrant during weekdays with the offices surrounding it. I guess Nerofico will fit well here, a hangout place for those working late nights or looking for a nightcap after a hard day's of work.

The place looks inviting from outside with bottles of wine & grappas, Dececco pasta and etc placed on shelves around. There is a deli at one end with cheeses and meats for you to choose from. When I started lunch here, we were the only souls around but later people started to trickle in. A quick glance of the menu revealed no pork (shucks!) and nothing that grabs your eye. I went for familiar stuff on the menu like a tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad to start with. Utterly simple stuff (just slice it and sandwich them together), I felt the olive oil drizzled over and the balsamic vinegar served on the side wasn't too great a quality and I have had better.

Wanting to be a little different, we went for very different items; fresh stuffed pasta, a favourite of both of ours. Splashie Boy had the crab ravioli with clams while I sampled the mushroom tortelli with butter thyme sauce and foie gras. I thought the sweet taste of crab meat seemed to be masked by the heavy white sauce drizzled over it. My pasta I thought was ruined by the butter sauce, which didn't have any thyme flavour at all and too much cream in it! Dreading dessert, I decided we better go for the familiar Italian items - the cannot fail famous pick-me-up aka Tiramisu and creamy pannacotta. Luckily we were saved at the last round as desserts were good. Splashie Boy liked his drenched tiramisu while I enjoyed my smooth pannacotta with pink dragonfruits.

Overall, I have my mind to write off this place completely but I suspect I may have ordered the wrong stuff. Maybe I will re-review it again once I try more stuff like their mains, typical pasta dishes and the pizza. Incidentally, dining here is not for you if you are feeling the pinch, so be prepared. I felt the pasta portions were miniscule for what we were paying for. By the way, I wonder where one will park during the weekdays. I spied that Wisma Perintis's charges are RM6.10 per hour! Even though next door at the Wisma UN is more reasonable at RM3 per hour, I vaguely remember it being hellish to score a space there. Another thing that irked me about this place, service was a little unfriendly. They were efficient and etc, but when it came to recommendations and a little courtesy, I felt the first waiter who served us had a bit of "I don't care shit about you" attitude. The guy who served us during desserts was better, asking if everything was fine after we finished.
More pixs in Flickr.

Ground Floor

Wisma Perintis
47, Jalan Dungun
Damansara Heights
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-22089 5312

(Pork free. For more details on its opening times, see its website link. Just opened on 17 January, 2009)

*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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Friday, February 13, 2009

Juicy burger @ City Golf, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur

gorgeous juicy burger...found in the most unlikely place!

A very very quick one for Friday, as I am late for the day. Let me share a little secret with all of you, one of the places, I get tips where to find good food - the
Klue Magazine's website. I found this juicy nugget of a place in Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) from reading them. These guys and gals are always on the ball, telling you what is new and hot in town. For instance, I just found out about Nerofico, Nerovivo/Neroteca's newly opened sister in Damansara Heights. Gosh, I am so going there as soon as possible since I often find going down town to experience good Italian food a chore for me.

french fries were just average but I liked how they served Thai Chili sauce with it

Back to this place. BSC has been going through loads of changes with its renovations and one of it was the opening of My Playroom, all the way upstairs to take over the space of the bowling alley. Now it sports an indoor golf simulation centre (Citygolf), a kids roller skating rink, a kids playground and etc, geared towards the young ones. The golf place is very cool for those who don't want to get burned under the sun and prefer to enjoy their strokes in the air-conditioned comfort. I call it a big Wii, complete with the fake green, golf clubs and golf balls.

Since people need to eat while they golf away, right next to the place is a cafe cum bar (they serve alcohol here), which serves a very small menu of items - 3 pizzas, 3 sandwiches and a few snacks like french fries, nuggets and etc. I had the roast chicken sandwich (RM18) - a bit dry I felt and Splashie Boy had the Chef's Special Burger (RM20). They didn't ask the temperature we wanted the burger at, just if we preferred it medium or medium well. It took a while to get to us (not sure if that is usually the case) but then the golf centre was packed with people. When it came and we both bit into the burger, we forgave them for their tardiness as the burger was really good stuff - juicy meat within! We both loved the lightly toasted buns also (not pictured). The fries served with it was just average tasting but I did like how they gave Thai Chili sauce with the ketchup and chili sauce. Sorry for the not fantastic pictures but I was a bit hampered from snapping away since one of the owners/managers sat across us, hence as usual I was feeling shy to whip up my camera. I basically had to sneak two quick shots of the burger when he walked off for a few minutes!

I also spied the next table having pizza; looks very good with a thin crust and served on top of a wooden board. Looks like we have a new hangout place in BSC since I am kinda fed up and bored with the other choices. My Playroom also has another cafe at the other side nearer to the roller blade (amended from roller only to distinguish!) skating rink called Stuff My Face Cafe, that serves kid snacks (I spied mini burgers!) and etc. For more details on My Playroom and what it offers, see this NST write up (with the pix of the rink!).

City Golf
Level 4, Bangsar Shopping Centre
285 Jalan Maarof
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2282 0011

(Pork free, open from noon to midnight daily.)

*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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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quick & easy to make - Avocado Tuna Sandwiches

mise en place for Sunday brekkie

I'm a sucker when it comes to good deals. Recently, Village Grocer had a large batch of very ripe avocados that they were trying to get rid off. Usually avocados are such a luxe item since one can cost about RM4 to RM6, depending on where you get them. Since they were threatening to expire, Village Grocer bagged 4 of them in packs of RM6.99. Damn good deal, hence I took a risk and bought some.

delish and simple to whip up meal using very ripe avocados

Since I was dying to try out an idea for tuna salad, I decided to make a quick Sunday breakfast. We had gotten rolls from Haikara Style Cafe, which I heated up in the toaster oven. For my sandwich spread, it was just mashed avocado (a creamy mass), yellowfin tuna in olive oil for taste and chopped red shallots for a crunchy texture. It is definitely a healthier alternative to using mayonnaise.

Do give it a try as it's absolutely delish stuff and a real no-brainer to whip up. Just make sure you put your favourite ingredients and you will get something perfect to enjoy during the weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Japanese cafe food and bakes @ Haikara Style Cafe, E-Tiara Apartments, Subang Jaya

yummy mentaiko pasta - every strand has the creamy roe

Since yesterday was a cop out on a food review (not much in terms of food but more on alcoholic beverages), here's something else to make up for that. While Shah Alam can be quite dreadful for food choices, luckily there is Subang Jaya nearby. I discovered this quaint cafe's existence when I visited B&N Cafe nearby and this is now, a favourite place to hangout for lunch. Run by a Japanese couple who hail from Nagoya, I find the food served here to be simple but extremely good since it is served piping hot and made with a lot of care.

the soup is served in a cute cup, which is piping hot hence the steam...

Each item you order is usually served with either soup, salad or a roll baked at their premises. The clear soup in a cup is always piping hot and flavoured with a sprinkle of coarse black pepper and dried herbs. Sometimes you get shredded carrots and potato cubes lurking in the hot and satisfying soup. I recently introduced Splashie Boy to this place and like me, he has also taken a liking to the food here.

delish Rokoro Hamburg that Splashie Boy loves

His favourite is the Rokoro Hamburg (RM25) - a homemade burger that is juicy and melts in the mouth. Topped with a fried egg, you enjoy this with rice and shredded cabbage. My favourite here is their Mentaiko Pasta (RM18). Each strand of al dente pasta is coated lightly with cream and cod roe, making every mouthful simply delish. The Japanese curry is also very comforting with rice and pickles. You even get to choose how hot you want it to be. I had mine with rice (you can also ask for pasta) and chicken katsu.

assorted eclairs to tempt you; matcha, chocolate and caramel (RM4 each)

The cafe is also a bakery whereby items are 100% natural with no preservatives, additives or artificial colours. A selection of rolls, buns (such as Melon Pan), cakes (the ever famous Castella or Kasutera), cream puffs, eclairs and etc. I got to sample quite a few of these baked goodies as I bought them a few times. I loved the matcha bread, which I took half a loaf (RM8.80). While the flavour is very mild, the soft bread has bits of sweetened bean hidden within that give flavour to the plain tasting bread. The eclairs are a little skinnier than I would like but they do taste pretty good especially eaten cold from the fridge. If you prefer something different, they also serve mont blanc (a dessert made from chesnut cream) or the tri-colour puff, which is filled with whipped cream, pastry cream and chesnut cream.

I am partial to the banana cream roll - swiss roll with cream and banana within as it reminds me vividly of a dessert I loved to buy in Singapore. Served in a Japanese cafe (I think it was called Suzuki), they had a creamy chocolate version dusted with cocoa powder. It was always a must whenever we visited Singapore. Another item I liked was the kasutera made from egg yolks and honey. A little sweet, the cake resembles those old fashioned eggy cakes (kai tan kou) made by Chinese bakeries. Not sure how the bakery is going to do in the future though, as a new bakery is set to open next door.

The cafe tends to be quiet during weekdays but bustling with people during the weekends. It is best to eat lunch here as they close early. However, sometimes when it gets busy, be prepared to wait as they don't have many people cooking the food. One bummer about this place is I find the cafe a little stuffy probably because of the glass windows that retain heat. Nevertheless it is still a great place for a peaceful lunch far from the madding crowd. More pixs in the Flickr set including the goodies from their bakery.

Haikara Style Cafe & Bakery
E-Tiara Service Apartments
GF Jalan SS16/1
Subang Jaya

Tel :03-5630 0743

(Pork free. Open from 9.30 to 6pm daily except Mondays. Parking is available in front or at the visitors carpark at E-Tiara apartments.)

*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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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chill out @ Chocs-2-Die-For Soiree, Schokolart, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

chocolate anyone?

I confess I am a total chocoholic - a day does not seem to be right unless I have even a small piece of chocolate (my fav being dark bittersweet chocolate). Hence, when I got an invite to savour chocolate cocktails recently, I was instantly hooked. Kicking off their first soiree, Schokolart is a place I have been eyeing for quite sometime. I first noticed it long ago, when I did a quick check of Tenji last year but since it wasn't serving a full menu, I placed it on the backburner for some time.

lighting up the brandy....

While I didn't get to sample their menu items, I was given the lowdown on what was good. They serve choc-inspired cuisine (think choc sauce with lamb and it seems a juicy chicken satay marinated in dark chocolate!!), chocolate desserts, chocolate cocktails and handmade chocolates. Everything sounds delectable so hopefully when I have the time, I can revisit the place to try their other goodies. I'm especially curious about the satay chicken skewers marinated with dark chocolate. The closest I ever had chocolate with savoury items was my Mexican experience in
Sandias (which is now closed down) where they serve mole.

get ready for this...

The chocolates looked absolutely gorgeous at the counter (I liked the delicate pink flower ones). Seems they're the work of the pastry chef Matthias, who used to run a
cafe at Bangsar. Swiss imported chocolates are used to make the confections and they are packed in pretty pink coloured boxes.

drink up that trail of fire....goes to your head very "fast & furious"

Back to the soiree, it is a monthly affair where you get unlimited flow of chocolate cocktails from 10pm to 1am. The food is not much, as it is just nibbles of fruits and cake for you to dip in their giant 5 feet chocolate fountain (decorously protected with a plastic casing) so focus on the drinks instead. You also get entertained by a standup comic, Frieda. We didn't get to see much of her performance since we left early but it sounded pretty amusing.

my "Jackson Pollock" inspired fruits drizzled with melted chocolate

There are various types of cocktails to choose from including a list of shooters. Almost all of the cocktails use a liquer known as Creme de Cacao - Brown or White. This sweet chocolate tasting liquer is made from cacao beans (usually used to make cocoa and chocolate). The white version is produced from distilling the cacao beans while the brown version is made from the extract of cacao beans.

The 12 shooters have cute names like Halle Berry Dreams (a mix of Cacao White and Strawberry Cream) and Red Devil (Irish Cream and Melon Liquer). We tried the Shai Scream (Cacao White and Butterscotch Cream) and Bull's eye (Cacao White and Brown) - not too bad and not very strong even though you have to down them quickly. The 23 cocktails also had adorable names like Chocolate Monkey, Death by Chocolate and etc. Some of them were just made from alcohol while others resembled smoothies with ice cream. A super popular drink was the Fast & Furious - a mix of white rum, Creme de Cacao, mint chocolate in a martini glass whereby they pour a brandy lit up from above. You have to sip the drink simultaneously and let me tell you, it definitely gets to your head, "fast and furious". However, it is a visual treat especially with the trail of fire pouring down.

For those who prefer a milder cocktail, try the Choc Banana Fudgeslide as it resembles a mild tasting banana chocolate milkshake even though it contains Creme of Banana and Half & Half Banana. Overall, I did have fun and wouldn't mind coming back with a group of friends. However, be prepared to drink loads of cocktails and get tipsy (unless you stick to those milder milkshake type drinks) to get your money's worth. For more pictures, see my
flickr set.

Block K-01-05
Solaris Mont Kiara
2, Jln Solaris
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03-6203 0968

(Pork free but definitely not alcohol free. Place is right opposite Tenji at a corner. The soiree is a monthly affair where you pay RM185++ per couple for unlimited chocolate cocktails from 10pm to 1am. For more details on what they offer, see the link to
Solaris and their website)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Curry Laksa @ Restoran Mei Sek, USJ14, Subang Jaya

laden with sinful goodies

A very quick one for today. As usual, I often have large ambitions to post loads of pictures but when I start getting tired late at night, all my good intentions go awry. Here is something I picked from Sam Cheong's food trail column at the Star Metro. Since his picks focus around the Subang Jaya area, they kinda fit me (SJ is pretty near for me via the highway network).

I checked this curry laksa place before the CNY holidays. While I wasn't too impressed with the broth - I felt it was a little watery and lacked much kick, I loved the goodies they had to laden into my bowl: pig's skin, cockles, smooth chicken (pak cham kai), beansprouts and long beans. The pig skin addition is definitely the only draw of this laksa, since not many stalls serve it with pig skin. It is not hard to miss this place, since it is visible from the main road plus another great point is parking seems a little easier to get around this portion, since it is the outer restaurant. Do check it out whenever you are in the area and have a good weekend everyone.

Curry Laksa Stall
Restaurant Mei Sek
USJ 14
Subang Jaya

(Non halal. Open for breakfast and lunch.)

*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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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Japanese Chicken Wings Recipe

not too bad for a mid-week dinner; perfect to eat in front of the telly

Must admit that nowadays cooking in the house takes a backburner since I am busy with work. Since time is short, I often go for one plate meals. Somehow I find cooking one plate meals easier and faster, especially if it involves roasting. I'll just chuck everything in a roasting pan, go do my other stuff and return to find food ready. Kinda easier for me, rather than stand next to a hot stove. If you want to peek into what I have been cooking, do check the
Flick set on homecooked meals. There's Jamie Oliver's superb chili con carne (tastes so good with Marks & Spencers lightly salted tortilla chips and guacamole), organic beef steaks we got from Village Grocer (they taste fantastic, less gamey and a little sweeter than normal beef steaks), ocean trout that looks like salmon but is less oily and etc.

I thought I'll post up these chicken wings, I made recently. They make an ideal TV dinner - just munch on them while your eyes are glued to what is going on the telly. Pretty bad manners I know but this is what happens when you dine alone at home. The taste of these chicken wings is a little tangy with the vinegar involved and slightly sweet from the sugar but they go well with the whole dish especially the gingery bits. Eat it first before it gets soggy from the sauce.

Japanese chicken wings

6 chicken wings

1 inch young ginger, pounded or grated
2 tablespoons sake (or wine)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 inch young ginger, pounded or grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Clean chicken wings, place on plate. Add soy sauce, sake and pounded (or grated) ginger; mix and leave to marinare for 2 hours under cover. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, remove chicken wings from marinade and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken wings during roasting process to brown evenly. Combine all the sauce ingredients until the sugar melts. The sauce should be sweet from the sugar and slightly sour from the vinegar. Once chicken wings is ready, remove from oven; pour sauce and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cendol Pak Akob @ Section 16, Shah Alam

nope, he ain't waiting for a bus

Stall owners often find the weirdest places to trade and this particular stall is quite unique, since it is located in front of a mosque (just a few doors away from an Indian temple and school) and right next to a bus stand. In fact, due to the lack of space on the sidewalk, you end up sitting at the bus stand to drink down your cendol or like this man, to eat your plate of rojak. Famous in Shah Alam, Cendol Pak Akob is where everyone stops to quench their thirst with the cendol and rojak.

cool down with cendol mixed with kacang merah

I must admit I've only tasted the rojak once pretty long ago and if I remember correctly, it wasn't exceptional tasting. Just ordinary run of the mill stuff given a fiery dash of peanut sauce to fill up your tummy. What I like is his cendol (RM1.20) - those cool jade green slivers resembling worms drizzled with gula melaka syrup and drank down with coconut milk. Here, the shaved ice that top the bowls of cendol are pretty fine, hence they melt down quickly to cool the coconut milk.

cendol with tapai - delish combo (RM1.70)

The stall also serves one of my all time favourite combinations - tapai (fermented rice) with cendol. While the tapai here is quite light tasting (not very pungent), it still makes a fantastic duo when eaten together. As and when you place your order, they will unwrap the small banana leaf packets filled with the fermented rice and put it in your bowl. If you are looking for a very filling meal - add pulut with your tapai cendol for RM2.20.

no way you can miss this at the side of the road. I like the mix of English and Malay words on the signboard.

Parking is available around the bus stop and cars quickly come and go after they have indulged in their meal. Since Fridays is peak time for the mosque, you won't find the stall opened as they take off for that day.

Cendol Pak Akob
Persiaran Selangor
Section 16
Shah Alam

(Halal. Open from lunch onwards. Stall is in front of Jamek Tun Uda mosque and opposite flats. If you want to place orders or check how to get there, call 014-2393125. To get to the stall, from the Federal Highway, if you are driving from PJ to Klang, take the left turn towards Kawasan Perindustrian Shah Alam. Go straight and make a three o'clock turn at the roundabout, go straight pass UMW/Toyota's assembling plants. At the next roundabout, go 12 o'clock and you will see the cendol stall on your right. Make a U turn and park at the stall.)

*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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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Japanese food @ Jyu Raku, SS15, Subang Jaya

absolutely delish stuff, perfect for carb-less diets also - Jyu Raku Roll (RM28++)

Recently, when we were exploring Subang Jaya for food, we noticed Rakuzen had re-opened after renovations and right next to it was a new Japanese place. Looking very similar to Rakuzen with an almost identical menu is Jyu Raku. From what I read, it seems the former chef from Rakuzen opened this outlet. It is amazing how all these Japanese restaurants survive, as within a one block radius, you find 5 of them trading together - Tomoe, Ryu Men Tei, Jyu Raku, Rakuzen and a little further away is Hyotan. The one that seems to be the most popular among the Japanese is Tomoe and the locals seem to prefer Rakuzen, which is perpetually packed all the time. Dining at Rakuzen, definitely needs tons of patience (don't go with an empty tummy) as not only is it difficult to get a space to sit, you have to wait for your food for quite some time.

assorted kushiyaki with teriyaki sauce (RM35++)

Last night, we decided to give Jyu Raku a try to compare it with Rakuzen. The menu features very similar items hence, if Rakuzen is packed to the brim, you have an alternative place to turn to. However, not everything is spectacular here probably because we didn't order their specialties.

light tasting - hotate no isoyaki (RM25++)

Let's start with the positive side of things. What stood out in taste and uniqueness - their Jyu Raku Roll. The maki is a nice and light (good for those avoiding carbs!) as it omits sushi rice. Instead, a piece of cucumber is wrapped around cabbage and a mix of unagi, prawn and sashimi. Topped with salmon roe, it is refreshing and delish. They must have treated the cucumber also, as it wasn't too crunchy or else it wouldn't have been easy to roll. I definitely would not mind returning for this again and again. A+ for this dish.

a little different, the gyuniku tataki (RM25++)

The other dishes didn't stand out as well as the maki but were pretty decent tasting. The gyuniku tataki was a huge portion of sliced beef lightly seared drizzled with a soy sauce. For those who hate raw beef, don't take this as it can be very reddish looking. I also liked the kushiyaki or yakitori items. We ordered a variety - mushrooms, green Japanese peppers, asparagus, minced chicken balls, chicken with leek, scallops and etc. My favourite were the green Japanese peppers. However, the teriyaki sauce they coat the items with is not as sticky and sweet compared to Shun, hence you find it a little bland. The hotate no isoyaki, which is essentially steamed scallops with mushrooms and their special sauce was very light tasting. You can't distinguish much of the sweet taste of scallops though.

The one item we totally hated and it was badly done was their tempura. We ordered tempura soba to share and the assorted tempura that accompanied it had a heavy batter. Another no-no was the batter was more golden yellow vs light yellow. Kinda sad, as the bowl of soba was a generous portion with moutain vegetables (sansai), nameko mushrooms and seaweed topping it. While we hated the tempura here, we wouldn't mind returning to try the other dishes like the kamameshi rice (rice cooked in an iron pot) and another order of the Jyu Raku roll. They also do a Japanese version of yee sang here, which looks pretty interesting. More pixs are in the flickr set.

Jyu Raku
13, Jln SS15/5A
47500 Subang Jaya

Tel: 03-5633 3819

(Pork free. Open from 11.30am-3pm, 6-11pm for Monday to Thursday. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, open from 12noon to 10.30pm.)

*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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Monday, February 02, 2009

Momiji Valentine Dolls by Kong Soo

very kawai

A change from food today and since love should be in the air soon with V-day round the corner, I thought I'll share with all of you, pictures of this year's Valentine dolls from Momiji. Those talented people from the UK, have rejigged the traditional Japanese dolls to be funky and adorable with personalties of their own.

Gong Xi Gong Xi! Happy Moo Moo Year....

This year, the Valentine gals are found in Isetan Suria KLCC. As they are limited to 1,000 units only, these are all numbered and only available in small quantities for each country (seems Australia only has 150 units and I think Malaysia has about 10 units, from the number of boxes we counted last Friday at Isetan). Retailing at RM79.90 for 3 dolls, they make a really cute V-day present, don't you think? I had fun playing with them and snapping pictures yesterday in the garden, so check out the flickr set. There is also a Malaysian link for these handpainted dolls, the designer Kong Soo was an art college graduate student from KL.
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