Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A new era has just arrived..

I know i have been about the laziest blogger at the moment, well at least among the active ones. For one, i have found so many reasons to procrastinate when i want to do a restaurant review, whether its because its not in Bukit Ceylon or its cheap common food that any Tom, Dick and Harry would eat and not want to read about it or a more extreme one, i left my camera in my girlfriend's hand bag and i wont see her this weekend because i got a 2 day ICAA course. So what am i going to blog about? A new era of laziness approaching this blog perhaps? Well no, in fact it is the opposite. I vow to make this blog a success. The day that i see my stats and tell myself " Joe, i am proud of you with a daily audience of 500 readers" always linger behind my brain instead of all the auditing terms i am going to squeeze in after posting this entry..

So how am i going to be more dedicated if i am missing my camera for 2 weeks? Simple answer although albeit very crude and very "duh" , buy a new one. So i did exactly what i was told..the stupid devil that resides in my brain while my angel decides to have the better part of my body; the stomach that stores all the good food that i take..

Welcome to the new future of Lots of Cravings..

Obviously i cant take a picture of my camera..so i should leave the cover to do the talking..

But wait..shouldnt i find some guinea pigs to do some experimenting?

Couldnt get any food..so i got my sister..wahahaha..shes so going to kill me..

Ok then, at least i have done my post for the day..

Four not Five MeMe..

I have been given the easiest way out..a meme to do because i am currently brain dead.. So when Kok tagged me a while ago, i thought to myself..to make my blog less boring..Here you go guys..the Four not Five MeMe!!:

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Full time pai kah zhai ("someone who specialises at spending money, parents money that is")
2. Freelance writer for accounting related assignments, i charge between AUD 100 to 200 or RM400-500 depending on which country and how many words..
3. Tax consultant..damn boring job
4. Full time driver in the weekend, for family and girlfriend

Four places I have lived:

1. Cheras, KL, Malaysia
2. Adelaide, Australia
3. London for 9 days..
4. Hong Kong for a couple of days..

Then theres plenty of other places in Australia..

Four countries I have been on vacation:
(Oops vacation not included in the above 1 ar?)

1. Malaysia
2. Australia
3. UK
4. Hong Kong

Four of my favorite foods:
(This is so tough until its not funny)

1. A nice medium cooked T Bone
2. Seafood, lobsters, prawns, fish you name it i love it
3. Chicken Breast - i am meant to love it, its good for my nipples, oops body..
4. As Hitz FM says..you should love your roti canai and nasi lemak..ok i agree

Four places you would rather be right now:

1. Cheras, On my bed cuddling either my bolster or my girlfriend...which ever is good..
2. Somo drinking beer during happy hours..
3. Any of my friend house playing poker
4. A nice beach suntanning in my imaginary 6 pack and oakleys sunglasses with a chalet at the back with my girlfriend of course..

As usual..i dont love to tag people back..so if you feel lonely..give it a go..i am dying to try out the DSLRS now!!....ARGH!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bijan @ Jalan Ceylon

Bijan, if my poor Bahasa Malaysia serves me correct means "sesame".. so were we about to venture to a sesame meal?? Thankfully no.. We visited Bijan after it was selected as one of the candidate places to hold our installation night for the Toastmaster committee.. Serving authentic Malay food fine cuisine style, this was definitely an eye opener concept as all over Malaysia with a majority population of Muslims, this was a place trying to defy the odds by turning what seemed to be staple dishes to a fine cuisine to serve the richer and more delicate people..including me i guess..

One thing i like about this place is the ambience and the feel it gives to me. Situated in a radius of 5km from the main busy streets of Bukit Bintang, it feels as if i finally learnt how peace sounded like and i was like transferred to the middle of some jungle judging from the dark foliage i could see outside the windows..That is of course, once your eye level reaches beyond the fence, the city life hits you like a base ball bat..

Back to our objective of testing some of the dishes and seeing if my colleagues had the same taste buds as me, we asked the captain to recommend a few dishes for us to savour..and she responded in glee and explained every single dish for us..sounded good was all i could reply..but was it good??

The scenario i was talking about..

The Sotong Chilli Gajus (RM22) ..Mild in terms of chili but the taste was spot on..very flavourful with the curry leaves..i spotted a few pieces before proceeding to ask for rice..turned around and it was gone!..damnit..

The Pucuk Paku with Santan and prawns (RM15)..this was overly sweet for me, the coconut sort of overpowered the pucuk paku..a vegetable that is rare to find..but i found out its only RM1 a bunch in Kuching!..

The Rusuk Panggang (RM55) beef ribs marinated with a damn good sauce...this was my favourite and i can imagine me holding the bone with the plate infront of me like i was in TGIF or Chillis..Being fine dining, i had to believe myself..damnit again!.. This is a highly recommended dish..must try..

The Dory Fish Percik (RM36) i thought this was on the overpriced side, sincerely..or maybe its because i am scared of dory fish and i heard the captain say butterfish.. my memories rewinded back to Banquet..haha the fish was flavourful and the marination was good..but with dory fish, theres a chance that it could be over marinated as in too flavourful till the verge of salty or you might have missed the spot..i thought it missed the spot..but the sauce that came on the side..the creamy percik sauce saved the day.. now if only they could use butter fish instead..*hint* *hint*..

White rice washed down with plain water completed the meal and we were disappointed with one thing..a very big disappointment..more disappointed by the coincidence that one of my colleagues actually didnt feel so well from the meal.. They told me there was no CHOCOLATE DURIAN OR DURIAN CHEESECAKE!!!!!

I have their word that those slices are meant to be complimentary when we hold our dinner that night next month.. I just cant wait any longer..maybe i might pop by soon..soon..

Address and contact details:

No 3 Jalan Ceylon
50200 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Tel: 0320313575
Fax: 0320313576

A good solid rating of 8.5 out of 10 for RM40 per pax.. Remember to call for their durian desserts!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wanting to study, Maximising the crap in life and doing some charity..

Usually my titles are very straightforward but after reading too many blogs and being exposed to so much flowery english and indirect phrases, i thought i do the same. Wait a minute, its actually quite clear what i want to talk about today isnt?

I think i mentioned before yesterday, i am having a vague feeling of going back to study. Two days ago, i was having a simple dinner with a old uni mate and having a drink with a couple of uni mates and the university days came back to me in a rush. Traveling up to my brain in a matter of seconds, i realised i missed the flexibility of studying. I couldnt predict where i was at night or where i would be in the morning. I could be out having a drink or supper late at nights, matter of fact it was everyday. I could be cuddling my bolster to the late mornings and not give a toss in the world because i didnt have lectures that day. My life seemed like the new wonder of the world minus the studying and the exams of course. Nowadays, especially with the background music of the rain, you can predict where i will be by 9pm..in bed, either lazing and cursing why my wireless broadband doesnt work, blogging and surfing the net, reading a couple of pages of my Audit crap that i will be tested on in September and of course leading to sleeping by a young 10.30-11pm.. Needless to say, my wake up time is fixed at 6.30 am and obviously by 8.30 i am already in office, either stoned from too much or too little sleep..

So should i admit defeat to the working world and go back to study? Its too way too early to decide and i am not growing younger by the day..should i just go back and study?

Second procrastination issue..my latest crap in life that just got myself into..I wont bother with work..its dead and mouldy as it is and no matter how much i crap about it it wouldnt improve unless a miracle happened.. I am talking about Toastmasters.. Well not many might have heard but its a scheme or program where one goes through and finish 10 individual speeches with different criteria and finally awarded by being called a Competent Toastmaster.. What was it meant to achieve? More confident speaking and encourage people to pick up speaking skills when it comes to presentations.. Unfortunately, my dear company makes it compulsory for everyone to become a Competent Toastmaster in order to get promoted.. its all fine, if everyone takes in the crap and keep quiet..but of course they are people who think otherwise..which comes to my conclusion of why cant people just maximise the crap in life?

Since its already crap as it is..why treat it as crap? Why cant people just cant go with the flow and learn how to benefit from it? Why cringe and suffer when you drafting your speech to add vocal variety? Instead attend the bi-weekly meetings and see how the actual thing is done? I know its alot of time..2 hours out of 14 days.. i mean its just after a meal every fortnight or just an episode or two of drama.. Why am i procrastinating? because i feel the whole scheme has just failed miserably and i am helpless because i am just bearly weeks old in this upcoming year committee..

Sigh..what can i do to get people to enjoy?

Lastly, as charity advertising..i present pictures after lots of words..

My dear Kamsiah is now selling her chocolate cake, want the fudge on or separately and pour it in the first picture? Its your choice.. Tired of all those boutique and complicated cakes? Just want a homely soft plain chocolate cake and the guilt when you are licking the hot fudge off the plate? Drop a comment on this post, on my chat box or give her a call @ 017-2727005.. Selling at only RM 40 either fudge on or fudge separately.. Delivery charges are separate or pick up from the city..

Well i was bribed with lots of the cake..thus the charity advertising..Ok time to go to work..Ciaoz

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Palate Palette Restaurant & Bar @ Jalan Mesui

Prior before discovering Neroteca at my post below, my first stop was actually in Palate Palette two days ago. A place that i have problems pronouncing although i have been told its meant to be pronounced the same way but in a different spelling. Let me know what you think?

Stepping into this colourful place, which goes along the same concept of the 1st Marmalade shop in Mont Kiara of colourful decor and makes look like a kiddy area to play around but at the same time catered to the adults..or some say "the young people"..

Set Lunches comes with a selection of entrees, main courses and a drink for RM 20++.. Add another RM 5 for a dessert. A deal? Well some say Max! Kitchen might do a good job, but i, unlike Precious Pea i dont have the luxury of getting extra yabbies and lamb loin so i have yet so i thought i will leave Max! alone until i have loaded my wallet with enough money for that feast.

Starting off with what looked like a hard piece of bread, the inside was actually as soft as my pillow..which is very soft if you think about it.. and the garlic butter was a gem..i think garlic goes a long way to making your bread tastes so good..just look at the dip i had in Neroteca..

Then came a drink that you can order from the menu as long as its below RM9.. I choose the Mint Tea and never regretted..lots of mint leaves made this a very refreshing drink..

Starting off with a mushroom cappuccino.. if you look afar you would probably sip it like a normal cup of coffee..but beyond the foam was a rich non cream mushroom soup that was just nice..

The speciality salad, the prawns and avocado salad..creamy and yummy accompanied wit the lettuce leaves..A tad small but sufficient as a starter i presume..

My oxtail sheppards pie..i was expecting some bones sticking out..but i unearthed the garlic mash to find delightful pieces of oxtail meat and topped up with the gravy..it was serious comfort food..just that was a tad oily towards the bottom..

The Japanese Curry Chicken Pie..the sauce had all the tastes of a curry but lacked or more like actually missing the kick of chilli..its as if you are eating curry but not eating curry..its not exactly deja vu but more on the verge of frustration..the idea of the puff on top seemed like a tacky idea rather then showing off creativity..

Add RM 5 ++, i took their signature dessert, the Green Tea Mille Feuille.. The Green Tea cream was sparsely pinched here and there on sheets of pastry that was hard to identify but very addictive until we ordered another one.. we were told to take no mercy on the dessert and mashed everything up..true enough it was awesome!..

Every start has an end..it was a very enjoyable lunch with a relaxing ambience.. abit kiddish that might spark some old memories of a kid running around the playground..i almost felt like a kid trapped in a big body.. having remote thoughts of going back to study..sigh..i will keep that for later.. A respectable 8 out of 10, a mixture of ok food and a comfortable ambience..but hell of a time trying to find parking space and the construction next door does more bad then anything else..

Address and contact details:
21 Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari
50200 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Tel: 03-21422148
Fax: 03-21432148

Monday, July 23, 2007

Neroteca @ Lorong Ceylon

It was a Sunday afternoon, lunch time was approaching and the King and I was to start at 3pm.. we wondered around and i thought i take my girlfriend to Palete Palette after i managed to sample their set lunch just two days ago.. As we turned into Jalan Mesui and passing by to see if the restaurant was opened, we drove on to find a space to park my car and saw Neroteca infront of me..i sensed something was pulling me towards that direction, to the little corner shop that seats in the ground floor of the Somerset serviced apartments..I parked where i could and virtually dragged my girlfriend who was confused and yet excited as i was..

Surprisingly on a sunday afternoon, parking was not a problem. In fact the place was rather empty, well not the restaurant but the surroundings unlike on a busy Friday afternoon with lots of office workers buzzing in and out, walking here and there.. Stepping into the cosy place, it was almost as if i was transformed into another place..it gave me a very laid back feeling, just like those lazy Sundays where my girlfriend and i would laze in one of the many cafes in Adelaide..

Embarassingly i whipped my camera and realised my battery was flat, it was back to reality, back to my red dumb blonde camera..sigh i guess it was time to give it a charge..so bear with my less then perfect pictures..

Neroteca serves italian food..classic entrees..good pasta..main courses..book in advance suckling piglets..the whole thang..

Given the amount of wine here..it was no surprise i found several tables with one person seating down reading a book sipping a glass of wine and soaking in the relaxed atmosphere..if i were to describe what is life..it would be seating inside Neroteca every Sunday morning to eat breakfast.. unfortunately we came at 12.30..so lunch it was instead..

Complimentary bread that was very very fresh..Fresh till i couldnt refuse the gentleman offer for another basket..served with the usual balsamic vinegar and olive oil..but with the extra kick of roasted garlics..it made the difference and it added so much body to the dip..

Starting off with a Livornese Salad, a lemon based dressing over a bed of salad and assorted seafood medley of smoked salmon, pieces of codfish and prawns (RM26 or USD 7.50) It was refreshing and came in a healthy portion.. a delightful starter..

Prosciutto on rock melon (RM32 or USD 9)... This is one very rare dish but a very good dish..two simple items that were different in every way but meant to cross each other's path in every way. The salty chewy ham and the sweet soothing melon teased my taste buds and i couldnt stop eyeing the other tables after i finished mine..

The finale..The seafood pasta..It came recommended and was the special of the day.. Garlic and white wine sauce..al dente spaghetti..and an incredible amount of seafood..clams that were at least three times the size of our local lalas, jumbo prawns that came in halves..mussels as well..it was more like seafood with pasta not pasta with seafood.. As it was special of the day, i started to panic and wondered how much the dish was..worrying if i could cover the bill..i slowed down and was sad to say bye bye to such a beautiful lunch..coffee and dessert i skipped and regretted deeply because i found out my pasta was RM36 or USD 10.. i predicted double the price..stupid me..

Neroteca..we shall meet again...9 out of 10...

Ground floor, Somerset,
8 Lorong Ceylon, 50250 KL
Tel: 03-2070 0530

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The first step of what is about to come..

For those outside the floggers forum who didnt read the Star Newspaper Weekender section..pop by to here.. and here.. He He..I have been featured on national newspaper!!! and not for the wrong reason i hope.. Thank you so much for all my supporters and i would also like to thank Ellen for giving me the opportunity to open the blog to a wider audience by publishing my blog address..

Ok lar.. i am going to watch the King and I this afternoon.. Updates later..Woohoo!

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Formosa TaiwanRestaurant @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Firstly, i would like to thank Jeannie the boss of New Formosa for inviting all of us gluttons, the food bloggers for a sumptious feast. So what about this place? This place serves taiwanese cuisine and without a doubt the food was nothing short of brilliant..

So on Tuesday, we were all invited to do some taste testing which was a first. I mean after all who gives a toss about what i think? Haha.. Recently i have been running out of brain juices therefore a short introduction and lets get on to the food people..

A set menu was designed for us to try almost their whole menu and we left with an extra inch or two around our waists.. Be warned..excessive lots of pictures! After all every picture looks so good! And to those halal readers, dont find it offensive if you see some pork ok?

A start to a very long but "shiok!" journey.. A sour plum tea and a herbal tea..one very sour and one sweet and pleasant to your taste buds..

Four Seasons of their specialities..Lets take a closer look at them one by one..

What looks like sotong turns out to be crispy battered pork intestine..what i dont like about intestines is the strong and "foul" taste but this was very mild and was like eating sotong..

A mushroom galore..but what do you eat with this?? Although tasty on its own because it tasted healthy, it was a first when i was told that you eat this with rice crackers..(picture below)

A whole new experience as i indulged in this dish, the crispy versus the soft smooth mushrooms..

Garlic Prawns, the prawns are slit into half, and in the middle there is a garlic stuffing. The fragrance lingered around the air, in my mouth and in my breath..The prawns were fresh and another dish well recommended..

Another famous dish that i fell in love straight away, the butter eel. Imagine unagi tossed in "lai you".. Wah! I couldnt stop putting my chopsticks back to this section of the plate..

Next up, was the Sze Chuan duck. The deep fried duck that looked very dry but looks were deceiving as i was again finding myself picking at it and dipping at the plum sauce. Another well done dish..

The second duck dish, the longan duck..(i actually forgot to bring back the menu, so dont blame la ok?) which was another pleasant dish and wasnt dry due to the yummy sauce all over.. It was definitely hard to choose the better duck..both were just as good..!

Another wonder of the world, the roast suckling piglet.. This was fatty and sinful at the same time, but you just couldnt stop yourself as you bite into the crispy skin and a thin layer of meat only..

Another duo in the form of fish, the sweet and sour but spicy as well sauce, reminded me of "dao pan jiang" sauce..by now everyone had problem breathing and could just stare at the fish..the sauce though would always stay in my mind..

If Yin was the first dish, Yang was the second this time in fillet form which helped us taste..but by now you just couldnt stuff it in..well i couldnt..i remembered the sauce being the non-spicy version of the first one..

The Bamboo Rice filled with goodies like yam cubes and chinese sausages.. another very fragrant dish and i faced the dilemma to eat a whole bowl or leave my limited room for dessert..
In the end, i compromised on half a bowl..too good..!

After so many flavourful dishes, a cleanser.. stir fried asparagus with pumpkin, very simple and helped with our digestion..

By now i had a "Warning! Calories overload!" all written on my forehead..but with all due respect to the host, you couldnt refuse when she asks you how was it right?

Just when i thought we were done.. this plate appeared..then the picture below happened..

Our own celebrity chef at action!..Chicken and oyster stir fry with peanut sauce..

I think it was me, but i found it very mild and would liked it to have more oomph!..If you know what i mean..

Steamboat!!! Oh dear me, by now you would have thought this is a review of what we ate for the whole week! But all of this was achieved in a lightning 2 and the half hours..can you believe that??

All thrown in for cooking, and i finally get to rest my stomach while we wait.. the hot soup was very spicy and almost burnt everyone's tongue whereas the clear soup flavoured with preserved vegetable and tomatoes suited a more moderate taste bud..

Finally for dessert, assorted flavours of mochi..chewy and crunchy from the peanuts..this used to be a favourite while walking at the night market.. This definitely passed my test although the flavours were quite subtle..

The Or Nee.. Yam with Gingko nut and pumpkin on the side.. Looks like baby food but if baby food tastes this good, i be glad to eat this every meal..

Lastly, i caught the action of the hot yam pieces drenched in ice water that emitted steam..too bad by then i was about to crawl out from the restaurant so i gave this a miss..

Wow! That was a very very long review..but jokes aside, this is a very reasonable place to dine in. The quality of the food is evident with a decent ambience and price, faults are so hard to find throughout the whole night despite the laughing and chatting.. Definitely a treasure worth keeping..Rating of 8.6 out of 10..

Address and contact details:
New Formosa Restaurant
46, Jalan SS2/24, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7875 1894
Fax/Tel: 03-7729 0000
Mobile: 019-335 3274
E-mail: formosa@streamyx.com

Stay tuned to the other floggers as we show how each person will present their case..