Thursday, February 28, 2008

Breakfast @ La Bodega, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

I was clearing my back log of photos when i realise i had none left for display, has my camera really been seating inside the bag for so long? Or have i been too hard-working. Seems like it was the first option.

Now while going through pages of pictures that looks vaguely familiar, i realised i got two unpublished photos!

La Bodega, the chill out place in Bangsar, the place where you play board games and drink Sangria, laughing louder and louder has opened another outlet in Pavilion. I reckon this concept seems to be the same, alfresco and relaxed. So i find myself funnily wondering the place at 10 on a sunday morning, finding breakfast before going to Starhill for the watch exhibition. (No, i did not buy a watch because the cheapest around were at the very least high 5 figures if not 6 figures).

Breakfast was hearty and normal i guess. Then again, its been awhile since i had cold baked beans and poached eggs since my college days. Now you wonder why i paid almost RM20 to get back the old feeling right? Those were the days after breakfast, you go back to your room and doze off again till lunch on a weekday.

The many sausages seemed abit uncreative especially these were definitely not gourmet but rather supermarket quality. Somehow i feel the Bangsar outlet gave me a better deal, i dont know, you tell me?

Address and contact details:

Lot C3.06.00 Level 3, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. How often do i find myself wondering out there anyways? Not very, so i guess it will be another while when i drop by, if i do that is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Restaurant Fatty Tiger @ Connaught

Everything have names for a reason, we identify restaurants by their names thus if its "Zen something or rather"; we associate it with Japanese food or "Chyna" with chinese cuisine. So when i first heard about this restaurant, i was more shocked then anything else.

Are we going to be eating some fatty tiger? Oohh, this seems so illegal here.

Thankfully not. We are looking here is a restaurant with a purpose; to do things as natural as possible. Getting their fishes and prawns from the rivers of Pahang and even the east coast instead of fishes rearing in ponds and wild boar meat instead of pork. A humble opening reveals a place that serves some of the most expensive fish that i ever heard and seen.

Places like specialised seafood wont even have fish costing RM200 a kg but here? RM1,000 a kg seems to be a norm for a swimming Empurau, RM400 for a dead one and of course with a minimum 1 week order so they can send the order to hunt it down. Man, this is getting crazy.

Recognise this place if you feel like spending tons, and i literally mean tons of money on fish

The sultan of fishes; Jelawat fish that costs around RM12-13 a 100gm. You want to know how good it is? Look below.

Told you so.

Another recommended fish that we had. To be honest, give them some confidence when they tell you that fish "so and so" is fresh and worth eating. This rocked but beware about the fire below because it tends to cook the fish abit more then required.

An eel dish that we had; kung pow style. The fresh slices tastes surprisingly like the japanese unagi we get but this were swimming just barely an hour ago.

Remember the wild boar meat? This is lean and succulent, not to mention healthier then our lazy kin of pig. Cooked in a simple ginger and spring onion fry style.

Some vegetable dish to clean up the palate, and we almost got a complete meal.

Not really feeling white rice? Try their big anchovies fried rice. Brilliant company with the rest of the dishes.

Address and contact details:

Lot 12G, Ground Floor (South Walk),
CMC Centre, Jalan Cerdas,
Taman Connaught,
(Tel: 016-202 8572).

It is open daily, except Wednesdays,

for lunch (noon-3pm) and dinner (6.30pm-10.30pm).

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Rare freshwater fish spoils your choice in where you want to spend your money. The homely feel that the dishes exudes is a great excuse to get your mom to hang up her wok for the night as you dig into some steam fish. Just be prepared to spend more then RM100 a fish which is not exactly your "dai chow" affair.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tamarind Springs @ Ampang

The day before Valentines, i asked "So how did we celebrate Valentines last year".

In which a rather harsh tone replied "You went for happy hour with your friends and we almost broke up".

Oops. Truth was i on the dreadfully wrong side in assuming when she would get back from her 1 day outstation trip from Johor. My horrible mathematical skills derive a solution of "not coming back on time". It is probably the biggest miracle that she still my same Valentines this year.

This year, i was back with a vengeance. Eager to try to make up for what i did.

"Did you know, in the korean drama, the guy blew up balloons in the car to surprise?" [Checked, to buy balloons]

"Did you know its been awhile since you bought flowers?" [Checked, to buy flowers]

"Lets celebrate the dinner on another day" [Checked, to celebrate within Klang and find a good place on Saturday]

Looks like i was all prepared.

Tamarind Springs, with an ambience that could melt any heart. The minute you walked down the stairs down the middle of the jungle, you feel like you have just stepped into a different world, abit like Alice stepping into wonderland.

This is not what i saw in the brochure, this is what i saw.

Crackers with sweet chilli. The dip was exactly what reminded us of Australian life.

A complimentary sweet and sour asian salad

The dark atmosphere just makes the whole place so much more romantic, but hell to my pictures..

The pot of asparagus and crabmeat soup was pleasant on the palate, smooth and about the only item that was not spicy and cooked to make you sweat.

The sesame beef was disappointing (RM30plus). Getting lost between sesame and garlic, the tender cuts of meat was cooked well but the marinade, the sauce was just lost in my mouth.

The deep fried sea perch with spicy tamarind sauce (RM80pls). The meat was deeply fried and no signs of oil dripping. Although the sauce was tongue numbing and caused me to sweat profusely. At this moment i realised the ceiling fans were for show and the humid weather with no rain didnt help at all.

The shrimp paste on french baguette seemed to an alright appetizer but seriously nothing seemed to have tickled my fancy.

Address and contact details:

Jln 1 Taman T.A.R,
68000 Ampang,
Selangor D.E.


Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. The ambience was mesmerizing for both of us. The dim lights, the green wrapping around the wooden "atap restaurant", the attentive waiters basically shot the stars up to the sky BUT somehow the recommendations didnt seem to be what we were looking for. The food wasnt tantalizing but numbing to the mouth, even on the verge of mediocre. Then again, love is what fills up the stomach and not food, so if you want to impress, you better call and make a reservation soon. Real soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I am so dead tired

Its been awhile since i procrastinated. Either i have been in such a good mood or maybe i am just too smashed from the hectic life. It is the latter unfortunately.

Many things has been happening with life that suddenly seemed more primary then just eating food. Career for example.

Back in December, i drafted my tender letter, the only thing missing was the date and my signature. I was sick and tired of not achieving enough from my job which ultimately lead to me not getting any promotion. I applied elsewhere.

Then come January, when i went through a series of brainwashing sessions with my team's Partner. I must say hes a great guy, i mean you are someone whos earning a 7 figure salary but yet you waste hours of your saliva convincing me to stay. If i were him, i honestly would make it easy and say hey why dont you leave for something else.

So i stayed. Until the actions of my hatred in December replied with an offer. Someone offered me a promotion and an extra monthly seven hundred bucks a month in a totally different field. The temptation level was at its highest. Here i am with an offer to leave the mess i was in straight away.

Should i be the bastard and just leave? Well i had to see what my boss would offer me, it was the last straw, either he will have been fed up with me procrastinating and shoo me to leave or he ask me to stay. No money for the correct guess, he ask me to stay.

Promise after promise was given and laid out like a pinic's lunch. Temptation now was at a level unknown to me, similar to an orgasm from food. Tommorrow is the deadline to take up that job or reject it outright. What should i do? I ponder. One thing is for sure, I am so dead tired.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chinese New Year; the time to eat, eat and what else? but to eat

Time has just flown by and in a blink of the eye; i realised we are already mid way through February.

Before i could talk about New Year, Chinese New Year zoomed by with Valentines around the corner, i am speechless and seriously lost for words. The promise to talk about so many things and yet it has been ages since i could properly seat in front of the computer to blog ever since my laptop charger died on me.

It appeared to be only moments ago that i seem to remind people that we are forever behind in blogging about events; unblogged christmas dinners during chinese new year and yet i realised the "yee sang" pictures are still seating in my computer rotting away as Streamyx refuses to let me upload it on Flickr with its tortoise like pace bandwidth.

With that some eye opening pictures on the emperor that i feast like the minute i open my eyes during the first few days of Chinese New Year.

The obligatory tossing of shredded vegetables and coloured crackers that will make any wish come true, wealth, health and food!

Hours of braising mushrooms that grow in the winters of Japan, Abalone from the can, sea cucumbers from where else but the sea.

The seasonal lap cheong or waxed pork sausage. The saltiness compliments the abundant white rice served during this brunch. Who says we cant eat this alone though?

Leeks, what used to be a seasonal vegetable in Chinese New Year is finally available all year round but this does not stop us having a huge plate of it as one of our compulsory morning dishes.

After that seat back and relax as the table is cleaned up, the cards are out, the money flows as we share the wealth among each other, laughing and chit chatting as the hours pass by. The days of Chinese New Year does fly, horribly fast too may i add.

To all those who celebrate, happy final 3 days of Chinese New Year. More food to come, i promise as soon as Streamyx is up and running

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Before I forget today

It is not just about lover's love, sisterly love included

Today is probably a very special day where restaurants have a fine time serving plate after plate of food. You will seldom find workers seating on empty tables hitting mosquitos and swatting flies for that matter. For today, is the day, where guys and girls are to show each other extra love. Hmm, i can smell the air of love; the pollution from the buses and cars and the honking cars matter no more, for it is Valentines.

I trust that everyone will have a fun time tonight; eating and loving each other. Who say you cant love someone as much as any other day? Well whatever it is, Happy Valentines.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marmalade 2 @ Plaza Mont Kiara

With the yelling and shouting over strands of coloured and preserved vegetable, the round after round of rich glorious Chinese cuisine and finally the captain that eyes you like his prey, giving off sign language to pay for the meal and get out; after all that mess, you need a quiet meal to settle the heart down.

Where else is a nicer place other then Mont Kiara. In its booming years, flocks of teenagers, hippies and alike will crowd this happening area and invade any restaurant that serves food for the mouth. Over the years, new and more hip areas have mushroomed and only the loyal have stayed. The expats and the people staying around the area are the regulars and some hard core fans like me carrying forward from the days of high school will still surface once in a while.

It is not so much of Marmalade that i like, it is the ambience that makes this a hot sell to me. The quiet surroundings with a few people walking past, no traces of car honks and brakes and everyone looking so joyful and gay.

Looks out sometimes a cup of juice, a plate of salad and sandwich along with some sinful quiche should do the trick as i waltz away in my chair with the abundance of magazines and newspapers.

The mushroom and ham quiche with a side salad (RM18-19)

The salad with avocado, cashewnuts and chicken cubes along with the colourful bell peppers (RM16-18)

The smoked salmon sandwich (RM19)

Now located at Plaza Sunrise Mont Kiara, just walk past the waterfall and you should be able to see it.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Love the simplicity and the healthy aura that it gives.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am too full

I was warned.

Flashes of images infront of the mirror said it all. With bulges sticking out, the pants feeling tight and the sticky spanking new shirt reminded that this year shall not be the same again.

Then again, how does i teach an old dog new tricks? Well i certainly cant seem to learn new ones. Weeks before, actually months before; i told myself i must not gain weight during Chinese New Year. Careful food intake and lots of water consumption was ensure weeks before the festive period.

Apparently, that did not stop me from walloping any food at sight. Breakfast started out like any dinner, lunch was full of non stop digging into different Milo tins and dinner was like any banquet that would not embarass the emperor.

So now i am stuffed.

Shall be blogging as soon as i i think i can put food into my mouth with enthusiasm. Hopefully soon, after all, how long can a bear hibernate?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Restaurant LYJ @ Sungai Buloh

Getting here, i realise was never going to be easy. To print a map that was sparsely filled with street names wasnt any better. Expecting to find my way there with a street name wasnt helping much also. Along with the rain, i felt like beating the pulp of the next moving thing other then my car when it came to my senses i was getting lost.

For what? What else, but for food.

The great extent that a flogger goes to find food is testimony to how much i love food.

For RM480++, we were given this huge pot with about everything to A-Z also know as the infamous Pun Choy enjoyed all over the villages of Hong Kong.

One of the fortunate angles that i took.

So what was inside you may ask?
From the Roast man - Roast duck, suckling pig and kampung chicken
Fishmonger - Abalone, stuffed fish, prawns, scallops and apparently sharks fin

That was not all for the bottom of the pot was filled with braised ingredients ranging from chicken feet, mushrooms, pork and many more. The flavours by then had absorbed anything that was seating on top of it.

Was it great? Well to be honest, not worth the 1 hour trip and screaming on the phone to people who knew the way and people who didnt knew the way. I rather have it individually as a 9 course dinner but as a novelty it was pretty cool to be eating from a big pot.

Address and contact details:

PT 11, Jalan Perkhidmatan,
Kg Baru, 47000 Sungai Buloh.

Tel: 03-6140 2698
Operating hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.00pm to 10.oo pm.
Closed on Monday nights and during CNY.

Ratings: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Clearly not what i would like to eat everyday but it was ok as a novelty and to show spirit that we all love sharing each other's saliva and did i add; a great way to mingle as "ooh" at the different layers of meat available.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Shanghai Soh Chi Yuen @ JW Marriott

It is the time of the year when reunion dinners are customarily compulsory. Whether there are sessions of slaving hours behind the stove to get a whole table worth of dishes to feed generations of people or using money to solve the situation by eating outside, reunion dinners are as cliche as it can get.

The setting for the big night

With that, as any kind flogger would do, i would like to reveal all those dusty photos of the dinner i had in Shanghai. Situated ironically in the middle of Bukit Bintang, and seated comfortably inside JW Marriott, i am sure this would turn out be a clean affair, invite all your family, eat and leave without a single scratch to your fingernails.

So what do you eat in a restaurant named Shanghai? Shanghainese cuisine is theme of the night and with that, i gave up reading the pages in the menu and decided to test the familiarity of the captain. Like a natural, she proceeded to go through with me the local China delicacies with me, and as a pro, i crossed and i ticked. The menu was decided and let it begin.

The Xiu Long Bao started the meal with us, the juices danced around my mouth and my senses were tickled with the vinegar and ginger slices.

One thing i love about eating in high end restaurants is that the portions are determined for you. Whether small, medium or large will be decided by the chef. It is akin to a salesman telling you to try a Large instead of letting you go into the dressing room with a Medium, Large and Xtra Large.

Another delicacy, stir fry egg whites with a raw egg yolk dropped in the middle before being served. Crab meat and assorted seafood is usually served. This dish requires skill to cook and mastering the fire to avoid the egg white being overcooked. Sadly, this seemed a bit off the mark compared to the one i had in Hong Kong. Maybe it is expectations, but i felt this was quite good as it is.

The fish was steamed with rice wine, black fungus and some herbs. With a strong aroma of the wine and the freshness of the fish, we finished in a hurry. Our love for fish was confirmed.

The Pork Chop was so delicate and succulent. Biting into it, it almost reminds you of minced pork but the fillet was amazingly tender. The ingredients of the tasty brown sauce which somehow escaped my brains was just as delicious.

The tea smoked duck is a must try. The crispy skin and the infused smoked meat so jovial to enjoy. I can only say so much and you better believe it.

The Claypot of Beef Tendons and meat was accompanied with mantau, steam and fried. The red wine sauce was definitely new as one would associate with it being used in western cuisine. Nevertheless an eye opener.

Slowing down with a vegetarian dish, this looked like noodles but accurately put; strands of noodles made from beans. Certainly another eye opener.

To close off, a Chinese cabbage with chinese ham. The strong flavours of the ham was transferred to the broth and the cabbage. Soaked with flavours from all directions, this classic dish was individually served. All you had to do is to pick up the chopsticks and put it in your mouth.

The dry tong yuen with black sesame paste inside is another compulsory dessert item to eat. Bursting inside your mouth is a pungent paste that lives you with an after taste for a good while. The wet tong yuen comes with an unique soup that i cant remember how to describe. Well do try it out as well.

Address and contact details:

Soh Chi Yuen
JW Marriott Hotel
2nd Floor,
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 603 2719 8288
Fax: 603 2715 7010

Ratings: 4 stars out of 5 stars. The dinner for 11 cost a grand total of RM600 plus. The dining experience, the hotel ambience, the unique dishes that one cannot get on the street and the good service makes up the RM600. I would definitely recommend this place for dim sum and dinner, and this coming Chinese New Year is conveniently available for everyone to give it a go.