Friday, March 28, 2008

Always wanted that candlelight dinner?

*This is just a guilt entry where i decide to all of you guys a community service*

Always wanted to take out your loved one for a candlelight dinner? Without the kids or the in laws?

Obliged to choose a venue where the lighting has to be extra strong so you can take pictures without fuss and "noise"?

For once, you dont have to say how come the plate of meat doesnt look attractive enough or how come the chef is so uncreative when it comes to plating it?

Well, celebrate Earth Day tommorow, 8pm - 9pm, or was it 7pm-8pm. Switch off all your lights, lit up the candlelight, dont care about the photos, pile up your meat and potatoes like you always wanted to do, shut your kids up, say there is no electricity and play with the candles.

[Addition: So did you celebrate Earth Day like you should? Sad to say, i was driving for the first twenty minutes, drop the Family home, drove another twenty minutes to have my coffee and all this while i didnt see people switch off their lights. Well at least my room lights were switched off]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shih Lin Taiwan Snacks @ Gardens, MidValley

Street food originating from Taiwan.

3 essential items; Oysters, Mee Sua and Fried Chicken.

Enjoying under the blowing air-con with no sweat, clean chairs and tables instead of tarmac to stand on and obviously no sights of rats and flies. Definitely another new meaning to "Street Food".

Apparently a big hoo haa down town in Singapore, creating long queues of eager people wanting to down big juicy oysters and mee sua in a thick almost gelatine like broth.

Although i still have doubts over the palates of the down under when it comes to street hawker food, i still need to give this a try right?

Apparently, i might be proven wrong. Equipped with two large oysters and shredded chicken, the mee sua and the broth was on the bland side. Spot that chilli paste down there? The sourish lime juice used with it, made the bowl delicious and easy to down. It is amazing how a bit of lime can do wonders, just like it can do to a simple Maggi Goreng.

It is a pity, RM 6 only gets you two oysters because i want more. Some say to enjoy the Ultimate experience, no chopsticks shall be used, only the spoon which seemed hard but achievable.

With two favourite ingredients downed, what was next?

Who can say no to deep fried chicken? Juicy, breaded and crispy; it almost sounds like a KFC ad. The only qualm i had was the refusal to cut the chicken to "maintain the crispy skin and the juicy meat" it seems. I can forsee that if i ever had to satisfy myself with oily fried food with the guilty need for protein; XXL Crispy Chicken seemed to be the best bet.

Just bear in mind, i am pretty immune to thick breaded batter.

Address:

Along the new lower ground walkway from The Gardens to the old wing of Mid Valley

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. At RM6 for each dish, i can actually get decent food without having to sweat but i am pretty bias because i am pretty "in" with oysters, mee sua and fried chicken.

Spot a trend in my eating patterns? Gardens, i aim to finish all of the food you offer, just you wait.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yo! Sushi @ Gardens Mall

Japanese food has mutiliated itself by miles over the last few years. What used to be a proper posh meal consisting of delicate pieces of cuisine preserved in Japanese history has "fusioned" its way to a world of its own. Its as if there is a subcategory of good old Japanese food and Japafusion food.

Stepping inside Yo! Sushi, i seemed to have gone into a make shift disco turned sushi bar in the day. A place where the conveyor belt and the sushi tables will be used for the pole dancers, the music and lighting definitely played the part as well.

Gone are the days when sushi bars = Sushi King, machine churned rice balls, slimy pale looking fish slices that they call sashimi. Prices bordering on the verge of dirt cheap was what we got for obviously sub-standard sushi.

Not anymore.

Now we have Yo! Sushi, their own take of what a sushi bar should be. I like to say the UK take on the Japafusion cuisine.


Green, Red, Pink, Purple, We got a whole rainbow here..*Imagine dancers replacing the sushi plates*

Now if theres one irritating thing i need to complain about, it is the colours. The colours are fine, but the lack of prices associated with the colours other then shown on the first page of the menu, which requires to flick into it, is troublesome. If i had all the money in the world, i wouldnt care, but then again if i had all the money in the world, i would get a sushi chef to work for me right?

Prices dont start much cheaper then RM3. That is for your free flow tea by the way. Then of course your vegetarian choices, then it jumps to RM5, RM8, RM14 and a whopping RM16!

That is almost hotel prices, i tell you.


Orange = RM 10. Dont remind me about the price but the cream cheese and smoked salmon bagel has just turned into sushi which was surprisingly quite good.


The offer of the day, RM 8 becoming RM4 for this soft shell crab temaki. The sweet sauce and the juicy crab which actually had a bite rather then a crunch to it. At RM4 it was a steal and i am wondering why i didnt have more then one.


I cant resist avocado. For some reason, i have never got tired of the overdose of avocado, smoked salmon and blanched prawns in Australia. At RM3, you got to stuff this in if you want to leave the place satisfied.


An invention of their own i suppose, The Eel Dragon Roll, filled with fresh crab meat and that slice of unagi that the Girlfriend was dying for. (Another RM10)

Then the sashimi craze that started. Apparently if you compare restaurant prices, it is rather cheap, after all 5 slices for RM16 seem a steal. Sell it to me when it is moving around a conveyor belt, i believe it is blasphemy.


Then again, i am eating tuna that is so red, someone asked me if they dyed it red. No residuals of frosting and ice.


Seared for like god knows how many seconds so that the outer layer, and i mean outer layer is cooked. The inside is juicy like raw sashimi.


I mean this definitely doesnt look out of place if i replate this in a grander plate and lots of ice around it. Then again, i dont believe i am paying RM16 for each plate.

Another signature dish was their Miso Black Cod. A remake of the infamous dish invented by Nobu London.



The slice appeared thinner then the sashimi. The taste was spot on, white miso and the sweet mirin. Somehow i cant seem to reproduce this dish, well then again thats why i eat and i dont cook. The lotus root was soggy despite the proud crunchy look. At RM 14, i rather spend time in the kitchen reproducing the dish, bear in mind, white miso costs RM20 a box, cod fish RM8-9 by the 100gm and mirin which costs RM15 a bottle.

Address and contact details:

Gardens Mall
Lower Ground Floor
The Gardens Galeria
Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur

I would say its bordering on the original Mid Valley but it seemed to be part of Gardens for the sake of advertising.

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. There is totally nothing wrong with the food, they have bought the sushi bar quality to a level not capable 2-3 years ago. It is top notch but the mentality of people who visit sushi bars may take some time to accomodate the double digit price tags on some of their multi-coloured sushi plates. Come to think about it, someone was rambling on about their RM50 mini 8 course japanese meal, what was i doing here in the first place??

Friday, March 21, 2008

If you guys havent realised..

There appears to be a contrast in quality and may i say by leaps and bound with my new gadget and my big gadget.

I have been lazy i confess in lugging my DSLR on several occassions and because i am lazy i am relying on my K770i as a replacement due to its "3.2 megapixel" camera functions.

Sadly, i realise i have been spoilt for quality during my rendevous with the Canon, that this pictures doesnt even seem acceptable.

Sigh. Looks like the big gadget is going to go out with me, and my new gadget should be used for what it was built for, to call.

Notice the pudgy fingers that look likes the speed bumps of KL..

No justice to this scrumptious Char Siew Soh..

Maybe i might still do a review of where i ate this some day..

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Scrumptious Desserts @ Midvalley


I sniffed and i whiffed. The familiar pungent smell of that fruit was hitting up my nose faster then you say "durian". Wait a minute, i am neither at the durian markets nor am i at Just Heavenly for that matter.

I am standing in the middle of a shopping complex smelling durian, have i gone nuts? With no sight of that green thorny fruit unless Jaya Jusco was blowing durians into the air-con, hundreds of metres away, it was impossible or was it?

Then i saw it, a humble stall with a fridge filled with yellow goodies.

A smiling lady was dishing up samples of DURIAN PANCAKES!

Now if you have eaten the ones at Mandarin Oriental, the cream is infused with durian but none to be seen.

This one on the other hand has strands of durian flesh in one layer and a freshly lightly whipped cream in another layer, wrapped by a rather tasteless skin. After all the purpose of the skin was to protect the emperor of all fruits and cream from the public like his guards.

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Finishing a piece in 2 bites, this is a relatively affordable durian snack, 6 pieces for an introductory RM 10. The durian flesh shows that they have not skimmed ontheir ingredients, now the only mystery is how their mango pancake tastes like.

Situated at the new walk thru from Midvalley to Gardens, closer to the Midvalley side, just after the Big Apple donuts corner shop.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gills Restaurant @ Jalan Kasah

Despite precautionary measures that my right side of the jaw was to be slowly put back in to action, my mouth was itchy for solid food, my camera was being itchy to touched and loved and my girlfriend obviously had to be fed.

So when she mentioned what food have you eaten without me, i muttered that indian restaurant without realising that i can work with only 1 side of my jaw. Well, if theres always a first for everything, first time you were put to school alone, first time you had to work for your own money, first time you spend your hard-earned money and the story goes.

Thus the first time to ever eat indian food after pulling out your wisdom tooth 5 days after the operation. Doesnt sound that bad, does it?

Now Gills has been around for ages, the first sign i see is the "All-day long Happy Hours" which clearly appear to be one of the reasons it is standing tall and proud in their corner outlet. They definitely know how to keep their customers happy, with cheap booze.

My constant haunt for butter chicken got the better of me to finally give this a try. I had been unable to find a place that cooks butter chicken like they do in the Northern Indian restaurant in O Connell street back in Adelaide. The creamy chunky drumstick pieces would accompany me and my girlfriend during countless of crap college dinners.
Starting off with papadums accompanied with mint sauce. The crunchy crackers with no sign of dripping expired oil was a delight to munch while waiting for the mains.

Despite having only more then 2 spoonfuls of rice in 5 days, no one was going to stop me from ordering rice in an indian restaurant that serves butter chicken. It would be a sin, worse then a sin to have either one without the other. Imagine the Twin Towers getting separated, how about that?

If you dont order rice, you will still get shot by me, although i will contemplate on shooting just your legs if you order naan because it is still darn tasty.

Remember Popeye telling you to eat your spinach? Well lets hope i get my uber big biceps from this chunks of cheese cubes and blended spinach (Palak Paneer). My first taste of vegetable in days after the flashing horror images of vegetable getting tangled with my stitches.

Fret not when you do not see Butter Chicken on the menu, although my face almost turned white and i wanted to cry when i couldnt see it. Labelled as Chicken Makhani, (bugger just use Butter Chicken), the richy tomato flavours with the exception of not using enough cream and thick chunky drumstick pieces, this was enough to make me happy.

The finale of Fish Curry. The thicky spicy sauce that had spices spelt with a capital S was fragant and yet numbing the control of my tongue.

Word of warning, if you contemplate the orders above for 2 pax, ensure you are hungry, not just hungry but darn hungry to finish off the food. The meagre but rich portions will keep you bloated to walk away feeling very value for money.

Address and contact details:

Gills Restaurant
138, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel : 603 2092 5403
Fax : 603 2094 4196
Contact : KP Nathan
Opening Hours :
Lunch : 12noon - 2.30pm
Dinner : 6pm to 10.30pm
Last call from bar 11pm
Closed weekly on Mondays

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. I can have my dose of butter chicken at will in this place without having to fly 6 hours down under for the same mesmerising dish. Dishes range from RM12-20 for their one size fit all meats and vegetables.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Olivere Twisted

As usual after a bowl of watery gruel, Olivere being the twisted one would ask the Lady-In-Charge if he could get another portion to satisfy his bottomless well. At double of the size of the next biggest kid, the Lady-In-Charge had always wondered how in the world Olivere got to this size when all she had been feeding him was a tablespoon of rice and water from the tap.

Well apparently metabolism rates and the hibernating body were some of the answers tossed around in her mind. So she gave up and decide to see if the well could really hold the rumoured gallons of water.

So instead of expecting a big tight slap on the ass which had no apparent effect except stinging pain in the Lady-In-Charge hand, Olivere was told this.

"Pork or fish, dear"

"On the left we have roasted pork meat and bones with dried scallops and on the right we have fresh fish fillet, minced ginger and lots of dried scallops"


Olivere Twisted scratched the head for awhile and almost fainted.

As the Lady-In-Charge enjoyed her mental torture routine, Olivere woke up from the hunger pangs and decided very carefully.

Left or right? Strong flavours or light flavours? Red meat or white meat? Both just sounds so tempting!

After a long 60 seconds that resulted in an extra 100 calories required to be replenished in the meal, Olivere decided that left and right sounded like the best solution. With that, came bowl after bowl and lets see 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 bowls was digested throughout the day with the help of the study materials that distracted the fact that eating was the main agenda.

After digesting through 30 pages of management accounting, Olivere had enough and decided manual labour was required to burn off the calories and now shivers at the sight of porridge.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am back to work..

It seemed only yesterday i was scheduled to pull out that mother of all teeth. Time really flies and it is time to get my ass back to work tomorrow.

I gave it another thought and i realised its been ages since i was on that liquid diet that somehow or rather had no effect whatsoever when i jumped on the scales. Looks like i might as well go back to good old solid food.

Well just that i am trying to avoid food pictures at the moment. You know the kind of feeling you get when you surf around food blogs just before lunch or dinner? Well imagine you dont get to eat lunch or dinner after surfing. The feeling is unimaginable.

Therefore the easy way out, some pictures of the little kids in my life well missing in my life at the moment.

Chinese New Year moments..



Its amazing where babies learn to lean on the wall and face you to pose at the camera..Do they get a supply of Cleo and TeenMag in the womb?

The obligatory picture of the boy who asks for his picture..

I promise some food pictures like the bowls of porridge i had today. Soon, as soon as i am off that liquid diet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Venezia @ Taman Segar

All is well. The mother of all tooths was removed, a pretty huge one too. The delicate stitching, the constant leak of blood and the piece of cotton in my mouth appears to be the best tools for a detox program. Somehow or rather, the appetite drops and you rather go to a deep trance in bed with a foul stench.

---

Enough of tooth and teeth. Someone suggested archives, and so i did, rummaging carefully and scrutinising each picture before i realise i had packed it all nicely in a set.

Venezia. Apparently a place in Italy but a piece of it was imported over to Taman Segar, a humble area in Cheras.

Recommended and noted that they serve a killer of all risotto, how could i resist that temptation? It is like telling a lion where you can get good gazelle and deer, or a lady where she can get great bargain jewellery.

Stepping inside the small simple cafe, you cant help to notice the "white faces" manning the place. Even if they were useless, i give them plus points for making the point that they are authentic as ever.

Now italian staple food comes in two forms; pasta and pizza. You may choose to disagree and as such theres an extra "etc" if it may so please.

With the two of us though, pizza was out of the question. Back to the pasta.

The spaghetti with asparagus and prawns. Now see the sauce everywhere, bland. Although they got their "al dente" right, but the rest of it just seemed so home cooked and well, no comment.

Again, the salt bottle seemed to be missing in the kitchen. I was faced with a creamy plate of rice that i would happily indulge if, salt was put in! Oh my my, which part of Italy have i stepped into?

As an addition to misery,

Caesar Salad that was alright but not utterly great. Have my palate moved to a different universe or was i just being too picky here?

Finally

A tiramisu with no hint of alcohol! Not as smooth as i had hoped but edible to say the least.

Now maybe thats why this was stuck in my archives for the longest of time.

Address and contact details:

Venezia Italian Restaurant
1 Jln. Manis 4,
Taman Segar, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur

Business Hours:
Mon - Sat (11:30 am - 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm - 11.00 pm)
Sun (11:30 am - 11:00 pm)

Verdict: 2 stars out of 5 stars at best. I am sure they had better days but today was just off. Just like the day when you wake up with a bad hair day and foul breath but you dont have time to even put on your clothes to go off to work. Quite dismal to say the least but like i said, salt salt salt!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I am signing out..

Rest assure i wont be quitting this favourite hobby of mine.

I am going to get my wisdom tooth pulled out in an hour's time. No eating and probably no photographing at the looks of it.

Till i recover and food please wait for me!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Some things are meant to be eaten together

Election is tommorrow. March 8th. An important day when Malaysians vote for who to run the country and for their future.

I guess we probably have read enough on the newspaper, the forward emails to teach you who to vote and by now cant wait for the day to be over.

Although i admit it has never cross my mind to register when i was eligible, some how the hype seem to have got into me a bit whee excited, and now i regret as i will be in deep sleep while everyone queues to vote for their favourite political party.

Nevertheless, just a few words. Some things are meant to be eaten together. Just like Yee Sang.



When eaten separately, it is either tasteless, salty, sour and worse still disgusting.

Put together, and you have eternal bliss for the period it takes to gobble up what you have spooned onto your plate.

So do what you must as Malaysians and lets see if the future will be brighter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kwik Stix @ O Connell Street, Adelaide

Theres salt and theres pepper. Both are used for enhancing a usual plate of tasteless food eventhough the chef has a whole lot more of complicated seasoning in bottles at his/her disposal.

Put salt and pepper together however, you can throw away all the different kinds of seasoning you got, and be happy.

What am i rambling on about? Salt and Pepper squid.

Seasoned with heavy doses of salt and pepper, spring onions and fresh chilli bits. It has got to be one of the best accompaniment of cold chilling beer. Otherwise, a great lunch or dinner when you see leftovers being served at college. AUD 14.90

Back in the days of university, this place used to be the default for a better lunch if need be. At AUD 6.90 and a 3 minute walk from your door, i usually take away here when i dont have university.

Their green curry beef stir fry, although only with a slight hint of authencity, usually gets finished before you finish repeating A-Z.


Other lunch specials at AUD 6.90 includes noodles which to be honest are not up to par.

Address and contact details:

42 O'connell St
North Adelaide, SA 5006, Australia
+61 8 8239 2023

Verdict: A blast from the past that deserves a 3 stars out of 5 stars for their salt and pepper squid and for the sentimental value. Then again, students now have the disposal of cars and get to drive out to the suburbs for proper food so you may beg to differ.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Elephant @ Section 17, Petaling Jaya

Although Thailand may appear to be our bordering country up north, i tend to find a lack of Thai food around KL. Then again we dont get much Singaporean food around but wait a minute; do they eat proper food in Singapore?

Back to thai cuisine and rewind back to year 2007, where the following food has been digested through and through, flavours no longer lingering on the tongue and wait a minute, i might seem to forget where and when i ate this.

Yes, My Elephant.

The day when i was awarded Blogger with the Best Nick.

The day when i decided to take a photo of someone's chest. Just dont let my girlfriend find out who he/she was. Oops.

The "green" theme seems so appropriate at this time of the year. Everyone wants to be green, fighting for less trees to be cut down and save the world yet takes the car instead of walking 5 minutes.

After looking at this plate of unforgettable roast duck red curry with avocado and lychee, i cant wait to get back here. The smooth curry, the chewy duck and the neutralising avocado. Available on weekends, and make sure you call to book.

Yellow curry prawns, a different colour but a totally different curry. On the dry side, with the sauce all soaked up in the bread by the time, we finished taking pictures. Nevertheless, the potential of the curry was very obvious even though the prawns were questionable. No one left with a stomache so it wasnt that bad.

The thai salad with glass noodles, beans and young papaya. Sour and tangy, exactly how a salad coming from Thailand should taste like.

A Stir fry chilli lamb with cashew nuts. By this time, my tongue was indeed on the numb side. The meat was smooth and definitely not on the tough side. The crunchy cashew nuts have given me the inspiration of putting nuts in my salad and stir fry from that day onwards.

The ultimate killer. Without any of the fish head, mushrooms, chilli and tomatoes; the soup is clear and definitely does not exude the feeling of spicy. Take a sip and you will start to cry. I am that serious. Definitely not for the faint tongue and hearted.

The poor fish was stuffed to the brim with lemongrass and steamed with chilli and lime. Thank goodness, it was sacrificed with a cause. The local barramundi fish meat is not firm nor soft but very smooth.

The vegetable tempura may have gotten inspiration from Japan, but the thin batter and the crispy vegetable was a delight from all those spicy stuff above. Phew.

Best served with white fluffy jasmine rice and pandan cooler.

Address and contact details:

My Elephant Thai Restaurant & Café,
Block C - G4 Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13,
Section 17, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 012-328 5028, 019-360 8911
Business hours: Tuesday to Sundays - noon to 2.30pm,
6 to 10pm except Sunday lunch.


Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. Finally a place for good Thai food without cutting a hole in your wallet and pocket. It is shocking that i have yet to return after that big meal in 2007. It should be soon, i hope.