Sunday, April 27, 2008

Purple Cane Tea Restaurant @ Gardens, Mid Valley

Like how Nasi Lemak and many other dishes that was created to satisfy humans by being eaten, Tea was instructed by mankind to be drunk. Well, try telling Purple Cane that, who have incorporated tea in whatever way possible into their chinese cuisine.

Something that is definitely not new and in actual fact it has been around for years, the Garden outlet has definitely given Purple Cane, a new refreshed image and turned the dusty idea to wow the public again.

There were some blurred images of their classic dishes in my mind; so i was definitely looking forward to see if the flavours remain a memory or bought back to reality.


The classy decor and the easy access of a shopping centre said it all, unlike their outlet in the Chinese Assembly Hall which was a maze to find; hidden in an ugly white building. Purple Cane is here to do some serious business.

Tea has been incorporated in many ways in their dishes, from being used in marination, the cooking process to just putting some in the sauce, the result were subtle and for some; faintly noticeable.

The stuffed Yau Char Kuey with a sweet honey sauce was ordered as a starter but was decently sized to go around a table of 10.

One of the first dishes that suddenly flashed back infront of me like a dream; Boxing Chicken. Chicken drummets shaped like a fist, with a sweet dark sticky sauce was eagerly in everyone's hands. The side yau char kuey suddenly felt like an afterthought.

Apparently one of their famed and signature dish, this was definitely new to me. The smoked duck was de-boned, served with lettuce leaves for wrap, thin pancakes to wrap and condiments like sweet sauce that people would recognise from eating Peking Duck. So many ways of eating it, yet one simple smoked duck with tea leaves.

A hiccup in the middle of the meal, a strawberry fish. Tasted more like strawberry jam as opposed to fresh strawberries, the fish meat tasted fresh and the meaty texture evident. Pity the sauce but then again, had my little cousins scavenging for the sweet familiar sauce that they find in their sandwiches.

What surprised me, is that the next few dishes were technically vegetarian. Are we really starting to eat healthier or am i just wondering a bit too much?

Salted egg yolk with bittergourd. Looks like my "diet" is out of the window. Taste good but the same as any other place that offers this dish. I wonder where the tea came in.

The mixed vegetable again came laden with yau char kuey. Now i am seriously pondering whether there had abit too many leftovers and they were using it generously as a decor item. The lotus roots were crunchy, the mushrooms were of quality and baby corn was a favourite among the little ones.

Now this is one of my most loved dish when we use to frequent their outlet in the Chinese Assembly Hall. The deep fried oyster mushrooms done kung po style. Totally scrumptious and suddenly the taste buds all came back to me.

Finishing off with their speciality tau fu that comes in 1 size. Whether you are a table of 2 or 10, this is only size you will get which slightly bigger then your shallow rice bowl. Tasted great and the gravy was gladly being slurped up with the tea infused rice.

Address and contact details:

Lot LG206, Lower Ground Floor,
The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Tel: 03-22836090

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. The food is lovely and priced reasonably when compared with the other F&B outlets that offer chinese cuisine. The memories that it bought back definitely warrants coming back, and for those Halal readers, THIS IS HALAL! Another warning, please call and book a table if you come in a crowd bigger then 8 or 9, so you can have the coveted table at the back which fits you all.


PS: Will be off to Bangkok on Tuesday right up to Friday, have fun going through my archives and till i come back with lots of Thai food.

Ciao ciao

Friday, April 25, 2008

Picture to end the week

Wanted to finish the week with a full blown review but realised my chicken dish was missing in action, the pain of uploading pictures in batches.

So i thought what could i do then? I realised i got a picture that was receiving luke-warm response in my Flickr account. First picture to have 4 independent people looking into it. Now thats a rare gem indeed.

So here it is..

I am swallowing my saliva as i see this, Time for LUNCH!

For my readers, i know i asked before, but time for you guys with the slightest knowledge about Bangkok to help me out!

Me staying at Indra Regent Hotel, Bangkok.

Places to tailor clothes and food; i need. Shopping malls, i think thats quite obvious by now.

Thank You.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thank You Note for the humble host.

I think i am late.

I mean everyone has come already. Dont believe? Look here, here and there.

Where is mine? AM I IN DEEP TROUBLE? How cum i havent cum yet?

And no, its not my period or my girlfriend's period i am talking about. Nor a problem with my manhood.

---

Now in my own attempt to make it as dirty as our conversations that night, this shall be my take on the invite for a "SIMPLE" dinner. *Sometimes i wonder what is his definition of simple especially his ENGLAND is always so powderful.

Apparently when one mention the word 'Nasi Lemak', we think of it as the unofficial national dish of Malaysia, proudly made famous and served by our humble halal fellow comrades. Just looking at the black and white picture gives you a feel of how long it has been in existence.

Apparently, one of them rioted and proceeded to make it as obscene and as unhalal as it could be. How? The same comrade then decided to dress nasi lemak like a dish fit for a michelin star restaurant; with exotic malaysian jungle beans, convulvus (whatever that means) and questionably organic harvested groundnuts. Along with the most tongue numbing sambal that would cause the Michelin reviewers to faint, nasi lemak has never sinfully tasted so good with ROAST PORK.

Siu Yuk..Thou shall not haunt me..

Fragrant rice with milk from the young coconut..

The Heavenly Kings of Beans and alike.

The naive looking but desperately dirty name vegetable.

Tempeh..


When you thought a simple dinner would consist of only Nasi Lemak; we were more then happy to embrace it with flowing red wine. Unfortunately, this host has a fetish of treating his house like a Michelin restaurant; thus a degustation menu was always on the card. That meant my Nasi Lemak being dissected to several courses and a few more courses to boot.

To rewind; a variety of cheeses that HIS KIDS WOULD FINISH OFF. How thoughtful of the chef? Did he not think we would finish everything off?

The evil looking trident fork was ready to pierce through the roast lamb with a vengeance. It was a miracle to find whole garlic pieces stuffed right in the middle of the leg. Apparently, deep slits and abit of poking does the trick; i wonder what HE used to poke the garlic in. Tabbouleh was served next to it which was inspired heavily by a herb or person; is the rhyming lemongrass a human or grass?

With any michelin star restaurant; we cant be as barbaric to be tearing pieces of lamb from the leg and chewing on it like a caveman. Things have to be plated nicely and with "taste".

To finish off with chicken pie, is as blissful as finishing sex with an orgasm (not quoted from me obviously)

Just when about the courses seem to come to an end, like any high end restaurants, a tasting dessert platter is compulsory

Tiramisu served with a bottle of liquor, hmm i cant decide, liquor or cake?

Jackfruit, passionfruit and strawberries pavlova, whats next? Durian and apples?

At this point, the master chef was sweating like he just came out from the sauna, shivering to know whether his menu would make the standards of the fat blob Michelin. Would two desserts be enough? Well, the reviewers wouldnt know if he sub-contracted it right?

So he did; get the best from the best, from the Just Heavenly Boys (Men, rather).

Apparently, mango and basil goes well with meringues too.

Profiteroles as a cleanser.

And as finally i reached the end of the degustation menu with "tai chow" portions; intoxicated with dirty jokes that will require my hourly cleansing of the ear, food to be digested for the rest of the week and well worked jaw muscles from laughing, i bid farewell and ask for sleep.

Definitely a simple degustation menu that i shall want to revisit.

Thank You for all the laughter and food. If i had to give a verdict, this would definitely be 5 stars out of 5 stars.

PS: Err, when are your parents going for holiday again?

What a pleasure..


Taking a break off food reviews, one of my greatest achievements in the terms of savouring the best was highlighted in this website i visited just now: the World's Best 50 Restaurants in the World

Remember my dodgy pictures and my amateur review? It turned out to be the 30th Best Restaurant in the World!!!

Among the list that boasts El Bulli and Fat Duck, I am proud to have at least tried 1 restaurant. I think i found my new resolution; to try another one.

Ok, thats for now. Back to work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Girlfriend biggest achievement


Before i start, i am amused by how generous the Girlfriend was in allowing me to post this story up. Thanks to dear, who most probably tear my site down after re-reading what happened last week.

The Girlfriend was faced with a mammoth task last week, getting to and back from a full week seminar in KLCC Convention Centre. Sounds easy? Not if you stay in Klang. The notorious traffic jam to travel that daily 80km send currents down her spine and it was only courteous that the Boyfriend decides to do something to alleviate that headache.

So the Girlfriend stayed over at my place. Expected to be chaffeur driven to the doorstep, I posed the challenge to her on the way back home after moving half her wardrobe in my boot, could you take the LRT from KL Sentral? I mean after all, it is nearby my office and i dont have to suffer traffic and be late for work.

"Err,err, I DONT KNOW HOW TO TAKE LRT!" was the Girlfriend reply.

Apparently they are two kinds of people in this situation. One that will all out accept the fact that they cant do it, and the other one that will insists all things can be done eventhough he/she doesnt have a clue. Apparently, we both fell in the two distinct categories.

Heard of the saying "The blind leads the blind?"

Thus the night before the big day, the blind lead the blinder into the LRT Putra station. As confident as Donald Trump before revealing the Chosen One, the blind said "this path shall be the one" as they headed to the platform.

"Are you sure this is not going to the other side of the line?"

"Good question (think to himself). No, we are on track. Secretly hoping his head/tails answer better be right if not we would need to U-Turn"

As the train approached, we jumped in and prayed for the best. Four stops later, we miraculously arrived outside KLCC. Confidence full to the bream, we made our way back to my car, 4 stops away at KL Sentral.

On Monday morning, like an eager schoolgirl, the Girlfriend confidently walked towards the entrance and beeped her Touch n Go Card, jolly and gay, proud to have learnt one thing.

To take the LRT to work.

Just as she disappeared up the stairs to the platform, the Boyfriend finally breathed properly.

Phew, my ego is still intact.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vietnam Kitchen @ Leisure Mall, Cheras

Remember the kids that looked like i just tortured them or bored them to sleep? In actual fact, they were waiting for their food patiently or rather impatiently.

Leisure Mall, was a place we grew up in. In the primary school days, i remember the weekly arcades session where we spend our valuable tokens playing incredibly childish games like *smacking crocodiles that come up from their hole* and *Daytona racing*.

Fast forward years and years, we found ourself back here with a tinge of deja vu, thunderstorm and pouring rain, finding dinner.

Stepping inside the circumference of the area, (note the use of further maths jargon, is not my fault but a few egoistic guys who believes that females do not know what is "pie r squared"), you are greeted with elaborate dangling lights that vow you.

Dont fall on me..

Ok, i digress, back to food.

Vietnam Kitchen serves a variety of dishes that they call Vietnamese cuisine, but in the menu i spot a familiar slant on Cantonese cooking, but with your compulsory beef noodles and paper rice rolls to fulfill the criteria.

At sizes that are fixed, meaning a small/mediumish portion for almost 10 people, you can only imagine how many dishes there are. Dont say that i didnt warn you that this post is a picture overload.

To remind me where i eat i suppose..

I find that my picture taking skills has detoriated by a mile, not that it was a mile ahead to begin with. You will notice a drop in quality as the pictures flow, but i must admit this paper rice roll was well taken, *pat his own back*. Taste wise, you will find yourself dipping into the sweet sauce to gel the flavour of the fresh healthy vegetables together. If not, you will start wondering if your past life was a rabbit.

I remember someone suffering from pork withdrawal syndrome and demanded a picture of a pork dish. The braised pork with egg with a hint of coconut was decent. The meat teared easily and eggs, i mean how wrong can you go with boiled eggs?

People know that i cant refuse duck. So duck it is with a sauce that resembled sweet chilli sauce out from a bottle. Ohh, how i miss my sweet chilli Australian days.

Sesame chicken with pineapple chunks. Sweet and sour, with sprinkles of sesame seeds, worth ordering dish.

Assam prawns served in a pineapple. I have grown lazy to a level of its own, so apparently if shells are left on, i refuse to pick at the dish. Well so did everyone else, so in the end i did pick at one of those juicy prawns and was duly rewarded.

A simple dish, minced pork and shallots generously spread over eggplant. Healthier then some dishes, i was cosy over this simple yet tasty dish.

A recommended fish that looked spicy but tangy instead. It is like looking like a chilli but tasting like a lady finger (a poor man english pun). Didnt really like it or hate it, blame it on the creator of the love and hate theme.

After reading Precious Pea and her rendevous with beef brisket and tendons, i couldnt resist when i saw the same thing on the menu. A pity as i was presented with a bowl of luke warm and slightly on the tough side beef pieces, very sweet too as it was tomato based.

Finally time for some vegetables.

Ending with tau foo, for the kids.

Address and contact details:
Lot L2-26-01 Level 2,
New Wing Cheras Leisure Mall
Jalan Manis 6, Taman Segar, Cheras

No: 03-91309530

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. For an average of RM12-RM20 a dish, and since its outside Fitness First, the gym kakis can easily enjoy a decent meal before heading off. For me? The trip back in time is worth coming back here for as i imagine myself as a small kid running around the arcade and falling down half the time. Back to the food; it is worth eating when it is infront of you.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Am i alone?

Not akin to the infamous Liverpool scoundrel phrase "You will never walk alone", all i ask if am i alone; when i complain that my internet is being a bitch in uploading pictures onto Flickr?

Guess i am not alone or alone if my post is left untouched and unread especially after i just chased all my readers who are avid Liverpool supporters. [I am still adamant that Liverpool bought over the referees, and yes, i am a Gunners fan]

Back to some pictures i was meant to post up, but being a professional procrastinator; i got some but not all. So to digress, I would like to welcome my cousins back to KL!

This high rollers cousins have decided that flying back and forth was enough, and are now back in KL, well for how long no one knows.

I miss Jakarta? No? Yes?

No more flying ar?

Ok lor..


Monday, April 14, 2008

Restaurant Kung Jung @ Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Where can one get more free dishes then paid dishes?

Dont get it? Meaning where can one pay for 1 dish and get err, lets see, one ,two ,three ,four ,five maybe six dishes free?

Apparently, in most places, the most you get free is your complimentary bread and butter, well for the chinese, even the peanuts and towels come with a price.

So it is with hospitality, that the Koreans came up with free side dishes and did i mention REFILLABLE as well for greedy gluttons like us.

It appears that Pavilion has tried to give their shoppers a flavour from all over the world; Kampachi has Japanese, Silk Road covers China and the Food Court covers virtually half the world. So filling in the quota for Korean cuisine, is Kung Jung.

If there is one complaint, the front entrance doesnt entice customers to come in. There on the left hand side are tables where it is always empty with no bbq equipment to see. Well apparently when we entered on a Saturday late afternoon, the inside was just as empty. Hmm, let the food speak.
When you think that eating korean food is already pampering yourself; no need to lift a finger to cook the meat, Kung Jung tries to lift it up a notch by giving you that classy ambience but does that mean "Fine Korean Cuisine"? Now opening inside a shopping centre that attempts to attract majority of the crowd, this place is unfortunately HALAL.

How can a KOREAN BBQ SERVE NO PORK?????

Go figure.


As i console myself with the "pan chan", the spicy tau fu slices got my appetite roaring. Definitely a good marketing tactic to keep your customers ordering.

Crunchy pickled asparagus. If you see a trend here, you are not alone. Truth is, Koreans arent all that rich. Most of them depends on pickled vegetables and thankfully plentiful of rice to get them through winter. Meat is drastically expensive especially beef and chicken

The dish that created this equation. Kimchi = Korea

One of the standard side dishes, bean sprouts.

The Girlfriend thinks its korean french fries. How can one be korean and french at the same time? This is basically how french fries look like before they get fried.

Pickled cucumbers.

A generous amount of fish cake slices.

One thing i got to say, they are pretty generous with their side dishes. So finally for the dishes that we actually paid for.

DIY, sometimes you got to do it yourself to make it taste good. Vegetables, garlic, bean paste and sesame oil dip.

Garlic Beef Sirloin (RM 65). Hefty price tag, but the marbled layers seem to assure you that you shall get your money's worth. The thin slices though make you feel that you might be a little short changed. Taste wise, the generous amounts of garlic was like heaven, and if you choose to be spick and span, you can ask them to cook it for you on one side, then serve to you cooked.

But then again, what is the meaning of korean bbq when you dont even see your food being cooked infront of your eyes?

After a bout of freeze inside the cinema, i spotted ginseng chicken soup (RM40). A whole baby chicken filled with glutinous rice and a stem of ginseng welcomed me with steam floating up the air.

One word: Bland.

Then again, they gave me salt for a reason, i guess some people prefer it bland while others douse rounds of salt before they are happy. Then again, it warmed my stomach and i shouldnt complan since my earlier latte didnt even come hot and this was steaming right in front of me.

Address:

6th floor, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Verdict: If i got something positive out from it, it was a genuine attempt to inject some class into korean dining. All this while, we have smelly restaurants from plate after plate of charcoaled grilled pork and smoking koreans. Here things are abit slower and classier, i suppose. Then again, i rather like my rowdy korean crowd drinking soju while i see my pork belly sizzle.

3 stars out of 5 stars.