Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bellygood Restaurant @ Sunway Mentari


Formerly known as Wendy's Bistro which opened a year ago, the restaurant was recently re-named to "Bellygood Restaurant".

Was the food or the crowd that bad to warrant a change in owners within a span of a year? or Was there maybe a hostile takeover, i wonder?

The preconceptions and assumptions were quickly dispelled when i was greeted by Eve and Sue.

Apparently the Wendy franchise were a bit concerned and was facing the "who is the real Wendy identity crisis" and so the Wendy Bistro management happily obliged by changing their name of the restaurant to something more close to their heart/signature dish; pork belly.

Everything still remains the same, the food, the management and the ambience.


Bellygood Restaurant is very clear with the direction it wants to go. It wants to be a family diner and carve out a niche for serving certain affordable pork dishes that will appeal to the wide public. Not being afraid to tweak their recipes to suit the more asian palates, it is famous for their pork belly and ribs. I know i had to dig into some pork, the minute i caught some flame action in the open kitchen.



Hold your horses, for a meal shall start with firstly a nice cold german beer, Weihenstephaner. A pretty dark ale, it was an excellent company with the food to come that night. If the dark creamy texture is not what you want, theres Hoegaarden and other local beers of your choice.

Firstly, a starter to perk up that increasingly large appetite of mine.

The mushroom soup is made from scratch every day and it showed. No trace of any can in sight and taste, the creamy yet light texture warmed up the belly especially since that night was a wet and pouring one.

Then it was time to get on with the pork, first up the Deep Fried Breaded Pork Chop.

Two generous pieces of pork chop, deep fried without any hint of overcooking, served with french fries and coleslaw. The tender meat was the result of a strenous hammer pounding exercise but i felt that the deep frying left it drier then it should be. Served with a black pepper cream sauce or alternatively with your usual tomato and chilli sauce, it is a hearty meal by itself.

But that was only the beginning.

The mixed sausages platter appeared next. With a variety of chorizos, hungarian and their version of the taiwanese sausage, its well recommended to share or treat it as a main. My personal favourite is the Pork Oriental (aka taiwanese sausage).


Then their signature dish, the grilled pork belly with pekin sauce. Marinated in a sweet sauce, the fats had begun to melt under the grill and the meat so tender, that you could almost let in melt in your mouth. As we all looked at each other, scheming when we will come back for more, the chunky grilled pork ribs arrived.

Despite seating on the grill, the meat was falling out of the bone and dipped with either their maripur sauce or the spicier version (something for the chilli lovers).


Those who cant really stand pork (i mean are they such people?), the grilled lamb chop also gives a wow factor. Served with home made mint sauce, a whiff of the strong potent green liquid, clears the nose and is best enjoyed with a slab of lamb.

By now, i finally realise why the regulars always come back. The signature dishes are too good to be true.


Not one to rest on their laurels, they serve a variety of pasta dishes including this bacon laden one; Sauteed Bacon Cappellini, angel hair pasta tossed with garlic, onions, chilli, fresh herbs and lots of bacon. Simple and delish, something that you might be able to cook at home, if you are hardworking enough.

Wash it down with some Swiss chocolate drink that has a delightful scoop of vanila ice cream floating around, and you will surrender with two hands.

By the end, we all sat down breathing heavily, regretting for not saving any stomach space for desserts. The movenpick ice creams and that rich brownie just could not find any way into the already tight pants. A very good reason to come back again though, for it is truly a pork lover's paradise.

Address and Contact details:

20, Jalan PJS 8-18,
Dataran Mentari,
Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
T 03 5630 1699

Map:

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. The food is well truly simple and down to earth, not to mention affordable, with mains not exceeding RM30, so a meal shouldn't be anything more then RM50 unless you are a true glutton. Whether it is Bellygood or Wendy's Bistro, definitely worth a re-visit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Murni Mamak Restaurant @ SS2

Ever since i have been blogging and consuming calories way more than i should be, "yum cha" sessions during the time of supper have since been non-existent. After all when you are well fed three meals a day, do you really need to stuff your face and stomach full before you sleep?

Blame it on my friend too, for the times of supper when one would want a drink and chit chat has been moved from the old school common mamak stalls to the higher end of RM10++ franchise coffee cafes, where latte and cappucino sounds like roti canai and teh tarik to a mamak stall.

So when everyone was talking about Murni while i was sipping on Latte, i thought i had to go back to my original roots and (save a few RM along the way). What is more convenient then, to come back to the mamak scene with an invitation from a friend to go "lim teh" there at SS2?

Murni is unfortunately not just your everyday average joe mamak. It believes that it is more then that and some of their dishes shows, or so they think.

Cheese Naan (filled with gooey cheese), dip it with condensed milk or chicken curry if you so prefer.

Find Roti Canai boring? How about stuffings of minced chicken sausages and eggs? Then squeeze mayo all over. To be honest, the novelty is there, the taste though is just what it is, roti canai filled with cheap sausages. If i ever had to indulge in something sinful, i rather have my roti telur or roti bom.

Clean it off with Mango Ice Blended. My friend finished it till the very last drop.

Address:

Somewhere around the main square of SS2, if not find the street littered with tables and chairs, and many people too.

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. If the trend is Murni, the cooler mamak, than i suppose i don't mind being cool once in awhile and hang out here with my cheese naan. Though i very much rather stick to my good old maggi goreng and roti canai (when the calorie count allows) or give me my latte (skim milk, is barely 100 odd calories, ok)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lin Yuan Steamboat Kitchen @ Jalan Shelley

With the ridiculous weather that storms and rains just when you thought you cant live another day without a traffic jam and another day past 5.30pm, the best comfort food one can find is something hot and steamy, something to warm that stomach and to allow you to forget all sorrows.

I reckon steamboat is about the best choice.


With steamboat restaurants mushrooming all over the place, creativity plays a big part in luring a part of the crowd into their restaurant, Lin Yuan does it well with their "third" soup base, something that you can rarely find: Golden pumpkin porridge soup base.

Essentially mashed pumpkin starch-like soup, it has a natural sweetness into it, and gives an attractive colour to the ingredients you put into it. Throw in an egg with strands of yellow noodles forming as it boils, suddenly the plain soup looks, well rather plain.


With their 1 person set at RM12.90, and alot more attractive ala-carte items, it can be a hearty meal that will suit any budget.


Or if you choose to splurge, you can do so too!

At the end of an usual steamboat affair, dump in the noodles to absorb whatever goodies you thrown in the pot, and rub your tummy with satisfaction.

Address and contact details:


Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars; considering it is now raining as i type this, anything hot and steamy is always good for the inner soul eh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crystal Jade Restaurant @ Gardens, Mid Valley

I suppose the greatest of all hype about blogging is recognition. Whether it is from advertisers, newspapers and parties alike.

To receive an email from a PR agency inviting me for a food tasting session, and i thought oh well, not the first.

Well that was what i thought, when i realised it was far grander and formal then i imagined. With a table almost exclusively for photo-taking, media kits presented and words from the special assistant to the Managing Director of Crystal Jade Concept Holdings, wah this must be the biggest surprise i ever gotten from blogging.

Seated in the private dining room, fit for 20 kings and queens

To then proceed with the tasting menu, i was speechless.

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Roasted Peking Duck (whole duck - RM 68++, half duck - RM35++)
I mean if a local Malaysian tells you where is the best duck is, the truth is they have never been exposed to the real stuff. I think this is where Stella agrees, the method of cooking maybe immaculate but without the juicy fat duck (the ones you oogle at in Bayswater or Beijing), it can never be presented in its true form.


So i agree, eventhough when presented in it naked glory, when wrapped in the pan cake (with a little bit too little sauce), i didnt manage to bite into crispy skin and juicy meat but a pale comparison unfortunately.


To avoid any further disappointment, we were then presented with a bowl of Braised Shark's Fin with Crab meat (RM 55++). As much as i sympathise to those who don't eat fins for the love of sharks and to prevent animal cruelty, i also believe that these animals should not die in vain, thus i happily dug in.

The soup base was full of flavour and an eye opener statement was that vinegar shall only be put into sharkfin soup, if it is crudely put; crap. If your first sip and what you tasted is levels of flavour, let nature take its course and don't disturb it.


The Pan-Fried Fillet on Bread Toast, is simply put, battered fish with a thin slice of yam at the bottom. Although my preference for steam fish still stays strong and valid, i dont mind the fried things once in a while.

Next up was another strong flavoured dish.


The "Fa Kao" braised with sea cucumber (RM 55++). The hours of braising resulted in the two pieces of underwater supplements to absorb the strong flavours of possibly "sheung tong, abalone and oyster sauce". Consumed using knife and fork, i was scooping the sauce up with the fork and how i wished at that moment, some rice would come in handy to soak up the richness of the sauce.


The fried mixed grain rice with assorted grain in hot stone (RM20++), spelled H-E-A-L-T-H-Y with an exclamation mark. An excellent alternative to eating white rice as there give a higher nutritional value to the simple carbs we are used to.


To finish the course off, we had a case of fusion dessert. Herbal jelly with sago & pamelo with mango purree to sweeten it up, to appeal to the more younger crowd.


Address and contact details:

Third Floor, Gardens, The Mid Valley City

Tel: 03-22833129
Fax: 03-22848129
Biz Hours: Monday to Sunday - 11am - 3pm, 5.30pm -10.30pm
Available for HK style dim sum too!
Verdict: Judging from my previous experience here and together with all the exquisite items we tasted (price aside, as it is RATHER steep, but comparative since it is in a shopping centre and it is non-halal), they deserve 4 stars out of 5 stars. Definitely worth coming back again, whether it is dim sum or dinner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wishing myself a happy belated birthday, Lots of Cravings turning two

Dear me,

Pardon the lack of 24 hours, and the coincidence that i find myself wondering around the streets of KL at the zombie like hours of 3-4am. For i have commit a sin so big that some think it is worth a penalty worse far worse then death; fasting.

Wishing my blog a happy belated birthday, Lots of Cravings had just turned two, i suppose i didn't disappoint as i wind down its special day downing very very diluted shots and a beer or two, was it three?

More reviews i hope, enjoy the rest of the weekend peeps!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sakae Sushi @ Bukit Tinggi, Klang

When you first get your Shangri La card, you think to yourself, no more troublesome japanese meals, no more EXPENSIVE sushi and sashimi with the half price deal and the longer life from eating japanese when you can.

Then you go in and splurge almost RM100 plus for 2 pax and think to yourself, maybe it is not so CHEAP after all. Fine Dining, fresh fish supply and the meticulous service dont come cheap.

That dinner shall be another review for another day.

So when Plan A fails, we move on to Plan B.

Where can one find cheap japanese fast food when you have only 30 minutes left before a movie?

Sakae sushi is fast becoming one of the default places to visit eventhough theres nothing to rave about.

Quick and lethal, you can choose to use the canggih-manggih screen to pick the premium plates and the rolls (eventhough these DO take quite awhile, especially if your show is going to start any minute).

Scoop some wasabi, pour some shoya sauce and you are ready to pick!

Be warned that classic tamago sushi costs RM3.90 per plate! Even more expensive then their salmon sushi which is at RM1.90 per plate (but was sold out, WTF!)

But then i was surprised when they still served salmon sashimi, obviously one is heaven and the other earth compared to any fine dining Japanese restaurant, but it is still raw fish, and one shall learn to embrace the art of eating zen.

The premium items include salmon belly sushi (really thin slices) that comes in 4 pieces for RM8.90. Nothing to complain about but nothing to praise about, i suppose.

With the common use of avocado, you can resist some of the creamy tasteless mush with tempura prawn and sushi rice right?

End it with questionable quality tuna, the ones that you know ARE NOT fresh, because it is just so darn expensive.

Available in most shopping centres around the Klang Valley.

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Fast, convenient and definitely cheaper then my usual japanese spots, a default for those who has got 30 minutes before the movie starts

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Nourishment Magazine Launch

The runny tap at the nose has stopped.

The blocked nostril however, cant decide whether its left or right, go away or stay.

Before i forget, because i keep seeing my pictures displayed at their blogs, let me wish Ryan all the best in his latest adventure, My Nourishment.

Some of the pictures i took that day (without my battery, it is a blessing in disguise when you get people to get the same camera as you, thus still being able to operate the damn camera without a battery, dropped out of the office bag in office).

They claim it is not the average food mag,

We werent too sure to be honest before we dug into the issue

In any case, see this handsome young guy? He is the chief editor cum chef too!

Thank you very much Ryan for the invite, and of course the awesome home made dips, yummy chocolate fondue and the limited champagne..



Monday, November 17, 2008

What a way to start the monday

Blame it on the flu blug, that got me to bed at 9pm and that is why i haven't got a proper post up.

I am still contemplating to get MC at the doctor, eventhough i am already dressed up seating at my desk. Obviously too many "debateable" MCs throughout the year got me waking up despite the stupid nostrils not working at all.

Well we will see how it goes, i hate the flu bug.

BUT..

To make this post a bit more useful, wanted to show my readers this.


The burger with the M reputation.

What kind of QC do we get from one of the most famous profitable franchises despite the recession?

Mouldy bread?

Argh.. I think i might stay away from them, at least the burgers, because i love the muffins.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

BLUE NISSAN SKYLINE R34 GTR MISSING, Handsome Reward for those who can get it back in 1 piece


A favour for a friend.


There is a BAY BLUE Nissan Skyline R34 GTR stolen from the carpark in one of the condos of Damansara Perdana.

You can help simply by: notifying the police or 012-6900120 or us or even trying to be a hero, if you do come across any hints, or better, a visual sighting of a:

  • Skyline R34 GTR
  • Colour: Bayside Blue
  • Number plate: JHM 35

Places to also look:

  • Industrial Areas, Warehouses
  • Backlanes of shops and houses
  • Doesn’t matter if you’re in Penang or Johor. Thieves travel. Fast.
  • Chop Shops / Junkyards
  • Suspicious Areas?

Reward is RM50,000!!!

The last time it spotted was on north south highway after melaka.. heading possibly down to johor

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bavarian Bierhaus @ The Curve

I remember among this particular group of boys or (rather, males), conversations always seem to evolve between girls and pork.

Don't ask me why, but we would plan trips to eat Bak Kut Teh, aim to achieve a claypot for more then 2 normal human beings PER pax and even suggest that we should have a quiet night before the trip instead of hitting the clubs and bars to find girls.

That conversation will then spawn to another infamous topic/question:

"Will you marry your loved one (be it male / female (although in our case, female, thank you very much) and somehow coincidentally (because love is blind) she is Muslim, thus marrying her will involve amongst other things; stop eating pork"?

It gets more complicated when we add another dimension of money, what if she was filthy rich, allowing you to live the lifestyle you always dreamt of, posh cars, VIP treatment and respect?

Easy answer, everyone after contemplating, will eventually choose pork. Haha, gluttons at their very best.

---

Now, pork doesnt stop at Bak Kut Teh of course, there also include pork knuckles and Bavarian Bierhaus does make the knuckle a very mean dish (in a good sense).

To accompany with some brilliant Paulaner on the tap, you get a very satisfied customer who doesnt mind paying the money to come back again.

Now, this was ages ago, so if i am not mistaken, its RM25 per pint.

A mustard-like sauce to accompany the mother of all knuckles

The crispy pork knuckles apparently is not enough to send your cholestrol high enough so you can achieve nirvana status, so they decided adding some more bacon might do the trick. Thank god for the sauerkraut that brings us back to Earth, if not, i am sure i am not the only one who would have prefer to stay up there. (RM65++ for the trip)

Between 3 pax, eventhough it was meant to be a light dinner, we added another pork dish, if i am not mistaken some pork chop that was decent as well, but obviously hard to topple the knuckle.

Address and contact details:

Lot G66, Ground Floor,
The Curve,
No 6, Jalan PJU 7/3,
47800 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03 7728 8269

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars. Get over the part that you have to part your money for knuckles and beer, and you will learn how to enjoy the experience. Its nothing like a nice cold beer and some pork.

Have a good weekend fellows!

The flu bug is really irritating the shits out of me...ARGH!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

May King @ Pudu, Jalan Yew

Is it just me or is infra-red technology something of the last century or generation?

I was looking around my phone that day, when i saw a huge archive of photos that i snap casually for food (especially when you BIG DSLR, is seating at home in the cool corner of your bedroom). So the next logical thing to do, is to get it synced to my computer.

Looking left and right, err, no phone cable.

Looking left and right at the phone, eh, no infra-red?

Thank god for bluetooth.

Am i really that outdated?

---

So back to something from the last generation then.

Words like old-school and nostalgia pops up infront of your face, when you step into May King for their signature Lam Mee.

I have grown with this shop, from that small little kid that will trot in walloping away at the thick starchy soup to the noodles along with all the side dishes they have to offer.

I remember the horrendous service we get, either you share tables, or you wait. If you finished your food, the counter is over there, get your arse up and leave.

You know, the typical situation where no human being can explain, why we pay to get tortured.

As the traffic got worse, we seldom visit, except for the ocassional take-away.

Coming back after a good few years, it felt different.

Gone were the crowd of the past.

Gone was the original Tau Kay who boss the counter and the queue and the 2nd wife that cooks the noodles. Last i heard, they have retired and left it to the kids to handle.

Gone was the nostalgia as you now see damn alot of new items on the menu. I remembered those days, it was just all about choosing noodles, lam mee style or dry curry only, no clear soup eventhough it was on the menu.

Then again, when i see my plate of Lam "Hor Fun" seating infront of me, it bought back memories. The flavour i suppose is still there, i mean how can you go wrong with the starchy texture?

The fried foo chook which came with some minced raddish with pork paste (seriously don't know what is in it, so oh please enlighten me). My favourite, just dip it in the starchy sauce and eat together with your noodles.

Another huge difference i noticed, the pork balls with cuttlefish has definitely shrunk in size. Maybe better suited to the smaller eaters who unfortunately don't have a mouth as big as me, but i feel it would have been awesome, if they could have maintain that gigantic size i was used to "those days".

Address and contact details:

No. 38, Jalan Yew
Pudu
Tel: 03-92223740

Rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars. For old time sake, i wouldnt mind dropping by once in a while, considering that you have to face HUGE amounts of traffic when everyone is rushing in the same area to do their shopping at the market.