Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Moxie @ Bukit Damansara

Before the review, i would just like to say that i appreciate all of the comments left in the previous post and i hope that there are no hard feelings about the difference in opinions.

Bottomline is, Earth hour or not Earth hour, one should learn to be moderate; whether its electricity, food or alcohol (well maybe not alcohol).

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(Correct me if i am wrong) Moxie is one of the latest restaurants to open in the rather sedated area of Damansara Heights.

With a bright red and white colour scheme that spreads from the walls to the chairs, it definitely aims to brighten up the area. Pity it just ruins about all my shots because of the dim lighting and my inability to customise my white balance.

Another thing that immediately stands out is the good service and accomodating waitresses (eventhough they lacked knowledge about the menu).

We asked about the weight of the steak meant for two and the waitress actually went into the kitchen to find out.

We teased and complained of hunger and they actually served an extra roll to that particular complainant.

Oh yeah, plentiful of parking is also a plus point but lets dive in to the food, shall we?

Fresh rolls and butter, cant go wrong.

Starters

We joked about the Tomato soup when we saw a poster of Campbells, half suspecting that they might just serve soup out from the Can. I doubt so, because he quietly polished it off.

The thick Mushroom soup was a hearty start for the rest. Almost a meal, one mentioned for the light eaters.

Blue Crab Slaw

I felt the Peach (describe in the Menu) although i pretty much felt it was Pear was quite lost especially when you read the dish title. Sweet with some rather mild blue cheese, i couldnt decide to eat this on its own or eat it with the salmon gravlax. When it came to the nicely round ball of crab meat wrapped with salmon, the only qualm was the 1-2 small pieces of crab shell i had in my bites. Maybe the hype i got from reading earlier reviews?

Mains

Someone mentioned that when one is in the dark, the palates become more awake and aware. It was exactly at this time 8.30pm (when Earth Hour started) when the mains arrived. If it was so, then the comments may sound abit harsh because there was totally no visual appeal to the dishes (as we were in the dark)

The Red Snapper. I got the comment that it wasn't wow and that it was an average dish.

The Seafood Nage with smoked trout and roe. Essentially a mix of seafood in what looks like a thick broth / sauce. No complaints on this one though.

Famous for their steak apparently,

Naked Truth 1: Sirloin 8oz Black Angus

Naked Truth 2: Prime Rib 12oz.

The quality of steak was good and cooked accordingly to how i wanted it (medium rare) but it lacked basic seasoning of salt and pepper. The sauce provided didn't help as it was rather bland. The only saviour was the requested english mustard. What a pity that i couldnt really feast my eyes on such a nice piece of meat too!

Another steak was ordered; judging from the menu this looks like a Steak Au Poivre.

The chef seems to be happy decorating his/her dishes with ebiko.

Desserts

Banana Toffee Pie, i noticed no one finished this. Although no complaints about it though except maybe the crust was on the hard side.

I loved the Molten Cake, such a simple dish but it is the joy you get from having melted chocolate in your mouth and then taking a bite of their home made ice cream. Definitely going to order this again FOR MYSELF.

The Spanish Churros was light; sugar and chocolate dip, what is there not to like? Guilty as charged.

Overall a good dining experience, the ambience, service (although it got abit slow towards the end, benefit of the doubt that the lack of lights actually may have slowed things down) and great desserts. Pity the average mains.

Address and contact details:

44 & 44M, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 2,
Bukit Damansara, KL
+603 2095 0016
+603 2095 0017

Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars. I cant help but feel after the dinner that the restaurant is based on a concept (trendy decor and good ambience in a nice quiet area) and not on good wholesome food. I suppose it was also harsh tojudge the mains without even looking at the dish properly and that impaired the impression one will have on the dish. The desserts lifted up the mood (well that was what sugar was made for) to end the meal nicely. I just might come again, because i am quite a sucker of concepts. Prices are not cheap too, starters range from RM18 to RM38, mains are around RM30-90 and desserts are in the RM 10- RM 20 range.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour, Did you care?


On the particular Saturday, we were dining in the dark, lights off between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

The funny thing was, obviously the kitchen lights were still on, gas burning away, oven switched on throughout, air-con keeping the place nice and chilled, music being played, plenty of candles to give it the place a more romantic effect.

Though the more important question to ask is:

Has it made anyone more "green" and proud of themselves by celebrating Earth Hour? Or has everyone just gone back to leading their own life as usual, leaving on the lights and air-con when you go out?

In any case, i blame Earth Hour for my horrible pictures when i finally do review the place this week.

So what did you guys think? A mere case of commercialisation and look like the "good guy" of the Earth?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Decanter Too @ Desa Sri Hartamas

After deciding that there was one winner among the four guys, lets take a look at food.

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Listening to the generation of the past, history has it that Decanter started off as a neighbourhood restaurant and it got bought over and grew.

Now there is a handful of Decanter restaurants; being on the top of my head, in Damansara, Petaling Jaya and the one at Hartamas.


A funny thing happened when the Girlfriend asked where i ate, and i mentioned Decanter Too.

"Oh, Decanter, i went to their first one before." (Er, get it?)

Don't ask me why the "Too" but lets get on to food.

Other than by way of menu, Decanter Too also uses their blackboard to display their specials; whether drinks or food, or in their case, drinks AND food.

RM 100 for 3 jugs of beer, pretty decent i suppose? I mean they have built a supposedly reputation of selling cheap booze.

You also have very decent prices, especially the RM 28++ lamb shank and the RM 25++ rib eye.

I like the Glenfiddich display..Yum.

Nah, we were going for something abit softcore, their house wine. Too sweet unfortunately, almost like drinking grape juice.

After drooling on their very attractive prices and mere mentioning of how they were going to serve some of their speciality dishes, the stomach grumbled till the starter appeared.

A spicy chokeful of ingredients; Tom Yum Soup. Tasty however very one dimensional in the sense that it was sharp spicy without the sour bits coming into play. Those who liked it hot and spicy finished it almost immediately, while i sweated as if i was in the sauna.

Like a ray of light, we were messing around with the handphone light, to give the picture some oomph to the Chicken. Not that it needed it, very tasty and appetising with the tomato based sauce.

The Grilled Garoupa fish had a firm bite but didn't understand the batter (since it was meant to be "grilled"), tasted abit like a pan-fried. Like the butter that was meant to melt to a sauce.

While this is one of their signature dish, you will either love this or hate this. Throw this next to a seasoned plate of Sang Har Mee dished out in any reputable Tai Chow and you will see why. This is mild, not bland to suit the restaurant and does not shout flavour, i suppose a healthier version?

One has got to try their Ox Tail Stew. I only imagined it with bread, but knowing i didn't even go to gym before the meal, how could i stuff myself with carbs? Meats were falling off the bones and the stew was also filled with carrot and potato pieces absorbed with essence.

Ended with a peach and banana crumble that was swimming in custard.

I like. If you want to sin, you might as well go all the way. Tasted banana and i suppose peach must have gone hiding somewhere (i mean the difference in price obviously determines the ratio of the 2 fruits in the desserts, right?)

Overall i wouldn't mind coming for their 3 jugs of Beer and in the middle of it, go grab a chicken chop. Pity the crazy hard-to-find-parking in the Hartamas area.

Address and contact details:

15 Prisma Ville Business Centre, Jalan 19/70A, Sri Hartamas, KL

Tel: +603 6203 5448

Opening hours
Mon-Thurs (12pm-3pm, 5:30pm-1am), Fri (12pm-3pm, 5:30pm-2am),
Sat (5pm-2am), Sun closed

Verdict: To be honest, 3 stars out of 5 stars, comforting food and the promise of cheap alcohol but nothing that wowed me away.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Preview to Decanter Too: Battle of the Hottest

Usually when i upload my pictures, 90% if not 100% of my pictures are on the food itself.

Turns out this time around, i got more pictures that i can almost spin off another story (post) so i did just that!

So before we step into Decanter Too and what they can offer (another day i promise);

Lets have Battle of the Hottest!

Cast your votes!

Candidate 1: Cumi of Cumi and Ciki! Shown here appreciating a feminine drink.

Candidate 2: A rather dark and mysterious picture of the branch manager Timothy (part british, american and chinese). Apparently he is my age, sigh and i don't think i am anywhere near manager.

Candidate 3: Ryan Khang from MyNourishment. Know how to cook and eat (whereas i only know how to eat)

Candidate 4: My personal favourite, Eff Bee Bee, well domesticated and if repeated like a thousand times, brilliant baker.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have you been eating at home lately?

I must admit that i am one of those ungrateful but at the same time lucky ones that can enjoy home cooked food courtesy of the Mom, on most weekdays.

To come back home to see wholesome dishes in the form of either her signature dishes or simple stir fry and not to mention her soup that all requires hours of boiling is a blessing that i tend to overlook and abuse it (it is abit like the meal allowances that the firm gives, but you don't give a toss because it is RM10 only, which cant even buy KFC)

Now thinking back to all the times when i called home to say i am not eating dinner and instead eating the food cooked by others.

Then looking at people who no longer stay with their family or had moms who have gone to the other side of the world, i realised many people would love to be in my shoes.

So to live the days of Mom's cooking, Nigel and Allan replicate old old recipes and treated some luck fellows (including me, thank god) to some food.

And oh my, what a feast (maybe "some" is an understatement)

I remember vaguely this to be Tomato Mee; rich and not spicy, plenty of ingredients like how mothers will cook (always making sure their kids have the most)

Otak-Otak, a nice concotion of nice big chunks of fish with creamy coconut

Inchi Kabin, nice tender pieces of fried chicken (this reminds me of my grandmother's cooking, where she will fry a batch of battered chicken waiting for me when we arrive at Ipoh)

Sheperds Pie with an Asian twist to it, with a spicy hint. This reminds me how we asianised pasta for my Dad as he is quite the "no pasta for me" man.

The Curry for the Devil apparently (oh i meant Devil's Curry), a mixture of vegetables and meat (with surprise items like sausages too!). An eurasian dish some one mentioned, oh well, it was cosy food to have.

The Satay Chicken was unlike the ones we get in Hong Kong but instead this was cooked almost like rendang with an overload of shallots (if i recall). Ohh so fragant!
The non-alcoholic Mee Sua with "Rice Wine" chicken. One can have this on a rainy day infront of the telly.

Like any Mom would do, provide enough of fibre in the form of vegetables for their kids.

Finish it off what a lemon meringue pie.

An end for a brilliant beginning and eventful body.

Thank you Nigel and Allan for the beautiful food spread!

So for those lucky ones, have you been back home recently for dinner with parents or eating home cooked food prepared by Mom?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dessert's Bar @ Subang Parade

It is on one of those rare days, i find myself at one of the smaller and obscure shopping centres like Subang Parade. Way past their prime time, despite looking very decent from renovations and good maintenance.

Having not stepped into the place for many many years, you take a moment and breathe all those memories you had as a kid here.

It would be rather funny to see a grown up standing in the middle of the shopping corridor, nose up, sniffing away, so i thought the more conventional way of seating down at Dessert's Bar might be a little less obvious. Situated in one of the shopping corridors on Ground Floor, the open concept do not give any form of privacy. People walking up and down, can see what you eat, how you eat and when you eat.

That aside, the food was ok at best but at least i got to sit down and breathe in the air.


While sipping on some strawberry tea (with just a hint, but strong enough to smell and taste)

Some peanut butter and banana crepe (that was forgettable)

A Creme Brulee to finish my Tea Time. A knock on the hardened sugar top revealed a creamy texture with speckles that we hoped was vanilla beans (but for like RM7-8, we had our doubts, more likely to be burnt sugar bits). There was also a nice oomph of vanilla before polishing the whole thing up.

Address and contact details:

Lot LG-C05, Lower Ground Floor, Subang Parade,
No. 5, Jalan SS16/1 47500, Subang Jaya, Selangor DE.
Tel: +603 5637 4758
Fax: +603 5637 4702


Verdict: 3 stars out of 5 stars, a decent place to hang out, and in my case to absorb the feeling of the overused word " nostalgia"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fancy the Clinic this weekend?

Wondering around in Clarke Quay, you will find that there are ALOT and i mean ALOT of bars/clubs.

While Hooters attract with their rather sub-standard chicks, they are those who attract in rather unconventional ways.

Like how Clinic did.

Fancy what looks like a Vodka Cranberry transfusion?

Apparently drinks are chilled very well, i mean dead bodies have to be kept really cold right?

You can also choose your pick of chairs, like er, wheel chairs. Note the Operation Light too.

If not, theres also patient beds with matching cushions to hug.

I wonder if someone can create this kind of concept in Malaysia?

Friday is here; go get yourself a drink after work, may it be a can of beer at home or hit the clubs!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ma Maison Nagoya @ The Central, Clarke Quay, Singapore

Hamburger patty as a main course? And you are calling it Japanese western food?

Undoubtedly my precise impression of Ma Maison when i first read about this place; cropping up at some of the food blogs. With an above average rating as well, something is wrong somewhere, is it them or is it some wire up in my head or i just didn't get the meaning of fusion?

Born in Nagoya, it has branches all over Japan and obviously one more in The Central, Clarke Quay, Singapore.

Seeing that this was almost like a tourist attraction (to the foodies) and that a nice japanese lady greeted us at the doorway, i guess it was an easy choice to make this my dinner stop.

Stepping inside and you are transformed to another place (or i am sure that was the intended feeling). Oozing an ambience that probably matches all the sleazy looking parisan cafes (i haven't been into one though), everyone is seated closely and the music is pretty loud (jazzy chinese music though, very un-french but i liked).

Looking at the front page of the menu, i see paella (wondering when that was french). Flipping through the pages and immediately you see that the speciality is the various hamburger steak that they serve, along with some pasta and rice dishes.

Definitely a simple restaurant.

Their signature hamburger steak (size L), was huge and not tough. The lean/fat meat ratio was nice and rarely did i need to chew and bite before the meat slide down the throat. If you are looking for steak texture, then this is not for you. Looking for a lazy man steak, this is it! The egg and mash potato completes the perfect protein meal. Special mention must go to the brown sauce that ties up the whole dish, really delish!

Another version of the hamburger, was served on a hot plate, sauce poured over it by the waitress and lime squeezed thereafter. The patty rests on a piece of eggplant, just look how thick the meat is!

Seafood Mentaiko Pasta, my friend mentioned it was different from all the usual pasta he is accustomed to, maybe the mentaiko? Didn't get to try sadly.

The rice options either gives you plain rice or rice wrapped in an omelette served with slice beef and special sauce (or in another words, strogonoff). Looks all very tempting but again sadly my knife and fork was busy slicing up my hamburger. Wouldn't mind trying this as well!

Apparently the trademark of the restaurant, the indication to which table you ate in and thus your bill. You are looking at around 20SGD for a plate of my uber huge hamburger patty steak.

Pasta and rice dishes are around 15 SGD.

Just when we declared surrender, the lady tempted us with Custard and this was really thick custard. Unlike our local and almost bean curd texture where you can slurp it down and melt, this is solid and requires smaller bites before you choke. For i think 3-4 SGD, it is a small but fulfilling portion.

Definitely a tourist attraction, i must say. Hard to find a place like this in Malaysia because despite being housed in a shopping complex, it gives out its own "feel", abit like Moussandra which gives its own restaurant a very dark and mysterious feel compared to the dying KL plaza feel.

Address and contact details:
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-96 The Central @ Clarke Quay

Tel: 6327 8122


Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars, just avoid big crowds (anything more than 4, is tight) because of the small tables. Despite a busy night, they didn't exactly chase us out after we were done and loved the jazzy chinese music cd that they had on.