Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End Review

From 1 to 365 days in a blink of an eye.....

How did I score with my 2007 resolutions?:
1) Just lose the extra 5 pounds as a start,
Only 1 pound lost... but that's better than nothing, right?

2) Read at least one (non-fiction) book every 3 months,
Haven't been reading many books...
But reading up on work stuff counts! (Well, I think so anyway)

3) Negotiate much harder for a better increment (at least 6%),
I give up on this one. I've already tried my best but if my boss doesn't think I'm worth keeping then it's just too bad. Oh well, in 2008 this resolution is amended to: FIND A NEW JOB, ASAP.

4) Be nicer to parents and darling bf.
Ha!
FINALLY - Success!I have been relatively nicer to parents and no longer have a bf so that resolution doesn't count anymore!

5) Drink less alcohol! Drink more water!
This resolution on the other hand, I have failed miserably at.

I guess I'll just have to try harder to achieve my resolutions in 2008....
:)
I know some of them have been continually recycled since God knows when but I think it's good to keep it in the list and just keep working on it till I succeed.

In the meanwhile, I want to wish a big, hearty Happy (Gwailo) New Year 2008.....!


Hugs,
J

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks in One Utama!

Finally! An update: More yummy food in One Utama Shopping Centre old wing....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(March 08)

Yay!
They have expanded very quickly - now there are Shihlin outlets at most major shopping centres in the KL/ PJ area (eg. Pavilion, Gardens, Sunway Pyramid) and even Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall - Melaka.
(And after eating the Oyster Mee Sua/ XXL Chicken so many times, I'm still not sick of it! Still love it, in fact... although I wish they would have more choices for drinks - somehow I feel the soya bean clashes with the yummy food)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know.
:)

Ciao,
J

[ END EDIT ]

I had always wondered why this little shop in 1 Utama Shopping Centre was so popular and now, thanks to my friend Ken, I know why!

The Dinner:

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, which is located near the TGV cinema in the old wing (top floor) is the epitome of "cheap and good food but darn uncomfortable setting".

There is almost no place to sit down and eat in the cramped eatery as the kitchen seems to take up about 80% of the space, with a couple of stools and tiny tables at the side if you insist on dining in:
Long line at the restaurant...

Another downside to this little restaurant is that there is an extremely limited menu - they only serve 4 food items - the XXL Crispy Chicken (RM 5.50++), Seafood Tempura (RM 5.50++), Crispy Floss Egg Crepe (RM 5.50++) and Handmade Oyster Mee Sua (RM 5.50++) and 2 drinks - Soya bean and water:
A look at Shihlin...

The good thing though - since their menu is SO focused, everything tastes good!

Ok. Well, I thought everything was nice except the Tempura Seafood:
The Seafood Tempura...

The texture of the Seafood Tempura is kinda spongey (a bit like fish cake) and a bit starchy but with very little flavour of any seafood....

Still, 3 out of 4 isn't bad, right?
We tried the other 3 dishes - the Crispy Floss Egg Crepe, XXL Fried Chicken and the Oyster Mee Sua - and they were all delicious:
The Crispy Floss Egg Crepe...

This simple dish, fluffy chicken floss rolled in a firm "skin" of egg crepe and drizzled with some slightly sweet but savoury sauce was a nice light appetizer.

The XXL Deep Fried Chicken...

As for the chicken - WOW.
(I am never eating KFC again)
The tender meat, encased in super crispy and tasty batter was just perfect. You can choose to have it without the optional chili powder but I think that gives it that extra kick.
(WARNING: Practise caution when eating it. Be patient! It's molten hot when they first serve it.........)

The Oyster Mee Sua...

Lastly, the Oyster Mee Sua...
*eyes glaze over*
What a wondrous combination! - Thick savoury soup, tender silky strands of mee sua, fragrant coriander and shredded chicken, topped with a big, fat (and surprisingly fresh) oyster. Again, they let you choose whether you want the chili sambal thingy or not but I really think that it gives it that extra zing without making it too spicy.

Ok.
So the service is a little gruff, they refuse to do anything "special" like actually cut the lava hot deep fried chicken into smaller pieces, almost everything is served in a paper bag and it's very uncomfortable to dine there (seats are so limited and uncomfortable!)... but still, I plan to go back soon.
(What can I say? I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment)
:)

So it's: Extremely reasonable prices for delicious food BUT gruff service, uncomfortable to eat in and extremely limited menu.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks @ One Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing)

Taste: 8
Ambience : 3
Service : 4
Price** : RM 11/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 2 course meal (they don't have desserts here), excluding drinks
Telephone No.: -
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Kampung Boy City Gal
- Wantan Productions
- The Poop Shoot
- Mark's Makan


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Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Mood

Fa la la la la la la la laaa.....

OK.
No food updates because I have been busy being on leave.
:)

Busy with what?:
- Sleeping in (Bliss!),
- Watching DVDs (Nice to vegetate in front of the idiot box once in a while),
- Catching up with friends over lunch/ dinner (Yay!),
- Al's shopping spree makeover (A rare and fun occasion so Double Yay!),
- Spending too much money on trying to save money during the Great Malaysian Year End Sale (Booooo..... Purse in pain and credit card worn out!),
Oh, and most importantly:
- GYM! (I am in so much pain now it's not funny)

Anyway, I will update as soon as I can on food.
(Probably late next week though...)
(Sorry, I have been infected by the "Holiday Mood" virus so I'm taking a short break)

In the meanwhile, I want to wish you all a big and joyous:
Happy (Belated) Hari Raya Adiladha.....!
And also:
Merry Christmas.....!
I hope that you will all have a blessed celebration, surrounded by your loved ones.
:)

(And for those who don't actually celebrate the above holidays.... Well, have a good time resting and relaxing during your days off!)


Hugs,
J

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Prayer For Selective Amnesia

Oh no! EMO alert: J's feeling poetic again.....

~~ * ~~

Why hold on to the pain,
Of the scars that run so deep?
Why hold on to memories of happiness,
That was never yours to keep?

I don't want it,
Not even a bit.
I don't need it,
To haunt me in my sleep.

I am tired of this sorrow,
I am tired of the tears.
So tomorrow, and all the days after,
Please. Don't come near.

I don't believe in miracles.
This is reality.
This is life.

Leave my heart alone.

I need to forget.


~~*~~

PS/
I am ok.
Really.
:)
And no, it's not especially dedicated to you know who.
Just felt like throwing some corny lines together that sort of rhyme.

Oh, and on another note:
It's so scary! I think that there really is something very very wrong with my brain/ long term memory functions....

Why?
Well, just tonight I met up with a couple of friends from primary school (how quickly 15 years have passed!). It was so fun - chatting and catching up..... and then I got pretty freaked out when I realised how little I remember of our good ol' school days....

It's unnerving when everyone's reminiscing over people and events, laughing, exclaiming, guffawing.... and I don't remember a thing.
Not a THING.
O_o

And then what freaked me out even more was that when I stopped to really think about it: There's very little of my childhood and primary school days that I can remember.
*wail*

See lah.
The side effects of excessive alcohol.
:(

*gasp*
Or maybe I had something so terrible happen to me that I blocked out my childhood completely???

Haha....
No lah.
(So drama!)
I think it's just age catching up with me too quickly...
(Or could be that time in high school that I fell backwards and hit my head on an iron bar?)

Oh well.
It's not necessarily a bad thing to have a bad memory anyway, is it?
For example, you can't be sad over something you can't remember, right?
:)


Signing off,
J

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Yummy Zuup

Yummy soups and other food in One Utama Shopping Centre....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(Apr 2010)

HELP.
I thought Zuup was just closed for renovations but now it looks like another restaurant has taken over their spot in One Utama. :(

Does anyone know what happened to them? Have they relocated? *VERY HOPEFUL*


Wants her yummy soup back,
J

[ END EDIT ]


This small and cosy restaurant on the Lower Ground Floor of One Utama (Old Wing), has been open for as long as I can remember but I had never ventured in.... So, last week (as I was doing my Christmas shopping), I decided that it was high time I tried it out.

The Lunch:

As they specialise in soup here, there is a good range of soups on the menu. What I especially liked is that they have 3 serving sizes for you to choose from (small cup for RM 6.90++, medium bowl for RM 9.90++ and large bread bowl for RM 12.90++).... so you can actually have the soup as a light meal by itself, or just to complement your main meal.
In the Interior of Zuup, looking out...

They have also recently extended their variety of mains (according to the friendly waiter) so there are quite a few starters/ salads/ sandwiches/ pastas/ other mains and desserts to choose from.

After some deliberation, I decided to try the Baked Potato Skins (RM 6.90++) as a starter:
The Baked Potato Skins...

Overall, I wasn't impressed with it - although the potato itself was just nice (fluffy and moist texture, without any starchiness), the overall taste was rather bland as the cheese and ham were pretty much tasteless.
(A liberal dose of salt and this was quickly fixed though)

Moving on, I chose a Medium Bowl of the Lamb Goulash (RM 9.90++) as my main:
The Lamb Goulash (medium size)...

Mmmmm.
Delicious!
Loved the thick texture of the soup, rich with spices and chunky vegetables (carrots, celery, etc.... all wonderfully tender). The pieces of lamb were also pretty good (medium tenderness) and made this a great light meal.

Sadly, I didn't have any space for dessert after that (although there were some that sounded pretty interesting) so that's it for now.
(FYI: I'm sorry but you're going to have to put up with my restaurant reviews having slightly less menu items featured (as compared to before).... I am now single, and will therefore dine alone more often (as compared to before) and I definately cannot afford to order lots of food and just waste it)
(Just bear with me, ok?)

Anyway, I enjoyed my meal there and have made a note to go back soon to try out the other yummy sounding soups.
(I LOVE SOUP!)
:)

So it's: Good variety of soups (available in 3 serving sizes) and various pastas/ other mains, casual setting, reasonable prices and friendly service BUT nothing much to complain except that service (although friendly) could have been a bit faster.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Zuup Soup Bar @ LG, One Utama Shopping Centre

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 26/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7728 3698
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Babe In The City
- Brought Up 2 Shar3
- Living In Food Heaven
- Da Wheel Of Life & Happiness


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Friday, December 14, 2007

The End Is Nigh

Wish me luck.....

Where the Hell did the year go??
Dammit - I can't believe that 2007 just went by so quickly!
:(

Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty bad year in most all areas...
I have been and still am (despite my best efforts) feeling unbelievably angsty over numerous things:
1) Work:
Honestly, I know I've been told (verbally) that actions are being taken already but this is really getting out of hand! If I don't see even an outline/ shadow of what has been hinted to me soon (in writing, mind you) then I really don't see any future in my job...
(It's especially dangerous since I have heard that my bosses will probably move on to other roles next year.... Baseless rumours? Or truths? Dunno....)

2) Money:
Pffft....
Don't even get me started.

3) Love life:
All my friends seem to be getting married.
Don't get me wrong. I am genuinely happy for them.... Very happy that they found The One they love dearly and want to spend the rest of their lives with (who coincidentally love them back just as much and have also no intention of sharing their lives with anyone else).
*sigh*
I am beginning to think that my One doesn't exist.
And I'm also beginning to suspect that maybe there's just something wrong with me.

4) Worst of all: Health/ Fitness:
I've only lost one pound...
Despite the whole "work out more/ eat more carefully" routine, I've only managed to lose ONE miserable pound. ONE.
(Ok, so I haven't exactly been going 3 times a week consistently but it's already a damn lot more than before)

Bah.
BAH, I say!

*sigh*
I only hope that 2008 will be a better year...
But then again, how much worse could it possibly get?
(NO GOD, please do not try to inflict a sense of irony onto J following that last question. Thank you very much, O' Omnipotent One!)
:)


Counting down to 2008,
J

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pho Hoa @ The Curve

Yay! A food update: Vietnamese food hidden in the Asian section of the popular Curve shopping centre....

The Lunch:

Pho Hoa is slightly hidden in the ground floor of the Asian courtyard area in the Curve (sorta behind Baskin Robbins and that Thai Express place):
The Exterior of Pho Hoa.......

You can choose to either dine in the open air area in between the restaurant and the nice water features (can get a bit warm) or in the bright and chirpy interior of this restaurant which I found simple yet comfortable:
The Interior of Pho Hoa.........

We started off our meal that day with a selection of appetizers, the Vietnamese Steamed Chicken, Rice and Egg Cake and 2 Spring Rolls:

Top: The Traditional Steamed Vietnamese Chicken, Rice and Egg Cakes, Bottom: The Spring Rolls......

Overall, all the starters tasted pretty good... Oh, but if you don't like the taste of salted egg then you shouldn't order the rice cake (It's not like a really *Wham!* in your face/ damn strong sorta flavour of salted eggs but you can definately taste it in there)

Moving on to the mains, we started off with the Sour Seafood Noodles:
The Sour Seafood Noodles.....

Wow.
Sour...
(I thought it was ok but I can imagine that some would find it just a bit too sour as my "sour" tolerance level is pretty high)
Still, it was interesting.... and there was a generous amount of sliced fish and various other seafood in there. I was very disappointed with the texture of the noodles though... I generally like noodles with a little "bite" to them and these just tasted limp, overcooked and quite forgettable *.

Anyway, can't go to a Vietnamese restaurant and NOT sample the Beef Pho, right?

So, next we tried the Classic Vietnamese Beef Noodles (chosen here are the beef slices and beef balls - there are other parts of the cow that you can choose from too):
The Classic Beef Noodles.....

I found that the beef noodles only tasted ok.... Not that it was bad, just not as good as I would have liked - the soup was pretty good: smooth and robust but the beef was ever so slightly overcooked/ tough and again, the noodles felt limp and very lifeless*.

Something else worth trying there if you are feeling particularly health concious is the Chicken and Prawn Salad:
The Chicken and Prawn Salad...

It's basically freshly sliced veggies with a light dressing, mixed with strands of noodles and a fairly generous amount of grilled chicken and prawn. Taste-wise, this dish is nice - I liked the well marinated and nicely grilled flavour of the chicken....

All in all, I enjoyed the food at Pho Hoa... I was definately expecting more from this famous international chain of Vietnamese restaurants though, but the prices are pretty decent (around RM 3 to 8 for the starters and RM 10 to 15 for the noodles/ rice dishes) so it's not a bad place to pop in for a relatively healthy and affordable meal.

So, it's: Comfortable but simple casual ambience with friendly service, decent range of rice and noodle dishes on the menu for reasonable prices BUT the noodle texture lacks bite (a little too limp for my taste) and limited selection of desserts.

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
* (April 08)

Good news - the texture of their noodles have improved!
(Specifically: they are no longer limp and forgettable)

At first I thought it may be a fluke but I've been back a few times since it seems more likely that it could be a permanent improvement.
(Cool!)
(Hmmmm, the beef slices are still a little tough though.... *crosses fingers*)


Just thought you should know,
J

[ END EDIT ]



Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Pho Hoa Noodle Shop @ The Curve, Damansara

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM21/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7725 9880
Opening Hours: 11am - late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- KL People KL Food
- Da Wheel Of Life And Happiness
- CYeat Asian Food & Travel
- YongKaiLoon.com


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Monday, December 10, 2007

Dedicated To No One

My current anthem.....

It's funny when you find that one song where the lyrics and rhythm and melody seem to combine perfectly to touch your soul, like it's resonating to the beat of your heart.

Over the last few weeks, I've been listening to/ humming this Matchbox Twenty song (named Disease) to get me through the day:

It's everything I could possibly want in a song right now - totally conflicted, angry yet sad, strong yet human and filled with love, hate, melancholy and a little pinch of regret.....

Wow.
I'm still so emo!
(Should be ashamed - I should be getting too old for this)

Anyway, it's a nice song... It's probably a little loud for some but well.. *shrugs*.. I like it a lot lah. As much as I like RnB and ballads and jazz and the classics, I think you'll never be able to take that little bit of rock out of my soul.....


Signing off,
J the Chocoholic


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

No Food Update

Time to roll out the excuses.....

I am busy.
Really really busy.

And I am depressed.
Very very depressed.
(Long story. Shan't go into it now)

Anyway, bear with me for a bit.... I'll update (on food) as soon as I can but it's probably not going to be for another week at least.
(Not only do I not have the time for it right now but with my current mindset/ mood, I will probably be wrongly but heavily biased to think that everything tastes horrible... except alcohol that is - alcohol tastes great)


I SO need a hug and for someone to tell me that everything is going to be OK,
J the Chocoholic


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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Penang Food Adventure (Part 2)

My gastronomic adventure continues in Penang, the Island of Gluttonous Delights.....

While we were visiting Penang, my aunt listed Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock as one of the "must visit" food places - partly because the food here is nice and also partly for nostlagia.
:)

Anyway, this established coffeeshop is located on Jln Burmah, in the vicinity of the Pulau Tikus market:
The Exterior of Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock....

The interior of Kwai Lock is comfortable enough (by coffeeshop standards):
The Interior of the coffeeshop......

There is a wide variety of hawker food available at Kwai Lock (ranging from Chee Cheong Fun to Char Kuew Teow to some lighter snacks like Apoms). That day, we chose to try 4 of the more popular stalls... I arrange them here in order of how much I liked them:
1) Wan Tan Mee (Soup):
The Wantan Noodles.....

Verdict: Normal.

(Nothing much to say... It wasn't bad but wasn't good either - very normal)

2) Fried Hor Fun:
The Fried Hor Fun.....

Verdict: Not bad.

(Nice "wok fried" taste, supple yet smooth/ tender noodles with fairly generous amounts of char siew (barbeque pork), meat and prawns)

3) Duck Mee Sua:
The Duck Mee Sua.........

Verdict: Nice.

(The duck was tender, the soup was savoury and herbal but not overpowering complemented by the tender texture of the mee sua)

4) Curry Laksa:
The Curry Laksa..........

Verdict: Delicious - Don't miss this!

(Creamy yet smooth soup with beautiful fragrance of curry powder without any powdery texture served with bouncey noodles - perfect!)

According to the waitress, this fine establishment is open from about 8am till 1pm (Caters more for the morning market crowd).

PS:
I can't give you directions on how to get to this area, but once you find the general vicinity of the Pulau Tikus market, this coffeeshop is situated on the right side (corner lot) if you are facing the police station. Here's a photo to illustrate:



So, it's: Simple coffeeshop setting, variety of Penang hawker food at decent prices BUT nothing much to complain about - just make sure you don't miss out on the Curry Mee.


Summary Information:
Various Stalls @ Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock, Jalan Burmah, Penang

Opening Hours: 8am till 1pm
Phone: -
Address: 295B, Jln Burmah, Penang (opposite Pulau Tikus police station)

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Makantrip.com
- Pillow Talk With Bangsar Babe
- Table For Three Please


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Penang Food Adventure (Part 1)

A trip to the delicious island of Penang to visit relatives and eat the yummy food.....

On my recent trip to Penang, I ventured (with my parents and aunt) to the popular Gurney Drive area where we were looking to takeaway some supper (to eat at a relative's home while catching up/ gossiping).

There are many places to eat all along Gurney Drive at night, ranging from "tai chow" to seafood to hawker fare but we decided to stop by the Song River Cafe to get our sinful snacks for the night.

Of course, there were numerous choices at the coffeeshop (dunno why they call it a "Cafe") but after some deliberation we chose:
1) "Roti babi (Pork bread)":

The Roti Babi and Dipping Sauce....

Not bad - this traditional Hainanese dish of (something like) deep fried french toast stuffed with minced pork was savoury, not starchy and went well with the spiced Wosterschire sauce.

2) "Siu Kai Yik (BBQ Chicken Wings)":
Yummy Barbequed Chicken Wings and also Chicken Butts!

Mmmmm...
These were perfectly barbequed, smokey and slightly crisp on the outside while still tender and juicy on the inside...
(They were a tad too oily though... but not that bad)

3) Otak-otak:
The Otak-Otak........

Not bad.
Tender texture with moderate flavour - mild aroma of spices and no "fishy" smell.
(Didn't rock my world though, unfortunately)

Overall, all the food was pretty good.... but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed because I was expecting so much.
(Lesson learnt!)

So, it's: Simple coffeeshop setting, variety of Penang hawker food at decent prices BUT nothing much, it tastes ok - just don't expect too much or you will definately be disappointed.


Summary Information:
Various Stalls @ Song River Cafe, Gurney Drive, Penang

Opening Hours: 5pm till late
Phone: -
Address: -

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Tummy Thoughts
- Jules Eating Guide to Malaysia
- Penang Street Foods
- Fantasy World


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Monday, November 26, 2007

Cova @ The Gardens

(Finally! A food update!) Here's a really short post on a quick bite at a cafe/ restaurant in the newly opened Gardens Shopping Center at Midvalley....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(March 2010)

Another one bites the dust!

I loved this place for its yummy salads, but didn't go there for a couple of months...

Then, the next thing I know, I go to meet some friends for dinner at TGIF Gardens and I suddenly realise: "Hey, isn't this located exactly where Cova used to be??"

Boo hoo. It's gone!!

:(

J

[ END EDIT ]

The Lunch:

As I was wandering around the new Gardens shopping centre at Midvalley (feeling a bit bored and pondering about how poor I really am), I chanced upon a cute little cafe/ bistro called Cova.

It will probably be considered a good location soon (after they finish building the sky bridge) but for the meanwhile, Cova is sorta stuck in a little corner in the middle of nowhere (1st floor, opposite La Senza). Anyway, I really like the interior there:
The Interior of Cova....

It had simple but sophisticated tones of white and cream with a really nice airy and modern feel to it.

I was actually supposed to meet P for a late lunch but couldn't resist trying out this new place (I was hungry! I hadn't had any breakfast that day).

Scanning the menu, the options seemed to be rather limited.... However, the super friendly restaurant manager told me that this was only the interim menu (mostly Western food) and it would be extended to the full menu soon.

Since I only wanted a light bite, I chose the Portabello Mushroom Salad (approx RM18++):
The Portobello Mushroom Salad....

YES.
I know, I know. I'm boring and predictable.
(If you have read my blog often enough, you'd probably have noticed that I have a soft spot for mushrooms... especially Portobello and Button Mushrooms)

But thank goodness for that because this salad was really really nice! - the mushrooms were tender and meaty, perfectly grilled and so juicy, complemented by the wonderfully fresh butter lettuce, crispy potato slices and simple vinaigrette dressing. Mmmmm.....
(Word of caution: I was the ONLY customer in the restaurant at the time so maybe it wouldn't be so well prepared if it was packed - I will go back in a while to re-test it and update if there's any difference)

Sorry - there's only one item reviewed!
>_<
Still, it was really nice (albeit a little expensive) so I'm just highlighting Cova as somewhere worth checking out if you're in the area.

:)
Cool?
(I promise the next review will be more extensive)

So it's: Sleek, airy modern setting with friendly staff, fair range of yummy Western food BUT servings are a bit small for the price.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Cova @ The Gardens, Mid Valley (opposite La Senza)

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 52/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2287 6260
Opening Hours: 12noon till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- You Get What You Give
- Pillow Talk With Bangsar Babe
- Food 4 Thot
- Miss Mynx
- A PK's Life
- The Yat (One) And Only Journey


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Friday, November 23, 2007

Funky Friday

The countdown begins.....

It's Friday!
FRIIIIIIIIIIIIIDAY!
(aka. the "24 hours till freedom" day)
:)

Anyway, sorry for the total lack of updates (on food) - I've been:
- a bit sick,
- quite depressed,
- very tired, and
- psycho busy....

I can't even pinpoint what is it exactly that's causing me so much grief.
Just life in general, I guess.
(Scary)
Or maybe I'm just getting into my usual year end funk - when I start freaking out about where I wanted/ dreamed my life to be at this point VS reality and realising how far apart the 2 are......
:(

But hey, it's almost the weekend!
No time for doom and gloom!
*J turns her frown upside down*
:)


Yay,
J

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Relativity

The woes of J the middle class citizen.....

I have finally checked out the new Gardens (@ Midvalley) and Pavillion (@ KL Bukit Bintang area) shopping centres.

What is my take-away from my 2 visits?:
NOW I FINALLY REALISE HOW POOR I REALLY AM.

Haha....
It's crazy how relative everything is though. For example, I suppose to someone who earns millions every year, the same RM1,500 white shirt that I saw may be considered cheap.

Gosh, my heart almost jumped right out of my chest when I read the price tag! I then made a very quick exit from that shop area, trying my best to look nonchalant.... but I don't think I was cool enough to fool the sales assistant....
(Probably she was thinking: "Pffft... Cannot afford then don't look lah!")

Still, it was nice just wandering around, enjoying the airy and sophisticated interiors of the 2 new malls....
(I did get kinda bored after about half an hour though - it's no fun if you know you can't really afford anything)

Oh well... at least there are lots of new food places to check out!
:)


Signing off,
J

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Andy Grace Restaurant

A decently priced restaurant with delicious Chinese food in the Bandar Menjalara area.....

One day, me and P were feeling a little adventurous and decided to look around the shophouses in the nearby but painfully far away Bandar Menjalara....
(Painful in terms of the RM 1.60 x2 at the toll that we PJ folks have to pay to get there and back)

The Lunch:

As we were rounding the main shophouses in the Medan Putra Business Center area, we decided to take a chance on the Andy Grace Cafe and Restaurant:
The exterior of Andy Grace restaurant...

The interior looks ok I suppose:
The interior of Andy Grace restaurant...

It has a casual setting with some interesting but oddly placed decorations (eg. The big grandfather clock near the counter, the cigar canisters pasted on the wall, etc...).

Unfortunately, I still couldn't help but to feel a little uncomfortable in there.
(It was so noisy! Not to say that there were many people in there with us but the acoustics are just terrible....)

Scanning the menu, we were a bit intimidated by the extensive range of dishes - everything from individual Chinese rice/ noodle dishes to sharing style a la carte dishes and a small selection of Western food. There were even various styles of frog dishes to choose from, for those who are into that kinda thing.....

Eventually, we decided on the Sour and Spicy Meehoon Soup (RM 6.80++), Fried "Tung Fun (Glass Noodles)" (RM 6.80++) and Fried "Tau Meuw" (RM 9++):


Top to bottom:
Sour and Spicy Meehoon Soup, Fried "Tung Fun" and Fried "Tau Meuw"...

One good thing to note about this restaurant is that the serving time is faster than normal.... We were pretty surprised to see our food served within 10 minutes after we ordered!
:)

Anyway, moving on to the taste of the food: I loved the Sour and Spicy Meehoon Soup - robust, savoury but not too sour/ salty (just nice) with a slight hint of what tasted like Chinese wine....
The alcoholic in me who loves salty and sour food says MMMMmmmmmm....
(The only flaw was that the prawns didn't taste very fresh...)

As for the Fried "Tung Fun", it was also pretty good - lovely "wok fried" taste with just nice texture in the noodles (not too wet or too dry with no starchy aftertaste).

The Fried "Tau Meuw" was also not bad - fresh but the sauce was just a little too salty for my taste.

All in all, it's not a bad place to pop in for an affordable lunch/ dinner....
:)


So it's: Casual ambience with friendly staff, wide variety of Chinese food (and a few Western dishes) at a decent price, SUPER fast serving time BUT not much to complain except for the bloody RM1.60 (x2!!) toll I have to pay coming from PJ.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Andy Grace Restaurant @ Bandar Menjalara, KL

Taste: 6
Ambience : 5
Service : 7
Price** :
RM 18/++ per person (Chinese food)
RM 30++ per person (Western food)
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-6275 9971
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- World Windows


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Back To Earth

The shackles are back on.....

After a relaxing one week holiday, I should feel recharged and ready to take on the world again when I get back to the office...

.... but what I really feel is a growing heaviness:
"Back to my minion duties already??", I thought as I was driving to the office, "NOooooo......."

GREAT.
I thought I was better than this but it turns out that I'm only human afterall.
Haha...


Wish me luck! (Hopefully I'll survive the week),
J

PS/
In slightly unrelated news:
So weird! - A strange brown bug jumped up and bit me on the back of my knee just as I arrived at my office this morning.

I didn't know what it was at first when I suddenly felt a sharp persisting pain as I walked through the main doors, towards the lift. When I touched my skin (as I waited for the lift), the bug grudgingly stuck on to my hand instead

Of course, I then went all girly and almost screamed while waving my hand around in a panic until the bug jumped off.
(Ooh, I hope no one saw me.....*blush*)
(Hmmmmm, and I do hope it's not a sign that the rest of the week at work is going to be surprisingly painful!)

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pitstop in Kampar

A pitstop in the Kampar town area for some Chinese food while on the way to Penang.....

While on our long journey Northwards to Penang, my aunt recommended we stop at a little restaurant that she liked in Kampar town for lunch....

I admit, we had our reservations at first (because my parents and I had never heard of this restaurant before) but my aunt convinced us that it was a good place to try out some fresh seafood (prawns and fish specifically) and well, we trust her taste so we thought: "Why not?".
:)

Soon we arrived at our destination.
At first glance, the coffeeshop (Kow Kee Makanan) is really nothing fancy at all - quite nondescript actually:
The exterior of Kow Kee....

As we entered the coffeeshop, I couldn't help but to feel nostalgic seeing its simple interior and rustic textures of a "typical coffeeshop restaurant" (the dusty old fans and bright red plastic chairs were a nice touch):

Interior of Kow Kee Makanan

We went on to order the specialties of Fried Sea Prawns (RM 70 per KG), Steamed "Soon Hock (Garoupa?)" (RM 90 per KG), Steamed Tofu with "Hae Bee (Dried Shrimp)" (RM 6) and Pork with "Choi Konn (Dried Vegetables)" Soup (RM 6).

First up, the Tofu and the Soup:
Left to right: The Tofu and the Soup

Mmmmm...
I LOVED the tofu and the soup.
The tofu: Silky, delicate, balanced well with the taste of the sauce and texture of the dried shrimp.
The soup: Tasty, robust and the meat tender from the time consuming stewing.

Next, the Fish and the Prawns:


Top to bottom: The Fish and the Prawns

I quite liked the fish and the prawns - overall, they were nice: tasty, big, meaty and very fresh (you can see them swimming around beforehand in tanks and big plastic "tongs" in the kitchen area) but unfortunately, they were also ever so slightly overcooked.
(So close to perfection but you miss by an inch, you might as well miss by a mile).

Our meal that day came up to RM114 (including the additional charges for tea and rice)... which may seem like a lot for a simple lunch for 4 people but it was actually great value for money by KL standards - if you went to any restaurant in KL/ PJ you would probably have to pay that much just for the fish...
("Soon Hock" is generally quite pricey)

Overall, not bad.
Wouldn't mind coming back to enjoy the gigantic prawns again if I'm in the area....


Signing off,
J

PS:
Rough directions (Sorry, I'm not too familiar with Kampar myself):
There are roughly 2 big roads in Kampar town - the unofficial "main road" and the other road parallel to it.

Once you get on the parallel road, look for the KFC on your right hand side (if you are coming from the Tapah toll exit). Turn into the little road on the left which is roughly opposite the KFC... The coffeeshop/ restaurant will be in the middle of the shop lots on your right.
(Please remember to put one of the parking tickets! If you don't have one handy, ask the shop keeper and they will point you in the right direction)

So, it's: Simple coffeeshop setting, fresh seafood for decent prices BUT limited selection of dishes.


Summary Information:
Restoren Kow Kee Makanan @ Jalan Mesjid Lama, Kampar

Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm daily
Phone: 05-465 1838
Address: 14, Jalan Mesjid Lama, 31900 Kampar, Perak

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Have Your Cake And Eat It Too


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