Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thank God Its Thaipusam

Yay for public holidays...........

Happy Thaipusam/ Federal Territory Day everyone!
I hope you all have a great day tomorrow.
(FYI: I'll probably not be updating till Monday)


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Wednesday Already?

*J starts freaking out*

It's the middle of the week, tomorrow is a public holiday, I'm on leave on Friday (yay) BUT I have a mound of work stuff to finish by the end of this week...
... which effectively means by the end of TODAY.

*starts hyperventilating*

I am ok.
(If I say it enough, will it come true?)

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Patience Is A Virtue

A simple but nice place for Shanghainese and Sze Chuan food....

The Dinner

Esquire Kitchen has been around as far as far back as I can remember, slowly but surely growing from a few scattered outlets in PJ to about 15 outlets around the KL and PJ area (as well as an outlet in Ipoh):
Esquire Kitchen signage.....

Esquire Kitchen has simple but distinctly Chinese decor....
Most of their outlets are quite popular as a good Non-Halal place to have Shanghainese and Sze Chuan food while in a shopping center. So, more often than not it's terribly packed and noisy inside (especially on weekends):
Bustling business .....

That night, we chose to dine at the outlet in Atria Shopping Center. We started off with the Fried Dumplings ("Worr Tip"):

This dish is considered to be one of Esquire's specialties and although it can NEVER be considered healthy (Eek. It's really oily!), it tastes pretty good.
The "skin", although a bit thick, is not starchy (yay!)... and the meat filling with bits of vege in it, although not that generous, is fragrant and delicious.
(Dip it with a little of the Vinegar Ginger Sauce and it is absolutely YUMMY!)

Moving on to the mains, we had the Spare Ribs, Mapo Tofu and the Fried French Beans with Minced Meat:

Clockwise from top: Spare Ribs, Mapo Tofu and the Fried French Beans.

Overall, everything was delicious.
(Although the serving sizes were a bit on the small side)

The Spare Ribs were reasonably tender and very flavourful.
The Fried French Beans were "crunchy" and fragrant... although a bit too oily.
The Tofu was also good with the tantalising spicy bean sauce... but it was really really spicy! I don't remember it being this spicy all the time though so maybe they just accidentally added a few too many chilis on the night that I was there.

However, my main gripe about Esquire has always been and will always be the level of service....

I mean, I love how they choose to hire older women here and I understand that the poor old dears are overworked (7 waitresses for about 40 packed tables?? Woah! Poor things.... ) but it irks me that my food is served so slowly almost every time I go there and of course, it usually all comes accompanied with an earth moving scowl.

What is the typical dining experience at Esquire, you ask?
Well, it usually goes a little something like this:
1) Order food.
2) Wait.
3) Rice is served.
4) Wait.
5) One dish is served.
6) Wait.
7) Ask for where other dishes are.
8) Response received: "On the way lah"... *waitress scowls*
9) Give up waiting for other dishes and start eating the served dish.
10) Finish eating served dish.
11) MORE waiting.
12) Repeat steps 5) to 11) for second and third and fourth dishes.

Still, I like the food there - especially the soup noodles for a light lunch - so I'll definately still go back for more rounds of abuse.

So, it's: Good food, reasonable prices and a casual but comfortable place to eat BUT consistently bad service especially during "peak" hours and if you're really lucky, they'll forget your order/ serve you cold food.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Esquire Kitchen @ Atria Shopping Centre, PJ

Taste: 7
Ambience : 5
Service : 4
Price** : RM 23/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - Chinese style "sharing" meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-7729 6563
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm


Other Outlets:
Opening hours for all the following are 11.00 am - 10.00 pm.
• 1 st Floor, Sungei Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-21484506

• Kompleks Plaza OUG, Old Klang Road
Phone: 03-79831989

• 2nd Floor, IOI Mall, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-58823127

• Ground Floor, Pandan Kapital, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-42967250

• Level 1, Cheras Leisure Mall, Cheras
Phone: 03-91332578

• Selayang Mall Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-61377469

• Ground Floor, The Mines Shopping Fair, Sungai Besi
Phone: 03-89441377

• Ground Floor, Klang Parade, Klang
Phone: 03-33449251

• Ground Floor, Ipoh Parade, Ipoh
Phone: 05-2432723

• Lot 025 Ground Floor, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-93683609

• G-20 Ground Floor, Jaya Shopping Centre, Section 14, Petaling Jaya
Phone: 03-79570943

• LG 32, Lower Ground Floor, Subang Parade, Subang Jaya
Phone: 03-56370900

• Lot 1.14B, 1st Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar
Phone: 03-2094 3135

• G003 GF, Endah Parade, No.1 Jalan 1/49E, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-9056 5033 / 03-7660 4808

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday AGAIN

How do 48 hours pass by so quickly?....

The weekend was pretty good though I suppose...
Highlight of the 2 days?: Being stuck at the back of an Audi TT.

Not really.
It was quite a horrible experience actually.

I accompanied my bf to go test drive the car at a nearby 2nd hand car dealer and had to force my ass into the itty bitty space called the back seat. It's hilarious - why bother putting in a back seat at all if all you can really put there is a large handbag or a small child?
(I practically had to fold myself in half but I still bumped my head and knees several times)

Still, it was a nice car I guess.
It's not TOO flashy.... and the ride was pretty smooth...

Personally though, I'm really not very good with cars.
I can only categorise them in a very shallow manner as "Yucky" or "Ok-lah" or "Nice", without much regard for price or performance.

What do you think of the Audi TT?:
Vroom, VROOM!.....

(The one I sat in is the not the exact same model as the one in the photo but the previous owner had made a few modifications)

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Friday, January 26, 2007

No Food Today

Yes, I know I've been a little skimpy on the food related posts/ restaurant reviews this week but well.... I've been really busy.
(How to review food if I never eat out at all?)

My boss is away for a business trip and won't be back for very long.
I thought that it'd be quieter but in reality, things haven't slowed down very much at all.

Still, it's strange but when people ask me how I am (at work) my response is usually: "Stressed and tired.... but happy".

I mean, of course I wish that I was paid more for what I do!
(Who doesn't?)
It would be nice to be able to afford more nice things, maybe start a few investments and that sort of thing... but all in all, I'm satisfied.
(... on MOST days, not all days)
(There are still the days that I am so stressed out that I want to go on murderous rampages but thankfully those are fewer and farther between than before)

Anyway, I hope that you've all had a good week at work and will have a great weekend ahead.


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Still Dreaming

I think I'm going crazy....

Once Upon A Dream
from the soundtrack of Disney's Sleeping Beauty

I know you,
I walked with you once upon a dream.

I know you,
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam.

Yes, I know it's true,
that visions are seldom all they seem,
But if I know you, I know what you'll do...

You'll love me at once,
the way you did once upon a dream.

I'm super busy at work but I seem to be stuck with this song in my head since yesterday's post....
I do love it though...
(Just not so much after the 200th time it plays in my head)

I wonder whether my colleagues are going to think that I've gone mad?
(Every now and then I start humming the song while looking off into a distance...)

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dear Hollywood,

I hope that you are well.

There were just a few things I was confused about and I thought I should ask:
What happened to the perfect life filled with love and happiness that you said were certainties?

The brave knight in shining armour that was supposed to sweep me off my feet and love me no matter what - seems like he's lost in the woods somewhere/ eaten by a dragon...
... or maybe he never existed.

Why are there so many tragic dramas out there and not romantic comedies with "happily ever afters"? You mean there ISN'T really a happy ending for eveyone?

It seems to be that love tends to hurt and more often than not, it's complicated and takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears - definately none of that love at first sight bullshit.
(Lust at first sight maybe, but definately not love)

So many questions.
I don't think I will be receiving any reasonably acceptable answers though.

Do you?

Best regards,

YES lah - I'm moody again. It's getting too close to Valentines Day.... and I'm usually moody around this joyful time of year.... Also, I am feeling particularly melancholic after watching Disney's Sleeping Beauty and contrasting it with my life (it's silly, I know *blush*)....

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Night At The Beach

An adorably rustic seafood restaurant in the PJ area....

The Dinner

My darling mum heard a her friend rave about this great new seafood restaurant in PJ so of course, we just had to go and try it out. Pantai Seafood, which is owned by Unique Seafood, is situated deep in the SS23 area (go to bottom of this post for a map).

The restaurant is rustic but comfortable, with mostly wooden surfaces and simple decorations... You have a few choices of seating areas: the upper deck and lower deck (air conditioned) or the main indoor and outdoor area (open air):

Pantai interior.....
A look at Pantai Seafood.....

While waiting for your food, you can check out the many live fishies and other sea creatures in their tanks, waiting to be eaten:

The Potential Victims.....

There is a really wide array of seafood to choose from!
You can have anything from super expensive Alaskan Snow Crabs and Abalone to the not as pricey Tiger Prawns and Snappers. There is also a good selection of non-seafood items like Venison and Pork (their specialty is the Crispy Pork Knuckles) and Noodle dishes....

That night, we started off with the Vegetables in Superior Soup and the Venison with Ginger and Spring Onions:
The Vegetables in Superior Stock and the Venison.....

Yummy yummy.
The Vegetables were fragrant and soft, yet not too mushy, in the flavourful soup base. The Venison was also good - tender and tasty.
(Both are worth a try)

Moving on to some seafood, we had the Tiger Prawns with Salted Eggs, Nyonya Style Fish and "La-la" in Wine Soup:

Clockwise from top: The "La-La", Salted Egg Prawns and the Nyonya Fish.....

The Salted Egg Prawns were good! They were crunchy and fragrant, coated with a healthy coat of yummy salted egg. The prawns also tasted very fresh which is great.

The Nyonya Fish though was a bit of a borderline case, for me. The fish was fresh, and the sauce was delicious - spicy with a slight sour zing.... Unfortunately, the sauce was also SO spicy that we all began to lose all sensation in our tongues after about 2 bites....
(Ouch... )
(And mind you, I actually really like spicy food)

Sadly, the "La-La" were outrightly a total disappointment.... The soup was rather bland and the "La-La" (strangely) didn't taste very fresh.

Anyway, if you're wondering how to get there, here's a map:

Note: The restaurant became super packed around 7.30pm (on the night that I was there) so please book ahead of time to be safe or make sure you arrive early.

So it's: Cute, rustic ambience, wide range of seafood and non-seafood dishes and affordable prices BUT some hits & misses on the menu, so-so service (waiters too busy?) and dark holey parking lot (but it's free).

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Pantai Seafood @ SS23, PJ

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 5
Price** : RM25/++ Per Person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - "sharing" style Chinese meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7725 5099/ 1099
Opening Hours: 11.45am - 2.30pm, 6pm to 11pm


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Monday, January 22, 2007

Office Sweet Office

Oh what a beautiful morning....


It's been a long weekend: My company trip was fun but really tiring!

Although I wasn't on the organising committee, all the running around during the team building games, sitting down and trying to absorb all the speeches as well as taking the opportunity to "network" at all other times was surprisingly taxing.

Well, anyway, like I said before... It was fun!

It's going to be a crazy week at work, catching up on lost time and preparing for some important upcoming assignments but I will try my best to update some food stuff as soon as I can.
(I hope your weekends went well, and that your Mondays won't be so blue)


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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Up, Up And Away!

Mid week daydreaming.......

Last weekend was a pretty packed 48 hours, with one of the highlights being my PwC ex-colleague's wedding to his sweetheart on Saturday....
(It's about time lah! You 2 have been dating for 9 years!)

'Twas damn grand man...
(Even the Sultan of Kedah was there!)
J says: "Look! There's royalty "merenjis-ing" my friend and his bride! Tis a Royal Renjis!"


Well, in any case I was pleasantly surprised with how nice the Felda Banquet Hall was, considering how dark and eerie the surrounding area was:

Inside the Felda Banquet Hall.....

Also... and this may just be a coincidence or hard evidence that all auditors (whether current or ex) are all like-minded, boring, pre-programmed minions: 5 out of 7 of us ended up wearing blue (and almost the same shade too!).

Hey, they say that great minds think alike, right?
(No offense to PY and Pn who decided to be different from the pack that night)

Anyway, I'll be off for a few days (Thursday till Saturday) on a company trip so I probably won't be updating until Monday.

I hope you'll all have a good week & weekend ahead!


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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sign Of Weakness

Oh, I am but a weak willed human being....

16 days into 2007 and I'm already showing warning signs that I am well on my way to breaking an important resolution...

Why do I say that?

Well, I'm supposed to be eating healthily now but the moment I heard that the McDonald's Prosperity Burger is back in town, I just caved in and sped over the nearest drive-in to buy it....
"J says: "One burger please.....!"

After a quick drive home, I lay my bounty upon the coffee table:
Pssst, seriously only 1 of the 2 is for me lah - I'm not THAT greedy!

... A few seconds later I started my first bite into that delightful burger:

J says: "Attaaaaaaaack........!" *CHOMP!!*

It's so good!
Tender, juicy beef... smothered in a fragrant, peppery sauce.....
(I don't really like the raw onion slices inside, but thankfully there weren't many anyway)

I know it's probably like, 600 calories just for the burger but MMMMMMmmm, it's just too tasty to resist.
(I MAY have gone back a second time on Sunday night for another burger... *shrugs guiltily*... but that doesn't make me hopeless, right?)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Korean House

A new Korean restaurant in the SS2, PJ area....

The Dinner

Whether you choose to dine inside or in the open air section outside, the decor is simple, clean and homey... It's nice that they haven't placed the tables too close together so although the place is not very big, it doesn't feel cramped at all:
A look at Korean House.....

(FYI: It is located in the row of shop houses in the main SS2 area, just opposite all the new Wedding Shops (near the Police Station))

They have some affordable lunch sets here (about RM12++) but the main specialty here is the Korean Barbeque... They have a range of meats (chicken, pork, beef and lamb) that can range anywhere between about RM26+ to RM60++ per serving. That day we chose the Chicken (RM26++) and Spare Rib Pork (erm.. I think it was RM30++):
The Pork and the Chicken being cooked.....

The service here is pretty good as the friendly waiter will cook and serve the meat for you. Overall, the Chicken and the Pork were good as they were both very tender. The taste was possibly a little less salty then I would have liked but other than that, it was ok.

Of course, there is also a selection of side dishes served as well as a small salad(free of charge):
The array of side dishes and the salad.....

There were so many!!
(About 12 kinds, specifically)
Of course they were just the usual simple Korean side dishes like Kim Chi, Pickled Cucumbers, Fried Ikan Bilis, etc... but they all tasted really nice.

They also provided a free Steamed Egg Dish (which was quite tasteless actually but hey, it's free lah):
The free steamed egg.....

At the end of our meal, the waiter brought over some (free) Watermelon as our dessert:
The yummy Watermelon.....

Hmmm..... now that I think about it, the price of the meat dishes were not very cheap (considering the serving size) but I suppose it's ok since they give so much other stuff free on the side.

And one more thing: The restaurant boss lady is so cute!
She is really friendly, hospitable and will literally keep bowing and saying "Kamsahamnida" (that's Korean for "thank you" btw) to you all the way from your table to the door on your way out...

So, it's: Friendly service, cosy restaurant and great selection of Korean side dishes BUT prices are ok but not THAT cheap and you end up smelling like BBQ meat when you leave...

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Korean House @ SS2, PJ

Taste: 6
Ambience : 5.5
Service : 6
Price** : RM40/++
Parking: Difficult on weekdays, particularly on Monday night (pasar malam)

** Approximation - Per person, 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7873 0031
Opening Hours: 11am - late


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Porto Romano

Simple but nice place to have Mediterranean food in the Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL area....

(July 2009)

Oops. Forgot to tell you:
Porto Romano has a new outlet in Mont Kiara (at the base of the Mont Kiara Banyan Condo, right next to the Wendy's). It's actually been open for about 6 months already.

The ambience is really nice - romantic and cosy - a sort of "high class living room" theme, with a couch, fake fireplace and various knick knacks decorating the upper floor.

Parking can be quite a pain though! (There're only about 15 spots in the small area outside the restaurant) I ended up parking illegally at the side of the main road when I went there. :(

Oh well. The food is still good and that's what really counts I guess. :)



Porto Romano is set in an unassuming corner shop lot in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
(It's in the middle of the block of shop lots near Canadian Pizza/ behind La Manila. Need another landmark?: The Shell Station is nearby too)...

Here, the ambience is simple, comfortable and classy - basically, a nice place to have a nice dinner that's not too formal....
A peek inside Porto Romano.....

That day, we were having an early dinner so we skipped the starters and jumped straight to the mains... They claim to have the "best lamb shank in town" so of course being lamb lovers, we just HAD to try it out:
The Lamb Shank.....

Overall, the Lamb Shank was good (priced at about RM28++)!
I can't confidently say that it really is the absolute best in the whole of KL (as they claim) but the meat was pretty tender and the tomato based sauce was robust and wholesome, so it's a good meal.

We also sampled their special Spaghetti, the Porto Romano Spaghetti:
The Porto Romano Spaghetti.....

Basically, this is like a spicy version of a Marinara Spaghetti and I loved it!
The seafood was fresh, the spaghetti was al dente and the sauce was rich and flavourful with that extra added kick of spiciness.
(Would definately order this again!)

We capped off our dinner with a simple Gelato (Italian Ice Cream) selection. Basically, they charge about RM11 for a selection of up to 3 flavours from their Gelato list. I forgot to take a photo but if you like Rum & Raisin then do try the one here - it's really nice!
(Or maybe I'm just an alcoholic)

Overall, I enjoyed the food there and look forward to revisiting it to sample their other specialties...

PS/ Thanks for the recommendation, Boo_licious!

So, it's: Good food, comfortable ambience, friendly wait staff BUT parking in the area can be quite a pain on weekdays.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Porto Romano @ TTDI, KL

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM50/++ per person
Parking: Weekends - OK, Weekdays: Painful.

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7710 0509
(Other branches:
03-2162 6799 - City Square, KL Branch
03-6207 8171 - Banyan Condo, Mont Kiara branch)
Opening Hours: 11am - late


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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

When Will It End?

Am so irritated.

I have reached the ripe ol' age (this is relative, I know) of 25 26 (DAMN YOU, 2007!) this year and my skin is still breaking out like I'm still in high school.

In FACT, I don't even remember having this much of a problem when I actually WAS in high school...

Pimply faces are just SO not sexy.
Well, I suppose I could go all "healthy living" and avoid:
1) Oily food,
2) Spicy food,
3) Alcohol,
4) Late nights,
5) etc.
... but really, what's the fun in that?

Some people are so lucky though - genetics are really the key to success when it comes to good skin.
I know one or two people who, annoyingly, only wash their faces with soap and water... Then, they just put a dab of normal off-the-counter, drug store moisturizer and NEVER seem to have pimples/ open pores/ blackheads/ etc.

I have to spend a bomb on expensive designer skincare just to maintain the blotchy combination skin that I have.
*seething with jealousy*
Bloody genetics.

You win some, you lose some, I guess.....
Let's see, I got:
1) Bad skin from both parents,
2) Big feet from mum,
3) Frizzy hair from dad,
4) Flawed eyesight from both parents,
5) Ease of gaining weight from dad,
6) Hey........ waitaminute.....

Where are the good things??

(*lol* Happy Monday, everyone!)

Talking about beauty though, here's an ad that I like:

So those girls in the magazines are (mostly) all fake!
Yay for real girls!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Relish Life

Juicy gourmet burgers to sink your teeth into...

(Apr 09)

Another one bites the dust.
Apparently Relish is closed, torn down and replaced by an outlet of The Social.
(Which would explain why I couldn't see it anywhere on the road the last time I went to that area)

If you're looking for gourmet burgers I guess there's always the Daily Grind at Bangsar Village (which is still open, the last I checked)

Anyway, just thought that you should know.

Signing off,


The Dinner

Relish is a new healthy burger joint/ bar that has opened up in the Tengkat Tong Shin area.... It's located almost directly opposite Frangipani and has a airy, modern ambience to it:

Relish exterior and interior.....

There is even a nice private section upstairs but it's mostly for functions or if you're only having drinks:
Relish upstairs section.....

I was so greedy!
We were there at Relish at 10.30pm (AND I had already had a light dinner) but I still ordered a burger anyway....
(Hmmm, this is sorta like the upmarket yuppies' version of having a Ramli burger at the mamak for supper, I guess....)
(It's ok once in a while, but anything more than once in a blue moon will be very bad for my figure AND my wallet!)

Generally, there there is only a small range of starters, desserts and a few pasta and salad dishes on the menu... Still, since the main specialty here are the burgers, you will be spoilt for choice!

There are about 20 kinds of burgers for you to choose from (beef, chicken, lamb or even vegetarian).... You have a choice of 2 sizes (priced differently of course) - either a 6oz (medium) or a 10oz (large).

Anyway, here what I ordered, the BBQ Beef Burger - 6oz (RM22++) and a side order of Fries (RM5++):
The BBQ Beef Burger and the French Fries.....

Overall, the burger was pretty good.
The tomato relish was interesting and the cheese covered meat patty was tender and tasty. It wasn't really bursting with flavour but it did taste TONNES healthier than the normal burger you'd get from Burger King or McD's.
(Hmmm, there weren't quite as many mushrooms as I would have liked though)
The fries on the other hand were only OK - Nothing extraordinary...

If you want more stuff on your burger, go ahead and order the Aussie styled one (RM24++):
The Aussie Burger.....

Like the other burger, the meat patty was tender and tasted wholesome and healthy... The only difference is that this one has more stuff on it so if you like egg, bacon and beet root on your burger then this would be a good choice.

For dessert, there is an assortment of cakes and pies as well a few simple things like Banana Split. That night, Jo-Lyn ordered the Apple pie a la mode (RM15++):
The Apple Pie.....

When she mentioned that the Apple Pie is very heavily spiced (cinnamon mostly), I didn't try to steal a bite (seeing as I don't like cinnamon).... Overall, she said that it's yummy.

So, it's: Comfortable modern ambience, healthy (but pricier) alternative to the usual burger BUT well, nothing much except that parking can be a pain in the area...

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Relish @ Tengkat Tong Shin, KL

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 45/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2145 3321
Opening Hours: Sun to Thurs- 12noon to 12midnight, Fri to Sat- 12noon to 1am


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