Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Arigato

Better late than never....

A big THANK YOU to:
  • Pat,
  • Soon to be Mr and Mrs Lim (Albert & Serina),
  • Sneexe, and
  • Z

... FOR THE:

  • Cake, and
  • Heaps of ultra delicious chocolates
*hugs*
Boy, was I surprised.
:)


PS/ I will be away for a couple of days (and may not have access to the internet) so if you don't see me moderating/ replying your comments, please don't be irritated with me and think that I am so snobby or that I don't care... I care very much! And I am so not snobby at all! Cool? :)

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Balik Kampung

Yummy local delights in Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya area....

It's Monday already, and I'm feeling pretty blue,
Still very busy at work, so here's another quick review.
:)

The Lunch

Many a time, P and I drove past Village Park restaurant in the Damansara Uptown area and thought to ourselves "WAH - so many people wan... Must try it out - the food should be good!" when we saw the rows and rows of double parked cars and hordes of people waiting outside.

So one lazy Saturday afternoon, we decided to brave the crowds and try it out:
The Exterior of Village Park...

Going into Village Park, you could appreciate that the owners had taken some care into the renovations, with a cheerful, simple and clean design. However, it was still pretty uncomfortable and noisy due to the hordes of people dining there and the waiters/ waitresses zooming to and fro in between tables of the tightly packed area:
The Hordes Of People Inside...

After securing a table (it didn't take too long when we were there but it really depends on your luck), we quickly went on to order the specialties there. First up, the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (about RM7++):
The Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak...

Overall, I found the Nasi Lemak here nice:
- the rice was had that great balance of a firm yet not too dry/ not too moist texture, coupled with a light fragrance of santan and pandan,
- the sambal was thick, tasty but not too spicy (YAY! And not sweet too - hate sweet, watery sambal), and
- the chicken was a bit oily but deliciously tasty and crispy (meat was moderately tender).

As usual, P the Penang boy went on and on about how this Nasi Lemak isn't very nice (not fragrant enough, etc) and how his favourite haunts in Penang have even better Nasi Lemak but I found it to be nice enough.
(It's not in the "Great" category but it's definately well into the "Good" one)

Next up, the Assam Laksa (about RM5++):
The Assam Laksa...

Wowsa.
It is SPICY.
The clear, smooth broth is wonderfully sour and deceptively tame at first but within the 3rd or 4th spoonful, you will feel your lips tingling and tongue slowly but surely catching fire.

However, I really liked this tasty dish - served with Malay style noodles (which has more "bite" and a slightly starchy texture as compared to the Chinese style noodles) - so, I ignored all 3 fire alarms ringing in my mouth and went on to clean off the entire bowl.
(The Penang boy said that this dish is "Not bad" so that must mean it's pretty good since he has such lofty standards)

So it's: Casual coffeeshop setting with yummy Halal local food at a decent price BUT servings not very big and service/ comfort can deteriorate drastically during peak hours.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Village Park Restaurant @ Damansara Jaya, Uptown, PJ
(Damansara Uptown area)

Taste: 6
Ambience : 4*
Service : 6
Price** : RM 12/++ per person
Parking: Difficult

* Ok for a coffeeshop but it's still a coffeeshop lah
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7710 7860
Opening Hours: 8am till 9pm

HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Kampung Boy City Girl
- Less Than Ten
- Bored Workers
- A Whiff Of Lemongrass
- Everyone's A Critic


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Monday, September 17, 2007

EMO

Beware: Gloomy emo whinging ahead....

Things I learnt this weekend:
1) I'm Too Old To Go Clubbing
Honestly, not only am I not very up with the idea of being the old (why does it seem that everyone is 17 years old?), fat chick (omg, and everyone's so aneroxic too!!) in the club but I think I'm also pretty over it....
(It's just too crowded/ smokey/ smelly/ loud/ full of annoying drunk people)
(And to think I used to go clubbing 3 times a week!)

2) I Am Probably Going To End Up A Hermit
I'm a funny person - full of contradictions.
I genuinely care for my friends, really I do. If they need help, or I know they need help, then I will gladly do as much as I can to help them out (except in $$$ because I don't really have enough for myself anyway) but I also blissfully/ obliviously let birthdays go by without wishing them "Happy Birthday" and am horrible at keeping in touch.... which leads me to Number 3.

3) P and I Will Probably Die Together In A Cottage And Only Be Found By Neighbours Once the Stench Gets Unbearable
... because we are both horribly similar in our hermit-y ways.
*sigh*


Oh, and I don't know whether this makes me a bad person but I am actually getting pretty sick of contributing for birthday presents for everyone else when nobody bothers with mine on the one year that I do not arrange for a birthday gathering for myself.
(I wonder whether there'll be people who get pissed off with me for saying so? Dunno lah.... I know I should not expect anything in return when giving someone a present but it kinda hurts to think that your friends can't be bothered to get you something when it's your turn)
(Or maybe they just forgot.... which is actually worse.... )

Bah.
:(


Having a bad day and making it worse by moping,
J


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bianco

New Italian restaurant with a light dining concept in the Damansara Perdana area (at the base of the Tropics Shopping Centre)

The Dinner

OkI'mBusyAtWorkSoI'llDoAQuickReview.

P and I were cruising around his office area when we noticed that there was a new Italian restaurant. Being a pizza/ pasta maniac, I insisted we forget about our new diet plan and have a bite there:
The Exterior...

It was a bit difficult to find parking at the side of road (so many cars) but hey, it's free so can't complain so much lah.
:)

As for the interior, it was modern and airy - with a large open area in the courtyard area (with a retractable awning just in case it rains) and another smaller but cosy covered area at the side:
The side area and the open couttyard area...

Scanning the menu, the range of food seemed very focused (in other words : limited) due to their concept. One of the friendly wait staff explained that they are designed to be a place where you can get a light, guilt free Italian meal.

That night, we started off with the Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli (about RM17++):
The Mushroom and Chicken Ravioli...
Mmm-MMMM.
I am definately going back to eat this again - the tasty minced chicken and mushroom stuffed ravioli, complemented by the robust chunky tomato based sauce was delightful.
(Initially, I was shocked to see how small the serving was (it was only 3 big pieces of ravioli) but considering the price and the yummy-ness, I think it's ok)

We then moved on to try the house specialty pizza, the Bianco Special (RM18++):
Pizza...!

I wasn't overly impressed with the taste of the toppings (simple tomato base, herbs, cheese, spinach and an egg) - very simple taste, bordering on bland. However, the pizza base/ crust won me over - It was so light and fluffy... more like a really thin Naan than a pizza but I found it interesting.
(I would have liked it crispier though... but according to the waiter, you can just request for it to be crispier and they will happily accomodate)

Of course, we left some room for dessert - in this case, the Elvis Presley Pizza (erm.. about RM9++ I think, and a little extra for the optional scoop of ice cream):
The King is in the house...

If you like bananas, peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do, then you will LOVE this dessert.

Try it.
(Seriously!)
(If you're allergic to nuts though, please avoid or you are asking for trouble)

BTW, if you're not familiar with the Damansara Perdana area, here's a map that may help ("borrowed" from the Bianco website):
Treasure map...


So it's: Casual yet stylish ambience with friendly staff, yummy light Italian food at a decent price BUT very limited menu (only pizza, pasta and a handful of starters and desserts).


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Bianco @ Damansara Perdana, KL
(At the base of the Tropics Shopping Centre)

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 31/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7724 2878
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30am till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Cumi & Ciki
- After Giovanni


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Monday, September 10, 2007

Older and Wiser (?)

2 years already!

I can't believe it...
MY BLOG'S 2 YEARS OLD TODAY!
Wow, it's actually been roughly 730 days since I first started this blog and now, I've slowly amassed about 105 food/ restaurant reviews.

I've had a lot of fun so far : ...trying my best to set up a little database of honest reviews of Malaysian restaurants from a layman's point of view. Sure, it's been pretty damaging on my bank account (since I also have a layman's salary) but hey, I love food anyway so I'm not complaining.

To everyone who has been visiting, thanks for all your support.
(I don't see a lot of comments here but I can see my stats sloooooowly climbing so I know you're out there somewhere....)
Also, a big thanks to all of you who have linked me on your blogs too.
(I'm honored that you like my reviews enough to link me)

Oh, and on the day just before my blog's birthday, I managed to make a small appearance in the in the Star Newspaper's Sunday Metro section.
(Ok, so it's not much... and I didn't get remunerated for it at all but it's kinda nice to see my review in print lah)

Once again, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
:)


Hugs,
J


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Thursday, September 06, 2007

J "the Excuse-aholic" Chocoholic

Ummmmmm.....

There once was a girl named J,
Whose life was more work than play.
She promised to update her blog everyday,
... but it just never ever turned out that way.
*sigh*

And there is a poetic angle in trying to reword my regular : "Sorry, I'm busy at work - will update on food soon" excuse that I have been recycling the whole year.

Unfortunately, I only seem to variate between "busy" and "very busy" at work from day to day despite my best efforts... Honestly, the way I see it, there just doesn't seem to be a way I can catch up if people keep verociously adding things onto my list of things to do!

Oh well, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?
Anyway, I do hope that all your weeks have started been going better than mine.
:)


Hugs,
J


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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Red Ginger

New Asian/ Peranakan restaurant in Northpoint, near Mid Valley Megamall....

First of all, thanks so much to Tim for organising this Malaysian Food Blogger (aka. Flogger) gathering.
:)

It's not often that restauranteurs (THANK YOU, ELIZABETH!) in Malaysia are so open and generous to actually knowingly invite a bunch of strangers armed with cameras and websites to try out their food and tell them to feel free to tell the truth.
(Ok, so New Formosa @ SS2 was a real good sport too but I missed out on that event)

The Dinner
Located on the Mezzanine floor of the new Northpoint Office Tower, right next to the ever popular Midvalley Megamall.
(Just cross the walkway/ bridge from the Midvalley exit near Esquire Kitchen which brings you automatically to the Mezzanine floor of Northpoint - it'll be the first restaurant you see when you get there):
The Exterior of Red Ginger


I loved the cosy, Asian themed interior which had a rustic yet comfortable feeling with it's simple dark wood tables and large blue and white plates mounted as decorations:

Red Ginger Interior.....

Seeing as we had the pleasure to sample so many dishes that day, I'm going to sum up each dish as concisely as I can.
(Also, I'd hate to sound ungrateful but Elizabeth the generous owner/ boss lady of Red Ginger really served us too many dishes! I was careful to only try small bites of each dish but halfway through, I felt like my belly was going to explode!)

Starters:
1) Fruit Rojak (RM 7.80++)
The Rojak.....

Verdict: Not bad. Fresh fruits complemented by right balance of the black sauce and peanuts (not too pungeant).

2) Otak-Otak (RM 9.50++)
The Secret Recipe Otak-Otak.....

Verdict: Yum. Spicy, moist and fragrant with no "fishy" smell at all (Elizabeth's grandmother's secret recipe apparently)

3) Pomelo Salad (RM 8.80++):
The Refreshing Pomelo Salad.....

Verdict: Ok only. Interesting concept. Simple refreshing taste but I found it a bit bland.

4) Lobak (RM 8.90++):
The Chicken Lobak.....

Verdict: Not bad. Crispy yet meaty. Went well with the chili sauce. A bit salty though.

5) Stuffed Yu Char Kuey (RM 5.50++):
The Stuffed Yu Char Kuey.....

The Verdict: Nice. Loved the combination of the crispy "yau char kuey" stuffed with fish paste. Beware though - some may find it a littlt bit fishy tasting.

The Carbs:
1) Red Ginger Fried Rice (RM 14.90++):
The Delicious Fried Rice.....

The Verdict: One of my favourites that night. I love fried rice and this one was special. Strange sounding but delicious mix of sweet (raisins) and salty (salted fish) taste.

2) Kam Heong Fried Kuey Teow (RM13.90++):
Char Kuey Teow with a difference.....

The Verdict: Signature dish. Not bad. Silky char kuey teow with "kam heong" flavour as a twist. Found it a bit too salty but was outvoted on that.

3) Dry Curry Sang Har Noodle (RM 23.90++):
The Dry Curry Sang Har Noodles.....

The Verdict: Another signature dish. Big prawns. Fragrant curry taste. Also found it a bit too salty but again outvoted (Maybe my tongue is too sensitive?).... Not bad overall but I'm not sure if I'll pay 24 bucks to eat it again.

4) Ipoh Sah Hor Fun (RM 13.80++):
Yummy Ipoh Sah Hor Fun.....

The Verdict: Another favourite that night. Silky smooth noodles. Savoury clear broth. Large juicy prawns. Mmmmmm - Delicious.

5) Laksa Lemak (RM 11.80++):
The Laksa Lemak.....

The Verdict: Also very good. Sinfully creamy broth with ample "lemak-y" goodness, bouncy noodles and fresh cockles.

Meaty Dishes for the Carnivores:
1) Steamed Chicken with Wine and Herbs (RM 18++):
The Steamed Chicken.....

The Verdict: Ok only. Moderately tender. Nice light fragrance of herbs but super salty. Must be eaten with rice or not at all.

2) Black Pepper Beef (RM 17++):
Beef and more beef.....

The Verdict: Also ok only. Moderately tender slices of beef. Nice taste of the bell peppers but not strong enough taste of black pepper.


Alright.
That about sums up all the dishes we tried that night.
(BTW, for any Floggers reading this : Nice to have met you that night - sorry I was a bit stoned.... Had just come back from a long, looooong meeting outstation)

I have tried to stay as objective as possible with this review (as it can be hard to keep things in perspective when you don't pay a cent for the food).
You still trust me though,.... don't you?
:)

So it's: Simple, comfortable setting with friendly staff, fair range of dishes and interesting food concepts BUT nothing much bad except that some of the prices seem a bit on the high side.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Red Ginger @ Northpoint, KL (next to Midvalley Megamall)

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 30/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2287 0890 (Plaza Damansara outlet : 03-2095 3118
Opening Hours: 11am till late (Closed on Sundays)

NO PORK SERVED


PS/ Oh... so shy lah. Other people's photos are so nice! Have to get a better camera and brush up my skills.... Do check out their reviews of Red Ginger at these links:



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