Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday Musings

*lol*
It's hilarious! - My "No carbs" diet lasted (more or less) 1 and a half days.
:D
Haha. I guess now I know exactly how weak my willpower really is!

Oh well, in any case it's been a hectic but fun couple of days.
The weekend was super packed: Somehow managed to fit in meeting high school friends, shopping, friend's birthday dinner, spring cleaning and a fun day out at the first KLPAC Open Day.
(Will post up some photos soon....)

And on the weekdays, as usual, I've been psycho busy at work with the added stress of it being "Appraisal Season".... *yuck*.... Am really not looking forward to it - I've already scheduled my slot with my manager but have a funny feeling it won't go very well.
:(

Anyway, I refuse to be disappointed again.
If I present a good enough case and it's still not good enough for my manager to take any action then it may be better for both of us to just say "bye-bye"... because either he can't be bothered or I'm not worth the trouble - both those situations are exactly where I don't want to be!
(Have promised myself that I will not start : a) crying in frustration, or b) lose my patience, scream at him and end up burning my bridges to crispy little cinders)

So, wish me (good) luck! I think I will need it.....
:)


Trying to hold on to her life motto: "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst!",
J

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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Tempting Dark Side of Hokkien Mee

The calorific but delicious sin called Hokkien Mee.....

Here's a quick food post on a sinful but delightfully delicious dinner with my parents.....

That night, my mum suggested we go for one of her favourite Hokkien Mee stalls at a coffeeshop called Restoren Tong Fong in the Sea Park area (This stall had previously been operating at night in the Restoren O&S in nearby Taman Paramount before they relocated):
Restoren Tong Fong's exterior..........

Of course, there is a variety of local noodle and rice dishes available but we decided to ask the nice "chef" to fry up a small serving of mixed (mee and meehoon) Hokkien Mee for us (RM 5):

The Hokkien Mee..........

MMMMMMMmmmmm.
It was yummy - al dente noodles generously coated with the slightly sticky, savoury sauce with crunchy bits of deep fried pig fat, vegetables and meat.
(Well, there wasn't very much meat in it but it's only 5 bucks...)

It tasted especially good with a dab of the sambal chili with lime...
(Had to tear myself away and use all my willpower to avoid eating more than 3 bites of the noodles)

Other than the Hokkien Mee stall, they also have a stall called Peter Chin Western Food serving a small selection of coffeeshop budget Western Food like Chicken Chops (Mushroom Sauce/ Black Pepper Sauce), Grilled Salmon and Steak.
(Note: No pork served at this stall)

That night, I chose the Mixed Sauce Chicken Chop (RM 7.50):

The Mixed Sauce Chicken Chop..........

The Chicken Chop, served with both the Mushroom and Black Pepper Sauce was ok overall... Nothing fantastic - medium tenderness of the chicken with tasty sauces which were just a bit too thick and not quite peppery enough for my taste. Still, the price is decent (and it's a coffeeshop lah) so I shan't complain too much.
:)

So, it's: Simple coffeeshop setting, small variety of hawker food at decent prices BUT nothing much to complain about except that it can be difficult to find parking in the area.... Please make sure you don't miss out on the Hokkien Mee! :)


Summary Information:
Kedai Kopi Tong Fong @ Sea Park, PJ

Opening Hours: 5pm till late**
Phone: -
Address: Tong Fong, Corner Shop lot, Sea Park (Behind KFC/ Opposite Maybank)

Hokkien Mee stall** - NOT HALAL
Peter Chin Western Food stall** - NO PORK SERVED
(** There are other stalls open for lunch in the daytime)


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Lessthanten.net


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Horror Continues

J has a happy but sad day shopping at the Curve.....

I was at the Brands Outlet Store at the Curve today when I tried on a pair of plus size jeans. Basically, it was out of curiousity/ desperation after trying on multitudes of "modern" super low cut, crotch skimming jeans that were all too tight...

And, to my joy/ horror, the plus size jeans fit so well!
:) / :(

So, bright side: Yay! I found nice jeans! Not only do they fit well on my wider than normal hips and bigger than usual butt but the length was also just nice so I don't feel like freaky midget (a la jeans at MNG/ Zara/ etc).

But, down side: Me? PLUS size? Really??? (Oh man - my weight gain has reached new heights!)


Kinda depressed,
J

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Horror

J is turning into a whale.....

Yes.
My worst nightmare has come true: The holiday season feasting has caught up with my waistline.
(-_-)

It's bloody irritating how quickly I pile on the pounds!
*sigh*
I took the time to spring clean and pack in anticipation of an upcoming holiday wih my parents. Halfway through, I decided (for fun) to just try on some of the long sleeve shirts and sweaters that I hadn't worn for such a long time and... *drum roll* ... they don't fit anymore!
(Boo... I actually had to make a quick trip out to One Utama to buy new shirts so I don't freeze to death on our trip)
:(

Ok.
So either my mum shrank ALL of them when she washed them... or I am much fatter than I was 2 years ago (ie. the last time I wore all those clothes).

Anyway, just to be safe - I'm swearing off carbs until I drop a couple of pounds and will jump back to my gym routine (as soon as I get better from this irritating on and off and on again flu).


Does not want to be an "XL" girl no matter how much she loves her curves,
J

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Monday, January 21, 2008

The Daily Grind @ Bangsar Village

Another new restaurant in Bangsar Village area that's taken over Du Viet's old spot....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(Nov 2009)

I've been back recently and the burgers are still good... :) ... but there are no more free flow of french fries.
(Apparently that was just a promotion they were having when they just opened)

Oh well. Less carbs is not necessarily a bad thing, right?

Cheers,
J

[ END EDIT ]

Had read about this new gourmet burger joint in Bangsar Village and was dying to check it out (despite the mixed reviews from bloggers)... but as I walked up the Daily Grind, I was very upset to see that it had taken over Du Viet's spot in Bangsar Village Shopping Centre.
:(
(I like Du Viet!)
(I guess that's just how the F&B business is though - super dynamic and very dog eat dog... survival of the fittest!)

Anyway, onwards to the review.....

The Dinner:

The Daily Grind is located on the LG floor of the Bangsar Village shopping centre (pretty much opposite FOS). From the outside, it looks fairly unassuming with its earthy brick facade and simple glass panelling:
The Exterior of the Daily Grind ...

The seating area inside was nice and cosy - your choice between more conventional tables or cute little booth seats, all set in the dimly lit and comfortable environment:
The Interior of The Daily Grind...

(There are also a few tables outside in the "patio" area but that's the smoking section and you'll also be subjected to the sound of passing traffic on the (often) busy road)

One highlight of this eatery is the home made tomato ketchup and chili sauce:
The Home-Made Tomato Ketchup and Chili Sauce...

I guess I was expecting too much (so I was a little let down) but the chunky sauces are quite nice - tangy, fragrant with spices, not too spicy (the chili sauce) and tastes very fresh.

That night, we started our meal with the Smoked Salmon Cakes (RM 18++):
The Smoked Salmon Cakes...

The deep fried patties of smoked salmon and potatoes was mildly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside (tasted ok) - I found the serving a little small for the price though....

Ahhhh... and now for the highlight of the Daily Grind - their freshly made patties and buns (with a variety of different topping/ sauces). That night, we tried the Italian Beef Buffalo Burger (RM 34++) and the Chicken Norway Burger (RM 32++):
The Italian Buffalo Beef Burger and the Norway Chicken Burger...

The toppings for the burgers were interesting... although there were a few hits and misses (in my book):
- the Beef Burger was topped with pesto and cheese (but couldn't really taste the pesto), and
- the Chicken Burger was smothered with a pungeant cheese sauce (suspect there's blue cheese in there) and a hearty serving of smoked salmon (but I wasn't too wild about it... not sure that blue cheese+chicken+smoked salmon go so well together)

I have to admit though - the patties are wonderfully juicy! And tastes very fresh indeed.
(Both the chicken and the beef)

I'm not sure if the serving size of the burger justifies the price though...
(I mean I felt full after eating the burger but it's pretty expensive to pay about 35 bucks for it)

If you are one of those people with a voracious appetite, don't fret if you don't feel full after eating the burger - they serve a "free flow" of french fries with your order of a main
Endless bowls of yummy french fries...

Mmmmm...
And those fries were really yummy - chunkily cut, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside...
(Just the way I like 'em!)
(Me and Pat must have emptied out 2 and a half servings of it before we came to our senses)

Do try your best not to fill up on fries when you are there, as the desserts are worth a try. We sampled the Dark Chocolate Mousse (RM 12++) and the Peanut Butter Banana Pie (RM 16++):
The Peanut Butter Banana Pie and the Dark Chocolate Mousse...

I liked both the desserts:
- the chocolate mousse was silky, dense (without being too thick) and indulgent (without being too sweet or decadent),
- the peanut butter banana pie was thick, heavy and indulgent with its thick layer of sticky peanut butter balanced by the slightly lighter cream layer and sliced bananas (made me feel like a kid again).

Note: Pat and Jolyn did not like the pie very much.... They say the texture is too thick for them. I found it ok although I admit I prefer the chocolate mousse much more.

Overall, I enjoyed the food/ experience there.... It may have been a bit pricey but I suppose it's a good place to pop by for a fresh juicy gourmet burger once in a while (or more often if you can afford it - it's your bank account!).

So it's: Interesting selection of juicy gourmet burgers with interesting toppings, friendly service, cosy setting BUT nothing much bad except the food only tastes ok for the price (although the unlimited french fries helps make up for it some what).

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


The Daily Grind @ LG Floor, Bangsar Village

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 60/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2287 6708
Opening Hours: 12pm till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- A Whiff Of Lemongrass:
- She, the epicuriousgirl
- Chong's Loft
- Lots Of Cravings
- Pillow Talk With Bangsar Babe
- Christopher Sam.com


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FYI: Marmalade @ Mont Kiara

Don't panic! It's only moved, not closed down.....

If you passed by the main Mont Kiara area and noticed that Marmalade is missing from it's spot near the Baskin Robbins/ Coffee Bean- Do not fret!

It has not closed down... but has relocated to inside Plaza Mont Kiara (ie. that tall office building which is just across the road from its original location). Have not tested out the food there yet but so far, have not heard any complaints.
(So, let's conclude that the food continues to be decent - not great, but fairly reasonable for the taste and price charged)

Anyway, if you want to read my original review of Marmalade (old outlet though), please click on THIS LINK.


At your service,
J

PS/ I don't think I will be able to update till at least next week so, sorry!
(I'll be away for work for a couple of days)

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Sin For The Week

J being naughty at Bestari's mamak in Hartamas.....

I hadn't gone for a good mamak session for the longest time so guess what I did when faced with the easy availability of a plate of delicious steaming hot Maggi Goreng?

Yup.
You're right: My willpower totally caved in and I ordered it:
The Maggi Goreng...

Mmmmm....
After banning it off my food list (and succeeding) for almost a year, I'd forgotten how good it tastes - The firm texture of the noodles, coated with a generous layer of oil and fragrant spices with smatterings of egg and veggies....
(Oooh, and the optional dash of lime on top adds that extra zing)

That night, I quickly cleaned off the entire plate (all by myself some more *sigh*).... and washed it down with a glass of kopi ais kurang kurang manis.

I don't even want to think how many calories were that meal! I will just have to be more careful in future when faced with such temptation.....
*lol*
:D


I have been naughty and I know it!,
J

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ichiban Boshi @ Pavillion

Japanese restaurant in the new Pavilion Shopping Centre, KL....

The Lunch:

My mum loves Jap food so while we were (window) shopping at Pavilion, we decided to pop into Ichiban Boshi to try it out as the chef making soba at the front of the restaurant caught our eye:
Ichiban Boshi from the outside...

Overall, the restaurant was comfortable - bright cheerful design, with many booth seats around the well stocked kaiten belt:
The Interior of Ichiban Boshi...

We didn't feel like picking off the revolving belt that day so we went for the ala carte menu instead. After some deliberation, we started off with a serving of Deep Fried Salmon Skin (RM 4++):
The Deep Fried Salmon Skin...

If I could describe this in a word, it would be: Chewy.
Haha.
Mmmm,.. but seriously it wasn't very good. No fishy taste (which is a plus) but it wasn't very crispy, with some of the thick slices of skin being downright chewy.

Moving on to the mains, my mum had the Unagi Yanagawa (RM 15.90++) and I had the Hiyashi Chuka Soba (RM 14.90++):
The Unagi and the Soba...

The Unagi, cooked with Egg had a great texture and taste - smooth and savoury - but I found the accompanying sauce a little too salty for me.
(Probably it would have tasted much nicer with rice)

The main selling point of this Japanese restaurant is their freshly made buckwheat soba noodles so I had to try it out.... They have several variation: dry/ soup/ hot/ cold but I had decided to test out the cold version that day.

I really liked this dish - cold soba noodles, served with slices of duck, crabstick, egg and vegetables topped with a savoury sauce. It's not like it was fantastic.... just a simple dish that is nice to have when you feel like having something uncomplicated.
(I think they said it was supposed to be a bit spicy but I didn't feel anything)

Lastly, we had the Tempura Ice Cream (RM 6.90++):
The Deep Fried Tempura Ice Cream...

I found that the vanilla ice cream and the tangy berry sauce balanced the crispiness and slight starchiness of the tempura batter very well. Still, it just tasted ok.
(Very decent price though!)

Overall, I wasn't really impressed with most of the dishes we tried there.... but the prices were reasonable for a Jap place and I did like the freshly made soba so I'll probably venture back some time to try out more variations of it.
:)

So it's: Good variety Japanese sushi/ rolls (on Kaiten belt) and freshly made soba at reasonable prices, friendly service BUT only tasted ok.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Ichiban Boshi @ Pavilion Shopping Centre, KL
(near food court area)

Taste: 5.5
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 35/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2141 6621
Opening Hours: 11.30am till 10pm

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Places and Foods
- Cari Makan In PJ
- Squeak. Speak. Roar!
- She, the epicuriousgirl
- Yumi's Place
- Life Of The Food Lovers


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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

FYI : Vintry @ Jaya 33, PJ

I still don't get it but anyway.....

Guess what?
Vintry's new and much bigger outlet in the Jaya 33 shopping centre is now open!

Guess what (again)?
IT'S HALAL.

Don't ask me why. There was already a hint of exasperation in my voice when I asked the waiter what sort of angle they're going for: "A Halal Restaurant which specialises in Wine"?

Please don't get me wrong though: It's not that there's anything wrong with it being Halal, but I just find it very confusing that the 2 outlets have the exact same name and such vastly different concepts!
(The nice waiter confirmed that the old outlet of Vintry's in Damansara Heights is still maintaining its non-Halal menu)
(Oh, and I guess I was just being grumpy because I had been really really looking forward to having the sinfully delicious deep fried pork strips....)

Anyway, now you know:
- New Vintry outlet @ Jaya 33 = Halal, and
- Old Vintry outlet @ Bukit Damansara = Still Non-Halal.

(If you want to read my review on the Vintry in Damansara Heights, please click on THIS LINK)


Cheerio then,
J

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Mini Hibernation

Yawn.....

Me = Totally wimping out on promise to self to "Go to gym more" and "Eat less"
*guilty grin*

I fear I may be losing some of my hard earned muscles already (whatever little I gained) but it's terrible how lazy/ tired I have been feeling lately. For example, not only did I not go to the gym for the whole of last week but there turned out to be a vast difference between the very productive weekend I had planned for myself and what I actually ended up doing:
PLAN:
- Gym in morning - Sun & Sat,
- Birthday gift shopping,
- Saturday night dinner,
- Help mum spring clean,
- Catch up with friends over coffee, and
- Attend friend's wedding dinner....

ACTUAL:
- Sleep,
- Saturday night dinner,
- Sleep,
- Help mum spring clean,
- Sleep,
- Attend friend's wedding dinner, and
- Sleep....

I swear, it's like I'm a bear and it's time for my annual hibernation!
(It's horrible but I really felt sleepy for almost the whole weekend)
Well, at least I am fully rested for work this week.
(So much to do in so little time!)
=_=


Lazy bear,
J

PS/ Food updates will come later this week (hopefully). Sorry dears - am very busy at work this week.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened....

... on the way to Putrajaya while looking for a friend's house:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"WHICH way to Presinct 8??"

*lol*
I am thankful that I was hitching a ride (with friends who roughly knew the area) and not driving around on my own or I would have probably been driving around in circles for hours on end....

Malaysian road signs are wonderful though, aren't they?
Such a wonderful mix of misleading signs, signs with unreadable fonts or sign that are just plain non-existent (or damaged to the point of illegibility).

I suppose we're not the worst in the world when it comes to infrastructure (Eg. roads and the accompanying signages, etc) but I'm thinking there's a lot of room for improvement.....
:)


Constantly amazed,
J

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Banquet @ Bangsar Village 2

New restaurant in Bangsar Village 2 by the people behind Cafe Cafe....

There are several interesting restaurants in the new Bangsar Village 2 Shopping Centre but we decided to pop into Banquet that day as I had been curious about it.
(I heard that this was opened up by the people behind Cafe Cafe)

The Lunch:

There are basically 2 choices - you can either dine inside the main restaurant area or in the "outdoor" section in the shopping centre's open area:

Top: The Indoor section, Bottom: The Outdoor section ...

Both areas have a modern and arty theme with white being the key colour, embellished with a few opulent features like crystal chandeliers.

The menu there is pretty eclectic though, with a mix of :
- simple Asian dishes (eg. Prawn Noodles and Fried Rice),
- healthy and exotic salads (eg. Nicoise Salad and Tiger Prawns & Avocado Salad)
- European dishes (eg. Duck Confit and Burgundy Cheek of Wagyu)
... as well as some interesting starters, pastas and desserts.
(Prices for mains vary wildly according to the "sophistication" of the dish - anywhere between RM15++ to RM 69++)

That day we started off with the Wild Rocket Salad (RM 25++) and Tom Yam Soup (RM 13++):
The Tom Yam Soup and The Wild Rocket Salad...

P (FYI: This review is quite delayed - don't be confused: I am not going out with him again) enjoyed the salad with the fragrant wild rocket leaves served with slices of pear, pine nuts, cheese and foie gras sauce... but I found the sweet flavour of the pear and the sauce a bit too much for me.
(I am more of a "salty" person)

The Tom Yam Soup had a generous amount of chicken and seafood and was quite nice - good flavour of the herbs in the smooth broth but it wasn't quite as spicy or sour as I would have liked.

For our mains, we tried the Risotto Porcini (RM 25++) and Pan Fried Salmon Fillet (RM 33++):
The Risotto Porcini and the Pan Fried Salmon Fillet...

The Risotto was ok... A bit too wet and salty for my tastebuds although the texture of the rice was nice (firm without being too hard - al dente).

As for the fish, it also had a nice texture (crisp skin and moist flakey "meat") but this was on the other end of the taste spectrum from the risotto, as I found it a little too bland.
(The accompanying sundried tomato sauce was nice though... but there was so little of it)

Didn't try any desserts that day but with Cafe Cafe as a reference, probably they're pretty damned good. They have quite a good range there at Banquet: from a simple Crepe (RM 9++) to a much more complex (and expensive) Hot Chocolate Cake with White Truffles Flavour (RM 30++).

So it's: Good variety of Asian and European dishes, nice casual yet sophisticated ambience and friendly service BUT nothing much bad except the food only tastes ok for the price.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Banquet @ 1st Floor, Bangsar Village 2

Taste: 6
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 60/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2282 3228
Opening Hours: 11am till late

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- KL People KL Food
- Sooyindotcom
- Masak-Masak
- A Whiff Of Lemongrass
- Da Wheel Of Life and Happiness
- Sweets For My Sweet Tooth


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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Duplicity

Bloody Martians.....

How is it that one night, a guy can tell a girl that he still loves her, highlight what a difference she made in his life and (sort of) pledge his undying love to her....
... and then a couple nights later he wishes her :" Happy New Year, bro "??


Very disappointed and surprisingly pissed off,
J

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