Friday, March 27, 2009

A Gastronomical Adventure, by Nibbleish

I don’t usually go for free food tastings… but it’s such an interesting concept! - a KL Food Crawl – sounds cool, right?....

Seriously - I hate accepting free food from restaurants...
(You'll have to take my word on this)
1) They know you're coming (and I feel that they can possibly pay an unfair amount of attention on you/ the food)
2) I have this strange notion that you cannot truly appreciate the price vs taste unless you actually pay for it with your own money (which is probably why I'm so broke after 3 years of food reviewing *sigh*)

(Anyway, enough about me and my strange way of thinking)

However, when I heard from the people behind Nibbleish.com that they were bringing a new "food crawl" / "food safari" concept to KL, I couldn't resist participating in their food tasting to find out more....

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Take a bite....

Basically, the idea is that you can have a (sort of) food adventure - testing out 3 different restaurants in the same area (guaranteed to be =< 5 minutes walking distance) - one place for your starter, another for your main and a third place for your dessert.... And it's at a discounted price too. :)

All you have to do is :
1) go to their website,
2) choose the date and restaurant combination you want for your starter, main, dessert (eg. Flam, Le Bouchon & Bermuda Combo Tour)
3) pay online (prices are discounted! Approx 30% cheaper than normal, prices start from RM 50+),
4) print out your "ticket",
5) turn up at the right restaurant with your ticket on the right date,
5a) Starters 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm
5b) Main course 8.00 pm - 9.30 pm
5c) Desserts 9.30 pm till late
... and lastly...
6) MAKAN! :)

Menus are supposed to be changed fairly frequently (weekly?) but there are some restaurant menu highlights online for you to browse through.

So far, they only have a fairly short list of restaurants in the the Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar and Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL areas but I'm sure they will expand the list soon.
Restaurant listing:
- Changkat Bukit Bintang: (22 March - 30 April 2009)
Palate Pallete (No pork), Flams (No pork), Le Bouchon (No pork), Delucca (No pork), Bermuda & Onion (Non Halal),
- Jalan Bangkung (01 - 30 April 2009)
Cava (No pork), Tea For Two (No pork), Tasting Room (No pork), Tasting Room (No pork), U Restaurant (No pork), Leonardo's (Non Halal)

So, what's in it for you? :
1) Discounted prices for full sized meals (approx 30% discount!)
2) The fun of trying out 3 different restaurants (all within walking distance) in one night

But what's the catch lah? :
Nothing.
Except that if you are looking to sit down and relax at one restaurant the whole night (ie. not feeling adventurous) then this is not for you. Oh, and they don't have this deal on every single night - only on Sundays to Thursdays.

Overall: Interesting concept of a food safari, discounted prices for full sized meals at established/ new restaurants in Bangsar and KL (the 3 course package price starts from about RM50+!), fuss free online booking+payment system BUT only available on off peak nights (Sunday to Thursday)... I can’t think of anything else negative - I’m just a little worried about the ability of the restaurants to cope well to this new concept, but I’ll update on that after I try it out…

Links to some of the Jalan Bangkung restaurant options:
1) Tasting Room review @ Cumi & Ciki
2) Tea For Two review @ Cumi & Ciki
3) Leonardo's review @ Fat Boy Bakes
4) Tasting Room review @ Julian Si
5) My Leonardo's review (coming soon - sorry! FINALLY done...)

Another great thing about the food tasting that night (other than the exciting new concept) was that I got to meet up with some really delightful people - especially fellow food bloggers, Mr. "Super Baker" FBB and Miss "Hot Stuff" Ciki. :)
(Sorry, Jules, since I already know you, it wasn't so special to meet you there :P)

Was so nice to meet you babes! :) Let's go makan again soon, k?

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All of us at Leonardo's
(Photo brazenly stolen from Julian Si's site btw - "Teruk lah u, Jules - u know I don't like my photo posted online and you never even asked first... Anyway, the damage is done.... So I have stolen and pasted your photo here too")....


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Cuisine Studio @ Tropicana

Cosy French restaurant tucked in a corner of Tropicana....

DISCLAIMER: I lost the receipt so prices are just a stab in the dark of what I roughly remember.
(Sorry.....)

I had been meaning to check out Cuisine Studio for the longest time but more than a year passed before we ventured to this cosy little French restaurant (opened and run by French chefs) in the Tropicana Golf Club:
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Inside, there is a small(-ish) area for dining, some specialty products (gourmet sausages, home made jams, etc) and a larger section next door where they hold their cooking classes:
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Inside Cuisine Studio.....

That night we started off with the Mussels, cooked with sea water (?) and white wine (about RM 45++):
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I heart mussels.....

Wah. So fresh.
(But not cheap lorrr)
According to the wait staff, fresh batches of mussels are flown in every Thursday from New Zealand. They were undoubtably fresh, but I found that the broth of sea water (?) and white wine was a little too salty for my taste buds. Overall, Ok.

Next up, the Escargot (about RM 25++):
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Go, go escargot!.....

Yum. The escargot wasn't super tender (which I have been told, is a sign that the are probably freshly prepared and not the canned variety) but the sauce was delicious - tasty, yet not too overpowering.

As for the mains, we tried 3 of their specialties - The Braised Lamb Shank (about RM 50++), the Duck Cassoulet (about RM 60++) and the Spicy Sausage Pasta (about RM 30++):
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Clockwise from top: Braised Lamb Shank, Duck Cassoulet and Spicy Sausage Pasta.....

- Lamb Shank: This was my favourite for the night. A tender, lovingly braised hunk of lamb smothered in a delicious yet delicate sauce which complemented the flavour of the lamb very well. *drool*
- Duck Cassoulet: Ok - simple flavours, tender duck served with pieces of home made sausage and a heap of stewed beans (May be a bad thing, if you don't like beans though)
- Spicy Sausage Pasta: Not bad - it's a great dish to choose if you feel like having some unpretentious comfort food. Al dente pasta, coated with a chunky tomato based sauce and a generous amount of home made sausages.

So, it's: Cosy, unpretentious restaurant-specialty store-cooking school with yummy, fresh, lovingly prepared classic French dishes BUT slightly limited menu and a little expensive (for the normal layperson like me, so it's more of a special occasion place)...


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Cuisine Studio @ Palm New Wing, Tropicana Golf & Country Club

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM80/++
Parking: OK (but if there’s a wedding/ function going on then good luck to you)
** Approximation - Per person, 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7805 3088
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm


NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Food 4 Thot
- Eat Drink KL


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