Monday, June 29, 2009

Baba Low @ 486, Jalan Kurau, Bangsar

Cosy coffeeshop serving a small selection classic Nyonya food.... :)

I have visited Baba Low's many times and had completely forgot that I've never reviewed it... Well, better late than never, right? :)

This little restaurant is located on the quieter side of Bangsar, on Jalan Kurau and it's kinda hidden - the row of shops is in the middle of a residential area, not visible from the main road. Honestly, I don't think I would have ever found it if it wasn't recommended by my friend V:
Outside the restaurant....

The interior is simple (like a high class coffee shop) and there's no air-conditioning but it's comfortable (good ventilation makes such a big difference):
Inside the restaurant....

First up that day, the Otak-otak (RM 4):
The Otak-otak....

OMG. I completely did not like this.
It was sweet with a dry and sort of fibrous texture (shaved coconut mixed with kunyit, I think)....

At the very least, the good thing here is that it's different from the normal Otak-otak.... I guess but I'll stick to the chicken wings next time (didn't take a photo, but I usually have that as a starter).

One of the specialties there is the Nyonya Laksa (RM 5):
The Nyonya Laksa....

Overall, this is ok - not too thick/creamy, and not too sweet broth, infused with spices... (but if it was more fragrant of curry powder I would probably like it more)

The bowl looks deceivingly small, but about halfway through the sinful lemak-y (creamy) soup should fill you up completely.... and any more than that, you'll definitely fall right asleep after lunch. :)
(ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz............. )

Another popular dish is the Nasi Nyonya (RM 6.50):
The Nasi Nyonya....

The concept is sort of like mixed rice - one veg, one meat (which changes from time to time) served with rice. That day, it was Chicken Curry served - nice! Ok, the chicken could have been a bit more tender but overall I enjoyed it.

We didn't have any desserts that day but I've tried the Cendol before - normal. Nothing fantastic but it's a light and refreshing way to top off a meal (Sometimes can be a bit too sweet though).

Overall: Low key restaurant, fairly affordable in the quiet side of Bangsar with a small selection of classic Nyonya dishes BUT some hits and misses on the menu and unfortunately, service level can be a bit erratic.


Summary Sheet:

Baba Low's @ Jalan Kurau, Bangsar
(There is a new outlet in CapSquare, KL)

Taste: 6
Ambience : 5
Service : 5
Price** : RM 12 per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-? (oops) / 012-324 7200
Opening Hours: 7am to 7pm
Parking : Limited

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
- Bual-bual Kosong
- Life Of The Food Lovers
- Living In Food Heaven
- Black Tie White Lie

Map:

View Larger Map

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Options For You

Power to the people...

Have added links to other reviews at the bottom of each of my restaurant review posts... It's a time consuming process, so I'll keep adding them in bit by bit - starting from the most current post and moving backwards.

Hope this helps! :)
(It's always good to have other opinions too, right?)


Hugs,
J

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day Brekkie

*TA-DAH!*
:)

What do you think?:

This was my simple breakfast for my parents to celebrate Father's Day. :)
It's super toned down, serving size-wise, from the Mother's Day brekkie because my parents fedback that it was too heavy for them...

Anyway, I'm glad it turned out ok - I had to wake up at about 6am to cook it after a fairly late Saturday night out (because my father had to go out for a morning meeting)... so I mostly cooked it with my eyes half closed. Haha....


Really happy she didn't accidentally poison her dad (& mum),
J

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Four Seasons Bayswater @ CapSquare, KL

London duck has come to town...

One thing's for sure: There is no shortage of nice food to try in Malaysia. :)
(Yay for happy gluttony. Boo for waistline....)

Among the latest additions to the KL gastronomic scene is a branch of the famous London Bayswater Four Seasons restaurant. They have just recently opened in the new Capital Square commercial center, just off Jalan Munshi Abdullah in KL:
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From the outside....

Overall, the restaurant is comfortable, clean and cheerful with lots of natural lighting:
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The Interior of the Four Seasons restaurant....

I'm not sure how the menu selection compares to their London branch, but there was quite a selection of classic Hong Kong style dishes to choose from.
(Noodles/ rice/ dishes to share)

We chose the Deep Fried Salt & Pepper Beancurd(RM 18+) as an appetizer:
Photobucket
The deep fried tofu....

Overall, this was ok: I liked the silky cubes of tofu encased in a crunchy, salty and pepper-y batter... but Jo commented that some of them tasted "chow tarr" (hokkien for burnt taste).
(Oh, and I think that RM 18+ is pretty expensive for a plate of tofu!)

Next, we had the Hot & Sour Soup (RM 8.50+):
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The Szechuan style Hot & Sour soup....

I loved the soup. :)
It could have been just a bit spicier, but it had the right consistency (not too watery yet not too starchy), sour enough and a generous enough amount of meat/ other stuff inside.

For the mains, we ordered a serving of Two combination BBQ meat - "siew yoke" (crispy roast pork) & "char siew" (honey roasted pork) (RM 29+):
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Pork & more pork......

Both were good.
- The "siew yoke" : Tender meat, melt in mouth fatty layer and crispy skin. :)
- The "char siew" : Tender meat, nice "bbq" taste and not too sweet. :)

Of course, we also absolutely had to order the famous Special Roasted Duck (RM 32+ for half a duck):
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The Star of the Show: the Special Roast Duck

The meat didn't impress me THAT much. It was tender enough and pretty fragrant but wasn't like SUPER special. No, no... the thing that did it for me was the skin *DROOL*, mmmm:
- crispy (and so tasty!), and
- with a layer of melt in your mouth fat (Hello, cholesterol... Haha).

Of course, the duck ignited a conversation/ debate about where the best duck is. Contenders include :
- "Say Ngan Chai" (Quote: " Best in town lah! Cannot compare! ")
- Paramount's Loong Foong (Quote: " Ok, maybe the duck's skin at Loong Foong is not as crispy, but the meat there is nicer! "), and
- erm, mystery duck (Quote: " The duck my mum ta pauws from the market is the BEST, dunno which stall though...")
:)

Anyway, the moral is: Everyone has their favourites...
... but for me: I think Four Seasons has one of the best (albeit one of the most expensive) Hong Kong style roasted ducks you can find in a comfortable, clean, air-conditioned restaurant setting.

BTW, note: Mr. K, who has eaten in the original London Bayswater branch confirms that the KL Branch is JUST AS YUMMY....
(Just so you know)
:)

So, it's: Yummy Hong Kong style food (roasted meats, noodles, etc) in a clean, comfortable environment BUT fuyoh - some of the menu items are pretty expensive (almost RM30 for half a duck. YIKES).


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant @ Capital Square Center, off Jalan Munshi Abdullah, KL

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 35/+ per person
Parking: OK (in CapSquare.. Traffic on working days can be bad tho)

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2698 9393
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 10.30pm
NOT HALAL




OTHER REVIEWS:
- All The World's A Stage
- Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
- Kampung Boy City Girl
- Masak-Masak
- Pillow Talk With Bangsar Babe
- Lots of Cravings


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Monday, June 15, 2009

Saffron @ Sri Hartamas

Northern Indian dining in Sri Hartamas......

Saffron is located in the quieter side of Hartamas, right next to Auntie Nat's (go to the bottom of this post for the map):
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Saffron exterior.....

The decor inside is simple, making it an unpretentious, cosy place to dine in:
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Casual, air conditioned dining in Saffron.....

As we scanned through the fairly extensive menu of Northern Indian dishes, we chomped on the crispy complimentary Pappadoms, served with a sort of sweet-ish dip:
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Crispy pappadoms....

(Not bad)

After some deliberation (and some help from the restaurant manager), we started off with the Fish koftas (RM5.20++):
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The fish cakes.....

Gosh, they were so small! (Each piece was about one mouthful)
Haha.. but they only cost about 5 bucks, I guess....

Anyway, I didn't like them very much:
Good points - nice crispy exterior and fragrant taste of spices,
Bad points - overall, the texture is too dry.
(Not something I'd order again)

Onwards to the mains, we tried the Achari chicken (RM 13.50++) and Maharaja brinjal (RM 8.70++):
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The chicken curry......

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The brinjal......

I liked both, especially the chicken - Mildly spicy, fragrant semi dry chicken curry (Yum!). Well, the chicken could have been a bit more tender but overall, it was ok.

These went very well with the Garlic Bathura (RM 3.80++) that the restaurant manager recommended:
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The garlic bathura.....


There was also an order of Tarka Dhall (RM 6.75++) with our meal:
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Our serving of dhall.....

The dhall was ok - thick consistency (with a pretty unappetising colour, I must say!) but a bit bland for my tastebuds.

Overall, I enjoyed our (heavy) lunch there. Not all the dishes knocked my socks off... but I'd definitely go back as it's comfortable (as compared to hot, stuffy mamaks) and the food is pretty good.

Here's a map - hope it helps :):
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Map from the back of their name card... :)


So it's: Casual, comfortable dining, fairly good selection of decent Northern Indian food, friendly service (specifically, from the manager) BUT nothing much to complain, I wouldn't classify the food as FANTASTIC but it is definitely good enough to revisit :)

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Saffron Indian Restaurant @ Hartamas
Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM30/++ per person
Parking: OK (... but can be a bit difficult on weekdays)

** Approximation - Per person, 3 course dinner without drinks

Telephone No.: 03-6201 1375
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat - 12noon to 2.30pm, 6.15pm to 9.30pm, Closed on Sundays

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Food 4 Thot


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Monday, June 08, 2009

Il Padrino @ Wisma UOA, Damansara Heights

New non-halal Italian restaurant just off Jalan Semantan....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(April 2010)

Just so you know:
Il Padrino has joined the no pork team since October 2009 - now, they no longer serve pork/ lard and have changed all the equipment in the kitchen.
(Lisa: Thanks for informing! Appreciate it....)

So, everything in my original review is now obsolete (except the free bread and the desserts).
=_=

Haha...
Such is life - ever changing!
(I'll try to drop by Il Padrino food to check out the new menu...)


Signing off,
J

[ END EDIT ]

Spotted the emergence of this new restaurant a while back when I was inching past the discreet black signage on Jalan Semantan during the usual rush hour jam (the words Non-Halal Italian caught my eye):
Photobucket
The exterior of Il Padrino...

I liked the modern clean lines of the interior - simple yet classy. The Godfather movie theme (Il Padrino means The Godfather) could be seen, with movie quotes in the menu as well as Marlon Brando's photo glaring down at you from the restaurant walls:
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The interior of Il Padrino...

First up, the free bread:
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Our serving of free bread...

Ok. Not such a good start - the breadsticks were a bit "masuk angin" (soggy/ not crispy) and the bread was only so-so.

Luckily it picked up from there. :)

First up, the Frittura Di Calamari (Fried Calamari)(RM 24++):
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Crispy deep fried calamari...

The calamari were fresh and with a "bouncey" texture encased in a crispy batter with medium lightness. Yum.

Next the Bruschetta with ham and goats' cheese (RM 22++):
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Ham on bread, version 1...

Rule/ Warning: You have to like the taste of strong cheeses if you want to order this.
(Don't say I didn't warn you :P)

I liked the combination of the creamy, pungeant cheese with the fragrant, salty ham on the crusty bread.... but I realise that some people might find it a bit strong(The cheese is not overpowering, but you can DEFINITELY taste it there)

The guys love their ham, so they ordered another variant of Bruschetta, with a different kind of ham (prosciutto?) and rocket leaves (RM 22++):
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Ham on bread, version 2...

The guys complained that they found the taste of the rockets overpowered the ham, but I thought it was ok.
(I like rockets... and I thought it complemented the saltiness of the ham well)

For the mains, I chose the porkiest thing I could find on the menu - the Braciola Pizzaiola (RM 40++):
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Pork wrapped around pork...

Tender pork loin, wrapped around ham and filled with cheese. Then, topped with tender asparagus, deep fried leek and pizzaiola sauce (tomato based sauce).

Mmmmm... Yums. :)

Ok. Maybe it was a tad too salty on its own, and the ham inside was a little chewy... but overall when you pair each mouthful of meat with the asparagus, leek and sauce, it balances out well.

We also ordered one of the highly recommended pastas, the Ravioli Ai Spinachi (RM 32++):
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The spinach ravioli...

This ravioli is stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, and served with butter, sage sauce and parmesan cheese. Overall, simple and delicious (without any overpowering spinach taste) but as with most ravioli dishes, the serving seems a bit small.
(It's ok if you plan to have a light meal, or want to pace yourself through a full 3 course meal but Pat the Bottomless Pit had ordered this so he was a bit dismayed with how little there was)

Lastly, we also had the Rigatoni Al Amatriciana (RM 24++):
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The Rigatoni with prosciuto ham...

The Rigatoni (something like a bigger version of Penne pasta) was perfectly al dente, coated with a generous serving of robust Matriciana style tomato sauce and bits of ham. Overall, a good plate full of carb-y comfort food.
(It wasn't as spicy as I would have liked though....)

Dinner is never complete without dessert (to us gluttons, anyway) so we ordered the classic choice - the Tiramisu (RM 18++):
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The classic tiramisu...

Overall, it was good. :)
Nice balance between the texture of the sponge fingers and cream with a sufficient chocolatey and coffee taste.
(My fave is still the Tiramisu at Bermuda & Onion, but I realise that it's not exactly a classic Tiramisu like this one)

The other desserts were also pretty good.

The Sfogliatine di Millefoglie (RM 18++):
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The Millefoglie...

Crispy layers of pastry, layered with smooth cream and tart, fresh berry compote - a refreshing dessert that's not too heavy.

How can I resist ordering something chocolatey? :)

Chocolato di Fondante (RM 20++):
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The Chocolate Fondant...

This chocolate fondante had an unusual texture - more of a crumbley, crunchy texture as opposed to the usual moist, creamy fondante. Interesting... but probably not a favourite for me.
(I supposed it's like a lighter take on the usual fondante, which could be good... at least the chances of you feeling "jelak" is relatively low)

So it's: Wide range of yummy non-Halal Italian food (although a biiiit salty sometimes), nice modern ambience, friendly staff BUT prices are definitely more on the expensive side....

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Il Padrino @ Wisma UOA Damansara, Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, KL
(The blue building where you can see Subway from the main road - Jalan Semantan)

Taste: 6
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 85/++ per person
Parking: Bad during working hours, Ok during non-working hours/ weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2093 8596
Opening Hours:
11am to 2.30pm (lunch),
2.30pm to 6pm (pizza only),
6pm to 11.30pm (dinner)



NOT HALALNO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Eat Drink KL
- Caress Little Hamster


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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Food Reviews by Cuisine Type

Small relocation...

New functionality in Blogger introduced! - so, all my restaurant reviews links have been moved over to a fresh new page.
Click HERE... or the new page tab just below the header.
:)


Cheers,
J

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Monday, June 01, 2009

U Restaurant @ Jalan Bangkung

Finally, I have tried all the restaurants in the Jalan Bangkung area.... :)

Such a simple name: U....
:)

The simplicity is reflected in the restaurant exterior - sporting a low key, discreet facade (which on the flip side, can be a bad thing as it doesn't really catch the eye):
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The restaurant exterior....

Inside, the restaurant is comfortable, simple yet stylish - dimly lit, suitable for a romantic dinner:
Photobucket

I really liked the feature wall - a huge aquarium with a school of vibrant goldfishies:
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Scanning the menu, there were (strangely, to me) a lack of bento sets for dinner. There only some lunch sets (which we were not allowed to choose for dinner), an omakase set ("leave it to the chef") and one sukiyaki/shabu-shabu set to choose from.

In the end, we decided to share a selection of the various a la carte dishes. First up, the Agedashi Tofu (RM 10++):
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Tofu....

Yum!
The tofu was soft and silky, encased in a medium thickness crunchy batter. :) :)

Next up, the Kimuchi Paste Soup (RM 15++):
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My share of the soup....

The soup serving was quite large - enough for 2 to 3 people and I found it DELISH. Ok, you have to like the taste of kimchi as a rule, but it wasn't overpowering - it was balanced well with the "sweet***" seafood base of the soup.
(***I don't mean sugar-y sweet)

The highlight for me was definitely the Nasu Misoyaki (Grilled Eggplant) (RM 15++):
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The eggplant....

It looks so unappetising (slightly wizened and burnt black, sprinkled with some sesame seeds) but it tasted nice. :) There was a really yummy grilled flavour in the crisp outer layer, with the "flesh" inside being moist.
(Hmmm... actually, the taste may be a bit bland for some... but I liked it)

The Teriyaki salmon (RM 28++) we had was also pretty good:
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The teriyaki salmon....

It was ever ever so slightly overcooked (really slightly lah... like 0.001%) but I really liked how they managed to make the outer layer crisp while keeping the salmon moist on the inside.

Anyway, moving on - no one is perfect, right?

What do I mean?

Well, the Seafood Fried rice (RM 15++) we ordered was really disappointing:
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My share of the fried rice (3 people sharing)....

It's not that it was really that bad actually. Just that it was so normal (and I thought it was a bit overpriced).

Also, I wasn't really impressed with the Beef Asparamaki (RM 28++):
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Our beef asparamaki....

The thin beef slices, wrapped around stalks of asparagus and topped generously with black pepper were too dry and a little on the bland side....

After all that, the 3 of us were too stuffed for dessert unfortunately... :(
... but there were only a few simple desserts to choose from anyway so not a huge loss I think.
(MMmmmmm, the deep fried bananas with ice cream sounded really good though! I guess I'll have to try it the next time.......)

Overall: Low key restaurant with friendly service and simple yet tasty Japanese food at mid-range pricing (not expensive but definitely not cheap either) BUT some hits and misses on the menu.


Summary Sheet:

U Restaurant @ Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar

Taste: 6
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 65++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2093 1268
Opening Hours: 12noon - 2.30pm, 6pm till 11pm
Parking : OK

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Knits and Nibbles
- Jules Eating Guide to Malaysia


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