Friday, October 30, 2009

Ka Soh @ Damansara Heights, KL

Established restaurant in the Medan Damansara area serving up wholesome fish head noodles...

Yet another lost receipt... I am so sorry - this seems to be happening a bit too often. Will persevere to change. :(
(Oh, I remember this lunch cost us about RM 20 per person between the 3 of us - I hope that helps).

I had always heard about Ka Soh (it's been around for YEARS) but never got around to trying it out....

Anyway, we decided to try out the outlet in the Bukit Damansara area (pretty much just behind Sri Ayutthaya) for lunch one day. Inside, the restaurant is simple but comfortable, with classic white walls and wooden tables:
Simple settings inside.....

Tempted by the promises of deep fried yummy-ness, we ordered the deep fried sotong (calamari):
The deep fried calamari.....

Oh man - this ROCKED.
I think it's hard to find really good deep fried calamari, and this was definitely well into the delicious category - juicy (and not chewy, yay!) chunk of calamari enveloped in a light, crispy batter.
(I hope to God it was not just a fluke. I will order this again the next time I go there and report back if it's not just as good)

Trying to balance out the sin, we ordered the fried French beans:
.....

Very simply prepared - just stir fried with some garlic - the beans were crunchy and delicious.... We did find the serving a bit small though.
(To be fair, we did order the "small" serving size but we didn't expect it to be erm... so small lah. Haha... )

Of course, we figured that you can't go to Ka Soh and not order their house specialty - the fish head noodles - so got ourselves a big bowl of it (but in this case with fish slices, instead of chunky fish head pieces):
My bowl of noodles.....

To our surprise, this is served with an optional but fairly unhealthy serving of Chee Yau Char (deep fried pork fat) on the side:
SIN!.....

Erm....
It's strange but I didn't really like this - the noodle texture was ok and the fish slices were fresh but the soup was sort of watery and bland.... :(
(Then again, I realise that I do like my food pretty salty so it could just be me)

Anyway, I think I'll definitely be back for the deep fried calamari and to sample more of the other a la carte Chinese food there (they even have a few exotic options like frog!).... :) Not sure about the fish head noodles though!


So, it's: Good selection of yummy Chinese food, some unusual dishes (frog), simple yet comfortable ambience BUT strange, the house specialty (fish head noodles) was only ok and prices are a wee bit on the high side (but it is the Damansara Heights area after all)....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Ka Soh @ Medan Damansara
136, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara,
59490 Kuala Lumpur

(Behind Victoria Station's row in Damansara Heights)


Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM30++ per person
Parking: Very limited and generally painful

** Approximation - typical Chinese sharing style meal
Telephone No.: 03-2093 7388 (Damansara Heights outlet)
Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

NOT HALAL




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Kampung Boy City Gal
- KuanChong.com
- Lots Of Cravings


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paris Photos (Part 3)

Desktop holiday for you: European Edition - a taste of culture & fashion in Paris....

This will be the 3rd and final batch of photos from J the Chocoholic's Paris 2009 series... :)

Theme: Culture & Fashion....
There is no shortage of really nice museums to visit in Paris - it really just depends on what you like. With only 5 days there, I had to limit my selection so I only visited 3:
1) Musée L'Orsay:
The exterior of the Musee L'Orsay.....

I really liked the interior of this museum - a converted train station, the mix of ironwork and beautiful glass and stone carvings was simply beautiful:
Inside.....

As for the artwork, there were smatterings of famous paintings from many famous artists such as Degas (I like!) and Picasso:
Degas.....

Picasso Van Gogh!.....

2) Musée L'Orangerie:
My favourite museum of the lot, because it houses part of the Nympheas (Waterlilies) collection by one of my favourite artists, Claude Monet:
Monet.....

The thoughtfully designed interior was also pure genius - with the calming background music, simple white walls and natural lighting from the skylights enhancing the beauty of huge paintings spread across each circular room:
One of the main rooms in Musee L'Orangerie.....

3) Musée du Louvre:
The Louvre is THE most famous (even more so after the Da Vinci Code movie) and biggest museum in Paris housing 3 gargantuan wings of artifacts and artwork from all over the world:
The Louvre.....

For example, Egypt,:
Mini Sphinx?.....

... Europe:
Heavy suit.....

... and of course many other places (Asia, etc).

It is also (as you may already know) the home of the famous Venus De Milo statue and the Mona Lisa painting by Signore Leonardo Da Vinci:
The Venus De Milo.....

Is it terrible for me to say that I was fairly unimpressed with the Mona Lisa? :(

Well, maybe if I could have gotten a better look at it I may have appreciated it more.... but it was cordoned off meters away, protected behind a (probably) bullet proof casing so I couldn't even see her properly (and also there quite a lot of people jostling around to see her):
Squint to see the Mona Lisa.....

4) Galeries Lafayette Fashion Show:
I managed to score a free ticket to a mini fashion show at one of the high class shopping centers in Paris called Galaries Lafayette (I guess it's like Star Hill or Pavilion in KL?):
Front row seat!.....

Actually, it's not like it was such a big deal - they have this fashion show weekly (Friday 3pm) and all you got to do book yourself a seat at least 2 weeks in advance (you can contact them through the email on their website):
Models: Setting ridiculous body standards around the world *sigh*.....

Ah, Paris - where even the inside of a shopping center can be so beautiful! Check it out:
The gorgeous steelwork and dome inside the Galaries Lafayette.....


That's all I have for the highlights of my trip to Paris (I hope you liked it). I'm sorting through my Italy photos now so I'll post those up next, ok?
:)


Hugs,
J


THE REST OF THE SET - J'S PARIS 2009 POSTS:
- Paris 2009, Part 1
- Paris 2009, Part 2
- OR go to J's Main Travel Page for more options. :)


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Auberge de la Reine Blanche @ rue Saint-Louis en L'ile

Traditional French food in a quaint hole in the wall restaurant.....

While researching for places to eat in Paris, I found this highly recommended eatery on Trip Adviser so I decided to try it out. Loved the location! - on a small isle in the middle of the Seine River, in a quaint area filled with narrow streets and shop houses:
The restaurant from the outside...

Inside, the restaurant is pretty cramped but somehow feels cosy rather than claustrophobic (although admittedly, I didn't really enjoy being quite that close to my fellow diners):
All the tables were packed within inches of each other!...

The menu and daily specials are mostly in French (and some English) but the wait staff here speak really decent English (AND are really friendly) so there's nothing to worry about in terms of language barriers. :)

I asked for my waiter to recommend a proper French meal to me, so he suggested I start off with the Pastis (Euro 7++) apéritif from the Marseilles region:
Pastis!...

Wowza - it was strong.
(I learnt later on Wikipedia that Pastis is generally between 40-45% alcohol!)

Hmmm,.. I didn't really like it though because there was a very strong taste of star anise and licorice (which I am ok with, but don't really love) but my intention was to try something different so I was happy with it. :)

Quickly feeling the effects of the Pastis (on my empty stomach) I started shoving the free crusty bread with the accompanying mild cheese spread down my throat (aka. Attempt at damage control! Haha...):
Bread & cheese - French staples!...

Luckily the Duck Salad (part of 3 course set, Euro 19.50++) came pretty quickly or I may have been stuffed with bread due to my own folly:
The duck salad...

When I saw the dark and shriveled looking pieces of duck sparsely scattered in the fresh greens, I was a bit disappointed....

I thought I was in for a jaw breaking session, but was surprised to find out the duck was actually moist and yummy. It was also pretty salty, so the small amount went well with the simple vinaigrette dressed salad. I think it would have been better without so much cheese though, because it made it a bit too salty at times.

The red wine (Euro 8++) recommended by the waiter went very well with the duck (and I was starting to get a bit drunk by that point):
More alcohol...

By this time, my expectations were very high... but I ended up being a bit disappointed with my main, the Bouef Bourguignon (part of 3 course set, Euro 19.50++):
French beef stew...

This is a very simple classic French dish, pieces of beef stewed with vegetables, but the beef texture was a downer and the stew was kinda tasteless... :( :( I tried explaining this to the waiter at the end of my meal (just as feedback, not a complaint) but I guess they are not used to getting bad feedback here as he didn't understand the words "bland", "tough" or "dry and a bit stringy".

Luckily, the Dessert of the Day (part of 3 course set, Euro 19.50++) was pretty good:
The delightful dessert of the day...

It was a mix of 2 slices of cake/ pie with a small serving of raspberry custard on the side - overall, simple and refreshing! :)

Despite being quite stuffed and a bit tipsy by then, I did not want to back down from having the full, proper French meal so I ended with a Douce (Euro 9++) digestif:
Alcohol, food, alcohol, food, alcohol - layers of sin in my tummy...

Yummy. :D
It was (again) really strong, but I loved the really intense flavours of fruit - peaches and pears, I think. It was also super sweet though, so I could only attempt small sips at a time.

Later, I stumbled out of the restaurant, (...trying to look graceful while I'm at it) and ambled along the river bank, enjoying the sunshine and trying in vain to "walk off" the calories. :)
(Sure, the meal wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it anyway.... I just wish I had the time & money to go back for a second round)


So, it's: Adorable hole in the wall restaurant, good range of traditional French cuisine, restaurant staff speak English! :) BUT it can be a little too cosy, especially during peak hours (tables are packed very, very closely)....

Summary Information:
Auberge de la Reine Blanche @ rue Saint-Louis en L'ile, Paris

Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week (12noon - 3pm, 6pm - late).
Phone: +33 146330787
Address: 19, rue Saint-Louis en L'ile, Paris 75004, France

NOT SURE WHETHER HALAL


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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Yogi Tree @ The Gardens, Midvalley, KL

Healthy but yummy food? A miracle! (Much blogged about restaurant in the Gardens Shopping Center, Midvalley)....

I don't feel very wordy today so I'll keep the descriptions really short... :)
(Hee hee hee... so lazy, right?)

Yogi Tree - Not that new. Upper floor in Midvalley Gardens (Isetan side):
Inside the calming Yogi Tree restaurant....

Nasi Ulam Ayam Perchik (RM 22+):
A plate full of healthy deliciousness....

Healthy, nasi ulam, keropok, grilled chicken (perchik style), deep fried fish & sambal. Not cheap, but overall was good! - Chicken only ok but the fish & sambal was really good! :)
(Would definitely order again)

Thai Beef Noodles (RM 23+):
My bowl of Beef Noodles....

Didn't like this at all. Soup was too sweet.
(My taste buds are more skewed to salty, rather than sweet)

(Also: I've been back - tried the Chicken Cacciatore and some of the pastas - they were nice...)

So it's: Healthier options of Western and Asian food, friendly (but slightly blur) service, nice ambience - casual yet classy BUT prices a bit on the higher side....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


The Yogi Tree @ Mid Valley
F-237B, Level 1, The Gardens,
Midvalley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur


Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 50/+ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2282 6163
Opening Hours: 11am till 10pm

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Lots of Cravings
- Paranoid Android
- Shawn Eats World
- The Hungry Moo
- MCHLLCHN
- Zestful Eats


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Paris Photos

Desktop holiday for you: European Edition - wandering around Paris (Part 2)....

(Wow, I actually got around to updating on the 2nd batch of photos!)

Visiting all the major (and typical) Tourist attractions....
1) A beautifully sunny day at the Eiffel Tower:
The Eiffel.....

There are different prices for entering the Eiffel Tower, with the ticket for going right to the top priced at Euro 13.
(So, I decided to give it a miss... especially since I didn't have anyone to share the view with *EMO* Haha...)

Check out the heavily armed man guarding the Eiffel from all the evil tourists! *lol*:
" I'm watching you!" *grrrrrr*.....

Hmmmm... Do I look dangerous enough to warrant such heavy artillery? :)

2) Walking by the Seine river (perfect on a sunny day!):
The scenic Seine.....

It was such a beautiful day that I decided to take a stroll along the famous Seine river... There were many people enjoying the weather there too - whether (also) taking a walk around, chilling out by reading a book or sunbathing at the side of the river. :)

3) Next, the Notre Dame cathedral:
The famous Notre Dame.....

It was a dark and very atmospheric inside, with really beautiful stained glass windows:
Holy ground.....

The elaborate Gothic facade and interior were really awe-inspiring....
(...but still, my favourite cathedral is still the Unfinished Cathedral in Spain - I love the natural inspirations behind the design)

4) Inside the pantheon (originally a church!), checking out the giant pendulum:
Science rocks!.....

Wah - this pendulum (specifically, the Foucault pendulum) is 67 meters long! and it's quite cool although the exact physics of how it works are completely lost on me.
(Apparently it caused quite a lot of shock/ sensation when it was first put together in 1851 - Even though it was already published before that the world does revolve, probably not many people really believed it because you couldn't actually see it happen).

5) The Arc de Triompe:
The arc looks very unassuming in daylight, but becomes really beautiful at night especially when complemented by the lights of the large tree lined Champs-Élysées avenue:
Arty Lomo-like shot of the Arc.....

Pretty lights, at sunset.....

As I wandered around the area, I stopped to dream in front of the Louis Vuitton store (along Avenue des Champs-Elysees where a lot of the expensive top brands are):
Lust inspiring? Haha.....

(Apparently it's the biggest LV shop in Europe)
I know, *sigh* it's just all marketing fueled consumerism but the bags are really pretty! - it's not wrong that I wish I could have one, is it? *bats eyelids*

That's all for now but I should be able to round up 1 more post of Paris photos - if you're not too bored of them already? :)


Hugs,
J


THE REST OF THE SET - J'S PARIS 2009 POSTS:
- Paris 2009, Part 1
- Paris 2009, Part 3
- OR go to J's Main Travel Page for more options. :)


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Monday, October 19, 2009

La Gueuze @ rue Soufflot, Paris

Second food related post from my trip: Traditional French food and a Mid-day Trance Party nearby? What a combination! :).....

As I wandered away from the Pantheon, I chanced upon this French brasserie (just down the road):
La Gueuze...

It was a beautiful day - sunny but with a nice cool breeze - so I took a seat at one of the tables outside on the sidewalk:
Chilling out, al fresco...

This cosy bar/ restaurant specialises in beers, but I decided on a nice Rose wine (Euro 4.50++) instead to go with my Confit Canard (Euro 17.00++):
My late lunch...

*sigh* Bloody exchange rate! :( :(
Anyway, that aside, I was really pleased with the meal:
- Savoury and tender duck (the meat was practically falling off the bone),
- Salty chunks of fried potatoes, fluffy inside but slightly seared on the outside,
- Washed down with a lightly chilled, medium bodied Rose...
BLISS. :)

I was actually pretty full after that but it didn't stop me from ordering a Creme brulee (Euro 6.90++):
There's always space for dessert! :D...

The crispy caramelised layer was just a fraction too thick, but for the most part, it tasted gooooooood..... :)
(No complaints)

As I sat there eating/ drinking/ enjoying life, I noticed a horde of young uns just a couple of steps away, crowding around (what seemed to be) a mini disco, DJ booth and all, mounted on top of a 16 wheeler truck - so, I'm guessing that in Paris, they have moving raves at mid day? Interesting!:
Wah, so many people...

I think I can't describe to you well enough,... but believe me: the energy level there was AMAZING.

Great trance music blasting, strobe lights, mist machines, everyone dancing uninhibitedly in broad daylight, people climbing on top of lamp posts, etc... This poor guy probably wasn't having that much fun though (I suspect he had way too much to drink) *lol*:
Clearly a case of liver abuse...

Anyway, I continued to watch the procession of trucks (I counted at least 3) and accompanying horde of kids dance their way down the street from a comfortable distance... choosing to sip on my wine rather than join them on their happy rampage through the streets of Paris: Hmmmm... perhaps I'm getting old? Haha... :)


So, it's: Cosy brasserie just down the road from the Pantheon, decent range of French food and wines, great selection of international beers BUT nothing much to complain except that the bloody exchange rate hurts real BAD (but that's not the restaurant's fault)....

Summary Information:
La Gueuze @ rue Soufflot, Paris

Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week.
Phone: +33 143541259
Address: 19, rue Soufflot, Paris 75005, France

NOT SURE WHETHER HALAL


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Friday, October 16, 2009

BKT @ Restoren Teo Chew Bak Kut Teh, SS2, PJ

A piping hot bowl of BKT in SS2 to warm your soul.....

Ok, first of all, let's clarify one thing:
Question: Is this the best BKT in town?
Answer: Definitely not!


... but it is nearby (for us PJ ppl), tastes ok, and has a great variety of side dishes to complement your meal ***

*** Yam rice, chuee keok shuein (vinegar pork leg), assam fish, shuein choi (sour vegetables), harm choi (salty vegetables), otak-otak, etc etc... :)

Now that we are clear on that, let's have a closer look at the restaurant/ food, shall we?:
The exterior of the restaurant..........

This simple restaurant is located just down the road from the Lorong Seratus Tahun place, and has been here for AGES. They have recently (in the last year or 2 anyway) renovated the premises to make it more comfortable, which is great...
(It used to be the classic simple but slightly dingy coffeeshop styled place but now, there is some air-conditioning and the whole area just looks so much fresher)

That day, they had run out of my usual pai kuat :(, so instead I had a serving of yukk kuat (meaty ribs), with white rice:
My food :)..........

As mentioned before, the BKT here is in no way the best in town, with the meat only being moderately tender and the Teo Chew style soup being a bit on the ching (light/ clear) side.
(Some people find it bland vs. the BKT in Klang but as I understand the Klang BKT is Hokkien, which is made to be saltier and thicker VS. the Teo Chew style BKT which is lighter and more herb-y)
(So, maybe it's not really fair to compare the 2...?)

What really keeps me coming back here though (other than the fact that it's only about 10 minutes away from my house) is actually the Salted Vegetables:
The yummy salted vegetables..........

Salty (yet not too salty), sour, spicy and laced with teeny pieces of meat - it's really appetising and completely delicious.
(I think I can have just this, with rice and a bowl of BKT soup, and be 110% satisfied)
:)

I can't remember exactly how much each dish costs (sorry, the receipt is not with me) but I am pretty sure it was less than RM15 (including one drink).


So, it's: Simple and clean coffeeshop setting, OK tasting Teo Chew bak kut teh at decent prices and a great variety of other side dishes BUT nothing much to complain about except that it can be difficult to find parking in the area.... :)


Summary Information:
Restoren Teo Chew Bak Kut Teh @ SS2, PJ

Opening Hours: 7am to 3pm, and 6pm to 10pm. Closed on Mondays (except public holidays)
Phone: -
Address: 26, SS2/66, Petaling Jaya (down the road from the Lorong Seratus Tahun place)

NOT HALAL


OTHER REVIEWS:
- The Poop Shoot
- KY Eats
- Eatinout
- Pillow Talk With Bangsar Babe


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paris Photos

Desktop holiday for you: European Edition - wandering around Paris (Part 1)....

Talk about A.D.D./ being easily distracted! I haven't even finished posting up my Siem Reap photos and here I am skipping to my Paris ones... :)
(Erm, you don't mind though, do you?)

First stop: the Montmarte area....
1) Classic tourist attraction at the foot of Montmarte - the Moulin Rouge:
Can can?....

Situated in the midst of the Montmarte/ Pigalle (red light district!) area, this famous caberet doesn't look very impressive by day...
(Apparently it looks better at night when all the lights are on, and the windmill starts spinning....)

2) The classic art nouveau styled Metro sign!:
Metropolitan...

I love how pretty the sign is.... but I do wish they installed escalators into the metros though... Walking up and down all those stairs (especially with my luggage since I was on a budget) really did horrors to my knees.
(OMG, I cannot deny it anymore - I am OOOOOLD.....)

3) Space invaders spotted!:
Kawaii!.....

Word is that a creative artist (nickname: Invader) started tagging walls in Paris with these cute tile designs (sort of like mosaic graffiti) and now, even the French government is trying to protect it as artwork.... :)

4) The main square on top of Montmarte:
Artists amongst the hustle and bustle.....

Was told that Montmarte has always been the Bohemian/ arty part of town and has remained so (even though in this case it smells a bit of "tourist trap")....

5) The famed Sacre Couer on the peak on Montmarte:
The Sacre Coeur.....

Hmmm, apparently the French originally didn't like this relatively new cathedral (because it looks like a big, white wedding cake), but I think it looks ok.... :)

Many, many, MANY winding steps to go up to the top of the Sacre Couer:
1 step, 2 steps,... ad infinitum.....

It's free to enter the main areas of the Sacre Couer, but you have to pay Euro 3.00 to go up to the tower... and there are NO SHORT CUTS! :)

Wah! Look at the view though... :):
Looking out from the top of the cathedral.....

It was a bit misty/ smoggy? that day but if you squint, you can see the Eiffel tower from up there

6) Oh, if you want, here's a closer look at the Eiffel Tower for you (from the next day):
The Eiffel.....


Ok. I'll stop here for round 1. :)
(Hopefully I get around to Round 2 soon before I get completely distracted)


Hugs,
J

THE REST OF THE SET - J'S PARIS 2009 POSTS:
- Paris 2009, Part 2
- Paris 2009, Part 3
- OR go to J's Main Travel Page for more options. :)


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