Monday, November 30, 2009

Braised Duck @ Kam Heong, PJ Old Town

Tender braised duck in the PJ Old Town area.....

It's funny... but I guess I am guilty of mostly sticking to only the restaurants I am familiar with, when it comes to simple food at coffee shops.

So when Lyn told me about Kam Heong, which has been serving up really good braised duck in the PJ old town area for many a year, I realised that (sadly) not only have I never tried it but I had also never heard of it before:
Outside the restaurant at night..........

It is supposedly pretty famous amongst duck lovers in the PJ area... but that night when we went, it wasn't very packed (although it did look like the duck had almost run out):
Simple coffeeshop setting..........

We quickly ordered a whole duck, and a quick chop-chop later, the slightly gruff foreign(?) waiter served it to our eager table of hungry yuppies:
Our heap of duck..........

All in all, yum! - The duck was tender, tasty (savoury flavour) and not too game-y. :)

I do wish the duck was more meaty though, but there was a moderate amount of flesh, topped with equally tender skin so we were fairly satisfied.
(We did greedily order another half a duck to share between the 7 of us that night)

Other than the duck, there are also some side dishes you can order to complement your meal:
- Vegetables, fried with garlic:
Veggies!..........

It was ok - Moderately fresh veggies, nothing special, but not bad either.

- Braised Mushrooms:
Braised Chinese mushrooms..........

I liked this simple dish - the mushrooms had been braised for long enough that they were tender without being too soft, and were completely soaked with flavour. :)

- Salted vegetables:
The salted vegetables..........

If I had to describe this dish in 3 words it would be: Boiled to death.
Haha... :)

Well, there are some good comments of these on the WWW so maybe the restaurant was just having a bad night? - when we were there, the chunks of salted vegetables were devoid of any significant texture (really, really soft) and weren't actually very salty/ tasty (in fact, I thought it tasted a tad sweet).

As with most coffeeshop style restaurants, there was no receipt, but as I remember, we each paid less than RM 20 that night for the whole meal (including drinks).


So, it's: Simple coffeeshop setting, nice braised duck for reasonable prices, a few ok tasting side dishes BUT nothing to complain about really - service can be a tad gruff but hey, it's a coffeeshop - don't expect it to be a fine dining experience.... :)


Summary Information:
Braised Duck @ Kam Heong Restaurant, PJ Old Town

Opening Hours: 5pm to 10pm
Phone: -
Address: 8, Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya New Town (the corner next to the UOB Bank)

NOT HALAL


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Another Day... Another Story...
- Food Buddy
- Feed Me Lah
- MakanTrip.com
- KY Eats


TAGS:, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Italy 2009 Photos (Part 3)

Desktop holiday for you... European Edition - Italy Part 3....

That building from that Angels & Demons movie, Castel Sant'Angelo:
Such a beautiful sunny day.....

There were many people taking wedding photos that day (spotted at least 3 couples)
Walking up to Piazza St Pietro.....

A closer look at the Basilica di San Pietro:
The Pope's crib.....

The famed Colosseum:
A place of celebration.... and death.....

I was really lucky that day - apparently it was some sort of Italian Heritage day (?) so I scored some free tickets to go inside the Colosseum!:
*in AWE*.....

Although it was a bit too packed inside, with hordes of tourists milling around... well, I still really enjoyed it. :)
(I know this epic monument had a long and very bloody past but it's still pretty awesome...)

The free ticket I got also allowed me access to the nearby Palpatine Hill:
This is where it all started.....

According to the legend, this is where it all started - where the half God twin brothers Romulus and Remus were raised by a wolf, and went on (after a little murder and mayhem...) to found the city of Rome.
(It's an interesting story....)

Walking around inside the Palpatine Hill area - which is HUGE by the way:
J being silly.....

Hahahha...
No, I don't know where I think I'm going either. :)
(It's a bit lame, I know, but it's all for a laugh....)

BTW, 2 short messages:
- To the nice Middle Eastern man who was in the Rome Free Walking Tour with me
(I took your photo in front of the Piazza San Pietro), I lost your email, and
- To the 2 super friendly New Zealander/ Kiwi? girls who were also with me that day (We went on the walking tour and then on that pub crawl) - I lost your email too!
:(
.... if you come across my blog by some random stroke of luck - please drop me a comment with your email... I have some photos to send to you. Thanks! :)


Next round of photos: London!....
:)


Hugs,
J

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


TAGS: , , ,, , ,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

YAYx3

Scene 1
Out on a Saturday night.....
Sue: "Hey, J! Have you lost weight?"
Me : "Er,... I don't think so. You're not trying to make me happy are you? :P That's what you said the last time too... Haha... "
Sue : "No lah. Trust me, I haven't seen you for about a month - you've definitely lost weight"

(Yay!)

Scene 2
At the gym.....
Random girl**: "Hey, actually you've lost a lot of weight since the first time I saw you.... especially around the thighs."
Me: "Oh really? Thanks? :)" ***

(YAAAY!)

Scene 3
Having a drink at a nearby mamak.....
(Conversation drifts to the topic of the sadness of finding out that jeans from college days cannot even be pulled past thighs/ zipped up without risking permanent damage to internal organs....)
Me: Ya loh. So sad, right? :( I can't believe I've gained so much weight.
S: Well, me too. And I could never gain weight when I was younger! :(
Me: But you still look fine lah! Not like me... I used to be hot! (Wah, so modest, right? *lol*)
S: You're still hot, DUMMY. *glare*

(Erm, got called a dummy,.. but still: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!)


If you can't already tell, it was a good week for me, ego-wise.

I hope you don't think that I'm so utterly conceited/ vain/ getting inflated on some little bits of praise...
:)

... I'm simply happy because there seems to be some indication that all the hard work I put in is finally paying off - I didn't want to lose weight too drastically though, so in more or less a year, I've gone from this (XL sized J!):
GEMUK...

To this (L sized J!):
NOT SO GEMUK...

But still very far away from this (M sized J!):
My past, and hopefully, my future...

(Hmmmmm, do you see any difference between the 3 photos? Or is it just me?)

I won't lie: It wasn't easy! - especially with how much I love food.... but somehow I have managed to stick by the simple rules of:
- work out as often as possible (I gym about 4 times a week now), and
- eat anything, but just be much more careful on how much and at what time.
(Hopefully, I can keep at it till I come closer to being the girl in the 3rd photo...)

:) :) :)

Happy dance *WOOT!*,
J

** She's a regular in the gym class I go for, but I'd never talked to her before.
*** Hey waitaminute, on second thought: Why's she checking out my thighs??

TAGS: , , , , ,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Purple Cane Tea Restaurant @ Gardens, Midvalley, KL

Interesting concept - Chinese food (no pork) infused with tea....

" Tea infused food? How interesting! ", I thought.

I had always wanted to check out this unusual concept restaurant at the LG level of the Gardens shopping centre and finally did so last week. :)
(I admit, I was a bit disappointed to find out that they did not serve any pork but I guess most restaurants in Malaysian shopping centres don't, to be able to cater to a larger crowd):
From the outside....

Anyway, inside, the restaurant is cosy with a clear Asian influence:
Inside Purple Tea....

If I remember correctly, other than the fairly wide range of ala carte dishes (available in varying serving sizes), and also 5 lunch sets to choose from. That day, I had the Simmered Chicken with Tea Rice set (RM 19.90+):
The Simmered Chicken set....

Overall, not bad. The chicken was pretty tender and the rice was fluffy (although just a tad too dry). As usual, my salt loving tastebuds tried to revolt: " So bland wannnnnn.... ", " Hmmm, tastes a bit sweet lah... ", they said.

*sigh* My taste buds just love salty and oily (yummy but unhealthy) food. :(

We also tried another one of the set lunches - the Braised Chicken with Man Tao set (RM 19.90+):
The Braised Chicken set....

Overall, this was also ok - the chicken was fairly tender and tasty, and the man tao was fluffy and not starchy (yay!).

We came across a Frankenstein of a drink on the menu - the C.A.T., short for Coffee, Apple, Tea (RM 7.90+):
Confusing drink....

On one hand, it was pure genius - the drink seem to magically glide from the fragrance of coffee to the sweetness of apple and finished with the slight bitter taste of tea. On the other hand,... erm... yikes.
(Maybe it's just me, but as much as I appreciated how unique this drink was, I am never ordering it again. Haha...)


So it's: Fairly wide range of healthier versions of Chinese food, comfortable ambience BUT nothing really negative to say but just that service could be a biiiit friendlier and the food wasn't salty enough for me (Not really their fault - it's supposed to be healthy food)....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Purple Cane Tea Restaurant @ LG Floor, Gardens Shopping Centre, Mid Valley
LG-206, Lower Ground Floor,
The Gardens, Mid Valley City


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

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2283 6090
(03-21453090 for Shaw Parade outlet, 03-22723090 for Chinese Assembly Hall outlet)
Opening Hours: 10am till 10pm

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Eat, Drink and Be Merry!
- Honey Star
- Big Boys Oven
- Simple Kiddy Tofu


TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Italy 2009 Photos (Part 2)

Desktop holiday for you... European Edition - Italy Part 2....

As I thought about it, I realised how blessed I have been in my life - although my family is in no way rich, I have never had to go hungry/ worry about my next meal (yay!) and I have been able to travel the world a LOT due to my parents' wanderlust...

Case in point: In my lifetime, I have visited Italy twice already.
(It's a lot, right?)

I have grown to HATE going on tour groups though...
(J's usual inner monologue during tours group holidays: "Why are you feeding me Chinese food in Italy?? Whhhhhyyyyy??????")

So, in 2009 I managed to cross off a big item off my "to do" list - travel Europe properly (i.e. without being in a tour group). :)
(Mind you, it took a long time to save up.... as evidently, money does not grow on trees *sigh*)

Anyway, enough blablabla. Onwards to the photos!:

1. If you think KL roads are confusing, wait till you go to Rome.
A look at a part of a map of Rome.....

*PENING*
Really, really *PENING!*
(Already, map reading is not exactly my forte, but when the roads are all so "tak tentu arah" and wind-y... =_=)

2. Pyramids and castles in Romes.
Strange, there's a Pyramid (or as the Italians call it, Pyramide *lol*) in the city.....

Turns out its actually a tomb called the Piramide Cestia.... built in around 18bc.
(WAH)

3. At the Spanish Steps, a famous landmark in the main city area.
Hordes of humans.....

The Spanish Steps looks to be a popular lepak spot with locals and tourists alike - could be because it is quite near the major shopping area of via Condotti.
(Where all the upmarket brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci are)

4. One of the highlights of my trip in Rome - a 400 year old library called Biblioteca Angelica.
Inside the library (shhhhhh....)....

Check it out! - the books there look old enough to crumble. I wish I could understand what's written inside though but it's all in Italian/ Latin....

Oh, and even cooler - there seems to be a secret door among the shelves...
Can you see the door?....

I wonder where it leads to? :)

5. A beautiful day at the Trevi Fountain.
More hordes of people checking out the famous fountain.....

6. Lastly, cooling down at one of the many Gelaterias near the Trevi Fountain.
My mini mountain of gelato.....

Can't get enough of the yummy Italian Gelato... :D
(Nothing better than pigging out on comfort food on a warm day, after walking around for so many hours....)


One more round of photos from Rome, then it's off to London....
:)


Hugs,
J


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


TAGS: , , ,, , ,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chef Kit's Salt Baked Chicken @ Damansara Uptown, PJ

PJ people rejoice!: Yummy Ipoh style salt baked chicken in Damansara Uptown.....

I had actually eaten at this yummy restaurant in Damansara Utama (aka. Damansara Uptown) almost a year before, but carelessly forgot to blog on it (and lost the photos too!...):
Chef Kit's!..........

Lo and behold, it had undergone a face lift - now it looks much fresher, and is a much more comfortable place to dine (air conditioned). I remember that the restaurant name was different (Taste 2 Taste? Or something like that) but thankfully, it has retained its original management and (more importantly) food quality:
Simple, air conditioned and comfy interior..........

There is quite a limited array of different variations of the chicken (eg. quarter/ half/ one whole chicken with rice/ noodles/ different kinds of soup) and a couple of side dishes (simple fried vegetables, fried foo chook, soup wantans, etc) but no complaints - so far, everything I tasted there is yummy.

But there are also different rice and noodle dishes (eg. fried rice, Shanghai Tan Tan noodles, clay pot loh shuu fun, etc) that they serve on weekdays, so if you ever get bored of the chicken, there are still other options... :)

That day, we chose the Meal Set 1 (RM 19.90):
Set 1 (for 2 people)..........

This set is supposed to serve 2, and comes with:
- half a salt baked chicken,
- fried taugeh (beansprouts)
- deep fried wantans
- choice of either rice, noodles (wantan noodle, loh shuu fun, kuey teow, etc) served either dry or in plain or herbal soup.

They use Kampung Chicken (Village Chicken) which is supposed to be healthier than the normal mass produced farmed poultry... but it is also much smaller in size and generally has a tougher texture (supposedly because village chickens are more "fit" and less fat from all the running around *lol*):
A closer look at the chicken..........

Anyway, yes - the chicken was definitely a bit on the small size (I think I could have easily polished off the whole serving myself on a greedy day) but it was fairly tender and really tasty.
(Most salt baked chickens are just well, salty... but the one here has a really nice fragrance of herbs soaked well into the meat)

My favourite noodle here is the kuey teow (pictured here with the Herbal soup) - silky and springy without tasting starchy or synthetic:
Silky Ipoh Kuey Teow..........

The deep fried wantans were a little tiny but mmmmmmm - they were crunchy and delicious!
(The filling was little but flavourful - can taste a little bit of spices/ herbs which added a distinctive taste to this simple side dish)

There's also an interesting new drink on the menu - the pomelo juice (RM 3):
Pomelo juice..........

Overall it's ok. As the friendly boss lady explained, it tastes a little like 100 Plus but without the fizz (and not quite as sweet too) so it was pretty refreshing.

(Note: If you're coming at night, you are advised to call in earlier to "book" your chicken as they can run out... Oh, and now they are doing deliveries to selected areas too - please call to check whether they can send to you)

So, it's: Simple but comfortable coffeeshop setting, friendly service, really yummy salt baked chicken for reasonable prices BUT nothing to complain about really - menu is a bit limited (but what they do, they do well) and parking in that area can be a pain during peak hours on week days....


Summary Information:
Chef Kit's Salt Baked Chicken @ Damansara Uptown, PJ
(Just a bit up the road from before The Ship restaurant)

Opening Hours: 11am - 9pm
Phone: 03-77222172, 012-9697988
Address: No. 25, Jalan SS21/56B, Damansara Utama (Uptown), 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

NO PORK SERVED


OTHER REVIEWS:
- (couldn't find any) :(


TAGS:, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 16, 2009

R(O)A/W(R) @ Daikanyama, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL

A photo heavy post on a new weekly acoustic sing along sessions by up and coming bands (Rock on!)....

Daikanyama is a fairly new addition (a few months old) in the bustling Changkat Bukit Bintang area (near Werner's):
Outside Daikanyama....

They have recently introduced a new weekly live band session called R(O)A/W(R) @ Daikanyama - showcasing new bands. That night, Goodbye 20th Century was playing a cool mix of their own songs and covers of popular 90's rock** songs:
(** Nice rock songs from Pearl Jam, The Police, Foo Fighters, etc. Not Mat Rock music! Haha....)
The band that night....

The interior is cool - modern but with pockets of soothing greenery:
Bamboo....

We had fun sipping on yummy Choya and fusion cocktails that night while listening to the music:
Smile, gorgeous!....

Hot stuff Ciki chatting with Spicy Andre....

All in all, a great night....
It was really nice just hanging out after work and listening to a mix of songs that you can sing along to, to wash away the office blues.... Admittedly, the band that night was still a little rough around the edges, but I think that added to the laid-back charm of that night.

Oh, here's the thing though: If you think you've got talent to share with the world, they are always looking for new acts to showcase - call Mr. Barricuda of Daikanyama to arrange an audition. :)
(You can contact Bari @ 012-2235680)


So, it's: Cool new restaurant/ bar, interesting cocktails, reasonable prices (considering the area), decent bands (no cover charge!) BUT nothing much to complain except it was strangely empty that night (although I have heard that it can get quite packed)....



Summary Information:
R(O)A/W(R) @ Daikanyama, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL
(Live bands every Wednesday, 9pm)

Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week (5.30pm till late, Sundays 2pm till late).
Phone: +60321410323
Address: 42 Changkat Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Facebook Page: Click here

NOT HALAL



More on this night:
- Cumi & Ciki

And if you feel like having a meal at Daikanyama, here's my food review for your reference:
- Daikanyama @ Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL


TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

What a start to the day........ :)

3 stalled cars on my way to work:
- 1 on the stretch of road before my house,
- 1 on the stretch of road after my house, and
- 1 on the stretch of road near my office.

Just add water (rain/ drizzle) and it's the perfect formula for a massive, crawling traffic jam *sigh*
=_=

Of course there was the added annoyance of that stupid car that decided to give everyone within earshot a honk fest (like: honkhonkhonkhonkhonkhonkhonkhonk ad infinitum) because he wanted to cut through* the lane before my office.

Happy Friday the 13th!



Hoping she'll survive the day,
J

* YO! Just signal next time lah. We're not all barbarians, you know - I would have let you pass....


TAGS: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Italy 2009 Photos

Desktop holiday for you before Friday the 13th!: European Edition - come away with me to Italy....

BTW: Good morning Hong Lynn!
*HUGS* :)
(See, I updated, as promised. Will try to update more frequently in future... and I hope you had fun last night! Let's meet up again soon, ok?....)


Beach-side party town Rimini:
I found Rimini very cosy (quiet) and quaint (small town feeling)... but according to my Italian friend, Rimini is like the Italian version of Ibiza... where hordes of humans flock to during the summer holiday season (exploding this little town's population from a couple of thousands to hundreds of thousands):
On one of the main streets in Rimini.....

(I happened to go there during the "off season" though so it was very quiet, with most of the famous clubs being closed :( so I couldn't check them out....)

The beaches looked quite nice (fairly good sand, clean, calm surroundings) but my friend said that during summer, it's complete madness - with almost every square inch of sand covered with people trying to roast themselves to a nice shade of brown:
Walking to the beach.....

Clear skies, good sand - just need a beer!.....


Historic town of Bologna:
Another town that I visited in Italy was Bologna, which is famous for its old covered walkways:
The main Bologna town area.....

Many covered walkways with lots of shops alongside.....

Also, many quaint alleys between.....

There is also a very unusual looking cathedral there, the Basilica di San Petronio:
The Basilica of San Petronio.....

The inside is just like most gothic style cathedrals but the facade looks strangely unfinished with its obvious layers of bricks on the top....

There are also a set of historic towers, called the Two Towers, but apparently the many locals refer to it as the Ugly Towers *lol*:
Down the road from The Ugly Towers!.....


I hope you didn't find that too boring... (since Rimini and Bologna are not the usual tourist hot spots). Anyway, if you did, then hopefully you'll find the next round of photos more interesting... :)
(I'll post up some photos of Rome soon)


Hugs,
J

TAGS: , , ,, , ,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekly Live Jazz - The Rapture @ Rama V, KL

Photo heavy post on the new weekly jazz night at Rama V.... :)

If you're looking for a place with good food and good music, there's a new option in town - Rama V has just started a weekly jazz session on Fridays*** (10pm onwards) featuring soothing jazz classics sung by a young, up and coming local band called the Rapture.
(No cover charge too)

Here are some photos from their first night (last Friday):
Romantic setting inside:
Pretty light fixtures add to the ambience....

Beautiful garden outside:
Serenity by the pool....

Free beer! (because it was the launch night):
The charming beer hostess pours me a Chang....

Some yummy finger foods to quell the midnight munchies:
Mad rush for the delicious fish cakes, blue dumplings and prawn fritters....

The Rapture in full force:
Soothing Jazzy classics by a fairly young band....

Hiro in action:
Don't worry Hiro and Ywenna! (if you noticed...) - We aren't stalking you. Purely coincidence that we were at 2 of your gigs in a row (as Tokyo Blues and as The Rapture)....

One of our wonderful hosts, Danny Jee, serenades us:
"I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't minddddd...." - Encore please! :)....


Other out-takes from the night:
Naughty Qwazy Monkey butts in:
"I want to be in the photo too!"....

Hmmmm, who is Miss Hot Stuff gazing adoringly at?:
(*giggle* Luv ya babe!)
<3 ....

Greedy girl - Pictured here with 2 armfuls of gorgeous, the baker boys from Just Heavenly.... :)
Actually, it's Gorgeousness x 3....

Always the gracious host, Andre drops by to make sure everything's going well:
(pictured here with celebrity blogger, FatBoyBakes)
What a sweetie....



*** NOTE:
Although they plan to have this jazz event every Friday night (10pm onwards, no cover), there may be changes due to being booked out for events (Rama V is getting to be very popular for that now because of the beautiful ambience and food). So to be safe, you are advised to:
- join their Facebook page so that they can update you promptly, and also
- please book ahead of time for dinner+jazz (as they do get quite packed on Fridays and Saturdays) - it would be a pity if you turned up and got turned away because they were completely full. :(


Overall: Beautiful restaurant, attentive service, delicious Thai food for a range of prices (up to you - you can dine here for <50 bucks, or >200 bucks per person, depending on what you order) and now with live music every week! :) BUT traffic in the KLCC/ Jalan Tun Razak area can be very bad sometimes.


Summary Sheet:

Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine @ Jalan U-Thant, KL

Taste: 8
Ambience : 8
Service : 7
Price** : Can eat for RM 55++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2143 2428
Opening Hours: 12noon till 3pm, 6pm till late.
Parking : Limited (but free - can park in the front lawn)

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
On the food @ Rama V:
- My review

On this event:
- CUMI & CIKI: Lifestyle, Food, Travel and Monkey Adventures!


TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Share Me! :)