Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Guinea Pigs @ Rama V

A lovely Thai experiment.... :)

What can I say? Sometimes, it's nice to be used. :)
(*sings* Sweet dreams are made of theeeese.... )

Haha....
Here's the story: Mr Shum and Mr Jee of Rama V was kind enough to invite a few of us food bloggers over to test out a specially crafted Thai fusion dinner they were preparing for an upcoming event at their restaúrant - the organisers wanted a gourmet/ degustation menu, which they have never done before, so they wanted to use us as guinea pigs (which we gladly agreed to...).

This is gonna be a pretty photo heavy post so I'll keep the words light this time, ok? :)
(Warning: Most of the food is not available on the normal menu and there are no prices stated here - you'll have to contact Rama V for more info... I think they can tailor make it to your event, if its suitable)

Gorgeous night - cool breeze and beautiful night sky:
Chilling out in the Rama V garden area....

Gorgeous bloggers in the house! - the uber witty Qwazymonkey, spicy hot Ciki girl and oh so talented Fatboybakes:
Phewiitttt....

The Rama V gold standard - elegant ambience but feels cosy like home:
Inside Rama V....

THE DINNER PROPER:
Starters:
- Flower Shaped Dumplings (Chor Ladda)
- Crab Souffle/ Crab Otak-Otak (Hor Mok Poo)
The blue dumplings and the orange crab souffle....

The dumplings - So pretty! Tastewise, just ok to me... only because I don't really like sweet-ish food (that are not desserts).
The crab souffle - Moist but with texture, fragrant but not overpowering, PERFECT (really)... I could eat this every single day...

Salad:
- Prawn with Heart of Coconut and Lemon Grass (Yum Kung Pisek)
Yummy salad in a cocktail glass....

Unusual salad - fresh bouncey prawns went well with the herbs and chili.

Soup:
- Braised Sharkfin Soup with Chicken Meat
Poitically incorrect soup :)....

Good texture - suitably thick without being at all starchy.

Mains:
- Steamed Prawns with Chicken wrapped in Golden Egg Nest (Kung Non Hae)
The wrapped prawns....

Yummy - so simple but nice.

- Sauteed River Prawn with Young Ginger and Spring Onions (Yam King Ornsai Kung Mankorn)
Gigantic river prawn....

Also yummy! - fairly strong ginger taste made the flavour a bit Chinese but the fresh and gigantic prawn is a winner!

- Deep Fried Fish Fillets with Thai Sauce (Pla Pa Ping)
Yummy fish fillets....

Another dose of perfection - crispy coating, moist flakey fish inside topped with strong but not overpowering Thai sauce.

- Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Nue Yang)
The beef tenderloin....

One of the highlights for me. Beef could have been a wee bit more tender but I loved the unusual spicy and sour sauce that went with it. Glorious combination! :)

- Sauteed Asparagus with Scallops
The asparagus with scallops....

- Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple fried rice....

Both were OK. A good balance to an otherwise decadent meal.

Dessert:
- Salim
Glorious Salim....

A real big hit that night - silky smooth coconut-y "soup" with yummy strands of what seemed to be jelly angel hair pasta. :)

Handsome men :)
Eye candy: Andre, FBB & Danny....


I have no idea how much this all costs,... but if I ever get married/ live to celebrate my 60th birthday I think I will definitely choose Rama V. If only so I can have the beef again. And the fish. And the Salim.
*drool*

Anyway, for more details on custom made menus & event bookings, please contact Andre at c_u_soon@RamaV.com.my or call the restaurant (03-2143 2428).

Last but not least: Thank you Andre & Danny for the lovely dinner! Anytime you need a guinea pig again, I happily volunteer. :) :) :)


Overall: Beautiful restaurant, attentive service, delicious Thai food for a range of prices (up to you - you can dine here for anywhere between 50 bucks to more than 200 bucks per person, depending on what you order) BUT traffic in the KLCC/ Jalan Tun Razak area can be very bad.



Summary Sheet:

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

Taste: 8
Ambience : 8
Service : 7
Price** : No price for this dinner (since it's a special menu), but you can eat at Rama V 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:
- a lil' fat monkey
- Fat Boy Bakes


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I See You!

No food today, just a photo :)....

Sorry y'all - have been a bit busy lately so my food review backlog is starting to grow again.... :(

Still, just wanted to share a photo from a restaurant me and my friends were at recently:
BOO!...

*LOL*
Happy Friday! :)


Hugs,
J

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunny Days

A short mid week post - Always a fun time at Carasol....

Thanks to a friend (Hi Fai! *waves*), I was introduced to this gem of a place in Puchong - Carasol Wakeboard Malaysia:
Sunshine!...

It's not a huge location, but the small man made beach and grassy plot, equipped with a mini bar and some very resort-like wooden huts by the side of the huge lake are such a dream - makes you feel like you've escaped on a little holiday.

Of course, the main activity here is the wakeboarding.... Don't worry, they won't just tie you to the back of the boat and drag you around if you're a beginner - Aaron, who runs Carasol and is the main instructor, has had many years of experience so you'll be in good hands:
One of the boats...

I can't say I've ever tried it actually *blush* because I usually play the part of the lazy beached whale in a bikini, lazing around trying to work on my tan.... but gosh, it does look like fun!:
Zoom zoom...

I have heard though that as exhilarating as it is,... it is also pretty tough - a great work out!
(2 birds with 1 stone? - burning lotsa calories & having fun at the same time!)

Random photo: Mo-Mo! The friendly guard dog :)
(They can tie him up if you don't like/ are afraid of dogs - no problem)
Woof?...

TO FAI:
Thanks so much for introducing this place... I don't know when I'll actually gather enough guts to actually try the wakeboarding, but I already have so many happy memories hanging around and baking/ chilling out in the sunshine. :)


If anyone wants to find out more, please check out their Official Website... or join their Facebook Group!. Alternatively, just call Aaron at +6012-3246677.
:)


Hugs,
J

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Aunty Nat's @ Sri Hartamas, KL

Nyonya food in Sri Hartamas......

Auntie Nat's is on the quieter side of Hartamas, in the row of shops where other eateries like Isaki, Bulldog and Saffron are also located:
Outside Auntie Nat's.....

The ambience is nice inside - lots of wooden finishings, making it feel warm and cosy:
Inside Auntie Nat's.....

We started off with the classic Pai Tee/ Top Hat (RM 6+):
Top hats!.....

Tasted ok - the Pai Tee was crispy and went well with the moist mengkuang char filling. There was also a super hot sambal if you want to spice it up.

We also tried the Belacan fried rice (RM 12+?) (Bloody hell I actually kept the receipt properly this time but they lumped the prices of our mains together!):
The fried rice.....

Carbs are my Achilles' Heel... =_=
I wouldn't mind ordering this again - nice "dry" fried rice texture with a fragrant (but not too strong) taste of belacan.

Also we had the Tom Yam Mihun (RM 11+?)
My bowl of tom yum mihun.....

This was just ok.
It was simple - sour, mildly spicy and had a decent amount of seafood. Not earth moving but it will do if you have a tom yam craving.

Lastly, for dessert: the Sago Gula Melaka (RM 4.50+)
I heart sago!.....

Yummy. Love this dessert.
The one here is pretty well prepared - the sago was soft yet slightly bounce-y texture, and the gula melaka+coconut milk sauce was tasty without being too sweet.

Ok. So the food isn't earth shatteringly fantastic... but it's good considering the reasonable pricing and comfortable environment.... I know I'll be back when I get a hankering for Nyonya food during lunch hour. :)

Here's a map to Saffron (which is just next to Aunty Nat's), just in case you are not familiar with the area:
Photobucket
Map from the back of the name card... :)


So it's: Casual, comfortable dining, fairly good selection of Asian and Nyonya food BUT nothing much bad to say really - already spotted a few interesting things on the menu that I want to go back to try...

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Auntie Nat's @ Hartamas
7, Jalan Hartamas 7, Sri Hartamas 50480 KL

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 1833 (Midvalley Boulevard branch: 03-2283 5339)
Opening Hours: 12noon to 3pm, 6pm - 10pm

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- www.3meals.com
- TanKiasu.xanga.net


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Friday, January 22, 2010

Grace, Humour, Death & Many Swans

A photo heavy post on a great performance - a bit late, but just for the record :)....

I've actually watched Les Ballets Grandiva (aka. Men In Tutus) before, when they came around to Malaysia in 2009.... but *blush* I had fallen asleep* during the show that time! I was so glad when I heard that they were back in Jan 2010 for another performance in the KLPAC - just had to go back to watch it properly this time....
(* I was tired+unwell+it was nice and dim in the hall....)

Anyway, it was pretty much a full house that night:


The set decorations were simple, but it works - puts the focus on the dancing:


Yay! :) :) Great seats!!! (THANKS NINA - I LUF YOU! *HUUUUUGSSSSSS*):

(I think these were the RM222 seats but we got them at a special price)

As with the last round, they started off with the Pas de Quatre:

The history behind the (original) dance in the 19th century is that Mr. Benjamin Lumley, manager of her Majesty's Theatre in London at the time, wanted to stage a grand show bringing together the four greatest ballerinas of the Romantic Age, Lucile Grahn, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni.

Apparently, as wonderful as they were at their art, they were all also complete divas, each thinking that they were the star of the show. *lol* Anyway, the parody performed by the Men In Tutus was very entertaining - graceful yet funny. :)

Frenetic dancing (from Swan Lake, Act 2):


Graceful rendition of The Black Swan:

(OMG. Their tights are so.... well, tight! O_o Almost like they're actually walking around pantless but with leggings painted on!)

Of course, they also did their famed Dying Swan parody:

The routine of the graceful swan slowly shedding feathers across the stage in an awkward dance was funnier the first time I watched it, but still good. :)

Here's (most of) the troupe at the end of the show:

It's not cheap** but:
1) It's a really fun yet cultured way to pass 1 and a 1/2 hours - a fantastic balance of humourous yet technically awesome,
2) Whatever seat you're in, it's a great international act, and
3) The front row seats are really expensive but wah - what a difference!
(**Tickets were priced at RM88, RM111, RM133, RM177, RM188, RM199 or RM222 - depends on "zone")

(You can find out more about this talented troupe on their official website)

Lastly, look! - I got a photo with a super tall ballerina! :)
(He was such a sweetie - posing with anyone who asked)


What a great night! - am looking forward to the next time they are in KL again.


Hugs,
J

PS/ Many thanks to Gardner & Wife for bringing such an interesting act into Malaysia - it's a great, lighthearted way to introduce the masses to the beauty of ballet. Will definitely try to catch it again the next round.... I just hope they will do different routines. :)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sang Har Mein @ Palm Spring Kopitiam, Sunway Damansara

A decadent but much loved dish, Sang Har Mein, in Sunway Damansara...

In Malaysia, you're definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to trying out yummy local food - one such dish is the Sang Har Mein (River Prawn Noodles) which is popular, although it is (relatively) an expensive dish as compared to the usual hawker fare.
(Can't be helped - river prawns are considered quite premium seafood)

I don't eat Sang Har Mein a lot though... (so I think it's gonna be difficult for me to do a proper review of the one here as I don't have much to compare it to)... but I found the one they served at the Palm Spring Kopitiam in Sunway Damansara yummy:
Simple ambience but clean.....

I guess one reason is that the chef there is(/was?) from the famous Restoren Green View in SS2, which specialises in Sang Har Mein:
Mr "Ko Low" (Tall Guy) at work.....

He mentioned that he's had >15 years experience cooking up Sang Har Mein, and has come up with several variations on it, but of course we had to try the classic style:
Egg-y, prawn-y, carb-y goodness.....

Yum. :)
- The bed of noodles were quite crispy (or you can mix it with the sauce and let it become soft if you prefer),
- topped with thick (but not too thick) egg-y sauce, and
- of course it came with a nice big juicy river prawn filled with heart clogging roe....
(Hello Cholesterol! :) I think I felt a bit high after that actually....)

We also tried one of the popular variations, the Curry Sang Har Mein:
Claypot of curry noodles.....

Here's a closer look :)
A plate of carby sin.....

Overall this was good - thick, fragrant curry sauce, topped with fresh mint leaves and taufu-pok (beancurd?) went well with the noodles and prawn. I suspect this may be a bit too heavy/ rich for some though... and even if you do like curry noodles, you may get a bit jelak if you try to finish it all by yourself.
(Still, worth a try!)

There are also some other dishes to complement your meal there, like the Marmite Pork Ribs:
Babi-licious.....

The sauce was a little, eencey weencey, bit too sweet for my tastebuds but I enjoyed this dish - tender meat, but still with some bite.
(It was not super tender but good for coffeeshop/ tai chow standards)

I don't have the receipt for dinner that night but all in, it cost RM 70 for all this and about 6 (small) bottles of beer* so I think it's decently priced.

*LOL. We are such drunkards, right? :P

Anyway, thanks for the dinner date Mr Nyonya Chef! I never would have found this place by myself. :)


So, it's: Yummy sang har mein (in different, unusual styles), fair selection of fried noodles/ rice and selected meat/ veg dishes, decent pricing BUT beware! The surrounding area gets pretty jammed, especially on weekday peak hours.....


Summary Information:
Palm Spring Coffeeshop @ Sunway Damansara, PJ
Lot No B-G11, Block B, Jln Persiaran Surian,
47810 Petaling Jaya,

Opening Hours: 10am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10.30pm
Phone: 012-313 3626, 016-282 2392
Address: Lot B-G11 , Block B, Jln Persiaran Surian, PJ.

NOT HALAL



(New!) ROUGH MAP:
(Adapted from MyCentral.com.my's Upper Damansara map - just CLICK the picture to make it bigger/ printable size)


OTHER REVIEWS:
- backStreetGluttons


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Monday, January 18, 2010

FYI

:(....

OMG. One of the nice porky places on the Changkat Bukit Bintang stretch, Bermuda & Onion, has recently decided to become pork free (since last month).

Yes. You heard me.
A place, which used to specialise in pork decided to become halal.
*baffled*
(Thanks to Jazz for pointing it out, and you're right - they should have at least changed the restaurant name lah)

I will have to amend my original review of B&O (soon-ish) but well, just so you know lah.


Happy Monday!,
J

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Room 18 @ Tropicana City Mall, PJ

Non Halal Chinese option if you're in Tropicana City Mall....

I'm going to keep the descriptions short this time because the 4 of us ate a ridiculous amount of food that night.
(Ah! The dangers of ordering food when you're all feeling too hungry already)
(We almost had to roll ourselves into the cinema after dinner to watch Sherlock Holmes... haha...)

Anyway, Room 18 is under the Tai Thong group, and has a modern yet Asian ambience - not too "atas":
Inside Room 18....

They have 3 outlets, located in shopping centres (Tropicana Mall, Berjaya Times Square and Midvalley) so it's a convenient choice for dim sum and a variety of other Chinese food while you get some shopping done.

That night we started off with the Crispy Egg tart (RM 3.80++):
The egg tarts....

Overall, this was just ok - Fairly crispy pastry and moist egg filling.
(Nothing bad,... just not fantastic)

Next, we had the Xiao Loong Bao (RM 8.80++):
XLB....

Overall, tasted average - ok thickness of the "skin", al dente, but meat and soup filling tasted a bit too "sweet" - MSG maybe? (Hmmmmm.... not sure)....

Woo kok/ Yam pastry (RM 4.80++):
The yam pastry....

Better than most but also, not exactly fantastic - there was a fair amount of meaty filling, and the pastry was quite crispy on the outside, without an overly starchy texture.

I am a fan of Szechuan Hot & Sour Soup (RM 9.80++)... but finally, I have found one which I completely DISlike:
My soup....

It is definitely hot, and also sour (as advertised).... but it is also (strangely) cloyingly sweet with a starchy & thick texture. :(

3 BBQ Meat Combo (RM 26.80++):
(Oops) Can't see the ribs on the right of the plate....

It was ok:
- the crispy pork: there are some good reviews of this on other blogs so maybe we were just unlucky to get a "bad" cut - was so so fat! And not "melt in your mouth" fat either.... :(
- the char siew: ok... fairly tender but not fragrant enough with that yummy caramelised/ slightly charred taste that I like.
- the pork ribs: also just ok - fairly tender but not much meat.

Salt & Pepper Squid (RM 9.80++):
The squid....

Bouncey texture with nice flavour of spices (tasted like they added a pinch of curry powder) but would have liked it slightly crispier...
(Not bad though)

Black Pepper Venison (RM 16.80++):
Poor deer....

I liked this - tender slices of venison in a slightly sweet and spicy black pepper sauce.
(Went well with the rice)

Siong Tong (Soupy) Spinach (RM 12.80++):
Fibre!....

This was my favourite dish that night - vegetables were fresh, and tasted simple+nice in the clear soup.

That's a lot of food for just 4 people, isn't it?
(What gluttons we are!)

So it's: Fairly wide range of dim sum and Hong Kong style food, comfortable ambience, convenient location in shopping center BUT some hit and misses on the menu and the service could have been better (friendly but a bit slow)....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Room 18 @ Tropicana City Mall, PJ
G-35, Ground Floor,
Tropicana City Mall


Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 5
Price** : RM 35/+ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7728 8128
(03-2148 8688 for Berjaya Times Square outlet, 03-2938 3311 for Midvalley outlet)
Opening Hours: 11am till 10pm

NOT HALAL




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Binge & Gorge
- I'm SaiMatKong
- You Get What You Give
- Joce Way, Joce Place
- Life Thru The Lens
- Food 4 Thot


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