Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chapelli's @ Chapel St, Melbourne

Melbourne 2010 Post #6: Conveniently located Italian restaurant in the Chapel Street shopping area...

Chapelli's (on Chapel Street *duh* :P) has been around for AGES.... but looking at some other online reviews, it's had its ups and down through the years.

Still, didn't mind heading over there as it used to be our once in a while, special occasion restaurant back in my uni days**:
(** Long, looooong ago.......)
Outside Chapelli's...

It has managed to maintain a comfortable but classy interior, with the long bar marble bar counter being the central highlight:
Mainly black and white decor inside...

The menu there is fairly extensive with a selection of mostly Italian food (pastas, pizzas, etc) and some other stuff like steaks and grilled fish.

I was craving for CARBS that night so I chose the Seafood Risotto (AUD $ 26.90):
My seafood risotto...

It may seem expensive (bloody bleeping RM 3 to AUD 1 exchange rate) but honestly, if you consider that 3 (visiting) Asians (like me) could probably share this and feel full at the end, the serving size is actually very worth the price.

Really! The serving is SO big... Massive, even:
Gigantic...

Tastewise, it was pretty good...
- Lots of fresh seafood,
- Nice texture of the rice, not too mushy but not too hard, and
- All accentuated by the yummy taste of the tomato based sauce.

As for Cindy, she went for the Spaghetti Matriciana (AUD $ 19.90):
Cindy's spaghetti...

Overall, it tasted ok:
- The spaghetti was cooked just about right (although I felt it was just a tad overcooked),
- doused with a generous amount of slightly spicy, tart tomato based sauce with lots of bacon and cheese.

Jeremy had the Porterhouse Steak (AUD $ 29.90) with green pepper sauce:
Jeremy's steak...

Overall, also ok:
- Interesting pepper sauce (not too "spicy"),
- Fairly tasty meat, but it could have been just a bit more tender....
(Note: I am pretty hard to please when it comes to steak)

To be completely fair, I don't think Chapelli's is the kinda place you should go out of your way to try.... but if you are in the Chapel Street area (for shopping/ watching a movie at the Jam Factory) then it's a decent choice for Italian food.
:)

So, it's: Convenient location in the Chapel Street area, decent selection of Italian food, may seem expensive BUT the servings are huge (the exchange rate HURTS though, dammit) ....


Summary Information:
Chapelli's @ Chapel St, Melbourne

Opening Hours: 11am - 9pm
Phone: +61 9826 8516
Address: 571 Chapel Street, Melbourne, Australia
Map: (Below)
Website: -

NOT HALAL



MAP:

View Larger Map

OTHER REVIEWS:
- Half Eaten
- My Food Odyssey
- Eye Eat
- Brandon Eu Photographs


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hachiko

So cute I could DIE....

I had my doubts before I went to watch Hachiko.

Don't get me wrong: I like dogs... but this movie is basically a remake of an already popular Japanese movie** and I already know how it's gonna end. So I was afraid I'd be really bored, and also that it would be really corny.
(** A 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari, which was based on a popular true story of a very loyal dog)
One of the movie posters...

Unfortunately, one fear was founded - YES, it was pretty corny... but did I mind?

NOT AT ALL...
... because the dog is just too darned cute!... and they really know how to tug and tug on your heart strings with the simple yet classic story of man and his ever loyal, loving canine friend.
(Your heart will melt and then the crying will start...:P)

- How to make your "market value" increase Tip No. 1: Carry a cute puppy around:
Turning up the cute...

For me one of the downsides though was the "keh leh fare"-ness (second rate important-ness) of all the other characters in the movie, but I suppose the focus is really just on Richard Gere and Hachi the Akita:
2 silver foxes examine the puppy...

- In case you were curious, here's the original Japanese movie poster:
One of the Japanese movie photos...



So?:
Approach with caution! (lol)
It's full of stereotypes, but the clever minds behind this movie really know how to make your heart MELT and, trust me, TEARS WILL FOLLOW SOON AFTER. :P
(Girls: Please wear waterproof mascara or you will look like a melting panda after watching this show)


Main characters:
- Richard Gere as Parker Wilson
- Joan Allen as Cate Wilson
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Ken
- Sarah Roemer as Andy Wilson
- Jason Alexander as Carl
- Erick Avari as Jasjeet
- Davenia McFadden as Mary Anne
PS/ Hachiko is played by three Akitas - Chico, Layla and Forrest (each playing a different period in Hachiko's life


Synopsis:
A drama based on the true story of a college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home...

(Note: Synopsis adapted/borrowed from Rotten Tomatoes, which gave this movie an OK rating of 57% fresh!)


Here's what some others thought of the movie:
- Corve DaCosta's Blog
- Felicia's BLog
- My Doodly Life
- Lazy Pineapple
- the boggling blog of o'nealberto


Heart melted and puffy eyed,
J


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Grandmama's @ Pavilion, KL

Local favourites in Pavilion KL...

Grandmama's is sort of an extension of the already famous Madam Kwan's chain, where one of the family members decided to branch out on their own...
(Or so I hear)

They only have one outlet so far, tucked away in a corner of the top floor of Pavilion shopping center:
(Located next to the escalator, just opposite TGIF)
The extended indoor section....

There are 3 areas where you can dine:
- Inside the main restaurant (non-smoking),
- Just outside on the "balcony" (smoking), or
- the extended indoor section inside the shopping center (also non-smoking).

While the outside area can be a bit warm and noisy (lots of people milling around, going up and down the escalators and/ or coming out of the cinema),... the inside sections are comfortable and with a simple but classy decor.

As for the menu, it is mostly Asian/ Malaysian favourites (either one plate meals like Nasi Lemak or you can order dishes to share) and a few Western staples (eg. fish & chips, spaghetti)...

That night, I tried the Sang Har Hor Fun (RM 19++) which is one of the specialties there:
My bowl of Sang Har Hor Fun....

I was expecting the broth to be a bit more robust and rich (since it is sang har) but it turned out to be fairly delicate, with a light texture (watery, but not in a bad way) - almost like a less sweet and spicy version of Penang Har Mee.
Spooning it up and *chomp*....

Overall, I enjoyed it, as it tasted fresh, and matched well with the plump, juicy prawn and silky hor fun.

I have actually been to Grandmama's a couple times before** and had thoroughly enjoyed the Coconut custard (RM 9++) so I ordered it again that night:
(** Forgot to bring my camera so didn't blog about it)
Coconut custard, cutely presented in its shell....

Unfortunately, it did not taste like the yummy, coconut-y, smooth and creamy dessert that I remembered.
(Presentation was still cute though)

Nope. Instead, there was a fairly strong "taste" of fridge.
*sigh*
(To be fair, this is just 1 time out of 3. For me, it's forgiveable and I will still order again in future in the hopes of it tasting yummy again)

Anyway, they also have Nasi Bojari and Nasi Lemak priced similarly (if not exactly the same) as Madam Kwan's. To me, the taste is just as delicious and there's always less of a crowd at Grandmama's so it's a good option if you have a hankering for yummy carbs.
(Most of the fried noodles also taste pretty good, although lacking in terms of "wok hei"...)
:)


So, it's: Comfortable and convenient location if you're in Pavilion, good selection of local favourites and some western dishes, decently priced (considering its in a high class shopping center) BUT nothing bad actually - it's a good place to bring visitors to sample some Msian food without fear of killing them with germs :).....


Summary Sheet:

Grandmama's @ Pavilion, KL

Lot 6.01.01, 6.01.02, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 40++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2143 9333
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Lots Of Cravings
- My Tummy n I
- Jean
- Eat Drink KL


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Other Guys

Almossssstttttt....

I have been watching quite a lot of movies lately, but sadly nothing was really amazing.... I was hoping that the Other Guys would break this cycle of uninspiring movies but somehow it just fell a tad short.... :(

- (One of) The other movie posters:
Flying kicks?...

The premise sounded interesting enough - a snarky take on the usual buddy buddy cop movie, with interesting stars like The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson (yay) as the typical hot shot heroic police jocks and Michael Keaton as the quirky TLC song lyric quoting, advice giving police captain.....
(...."Don't go chasing waterfalls...")

- The Main Stars:
Beefcake Rock :)...

Of course, there were... well, the "other guys" who turned out to be the actual main stars of the show - Will Ferrell and Mark Walhberg.
:)

- The Other Main Stars:
The Other 2 Fellas...

If you've watched Will Ferrell comedies before, you will know the brand of humour to expect - awkward, dry humour, slapstick, recurring themes, etc... and while there were moments of awesomeness,... overall, it just didn't do it for me...
(I remember getting very annoyed at the 2 other guys several times during the movie like "Stop whining!" and "Can't you do ANYTHING right??")


So?: Actually, it's not that bad lah,... but it wasn't as awesome as I hoped. Still, it's worth a watch for its quirky humor. :)


Main characters:
- Samuel L. Jackson as P.K. Highsmith
- Dwayne Johnson as Christopher Danson
- Steve Coogan as David Ershon
- Michael Keaton as Captain Gene Mauch <--- LOL. Siao. He keeps quoting TLC song lines and denying it.
- Will Ferrell as Allen Gamble
- Mark Wahlberg as Terry Hoitz
- Eva Mendes as Dr. Sheila Gamble



Synopsis:
Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize -- only things don't quite go as planned....

(Note: Synopsis adapted/borrowed from Rotten Tomatoes, which gave this movie a pretty good rating of 77% fresh!)


Here's what some others thought of the movie:
- CleverMunkey
- Shining Voice - Kelvin's Blogspot
- Sumandak From Land Below The Wind


Slightly amused,
J


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Slice Of Heaven @ Pavilion, KL

A dream come true....

Once upon a time, there were 3 gorgeous creatures who decided to take their passion for cakes to the next level, bringing Just Heavenly into our lives.
SERVING PLEASURE? Indeed! :)...

Fast forward a few years (with lots of blood, sweat, tears and love thrown in for good measure) they took another step to make their beautiful, and most importantly, YUMMY, cakes more accessible - expanding to A Slice of Heaven outlets, first in Jaya One,... then BSC,... and now in Pavilion! :)
A Slice Of Heaven on the LG Floor of Pavilion...

It was very kind of Nigel and Allan to invite me for their launch night so I went to check it out.
(Haha... I have a sweet tooth and they baited me with cake!)

- They have a range of everyday cakes (small and large) like their famous Chocolate Durian cake and Red Velvet cake:
Choices, choices...

- Of course, there have their special decorative cakes, which were what helped them make their mark:
(I think these are mostly pre-order only though)
Example of a Wedding cake...

- For those looking for mini indulgences, there are always their cupcakes:
Happiness in smaller doses...

- Other than that, they also have a range of really adorable cookies:
Cooookiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeee!~...

- Of course, since it was a launch party, there were lots of yummy finger foods - watch how the horde attacks the plate with the mini wagyu burgers:
"ATTACK!!!"...

- A closer look at the succulent mini burgers:
(Trust me, they were GOOD....)
(Jun, who made these, is a genius!)
Jun's juicy burgers...

- There were also really delicious bite sized samples of their baked goodies, like these Mini key lime tarts:
Tart yumminess...

- ... and these mini Red Velvet cupcakes:
Luscious bites...

- Random photo: Me with a giant cupcake:
RAWR...


BTW:
A Slice of Heaven is offering limited edition Heavenly Vanilla and Heavenly Chocolate “Paint it Purple” cupcakes.... where part of the proceeds from the sale the Pixel Project and Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).
(Pixel Project is a global charity organisation working to end violence against women)

It's only available till Oct 31 so do go over and use this as a great (and wonderfully charitable) reason to indulge in some yummy cupcakes.

:D

I know some people** may balk at the prices.
It's definitely not as cheap as let's say, your neighbourhood bakery... but it's not exactly super expensive either - around RM 5 for a cupcake and RM 9 or 10 for a individual small cake...
(** For example. My dear mum, who exclaimed "How much for one cupcake ah?"... but of course she absolutely loved the cupcake I brought home for her....)

Anyway, I think the price is representative of all the quality ingredients (and love!) that they have put into it.......

Admittedly, I have gotten quite spoilt eating their cakes (and FBB's, and my friend Jo's) - now most other cakes just taste synthetic, with all their artificial added flavorings and/ or ridiculous amount of sugar.

At the end of the day though: That's just my opinion, but you go try it out, and decide whether it's worth your hard earned money... :)



Summary Information:;
A Slice Of Heaven @ Pavilion, KL

Opening Hours: (about) 11am to 10pm
Phone: 03-2287 9866 (Main branch - Bangsar), 03-7955 5212 (Jaya 1)
Address: 3 branches
- Pavilion KL (LG Floor),
- BSC (Main concourse) and
- Jaya 1 (Block E).

NO PORK lah! Actually, to be precise, they are HALAL! :)




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Marcky.my
- Love Zavier


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Nameless Stall @ Corner Of Jalan Bedara/ Angsoka, KL

Al fresco (roadside!) lunch spot near Hotel Istana KL....

I was first introduced to this little roadside stall* by my (now, ex-)colleagues many years ago, when we went there for lunch....

This little stall is pretty established, having been in business for about 10 years now?
(* Located at the base/side of a dodgy looking "hotel" and some run down shop houses near Istana Hotel, KL - map attached at the bottom of this post....)
Outside the nameless "restaurant"...

Anyway, after such a long time, I was really looking forward, when my (current) colleagues said that they wanted to venture there for lunch.
:)

As you can see, the setting is very basic - it's pretty much like a makeshift wood & zinc shack with some very worn out tables and chairs.
(So, don't expect too much)
The "ambience" inside...

First up, the roast chicken - it actually isn't that nice here (meat is not very tender) but we ordered some for variety's sake:
The roast chicken...

The stall actually specialises more in porcine delights, one being the Honey Roasted Ribs:
The ribs...

Although it was quite tasty (fairly tender with a slightly smokey and sticky, sweet glaze),... I ended up being disappointed because I remembered this being awesome.
(Still, it's not bad - worth a try. I think maybe my happy memories of it are well, too glazed over... )

That day, we also ordered a big plate of the siew yoke (crispy roast pork):
Siew yoke! :)...

While the meat texture could have been a bit more tender and the layer of fat didn't exactly melt in my mouth, I loved how crispy and fragrant the skin was.
(So nice when there's a good crunch-crunch-crunch to siew yoke...)

Here's a closer look, just in case you're interested:
Good ratio of skin to meat to fat...

Also available is an ever changing (albeit limited) choice of side dishes. That day, we had the long bean ommelette and some sambal petai:
(Both were ok - nothing exemplary)
Eggs and smelly beans...

IMHO, the accompanying rice is an essential part of the meal, and the one served there is not bad - slightly moist but still with the "one piece, one piece" texture:
My plate of rice...

There is also free soup (while stocks last) served daily - it's quite yummy, although I suspect that this is partially due to added MSG:
Free soup (self service)...

Anyway, the lunch that day wasn't exactly cheap (the bill came up to about RM 18 per person)...

Still, it is actually possible to eat there for less than 10 bucks each - It's just that there were 4 guys in the lunch group that day and we definitely over-ordered because we hardly ever venture that far into KL for makan.

Ooh, and look who else dropped in for lunch that day:
Mr Monkey drops in for a visit...

LOL.
The monkey was huge, but otherwise harmless - just sat around looking at everyone, until the stall Uncle chased it away.....
:)

So, it's: Simple setting, pretty tasty food at decent prices (considering it is in the heart of KL) BUT parking can be a problem and difficult to come to if it rains.....


Summary Information:;
Nameless Stall @ Corner Of Jalan Bedara/ Angsoka, KL

Opening Hours: (approx) Mon - Saturday, 11am to 3pm.
(Warning!: As with most Malaysian roadside stalls, their opening hours can change at their whim and fancy)
Phone: ?
Address: Corner of Jalan Bedara and Jalan Angsoka, KL

NON HALAL


MAP:

View (Food) Nameless stall in a larger map


OTHER REVIEWS:
- So Much Food, So Little Stomach



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Friday, October 15, 2010

Love Your Street Food! :)

Sharing is caring - vote for the stall you love!....

"Char Koay Teow, Roti Canai, Maggi Goreng, Banana Leaf ... all got!"

Your favourite restaurant/ stall aunty/uncle/makcik/pakcik need you to show them some love! :)

... SO, please head over to the Friedchillies' Love Your Streetfood website to vote!
(The deadline is 18th October so head over very very soon, today even!)

After the 18th, the shortlisted/ best 3 will be featured on the Friedchillies website (with all sorts of contests, challenges, videos and all kinds of food related mayhem) and may be awarded at the special Awards Dinner in December....
:)

So, go vote already lah! :P



Hugs,
J


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kedai Satay @ Queens Road, Melbourne

Melbourne 2010 Post #5: Enjoying some juicy ribs...

I actually ended up eating a surprising amount of Asian food while I was holidaying in Melbourne... but oh man, some of it was so tasty that I just had to share them with you.
:)

Take the Grilled Ribs with Coconut Rice (AUD $9.80) at Kedai Satay, for example:
- Tender meat**,
(** Although not quite "falling off the bone, melt in your mouth" tender, it was definitely tender enough),
- well marinated, with the tasty flavor absorbed deep into the meat, and not just in the glaze, and
- with that lovely smokey fragrance that eludes many places that serve grilled meats....
Cows are so delicious...

It was served with an equally nice, fragrant coconut rice at the side,... and tasted SO good when eaten with the chunky, sweet yet savoury peanut and black sauce mix that it was topped with.
RAWR - J eats delicious cow...

Haha...

Sorry.
:)
If you hadn't already noticed, those were not photos of the food or restaurant (which I lost when my SD card got corrupted) - just thought it'd be more interesting to embellish the post with some of my "drawings"***....

(*** Actually, the full truth is that I tried to draw a picture of the beef ribs and it just looked HORRIBLE. Lol)

Anyway, I have "borrowed" the following photos from the Kedai Satay Facebook Page, so that you can have a proper look:
- The inside of the restaurant:
The restaurant interior...

- The beef ribs!:
The actual beef ribs set...

It's really quite a small, unassuming little eatery, located at the base of a small apartment building just outside the city,... but I really enjoyed it. Now I can see why Cindy says that she loves this place!
(Note: They also have an outlet in the city area now, on King's St - details below)

So, it's: Low key, little eatery with a small but delicious selection of Indonesian food at very decent prices BUT limited selection on the menu and the restaurant area is small (Queens Rd outlet) so come early/ book or risk being turned away....


Summary Information:
Kedai Satay @ Queens Road, Melbourne

Opening Hours: 11am - 9pm
Phone: +61 9866 7177 or +61 9640 0371
Address: 2 outlets - 29/34 Queens Road and 186 King St, Melbourne, Australia
Map: (Below)
Website: HERE

NO PORK SERVED



MAP:


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Urban Spoon
- Boon Kheng
- The Great Dance


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Backofen @ Sri Hartamas, KL

Reasonably priced Western food in Sri Hartamas...

It's really funny how I have never noticed this little bakery/ cafe before, even though it's been open in the main Hartamas area for years*:
(* Located just a few doors down from Spicy Kitchen)
Outside Backofen....

Oh, and just in case you were curious:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mini language lesson (German):
BACKOFEN

Oven.

(Source: www.dict.cc)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Anyway, Backofen in Hartamas is a simple place - basic but comfortable. I liked how the inside of the cafe area had a slight fragrance of baked bread as it's "perfume" though:
Inside the restaurant....

That night, I shared the Cheese & Mushroom Broil (RM 7.50) with SooJ:
Cheesy bun....

It turned out to be simple but tasty - fluffy bun, hollowed out and filled with sliced mushrooms in a cream sauce, and topped with a thick square of melted cheese.
(Has to be eaten when it's still hot/ warm though or it gets a bit "gloopy")
Ooziiiiing cross section :)....

I also tried the Soup of The Day - Tomato (RM 4):
Tomato soup....

Not much to comment about this - the taste wasn't that great and the texture was a bit too thick but it was priced at RM 4.... so can't expect too much, right?

The menu is a bit of a mish-mash between classic Austrian (no pork though) and some clearly Asian influenced dishes. Sooj ordered one of the popular "fusion" specialties, the Spicy Fried Spaghetti (RM 11):
Plate of fried spaghetti....

Overall, the slightly spicy/ sweet/ savoury fried spaghetti was fragrant and appetising. Wouldn't mind ordering it if I feel like a heavy, carby meal.
(Actually, I think it was big enough to share between 2 people)

I tried Beef Goulash with Rice (RM 11):
(Can also be ordered with bread/ bun at the side, instead of rice)
Chunky beef goulash....

Haha... Sorry that the photo doesn't look very appetising...
(I couldn't figure out how to make it look nice)
:)

Overall, the taste was ok...
The savoury tomato based sauce went well with the rice, but while the generous amount of beef was fairly tender, it wasn't quite as tender as I would have liked...
(Again, the serving size is really big for the price... I couldn't finish this)

Lastly, I tried the Chocolate Cake (RM 4.50):
Cute lil chocolate cake....

Not that it was bad, but when you've been spoiled with cakes from (places like) Just Heavenly and Fat Boy Bakes,... well, maybe it's not fair to compare?
(Don't get me wrong: The chocolate cake at Backofen tasted fine actually - Quite moist, quite chocolatey....)

Here's the thing...
While none of the food completely blew my mind, I think it tasted good considering the decent pricing - I'll definitely be heading back some time.
(Also, SooJ mentioned that the fried rice there is pretty tasty and I can't resist a good fried rice....)
:)


So, it's: Decent selection of Austrian and fusion/ Asian food at reasonable prices (for the Hartamas area) and friendly service BUT nothing bad to say except that there were some hits and misses on the menu and parking in the area can be a pain.....


Summary Sheet:

Backofen @ Sri Hartamas, KL

No. 34, Jalan 25/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL.

Taste: 5
Ambience : 5
Service : 7
Price** : RM 25 per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2300 6676
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10am – 10pm, Sun & Public holidays 8am – 8pm


NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- YongKaiLoon.com
- Becklee's Blog
- The Lust For Life
- Silent


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