Monday, September 26, 2011

Surisit Thai Kopitiam @ TTDI, KL

Porky Thai option in TTDI....

It continues to be a crazy time at work, but every week, I still try (and mostly succeed) to have quality time with my parents on Sunday... Recently I managed to convince them to try out a fairly new Thai restaurant in Taman Tun, Surisit**, rather than the usual tai chow that we go to all the time...
(** Located just a few doors before Penang Village restaurant, on the quieter side of TTDI)

I lurrrrrrve Thai food - the combination of spicy/sour/ sweet/ salty flavors just hit all the right spots for me.
Outside Surisit....

Contrary to it's name and food, the decor of Surisit feels very Malaysian - simple and styled like a kopitiam/coffee shop, but (unlike the traditional coffeeshop) it's clean and comfortable:
Styled like a kopitiam but much more comfortable....

- Pucuk Paku Yam Pla, small (RM 12.90)
(Kerabu pucuk paku)
Appetising but small serving....

The fern was fairly fresh (so it wasn't too hard/fibrous) and the taste of the slightly sour and creamy sauce was appetising but I found the serving size entirely too small for the price....

It may have been a mistake to order the Pla Neung Prik Ma-Nao (RM 32.90)....
(Steamed fish with lemon sauce)
A popular Thai dish....

... and the Tom Yam Ka Moo (RM 25.90) in the same seating:
(Clear tom yam soup with pork)
Not bad....

While both tasted ok on its own (both were sour enough, and mildly spicy) but the flavour profiles were a little too similar with the only difference being that well, the soup had a more porky sweetness in its undertone.

- Mun Thod Gapi (RM 16.90):
(Crispy Thai style pork slices)
YUMMY....

This was the dish that won me over, despite the, so far, average dishes - the pork could have been a bit more tender, but was well marinated, fragrant and went OH so well with a dab (or more) of the spicy complex (sweet, salty and sour) chilli sauce at the side.

- Tab Tim Krob (RM 1.50)
A classic, refreshing Thai dessert....

We wrapped up dinner with my favourite Thai dessert, the "Red Rubies". :)
I won't say it's the best I have ever tasted, as the bits of water chestnuts were just too small to provide an enjoyable crunch. Priced at a very affordable RM 1.50 though, it's a refreshing although unspectacular way to end the meal.
(To me, the perfect Red Rubies has to have a balance of nice chunks of crunchy water chestnut coated with just the right amount of bouncey yet chewy, sweet tapioca jelly in a creamy santan-y soup(?) with finely shaved ice)

Overall: Simple but comfortable new porky Thai restaurant in the TTDI area BUT nothing much bad to say! - while not everything was perfect, there were some stand out dishes that made me wanna go back....


Summary Sheet:

Surisit Thai Kopitiam @ TTDI, KL
17, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 5
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 30 per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-7710 0173
Opening Hours: 8am - 10.30pm
Parking: Limited
Website: Their Facebook Page

NOT HALAL




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Masak-Masak
- Jason Mumbles
- I am The Witch
- Pureglutton
- Cumi dan Ciki

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vote for Me? - My Post on Village Park @ Damansara Uptown

OMG. I've been shortlisted for the TOKL Blogger's Choice Award! :D *shock/happiness*....

I am super honored.

I don't know why, but I've been shortlisted (along with NINE other Food Bloggers that I am in awe of) for the TOKL Food Awards 2011 Blogger's Choice Award.
(Basically, we all submitted reviews on our favourite food places, which you can vote for)

So: If you like this review, you can vote for me (starting Friday) *blush*...
(Click the button below to go to the voting page)
Click, s'il vous plaît....


Or if you just want to vote for your favourite restaurants in the various categories, you can also head on over to the TOKL Food Awards 2011 voting website"!
(Voting closes on 31 October 2011, at midnight)

------------ < Start of Review > ------------

It would seem that everyone knows best, especially when it comes to food, and that person is Malaysian. The top contenders on the list of Malaysian "I know best" foods (in no particular order) are Roti Canai, Char Kuey Teow, Assam Laksa, Curry Mee and Nasi Lemak.

I love all of these, but it is Nasi Lemak, despite the offputting name** of the dish that really hits the spot when I am craving for some soul soothing, carby food.
(** Lemak = Fat, right? So Nasi Lemak = Rice Fatty, which reads more like a warning label really)
Simple setting inside Village Park - consistently crowded!....

My favourite place for Nasi Lemak is a relatively famous eatery in the Damansara Utama area (aka Damansara Uptown) - Restoren Village Park. I am not alone in this, as it is constantly packed, even after it extended its premises to the shop lot next door.
The line usually extends till outside Village Park....

Many may scoff and say that it’s overrated, but I find nothing to dislike about the Nasi Lemak (RM 7.70) there - fragrant granules of rice (more al dente in texture than moist though), topped with a yummy piece of fried chicken which consistently has tender, well marinated meat and crispy skin, complemented by the slightly sweet and mildly spicy sambal on the side.
Hello there yummy chicken....

Their main menu is not very extensive, with only a handful of other dishes like Soto Ayam (RM 6) and light bites like Roti Bakar with Butter & Kaya (RM 2.20). My favourite (when I'm not in the mood for Nasi Lemak) is the Assam Laksa (RM 6). The broth is light and smooth in texture but packs a wallop on the tastebuds - a nice mix of sour, salty, fishy (in a good way) and spicy.
One of my favourite comfort foods....

Another huge crowd puller is the array of different dishes that they serve displayed a la nasi campur/nasi padang in a big metal cart near the main doorway – a fairly wide selection of meats, veggies and seafood prepared in rendangs, curries and more but I have never braved the constant queue to try it.
There's Roti Bakar with Kaya if you feel like a light bite....

So whether or not it really is the ultimate, best Nasi Lemak in the whole of Malaysia, Village Park will always have a special place in my heart - It is the place that I pig out with my mum during our quality weekend time, the place I bring my overseas friends to tantalise their tastebuds, the place I used to eat with my ex, the place where I’ll always go back for more.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Village Park Restaurant @ Damansara Jaya, Uptown, PJ
(Damansara Uptown area)


Taste: 6
Ambience : 4*
Service : 6
Price** : RM 12/++ per person
Parking: Difficult

* Ok for a coffeeshop but it's still a coffeeshop lah
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7710 7860
Opening Hours: 7am – 7pm (Mon-Sat), 7am – 6pm (Sun)

HALAL

------------ < End of Review > ------------


OK. So that's that. :)

Seriously, I'm so stoked just to be shortlisted!!!!
(I hope this isn't coming across like I'm gloating *blush* - I really am just happy/ excited...)

Will post up the other NINE Blogger's reviews as soon as they are available, so you can read their awesome reviews as well....


HUGS,
J

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Monday, September 19, 2011

House (Previously Known as Social@KL) @ G Tower KL

Interesting place for drinks, bites or a full meal in the heart of KL..........

Hi y'all... This is an invited review, k? Please find my usual disclaimers as follows :)
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal,
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/ restaurant, and
3) If I go back to the restaurant incognito and find that the food/service is horribly different from this experience, I will amend my ratings here...

Hmmmm....
I'll admit: This review is a little delayed... but better late than never, right?
*guilty grin*

Strangely, when I initially went to (the place now known as) House, it was called Social@KL. When asked, they claimed to have no connection to the more established Social in Telawi (and Changkat BB), so I guess it changed its name to be more distinctive?

Anyway, it's a pretty flexible place, with a few distinctive seating areas for you to choose from, depending on your mood/the occasion:
1) (Ground level) The main dining area:
Better for sit down dinners....

2) (Mezzanine level) Cosy wine area:
Very well stocked wine section....

3) (LG level) Casual bar setting:
Good for minums :D....

4) (LG level) Cool, open air area:
(I imagine that this is a great place to have a few drinks and yummy noms while waiting for the Tun Razak traffic jam to ease up)
A little beer garden?....

- Homemade Social-iced Fruit Tea (RM 12.90++)
Iced tea with a twist....

The Iced tea was really refreshing! - there's no sugar added in the tea. Instead, it's complemented by the natural sweetness of the scoop of fruit sorbet. I tried the mango flavour, which I really liked. :)
(They also have other interesting flavours - lychee, peach, lime, lemon, and calamansi)

- Social KL's Wild Mushroom Soup (RM 15.90++)
A creamy soup....

It looked like a frothy cup of caffeine, but tasted like a smooth, thick (but not stodgy), fragrant mushroom soup. The accompanying garlic bread complemented this perfectly - crispy and tasty without being overpoweringly garlicky. :D

We were also served 2 of their special best selling fusion pizzas:
- Pizza Chicken Satay (RM 25.90++)
The satay pizza....

- Pizza Teriyaki Salmon (RM 29.90++)

A more savoury choice....

The chicken satay pizza was nice - crispy pizza base, tender pieces of meat, balanced with fresh cubes of cucumber and slices of onions, sweet satay sauce and some cheese.
(It sounds like a strange combination but somehow, it works!)

I enjoyed the salmon pizza more though, as the sweet teriyaki flavour was balanced well by the savoury flavours of the slices of bonito and creamy avocado.
(Definitely wouldn't mind ordering this again)

- Peking Duck with Deep Fried Mantou Bun (RM 15.90++)
Om nom nom....

MMMMMMMMMmmmm! Yummy!

Perfectly fried little mantau buns - fluffy inside with a perfectly crisp golden brown layer, with tender slices of duck housed, cucumber and spring onion in between, with a light slather of sweet hoisin sauce.

(They look so cute too! Like mini Asian burgers)
Very kawaii....

Scanning the menu, there are also a interesting variety of other heavier options (other than the light bites we tried that day) - definitely wouldn't mind heading back there for a meal or minums sometime soon...

SHOUT OUT:
Thanks to Alex and Gladys for the invite, and to Jerry, the Director of Operations at House/Social@KL for hosting us during lunch that day - I had a wonderful and delicious day out! :D

So, it's: Convenient location for casual dining in the heart of KL, with a range of interesting fusion dishes BUT nothing bad to say really, just wish it's nearer to my office so that I can have that pizza more often (yummy!)...


Summary Sheet:

House @ G Tower, KL
G02 & LG02-04, GTower,
199, Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur.


Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 45++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2164 4424
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 1am (Closed on Sunday)

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Drops of Contentment
- Eat Drink KL


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nominate! Or Forever Hold Your Peace :P

Time to nominate/ vote for your favourite restaurants....

It's THAT time of the year again.

If you didn't already know, the nomination period for TOKL's Annual Food Awards has BEGUN! - and you only have till Sept 18!



In short, here's how it works:

1) NOMINATION/ VOTING:
From now till 18th September 2011 you can nominate/ vote for your favourite restaurants (, restauranteur & chef) - The fields are left blank so you can nominate whichever restaurant you like.

Don't be put off that there are so many categories (18!) - you are allowed to vote for as many/ few as you want, even if you submit just one restaurant in one category.
(Click HERE to go to the TOKL website voting page)

2) VOTING ROUND 2 - Shortlisted Restaurants/ Chefs
Check back (on Sept 20th?) to see if your favourite made it through to The Shortlist and cast your vote again to select the overall winner.

3) WHO'S THE WINNER?
Results will be announced in the December ‘Food Awards Special’ Issue of Time Out Kuala Lumpur and on the main TOKL website shortly afterwards.

FYI:
The 16 + 2 Categories:
1) Best Chinese
2) Best Continental
3) Best Fine Dining
4) Best Hawker/ Mamak
5) Best Healthy Eating/ Vegetarian
6) Best Indian
7) Best Italian
8) Best Japanese
9) Best Malay
10) Best Middle Eastern
11) Best Thai/ Indo Chinese
12) Best Pub Grub
13) Best Place for Coffee
14) Best Place for Seafood
15) Best Place for Steak
16) Best New Restaurant

17) Restauranteur of the Year
18) Outstanding Chef of the Year



Choices, choices. Quickly go nominate - if you miss it then you can't complain later............
;P


Every vote counts!,
J

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Birthday #6

6 years old already!

It's something I keep saying quite a lot... but hey, it's true - TIME FLIES (especially) WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN***.

:)

I can't believe it's already been 6 years since I started blogging.
(SIX YEARS of food blogging! That's a lot of time/money/calories invested, don't you think so? lol)

It's been a slow couple of months, with work overwhelming my waking hours, but I'll try my best to get back to the regular schedule soon. :)

(Random photo of me launching a sneak attack on a lovely chocolate cake baked by my friend Jolyn)

Getting older and OLDER,
J

*** Time, as I (re-)discovered, also flies when you're not having that much fun and are just really, REALLY busy with work. =_=

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Momofuku Ko @ New York City, USA

The first time I dine at Momofuku Ko - Hope that I can go back there soon....

What does it mean?
“Momofuku” means Peach, and “Ko” means Son of....

So, in totality, the name is: Son Of A Peach?
LOL. How cheeky. :)

If you've never heard of it before, it is a famous 2 Michelin star restaurant started by Chef David Chang in New York, around Oct 2008. They have very commendably maintained those 2 stars for about 3 years now. It was one of my most memorable meals to date, but I don’t have much to show for it (in terms of photos) due to the restaurant’s strict “No Photos” policy.

So, (to state the obvious) this post will be kinda wordy....
(Hope you don’t mind).

Where do I start?

I guess it’s important to highlight how bloody hard it is to get a booking in Momofuku Ko.

How hard? Well:
- They only accept online bookings (you have to register on their website),
- Lunch bookings (Fri – Sun) are only available online 2 weeks in advance,
- Dinner bookings (every night) are only available 1 week in advance,
- Everyday at 10am, they open up another day for you to book (which are usually snapped up within minute. If you can’t get a spot, pray for cancellations),
- Bookings can only be made for 2, 4 or 6 people, and
- You cannot cancel within 24 hours of your booking. If you do then you will be charged USD 150 on your credit card (whether or not you actually show up at the restaurant).

I think that’s about it....
(Complicated though, right?)

With a little perseverance and good luck, I managed to secure a lunch booking for my friend and I when we were in New York**...

Part of me was really afraid. First of all, it ain’t cheap (USD 175++ per person) so, what if it turned out to be overrated and my friend gets angry with me for dragging her to such a horrid restaurant and murders me in my sleep? Still, it came so highly recommended that I figured it was worth a risk...
(** Someone cancelled their bookings in the middle of the night, and I just happened to be checking on the availability just before I went to sleep)

I bet you're wondering: Was it worth the risk and all the trouble?

My answer?: Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.

Due to the nature of their (sort of) omakase*** concept, we were surprised with round after round of delicious, fresh fusion (French/Jap/Korean/American) courses ranging from more classic combinations (eg. Roasted chicken) to really unusual dishes (eg. Pea Ice Cream!).
(*** Omakase = (roughly) Submit to the chef, which means that the chefs will serve you what they like, although you can tell them to make adjustments due to allergies or religious reasons)

- The only photo I have (of the very low key door into Momofuku Ko):

There were roughly 14 courses****, which is a LOT for even the laziest of lazy, gluttonous, weekend lunches. To proclaim that all were spectacular would be a lie, but everything was at least good, and the dishes that were very good were just REE-DEEK-KEW-LOUS-LEE good.
(****LOL! We actually lost count!)

1) Fresh Oyster with dash of a sour & spicy sauce
2) 4 kinds of raw seafood: slices of fluke with buttermilk & poppy seeds, mackerel?, scallop? and branzino with grapefruit?,
(I actually do not usually eat raw fish... but this was just too good – the natural sweetness of the fish really came through, well complemented by the restrained use of sauces/dressings)
3) Strawberry with balsamic vinegar reduction,
(*shrug* I consider this a “filler” dish/ palate refresher)
4) Ricotta Cheese filled dumplings in a thick roasted chicken skin sauce,
(SO. GOOD. *dies*)
5) Mix of grilled and fried mushrooms with a mushroom consommé on the side,
6) 4 kinds of bites - baby asparagus kimchi, ?, ? and ?,
(Again, *shrug*)
7) Fluffy egg served in a broth,
8) Something served with grilled pork fat rice, vegetables with sesame,
(OMG. The rice looked deceptively bland but tasted awesome with its slightly sticky texture and deep pork-y flavour with a sprinkle of crunchy salt)
9) Chicken stuffed with it's own leg,
(Now I know what chicken is supposed to taste like – sweet, moist and absolutely yummy – not at all boring)
10) Pork face slice, rabbit terrine, and something else,
11) Grilled trout and asparagus,
(So simple but delicious, with the superbly fresh fish grilled to perfection – moist sweet flesh, crispy skin. Even the asparagus was SO good – moist with a bit of crunch, and a lovely smokey fragrance)
12) Foie Gras shavings, Riesling gelee, lychee, pinenut brittle and foam,
(This is their signature dish – a strange sounding but life changing-ly good combination of sweet, savoury, crunchy and moist)
13) Pea ice cream, matched with fresh peas and foam,
14) Crushed rice waffle cone with Mochi cubes and White miso ice cream,

... and somewhere in between, there was a lobster roll?

As you can tell, the dishes I can’t really remember were the ones that I found just ok. So, not everything was great… but the ones that were, well… they were the kind of *Stop. MMMMMMmmm. Omg. Pause. OMG. SO. GOOD* kinda great.

I don't know whether any of the kind, witty, TALENTED chefs there will ever come across this post... but just in case:
Thank you so much, for sharing your passion and talent. It must be such hard work to produce those delicious morsels.... but it is much appreciated. :)
(On another note: No thanks to you for lifting the bar SO very high that dining at any other restaurant in Malaysia seems so banal and pedestrian. LOL)


Hugs,
J

PS/
1) Thank you Mr Android for recommending this place to me - it's as good as you said it would be *hugs*,
2) What a nice bonus that while dining there, I met/ befriended fellow diners and foodies - Steve Moy and Anton. :) *WAVES* Thanks for being so friendly and taking us to the lovely Japanese place after. :)

DETAILS OF MOMOFUKU KO:
Where is it?
Address: 163 1st Avenue, New York

How do I contact them?
Phone number: (212) 500-0831
Website: Official Website

When are they open?:
Lunch, Friday – Sunday.
Dinner, Everyday

How much will it cost?:
Lunch tasting menu - $175++ per person (takes about 3 hours)
Dinner tasting menu - $125++ per person (takes about 2 hours)
(Note: Please put aside at least 15% for tips - it's a heart stopping amount of $$, but it's considered the norm in the US. Anyway the service is friendly, knowledgeable and efficient so you won't feel like you've been fleeced...)


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Eat-tori
- A Life Worth Eating
- Gourmet.com
- 10thirty
- Wandering Eater

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