Friday, October 28, 2011

In House Arabic Cuisine @ Solaris Dutamas, KL

Om nom nom. Carrrrbs :) ....

Carbs are my Achilles Heel. :)
(Unfortunately, I guess)

So when my friends Alvin and Diana asked me to join them for dinner at their (current) favourite Arabian food place in Solaris Dutamas, (tempting me with promises of delicious carbs) I just couldn't resist.

The venue was an Arabic restaurant called In House, located on the ground floor (facing the main road) of Solaris Dutamas. It's just a simple place, more or less like a high class mamak, with a good portion of the seating area outside where you can puff on shishas (RM 15?) if you so choose.

Anyway, the dish they were tempting me with was (their fave) the Kabsa Lamb (RM 20):
Lamb and rice done right....

This was my favourite dish that night too - the lamb was tender, with the fragrant flavours of spices soaked right through the meat (yum!). The al dente rice (one piece one piece type) was still moist enough, tasty and oh so very addictive.
(The accompanying tomato-ey sauce was also nice - when drizzled on top of the lamb/rice it adds a nice extra zing)

We also had the Beef Cubes (RM 22):
The pieces of moo moo peeking from inside their comfy bread shelter....

Chunks of beef served in 2 pieces of flat bread - tender and well marinated (with a nice taste of spices). Overall, yummy. :)

We also ordered Yoghurt Salad (RM 8) as a side/ accompanying dish:
So refreshing! Just a simple mix of yoghurt and diced cucumbers... Nice as a dip for the bread, meat or doused on the rice...
A refreshing side dish....

Also eaten that night, but no photos (as they turned out really really bad):
- The Chicken Shawarma (RM 10), which is basically like a chicken kebab... It tasted ok but not sure I would order this again (Then again my friend Diana said that this was, strangely, not as nice as usual that night), and
- The Lemon Mint (RM 9) drink which was addictively sour/sweet/minty... but I found it a bit too expensive.

So it's: Simple ambience, fairly wide range of yummy Arabic food and shisha flavours BUT nothing bad really - just that service was erratic (blur) although friendly, and the drinks seem to be too expensive. :).....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


In House @ Solaris Dutamas, KL
A2-G1-05, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 5
Price** : RM 25++ per person
Parking: OK
Official Website: Click here

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 016-603 1426/ 03-6211 1171
Opening Hours: 11am - 2am

NO PORK



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Nava-k


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Perfect Day

If only I could bottle up this feeling, and take a sip on gloomy days :)...

J'S PERFECT DAY:

No chocolates in sight, but plenty of Sunshine, Truffle Fries (SGD 12++), Cocktails and Eye Candy at Tanjong Beach Club:
Hard work at the gym definitely pays off...

MORE PICS! :P
- Comfy sofas/beds on the beach, perfect for lazing around and catching some rays:
Hot weather and hot bodies a-plenty...

- Lots of action on the beach:
Many of the young 'uns were playing volleyball...

- Cute lil pug compares pedicures with the girls:
One of many adorable doggies spotted that day...

- A closer look at those yummy fries:
Perfect french fries, crispy yet moist, with just enough cheese and truffle sprinkled on top...

- Yummy cocktails to refresh the soul:
Fruity and refreshing...

- Not on the menu but also very yummy:
;)...

- Sun begins to set on a perfect day
Awwwww...

I wish days like these would never end... but at least I can hold on to the memories (and oogle at saved photos) till the next time. :)

(Psssst. Thanks for taking me out to paradise for a day, Fai!)


So, again, it's: Simple, yummy food by a beautiful man made beach that will make you feel like you are no longer in the concrete jungles of Singapore BUT ok, so the food isn't exactly cheap/ affordable and the service can be slightly inattentive (yet friendly) if you are seated too far from the main bar area....


Summary Information:
Tanjong Beach Club @ Sentosa, Singapore

Opening Hours: (Tues to Sunday) 11am till late
Phone: +65 6270 1355
Address: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 098942 (On Sentosa Island)
(Also, join their Facebook or Twitter for constant updates on events and sunshine/rain conditions)

Map: (Below)

NOT HALAL



MAP:

View Larger Map


OTHER REVIEWS:
- My first time there :)
- The Arriviste
- Paper Hearts
- SoShiok.com
- Dawn Yang clapbangkiss
- Gastronommy


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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Cup of Calm and Comfort :)

Simple to prepare and delicious - what more could you want from your daily cuppa? :)....

Hmmm.
I don't usually get free stuff through my blog (or more like, almost never - first of all, I'm a bit of a worry wart about whether it's appropriate and well, I'm just not that famous :P)...

When the kind and passionate people from Auresso contacted me through Twitter, I just couldn't resist - I love coffee! AND they said they had a really good chocolate drink that I could try too.
(So, if you hadn't guessed already, I didn't pay for any of this)

They sent me a package of goodies very shortly after we talked, and I brought it over to my (fellow coffee addict) friend's house.

- Their Passion, Pride & Joy... Coffee:
An exotic, single origin coffee....

First, we tried the Brazil - Single Origin (Price from RM 46).
Mmmmm... The coffee was interestingly complex without being overpowering - had a nice sweet note at the start, almost like berries, medium acidity and overall, not too bitter.
Just add in the ground beans into the plunger, with hot water. Easy peasy :)....

We tried it prepared through the Bodum plunger and also as an espresso (My friend Alvin is a self taught barista - IMHO, he's gotten very good at it through the years!).
2 long blacks, ready for consumption....

Either way, it was delicious, but I much preferred it as an espresso - a much more intense flavour this way, perfect for a coffee lover like me. :D
Beautiful espressos - energy providing sips of intense, delicious coffee....

- Lovely Teas Too:
If coffee isn't really your thing though, you can try out their range of really interesting teas.
Choices, choices - Granny's Garden, Japanese Sencha, Punjabi Chai, Green Tea Sunshine or Lemongrass & Ginger?....

They had sent the Tea Sampler (RM 24) so I had 5 flavours to choose from. I liked the Green Tea Sunshine most - nice balance of the freshness and slight bitter taste of Green Tea balanced by the delicate sweetness of fruits (mainly pineapple).
For a moment of calm in a hectic day....

- Recipe for Happiness:
I was really looking forward to trying out Kokolicious (RM 65), their signature Hot Chocolate drink... and it was so easy to prepare too!
An award winning :)....

Just 2 table spoonfuls, hot water and milk (optional) - yummy... Smooth texture (no yucky powder-y aftertaste), creamy and rich without being sickening, and chocolatey without being too sweet.
Happiness in a cup :)....

The best thing is that it's so wonderfully pure - African Red cocoa, processed in France, blended with pure Australian cane sugar - all natural ingredients with no added filters, starch, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
(Also GMO Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free and Exploitation Free. Wah. Any more and it'll be a some kind of superhero :P)

- Some background on Auresso:
Auresso is the sole distributor of Rubra Coffee and Tea in Malaysia, roasted by Award winning artisan roaster Allan McMurray of Rubra located in Western Australia

The beans are 100% Arabica and are freshly roasted and delivered from the Rubra roasting house in Australia - Auresso aims to have a new shipment every 1 to 2 weeks to ensure only the freshest is offered.
(For more info, please refer to their FAQ)

How to Order - 4 Simple Steps:
1) Go to their website, :P
2) Choose as many of the products as you like,:)
(So nice - you can even specify for them to grind the beans, for your convenience)
3) Fill out your details (shipping address, etc),
4) Pay either through an online transfer or cash deposit machine to their Maybank account.

Done! :)
You will receive a confirmation email and tracking number, and the products will be shipped to you via courier.

Unfortunately they currently only deliver within Malaysia.... but let's see - maybe they'll expand their coverage someday? :)
(For the love of coffee!)

SHOUT OUT:
Thanks for the kind, passionate people at Auresso for sharing their delicious coffee, tea and drinking chocolate with me. :D
(And also a BIG thanks to Alvin for being my personal barista, and to Diana for allowing me the services of your husband. *lol*)



Contact Details


Auresso - Fine Coffee Artisans

Phone: 016-208 1259/ 016-331 2971
Email: enquiry@auresso.com.my
Official Website: CLICK HERE



TAGS: , , , , Artisan Coffee, , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sisters Kitchen @ Foodhive, G Tower, KL

Convenient and decently priced place for makan in the heart of KL..........

Hello hello... 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...
(Again: This review is (more than) a little delayed *blush*...)

Lunch, especially for us office minions (during weekdays) can be such a pleasure/ pain:
1) You get to escape the office for an hour - Pleasure! :)
2) Darn. It's only an hour, so you can't go far... Traffic/finding parking can be pretty bad too - Pain! :(

Luckily, with the new(ish) Food Hive in the LG floor of G Tower, there are ample food choices, within walking distance of many of the major buildings in KL.
(Eg. Lembaga Tabung Haji, PNB Darby Park, Ampang Park - which conveniently, is equipped with an LRT station, etc)

One interesting eatery in the Foodhive is Sister's Kitchen - a casual restaurant, with a range of local favourites on the menu:
The main area of Sisters is covered, but open air but with ample ventilation....

We were served quite a lot of food that day, so I'll try to keep the descriptions short. :)

- Original Popiah (RM 3.90++) and Egg Roll Popiah (RM 4.90++):
One taste and I realised, "Oh! No wonder the name of the restaurant seemed so familiar! It's from the same people who created those yummy crispy popiahs (sold in most shopping centres)!". So, needless to say, both were yummy although I still prefer the original version. :D
Original on the left and egg-y on the right :)....

- Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken (RM 14.80++):
A good sized portion for the price (considering KL city center prices) with all the elements of a fairly enjoyable carbilicious nasi lemak.
A well loved Malaysian dish....

- Seafood Siam Laksa (RM 14.80++):
Thick glass noodles in a creamy laksa broth. There was a reasonable amount of stuff (prawns, garoupa slices and squid) to justify the price and the rich flavour was sinfully satisfying.
Do not think about the calories - once in a while is ok, right?....

- Seafood Soup Noodle (RM 12.80++):
Kuey teow noodles in a clear soup with prawns, squid and garoupa fish slices. While the soup was just a tad too salty, it was otherwise a nice dish to have when you need some soup-y comfort food.
A less sinful option....

- Penang Rojak (RM 9++):
To be completely honest, I don't like this style of rojak as the only time I appreciate prawn paste is when it's added into assam laksa. The fruits tasted nice though... :)
A love it or hate it dish, IMHO....

- Mango Passion (RM 8++):
Ok. This kind of dessert I like. :D
Refreshing with a nice sweetness from the mango sauce and fresh mango chunks.
Perfect for the hot and humid Malaysian weather....

- Ice Kacang (RM oops):
Another great way to cool down is with this generously stacked up ice kacang. :)
Also very refreshing....

- 4 Heavenly Kings (RM 5++):
I really enjoyed this - their signature drinks which is a concoction of tea, and 3 types of cocoa.
Slurp....

Oh man...
I still remember how happy/ ridiculously full I was that day.
(Too much food! But I ain't complaining ;P)

SHOUT OUT:
Thanks to Alex and Gladys for the invite! :D

So, it's: Convenient location in the heart of KL, with a range of interesting local dishes BUT nothing bad to say really, some may say it's a bit pricey but the serving size is generous enough....


Summary Sheet:

Sisters Kitchen @ Foodhive, G Tower, KL
LG-07 & 08,
Lower Ground Floor, GTower,
No 199, Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur.


Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 25++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2161 8997
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 9pm (Mon - Fri), 8.30am - 7.30pm (Sat), Closed on Sundays.

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Drops of Contentment
- Mama Genie's
- Picks and Pickles


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New York, New York (Part 1)

Photo heavy post on my NYC trip....

The USA is such a wondrously complex place, don't you think so? - full of history/ innovations, crass/ class, and (among many other things) scandals.

I suppose this is kinda old news already but while I was there, wandering around Wall Street (being a tourist *lol*), I noticed a crowd of people that seemed kinda random and out of place:
Why so many people on the sidewalk? Hmmmm....

I went closer, out of curiousity, and read the little proclamation written on a page torn out a notepad and pasted on a lamp post:
"Waiting 4 Dominique Strauss Kahn"

LOL.
(If you haven't already heard of this news, you can check out the Wiki here... but basically it involves the Ex IMF head allegedly behaving badly onto a hotel Chambermaid)

What a circus of onlookers (like me *grin*), police, and camping reporters - a scene very much like what you see on TV/movies but very alien to the general Malaysian public.
Camping reporters and all their equipment....

Oh, and there was even a very spirited protester, surprisingly, VERY strongly proclaiming that she believed Monsieur Strauss is completely innocent.
(I don't know him personally but) I know he is innocent!....

Anyway, after satisfying our curiousity, we quickly went away from and stepped into the calm sanctuary of a small but elegant church just steps away from the maddening crowd - the Trinity Church:
Dwarfed by the skyscrapers around it....

Inside, it was small but cosy, in a fairly standard gothic style:
Nice stained glass windows....

I found the small touches in the details really nice - like this saint reaching out to the crowds from the main door:
....

Hmmmmm.
So: It was scandal, and redemption - just a normal day in Wall Street, I guess?.....
;)


Still sorting through her 1287 photos from Washington/Philly/Atlantic City/New York,
J

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Wong Ah Wah @ Jalan Alor, KL

A famous food place that lives up to the hype is such a rare gem....

I'm sure it's also happened to you before:
......
You hear about some really famous, really (supposedly) yummy food place and you fight through horrible traffic/distance/etc to get there. You put up with the hoity toity/ brash attitudes of the wait staff there, wait a loooooooong time and finally! you have a bite of the food..... and it turns out to be COMPLETELY over-rated.

Well, you are lucky if you've never experienced that, but (IMHO) there seem to be too many "famous" food places, that do NOT live up to the hype.

Sorry if I appear to be rambling and raving - it's just that after all this time, I finally tried the already very famous Wong Ah Wah chicken wings in Jalan Alor... and it was such an awesomely pleasant surprise that it really is THAT good.

- Ambience:
Simple. Plastic chairs, run down wooden tables and no air cond. Do not dine here (or most other places on Jalan Alor) if you are adverse to noise, crowds, dust and insects....
Al fresco dining or inside the slightly dingy coffee shop - up to you...

- Deep fried Sotong:
OK lah.
Only fairly crispy...

- Hokkien Mee:
Also OK lah. Whatever.
To be fair: It's actually above average - the crispy chee yau char really add a nice layer to this dish...

- THE chicken wings (RM 2.40 per piece):
OMG.
O. M. G.
:D
The current object of my food lust/ cravings...

It is SO good, and in my humble opinion, the yummiest bbq chicken wing in Malaysia:
- Well marinated meat, which is tender yet flavourful without being too salty/sweet,
- Oh so fragrant skin, singed in the best way possible, leaving it slightly crisp in some parts and with a wonderfully smokey aroma.

It really was love at first bite. :)


Still craving those succulent morsels,
J the chocoholic

So, it's: Simple ambience, DELICIOUS chicken wings that live up to the hype BUT other foods served there are just ok, the chicken wings are a bit expensive, and surrounding area can be a bit jammed/ hard to find parking - it is in the heart of KL, after all :)...


Summary Information:
Wong Ah Wah Chicken Wings @ Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL

Opening Hours: Dinner till late (approx 6pm - 2am)
Phone: 603-2144 2463/ 603-2148 3413
Address: No 1 & 5 & 7, Jalan Alor (Off Jalan Bukit Bintang), 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

(Most Probably) NOT HALAL


MAP:

View Larger Map


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Motormouth From Ipoh – Malaysian Food & Travel Blog
- My Tummy n I
- quirky malaysia
- just another malaysian food blog


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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Chynna @ Hilton KL

High class Chinese dining....

Once in a while, my parents will agree to spend a little more, and try out a nicer restaurant... mostly for special occasions. This time, it was my 30th birthday (*SOB*), so we decided to try out the pretty famous Chinese restaurant, Chynna, in the KL Hilton.

It is not a large area but it's well decorated, so it feels cosy yet lush - overall a nice, classy ambience:
Inside Chynna....

The little details really added points (in my books anyway) with small touches like the beautiful, detailed plates really made the place feel special:
What pretty plates!....

We were welcomed with their signature Eight Treasures Tea, expertly "shot" into our cups by the almost kung fu-like precision of the in house tea sifu with his traditional metal tea pot:
Wa-chaaaaaaaaaa....

- Butter Prawn (RM 69++):
This was my father's pick for the night. While it is probably a localised Chinese dish, we thoroughly enjoyed it - Plump prawns (bouncy!), fresh and with a slightly crisp golden brown outer layer coated with a rich, creamy sauce that had undertones of curry leaves
Decadent buttery goodness....

(Look at the size of the prawn!)
I EAT U! :D....

- Black Bean Duck Breast (RM 36++):
This was the only dish I didnt quite enjoy that night - while the slices of meat were tender, I found the black bean sauce a bit overpowering
(To be fair, I don't really like black bean sauce actually, but my mum does - which is why we ordered this dish)
It ain't a pretty picture, unfortunately....

- Black Pepper Beef (RM 58++):
We were told by the waiter that this is one of their most popular dishes and I can see why - Yummy! :D The beef had a really interesting texture, tender but with some nice crispy bits, and coated with a fragrant black pepper sauce - would definitely this again...
Moo....

- Baby Bak Choy with Garlic and Scallop (RM 72++):
Fresh, crisp greens matched with fairly sizeable, juicy scallops - nothing spectacular about this dish, but nothing to really fault either....
A healthy choice to balance the meal....

- Yang Zhao Fried Rice (RM 36++):
(Note: This photo is just one serving - there were at least 4 servings in total from the fried rice we ordered)
Again, this was nice, but without that extra wok hei that would have made this stand out:
Some carbs are a must....

- Seacoconut with Lemon (RM 10++), and the Aloe Vera sorbet (RM 14++):
Both desserts were a nice balance of sweet and slightly sour - a refreshing way to end the night:
The seacoconut dessert....

The sorbet....

While the food was enjoyable that night, it was the service that really stood out to me - friendly and knowledgeable without being intrusive....
(I was also really surprised how much I enjoyed the food considering that there is no porky goodness served there....)

Unfortunately, while the prices aren't exorbitant considering the quality of ingredients + nice environment + excellent service, it's probably not very accessible on a daily basis*. I suppose that this would be a great place to entertain business associates or dates where you are really trying to impress. :)
(* Well, on my bank balance/paycheck, anyway)

So it's: Nice ambience, good food, excellent service BUT prices are expensive (unless you have the Hilton card)....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Chynna @ Hilton KL

3 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
50470 Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 7
Ambience : 8
Service : 8
Price** : RM 80/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2264 2592/2696
Opening Hours: Weekdays 12noon to 1030pm, Weekends 11am to 1030pm

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Myhorng says it all
- my Tummy n I
- Shadows Overhead
- Bual bual kosong

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