Monday, December 31, 2007

Sushi Zanmai @ The Gardens

Sushi Zanmai
T-217, 3rd Floor, The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2282 1160

Sushi Zanmai is one of the latest to hop into the sushi-fast-food bandwagon and is fast gaining popularity. Besides the outlet in The Gardens, they have another one located in Sunway Pyramid.

Their prices are pretty reasonable, in fact, a wee bit lower than the more-established Sushi King, ranging from RM1.60 upwards. Their sushis are a bit different and aesthetically more appealing to the eye. What I liked very much there is that they have quite a few varieties of sushi encased in inari (sweetened beancurd skin) eg mashed tuna, crabstick and a few others. Most of the sushis are available from the conveyor belt.

We ordered the Soft-shell Crab Maki (RM6), Ebi Tempura Temaki (RM3.80), California Temaki (RM4.80) and Sukiyaki (RM15.80) from the menu. The Soft-shell Crab Maki was excellent, with the crab freshly-fried and crispy encased in the rice roll.

The Sukiyaki came with a portable stove. I would have preferred the soup to be a bit less sweet; nevertheless the egg and vegetables reduced the sweetness after a while. The beef was sliced thinly - all 7 slices of them.

The Temakis were disappointing - they obviously had been delayed in being brought to us because the seaweed sheets were soggy by the time they reached our table. They also lacked a certain “oomph” - the taste was somehow lacking somewhere in those seaweed cones.

Generally, I would go back to Zanmai whenever I need my sushi fix. I like their variety and the inari, of course.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Banana Leaf Rice @ Krishna

Krishna Curry House
No.18 Jalan 222, Section 51A
46100 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 79564920

Krishna Curry House is almost an institution in the Jalan 222 area. For as far as I can remember, this curry house has been there enjoying brisk business. I go there quite often for breakfast - their rotis, thosais with unlimited chutneys, sambal and dhall curry are heavenly!

Today we decided to have their Banana Leaf Rice for lunch as we were famished after our gym workout. The moment we sat down, the banana leaves appeared and before we can even catch our breath, the rice, vegetables and other condiments were served on the leaves. Our choice of curry gravies were fish and chicken. I quickly ordered our choice of fried fish, fried chicken, curry mutton and fried bittergourd.
The fried ikan tenggiri fillet and ikan kembong were served in under 10 minutes, followed quickly by the fried chicken thigh. They were fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside with the flavours of the masala marinade tiltillating our tastebuds.
Krishna's curry mutton was served in a little claypot and it came piping hot. The tender chunks of mutton were absolutely delicious, having soaked through the thick creamy curry. It went superbly with the rice and the fried bittergourd.
The thin slices of battered bittergourd were fried to a crisp with spices. Top these with the curry and rice and you just can't stop at one bite!

I didn't get the itemised pricing but for the 2 of us, we had fried ikan tenggiri, ikan kembong, 1 entire chicken thigh, a claypot of mutton curry, a plate of fried bittergourd and unlimited rice, vegetables, papadam, curry gravies and 3 glasses of teh-O-ais-limau, the bill was RM33. It was an immensely satisfying meal, very sinful too and all we wanna do after that is to be comatose, hehe!

Parking is easy and service is superb.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Steamboat in Aeon Bkt Tinggi

Boston Restaurant (Halal)
F13 Aeon Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre
Bandar Baru Bukit Tinggi
Tel: 03-33262702
Steamboat has always been a favourite with me. I love it for its “cheng-ness” - simple nutritious food which is not oily and fills you up with a sense of well-being… lots of vegetables, fresh ingredients which are freshly-cooked at the table and of course, lots of soup!

Having passed by this steamboat restaurant in my previous visits, I vowed to give it a try soon. So, there I was last night, after a workout in the gym and looking for something light for dinner - steamboat was the most perfect choice!

The square & rectangular tables were all fitted with individual hotpots for each diner. The hotpots also have individual electronic heat controllers so each diner can control the temperature of his/her boiling soup. They serve standard clear chicken soup - additional flavours are chargeable. For RM2.50 more, you can have Herbal, Tomyam etc.

The Single Set

The steamboat stuff can be ordered by individual plates or you can go for the sets. Single, couple and family sets are available. Examples: Sliced Beef Hotpot @ RM21.95, Squid Hotpot @ RM20.95. Individual plates of steamboat items start from RM1.00 upwards. Besides steamboat, they also serve some rice and noodle dishes as well as Grilled items.

The Sliced Beef

The Sliced Squid

The steamboat items were fresh and portions were generous. What I liked most was that lots of vegetables were included in the sets. There was a huge mountain of white cabbage, Chinese cabbage and lettuce. The soup was oil-less and flavorful of chicken stock. The chilli-dip, sprinkled with sesame, was decent enough.

The generous portion of vegetables

The chilli-dip & "sprinklies" for the soup

The Boston Fried Shrimp with Rice (RM15.95) had 6 medium-sized prawns fried in black pepper topping a mound of fried rice which had sliced Bombay onions, raisins and eggs.

On the whole, it’s pricier than what you would pay in a usual steamboat place. I guess you also have to pay for the location and ambience of the place here!

The funky "senget" glass

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dim Sum @ Oriental Pavilion

Oriental Pavilion
1st Floor, Jaya 33
3 Jalan Semangat, Sect.13
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 7956 9288

The Oriental Pavilion in Jaya 33 (the spanking new building opposite Jaya Supermarket) is a huge place and must hold place of pride in the Oriental Group of Restaurants. It is fast gaining popularity since its opening a couple of months ago. Its spacious modern-concept deco of warm wood paneling is very appealing and very different from the usual Chinese-style deco. The entire wall facing the main street is of full-length glass windows, adding to the spacious-ness.

The restaurant serves Dim Sum during lunch a-la-carte style, to ensure its freshness. The prices range from RM5 - RM10. Each dish comes piping hot, straight from the steamer/wok/oven in the kitchen. The quality is top-notch, as expected from the premium prices charged.

Fried Carrot Cake

Pan-fried Carrot Cake
Taro Puff

Fish-ball in garlic sauce

Steamed Fish-ball
Fried Fish-ball
Pork Ribs steamed in Black Beans
Loh Mai Kai
Prawns Rice Rolls

Siew Mai
Cha Siew Pow
Prawn Dumplings
Egg Tarts

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sweet Sour Crabs, Prawn Noodles @ Green View

Restoran Green View
No.6 & 8 Jalan 19/3
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 7958 1076

It was Christmas evening and I was hankering for some crabs. So, although the sky looked ominous with its dark dark clouds, we decided to take a drive to PJ. Specifically to Green View because I think they serve one of the best Sweet Sour Crabs around!

They served Indonesian crabs (RM60/kg) which were huge, yet their shells are pretty soft. The crab meat was fresh and succulent and were perfectly infused with the sweet sour gooey gravy which were thickened with eggwhite. The crabs were also fat with roe! The gravy goes extremely well with the fried mantou. Ya… dripping in cholesterol – but then, who cares?!

Green View is also famous for their Noodles with Freshwater Prawns. For 2 persons, the serving cost RM46 which is a bit on the pricier side. The noodles were fried till crispy and then doused with the freshwater prawns cooked in a thick gravy. The prawn roe was so rich that every spoonful of the gravy was really sinful!

The friendly waiter recommended their Fried Taufu Balls (RM12.50 for 5 pcs). The taufu had been mashed with some prawns, fishpaste & water chestnuts and then shaped into balls and fried. I would say it’s nothing very special – have tasted similar stuff in most restaurants.

Their BBQ Suckling Piglet was going for RM110. The half portion we ordered was a bit burned at the leg & head. Otherwise, the golden crispy skin was divine, with just a thin layer of fat beneath.

Oriental Cravings

Oriental Cravings
G359 Phase 2 (New Wing)
1 Utama, Bandar Utama
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 7727 2581

Every time I go to 1U and pass by this place, I told myself that I would like to try the food there one day. So last weekend, I finally made it to enter Oriental Cravings. It was Christmas Day and the time was just after 11am and the place was almost full! Perhaps it’s because of Christmas – a holiday for everyone?!

Service was pretty fast, considering the crowd. Our food was served in under 15 minutes. The Fried Loh Shee Fun (RM10.90) was cooked hokkien-mee-style. There were shrimps, sotong, chicken and egg in it, all tossed with taugeh and a delicious black sauce. The fat slippery smooth loh shee fun had absorbed the tastiness of the condiments and sauce and disappeared into our tummies all too soon! Definitely a dish to order again next time!

We heeded the waitress’ suggestion of Cha Siew & Siew Yook (roast pork) with Mantou. The roasted meats were cooked in a black sweet sauce which had caramelized over the meat. The white mantou were slit in the middle for us to sandwich the roasted meat & shredded cucumber. Biting into the soft steamed mantou and then tasting the sweet fragrant meat in between shreds of crisp cucumber was certainly heavenly. The whole set cost RM15.90.

After the first 2 yummy dishes, the 8-Tresure Fried Rice (RM11.90) was a disappointment. First of all, the rice was only fried with shrimps, Chinese sausage, roast pork, cha siew, long beans and topped with an omelette. Those did not account for “8 treasures”! The rice was too soggy and taste-wise, it was just mediocre. We have tasted much nicer fried rice elsewhere.

However, 2 out of 3 was not too bad. Their menu listed some interesting Chinese dishes that would go well with rice. I think it would be worthwhile to give those a try one day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oodles of Noodles

Jaya Noodle House
Ground Floor
Jaya Supermarket
Section 14
Petaling Jaya

The Jaya Noodle House in Jaya Supermarket will soon be moving to a new location come January 2008. What a shame! This popular noodle shop has been there for years - it's almost an institution in that building and a well-loved makan-place for folks around Section 14, Petaling Jaya. The present Jaya S'market building will be demolished soon to make way for a brand new mall and most of the tenants there have already moved out.
I went there for lunch last week and there was the usual crowd of shoppers and nearby-office-workers there. I ordered one of my favourites - Wantan Noodles with Roast Pork & Roast Duck. The serving came with more roast meat than noodles!
The noodles were cooked just right with just the right springiness. The roast pork with its crunchy skin was yummy and the roast duck was tasty, although its skin was no longer crispy.

According to the cashier, they will be relocating to Jaya One at end January 2008. I shall miss this noodle house which is just a few minutes' drive away from my office.

iThai Restaurant
Ground Floor
Plaza Millennium
Section 14, Petaling Jaya

Another restaurant which is just a stone throw's away from my office is the iThai Restaurant. The "i" in the name stands for "Italian" as this place serves a mixture of Thai and Italian fare. However, every time I go there, I always have their Thai noodles.

Their Tomyam Meehoon is served in a claypot. It's a pot of spicy tangy tomyam soup flavoured with lemongrass, daun limau purut, chilipadi, lengkuas with very fresh prawns, squids and fish slices. It has the right combination of spiciness, sourness and hotness! This is one noodle dish which I do not hesitate to recommend.

The other day I tried their Thai Latna, upon the waiter's recommendation. It's actually Kwayteow Cantonese-style but given a Thai twist. They used kailan for veg and there's a hint of fishsauce in the dark gooey gravy poured over the kwayteow. It's a huge serving and I could only finish half of it. The gravy was a bit too starchy which, after a while, made the noodles kinda "expand" and filled up your stomach very quickly.

Their noodle dishes all cost RM6 which is great value-for-money and that's one of the reasons why the place is usually full during lunchtime.

C-Jade Express
LG Floor, Mega Mall
Mid Valley
Kuala Lumpur

The other day we arrived at Mega Mall very early and was looking for a place to grab a quick breakfast. Coming up from the carpark, we spotted C-Jade Express and decided to pop in there. At that hour (which was just after 10am) they had limited dishes available. Noodles were highly recommended, so we ordered the La Mien with Beijing Wantan and La Mien with Shanghai Dumplings. On the way in, we also saw a dish of yummy-looking fried chicken wings, so we ordered 1 of those as well.

The chicken wing was humongous! It was skewered before frying so that the wing was presented in its entire wingspan, which easily measured at least 10". It was hot from the fryer - the skin was super-crispy and it was well-marinated, with a hint of ginger and chinese wine. If not for the noodles ordered, we would have wolved down another one! It was so good we vowed never to miss this the next time.

The humongous Wing

This is how the yummy Wing looks like, close-up!

Both the bowls of La Mien tasted exactly the same, except for the Beijing Wantan and Shanghai Dumplings. The meat fillings were different - the wantan had bits if parsley and the skin was thinner. The dumpling was shaped in a half-moon and its skin thicker. I would say the La Mien were pretty ordinary but at that early hour, with growling tummies, we didn't complain.

See any difference between the 2 bowls of La Mien?