Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Old Town Kopitiam @ 1Utama

The Old Town Kopitiam outlets seem to have a very strong hold in the Klang Valley as there are quite a number of them around and they seem to be pulling in the crowds as well.

So, the other day, together with a few colleagues, we decided to have an early dinner there. Being Malaysians, "dinner" can just mean anything, right? was kopitiam food for us this time round.

Coffee is a must when you go to kopitiams, right? Here are our iced kopi's...the extra white glass in the middle had extra milk in it. I would say there's really nothing special about the coffees here...I have tasted better coffees in other kopitiams. In fact, I thought my iced kopi was rather bland.

The Brown Toast with Kaya seems to be their special item as almost every table had this. I was rather disappointed with it as there was not enough kaya in it but it had lots of margerine instead! The thick slabs of margerine were almost overpowering... and for someone who doesn't like too much fat in breads, I don't think I will order this again anytime soon.

Their Curry Laksa was quite good and kinda redeemed them! I ordered hor fun and I must say they were very smooth and soft, almost Ipoh-like! The garnishing for the laksa were slices of chicken meat, fishcake, taupok and long beans. The curry broth was lemak (not too jelak) without being too spicy.

My colleague had this Ipoh Hor Fun which I thought was rather plain with just a few slices of prawns and chicken meat topping the dish. They were quite generous with the chives though.
This very-white version of Assam Laksa was nothing to shout about. Even judging by the plain looking soup, you can guess that it's not as piquant as any good assam laksa should be. As you can see, there were no greens (like lettuce leaves, mint leaves) in the bowl - they only gave onions and cucumber (not even pineapples!). the verdict, for I'd only go to this place IF there's really no other kopitiam joint around!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Roast Chicken Dinner

In one of my earlier posts about Roasting Chicken, in addition to having roast chicken meat in sandwiches, I mentioned that the roast chicken can also be made into a full-fledged meal by itself.

And this was what we had for dinner last night...

The roast fowl - fresh from the oven and before it was carved...

Yummy chicken thigh, with lots of brocolli & carrots and roast potatoes...

And now with the brown gravy doused on it...
Roast the potatoes together with the chicken - it's more yummy especially as the chicken juices get infused into them...sprinkle a teeny bit of salt & pepper on them before serving.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sushi Zanmai @ 1 Utama

Sushi Zanmai
2nd Floor (New Wing)
1 Utama Shopping Mall
Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya

Ever since I first ate at Sushi Zanmai at The Gardens, this place has become a firm favourite with me. So when I heard they have opened another outlet at 1Utama, well of course I was totally delighted! I love this place becoz their sushis and other Jap dishes are really delicious and their prices are reasonable.

With a colleague in tow, we decided to have lunch there last week...

A spanking new's located on the 2nd Floor of the New Wing, facing Parkson and MPH Bookstore...

I just had to order my favourite Vege Udon (can't recall the Japanese name!)...
...while my colleague had the Unagi Rice...
...some sliced Unagi Sushi too!
This is just a very short there were only 2 of us, the review of dishes here is limited. But I'm sure we'll be visiting this place again and there'll be plenty to share later!

Pan Mee @ Arena Foodcourt

Recently I read in the papers that some readers have actually rated this Pan Mee as one of the top pan mee around. I have tasted this pan mee before but have not reviewed it here.

It's a corner stall in the Arena Foodcourt just below Jusco Supermarket in 1Utama. They serve all kinds of noodles - eg fried kway teow, curry laksa, prawn mee etc... but Pan Mee seems to be one of the favourites. You can have your pan mee "pinched out" in the traditional way or machine-rolled into thin strips.

I always prefer it the traditional way, in clear soup...

It's RM5 per bowl. The dough for the pan mee is smooth and soft and served in a thick chicken broth with lots of sayur manis, minced chicken, black fungus and fried ikan bilis. You can have your choice of sambal belacan, chilli padi or pickled chillies to go with the noodles.

If you happen to be shopping in 1U you may want to check this out!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dim Sum Buffet @ West Lake Restaurant

West Lake Chinese Restaurant
Sunway Lagoon Hotel Resort
Bandar Sunway
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7492-8000

This afternoon I had a delightful lunch with 4 robust kids young adults with very healthy appetities. Ahh...just the right criteria for a buffet!

During weekends and public holidays, West Lake Restaurant serves a Dim Sum buffet at RM52++ per person. The good thing about this buffet is that only the appetizers and desserts are laid out on the buffet line...the rest of the hot dishes & dim sum are ordered from their menu. This ensures the food comes to your table hot and freshly cooked!

These were some of the Appetizers we had...

Fresh Oysters...eaten with a squeeze of lemon & tabasco sauce...heavenly!

Lidako - baby octopus...we had our fill of this...

Roast chicken, fresh salmon and some dunno-what rolls...

Braised chicken feet ... these had been braised till very soft in a sauce fragrant with chinese herbs and spices...
Items ordered from the menu:
Fried Yam Puffs...served piping hot, with a light crispy yam layer and the yummy chicken filling oozing from the centre...

Fried Prawn Dumplings ...these crunchy dumplings of very fresh shrimps filling were served with salad cream and they disappeared in no time!

These Unagi Springrolls were the ultimate favourites of the day...we had 4 servings of these as they were just soooo good! Crispy springrolls with tasty unagi inside!

Steamed Salmon Head in Garlic...fresh and garlicky...

These Baby Pak Choy with Garlic was another firm favourite - we had 4 servings as the portions were really small...the pak choy were so fresh and crunchy.

Each of us had a bowl of this Shrimp Wantan Soup...again the shrimps were super fresh, served in superior stock...

Dim sum without Loh Mah Kai is not dim sum, right? The glutinuous rice has been steamed to melting softness, infused with the flavour of the chicken and mushroom...

These Chee Cheong Fun had Scallops rolled inside...truly scrumptious!

The Fruits Rojak, from the buffet line, was refreshing...

My dessert were these quaint Steamed Chinese Cakes. The kids young adults had a variety of other cakes and pastries and jellies!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mr Ho's Fine Foods

Mr Ho's Fine Foods
Lot LG-060A, Lower Ground Floor
Mid Valley Megamall
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2284-1330

While shopping in MegaMall last weekend, we decided to have a late lunch. Late...becoz the movie Ironman ended at past 2pm. At that hour, we wanted to have something meaty...porky would be good, hehe! While coming down the escalator, we spotted this joint and quickly hopped in.

The Mixed Grill (RM27.90) was a natural choice as I wanted to try out the different kinds of meat offered. There was 1 piece of BBQ pork rib, 1 piece grilled lambchop, 1 pork sausage and 3-4 small pieces of grilled pork. The pork rib was fantastic - very well-marinated and extremely tender. Unfortunately there was only ONE small piece! The lambchop and sausage were OK but the pork pieces were a bit tough & a tad overcooked. All these were served with some brown sauce, 3 pieces of carrot and 1 floret each of broccoli and cauliflower.

LL had the Crispy Roast Pork Knuckle set (28.90) - came with a drink and tomato soup. When the dish was served, we were disappointed with the meagre portion. For a pork knuckle dish, we had expected the usual generous portion but this was not the case. The skin was certainly very crispy and taste-wise, no complaint. This was served with the brown sauce, 2 pieces carrots, 1 floret each of broccoli & cauliflower each and about 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes.

This was the Tomato Soup served with the set - rather bland...

Two walls of the restaurant were lined with shelves and shelves of imported Lemonade - in all kinds of flavours!

I think customers dining at this restaurant would be happier if they had just served more portions of vegetables instead of just 1 floret each of broccoli & cauliflower only! By throwing in a few more pieces, it doesn't cost much and certainly would have added value to the meal!
Tsk tsk - sometimes I just marvel at some of these restauranteurs' stinginess and how, by saving those few pieces of vege or side dishes, they actually project a negative image and somehow customers would feel kinda "short-changed". Come on much would a few pieces of vege eat into their profits, right??

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hometown Steamboat

Hometown Steamboat Restaurant
19G Jalan Anggerik Vanilla AE 31/AE
Seksyen 31, Kota Kemuning
Shah Alam
Tel: 012-6859672
(Directly opposite Sri Melur Restaurant)

If you're ever in the Kota Kemuning neighbourhood and have a hankering for steamboat, do drop by and try out this joint. Since the change in management earlier this year, the place has been doing very well - it's crowded during weekends!

One of the essentials of good steamboat is the soup. Here the soup is very tasty (no ajinomoto as I didn't feel thirsty after the meal at all) - the chicken stock has been boiled for hours. They do have a Tomyam soup option but I have always opted for the clear chicken soup.

For the steamboat, they charge RM13.80 per person and the platter they serve is generous. What I particularly like about it is that there's plenty of vegetables - generous portions of chinese cabbage, spinach & kangkung.

The fresh ingredients are mainly fishballs/fishpaste (various types) from Pulau Ketam. I always order extra portions of the foochuk as they are so yummy after being boiled in the soup - soft & tasty!

The big portion of yee mee, meehoon and eggs will definitely fill up your stomachs!
After boiling all the stuff in the steamboat, the soup becomes extra-flavourful! Slurp slurp!

One of their signature dishes here, besides the steamboat, is their Fried Meehoon with Crabs - almost every table has this dish. Even though we had quite enough with the steamboat, we decided to give this a try.
It took a while for this dish to arrive at our table, so the anticipation was mounting...and we were not disappointed! Just look at the creamy roe of the crabs - even though they're not very big, the crabs had lots of roe and were super fresh and sooo sweet! Their meehoon had a very unique texture - they were translucent and almost like tunghoon (glass noodles). The chinese celery added its flavour to this simple-yet-excellent noodle dish.
LL scraped every morsel from the plate - a very clear sign that this will definitely be ordered again & again ...haha!
Oh, before I forget...the other essential factor to a good steamboat is the Chilli Sauce (sorry, forgot to take pic of that). The chilli sauce here is good - with just the right combination of belachan, lime and spiciness - a great accompaniment!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Charms Cafe
S206, 2nd Floor, 1Utama
Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-77222206

This cafe certainly has some charming elements in its set-up. They have now put tables and chairs on an elevated platform in front of the outlet with some charming exotic colorful lanterns hanging from bars across the ceiling.

Their new menu is charmingly bound in a wooden cover with 3 cute buttons...

I must be having a Char Kwayteow craze these days...becoz that's what I ordered. The taste of this dish was just complaint was that the cockles were not very fresh (but so far, I'm fine - no tummy upset, haha!). On the whole, it's an acceptable CKT, I would say.

The Green Curry Chicken Rice came with some pickled cucumber + pineapples. According to my colleague, it's "passable". I'm not partial to Green Curry, so I would most probably have skipped this order anyway.

Their Claypot Loh Shee Fun was quite the sense that it was done a'la claypot chicken rice style. I had expected it to be soupy, like most other claypot LSF...but this one was dry, just like the claypot rice. This being a pork-free joint, they used minced chicken meat as the topping. Taste-wise, I'd say it's excellent...only complaint was it's a tad dry.

My favourite was the Fried Gizzie - crispy-fried chicken gizzards! It's coated in a crunchy batter and sprinkled with chopped chilli padi before fried to golden crispiness! Served with a tantalizing piquant sambal belacan sauce, it's just scrumptious!

Our drinks: Iced Green Tea and Ais Cincau Bandung...aren't they colourful?!

Service was fast & friendly...definitely a plus point in any makan place!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Roast Chicken

The other day LL remarked that it's been quite some time since I last roasted a chicken and he missed his roast chicken sandwiches. So last Sunday I bought a whole chicken for this very purpose.

The marinade for the chicken is kept simple. I merely use salt, pepper, Coleman's mustard powder and McCormick's garlic powder. Rub all these seasonings over the chicken, inside and out - and leave it to marinade for at least 8 hours - preferably overnight.

Roast the chicken at 180 deg. C for 1 hour, turning it over once or twice, to get an even roast.

After roasting, let the chicken cool down before slicing the meat thinly and they're ready for your sandwiches! That's what I'm gonna have for lunch the next few days!

Of coz you can eat the roast chicken as it is, with some salad and/or mashed potatoes... it's totally up to you! Just make some gravy and pour over it before serving!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Dinner

Today is Mother's Day and I'm sure most restaurants would be packed. So, rather than fight for a table in some crowded restaurant, I decided to cook some simple dishes for our enjoyment at home. Furthermore, I bought quite a lot of fresh stuff in the marketing spree this morning.

LL requested for this Curry Stingray. The spotted stingray bought at the market this morning was really fresh. So were the baby aubergine, okra and tomatoes - they all went into this curry pot!

From my favourite yong taufu stall, I bought these Stuffed Taufu Puffs...these were cooked in a light beanpaste sauce...

I saw these superfresh Big Taugeh and couldn't resist getting some. They were so fresh and crunchy when lightly sauteed with prawns and spring onions...

Bought some Lala at the market...have not had this for some time. I cooked them in superior soup and chinese delicious! The little red kei-chee (chinese wolf berries) added colour and flavour, together with some ginger, garlic and chilli padi. LL swore that this tasted much better than in any restaurant!

Oh, we had Pig Stomach Pepper Soup too...sorry, no pic taken of that.
For dessert, here's our Sea Coconut with Honey Dates tong-sui...bought 2 packets of sea coconut this morning ...(still plenty in the pot!)