Monday, June 30, 2008

Bumbu Bali

Bumbu Bali
18 & 18-1 Jalan Persiaran Puteri 1
Bandar Puteri
47100 Puchong
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-8061 8699
Open Daily from 11.00am till late

Much has been said and reviewed about this acclaimed local restaurant serving Balinese cuisine. A number of people, including my dear friend, Z had urged me to try out this place and so, finally, last Saturday, I decided to brace the infamous Puchong traffic situation to pay a visit to Bumbu Bali. More so because Z had booked a table there for us, earlier in the week.

Bumbu Bali: * Restaurant * Cafe * Home Decor * - that's how they have positioned their business. As I stepped into the restaurant, I was struck by the amazing ethnic-inspired serene ambience. Dark traditional wood furniture was the mainstay of the decor, hanging lamps, bamboo shades and traditional items of decoration added warmth and authenticity to the Balinese charm of the place.

As soon as we were seated at our table, this sweet smiling serving crew quickly came over to show us their "Specials for the Day"...
As we scrutinized their menu, we could see that they serve a myriad of items, ranging from Mocktails, Soups and Salads... Pasta...all done with their distinct Balinese style, of course!
It took us quite a while to even choose the drinks as we were carefully reading the description of each item! Finally, we settled for their Mojito Lemongrass (RM8.90) and Green Apple Splash (RM8.90). I totally loved my Mojito Lemongrass as it was such a unique refreshing blend of lime, mint leaves and lemongrass. The whiffs of lemongrass were lovely, thanks to the stalk of crushed lemongrass which acted as a "stirrer" for this mojito. You really must order this drink!

We had a tough time selecting our dishes as everything seemed yummy. In the end, LL had to have his "Nasi Campur Bumbu Bali" (RM28.50). We could not help exclaiming "Wow" when the basket of goodies were served. Just look at the variety of items on the rattan platter...

There were rendang chicken, squids, prawns, grilled fishcake, kangkung, fruit salad, 2 dips and crackers...and rice, of course! The spicy aromatic blend of Balinese flavours was scrumptious. Everything tasted so good and LL's only complaint was that the portion of rice was too small! Remember to ask for more rice next time!

Their dips/sambals were extremely good - even LL, who is not a chilli fan, dug into them...

Based on Z's recommendation, I ordered their Grilled Beef & Lamb Combo (RM30.50). It was a huge serving - there were 3 decent-sized pieces of lamb and 2 pieces of beefsteak, mashed potatoes, sweetcorn, coleslaw and topped with a chunky tomato peppery sauce. The meats, especially the lamb, were good, although the beef was a tad over-grilled - otherwise they were well-flavoured and the sauce was excellent. I must mention here that the corn was truly yummy as it has been brushed with honey before being grilled as I could taste a distinct "caramelly" flavour on it.
With LL's help, the dish was eventually wiped clean!

We ordered their Fried Fish Salad (RM12) to share. Pieces of crispy battered fish fillet and croutons topped a bed of fresh vegetables and fruits, served with a creamy dressing. The fish fillet were very fresh and was an excellent accompaniment to the crunchy salad of vegetables and fruits.
LL still had room for dessert, so we ordered the Hot Fudge Brownie (RM7.50). The warm rich moist brownie drenched in chocolate sauce went very well with the scoop of vanilla icecream. LL didn't really need any help in polishing off this, although Z and I had a couple of spoonfuls of this sinful dessert!

I had the opportunity to meet the owner of Bumbu Bali - the affable and jovial Eddy Tan. Married to a Balinese wife, Eddy informed they started Bumbu Bali about 5 years ago. In case you think he looks kinda familiar, well...he is also the owner of restaurants like Water Lily (also in Puchong), Ole Ole Bali in Sunway Pyramid and folks in Mont Kiara would be pleased to know that another restaurant will be opening soon there...Having satiated ourselves with the excellent food, let me now show you some photos of the beautiful decor and Balinese items that are available for sale in the restaurant...

Trays and baskets of Balinese souvenirs lined one side of the restaurant...

I loved these carved cute & elegant...
...and this Cicak! There were several of these climbing the walls there...
More wooden carvings ...
Beautiful traditional and contemporary paintings line the walls upstairs...
I was totally immersed in the beauty of these paintings and carved's almost as if I was transported to one of those shops in Bali...

These delightful "parasols" added appeal and charm to the place...

With such good food and beautiful set-up, it's not surprising that this place is always packed. Do call to book ahead to avoid disappointment. I will definitely re-visit it to try their other offerings!

My rating: 8/10

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ah Yeh Village Chef @ Kemuning

Still hot on the trail of makan jaunts in the Kemuning area, one evening last week, we decided to check out this restaurant:

Tucked away in one of the back roads of Kemuning Town Centre, we have passed it by a few times. They opened for business a few months ago. Encouraged by the few occupied tables, we stepped into the restaurant...(if all tables were empty, we sure won't stop by lah!)

First dish ordered was this Steamed Catfish (Pak So Koong). Weighing 0.65kg, it cost RM31.20. Since the fish was "swimming fresh", the best way was to just steam it in superior soya sauce, topped with shredded ginger and chinese parsley. Being of a good size (not too big or too small), the fish was firm, freshly sweet and steamed to perfection.

We spied softshell crabs on their menu and could not resist ordering the Fried version. Coated in a light batter, the pieces of Fried Softshell Crabs (RM20) were crunchy, with the bright orange roe oozing out as we relished every single high-cholesterol morsel. The sauce served with it was not really chilli sauce but actually a cooked sweet & sour sauce (like in sweet sour crabs). At least they just didn't dump some bottled chilli sauce for us.

Still hankering for Oyster Omelette (like we didn't have enough of this in Sitiawan!), LL and D had to order this again! The style was almost similar to the Sitiawan style, ie not soft or gooey like the KL style. I found it quite bland and there were more spring onions in the omelette than oysters. At RM12, I didn't think it was a value dish.

Their Signature Beancurd (RM10) was very mediocre, almost to the point of being tasteless. We had to dip the pieces of beancurd and vegetables into soya sauce - imagine that! The small portion didn't add any delight to it either.

The vegetables for the night - Choy Tam (baby kailan) in Garlic (RM8) was not bad. You can't really go wrong with stirfried vegetables! However, the portion was really small and that kinda dampened the dining spirit.My rating: 6/10 - but do note the small kiamsiap portions!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Ratings...

From today onwards, I will be putting my Ratings to the food reviews I post. I think that would be so much fun, don't you agree?
Please scroll down the side bar to see how I have drawn up my ratings, hehe!

Padi Prada

Padi Prada
4 Jalan Anggrik Vanilla Y/31Y
Kota Kemuning
Shah Alam
Tel: 03-5121-0167

Weekends are usually spent dining out. Last Saturday evening, feeling lazy, we decided to eat out in the neighbourhood. Kota Kemuning is not exactly your Taipan USJ with unlimited choices of food outlets.
Anchwa - where to makan leh? Then, I remembered a colleague who mentioned something about this Padi Prada place, so we decided to check it out.

Padi Prada market their forte as serving the best Penang food around. The place is furnished in a typical nyonya cafe style with some nyonya baba decorative items sitting on shelves nailed into the walls.

One of LL's favourite nyonya item is the Pie Ti, so we had to order this. Padi Prada served theirs a'la DIY - a red plastic segmented tray (reminded me of those trays you use during Chinese New Year!) holding the Pie Ti cases, the filling (which was just their Ju Hu Char), some chopped spring onions, some fried shallots and chilli sauce. All these for RM6.00. The pie ti cases were crispy enough but the ju hu char filling was pretty mediocre and the chilli sauce did nothing to enhance the taste.

I had the Tomyam Meehoon (RM8.00). It was served with lots of chopped mushrooms, pieces of squid rings, shrimps, crabsticks, beansprounts and a sprinkling of chopped chinese celery. Even though there were lots of chopped lemongrass in the sourish soup, somehow I felt there was still something missing (which I could not place) that would have classified it as passable tomyam.
I would say the best item for the night was their Seafood Fried Rice (RM6.00) which LL had (the perennial fried rice lover). It had lots of crunch in it, in the form of cabbage - which I thought was an unusual vegetable to add to fried rice. Nevertheless, it added to its charm. The rice had enough "wok hei" and the chunks of squids, shrimps, chicken fillet, eggs and sprinkling of salted fish and chilli padi all added to the delicious flavours of this dish.
At the captain's/ladyboss' recommendation, we ordered their Penang Lorbak (RM7.00). The chopped meats wrapped in beancurd skin and then crispily fried was passable. I did not detect anything unique.
Next, we had their Penang Rojak (RM10.00). The portion served was sufficient for 2 persons, as can be seen in the picture below. What I couldn't get over was the exorbitant price charged! I certainly do not think the pieces of fruits, with a few pieces of fried yau-char-kway and some very-thinly-sliced brown sotong warranted RM10! Just compare that with their Seafood Fried Rice - I could not help but think they have somehow screwed-up their pricing (you go figure and tell me).
The desserts for the evening was Green Beans Bubur (RM3.00) - very mediocre ...
...and Cendol (RM3.50) which they used packed santan (could see the pieces of undissolved santan powder)...
I would only re-visit for their Fried Rice.

My rating: 5/10

Friday, June 20, 2008

Duck King - Part 2

After the very positive review I gave on Duck King, LL has been pestering me to take him there. So, we went there last weekend and I was smart enough to book ahead because the place was crowded!

We loved their appetizer - this simple little plate of Boiled Peanuts (RM3). The big-sized peanuts had been boiled till very soft in star anise and subtly flavoured with salt and soya sauce. Actually, 1 plate was not enough, but then we reminded ourselves that we had yet to savour their main dishes.

The waitresses went around with trays of cold dishes, and we picked this one - Cold Belly Porkwith Jelly Fish (RM9.80). The thinly sliced pork belly had been braised till tender in chinese herbs and spices. Eaten together with the springy jellyfish, it was just scrumptious.
In my first review of this place, the pictures of the Roast Duck caused quite a stir - so much so that people who never liked duck before, had become very tempted to go and eat the duck at Duck King, haha! So, of course LL must have it and we ordered a portion of Roast Duck & Roast Pork (RM25) combination...

Although the Roast Pork was a tad too fatty, the crispy skin mitigated this small shortcoming. The pieces of roast pork disappeared in record time too!
Upon the captain's recommendation, we tried their Tian Jing Sang Yook Pau (Minced Meat Pau). The 3 pieces of paus served in a bamboo basket (RM8.80) were delicately-shaped. The pau skin was light and fluffy and when bitten into it, it revealed a generous portion of delicious minced pork.

They served us some Cha SiewPau by mistake and I took a pic of them before they realised their mistake and whisked th e basket away! The paus looked pretty good, didn't they? Maybe I will order them in my next visit!

I tried their Mixed Pork Porridge (RM8.80) which took a long time to be served. Finally when it came - in a little claypot, I believe it had been left to stand for a long time because the kidneys and liver were totally overcooked! I didn't like those overcooked chewy pieces at all and the porridge was rather bland. It became more palatable only with some pepper and soya sauce added in.

They were also serving little plates of these Baby French Beans (RM5.80) cooked in minced meat and pickled radish. It was rather salty and luckily we had the porridge to eat this with!Whenever I have dim sum, I must always order Steamed Fishballs (RM4.80) as it's one of my favourites. Duck King's version was really very mediocre, so unless you are a diehard fan like me, you can skip this. The test for good fishballs is that they must have smooth springy texture and sadly, those at Duck King did not pass this test at all.
Likewise, you can skip their Cheong Fun (Rice Rolls) in XO Sauce (RM8.80). I thought it sounded kinda exotic but it turned out to be Fried Cheong Fun, sprinkled with some sambal bits. I didn't know they were going to be "fried" - to me, cheong fun should always be steamed - that's the best cooking method for it! The so-called "XO sauce" was almost non-existent. The rice rolls were also rubbery, tasted rather flat and we had to dip them in some chilli sauce.
We wanted to try their noodles so we ordered the Braised Chicken Feet with Mushrooms Noodles (RM8.80). The noodles were good - fine textured and springy. However, the chicken feet were too salty, so were the mushrooms.

Ahh...the desserts...LL had to have his favourite Qui Lin Jelly (Tortoiseshell Jelly) - RM4.80. LL pronounced it excellent as it was very smooth and well-flavoured with the necessary chinese herbs.

I had my favourite Glutinous Sesame Balls (RM4.80). They were totally yummy...the smooth glutinous dough...encasing the thick gooey sesame paste filling...and they were not too sweet!

From this visit, it's clear that some of Duck King's dimsum dishes are not that fantastic. I will certainly re-visit it to try their other main dishes as their menu is pretty extensive. And of course, to have more of their Roast Duck!