Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Banana Leaf Rice @ Sri Devi

Restoran Sri Devi
SS15 Subang Jaya
(same row as Maybank)

A few Sundays ago, LL suddenly had a craving for Banana Leaf Rice... seems he hadn't eaten this for months wor! We had an errand to run in Subang, so we headed to this restaurant in Subang Town Centre.

It was just after 11.00am when we reached there, still early for the lunch crowd. However, their trays of dishes were all set out, ready for the hungry hordes...

Trays and trays of sumptious-looking curries...
We waited a while for them to get the fresh banana leaves ready. Once the leaves were on our table, they were quickly filled up with rice and all the necessary condiments, topped with the mandatory papaddam...

First dish I ordered was my mandatory Fried Bittergourd. Here, the thin slices of bittergourd were dipped in some batter and fried to a beautiful crisp... they looked so pretty, too! As LL doesn't like bittergourd, I happily finished this small plate by myself!

Their Lamb Curry was done perfectly - taste-wise and tenderness-wise. The lamb had been simmered to melt-in-the-mouth tenderness in the fragrant spices... went very well with the rice! This is one dish that's qualified for "repeat" orders!

We ordered 1 piece of Fried Tenggiri. Fresh from the wok, the fish was perfectly marinated, coated in a thin batter of masala and while crispy on the outside, it was juicy and tender inside.

However, the Fried Chicken didn't fare as well. For one, the chicken was chopped into too-small pieces and they were over-fried - too dry and almost bitter. Quite disappointing.
The mandatory resam was served... to aid digestion and "dissolve" the fats...
The bill for the above for 2 persons came to RM30, inclusive of 2 Teh-O-Ais-Limau.

My rating: 6.5/10

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bubba Gump Shrimps Co

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Lot 145 1st Floor, The Curve
Jalan PJU 7/3
Mutiara Damansara
47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-77109862/63

"Mamma always said life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" - Forrest Gump

Ever since this restaurant opened some months back, it has always been packed whenever I passed by. I know LL would love this place as shrimps are one of his fave grub!

So if you subscribe to this advice...as shown above their main entrance...

... then this is one place you must visit!

First of all, you must know how to get the attention of the service crew. They have these metal plates on your table... If you wanna call a service crew, you flip to this plate... telling the crew to stop at your table lah...

After you have been served and you don't need any service anymore, you flip it to this plate... telling them they can run and process your order!Our drinks came immediately... LL had his Mango Sparkler (RM9.90) while I had my healthy plain water (FOC) ...

Service was pretty fast... next to appear on our table was the Clam Chowder (RM12.90) - this was a rather generous portion - enough for 2 people. Lots of chunky clam and cubed potatoes in this creamy delicious soup.While waiting for our main courses, the friendly crew came round to chat with us... and made us win these 6 packets of crackers by asking us a very simple question about Forrest Gump (the inspiration for this restaurant, as you may know) ... and practically telling us the answer too!

I ordered an appetizer - Cajun Shrimps (RM20.90) - shrimps sauted in cajun sauce and served with 2 pieces of garlic bread. The shrimps were fresh and tasted yummy and went very well with the crispy garlic bread. No complaint about the taste - however, the portion was rather small.
LL had this Shrimper's Heaven (RM44.90). There were fries, coleslaw and 4 types of shrimps served: Fried Shrimps (2 types), Chilly (as in "cold") Shrimps and Tempura Shrimps. Of the lot, the tempura ones suck - the batter was way too thick to qualify as "tempura" and I could hardly taste the shrimp inside. The coleslaw sucks too - never tasted such bad coleslaw before!

Overall, I think this order was disappointing.... not worth the price. Portions were also quite small. Don't be deceived by the deep cones in which the shrimps were served - they were actually half-filled with shredded cabbage!
After the miserable portions of the above 2 orders, LL still didn't have enough ... so we ordered 3/4lb of their Shrimper Catch (RM24.90) cooked in both cajun spices and garlic. The shrimps were served in a little pot, which the waiter then poured onto a plate at our table.

I would say this was the best dish - the shrimps were very fresh and the taste was excellent! LL took time and made the efforts to de-shell all the shrimps first before digging into them!

As expected, the place is not cheap... and this was the bill for 2 person's lunch:If you are really a shrimp fanatic, then do visit this place for the experience. After that, well... you decide whether the price is worth it ;-)

The decor inside is typically nostalgic American...

There are also tables outside, by the walkway... I rather like the bright cheery blue & white theme.

There is also a counter outside selling their premium items... a glass mug costs RM25...
My rating: 6/10

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yishensu Vegetarian

Yishensu Vegetarian Restaurant
Lot G207 (Old Wing), 1 Utama
Bandar Utama
Tel: 03-7729 4313

Once in a while, it's good to go vegetarian - clean the system, so to speak. Yishensu is located next to Canton-i in the Old Wing of 1 Utama. It's contemporary designed facade is certainly attractive - motifs of leaves cut out in light beech colored wood panelling. It's interior repeats the same leafy motifs.

The upholstery of the seats echo the same theme... leaves leaves leaves everywhere! Simple but very nice.

So... with such a nice modern environment, I expected the food and service to be top notch too. Well, the waiter was prompt in taking our orders. However, the food did not appear as promptly. They have all these lunch sets @ RM10.90 which gives you a soup, main course and a drink (lemon/green/chinese tea). Set lunches should be pretty quick, right? Or so we thought la...

The restaurant was not overly crowded... there were several occupied tables but the food took a long time coming. We ordered the set lunches and had to wait 20 minutes for the first set to appear.

This was the complimentary soup served with the set... old cucumber, red dates and some beancurd skin disguised as "meat"... The soup tasted very "cheng" and yummy. So far so good.

The 1st set of main dish that appeared was the Sweet Sour Pork Rice. Of course the "pork" was made of beancurd skin, cooked in a tomatoey gravy with chunks of cucumber, pineapple and capsicum. The sprig of coriander leaves looked rather pathetic - they must have forgotten to soak it in water. Taste-wise: just average.

I ordered the Crispy Roast Goose (not in the set lunch) at RM9.00. This was the best dish for the day. The beancurd skin was flavourful and fried to a nice crisp. It was served with an excellent orange-based dip... tangy and refreshing. This was such a nice change from the normal chilli sauce that's usually served to accompany this dish. Thumbs up for this!
I had to wait almost 25min. for my Curry Noodles. When it finally came, well... the reddish curry looked quite appetizing but upon tasting it, it was rather disappointing. It was too dilute and was quite tasteless. I had to ask for some sambal to go with it... even so, I couldn't finish the noodles. The only taste it had was "spiciness" - that's all.
There were cabbage, aubergine, taugeh, beancurd puffs and some vegetarian mock "meats" like cha-siew and shrimps in it - all pretty tasteless.
The last set of Singapore Meehoon finally appeared after 30min - my poor colleague was almost fainting from hunger by then! I tasted a bit of it and I must say it was much better than my Curry Noodles. It had taugeh, cabbage, lettuce, some bits of beancurd skins and chinese wolf berries in it.

All in all, the set items were nothing to shout about - maybe the a'la carte dishes would fare better. Well, go try this only if you are not in a hurry... otherwise you may get very impatient with their slow service.

My rating: 6/10

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Duck King re-visited

Ever since the last visit to Duck King a few months ago, we had wanted to go back there to try their other dishes. Please click here for my 1st Review and 2nd Review.

So, there we were... on the evening of LL's birthday and also to celebrate DL's birthday together, we decided to have dinner at Duck King in Jaya One.

We wanted something light and "cheng", so the Beancurd with Shimeiji Mushrooms (RM16.80) sounded good. The dish did not disappoint - the 2 slabs of "homemade" beancurd were laced with seaweed and had been lightly braised with the delightfully fresh mushrooms in a superior oyster-based sauce.

Next, we tried their Sweet Sour Belly Pork (RM24.80) which was served with 4 fried mantous. The big square piece of pork belly, topped prettily with several pieces of canned pineapples and sitting on a "pond" of sweet sour gravy was full of flavour and very tender - perfect with the fried buns.
We dipped the buns enthusiastically into the yummy sauce and ate them in between pieces of melt-in-the-mouth pork belly. Thumbs up for this dish!
Based on the captain's recommendation, we decided to try their Peking Duck (RM38.80). I just wanted to try some other type of duck dish besides their signature roast duck. This proved to be a mistake. I didn't take a picture of the duck before it was rolled up in the thin pancakes. The rolled peking duck skin looked like this...

The duck skin was hardly crispy and it tasted pretty mediocre ...
The duck meat was then chopped up and stir-fried and served on some lettuce leaves. They looked pretty enough... however, the chef was really too heavy-handed on the salt, resulting in some very salty minced duck!

LL is a great fan of lamb... he requested the Claypot Lamb Ribs (RM32.80) hoping that it would taste something like the famous Choon Fong dish. However, what was eventually served to us was this sloppy-looking pot of braised stuff! Just look at the few sprigs of coriander leaves carelessly tossed on top - I was disappointed at this lack of courtesy from their kitchen crew. Taste-wise it did not impress as it was too salty and it lacked the fragrance of the necessary herbs and spices for chinese lamb dishes.

Instead of the usual greens we order for vegetables, I opted for their Lotus Root Combination (RM13.80). It comprised of lotus root, chinese fungus, asparagus, sweet peas and carrots all tossed together with a dash of oyster sauce - what could go wrong, right? The vegetables retained their crunchiness and it was good that this dish was not too salty!

The next vegetables dish did not fare so well. I ordered their Claypot Loh Hon Chai (RM13.80) which was served very sloppily. Somehow they can't seem to get their claypots right. For a decent dining place like Duck King, I would expect their claypots to look cleaner and more presentable. Again this must have been cooked by the salty chef because this dish was also very salty!

As LL was not very satisfied with the Peking Duck, he insisted we should order a portion of their roast duck + pork. After all, we can't very well dine in Duck King and not have their king duck dish, right? So, we had a small portion of this...Roast Duck + Pork Combination (RM25):

So there were some hits and some misses that night. I just hope that Duck King doesn't go down the road of what some good restaurants do... ie over-popularity leading to sloppiness and quality deterioration. That would be a shame, really.

Japanese munchies

What helps me fight sleepiness at work? Especially when you're in one of those long boring sessions of whatever, it's good to keep some snacks handy... snacks such as these Japanese nuts, crispies... some wasabe-coated - that's bound to perk you up!

But they are not cheap leh.... a small 100g packet of these munchies can easily set you back RM10 or more!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Soup Noodles at home

On weekends, we usually do not have rice meals at home, if we can help it! Weekends are meant to be relaxing and more laid back... so when it comes to food, I try to rustle up something different but equally delicious and fulfilling!

Last Saturday I managed to get some very fresh fishballs, meatballs, fishcakes and fishpaste fuchook from the morning street market here. With those, I decided to cook simple Soup Noodles for lunch.

For the soup, you can use chicken, ikan bilis or meat bones to make the stock. You just need to boil them for about an hour and then season it. I added in the fish and meatballs and cooked them in the soup for a few minutes. I also threw in some Siew Pakchoy to add some greens to the dish.

Blanch your noodles in hot water, then pour in the soup, balls and vegetables and you get this simple nutritious noodle dish...

Of course, being Malaysians, we must have our "dips" ... do you fancy chilli padi in soya sauce? I do!
Or maybe some chilli sauce? It goes well with the fried fuchook and fishcakes...
We had 2 types of fishcakes - the round ones and the oblong ones... just fry them lightly...
... and then slice them up to serve...

The fishpaste fuchook were great when fried crispily... just make sure you drain away the oil on some kitchen towels before serving!