Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Salad Bar - Damansara Utama

I am no fan of vegetarian diet. It is at times an expensive diet too. But I do eat a good portion of it given half the chance at every meal. In my travels to different Asian countries and visiting their market in the course of my work, I used to wonder where is the best place for a vegetarian to live if price consideration tops the list. A few years ago a vegetarian approached me bearing this question after hearing a story I related.

How would you like to buy a huge cauliflower for RM0.30 or a big bag of jicama for RM10.00. Unheard of. Forget about Melbourne being number one as the most livable city in the world. The vegetarian want to park themselves at a town where the price of vegetables are in abundance, cheap and diverse.

Simply Salad may be establishing themselves as a great place to have salad for meal and inexpensive at that. RM11.90 for a big or RM6.90 for a small portion. I find the portions as big with generous add-ons. The Spicy Chicken can be a main meal if plenty of spicy white chicken fillet strips. The sunflower seeds were sprinkled liberally on top. Lettuce was plentiful and I wish for more variety and colour. But then the more colourful and variety the price would have gone up.
The sauce was strong with tons of balsamic vinegar. A good set-up with the spicy chicken. The salad equivalent to the assam laksa noodles. My favourite salad. One thing I notice is that their salads are devoid of cheese. So far.... I will check if there is one with cheese esp. the Greek Salad with its compulsory feta cheese.
Ramadhan Salad. I could not identified the seeds of cereals toppings for this particular salad. Anyone can help. It was sold by theme.
The sauce was more like a satay peanut sauce with no tart. It was bland as I thought they are afraid to sweeten it. With a weak sauce this salad fell flat.
This sausage sandwiches brought some taste to our palate. With thick slabs of bread the fillings must be strong in taste. Not just the obligatory onion bits, mustard and tomato sauce. The meat has to be savoury enough to tilt the bland and neutral vegetables and bread. It passed the test. I have problem with cold cuts that is almost bland.

The chicken sandwich did not fare as well as it was lacking in taste. But then who say everybody has to agree to my views. I like the ingredients and its freshness.

41, Jalan SS 21/60, Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03 77221742

Monday, August 29, 2011

Canton Village - Taman Prima Sri Gombak

When variety is premium, then Canton Village got the offerings! I will call it a Chinese Cafe with a long menu. Though not really over-priced, be prepared to pay more for the air-con, neat and tidy interior and of course the extensive menu.

Home cooked dishes, hawker's noodles, soups, all manners of desserts and beverages that come from the multi-dialect Chinese' staples. If you want a quick bite, this is the place. I recommend the noodles as it come hot and I feel that it is preparation is more consistent and most important it comes to me hot. For those who have the time to browse, they have a few shelves that stock local products from Bukit Tinggi, Bentong. It seems that Canton Village(s) are branches from the famous Foon Lock Restaurant in Bukit Tinggi.

 All manners of noodles. Good stuff and satisfying!

Pan-fried Kembong - would have like it if they at least micro-waved it before serving. But still good.
Try their soups. The signature is the papaya soup which I presumed came from the farms of Bukit Tinggi.
Desserts - everyone favourite.

113 Jalan Prima SG3/2
Taman Prima Sri Gombak
Batu Caves, Selangor
6:30am - 1:30am

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ricetaurant - Bangsar Village 2

Old favourites floated around its dining space. I mean really old. My octogenarian father would be singing these during his younger days. The high-pitched songs favoured by singers of yesteryear is a bit painful to my years. I drifted in and out of irritability. Mercifully I was saved by great companionship and later, great food.

With its grey walls, dark coloured partitions and mostly exposed ceiling, its intention was to bring the customer back to time 'immemorial'. Then furnished with wooden tables and chrome metal chairs that were obviously from the same era (why metal?), it is obvious their regime was that spartanism and utilitarianism.

I felt cold, exposed, stripped of my security and in desperate need for some comfort food. Before being sued I have to say that I am exaggerating somewhat on my physical deprivation - on second thoughts I kind of like some of these 'beautiful' tortures before being fed great food. Ricetaurant food menu was simple and was adorned with dishes of the side alleys' stalls and that of our mother's or for some, grandmother's kitchen fueled using rubber wood.
The 'torture chamber'.
Warming preserved vegetables (ham choy) soup with tofu cubes and tomatoes bits. I want my mama! Delicious beyond description. Salty, sourish and sweet. Highly recommended.
  Lemongrass chicken. A bit sophisticated for the New Village kitchen. Probably cooked by the amahs in mansions and villas. The infusion of the lemon grass was pleasant and calming. Chicken pieces were tender and well marinated.
 The white rice was of good quality. "White rice" sounds oxymoronic here as 'white' brings death while rice gives life. The curry chicken was superb. Compliments to the food designer. Spices were well balanced and not a hint of any of the spice overpowering others.
 And finally the piece de resistance. Cabbage with dace and black beans. I wanted to eat and eat and eat. Something about this dish being gloriously simple, the bland cabbage made beautiful, my palate and my emotions was titillated to the hilt.
 Then we closed the meal with a simple and unremarkable green pea desserts. Did I use 'simple'? Perhaps the simplicity brings the best out of the overstimulated urbanites, tongues heavy-laden with newly acquired flavours, that a dose of yesteryear simplicity refreshes their soul and the tongue.
2F-29, Bangsar Village 2, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 22871566

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tangkak Beef Soup Noodles - Jln Imbi

What has 9/11 to do with Tangkak Beef Soup Noodles? They have chosen this date to relocated to Jalan Mahkota in Taman Maluri. No more in Jalan Imbi. It will be a gain to the folks there. Beef noodles are not easy to come by and I like the beef here as they use only local cows! It is as fresh as it can gets.

I am not sure why I am obsess with beef noodles. Maybe too many trips to Vietnam and eating the very best of beef noodles everyday, and mind you most of them are very good! Or maybe, there are not too many shops here in KL.

Tangkak has expansive menu, generous portions (ok, just pay for it), eat till satiated kind of feeling are hard to experience for foodie who like beef noodles but just find it too spaced out for comfort. But then they still take the opportunity when nearby doing and running essential chores and errands.

Each visit to CK Music will be accompanied by food along the same row of shops. Tangkak Beef is 2 doors away and opposite Overseas Restaurant while Sakura Nasi Lemak just about a 100m walk up! Well after 9/11 it will be just Sakura and another familiar face missing from my menu as I don't get there often. But then Sakura is still a great eat!

Murky, thick soup will lots of ingredients. Simple ground red chili with some vinegar for tart. Great dipping sauce for all things beef. Tenderloin is one of the best cut and the meat lived up to my expectations. Cooked to medium (probably they just placed the meat in on the hot bowl) it should be a great meat to have but alas there was some remnant of silvery skin/membrane that reduced that enjoyment.
Another satisfying meal. Beef pieces was well cooked but breaks easily in the mouth. Beef noodles as it should be.
Another great dish. Should have ordered more. Beefy. solid and fresh!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nasi Briyani - Hyderabad Recipes at Solaris Mont Kiara

Mont Kiara here I come. Two factors conspired to moved me here lately for some entertaining and food. A good friend moved in to Sophia and my son is studying in Taylor's Sri Hartamas since June for his Cambridge A-levels.

This old friend was a makan kaki until a failed marriage. He went working on some projects overseas. We had gone food hunting in time past and one was a memorable eat 10 years ago in Ipoh where we hunted down a shop that served steam fresh water Parang fish belly. Then we were off to Kong Heng and Sin Yoong Loong. For starters, he has treated me to Nathalie's Gourmet, Haagen Dazs and Brussels. So its time to explore this area just 15 -20 mins drive from Bandar Sri Damansara.

At Hyderabad the three of us have some modest food: mutton and chicken briyani, naan and mint and masala chai tea. 'Modest' as this trio combined age is over 150 years:-) We were regaling on our past and also talked alot on networking and mentoring which is our strong points from the standpoint of our professional work. It was flowing back and forth, strong and fast so we adjourned to Haagen Dazs for more talks. Good food, desserts and company, the saintly trio of a good life!?
 Selling on history behind Hyderabad, the food better be good! Each culture has their own idiosyncrasies. One of the quirky thing about Hyderabad Recife was their meat was buried under the Briyani Rice. I find this interesting almost unassuming and humble.

 One of the best gravy for our rice and Naan.
 Fluffy, buttery Naan.
Fantastic Basmati Long Grain Rice. Double click on the picture and take a closer look. It almost look like tiny silver of anchovies. It tasted heavenly with all the spices.

Hyderabad Recipe's Sdn Bhd (Solaris Mont Kiara)
7, Jalan Solaris, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 40447786
Opening Times: Mon-Sun & PH: 1100 - 2300

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ramadan Bazaar at Bandar Sri Damansara

Admittedly, I am not one that will scoured the bazaar and night market for food and supplies. The humidity, parking and traffic are huge deterrents. But then good food esp. those off the charcoal fire and varieties of Malay food do attract me. Especially attractive are the huge pots of beef soup almost devoid of MSG, the charcoal grills churning out seafood, chicken and sate , the hot flat pans cooking the martabaks, and the not to be missed kuih-muih sweet desserts and cakes.

I don't usually go noodles as they were pre-packed and the multi-coloured drinks. Well, with food everywhere there is something for everyone even for that matter in this modest size bazaar. However, my personal favourite is at TTDI.

So what did I have for dinner? The beef soup was delicious despite the dilution was a bit more than I would like. The beef pieces were tasty and beefy but just enough for a person but not to share. There was lots of soup though. The economy is biting in really hard. As for the grill, I had stingray but sadly the piece was not fresh and the meat was soft. I will try another vendor next time round. For carbohydrates we had martabak and Fried Koay Teow with cockles.

 Chicken WIngs
 Beef Soup

 Pari, Terubok, Kembong and Cincaru.
Economy Fried Rice, Mee and Koay Teow at RM2 per portion.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Brussels Beer Cafe - Solaris Mont Kiara

We came, we saw and we carnivoured. A heavy meaty lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon is quite unthinkable. But then the company was good. We talked about bees and honey, law and courts, jokes and horses (horsing around) in no particular order.

Brussels, I was told is owned by the EuroDeli. Now that's an important connection, supply-wise. The place is spacious and in good company. Weekends will see the horde coming for their urbanise pre-disposition for the protein-fix in large quantities. Good thing this place has a free supply of greens, really fresh. Even their corns-off-the cob were looking succulent and it is crunchy to bite. What more can one ask for? Four branches. Check out their website

This was a big portion of Roast Knuckle. There is a half order for smaller eaters or those who could not marshal enough people. Wonder how their split the bone? The rind was crackly, salted and baked to almost 100% dry. No oil was used. The meat was tender obviously this dish is not pre-cooked/half-cooked. There is no tough side or exterior. The flavouring is more continental than local and we have a gravy boat to dip the pieces into. Lovely!
The bone was standing to attention and was later 'ta pau' for one "lucky?" Golden Retriever.
Porky Burger. A thick slab of minced meat and a few slices of bacon.

Pork Chops was a bit dry. Not recommended and meat has a texture that was rough and slightly tough.
Pork Stew and Rice.
Roast Pork with mustard and mayonnaise!
Free flow....
Address: 2, Jalan Solaris, Mont Kiara
Tel: 03 62052999
Mob: 012 3548663