When I first received the invitation for Gin Rik Sha, I must admit that from the name itself I’d have never guessed what this place is all about.
Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara
Well, as briefed to us, the name Gin Rik Sha actually derived from the “pulled rickshaw” in Japanese, which does not really explain what they serve here and how it is all related, but it is definitely a fun quirky name that I’ll remember.
a drink after a long day’s work
As it turned out, this restaurant at Plaza Damansara specialized in something that isn’t very common around Klang Valley – modern Indian cuisine with a bit of fusion touch, as well as a fully equipped bar serving wine, whisky, spirits, and even cocktails.
how do you like your cocktails?
Started the evening with cocktail, I wanted something sour and was recommended to go with Amma’s Potion made with gin, coriander leaf, lime juice, and cucumber syrup, a good refreshing start to the evening.
My second was Whisky Cha, a play of whisky, masala herbs, and sour which was a tad more sophisticated compared to the refreshing note of the first.
If you’re not a cocktail person, there’s plenty of other drinks to choose from, alcoholic or otherwise (see menu below)
chili chicken is great as bar snack
If you like something with a bit of a kick to start, Chili Chicken certainly fits the bill. This is Gin Rik Sha’s interpretation to the classic popcorn chicken but one that is quite high on the spicy meter. Juicy inside, crispy out while being spicy and aromatic, I love it, a perfect bar snack to go with beer, or cocktail in this case.
kerala shrimp, wrap it up
Kerala shrimp is a classic Indian dish of spicy tamarind flavored shrimp with roasted coconut, and in this case served with toasted chapati instead of rice, which turned out to be quite a good combination. The sauce carried a kick and complimented the seafood well without being overpowering.
banana leaf baked sea bass
If you like fish, check out the Banana Leaf Baked Sea Bass – banana leaf wrapped with fresh aromatic sea bass and basmathi rice and served with brinjal sambal.
This dish is certainly a full meal, love the long grain rice and I wish there’s more brinjal sambal to go with! The fish was prepared properly and not overcooked, a good execution in this case. If this could be tapao as lunch I’d be a happy man.
Other interesting dishes on the menu includes spiced cauliflower rice, vegetable lasagna, chicken briyani, and even rack of lamb. There’s a good variety of modern and traditional classic to choose from.
hello Sammi! kulfi with caramelized bananas, carrot halwa filo pastry samosa
In the dessert department, their menu isn’t exactly very comprehensive. We did try the Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas and Carrot Halwa Filo Pastry Samosa with Black Pepper Ice Cream as the sweet endings to the night. I enjoyed the samosa and pepper ice cream, and thought the kulfi was perhaps ordinary and not having a lot to write home about.
Overall this was certainly an interesting visit, a place fit for after-work wind down or a proper meal with friends. The menu and combination is bolder than most, and I for one welcome more innovations in culinary offerings in KL.
When it comes to places to wind down and have a glass of alcoholic beverages or two, we are certainly spoiled for choices in Klang Valley. However, if you are looking for a comfortable spot with a good selection of wine and proper food, suddenly there aren’t many choices anymore. For those around Kuchai Lama area, however, there’s C Chateau Cafe and Wine Bar.
C Chateau wine bar at Kuchai Lama
C Chateau Wine Bar is situated at the row of shops facing Dynasty Garden Condominium at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, with usually a better parking situation compared to the rest of the commercial area.
selection of wine at C Chateau wine bar
Inside, the restaurant is tastefully decorated and carries a good selection of wine both from old and new worlds at a reasonable price point. Additionally, there is also an in-house bartender who shakes up your favorite cocktails for those who prefer your drink to be a little fancier. This is however, not a yumseng beer place.
On Saturdays, there will also be a live band singing at a small stage set up by the side of the restaurant, giving the place that extra soothing ambiance.
white, red wine, butterfly cocktail, gin & tonic
For our visit, we tried a glass of their red & white wine as well as a butterfly cocktail and a classic gin & tonic, both concocted up by the friendly bartender, a friend whom I’ve known since before the turn of the millennium via this little old computer program called IRC that some of you old farts might remember.
Interestingly though we only manage to meet up in real life earlier this year, and yes I can vouch for her cocktail making skills.
iberico short ribs, baked portobello mushroom
While drinks and mood are pretty good at C Chateau, what about food?
Well, for that they have a relatively small but sufficient menu created by a young chef who has a pretty creative touch in his dishes.
We sampled four different dishes for the two of us, starting with the Fantastic Iberian, slow Iberico short ribs with special spices rub, and burnt lime. The dish was well cooked with meat easily peeled off the bone, while just a tad salty and strongly seasoned if you eat it as it, it was perfect to go with wine for sure.
New Zealand lamb rack, Vietnamese spring roll tempura
Another meat dish we had was Rack and Ruin – or pan seared New Zealand lamb rack served with infused Chinese wine risotto. I thought the risotto was rather interesting, utilizing Chinese wine to add a different dimension to the rice that was prepared al-dente style. It was quite a unique taste that I find myself gravitates towards.
Our favorite though was the Vietnamese Spring Roll Tempura, a mix of sweet corn with spring roll ingredients and a prawn tempura wrapped in Vietnamese spring roll sheet resulted in an explosion of freshness and crunchy delight. You should absolutely try this.
wine, dinner, and dessert of homemade cheese cake
Last but not least, Bello Mello, or baked portobello with tomato salsa and pickled onion, should satisfy anyone who loves mushroom.
While they don’t exactly have a proper dessert menu, the homemade cheesecake we had at C Chateau was quite delightful.
Overall this is certainly a competent restaurant and a wine bar with pretty good ambiance worthy of checking out, especially for those who wants to have a relaxing evening enjoying some tasteful alcohol without hearing the constant “YUM SENG” from your neighboring tables.
A few weeks ago I was invited to have a little food tasting session at Holiday Inn‘s bar and restaurant by the name of The Mix.
Prior to this occasion, I’ve only been to Holiday Inn to pick up my brother in law, who stayed there a few times. The hotel’s official name is Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, though it is actually situated at Glenmarie, Shah Alam, over a dozen kilometers away from the KL/Selangor border. Then again, KLIA isn’t in KL, so why not?
The Mix, at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, Glenmarie
One of the good things about hotels in areas like this is that there’s always plenty of parking, and more often than not, they’re outdoor and free. A short walk to the far side of the hotel you’ll find The Mix, a pub with a well stocked bar and a full kitchen.
Our mission was to sample some of their dishes, though we did have a few drinks just for good measures.
The Mix is pork free, but like most hotel premises that also serve alcohol, it is not strictly halal.
We started out with a waikiki salad (RM 22) and stuffed mushroom (RM 25). The salad came with chunks of ahi tuna, tobikko roe and mizkan ponzu which makes for good refreshing start.
Stuffed mushroom has cream cheese, cannellini beans, walnut, and olive. A dish that’s probably best consumed while warm. I didn’t find it particularly great after waiting for too many pictures to be taken by too many people after. Oh well.
Osso Buco style lamb shank (RM 50) marks the first of many main dishes we tried. There’s shallot risotto, spinach, and rocket salad as well. The lamb shank was tender and tastes pretty good as well. If you’re a small eater, sharing is advisable.
lemon grass lamb, one of my favorites of the night
One of my favorite dishes of the night was the lemon grass lamb (RM 45) that could probably use a more exotic name. The dish came with brown rice and pumpkin curry accompanying three pieces of lamb cutlet that were perfectly seared. Seasoning for the dish was perfect, and I just couldn’t get enough of the pumpkin curry, was so good!
At RM 45, this dish provides pretty good value as well.
balsamic glazed short ribs, ryu (black cod), beef negimaki
Balsamic glazed short ribs (RM 50) came with butter-braised garlic, onions, zucchini and beans. It was pretty decent but I secretly wished that it was pork ribs instead.
Ryu (RM 55) is what’s in the menu entry for fried black cod with shitake and eryngii mushroom, as well as boiled potato and vegetable. Cod can never go wrong, and this version did not disappoint either, though serving size isn’t nearly as generous as the lamb dishes.
Beef negimaki (RM 25) is the chef’s interpretation of east meets west. The beef drenched in dashi soya sauce, then all rolled up with some asparagus. A side of curious looking tempura accompany the red meat. A pretty interesting attempt, but one that may need a bit of refinement, I find the beef a tad too tough, and the tempura not matching real well.
coconut chicken strip, Gerard Bertrand merlot, 2 De Quase pizza
Coconut chicken strip (RM 15) though, makes for excellent beer food. The poultry coated with coconut before being deep fried and served with honey soya dipping. It was quite a treat!
The Mix served quite a selection of pizza, and we tried “2 De Quase” (RM 30) – a combination of half masala chicken with spicy red sauce, mozzarella cheese topped with cilantro and garlic prawns with herbs. I’d say the combination works pretty well, we enjoyed the pizza.
masala pasta, Jivara indulgence, raspberry Rhubard almond crumble
For pasta lovers, there are also a few selections to choose from. Our masala pasta (RM 35) would please those who likes pasta with a kick, again, a dish best consumed warm.
For desserts, there’s raspberry rhubard almond crumble (RM 30) and Jivara indulgence (RM 30), a rich chocolate fudge sponge layered with salty crusty bites and topped with milk chocolate peanut cream mousse. I have to say that I didn’t try them due to limited stomach space, but those who reacted positively.
The Mix’s kitchen proved to be quite capable in serving up more than decent dishes for the most part, and at good value as well. The two cocktails we tried did not disappoint either. For those who’re around the area, this place is quite a decent watering hole.
Address: The Mix Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur 1 Jalan Usahawan U1/8, Seksyen U1, 40250 Shah Alam, Selangor GPS: 3.094189, 101.577201 Tel: 03-7802 5200
A few weeks ago we were invited to sample some drinks and food at The Roof & Stratosphere in One Avenue.
I must say that I’m perhaps one of the very few people who didn’t realise that there’s such a happening place at around One Utama area. My memory of “happening” and “One Utama” was still stuck in 1997 where there were clubs blasting “Lemon Tree”. When you’re drunk and can’t remember where you park your car in the maze that is One Utama car park, you would have quite a situation. Anyway, I digressed.
The Roof at One Avenue’s top floor
The Roof is located at the top floor of One Avenue, which is located next to One Utama. With an underground car park and a pretty high speed elevator system that gets you on top rather quickly, it is rather convenient.
There are a few hang-out places at The Roof, and the one we checked out was Signature by The Hill, a restaurant with a full bar and pretty interesting menu.
Hawaii 5-0, The Fish Bowl with Deep, and Milo Ais with Haze
The cocktail menu at Signature is contemporary and playful. I tried Hawaii 5-0 (RM 40) that’s laden with Smirnoff vodka, Frangelico, organic raspberry jam all housed within a hallowed out pineapple. It was very sweet, refreshing, and easy to drink. I really liked it.
Haze tried the Milo Ais (RM 28), our local favorite breakfast chocolate drink but infused with rum, baileys, and kahlua. Rich and silky.
The other cocktails we tried at Signature were really impressive as well, perfect compliment to the food we were ordering next.
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Black Angus Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Fingers
The food menu isn’t particularly extensive, but covered all the bases.
With about 10 items to choose from, we picked pan seared foie gras (RM 48), black angus carpaccio (RM 32), caesar salad (RM 22), and chicken fingers as starters.
I liked that the foie gras was served with caramelised fig, and the carpaccio too was sliced to perfection. Chicken fingers made for perfect beer companion as well. Would love to their their salmon & maguro (tuna) tartar (RM 25) and escargot (RM 28) next time.
Wagyu ribeye, black cod, king prawns
For mains, I picked Wagyu Ribeye (RM 138) with a pretty simple presentation of baked sweet potato and sautéed seasoned vegetable. The beef has a marbling no. 7 rating. The only complain I have with this dish is that it came in a hot plate, and thin cuts don’t work particularly well with hot plates. I’d order this with normal plate instead.
Black cod (RM 50) turned out to be one of the best dishes we tried. Perfectly seared and served with braised leek & fennel topped with tomato jam, it was excellent. That perfectly prepped fish skin, I can have it all day!
King prawns (RM 55) came with creamy pasta, and I thought the presentation was particularly clever. The prawns served in a jar making it a less messy affair. Deep who had this was happy about the dish.
Other dishes to check out would be Black Angus tenderloin (RM 88), seared duck breast (RM 45), and perhaps the ultimate gourmet burger that’s priced at RM 200!
Stratosphere – where drinks are served on a helipad
After dinner, we adjourned to the Stratosphere, which is actually a helipad on top of the roof of… well, The Roof.
This was one of the bars with the best ambiance in town, with 360 degree uninterrupted view of Selangor and KL, you can see all the way to KLCC, the whole of Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, and TTDI.
There were 10 different cocktails to choose from here, and all priced at RM 40 nett. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the couple drinks I tried to be honest, and this is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve had those excellent cocktails just a couple hours prior, but the view was able to make up for it.
I think the cocktail department is something that they will be able to correct, and I certainly hope so. Regardless, it is still most definitely worth checking out.
Thank you Kim for the invitation and a great night.
Address: The Roof First Avenue, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.146684, 101.617005 Tel: 012-6910628 (Stratosphere)
Midi 57 at Jalan Bangkung is the little sister of Le Midi at Bangsar Shopping Centre, one with a more casual setting and features a little more fun going menu with entrees such as suckling pig, oven baked pizza, pot plates, a varieties of tapas, and a good selection of cocktails and wine to go with.
Midi 57 at Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar
Located at Jalan Bangkung makes parking a relatively pain free affair compared to the busier part of Bangsar, certainly a welcoming asset for those who’s had experience going round and round Telawi area in their cars.
Seatings are semi-alfresco, with a pretty big and well equipped bar spotting a few flat screen TVs for those who like to catch up with their favorite sporting events with a bit of alcohol laden drinks.
Caprese Salad with Parma Ham
On this review session, we started out with my one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes – Caprese salad with Parma Ham (RM48) that was prepared with organic tomato and buffalo mozzarella in balsamic reduction and pesto sauce. Parma ham never disappoint, and the buffalo mozzarella certainly gave it an extra kick.
This is a dish that goes well with any drink, be it wine, cocktail, or beer. Salad does a good job of substituting rock melon in this case.
Chicken Fingers in Red Wine and Rosemary Batter , Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter
Continuing with tapas, we had chicken fingers in red wine and rosemary batter (RM 18) that goes very well with draught beer , mussels and prawns in beer batter (RM 18) is another dish that is easy to consume and pairs well with sweet cocktail or any white wine, such as the Secret Berticot Sauvignon Blanc served here.
Potato & Ham Croquette, Crispy Foccacia, Porchetta Pizza
Potato & ham croquette (RM 18) with walnut crust is a surprisingly simple yet delicious treat, reminds me a little of bergedil, but more refine and certainly beat the likes of hash brown by a mile.
Crispy Foccacia (RM 15) was very light and crispy, dip in the specially prepared rosemary, garlic, and olive oil mixture releases its aroma and taste, something to be munched away and perfect for carbo loading.
We also enjoyed the Porchetta pizza (RM 29), the crust was thin and soaked with the goodness of porchetta, ie: the moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The accompanying salad was there just in case you need to freshen up your palate from those porky yumminess, though the same can be achieved with a sip of wine.
Spaghetti Carbonara and Lasagna, Midi 57 Bar Burger, Pot Plates
The spaghetti carbonara will surely be a treat for those who likes it creamy (I don’t), while lagsana (RM 28) with tomato,mozarella, basil, and parmesan turned out to be rather excellent despite being meatless. If I had to be vegetarian for any length of time, I want this.
Midi 57 bar burger (RM 28) is prepared with slow cook mince pork ,tomato, lettuce, red onion & Swiss cheese ,homemade toasted bun, and served with French fries. Unlike most pork burger that tends to be a little too dry, this version was spot on.
For those who like everything in a single dish, the chicken (RM 25) or lamb leg (RM 28) pot plates will serve you well. The avian version comes with black olives, mushroom, and rosemary sauce, while the lamb leg braised in Guinness sauce and served with Sichuan pepper and onion. Both are pretty strong tasting dishes, and perhaps a little too strong if you don’t have a glass of cold beer to wash down with.
Chocolate and Ginger Ganache, Chocolate Bomb
As for dessert, Chef Andrea Alimenti prepared chocolate and ginger ganache as well as chocolate bomb for us during the review. Both were exquisite and we certainly enjoyed them. Your mileage may vary on this though, as the type of dessert at Midi 57 changes on a weekly basis.
a good selection of cocktails and wine
Midi 57 certainly strikes the right chords when it comes to balancing food, ambiance, and pricing. I still want more of those Parma ham!
Address: Midi 57 Restaurant & Bar 57 Jalan Bangkung, Bukit Bandaraya 59100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.138232, 101.668810 Tel: 03-2095 1381 Hours: 11am-12am daily