Category / Eats
June 19, 2013
It’s been a while since I last had a buffet dinner, and almost one year ago since I had my last eat-all-you-can dinner with Shah, so when Saujana Hotel asked for a review their Flavours of Sri Lanka promotion at Suria Cafe, I took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Suria Cafe at The Saujana Hotel
For those who are unfamiliar with The Saujana Hotel, it is located close to the old Subang Airport. The hotel has a beautiful 18 hole golf course right next to it that provides lush green views from most of its rooms and restaurants, including Suria Cafe.
Unlike most hotels in the city, parking space’s ample at The Saujana, and they are free. The only downside is that traffic along Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance during rush hours due to the LRT extension constructions lately. Something that might not be a problem anymore when you read this.
prawn baduma, lamb black pepper curry,
cashew and drumstick meat mitikirata, chicken red curry
From the 17 June to 27 June 2013, you can get a taste of Sri Lanka at Suria Cafe as the hotel brought three of the best chefs from Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo to provide their expertise in Sri Lankan cuisine.
Executive sous chef, Chef Clifford, senior sous chef, Chef Wijesiri, and chef Chandana lend a hand at the kitchen of Suria Cafe are the three Lankan-teers at work for this period. The two sous chefs combined to have over 60 years of cooking experience, so you know you’re not getting your food from any amateurs of the industry.
traditional festive yellow rice, beef curry, fish stew, Sri Lankan desserts
While this was the first time I had proper Sri Lankan food, it really did not taste unfamiliar. So far as ingredients and cooking method is concerned, it shows pretty big influence from South Indian cuisine due to geographical proximity and common colonial history.
Festive yellow rice looks similar to briyani but tastes a lot more subtle in flavor due to the lack of meat, it does however, go very well with stronger tasting dishes such as prawn baduma, black pepper lamb curry, or chicken red curry.
chicken and vegetable kottu, plain hoppers with lunu miris
While many of the dishes has some heat in it, they are generally not overly spicy for those who are already well versed with Malaysian food. One of the noted dish that I find quite unique was the cashew with drumstick curry, drumstick here is the seed pods for Moringa oleifera and not your favorite piece of chicken meat. Soft cashew and the distinct taste of spices brought a new experience to my taste buds.
whole lot of other selections on the buffet bar too
Chicken and vegetable kottu is a dish that looks pretty similar to the Nyonya “jiuhu char” but instead of cuttle fish and mengkuang you have shredded roti, vegetables, and chicken. It was pretty good.
My favorite dishes of the evening was the Sri Lankan hoppers, something that looks like our Indian Apom but comes with “lunu miris” – mixed of chili flakes, red onions, sea salt, lime juice, etc. It was like a spicy version of apom/pancake thingy that I wish I could get for breakfast by the streets. You can have hoppers with an egg in the middle as well.
the men behind the food on top, KY & Shah were only there to eat
In addition to Sri Lankan dishes, the buffet spread at Suria Cafe still includes many of the local favorites and some international dishes such as bread, cheese, apple crumble, soup, cakes, and more.
Flavours of Sri Lanka ends 27th June 2013 and priced at RM 90++ for buffet dinner, RM 70++ for buffet lunch.
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
GPS: 3.108849, 101.578474
Tel: 03-7843 1234
June 17, 2013
Nothing beats a dish of lor mai kai (glutinous chicken rice) when you want quick and wholesome breakfast on a work week. It is something that requires less than a minute to be served, and usually fills up the stomach pretty good. You can also have it tapao and even eat it on the go without much fuss.
lor mai kai and otak otak, an unlikely breakfast combination
Then there’s otak-otak, or to be more specific, the Penang style otak-otak. Perhaps it is because I am from Penang, I prefer this over all form of otak-otak. It is fragrant, soft, and very easy to eat. The combination of fish, egg, coconut milk, and betel leaves works in harmony in this dish to create a taste that is unmistakeably Nyonya in its origin. I love it.
the same stall also sell pau, bak chang, and nyonya kuih
Yong Len kopitiam at TTDI happens to have a stall that offers both these two dishes at the same time in the morning, and both are some of the bests I’ve tried from anywhere. The lor mai kai comparable with the one at Redang Island which we love, and the otak otak is as good as any I had in Penang.
The two items added up to around RM 7 or so, and you can also find one of the best Penang prawn mee at the same kopitiam too.
While breakfast is served pretty fast at Yong Len, I usually end up chatting with the prawn mee’s boss for extended period of time. He’s a fellow bike enthusiast and we talk about bike news and such, always a good start to the morning.
Restaurant Yong Len
Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1
(opposite Perodua showroom)
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.141630, 101.629243
Hours: Morning and Lunch, Closed on Mondays
June 14, 2013
I love me some good steaks, and while we have plenty of awesome affordable good foods in Malaysia, steak isn’t exactly one of them. Good steaks are often rather expensive, and the cheaper ones usually left me thinking if I should have been chewing my shoes instead. Hence, we don’t end up having steaks nearly as often as we want to.
My last steak dinner was at Las Vacas at Kelana Jaya, a restaurant with minimal frill and good steak, and it was also where I found out about El Fresco at Jaya Grocer from Lance & Enoch (hello neighbour!) from feedbacks on facebook and Instagram
El Fresco at Jaya Grocer, pick your meat
El Fresco is located at Subang Empire Mall’s Jaya Grocer, and yes, a restaurant within the big grocery store where the tables and seats are arranged pretty close to isles where you find racks of .. well, groceries.
The concept is simple, go to the meat section (or fish if you want to have salmon steak, for example) and pick your steak, then proceed to El Fresco’s counter and hand the meat over and have them cook it. There is no cooking charge for anything over RM 20, and just like Air Asia, if you want extras, you can always add on (salad, mixed vegetable, fries etc)
Angus tenderloin, one with salad, the other with mixed vegetables
Standard cut for steak is usually at around 250-300 gram here, and prices stated at the butchery is by the kilogram. We chose Angus tenderloin (mid-high in price, RM 189/KG) and each slab cost us just under RM 42.00.
In a way, you can go expensive, or you can go much cheaper as well. Lamb rack at RM 85.90/KG, and beef anywhere from RM 99/KG to RM 359/KG for some Wagyu with good marble ratings.
I like mine medium rare, and they executed it perfectly
I had my Angus tenderloin medium rare with mixed vegetable, and Haze ordered hers prepared rare with salad. While wait time was a little long (25 minutes) when we were there, it actually wasn’t too bad, you can even walk around and shop a little bit in the mean time.
The steak came out excellent and I really liked my steak pure as is and without any sauce or extra seasoning. The meat tender and juicy, and for under RM 50? An awesome value.
The pizzas & salmon steaks from El Fresco looks good too, and I have a feeling we will be back there pretty soon.
Jaya Grocer, Empire Shopping Gallery
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
June 12, 2013
When it comes to fish head noodles, I’m often pretty conflicted. I mean, I love my seafood, but at the same time I am not one who likes to mess around with fish bones in a soupy dish. Sometimes it’s just too much trouble.
The perfect solution? Fish head noodle style but with deep fried fish fillet instead. This is one of the options you can get at Restaurant 6868 at Taman Kobena, Cheras.
Restaurant 6868, a very Chinese kinda name
Restaurant 6868 resides in one of the older shop lots at a relatively quiet part of Cheras. The two shop houses have seen better days, but the premise is rather cozy and hygiene standard is decent.
The menu is written on the wall, you can choose from “normal” Chinese Carp fish head noodle, Ma Yau fish head noodle, “4 Kingdom”, yin yeong, fish paste, and more. Prices are from RM 7 to RM 16 each bowl, a small bowl of Chinese Carp fish head noodle cheapest, and big portion of Ma Yau at the other end of price spectrum.
instead of fish head, we chose “ma yau” fish filets, fried suikao too
I had a small bowl of Ma Yau fish fillet noodle (RM 10) without the evaporated milk. It came with 3 chunks of pretty good size fillets. They were deep fried and fragrant, but what made it so much better was the sambal belacan that came with the fish, it was spicy and very addictive! I think I had about 3 extra servings of those belacan.
the sambal was most excellent
The version with evaporated milk were very good too, if you’re the type of prefers it that way. Big portion with Ma Yau fish costs RM 16 but you get 5 pieces of fillet instead of 3. I think we’ve decided that ordering big with less noodle might be the way to go next time.
We also ordered some deep fried suikao (RM 1.80 each) for sharing and they were of good quality and packed with ingredients as well. You can have these with the accompanying chili sauce, but I prefer to down em with even more sambal.
I shall go come back here and perhaps try their fish maw soup next time.
No. 12, 14, Jalan 5/92B,
Taman Kobena, 56100
Cheras Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.11670, 101.73008
Tel: 016-215 3667, 03-9281 1889
Hours: Mon-Wed-Fri (8 am to 11 pm), Tue-Thu-Sat (8 am to 6 pm), Sun (7 am to 5 pm)
June 9, 2013
Several weeks ago I was invited to a wine tasting event by Cape Mentelle at Neo Tamarind in KL. This was my second time to Neo Tamarind and my very first time trying Cape Mentelle wines. The invitation promises a great night of food and drinks, and delivered them magnificently.
Cape Mentelle wine and food pairing at Neo Tamarind, KL
Cape Mentelle is one of Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries, and pioneered many of the region’s wine styles. The brand is a benchmark for the quality of wines from Margaret River, or in short, if you aren’t exactly well versed in wines but want to make sure you get something that’s appropriate for gifts for a party, this would be a good choice.
For the night, we were presented five wines from Cape Mentelle’s collections – Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012, Chardonnay 2011, Cabernet Merlot 2010, Shiraz 2011, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 in that order.
prior to dinner, finger foods & Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
We started off with Sauvignon Blanc Semillon as apéritif and there were several canapes to go around. Black ink risotto with salmon roe, deep fried crisp calamari cajun, spicy sauce Angus beef, tataki with chili roasted rice, and tomato bruschetta. I think I had 2-3 servings of those Angus beef.
The Semillon was sweet and proved to be fitting as the first wine for the night.
steamed white cod with coconut herbs reduction, Chardonnay 2012
Unknowingly, I seated myself right next to the viticulturist of Cape Mentelle himself – Ashley Wood. His job is to ensure that Cape Mentelle grows quality grapes which directly affects the production of the wines. This requires extensive knowledge of soil type, diseases, pests, when to harvest grapes and more. Not exactly your backyard grape grower.
Our first of the four-course dish was the steamed white code with coconut herbs reduction, paired with Chardonnay. This was an easy pairing, citrusy and well balanced wine contrasts well with the coconut based sauce of the craft-fully prepared fish. I enjoyed this, and oh, the skin of the cod is faced down and was my favorite part of the dish.
roasted chicken with garlic bulb, Cabernet Merlot 2010
Next up was roasted chicken served with garlic bulb, whipped potato, apple sauce & chicken jus. Cabernet Merlot was the wine of choice to go with the poultry.
The wine was plenty fruity and carries a hint of red fruits, aniseed and tobacco bouquet. The chicken was perfectly prepared, smooth and smoky, and that garlic bulb was easy one of my favorite part of the entire dinner. It was just excellent execution that brought out the flavor of garlic without any of its harsh characteristics. I managed to convinced Eiling to eat almost half her portion even though she normally wouldn’t touch it.
The one other place I know which serves garlic bulb this way is the old school ramen shop at Wisma Central by the name of Tenka Daiichi.
roast duck breast with red cabbage puree & mustard sauce, Shiraz 2011
Duct breast is one of my favorite ingredients ever, and while the roast duck breast with red cabbage pureer & mustard sauce here looks excellent, the meat itself was a slight disappointment. I think a combination of having a very thick cut and slight under cooking contributed to the chewiness of the red meat. Good potential, and quite easily fixed though.
Shiraz is one of my favorite red wines, and the version at Cape Mentelle did not disappoint at all. The peppery and spicy palate has good depth and carries a rich nose of pepper and aniseed with berries. With this, I somehow finished the duck breast anyway.
grilled beef tenderloin with Eryngii mushroom, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
The fourth course was the grilled beef tenderloin with Ergyngii mushroom, scallion oil & beef jus. Medium rare and plenty juicy, the beef was a welcoming redemption after the disappointing duck breast, even though if I were to be critical, it was just a tad slightly overcooked.
Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied us for this last dish, a full bodied wine with good complexity, with black fruits, subtle flavours of chocolate, plum and aniseed and hint of oak on the palate. A very fine ending.
with Eiling and Wei Zhi, the dessert
No course dinner shall end without dessert, and so we had green tea crème brulee as the final dish.
This was also probably the last food review session that Eiling and I are sharing before she makes a permanent move to Belgium. Interestingly, she is also the one of my first “blog friends” when we met for the first time and went to Peony Garden 5 years ago (unfortunately that place has since closed down).
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
GPS: 3.15292, 101.70829
Tel: 03-2148 3200
Hours: lunch and dinner daily except Monday