Category / Ampang
March 25, 2013
Mexican cuisine isn’t one of the most popular foreign foods in Malaysia, but if you want Western style food with a dose of hotness, this is where you go. Las Carretas is probably one of the earlier establishments serving Mexican cuisine in the country, and with three branches in town, the brand is proved to be pretty popular among locals and expats as well.
Las Carretas at Ampang
This is the second post on Las Carretas on the blog, the first being a 2006 version when (I believe) they only had one branch at USJ. The chain has grown since and I thought it’ll be appropriate to pen another review since we went to the Ampang branch just a while back.
fresh oysters in different flavors
There are quite a selection of starters in the menu, but for oyster lovers, one must not miss their offerings. Have it fresh, with cheese and herbs, or salsa on top (RM 29.90 for half dozen). The shellfish were big, fresh, juicy, and absolutely mouth watering. Very decent value for what you get.
chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup
Chips and salsa is always served while you wait for food to arrived. While they’re very tasty, try not to over indulge in them to avoid stuffing your stomach too early before your main arrives.
Calamares a la Romana is the Mexican way of saying deep fried squid rings (RM 21.90), and they are served with garlic mayo dip and tartar sauce. Tastes pretty good but not exactly something you can’t get from just about anywhere.
I tried Sopa De Rabo (boneless oxtail soup, RM 11.90) and well, if there’s anything better than oxtail soup, it is making it boneless. Easy to consume, delicious and with zero hassle. I love it.
rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin
For my main dish I chose Bife Ancho, or rib-eye steak with an addition of seared foie gras (RM 92, or RM 68 without). The 45-day aged Australian grain fed beef were excellent, but the preparation of foie gras was lacking, I felt that they overcooked it a bit.
Other friends who had Pollo Loco (boneless chicken chop with black peppercorn sauce, RM 19.90) and Crusted N.Z. Lamb Rack (RM 64.90) were very happy with their choices. The lamb, served with freshly made rosemary sauce and cooked to perfection, was especially praised.
prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas
Prawn Spaghetti (RM 38.90) was served with pretty good size prawns and drenched in garlic, chili, and fajita sauce. Positively Mexican and yet something that’s easy to adapt to if you’re not used to the taste.
If you have a big appetite, Chuleton De Bistek (T-bone steak, RM 65.90) and all it’s 450 gram glory can be yours, complete with salad, ranch dressing, and steak fries. One of our team members’ go-to meal here.
Interestingly, we only really ordered one “classic” Mexican dish among the 10 of us. The beef Fajitas (RM 33.90) was served in a sizzling hot plate with plenty of warm tortilla to go around. I love their Guacamole sauce that comes with this dish.
awesome lunch with the team
It seems to me that after some 6-7 years between the last visit and this one, Las Carretas hasn’t missed a beat. Food is still generally very good (except for the foie gras), prices are reasonable for what you get, and service isn’t anything to complain about either. I should go there again, this time maybe sooner.
Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant
22 Persian Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159156, 101.746702
Tel: 03-4257 1668
December 31, 2012
A couple weeks ago we were invited to Goong Korean BBQ Restaurant at Ampang with the promise of a hearty traditional Korean meal.
The restaurant is located at the appropriately named “Little Korea” right across the road from Ampang Point, an area littered with many restaurants, with more than half of them serving Korean food.
Goong Korean restaurant at Little Korea in Ampang
The restaurant itself is located on the first floor, right on top of another restaurant that serves, you guessed it, Korean food.
The interior decoration is best described as minimalistic, or if you’re a little more direct, supremely bare. However, one does not eat tables, chairs, nor the pretty paintings on the wall, so if you’re looking for food instead of an ambiance worthy of that fine date you’re bringing, this arrangement would suffice. It was clean and comfortable.
wide selection of banchan to go around
Our foods were pre-ordered by the lady boss, Laura (despite the name, she is Korean), who also doubled as the chef.
First to come were the multitude of banchan, or small dishes that always accompany pretty much any Korean meals. This includes kimchi, seaweed, broccoli, and various other types of vegetable with chili pepper seasoning. They were generally pretty good, I like the fact that the kimchi served was quite strong and well prepared.
grilled meat, the main stay of any Korean BBQ restaurant
Since the name of the place includes the word “BBQ”, they do have classic Korean BBQ dishes in the menu.
We tried Dwaeji Galbi (grilled pork ribs, RM30) and Gochujang Samgyeopsal (Grilled Pork Loin with red hot pepper paste, RM22). The meat were well marinated and tasted pretty decent, but BBQ pork can only go so far, my favorite is still Galbi (marinated beef short ribs), but unfortunately we did not try the version from here.
The point to note is that so far as Korean BBQ pork dishes is concerned, these were more than reasonable.
hot & spicy pork and Mandu (dumpling)
The dish that intrigued us the most was the hot & spicy pork (RM 22) that, according to Laura, required tremendous patient and multitude of steps in preperation, and she also promised that it is a dish you can’t find anywhere within Klang Valley. This is as “traditional” as it gets.
True to her words, it was delicious, and doubly so if you love meat with strong flavor and good dosage of spiciness. I loved it and would not hesitate to order the same thing when I’m there again.
Mandu (dumpling, RM 20) is another home-made affair by the lady boss/chef. While homey and warm, I find the skin a tad too thick for my liking. As far as dumpling goes, I still prefer my siao long bao and sui kao.
Bulgogi jeongol (beef) and Samgyetang (ginseng chicken)
Bulgogi jeongol (beef hot pot,RM 50) is just as what you’d expect from some of the better Korean restaurants. Sweet and flavorful, goes well with a bit of Korean steamed rice and some tea.
The Samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup, RM 30) is a good comfort food perfect for those rainy nights, and one that would probably help my runny nose right now as I’m writing this article. You can also ask for the version with rice stuffed in the chicken’s cavity. This dish was actually my first Korean experience, and I still like it as much after all these years.
bibimbap, Kimchi Jeon (pancake), Kimchi Jigae
If you come alone and prefer something ultra healthy, Goong does serve bibimbap. I was never a fan of one, but this version does taste okay to me.
the Kimchi Jeon (kimchi pancake, RM 25) is, if you would, Korean pizza that tastes like a cross between pancake and pizza but with a strong flavor of kimchi. I find it easy to eat, and would love to have one delivered to my house while watching those late night NFL games.
Last but not least, Haze gave her seal of approval to the most important dish of any Korean restaurant – Kimchi Jiggae (kimchi soup, RM 17). The version here is the first one that she actually liked after we started making our own kimchi soup at home.
This one is strong, spicy, sour, and everything that you’d expect in a top quality kimchi stew. If you like it strong and don’t want to have to cook it yourself, come here, it’s cheaper than the ingredients you’d need to make an equivalent tasting pot too.
owner, daughter, and an enthusiastic Korean customer
We were also fortunate enough to be joined by one of Laura’s friend, a Korean lady who decided to teach us a Korean custom when it comes to drinking – when you empty your glass, place it over your head to indicate that you actually finished the glass.
We had a good time over the session, and Goong Korean BBQ restaurant, while not perfect, did deliver what it promised – a wholesome, hearty, traditional Korean meal. I think it is a place worth checking out for yourself.
Food menu for Gong
Japchee – Stir fried potato noodles with vegetables: RM 30
Mandu- Dumplings : RM 20.00
BBQL Gochujang Samgyeopsal: Grilled Pork Loin with red hot pepper paste: RM22
Dwaeji Galbi : Grilled Pork Ribs: RM25
Mandul Jeongo: Kimchi and Dumplings Casserole RM50/RM80
Samgyetang : Chicken Ginseng Soup : RM 30
Kimchi Jigae : Kimchi Stew : RM 17.00
Kimchi Jeon: Kimchi Pancake: RM 25.00
hot & spicy pork : RM 22
Bap: RM 5.00
Bulgogi jeongol: RM 50
November 7, 2012
Japanese cuisine is perhaps the most mature foreign cuisine in the country, from PJ to KL, Penang to Johor, you’ll find them all over the place mostly serving sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, teppanyaki, soba, ramen, and more.
This is a good thing, it creates an environment with healthy competitive spirits among Japanese restaurants. Some strives to provide cheaper prices, some a great dining experience, and others come up with creative and delicious dishes not easily found anywhere else. Fukuharu at Terrace in Ampang got it right by managing to provide two out of the three points in this “measurement”.
Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang
Nestled in a classy bungalow just off Jalan Ampang, Fukuharu Japanese restaurant is unlike most .. well, restaurants. There’s lush green lawn and even a swimming pool by the side. Inside, the dining hall is tastefully decorated. On a sunny afternoon, the hall is mainly lit by natural sun light, giving it a bright yet cozy feeling that I really like.
Together with Evelyn and Veron, I was invited by Poesy to a review session at Fukuharu over lunch, hosted by the Japanese restaurant manager, Masamichi-san.
seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi
We started out with the specialty dish of the restaurant – Tamango Mentai Sushi (RM 15). Mentai is one of my favorite ingredients of all time, and the combination with one of the simplest ingredients in tamago (grilled egg) was surprisingly awesome. The soft texture gives way to the extreme savory taste from mentai, brilliant. This is a must order.
The Seafood Korokke (RM 22) wouldn’t be a dish unfamiliar to those who has had crab cakes, except this dish was a bit creamier and has more seafood ingredients in it. I like those tiny sprouts on top and thought it gives the dish more balance. You’ll find prawns, scallops, fish, and potato in this seafood “cake”.
chef’s sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad
Chef’s Sashimi Selection (RM 38) isn’t a “big” dish for the price, but one with superior quality and a pretty interesting presentation. Instead of pure traditional style, this sashimi dish is served with truffle oil and wasabi dressing on top of some salad that’s more at home in Western restaurants. The interpretation does work very well and I love the combination of truffle oil with raw fish, wonder why it’s not done more often.
For those who wants to opt for a light healthy lunch, the Salmon Tataki Salad (RM 28) would be a good selection. Flash seared salmon with home made Caesar dressing, this salad is one that I wouldn’t mind having (in addition to other dishes tho, hehehe). I like the fact that they serve it with some ikura as well.
lamb moromisoyaki – this is super delicious!
Lamb Moromisoyaki (RM 35) was probably the first Japanese lamb dish I’ve ever tasted, and incidentally it was also one of the best dishes on the afternoon. The lamb rack marinated with mori-miso and then carefully grilled to perfection. It was glorious, the slight saltiness of mori-miso together with the savory taste from lamb was perfect, I wish the serving was bigger.
Veron even ordered a portion to take away.
unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi
For those who likes clay pot rice, unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi (RM 35 each) will give you a taste of Japanese way of preparing these dishes. Both were served with generous amount of eel or scallops. If you love the slightly burnt taste of rice, don’t over stir it (I’m sure those with experience in clay pot chicken rice knows this trick already).
black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi
Fukuharu also serves their chawan mushi (RM 12) slightly differently, a version that is a tad bigger in portion and quite a lot softer in texture. They’re also prepared fresh here, but to me, perhaps a dish that is priced a bit too high for what you get.
The black sesame cheesecake (RM 18) tho, is a combination of taste that’s new to me, and one that shouldn’t disappoint any dessert lover. I find myself enjoying this quite a bit more than I usually do with any desserts.
KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy
For ice cream lovers, you’d find black sasame, green tea, and a couple other types of ice cream around here as well. They tasted as these ice creams usually do, doesn’t disappoint, but not exactly special either.
Ultimately, Fukuharu is a Japanese restaurant that managed to carve a niche in this crowded market with the dishes they serve while being fairly competitive in pricing. I’d love to go there again.
Thanks for the invite and the ride, Poesy!
Fukuharu Japanese Restaurant
Terrace Hock Choon
241-B, Lorong Nibong
Off Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159799, 101.728717
January 4, 2012
There are quite a number of places in Klang Valley that are famous for their char siew (bbq pork), and a couple weeks ago my colleagues introduced me to another place that serves one of the best char siew in town – Restaurant Soo Kee at Jalan Ampang.
I think some day I should compile a list of the best char siew places, but until then… lets talk about this place instead.
restaurant Soo Kee is where you find awesome char siu
Restaurant Soo Kee is situated at Jalan Ampang, just right next to the flyover heading to Ampang Point. While you can’t park directly outside the shop, it’s not exactly tough to find a spot at nearby roads.
It’s an old school restaurant with even older owners, but the place is air conditioned, and pretty clean too, that’s always a plus.
intestine, salted roast duck, and the char siu (bbq pork)
For the 7 of us, we ordered the char siew, salted roast duck, intestine, deep fried spring roll, and their signature tofu dish. I think we had initially ordered a vegetable dish to go with, but canceled it somehow.
So the char siew - it was easily one of the best I’ve had. The skin was slightly charred, the meat soft, succulent, and the layer of fat almost transparent. This is what we came for, and none of us were disappointed.
Then there’s the salted roast duck, this too was a dish not to be missed. It tasted essentially like .. well, salted version of a good roast duck. I do like the extra dimension that the saltiness bring, the skin was crispy, and we devoured everything.
The intestine though, was a bit of a disappointment to me, it was a little bit too tough (perhaps overcooked?). Not bad per se, but could be nicer if it was a bit softer.
deep fried spring roll and signature tofu
Deep fried spring roll actually looked and tasted nothing like spring roll, but a lot closer to fish cake instead. However, it was a really good fish cake and something that I’d order again without a doubt.
The signature tofu is basically Japanese tofu in egg drop soup with a bit of seafood ingredients. Offers some contrasting taste to the mostly oily/fatty dishes we had, a good balance, but nothing to shout about.
KY, Debran, Sarah, Yin Foong, Angelina, Michelle & another ninja
We had an awesome Friday lunch for sure, and Soo Kee is definitely a place worth revisiting. The lunch came to something like RM 15-17 per person. Reasonable for what we had.
That Friday afternoon was spent fighting the zzz bug though. Just one of the disadvantages of having a lunch too good on working days
Restaurant Soo Kee
No. 373-1, 4th Mile,
Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158449, 101.747088
Tel: 03-4257 0767
Closed on Mondays
September 18, 2009
Back in 2008, Shiang and I had a little year long bet. The exact details aren’t important, but due to some luck and a lot of cheating, I emerged the victor. We then decided that the appropriate winning prize would be a nice dinner, and Diadomon Japanese BBQ restaurant was chosen.
Horng and Jeff were the two lucky dudes who happened to leech this meal off Shiang for absolutely zero effort, risk, and monetary contribution.
Diadomon Japanese BBQ restaurant, buffet style
Diadomon is located at Great Eastern Mall, which is in turn situated on Jalan Ampang, roughly half way between Ampang Point and KLCC. Getting there during rush hour can be a bit daunting, but with the liberal usage of the newly opened DUKE highway or our super advanced SMART tunnel (depending on where you’re from), it shouldn’t be too tough.
Parking isn’t a problem either if you are willing to part with RM2 to go into the basement. If you’re willing to spend a good chunk of money on food anyway, why not a couple bucks to park your car?
sashimi, grilled fish, prawns, and chicken.
Daidomon is one of those buffet places where you get to order the dishes, or in this case, raw and marinated ingredients so they are served fresh. However, an extensive line up of ready-to-eat dishes are available too, and of course, you don’t have to wait for those. There’s sushi roles, fried chicken, snail meat (very delicious!), edamame, kimchi, sashimi, and more.
From the ocean, we had sashimi (salmon, tuna, butterfish, mackeral), oyster and scallop (limited to one serving only), prawns, and marinated seafood. The sashimi were pretty decent, but honestly speaking not something to shout about. The grilled seafood though, were quite good, but it takes a bit of practise to get it just right.
Prawns were quite large and fresh, and I particularly love the big scallops, but too bad it was only 2 pieces per person.
ox tongue, beef sashimi, marinated beef
From the farm, we had plenty of beef with some chicken and lamb too (Jeff doesn’t eat beef). The marinated beef belly was really awesome and are ready to eat after minimal grilling time. I suggest asking for a serving of raw garlic and fry them on the grill first before starting to grill actual food, that’ll add an extra hint of aroma to the grilled food.
Ox tongue is one of my favorite part of cow to eat, and it’s great that Diadomon allows unlimited order, somewhere in an Australian farm, a deft cow hates me.
yukke sashi, KY, Shiang, Jeff, Horng
For the braver souls, Daidomon also serves several types of raw beef. The gyu sashimi (thinly sliced raw beef) is probably the easiest to swallow, while the yukke sashi (marinated beef with egg) can be a bit too much especially for a first timer. I love the gyu sashimi but to be frank, I think the yukke sashi was a bit too raw and maybe slightly too rich for my liking. It’s no wagyu tartar at Cilantro that’s for sure, but Shiang loves it.
Over all it was a very satisfying dinner that left all of us barely able to walk back to the carpark. With their ever long lasting promotion, the price came to over RM60 per person after service charge and tax. Pretty good deal if you ask me, I have no doubt this won’t be my last visit.
Check out their promotion on the website.
Lot 4, Level 3, Great Eastern Mall
No. 303, Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4252 8155