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Category / TTDI

If there’s a Japanese food I have to choose to go with cold beer, there’ll be no doubt in my mind that it has to be yakitori, so when I got the invitation to review the offering at Torii at TTDI thanks to Kirin Ichiban, I was obviously more than happy to oblige.

After all, a premium Japanese beer with one of the higher end yakitori restaurants, you’d be foolish to not do it.

Kirin Ichiban promotion at Torii, TTDI
Kirin Ichiban promotion at Torii, TTDI

The reason we were here was to try the pairing of Kirin Ichiban with the dishes. Kirin is made with 100% malt, and brewed with an innovative “First Press” method by extracting the malt liquid from only the first press. Perhaps a little bit like “extra virgin olive oil” (I may be a bit off here), this is what contributes to the smoothness and premium taste.

At Torii, there’s also a promotion going on every Wednesday and Thursday night, with a glass of Kirin going for only RM 10.

veal chunk, squid tentacles, and crispy cheese beef yakitori
veal chunk, squid tentacles, and crispy cheese beef yakitori

The restaurant is located at the inner, slightly quieter part of TTDI that isn’t plagued with crazy parking problems like some of the busier areas a couple minutes away. It is simple, elegant, and exude a very classy, fine dining feel without having a menu that is, I think, quite accessible to many of us.

broiled lobster chowder, bonded unagi & foie gras, upper thigh
broiled lobster chowder, bonded unagi & foie gras, upper thigh

Like its name suggests, yakitori is the speciality here at Torii. We tried wings (RM 8.90), squid tentacles (RM 10.90), sweet potato (RM 5.90), upper thigh (RM 6.90), rock lobster (RM 11.90), crispy cheese beef (RM 12.90), and veal chunk (RM 15.90). None of these disappoint, but if I have to pick, upper thigh, rock lobster, and cheese beef would be those you should try.

If you’re having these with beer, the chef will usually make the yakitori just a tad saltier, which really enhances the tasting experience, and Kirin with it’s crisp and refreshing taste provides excellent contrast to the strong tasting yakitori.

If you like something soupy, go for the broiled lobster chowder with crab croutons (RM 18.90) that also prepared with porcini mushroom, shallot, and olive oil. I’d love to have this on rainy days.

triple peaks - toro, unagi, and amoebi sushi
triple peaks – uni, amoebi, toro sushi

Perhaps surprisingly, cold beer goes rather well as a stand-in for green tea when paired with sushi. The triple peaks (RM 26.90) is a plate of three premium sushi with uni (sea urchin), amoebi (sweet shrimp), and toro (tuna belly). For under RM 30 this is not only awesome, but also provides very good value for the ingredients provided.

Then there’s Autumn risotto (RM 27.90), a deceptively simple dish with crab claw, egg yolk & asparagus. Beautifully presented and equally satisfying in the taste department. This dish would  not disappoint any Italian food connoisseur.

wings, avocado de la mer, sweet potato, green tea creme brulee, nutella gyoza
wings, avocado de la mer, sweet potato, green tea creme brulee, nutella gyoza

Other dishes we sampled include the bonded unagi & foie gras (RM 29.90), kampachi uni jalapeno (RM 34.90), and avocado de la mar (RM 19.90). These aren’t exactly yakitori nor are they strictly traditional Japanese dishes, but they went so well with Kirin and left us wanting for more even as our stomach was filling up to the brim.

Of course, no fine dining meal is complete without desserts. For this we had green tea creme brulee with white chocolate lavender ice cream (RM 24.90) and nutella gyoza with chocolate ganache & whisky raisin ice cream (RM 24.90). I like the creativity in nutella gyoza, and while the desserts may not stand out as much as their yakitori and other delicacies, they were certainly more than decent.

Yen & hubby, KY & Haze enjoying some awesome food and Kirin Ichiban
Yen & hubby, KY & Haze enjoying some awesome food and Kirin Ichiban

If you love yakitori, a fan of beer, or just generally love some good food in fine dining environment without breaking the bank, this is definitely one of the places worth checking out.

Also get more information on Kirin Ichiban at their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/kirinmalaysia

Torii at TTDI map

Address:
18, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148787, 101.629781
Tel03-7733 9309

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
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
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.

Address:
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

Peruvian food isn’t exactly one of the more popular foreign cuisines in Malaysia. Prior to visiting Peruvie Peruvian Grilled Chicken at TTDI, my previous experience in this brand of food consists of the lone visit to the Peruvian Gastronomy Week at Ritz Carlton.

Peruvie at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
Peruvie at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

The restaurant took over the bulk of the premise previously occupied by Penang Village at Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, which is conveniently located behind Maybank and Hong Leong Bank at TTDI. Parking isn’t usually a painful affair.

Inside, a small open kitchen sits at the corner. The interior is decorated with many quirky cultural artifacts that I presume have something to do with the South American country one of my colleagues came from.

grilled chicken with two sides, not the most original idea but it works
grilled chicken with two sides, not the most original idea but it works

The menu is pretty similar to those you find at Nando’s. Ala carte 1/4, 1/2, or whole chicken (RM 9.90, RM 18.90, RM 36.90), and chicken with 2 side lines (RM 15.90 for 1/4, RM 24.90 for 1/2).

The sides to choose from includes fries, corn coconut rice, garden vege, coleslaw, potato salad, butter sweet corn, tomato & cucumber salad, and fresh salad.

Other than grilled chicken and sides, there are several extra dishes you can order here. Chicken soup, sausage, chicken salad, and burritos are among those items, we didn’t try any of those though.

love the sauce at Peruvie
love the sauce at Peruvie

The grilled chicken took probably 15-20 mins to get ready, and I assume this is because they only started cooking when you order. I find the taste of chicken and its marinate to be not entirely different from satey, which to me, is a good thing. The meat were tender and skin flavorful with a strong hint of spices, but it isn’t spicy.

There isn’t any complains from me when it comes to the sides either, though I’d love to have more variety of potatoes to choose from since that is supposed to be a hallmark of Peruvian cuisine. I’m quite sure Peruvie is one of these places where I don’t mind visiting again, so if you’re into some grilled chicken that isn’t Nando’s or Kenny Rogers, this is a place to check out.

map to Peruvie at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

Address:
Peruvie Peruvian Grilled Chicken
1, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.153722, 101.622639
Tel03-7725 7223
Webwww.facebook.com/Peruvie

Thai cuisine is one of the most well established foreign food in Malaysia, this is probably due to Thailand being a neighbour to Peninsular Malaysia and that King Rama V was really great at promoting his country’s cuisine to the world.

The Thai cuisine we have here in Malaysia is usually influenced from Southern Thailand, with places such as Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, and so forth has a sizable Muslim population, what we get here too is often the pork free version of Thai food.

Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI
Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI

There is however, a current welcoming trend of some newer Thai restaurants that serve the whole range of traditional Thai cuisines, including some of the pork dishes that aren’t familiar in Chinese cuisine. Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI is one of these places.

kailan ikan masin, various pork dishes, tomyam
kailan ikan masin, various pork dishes, tomyam

Surisit Thai Kopitiam is located at TTDI’s Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, behind the row of shops that has a Maybank, Tom Dick and Harry’s/Hoofed, and Sid’s Pub.

While parking situation outside those pubs are often hard to come by, I’m happy it isn’t the case outside Surisit. We never had to park further than 20-30 meters away.

Decoration of the restaurant is basic, but they do have air conditioning for your comfort. Tables are covered in thick transparent plastic, with clean basic cutlery and some old school bowls/plates. It is pretty true to the “kopitiam” name.

Horng enjoying some fried fish cake, green curry (pork/chicken)
Horng enjoying some fried fish cake, green curry (pork/chicken)

We’ve been to Surisit quite a few times for dinner. The only “problem” with this place is the lack of flexibility in their portion of food. There’s only one size for everything. Which basically means that for a group of 4-6 person this place is awesome, but going there as a couple might limit your choices of food somewhat.

The tomyam (RM 29.90) comes with either prawn, seafood or chicken and you get to pick between clear soup or the more familiar type with chili paste. Both are equally yummy and absolutely ass cracking spicy. Never miss the tomyam here.

you deserve desserts! tub tim krub (red ruby) and mango sticky rice
you deserve desserts! tub tim krub (red ruby) and mango sticky rice

Deep fried chicken wings with lemongrass (RM 14.90) is a tasty Thai interpretation of the familiar fried chicken wing dish, familiar yet different. Green curry (RM 19.90) comes with your choice of pork/chicken/beef/prawns/duck and they cook it with chunks of melons as well as basil, green chili, and coconut milk. Thick and flavorful, we love it.

Crispy pork knuckle (RM 24.90), pork with shrimp paste (RM 16.90), minced pork with basil (RM 14.90) are among the few pork dishes I’ve tried, and so far they were spot on and did not disappoint. Other dishes in the rather extensive menu includes chicken, seafood, soup, and even vegetarian choices. There are also individual rice and noodle dishes as well.

Kerol, KY, Haze, Johnny, Yuki
Kerol, KY, Haze, Johnny, Yuki

Of course, every Thai meal should end with some sweet desserts. I almost always order the tap tim krub (red ruby, RM 6.90) here while Yuki can’t stop herself from getting the mango sticky rice (RM 9.90). Other dessert choices are honey sea coconut with palm fruit and caramelized tapioca with coconut milk (RM 6.90).

We usually end up spending around RM 30 per person, and while not exactly kopitiam prices, you do get quality tasty food here, which is why it is one of our favorite Thai restaurants right now.

Other Thai restaurants that serve pork includes New Yew SangI’m Spicy and My Elephant in PJ, and Ghee Seng Thai Food in Penang.

map to Surisit Thai Kopitiam at Taman Tun

Address:
Surisit Thai Kopitiam
17 Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15456, 101.62258
Tel03-7710 0173
Hours: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily

Surisit Thai Kopitiam

A few weeks ago my buddy Terence called up and then passed the phone to Colin, and I was invited to a food tasting session.

At first I thought it was for TDH (Tom Dick and Harry’s), the popular watering hole at TTDI, but when I reached there with a hungry stomach a couple weeks ago, it turned out to be the restaurant right upstairs of TDH – Hoofed.

interior of Hoofed is tastefully done
interior of Hoofed is tastefully done

To be honest, I hadn’t know there’s a restaurant above TDH despite the numerous visits there. I guess it doesn’t help that one rarely gets to leave TDH with very clear vision at the end of the night.

Hoofed is a tastefully decorated restaurant, with an ambiance that rivals many a five star hotels. I particularly love the old school subway style ceiling (Colin had to personally put them on one by one).

Hoofed at TTDI food review session
Hoofed at TTDI food review session

In order to maximize the number of dishes we get to try, Hoofed prepared the dishes in small doses. I thought this is a pretty good way of handling food review, much better than having a bunch of people splitting several dishes and everyone ended up having to fight for the good stuff.

The night started with a plate of pretty interesting duck salad that comes with duck breast, century egg, 7/8 boiled egg, and fresh  vegetable in vinegrete dressing. A refreshing taste that I haven’t had before, it was pretty good actually.

Hoofed prides itself in serving pork dishes, and they have suckling pig too! (whole piglet at RM 170). I was given a portion, and it was really as good as they come.

roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork
roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork

Other pork dishes I tried when I went there again for a little xmas gift exchange session last week were the really awesome roast pork, pork ribs, and pasta with fried roast pork.

I’m hesitant to say that it is the best roast pork I’ve had, but it is tough to rate it any lower than the one at Wong Kee, Pudu. They are essentially different, the version here is softer and goes well with mustard, while Wong Kee’s roast pork has a crunchier skin and fatty midsection but slightly tougher meat. They’re equally good in their own way.

Same can’t be said about the pork ribs I ordered though, while it was tender and juicy, I thought it was a tad too sweet for my liking, that kinda masked out the savory part of the meat a little.

Those who had the pasta with roast pork though, swore by it. I didn’t manage to steal some from Winnie, but boy it sure looked good.

lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin
lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin

Since I didn’t bring the bigger camera for the session, these two collages were actually hand-me-down photos from Hoofed.

The lamb shank is best enjoyed by two person as Horng ordered and couldn’t really finished it all by himself. Haze had the tenderloin steak that turned out to be slightly more cooked that she would have liked it.

I had the grilled fish during the review session and it was very good though.

dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork
dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork

To me, the most surprisingly dish at Hoofed has gotta be the fried rice. Though this place doesn’t really concentrate on a particular cuisine, fried rice seems to be an unlikely entry in their menu, and it is a damn fine plate of fried rice at that. This, and the pasta with roast pork, should be the must-try dish at Hoofed.

I’ve only tried the brownie with ice cream as far as dessert is concerned. It was good, but to be frank I’m not a big dessert person and would almost always stuff myself with more roast pork instead.

xmas gift exchange with TDH gang
xmas gift exchange with TDH gang

To be frank, not everything at Hoofed is spot on. I love all the pork dishes with the exception of ribs, the fried rice and fish were pretty awesome too. Some of the other dishes however, are still a work in progress, but I am sure with Colin’s attention to detail and constant communication with diners, they will improve in time.

Dishes at Hoofed is priced at a tad above average, but the ambiance and the right dishes do make up for it.

map to hoofed at ttdi

Address:
Hoofed
No 18A, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14,
TTDI 60000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.15455, 101.62289
Tel: 03-7728-8567