When I was growing up, burger was roadside Ramly stalls, with chicken or beef patty, fried egg wrapped the meat, a slice of cheese perhaps, couple slices of tomato, shredded cabbage, all drenched in excessive chili sauce and mayo. And for those who wants it a bit more “atas”, you’d go to TGI Fridays or maybe even Hard Rock cafe and pretend to have a bigger bank account than your neighbor (there’s also McD but it’s not relevant here).
Spade’s Burger, Subang Jaya SS15
The burger scene in Malaysia has gone through a wave of expansion several years ago. Starting from those charcoal buns from MyBurgerLab and reaching a peak where you’d find a fancy burger outlet at every hipster joint all across the country, offering their own interpretation of how this American invention should look & taste like.
Alas, like every hype food that came and go, it eventually settled down to a plateau with a few brands that continue to thrive. One of such brands is Spade’s Burger, founded back in 2013 from my home town in Penang.
In fact, I was first told about Spade’s Burger by my brother quite a while ago, and finally managed to give it a try a couple weeks ago at their outlet in Subang Jaya.
Spade’s Burger offers a choice of pork, chicken, or beef as your choice of meat, there’s also salmon & mushroom options for those of you who prefer not to eat anything that can scream.
We went for the more traditional option of Dark Knight with pork, and BBJ with beef. These burgers are priced from RM 10.90 all the way to RM 17.50, you can also combo it up with unlimited refill for drinks and certain sides, we opted for fried bacon strips, salted egg fish skin, and mushroom wedges.
BBJ, Dark Knight, fish skin, mushroom, bacon fries
The pork patty here was so good it legit makes an almost indistinguishable replacement for those who does not eat beef, both types of meat were very juicy and full of flavor. I really enjoyed the bacon bits and cheese crisp in Dark Knight, and thought that BBJ, while very good in itself, was perhaps s tad too sweet for my liking. Overall though, they were both way above average and certainly satisfying.
As for the sides, fish skin and mushroom wedges were on point, while those fried bacon strips were too thin and contained too much breading to allow the natural flavor of bacon to shin, a bit of a shame really.
Will be back to sample more of their other offerings, will miss the bacon fries next time.
This is my version of bacon French toast, one that led me to buy a loaf of bread after not having any for more than two months since the start of MCO (movement controlled operation) thanks to Covid-19 pandemic (this description may come helpful years later).
There are many French toasts recipes, this one is mine.
2 pieces of bread
2 tablespoon of butter
2-3 pieces of bacon
1 piece of cheese
put the egg in a bowl, beat & mix with butter
pan fry bacon
when you have enough oil released from bacon, fry bread after dipping in egg+butter
My traveling buddy while at Macao is someone whose diet consists of a heavy dosage of avocado, so after a great many days of subjecting herself to the local diet which has none of this “butter fruit” (as locals call it), we embarked in a mission to find one.
Which is how I ended up at Cafe TOFF.
TOFF is situated just a stone’s throw away from Lou Lim Ioc Garden, a public garden with a beautiful lotus lake that’s worthy of visit. If you’re there and have visited enough churches, why not?
The restaurant, like many other in Macau, is pretty diminutive in size, capable of serving perhaps two dozen customers snugly at any one time. Lucky for us, it was quite empty at 1pm or so on a Monday.
cozy interior inside TOFF
The menu though, is rather comprehensive (see below). They have a decent selection of espresso based coffee from latte, long black, to mocha, and even Marnier mocha, which comes with alcohol. Each cup costs between 28 to 50 MOP.
There’s also a selection of tea if that’s what you fancy.
breakfasts with coffee
As for food, there’s a dozen different types of salad and sandwiches, some with interesting ingredients like parma ham, squid and shrimp, Okinawa pork slices, or even shrimps and avocado. They’re priced between 50 to 68 MOP.
For our brunch, we went with the Big Breakfast (118 MOP) and Toff Veggie Breakfast (108 MOP), each comes with a black coffee or latte, and a selection of different ingredients to choose from.
TOFF Veggie Breakfast & TOFF All Day Breakfast
Overall the food were pretty competent, and coffee did tastes like any good coffee would. It is a Western breakfast that would make it pretty much anywhere, except when it’s in Macau, you do pay Macau prices. Cute place though, certainly would not mind visiting again
A couple weeks ago I was invited to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA to sample what they have to offer. Now first things first, Taman SEA is not SEAPARK. The former is right between Taman Megah and Damasara Jaya, while the latter is closer to Taman Paramount in PJ.
Slight difference, but getting from one side of LDP to the other can be quite an exercise in patience during rush hour, you don’t want that.
Getting to Mr. Wolf can be slightly tricky, as where you can see the restaurant isn’t where you can navigate to it. Follow the GPS and throw your logic aside, you will get there.
Update 30/6/2017: This place is closed
Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)
To understand the type of cuisine served at Mr. Wolf is to understand the main man behind this restaurant – Chef Bryan Tan.
Chef Bryan served at the kitchen of Cilantro, crafted the menu at The Point KL, and had quite an extensive experience cooking in Australia prior embarking on his own restaurant at Mr. Wolf. The background certainly shows up in his cuisine, a play of modern cooking without the constraint of the taboo in using ingredients as well as cooking methods from both East & West. The dirty word for this is “fusion”, but Chef Bryan calls it modern cuisine.
I think the word fusion has an unfair and unfortunate reputation, without those who push the boundary of what is acceptable, culinary art will always look at the past and not the future. I applaud the courage of those who brave the new frontier.
While those chefs may not get everything 100% right, when they do, you stand a chance to taste something like never before.
jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict
Mr. Wolf has a cozy bar upstairs and a restaurant on the ground level, today we’re going to talk about the restaurant, which started serving brunch on Friday thru Sunday, so let’s start with a few brunch dishes.
There’s a few egg benedict dishes, and boy do they make it right. We tried two – Jamon serrano benedict (RM 28), came with cured Spanish ham (white pig), English muffins, poached eggs and mentaiko hollandaise, while the streaky bacon benedict (RM 22) basically has the same ingredients but substituting ham with bacon. The poached eggs were done right, and the mentaiko hollandaise sauce definitely works, either would make excellent breakfast with some coffee.
Mr. Wolf’s Pibig breakfast (RM 32) – with tonkatsu pull pork on toast, poached eggs, pork sausage, streaky bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled tomato and salad, hollandaise sauce is quite a meal and perfect for those with a bigger appetite. Here again, a touch of Japanese influence is found on the tonkatsu style pull pork, which gives it that bit of extra sophistication.
deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns
Having a bar upstairs obviously means they have bar food that goes really well with cold beer.
The deep fried baby crabs, school prawns with chili lime dressing (RM 15) was something I wish comes in a bag like you’d get chips. The batter is light (ala tempura style), and the seafood crunchy and delicious. Sorta reminds me of those Thai baby crab snacks, but better.
Tiger Beer battered soft shell crab buns with kimchi mayo and caramelized onion (RM 12 per bun) was something of a surprise. The dish didn’t look particularly exciting, but it was like a mini burger that’s unlike any other. It’s basically just some really soft buns with really crispy and perfectly seasoned soft shell crab, I can’t come up with fancy descriptions, everyone loved it.
crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops
For seafood dishes, we tried the crispy skin salmon, edamame, somen and mentaiko sauce, seaweed and salmon roe (RM 34). Another dish taken from the inspiration across the continents and one laden with one of my favorite ingredients – mentaiko. It is rather rich and would suit those who loves strong tasting dishes.
Pan fried Hokkaido scallops (RM 42) came with cauliflower pureer, avruga puree, aojiso truffle dressing, French bean and quinoa. A combination that would satisfy any scallop lovers, and the truffle dressing does give it an additional edge.
sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken
Going slightly more conservatively, there’s the slow roasted chicken (RM 34), with tomato jam, black fungi and beanshoot salad, fried quinoa, grilled baby corn, curry leaf infused buttermilk sauce. The chicken (I suspect sous vide) was tender, and overall it felt like a really healthy dish. Other dish for your gym rat friends.
The sous vide pork loin (RM 32) with sautee mushroom, kimchi vegetable, soft boiled eggs, corriander jus, on the other hand, is almost but not entirely like a dry version of tau eu bak. I was looking for those fat layers, but I suppose it too is more fitting for those who likes to be a bit on the “healthier” side.
braised char siew pork belly, donuts
Our final main dish was the braised char siew pork belly (RM 34), with crispy pork hock, nahm prik, pickled papaya and cucumber salad. This was something that I found myself enjoying quite a bit, it tasted abit like a cross between dry bak kut teh & char siu, with a nice layer of glistering fat to boot. I found msyelf wanting to have some rice with these actually, it was good!
We concluded the night by having the nutella & salted caramel donut. I don’t see this in the menu but do ask about it from the good chef.
Over all Mr. Wolf easily beat my expectations on what they came up with. You don’t need to go to the likes of Bangsar, KL, or Mont Kiara for fancy modern food, Mr. Wolf has them right here in PJ, and for very reasonable prices as well.