Tag / bistro
One little perk being a food blogger is that every once in a while, I get to sample the lifestyle of the slightly more privileged. Last Wednesday was one of such occasions, I was invited to a dinner at Opus Bistro hosted by Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard Malaysia.
While having attended a few of their Friday wine lunch series, this was the first time I attended such event for dinner. Lunch with wine is always a bit of a compromise between how much one can eat, the weather, and the level of influence you are comfortable with while the sun is still out. No such restraints for dinner, which was what made this event even better.
Opus Bistro with Montana wine
Opus Bistro is located at Jalan Bangkung, a part of Bangsar (actually Bukit Bandaraya) that doesn’t challenge your sanity when it comes to looking for parking space. The restaurant is simple yet posh, an ambiance fit for the cuisine it serves.
While waiting for 7:30 pm dinner to start by our standard Malaysian lag time, we indulged ourselves with some asparagus smoked salmon roullade canape (a fancy way to say rolled up food) and Montana Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2007. I wans’t complaining, it was a good start to the evening, my taste buds agreed.
homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce, sauvignon blanc & pinot noir
scampi lettuce green cappucino in tomato broth, raw tuna carpaccio with caviar
By the time our first dish, the lovely scampi in tomato broth is served, it was already 8:30pm. Malaysian timing does not spare anyone. While the scampi isn’t exactly lobster, it did not disappoint, I especially love the savory broth.
Next up was the marinated albacore raw tuna carpaccio that comes complete with caviar, soy chili, and aragula (rocket salad). I tasted a hint of truffle oil in the marinate, and the tuna was fresh, smooth, and tasted awesome. I was more than happy when Suan gave me most of her portion since she doesn’t exactly eat raw fish.
Those two dishes were paired with Montana Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, white wine with seafood, never goes wrong.
The homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce didn’t taste too wild, the walnut did not stand out either, but the truffle oil, ahh, that really gives this dish a very distinct class. I loved it. We had the Montana Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 with it.
marinated wagyu skewer, Montana terraces pinot noir 2007
fillet of carribbean red snapper with poached scallop , cheese platter and fruits
The forth dish was fillet of caribbean red snapper with caramelized port sauce accompanied by poached scallop. I thought the fish was alright but not particularly special, perhaps overshadowed by the previous dishes. The scallop was fresh and sweet though.
We switched to Montana Terraces Pinot Noir 2007 for the next dish, the marinated wagyu (marbling no. 7) skewer. Using wagyu beef of this quality on a skewer is perhaps a bit of a luxury, but none of us complained. I could have easily consume another portion if it was presented to me.
Finally, we had cheese platter with fresh fruits to conclude dinner. Aged cheddar, goat, gorgonzola, and my favorite – brie. We switched Montana Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2008, the sweeter green grapes compliments the cheese well, we were well satisfied.
Sue Lynn, Suanie, KY
This event cost RM 150 per person, with the excellent foods at Opus and free flow Montana wines, I’d say it is quite a good deal. I met Sue Lynn of bangsarbabe for the first time, and had the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces I haven’t seen since last Friday Wine Lunch. It was a lovely evening.
I need me some grapes now!
67, Jalan Bangkong
59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2092 4288
Blackberry is really taking off now. As of today I have 46 contacts on BBM itself with Horng being the latest addition to the gang. Xpax was the first to offer blackberry services to prepaid users, and now the pioneer just got better with Big Freekin’ Sale.
Activate BB 250 everyday from Monday to Friday, and you get to enjoy free blackberry access all weekends. Now isn’t that a great deal? This offer lasts till the end of March, 2010. Don’t miss out!
BU Centrepoint is one of our favorite places to meet up, partly due to the free parking after office hours and weekends, and mostly due to the dictatorial behavior by Suanie, who stays close enough she could get there on foot if she wants to.
On the very first day of the year, we started off with a great get-together brunch at Champs in BU Centrepoint. (and went to Hulu Langat Thai Fish Farm for dinner on the very same day too)
pork: checked, beer: checked, alfresco: checked, hot waitress: checked
Located on the first floor of the older section of Centrepoint, Champs had been around for quite a long time. The menu at this restaurant ranges from the popular local hawker foods such as hokkien mee and pork noodle to slightly more westernized dishes like spring chicken and fried calamari.
It is quite unique, you don’t get too many bistros with LCD TVs, air conditioned, while serving beer and soya sauce pork at the same time. (Incidentally, Bernard’s Bistro located at downstairs is more of the same, owners are related)
the very sinful tau eu bak (soya sauce pork)
Almost without fail, every time I go to Champs, I order the tau eu bak (soya sauce pork). This is the quintessential traditional Hokkien dish that my mom used to cook on special occasions back in Penang, and I’ve always loved it to the max. Thank goodness I’ve been able to find a good bowl of tau eu bak here at Champs (another place would be Poeny Garden in Kota Damansara).
The two most important thing on a bowl of good tau eu bak are the texture of the pork, and the sambal belacan. Champs got both of these right, the pork very tender and had the right amount of fat vs lean meat ratio; the sambal belacan was just the classic red chili + belacan + lime mixture, I really love the sambal.
the signature Prawn Mee (hokkien mee) at Champs
For most people, Champs is synonymous with their Prawn mee (or Hokkien mee if you’re from Northern Malaysia). Though the price seems quite a bit steeper than those you get from hawker centers, they are quite a big difference in the bowl.
Crispy shallots, kang kung, generous amount of pork, bean sprouts, and that super huge prawn soaked in a soup base that is as good as you can get from anywhere. Of course, the ambiance at Champs beat pretty much any kopitiam too.
fire pork balls, calamari fritters, spring chicken, crispy pork belly
There’s also quite a good selection of finger foods at Champs that goes especially well with beer. Fire pork balls and crispy pork belly are quite essential if you are swine lovers, and though they aren’t exactly easy on the wallet, they certainly tasted very good. However, I thought the spicy calamari fritters were just ordinary, it’s probably not something I would order again.
While the group basically ordered either tau eu bak or the prawn mee, kerol got herself the spring chicken. To our collective amazement, it was the WHOLE chicken! It must have been a long spring season too as the bird didn’t exactly look very small. She did say that the chicken was good, just too big a portion though.
Kim, Horng, Suan, Kerol, KY, Gareth, Jac, Eric, Terence, Rachel
Other than the dishes we ordered, Champs is also quite well known for their Hokkien Mee, Char Kueh Teow, pork noodle, and other local delights prepared with high quality ingredients.
It was a very satisfying lunch session that lasted more than a couple hours at the end. Even though it is not exactly cheap to dine here, Champs will remain one of those places that I visit every once in a while.
Lot F10, 1st Floor, Centrepoint,
Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.137988, 101.610124
Tel: 03-7722 5800
Every once in a blue moon, I get to be invited to sample a restaurant, this is one such occasions. Brian (Thanks!) from All dat Jazz contacted me via email and told me about Groove Junction, I immediately agreed to the free food. I had initially thought that there would just be myself and a couple of other friends I bring a long, but it turned out to be a bigger occasion with Riz, masak-masak, and Lemongrass there as well. This is also the first time I met the friendly bunch.
note: the restaurant is no longer here 17/3/2011.
nice place, good food, bloggers at work
Groove Junction is actually a rather new place that has been in operation for only a couple of months. The Bistro and Cafe sat right on top of Karma in Sri Hartamas, just a stone’s throw away from the ProJet petrol station. The ambiance of the place is very nice, slightly darker compared to normal restaurants, but fits perfectly with the stage up front where live bands play Jazz nightly. A very relaxing and rather classy setting, perfect for bringing your special ones there.
Ellena’s Lamb Steak, Sonny Rollins (chicken), Billie Holiday (fish), Dexter Cordon (chicken corddn blue)
But when it comes down to it, the most important thing for a restaurant is still the food, so how does Groove Junction fair?
Since this was a food tasting session, we actually got to try quite a number of dishes from their extensive menu. Starting off with Yam Nam glass noodle and a piece of mushroom bruschetta as appetizer. These two items actually made me even hungrier than I had started out, they were actually very good, the glass noodle was spicy and has a tangy taste, while the creamy mushroom bruschetta offers contrasting texture and taste that fits perfectly.
lamb curry with toasted bread, and some desserts
For the main dishes, we sampled a total of six dishes. A (Ellena’s) lamb steak that is one of their best sellers, the really excellent chicken with orange seasoning wrapping some asparagus that they call Sonny Rollins, Dexter Cordon (Chicken Cordon Blue), pan fried sole fish named Billie Holiday, and Beef Panne – the grilled beef prepared with herb sauce. Of these 5 dishes, I like Sonny Rollins and the beef the most, but the other three were very good too, it’s just a tragedy not having a big enough stomach to eat more than a few bites from each dish.
Being a Bistro, Groove Junction offers some finger food as well. We had the Chickalina’s, marinated chicken in black sauce, and the lamb curry with toasted bread. These stuff will go down very well with some beer.
And as if there was any space in my stomach, we had desserts. The Roll Morton (hot banana “pohpiah” with ice cream) was actually very addictive with its contrasting temperature and texture, Riz ended up having like 3 or 4 of those. The cheese cake and tiramisu were reported to be very good by the ladies, but I just couldn’t fit another bite by then.
The price of food at Groove Junction is pretty much in line with any restaurant of its class. Finger foods at around RM 15 and main dishes from RM 20+ to RM 30+. Considering the great atmosphere and the accompanying fabulous live Jazz, this place offers pretty good value for some really good food. I’ll return as a paying customer for sure.
1-1, Jalan 22A/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
GPS: 3.162777, 101.652557
tel: 03-6201 8990