Tag / hartamas
A couple years ago when the topic of coffee came up, I believe it was probably David, an avid coffee drinker of mine who mentioned the name Podgy and the Banker as one of his favorite places for a good cuppa, and thanks to that rather unique name for a cafe, it stuck to me.
Fast forward to last week, we decided to give it a try. If a cafe manage to stay in business more than a couple years, it is usually at least more than decent.
podgy and the banker, sri hartamas
Podgy and the Banker is located at Sri Hartamas, the opposite side across from the much busier Desa Sri Hartamas. As a result, parking never takes more than 10 seconds to locate, and therefore the morning is never ruined from having to go round & round for 10 minutes prior to getting a spot (I’m looking at you, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar)
The cafe itself can be a bit tricky to locate though, from the front it looks almost like an office (or bank?), but if you were to look from the side you won’t miss it.
Haze & I both really enjoyed the latte here
First up, the coffee.
We both had latte and agreed that they were absolutely on point. Strong aroma, and really smooth steamed milk, no super fancy presentation or anything as such but such a really well prepared cup of coffee. Really one of the better latte I’ve tried.
poached egg with beef bacon
My choice of brunch was poached egg with bacon (RM 16). Presentation was quite minimalist but the two eggs were perfectly poached, only proper bacon would elevate this dish but the beef version did its job just fine here.
scrambled eggs with salmon, lemon meringue cake
The wife went for scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (RM 15), another simple yet properly prepared dish that received no complain from her. We complete the brunch by sharing a lemon meringue cake (RM 14) together, which turned out to be quite a lovely dessert.
I foresee us going back there again one of these days.
Podgy and the Banker
2, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.157306, 101.650839
Hours: 9am to 11pm, closed on Tuesday
Right after participating as a guest speaker at “A Food Biz Workshop” a week ago where I found out that some 80% food business fails within the first two years of operation, I got to attend an event hosted by one that represents the other extreme end – the Martell Pure Gourmet event by the brand that has been in existence since 1715.
Yeap, that’s just a year shy of 300, with perhaps one of the oldest single product, the Martell VSOP being in the market since 1831.
Martell is celebrating 300 years anniversary in 2015
While last year’s dinner was hosted at JW Marriott, Martell chose the Grand Imperial Chinese restaurant at Hartamas Shopping Centre for this year’s annual Pure Gourmet. I was very delighted and honoured to be invited to this year’s dinner again after having had a very good experience last year.
I was surprised that Malaysia actually happened to be the 2nd largest market in the world for Martell after China, and I guess this is partly due to the way we consume cognac, which, fortunately or not, was in full display during the dinner with many happily cheering each other “Happy Birthday to You” while emptying their glasses as the night went on.
P/S: It wasn’t anyone’s birthday, but we had a lot of fun.
Sze Chuan jelly fish with thousand layer pig ear & deep fried scallop
Anyway, pure gourmet is about the blend of exquisite ingredients, skills, and passion in the creation of inspiring dishes, as with how each bottle of Martell cognac is created, so lets get on with the dinner.
We started out with chilled Sze Chuan jelly fish with thousand layer pig ear accompanied deep fried scallop wrapped with German vermicelli rice noodle. A pretty descriptive dish and one that has several characters all rolled into one.
The jelly fish and pigs ear with the softer texture and a more complex taste, and deep fried scallop an explosion of seafood sweetness beneath the the crispy and rawer tasting vermicelli. This was paired with Martell V.S.O.P.
baked king prawn with cheese, paired with Martell Cordon Bleu
Next up was a relatively unpretentious baked water king prawn with cheese to go with the very recognizable Martell Cordon Bleu, perhaps the gold standard of cognac.
The execution of the prawn was on the dot, I really dug into the head and savour the juices out of this. Though this is probably the only dish I could come close to replicating at home, it was also one of my favorites.
deep fried air flown Japanese Ayor fish with lemon
Third dish of the night was deep fried air flown Japanese Ayor fish with lemon (also known as Ayu fish).
Found in the rivers and lakes around Hokkaido, this fresh water fish is famous for the sweetness of its flesh, which was brought out to its fullest potential when paired with Martell Cordon Bleu.
pan fried lamb cutlet with chef’s special sauce, paired with Martell XO
Following the fish, we had the pan fried lamb cutlet with Chef’s special sauce to go with Martell XO.
Perhaps I was more accustomed to Western style of lamb cutlet preparation, it took a while to appreciate the more traditional Chinese preparation method of the red meat that is inherently more cooked. In this instance, the sauce takes center stage with the meat playing supporting role.
braised spaghetti w/ sliced abalone, black truffle & mushroom, Martell Chanteloup Perspective
Last dish before dessert was the braised spaghetti with sliced abalone, black truffle and mushroom. The hint of black truffle went well with abalone, and the fine angel hair spaghetti was the right choice to soak up the flavour. We just wished that it was a whole abalone instead (who doesn’t?).
The aroma and elegance of Martell Chanteloup Perspective complimented the dish perfectly.
Grand Imperial special dessert paired with Martell Creation Grand Extra
Finally, we end the dinner with a host of three desserts prepared by Grand Imperial and had the pleasure to pair them with Martell Creation Grand Extra, the silky smooth and yet very powerful tasting cognac. A unique taste to end a pretty unique and special dinner.
and we were cheering to each other “happy birthday to you”.. yes, it’s a “trend”
A big thank you to Siew Kheng for the invitation, and hopefully we’ll have the privilege to be a part of this again next year!
Lot F33 – F35, First Floor,
Hartamas Shopping Centre
No. 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.163480, 101.656136
Tel: 03-6201 9777
Many eons ago (actually just a few decades), Hong Kong wasn’t exactly as developed as it is now. Among the settlers, traders, and foreign administrations, there were a group of people whom took home on boats. They were the boat people, and whenever the weather does not agree, they would seek shelter at Causeway Bay.
The boat people had a subculture all to themselves, living by the sea, when it comes to food, their speciality were undoubtedly seafood.
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab, now at Hartamas
Fast forward to 21st century, Causeway Bay is now a heavily developed area, but the subculture continues. A local businessman went over to Hong Kong, partnering with the original boat people and started the Causeway Bay Spicy Crab restaurant at Jaffe Road in Causeway Bay.
Building on the success of the restaurant in HK, the local owner now brought the restaurant back home. So now we have our very own Causeway Bay Spicy Crab right here at Hartamas, KL.
signature dish – Garlic and Chili Crab
A couple weeks ago I was invited by one of the partners to have dinner at this very restaurant. Together with Haze, Gareth, Kim, Suanie, and Horng, we headed over to Hartamas with, I must say, quite a high expectation.
We left the task of ordering to the restaurant manager, and some 20 minutes later, our first dish came – Garlic and Chili Crab (RM 68/80), their signature dish. The gigantic crab’s covered with almost one whole pound of garlic with a bit of chili for that spicy kick. The crab was delicious, and the fried garlic positively addictive!
crab porridge, chicken gristle, garlic and chili crab
The rest of the dish came within a couple minutes of the first one, I’ve always hate it when restaurants take their sweet time serving between dishes, no such problem here.
The crab porridge (RM 68/80) was another winner. The huge crab and porridge were cooked to order so you really get the sweetness of the seafood well seeped into the congee. I think it’s big enough to feed at least 2-3 people.
Then there’s the chicken gristle, a definite must-order non-seafood item here. The texture of the chicken cartilage and the little chunk of meat/skin was perfect, this dish reminds me of the chicken gristle I had at Sumi-ka in the form of yakitori.
duck tongue, steamed tofu, squid with salted egg, frogs in XO sauce
The “exotic” dish we had came in the form of a plate of duck tongue. The dish must have caused a whole classroom of dumb ducks. Tho I’m usually a huge fan of the strange and exotic dishes, this one did not impress me. It was my first time having duck tongue too, and while I didn’t find it gross or anything like that, it was just a little too soft and blunt in taste.
I did like the steamed tofu, stuffed with chunks of scallops, prawns, and other seafood, it provided balance to the other stronger tasting dishes.
condiments, Horng & Suanie, Kimberly and Gareth, KY and Haze
Just like the garlic in their signature dish, Causeway Bay Crab does not spare the usage of salted egg in their salted egg squid. The excess salted egg covered every square inch of the squid and then some. It was another dish that we love.
Then there’s the frogs in XO sauce, Kim’s favorite. Really fresh tasting frog with generous amount of garlic, XO sauce, and peas to give it a bit of a crunchy texture, it was easily one of the better frog dishes I’ve had. I prefer it over the usual kam heong method of preparation.
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
Towards the end of the night, we were mixing garlic, salted egg, and the condiments from XO frogs and consuming them as is. These wasn’t exactly the healthiest way of eating but we just couldn’t help it.
While Causeway Bay Spicy Crab isn’t the cheapest places to dine at, but if you are looking for quality seafood and some huge Sabah crabs, you can’t go wrong at this place. The dishes were mostly excellent (with the questionable duck tongue, but it might be just me), a great ambiance, and on top of that, a slightly overly cold air conditioning too.
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
26 & 26-1 Jalan 30/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16347, 101.64898
Tel: 03-6205 2280
After having some porky goodness at Jarrod & Rowlins Hartamas, we decided browse the neighboring DVD store. I was happily browsing, and suddenly my friend stopped me from walking so that I don’t step onto iSulk on the floor there..
i wanna go home!
According to the mother, this kid was just too tired to walk and hence decided to just lay down on the carpet sulking. Interestingly, other member of their family didn’t quite give a crap about this big baby.
a close up on the sulking baby
What do you think would have happened if you pull such a stunt when you were young?
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