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Kame Sushi is one of the first Japanese restaurants in KL to offer omakase style dining. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, omakase simply means “a meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef”, so basically you tell the chef what you don’t eat, or allergic to, and the restaurant decides the rest.

Kame Sushi, Sri Hartamas
Kame Sushi, Sri Hartamas

So in essence, you never really know what you’re going to get. In a good omakase restaurant, the chef usually decides on the menu based on what’s in season, and what he or she deemed the best they can offer based on the price, availability, and the skill set of those in the kitchen.

We first go to know about Kame from Cheesie, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that Haze and I decide to head there for her birthday dinner.

fresh imported sashimi
fresh imported sashimi

Since we had the meal was some half a year ago, name and exact ingredients in the dishes have became a bit fuzzy. In this post I could only describe what I remember from looking at these pictures, but better late than never, right?

Our course was priced at RM 350 per person, it was the 2nd most expensive from the menu at the time.

second course
second course

The dinner consists of mainly top grade seafood selections, starting with some of the best sashimi cuts. The oyster was fresh, sweet, and alluring. There were also tuna otoro (fatty tuna), yellow tail, snow crab, amaebi (sweet shrimp), hotate (scallop), and uni (sea urchin).

Then came the grilled items with more seafood and mushroom wrapped with wagyu beef, simple yet exquisite.

warm dish, light battered fried fish
warm dish, light battered fried fish

Stewed dish and a lightly battered deep fried fish dish came next, and frankly the exact name of the seafood content escaped my mind. They were done just right and quite delightful even if not entirely special.

tuna belly , ume, ikura on rice
tuna belly , uni, ikura on sushi rice

Our main dish came in the form of minced tuna belly, ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin), and hand grated wasabi on sushi rice. As a chirashi sushi lover, this was rather delightful. This rice dish was very rich and did its job as a highlight to the evening.

natto beans, Japanese pear
natto beans, Japanese pear

Dessert came in a couple slices of Japanese pear. They were as good as any Japanese fruits – soft, sweet, and fresh.

Ultimately though, at RM 350++, this omakase dinner was good, but in today’s level of competition with the likes of Oribe, SOU Omakase, and Sushi Azabu, you may find similar or even better value hunting around.

map to Kame Sushi, Sri Hartamas

Address:
Kame Sushi
20, Jalan 31/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162555, 101.648655
Tel
03-2858 7739tel:03-2858 7739

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, 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)

Podgy and the Banker for breakfast, perfect poached eggs, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and lemon meringue. The latte’s really on point. . #kyeats #breakfast #latte #poachedegg #hartamas #podgybanker

A post shared by KY (@kyspeaks) on

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
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.

egg benedict with beef bacon
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
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.

map to Podgy and the Banker

Address:
Podgy and the Banker
2, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8,
Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.157306, 101.650839
Hours: 9am to 11pm, closed on Tuesday
Webwww.podgyandthebanker.com

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
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
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
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 airflown  Japanese Ayor fish with lemon
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
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 with sliced abalone, black truffle n mushroom, Martell Chanteloup Perspective
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
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"
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!

map to Hartamas Shopping Centre

Address:
Grand Imperial
Lot F33 – F35, First Floor,
Hartamas Shopping Centre
No. 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.163480, 101.656136
Tel03-6201 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 at Hartamas
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.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas
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
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
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
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
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.

map to Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas

Address:
Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
銅鑼灣辣蟹莊
26 & 26-1 Jalan 30/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16347, 101.64898
Tel: 03-6205 2280

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab

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..

Sulking baby
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.

Sulking 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?