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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / jalapeno

Some months back my desk was moved back to the main office at KLCC, which translate to more opportunity in checking out the recently revamped Avenue K that is placing more emphasis to the food seeking crowd.

One of the restaurants that always seem to have a long queue during lunch time is Fresca on the ground floor, so we decided to check it out.

Fresca Mexican Cuisine at Avenue K
Fresca Mexican Cuisine at Avenue K

The premise that houses Fresca Mexican Cuisine also has another section occupied by Dolly dimsum, I thought that’s a bit of a strange arrangement, but it seems to be working well for the restaurant.

Ambiance is great with tall and wide windows, and the segment of glass roof also add in to provide great lighting condition for the restaurant. I really like it.

tortilla chips & tapas
tortilla chips & tapas, love the jalapenos

For five of us, we started out with some tortilla chips with guagomole (RM 20), those fattening avacado sauce and freshly fried tortilla proved to be a good appetizer, though beer would really be great in this instance.

What’s Mexican cuisine without some tapas? We had Jalapeno Poppers (RM 17), Hongos Rellenos (RM 20, portobello mushroom with eggplant),  and Camarones (RM23, sauteed prawn tacos).

While they aren’t exactly “economical” in pricing, these were very good side dishes, I particularly love the jalapeno poppers with the aroma of the Mexican green pepper and the juiciness of minced beef with those crispy shell. It was great.

beef fajitas & cordero a la tamarindo (rack of lamb)
beef fajitas & cordero a la tamarindo (rack of lamb)

Like most Mexican restaurants, there are a few usual suspects when it comes to main dishes. There’s enchaladas, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, and a few other typical items in the menu. Many of these dishes come with options of chicken or beef as well.

We tried Beef Fenderloin Fajitas (RM 47) that came in sizzling hot plate, the meat was tender and juicy, with condiments that did not disappoint. However, do order some extra pita bread if you’re sharing this dish though.

Cordero a la Tamarindo, or rack of lamb (RM 63) is the highest priced item on their menu, but also one that satisfied our collective palates. The lamb was succulent and the marinade spot on.

camaraones - sauteed prawn tacos, pollo a la parrilla (grilled chicken)
camaraones – sauteed prawn tacos, pollo a la parrilla (grilled chicken)

For those seeking something slightly closer to our Asian tastes, Pollo a la Parilla (RM 34, grilled chicken) would not be a bad choice. There’s plenty of rice and the rather tasty poultry that’s marinated with their house special marinate.

Kelly, Sheng, Latha, Joyce, KY
Kelly, Sheng, Latha, Joyce, KY

Food at Fresca did not disappoint at all, though pricing is a little on the high side, but considering the ambiance, location, and quality of food you get, it is not a bad place to visit at all.

By the way, don’t waste your time with their churros (RM 15), it was a disappointment.

map of Avenue K

Address:
Fresca
Ground Floor,
Avenue K, 156, Jln Ampang,
50450 KL

GPS: 3.159210, 101.713538
Tel: 03-2201 2893

In this part of the world, we are accustomed to having chili peppers as one of the many ingredients that make up our dishes. In fact, it is one of the most important spices in the local Malay and Indian cuisine, most notably in curry dishes. The Chinese too, have curry mee, laksa, char kueh teow, and many dishes that utilize the properties of chili to give the dishes a kick.

However, do you know your Chili Peppers?

Chili Peppers: Habanero, Thai Chili, Bell Peppers, Jalapeno
Clockwise: Habanero, Thai Peppers, Bell Peppers, Jalapeño

The three most common types of chili we consume are the Thai Pepper (Chili Padi), Red Pepper (Cayenne), and Bell Pepper. Most people would correctly identify that the Thai Pepper is the hottest of the three, with Red Pepper slightly milder, and Bell Pepper not hot at all. But did you know the hotness of any particular type of pepper is rated?

Enter the Scoville scale. The idea is simple, a score of 100 in Scoville scale would mean that the extract of the pepper has to be diluted 100 times in sugar water before no hotness is detected. However, modern tests (HPLC) is a bit more technologically advanced and the human factor is removed.

Turns out, while the bell pepper has a score of 0, the red pepper is rated between 30,000 – 50,000. The Thai Pepper though, is rated 2-3 times more, at 50,000 – 100,000 on the Scoville scale. The Jalapeño found in many Mexican food is at 2,500 – 8,000, while Tabasco sauce at 2,500 – 5,000.

If you want to get a bigger kick, try the Habanero, rated 100,000 – 300,000 with the Red Savina variety up to 577,000. I once cooked a pack of Maggie noodle with one of those and ended up feeling like my lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach were burning. It didn’t feel too great going to the toilet 2 days later either.

It was an experience, I didn’t believe it was the pepper at first, and did a confirmation experiment a week later, it wasn’t exactly pleasant to confirm my findings.

You can get Habanero peppers from Cold Storage at Bangsar. I’m not sure if they are readily available anywhere else.

Tips: I find that Chili is usually milder when precipitation level is high while hotter during dryer times. This is probably due to the growth rate of plants.