Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / lamb

For the forth article of the buka puasa buffet 2014 series, lets go to Jalan Yap Kwan Seng for a positively meaty Ramadan buffet at Las Vacas meat shop.

For those who aren’t familiar with Las Vacas, they have several branches in Klang Valley, including one at Kelana Jaya and another at Mont Kiara that even serves breakfast.

Las Vacas Meat Shop at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Las Vacas Meat Shop at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

The branch at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng is Las Vacas’ latest and biggest, so naturally it is most suited as a location to offer their buffet dinner for this fasting month. Parking is plenty and free, while the location is quite suitable for those who work in the city and decide to buka puasa before heading home.

The buffet is priced at RM100++ for adults and RM50++ for children aged 12 years and under, and served from 6.30pm – 10.00pm, 8th July 2014 to 27th July 2014.

canapes, salad, kuih, salad, and drinks
canapes, salad, kuih, salad, and drinks

If you compared to the offerings from hotels, the buffet spread here isn’t particularly impressive in terms of size, tho there are certainly enough variety to provide a more than balanced meal. However, you don’t come to Las Vacas to have 300 different dishes, you come here because of the meat.

Anyway, starting with appetizers and desserts, there a selection of canapes and salads, including smoked beef with mustadard, tuna mayo egg, teriyaki, black olive tapenade, chicken with creamy pesto, smoked turkey salad with balsamic, salad with beef strips, girlled begetables and red cabbage slaws and so forth.

There are also some traditional kuih as well.

nasi hujan panas, ayam masak merah, spaghetti with mushroom, tempura, sayur campur masak lemak putih
nasi hujan panas, ayam masak merah, spaghetti with mushroom,
tempura, sayur campur masak lemak putih

For main, you can find classics such as nasi hujan panas (the version here was very good!), nasi minyak, nasi tomato, beef rendang, ayam masak merah, ikan bakar, ayam pedas, and more.

Australian steaks, New Zealand lamb, burger patties, and sausages
Australian steaks, New Zealand lamb, burger patties, and sausages

Then, we get to the real reason why you would come to Las Vacas for buka puasa – the all-you-can-eat Australian steaks and New Zealand lamb! There’s also burger patties and sausages too if you prefer a little bit of variety.

be sure to ask for how well you want the meat to be done
be sure to ask for how well you want the meat to be done

For someone who likes my steak medium rare, I find the preparation served here slightly too cooked, perhaps it is to cater for the general public. Luckily, you can always tell the chefs to prepare the beef at your preferred “doneness” and they’ll be more than happy to comply.

Las Vacas also stock some pretty delicious French and whole grain mustard that goes very well with the meat.

Haze, Suan, Horng, & KY at Las Vacas Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
Haze, Suan, Horng, & KY at Las Vacas Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

On Friday and Saturda, there will also be traditional Malay performances to compliment your meal. As with many other places, imported dates from Middle East is available to provide a “proper” way to break fast. The restaurant also have an in-house surau for your convenience.

All other ala-carte menu item will still be available for order as usual during this period.

direction to Las Vacas meat shop, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

Las Vacas Meat Shop
No. 33, Lot 5, Ground Floor,
Wisma Winbond,
Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162898, 101.714842
Tel03-2181 5586

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone and may you have blessed Snake year ahead. Not coincidentally, Valentine’s day is also just around the corner and we had the chance to sample one of the many Valentine’s day menus around town at the Renoma Cafe Gallery at Bukit Bintang the other day.

For those of you who are looking for a romantic night out with love ones, this is a place worth considering. Read on.

Update 11/11/2015: unfortunately this place has since closed

Renoma Cafe Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang (by Jalan Delima)
Renoma Cafe Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang (by Jalan Delima)

Renoma Cafe Gallery is opened by the very same person that brought you the famous underwear (and fashion) brand, and in fact, this is the second of such cafe in the world, with the first one being at Paris.

The place serves modern Western food with a heavy influence in French cuisine. There’s a dining hall with a stage and live music on weekends, alfresco dining areas, as well as a big private dining room upstairs. Interior decoration is a bit quirky but tastefully done.

Lets get on the 4 course Valentine’s Day menu (priced at RM 388++ for two person) that includes all the dishes described below as well as two glasses of champagne.

consomme of kangaroo island marron; veloute of crustacean & stone crab
consomme of kangaroo island marron; veloute of crustacean & stone crab

The gentleman starts with Veloute of Crustacean & Stone Crab, basically a cream of shellfish with stone crab meat, blue mussel, brown clam and XO chili oil. A pretty hearty way to start out  dinner, the soup was delicious and packed with plenty of crab meat as well as shellfish. Just this alone filled up almost 1/3 of my stomach space already.

Consomme of Kangaroo Island Marron is the lady’s first dish and it’s packed boullion of seafood with grilled crayfish, blue mussel, brown clam & petit pois. Crayfish isn’t something you get very often in Malaysia, and it tasted a bit like a cross between crab and lobster. The consomme is a bit lighter in taste but not lacking in character.

surf & turf; earth & ocean
earth & ocean (top); surf & turf (bottom)

For the second dish, surf and turf is in store for the guy, while the lady enjoys a dish called earth and ocean.

Surf and turf includes medallion of medium lamb loin & rock lobster, sauteed baby spinach and smoked chili coulis. I love the lamb loin, and I think the shelled rock lobster is something that you can appreciate even just by looking at the photo. Oh, that massive scallop was excellent too!

Earth and Ocean comes with tataki maguro akami, caramelized foie gras pate, chargrilled portobello mushroom and wild berries. The tuna fish was perhaps slightly too done for my liking (but I’m nitpicking), the mushroom soft and full of flavor, and the foie gras pate did not disappoint either. We were quite impressed with the food at Renoma Cafe Gallery by this point.

black Angus tenderloin, wild caught red emperor
black Angus tenderloin, wild caught red emperor

For the main course, there’s a choice of black Angus tenderloin or wild caught red emperor.

The beef dish comes with char grilled black Angus beef tenderloin that’s prepared to your choice, pomme dauphine, duck fat baby carrot, and morel ragout. The tenderloin was top notch, with the scallops and shellfish complimenting the beef perfectly.

If the beef was good, the fish was perhaps even better. Oven baked dried sole crusted red emperor, butternut squash puree, nai pak, and salted yolk emulsion made up this dish. The photo might not look like much, but the skin of the fish was really something that you need to taste for yourself. It was crunchy and salted just nice, with the seafood not overcooked. I took a bite and wished I could have the whole dish to myself.

chocolate sunrise; strawberry sunset
chocolate sunrise; strawberry sunset

The three excellent dishes were then followed by two desserts, again one for the guy and another for the lady.

Chocolate sunrise comes with guanaja chocolate with mango lavender coulis, coffee ice cream and hazelnut crumble. I love the ice cream, but though the chocolate was pretty average, perhaps the other dishes has set too high a standard to keep up.

Strawberry sunset comes with strawberry fraiser mosse cake with passion fruit and mango coulis, raspberry sherbet and praline croustillant. Again, we enjoyed the ice cream a bit more than the other part of the dessert.

KY & Haze at Renoma Cafe Gallery
KY & Haze at Renoma Cafe Gallery

Overall, I rate Renoma Cafe Gallery pretty high based on what we were served. The place also has lively music and serves a full range of cocktail and other drinks. I’d love to return sometimes to try their other offerings.

If you have a private function, this is also a potential place to check out, but for those who’re looking for a good Valentine’s dinner, if the budget fits, this is a place to go.

Renoma Cafe Gallery KL map

Renoma Cafe Gallery
Lot 510, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.147212, 101.720814
Tel: 03-2143 9919

Suki-Ya Shabu Shabu at Pavilion has been one of the more busy restaurants located at Pavilion’s Tokyo Street ever since it’s inception a couple years ago. I’ve meant to give it a try for the longest time, but it’s always been packed, and I’ve only recently lunched there thanks to arrangements (ie: advanced booking la) by my colleagues.

Suki-Ya at Pavilion, there's almost always a queue
Suki-Ya at Pavilion, there’s almost always a queue

Suki-Ya brands itself as a restaurant that offers modern healthy choices. The outlet at Pavilion isn’t exactly big, but I like the cozy ambiance and the very clean interior.

They have an ala-carte menu on top of shabu-shabu (or Japanese steamboat), but we stuck to the basic this time and only tried the default buffet, priced at RM 29.80 per adult for a maximum of 2 hour dining period. Dinner would cost an additional RM 10. Any extra time over the 2-hr block is priced at RM 3.50 per 15 mins.

Kinda sounds like paying for parking.

there are 4 types of soup to choose from
there are 4 types of soup to choose from

Like many steamboat places, Suki-Ya offers several choices of soup – the classic shabu-shabu that is light, sukiyaki that carries a hint of sweetened soya sauce taste, miso which is a little on the saltier side, and kimchi, one that carries a bit of a kick.

We chose shabu-shabu and kimchi since you’re allowed to split the pot.

Pro tip: Always start off with milder tasting soup so as to not overwhelm your palate too early.

beef, lamb, chicken, and the "healthy bar" full of veges and more
beef, lamb, chicken, and the “healthy bar” full of veges and more

There are three choices of meat you can choose, and the waitress will happily serve as many plates of them to your table as you request. Do note that any wasted food carries additional charges though.

The chicken, beef, and lamb were all thinly sliced and served frozen. The beef only requires a quick 10 second dip to the boiling soup, while I’d advice to leave beef and chicken in for a little bit longer. They tasted pretty good with some dipping sauce.

we had a great time, thank you for lunch, HL
we had a great time, thank you for lunch, HL

The “healthy bar” offers some 30 types of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, fish balls, and even clams. These are really mainly the healthier choices – food with less fatty contents. They are somewhat less luxurious, but for less than RM 30 I think it’s plenty good value for money, and you’d likely not over eat that much.

It’s not difficult to see the success of Suki-Ya and that long queue outside the restaurant on daily basis. If you are to visit them, I’ll advice to call and book ahead.

Other than Pavilion KL, Suki-Ya branches can be found at Paradigm and Mont Kiara Mall.

map to Pavilion KL

Suki-Ya @ Tokyo Street
6.24.04, Level 6, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368
Tel03-2141 4272

Hidden at Taman Desa is a pretty special place, a little shack with the name 大众烧肉 (Japanese BBQ) that seems like it was lifted from one of those Chinese kungfu series of the 80s. A place where the protagonist grabs a few bites while casually kicks about fifteen person’s butt.

Within the small shack there were a few tall tables and benches, and around the area, more tables are available al fresco style. This Japanese BBQ place is a fair weathered restaurant, while there are some areas under the roof, capacity would be quite limited during rainy day, which unfortunately, would also be the best times to have BBQ around here.

small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining
small and quaint set up, charcoal fire, alfresco dining – perfect ambience

We were introduced to this place by Terence and Michelle (who speaks Japanese), and decided to pay a visit several weeks ago to check out what the fuss is all about.

On a weekend night, the place was fully packed. We had to wait for some half an hour before a table was available, and another 15-20 minutes before the busy waiters bother to start taking our orders.

he Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable
the Genghiskhan lamb, pork ramen, and mixed vegetable

Most items on the menu consists of raw meat, but for those who want to lace their stomach while waiting for food to be cooked, they serve 3 types of ramen (RM 10 each), and steamed rice is available at RM 3 per pop too. Kerol tried the ramen and reported that it was acceptable, if not underwhelming.

After we ordered our raw meat, a charcoal stove is set up between the two tables we were seated. Our first dish to go on the stove was Genghiskhan lamb (RM 20), which reminded me a little bit of bulgogi but with chunks of lamb instead. it was pretty tasty and went well with steamed rice, but portion was a little small.

various pork including three layer pork, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue
various pork including  pork belly, pork liver, beef short ribs, pork tongue

When our meat finally arrives, we finally realized that “small portion” is a pretty consistent issue here.

Pork belly, shoulder loin, inside leg, neck and big intestine are priced at RM 10 per plate, while tongue, throat, liver, heart, stomach, and small intestine at RM 6 per plate. The slightly bigger plate beef short ribs was RM 15.

We didn’t order steak (RM 25) or beef brisket, ribeye, tongue (RM 10 each) though, so can’t comment on the portion.

here's four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck
here’s four more other types of pork, including belly, shoulder loin, neck

The meat could take a bit of time to grill, but the result was mostly positive, with the pork belly especially superb! Those layer of pork fat in between the meat were succulent and yummy (if you don’t mess up and over cooked it lah).

I’m pretty partial to the leaner cut of meat, and pork stomach (tripe) was a bit too tough to chew after grilling, I guess that’s a part of pork that’s best left stewed or cooked in soup.

we only had one stove for seven of us though
we only had one stove for seven of us though

Dining at Gerai Makan Japanese BBQ can be pretty cool, there isn’t another place that let you grill your pork with charcoal fire in that rustic environment anywhere in Klang Valley that I’m aware of.

The problem though, was that of price and service. If you really want to have a satisfying dinner, expect to dig in quite a bit to your wallet and spend at least a couple hours there.

Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze
Yuki, Horng, KY, Kerol, Michelle, Ah Chan, Ruby, Haze (saw BangsarBabe there too)

While I am probably never going to be a regular customer there, it’s a cool place to be once in a blue moon (they do serve pretty cheap beer, including Asahi). We also took the idea and made our own pork BBQ, I’ll share that on this space soon. 😀

map to Japanese BBQ at Taman Desa

Japanese BBQ
Center Court Plaza Faber,
Jalan Desa Jaya Taman Desa
Off. Jalan Klang Lama
58100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1065905 , 101.6783134

There’s a little story on how we discovered Secrets of Louisiana:

So Haze was having some sort of withdrawal symptoms from not having had beef for too long, and we decided that dinner was gonna involve red meat.

Our first choice wasn’t exactly my first choice – Las Vacas, wasn’t exactly my favorite, and this only because it is an NFC restaurant. (got my info mixed up, thank you ZinZan) Well, it was closed (Monday I think)

We then drove Atria area and checked out Carnaval Brazilian Buffet, thinking that they might have ala carte. Nope, they didn’t, and I wasn’t prepared to stuff myself with assorted beef, so we got on the car to brace the traffic again.

Half an hour or so later we arrived at Plaza Kelana Jaya, after having read Eat Drink KL’s entry on Manhattan Steak House blog post and wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, that establishment closed down for good.

Secrets of Louisiana, one of the best sunset views
Secrets of Louisiana, one of the best sunset views

Just as we gave up the whole idea of having red meat for dinner and started walking down on the stairway at Plaza Kelana Jaya, we passed by Secrets of Louisiana. Since there was no way we were going to go into the car again, we took a table and sat in.

Luckily, the evening ended up better than expected.

Secrets of Louisiana, and generally restaurants at Plaza Kelana Jaya, offers a great sunset view by the lake. This is especially true if you refrain yourself from examining the cleanliness of the pond. There’s usually a gentle breeze too, a bit of a faux seaside experience if you will. I quite like it.

sirloin steak and mussels
garlic fest tenderloin and black mussel pot

The waiter who served us acted professional despite being obviously not from Louisiana or even Malaysia, a sign that management actually put an effort into providing an American dining experience of sort. A change from the usual.

We started off with black mussel pot (RM 26.90). The seafood was decent, the buttery broth paired quite with the garlic bread came with the dish.

Haze ordered the Garlic Fest Tenderloin (RM 42.90) and had it prepared rare. I took a little bite, and while it wasn’t the best beef I’ve had, it was certainly much better than average and at least as much as what they charge for it. True to cajun style cooking, the marinate was quite strong, but anyone who loves garlic would find the taste welcoming.

rack of lamb was fantastic
rack of lamb was fantastic

Since they actually only had one piece of tenderloin left that evening (just our luck), I opted for the rack of lamb (RM 42.90) simply based on how good it looked on their menu.

Three pieces of pretty good size NZ lamb rack with cajun seasoning and honey mustard sauce was served after less than half an hour. It was delicious, and certainly brought back some memory of my only short vacation to Louisiana many years ago when I was a college student in the States. Good stuff, I recommend it.

KY & Haze, finally had what we wanted
KY & Haze, finally had what we wanted

Secrets of Louisiana turned out to be a place worth visiting, other than lamb and steak, they serve rice, pasta, pizza, chicken, seafood, and even a set lunch menu under RM 20. Will go back there again one of these days.

map to Secrets of Louisiana

Secrets of Louisiana
Block D-01-01,
Jalan SS7/13A,
Plaza Kelana Jaya, @ The Lake
Petaling Jaya 47301
GPS: 3.09634, 101.59800
Tel: 03 – 7875 5230