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Tag / parma ham

Several weeks ago I braved the rush hour traffic and got myself to Changkat Bukit Bintang, a place I wouldn’t normally go during rush hours thanks to the horrible traffic situation and exuberant parking fees. That night, however, I had an invitation from Racks Bar & Baby Backs for a food review session.

More importantly, there was promise of good pork, and a lot of them.

Racks at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Racks at Changkat Bukit Bintang

The setup at Racks is much like many other bars and eateries at Changkat Bukit Bintang – hip interior, a bar stocked full of all sorts of alcohol, alfresco as well as airconditioned dining area, and decorated by expatriate diners.

If the decoration of this place brings a sense of deja vu to you, it was probably because Racks is run by Paul James, the guy who is also behind The Magnificent Fish and Chips just a few doors down.

pigs in blanket, oyster with ham, peaches and parma ham
pigs in blanket, oyster with ham, peaches and parma ham

Anyway, lets look at the food.

We started out of course, with some pork laden appetizers. Pigs in blanket (meat in prosciutto, RM 24), oyster with ham (seafood in prosciutto, RM 32), and peaches with parma ham (peaches n parma RM 22).

All three involves parma ham, and all delicious in its own way. My favorite was naturally, the raw oyster which carries a punch with those pepper. The combination with the saltiness of parma, hotness of paper, and freshness of oyster worked well. Beats oyster with lemon anytime.

cold cuts platter
cold cuts platter

This cold cuts platter promises plenty of meat with jam, in house mustards, pickles, and freshly baked bread for the price of RM 54. The dish reminds me of the cold cuts I had at El Meson in Bangsar, but instead of the more common winter melon, the pairing of jam, mustard, pickles, and bread makes for very good light meal with beer.

Supper anyone?

molotov shooters, a happy Huai Bin, and "illusions"
molotov shooters, a happy Huai Bin, and “illusions”

Then the alcohol came out.

There were more Molotov shooters (a dozen for RM 200) than there were people on the same table, bad idea. This stuff was very potent and of course I only had one, Huai Bin, HorngMichael, and Gareth were there to make sure nothing is going to waste.

We also had a rack of Illusion, a mixture of Midori melon, pineapple juice, and vodka. I actually find this quite tasty, a taste of festivity, almost.

Asparagus under prosciutto
Rack’s Big Bad Sandwich, Asparagus under prosciutto

The last of appetizer was aspagarus under prosciutto (RM 22), a pretty common combination. I often make bacon & asparagus, but parma ham makes an even better combination, and perhaps slightly healthier.

The main courses came next, we first tried Rack’s Big BAD Sandwich (RM 26) – BAD stands for back bacon, avocado, and dried tomato. I’ve never had sandwich with avocado, but the mixture actually works, the buttery taste of avocado goes well with savory bacon and the acidity from dried tomato.

pork burger, pulled pork burger, and hot & spicy pork ribs
pork burger, pulled pork burger, and hot & spicy pork ribs

Then there’s the standard pork burger (RM 28) with smoked back bacon, pork patty, dried tomato, smoked bacon, and even ahem, vegetable. This was as delicious as it was difficult to eat. Prepare to make a splendid mess.

Pulled pork burger (RM 28) might be a Boston’s favorite, but it doesn’t work with me. I’m not a big fan of the drier texture on the meat, but your mileage might vary.

marmalade sweet and spicy pork ribs
marmalade sweet and spicy pork ribs

Then there were of course, the ribs, after all ,this place is called Racks Bar & Baby Back for a reason.

There’s the more typical hot & spicy ribs, and then there’s the marmalade sweet & spicy pork ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack).

I wasn’t too crazy over the coleslaw, but the ribs were fantastic! Absolutely full of flavor and the meat falls off the bones easier than skimpy cloths from Las Vegas strippers. You gotta try this for yourself, if you think the photo of the ribs look good, it tastes at least twice as well!

the hungry diners, and the 3 servers at Racks
the hungry diners, and the 3 friendly servers at Racks

And just like The Magnificent Fish and Chips, this outlet is another one worth visiting at Changkat. The food is good, prices are in line with other restaurants at the area, and services are commendable too.

It was a good night with great company, and bless those pigs too, they were delicious.

map to Racks at Changkat Bukit Bintang

Address:
Racks Bar & Baby Backs,
18-1, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.147581, 101.707934
Tel: 03-2110 1550

Spanish cuisine isn’t exactly very wide spread in this county. As far as I’m aware, there are only a handful of restaurants that go the whole deal instead of only having some tapas on the menu.

As the new kid on the block (just barely a month old when I visited), El Meson is true to its Spanish origin, from tapas to iberico pork. I was overjoyed when I saw El Meson on the list of restaurants that are running the Merry Guinness promotion, and chose to come here without thinking twice.


El Meson at Bangsar Telawi 3

Situated at Telawi 3 just right across Bangsar Village 2, El Meson is a pretty nicely decorated restaurant. There’s the bar with a proper Guinness tab and seating areas around it. Dining tables sprawled around the 2-shop lot restaurant with at least half a dozen tables set along the walkway ala alfresco.

It is a pretty chic yet comfortable set up along the busy street.


cold cuts as appetizer, Guinness the main meal, chocolate cake the dessert

To start off dinner, we ordered the cold cuts as appetizer. The menu stated – iberico, serrano, parma, salami, salchichon with melon & olive (RM68); which basically means a few different types of very delicious pork with some olives and rock melon. They were really, really delicious. It was no less than what I had at Bermuda and Onions over a year ago.

And of course, the pint of Guinness went very well with the meat, saltiness of the cured pork versus sweetness of the melon versus the slight bitterness of the black beer = perfection.


Chilean sea bass, Capellini aglio olio with prawns and scallops

For our mains, Karen and I ordered the Chilean sea bass spaghetti (RM 46, one of the two dishes that comes free with a perfect pint of Guinness during the promotion) while Elfie chose to have Capellini Aglio Olio with prawns and scallops (RM 39.)

Both dishes were quite excellent, the sea bass fresh and not over cooked, with the pasta and its sauce tasting just right too. Elfie too gave her thumbs up for the aglio olio, now if you know Elfie you’d know that this girl can be very critical, if it’s not good, she’ll just tell it to your face that it is horrible and then proceed to blog about how bad it is on her blog.. or something like that.


KY, Karen, and Elfie with some Guinness

We capped off the night with a couple more glasses of Guinness and a slice of chocolate cake to share. While the food was great, service at the restaurant proved to be slightly slow at first, probably due to the fact that they were just opened.

However, the manager Miguel (a guy with Spanish origin, no less!) was very friendly and did take care of us exceedingly well. I am sure this place warrants many returns.

This occasion also served as a testament that good food and drinks can bring people together, Elfie is the first fellow Kadazan girl that Karen met despite having stayed in this region for 4-5  years already. Here’s one to Guinness!

For more information on Guinness 250 anniversary promotion and the list of participating outlets, check out Guinness Malaysia facebook page. You can also find all my previous posts with Guinness (including last year’s promotion) here.

Address:
El Meson espanol
No. 61-63, Jalan Telawi 3,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.130435,101.670978
Tel: 03-2282 8290

A couple weeks ago baby Marco’s father invited me to have a food tasting session at this curiously named Bermuda and Onion at Cangkat Bukit Bintang. Since I was bringing a couple guests, he reminded me that this place serves pork, more pork, and nothing but pork! My drool started flowing just from hearing that magic sentence.

note: Unfortunately this place has gone halal (updated jan 2010)

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
love the decoration of this place

During the weekend, parking around the area was surprisingly easy to find. We were greeted by this absolutely beautiful interior decoration the moment we stepped into the restaurant, the lime green wall, egg shaped lamp on the curvy ceiling fan, the patio, the bar, the chairs; this place looks like something out of a romantic movie, a striking contrast from the nearby Jalan Alor kopitiams.

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
bruschetta, parma ham with asparagus, prawn, and okra on skewers

As 2 of my buddies and I waited for TBG and her lesser half, we were served some bruschetta with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to start the day off. Very nice.

Then the pork dishes began, in a small way at first. Out of the three skewers we had, two of them had pork in it. The prawns and parma ham was absolutely fantastic, the asparagus and bacon was equally delicious with it’s contrasting texture and taste of vegetable vs meat. Ladies fingers and tomato gave a pretty good balance to counter the meat just a little. It was a very good start, and I was quite impressed already.

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
cold cuts, caesar salad, parma ham with rock melon

To warm up our stomach further before the main dishes, we were presented three other appetizers: cold cuts, caesar salad, and prosciutto and melone.

The cold cuts came with three different types of meat with some olives. I love two of them but find the harder type a little bit too much to handle with it’s dryness and more pungent smell (purists would love it though). Caesar salad came with plenty of prawns, bacon, Parmesan cheese and egg. It was very refreshing and delicious!

However, my favorite of the day has to go to the prosciutto and melone. I never knew parma ham could go so well with rock melon, the saltiness of the meat and the sweetness of the rock melon was absolutely brilliant! You must order this when you go to Bermuda and Onion, do not forget this!

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
wild boar fettuccine, bread dumpling soup, pork chop ala mustard

Then came assault of main dishes. The wild boar fettuccine was pretty strong tasting, with generous chunks of wild boar meat and mushroom cooked with fresh herbs. The speck ‘canedarli’ gnocchi is a homemade Italian bread dumpling served in double boiled chicken broth and Parmesan cheese. The chef explained that they’d have made this bigger in Italy as compared to here.

Then of course, there’s the pork chop ala mustard that came in a huge plate. A generous slab of pork chop is pan seared, and served with creamy Dijon mustard sauce and plenty of mash potato. Very rich and creamy but really good.

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
sea bass and roasted pork belly

Just as we thought the lunch session is coming to an end, two glorious dishes appeared. The interesting looking sea bass and roasted pork belly.

The sea bass, as with most dishes from this restaurant, didn’t escape the influence of pork. Mantled with parma ham and served with mixed sauteed vegetables, it gives you a false sense of enjoying “healthy” seafood but of course, with a more satisfying experience through the taste buds.

As for the pork belly, what can I say? Proper and glorious layers of pork skin, fat, and meat served in a thick brown sauce with mashed potato and Lardoni bacon, I can’t help myself but to continue slicing it up and chew em down despite already being very full.

Bermuda & Onion, Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
hot restaurant manager Sharmini, and good Chef Max

We capped the day with a hot cup of cafe latte, it was definitely the best lunch I’ve had in a long while. Chef Max and restaurant manager Sharmini were very friendly, as with baby Marco’s parents as well.

Price wise, I’d think this place is pretty reasonable. The skewers are RM 8-9, my favorite parma ham with melon at RM33, other main dishes are priced at around 30+ to 50+. Give it a try!

map to Cangkat Bukit Bintang, KL
Bermuda & Onion is located at Changkat Bukit Bintang, nearby Jalan Alor

Address:
no. 41 Changkat Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.147592, 101.708100
Tel: 03-2145 8333