The funny thing about tastes is that for things that you absolutely loath as a kid may yet turn out to be one of your favorites as an adult – such is the case for me with bitter gourd, and to be frank, quite a few other items.
So for those of you who dislike durian, petai, asparagus, Guinness, and more, perhaps ya’ll just need more doses of them until you like it!
Anyway, here’s one of the recipes I did with bitter gourd over the course of this Covid-19 season.
Bitter Gourd Tofu and Pork Soup Recipe
1 bitter gourd, cut in chunks
300 gram pork belly, cut into bit size chunks
1 block of soft tofu
1 inch ginger
a handful of salted vege (optional, you can replace with salt to taste)
boil pork belly for a couple minutes and remove from pot, throw away the scummy water
use a bigger pot, boil 4-5 bowls of water with everything except tofu for about an hour or so in low heat
add tofu just before serving
salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Comfort food especially on rainy days, I usually have it with steamed rice and some soya sauce + cili padi as condiment.
I haven’t had any Korean food this Corona lockdown period, so naturally it calls for a home made affair to satisfy the cravings. Since there’s no easy way to install an exhaust fan in the dining room to simulate that Korean BBQ experience, I thought kimchi jiggae (kimchi soup) should make a decent replacement, which it did!
So without further ado, here’s my homemade kimchi soup recipe, if you decide to DIY at home too.
1000 ml soup stock – i used leftover pork bone soup
3-4 bulb garlic
1 inch ginger, sliced
2-300 gram pork belly
1-2 tube Japanese tofu
3-4 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
200 gram kimchi
spring onion & cilantro
heat up soup stock and add garlic and ginger
add pork and boil till pork is soft on low heat (depends on thickness, 20-40 mins)
add gochujang & kimchi, boil for another 10 mins
add spring onion, egg & tofu for the last 3 mins
serve with cilantro on top
Simple, wholesome, and great for rainy day, you can have this soup as is or with a bowl of steamed rice.
RA number of weeks ago I asked a friend who stayed at Taman Desa what is her favorite restaurants at the area, and Apple Samgyupsal was what she told me. I had meant to give it a visit but for one reason or the other did not manage to make it.
Fast forward a few weeks later, I got an invitation to do a review on their latest branch – Apple Samgyupsal at Jaya One, perfect.
Apple Samgyupsal Korean Restaurant at Jaya One
Located between Jaya One opposite the main entrance of The School, this is actually the biggest outlet of Apple Samgyupsal. Seating arrangement is semi-alfresco and in my opinion, perfectly suited for Korean BBQ restaurant.
The formula at Apple Samgyupsal is quite simple – you choose a set from the menu (available below), and it’ll come with unlimited side dishes and ramyeon (Korean instant noodle, for Apple Sharing Set & Apple King Set).
first, some side dishes and kimchi
The set starts with Apple Platter (RM 88) that comes with 120g Apple Samgyupsal (pork belly), 120g Apple Moksal (pork neck), Apple Hanjungsal (pork jowl). The meat is accompanied by apple wraps, tteok (rice cake), home made sauce, and apple salad.
There’s also BBQ Sharing Set (RM 168) for 3-4 pax and Apple Jumbo Set (RM 378) that’s good for 8 pax.
the various type of meat served, including my favorites – pork ribs
For the visit, we got to sample the Apple King Set which includes the best of everything, as our host explained. Other than the three cuts of meat mentioned above (Samgyupsal, Moksal, and Hanjungsal), there’s also the homemade sausage as well as Wang Galbi (King Ribs).
As the name suggests, the meat is marinated with apple sauce, then smoked and pre-baked before going on to the grill on the table at the restaurant. I was explained that this helps seal in the flavor and juice to ensure that the meat does not get too dry from the BBQ process.
apple marinated pork served with apple slices or vege
The BBQ is tended by the server who carefully ensure that they’re cooked perfectly and cut into serving size where you can then eat it with traditional lettuce or more interestingly, apple wraps.
The taste is rather unique and I thought sweetness from fresh apple does add an extra dimension to the experience.
Of all the cuts, my favorite has got to be their signature Apple Samgyupsal and Wang Galbi. Gotta love those fat layer and ribs.
joomuk bap and ramyeon
For carbs, we also tried their joomuk bap (RM 25), a rice ball dish that is loaded with plenty of seaweed. Something that I thought would make for very good on-the-go breakfast.
The unlimited ramyeon is also cooked on the spot with a little pot and stove so you can have it just the way you like them to be. They’re also not overly spicy, fortunately.
makgeolli with apple juice
As for drink, other than tea, we also had a go at the makgeolli (RM 28) that’s blended with extra fresh apple juice. It was quite sweet with the infusion of apple juice, and I thought tasted a little bit like a good cocktail that’s not overly alcoholic. It was just perfect for the afternoon.
Overall it was a great experience and definitely a restaurant that I would visit again.
KL city has no shortage of places to choose from when it comes to classy restaurants offering quality adult beverages and delicious food, around KLCC and Bukit Bintang area, you’d be spoiled for choice – Mosto Wine Bar & Restaurant is one of such places, and one with a very important distinction compared to the rest.
Mosto Wine Bar and Restaurant, One KL
Located at the ground floor of One KL, the condominium building with the tag line “94 units, 95 swimming pools“, Mosto is a restaurant with almost over-the-top fine-dine style decoration, and fortunately, not over-the-top prices for what it has got to offer.
For me though, the most important distinction this place has is the availability of some dozen or so free parking space right in front of the eatery, something that is rarer than pink unicorn in the heart of the city.
Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi
We started the night with Gran Tegliere Di Salumi E Formaggi (RM 99), the fancy name stands for Italian signature cold cuts served with assortedcheeses, honey & house made focaccia bread. The way the prepare this is a bit of a show, with the chef operating a semi-automatic type of meat slicer that churns out those delicious meat & salami with consistent thickness.
The type of cuts you get may vary as it depends on what the restaurant can its hands on. For our session, I particularly like the cut with embedded olives.
Cocktails & Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso
While we did not have wine at Mosto, we did sample two of their cocktails – Amaro Tonic, and Junglebird (RM 38 each), the former was a more masculine drink with Amaro Montenegro, Prosecco and tonic water, while Junglebird is made from dark rum, campari, pineapple juice, and simple syrup, giving it a sweeter, more fruity taste.
Back to food.
After the cold cut we had the Risotto Con Salsicola E Vino Rosso (RM 48), or Carnaroli risotto with salsiccia & red wine reduction. A comforting food that does well to fill up the stomach in a warm, fuzzy way. I do enjoy the chunks of cheese on top.
Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana
If you are a pasta person, Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana (RM 38) should satisfy, there’s bacon, tomatoes, and pecorino cheese in the dish. It is proper al dente, so if you don’t like your pasta firm to bite like the Italians do, you’d want to specify it to your server.
Pancia Di Maiale; Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo
Those who know me well would have guessed that Pancia Di Maiale (RM 58) is my favorite dish of the night, and that would be a correct statement. Roasted pork belly with apricot jam, honey mustard & garlic sauce perfectly executed with those super crispy skin and meat/fat layers that were done just right. Love it.
Cassoeula, Verza Maiale E Pollo (RM 78) or slowcook pork prepared in casserole with chicken, pork sausage & cabbage was a dish that I found perhaps packed a bit too much meat of differing texture, giving me a feeling of something with a sort of identity confusion.
Garlic Prawns, Deep Fried Chicken Parmesan
For those who aren’t looking for something to go along with beer or cocktail and not a proper full meal, there is a selection of bar snacks as well. We sampled two from the menu – Garlic Prawns (RM 25), and Fried Chicken Parmesan (RM 19), I can imagine both going very well as happy hour companion dishes for sure.
molten chocolate cake, tiramisu
The dessert menu here isn’t extensive, we tried the Molten chocolate cake (RM 25) and Tiramisu (RM 20). The cake molten chocolate cake was competent, but if I have to pick one, the tiramisu would be the one to go for, they did not skim on the alcohol making this.
A couple weeks ago I was invited to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA to sample what they have to offer. Now first things first, Taman SEA is not SEAPARK. The former is right between Taman Megah and Damasara Jaya, while the latter is closer to Taman Paramount in PJ.
Slight difference, but getting from one side of LDP to the other can be quite an exercise in patience during rush hour, you don’t want that.
Getting to Mr. Wolf can be slightly tricky, as where you can see the restaurant isn’t where you can navigate to it. Follow the GPS and throw your logic aside, you will get there.
Update 30/6/2017: This place is closed
Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)
To understand the type of cuisine served at Mr. Wolf is to understand the main man behind this restaurant – Chef Bryan Tan.
Chef Bryan served at the kitchen of Cilantro, crafted the menu at The Point KL, and had quite an extensive experience cooking in Australia prior embarking on his own restaurant at Mr. Wolf. The background certainly shows up in his cuisine, a play of modern cooking without the constraint of the taboo in using ingredients as well as cooking methods from both East & West. The dirty word for this is “fusion”, but Chef Bryan calls it modern cuisine.
I think the word fusion has an unfair and unfortunate reputation, without those who push the boundary of what is acceptable, culinary art will always look at the past and not the future. I applaud the courage of those who brave the new frontier.
While those chefs may not get everything 100% right, when they do, you stand a chance to taste something like never before.
jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict
Mr. Wolf has a cozy bar upstairs and a restaurant on the ground level, today we’re going to talk about the restaurant, which started serving brunch on Friday thru Sunday, so let’s start with a few brunch dishes.
There’s a few egg benedict dishes, and boy do they make it right. We tried two – Jamon serrano benedict (RM 28), came with cured Spanish ham (white pig), English muffins, poached eggs and mentaiko hollandaise, while the streaky bacon benedict (RM 22) basically has the same ingredients but substituting ham with bacon. The poached eggs were done right, and the mentaiko hollandaise sauce definitely works, either would make excellent breakfast with some coffee.
Mr. Wolf’s Pibig breakfast (RM 32) – with tonkatsu pull pork on toast, poached eggs, pork sausage, streaky bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled tomato and salad, hollandaise sauce is quite a meal and perfect for those with a bigger appetite. Here again, a touch of Japanese influence is found on the tonkatsu style pull pork, which gives it that bit of extra sophistication.
deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns
Having a bar upstairs obviously means they have bar food that goes really well with cold beer.
The deep fried baby crabs, school prawns with chili lime dressing (RM 15) was something I wish comes in a bag like you’d get chips. The batter is light (ala tempura style), and the seafood crunchy and delicious. Sorta reminds me of those Thai baby crab snacks, but better.
Tiger Beer battered soft shell crab buns with kimchi mayo and caramelized onion (RM 12 per bun) was something of a surprise. The dish didn’t look particularly exciting, but it was like a mini burger that’s unlike any other. It’s basically just some really soft buns with really crispy and perfectly seasoned soft shell crab, I can’t come up with fancy descriptions, everyone loved it.
crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops
For seafood dishes, we tried the crispy skin salmon, edamame, somen and mentaiko sauce, seaweed and salmon roe (RM 34). Another dish taken from the inspiration across the continents and one laden with one of my favorite ingredients – mentaiko. It is rather rich and would suit those who loves strong tasting dishes.
Pan fried Hokkaido scallops (RM 42) came with cauliflower pureer, avruga puree, aojiso truffle dressing, French bean and quinoa. A combination that would satisfy any scallop lovers, and the truffle dressing does give it an additional edge.
sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken
Going slightly more conservatively, there’s the slow roasted chicken (RM 34), with tomato jam, black fungi and beanshoot salad, fried quinoa, grilled baby corn, curry leaf infused buttermilk sauce. The chicken (I suspect sous vide) was tender, and overall it felt like a really healthy dish. Other dish for your gym rat friends.
The sous vide pork loin (RM 32) with sautee mushroom, kimchi vegetable, soft boiled eggs, corriander jus, on the other hand, is almost but not entirely like a dry version of tau eu bak. I was looking for those fat layers, but I suppose it too is more fitting for those who likes to be a bit on the “healthier” side.
braised char siew pork belly, donuts
Our final main dish was the braised char siew pork belly (RM 34), with crispy pork hock, nahm prik, pickled papaya and cucumber salad. This was something that I found myself enjoying quite a bit, it tasted abit like a cross between dry bak kut teh & char siu, with a nice layer of glistering fat to boot. I found msyelf wanting to have some rice with these actually, it was good!
We concluded the night by having the nutella & salted caramel donut. I don’t see this in the menu but do ask about it from the good chef.
Over all Mr. Wolf easily beat my expectations on what they came up with. You don’t need to go to the likes of Bangsar, KL, or Mont Kiara for fancy modern food, Mr. Wolf has them right here in PJ, and for very reasonable prices as well.