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Tag / pork-ribs

When I first received the invitation email for a food review at Paradise Inn, I was wondering why I haven’t heard about this hotel since it’s located near Sunway Pyramid, an area I’m quite familiar with. As it turned out, Paradise Inn is actually a Chinese restaurant WITHIN Pyramid.

Traditionally, the word “inn” refers to a place where travelers seek food, drinks, and lodging. Paradise Inn provides two out of the three functions, so I guess it is more legit to use the word “inn” than most political parties in forming government.

Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it's a restaurant
Paradise Inn at Sunway Pyramid, yes it’s a restaurant

Paradise Inn is a subsidary of Paradise Group Holding, Singapore. While only been in Malaysia since 2011, the group has been operating several F&B brands in Singapore since 2002. The concept of the restaurant is to combine traditional Chinese cuisine with a touch of modern innovation, and serve the resulting dishes at a reasonable price.

The interior of the restaurant reflects that very concept, with decoration true carrying tell tale traditional styling with added modern touches. I find it quite classy.

stewed pork belly with lotus bun
stewed pork belly with lotus bun

We kick started the food review session with one of Paradise Inn’s signature dishes, the stewed pork belly served with lotus bun (RM 4.80). It reminds me of the similar dish at Fong Lye at Mid Valley Gardens, but I like this version even more. It’s more juicy, and certainly very savory and flavorful.

The portion is perhaps a little big for appetizer, but I’m not one with huge appetite, so your mileage may vary.

doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple
doubled boil water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple

Like any proper Chinese dinner, soup is of the essence. We tried their double boiled water goby with spare ribs and fresh apple (RM 39.90 per pot), one of the nine different double boiled soups offered here.

The soup is supposed to reduce internal dryness, relieve thirst, and improve metabolism. What I know is that it tastes great, and I’d have never thought that the addition of apple in this otherwise very traditional soup managed to give it a hint of freshness and sweetness that adds to the overall taste. I should try this at home.

coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo
coffee pork ribs, eggplant with minced pork, crisp fried prawn in wasabi mayo

Next up was another pretty unique dish that was a first for me, the coffee pork ribs (RM 19.90 onwards). Imagine Guinness pork ribs, now imagine the aroma from the black beer substituted by the smell of coffee. It was different, not better or worse than it’s sibling, but different in itself, people who loves coffee would definitely love it. I quite like this.

Stewed eggplant with minced pork and salted fish (RM 16 onwards) isn’t quite as unique, but something that carries its own and goes well with steamed rice.

Crisp fried crystal prawns in wasabi mayo (RM 29.90 onwards) came across to me like something from a dimsum restaurant with great Japanese influence, minus the dimsum skin. The wasabi mayo and that sprinkle of ebiko really adds to the otherwise straight forward fried prawns.

fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns
fried prawns with salted egg yolk, spinach in superior stock, fried shrimp paste prawns

Another prawn dish we had was the crisp fried crystal prawns with salted egg yolk (RM 29.90 onwards). This should be quite a familiar taste to most, and execution of the dish here is pretty good. I like how the prawns are shelled.

Poached Chinese spinach with egg trio and minced pork in superior stock (RM 16 onwards) is a bit of a fancy name for the familiar “siong thong yuen choi” dish that is common across most Chinese restaurants. The difference here is that they use century egg, salted egg, and chicken egg all in one dish, which makes for a more interesting tasting soup, but I wish there was more liquid.

Crisp fried shrimp paste chicken (RM 18 onwards) might have been inspired by local Nyonya cuisine (my mom cooks this), and turns out to be quite delicious. Great with some cold beer.

chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk, braised vermicelli with pork trotter
chicken with fragrant herbs, steamed minced pork with salted egg yolk,
braised vermicelli with pork trotter

Another poultry dish we tried was chicken with fragrant herbs in clay pot (RM 18 onwards), this dish isn’t all too different from Taiwanese 3 cup chicken, but with a stronger taste of spices and herbs.

Steamed minced pork with water chestnut and salted egg yolk (RM 18) looks pretty interesting, the flattened egg yolk though, was probably more for aesthetics than practicality. I’m also not sure if water chestnut with pork is my thing and probably prefer the traditional type with salted fish instead. It’s not bad per se, just not really my thing.

Braised vermicelli with pork trotters (RM 19.90) is a dish that must be consumed while piping hot. The collagen and fat from pork trotter melting into those meehun – heaven! One of my favorites.

hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago
hasma with red dates & longan, lemongrass jelly w lemonade, mango sago

There are eight different traditional desserts to choose from at Paradise Inn. Hasma with red dates and logan (RM 12), lemongrass jelly with lemonade (RM 6), and chilled mango sago (RM 8) were among the few we tried. The desserts serve as sweet conclusion to the session.

there are lunch sets too
there are lunch sets too, and look at how these bloggers work

To me, Paradise Inn seems to sit right in between the cheaper Chinese “tai chau” and the higher end restaurants in hotels in terms of their price point. Quality of food is pretty high up there, offering very decent value for what they are asking.

This review was arranged by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

Sunway Pyramid map

Address:
Paradise Inn
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
OB3.LG1.7 & 1.8, Lower Ground One,

Oasis Boulevard
GPS3.07208, 101.60539
Tel: 03-5637 8822

A dinner food review during this month of crazy traffic is certainly not something I particularly welcome, but when Mediteca asked for us to sample their new pork friendly menu, I couldn’t say no.

As it turned out, that was a wise decision. Also, traffic after 7:30 was so great we got to Mediteca at Fraser Place, Jalan Perak from PJ in only about 25 minutes.

Mediteca at Fraser Place, KL
Mediteca at Fraser Place, KL

Mediteca resides within Fraser Place Luxury Apartment, directly opposite Life Centre across Jalan Perak, just a stone’s throw away from Thai Club/Beach Club. Underground parking is available at reasonable rate.

The restaurant exudes a classy and warm ambiance, interior deco reminds me of movies settings in Europe. The restaurant is separated from the apartment’s common area with half see-thru partition, giving it a deceptively spacious interior. There’s also alfresco dining area for those who smokes, and a loft that I presume makes perfect venue for a private event.

bread with some shaved cheese to start the night
bread with some shaved cheese to start the night

Explained by the passionate Chef owner Riccardo Ferrarotti, Mediteca set out of excite diners with a flair for true Southern European gastronomy. The menu includes tapas, starters, and mains using pork as ingredients. Music to my ears.

As with most European meals, we started out with some bread, accompanied by shaved cheese, which is always a good prelude to what is coming next.

stewed Spanish sausage with herbs & fried & baked egg with spinach, pancetta and besciamelle sauce
stewed Spanish sausage with herbs;
fried & baked egg with spinach, pancetta and besciamelle sauce

We started out with Chorizo – Stewed Spanish Sausage with Herbs and Garlic (RM16), one of the many tapas with pork as the main ingredient on the new menu. The tomato based gravy thick and flavorful, and the chorizo definitely carry a strong porky taste that should please any pork lover.

Fried & Baked Egg with Spinach, Pancetta and Besciamelle Sauce (RM22) is something I haven’t ever tried before. A concoction that seems almost like a mixed between Chinese style spinach soup with a texture similar to steamed & fried egg. It was rather interesting though I find myself having to get used to it a little bit.

Jamon and Salami - serrano ham, salami, bread & cheese
Jamon and Salami – serrano ham, salami, bread & cheese

Jamon and Salami (RM 88) was one of my favorite dishes. Prepared by the main man himself, Chef Riccardo slices the salami and smoked meat from the chiller, then hand picked cheese, fig marmalade, tomato chutney, balsamic baby onions and pickles to go with the meat. It was glorious combination and one that I miss most. I can have this everyday!

marinated veal carpaccio, stewed rice with pork, beef & lamb sauce
marinated veal carpaccio, stewed rice with pork, beef & lamb sauce
stewed rice with pork, beef, and lamb sauce

While less sophisticated than the salami dish, Veal Carpaccio (RM38) was another dish that I really liked as well. The thinly sliced veal isn’t too different from high grade tuna or beef in texture, but has a very notificable difference in taste due the type of meat itself and the marinate (chamomile and juniper). Coupled with grilled artichokes and cheese, it was a very enjoyable dish.

Stewed rice with Pork, Beef and Lamb Sauce (RM30) was not entirely different from risotto. This Croatian dish packs quite a punch thanks to the three different meat presence.

Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon
Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon

For those who loves bacon, the Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon (RM28) is a must order. The bacon was crispy, the egg poached perfectly, and the bed of potato and mushroom gateau perfect as a compliment to the two contrasting main ingredients. Bacon oil and flowing egg yolk is a match made in gastronomy heaven.

pork ribs iwth "salsa verde" & potatoes
pork ribs with “salsa verde” & potatoes

For those who are tired of those overly strong tasting pork ribs, here’s a version that might fit your bill. The Iberico Pork Ribs with Salsa Verde & Potatoes (RM78) is quite a bit lighter and carries a hint of citrus influenced flavor. I find myself somewhat partial to this dish, but those who like it light would probably enjoy this more than me.

dinner is never complete with desserts
dinner is never complete with desserts

We tried two different desserts to end the meal, Creme Caramel that was tastefully served in a sardin can, and the Chocolate Gateau, a mixed of 70% chocolate with 30% cream. Choose the former if you want something refreshing, and the gateau if you like it rich and chocolatey. Both would not disappoint.

 

map to Fraser Place, KL

Address:
Mediteca
Lot 163, Fraser Place
Jalan Perak
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15427, 101.70891
Tel: 03-2181 2426
Web: http://www.meditecawinetapas.com/
HoursMondays-Saturdays, 11.30am till late night, closed on Sundays

I’ve heard about Checkers for a while and always wanted to try their famous pork ribs, years after I was first recommended by a friend about this place, we finally went there for dinner over Pearl’s (belated) birthday.

Checkers at Damasara Heights, there isn't a sign board
Checkers at Damasara Heights, there isn’t a sign board

Located at a pretty quiet part of Damansara Heights with ample parking space, Checkers is very small family run restaurant that gives you the homey ambiance with the stern looking proprietor and his friendly wife. Most everyone that shared the other 5-6 tables in the dining hall seemed to know the owners on first name basis.

Equipped with plastic chairs and basic white table cloths on square dining tables, interior decoration at Checkers were probably done in 5 minutes. In fact, the restaurant doesn’t even have a sign board. But we’re here for food, right?

village bread, served with a side of sliced tomato & salami
village bread, served with a side of sliced tomato & salami

Menu is a simple one page A4 sheet with choices of pasta, appetizers, grilled meat, and a few types of desserts. There are also usually some off-menu dishes you could order, all you need to do is ask.

We started the night with an order of village bread (off menu) and it turned out to be surprisingly good. The bread was steaming hot and served with a side of sliced tomato and salami as well as olive oil and vinegar. Perfect to munch on while waiting for the main attraction. The bread might look deceptively small in portion, but it’s good enough to serve a table of four.

Lord of the Ribs, the main attraction
Lord of the Ribs, the main attraction

The aptly named Lord of the Ribs (RM 120) is what we came here for. A giant slab of pork ribs expertly seasoned and grilled with perfection. While the exterior looks a bit dry, it was prepared so to seal in the juices within. Home made bbq sauce (I think), and an olive oil based sauce comes with it. While some have complained about the ribs being a little dry, I thought it was lovely and not over powered by too much sauce (then all you taste is sauce instead of meat).

The dish also came with generous portion of salad and mash, if there’s only two of you, this slab of ribs should be the only thing you order.

some chicken pasta, grilled pork tenderloin and sausage
some chicken pasta, grilled pork tenderloin and sausage

We also shared a chicken pasta dish (off menu, can’t remember the exact name) which could have been lovely if we didn’t wait till it was cold to consume. I did like the way the poultry tasted though.

The grilled pork tenderloin and sausage (RM 39) is something I wouldn’t mind having if dining alone at Checkers. The thin sliced pork  were tender and lovely, and I particularly love the way they served the potato, in thin slices with onions mixed in. This dish is as porky as it ias tasty.

Pearl, David, KY, Haze at Pearl's birthday dinner
Pearl, David, KY, Haze at Pearl’s birthday dinner

If you’re to pay Checkers a visit, do call for bookings to avoid disappointment as they have less than 10 tables even if you count the two non-weatherproof tables on the balcony. Prices aren’t cheap, but quality of food is good, and that homey feeling and very personal service is something you don’t get in most restaurants these days.

Checkers at Damansara Height

Address:
Checkers
19 Lorong Setiabistari 2,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.143856, 101.65728
Tel03-2095 3304
Hours: 6-10 pm

Checkers

A couple weekends ago we were invited to the opening of Royal Flush Chinese Restaurant, the latest venture from the group behind Tom Dick and Harry, Hoofed, and Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock.

Located at the relatively new Oasis Square at Ara Damansara, Royal Flush sits within a  grand three story building that could easily be mistaken as a shrine or palace. The interior lived up to the positive first impression of the building from the outside, it is beautifully furnished with what you’d expect from a classy Chinese eatery.

Update: This place is permanently closed

Royal Flush Chinese Restaurant at Oasis, Ara Damansara
Royal Flush Chinese Restaurant at Oasis, Ara Damansara

Five private rooms sits above the common dining hall on the ground floor, and there’s an outdoor rooftop moonlit garden as well. I was well impressed of the ambiance the place.

crispy spring rolls
crispy spring rolls

We were first treated with some tidbits before dinner officially kicks off. The crispy spring rolls tastefully presented on a bed of sprouts, it was crunchy on the outside and moist within, we made quick work of them with ice cold beer.

cucumber with pork floss and chestnut, "twin cold combination"
cucumber with pork floss and chestnut, “twin cold combination”

Cucumber with chestnut and pork floss probably took a hint from Japanese cuisine with it’s sushi-like presentation, but tasted distinctively Chinese. Combination of meat with the freshness of cucumber and the crunchy chestnuts worked well.

After these two dishes, our dinner from the 9-course Chinese New Year menu officially starts.

First to be served was “twin cold combination“. The oyster shot was delicious – fresh juicy oyster in a special light sauce that has Japanese soya sauce, lemon, and other touches in it’s list of ingredients. The shellfish, on the other hand, is served with kiwi fruits and tomato. I liked the seafood but am allergic to kiwi, so perhaps missing from the total experience.

dimsum combination, grilled scallop bacon
dimsum combination, grilled cod fish, grilled scallop bacon

The second dish was dimsum combination, with xiao long bao, fish ball, and siu mai. These measures up to some of the better dimsum dishes I tried.

Cod fish is one of my favorite seafood, and the execution from the chef in this grilled cod fish dish did not disappoint. The exterior lightly charred with a taste of honey, it was exquisite and delicious.

Grilled bacon scallop had it’s origin from pigs in blanket, with the scallops successfully elevate the status and sophistication of this otherwise simple dish. A couple grilled ginko nuts were served on the side to provide some balance.

grilled pork ribs
grilled pork ribs

The third grilled (and final) grilled dish was the grilled pork ribs. It was sweet, succulent, and would certainly please any pork loving diner. While the dishes might not look heavy, we were starting to get a little bit full by this dish.

asparagus, abalone fried rice
asparagus, abalone fried rice

A simple dish of asparagus with bonito flakes provides the comfort to your mom that something green is consumed, and the main dishes is capped off with abalone fried rice that’s served with a beautiful whole scallop in the middle. Of course, there was no way I was going to waste this, it was soft, succulent, and how abalone should taste like.

doubled boiled bird's nest, KY & Haze
doubled boiled bird’s nest, KY & Haze

The two desserts served together in this RM 1,200 CNY set menu (for 10 pax) were double boiled bird’s nest and crystal peanut dumpling. Dinner was well satisfying with very good food and excellent company, if I had to nitpick, the only criticism I can think of would be the lack of traditional soup in the CNY menu. Then again, you can always order that separately

Royal Flush promises a wide variety of other dishes – including geoduck, suckling pigs, yee sang, and more, many of these would be bold and modern interpretation of traditional dishes, while others, closer to the origin. If the quality is consistent to what we experienced over this review session, Royal Flush would be a force to reckon with in the higher end Chinese cuisine market.

map to Oasis, Ara Damansara

Address:
The Royal Flush
Central Piazza, Oasis Square Ara Damansara,
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.11352, 101.574612
Tel012-211 7810, 016-2912 737, 012-299- 7598

One of my waist line management activities is also the number one sports of the country – badminton. I’ve been playing it with the same group of dudes since about 5-6 years ago. We always collect a little bit more than is needed to pay for the shuttlecocks and court, then use extra money for a feast every so often.

The trip to Restaurant Triple Round at Bukit Beruntung, however, was not from those extra money. This trip was made possible by one of our members’ generosity. Chi decided to buy everyone a meal out of the mere joy of sharing, so thank you boss!

Restuarant Triple Round at Bukit Beruntung, fresh seafood
Restuarant Triple Round at Bukit Beruntung, fresh seafood

Though the restaurant is located at the god forsaken place that is Bukit Beruntung (the exit North of Rawang on the North South Highway), getting there proved to be pretty simple. A couple right turns after the highway gets you there. Without crazy Friday evening traffic, a drive to Bukit Beruntung from PJ/KL shouldn’t take more than 35 minutes or so.

The restaurant is a glorified kopitiam with air conditioned as well as normal fan-cooled dining area. Since no one was going to smoke in between meals, we opted for the climate controlled option.

vegetable curry, vitamin c, chef's special tofu with minced pork
vegetable curry, vitamin c, chef’s special tofu with minced pork

We had the typical Chinese style dinner, with steamed rice to go with these dishes.

First to came were the vegetable curry, a couple dishes of fried vegetables, and chef’s special tofu with minced pork. Though lacking any seafood, poultry, or meat, the vegetarian curry was rich and flavorful, not quite as strong as those good Indian curry, but plenty good from a Chinese restaurant.

The tofu with minced pork was delightful – silky smooth tofu with thick sauce and the contrasting texture from minced meat. Highly recommended.

Siamese style tilapia, more vegetable, German style pork knuckle
Siamese style tilapia, more vegetable, German style pork knuckle

A couple richer tasting dishes came next. The Siamese style tilapia is your typical deep fried fish with richly flavored sauce poured over. They executed this perfectly, the sauce a mixture of sweet, sour, and spicy taste that has a hint of Vietnamese influence thanks to the use of basil leaves. I like it, and you should try the chili padi if your system tolerates spicy food.

German pork knuckle is a dish that is making in-roads at local Chinese restaurants (such as New Paris, SS2), the version here is one of the finer specimen I’ve tasted. Crispy on the outside, but steaming hot and soft on the inside, the skin is also seasoned to perfection.

pork ribs with orgasmic sauce, chicken wings, seafood tofu
pork ribs with orgasmic sauce, chicken wings, seafood tofu

After the two heavy dishes, we were served 3 others that were anything but light.

The pork ribs covered in a creamy peppery mushroom sauce was super delicious. The dish also came with some deep fried mantao so that you never waste a drop of those delicious sauce. The pork was tender, succulent, and the sauce absolutely stunning, it became our favorite dish.

We also tried two types of chicken wings here – one with Guinness and the other Marmite. They were again, rich, heavy, and goes extremely well with some whisky (which we brought with us along, I don’t think corkage was charged)

Last but not least, we also had two types of seafood tofu served. One to be enjoyed with Thai chili sauce, and the other covered with a sort of sauce that is not entirely unlike cake icing, but strangely it worked very well too. The home made seafood tofu tastes like a happy marriage between tofu and fish cake, they were very delicious.

these are my badminton kaki, I'm the second youngest in the pics :D
these are my badminton kaki, I’m the second youngest in the pics 😀

The bill came to about RM 290 for the 11 of us, which translate to about RM 26 per person, practically a steal for what we had that night. The individual dishes were all very good, but I thought it would be better if we balance them with some lighter tasting dishes in between, like soup instead of curry, and perhaps a dish or two that is prepared by steaming.

If you’re willing to drive a bit for good food on the cheap, Restaurant Triple round is definitely a place to check out.

map to restaurant Triple Round at Bukit Beruntung

Address:
Restaurant Triple Round
No.1, Jalan Melati 2B,
Bandar Bukit Beruntung,
48300 Bukit Beruntung, Selangor
GPS: 3.40614, 101.55628
Tel: 012-380 1162