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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / sammy

When I first received the invitation for Gin Rik Sha, I must admit that from the name itself I’d have never guessed what this place is all about.

Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara
Gin Rik Sha, Plaza Damansara

Well, as briefed to us, the name Gin Rik Sha actually derived from the “pulled rickshaw” in Japanese, which does not really explain what they serve here and how it is all related, but it is definitely a fun quirky name that I’ll remember.

a drink after a long day's work
a drink after a long day’s work

As it turned out, this restaurant at Plaza Damansara specialized in something that isn’t very common around Klang Valley – modern Indian cuisine with a bit of fusion touch, as well as a fully equipped bar serving wine, whisky, spirits, and even cocktails.

how do you like your cocktails?
how do you like your cocktails?

Started the evening with cocktail, I wanted something sour and was recommended to go with Amma’s Potion made with gin, coriander leaf, lime juice, and cucumber syrup, a good refreshing start to the evening.

My second was Whisky Cha, a play of whisky, masala herbs, and sour which was a tad more sophisticated compared to the refreshing note of the first.

If you’re not a cocktail person, there’s plenty of other drinks to choose from, alcoholic or otherwise (see menu below)

chili chicken is great as bar snack
chili chicken is great as bar snack

If you like something with a bit of a kick to start, Chili Chicken certainly fits the bill. This is Gin Rik Sha’s interpretation to the classic popcorn chicken but one that is quite high on the spicy meter. Juicy inside, crispy out while being spicy and aromatic, I love it, a perfect bar snack to go with beer, or cocktail in this case.

kerala shrimp, wrap it up
kerala shrimp, wrap it up

Kerala shrimp is a classic Indian dish of spicy tamarind flavored shrimp with roasted coconut, and in this case served with toasted chapati instead of rice, which turned out to be quite a good combination. The sauce carried a kick and complimented the seafood well without being overpowering.

banana leaf baked sea bass
banana leaf baked sea bass

If you like fish, check out the Banana Leaf Baked Sea Bass – banana leaf wrapped with fresh aromatic sea bass and basmathi rice and served with brinjal sambal.

This dish is certainly a full meal, love the long grain rice and I wish there’s more brinjal sambal to go with! The fish was prepared properly and not overcooked, a good execution in this case. If this could be tapao as lunch I’d be a happy man.

Other interesting dishes on the menu includes spiced cauliflower rice, vegetable lasagna, chicken briyani, and even rack of lamb. There’s a good variety of modern and traditional classic to choose from.

hello Sammi! carrot halwa filo pastry samosa, kulfi with caramelized bananas
hello Sammi! kulfi with caramelized bananas, carrot halwa filo pastry samosa

In the dessert department, their menu isn’t exactly very comprehensive. We did try the Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas and Carrot Halwa Filo Pastry Samosa with Black Pepper Ice Cream as the sweet endings to the night.  I enjoyed the samosa and pepper ice cream, and thought the kulfi was perhaps ordinary and not having a lot to write home about.

Overall this was certainly an interesting visit, a place fit for after-work wind down or a proper meal with friends. The menu and combination is bolder than most, and I for one welcome more innovations in culinary offerings in KL.

map to gin rik sha

Address:
Gin Rik Sha
37, Ground Floor, Plaza Damansara,
Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.150079, 101.652613
Tel:  010-243 8266

 

A couple weeks ago I was invited to check out Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining at Lot 10. Do read up on J’s Gate Dining here if you haven’t heard about this fantastic new Japanese dining area before. It is literally a paradise for those who loves food from the land of the rising sun.

Mo-Mo Paradise at J's Gate Dining
Mo-Mo Paradise at J’s Gate Dining

Back to Mo-Mo Paradise, this latest outfit at J’s Gate Dining offers shabu-shabu and sukiyaki in a no-frill, all-you-can-eat buffet style within 100 minutes. In another word, eat as much as you want, or can, during a 100 minute period and pay one all inclusive price for the food offered.

At Mo-Mo Paradise, the asking price is RM 68++.

The restaurant is founded in 1993 at Shinjuku Kabukicho in Tokyo with the aim of providing the ultimate shabu-shabu and sukiyaki experience by focusing on a wide variety of fresh and high quality ingredients. On top of the traditional ingredients, they also aim to provide a modern and inviting ambiance with good hospitality to diners.

From our experience, I think they got it down quite well at this outlet.

all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too
all-you-can-eat in 100 minutes, with all these beef & pork slices too

Well, what do they really offer then in terms of food?

First off there’s a vegetable bar where you get all your greens in self served style. There’s a good selection of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, onion, and even fuchuk and some fish balls.

Then there’s obviously the most important ingredients – the meat. For this session we were served 3 different types of beef and pork each, with a total of 6 varieties. My favorite was the “bacon” cut of pork (probably isn’t the best for my cholesterol level?) but all 6 types of thinly sliced meat were all so delicious.

We had the shabu with ponzu and gomadare sauce, and raw eggs for sukiyaki.

great food is best enjoyed with friends
great food is best enjoyed with friends

We ended the night with a couple scoops of ice cream (included in the package), and I thought the experience overall was rather positive, good was very good, and while it isn’t the cheapest meal option, it does offer pretty good value and way above average in terms of quality. Will return.

map to Lot 10, KL

Address:
Mo-Mo Paradise
J’s Gate Dining
Level 4
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel: 03-2110 3588
Web: facebook.com/momoparadisemy

Did you know that Karak highway isn’t the only route going from KL to Genting Highland? Long before the shiny toll way was built, there was an older road from just behind Batu Caves going to Genting via a little town called Ulu Yam. That road is still there, and remain my favorite way to go up to the highland retreat if time is on my side.

There are a few reasons:

  • The scenery is beautiful, especially when you drive by Batu Dam lake.
  • the winding road makes driving a pleasure
  • coconut shrimps at ulu yam!

Okay, maybe mostly about the coconut shrimps..

Coconut Shrimp at Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
Sammy liked it!

The first time I went there was on the new year eve of 2006 with the MR2 club. Wait, I just realized that’s more than 2.5 years ago… Anyway, I went there again a few months ago with Sammy (her account) and of course, we ordered the coconut shrimps, and a plate vegetable to go with rice.

We had actually ordered the lala as well but I must applaud the honesty of the shop keeper in informing us that lala wasn’t very fresh that day and advised us against ordering it.

Coconut Shrimp at Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
prawns, slurps slurps

Coconut Shrimps is basically a curry dish where by they stuff a lot of prawns cooked much like the asam prawn style into a fresh coconut. The curry mixed with coconut creates a unique taste that is both spicy, sour, and slightly sweet of coconut taste; very unique and rather tasty. Onion, garlic and chili padi makes up part of the ingredients too.

map to Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
Ulu Yam is some 27 kilometers from batu caves

There was plenty of prawns in that one single coconut and we thoroughly it. The ingredients were fresh and curry flavorful. Even the simple fried vegetable dish was rather delightful too.

If I remember correctly, that meal was less than RM 35 for the two of us. Value for money, and great tasting too. Give it a try if you’re up for an alternate way to Genting. GPS coordinate might not be spot on, but it won’t be far off.

Address:
14, Kampung Baru,
Ulu Yam Baru, 44300
Ulu Selangor, Selangor

GPS: 3.427212, 101.659948
Tel: 03-6075 1826, 012-228 2546

I am a strong believer that you gotta do something slightly crazy once in a while to stay sane in this world, so last Saturday I invited a bunch of daring friends and hosted an Insect Cook Out. The attendees were Kim, Su Ann, Sammy, Terence, ST, Dree, and of course my house mate Rachel. The following 6 minute video is the whole insect cook out adventure, check it out!

The whole idea actually started right after Terence, Dree, and I went to Bangkok and had our weird and wonderful creatures including insects, worms, and frogs. Kim was protesting the fact that we did not bring back anything for her, and that’s when Terence came up with the idea that we should just cook some ourselves.

Insect Cook Out with Worms and Crickets
the ingredients from aquarium shop and grocery store

I eventually tabled the idea to Kim and she responded enthusiastically, then I got Su Ann, Sammy, and the rest of the gang to join in as well. This thing is actually going to work!

So I set up the official time for this unusual cook out at 5pm on Saturday evening. I went out to grocery store to get the seasonings: pepper, curry leaves, shallots, dried chili, and garlic. Just half an hour before the cook out, I got to an aquarium shop near Sunway and got a box of good size worms (RM9) and 120 crickets (for RM3)

Insect Cook Out with Worms and Crickets
ahhh, glorious protein enriched food

Contrary to Su Ann’s believe that we googled for the recipe, it was completely original sans the “salt juice” suggested by Terence.

First I fry some shallots, garlic, dried chili, and curry leaves to flavor the oil. These are then taken out and the crickets and worms thrown in the hot oil. Some salt juice is then added for extra kick. It’s that simple, and boy it turned out great! (the insects were freeze in the fridge for about 15 minutes prior cooking to prevent them from jumping everywhere)

Insect Cook Out with Worms and Crickets
the crazy diners

The dish actually tasted a lot better than what we had in Bangkok, and we didn’t even save up anything for my buddy Douglas who came late. The worms were a bit like soft shell crab (as described by Sammy), and the crickets still juicy inside while crispy on the outside. Very nice.

There’ll be another short video for this where Rachel and Kim ate the bugs raw, stay tuned!

I’m so going to prepare this again for the next x’mas eve party!

While our Muslim friends were celebrating the Prophet’s birthday last Thursday, I was invited to sample some dishes at Lisa Spaghetti at SS15, Subang Jaya. As I have a limited stomach myself, Sammy and Dree were called upon to lend a stomach in this expedition. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

update (april 2010): This restaurant is now closed.

Lisa Spaghetti at Subang Jaya
comfortable ambiance in simplicity

Situated just across Taylor’s University College’s main campus at Subang Jaya, the restaurant caters mostly to students and young adults. The menu and especially pricing reflects just that, everything is priced at less than RM 10 (most dishes from RM 4.99 to RM7.99), with the only exception being the hotplate lamb chop at RM 12.80. Very good value, but what about quality of the food?

Lisa Spaghetti at Subang Jaya
Lisa and Chan, our very friendly hosts

As we were busy tasting the 6 main dishes Lisa prepared, the very friendly host explained to us on how she arrived at opening this restaurant late last year. Even though a small establishment, the recipes are sourced internationally through Lisa’s mother in law who has traveled and lived in various parts of the world for more than 40 years. This includes Italy, America, and England. The restaurant aims to serve these dishes as close to their original form as possible.

Lisa Spaghetti at Subang Jaya
hot plate princess, stew rice, curry spaghetti, fried butter rice

First dish to arrive was the hotplate princess, a generous portion of Lisa Spaghetti and black pepper boneless chicken with half a dozen small sausages. I find the sauce very flavorful and yet not over powering, the chicken was juicy and compliments the pasta rather well. Stew rice was arguably my favorite of the day, the gravy was thick and delicious and goes very well with the chicken and steamed rice.

Lisa Spaghetti at Subang Jaya
hotplate lamb chop, white sauce spaghetti, fried ice cream, oyster mushroom

The curry spaghetti and fried butter rice were pretty good as well, providing a sort of fusion between the east and the west and came out pretty good. As our collective stomachs were filling up, Lisa brought out the hotplate lamb chop and white sauce spaghetti. I enjoyed the lamb chop with its juicy meat and black pepper sauce, but I must say that if you are not a big fan of cheesy food, the white sauce spaghetti might prove to be too rich and too cheesy.

Lisa Spaghetti at Subang Jaya
Lisa Spaghetti is situated just opposite Taylor’s University College at Subang Jaya

After the 6 entrees for the 3 of us, Lisa still wasn’t prepared to let us go. She brought out fried ice cream and fried oyster mushroom. The dessert and the finger food were pretty good too, I just wish I had a bigger stomach.

While the selection (mostly chicken) of dishes might not be very big, the taste and especially the price at Lisa Spaghetti were very good. Where else can you have a plate of spaghetti starting at RM 5.00 and soft drinks only at RM 1.80 in an air conditioned restaurant? Give it a try, I’m sure I will be there again when I find myself at SS15.

Address:
No. 38, Jalan SS15/8
Subang Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.076045, 101.590490
Tel: 016-345 8886