One of the perks of running a food blog is having the opportunity to sample foods at restaurants that I typically wouldn’t walk in myself. This is due to the preconception that these restaurants must be really, really expensive, and there wouldn’t be anything I can afford to eat and then still feel it is okay to shit em out 12 hours later.
I know food would usually be of very good quality, but the prices are just not tallied with my income level just yet.
Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
Mandarin Grill is one such restaurants, so when I was contacted by the Nicole, the PR exec from Mandarin Oriental KL, it didn’t take me more than half a second to decide that this is one that I am going for sure. Since Sheryl and I both stayed in US and enjoyed good steak, I asked her to tag along with me to this review session.
Located at the space previously occupied by Pacifica at Mandarin Oriental, this restaurant is tastefully decorated. Gone are the funky colors and overly in-your-face deco at Pacifica, the ambiance at Mandarin Grill is a lot more relaxed with elegantly arranged pieces of furniture as well as artworks.
bread, scallop carpaccio, grilled sea bass
Like most fine dining restaurants, bread is served at the beginning. There were half a dozen interesting named breads on offer to go with their five spice and normal butter. They were good, but I only tried a bit to conserve stomach space.
Before even the appetizer is served, we were treated with a tidy plate of scallop carpaccio accompany with diced mango and a bit of “some other shellfish”. It was certainly fresh, and positively yummy.
The grilled sea bass was another one of those samplers in between appetizer and main course. The bread and these two samplers are both on the house, and depending the chef’s mood, you might get something completely different.
pumpkin veloute and french onion soup
The ladies started off with soup. Sheryl had the pumpkin veloute (RM 32) that’s got this very interesting foam like texture that I’ve never tasted before. Nicole ordered the french onion soup (RM 32). To be honest, while the pumpkin veloute had a very interesting texture and tasted alright, I’m not sure if I liked it, a bit too strange for me.
Other soup on the menu were lobster bisque (RM 48) and tomato gazpacho (RM 32)
Instead of soup, I chose the Mandarin Grill appetizer sampler (RM 125), perfect choice for someone who can’t decide between the other choices on the menu. The smoked salmon loin was tender to the point that it is almost “tofu” like, crab cake was rich, but the slow cooked lobster tail was my favorite, very sweet and succulent.
The other two interesting looking appetizers on the menu were Angus steak tartar (RM 82) and foie gras au torchon (RM 82).
USDA prime – 80% Angus, grain fed tenderloin
Then came the steak. Since I spent quite a lot of time in the States and sorely missed the steak there, I chose to go with the USDA prime – 80% Angus tenderloin 250g (RM 190).
The tenderloin looked like a big muffin. I sliced it with the super sharp steak knife and admired the color for a minute before sending the meat to my mouth. It was every bit as tasty as it looked, very succulent, with perfect texture and the taste of a good USDA prime that I missed so much. It was really, really good and definitely worth every sen of the RM 190 asking price.
To go with the steak, there are a wide selection of butter, vegetable, potatoes, and sauces. I picked giant asparagus and steamed broccoli.
1824, Australia, grain fed 120 days, strip loin and ribeye
The girls had 1824 Australian grain fed strip loin 250g (RM 106) and ribeye 300g (RM 118). I had a bite of the strip loin and it too, was very good, but I still prefer my tenderloin though.
Other types of steak includes Master Kobe tenderloin and sirloin that goes for over RM 400 a piece, wagyu priced from RM 185 to RM 310, and even the jumbo 1kg T-bone at RM 320. They also offer lamb, veal, duck breast, and scallops.
Hazelnut Crème brûlée, Manjari Chocolate Ganache
I was already over full by the time I finished enjoying the excellent steak, but Nicole insisted that we must try their desserts.
With her recommendations we went for the hazelnut creme brulee and manjari chocolate ganache (all desserts priced at RM 32). It was seriously the best creme brulee I had, caramelized at the top layer and super flavorful underneath, with blueberry compote and yoghurt sorbet to go with it. Very rich and super delicious.
The manjari chocolate ganache is something a chocolate lover should not miss, I particularly like the chocolate sorbet.
Sheryl and KY at Mandarin Grill
To complete the dinner, I had a glass of red wine (they had a huge selection of wine). It was easily one of the best food review sessions I had, the ambiance, the food, and the company were all great.
I also learned that you don’t necessarily have to spend RM 300-500 per person to get a meal at these 5 star restaurants. If you keep it to the steak (which would feed me pretty good anyway) and perhaps share a starter or dessert, a meal for two could still be under RM 300-400.
I think I need to go there again.
map to Mandarin Oriental, KL
Address: Mandarin Grill
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.155771, 101.711748 Tel: 03-2179 8960
Over the weekends I went to Kuantan for a short trip with Sheryl. We didn’t have any concrete plan, and it was basically just an opportunity to spend some time and catch up after she’d come back from her post graduate studies in Europe. After all, it was some 7 years since we were last living together in the States.
Pak Su seafood restaurant, with the best al fresco dining experience
After spending better part of the afternoon chilling at Cherating beach sipping coconut juice, we decided to check out Pak Su seafood restaurant by the beach. It was partly due to convenience as Pak Su is located rather close to where we were staying.
While this is a Chinese restaurant, it is also halal, and there were quite a number of Muslim patrons and workers alike at the premise.
We took a table at the al fresco dining area by the beach. The scenery was incredible, full moon, strong waves, and the rather powerful sea breeze makes up for one of the best seafood dinner ambiance I’ve experienced.
fresh Canadian oysters, vegetable, butter prawn
For the two of us, we ordered a pair of fresh Canadian oysters (RM 8 each) to start. They were huge, juicy and absolutely delicious, the other other place with comparable oyster would be Kensington at Seremban.
Butter prawn (RM 20) was another commendable dish, it was cooked in the “wet” style (there’s also the other butter prawn preparation you might have had from Chinese wedding dinners, this is not the same method). The prawns were huge, fresh, and rather delicious.
To fulfill the illusion of having a complete meal, we ordered a plate of vegetable (豆苗 RM7) too. It was however, a bit too old and not something I’d recommend.
stuffed crab and steamed siakap
The one famous seafood dish everyone must try when at East-Coast is the stuffed crab. Pretty much every seafood restaurants from Kuantan to Kemaman will have this particular dish on the menu.
We ordered two stuffed crab from Pak Su (RM 6 each). It was basically a crab shell stuffed with plenty of crab meat and god knows what else, but it was quite tasty! I would order more than one next time, it was like having the best of crabs without having to deal with the whole peeling off crab shell nonsense.
The steamed siakap (RM 18) we had was forgettable. The fish steak as per recommended by our server was way too tough it felt like we were chewing on cardboard. There are quite a lot of other live fish to choose from though, so perhaps other choices would be better than what we ordered.
KY, the awesome view, and Sheryl
The service at Pak Su follows the life style of east-coast Malaysia quite a bit too much, it was horrendously slow. While it didn’t take too long for us to get our food after ordering, getting the attention of servers to start the prepare our table/ordering/paying/getting change took way too long.
Our dinner was RM 84 in total, including 5% government tax, pretty reasonable price that is comparable to KL standard.
As for the food, there were dishes that was rather good (oyster, stuffed crab, butter prawn), and some were pretty lousy (vegetable, fish). However, I do feel that this place is worth visiting even if just for the ambiance. You really have to be there to appreciate it.
Address: Pak Su Seafood Restaurant
No.4/1417, Batu 6, Lot 922, Kg.Bahagia Beserah,
26100 Kuantan , Pahang Darul Makmur. GPS:3.87582, 103.36636 Tel:09-544 8025 URL: paksu-seafood.com.my
When it comes to Japanese food, you can’t really find a higher concentration of restaurants than Hartamas and Subang SS15. With the former, there’s at least quite a big community of Japanese expats living around Mont Kiara area, but with Subang, well, there isn’t an easy explanation.
It just seems like there are more and more new Japanese restaurants opening at the area every year, Jyu Raku being one of the newest kids on the block that already packed no less than some half a dozen outlets.
Jyu Raku, with classy deco and a rather extensive menu
Incidentally, the first Japanese restaurant I blogged about all the way back in 2005 was Rakuzen, situated right next door to Jyu Raku. In fact, it was the former Japanese head chef from Rakuzen that opened this restaurant.
an extensive sushi bar with grilling area at Jyu Raku
You can really see the resemblance in the menu as well as the restaurant layout between Ryu Raku and Rakuzen. An extensive sushi bar with grilling area connected to the kitchen, about half a dozen tables on the ground floor, and bigger dining area on first floor as well as a couple private rooms.
Photos you see from this blog post were taken from two separate visits, but I have been to Jyu Raku probably at least half a dozen time since. Quality of food has been pretty excellent, and there is a wide selection of dishes to choose from.
sashimi, jyu raku roll, Sheryl
The sashimi (kame, RM 48) has always been very fresh and served with grated wasabi. Wasabi makes a heck of a difference when it comes to enjoying sashimi, and once you had freshly grated wasabi to go with the raw fish, there’s no turning back.
Their signature Jyu Raku roll (RM 28) is something not to be missed too, unagi, prawn, and sashimi and lettuce wrapped with a very thin piece of cucumber and topped with salmon roe. Really luxurious and positively delicious.
ebi maki, cha soba, gyu tan, and that grated wasabi
The cha soba (cold green tea noodle) here is as good as anywhere, smooth silky, and absolutely delightful especially on a hot day.
One of my favorite parts of cow – the tongue, is served at Jyu Raku too. The tongue has a slightly firmer but smoother texture compared to meat, and carries a slightly different taste to it that to me, equals some of the best cuts of meat. A place for cheap gyu tan is at Daidomon (buffet style), but quality aren’t as good as Jyu Raku.
Mentaiko, or marinated pollock roe, is available on the menu but somehow aren’t available most of the time. The Ebi Mentai goes for RM 15, but when Cheesie asked for a bowl of mentai without the prawn, the restaurant obliged too. Mentaiko is quite a lot smoother than the more common ebiko (shrimp roe), and usually has a bit of a spicy kick to it. I love it.
cold inaniwa udon, beef with shimeji mushroom, green tea ice cream
Other dishes I’ve tried here include the inaniwa udon that is consumed much like cha soba, but a lot more subtle in taste (doesn’t come with wasabi). Beef with shimeji mushroom was pretty delicious too, but I’d imagine if we had ordered wagyu instead, it’d be even better, but alas, I don’t have a limitless wallet.
Jyu Raku is located right across from SJMC
Since the menu is rather extensive, there’s quite a lot more that I haven’t tried from Jyu Raku, yakimono, kushiyaki (skewed grill) wagyu, salad, and so forth. Those that I tried hasn’t been disappointing, but according to masak-masak, the tempura should be avoided though.
First of all, I want to thank everyone for coming and made the fifth installment of our annual Xmas Eve Party a blasting success. There were some 40 people who turned up, quite a few bottles of liquors and wines brought by you, and again, Tuborg sponsored loads of free beer with their beer girl Siao Ling joining the party as well. It was awesome.
Due to the hectic schedule a week (including a trip to Singapore) prior to the party, my housemates and I only managed to put up some minor decoration and set up the place in the last 2 hours. I bought some x’mas lights for my two x’mas trees, reuse the deco, got some snacks, mixers, a Coleman huge ice box filled with ice from 7-11 and we were good to go.
free Tuborg beer, and lotsa socializing
The party got started at around 9pm with Terence, Chris, and Anthony arriving first. Sheryl, Cindy, and Simon arrived there after, and joined by Eiling, who managed to fetch Huai Bin to my place despite being already 3/4 drunk before the party even got started.
Suan, Alan, and Wei Yi were around when our favorite Tuborg girl Siao Ling showed up with all those beer just as my new ice box was yearning for some attention. We quickly set things up and the party really got started right after that.
As the resident alcohol pusher, Terence was doing a fine job ensuring everyone a fair chance to get royally drunk by mixing 2 huge glasses of alcohol laden concoction named Life and Death. Erna was very fortunate to have a few gulps and ended up missing half the party by passionately hugging my gate with a really stoned facial expression. Elfie was embarassed that her fellow Sabahan can’t hold her drinks.
There were some new faces in this year’s party, Shamsul, AC, Faye, Chris, Anthony, Rebecca, Jenson, Aireen, Daniel, and Debra are friends of friends or people whom I got to know via the blog but never met prior to this party.
Cindy, Selina, Siao Ling, Tock, Yee Hou, Firdy, Huai Bin, Elfie, Michael, Eiling, Erna, and Zoe are certainly are friends who attended the party for the first time. I got to know some of them via blog, random events, and via other friends.
There are also those who are no stranger to our little yearly celebration, Reta, Naufal, Nicholas, Alan, Adrian, Rachel, Kelvin, and Mohan all came to the party at least once before.
Then there is the group of my closest friends who were here since the get go. My housemate Horng, Suanie, Gareth, Kim, Huey Fang and Chan, and Terence. I am glad that my exgf Sheryl was able to make it after being away in Europe for post graduate studies for the past two years.
some of the more embarassing gift exchange moments
We didn’t actually have a dress theme this year. Instead, the legendary gift exchange has a little twist in it: It has to be something you can wear, and you must wear it after opening. This idea came from Horng, blame him if you were one of the victims.
Some of the more messed up gifts include a purple bra (I hope the size fits you, Elfie), disposable undearwear, a few boxes of condoms (Huai Bin wore one in public, scaring off all the girls), numerous underwear, socks & stockings, headgear, and lipsticks. The gift exchange was pretty intense, very dangerous.
the Heineken hat exchanged hands 5 times, stupid Michael!
The most saught after gift item was this Heineken hat brought by Michael. The hat was snatched up 5 times and ended up back to Michael just because Elfie wanted it (that’s wh4, stupid Michael). I think we should make it a rule that you can’t pick your own gift next year onwards.
some of the things people do when they are slightly influenced
Things got a little wilder after the gift exchange session as the blood alcohol mixture gets a bit out of hand for a few people. There’s this particular “Patrick” who can’t seem to walk properly and ended up passed out all over the place. The best thing was he kept saying “careful! careful! the earth is moving” and “are you guys ok?” everytime right before he passed out. Patrick is seen sleeping in two places with “James” sitting in both places in the collage above.
There were also some toe licking actions by Faye and Huai Bin, Siao Ling was, tragically, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The party was great, and it was only appropriate that we had to end it after the cops came at 3:30am saying we were a bit too loud. Some of us then headed to Ming Tien for an early morning breakfast where Rachel promptly vomit out the wan tan mee after consumption. I think she was eager to join Patrick and James as the third person to throw up.
Again, thanks for coming, Merry Christmas and see you guys next year!
Some of you lucky noobs had the experience of holiday in Bali, for the rest of us, there is BumbuBali restaurant, giving a taste of Bali that is close to home and offering a peace of mind while dining.
nice menu with illustrations, good atmosphere too
The establishment is located in Puchong, at the shop lots opposite the Giant hypermarket of Bandar Puteri. Saturday night was very busy, we had to wait some ten minutes for the table even though we got there pretty late for dinner at close to 9pm. Obviously that was a good sign for a restaurant.
We ordered Nasi Campur BumbuBali (mixed rice), and Campur-campur tiga (3 mixes). We had initially wanted to order more, lucky the waiter adviced against it as the portions are rather large.
Nasi Campur BumbuBali is served with either potatoe rice (or yellow rice), with beef (or chicken, or lamb), squid, fish, prawn, and kangkung belacan (vege). It was more than a full meal and I reckon even Kim could not finish it.
are you feeling hungry?
Campur-campur tiga is supposedly an appertizer, but the portion can feed a suan. The three combinations is deep fried calamari, chicken wings, and satey on lemon grass stem. The satey was especially good and highly recommended by your culinary expert, me.
The food was great, something different and yet pretty close to local taste. It’s a bonus if you are one of the ex-bali tourists who misses the Bintang beer, they sell it here! However, as a good boy and all, I had star fruit juice instead. Total cost of the meal was RM 66+, pretty reasonable for a taste of Bali without the terrorist threat.
this is how you get there, yo!
You can also SMS the restaurant, just send “BC Bumbubali P” for promotion, “BC Bumbubali RSV” for reservation, and “BC Bumbubali E” for enquiry to 36399.
Address: 18 & 18-1, Jalan Persiaran 1
Bandar Puteri, Puchong GPS: 3.023087,101.615617 Tel:03-8061 8699