Tag / spaghetti
Mexican cuisine isn’t one of the most popular foreign foods in Malaysia, but if you want Western style food with a dose of hotness, this is where you go. Las Carretas is probably one of the earlier establishments serving Mexican cuisine in the country, and with three branches in town, the brand is proved to be pretty popular among locals and expats as well.
Las Carretas at Ampang
This is the second post on Las Carretas on the blog, the first being a 2006 version when (I believe) they only had one branch at USJ. The chain has grown since and I thought it’ll be appropriate to pen another review since we went to the Ampang branch just a while back.
fresh oysters in different flavors
There are quite a selection of starters in the menu, but for oyster lovers, one must not miss their offerings. Have it fresh, with cheese and herbs, or salsa on top (RM 29.90 for half dozen). The shellfish were big, fresh, juicy, and absolutely mouth watering. Very decent value for what you get.
chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup
Chips and salsa is always served while you wait for food to arrived. While they’re very tasty, try not to over indulge in them to avoid stuffing your stomach too early before your main arrives.
Calamares a la Romana is the Mexican way of saying deep fried squid rings (RM 21.90), and they are served with garlic mayo dip and tartar sauce. Tastes pretty good but not exactly something you can’t get from just about anywhere.
I tried Sopa De Rabo (boneless oxtail soup, RM 11.90) and well, if there’s anything better than oxtail soup, it is making it boneless. Easy to consume, delicious and with zero hassle. I love it.
rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin
For my main dish I chose Bife Ancho, or rib-eye steak with an addition of seared foie gras (RM 92, or RM 68 without). The 45-day aged Australian grain fed beef were excellent, but the preparation of foie gras was lacking, I felt that they overcooked it a bit.
Other friends who had Pollo Loco (boneless chicken chop with black peppercorn sauce, RM 19.90) and Crusted N.Z. Lamb Rack (RM 64.90) were very happy with their choices. The lamb, served with freshly made rosemary sauce and cooked to perfection, was especially praised.
prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas
Prawn Spaghetti (RM 38.90) was served with pretty good size prawns and drenched in garlic, chili, and fajita sauce. Positively Mexican and yet something that’s easy to adapt to if you’re not used to the taste.
If you have a big appetite, Chuleton De Bistek (T-bone steak, RM 65.90) and all it’s 450 gram glory can be yours, complete with salad, ranch dressing, and steak fries. One of our team members’ go-to meal here.
Interestingly, we only really ordered one “classic” Mexican dish among the 10 of us. The beef Fajitas (RM 33.90) was served in a sizzling hot plate with plenty of warm tortilla to go around. I love their Guacamole sauce that comes with this dish.
awesome lunch with the team
It seems to me that after some 6-7 years between the last visit and this one, Las Carretas hasn’t missed a beat. Food is still generally very good (except for the foie gras), prices are reasonable for what you get, and service isn’t anything to complain about either. I should go there again, this time maybe sooner.
Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant
22 Persian Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159156, 101.746702
Tel: 03-4257 1668
Fa Ying at Paradigm Mall is the new foray into modern Thai cuisine by the same people who run Rama V at Jalan U Thant.
If you aren’t exactly a Thai historian, the name Fa Ying (means Princess) might sound a bit bizarre for a Thai restaurant. According to the owner, Fa Ying was the name of the playful sister of Rama V, the revered Thai King who was credited to the modernization of Siam. Since this outlet serves a “playful” interpretation of Thai cuisine to the sister restaurant Rama V, hence the name Fa Ying.
Pretty neat, I thought, but maybe adding “Thai restaurant” at the back of that big sign board bight help a little.
Fa Ying Thai Restaurant at Paradigm Mall
The restaurant is located at The Boulevard at Paradigm Mall, the semi-outdoor area under the office block with a set up that’s not entirely unlike the “covered alfresco” area at Pavilion. It’s pretty much open air while still sheltered from the harshest of elements.
Fa Ying also spot a full bar, serving liquor, cocktails, and beer
For those likes some proper drinks to go with Thai food, Fa Ying is definitely a place to go. Spotting a full bar, the restaurant serves a variety of cocktails, beer, and other drinks.
Some of the drinks we tried were:
- Mango Thai Pandan RM 21
- Thai Tom Yam RM 21 (funny name..)
- Mojito Selection RM 24
- Lemongrass Basil and Mango Sparkler RM 13
They also serve a fishbowl drink called Marquessa (RM 100) that comes with dragon fruit, cucumber, Absolut blue, burnt orange peel, white wine, and soda. It’s like a potent Thai version of Sangria.
While not an expert in cocktails by any means, I did enjoy their drinks.
lamb, fish, and seafood sate
Lets move on to the food.
We sampled three types of Thai satay here. The lamb satay (RM 20) was flavorful but without the overly strong “lamb” taste that some people dislike.
Fish satay a tender and soft, while the seafood satay with prawns & mussels were refreshing and went very well with their sourish sauce.
minced beef in cucumber, watermelon salad, pomelo salad
Minced meat in cucumber (RM 12) looked a bit like sushi but carries the distinctive Thai taste. The cucumber provided nice contrast to the meat, without the requirement of steamed rice to complement the meat. I’ll wouldn’t mind this as beer food.
For those who loves to go green, watermelon salad (RM 12) and pomelo salad (RM 16) will do the job just fine.
grilled scallops served with spinach and manow sauce
Our favorite appetizer of the day goes to this beautifully presented grilled scallops with spinach and manow sauce (RM 19). The scallops were perfectly seared, and the sourish manow sauce provided just the kick to complete this seafood experience.
I also think that this dish offers excellent value.
cod fish with manow, spaghetti with river prawn, Thai green curry pesto
Codfish with Manow (RM 42) provides a choice for those who loves this buttery fish, I find no fault in the execution of this dish, except that it’ll probably leave some room for dessert.
Spaghetti with Thai green curry pesto (RM 22) and spaghetti with river prawn (RM 32) are among the two pasta dishes offered here, both were a bit spicy and definitely not masking their Thai origin. I find the experience a little strange, but perhaps it’s something you get used to.
roast duck sandwich, grilled tenderloin with green curry
My favorite main dish goes to the roast duck sandwich (RM 20). It was simple yet brilliant, and I wonder why it took so long for anyone to come up with this. It was utterly delicious and I would go back to Fa Ying just to have this. (btw my colleague Sheng had this and gave his approval as well)
Lastly, we also sampled their grilled tenderloin with green curry mushroom (RM 42). Perhaps I’m spoiled by those high grade beef at Prime, but for less than RM 50, the meat was decent.
Thai desserts at Fa Ying
Like most Thai restaurants, Fa Ying serves a variety of traditional desserts. I liked the fried banana fritters with vanilla ice cream, and their mango with sticky rice was pretty good as well. Each of these dish comes with half a strawberry, leaving the trace of the “playful” nature of Fa Ying.
Pearl, Reiko, Evelyn, Suan, Haze, KY, Audrey, Owner
We had a pretty good session at Fa Ying, and it is definitely a place I’ll revisit (if not just for the roast duck sandwich!). Mention ‘PRINCESS’ as password and get 10% off food bill before 1st of February 2013.
If you are looking for Thai food with a bit of a twist at a place with nice ambiance to bring a date, this would be a sweet choice.
Fa Ying Thai Restaurant
The Boulevard, Paradigm Mall
Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.108806, 101.59564
Tel: 03-7451 2933
Favola at Le Meridien KL is pretty synonymous with fine Italian dining, but what’s little known is the fact that they do serve dishes that are not pizza, pasta, or risotto. On the latest visit to one of our favourite Italian restaurants, we tried their beef and lobster instead.
We were told by our hosts to pick our main dishes and soup, while appetizers will be taken care of. I found out that I certainly wasn’t the only person who always over order.
bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese
As usual, we were served with some lovely breads to much on while pondering what to pick for dinner. I had to constantly remind myself not to have too much of these whenever I’m at Favola, they were yummy with just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Soft creamy mozzarella, shaved truffle, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was the description for Burratina (RM 40) was refreshing, and the crispy beef bacon gave the dish an added dimension.
For cheese lovers, you’ll love Caprese (RM 35), how does marinated trio of tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic emulsion sounds like? It tasted as good as it sounds, I can use some buffalo mozzarella cheese right now, not overly cheesy, yet soft and creamy. A small pack can be had at Jaya Grocer for about RM 30.
deep fried breaded mozzarella, grilled jumbo asparagus w poached egg, mushroom soup
Fritti Mozzarella (RM 40) has a different take in mozzarella preparation, two generous slabs of buffalo mozzarellas breaded and deep-fried, then served with sautéed mushroom and avocado purée. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the skill of the chef is exhibited here by not over cooking the cheese, while still giving the skin that crispy texture.
The most beautiful appetizer of the day was Asparagi alla Griglia (RM 45). Grilled giant asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, brown butter and parmigiano. This was both beautiful and delicious.
cream of clams, sausage, vege in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth w spinach
For soup, I picked Brodo di Spinaci (RM 35), clear chicken broth with fresh spinach, with lobster dumpling and grated Parmesan. The soup was light, but I felt that the dumpling did not have enough lobster flavour to it. This was the least filling soup I think, a good thing in this case.
Haze had Zuppa di Vongola(RM 40). You could call it an Italian clam chowder, officially it’s cream of clams, Italian sausage, vegetable sofrito and green peas in golden pastries, and you gotta have a big stomach for this. The broth is creamy and quite filling, and tasted pretty good, the only minor qualm was that we wish they’d be more clams.
Zuppa di Fungi Calabrese(RM 35), or assorted mushrooms cooked in milk with garlic rustic bread and Swiss cheese, is always a favourite among diners at Favola. The mushroom soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, rich but not overly creamy, and absolutely fantastic.
black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak
OK, now we finally get to the main dishes.
There were two beef dishes on the menu and we tried both of them. Haze and I ordered the grilled Angus T-bone steak (RM 150) with Caesar salad and smoky pimiento butter, while Josen asked for the black Angus ribeye Fiorentina (RM 135) with grilled lemon halves and balsamic vinegar.
The beef were very good, I had mine medium rare, and Haze asked for hers to be served “blue” – which was rarer than rare. While these weren’t quite the standard of Prime (nor the same type of beef), they held their own very well and did not disappoint at all. At this price point, the beef were quite a bit cheaper as well.
ciki and her full baked boston lobster
While we enjoyed our beef, ciki went the other direction and picked the baked Boston lobster (RM 230 full, RM 120 half) that came with spice tomatoes and lemon chermoula with buffalo mozzarella. She was kind enough to share the seafood with us and I’m happy to report that it was indeed excellent.
You can have Maine lobsters for a tad cheaper at Lobsterman, SS2, but of course there won’t be buffalo mozzarella, attentive servers, or ambiance anywhere near the standard of Favola.
risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley
For those who favours traditional Italian food, Risotto con Cappesante (RM 65) comes with pan-fried sea scallops on leeks, lemon zest, chili and basil; or you could perhaps choose pasta in the form of Gamberetti ai Pinoli (RM 45) with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and mushroom in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, I’m quite sure you won’t leave in disappointment.
The menu with price can be found at http://discoverlemeridien.com/menus/
Thank you Janice & Damian for the invitation.
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470
Tel: 03-2263 7753
Last month it was the Vietnamese cooking demo and Vietnamese promotion at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien. Now the very same hotel runs the Taste of Italy” culinary event featuring guest Chef Fabrizio from Westin Bejing Financial Street.
Together with a bunch of bloggers & members of media, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by the good chef, and here’s one of his recipe.
Now even I think I can properly cook a meal with lobster that will do the shell fish justice. Here’s the recipe.
glorious Maine lobster in frying pan with olive oil, herbs & cherry tomato
- 320 g spaghetti
- 100 g olive oil
- 300 g cherry tomato (halved)
- 30 g garlic (chopped)
- 4 pcs maine lobster
- 100 g butter
- salt & pepper to taste
For the pesto
- 25 g basil
- 25 g marjoram
- 25 g parsley
- 75 g olive oil
here’s the spaghetti with lobster
The preparation method is pretty straight forward, and let me just copy verbatim from Chef Fabrizio’s text.
Roast garlic in large pan with olive oil. Add lobster, cherry tomato and cook with some water, add seasoning. Boil pasta in a large pot with salted water until the favorite cooking. Blend herbs with the olive oil for pesto. Take“` lobster out of the sauce, clean the tongs and half the tail. Arrange halved tail in a plate. Strain spaghetti and add sauce with herb pesto and butter. Arrange spaghetti beside the lobster, add lobster meat. Decorate with some herb leaves and serve.
fresh spring herb pesto, prepared with a blender
It’s pretty simple isn’t it?
Chef Fabrizio has a bit of flair and the lack of “seriousness” when it comes to preparation of his dishes. As he proudly said “I am not a pastry chef”, and cooking should involves a sense of flexibility and creativity. I like this style.
In fact, in a short span of 1 hour or so, the good chef prepared three dishes right in front of us, including the eggplant millefeuille recipe shared by Kim.
and we were served a very good buffet spread too, Chef Fabrizio & Chef Antoine
To get a taste of Chef Fabrizio’s creations, you can head to Favola at Le Meridien KL from June 4 to June 12, 2011. Ala carte goes for RM 25++ to RM 130++. Don’t miss out especially if you’re a fan of authentic Italian cuisine.
KY with Chef Fabrizio, Jon & Ciki, Cindy & Kim & Haze, Kim & Gareth
We were also fed an awesome spread of Italian dishes after the event (and after we sampled all three dishes prepared by Chef Fabrizio). There were cold cuts, clams, pizza, bruschetta, smoked salmon, salad, and more. It was a fantastic and certainly gastronomically satisfied session.
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470
Tel: 03-2263 7888
I remember many years ago, Pizza Hut used to have some sort of buffet deal. For a set price you could eat as many pizzas as you can, and access the salad bar and soup too. As a teenager at the time, a bunch of classmates and I went to the branch at Penang Gurney with the mission to “beat” the deal and get the best value.
In between pizzas, we would go to the restroom and arm wrestle on the toilet bowl or started doing push ups. The idea was to spend more energy so that we could “get hungry again” and eat more.
I think most of us ended up over full and could barely walk, that was a piece of Pizza Hut memory that I always remember.
Pizza Hut Kota Damansara
While the buffet deal is long gone, Pizza Hut hasn’t stopped giving good value to diners. The already very good pricing just got better with the Pizza Hut 50% Off Promotion. A bunch of us were invited to the showcase of this promotion a few days back.
The promotion is simple. Every weekday there are two items on the menu that are 50% off, and each customer are entitled to order ONE of the two discounted item. In another word, if two of you go on Monday, one can order the chicken wings and the other the pizza and both items will be on 50% off. Same great quality, only half the price.
Lets look at the line up from Monday to Friday.
To steer away from Monday blue
- Hawaiian Chicken Personal Pan Pizza – RM 4.50 instead of RM 9.00
- 4 pcs of WingStreet – RM 3.75 instead of RM 7.50
- Meatball Bolognaise – RM 5.25 instead of RM 10.50
- Assam Boi Fizz – RM 2.45 instead of RM 4.50
Assam Boi Fizz is the best seller at Pizza Hut, and my personal favorite too! Jelly, lime, assam, I love it!
Wake up to Wednesday
- Super Supreme Personal Cheesy Lava Stuffed Crust Pizza – RM 6.75 instead of RM 13.50
- Soup of the Day + Garlic Bread – RM 3.25 instead of RM 6.50
The soup comes with garlic bread too.
It’s Thursday, just one more day to the weekends!
- Island Supreme Personal Pan Pizza – RM 5.50 instead of RM 11.00
- Tropical Fizz – RM 2.45 instead of RM 4.90
This is one of my favorite pizzas here, with pineapple, onion, crabstick, tuna, and thousand island sauce too, very rich and very yummy!
And it’s Friday, woohoo!
- Creamy Cabonara – RM 5.25 instead of RM 10.50
- Garlic bread – RM 1.50 instead of RM 3.00
To me, Pizza Hut is always a place where a group of friends come together to enjoy hearty food and basically have a good time, and that is indeed what we had over the session. Hey, that’s a 1Malaysian crowd too!
The promotion is for the whole day on weekdays and not just for lunch time ya, so go have some! By the way, you can check out the TV Commercials too.