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Tag / suan

A few weeks ago we decided to have a little “not very surprised” birthday party dinner for Suan, one of the pioneer of Malaysian blogsphere, who also happens to be one of my dearest friends.

Since she’s been the yakitori sort of phase, we decided that Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa would make a good venue for this purpose. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa, they could use a better signboard
Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa, they could use a better signboard

Yakitori time at Maruhi Sakaba Taman Desa, some Jap beer to go along with all those skewers, and of course those intestine soup! #kyeats #nonhalal #japanese #yakitori #kirinichiban

A post shared by KY (@kyspeaks) on

Getting to Maruhi Sakaba isn’t a problem, but identifying the exact shop lot proved to be a bit of a challenge. For some strange reasons, the owner decided that a Kanji signboard designed for ants would be sufficient. Nonetheless, if you walk towards the center of the shop lots (Faber Plaza) from Public Bank at the corner, you won’t miss it.

Interestingly, the “Japanese BBQ” at Taman Desa is situated just behind at the alleyway of Maruhi Sakaba.

chicken sashimi, baby intestine carpaccio, organ meat stew
chicken sashimi, baby intestine carpaccio, organ meat stew

There are two menus at Maruhi Sakaba, the laminated version showcase over two dozen dishes, while another portable white-board menu gives you an additional 15-18 dishes that aren’t as “permanent”.

We ended up ordering over 3 quarters of what they offer.

Lets start with the non-grilled items. Chicken sashimi (RM 15) is something that we haven’t tried before, it tasted a bit like tuna carpaccio with a slightly more chicken taste, not particularly impressive but rather interesting for a first timer. Baby intestine carpaccio (RM 10) was crunchy and rich, goes well with beer. Then there’s the organ meat stew (RM 10), with the broth so sweet we just had to order a few more bowls, you need to order this if you’re there.

pan fried egg on rice, grilled pork rice, and cold appetizers
pan fried egg on rice, grilled pork rice, and cold appetizers 

For those who want to fill up their stomach quicker, there are rice dishes such as the medamayaki (fried egg on rice, RM 7) or yakibula don (grilled pork & vege on rice, RM 20), both versions were pretty tasty according to those who ordered.

There are also some vegetarian appetizers here, including tofu and wakame salad, (RM 8), pickled cucumber (RM 5), Hiyashi tomato (RM 5), and shio cabbage (RM 5). I recommend not having these as appetizers but use these dishes as refreshers for your tongue in between the yakitori sticks that tends to be a bit more oily and savory.

chicken, pork, mushroom, tomato, okra, and even brinjal yakitori
chicken, pork, mushroom, tomato, okra, and even brinjal yakitori

Then the question is, how are the yakitoris?

Well, for the most part, they are pretty darn good. Prices per stick ranges from about RM 3 to RM 5, and service was rather fast. We never had to wait for more than 10-15 minutes for our dishes to come, so ordering in the middle of eating won’t really interrupt the “flow” at all.

I liked their chicken wings, chicken skin, and pork belly sticks, and also particularly happy that they have quite a few choices of vegetable yakitori as well. The brinjal and lady’s fingers were quite awesome too.

we sure had a great time at Maruhi Sakaba
we sure had a great time at Maruhi Sakaba, it was Suan’s birthday!

Maruhi Sakaba also serves a few types of Japanese beer and sake.

Of course, this place is not without flaws, for one, it would be great if there’s air conditioning and maybe better chairs. But for the price and quality of food and services, we’re not going to complain much. Filling up our belly with plenty of meat and a few glasses of beer totaled up to RM 40-50 per pax. Would go again.

map to Maruhi Sakaba at Taman Desa

Address:
Maruhi Sakaba
6A, Faber Plaza,
Jalan Desa Jaya,
Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.102578, 101.682947
Hours 6 pm-11 pm daily, closed on Mondays

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
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
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
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 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
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.

spaghetti with river prawn, Thai green curry pesto
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
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
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
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.

map to Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya

Address:
Fa Ying Thai Restaurant
The Boulevard, Paradigm Mall
Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.108806, 101.59564
Tel: 03-7451 2933

Several weeks ago (in fact it was last year), along with a bunch of well known ethanol lovers, I was invited to the launch of Little Creatures at The Hill in Damansara Height.

If you are like me who had no clue what exactly is Little Creatures, well, it is an Australian beer from a micro brewery in Frementle, Western Australia.

Haze and Paintlust's work displayed at The Hill
Haze standing by one of their art works (paintlust) displayed at The Hill

Haze and Vinn painted a canvas at The Hill sometimes last year for Kronenbourg French festival, and was delighted to see that the painting is still prominently displayed at the upper level at the restaurant.

Do check out more of their work at paintlust.net, they offer wall painting and other art works by commission.

beer, plenty of beer!
ermmmmm… beerrrrr… burpp

Now back to Little Creatures. Since it is from a micro brewery, and micro being synonymous to small, the distribution of this beer is rather limited. Currently you can find it only at The Hill & Brussels restaurants (both in Solaris & Jaya One).

We tasted both the pale ale and bright ale, with the former slightly more flavorful while the bright ale a tad easier to drink and .. well, lighter. I like the pale ale.

Michael, FA, Haze, Suan, and myself
Michael, FA, Haze, Suan, and myself

We were also treated with a line of buffet spread at The Hill. I don’t remember how many chicken wings I had that night, they were addictive. Other food such as the pasta and such were pretty decent too.

Haze, Suan, Michael, Ahfa, Deep, and quite a few other familiar faces were at the same media launch as well, we had a good time with the fine folks at Luen Heng.

food at The Hills was pretty good too, but the parking situation...
food at The Hill was pretty good too, but the parking situation…

As for The Hill, well, it is quite a charming place, but I still wouldn’t go there unless the parking situation is improved. Unless you’re willing to walk pretty far (which often I do), the only option is to use their valet services, which is both expensive and very very slow. Waiting for extra 15 minutes to get your car back isn’t very fun when you want to go home.

I’m going be having a continuous 19 day off from work starting today for CNY and a bit of diving, the longest so far since I started working in Malaysia more than 8 years ago. It’s gonna be glorious!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Olympus E-PL3

A week ago I was invited to Opus Bistro for a revisit, this time around it’s an event organized by MilkADeal, the group buy website that not coincidentally, is having a good deal for Opus Bistro right this moment. Details of the deal at the bottom of this post.

My previous visit at Opus Bistro was a wine tasting event with Montana wine while this one is a purely food oriented session with all the dishes here available on their menu (Opus’s website).

Opus Bistro at Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar
Opus Bistro at Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar

We were seated on the first level, a tastefully done dining area fit for private functions as well as cozy dinner without the usual noise associated in a busy restaurant.

Many of you aren’t necessarily interested with the  thickness of chair cushion and how many replica pantings are on the wall, so lets go straight to the food, shall we?

seafood antipasti platter
seafood antipasti platter

Like most finer dining places, we started off with some bread that you dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar while sipping a glass of white wine, but that is pretty dull to describe, move on to the first dish then – the seafood antipasti platter (RM 45.)

Here is a dish with some of my favorite ingredients – squid, scallop, tiger prawn, and clam. All perfectly prepared but come in different texture and flavor that compliment each other rather well. I love it.

risotto ball, seafood spaghetti, lamb shank
risotto ball, seafood spaghetti, grilled lamb cutlets in red wine sauce

Then there’s the risotto ball (RM 22), something that is quite unique to Opus. It is sort of a vegetarian “meatball” that the health conscious should love, but meat lover such as me find slightly lacking.

The seafood spaghetti (RM 22/36) is a delightful dish especially if you didn’t have the antipasti platter to start off dinner. Here you find mussels, prawns, squid, and clams accompanying the pasta in olive oil and herbs, almost healthy.

The grilled lamb cutlets with rosemary in red wine sauce (RM 58) is a dish that can satisfy anyone with a huge appetite for meat. There’s a choice of mint sauce too if red wine sauce isn’t your thing. The meat is tender and succulent.

aglio olio with smoked duck, roast cod, tiramisu, chocolate desire
aglio olio with smoked duck, roast cod, tiramisu, chocolate desire

For those who love to venture into the slightly wilder side, there’s linguini aglio olio with smoked duck (RM 17/30.) The smoked duck breast carries a slightly salty smokey taste that will satisfy your curiosity.

We also tried both versions of roast cod (RM 58) at Opus. I personally favor the one with white wine sauce over the lemon caper sauce but truth be told, both were excellent.

For desserts we had tiramisu (RM 16) & chocolate desire (RM 20). The hot chocolate in pastry combine well with the cold vanilla ice cream to serve as the far better dessert for the night.

Haze, KY, Ringo, Kerol, and Suan at Opus Bistro
Haze, KY, Ringo, Kerol, and Suan at Opus Bistro

Opus Bistro is in effect, a place with pretty good food at a still affordable pricing, a poor man’s fine dining restaurant if you would.

The good news is, in the next 6 days (till 10th of May, 2011), you can get a deal from MilkADeal that maks Opus a must-visit place. The deal is – RM25 instead of RM74 for a Main Pasta + Wine / Fruit Juice / Soft Drink. Click on it, purchase, redeem, and enjoy!

map to Opus Bistro at Bangsar

Address:
Opus Bistro
67, Jalan Bangkong
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2092 4288