When it comes to sinful meals, banana leaf rice can’t escape to be in the list that also includes bak kut teh and nasi lemak. Good food are usually not very good for the body, and I guess that is what made us we enjoy it so much. If it is something you can have every day, you would get bored of it very fast isn’t it?
Anyway, one of the more famous banana leaf rice in PJ would be Raju’s that is situated next to La Saelle Secondary School just off Jalan Gasing.
they can deep fry everything
Much like most Banana leaf rice places, Raju’s serve all sorts of freshly deep fried stuff to go with the rice on banana leaf accompanying the typical three vegetables and papadum. You can choose from various types of fish, squid (which I love), chicken, fish roe, prawn, and so forth.
There are also other curry dishes, we ordered a plate of curry prawns for the day. Other choices include mutton curry, chicken, and curry squid.
prawn, squid, chicken, and the curry
The condiments i absolutely love when having banana leaf rice is the deep fried bitter gourd and chili padi. After deep fried, the bitter gourd is crunchy and only retain a very subtle bitter taste, goes very well with curry. The chili padi is salty and spicy, acts more like a substitute for a spicy and solid version of soya sauce than anything else, to me at least.
love the deep fried chili and bitter gourd
As for price, the standard banana leaf rice with just vegetables, papadum, and meatless curry would be around 4 or 5 ringgit. However, the bill can really add up when you add in many other side dishes like what we had that day. Few ringgit a piece of chicken, more than 10 for the squid, the prawns, and drinks. It can easily come up to over 20 ringgit per person. I’d say the price at this place is on par with other banana leaf places.
Raju’s is next to La Salle High School
Besides banana leaf rice, you can find many types of traditional indian snacks like vadai here. The tosai and roti canai (also served on banana leaf) are very good here as well.. I also love the outside under-the-tree seatings they have.
If you haven’t been there before, give it a try.
Address: 27, Jalan Cantek 5/13
Off Jalan Gasing
Petaling Jaya GPS:3.101703, 101.653769
I had a food review at Bruno’s last week, and pinkpau Su Ann was the partner in crime. The appointment was on 8pm, and knowing how well this girl is with punctuality, I had told her to make it 7:30pm, but it didn’t deter her from arriving at my place only 5 minutes before 8 though…
Anyway, lets get back to the topic.
Bruno’s is one of the new Western restaurants that serves non-halal food, a trend that is slowly emerging in the market, following the good receptions of places like Jarrod & Rowlins and Bermuda &Onions. A trend that I particularly welcome! The restaurant actually shares the same owner as Food Foundry (one of the only places that sells Mille Crepe)
classy deco, and Su Ann, the very hot and cute thief of time
The unique thing about Bruno’s is the Iberian pork they serve. The black Iberian pigs are allowed to roam in the oak forest and raised with a diet of grass, herbs, acorns, and roots. A few months before slaughtering, the animal is fed only acorns. As a result, higher level of oleic acid is found in the meat, which is supposed to be a good thing that lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the good HDL.
Now who said eating pork is necessarily a bad thing?
Spanish ham, glorious pork ribs
Our host of the night was none other than the famous Daphne Lee (who hit off with Su Ann in a long and amusing gossip session) of the Drams Project. We started our dinner with a plate of Spanish Ham and Sausage Platter. The meat were slightly salty and tasted something between dried meat (bak kua) and ham, they go very well with some bruschetta in between. A good selection as appetizer, though a taste that needs a bit of acquiring.
Then it was our main dish, the BBQ pork ribs. I’ve had BBQ ribs with beef, but nothing came close to having it original, pork, as it was meant to be. The portion was huge and it came with potato, french beans, and salad. The side dishes were meant to give your taste bud a chance to refresh, alternating between the juicy and meaty ribs and the freshness of vegetable. We finished the entire rack without much trouble at all, it was good. I think next time I should have some beer to go with this.
Zarzuela (soup), dessert, and linguine with prawns
Zarzuela, the name of the soup I probably won’t remember in the next 5 minutes, was very nice. There’s scallops, mussels, clams, squid, and prawns in the clam and tomato broth. Very sumptuous, very delicious, and probably nullified the effect of the whole oleic acid business.
We also ordered the linguine prawn with spicy white wine butter sauce, unfortunately it was a too spiced up and the prawns were a bit overcooked to my liking. Despite the very nice presentation of this dish, it was a disappointment for the night.
the dessert, the girl, and the wine
Dessert was the very sinful Valrhona chocolate lava cake, with this little orange fruit that I absolutely love. The chocolate cake went very well with the white wine we had.
It was a very good dinner, and with the most gossips I’ve heard since forever. I’m sure I’ll see you again somewhere, Daphne!
Jaya 33 is just a couple minutes off Federal Highway
While not cheap, prices at Bruno’s is still fairly reasonable. Entrees are from RM 30+ onwards and you can have gourmet sandwiches or salad for RM20+. Of course, that huge rack of pork ribs costs a bit more than that. They also serve steaks, seafood, paella, and a selection of tapas.
Quietly tucked in a row of shop houses at SS18 is the JM Bariani House that serves traditional Johor nasi briyani. My colleague and I went there on a particularly warm afternoon for lunch as this place is actually air conditioned. It was a wise decision, not only did we not have to sweat in a kopitiam, the food was so good it reminded me of the awesome Indian nasi briyani I had at Myanmar.
illustrated menu and a comfortable interior
JM Bariani House serves all but one item (mee bandung) that isn’t nasi briyani as main dish. There’s lamb, beef, chicken, fried chicken, and even just pure nasi briyani without any meat. They also serve nasi briyani gam ayam (chicken) every Wednesday and nasi briyani gam kambing (lamb) every Saturday.
I ordered a lamb briyani and my colleague had the chicken briyani, we also ordered a tauhu bakar (fried bean curd skin stuffed with mengkuang, cucumber, and sauce) to share.
chicken and lamb briyani, tauhu bakar
The rice used is the finer and smaller grain than usual, very soft and fragrant. The meat was so tender you can cut it with your spoon, they must be cooked for many hours. The taste was just right, not overly spicy, salty, nor sweet, but just a perfect harmony that was very satisfying. My colleague was very satisfied with the chicken briyani as well.
As for the tauhu bakar, I could say that I’ve had better. You would probably want to skip this item when you’re there.
The lamb briyani was RM 10.50 and chicken at RM 9.50. Not exactly economical but wouldn’t break your bank either. Some might justify it with air conditioning provided, but I’d say the awesome nasi briyani more than make up for the slightly higher price.
Address: 21 & 21A Jalan SS18/6,
Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.064812, 101.585866 Tel:03-5634 4660
A couple weeks ago baby Marco’s father invited me to have a food tasting session at this curiously named Bermuda and Onion at Cangkat Bukit Bintang. Since I was bringing a couple guests, he reminded me that this place serves pork, more pork, and nothing but pork! My drool started flowing just from hearing that magic sentence.
note: Unfortunately this place has gone halal (updated jan 2010)
love the decoration of this place
During the weekend, parking around the area was surprisingly easy to find. We were greeted by this absolutely beautiful interior decoration the moment we stepped into the restaurant, the lime green wall, egg shaped lamp on the curvy ceiling fan, the patio, the bar, the chairs; this place looks like something out of a romantic movie, a striking contrast from the nearby Jalan Alor kopitiams.
bruschetta, parma ham with asparagus, prawn, and okra on skewers
As 2 of my buddies and I waited for TBG and her lesser half, we were served some bruschetta with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to start the day off. Very nice.
Then the pork dishes began, in a small way at first. Out of the three skewers we had, two of them had pork in it. The prawns and parma ham was absolutely fantastic, the asparagus and bacon was equally delicious with it’s contrasting texture and taste of vegetable vs meat. Ladies fingers and tomato gave a pretty good balance to counter the meat just a little. It was a very good start, and I was quite impressed already.
cold cuts, caesar salad, parma ham with rock melon
To warm up our stomach further before the main dishes, we were presented three other appetizers: cold cuts, caesar salad, and prosciutto and melone.
The cold cuts came with three different types of meat with some olives. I love two of them but find the harder type a little bit too much to handle with it’s dryness and more pungent smell (purists would love it though). Caesar salad came with plenty of prawns, bacon, Parmesan cheese and egg. It was very refreshing and delicious!
However, my favorite of the day has to go to the prosciutto and melone. I never knew parma ham could go so well with rock melon, the saltiness of the meat and the sweetness of the rock melon was absolutely brilliant! You must order this when you go to Bermuda and Onion, do not forget this!
wild boar fettuccine, bread dumpling soup, pork chop ala mustard
Then came assault of main dishes. The wild boar fettuccine was pretty strong tasting, with generous chunks of wild boar meat and mushroom cooked with fresh herbs. The speck ‘canedarli’ gnocchi is a homemade Italian bread dumpling served in double boiled chicken broth and Parmesan cheese. The chef explained that they’d have made this bigger in Italy as compared to here.
Then of course, there’s the pork chop ala mustard that came in a huge plate. A generous slab of pork chop is pan seared, and served with creamy Dijon mustard sauce and plenty of mash potato. Very rich and creamy but really good.
sea bass and roasted pork belly
Just as we thought the lunch session is coming to an end, two glorious dishes appeared. The interesting looking sea bass and roasted pork belly.
The sea bass, as with most dishes from this restaurant, didn’t escape the influence of pork. Mantled with parma ham and served with mixed sauteed vegetables, it gives you a false sense of enjoying “healthy” seafood but of course, with a more satisfying experience through the taste buds.
As for the pork belly, what can I say? Proper and glorious layers of pork skin, fat, and meat served in a thick brown sauce with mashed potato and Lardoni bacon, I can’t help myself but to continue slicing it up and chew em down despite already being very full.
hot restaurant manager Sharmini, and good Chef Max
We capped the day with a hot cup of cafe latte, it was definitely the best lunch I’ve had in a long while. Chef Max and restaurant manager Sharmini were very friendly, as with baby Marco’s parents as well.
Price wise, I’d think this place is pretty reasonable. The skewers are RM 8-9, my favorite parma ham with melon at RM33, other main dishes are priced at around 30+ to 50+. Give it a try!
Bermuda & Onion is located at Changkat Bukit Bintang, nearby Jalan Alor
Address: no. 41 Changkat Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur GPS:3.147592, 101.708100 Tel:03-2145 8333
Ever since I came back from the States, I’ve been having a tough time finding good steak. The “western food” hawker stalls are usually pretty good with their chicken chop and perhaps fish and chips, but the steaks are about as thick as a notepad and tasted equally disappointing. I’ve also tried some of the restaurants like cafe chinoz at KLCC but the steak was not exactly up to standard, I couldn’t even finish the filet mignon there. I’ve heard that Le Meridien’s Prime Grill serves very good steak, but the price is a bit out of reach. I’ve almost accepted the fate that I shall just forget about having steak, until I went to Gaucho Grill at Chulan Square last week.
excellent interior, chef Kamaruddin and yours truly
Gaucho Grill is one of the very few Argentinian restaurants in Klang Valley. Chef Kamaruddin explained that Argentina is actually the 2nd largest consumer of beef in the world, just after US (with 7.5x more in population). Vegetable is not exactly popular, the south Americans love their meat. Gaucho Grill imports all their meat from herds raised by gauchos (cowboys) of Argentina.
The three of us that attended this review session by foodstreet were first served with some really nice garlic bread, Escargot, their Sopa Oceano (seafood soup), and the rather large portion of Mixed Crunch.
The seafood soup has the texture between that of a minestrone soup and pasta sauce, very thick and packed with the sweetness from the scallops, prawns, and mussels that swim in it. It was good. The Mixed Crunch is a dish of finger food that would go very well with beer. Crispy prawn with garlic mayo, mussels, fried mushroom, onion fritter, salmon floret, bruschetta of tomato and feta cheese, and seared scallop with balsamic oil, it was actually pretty hearty for a starter.
Next came the four main dishes for the day, we had the La Boca (T-bone Steak), Peublo (Prime Steer Beef Tenderloin), El Codero (Lamb Rack), and El Rey de Mar (Salmon and half Lobster). Two beef, a lamb, and a seafood dish, perfect!
Both the T-bone steak and tenderloin were some of the best beefs I’ve had for a long time. While our dishes were prepared in medium, I personally would like it in medium rare for an even juicier experience. The T-bone is a whopping 450 gram (1 pound) of steak served with rosemary butter. No other sauce is used to distract the natural taste of beef. It was really good.
For the most tender cut served at Gaucho Grill, the good chef prepared the Peublo, a very thick cut of prime steer beef tenderloin that is served with mushroom gravy, zucchini, and fries. The meat was very tender and juicy it brought back my filet mignon (the good one at States, not the lousy version at KLCC) experience.
juicy meat, almond crumble and choc madeleine desserts
As good as the beef dishes were, the El Codero (lamb rack) was equally delicious. Three pieces of very juicy and tender ribs (280gm) served with ratatouille and pesto, I don’t think I’ve had lamb this good before. Even better than the marinate Jaime’s mom made during one of our BBQ sessions.
Other than red meat dishes, we had the El Rey de Mar (roasted salmon and baked half lobster). The salmon was roasted just nice and lobster, well, it was how lobsters taste like, very succulent and never disappoint.
We managed to sample 2 desserts after all these food, the Choc Madeleine is perfect for chocolate lovers with apricot on moist choc, ice cream, and warm choc fudge. The Panna Cotta is similar to creme brulee, but served cold with dark cherry and raspberry stew. The desserts are made in house as well.
Chulan Square is adjacent to Pavilion KL
Steaks are priced at around RM 68-80, desserts are RM 13-16. There’s also a very good deal for set lunches on weekdays between 12-3pm, for RM 26 you get soup, salad, ice lemon tea, and a main dish (rib eyes, burgers, etc).
The food was really good, and I have no doubt I will go there again. 🙂