Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Jarrod & Rawlins – Grilled Pork Loin Fillet

I was supposed to be trying out their brunch menu, but sadly realised that on weekdays, the menu had only 4 selections, and Egg Benedict is only served on weekends. So I opted to try their set lunch menu (Monday – Thurs after 12pm), at a price of RM 21 (Approx SGD 8.50 / EUR 5.20)

The starter course of salad was so-so, and their dessert was nothing much to shout about either. So I’ve decided to just share my thoughts on my main dish – Grilled Pork Loin Fillet.

The meat was a bit dry, but the portion was just nice. I loved the sliced baked potatoes and the sauce, couldn’t really tell what it was made of, but at least it went well with the meat. The rocket salad leaves as a garnish was just lovely too, giving it a bit of a bitterness taste to it. But in comparison with the Lamb Shank I had at The Norse Bar & Bistro I had last week, it really just barely meets my expectations.  

Final verdict: 6/10
Location: No. 32-M, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.


Monday, 5 August 2013

Ben’s – Moroccan Lamb Pie & Red Velvet Cake


I patronize Ben’s quite frequently when I’m at Pavilion, since it’s one of the few decent Western Restaurants with a nice ambiance at reasonable prices. My personal favourites are its House Salads, Portobello Mushroom Burger (the pesto sauce is amazing), Beef Bolognese Spaghetti, and PESTO Spaghetti (I really love their pesto sauce :p).

So that day, I wanted to try their dessert, and a friend of mine had their Lamb Pie.

Many of you should know I’m a sucker for desserts, and their long list of desserts to choose from was really tempting. So for my first time,  I chose my favourite – Red Velvet cake (RM11.90 / SGD 4.8 / EUR 3).

I can only say I wanted to cry =((  It was the worst Red Velvet cake I’ve ever had!
You can’t taste the chocolate at all, except for that miserable layer of chocolate sauce.
The cream cheese was over-powering! And it wasn’t soft enough, it was like a chunk of butter. *cries
I’ve never been this disappointed in a dessert ever. Let’s hope their other desserts aren’t as horrible.

Final verdict: 3/10

Then came the Moroccan Lamb Pie (RM 29.90 / SGD 12 / EUR 7.5). I thought that the pie stuffing would have the Moroccan sauce in it, but fortunately, it was just the meat and the sauce was separately placed on the side, which is a good idea, as some might not want it too spicy.

At first glance it seemed normal, but once you cut into the pie, you’d realize how soft the crust is, hence the very messy photo :p

The meat was nicely cooked, tender but not too soft, and the crust was light and not too filling. I loved how it was accompanied by the small house salad (so I don’t have to order a large one) too. I’d say the sauce had a combination of BBQ, Tomato, and Tabasco, giving it a sweet, spicy and tangy taste; but I enjoyed the pie even without the sauce =)) Next time I’ll try their Chunky Chicken Mushroom Pie.

Final verdict: 7.5/10
Location: KLCC, Pavilion, Bangsar Shopping Center, Publika Solaris Dutamas & Gurney Paragon.


Sunday, 4 August 2013

My Burger Lab – A+ Burger

When you think of burgers, I bet McD, Burger King and Carl’s Junior are the few names that pop up.
Depending on my mood, I personally love all 3 fast food chain burgers. McD for Mc. Spicy/Fillet-o-Fish, Mushroom burger from Burger King and if I’m craving for a LARGE burger, I’ll go for Carl’s Junior.

So that day, I was craving for burgers, but I wanted to find something special. Thanks to my lovely new friend, I found out about the charcoal burger in SS2.

We have been warned that there will be a long queue, even if you reached there at 5pm when they open (it’s open till 10.15pm). But that didn’t stop us from trying it out.
Lucky for us, the queue to order wasn’t long, but waiting for the burger was a bit.

The restaurant is actually located in a residential area, literally across a stretch of terrace houses. However, the crowd was mostly youngsters, making you feel as though you’re in a college campus diner. It’s a really small restaurant with endless long tables, making the place really crowded; the strong greasy smell in the air from the open kitchen doesn’t help eliminate the stuffiness of it either.

The service there was pretty good, there’s someone to assist you in ordering your burger if you’re a first timer. The girl was nice enough to recommend the A+ for beef lovers, and Spicy Hawaiian Chicken for chicken lovers. Since it was my first time, I went for the A+ recommendation. 

You can choose to add on fries and drinks (free refill) for an additional RM6 to make it a set, so based on their menu, a set burger would cost around RM20 – 30 (Approx SGD 8 – 12/ EUR 5 – 7.5). I would say it’s pretty expensive judging from where it is located, I mean come on, this is shopping mall prices for god’s sake.

So after a 15 minute wait, our number was called (self-service) and we finally got the savor the famous “Black burger”. 

The bun was soft and sweet (usually charcoal buns are sweet), the beef was nice and juicy, you can actually taste the caramelized onions and the sauce had a tinge of garlic to it, the cheese was just nice. I would say it wasn’t bad at all. 

The fries were a bit too salty for my liking, but they were generous with their rosemary spices and it was crispy. What I liked about it all was that it had a home-made taste to it, unlike the commercially prepared burgers by the fast food chain. 

I was trying to figure out what the orange sauce was made of, but I could only taste the garlic, and perhaps some mayonnaise; but I think that is what makes it unique. Next time, I'll try their Beautiful Mess, it has an egg to it, just how I like it =)) 

Final verdict: 7/10


Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Hidden Gems - Melacca Food Review Part 2

Nyonya Kuih – Ondeh-ondeh

We were on our way to the car park, when this simple and rundown-like shop caught our eye with the crowd that was standing outside. So we stopped to see what the hassle was about, yurns out that they were selling freshly made authentic ondeh-ondeh by Nyonya Babas. We asked if we could buy some, but they were so high on demand that they were sold out and we had to order and return later to collect them.

While waiting, I asked the man how they were made. He explained that you first have to roll the Gula Melaka into the glutinous rice dough, then you place them into the pot of boiling Pandan Leaves Water (picture below). Once they are ready, the dough balls will rise to the surface. Then, remove them from the heat and roll them into the salted grated coconut.

We managed to eat them fresh when it was still hot, tasting the chewiness and half-melted palm sugar that was oozing out. It was really a rare treat to find freshly made ones, cause usually its store bought and cold.

I also found out that Ondeh-ondeh, is actually “Onde-onde”, and also known as Buah Melaka by the Baba Nyonya-peranakan in Melaka, in Indonesia however it is called Klepon.
Final verdict: 8.5/10
Location: The first left turn, starting from the start of Jonker Street. (unfortunately I didn’t get down the name)

Capitol Satay Celup

Here’s the ultimate dish to try in Melacca. The one and only Satay Celup (satay fondue) in the whole of Malaysia (the original one of course). We were really lucky to have arrived a few minutes earlier before the restaurant was open and avoided the horrendous queue. The signs state that they open at 5pm (I heard it’s still open at 2am too), but in actual fact they open at 4.30pm, so I’d advice to be there around 4.10pm, or else the queue is pretty demoralizing and you might change your mind (like some I saw). We were second in line, and the restaurant was full within seconds.

So we were seated, and the soup base had to be placed in our stove, while it was coming to a boil, the satay sauce ingredients (above photo) have to be added into the soup, to make a thicker texture of the soon to be “sauce”. Normally, the satay sauce is made up of peanuts, sweet potato, sugar and chili. This however, couldn’t be too spicy nor too sweet, so it was a mild combination of both, but you still get the spicy yet sweet "peanuty" taste to it. Once it was ready, we were told to dig in.

You can head over to the self-service refrigerated counter, and pick any stick for only RM 0.90 (Approx SGD 0.40/EUR 0.20), but the other selection of plates, such as the Chinese sausages, Cheese stuffed tou-fu etc are a different price. Furthermore, if you are there at the right time, the boss would give each table an option of king prawns, mussels, scallops to each person at RM 0.90 as well! But you only get that one chance :p

It really is a different experience when your meat/vegetables, are dipped/cooked in satay sauce, my favourite were You Tiao, cockles, cheese sausages and Tao Pok!

After about 1.5 hours, and stuffing ourselves crazy, the bill was only RM 123 for 6 people, an average of RM20 per person (SGD 8/ EUR 5). Would definitely come back again if I drop by Melaka.

Final verdict: 9/10
Location: Capitol Satay Celup Restaurant, 41 Lorong Bukit Cina, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +606-2835508, +6012-2295505

Nadeje Mille Crepe Cakes

Nadeje Patisserie specializes in mille crêpe, a French cake made of many crêpe layers. “Mille” means “a thousand” in French, implying the many layers of crêpe used. My love for it was instantaneous! Since it’s actually a light cream base layered between the crepe, it literally melts in your mouth. You could even swallow it without chewing, I’m not kidding. It’s really heaven in your mouth, and you can even finish 2 cakes without hesitation.

We ordered 4 flavours: Original, Cheese, Tiramisu and Chocolate Strawberry. My personal favourite is cheese and original. I had Green Tea flavour to go (ice packs are provided at RM0.30), but I wasn’t much impressed by it as compared to the original flavour. The menu would also state which cakes had alcohol in them. Since the alcohol is not used for flavouring (you can’t taste it), I suspect it’s just used as an ingredient to keep the cake together.

Each cake is about RM9 – RM 10 (Approx SGD 4/ EUR 2.50), I think it’s slightly on the expensive side just based on the ingredients used, but you’re truly paying for the technique of making these exquisite cakes.

Final verdict: 9.5/10
Location: Either Melaka or Petaling Jaya
G-23,25 & 27 Jalan PM4, Plaza Mahkota, 75000 Malacca City, Malaysia.
B-01-01, Dataran 3 Two Square (Jalan 19/1, Seksyen 19), Petaling Jaya, Selangor 46300.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Hidden Gems - Melacca Food Review Part 1

Malacca has always been my top favourite state in Malaysia due to their special political and cultural history. It’s also the only state in Malaysia to  have been colonized/influenced by the Dutch, Brits, Portuguese, Chinese and Malay. Thus, giving it a colorful taste to their cuisine, architecture and even language.

It all started out with the Baba Nyonya history, where it originated from Malacca, and later on these descendents moved to the other Chinese straits, such as Penang & Singapore when the British ruled. This cultural mix started when early Chinese traders started to take Malay women from Peninsular Malaya or Sumatra as wives or concubines. Consequently, the Baba Nyonya possessed a synergistic mix of Sino-Malay cultural traits. Not long later, Chinese men in Singapore and Penang were also supplied with slave wives of Bugis, Batak, and Balinese origin. The British tolerated the importation of slave wives since they improved the standard of living for the slaves and provided contentment to the male population.   

Baba Nyonya subscribed to Chinese beliefs: Taoism, Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism. They celebrated the Lunar Chinese New Year, while adopting the customs of the land they settled in, as well as those of their colonial rulers. Moreover, from the Malay influence a unique "Nyonya" cuisine has developed using typical Malay spices, hence the unique cuisine of Chinese dishes (mostly Hokkien influence) with the touch of Malay spices.


The language of the Peranakans, Baba Malay (Bahasa Melayu Baba), is a dialect of the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu), which contains many Hokkien words. It is a dying language, and its contemporary use is mainly limited to members of the older generation. English has now replaced this as the main language spoken amongst the younger generation.

Peranakan culture has started to disappear in Malaysia and Singapore, resulting in the assimilation of Peranakans back into mainstream Chinese culture. Singapore classifies the Peranakans as ethnically Chinese, so they receive formal instruction in Mandarin Chinese as a second language (after English), instead of Malay. In Malaysia, the standardization of Malay (required for all ethnic groups), has led to a disappearance of the unique characteristics of Baba Malay.

So now let’s move on to the food. They aren’t particularly Baba Nyonya cuisine (I didn’t have the time to visit any), but at least you can’t find them anywhere else in Malaysia. Be prepared to queue.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice & Asam Fish

This isn’t the best in Melacca, but it’s the second best. :p This restaurant is located at the start of Jonker street, and has a queue nonetheless, but I’m glad to say that the queue is still bearable as compared to the best chicken rice restaurant (which unfortunately I was not able to get the name of, maybe next time).

A whole steamed chicken was RM 34 (approx SGD 14/EUR 8). They were generous with their soya sauce and cucumber. The chicken was smooth and tender, not too dry, and the rice was fragrant. We weren’t able to order the Rice balls since it was sold out, but you should try it if you get the chance.

A big plate of Asam Fish (Tamarind Fish) was also RM 34 (approx SGD14/EUR 8). It wasn’t spicy, but sour enough. The Asam/Tamarind Fish paste is made with red chili, garlic, shallots, ginger, shrimp paste, tamarind pulp. I couldn’t taste much of the ginger in the fish and yet it wasn’t fishy. Thumbs up!

The restaurant has a very Chinese décor to it, with the wooden entrances and Chinese lettering on them. The service wasn't too shabby and fast, given that they were under-staffed. All in all, a good way to try the famous Chicken Rice without a long wait.

Final verdict: 8/10
Location: 4, 6, 8 Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), 75200 Melacca.

Jonker 88 Chendol and Laksa

There's 2 stalls just outside the restaurant. On the right is your laksa queue, and on the left is your chendol. You need to queue (under the hot sun), order, and find a place to sit inside (if youre lucky).

We had the best selling Chendol – Baba Chendol (RM 3/SGD 1.2/ EUR 0.70). The Baba Chendol has sweetened Kidney Beans, Chendol (made from green pea and pandan leaves), Gula Melaka (palm sugar) and Santan (coconut milk). I have had many chendols in Kuala Lumpur, but none of them had the strong taste of the Gula Melaka and the fragrance of the Santan. It is advisable to crush the ice and mix all the ingredients well to get an even taste. If you don’t like it sweet, you could ask them to give you more shaved ice. 


Or if you love the Gula Melaka and Sagu a lot, I’d recommend trying the Sagu Gula Melaka (but it was too sweet for me). I’ve also heard the Durian Chendol is a hit! But I personally prefer eating Durian on its own fresh. =)

Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar)

Final verdict: 8.5/10

Moving on to the Laksa. There are 3 choices: Pure Curry, Pure Asam Laksa, or Curry Laksa. We ordered all 3 of them to try. And unfortunately, the Curry wasn’t as I expected, it was not thick enough. The Asam was ok, but I was hoping for some He Koh (Prawn paste), Fish and Mint leaves like the Penang style Asam Laksa. This however, only had the sour taste to it, but nothing more. What impressed me was the Curry Laksa, although it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but the you can actually taste the combination of both the Curry and Laksa (since we had the other 2 soup to try as well). But it would have been better if there was more Santan in all the soup base, making it thick and fragrant. 

Each bowl of either Curry, Laksa or Curry Laksa has chicken slices, tao pok (fried bean curd), fu chok (fried fish slices in soy skin) and a shrimp. You have the choice of noodles: bee hoon, yellow mee or laksa noodles.

Final verdict: 6.5/10  

Location: Jonker 88, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melacca.