Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jin Xuan dimsum, Damansara Jaya.

Word of warning ~ being a semi banana this post will be yet again all pictures and not much words. Mostly because not only do I not know how to read/write Chinese much, but I don't even know the names of half the things I eat at any dimsum shops :)

Anyway the darling and I had lunch/late breakfast at our favorite dimsum joint - Jin Xuan dimsum at Damansara Jaya

No idea how the place is on weekdays, but on weekends it's mucho crowded. Unlike other dimsum places you take a number and wait your turn, so it's a lot more civilized - no need to go stand next to a table which seems like they're almost done and pressure them to faster faster get up and leave :D

View of the interior - nice, clean, bright, and most importantly, air conditioned!

Lots of waiters walking around carrying lots of delicious dimsum morsels.

On to the food! The dimsum portions are generously big, tasty, and juicy - the siewmai and fishballs are quite a bit bigger than any other place I've been in Malaysia.

Hargao (right) and the scallop equivalent of hargao

Lohmaikai (yummy) and chee chong fun.

Wookok and egg tarts. The egg tart crust is the 'pastry' type - uh ... something like multiple layered (like crossaints). I'm so good at this food description thing ;D

Total bill was MYR40.00 for two, which in my opinion was very worth it. I haven't come across a better dimsum place in KL.

Jin Xuan Hong Kong Dim Sum
59, 61 & 63, Jalan SS22/19,
Damansara Jaya,
47300 Petaling Jaya

Friday, May 28, 2010

Set Dinner at Living Room, Westin KL

Part of the Starwood Privilege Card's benefits are three complimentary dining vouchers for two, so the darling and I take a short drive to the Living Room, Westin KL. On a non food-related note, love the design on the ceiling:

The customary bread before the meal. Rather odd choice of 'western' style breads, seeing as the menu is all Malay food.

Anyway we have the Signature Set Dinner for May ($98.00), which is one-and-a-half person's portion of:

- crisp spring chicken with malay herbs
- braised short ribs in malay spices gravy
- grilled king prawn, spice turmeric coconut floss
- seabass and scallop with spice chili paste
- salted egg, fish crackers, cucumber with steam fragrant rice

It's a lot of food, and certainly more than enough unless you're a very very heavy eater. We like the ribs (mutton) and the chicken, which were delicious, juicy and tender. Fish and prawn were a bit less yummy.

Dessert is cinnamon fritters with sweet creamy durian gravy. Neither of us are durian eaters, so in hindsight we should have actually read the menu and requested a different choice of dessert :(

Judging from the pricing, I'm guessing this is pretty much Malay fine dining. But apart from the service (good) and the ambience (classy), the cuisine although delicious wasn't all that different from ... well, from any other Malay-style restaurant.

So ... if you're coming here for free or on a heavy discount then you'll have a satisfying feast, but I find it hard to justify paying over MYR100 for the meal.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mushroom Farm Restaurant - Affordable Genting Food

This is going to be another all-pictures-and-no-words-post. Cos I don't actually know where this restaurant is. Or the names of the individual dishes. Or the prices of the dishes. Haha.

So anyway, Mushroom Farm Seafood Restaurant is somewhere in Genting. To get there you either walk there (quite far), or wait outside the First World Hotel lobby to hitch a ride from the feeder vans. Whichever way you choose, here's pretty much the only indication that you've arrived:

So anyway on to the food! Here's a steamed fish of some sort. It was yummy.

Homemade taufu. I guess it had fish and egg mixed in. Pretty good!

Some sort of mixed mushroom dish. Was OK only lah.

Black Pepper Deer Meat. The meat was quite tender, and the black pepper sauce wasn't too overpowering.

Vegetable of some sort. Can you tell that I'm hopeless at names of Chinese dishes yet?

Pork Trotter in Vinegar. Didn't taste this cos I don't eat this dish, but apparently it wasn't half bad.

My favorite dish of the night was this: Some sort of fish ... sliced and deep fried butter style. Only complaint was that perhaps the slices were a bit too thin so the deep-frying made the meat a little dry.

So there you have it. Total bill for 9 people came up to about MYR250, which is a total bargain price considering that food in Genting is otherwise ridiculously and exorbitantly expensive.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Latest Recipe buffet dinner at Le Meridien KL

This post will be different! Latest Recipe being a buffet-style restaurant, there's so many different choice of food that it would take ages to list down everything I tried - so it'll be mostly be just pictures, pictures and more pictures :)

So anyway, rounding out the 3rd restaurant in Le Meridien, the darling and I take a trip to Latest Recipe. The first thing you see when you walk in the door are the three chocolate fountains.

There's a raw seafood bar with oysters, mussels, and some sort of shellfish (I'm great at this, aren't I? Ha ha).

Some chinese dumplings. For some reason we totally forgot about trying this so we have no idea if it's a starter, main course, or dessert.

The indian food corner! Briyani is nice and so is the spinach with cottage cheese. I also liked the lamb masala, but the tandoori lamb was a bit dry.

Japanese corner - sushi. Limited choices, but the fish are very fresh.

Japanese corner - teppanyaki. We order a portion of scallops and cod fish. The cod fish is much delicious, but I don't really like the cream sauce that the scallops came drenched in.

Malaysian corner. Didn't try any of the dishes here this trip due to limitations of the stomach. Next visit!

BBQ corner. Lamb and sausages are great, but the beef steak was a bit dry and tough.

Noodle corner. Didn't try anything - the spirit was willing but the stomach was full :P

Roast beef corner. Roast beef! Haven't had it in ages. Was yummy.

Chinese food corner. Judging from the two unmolested chickens I'm guessing I'm not the only one who skipped Chinese.

Dessert & Tapas corner.

Other dessert corner. In my opinion the dessert table is the most disappointing table in the restaurant. Not much choices, and none of the desserts really appealed to me much.

Chocolate fountains were fun to play with though. Here's the darling enjoying herself ^_^

To end the night we have teppanyaki ice cream. Basically you choose your ice cream, choose your toppings from these ... drawers ...

... and the chef minces and mixes everything up for you teppanyaki style. End product looks disgusting but tastes delicious.

At MYR108++ (comes up to about MYR124) per person, the buffet dinner at Latest Recipe isn't exactly cheap. But the sheer variety of the dishes and the above-average quality for most of them make it decent value, even compared to more popular buffet joints (example Jogoya). With our Starwood discount it's MYR62/pax which makes it a steal :)

Latest Recipe is in Le Meridien KL, in KL Sentral.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Favola at Le Meridien KL

Continuing our journey of (i) abusing the Starwood Privilege Card, (ii) Exploring Le Meridien's restaurants and (iii) to erase the horrid memory of crappy pasta at the Spaghetti Farm, the darling and I take a trip to Favola at Le Meridien KL.

First impression is that the service is unacceptably bad for such an upmarket restaurant. Reservations were made for 9pm, but when we turned up there were no tables available, and we were basically told to go walk around for 15 minutes. So off we go to explore the private dining room area, which is immaculately decorated.

I also thought this wall was nice

Anyway after 15 minutes we're seated at our table. As seems the norm with these restaurants we're given a huge serving of bread. Our favorite is the loaf in the foreground that's crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The bread also comes with avocado and mashed potato dips, in addition to the customary olive oil + balsamic vinegar combo.

Having once again made the mistake of eating way too much bread, we continue with the Chef's Antipasti (MYR50.00) - a sampler of five cold appetizers. We especially like the Caprese (tomato & buffalo mozzarella) and the Seafood Salad (shrimp, mussels, scallops, squid tossed in garlic, chili-olive oil and lemon juice). I also quite like the Bresaola (shaved dried beef), but neither the darling nor I care much for the Octopus or the Bruschetta.

Next up is the BBQ Cod Fish (MYR75.00). The fish was expertly cooked, with a nice mildy seared/burnt BBQ flavor on the skin/crust, and juicy soft on the inside. Mashed potato was nice and creamy but otherwise somewhat nondescript.

Pot Roasted Lamb Shank (MYR75.00) is what I have. The meat on the lamb shank is tender and full of flavor, without an overly strong "lamb" taste (for lack of a better word, ha ha), and comes in a very italian-y tomato-based sauce. Wish they were a bit more generous with the gravy, though.

Bill comes up to MYR115.00 after taxes and SP discount. Great food, great ambience, but the experience was marred somewhat by having to wait even though I had a reservation - and the overall poor quality of the service. Waitresses were not particularly friendly or helpful, and rather inattentive. Will definitely come back again, next time to do pasta or pizza and compare with Prego :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spaghetti Farm at Mid Valley Megamall

In a break from all my previous posts, here's a review of an eating place ... that sucks - The Spaghetti Farm which has opened somewhat recently in Mid Valley Megamall.

They seem to market themselves as a healthy italian food shop but ... in reality it's nothing more than just fast food-style spaghetti. They've got a simple menu of spaghetti with something like eight different sauces. It's MYR12.00 for a set meal of spaghetti, soup and a drink.

We try two different soups - Mushroom and Chicken, which turn out to be tasteless and starchy, almost as if the soup was watered down and starched up to save money. Even Pizza Hut's soup tastes better.

We try Beef and Cheese, and Beef Bolognese. Despite being very hungry I couldn't finish my bowl, and the darling didn't even get halfway through hers.

And there you have it. MYR12.00 isn't even good value, considering you could get a way better pasta for a couple of dollars more in Prego (after 50% SP discount of course ^_^). Don't ever come here to eat.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prego at the Westin KL

I've been abusing my Starwood Privilege Card lately. Who wouldn't abuse a 50% discount on some of the nicest restaurants in town? Anyway took a weekday trip to Prego at The Westin KL for a quick dinner. Got an upstairs table overlooking the open kitchen - I adore open kitchens, it's a lot of fun watching the chefs in action.

Dinner at Prego comes with this loaf of bread with tomato dip to start. I find the quality a bit inconsistent - previous visit the bread had a nicer crust, this visit it wasn't even warmed up properly (center was cool). Also don't care much for the tomato dip, prefer a good butter (or olive oil + balsamic vinegar) anytime.

We have the Antipasto (MYR43.00) to start, which is an appetizer sampler plate. I like the taste of the Calamari, but not the texture which is a bit on the chewy side. Smoked Salmon is heavenly and the cheese-on-tomato is unique and tasty. I have absolutely no idea what cheese it is, though, ha ha. Beef fillet is a bit of a miss for us.

We decide to do pastas and I have a Prego Carbonara Fettucinne (MYR31.00). Absolutely heavenly! The sauces for each serving of pasta is whipped up individually, and this one is the perfect creaminess. Bacon (presumably beef) is generous, too. Would definitely come back and eat this again :D

The darling had Vongone Linguine (Clams in white wine sauce, MYR32). The clams themselves were great and full of flavor, but the sauce was perhaps a bit too bland for our Malaysian taste buds. Of course, no complaints on the pasta which is perfectly cooked.

Despite being stuffed we share a Tiramisu Tradizionale (MYR21.00). Comes in a glass, and has real brandy! Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and this one didn't disappoint. Only 4-out-of-5 stars though, I like the tiramisu in cafe cafe KL more :)

Dinner for two after the SP discount came up to MYR73.05 - which is plenty reasonable for starter, main course and dessert! I'm not too sure if I'd be as satisfied with the food and pricing without the SP discount, though.