Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hamachi Japanese Restaurant @ Langkawi

The story begins like this... during my first business trip visit to Langkawi, my distributor took me to this Telaga Harbour Park to have a look and I instantly fell in love with this place. There's a strip of restaurants here and the previously I've blogged about one of the outlets here which is The Loaf. So, during the first visit, I told Chef Goh that I would return to try his restaurant on my next visit - which I did! This is my 2nd time having dinner at this place.

Night & Day

There are in fact about 6-7 restaurants here including a Tapas place, Italian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, a Russian restaurant and The Loaf which serves western and local cuisine. All the restaurants have an indoor and alfresco dining that overlooks the yatching marina.

The perfect setting for a whisky & cigar!

The liquor here is so cheap that it'll be a sin not to drink! Everytime I'm in Langkawi, I had to pay a visit to the liquor shop to buy a bottle and even the lady in the shop had recognised me by my 3rd visit! Having dinner alone is really boring and thus I asked the chef to join me. During my recent visit, he asked me if I am ok with eating "workers' food" which is food that he & his workers will be having for dinner and I said why not?!! So I had a sweet and sour fish and a grilled sambal fish that night in a Japanese restaurant!

Glenfiddich 15 was found to quite a nice drink. It's matured in three types of casks (traditional American bourbon, Portuguese sherry and new oak) and is married in a large Solera vat, made of Oregon pine. It has a full and fruity nose, with delicate honey and vanilla notes. Very elegant and smooth too. I think I easily had more than 5 glasses that night. After that, I was still feeling a bit peckish and so I ordered somemore dishes.

Chicken meatballs during my 1st visit...
Although I was surprised why this is served at a Japanese place, it's actually quite a nice snack when having drinks!

Baked Salmon in foil with tangerine & ginger sauce
The salmon came with the teppanyakki set and has fire surrounding the foil to keep the fish warm. The salmon absorbs the flavours well. Fascinating.

Sushi Pizza
He called this sushi pizza because of the various colours. Even Datuk Azhar Mansor ordered this for takeaway when I was having mine. But to me, I still prefer those in KL.

Grilled Ribeye

I was dissatisfied with the yakitori beef which was too dry and I asked if he could make a beef dish off the menu. I wanted the beef to be grilled to a medium and lightly salted and with some garlic. The chef had to grill this himself to make sure that it's exactly what I wanted. It turned out very well and it was tender and delicious.

After the beef, I was quite contented and full and thus proceed to more drinking. Then, he asked me if I would like to join his other group of customers whom is running a shrimp farm in Langkawi and I said "why not?" since I was drinking alone, why not get some company. There were 5 of them and they were there for dinner. In the end, I ended up having another round of dinner with them!

Shrimps with salad
They supplied these shrimps and insist that I tried them. It was really fresh and succulent although they are not really that big.

After that, we had a few more dishes and one of them is an interesting dish which looked like fried onion but it was actually shredded carrots. I asked if they used a machine to shred the carrots because it was really fine and the chef told me that he does it mannually. As usual, I won't believe it until I see it and so he was very willing to demonstrate.

Don't play play...
He could really slice the carrot so thinly! The knife was so sharp that it chipped my nail when I was trying to shred the carrots!

The dinner ended at midnight and then they took me to Sun bar for some partying till 3am! It was really a nice evening as I do not expect to make some friends in Langkawi this way. Now I won't be so bored anymore. It's really a bummer to be dining alone!

Prices are pretty much like the KL standard. Teppanyakki sets starts from RM25-30, and dishes range from RM5. You can even order a Lobster and prawn sashimi here which are according to the seasonal prices. Honestly this is not the best Japanese restaurant compared to KL standards but this is pretty good if you want to have Japanese food on the island with a nice ambiance like this.

Hamachi Japanese Restaurant

A-3 & A-4, Perdana Quay,
Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok,
07000 Langkawi, Kedah,
Tel/Fax: +604-959 2332 E: hamachi.langkawi@gmail.com

Chef Goh +6019 488 3268

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ristretto @ 10 Mont Kiara KL

Ever since my sister got me started on coffee, I know it's the beginning of a long coffee journey. Just over the last weekend, Kelvin asked if I would be free to have a cuppa at a new coffee joint in Mont Kiara where he found out about it in a coffee forum. And I thought to myself, "why not?!!"

Ristretto is just barely a month old. Julian Koh, the head barista whom has been making coffee in Sydney for years, is here to get the coffee right for you! The place is really new and the building (10 Mont Kiara) which is a condominium still looked like it's unoccupied yet. This coffee place is really simple and very minimal in design and don't expect it to look like a Starbucks or Coffee Bean outlet. Wooden chairs and foldaway tables are used instead of designer chairs or coffee tables. If you're looking for a cozy ambiance, this might not be it.

And according to them, the tastiest way to drink coffee is of course in a ristretto, made with an espresso machine!

Ristretto is actually a "short" shot of an espresso coffee. In layman terms, this meant pulling a hand press espresso machine faster than usual and using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine is less but the coffee maintains its flavour. This shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. Because of this exaggerated flavour, ristretto is often preferred by espresso coffee cognoscenti. They called this a purist pour.

But then if you asked my coffee friends, why would someone want less caffeine?!! The reason why they are drinking coffee is because of the caffeine! Hmm... (I haven't figured that out yet)

My Double Ristretto Latte

There is an interesting theory about ristretto. People will order a shot of espresso this way for two reasons: they know what they are drinking or they want to appear as if they know their coffee! For me, I ordered this because I read about it and I want to know what is it all about! Sorry, I am no coffee cognoscenti. Fyi, a double espresso shot is typically around 60 ml, while a double ristretto is typically 45 ml. Thus, this double ristretto is having more flavour but less caffeine, less dilute than a double espresso.

Here, they encourage you to be bold! Order any coffee styles you want if you don't see it on their menu. Even the double ristretto latte was not in the menu but they will still make it for you. My customised coffee was very good. I have not learnt to study the flavours and provide you with the history of beans but I did enjoy my creamy cuppa.

Cappuccino and cafe latte with Ham & Cheese Panini Sandwich

Feeling that one cup wasn't enough since I've driven all the way here, I had another cappuccino and Kelvin had a cafe latte. I've always enjoyed a good cup of cappuccino where I don't even need to add any sugar. In that way, I can taste the aroma and the wonderful flavours of both the combination of coffee and milk. The sandwich is a nice snack to have since I did not have my lunch that day.

Cappuccino with Latte Art

The latte art is created simply by frothing some milk to create the foam/bubbles. Then a shot of espresso is poured in by creating a pattern on the milk bubbles. You'll get a different art here with every latte. We had 3 different arts that day.

While we were talking to Julian, he asked if we have tried this Sparkling coffee? Hmm... I know about sparkling wine but sparkling coffee? No. Thus, we asked him to make us a cup. It was actually brewing coffee using the sparkling water instead of the normal water. It was bitter and had lots of crema. To me, it tastes like the chinese bitter herbal drink and it comes cold. Well, it's indeed something special and I'm glad I get to try it here.

To savour the coffee, take your time. Don't be a big gulper because I believe coffee can be a good stress reliever whenever you're having a cuppa with a friend or two. And I can't believe I had 3 cuppa that day. I managed to sleep very well. No, I didn't die from caffeine overdose.

Check out this place. It's really new and 10 Mont Kiara is located at the end of Jalan Kiara 1. At the small roundabout in front of this building, take 3 o'clock and drive into the carpark. You can get to the cafe through the car park.

Prices are reasonable. We had coffees for RM5-7 and special coffees at RM10. For the 5 cups of coffee and sandwich, the bill comes up to a little less than RM50.

Unit 3A @ 10 Mont Kiara,
Jalan Kiara 1, Mont Kiara,
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +6017-313 3931

Open from 9.30am to 11.00pm daily Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Airline Bitchy Mode *ON*

I'm usually not a cranky nor bitchy person but recently I had this very agitating urge to bitch about the events that had happened during my flight. Maybe it was due to hormonal changes or probably it's the volcano inside me that is waiting to erupt.

With the new job, I've been traveling quite extensively (flying almost once every one or two weeks!) and I've been quite under the weather. One thing I realised is that, the traveling perks is not a bed of roses. It's so nice to hear about people flying here and there, living a life out of a suitcase and probably experiencing an enactment of the movie "Up in the air" but honestly, it's not really that great! But you know what's worse than a delayed plane?


Thus, I've come up with 8 general rules that YOU should follow for the betterment of mankind on air travel. If you violate them, I'll be bitching and cursing you and wishing a whole lot of other terrible things to be done unto you!

  1. Be apologetic if you're spilling into my space! I was on the flight to Langkawi and this fat man beside me has his fats spilling over onto the handles between my seat and his. What's worse is that he kept on moving and hugging his partner during the flight! It was so uncomfortable but lucky it was a short flight.

  2. Your leg is touching mine! Come on, you've been allocated the same space as mine. And my legs are even longer than yours, so keep them to yourself. If your legs are so damn long, opt for an aisle seat! Rule to the exception - if you're a hot guy!

  3. Don't talk if your breath stinks! You made me loose my appetite or I'll need an oxygen mask! For choc's sake, get a gum or mint.

  4. Stop hugging and kissing so much! It's not that I hate PDA (Public Display of Affection) but I cannot stand the overly passionate passengers whom does not respect the OTHER passenger beside them. Makes me feel so single and sad...

  5. You don't own the armrest! Do you know that the armrest is shared?!! This guy who sat beside me had the impression that he owned the armrest and has been invading my space by knocking off my hand! What's worse is that he kept on moving and turning that the seats are rocking because of him!

  6. Look before you recline the seats! I know that you're uncomfortable with the seats upright but you've been more considerate if you look first before you recline the seats. I hate it when I was eating or using the tray when suddenly the guy in front reclines his seat as if it was a lazy chair in his home. Look before you recline so that you don't crush my laptop or at least give a heads up before that.

  7. Be gentle with the trays! Some passengers have this habit of slamming the trays when securing them back into place. I might be asleep damnit and when you slammed it, it jerked me!

  8. Control your kids! There's nothing much you can do to babies but what I cannot stand is the screaming kids/toddlers. For choc's sake, give them a a shot of rum and shut them out. It's so frustrating when you have sit through a flight for hours with irritating kids whom just wouldn't shut up!

I hope with better luck, I'll be able to get onto my flight without the other passenger that reclines into me, kids screaming behind me, the couple that hugs and kiss beside me and the trays that slammed behind me. Ok, after this post, I'll get back to writing why I love to travel!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kam Lun Tai @ Sri Petaling KL

Recently, I was having dinner at Grand Palace with some friends and one of them is also the owner of Kam Lun Tai, a chinese restaurant chain as well as a famous brand for mooncakes when it comes to the Mid Autumn Festival. During dinner, he invited me to have a Mid Autumn Festival dinner at his restaurant together with the same group of friends whom we were having dinner with. This is not the first time he has invited me to his restaurant in Sri Petaling. It's just that I am not very good with directions in that area.

It looks like it's not difficult to get there from my house. But the toll will come to RM4.40 for each way! The restaurant is just beside the Sri Petaling Hotel.

The obligatory starter would be a glass of Ballantines Limited edition scotch whisky. This is a very nice whisky as it's sweet and full-bodied. Along with such good whisky, we had a roast pig as appetisers! I think I easily ate more than 10 pieces of roast pork. The whole pig was even fatter than me, ok?!!

Drinks is the main reason we are having dinner. It's not to eat but more to drinking together and trying to see who can hold their drinks better! I just came back from Singapore and was really tired and so that night my intake of alcohol is really low. I only managed 3 glasses of whisky on the rocks and a little of cognac neat.

The Macallan 18

Before I had the Macallan 18, I was drinking the JW Blue Label. Actually I didn't really like the Blue Label but after a drinking them on a few ocassions, I find it to be quite a pleasant whisky. Therefore, I believe some blended whisky is really nice to drink but it's just that I have to be accustomed to it after drinking so much of single malts.

Buddha Jumps over the Wall (Fatt Tiu Qiang)

This is a chinese delicacy created in the Qing dynasty and it has a number of high quality ingredients such as scallops, sea cucumbers, abalone, sharks fins, pork tendons, ginseng and mushrooms. It's not very ethical to order this dish because of the sharks fins and I personally myself do not fancy the sharks fins and abalone. However, if its been ordered and put in front of me, I would never decline because after all, the sharks had been killed and I can not do anything to change that fact. Back to the soup, it was so good! The dry abalone was boiled to perfection because it's tender and not too chewy. The sharks fins were still in the fin shape and not seperated. Definitely a bowl licking good soup.

Soft Shell Crab with Man Tou
Fried till golden brown and crispy to the last bite

In cantonese this is called "jok sang".
I think it's a kind of seafood. Tastes very good and had a chewy texture.

Prawns wrapped in fried beancurd
It's something that you'll see in a Dim Sum restaurant. Goes very well with liqour!

Braised Scallops and mushrooms.
I only ate the brocolli because I was stuffed to death already by then.

Someone brought this bottle of VSOP and we find it to be very unique because we haven't seen a bottle of VSOP in a wine-like bottle. The aroma was very good.

Have you seen before this old bottling of Otard?!!
It's so old, I can just drink it neat!

The dessert was very good. There were a plate of fruits like the green and yellow kiwi. Then we had a nice and warm purple sweet potato dessert and followed by a dry "tong yuen" called Lui Sha Tong Yuen where it's stuffed with black sesame seeds.

Oh... my oppulent dinners are back and so is my weight! My mom is complaining everyday that I'm fatter than her. lol.. Then, she asked me to bring her for dinner next time! haha..

Kam Lun Tai
No. 38D-G, 38D-I, 38C-G, 38C-I, 38B-I,
Jalan Radin Anum,
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling,
57000 Kuala Lumpur
03-9059 5122

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend in Singapore

Recently, I was down in Singapore again on the weekend but it's my private trip and I wasn't there for work. I had to attend the wedding dinner of one of my associates as well as my team member. It was also one of the most expensive wedding dinner for me as I have to pay for the flight, hotel and also "ang pow" in Sing Dollars$!

The blissfully wedded couple....

The dinner was held at Hilton Hotel and it was also one of the very enjoyable dinners as I get to meet my boss, my big boss from Europe and also my distributors. We had fun chatting and the food was very special too. Instead of the usual predictable chinese courses, we had a pretty few fusion dishes like Braised Birds Nest with winter melon to replace the sharks fins soup, deepfried wasabi and mayonnaise prawns with mango, deep fried spare ribs with yellow sauce, wok fried squid ink noodles with ham and the strawberry longan dessert with white fungus.

To make things more convenient, I chose to stay at Meritus Mandarin which is just on Orchard road itself. It's also 10 minutes away from Hilton by foot. But of course what I like best about Mandarin Hotel is the location and the close proximity to Takashimaya which I've blogged here. This time however, I was staying at the Club Room and has the access to the Club Lounge. It's good to indulge once in a while.

Meritus Club Room

Actually I've stayed at a Meritus Club Room before a year ago but that was during their upgrading works and now this is my second visit. The rooms are still the same and everything remained as it was before. What I liked about the room is that the bed is comfortable and there is also a massage chair instead of the usual sofa/couch. I of course did manage to maximise the use of the massage chair!

With the club room, one gets access to the Club Lounge where you can have your breakfast, tea time, cocktails and also your meetings there. Then there's the usual facilities like free internet usage and also the additional free laundry and pressing service. The service and attention given by the staff was top notch. It feels so good to be treated like a queen. They were like "Ms Lim would you like this, Ms Lim would you like that, Ms Lim what can I do for you?!!" And they bring me my coffee, remembers my favourite orange juice for breakfast even though it was the next day...

Egg Benedict for Breakfast

Breakfast selection was quite good. I had the egg benedict which was done nicely with the yolk that is runny and layered with spinach and english muffin at the bottom of the ramekins. There were also dim sum and the very nice and smooth fish porridge. Too bad I didn't have the space for everything!

I didn't go out for tea on the day of the wedding dinner and instead invited a friend to have tea with me at the club lounge. There were an array of small bites for tea such as macarons, cakes, chocolates and pastries.

Dainty macarons and big plump strawberries

A cappuccino and a latte

The food presentation was immaculate and it was just so comfortable to spend time at the lounge instead of bracing through traffic and sweating out there. Once in a while it feels nice to be lazy. As I wanted to dress up for the dinner, it was time for their cocktails which runs from 6pm to 8pm. And we thought why not have a drink before we go.

All the hors d’oeuvres are just so lovely!

And as for liquor selection, they do have the usual Gin, Rum, Bacardi, Whisky, Cognac, wines and champagne. I'm sure they can even make a cocktail on request.

A glass of M&C to cool down before the dinner!

I truly enjoyed the recent trip to Singapore. That's why I always feel that my leisure trips to Singapore more enjoyable than my business trips. But the chicken rice I had that afternoon at Purvis Street is quite a disappointment and so therefore no reason to blog about it.

Had been really busy lately and therefore the lack of updates. I'm traveling again tomorrow and it's going to be a tiring week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom is back!

Mom is finally back from the land of football, bangers & mash and Big Ben. It's been quite a few months and I was forced into playing the role of mom while she is away. That includes paying bills (which my sisters and I took turns every month to pay), washing, cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. It however also includes changing of light bulbs and also trying to fix the window that couldn't close.

Initially we wanted to hire a weekend cleaner to clean the house but eventually we decided to share the house chores ourselves. The cooking is usually done by me except when it comes to eating instant noodles! I must say that it's sometimes a headache thinking what to cook. And when you've decided what to cook, you found that you lacked a certain ingredient and thus have to go out to get it. What a bummer!

I managed pretty well. Have cooked a variety of dishes during this 6 months. However, I have a few favourites and I will cook them quite often like the ABC soup and the long beans omelette. hehe... Then, one weekend I decided to prepare a hot pot meal where I boiled the soup and prepare various seafood and also the pork slices for lunch. I can say that I like to cook and although I am no chef, the food is still edible and so far no sister has suffered diarrhea or severe stomach ache.

The morning where mom is coming back, I practically scrub the whole kitchen and the stoves. Now they are sparkly clean and mom is impressed! *wink* So happy she's back and now the daughter can take a rest! I'm passing back the house chores to her except one that is non-negotiable which is the toilet-washing. I could live with that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coffee Ritual @ Seksyen 14, PJ

Coffee might not be everyone's cup of tea. Mine included but for the past few days, my sis has been consistently influencing me to drink coffee for breakfast. When I asked her where to eat, it'll definitely be another coffee outlet. In the span of 3 days, we went to two gourmet coffee outlets. The first one was Departure Lounge at Damansara Uptown and now here, at Coffee Ritual.

"Behind every successful woman...is a substantial amount of coffee"

Even on a weekend, I'm actually making a trip to Seksyen 14, which is just opposite my office for a cup of coffee! However, since a friend is providing a chauffeuring service and I get to ride in the all new Golf GTI, which me & sis has the privilege to experience the "GTI-ness" of the car, I'm certainly not complaining at all!

Coffee Ritual is run by YC Chung and his wife, Ee Mei. The kitchen is headed by Chin’s sister, Esther, who had previously worked for Marché in Singapore and later the Swiss Garden Hotel, KL. This outlet has been a round for sometime but despite walking pass it to the nearby coffeeshop for lunch, I have not really walked in here and try their coffee until my sister suggested it last weekend.

Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken Set (RM18.60)

Besides the ala carte items such as pasta, local favourites, western food and crepes, they have combos and sets to choose from. I chose the above set and in order to get a Caffe Latte instead of the normal coffee, I had to add RM2. For dessert, I wanted a combination of crepe with ice cream and thus I added another RM5. In total, the set I had was more than RM25. It was a hearty meal as the portions are really big! The nasi lemak was not bad but it wasn't fantastic either. I felt that the whole set was rather too filling.

Colombian Special (Single Origin Coffee) RM6.00

Sis had the chef's recommendation which was the colombian coffee from the single origin range and she told me she had to add sugar. I think it must have been too bitter for her as we are no coffee connoisseurs. This coffee is vacuum-brewed which is also called siphon coffee-making where it works on the principle of expansion and contraction of gases - actually one gas, water vapour - is what allows the device to brew a full infusion style of coffee and filter the grounds efficiently, leaving a generally clean, pristine cup.

Mushroom & Turkey Toast Crepe (Set- RM20.20)

Sis had the crepe with turkey and mushroom stuffing. This is one of their signature dishes. It reminds me of the food at Paddington Pancakes. This dish would make a very nice breakfast/brunch as it is not too heavy.

Chicken Mushroom Pasta Set (RM21.20)

My friend ordered the pasta set and he preferred a salad instead of a soup. The salad portion is indeed quite huge. I think if you're on a diet, you might just want the salad and skip the mains!

Caffe Latte (RM6.80)

I really like the Caffe Latte. Not only the presentation looks appealing, the milk froth was beautifully steamed to enhance and elevate the sensory experience of my coffee. I don't even need any sugar for this cuppa. It's good to be taken au naturel.. and may the froth be with you!

Crepe with Berkeley Farms Ice Cream

No, this is not the ice-cream from the Berkeley garden in Klang. Berkeley Farms is Northen California's most popular dairy brand and the barnd has been making dairy products for more than a 100 years. I didn't find the ice-cream special but at least the combination is nice. I'm stuffed and I even ask sis to help me to finish the dessert.

This is indeed a nice place for a cuppa and a meal. Most coffee places don't serve much food but this place does have a good selection on its menu.

After these few days, I've learnt that Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a Vitamin! As I'm writing this, I'm sipping on a cup of Mocha Blend Cappuccino from Flavia, one of the MARS brands.

Coffee Ritual
35 Jalan 14/20,
46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 012-2960251 / 012- 2019935
Opens Mon-Sat 10am-11pm & weekends/public holidays 9am-10pm.
Pork free & no alcohol.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

El Meson @ Bangsar KL

el meson... the spanish table

I think if you have read this blog of mine long enough, you would have realised that I seldom try new restaurants. It's usually a repeat of a few restaurants that I blogged about. That's because I kept on going back to those I really enjoy and I know that they would not disappoint. In other words, I'm a "safe" kinda person and I lacked the adventurous personality when it comes to food, and everything else.

On last Friday night, if I were not to tag along with Yiling to for dinner, I would not even have tried this place until I turn 27. It just never crossed my mind because they are so many new restaurants mushrooming in the Klang Valley.

Bowl of Olives (RM8)

This is the spanish olives salted with anchovies. It's not something I would like to order but since Calvin likes it, I also took one of the smaller ones to try. I still do not like olives. Period.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (RM18)

This dish is a little confusing because when I read the name, I would have expected it to come in more than 1 mushroom! It's stuffed with minced beef and chorizo and then topped with melted cheese. Although they misled me into thinking it's more than 1 mushroom, it was still satisfying. I would think again spending RM18 on this mushroom(s).

Iberico Bellota (RM39)

Now, the disappointment sinks in. I know very well that the jamon iberico bellota is the finest jamon iberico out there because this ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns (bellota). And the ham is cured for 36 months. This one that we had here had barely any tastes and it's definitely not what I've eaten at my favourite Spanish restaurants. Even the colour doesn't look the grade.

Iberico Presa (RM62)

This shoulder of Iberico served with potato & bacon Dauphinoise with apple sauce should be something I recommend not to order. When we were asked how we want the meat to be prepared, we wanted it medium. But when it came, we found that the meat is well done and since it's sliced so thinly, about half a centimeter, how could the chef possibly would have made it medium? So, we asked the waitress and she took our plate to the kitchen and asked the chef. A minute later, she appeared and told us that "the chef says it's medium". That's it?!! Ok, we finished up the dish and continue to be hopeful that the next dish will be ok.

Risotto with Rabbit

I know, how could anyone would want to eat that cute little rabbit?!! Me! As long as your rabbit is not missing, don't be angry at me. This dish, served with mushrooms and truffle oil is such a letdown! I think they overcooked the meat as it tasted more like chicken than rabbit to me. Maybe they both tasted the same but I still think that they really need to improve!

The whole dinner is such a disappointment. It's not right for me to conclude that this is a no-go-restaurant because I have yet to try other dishes but certainly with these "supposedly" signature dishes, how could they go wrong? I'm not trying to boast but if you want to eat better Jamon Iberico, or better Spanish food, try Pinchos, El Cerditas & Carmen's Vinothek. They told me the jamon iberico supplies come from the same source but having eaten at Carmen's just 2 days a go before this dinner, I wasn't convinced with the explanation.

So after 200 ringgit poorer and still not satisfied, we were tempted to walk over to Nirvana for some reliable mamak food but we didn't. Yiling and I had a cup of Boost juice instead and thanks to her for footing the bill. I won't make a fuss at the restaurant when it comes to situation like this, I just won't go again if I have to pay.

El Meson espanol
No. 61-63, Jalan Telawi 3,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2282 8290

[Disclaimer: This is strictly my honest opinion and tastes vary with tastebuds. Please do not even waste your time trying to sue me because just like my sister, we ain't rich! Thnx]

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Departure Lounge @ Damansara Uptown PJ

Me and Yiling woke up at noon on a Friday (public holiday due to Raya) and suddenly she went, "I wanna have a coffee" while sitting in front of the computer monitor! Huh?!! Since when this sis of mine has a craving for coffees?

[The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.]
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Over the Teacups," 1891

So I asked her, "where to?" She told me that there is this place whom one of her friends recommended and she said the coffee was awesome! And this place is in Damansara Uptown, just opposite Uptown 3 Tower. This is the power of coffee, the power to move one's lazy butt to the extend of driving more than 30 mins journey for a cuppa.

A library of travelogue.

This is not a lounge at the airport. The Departure Lounge is an espresso bar, all day breakfast and travel library. When you walked into the outlet, strong aroma of coffee waffed through your nostrils and luring the even non-caffeine addict to stop by for a fix. There is some light food served such as salads, bagels, 1 or two variations of pasta and some vegetarian wraps. Place your order at the counter, pay, then wait for your drink at the end of the counter, collect and walk to your seat. To sum it all, self-service please.

However, the winner is that this place serves breakfast all day long! All you need to do is to get the Breakfast Order Chit from the counter and follow the instructions. If you would like to have 5 items for breakfast like me, just tick 5 items you'll prefer and place the order at the counter.

You can even opt for fresh button mushrooms by paying an additional RM1.50, which I did!

If you have to ask me, I think the "Do It My Way Breakfast" is indeed a little pricey because the portions are not that big. The items available is pretty much the standard like eggs, baked beans, turkey ham, beef/turkey bacon and also hash brown. As we know, these are all pretty cheap ingredients and paying RM13.40 for a platter like that seemed to be a lottle too expensive because the way it is prepared is also nothing special.

I think if they want to do it successfully, they should emulate something like Wild Honey in Singapore where their breakfast menu is really a feast for the eyes, palate and soul.

Capuccino (RM8.50 regular) & Mocha (RM10)

I think they serve better coffee. From what I have gathered, they have partnered Five Senses Coffee, one of the premium coffee roasters in Australia. The baristas are also committed to making your coffee experience an enriching one by making sure that each latte comes hand-crafted with art.

I'm not an expert in coffee-appreciation and let alone comment on the beans, but I do enjoy my capuccino here. The aroma is befitting the committment of this outlet - Café Departure Lounge is committed to serving the best tasting coffee consistently, striving to become Malaysia's best espresso bar.

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.
~Honore de Balzac, "The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee"

I wished that I knew more about coffee like how I would with my wines. Maybe it takes passion to pick up coffee and I'll definitely have to come here more!

Departure Lounge

10 Jalan SS 21/39
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +6 03 7725 1682

Business Hours: Monday – Saturday 8am – 7pm, Public Holiday 8am – 5pm

Close on Sundays and major holidays.

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