Sunday, October 31, 2010

A series of unfortunate events...

Scroll down for PART II


First it was news about my uncle (my father's brother in-law) demise due to being knocked over by a lorry while he was having an evening walk. At the same time, my aunt was having a surgery and wasn't told about her husband's death until 2 days later after she got out of the hospital. It's really a very pitiful situation.

Then, my mom and I made a trip back to Ipoh for the wake. As I was about to get into the car in front of my grandma's house, two guys on a motorbike ride towards my car and snatched my mom's handbag. Lucky she only suffered minor bruises and some trauma. I was lucky that they didn't go round the other side and rob me as well. It was already 8.40pm and there goes her bankcards and the money for the funeral which was close to RM900.

Immediately I called and stopped all the ATM and credit cards and then took her to a police station to make a report. This is where the nightmare begins. We walked into the police station and told the policeman on duty that night about the incident and he typed a report using a computer. He asked me to check the report and I found so many spelling and grammar mistakes in Malay but he said it was okay as it was just a draft. After that, he passed the report to his colleague and she wrote it out on a form with a template. She was so careless to leave out some of the items which I managed to point it out.

After that, he told me that I had to go to another police station to be interviewed by an inspector due to the fact that the case was involved in another zone and the online system is not working! Huh?!! I know that there is no way we can recover the bag because we failed to see the face and the number plate of the snatch thieves but I recognise the T-shirts they were wearing. He then told me if you don't want us to investigate, then all you need is to come and collect the report on Monday and you can go now. Oh well, being a Malaysian, we know this is the best choice as there is no way to catch these thieves, so I told him I'll just need a report and I know the investigation will go nowhere. The police officer told me that we could get the report printed in any police station by just giving the reference number.




So, today, I went to the police station in my area in Shah Alma and they said it cannot be printed because they do not have the computer system. And later, my mom went to the one in USJ8 and they showed her a blank screen. According to them, there is no record of her report! OMG how could this happen? She needed the report to apply for a new Identity Card and driving license. Then they attached her draft report with another police report and asked a receptionist there to sign. They told her that there will be no inspector signature on her report!

Honestly, I was shocked by this answer. How could the millions and billions spent on our police force resulted in so much of incompetencies and inconveniences that victims like my mom have to go through? It's bad enough to be a victim of snatch thieves and now the police are giving these victims a nightmare by just getting a report. We didn't even insist them to investigate on this case! Mom was shocked too and very disappointed.

If I were them, I could have asked the patrol cars to look out for two men on a motorbike wearing the t-shirts that I described to them earlier. However, he didn't make an effort to do anything! I was very angry with their lackadasical attitude towards combating crime. It seemed that the thieves are here to stay and we as citizens, have to accept the fact that we have to live in fear everyday and night until change has taken place.

It's time to exercise your voice and vote.


PART II

My mom told me this morning about her experience at a HUGE police station in USJ when she went there to collect her report. At the guard house, she has to register and the guard, took more than 5 minutes to write down the details and she said that he seemed to quite illiterate. She couldn't understand what took them so long to register a visitor to a police station?!!

And in the police station, she has to take a number to get her report. There were 2 police officers but only one was working. During intervals, they took the chance to walk out, go to toilet and chit chat. It took her a long time just to get her report although there's only a few there to be served. She was appalled by the quality of service and the efficiency of our police force. I told her this is nothing new!


My mom is a MALE?!!


The worst thing - she showed me her report today and it was stated that she is a MALE! OMG, how could they make such a mistake? She was there with me to make a report and how could the police officer think that any one of us could be a male?!! What a joke! Helooooo.... someone needs a knock in the head here or probably an eye surgery?!!

I think they like us victims going to the police station a few times just to get things right. Not only we lost our money, went through the trauma, now we have to suffer the lost of time and inconvenience. Just hearing what she told me has got me boiling. But what can we do as citizens? We are at their mercy and looking at the trend, nothing much is going to change!




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HonKee Porridge @ Damansara Uptown




Porridge has always been one of my favourite comfort food. As contrary to Chinese advice that one should eat porridge when one is sick or not feeling well, I eat porridge whenever I want to! There's no special occasion for a bowl of porridge, even more so when I'm craving for it!

This HonKee porridge has been around KL even 60 years ago at Petaling Street. It has been passed down from generations and now entering the 3rd generation. You can see the changes - from a stall in Petaling Street and now a few more other outlets for the convenience of the porridge fans. Other outlets here.



Since we were starving, we decided to order some prawn cakes and the fried "you tiau" while waiting for our porridge. It doesn't take too long for the porridge to come.


Raw Fish Porridge RM5.50

This is their signature porridge served with raw fish, ginger and spring onions. The raw egg is optional but Calvin likes it in his porridge as he claimed that it adds smoothness to the goodness.



Salmon Fish Porridge RM9.80

The Salmon fish porridge comes in a generous portion of salmon. This is something special compared to the usual raw fish if you like to be healthy and want a dose of Omega 3 oil in your diet.


Salted Egg with Minced Meat RM6.50

I have always like a bowl of porridge with salted egg. It can be just a plain porridge and salted egg and I'll be the happiest person on earth! I like how the porridge is made with such smoothness and the portions are generous.



Fried Intestine RM3.00

This is a must - call dish for me and my sister everytime we were there! How could we give this bowl of delectable and ultra sinful innards a miss?!!! It's crunchy and addictive and when you immerse the fried intestines into the porridge, it gets soften a little and makes the porridge more flavourful.

Don't say I always eat expensive stuff. I do eat porridge too you know!!


HonKee Porridge
Damansara Uptown
No.71, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama,
47400, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Business Hour - Daily, 7am - 10pm


Friday, October 22, 2010

Max decides what you eat here! @ Millesime KL

~Thursday sounds like a fine day for some fine food~

Millesime @ Dutamas KL


For some reason, a mysterious guest from Singapore decides to come down to KL to watch the recent LPGA tournament and calls me up for dinner. In fact, this friend of mine is so difficult to catch because he's always out of the country and I think I only see him twice a year! He asked me where can we have dinner and without a second thought, I called up Max to make a reservation for 4 as there were 2 more guests joining us for dinner. (I am still angry at him for not allowing me to be the 1st one to step in his new restaurant - Millesime)

His new restaurant, Millesime "great vintages" in French is his 3rd venture in the KL dining scene - first being Max Kitchen & Wines and followed by Max@iHaus. I've went through all his 3 restaurants by now and I must say that I grew with Max's culinary journey and he is indeed until today, my favourite chef in KL! The new restaurant is of a new concept with minimal deco and settings. All you see is a restaurant resembling a work station with an open kitchen concept. I like this, as I can disturb Max over the counter unlike the previous restaurant where he has to be behind closed doors.

Max decides what you eat here.

So, don't be such a pain in the ass demanding that I want this and that. But, if there's anything that you do not take in the daily-changing-degustation-menu, tell the staff in advance and Max can always cook up something else for you! I've always like this concept because I usually do not look into menus. I like to be told what to eat and I honestly have no food taboos except the bittergourd!

The amuse bouche was tuna loin seared with organic sesame oil and topped with condiments like chopped clams. I finished it in one bite... not very lady like. The guests were happy with the amuse bouche and I know this is a good start to a great dinner ahead!



Of course any dinner here would not be complete without wines. I really like the wine selection that my friend chose for the night. There were racks of wines on the left wall of the restaurant and then a special wine room for the more pricey wines. He checks the rack and then tell the staff, I want to see the ones "inside" and went in and picked 3 bottles.



First, we had a 2008 Faiveley Pouilly-Fuisse by Joseph Faiveley. I've always like a white Burgundy. This is a wood aged 100% Chardonnay that comes from a highly respected Burgundy house. I find it to be a pleasure to drink with some acidity and a crisp of freshness. The nose has expressive flower notes and generous fruits. With a touch of wood, this wine has quite a long finish.

Next, we moved on to a Spanish red. The 1999 Bodegas Y Viñedos Alión Ribera del Duero Reserva is made from Tempranillo grapes - most famous as the predominant grape in the blended wines of Rioja. It has a medium-bodied palate with juicy acidity and bright raspberry fruit enlivened by notes of dusty earth, dry herbs and leather. Friend was very happy to find this bottle here.

I lost count how many bottles or glasses we drank but certainly the 3rd bottle we had that night is a Italian bottle - 2005 Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva. This is rated 91 by Wine Spectator. It has an intense red ruby colour, with intense aromas of red berries like raspberries and rich red cherries. The tannins are refined and elegant and there's some hints of cocoa too. It's drinking good now even as we speak.

This friend of mine is really adventurous with his wines. He does not plan what to drink or which to drink first because he believes in spontaneity. Sometimes it may go wrong because if we had a full-bodied wine and follow by something that is more mellow and elegant, we might not be able to taste the wines properly.




1st dish ~ Parmesan baked oyster, Pistou Laced Clam, and Cuttle Fish Carpaccio~
Pistou is actually a cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. I guess the clam used here is the Lokam clam where he used to serve it in his previous restaurant with pesto sauce. I love the cuttle fish carpaccio. It was something new to me.

2nd dish ~ Sea Scallops with Yabbies and Sea Urchin cream~
I love the seared scallops which is cooked just right as over-searing will definitely spoil its texture. The yabby is actually a crayfish from Australia which adds a succulent texture to this dish, the same effect you get from a tiger prawn. The best thing about Max's dishes are its sauces. You have to lick them clean!



3rd dish ~ Tomato duck breast with Sweet bread~
If you're a fan of offal, you'll love this dish. Although the sweet bread isn't much but the duck makes up for it. The pairing of meat with the tomato is like a match made in heaven because after a few dishes, you need something sour to lure the appetite again.



Mains ~ Halibut Fish fillet with Snails in parsley cream and mushroom Ravioli~
The Halibut fish has always been my favourite and the texture is something similar to a cod fish. The most important technique in preparing this dish is to make sure the fish is not overcooked or else it'll spoil the whole dish. The snails (escargots) is an interesting addition to this dish. No complains at all although I do not fancy parsley in my food.


OR


Mains ~ Wagyu Karubi Beef Belly, Grain Mustard Seed Sauce and Board Beans~
The "ngau lam" or beef belly in English is really a good twist to the usual wagyu steak or even a rump steak. My friend chose this dish instead and that's why I get to take a photo of the two mains. This dish is served with polenta (if I'm not wrong) instead of the usual mashed potatoes. I had a piece of the belly and I must give credits to the chef, because it's done beautifully.

You know what's the funny part? My friend was so happy with the food, that he had two mains! He had both the Wagyu beef belly and the Halibut Fish after he saw my dish because he's absolutely in love with the snails!



Sweets ~ Caramel Sponge Pudding with caffe latte ice-cream~
I'm so disappointed that Max didn't serve my favourite chocolate souffle. He asked his staff "ada souffle ah?" (do you have souffle?) and they shook their heads. Oh well, I'm ok with trying new desserts but I still want my chocolate souffle!!! I'm a little fussy when it comes to dessert, really...

We had a good chat with Max after the meal and after all the customers had left. It was my first time there and so are my guests from overseas but lucky I made the right choice to bring them here. I know Max would never fail me and he did live up to the reputation.

The degustation menu is at RM150++ per pax and that night, for the 4 of us and 3 bottles of wine, the bill came up to RM2k and you can roughly guess the price of the wines we had that night. The person paying the bill was definitely very happy to depart with his money and the tips he gave to the staff was utmost generous.

Second post on Millesime & its Truffles here and 3rd post here and here.


Millesime
(it's outside of the building on the extreme right corner)
G1-01-3, Level G1
Menara Kencana Petroleum, Solaris Dutamas
No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Operation hours are from 12pm-12am
Tel: +603- 6211 0648

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two hotels in 2 Days @ Singapore

I think my posts of Singapore is getting into a bore. However, I think I haven't finish reviewing all the hotels yet. Since I have to travel quite a bit now, my quest is to try as many different hotels as possible and see which ones offer a better stay!


There are a total of 412 rooms with 23 heritage suites that are individually themed and luxurious. Although the hotel is not located on Orchard Road, there's a MRT station about 100-200m away (Newton Station) and it's one station away from the shopping haven. What I liked about this hotel besides the close vicinity to my office is that they have a live band and singer in the evenings at the Lobby lounge where you can hang out and have a drink before you adjourn to bed.






The Deluxe room I had (about SGD$300+ for normal rates) was quite small. The alley between the toilet and the wardrobe is narrow and the furnishings are quite old as well. No complains on the cleanliness as they were in tip-top condition. The bed was comfy and the pillows are fluff enough. However they do not provide toothbrushes and you'll have to request for it. The TV is the old & bulky type and not a plasma!

Do you know that the most bacteria-infested item in the hotel room is actually the remote control?!! 99% of the time, the house keeper do not clean it or wipe it. The bacteria count on a remote control is even more than of a toilet seat. And we seemed to touch it at least once everytime before we go to bed! haha...

The Chinese restaurant, Li Bai serves very good Cantonese cuisine. Their double-boiled soup is also a thumbs up! It was one of the very few Chinese restaurants that I eat in Singapore because I'll be spoilt with western choices when in the island.




Looks nothing much on the outside but take a walk inside!



The next day, I went over to stay at Grand Hyatt Singapore which is located on the start of Orchard Road which is a short walk away from Tangs Plaza where I can have my morning Fried Carrot Cake at Marriott Hotel. This is a 5-Star hotel with 600 over rooms. My friend has always recommended me to stay at Hyatt because according to him, the rooms are bigger and the location is also strategic.






The room that I stayed was a Club room with a king size bed. It has an extended workstation where you get a full view of the beautiful swimming pool. The concept behind Grand Hyatt is natural and back to nature where lots of stones and plants are used to decorate the hotel. In the room, the wireless broadband internet is complimentary, there were fruits and also an array of tea for consumption. The most interesting thing was perhaps the safe in the room. Instead of a boxed-safe kept in the wardrobe, it's actually hidden in one of the drawers at the workstation.

The toilet is spacious with both bath and shower facilities and individual cubicle for the toilet bowl and a dressing mirror with table and chair inside. The wardrobe is accessible from both inside and outside which I find it very nifty as well.

As you walked out to the lifts, there are two big platters of fruits for consumption. Wow, this is indeed very thoughtful and healthy!

Another notable point of this hotel is their Spa! The Damai Spa is indeed a place to spoil oneself with a relaxing massage amidst a luxurious, beautiful and warm setting in a city center! I had a chance to experience a massage here a year ago and it was so wonderful!




I could still remember the masseuse, Iris, a middle aged lady whom is so good with her hands and the massage suite I was in was surrounded by wood fixtures and a small waterfall behind the glass windows. It was cosy and tranquil. Almost like a moment of bliss. Then there is a room where one can indulge in some reading or catching a nap. If you fancy, there's also a jacuzzi for your water spa.

Of course the price doesn't come cheap. It's almost SGD$190 when I went there last year. It was one of the best gifts I ever received and don't mind receiving! If I would have to pay, I'll settle for a RM90 massage with no waterfall and jacuzzi.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Carrot cake @ Marriott Hotel Singapore


Marriott Hotel in Singapore is definitely one of the more iconic hotels located on Orchard Road. You can never miss the green pagoda at the intersection of Orchard and Scotts Rd. Besides the hotel, Tangs Plaza is also the anchor tenant of this building.

Well, I certainly didn't come here to shop. Being a shopaholic like me, it's really unusual to see me hanging out at Orchard and not buying a single thing. I was surprised too! The reason why I walked to Marriott in the morning is to have this supposedly good Fried Carrot Cake as claimed by a friend.

Haha... coming to a cafe at a hotel for a good carrot cake? This sounds very unconvincing isn't it? Oh well, there's something that you have to try once in a lifetime and since I was supposed to learn to be adventurous, I went to Crossroads @ Marriott Singapore and gave it a try!


Crossroads is a cafe that is unpretentious and a perfect place for people watching. It's nice to sit here in the morning and have my cup of illy cappuccino.

They do serve buffet breakfast at around SGD$38 a pax but since I knew what I wanted to eat here, I gave the buffet a pass. I ordered a plate of Fried Carrot Cake @ SGD$15 and in my heart I was thinking - this carrot cake better be good or my money spent would be so unjustified! It's RM36 for a plate of carrot cake excluding GST which I could get it in KL for RM3.60?!!





When the dish was served, I was taken by surprise on how big the portion was. It probably can feed 2 of me. I also have not come across a fried carrot cake that was covered with egg. Underneath, you can see that the carrot cake is unlike the ones we had in KL where it's covered with dark soy sauce. The carrot cake is soft and the shrimps are of acceptable size. Most importantly, the taste was good and it's indeed a very hearty breakfast.






It's best served with belacan and make sure you request for it. The staff are quite generous with the chilli paste servings. Eat it while it's warm or else it'll not be as tasty when it's cool. Although the egg came a bit burnt on one side, I have no complains.

Don't ask me how a cup of cappuccino could go well with Fried Carrot Cake.


Crossroads Cafe
Singapore Marriott Hotel
320 Orchard Road, 238865 Singapore

Tel: +65 6831 4605

7.00am to 3.00am, Thursdays to Saturdays and eve of Public Holidays

7.00am to 1.00am, Sundays to Wednesdays and Public Holidays



Friday, October 15, 2010

Madam Kwan @ Midvalley !!!


A night of disaster...


The reason why I put 3 exclamation marks on this post is that I've never had eaten at any Madam Kwan outlet that disgusts me so much like this one here! Even as I was writing it now, I don't even know how to begin.

On this day, Friday night, I went out for a movie with colleagues and after the movie, we wanted to have some bites as we were already peckish. We approached Chillis but it was full and then it was Delicious and they were full too/ Lastly we decided to try Madam Kwan and the lady at the front reception told us that we have to wait if we want a table of 8 but if we can split into a table of 4, we can have a table straight away. Considering everyone was hungry, we opt for the latter.

When we walked in, we saw so many empty tables! There was one section which is practically empty and they have the nerve to tell us to wait?!! It seemed that they had cleaned that area and do not want to use the area. This is not a good explanation I tell you. The faces of the waitresses and waiters whom served us are as black as the pot that was burnt. What have we done to deserve their unfriendly looks? Hey, eating at Madam Kwan is not cheap ok?!!

The waitress just threw the menu on the table and left. When we were served our drinks, the waitress left the drinks at the end of the table and expect us to distribute it ourselves! She was too lazy to walk to the other side. The cute waiter whom served us also had a black face until we praised how good he was carrying so many plates at once. The service was horrendous. *shakes head*

The best part was - while we were all eating, there was a big rat, a brownish one and bigger than my palm was on the sofa. It leaped into one of the holes in the wall before hiding behind the curtain. We were all screaming but none of the staff seemed to care until we told them that there's a rat! Later, the rat was seen crawling on the floor across the restaurant. We didn't manage to snap a picture as it was too fast for us. Then, they came with a fruit platter as compliments to us. I refused to eat that fruit platter. It was of course trying to keep my mouth shut about this incident.

When we have settled the bill, I asked to see the manager. And guess what? The manager never come and when we leave, no one bothered to tell us why the manager didn't come to see us. This is definitely the worst place I've ever dined at. A bowl of Asam Laksa at Madam Kwan (RM15.90) can definitely buy me 3 bowls of the same thing elsewhere with better service even if it's a coffee shop or roadside stall. At least you'll be prepared of rats running around.

I am not coming back!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The lady who smokes a cigar....

A lady in a neck plunging evening gown with perfectly coiffed hair puffs away with a group of men at the party. As she held on her newly lit R&J Churchill, she exclaimed, "I actually like a bigger ring gauge because you get a more robust and full-bodied flavour". At this moment, 10 more men picked their tongues up off the floor. Don't you think the image of a lady holding a long, sleek, cylindrical object in her mouth, prompts even the most sophisticated men to be reduced to drooling newborns in suits?

Some men would stare in amazement and some would think it's distasteful. Whatever it is, the world is changing. What used to be an alpha male enjoyment could now be appealing to the supposedly weaker sex. I really don't think there's any thing wrong with women enjoying the same pleasure that a cigar gives to a man.

Now, tell me what you think when you see a lady lits up her cigar?

Everytime I lit a cigar, I held my head high. Taking a deep puff, I smiled, knowing that the next 45 minutes would be a pure pleasure. The aroma of the cigar drifts through the room, attracting the even non cigar smoker to give me a minute of his time. Being a lady cigar smoker is not as easy as just picking up a stick and start puffing. One needs to be prepared with confidence that will deal with the silly questions, comments, criticisms, cat calls, wolf-whistles and whole lot of plethora of come-ons that she will attract, as she draws on her smoke.

It's funny I never wanted to smoke a cigarette but I was attracted by the aroma and the flavours that I draw from a cigar. What started as an experiment years ago grew into a passion. I love the puff and I'm never afraid to befriend the brothers of the leaf (BOTL) too everywhere I go. Wine, whisky and cigar tastings, are predominantly frequented by men and I don't think they exclude women but it has been my observation that rarely more than a handful of women are in attendance, and every man in the room is keenly aware of the presence of those few smart, and the ones the exudes an air of confidence.

While at the party, I do surprise a few men when they see me taking out a cigar from my clutch, followed by a puncher and then my very own cigar lighter. That's what I have in my bag as opposed to the usual lipstick, eyeliner, blush and other make up items that a typical lady would be carrying around.

However, at the party, be prepared to be scrutinized. On the other hand, you might also be ooh ahhed upon, flirted with, wined and dined, if not worshipped, by men. They will compliment you, show you respect, and be offered cigars. Perhaps the only challenge is to identify whom among them is still an eligible bachelor. The chances are quite low as the majority of men whom enjoys a cigar is definitely out of my league in terms of age and availability. Haha... no wonder I am still single because I am mixing in the wrong crowd!

Having said all these, don't be afraid to try something (drugs a no no for me). In the 21st century, it's time that women be bold, audacious, confident without being feeling restrictive to prior ideas or conformity to the standards of society set in the medieval times. We should not be afraid to break rules and take risks. But if you want to love puffing a cigar, be ready to fly in the face of the criticism of family and friends.

I would hope to see the numbers of women smoking cigars grow like the perfect ash on a well lit cigar. There's nothing more pleasurable than to be able to enjoy something without worrying what others might think of you. Puff sensuously, puff deeply.

Forget the world and experience the moment.


Monday, October 11, 2010

SALTA Argentine Parrilla @ Singapore

During my last visit to the republic, I was undecided on whether to dine at a tried and tested outlet or to try something new. Looking at the blog, I have been dining at the same outlets on countless times and thus, it's time for something new! It's quite a dilemma as I don't really go to Singapore so often anymore and if I don't visit my favourite restaurants, the chef might just forget about me!


SALTA Argentine Parilla + Grocer @ Icon Village


A friend of mine happened to read about this new place that serves Argentinian steaks and we decided to check it out. Funny thing is, even the taxi driver doesn't know where Icon Village at Gopeng Street is at. A quick check with the GPS brought us to this place which is located in Toa Payoh. We were quite confused with the entrance to the restaurant. On one side you have a Salta lounge and on the other side, it's actually a Japanese Restaurant called Kumo. Lucky there is a waitress whom guided us into the restaurant.

Salta is named after a city in Argentina. Apparently Salta is famous for its food, particularly beef, throughout South America. The interior is warm and simple with an open kitchen concept.

Being adventurous, we ordered some recommended true Argentinian dishes.


Empanadas SGD$6

Empanadas is one of the signature dishes of Argentina. They are actually pastries filled with meat and vegetables. It comes in 3 pieces and we has a Carne (beef & Capsicum), Roquefort y Apio (cheese & celery) and lastly a Camaron (prawn & tomato). The pastries is crispy and big but the fillings are rather little. The best one was the beef and capsicum. This is like Argentinian karipap! haha...


.
Jamon Iberico (50g) SGD$20


My friend couldn't resist ordering a plate of Jamon Iberico after he saw the whole leg of it perched on top of the kitchen counter. As explained to us, the Jamon Iberico is cured for 38 days. I had to try it! A good Jamon Iberico is usually cured 1-2 days for every pound of meat. The ones that we had that night was so good and full of aroma and savory tastes which includes saltiness as well.


Cantena Malbec 2008

Since we are having Argentinian food, we thought it's a good change to try a bottle of Argentinian wine. Their wine list is quite limited but we were glad we got a good bottle of Malbec. Initially I was quite sceptical because I don't know the Argentinian labels well but with the recommendation from one of the staff, Melissa (who has been so helpful and polite) the bottle turned out to be really good. It has very concentrated dark fruits aroma and the palate is rich with spices and tobacco. It might be a young bottle but after some breathing, it proves to be quite a good bottle.


Parrillada (for two) - SGD$70+

Mixed grilled: beef sirloin, beef skirt, chicken, black hog pork, sausage, sweetbread, vegetables & potatoes


It doesn't look like a big portion but in fact it is too much after you have 1 or two appetisers. What I liked most about this platter from the grill is that there is a mix of meat and sausages. The sweet bread and beef skirt is something which we don't really get in KL. And when we asked for the meats to be done medium, it's actually a medium rare. If we were in KL, when we asked for a medium rare, it usually turns out to be a medium.


Sweetbread

Sweetbreads are the ultimate organ meat, highly prized by chefs and connoisseurs for their mild flavor and velvety texture. This is actually the thymus gland (throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) and the pancreas (heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread) of animals. It is a light meat that is firmer in texture than brains. I really like the light texture.


Panqueque
“dulce de leche”crepe

Melissa was really nice. Not only she's friendly, she also introduced us to the Japanese Chef Nobu next door to us. As told to us, the Japanese restaurant, Kumo serves a good Kaiseki menu. Then, she also introduces us to Louis, executive sous chef of SALTA. He was actually a Malaysian and was recently in Salta in Argentina to learn more about their cuisine.

When he asked if we wanted desserts, I rejected as I was stuffed but he told me to try one of their specialty - the Panqueque. Inside the crepe, they used the dulce de leche as filling. It is actually a Spanish milk caramel. Made as both a thick jam and a caramel candy, it is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from caramelised sugar. It was sweet but it does taste very nice and the texture looks like kaya!


Louis giving a tour of the kitchen


The bonus we got by being nice is a tour into the kitchen! Louis was so kind to show us the open kitchen concept and the grill. The charcoal grill is 5 metre long and it has adjustable height so that the meats would not be burnt by raising the grill. The ventilation system is very good as the restaurant is smoke free and I don't go out smelling like a piece of grilled steak!

This place has only been opened for 9 months and since it's hidden in the Icon Village, many might not have heard about it. I would definitely come back for more as their steaks is really the highlight of the restaurant. We were also given a 20% discount and it was very worth it!



SALTA Argentine Parrilla + Grocer | view google map
Icon Village
12 Gopeng Street #01-56
078877 Singapore
Tel: +65 6225 8443
Fax: +65 6225 8481
Email: salta@kitchenlanguage.com.sg
website

Opening Hours
Monday - Saturday
11:30am – 2:30pm
6:30pm – 10:30pm


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Singapore


The quest for the best chicken rice in Singapore continues...

Recently I was on a working trip to Singapore and the first thing that comes to my mind during lunch time is to eat chicken rice! My colleagues are not a big fan of the Hainanese chicken rice but I managed to convince them to try a new outlet with me. My aim is to try as many chicken rice outlet in Singapore as possible so that I can ascertain my list of the best outlets!

And since Novena ville is just a station away from my office, we decided to take the MRT there during lunch time. I have read many reviews about Wee Nam Kee in the internet and the reviews was a mix of good and bad. Being rather skeptical and curious at the same time, I decided to give it a try.




To be a good chicken rice outlet, they will normally serve 3 types of sauces to go with the chicken rice. The ginger, chilli and thick soya sauce is a must! Actually, I think they do serve these 3 sauces at almost every chicken rice outlet in Singapore.

I was so hungry by then I almost ordered everything I saw!


Dumplings (Sui Kow) - SGD$ 5

The dumplings are quite big and for that price, it's considered very value for money because there were 9 pieces in the bowl. The texture is nice but I feel that they could do better with the skin. I prefer a more silky smooth, thin and translucent skin.


Stir Fried Beansprouts - SGD$ 6.40

Ok, this I feel is a complete rip-off! The portion is small and instead of the usual beansprout served with oil and soya sauce, they have it stir fried with salted fish. To be honest, the taste wasn't that great and the beansprouts weren't juicy enough. I know I shouldn't convert to RM but if you think of it, paying RM15 for a plate of beansprouts is really unbelievable... I could have bought beansprouts for the entire village if I were buying them from a market in Ipoh.



White & Roasted Chicken - SGD$ 14

We told them that we wanted a 3-person-portion and it looked like they served us half the chicken! I think we can easily feed 4 people with that portion. I don't have much complains on the chicken as the meat is smooth but not as smooth as the one at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Foodcourt. The skin is thin and not silky smooth enough. Although the chicken here isn't exceptional but I think the standards are acceptable.



Mix Roast

We ordered a plate of mix roast of pork - "char siew and siew yoke". I don't think I need to elaborate further because this is definitely a miss! Any outlet in KL can do a better roast pork.



Plain Rice - SGD$ 1.50


The rice is fragrant but not as good as the one I had in Chatterbox @ Mandarin Orchard. They are also using a good quality rice as you can see that the grains are whole and perfect.




That's me with all the food! My naughty colleague wanted presence in the photo and thus he purposely invade my photo with his wrist! A hearty meal and then a long meeting / discussion till 7pm.

In conclusion, I wouldn't purposely come here to have a good chicken rice meal but if there's no other choice available, I wouldn't mind coming back. They do serve other dishes like seafood and vegetables. I have actually been here a year ago but have forgotten about it.

This place is located at a row of shophouses in front of Novena church. It's just a 5 minutes walk from the MRT station.


Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice & Seafood Restaurant
275 Thomson Road
#1-05 Novena ville
Tel: +65 - 6255 6396

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BuBu @ Tengkat Tong Shin KL

This is a post that I would have written months ago. I guess I totally forgot about it until recently I was going through the pictures folder in the other computer. My first post about BUBU is here. The reason why I was at Bubu again was because Gonzalo invited us to try his new menu. It was supposed to be a Paella night but he had forgotten about it! (I tell you, his Paella is really good and it's served on Thursday only)



For appetisers, the mushroom bruschetta is really good. The baguette is crispy and the mushrooms is tender and fragrant. Maybe we were too hungry and all of them were snapped up as soon as they arrived!



Joining me for dinner is my sister - Yiling, Calvin, KY, Haze, Ciki and Joe! It's so difficult to find a date that everyone is free. And that day, it was drizzling... I could still remember walking on a wet Tengkat Tong Shin road. It was also my first time meeting Joe. Hey you over there at Melbourne, nice to meet you!


If you like grilled calamari (squids), this is a must try here. The squid is fresh and together with the salad and sauces specially made for this dish, the condiments complimented the grilled squid really well.


Then we had a few other dishes like the grilled meat on a skewer - shish kebab, the grilled tiger prawns are a must! The prawns are big and succulent and they have a smoky taste to it. I like the prawns! Together, we shared a bottle of Badet. Clement & C Cuvee Prestige.



Perhaps the highlight of the night is this plate of Châteaubriand. It should serve about 2-3 people. Châteaubriand is a small roast extravagantly cut from the center of the beef tenderloin. There's a story to this steak. In the 200 years since it was first prepared by the chef, Montmireil for Vicomte de Châteaubriand (author & diplomat whom served Napoleon as an ambassador), we seem to have lost it's exact dimensions. Some people will tell you that it can be as little as 1-1/2 inches thick, which is essentially a tenderloin steak, and not châteaubriand.

Because of its thickness, cooking châteaubriand requires care, to avoid overcooking the outside while leaving the center raw. Legend has it that Montmireil placed his master's roast between two other cuts of tenderloin, burnt both the outside meats to a crisp, and threw them away, leaving the Vicomte's portion evenly pink through and through.



We were saving our tummy space for desserts too! We had a crepe with ice-cream and also a moist chocolate brownie. Desserts are always a must to end a good meal!

I really recommend their signature dishes like grilled seafood and the steak. As for Paella, I'll blog about it soon. Prices are not that cheap but nevertheless it's of good quality.

Check out the other posts:
KY - KYspeaks
Cumi & Ciki - Malaysian Food Blog
Joe - Lots of Cravings



BUBU Restaurant (at Hotel Rae)
No. 42A, Tengkat Tong Shin
off Jalan Bukit Bintang,
50200 KL, Malaysia.
Tel:+603- 2142 2988














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