Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Grind Burger Bar @ Section 17 PJ


With the amount of burger places mushrooming in Klang Valley, I must admit that I have been quite ignorant as to how many of these places have popped up over the year! Of course I have heard of places like MyBurgerLab, Burgertory and Crayon Burger but guess what?!! I haven't been to any of them. So much so as being a foodie uh?

To be honest, burger isn't really my thing. It's perhaps the last thing I would consider ordering from the menu when all the other dishes seemed unfit for my appetite. However, I was also very curious as too how good these burgers can be at all these burger places.

 "I'm a REAL girl too!!!"

One such new place was just opened 2 weeks ago and it's pretty near my work place and I decide to check it out with my colleagues since we found a voluntary driver to take us there. It's located in the same row as the famous Kanna Currry House in Section 17 and it's beside the I'm Spicy thai restaurant.

I love the high counter seating. Nice to have a big bunch of friends siting here too!

Yen the foodie but doesn't blog.

She had the Big Black Dog (RM16) and sure we have to say this to her "once you go black, you never go back!" and all of us started laughing. So we put the big black dog to the test - it has a very succulent pork bratwurst served on black charcoal bun, topped with minced chilli pork, cheddar, mozarella, onions and served alongside herbed fries. I thought the bun was a little too soft and thus it didn't hold the bratwurst and the toppings to well resulting in a mess when you bite into them. Perhaps I need a bigger mouth! 

The fries has a nice crisp crust and it's not too oily. The portions are reasonable but I wished that they could serve a little more green than just 2 tiny slice of leaves.



I had a JD Burger (RM18 for pork and RM20 for beef) and of course I had the pork version. Pork burgers are always tempting! I was really excited to see my burger all stacked up so nicely with a nice slice of cheddar that is partially melted on the piece pork patty. The burger has a secret Jack Daniel's sauce that accompanies the pork patty, topped with bacon, onion slivers, tomato and greens. I love the juicy pork patty and the slight sweetness aftertaste which is typical of a bourbon. 

They have quite a variety of drinks too from rootbeer (RM4), rootbeer floats (RM8), beer (RM12-20), cider (RM16), wine by the glass (RM20/glass) and tea (RM5) too! If you want to BYO wines, it's also fine with just a corkage of RM20/bottle.


The burgerologist recommends The Grind House Burger (RM19 for pork and RM21 for beef) which both of my other friends ordered. It comes with a nice and juicy grilled beef patty, bacon, fried egg, caramelised onion, ceddar, onions, tomato and a "dracula sauce". I guess it must have been their secret sauce and it tasted sweet and like mayonnaise. 

You are also welcomed to order your own customised burger without the buns as they do offer prices of every single add-ons such as pork and beef patties, onions, ceddar, portobello mushrooms, grilled pineapples and also grilled peach. They also offer a Vegetarian Burger called The Peachy Bella Burger (RM17) with a portobello mushroom stuffed with chargrilled peach half, baby arugula, cheddar, onions, tomato and greens. This I want to try during my next visit perhaps with an add-on of a beef patty! heheheh



The Grind Burger Bar
7, Jalan 17/45, Section 17, Petaling Jaya.
Noon-3pm, 5pm-10pm.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Moon Bar @ Bukit Damansara


1st stop of the day was to visit my friend at his office to have a dram. And then we decided to check out the bar at Hits & Mrs at Lorong Kurau where I have been there months ago (here) but the bar located upstairs wasn't opened yet at that time. I really like the dated interior and the comfy rattan chairs. We had a bottle of Hendricks Gin (RM340) and they do have a good selection of Nikka whisky here.

After that, we procced to Bukit Damansara to have some recommended Hokkien Mee at Moon Bar. Apparently, my friends told me that they serve one of the best Hokkien Mee in town. A bar serving good Hokkien Mee? That I have to check out!

The deco is really simple with dining tables and two bar counters, one on each side of the shop. The 2-shop lot Bar is located right beside La Suisse and upstairs is the popular Escobar cigar lounge.

Sri Lankan Spicy Mutton Varuval (RM18)
This is one of the best dishes of the night. The mutton is spicy and tender which is served on lightly toasted bread. The spiciness is slightly above moderate levels.

Pork Meatballs (RM17)
The pork meat balls are also recommended. It's slightly spicy and made of minced pork which has a texture like meatballs. Goes well with chilli sauce and also on its own.

Bacon Wrapped Roast Pork Belly (RM23)
 I was really looking forward to the bacon wrapped Roast Pork Belly but it didn't turn out so well. I felt that the roast pork belly was too chunky which makes it a little difficult to eat and there is just an overwhelming of pork with the bacon and pork belly together.

Black Pepper Lamb Parcels (RM17)
 This is not fried wantons. Inside these crispy wanton skin are lamb cutlets that goes well with the minty sauce. Recommended.

Hokkien Mee (RM18)
And the highlight of the dinner that everyone was waiting for is the wok-fried Hokkien Mee. We had ours with extra fried pork lard which costs an additional of RM4 per plate. The Hokkien Mee is indeed delicious with enough flavour and "wok-hei" coupled with tender pork slices and right moisture to the noodles. One of the really good ones I've tried at a restaurant/bar.


Glenkinchie Distillers Edition (from duty free) distilled in 1996 and bottled 2011 and double-matured in Amontillado cask wood. It's a floral whisky with a sweet but dry notes.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
They also mentioned that we should try their dessert. However we find the cake too dry and it's not to my liking. Maybe it's been kept in the fridge for a long time which dries the cake out.

This place is worth checking out for their local food offerings as they also serve Bak Kut Teh here and you can enjoy a drink while indulging in these delicious local food. On Fridays, they have a Jazz night here too!

The Moon Bar 
2 Jalan Medan Setia 2 
Bukit Damansara 
50490 Kuala Lumpur 
Tel: +603-2385-5288

Operating Hours: 
Mon-Fri: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am 
Sat: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am 
Sun: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am 
Email themoonbar.bistro@gmail.com

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Table 23 @ Jalan Mesui KL


Jalan Mesui is fast becoming another popular dining street near Changkat Bukit Bintang. Afterall, it's only a short walk from the busy street and it's right next door to Palate Palette and No Black Tie. Due to the proximity of this place to Changkat, it's is really easy to find and you won't miss the colourful signboard..


Sherlene Siew is the brainchild of this place. Previously a property developer, she's indeed a risk taker when she told me how Table 23 started. She conceptualised the whole restaurant from decor to food which I sensed her passion from the way she speak about this place. I like the raw bricks, unpolished wooden tables, hanging light bulbs and spacious dining area. For me, less is more.


Potted Shrimp (RM15)
A few slices of Olive bread which is toasted and crispy served with a ramekin of shrimps cooked with spices and also a homemade grape chutney. The spices are subtle with a tinge of lemon for that zesty flavour which goes very well with the toast. For sweet tooth diners, you'll like the grape chutney which is gives you a sweet start to the dinner.

Pear and Fennel Salad (RM17)
Tossed with a lemon juice, vinaigrette and olive oil dressing. I love the generous portions of rocket leaves and caramelised cashew nuts. Not often do we see fennel salad here in KL but this salad would have been better in my opinion to be served as a side dish than an entree by itself.

Poached Salmon (RM36)
The salmon is poached and laid on a garlic herb polenta base, served with a sake mirin sauce and topped with crispy carrot shavings. Unfortunately, the salmon was a little dry that day when I tried it but I must say that the sake mirin sauce is very interesting and the crispy carrot shavings are quite addictive. Can I have more as snacks?


Beef Cheeks (RM55)
The winner of the night would be the Beef Cheeks slowly braised with love for 6 hours. It's served with diced parmentier potatoes with a crisp outer layer and powdery inside, sauteed julienne cucumbers, bacon and cherry tomatoes. I love how they paired tomatoes with beef cheeks as the beef cheeks could be heavy but when paired with a tomato based sauce, it gives it a little sour and sweet taste to the dish. I would really recommend this as the beef cheeks are so tender and they came right off when I put my knife through it.


Pavlova (RM18)
Served with strawberries, fresh cream and drizzed with mango puree. Light and fresh!


Chocolate Guinness Cake (RM15)
A dark chocolate cake made with 1 pint of Guinness and a layer of cream cheese served with a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream. This is like consuming a pint of Guinness without having to drink it. A recommended dessert here.

I wasn't sure if I could still button my pants after the meal but I was sure that I had quite an enjoyable time there with the company of Sherlene and also my dining partner. This is not a fine dining place nor a casual cafe but Sherlene would call her place a western gourmet dining outlet which is not to be missed. And I would love to come back and try some of their lunch menu which consist of local cuisine. Thanks to Sherlene for the dinner invitation.

Table 23
23, Jalan Mesui,
50200 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.

Tel: +603-21410023

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri : 11.30am to 3.00pm & 5.30pm to 1am
Sat : 4.30pm to 1.00am
Closed on Sundays

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

KomPassion - Thai Fusion @ Damansara Kim



A new Thai dining outlet worth checking out. Just opened about a month ago, this place is already getting some serious attention from the media and also food bloggers. I was just there a week ago for lunch and was lucky to meet the people behind this establishment. The three owners are Tan Huat Jin and Desmond Wong (an engineer and fund manager respectively) who are brother-in-laws teamed up with Chef Nikom Uatthong (and hence the name KomPassion) who used to be the food consultant and executive chef at My Elephant to start a Thai Fusion restaurant at Damansara Kim.

 The interior is kept as simple as possible with a raw concept. You can see stainless stell zinc pieces lining the raw concrete walls. The lounge seats are not even wrapped with cushion, which I told them that it would definitely be a problem for some of my friends.


A simple set up with black and grey theme. You can even see how creative they are with the taps that has the lamps hanging on it from the wall. I really think the whole "raw" effect blends in really well. They were also telling me that the 1st floor dining area would be ready soon to cater for bigger groups and also private functions.


The menu consists of fusion thai food and also dishes from the north. Some of the dishes here are not commonly found in the typical thai restaurants and the chef is also very ambitious to create a new menu every 3 months so that food fatigue would be avoided and the patrons can keep coming back for more new dishes.


Pork Satay (RM17.90)
 Tender and juicy grilled pork satay served with their own concoction of satay sauce and kimchi. The pork satay is tasty but I felt that the kimchi didn't really jive with the satay. Maybe psychologically I dislike kimchi and thus my opnion and I find the sauce a little sweet too.

Tom Yum Fish (RM45)
Their tom yum with fish fillet is a recommended dish. I'm used to having tom yum with seafood or chicken but this pot here only have fish fillets and mushrooms. It's big enough for 3-4 people. This is a northen tom yum with a spicy sweet soup base and you can even tell them which level of spiciness you would prefer. I am unadventurous so I started with level 1 and it wasn't very spicy.


Hanglaey Curry Pork Belly (RM35)
This is something special which I have not seen in any menu before. It's another specialty of this outlet and I love the nostalgic potware that they used to serve this dish. The pork belly has 50% fat and 50% lean meat and the curry is really spicy. I love the cashew nuts in this dish that gives it a nutty flavour to the curry and as well a nice crunchy texture.


Tako (RM10)
At first I didn't want any dessert because I was full to the brim but then I was told that I have to really try the tako. Having very little of self control, I went ahead and had a tako. I would have regretted if I didn't! It was so good!! The water chesnut bits was crunchy and it blends in so well with the pudding and salty coconut topping. So good!!

I am coming back for more dishes with more people. Stay tuned! They are quite busy during dinner and thus a reservation is encouraged. The corkage charges are around RM15 per bottle and they do have proper wine glasses.

KomPassion Thai Fusion Food
(same row as Euro Deli)
Damansara Kim
5, Jalan SS20/11, 
Petaling Jaya .
Tel: +603-7731-9256
  Closed on Mondays.





Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Happiness is... a great shower!

Let me ask you a question. What's the most important part of a house?

I would probably say the bedroom as I spent 8 hours sleeping there. But I would also say that a bathroom is really important. There's where I will have my pee pee, poo poo, freshen up and a great shower. And that is why when I had my house renovated, all I care were the 3 toilets. The other parts of the house, my mom can decide.


Below are the before and after pictures of the 3 toilets in my house which I took the effort to select everything from the tiles to the bathroom fittings.

The Masterbedroom Bathroom

Upstairs Sharing Bathroom

Downstairs Guest Bathroom

I believe in using quality bathroom fittings such as wc, basins, taps, showers and even water traps for the ultimate shower experience.But of course I could not afford shower units that cost more than my car. Thus, I buy what is within my means and most importantly, I buy it from a reputable brand and also from a dealer that offers good service, advice and also price. Eventually, I ended up getting a thermostat rainshower for my masterbedroom that cost me my one month salary. Lol...

And then another month's salary goes to the taps and the other showers in the 2 other bathrooms. Looks like I have to work for a few months and eat nothing just to have nice showers. What a trade-off!


Just last week, I changed the hand shower of the downstairs bathroom to the Hansgrohe Raindance Select Hand Shower in White which is new in the market. Unlike conventional hand shower that you have to turn the head for different modes, this model here allows you to change to a different mode with just a click of the "select" button. How cool is that?!!

Retailing at around RM1k, you can now get it at the Hansgrohe showroom in Kelana Jaya and they have 2 different models to choose from. There's 3 different modes and one of them has a rotating shower function that massages you with the warmly gush jet while showering. The white version is definitely a winner!

The reason why I changed the hand shower instead of the whole shower is because I simply can't afford the magnificent and ultra super duper cool Hansgrohe Raindance Rainfall Shower System. The shower heaven with lights that you see in the picture above costs a whopping RM48k and for the whole shower set up inclusive of thermostat and the sets, it costs a handsome RM86k which is a price of a car for me!!!

However, you can also opt for the other Hansgrohe Raindance E420 Air 2 Jets for RM8k or the Raindance Rainfall for RM18k. From the demonstration given by Darren Quek whom is the Market Developer in Malaysia, taking a shower with the aerated, voluminous RainAir shower is like having a natural waterfall with a titillating natural experience right at home!

video
Watch the Shower Demo!!!

They also welcome us to take a shower with their Axor Starck Shower Heaven which is designed by famous designer Philippe Starck who has also designed four collections for Axor, Hansgrohe SE’s designer brand. With a history of 111 years, Hansgrohe is a trusted brand in the industry and almost 80% of their products are still made in Germany.


I was at the Hansgrohe showroom for their introduction of the Raindance Rainfall Shower systems and they even have some finger food and canapes complete with Sangria for us to indulge in while we check out their products. Unfortunately, Suanie and me didn't take a shower there but I told Darren that I would make an appointment for a wonderful shower after my run one day!

The many bathroom fittings you can find in this showroom. Everything is so classy! I think I want to renovate the toilets again. Lol.. or do I need a bigger house with even bigger toilets?!!

A wonderful experience at the Hansgrohe showroom!

NOW use this Voucher to get 40% off on all Hansgrohe products...

Hansgrohe

No. 2B-1, Jalan SS6/6, 
Kelana jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: +603 7805-4748


Sunday, March 03, 2013

DINNER by Heston Blumenthal @ Mandarin Oriental London




din·ner

(noun)

The main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening.
A formal evening meal, typically one in honour of a person or event.

                                                                                                                                       From Old French disner


How could a trip to London be complete without a main meal at Heston Blumental's Dinner at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park? Knowing that I could not even score a seat at Fat Duck which is in West Berkshire (40 over minutes and 29 miles away from Hyde Park), I decide to try my chances and made a reservation at Dinner using Toptable 1 month in advance. Hallelujah!!! I managed to secure a table for 2 but I had to take the 6.30pm session which is all fine for me.

I arrived there with my partner slightly earlier than the allocated time. All the other diners who are there for the same dinner reservation time are being seated at a bar area where we can have a pre-dinner drink before being escorted by the staff to our table. I love the interior of the restaurant which is elegant, glass walls from floor to ceiling which makes the dining area looks bigger and spacious. The porcelain sconces in a shape of jelly moulds decorated the walls together with iconic chandeliers that hang from the ceiling all made this place looks bespoke. There's also a view of the kitchen where you can see the chef and staff sometimes putting up a show for the diners.

For starters, we were served a platter of sourdough toast which is like a country bread with a cripsy crust and a tender bread texture and a slab of butter with a sprinkle of sea salt. Simple yet delicious to start off with while waiting for our entrees.

I love the menu not only because it was simple to navigate but because each dish has a reference to the source of origin. So, you'll know exactly which era does the dish originate from and even from which cookbook! It's like a thesis with book referencing. The concept here is not exactly like Fat Duck which is more to molecular gastronomy and Dinner is more like a fine-dining version of brasserie that recreates historical recipes and their menu doesn't burn a big hole in your pocket.

Broth of Lamb £15
(1730 The complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter)
There's a slow cooked hen's egg, celery, radish, turnip and veal sweetbreads all immersed in the wonderful aroma of lamb broth.

Roast Marrowbone £15.50
 (1720 The Cook's and Confectioner's Dictionary by John Nott)
I wouldn't give any marrowbone a miss in the menu. I love the combination of the butter of the Gods with snails, parsley, anchovy, mace and picked vegetables. It was a match made in heaven for marrowbone with snails. Both has buttery textures and a meaty flavour and I really like it. Must be my obsession with marrowbones...


Spiced Pigeon £34 
(1780 The Ladies' Assistant and Complete System of Crookery by Charlotte Mason)
The pigeon is seved in slices that is interwined with grilled artichokes and ale gravy. Can you just look at the lovely pink meat? It's heavenly, tender and melts in the mouth.


Beef Royal
72 hour Slow cooked short rib of Angus, smoked anchovy & onion puree, Ox tongue
When they say slow cooked, it's really true! The beef is cooked sous vide at 56°C for 72 hour and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The beef was so juicy and tender!

Triple cooked chips
I was highly recommended by the staff to order this. And since I love fries, why not?!! These triced cooked chips are a feature of Heston Blumental. It's cooked in 3 stages - parboil, freezed dry  for 1 hour and then deep fry with rapeseed oil until golden brown and crispy. Ooh.. they are addictive!

2009 Flowers Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast £125
This time, I had the priviledge to choose the wine and I have asked the reservations to send me the wine list in advance. I decided to try something different as my partner is really knowledgeable on French wines but he definitely hasn't any clue on wines from California. The wine has a bright ruby colour. Aromas of blackberries and orange peel and on the palate, you'll get some black cherries, bright acidity with a medium lingering finish. 

A wonderful and delicate pinot from California. Coincidentally, I happen to have 2 bottles at home too. I think I got those 2 bottles for something like SGD$160.

 
A complimentary dessert of chocolate ganache with orange blossom. On the side was a crispy caraway biscuit.

Tipsy Cake £12
(1810 The English Cookery Book by J.H. Walsh)
If you don't have space for dessert, you have to force yourself to a serving of this tipsy cake. The effect of this cake is more than tipsy, it's out of this world. Served in a small Staub cocotte, this cake looks firm on the outside but inside it's airy and tender. 


http://thegourmetbelle.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Tipsy-Cake-Pineapple-Dinner-by-Heston.jpg 
Pic from thegourmetbelle
The pineapples are slowly roasted on ‘a contemporary stainless steel pulley system modeled on a 16th century design for the Royal British Court’s kitchens, the gears and cranks of which resemble the craftsmanship of an oversized watch, mechanically rotating a spit over an open fire' resulting in a juicy and not fibrous slice of pineapple. The Tipsy Cake is now a permanent feature on the menu.


The Tipsy cake is so good and heavenly. Even my partner has to agree with me on that and I wouldn't mind having it as an entree as well. Overall, the service was excellent. We were given ample attention from the familiar staff that served us throughout the night and thus the personal touch was something I really liked. They even attend to my request to have a nice table by the window and also followed through some of the surprises I arranged. Very nice!

The bill came up to something around £300+ and it was expected from this restaurant of 1 Michelin Star and also ranked #9 on the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2012. But most importantly, I had the most wonderful evening there.



Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park,
 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Tel - +44(0)20 7201 3833

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