In summary,

3 sisters. 1 and a half dude. Bottomless tummies. Our gastronomic adventure.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kacang pol/pool haji @ Larkin, Johor Bahru.

Recently we spent the long Raya weekend in Singapore and Johor Bahru, so naturally we also treated it as sort of a foodtrip. Various suggestions from JB natives were almost unanimous in their solid opinion of this particular gerai, and since we were feeling very adventurous we decided to try this one on the morning we were on our way to Singapore Zoo.

It was, simply put, delicious. So yummy!! I knew it was basically beans cooked in curry and garnished with an egg and onions, but it was only later that I confirmed that the main ingredient is broad beans so this just means that Alwi cannot eat this (poor guy). My husband liked it so much he had this almost everyday!

A bit of educational info : this dish is basically broad beans (also known as japanese edamame) cooked in curry/korma... it originated from the Middle East and is known as "foul medames".

The next time we are in JB, we are definitely paying a visit (or a few) to this shop again! Truly an exquisite delicacy that must not be missed.

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food : 8/10. Kacang pol being the main food available, this shop also offers simple nasi lemak which is adequately tasty (each of us had two packets, haha).

The Ambience : 6/10. It is a roadside shop, so nothing very fancy about the whole place.

The Location : 9/10. Easily accessible and has the prominent Larkin Stesen Bomba as a landmark opposite it. There are also parking lots in front of it which is convenient.

The Pricing : 7/10. RM 4 for one bowl of kacang pol. RM 2 for a packet of nasi lemak. Ok pricing for the beans, but kinda expensive for the nasi lemak considering it is so "simple".

Baby-friendly? : I doubt there are baby chairs (we didn't ask for one) but the baby sat in her bucket seat ON TOP of the table so it was no biggie.

Address :
Kacang Pool Haji
in Medan Selera Larkin (opposite Stesen Bomba)
easily accessible and found via GPS

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry overload @ Raaju's Strawberry Farm, Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is basically Strawberry-Land. There are a few big strawberry farms and depending on which one you visit, you may get to pluck the strawberries yourself. On our recent visit to Cameron Highlands we were not really aiming to pluck any strawberries seeing as we have a toddler and a baby to manage around, but we were interested to at least visit a decent strawberry farm with decent produce.

So we visited Raaju's Strawberry Farm, which is located just off the town of Brinchang (it is easily found through the GPS tracker). Although nowhere as "happening" as the Big Red Strawberry Farm it is however a nice place to visit most likely because it hardly ever gets crowded and the owner, Mr Raaju himself mans the front counter. It is a family-run business basically which gives the whole place a very friendly appeal.

The menu is laden with strawberry influences but we had strawberry cake and ice-cream which was super delish! They also had scones but for the life of me I cannot recall why I did not have them.

Mr Raaju's Farm also produces its own strawberry jam and concentrate, which was one of the first things I bought. The jams are available in both usual or less sugar forms, which is great to be given as gifts. The concentrates are one of my favourites because of the sweet and crunchy texture.

As we were leaving, Mr Raaju gave us a box of free strawberries! Well, actually he gave them to Alwi because Alwi was probably acting too cute for his own good but we were happy nonetheless. Would definitely come by this place again if we were ever in Cameron Highlands again in the future :)

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food : 8/10. They have cakes, ice-cream, juices, smoothies, and scones. All with strawberries,. I loike!

The Ambience : 6/10. It isn't exactly a bistro, but there are decent seats with roofs, which is enough.

The Location : 8/10. I think most places are accessible in Cameron Highlands.

The Pricing : 7/10. Typical in Cameron Highlands, but worth it.

Baby-friendly? : There are road ramps which allow for strollers to get around, but that's about it.

Address :
Raaju's Strawberry Farm,
Cameron Highlands.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ben's Restaurant @ KLCC.

A while ago Sollie and I had lunch at Ben's, a somewhat new Western-Asian fusion restaurant in KLCC located at where the California Pizza House used to be. For the life of me I cannot recall what made us WANT to try that place -- it could have been Sol's idea but I cannot be sure.

And you know how people say first impressions are important? Well, we had a very good first impression of this place. And I must say, I chose the right dish as my first try, so yeah, this place is a definite must-go-to-again place and stays on my list as having a "thumbs-up" :p

One thing I found really cute about the place is their menu. Sol and I actually spent a good amount of time studying it, not just because the variety of food they have there is substantial, but because of the FONT itself. Haha. It looked like it was totally handwritten but that wouldn't be practical would it? However what made us suspect that it could be handwritten was the inconsistencies in the loops and shapes of the alphabets -- some "A"s looked non-similar and yes I know that totally sounded like something out of C.S.I.

Decor-wise, the theme is black. Rather dull colour but it was nicely done and gave off a very reserved, classy appeal. Not too classy that you feel coming in with your jeans and T-shirt makes you look like a ho-bo but classy enough that you FELT classy WITH your jeans and T-shirt (if that made sense at all). Tables are adequately spaced and we arrived just before the lunch crowd descended, so we got good seats. It can get quite packed during rush hours apparently (as with most KLCC F&B outlets, of course).

I ordered this for myself : Crispy Duck Confit Spaghetti cooked in aglio. IT WAS AMAZING. It could do without the cow-load proportion of grass on top but the spaghetti itself was fantastic. I am a big fan of most spaghettis cooked aglio-style so I usually order something along those lines if I go to a new place, as a means of measuring a restaurant's standards. It was not too oily, it had the right amount of spices that contributed very nicely to its taste, and the duck itself was succulent without being watery (a.k.a hanyir). Definitely a signature dish, and apparently this runs out pretty quick during the rush hours.

I cannot recall what this is called exactly but this is basically Nachos with Tomato Sauce and Cheese Dip. Think CHILLI's Bottomless Tostada Chips... okay maybe not so similar as that. This was a great appetizer and was served in a moderate enough proportion so as not to overwhelm our entree.

Sol ordered Spaghetti Carbonara. If I usually order Aglio Olio style spaghetti as a means of measurement, she would order carbonara style. And for something that is made with milk and meant for kiddies (no offense Sol :p) this really had some kick to its taste. Nowhere near as delish as Sunway Giza's D'Italiane's Spaghetti Carbonara but decent enough. Portion looks huge though and Sol had some trouble finishing it... which is usually the case with carbonara. You get full pretty quick and it is not something that I would usually order for myself anyway.

And because we were so impressed by that first visit, we came back to Ben's a few days later with our whole family. My parents, bless their hearts, are not big fans of Western-style food and had a go at their Asian cuisine... to their disappointment. Presentation looked nice but I have to agree the food tasted bland and lacking. Methinks someone in the kitchen excel at Western cooking but fail miserably at Asian foods -- as Asian foods rely heavily on the different spices and even a good amount of salt/sugar so when used very minimally the taste will definitely be compromised. The above is actually the nasi lemak with chicken rendang -- not very tasty in my opinion.

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food : 7.5/10. Variety was available in terms of Western and Asian cuisine, but the Asian cuisine left much to be desired. What we have tasted of the pastas though, was excellent.

The Ambience : 8/10. A nicely-decorated place that looks both classy and business-like.

The Location : 8/10. It's in KLCC, and now there is also one in Pavilion. Prime locations to attract customers.

The Pricing : Moderate high, as is standard with the upper-end restaurants in town.

Baby-friendly? : There are baby chairs, but that's just about it. Letting an infant or a toddler loose in here is akin to asking for trouble because of the crowd and the slightly cramped space between tables when the place gets busy.

Address :
Lot 140 First Floor
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 KL

okay this is kinda embarassing. actually, make that VERY embarassing.

This was is supposed to be a food-blog -- a simple, easy-to-maintain blog that requires no emotional connection or mental commitment (not too severely, anyway). But we admit we have been slacking terribly when it comes to maintanence of this blog, so forgive us for being MIA :(

Life and reality can be quite a biznatch, but at the end of the day, food is a nice thing to fall back on. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waterlily Contemporary Balinese Bistro @ Mutiara Tropicana, PJ.

Mutiara Tropicana recently became slightly more busy when a row of shoplots opened up along the Jalan Tropicana Selatan. At first it was just a 7-Eleven, followed by the Jaya Grocer supermarket and subsequently the Waterlily Bistro. We did not pay much mind to the bistro, but one fine day (it was during lunch, I think) we got hungry, we were nearby, and we wanted to try something new.

So we decided to try out the Waterlily Balinese Bistro.

The whole place looked well thought out -- from the external decor to the internal finish, everything reminds you of a modern Balinese residence, which is nice. The expansive main entrance allowed a well-ventilated place which is always a plus (to me at least, because for some reason I get claustrophobic easily). When we first went there it was during lunch so it was not packed, so service was all right.

However, the place does not have proper baby chairs. What they do have is a portable, travel-lite child booster seat that does not even come with the proper restraints so for babies who can't be trusted to sit up on their own, you're better off using your kid's stroller/pram instead.

(My son, who was about 8 months in the above picture, could only sit in the booster chair for all of 36 seconds before he stood up and threatened to jump over. It was slightly harrowing to say the least, but manageable).

The Siap Megoreng. Basically it is rice with grilled chicken marinated in lemongrass marinade. I had this, and it was delicious.

Now, it has been more than 10 years since I was last in Bali, so for the life of me I cannot recall what sort of food Balinese people consumed. At Waterlily though, everything is supposed to be Balinese-inspired with a contemporary touch so it was interesting. They had your usual rice and fried chicken fare with assorted condiments by the side, and they also had this glorious salad that came with either grilled chicken or squid, lathered in this lovely lemongrass and lime juice that was so obviously homemade. It was eastern food with a western touch, for sure. And that sort of food always worked for me.

The grilled squid balinese salad. Scrumptious! My absolute must-have when I come to this place.

I forgot what this is called, but it came with grilled squid, chicken, beef, prawns, rice and assorted condiments. A generous portion indeed.

Grilled seafood pasta. Another house-trademark which is lovely and oh-so-yummy.

The ambience at the Waterlily.

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food :
9/10. Although there weren't much in terms of variety, what they do offer tastes good and wonderful. It is difficult to describe. I totally totally loved the way they mixed up the pasta with the grilled squid. Not to mention the sesame lemon sauce they used in the salad was totally wicked.

The Ambience : 8/10. A nice relaxing place, suitable for families but might be a bit of a hassle for those with younger kids. But otherwise the decor is nice to look at.

The Location : 7.5/10. The rating is only because it is located in a housing area. It is very near my house so I do not mind it, but I suppose people would only come here after hearing other people talk about it, rather than because they happened to be driving by it/working near it.

The Pricing : Moderate high, as is standard with the upper-end bistros in town.

Baby-friendly? : Not really. They have the portable booster seats but nothing in the way of actual, proper baby chairs. Bring your kid's pram/stroller if you're planning to come here with a baby.

Address :
The Waterlily Bistro
No. 11-G, 11-1 & 11-2
Jalan Mutiara Tropicana 3
Mutiara Tropicana
Petaling Jaya

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Big Brother Restaurant and Grill, @ The Strand, Kota Damansara

Credit for this particular pic goes to here, because of all things we forgot to take the front part of the shop. Swell.

Big Brother, the menu.

We've discovered this place by accident actually. I can't actually recall how or why, considering this area is flourishing with of new restaurants like how wild mushroom blooms after the rain. Probably due to its uber red signboard screaming from the main road and also due to the fact the halal sign (plus point), clearly can be seen from the road as well. Probably we were hungry that day, no idea where to go, decide to seek out new gastronomic frontier.

Mushroom soup, coupled with garlic bread. A bit oily to my taste but its homemade alright. 6/10

Oh yeah, I remember, one of my pregnant friend actually suggested me to check this place out. She was raving about the Big Brother's Chicken Chop. She's not kidding, it is indeed superb!

Banana blueberry smoothie. 8/10

This place is owned by one malay dude, Brother Hadi, who can be seen regularly here. One of the specials about this place is that, they do one mean  Chicken Chop! In fact, I believe, its the best I've ever tasted! (IMHO) Its one of the house specialties.

Grilled chicken chop with melted cheese, sitting on top of homemade mashed potatoes (you can choose french fries if eating mush food is not your fancy), side salad and coleslaw, drowned with uber delicious gravy. Perfect 10/10! Coz I dreamt about it. RM12.90 for this babies, yum!

What I love about this place is that, the portions here are HUGE. Their menu not only consist of western food, they've also included a section for local food as well. Once I took my uncle's family to dine here, 2 of them took the Malaysian fried rice (no picture here), which in my opinion is good enough for 3 people's portion! Not only that, for that kind of portion, whats great about this place is that their pricing is not as expensive as what I've expected (quality-wise and portion-wise). Its great for those who wants to try good western food, in a huge portion, in a clean environment and also, easy on the wallet. In fact, they too, have specialty drinks, like the one we've tried, Banana Blueberry Smoothie, which was yummy. (why is it that everytime I drank any banana based juice, my mind would always wander off saying it tastes like kuih cekodok blended?)

Spaghetti Bolognaise, not watery, flavorful, with that right ummph 8/10

Mac and Cheese (Kids menu).

They even have kiddies menu for the little tummies. In fact, my sister (not-so-little), ordered their Mac and Cheese on the pretext that she wanted to have one side dish as well. (And also to diet) When her pasta came, we laughed because the portion that came probably for one fat kid. Because its huge! Heck even I think it was a bit too much for a kid menu (but then again, why complain when its good right?) Then her side dish came....

Side dish : Cheesy meatball 8/10

Meet the side dish, Cheesy Meatball. Which consist of 4 knuckle size cheesy meatballs, covered in cheese and tomato gravy. Diet plan can say bye bye!

This place has gain great popularity as time goes by, in fact at certain nights, the place is full of families, you can't get any seats. If you're planning to have friends lepak session, best to book the place first.

We tasted a couple more dishes from this place but sometimes, when one is too absorbed in eating, we only realized this when the foods all gone. Will update more as we go as this is definitely one place will come by again!

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food : 8/10. Its great considering the taste, portion and pricing. However some food tend to be a bit oily. But from what I've tasted, everything is homemade, none taste like from canned or instant food. Definitely a plus point there.

The Ambience : 8/10. Family oriented, one place that's great for family or friends outing. Cool lepak place. However, do pronounce correctly or get someone who can understand the menu to get your order, one gripe about this place is that some of its waiters tend to mix up orders due to language barrier. Once I ordered Salmon Salad, but the food came, Grilled Salmon. Best to order when Brother Hadi is around.

The Location : 9/10. The Strand Kota Damansara. Turn right from the mainroad when you see Sunway Giza. And take another right after you see Onking electrical store. You can actually spot this place from far away due to hard-to-miss red signboard, with the logo of chubby 'Big Brother' with a chef hat on it. Same row with CIMB Kota Damansara.

The Pricing : Decently priced. They even have super saver lunch set meals (RM9.90+12.90 per set)

Baby-friendly? : There are baby chairs, and the whole place is catered for families.

Big Brother Restaurant and Grill
No. 3G, 3-1, Jalan 5/20,
Pusat Perdagangan Kota Damasara,
PJU5, 47810, Selangor
03 6142 7678ddress

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kuey Tiao Goreng @ Restoran Doli, TTDI.

If you are like me and are a true food connoiseur (yeah right), you would have heard of Restoran Doli in Taiping. People would say that if you were in Taiping the trip would never be complete without going to Restoran Doli for their kuey tiao goreng.

Ever since relocating back to KL since 3 years back I have had no reason to go back to Taiping. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found out that the owners of Restoran Doli had decided to open a branch here in Taman Tun Dr Ismail!

The kuey tiao goreng tastes just as good as I remember -- perhaps even better because the "special" version has a generous helping of prawns and eggs. Another good reason to go eat at TTDI's Restoran Doli would be for their chicken rice, which is superb. I am always weak for chicken rice so when I find a good shop for it, I usually keep it at the top of my list.

P/S I love the black ketchup that accompanies the chicken rice because it is usually laced with cili padi. Mwahahahaha.

Our overall verdict with regards to :

The Food : 8/10. You come here only for either the kuey tiao goreng or the chicken rice. Menu isn't extensive -- they might have mee rebus or mee sup but that is just about it. But for the limited variety of food they have the taste isn't compromised at all.

The Ambience : 7/10. It is clean and does not appear to be cluttered. A typical restaurant with simple trimmings. It is well ventilated which is a plus.

The Location : 8/10. It is located in TTDI right opposite the Primanora Medical Centre. Parking might be an issue on busy nights but nothing too difficult. My only gripe is that it isn't directly across my house.

The Pricing : Decently priced. A special plate of kuey tiao goreng is about RM5 if I recall correctly.

Baby-friendly? : There are baby chairs, and the whole place is catered for families so if you kid screams no one is really going to tell you off.