Malaysian food

All about malaysian food (also international food) from a malaysian point of view. A Petaling Jaya (PJ) boy myself, most of my favorites are in PJ area. You name it, from snacks to gourmet food to hawker to fine dining, I'll try to cover. Even drinks eg. beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks, etc.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

2004 - Non-malaysian food

Zakuro, Plaza Mont Kiara - more japanese cuisines are popping here and there. This place overall was tasty, but slightly higher than my previous Hartamas ventures. Lacks as much variety and ideas unlike Hartamas and Damansara Perdana's offerings I had in the past.

Bukhara, Lot 137, First Floor, Suria KLCC - reading a positive review from the Star offering cuisine from the silk road (china to europe), I was curious about this quiet establishment (even after opening for months) and decided to brave thru it with my reluctant colleagues. The prices were bombastic, thus explaining its quiet niche. Tried the signature Bukhara Polo rice, which was served out looking like those western soup bowls with bread pastry covering its top. Breaking thru the pastry was wat look like Briyani rice and chicken. Going at it together with the served curry and yoghurt vege, I seem to think it similar to Briyani except for different spices and aroma, perhaps. But whether I'll pay RM20+ for such an experience again, nope.

Kim Gary Beyond, Avenue K (opposite KLCC/Wisma Central or next to KLCC MRT) - another HK restaurant for the masses, one would think food choices is already saturated enough in KLCC, but wrong, this place is packed to the brim since day one. And to think that the Avenue K shopping center is not even officially opened and shops remain vacant. Queues are common sight, people waiting for their no. to be called. The set lunch choices are good and various... ranging from A to Z. I 've personally queued many a day and tried most of the sets ocasionally repeating my chocies. My favorites are set C (shanghai style deep fried pork chop with vege rice) , I (shanghai style honey roasted spare rib with vege rice) and Q (mushroom and shredded pork rice with fried egg). The sets are RM10.90++, comes with choice of 2 soups (cream or minestrone) and coffee/tea. Of course, there are the usual alacarte stuff eg. baked cheese rice, french toasts, etc.. Quite a nice change of tastes (non-halal) after months of depressing choices within this area.

Set Q - Mushroom and shredded pork rice with fried egg, this is the tastiest set so far. I've recommended to friends and they were surprised. Yummy.
Set comes with choice of cream or minestrone soup and coffee/tea
Set I - shanghai style honey roasted spare rib with vege rice, meat was slightly tough but overall experience is good.
Egg with boiled milk - this sounded interesting, thought it was those HK dessert soups (dan dan) but turned out to be a cracked egg in hot milk.... urrghh u think?
HK toast - the usual, sweet and sinful.
Set M - Deep fried chicken with mushroom rice with fried egg, this set is similar to set Q except different meat. Very tasty
Set S - Hot and spicy noodles with pork chop, I found this portion super huge. Soup was too garlicky for my liking. But if you have big appetite, go for this ample portion of meat and noodles
Mango snow mountain (RM5) - nice dessert, just nice in taste

Manhattan Fish Market, KLCC - another franchise seafood restaurant, neck to neck competing against Fish & co, which is almost similar in concept and menu offerings. Still, after trying out this place, I still prefer Fish & co, for its unique tastes and more mediterranean flavors. The platters here come in 2 choices ie. fried or grilled. I thought the garlic rice in both platters paled in comparison with Fish & co paella rice.

U-village HK restaurant, rear end of basement Sg Wang Plaza, in a discrete location, this place still packs it in surprisingly. Tried the macau fried rice and salad prawn fritters. The former was tasty and interesting, while the latter was common and nothing new.

Fish & co, LG350 Lower Ground Floor, New wing, 1 utama shopping center (77224928, - swordfish collar 2 pieces of chunky and juicy swordfish collar, fried and served with spicy mango vinalgrette (RM24.90), seafood platter for one award winning platter of seasonal fish, calamari and prawns (25.90)

Grilled Seabass cajun style, simple and tasty

Seafood platter for one, great assortment of prawns, cuttlefish and fish with wonderful paella rice and chips, delicious.

Sri Ayutthaya, 3 Jalan Setiapuspa, Medan Damansara, KL - A dinner affair, decided on this place for a change instead of the usual chinese dishes, since this place looks good in its 3 storey glory from the Sprint highway. Deco inside was the balinese/thai/wooden theme.... but I kinda dislike the smell of the termite treatments surrounding the place. Service seems attentive and prompt, but I laud any establishments which uses foreign workers. This place was totally run by probably burmese/indian men/women. Not that I'm a racist but in the food and service industry, communication and understanding is very important..... these foreigners are never 100% up to that standard. Lo and behold .... due to communication breakdown, I had some complaints eventually. The manner the waiter/captain recommended and described dishes was unconvincing and boring. Still, I picked his recommendations ie. deep fried fish rayong style (RM45), Fried fish cake (RM24 for 12), Steamed assam thai fish (RM45), claypot prawn (RM98), tom yam soups (RM9.90 for each person), kerabu glass noodle (RM10), kerabu mango (RM10), thai roast chicken (RM28), green curry chicken (RM15), pineapple rice (Rm12), Lotus root thai style (RM30), juices (average RM5 each), white rice (RM1.50 each person). Total bill RM480 for 9 persons. Now... my complaints..... I always hate restaurants which throw expensive what-nots to you when asking for recommendations, not that I don't trust these dishes or hate expensive delicacies but if only expensive means nice, then I'm at a one-time-experience kind of place ie. he recommended scallops as first dish!! Scallops in a thai restaurant? C'mon, if I wanted scallops I would go to a proper seafood restaurant. He continued to recommend stuff like soft shell crab and stuff that wasn't even on the menu ... which I personally hated such a principle. Are these items not on the menu just to catch people unaware of their prices? After ordering, I had second thoughts about the quantity of the food.. I thought it was too much and had to recheck with the captain again.... the captain insists that the portions were just right. Still, I had to cancel the otak otak (which was 1 piece for each person). When the dishes start filling up the table, I knew the captain was ignorant .... there were more than we expected. I could have excluded another dish or 2!!! Knowing the nationality of the staff, I decided not to waste my time arguing and complaining, half knowing that I'd be frustrated trying to explain to them in slow-motion english. Secondly, the dishes came out mostly spicy... much to the contrary based on his words. I had wanted a balanced meal.... some spicy and some not. Thirdly, my wife had stomache aches the whole night.... was it the tomyam or the prawns which I thought was powdery in texture at times (not fresh?). Overall, I feel this is just another hyped-up touristy kind of establishment... if I just want reasonable thai food, I'd just go to SS2's Sri Siam. The tastes here are nothing to shout about, we are only paying for the environment.

Kerabu mango - nice and refreshing, mango was just right.... not too sour.
Fish cakes - was tender and juicy. Some complained they were fishy, but I thought it was ok.
Kerabu glass noodle - like the mango, nice.
Claypot prawns - this came a shocker to everyone. Not only was the claypot huge but the prawns were super big, straight away came to mind was 'How much would this cost' (this was not on the menu and the portion was decided by the captain.... whom I like to strangle, knowingly how I told him about my worry that I ordered too much initially). It didn't taste as good as it looked. I expected sweetness, but the taste was kinda smoky-like.
Lotus root was normal... not sure what thai style means in this dish
Deep fried fish was alright, have tasted better. The other steam fish (no picture) was also mediocre.
Green curry chicken was again mediocre.

17th Street, 3rd floor, BB plaza, KL - another HK restaurant for the masses, the first impression of the taste was good based on recommendation of staff. Had the 'Minced Beef and Fried Egg Spagetthi' (RM7.90).... very aromatic and tasty.... in fact, had this twice in 2 occasions.... must try cooking this at home. Tastes seem simple yet so fulfilling... probably lots of butter and cheese. On another occasion, had the Wantan noodle in soup (RM6.20).... which is so common in Malaysia, but lo and behold, I was surprised at its taste and quality. I can't say if I ever enjoyed wantans before, hard to describe but the wantan content was full and just right. The soup was tasty and the special noodles was smooth and silky. Overall, superb.

Daimon Okonomi Yaki / Chiku Ho Ramen, Ikano Damansara, LG floor - looks promising from the outside, considering I did miss okonomiyaki and a good bowl of soba from japan. Upon sitting down, I slowly start to realise the reason why the place wasn't that popular despite its very-japanese look from the outside. Service is lacking resources and a smile.... slow. Ordered a supreme okonomiyaki ($15), prawn gyoza ($6) and tenshin ramen (RM12.90), green tea (RM1.50!!! isn't this complimentary?). Overall, average and student standard. What was confusing in the end, it turned out that place was run by 2 different restaurants (which looked like one at first but upon looking up at signs, obvious).... thus the chaotic ordering and lack of service. Ventilation is bad inside, due to the teppanyaki sizzles. Will try another such concept store in Atria next, heard good things about it before... wonder if it's still there... hehehe.

The supreme was not as tasty as I used to remember my first experience in Japan, so I asked for mayonnaise (it didn't have it served) and more of the dark sauce. Mayonnaise costs $1 !! They did boost up the taste level but no points for the natural taste.
Gyoza was smaller than it looked in the menu and tasted big deal.
Soba soup was like those cheapo non-maggi-brands seasoning, otherwise generouos portion with omelette and dark sauce similar to the style of okonomi yaki.

Cafe Melise, No.16, Ground Floor, Jln SS22/25, Damansara Jaya (77263289) - was featureed in a Star article and regarded as a budget western place... so I gave it a try. The chef/owner was outspoken and for sure, he'll be guiding you thru the menu and orders from start till the end. His voice is booming and many patrons seems taken aback at first at his level of friendliness and 'chin-chai-ness'. So, be prepared for upfront conversation... hehehe. Well, the concept here is like a western canteen/cafeteria. The choices are laid out like our local mixed rice ie. in steaming trays and what nots. Patrons are allowed to try the sauces or samples by scooping into little bowls before choosing.... the same friendly chef will ensure you do this for sure..hehehe. Side orders were pork ribs ($39.50) and pasta carbonara ($9). Pasta was.... well, I've tasted better. Price calculation is similar to mixed rice ie. by item, chicken ($6), vege (S3.50), pork ($6.50), meat loaf ($11.50), puff pastry ($3), drinks average $2.80. Overall, it does sound like a budget place, but depends on what you ordered. But given the simple but 'noisy'/busy environment (no deco), warm temperature and not so spacious environment, I may put it on a lower preference for dining. I much prefer Eurodeli or Checkers, though pricier. Still, some enjoyed that home environment, an older couple was enjoying their own wine from home (i guess no corkage)

Had the cream chicken, puff pastry with some zesty sauce and creamy cauliflower. Sauce and portions were aplenty, tastewise average.... I liked the pastry with sauce.
Pork ribs were tender and nice ($39.50)
Wife had the beef stew, meatballs and what nots.

Italiannis, 1 utama shopping centre, New wing - Thinking of having italian one night, this place popped into my mind, after passing by the entrance couple of times before. There seems to be a queue at peak times. Luckily for us, there wasn't one when we arrived. The young usher-girl at the front was friendly and hospitable. But then again, as time went by, everyone inside was friendly and nice. There were waitresses on knees taking orders! I found out later management is from TGIF. That explains their formal introduction prior to taking our orders. The environment inside was cosy and warm....nice. Inside was much bigger than it looked outside. Our waitress was super nice and smiling from ear to ear.... told us that the portions were big so we don't have to order too much. So, we ordered a kids pasta, a pepperoni pizza and stuffed mushrooms (total RM60).... all her recommendations. Sure enough, the portions were huge .... we couldn't finish the pizza and had to doggy pack it. The kids pasta was nice, creamy and nicely textured.... my baby loved it to the max. Pizza was alright (Fasta Pasta's is better). Stuffed mushrooms was very filling as a starter and generous.... taste was very italian (zesty, tomato-ey and big), nice.

Tenka Daiichi Ramen Japanese noodle restaurant, Grnd floor, Wisma Central (21632317, 017-3221331, 016-6886299) - a popular place for lunch, especially for people who work around KLCC. Busy wisma central is just one of those typical office lunch alternatives.... building is old, inside is dim and not-so-clean looking... typical govt building type. So, if you manage to navigate its narrow and dim corridors and find this place, you will see people waiting for table space here. A small shoplot of sorts, with space for max. 20 or so. But, foodwise.... ramen here is considered the best I tried in PJ/KL so far (but still worse off than Japan's).... given the bad choices I've tried before (1 utama or KLCC food court). Pictures show a ramen set with gyoza costing only $8.90, with green tea ($1).... an affordable lunch. Most on the menu are at this price range.

EatDonut, Wisma Central - Fried doughnuts, can you believe it? I didn't at first and was very skeptical till I tried their samples and it caught me by surprise. Crunchy, not oily and tasty.... very filling too. Comes in various types eg. original, honey, pandan. Other offerings like yam balls, chocolate ones, etc... interesting. Think they are looking for franchisees. Will they become the next Rotiboy or Seremban Siew pau success? Time will tell.

Hachiban Ramen, Lower Ground Floor, 1 utama, new wing - a bad excuse of a japanese ramen restaurant. After being in Japan for 2 months, I never knew Japanese use bamboo shoots for ramen soup. This one does.... and I hate it. As far as I know, Thais use it a lot. My wife and I just don't like the smell and taste of bamboo shoots in soup, it's just so skanky.

Sugimoto Japanese Restaurant, 36-1 & 38-1, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL (Tel: 03-23001102/1202 or bangsar 22836961) - been a while since I've been to the Hartamas shops area and my gosh, it seems to becoming a little Korea/Japan. There are korean/japanese restaurants in every corner. Geez, there is even a Korean style chinese restaurant !! Anyway, decided to try out this place situated upstairs. Was pleasantly surprised with the spacious area upstairs. However, found the smoking section to be wrongly biased..... as this was where the private booths were.... the open tables area was the non-smoking section. Typically, young smokers were huddled inside puffing away. I think it should be reversed.... non-smokers should be the ones hidden away from the smokers. Private rooms with tables were at the back. The menus were extensive and overwhelming.... so much to choose from. Pictures throughout helped a lot in my selection. Waiters were helpful and full of recommendations. (RM55) - Combination of sliced fresh salmon sashimi, begal roll (crabstick, cucumber, avocado, mayonnaise topped with cream cheese & sliced fresh salmon) & 5pcs of Nigiri sushi. Sashimi was not as fresh and jelly, as per Kampachi's but who's complaining... check out its price for such a spread.
Ei Hire (RM15) - grilled stingray fins with spicy mayo dip. A great snack to go with any alcohol, tastes and feels like bbq squid... nice.
Chikuwa Isobe Ag (RM16) - fried fish cake with seaweed flakes bed with salad (nice cheese dressing). Was expecting the typical fishcake but no... there was like an actual fish fillet like roll in each tempura like batter. Nice.

Update (24th December 2004) - a xmas eve dinner, I had the luck of being sitted at the private booths near the entrance... very comfy and private except for walk-in guests passing by now and then.

Kanburi (amber jack) RM45 - superbly fresh and jelly like.
Spider roll (RM20) - crabstick, cucumber, avocado and soft shell crab topped with shrimp roe and sauce.... lovely.
Kami Nabe (RM28) - cooked paper hot broth. The special paper holding up the soup contents was uniquely fire proof and water proof.. The soup was light and tasty. Great as accompaniment or appetizer.
Shima Aji (RM 53) - japanese mackerel was equally fresh and tasty
Yaki Onigiri (RM8) - burnt sticky rice ball, accompanied with pickles and other dishes, this was quite a different and unique taste play.

Kampachi Restaurant, 1st floor, hotel Equatorial, Jln Sultan Ismail (03-21617777) - an ever popular place for all-you-can-eat-japanese buffet and queue-ing patrons on weekends, I decided to treat myself to a proper ala carte meal in a private tatami room. Overall, I wasn't too pleased. Firstly, the menu was not complete, as most of the time, the waitress was recommending items not on the menu. And being in such an upmarket place, I was being careful and questioning about the price first. This made me uncomfortable of course.... luckily I was in a private room. Still, I think the waitress is bad at recommendations. I was asking continuously instead of her giving me suggestions non-stop. At one time, there was talk about Kobe beef. Luckily, I didn't order as upon her showing me a small/medium piece of kobe steak, it could have cost me a whopping RM450!!! Anyway, lots of items on the menu was shocking.... most of the chef's recommendations/creations were above RM100 a portion. Even the little menu with pictures of sushi and maki stuck onto the table top did not have prices and upon asking again, each sushi (mind you, I'm not saying each roll, it's each piece) cost a lot. Tuna belly sushi cost like RM60 a piece!! I was beginning to feel like a tourist and being cutthroat throughout. My mind kept wandering off to other cheaper places, even Genki Sushi... hehehe. Still, it's a one-off experience, I can tell other people about ... hehehe.

Sichimi tofu (RM9) - an appetizer and a refreshing tofu with salmon flakes. Not on the menu.
Kisu Itonesenbe (RM12) - deepfried crispy fish bones, great for snacks and accompaniment to sake. This was not in the menu.
S'Kanimaki Half (RM27) - crispy and crunchy soft shell crab in a roll, good to eat on its own without wasabi soya sauce. Yummy
Shake sashimi (RM48) and tai sashimi (RM18) - fresh and juicy, comes with fresh seaweed and greens.
Ebi tempura (RM36) - well, what can I say, you've eaten one tempura, you've eaten them all. The tastes and texture are as expected. Nothing to shout about.
Japanese imported melon (RM63 !!!) - this was the shocker of all. The price was mind boggling. Little did I know this cost so much. My biggest mistake for not asking the price prior to ordering based on a waitress recommendation.... underestimated it. It was the last minute order and c'mon, how much can dessert cost, right? Bad, bad mistake. Still, it was juicy, sweet and tender. Right.
Ginjyo sake (RM80) - easy to drink and is aromatic aside from being potent. Was feeling heavy in the head halfway through (though I'm a reasonably good drinker, I must say so myself). Again, this was not in any menu. The waitress had to bring a few bottles of sake and lay it out in front of me to choose.

Strudels - Lot LG337, Lower Ground Floor, 1 utama, new wing - for tea time, this is a great hideout, an obscure corner away from the bustling crowd noise and loud music/DJ. Had the baked cheese cake (RM6.50) and apple strudel (RM5). The former was alright but better than some of those nightmarish gelatin tangy ones I had before.... still negligible. Prefer Starbucks or Dome's to this. As for the popular strudel, well, let's just say if given a choice, I'd prefer the former. This is just too light/airy and crumbly a pastry, for me.

Pizza Uno,Lot G6, Ground Floor, Centrepoint, 3 Lebuh bandar utama, Bandar Utama (03-77101325) - a popular italian pizza pasta eatery, partially airconditioned in the quiet part of Bandar Utama, off the Sprint highway. Long gone are the days when the portions were generous and the prices were reasonable. Still, due to the lack of choices around Bandar Utama (aside the packed 1-utama shopping center), this remains a popular quick eat. Recently had the Crispy chicken (RM15.50), Margherita (RM13.50) and Giardiniera pizza (RM14.50). The pizzas lacked the dough texture and was not tasty in italian ways (lacked herbs).... overall bland. The chicken was alright but somehow the garlic sauce was not as good as before, it kinda lack the punch (perhaps too watery). A usual downward trend for popular restaurants ie. drop in quality and increase in prices.

Fasta Pasta, G1, Gnd Flr, Ikano Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara - an italian restaurant at the more spacious and upper class shopping center, next to IKEA. A promising looking place packed to the brim on a busy Saturday afternoon, so I decided to join the queue to sample the hype. There was a promotion for family of 4, RM50 for 2 pastas, 1 pizza, 2 drinks and ice cream. Was considering to take up the offer, even though there were only 2 of us! Finally decided to order ala carte which still came out to be RM50+. However, the portions were huge and our stomaches were to the brim. The service was kinda slow in serving us despite us having to make orders at counter (coffee bean/starbucks style). Overall, pricey but good for a change in pasta offerings:-

Rotelle Fantasia (RM17.90) - an interesting pasta with a strong garlicky taste with mushrooms, herbs and ham.
Fettucine al Italiana (RM18.90) - zesty and delicious sauce to go with the fine texture pasta
Herbal bread al Limone (RM3.90) - a nice tasting herbs n spices for starters. Pricey though. But they do give free bread and butter in a basket for free.... should have known better, then I could have skipped this order.
German cheese cake (RM7.90) - looking heavenly I couldn't resist... but was dissapointed.... again. It was all gelatin and tangy.... nothing cheesy or moist about it.... urrgh.... this has got to be the worst cheese cake rendition ever. I didn't finish it.

Updates (7th November 2004) :

Fettucine Puttanesca (RM17.90) - the sauce seems to be similar to other pasta offerings in this place, come to think of it. Hard to distinguish one from the other.
Spagetti Marinara (RM18.90) - choc full of seafood and fat prawns. Have tasted better but in Melbourne St Kilda....hehehe
Tiramisu - nice but have tasted better in terms of texture and alcohol content

Updates (March 2005) - standard has dropped, sadly. Ordered the ceasar salad and combo pizza. The latter tasted bland and complained, unlike my previous pleasant experience (what happened... did the original chef leave?). Service was good though, they refunded the pizza cost and gave free cake (which didn't taste good. Considering this is the 2nd cake I had here, advice is to pass up on their desserts).

Restaurant Wong Kok Char Chan Teng, No 2 Jalan SS2/67 Petaling Jaya Tel: 0378748611 Business Hrs: Daily, 8am-2am - another Hong Kong cuisine restaurant rising up. Read the reviews from The Star, decided to give it a try for lunch. On Sunday, it was busy and packed. They don't have baby chairs which was unfortunate and irresponsible considering it's a family outlet. Overall, I give this place a thumbs up and my personal preference compared to existing HK outlets in PJ.

The environment is modern with touches of chinese influence.
Baked rice with pork chop in twin sauce (RM12.80) was quite interesting. The white sauce was either cream or cheese sauce, couldn't tell 'cos it was kinda light in comparison with the tomato sauce which was tasty. Never could go wrong with baked rice.
Fried spagetthi HK style (RM7.30) was tasty ie. reminds me of the 'beef fried hor fun from HK' taste. Slightly oily though.
The drinks are the highlight of the restaurant and I must say very generous and delicious. Most came in tall vases/beakers like this Honey peach passionfruit juice (RM5.50). For this, I'll be coming back for more tastings and trials. This beats the HK outlets at Midvalley and 1 utama.
The mango milk shake (RM5.50) was huge and deliciously superb. Again, the portion was huge. A dating couple would spend hours sharing desserts in this place... probably why the place was packed, the people were enjoying their drinks for hours like Coffee Bean/Starbucks culture, leaving no table empty.

Update (19 Sept 2004) - Went to the flagship restaurant in old wing of 1 utama to try more of the extensive menu. This time, ordered 'Shredded pork and fried egg with shanghai style vegetable rice' (RM7.30), 'Fried nissin noodle with sliced pork in szechuan style' (RM7.30), french toast (RM3.60) and solitaire juice (RM5.50). The fried noodle was tasty but lacking in texture ie. it was soggy looking. The rice was average and simple. The toast was sweet and sinful. The juice was as usual the best and most generous. Overall, normal experience.... at this point in time, I've had enough of the strange offerings of HK food... will stick back to other asian food next time.... at least until they get baby chairs in this chain (hehehe).... which we non-hesitatingly fedback to the partner of this establishment, who I must say was friendly and ever sociable despite the busy and hectic environment around him.

Breadtalk Midvalley - again never to back away from trying another cheese cake, decided to sample this Light Cheese Cake at home. Costs RM14.90. The texture and moistness was spot on. Unfortunately, the cheese taste was like it's name.... light and almost non-existent.

Starbucks Coffee, Damansara Uptown, 03-77106849 - My quest for the perfect cheese cake seems to be drawing near now as I gave this franchise corner a try of their offerings. Chose the marble cheesecake and american cheesecake (RM8.80 each). Both cakes are better than Secret Recipe's, as they are without fake tangy orangey gelatin tastes. I found the marble cheesecake more cheesier. The american one was not as cheesy but texture was better, more moist and not as dense.

Suchan, 21 Jln Dato Mahmud (11/4), Off Jln University, PJ (79579908 / 79549480) - was told the cakes here were good and the lady owner was previously from Dome. So, bought the 2 most popular recommendations ie. Tiramisu (RM8.90) and Banoffee Pie (RM8). Well, based on offerings from other places, I must say these are mediocre (nothing special) in terms of taste and richness. If required to choose, I would take the latter again. The restaurant was quiet on a Sunday afternoon lunch time, the menu offers western stuff eg. pasta, meat, etc.. House specialities seem to be Top Hats (RM3), Wild Mushroom soup (RM8), Vietnamese Spring Rolls (RM12.50), Prawn mango salad (RM13), Beef Lasagne (RM15), Alfredo (RM15), Pineapple fried rice (RM14), Laksa delight (RM19), Chicken Mushroom pie (RM18), Parmesan fish and chips (RM18) and White Fungus w/Dates dessert (RM3.50). Time will only tell.
Waffle World, Lot S343A, Level 2, 1 utama (new wing) - thought of having something different for a change... maybe something sweet, so popped into this place. They ran out of the supposedly nice fried seafood pasta, so ordered a mix of American hotdog (RM4), Fish and chips (RM14.90), Fettucine carbonara (RM10.30) and of course, Banana walnut waffles (RM6.80)... all of which are supposedly nice/popular, according to waiter's recommendations. Well, hotdog is normal and no big deal. Fish and chips is reasonable portion and fish batter does taste of old oil, meaty. Pasta was mediocre and non-meat. Finally, the waffle was big but thought was not sinful enough. There wasn't enough sauce, thus too dry. Asked for extra chocolate sauce which I didn't hesitate to drench the waffle all over. Still, overall I 've tasted more sinful dessert.

Mikiojisan No Mise, 11A Ground Floor, Bangsar Village - a chain bakery, hailing from the land of rising sun. Thought I give this place a try.... after all I'm still searching for the ultimate cheese cake. Many cakes with cheese offered here.... so I thought I try the classic (RM12.50) for a whole cake. Turned out to be unsatisfying ie. sponge-like and not rich with cheese.... still prefer the simple one from Le Boheme (2nd pic below). Perhaps I'd try the other fusion cheese flavors here one day.
Vietnam Kitchen, 3.12, 2nd flr, 1 utama, New wing - Was skeptical about this place considering I had not so good impression from SS2 branch. Ordered set A (fried sesame chicken, mango salad, mixed vege, pork brisket in dark sauce - RM39.90 for 4-5persons), platter (RM21.90) and some shakes (RM4.90 each). It was surprisingly good and fast service, perhaps the set dishes were faster ie. precooked. Altogether, a nice meal in a very trendy environment.
Update 13th August - ordered the pork chop rice (RM8.50), sugar cane minced shrimp (RM6 for 2) and beef noodles (RM9.90). The rice was not worth it and a small portion compared to Little Vietnam in Midvalley. Same goes for the measly portion of minced shrimp for its price. The beef noodles was as expected, normal compared to local offerings.... nothing like the ones in Melbourne (Springvale or Richmond).

Updates (March 2005) - left with not much choices in 1 utama, decided to try the other set meals here. Had set B which turned out to be even better than set A... superb, yummy... great for family of 2-3.

Once again, had the remaining set (most expensive one) and was again very tasty...

Little Taiwan bubble house, T023A, 3rd floor, Mid Valley Shopping center (next to Secret Recipe) - as expected from Taiwanese fare, the food is different and unique ie. fun. What to expect from places that serve 'bubble tea', right? Anyway, had the recommended 'Crispy salted chicken set' and 'Spicy taiwanese noodle' and what else, bubble tea. Noodle was weird in taste, but may appeal to spice lovers. Chicken was tasty with the tasty chilli sauce and eggs in dark sauce. All in all... nice and fun.

Chatterbox, 338 LGF, new wing, Rainforest, 1 utama shopping center - Hong Kong style. Always looking out for something new and nice, I decided to give this fresh & trendy partial outdoor/indoor place a try. Located at the rainforest area of the center, it's nice for lunch...not too hot, as it's near to the entrance to the center and cool air is streaming out.
Surprised to see the menu with interesting offerings, mostly reminiscent of my Hong Kong days eg. hot lemon coke with ginger, coffee-tea (yin yang), french toast, etc.. As usual, I ordered those marked as 'chef recommendations' eg. layer beancurd (RM7.50), seafood udon (RM9.50) and chatterbox noodle (RM7.50), HK coffee mix (RM3.50) and coffee mix with redbeans (RM5.50).
The beancurd was excellent, a cold dish, tofu sandwich with meat floss, great. The udon was mediocre. The chatterbox noodles was basically Nissin-Ramen with ingredients (like the HK 'dirty noodles' translated directly from its HK name) which was nice, my wife kept digging into it from my portion. Nissin Ramen?!!! You must be wondering why I'm ordering this when I can make it at home, right? It's psychological...... the alternative mee/mee hoon/kway teow costs less if not equal to the instant noodles. Anyway, Nissin dishes are a hit in HK, especially Mongkok area.
The drinks were rich, different and great for a change from those boring juices/smoothies/soft drinks. Will come back to try others. Much better than the HK stall in basement of Plaza Singapura, for HK food cravings, during those good old Singapore days.
Next, during my second visit, the following were tried and tested. Respectively, the Macau pork chop burger, fried nissin ramen noodle and crispy noodle with cheese/pepper sauce. All were above average.

Umai-Ya, G3A, The Place, Jln PJU 8/5D, Bandar Damansara Perdana - based on The Star's review, I decided to chance upon this place since the feedback was interesting. And sure enough the overall experience was wonderful ... but expensive as expected from Japanese cuisine. The environment within was done up nicely, cozy and modern with many booths lining the walls providing privacy to the diners. At the end of the hall, were few private rooms with sunken floors for diners spending a minimum of RM150. As for me, the booths were sufficient and comfortable enough, letting the tastefully lighted deco consume me. Ordered the following spread of mouth-watering experience...
Everything had attention to detail, even the wasabi was cute.
The Dragon Maki (RM20) which consisted of lots of fillings ie. flying fish roll with mayonnaise, fresh salmon, avocado and eel. Each bite was a delight to the senses, crunchy and filled with flavors. And to think this was the first choice amongst the 'Chef recommendations' section of the menu.
The Unagi tempura (RM15) was excellent for eel lovers. The eel was tasty and tender in cruncy batter, retaining its original flavor.
Torikatsu bento set (RM18) was as expected, nice. Comes in the best of presentation and quality. Even the fruits were sweet.
Umaiya Zen bento set (RM35) was complete. Even the little pigeon egg in the middle was present for condimenting. Sashimi was fresh and sweet. There were separate serves of tempura sauce and soba sauce.
Couldn't resist an additional order of the 'Chef Recommendations' so I ordered War Maki (RM12), which was wonderful. The salmon sauce and the BBQ tastes of the squid within was a tease to the senses, leaving each bite a guessing game to the last drop.


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