Monday, December 31, 2007

Dainty Hill For Layyydies


Ok, I have to admit that I am already getting a little bored by the dining choices at Pavilion. Well maybe bored is not the right word. Its more restless than anything. Sometimes I just don't know what I feel like eating because and that is when I want nothing more than a bowl of comfort ala Dontaku. I'm still feeling a llittle sad and sore that Dontaku is no longer. Although I have heard that they have relocated to Midvalley. Thats as good as closed since I only go to Midvalley if I absolutely have to. Last Thursday after some ocha at Ochacha, we spotted two restaurants tucked away in a corner on the 6th Floor. Partly blocked by Big Apples Donuts, all I could see was char chan teng. That was enough to get me excited. Finally something fun and tacky. But while walking there, I was distracted by the restaurant, Dain Ti Hill, next to it which looked like a Japanese restaurant with its faux food display. I saw "pork" and what looked like a katsudon on the menu and the rest is history.

After we sat down I realise that it wasn't quite a Japanese restaurant. While the menu looks Japanese enough, I realise it might be a Taiwanese interpretation of Japanese. I have since seen their advertisement in the newspapers and they describe themselves first and foremost as "fine dining from the Tang Dynasty" and secondly as a modern fusion Chinese restaurant. Hmmm. Are you as confused as I am? I'm not sure which dishes were from the Tang Dynasty and since I did not live in that era nor am I an expert on Chinese cuisine, I will have to assume that it must be the vinegar. They have vinegar in almost everything and they even have it in their beverage list. We were not fans of their cucumber salad which was overpowered by the taste of vinegar. I did not like they way they cooked the spinach either. It had a slimey texture to it. The maki that we ordered sounded too tacky to miss. It was filled with crab stick, pork floss, rockmelon amongst other things and was heavily coated with mayo, mustard and cheese sauce. Crazeee! It tasted okay. There was too much rice and it was missing punch. First of all we couldn't even find the pork floss. I think there may have been just one single strand! Secondly with all the sauce on top, the filling was just secondary. Hot Mouse didn't really like his black pepper and garlic beef. It was quite tasty but the meat was pe
rhaps not very fresh.

But hey, I don't care because I loved my pseudo katsudon! Instead of being coated in batter, this pork cutlet was dipped in a semi-sweet batter that reminded me of pisang goreng. Through the entire meal, the batter remained crisp. Now thats a good babi goreng. I love the added flavour of shiitake and the rice was soaked with gravy and egg. Delicious! Hunky didn't really like it. He felt it was a tad sweet and too junky for him. All the better for me! Lastly, Hunky's chocolate frappe dessert (glorified ice blended chocolate in a martini glass) provided a nice refreshing finish to a thoroughly satisfying meal.

Dain Ti Hill is located on 6th Floor of Pavilion near TGIF. Dinner came up to RM125 incl. one soft drink and an extra portion of pork chop rice.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dragon-I-Am-Legend

 
If you didn't find me in Bangsar the past few weeks, you would've found me at my new playground Pavilion. Its not that I particularly enjoy hanging out in shopping malls but those darn Christmas carols and sparkly decorations make me want to buy, buy, buy! Tis the season to be spending, tralalala... When I wasn't buying presents, I would eat at a different restaurant each time. Last week some friends and I dined at Dragon-I before watching I Am Legend at the rather swanky looking GSC. The menu remains the same but I did manage to try a dish that I have never tried before which was the deep fried chicken cubes with dried chilli. I love the presentation and the colours seem to come alive. The fumes packed a punch too as we wriggled our nose as a result of the pungent chillies. I liked the dish. It was like popcorn chicken bits- very tasty and highly addictive. I ordered my usual wanton soup which arrived lukewarm. I would've preferred it piping hot as the air conditioning in Pavilion makes London seem warm. The siew long pau is still the same. Big and juicy but I think I've gotten over the whole dumpling thing. I also liked the stir-fried kai lan. I liked that it still had some bite to it and not dripping with oil. (Notice I'm still in full Christmas spirit with the red chillies and green veg)

The highlight of the evening was the egg tarts at John King. I thought I had these famous tarts from Hong Kong but evidently I was mistaken. The ones I tried was from Wellington Street and believe me when I tell you that they were not worth the walk. These ones at John King cost RM1.20 per tart. Fortunately one is really all you need as the flaky crust and smooth egg filling is richly satisfying. I also like the faint peanut taste in the crust and the mildly sweet filling. Gawd, I am sounding more and more auntie-like these days. Can't seem to stomach sugary sweet things anymore. Hey Ma, look at me! I'm all grown up! As for the movie, I thought the first half of the movie was great. It was eerie and depressing but then it went all Hollywood and down the drain. Shame really. 

Dragon-I and John King can be found around Food Republic in Pavilion.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, lalalalalala... I'm bad with lyrics but that has got to be one of my favourite carols apart from Mariah's All I Want For Christmas. I love this time of the year. If tis the season to be jolly and all fat people are jolly, its double the jollinity with a capital J! I think I've put on a kilo or two from Christmas Eve dinner at Hunky's and the big feast at lunch today. Last night we started off with a lovely tomato soup that had just a hint of cream so it wasn't too filling nor rich. Then it was roast beef with bernaise, roast potatoes, snow peas and pickled cucumbers. I helped myself to two portions. The potatoes were so moist and flavourful from all the beef fat, mmmm! I liked the cucumber pickle which help balance the richness of the beef. To top it off, we had a traditional rice pudding dessert with a hot cherry compote. My gawd, it was so rich. At the same time I couldn't stop eating the darn thing! And just when I thought I could eat no more, Aunty brought out (my favourite) her fruitcake in a biscuit and chocolate eclairs. The biscuit is basically a very thin and crisp biscuit with candied orange peel, nuts, fruit and spice. "Ugh", my stomach groaned as I continued stuffing my face.

This morning when I woke up, my stomach was no flatter than it had been the night before! And the only thing I could think of was, "Oh no, how am I going to eat some more today?" I busied myself with roasting vegetables and making the sauce for my homemade gnocchi. I made a tomato cream sauce with a good swig of brandy. I had also made chicken liver pate the day before. It was quite a fire hazard as I watched the saucepan of brandy catch fire. Oh the smell was lovely! Thyme, onions, bay leaf and brandy bubbling away. It definitely put me in a festive mood! There were presents, tears from children who had misplaced presents, food, food and more food. My mother's roast pork with pineapple sauce and mushroom sauce was a hit as usual. The turkey from Larisata was devoured within two hours. For dessert Cuz brought my favourite peanut butter cake from Le Meridien and Sis had made a delicious fruit cake which she has been lovingly dousing with alcohol for the past six months. I normally don't like fruit cake but I really liked the one this year as it had just the right amount of sweetness for me. As the day went on, people started to leave until there was just six of us. Rain started falling and the heat gave way to a cool evening. Some napped, the rest of continued talking and eating in between. Merry Christmas eveyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Roti Babi At Last!

You know how some people have a list of things to before they die? On mine was "try roti babi". It was just one of those things I took for granted because, well, its so nearby and it will always be there right? Kind of like my list of places to visit in Malaysia, namely Taman Negara and Sipadan. Anyway last Sunday, Cuz and I resumed our Cousin's Day after a long absence. Our visit to Bisou was thwarted by the fact that they had changed their opening times. They are now closed on Sundays and open on Mondays. It was a blessing in disguise as I suddenly remembered Yut Kee! It was crowded as expected with, strangely enough, a lot of people who looked like they just went jogging. Is there a jogging path around the area that I am not aware of? Is this another thing I need to add to my list? Yut Kee is a charming coffee shop. Faded photographs adorn weathered walls and furniture older than my parents still stand proudly among more recent purchases.

I ordered the roti babi while Cuz ordered hoi lam mai fun. She was a little disappointed when it arrived as it was not drowning in chup as she expected. Still, it was tasty. Really tasty if you know what I mean. It couldn't have been that bad because I wasn't all that thirsty after. I love mee hoon anyway. I haven't met a plate of mee hoon I didn't like. My roti babi arrived swiftly. It was lightly fried (yea who am I kidding?!) and the surface was golden and crisp. It was not oily at all which was surprising. It was interesting. There were slivers of pork, strips of Chinese sausage and even the odd piece of crab meat. Crab and pork is a wonderful combination! Even better with a dash of worcestershire! As much as I enjoyed it, its not something I see myself eating very often. Theres just something rather it that suggests "HEART ATTACK"! Perhaps thats why people jog before they eat. Ahhhh....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Never As A Dress, Better As A Curtain, Best As A Cake

What am I talking about? Red Velvet of course. Velvet in any shade as a garment went out of fashion as soon as everyone realised it was just about as flattering as shiny lycra. *Ahem*, I loved velvet in the 90's. I once, and only once, bought a rather form-fitting midnight blue velvet dress from Oasis/Warehouse/something like that. My god, looking back at the pictures - why didn't anyone tell me I looked like a seal!!! Actually, hand me some chopsticks and I could've passed for a walrus! Anyway, back to the cake. I first had Red Velvet cake in an overpriced bakery in Notting Hill back in 2004. (If you have trouble looking for the shop, look out for yummy mummies tripping over themselves to buy GBP1.30 cupcakes.) My sister was raving on and on about it so I had to try it. I didn't really see what the big deal was. I mean the colour provided shock factor and the creamy white icing was a starck contrast, strip away the slightly Christmasy feel and you'll be left with a weak tasting fluffy chocolate sponge with lots of colouring! Hunky baulked at the hefty price of GBP5.95 per slice. He refused to try it on principle that he was buying into that whole "Notting Hill bullshit". Well, more for me! It was a nice enough cake and the slice lasted three days. I like to average out the cost! Nah, I just couldn't bring myself to eat so much colouring at one go. Whether natural or otherwise. 

Anyway, if you would like to try this cake for yourself, you don't need to go to Notting Hill. At a fraction of the price, you may now enjoy a gorgeous red velvet cake (with cream cheese frosting) at Heavenly Pleasures. And while you are there, you might want to pick up some Christmas goodies. I love the stollen. There are cookies and mince pies, they even have panettone which is basically the Italian's version of Christmas pudding minus the stodginess. Go check it out!
Panettone - fresh from the oven!
Heavenly Pleasures is located at Plaza Damansara. For more details visit Just Heavenly

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crystal Jade at Pavilion

Boy I really enjoyed my dim sum lunch yesterday. After weeks of burgers, salads and such, these delicate morsels literally "touched my heart". I arranged to meet Hunky there and brought my nephew, Lamb, along with me. The little bugger is on school holidays and had wreaking havoc at home. I am basically the only person in the house he doesn't try to mess around with. So he was on his best behaviour when we arrived at the rapidly filling up Crystal Jade at Pavilion.

The waitress so happened to walk by with a tray of freshly baked char siu soh just as we sat down. I didn't think he would like it but it soon vanished! The pastry was flaky and warm. The exterior was lightly sprinkled with pork floss. It didn't add nor detract from the taste. The filling was nothing out of the ordinary but it a good balance between sweet and savoury. The both of them liked it so much we ordered a second portion. I've never seen the boy eat so much!

The har gow was chopped up pieces of prawn wrapped in a translucent skin. It was not too tasty which was great because it meant that there no/little msg. It was springy in texture which is always a good thing. The deep fried prawn dumpling with mayo was crispy and not oily. Thumbs up for not reeking of stale oil! The best dish of the day for me was the hor yip fahn. Very nice! Fragrant, moist and flavourful. I've been having trouble remembering where I had good hor yip fahn last. I was embarassingly insistent at Li Yen during my last visit. I suddenly remember it was in Hong Kong! Duh... We also had char siu cheong fun which was not quite as delicate as I would've liked it to be but it was tasty nonetheless. I didn't try the char siu pau as I sacrificed my portion for Lamb. Judging from this picture, I think he had a jolly good time. We will be returning for more dim sum! Bill came up to RM62.45

Other reviews - Boolicious

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ooohpuma!

I have an addictive personality. That is not to say that you can't get enough of me once you get to know me. Although that may be true, I'm really too modest to admit it. What I mean to say is that I tend to get completely blind-sided by my desire to obtain something whether bag, man or food. Its a trait I inherited from my late-father. I remember we would go through weeks, literally weeks, of eating the same darn thing. One time it was peking duck in Tong Shin, another time it was prawns in Cheras, then grilled squid in Pudu and even todhi from Seremban.

So it was no surprise that I was hooked from the first time I tried uppuma at the canteen at work several years back. It was curiousity that made me try this stodgy thing that looked suspiciously like baby food. One bitten, I was smitten! I love the flavour of mustard seeds and onions coming through with each bite. And the buttery aromatic taste of ghee hit me like a hazy spell. It was a bit of a love-hate relationship by the end of it. I loved eating it but hated putting on weight. I had to have it everyday. I would even ask the canteen lady in the morning if she would be making it in the afternoon. She also made fantastic curry puffs but thats another story. After I left work, I actually lost 2kgs just from not eating uppuma and all the other tea time treats. Or maybe I was just heartbroken that I couldn't have uppuma anymore.
I didn't actively search for it as I visited mamaks less and less over the years. However, recently work has brought me to Bangsar every (freaking) day. And I have since discovered uppuma at Nirvana Maju. Imagine, it was right under my nose all this time! I've had maggi goreng, masala thosai and nasi lemak but it never occured to me to order uppuma. Anyway, it was one of those days when we had to meet in Bangsar for breakfast. For no other explanation except that it was indeed a sign from heaven, I asked for uppuma. Ten minutes later, my long lost love arrived on a banana leaf. It was possibly even nicer than the one at the canteen simply because this one had the added flavour of curry leaves. It added a new dimension to this simple sugee (semolina) dish. Anyway, I've tested the consistency over the past couple of months. It tastes best in the mornings (before 9am) when its fresh and warm. I made the mistake of ordering it once near lunch time. The texture felt like it had been reheated in the mircowave. The dahl is also lovely and thick at Nirvana, as is their coconut chutney. RM3 (RM1 for teh halia) vs RM9 for once cup of Starbucks coffee. No contest really.