Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Ribs @ Oasis, Bandar Utama

I was reading through some blogs, and I came across this cosy restaurant near One Utama Shopping Mall where many applauded it for serving really nice pork dishes - Ribs @ Oasis.  As it is nestled right in the middle of the housing area and away from the main roads, it is no surprise that I never knew about this place.

Been here two times on Saturday, and the Soup of the Day (RM 7.90) had always been pumpkin soup.  It may not be the best (especially being compared to Palate Palette), but it still tasted good.  Although the sweetness of the pumpkin is not enough, but it has been well-seasoned and served with a dollop of cream, it is a good start.

I had the RIB's Pork Loin Chop (RM 33.90), which I find very delicious (Note, I was having sore-throat and yet, I enjoyed this dish very much).  A big piece of juicy grilled pork loin, drizzled with white wine honey mustard sauce and served with braised cabbage, topped with tomato salsa garnish.

Lean pork loin, if overly cooked, would be very dry.  But Ribs managed to make it very tender and juicy, which was enjoyable.  The sweet sauce tasted quite good, with a well combination of different flavours.  To add flavours to the palate is the refreshing, sweet tomato salsa.  Overall, very satisfied.

KS took the RIB's Baby Back Pork Ribs (RM 32.90) served on top of mashed potato, with salad on the side.  There were 2 choices of sauce - smokey barbecue or honey mustard sauce.  Thinking of trying something different, we opted for the honey mustard sauce.  Well, honey mustard is not such a bad idea because it actually tasted quite nice, but I think the BBQ sauce would have been a better match.

The portion is quite big, and every piece of the grilled ribs are quite meaty.  However, I felt the meat was a bit on the dry side.  They even gave extra servings of the sauce, although I felt there were more than enough on the ribs already.  Too bad the salad was a bit little and seemed quite pathetic sitting next to the ribs.  Well, luckily the pork loin came with a lot of cabbage, which KS can "steal" from.

We then came back another weekend for lunch to try their famous Reverse Pork Burger (RM 33).  A piece of burger sandwiched in between two juicy, handmade pork patties served with bacon, caramelized pineapple, and cheese - it is a combination to die for.

Boy, did it smell good, especially that fragrant bacon.  I almost couldn't help devouring into it as soon as it reached in front of me but I just had to take pictures of this beautifully laid out masterpiece first.

The pork patties were well-seasoned and juicy (I rated the juiciness as medium because I think it could be more juicy, but still good enough).  Combined with the salty bacon and caramelized, sweet pineapple, this Hawaiian-style burger was totally delicious.  Not to forget, I loved the toasted, buttery burger bread that goes with it.  If only they gave another slice of that burger (then it wouldn't be called a reverse burger, would it?).

Definitely will come back especially for the pork loin and the burger.  Yummy!

As Ribs @ Oasis is pretty small, it would probably not able to accommodate many at a time, especially during dinner time.  So, it is highly advisable to make reservations earlier to prevent disappointment as we saw many being turned away due to the limited seats available.

Ribs @ Oasis
Lot 1-1, B04 Oasis Complex
No 2, Tengkat Bandar Utama
Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel:  03-77298921

GPS:  3.150479,101.610198

Swiss Delice: Premium Swiss Biscuits

If you're one of those people who love anything chocolate, but has run out of new treats, you may want to consider Swiss Delice.  Although they are technically not pure chocolate, these melt-in-your-mouth premium Swiss biscuits are delicious.

The original Swiss Delice product is the Vogelnesti, which are biscuits with raspberry filling and hazelnuts.  I find this okay because the raspberry filling tasted a bit fake (it could be because I left it in the fridge), but the hazelnut portion was nice.

The other Swiss Delice product which I enjoyed very much is the Japonais - meringue biscuits with chocolate and hazelnut filling.  This is really good especially chilled.  It is very velvety and not very sweet.  Although I find the portion too small, almost the size of a coin, but I think it is worth it because it was so addictive.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Bak Kut Teh @ Sei Ngan Chai Bak Kut Teh, Klang

It was a public holiday and my uni friend suddenly Whatsapp me for a bak kut teh lunch outing at Klang.  One of his colleagues recommended this Sei Ngan Chai Bak Kut Teh @ Meru, Klang, so off we go heading to this place.

The main dish is obviously the soup version of bak kut teh.  One key point about the soup, which I find is very nice, is that there is a strong garlic taste and packed with a lot of pork flavour.  It doesn't have the bitterness of the  herbs and is very pleasant on the taste-buds   Luckily, they were very generous to allow us to refill the soup, 3 times if not mistaken.  The meat, unfortunately, is not tender enough and a bit tasteless.  I suspect all the goodness of the pork already has seeped into the soup.

Becoming very popular is nonetheless the dry version of bak kut teh.  I must say the meat here is more tender and better seasoned, with the addition of the fragrance from the dried cuttlefish and garlic.  But what I didn't like was that the cuttlefish was not sliced thinly enough, so it got a bit quite hard to chew.  But still, this pot of meat is delicious.

No meal is complete without some greens.  I love how they gave so much of the fried shallots.

Overall, Sei Ngan Chai is quite a good choice for a decent bak kut teh meal.  Do go for meat in the dry bak kut teh and the soup.  However, one thing I didn't like was that the meat was all cut in large chunks - in away, I find that quite a nuisance since you're forced to take big pieces of meat.

Price-wise, quite reasonable.  For a group of 8 people, it only costs RM 15 per person.  Bear in mind we also ordered many bowls of yao cha kuai, which is a must in every bak kut teh meal.

Sei Ngan Chai is part of a old single-storey house.  Despite looking old and small from outside, it is surprisingly very clean and spacious.  Even on a hot afternoon, it is very cooling and comfortable.

Sei Ngan Chai Bak Kut Teh
Corner of Jalan Kepayang and Jalan Gelugor
Meru, Klang
GPS: 3.050662,101.450605

Monday, 17 December 2012

Nyonya-style meal @ Ah Tuan Ee's Place, SS2

Ah Tuan Ee's Place is one place where you can find an authentic Nyonya cuisine.  With a homey ambiance  it is a very good place for a family hangout, or to bring our foreigner friends for a good local home-cook Nyonya meal.

There are two Ah Tuan Ee's Place outlets, but we went to the first outlet, which is in SS2, Petaling Jaya.  It is better to make reservations in advance as it can be quite packed in this small restaurant especially during dinner hours.

Ordering is quite a breeze as they have included pictures of each item on the menu, including a full description of the ingredients used.

One of the chicken dishes which caught my attention is the Sweet Ginger Chicken (RM 20.80 - small) - marinated pan-fried chicken pieces that are stir-fried with crunchy pickled ginger in a non-spicy sweet sauce.  While it didn't turned out exactly like the illustration in the menu, this dish is spectacular.  The sweet caramel-like sauce is very tasty and goes very well with the crispy, succulent chicken.  I was practically cleaning off the plate.

We then ordered the Stir-fried Fresh Kangkung (RM 13.80 - small).  Although it was just stir-fried with chillies only, but it is very flavourful with enough seasonings.  And the best part, the kangkung is not very oily unlike most places.

KS ordered the aTe's Mee Goreng (RM 12.80).  The yellow noodles have been wok-fried in a special spicy, yet sweet sauce with prawns, beansprouts, chives and eggs.  It may look like a normal plate of mee goreng, but what makes it stand out is the sauce used.  It strikes a good balance between the sweet tomato paste and chilli sauce.  It is quite spicy, but it is that spiciness that just makes you want to eat more of it.

The same goes to the Pineapple Fried Rice (RM 12.80), rice fried the ah Tuan Ee's style with chicken, carrot and aromatic spices.  It is also spicy, but it is not purely just hot.  The spiciness is very different, and addictive.  They are also very generous with the meat and pineapples, every spoon of it.

For desserts, one should not miss their signature dish - the Sago Pudding (RM 6.80).  The steamed sago pearls were topped with fragrant gula melaka and creamy fresh coconut milk.  The balance between the sweet gula melaka and the salty coconut milk was perfect, without overwhelming each other.

Another must try is the delightful icy-cold Cendol (RM 6.80).  Served also with gula melaka and coconut milk, it is very delicious and not too sweet.  One of the best Nyonya cendol in Klang Valley - definitely a perfect end to a satisfying meal.

Word of advice if you're taking the ala carte.  The "Small" is good enough for two person, so if you're heading there with a big group, do order the larger portion instead.

Ah Tuan Ee's Place
74, Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel:  03-7957 2915

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Marco's Pizza @ Taman Bukit Emas

If you're looking for a nice Western restaurant that goes well with the young and the old, it would definitely be this cosy, family-oriented Italian restaurant - Marco's Pizza @ Taman Bukit Emas opposite the Kelana Jaya LRT station.  As the name suggests, Marco's specialties are pizza.  But this time, we decided to go for the non-pizza items.

I brought my parents here previously and they love the Chicken Chop ala Marcos (M 23.80) very much.  This is one of the best chicken chop I have ever tasted.  Served with black pepper sauce, the deep-fried breaded chicken thigh is very crispy and yet, still very juicy and succulent.  One of the side dishes is the BBQ-flavoured Ranch beans, which is good to dip your french fries in too.

Another dish we ordered is the Fish & Chips (RM 21.80).  While this dish, technically, can never go wrong, there’s also nothing much to shout about since it depends heavily on the freshness of the fish.  So, Marco's passed the test.  But one thing I must give credit to is their tartar sauce, which is quite nice with enough chopped pickles to give a sourish taste.  Plus, they were very generous with it too.

KS ordered the Aglio Olio Spaghetti (RM 18.80).  This is a simple yet very flavourful dish.  Added with some chillies, it gave the pasta a lovely spicy kick.  The garlic taste is quite intense, making the spaghetti filled with the fragrant aroma.

We have also tried their pizzas before and they are equally good.  Although the taste may not be genuinely Italian, it has definitely been localized to give a very familiar taste, especially among the older people who may not have much liking for too Westernized way of cooking.

Portion-wise, they are quite generous.  You will most likely be full to the brim with their servings.

Marco’s Pizza
No. 81 - 85, Jalan SS25/2
Taman Bukit Emas
47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7803 5000

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Brother's Nasi Lemak @ Jalan Tengah, Kuala Lumpur

If you're working around the Jalan Raja Chulan area, you'll most likely know about this famous nasi lemak stall.  Known as the Brothers' Nasi Lemak, you can find this stall right behind the ING buidling @ Jalan Tengah, in between Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Sultan Ismail.

There may be many stalls selling nasi lemak along the road but there is one that stands out - two long queues with each being served simultaneously.  The brothers are very quick, so you don't need to wait long for your turn.

There are a lot of things I find this nasi lemak very nice and worth drooling for:
  1. The rice is not only fragrant but cooked perfectly with enough seasonings.  The thing about cooking rice with coconut milk is that sometimes, it will make the rice too wet.  But here at Brothers', the rice is just nice and fluffy.
  2. The sambal is not very spicy, with a hint of sweetness and fragrance of onions.
  3. The one thing I love the most is their huge, crispy deep-fried ikan bilis.  No nasi lemak will be complete without these darling fishes.
My colleague termed it as the legendary nasi lemak.  In my opinion, I think it is one of the best and cheap nasi lemak breakfast you will find in Kuala Lumpur.  A biasa nasi lemak only costs RM 1.50 and they always let me tambah the ikan bilis at no extra cost.

Jalan Tengah
Between ING Building & MAS Building
GPS:  3.151491,101.708823

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Dinner @ In House Cafe, Sunway Giza Mall

Before our desserts at 9 Berries, we had to have dinner somewhere.  Spotting a new, brightly lit store, we decided to try out this local 24-hour HK-style cafe, In House Cafe @ Sunway Giza Mall.

Their menu is very well presented and colourful.  Unfortunately, it is really a matter of "for illustration purposes only".

As I was still stuffed from lunch, I ordered something light.  Looking through the menu, the Fried Egg Shanghai Noodle Soup (RM 8.90) caught my attention.  What looked like pieces of omelette laid out on top of a bowl of noodle soup, it turned out to be an omelette laid on top of fried egg noodle served with gravy.  Looks like the interpretation of soup is very different.  But despite the mix-up, I decided to let it go and enjoy the meal since I was getting hungry.  Unfortunately, the taste was just so-so.  Gravy was pretty much tasteless, and portion was quite small.  Luckily, the omelette saved the dish.

KS ordered the Cheese Baked Rice with Chicken Chop (RM 13.90).  Cheese baked rice is something that can hardly go wrong.  Unfortunatly, In House's cheese baked rice failed in many ways.  The first was the rice - it was watery and barely had much taste.  Secondly, the cheese was not fragrant enough, although if it had not been the cheese, the dish was bland.  Thirdly, is the portion.  What looked like is a big portion, but in fact, it was served on a shallow plate.

In House Cafe charges a 10% service charge, which I strongly felt is not worth it because service was pretty bad.  Despite ringing the "call" button numerous time, no one bothered to come to our table.

In House Cafe
A-8-G, Ground Floor
Sunway Giza Mall
Jalan PJU 5/14
Dataran Sunway
47810 Kota Damansara

Monday, 3 December 2012

Oppa Froyo @ 9 Berries, Sunway Giza

9 Berries - If you have not heard of this name, then you're missing a great deal of low-fat sweet treats.  This is one of the few places serving the best froyo - very light in taste, the Oppa-style.

Previously at KL City Walk, they have recently moved to a better location at Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara.  Now, not only are they nearer to get to now, they are open all day through until 10pm.  Woo-hoo!!  I am so going to visit them every weekend :P

This time, we ordered 2 large cups (RM 9.90 each):
1.  Original froyo with cocoballs and chocolate biscuits - Still the best flavour :)  The cocballs really goes well with the froyo.
2.  Strawberry and Korean Citrus froyo with strawberries and chopped walnuts - The strawberry froyo tasted very natural while the Korean citrus froyo tasted like a mixture of lemon and orange.  The strawberries were a little too sour, though.

You must be wondering why I mentioned the "Oppa-style".  That is because 9 Berries have on their menu the various Oppa Set, consisting of the Oppa Froyo, Omni Waffle (Belgian waffle with toppings) and Parayo (frozen yogurt smoothie)!

9 Berries
Lot G11, Ground Floor,
Sunway Giza Mall 
47810 Petaling Jaya

Open daily 10am-10pm

Friday, 30 November 2012

Mien Xao Luon @ Mien Luon Kho, Hanoi

A few shops down from Bun Bo Nam Bo is another lovely place for some crispy Hanoi delicacy.  Serving only fried mini eels, Mien Luon Kho @ Old Quarters is definitely the place to sample this unique dish.

Mien Xao Luon is stir-fried glass noodles cooked with beansprouts and egg, served with crispy mini eels and topped with fresh cucumbers, fried shallots and purple perilla.

These crispy deep-fried mini eels, which tasted very much like those spicy ikan bilis snacks, are very nice.  I think I could eat a whole plate of these fried luon  as they are really very additive.  Highly recommended especially if you plan to stop for a Hanoi beer - a perfect snack.

The glass noodles were quite good too.  Stir-frying glass noodles can be quite difficult because of its texture, so they did quite a good job in making the dish work.  The only setback, as with any fried glass noodles, is that it was quite oily.  Towards the end, it became very difficult to continue eating the noodles as all the oil has dripped to the bottom of the plate.  Nevertheless, there was enough wok hei in the noodles and it complement well with the luon.

They have six different ways to enjoy the luon - with or without noodles/porridge or served dry or wet.  Locals (given a quick glance around the shop) seem to prefer the eel porridge and the clear vermicelli soup.

As shown on the menu on the wall, it is actually pretty easy to order - just point to the wall if your Vietnamese pronunciation is bad.  But for me, being a bit more kiasu, I decided to show the girl my scribbling as I can't seem to find the exact phrase on the menu (apparently Mien Xao Luon = Mien Xao).

Mien Luon Kho
87, Hang Dieu Street
Old Quarter

Salmon Steak in Miso Sauce @ Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant, Singapore

Situated right at the heart of Singapore's business district, Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant is indeed a cosy place for great business meal.  So, it was of no surprise this small restaurant is fully packed well before lunch hours.

As I had too much meat the day before, I decided to order some fish instead.  I ordered the Sake Miso Steak (SGD 22.00) which is actually a salmon steak coated with miso sauce, served on a sizzling hotplate.

The salmon was amazing, thanks to the flavourful miso sauce.  The miso sauce was really delicious and somehow, it did taste as though there was a hint of alcohol in it.  Serving it on a hotplate also allows the miso sauce to caramelize, bringing out the rich, sweet flavour of the miso.  Not to forget, the lovely crispy salmon skin at the bottom.  As the miso sauce only coats surface of the salmon, you still can taste the sweet salmon flesh.

This dish is a bit of a fusion as it comes with some mixed vegetables and potato wedges.  A bit disappointed as there were only two pieces because the wedges were quite nice and cooked until soft.

Kotobuki is a bit more upmarket, so the price can be quite pricey for a normal lunch, but I think it was worth it.

Kotobuki Restaurant
8 Shenton Way (AXA Tower)
068811 Singapore
Tel: (65) 68830525

Open Daily
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:30pm

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Organic Vegetarian Meal @ Simple Life

If you are on a strict healthy diet, either due to health problems or just want to be health-conscious, you will love Simple Life.  Using only natural seasonings and organic ingredients, Simple Life emphasize on 4 core principles of healthy eating - low in salt, sugar and oil but high in fiber.  Despite that, their food is exceptionally flavourful and delicious.

If you think vegetarian meals are boring, think twice because Simple Life will definitely change the way you look at going meat-less.

First thing first, their dishes are very colourful and did not look like any typical vegetarian restaurant.  Boy, did all of the food look fantastic!  Looks aside, the taste was also superb.

1.  Set Meal – Beancurd Roll with Chinese Herbs
Homemade beancurd rolls with white fungus, broccoli, red dates, goji berries served in Chinese herbal soup.
Our first experience started with this dish (No photos, though), which was very pleasant.  The herbal taste is not very strong and is quite sweet.  Lovely soup to drink.  In my opinion, it would have been much better if the beancurd rolls had been lightly fried first, but KS loved it very much.

2.  Set Meal - Sweet & Sour Crispy Abalone
Deep fried abalone mushroom with pineapple, cashew nut, capsicum, cucumber and tomato served in a sweet and sour sauce.

My personal favourite!  The mushrooms are seasoned well and are very nice to munch as snacks.  The sauce is just right and not too sour.  Depending on which outlet you go to, the amount of sauce could be a little different.  If you prefer very crispy mushrooms, then do visit the Sunway Pyramid outlet as they have less sauce.

3.  Set Meal - Mini Steamboat Set Meal (Shabu-shabu style)
A variety of vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, carrots, sweet corn, yam and pumpkin with tofu in your choice of different soup base (organic black bean, miso burdock soup or Tom Yam soup) served with multi-grain rice and a special BBQ sauce.

If steamboat is your thing, this is the one for you.  We went for the organic black bean soup and it was really sweet (vegetable sweet, obviously) especially towards the end of the meal.  The vegetables were fresh and pretty filling.  However, I strongly advise that you share this with another person, and maybe add some sides as snacks because both KS and I were pretty full to the brim with this set and a plate of snacks.

4.  Set Meal - Organic Lei Cha 
Kelantan brown rice accompanied with various condiments such as cabbage, coriander, French beans, beancurd, choy sum, lettuce, sweet dried radish and roasted peanuts served with special Lei Cha soup.

This is KS’s favourite (I still do not fancy the acquired taste of the Lei Cha soup).  The Lei Cha soup is lighter in taste, which is suitable for beginners who want to experience Lei Cha, i.e. the taste of the herbs are less intense.

1.  Toon Sprout Sauce with Soya Noodle 
Soya noodles accompanied with beancurd, vegetables, black fungus, bean sprouts, celery, shredded carrot and baby corns, topped with crispy bits of mushroom, organic toon sprout sauce and spicy carrot sambal.

Recently tried this and I totally love it.  The toon sprout sauce is very salty and goes well with the tasteless soya noodles.  To go with it is the delicious nice sambal and the crispy mushroom bits, yummy.  Word of advice, you may want to go easy on the sauce as it can be super salty after a while.

2.  Miso Ramen Soup 
Udon served in miso soup with sweet corn kernels, wakame, braised egg and sweet beancurd sheets.

3.  Malay-Style Fried Ramen 
Stir-fried ramen in homemade curry paste cooked with organic beancurd puff, bean sprouts, black fungus, mushrooms, vegetables, shredded carrots, tomatoes and baby corns.

Put in another way, this is mee mamak style.  Lovely and sweet, it is very appetizing.  There are quite a lot of gravy, so the noodles are not too dry.

1.  Brown Rice Nasi Lemak
Kelantan brown rice, drizzled with virgin coconut oil, accompanied by acar, rendang tempeh, crispy mushroom, fried egg, roasted peanuts, Japanese cucumbers and homemade spicy carrot sambal.

I am not a fan of tempeh, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.  But minus that out, the whole dish is delicious.  I love the sweet, spicy sambal and the crispy mushroom bits.  One of their  best-seller, this dish is really very beautifully presented.

1.  Beancurd Cake
Homemade deep fried beancurd cake served with homemade Thai sauce.

This is one snack that is always sold-out each time we wanted to order.  They may be deep-fried but inside, the mashed tofu is still soft and juicy.  Dipped with the sweet Thai sauce, it is very nice.

2.  Vegetarian Popcorn
Deep-fried vegetarian popcorn served with homemade Thai sauce

This was recommended as an alternative option to the Beancurd Cake.  It tasted different - more tough and hence, more chewy but equally as good.  Like popcorn, they are also quite addictive.

Organic Green Tea with Osmantus - supposedly to detox, reduces bad breath and wrinkles

Most of the time, we will order this because the taste is softer and the osmanthus gives a nice flowery flavour without too overwhelming.  Plus, it is refillable, so it is a good drink if you want to stay long.


I think this is one of the best vegetarian restaurants I have ever tried.  Basically, you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes in the menu – equally good.  Each time we visit it, we are bound to be surprised by the quality.  Surely, it has given me a very good reason to go meat-less.  Oh, I am drooling for the Sweet & Sour Mushroom now.

Do visit their website for a whole list of their menu.

A few of the Simple Life outlets:

1.  Mont Kiara
11-G, Jalan Solaris 4
Solaris Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-6203 0528

2.  Sunway Pyramid
LLG 2-126A, Blue Atrium,
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
46150 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03-5611 8596

3.  SS2 Mall
LG55, SSTwo Mall
No. 40, Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 03-7960 4353