Food Reviews, Reviews

Jarrod & Rawlins (Damansara Heights)

Joe was here in Damansara Heights, at his client’s place for a couple of days. So me,
xiulongbao and her charsiewbao had lunch with him at the posh Jarrod &
Rawlins
restaurant.

Heard many good things about
this restaurant, but somehow never get to check it out before. Their first
outlet is in Desa Sri Hartamas, while this one opened soon after. Housed in a cozy
bungalow, it is located in an unlikely location, right opposite towering
corporate towers. Of course, there are several signs to make sure you know this
is a restaurant.

Parking in this area is
horrendous, but guess what, you can just park inside the compound of this bungalow
as long as it’s not all spaces are filled up. No worries about blocking other
cars in the compound, as the mega-friendly waiters would help you to move the
car and re-park it!


Once you stepped in, the
first sight that will greets you is the food counter, not unlike those you can
find in supermarkets. This is where you will choose your food for the staff
to cook. More on that later. Jarrod & Rawlins claimed to be a purveyor of
fine food and wine, so of course you will find a rack full of wines as well.


Further ahead is the
staircase, where leads you to the garden outside, or the wooden terrace on the
upper floor. The garden looks lovely, with tables and seats on the covered area
as well as in the grassy area. Having a meal here would definitely give you a
homely feel, although it might be too hot during the day, and the threat of mosquitoes
during the night.

You can either order
ala-carte dishes from the menu itself, or as I mentioned earlier, choose your
food from the counter itself. Joe opted for their Duck Salad (RM23.00++ if I’m
not mistaken)
, while me and charsiewbao walked to the counter to choose ours.

There are many type of
sausages and meat to choose from, besides cheeses and various vegetables.
Despite the not-so-cheap price tags (most sausages are priced from RM4.20 to
RM10.00 per 100 gram
, and other meat/steaks priced from RM5.00 to RM65.00 per 100 gram), I
got greedy and got myself three huge sausages, a piece of
Back Bacon, and one piece of Marinated Pork Spare Rib. Besides
choosing what you want, you can also choose how much you want, and the preferred
style of cooking. Oh do note that there is a RM10.00 cooking charge.

While waiting for them to
cook your chosen food, that can take from up to 20 minutes or more, you can
order some appetizers from the menu, or just drinks or even gelatos. Xiulongbao
went for their gelato, charsiewbao with his can of Schweppes, and I opted for
their ice-cold Lemon Tea (RM6.00++).



After what seems like
eternity of waiting, the four hungry souls of us were delighted when the food
finally arrived. First up was Joe’s Duck Salad, which looks absolutely yummylicious.
There were generous amount of big chunky duck meat, and with different types of
vegetables as well. I think even a carnivore like me would not mind ordering
this.

Then my expensive meat-only
meal was served shortly after. The dish definitely looked bare as I chose not
to have the side dishes (mashed potato and salad), with only the spare rib,
three sausages and a small cup of French mustard. Not sure whether it is the
norm here or not, but some parts of the meat did look like slightly overburnt.

But once I cut them up and
tasted them, the overburnt issue is no longer an, err…issue. The sausages were
exactly how gourmet sausages supposed to taste like, as they are obviously very
well seasoned and smoked. The three sausages were the Pork & Herb (RM4.20
per 100g)
, Pork Spicy Chili (RM4.30 per 100g) and the gigantic Dynamite (RM5.30
per 100g)
. My personal favourite would be the very hot and aptly named Dynamite.
Sliced it open, and you can see the amount of chilies and spices used to made
this spicy thing.

The Back Bacon (RM3.90 per 100g) is quite a disappointment
though. Harden by the grilling, chewing this little piece of bacon was a tiring
affair. The Marinated Spare Rib (RM5.40 per 100g) however, was a real gem.
Marinated to perfection, the spare rib tasted wonderful. A little bit sweet,
and a little bit herby, the meat was tender and nice, despite some black
overburnt parts on the outside. Loved it so much, I might even come back next
time just to have two pieces of this pork.

Besides the meat, they also
served lovely desserts, but we were too full and poor to go for more. This
lunch is certainly costly, especially to corporate slaves like us. But
personally, I think it was very well worth every penny paid. The food,
environment and the service are all top notch, definitely an ideal place to
chill out with your friends after work, or even a quiet romantic dinner with
your special one(s).

Corporate slaves’ dream of
managerial life is made of these!

Jarrod & Rawlins (Damansara Heights)

Address: 6, Lorong Dungun
              Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone: 03-2093 0708

Operating Hours/Days : 10:30am – 12:30am, Daily (kitchen closes at 11:00pm)

Jarrod & Rawlins (Desa Sri Hartamas)

Address: 36, (Ground Floor), Jalan 27/70A,
              Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone: 03-2300 0708

Operating Hours/Days : 10:30am – 12:30am, Daily (kitchen closes at 11:00pm)


* click to enlarge map *

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Food Reviews, Reviews, Travelogue

Restoran Ban Nen Hiong – Satay Celup in Melaka

Drove down to Melaka for a day trip 2 months back, on Labour’s Day. The drive on the PLUS Highway was surprisingly smooth, but once exited at the Ayer Keroh’s toll plaza, the traffic was getting much heavier. And we were almost came to a standstill after Ayer Keroh, on the fringe of the Melaka city itself.

After a hot afternoon of eating and shopping, me and Hui Yin decided to go for Satay Celup for dinner first before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. We consulted an owner of an art gallery/souvenir shop near Jonker Street, on the best Satay Celup restaurant in Melaka. He suggested 3 places, but warned us that 2 of those 3 are very popular and most probably are jam packed by 5pm. With the word of wisdom and directions from a local wiseman, we drove confidently and excitedly towards our objective!

And this is what we saw when we were approaching Target No.1:

This Restoran Capitol Satay on Lorong Bukit Cina is arguably the most popular satay celup restaurant, although many would say Restoran Ban Lee Siang on Jalan Ong Kim Wee would be the best. Looking at this insanely long queue, we both thought that it would be equally futile effort if we go to Ban Lee Siang.

Hence, the third option suggested by the local wiseman, the Restoran Ban Nen Hiong. This restaurant is just a stone throw away from the Restoran Capitol Satay, on Jalan Temenggong. While it is not as packed as Capitol, the dinner crowd there was already quite big when we reached there. After getting a table, the fierce-looking lady boss brought few trays of food and placed it on our table.

The food looks good, although the selections seems to be not as extensive as the other 2 more famous satay celups (from what I saw from other food blogs). Nevertheless, there are still plenty to choose from, fried food, different types of fish balls, beef, chicken, prawn, squid and even stuffed chillies and ladyfingers. Most of the choices are priced at RM0.50 a stick, but some are RM1.00
per stick
. Those RM1.00 choices are those with red paint at one end of
the stick, and most seafood are of this price.

I think my personal favourite on that night was the pig’s liver.
Kekeke…couldn’t really count how many sticks of those delicious thing
I had. The prawns are pretty fresh, but didn’t eat many as I thought it
was a tad too pricey at RM1.00 a pop.

The raw squids were placed in a dodgy-looking plastic container, that is usually used for hand-washing. But if you are not one of those hygiene freaks, then it’s a must have. Just like the prawn, nice and fresh.

Just choose any food that caught your fancy, and dip them inside the
pot of satay sauce. This satay sauce is a peanut-based sauce that is
made of a right blend of coconut milk and other spices. I have no idea
who invented this Satay Celup, but this satay sauce is perfect as a
companion to almost any type of food (hmmm, ok maybe not loh mai kai or
durian).

You might have to wait a little while for the satay sauce to come to a
boiling point, before dipping in the food-on-sticks. Once it’s boiling,
it doesn’t take long for the food to be cooked, and for you to start
the feast. Most food only takes less than a minute to cook, and
some items like prawn, squid, and pig’s liver takes even shorter time.

We walloped down stick after stick for about 90 minutes, before calling it a quit. I think in total we had about 45 sticks altogether. It was a truly satisfying meal, especially for a satay celup “virgin” like me. Capitol Satay and Ban Lee Siang might be better than this Ban Nen Hiong, but this is still very good to us. And frankly speaking, I would rather continue to eat here than to queue up on the street for hours to eat at the other two.

We headed straight back to the PLUS Highway right after the dinner, and the drive was very smooth. And just like before, it was a false happiness as we encountered this near Seremban. Grrr….

Map to Restoran Ban Nen Hiong:

* click to enlarge map *
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Food Reviews, Reviews

Restoran Grandma Kitchen Cafe in Damansara Uptown

After having the horrible Hainanese chicken rice in Damansara Uptown, not surprisingly I was pretty less than happy. And because the futsal game was still an hour plus away, I decided to go to another eatery to try out and kill some time by readign newspaper too of course.

One restaurant with a big smiling old lady on their big signboard caught my attention. So after getting without much effort as it was a Sunday afternoon, I cooly walked in and was greeted by friendly waiters and waitresses. The restaurant’s interior is quite cosy, comfortable, and bright too. Only 2 other tables were occupied, understandbly so as it was about 3pm on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The menu is simple and nice, with pictures to make ordering an easier affair. Pricewise, it’s not exactly cheap, as most main noodle or rice dishes priced at about RM7-10. As I was still quite full with the horrible chicken rice, I opted for the dim sums rather than ordering a main dish.

The dim sum selections here are not very extensive, but you can find all the usual and popular ones, as well as some unique dim sums. Anyway, I ordered the Siew Mai (Shrimp with Pork Dumpling) and the Har Gao (Steamed Shrimp Dumpling). I usually uses these two as a benchmark to compare dim sum quality between different restaurants. They took awhile before serving my dim sums as they only steamed them once order is taken, to ensure the freshness.

The Siew Mai (RM3.80) comes in decent size. The shrimp is placed on top of the Siew Mai instead of the usual practise of putting it inside. Tasted not bad, not the best but I like the fact that they are not too porky and nice to bite.

The Har Gao (RM4.80) fared not too bad too. The shrimps tasted fresh but my one complaint is how easy the har gao broke up when I tried to pick them up with the chopsticks. Hmm..or maybe it has something to do with my chopstick skills?

Restoran Grandma Kitchen Cafe has a wide selection of drinks as well. I went for their Soya Cincau (RM2.60) that they served in jar instead of glass. I quite like it as its sweetness was just right and the texture was smooth. And at RM2.60 it is reasonably priced too.

I definitely won’t mind coming back to try out some other unique items on their menu, or to just chill out with friends on weekend. The dim sums tasted nice for sure, but the higher-than-usual price might deter me abit. Besides dim sum, and noodle, they also serve other Chinese dishes (tai chow), so maybe you might want to try them out for dinner with family or friends. The service is of top notch, even though they do not charge you any service tax.


Restoran Grandma Kitchen Cafe

Address: 6, Jalan SS 21/139,
              Damansara Uptown, 47400 Petaling Jaya

Telephone: 03-7722 1886

Operating Hours/Days: 10:30am to 10:30pm, Daily

* just few shops away from RHB Bank

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Food Reviews, Reviews

Nasi Ayam Hailam Damansara Utama

Sent a friend to The Curve
after church last Sunday. It was still 3 hours before the weekly futsal game,
so decided to have lunch by myself at Damansara Uptown. After circling the area
twice, I set my eyes upon this Nasi Ayam Hailam Damansara Utama. What caught my
attention was actually the claim below their name, “Branch of Bukit Bintang”.
Now, most of you would know there are 2 famous Hailam (Hainanese) Chicken Rice restaurants
in Bukit Bintang. One of them is Nasi Ayam Hailam Chee Meng, and the other one
is the restaurant next to BB Plaza. So I thought to myself this must be good.


The big lunch crowd I saw
once I stepped in reinforced my positive feeling for this place, although I
remember how surprised I was to see about 80% of the crowd was made up of
Malays. A Malay waitress promptly came and took my order, and not long after
the food is served.


The oily rice came first, and it looked good. I have a habit
of eating the rice first before eating them with chicken, just to taste how
good or bad the rice is. I ate one spoonful of it, and it tasted very good.
Makes me even more excited to taste the steamed chicken.


And then everything went downhill from there. My jaw almost
dropped when the plate of chicken drumstick was put in front of me. It has to
be one of the most sorry-looking plate of chicken I have ever come across.
Instead of placing them nicely, the chicken pieces were just thrown on the
plate. And the chicken itself looked like they have been punched repeatedly,
and blue black bruises formed on the body.


The slightly uncooked part around the bones totally turned
me off as well. Not to mention the quite artificially looking skin around the
drumstick. It is a bit acceptable to sucks in presentation if the food is truly
tasty, but this is not!

It didn’t end there, as a sorry-looking bowl of soup was
served after that. The bowl looked like it has been in use since World War 2,
and the soup taste like it is made purely from MSG.


I forced myself to finish off everything before quickly
walked to the counter to pay. I have to pay RM7.20 for the very unsatisfying
meal. I was so unhappy and not satisfied, that I went to another eatery to have a second round of lunch, which  I will post about it next time.

I will definitely recommend all of you NOT to try this one
out. Amazing how this eatery can survive in this area as there are numerous
other restaurants in Damansara Uptown. This Nasi Hailam Damansara Utama is an
insult to all Hainanese chicken rice, as well as all Hainanese around the world. Their only saving
grace is their oily rice. Heck, next time I might just go there and take away
the rice to eat with nicer Hailam chicken elsewhere, I mean anywhere.

Nasi Ayam Hailam Damansara Utama

Address: Jalan 21/37 (few shops away from 7 Eleven)
              Damansara Uptown, 47400 Petaling Jaya.

Telephone: Don’t call them.

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Food Reviews, Reviews

King Crab Restaurant at Kelana Jaya

Hui Yin’s sister and her hubby were craving for good seafood, but we were also reluctant to travel all the way to Teluk Pulai. So instead, we drove all the way down to Kelana Jaya, to the now famous King Crab Restaurant. Reached there at around 9:30pm, was past standard dinner time, so finding a parking spot was not hard at all.

After taking forever to order (I even called up Mei Yen and Precious Pea), we are served the tidbit to fight off our hunger first. Instead of the usual nuts, here they serve you Achar (RM3.00++). Looked good and tasted even better.

As most of the dinner crowd was already dwindling at that time, it didn’t take long before our food was served. The first to come was the “Pak Cheok” Prawns (RM30.00++).  Was skeptical at first when I saw how simple the dish is. But I ended up eating heaps of them as the prawns were so fresh and nice. Simply wonderful when eaten together with the special chilli dip provided by them.

You don’t have to ration the chilli dip as they place one whole bottle of it on each table. So eat as much as you want (or can for weaklings that can’t take spicy stuff ).

If you ask the waitresses to recommend you a dish of crabs, most probably they will mention the Claypot Butter Crab (RM38.00 per kg). And not surprisingly, it was one of the best crab I’ve eaten so far. Now, I can’t say I’m a hardcore fan of crabs, but I simply love this one. Not so much about the crabs itself, but the butterish gravy that comes with it!

It was so much fun using the mallet to bash the crab, and
then use the meat to sop up the butterish gravy. The gravy is truly heavenly,
with an almost perfect creaminess.

Another way to enjoy the delicious gravy is by eating them
with the bread/bun/man tou. Priced at RM3.00++ per plate, the bread is great to
be dip into the gravy and let it absorb as much gravy as possible and then eat
them. We really like it a lot, and can’t resist the temptation of ordering a
second plate of the buns.

And the other dishes came in quick succession. The Salted
Egg Fried Sotong (RM15.00++)
was one of the highlight. The fried squid is very
very crispy, and one bite you can taste the strong aroma of the salted egg.
Just a simple thing but will make you come back for more.

The Guinness Pork Ribs (RM15.00++) was yet another gem. From the name
you can probably guess what’s this dish. Instead of Marmite or sweet & sour
sauce, this version uses Guinness Stout beer (Hak Kau Peh) to marinade the spare
ribs. How they do it, I have absolutely no idea, but the combination of Guiness
Stout, soy sauce, honey and other ingredients worked wonders.

Instead of rice, we ordered a big plate of Black Pepper Udon
Noodle (RM15.00++)
.  Now a common item on
any kopitiams and cafes’ menu, the Udon Noodle here is not fantastic but we
loved it nonetheless. Not too overly salty and peppery, the noodle also comes with
generous amount of other ingredients.

I was truly pleasantly surprised by this King Crab Restaurant.
Not only by the good quality and taste of their food, but also by their very
reasonable pricing. This very satisfying meal only cost about RM140 for 4 of
us. Considering the location, ambience, good service, and the quality and
taste, the price is definitely very good. And if you would like to push the
price even further, decline the towels and the tidbits.

Sure they charge 5% for service and another 5% of government
tax, but I feel it is still more worth than driving all the way to Port Klang
or Teluk Gong? Unless you want to have the feel of makan trip and seaside of
course.

Restoran King Crab

Address: 103-105, Jalan SS 25/2,
               Taman Mewah Jaya,
               47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor.

Telephone: 03-7808 2388 Fax: 03-7805 3282

* This restaurant is situated right opposite the Kelana Jaya LRT Station. It’s on the same row as Marco’s Pizza and it is difficult to miss the huge crab signboard.


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Food Reviews, Reviews

Bak Kut Teh & Pokari at Mungo Jerry, SS2

After months of waiting and failed attempts, I finally got
to eat bak kut teh once again at Mungo Jerry in SS2. Me and my colleagues used
to frequent this shop for lunch, until they stop operating during the days
without any warning. Coincidently, the other bak kut teh restaurant in SS2
closed down for good as well at about the same time. At first we thought it was
a conspiracy by the MBPJ to get rid of pork from Petaling Jaya.

Suggested to check whether they are open or not after a
movie date with Hui Yin. And lo and behold, they are very much still in
business, although only at night now. Had a short chat with the lady boss. She
told me their decision was due to “not-so-good” business during the day. And
also because of the traffic jam around that area, especially during the
afternoon when parents come and pick up their kids from a school nearby. Grrrr….

Once you stepped in to the restaurant, you will be
immediately transported back to the 80s. Everything from the chairs and tables,
wall, signage, to the ceiling and the lightings, all of them seems like they
are there since that hippy decade.

Do not ask me why they are called Mungo Jerry, as I have
absolutely idea. Maybe they are named after a roack band that was famous back in 1970s? But what I do know is you can’t find any mango or jelly here. And
on one of the signage on the wall, they claim that they are the “Bak Kut Teh
Innovator”. Hmmm….right.

Their menu is very simple and clear, although the pictures
are pretty..err….80s. For a bak kut teh restaurant, the selections here are
considered very extensive. You can even order a innovative pot of “Chick Kut
Teh” (chicken instead of pork) here. Other recommended items are such as the Hot
Pepper Pork Soup, BBQ Ribs and the tempting Pokari/Pokkari/Pork Curry which I
will explain more later.

Once you have made your order, they will first serve you
with the “yau char koay” (oily fried stick) and the tofu pok with soup. So you
can help yourself with those first while waiting for the main stars to come.

The yau char koay is surprisingly nice, even though they
looked as if they were leftovers from yesterday. Smaller in size as compared to
elsewhere, it is very crispy and it is so good you can even eat it on its own.
We like it to much we ordered a large second bowl of them.

After about 5 minutes, the main stars were served. First up
is the Claypot Bak Kut Teh (RM8.00 for small). Just like any other BKT
restaurants, you can mix-and-match any parts you want. This time, we opted for “chue
chang” (pork belly), “pai kwat” (ribs), and “yuen kwat” (soft bones?).

The bak kut teh here is more than decent, with a strong hint
of herbs. The meat is also very well stewed, as it is tender and not hard to
chew. But they are a bit stingy with the amount of meat.

And then the long-awaited Pokari or Pork Curry (RM8.00 for
small) arrived. This is actually what made us kept coming back to this
restaurant. Also known as dry bak kut teh by some, this dark version of bak kut
teh is actually braised pork stewed with dried chillies, garlics. As you can
guess, it is spicy and will definitely whet your appetite once you start eating
it. No doubt some female species might choose to avoid this as it not exactly
very friendly to our heart and arteries. I bet you can tell even by just looking
at the picture here.

You have the options of the usual white rice, or the fried
onion rice. Not surprisingly, both of us opted for the fried onion one. Tasted
absolutely wonderful when eaten while it is still warm.

I will certainly return for their Pokari soon, just can’t
get enough of it. I would not recommend anyone to come here purposely for their
Bak Kut Teh though. While the bak kut teh here is nice and enjoyable, it is
still not very much different from any “above-decent” bak kut teh places
elsewhere. But if you are a fan of dry bak kut teh or just wish to eat some
rice with something spicy, head fast to SS2 now (ignore this advice if you
reading this during the day)!

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Food Reviews, Reviews

Pad Thai Restaurant at Hartamas Shopping Centre

It was a good afternoon, having lunch with fellow JIC
working young adults, namely Kevin, Fannie and Raymond Phing. We went to
Hartamas Shopping Centre, after I suggested eating at Wok Hei but the place was
all packed.

After “scanning” the place for awhile, we noticed a quiet
place named Pad Thai, next to other similarly packed eateries like Kim Gary and
Station Kopitiam. So not wanting to further fatten the already fat wallets of
those restaurants’ bosses, we decided to support the underdog by giving it a
try.

The décor of this restaurant is not really of Thai theme.
But nevertheless, it looks quite cozy, and check out their grand-looking ceiling.

The menu here is pretty extensive, but our decision-making
was made easy by their set meals. Interestingly named after major cities in Thailand,
the set meals are priced from about RM11.90 to RM15.90.

The Pattaya Set (RM12.90++) comes with 2 spring rolls, Tomyam
chicken, minced chicken + glass noodle salad, beef with chilli and basil, and
served with white fragrant rice. Tastewise it was pretty good, although the
beef was a bit too tough, probably overcooked.

Meanwhile the Sukhothai Set (RM12.90++) comprises 2 spring
rolls as well, Tomyam chicken, mango kerabu, green curry chicken and also
served with white fragrant rice. The green curry chicken tasted very nice when
eaten together with the rice. While it was not spicy enough to appease spicy
food lovers, the flavour of the coconut milk and the basil is simply wonderful.

The slightly more expensive Chiang Mai Set (RM13.90++) also
fared pretty good. It includes extra stuff like the Pandan Chicken, fillet fish
in thai sauce, and Ulam fried rice instead of white rice. Definitely worth
paying that extra ringgit I reckon.

All set meals also include a small bowl of Water Chestnut
with Coconut Milk
. A typical sweet Thai dessert, it was a very welcomed cold addition
for all of us.

The Spicy Chicken Noodle Tomyam (RM6.90++) was pretty
ordinary though. Not the clear soup type, it’s the milder and not very spicy
version that will suits most Malaysians, but not those who are craving for
spicy Thai food.

Overall, the food here in Pad Thai tasted above average and
definitely very reasonable priced, especially considering it is in the posh
Hartamas Shopping Centre. It is not exactly authentic Thai food, and probably
will not go down very well with spicy food lovers as I mentioned earlier. But
still it is an enjoyable and affordable alternative to the residents and office
workers within the vicinity.

Pad Thai Restaurant

Address: P35, Plaza Grd Floor, Hartamas Shopping Centre,
               Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone: 03-6201 4252

Opening Hours/Days: 11:00am – 10:00pm, Daily

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