Saturday, 29 June 2013

A Wet Thai Seafood @ Kayu Ara, PJ

Sawadika!

On the menu this evening, we'll be serving Thai cuisine
Located on the same row as Pantai Seafood Restaurant, A Wet Thai in Petaling Jaya is one of five functioning branches in Malaysia. Other sites include Cheras, Puchong, Kajang & Kuching(Sarawak). However, PJ's branch is the one and only restaurant categorized as A Wet Thai Seafood whilst others are either A Wet Thai Cafe or A Wet Thai Garden. * bee-tee-double-u, they serve pork! Hurrah!* There aren't many non-halal Thai restaurants around.


A Wet Thai @ Kayu Ara, PJ


The waiters served pandan water to each diner prior to taking our orders. It's refillable and costs only RM0.80 per pax. I was afraid that the drink might contain loads of syrup/sugar but it turned out otherwise! No trace whatsoever. It was cooling, refreshing and fragrant.


Deep fried squid battered in salted egg yolk (RM48+)

Fit for six pax, I find this dish a tad pricey. How would I describe this? Hmm, it tasted good. Then again, one can hardly go wrong with squid in salted egg. It's good but I'm not head-over-heels in love with it. Definitely tasted better ones where my eyes widen and uttered ..'Wow'.. but I had worse, too. Not spectacular but it's a safe dish to order.


Tom yam Seafood soup (RM20+)

Dining in Thai restaurants, I reckon that the first thing passing through a customer's mind is tommm yaaaam souupp *inserts heavy Thai accent*!  A Wet offers it at a pretty cheap price for a big bowl containing various sorts of seafood. Then again, since tom yam soup is SUCH A POPULAR DISH TO ORDER, I expected more from A Wet Restaurant. At the end of the day, it just tasted like any ordinary tom yam soup. Nothing to shout about.


Thai style steamed siakap fish (RM48+)

This dish was highly recommended by a friend of mine. I only had a tiny piece of fish so I can't exactly recall the details.. HAHA, soli soli. On a side note, I clearly remembered that it didn't have a fishy smell so that's a good start, right? *nods head repeatedly.* However, the highlight of this dish does not fall on its fish (It wasn't memorable anyway). The spicy (spicy enough to light up my cheeks), sour soup that immersed the steamed fish  takes the spotlight! It tasted even better than the tom yam soup mentioned above (considering how ordinary the latter one tasted). The soup tasted really tangy and was quite delicious! Did I mention that it was spicy?! Slurps slurps. One can probably opt for a bowl of clear tom yam soup if fish isn't your cup of tea.


House Specialty BBQ Pork Neck (RM25.50+)

We cringed as the word 'Pork Neck' appeared in the menu. It was an unfamiliar sight. However, we gave it a go as the waiter recommended this to us. 
As their house specialty arrived, I thought it looked unappetizing and dry. To my amazement, it was delish! The pork was just a teeny weeny bit tough but everything else were perfect porkfect. I loved how each slice of meat has fatty bits which made it even juicier. In my non-professional opinion, the dipping sauce was not necessary as I could eat the slice on its own. 


Thai Style basil leaf with minced pork (RM18+)

Voila, another popular dish in a Thai cuisine, basil leaf with minced meat. It was pretty tasty, not too sure if credits should be given to Ajinomoto or they truly deserved the praise *narrows eyes, feeling skeptical*. Apart from it being flavorsome, it wasn't exactly the most memorable dish. ..meh.


Green curry with chicken (RM18+)

This green soupy dish tasted similar to the Thai food sold by street hawkers. (if you know what I mean.. those coffee shops without frills attached.). I'm not saying it tasted bad, but it definitely wasn't great. It was O-K. If this dish was placed beside My Elephant's green curry, A Wet might need to hide their faces elsewhere. It would've been better if the curry was thicker(it was kinda diluted) and had more punch in it. HULK NOT PLEASED! 


Thai Style Dako (RM12+)

Thai style dako a.k.a. sweet water chestnut & coconut custard topping wrapped in banana leaf. A traditional thai dessert fit for the king. Our stomachs were major-stuffed after such a heavy meal but a friend of mine insisted we try this. 
*Note to self: Never order any desserts when you're full.* I couldn't enjoy this to the fullest although it seriously didn't taste bad! Salty and sweet with chunky bits of water chestnut, dako was a nice dessert to end the meal. Perhaps I'll save some room for my stomach to savor this next time.

All in all, A Wet PJ was alright. The food was average. Apart from that, it's a great place for family & friends to gather and enjoy each other's company. 

A Wet Thai
Lot 13544, Jalan Cempaka
Kampung Kayu Ara
47400 Petaling Jaya
Website: http://awetthai.com

Signing off,
Jx

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mikan @ Damansara Perdana, PJ

いらっしゃいませ ( Irasshaimase! )

Welcome! Mikan is located on the same row as Friendscino, Damansara Perdana. Just a minute walk from my office. A tad pricey for an everyday-lunch-affair but since it was a special day, I deserved a special treat! 


Photo above taken from Mikan's Facebook page




Lunch set menu @ Mikan. Spoilt for choice! After what seems to be forever looking through the menu, we settled for Sashimi Unagi Set & Sushi Chicken Teriyaki Set. The former comes with 6 pieces of assorted sashimi, roasted eel and a bowl of rice whereas the latter consists of 5 pieces of assorted sushi and chicken. All set lunch are served with chawan mushi, miso soup & dessert. Sounds like a good deal to me!


Seasoned baby octopus (RM10++)

Side dishes are a must when dining in a japanese restaurant. Portion was relatively small but the quality matched the price of the appetizer.


Sushi chicken teriyaki set (RM26++). 


5 pieces of sushi served alongside pickled ginger & wasabi.

Growing up, I was never a fan of crab sticks & inari sushi. I just find it a waste of stomach space. After this meal, the orange-coloured fake crab & I still don't see eye to eye. The same applies to inari.
On the other hand, the salmon & butter fish was fresh! Although the colour of the butter fish might seem far from it, the chef actually seared it hence, the brown-ish colour. There was no Wow-factor for the tuna, so it's a miss for me.


*Drools*...Salivating as I'm staring at this picture. Stomach is drumming, I WANT MORE!
Actually, my colleague is currently having his lunch beside me and the aroma of 'tapao-ed' chinese home-cooked food is wafting through the air. Blogging during lunch hour is such a bad idea.

Anyway, the teriyaki chicken was very well-marinated and every bite was tender. Best part was its skin because the flavour explodes and sends you to sweet, sweet paradise. Mmm. Wished I had a bowl of rice to go with the savory saucy chicken. *removes rice ball from sashimi & mixes in with chicken*

I should've ordered Sashimi Chicken Teriyaki Set instead. JUST. NOTICED. AFTER. ORDERING. BOO!


 6 pieces of assorted sashimi. Looks delicious.


Roasted unagi! I really liked this one. Topped with sesame seeds, the eel had such a great texture as we bit into it. It was soft (not in the mushy-kind-of-way) and succulent. Thumbs up!
The only complaint I have is the portion of the unagi. They left me wanting for more.
The chawan mushi & miso soup were not too bad. Nothing memorable but still a great addition to the lunch set. Desserts served were slices of honeydew. I didn't finish my dessert because an annoying little fly landed on it. SIGH. Oh well.
Will definitely be having lunch here soon!

Mikan Japanese Cuisine
LG 03, Plaza Emerald North
PJU 8/3A, Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya

Operating hours: Monday-Friday [11.30 am - 3.30 pm], [ 6pm- 10pm ]
Saturday [ 6pm-10pm ]

Gochisousama deshita!
Jx


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Dining In The Dark @ Changkat, KL

I. Love. This. Place. 

Ever been deprived of your sight whilst dining? Let your tastebuds take control as you venture into the journey of the unknown. An excursion into the darkness..   


Although there are many other restaurants with the same concept overseas, Dining In The Dark is the pioneer in Malaysia. Relatively new in town as it was launched around December 2012. The name of the place is pretty long and boring but really, who cares about the title of the book when the content is a-m-a-z-e-balls! My hubby managed to reserve a table for two last night & I must say that this place has definitely served us a unique dining & tasting experience! *inserts smiley face*

We took almost an hour to reach KL since it was peak hours, but managed to arrive just in time!
Parking in Changkat costs approximately RM15.

The restaurant is located at the 2nd floor of Werner's, in between Movida & The Steakhouse. 


Ain't that pretty? 

Customers are greeted by a giant disco ball at the restaurant's lounge. (In case you were wondering, this is not how the dark room looks like) As we made our way into the waiting area, the hostess ushered us to our seats for refreshers & pre-dinner games before proceeding into the dining room. The ambience of the lounge was quiet with a hint of romance all over, setting the mood just right for patrons who drained their energy from a long stressful day at work. Ahh, time to relax and enjoy.


We ordered a complimentary glass of cranberry juice each. Diners may also opt for wine, beer, cocktails, cordials or hot beverages.


So fun! Whilst sipping on our ice-cold drink, pre-dinner games were prepared. How the game works: Blindfold yourself & pick out paper clips from the box of grains & red beans. Sounds easy, right? I'll have you know that the texture of beans, grains & paper clips felt the same to me! Not sure if the tip of my fingers are too rough due to house chores or I'm inevitably and undeniably helpless without my eye sight. Anyway, little efforts made by the management to entertain guests certainly deserves brownie points! *applaud*


Menu for the evening! Shown to us before entering the dark room. Did anything catch your eye? The interesting bit is that the entire course is kept as a mystery from diners. However, one can request for the chef to exclude certain ingredients that may cause allergies or food that you simply can't handle (ie. beef, nuts etc.)


*heee-huuu-heee-huuuu-...hyperventilates!* The time has arrived! Are you ready!? YES I AM!

Before that, all cell phones & watches must be kept in the locker located outside the dining room.
More interesting facts! No night vision goggles were used in the dining hall. Apparently it's uncomfortable and generates too much heat to the eyes & head of the user. So, they took the liberty to hire waiters who have impaired vision to guide diners into the room. Yay to more job opportunities for the underprivileged!

Are you afraid of the dark? Brace yourselves as what lies behind this door will bring memories you will never forget.

Our guide/waiter for the night named Thong (i think), was super polite! We had to put our palms on Thong's shoulder and form a 'choo-choo-train' line as he guided us to our table.
I was smiling from the moment I entered the pitch-black room until the moment I left the restaurant.
It was an amazing experience!

We were literally dining in the dark so all I could see was this:-

I am not exaggerating.

Many of you must be wondering, "Wha-? How do you eat in the dark? You can't see your food & cutleries!"

To which I would reply, "Eat with your bare hands! Nobody is going to penalize or judge you for going back to the stone-age!" 

***

After each course was done, the friendly waiters will have a quick-chat with the customers. We played a 'guessing game' as he asked us to guess the key ingredients present in the meal. *I almost answered everything right! PERFECT PALETTE YO* 

When the 4 course menu was over, we were ushered to the lounge to foot the bill. The hostess showed us a picture and the menu was revealed. Unfortunately, no picture-taking was allowed so you'll just have to dine in to find out!
The mystery menu changes every 3-4 weeks!


Complimentary book mark given to us after the meal.

Like I said, I loved this place! In my opinion, the service was impeccable! Food was great because my tastebuds were going into overdrive when I don't rely on my eyes. Even managed to speak to the person in charge after the meal and apparently, this place is already fully booked throughout the year during festive occasions! Walk-ins are encouraged as they do reserve a few tables for walk-in customers. 

Dining In The Dark
44 & 46A Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday [6.30 p.m.- 10.30 pm]
Website: http://www.dininginthedarkkl.com

Heightened tastebud,
Jx

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Loh's Private Kitchen @ Bandar Utama, PJ

HAHA. 

In case you were wondering where Loh's Private Kitchen (LPK) is located, I am here to proudly inform you that LPK is actually my humble home. It's obviously not a restaurant thus, not opened for business.  ...Sorry. 

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, I'm going to share a mad simple recipe for everyone to enjoy! 

Honestly, I hardly ever bake and when I do, it's just banana bread & yogurt-blueberry-cheesecakes-wannabe. My list literally stops there. For professional bakers & pâtissiers out there, you were once in my shoes. It's never too late to start!

Let us proceed.

*ahem* 

Hello, class of 2013. Welcome to Noobcakes 101. 
We will be learning how to bake Nutella cupcakes/brownies.


You will need these 3 main ingredients:
  • Nutella (280g)
  • 2 Eggs 
  • Flour (10 tbsp or 62g)

**Disclaimer: I don't possess a cupcake tray so I'm using a mini-loaf tray instead. As for the ingredients, I only needed ONE egg, approx 5 HUGE table spoons of flour & close to half a tub of Nutella (approx 175g) .. b'cos, y'know.. we gotta listen to our heart. 


1) Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius.

2) Start by adding the flour into a bowl & crack an egg in the middle. Mix the elements until it's well combined. (I didn't sieve my flour, but feel free to do so!)

3) Next, fill the Nutella into the mixing bowl.

 Oh My Gah, that doesn't look good.


4) Mix all ingredients until the consistency is soft and creamy. I added a tinge of milk to achieve my smoothy goodness.


5) Pour the mix into a tray & pop into the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.

THAT'S IT! Took me less than 10 minutes to prep.

 Voila! After 30 minutes in the oven.




Add a scoop of your favourite ice-cream to savour with the warm chocolate brownie. 
It was my first time baking this & since nothing was burnt, you could try it out too.

Class dismissed,
Jx



Monday, 24 June 2013

Swich Cafe @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas KL

Swich Cafe has established itself as a household name for fruity cakes! And no,.. I'm not referring to Christmas Fruitcakes mixed with variety of dried fruits

I've actually read a number of blogs about this place and boy, it certainly has my attention. 
Swich Cafe started off at HP Towers, Damansara Heights and I reckon that this branch at Publika is relatively new. (I was at Publika's self-help directory searching "S" for Swich, but to no avail.so it has gotta be new... right?)

Anyway, the cafe is certainly present in Publika Shopping Gallery. The mall's directory is simply not up to date. Tsk. 


Arrived at our desired destination! It's not hard to locate this cafe as Swich is smacked right in the middle of G3.
Branded on paper doilies, you know you're in for a treat. 


Amongst the many many cakes available were Soursop, Mangosteen, Cempedak and Durian cakes. Avocado and Pistachio cake was available too! (putting that green baby on the makan list the next time i visit!)
HONESTLY? I wanted to order every single one of them. If you were right next to me drooling looking at the wide array of selections, we would have shared the same mind set!


Red velvet cake priced at RM10 per slice.


Carrot & Cranberry Cake 

There were so many cakes I was literally spoilt for choice. 
We were too full from lunch @ Ben's so instead, we decided to take away a slice of mangosteen & cempedak cake. Not forgetting a tiny piece of brownie covered in rich Belgian chocolate.


Mangosteen cake! The cake that everyone has been talking about! It's not as big of a slice as one would hope for the price of RM15, but every bite was heaven. It has more cream than sponge and I'm glad they baked it this way. It tastes a little like yogurt but in the fruitiest way possible. Sure, it does sound odd to have mangosteens as a main recipe in your cake but I assure you that you'd be delightfully surprised! What's more enjoyable is the fact that they add a whole fresh mangosteen on top of your cake. Talk about a cherry on top of the ice cream


Introducing you to the other talk of the town, Cempedak cake (RM12). Time Out KL has listed Swich's Cempedak Tutti Frutti as one of the Top 10 cafe dishes & desserts in 2012. The only difference between the former and the latter is the absence of mango garnish. Apart from the minor difference, the cake is still frosted with cempedak cream & garnished with toasted coconut. Mmmm, I'm not a fan of cempedak but this cake tasted gooooooood! The fruit provided a natural sweetness in the cake and the cempedak sponge was perfect. She couldn't have done it better.


Ah, the brownie coated with Belgian Chocolate. Priced at only Rm3.50. I sincerely apologize for the unappealing picture. After tasting the two previous cakes, this one fell behind. Maybe I expected to dive into a chocolate-coma as I sunk my teeth into the brownie. Unfortunately for me, it was spongey and tasted like orange. Orange sponge.. Far from what I had hoped for. Maybe if all other cakes run out, you could opt for this one. 

In this case, one bad apple did not ruin the bunch. I really do recommend giving this place a try since cempedak and mangosteens are still in season.

Swich Cafe
Level G3 Publika Shopping Gallery
Solaris Dutamas, KL.
Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Swichfinefood

I'll be back,
Jx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Ben's @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas KL

Sunday lunch.

Hazard alert! Everyone was adviced to stay indoors today as the haze seems to be turning from bad to worse. Yet, the cray cray weather didn't stop the crowd of all ages from buzzing out and about at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. I even managed to spot a handful of joggers with iron lungs trotting along the well-heeled residential area.

We parked right in front of Ben's, which cost us a steep price of RM15 (Ouch! Valet parking). 



Ben's @ Publika.

The waiters were very attentive & service was prompt despite the restaurant being packed to the brim.


They even provided table topic conversation starter cards
...Are you out on a date? Afraid that he or she is glued to their smartphones? 
Get rid of awkward silences and get to know one another better with these cards.
There's nothing more annoying than having to sit & dine with your mates whilst they connect with their phones better than they do with you.


Moving on..


Chunky mushroom soup w. truffle oil & garlic toast (RM14.90++)

To black pepper fans out there, you have met your dream come true. I would've preferred more cream in the soup but the chewy chunky bits of mushrooms makes up for the elements they lack in. Kudos to Ben's for not serving diluted soup, too. 
It's an okay appetizer, but not lip-smackingly-delicious. 



Traditional fish & chips (RM29.90++)

My other half asked me to close my eyes while I savour the taste of the crispy battered fish dipped in its homemade tartare sauce. Mmm,.. tastes like Filet-O-Fish. 
Since I'm Mcd's Number #1 fan, I'm going to give Ben's credit for successfully creating the perfect tartare sauce that is on par with my favourite fast food restaurant. Apart from the well-seasoned battered fish, Ben's fries are just fries. 
Nothing memorable about the meal nor the coleslaw served.


Spaghetti carbonara (RM23.90++)

My love, my carbonara. I'm a sucker when it comes to creamy cheeeesy pastas. My brain goes on auto-pilot & shuts everything else out once my eyes set its sight on the word, 'carbonara'. Then I say to myself, "Must. Order. That."
HOW WAS IT? Taste is almost similar to the carbonara served in Delicious. Not as cheesy as I would like but some would prefer it this way..bland and simple. At least one wouldn't be sated with the meal.
I adored the mushrooms, however the beef bacon was way too salty! I repeat: Too salty!
Apart from the beefy bacon, I managed to wallop everything else down my stomach. 


Overall, I thought that Ben's was just OK. Perhaps if I ordered something less ordinary (wagyu beef pie or crispy soft shell tortilla), it would've been a better experience?? Would I revisit this place? ...maybe. 

Ben's
Lot No.: G2-37A / G3-32
Level G2

Better luck next time.
Jx 




Saturday, 22 June 2013

Menya Musashi @ Isetan, One Utama

I love weekends, don't you?


Initially, hubby & I planned on heading over to KL for lunch but we settled for our neighbourhood shopping mall instead due to the suffocating hazy weather. I can feel my little lungs shrivel, gasping for fresh air as I stepped out of the car making my way into the air-conditioned mall.

Anyway, lunch time! Decided to satisfy our Japanese cravings at Menya Musashi (non-halal).


Menya Musashi's entrance located @ Isetan.

Unlike other japanese restaurants, customers will be ushered to the cashier's counter to order & pay before proceeding to their respective tables. Sounds like a fast food chain omit the ushering service.


 Aka Ajitama Ramen (chilli oil based)


We opt for one Chasiew & a hard boiled egg in our servings which cost RM24++. 


Kuro Ajitama Ramen (garlic based)

Verdict? 

Aka is recommended for thrill-seekers who love that little tang in their lives. In my opinion, I wished it was spicier (it was a tad too oily). 

What about Kuro? For those who plan on going for a movie date after the meal,  fear not! You will not have repulsive breath despite gobbling up this garlic-infused meal. The garlic taste isn't strong so there's no need to worry.

Both Aka & Kuro were extremely tasty. Good and bad in a way. Although this restaurant stands out on its broth-making skills, however the broth would probably drive you away for a couple of months before you return for another bowl. (Too tasty to handle? Does that even make sense?)

The chasiew was tough to chew and ramen was al dante. 
For those who prefer firm noodles, Menya Musashi is for you! I like my noodles soft & chasiew that melts-in-the-mouth. Maybe Ippudo will suit my tastebuds? We'll see.

Menya Musashi
Eat Paradise, 2nd Floor
Isetan, One Utama

Can't wait to explore more restaurants! 
Until then,
Jx.


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