Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Maria's Restaurant & Café @ Metropolitan Square, PJ

Ever heard of this song by Santana back in the year 2000? 
Maria Maria, she reminds me of a west side story.. ♫ 

As I purchased Maria's Restaurant & Café's Groupon voucher a couple of weeks ago, this tune was stuck in my head. Well, 'Ave Maria' by Kim Ah Joong managed to creep into my musical system as well but Santana seemed to have a better grip, holding its spot on my mind whenever my eyes are set on the word 'Maria'. 

Let's cut to the chase. 
Located just above Citibank & Old Town White Coffee, I had my lunch at Maria's.
All items are subject to 10% service charge. Check out their full menu. Yum yum.

Random pic of Maria's table setting along with their purple menu.  

Urk, my iPhone 4's camera doesn't do any justice to this restaurant's beautifully decorated interior. 
I liked what they have done with this place. If Maria's Restaurant was a girl, she'd be characterized as a non-pretentious individual & you'd definitely like to hang out with her. Yup, this place gave me a cozy vibe and relaxes my nerves. 

Fresh Pumpkin Soup (RM9.00)

If it's not the month of Halloween, I'm generally not a fan of pumpkins..
But 'tis the season to be jolly as this particular pumpkin soup tasted as if it was made with heart. It tasted homey and sweet. Although it might be a tad too sweet for my liking, I gotta give Maria's some credit for not serving us diluted soup (which is what I absolutely loathe when dining in a restaurant). 
Quality: Check!

Fresh Mushroom Soup (RM9.00)

mMmm, nothing like a hearty bowl of mushroom soup to cheer up your day. 
Pity I didn't get the chance to taste the croutons. The soup was not as thick as the pumpkin version but it wasn't diluted either. Which meant that the pumpkin soup was really concentrated whereas the former was just right. I really liked this one. As a fan of mushroom soup, Maria's version has definitely secured its spot as one of the better ones out there for its stated price above. 

Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce (RM20.00) 

The mains were served with sauté vegetables and a couple of wedges were tucked beneath the meat.
I've read several reviews regarding this place prior to my visit at Maria's and realized that most diners recommended Maria's Honey Mustard Sauce over its Mushroom Sauce. Not wanting to challenge the people's choice, we too ordered honey mustard! 
Verdict? All of us liked it. I'm not a fan of chicken meat but this could be an exception. Along with it's accompanying sauce, the meat was pleasantly tender. The sauce was sweet but I wished there was a stronger punch of mustard in it (I friggin' <3 mustard). Overall, this was an enjoyable meal. If only the portion was a tiny bit bigger :p 

Pan Fried Canadian Seabass (RM58.00)

Premium white cod served with sake sauce. Wa wa wa, the dish's name alone has managed to successfully capture my undivided attention. Question is, does it taste as good as it seems? Yeh, pretty much. Albeit the slightly salty potato wedges, everything on the plate was spot on. What can I say? The cod was fresh and well prepared. Its skin was crisp yet the flesh tasted juicy. Come on, who doesn't love cod?! 
By the way, I would say that this meal is worth every penny as Maria serves a pretty generous portion of cod to their diners. Look at that slab of fish!
I know many restaurants that are extremely tightfisted when it comes to serving cod, leaving customers unsatisfied at the end of the day. *the portion can be extremely miserly at times! Which makes me sooooo angry* 

Australian Chilled Fillet (RM59.00)

Usually, I would prefer having a medium-rare steak but I opt for a medium one today. There were two slabs of steak fillets stacked on one another but I have to comment that one of it was medium-rare whilst the other was medium. Fine by me, as long as it wasn't well done. 
Quality wise, you can't expect it to taste like wagyu as the price would've been double or triple its original price. It tasted like an ordinary piece of steak that I bought from the meat department in  Coles while I was in Australia. (It is a chilled fillet after all.) 
Sorry, this is a miss for me. ý ý ý  
Apparently, the menu stated that the chilled fillet is served with red wine sauce. If that's what red wine sauce is supposed to taste like, I am a little speechless. In my opinion, it tasted like mushroom sauce... At least the chefs managed to get my order right-ish? 

One of Maria's waitresses seemed to be in a rush to clear our plates though,.. my mum was chewing on what's left on my plate (snow peas) and a lady walked over & said "Excuse me", picked the plate up & walked away without any signs of hesitation while mummy was still holding her fork with a snow pea stuck on it. 
Mm seng muk. 

Lemon Cheese Cake (RM9.50)

On a lighter note, I really enjoyed this dessert! Was looking forward to Maria's tiramisu but it wasn't ready yet :( 
Was aiming for their moist chocolate cake too but the crowd seemed to prefer lemon cheese instead.  No regrets tho'! It was a real joy to eat. The cake wasn't too sweet and the cheese tasted light. The lemon wasn't overpowering either so everything came together really well. 't was gooooood. 

Maria's Restaurant & Café
Lot C131A, Center Wing, Level 3
Metropolitan Square
No. 2, Jalan PJU8/1
Bandar Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya
For reservations: 03-7725 2313

Yours truly,

Friday, 9 August 2013

Brotzeit Bier Bar & Restaurant @ Midvalley, KL

Few nights back, a bunch of us were walking around aimlessly seeking for a place to play catch up & dine in Midvalley Megamall.

Spoilt for choice, we finally decided to settle for some German food.
Apart from the UBER DELICIOUS bratwurst & cheese kransky I had during my stay in Brisbane, Brotzeit restaurant's my first German dining experience in Malaysia.

Guten Tag errbody!
Welcome to Brotzeit Bier Bar & Restaurant. 

 Brotzeitplatte (RM175++)

Brotzeit's Platter is probably one of their best sellers in this particular German restaurant. Did I mention that Brotzeitplatte is currently under promo?
My first thought when a friend of mine recommended this was, "Dang, still a little pricey for a promotional offer. Come on, RM175? This will never satisfy the crowd." 
BUT WAIT, I'll have you know that the enormous platter was able to feed the stomachs of 5 grown men. Surprising huh? Meat overload. We had about 6 pax who shared the meal and most of us had found ourselves stuffed by the end of the night.
What's on the wooden board, you ask? Well, served to us were a range of Brotzeit's best sausages, pork knuckle, pork schnitzels & 2 side dishes of our choice (not on the platter but it comes together with the Brotzeitplatte order). Can't wait to dig in? Us too. 

Voila! I don't know what the names of these four sausages are, but the big white-lookin' wiener tasted SUPER FINE. I can't quite describe it, but if these sausages were served at a breakfast buffet, I'd probably scoop 20 pieces of these babies onto my plate and head over to the counter for another round of refill once I'm done with the first batch.
Nobody ever says no to sausages especially when it comes to German dawgs.  Ooo-la-la~

Spicy chicken sausages & Pork Cheese Sausages. 

Omnomnom, the pork cheese sausage was good but unfortunately it falls behind if you were to place Brotzeit's version beside the freakin'awesome Cheese Kransky I had in the land down under (Aussie). The latter was thicker and cheesier! SO CRAY! I MISS! Cheese Kransky literally bursts in your mouth as you take your first bite into it.

As for the spicy chicken sausage, there was a hint of spiciness alright. Nothing you should be afraid of as the heat goes away once it's down in your system. Well, this was one of my least favourite sausages despite being a chili-lover. 

Pork Schnitzel & Pork Knuckle

Too much to handle? This might be far from what you might call a 'beautiful mess' but I'm sure many men would be absolutely tantalized by the sight of chunky meat stacked on a platter. Let's start with the schnitzel, shall we? As I forked a tiny piece of schnitzel in my mouth, I felt a sense of familiarity. Hmm,.. where have I tasted this schnitzel? ...Think jess, think.. *A-ha!!* It tasted like Big Apple Donuts. Well, it doesn't actually taste the same but it kinda does smell like Big Apple Donuts. Come on, I'm sure you know what sort of scent I'm yapping about. I'll leave it at that.

Pork knuckle review, meh. I wasn't a fan of pork knuckle to begin with and it's suffice to say that Brotzeit didn't exactly change my views on the pork meat. Although the skin was crispy, I found the meat to be a little hard & chewy. The accompanying brown gravy (spot the Aladdin lamp), was a tad diluted and doesn't do much justice for its porky friend. I'll stick to the sausages.

Side dish #1: Spätzle

We chose this gloriously creamy looking yellow substance as one of our side dishes, which was apparently homemade. I was really looking forward to sampling this dish as it does seem to have a close resemblance to macaroni & cheese based on Brotzeit's graphical menu. We were wondering what spätzle was but the waiter didn't care to elaborate so we assumed that he was as clueless as we were that night. As each of us dug into the spätzle-filled bowl, our expectations of tasting something creamy & cheesy went down the drain. URM, we thought it tasted like unseasoned-overcooked-scrambled-eggs or maybe buttered-pasta-pieces. Either way, it was tasteless. SIGH. No cheese? Well then, you ain't getting no love from me, honey.

After googling what spätzle was, I finally found the answer. *ahem*.. Apparently, it's a type of egg noodle or dumpling which has a soft texture. Okay, that explains a lot. Blurgh. I'll have a potato salad next time. But hey, it's good to try something new each day. 

Side dish #2: Kartoffelhappen

Kartoffelhappen a.k.a. spicy potato wedges. More like salty potato wedges to me. Mehh. *shrugs shoulders* It's an O-K side dish.

Mustard, chilli & *fills in blank*

I'm posting a picture of the trio sauce just 'cause the mustard looked extremely adorable. Ngaww.  :3

 Brettljause (RM78++)

Brettljause a.k.a. Cold Platter. Haha. I don't even know how to pronounce all these German names. *If I were to bang my head on the keyboard, I may be able to create my own German word.* Ja? 
Anyway, leg ham, chicken ham, belly bacon, paprika lyoner, eggs, cheese, vine ripened tomatoes with a selection of German breads were served on this cold platter. Did I miss anything else? Don't know..I didn't sample this dish but since it's such a pretty sight, I'm gonna upload it anyways. HEHE. Shu'up, don't judge me. >=]

Here's a tip: Apparently, you get 15% off if you pay with a HSBC credit card?? I reckon that it's only applicable to ala carte items so all these platters and promotional items aren't included. Not too sure about the details but you could enquire to find out more info.

Uh, sleepy. It's 2.30 a.m.. Gute nacht! 

Brotzeit Bier Bar & Restaurant
Lot G(E) - 108 
Ground External Floor
Mid Valley City
Opening hours: 11 a.m. till late
Check out Groupon's page for Brotzeit's Promotion
Facebook page: Brotzeit's Facebook

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Din Tai Fung at e@Curve, Mutiara Damansara

One of my better days, finally tried Din Tai Fung! 
Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy! 

To be frank, I didn't think much of this place prior to stepping foot in this renowned Taiwanese restaurant as I could just imagine that what lies ahead would probably cost me a mini bomb in my wallet. 

After all, it's just Chinese food right?... Wrong. It's top notch Chinese food! 
Come to think of it, how would you describe one as a top notch restaurant? Din Tai Fung doesn't serve those fancy dishes such as 'Buddha Jumps Over The Wall' but I do believe that their dishes are executed pretty remarkably. Simple dishes delivered well.  

Ordered Hot Tea for RM2++ and it is refillable! HEHEHE

XIAO LONG BAO!!! (RM10.30++ for 6 pieces)

I love Xiao Long Bao's. I tried my first XLB in Dragon-i and ever since then, I was playing the role of a love-struck teenager, obsessed and pining over the pork-soup-pao. *exaggerates* 
It is suffice to say that I have had my fair share of bad-tasting xiao long bao's from dim sum restaurants and I promised myself that I will NEVER ORDER XLB'S FROM RESTAURANTS SELLING DIM SUMS EVER AGAIN.

ISN'T IT CUTE? I love the concept of hot soup in bao's. Too adorable to eat. Kinda reminded me of Bomberman's bomb. The jelly-looking-jiggly-one.

I'm not particularly a fan of fresh sliced-ginger (from my second picture above) but I gotta admit that it does go really well with XLBs. Glad that Din Tai Fung's XLBs didn't burst as soon as I picked it up with my chopsticks. Was the wrap too thick? Nope, it was perfect! Totally nailed it. Couldn't ask for more. Thinking about it makes my stomach drum. EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME! Mouth-watering from the inside & out! 

Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice (RM15.50++)

Simplicity at its best. If I could master the art of cooking this beautiful plate of rice, I'll have a very fat wallet by now. A VERY fat wallet. 
Want to know what's wrong with it? .. Nothing. 
"Omg Jess, don't exaggerate la.." 
But I'm not! Okay, maybe a little. It's just my type of perfect fried rice. Maybe not yours? Maybe..
It wasn't too tasty in the ajinomoto kind of way. It tasted natural.. Which I know it may sound like utter bullshit because most chefs would almost definitely add artificial flavouring when they cook. 
Let me paint you a picture on how it tasted like: The texture of the rice was perfecto! Not too hard nor mushy. The fried rice tasted really eggy, which I absolutely love. Maybe that factor contributes to the reason why the rice tasted naturally delicious? It wasn't salty. The prawns were FRESH! Such a major plus point as this was one of their key ingredients and it wasn't a let down. Plus, the portion wasn't small either. 

Cha Jang La Mian (RM13.50++)

Really loved the texture of this 'la mian'. *Btw, This was one of DTF's Chef Recommended dish*
I'm not sure what Cha Jang means. Taste wise, it was decent. It's unique. Haven't really tasted anything like it before. My hubby on the other hand needed some time to acquire the Cha Jang La Mian's taste. The sauce on its own was kind of salty but it goes well with the perfectly cooked noodles.
CJLM's portion is well suited to a lady's appetite. 't was rather small. 

Spicy Prawn Wan Ton (RM10.00++)

This appetizer was also listed as one of DTF's Chef Recommendations. Shrimp was fresh as expected but the spicy prawn wanton wasn't spicy as the name might suggest. Suitable for ang moh's or individuals who can't take the heat.
You know, this would've been a great dim sum dish. It's nice to eat but I'll probably try something else the next time I visit.

Taiwanese Spring Roll (RM7.50++)

Yummy. Although this mini rolls didn't make it into DTF's list of Chef Recommendations, I still find it delicious! Crunchy yet not oily. The filling tasted the same as Xiao Long Bao's minced pork but I really didn't mind as the pork filling was divine. A pretty good snack to munch on.

All in all, RM70 was well spent to feed the lives of two.

Would definitely dine here again! *Take all my money!*
The restaurant was spacious, clean and the waiters were very attentive! In my opinion, DTF's food was definitely above average. Price is on par with Dragon-i and the dishes offered by both restaurants are pretty similar. *Somehow, I have my heart set on DTF*.
Don't take my word for it, ABS-CBN News stated that Din Tai Fung tops best Asian restaurants poll.
Apart from our fellow Malaysians, there were many other foreigners from China/Taiwan and even Americans that dined in this restaurant during the time of my visit.

Din Tai Fung
G17-G20, Ground Floor
Mutiara Damansara
Petaling Jaya

Tummy satisfied,

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sukiya @ Kota Damansara, PJ

Sup, homies.

Ever stumbled upon a restaurant that somewhat captivates a fraction of your attention but never pumped up enough to actually make your way around to try it? 

Well in my story, Sukiya falls under that particular restaurant which has successfully planted a teensy bit of curiosity in my soul ever since I laid my eyes on it last year. 

I can't help but to wonder what sort of Japanese food does Sukiya offer. Words such as 'Gyudon x Japanese beef rice' was plastered across the walls of this corner lot eatery. I was secretly hoping that this restaurant would serve a yummylicious bowl of Gyutan Don (Ox tongue rice)! I really really missed the one I tried in Melbourne. 
Let's face it, ox tongue isn't a very popular dish among Malaysians so this delicacy is rarely found in PJ.  

ANYHOOS! How did I end up at Sukiya? 
On a hot Sunday afternoon, hubby & I were heading over to Ikea after church to grab ourselves summa dat Swedish meatballs BUT Ikano was SO packed that we had to exit the parking lot. 
BOOM! We ended up at Sukiya instead. (By the way, searching for a place to park in KD was a major pain in the butt as well).
Sukiya is located directly across Sunway Giza. 

Ontama Gyudon (Large- RM12.40 nett)

Sadly, there wasn't any ox tongue available so I ordered this instead! 
Servings come in 3 sizes: S, M, L

I picked 'L' because I'm a freaking glutton and live by the cardinal rule that eating more and stuffing yourself unnecessarily is better than not having enough to eat. HAHA. I had to learn the hard way that adding RM2 to size up ma bowl doesn't always bring a smile on my face at the end of the day. 

Ontama Gyudon is basically egg with thin slices of beef on rice. As far as I can tell, the only other ingredient present on my lunch bowl was onion. Umm, verdict: It wasn't very satisfying. Which was quite a disappointment as I'm a huge fan of beef & sweet sauce. I wished that spring onions were added into my bowl for an extra kick. It would have probably tasted better. There really isn't much to shout about except for the fact that I was mad thirsty after I was done with my meal. Coincidence? 
You tell me. 

Mayo Teriyaki (Large- RM11.90 nett)

Hubbs ordered this instead. Teriyaki chicken drizzled with mayo and topped with a generous amount of spring onion.
As for Mayo Teriyaki, this dish is only served in 2 sizes: M or L.  
Well, the chicken tasted sweeter than the beef and was quite tender. Overall, everything was sweet, sweet, sweet. Depending on your personal preference, if you have a sweet tooth and you're able to cope with dessert as lunch, this might just be the winning meal for you. 

Fries (RM4 ish?) 

Hmm, 4 bucks for this portion. I don't know.. seems to me that I can buy it off a supermarket under the frozen foods department. Meh.

All in all, Sukiya's foodie price is budget-friendly. Although Sukiya has room for improvement, you could always head over to this restaurant to test it out as no surcharges are implemented yet. Love it when no frills are attached! 

27, Jalan PJU5/15 
Dataran Sunway, Petaling Jaya
47810, Selangor