Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shinyaki Izakaya @ M Avenue & Grandeur Teppanyaki @ Avenue K

Shinyaki, an atmospheric alfresco Japanese restaurant, is heating up a secluded section of Segambut with fresh cuts of pork, lamb, beef, chicken & seafood to populate its BBQ selection of yakiniku & kushiyaki temptations.

Shinyaki is hidden inside Segambut's M Avenue complex, where parking's a breeze in the evening. If traffic isn't too treacherous, it's only about a 15-minute drive from Sri Hartamas, so it's reasonably accessible for folks seeking somewhere different to dine out.

Shinyaki has something for every sort of carnivore - pork yakiniku, which patrons grill themselves at their table, comes not only in the form of belly & neck meat but also innards like intestines & liver, plus bacon with sausages, enoki mushrooms or leeks.

Beef tongue & sirloin share the menu with lamb shoulder; for kushiyaki, chicken takes flight with wings, skin, heart & gizzard.

Seafood isn't sidelined; the skewer selection includes shishamo, scallops, squid, salmon belly, prawns & even eel.

We only sampled a smattering, but everything tasted satisfyingly marinated. Our receipt has vanished, but prices seemed reasonable, probably in line with expectations for a casual neighbourhood joint.

Shinyaki's menu also comprises sukiyaki, basic sashimi, salads, makis & fried noodles & rice, so even customers who might be too lazy to cook their own food (that's us, typically!) can find something to order from the kitchen.

Alcohol isn't absent; with sufficient sake to slurp, it'll be 11pm (Shinyaki's closing time) before you know it.

Bonus venue: For more Japanese-inspired hot stuff, we move now from M Avenue to Avenue K for the air-conditioned comfort of Grandeur Teppanyaki, one of the businesses in the mall's Taste Enclave food court.

Teppanyaki isn't a DIY proposition, mercifully; Grandeur's team will cook our seafood to order, ensuring the plump scallops remain juicy & the plentiful squid stays bouncy.


Rice? Also pretty nice; customers can take a seat at the counter to catch all the cooking action.

Prawns, egg & more on a plate of grilled grainy goodness, firm to the bite & with a flavour that's smoky enough to satisfy.

Here's Grandeur Teppanyaki's interesting take on chawanmushi, prepared in a large onion cup.

Also enjoyable, with all of the rich & smooth, custard-like texture preserved within.


Shinyaki Japanese Izakaya
E0-8, M-Avenue, Jalan Segambut, Kuala Lumpur
Open Tuesday-Sunday, lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-6250-6408

Grandeur Teppanyaki
Taste Enclave, Level Two, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Calavera @ Mesui Hotel

The Day of the Dead has dawned in KL, thanks to Calavera, the city's most macabre restaurant ever.

Wisely timed to become this year's Halloween haunt, Calavera opened this month as part of Jalan Mesui's new boutique hotel; it's a natural fit for the eclectic eccentricities of this street that houses Pisco Bar, Feeka, Limablas & Table 23.

This colourfully creepy-cool setting might seem like Calavera's strongest hook, crawling with sugar skulls on the walls & tables, plus skeletons on the ceilings & by the bar ...

... but the hard-working service team merits solid praise too for its enthusiasm & efficiency, enabling customers to easily enjoy their evening here. Trivia tidbit: Calavera is Spanish for skull.

The menu's a memorable melange of Mexico at night & Melbourne in the morning - for dinner, try Calavera's twist on ceviche (RM20 before taxes), constructed with fresh slices of red snapper with a spicy dragon fruit vinaigrette that supplies vivid colour & vibrant flavour.

But skip the fish tacos with papaya slaw & mint sauce - they're big & hearty, but there's more batter than fish, folded inside a too-thick tortilla flatbread, resulting in what tastes like a starchy overload.

Speaking of starch, the tacos (RM34) come with a choice of two substantial side dishes - we opted for the thick-cut cassava chips with garlic salt & smoky rice tinged with beef bacon, but other patrons might prefer the spiced mashed potatoes or the chilli-butter corn.

 In the morning, breakfast emerges in egg-loving fashion, from scrambled eggs with sour cream, beef bacon jam & rocket leaves on sour dough toast (RM19) to omelette laced with smoked duck, sun-dried tomatoes & gruyere cheese (also RM19).

 For a healthier bet (since the toasts above seem very heavily buttered), we like the juicy-sweet pink grapefruit, caramelised with sticky-crispy maple syrup, served with a big bowl of natural yoghurt & pistachios.

 Calavera whips up some creatively cool cocktails, though their potency is lower than we might have liked. There's goodness in this green Ozone Layer (RM32) nevertheless, made with gin, avocado, green tea syrup & lemon.

Fried curry leaves crown the Mexicans of Asia (RM28), a mix of tequila, agave, ginger tea, egg white & calamansi.

Calavera
13 Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 830am-late

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Porki Society @ Sea Park, Petaling Jaya

Hoping to hog the limelight for PJ's food-hunters, The Porki Society is poised to officially open on Wednesday this week, spearheaded by four friends - Alex, Tee, Desmond & LC - who describe their new restaurant as an 'extraordinary Thai kitchen.'

Thanks to the Porki team for this invitation to preview their nicely named, cutely crafted outlet; the focus is on boat noodles, with a view toward maintaining authenticity - Alex's girlfriend is Thai, & her family has long been involved in the F&B business.

Most patrons know what to expect of boat noodles by now: Small bowls that cost RM1.90 each - choose rice noodles or the thinner vermicelli - served here in light, sweet-savoury broth tinged with pork blood. 

 We like the accompaniments in each serving - crisply enjoyable pork lard, tender balls & liver help enhance the experience. Drizzle some fish sauce & chilli over these to make 'em more flavoursome.

Dry noodles are also available. Our preference: Opt for rice noodles for the soupy version & vermicelli for the dry one. Five bowls should suffice for a satisfactory lunch, though it's certain that some customers can easily eat more than 10 servings.

 The hook though is that The Porki Society serves more than boat noodles, offering other porky street snacks too, all at reasonable prices below RM5. If you enjoy the meat or balls in the boat noodles, you can order entire carb-free bowls of them.

'Moo ping' BBQ pork seems worthwhile, with a fairly juicy balance of flesh & fat on each smoky-grilled skewer. RM4.90 for two.

 Sun-dried, crispy-fried 'moo tod' pork would work well for beer pairings; it's easy to munch mindlessly on this, as long as you have a respectable tolerance for sodium. RM3.90 per plate.

Stewed pork (RM4.90), marinated overnight for a deeper flavour; soul food that would partner perfectly with steamed rice.

 Crunchy pork rinds (RM1.90) round out the menu; photos of stacked-up bowls seem obligatory to complete a visit here.

 Grab some 'takoh' before you go; the Thai chilled coconut cream jelly dessert is well-made here - refreshing & not too sweet. RM2.50 for two.

 The Klang Valley is now scarily saturated with boat noodle venues, but there is still space for a place like The Porki Society; its location seems wisely selected, the selection is suitable for a pork-packed meal, while the prices & portions feel sensible.

The Porki Society @ PJ Seapark
10 Jalan 21/19, Section 21, Sea Park, Petaling Jaya. Open daily, 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my