Saturday, May 25, 2019

Erni & Tina, Cheras

Comfort food, creamy cakes: A piping-hot lunch of a fresh grilled cheese sandwich with pumpkin soup, sweet and creamy with natural nuances (RM18), followed by a house-baked rose lime cake that's moist and fragrant with a well-balanced tang (RM15 per slice), makes for a solid reason to visit this cheerful Cheras cafe.

Erni & Tina
G-05, Maxim Alam Damai, No. 43, Jalan 9, Taman Len Seng, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. 
Open Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Thursday, 12pm-7pm; Friday-Saturday, 12pm-9pm. Tel: 03-8958-9909

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Weekend Brunch: Mezze, Medan Damansara

It's ten in the morning on a serene Saturday, with scarcely a sign of life on this stretch of Medan Damansara - with the surprising exception of Mezze, where Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose wafts gently from the restaurant. The counter is already lined with fresh-baked pastries and cakes, while the kitchen brigade labours behind the scenes on further temptations to come.

Mezze might be best known as a bistro and bar that buzzes with exuberant energy in the evening, but it deserves to become beloved for its newly launched weekend brunches too - a hearty selection of robust, full-bodied specialities that make Saturday and Sunday mornings worth waking up early for, one of the most satisfying brunches to be savoured in KL for 2019.

For fans of Egg Benedicts, Mezze serves no fewer than three engaging interpretations of this popular favourite - the most distinctive might be the Goanese Pulled Pork Benedict (RM34), layered with slow-roasted pulled pork beneath the luscious poached eggs; the succulent meat is gently marinated with apple cider and the rich, deep spices that speak of India's coastal state of Goa, beautifully harmonised to bring an unmistakably Asian dimension to this American breakfast creation.

The other two Benedicts come with a choice of French ham, smoked streaky bacon and house-made barbecue sauce (RM34) and portobello mushroom and creamy spinach (RM24), all spread atop the crisply textured seven-grain sourdough bread of Mezze's sister restaurant in Bukit Damansara, Huckleberry. Both Huckleberry and their other sibling, DC Mall's Birch, are well-known for their Benedicts, so it's nice to see Mezze follow in the family tradition.

If you like brunch and you like burgers, the best of both worlds come together in the Brunch Burger, stuffed with smoked streaky bacon and chipotle mayo in Huckleberry's lovely brioche bun (RM32) - no kidding, this is stellar bacon that packs a crackly-juicy wallop, oozing with flavour. Thankfully, there's plenty of bacon in this burger, so much that we won't miss the patty even one bit (though if you do lust after patties, there's also a mighty wagyu burger on the brunch menu).

Mezze's brunch repertoire borrows inspiration from the cherished classics of both West and East.

The quintessential English-inspired roast can be relished with the traditional trimmings in Mezze's roast striploin, 200 tender grams of perfectly medium-rare meat in beef jus, completed with duck fat potatoes, vegetables, and of course, Yorkshire pudding, bringing a bit of Britain to Bukit Damansara, also ideal for steak enthusiasts at a reasonable price of RM56. You can also order a separate platter of roast pork tenderloin if you'd like a duet of bovine-porcine dynamics.

Returning to Southeast Asia, Vietnam's pho seizes the spotlight for a breakfast whose roots rest closer to our region - the rice noodles are immersed in broth that's much beefier than the norm, made even more pleasurably primal with sliced beef and oxtail meat, balanced and buoyed by bean sprouts and Thai basil for a soothing bowl of soulful comfort (RM29).

Desserts prove perfect for those calories-shouldn't-count weekend indulgence - Mezze's French toast is a winning version, a fantasy-come-true assembled to order with its fabulously fluffy brioche base, simultaneously custardy and buttery, showered with pecans and bananas for nutty-fruity fun (RM18). From the counter, bread and butter pudding, peach and banana crumble, and espresso-soaked tiramisu also beckon, alongside a boulangerie's pride of pain au chocolate and croissants, plus banana bread, pecan pies and much more to explore.

Since day-drinking is made for the weekend, Mezze promises an irresistible one-for-one cocktail promotion on weekend brunch sessions (purchase the first cocktail at RM35 and enjoy the second for free until 3pm); the selection spans European staples like the Aperol Spritz, Mimosa and Bellini.

All in all, for a weekend brunch that brings both quality and quantity to the table, Mezze more than meets the mark. Many thanks to the team here for having us.

132, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Weekend brunches available 10am-3pm, Saturday-Sunday. Tel: 03-2095-0122

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Ramadan in Malé

Ramadan is an engaging experience in the Maldives, where every citizen is Muslim. Families in the capital city, Malé, mark most evenings by breaking fast with a home-cooked meal of local favourites, from the popular salad of shredded tuna and coconut (known as mas huni) to fish cutlets, curries and soups.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Highball, Bukit Damansara

Highball's namesake long drink might not formally be on the menu in Bukit Damansara's latest bar, but feel free to order one, pairing Nikka From The Barrel with soda for an enjoyable nightcap. Another for the road? Try the Lychee Mint Sour, blending Bourbon with lychee syrup, lemon juice, fresh egg white and mint leaves.

68M, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

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dahmakan: Chef-made Food Deliveries

It's been four years since we had our first taste of dahmakan, which has steadily evolved and expanded since its earliest months as a lunchbox delivery service. dahmakan now does dinner too, with meals crafted by no fewer than four Malaysian chefs whose experience spans five-star hotels and respected restaurants in KL. 

Relying largely on local ingredients to fuel an ever-changing repertoire of exclusive recipes, dahmakan has carved out its own niche as a trusted provider amid Malaysia's ultra-competitive food delivery landscape - for those seeking a service that offers wholesome, meticulously curated fare, dahmakan could be your most dependable bet.

For Eat Drink KL readers, use BETASTY118 to enjoy RM12 off your first purchase.

Meals can be ordered by up to two weeks in advance, so you can easily know what will be available far ahead. It's possible to enjoy dahmakan regularly for entire months on end, since the selection is sweeping, with different choices all the time to ensure that repetition won't be an issue.

Ordering is simple too - choose your preferred mealtime and pick a delivery time slot. You'll be notified when the food is being prepped, as well as who the delivery person is, where they are, plus their estimated arrival time. Our delivery proved punctual, so no problems there.

dahmakan also offers Prime membership for patrons, essentially a prepaid system that enables you to save between 20 percent to 31 percent off your purchase for packages of between 10 to 100 meals. You can also choose your delivery slot in half-hour intervals instead of full-hour brackets with a Prime membership, perfect for regular customers. See for more - dahmakan is also available for orders on its mobile app.

Every item we ordered was neatly and nicely packaged, with utensils provided for our main courses. The food looked appetising too, thanks to the talent and skills of chef Doul, chef Shahril (specialising in Asian, Italian and French cuisine), chef Kamarul (who tackles Malay, Chinese and Thai gastronomy) and chef Riza (the youngest executive chef on the team at 27 years old, but he's already honed his craft at top kitchens in The Majestic and Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur). Ingredients and nutritional notes are all spelled out on dahmakan's website, so customers know exactly what they'll be getting in their food.

dahmakan's offerings cover everything from starters and sides to mains, desserts and drinks - everything you'll need even if you're throwing a party at the house or office. 

If you're hankering for a simple snack or a light, fast and fuss-free meal, you won't go wrong with the Chicken Caesar Salad (RM12.90; with lean chicken meat, hard-boiled egg, garlic croutons, remoulade and house-made dressing for a satisfactory, protein-propelled serving), the Seasonal Rojak Buah (RM6.90; juicy fruits, bolstered by a rich prawn paste sauce with crushed peanuts) and the Mixed Mushroom Soup (RM9.90; intensely earthy, made textured with bits of mushrooms in the broth).

Our tasty mains also showcased dahmakan's capable versatility, covering the Portuguese Steamed Fish (RM24.90; pretty spicy, with an authenticity that should please patrons from Malacca), Healthy Chicken Rendang (RM24.90; thigh meat in a lip-smacking rendang that's fascinatingly nuanced and not one-note at all), Pesto Roast Chicken Breast (RM24.90; upliftingly herbaceous and relatively low-carb, with Middle Eastern inflections in the couscous and tabbouleh salad) and Healthy Minced Chicken Lasagna (RM29; creamy with Australian mozzarella and natural cheddar cheese, but not cloying compared to the typical lasagna, packed with broccoli, carrots and celery).

Our personal order of desserts ranged from refreshing crowd-pleasers like the Tiramisu Cake (RM8.90) and Mango Jelly (RM3.90) to the Chocolate Brookies (RM11.90; a playful hybrid of brownies and cookies, deliciously chewy and fudgy but definitively gluten-free), washed down with juices by True Nature Co (RM12.90 each, in flavour combinations like Guava & Red Apple, Orange & Goji Berry, or Passion Fruit & Pineapple).

All in all, our feast illustrated why dahmakan has continued to thrive, bringing both quality and quantity to its customers. Many thanks to dahmakan for this enjoyable spread.

For Eat Drink KL readers, use BETASTY118 to enjoy RM12 off your first purchase. 
See for current menu selection.

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