Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Earth Hour @ Tarbush, Starhill


Like many other commercial venues, Starhill's Feast Gallery was plunged into darkness for 60 minutes on a recent Saturday night to mark Earth Hour.


Candles were the main source of lighting for the entire floor; some customers did appear to have trouble reading the menu and seeing their food.


We spent the time at Tarbush, which was a bit better lit than other restaurants.


This outlet attracts brisk business from Arab visitors; its ambiance is a notch above the other Middle Eastern eateries at Bukit Bintang, even though its food isn't exceptional.


The pita bread was cold, while the olives & pickled cucumber weren't too appetizing.


Arayes Lamb (minced meat, onion & tomato stuffed in Lebanese grilled bread). Flavourful, but rather dry. Maybe we should have ordered some hummus.


Spring chicken. Well-marinated and reasonably tender, but the highlight on this platter was a creamy garlic dip that worked wonders with the meat and french fries.


Grilled garoupa. Charred on the outside, but fairly moist inside. A fresh, hearty fish that retained its natural sweetness (though we still prefer our fish steamed).


Baklawa. Nut-filled pastries. Not overly sweet, thankfully.


Mahalabia. This milk cream pudding with chopped pistachios had a medicinal flavour that left a strange aftertaste.


Voila! Let there be light!


Tarbush,
Starhill Feast Gallery.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heidelberg Kaffeehaus @ Solaris Dutamas


A comfortable cafe that offers hearty Western fare from breakfast through dinner, as well as imported chocolate and coffee products for takeaway.


Pumpkin soup. A massive serving that four people could share. Thick and piping-hot, with that "freshly made" flavour that we love in our broths.


Organic broccoli omelette with onion jam. Fluffy and healthy-tasting.


Nutella crepes with bananas. Generously stuffed with sweet hazelnut spread.


Chocolate brownie with ice cream. The brownie was warm and moist, oozing with a rich chocolate taste and a melt-in-the-mouth texture that blended so well with the ice cream.


Carrot cake. Probably not the best in town, but not bad at all.


Pineapple tarts. A buttery pleasure, terrific enough to rival the best of Malacca's tarts.


Albi German fruit juices: Multi-12 Vitamins & Raspberry Maracula Nectar.




Heidelberg Kaffeehaus,
A4-G1-05, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1.
Tel: 6207-9277

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vanity Mansion @ Asian Heritage Row


With a restaurant, a club and 7 karaoke rooms under one roof, this two-story outlet's stated mission is for customers to "dine deliciously and dance the night away."


A 5-minute walk from Asian Heritage Row, Vanity Mansion has taken over the premises of Heritage Mansion after a management change. It's the best new outlet this area has seen in recent years, with enough potential to revive the moribund dining scene here.


Vanity Mansion is affiliated, not surprisingly, to Envie ClubLounge at Changkat Bukit Bintang. Here's hoping these guys will keep giving us more places and reasons to sin.


The food offerings are limited for now, but a wider menu should be ready within several weeks. We liked the butternut squash soup with sage brown butter & nutmeg creme fraiche. A creamy, subtly sweet concoction that tasted freshly made.


Onion soup with braised lamb shank. A bit too peppery and salty, but worth ordering for fans of broths that bear a strong, meaty flavour.


Fettucine carbonara with chive egg yolk glaze & smoked salmon. Perfectly prepared; a welcome reminder that this ubiquitous recipe can be really satisfying when done right.


Pan-seared mulloway with clam barolo sauce, served with carrot & zucchini strips. Moist and tender enough to recommend if you're in the mood for fish.


Sexual Eruption (vodka, monin passion fruit, monin green apple, cointreau) & Vanity Illusion (vodka, malibu, cointreau, monin watermelon, lime juice, pineapple juice).


Seven Sins Shots, including Lust (passion fruit vodka, mandarin vodka, blue curacao, sugar syrup, soda water), Envy (gin, monin green tea, lemon juice) & Pride (gin, monin violet, monin lavender, lemon juice). The other deadly sins are available as individual cocktails.






Vanity Mansion,
Jalan Kamunting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Uncle Chilli's @ Hilton PJ


Still a defiantly old-school establishment, despite the hotel's valiant efforts in recent years to spruce up the menu with more modern offerings.


The bread looked like what a KL steakhouse might have served 25 years ago.


Complimentary crab bisque. Steaming hot and brimming with flavour.


Simmered roulade of sea bass with pommes puree. Looked like chicken, tasted like fish. Seemed like a healthy dish, with a fresh, natural sweetness.


Polenta-crusted salmon fillet. The fish was super-juicy, enveloped in a very thin, very crisp crust that added a nice texture to every bite.


Tomato-glazed black cod & seared scallops in saffron broth. Not bad, though the scent of saffron was somewhat lacking. Still, cod is always a crowd-pleaser.


Braised beef cheeks. Succulent meat soaked in an aromatic red wine sauce.


Lamb shank with onion confit & fried egg. Interesting recipe, but the lamb was too stringy. We broke the egg and drenched the meat in the yolk but that failed to enhance its flavour.


Ribeye Angus beef fillet with rosemary potatoes. Also too tough and chewy. The problem probably wasn't in the preparation but in the quality of the meat in the first place.


Passion fruit creme brulee. Lacked a proper caramelized sugar crust.


BDPR Languedoc VDP Chardonnay (France).


BDPR Languedoc VDP Merlot (France).




Uncle Chilli's,
Hilton Petaling Jaya.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cafe Barbera @ Maarof, Bangsar


Click here for earlier entry on Cafe Barbera (January 7).


We enjoyed our previous visit to Cafe Barbera in January, but a more recent stop here for desserts earlier this month turned out to be a misstep, starting with a rather dry carrot cake that seemed to have languished in the chiller for too long.


Forgettable tiramisu. A splash of kahlua might help, but booze isn't served here.


Cheesecake. Relatively OK. Creamy and fresh-tasting.


Apple pie with vanilla ice cream. The pie should have been warmer; the ice cream managed to sit on it for nearly five minutes without melting.


Chocolate fondant. Nicely presented, but all too ordinary.


Cafe Barbera,
Lorong Maarof, Bangsar.