Sunday, October 31, 2010

D Legends

Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Bob Marley, Run-DMC, Bruce Lee & the Beatles _ larger-than-life portraits of these icons line the walls of D Legends, a friendly neighborhood hangout that serves satisfyingly porky pub grub and cool cocktails.

Wild boar rendang. Tender and not terribly oily, thankfully. Super-spicy though!

Their pork burger (nicely priced at RM15) might not be the stuff of legends just yet _ but with such a juicy, flavorsome patty to sink our teeth into, it's well worth recommending.

Long Island Iced Tea & Green Apple Margarita. Reasonably potent drinks.

P.S. He isn't famous anymore, but does anyone remember Eddie Money? Here's an exceptional cover of his brilliant 1991 Top 40 hit, "I'll Get By": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwQZUTbVlc8. "Tell you somethin' baby, there will come a day, when I can open up my heart and love again." Still gets me every time.

D Legends Bar,
Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Tel: 7725-6270

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Re:LeX

This no-frills cafe, with very friendly service, is part of Empire Subang's Lifestyle Experiential Center (LeX), an electronics store.

The center is best-known for the "LeX Slide," a five-story-high spiral slide that whooshes customers 50 meters down from the mall's top floor to its lowest level.

This 15-ringgit thrill ride takes less than 10 seconds; it's lots of fun but reasonably tame _ nowhere near as harrowing as a roller coaster.

Back to Re:LeX. Malaccan chicken rice balls are a highlight here. A bit less fresh-tasting and flavorsome than the ones back in my hometown, but still satisfactory.

Chocolate chip cookies. Crisp, but kinda lacking in chocolatey richness.

Apple crumble. Warm bites of squishy comfort food for people with a sweet tooth.

Moist, creamy cheese cake. To be safe, we ate these only AFTER we went on the slide.

Re:LeX Cafe,
Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jojo

A soothingly sedate restaurant, where customers can linger over plates of pasta and intimate conversations while an Andrea Bocelli CD plays gently in the background.

The menu is large but mostly unadventurous; all the staples from bruschetta, lasagne and fettuccine carbonara to tiramisu and panna cotta are well-represented, but anyone seeking more unusual fare might be disheartened.

White pizza slices, served with marinated eggplant, olives, mozzarella & tomatoes with balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Cumbersome to eat, but worth the effort. Warily scooping the veggies onto the thin, crisp pizza, we tried not to let everything fall all over the table before we could take a bite. The result was surprisingly tasty, like some crisp, carbohydratey salad.

Cannelloni stuffed with seafood in tomato sauce. Not bad; the pasta sheets might have been slightly too chewy, but they enveloped a fair bounty of prawns, mussels & other seafood, all nicely complemented by a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Pumpkin risotto, sauteed with butter, served with Parmigiano cheese & drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. We had mixed feelings about this; it tasted heavenly, with all the wholesome sweetness of pumpkin infused in every grain. Alas, it was the mushiest risotto we've had all year.

Ravioli stuffed with smoked salmon in tomato sauce. Competently prepared, but unmemorable. The taste of the salmon was strangely mild, making this a safe bet for anyone who'd prefer to eschew fishy flavors.

Baked bread pudding, made with fresh vanilla beans & custard and drizzled with limoncello. Undeniably delicious, with a fresh-tasting softness lacking in hotel buffet versions. The only caveat: we couldn't sense any liquor in this.

Astica Chardonnay (Argentina). Not a wonderful wine, but cheap at least.



Jojo,
Tropicana Golf & Country Resort.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ad Hog

Ad Hog is the truest definition of a hidden gem, secluded in a semi-industrial zone, seemingly not within walking distance of any other restaurants. But before the year is over, this cleverly named enterprise is likely to be on many pork-lovers' lips.

It's not a large space, but it can accommodate anyone. Customers clad in singlets, shorts and slippers can feel comfortable and welcome here, but it's also warmly romantic enough to even play host to a marriage proposal. If you're lucky, the gregarious proprietors will stop by your table and regale you with tales of their escapades in Bali and beyond.

Our mission was to sample their "babi guling," a dish we haven't found elsewhere in the Klang Valley. We loved the version here _ tender pork, beautifully marinated in aromatic herbs & spices, accompanied by moist & fragrant rice, veggies, crackers & chili. Generally available for lunch only, but call in advance and you should be able to reserve some for dinner.

Their roast pork was a stunner. I could attempt to praise the crunchy crackling and melt-in-the-mouth meat, but ultimately, this beggars description. It has to be eaten to be believed.

These are "Chic Pogs" _ chicken thigh stuffed with pork sausage & wrapped in bacon. If that sounds like your kind of dish, then let's just say it tastes as terrific as it sounds.

Not everything here is a surefire hit though. The pork shoulder steak was less succulent than expected, but that's because the bar had been raised so high by the earlier offerings.

We liked the BBQ pork ribs, though there's more fine-tuning to be done before we can call this a bona fide triumph, partly because the marinade failed to penetrate all the way through, leaving part of the meat rather bland. But that's nitpicking, really.

Several experimental, off-the-menu recipes include the pork tail _ a sublime blend of brittle skin encasing what seemed to be the purest and most pleasurable of porcine fat.

Customers on this recent evening were also fortunate enough to savor a complimentary serving of the restaurant's first-ever Spanish suckling pig.

Still a work in progress. The texture was perfect; we couldn't have asked for crispier skin or juicier meat. But the flavor was somewhat off. That will doubtlessly be rectified.

Date-ly cake with ice cream. Decent, but definitely not the highlight of dinner.

Nevertheless, we very much relished the rum ice cream with whole almonds, black jelly & fruits. A textural treat, though the flavor of booze was terribly faint.

Ad Hog,
25, Jalan PJU 3/45, Sunway Damansara.
Tel: 7804-7813

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reminisce

'Reminisce' is one of my favorite words _ a suitably evocative name for this restaurant, which serves Chinese street food in an eccentric but stylish setting adorned with old knickknacks.

Fried glutinous rice, "pasar malam"-style. Packed with tiny bits of pork, but somehow, this turned out to be slightly less fragrant and flavorsome than expected.

Toasted bun with bak-kwa, meat floss & egg. A sensationally savory combo; laden with enough salt & grease to horrify most doctors, but we still licked our fingers clean.

Carrot cake with salted egg, bean sprouts, Chinese sausage & belacan. Wok-fried, but not completely wok-heied. Nevertheless, not a bad effort for a shopping mall outlet.

"Pan mee" soup. Probably the first "pan mee" we've had all year. This won't convert us into fans, but we loved _ absolutely adored _ the super-juicy pork balls, stuffed with some kind of melt-in-the-mouth meaty mixture.

Bee hoon in herbal soup with stewed duck drumstick. Something that I really relished back when I was studying in Penang (though I bet the night-time stall that we once frequented is gone by now). This wasn't the same, of course; the soup could've had a richer herbal flavor, but it still provided a nice taste of nostalgia.

Red bean soup. Warm and thick; reminiscent of how my aunt used to make it in my hometown of Malacca. See: Reminisce lived up to its name after all.

Set meals (which cost between 10-16 ringgit) come with a drink of the day. No prizes whatsoever for guessing what we had that evening.






Reminisce,
Mid Valley Megamall.