Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dave's Bistro

Back to Dave's. Earlier entry: July 16, 2009.

Pan-fried pork belly shavings with brown sauce, scrambled eggs & mushrooms. Could accurately be described as "cholesterol," pure and simple. We'd be hard-pressed to find dishes that are significantly more sinful than this in KL.

Tagliatelle with Parma ham, beetroot, honeydew & tomato salsa. Heavy, but delicately flavored, with no single ingredient competing for the spotlight; wish there were more ham though.

Oven-roasted piglet. Terribly fatty, but irresistibly luscious, with the crispiest skin enveloping the most stunningly succulent pork possible.

La Joya Chardonnay, 2005 (Colchagua Valley, Chile).

La Joya Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 (Colchagua Valley, Chile).

Dave's Bistro Bar Grill (formerly Dave's Pizza Pasta Vino),
1 Utama.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Piriquita

Portugal, Part VII: This cafe is perpetually packed with customers craving the sweet stuff that has long been a specialty of Sintra, which Lord Byron once called the world's most beautiful village.

Queijadas _ basically cakes made of cheese, eggs, flour, sugar & cinnamon. The recipe seems simple, but these are intoxicatingly good; we gobbled up six within minutes (and they're not that small!).

Also loved the travesseiros, puffy treats filled with almond cream. Crisp and fluffy, with every bite informing us how fresh pastries can be the closest thing to heaven.

We needed all that energy (and then some) to hike up Sintra's hills and wander through this U.N. World Heritage Site's Pena National Palace ...

... the Quinta da Regaleira gardens ...

... and the Castle of the Moors.
But with this, we wrap up our Portugal series. Adeus!

Piriquita,
Sintra, Portugal.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roast Kitchen

The story: two Chinese brothers recently launched this cafe as a response to their Muslim friends who face a tough time finding tender roast duck. No one should be deprived of delicious meat.

The strictly halal fowl here may not be fantastic, but it's better than fair. Juicy without being fatty, flavorsome but not gamy. We'd rate this duck an enjoyable 7/10.

Roast chicken, satisfyingly meaty too. Makan tanpa was-was! Note: booze is totally banned here, so no smuggling in any wine or beer.

BBQ chicken thigh. Our favorite for the evening; supremely succulent, with a spectacular sweet-savory taste evocative of pork char siew.

Yao tiau with wasabi mayo. Sounded more interesting on paper than in reality; the crullers were slightly too chewy and the sauce could have been spicier.

Chicken with pumpkin. A can't-fail recipe; pumpkin equals pure perfection.

Sang har meen, but with smaller prawns compared to Soo Kee's version, for example. A nice bargain though, costing RM8.80+. The noodles were crispy, the prawns were fresh, the gravy was reasonably rich.

Roast Kitchen,
23, Jalan Wan Kadir 2,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ben's General Food Store

Ben's General Food Store: Round Two. Earlier entry: April 25.

Fittingly, the fiery color of crimson dominates this entry, reflecting our burning enthusiasm for the food at BGFS _ even this bringer of bad breath: a Tuscan summer salad of crunchy panzanella bread, capsicum, capers & basil with (hold your nose!) onions, garlic & anchovies.

We usually shun lasagna, a dish that often bears the scarlet letter of cheesy shame. But this luscious, not-overwhelmingly-tangy preparation is a nice reminder of the best moments in our mid-1990s love affair with bechamel-soaked sheets of pasta.

Roasted cod fish & pineapples with green chilli, cucumbers, tomatoes, coriander & coconut milk. Would work wonderfully with a pina colada (a less-than-subtle hint that we'd love to see cocktails surface on the menu here someday).

Moroccan lamb meatballs. Pleasantly mushy, with nary a hint of gaminess. This would partner perfectly with a Bloody Mary (or two, if you've had a bad day).

Roasted beetroot, walnuts & white beans. A terrific treat for beet-lovers, one of KL's most woefully neglected communities.

Finally, what could be redder than red wine? It's not on the menu so far, but customers can hop to Village Grocer, buy a bottle and drink it here (corkage is RM30).

Ben's General Food Store,
Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2284-8790

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flame

KLGCC recently opened a Western restaurant that exudes old-fashioned elegance and a stately serenity. Don't let the lack of customers perturb you, since the service is sterling.

Celebrity 'Chef in Black' Emmanuel Stroobant is Flame's official menu consultant. The recipes might not be revolutionary or revelatory, but they're sufficiently satisfying.

Chilli-marinated salmon with chives. No worries, this isn't intolerably spicy, and it's not meant to be eaten on its own. Instead, it comes paired with...

... potato blinis & sour cream. Slice up the salmon, scoop some onto a tiny pancake, spread it lavishly with sour cream and pop it into your mouth for a silky, savory burst of flavor.

More rawness ahead: steak tartare with egg yolk, mustard, capers, shallots & herbs.

Mix the hand-chopped raw beef with the other components for a messy mound of marvelous mush. More succulent than a slab of medium-rare steak, for sure.

Wine to sip slowly with this light supper. Flame's last orders are at 10.30 p.m.


Flame Restaurant,
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Off Jalan Bukit Kiara.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ben's General Food Store

The BIG Group continues to commandeer Bangsar Village's culinary battlefield, swelling its ranks with a fifth recruit to champion the cause of mouthwatering meals. (For the scorecard, BIG's Bangsar brigade also includes For Goodness Sake, Canoodling, Plan B & T Forty Two)

Not to be confused with Ben's at Pavilion and KLCC, this cafeteria-like eatery specializes in wood-fire pizzas, with a staggering 20 (!!!) savory varieties on the menu. Our choice: the super-large Caesar salad pizza, tantalizingly topped with cos lettuce, beef bacon, anchovies & eggs. Can't tell which is crispier: the hot-from-the-oven crust or the lettuce leaves.

Since this is a BIG restaurant, fresh salads are a serious matter. Scrumptious new recipes are available, with our favorite so far being the combo of scorched sweet corn & succulent crab meat with frisee, coriander, lime & mayo. Similar to BIG's other outlets, prices here are praiseworthy; salads cost slightly north of RM10, while pizzas average RM20.

Marinated button mushrooms & barley with spring onions, soy & lemon. Deliciously earthy and indelibly aromatic. We'll have no trouble remembering this when the west wind moves among those fabled fields of barley.

Customers who refuse to cower at the sight of carbs can reward themselves with a hearty plate of orecchiette pasta, baby peas, capers, arugula, garlic & parmesan. More terrific news: Ben's General Food Store will also be stacking shelves at a take-away section soon with bread, cheese, deli produce & wine.

Don't leave without discovering the dessert pizzas. This is one fine mess, flowing with lava-like mascarpone, sticky butterscotch, pears & almonds. Sweet dreams surely are made of this.

Nutella milkshake & chai tea latte. Final words to the food-wise: reservations seem essential, since every table here was taken by 8pm on opening night.

Ben's General Food Store,
Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2284-8790

Sunday, April 24, 2011

InterContinental Lounge

Since hotel lounges customarily offer unimaginative fare, InterContinental should be lauded for going against the grain. Alas, the results taste lackluster.

Goose liver mousse on Belgian endives with grapes & walnuts. Sounded like a must-try on paper, but proved underwhelming on the plate. The mousse came out like a cross between margarine and icing, with scarcely a scent of foie gras.

Green rice bread burger with Cameron Highlands organic kyuri, Boston lettuce, tomato, arugula, guacamole & feta cheese. Hearty, but shockingly salty. Despite the abundance of veggies, this somehow felt only marginally healthier than a regular meat burger.

Chilean Carmen Classic Merlot.


Lobby Lounge,
InterContinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.