Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go Gourmet

Carb-loading with Go Gourmet, kicking off with Chinese fried rice. Nicely laden with chicken, crab, anchovies & salted egg but completely lacked 'wok hei.'

More "nasi goreng," served with Thai "weeping tiger," or grilled rib-eye beef. Respectably tender meat, but the rice failed to pull its own weight, bordering on bland.

The Malay nasi ulam fared better, with deliciously boneless "ayam percik."

Pad Thai. Well-executed; not the best ever, but piquantly satisfactory.

Kuey teow with beef slices & balls. Lots of succulent meat & bouncy balls for merely 14 ringgit, but to nitpick, the broth seemed deluged with sodium.

Turning Japanese: chicken katsu don, featuring rice topped with crisply breaded chicken & egg. Tasty enough to pass muster at most Japanese outlets.

Chicken miso ramen. Not bad, but with so many ramen specialists sprouting up in KL nowadays, this is only worthwhile if you can't reach a real restaurant.

Ending it all: seafood kuey teow. Will fill the tummy, won't wow the taste buds.

Go Gourmet,
Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ritz-Carlton Lounge

We usually wake up too late for brunch on weekends, but someone's recent 30th birthday brought us here for a belly-busting celebration.

Kicking off the Ritz's Sunday Roast semi-buffet with fresh bread & Echire butter, addictive enough to keep us returning for seconds and thirds.

DIY Caesar salad, with sides of anchovies & beef bacon.

Fine de Claire oysters, shucked to order, so patience is essential.

Meaty crustaceans. A half-shell can fill nearly 10 percent of our eating capacity.

Salmon gravlax. Beautifully prepared, possibly the tastiest in town. Other excellent starters include a mighty fine mushroom terrine and scallops with kyuri.

Succulent veal sausages with potatoes.

Customers can choose a main course from three types available.

Roast lamb with all trimmings. Satisfactory but not sensational.

Black Angus prime rib with bone marrow jus & Yorkshire pudding. Tender, but maybe we should have requested the medium-rare, pinker slices.

Salmon coulibiac _ essentially fish pie with bits of eggs and rice. Also worthwhile, thanks to the moist, meaty fish and fairly flavorsome stuffing.

Desserts include a mountain of macarons, but these have a hard, biscuit-like texture that make them less than magical.

One caveat: forget ordering fruit juice unless you're OK to pay RM24++ per glass, since only plain water is complimentary for this Sunday roast.

Lobby Lounge,
Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mikan

Mikan: Round Two. Earlier entry: April 5.

Sashimi platter, featuring amaebi, tai & tako. Mikan lets customers customize their sashimi selection, choosing only the fish & seafood that they want (for a fixed price). Thankfully, everything we ordered for this tasted irreproachable.

Jumbo ebi tempura. Some of the most massive prawns around, seemingly more than a foot long. Insanely addictive too, with sweet, succulent flesh coated in light, crunchy batter.

Avocado maki. Sticky rice, creamy avocado, crisp seaweed _ a can't-fail combo.

Seafood croquette. Served fresh and steaming-hot; excellent for snacking.

Comfort food: tender, flavorsome beef cheeks in rich, thick Japanese curry.

Fish broth. The chunks of (unidentifiable) fish were bony, but the soup tasted healthy.

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

Pinot Noir. Red, red wine, stay close to meeeeeeee....


Mikan,
Maju Junction, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lin Yuan

Our first eating expedition in Cheras since heaven-knows-when.

Pumpkin porridge steamboat is Lin Yuan's specialty _ a unique gastronomic pleasure.

To immerse in the sweet, creamy broth: quail eggs, pork tendon balls & fish paste dumplings, combined with a couple of raw chicken eggs cracked inside.

A little spicy sambal & house-made soy sauce ensure a powerful kick.

Toss in some noodles for the final step to satisfy the tummy.

Lin Yuan Steamboat Kitchen,
Queen's Park Cheras, Jalan Shelly, Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hokkaido Santouka Ramen

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Round 2. Earlier entry: July 30.

Throughout its first weeks in business, Santouka kept running out of simmered pork cheeks before dinnertime, forcing us to keep returning until we finally secured our first taste of them. Worth the effort? Sort of; they're enjoyably tender, though not astonishingly so. Also, the sodium content in these seemed slightly too high.

Steamed rice topped with egg & salmon roe. Sounded promising, but tasted plain.

Completing our survey of Santouka's ramen flavors: the shoyu variety, made with pork broth & soy sauce. Not as memorably tasty as the shio & miso versions in our previous post.

Spicy miso ramen, containing enough chili to tantalize but not torture.

Gyoza stuffed with juicy chicken meat. Not sure why there isn't a pork version.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka,
Tokyo Street, Level 6, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chilli Rush

Heat-seekers can scorch their taste buds at Chilli Rush with fiery, fearsome fare that erupts up the Scoville scale with geyser-like fury.

Chicken wings are the red-hot specialty here, calibrated in increasing intensity from 1 to 10. The lowest level is for toddlers & the timid, while the peak of punishment contains Naga Jolokia, or the "ghost pepper," recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's spiciest.

We kicked off with "Level 3" wings, soaked in a sauce that's slightly sweat-inducing, similar to many varieties of sambal that accompany nasi lemak.

Vegetarian wings, made of mock meat, with "Level 6" Habanero sauce. A few years ago, when Frontera first opened nearby at Jaya One, we brazenly chewed on pure Habanero chili there and ended up helplessly sprawled on the restaurant's sofa in a cold sweat for half an hour. Mercifully, we managed to maintain our dignity at Chilli Rush.

"Level 10" chicken wings, coated with northeastern India's Naga Jolokia chili. We only took several bites before surrendering. For comparison, Naga Jolokia has a Scoville rating of about 1 million heat units _ more than 10 times that of "cili padi." These wings crackle with a high-voltage spiciness that persists on the palate and burns slowly in the stomach. Even when hell freezes over, these babies might remain ablaze; too hot to handle, but way too cool to miss.

Beef burger, with house-made patty, punched up with a thin layer of "Level 5" sauce. The meat was deliciously lean, kinda like a cross between a steak and a regular burger patty.

Skittish about culinary pyrotechnics? Try something less penetratingly painful: spaghetti tossed in Indonesian gado-gado sauce with grilled chicken satay. Excellent, with every strand of the noodles blanketed in scene-stealing peanut gravy.

Anxious to cool down, we hopped over to The Bee for The Last Polka's current indulgences: strawberry cream cheese, French toast & coconut kaffir lime-flavored ice cream.

Chilling out some more with Chardonnay.

Wolf Blass Shiraz, a steal at Chilli Rush for RM70+ per bottle.

Ultimate Mudslide cocktail.



Chilli Rush,
Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7960-7368