Thursday, June 21, 2012

Powered by Protein: Barn BBQ & Matsuya Bangsar

A friend in need is a friend to feed; helping out a buddy who's training for the Standard Chartered marathon, we barreled over to Bangsar with him to bulk up on protein, with The BIG Group's Barn BBQ as our starting line.

Barn BBQ is the running mate of Ben's General Food Store, swooping in on what was the latter's retail section in Bangsar Village. Customers who like biting into cows, chickens and sheep will have a field day here.

Beefing up seems synonymous with steaks. Barn BBQ serves some premium Wagyu cuts, but consuming a lower-costing Black Angus grass-fed rib-eye should be sufficient to make the lower body bigger, better, faster, stronger.


We love a sausage fest: North African lamb and beef merguez, alongside a Slovenian chicken cheese krainer. Both fabulously flavorful, as satisfying as anything at, say, Jarrod and Rawlins.

A caveman's-sized chunk of Wagyu 5 BBQ brisket, hopefully enough to help us limber up and leave the haters behind, their sneering opinions of us born of their own shortcomings, their collective hypocrisy and bad-mouthing.


A short sprint (or a snail's-paced stroll, as we preferred) from Barn BBQ, there beckons a less obvious but equally effective option for marathon makan _ Japanese food at Telawi's Matsuya.

Here's some top-flight (though flightless) protein to masticate at Matsuya. Don't duck the duck _ it has the smoked juiciness to keep our juices going. Who you calling chicken indeed.


Warm, soft eel, wrapped in warmer, softer egg omelet.


Animal organs can supply muscle mass too, as we trust will be the case with this foie gras in chawanmushi. Love your liver, as the saying goes.


Tofu, a meat-free protein powerhouse, topped with sea urchin for a beautiful brininess.

Some swear by fish as their finest source of protein, from the head of sake-steamed sea bream...


... to the belly of swift-swimming tuna, a triumphant tableau of tenderness when double-boiled in this soup with mushrooms and veggies. If folks truly are what they eat, then it's too bad our friend is tackling a marathon instead of a triathlon.


Hitting the ground running requires more than protein: let's wrap up with some earthy carbs, incarnated in a hot pot of rice mixed with sauteed mushrooms and truffle oil.

After running so many miles, imagine how much liquid must be replenished. Gulp gulp gulp. Here's to a healthy, haze-free marathon!

Got milk? Must have milk, especially if it's Barn BBQ's Banoffee Pie milkshake, brilliant in both banana-toffee flavor and creamy-frosty texture.


Reaching the finish line at Matsuya, which serves both wine and sake by the glass. Thankfully, extra edges will push both this restaurant and this entry further.


Barn BBQ @ Bangsar Village
Matsuya @ Jalan Telawi 2
Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Both open daily. 
Barn BBQ is at BVI, beside Ben's General Food Store on the ground floor.
Matsuya is opposite La Bodega and Antipodean.
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

36 comments:

  1. How are d steaks...good?

    There better be burgers on d menu in Barn BBQ...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: oh, we ordered the cheaper beef, in the minimum 200-gram cut. it was good enough for that price (about RM30 per 100 grams), and quite well-prepared =)
      heh, there are burgers and there are hot dogs at barn bbq. and roast chicken and lamb shank and meatballs and more :D

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    2. Barned good then...hehe =)

      Heard tat the chef from Matsuya is formerly from Mizu?

      The tofu n uni combo looks so tantalising while ur photo of the duck can almost show its smokiness...almost...hehe :P

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    3. Ulric: yep, and you can also order salads and pizzas from ben's general food store next door =) matsuya's chef is chef kiat, who used to work at zipangu and mizu. he's not Japanese, but his food is good. the smoked duck is something that zipangu used to excel at, and the uni-tofu one is a nice mix of just two ingredients :D

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  2. oh the soft eel and soft omelet....im hungry already...

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    1. Cindy: I love eel and I love egg even more, and the combination of having both is really satisfying :D

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  3. tofu and uni... T______T i want!

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    1. Michelle: head to matsuya for one of your meals when you're back in KL soon! it's easy to locate at telawi ... just opposite la bodega and antipodean :D

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  4. hahaha you must be really fast to have so many haters behind! That fish head's eye is also so big! I heard fish eyes are a good source of calcium or something? And I definitely have to try that milkshake! Since it's rare to see you mention drinks of the non-alcoholic nature. :D

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    1. Drops of Contentment: may we all rid ourselves of haters, amen :D
      ooh, i'm not sure about the nutritional content of fish eyes, but that's always been my favorite part of the fish head. i love the texture ... all chewy and glutinous =)
      heh, my friend ordered the milkshake, not me, but i took a sip, and i wish i had ordered it! the perfect milkshake, almost :D

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  5. Ahh..nice combo: BBQ + Jap :-) Time to indulge in some eel eh!

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    1. Pureglutton: i wouldn't mind having BBQ beef once every fortnight and eel once every week! :D

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  6. I bet there is one other person who would love the foie chawanmushi as much as me!

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    1. Baby Sumo: heheh, i bet that wouldn't be the only other person too! ohh, and there's also foie gras fried rice here at matsuya and foie gras handrolls :D

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  7. isnt the person suppose to be carb loading rather than protein loading??

    i want steak...

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    1. Joe: heheh, we figured it should be protein-loading during the weeks before the marathon and carb-loading only during the 24 hours before running. but i guess this was just for fun, in the end :D
      heh, i almost wish i had ordered a 300-gram steak instead. they cooked the 200-gram here at barn bbq very well, but a thicker slice might have been even more enjoyable =)

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  8. Hi Sean,

    Whats the price range like at Matsuya? The food looks yummy :)

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    1. Eddie: it's pretty similar to the other japanese restaurants in bangsar and the city center. the seven dishes above cost us about RM250, including tax. the smoked duck appetizer was the cheapest, below RM20, while the fish head was the priciest, around RM60 =)

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  9. The sausages look good! err errr... "Customers who like biting into cows, chickens and sheep will have a field day here."

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    1. Footfringe: even though barn bbq is pork-free, i gotta say their sausages taste as great as porky ones! juicy and flavorful, with the chicken one stuffed with warm, melting cheese. bite into one soon! :D

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  10. Oh look at the big piece of steak! When is the Standard Chartered marathon? Are you just helping your friend to prep or are YOU running as well??? Well all the best!!! :D

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    1. Iamthewitch: heheh, a good steak and some booze is all a man needs for food and drink at the end of the day :D the marathon is this sunday. i'm not running (i'll be sleeping!), but i hope he manages to finish, heh =)

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  11. Foie gras chawanmushi?! Sounds like heaven. Wanted to dine at Ben's yesterday, but made a last minute decision and ended up at Leonardo's. Looks like I made the wrong choice. Lol

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    1. Bangsar Babe: creamy foie gras, creamy chawanmushi = a mouthwatering match by matsuya! :D
      heh, leonardo's is a great hangout too. i guess it depends on what kind of food and ambiance you'd be in the mood for. but ya, would have been nice to bump into you at barn bbq or ben's =)

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  12. I want to go Matsuya!
    Hmmm, maybe next weekend, want to revisit? hehehehe.

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    1. CK: ooh, by next weekend, there will be three more new restaurants that i think you might want to also visit! we discuss next week, ya :D

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  13. Ayo Sean so kuasa lah you....trying out all kinds of restaurants. Went to J&R at Bangkung last night, now all I want is bak kut teh soup. Just the soup. LOL. Keep it up, bro. :)

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    1. Dr Bahma: heh, we were less than one kilometer away from each other. sounds like you had yourself a very meaty dinner too. take care, and i hope you get some steaming-hot herbal broth soon =)

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    2. I did. Nothing like good ol' bak kut teh. :D Incidentally, there is this restaurant that has opened near my house and they specialise in herbal soups. I see these big urns every time I drive past. Clay urns. Big. Man, have to go there just to see what's in them. :D

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    3. Dr Bahma; that herbal soup specialist sounds like a place I should check out soon, since folks around me have been falling ill recently =)

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  14. A frien in need is a fren to feed.. Nice one...
    I love the unagi with the egg.. Good..

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    1. Simple Person: i hope you've been feeding your friends in need :D heheh, eel + egg = perfect partnership =)

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  15. I'm going.. I'm going! hehe

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    1. Ciki: hope you enjoy the japanese delicacies here! (i assume you mean you're going to matsuya, and not barn bbq) :D

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  16. That's a lot of protein going on there! Yo;re right not to duck the duck. That is one juicy looking duck:D

    How was the sake steamed sea bream? Wanted to make some last night but could not lay my hands on any decent fish head. Found a siakap with a head bigger than my 2 palms combined ~ a wee too scary looking:P

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    1. Missyblurkit: the good news is that after eating all this protein, my friend did pretty well during the marathon! but yeah, i know it wasn't really because of this meal, but still, heheh :D
      the duck here had us licking our lips over its juices. the fish head was good, but not incredibly memorable. hmmm, i wonder if the bigger the better applies for fish heads! i would have liked to see that siakap, heh! :D

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