Saturday, June 30, 2012

White Brick Oven @ Bangsar Shopping Center

From Sungai Buloh to Bangsar: White Brick Oven, the artisan bakery in Kubu Gajah village, now supplies its bread and buns to Jasons Food Hall at Bangsar Shopping Center.

Baker Mustaffa Abdullah creates these with natural levain instead of manufactured yeast, reputedly milling his own wholegrain, semolina and unbleached white flour, eschewing chemicals and preservatives. 

This sourdough loaf, made with White Brick's own yeast, costs close to RM15, but it's hefty enough to feed many mouths. Plus, it's more wholesome than most supermarket varieties.

Olive-filled ciabatta and rock-heavy, fiber-rich German "dreikornbrot" bread stuffed with sesame and sunflower seeds make the case that maybe man can live on bread alone.

Not sure if the pastries are White Brick's too _ we've found that Jasons' staff members can't answer questions like "where's the bakery?" and "which of these are by White Brick Oven?" Still, the croissant is buttery-lovely, the guava tart is flaky-fruity and the custard roll is creamy-dreamy.

Artisan muffins? Why not; the one here tastes terrific, with an easily discernible cinnamon aroma emanating from a fresh-tasting muffin brimming with fruits and seeds. Equally addictive: Jasons' soft-baked double-chocolate chip cookies, oozing with dark richness.

And of course, every trip to Jasons Food Hall finds us falling for Pierre Ledent's Belgian imported macarons: some flavors sell out really fast, so whenever you see the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, coconut or vanilla-and-strawberry varieties, buy 'em if you can.
Main entry on Pierre Ledent: May 26, 2012.

White Brick Oven @ BSC,
Bangsar Shopping Center, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wondermama @ Bangsar Village

Returning to Wondermama for more of its super selection. Earlier entry: June 27, 2012.

Beef nachos (RM14++). Scoop the pan-fried minced beef, laced with cili padi for a stinging surprise, onto crisp tortilla chips, then dip 'em into the garlicky sauce for a crazy-addictive treat that hardly any Tex-Mex restaurants in KL could do better.

The folks at Wondermama have a soft spot for Nyonya cuisine: this pongteh chicken, served with steamed rice and a fried egg, makes for a decent lunch for RM16++.  Soul-food stew, creamy with soybean paste, potatoes and mushrooms.

Nyonya laksa (RM14++), loaded with cockles, prawns, hard-boiled egg and bean curd. Might not hit the heights of Malacca's Tengkera Road laksa (some would insist the broth there boasts a stronger oomph), but Wondermama's rendition remains worth slurping up.

Bring out the carbs: mashed potato salad (RM14++), tinged a little too subtly with truffle oil. 

A better pick for potato pleasure: French fries, hot and fluffy, topped with Japanese curry, anchovies, cheese and a sunny-side-up (RM12++). Cutely called "Curry Up" on the menu, this is one fine mess, a wallet-friendly interpretation of poutine.

Counting our chickens before they are hatched, we present Wondermama's half-boiled eggs. 

The timer beeps at the seven-minute mark, signaling that the eggs are ready for removal. 

It might be gimmicky, but it's great fun to mess around with this at a restaurant. 

Garlic fried rice (RM13++), a tad too bland to really recommend. 

Desserts are limited to cendol (RM5++) this week, probably perfect for this evil-weather period, but expect more to be unveiled eventually. 

Guilt-free choices: Wondermama's organic soy milk and Village Grocer's Banrock Station Shiraz (some proceeds from this wine go toward ecological conservation projects worldwide). 

Matcha soy milk and tiramisu smoothie, thick and tasty. 

Little quirks in the decor and furnishing help to keep things fascinating here. 

Are those Chinese woks for lampshades? Hmmmmmm. 

The Wonder saga isn't over yet; by next month, Wondermama may launch a separate section upstairs called The Wonder Kafe, serving burgers and such.

Here's a peek at the soon-to-open, first-floor space, with smoking and non-smoking areas. 

Comfy for lounging, with lots of room for stretching our feet after a long day. 


Wondermama,
Ground Floor, Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur.
Open noon through 10pm. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meat Point @ Taman Tun

Carnivores can have a field day at Meat Point, a proudly halal steak-serving outlet.

Meat Point uses beef from Australian cows raised at a Kuala Kangsar farm; choose your cut from the chiller and it'll be cooked for you within several minutes.

Go for grass-fed: rib-eye, RM42 for nearly 300 grams. Sure, it's not the most incredible steak in town, but for this price, it's probably on par with, say, Las Vacas.

Bone-in lamb loin, RM42 for 300 grams. And before anyone asks, nope, this friendly, efficiently run outlet has no ties to Meatworks.

Roast beef bacon rolls with asparagus (RM9.90). Can you say addictive? Oh yeah.

Lamb sausages (RM7.90), juicy and savory enough to keep us contented.

Fish is meat too, right? Meat Point's salmon is OK, soaked in a creamy sauce that might have served to mask some of the fish's shortcomings.

All in all, not a bad stop, particularly for Muslim beef buffs. Here's wishing Meat Point luck.


MeatPoint,
62, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Open daily, all day long.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wondermama @ Bangsar Village

Taking up prime territory at Bangsar Village, Wondermama might make many chuckle at its name, but it could muster a serious challenge to cafes like Plan B, Delicious and Marmalade.

Let's list Wondermama's strengths: its menu of Asian fare is tangled in tantalizing twists; its service is fast and friendly; its cheerful, colorful setting capably forges a fresh distinctiveness.

Mother knows best: the rice in the signature Nasi Lemak 2.0S (RM23.90++) is fraught on its own with fragrance and fantastic firmness, but made even more flavorful with sambal petai sotong, hard-boiled egg, peanuts, cucumber, anchovies and soft-shell crab in lieu of fried chicken.

Another creative culinary brainchild: Otak-otak cheese sandwich (RM12.50++), pregnant with subtly spiced fish paste in crisp bread.


Senang dimasak, sedap dimakan: Special Maggi Mee Soup (RM12.90++), topped with salmon, chicken hot dog, beef bacon, fried egg and potato leaves. The type of fully loaded instant noodles that kids of all ages will slurp up to the final strand and last drop.


Not your momma's roti bakar (RM4.50++). Slathered not only with kaya, but garlic butter and tobiko too. The spread could be thicker though.


A simple salad is transformed into a sinful stunner with fried chicken surrounding the leaves and chunks of salted egg yolk surreptitiously buried beneath (look closer). At RM14++, this is one of Bangsar's more wallet-friendly salads.


Is there pizza here? No, there's naan (heh). Starchy-fluffy, showered with goji berries, mushrooms and truffle oil for a RM14++ portion.


The mysteriously named "Dancing Squid" (RM16++) is pan-fried squid with cod fish roe, celery, cabbage and butter, served warm in a jar. Not something that makes our taste buds tango, but ultimately, the hits at Wondermama still seem to outnumber the misses.


Wondermama will eventually serve wine, but for now, customers can bring their own bottles. Corkage is a high but not horribly unfair RM40++ for wine and RM80++ for hard liquor.

We sipped on absinthe, mixed with ice and with Wondermama's kumquat and rose lime juices.

Is Wondermama related to Wondermilk? We're not sure, really.

There's no doubt that folks will flock to Wondermama in the months ahead; if this Bangsar outlet succeeds, there's talk of future branches at Mid Valley and KLCC.

Wondermama is located beside The BIG Group's Plan B at Bangsar Village.

For Wondermama's first month, customers receive a 10 percent discount off the food bill.

Wondermama,
Bangsar Village, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2202-0886 (the number's wonky though) or 03-2284-9821
Open noon through 10pm, except for this week, when it closes at 9pm.