Monday, August 19, 2013

Five & Two, Royce's Roasts, HummusCo & The Underground Food Cartel

Heading for a potluck & wondering what to bring? Here are cooked-to-order possibilities that could prove both convenient & creative, tried & tested for CW's farewell fete.

The party was on a recent Sunday; we panicked by Wednesday, emailing multiple home-based makers of scrumptious treats to see whether we could collect their wares that looming weekend. First to respond: Five & Two Fine Foods, suppliers of sweet-savory meat preserves.

The highlight: A triumvirate of liquor-laced bacon jams. Each pungent pot (RM25) bristles with bits of chewy-fried bacon, confidently infused with Scotch whisky, beer or a quarter-pint of stout.

Whisky's mellow & pleasurably oily, beer's sweetly punchy, while stout's bold, rich & rounded; each is nuanced enough to emerge as a distinctive experience.

Pork acar, aromatically & resonantly savory, a traditional triumph a grandmother would love.

Oven-grilled, candied streaky bacon strips should also prove crowd-pleasing. Expect to hear more about Five & Two soon as more folks learn of this selection.

Next up, more pork: Royce's Roasts, specializing in siu yuk painstakingly perfected by a reporter-turned-headhunter who inherited a passion & prowess for the kitchen from his mom.

Royce's rendition of this Chinese pork belly staple, marinated overnight & roasted to meaty tenderness, reminds us how the best home cooking isn't always easy to replicate at restaurants. This is honest, hearty fare, prepared by someone who knows how good food tastes.

You can't hide satisfaction: Royce's roast pork belly costs RM80 per kilogram, potentially sufficient to feed the hungriest of hordes.

Moving along: Hummus sure isn't the enemy, not when it's endearingly made by HummusCo.

Chickpea spreads blended with tahini & lemon juice form only the basic foundation for HummusCo's recipes; what makes this wholesome selection special is its variety of flavors. We're fans particularly of the pesto-primed one, bolstered with basil, pine nuts & cheese.

Roasted Garlic, creamy without being cloying, tinged with thoughtful notes that complement _ not compete with or compromise _ the hummus' natural flavors.

Smoky Chipotle, a spicy, beautifully textured spread with paprika, vinegar & cayenne peppers. Each 250-gram serving costs up to RM20.

Finally, for food that's more familiar, we took a chance on The Underground Food Cartel. That bet paid off big time, thanks to one of the nicest lasagnas we've had in ages.

A waistline-wrecker, but in the best possible this-is-why-Garfield-loves-it sense. Comfort food that costs RM50 for a portion that'll feed six people (or one large orange cat).

Also well worthwhile: The Cartel's behemoth of a brownie (RM45, chocolaty but not saccharine), ensuring no one leaves this potluck hungry. Or thin.

Five & Two Fine Foods, delivery available
https://www.facebook.com/FiveTwoFineFoods
Royce's Roasts, collection at Taman Tun Dr Ismail
019-335-5177 or royce.cheah at gmail.com
Hummus Co, collection at Taman Tun Dr Ismail
The Underground Food Cartel, collection at SS3 Petaling Jaya

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

34 comments:

  1. Very cool that so many people are doing small scale catering..... Shall look into it if I can get the packaging sorted.......

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    1. Kelly: ya, the pleasant thing is that many of these people really care about customer satisfaction, so they make sure their food is as delicious as possible. and a person like royce is an all-round nice guy, so that's a bonus =) ooo, that would be a great way for us to sample some of your specialties in a convenient way :D

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  2. The bacon jam! I swear I could smell it through the computer screen!

    Am glad of the convenience of such awesome prepared yumms that we now can have for lazy days...

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    1. Missyblurkit: that bacon jam sure was sensational! one of the tastiest things i've eaten in recent times :D ya, and it was quite convenient to collect all this food; all i had to was request a pick-up time, and all these good people allowed me to choose the time and day =)

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  3. Fascinating place and fare, Sean. Judging from the photos it looks as if people are really enjoying the food! :)

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    1. Linda: good food makes the mood merrier for sure! :D

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  4. Love the name - Royce's Roasts. Oooo...bacon! But in jam and acar? I wonder what they taste like. You have my mailing address? Wink! Wink! LOL!!!The lasagna at that other place looks great too! Yummmm!!!!

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    1. Suituapui: oh yeah, royce's roasts is nice & catchy. and it summarizes what he does well =)
      ooo, actually i DON'T have your mailing address! wink wink :D
      the lasagna by the underground food cartel was a very pleasant surprise. i kinda feared it'd taste like a supermarket-bought, microwaved version, but it tasted fresh and lovingly made :D

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  5. That's a lot of food! I would like to try the bacon jams and candied streaky bacon, look good!

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    1. CK: ya, and all good food! :D oooh, can try to order the jams and streaky bacon from Five & Two Fine Foods from their facebook page. they do deliveries, so probably taman desa is fine :D

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  6. Very humbled by the awesome review Sean! Thanks very much from Five and Two Foods! Bacon Lovers, there's more where that came from! You can place your orders at 0192377904 (John) or 0192771573 (Georgina) or email us at fiventwofoods@gmail.com! :-)

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    1. FivenTwo FineFoods: the jams were a bona fide smash hit! glad we ordered them :D

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  7. Thanks for the mention Sean! Much appreciated. I really enjoyed our chat last night too, gave me lots to think about in the event I take this further.

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    1. Royce: good luck! definitely enjoyed your roast pork, and i do hope that somewhere down the line, maybe in five years or so as you mentioned, you'll be doing what you want to do =)

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  8. This is a unique potluck! Everything is nicely packed.Those 'jam' sounds so special too.

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    1. Melissa: heheh, it's nice that those of us who don't want to cook have so many options to buy food for potluck. i'd definitely recommend the bacon jam =)

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  9. Hi Sean,

    Your kind words are very much appreciated!

    For orders, call us at 017 870 9057 / 012 629 2588 or email us at hummusco@gmail.com.

    Warm regards,

    The HummusCo Team

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    1. HummusCo: no worries, thanks for making some of the best hummus in KL! :D

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  10. Your photos are always so enticing! What a lovely dish!

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    1. Cquek: thanks, though the credit really should go the food makers themselves for creating great-looking stuff =)

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  11. The candied bacon certainly caught my attention! YUMs.

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    1. Baby sumo: oh yeah, I can definitely imagine your kids happily munching on that bacon for a teatime snack! =)

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  12. I love roast pork belly, 1 will go for it ...

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    1. “追食富迪”: yay, royce would be happy to hear that :D

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  13. I've only ever tried HummusCo. Delicious stuff, even though I've no prior experience.

    I might keep the Underground Food Cartel in mind next time I'm stuck on potluck dish ideas :P

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    1. Lifeasacynic: Hummusco does take hummus to the next level, I think. I'm not a fan of the rather dry, stale-tasting hummus that some middle eastern restaurants in kl serve =) hmmm, here's hoping the underground food cartel (love that name!) manages to satisfy your potluck group! =)

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    2. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments Sean. When you have the opportunity to try more of our dishes, I believe you won't be disappointed. Cheers !!!

      Call us anytime at 03-74969998
      find out more about us on facebook/TheUndergroundFoodCartel

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    3. Food Cartel: will do. The pies sound good too =)

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  14. A company dedicated to hummus? Surely I must be dreaming! :D yum

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: heh, it's all about hummus. they've got 'original recipe' hummus, plus other varieties laced with sundried tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, olives & more :D

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  15. Hi Sean, thanks to you for spreading the word and my sister for pushing me, I now have a facebook page set up and quite a few orders to keep me busy! Thanks again!

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    1. Oops, URL is https://www.facebook.com/roycesroastskl

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  16. Replies
    1. Big Boys Oven: hope u enjoy it! =)

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