Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kompassion Thai Fusion @ Petaling Jaya

Returning to Kompassion, My Elephant's fascinatingly inventive offshoot in Damansara Kim. Earlier entry on Kompassion: February 20.

Avocado's not an ingredient we regularly spot on Thai menus, but Kompassion isn't just any restaurant. Love how the fruit's creaminess complements the beansprout crunch of this salad (RM16), made dangerous with a tangy-citric bite.

Chunky pork satay (RM18), lean & mean, served with peanut sauce & kimchi (!).

Scallops are another rarity at Thai eateries; Kompassion's are as plump & juicy as any at KL's top establishments, blanketed in a sauce of Panang curry (RM65), one of the typically milder but still totally aromatic curries, & accompanied by slices of salted duck, raisins & pears.

Crispy pork 'siew yok' green curry (RM35). Delicious dreams are made of these.

Smoked duck with pomelo salad (RM70). Kompassion's not done yet; in a few months, this restaurant plans to offer the Klang Valley's first omakase-style Thai dinners, with each course creatively curated by chef Nikom "Kom" Uatthong.

This cod's not too odd, a slab of succulence served with nutty massaman curry (more often used for beef & poultry), crab meat, papaya salad & salmon pate (RM65).

One-plate meals are also available. Our pick: multi-grain rice with pork trotters (RM26).

There's no wine sold at Kompassion, but on the brilliantly bright side, there's no corkage charge.


Kompassion Restaurant @ PJ Damansara Kim,
5, Jalan SS20/11, Petaling Jaya (same row as Euro Deli).
Tel: 03-7731-9256
Reservations strongly advised. Closed Mondays.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Amy Heritage @ Melaka Raya & Limablas @ Mesui


Brace for a bumper crop of Nyonya food at two very different outlets: Amy Heritage, one of Malacca's most-recommended eateries ...

... followed by KL's Limablas, a newbie in the increasingly eclectic Mesui neighborhood off Changkat Bukit Bintang.


First up, Amy Heritage, where the food steals the show, not the plain, sparsely furnished setting. Soup lovers should home in on this peppery bowl brimming with fish balls, fish maw & quail eggs.


Ayam buah keluak is a should-order here. As great as it gets, absolutely.


Tamarind prawns. Fleshy crustaceans, a tangy treat for kids of all ages.


Sambal jantung pisang. This fragrant banana flower salad is spicy, sourish stuff _ reminiscent of Thai recipes, but still unmistakably Malaysian somehow.


Ayam pongteh, thick & creamy, nicely brimming with potatoes.


Ikan asam. Everything is cooked only on order _ even the veggies won't be chopped beforehand. Expect a wait of at least 30 minutes at peak hours.


Kangkung kobis keledek masak lemak. A total vegetarian recipe, with plenty of crunchy leaves & creamy sweet potatoes to relish in a rich coconut milk broth.


Cincaluk omelet. Amy Heritage is run by Amy Koh, a relatively well-known cook whose family seems passionate about cooking. Amy's cousin is celebrity chef Florence Tan, whose recipes we've tasted at The Tranquerah in Kota Damansara.


Sambal belacan. Too bad Amy Heritage is no less than a two-hour drive south.


Kuih ku oh, a calorie-laden, stomach-stuffing dessert.


Kuih koci, no less sinful. But we prefer the savory items to the sweet ones here.

Next up, returning to Kuala Lumpur to visit Lima Blas, graced with a gorgeously ornate interior & eye-catching details in every corner.

With outlets like Lima Blas, The EstablishmentPisco Bar & Table 23 surfacing on Mesui in recent months, this street _ home also to Palate Palette & No Black Tie _ is becoming the cooler, calmer alternative to Changkat Bukit Bintang.

Lima Blas' fare is commendable, though understandably less extensive than Amy Heritage's; start with the shrimp-topped 'pai tee,' nearly as lovely as these surroundings. At RM3 for two, it ranks among the most wallet-friendly food in this vicinity.

Chicken pongteh (RM10), fantastically fragrant & flavorful, possibly the best we've had in KL.

Cincaluk omelet (RM10), irreproachably fluffy, proving that Limablas isn't a tourist trap.

Eggplant (RM12), for some veggie nutrition. It was either this or lady's fingers.

Wait, there's kangkung too, but skip the run-of-the-mill belacan preparation & check out the amazingly addictive recipe served in "lemak keledek" (RM12).

Alas, Lima Blas serves no wine, but have no fear: every other outlet at Mesui is booze-soaked. Our current choice for potent & pleasurably priced cocktails: Pisco Bar, a 15-second stroll from Lima Blas.
Earlier entry on Pisco Bar: January 21.

YuGin (vodka, yuzu, ginger-mint syrup) & Masi Modello Delle Venezia.

Pisco Punch (pisco, lemon juice, pineapple syrup) & Honey Bee (vodka, honey, lemon juice).

LimaBlas Nyonya Restaurant @ Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine,
75, Jalan Melaka Raya 24, Taman Melaka Raya.
Tel: 06-286-8819
LimaBlas @ Mesui,
15, Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2110-1289

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Debenhams Cafe @ Starhill & Cafe Galleria @ Pavilion

Cafe-hopping at Bukit Bintang's malls, starting at Debenhams on Starhill's Explore Floor.

British fare forms the foundation of this privacy-free outlet, ideal for watching & being watched.

Faggots have become fashionable in KL: Debenhams' version of this minced meatball is halal, similar to what the The Majestic Hotel's Colonial Cafe offers, but this costs RM16++ per serving, with bubble & squeak, compared to The Majestic's RM75++ charge for two balls.

More beef, this time in the shape of a steak pie with mashed potatoes (RM15++). Edible, but be warned that Debenhams' food might bear a reheated-on-order feel.

Spanish Juver orange juice (RM10++) & Tahitian Vanilla ice-blended (RM9++).

Crossing the road from Starhill to Pavilion, for Galleria Concept Store's cafe.

Artwork, handbags, books & furniture, all available to admire while resting our feet here.

Prawns, guacamole, aioli & crispy tortilla chips (RM17.50++). Light bites are the way to go here.

Minced chicken salad with blinis & fried wantons (RM16.50++). Creativity's always appreciated.

Similar to the food, Cafe Galleria's latte & wild berry tea might not win "Best in KL" awards, but this place is still worth a stop. One of Pavilion's calmest cafes.

Cafe Galleria @ Pavilion

Debenhams Cafe @ Starhill, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Cafe Galleria @ Galleria Concept Store, Level Two, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tepui @ Persiaran Ampang

Some cafes deserve to draw crowds from dawn through dusk, but it might be a boon that one such place in Persiaran Ampang seems persistently empty, making it a refuge for the harried.

Stellar salads & sandwiches at sensational prices are Tepui's piece de resistance. For RM25, two can share a Venezuelan Maracaibo salad of fantastically fresh tomatoes, beetroot, oranges, onions, baby rocket & hard-boiled eggs drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Nicoise salad, dramatically overhauled, with a flavorful tuna mix topped with a whole egg, olives, oranges, mustard, nuts & tarragon dressing.

Pork platter: a board packed with Parma ham, toasted multigrain bread, pickled relish & condiments. The most expensive order here, at about RM35.

Eggs & oranges make repeated appearances, but in variations that ensure that customers won't be bored. Love the super-creamy scrambled eggs on tomato & toast.

French chicken terrine pate (about RM25), a terrifically thick spread with bread. 

Latte & detox juice of green apple, green capsicum, cucumber & celery.

Tepui only has two people on its service team who do everything, including prepare the food; they move with exceptional efficiency.

Tepui opens 10am-6pm, Mondays through Saturdays.

Parking can be problematic on this row, but patience & perseverance ensure we prevail.

Tepui Cafe,
20, Persiaran Ampang (same row as La Risata), Kuala Lumpur.