Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cute Ball Kitchen @ Paramount Garden

A romance that blossomed in Hanoi might now make food lovers in Kuala Lumpur strike up an affair with Vietnamese fare, home-cooked with the sort of passion that's the province of the tastiest private kitchens.

Cute Ball Kitchen is the brainchild of Malaysian K.K. Teoh & his Vietnamese wife, Hoa, who met while Teoh was working in Vietnam's capital. Teoh returned in 2013, bringing home Hoa & their now three-year-old son, whose Vietnamese-language family nickname forms the basis for their new private kitchen's name.
Many thanks to the friendly couple for inviting us into their Petaling Jaya home for some of the most satisfying Vietnamese food we've ever enjoyed, welcoming us warmly with herb-dusted fritters that whet the appetite wonderfully.

Hoa is likely to prepare communal meals of three to four dishes for guests. Her repertoire includes grilled seasoned pork, juicy, aromatic & savoury, wrapped in wild betel leaves that the couple pick themselves from a nearby hill, braving mosquitoes there to procure these peppery pleasures. 

Hoa's Vietnamese salad scores top marks, light & exceptionally easy to gobble up, wholesome-tasting & ravishingly nuanced with fresh veggies, seafood, meat, herbs & nuts. Like everything here, it's painstakingly prepared, with nearly a full day's worth of slaving in the kitchen to whip up courses like this.

Braised pork belly, sumptuously caramelized. Bring a nice Merlot to savor with this; in a cost-effective contrast to eating out at a restaurant, there's no corkage fee here.

 Salt-&-pepper squid. Hoa's standards for seafood are high, the result of many years spent at Halong Bay; the couple now regularly drive to Sekinchan on weekends to secure straight-off-the-boat seafood _ an effort for which guests will be grateful.

Steamed rice is thoughtfully sourced too, coming from a paddy processing plant amid Sekinchan's rice fields.

With Vietnam having a strong French connection, it's not improper _ but nevertheless a pleasant surprise _ that Hoa opts for French sweets to wrap up her meals. Freshly baked madeleines are an uncommon treat, but what really won everyone over was the heavenly dark chocolate tart, thick & creamy, rich in flavour.

All in all, this feels like a lovely way to spend a casual Saturday evening, the only time Kenneth & Hoa currently operate their private kitchen. The couple have hopes of eventually starting their own cafe (we vote, "yes, please!") & are currently open to also supplying cafes with baked goodies (the dark choc tart would be a sure-fire hit, much more delicious than the norm).

Follow Cute Ball Kitchen at https://www.facebook.com/CuteBallKitchen ... Meals cost RM55 per person (Edit: updated to RM68 as of February 2014), a very fair price for the entirety of the experience. More details available at https://plateculture.com/where-to-eat/vietnamese-dinner-at-cute-ball-kitchen

Cute Ball Kitchen
Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya

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30 comments:

  1. Yum! Everything looks good! :D I love Vietnamese food and KL isn't exactly blessed with Vietnamese immigrants like Oz is.

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    1. Kelly: oh yeah, enjoying these dishes made us glad that Kenneth has brought Hoa to Malaysia and that the couple are sharing Hoa's cooking with all of us =)

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  2. Food is beautifully presented and the decor is very attractive and fresh. I love that rock fountain!

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    1. Linda: yeah, love the presentation! this was a nice soothing way to spend a Saturday =)

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  3. What a cute name! Looks like a lovely couple and their cute lil boy :-) Love Vietnamese food - hope they'll open that cafe soon!

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    1. Pureglutton: ya, adorable family! :D I hope so too ... this was definitely one of the best and most memorable Vietnamese meals I've had in years =)

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    2. Pureglutton: It'll probably be some time before we can open our cafe, in the mean time we'd love to have you over for dinner. :)

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  4. Woahhh...the Vietnamese salad and braised pork belly looks fantastic! =)

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    1. Ulric: we finished every spoonful of both of those, cos they were yummy indeed!

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  5. Hope they will selling this in the market, I will go and support for the salad!!! *mouthwatering*

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    1. 小乱: ya, that salad would be a bit hit among customers! =)

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    2. 小乱: If you would like to sample our salad, please come join us for dinner. We will make sure to prepare an extra large serving of salad for you!

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  6. Lovely! I'm a huge fan of Vietnamese food, i'd visit if they are opening here in Penang :P

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    1. Ken: hope you get some great Vietnamese food in penang soon! =)

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  7. probably the first underground kitchen in Malaysia!

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    1. Walter: it's a nice addition to the scene =)

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  8. Lovely Vietnamese food.... all looks very well prepared!

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, food with lots of heart and soul =)

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  9. Pork belly!!! Yummmmm!!!!

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    1. Suituapui: you'll have to fight me for the last piece!

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  10. Thank you Sean for your awesome review! We are absolutely ecstatic with your very kind feedback.

    We hope to see you again at Cute Ball Kitchen soon, especially after Chinese New Year when we will be bringing back hard-to-find ingredients from Vietnam for our dinners.

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    1. Cute Ball: sounds great, i'm sure you'll have some really delicious recipes in store! all the best, and looking forward to seeing you guys again in the year of the horse =)

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  11. Wow, the food looks good! I want to try that braised pork belly! :D

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    1. CK: if you're still in kl next month or march, can go try! :D

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  12. Very fair price!!! Will love to check them out soon!

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    1. Missyblurkit: they'll be back from a trip to vietnam after chinese new year, so do try them after that! :D

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    2. Missy, lets ! Looks good ya..

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    3. Sycookies: i think you'll enjoy this meal! =)

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  13. Yay for home based food business! Don't you just love their passion for good food? Cute Ball Kitchen kinda reminded me of how we started 3 years ago ;) I can't eat their food as I can't consume pork but dammit, they look good! Wish them all the best in their culinary journey!

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    1. Jimmy: yeah, it's great to meet you guys who do this with so much heart! can taste the difference in the food for sure :D

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