Saturday, February 28, 2015

CoCo Ichibanya Curry House @ 1 Utama

Japan's biggest curry rice restaurant chain has finally embarked on its first Malaysian foray, bolstering a cross-border network that spans more than 1,300 outposts in the U.S., China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand & Singapore.

Coco Ichibanya at 1 Utama sticks to the chain's tried-&-tested formula - customers can customise their curries by selecting toppings, rice quantities, sauce quantities & spice levels (1 is 'medium hot,' 5 is 'crazy hot'), enabling endless permutations.

Pork cutlet's the top recommendation, chunky & tender (RM21); we topped it with grilled pork, kimchi & cheese (RM9 surplus) & chose a sweat-spilling 'Level 5' of spiciness. The curry's creamy & fairly flavoursome, while the rice proves a satisfactory foil.

Clam & tomato curry (RM22) with an extra egg (RM3); seafood options abound, with shrimp, squid & salmon all also available.

Vegetarians can eat their fill too, thanks to the spinach & eggplant platter (RM23), best enjoyed in the mildest, most mellow curry sauce, with a sweet savouriness that caresses the palate without too much tongue-tingling. Pretty basic comfort food.

Curry omurice comes with omelette-wrapped rice surrounded by hashed beef in a tangy gravy, not quite our favourite (RM25).

 Green tea lovers can revel in matcha milkshakes (RM11) or made-in-Thailand matcha lattes (RM8). Service is pleasant & efficient at CoCo Ichibanya Malaysia, which expects to launch its next outlet later this year at Penang's Queensbay Mall.

Curry House CoCo ICHIBANYA Malaysia
LG333A, Lower Ground, New Wing, 1 Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7732-8937

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
For iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/my/app/eat-drink-kl/id958657326?mt=8
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In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
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Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Eat With Mune @ Solaris Mont Kiara

This venue boasts a notable back-story: Chef Mune was overweight for much of his life, but he chose a couple of years ago to get fit. He succeeded, shedding tens of kilograms, & has now opened this restaurant that targets folks who want to eat healthy.

 This first-floor outlet features an unorthodox set-up: At first glance, it's an elegant space with warm, exposed-brick hues & soulful paintings that would fit into an upmarket Italian restaurant. But the shelves signal that this is a quirky eatery, lined with Radiohead CD sleeves alongside men's health magazines, sport shoes & protein powder tubs.

 The menu manages to be both succinct & eclectic, spanning West & East, the former represented unsurprisingly by salmon, pan-fried with grape seed oil & served with a bountiful harvest of avocados, rocket leaves, tomato, capsicum, onions, lemon, parsley & Greek yoghurt, flavoured with liquid amino seasoning (RM30). Nutritional info is furnished: this totals 335 calories, comprising 30 grams of carbs, 23 of protein & 12.7 of fat. Meets the mark; capably executed.

 We like the nasi ulam too - brown rice that's simultaneously fluffy & firm, fragrant with ulam raja, daun salom, bunga kantan, lemongrass, onions, garlic & winged beans, served with a thick slice of chicken breast & some pretty tasty sauces. RM15.

 Desserts could profit from fine-tuning though; the pancakes, built with organic buckwheat flour & chocolate protein powder (!), proved rather dry, aided a bit (but not enough) by bananas, berries, yoghurt, honey & no-added-sugar peanut butter. RM14.

 For fans of grapefruit, have it in a milkshake with honey & vanilla ice cream (RM13) or an ice-blended with red apples & watermelon (RM12). Service here is both efficient & pleasant; all in all, not a bad stop if you live or work in Mont Kiara.

Eat With Mune
Jalan Solaris 5, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Opposite Cold Storage. Daily, 12pm-1030pm. Tel: 03-6211-1308

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Original Milkshake Co @ Quill City Mall & Softsrve Ice Cream @ Damansara Uptown

Cold comfort, creative cool: That's today's theme, thanks to The Original Milkshake Co, the best reason to visit Quill City Mall.

TOM Co - as its founder likes to call it - is crafted by friendly former engineer Afif; the hook here is the selection of surprising flavours for the milkshake base, marvellously complemented by toppings that include pieces of cake produced by Afif's sister Farah, the home baker behind the independent MAD Treats dessert specialist.

Choose a milkshake flavour - there's everything from Original Malt to Salted Caramel, Snickers or Nutella, Carrot or Coconut to Blueberry or Raspberry - before selecting an optional topping. These premium flavours clock in at RM6.90 for a satisfying Small, RM10.90 for Medium & RM13.90 for Large, with every additional topping costing RM1.50. Or order one of TOM Co's tried-&-tested, for-the-young-at-heart combos - a marshmallow-topped vanilla milkshake blended with peanut butter & Oreos.

Need recommendations? We love the Caramel Popcorn milkshake, which can be further thickened with choc brownie chunks. The Root Beer milkshake with red velvet cake also sparks surprising synergy, while a Pretzel milkshake with pecan choc-chip blondies makes for a triumph of texture. TOM Co has worked out its flavours rewardingly well - nothing's too sugary or cloying.

Also very much in the cool runnings right now: Softsrve, which specialises - as its name suggests - in soft-serve ice cream, with the bonus of cross-continental inspirations. Amily, Redmond, Jack & Terrence - the awesome foursome who power this parlour - were initially influenced by South Korean soft-serves from their travels, but they relied heavily on U.S. interpretations for R&D while banking on Italian ingredients for some of their current introductory offerings.

Check out the show - here's a peek at how the ice cream is presented to patrons, with lots of fog surging out of each serving, evocative of liquid nitrogen ice cream. The not-so-secret explanation here is dry ice; the soft-serve is placed in two overlapping cups, with the bigger cup at the base concealing dry ice that also keeps the containers cool a bit longer. Thoughtful touches.

Softsrve takes a leaf out of Momofuku Milk Bar's book, bringing cereal milk ice cream - made with milk combined with corn flakes - from NYC to KL. It's potentially an acquired taste, rather rich, but with a something of a powdery finish, texture-wise.



Softsrve ups the ante with tempting concoctions that comprise Breakfast (RM12, with caramelised cereal & macaron shell), Honey Chips (RM10, with potato chips & honey), Theatre (RM12; with Garrett popcorn), Fluffy (RM12, with cotton candy & Himalayan sea salt) & Honey Brick (RM12, with NZ honeycomb). Each is distinctive; everyone will have a personal favourite.



Chocolate ice cream pairs with warm churros for culinary contrast, with the unexpected pleasure of pistachios & seeds in the soft-serve. Note that Softsrve's churros are the densely chewy sort, far from delicately fluffy, with a potent punch of cinnamon. There are things that we'd tweak about the fare here, but that's a matter of preference. This is a strong, solid start for Softsrve.

The Original Milkshake Co
4-63, Level 4, Quill City Mall, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6120-2717

Softsrve Ice Cream Parlour
31, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Currently open 2pm-11pm, except Mondays

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses