Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Niuzexui Food Court @ Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya

PJ’s latest hawker food court is a microcosm of the country on one breezy boulevard, led by the hornbill state specialities of stallkeeper Aunty Lan.

Sarawak laksa, kueh chap, and red kolo mee soaked in sweet char siu sauce might be the magnet for folks from, say, Sibu.


But whether you’re from Seputeh, Seberang Perai or Sinsuran, there may be something for you by one of the kopitiam-style purveyors - a plate of chicken rice with smooth poached chicken and crunchy roast pork, or duck egg char kuey teow sprinkled with several cockles, or sang nyuk noodles.


Reasonable fare for a no-fuss lunch, though it may be tough to fully replicate hometown flavours.


Niuzexui NZX Food Court
Central Boulevard, NZX Commercial Centre, Jalan PJU 1A/41B, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Open Mon-Sat, 7am-3pm.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Gallo Wine Bar @ Taman Desa & Sri Petaling

Sleek, stylish bistros and bars in Taman Desa and Sri Petaling - the two branches of Gallo Wine Bar are hidden havens, ideal for an idyllic evening of wining and dining, their soothing spaciousness filled with comfy couches and plush sofas for patrons to sink into, amid a gently lit ambiance accented with elegant flourishes of wine racks, wood panels and mirror-tiled ceilings.

Gallo Wine Bar in Taman Desa accommodates up to 70 patrons, with a private cigar lounge for 30 patrons, while Gallo in Sri Petaling holds up to 120 patrons, with two VIP rooms that can fit up to 20 and 10 patrons each. (Photos of Gallo in Taman Desa courtesy of the management)

Both branches also cater for various corporate events, from team dinners to annual dinners; parties (bachelor nights, hen nights and birthday parties); and other private functions.

The wine selection is built to impress, spanning the harvest of vineyards from Argentina to Australia, California to Chile, Portugal to South Africa, with other mainstays like France, Italy and New Zealand eminently represented. You'll find a bottle for every wine-loving budget, from a southern French Grain d'Oc Merlot that clocks in at RM95 to a Piedmontese Pio Cesare Barbaresco DOCG 2011 at RM518.

To pair with our meal at Gallo in Sri Petaling, we went the Italian route, choosing the Bibi Graetz Casamatta Rosso (RM183), a Tuscan Sangiovese that fulfilled its promise of providing a lively, light-bodied experience with clear cherry characters, vibrant and versatile enough to complement many of the bold-flavoured courses that we ordered.

Gallo boasts an ambitious kitchen whose European foundation is peppered with Asian influences. The menu is extensive, encompassing the essentials that work well with wine, including nibbles like oysters (RM72 for six pieces, RM128 for a dozen), cheeses (RM20 for a tasty scamorza platter) and an intriguing torched beef tartare topped with a quail's egg croquette (RM58).

Fans of foie, Gallo is a great place to indulge in luscious liver: Our favourite temptations here are the mantou sliders stuffed with thick slices of foie gras, perfectly prepared (RM68), and the foie gras with Italian sausages and beans (RM68).  

Other options include fusion recipes that range from Gallo's super-spicy spaghetti with chunks of oxtail (RM22) to a 'grown-up' mac-and-cheese that's absolutely addictive, crowned with dense sausages for the textural contrast of a savoury bite (RM68), alongside traditional classics like beef burgundy with crunchy ciabatta for dunking into the hot, thick gravy (RM28). And this is only the tip of the iceberg for Gallo's repertoire, which also includes pizzas, risotto and even yakitori.

Many thanks to Gallo Wine Bar for having us.


Gallo Wine Bar Taman Desa
5-0-1, Jalan 3/109F, Taman Danau Desa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: +603-7971-9005

Gallo Wine Bar Sri Petaling
First Floor, 21-1, Jalan Radin Bagus 7, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: +603-9055-4595

Both branches open daily, 4pm-2am.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Okra @ Sunway Geo Avenue

Malacca by way of Sarawak: Okra offers Nyonya cuisine that stems from recipes that Alicia Joseph, an indigenous Melanau, learned from her food-caterer mom while growing up in Sibu.

Alicia has teamed up with her Penang-born partner Daniel Ooi to open Okra, putting subtle spins on Peranakan staples, tweaking how much taucheo is infused into pongteh for example, or whether sambal is stuffed into cencaru or slathered instead over the fish’s surface.

The cooking here conveys a homemade simplicity that’ll feel both familial and familiar to many Malaysians - warming, well-balanced salted vegetable soup with glass noodles, tofu and housemade chicken meatballs (RM12.80), tenderly slow-cooked daging hitam (RM35), cincalok omelette (RM13), steamed okra (of course!) with garlic (RM18), richly savoury ayam pongteh (RM18.80), ikan cencaru sambal (RM17), chap chye with a wholesome crunch (RM25), and an interesting popiah rojak (RM9.80) that Okra’s founders plan to remove from the menu because it’s relatively less popular with customers (we think it should stay - it’s tasty and original). Finish strong with a cooling bowl of cendol with coconut ice cream and red beans (RM11).

Okra Nyonya
B-02-09, Sunway Geo, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor. 
Mon-Sat, 11am-930pm. Tel: 03-5612-6288

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