Eat Drink KL: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Urban Picnic

Love the name, love this place; hidden at the back of Menara IMC, Urban Picnic is an oasis of Mediterranean cooking in a culinary desert.

It's a simple set-up, with both air-conditioned & alfresco areas, lined with shelves of olive oil, cheese, gourmet pasta & other products for purchase.

Urban Picnic opens at 7:30, so early birds can load up on a Big Breakfast: sunny-side-up eggs, house-made sausage, cheese toast, butter, jam & salad.

The real attractions arrive when the menu changes for lunch at noon. This looks like a salad, but it's more sinful than a Big Mac: warm slices of duck with onions, mushrooms & best of all, crispy duck lard croutons for a calorie-packed crunch!

Soupe au pistou, a French Provencal summer soup comprising veggies with pesto. Tastes pretty rustic, thanks to its wholesome, natural savoriness.

Roasted lamb Mechoui-style, with semolina & raisin sauce. A Moroccan favorite, encouragingly hearty & engagingly flavorsome.

Hazelnut monin iced latte & Valrhona hot chocolate (sumptuous!). For fans of booze, only beer is available, with no sign of wine, unfortunately.

Our main lament: Urban Picnic's last call for food orders is at 2:30pm. And it closes at 6pm. Also, it only opens on weekdays.

Urban Picnic,
Menara IMC, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2026-5040

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Telawi Street Tele Caffe

A strange hybrid of a cellphone store & a cheesecake cafe in Bangsar.

Blueberry cheesecake, the cafe's only remaining option for us on a not-too-recent weeknight. Densely moist & flavorsome enough to recommend.

Coffee was available, but we wanted to steer clear of caffeine at this late hour. (Or maybe the real reason was that we were more interested in acquiring alcohol instead at a neighboring pub).

Looking at all the phones reminded us of the old riddle. Q: What's the difference between E.T. & a married man? A: E.T. phoned home.

Telawi Street Tele Caffe,
Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Leong Ah

Bustling even on weekday evenings, Leong Ah whips up a wide range of Chinese food to persistently please Puchong's residents.

Paper-wrapped chicken. Slightly less flavorful than Soo Kee's version at Imbi, but still satisfyingly juicy enough to recommend.

Rice wine prawns. Was the chef overzealous? This contained a stunning magnitude of alcohol. We could have easily (& happily) gotten tipsy on this!

A comfortingly soft, steamed blend of regular eggs, century eggs & salted eggs.

Pork belly with yam. Always a surefire winner.

Venison with veggies. Not incredibly memorable, but well-prepared nevertheless.

Bean curd with loofa. Who says Eat Drink KL can't eat healthy?

Leong Ah,
Jalan Kenari 23, Bandar Puchong Jaya.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Aural @ KL City Walk

KL City Walk isn't the smashing success we hoped it would be, but some of the eateries here might be worth one or two visits.

Aural serves Italian & Western food, but everything on the menu that we wanted to try on a recent evening _ from risotto to cod fish _ was unavailable. We settled for a so-so salad comprising cashews, Granny Smith apples & assorted greens. The portion was massive, but its tame, vegetarian-friendly flavors failed to thrill the taste buds.

Creative candy-based cocktails are Aural's true attraction. Sugar lovers might adore the Kandi Bubble Gum (baileys, peppermint liquor, vanilla ice cream & gummy fish).

Surf To Paradise (vodka, baileys, vanilla ice cream, peach, Oreo cookies, Snickers).

We've got a hot one tonight: Ferrero Good Cheer (hot chocolate, vodka raspberry, creme de cacao, ferrero rocher, cream).

Will we return? Maybe not; the cocktails seem pleasant, but there's scant evidence that the rest of the food might prove outstanding. Let us know if we're wrong.

KL City Walk, Off Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gecko & El Habanero

Gecko Gastrobar is a casual hangout in Damansara Perdana with plenty of potential; we've been particularly intrigued to hear that alcoholic ice cream will be introduced here soon, infused with Macallan 12-year single malt, Johnnie Walker whiskey, kahlua & Guinness Stout.

Tragically, none of the liquor-laced ice cream was available on our recent visit, so we settled for Gecko's savory stuff instead. The French-style duck sausages were worth trying; saltier than we'd have liked, but rich with meaty flavor.

A real sausage fest: North African-inspired chicken merguez, enjoyably juicy & well-seasoned. Gecko's sausages are made in-house, free of preservatives.

Clearly in a fowl mood this evening, we geared up for the grilled chicken chop _ marinated in Gecko's "secret spices," according to the menu. Commendably moist & tender, though the flavor could be punched up a few notches.

Chilean red, fairly priced at about RM90.

Following our failure to sample Gecko's whiskey ice cream, we wandered the Klang Valley for REAL whiskey to drown our sorrows. Our search brought us to the corridors of Capsquare...

... specifically El Habanero, a bar serving Jack Daniels whiskey (& Hennessy cognac) to lift our spirits back up. We live to drink again another day!

Gecko Gastrobar,
Menara Bata, PJ Trade Center, Damansara Perdana.
Tel: 03-7492-1035

El Habanero,
Capsquare, Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Porto Romano @ Intermark

Porto Romano's latest outpost is an elegant space sequestered in an improbable location: The Intermark's basement food court.

The menu here is vast, filled with crowd-pleasing favorites such as seafood risotto. Creamy & al dente, with sufficient squid, mussels & prawns to curb complaints.

Lobster-stuffed ravioli. Kids might enjoy this, since it packs a wallop of flavor. But the subtler crustacean nuances are lost in the tangy tomato-&-lemon gravy.

Insert of something we nibbled on: not from Porto Romano but Australia _ four flavors of macarons by Melbourne's Cacao Patisserie, a 2010 contest winner for the city's best macarons _ lamington (!), salted caramel, French vanilla & strawberry jam.

Back to Porto Romano: house cocktails with tropical twists _ Wallace Bay (Scotch whiskey, pimm's, limau kasturi) & Cowie Harbor (creme de banana, creme de cacao, coconut liquor).

Spanish beer is available: Estrella Damm, Barcelona's best.

Vina Canepa Classico Chardonnay, Chile (2009).

Porto Romano,
The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Carne Y Vino

Do have a cow, man; seeking green pastures at Changkat Bukit Bintang, this steak specialist basks in the beauty of all things bovine.

Take this by the tongue & it'll show you, it's got the moos like Jagger: beef carpaccio with rocket salad, feta-stuffed olives, parmesan & balsamic dressing.

From Australia: Ralph's Meat Company rib-eye with sauteed zucchini & mushroom sauce. Can we call this a beefcake? 'Cause it sure looks dreamy.

From Argentina: grass-fed Patagonian aged tenderloin with asparagus & blue cheese sauce. There's eroticism in grilled meat, especially succulent, medium-rare slabs.

Frontera Merlot. Enough booze here to drink until the cows come home.

Santa Cristina Toscana.

Pina Colada & White Russian Daiquiris.

Customers who have a beef with beef can order duck, cod fish, prawns, etc.

Housekeeping notes: Carne Y Vino is the recently launched sister outlet of Pampas, also at Changkat. With music that gets raucous after 11pm, this place has more of a club-lounge feel compared to Pampas' casual setting.

Carne Y Vino,
Radius International Hotel,
Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel/Fax: 03-2142-9954/ 03-2148-5548