Eat Drink KL: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

O'Coffee Club & Typica

Revving up our caffeine intake: first, a stop at O'Coffee Club outside Fahrenheit 88.

Come for the coffee, stay for the food: this Singapore-born business serves satisfying fare like fried potato skins, generously topped with guacamole, nacho cheese melt & Neapolitan sauce.

Hot stuff: skewered chicken, fleshy & juicy, glazed with chili & served with fruit compote. Nothing beats real satay, but this makes an excellent attempt at it.

Jamaican Blue Mountain (pricey at RM28) & Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (RM14). Truth be told, we can't tell the difference between these two.

Iced coffee, prepared the cold-drip way, & ice cream cappuccino.

Iced Earl Grey. Tea with vanilla ice cream _ excellent.

Next up, Typica: coffee-lovers wax lyrical about the charms of this humble but welcoming place, which bursts with pride & passion for its caffeinated concoctions.

Each beverage is painstakingly brewed; we're still confused about the preparation methods (siphon, filter, ice-drip, etc), but it's all fun to watch & fine to sip.

Malaysian specialty coffee: Chamek Liberica Peaberry, offering silky-smooth slurps.

Love your Irish coffee? Surprisingly, Typica has liquor-laced beverages _ a limited selection, but much appreciated anyway.

Dessert coffees are also available. This one feels like an affogato with a twist.

Cheesecakes are offered to pair with the coffee. There's a sweeping range of flavors from black sesame to sweet potato, though not everything is available all the time.

O'Coffee Club,
Fahrenheit 88, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

Typica Cafe,
Shaw Parade, Kuala Lumpur.

Icook & Jaads

Breakfast beckons! Heading to Petaling Jaya's iCook, which recently opened a little deli-like area next to its main restaurant, & checking out Jaads Sandwiches on the same row.
Entry on iCook Italian Gastronomia's primary outlet: Oct. 16, 2011.

Nice to start the day with sunshiny eggs; this "Andiamo" Italian-style omelet, stuffed with potatoes & onions, served with sauteed mushrooms, bell pepper & salsa, won't win any awards for KL's best, but it has a homemade touch that some might enjoy.

Nutella-stuffed pancakes. A little too much dough & too little Nutella.

Brunch waffles, nicely presented, though we'd still vote for A&W's (nostalgia, maybe).

On the bright side, wine is available at 11am alongside coffee. All in all, iCook isn't a bad choice for a morning meal, especially in this neighborhood, but keep your expectations reasonable.

Icook's neighbor, Jaads Sandwiches, fares slightly less satisfyingly, unfortunately.

The satay-chicken sandwich is OK, featuring a fresh feel, but it isn't very flavorsome.

Skip the pancakes, which look & taste lackluster. Maybe we tried the wrong items here.

Tongkat Ali coffee, to keep us up & running.

iCook & Jaads,
3 Two Square, Jalan 19/1, Petaling Jaya.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bangkok Beat Bistro

Time for our once-every-three-months trip to a furnace of fiery Thai fare.

Launched this month at Subang's Empire Shopping Gallery, Bangkok Beat Bistro is the sister outlet of the Bangkok Jam restaurants in Singapore, Taipei & Taichung. There's probably something for everyone on the menu of sixty-strong recipes here; we're glad the pomelo salad with shrimp (RM18.90+) made the cut.

Sink-your-teeth-into-it crab meat & chew-like-a-carnivore fish maw, sunk in savory-starchy soup (RM15.90+). Who needs shark's fin broth, right?

Mee krob (RM16+). These crispy fried noodles represent the reality of Bangkok Street Bistro; purists will insist they've tasted better in the City of Angels, & they'd be right. But nevertheless, what's served here is food that's still enjoyable, that's still worth sharing, still worth paying for.

For RM20+, this Massaman lamb shank curry is a bargain, featuring genuinely tender meat in generously poured gravy. The more well-known Massaman beef version is also available.

On the other hand, RM15+ for this olive fried rice should have bought us something somewhat better. But in the end, we needed grains to soak up the curries.

Soft-shell crab with yellow curry (RM20+). Note: even on a weeknight, Bangkok Beat Bistro can be packed. So expect to line up awhile or come back later; when we hit this place at 9pm, the crowd had eased & most of our dishes landed within 15 minutes of ordering.

Grilled stingray with Thai sambal (RM25+). Might pair well with sparkling wine, but since Bangkok Beat Bistro is shooting for halal certification, it's best not to bring in booze.

Surprise! We hardly broke a sweat throughout this meal. Hurrah for the judicious use of spices!

Bangkok Beat Bistro,
LG32, Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya.
Tel: 03- 5637-8488

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jose Barroso

Spain, Part VII: Scarcely an hour's train ride from Madrid, the hilltop town of Toledo is well-respected for its handcrafted marzipan products.

These sweet treats are sold on nearly every corner of Toledo's narrow, winding streets (prepare to get lost here _ everybody does!).

The basic ingredients in these are straightforward: almond paste, sugar and honey.

Sweet stuff, with a somewhat medicinal flavor that might be an acquired taste.

Cookies and pastries are available too _ lots of them!

Fear not: Long fingernails, but clean fingers (really!).

Fabrica de Mazapan Jose Barroso,
Toledo, Spain.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jarrod & Rawlins @ Bangkung

Jarrod & Rawlins unveiled a Bangsar branch this month, making a prudent play for this neighborhood's meat-hungry clientele.

The food is reassuringly recognizable, the setting on Jalan Bangkung is perfectly polished; after all these years in the F&B business, these guys know what they're doing, so sit back & start a satisfying meal with this salad of streaky bacon, scallops & pumpkin seeds.

Fish pie, creamy & comforting. When we wondered what fish was used, our server didn't need to head to the kitchen to find out. She replied confidently, "Norwegian Emerald fish" (a breed of sustainable farmed tilapia).

Numerous touches kept this meal running smoothly. On the menu, these lamb-&-cranberry sausages with red wine gravy are partnered with mashed potatoes, but when we sought mushy peas instead, our request was met without reservation.

Crucially, everything emerges on the table exactly as ordered. We added this grilled prime tenderloin late in the evening, and again, our server impressed. Without taking notes, even though we also bombarded her with a new wine order, she got all the details right _ medium-rare, with baked potato & chive-horseradish butter.

Complimentary bacon, cooked in multiple ways, such as fried or prepared in brine.

Creme brulee, also on the house (thanks!). Can't complain about any of the food; everything's delicious _ not mind-blowing, but still clearly well-prepared.

House sparkling, offered by the bottle & the glass.

Three house reds & three whites are available by the glass (all around RM30).

Tanqueray & Bombay gin & tonic.

Port wine, also possible by the glass. Even though this is a watering hole, families can feel welcome, taking a table at the non-rowdy, non-smoking section.

Moving on to see what Les Deux Garcons is selling these days. Can't help loving the L'aveline _ creamy hazelnut dacquoise cake, topped with noisette praline & berries.

Must have macarons. We thanked heaven for the opportunity to snatch LDG's sole table indoors, enjoying the air-conditioned comfort while nibbling on vodka lime & capsicum macarons.
Main entry on Les Deux Garcons: November 15, 2011.

Jarrod & Rawlins,
Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.