Eat Drink KL: Five & Two, Royce's Roasts, HummusCo & The Underground Food Cartel

Monday, August 19, 2013

Five & Two, Royce's Roasts, HummusCo & The Underground Food Cartel

Heading for a potluck & wondering what to bring? Here are cooked-to-order possibilities that could prove both convenient & creative, tried & tested for CW's farewell fete.

The party was on a recent Sunday; we panicked by Wednesday, emailing multiple home-based makers of scrumptious treats to see whether we could collect their wares that looming weekend. First to respond: Five & Two Fine Foods, suppliers of sweet-savory meat preserves.

The highlight: A triumvirate of liquor-laced bacon jams. Each pungent pot (RM25) bristles with bits of chewy-fried bacon, confidently infused with Scotch whisky, beer or a quarter-pint of stout.

Whisky's mellow & pleasurably oily, beer's sweetly punchy, while stout's bold, rich & rounded; each is nuanced enough to emerge as a distinctive experience.

Pork acar, aromatically & resonantly savory, a traditional triumph a grandmother would love.

Oven-grilled, candied streaky bacon strips should also prove crowd-pleasing. Expect to hear more about Five & Two soon as more folks learn of this selection.

Next up, more pork: Royce's Roasts, specializing in siu yuk painstakingly perfected by a reporter-turned-headhunter who inherited a passion & prowess for the kitchen from his mom.

Royce's rendition of this Chinese pork belly staple, marinated overnight & roasted to meaty tenderness, reminds us how the best home cooking isn't always easy to replicate at restaurants. This is honest, hearty fare, prepared by someone who knows how good food tastes.

You can't hide satisfaction: Royce's roast pork belly costs RM80 per kilogram, potentially sufficient to feed the hungriest of hordes.

Moving along: Hummus sure isn't the enemy, not when it's endearingly made by HummusCo.

Chickpea spreads blended with tahini & lemon juice form only the basic foundation for HummusCo's recipes; what makes this wholesome selection special is its variety of flavors. We're fans particularly of the pesto-primed one, bolstered with basil, pine nuts & cheese.

Roasted Garlic, creamy without being cloying, tinged with thoughtful notes that complement _ not compete with or compromise _ the hummus' natural flavors.

Smoky Chipotle, a spicy, beautifully textured spread with paprika, vinegar & cayenne peppers. Each 250-gram serving costs up to RM20.

Finally, for food that's more familiar, we took a chance on The Underground Food Cartel. That bet paid off big time, thanks to one of the nicest lasagnas we've had in ages.

A waistline-wrecker, but in the best possible this-is-why-Garfield-loves-it sense. Comfort food that costs RM50 for a portion that'll feed six people (or one large orange cat).

Also well worthwhile: The Cartel's behemoth of a brownie (RM45, chocolaty but not saccharine), ensuring no one leaves this potluck hungry. Or thin.

Five & Two Fine Foods, delivery available
Royce's Roasts, collection at Taman Tun Dr Ismail
019-335-5177 or royce.cheah at
Hummus Co, collection at Taman Tun Dr Ismail
The Underground Food Cartel, collection at SS3 Petaling Jaya