Eat Drink KL: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Good Batch @ Damansara Utama

The Good Batch has the potential to become A Very Good Place; this combo of a brunch retreat & an all-day bar is the latest of Damansara Uptown's surprisingly distinctive new restaurants that have made this neighborhood such a should-visit this year.

The Good Batch is in a trial-run stage until its Oct. 10 official opening. For now, the food menu's limited to about a half-dozen items; on the bright side, customers can order egg-laden breakfast platters whether it's 10am or 8pm (midnight-shift workers, rejoice!).

Love The Norwegian: Perfectly poached eggs with smoked salmon, onion confit & capsicum, complemented by house-made lemon hollandaise sauce on lightly toasted bread (RM20.90++).

Hangover Mess (RM20.90++), corned beef mixed with pan-fried potatoes & diced capsicums, topped with two sunny-side-ups & drizzled with herb-infused hollandaise. The food here feels confidently prepared, perhaps because The Good Batch's show-runners are no novices; they formerly worked together & formed friendships at The Bee.

Also adorable: Portobello Road (RM19.90++), with crisply breaded, juicy-on-the-inside portobello mushrooms becoming the ideal foil for the eggs, coupled with wilted spinach & tomatoes. Many thanks to Siao Lee for pointing out this outlet's soft launch to us; The Good Batch was empty on its first Saturday morning, but it shouldn't be that way for very long.

The one we had mixed feelings about: The Ang-Moh (RM25.90++). The scrambled organic eggs were creamy, the vine of cherry tomatoes was ripe for the eating, the potatoes & beans were both fine, while the portobello mushroom was nicely baked, but the beef bacon was kinda dry & the chicken sausage proved generically lacking in flavor.

Likable latte, featuring a Coffex blend of Sumatran, Brazilian & Colombian.

What makes The Good Batch better: Folks can come in at 10am & start drinking right away (guilty as charged). House wine (NZ Sauvignon Blanc & Aussie Shiraz) starts at RM18++ by the glass, while the Passion Fruit Mojito (RM23++) makes for a nice wake-me-up.

Liquidation shooter (Baileys & butterscotch).
If you enjoyed learning about The Good Batch here, please return to this blog starting midnight, Tuesday, October 1, when we unveil "Eat Drink KL: 100F," the next stage in this blog's evolution. We're only 24 hours away now, at the time of this posting!

The Good Batch,
53, Jalan SS 21/1A, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya. Same row as Wondermilk
Tues-Thurs, 10am-10pm; Fri-Sun & public holidays, 10am-1am

The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.

This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Koryori Enoshima @ Wisma Cosway

Koryori Enoshima: Round Two. Earlier entry: August 28.

Looks like pork (kinda), tastes like beef (sorta). But it's tuna (really) in soy sauce.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Neither, silly; they both emerged together, the former roasted, the latter slow-boiled (RM14++).

Enoshima's "Diamond Maki," a California roll adorned with assorted seafood. 

Reminds us that rolls can be real pleasures whenever they're bountifully topped & stuffed.

Crispy spring rolls. Care to guess what they conceal before scrolling down?

A combo of mentaiko & cheese, a soft, savory filling that works well in this case.

Last but not least, what lies beneath this sheath of creamy, calorie-laden cheese?

It's avocado, always welcome, prepared in a gratin recipe with spicy bean paste (RM24++).

Glug glug glug, chug chug chug, sip sip sip.

Koryori Enoshima,
G22-24, Ground Floor, Wisma Cosway, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.
Open for lunch & dinner.
Tel: 03-2148-9390

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cumulus @ Thistle, Port Dickson

Did someone say "Beach bar within a 90-minute drive of KL?" Count us in.

Soak in the seaside serenity at Cumulus, the alfresco lounge of Port Dickson's Thistle resort.

Basic cocktails can be had here. The Singapore Sling's a little too sweet, but we'll take it.

Russian Coffee (RM32++). Vodka, caffeine, cream; could use some Kahlua & Amaretto.

Cumulus takes its inspiration from Ibiza's Cafe del Mar, a lofty ideal to try to live up to.

Still, what matters is the setting; the clean sand & calm sea makes Cumulus a worthwhile stop, with the feel of the ocean breeze, the sound of gentle waves & the sight of the light-blue horizon supplying us with a fleeting but much-needed sense of peace.

Thistle, Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kumang, Si Rusa, Port Dickson.
Tel: 06-648-2828

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chambers @ Kuala Lumpur Hilton

Returning to KL Hilton's Chambers. Earlier entry on Chambers: August 26.

Pursuing plump oysters? The ones at this new bar-&-grill might please, prepared with a Japanese-inspired sudachi citrus juice. RM34++ for a pair.

Hokkaido Bay scallops, creamy with some form of espuma & baby spinach. RM48++.

Chicken or fish? Have both, perhaps; this skewered poultry rubbed with coconut, cumin & coriander (RM18++) is pretty tasty ...

... as are these 120 grams of a gindara black cod fillet dusted with mild curry powder (RM30++). While our first entry on Chambers focused on the outlet's forte of beef, the non-bovine offerings here are not too shabby in their own right.

Chambers' "mature cheese" platter is a letdown though, despite its RM48++ price tag.

The uninspired roll call includes Camembert, Provolone & Roquefort, coupled with truffle honey. Strange; Graze upstairs showcases a superior selection with the likes of Epoisses & mimolette.

Still, redemption can be found in Chambers' elaborately satisfying desserts, such as rum baba yeast cakes with a sturdy variety of fruits & vanilla ice cream (RM25++).

Rhubarb tart with black pepper pastry & berry sorbet (RM25++).

Luxuriously fulfilling chocolate creme brulee with with salted caramel (RM18++).

Wine is expensive at Chambers; white starts at RM31++ by the glass before leaping to RM45++ & beyond. Bottles are little better, with none below RM140++.

Cocktails launch from the RM30++ platfrom too; a fair range of martinis, margaritas & more.

Plenty of Portuguese port & Spanish sherry for a merry nightcap ...

... perfect in particular to pair cheese. And that's it, that's a wrap for Chambers.

Chambers Bar & Grill,
Hilton Kuala Lumpur.
Open daily for lunch & dinner.
Tel: 03-2264-2264

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Skohns Canteen @ Damansara Perdana

Taking a look at Skohns Canteen, which recently started serving a diverse menu that showcases burgers & scones with tantalizing twists.

 Proving that people can still invent interesting burger recipes, Skohn offers an "Exorcist" Burger, with a house-made beef patty topped with mushy peas, mustard, mayo, ketchup, sharp cheddar, lettuce & tomato. The name makes wicked sense if you've watched the Linda Blair movie. 

 Taste-wise, it's well-executed enough, creamy & hearty, likely worth the the RM16.50 price tag.

 A teriyaki chicken burger is also available, but vegetarians will prefer the PETA Burger (heh), featuring falafels with minty cucumber yogurt sauce (RM12).

Burgers are offered only during dinnertime, when a RM22 rib-eye steak, RM18 lamb chops, RM14 lasagna & RM12 spaghetti bolognese are also available. The lunch menu is a little more limited (think grilled chicken).

Lamb Dog, a six-inch sheepish sausage with caramelized onions, cheese, sweet relish, mustard & ketchup. RM13; burgers & hot dogs come with coleslaw & skin-on fries that might be moreish.

But while we hate to harp on sad service (everyone has bad days), that's what undermined our experience here. If the kitchen isn't ready to start serving at 6:15pm _ even though its official business hours begin at six _ what's required is probably an apology & perhaps a hopeful smile, instead of snappish, impatient responses that signal apathy about whether the customer stays & waits or leaves & never returns.

But let's get back to the positives, since we're optimistic that Skohns will get better as it gets more experience. Its signature scones are not shabby at all, mixed with choices like kiwi fruit, raisins, apricots, dates or pineapples & walnuts. RM6 for two.

Skohns' old-fashioned apple pie might look a little dry, but it tastes perfectly fresh & flaky ...

... with a generous amount of juicy fruits, expertly balanced in sweetness & well complemented by some hot custard. Nice one, no complaints here.

Alas, we have to wrap up on a negative note. The latte's terrible. Irredeemably insipid.

Skohns Canteen,
G-13, Perdana The Place, Jalan PJU 8/5G, Damansara Perdana.
Open 9am-3pm, then 6pm-11pm, except Fridays.