Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mizu Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant @ TTDI Plaza, PJ

We have always wanted to try the buffet at Mizu since its sister restaurant in Bangsar is a fine dining restaurant. We had dinner there on Christmas Day and surprisingly, it was not packed with people. We counted only 5 tables that night O.O But maybe most of the patrons came for lunch since we were told some items had run out =.=
Mizu is on the 1st floor
Lovely interior
Table setting
Complete order list
Picture Menu Part 1
A menu with pictures is also available in case patrons are not familiar with the dishes...
Picture Menu Part 2
Potato Salad
The potato salad here is creamy but tastes more like egg mayonnaise rather than potato salad...still good.
L-R: Hamachi, Maguro, Salmon
Ooo look at the thick fleshy pieces of sashimi. We had a few orders of these super fresh chunks of fish but unfortunately JS's favourite Shiro Maguro aka White Tuna was sold out >.< It was hard to pick a favourite as they were all yummy but mine was the Tuna and JS's was the Yellowtail =)
L: Agedashi Tofu, R: Hiyayako Tofu
The cute tofu cubes came in tiny ramekin dishes. The Agedashi Tofu came piping hot in a tempura dipping sauce. A dab of mentaiko and sprinkling of finely sliced spring onions topped the deep-fried cube.
The Hiyayako Tofu was very refreshing with the diluted soy sauce dip, pickled ginger and finely sliced spring onions. We had seconds of the cold, silky smooth Hiyayako Tofu.
I just could not resist ordering my favourite maki with assorted pickles. The seaweed coating was very fresh; however the pickles were rather bland and with a higher rice ratio to pickles and egg, the futomaki was kind of plain. To try the best futomaki, head on over to Sushi Zanmai! =D
Ebi Tempura Temaki
The Ebi Tempura Temaki was very fresh and well done. Crispy, light, deep-fried prawn tempura on a bed of lettuce, rice, cucumber strips, slathered with mayonnaise and rolled in seaweed...very yummy!
Saba Shioyaki
The Saba Shioyaki was nicely done. The skin was crispy and the meat tender and not too salty. JS's only grouse was the small portion.. After having this piece, JS up ordering 4 more pieces! hence the following picture =P
L-R: Ebi Shioyaki, Saba Shioyaki
The Ebi Shioyaki was fresh and sweet despite being grilled; however I don't think this is the best way to eat the prawns as they are likely to shrink in the pan with most of the meat attached to the shell.
Top: Ebi Tempura, Bottom: Ebi Furai
Ebi Tempura was good - crispy, light batter and bouncy prawns. I prefer the Ebi Furai though which is coated in panko crumbs rather than tempura batter which gives it a bit more crunch <clicks teeth together>
Vegetable Tempura
Vegetable Tempura was also good. There was an eggplant, lady's finger, sweet potato and a mushroom. JS thought that the mushroom was a bit too "earthy".
Beef Stew
This tiny bowl of Beef Stew was awesome! Meltingly tender beef chunks simmered in a rich demiglaze sauce, it was so yummy on its own that we could not help eating it even though we were quite stuffed by then. The gravy is absolutely good with rice...too bad there wasn't any rice. This is a must-order as I doubt you can find it anywhere else.
Beef Teppanyaki
The pan-grilled beef cubes were wonderful - not too tough and managed to retain quite a lot of beef juices.
Scallop and Oyster Teppanyaki and Salmon Shioyaki
The taste of the scallops and oysters was somehow very cloying. I also found the scallops to be a bit too oily for my liking.. The salmon wasn't very good either as it was hard and dry.
Chicken Teppanyaki

The chicken teppanyaki was tender and not too sweet. Just the way JS likes them. However, we found the portion a bit too big as we were already quite full when we finally got to this dish =P
Seafood Chahan
The tiny bowl of seafood fried rice was very fragrant. Each grain of rice was fluffy and not oily. If only there was more beef stew gravy to ladle over the rice hehe.
Miso Shiru
This miso soup was less than average - diluted, insufficient miso paste and salty. You can skip this.
L-R: Black Sesame, Strawberry, Chocolate Ice-Cream
We originally wanted green tea and black sesame ice-cream but they ran out of green tea ice-cream and only had one scoop of black sesame ice-cream left =.= So we had black sesame, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream which were all good =D
We were really stuffed so luckily some of the items we ordered did not arrive =P Despite some small shortcomings, the food at Mizu is really good and of good quality. We'll definitely be back to have our favourites again =)
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Cheese
Mizu Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant
C-2-1, TTDI Plaza
Jalan Wan Kadir 3
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Tel: 7728 6498
Daily: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Monday, 20 February 2012

Yellow Cab Pizza @ Dang Wangi, KL

We went to Yellow Cab Pizza near the Dang Wangi LRT station (corner of Jalan Raja Abdullah and Jalan Yap Ah Shak) one afternoon for lunch. The pizza chain originated from the Philippines and has a very catchy logo with a yellow and black theme similar to the patterns seen on taxis. Yellow Cab Pizza also does delivery using yellow Vespa scooters which I find rather unique.
Besides that, they pride themselves on being environmentally friendly by serving pizzas in cardboard boxes rather than plastic plates as well as canned and bottled drinks, all of which can be recycled. The pizzas come in 10", 14" and 18" sizes with a wide variety of flavours to choose from.
14" New York's Finest (RM 41.90)
We had the 14" New York’s Finest and it does look good in my opinion. The pizza contains Italian beef sausage, chicken ham, beef pepperoni, beef bacon, ground beef, black olives, mushrooms, onions, red  and green bell peppers and cheese. The pizza base was thin but not overly soft and the crust was a bit on the crispy side (the way I like it). They were also generous with the toppings. This is one of my favourite pizzas here at Yellow Cab.
My other favourite is the #4 Cheese which contains mozzarella, cheddar, romano and feta cheese. It is definitely a must try for all cheese lovers! Another great option would be the Four Seasons whereby you can try 4 different flavours (NY Classic, #4 Cheese, Anchovy Lovers and Roasted Garlic & Shrimp) all on a single pizza.
I also tried the Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta (RM 16.80). This is quite disappointing, in my opinion. It's something like an East-meets-West spaghetti with shiitake mushrooms, chicken strips and roasted peanuts tossed in a spicy, Oriental sauce which I suspect to be Chinese yellow bean sauce. Unfortunately it tastes more like mamak mee goreng to me and you can be sure I'll never order this again >.< 
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Pawket: Cheese
Yellow Cab Pizza Co.
Jalan Raja Abdullah
(opposite Dang Wangi LRT Station)
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2694 2003

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Oriental Banquet @ Section 19, PJ

This year's reunion dinner with my uni mates was at Oriental Banquet at Seksyen 19 which supposedly (I now vouch for it =D) has super yummy food. Check out what we ate...
Salmon Yee Sang
I thought the Salmon Yee Sang was very fresh, the plum juice and oil ratio just nice. The crunchy items were crispy and did not reek of stale oil. The pickled items were refreshing and went well with the other items. However, Maggot-chan did say she thought there wasn't enough taste...
Fried Nam Yue Pork Belly
This crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside Fried Nam Yue Pork Belly is good! There is a distinct red fermented beancurd taste but it is not salty. The crunchy cucumbers go really well with the deep-fried pork slices.
Roast Lut Zhi Duck
The Roast Duck was good and juicy but I thought the skin was not crispy enough. Buried under the duck were lots of chestnuts and arrowhead.
Pan Fried Tuna in Pomelo Sauce
This dish was very refreshing. Battered tuna slices were pan-fried and coated with a honey lemon pomelo sauce. Although pan fried, the tuna was not dry or flaky. The sour sauce lent its flavour to the plain firm flesh of the tuna and the shredded pomelo provided a refreshing and juicy bite complementing the fish. Lettuce cups and deep fried cuttlefish complemented the dish further. Wouldn't mind ordering this again d^_^b
Braised Tofu
The braised tofu which had numerous bits of mushrooms within was braised together with broccoli florets and another type of mushroom which I can't remember in some oyster-abalone sauce. Quite good.
Loh Hon Zhai
The Loh Hon Zhai came with huge pieces of shiitake mushrooms, woodear fungus, daylily buds, dried beancurd skin, chinese cabbage and insufficient glass noodles. The flavour was good and not too salty.
Grilled Pork Ribs
Oohh yummy pork ribs =D The meat was not dry despite being grilled and was still juicy. It was also easy to cut the meat from the bone. The meat was full of flavour, some might find it a little too salty. Plain cabbage was provided to mop up the sauce but some of the cabbages became quite oily in the end.
Romaine Lettuce in Caesar Dressing
Lettuce in Caesar dressing was also served to counteract the oiliness of the pork ribs. I would have preferred a serving of lettuce without any dressing as the pork ribs were already very flavourful.
Waxed Meat
To go with the claypot rice, a dish of waxed sausages, waxed liver sausages, another waxed meat I could not identify, waxed duck drumstick and blanched kailan.
Claypot Rice in Soya Sauce
Claypot Rice + Waxed Meat
Just scoop a bowlful of rice and arrange some waxed meat and blanched kailan on top and the Lap Mei Fan is ready! The waxed sausages were very fragrant and delectable. I found the waxed duck drumstick a bit too hard and tough for my liking, not sure if that's the original taste. The rice and waxed meat were very flavourful on its own hence there was no need to add soya sauce to the dish.
Service was very good and attentive and the food here is very yummy. The quality of the food was also much better than other restaurants' since it's the CNY season but it may also be because we did not order from the set menus. All in all, a good place to bring to impress your guests. Prices are quite steep though - we paid RM 70 per person for about 12 persons to a table.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Cheese

Oriental Banquet
16 Jalan 19/1
Section 19
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 7957 8488
Daily: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison @ Mandarin Gallery, Singapore

Ma Maison is a Yoshoku place which serves Japanese-influenced Western dishes. This branch of Ma Maison however specialises in tonkatsu only so I'm pretty sure you can expect the best. After all, it's located within Mandarin Gallery which seemed to me like a Singapore Starhill.
Piggy chef
Unique open air dining
It is not a very large shop and with its immense popularity among the locals, it's best to come during non-peak hours (however, don't go at 3pm like us as the shop is closed in the afternoon) as they do not accept reservations.
Piggy decor
Part of the menu
Apart from the common pig, they also serve kurobuta aka black pig bred in Kagoshima. Expensive yo!
Range of sauces
At Ma Maison, there are many sauces to choose from. The tall bottles with the red cap and white cap are soy sauce and sesame dressing respectively. In the cute and fat little teapots are tonkatsu sauce, the variation clearly written on the sides of the pot and the lid. The blue pot consists of sweet tonkatsu sauce, similar to what is provided in Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen in KL whereas the red pot consists of spicy tonkatsu sauce. There is also a sesame seed dispenser.
Sesame seeds
As only a sesame seed dispenser is provided, the sesame seeds were not as fragrant as those in Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen which were grinded to release its flavour.
Sesame seeds + Sweet tonkatsu sauce
Mameton Set (SGD 25.80)
The full works of the Mameton Set - the assorted katsu and shredded cabbage in the middle and (clockwise from top left) tonjiru aka pork miso soup, somen in dashi broth, oroshi aka grated radish, tartare sauce, rice and pickled cabbage. The rice and shredded cabbage are both refillable.
Ebi Furai, Rosu Katsu, Hire Katsu
See the golden panko coating? There is even a dollop of Thousand Island sauce on the side and a wedge of lemon.
Both the hire katsu (pork fillet cutlet) and the rosu katsu (pork loin cutlet) were juicy and the deep-fried panko coating extremely crispy. You can even see each tiny piece of golden breadcrumb clearly. It's like in shows where you take a bite and it goes CRACKLE! The ebi furai was also very fresh, crispy coating and bouncy meat. They were so good they can be eaten on their own without any sauce. It certainly beats Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen's tonkatsu anytime with its much juicier meat and much crispier skin =D But don't fret, Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen is not too far behind and is certainly at this point in time, the best tonkatsu outlet in Malaysia =)
The spicy tonkatsu sauce was a surprise winner with a pleasant kick. The flavours were also more dimensional compared to the sweet tonkatsu sauce, and unlike any other sauce found in KL. JS was super addicted to the tonkatsu sauce =P However he did note that Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen's tonkatsu sauce and sesame seed dip was much more fragrant due to the grinded sesame seeds. I, on the other hand, favoured the tartare sauce over the tonkatsu sauce. Somehow deep-fried stuff goes well with tartare sauce =P
The sesame dressing was good against the mound of otherwise bland, raw cabbage strips.
The oroshi (grated radish) provided some cooling relief against the heatiness of the katsu. Too bad it was not refillable =( The pickled cabbage was average.
Somen in Dashi
This was a nice surprise in the bento set =) Fine somen noodles in a warm dashi broth sprinkled with finely sliced leeks. Somehow Japanese leeks don't taste the same as Chinese leeks so that's good for me =P The light, slurp-inducing somen noodles were a nice refreshing change from the usual ramen, udon and soba and the broth was very warm and comforting.
As usual, the tonjiru was laden with many ingredients such as lots of daikon pieces, pork and spring onions. It was good but similar to the raves I wrote for Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen (hehe sorry I'm lazy ^_^).
Another surprise for us! They also served a complimentary dessert in the form of a lightly scented konnyaku jelly. I can't quite place the scent but it was very pleasant.
Do make a trip to Tonkatsu by Ma Maison if you're in Singapore. It does not disappoint! =)
PawPoints: 5 Paws
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
Somerset MRT
#02-35/36, Mandarin Gallery
333 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6733 4541
Daily: 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 10pm

Monday, 6 February 2012

Al-Amar Lunch Buffet @ Pavilion, KL

What better way to try Middle Eastern cuisine other than going for a buffet to sample all the different salads and kebabs =) The buffet is only available during lunch on Sundays and priced at RM 65.
Shop entrance
Appetizer Spread
Lots of hummus
Salad Bar
Spot my favourites!
...and even more appetizers...
Steamed White Rice and Mushroom Soup
Main Course Spread
Grilled Beef Tenderloin in Gravy
Spicy Fried Rice
Vegetarian Lasagna
Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce
Dessert Spread
Clockwise from Left: Caesar Salad, Tabbouleh, Spicy Fried Potatoes, Chicken Wing, Fattoush Salad
This plate of appetizers is the best ever! I loved all that I took as they were all really yummy.
  • Caesar Salad was a tad more sourish than usual due to the chef's preference for lemon dressing but it was yummy all the same. The toasted croutons were my favourite which absorbed the lemon dressing really well.
  • The smell and taste of Tabbouleh was much stronger than what I had tasted when I was in Oman so people averse to parsley better not take this. It was a little bland, perhaps more salt would have been preferable? I prefer to load this on kebabs as you can see in the other pictures =D
  • Spicy Fried Potatoes were really good - bite-sized and full of flavour.
  • Chicken wing was bursting with lemon flavour. The citrus dressing moistened the meat further.
  • Fattoush Salad was simply refreshing: fresh, crunchy lettuce, cucumbers and baby radishes in a strong lemon-y dressing and topped with crispy toasted pita bread. Yum!
Clockwise from Left: Vegetarian Lasagne, Eggplant Appetizer, Chicken Wing, Caesar Salad, Tabbouleh, Centre: Spicy Fried Potatoes
JS couldn't stop himself loading on his favourite lasagne when we were supposed to be taking appetizers <tsktsk> He said the top of the lasagne was crispy and the pasta sheets went very well together with the vegetables. Pity it had no meat =P
Puffy Pita Bread
This super puffy pita bread was average. A little chewy though. Good with the kebabs and condiments.
Mushroom Soup
The Mushroom Soup was surprisingly very good. Thick and creamy, it was full of huge chunks of button mushrooms. Extremely sinful due to the generous amount of cream. Definitely not for weight watchers.
Kebab and Condiments
Kebabs! Very good with the pita bread, raw onions, pickles, tomatoes and Tabbouleh. The lamb (skinny ones) was the best out of the three, the beef cubes were a wee bit tough and the chicken pieces were a little dry.
Clockwise from Left: Curry Chicken, Samosa, Kebab and Condiments
Curry chicken and samosa were both average...can skip this.
Spicy Fried Rice and Grilled Beef Tenderloin in Gravy
The rice had quite a strong spice taste and was quite moist. I wished it was a little firmer sort of Briyani rice though.
The grilled beef tenderloin was tender with a nice savoury gravy.
My Favourites - Clockwise from Left: Kebab + Condiments + Tabbouleh, Fried Potatoes, Caesar Salad, Fattoush Salad
Another round of my favourites! =D
Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce
The fish was rather plain, not very memorable =(
Clockwise from Top Left: Tiramisu, Opera Cake, Middle Eastern Sweet, Cheesecake
  • Tiramisu was a little dry and sweeter than usual. The abundance of cocoa powder on top of the tiramisu resulted in a slight throat irritation.
  • Opera Cake was nice with a thick dark chocolate top and a slight hint of coffee.
  • Middle Eastern Sweet was toooooooo sweet >.< JS only had a bite of it.
  • Cheesecake was very rich and creamy but JS preferred some toppings on it =P
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Cheese
Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine
Lot 6.10.00, Level 6
Pavillion Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2166 1011
Daily: 11am - 10pm
Sunday: 12pm - 3pm (Buffet)