Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Ying Ker Lou Hakka Cuisine @ The Gardens, KL

I'm so happy that there is a place to enjoy Hakka delicacies now without the trouble of making them from scratch =) Most of you have probably tried Ying Ker Lou before but I just want to highlight some original Hakka dishes that you should try if you have not =)

Lei Cha (RM 13.90)
Hakkas (well, my family) call it "Lui Cha" so the name "Lei Cha" must be in another dialect. I wish they had used the original name in Hakka though =P

A bowl of rice is served with assorted diced vegetables, roasted nuts, pickled radish and diced fried tofu which you have to mix together. There is also a separate dish of deep fried salted fish for added taste. The bowl of murky green soup you see at the top right is the "tea" made from assorted herbs and tea pounded into a paste and dissolved with hot water. It is not as thick as the original lui cha soup but the flavour is still sufficient. The soup actually tastes very healthy and yummy so do not a judge a book by its cover =P

Mixed Lui Cha
After mixing everything together, you can eat it on its own and drink the soup separately or ladle the soup into the big bowl of rice and wolf it all down. The mixture of non-oily stir-fried greens, salty pickled radish and salted fish, crunchy peanuts, moist rice and herb-y soup gives it a refreshing taste without making you feel bloated.

Hakka Yam Abacus (RM 18)
The infamous Hakka Yam Abacus here is quite good. There is the wok hei from stir-frying the dish over high heat, releasing the fragrance of the minced pork, mushrooms and woodear fungus and letting its flavours be absorbed by the yam balls. The addition of chopped parsley adds to the fragrance of the dish. The price is quite steep for a relatively small portion but I guess they have to cover the super tedious work of rolling and pinching thousands of yam balls each day =.= Give it a try if you have not as this is one of the signature Hakka dishes =D

What's in the gourd?


PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Tomato

Ying Ker Lou Hakka Cuisine
Lot 231-232, 2nd Floor
The Gardens
Tel: 03 2284 8480
Daily: 11am - 10pm

Monday, 19 March 2012

Hoofed @ Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, TTDI

I was just going through my favourite google searchword "pork KL" when a review of this restaurant popped up in the list =P And what good timing too for the week after we visited Hoofed, a review of it appeared in The Star.
The restaurant is located above this pub called Tom, Dick & Harry's in TTDI. There is quite limited space on the 1st floor as you can gauge from the pic below so do make a reservation if you've got a large party.
Shop Front
Angelic pigs guiding you to heaven
Lots of winged piggies greet you as you ascend the stairs to pork heaven...
More angels
Oink my god!
There are high chairs and tables as well as normal height chairs and tables for you to choose...
...or you can opt to sit at the sofa and coffee table...
Have I?
An artwork adorning the restaurant wall...I have no artistic sense, I don't get it =.=
Smoked Duck Salad (RM 18)
The Smoked Duck Salad has plenty of smoked duck strips, wedges of hard-boiled egg and century egg as well as the usual salad leaves. It was quite nice with a light vinaigrette dressing although the smoked duck tasted like ham to me. Not very outstanding though.
Roasted Tomato Soup (RM 7)
The Roasted Tomato Soup was extremely rich and creamy with lots of tomato puree. Very nice to drink on a rainy day =)
Onion Soup (RM 8)
The Onion Soup had all of us going back for second spoonfuls. The cheesy piece of bread bobbing atop the soup gave it an even more homey feel.
Bacon Fried Rice (RM 19.60)
This was the dish which attracted my attention =P Chinese-style fried rice with bacon and Chinese sausage bits. It was very fragrant and each morsel of rice was light and fluffy. The bacon and Chinese sausage added much flavour to the dish. This is highly recommended.
Devil's Hair Pasta (RM 19.90)
I was eagerly anticipating the Devil's Hair Pasta with roast pork after reading good reviews about it but I was quite disappointed with it =( It came tasting like wantan mee =.= It would have tasted good if it were like wantan mee but the thick caramelised dark soya sauce coating the roast pork and pasta had a hint of chilli pepper, making the dish slightly peppery. I was the only one who thought the combination of salty savoury and pepperish odd though...my friends were tucking in happily.
Roast Pork Belly (RM 17.90)
Oh this has got to be one of the best roast pork in town. Moist tender meat with bits of fat and an extremely crispy skin. A dollop of yellow mustard and horseradish each provided an alternative flavour.
Pork Shoulder Chops (RM 30.20)
The pork shoulder chops were good - moist and flavourful from the garlic and onion sauce most probably made from pork drippings. It is supposedly served on a bed of mash but I must have missed it. Fresh vegetables were served as a side.
Pork Ribs (RM 44.40)
The Pork Ribs were served dry with a bowl filled with brown sauce and fresh vegetables on the side. I found the meat a little too firm and dry and the cinnamon seasoning rather strong. No complaints from my friends though.
Pavlova (RM 7.90)
The Pavlova was average, served with fresh kiwi and strawberry slices and a drizzle of maple syrup. Good thing it was not too sweet thanks to the balance provided by the tart fruits.
Cold Bananarama (RM 12.30)
Oh this was the unexpected surprise of the night. A creamy and chocolatey concoction with banana slices, it was so good we ordered a second serving before we even finished the first =P
Here's our second serving. Don't you feel disappointed seeing it after a comparatively larger serving the first time? =.= Anyway the second serving didn't fare too well with us as it had a sprinkling of chopped nuts ala Cornetto which had a whiff of stale nuts smell =.=
Brownies ala Mode (RM 12.90)
The piping hot chocolatey brownies were quite good with huge walnuts, strawberry slices and cold vanilla ice-cream. A foolproof (fail-safe =P) dessert,
<hoof print>
Some hits and misses here and there but I wouldn't mind returning for the Bacon Fried Rice, Roast Pork Belly and the Roasted Suckling Pig which some other patrons ordered and looked so good.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Olive
18A, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Tel: 03 7728 8567
Daily: 4pm - Late

Monday, 12 March 2012

Hog's Breath Cafe @ Chijmes, Singapore

I first heard of Hog's Breath Cafe when I was planning for my Australia trip. It is a western sort of grill bar serving food similar to Chilli's and TGIF but with my favourite curly fries! So when I found out they have a branch in Singapore, I had to go have a taste =) But seriously, why do famous chain stores always have branches in Singapore and Bangkok but skip KL?? We Malaysians like food too! >.<
Cute artwork
Set Lunch Menu
Daily Special
They have lots of yummy items on the menu - I especially wanted to try the Seafood Gumbo served with Cob Loaf but we were on a tight food schedule and so had to content to sharing the set lunch =(

Salt and pepper shaker
Spicy Seafood Tomato Soup
The Spicy Seafood Tomato Soup which came as part of the set lunch was yummy! The soup was thick and rich with tomato paste and spicy sauce and there was a generous amount of seafood among the sprinkles of parsley in the mug. Although it was very yummy and comforting, I rather thought it had a hint of canned spicy sardine gravy =P The small piece of garlic bread was toasted to a crisp and was very fragrant with garlic butter.
Aussie Burger (SGD 18)
We had the Aussie Burger with a side salad and curly fries. The burger was quite yummy with perfectly fried sunny side up that has an oozing yolk, crispy bacon, well-seasoned and moist beef pattie and adequate and fresh lettuce and tomato slice.
The curly fries I had eagerly anticipated was well fried as the outsides were crispy and the insides soft and fluffy. There were also lots of curly bits which are my favourite =D The letdown was that it was too salty >.< Not sure if the chef accidentally reached for the salt bowl twice or this is the standard taste in the cafe.
To be fair, the specialty of Hog's Breath Cafe is its wonderful steaks which we did not order. If I were to give it a rating based on its set lunch alone, I would say it's average and not a must-visit.
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Hog's Breath Cafe
City Hall MRT
Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street
Block A, #01-26/27
Tel: +65 6338 1387
Daily: 11.30am - 1am

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Roast Pigeon @ Richwell Restaurant, PJ

After our missed opportunity to eat roast pigeon in HK, I started scouting for one in KL. So people, if you want to have a taste of roast pigeon without taking a flight, head over to Richwell Restaurant in PJ.
Half a Roast Pigeon (RM 35 for whole pigeon)
The tiny little pigeon is deep-fried to perfection, the crispy, well-seasoned skin still glistening with oil. The flesh is smooth and firm and has a slightly gamey, ducky taste to it. It is quite tough eating this with chopsticks so bring out the hidden barbarian in you and tear off the meat with bared teeth =D
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Tomato
Richwell Restaurant
24 Jalan 19/3
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 7955 5855
Daily: 11am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 11pm

Friday, 2 March 2012

Senjyu @ The Curve, Mutiara Damansara

We bought a promotional voucher for the Assorted Sashimi and Seafood Tempura Set at RM13.90 each which comes with a salad and miso soup. This is our first time at Senjyu as we usually stick to our favourites when craving for Japanese food but it seems to be around Sushi Zanmai's standard so off we went, laughing inwardly at our luck for snagging such a great deal...
Hot and Cold Green Tea
Of course, this proves again that the age-old saying is true to its word "Nothing cheap is ever good"...
Sakura Chirashi (RM 34.80)
Looks good?
Raw prawn, salmon, tuna, octopus, white tuna and salmon roe along with tamagoyaki, lettuce, a sprinkling of dried seaweed and a wedge of lemon atop vinegared rice. Yes, it does look good.
Tastes good?
Well only the salmon and salmon roe tasted good.
What about the others?
The octopus was rubbery, the tuna and white tuna were rather limp, the rice was not sufficiently vinegary, the egg was rather tasteless but worst of all was the prawn O.O It was extremely limp and slightly slimy and the contents in the head looked absolutely disgusting O.O
The side salad came with a slightly grainy and sourish sauce and was acceptable albeit a little odd tasting. The miso soup was average.
Seafood Tempura Jyu (RM 34.80)
The Seafood Tempura Set consists of a Tendon, side salad and miso soup. All good Japanese restaurants make good tempura. The tempura at Senjyu was oily and soggy. There were also lots of crumbly and oily bits of tempura batter scattered over the bed of rice which made the whole meal an oily and soggy batter affair >.< This also applies to Umai-ya, the so-called upscale Japanese restaurant at Damansara Uptown and KLCC (I've been wanting to write a rant post on it but unfortunately I did not take any pictures). I wonder if they are both under the same dining group.
I've always wanted to try Senjyu as it looks quite classy but this experience left me never wanting to return again. If this was a one-off thing and their food is usually of a higher standard, then it is even worse as they tricked people into paying for the promotion by giving them shitty food.
This further strengthens my belief that the only affordable and yummy Japanese food available in the Klang Valley is by the SuperSushi group consisting of Sushi Zanmai, Pasta Zanmai, Rakuzen, etc.
PawPoints: 1 Paw
Pawket: Tomato (original price)

G2 and G3, Ground Floor
Tel: 03 7727 9028
Daily: 10.30am - 10.30pm