Monday, 29 October 2012

Al-Amar Express @ Fahrenheit 88, KL

Al-Amar Express in front of Fahrenheit 88 is the speedy sister of Al-Amar at Pavilion and the menu leans more towards Westernised dishes and quick lunch sets.
Complimentary pita bread
L-R: Small pastries (RM 8.50), Tabbouleh, Hummus, Fattouch, Labneh
I love the presentation! So pretty! The small pastries consisted of Spinach Fatayer (triangular shaped pastry), Lamb Sambousik  (dark ball) and Kebbeh Kras (mini curry puff look-alike). The Spinach Fatayer consists of chopped baby spinach and onions mixed with lemon zest and deep-fried. The resulting taste is refreshing and really good. Lamb Sambousik is just essentially a fried spiced lamb dumpling which tasted average. Kebbeh Kras consisted of minced meat, onions and pine nuts - a unique take on the common curry puff.
The Tabbouleh and Fattouch salads were both good but the Tabbouleh lacked a bit of salt. I'm not a big fan of hummus but JS liked it. The Labneh was quite addictive due to its creamy cheese. The salads and appetizers were all part of a set but the full sized Hummus and Labneh retail for RM 12.90 each whereas the Tabbouleh and Fattouch are RM 16.50 each.
Gorgeous colours of the salads and appetizers
Roasted Chicken (RM 17.90)
We were surprised that the portion consisted of half a chicken which is pretty worth it for that price. The roast chicken was beautifully roasted - the meat was really moist and juicy and the skin delightfully crisp. More pita bread were provided as an accompaniment to the chicken. Apart from that, the sides consisted of fries, pickles and garlic sauce. The fries were good, not the usual shoe-string type.
Al-Amar Steak Sandwich (RM 22.90)
The panini was packed with beef tenderloin, onions, capsicum and mushrooms seared in steak sauce. Lots of mozzarella and cheddar were added to the filling before the panini was grilled. The result was an awesome Philly Cheese Steak d^_^b
The bread was crispy and each mouthful consisted of lots of beef and melted cheese. The Al-Amar Steak Sandwich was really really good and is highly recommended. It came with a side salad and pickles.
Check out the cheese and beef!
All in all, it was a really good lunch and we were really stuffed and didn't feel like going back to work. After paying the bill, we left the restaurant and as we headed towards the sliding glass door, I craned my neck to ogle the other patrons' meals when suddenly there was a loud KA-THONG! My knuckles had hit the glass door which I assumed would open automatically as I walked towards it - it was a good thing I didn't knock my head on it. Turns out, you need to press a button at the side which subsequently opens the non-automatic door. Safety moment there =.= JS was no help as he was busy laughing his head off >. >
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Tomato
Al-Amar Express
Lot G-44, Ground Floor
Fahrenheit 88
Tel: 03 2141 3814
Sun - Thu: 7am - 2am
Fri - Sat: 7am - 5am

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Monday, 22 October 2012

Moolis @ Frith Street, London

A shop specialising in wraps? A shop famous for its goat curry wrap? A shop selling modern Indian street food? This really piqued my curiosity and I ticked off Moolis as a compulsory stopover in my itinerary.
What a cute name!
Quirky artwork
Love the pomegranate wheels - totally reflecting the menu!
Self-service Station
They've got a really handy self-service station with the usual napkins and cutlery, water, olive oil, sauces and even chilli oil.
The menu is relatively simple but the description of the wraps is totally tantalising. Prices are relatively cheap too which is great for tourists on a budget. Small eaters even get to order mini-moolis!
Aside from the main wraps, they've got salad boxes, a whole range of chutneys, side dishes, pappadom bites and dessert as well as plain daal and roti. They've also got really unique feast spreads.
The goodies
As usual, I did thorough research on the eatery and the most famous item on the menu is the goat wrap. Being such a porky lover, I couldn't resist ordering the pork wrap as well with the tempting addition of pomegranate salsa. There was a daily special of lamb kofta and I was really tempted to try it too but it was more expensive and it didn't sound as though it was in the form of a wrap.
Goat Wrap (GBP 5.50)
Tada, the infamous goat wrap! The wrap is not the usual tortilla bread but, in keeping with the Indian theme, a non-greasy roti. It is chock full of tender fragrant goat meat marinated in dry roasted cumin, coriander, cloves, chillies and cinnamon and accompaniments such as tomato and pickled onion cubes, lots of fresh coriander and bite-sized potatoes sauteed with dry mango and cumin. My brother and I both enjoyed this tremendously. The only downside is that there's quite a bit of oil from the dry curry which seeps through the roti and might end up being too oily for some.
Pork Wrap (GBP 5)
The pork wrap consists of shredded slow-cooked pork marinated in red wine vinegar, chillies and garlic, interspersed with lots of fresh vege and the sweet pomegranate salsa. The pork wrap can be a little dry at some parts of the wrap which can be easily remedied with the chilli oil (I didn't quite like the  raita). Also the pomegranate salsa lends it a distinctive sweetness which helps the overall flavour.
Go get your goat NOW!
With such yummy North Indian offerings, I would definitely get the loyalty card if I lived in London and I would definitely visit Moolis if I ever return to London again. It is a great place to grab a quick lunch as testified by the lunch crowd.
PawPoints: 5 Paws

Tube: Tottenham Court Road
50 Frith St
Tel: 020 7494 9075
Mon - Sat: 8.30am - 11.30pm
Sun: 8.30am - 10.30pm

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Han Room @ The Gardens, KL

The Han Room is part of the Oriental group of restaurants and with such a good reputation, posh decor and nice ambience, my family headed there to try out their dim sum. 
My first impression of the restaurant is its unfriendly reception staff, one of whom was quite cold and stand-offish. Perhaps they were busy, perhaps I was prejudiced. 
Anyway, next grouse was the method of ordering dim sum. Instead of giving us a piece of paper to mark the types of dimsum we wanted like other restaurants, theirs was quite confusing. Steamed and deep-fried items came in a cart which allowed us to pick what we wanted from the array of dishes. For congee and braised chicken feet, we had to go to a corner where the congee is prepared upon order. For  steamed rice rolls, we had to order from the wait staff. No one informed us of this beforehand - we only knew of it after enquiring about the dishes because they were not among the items in the cart.
The final thing which gave us a bad impression of the restaurant was the super long wait for the bill. We requested for the bill twice and it still did not come. I reckon if we walked out without paying, they wouldn't even know as they immediately cleared our table when we went to the reception to ask for the bill.
Additional Dipping Sauces
Siu Mai
 The Siu Mai was good but as you can see from the picture, the amount of roe on top was very little.
Har Gau
The prawn dumplings were good with bouncy prawns and acceptable dumpling skin.
Char Siu Bao
The Char Siu Baos were inconsistent in size but quite good. One grouse is that the char siu filling is a little too crumbly due to it being chopped into too small pieces.
Loh Mai Kai
The glutinous rice came with a huge piece of mushroom and was quite good.
Stir Fried Radish Cake
This dish lacked wok hei and it was served warm. The cubed radish cake was also slightly hard and tough like it was the previous day's leftovers whereas the beansprouts were not crunchy.
Yam Puff
The yam puff was also disappointing and the yam shell was quite hard instead of being soft and fluffy and crunchy. The filling, on the other hand, was good but typical.
Char Siu
Char siu was really good with sweet caramelised layer on the outside.
Braised Chicken Feet
The braised chicken feet was really flavourful and absorbed the marinade very well but it was not very tender.
Medallion Carp Congee
The congee was really smooth and pleasant. My mum detected hints of oatmeal mixed into the congee for added aroma and texture.
Prawn Cheong Fun
The prawn wrapped in rice rolls and soya sauce were good but they were stingy with the prawns >.> For each portion of rice roll, there was only one tiny prawn so if you bit the rice roll in two, the other side is just plain rice roll =.=
Overall, the Han Room is really disappointing. The dim sum was really just average for that sort of restaurant and price - I've had much better at Grand Palace Restaurant at Pavillion and the now-closed Crystal Jade Fine Dining Restaurant at The Gardens. Go there only for the ambience and decor but the service and food leaves much to be desired.
PawPoints: 2 Paws
Pawket: Tomato
The Han Room
Lot G243, G246 & G247, Ground Floor
The Gardens
Tel: 03 2284 8833
Mon - Fri: 11am - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 10.30am - 11pm

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tailend Fish Bar @ St Andrews, Scotland

What do you do when you first step foot in UK? Eat fish and chips of course! And it helps if the first city you go to is a seaside town with a chip shop =D

The Tailend Fish Bar at St Andrews used to be quite famous in Edinburgh and without ado after arriving at the guest house, I set off to the town centre in search of British-style fish. Now before we proceed to the taste test, how would you pronounce Tailend? Well it was very obvious to me that it's "Tail-end" - I mean those two words literally jump out at you. Turns out, it is a homonym of Thailand >.< And I even stopped to ask a few locals where "Tail-end" is located when I couldn't find the shop  >.< (JS: tsktsk)                       

Menu Part 1

Menu Part 2

Single Breaded Cod (GBP 5.80)
I had the single breaded cod instead of the usual battered haddock that I always order. Perhaps because of this and the fact that I had raised my expectations for the famous fish and chippery, it did not taste as nice as I had expected. It was deep-fried to a nice golden brown but it was rather dry. Maybe it was also because I had just got off the plane and didn't have much appetite but I couldn't finish it. To its credit, the fish is much larger than I expected (the usual haddock I have is half its width) and the styrofoam box is much larger than the usual chicken rice type.

Also when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do. So when in UK, fish should be eaten with a liberal splashing of malt vinegar. Here, the vinegar, salt and ketchup bottles are not available for self-service - instead you tell the staff what you want and they'll do it for you. Anyway, there wasn't enough vinegar on my fish but I should have told him to add more.

Oh well, now that I'm back, I should probably go try the Magnificent Fish & Chips Bar that everyone is raving about.

PawPoints: 3 Paws

Tailend Fish Bar
130 Market Street
St Andrews
Tel: +44 01334 474 070
Daily: 12am - 10pm, 11.30pm - 12am

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Maya Brasserie @ Maya Hotel, KL

I think many companies always hold corporate events at Maya Hotel so here's a quick overview of the dishes available for dinner buffet at the hotel's all-day cafe Maya Brasserie.

Love the look!
I love the dark colours employed in the decor of Maya Brasserie and the orchid arrangement in a gigantic cement-coloured vase looked absolutely elegant. Very zen-like and peaceful with several ponds in the restaurant. However the pools do not have any barriers around it so watch your step or you might just hear a splash =P

Oysters and Crabs
Raw oysters and crabs which I did not try as I didn't want to risk a diarrhea and I was too lazy to wrestle with the crabs =(

Salad Bar
The salad bar here is quite interesting with a variety of combinations and flavours. By the time I got to the salads, they were half gone and I only took two varieties which interested me =(

Satay and Otak-Otak
It's quite rare to find otak-otak in hotel buffets, no?

BBQ Station
There were tons of ingredients ready to be barbecued such as sausages, marinated chicken and lamb, and assorted vegetables. A variety of sauces and condiments were also available to go with the barbecued items. Not pictured here was a station for deep-fried items too.

Minuscule Japanese Section
Imagine tons of people queuing up for this plate of sashimi =.= Do they not realise Japanese food is popular with the masses? Anyway when you finally get your turn, you can forget all about the others and just zoom in on the rectangular, shiny orange blobs on the plate. I'll tell you why after you scroll down...

Sarawak Kolok Mee Station
I've always wanted to try Kolok Mee but I definitely wasn't about to waste my tummy space with this so I still don't know how it tastes like =(

Haagen Dazs Ice-Cream
There were 3 flavours of Haagen Dazs ice-cream, namely chocolate, strawberry and chocolate chip cookie dough. There were also ais potongs which I doubt anyone would take when there is Haagen Dazs?

Cakes and Local Dessert
Plenty of local kuihs and cakes to choose from =)

Chocolate Fountain
Chocolate Fountain is always a favourite with the patrons and they have the obligatory marshmallows and strawberries as well as preserved fruits.

Main Course
As always, I need some main course items to fill my tummy so clockwise from the rice are chicken and beef satay and the usual accompanying onions and cucumbers, kam heong bamboo clam, stir-fried squid, crab with spices, assam stingray and lamb provencal. I racked my brains for descriptive adjectives for each dish but they were all average and tasted exactly as you assume they would taste (hope that helps =.=). I quite like the satay as both the beef and chicken were well marinated and were adequately charred yet juicy.

My favourites =D Clockwise from the soy sauce saucer are sashimi, futomaki, california maki, potato souffle, kerabu and strawberry chicken salad. The kerabu packed quite a punch in the sour department while the strawberry chicken salad tasted a little odd as the strawberry was sweet and my brain keeps telling me that chicken doesn't go well with sugary sweet stuff =.=

The potato souffle was very comforting and fluffy - I'd have taken more if I wanted to risk looking like a glutton but I was quite full from all the waiting for VIPs so we could start the meal. Both the futomaki and california maki were bite-sized and good...too bad there wasn't enough space in my tummy.

The sashimi were not too bad but the clear winner is that little blob of criss-crossed orange next to the saucer =D It was salmon belly sashimi and it was soooo juicy and fatty and slippery and melt-in-your mouth-y!! It was such a small piece but it certainly beat every single dish on the menu. Be warned though that it is quite tough to get more than one piece as they only display a few pieces of sashimi at any one time and I thought it'd be rude if I scooped up every piece of salmon belly from the display plate (scroll up for picture) =P

Last but not least, I had chocolate-covered strawberries, marshmallow and rock melon, a small square of chocolate cake and strawberry and chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream.

I hope you found the pictures (at least) informative. The buffet items were not too bad but I definitely wouldn't pay to eat these at a hotel.

PawPoints: 2 Paws
Pawket: Salami

Maya Brasserie
Level 1, Maya Hotel
138 Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2711 8866
Daily: 6.30am - 12am

Monday, 1 October 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake @ T'forty Two, Empire Shopping Gallery

This is our 2nd visit to T'forty Two at Empire Shopping Gallery. Our 1st visit was a disastrous one and I never thought I'd step foot in here again but all the other cake shops at Empire have closed and since it is part of the BIG Group, we decided to give it another chance.
"Al Fresco" Dining
As T'forty Two is located at an intermediate lot, the alfresco dining option was made somewhat possible with breezy umbrellas and little flower pots on each table.
Flourless Chocolate Cake (RM 8.90)  
JS needed his chocolate boost so we had a Flourless Chocolate Cake to share. As it is flourless, the cake itself is quite light in texture but very chocolatey-moist to ensure it holds its shape. I have to admit it felt kinda weird eating such a light but at the same time gooey cake but it's a nice piece of cake =D
I wouldn't retract the Tail rating given for the previous visit but this visit showed that the cakes are still worth visiting for =)

PawPoints: 3 Paws
Pawket: Dough
T'forty Two
UK02, Upper Ground Floor
Empire Shopping Gallery
Subang Jaya
Tel: 03 5631 7266
Daily: 11am - 10pm