Sunday, 27 January 2013

Restoran Damansara Hokkien Mee @ Kota Damansara

Damansara Hokkien Mee is another outlet serving good hokkien mee. There is a branch at Damansara Uptown which I usually frequent but this review is for the Kota Damansara outlet which is next to Sunway Giza mall.

Extra tables on the road in preparation for brisk business

The menu is relatively simple and straightforward. The staple on each table is, of course, the Hokkien Mee.

Pork Soup (RM 16 for 2 person)
The Pork Soup was hot and comforting with lots of pork slices and cabbage. It also helps to counter the heatiness of the Hokkien Mee.

Stir-Fried Kailan with Garlic (RM 8)
Vegetables were average but having a plate of greens helps alleviate the guilty feeling of consuming lots of deep-fried pork lard...

Hokkien Mihun Mee (RM 13 for 2 person)
Both the Hokkien Mee and Hokkien Mihun Mee came piping hot with lots of wok hei. The thick strands of yellow noodles and scraggly mihun were evenly coated in the concentrated and glistening dark sauce. Each plate came heaped with lots of deep-fried pork lard. Innards are not served here so people who detest them can rejoice =P

Hokkien Mee (RM 13 for 2 person)

The folks at Restoran Damansara Hokkien Mee really do know how to serve a good plate of the glorious black noodles and I frequently come here if Tong Fong and Kim Lian Kee are out of the way. Plus they do give lots of deep-fried lard! ^_^

P/S: You can even top up lard for an extra RM 1 for a big awesome is that? =D

PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Dough

Restoran Damansara Hokkien Mee
35 Jalan PJU 5/9
Kota Damansara
Daily: 5pm - 2am

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Banhmi 11 @ Broadway Market, London

After my disappointing search for banh mi in Melbourne, I was adamant to get one in London. Upon checking out the reviews from local bloggers on the various banh mi(s) available in the city, I settled on the famous Banhmi 11. They do not have a permanent shop as far as I'm aware, so I had to settle for their mobile stall at Broadway Market. They are stationed there every Saturday and you can check out their website for their schedule on other days.
Among all the locations listed on their website, Broadway Market is one of the nearer ones to the city centre. Having said that, it is still quite a distance to get to the market and I had to purposely make a detour from my itinerary to get there. They are also open on Mondays at Berwick Street Market at Soho but unfortunately, I only had time on Saturday =( Anyway the point is, if you're planning on getting to Broadway Market, do make sure to get a detailed map as it is quite a distance (for us Asians) from the tube station.
There are lots to see at Broadway Market but do take note that it is one of the smaller markets. In any case, there are fresh produce, homemade jam and preserves, ethnic food stalls and lovely flowers. There is also a park nearby called London Fields where you can chill, soak up the sunshine (if the sun has not gone into hiding) or enjoy typical British blustery winds and watch the world go by =P
Huge banner to ensure you don't miss it
Banhmi 11 seems to be managed by a family as there is a group of teenagers helping to man the stall and cope with the never-ending orders.
Chalkboard menu
The accompaniments
Each banh mi consists of pickled carrot and radish, cucumber and coriander nestled in a freshly baked French baguette. You'll be asked if you want your banh mi spicy and once the go-ahead is given, the salad gets a generous splash of cili padi (bird's eye chillies) and soy sauce.
The baguette is crusty and warm and provides a good base for the filling. The taste of the Vietnamese salad was rather mild - I prefer it to have a sharper zing of vinegar.
Op La Di Beef (GBP 4.50)
The Op La Di Beef has a wonderful aroma from the sizzling grill and the thinly sliced sirloin steak is very tender and flavourful, not a surprise since it has been marinated in a unique pear BBQ sauce. It  goes well with the pickled Vietnamese salad and it is kind of like eating an Asian dish in a bun. 
Crackling Pork Belly (GBP 4.50)
The Crackling Pork Belly consists of roasted pork in lemon juice and five spice powder. There was not much crackling in my sandwich and most of the time, my bites consisted of bread and salad only. Also, after being compressed in the bun, some of the crackling got a bit soggy and soft. But when you do get a bite of crispy crackling, salad and bread, what a superb explosion of yumminess in your mouth!
Perhaps I kept imagining the yummy taste of banh mi and kept my expectations too high but when I finally tried it, it was...average. I would have given it a higher rating if the taste was more pronounced. Nevertheless, it was a good experience eating an Asian baguette which is not yet available on Malaysian shores.
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Banhmi 11
Tube: Bethnal Green
Broadway Market
Sat: 10am - 5pm

Monday, 14 January 2013

Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant @ Wardour Street, London

Four Seasons Restaurant at Bayswater is arguably the best restaurant in London for roast duck, or so they say. Even my friends swear by it. I went there once when I was a student but I didn't like it. This time, I returned there again with my brother to see if it is indeed the best roast duck in town and also, to get a second opinion.
Wardour Street branch
Menu for Rice Dishes
Menu for Soup Noodles
Menu for Noodle Dishes
Complimentary chilli sauce, pickled green chillies and chilli oil
Two Combination Barbecued Duck and Soya Chicken on Rice (GBP 6.50)
The Barbecued Duck looked good with a thick glistening skin but in reality, the meat was quite tough and the skin too fatty and oily. Both my brother and I didn't think it was worth all the hype. We also unanimously agreed that the mobile roast duck stall at USJ 2 is way better than this (Incidentally, JS's family also regularly buys roast duck from USJ 2 and I can tell you it beats whatever famous roast duck from Loong Foong at PJ too).
The Soya Chicken was a surprise winner with super juicy, soft and smooth meat and a nice slippery skin which has absorbed the soya sauce flavour. The combination of finely sliced spring onions and ginger truly complemented the chicken and enhanced its flavour. Too bad they gave only a small amount of this.
Two Combination Barbecued Pork and Crispy Pork Belly on Rice (GBP 6.50)
The Barbecued Pork was disappointing. First of all, I prefer the glazed, charred kind to these artificially-coloured pork. Second, the meat was quite dry without much flavour and it's just like eating plain pork. I gave away most of it to my brother who was hungry and took the opportunity to barter for more Soya Chicken =P
I eagerly awaited the Crispy Pork Belly as who makes them better than Hong Kong people? Unfortunately it also fell short of my expectations as the skin was not crispy enough and the meat was too lean and hence, quite dry.
Overall, not a very memorable dining experience >. > I'd much rather have some gourmet burgers or go for more Moolis! I'd say skip this or head for Empress of Sichuan. If you're on a budget, Eat sandwich shops or any of the many Chinese restaurants in Soho would be good for a quick bite. But if you really, really, really want a taste of it, there's no need to travel halfway round the world - there is a branch at Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya.
PawPoints: 2 Paws
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant
T: Picadilly Circus
23 Wardour St
Tel: +44 020 7287 9995
Mon - Thu: 12pm - 11.30pm
Fri - Sat: 12pm - 12am
Sun: 12pm - 11pm

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Neroteca @ The Somerset, Kuala Lumpur

Now that V-Day is just around the corner, how about a suggestion on where to go? We went to Neroteca which I've been wanting to dine at for Valentine's Day last year so as you can see, this is a long overdue post. I was looking forward to slurping up pasta or crunching on thin crust pizza but unfortunately, there were only Valentine set dinners to choose from.

V-day decor
V-day menu
We had the San Valentino "Touching the 4 Senses" set priced at RM 198++ for 4 courses and 2 glasses of cocktail.
"Fall in Love"
Lovely colours, aren't they? I took a sip of the red one and I thought I was drinking children's fever medicine >.< My face was exactly like this >.< It was so bad I quickly reached for the yellow one and although still bitter, tasted much better. I guess I'm not the correct person to review cocktails as JS didn't have any complaints about the two glasses.
Sweet Lobster Carpaccio
The appetizer of calabra piccante and lobster served with cherry tomato confit, red radish, asparagus and drizzled with lemon vinaigrette was yummy. The lobster flesh was truly sweet tasting and the slightly spicy salami provided a nice contrast to the flavours.
Fettuccini Yabbies in Love
The first course is champagne sauce fettuccini topped with strips of parma ham and yabbies. The yabbies were kind of tough to eat as it had little flesh no matter how hard I tried to dig. The salty ham was a good accompaniment for the slightly bland pasta as the champagne sauce couldn't offer much flavour to the wide fettuccini.
After taking away the pesky leaves...
Tenderloin Love and Hugs Speck
The second course consisted of pork tenderloin wrapped with a salt and spice cured ham, served with roast potatoes and onion marmalade. The two pieces of tenderloin might not look like much but they were actually quite filling. The meat was tender and the two different flavours and texture went very well together. The soft roast potatoes absorbed the juices of the pork and were yummy. I couldn't quite get used to the onion marmalade though.
Lovely Souffle and Vanilla Gelato
Dessert was chocolate souffle with vanilla gelato, blackberry and strawberry. I enjoyed this the most as the souffle was chocolatey and its pairing with vanilla ice-cream can never go wrong.
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Pawket: Salami
Ground Floor, The Somerset
8 Lorong Ceylon
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2070 0530
Daily: 11.30am - 11.30pm

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Dogs @ Edinburgh, Scotland

I came across this cute pub while researching for food in Edinburgh. The usual pub food is served at The Dogs whereas its sister restaurants Seadogs serve seafood and Amore Dogs serve Americanised Italian fare.

Unfortunately, this pub does not have the usual pub favourites such as Shepherd's or cottage pie, roasts (probably because it's not a Sunday) or even my favourite J2O(!!) (a non-alcoholic beverage in a beer bottle with melon flavour). Nevertheless, it is a cosy place with nice food.

Coat of arms


Bar counter

Skirt steak, chips, beef tomato and smoked garlic butter (GBP 11.75)
Simple steak and wedges done beautifully - the steak was juicy and well-flavoured with the added taste of garlic butter, the wedges were roasted to a crisp yet fluffy texture and a halved grilled tomato. Good stuff =D

Seafood stew with garlic crouton (GBP 9.95)
The seafood stew was filled with ingredients - lots of mussels, prawns, mini clams, fish and calamari stewed together with cabbage, celery and leek. The broth was creamy and rich with butter, coating every single piece of seafood very well. The garlic crouton was crispy but slightly tough once dipped in the gravy. I would have appreciated a bigger piece of crouton though =P Overall this was one yummy dish but it can get kind of cloying after you've had most of it.

Showing you the way to good food

PawPoints: 4 Paws

The Dogs
110 Hanover St
Tel: 0131 220 1208