Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chicken Rice Balls @ Hoe Kee Chicken Rice, Melaka

What's the first thing you should do once you touch down at Melaka? Eat chicken rice balls, of course! Truthfully, chicken rice balls are just a novelty as you'll likely smash the rice ball and eat it like normal chicken rice...I've not seen anyone pop the entire rice ball into his/her mouth...yet.
Anyway it was a battle between Hoe Kee and Chung Wah, two of the chicken rice ball powerhouse in Melaka. I decided to go with Hoe Kee as blog reviews revealed that they were very efficient with consistent quality whereas Chung Wah's service was a little slower, hence the never-ending long queue at its door. True enough, when we reached Melaka one rainy morning, there was already a long line of hungry people outside Chung Wah.
Try not to miss the shop!
Hoe Kee's offerings
Family members hard at work
Set menu
Love the chilli-ginger dip
Cabbage for 3 person (RM 3)
We decided to order lightly sauteed cabbage to counter the abundance of chicken and fats that we were going to take in. Taste-wise, it was good enough but I thought the portion a little too small.
Chicken rice balls
The chicken rice balls were the size of a small orange and very compact. The rice had a lot more moisture compared to the usual plate of rice to ensure that the ball did not crumble. I think I prefer the fluffier rice that is not moulded into a ball but the chicken rice balls are so good with the chilli and ginger dip.
RM 2 rice portion
Steamed chicken (RM 22)
The plate of steamed chicken came with chicken liver and gizzards as well as cucumbers. The accompanying sesame oil and light soy sauce base enhanced the taste of the silky smooth chicken pieces. Not a fan of chicken innards so no comment. The julienned cucumbers were fresh and crunchy and I wish there were more.
Service was very fast, efficient and systematic and even when there was a queue, the line moved relatively quickly. I really wanted to try their black bean or lotus root soup but unfortunately, they do not serve soup on Sundays and public holidays which I think is not very reasonable...after all, what's chicken rice without the accompanying soup? They also have assam fish but as we've got a long day of eating ahead of us, I had to forgo that. Will definitely try it the next time I'm in Melaka.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Dough
Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
4-8, Jalan Hang Jebat
Tel: 06 283 4751

Monday, 25 March 2013

Garibaldi Italian Restaurant and Bar @ Bangsar Village, KL

We were supposed to go to Garibaldi in Bangsar Village but had a hard time finding the place. For one, the restaurant was listed on the directory board in Bangsar Village II and not Bangsar Village I. When we finally reached the correct location, there was no signboard with the name Garibaldi but one with the name Garibar @.@ Anyway in we went and it's actually one and the same.
Bar of Garibaldi
Pumpkin Croquette
The Pumpkin Croquettes were hot and crispy with a oozing mashed potato and pumpkin cream - really good.
Potato Wedges
The potato wedges were tossed in paprika and were very addictive as they were crispy yet fluffy. 
Chicken Parmigiana
The Chicken Parmigiana was slathered with tomato sauce and melted cheese and served with the same potato wedges. The meat was not dry and the breaded parts were crunchy. As you can see, the slab of meat is really quite large and quite worth the money.
Lamb Shank
The Lamb Shank is HUGE and really tender. Served atop a bed of mashed potato and carrots in a red wine reduction, the lamb shank was really good. It got quite cloying after a while as there's just too much meat.
Chocolate Pavet
The flourless chocolate cake was yummy but the almond-vanilla sauce had a really overpowering almond scent which I did not like at all >.< The raspberry, blackberry and blueberry were all preserved and had the notorious cherry cough syrup and sourish-bitter fever medicine taste >.< They tasted nothing like the fresh berries I had in Scotland >.<
Signature Apple Cake
The apple cake was served with homemade vanilla gelato and chocolate sauce. The raspberry, blueberry and blackberry made their appearance again and I left them well alone >.< The apple cake was a little bland but went well with the gelato. Not sure if it was from sampling different cakes alternately but I also detected some marzipan flavour in the gelato >.<
All in all, great appetizers, yummy dinner and disappointing dessert. Prices are quite steep here so don't think I'll be returning anytime soon.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Salami
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar
LG10 & G22, Bangsar Village I
Tel: 03 2282 3456
Daily: 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10.30pm

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Grumps Cafe @ SS2 Mall, PJ

A cafe specialising in pork dishes Western style? Naturally, we couldn't resist the temptation and off we went, our stubby noses sniffing the air. Grumps Cafe is located at the newly-opened SStwo Mall which I find quite hard to locate due to the design of the mall itself.

Grumpy not allowed

Garlic bread
The garlic bread was excellent according to JS. It was soft and warm with a crispy exterior. The smell of garlic butter was also heavenly and you can see bits of garlic and parsley dotting the bread. Perfect for garlic lovers.

Mushroom Soup
The mushroom soup here is garnished with toasted almonds - a nice touch. The soup was thick and creamy - no fault there.

Pork Cordon Bleu (RM 24)
The Pork Cordon Bleu is easily my favourite dish out of the lot. The hidden ham is revealed once you cut the crumbed cutlet in half. I love deep-fried breaded cutlets but this was quite dry. The salad was refreshing and the thick-cut fries were pretty good too.

Cheesy Crumbed Pork Loin (RM 24)
The deep-fried pork loin was quite good on its own albeit a bit dry; however I didn't quite like the mushroom sauce as the more pungent-tasting shiitake mushrooms were used instead of the usual button mushrooms. I felt like the Oriental taste of the gravy did not go well with the Western pork cutlet at all.

Roast Pork Roll and Jumbo Sausage (RM 36)
The jumbo sausage was really juicy and the roast pork roll quite succulent. The roast pork roll was also quite fatty and it took me much longer to finish my portion towards the end. I have never been a fan of sauerkraut and this is no different but if you like it, do go ahead and try it as I have no idea what constitutes good sauerkraut. The mashed potatoes were quite good in my opinion.

Grilled Butterfly Steak (RM 24)
The Grilled Butterfly Steak was the driest of the lot. The creamy sauce did little to help ease the meat down my throat > . < The portion of steamed vegetables was definitely not sufficient to counter the fries and meat.

Ice-Cream Delight (RM 10)
Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream sundae - what's not to like? Pretty average stuff though.

Chocolate Brownie (RM 10)
Surprisingly, the Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice-cream was good. Hot, chocolatey and gooey, I wouldn't mind coming back just for this.

Grumps Cafe is a great place to meet up and catch up over porky dishes but it definitely needs to improve on its dishes taste-wise. Unless I'm really, really, really craving deep-fried breaded pork that absolutely can't be found anywhere else, I doubt I'll return to Grumps Cafe.

PawPoints: 2 Paws
Pawket: Tomato

Grumps Cafe
LG-57, Lower Ground Floor
SStwo Mall
Tel: 03 7931 8898
Daily: 10am - 10pm

Monday, 11 March 2013

Nahm-Jim & The L'Orient Lounge @ St Andrews, Scotland

As St Andrews in Scotland is a relatively small town, there are not many Asian restaurants available and Nahm-Jim is one of the few. It serves both Thai and Japanese cuisine but we only sampled the Thai dishes. It is located at the city centre and is fairly easy to spot.
Table setting
Tom Yum (GBP 6.50)
There is a choice of king prawns, chicken or mushrooms with the traditional Tom Yum so naturally I chose king prawn =D My brother and I had one bowl each because we expected the portion to be the size of a Chinese rice bowl. You would never believe the size of a portion for one - the bowl pictured above is a medium sized soup bowl!! As you can see, the bowl is chockful of button mushrooms and prawns. The chefs certainly did not tone down the fieryness of the soup for the Scots as even I felt that it was spicy. The Tom Yum is definitely a surprise winner with its spicy and sourish flavour.
Chilli and Thai Basil Duck (GBP 14.50)
This Chilli and Thai Basil Duck is also our favourite dish. It has lots of wok hei and the tender duck slices are fully infused with the flavours of chilli and basil. The onions and peppers added a nice crunch to the dish. The spicy gravy, though oily, goes so well with rice.
Aubergine Green Curry (GBP 12.50)
This dish came laden with lots of greens such as the titular baby aubergines, broccoli and peppers. The gravy is thick with the aroma of coconut cream and fragrant due to the addition of herbs. I'm not a fan of green curry as there is a distinct flavour that I can't quite describe but if you love typical green curries, this will most likely win you over too like it did my brother who kept ladling gravy over his rice.
If ever you're craving Asian food in St Andrews, Nahm-Jim is a good choice =D
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Nahm-Jim @ The L'Orient Lounge
60-62 Market Street
St Andrews
Tel: +44 01334 470 000
Sun - Thur: 12pm - 4.45pm, 6pm - 12am
Fri - Sat: 12pm - 4.45pm, 6pm - 1am

Monday, 4 March 2013

Dave's Deli @ Subang Parade, PJ

When I was young, Dave's Deli was my all-time favourite restaurant, all because of their truly scrumptious Shepherd's Pie. I might have strayed once or twice and ordered a Beef and Mushroom Pie or Tuna Focaccia but Shepherd's Pie is, and forever will be, my must-order item whenever I step foot in Dave's Deli. Unfortunately, the number of outlets seem to have dwindled and as far as I know, only the outlets at 1 Utama and Subang Parade are still around which is quite a shame as the fare has great wholesome flavour and relatively cheap.
You bet!
Shepherd's Pie with Coleslaw
Looks a bit plain but tastes wonderful! See how the mashed potato topping is baked to perfection? And the coleslaw dressing is so creamy, its coldness giving a nice contrast to the warm gravy.
Oozing goodness
Admittedly, there is now more mashed potato mixed with ground beef and the gravy a wee bit too salty but there's this home-cooked feel to it. The gravy-coated filling of ground beef mixed with diced carrots and peas is best eaten with a mouthful of yummy pie crust and soft, smooth mashed potato, finished off with another mouthful of chilled coleslaw. What a perfect meal!
If there were more outlets, I would definitely patronise it more often ^_^
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Onion
Dave's Deli
1 Utama Shopping Centre
Subang Parade Shopping Centre