Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lai Ching Yuen Chinese Restaurant @ Grand Millennium Hotel, KL

Lai Ching Yuen is Grand Millennium Hotel's resident Chinese restaurant. I was fortunate to be able to attend a working lunch where they served us a 7-course set meal.
Shanghai Hot and Sour Soup with Crab Meat
The Hot and Sour Soup totally lived up to its name. It was sour and spicy with quite generous amounts of crab meat.
Crispy Roasted Chicken Weng Chun Style
The roasted chicken was really good with crispy skin. Its flesh was absolutely smooth with a nicely salted flavour.
Fried Prawns with Salted Egg and Butter Sauce
The deep fried prawns were crunchy with a strong salted egg yolk flavour. It didn't seem very fresh as it was difficult to separate the flesh from the shell without risking it flying across the table. It was however sufficiently crunchy that I could eat the entire thing, shell and all.
Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Mango Sauce
The mango sauce coating the fish tasted a bit odd but the batter was light and non-greasy and the fish firm.
Braised Ngai Pak with Pacific Clams
The vegetables were crisp and fully absorbed the savoury flavours of the oyster sauce gravy. I also absolutely loved the spongy clams.
Fried Rice with Diced Chicken and Anchovy
The fried rice looked great but was totally tasteless. I had to add liberal amounts of soy sauce to enhance its taste.
Chilled Sea Coconut and Snow Fungus with Fresh Lemon
The chilled dessert could have been very refreshing with spongy snow fungus and sea coconut thrown in but the chef was a tad heavy handed with the lemon, rendering it quite sour.
Some hits and misses there but overall, quite a nice meal I'd say.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Lai Ching Yuen
Grand Millennium Hotel
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2117 4888
Mon - Fri: 12pm - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant @ Sri Hartamas, KL

The first time I had a Korean meal was at Daorae and although I'm sure many would be able to recommend cheaper and more delicious Korean fare at other restaurants, I'll most likely return to Daorae just for convenience's sake. I'm no Korean food expert so can't tell if the food is really that good but it's good enough for my brother and I =)
Complimentary banchan
What I love about Daorae are the numerous and unlimited side dishes! They've got my favourite stir-fried spinach, pancakes and potato salad (though I wish they did not top it with chilli sauce >.< ). I also wish they had the caramelised fried anchovies that I love. I think they rotate the side dishes on maybe a daily basis (?) but I was lucky to get free pancake sides so I wouldn't have to order a whole pancake =P
Bulgogi (RM 25)
Here's the beef slices in some sweetish sauce that is yummy but can get cloying towards the end. A layer of oil sitting atop the gravy can burn your tongue if you're not careful.
Kimchi Jjigae (RM 18)
The quintessential kimchi stew with pork and numerous hidden goodies such as tofu, cabbage and glass noodles.
Sorry for the lack of comments but I guess I'm just not too enthusiastic about Korean food. They're good enough, yummy and comforting, and I'm actually kind of craving for them right now especially bibimbap but I doubt I'll be the one to initiate a Korean meal. Oh well, my brother who is as mad about Korean culture as I am about Japanese culture will be home soon and most probably (more like 99% likelihood) I'll be bringing him back to Daorae. Now who wants to join me so we can have a round of barbecued pork? =D
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Tomato
Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
19 Jalan 23/70A
Sri Hartamas
Tel: 03 6203 2616

Monday, 17 June 2013

DIB Coffees of Hawaii @ Damansara Perdana

DIB aka Deaf in Business Coffees of Hawaii is a cafe run by the deaf and mute. It really is so kind of the owner to open such a shop to assist the deaf and mute waiters and waitresses in making a living. The staff are always so polite, always smiling, always cheerful. It is a delight to visit this shop for a nice cup of coffee and to chill when you are stressed.
The shop signboard clearly reflects the Hawaiian theme employed for the cafe.
On the back of the menu are various pictograms depicting the sign language for various expressions. This is to help you communicate with the staff and also for your own general knowledge.
Lovely ceramics
Hot tea is served in a lovely ceramic pot with an exquisite print in a soothing teal colour. The pot lid knob is thoughtfully made from wood as I can't remember the countless times I've been unable to hold ceramic pot lid knobs because they were the same temperature as the hot tea! A tea leaf strainer is encased in the pot to allow the leaves to steep without being released into the cup as the tea is being poured. Now I must go find myself a treasure like this =)
The small cups are very cheerful with contemporary prints. I have seen the design of the cup on the left somewhere but now I just can't remember where.
What a good idea!
Passion Fruit Iced Tea (RM 9.80)
I had this which came with numerous edible passion fruit seeds. The seeds, being rather tiny, were a delight to munch on although it got tiring after a while to munch on ice-cold seeds >.< But I will still order this on my next visit as I like the sweet taste of passion fruit =)
How about a cup of coffee?
Chemistry lab equipment
They've got a really cool-looking coffee-brewing machine which looks like they are part of a distillation process which is probably what was going on. There were equipment such as the Bunsen burner, stand and its clamp, round-bottom flask and glass rods for stirring.
See the contraption?
100% Maui Mokha
The taste of the coffee was really unique as the grinded coffee beans were dissolved into water in the flask before allowing it to slowly drip into a second flask under it. This resulted in the release of a really pleasant coffee aroma and strong caffeine undertones.
Passion Fruit Cheesecake
The cheesecake was really creamy and sweet with the passion fruit jam on top. My favourite out of all the cakes. JS thought it was so-so only.

Lemon Cheesecake
The Lemon Cheesecake was quite tart and sourish. 

Pineapple Cheesecake
The Pineapple Cheesecake was all right.

Overall, DIB Coffees is quite a nice and novel place to chill and have a nice cuppa. Downside is it is quite out of the way for most PJ folk though. We would give 4 Paws for the drinks especially the coffee and 2 Paws for the cakes and so we've adjusted the rating to 3 Paws.

PawPoints: 3 Paws 
Pawket: Onion

DIB Coffees of Hawaii
11-A-1, Jln PJU 8/5A,
Bandar Damansara Perdana
Tel: 016 480 1040
Daily: 9.30am - 10.30pm

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Finnegan's Irish Pubs and Restaurants @ Midvalley, KL

I've always wanted to go to Finnegan's! Mainly because it's an Irish pub, so I get to eat my favourite Irish stew again <big grin> 
No tap dancing?
Leek and Potato Soup (RM 10)
We ordered a Soup of the Day which was either Mushroom, Minestrone or Tomato (these are our usual orders, can't remember which) but the waitress made a mistake and we had to have the Leek and Potato Soup instead. It's not my favourite but JS said it was average, nothing spectacular. It wasn't very hot when it arrived either.
Toasted bread
The bread roll is slightly different from those served at other restaurants but it good enough once toasted.
Mountain Cheese Burger (RM 27)
The Mountain Cheese Burger consists of roasted peppers, beef salami, a sizeable beef patty, lettuce, cheddar cheese and a fried egg. It was quite good as the patty was juicy and well grilled. The dish came with a side salad and thick cut fries which were quite good and crisp.
Irish Beef and Guinness Stew (RM 25)
The Irish Beef and Guinness Stew came piping hot with lots of tender beef cubes and diced root vegetables which included potatoes, carrots, celery and button mushrooms. The taste of Guinness is evident and it was indeed a very comforting dish. I saved the bread sticks from the soup and used it to mop up the thick, irresistible gravy.
I would definitely return to try more of their other pub grub =)
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Tomato

Finnegan's Irish Pubs and Restaurants
Lot G(E)-003, Ground Floor
Midvalley Mega Mall
Tel: 03 2284 8157

Monday, 3 June 2013

El Cerdo @ Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL

El Cerdo has really good weekday set lunches which though not cheap, is really worth it as it comes with a salad and cold appetiser buffet. As evidenced by the abundance of piggy decor in the restaurant, you can be assured of a delicious porky affair. El Cerdo is also a good place to go if you want a romantic ambience as the lighting is so dim, even during lunchtime, that my pictures were all grainy and blur... =.=
Shooo cuteeee!!!
Set Lunch Menu
Sniff sniff grunt grunt
Salad and Cold Appetizer Buffet
If you wish to have only the salad and cold appetizer buffet, it's priced at RM 25.
It was really hard to get a decent picture of this due to the dim lighting but clockwise from  bottom left is toasted baguette with the most awesome garlic butter, honey ham salad, roasted pork with tuna sauce,  lomo, salsichon, pig's head jelly and jamon serrano with rock melon cubes.
It was my first time tasting jamon serrano and I must say it was quite salty and not at all what I expected >.< My favourites were salsichon, the super sweet rock melon cubes and yummy garlic butter bread.
Marinated Pork Shoulder Steak (RM 48)
The pork shoulder looked kind of small when it arrived but the 2 pieces given proved to be more than sufficient. Probably also because I already stuffed myself with the appetizer buffet =P
The pork shoulder steaks were well marinated and really flavourful. They were nicely grilled and the meat was still moist and tender. A blob of mustard sauce was given to enhance its flavour but it already tasted very good on its own.
There was a scattering of finely sliced yellow strips - I couldn't make out what it was but it tasted a little like onion strips... There was a bed of potato salad beneath the shoulder steaks and these tasted better with the mustard sauce.
Lovely presentation
Whatcha looking at?
If you celebrate a birthday at El Cerdo, they'll serve you chocolate cake with a cute mini pig painted with sakura petals. The birthday boy/girl gets to keep the pig but the chocolate cake is actually not free and was part of our order =.= The waiter didn't even tell us that the chocolate cake was actually another friend's order! >.< No brownie points there >. >
Mango Tiramisu
The mango tiramisu was so-so for me as I felt it was a bit too mushy for my liking. 
Spanish Flourless Chocolate Cake
The Spanish Flourless Chocolate Cake was really good - moist and chocolatey. The rectangular blob of whipped cream had a hint of lemon but I did not try the grainy stuff on the side - probably molasses or something similar - as the cake was good enough on its own.
Ain't I cute?
One grouse is that water is not free here...only hot water is. What sort of logic is that? And it was really hard to get the waiters' attention despite the restaurant not being even half full. Looks like they've got to un-dim their lighting...
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Pawket: Cheese
El Cerdo
43-45 Changkat Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2145 0511