"Try chocolate chip ice cream with gummy bears and nuts "
Le Meridien recently launched Latest Recipe. This place serves all day dining with a wide selection of international cuisine and live cooking at mealtimes. Food presentation here is forefront on their minds with the yellow lime-stained glass wall adding a refreshing ambiance to the place. The moment you seat yourself down, you will get fidgety- craning your necks out to check out what’s available. This is when you will notice the three big chocolate fountains consisting of white, dark and milk chocolate. At this point you have to remember to keep the chocolate fountain for dessert as there are many more things to choose from.
The Japanese stall is super fresh. Freshly cut tuna, butterfly fish, salmon, octopus and all sorts of other tasty things. You know it's fresh because the fish just melts in your mouth minus the fishy taste especially the creamy ‘lemak‘ butter fish, which we thought was cod fish at first. Forget the sushi, just attack the sashimi. Even non-lovers of fish will have to admit that the sashimis here are good! For those not into raw fish, there's always the Scallop Teppanyaki which comes lightly grilled and served with their special white seafood sauce. Just a mouthful of this will take you back under the sea.
"The sweet and smoky unagi flesh was made even sweeter by the mango"
When God created the world, He made sure that our palates were well taken care of. And He most certainly had a hand in the creation of one of the most loved cuisines of all time – Japanese food. Here in Malaysia, Japanese restaurants have been mushrooming by the dozen and quite frankly, many of them are good simply because a lot of care is taken in ensuring that the food is fresh and that the presentation is attractive. Of course, there are a few rotten sashimis here and there but rest assured that none can be found at Umai-ya Japanese Restaurant at Damansara Perdana.
When eating Japanese food, sashimi is normally a requisite order for me. At Umai-ya, freshness is assured and the platter is worthy of a place on the altar complete with myrrh and incense. After all, when so much care is taken to ensure that the wasabi is shaped in the form of green leaves, when cucumbers are carved out to form tiny receptacles as cradles for the taco wasabe (marinated baby squid), and when tropical flowers are placed between the pieces of sliced fish – red tuna, yellowtail tuna, white tuna and salmon, how can one not spend a good five minutes in awe? And how can one resist the sweet pieces of scallop requiring hardly any other condiment for flavour, and the creamy sea urchin so protectively wrapped by firm pieces of sea bass? Worship these pieces as you savor each piece slowly and allow the flavour to linger in your mouth.
Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time in our modest office- what with serving you up tasty videos and conducting auditions and plotting our world domination. Hence, we have taken a bit of time to investigate good grub around the area. Afterall, being Foodsters (try staring at a video of piping hot noodles and not suddenly having a hankering for it) no matter how busy we are, we still have to eat and we DEMAND good food. There has been hit and misses but happily Damansara Perdana is shaping up to be quite a jammy little food hub. Hence ever so often we’ll bring little bites and tastes of some of the worthy eateries in the area. Just in case you would like to meet us in person, we might as well do it over lunch or dinner (since food never sleeps anyway).
Bianco, which means white in Italian really embraces its name. White chairs, plates, tents, candles and countertops- the whole works. This gives it a rather refreshing ambience at night. Just be aware that there are mosquitoes. You can always ask the staff for your own personal citronella candle. Because of its rather hidden location too, there’s a bit of a private feel to the place and on occasion you can even catch sight of some local celebrities slurping spaghetti in a corner.
Food here is delicious simplicity and has been enjoying rave reviews. There’s a good selection to the menu without being overwhelming. We love the simple thin crust pizzas here with a rustic flair and pastas.Start with Pizza Florentine that comes crisp and fragrant with a sunny side egg in its centre. Origins of this particular pizza is unclear, some do away with the egg, others make it on a crispy flour tortilla or focaccia bread but the common ingredient is fresh spinach. At any rate Bianco’s pizza is what we think a pizza should be, a lip-smacking prelude to a great meal. The best of pizzas is just a few simple ingredients. A crust hovering between crisp bread and gourmet cracker, good freshly made tomato paste, garlic, basil, A-grade olive oil and good cheese. Get your base right and any topping will just taste incredible.
"The short ribs was fresh with a layer of delicious fat"
The owner is from Taiwan, Korean kimchi is the starter, the mains are Japanese and the waiting staffs are local. Rich cosmopolitan mix or a mishmash of international confusion? With our rich melting pot of fusion cuisine as a fine example, Momotalo’s concept seems to go down well with those adventurous at heart. Momotalo is essentially Japanese charcoal grill cuisine which is still a niche market here in Malaysia. In Japan, this cuisine spans from simple streetside yakitori fare to fine-dining restaurants specializing in highly prized Kobe beef.
When we were seated, two starters of pickled zucchini and Korean kimchi were served along with steaming hot cups of ocha (green tea). Our special dipping sauce was concocted on the spot with minced garlic, chilli paste and supposedly another eight secret ingredients. Mixing it all up, it had a combined taste of sweet, sour and spicy which would perfectly complement our mains. While munching on the starters, the waiters were busy grilling our orders on mobile stoves just behind us. Our friendly waitress commented that nothing was pre-marinated, whereby grilling would bring out its natural flavours and prove its freshness.
First to arrive was the Supreme Ox Tongue (RM25) which was the back portion of the bovine tongue, apparently more tender and possessing the texture of ham. Putting aside my squeamishness, the tongue actually tasted quite scrumptious with a springy texture...
"First bite: crunchy, second bite: melty and third bite: glazzy"
J.Co; 3 simple letters that have the potential to change your views on donuts entirely. Here the donuts are made fresh as can be seen through the glass walled kitchen, as many donut shops now boast their freshly baked production line. The chill that you feel once you step into the Pavillion is enveloping, but as you walk around the classy domain there’s this sudden radiating warmth that entices you to follow it. Before reaching its source, you can’t help but feel a flutter of happiness as a deliciously warm smell catches your attention.
Then the queue crashes you back into reality. Although the length of the queue at first seems ridiculously unreal, once you realise what they are there for everything makes sense. J.Co; 3 simple words that the have potential to change your views on donuts entirely. Here the donuts are made fresh as can be seen through the glass walled kitchen, as many donut shops now boast their freshly baked production line. But there is just that extra something that makes J.Co pop out from the rest, and that extra something is apparent to most of those who line up for J.Co. No exaggerations needed, the first time you have a J.Co, just think about how they describe it in those TV ads, it really will send tingles through every pore as it slides down your throttle.
"Is Miang Kum Thai's answer to our sireh? Mmm..."
After scouting and sampling a string of dismal imitations, I was resigned to relegating Petaling Jaya to the Siamese food drought section. Until a fellow foodie finally pointed me in the right direction - Section 17 it is! My Elephant is located in a quiet corner of the Happy Mansion apartment. The area looks more hawker-centric but drive to the farthest corner and Happy Mansion is quietly tucked there. Its ambiance and décor is understatedly arty yet intimate enough for a romantic soiree. There’s even a section that allows patrons to lounge on beanbags and sit cross-legged on mats thus allowing a more casual and relaxed dining experience.
First to arrive is Miang Kum, which provides fresh kadok leaves (commonly used to wrap Nyonya otak-otak) with a range of ingredients consisting of sliced ginger, lime, peanuts, shallots, cili padi, dried shrimp and grated coconut. It’s all DIY - put the goodies in a leaf, add a dollop of the Thai sweet sauce, wrap and pop it into your mouth. Wait for the hints of sweet, spicy, salty, lemak and tart notes to combine with the peppery Kadok leaf; it’s a mini explosion in the mouth. A perfect introduction to the intense flavours of Thailand indeed!
Instead of the usual Tomyam, we opted for the Tom Sum with fish. It’s a clear soup that is wallop-packed with flavour! The first thing that caught my eye was the cooked starfruit slices. How strange to have it as a main instead of after meals! The soup is chockfull with fish, mushrooms, galangal, lemongrass, tomatoes and coriander. One sip and I was hooked. Tangy from the herbs, flavourful from the myriad fresh stuff that goes in the broth, it’s literally the ‘star’ dish of the night.
"A hangover cure or just plain greedy? "
There was a time when you could only find good pork sausages in certain high-end supermarkets. When Jarrod & Rawlins (a made-in-Malaysia brand) entered our market, they sold not only sausages and other meats in their deli counter, but also prepared cooked meals using the same raw ingredients. For a small charge of RM10, one can select from a wide range of sausages, bacon, pork chops and other meats and request them to cook and serve the meal in their restaurant. The dish is also served with either french fries, mashed potatoes or salad on the side.
Making a decision wasn’t easy but I eventually settled for two varieties – chorizo and dynamite. The chorizo is a pork sausage with a reddish tint that is derived from paprika. I have always liked this sausage as it suits my Asian palate which is a preference for a slightly spicier version as compared to the mellower English Oxford or German sausages. The aptly named dynamite got my attention quite easily, and upon inquiring, I was told that it included bird’s eye chilli (cili padi), hence its name. If you are game to try the dynamite, be warned. Unlike its more sophisticated (but extremely distant) cousin, the wasabi (Japanese horseradish paste), the heat from the bird’s eye chilli lingers on the tongue long after you have swallowed the last bit of sausage. Despite that, masochist or not, the dynamite is a delicious alternative. Also available are lamb & cranberry sausages, pork & herb sausages and pork basic bangers. If you don’t care much for sausages, you can opt for cuts which include lamb chops, pork chops and steaks at prices ranging from RM3.50 to RM11.80 per 100grams.