Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pasta Zanmai @ One Utama

Food crawl with my bestie continued with a short (actually almost 7 hours of walking) jaunt to One U for some shopping. I had wanted her to try Pasta Zanmai for a while now, and made sure I took her there this time.

The place was slightly claustrophobic but we managed to get a seat towards the other entrance and was blessed with lovely sunlight.

Bestie ordered ocha but never expected it to come in a pot. 

I ordered my usual Passion Fruit Soda. I like this because of the strong fragrance of passion fruit but it's not sweet. 

The Onsen Tamago was recommended as a 'must try' by a friend. The sauce was good but overall it's pretty much your regular half boiled egg.

Bestie ordered the Hamburg Pasta meal. The hamburg itself was slightly salty but the pasta did cut the saltiness a little bit. However, I did like the slight spiciness of the beef, which I think might have been from pepper.

The meal came with miso shiru and a salad. The salad had bits of scallop wings in them that was so good it drove Bestie into a tizzy.

My dish of Ebi Tempura and pasta in sesame sauce. I make it a point to have this dish each time I visit Pasta Zanmai. Creamy sesame pasta sauce is so quintessentially Japanese for me and to be mixed with pasta, truly fusion at its best. Bestie didn't like this at all. She prefers her sesame in desserts and far, far away from savouries. I guess this is one case of 'one man's meat'.

Need more sesame kick? No worries, they provided a small serving of freshly ground black sesame.

The ravioli left me unimpressed. It tasted very much like Sui Kow and the soup was just regular. Forgettable.

This was a time before I discovered Chocolate Monaka and still raved about Itachoco Monaka. Once again, good dessert but wished the wafers were crispy. Since it's prepacked, I doubt I would ever taste one that has crispy (and not chewy) wafers.

Sesame ice cream with sesame cake on sesame pudding. Of this, I only liked the sesame ice cream which is a sure win each time.

Pasta Zanmai,

G210B, Ground Floor Promenade,
1 Utama Shopping Ctr,
1 Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Bandar Utama Damansara,
47800 Petaling Jaya.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ichiban Boshi @ Pavillion

My bestie came down for her annual 'shopaholic migration' trip recently and we went on a food crawl. Of course our food crawl needed to coincide with her 'shopaholic crawl' and we started the trip with Ichiban Boshi at Pavillion.

Kaiten Sushi places in KL these days sure has changed from the former two of Sushi King and Genki Sushi. These once rather affordable places have been replaced with higher end outlets.

Unagi Sushi was the first thing Bestie grabbed from the kaiten. She liked it but I have always been rather leery of eel.

We both loved this. The Chinmi was deliciously marinated.

Lobster Salad or something like that. Perhaps the mayo was  little overwhelming but I liked how it complimented what I hope was lobster meat. It was deep fried, giving it a rather crispy texture.

Kani Maki, my staple. I just like it smothered in Japanese Mayo.

Salmon on top of a rice ball and then deep fried. Bestie liked it so much we ordered it twice. Since I'm not a fan of salmon too much, it was just okay for me.

Salmon sushi. I didn't enjoy this so much because of the strong fishy taste. I wouldn't blame the fish due to my aversion to salmon.

The Chuka Itako Sushi had the marinade slightly on the thick side.

Initially, Bestie had a problem with the Chinmi. She complained that there was something 'off' about it until she ate it with the radish. I guess I had 'commoner' tastebuds where I just whacked everything with relish.

Our Miso Shiru was clear and refreshing with none of the overpowering saltiness at all.

The Spider Maki was just regular maki. It tasted okay and that was about it.

We ordered a croquette at the last minute and this was amazingly delicious. The outside was not over fried but inside was piping hot and smooth and creamy to a fault. The best thing I had all lunch.

Ichiban Boshi
Lot 1.14, Pavilion,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.

t   +60321416621
f : +60321416641

Monday – Friday : 11:30am – 10:00pm
Saturday – Sunday : 11:00am – 10:00pm
Last order 9:30pm

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bon Ton @ Lot 10

Today is an odd day for me.

This is the first time I'm doing a restaurant review without any pictures. Why you ask? Simple, the lighting wasn't good, resulting in all pictures being blurry AND the food was completely uninspiring.

My aunt wanted to try Bon Ton for their Middle Eastern fare for my uncle's birthday which turned out into a mistake,to put it extremely mildly. The appetisers were late to come, and something simple like the mushroom soup took forever. The following are things we ordered and what I felt about it.

Moussaka: The eggplant in tomato based sauce and minced beef was nice and tart. This was something I loved most of the dinner tonight but it tasted a little to bolognese sauce-ish that it's easily forgettable.

Mixed Grill: This was a combination of lamb kebab, lamb cutlets and chicken cutlets. One word: dry. The lamb cutlets were charred bits. There wasn't any taste to the meat at all. We actually had to pour Moussaka onto the meat to get through it. This was disappointing to say the least. When we complained, we were told that that's how the Middle Easterners eat their meat. I cannot say that I know many Middle Easterners but I do know they have more taste than to want to eat cardboard boxes all the time. Needless to say, the restaurant manager there didn't score ANY points with us by constantly making excuse and defending the poorly executed dishes.

Roast lamb: This fared the same comment as the Mixed Grill.

Sirloin Steak: This was ordered twice because the manager finally decided to offer us a change of meals to compensate for the badly cooked lamb. The first plate was cooked as medium to well done when ordered as medium. Other than that, it wasn't too bad but the black pepper sauce overwhelmed the meat. The second plate was ordered as rare and came as medium rare. Once we got rid of ALL the black pepper sauce, I have to admit that this was some good beef. This is the case of the director forgetting who exactly is the star of the show.

The manager wanted to 'compensate' us for the bad dinner by offering a complimentary of red wine to my uncle which in the course of 30 seconds of talking was downgraded to one glass. The alternative of offering on jug of beer quickly turned into one glass. I was extremely disappointed at the insincerity shown by the manager. Of course, the manager generously placed one glass of (very rough) red wine and one glass of beer on our table.

She also refuses to take our constructive criticism on their forgettable tiramisu graciously. The once famous Bon Ton tiramisu is just a poor facsimile of the one at Alexis. Once again, she had to give us a drawn out explanation of the history of the pastry chef (who was incidentally from Alexis). My aunt summed up the tiramisu in one sentence: It tasted like gula melaka.

Needless to say, Bon Ton wouldn't be a place I would consider having a meal there again. The staff are too rigid and unwilling to improve.

Bon Ton
Lot 10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

C Club @ Pavillion

We were off to celebrate my cousin's birthday foodie style.

Full points for ambiance.

We decided on the 4 course menu. Our butter and olive oil with balsamic vinegar.

Our pre meal bread. It was warm and crispy on the outside and oh so fluffy in the inside.

Our drinks, Carrot Juice and Cranberry Juicy. Refreshing.

Scallops with Foie Gras. It's my first taste of foie gras and honestly, I was totally smitten. For someone who detests liver, I gobbled down the smooth richness in record time. The fresh crunchy scallop complimented everything well.

Teriyaki Glaze Slipper Lobster with Seared Foie Gras. We both think it's less of lobster and more of crayfish, but we could be wrong. 

Shellfish bisque with cognac. This was absolutely divine. The deep seafood flavour was fabulously highlighted in the thick creamy soup and accented by the slight bitterness of the cognac. I would have this again in a heartbeat!

Caesar Salad with Slipper Lobster. It was okay and we enjoyed the seafood injection more than the actual salad, which was pretty regular fair.

Aged Tenderloin in medium rare. The medium rare was a solid medium, but that was the only disappointment in the whole dish and a rather small one.

Grilled Pepper Sirloin. I found this to be slightly better than the tenderloin. I love how pink the middle is. Delicious.

The C Club Supermisu. I didn't taste any alcohol in this but I did like the creamy sweetness of the marscapone and the surprise of the crunchy pralines at the base of it.

Brownie ala mode with Vanilla Ice Cream. The chocoholic in me ignored the ice cream and went straight for the brownie. Moist and rich. 

Our coffees to close the meal. This menu gave us a taste of a little of everything. Definitely worth a try.
C.Club @ Pavillion

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Bean @ Sri Petaling

Feeling a bit peckish, we headed over for some dessert and snacks. Sweet Bean in Sri Petaling has been around for some time and their desserts not too bad.

This is the first time however, we have ventured into their savouries.

Nasi Minyak which I think is actually a glorified version of Nasi Lemak. It's so so, and tasted pretty regular.

Chicken chop and noodle in mushroom cheese sauce. The chicken was extremely tasty and well executed. Tender, moist and cooked to perfection. The noodles however, was much left to be desired. The sauce was good but the noodles stuck together horribly.

Yau Char Kwai with kaya. It was freshly made and extremely crispy. The addition of the kaya dipping was interesting, being the first time I had Yau Char Kwai this way. Usually it's with a cup of black Malaysian kopi.

Mashed sweet potato with chocolate filling. There is this slight glutinous quality to the sweet potato. The surprise of the chocolate filling was a good compliment.

The desserts for the day. They offer a mix of red bean and peanut paste. The red bean wasn't anything to shout about but the peanut paste was excellent. It was definitely not your peanut butter base types.

Mango puree with sago and coconut milk. This was rich and filling but oh so good.

Sweet Bean,
Sri Petaling.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crystal Jade @ Hong Kong

So sue me, I travel all the way to Hong Kong but ended up in Crystal Jade. I really wanted to make a comparison of our chains here and there. Let's see how they fair up.

I had already decided the usuals I would order to test out the 'uniformity' of the chains.

Spicy meat sauce la mian. This tastes exactly like the one I had in Gardens. Which means, it's good and yummy.

Xiao Long Bao. The soup inside was piping hot and deliciously sweet.

My first try at fried turnip. Very good and flaky. It was moist, and retaining the sweetness of turnip. 

Fried Shanghai Dumplings. This one was super good. The pastry was nice and crispy, the meat inside tasty.

Tong Yuen. I find this hard to get here and I jumped at the chance of ordering it. Fabulous. The black sesame filling flowed out into my mouth when I bit into it. I've been totally missing this.

Crystal Jade
Hong Kong

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sushi Zanmai @ The Gardens

Long lines trailed out from Sushi Zanmai. And that usually marks a good place to eat. I was once a fan of Genki Sushi, favouring its authenticity over Sushi King. I hoped to find a replacement for a place that no longer existed.

We got in, got seated and started getting serious about ordering.

The Chuka Idako was good without the overwhelming starch that usually coats the baby octopus. Flavoured exactly right and crunchy to a fault.

A definite staple for my friend, unagi. I'm not a big fan of eel but she loved it, saying it was grilled perfectly and the textures disintegrating on her tongue.
The trio of sushi we ordered. Ebikko, Scallop Wings and Tuna Salad (I think). Pretty common fair.

My staple, Sukiyaki. Look at the lovely thin slices of beef.

The actual Sukiyaki itself. It wasn't too big a portion, leaving enough place to try other stuff. The taste of the Sukiyaki was the right combination of sweet and salty.

Soft Shell Crab roll. Another common fair. However, it was freshly made, so the crab was perfectly crunchy.

Kani Maki. Another thing I order just because.

Grilled beef filled with enoki. This was the star of the night. The enoki absorbed all the flavours of the beef as well as the sauce it was grilled in. The mingling of tastes burst on our tongues while the enoki retained its lovely crunchiness.

Itachoco Monaka. Thick chocolate in vanilla ice cream. We would have loved it if the wafer was crispy but I soon learned that this dessert came pre-packed. However, the vanilla wasn't overwhelming and it mixed with the chocolate well. I liked this immensely.

Sushi Zanmai
The Gardens.