Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Maven Coffee Store @ Taman Shamelin Perkasa

After loving the coffees on my previous visits, besides the interior and the feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation, it was only a matter of time before I returned to Maven Coffee Store @ Taman Shamelin Perkasa for more coffees, what else.

I wanted to bring my nephew here and my sister-in-law decided to tag along too on this visit.  I just love the smell of coffee in the air as soon as I walk in.  Oops, Chinese New Year has come and gone...and my blogpost still shows a Christmas tree! >.<  That goes to show how far back my posts are now that I blog only once or twice a week...hehehe! ;D

Oh, there's a new menu....ok-lah not new as in new items but new as in a newly printed menu with a background design that looks a lot nicer than the previous one. :P

Since it was close to lunch time, we tried a couple of their pastas, starting with the Salted Egg Pasta @ RM22 with a choice of linguine or spaghetti.  When it arrived, I was surprised to see it only had a salted egg sauce over it and nothing else.  When I wanted to order it the last time, I was told it came with beef bacon but looks like they've decided to change it.

It did have a good dose of salted egg flavour but I felt it needed something else on the plate.  I think the crisp beef bacon bits would have added a nice textural contrast to the creamy pasta.  It can be a bit cloying eaten in substantial amounts because of the rich sauce, so this is a dish best shared.

The other pasta dish we ordered was the Meatballs Beef Bolognese Pasta @ RM18 served with 3 large meatballs in a typical bolognese sauce.  The pre-prepared components, the meatballs may be a little dry but the bolognese sauce was pretty decent.

You can't have too high an expectation here knowing that there isn't a proper kitchen but yet they're still able to assemble a hot dish to an acceptable taste level is commendable indeed.

My sister-in-law had the same Tuna Egg Mayo Sandwich @ RM12 that I had on an earlier visit.  When it's something as simple as this, the use of fresh ingredients are very important from the crunchy, well toasted sourdough bread to the fresh, crisp lettuce leaves which I appreciated (heck, I've even been served wilted lettuce by some cafes that supposedly serve good food)! >.<  When food is that simple, you need to make sure the freshest ingredients are used.

The Pumpkin Soup @ RM13 with a drizzle of cream had the right consistency of not-too-thick and not-too-thin that I liked.  I want it to still have the texture of a soup and not a stew.  I don't fancy overly thick soups unless it's a mushroom soup, that I don't mind! ;)

I was told (by the server) that the Iced Latte and Iced Cappuccino @ RM12 here has no difference, so you can just order it as an Iced White since it's basically the same thing.

My Personal Opinion

The fact that they can boil, toast, reheat and assemble food to an acceptable taste level without a proper kitchen in itself is already praiseworthy.  So, I think it wouldn't be fair to compare the food here with what we can get at a cafe with a full functioning kitchen.  That's why it's quite obvious in their name, they call themselves a coffee store...and not a cafe.

The place is primarily a coffee place...and the food an afterthought.  I think it's just there to complement the coffee drinkers in case they happen to be hungry and in need of some light meals.

I do see myself returning on a regular basis since it's the place nearest to me with good coffees, especially when I yearn for a simple breakfast of sandwich and coffee! ^o^

Maven Coffee Store
Lot 30 Shamelin Star Residences
Lorong 6D/91
Taman Shamelin Perkasa
56000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-657 5760

Friday, 15 February 2019

Just One Food - Chinese New Year Snacks

This year was one of the 'very few' times we stayed put in KL for Chinese New Year (CNY).  We couldn't balik kampong to Ipoh as my mother-in-law was recuperating in KL after her recent hospitalisation.

I don't usually buy snacks if we go back to Ipoh as we won't be around to eat them but since we'll be at home this year, I should get myself some to keep me busy, right? ^_~  And I didn't want the usual snacks, I wanted the slightly more unique snacks that I've not bought before.

I bought this snack of Salted Egg Yolk Crisps @ RM30 a can from Y E Traditional Dumplings.  It's quite it better be worth it, I thought! :P  As soon as I opened the can, I got a whiff of the salted egg and fragrant curry leaves smell...which is a good sign, of course.

Putting one in my mouth, I could certainly taste the salted egg.

Even better with the fragrant, crispy curry leaves in a bite.

Because this wasn't a salted egg potato chip but a flour-based crispy thing, I thought it could do with a bit more saltiness as the crisp, though superbly crispy, was on the bland side.

Let me see how I can describe the taste.  The crisp tasted much like a tortilla chip...which is usually bland and needs something to turn it into a tasty nacho! :P  Overall, still a good snack...just not as good as say salted egg potato chips! ;)

I used to buy this Kuih Kapit (Love Letters) with Chicken Floss at a stopover in Bidor (enroute to Ipoh) but since we didn't balik kampong this year, I jumped at the chance to buy something similar when I spotted this, also at Y E Traditional Dumplings (@ RM26 a can).

It's basically kuih kapit but with a filling of chicken floss.

Compared to the one I bought from Pun Chun, this kuih kapit is a lot more expensive but also a lot thinner in texture.

This has to be one of the lightest and crispiest kuih kapit I've ever eaten.  Lovely snack!  I preferred this to the salted egg crisps.

Visually, it's also a lot cuter the way it's folded.  Unlike the traditional fan-like shape, this one looked like a mini purse! ^_*

I bought these Seaweed Crackers @ RM9 (for 300g) from a shop that sells old-school biscuits by the weight. They surprisingly turned out better than I expected (based on the price).

My spouse liked this the most.  Who knew that the cheapest snack turned out to be everyone's favourite.

I've not had Oloiya Bak Kwa (my preferred brand for bak kwa) since 2014...and that's because I grew tired of being cheated by the stall that sells this dried meat in Pandan Indah (they always shortchange me on the weight).  This year the stall is nowhere to be seen.  I actually wrote a post about the rip-off and was totally surprised when I received an email apology from Oloiya themselves. Who knew the post would reach them after all these years...that's the power of blogging, I guess!

So, this year I decided to buy direct from their Pavilion branch since I'm going to be in KL to eat them...haha! ;D  This year the price (for pork dried meat) was RM65.40 (for 600g or 1 kati) compared to just under RM50 in 2014! O_o  I got myself only 300g (which yielded 8 pcs) because I can only afford to buy 300g of portion control....and yeah, the price is a deterrent too! >_<

And then my eye caught hold of the chilli pork dried meat which I've not tried before.  Portion shown here is also 300g (RM66.60 for 600g).  Visually, it looked more stunning than the original ones.  Taste wise, you can definitely feel the heat of the chillies (but it's tolerable) and the dried meat seemed a bit more caramelised which I liked.  If you like it spicy, this one's for you.

I received this Crispy Fish Crackers from a sister-in-law of mine.  They were nice and crispy, tasted somewhat like satay fish but better and not as fishy.  I only managed a few pieces before my spouse whacked up the whole lot.

As usual, my most favourite snack is to get myself a packet of uncooked Prawn Crackers @ RM29 a pkt and fry them myself as they're always well received.

One packet is able to yield quite a lot, about 3 big, 2 medium & 4  small cans (enough for some to be given away).  My hairdresser's son liked it so much, she asked me where I bought them.  These self-fried crackers are better tasting than any pre-bought ones I've ever eaten.

Pineapple Tarts is a favourite snack of my spouse.  I received one box from my sister-in-law and one from my neighbour.  The ones made by my neighbour tasted better with a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pastry while the pineapple jam was slightly tart.  I had one piece each only.

And that sums up some of the snacks I indulged in this CNY...not a lot...but just enough to satiate my itchy mouth while trying to maintain some form of control (my husband is the 'real snacker' in the family actually). So, what snacks did you go overboard with indulge in this CNY?

Monday, 11 February 2019

Love Mee Soybean Noodle @ Pandan Indah

A few months ago (in last quarter of 2018), I discovered a new place by chance, Love Mee Soybean Noodle @ Pandan Indah while driving through the street enroute to somewhere else.

It's situated in one of the quietest areas in Pandan Indah.  That road is especially deserted at night.  Well, if you do intend to eat here, know that you won't have a problem with parking as there's plenty (I could even find parking right in front of the restaurant).

When I came here the first time, I wasn't sure what they offer as their signboard was not up then but I could see pictures of pork noodles as I walked closer.  The place was empty (except for one occupied table) as we took our seats.

Glancing at the menu, their main specialities include soybean pork noodles, Nanyang curry sets, soybean steamboat and some Hakka dishes like lei cha and yong tau foo.

I thought I'd start with one of their specialities, the Soybean Pork Noodles @ RM6.90 (S) with your choice of noodles.  Actually, when I first ordered this, I wasn't sure if it was the noodles or the broth that was made from soybean.  When it arrived, I realised it was the broth.

You can choose to have your pork noodles with either sliced meat (lean pork slices), minced meat, homemade pork balls, pig's liver or intestines, or a combo of two types of meat or one with a bit of everything like this one.  The porky ingredients tasted fine but the broth was something else.

This was the first time I've had a broth made from soybeans and it tasted very different from the usual meat-based broth.  I found the broth to be on the salty side.

Because I couldn't quite pinpoint the taste as it was something new to my palate, I decided to return to try it again.  This time I went with the dry version with kuey teow but the noodles were too starchy and the sauce the noodles were tossed in wasn't very good either.  The few pork lard crisps that accompanied the noodles were at least fresher this time round as they were rancid previously (which I made known to their staff).

I chose a combo of pig's liver and intestines, also @ RM6.90, for the soup.  This time, I noticed a distinct difference in the colour of the broth.  This one, which I had at dinner time, was a lot more cloudy (and whitish) compared to the previous one which I had at breakfast time.  I wonder if it's the result of continuous boiling from the whole day.

With this second taste test, the soybean-based soup tasted even worse as the broth was more intense...and I was able to confirm without a doubt that same lingering powdery aftertaste in my mouth that I first detected.   This soybean-based broth is certainly an acquired taste (one that I didn't acquire as I don't like this powdery aftertaste in my mouth one bit).

They offer a couple of snacks that you can order to complement your meal like this Deep Fried Preserved Dumpling @ RM7.90.  Not sure why it's called preserved dumpling as it tasted like any other dumpling (maybe there were some preserved vegetables in the filling?).

We also tried a couple of their Hakka yong tau foo (eggplant & yuba skin roll that's similar to bean curd skin) @ RM1.70 a piece (they offer 8 types).  These bites were ordinary in taste.

The drinks of Iced Black Coffee @ RM2.40 and Sour Plum Calamondin @ RM3.90 were rather pathetic too.

My Personal Opinion

I mean I do love to eat stuff made from soybeans like soybean drink, tau fu fah, tofu, beancurd sheets, etc....but no, not a broth made with soybeans.  Sorry, the taste is just too peculiar for me! >_<

Seeing that this soybean-based broth is an acquired taste and that would mean their steamboat would be a no for me too since it uses the same soup base.  And with their location on a deserted street, I just can't see how they can survive unless you're someone who is on a soybean diet or eats it for specific health reasons as, on both my visits, the place was empty with only one other table occupied.  It's a shame really coz if they had stayed as a pork noodles specialist with the usual broth, I think they may be more successful.

They do offer something else besides soybean pork noodles, like their nanyang curry sets (which I'm tempted to try) but after these two visits, I doubt I'll be back.  I'm sorry but I Don't Love You Soybean Noodle! >_<

Love Mee Soybean Noodle
No M3-A-1 Jalan Pandan Indah 4/3A
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4288 6131

Friday, 8 February 2019

Eatomo @ Bangsar

Oh no!  It's Chinese New Year already and I've still not posted what we ate over Christmas...kekeke! :D  Well, we were back to Eatomo @ Bangsar again!  That's a clever calculated option to choose Japanese over steakhouses during Christmas season if you want find a table easily without having to book in advance.

Gee, the tree looked rather pathetic with scant decorations and no lights.  We tried a couple of new dishes on this visit which I thought I'd share with you.

First, let's get our usual order out of the way, shall we? ;)  What else but the Wok-Fired Spicy Gyutandon @ RM21.90 of tender sliced beef tongue spiced with fresh cut red and green chillies and those tiny heat missiles of green bird's eye chillies.  This time, though, they seemed to have dial it down just a little with less of the fiery missiles which I preferred (otherwise we'd be busy picking out some of those little suckers).

I remember having the California Poke Bowl (and loving it) during my very first visit to Eatomo.  So, this time I thought I'd give another poke bowl a try, a northern-inspired Pokelantan Bowl @ RM21.90 with yellowfin tuna and butterfish tossed in zesty cili padi and fresh lime marinade topped with crispy salmon skin and kerisik gula melaka.

Unfortunately, I wasn't loving this poke bowl as much.  I felt there was just too much going on in the bowl. Plus there was way too much sauce until it became a bit too overpowering.  There was a creamy green sauce (which I believe is avocado guacamole) and also a spicy mayo sauce.  And what made it worse was that all these were mixed with an overly big bowl of mushy sushi rice that day (I think the chef or his little chefs were having an off day...bungled the cooking of the sushi rice and a bit too heavy-handed with the sauce).

So far, I've tried two (out of four flavours) of their Seafood Pots, Clams in Lemon Butter Garlic and Mixed Seafood in Thai Coconut Chilli, so this is the third, Clams in Spicy Cajun Pan Roast @ RM33.90 in a Louisiana-inspired blend of spicy cajun, garlic, pomodoro (or basic tomato) cream sauce.

The clams, this time round, weren't as fresh as I'd like them to be compared to the previous two times I've had it.  They also seemed a little overcooked to me judging by how the sauce was drying up around the edge of the pan.

The sauce consistency was fairly thick (as a pomodoro sauce should be), brought about by lots of onions, tomatoes, garlic and cream.

It had that slightly tangy tomato-ey flavour to it and was nicely flavoured with cajun seasoning of probably paprika, cayenne, bay leaves and coriander.  It was pleasant enough but not my top choice.  The fourth and final flavour is the Belgian Cream Curry which I don't think I'll be trying as I'm not that interested in (or convinced of) a western-style curry. :P

Sides for this dish are either Calrose Rice, Gourmet Fries or slices of toasted French Bread which we picked as they would be great for soaking up the plentiful sauce.  Now that I've had the chance to try three, my pick is the lemon, butter and garlic sauce by a country mile.

Luckily, the Mentaiko Mozza Fries @ RM16.90 saved the day.  These were their gourmet fries with mozzarella cheese topped with seared spicy mentaiko.

They were highly addictive....and so good! ^o^  I was pleasantly surprised that the taste of smoky, charred, creamy mentaiko was more prevalent than the cheese which is a definite plus for me...hee..hee! ^_~

My Personal Opinion

This was probably my least favourite experience at Eatomo amongst my many good experiences...and since the good outweighs the bad, it'll still remain as our go-to place for Japanese and Japanese fusion food.

It's not that the food I ate this round wasn't good, let's just say they aren't my preferred choices.  As I go through more and more dishes in the menu, I can now eliminate some dishes that don't rock my world...and that would be the pokelantan bowl, uni udon and seafood pots in spicy cajun and Thai coconut chilli sauce...for now! ^_~

Eatomo Food Co
No 21 Jalan Telawi 2
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2202 3280

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