Wednesday, 29 November 2017

43 Coffee @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

After a very sumptuous dinner at 2nd Floor Kitchen & Bar, with very satisfying desserts as well, all we wanted was coffee to round off our pleasant evening.

We proceeded to a coffee place in the vicinity as we didn't want to have to drive too far and hopped into one car and ended up at 43 Coffee @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Upon entering, I'm not sure what to make of the interior.  It's definitely spacious but it isn't what I'd expect a coffee place to look looked too formal, almost like an office setting.

The huge Chinese-inspired artwork hanging on the wall (that they inherited?) was a dead giveaway that it was possibly an office previously perhaps.  The dark timber doors was another (I think I even saw one that said 'meeting room' on the door...haha!) :D  One of my friends was even more precise, she said it looked like a lawyer's office...kekeke!  Who knows, it could have been.

Interior and ambience aside, we were just there for coffees.....and the coffees were certainly decent.

Iced Latte @ RM13

Hot Cappuccino @ RM12

If you like hot chocolate, they have four Indonesian brands for you to choose from...Valley Blend, Pulau Sapi, Bali Samsaman and Sulawesi Ranoha with a mouthfeel ranging from heavy to bold and rich, bright and smooth and buttery and creamy.  But we ended up not liking the Hot Mocha @ RM15 as we felt there wasn't enough chocolate flavour in the mocha.

There was a fruity berry cold brew special, the Cold Brew Tea @ RM15, which tasted minty and refreshing...a good choice on a hot day (works just as well on a hot night too)! ;)

A slice of crumbly Chocolate Hazelnut Rocher @ RM9.80 (usual RM14...and my friend ordered one to go since there was a promotion of 30% discount for cakes with purchase of any beverage).

My Personal Opinion

All we wanted was a good cuppa to round off our fantastic meal earlier and this place achieved that.  A decent place for coffee if you don't mind the 'office' vibe! ;P

Perhaps it can be a quiet setting where you can enjoy a cuppa and get some work done at the same time?  I did see a group of people (with paperwork in hand) having a meeting of sorts. ^_~

43 Coffee
14A Lorong Rahim Kajai 14
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur

Monday, 27 November 2017

Go Noodle House @ Sunway Velocity

They say third time is the charm.....well, it was!  After two unsuccessful attempts due to long queues during weekends, I finally got to try Go Noodle House @ Sunway Velocity.  I have been wanting to try for a while now since reading about their highly recommended soup noodles. 

Go during off peak hours when the queue is more manageable but not necessarily less crowded.  We happened to be here for a late lunch and managed to secure one of the last few available tables (I wonder if their other outlets are as busy as this one).

Of course I had to order their must-try Bursting Meat Ball Noodles (in Superior Soup) @ RM10.40 that I've heard so much about with a choice of Superior or Spicy Soup and noodles of mi xian or regular beehoon.

You get a whiff of the Chinese wine-infused broth the moment the bowl lands on your table filled with meat balls and "nai pak" (a variation of baby bok choy except for its noticeably white stems).  The mi xian noodles were cooked just right rendering a soft but not mushy texture and I welcomed the generous amounts of "yin sai" (Chinese parsley) with the soft, sweet and crunchy nai pak.

The much raved about bursting meat balls are pork meat balls encased with a savoury pork mince and a broth that squirts out when you bite into it (not a lot, just a little).  The latter two components are probably what makes their bursting meat balls so popular.  And yes, they were 'burstingly' good. ^o^

Their fish-based superior soup, on the other hand, is what the Chinese would refer to as "ching" (subtle in taste) and there are bound to be lovers (who like subtle flavours in soup) as well as haters (who would find it too subtle).  I find myself in the former category.  And with close to 20 outlets in Klang Valley alone (and more opening soon) since their first outlet in 2014, it looks like there are more lovers than haters.  But if there's just one thing I can change, it'd be for the wine flavour to be more prominent in the soup.

On another visit, I decided to try the Frog Noodles (in Superior Soup) @ RM14.90 with additional Grouper Fish Slice @ RM6.

RM6 gets you two not-very-big pieces of grouper fish which were acceptably fresh, not super fresh.  Dunk that into the fresh chilli paste and the freshness wouldn't be an issue.

Hmmm, for an extra 50 cents, I can add on both the bursting meat balls and pork or beef balls...I think I'd rather have that instead of the fish slices :)

Compared to the grouper fish, I'd say that the frog was fresher although not as fresh or as meaty as some of the ones I've had before (especially those steamed with ginger...yum!) but those were also in another price range altogether.

So, I can't complain seeing that I got one whole frog (evidenced by the two frog legs in the soup) for a very reasonable price.  That's the only meat you get as there's very little meat in the bony parts of the frog's body.  It's not easy to find frog on the menu, so if you like frog (like I do), this one is #ewew-approved for its reasonably-priced and satisfyingly-tender meat! ;)

For those who don't eat soup noodles (like my family), I'm afraid there's only one thing left to eat and that's the dry pan mee.  An order of Trio Special Dark Sauce Pan Mee @ RM9.50 comes with a choice of pan mee (thick, thin or tear) and the usual condiments of minced pork, fried ikan bilis, fried shallots, dried black fungus and "yin choy" (Chinese spinach).

Probably not the most memorable dry pan mee around as the flavour of the dark sauce wasn't all that fantastic but acceptable enough to finish.  I'm not sure why the spinach was served on the plate and not in the soup (I'd prefer it to be in the soup).

Spice up your noodles with the chilli condiments provided on every table...fiery red bird's eye chillies and a fresh sambal.

If you want to add on some snacks, a good side dish would be the Trio Platter @ RM15.30 that's made up of three coin, pork roll and crispy "fu chuk" (bean curd sheet).

The gold coins tasted very much like "bak kwa" or "long yoke" (dried BBQ meat), slightly sweetish but lacking the barbecued flavour of the traditional bak kwa.  They were, however, irresistibly addictive.

The pork roll was capably executed with a crisp thin beancurd skin and a pleasantly tasty filling of minced pork, carrots, jicama and spring onions.

Finally, the fried fu chuk was just that.....a ceaselessly crispy, always-welcome and crowd-pleasing snack for sure.  Fish cake, Taiwan sausage and dragon balls round off their snacks menu.

If you've ordered too much and can't finish (yeah, it happens), you get to take it home packed in an environment-friendly paper bowl.

In fact, the fu chuk was so unbelievably crispy that we can safely tell you that it's 'crisp-proof' (hehe!) if you decide to pack some home.  We've done it before and it stayed crispy when we ate it more than 3 hours later (which makes this an excellent snack to pack home if you ask me)! ^.^

The White Coffee (Cold) @ RM4....not something I'd order again.  I like the soothing In-House Pu Er Tea (Cold) @ RM2.30 which is also good for those who don't like the usual bitter nuances in their Chinese tea (coz this one had an almost sweet note to it).

Besides their best-selling bursting meat ball noodles, there are many other types of noodles that come with fu zhou fish balls, pork balls, fish balls, squid balls, beef balls, fish paste, pork belly, beef slice, clams, prawns, scallops and mussels...the choices are endless.  Not only that but you can also customise your noodles to your heart's content with any of these as add-ons.

I understand that one can add on more wine flavour to your noodles by purchasing a bottle of wine from them....what, a whole bottle?...and leave it there! @_@  Now who would want to do that...unless we know we'll be eating there regularly.  Then, there's always the trust issue...of leaving the bottle with them. :P That's why there are probably not many takers, otherwise I can just imagine the workers having their hands full...storing and looking for each customer's specifically labelled bottle of wine (since they're known to serve 1,000 bowls a day!).  I'd rather they just charge us for the additional wine if we want that seems more workable to me.

My Personal Opinion

I did enjoy their subtle soup base immensely (even though some felt it was too subtle in flavour while others think it might have been MSG-ed) but I'd certainly appreciate a tad more wine flavour (and wouldn't mind paying for an extra spoonful ^_~).

The soup noodles is definitely what you should go for here...and don't forget the bursting, broth-squirting meat balls and the trio snack platter while you're at it.

Go Noodle House.....if you don't know which noodle house to go! ;P

Go Noodle House
Lot B-29C & B-29D Level B1
Sunway Velocity
Lingkaran SV
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Friday, 24 November 2017

Burger & Sushi @ G Village, Desa Pandan

We're back!!  Yes, back to one of our favourite restaurants conveniently located near where we stay for scrumptious Japanese food at decent prices.

Yes, we've been back for a couple more visits to Burger & Sushi @ G Village, Desa Pandan after numerous visits here, here and here.  We never get tired of the food here since their menu is pretty extensive, so for this visit we focussed on those items that we haven't tried.

Starting with the Ebi Kakiage @ RM19.80, a tempura of shrimps with the sweetness of mixed vegetables (carrot, eggplant, onions and bell peppers), deep fried into small round fritters (served with grated daikon and a tempura dipping sauce), which tasted absolutely amazing! ^o^

When the dish first arrived, my first impression wasn't great as it wasn't much to look at plus the portion size was also small for the price.  But when I took my first bite, the shrimps had such an intense prawn flavour that I can even smell the prawny flavour as soon as the dish hit the table...and that could only mean one thing....there were more shrimps than vegetables.  This was one of those surprise orders that turned out brilliant as I wasn't expecting it to taste so good.

I've always loved the Japanese version of Potato Salad @ RM8.80 but this one looked a little different from the norm.  Not mashed like the rest that came before it but chopped finely with carrots and Japanese cucumber.  Well, what do you know, I actually loved this texture even more.  When you bite into these very tiny cubes of potato, there's a bit of bite and crunch that I relish and not mushed up like mashed potatoes. This needs some mad knife skills and takes a bit more work to put up.

The Unagi Don @ RM35 is possibly one of the cheapest I've come across.  Sliced diagonally (instead of straight down), the donburi was served with tamago, lettuce and pickled ginger.

It always amazes me just how see-through and paper thin they manage to slice the pickled ginger (look at the one against the plate)! O_o

Despite this unagi not being among my favourites as it lacked a bit of that sticky, smoky caramelisation on the outside, it was still a very decent version for the portion and price.  Delighted that the rice came sprinkled with our best-loved condiment of furikake.

Our other main was the Salmon Don @ RM28 which came with large and generous slices of salmon blanketing the rice and fanned out beautifully for a gorgeous presentation.  Finished with a bit of ikura, the dish tasted as fresh as it looked.

As much as we wanted to try all things new, we couldn't resist ordering 'something old' coz it's our must-have sushi roll when we're here...and that's the Aburi Salmon Roll @ RM26.

On yet another visit, we had to have the Aburi Salmon Roll again (even better presented this time).  The deliciousness of the seared salmon, crunchiness from the tempura flakes, rolled in our favourite umami furikake, and the slightly spicy sauce at the bottom makes this a truly downright excellent roll.

If you prefer complete set meals, they have a good selection of those this Beef & Tempura Set @ RM52 with teriyaki beef, tempura prawns, chawanmushi, miso soup, salad, rice and fruit (watermelon).

However, I didn't enjoy the teriyaki beef as much as I enjoyed the beef teppanyaki I had here previously. This one was less tender.

Another value-for-money meal is the Seafood Combo Set @ RM58 which comes with prawns, squid, scallops, chawanmushi, salad, miso soup and fresh fruits.  Only thing it doesn't come with is rice, so you'll need to order that separately @ RM4.

All the seafood items were nicely seared and delicious except this time it wasn't served with a Japanese ginger sauce.  When we asked for the sauce, we were given another type of sauce which we didn't like as much as the previous ginger sauce.

Hot Green Tea @ RM5

While my Hot Lemon Honey Tea @ RM9.50 did its job pleasantly with its lemony flavours, it brought back memories of the awesome lemon tea I had at Yuzu once... made with just pure lemon and honey while this one was infused with tea.

My Personal Opinion

What can I say except....bring your appetite.....they're going to feed you well here!

Burger & Sushi
Lot 06 Ground Floor G Village
No 35 Jalan 1/76
Desa Pandan
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9226 9788

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

How many ways can you eat luncheon meat?

They call it spam, we call it luncheon meat!  So, how many ways can we eat luncheon meat?  Ok, ok, I'm kidding.....there's only one way to eat luncheon meat...and that's fried....either pan-fried or deep-fried! ;)

It's usually just pan-fried to get a nice crisp on the surface of the luncheon meat...and that's how most of us would cook it at home (cut into half-moon slices).

Or into quarters...just to stretch the pieces a little bit more..hihihi!  My family (especially my husband) loves luncheon meat a lot.

Although there's only one way to eat luncheon meat, there are certainly many ways we can pair luncheon meat with.  Yes, yes, I know, it's not something we should consume on a regular basis but, just once, let's not be bothered with how unhealthy it is and take a trip down memory lane to...those were the days, my friends....when most of us weren't health freaks yet! ^_~

#1 - Luncheon Meat Sandwich

Now, if there's a sandwich that kids want back then that mommies could prepare easily, it would be a luncheon meat sandwich.  I remember eating this growing up myself...without a care in the world (soon, I think kids will not know what a luncheon meat sandwich is anymore with parents being increasingly more health conscious these days and bar their children from eating this and that...haiz!) :'(

#2 - Luncheon Meat with Nasi Lemak

This can only happen in a Chinese nasi lemak stall.  You can almost always find this besides pork (or wild boar) curry.

#3 - Luncheon Meat Omelette

And then who hasn't made luncheon meat omelette before at home.

#4 - Egg Coated Luncheon Meat

We'd usually find chap fan stalls deep-frying pieces of luncheon meat, coated in beaten egg, till the egg coating gets all frizzy and crispy...yum, yum! ^.^

#5 - Luncheon Meat Yong Tau Foo

Not only do we find these in chap fan stalls but, these days, we can even find luncheon meat as a yong tau foo choice.

Sometimes wrapped in crispy bean curd sheets :)

#6 - Western Breakfast with Luncheon Meat

If western-style breakfasts have their bacon, ham and sausages...well, we have added luncheon meat in our localised version...hehe! ;P

#7 - Luncheon Meat with Spaghetti

We even have luncheon meat options with black pepper or mushroom sauce...wuahahahaha!  Heck, even phonghongbakes cooked spaghetti aglio olio with luncheon meat! ;)

#8 - Luncheon Meat Fries

And was there any doubt that we'd make fries out of luncheon meat? :P

I'm sure some of us have many more ingenious ways to eat luncheon meat but this is not a luncheon meat post because I wanted to showcase the ways we eat luncheon meat but because I wanted to share with you my recently discovered (and current) favourite brand of luncheon meat.

It's NOT Ma Ling...the brand everyone's most familiar with (this one used to be the 'undisputed champion' but the vast imitations in the market place have 'spoiled' its name).

It's NOT Gulong (the one I used to buy).

It's NOT Tulip (which I have tried or any of these fancy shmancy 'western-type' brands).

And it's NOT Golden Bridge, a Singapore brand that's gluten-free (!) and made with no MSG (!).  Is there even such a thing as 'healthy' (or healthier) processed food?  Those who consider eating this eat it just so that their conscience is clear(er)? ;D

It's YiGe!!  I can't believe it took me until now to discover this! ^o^  Ok-lah, I've not tried the Singapore brand above but my dry goods vendor says it's not as nice as this one, so I'm going to trust him.  Maybe one day when I'm feeling 'healthy', I'll try that brand.  But, then again, when have we ever encountered a 'healthier' brand of a totally 'unhealthy' product that turned out tastier! :P

So, how did I discover this YiGe brand?  Well, I mustered enough courage and asked a stall helper (not the owner) selling local western breakfast (coz theirs was the best luncheon meat I've tasted).  She was nice enough to take out the can for me to see.  So, that was how I found out.

After that, I wondered where I could find that brand (since I don't remember seeing it before)...and, lo and behold, I was at my regular dried foodstuff stall in my neighbourhood wet market, and there it was.  He told me he has been selling this brand since day one.  Hmmm, come to think of it, I think he did recommend me this but I didn't know it was a tasty brand and continued to ignore him buy other brands instead of YiGe...ish! >:(  And then I saw it too at Aeon supermarket...looks like it's commonly sold everywhere.  But the one in Aeon retails for RM10.70 whereas the one from my wet market is only RM9.50.

And how can you tell if it's gonna taste gooooood?  For me, it's those little specks of reddish hue that look like ham....that's the sign of a good spam :)  Those that are just one colour aren't as fragrant...and those that are one colour (and dark), better stay away from those.

Some people I know even eat it raw....straight from the can (slapped between two slices of bread)!  I dare not (coward!) + frying it makes it more fragrant, no? :)

Now, how can we not like LM when its very initials say "Love Me".....hihihi! ^_*  Enough said.

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